Genesis Chapter 39 to 40 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Joseph Is Sold to Potiphar in Egypt

39 The traders* who bought Joseph took him down to Egypt. They sold him to the captain of Pharaoh’s guard, Potiphar. 2But the Lord helped Joseph. Joseph became a successful man. Joseph lived in the house of his master, Potiphar the Egyptian. 3Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph. Potiphar saw that the Lord helped Joseph be successful in everything he did. 4So Potiphar was very happy for Joseph. Potiphar allowed Joseph to work for him and help him to rule the house. Joseph was the ruler over everything Potiphar owned. 5After Joseph was made the ruler over the house, the Lord blessed the house and everything that Potiphar owned. The Lord did this because of Joseph. And the Lord blessed everything that grew in the fields of Potiphar. 6So Potiphar allowed Joseph to take responsibility for everything in the house. Potiphar worried about nothing, only the food he ate.

Joseph Refuses Potiphar’s Wife

Joseph was a very handsome, good-looking man. 7After some time, the wife of Joseph’s master began to like Joseph. One day she said to him, “Sleep with me.” 8But Joseph refused. He said, “My master trusts me with everything in his house. He has given me responsibility for everything here. 9My master has made me almost equal to him in his house. I must not sleep with his wife! That is wrong! It is a sin against God.” 10The woman talked with Joseph every day, but Joseph refused to sleep with her. 11One day Joseph went into the house to do his work. He was the only man in the house at the time. 12His master’s wife grabbed his coat and said to him, “Come to bed with me.” But Joseph ran out of the house so fast that he left his coat in her hand. 13The woman saw Joseph had left his coat in her hands and had run out of the house. {So she decided to lie about what had happened.} 14She called to the men outside. She said, “Look! This Hebrew slave was brought here to make fun of us. He came in and tried to attack me, but I screamed. 15My scream scared him and he ran away. But he left his coat with me.” 16Then she kept his coat until her husband, Joseph’s master, came home. 17And she told her husband the same story. She said, “This Hebrew slave you brought here tried to attack me! 18But when he came near me I screamed. He ran away, but he left his coat.”

Joseph in Prison

19Joseph’s master heard what his wife said. And he became very angry. 20There was a prison where the king’s enemies were put. So Potiphar put Joseph into that prison. And Joseph stayed there. 21But the Lord was with Joseph. The Lord continued to show his kindness to Joseph. After some time, the commander of the prison guards began to like Joseph. 22The commander of the guards put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners. Joseph was their leader, but he still did the same work they did. 23The commander of the guards trusted Joseph with everything that was in the prison. This happened because the Lord was with Joseph. The Lord helped Joseph be successful in everything he did.

traders Literally, “Ishmaelites.”

Joseph Interprets Two Dreams

40 Later, two of Pharaoh’s servants did something wrong to Pharaoh. These servants were the baker and the man who served wine to Pharaoh. 2Pharaoh became angry with his baker and wine server. 3So Pharaoh put them in the same prison as Joseph. Potiphar, the commander of Pharaoh’s guards, was in charge of this prison. 4The commander put the two prisoners under Joseph’s care. The two men continued to stay in prison for some time. 5One night, both of the prisoners had a dream. (The two prisoners were the servants of the king of Egypt—the baker and the wine server.) Each prisoner had his own dream. And each dream had its own meaning. 6Joseph went to them the next morning. Joseph saw that the two men were worried. 7Joseph asked them, “Why do you look so worried today?” 8The two men answered, “We dreamed last night, but we don’t understand what we dreamed. There is no one to interpret or explain the dreams to us.” Joseph said to them, “God is the One who can understand and interpret dreams. So I beg you, tell me your dreams.”

The Wine Server’s Dream

9So the wine server told Joseph his dream. The server said, “I dreamed I saw a vine. 10On the vine there were three branches. I watched the branches grow flowers and then become grapes. 11I was holding Pharaoh’s cup. So I took the grapes and squeezed the juice into the cup. Then I gave the cup to Pharaoh.” 12Then Joseph said, “I will explain the dream to you. The three branches mean three days. 13Before the end of three days, Pharaoh will forgive you and allow you to go back to your work. You will do the same work for Pharaoh as you did before. 14But when you are free, remember me. Be good to me and help me. Tell Pharaoh about me so that I can get out of this prison. 15I was taken from my own home, the land of my people, the Hebrews. I have done nothing wrong. So I should not be in prison.”

The Baker’s Dream

16The baker saw that the other servant’s dream was good. So the baker said to Joseph, “I also had a dream. I dreamed there were three bread baskets on my head. 17In the top basket there were all kinds of baked food. This food was for the king. But birds were eating this food.” 18Joseph answered, “I will tell you what the dream means. The three baskets mean three days. 19Before the end of three days, the king will take you out of this prison. Then the king will cut your head off! He will hang your body on a pole. And birds will eat your body.”

Joseph Is Forgotten

20Three days later, it was Pharaoh’s birthday. Pharaoh gave a party for all his servants. At the party, Pharaoh allowed the wine server and the baker to leave the prison. 21Pharaoh freed the wine server. Pharaoh gave him his job back. And the wine server put a cup of wine in Pharaoh’s hand. 22But Pharaoh hanged the baker and everything happened the way Joseph said it would. 23But the wine server did not remember to help Joseph. He said nothing about Joseph to Pharaoh. The wine server forgot about Joseph.

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