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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][dubious ]

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 suggested that Potipherah was a prince, not only a priest.[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 Smith, William (1865). A Concise Dictionary of the Bible for the Use of Families and Students. John Murray. p. 747. OCLC 31387564.
  4. ^ Legends of Old Testament characters from the Talmud and other sources by Sabine Baring-Gould