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Wednesday, August 28 2013

Genesis 39: Potiphar's Wife

"Thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"

Joseph was sold by his resentful brothers to slave traders on their way to Egypt (see Genesis 37: Joseph's Coat Of Many Colours). Joseph was then sold again, to Potiphar, an Egyptian military officer.

"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." (Genesis 39:1 KJV)

Joseph was blessed by the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God), for a purpose that Joseph, and his treacherous brothers, all later realized: "50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." (Genesis 50:18-20 KJV).

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

"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. 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. 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. 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. 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." (Genesis 39:2-6 KJV)

The treachery and lies of Joseph's brothers got Joseph into Egypt, but not close to the Pharaoh. Joseph's rise to political power would be accomplished beginning with the treachery and lies of the wife of his master Potiphar. Although her name is not recorded in the Holy Bible, there is a widely-held ancient Jewish and Arabian tradition that her name was Zuleikha (pronounced zoo-lay-kah), a name that is still found in women of that same region today. The meaning of the name Zuleikha is debated. Some say that it means radiant one, while others contend that it simply means Potiphar's wife in translation from Arabic.

There was likely a significant age difference between Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Joseph was a teenager (i.e. Genesis 37:2) when he was sold away to Egypt. Considering his high rank, Potiphar was almost certainly middle-aged - as was his wife.

"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.

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; 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?

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." (Genesis 39:2-10 KJV)

The day then came when righteous Joseph ("Thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?") found himself falsely accused and imprisoned. As a quirk of the English language, her "lie with me" was a lie.

"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. 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."

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

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

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. 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." (Genesis 39:13-20 KJV)

With the help of the LORD, Joseph prospered even in prison. It was from that vantage point that Joseph would soon rise to become the Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh himself.

"39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 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. 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." (Genesis 39:21-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Joseph was given to be a forerunner of his family in Egypt, just as Abraham had been a forerunner of "the righteous" who would come out of Babylon. Who is the ultimate forerunner of the family of man?
See The Forerunner Of Man and Of God


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This Day In History, August 28

475: As the Roman Empire continued to crumble, Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos fled Ravenna, his capital, while under attack by Roman general Orestes (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). The original Roman Empire "fell," but was superseded by "the Holy Roman Empire" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

489: Ostrogoth forces under King Theodoric defeated Odoacer at the Battle of Isonzo.

1189: During the Third Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), the Church of Rome "Crusaders" began the Siege of Acre (Acre is an ancient city in the western Galilee area of northern Israel).

The Siege of Acre 1349: Thousands of Jews in Mainz, Germany were murdered by people who accused them of causing the bubonic plague.

1413: St. Andrew's University in Scotland was chartered by a papal decree from Gregory XII.

1521: Ottoman Turks occupied Belgrade (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1565: Spanish admiral and explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles sighted land near what is today St. Augustine, Florida. He founded there the oldest continuously-occupied European-established city in the continental U.S. (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1609: Delaware Bay was explored by Henry Hudson, for the Netherlands.

1619: Ferdinand II was elected Emperor of the "Holy Roman Empire."

1789: William Herschel discovered Saturn's moon Enceladus (both "Saturn" and "Enceladus" are examples of pagan names that many scientists have foolishly applied to many things in God's Creation - they hypocritically deny the existence of God, while using the names of pagan gods for their "science").

1859: A geomagnetic storm caused the Aurora Borealis ("the Northern Lights") to shine so intensely that it was seen over central and southern Europe and Asia.

1883: The British Parliament banned slavery throughout the British Empire.

1914: Three German cruisers were sunk by ships of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, the first major naval battle of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1945: Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-Tung arrived in Chunking to meet with Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek in what turned out to be a fruitless attempt to avert civil war.

1957: U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond began a filibuster to stop the Senate from voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. It became the longest filibuster ever produced by a single U.S. Senator.

1963: Amidst a national protest march for integration, U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King met with President John Kennedy at the White House. Later that day, King made his famous "I have a dream" speech. Within 5 years, both Kennedy (later that same year) and King (in 1968, the same year as John Kennedy's Presidential-candidate brother Robert) were assassinated.

1988: The Ramstein airshow disaster. Three aircraft of the Frecce Tricolori team collided. The wreckage of the falling aircraft killed 75 people and injured 346.

1990: The government of Saddam Hussein declared Kuwait to be the 19th province of Iraq, in a move that foreshadowed the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

1996: A British court finalized the divorce of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer.

2005: Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana and Mississippi, devastating New Orleans.

2011: Hurricane Irene struck the U.S. east coast, killing 47 people and causing over $15 billion in damage.


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Copyright © Wayne Blank