The wife of Potiphar is a woman we should not try to emulate. The wife of Potiphar showed bitterness, envying and strife in her heart and then lied against the truth. She was married to Potiphar who was an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, and an Egyptian. She was probably also Egyptian with social position. Her selfishness caused her to be full of lust, and to lie against an innocent man.
The wife of Potiphar is another un-named woman. We certainly can glean her characteristics from what the Bible says about her and her husband. Potiphar was an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, and an Egyptian. This means that his wife was also Egyptian and had social position. The Bible only mentions Potiphar as having one wife. She apparently was free to do whatever she pleased. She was use to the many different slaves being a part of her household.
One of men sold into slavery was the Hebrew Joseph, the second youngest son of Israel. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and was a man of unusual ability. Joseph was loved above all his brothers by his father Israel. (Genesis 37:3). Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold into slavery. Potiphar was a rich man who bought him and owned many other slaves. Joseph soon won the approval and confidence of Potiphar who soon placed him in control of the large estate and household of Potiphar. (Genesis 39:1).
It didn’t take long for Joseph to catch the eye of the wife of Potiphar. She ordered him to lie with her. Joseph refused because of his loyalty to Potiphar. Potiphar had given Joseph control of everything in his house and held nothing back. Joseph believed it would be great wickedness and a sin against the LORD God. (Genesis 39: 8-9).
The attempts to seduce Joseph failed yet the wife of Potiphar tried daily to have him lie with her. Joseph continued to not hear her. (Genesis 39: 10). Since the wife of Potiphar made multiple attempts to seduce Joseph it would suggest to us that this was something that happened often. This suggests a loveless marriage. The immoral conduct of the wife of Potiphar also shows contempt for her husband Potiphar. Her selfishness caused her to be full of lust, and to lie again an innocent man.
One of the times Joseph went into the house to do his job there was no other male servant in the house. The wife of Potiphar caught Joseph by his garment and again told him to lie with her. Joseph slipped out of the garment and left it in her hand then fled to get out of the house. She called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying that her husband had brought in a Hebrew unto us to mock us. Then came the accusation and lie that Joseph came in unto me to lie with her, and she cried with a loud voice. Because Joseph left his coat behind it made Joseph look immoral and made the wife of Potiphar look like she was the victim. (Genesis 39: 11-14).
Once her husband came home she blamed him that he had brought the Hebrew servant to come in unto her to mock her. (Genesis 39: 17-18). When her husband heard what his wife said he probably did feel guilty because he did bring Joseph into their home, and he did trust Joseph. The wrath of Potiphar grew strong. And he threw Joseph into prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were held. (Genesis 39: 19-20).
The wife of Potiphar accused Joseph as being the attacker. Her cruel slanderous lies hurt the character of Joseph. Christian men and women can certainly learn from this type of slander that the wife of Potiphar exhibited. We must not be put into the position of being alone with the opposite sex without another person, hopefully of the same sex as you, can protect against slanderous lies. It is also important to remember that the worldly would love to get a chance to ruin a Christian’s reputation.
Proverbs 31:12 reminds us that a virtuous woman do good and not evil all the days of her life. This is speaking of the relationship between her and her husband. I am suggesting that as Women of Christ we should follow doing good not evil all the time in our lives and in all efforts. The Wife of Potiphar was after her own efforts and her own gain.
This world is certainly full of the same type of woman that the wife of Potiphar must have been. Self-consumed and selfish is not only a trait we see for the wife of Potiphar but also a very great deal of the worldly women we see around us. It is our responsibility that we do not get caught up in the “Me” society we live in today.
Our manner of life as well as our conduct should not be based on our needs or selfishness. The wife of Potiphar is a woman we should not try to emulate. The wife of Potiphar showed bitterness, envying and strife in her heart and then lied against the truth. This behavior comes from the worldly not from the following of Christ. Where there is bitterness, envying and strife there is confusion and instability and even wickedness.
Women of Christ need to remember the wisdom that is from Christ is first pure and true. Then peaceable and loving, then it is gentle, and easy to be obeyed. It is full of mercy and kindness, and good works. Without out partiality which is without suspicion ambiguity or uncertainty, and without hypocrisy. The works of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3:13-18). These are the characteristics that Women of Christ should emulate.
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MLA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne “The Wife of Potiphar:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Apr 2015.<https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2545,>.
APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, April) “The Wife of Potiphar:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2545,.
Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “The Wife of Potiphar:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (April), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2545, (accessed).