“Joseph?” she asked in a disdainful tone, pretending not to recognize the name. Her make-up was flawless; the heavy kohl emphasized piercing eyes, and her dress and adornment were impressive. Everything about her communicated status and power.
“My husband’s slave? ” Waving her hand dismissively, she said, “You mean that thing he brought into my house? Yes, I think I do remember him…vaguely. He was such a pest, prancing about, always trying to get my attention. What a bother. I tried to ignore him but everywhere I looked, there he was again.”
“Did I find him attractive? Well, he was hard to ignore; he was a foreigner…” She emphasized the word, as she tried to give her side of the story as convincingly as possible. “I thought of him the same way I think about a nice vase- I admire the design–I enjoy it. Or a beautiful length of luxurious Egyptian cotton–I want to wrap myself up in it. Just things, you know.”
“And why not? He was just another of my husband’s possessions. They are all mine and I do what I want with them. They have no real meaning. I can get another whenever I want!” she spoke a little too forcefully.”
“Of course I didn’t try to seduce him! Why would I have bothered? He was a flirt and he thought he could toy with my affections. He simply annoyed me, and…well…he angered me with his teasing. I knew what he was thinking. He could not wait to get his hands on me. But he was arrogant! When I refused him, he mocked me.”
“My husband is a powerful man. He bought the Israelite from a slave trader. Oh, he demonstrated some intellect. A charming and manipulative young man. Before I knew it, he was involved in almost everything Potiphar did. My husband trusted him; he kept nothing from that slave.”
“I was concerned that trouble-maker would try to usurp my husband. He thought he was so high and mighty…in charge of my husband’s money and responsibilities. Why, any minute he could have turned on my husband with a false accusation. It was my duty to let Potiphar know the kind of person he had started to rely on.”
“What happened? Well I just told you, he made advances and he disrespected me. He dishonored my husband. I screamed for help and he ran away.”
A gleam appeared in her eye, and with a sly grin she went on, “I grabbed his garment as proof. When I showed it to my husband, and explained what had happened, he was furious. He kicked that slave out of our house and put him in prison immediately. I hope he rots down there!” she said in a vicious tone.
“You want to clarify what! Whether Potiphar was angry with Joseph, or with me?”
“How dare you insinuate such a thing!” she hissed.
Find a Bible study guide to go with this story on The Women Speak page.