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Genesis 39-40 Common English Bible (CEB)

Joseph’s rise and betrayal

39 When Joseph had been taken down to Egypt, Potiphar, Pharaoh’s chief officer, the commander of the royal guard and an Egyptian, purchased him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man and served in his Egyptian master’s household. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he did successful. Potiphar thought highly of Joseph, and Joseph became his assistant; he appointed Joseph head of his household and put everything he had under Joseph’s supervision. From the time he appointed Joseph head of his household and of everything he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s household because of Joseph. The Lord blessed everything he had, both in the household and in the field. So he handed over everything he had to Joseph and didn’t pay attention to anything except the food he ate.

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome.

Some time later, his master’s wife became attracted to Joseph and said, “Sleep with me.”

He refused and said to his master’s wife, “With me here, my master doesn’t pay attention to anything in his household; he’s put everything he has under my supervision. No one is greater than I am in this household, and he hasn’t denied me anything except you, since you are his wife. How could I do this terrible thing and sin against God?” 10 Every single day she tried to convince him, but he wouldn’t agree to sleep with her or even to be with her.

11 One day when Joseph arrived at the house to do his work, none of the household’s men were there. 12 She grabbed his garment, saying, “Lie down with me.” But he left his garment in her hands and ran outside. 13 When she realized that he had left his garment in her hands and run outside, 14 she summoned the men of her house and said to them, “Look, my husband brought us a Hebrew to ridicule us. He came to me to lie down with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me raise my voice and scream, he left his garment with me and ran outside.” 16 She kept his garment with her until Joseph’s master came home, 17 and she told him the same thing: “The Hebrew slave whom you brought to us, to ridicule me, came to me; 18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment with me and ran outside.”

19 When Joseph’s master heard the thing that his wife told him, “This is what your servant did to me,” he was incensed. 20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him in jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were held. While he was in jail, 21 the Lord was with Joseph and remained loyal to him. He caused the jail’s commander to think highly of Joseph. 22 The jail’s commander put all of the prisoners in the jail under Joseph’s supervision, and he was the one who determined everything that happened there. 23 The jail’s commander paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s supervision, because the Lord was with him and made everything he did successful.

Joseph interprets dreams in prison

40 Some time later, both the wine steward and the baker for Egypt’s king offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief wine steward and the chief baker, and he put them under arrest with the commander of the royal guard in the same jail where Joseph was imprisoned. The commander of the royal guard assigned Joseph to assist them. After they had been under arrest for some time, both of them—the wine steward and the baker for Egypt’s king who were imprisoned in the jail—had dreams one night, and each man’s dream had its own meaning. When Joseph met them in the morning, he saw that they were upset. He asked the officers of Pharaoh who were under arrest with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so distressed today?”

They answered, “We’ve both had dreams, but there’s no one to interpret them.”

Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Describe your dreams to me.”

The chief wine steward described his dream to Joseph: “In my dream there was a vine right in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. When it budded, its blossoms appeared, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, crushed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

12 Joseph said to him, “This is the dream’s interpretation: The three branches are three days. 13 After three days, Pharaoh will give you an audience and return you to your position. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just the way things were before when you were his wine steward. 14 But please, remember me when you are doing well and be loyal to me. Put in a good word for me to Pharaoh, so he sets me free from this prison. 15 I was stolen from the land of the Hebrews, and here too I’ve done nothing to be thrown into this dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “It was the same for me. In my dream, there were three baskets of white bread[a] on my head. 17 In the basket on top there were baked goods for Pharaoh’s food, but birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18 Joseph responded, “This is the dream’s interpretation: The three baskets are three days. 19 After three days, Pharaoh will give you an audience and will hang you from a tree where birds will peck your flesh from you.”

20 The third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a party for all of his servants. Before all of his servants, he gave an audience to the chief wine steward and the chief baker. 21 He returned the chief wine steward to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But the chief baker he hanged, just as Joseph had said would happen when he interpreted their dreams for them. 23 But the chief wine steward didn’t remember Joseph; he forgot all about him.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 40:16 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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