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Genesis 41:38-40 New English Translation (NET Bible)

38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph,[a] one in whom the Spirit of God is present?”[b] 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning[c] as you are! 40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands.[d] Only I, the king, will be greater than you.[e]


  1. Genesis 41:38 tn Heb “like this,” but the referent could be misunderstood to be a man like that described by Joseph in v. 33, rather than Joseph himself. For this reason the proper name “Joseph” has been supplied in the translation.
  2. Genesis 41:38 tn The rhetorical question expects the answer “No, of course not!”
  3. Genesis 41:39 tn Heb “as discerning and wise.” The order has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  4. Genesis 41:40 tn Heb “and at your mouth (i.e., instructions) all my people will kiss.” G. J. Wenham translates this “shall kowtow to your instruction” (Genesis [WBC], 2:395). Although there is some textual support for reading “will be judged, ruled by you,” this is probably an attempt to capture the significance of this word. Wenham lists a number of references where individuals have tried to make connections with other words or expressions—such as a root meaning “order themselves” lying behind “kiss,” or an idiomatic idea of “kiss” meaning “seal the mouth,” and so “be silent and submit to.” See K. A. Kitchen, “The Term Nsq in Genesis 41:40, ” ExpTim 69 (1957): 30; D. S. Sperling, “Genesis 41:40: A New Interpretation,” JANESCU 10 (1978): 113-19.
  5. Genesis 41:40 tn Heb “only the throne, I will be greater than you.”
New English Translation (NET)

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