OceanSide church of Christ

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Genesis 40

Victor M. Eskew


I.           The Title of Genesis 40


A.   Joseph, the Interpreter of Dreams

B.    Two More Dreams

C.   A Butler and A Baker, but No Candlestick Maker

D.   A Chance Meeting?


II.         The Key Verse of Genesis 40:  Genesis 40:8


And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpretation of it.  And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God?  Tell me then, I pray you.


Why this verse?  This verse reveals that the butler and baker had dreamed dreams.  They, however, could not interpret them.  Joseph acknowledged that God was the interpreter of dreams.  He could interpret these dreams through his faithful servant Joseph.


III.       The Outline of Genesis 40


i.               DETENTION (Gen. 40:1-4)

ii.              DREAMS (Gen. 40:5)

iii.            DECIPHERING (Gen. 40:6-19)

iv.            DISCHARGED (Gen. 40:19-23)


IV.        The Lessons of Genesis 40


A.   There are offences that are committed in high places within a nation (Gen. 40:1).


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.


B.    Those who offend the king will suffer his wrath and will be punished (Gen. 40:2-3a; See Proverbs 14:35; 16:14; and 19:12).


And Pharaoh was wroth against two of 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…


C.   Here we have another “chance” meeting, or, could it be that God’s providence is at work again (Gen. 40:3b-4).


…into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.  And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them:  and they continued a season in ward.

D.   Leadership involves service to others (Gen. 40:4).


And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them…


E.    In Genesis 40:5, both the butler and the baker dream a dream.  Again, was this a coincidence, or, was it God’s providence at work?


F.     The countenance of a man can often display his inner being (Gen. 40:6).


And Joseph came into unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.


1.     One of the best skills that we can develop in our relationship with others is observation.

2.     Seeing what is on the outside gives us access to the inside.


G.   Knowing a person’s inside allows us to effectively communicate with them (Gen. 40:7).


And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly today?


H.   Joseph acknowledges a very important truth, that is:  Do not interpretations belong to God? (Gen. 40:8).


I.     Some dreams can speak of favorable consequences (Gen. 40:12-13).


And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it:  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.


J.    Kindness shown should be rewarded if possible (Gen. 40:14a).


But think on me when is all 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.


K.   When we are innocent, there is always a desire for justification (Gen. 40:14-15).


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.


L.    Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were sojourners in the land of Canaan.  However, Joseph refers to that land as “the land of the Hebrews” (Gen. 40:15).


M.  The interpretation of some dreams reveals very negative consequences (Gen. 40:18-19).


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.


N.   A true prophet is one whose words come to pass (Gen. 40:20-22).


And it came to pass on 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 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:  but he hanged the chief baker:  as Joseph had interpreted to them.


1.     Deuteronomy 18:21-22


And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?  When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presump-tuously:  thou shalt not be afraid of him.


O.   Our kind deeds are not always rewarded by those who are the recipients of them (Gen. 40:23).


Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.