JOSEPH is only 17 years old when he is taken down to Egypt. There he is sold to a man named Potʹi·phar. Potʹi·phar works for the king of Egypt, who is called Pharʹaoh.
Joseph works hard for his master, Potʹi·phar. So when Joseph grows older, Potʹi·phar puts him in charge of his whole house. Why, then, is Joseph here in prison? It is because of Potʹi·phar’s wife.
Joseph grows up to be a very good-looking man, and Potʹi·phar’s wife wants him to lie down with her. But Joseph knows this is wrong, and he won’t do it. Potʹi·phar’s wife is very angry. So when her husband comes home, she lies to him and says: ‘That bad Joseph tried to lie down with me!’ Potʹi·phar believes his wife, and he is very angry with Joseph. So he has him thrown into prison.
The man in charge of the prison soon sees that Joseph is a good man. So he puts him in charge of all the other prisoners. Later Pharʹaoh becomes angry with his cupbearer and his baker, and puts them into prison. One night they each have a special dream, but they do not know the meaning of their dreams. The next day Joseph says: ‘Tell me your dreams.’ And when they do, Joseph, with God’s help, explains the meaning of their dreams.
To the cupbearer, Joseph says: ‘In three days you will be let out of prison, and you will become Pharʹaoh’s cupbearer again.’ So Joseph adds: ‘When you get out, tell Pharʹaoh about me, and help me to get out of this place.’ But to the baker, Joseph says: ‘In just three days Pharʹaoh will have your head cut off.’
In three days it happens just as Joseph said. Pharʹaoh has the baker’s head cut off. The cupbearer, though, is let out of prison and begins to serve the king again. But the cupbearer forgets all about Joseph! He does not tell Pharʹaoh about him, and Joseph has to stay in prison.
Download this Bible character card, and learn more about Potiphar, Joseph’s master in Egypt.