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.
Mashkeh, from shakah, to give drink, is the same as saky among the Arabians and Persians, and signifies a cup-bearer.
And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
the chief of the butlers
And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
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.
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
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?
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
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;
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.
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.
lift up thine head
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.
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:
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.
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.
lift up thy head from off thee
or, reckon thee and take thy office from thee. hang thee.
and the birds
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.
And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:
gave the cup
But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.