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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



GENESIS 40

 

CHAPTER XL.

 

Ver. 1.  Two eunuchs; chief officers, and high in dignity, as the Hebrew expresses it, v. 2.  H. --- Offended, perhaps, by stealing, or by some treasonable conspiracy.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  And, &c.  Heb. "Pharao was enraged against two of his officers; against the chief of the butlers," &c.   Mashkim.  S. Jerom translates this word procurator domus, "steward of the house."  C. xv. 2.  No slave was entrusted with these high offices in the courts of Egypt and of Persia.

 

Ver. 3.  Commander.  Putiphar. C. --- Prisoner, though his chains were struck off.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  According to, &c. foreshewing what would happen to them, as Joseph afterwards interpreted the dreams.  T.

 

Ver. 8.  Doth not interpretation belong to God?  When dreams are from God, as these were, the interpretation of them is a gift of God.  But the generality of dreams are not of this sort; but either proceed from the natural complexions and dispositions of persons, or the roving of their imaginations in the day on such objects as they are much affected with, or from their mind being disturbed with cares and troubles, and oppressed with bodily infirmities: or they are suggested by evil spirits, to flatter, or to terrify weak minds; in order to gain belief, and so draw them into error or superstition; or at least to trouble them in their sleep, whom they cannot move while they are awake: so that the general rule, with regard to dreams, is not to observe them, nor to give any credit to them.  Ch. --- Physicians indeed, sometimes from some judgment of the nature of a distemper from dreams; on which subject, Hippocrates and Galen have written.  But to pretend to discover by them the future actions of free agents, would be superstitious.  Deut. xviii. 10.  T. --- Justin (xxxvi. 2,) says, "Joseph was the first interpreter of dreams, and often gave proofs of his knowledge," &c.

 

Ver. 14.  Prison, after examining into the justice of my cause.

 

Ver. 15.  Hebrews.  Chanaan, a foreign land with respect to Egypt, as was also Mesopotamia, where he was born.  H. --- Joseph only maintains his own innocence, without accusing any one.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Of meal.  Heb. may also mean "white, full of holes," &c.

 

Ver. 19.  From thee, by decapitation.  This was customary, when a person's body was to be hung on the cross or gibbet.  Deut. xxi. 22.  Jos. x. 26.  Lament. v. 12.  1 K. xxxi. 10. --- Birds.  So Horace says, pasces in cruce corvos.

 

Ver. 20.  Birth-day.  This was a common practice among the pagans.  S. Matt. xiv. 6.  2 Mac. vi. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  That, &c.  Thus was verified the prediction of Joseph.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  Forgot.  A thing too common among those who enjoy prosperity!  H. --- God would not have his servants to trust in men.  D. --- The butler was a figure of the good thief, as the baker represented the impenitent one, between whom our Saviour hung on the cross.  C.

 

 








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