Joseph interprets dreams in prison
1Some time later, both the wine steward and the baker for Egypt’s king offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief wine steward and the chief baker, 3and he put them under arrest with the commander of the royal guard in the same jail where Joseph was imprisoned. 4The commander of the royal guard assigned Joseph to assist them. After they had been under arrest for some time, 5both of them—the wine steward and the baker for Egypt’s king who were imprisoned in the jail—had dreams one night, and each man’s dream had its own meaning. 6When Joseph met them in the morning, he saw that they were upset. 7He asked the officers of Pharaoh who were under arrest with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so distressed today?”
8They answered, “We’ve both had dreams, but there’s no one to interpret them.”
Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Describe your dreams to me.”
9The chief wine steward described his dream to Joseph: “In my dream there was a vine right in front of me, 10and on the vine were three branches. When it budded, its blossoms appeared, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, crushed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”
12Joseph said to him, “This is the dream’s interpretation: The three branches are three days. 13After three days, Pharaoh will give you an audience and return you to your position. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just the way things were before when you were his wine steward. 14But please, remember me when you are doing well and be loyal to me. Put in a good word for me to Pharaoh, so he sets me free from this prison. 15I was stolen from the land of the Hebrews, and here too I’ve done nothing to be thrown into this dungeon.”
16When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “It was the same for me. In my dream, there were three baskets of white bread#40.16 Heb uncertain on my head. 17In the basket on top there were baked goods for Pharaoh’s food, but birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
18Joseph responded, “This is the dream’s interpretation: The three baskets are three days. 19After three days, Pharaoh will give you an audience and will hang you from a tree where birds will peck your flesh from you.”
20The third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a party for all of his servants. Before all of his servants, he gave an audience to the chief wine steward and the chief baker. 21He returned the chief wine steward to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22But the chief baker he hanged, just as Joseph had said would happen when he interpreted their dreams for them. 23But the chief wine steward didn’t remember Joseph; he forgot all about him.
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1-4a As time went on, it happened that the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt crossed their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the head cupbearer and the head baker, and put them in custody under the captain of the guard; it was the same jail where Joseph was held. The captain of the guard assigned Joseph to see to their needs.
4b-7 After they had been in custody for a while, the king’s cupbearer and baker, while being held in the jail, both had a dream on the same night, each dream having its own meaning. When Joseph arrived in the morning, he noticed that they were feeling low. So he asked them, the two officials of Pharaoh who had been thrown into jail with him, “What’s wrong? Why the long faces?”
8They said, “We dreamed dreams and there’s no one to interpret them.”
Joseph said, “Don’t interpretations come from God? Tell me the dreams.”
9-11First the head cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: “In my dream there was a vine in front of me with three branches on it: It budded, blossomed, and the clusters ripened into grapes. I was holding Pharaoh’s cup; I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and gave the cup to Pharaoh.”
12-15Joseph said, “Here’s the meaning. The three branches are three days. Within three days, Pharaoh will get you out of here and put you back to your old work—you’ll be giving Pharaoh his cup just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. Only remember me when things are going well with you again—tell Pharaoh about me and get me out of this place. I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews. And since I’ve been here, I’ve done nothing to deserve being put in this hole.”
16-17When the head baker saw how well Joseph’s interpretation turned out, he spoke up: “My dream went like this: I saw three wicker baskets on my head; the top basket had assorted pastries from the bakery and birds were picking at them from the basket on my head.”
18-19Joseph said, “This is the interpretation: The three baskets are three days; within three days Pharaoh will take off your head, impale you on a post, and the birds will pick your bones clean.”
20-22And sure enough, on the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he threw a feast for all his servants. He set the head cupbearer and the head baker in places of honor in the presence of all the guests. Then he restored the head cupbearer to his cupbearing post; he handed Pharaoh his cup just as before. And then he impaled the head baker on a post, following Joseph’s interpretations exactly.
23But the head cupbearer never gave Joseph another thought; he forgot all about him.
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THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of NavPress. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers.