Genesis 40

40:1-23. The Wisdom Of Joseph.

1-8. His fellow prisoners and their dreams.

9-11. The Butler's dream.
12,13. Its Interpretation.
14,15. Joseph's request (made).
16,17. The Baker's dream.
18-22. Its Interpretation.
23. Joseph's request (forgotten)

1717 B.C.

Genesis 40:1 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler (= the cup-bearer) of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.

(A Papyrus, in the National Library Paris-19th dynasty, gives the names of similar office - Djadja, the chief; and mentions "114,064 loaves made in the white fortress" - See "Records of the Past".

The butler is the cupbearer of the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and he and the chief butler got into a fight. When the Pharaoh heard about it, he commanded that they both be thrown into prison. Both of these men held high rank in the service of the Pharaoh.)

2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.

3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.

4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.

(This is also under Potiphar's guard. Remember from last chapter, Potiphar turned the affairs of this prison over to Joseph.)

5 And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.

(God is not going to leave Joseph here in prison, and we see here that God has started a way of getting Joseph in the place where He would have him. This is the first night in the prison for these two men that are fighting amongst themselves, and in that first night both of these men dream a dream.)

6 And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.

(Anytime we are unable to interpret, or understand something we are sad. Where does all wisdom and understanding come from? You know. This was quite a shock for these two men, being thrown into prison. In the morning Joseph comes into their cells and sees that they are both very sad, for they both dreamed a dream, and wanted to know the interpretation.)

7 And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, "Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?"

8 And they said unto him, "We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it." And Joseph said unto them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you."

9 And the chief butler (= the cup-bearer) told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;

10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:

11 And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup,

(A religious ceremony, connected with the worship of Horus, portrayed in Egyptian paintings. Existence of vines in Egypt has been denied by critics; but now they are seen depicted in paintings. In the cup was honey, or some other liquid, with which the grape juice was mixed.)

and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand."

12 And Joseph said unto him, "This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:

13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head,

(= restore you to favor. For this is the highest honor that the cup-bearer could have.)

and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.

(Joseph assured the Butler that it would be well with him in three days, and that he would be promoted to a higher position then he had before.)

14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:

(Joseph wants the butler to remember him when he has been restored to his high position, and tell Pharaoh he wants to get out of the prison. Joseph knew that the butler would be closer to Pharaoh, and in a higher position that Potiphar.)

15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon."

(Notice that Joseph doesn't go into a long story of all the wrongs that befell him. He simply states the nature of how he is in prison wrongfully. I'm innocent, and I don't belong here; Joseph got to the point.)

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, "I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:

17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head."

18 And Joseph answered and said, "This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:

19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee (cp. this with v.13), and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee."

20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday,

(These were observed with great ceremony and state. Critics have supposed it to be only a Persian custom. The Rosetta stone contains a decree concerning the keeping of the birthday feast of Ptolemy Epiphanes. Other evidence is forthcoming.)

that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.

21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again (cp. v.13, and see 41:13); and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:

(The cup bearer is the one that even tests Pharaoh's food, and he has to be one that the Pharaoh really trusts. He is one that is constantly by the Pharaoh's side.)

22 But he hanged the chief baker:

(cp. v.19, and see 41:13.)

as Joseph had interpreted to them.

23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

(Used for great emphasis. Cp. Amos 6:6.

The interpretation of the dreams that God gave to Joseph came true, yet Joseph is still kept in prison. The butler forgot Joseph. God is still in control, and in God's set times things will happen that are suppose to. Joseph asked a man to remember him, and that man forgot. It is far more important that God remember you, then some man who is more interested in his own affairs, then to remember a promise given back in prison.

When you are in the hand of God, then you are in the will of God, and you can ask no one higher and expect to be heard every time. We will see in the next chapter that the Baker never forgot Joseph and his ability to interpret dreams, and God will use this time in prison, and the ability to use what God has given to him, to save his people, the nation that the Messiah will come through. It is God that will place Joseph in the position that He would have Joseph serve, and Joseph will have to wait upon God patiently for the right time.)

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