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

Potipherah /pɒˈtɪfərə/ 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]


It was suggested that Potipherah was a prince, not only a priest,[3] and that he may be the same person as Potiphar. It was Potiphar's wife[4] that was in love with Joseph, and whose false accusation got him thrown in prison.


And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over [all] the land of Egypt.

— Genesis 41:45, KJV 1611


  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