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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter XXXIX

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Text Commentary

1And Jacob lived in the country 1 Or ‘land’. where his father had settled, in the land of Canaan. 2This is the story of his family. 2 Lit. ‘These are the generations of Jacob’.

Joseph was seventeen years old when they took him down to the land of Egypt, and Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's eunuchs and his chief cook, bought him. 3And he put Joseph in charge of his house-hold; and the Lord blessed the Egyptian's household because of Joseph, and the Lord made him successful in everything he did. 4And the Egyptian left everything in Joseph's hands, 3 All Eth. MSS ‘in Joseph's presence’: the emendation is based on the Lat. of verse 12 and the Heb. of Gen. xxxix. 6. for he saw that the Lord was with him and made him successful in everything he did.

5And Joseph was handsome and very good-looking, and his master's wife eyed him and took notice of him; and she fell in love with him and begged him to lie with her. 6But he would not surrender himself, for he remembered the Lord and what 4 Lit. ‘the words which’. his father Jacob used to read from the commandments 5 Lit. ‘the words’. of Abraham, that no man should commit fornication with a woman that has a husband, that for the man who does 6 Lit. ‘for him’. the punishment of death has been ordained in the heavens before the Most High God, and that his sin will be recorded against him in the eternal books before the Lord for ever. 7And Joseph remembered this and refused to lie with her. 8And she pleaded with him for a whole year, and then for another year; but he refused to listen.

9At last, 7 Lit. ‘But’. when they were indoors, she caught hold of him and clung to him, to try and force him to lie with her, and she locked the doors of the house and clung tightly to him; but he fled, leaving his cloak in her hands, and broke open the doors and escaped. 10And the woman saw that he would not lie with her, 8 So Eth.: Lat. ‘that he despised her’. and she told his master lies about him, saying, Your Hebrew servant that you are so fond of tried to force me and lie with me; and when I screamed out he fled and left his cloak I had taken hold of in my hands and broke open the door. 11And the Egyptian saw Joseph's cloak and the broken door and believed what his wife had told him; 9 Lit. ‘heard the words of his wife’. and he put Joseph in prison, in the place where the king's prisoners were kept.

12And he was there in the prison. And the Lord made the governor of the prison well-disposed towards Joseph and treat him kindly (for he saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made him successful in everything he did); and he left everything in his hands. 10 So Lat.: Eth. ‘in his presence’. 13And the governor of the prison knew of nothing that was happening in the prison, 11 So Lat.: Eth. ‘nothing that was with him’. for Joseph did everything; and the Lord made it all succeed. And he remained there two years.

14And in those days Pharaoh, king of Egypt, was angry with two of his eunuchs, the chief butler and the chief baker, and he put them in custody in the chief cook's house, in the prison where Joseph was kept. 15And the governor of the prison appointed Joseph to attend to them; and he waited on them. 16And they both dreamed a dream, 12 So Eth.: Lat. ‘dreamed dreams … them’. the chief butler and the chief baker, and they told it 12 So Eth.: Lat. ‘dreamed dreams … them’. to Joseph. 17And as he interpreted it to them, so it happened to them: the chief butler Pharaoh restored to his office, and the chief baker he hanged 13 So Lat.: Eth. ‘the baker he killed’. – just as Joseph had interpreted to them. 18But the chief butler forgot Joseph in the prison, although he had told him what would happen to him; and he did not remember to tell Pharaoh how Joseph had told him, 14 So Eth.: Lat. ‘and did not remember to ask that Pharaoh the king might intervene and release Joseph’. but forgot.

Notes:

1 Or ‘land’.

2 Lit. ‘These are the generations of Jacob’.

3 All Eth. MSS ‘in Joseph's presence’: the emendation is based on the Lat. of verse 12 and the Heb. of Gen. xxxix. 6.

4 Lit. ‘the words which’.

5 Lit. ‘the words’.

6 Lit. ‘for him’.

7 Lit. ‘But’.

8 So Eth.: Lat. ‘that he despised her’.

9 Lit. ‘heard the words of his wife’.

10 So Lat.: Eth. ‘in his presence’.

11 So Lat.: Eth. ‘nothing that was with him’.

12 So Eth.: Lat. ‘dreamed dreams … them’.

13 So Lat.: Eth. ‘the baker he killed’.

14 So Eth.: Lat. ‘and did not remember to ask that Pharaoh the king might intervene and release Joseph’.

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