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Great Characters of the Bible (1 of 12)
The Man Who Forgot -- The Chief Butler
Clarence E. Macartney
The miserable ingrate! When the butler was a criminal
in the jail, not knowing what a day would bring to
him-liberty or bondage, life or death-he did not
The chief butler and the chief baker had offended
their lord, and Pharaoh had committed them to the
dungeon. The captain of the guard gave them into the
keeping of the young Hebrew captive, Joseph, who was
in prison because of the hatred of a wicked woman
whose advances he had scorned. Everybody down in Egypt
seems to have had the habit of dreaming, from the king
on his throne to the baker who made his bread. Both
the chief butler and the chief baker dreamed during
that first night in the prison, and their dreams left
them filled with sadness and apprehension. Joseph
himself was an exile from his home, sold by his
brothers into Egypt and now in prison charged with a
crime he did not commit. One would think it was he who
needed comfort. But he was kindhearted, this Hebrew
exile. When he saw the two prisoners looking so sad in
the morning, his heart went out to them in sympathy.
His own problem made him only the more sympathetic
with others in their troubles, instead of hardening
and souring him and making him look with suspicion
upon all mankind.
One of the best ways to cure your own sorrow is to
take an interest in the sorrows of others. Joseph sat
where they sat, and therefore he was able to meet them
on a common footing and give them what cheer he could.
But Joseph, while not boasting that he could tell them
what they wished to know, said that with the help of
God he would interpret their dreams. "Do not
interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray
First, the chief butler told his dream:
In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; and in the
vine were three branches: and it was as though it
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