Some time later, the pharaoh puts his baker and his butler in jail. The captain of the guard (presumably not Potiphar) places them in the charge of Joseph.

One night,  the baker and the butler each have a dream.

Joseph interprets the butler's and the baker's dreams in a prison by Alexander Ivanov, 1827

Joseph interprets the butler’s and the baker’s dreams in a prison by Alexander Ivanov, 1827

The butler’s dream: There is a vine with three branches. The vine blossoms and grape clusters grow. The butler is holding Pharaoh’s cup, and he presses the grapes into it. He then places the cup in Pharaoh’s hands.

The baker’s dream: The baker has three cake baskets on his head, and there are baked foods in the topmost basket that he’s bringing to Pharaoh. But birds come and eat it out of the basket.

Joseph offers to interpret their dreams for them. First, he tells the butler that his dream means that in three days he will be pardoned by Pharaoh and serve him his cup once again. To the baker, he says that in three days, Pharaoh will have him beheaded and then hang him from a tree for the birds to feed on.

The butler is understandably pleased with his interpretation (especially in light of what the other guy got, I suppose), so Joseph makes him swear to remember him once he gets out of jail.

Three days pass and then it’s the pharaoh’s birthday. During the feast, he released and reinstated the butler and hanged the baker, just as Joseph had said. But there’s a twist! Once free, the butler forgets all about Joseph!

Other than colouring in pictures of David as a shepherd, my clearest memory of Sunday School is going over this whole bit about Joseph interpreting dreams. In fact, other than being in the nativity play, I don’t remember anything at all about Jesus. Odd that, for a Christian Sunday School. It’s probably just my faulty memory.