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Genesis 39:8-12

39:8 But he refused, saying 1  to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought 2  to his household with me here, 3  and everything that he owns he has put into my care. 4  39:9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do 5  such a great evil and sin against God?” 39:10 Even though she continued to speak 6  to Joseph day after day, he did not respond 7  to her invitation to have sex with her. 8 

39:11 One day 9  he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants 10  were there in the house. 39:12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Have sex with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran 11  outside. 12 

Genesis 39:20

39:20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, 13  the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison. 14 

1 tn Heb “and he said.”

2 tn Heb “know.”

3 tn The word “here” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

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

5 tn The nuance of potential imperfect fits this context.

6 tn The verse begins with the temporal indicator, followed by the infinitive construct with the preposition כְּ (kÿ). This clause could therefore be taken as temporal.

7 tn Heb “listen to.”

8 tn Heb “to lie beside her to be with her.” Here the expression “to lie beside” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.

9 tn Heb “and it was about this day.”

10 tn Heb “the men of the house.”

11 tn Heb “he fled and he went out.” The construction emphasizes the point that Joseph got out of there quickly.

12 sn For discussion of this episode, see A. M. Honeyman, “The Occasion of Joseph’s Temptation,” VT 2 (1952): 85-87.

13 tn Heb “the house of roundness,” suggesting that the prison might have been a fortress or citadel.

14 sn The story of Joseph is filled with cycles and repetition: He has two dreams (chap. 37), he interprets two dreams in prison (chap. 40) and the two dreams of Pharaoh (chap. 41), his brothers make two trips to see him (chaps. 42-43), and here, for the second time (see 37:24), he is imprisoned for no good reason, with only his coat being used as evidence. For further discussion see H. Jacobsen, “A Legal Note on Potiphar’s Wife,” HTR 69 (1976): 177.

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