Add parallel Print Page Options

39 When Joseph arrived in Egypt as a captive of the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased from them by Potiphar, a member of the personal staff of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Now this man Potiphar was the captain of the king’s bodyguard and his chief executioner. The Lord greatly blessed Joseph there in the home of his master, so that everything he did succeeded. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph in a very special way. So Joseph naturally became quite a favorite with him. Soon he was put in charge of the administration of Potiphar’s household, and all of his business affairs. At once the Lord began blessing Potiphar for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs began to run smoothly, his crops flourished and his flocks multiplied. So Potiphar gave Joseph the complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. He hadn’t a worry in the world with Joseph there, except to decide what he wanted to eat! Joseph, by the way, was a very handsome young man.

One day at about this time Potiphar’s wife began making eyes at Joseph, and suggested that he come and sleep with her.

Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in the entire household; he himself has no more authority here than I have! He has held back nothing from me except you yourself because you are his wife. How can I do such a wicked thing as this? It would be a great sin against God.”

10 But she kept on with her suggestions day after day, even though he refused to listen, and kept out of her way as much as possible. 11 Then one day as he was in the house going about his work—as it happened, no one else was around at the time— 12 she came and grabbed him by the sleeve[a] demanding, “Sleep with me.” He tore himself away, but as he did, his jacket slipped off and she was left holding it as he fled from the house. 13 When she saw that she had his jacket, and that he had fled, 14-15 she began screaming; and when the other men around the place came running in to see what had happened, she was crying hysterically. “My husband had to bring in this Hebrew slave to insult us!” she sobbed. “He tried to rape me, but when I screamed, he ran, and forgot to take his jacket.”

16 She kept the jacket, and when her husband came home that night, 17 she told him her story.

“That Hebrew slave you’ve had around here tried to rape me, 18 and I was only saved by my screams. He fled, leaving his jacket behind!”

19 Well, when her husband heard his wife’s story, he was furious. 20 He threw Joseph into prison, where the king’s prisoners were kept in chains. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph there, too, and was kind to him by granting him favor with the chief jailer. 22 In fact, the jailer soon handed over the entire prison administration to Joseph, so that all the other prisoners were responsible to him. 23 The chief jailer had no more worries after that, for Joseph took care of everything, and the Lord was with him so that everything ran smoothly and well.


  1. Genesis 39:12 sleeve. The Hebrew word is not specific.

Bible Gateway Recommends