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Song of Solomon
Genesis 40 COMMENTARY (Matthew Henry)
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Matthew Henry's Commentary
And it came to pass after these things,
the butler of the king of Egypt and
baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.
40:1-19 It was not so much the prison that made the butler and baker sad, as their dreams. God has more ways than one to sadden the spirits. Joseph had compassion towards them. Let us be concerned for the sadness of our brethren's countenances. It is often a relief to those that are in trouble to be noticed. Also learn to look into the causes of our own sorrow. Is there a good reason? Is there not comfort sufficient to balance it, whatever it is? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Joseph was careful to ascribe the glory to God. The chief butler's dream foretold his advancement. The chief baker's dream his death. It was not Joseph's fault that he brought the baker no better tidings. And thus ministers are but interpreters; they cannot make the thing otherwise than it is: if they deal faithfully, and their message prove unpleasing, it is not their fault. Joseph does not reflect upon his brethren that sold him; nor does he reflect on the wrong done him by his mistress and his master, but mildly states his own innocence. When we are called on to clear ourselves, we should carefully avoid, as much as may be, speaking ill of others. Let us be content to prove ourselves innocent, and not upbraid others with their guilt.
And Pharaoh was wroth against two
his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph
And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
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
bound in the prison.
And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they
And he asked Pharaoh's officers that
with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye
sadly to day?
And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and
no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them,
to God? tell me
, I pray you.
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine
And in the vine
three branches: and it
as though it budded,
her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
And Pharaoh's cup
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 Joseph said unto him, This
the interpretation of it: The three branches
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.
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:
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
in my dream, and, behold,
three white baskets on my head:
And in the uppermost basket
of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
And Joseph answered and said, This
the interpretation thereof: The three baskets
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.
And it came to pass the third day,
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.
40:20-23 Joseph's interpretation of the dreams came to pass on the very day fixed. On Pharaoh's birth-day, all his servants attended him, and then the cases of these two came to be looked into. We may all profitably take notice of our birth-days, with thankfulness for the mercies of our birth, sorrow for the sinfulness of our lives, and expectation of the day of our death, as better than the day of our birth. But it seems strange that worldly people, who are so fond of living here, should rejoice at the end of one year after another of their short span of life. A Christian has cause to rejoice that he was born, also that he comes nearer to the end of his sin and sorrow, and nearer to his everlasting happiness. The chief butler remembered not Joseph, but forgot him. Joseph had deserved well at his hands, yet he forgot him. We must not think it strange, if in this world we have hatred shown us for our love, and slights for our kindness. See how apt those who are themselves at ease are to forget others in distress. Joseph learned by his disappointment to trust in God only. We cannot expect too little from man, nor too much from God. Let us not forget the sufferings, promises, and love of our Redeemer. We blame the chief butler's ingratitude to Joseph, yet we ourselves act much more ungratefully to the Lord Jesus. Joseph had but foretold the chief butler's enlargement, but Christ wrought out ours; he mediated with the King of Kings for us; yet we forget him, though often reminded of him, and though we have promised never to forget him. Thus ill do we requite Him, like foolish people and unwise.
And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:
But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.
Courtesy of Open Bible
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