A Daily Genesis

Genesis 39:8-23

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 39:8-18 . . But Joseph refused. Look; he told her; my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do! He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I ever do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.

. . . She kept putting pressure on him day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he avoided her as much as possible. One day, however, no one else was around when he was doing his work inside the house. She came and grabbed him by his shirt, demanding: Sleep with me! Joseph tore himself away, but as he did, his shirt came off. She was left holding it as he ran from the house.

. . .When she saw that she had his shirt and that he had fled, she began screaming. Soon all the men around the place came running. My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to humiliate us; she sobbed. He tried to rape me, but I screamed. When he heard my loud cries, he ran and left his shirt behind with me.

. . . She kept the shirt with her, and when her husband came home that night, she told him her story. That Hebrew slave you've had around here tried to humiliate me; she said. I was saved only by my screams. He ran out, leaving his shirt behind![/B]

Joseph's situation parallels a case in Harper Lee's book To Kill A Mockingbird where a promiscuous woman accuses an innocent man of rape in order to cover up her own indiscretions.

Scorned women can be very cruel. When I was a youthful, good-looking guy, the wife (whom I was careful to avoid) of a good friend accused me to her husband of going off on her with abusive language in a tirade. To defend myself and expose his wife for the liar that she was, would have meant causing my friend deep humiliation; so I elected to keep silent and take the pain. Our friendship was of course ruined, and we parted. A few months later, I was told they divorced. Like that was any big surprise.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 39:19-20a . .When his master heard the story that his wife told him, namely; "Thus and so your slave did to me" he was furious. So Joseph's master had him put in prison, where the king's prisoners were confined.[/B]

I've no doubt Potiphar didn't believe a word of his wife's story or otherwise he would have put Joseph to death rather than in a cushy jail where political prisoners were kept, but what was he to do? Stick up for a slave over his wife? Not happening. So Joseph was sacrificed to keep peace in the home.
†.[/COLOR] Gen 39:20-23 . . But while Joseph was there in the prison, Yhvh was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because Yhvh was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.[/B]

A trustee's lot in prison is much more agreeable than regular inmates. Joseph was very fortunate to have the Lord in his corner otherwise he might have been neglected; but as a trustee, he could roam about the cell block like as if he were one of the guards.

It would appear to the uninformed that Joseph had a natural aptitude for management; but actually he didn't; no, he was supernaturally-gifted. That is quite an advantage-- a resentful rival might even say: an unfair advantage.

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