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Genesis 39:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hand of the Ishmaelites, that had brought him down thither.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Joseph was brought down to Egypt: and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites, who had brought him down thither.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, a chamberlain of Pharaoh, the captain of the life-guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hand of the Ishmaelites who had brought him down thither.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Now, Joseph, was taken down to Egypt,—and Potiphar, courtier of Pharaoh, chief of the royal executioners, an Egyptian, bought him, at the hand of the Ishmaelites, who had brought him down thither.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Joseph hath been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh, head of the executioners, an Egyptian man, buyeth him out of the hands of the Ishmaelites who have brought him thither.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Joseph was brought into Egypt, and Putiphar, an eunuch of Pharao, chief captain of the army, an Egyptian, bought him of the Ismaelites, by whom he was brought.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Ioseph was brought downe to Egypt, and Potiphar an Officer of Pharaoh, captaine of ye guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hand of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him downe thither.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Joseph was brought down to Mizraim{gr.Egypt}; and Petephres the eunuch of Pharaoh{gr.Pharao}, the captain of the guard, a Mizraimite{gr.Egyptian}, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites{gr.Ismaelites}, who brought him down thither.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Yosef was brought down to Mitzrayim; and Potifar, an officer of Paroh, captain of the guard, a Mitzri, bought him of the hands of the Yishmeelim, which had brought him down thither.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Ysf יוֹסֵף 3130
{3130} Prime
יוֹסֵף
Yowceph
{yo-safe'}
Future of H3254; let him add (or perhaps simply active participle adding); Joseph, the name of seven Israelites.
was brought down 3381
{3381} Prime
יָרַד
yarad
{yaw-rad'}
A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications).
z8717
<8717> Grammar
Stem - Hophal (See H8825)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 123
to Mixrayim מִצרַיִם; 4714
{4714} Prime
מִצְרַיִם
Mitsrayim
{mits-rah'-yim}
Dual of H4693; Mitsrajim, that is, Upper and Lower Egypt.
and P+far פּוֹטִיפַר, 6318
{6318} Prime
פּוֹטִיפַר
Powtiyphar
{po-tee-far'}
Of Egyptian derivation; Potiphar, an Egyptian.
an officer 5631
{5631} Prime
סָּרִיס
cariyc
{saw-reece'}
From an unused root meaning to castrate; a eunuch; by implication valet (especially of the female apartments), and thus a minister of state.
of Par` פַּרעֹה, 6547
{6547} Prime
פַּרְעֹה
Par`oh
{par-o'}
Of Egyptian derivation; Paroh, a generic title of Egyptian kings.
captain 8269
{8269} Prime
שַׂר
sar
{sar}
From H8323; a head person (of any rank or class).
of the guard, 2876
{2876} Prime
טַבָּח
tabbach
{tab-bawkh'}
From H2873; properly a butcher; hence a lifeguardsman (because acting as executioner); also a cook (as usually slaughtering the animal for food).
a Mixr מִצרִי, 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
4713
{4713} Prime
מִצְרִי
Mitsriy
{mits-ree'}
From H4714; a Mitsrite, or inhabitant of Mitsrajim.
bought 7069
{7069} Prime
קָנָה
qanah
{kaw-naw'}
A primitive root; to erect, that is, create; by extension to procure, especially by purchase (causatively sell); by implication to own.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
him of the hands 3027
{3027} Prime
יָד
yad
{yawd}
A primitive word; a hand (the open one (indicating power, means, direction, etc.), in distinction from H3709, the closed one); used (as noun, adverb, etc.) in a great variety of applications, both literally and figuratively, both proximate and remote.
x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
of the Yim`lm יִשׁמְעֵאלִים, 3459
{3459} Prime
יִשְׁמְעֵאלִי
Yishma`e'liy
{yish-maw-ay-lee'}
Patronymic from H3458; a Jishmaelite or descendant of Jishmael.
which x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
had brought him down 3381
{3381} Prime
יָרַד
yarad
{yaw-rad'}
A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications).
z8689
<8689> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2675
thither. x8033
(8033) Complement
שָׁם
sham
{shawm}
A primitive particle (rather from the relative H0834); there (transfered to time) then; often thither, or thence.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 39:1

_ _ Genesis 39:1-23. Joseph in Potiphar’s house.

_ _ Potiphar — This name, Potiphar, signifies one “devoted to the sun,” the local deity of On or Heliopolis, a circumstance which fixes the place of his residence in the Delta, the district of Egypt bordering on Canaan.

_ _ officer — literally, “prince of the Pharoah” — that is, in the service of government.

_ _ captain of the guard — The import of the original term has been variously interpreted, some considering it means “chief cook,” others, “chief inspector of plantations”; but that which seems best founded is “chief of the executioners,” the same as the captain of the watch, the zabut of modern Egypt [Wilkinson].

_ _ bought him ... of the Ishmaelites — The age, appearance, and intelligence of the Hebrew slave would soon cause him to be picked up in the market. But the unseen, unfelt influence of the great Disposer drew the attention of Potiphar towards him, in order that in the house of one so closely connected with the court, he might receive that previous training which was necessary for the high office he was destined to fill, and in the school of adversity learn the lessons of practical wisdom that were to be of greatest utility and importance in his future career. Thus it is that when God has any important work to be done, He always prepares fitting agents to accomplish it.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 39:1-6

_ _ Here is, I. Joseph bought (Genesis 39:1), and he that bought him, whatever he gave for him, had a good bargain of him; it was better than the merchandise of silver. The Jews have a proverb, “If the world did not know the worth of good men, they would hedge them about with pearls.” He was sold to an officer of Pharaoh, with whom he might get acquainted with public persons and public business, and so be fitted for the preferment for which he was designed. Note, 1. What God intends men for he will be sure, some way or other, to qualify them for. 2. Providence is to be acknowledged in the disposal even of poor servants and in their settlements, and therein may perhaps be working towards something great and important.

_ _ II. Joseph blessed, wonderfully blessed, even in the house of his servitude.

_ _ 1. God prospered him, Genesis 39:2, Genesis 39:3. Perhaps the affairs of Potiphar's family had remarkably gone backward before; but, upon Joseph's coming into it, a discernible turn was given to them, and the face and posture of them altered on a sudden. Though, at first, we may suppose that his hand was put to the meanest services, even in those appeared his ingenuity and industry; a particular blessing of Heaven attended him, which, as he rose in his employment, became more and more discernible. Note, (1.) Those that have wisdom and grace have that which cannot be taken away from them, whatever else they are robbed of. Joseph's brethren had stripped him of his coat of many colours, but they could not strip him of his virtue and prudence. (2.) Those that can separate us from all our friends, yet cannot deprive us of the gracious presence of our God. When Joseph had none of all his relations with him, he had his God with him, even in the house of the Egyptian. Joseph was separated from his brethren, but not from his God; banished from his father's house, but the Lord was with him, and this comforted him. (3.) It is God's presence with us that makes all we do prosperous. Those that would prosper must therefore make God their friend; and those that do prosper must therefore give God the praise.

_ _ 2. His master preferred him, by degrees made him steward of his household, Genesis 39:4. Note, (1.) Industry and honesty are the surest and safest way both of rising and thriving: Seest thou a man prudent, and faithful, and diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings at length, and not always before mean men. (2.) It is the wisdom of those that are in any sort of authority to countenance and employ those with whom it appears that the presence of God is, Psalms 101:6. Potiphar knew what he did when he put all into the hands of Joseph; for he knew it would prosper better there than in his own hand. (3.) He that is faithful in a few things stand fair for being made ruler over many things, Matthew 25:21. Christ goes by this rule with his servants. (4.) It is a great ease to a master to have those employed under him that are trusty. Potiphar was so well satisfied with Joseph's conduct that he knew not aught he had, save the bread which he did eat, Genesis 39:6. The servant had all the care and trouble of the estate; the master had only the enjoyment of it: an example not to be imitated by any master, unless he could be sure that he had one in all respects like Joseph for a servant.

_ _ 3. God favoured his master for his sake (Genesis 39:5): He blessed the Egyptian's house, though he was an Egyptian, a stranger to the true God, for Joseph's sake; and he himself, like Laban, soon learned it by experience, Genesis 30:27. Note, (1.) Good men are the blessings of the places where they live; even good servants may be so, though mean, and lightly esteemed. (2.) 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.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 39:1

The Jews have a proverb, If the world did but know the worth of good men, they would hedge them about with pearls. Joseph was sold to an officer of Pharaoh, with whom he might get acquainted with public persons, and public business, and so be fitted for the preferment he was afterwards designed for. What God intends men for, he will be sure, some way or other, to qualify them for.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 39:1

And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an (a) officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.

(a) See (Genesis 37:36).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 2276, bc 1728

Joseph:

Genesis 37:36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, [and] captain of the guard.
Genesis 45:4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I [am] Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Psalms 105:17 He sent a man before them, [even] Joseph, [who] was sold for a servant:
Acts 7:9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,

the Ishmeelites:

Genesis 37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry [it] down to Egypt.
Genesis 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty [pieces] of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
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Gn 37:25, 28, 36; 45:4. Ps 105:17. Ac 7:9.

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