The Cupbearer and the Baker and Their Dreams
1Some time later, # 40:1 Eleven years had passed since the time Joseph was sold into slavery. He was about twenty-eight at this time. both Pharaoh’s chief steward # 40:1 Or “cupbearer” (lit. “drink-giver”). He was the king’s trusted official and had a position to influence Pharaoh. and chief baker deeply offended their master, the king of Egypt. # 40:1 Jewish tradition states that a fly had fallen into Pharaoh’s cup of wine, and a pebble was found in his bread, thus causing this “offense.” See Midrash: by Rashi. 2Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief steward and the chief baker, 3so he incarcerated them in the palace of Potiphar, the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was bound. 4The captain of the guard placed them under Joseph’s charge, and they remained in custody for some time. # 40:4 Jesus was falsely accused, maligned, and crucified between two thieves. At Calvary, the one thief was released (to enter paradise), and the other killed. So it was with the two men imprisoned with Joseph, three days after they were released! Christ was rejected by his brothers (see John 7:5), sold by one of his own (see Matt. 26:14–15), and eventually cast into the prison of death (see 1 Peter 3:18–19). Psalm 105:18 gives us additional information about Joseph’s time in prison: “His feet were bruised by strong shackles and his soul was held by iron.” The last phrase can be translated “his soul entered into iron.” The inner strength of loving and serving in painful circumstances made Joseph’s soul as strong as iron. He learned to serve and to rule over himself first, before God released him to rule over others.
5Then one night, they both dreamed—the steward and the baker, officials of the king of Egypt. They each had a prophetic dream with different interpretations.
6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw they looked miserable, 7so he asked Pharaoh’s two officials who were under his custody, “What’s wrong? Why the sad faces?”
8“We had dreams last night,” they answered, “and we have no one to interpret them.”
And Joseph said to them, “God can interpret your dreams! Please, tell them to me.”
9-10So the chief steward shared his dream with Joseph first. He said, “In my dream, I saw a vine with three branches in front of me. I watched as it budded, then immediately it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11I was holding Pharaoh’s cup, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his cup, and handed the cup to the king.”
12Joseph said to him, “God has given me the interpretation of your dream: The three branches are three days. 13In three days, Pharaoh will pardon you and restore you to your post. You will once again hand Pharaoh’s cup to him as you used to do as his steward. 14When things start to go well for you, remember me, and please be kind and mention me to Pharaoh so that he might release me from here. # 40:14 Joseph could prophesy the release of another, but not his own. Often, prophetic gifts and words of revelation over other people simply do not come for the prophet. They are gifts to be used to bless others, not for self-consumption. We need others to come with a word for our need. This keeps us dependent not only upon God but also upon others. 15For I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and I have done nothing here to deserve being thrown into this dungeon.” # 40:15 Joseph felt forgotten. He had been forgotten a long, long time. He became a slave when he was seventeen years old, and soon afterward, Potiphar cast him into prison. Not until he was thirty did Pharaoh release him from prison. Thirteen years is a long time to be forgotten. His faith in God and the fulfillment of his dreams kept Joseph faithfully waiting for his day of promotion. Perhaps, like Joseph, you have been let down by others who promised to be a help to you but did not follow through on their pledge. Don’t despair, for God will never forget the plans he has for his children (see Jer. 29:11–13). Even if others let us down, God is always faithful and will bring his plans to pass at the appointed time.
16When the chief baker saw how favorably Joseph interpreted the dream, he said to him, “Let me tell you my dream. I saw three wicker breadbaskets stacked on my head one above the other. 17In the top basket, I saw all kinds of bread and pastries for Pharaoh to enjoy, but the birds came and ate out of the basket above my head.”
18Joseph said, “God has given me the interpretation of your dream: The three baskets are three days. 19In three days, Pharaoh will behead you and impale you on a pole, and birds will eat the flesh off your corpse.”
20Three days later, it was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he threw a huge feast for all his household. He singled out among his servants the chief steward and the chief baker. 21He pardoned the chief steward and restored him to his post, and the steward handed Pharaoh his drink. 22But he had the chief baker beheaded and impaled on a pole. So, Joseph had accurately interpreted both their dreams, 23but the chief steward completely forgot about Joseph and never remembered him.
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Berĕshith (Genesis) 40
1And after these events it came to be that the cupbearer and the baker of the sovereign of Mitsrayim sinned against their master, the sovereign of Mitsrayim.
2And Pharaoh was wroth with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker.
3So he put them in confinement in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Yosĕph was a prisoner.
4And the captain of the guard put Yosĕph in charge of them, and he served them. So they were in confinement for some time.
5Then the cupbearer and the baker of the sovereign of Mitsrayim, who were confined in the prison, dreamed a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation.
6And Yosĕph came in to them in the morning and looked at them and saw that they were sad.
7And he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in confinement of his master’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”
8And they said to him, “We each have dreamed a dream, and there is no one to interpret it.” And Yosĕph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to Elohim? Relate them to me, please.”
9So the chief cupbearer related his dream to Yosĕph, and said to him, “See, in my dream a vine was before me,
10and in the vine were three branches, and it was as though it budded – its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes.
11And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand. So I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.
12And Yosĕph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days.
13“Yet, within three days Pharaoh is going to lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you shall put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former ruling, when you were his cupbearer.
14“But remember me when it is well with you, and please show loving-commitment to me. And mention me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.
15For truly I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews. And also I have done naught that they should put me into the dungeon.
16And the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, and he said to Yosĕph, “I also was in my dream and saw three white baskets were on my head,
17and in the uppermost basket all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”
18And Yosĕph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days.
19Yet, within three days Pharaoh is going to lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree. And the birds shall eat your flesh from you.
20And on the third day, Pharaoh’s birthday, it came to be that he made a feast for all his servants. And he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and of the chief baker among his servants,
21and he restored the chief cupbearer to his post of cupbearer again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand,
22but he hanged the chief baker, as Yosĕph had interpreted to them.
23And the chief cupbearer did not remember Yosĕph, but forgot him.
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