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Joseph and Asenath together on this image in Berlin. Man depicted close to them may be Potipherah.

According to the Hebrew Bible, Potipherah (/pɒˈtɪfərə/, Hebrew: פּוֹטִי פֶרַע Pōṭī feraʿ) was a priest of the ancient Egyptian town of On,[1] mentioned in the Genesis 41:45 and 41:50. He was the father of Asenath, who was given to Joseph as his wife by Pharaoh, (41:45) and who bore Joseph two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim.[2]

His name means "he whom Ra has given".[3]

Biblical source[edit]

Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Thus Joseph gained authority over the land of Egypt.


It has been noted that Potipherah served as a priest in Ra's most important cult center.[3] A Jewish legend makes him the same person as Potiphar, whose wife[4] was in love with Joseph and whose false accusation got him thrown in prison.


  1. ^ The Open court, Volume 27. Harry Houdini Collection (Library of Congress).
  2. ^ 41:50
  3. ^ a b Hoffmeier, James K. (1999). Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition. Oxford University Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-19-976123-4.
  4. ^ Legends of Old Testament characters from the Talmud and other sources by Sabine Baring-Gould