Joseph was sold by his brothers and taken to Egypt where he was sold as a slave to an Egyptian called Potiphar. After some time, Joseph was falsely accused of attempting to rape his master’s wife and thrown into prison.
It may not seem a very interesting question to you, but: Where was Joseph’s prison?
Well, let me at least tell you why I find it fascinating.
Let’s look at some details reported in Genesis:
If we put these details together, we end up with some really interesting conclusions and possibilities.
When Joseph was imprisoned, he was probably put into the prison which Potiphar, his master, had responsibility for – a prison that was located in the lower levels of the house Potiphar lived in as captain of the bodyguard.
Later, when the chief butler and the chief baker were locked up, they were put into the same prison and the captain of the bodyguard appointed Joseph to look after them. We don’t know whether Potiphar was still the captain of the bodyguard at this time, because we don’t hear about him again by name after Joseph was imprisoned.
What do you think?
Was it Potiphar who chose Joseph to look after the chief butler and the chief baker? Had he forgiven Joseph or did he know that Joseph was not guilty?
Joseph spent 13 years as a slave and a prisoner in Egypt before entering Pharaoh’s service. Were Potiphar and his wife still alive at that time? What a perfect opportunity for revenge as second in command of the kingdom! But that was not what Joseph was like.
Interested in knowing more about prisons in ancient Egypt?
This article on Joseph’s prison is one of a series of articles on Joseph published as back-up material for the Bible-based fiction novel Joseph, Rachel’s son.
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