Joseph had been sold by the Midianite merchants – the ones who had pulled him out of the well – *to an Ishmaelite caravan* that was on its way to Egypt. When the caravan arrived there, the boss re-sold Joseph to a man called Potiphar, who was captain of the Pharaoh’s guard.
Joseph was made a house-servant in Potiphar’s household, and he lived with all the other servants in Potiphar’s big house. At first, Joseph did just the menial household duties. So diligent and innovative was he in everything he did, that not only Potiphar noticed, his wife, Zuleikha, noticed too.
“You know, Potty” said Zuleikha while in bed with Potiphar one night, “I think you should put your new servant, Joseph, to better use. I discern he has managerial abilities. How about putting him in charge of all the household duties. You would have less things to worry about, and you would relax more so that we could make love.”
“Yours is a good idea, dearest Zuleikha”, said Potiphar, “But, wouldn’t it take away much from what you normally do? As for making love, it wouldn’t make much difference because of……..well……you know what I’m talking about.”
“I do, Potty love, but you never know. That aside, I have lots to do that I never get done because of having to supervise the servants. I would find it a huge help were Joseph to supervise them.”
“Yes, yes, I do understand. But Joseph would be around you more when I’m away wouldn’t he? And…….well…..I can’t help noticing how you sometimes look at him. I’m not blaming you, dear Zuleikha, for Joseph’s an extremely handsome and good-looking fellow, and you are…….well…….a woman. I mean, were I a woman, I might look at him in that way too, ha ha ha. Not of course that you would do anything untoward, I don’t suggest this for a moment. But you might be overcome with improper thoughts that could affect your emotional health.”
“I’m overcome with improper thoughts all the time, didn’t you know, Potty? And I’m still in good emotional health. You know something?”
“I’m being overcome with improper thoughts right now, and they’re about you. Oh Potty darling, we’ve all night. Come on, lets start making love now. You don’t have to do anything, I’ll do everything.”
“I’ve a long day tomorrow, dear Zuleikha. Besides, I feel a headache coming on. Another time perhaps………?”
Source: Genesis 39, 1-6