I Am Potiphar’s Wife

“She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home. Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said. “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!”  Genesis‬ ‭39:16-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I wonder what it was like to be her…

You know, years later after Joseph rose to power, second in command.

I wonder if her act and her lie that put a good and innocent man in prison, plagued her.  Was she remorseful?

Why’d she do what she did?  What drove her to it?  

I don’t believe anyone ever just decides one day to have an affair, to seek another.  It’s a lie of the enemy that we buy into a little each day until it’s blinded us, right up until that moment that we do something we can’t take back.  It’s only after the fact do we realize what we stand to lose.  Then we suddenly find ourselves desperate to close the Pandora’s box we just opened.  Much like trying to put too much squeezed toothpaste back in the tube, it can’t be undone.  That desperation leads us to choose to cover it up, even at someone else’s expense.

Yet, Mrs. Potiphar’s reprehindable actions were necessary for God’s grander plan.  Because of it we get to see a glimpse of what that grander plan is.  Salvation, grace and redemption.

According to this resource, it’s documented that she came to Jospeh and apologized and asked his forgiveness which he gave without hesitation, with a similar reponse to her as he gave his brothers.  Scholars debate the accuracy of this documented account, however, since Joesph tends to be a parallel of Jesus in so many ways, I’ll buy it.  The following is an excerpt from that resource:

Potiphar’s wife petitions Joseph and begs his forgiveness. Joseph sends her gifts in response and invites her to a feast where he calls Potiphar “father” and Potiphar’s wife “mother.”
Joseph declares, “Were it not for you, sending me to that prison, I would never have been brought into a situation where I could have interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams.”
It is a beautiful example in the spirit of forgiveness that Joseph showed toward his brothers — and that Christ shows towards sinners.

I don’t have to have hard facts to back up this theory of Mrs. Potiphar’s fate and repentance. This story ministers to me the same.  I see Jesus mirrored in it, and with it, my own experience of salvation, grace and redemption.  No, my story isn’t identical to her in deed, but my sins were every bit as heavy, and I too was forgiven and redeemed when I didn’t deserve it.

This is the beautiful gift of Jesus.  Free to everyone who will receive it.

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”  Ephesians‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s in this that I really don’t have to wonder what it was like to be her….because I know.  In truth we all do.

I am Potiphar’s wife — and I am redeemed!

Read more on Mrs. Potiphar in our “Learning from Their Examples” series.


IMG_7722Heather Whidden loves Jesus, is married to her best friend and is mother of 3 blessings.  She is a professional photographer and has a heart for ministry.  She loves spending time with her family and friends, writing, reading, and traveling.  Time and people is what she values most.  You can read more about her here.

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