39:4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal attendant. 1 Potiphar appointed Joseph 2 overseer of his household and put him in charge 3 of everything he owned. 39:5 From the time 4 Potiphar 5 appointed him over his household and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed 6 the Egyptian’s household for Joseph’s sake. The blessing of the Lord was on everything that he had, both 7 in his house and in his fields. 8
1 sn The Hebrew verb translated became his personal attendant refers to higher domestic service, usually along the lines of a personal attendant. Here Joseph is made the household steward, a position well-attested in Egyptian literature.
2 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn Heb “put into his hand.”
4 tn Heb “and it was from then.”
5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Potiphar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
6 sn The Hebrew word translated blessed carries the idea of enrichment, prosperity, success. It is the way believers describe success at the hand of God. The text illustrates the promise made to Abraham that whoever blesses his descendants will be blessed (Gen 12:1-3).
7 tn Heb “in the house and in the field.” The word “both” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
8 sn The passage gives us a good picture of Joseph as a young man who was responsible and faithful, both to his master and to his God. This happened within a very short time of his being sold into Egypt. It undermines the view that Joseph was a liar, a tattletale, and an arrogant adolescent.