We will begin this lesson in Genesis chapter 39. I believe this
chapter was given to make us realize that when we sow bad seed, our
harvest will be bad, as well. It is just an example of how we cannot
run from our sins?
Genesis 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.”
Now, we see an officer of Pharoah’s buying Joseph as a slave boy,
and bringing him as a servant into his home. Egypt, as we mentioned
before, is a type of the world?
Genesis 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.”
God blessed Joseph, even while he was a servant in Potifer’s
house. We see what ever circumstances we find God’s people in, He will
Genesis 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.”
The blessings God showers on His people, do not go unnoticed by
the world. Even this man of Egypt knew where the blessings came from.
Genesis 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.”
Genesis 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.”
Genesis 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. And Joseph
was [a] goodly [person], and well favoured.”
It seems, that Joseph’s blessings from God had won him favor with
Potiphar. In fact, Potiphar had so much confidence in Joseph, that he
turned everything over to Joseph, Joseph’s success had been so great
that Potiphar didn’t even keep account of what he had. He let Joseph
do that. He had learned to trust Joseph in everything. Joseph had
shown him he was a man of character. His goodness showed in everything
Genesis 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.”
You see, Joseph was young and handsome. He was in the house
regularly where this worldly woman lived. The master was not there,
because Joseph had taken so much of the responsibility off Potiphar it
was not necessary for him to work at home. The Bible does not say, but
we might assume that Potiphar was older and more occupied away from
home. His wife is pampered and bored. That usually causes problems.
Idleness brings sin. She could see in Joseph the things she wished for
in her husband. She tried to seduce Joseph to sleep with her, Which
is adultery (a terrible sin in the sight of God).
Genesis 39:8 “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;”
Genesis 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
Joseph did what we must do when we are tempted to sin. Just simply
say no! He told this wicked woman that Potiphar had been good to him.
A man would not, and should not, share his wife. This was the only thing
that he had withheld from Joseph, and rightly so. I love this last
part. Joseph told her, that even if it was alright with Potiphar, it
would not be alright with God. Joseph knew this was wickedness in
God’s sight. He would not sin against God.
Genesis 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
This temptation, it seems, was every day. She was persistent.
Joseph had to tell her no every day.
Genesis 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.”
Genesis 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
First of all, it would be dangerous to be in this house alone
with her. There is nothing more vindictive than a woman scorned. He
should never have gone in that house without someone else there. Now,
she had his garment. How could he prove he had not slept with her?
Genesis 39:13 “And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left
his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,”
Genesis 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
Genesis 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.”
She had set Joseph up by lying to the other men servants. She had
to tell that she cried out for help, or she would be stoned to death.
There is no one more anxious to get revenge, than a woman scorned. She
was out to get even with Joseph for turning her away. She, now, was going
to try to get Joseph in more trouble with her husband. When a woman
wants to get even with a man, and cries rape, he has no way to prove
it is not so.
Genesis 39:16 “And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord
Genesis 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:”
Genesis 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.”
Genesis 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.”
One thing a man will not stand for is anyone making advances to
his wife. Potiphar had no way of knowing that she was lying, so he
became furious with Joseph.
Genesis 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.”
Potiphar was in charge of this prison. Joseph had no way to
defend himself. Potiphar, in his anger, jailed Joseph. Why he did not
kill him was not explained. God protected Joseph, even in this. Joseph
Genesis 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.”
Wherever God’s people are, even in prison, God takes care of
Genesis 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].”
Genesis 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.”
It did not take the jailor long to realize the character of
Joseph. He, like Potiphar, turned everything over to Joseph. The work
done by these prisoners had even begun to prosper, because the Lord
(Jehovah) was with Joseph and prospered whatever he put his hand to,
even here in prison.
We will be in chapter 40 of Genesis in the next lesson.