We had a lot of fun two weeks ago with Judah, sheep shearing, and the Tamar sex scandal. Staff voted this week to carry on with a similar theme in the next chapter in Genesis. While Judah is back home in Canaan with his brothers, Tamar, and the sheep, the youngest brother Joseph has been sold into slavery in Egypt. This is when things get interesting.
- Joseph the Pool Boy. First, Joseph finds himself as an over-seer in the house of a high Egyptian official named Potiphar. According to Genesis 39, Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce him (think Mrs. Robinson). And just like Dustin Hoffman, Joseph takes off, unfortunately leaving his cloak in her bedroom. Accusations follow. And Joseph lands in prison.
- Joseph makes a comeback. Joseph gets out of prison after some impressive dream interpretations in front of the Pharaoh. A couple of chapters later, Pharaoh marries Joseph off to the daughter of an Egyptian aristocrat to a) keep Joseph happy and b) to maintain political stability. And the name of the aristocratic father of the daughter? Potiphera. That sure sounds a lot like Potiphar
- Did something happen to Potiphar? The 3BT research staff ran across Talmud commentary this week that adds a lot of intrigue to this story. According to the commentary, Potiphar originally bought Joseph for sexual purposes. This brought down the wrath of the angel Gabriel, who decided this sex/slave stuff was not appropriate and decided to castrate him. Subsequently he changed his name (or more likely, someone changed it for him) from Potiphar to the more feminine Potiphera. This might explain a lot of things, including why Potiphar’s wife was after Joseph in the first place.
Soooo, justice is served on Potiphar. And he can’t even hold a grudge against Joseph because Joseph is his son-in-law.
We can’t make this stuff up.