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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Genesis 39

Verse 1

Ismaelites. They are called Madianites, chap. xxxvii. 36. (Haydock)

Verse 6

Bread. A proverbial expression, to shew how entirely he reposed in Joseph’s fidelity and prudence. (Menochius) --- He was so rich, that he knew not the extent of his wealth. So Petronius says, Nescit quid habeat, adeo Zaplutus est. It may also be understood as a commendation of Joseph’s disinterestedness.

Verse 7

Many days. About 10 years; as Joseph was 30, three years after this. (Calmet)

Verse 9

His wife, and such things as could not be touched without sin; such as his daughter, if the woman, whom Joseph afterwards married, was the daughter of this man, chap. xli. 45. --- My God, Elohim; which might also be understood of his lord and master. The sin against the latter would be resented by God, who is offended by every transgression. (Haydock)

Verse 10

Both the woman was importunate, &c. Hebrew does not express this so fully. (Du Hamel)

Verse 12

Out. He could easily have wrested it from her. But he would not do any thing that might seem disrespectful, nor claim what her impure hands had touched. (Menochius)

Verse 16

A proof of her fidelity, or an argument to gain credit, argumentum fidei. (Challoner) --- Love neglected, turns to fury. She wishes to take away Joseph’s life, according to the laws of Egypt against adulterers. Diodorus says Sesostris burnt some women taken in the crime; and we must attribute it to divine Providence, that the enraged husband did not inflict instant death upon his slave. Perhaps he did not altogether believe him guilty. (Haydock)

Verse 17

Thou hast, &c. As if her husband were guilty of an indiscretion. (Menochius)

Verse 19

Too much. The proof was of an ambiguous nature. But Putiphar perhaps thought it unbecoming to distrust his wife, or to interrogate his slave. (Haydock)

Verse 21

Keeper. Pererius thinks this was the same Putiphar, who, recognizing the innocence of Joseph, allows him every indulgence in prison; but does not liberate him, for fear of the dishonour and resentment of his wife. (Calmet) --- He had before put him in irons. (Psalm civ. 18; Wisdom x. 13.) Joseph here exercises at once the four cardinal virtues. Prudence, in keeping out of the company of his mistress, as the Hebrew express it, ver. 10: "He yielded not to lie with her, or to be in her company." (Haydock) --- Justice, in regard to his master. Fortitude, in bearing with all sorts of hardships, loss of character, &c. And Temperance, by refusing to gratify the most violent of all passions, at an age when it is the most insidious and ungovernable. This makes the fathers exclaim, We wonder more at the conduct of Joseph, than at the delivery of the three children from the Babylonian furnace. [Daniel iii.] For, like them, Joseph continues unhurt, and more shining, in the midst of the flames. (St. Chrysostom) (Tirinus) --- The stories of Hippolitus, Bellerophon, &c., seem to be copied from this. (Calmet)

Verse 30

CHAPTER XXXIX.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Genesis 39". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/genesis-39.html. 1859.