May the mumbling commence!
Listen carefully so that you can use your gifts to glorify God. Joseph was learning this wisdom slowly in prison. Read from Peterson’s The Message:
Joseph said, “Here’s the meaning: The three branches are three days. Within three days, Pharaoh will get you out of here and put you back to your old work – you’ll be giving Pharaoh his cup just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. Only remember me when things are going well with you again – tell Pharaoh about me and get me out of this place. I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews. And since I’ve been here, I’ve done nothing to deserve being put in this hole.”
When the head baker saw how well Joseph interpretation turned out, he spoke up: “My dream went like this: I saw three wicker baskets on my head; the top basket had assorted pastries from the bakery and birds were picking at them from the basket on my head.”
Joseph said, “This is the interpretation: The three baskets are three days; within three days Pharaoh will take off your head, impale you on a post, and the birds will pick your bones clean.” (Genesis 40:12-19)
Now read the same passage from the NIV translation:
"This is what it means," Joseph said to him. "The three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon."
When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, "I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head."
"This is what it means," Joseph said. "The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh." (Genesis 40:12-19)
Of all the changes made (and there’s lots of red), only one catches my attention. I like the parallelism of the beginning of Joseph’s answers to the two men. Three branches and three baskets both equal three days. Pharaoh will lift both of their heads. The baker must have been ready to jump for joy. Another positive dream interpretation.
Then comes the crash. Although the cupbearer will be restored to his old position… his head will be lifted up, the baker will have his head lifted off. Ouch!
Joseph listened to both of them. He empathized with them. He was walking in the same shoes in the dungeon.
But he gave each man the interpretation that the dreams required, as God led him… good or bad. Joseph told them like it was… no sugarcoating.
I miss that parallelism in Peterson’s work. That part of the message of the passage gets lost in the changes.
In this life, there is very little room for errors. Thank God for the saving work of Jesus!
Enough mumbling for now…