39:20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, 1 the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison. 2
39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness. 3 He granted him favor in the sight of the prison warden. 4 39:22 The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care. He was in charge of whatever they were doing. 5 39:23 The warden did not concern himself 6 with anything that was in Joseph’s 7 care because the Lord was with him and whatever he was doing the Lord was making successful.
1 tn Heb “the house of roundness,” suggesting that the prison might have been a fortress or citadel.
2 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.
3 tn Heb “and he extended to him loyal love.”
4 tn Or “the chief jailer” (also in the following verses).
5 tn Heb “all which they were doing there, he was doing.” This probably means that Joseph was in charge of everything that went on in the prison.
6 tn Heb “was not looking at anything.”
7 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.