Genesis 39:20

And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Therefore I might say Joseph was happier when he was put into prison, because he was giving witness on behalf of chastity. For modesty is a good gift but one of lesser merit when it involves no risk. Where, however, it is maintained at the risk of one’s safety, there it wins a more abundant crown. With his case unheard, his truthfulness unexamined, Joseph is sent into prison as if guilty of a crime. But the Lord did not abandon him even in prison. The innocent should not be troubled when they are attacked on false charges, when justice is overcome and they are shoved into prison. God visits his own even in prison, and so there is more help for them there, where there is more danger.

Caesarius of Arles

AD 542
Now when Joseph was accused by his mistress, he refused to say that she was guilty, because as a just man he did not know how to accuse anyone; for this reason the unchaste woman acted with impunity. Therefore I might say that she was truly stripped even though she held the skirt of his garment in her hand, for she had lost all the adornments of purity and the covering of chastity. I might say further that he was sufficiently adorned and clothed even though his voice was not heard, for his innocence spoke. In this way, Susanna later spoke better than the prophet even though she was silent at her trial; since she did not seek the help of her own voice she thus merited the defense of the prophet. I might have said Joseph was more blessed when he was cast into prison, for he endured martyrdom in defense of chastity. The gift of purity is a great thing, even when it is preserved without danger, but when it is defended, although at the risk of personal safety, then it is crowned still more ...

Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
But the holy man considered that prison to be a palace; and Joseph himself was a palace in his prison, because where faith, chastity and modesty are, there the palace of Christ is, the temple of God, the dwelling of the Holy Spirit …. In the church there are three models of chastity that everybody must imitate: Joseph, Susanna and Mary. May men imitate Joseph, women Susanna and the virgin Mary.


AD 450
Joseph was imprisoned. Our Joseph, that is, Christ, as Isaiah says, “was numbered with the transgressors.” The innocent man is led among the guilty by the wisdom of God, who “went down with him”—as was written—”into the pit, and did not leave him in bonds.” This Joseph of ours, Christ, claims, “I became as a man without help, free among the dead.” What followed had to happen, that is, the fact that Joseph found in the commander of the prison the grace of which he was full and that all the keys and the entire surveillance were given to him. This occurred in order that to the one before whom heaven prostrated in the figure of the sun, the moon and the stars, and the earth in that of its crops, also the subterranean creatures of the prison might submit. And therefore before our Joseph, that is, Christ, “every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” I also think that the fact that two eunuchs of Pharaoh were imprisoned together with him is not incompatible with the m...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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