Joseph Goes to Prison

(Genesis 39:1-23)             Review Activities for this Lesson

After Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites, they took Joseph to Egypt and sold him as a slave to Potiphar, the king’s official in charge of the palace guard. Joseph lived in Potiphar’s home.

Soon Potiphar realized that the Lord was helping Joseph to be successful in whatever he did. Potiphar liked Joseph and made him his personal assistant, putting him in charge of his house and all of his property. Because of Joseph, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s family and fields. Potiphar left everything up to Joseph, and with Joseph there, the only decision he had to make was what he wanted to eat.

Potiphar’s wife soon noticed that Joseph was handsome and wanted him to sin with her. He said, “My master has placed me in charge of every¬¨thing he owns. No one in my master’s house is more important than I am. The only thing he hasn’t given me is you, and that’s because you are his wife. I won’t sin against God with you.” She kept begging Joseph day after day, but he refused to do what she wanted or even to go near her.

One day, Joseph went to Potiphar’s house to do his work, and none of the other servants were there. Potiphar’s wife grabbed hold of his coat.

Joseph ran out of the house, leaving her hanging onto his coat. Potiphar’s wife kept Joseph’s coat until her husband came home. Then she said, “That Hebrew slave of yours tried to attack me! But when I screamed for help, he left his coat and ran out of the house.”

Potiphar became very angry and threw Joseph in the same prison with the king’s prisoners. While Joseph was in prison, the Lord helped him and was good to him. He even made the jailer like Joseph so much that he put him in charge of the other prisoners and of everything that was done in the jail. The jailer did not worry about anything, because the Lord was with Joseph and made him successful in all he did.

  1. Do you think Joseph complained when bad things kept happening to him?
  2. Do you think Joseph spent his time in prison making trouble or doing his job the best he could?
  3. The Bible says that the Lord was with Joseph and made him successful. Why do you think the Lord helped Joseph so much?
  4. What do you admire most about Joseph?
Complete the following multiple-choice statements about today’s story. Circle the correct answer.

1.         After the Ishmaelites took Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, Joseph lived
a.  in the palace                       b.  in the street                         c.  in Potiphar’s house

2.         Potiphar liked Joseph because he realized that Joseph
a.  belonged to him                  b.  was helped by the Lord       c.  was a nice person

3.         Joseph refused to sin with Potiphar’s wife because
a.  she was ugly                       b.  Potiphar trusted him            c.  he was afraid

4.         When Joseph ran out of Potiphar’s house, Potiphar’s wife hung onto Joseph’s
a.  shirt                                     b.  hat                                      c.  coat

5.         Potiphar’s wife told her servants and her husband that Joseph
a.  tried to attack her                b.  was rude to her                   c.  robbed her

6.         Potiphar became angry and threw Joseph
a.  down a well                         b.  in the street                         c.  in prison

7.         While Joseph was in prison
a.  the Lord helped him           b.  the jailer got mad at him     c.  he escaped

8.         The jailer didn’t have to worry, because the Lord was with Joseph and
a.  made him rich                    b.  made him successful          c.  kept him healthy

Text by Jerri Fusch, used here with the kind permission of the author. Users are free to reproduce for use, but not for publication.