A few weeks ago, while praying, I read this: “Then, the chief butler said to Pharaoh, ‘I remember my faults today.’” (Gn 41:9) This man in Genesis had a trade from which I get my surname, so obviously the verse jumped off the page at me. I’m guessing a butler has never had a more prominent role in all of scripture! So, what’s the context?
After being wrongly imprisoned, Joseph shares prison space with two others – a butler and a baker. What seems at first like nursery rhyme material turns spectacular when they both have dreams that Joseph interprets correctly for them. Joseph entreats the butler, when he is freed, to remember Joseph’s kindness by telling the Pharaoh about Joseph and his innocence. Yet, two years after being free, the butler had still forgotten and never told the Pharaoh. Finally, when the Pharaoh has a disturbing dream, the butler remembers his fault and finally shares the truth about Joseph with the Pharaoh.
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