Genesis 39:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 39:16, NIV: She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.

Genesis 39:16, ESV: Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home,

Genesis 39:16, KJV: And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

Genesis 39:16, NASB: So she left his garment beside her until his master came home.

Genesis 39:16, NLT: She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home.

Genesis 39:16, CSB: She put Joseph's garment beside her until his master came home.

What does Genesis 39:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Potiphar's wife has executed a brilliant deception. It began with a truth that perhaps the servants had observed with their own eyes: Joseph ran from the house without his cloak on. What they didn't know was that Joseph ran to escape the sexual advances of his master's wife, leaving his cloak in her hands (Genesis 39:7–13).

Her calculated story was different. She screamed. The servants came running. She told them Joseph had taken the coat off and laid it down beside her while attempting to rape her. Her scream is what sent him running out of the house. She further plays on their resentment for Joseph's success, and his race, by criticizing Potiphar's choice to bring Joseph into the home (Genesis 39:14–15).

Now she waits with her falsified evidence—Joseph's cloak—until her powerful husband returns home. There's a tragic irony in this moment. Joseph's brothers once used his cloak as a prop supporting their lies (Genesis 37:31–34). Once again, his clothes are being used against him!