What does Genesis 40:6 mean?
ESV: When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled.
NIV: When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected.
NASB: When Joseph came to them in the morning and saw them, behold, they were dejected.
CSB: When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they looked distraught.
NLT: When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset.
KJV: And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.
NKJV: And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad.
Verse Commentary:
Joseph rose to a position of authority under his Egyptian master, Potiphar (Genesis 39:1–6). He was unfairly jailed, based on a lie told by his master's wife, whose seduction Joseph had rejected (Genesis 39:11–15). Joseph's character and skill make him valuable even in prison (Genesis 39:21–23). Now, he has likely been in this state for several years. At some point during that stretch, the Egyptian Pharaoh's cupbearer and baker are jailed for an unspecified offense (Genesis 40:1–4). They've been there for "some time," likely more than a few years.

Strangely, both the king's former cupbearer and his former baker had powerful dreams on the same night. They're convinced that each dream means something specific, and they're right. Joseph finds the pair "troubled" or "dejected" the next morning. They cannot explain their dreams, but they know they are abnormal. That stress is obvious enough that Joseph sees it the next day. The following verses will reveal they have no way of understanding these obviously important dreams.
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.
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