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Persons who are injured by calumniators, are encou. raged by this part of Sacred History, to snbmit with patience to such evils as their trachicers may bring upon them: since they may rest assured of the mercy and favour of God, which will immediately alleviate their sufferings, and inspire them with hopes of a final deKweranee-. "•'"
; SECTION XLVt';'
THE BREAMS OY TJTE BUTTER AND ffAKER.:
From Genesis, Chap. xl. A it came to pass after these things, that Piwoah, king of Egypt, was wroth against two of his officers^ against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief; of the bakers.
And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph-, was bound, . -.'
And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them, and they continued a season inward,
And they dreamed a dream, both of them, ea«h . man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream: the butler and the baker of tlie 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 Pharoah's officers that were with him. in tbp 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 Q«D? jell me. them, I pray you.
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said unto him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; and in the vine were three branches : and it was as though it budrfed, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes.
And Pharoah's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharoah's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharoah's hand.
And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days; . .
Yet within three days shall Pharoah lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharoah's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto roe; and make mention of me unto Pharoah, and bring me out of this house.
For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and behold I had three white baskets on my head.
And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of baked meats for Pharoah; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof; the three baskets are three days:
Yet within three days shall Pharoah lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree, and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.
And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharoah's birth-day, that he made a feast unto all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler, and of the chief baker, among his servants. "-
And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again : and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:
But he hanged the chief baker; as Joseph had interpreted to them.
Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him. , ^
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
The manner in which Joseph accosted his fellow-prisoners, Pharaoh's butler and baker, shews, that he felt a benevolent solicitude for their happiness. The dreams which they had were undoubt:dly from God, sent, as we shall soon perceive, to answer particular purposes of Divine Providence, but chiefly to lead to the deliverance and advancement of Joseph.
The Egyptians were a very superstitious people, and dealt much with magicians, who pretended to the power of foretelling future events, and interpreting dreams; and. we may suppose, from the expression, there is no interpreter, that Pharaoh's officers wished for an opportunity of consulting one of those sages. Joseph's reply indicated that he did not believe human arts could enable any person whatever to interpret dreams: and he seems to have been suddenly inspired with a persuasion that God would make known to him the import of those •which now disturbed the minds of the chief butler and baker.
Joseph's request,' that the butler would recommend him to the clemency of- Pharaoh, W3S not at all inconsistent with the most fiian trust in God; for he had no reason to expect miracles to be wrought in his favour, when his deliverance might be effected, under the Divine blessing, by human means.
It must have been a severe trial to Joseph to be ranked
with the vilest of mankind; we therefore cannot wonder that he took every opportunity of attesting his innocence.
It is needless to observe that there was great ingratitude in the butler's forgetfulness of Joseph : particularly as he knew, by his own experience, both the horrors of imprisonment, and the joy of liberation.
The will of God is now so fully made known to Christians by the publication of the Scriptures, and these sa» cred volumes contain such a variety of examples and warnings, that we have seldom occasion for intimation by dreams, therefore it is best to pay no attention to the nocturnal ramblings of the mind ; for if, as Joseph observes. Interpretations are of God, it must be very presumptuous in any human being to attempt to explain them: and should Go D see fit to affect our minds in an extraordinary manner, by a dream on any particular occasion, he will, doubtless, by the same instinctive power, direct us to the right
And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed a dream, and his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise-men thereof: and Pharaoh told them
* I will not take upon me absolutely to assert,that all dreams are iutit>iificant,but in general they cevtainly are so; and unless accompanied with an irresistible impulse, to do or avoid something which has a direct tendency to promote our own good, or that of others, we may be sure it u not of Gov. Every suggestion to tvicktdmts is to be ascribed to the mil one, and as such should be resisted.
his his dreams; but there was none that could interpret then* unto Pharaoh.
Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I d* remember my faults this day. Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker.
And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he, we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the^captain of the guard : and we told him, aud he interpreted to us our dreams ; to each man according a> his dream he did interpret.
And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it Was i me he restored unto my office, and him he hanged.
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph,' and they brought him hastily out of the'dungeon; and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream and there is none that can interpret it : and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saving, It is not in me; God, shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold I stood upon the bank of the river. And behold, there came up out of the river, seven kine, fat-fleshed and well-favoured ; and they fed in a meadow.
And behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill-favoured, and lean-fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness. And the lean and the ill-favoured kine did cat up the first seven fat kine.
And when they had eaten them up, it could not be L 2 known