Who was Potiphera and is he the same man as Potiphar?


Genesis 41:45

ESV - 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 07 2020 Mini Clara Brown

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
By my reading of relevant texts and commentaries, these two individuals were not the same, despite the similarity in their names.

According to Genesis 39:1, Potiphar was the captain of the guards of the Egyptian pharaoh. He was the one into whose service Joseph, the son of Jacob (Israel), was placed upon his arrival in Egypt after his jealous half-brothers sold him into slavery there. It was Potiphar's wife who attempted to seduce Joseph. When Joseph resisted her advances, she falsely accused him of attempting to rape her, and Potiphar had Joseph put in prison.

Potiphera was a priest of Ra (the Egyptian god of the sun) who was based in On (also known as Heliopolis). After Joseph correctly interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, one of the ways in which Pharaoh rewarded Joseph was by giving him Potiphera's daughter Asenath as his wife, as noted in Genesis 41:45. She became the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh, the two "half-tribes" of Israel that were descended from Joseph.

(The division of Joseph's descendants into these two half-tribes subsequently allowed the priestly tribe of Levi to be dispersed among the other tribes of Israel (rather than having a separate land allotment of their own after the Jews settled in Canaan following their exodus from Egypt), while keeping the total of the tribal allotments at twelve, corresponding to the twelve sons of Jacob.)

May 07 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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