XVI. Nevertheless, even such a man as this was propitiated by the virtue of this young man, and not only gave him liberty and security, but even entrusted to him a share of authority over all the prisoners; so that in word, indeed, and as far as the title went, he continued to be the goaler; but in reality he had made over all the active part of the work to the young man, in consequence of which conduct of his the prisoners were benefited in no slight degree. Accordingly they no longer thought fit to call the place a prison, but a house of correction: for instead of tortures and punishments which they had previously undergone night and day, being beaten and bound with chains, and suffering every imaginable kind of ill-treatment; they were now admonished with the language and doctrines of philosophy, and also by the life and conduct of their teacher, which was more effective than any discourse in the world; for he, by placing his own life full of temperance and every kind of virtue before them, as a picture and well-constructed model of virtue, changed even those who had appeared to be utterly incurable, so that the long diseases of their souls now got a respite, since they were afflicting themselves for what they had hitherto done, and were repenting of it, and uttering such expressions as these, “Where was there all this good formerly which we originally failed to find? For behold! now it shines forth to such a degree that we are ashamed to face it, seeing our deformity in it as in a looking-glass.”
XVII. While they then were being improved in this manner two of the king’s eunuchs are brought into the prison; the one being his chief butler, and the other his chief baker, having been accused and condemned for malversation in the offices committed to their charge. And Joseph took the same care of them that he took of the others, praying that he might be able to make all those who were entrusted to his care in no respect inferior to irreproachable persons. And when no long period had elapsed, he went to visit his prisoners on one occasion, when he saw these eunuchs more full of perplexity, and more downcast than they had been before; and conjecturing from their excessive grief that some strange event had befallen them, he inquired the reason of their sorrow. And when they answered him, that they were full of distress and perplexity because they had seen dreams, and because there was no one who could interpret them to them, he said “Be of good cheer, and relate them to me; for so, if God will, you shall be led to understand them; for he is willing to reveal, to those who are desirous of the truth, those things which are concealed in darkness.” Then the chief butler spoke first, and said, “I thought that a great vine grew up, having three roots, and one very vigorous trunk, and flourishing, and bearing bunches of grapes as if in the height of autumn, and when the grapes became dark and ripe I picked the bunches, and squeezed the grapes into the king’s cup, in order to convey to my sovereign a sufficient quantity of unmixed wine.” And Joseph, pausing for awhile, said, “Thy vision announces good fortune to thee, and a recovery of thy former situation; for the three roots of the vine signify figuratively three days, after which the king will remember thee, and will send for thee from hence, and will pardon thee, and will permit thee to resume thy former rank, and shalt again pour him out wine for confirmation of thy authority, and shalt give the cup into thy master’s hand.” And the chief butler rejoiced when he heard these things.