Potiphar’s Wife Accuses Joseph

Lincoln was much surprised one day when a man of rather forbidding countenance drew a revolver and thrust the weapon into his face. In such circumstances “Abe” at once concluded that any attempt at debate or argument was a waste of time. “What seems to be the matte … More

Accusation

Joseph was a handsome young man. He also trusted in God and because of  this he looked and acted differently than the other slaves. As a result, another great test came to him. His master’s wife fell in love with him and wanted him to make love to her (v. 7). Joseph refused and told her that would be a sin against both God and his master (vv. 8-9). He then deliberately and wisely sought to avoid her daily advances by refusing to even be around her. Joseph was convinced that God had called him to a special task and if a person is to fulfill God’s plan, he cannot sin against the one who will bring it to pass. Our sins may harm and defraud others, but God is always the one most hurt and concerned.

Joseph had suffered in a pit because of the hatred of his brothers, but now he would face an even greater danger because of the lust of an evil woman (Prov. 23:27). We find that Potiphar’s wife used that same approach that wicked women use today. Her first approach involved flattery (v. 7), then the long enticing (v.10), and finally the ambush (vv. 11-12). When Joseph fled, she was humiliated by his refusal of her and fabricated a lie to accuse him of trying to assault her. She showed his coat to her household servants and then to her husband telling them Joseph had made improper advances to her (vv. 13-18). He may have lost his coat but he kept his character.

It is interesting to note that this is the second time that a coat of Joseph’s is used to bring a false report about him (37:31). In both cases he had been serving faithfully but in both cases he ended up in bondage. In the entire book of Genesis only Joseph is described as a person who was filled with the Spirit of God (Gen. 41:38). In fact the entire emphasis is on his total uprightness throughout the attempted seduction by Potiphar’s wife. He wasn’t about to sacrifice either his purity of his integrity just to please his master’s wife. He was put in jail because of a false witness brought against him.

Application

Have I ever been falsely accused of something and had to suffer for it? If so what was my reaction?  I must remember that in God’s time He always balances the books, even if it isn’t until eternity.    

Genesis 39:7-18 (English Standard Version)

And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her. But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, she called to the men of her household and said to them, "See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house." Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, and she told him the same story, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house."

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