We will began this lesson in Genesis 40:1 “And it came to pass
after these things, [that] the butler of the king of Egypt and [his]
baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.”
Genesis 40:2 “And Pharaoh was wroth against two [of] his
officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of
Genesis 40:3 “And he put them in ward in the house of the captain
of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph [was] bound.”
Genesis 40:4 “And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with
them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.”
In this particular area, during this particular time, the Pharaoh
was absolute ruler. If for any reason at all you displeased the
Pharaoh, he would throw you into prison; just because he wanted to. We
are not told what crime they had commited, but we can assume that it
had to do with the preparation of the food, since they were the butler
and the baker. God put them in Joseph’s care for a purpose.
Genesis 40:5 “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.”
Genesis 40:6 “And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and
looked upon them, and, behold, they [were] sad.”
Genesis 40:7 “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?”
Genesis 40:8 “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.”
This situation was not unusual. These two men had displeased the
Pharaoh. They were waiting for him to have a change of heart, so they
could be released. God will use unbelievers to accomplish His goals.
These two men were apparently Egyptians. God, also, speaks in dreams.
These two men were troubled because they did not know what their
dreams meant. Interpretation of dreams is a gift from God. Joseph
being a man of God, had this special gift. He did not brag that he
had the gift, he gives God the credit, and asked them to tell him the
Genesis 40:9 “And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and
said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine [was] before me;”
Genesis 40:10 “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:”
Genesis 40:11 “And Pharaoh’s cup [was] in my hand: and I took the
grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into
Genesis 40:12 “And Joseph said unto him, This [is] the
interpretation of it: The three branches [are] three days:”
Genesis 40:13 “Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine
head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver
Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast
This was a pleasure for Joseph to interpret this dream. It was
good news. The budding of plants and flowers, throughout the Bible,
means new life. Grapes and grape juice are symbolic of the Holy
Spirit. Joseph was learned in the things of God. This gift, as we said
before, comes from God alone.
Genesis 40:14 “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:”
Genesis 40:15 “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.”
Joseph was just telling him to put in a good word for him with the
Pharaoh. The only one who could go over Potiphar’s head and release
Joseph, would be the Pharaoh. Joseph explained to him that he was
being punished for something he did not do.
Here, again, we have a type and shadow of Jesus.
Jesus was punished for our sins, not His own.
Joseph had no sin either.
Jesus was betrayed and sold by His brethren.
Joseph was betrayed and sold by his brethren.
Genesis 40:16 “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:”
Genesis 40:17 “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.”
The baker did not believe Joseph could interpret dreams. He only
told his dream, because of the good interpretation of the butler’s
dream. Sometimes, we already know the dream is bad, but we want someone
to reassure us that it is not.
Genesis 40:18 “And Joseph answered and said, This [is] the
interpretation thereof: The three baskets [are] three days:”
Genesis 40:19 “Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy
head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall
eat thy flesh from off thee.”
This was surely not what the baker wanted to hear. One thing that
stands out, to me in this, a man or a woman, prophet of God, must tell
the truth at all times. Sometimes the news is bad, but he must give it
exactly as God gives it to him.
Genesis 40:20 “And it came to pass the third day, [which was]
Pharaoh’s birthday, 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
Genesis 40:21 “And he restored the chief butler unto his
butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand:”
Genesis 40:22 “But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had
interpreted to them.”
The test of a true prophet, is if things they prophesy comes
Genesis 40:23 “Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but
When we are in trouble, we promise anything to get out, but once
out, it is easy to forget. That was just what this butler did. His
problem had been solved, so he forgot Joseph.
We will be in chapter 41 of Genesis in the next lesson