Questions & Observations
Q. (40:9): Does “3” symbolize anything in today’s reading? It happened three times: cup-bearer’s vine, baker’s boxes, days to Pharoah’s birthday.
A. Things repeated three times are for emphasis. The author really wants you to pay attention to the details of the story he is telling in order for you to see the confirmation that Joseph is right. Events happening on the third day are symbolic of completion.
Q. (40:19): Why the two different outcomes for the cup-bearer and the baker?
A. The will of Pharaoh, who had the power to restore or execute anyone that he saw fit. The story does not tell us why Pharaoh chose to restore one and (brutally) execute the other, only that they had angered him. Another reason the story tells us this detail is to help the cup bearer (and the audience) see that Joseph has correctly interpreted BOTH dreams, and he did not sugar coat the baker’s fate. Joseph would have no fear in telling Pharaoh the bad news of the upcoming famine and what to do about it.
Q. (41:2): Does 7’s symbolism of completeness and fulfillment apply here?
A. It does indeed, especially since the dream is a prophecy of sorts, a warning to Egypt of what God is going to do.
Q. (41:44) Is there significance in Joseph rising from the prison to be second in charge of Egypt?
A. God appears to be rewarding Joseph for his faithful “time served”. God desired to have Joseph be in this position of power so that he could save many who would have otherwise starved, including Joseph’s own family as we shall see. Note also that this is the way that God is going to bring true the dream Joseph had about his ruling over his family.
O. (41:56): I can’t help but also think of the times in the Bible where the Lord provides food, like He did here working through Joseph: He gives manna and pheasant to the Israelites as they followed God throughout the desert; Jesus feeds the 5,000 as we will see in the New Testament, He also turns water into wine at a wedding. He provides what we need, when we need it, if we follow Him.