Genesis Lesson 24 Day 4

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Genesis Lesson 24 Day 4

Genesis 40:1-8

The king’s cupbearer and baker had confusing dreams in prison.


butler—not only the cup-bearer, but overseer of the royal vineyards, as well as the cellars; having, probably, some hundreds of people under him.6


baker—or cook, had the superintendence of every thing relating to the providing and preparing of meats for the royal table. Both officers, especially the former, were, in ancient Egypt, always persons of great rank and importance; and from the confidential nature of their employment, as well as their access to the royal presence, they were generally the highest nobles or princes of the blood. Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker are put into prison, and committed to Joseph.6

Their offense

This passage doesn’t spell out the details. In the past, I’ve read this story as if each was in prison for his own reason. Now I realize they may have been in cahoots, because it seems they arrived at the same time.

Commentaries citing other ancient writings shed some light on the scope of their duties (see above) and suggest a possible reason for their imprisonment. “It is probable there was a plot to murder the Pharaoh (perhaps by poisoning), and these two were suspects.”1

The Targum of Jonathan says, that they consulted to put poison into his drink and food; which, it is not improbable, considering their business and office, they might be charged with; at least it is much more probable than what Jarchi suggests, that the one put a fly into his cup, and the other a little stone or sand into his bread.7

11) Joseph interprets two prisoners’ dreams.

Some time later, the king’s cupbearer and baker made him angry so he put them in the same prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard [Potiphar] appointed Joseph to serve them.

As Guzik points out, even though they were probably there on attempted murder charges, they were really there because God wanted them to meet Joseph. The Lord was with him.1

Both the cupbearer and baker woke from troubling dreams the same night. Joseph asked, “why do you look so sad today?”

They told him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.”

Joseph replied, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me what you saw.”

Joseph shows concern and compassion.

He noticed the prisoners looked depressed and showed them compassion. He was careful to say that the Lord is the one who interprets dreams.

12) Person in my life who needs care

My husband often needs my help.

Be loving and patient.

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1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, public domain.
7 Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, public domain.

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