Books of the Bible Outline (Genesis 39–41)

Starting with Genesis 39, the rest of Genesis is mostly about Joseph. In the three chapters of today’s reading, Joseph is seen in three different houses—Potiphar’s house, the prisoners’ house and Pharaoh’s house.

Genesis 39Joseph in Potiphar’s House. Joseph was sold by his wicked brothers to some traveling merchants who sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt—he became a slave to Potiphar the captain of the guard in the Egyptian government. Two key features of Joseph in Potiphar’s house are reported in this chapter. • First, value of Joseph: the reason for his value was God’s blessing upon him; and the result of his value was to be put in charge of Potiphar’s house. • Second, virtue of Joseph: his virtue was steadfast (he refused continued solicitations of Potiphar’s wife to have an affair with her); and his virtue was slandered (because he refused her, she lied about his conduct; and he was put in prison).

Genesis 40Joseph in the Prisoners’ House. Through cruel injustice, Joseph spent upwards to a dozen years in prison. •Position in prison: he was put in charge of all the prisoners. •Predictions in prison: he interpreted several dreams of important political prisoners of Pharaoh. •Plea in prison: he pleaded with one of Pharaoh’s prisoners that when the man was restored to office (as Joseph predicted in interpreting the man’s dream), he would mention Joseph to Pharaoh so Joseph could be released from prison—but the man forgot Joseph until Pharaoh had his dreams.

Genesis 41Joseph in Pharaoh’s House. Joseph was taken out of prison to Pharaoh’s house and made second ruler of the land. Here three things are said about this promotion. •First, selecting of Joseph for high office: he was selected because of his interpreting Pharaoh’s dream and because of his instructing Pharaoh with great wisdom on what to do about the dreams. • Second, supplying of Joseph for high office: Pharaoh gave Joseph a ring (signet ring for government business); a robe (suitable for his position); a rank (chain about his neck); a ride (chariot); a reputation (new name); and a romance (wife). •Third, sagacity of Joseph in high office: this is seen in storing the grain before the famine and in selling the grain after the famine.

 Butler, J. G. (2003). Daily Bible Reading: Synopsis (Vol. 1, p. 14). Clinton, IA: LBC Publications.


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