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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Joseph and Aseneth

P. 1-2.

Jewish Hellenistic apocryphon tells how an Egyptian priestess fell in love with Joseph who rejected her as a Gentile. After conversion to the true God Joseph married Aseneth. The story includes long psalms, an apocalyptic scene, initiation into the Mystery of the Most High, transfiguration of Aseneth into an angelomorphic creature, and the mystic City of Refuge, where all the believers are to be saved for the eternal Reign of the Lord. The second part narrates how an Egyptian prince involved four of Joseph's brothers in a plot against him and Aseneth; the prince had perished and Joseph became the ruler of Egypt. The apocryphon presents a symbolic figure of proselyte for Jewish diaspora and explains the biblical patriarch's marriage to a gentile maid. The story was interpreted as Christian, and was many times reworked all around the medieval world from England to Persia. The time and place of its origin is debated as much as its relationship with the Greek novel.

In book

Edited by: R. S. Bagnall. Wiley, 2018.