Genesis  ◦   Chapter 40

1Some time later, the royal cupbearer and royal baker committed an offense against Pharaoh – their master and the ruler of Egypt. 2Pharaoh was angry with these two officials 3and had Potiphar (the captain of the guard) arrest them and put them in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4Potiphar assigned Joseph to look after them. After they had been in prison for quite some time, 5each of these men – Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker – on the same night had a prophetic dream; and each dream had its own unique meaning.

6The next morning, when Joseph came to them, he saw that they were distraught. 7So he asked them, “What’s wrong? Why do you look so upset?”

8“Last night we both had very troubling dreams,” they replied, “but no one can tell us what they mean.”

Joseph said to them, “God is able to interpret the meaning of your dreams. Please, tell me what you dreamt.”

9So the royal cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said, “In my dream, I saw a grapevine in front of me, 10and it had three branches. The vine budded and blossomed, and then the clusters ripened into grapes. 11I was holding Pharaoh’s cup in my hand; I then reached out and took some grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and then gave the cup to Pharaoh.”

12Joseph told him, “This is what your dream means: The three branches represent three days. 13In three days Pharaoh will release you from prison and restore you to your position as cupbearer, where you will once again hand Pharaoh’s cup to him. 14And please, when you are restored to your position, do me a favor and speak kindly of me to Pharaoh and ask for my release from this prison. 15For I was kidnapped from my home in the land of the Hebrews and have done nothing deserving of being in prison.”

16When the royal baker saw the positive interpretation Joseph gave the cupbearer, he eagerly said to Joseph, “I had a dream also: I had three baskets of baked goods on my head. 17In the top basket were all kinds of pastries for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18Joseph somberly told him, “This is what your dream means: The three baskets are also three days. 19But unfortunately, in three days Pharaoh will have you beheaded and put your body on a pole, and the birds will eat your flesh.”

20Pharaoh’s birthday was three days after their dream, and he gave a huge feast for all his officials. During the feast, he had his royal cupbearer and baker brought before him. And in front of all his officials, 21he restored the royal cupbearer to his position, 22but he executed the royal baker. It all happened exactly as Joseph had told them it would.

23But the cupbearer never gave Joseph another thought; he forgot all about him.