A PROSPEROUS MAN
Genesis 39:1 ¶ And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. 2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. 6 And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
Genesis 39:7 ¶ And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; 9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
Joseph is a strong personal type of our Lord Jesus Christ. As in this chapter Joseph resists the temptation to sin with Potiphar’s wife; yet in the preceding chapter, Judah, an elder brother falls into shame by incest. Even so our Lord was in all points tempted, yet without sin, even when Adam, born before him, fell into temptation and brought sin and shame upon the entire human race. Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
In Adam we all fell into sin and were rendered incapable of bringing glory to God, even though we were made in God’s image in order to bring honor and glory to God. But the Lord Jesus Christ recovered that glory again on behalf of all believers. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Zechariah 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
And as has been stated in one of our previous articles, Israel’s sons, who knew the interpretation of Joseph’s dreams, hated him for both his dreams and his words. (See Genesis 37:8). And so it was in our Lord’s day with Israel! John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Yet every Egyptian Joseph spoke to of dreams, believed every word, holding him in honor. So the Jews rejected the Lord Jesus, and he therefore sent his apostles and disciples unto the Gentiles. Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
We are instructed that the Lord shall call forth his redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (Revelation 5:9). Therefore we read of his purposes of redemption regarding Egypt. Isaiah 19:23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
And listed among the seventeen nations assembled by the sovereign providence of God at Pentecost, who do we find listed there to hear the very first gospel message preached? – Egyptians! Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, = in Egypt, = and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Then also we notice the difference in the way that Potiphar saw Joseph from the way his wife looked upon him. It is the difference in the way the Lord, himself sees things! 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
And in verses three and four of our text we see that Potiphar’s was the vision of the believer. 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. Potiphar was given the insight which was exclusive to those privileged to see the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in Joseph. Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
We must take notice that when Mrs. Potiphar wrongly accused Joseph to her husband the scriptures state: that his wrath was kindled. But it does not state that his wrath was kindled AGAINST JOSEPH! For he knew what kind of wife he had. She spoke evil against him to the men servants. And she disrespected him to his face. Genesis 39:14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: 17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:
We also take notice that Potiphar was still in personal contact with Joseph in prison, showing him the same honor as he had previously shown when he had placed him over the affairs of his house. For when the two royal prisoners were turned over to Potiphar, (who was the captain of the guard), it was he who gave them over to the charge of Joseph, and not the jailer! Genesis 40:4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
Mrs. Potiphar was a true daughter of Mother Eve. For both wanted that which was forbidden because it was pleasing to their eyes! Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Compare this with verses six and seven in our text listed above. Those last words in verse six describe Joseph as a “goodly person and well favored.” Today we would say that he was “Attractive and good looking.”
For she, like the religious world today, cannot cease to make and delight in outward images of the Lord Jesus Christ, even though the Scriptures strongly forbid us to do so! Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
The only inspired ‘description’ of the Lord Jesus given us is listed in the Revelation. And it is set forth symbolically in order to reveal him in spirit! Revelation 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Therefore she is a picture of the Harlot church, clearly described in Proverbs. Proverbs 2:16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; 17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
Proverbs 7:10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. 11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: 19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: 21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
Compare the Apostle Peter’s description of the harlot church. 2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
And as Joseph refused and resisted this powerful temptation, so our Lord Jesus was in all points tempted, yet without sin! (Heb. 4:15). For he resisted the influence of the Jews to conform to their harlot religion. He remained outside their camp, and that cost him his life! Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Also in prison Joseph had two notable characters with him. He had the royal butler and the royal baker of Pharaoh. One was freed of his charges and restored to his place with Pharaoh. And the other was hanged. So the Lord had two characters with him at his cross. Both were charged with being thieves. And one was freed of his sins and told he would be with Christ that very day in paradise. The other died in his sin.
Both had dreams in prison on the same night. Both had them interpreted by Joseph. But the butler saw the Vine. It sprung forth and then grew of its own accord. He had nothing to do with its appearance or growth. Jesus Christ is that vine! John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. And he who sees the son and believes, has life! (See John 6:40 listed above.) For salvation is of the Lord. (Jonah 2:9). Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
And what did he do to render thanksgiving for being restored? He took that cup and offered it up as a servant! Psalm 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? 13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. 14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
But the situation with the baker is an entirely different matter. He dreamed of baked foods which he prepared, lifting them up above his head, but with baskets with holes. (See the margin reference). His is an attempt at justification by works, which is without acceptance before the Lord God! Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
One was by grace alone and the other trusted in his works. Therefore the results were totally opposite. See Genesis 40:21,22.
Pastor Gene Breed
August 4, 2016