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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. 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. 11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. 12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. 13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 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: 15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. 16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. 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 :
18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. 19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. 20 And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. 21 " But the Lord was with Joseph, and °shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. 23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
(1) Heb. great. (2) Heb. extended kindness unto him.
THE care of the Lord over his people is manifest through all generations. He watches over their steps and guides their way. The history of Joseph is a remarkable illustration of this truth. At this period Joseph was young; but he was pious. That he really loved and feared the Lord is beyond all doubt. Youthful piety is a lovely spectacle ; it lays the foundation of a useful life, a happy old age, and a glorious eternity. Joseph's character begins to open in this chapter. We see that real piety will command respect wherever it may be found. He who serves the Lord will be faithful to the duties of his station, whatever it may be. Joseph's condition in the house of Potiphar was very humble. He was a slave; but his piety shone forth the brighter on this account, and diffused a pleasing radiance around him. “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man. And his master saw that the Lord was with him ; and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand” (v. 2, 3.) What an honourable testimony to Joseph's religion and character' Many act so inconsistently with their Christian profession, that we are more led to question their sincerity than to commend it. Let such persons survey the conduct of Joseph. Let them blush for their sin in the comparison. Let them pray for mercy and grace to amend their ways.
But we are taught by this chapter, that the most eminent Christian is not free from temptation. He who assaulted our first parents in paradise, and who still “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter v. 8), sought this humble slave in his master's house in Egypt. Oh! what a trial, and what a victory; and what a scene of suffering for conscience sake She who failed to draw Joseph into sin, became his bitter accuser, and, upon a false charge, caused him to be cast into prison. Joseph, however, resisted, suffered, and conquered, in the fear of the Lord. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” (Prov. xvi. 6.) “How,” said he, “can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God 2" (v. 9.) He saw the evil of sin, and fled from it. He sought help from above, and obtained it. He resisted the devil, and he fled from him. (See James iv. 7.)
It may be useful to observe the contrast between Dinah and her brother Joseph. Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land; she fell into the snare, and was humbled. Joseph follows the duties of his station; is assaulted by the enemy, and conquers. The one shews the danger of an idle, gossiping life. The other exhibits the fruit of conscientious integrity and uprightness.
Let the young observe these examples. Dinah's folly may well impress them with caution. Joseph's integrity should call for imitation and prayer. Let all learn to be diligent and faithful in the duties of their calling. Satan loves the idle. Idleness always opens the way for temptation and sin. Joseph was diligent, prayerful, and faithful, both in his master's house, and when unjustly cast into prison. The Lord was with him, kept him in his integrity, and enabled him to glorify his name.
1 The butler and baker of Pharaoh in prison. 4 Joseph hath charge of them, 5 He interpreteth their dreams. 20 They come to pass according to his interpretation. 23 The ingratitude of the butler.
ND it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt
and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. 3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. 4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward. 5 *| And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison. 6 And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. 7 And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore 'look ye so sadly to day ? 8 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you. 9 And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; 10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: 11 And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand. 12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: 13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh *lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler. 14 But “think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: 15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. 16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three 'white baskets on my head. 17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of “bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head. 18 And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: 19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh ‘lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree ; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee. 29 "I And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he 7 lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand: 22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.
The RE is nothing recorded in the Word of God without its use and design. What may at first sight appear but trivial matters are often found pregnant with the most important results. The truth of this remark we have seen before; and here, in this chapter, we have a most remarkable illustration of the fact. Two men are guilty of an offence against their prince. Against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers, Pharaoh was wroth, and they are cast into prison. It so happens that they are cast into the prison where Joseph was bound. These two men dreamed each one a dream in one night, These dreams distressed them. When Joseph came in unto them in the morning, they were sad. This led him to inquire into the cause. That resulted in his interpreting each man his dream. The event came to pass as Joseph foretold. The one was restored to his place; the other was put to death. These circumstances are, to say the least, very remarkable. We may evidently trace the hand of God gradually opening the way for the full development of his gracious designs. The great lesson here taught us is that all things are entirely under the direct
control of Almighty God. He as certainly rules over the thoughts, nay, even the very dreams of men, as he does in the armies of heaven, or among the inhabitants of the earth. In small matters, or in great, “none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?” (Dan. iv. 35.) How delightful is this truth, especially to the heir of glory ! How else could “all things work together for good to them that love God!” Hence, not only because the Lord loves you, but because he makes all your concerns the subject of his all-wise and almighty care, are you to cast all your care upon him. Men of the world are ignorant of this precious truth. They plot; they scheme; they work their own will; and follow their own way. But he that sitteth in the heavens, orders and directs all to fulfil his own purposes, and shew forth his own glory. Let this serve to humble and encourage us; let us seek the Lord's direction and blessing in all our ways. Duty is ours; events are the Lord's. We must not, however, be surprised if we meet with ingratitude and neglect from those whom we have served. Joseph found it so; and so may we. The man whose restoration to his office Joseph interpreted, and whom he entreated to remember him when reinstated in his master's service, never thought of him for many years afterwards, till reminded of the prisoner by Pharaoh's dreams. Alas! how often do we forget the kindness of our best friends ! And when we reflect how generally the love of Christ, the greatest and best of friends, is forgotten, who has not cause to blush and be ashamed, and cry, God be merciful to me an unthankful sinner *
| Pharaoh's two dreams. 25 Joseph interpreteth them. 33 He giveth Pharaoh counsel. 38 Joseph is advanced, 50 He begetteth Manasseh and Ephraim, 54. The famine beginneth. A ND it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed : and, behold, he stood by the river. 2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatsleshed; and they fed in a meadow. 3 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 5 And he slept and dreamed the second time : and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, 'rank and good. 6 And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. 7 And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream ; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh. 9 * Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: 10 Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker: 11 And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he ; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12 And there was there with us a young man, an IIebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. 13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was ; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged. 14"| Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they “brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that "thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. ió And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me : God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. 17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the rl Vel' : 18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow: 19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:
21 And when they had “eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: 23 And, behold, seven ears, * withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them : 24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me. 25 || And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh : What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very “grievous. 32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is 7 established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint "officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land "perish not through the famine. 37 's And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is 2 39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art : 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people "be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of "fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had ; and they cried before him **Bow the knee : and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name *Zaphnath-paaneah ; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah “priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46 || And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. 50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah "priest of On bare unto him. 51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn 7 Manasseh : For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52 And the name of the second called he “Ephraim : For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. 53 || And the seven years of plentecusmess, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.
54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened "all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn ; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.
THE history of Joseph proves that “the Lord lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set him among princes.” (1 Sam. ii. 8.) Nor can we assign any other cause for such wonderful proceedings, than that “the pillars of the earth are the Lord's" (1 Sam. ii. 8), and he ordereth all these things as it pleaseth him. Joseph was forgotten by the man he had served; but the Lord was with him ; and when the time came, the forgotten kindness rushed into the butler's mind. Thus the way was further opened for the manifestation of divine wisdom and love. Pharaoh dreams. The dream is renewed; and the mighty prince is troubled. In the former instance, the destiny of two individuals hung upon their separate dreams; and here the welfare of multitudes was involved in these nightly visions. Pharaoh was anxious to know the purport of these dreams, but the wise men and the magicians of Egypt were utterly unable to interpret them. Just at that moment, however, the chief butler remembers his fault; he tells Pharaoh what has transpired in the prison; and Joseph is brought before him. The dreams are interpreted by him; Joseph is set over the whole land; and