Joseph and Aseneth Christoph Burchard

ISBN:

Published: 1985

77 pages


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Joseph and Aseneth  by  Christoph Burchard

Joseph and Aseneth by Christoph Burchard
1985 | | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 77 pages | ISBN: | 8.69 Mb

Joseph and Aseneth (alternatively spelled Asenath) is an ancient apocryphal expansion of the Book of Genesiss account of the patriarch Josephs marriage to Aseneth.According to Genesis 41:45, Pharaoh gives Aseneth, the daughter of PotipherahMoreJoseph and Aseneth (alternatively spelled Asenath) is an ancient apocryphal expansion of the Book of Genesiss account of the patriarch Josephs marriage to Aseneth.According to Genesis 41:45, Pharaoh gives Aseneth, the daughter of Potipherah (Pentephres in the Septuagint) priest of On to Joseph as a wife.

Genesis 41:50-52 narrates that Aseneth bore Joseph two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. No more is said of her. Like many narratives in Genesis, the biblical story is tantalizingly brief, and raises questions that were to fascinate later interpreters. Why would an upstanding descendant of Jacob (Israel) marry the daughter of a pagan priest, and how could it be justifiable?

How could two of the eponymous tribes be descended from union with an outsider, otherwise prohibited by the Mosaic Law? The story of Joseph and Aseneth sets out to answer some of those questions.The twenty-nine chapters of Joseph and Aseneth narrate the conversion of Aseneth, from idolatry to monotheism and the worship of Adonai. Aseneth, a virgin who has rejected numerous worthy suitors, falls in love with Joseph when he, as vizier of Egypt, visits her father.

Joseph, however, rejects her as an unworthy idol worshipper.Aseneth then secludes herself in her tower, repents of her idolatry, confesses her sin, and embraces Josephs God. Begging for Gods acceptance, she then receives an angelic visitor (looking like Joseph), who assures her that her prayers are answered and that she is now a new creation. There follows a strange and extended ritual, where in order to confer on her immortality, the angel shares with Aseneth a magical honeycomb, and is told of her heavenly counterpart Metanoia (Repentance).The honeycomb, which the angel marks with a cross, causes a swarm of bees to surround her, and some return to heaven though others die.

The meaning and significance of this episode of the bees is uncertain, and appears to have some sort of connection to initiation rites of mystery religions. There may also be a connection with the otherwise mysterious name of the prophetess Deborah, literally bee, from one of the oldest parts of the Book of Judges. It is uncertain whether the involvement of a cross indicates a Christian influence or not.Aseneth, promising to love, honour, and obey Joseph, is now seen as a potential wife by him, and the two marry and she bears him Ephraim and Manasseh.

Then in the final chapters of the book, Pharaohs son, in love with Aseneth himself, attempts to seize her, persuading Dan and Gad to assist him and kill Joseph. However, Benjamin, Josephs loyal brother, foils the attempt, and Pharaohs son receives fatal wounds. Aseneth forgives Dan and Gad, and Joseph and she go on to rule over Egypt. Enmity between Joseph and Dan and Gad is not recounted elsewhere, and nor is any between the tribes of which they are eponyms, so it is uncertain why they are mentioned in this manner by the author, unless it was due to a personal grudge.



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