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The theme being Women of the Bible let us begin with Asenath (Hebrew: אָסְנַת) the Egyptian wife of Joseph mentioned in the 41st chapter of Genesis. Asenath is in fact a common first name for Israeli women.
Not much is known about Asenath in the Bible except that she is the daughter of the priestess Potipherah, was given to Joseph in marriage by Pharaoh, and bore Joseph his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
She might only be mentioned in two verses but there is great significance in those two verses. First, she is the daughter of a priestess, was hand picked by Pharaoh, and given to Joseph as a wife so that he would be socially accepted as a member of Egyptian society. Second, she is the mother of two important monarchs, Manasseh and Ephraim, who were the heads of two Israelite Tribes. Her importance is even noted by Rembrandt in his painting Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph.
|Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph. Rembrandt. 1656.|
And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him.