|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
39:1-6 Our enemies may strip us of outward distinctions and ornaments; but wisdom and grace cannot be taken from us. They may separate us from friends, relatives, and country; but they cannot take from us the presence of the Lord. They may shut us from outward blessings, rob us of liberty, and confine us in dungeons; but they cannot shut us out from communion with God, from the throne of grace, or take from us the blessings of salvation. Joseph was blessed, wonderfully blessed, even in the house where he was a slave. God's presence with us, makes all we do prosperous. Good men are the blessings of the place where they live; good servants may be so, though mean and lightly esteemed. The prosperity of the wicked is, one way or other, for the sake of the godly. Here was a wicked family blessed for the sake of one good servant in it.
Verse 4. - And Joseph found grace in his sight, - vide Genesis 6:8; 18:3; 19:19; 39:21. Most men are pleased with a good servant. Even Laban bad no objections to Jacob so long as he divided that Jehovah was multiplying his flocks for Jacob's sake (Genesis 30:27) - and he served him (i.e. he waited on Potiphar, or acted as his personal attendant and comptroller of his household): and he (i.e. Potiphar) made him overseer over his house, - a position corresponding to that occupied by Eliezer in the household of Abraham (Genesis 24:2). Egyptian monuments attest the existence of such an officer in wealthy houses at an early period; a tomb at Kum-el-Ahmar exhibiting the account books, writing materials, and clerks that pertain to the office of s steward, and another at Beni-hassan, besides displaying his accustomed implements, styling him the Overseer (Wilkinson's 'Ancient Egyptians, vol. 1. p. 372, ed. 1878; Hengstenberg s 'Egypt and the Books of Moses,' p. 24). A sepulchral inscription belonging to the period of the eleventh dynasty also mentions among the officers comprising the household of Ameni the chancellor Athorsi, the barber Khentikhrati, the slave Gefahapi, the lady's maid Khui, the steward Ameni, the steward Santit (vide 'Records of the Past,' vol. 6. p. 3). Joseph had also, after his exaltation, a ruler or steward of his house (cf. Genesis 43:16, 19; Genesis 44:1) - and all that he had he put into his hand = literally, and all which was to him he gave into his hand, i.e. he entrusted to Joseph's cam).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Joseph found grace in his sight,.... In the sight of his master, as he did in the sight of God, he had favour both with God and man; his master had a high esteem of him, and a great value for him, and showed him much kindness and respect:
and he served him; readily, willingly, cheerfully, and faithfully; or he served him personally; his master took such a liking to him, that he selected him from the rest of his servants to wait on his person, and to be what we now call a "valet de chambre", whose business was to dress and undress him, to wait upon him at table, &c.
and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand; that is, after he had served him some time, in the capacity of a valet, he advanced him, and made him the head servant, or steward of his house, and committed all his business, cash, and accounts to his care, and put all his servants under him.
Genesis 39:4 Parallel Commentaries
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