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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 39

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-23

Joseph’s rise to power (39:1-41:57)

In contrast to Judah, Joseph was blameless in his behaviour in Egypt. Soon he was placed in charge of Potiphar’s household (39:1-6). When he rejected the immoral invitations of Potiphar’s wife, she turned against him bitterly and had him thrown into prison (7-20). Again his behaviour was blameless, and soon he was given a position of responsibility over the other prisoners (21-23).
Among the prisoners who later joined Joseph were two of Pharaoh’s palace officials (40:1-4). One night they both had unusual dreams and, believing the dreams foretold something, told their dreams to Joseph. Joseph predicted that within three days one of the officials would be restored to his former position and the other executed (5-19). The predictions came true, but the restored official failed to do as Joseph requested and bring Joseph’s case to Pharaoh’s attention (20-23; cf. v. 14-15).
Two years later, when Pharaoh described some puzzling dreams to his palace advisers, the restored official for the first time told the king about Joseph (41:1-13). As a result Pharaoh sent for Joseph, who interpreted the dreams as meaning that Egypt would have seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine (14-32). Joseph added a recommendation of his own that would ensure a constant food supply throughout the fourteen years (33-36).
Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph that he made him not only administrator of the program but governor of all Egypt (37-44). The thirteen years Joseph spent as a slave and a prisoner (cf. v. 46 with 37:2) taught him much about practical wisdom and dependence on God, qualities that would now help him considerably in his government of Egypt. He married an Egyptian and had two sons by her (45-52). When the famine came, Egypt alone was prepared for it, and people travelled there from other countries to buy food (53-57).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Genesis 39". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/genesis-39.html. 2005.
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