Joseph Interprets Dreams

   “And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison. And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.” (Genesis 40:5-8)

   One morning, Joseph saw the chief butler and the chief baker were both sad. He asked why. They said they had had dreams but didn’t know what they meant. Joseph had his own problems to think about, but he offered to interpret the dreams. One lesson we can take from this episode is that we all have problems and heartaches at times. One way to cope is to focus on others with problems and try to help them.

   The butler dreamed he saw a vine with three branches, out of which grew ripe grapes. He squeezed the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and gave it to Pharaoh. Joseph told him the dream meant he would be restored to his former position as Pharaoh’s butler in three days. Joseph also asked the butler to make mention of him to Pharaoh so he could be released from prison.

   The baker dreamed he had three white baskets on his head. The top basket contained baked food for Pharaoh. Birds ate the food out of the basket. Joseph told him the dream meant Pharaoh would hang him in three days, and the birds would eat his flesh. This was bad news for the baker. It was also a warning to him to “…prepare to meet thy God,” as Amos 4:12 says.

   The Bible also does not say this outright, but given God’s desire to save people’s souls, and Joseph’s desire to please and obey God, Joseph would have talked with the baker about his soul. He also would have talked with him about placing his faith in Israel’s God who would one day send a redeemer.

   True to Joseph’s words, three days later the chief butler was restored to his position, but the chief baker was hanged. “Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.” (Genesis 40:23)

   The story is far from over, but it prompts a question: Does God speak to people through dreams?

   We know that God speaks to people through His Word, the Bible: Psalm 119:65 says, “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word [boldface added].” Isaiah 8:20 also says, “…if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them [boldface added].” God does not deal with people contrary to His Word, so any doctrine not consistent with Scripture is not of God.

   Also, God said in Deuteronomy 4:2, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, [boldface added]” Revelation 22:18 also says, “…If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: [boldface added]” The warning is clear: do not add to God’s Word. So if someone claims to receive new revelations from God, in dreams or otherwise, he is claiming to be another source of doctrine besides the Bible and is violating Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18.

   The Bible protects us from false doctrine. Most importantly, the Bible also tells us how to have our sins forgiven and a home in heaven by receiving Jesus as Saviour. If you want to know more, please go to, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”

Brian Miller 11/29/2022

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822