What does Genesis 39:2 mean?
ESV: The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master.
NIV: The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.
NASB: And the Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
CSB: The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master.
NLT: The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.
KJV: And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
Verse Commentary:
Joseph has left behind Canaan, the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as an inheritance (Genesis 17:1–8). He has also been divided from his father Jacob and the rest of the family. He is all alone. Scripture is quick to point out that Joseph has not been abandoned by God. His brothers could have killed him, but Joseph survived when they decided to sell him as a slave, instead (Genesis 37:26–28).

Even in captivity in a foreign country, Joseph experiences God's blessings. He could have been ignored, forgotten, or badly abused. Instead, he is placed in the home of a powerful man (Genesis 39:1) and immediately proves his worth. He even comes "in the house" of his master, implying that he was trusted and treated well. God's influence in Joseph's abilities is clear (Genesis 39:3). Though he was a slave, he also became the right-hand man of one of the most powerful men in Egypt, serving in Potiphar's own household and effectively running the entire home (Genesis 39:4–6).
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 10:15:01 PM
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