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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Genesis 39

Verse 1

Potiphar. See note on Genesis 37:36 .

guard = executioners.

Egyptian. This is emphasized three times (verses: Genesis 39:1 , Genesis 39:2 , Genesis 39:5 ); because recent discoveries show that Egypt was at this time under a new dynasty; and emphasis is put on the fact that Potiphar, though an "Egyptian", was retained in high position.

Ishmeelites. See note on chapter Genesis 37:25 .

Verse 2

was = = it came to be. See Genesis 1:2 .

Verse 4

served = became his personal servant.

hand. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause). App-6 . Hand put for care which it takes.

Verse 5

in the house, &c. = at home or abroad.

Verse 6

he = Potiphar. Figure of speech Ellipsis.

left. Hebrew. 'azab, a Homonym. Its other meaning is "to help". See note on Exodus 23:5 .

knew. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause). App-6 . Knowing put for caring for.

bread. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species). Bread put for all kinds of food.

eat. He knew and cared for that, as the Egyptians might not eat with Hebrews (Genesis 43:32 ).

goodly, &c. Exactly what is said of his mother, Genesis 29:17 .

Verse 7

wife. Egyptian women were not secluded as the Syrian women were. This is shown by the Egyptian paintings of the period.

Verse 8

he refused. Joseph (now reckoned the first-born, 1 Chronicles 5:2 ): thus by his chastity shames the unchastity of Reuben the first-born before.

wotteth not = knoweth not. Old English. Idiom.

Verse 9

wickedness. Heb r'a'a. See App-44 .

sin. Heh. chat'a. .

Verse 11

went into the house. Pictures of an Egyptian house are extant which show the store-room at the back of the house.

Verse 12

garment. Hebrew. beged. Compare Genesis 37:31 , Genesis 37:32 . That, to cover the sin of his brethren; this, to cover the sin of Potiphar's wife.

Verse 14

See. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

Verse 19

After this manner = According to these words.

Verse 20

prison = the house of the fortress.

Verse 21

mercy = kindness.

Verse 22

keepers = governor,

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 39". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/genesis-39.html. 1909-1922.