Joseph Interprets a Dream
In this chapter, we are transported straight to dreamland and their interpretations. We have two guys; one the Pharaoh’s baker and the other cup-bearer joining Joseph in gulag where he[Joseph] is still head honcho. These two new prisoners, who are in prison for reasons that are unclear to me, both dream. Their dreams are similar in structure and differ only in detail and as such I find a difficulty in understanding why the interpretations are different. Joseph tells them that interpretations belong to god but goes ahead to do it. Is he god?
I don’t know about you, but there is no way I can have a long face for dreaming about vines, wines, grapes and so on. Or for that matter dreaming about bread baskets. If having such a dream gives you the freaks, you need help. And it is these two dreams that the two gentlemen had, wore long faces and Joseph set to interpret. Since the two men have no names, we can as well say they are cardboard characters, mentioned only for effect.
What I want us to pay attention to however, is from v 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days; 13 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you will put Pharaoh’s cup into his hand according to your former custom when you were his cup-bearer. 14 Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house. The reason this is important if you haven’t noticed is similar to what happens in the new testament in the story of Jesus. The three days represent the 3 days he is said to have died while the second part is the words of one of the guys nailed with him who asked to be remembered when he goes to the house of the father.
The next dream also has a similar import. I will just show the interpretation by Joseph and I hope you will be able to draw parallels with the new testament stories. 18 Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; 19 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off you.”
I also need to mention another important parallel in this story that the writers of the gospel stories could have made use of since by now me and you are aware that they could have access to the OT material, the Torah and other Hebrew text. And this is it, apart from the 3 days that are very symbolic is the people arrested one is cup-bearer and another baker. In the NT, Jesus asks his disciples to take wine and drink as a symbol of his blood for the forgiveness of sins and bread as his flesh. In fact, we can say confidently that the scribes creating the mythical Jesus could have given these and other stories as we shall see flesh to make him credible.
The only difference however as I can see is that the cup-bearer doesn’t remember Joseph.
Joseph interprets dreams painting adapted from lavistachurchofchrist.org