Genesis 39 – 40

Genesis 39

Potiphar bought Joseph to be a servant and Joseph prospered

Genesis 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. 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.

God blessed Joseph greatly and Potiphar was impressed with Joseph and made him lord of all his household.

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.

Potiphar gave everything he had into the hand of Joseph.

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.

Then Potiphar’s wife, enticed by the power that Joseph had and by his youth, desired him. Of course this was a temptation from Satan which God allowed to test Joseph; just like God allows Satan to tempt us today to test us and to build our character to make us stronger.

Remember how Pharaoh desired Sarai and was saved by God, and how Abimelech desired her and was saved by God.  The men of those days including Joseph knew that to take another’s wife was a great sin against God.  Even the wickedness of the Canaanites had not yet come to the fullness that would climax in the time of Moses.  Joseph knew that this would be a sin against GOD and therefore he rejected her.

Physical adultery is an allegory of spiritual adultery; which is to follow any man or organization contrary to following the whole Word of God the Father (Mat 4:4) and of our espoused Husband Jesus Christ; who is the LOGOS the Word of God.

We have all been tempted by spiritual adultery which is the idolizing of men or allowing anything at all to come between us and God.  Some have rejected committing spiritual adultery against Christ, just like Joseph rejected Potiphar’s wife, while the vast majority in today’s Ekklesia are guilty of this sin and idolize men or some corporate organization.

Joseph defended himself and responded to the temptation by saying that his master had given all things in his house to Joseph, and therefore to commit adultery against him would betray that trust and would be a great wickedness.

Brethren, OUR Master Jesus Christ has promised to give us and HAS given us more than Potiphar ever gave to Joseph!   For our espoused Husband Jesus Christ has bought us at the cost of his very life!  Why then are we not faithful to OUR Master like Joseph was faithful to Potiphar?  Why do we follow men blindly, unquestioningly and thoughtlessly; instead of proving all things as to their consistency with the will of our LORD? (1 Thess 5:21).

The vast majority of those in today’s Ekklesia idolize either a dead man, or a present leader, corporate entity, elder, or circle of friends; exalting them above the Word of God in our lives!  There is still time to sincerely repent of our spiritual adultery.  Let us turn to our Master quickly lest we reap the reward of a spiritual adulterer and idolater.  Let us reject the temptation of adultery just as Joseph did!

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?

Joseph resisted the temptation daily just as we should also continually resist spiritual adultery through each and every day; always remaining passionately faithful to live by every Word of God our Father and our espoused Husband Jesus Christ.  Resist the temptation to commit just a little sin; resist the LIE that Christ is love and will wink at a little willful sin.

It is because Christ is love and hates the sin that harms us; that he will never wink at ANY unrepentant sin.

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.

This was not a matter of a shy young boy being timid: This went on day after day for a long time until she finally caught him alone, and even then he fled from this sin out of respect for God and for his master.

How much respect do we have for our spiritual Master who bought us with his very life when we commit adultery against him by following men instead of living by every Word of God?

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.

A woman scorned:  Satan is very angry when we scorn his temptations!  Yes there is a price to be paid for our rejection of spiritual adultery,  we will cast us out of their assemblies [synagogues] because of our zeal to live by every Word of God.  They will consider us a bad example because we are faithful to God and do not idolize their false traditions and human leaders.

Yet in the end, if we are willing to pay the price like Joseph, after we have fully learned humility and patience and faithfulness to the righteousness of the whole Word of God; we will be delivered to life eternal if we faint not.

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.

The woman’s husband believed her lie and cast Joseph into prison, this was allowed by God so that Joseph might be perfected through trials. 

Often trials come, not because we have done something wrong, but because we have done something right!  God allows this to further prune and mold us into the ultimate product that God seeks to make of us; to perfect us and make us fit for eternal life as faithful loyal kings and priests of God. That is the lesson of the book of Job.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Genesis 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.

God caused Joseph to find favor for his faithfulness even in prison, and Joseph became the assistant governor of the prison.  At the time Joseph would not have seen this as training to rule Egypt, but it was; and ruling Egypt was a training to rule in some high office in the soon coming Kingdom of God!

Our trials and temptations are to test us and to build us up into the people which God has in mind for us to become; to prepare us for the office that God has in mind for us; if we overcome and faint not.

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. 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 40

Pharaoh’s butler and baker offend him

Genesis 40:1 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt. 40:2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. 40:3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. 40:4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.

After a time in prison they each dreamed a dream on the same night.

40:5 And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.

40:6 And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. 40:7 And he asked Pharaoh’s officers [the butler and the baker] that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? 40:8 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.

Here we have a key to interpreting dreams: Far too often we try to interpret a dream according to our own preconceived notions; when the only correct understanding comes from the God who inspired the dream.

When we have a vivid dream that does not go away; the correct thing to do is to test the dream to determine whether it is consistent with the Word of God and to  pray and to ask God for the meaning: We should never assume for ourselves what the dream might mean.

And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

The butler’s dream

40:9 And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; 40:10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: 40:11 And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.

The interpretation that God gave to Joseph: Note that the proof of a dream or vision is in its fulfillment.

40:12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: 40:13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.

Joseph asks that he be remembered before Pharaoh.

40:14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: 40:15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.

The baker’s dream

40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head: 40:17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.

The interpretation that God gave to Joseph.

40:18 And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: 40:19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.

In three days time both dreams were fulfilled precisely according to the understanding that God had given to Joseph.

40:20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 40:21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: 40:22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

The butler perhaps fearing to speak to Pharaoh, did not mention Joseph to him. 

Joseph must have been waiting, hoping, for word; this too was a test to see how Joseph would react when his hopes were deferred.  Hope deferred is a most bitter sorrow, and God wanted to know if Joseph would turn away from God in his trials, or could Joseph be counted on to be loyal to the Word of God regardless of the trials he suffered.

Brethren, do we fall to temptation because we lose patience when things seem to be going badly, do we give up and turn from the Word of God in our sorrows and trials?  Or do we stand fast in passionate, faithful, loving, Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God; no matter what the physical consequences, just like Joseph did?

When we face a temptation to commit a sin that is desirable to us [like the great sin of patronizing a restaurant or hiring a catered a meal on the Sabbath], do we flee that temptation like Joseph did?  Even though it means the loss of everything we have?  Or do we give in to the temptation to take the easy way instead of diligently studying and keeping the whole Word of God?

Do we fear being driven out of the assemblies of the ungodly: Do we fear men and love men more than we fear and love God and sinfully conform to their wicked ways; instead of fearing to offend our Mighty One?

When we face prolonged sorrows and trials, and our hopes of deliverance are delayed: Do we give way to despair and lose our zeal for our God and his Word; or do we stand strong to keep the whole Word of God just like Joseph did?

40:23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.


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