Genesis 39 - Outline of Genesis (Book Notes menu page)
39:1 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.
39:2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man;
and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
{cp. Gen 28:15; Isa 41:10; 43:2}
39:3 And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him,
and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
{cp. Mat 5:16; Php 2:15,16}
39:4 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.
39:5 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.
39:6 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.
Joseph's experience, in Egypt, illustrates that God uses even difficult circumstances
to accomplish His purposes in the lives of His children. cp. Rom 8:28; Heb 12:6
Although God knew His plans for Joseph, and had given him hints concerning the final outcome (37:6-11), Joseph could not see the intervening steps. He had to trust God through the trials and reversals of life.
Joseph, as a servant, was faithful, prosperous and trusted. cp. Mat 25:21; 1Cor 4:2; 7:20-24; Titus 2:9,10
And Joseph was [a] goodly [person], and well favoured.
39:7 And it came to pass after these things,
that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph;
and she said, Lie with me.
39:8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife,
Behold, my master wotteth
{ie., knoweth} not what [is] with me in the house,
and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
39:9 [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?
39:10 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.
{cp. Prov 6:25,26}
Joseph's rebuttal to temptation:
  1. my master trusts me.- He recognized his responsibility to his employer.
  2. you are someone's wife.- He viewed marriage as a sacred contract, not to be defiled. cp. Heb 13:4
  3. I am accountable to God.- To yield to temptation is to "sin against God."
    He knew that such impropriety would dishonor the name of his God. cp. Psa 51:4
    Joseph, as a seventeen year old boy (Gen 37:2), far from family oversight, and in an ungodly environment, was determined to serve God. Joseph's determination to maintain sexual purity is in sharp contrast to his brother Judah (ch.38).
39:11 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.
39:12 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.
{cp. Prov 7:13-27; Ecc 7:26; 1Cor 6:18; 2Tim 2:22}
39:13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
39:14 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:
39:15 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.
39:16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
39:17 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:
39:18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried,
that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
39:19 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.
39:20 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.
see, he {ie., Potiphar} hath brought in an Hebrew to mock us... (v.14,17)-
Potiphar's wife, whose lustful advances Joseph had refused, not only falsely accused Joseph with a vengeance that exceeded her purported affections, but also blamed Potiphar for the supposed affront to her dignity. Her attitude toward her husband indicates a marriage devoid of love.
     The enemy's lies cannot hide the truth from God. cp. Psa 35:11,12; Prov 10:18; Isa 51:7,8
Both Joseph and Jesus were...
  1. faithful as servants. v.2-4; Php 2:6,7; Mat 12:17-21; 20:28; Joh 13:13-16
  2. tempted, but did not yield to sin. v.9,12; Heb 4:15
  3. falsely accused. v.14-18; Mat 26:59; Luk 23:2; see also 1Pet 3:14-18
  4. wrongfully punished. v.20; Isa 53:8; Mat 27:22-26
  5. favorably acknowledged by jailors. v.22; Mat 27:54
39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy,
and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
39:22 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].
39:23 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.
the LORD made it to prosper.-
cp. Prov 16:7; Psa 37:1-18; 1Pet 4:14-16; Rom 8:31-39
While Joseph knew the LORD was with him,
and that He was enabling his prison service to be successful and appreciated, he must have wondered why his life appeared to be going nowhere, while others prospered (cp. Jer 12:1, where 'prosper' is the same HB word).
The faithful servant trusts and waits for his Lord's word and action. cp. Psa 27:12-14; 40:1

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