Contemporary English Version
Joseph Tells the Meaning of the Prisoners' Dreams
40 1-3 While Joseph was in prison, both the king’s[a] personal servant[b] and his chief cook made the king angry. So he had them thrown into the same prison with Joseph. 4 They spent a long time in prison, and Potiphar, the official in charge of the palace guard, made Joseph their servant.
5 One night each of the two men had a dream, but their dreams had different meanings. 6 The next morning, when Joseph went to see the men, he could tell they were upset, 7 and he asked, “Why are you so worried today?”
8 “We each had a dream last night,” they answered, “and there is no one to tell us what they mean.”
Joseph replied, “Doesn’t God know the meaning of dreams? Now tell me what you dreamed.”
9 The king’s personal servant told Joseph, “In my dream I saw a vine 10 with three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its grapes became ripe. 11 I held the king’s cup and squeezed the grapes into it, then I gave the cup to the king.”
12 Joseph said:
This is the meaning of your dream. The three branches stand for three days, 13 and in three days the king will pardon you. He will make you his personal servant again, and you will serve him his wine, just as you used to do. 14 But when these good things happen, please don’t forget to tell the king about me, so I can get out of this place. 15 I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and here in Egypt I haven’t done anything to deserve being thrown in jail.
16 When the chief cook saw that Joseph had given a good meaning to the dream, he told Joseph, “I also had a dream. In it I was carrying three breadbaskets stacked on top of my head. 17 The top basket was full of all kinds of baked things for the king, but birds were eating them.”
18 Joseph said:
This is the meaning of your dream. The three baskets are three days, 19 and in three days the king will cut off your head. He will hang your body on a pole, and birds will come and peck at it.
20 Three days later, while the king was celebrating his birthday with a dinner for his officials, he sent for his personal servant and the chief cook. 21 He put the personal servant back in his old job 22 and had the cook put to death.
Everything happened just as Joseph had said it would, 23 but the king’s personal servant completely forgot about Joseph.