Genesis 40:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 40:21, NIV: "He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh's hand--"

Genesis 40:21, ESV: "He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand."

Genesis 40:21, KJV: "And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:"

Genesis 40:21, NASB: "He restored the chief cupbearer to his office, and he put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand;"

Genesis 40:21, NLT: "He then restored the chief cup-bearer to his former position, so he could again hand Pharaoh his cup."

Genesis 40:21, CSB: "Pharaoh restored the chief cupbearer to his position as cupbearer, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand."

What does Genesis 40:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

On Pharaoh's birthday, he removes both the chief cupbearer and the chief baker from prison (Genesis 40:1–3). Both men have their "heads lifted up" (Genesis 40:20), a symbolic phrase referring to forgiveness and redemption (Psalm 3:3). Just as Joseph predicted from the cupbearer's dream (Genesis 40:12–13), the cupbearer is given his old job back. Once more, he finds himself placing Pharaoh's cup in his hand just as he had done before he was imprisoned.

Joseph—more importantly, his God—have proved to be exactly right in explaining the meaning of troubling dreams. Eventually, this reputation will earn Joseph his freedom (Genesis 41:12–14).

The other man whose head is "lifted," the baker, will experience disaster after this initial moment. Rather, just as predicted, he will be executed and his body left for scavengers (Genesis 40:16–19, 22).