Now when Joseph arrived in Egypt with the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, a member of the personal staff of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was the captain of the palace guard.
The LORD was with Joseph and blessed him greatly as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.
Potiphar noticed this and realized that the LORD was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did.
So Joseph naturally became quite a favorite with him. Potiphar soon put Joseph in charge of his entire household and entrusted him with all his business dealings.
From the day Joseph was put in charge, the LORD began to bless Potiphar for Joseph's sake. All his household affairs began to run smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished.
So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn't have a worry in the world, except to decide what he wanted to eat! Now Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man.
And about this time, Potiphar's wife began to desire him and invited him to sleep with her.
But Joseph refused. "Look," he told her, "my master trusts me with everything in his entire household.
No one here has more authority than I do! He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I ever do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God."
She kept putting pressure on him day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.
One day, however, no one else was around when he was doing his work inside the house.
She came and grabbed him by his shirt, demanding, "Sleep with me!" Joseph tore himself away, but as he did, his shirt came off. She was left holding it as he ran from the house.
When she saw that she had his shirt and that he had fled,
she began screaming. Soon all the men around the place came running. "My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to insult us!" she sobbed. "He tried to rape me, but I screamed.
When he heard my loud cries, he ran and left his shirt behind with me."
She kept the shirt with her, and when her husband came home that night,
she told him her story. "That Hebrew slave you've had around here tried to make a fool of me," she said.
"I was saved only by my screams. He ran out, leaving his shirt behind!"
After hearing his wife's story, Potiphar was furious!
He took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king's prisoners were held.
But the LORD was with Joseph there, too, and he granted Joseph favor with the chief jailer.
Before long, the jailer put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison.
The chief jailer had no more worries after that, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him, making everything run smoothly and successfully.