Genesis 39:1
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1  When Yosef was taken down to Egypt, a certain Egyptian, Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh and his chief steward, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there.

v’-yo-SAYF hu-RAD mitz-RA-y’-mah va-yik-NAY-hu po-tee-FAR s’-REES par-OH SAR ha-ta-ba-KHEEM EESH mitz-REE mi-YAD ha-yish-m’-ay-LEEM a-SHER ho-ri-DU-hu SHA-mah

א  וְיוֹסֵף הוּרַד מִצְרָיְמָה וַיִּקְנֵהוּ פּוֹטִיפַר סְרִיס פַּרְעֹה שַׂר הַטַּבָּחִים אִישׁ מִצְרִי מִיַּד הַיִּשְׁמְעֵאלִים אֲשֶׁר הוֹרִדֻהוּ שָׁמָּה׃

 39:1   A certain Egyptian

The verse here labels Potiphar ish mitzree (איש מצרי), ‘an Egyptian,’ in contrast to Yosef, who is called Ha’Ivri (העברי), ‘the Hebrew’ (verse 14). Since we already know the nationalities of these individuals, why are the labels necessary? The Egyptians were known for their arrogance and condescension towards the nomadic tribes. Despite their prejudice, Yosef will rise in rank among them. He will succeed at every task presented to him, and subsequently find favor in the eyes of Potiphar, the Egyptian royal official. Only Divine Providence could bring about the success of a mere “Hebrew,” as the next verse says “Hashem was with Yosef, and he was a successful man.” Yosef demonstrates that when a person puts himself in the hands of God, he can succeed beyond expectation.

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Genesis 39
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  • Teresa Henriques

    Our beloved God is with us everyway we go, as long as we stay in connection with Him; it is very important to act according to His Word and Love.

Genesis 39:1

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