New Defender's Study Bible Notes
40:1 butler...baker. These two officials were responsible not only for preparing Pharaoh’s drink and food, but also for assuring its safety. It is possible that a cache of some kind of poison had been discovered, with the implication that it would be used in an assassination attempt. While Pharaoh’s investigative police were trying to determine whether it was intended for his wine or for his bread, both officials were placed in prison awaiting that determination.
40:8 interpretations belong to God. Joseph’s own dreams, the meaning of which God had revealed to him (Genesis 37:5-10), had prepared him for his crucial ministry in Egypt. First he interpreted the dreams of the butler and baker, then eventually of Pharaoh himself. In all these, Joseph realized that God had given both the dream and the interpretation, all in order to accomplish His own purposes.
40:20 lifted up the head. Evidently the butler (or “cupbearer”) had been found innocent of the suspected crime against Pharaoh, so Pharaoh “lifted up his head” in the sense of restoring him to his previous high position in the court. The chief baker had been found guilty, so his head was “lifted up” on a gallows.