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Sunday, September 18 2011

Was Her Name Zuleikha?

The incident of Joseph, the son of Jacob / Israel and Rachel (see also The Syrian Marriage Wells and The Rachel Prophecies) being sold away to Egypt by his jealous brothers is one of the most well-known events of Bible History.

"37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites [see also Ishmael's Paran] came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt [see also Camel Trains].

37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt." (Genesis 37:23-28 KJV)

Despite the grief that the brothers brought upon their father, who was deceived into believing that Joseph was dead, they continued on with their own lives. It is interesting however that, as stated above, it was Judah who convinced the others to sell Joseph, rather than kill him, and immediately afterward Judah (see also Are Levites 'Jews'?) parted close company with his brothers, married a Canaanite, and started his own family (see Who Were The First Jews?).

"38:1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. 38:3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. 38:4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. 38:5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him." (Genesis 38:1-5 KJV)

"Thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"

In Egypt, Joseph was sold to a military officer, a man named Potiphar.

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

"39:1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither." (Genesis 39:1 KJV)

Joseph was blessed by the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'), for a purpose (see also Covered Wagons Of The Exodus), as Joseph, and his treacherous brothers, all later realized: "50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." (Genesis 50:18-20 KJV).

"39:2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 39:3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 39:4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 39:5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. 39:6 And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat.

And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured." (Genesis 39:2-6 KJV)

The treachery and lies of Joseph's brothers got Joseph into Egypt, but not close to the Pharaoh. Joseph's rise to political power (see the Fact Finder question below) would be accomplished beginning with the treachery and lies of the wife of his master Potiphar. Although her name is not recorded in the Holy Bible, there is a widely-held ancient Jewish and Arabian tradition that her name was Zuleikha (pronounced zoo-lay-kah), a name that is still found in women of that same region today. The meaning of the name Zuleikha is debated. Some say that it means radiant one, while others contend that it simply means Potiphar's wife in translation from Arabic.

There was likely a significant age difference between Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Joseph was a teenager (i.e. Genesis 37:2) when he was sold away to Egypt. Considering his high rank, Potiphar was almost certainly middle-aged - as was his wife (see also Lethal Lust).

"39:7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.

39:8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; 39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

39:10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her." (Genesis 39:2-10 KJV)

The day then came when righteous Joseph ("Thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?") found himself falsely accused and imprisoned. As a quirk of the English language, her "lie with me" was a lie.

"39:11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. 39:12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out."

39:13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 39:14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: 39:15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.

39:16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. 39:17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: 39:18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.

39:19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. 39:20 And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison." (Genesis 39:13-20 KJV)

With the help of the LORD, even in prison Joseph prospered. It was from that vantage point that Joseph would soon rise to become the Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh himself (see the Fact Finder question below).

"39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 39:22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. 39:23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper." (Genesis 39:21-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) How did Joseph become the Prime Minister of Egypt? (b) Did Joseph come to rule Egypt in the same way that the prophet Daniel came to rule Babylon?
(a) See Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt
(b) See Prime Minister Daniel


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This Day In History, September 18

96: The accession of Nerva, the 12th Roman emperor (reigned 96-98 AD). He succeeded Domitian who was assassinated (see New Testament Roman Emperors).

324: Constantine the Great defeated Licinius at Chrysopolis, making Constantine the sole emperor of the Roman empire (see Ancient Empires - Rome and Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!; also, listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

1502: Christopher Columbus landed at Costa Rica on his fourth and last voyage to the "New World" (although there was nothing "new" about it in matters of human nature - many of the "explorers" and "pioneers" were misfits and outcasts of civilization who could only seem "normal" in a lawless wilderness).

1635: Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria declared war on France (see The Holy Roman Empire).

1759: The French formally surrendered Quebec to the British.

1810: Chile declared its independence from Spain.

1819: Jean-Bernard Foucault was born. In 1851 the French physicist demonstrated, using a pendulum named after him, that the earth does indeed rotate on its axis (readers of the Holy Bible were far ahead of "scientists" in that knowledge - see No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible).

1830: Near Baltimore, a 9-mile race was held between the newly-invented railway locomotive and a rider on a horse. The horse won.

1906: A typhoon, along with a tsunami, killed an estimated 10,000 people in Hong Kong.

1924: The Moffatt Translation of the Bible was published by Bible scholar James Moffatt.

1934: The U.S.S.R. was admitted to the League of Nations.

1939: A German U-boat (in German meaning Underwater Boat i.e. a submarine) sank the British aircraft carrier Courageous, killing 500 crewmen.

1974: Hurricane Fifi struck Honduras with 110 mph winds. An estimated 5,000 people were killed.

1977: The unmanned spacecraft Voyager I took the first photographs of the earth and moon together in space.

1981: The French parliament abolished capital punishment and the guillotine.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank