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Genesis 39:6-7

Context
39:6 So Potiphar 1  left 2  everything he had in Joseph’s care; 3  he gave no thought 4  to anything except the food he ate. 5 

Now Joseph was well built and good-looking. 6  39:7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of 7  Joseph and said, “Have sex with me.” 8 

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Potiphar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 sn The Hebrew verb translated left indicates he relinquished the care of it to Joseph. This is stronger than what was said earlier. Apparently Potiphar had come to trust Joseph so much that he knew it was in better care with Joseph than with anyone else.

3 tn Heb “hand.” This is a metonymy for being under the control or care of Joseph.

4 tn Heb “did not know.”

5 sn The expression except the food he ate probably refers to Potiphar’s private affairs and should not be limited literally to what he ate.

6 tn Heb “handsome of form and handsome of appearance.” The same Hebrew expressions were used in Gen 29:17 for Rachel.

7 tn Heb “she lifted up her eyes toward,” an expression that emphasizes her deliberate and careful scrutiny of him.

8 tn Heb “lie with me.” Here the expression “lie with” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.

sn The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife has long been connected with the wisdom warnings about the strange woman who tries to seduce the young man with her boldness and directness (see Prov 5-7, especially 7:6-27). This is part of the literary background of the story of Joseph that gives it a wisdom flavor. See G. von Rad, God at Work in Israel, 19-35; and G. W. Coats, “The Joseph Story and Ancient Wisdom: A Reappraisal,” CBQ 35 (1973): 285-97.



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