The Butler and the Baker
Chapter 39 ended with Joseph in prison. The keeper of the jail put all things in the prison into Joseph’s hands.
After these things, the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry against these two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers and against the chief of the bakers. Pharaoh 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 Joseph served them; and they continued a season in ward.
They both dreamed a dream, 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.
Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them. They were sad.
Joseph (to the Pharaoh’s officers): Why do you look so sad today?
Butler and baker: We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.
Joseph: Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.
The chief butler told his dream to Joseph.
The chief butler: In my dream, a vine was before me. And in the vine were three branches. It was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters of it brought forth ripe grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup. I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.
Joseph: This is the interpretation of your dream. The three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh shall lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you shall deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when you were his butler. But think on me when it shall be well with you, and show kindness to me, and make mention of me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For 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 of the butler’s dream was good, he told Joseph his dream also.
The chief baker: I also was in my dream. I had three white baskets on my head. In the uppermost basket there was all manner of baked foods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.
Joseph: This is the interpretation of your dream. The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh shall lift up your head from off you and shall hang you on a tree, and the birds shall eat your flesh from off you.
The third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he made a feast for all his servants. He lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. He restored the chief butler to his butlership again. And the butler gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, but Pharoah hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.
Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph but forgot him.