Genesis 39
Joseph is sold to Potiphar and pleases him 1
Joseph in charge of all Potiphar's business 5
Joseph refuses to lie with Potiphar's wife 7
She grabs him and he flees leaving his garment 11
She lies and accused Joseph 13
He is sent to prison and trusted by the warden 20
.1 ¶ And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.

  An Egyptian This fact would not have been noted had Egyptians been generally employed as Potiphar was. Conservative scholars believe that Joseph came to Egypt under the time of the Asiatic Hyksos who ruled Egypt at the time and would more likely have advanced Joseph to a high office.
 2  And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
3  And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
 4  And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
  2 - Prosperous Compare ps001.
  3 - Master saw A tribute to the spiritual faithfulness and witness of Joseph.
.5  And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
 6  And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
  6 - Left all in Joseph's hand Indication of administrative ability.
  6 - Goodly ... well favoured Or "handsome and good looking." (RSV).
.7 ¶ And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
 8  But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
.9  There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
 10  And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
  7 - After these things A chronological progression.
  8 - He refused His courteous reply was not respected.
  9 - How then can I do this great wickedness Words we all would do well to remember. Notice that it would have been a sin against God ex2012.
.11  And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
 12  And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
  11 - Caught him ... garment The Hebrew word for "garment" is beged. All men wore a simple loincloth for basic coverage although a white cloth over the shoulders is pictured for overseers.
.13 ¶ And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
 14  That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
 15  And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.
 16  And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
 17  And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:
 18  And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
 19 ¶ And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
  14 - Called unto the men They were probably jealous of the favored slave making them good allies. v14 shows her lack of respect for her husband.
  14 - He hath brought This woman showed no respect for her husband or his office, using only the word "he." This continues in verse 15.
 15-18 - Left ... garment with me She avoided saying that she had grabbed it.
.20  And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
.21  But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
 22  And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
 23  The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
  20 - Master ... put him in prison He was angry but maybe at his wife v19. Had Potiphar really believed her, Joseph would likely have been killed. Notice Potiphar's position v1.
  22 - Keeper ... committed Recognizing Joseph's skill and faithfulness. Notice that it was the Lord who gave Joseph favor v21.

May we, too, be faithful bringing glory to our Lord.

Genesis home
Commentary home
Contact and more