Joseph Interprets the Butler and Baker's Dreams

Main Points to Remember: God is in control

interpret: explain what it means
Prayer: Father, we thank you for guiding our lives when we have no control.

Genesis 40

Lesson Text:

Object Lesson: Have students draw a simple picture of one of the two dreams. Discuss how the three branches (or baskets) stood for 3 days. Explain how symbols are images that stand for something else. Bring in a print-out from a web browser or an internet program. Discuss how the image of a letter stands for mail. The image of a speaker stands for volume, etc. etc. These are symbols that bring to mind something else. A lot of the Bible is written with symbolic images - that is, pictures that stand for something. Joseph always gave God the credit for explaining these images. It is God that chooses the images and God that reveals what they mean. We must be careful to look to His revelation and not our own imagination to understand what God's symbols stand for.

: Review the family tree. Have the students use generic paper people (like Bible Friends) to illustrate the lesson. Name them and post them on a board, using yarn or dots to connect the family lines.

Decipher the code worksheet by Jerri Fusch

  1. The butler and baker understood their dreams. F
  2. Both the butler and the baker were saved from punishment. F
  3. The butler forgot about Joseph. T
  4. Joseph refused to interpret the dreams without payment. F
  5. Both dreams meant the same thing. F
Memory Work
  • Genesis 41:12 "And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret."
  • Proverbs 2:6 "For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."

Review Questions (can be used with Joseph gameboard)

 linguistic questions

  1. What word is scrambled in the following: mareds
  2. Fill in the blank: “Do not interpretations belong to _______?" Genesis 40:8b
  3. What animals appear in this lesson: birds
  activity questions
  1. Act out Joseph explaining the butler’s dream.
  2. Draw a baker.
  3. Sing a verse of This is My Father's World.
  emotion questions
  1. How do you think the butler felt when Joseph interpreted his dream? Hopeful
  2. How do you think the baker felt when Joseph interpreted his dream? Worried
  3. How do you think Joseph felt as he waited longer and longer to hear from the butler? Discouraged
application questions
  1. Should we seek reward for helping others? No - God will reward us
  2. Should we alter the truth to make others feel better? No - the truth is the truth
  3. Sometimes God’s time seems to take forever. What attitude should we have while waiting? A patient and hopeful one
fact questions
  1. What did the baker dream? That birds ate his bread before he could take it to pharaoh.
  2. What did the butler dream? That he pressed and presented wine to pharaoh
  3. How did Joseph know what the dream meant? God revealed it to him
review questions
  1. Why did God reveal dreams to Joseph? As proof that Joseph was approved of God - and as a means of eventually elevating Joseph to the position he intended for him
  2. What important people did Joseph meet in prison? The pharaoh’s butler and baker.
  3. How do you think Joseph’s years in prison affected him later? He was probably more sympathetic to the helpless and unjustly punished.