Genesis 40:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 40:2, NIV: "Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,"

Genesis 40:2, ESV: "And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,"

Genesis 40:2, KJV: "And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers."

Genesis 40:2, NASB: "And Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker."

Genesis 40:2, NLT: "Pharaoh became angry with these two officials,"

Genesis 40:2, CSB: "Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,"

What does Genesis 40:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Criminal justice in the court of an Egyptian Pharaoh was fully one-sided. Accused criminals had no rights, especially foreign-born slaves. A powerful man, like Joseph's master Potiphar (Genesis 39:1), could simply throw a servant in prison without any kind of trial or release date. It's conceivable he could have killed Joseph, given the nature of his accused crime (Genesis 39:14–18). Joseph is not guilty, however, as the charge was invented by a bitter woman rejected in her attempt at seduction (Genesis 39:6–12).

Unlike Joseph, Pharaoh's cupbearer and baker were truly guilty of something. Scripture does not say what their crime was. It might have been as simple as irritating their king. We're also not told if they were both involved in the same offense, at the same time, or if their crimes were entirely separate. In any case, the king was enraged with them. They may have been foreign-born slaves, as was Joseph. Joseph's level of success was noteworthy (Genesis 39:22–23), but it was not unusual for faithful slaves to become trusted servants of high-ranking officials. All three men would consider their prospects bleak, at best.