Fielding's Biblical Model for
Fielding alludes to a story in Genesis 39:7 (see pp. 70, 89 Broadview ed; I.5, I.10)
Joseph and Potiphar's wife
Now Joseph was well built and handsome, and it happened some time later that his
master's wife looked deliriously at him and said, 'Sleep with me'. But he refused, and
answered his master's wife...how could I do anything so wicked and sin against God?
But one day...the woman caught hold of him by his tunic and said 'Sleep with me'. But he
left the tunic in her hand and ran out of the house. Seeing he had left the tunic in her hand
and left the house, she called her servants and said to them, 'Look at this! He has brought
us a Hebrew to insult us. He came to me to sleep with me, but I screamed, and when he
heard me scream and shout he ran out....When the master heard his wife say 'This is how
your slave treated me ' he was furious. Joseph's master had him arrested and committed
to the gaol...
'We were binding sheaves in the countryside; and my sheaf, it seemed, rose up and stood
upright; then I saw your sheaves gather round and bow to my sheaf. 'So you want to be
king over us' his brothers retorted...
Joseph to his brothers who, after Joseph's prophetic dream of the sheaves, sold him into slavery:
'What if Joseph intends to treat us as enemies and repay us for all the wrong we did him?'
Joseph responds 'Do not be afraid; is it for me to put myself in God's place? The evil you
planned to do me has by God's design been turned to good, that he might bring about, as
indeed he has, the deliverance of a numerous people...