Today's scripture: Genesis 39:11-23 (NLT*)
One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house. When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.”She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home. Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said. “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!” Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained. But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT...
- Do you think Potiphar's wife was in love with Joseph?
- When Joseph initially refused to sleep with her, why did she continue to pursue him so intently?
- Potiphar has trusted Joseph with running his household, and he now hears that Joseph attempted to harm his wife. If you were in Potiphar's position, how do you imagine you would react?
- Joseph has again been betrayed, even though this time he tried to do the moral and correct thing. How do you think he felt when he entered his prison cell?
- Joseph's administrative skills are again put to use, this time by the warden. How do you account for this growing ability and strength in Joseph?
"...prisons were known for inflicting severe hardship, especially when prisoners were chained in place or to guards. Jailers were known as men of abject cruelty. Overcrowding, darkness, psychological distress, and malnutrition characterized the incarceration experience. Most prisoners required friends or relatives to supply their food and necessities. In addition to physical and emotional distress, prison settings also brought social shame upon their inhabitants and their associates. Nevertheless, some prisoners' conditions permitted modest freedoms, including reading, writing, and preparing defenses."
The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 4 (Abingdon Press: Nashville, 2009, 615.)
* Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.