1sn The Hebrew term cupbearer corresponds to the Egyptian wb’, an official (frequently a foreigner) who often became a confidant of the king and wielded political power (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 248). Nehemiah held this post in Persia.

2sn The baker may be the Egyptian retehti, the head of the bakers, who had privileges in the royal court.

3sn The Hebrew verb translated offended here is the same one translated “sin” in 39:9. Perhaps there is an intended contrast between these officials, who deserve to be imprisoned, and Joseph, who refused to sin against God, but was thrown into prison in spite of his innocence.

4tn The Hebrew word סָרִיס (saris), used here of these two men and of Potiphar (see 39:1), normally means “eunuch.” But evidence from Akkadian texts shows that in early times the title was used of a court official in general. Only later did it become more specialized in its use.

5sn He served them. This is the same Hebrew verb, meaning “to serve as a personal attendant,” that was translated “became [his] servant” in 39:4.

6tn Heb “they were days in custody.”

7tn Heb “dreamed a dream.”

8tn Heb “a man his dream in one night.”

9tn Heb “a man according to the interpretation of his dream.”

10tn The verb זָעַף (zaaf) only occurs here and Dan 1:10. It means “to be sick, to be emaciated,” probably in this case because of depression.

11tn Heb “why are your faces sad today?”

12tn Heb “a dream we dreamed.”

13tn The word “them” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

14tn The Hebrew text adds “and he said to him.” This has not been translated because it is redundant in English.

15tn Heb “the cup of Pharaoh.” The pronoun “his” has been used here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

16sn The cupbearer’s dream is dominated by sets of three: three branches, three stages of growth, and three actions of the cupbearer.

17tn Heb “the three branches [are].”

18tn Heb “Pharaoh will lift up your head.” This Hebrew idiom usually refers to restoring dignity, office, or power. It is comparable to the modern saying “someone can hold his head up high.”

19tn Heb “according to the former custom.”

20tn Heb “but you have remembered me with you.” The perfect verbal form may be used rhetorically here to emphasize Joseph’s desire to be remembered. He speaks of the action as already being accomplished in order to make it clear that he expects it to be done. The form can be translated as volitional, expressing a plea or a request.

21tn This perfect verbal form with the prefixed conjunction (and the two that immediately follow) carry the same force as the preceding perfect.

22tn Heb “deal with me [in] kindness.”

23tn The verb זָכַר (zakhar) in the Hiphil stem means “to cause to remember, to make mention, to boast.” The implication is that Joseph would be pleased for them to tell his story and give him the credit due him so that Pharaoh would release him. Since Pharaoh had never met Joseph, the simple translation of “cause him to remember me” would mean little.

24tn Heb “house.” The word “prison” has been substituted in the translation for clarity.

25tn The verb גָּנַב (ganav) means “to steal,” but in the Piel/Pual stem “to steal away.” The idea of “kidnap” would be closer to the sense, meaning he was stolen and carried off. The preceding infinitive absolute underscores the point Joseph is making.

26tn Heb “that [the] interpretation [was] good.” The words “the first dream” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

27tn Or “three wicker baskets.” The meaning of the Hebrew noun חֹרִי (khori, “white bread, cake”) is uncertain; some have suggested the meaning “wicker” instead. Comparison with texts from Ebla suggests the meaning “pastries made with white flour” (M. Dahood, “Eblaite ha-r and Genesis 40,16 ho„r,” BN 13 [1980]: 14-16).

28tn Heb “the three baskets [are].”

29tn Heb “Pharaoh will lift up your head from upon you.” Joseph repeats the same expression from the first interpretation (see v. 13), but with the added words “from upon you,” which allow the statement to have a more literal and ominous meaning – the baker will be decapitated.

30tn The translation puts the verb in quotation marks because it is used rhetorically here and has a double meaning. With respect to the cup bearer it means “reinstate” (see v. 13), but with respect to the baker it means “decapitate” (see v. 19).

31tn Heb “his cupbearing.”

32tn Heb “had interpreted for them.”

sn The dreams were fulfilled exactly as Joseph had predicted, down to the very detail. Here was confirmation that Joseph could interpret dreams and that his own dreams were still valid. It would have been a tremendous encouragement to his faith, but it would also have been a great disappointment to spend two more years in jail.

33tn The wayyiqtol verbal form here has a reiterative or emphasizing function.