וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה חָטְאוּ מַשְׁקֵה מֶלֶךְ־מִצְרַיִם וְהָאֹפֶה לַאֲדֹנֵיהֶם לְמֶלֶךְ מִצְרָיִם 40:1
Gene. 40:1 And it happened after these things, a cupbearer and a baker of the king of Egypt, offended their lord, the king of Egypt.
וַיִּקְצֹף פַּרְעֹה עַל שְׁנֵי סָרִיסָיו עַל שַׂר הַמַּשְׁקִים וְעַל שַׂר הָאֹופִים 40:2
Gene. 40:2 And Pharoah was displeased with his two officers, with the chief of the cupbearers and with the chief of the bakers.
וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם בְּמִשְׁמַר בֵּית שַׂר הַטַבָּחִים אֶל־בֵּית הַסֹּהַר מְקֹום אֲשֶׁר יֹוסֵף אָסוּר שָׁם 40:3
Gene. 40:3 And he put them in prison, the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was being held.
וַיִּפְקֹד שַׂר הַטַּבָּחִים אֶת־יֹוסֵף אִתָּם וַיְשָׁרֶת אֹתָם וַיִּהְיוּ יָמִים בְּמִשְׁמָר 40:4
Gene. 40:4 And the captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he tended to them, and they were under daily guard.
וַיַּחַלְמוּ חֲלֹום שְׁנֵיהֶם אִישׁ חֲלֹמֹו בְּלַיְלָה אֶחָד אִישׁ כְּפִתְרֹון חֲלֹמֹו הַמַּשְׁקֶה וְהָאֹפֶה אֲשֶׁר לְמֶלֶךְ 40:5
מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר אֲסוּרִים בְּבֵית הַסֹּהַר
Gene. 40:5 And they dreamed a dream, the two of them, each man his dream, in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker who belonged to the king of Egypt, who were being held in the prison.
וַיָּבֹא אֲלֵיהֶם יֹוסֵף בַּבֹּקֶר וַיַּרְא אֹתָם וְהִנָּם זֹעֲפִים 40:6
Gene. 40:6 And Joseph came in to them in the morning and saw them and beheld their sadness.
וַיִּשְׁאַל אֶת־סְרִיסֵי פַרְעֹה אֲשֶׁר אִתֹּו בְמִשְׁמַר בֵּית אֲדֹנָיו לֵאמֹר מַדּוּעַ פְּנֵיכֶם רָעִים הַיֹּום 40:7
Gene. 40:7 So he asked the officers of Pharoah who were with him in the prison house of his master saying, “Why do you look sad today?”
וַיִּשְׁאַל אֶת־סְרִיסֵי פַרְעֹה אֲשֶׁר אִתֹּו בְמִשְׁמַר בֵּית אֲדֹנָיו לֵאמֹר מַדּוּעַ פְּנֵיכֶם רָעִים הַיֹּום 40:8
Gene. 40:8 And they said to him, “We have dreamed a dream and no one can interpret it.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell to me.”
וַיְסַפֵּר שַׂר־הַמַּשְׁקִים אֶת־חֲלֹמֹו לְיֹוסֵף וַיֹּאמֶר לֹו בַּחֲלֹומִי וְהִנֵּה־גֶפֶן לְפָנָי 40:9
Gene. 40:9 And the chief of the cupbearers told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream, and behold, a vine was before me,
וּבַגֶּפֶן שְׁלֹשָׁה שָׂרִיגִם וְהִיא כְפֹרַחַת עָלְתָה נִצָּהּ הִבְשִׁילוּ אַשְׁכְּלֹתֶיהָ עֲנָבִים 40:10
Gene. 40:10 and on the vine were three tendrils. It was after budding, and a blossom shot forth. Its clusters brought forth ripe grapes.”
וְכֹוס פַּרְעֹה בְּיָדִי וָאֶקַּח אֶת־הָעֲנָבִים וָאֶשְׂחַט אֹתָם אֶל־כֹּוס פַּרְעֹה וָאֶתֵּן אֶת־הַכֹּוס עַל־כַּף 40:11
Gene. 40:11 “And the cup of Pharoah was in my hand and I could take the grapes and press them into the cup of Pharoah and put the cup on the palm of Pharoah.”
וַיֹּאמֶר לֹו יֹוסֵף זֶה פִּתְרֹנֹו שְׁלֹשֶׁת הַשָּׂרִגִים שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים הֵם 40:12
Gene. 40:12 And Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: The three tendrils, they are three days.
בְּעֹוד שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים יִשָּׂא פַרְעֹה אֶת־רֹאשֶׁךָ וַהֲשִׁיבְךָ עַל־כַּנֶּךָ וְנָתַתָּ כֹוס־פַּרְעֹה בְּיָדֹו כַּמִּשְׁפָּט 40:13
הָרִאשֹׁון אֲשֶׁר הָיִיתָ מַשְׁקֵהוּ
Gene. 40:13 In yet three days Pharoah will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you will give the cup of Pharoah into his hand in the former manner, when you were his cupbearer.”
כִּי אִם־זְכַרְתַּנִי אִתְּךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר יִיטַב לָךְ וְעָשִׂיתָ־נָּא עִמָּדִי חָסֶד וְהִזְכַּרְתַּנִי אֶל־פַּרְעֹה וְהֹוצֵאתַנִי 40:14
Gene. 40:14 “But if you hold my memory with you so when it will be good with you, then may you please show kindness to me and mention me to Pharoah so that you might bring me out of this house.”
כִּי־גֻנֹּב גֻּנַּבְתִּי מֵאֶרֶץ הָעִבְרִים וְגַם־פֹּה לֹא־עָשִׂיתִי מְאוּמָה כִּי־שָׂמוּ אֹתִי בַּבֹּור׃ 40:15
Gene. 40:15 “For indeed I was stolen from the land of the Hebrews and here also I have done nothing; yet they put me in the dungeon.”
וַיַּרְא שַׂר־הָאֹפִים כִּי טֹוב פָּתָר וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־יֹוסֵף אַף־אֲנִי בַּחֲלֹומִי וְהִנֵּה שְׁלֹשָׁה סַלֵּי חֹרִי עַל־רֹאשִׁי 40:16
Gene. 40:16 And the chief of the bakers saw how good the interpretation was, and he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream and behold, three baskets of white bread were on my head.”
וּבַסַּל הָעֶלְיֹון מִכֹּל מַאֲכַל פַּרְעֹה מַעֲשֵׂה אֹפֶה וְהָעֹוף אֹכֵל אֹתָם מִן־הַסַּל מֵעַל רֹאשִׁי 40:17
Gene. 40:17 “And in the topmost basket was some of all of the food of Pharoah, baked goods, but the bird ate them from the basket on my head.”
וַיַּעַן יֹוסֵף וַיֹּאמֶר זֶה פִּתְרֹנֹו שְׁלֹשֶׁת הַסַּלִּים שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים הֵם 40:18
Gene. 40:18 And Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets, they are three days.”
בְּעֹוד שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים יִשָּׂא פַרְעֹה אֶת־רֹאשְׁךָ מֵעָלֶיךָ וְתָלָה אֹותְךָ עַל־עֵץ וְאָכַל הָעֹוף אֶת־בְּשָׂרְךָ 40:19
Gene. 40:19 “In yet three days Pharoah will raise up your head from you and will hang you on a tree and the bird will eat your flesh from you.”
וַיְהִי בַּיֹּום הַשְּׁלִישִׁי יֹומ הֻלֶּדֶת אֶת־פַּרְעֹה וַיַּעַשׂ מִשְׁתֶּה לְכָל־עֲבָדָיו וַיִּשָּׂא אֶת־רֹאשׁ שַׂר הַמַּשְׁקִים 40:20
וְאֶת־רֹאשׁ שַׂר הָאֹפִים בְּתֹוךְ עֲבָדָיו
Gene. 40:20 And it was on the third day, the birthday of Pharoah, that he made a feast for all his servants and he lifted up the head of the chief of the cupbearers and the head of the chief of the bakers among his servants.
וַיָּשֶׁב אֶת־שַׂר הַמַּשְׁקִים עַל־מַשְׁקֵהוּ וַיִּתֵּן הַכֹּוס עַל־כַּף פַּרְעֹה 40:21
Gene. 40:21 And he restored the chief of the cupbearers over his cupbearers, and he put the cup on the palm of Pharoah.
וְאֵת שַׂר הָאֹפִים תָּלָה כַּאֲשֶׁר פָּתַר לָהֶם יֹוסֵף 40:22
Gene. 40:22 But he hanged the chief of the bakers, as Joseph had interpreted to them.
וְלֹא־זָכַר שַׂר־הַמַּשְׁקִים אֶת־יֹוסֵף וַיִּשְׁכָּחֵהוּ 40:23
Gene. 40:23 But the chief of the cupbearers did not remember Joseph and forgot him.
Do you suppose that God had forgotten Joseph as well? I think not. More time had to pass before the rest of the unfolding was to take place. A lot is made by commentators of this verse in that it says the cupbearer did not remember and also forgot. Why, they have asked, did the cupbearer forget and also not remember? They also comment on why the cupbearer forgot at all. Was he not utterly grateful to Joseph for “causing” his release and restoration? I believe that the purpose behind the cupbearer’s forgetfulness, and the reason for the apparent repetition, is simply that God knew that Joseph would need to spend two more years in prison so that he would be positioned to respond to Pharoah’s future summons (see the next chapter).
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