Genesis 39-41

In the following article you will find a brief commentary on Genesis 39-41 that goes along with our Riverside Church Two Year Bible Reading Plan (Volume 1 & Volume 2).  This plan will allow you to read the New Testament and Psalms once every year and the Old Testament once every two years.

Genesis 39-41

The Cupbearer Forgets; God Remembers

Genesis 40:14-15

14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15 For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.” [1]

Try to picture yourself if you are Pharaoh listening to the cupbearer’s explanation.  Of course, the last verse tells us tragically that the cupbearer forgot Joseph: he did not “remember”!  But imagine for a moment if he had.  If you had been Pharaoh hearing this story second hand, would you not have been tempted to be the least bit suspicious?  There is a point where someone’s bad situation cannot be explained by one bad luck event after another.  Eventually you start to suspect the person.

That is what makes chapter 41 so remarkable.  After all these years and after all of these tragic events, God delivers him.  He was betrayed by brothers, carried by slavers, enslaved by Potiphar, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, imprisoned, and forgotten!  And then, delivered!  Nothing is too difficult for God.  God was there all along.  This is God’s story.  In a moment God brings promises to fulfillment and sets free the captive.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ge 40:14–15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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