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Egyptaia, bought him of the hand of the Iahmaelites, which had brought him down thithee.
And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man ; and he was in the house of his master. the
And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
And Joseph found grace in bis sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his .house, and aU that he had he put into his hand. ,.
And it came to pass from the time that ike had made him overseer .in bis 'house, and over all that tie had, that the Lordrfclessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph'* sake: and the Messing of the .lord was upon aU that he hs4, in the house,.andio.the field. ......v/.„. .
; And Jje .Je4fc^,tbat be had n Joseph's hand,; .and J* knew not OJtght he had, sate the bread which ie .did est; and Joseph was a goodh/person, and well tastoutedv
And,ir came to .pass after these things, that Jus iuasterfc wife cast.her eyes upon Joseph; and..sfae ttaid, Lie with rati. .But he xefiwed, .and said unto his master's wite^ Behold,.imy tnastar wnflteth ,not what is with me in the house, and he -hath committed all that he hath to ot/ hand,; there is none.greater in tin* house than I i neither hath he .kept back airy thing from roe, hut diee, because thou art his wife : >how then can I do this great wioked. ness,.andsin ag«o#tfioo:? . .. ••, . I
And it came *o pass as :sbe epske to joseph day bf day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. • • — > '.-> - •
And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to de^his business; Biki there was none of the.tnen of the house there within. ..
And she caught him by bis garment, saying, Lie with
me : -and he left hit garment ia her hand, and fled, and got him out.
And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, that she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, ye have brought in an Hebrew unto us, to mock us: he came in unto me to lie with me, and 1 cried with a loud voice: 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 ottl.
And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
And she spake unto Potipliar according to these wordsj saying, The Hebrew servant which thou hast brouglit unto us, came in unto rne to' mock me ^ and It came to pass, as I lifted tip thy VcSce and cKedi'iihat'he left'rila garmetlt Vith me, and fled out'.' ''••"' ;;'
And it came to pass, when hii. masterTiearfl the words of his wife,'-wh'ich'sn'fr spake unto mm, " saying After this manner did thy servant to me; J&at'his wrath was MtraTeaV
"', -And Joseph's master took lum, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound,: and he was there in the prison.
But the Lqicd was >with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him' favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
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.
The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with hini: and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
: ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS. i
Though Joseph's cruel brethren sold him into the hands of strangers, who carried him far from that sacred spot, where the Lord was worshipped as the only Go D ; and into a country rendered abominable by the practice of many corruptions; yet; was he not forsaken, or abandoned. In the anguish of his soul, he cried unto the Lord, and He heard him; and though infinite wisdom saw fit to try the virtues, that he might .prove a bright example to the world, Divine goodness accompanied him whithersoever he went: for we may regard it as an instance of God's providential care, that he did not fall into the hands of a cruel master.
We may reasonably conclude, from the blessing which attended Joseph's services,. that, like his father Jacob when an hireling to Laban, he resolved that hit righteousness should answer f»r him in the time to. comf \
It appears that Potiphar,.though an Egyptian, had a knowledge of the Lord, and an idea of a particular providence, by his perceiving that a Divine blessing attended the services of Joseph, and by the trust which, in consequence of this conviction, he reposed in Tiim. 'It is likely that Joseph was not' invested wiih the stewardship, till Potiphar had experienced his fidelity in an Inferior capacity; during which period he might attain a knowledge of the Egyptian language, which bore great affinity to that of Canaan. . , ',' ' ,
The expression He knew not what he had,save the tread which he did eat, implies the highest degree of confidence.
It is a sad reflection, thaf a man of so much merit as Potiphar appears to have been, should have had so abandoned a woman for his wife. Her behaviour
* Set- Section xxxvii.
needs no comment; every virtuous person who reads an account of it, must condemn and despise her, for dishonouring her husband, and disgracing her sex. On the other band, how amiable does the conduct of Joseph appear i-t . . .; .. •••
It was very natural for Potiphar to believe his wife's tale; and considering the provocation which he supposed Joseph had given him, he shewed great lenity in only committing him to prison. For such a crime, Potiphar would have been justified in the eye of the world, had Joseph been condemned to death. . •'> 'i What a dreadful reverse of fortune did Joseph experience! Instead of enjoying the friendship and confidence of a kind master, he was regarded as a monster of ingratitude. The fair character he had enjoyed in the world was blasted. Ease and plenty were exchanged for the . horrors of a dungeon. His feet were hurt in the stocks; and the iron of his cruel chains, rivetted by calumny, eon tered into his very.: , •. . . : ri'
How pleasing it is to read in the same chapter, that the Lord extended his kindness to the injured youth and lessened the evils of imprisonment! As we are told that there was an interposition of Providence in his favour, we may conclude, that the Lord graciously inclined the heart of the keeper to believe the account which Joseph gave of himself; and that the same behaviour which had before gained him the confidence of Potiphar, through the blessing of God, procured him that of his keeper. .. . . w . , .
Fortunate were those who were committed to Joseph's care; and happy was he in the opportunities he had of: exercising the benevolence of his heart, by comforting and doing good offices to his feilow prisoners! . • : L-i: Whether Potiphar was afterwards convinced of Jo
i.;. I seph's
saph's innocence or not* we are not told ; faut ax he wa* an officer of high rank, wa may suppose. that the keeper would otherwise hare been fearful of giving such indul* gnnce as he- did, to a prisoner committed: to strict confinement for such an atrocious offence against Potiphar himself. - .
From this section we learn, to ascribe prosperity; Hs our worldly concerns to God. As the Lord was with Joseph, so may we hope He' will be with every one who reposes a sincere trust in him, and conscientiously discharges the duties of his station. We also learn, in moral actions, to have a becoming reverence for the D«rry. If Joseph's reflection, Hatv canI do this great wickedness and sin against God, were- allowed to have its due in/Rience, it would be found an excellent preservative against a dissolute course of life; for no one, who feels an inward esteem for God, will dare to violate his laws. Domestics may, from Joseph's example, derive encouragement to serve their masters with fidelity and uprightness. This is the most likely way to gain the good will and confidence of their employers; and the certain way to obtain the favour of the Lord: persons in particular, who are unexpectedly reduced to a state of servitude, may from hence coneerve hopes, that, by a steady course of integrity, they shall obtain esteem, and find their situation much more comfortable than could have been expected, nay, perhaps, rise to independence again. Masters may conclude, from this in»; stance, that it is their interest to commit the management of their hooshold affairs to persons of a religious tarn of mind*. ". '>i . .
What as excellent lesson docs this portion of Scripture afford to such youths ns are exposed to the allurements of wanton women 1 Happy would it be for thousands, should they take example from Joseph 1