View Genesis 40 in the note window.
In this chapter things are working towards Joseph's advancement.
- Two of Pharaoh's servants are committed to prison, and there, to
Joseph's care, and so became witnesses of his extraordinary
conduct, ver. 1 - 4.
- They dreamed each of them a dream, which Joseph interpreted,
ver. 5 - 19. and they verified the interpretation, ver. 20 - 22.
- Joseph recommends his case to one of them whose preferment he
foresaw, ver. 14, 15. but in vain, ver. 23.
1: We should not have had this story of Pharaoh's butler and baker
recorded in scripture, if it had not been serviceable to Joseph's
preferment. The world stands for the sake of the church, and is governed
for its good. Observe,
[1.] Two of the great officers of Pharaoh's court having offended the king
are committed to prison.
Note, High places are slippery places; nothing more uncertain than the
favour of princes. Those that make God's favour their happiness, and his
service their business, will find him a better master than Pharaoh was,
and not so extreme to mark what they do amiss. Many conjectures there are
concerning the offence of these servants of Pharaoh; some make it no
less than an attempt to take away his life; others no more but the casual
lighting of a fly into his cup, and a little sand in his bread: whatever it
was, Providence, by this means, brought them into the prison where
4: The captain of the guard, which was Potiphar, charged
Joseph with them - Which intimates that he began now to be reconciled to
6: They were sad - It was not the prison that made them sad; they
were pretty well used to that, but the dream. God has more ways than one to
sadden the spirits of those that are to be made sad. Those sinners that are
hardy enough under outward trouble, yet God can find a way to trouble them,
and take off their wheels, by wounding their spirits, and laying a load upon
8: Do not interpretations belong to God? - He means the God whom he
worshipped, to the knowledge of whom he endeavours hereby to lead them.
And if interpretations belong to God, he is a free agent, and may
communicate the power to whom he pleases, therefore tell me your dreams.
14: Think on me, when it shall be well with thee - Though the respect
paid to Joseph, made the prison as easy to him as a prison could be, yet
none can blame him to be desirous of liberty. See what a modest
representation he makes of his own case. He doth not reflect upon his
brethren that sold him, only saith, I was stolen out of the land of the
Hebrews. Nor doth he reflect on the wrong done him in this imprisonment
by his mistress that was his persecutor, and his master that was his judge,
but mildly avers his own innocency. Here have I done nothing that they
should put me into the dungeon - When we are called to vindicate
ourselves, we should carefully avoid as much as may be speaking ill of
others. Let us be content to prove ourselves innocent, and not fond of
upbraiding others with their guilt.
20: He lifted up the head of these two prisoners - That is, arraigned
and tried them; and he restored the chief butler, and hanged the chief