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Chapter 39

Joseph’s Temptation. When Joseph was taken down to Egypt, an Egyptian, Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and his chief steward, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. (A)The Lord was with Joseph and he enjoyed great success and was assigned to the household of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and brought him success in whatever he did, he favored Joseph and made him his personal attendant; he put him in charge of his household and entrusted to him all his possessions.(B) From the moment that he put him in charge of his household and all his possessions, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the Lord’s blessing was on everything he owned, both inside the house and out. Having left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge, he gave no thought, with Joseph there, to anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome. After a time, his master’s wife looked at him with longing and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, as long as I am here, my master does not give a thought to anything in the house, but has entrusted to me all he owns. He has no more authority in this house than I do. He has withheld from me nothing but you, since you are his wife. How, then, could I do this great wrong and sin against God?” 10 Although she spoke to him day after day, he would not agree to lie with her, or even be near her.(C)

11 One such day, when Joseph came into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were then in the house, 12 she laid hold of him by his cloak, saying, “Lie with me!” But leaving the cloak in her hand, he escaped and ran outside. 13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand as he escaped outside, 14 she cried out to her household servants and told them, “Look! My husband has brought us a Hebrew man to mock us! He came in here to lie with me, but I cried out loudly. 15 When he heard me scream, he left his cloak beside me and escaped and ran outside.”

16 She kept the cloak with her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him the same story: “The Hebrew slave whom you brought us came to me to amuse himself at my expense. 18 But when I screamed, he left his cloak beside me and escaped outside.” 19 When the master heard his wife’s story in which she reported, “Thus and so your servant did to me,” he became enraged. 20 Joseph’s master seized him and put him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were confined.(D) And there he sat, in jail.

21 But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him kindness by making the chief jailer well-disposed toward him.(E) 22 The chief jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners in the jail. Everything that had to be done there, he was the one to do it. 23 The chief jailer did not have to look after anything that was in Joseph’s charge, since the Lord was with him and was bringing success to whatever he was doing.