Genesis 40:8 do not interpretations belong To God? Tell me them, I pray you
Why would the butler and baker tell Joseph? If interpretations belong to God, then they should tell God, not Joseph. But Joseph's request reflects his relationship with God. He is a man of God. God is his friend. God will certainly give him the interpretation, so talking to Joseph was the same as talking to God.
In this vignette, Joseph acts as a prophet for the Pharaoh's servants; whether by God's own voice or by the voice of Joseph, it is the same (D&C 1:38)
Genesis 40:12 Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it
The interpretation of dreams is a gift of the Spirit. It could easily be included in the scriptural lists of spiritual gifts,
To some is given the working of miracles;
[To some is given the interpretation of dreams;]
And to others it is given to prophesy... (D&C 46:21-22)
Only God could have given Joseph the interpretation.
Parley P. Pratt
What have not dreams accomplished?
Dreams and their interpretation brought the beloved son of Jacob from his dungeon, made him prime minister of Egypt, and the savior of a nation, and of his father's house.
Dreams, and the interpretation of dreams, raised a Daniel from slavery or degrading captivity in Babylon, to wear a royal chain of gold, and to teach royalty how to rule, whilst he presided over the governors and presidents of more than a hundred provinces. (see Daniel 4)
Dreams, and the interpretation of dreams, have opened the future, pointed out the course of empire through all the troublous times of successive ages, till Saints alone shall rule, and immortality alone endure. (Key to the Science of Theology/A Voice of Warning [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1965], 123 - 124)
Genesis 40:23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him
You can imagine that Joseph was very excited when the butler was restored to his former position. Certainly, he would use his influence on Pharaoh to get Joseph out of his false imprisonment. Joseph had no reason to doubt but that he would be immediately released. Joseph must have thought the baker and butler incident was designed by God for his immediate release, but freedom didn't come right away.
Can you imagine how Joseph felt? He certainly had the opportunity to complain, saying, "Lord, you gave me power to interpret the dream of the butler and baker; why then has the butler forgotten me? Why must I remain in this prison, falsely accused?" Joseph would suffer in prison for 2 more years. He must have wondered as the Prophet Joseph in Liberty Jail:
O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?
How long shall thy hand be stayed...? (D&C 121:1-2)
"'Now Joseph, commending all his affairs to God, did not betake himself to make his defense, nor to give an account of the exact circumstances of the fact, but silently underwent the bonds and the distress he was in, firmly believing that God, who knew the cause of his affliction and the truth of the fact, would be more powerful than those that inflicted the punishments upon him' (Antiquities of the Jews, Book II, v:1)." (Arthur R. Bassett, "Joseph, Model of Excellence," Ensign, Sept. 1980, 13)
Neal A. Maxwell
When Joseph Smith, Jr., was given a blessing by Father Smith in December 1834, an extensive portion of that blessing informed modern Joseph of his special relationship to ancient Joseph. (See Joseph Smith, Sr., blessing, 9 Dec. 1834, Church Historical Department, 1:3-4)
The comparisons between the two Josephs, of course, reflect varying degrees of exactitude, but they are, nevertheless, quite striking...
Both prophesied remarkably of the future of their nations and the challenges their governments would face. (See Gen. 41:29-31; D&C 87.)
They both knew what it was to be falsely accused, and they both were jailed.
Both, in their extremities, helped others who shared their imprisonment but later forgot their benefactors. In the case of ancient Joseph, it was the chief butler. (See Gen. 40:20-23.) Joseph Smith worried over an ill cell-mate, Sidney Rigdon, who was freed in January 1839. The Prophet rejoiced. Three months later, the Prophet inquired "after Elder Rigdon if he has not forgotten us." (Writings, p. 399.)
Both Josephs were torn from their families, although ancient Joseph suffered through this for a much, much longer time.
Very significantly, both were "like unto" each other in being amazingly resilient in the midst of adversity. This, in each man, is a truly striking quality. ("A Choice Seer," Ensign, Aug. 1986, 11-12)
Commentary for this chapter is not comprehensive. A more complete commentary should be available shortly. Please check back later for updates.