Genesis 39:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 39:21, NIV: the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.

Genesis 39:21, ESV: But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Genesis 39:21, KJV: But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Genesis 39:21, NASB: But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the warden of the prison.

Genesis 39:21, NLT: But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.

Genesis 39:21, CSB: But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him. He granted him favor with the prison warden.

What does Genesis 39:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph's circumstances have radically reversed overnight. His previous lofty position as the servant in charge of his powerful master's household is over (Genesis 39:6). Now he's a prisoner in the king's prison for a crime he didn't commit (Genesis 39:7–15). It's clearly not fair.

However, Scripture is quick to reassure us that Joseph's apparent bad fortune does not mean God has abandoned him. Just the opposite is true: The Lord remains with Joseph. Joseph was sold as a slave (Genesis 37:26–28), but this was better than being murdered (Genesis 37:18–20). He was jailed on a false charge of attempted rape (Genesis 39:16–20), but this was better than being summarily executed. These events are difficult to endure, but they happen for a reason (Genesis 45:5; 50:20).

Even now, God is showing His steadfast love to Joseph in the middle of terrible circumstances. God will bless Joseph and cause him to thrive even inside of prison (Genesis 39:22–23). The Lord causes the jailer to favor Joseph, improving his quality of life in a place that could be quite difficult. Joseph's entire life is marked by respect from those in authority because of his faithful work ethic, his integrity, and especially because of the Lord's blessing.