Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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.


Now the story switches to Joseph in Egypt where he is prospering and living in the house of Potiphar, his master.  Verse 3 is interesting because it says that Potiphar saw that “the LORD was with him” and gave him success in all that he did.  I wonder how Potiphar identified “the LORD”?  He put Joseph in charge of everything he owned, and the LORD blessed Potiphar’s household because of Joseph.  The only concern Potiphar had was what to eat each day.  


Interesting historical quote from Clarke: “The beauty of Joseph is celebrated over all the East, and the Persian poets vie with each other in descriptions of his comeliness. Mohammed spends the twelfth chapter of the Koran entirely on Joseph, and represents him as a perfect beauty, and the most accomplished of mortals.”


Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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; 

Gen. 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 against God? 

Gen. 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 her. 


Verse 6 describes Joseph as a “goodly” person; the Hebrew for this word means beautiful and handsome.  He was a hunk!  This did not escape the notice of Potiphar’s wife.  She began to make overtures to him to go to bed with her, and he refused.  He explained that Potiphar had entrusted everything he owned to Joseph, but he never intended to share his wife with him.  He recognized that to give in to her would be wicked and would be a sin against God.  She refused to take “no” for an answer, and pursued him day after day; but he avoided her.


Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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 out. 

Gen. 39:13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 

Gen. 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 voice: 

Gen. 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. 


One day, however, he entered the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were there.  She grabbed him by his clothes and asked him again to go to bed with her.  He quickly ran from the house, leaving the garment in her hand.  Now she is a woman scorned and determined to make him pay.  She called the household servants and told them that the Hebrew had tried to take advantage of her; but when she screamed, he ran away, leaving his garment with her.  


Joseph was a young man that lived by a principle from God’s word that Paul taught.


1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee fornication.”


1 Timothy 6:9–11 “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition….But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”


2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”


Smith: “It’s a lot harder to run from temptation than to yield to temptation. It takes a lot more courage to run from temptation than to fall into temptation.”


Gen. 39:16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. 

Gen. 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: 

Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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. 


When Potiphar came home, his wife told him the same story.  She ended the tale by casting blame on him and saying that this was how your servant treated me.  Potiphar was angry.  He put Joseph in prison where the king’s prisoners were kept.  It’s interesting that Potiphar never considered questioning his wife’s story or giving Joseph a chance to defend himself.  It was a matter of honor for him to avenge her alleged violation in the eyes of the rest of his household, but the fact that he did not have Joseph put to death indicates that he might not have believed his wife’s accusation.


MacDonald: “And so for a second time Joseph found himself in chains.  Under the circumstances he should have been upset.  But he was not ‘under the circumstances’; he was above them and saw God’s hand in them.  His time in prison was ‘training time for reigning time.’ So things that were meant by others for evil turned out to be for good."


Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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. 

Gen. 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.


“The LORD was with Joseph.”  What a beautiful truth for His children to cling to.  No matter what the circumstances or how bleak they may seem, we can always know that God is with us, protecting us, perfecting us for His service.  


Joseph soon found favor in the eyes of the prison warden. He was put in charge of all the prisoners and the running of the prison.  The warden had no care whatsoever with Joseph in charge since the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in all that he did.


Smith: “The Lord was with Joseph but it is interesting that the Lord being with him did not spare him the hatred of his brothers, the jealousy. Did not spare him being sold by his brothers. It did not spare him from slavery. It did not spare him from false accusations. It did not spare him from temptation. It did not spare him from false imprisonment. Being a Christian is not any kind of a divine immunity from problems. ‘In this world, Jesus said, ye shall have tribulation’ ( John 16:33 )….the Lord being with us gives us a way out of temptation, a way out of our trials, or victory in the midst of our trials.”