The Full Wiki

Asenath: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Asenath ( ) or Asenith (in modern times sometimes trasliterated as Osnat) is a figure in the Book of Genesis, an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph son of Jacob to be his wife. The daughter of Potipherah, a priest of Onmarker, she bore Joseph two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, who became the patriarchs of the Israelite tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, respectively. Modern scholarship says her name derives from the Egyptian "holy to Anath"; her name may be phonetically transliterated from the New Kingdom Egyptian hieroglyphs as Ns-Nt.

Genesis records nothing more about Asenath, but her story is elaborated in the apocryphal Joseph and Asenath. There, she is a virgin who rejects several worthy suitors in favor of Joseph, but Joseph will not have a pagan for a wife. She locks herself in a tower and rejects her idolatry in favor of Joseph's God Yahweh, and receives a visit from an angel who accepts her conversion. A ritual involving a honeycomb follows. Bees cover her and sting her lips to remove the false prayers to the pagan gods of her past. Joseph now consents to marry her. She bears him their sons Mannaseh and Ephraim. Pharaoh's son wants Asenath for himself, however, and with the aid of Joseph's brothers Dan and Gad, he conspires to kill her husband. The loyal brother Benjamin interferes, and Pharaoh's son is ultimately slain. Asenath forgives the conspirators, and she and Joseph rule over Egypt for 48 years, after which they pass the crown to Pharaoh's grandson.

The Midrash Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer records a view that Asenath was actually the daughter of Joseph's sister Dinah, conceived in her rape by Shechemmarker. Some of the circumstantial textual evidence supporting this view is laid out in an article by John Pratt.

"Asenath" or "Osnat" ( ) is a commonly used female first name in present-day Israelmarker.

Asenath is the name of a character in H.P. Lovecraft's The Thing on the Doorstep.

Asenath can also be spelled "Asenith".


  1. Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, chap. 48.

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address