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.The chief butler and chief baker, high officials in Pharaoh's court, come under the displeasure of their sovereign. "In the house of the captain of the guards." It appears that this officer's establishment contained the keep in which Joseph and these criminals were confined. "Charged Joseph with them." As Joseph was his slave, and these were state prisoners, he appointed him to wait upon them. It is probable that Joseph's character had been somewhat re-established with him during his residence in the prison.
And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
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.These prisoners dream, "each according to the interpretation of his dream," the imagery of which was suited to indicate his future state. They were sad - anxious to know the meaning of these impressive dreams. "Why are your forces bad today?" Joseph keeps up his character of frank composure. "Do not interpretations belong to God?" In his past history he had learned that dreams themselves come from God. And when he adds, "Tell them now to me," he intimates that God would enable him to interpret their dreams. Here again he uses the general name of God, which was common to him with the pagan.
And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.
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?
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.
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;The chief butler now recites his dream. "Pressed them into Pharaoh's cup." The imagery of the dream is not intended to intimate that Pharaoh drank only the fresh juice of the grape. It only expresses by a natural figure the source of wine, and possibly the duty of the chief butler to understand and superintend the whole process of its formation. Egypt was not only a corn, but a vine country. The interpretation of this dream was very obvious and natural; yet not without a divine intimation could it be known that the "three branches were three days." Joseph, in the quiet confidence that his interpretation would prove correct, begs the chief butler to remember him and endeavor to procure his release. "Stolen, stolen was I." He assures him that he was not a criminal, and that his enslavement was an act of wrongful violence - a robbery by the strong hand. "From the land of the Hebrews;" a very remarkable expression, as it strongly favors the presumption that the Hebrews inhabited the country before Kenaan took possession of it. "I have not done aught." Joseph pleads innocence, and claims liberation, not as an unmerited favor, but as a right. "The pit." The pit without water seems to have been the primitive place of confinement for culprits.
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:
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 Pharaoh's hand.
And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:
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 his butler.
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:
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.
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:The chief baker is encouraged by this interpretation to tell his dream. "I also." He anticipates a favorable answer, from the remarkable likeness of the dreams. "On my head." It appears from the monuments of Egypt that it was the custom for men to carry articles on their heads. "All manner of baked meats" were also characteristic of a corn country. "Lift up thy head from upon thee." This part of the interpretation proves its divine origin. And hang thee - thy body, after being beheaded. This was a constant warning to all beholders.
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.
And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:
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.
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 his servants.The interpretations prove correct. "The birthday of Pharaoh." It is natural and proper for men to celebrate with thanksgiving the day of their birth, as life is a pure and positive blessing. The benign Creator gives only a happy and precious form of existence to those whom he endows with the capacity of estimating its value. A birthday feast cannot be without a chief butler and a chief baker, and hence, the fate of these criminals must be promptly decided. "Lifted up the head;" a phrase of double meaning. The chief butler remembers not Joseph. This is a case of frequent occurrence in this nether world. But there is One above who does not forget him. He will deliver him at the proper time.
- Joseph Was Exalted
1. יאר ye'or, "river, canal," mostly applied to the Nile. Some suppose the word to be Coptic.
2. אחוּ 'āchû, "sedge, reed-grass, marsh-grass." This word is probably Coptic.
8. חרטמים charṭumı̂ym, ἐξηγηταὶ exēgētai, ἱερογραμματεῖς hierogrammateis, "sacred scribes, hieroglyphs." חרט chereṭ "stylus," a graving tool.
43. אברך 'abrēk "bend the knee." In this sense it is put for הברך habrēk imperative hiphil of ברך bārak. Those who take the word to be Coptic render it variously - "bow all, bow the head, cast thyself down."
45. פענח <צפנת tsāpenat-pa‛nēach, Tsaphenath-pa'neach, in the Septuagint ψονθομ-φανήχ Psonthom-Fanēch. "Revelator occulti," Kimchi. This is founded on an attempted Hebrew derivation. Σωτήρ κόσμου Sōtēr kosmou in Oxford MS., "servator mundi," Jerome. These point to a Coptic origin. Recent Egyptologists give P-sont-em-ph-anh, "the-salvation-of-the-life or world." This is a high-flowing title, in keeping with Eastern phraseology. אסנת 'âsnath, Asenath, perhaps belonging to Neith, or worshipper of Neith, a goddess corresponding to Athene of the Greeks. פוטי פרע pôṭı̂y-pera‛, Potiphera', seems to be a variation of פוטיפר Pôṭı̂yphar, Potiphar Genesis 37:36. אן 'ôn or און 'ôn, On equals Oein, "light, sun;" on the monuments TA-RA, "house of the sun." ביתשׁמשׁ bêyth shemesh, Jeremiah 43:13, Heliopolis, north of Memphis, on the east bank of the Nile.
51. מנשׁה menasheh, Menasheh, "causing to forget."
52. אפרים 'eprâyı̂m Ephraim, "double fruit."
Here we have the double dream of Pharaoh interpreted by Joseph, in consequence of which he is elevated over all the land of Egypt.
And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:
But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.