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The sacred historian prosecutes the interesting history of Joseph through this Chapter. The events of the prison, which by their tendency had a relation to Joseph and his future prospects in life, are here related. The chief butler and the chief baker, servants in Pharaoh's household, are for some offence brought into the same prison with Joseph They each of them dream, and their dreams Joseph interprets: their correspondence with what Joseph predicted proves his ability: Joseph acquaints them with the unjust cause of his being imprisoned: and as he foresaw the speedy restoration of the chief butler to his office before Pharaoh, he entreated him to use his interest with the king to bring him out of the prison. But though he had such claims upon his gratitude, he forgot him. Genesis 40:1
Butler is a cup-bearer, Nehemiah 1:11 .
Reader! do not overlook in this verse, that this captain of the guard must have been Potiphar, Genesis 39:1 . Whether by this time Joseph's master had begun to believe Joseph was innocent doth not appear, but yet it should seem so, in that he committed to his care those state prisoners.
Observe how GOD works in his providences, and by what various means: Job 33:15-16 .
If we spiritualize this question and apply it to soul-distresses, that verse of David will be the enquiry, Psalms 42:11 .
How piously Joseph refers all wisdom unto GOD! Isaiah 41:22-23 ; Daniel 2:28-30 .
It was the method probably before the art of making wine was well understood, to press the juice of the grape in this manner.
Doth not this lead the pious heart to the remembrance of him, who ought to be endeared indeed to our remembrance?
2 Kings 25:27 ; Psalms 4:3 ; Jeremiah 52:31 .
Observe in all this Joseph drops not a word of complaint against any, not a syllable either of his brethren's cruelty or his mistress's injustice. Would the Reader know the cause why he did not, I refer him to Joseph's sentiment: Genesis 45:7-8 .
Proverbs 16:33 .
Mark 6:21 .
Ecclesiastes 9:15 .
Reader! mark this down in the memorandums of your life, that whether in a prison or a palace, the faithful have GOD for their portion. And what a sweet thought is it, that, as no walls can confine the souls of GOD'S people; so neither can bolts or bars shut the LORD out. If you are the LORD'S prisoner, this is preferable to being the world's freeman. And when we recollect how precious the enjoyments some have found in those seasons, very evident it is that the Comforter is with them, and that to bless them. But even here in Joseph's history, let me not lose sight of the LORD JESUS, who was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare his generation? Blessed LORD! let me never forget the afflictions of my spiritual and almighty Joseph, nor the cause of them; but in all events of life as well prosperous as distressing, cease not to remember thee!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 40". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16