What does Genesis 39:16 mean?
ESV: Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home,
NIV: She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home.
NASB: So she left his garment beside her until his master came home.
CSB: She put Joseph's garment beside her until his master came home.
NLT: She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home.
KJV: And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
Verse Commentary:
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!
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.
Accessed 4/17/2024 11:55:30 PM
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