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Joseph in Prison

written by Moses* in Genesis 39:1-40:23
written by Moses* in Genesis 39:1-40:23
written by Moses* in Genesis 39:1-40:23
written by Moses* in Genesis 39:1-40:23

Genesis 39-40

39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master's wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” 10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.

11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. 13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”

19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.

40:1 Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody.

And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”

So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15 For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, 17 and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.” 18 And Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. 19 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you.”

20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand. 22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

1 The Ishmaelites took Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, the king's official in charge of the palace guard. 2-3 So Joseph lived in the home of Potiphar, his Egyptian owner.

Soon Potiphar realized that the Lord was helping Joseph to be successful in whatever he did. 4 Potiphar liked Joseph and made him his personal assistant, putting him in charge of his house and all of his property. 5 Because of Joseph, the Lord began to bless Potiphar's family and fields. 6 Potiphar left everything up to Joseph, and with Joseph there, the only decision he had to make was what he wanted to eat.

Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and Potiphar's wife soon noticed him. She asked him to make love to her, 8 but he refused and said, “My master isn't worried about anything in his house, because he has placed me in charge of everything he owns. 9 No one in my master's house is more important than I am. The only thing he hasn't given me is you, and that's because you are his wife. I won't sin against God by doing such a terrible thing as this.” 10 She kept begging Joseph day after day, but he refused to do what she wanted or even to go near her.

11 One day, Joseph went to Potiphar's house to do his work, and none of the other servants were there. 12 Potiphar's wife grabbed hold of his coat and said, “Make love to me!” Joseph ran out of the house, leaving his coat there in her hands.

13 When this happened, 14 she called in her servants and said, “Look! This Hebrew has come just to make fools of us. He tried to rape me, but I screamed for help. 15 And when he heard me scream, he ran out of the house, leaving his coat with me.”

16 Potiphar's wife kept Joseph's coat until her husband came home. 17 Then she said, “That Hebrew slave of yours tried to rape me! 18 But when I screamed for help, he left his coat and ran out of the house.”

19 Potiphar became very angry 20 and threw Joseph in the same prison where the king's prisoners were kept.

While Joseph was in prison, 21 the Lord helped him and was good to him. He even made the jailer like Joseph so much that 22 he put him in charge of the other prisoners and of everything that was done in the jail. 23 The jailer did not worry about anything, because the Lord was with Joseph and made him successful in all that he did.

Joseph Tells the Meaning of the Prisoners' Dreams

1-3 While Joseph was in prison, both the king's personal servant and his chief cook made the king angry. So he had them thrown into the same prison with Joseph. 4 They spent a long time in prison, and the official in charge of the palace guard, made Joseph their servant.

5 One night each of the two men had a dream, but their dreams had different meanings. 6 The next morning, when Joseph went to see the men, he could tell they were upset, 7 and he asked, “Why are you so worried today?”

8 “We each had a dream last night,” they answered, “and there is no one to tell us what they mean.”

Joseph replied, “Doesn't God know the meaning of dreams? Now tell me what you dreamed.”

9 The king's personal servant told Joseph, “In my dream I saw a vine 10 with three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its grapes became ripe. 11 I held the king's cup and squeezed the grapes into it, then I gave the cup to the king.”

12 Joseph said:

This is the meaning of your dream. The three branches stand for three days, 13 and in three days the king will pardon you. He will make you his personal servant again, and you will serve him his wine, just as you used to do. 14 But when these good things happen, please don't forget to tell the king about me, so I can get out of this place. 15 I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and here in Egypt I haven't done anything to deserve being thrown in jail.

16 When the chief cook saw that Joseph had given a good meaning to the dream, he told Joseph, “I also had a dream. In it I was carrying three breadbaskets stacked on top of my head. 17 The top basket was full of all kinds of baked things for the king, but birds were eating them.”

18 Joseph said:

This is the meaning of your dream. The three baskets are three days, 19 and in three days the king will cut off your head. He will hang your body on a pole, and birds will come and peck at it.

20 Three days later, while the king was celebrating his birthday with a dinner for his officials, he sent for his personal servant and the chief cook. 21 He put the personal servant back in his old job 22 and had the cook put to death.

Everything happened just as Joseph had said it would, 23 but the king's personal servant completely forgot about Joseph.

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

1 Now the Ishmaelites had taken Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, one of the king's officers, who was the captain of the palace guard. 2 The Lord was with Joseph and made him successful. He lived in the house of his Egyptian master, 3 who saw that the Lord was with Joseph and had made him successful in everything he did. 4 Potiphar was pleased with him and made him his personal servant; so he put him in charge of his house and everything he owned. 5 From then on, because of Joseph the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian and everything that he had in his house and in his fields. 6 Potiphar turned over everything he had to the care of Joseph and did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

Joseph was well-built and good-looking, 7 and after a while his master's wife began to desire Joseph and asked him to go to bed with her. 8 He refused and said to her, “Look, my master does not have to concern himself with anything in the house, because I am here. He has put me in charge of everything he has. 9 I have as much authority in this house as he has, and he has not kept back anything from me except you. How then could I do such an immoral thing and sin against God?” 10 Although she asked Joseph day after day, he would not go to bed with her.

11 But one day when Joseph went into the house to do his work, none of the house servants was there. 12 She caught him by his robe and said, “Come to bed with me.” But he escaped and ran outside, leaving his robe in her hand. 13 When she saw that he had left his robe and had run out of the house, 14 she called to her house servants and said, “Look at this! This Hebrew that my husband brought to the house is insulting us. He came into my room and tried to rape me, but I screamed as loud as I could. 15 When he heard me scream, he ran outside, leaving his robe beside me.”

16 She kept his robe with her until Joseph's master came home. 17 Then she told him the same story: “That Hebrew slave that you brought here came into my room and insulted me. 18 But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his robe beside me.”

19 Joseph's master was furious 20 and had Joseph arrested and put in the prison where the king's prisoners were kept, and there he stayed. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and blessed him, so that the jailer was pleased with him. 22 He put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and made him responsible for everything that was done in the prison. 23 The jailer did not have to look after anything for which Joseph was responsible, because the Lord was with Joseph and made him succeed in everything he did.

Joseph Interprets the Prisoners' Dreams

1 Some time later the king of Egypt's wine steward and his chief baker offended the king. 2 He was angry with these two officials 3 and put them in prison in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same place where Joseph was being kept. 4 They spent a long time in prison, and the captain assigned Joseph as their servant.

5 One night there in prison the wine steward and the chief baker each had a dream, and the dreams had different meanings. 6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were upset. 7 He asked them, “Why do you look so worried today?”

8 They answered, “Each of us had a dream, and there is no one here to explain what the dreams mean.”

“It is God who gives the ability to interpret dreams,” Joseph said. “Tell me your dreams.”

9 So the wine steward said, “In my dream there was a grapevine in front of me 10 with three branches on it. As soon as the leaves came out, the blossoms appeared, and the grapes ripened. 11 I was holding the king's cup; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into the cup and gave it to him.”

12 Joseph said, “This is what it means: the three branches are three days. 13 In three days the king will release you, pardon you, and restore you to your position. You will give him his cup as you did before when you were his wine steward. 14 But please remember me when everything is going well for you, and please be kind enough to mention me to the king and help me get out of this prison. 15 After all, I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here in Egypt I didn't do anything to deserve being put in prison.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the wine steward's dream was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I had a dream too; I was carrying three breadbaskets on my head. 17 In the top basket there were all kinds of baked goods for the king, and the birds were eating them.”

18 Joseph answered, “This is what it means: the three baskets are three days. 19 In three days the king will release you—and have your head cut off! Then he will hang your body on a pole, and the birds will eat your flesh.”

20 On his birthday three days later the king gave a banquet for all his officials; he released his wine steward and his chief baker and brought them before his officials. 21 He restored the wine steward to his former position, 22 but he executed the chief baker. It all happened just as Joseph had said. 23 But the wine steward never gave Joseph another thought—he forgot all about him.

Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife

39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, purchased him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph. He was successful and lived in the household of his Egyptian master. 3 His master observed that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he was doing successful. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal attendant. Potiphar appointed Joseph overseer of his household and put him in charge of everything he owned. 5 From the time Potiphar appointed him over his household and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s household for Joseph’s sake. The blessing of the Lord was on everything that he had, both in his house and in his fields. 6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; he gave no thought to anything except the food he ate.

Now Joseph was well built and good-looking. 7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Have sex with me.” 8 But he refused, saying to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought to his household with me here, and everything that he owns he has put into my care. 9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do such a great evil and sin against God?” 10 Even though she continued to speak to Joseph day after day, he did not respond to her invitation to have sex with her.

11 One day he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants were there in the house. 12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Have sex with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran outside. 13 When she saw that he had left his outer garment in her hand and had run outside, 14 she called for her household servants and said to them, “See, my husband brought in a Hebrew man to us to humiliate us. He tried to have sex with me, but I screamed loudly. 15 When he heard me raise my voice and scream, he left his outer garment beside me and ran outside.”

16 So she laid his outer garment beside her until his master came home. 17 This is what she said to him: “That Hebrew slave you brought to us tried to humiliate me, 18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his outer garment and ran outside.”

19 When his master heard his wife say, “This is the way your slave treated me,” he became furious. 20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison.

21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness. He granted him favor in the sight of the prison warden. 22 The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care. He was in charge of whatever they were doing. 23 The warden did not concern himself with anything that was in Joseph’s care because the Lord was with him and whatever he was doing the Lord was making successful.

The Cupbearer and the Baker

40:1 After these things happened, the cupbearer to the king of Egypt and the royal baker offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials, the cupbearer and the baker, 3 so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them.

They spent some time in custody. 5 Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream the same night. Each man’s dream had its own meaning. 6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” 8 They told him, “We both had dreams, but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me.”

9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 10 On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

12 “This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent three days. 13 In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before when you were cupbearer. 14 But remember me when it goes well for you, and show me kindness. Make mention of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison, 15 for I really was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread on my head. 17 In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”

18 Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent three days. 19 In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”

20 On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up” the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, 22 but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted. 23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph – he forgot him.

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome