So Potiphar's wife kept Joseph's cloak beside her until his master came home.
There are not a few cases, in which it is the only description of evidence which can at all be had; and sometimes it is of such a nature as to carry as full conviction to the mind as the most direct and satisfactory testimony. This was not, indeed, the case in the instance before us: for it would not be difficult to institute widely different processes of hypothetical argument on the simple fact of the mantle having been left in her possession. There are cases, however, in which it is almost irresistibly conclusive. And yet true it is that there have been instances in which sentence has been passed on the ground of circumstantial evidence such has, at the time, appeared clear beyond controversy, and has carried the fullest conviction to counsel, and jury, and judge — in which, notwithstanding, the innocence of the party condemned has subsequently been brought unexpectedly and strangely to light. All that can be said, therefore, is that while it is a species of proof which it is impossible to discard, and which it would be the height of absurdity to speak of discarding, yet it is one which ought to be investigated with the utmost caution and minuteness, and all delay possible afforded for subjecting it to the test of time — so long as there seems any likelihood of new circumstances coming to light, or of any conscience which fear may be holding in its bonds, and by this means sealing the lips, relenting and disclosing. And wherever there is room for the slightest doubt, the benefit of it should be given to the accused.
These occurrences in the family of Judah would seem
(1) to betoken the retributive judgment of God, and
(2) illustrate his grace. Joseph is lost, and still Divinely protected. Judah is a wanderer from his brethren; a sensual, self-willed, degenerate man; yet it is in the line of this same wanderer that the promised seed shall appear. The whole is a lesson on the evil of separation from the people of God. Luther asks why such things were placed in Scripture, and answers,
(1) That no one should be self-righteous, and
(2) that no one should despair, and
(3) to remind us that Gentiles by natural right are brothers, mother, sisters to our Lord; the word of salvation is a word for the whole world. - R.
See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us. I.
THE BOLDNESS OF IT.
II. THE MALIGNITY OF IT. The vengeance of disappointed passion.
III. THE ART AND CUNNING OF IT.
IV. THE LESSONS OF THIS HISTORY.
1. That impurity and falsehood are closely allied.
2. That God's saints should be patient under false accusations.
3. That we should do the thing that is right in utter disregard of all evil consequences to ourselves.
Disappointments of lust occasion it to rage, and turn it into madness.
2. Innocency's flight from sin may occasion its misery.
3. Sight of lust defeated by chastity stirs up the wicked to accuse the righteous (ver. 13).
PeopleIshmaelites, Joseph, Pharaoh, Potiphar
TopicsBeside, Cloak, Coat, Garment, Home, Kept, Laid, Master, Placeth, Till
Outline1. Joseph is bought by Potiphar, and preferred in the family.
7. He resists temptation by Potiphar's Wife.
13. He is falsely accused by her.
20. He is cast into prison.
21. God is with him there, and he is advanced by the keeper of prison.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 39:7-18
5202 accusation, false
LibraryGoodness in a Dungeon
'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. But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 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. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
(Preached on the Sunday before the Wedding of the Prince of Wales. March 8th, third Sunday in Lent.) GENESIS xxxix. 9. How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? The story of Joseph is one which will go home to all healthy hearts. Every child can understand, every child can feel with it. It is a story for all men and all times. Even if it had not been true, and not real fact, but a romance of man's invention, it would have been loved and admired by men; far more then, when we know …
Charles Kingsley—The Gospel of the Pentateuch
The Complete Surrender.
Genesis 39:1-3.--Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him at the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian, and his master saw that the Lord was with him. We have in this passage an object lesson which teaches us what Christ is to us. Note: Joseph was a slave, but God was with him so distinctly …
Andrew Murray—The Master's Indwelling
Seventh Sunday after Trinity Exhortation to Resist Sin.
Text: Romans 6, 19-23. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification. 20 For when ye were servants of sin, ye were free in regard of righteousness. 21 What fruit then had ye at that time in the things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III
Trials of the Christian
AFFLICTION--ITS NATURE AND BENEFITS. The school of the cross is the school of light; it discovers the world's vanity, baseness, and wickedness, and lets us see more of God's mind. Out of dark afflictions comes a spiritual light. In times of affliction, we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God. The end of affliction is the discovery of sin; and of that, to bring us to a Saviour. Doth not God ofttimes even take occasion, by the hardest of things that come upon us, to visit …
John Bunyan—The Riches of Bunyan
Thirdly, for Thy Actions.
1. Do no evil, though thou mightest; for God will not suffer the least sin, without bitter repentance, to escape unpunished. Leave not undone any good that thou canst. But do nothing without a calling, nor anything in thy calling, till thou hast first taken counsel at God's word (1 Sam. xxx. 8) of its lawfulness, and pray for his blessings upon thy endeavour; and then do it in the name of God, with cheerfulness of heart, committing the success to him, in whose power it is to bless with his grace …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
ON the revival of science in the 16th century, some of the earliest conclusions at which philosophers arrived were found to be at variance with popular and long-established belief. The Ptolemaic system of astronomy, which had then full possession of the minds of men, contemplated the whole visible universe from the earth as the immovable centre of things. Copernicus changed the point of view, and placing the beholder in the sun, at once reduced the earth to an inconspicuous globule, a merely subordinate …
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World
Meditations for Household Piety.
1. If thou be called to the government of a family, thou must not hold it sufficient to serve God and live uprightly in thy own person, unless thou cause all under thy charge to do the same with thee. For the performance of this duty God was so well pleased with Abraham, that he would not hide from him his counsel: "For," saith God, "I know him that he will command his sons and his household after him that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
The Wisdom of God
The next attribute is God's wisdom, which is one of the brightest beams of the Godhead. He is wise in heart.' Job 9:9. The heart is the seat of wisdom. Cor in Hebraeo sumitur pro judicio. Pineda. Among the Hebrews, the heart is put for wisdom.' Let men of understanding tell me:' Job 34:44: in the Hebrew, Let men of heart tell me.' God is wise in heart, that is, he is most wise. God only is wise; he solely and wholly possesses all wisdom; therefore he is called, the only wise God.' I Tim 1:17. All …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
The Tests of Love to God
LET us test ourselves impartially whether we are in the number of those that love God. For the deciding of this, as our love will be best seen by the fruits of it, I shall lay down fourteen signs, or fruits, of love to God, and it concerns us to search carefully whether any of these fruits grow in our garden. 1. The first fruit of love is the musing of the mind upon God. He who is in love, his thoughts are ever upon the object. He who loves God is ravished and transported with the contemplation of …
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial
Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
(Galilee.) ^C Luke XII. 1-59. ^c 1 In the meantime [that is, while these things were occurring in the Pharisee's house], when the many thousands of the multitude were gathered together, insomuch that they trod one upon another [in their eagerness to get near enough to Jesus to see and hear] , he began to say unto his disciples first of all [that is, as the first or most appropriate lesson], Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [This admonition is the key to the understanding …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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