The hairs on Joseph’s neck stood erect. He glanced up from the notes laid out in front of him. Potiphar’s wife, Nephry is the name she preferred, stood in the doorway. The sheer gown she wore exposed more than Joseph planned on seeing. He looked at the gardener who was working details with him.
The gardener’s mouth hung open as he continued to stare at Nephry.
Joseph looked back at Nephry, but stared at her eyes. “Do you really want your gardener looking at you like that?”
Her gaze never left Joseph. “If you don’t like the attention he’s showing me you can come with me and take this thing off.”
Joseph stood and gathered his notes. “Look, we’ve had this conversation before. You’re off limits to me. If you won’t allow me to get my job done here we’ll go elsewhere.”
Nephry raised an elbow and leaned against the far doorpost. “All you do is work, Joseph. You need a break. A few minutes with me and you’ll be much more relaxed so you can get more work done.”
Joseph picked his notes up. The back of his hand slapped the shoulder of the gardener who was still staring ahead. “We’re leaving now.”
The two men walked out the back door of the house.
The next day Joseph was finishing his lunch when Nephry approached. The fact he could see her sternum didn’t surprise him at all.
She leaned over the table and glanced at his plate. “It looks like you’re done with your meal. How would you like some dessert now? I could place some honey in a few places so we both enjoy it.”
Joseph stared in her eyes. “You know I can’t do that, Nephry.”
She sat in the chair across from him and kept leaning forward. “Don’t tell me you wouldn’t like it.”
Joseph swallowed. “Look, I know your marriage was arranged. I also know how much younger than Potiphar you are, but you are his wife, not mine. He’s left me in charge of everything around here. I can’t have sex with you and that’s that.”
She slid her chair back so her breasts were pressed against the table. “Can’t…or won’t?”
As Joseph’s eyes moved downward he closed them. “From where I sit they’re the same thing. It would be a sin against God.”
Nephry reached across and stroked the back of Joseph’s hand with her finger. “Ra won’t mind. He’ll simply wink at us. That’s all.”
Joseph jerked his hand off the table and stared in her eyes again. “I’m not talking about your god. Your god is the sun. My God is the One who made the sun. We’re made in His image not like animals. We can’t have sex with the next one in our species just because we want to.”
Joseph slid his chair back and marched out of the room.
The next morning Joseph entered the house and briefly noted an eerie quiet. He quickly dismissed it because of the Egyptian holiday being observed. His mind went to the big meal he was planning for Potiphar. A few important ingredients were still missing. He walked to the kitchen.
When he passed the master bedroom a pair of arms wrapped around him from behind. “Come to me now, Joseph. There’s nothing to stop us.” Nephry’s hands were untying his sash.
When Joseph’s arm was forced behind him his hand stroked soft flesh. “NO!” He ran as fast as he could.
Nephry grabbed his robe as he fled. “JOSEPH…!”
When Joseph reached the back door he heard her last sentence.
“If I can’t have you, nobody will.”
Now you have a better grasp of what Joseph had to put up with in Potiphar’s house. I don’t think I handled the issue too lightly, either. It could have been a lot worse.
Many people want to set Joseph on a pedestal here and say he never even thought about having sex with the boss’s wife. I don’t believe that for a second.
Being a red-blooded man I’m sure images of her flashed in his mind when he least expected it. When they hit during a weak moment while in the security of his own lonely home he would have entertained the thought. Probably more than once.
What set Joseph apart from many men is the fact he set in his mind to never follow through with those thoughts.
Pornography is a trap too many men don’t avoid. It’s getting more difficult by the day to avoid it, too.
Billboards hold pictures of young women as we drive. Computer screens flash poses of provocative women when we least expect it. TV commercials exploit girls to sell us everything. Even the shows we’re entertained by use sex in a humorous way. Movies don’t hold anything back.
Since God wired men’s minds to be turned on visually it’s natural to want to follow those urges and get sucked into the seduction.
Since the social mores have lightened up to the point of being nil most men think, “why not?’
If Joseph was an exception in his day how much more would he be one today?
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There’s a line in Genesis 39:11 that leads me to believe Joseph was wise enough to establish some safeguards from the woman of the house. When Potiphar’s wife made her move it was when none of the men of the house was inside.
For some reason he let his guard down on that day and got hit hard. She probably sent the men out for some purpose and knew this was her opportune time to make her move. Joseph’s mind must have been sidetracked on something.
But, he still didn’t give in to her. Instead he lived 2 Timothy 2:22 out before it was written. Flee youthful lusts.
So many men would be wise to tattoo that to the inside of their eyelids.
We’ll never know what would have happened if Joseph had given in because it never happened.
I’ll see you later. Wade