Joseph’s Success in Egypt
1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the [royal] guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. 2The Lord was with Joseph, and he [even though a slave] became a successful and prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. 3Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper (succeed) in his hand. 4So Joseph pleased Potiphar and found favor in his sight and he served him as his personal servant. He made Joseph overseer over his house, and he put all that he owned in Joseph’s charge. 5It happened that from the time that he made Joseph overseer in his house and [put him in charge] over all that he owned, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house because of Joseph; so the Lord’s blessing was on everything that Potiphar owned, in the house and in the field. 6So Potiphar left all that he owned in Joseph’s charge; and with Joseph there he did not [need to] #Lit know.pay attention to anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was handsome and attractive in form and appearance. 7Then after a time his master’s wife #Lit cast her eyes on.looked at Joseph with desire, and she said, “Lie with me.” 8But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me in the house, my master does not concern himself with anything; he has put everything that he owns in my charge. 9He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God [and your husband]?” 10And so it was that she spoke to Joseph [persistently] day after day, but he did not listen to her [plea] to lie beside her or be with her. 11Then it happened one day that Joseph went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the men of the household was there in the house. 12She caught Joseph by his [outer] robe, saying, “Lie with me!” But he left his robe in her hand and ran, and got outside [the house]. 13When she saw that he had left his robe in her hand and had run outside, 14she called to the men of her household and said to them, “Look at this, your master has brought a Hebrew [into the household] to mock and insult us; he came to me to lie with me, and I screamed. 15When he heard me screaming, he left his robe with me and ran outside [the house].” 16So she left Joseph’s [outer] robe beside her until his master came home. 17Then she told her husband the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you brought among us, came to me to mock and insult me; 18then as soon as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his robe with me and ran outside [the house].”
19And when Joseph’s master heard the words of his wife, saying, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger burned. 20So Joseph’s master took him and put him in the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined; so he was there in the prison. 21But the Lord was with Joseph and extended lovingkindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the warden. 22The warden committed to Joseph’s care (management) all the prisoners who were in the prison; so that whatever was done there, he was #Lit the doer.in charge of it. 23The warden paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s care because the Lord was with him; whatever Joseph did, the Lord made to prosper.
Learn More About Amplified Bible
Copyright © 2015 by
The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631
All rights reserved. http://www.lockman.org
Joseph Serves Potiphar
1After the Ishmaelite traders brought Joseph down to Egypt, he was purchased by an Egyptian officer # 39:1 This is actually the Hebrew word for “eunuch.” In Egyptian culture, the key officials surrounding the king were made eunuchs to prevent them from having sons that would compete for the throne. This may help the reader understand why Potiphar’s wife chased after Joseph later in the chapter. of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, whose name was Potiphar. # 39:1 Potiphar means “given by the sun-god Ra” or “one who belongs to the sun-god Ra.” 2Yahweh’s presence was with Joseph and he became successful # 39:2 Or “prosperous.” The implication is that Joseph excelled in everything. God’s presence and favor do more for us than our skill, intelligence, and cleverness could achieve. God had his hand in everything that happened to Joseph, and he has his hand in everything that happens to you (see Rom. 8:28). while living in the house of his Egyptian master. 3When his master realized that Yahweh’s presence was with Joseph # 39:3 The Talmud teaches that the Hebrew text should be translated as “Yahweh was continually on Joseph’s lips”; in other words, Potiphar noted that Joseph did everything as unto God and gave him the glory. There is something trustworthy about a person with no agenda other than to give God glory in everything. and caused everything he did to prosper, 4Joseph found favor with Potiphar. He was quickly promoted to become the overseer of Potiphar’s house and was put in charge of all that he had. 5From the moment Potiphar appointed Joseph over his household, Yahweh blessed the Egyptian’s affairs for Joseph’s sake. The blessing of Yahweh was upon everything Potiphar owned; his finances increased, his crops flourished, and his flocks and herds multiplied. # 39:5 Or “everything Potiphar owned, at home and in the field.” 6So Potiphar placed all that he owned under Joseph’s oversight. And with Joseph in charge, Potiphar had nothing to worry about, except deciding on what to eat! # 39:6 Or possibly a figure of speech for “his private affairs,” or euphemistically for “his wife.”
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
Now Joseph was strikingly handsome, very good-looking, and well-built. # 39:6 No other man is described in these terms in the Bible; however the Hebrew phrase is nearly identical to the description of Rachel (see Gen. 29:17). 7It wasn’t long before his master’s wife # 39:7 Although unnamed, Hebrew tradition identifies Potiphar’s wife as Zuleika. As an Egyptian aristocrat, she was no doubt a beautiful woman. noticed Joseph. She demanded: “Come make love to me.”
8“Never!” Joseph replied. “Don’t you realize that my master has nothing to worry about with me in charge, for he has put everything he has under my care? 9There is no one greater in his household than me, # 39:9 Joseph understood the great favor shown to him and could not violate the trust of his master. He valued Potiphar’s trust in him. Joseph knew that he was elevated to a place of honor; nothing was held back from him. Joseph had self-respect and respected Potiphar’s wife. Though she was evil, he was honorable toward her. nor has he kept anything back from me except you, because you’re his wife. Why would I want to do such an immoral thing and sin against God?”
10Yet day after day, she was determined to seduce him. But Joseph continually refused her advances and would not even go near her. 11Then one day, when he had to go into the house to do his work and no one else was there, 12she grabbed him by his robe and said, “Come on, sleep with me!” But he abruptly ran out of the house, leaving his robe in her hands! # 39:12 Interestingly, the triliteral Hebrew root for “robe,” b-g-d, has a homonym meaning “marital fidelity.” There are times when running is the mark of a coward, and there are times when running is the mark of courage. Joseph would rather run in embarrassment than linger, falling into the trap of sexual promiscuity (see 1 Thess. 4:3–8). Self-control is a true sign of integrity. It is better to lose a good coat than a good conscience! He may have lost his coat, but Joseph kept his character. If the Lord has destined you for greatness, if God has a work for you to do, there should be no surprise when this kind of temptation comes to you. 13Realizing he had fled, and she was holding his robe in her hands, 14she called for her household servants and said to them, “See! My husband brings this Hebrew foreigner here to make fools of us! # 39:14 Or “to play with us,” a possible euphemism for having sex with them. He barged into my house and tried to have sex with me, and I screamed; 15and when he heard me scream for help, he ran out of the house and left his robe!”
16She kept the robe beside her until his master came home 17and she told him the same story: “This Hebrew foreigner you brought among us barged into the house and tried to violate me. 18As soon as I screamed out for help, he ran outside and left his robe here beside me.”
Joseph Goes to Prison
19When his master heard his wife’s account about how his servant had treated her, he became furious. # 39:19 The text does not say with whom Potiphar was furious. Perhaps he knew his wife’s promiscuous ways. He had Joseph only thrown into prison when a man with his authority could have had him killed. Perhaps he doubted the truth of her story, but to save face, he had Joseph imprisoned. According to the Yalkut Shimoni, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphar, did her best to convince her father of Joseph’s innocence and what really happened. Later, when Joseph was freed from prison, Asenath became Joseph’s wife. 20So Joseph’s master took him and threw him into prison, the place where the king’s prisoners are confined, and he was left there. # 39:20 In Ps. 105:17–18 we learn that Joseph’s feet were in chains and an iron collar was placed on his neck (or “his soul”). It would be hard to imagine a lower point in Joseph’s life. Betrayed by his brothers, sold as slave, and falsely accused, he suffered for a season until his time of deliverance arrived. As hard as it may seem, God may allow others to take advantage of us in order to carry out his secret will for our life. He will let us look like a fool in order to perfect our character. This is “the place where [our King’s] prisoners are confined” (Gen. 39:20; see Eph. 4:1)! 21But Yahweh was with Joseph and demonstrated to him his faithful love by giving him great favor in the sight of the warden. 22The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care; he was placed in charge of all the prisoners and everything in the prison. 23The warden had no worries about the prison with Joseph in charge, because Yahweh’s presence was with Joseph and caused everything Joseph did to prosper. # 39:23 Joseph had a God-favored life. A study of the life of Joseph is a study of the favor of God. He was faithful as a son, a shepherd, and a servant. He was diligent in all that he did. Wisdom guided him, even in a strange land, and everything he did prospered (see Ps. 1:3)! He not only adjusted to living in Egypt but also flourished and became the personal attendant (administrator) of Potiphar’s affairs and eventually the supervisor of the penal system. Joseph would never have been given such an honor if he had not demonstrated a high degree of integrity and faithfulness. Everyone could see that God was with Joseph. He that was faithful over a few things was now being made a ruler over much. See Matt. 25:21.
The Passion Translation® is a registered trademark of Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Copyright © 2020 Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc.Learn More About The Passion Translation