Pharaoh said, “Joseph of the Hebrews, God has shown you something no one else has seen. Therefore, it suits you to rule over my house and my people. The only thing I will withhold from you is the throne.”
Pharaoh took off his signet ring and placed it on Joseph’s finger. Then he addressed the servant at Joseph’s side. “Dress the new governor in quality linens,” he said, “and give him a gold chain.”
Outfitted like a king, Joseph mounted the general’s chariot, and the officers of the guard escorted him through the city streets. Servants prepared the way in front of his royal train, shouting, “Bow your knee, your master is in your midst!”
Later that evening, Pharaoh and Joseph met in Pharaoh’s counseling chambers. “You need a name,” he told his new confidant. “We’ll call you Zaphenath-Paneah.”
“Thank you, Lord.”
“And you’ll have Asenath, the priest’s daughter, as a wife. Without your consent, no one moves a muscle in the entire land of Egypt.”
And so it was with Joseph, now Zaphenath.
Zaphenath left the palace on frequent business trips for the next seven years. The earth yielded an abundant volume of food, and he would make sure a fifth of the produce from the fields were freighted to the storehouses in every city. Soon there was such a surplus of grain, he stopped tallying up each shipment.
During this time, Zaphenath also fathered two sons with his wife, Asenath. He named his firstborn Manasseh, saying, “God caused me to forget my troubles and my brothers.” He named the second son Ephraim, saying “God has let me prosper in a land of hardship.”
Soon enough, just as Pharaoh had dreamed, the famine began. In every land, far and wide, the famine’s effects devastated the people, but Egypt had bread and plenty of it. The people came in droves from all over the world to seek the exalted god of Egypt for food.
Pharaoh said, “Go see Zaphenath-Paneah.”
Zaphenath opened wide the doors of the storehouses and sold grain to all who needed food.
Inspiration: Genesis 41