Genesis 39

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1 And Joseph was brought into Egypt, and Putiphar an eunuch of Pharao, chief captain of the army, an Egyptian, bought him of the Ismaelites, by whom he was brought.

2 And the Lord was with him, and he was a prosperous man in all things: and he dwelt in his master's house,

3 Who knew very well that the Lord was with him, and made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

4 And Joseph found favour in the sight of his master, and ministered to him: and being set over all by him, he governed the house committed to him, and all things that were delivered to him:

5 And the Lord blessed the house of the Egyptian for Joseph's sake, and multiplied all his substance, both at home, and in the fields.

6 Neither knew he any other thing, but the bread which he ate. And Joseph was of a beautiful countenance, and comely to behold.

7 h And after many days his mistress 'cast her eyes on Joseph, and said: Lie with me.

8 But he, in no wise consenting to that wicked act, said to her: Behold, my master hath delivered all things to me, and knoweth not what he hath in his own house:

9 Neither is there any thing which is hot in my power, or that he hath not delivered to me, but thee, who art his wife : how then can I do this wicked thing, and I sin against my God?

10 With such words as these day by day, both the woman was importunate with the young man, and he refused the adultery.

11 Now it happened on it certain day, that Joseph went into the house, and was doing some business without any, man with him:

12 And she catching the skirt of his garment, said: Lie with me. But he leaving the garment in her hand, fled, and went out.

13 And when the woman saw the garment in her hands, and herself disregarded,

14 She called to her the men of her house, and said to them: See, he hath brought in a Hebrew, to abuse us: he came in to me, to lie with me : and when I cried out,

15 And he heard my voice, he left the garment that I held, and got him out.

16 For a proof therefore of her fidelity, she kept the garment, and shewed it to her husband when he returned home:

17 And said: The Hebrew servant, whom thou best brought, came to me to abuse me.

18 And when he heard me cry, he left the garment which I held, and fled out.

19 His master hearing these things, and giving too much credit to his wife's words, was very angry.

20 And cast Joseph into the prison, where the king's prisoners were kept, and he was there shut up.

21 But the Lord was with Joseph and having mercy upon him gave him favour in the sight of the chief keeper of the prison:

22 Who delivered into his hand all the prisoners that were kept in custody: and whatsoever was done was under him.

23 Neither did he himself know any thing, having committed all things to him: for the Lord was with him, and made all that he did to prosper.

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Joseph
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

Eunuch
A eunuch (Isaiah 56:3, 5) denotes the natural man as to good, and the son of the stranger denotes the natural man as to truth;...

captain
'Officer' denotes doctrines or principles of interpretation.

army
'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

Egyptian
In the Bible, Egypt means knowledge and the love of knowledge. In a good sense that means knowledge of truth from the Lord through the...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

master
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Well
'A well,' as in Numbers 21:17-18, signifies the Word of the ancient church. 'A well,' or 'pit,' as in Luke 14:5, signifies falsity and the...

Prosper
'To be made to prosper' signifies being provided for. Which is why 'Jehovah made it prosper in his hand' means Divine Providence. 

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

over
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

substance
Substance' and 'treasures,' as in Jeremiah 17:3, signify the spiritual riches of faith, or the aspects of the doctrine of faith.

fields
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

ate
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

Mistress
'Mistress,' as in Genesis 16:9, signifies the affection for interior truth.

cast
For something to be cast down or cast out generally refers to a rather dramatic move from a higher spiritual state to a lower one....

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

lie
When people lie or speak falsely in the Bible, It represents what Swedenborg calls "falsity of faith" and the resulting "evil of faith." This is...

Wicked
'The wicked' or 'unrighteous' denotes being not in truth of faith.

Hot
'Hot' signifies being in spiritual love.

Power
Power,' as in Revelation 4, signifies salvation, because all divine power regards this as its final purpose. A person is reformed by divine power, and...

wife
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

sin
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Words
'Words,' as in Exodus 34:28, signify everything pertaining to doctrine.

young
'The son of a cow' signifies the celestial natural level and natural exterior good.

catching
"Catching" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, both positive and negative. Thieves get caught; the Egyptians caught up with the Children...

skirt
A 'hem,' 'skirt,' or 'border' signifies the extremes, or the natural principle.

Garment
It is said, in Deuteronomy 22:11, "Thou shalt not wear a garment of diverse sorts; as of woolen and linen together…”. This means that the...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

Hebrew
The term 'Hebrew' is used in the Word to signify anything relating to service, whatever its nature may be. Hence Abraham, in one passage only...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

lie with
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

cried
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

husband
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

Prison
'To be in prison,' as in Revelation 2:10, signifies being infested by evils from hell, because this is like being bound in prison, because they...

king
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Prisoners
Prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water,' as in Zechariah 9:11, signify the faithful who were kept in the lower earth until the...

shut
There are only a couple of references in the Writings to "close" used as a verb, and both stem from Amos 9:11, which talks about...

Shut up
'To shut up' denotes what has been vastated, or is no more.

know
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Joseph Grows Up
Teaching Support | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph in Egypt
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph in Prison
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Joseph in Prison
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 Joseph in Prison
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Joseph in Prison - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: butler and baker action rhyme with video demonstration, 3-D butler and baker figures with dream clouds, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Joseph in Prison - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: make a mobile of items from the butler and baker's dreams, make a spinning disk showing Joseph in prison, make a joseph in prison lift and reveal picture, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph in Prison - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: make prayer pillowcases for the sick or imprisoned, play a card game on the correspondences of the butler and the baker, read and reflect on a door handle sign about the Lord's presence with you, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Joseph in Prison - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: make cards of hope for the sick or imprisoned, debate whether the understanding or the will is more important in our journey to heaven, read and reflect on a door handle sign about the Lord's presence with you, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Joseph Looks to the Lord
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Overview of Joseph a Man of Integrity Levels A B C D for Ages 3-18
Overview of the Youth Journey Program "Joseph: a man of integrity", Levels A, B, C, and D for ages 3-18.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 18

 Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
Lesson and activities comparing what the Lord wills to what He permits so that people can be free to make heavenly or hellish choices in their lives.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15


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