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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Genesis

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FRAMEWORKS: Genesis 40: Two Dreams & Interpretations


v.1-5 The Cupbearer and the Baker Imprisoned

v.5-8 Two Dreams

v.9-15 The Cupbearer's Dream & Interpretation

v.16-19 The Baker's Dream & Interpretation

v.20-23 Both Dreams Fulfilled



v.1-5 The Cupbearer and the Baker Imprisoned


v.1 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt.

v.2,3 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined.

v.4,5 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.


[Notes: Two of Pharaoh's servants are imprisoned and put in Joseph's care.]



v.5-8 Two Dreams


After they had been in custody for some time, each 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.

v.6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected.

v.7 So he asked Pharaoh's officials who were in custody with him in his master's house, “Why do you look so sad today?”

v.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.”


[Notes: Both men have dreams and Joseph offers to interpret them.]



v.9-15 The Cupbearer's Dream & Interpretation


v.9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me,

v.10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes.

v.11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup and put the cup in his hand.”

v.12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days.

v.13 Within 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.

v.14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.

v.15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”


[Notes: The chief cupbearer tells of a wine-associated dream and Joseph interprets it as him being restored to his old position within three days.]



v.16-19 The Baker's Dream & Interpretation


v.16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread.

v.17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

v.18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days.

v.19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”


[Notes: The baker has a bread-associated dream and Joseph interprets it as the baker being executed within three days.]



v.20-23 Both Dreams Fulfilled


v.20 Now 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:

v.21,22 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh's hand— but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.

v.23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.


[Notes: On the third day the cupbearer is restored and the baker executed, but the cupbearer forgets about Joseph.]



Lessons or Challenges to Ponder from Genesis Chapter 40


1. Earlier in his life Joseph had had prophetic dreams. Now he has the ability to interpret dreams. This ability is clearly God-given for the purpose of raising Joseph's profile for later on. Are we open to the Lord gifting us in similar ways?

2. The chief cupbearer forgot Joseph in his joy in being reinstated to his former role. There are clearly times when people will let us down and we need to be patient and await for the Lord to act on our behalf. If we have a sense of being in His service we need to learn to leave the outcomes to Him.



Continue to Chapter 41