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Genesis 41:43-46

Context
41:43 Pharaoh 1  had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command, 2  and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!” 3  So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 41:44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission 4  no one 5  will move his hand or his foot 6  in all the land of Egypt.” 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. 7  He also gave him Asenath 8  daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 9  to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of 10  all the land of Egypt.

41:46 Now Joseph was 30 years old 11  when he began serving 12  Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by 13  Pharaoh and was in charge of 14  all the land of Egypt.

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Pharaoh) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “and he caused him to ride in the second chariot which was his.”

3 tn The verb form appears to be a causative imperative from a verbal root meaning “to kneel.” It is a homonym of the word “bless” (identical in root letters but not related etymologically).

4 tn Heb “apart from you.”

5 tn Heb “no man,” but here “man” is generic, referring to people in general.

6 tn The idiom “lift up hand or foot” means “take any action” here.

7 sn The meaning of Joseph’s Egyptian name, Zaphenath-Paneah, is uncertain. Many recent commentators have followed the proposal of G. Steindorff that it means “the god has said, ‘he will live’” (“Der Name Josephs Saphenat-Pa‘neach,” ZÄS 31 [1889]: 41-42); others have suggested “the god speaks and lives” (see BDB 861 s.v. צָפְנָת פַּעְנֵחַ); “the man he knows” (J. Vergote, Joseph en Égypte, 145); or “Joseph [who is called] áIp-àankh” (K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 1262).

8 sn The name Asenath may mean “she belongs to the goddess Neit” (see HALOT 74 s.v. אָֽסְנַת). A novel was written at the beginning of the first century entitled Joseph and Asenath, which included a legendary account of the conversion of Asenath to Joseph’s faith in Yahweh. However, all that can be determined from this chapter is that their children received Hebrew names. See also V. Aptowitzer, “Asenath, the Wife of Joseph – a Haggadic Literary-Historical Study,” HUCA 1 (1924): 239-306.

9 sn On (also in v. 50) is another name for the city of Heliopolis.

10 tn Heb “and he passed through.”

11 tn Heb “a son of thirty years.”

12 tn Heb “when he stood before.”

13 tn Heb “went out from before.”

14 tn Heb “and he passed through all the land of Egypt”; this phrase is interpreted by JPS to mean that Joseph “emerged in charge of the whole land.”



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