Let’s go over the dreams the cupbearer and the baker had.
First, it’s interesting to note that numbers stand out in each of the three sets of dreams involving Joseph.
In the first dream Joseph had about his family bowing down to him, a sequence of 12 was prominent.
In the dreams the baker and cupbearer had, we notice a repeating sequence of 3’s.
In the next chapter 41, Pharaoh’s dreams will repeat in a sequence of 7’s.
When the cupbearer explains his dream to Joseph, he speaks of a vine with 3 branches that had grapes growing on it from which he will make wine for the Pharaoh.
Joseph quickly interprets telling the cupbearer the good news that within 3 days the Pharaoh will reinstate him to his position and everything will be fine after that.
A quick word about the position of cup-bearer.
This person was a high ranking officer and not only was it his job to serve drinks at the royal table but he also had to sample some of whatever he was serving before he gave it to the Pharaoh to make sure it wasn’t poisoned.
This position was greatly valued and only given to a select few throughout Egypt’s history.
Moving on, the baker, after witnessing the interpretation of the cup-bearer’s dream seems to be feeling quite reassured, and in an excited fashion jumps right in to explain his dream hoping for a similar favorable interpretation.
I came across an interesting piece of commentary about the chief baker’s attitude that said the baker altogether missed the key point that Joseph’s gift for interpretation depended on the grace of God.
Instead, he imagined it was all a matter of technique.
The baker seemed to have assumed that similar dreams lead to similar interpretations.
However, he had overlooked a crucial detail that Joseph had not missed.
It is NOT Pharaoh but birds who eat from the basket on his head.
The commentary (a Jewish commentary by the way) went on to conclude that since the baker missed God’s grace in Joseph’s interpretation, he will be denied Pharaoh’s grace as well.
One final point.
Many Bible translations will say that the baker was hung from a tree.
This is incorrect.
What the Hebrew actually says is that he will be “impaled on a tree“.
Hanging wasn’t done in that era.
First the victim was beheaded and then his headless corpse was impaled on a stake.