This Week's Story

Potiphar's wife pursues and accuses Joseph.

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Joseph: Not guilty! part two

“Look there.”  An Ismaelite salesman was twitching with excitement as he spoke.  “Potiphar, captain of the palace guards, is here.  Is he buying slaves for himself or the Pharaoh?”

Bidding for slaves began.  A young male slave was brought to the block.  He had no obvious scars, was well-built and good-looking.

“What will you bid for this Hebrew?”

Potiphar spoke loudly, “Thirty shekels of silver.”

Another Egyptian man called, “Thirty-two.”

Potiphar spoke authoritatively, “Thirty-five shekels is my final offer.”

No one challenged him.  This man had great power, as captain of the palace guards and chief executioner.

Potiphar noticed the confidence in his new slave, and asked, "What is your name, boy?”

“Joseph.”

Where are you from?”

“Canaan.”

He spoke with no hesitation.

“Why are you here?”

“My family had trouble and I was sold to traders in men and spices.”

“What skills do you have?”

“I can read and write.  I have helped my father with business records and managing our livestock.”

“You will serve me in my home.”

Joseph was shocked to see Potiphar’s property.  It included the state prison, a large farm, and housing for family and slaves. Potiphar was also responsible for the pharoah’s personal security.

Potiphar’s family treated Joseph as an outcast, because he was a foreigner, a Hebrew, and a shepherd.  Surprisingly, Potiphar began testing Joseph with different jobs.  Each one he performed better than expectations.  Potiphar concluded, “This slave’s god is helping him.”  Joseph was appointed manager of household slaves, crops, livestock, and business operations. They all prospered making a profit and causing Potiphar no problems.  Home became his palace.  He would think, “At home I have no worries. Each day I can request what I want to eat and enjoy my wife.”

Unknown to him, his wife was becoming obsessed with Joseph.  She thought, “I do not care if Joseph is my husband’s slave.  I want him.” “Joseph,” she proposed one day, “come to my bedroom this afternoon.”

Joseph looked at Ahset, aware of her beauty, and horrified at her request.  “God of Abraham,” he prayed, “give me wisdom.”

“Ahset, Potiphar trusts me with everything in his estate.   I'm responsible for all of his household, except you.  You are his concern, his wife.  God forbid that I should betray Potiphar and sin against God.”

Ahset was not discouraged. She determined she would have Joseph.  It was not safe for him to be in the same home with her; yet he often had work to do there.  One morning she grasped his arm and shirt and said, “Come with me.”

Joseph fled, leaving his shirt in her hand.  She screamed with fake terror; household members hurried to her.  “My husband’s manager tried to attack me.  I begged him, ‘Do not hurt me.’  I cried out out and he escaped, leaving his shirt behind.”

Potiphar’s anger and action were swift.  Joseph was placed in the state prison.  There he wondered, “God, I do not understand.  Have you abandoned me?  No, I do not believe that.  What is your will for me?”

Joseph continued to have faith. The chief jailer recognized his worth and gave him responsibilities within the prison. Years passed, without his release. Even when a released prisoner promised to help Joseph, no help came.  But, God had not abandoned Joseph.

This is Barbara Steiner.  Soon we will have another chapter in the life of Joseph, based on the biblical account.

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Your stories are nice, inspirational, and creative.   from Lauren-Elizabeth

Dear Lauren-Elizabeth,

Thank you for your comments.  We hope that you continue reading, listening, and enjoying the stories.  We anticipate your future responses!   Leah

Seems as though Joseph had a strong faith in the Lord, but did not get many answers.  I need to read more of this story.  What could be God's plan for Joseph in prison?  Maybe he helped the guard in some way with his visible faith.  Also, the wife surely must have felt bad after sending an innocent man to prison.    from Michael F.

Dear Michael F.,

I believe the wife had very little conscience.  I wonder also if Potiphar's wife changed because Potiphar changed.  Leah

I am thinking how Joseph had the strength to stand up to temptation.  God allowed Joseph to prosper in everything he was presented with.   from Caleb

Dear Caleb,

I like your use of the phrase "God allowed".  I firmly believe Joseph prospered as a result of his faith and God's plans.  Leah

What really got my attention was what happened to Joseph when he was bought.  At first, Joseph was working on the land; then Potiphar tested him to see all the skills he had learned.   from Fatima

Dear Fatima,

I believe Joseph is a good role model.  He faced hardships and had a great work ethic.  He did not waiver in his faith.   Leah


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