Genesis 40: A Tale of Two Dreams

Genesis 40: A Tale of Two Dreams

Journey through the Book of Genesis with me.  The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!

** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier! 

GENESIS 40:1-23


QUESTION 1: In recounting all he’s unjustly suffered in verse 14-15, does Joseph think God to be unfair?

QUESTION 2: Having been forgotten (v.23) by the cupbearer, might Joseph at this point be inclined to believe his original dream wasn’t really from God?

QUESTION 3: How was Joseph sure that he would be able to interpret the dreams of the officials? 

QUESTION 4: Might Joseph have been a little nervous in delivering the interpretation of the Baker’s dream?

QUESTION 5: What was Joseph feeling on day 3 when he got news that the chief cupbearer had been restored to his position, but had not remembered Joseph’s request?


INSIGHT 1: The chief cupbearer and the chief baker were the officers responsible for what the king ate and drank. To be thrown in prison suggests they were somehow involved in a plot to assassinate Pharaoh through poisoning?

INSIGHT 1B: According to verse 4, Joseph was still in close contact with Potiphar ("The captain of the bodyguard [Potiphar] put Joseph in charge of them, and he took care of them; and they were in confinement for some time."). This suggests that Potiphar may have believed in Joseph's innocence, but needed to maintain an air of authority around himseld so people didn't think anyone could take advantage of his wife. 

INSIGHT 2: Joseph viewed his appointment as caregiver for Pharaoh’s officers (chief cup bearer and baker) as his big break, his opportunity to make some connections that would eventually lead to his release (v.14-15).

INSIGHT 3: Even pagans experience revelatory dreams where God communicates His intentions for the future (v.5). Job 33:14-18

INSIGHT 4: Joseph’s two betrayals (Genesis 37:12-16, Genesis 39) are still vividly fresh on his mind as he recalls all he’s suffered – “ I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

INSIGHT 5: When Joseph says in the latter part of verse 8, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” he may have been recalling how God had spoken to him in his own dream in Genesis 37 (and possibly why it hadn’t yet been fulfilled).

INSIGHT 6: Joseph’s confidence in offering to interpret the official’s dreams because “…interpretations belong to God” is an indication that even in prison, he had a thriving relationship with God. This is evidenced by the favor he found with God and the keeper of the prison – “”…the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.” (Genesis 39:23)

INSIGHT 7: Joseph was so confident in the interpretation of the dreams that he doesn’t bother to ask the chief baker to help him secure his freedom upon his release (because in three days, the baker would be dead anyway!)


Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.