Joseph tells the meaning of the prisoners' dreams
1-3While Joseph was in prison, both the king's#40.1-3 the king's: See the note at 12.15. personal servant#40.1-3 personal servant: The Hebrew text has “cup bearer”, an important and trusted official in the royal court, who personally served wine to the king. and his chief cook made the king angry. So he had them thrown into the same prison with Joseph. 4They spent a long time in prison, and Potiphar, the official in charge of the palace guard, made Joseph their servant.
5One night each of the two men had a dream, but their dreams had different meanings. 6The next morning, when Joseph went to see the men, he could tell they were upset, 7and he asked, “Why are you so worried today?”
8“We each had a dream last night,” they answered, “and there is no one to tell us what they mean.”
Joseph replied, “Doesn't God know the meaning of dreams? Now tell me what you dreamed.”
9The king's personal servant told Joseph, “In my dream I saw a vine 10with three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its grapes became ripe. 11I held the king's cup and squeezed the grapes into it, then I gave the cup to the king.”
This is the meaning of your dream. The three branches stand for three days, 13and in three days the king will pardon you. He will make you his personal servant again, and you will serve him his wine, just as you used to do. 14But when these good things happen, please don't forget to tell the king about me, so I can get out of this place. 15I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and here in Egypt I haven't done anything to deserve being thrown in jail.
16When the chief cook saw that Joseph had given a good meaning to the dream, he told Joseph, “I also had a dream. In it I was carrying three breadbaskets stacked on top of my head. 17The top basket was full of all kinds of baked things for the king, but birds were eating them.”
This is the meaning of your dream. The three baskets are three days, 19and in three days the king will cut off your head. He will hang your body on a pole, and birds will come and peck at it.
20Three days later, while the king was celebrating his birthday with a dinner for his officials, he sent for his personal servant and the chief cook. 21He put the personal servant back in his old job 22and had the cook put to death.
Everything happened just as Joseph had said it would, 23but the king's personal servant completely forgot about Joseph.
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The cupbearer and the baker
1Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5each of the two men – the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison – had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
6When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, ‘Why do you look so sad today?’
8‘We both had dreams,’ they answered, ‘but there is no-one to interpret them.’
Then Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.’
9So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, ‘In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.’
12‘This is what it means,’ Joseph said to him. ‘The three branches are three days. 13Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.’
16When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favourable interpretation, he said to Joseph, ‘I too had a dream: on my head were three baskets of bread.#40:16 Or three wicker baskets 17In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.’
18‘This is what it means,’ Joseph said. ‘The three baskets are three days. 19Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.’
20Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21he restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand – 22but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.
23The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
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