Genesis 39:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 39:14, NIV: "she called her household servants. 'Look,' she said to them, 'this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed."

Genesis 39:14, ESV: "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."

Genesis 39:14, KJV: "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:"

Genesis 39:14, NASB: "she called to the men of her household and said to them, 'See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make fun of us; he came in to me to sleep with me, and I screamed."

Genesis 39:14, NLT: "she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. 'Look!' she said. 'My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed."

Genesis 39:14, CSB: "she called her household servants. "Look," she said to them, "my husband brought a Hebrew man to make fools of us. He came to me so he could sleep with me, and I screamed as loud as I could."

What does Genesis 39:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39:1, 7) is livid with Joseph, a slave, for rejecting her repeated sexual advances (Genesis 39:8–10). This time, she has thrown herself at him when there was no one else in the house—a perfect opportunity for adultery (Genesis 39:11). Joseph's response was to literally run away—even twisting out of his own cloak to avoid the situation (Genesis 39:12–13). For a woman likely used to getting whatever—and whomever—she wanted, this was probably a humiliating reaction. This slave has not merely refused her seduction, he literally ran away!

Before Joseph can tell his side of what happened, Potiphar's wife turns from lust to vengeance. A famous English proverb, taken from poet William Congreve, says, "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." Joseph's moral decision earns him a vicious lie, one which could well result in his immediate death.

She calls to the other male slaves to come to her aid. Potiphar, she says, brought this Hebrew slave to "laugh at" or "make sport with" us. The Hebrew root word tsachaq can imply "toying" with someone, as in a sexual way, and this is the implication she spells out. She claims Joseph came to rape her, so she screamed.

There are layers of strategy in this deception. Potiphar's wife uses the unfortunate circumstances to forge a case against Joseph and gain support from others. Her comment plays on possible resentment towards Potiphar from the other male slaves—criticizing his judgment. She also identifies Joseph by his race. It's possible there was some animosity toward Joseph among the slaves because of his authority over them, and Potiphar's wife is craftily taking advantage of it.