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.
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39:7-12 Beauty either in men or women, often proves a snare both to themselves and others. This forbids pride in it, and requires constant watchfulness against the temptation that attends it. We have great need to make a covenant with our eyes, lest the eyes infect the heart. When lust has got power, decency, and reputation, and conscience, are all sacrificed. Potiphar's wife showed that her heart was fully set to do evil. Satan, when he found he could not overcome Joseph with the troubles and the frowns of the world, for in them he still held fast his principle, assaulted him with pleasures, which have ruined more than the former. But Joseph, by the grace of God, was enabled to resist and overcome this temptation; and his escape was as great an instance of the Divine power, as the deliverance of the three children out of the fiery furnace. This sin was one which might most easily beset him. The tempter was his mistress, one whose favour would help him forward; and it was at his utmost peril if he slighted her, and made her his enemy. The time and place favoured the temptation. To all this was added frequent, constant urging. The almighty grace of God enabled Joseph to overcome this assault of the enemy. He urges what he owed both to God and his master. We are bound in honour, as well as justice and gratitude, not in any thing to wrong those who place trust in us, how secretly soever it may be done. He would not offend his God. Three arguments Joseph urges upon himself. 1. He considers who he was that was tempted. One in covenant with God, who professed religion and relation to him. 2. What the sin was to which he was tempted. Others might look upon it as a small matter; but Joseph did not so think of it. Call sin by its own name, and never lessen it. Let sins of this nature always be looked upon as great wickedness, as exceedingly sinful. 3. Against whom he was tempted to sin, against God. Sin is against God, against his nature and his dominion, against his love and his design. Those that love God, for this reason hate sin. The grace of God enabled Joseph to overcome the temptation, by avoiding the temper. He would not stay to parley with the temptation, but fled from it, as escaping for his life. If we mean not to do iniquity, let us flee as a bird from the snare, and as a roe from the hunter.Joseph resists the daily solicitations of his master's wife to lie with her. "None greater in this house than I." He pleads the unreserved trust his master had reposed in him. He is bound by the law of honor, the law of chastity (this great evil), and the law of piety (sin against God). Joseph uses the common name of God in addressing this Egyptian. He could employ no higher pleas than the above.7. his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph—Egyptian women were not kept in the same secluded manner as females are in most Oriental countries now. They were treated in a manner more worthy of a civilized people—in fact, enjoyed much freedom both at home and abroad. Hence Potiphar's wife had constant opportunity of meeting Joseph. But the ancient women of Egypt were very loose in their morals. Intrigues and intemperance were vices very prevalent among them, as the monuments too plainly attest [Wilkinson]. Potiphar's wife was probably not worse than many of the same rank, and her infamous advances made to Joseph arose from her superiority of station. She

cast her eyes upon Joseph, in a lascivious and unchaste manner. See Job 31:1 Matthew 5:28 2 Peter 2:14.

And it came to pass after these things,.... After he was the overseer of his house; in which office, after he had been some time, so it was

that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; he being a handsome young man, caught her eye, and that her heart, and led her on to lust after him, and frequently fed her eyes with amorous glances at him:

and at length being fired with lust, and having an opportunity:

she said, to him, in a bold and impudent manner, in plain words, having given signs and hints, and dropped expressions tending thereto before, as it is probable:

lie with me; now directly, there being both opportunity and convenience, perhaps her chamber was near: this was a very great temptation to a young man in single life and living well, from his mistress, who had it greatly in her power to make him should he consent, or ruin him should he deny.

And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, {f} Lie with me.

(f) In this word he declares the purpose she was working towards.

Verse 7. - And it came to pass after these things, - Joseph had by this time been nearly ten years in Potiphar's house (vide Genesis 41:46) - that his master s wife cast her eyes (lasciviously) upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. According to monumental evidence (Wilkinson's ' Ancient Egyptians,' vol. 1. p. 392, ed. 1878; Hengstenbergs 'Egypt and the Books of Moses,' 1:25; Kalisch, p. 631) and historical testimony (Herod., 2:111), Egyptian females, even though married, were distinguished for licentiousness and immorality, and were not condemned to live in seclusion (Bohlen), but were allowed freely to mix in promiscuous society, which facts perfectly account for Joseph s temptation by his mistress. Genesis 39:7Joseph was handsome in form and feature; and Potiphar's wife set her eyes upon the handsome young man, and tried to persuade him to lie with her. But Joseph resisted the adulterous proposal, referring to the unlimited confidence which his master had placed in him. He (Potiphar) was not greater in that house than he, and had given everything over to him except her, because she was his wife. "How could he so abuse this confidence, as to do this great wickedness and sin against God!"
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