Verses 9–16

Here is, 1. The recommending of Joseph to Pharaoh for an interpreter. The chief butler did it more in compliment to Pharaoh, to oblige him, than in gratitude to Joseph, or in compassion for his case. He makes a fair confession (Gen. 41:9): “I remember my faults this day, in forgetting Joseph.” Note, It is best to remember our duty, and to do it in its time; but, if we have neglected that, it is next best to remember our faults, and repent of them, and do our duty at last; better late than never. Some think he means his faults against Pharaoh, for which he was imprisoned; and then he would insinuate that, though Pharaoh had forgiven him, he had not forgiven himself. The story he had to tell was, in short, That there was an obscure young man in the king’s prison, who had very properly interpreted his dream, and the chief baker’s (the event corresponding in each with the interpretation), and that he would recommend him to the king his master for an interpreter. Note, God’s time for the enlargement of his people will appear at last to be the fittest time. If the chief butler had at first used his interest for Joseph’s enlargement, and had obtained it, it is probable that upon his release he would have gone back to the land of the Hebrews again, which he spoke of so feelingly (Gen. 40:15), and then he would neither have been so blessed himself, nor such a blessing to his family, as afterwards he proved. But staying two years longer, and coming out now upon this occasion, at last, to interpret the king’s dreams, way was made for his very great preferment. Those that patiently wait for God shall be paid for their waiting, not only principal but interest, Lam. 3:26. 2. The introducing of Joseph to Pharaoh. The king’s business requires haste. Joseph is sent for out of the dungeon with all speed; Pharaoh’s order discharged him both from his imprisonment and from his servitude, and made him a candidate for some of the highest trusts at court. The king can scarcely allow him time, but that decency required it, to shave himself, and to change his raiment, Gen. 41:14. It is done with all possible expedition, and Joseph is brought in, perhaps almost as much surprised as Peter was, Acts 12:9. So suddenly is his captivity brought back that he is as one that dreams, Ps. 126:1. Pharaoh immediately, without enquiring who or whence he was, tells him his business, that he expected he should interpret his dream, Gen. 41:15. To which, Joseph makes him a very modest decent reply, (Gen. 41:16), in which, (1.) He gives honour to God. “It is not in me, God must give it.” Note, Great gifts appear most graceful and illustrious when those that have them use them humbly, and take not the praise of them to themselves, but give it to God. To such God gives more grace. (2.) He shows respect to Pharaoh, and hearty good-will to him and his government, in supposing that the interpretation would be an answer of peace. Note, Those that consult God’s oracles may expect an answer of peace. If Joseph be made the interpreter, hope the best.