KWASI - I have been studying the strictness of
the patriarchs in the old testament to marriage in
the covenant.One that buffles my mind is that of
Joseph the son of Jacob who married a wife
pharoah chose for him thats Asenath.I want to know if
Joseph married in the covenant since pharoah wasnt a
member of the house of isreal and
didnt understand marriage in the covenant.
JOEL - One of the gifts of Pharaoh to Joseph in appreciation for the interpretation of his dreams was that of the young maiden Asenath in marriage. Because the Lord had been very careful in the marriages of both Isaac and Jacob, we would expect Him to be just as careful concerning Joseph's marriage.
The first thing to consider is that not all people who called themselves "Egyptian" at that time were of the true Egyptian bloodline. There was a time when the people of Asia, who were of the Semitic race, rebelled and made war on the Egyptians and conquered the country, driving the original inhabitants farther south and up the Nile. Because of this, and the fact that the name "Asenath" is not Egyptian, her father, Potipherah, must have been Semite and not of original Egyptian blood. So although Asenath, was not from within the covenant, she was a Semite without any restriction on her bloodline. Therefore, no barrier would be raised against the marriage from this standpoint.
According to Hugh Nibley, before marrying Asenath, she was adopted into the covenant when Joseph gave her a blessing, by laying his right hand upon the head of his future bride and said: "Lord God, Father of Israel . . . who leadeth from dark to light, from error to truth, and death to life, Oh bless this maiden; give her life; renew her through thy Holy Ghost."
She then renounced the rank of an Egyptian princess and was washed and clothed in white by an angel, who then records her name in the book of life with the declaration, "From this day forward thou art newly created and formed and given a new life, eating the bread of life and receiving the anointing with the oil of immortality." She is then given a new name and married to Joseph by the Pharaoh himself, "who after giving the couple his blessing, crowns them with gold crowns, and then laying his hands on their heads pronounces the operative blessing: 'May the Lord, the Most high God, bless you, and multiply and exalt and glorify you throughout all Eternity.' "
Sources of information:
Joseph and Aseneth, in James H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha;
Nibley, Hugh. Abraham in Egypt. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981. p. 216.
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