Joseph and Asenethis a narrative that dates from before the 6th century C.E. It relates the romance, marriage and children of the Israelite patriarch Joseph and his Egyptian wife, Asenath,. (Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. Genesis 41:45)  Some have regarded it as nothing more than an Jewish elaboration on the story. Others question this position partly because of its  language (Son of God, Bride of God) and symbolism (Eucharistic). Many argue that the text is Christian in origin and is actually the coded story of the marriage of Jesus with offspring (Joseph's two sonsfiguratively representing the children of Jesus and Mary Magdalene). The focus of the narrative is on the courtship, marriage and early family life of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
      In the first year of plenty, in the second month, on the fifth of the month, Pharaoh sent Joseph to go round all the land of Egypt; and in the fourth month of the first year, on the eighteenth of the month, Joseph came to the borders of Heliopolis, and he was gathering the corn of that country as the sand of the sea. And there was a certain man in that city by name Potiphera, who was a priest of Heliopolis and a satrap of Pharaoh, and chief of all Pharaoh's satraps and princes; and this man was exceeding rich and very sage and gentle, and he was also a counsellor of Pharaoh, because he was prudent beyond all Pharaoh's princes. And he had a virgin daughter, by name Asenath, of eighteen years, tall and comely, and beautiful to behold exceedingly beyond every virgin upon the earth. Now Asenath herself bare no likeness to the virgins the daughters of the Egyptians, but was in all things like the daughters of the Hebrews, being tall as Sarah and comely as Rebecca and beautiful as Rachel ; and the fame of her beauty spread abroad into all that land and unto the ends of the world, so that by reason of this all the sons of the princes and the satraps desired to woo her, nay, and the sons of the kings also, all young men and mighty, and there was great strife among them because of her, and they essayed to fight against one another. And Pharaoh's firstborn son also heard about her, and he continued entreating his father to give her to him to wife and saying to him : "Give me, father, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the first man of Heliopolis to wife." And his father Pharaoh said to him : "Wherefore dost thou on thy part seek a wife lower than thyself when thou art king of all this land? Nay, but lo! the daughter of Joacim the King of Moab is betrothed to thee, and she herself is a queen and beautiful to behold exceedingly. Take then this one to thyself to wife."

The Tower in which Asenath lives is described.
But Asenath set at naught and scorned every man, being boastful and haughty, and never had a man seen her, inasmuch as Potiphera had in his house a tower adjoining, great and high exceedingly, and above the tower was a loft containing ten chambers. And the first chamber was great and very lovely and paved with purple stones, and the walls thereof were faced with precious and many-colored stones, and the roof also of that chamber was of gold. And within that chamber gods of the Egyptians, whereof was no number, gold and silver, were fixed, and all those Asenath worshipped, and she feared them, and she performed sacrifices to them every day. And the second chamber also contained all Asenath's adorning and chests, and there was gold in it, and much silver and gold-woven raiment unlimited, and stones choice and of great price, and fine garments of linen, and all the adornment of her virginity was there. And the third chamber was Asenath's storehouse, containing all the good things of the earth. And the remaining seven chambers the seven virgins who ministered to Asenath occupied, each one having one chamber, for that they were of the same age, born on the same night with Asenath, and she loved them much; and they were also beautiful exceedingly as the stars of heaven, and never did a man converse with them or a male child. Now Asenath's great chamber where her virginity was fostered had three windows; and the first window was very large, looking over the court to the east; and the second looked toward the south, and the third looked over the street. And a golden bedstead stood in the chamber looking toward the east ; and the bed was laid with purple stuff interwoven with gold, the bed being woven of scarlet and crimson stuff and fine linen. On this bed Asenath alone slept, and never had man or other woman sat thereon. And there was also a great court adjoining the house all round, and an exceeding high wall round the court built of great rectangular stones ; and there were also four gates in the court overlaid with iron, and these were kept each by eighteen strong young men armed ; and there were also planted along the wall fair trees of all kinds and all bearing fruit, their fruit being ripe, for it was the season of harvest ; and there was also a rich fount of water springing from the right of the same court; and beneath the fount was a great cistern receiving the water of that fount, whence there went, as it were, a river through the midst of the court and it watered all the trees of that court.

Joseph announces his coming
And it came to pass in the first year of the seven years of plenty, in the fourth month, the twenty-eighth of the month, that Joseph came to the borders of Heliopolis collecting the corn of that district. And, when Joseph drew near to that city, he sent twelve men before him to Potiphera, the priest of Heliopolis, saying : " I will come in to thee to-day, because it is the time of noon and of the midday meal, and there is great heat of the sun, and that I may cool myself under the roof of thine house." And Potiphera, when he heard these things, rejoiced with exceeding great joy, and said : "Blessed be the Lord God of Joseph, because my lord Joseph hath thought me worthy." And Pentephres called the overseer of his house and said to him : "Haste and make mine house ready, and prepare a great dinner, because Joseph the mighty one of God cometh to us to-day." And, when Asenath heard that her father and mother had come from the possession of their inheritance, she rejoiced greatly and said : "I will go and see my father and mother, because they have come from the possession of our inheritance " (for that it was the harvest-season). And Asenath hastened into her chamber where her robes lay and put on a fine linen robe made of crimson stuff and interwoven with gold, and girded herself with a golden girdle, and bracelets round her hands; and about her feet she put golden buskins, and round her neck she cast an ornament of great price and precious stones, which were embellished on all sides, having also the names of the gods of the Egyptians everywhere engraved on them, both on the bracelets and the stones ; and she put also a tiara on her head and bound a diadem round her temples and covered her head with a mantle.
Potiphera proposes to give Asenath in Marriage.
And thereupon she hasted and went down the stairs from her loft and came to her father and mother and kissed them. And Potiphera and his wife rejoiced over their daughter Asenath  with exceeding great joy for that they beheld her adorned and embellished as the bride of God ; and they brought forth all the good things which they had brought from the possession of their inheritance and gave them to their daughter ; and Asenath rejoiced over all the good things, over the late summer fruit and the grapes and the dates and over the doves, and over the mulberries and the figs, because they were all fair and pleasant to taste. And Potiphera said to his daughter Asenath: "Child." And she said : "Here am I, my lord."  And he said to her: "Sit down between us, and I will speak to thee my words." She sat down between her father and her mother, and Potiphera her father took hold of her right hand with his right hand and kissed it tenderly and said: "Dearest child" And she said to him: "Here am I, my lord father" And Potiphera said to her : "Lo! Joseph, the mighty one of God, cometh to us to-day, and this man is ruler of all the land of Egypt; and King Pharaoh appointed him ruler of all our land and king, and he himself giveth corn to all this country, and saveth it from the coming famine; and this Joseph is a man that worshippeth God, and discreet and a virgin as thou art to-day, and a man mighty in wisdom and knowledge, and the spirit of God is upon him and the grace of the Lord is in him.

 Next Page