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Genesis 40

40
The Dreams Interpreted. 1#Joseph interprets the dreams of the Pharaoh’s two officials. His ability to interpret the dreams shows that God is still with him and points forward to his role of dream interpreter for Pharaoh in chap. 41. Some time afterward, the royal cupbearer and baker offended their lord, the king of Egypt. 2Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3and he put them in custody in the house of the chief steward, the same jail where Joseph was confined. 4The chief steward assigned Joseph to them, and he became their attendant.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt who were confined in the jail both had dreams on the same night, each his own dream and each dream with its own meaning. 6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they looked disturbed. 7So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so troubled today?” 8They answered him, “We have had dreams, but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph said to them, “Do interpretations not come from God? Please tell me the dreams.”#Gn 41:16.
9Then the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. “In my dream,” he said, “I saw a vine in front of me, 10and on the vine were three branches. It had barely budded when its blossoms came out, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes, pressed them out into his cup, and put it in Pharaoh’s hand.” 12Joseph said to him: “This is its interpretation. The three branches are three days; 13within three days Pharaoh will single you out#Single you out: lit., “lift up your head” (see also vv. 19, 20). and restore you to your post. You will be handing Pharaoh his cup as you formerly did when you were his cupbearer. 14Only think of me when all is well with you, and please do me the great favor of mentioning me to Pharaoh, to get me out of this place. 15The truth is that I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and I have not done anything here that they should have put me into a dungeon.”
16When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to him: “I too had a dream. In it I had three bread baskets on my head; 17in the top one were all kinds of bakery products for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.” 18Joseph said to him in reply: “This is its interpretation. The three baskets are three days; 19within three days Pharaoh will single you out and will impale you on a stake, and the birds will be eating your flesh.”
20And so on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, when he gave a banquet to all his servants, he singled out the chief cupbearer and chief baker in the midst of his servants. 21He restored the chief cupbearer to his office, so that he again handed the cup to Pharaoh; 22but the chief baker he impaled—just as Joseph had told them in his interpretation. 23Yet the chief cupbearer did not think of Joseph; he forgot him.
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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 the official in charge of the palace guard,#40.4 the palace guard: Possibly Potiphar (see 39.1). 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.”
12Joseph said:
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.”
18Joseph said:
This is the meaning of your dream. The three baskets are three days, 19#3 Macc 6.34. and 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.