And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying…
Now, do let us all be thoroughly instructed from this, what it is that constitutes true prosperity. It is said of the soldiers of a certain king, in ancient times, that they lost a great battle by mistaking the shadows for the ,persons of their enemies. They discharged their arrows at the empty resemblance, instead of the living and moving ranks of men. How many make a similar mistake with regard to prosperity I They mistake the shadow for the substance; and thus they take a wrong aim. All their energies and all their efforts are directed to something short of the mark. Outward distinctions and outward blessings, considered in themselves, form only the shadow of prosperity. It does not consist in greatness, or grandeur, or riches, or plenty, or ease. These are all sometimes possessed by the wicked; and sometimes they are possessed by those, who, instead of being prosperous, have actually to groan through the very disquietude of their heart. True prosperity is something different to this, and independent of this. It can flourish without such things as these, and make us happy either with or without them. It consists in what Joseph had — the favour, and presence, and blessing of Almighty God, our heavenly Father. This can make us happy in every place, and in every state.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.