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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Genesis 40

Chapter 40

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.

it came

39:20-23 Esther 6:1

the butler

Mashkeh, from shakah, to give drink, is the same as saky among the Arabians and Persians, and signifies a cup-bearer.

13 Nehemiah 1:11 2:1,2

And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.


Psalms 76:10 Proverbs 16:14 19:12,19 27:4 Acts 12:20

the chief of the butlers

1 Chronicles 27:27

And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.

the place


where Joseph was bound

Or, "where Joseph was confined," for he doubtless had his personal liberty. This place, we learn from the preceding chapter, (ver. 20,) was the king's prison. All the officers in the employment of the ancient kings of Egypt, according to Diodorus Siculus, were taken from the most illustrious families of the priesthood in the country; no slave or common person being ever permitted to serve in the presence of the king. As these persons were of the most noble families, it is natural to expect they would be put, when accused, into the state prison.

And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.

the captain

37:36 39:1,21-23 Psalms 37:5

a season

Yamim, literally days; how long is uncertain, though the word may signify, as many suppose, a complete year (see Ge 4:3; 24:55); and as Pharaoh called them to an account on his birthday, (ver. 20,) Calmet supposes they had offended on the preceding birthday, and thus had been one whole year in prison.

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.

A. M. 2287. B.C. 1717

8 12:1-7 20:3 37:5-10 41:1-7,11 Numbers 12:6 Judges 7:13,14 Esther 6:1 Job 33:15-17 Daniel 2:1-3 4:5,9,19 7:1-8

And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.

and, behold

8 41:8 Daniel 2:1-3 4:5 5:6 7:28 8:27

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?


Judges 18:24 1 Samuel 1:8 2 Samuel 13:4 Nehemiah 2:2 Luke 24:17

look ye so sadly to-day

Heb. are your faces evil.

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.

Do not, etc

41:15,16 Job 33:15,16 Psalms 25:14 Isaiah 8:19 Daniel 2:11,28,47 4:8 Daniel 5:11-15 1 Corinthians 12:10,11 Amos 3:7

And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;

a vine

37:5-10 Judges 7:13-15 Daniel 2:31 4:8,10-18

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 I took, etc

From this we find that wine anciently was the mere expressed juice of the grape, without fermentation. The saky, or cup-bearer, took the bunch, pressed the juice into the cup, and instantly delivered it to his master.


49:11 Leviticus 10:9 Proverbs 3:10


21 1 Kings 10:5 2 Chronicles 9:4 Nehemiah 1:11 2:1

And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:


18 41:12,25,26 Judges 7:14 Daniel 2:36-45 4:19-33

The three

41:26 Judges 7:14 Matthew 26:26 1 Corinthians 10:4 Galatians 4:25

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.




20-22 2 Kings 25:27 Psalms 3:3 Jeremiah 52:31

lift up thine head

or, reckon.

19 *marg:; 20 *marg:

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:

think on me

Heb. remember me with thee. on me.

1 Samuel 25:31 Luke 23:42 1 Corinthians 7:21


Joshua 2:12 1 Samuel 20:14,15 2 Samuel 9:1 1 Kings 2:7

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.


37:28 Exodus 21:16 Deuteronomy 24:7 1 Timothy 1:10

the Hebrews

14:13 41:12


39:8-12,20 1 Samuel 24:11 Psalms 59:3,4 Daniel 6:22 John 10:32 15:25 Acts 24:12-21 25:10,11 1 Peter 3:17,18

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


white baskets

or, baskets full of holes.

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.


Heb. meat of Pharaoh, the work of a baker, or cook.

49:20 1 Chronicles 12:20

And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:

12 41:26 1 Corinthians 10:4 11:24

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.


lift up thy head from off thee

or, reckon thee and take thy office from thee. hang thee.

22 41:13 Deuteronomy 21:22,23 Joshua 8:29 10:26 2 Samuel 21:6 Proverbs 30:17 Galatians 3:13

and the birds

17 1 Samuel 17:44,46 2 Samuel 21:10 Ezekiel 39:4 Acts 20:27

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.

third day



21:8 Esther 1:3 Job 3:1 Matthew 14:6 Mark 6:21

lifted up

or, reckoned.

13,19 *marg:; 2 Kings 25:27 Matthew 18:23-25 25:19 Luke 16:1,2

And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:

gave the cup

13 Nehemiah 2:1

But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

he hanged

8,19 41:11-13,16 Jeremiah 23:28 Daniel 2:19-23,30 5:12 Acts 5:30

Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

but forgat him

Job 19:14 Psalms 31:12 105:19 Ecclesiastes 9:15,16 Amos 6:6