Genesis 39:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 39:11, NIV: One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside.

Genesis 39:11, ESV: 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,

Genesis 39:11, KJV: 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.

Genesis 39:11, NASB: Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the people of the household was there inside.

Genesis 39:11, NLT: One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work.

Genesis 39:11, CSB: Now one day he went into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were there.

What does Genesis 39:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph continues to refuse the sexual advances of his master's wife (Genesis 39:7–8). He's in a terrible position. Given any other request, Joseph would likely feel compelled to obey his master's wife. Refusing certainly risks making her angry, but accepting would be a likely death sentence, not to mention a heinous sin (Genesis 39:9). It's notable that Potiphar, apparently, told Joseph directly that the only thing in the home to which he did not have full access was the master's wife. That suggests she might have seduced other slaves in the past.

This verse reminds us that the persistent sexual harassment against Joseph (Genesis 39:10) is happening in his workplace. His duties required him to be in the house (Genesis 39:3). On this day, Joseph was working inside and none of the other men were present. Whether this was a deliberate scheme on her part, or a coincidence, it's just the moment Potiphar's predatory wife had been waiting for.