Meredith Warren deposited Forgetting the Forgetter: The Cupbearer in the Joseph Saga (Genesis 40–41) in the group Biblical Studies on Humanities Commons 4 months, 2 weeks ago
Typically, the cupbearer in Genesis 40–41 is interpreted only as a member of Joseph’s supporting cast. However, closely reading this minor character suggests more options for interpreting both him and other anonymous courtiers found throughout the Hebrew Bible. The cupbearer’s actions (and inactions) raise ethical and psychological questions about remembering, forgetting, and the shades of grey between them. The cupbearer, ironically, is remembered most for forgetting Joseph; yet in forgetting the cupbearer, we forget the lesson in remembrance that he exemplifies. This minor character study partners conventional narrative criticism with the gaps and possibilities found in the cupbearer’s reception among sources as diverse as Jerome, the Qur’an, Genesis Rabbah, and Thomas Mann.