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Joseph and Asenath

Asenath (/ˈæsɪnæθ/, Hebrew: אָסְנַת, Modern: ʾAsənat, Tiberian: ʾĀsenaṯ) is a minor figure in the Book of Genesis.


First mentioned in the Book of Genesis, Asenath said to the be the wife of Joseph and the mother of his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. In the Book of Jubilees, she is said to be given to Joseph to marry by Pharaoh, a daughter of Potiphar, a high priest, with no clarification as to whether or not this Potiphar is the same Potiphar whose wife falsely accused Joseph of attempting to rape her, while in the Midrash and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, she is said to the be daughter of Dinah, Joseph's sister, and Shechem, born of an illicit union, described as either premarital sex or rape, depending on the narrative.[1][2][3] A later-date apocryphal publication, written in Greek, believed to be a Christian document, called Joseph and Aseneth, supposedly details their relationship and in it, Asenath converts to Judaism, weds Joseph, whose brothers Dan and Gad plot to kill him for the sake of Pharaoh's son, who wants for Asenath to be his wife, only for their efforts to be thwarted by Benjamin, and their subsequent 48-year long reign over Egypt.

The name Asenath today[edit]

"Asenath" or "Osnat" (Hebrew: אָסְנַת, Modern: Osnát, Tiberian: ʾåsənaṯ) is a commonly used female first name in present-day Israel. Asenath is also the name of a character in H. P. Lovecraft's short story, "The Thing on the Doorstep."


  1. ^ "Asenath: Bible | Jewish Women's Archive". Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  2. ^ "Jubilees 40". Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  3. ^ Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 38.

External links[edit]