Bible Stories to Share with Your Children: Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife

This blog is a continuation of the previous entry of Bible Stories to Share with Your Children. This portion of Joseph’s story can be found in Genesis 37:1-23. In Genesis 37:36 the Bible states that Joseph was sold by the Midianites “in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.”

In Genesis 39:2-6 the Bible sets up the position which Joseph is placed in Potiphar’s house: “The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”

Potiphar’s wife begs Joseph day after day to commit adultery with her. However, Joseph resisted her and would not listen to her. One day, when no one else is around, Potiphar’s wife grabs Joseph’s garment and asks one more time. Joseph flees, leaving the garment in her hand. When Joseph resists her yet again, Potiphar’s wife lies and says that Joseph was trying to entice her. Joseph is then placed in a prison where the king’s prisoners were held.

Joseph is granted favor while in the prison because the Lord was with him. Genesis 39:21-23 describes Joseph in prison: “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.”

Key Lessons

  1. Run from sin. Joseph had to endure the temptation of Potiphar’s wife day in and day out, yet he endured. When her pull became too much, Joseph fled from her (and thus the sin). We ought to take the same attitude. We need to try to avoid temptations which might surround us, and remember that there is always a way out.
  2. The Lord rewards those who obey Him. Joseph was rewarded because he was faithful to the Lord.

Read Week 9 – Bible Stories to Share with Your Children: Joseph Betrayed