*In the Pharaoh’s jail* with Joseph were also the Pharaoh’s chief butler and the Pharaoh’s chief baker. Joseph, being a special status prisoner, was put in charge of the butler and baker.

“What did you two do to make the Pharaoh put you in here?” Joseph asked of them.

“He thought we were trying to poison him” they said, “But we did no such thing. We are innocent of what the Pharaoh accused us of.”

“Isn’t this usual?” said Joseph. “I’ll bet nearly everyone in this jail didn’t do what they’re told they did.”

“What are you in here for?” asked the butler and baker of Joseph.

“Violating the wife of the captain of the guard who’s also in charge of this jail” said Joseph. “But I’m as innocent of that as you two are of trying to poison the Pharaoh.”

“Rum business, isn’t it?”

“Isn’t it.”


The next morning Joseph noticed that the butler and baker looked particularly downcast and were silent.

“You two aren’t exactly a barrel of laughs this morning are you?” said Joseph.

“I had a dream last night”, said the butler.

“Me too,” said the baker.

“Is that so bad?”

“Dreaming is for women, not men. There must be something wrong with us.”

“I have dreams all the time.”

“You can’t be a real man, then. Come to think of it, you look too pretty to be a man. Maybe that’s why you didn’t violate the captain of the guard’s wife when you had the chance.”

“I’m as much a man as you two are. Being emotionally repressed is more likely why you don’t normally dream than because you are men. What did you dream about?”

“In my dream,” said the butler, “there was a vine in front of me. On the vine were three branches, and as soon as it budded, it blossomed and its clusters ripened into grapes. I had the Pharaoh’s cup in my hand, and I plucked the grapes, crushed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand. I can’t think what this dream means. Do you have any ideas, pretty boy?”

“Here’s what your dream means”, said Joseph. “The three branches represent three days. Within three days the Pharaoh will restore you to your post as chief butler, and you will put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand just as you used to.”

“I’m happy to hear this. I’ll believe it, though, only when it happens.”

“It’ll happen. Trust me. And when it does happen, I’d like you to put in a good word for me with the Pharaoh. I’m as anxious to get out of this jail as you must be.”

“I’ll try to remember to, but my memory has never been of the best.”


“And what did you dream of?” asked Joseph of the baker.

“Well, there were three baskets of white bread on my head. In the top basket were bakemeats of the sort I prepare for the Pharaoh, and birds were eating these bakemeats. Have you any idea what this dream means?”

“I do. The three baskets represent three days. Within three days Pharaoh will order that your head be chopped off and your headless body hanged from a tree for the birds to eat.”

“Ha ha ha. You have a good sense of humour”, said the baker, “ha ha ha….”

“I’m serious. You’d better start getting used to the idea that your head will soon be cut off. Just try to enjoy yourself in the meantime.”


The Pharaoh’s birthday fell on the third day after this conversation. He sent for the butler and the baker.

“Thank you for coming, gentlemen.” said the Pharaoh, “Your case is awkward, and I’m consequently put in an invidious position. While it’s been determined that it’s likely you were trying to poison me, it cannot absolutely be proved. However, given the seriousness of this suspicion, it wouldn’t be right to free both of you. At the same time it wouldn’t be right to kill both of you. So I’ve decided on a compromise. I’ll let one of you go, and I’ll have the other one of you killed. To show my heart is in the right place, the man I’ll free, I’ll also restore to his former position.”

Looking at the butler, the Pharaoh said, “Well butler, it’s your lucky day. I’m immediately freeing you and making you again my chief butler.”

“Thank you, thank you, your Majesty. You won’t regret this I promise you. I’ll be the best butler you ever had,” said the butler while prostrating himself and kissing the Pharaoh’s feet.

“As for you”, said the Pharaoh to the baker, “it’s my unpleasant duty to tell you that your head will shortly be cut off and your headless body hanged from a tree for the birds to eat.”

“If you let me go and make me again your chief baker, I’ll be the best baker you ever had. I’ll bake you food so delicious you’ll think you’re in heaven. Please, your Majesty, reconsider”, said the baker while also prostrating himself and kissing the Pharaoh’s feet.

“‘Fraid I can’t old chap. Awfully sorry and all that, but that’s how it is.”


The butler failed to remember to put in a good word for Joseph with the Pharaoh.

Source: Genesis 40

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15 Responses to Bakemeats

  1. Richard says:

    Have you ever had a predictive dream, Christopher?

  2. Christopher says:

    Can’t say that I have. Have you?

  3. Richard says:

    I can’t remember.

  4. Christopher says:

    I’ve heard it said that the phenomenon of deja vu – that feeling of having been before in a place you’re visiting for the first time – comes out of your having dreamt about it.

    If the precognitive dream is a fact, it means a part of you lives outside corporeal time. Which means a part of you never dies.

  5. Richard says:

    As you probably realise, I was being facetious.

    I have had one or to dreams of the future, actually, and they were more definite than deja vu because I was fully aware of the dream when the precise events occurred. None of your woolly interpretation nonsense. It’s the sort of thing you keep quiet about in case people think your nuts. [Don’t say it :)]

    If, of course, you accept that time is only a human invention to help describe motion, then there is no problem. I could elaborate on this if you really wanted me to. On the other hand, I might not, even if you asked nicely. Who knows?

  6. Richard says:

    Sorry – you’re. I shouldn’t have even thought that wrongly. Would I were fully educated.

  7. Christopher says:

    “……I was fully aware of the dream when the precise events occurred. None of your woolly interpretation nonsense………”

    If all explanations other than pure precognition can safely be eliminated as causes of your dream, you have proof, if only to yourself, that there’s a part of you outside Time, and therefore immortal.

    If you’re unique in having had this sort of dream, with all its implications, you could be the returned Messiah but don’t know it. Isn’t it said somewhere in the Bible (I’ll have to look it up) that when the Messiah returns, He’ll be as someone whom no-one recognises? If so, “no-one” would include even yourself.

    If you are the returned Messiah, I count myself as privileged to be in correspondence with you.

    However, if there are others who’ve had dreams that are precognitive beyond all doubt, it would simply mean we’re all immortal in some way, making each of us a face of the eternal God.

    Whatever the truth, we’ll all find out after we breathe our last. Or will we?

  8. Richard says:

    Biting irony, Christopher. You don’t happen to be wearing a white coat, do you?

    I don’t intend to get caught this time round.

    No – seriously – on one occasion I dreamt of a loud gunshot and i woke up holding my head. The next day a journalist somewhere in the Middle East was reported to have had his head grazed by a bullet that passed through his bedroom. There was another minor thing, but I forget it.

    At the moment my Uncle Edgar died in the explosion on HMS Invincible in the Battle of Jutland, it is said my grandfather came in from his workshop and asked, “Did someone call out ‘Dad!‘.”

    You’ll know of reports of other phenomena like this, despite your feigned ignorance. They need to be treated scientifically, somehow.

    Some of your writing is precognitive. Are you the Messiah? You probably are. Happy Easter!

  9. Christopher says:

    “…..Biting irony, Christopher. You don’t happen to be wearing a white coat, do you?………”

    Sometimes I get carried away when putting words to paper (or figuratively to paper). I now see I did so here!! I do apologise.

    Your dream about the gunshot is most interesting and just could be a genuine precognitive dream. But, could your dream have been merely a coincidence?

    Like you, I have a family story concerning ships. One of my great uncles or some such had a dream about someone falling from the mast of a large ship. He learned shortly thereafter that his son or brother or some such had died after falling off a ship’s mast that he’d climbed as part of a military drill.

    I have a friend who told me of a dream in which she was looking up at the sky and saw a British Airways jet which then exploded.

    Not long after hearing my friend tell me this dream I heard the news of the man about to embark on a British Airways plane who was arrested because he was found to have concealed explosives in his shoes.

    Was my friend’s dream a precognitive dream of sorts?

    My instincts say that the precognitive dream is a reality. But my intellect says that other things (like coincidences) could explain the precognitive dream, or that the precognitive dream has been embellished in the interests of telling a good story.

  10. Richard says:

    There’s always an alternative rational explanation for these phenomena, however much you have to stretch credulity. I rather like it that way.

  11. Cheri says:

    I need to visit this blog more regularly. I was trying to find your other “Fetlock” blog, Christopher, to bookmark it. Where is it?

  12. Richard says:

    “… Sometimes I get carried away when putting words to paper (or figuratively to paper) … “

    You’re right about words acquiring a new and special quality in the process of making them permanent. I have experienced it in my own minor way. How much more uplifting it must be for someone of your talents. You have given me hours of profound enjoyment reading your blogs and I have learned much from you.

    The spark comes from elsewhere, though, either within the writer or without; I can never tell. As I read, I wonder whether the writer has a single purpose or merely responds to the impulse of the moment. That is not to say that new and exciting aspects of a theme are not revealed in the writing process.

  13. Christopher says:

    Thank you for your kind remarks, no matter how undeserving my blogs are of them. I’ve learned much from you too.

    I particularly enjoy writing this blog, though, for it allows me to write lots of dialogue, and I never quite know what’ll come out while writing it. Just as in any conversation.

  14. Bible Student says:

    Where does the Bible say the baker and the butler were accused of trying to poison Pharaoh?

  15. Christopher says:

    @Bible Student – Good observation.

    While the Bible doesn’t say they were trying to poison Pharaoh, these commentaries *here* and *here* suggest they did.

    Who am I to argue otherwise?!!

    Thank you for visiting and for your comment.

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