Bible Study Lesson about the Cupbearer and the Baker – Genesis 40:1-23
Joseph, in this Christian study lesson from Genesis, is asked to interpret the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker.
He boldly does so and both dreams come true.
Who gets the credit?
Was there risk involved with the interpretation?
Absolutely, but Joseph took the risk because he was faithful to God.
What Were the Dreams of the Baker and the Cupbearer?
Then it came about after these things, the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt.
Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker.
So he put them in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, in the jail, the same place where Joseph was imprisoned.
The captain of the bodyguard put Joseph in charge of them, and he took care of them; and they were in confinement for some time.
Then the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt, who were confined in jail, both had a dream the same night, each man with his own dream and each dream with its own interpretation.
When Joseph came to them in the morning and observed them, behold, they were dejected.
He asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in confinement in his master’s house, “Why are your faces so sad today?”
Then they said to him, “We have had a dream and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please.”
So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream, behold, there was a vine in front of me; and on the vine were three branches.
And as it was budding, its blossoms came out, and its clusters produced ripe grapes.
Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and
I put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.”
Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days; within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you will put Pharaoh’s cup into his hand according to your former custom when you were his cupbearer.
Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.
For I was in fact kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.”
When the chief baker saw that he had interpreted favorably, he said to Joseph, “I also saw in my dream, and behold, there were three baskets of white bread on my head;
and in the top basket there were some of all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off you.”
Thus it came about on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
He restored the chief cupbearer to his office, and he put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand; but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had interpreted to them.
Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. – Genesis 40:1-23 NASB
How soon we forget! Joseph, the Cupbearer & the Baker
Joseph interpreted each of the men’s dreams but did not hesitate to give the credit to God.
If Joseph had predicted these things on his own and they came true, it would have been a mere coincidence.
But, with God involved, Joseph could interpret with the confidence that what he saw in the dreams was absolute.
One statement was mentioned in church not long ago. Joseph said to the cupbearer; “Only keep me in mind..” which of course the cupbearer failed to do.
Christ said “in remembrance of Me” at the Last Supper when He broke the bread and drank the wine.
Do we remember Him every day?
The Easy Way – The Hard Way
Another thought came to mind when I read this passage again.
Interpreting the cup holder’s dream was easy for Joseph, because he knew the cup holder would be restored to his high position in the king’s court.
However, it was a bold move for Joseph to tell the baker the meaning of his dream.
What if the baker were not executed and instead the king put him back into a position of power?
There is a good chance that Joseph would have lost his head in that situation.
It took a deep faith for Joseph to make the decision to interpret the baker’s dream just the way God explained it to him.
How about us?
Would we be willing to share and do what God told us to do even if it meant a possibility of losing our lives?
Could we go into harm’s way to tell others about Christ?
Quest of the Missionaries
Many people in the world today are doing just that.
There are Christians in certain parts of the world such as China, Africa, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan (to name a few), who risk their lives daily to share the faith of Jesus Christ.
Now, back to us.
Sometimes we’re afraid even to mention Christ to a friend who needs His message of salvation and there is not a remote chance of our being hurt or abused by telling them.
All we have to risk is a little rejection.
Let’s pray that God will make us bolder in our commitment to share the word of Christ to those who need it.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some stranger (or even a friend or family member) came up to us in heaven and said;
“It was that day you shared Jesus Christ with me that I made a decision to have my life changed.“?
Love in Christ
If you would like more information about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to go here and read the John 3:16 verse .