What does Genesis 39:21 mean?
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.
NIV: the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.
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.
CSB: But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him. He granted him favor with the prison warden.
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.
KJV: But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
NKJV: But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Genesis 39:19–23 describes Joseph's arrival in the Egyptian prison reserved for the king's prisoners. Joseph's once-trusting master has him jailed after the master's wife falsely accuses Joseph of attempted rape. Despite the unfair imprisonment, God has not abandoned Joseph. That Joseph isn't immediately executed speaks well of both his reputation and the Lord's protection. Even in prison, Joseph is blessed: the king's jailer favors Joseph and quickly puts him in charge of nearly all of duties in the jail. Joseph continues to succeed in every circumstance he faces, under God's provision.
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 5/26/2024 12:11:43 PM
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