Genesis 39-The Test

The Test

Background and Printed Text: Genesis 39:1-20

 

Genesis 39:1 And He-Will-Gather [Joseph] was descended Egyptward. And Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh, prince of the executioners, an Egyptian man, bought him from the hands of the Mighty-[One]-Shall-Hearken [Ishmaelites] who descended him there.

 

2And Yehovah was with He-Will-Gather [Joseph]. And he was a man prospering. And he was in the house of his lords the Egyptian. 3And his lords saw that Yehovah is with him. And all that he did Yehovah prospers in his hand. 4And He-Will-Gather [Joseph] found favour in his eyes. And he ministered-to him.

 

And he ‘visited’ him over his house. And he gave all that there is to him into his hand. 5And he was from then. He made-a-visitation of him in his house and over all that there is to him. And Yehovah blessed the Egyptian’s house for-the-sake-of He-Will-Gather [Joseph]. And the blessing of Yehovah was via all that there is to him in the house and in the field. 6And he forsook all that is to him in He-Will-Gather’s [Joseph’s] hand. And he didn’t know anything with him except the bread that he eats.

 

And He-Will-Gather [Joseph] was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance. 7And he was after these things. And the woman of his lords lifted her eyes unto He-Will-Gather [Joseph]. And she said, “Lie with me!” 8And he refused. And he said unto the woman of his lords, “Behold, my lords didn’t know what is with me in the house. And he gave all that is to him into my hand. 9None is greater in this house than I. And he didn’t restrain anything from me except thee in that thou art his woman. And how shall I do this big bad? And I shall sin to Elohim?”

 

10And he was as her speaking unto He-Will-Gather [Joseph] day, day. And he did not hearken unto her to lie beside her to be with her.

 

11And he was as this day. And he went to the house to do his errand. And there is not from the men of the house there in the house. 12And she caught him via his garment to say, “Lie with me!” And he forsook his garment in her hand. And he fled. And he exited outsideward.

 

13And he was as her seeing that he forsook his garment in her hand and he fled outsideward. 14And she called to the men of her house. And she said to them saying, “See-ye! He brought to us a Hebrew man to laugh via us! He came unto me to lie with me! And I called with a big voice! 15And he was as his hearing that I elevated my voice. And I called. And he forsook his garment beside me. And he fled! And he exited outsideward!”

 

16And she rested his garment beside her until his lords came unto his house. 17And she spoke unto him according to these speeches to say, “The Hebrew slave whom thou brought to us came unto me to laugh via me. 18And he was as my elevating my voice. And I called. And he forsook his garment beside me. And he fled outsideward!” 19And he was as his lords heard the speeches of his woman that she spoke unto him to say, “Thy slave did to me according to these speeches!” And his nose heated. 20And He-Will-Gather’s [Joseph’s] lords took him. And he gave him unto the house of the prison, a place that bound ones of the king are bound. And he was there in the house of the prison.

 

 

I. Joseph’s New Master (verse 1)

 

Joseph is now a slave of a very high ranking man. Potiphar is the chief of the Pharaoh’s executioners. Joseph is seventeen years old.

 

Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh, bought Joseph from the hands of the Ishmaelites who brought Joseph down to Egypt.

 

Questions

 

1. What is a eunuch?

 

2. What is a prince of the executioners?

 

3. Who were the Ishmaelites?

 

4. What does “who descended him there” mean?

 

 

II. Prosperity (verses 2-6)

 

Yehovah was with Joseph, and he became a man, prospering in what he did. He lived in the house of his lords Potiphar, the Egyptian.

 

Potiphar saw that Yehovah is with Joseph. Yehovah caused everything that Joseph did to prosper in Joseph’s hand. He found favour in the eyes of Potiphar. Joseph ministered to him.

 

Potiphar ‘visited’ Joseph (put him in charge) over all his house. He gave everything that he had into Joseph’s hand. From that time on, Potiphar made a visitation of him (put him in charge) in his house and over all that there is to him. Yehovah blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake.

 

The blessing of Yehovah was by means of everything that Potiphar had in the house and in the field. Potiphar forsook all that he had into Joseph’s hand. He didn’t even know anything that Joseph had except the food that Potiphar eats!

 

Questions

 

1. What does “Yehovah was with” mean and imply?

 

2. Isn’t Yehovah with everyone?

 

3. Why was Joseph “a man prospering”?

 

4. What does “he was in the house of his lords the Egyptian” mean?

 

5. The text states, “And his lords saw that Yehovah is with him.” Does this mean that Potiphar believed in Yehovah?

 

6. What did Potiphar notice about what Yehovah did for Joseph?

 

7. What does “in his hand” mean in verse 3?

 

8. What does “Joseph found favour in his eyes” mean?

 

9. Who is he and who is him in, “he ministered-to him”?

 

10. What does minister mean?

 

11. What does “he ‘visited’ him over his house” mean?

 

12. Why did Potiphar give all that “there is to him” (that he owned) into Joseph’s hand?

 

13. Do you like to be given responsibilities?

 

14. The text states in verse 5, “And he was from then.” Who is he, and when was then?

 

15. What does “He made-a-visitation of him in his house and over all that there is to him” mean?

 

16. For whose sake did Yehovah bless Potiphar’s house?

 

17. Why would Yehovah bless a man (and his house) who had purchased a kidnapped person, and had made him a slave?

 

18. What does bless mean in the Bible?

 

19. How can a house be blessed?

 

20. In what forms did this blessing of Yehovah come to Potiphar the Egyptian?

 

21. Why did Potiphar forsake all he had in Joseph’s hand?

 

22. Why didn’t Potiphar keep records of all that was in Joseph’s hand (“he didn’t know anything with him except the bread that he eats”)?

 

23. Did Potiphar only eat bread?

 

 

III. Joseph’s Strong Points (verses 6-9)

 

Joseph was beautifully shaped and beautiful appearing.

 

After these things, Potiphar’s woman (wife) lifted her eyes unto Joseph. She said, “Lie with me!” Joseph refused. He replied, “Behold, my lords didn’t know what is with me in the house. And he gave all that is to him into my hand. None is greater in this house than I. And he didn’t restrain anything from me except thee in that thou art his woman. And how shall I do this big bad? And I shall sin to Elohim?”

 

Questions

 

1. Why does the Bible note how Joseph looked?

 

2. Does Yehovah favour those who are handsome and beautiful more than those who are not very handsome or beautiful?

 

3. Why did Yehovah make Joseph beautiful if this would cause Joseph much trouble?

 

4. What does “and he was after these things” mean?

 

5. Why does Biblical Hebrew use the expression lords (plural) for one person or being in many cases instead of the singular, lord?

 

6. Why did Potiphar’s woman (wife) lift her eyes unto Joseph?

 

7. What did she mean by, “Lie with me”?

 

8. Why did Joseph refuse? Wouldn’t he have benefited from doing what she said?

 

9. Why did Joseph answer Potiphar’s wife at all when she was trying to get Joseph to do what Joseph knew was wrong?

 

10. Why did Joseph tell her that his lords didn’t know what is with Joseph in the house? Wouldn’t this make her jealous of his position being above hers?

 

11. What does “he gave all that is to him into my hand” mean?

 

12. Isn’t the statement, “none is greater in this house than I,” an arrogant statement?

 

13. Does the statement, “he didn’t restrain anything from me except thee,” indicate that Joseph could have taken another slavewoman of Potiphar for his girlfriend or wife?

 

14. What did Joseph mean by, “how shall I do this big bad?

 

15. What did he mean by, “And I shall sin to Elohim?”

 

 

IV. Insistence and Persistence (verse 10)

 

Potiphar’s wife spoke daily to him with the same words. He didn’t hearken unto her to lie beside her, to be with her.

 

Questions

 

1. How often did Potiphar’s woman try to get Joseph to sin?

 

2. Why didn’t Joseph hearken unto her?

 

3. What did she want him to do, according to verse 10?

 

 

V. The Trap (verses 11-12)

 

It was a normal day. He went to the house to do his errand. No one of the men of the house was in the house. She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” He forsook his garment into her hand, and he fled. He exited to the outside.

 

Questions

 

1. Who is he in, “and he was as this day”?

 

2. Was his going to the house to do his errand wise?

 

3. Why didn’t Joseph just tell Potiphar what his woman was trying to do?

 

4. When Joseph arrived, none of the men of the house were there in the house. Why is this important, and who were these men?

 

5. Was Potiphar’s woman in the house?

 

6. Why hadn’t she caught him by his garment before this time?

 

7. Why did Joseph leave his garment instead of jerking it away out of her hand?

 

8. Did Joseph have another garment on underneath his garment that she kept?

 

9. Why did Joseph go outside?

 

10. Did Joseph run away?

 

 

VI. Fury (verses 13-15)

 

She saw that he forsook his garment in her hand, and that he fled outside. She then called to the men of her house.

 

She said to them, “See-ye! He brought to us a Hebrew man to laugh via us! He came unto me to lie with me! And I called with a big voice! And he was as his hearing that I elevated my voice. And I called. And he forsook his garment beside me. And he fled! And exited outsideward!”

 

Questions

 

1. Didn’t Joseph make himself look guilty by leaving his garment in her hand?

 

2. Why did she call to the men of the house?

 

3. What did she mean by, “See-ye! He brought to us a Hebrew man to laugh via us”?

 

4. Why did she call Joseph a Hebrew man?

 

5. She said, “He came unto me to lie with me.” Was that true?

 

6. Wasn’t she afraid that her husband might not believe her?

 

7. Did she call with a big voice?

 

8. What did she mean by, “he was as his hearing that I elevated my voice”?

 

9. Why did Joseph flee, according to her?

 

10. What does the made-up word “outsideward” mean?

 

 

VII. Potiphar’s Reaction (verses 16-20)

 

She rested his garment beside her until Potiphar returned home. She spoke to him in this manner: “The Hebrew slave whom thou brought to us came unto me to laugh via me. And he was as my elevating my voice. And I called. And he forsook his garment beside me. And he fled outsideward!”

 

When Potiphar heard these speeches of his woman saying, “Thy slave did to me according to these speeches,” his nose heated!

 

Potiphar took Joseph and gave him unto the prison house where the king’s prisoners were bound. Joseph was now in the prison house.

 

Questions

 

1. Why did she rest Joseph’s garment beside her? What was she doing?

 

2. Did she like Joseph, or did she hate him?

 

3. How long did she have to wait for her husband’s return?

 

4. Why didn’t Joseph try to get his garment back again?

 

5. What did Joseph do during the time of waiting for the return of his master?

 

6. What was she saying and implying when she stated, “The Hebrew slave whom thou brought to us came unto me to laugh via me”?

 

7. According to her story, why would Joseph have left his garment with her?

 

8. Did she say these things one time to her husband?

 

9. What does “his nose heated” mean?

 

10. At whom did Potiphar become very angry?

 

11. Verse 20 states, “Joseph’s lords took him.” What does this tell the reader?

 

12. The text states, “he gave him unto the house of the prison.” What does this tell the reader?

 

13. Who was over the house of the prison?

 

14. Who are bound ones of the king?

 

15. Why would these folks be bound (arrested and imprisoned)?

 

16. Why did Potiphar place a mere slave into a prison designed for royal prisoners, prisoners from the highest ranks of society?

 

17. Did Potiphar’s wife get away with her lies?

 

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