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(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 40 ~

Parashah 9: Vayeshev (Continued)
(“He continued living”) Gen 37:1–40:23
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

[Egypt [MAP] ca 1688 BCE]

d. Pharoah’s Cupbearer and Baker Imprisoned  (40:1-4)

(vii) 1Some time later the Egyptian king’s cupbearer and baker offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. 3He put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, into the same prison where Yosef was imprisoned. 4The captain of the guard assigned them to Yosef, and he took care of them. They stayed in prison for some time.

e. The Prisoners’s Dreams (40:5-8a)

5Both men — the king of Egypt’s cupbearer the baker who were being held in the prision — dreamed a dream on the same night, each man with his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. 6When Yosef came to them in the morning, he noticed that they appeared troubled. 7He asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so troubled today?”

8“We both have had dreams,” they answered, “and there is no one who can interpret them.”

f. Yosef Interprets Their Dreams (40:8b-19)

Yosef told them, “Don’t interpretations belong to Elohim?[GN] Please tell me your dreams.”

(1) The Cupbearer’s Dream (40:9-15)

9So the chief cupbearer told his Yosef his dream, “In my dream,” he said, “hinneh,[GN] there was a vine in front of me, 10and on the vine were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters produced ripe grapes. 11I had Pharaoh’s cup in my hand, so I took the grapes, and squeezed them into his cup, and I handed the cup to Pharaoh.”

12Yosef said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position. You will hand Pharaoh his cup the way you did when you were his cupbearer. 14But when all goes well for you, remember that I was with you. Please show kindness to me, and mention me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this prison. 15For I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and here I have done nothing that they should put me into this dungeon.”[15]

(2) The Baker’s Dream (40:16-19)

16When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Yosef, “I also had a dream. There were three baskets of white bread on my head. 17In the top basket there were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18Yosef answered, “This is the interpretation. The three baskets are three days. 19Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head — off of you — and hang you on a tree. Then the birds will eat your flesh from your body.”

g. The Interpretations Fulfilled (40:20-23)

(Maftir) 20On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday,[20a] he held a feast for all his officials, and in their presence he lifted up the heads[20b] of the chief cupbearer and the the chief baker. 21He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he again placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand;[21] 22but he hanged the chief baker, just as Yosef had interpreted the dreams. 23Yet the chief cupbearer didn’t remember Yosef, but forgot him. 

The brakah (blessing) to recite after reading the Parashah is here.

The brakah to recite before reading the Haftarah is here.

The Haftarah for this Portion is Amos 2:6-3:8

The brakah to recite before reading from the Apostolic Writings is here.

The reading from the Apostolic Writings is Acts 7:9-16 (specifically vv. 9-10)
The Blessing of the Messiah to recite after reading from the Gospels is here.

Chapter 41



15. The Hebrew says בַּבּֽוֹר (bab·bō·wr), in this pit, well, or cistern. So apparently they were using an empty cistern as a prison. [RETURN]

20a. Since antiquity rulers have used the occasion of their birthday to grant clemency. [RETURN]

20b. Lifted up their heads. “From its use in this verse some have supposed that the phrase must mean ‘to put them on their trial,’ or ‘take account of them’ (whence the margin reckon). More probably the words are used to point out the exact fulfilment of Joseph’s interpretation of their dreams.” (Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers) [RETURN]

21. “Pharaoh gave his servants a feast, and lifted up the heads of both the prisoners, but in very different ways. The cup-bearer was pardoned, and reinstated in his office; the baker, on the other hand, was executed.” (Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament) [RETURN]

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