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The Butler, the Baker,
and Two Dreams

by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards

Text Version | Afrikaans

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DREAMS . . .

Everyone has dreams. Some dreams are good, some are scary, and some are funny or even adventurous. Most dreams don't really mean anything. They may be caused from watching a scary show or eating too much of the wrong kind of food. But did you know that some dreams have very special meanings?

God sometimes gives people dreams for encouragement, guidance, and even warning. Many people in the Bible had these special dreams and were able to tell what they meant, but not very many people were able to interpret another person's dreams. That was a very special ability given by God to only a few chosen people. One of those people was Joseph.

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While trying to obey God and do what was right Joseph was falsely accused and thrown into
prison Poor Joseph! First he was hated by his brothers because of his coat and his dream, then sold as a slave and forced to live far away from home in the land of Egypt. Then while trying to obey God and do what was right, he was falsely accused and thrown into prison. It seemed that things kept going from bad to worse. Certainly, if anyone had cause to complain and be angry, it would be Joseph!

The prison official took notice of
Joseph and liked him very much But Joseph did not complain and did not become angry or bitter. Joseph chose to love God even in the worst of situations. While he was in prison, he continued to be a righteous young man and God blessed him. The prison official took notice of Joseph and liked him very much. Eventually, he put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners. As long as Joseph was in charge, God caused even the prison official to prosper.

Meanwhile at the palace, Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, became upset with two of his servants and had them thrown in jail. The king's butler and baker ended up in the same prison with Joseph. One morning as Joseph was attending to his duties, he noticed that the butler and the baker were unusually sad. "Why are you so sad?" Joseph asked them.

"We both had dreams the same night, and we don't know what they mean. There is no one to help us understand these dreams," they explained.

Joseph said, "Don't be sad. Don't you know that God gives dreams and He can help us determine the meaning? Please tell me your dreams."

Joseph noticed that the butler and the baker were unusually sadThere was a vine, and in the
vine were three branchesThe butler was very happy to hear such good news and especially
glad at the idea of getting out of prison

The butler was the first to tell his dream. "There was a vine, and in the vine were three branches. The branches budded into clusters of ripe grapes. King Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and squeezed the juice into Pharaoh's cup. Then I gave the cup to Pharaoh."

Joseph knew exactly what the dream meant, and he explained it to the Butler. "The three branches are three days. In three days, you will be released from prison and you will get your job back. You will be serving Pharaoh at his table once again."

As you might imagine, the butler was very happy to hear such good news and especially glad at the idea of getting out of prison! Joseph had one request to make of the butler: "When you are released and you stand before the king, please remember me and mention me to Pharaoh. I did nothing wrong and don't deserve to be here."

I dreamed that I had three baskets stacked on the
top of my head When the baker heard that the interpretation of the butler's dream was good, he decided to tell Joseph his dream. "I dreamed that I had three baskets stacked on the top of my head. The one on top was filled with all sorts of bread and baked goods. Birds flew overhead and ate all the food out of the basket."

Joseph also knew the meaning of this dream, and although it wasn't good, he told the baker the truth. "The three baskets are three days. In three days, you will be released from prison, but you will not go back to your job. King Pharaoh will have you killed."

The butler was given his job back and was allowed to serve at the
feast that very day Three days later, King Pharaoh had a big feast prepared because it was his birthday. He remembered his butler and his baker and called for them to be released from prison. The butler and baker nervously cleaned themselves up and made themselves presentable to stand before the king.

The butler was given his job back and was allowed to serve at the feast that very day. The baker was ordered out of the king's presence and was killed.

It all happened just as Joseph had said it would. The butler was so happy and so busy with his job that he forgot about Joseph and the promise he had made to mention him to the king. Unfortunately, Joseph had to spend another two years in jail, but he continued to love God even in prison, and the Lord continued to bless him!

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Do all dreams have special meaning?
What did Joseph do to deserve being put in jail?
What does "interpret" mean?
What did the butler's dream mean?
What did the baker's dream mean?
Was Joseph's interpretation of the dreams right or wrong?
How did Joseph know what the dreams meant?


Joseph continued to love God, even in prison, and God continued to bless him.


"The Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy" (Genesis 39:21a).


Dog and boy praying

Dear God, thank You for being with us in every
situation. Help us to remember that You always
love us. Help us to always love You.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Genesis 40:1-23

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Butler and Baker
Butler, Baker, and Two Dreams
Joseph Colouring Book (Bible Heroes)
Bible Colour and Learn 7: Joseph
Bible Stories to Color and Tell (ages 3-K)
Bible Story Cards Coloring Book - Old Testament
Bible Story Coloring Pages (Reproducible)
Children's Coloring Books
My Bible Coloring Book (Shirley Dobson)
Old Testament Scenes Stained Glass Coloring Book

child reading a book

The Butler and the Baker
Good News, Bad News
Beginner's Bible: Joseph & His Brothers (I Can Read)
Joseph's Coat (Famous Bible Stories)
The Birth of a Nation: Abraham to Joseph (listen and read online)
Joseph--God's Superhero (Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids)
God's Dreamer: The Story of Joseph (Bible Wise)
Joseph Forgives His Brothers (Arch Books)
Joseph The Dreamer
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs w/2 CD
Baby's First Bible
Beginner's Bible
Bible in Pictures For Toddlers
Bible stories
Early Reader's Bible
Five Minute Devotions for Children (ages 4-8)
Little Hands Story Bible
The Children's Illustrated Bible
Toddler's Bible
Pilgrim's Progress illustrated for children
Children's Books
Spanish Children's Books
The Picture Bible (Spanish)

CDs and Videos

Joseph DVD (Bible Collection)
Heroes of the Bible (Veggie Tales)
Joseph DVD by Sight & Sound
Joseph & the Coat of Many Colors (Greatest Heroes & Legends)
Joseph King of Dreams
Joseph Y Su Abrigo De Muchos (EMI-CMG)
The Story of Jacob and Joseph
What's in the Bible DVD 1: In the Beginning—Genesis
Amazing Bible Stories
Read and Share Ultimate Bible Storybook with 2 DVDs
The Bible Collection 6 DVD Set
Bible story DVDs
Children's DVDs


Butler and Baker Word Search
Joseph in Prison Activities (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
God's Secret Agent: Joseph (King of Clubs) (TNT Ministries)
Creation by Design Activity Book 1: Joseph & His Brothers
Joseph's Journal (Newsbox Series)

Joseph Saves His Family (Pack of 10) (Pencil Fun Book)
Encyclopedia Of Bible Games For Children's Ministry
The Humongous Book of Games for Children's Ministry
Amazing Bible Mazes
Memory Verse Games for Kids (Take Me Through the Bible Series)
Big Book Of Bible Puzzles (Reproducible)
Bible Puzzles: Word Search
Big Book Of Bible Story Activity Pages V1 (Gospel Light Big Books)
Christian and educational toys
Children's Activity Books
Children's Puzzles
Crossword Books
Bible Word Search


The Butler, the Baker, and Two Dreams Story Cube Craft Activity
Joseph Paper Craft
Joseph Activities and Games
Make Your Own Bible Game
Puppet Crafts For Kids
Craft Ideas For Any Story
Bible Crafts & More (Ages 6-8)
Bible Crafts On A Shoestring Budget (Ages 5-10)
Big Book of Bible Crafts (Ages 3-12)
Encyclopedia Of Bible Crafts For Preschoolers
Praise God With...Craft Series
Praise God with a Paper Plate (PreK-Grade 2)
Really Big Book Of Cool Crafts For Kids w/CD-Ages 4-12 (Reproducible)
Children's Crafts & Hobbies

  1. Tie-dye a T-shirt. This way each child can personally design their own shirt, and each time they wear it, they will be reminded that God is with them always, they are special to him, and that His love "covers" them through all situations and circumstances. (I work with a lot of children from dysfunctional families who go through horror stories on a regular basis. They need to know God is with them at all times.) Basically, all you need to do is have several different bowls of clothing dye, a T-shirt for each child, and rubber bands. Tightly wrap rubber bands intermittently around different parts of the white T-shirt. Dip only portions of the shirt into different colors. Let dry, remove bands, and praise the Lord you have a "shirt" of many colors.
  2. Should it be a smaller church or a lot of children, to defray the expense, you could purchase white handkerchiefs at a dollar store and do the same thing. This would give each child something to place under his pillow or carry with him as a reminder.
  3. With your picture of Joseph to color, you could have prepared strips of tissue paper to be glued on the picture or you could use construction paper as well. I have found tissue paper is sometimes easier to use, because it is not as stiff and "turns corners" better.

- Submitted by Karin Adams

birds singing

In His Dreams
Bible Songs
Children's Music


Commentaries on the chief butler and baker of Pharaoh
God's Secret Agent: Joseph (King of Clubs) (TNT Ministries)
Joseph (Jewish Virtual Library)
Joseph Bible Story Series
Joseph the Prisoner (pdf) (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Joseph (Jewish Virtual Library)
Joseph by F B Meyer
Joseph: A Story
Joseph - A Very Colorful Story
801 Questions Kids Ask About God (Focus on the Family)
Absentee Postcards
African American Resources
Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher (Bruce Wilkinson)
Bible Crafts and Activities for Any Story
Big Book of Bible Games (Gospel Light)
Bulletin Board helps
Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul
Children's Church Resources
Children's Sermon
Church Nanny Sos: Teaching Discipline Essentials for Preschool Ministry Volunteers
Church Supplies
Closing Prayer
52 Games That Teach The Bible
Free educational videos
God's Servants Teach Me (Instant Bible Lessons)
God's Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs
Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher (Focus on the Family)
How To Lead a Child To Christ
King James Version Award Bibles
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings
Lord Teach Me To Pray For Kids (Kay Arthur)
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
Memory Verse Ideas
Memory Verse Resources
Object Talks
Opening Prayer
Pray & Play Bible for Young Children
Puppet Scripts
Resources for Teachers
Seven Laws of the Learner (Bruce Wilkinson)
Spanish Resources
Sunday School Attendance Boosters: 165 Fresh Ideas
Sunday school resources
Talking to God (Instant Bible Lessons)
Teachers' Reproducible Classroom Pages
Teaching children
Teaching Children Memory Verses Ages 4-5
Teaching Children To Pray Ages 4-5
Teaching to Change Lives (by Howard Hendrickss)
The Big Book of Bible Skits
Things To Make Craft Activities
Vacation Bible School
What Every Sunday School Teacher Should Know
(by Elmer Towns)

Children's resources

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The Children\'s Chapel - Award-winning site, featuring Bible stories from a variety of authors, excellent Christian resources for children, and over 140 links to other Christian and family-friendly sites for kids

Copyright © 2016 by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards.

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Last updated October 18, 2016.

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