Genesis 39 Chapter Commentary: Joseph’s Time in Egypt

This is the story of Joseph’s time in Egypt. After being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph is bought by an officer of Pharaoh named Potiphar. Joseph quickly earns the trust of Potiphar and is put in charge of his household.

However, Joseph’s situation takes a turn for the worse when Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce him. Joseph refuses her advances and she accuses him of attempting to assault her. As a result, Joseph is thrown into prison.

Despite being unjustly imprisoned, Joseph remains faithful to God and is able to interpret the dreams of two fellow prisoners. One of the prisoners, the Pharaoh’s cupbearer, is released from prison and promised to remember Joseph and speak to Pharaoh on his behalf, but he forgets about him.

The chapter ends with Joseph still in prison but with the favor of God upon him, as he is able to gain the trust of the prison warden and is put in charge of the other prisoners.

In summary, Genesis 39 depicts the trials and tribulations faced by Joseph in Egypt, including his unjust imprisonment after refusing to betray his morals. Nonetheless, Joseph’s faithfulness to God is evident throughout the chapter and he continues to thrive despite his circumstances.

What’s the Main Point?

Genesis 39 is intended to show Joseph’s unwavering devotion to God and his capacity to uphold his integrity in the face of hardship and temptation.

What Can We Learn from This Chapter?

This chapter teaches us a number of significant lessons.

First, even in the midst of temptation or challenging circumstances, we learn the value of faithfulness and integrity. By following Joseph’s lead, we can decide to respect God in any situation and have faith that He will reward us.

Second, we discover how crucial it is to put our faith in God’s control even when we don’t comprehend what is taking place in our lives. The narrative of Joseph demonstrates how God orchestrates events to carry out His will while remaining invisible.

As Joseph decides to forgive his brothers and realizes how God has used his challenging circumstances for good, we finally come to understand the significance of forgiveness and grace.


Our God, as we consider the account of Joseph in Genesis 39, we pray for the fortitude to stick to your will in the face of difficulties and temptations. Help us to forgive others as you have forgiven us and to trust in your sovereignty even when things don’t make sense.

May we make an effort to uphold you in whatever we do, knowing that you are constantly working for our good and your glory in our lives. We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Featured image attribution:

Joseph Before Parroh. E.M. Synge, 1909. This image is in the public domain. Cropped from original.