What does Genesis 39:15 mean?
ESV: And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house."
NIV: When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house."
NASB: When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside.'
CSB: When he heard me screaming for help, he left his garment beside me and ran outside."
NLT: When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.'
KJV: 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 out.
NKJV: And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.”
Verse Commentary:
For the sake of honor and integrity, Joseph has spurned the sexual advances of his master's wife (Genesis 39:6–10), even running away with his cloak still in her hand (Genesis 39:11–12). She's had enough of his rejection, and her lust turns to hateful revenge. She tells a manipulative lie to the other male servants in the household: Joseph came to rape me, and I screamed (Genesis 39:13–14). Her phrasing plays on natural resentment from slaves towards their master, as well as Joseph's racial background.

Now she concludes her lie, saying Joseph ran away only because she screamed, and that he left his cloak lying where he took it off before attempting to rape her. Having passed along a false story to the servants of the household, Potiphar's wife will wait for her husband to return home. Joseph's situation seems dire: who will the master believe, his wife or a captive slave? How will he react to this supposed betrayal?
Verse Context:
Genesis 39:1–18 describes Joseph's rise and fall as the slave of Potiphar, the captain of the guard in Egypt. He arrives in this situation after being sold by his own brothers (Genesis 37:26–28). The Lord continues to be with Joseph and to bless him. Potiphar promotes Joseph to the head manager of his household, even giving credit to the Joseph's God for all the success that follows. Potiphar's wife is also impressed with Joseph, but in a less honorable way. She persistently tempts him to sleep with her. When Joseph refuses, she unfairly frames the young Hebrew slave for attempted rape.
Chapter Summary:
Joseph's arrival as a slave in Egypt is not the end of his story. The Lord continues to be with him and to bless him. Joseph rises to become the right-hand man of his master, Potiphar, the captain of the guard. Eventually, he is betrayed by a false accusation of rape by his master's scorned wife. Even then, Joseph finds the Lord is still with him, still blessing him, even in prison. Soon Joseph oversees every aspect of the prison, serving once again under God's faithful blessing.
Chapter Context:
In chapter 37, Joseph narrowly escaped being murdered by his own brothers (Genesis 37:18–20), only to be sold as a slave (Genesis 37:26–28). Chapter 39 picks up his story after taking a detour into the scandalous life of Judah. Though a slave in Egypt, Joseph thrives under the Lord's blessing. He rises to the top position in his master's household, only to be jailed on a false accusation of attempted rape. Still, Joseph continues to be blessed by God, again rising to become the jailer's most trusted servant. Joseph's reputation and ability to interpret dreams will factor into his rise within the government of Egypt.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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