What does Genesis 40:15 mean?
ESV: For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”
NIV: 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.'
NASB: For I was in fact kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.'
CSB: For I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should put me in the dungeon."
NLT: For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it.'
KJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
The former cupbearer to Pharaoh, Egypt's king, will be restored to his office in three days. This is the interpretation Joseph has given the jailed man, in response to the cupbearer's dream (Genesis 40:9–13). Since this was revealed to him by God, Joseph has no doubt it will happen. He is so confident, in fact, that he pleads with the cupbearer to put in a good word for him to Pharaoh when the time is right, to get him out of prison (Genesis 40:14).

For the first time, we hear Joseph express how he feels about his captivity. He describes himself as one stolen out of the land of the Hebrews. Taking free men captive and selling them as slaves, even in that era, was seen as unfair treatment and would later be made a crime punishable by death under God's Law (Exodus 21:16). Making matters worse, Joseph wasn't so much "stolen" as sold by his own brothers, in an act of deep betrayal (Genesis 37:26–28).

In addition, Joseph wants the cupbearer to understand—and to communicate to Pharaoh—that he is not guilty of the attempted rape of his master's wife (Genesis 39:8–15). He does not deserve his imprisonment. This is not a faithless act on Joseph's part; God does not demand His people do literally nothing to improve their lives. Rather, Joseph is taking an excellent opportunity to plead his case. As it happens, his plea will work—but not for at least two more years (Genesis 41:1, 9).
Verse Context:
Genesis 40:1–23 takes place during Joseph's years in a prison, or dungeon, within the house of the captain of the guard. Two men join him there for a time and experience troubling, prophetic dreams. Joseph's interpretation reveals that the former cupbearer to Pharaoh will be restored to his old job. The former baker for Pharaoh will be executed. Both interpretations are fulfilled exactly, but Joseph is soon forgotten again.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 40 describes Joseph's interpretation of dreams for two of his fellow prisoners. Pharaoh's chief cupbearer and baker are imprisoned and experience troubling, prophetic visions. Joseph reveals the meaning of those dreams and, just as he predicts, the cupbearer is restored to his position while the baker is executed. The redeemed cupbearer, despite Joseph's plea, says nothing to Pharaoh about Joseph's situation.
Chapter Context:
Joseph remains in prison after being accused of attempted rape by Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39:11–15). The Lord blesses Joseph even in jail (Genesis 39:21–23), but he longs to get out. His chance for release comes through an opportunity to interpret the dreams of two fellow prisoners. The dreams reveal that one will be restored to his old position, while the other will be killed. Joseph pleads with the servant to be restored, asking him to to plead with Pharaoh to get Joseph released, but the man fails to do so. Two years later (Genesis 41:1), another dream requires explanation, and Joseph will finally be freed (Genesis 41:12–14).
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 4/16/2024 12:18:33 PM
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