Genesis 40:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 40:5, NIV: each of the two men--the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison--had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.

Genesis 40:5, ESV: And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation.

Genesis 40:5, KJV: 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.

Genesis 40:5, NASB: Then the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, both had a dream the same night, each man with his own dream and each dream with its own interpretation.

Genesis 40:5, NLT: While they were in prison, Pharaoh's cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning.

Genesis 40:5, CSB: The king of Egypt's cupbearer and baker, who were confined in the prison, each had a dream. Both had a dream on the same night, and each dream had its own meaning.

What does Genesis 40:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Regardless of specific titles, unbridled power tends to be used in haphazard, unpredictable ways. Egyptian Pharaohs were subject to very few limits on their authority. The current Pharaoh has thrown his cupbearer and baker into prison in a fit of rage. We're not told what they did, only that they're guilty of some offense (Genesis 40:1–3). Once jailed, a prisoner could languish there indefinitely. No release dates were guaranteed. They might be suddenly executed or released if the king's anger cooled.

Along with Joseph, the cupbearer and baker were stuck in this limbo as time passed. At this point, Joseph has likely been in jail for several years. Punished for a false charge (Genesis 39:10–15), Joseph has been there for "some time." And it is, again, "some time" before anything noteworthy happens with these new prisoners.

Then, one night, both the cupbearer and the baker have remarkable dreams. These weren't ordinary experiences, or even vivid nightmares. Something about these visions made it clear they needed to be understood. Adding to their significance was the fact that both men's dreams occurred on the same night. These are prophetic dreams: pointing to a specific outcome in the lives of these two men.