Asenath: Mother of Monotheistic Egypt

Seeds of Promise Series by Shenica Graham

Asenath: Mother of Monotheistic Egypt

Women of The Bible

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Seeds of Promise Women of the Bible Asenath: Mother of Monotheistic Egypt
Genesis 40:45, Genesis 40:50 Audio

Memory Verse: AMP


Devotional Reading: Genesis 40:45 AMP

45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife

Devotional Reading: Genesis 40:50 AMP

50 Now to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On, bore to him.

Asenath was the cultivated, well-bred, aristocratic daughter of Poti-phera, the Priest of On (another name for Heliopolis, the religious center of their sun god, Ra). In summary, Asenath was the daughter of a reputable family that was highly respected. Asenath was probably well-educated and literate, a notable socialite, and a woman of many graces who knew how to leverage an opportunity. She might have seen her marriage to Joseph as a social promotion, though she was technically out of his league were it not for the favor of God on Joseph’s life.

Under normal circumstances, Joseph who was a slave when he arrived in Egypt, would not have had the opportunity or the good fortune to marry such an esteemed woman. But this was no normal circumstance. Joseph was anointed and blessed above all his brethren and all the leaders under Pharaoh’s rule. Joseph was second only to Pharaoh by the grace of God and His anointing on Joseph’s life. This marriage was a matter of God’s providence. Asenath, however, was no godless woman. According to the Encyclopedia of the Jewish Women’s Archive, Joseph and Aseneth, like the Wisdom of Solomon … belong to the speculative branch of Jewish wisdom-theology . Asenath is apparently a convert to Israel’s God and the family of God. “As a daughter of God… she helps to change the world for the better, because the wise and righteous ones rule the country (JosAs 28–29) [[1]]” Apparently, she was a proponent of monotheism in a polytheistic environment; and she might have been an agent of change who brought forth the concept to her people of Yahweh, the ONE, omnipotent God [[2]] – which would have been in accord with the view of Joseph who served the one true and living God. Thus, God brought together a unified front concerning himself, which would be a crown of blessing over the kingdom, for all in the charge of Joseph were blessed because of his anointing; and a wife who served strange gods would have been a snare to him. Asenath’s two sons born to Joseph before the famine were Manasseh (e.g., “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house”) and Ephraim (e.g., “God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortunes”), who would be the forefathers of two of the twelve tribes of Israel.


Footnotes

[1] Asenath: Bible – http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/asenath-bible

[2] The Egyptian Asenath & Joseph – http://www.womeninthebible.net/Asenath.htm

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