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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Genesis 40

Verses 1-23


Joseph interprets the Dreams of Pharaoh’s Officers

1. Butler] rather, ’cupbearer,’ a high court official: cp. Nehemiah 1:11; Nehemiah 2:1. Baker] rather, ’cook.’ It is conjectured that these officials were accused of plotting to poison Pharaoh.

8. No professional interpreter was available: see on Genesis 41:8. Do not interpretations, etc.] i.e. It may be that God who sent the dreams will give me the interpretation of them.

9-11. Grape juice mixed with water is used as a refreshing drink in the East. Among the inscriptions on the temple of Edf u is one in which the king is seen with a cup in his hand, and underneath are the words, ’They press grapes into the water and the king drinks.’

16. White baskets] rather, ’baskets of white bread.’

17. Bakemeats] i.e. confectionery.

19. Hang thee on a tree] rather, ’impale thee on a stake ’after being beheaded. Hanging as a form of punishment is not referred to, except in the book of Esther, the scene of which is laid in Persia. The birds shall eat, etc.] The Egyptians held that after a stay of 3000 years in the unseen world, the soul re-entered its former body, and commenced a fresh existence on the earth. They therefore took the greatest pains to preserve the bodies of the dead: see on Genesis 50:2. For a body to be devoured by the birds, as Joseph foretold, would be regarded as a terrible doom.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Genesis 40". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/genesis-40.html. 1909.