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Gen 39:21-40:23

Read these verses. Note that all the prisoners in that prison were educated men (so called “political prisoners”. Joseph himself was about 24 years of age when he was put in prison.

- In which ways Joseph could have reacted to the fact that he was put in prison without a trial or any possibility to appeal his judgment?
- What does it show about Joseph that even after this he did not give up?
- In which ways the Lord was with Joseph in prison (23)?
- What things did Joseph learn when doing the tasks of a trusted prisoner that were of use for him in the future?

Later we find out that this happened two years before Joseph’s release when he was 28 years of age. Joseph had been 11 years in Egypt by that time.

- Compare verse 3 with 39:1. What extra flavor did it cause to Joseph’s imprisonment that the prison was situated in Pothipar’s yard?
- What new sides of Joseph’s character and abilities does this chapter reveal us?
- What do you think about verse 8?

These verses describe how a fierce hope of release was born in Joseph’s heart.

- Did Joseph reason the interpretation of the cupbearer’s dream or did he receive a divine revelation for it? Give reasons to your answer.
- Why doesn’t Joseph mention his brothers or Mrs Potiphar when telling about his life (15)?
- What kind of future Joseph probably wished for himself at this point?

- What would have happened, if Joseph had colored or improved on the interpretation of the baker’s dream (instead of telling it as it was)?
- Do you think that the situation described in verse 23 tempted Joseph to unbelief and despair? Give reasons for your answer.
- How would Joseph have behaved, if he had lost all his faith in God and His help?
- Why didn’t God reveal Joseph in his dream that his imprisonment would last only two more years (41:1)?
- What would happen, if God revealed us how long our suffering will last?
- What kind of things Joseph was protected from while spending the years of his youth in prison?
- What kind of things did Joseph learn in slavery and imprisonment that he would never have learned in his father’s house?
- Compare your own youth with Joseph’s youth. Which one of you has had a better position in life?

Summarizing question:
- Where can you find Jesus in this chapter?

IN CONCLUSION: Verses 13 and 19 reveal us the two different meanings that the word “exaltation” have in the Bible and in Jesus’ life. Jesus was first exalted to the cross, then to the right hand of the Father. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:14-15)

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