|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
41:9-32 God's time for the enlargement of his people is the fittest time. If the chief butler had got Joseph to be released from prison, it is probable he would have gone back to the land of the Hebrews. Then he had neither been so blessed himself, nor such a blessing to his family, as afterwards he proved. Joseph, when introduced to Pharaoh, gives honour to God. Pharaoh had dreamed that he stood upon the bank of the river Nile, and saw the kine, both the fat ones, and the lean ones, come out of the river. Egypt has no rain, but the plenty of the year depends upon the overflowing of the river Nile. See how many ways Providence has of dispensing its gifts; yet our dependence is still the same upon the First Cause, who makes every creature what it is to us, be it rain or river. See to what changes the comforts of this life are subject. We cannot be sure that to-morrow shall be as this day, or next year as this. We must learn how to want, as well as how to abound. Mark the goodness of God in sending the seven years of plenty before those of famine, that provision might be made. The produce of the earth is sometimes more, and sometimes less; yet, take one with another, he that gathers much, has nothing over; and he that gathers little, has no lack, Ex 16:18. And see the perishing nature of our worldly enjoyments. The great harvests of the years of plenty were quite lost, and swallowed up in the years of famine; and that which seemed very much, yet did but just serve to keep the people alive. There is bread which lasts to eternal life, which it is worth while to labour for. They that make the things of this world their good things, will find little pleasure in remembering that they have received them.
Verses 9-13. - Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: - literally, my faults (sc. am) remembering today; but whether he understood by his faults his ingratitude to Joseph or his offense against Pharaoh commentators are not agreed, though the latter seems the more probable - Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, - literally, broke out against them (vide Genesis 40:2) - and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, - literally, put me in custody of the house of the captain of the slaughterers (cf. Genesis 40:3) - both me and the chief baker: and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream (vide Genesis 40:5). And there was there with us a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard (vide Genesis 37:36); and we told him (so. our dreams), and he interpreted to us our dreams (vide Genesis 40:12, 13, 18, 19); to each man according to his dream he did interpret. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he (not Pharaoh, but Joseph) restored unto mine office, and him he hanged (vide Genesis 40:21, 22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh,.... When the magicians and wise men could not interpret his dreams, he was in distress of mind on that account:
saying, I do remember my faults this day; which some interpret of his forgetfulness of Joseph and his afflictions, and of his ingratitude to him, and breach of promise in not making mention of him to Pharaoh before this time; but they seem rather to be faults he had committed against Pharaoh, and were the reason of his being wroth with him, as in Genesis 41:10; and these were either real faults, which the king had pardoned, or however such as he had been charged with, and cleared from; and which he now in a courtly manner takes to himself, and owns them, that the king's goodness and clemency to him might appear, and lest he should seem to charge the king with injustice in casting him into prison; which circumstance he could not avoid relating in the story he was about to tell.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9-13. then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults—This public acknowledgment of the merits of the young Hebrew would, tardy though it was, have reflected credit on the butler had it not been obviously made to ingratiate himself with his royal master. It is right to confess our faults against God, and against our fellow men when that confession is made in the spirit of godly sorrow and penitence. But this man was not much impressed with a sense of the fault he had committed against Joseph; he never thought of God, to whose goodness he was indebted for the prophetic announcement of his release, and in acknowledging his former fault against the king, he was practising the courtly art of pleasing his master.
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