So Many Questions. . .

Reading and listening to the Bible, so many questions cross my mind. Not deep, theological quandaries I’m afraid, just everyday questions and though they do not add or detract from me one way or another, they keep boggling my mind.

I got a Nokia 56-something for my birthday from my husband. That phone opened a Daily Audio Biblenew world for me – the world of podcasts. I discovered the Daily Audio Bible and since December, 2009 it has been my daily companion. We started the Bible in January and right now we are at the story of Joseph.

Back to my question… I kept wondering; just imagine Joseph entering the royal palace after he was made second-in-command of all Egypt, and all the officials and courtiers are there bowing as he enters. Probably, Portiphar and his Missus were there. How did that woman feel when she had to bow down to the slave boy she had set up years ago? Like I said, it is not a deeply spiritual question but my imagination has been running riot.

If Joseph was a sexy young man at 17… imagine him at 30. . . And she was probably getting washed up, maybe age was catching up with her. Would she have tried to get to him once again or was she too ashamed to even try?

I don’t know and I can’t imagine. Sometimes I wish the Bible went to some more detail (as if it’s not detailed enough!). It’s crazy how we do things without realising that there are ALWAYS consequences. The way we treat people matters alot. Nigerians have a favourite saying no condition is permanent and isn’t that true! We need to be conscious of ‘tomorrow’.

hiding behind the maskOn another note, I have decided to blog anonymously. I will still maintain this blog because I really love it. But for my more personal stuff, I’ll go anonymous. Too many folks getting up in my business (that’s what blogging is for isn’t it?). If you find me out there in blogosphere, be sure to let me know. I will not acknowledge you on the blog though, but maybe an email?

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5 Comments to “So Many Questions. . .”

  1. Hi Sharon,

    The Bible says that when Joseph ascended to power he married the daughter of Poti Phera the Priest of Own (that’s how the locale is pronounced in Hebrew). The Jewish Sages point out that Potiphar and Poti Phera were the same person (the names sound almost the same). So in effect, Joseph became the Son in Law of Mrs. Potiphar. So that’s how she saved face.

    In his presence, she had the social and political status of being the Viceroy’s Mother in Law and the child that she had deep down hoped to have with him, she vicariously had through her daughter.

    Shalom,
    Choni

  2. Ok Choni, that’s another way of looking at it. That definitely would have saved face for her and for Potiphar, how would he have felt though, having this ex-con as a son in law?

    Thanks for commenting. This satisfies my curiousity somewhat.

  3. Well Sharon, Genesis 39:19 characterizes Potiphar as becoming furious when he heard the story from his wife. However, the Scripture does not clarify whom he was furious with – Joseph or his wife?

    The Jewish Sages cast strong doubt about whether he was really all that furious with Joseph. Potiphar was at least somewhat aware of his wife’s ways and of Joseph’s ways. Therefore, when he weighed the story in his mind he ended up a lot more suspicious of his wife than of Joseph. However for appearence sake, it was the slave who had to go to jail.

    The Jewish Sages find further support from the fact that Potiphar sent Joseph to the prison for the royal prisoners (see verse 39:20) , not the dungeon for the common criminals. I guess it was the Egyptian equivalent of a white collar prison. Under normal circumstances, a slave charged with attempted rape of his mistress would have been lucky to have been sent to a dungeon for the common criminals. Potiphar’s choice of prison points to his belief that Joseph was probably innocent, but he was forced into a situation where he had to save face.

    So the question now arises what was Potiphar’s relationship with his Mrs. afterwards?

    I’m unsure. Maybe, they found a way of working things out.

    Shalom,
    Choni

    • Hmmm…this is reeeally interesting. I love the way your mind works. Do you think a man as great and important as Potiphar would have worked things out with the Mrs? I mean, see the case of King Xerxes, she wasn’t even trying to lure anyone into her boudoir and he dismissed her; just like that!

      On another note, do you think you could do a guest blogger post on this…just free flow. Your thoughts on Joseph in Potiphar’s household and afterwards? I would really appreciate it and I’m sure there are others who would love to hear what the Jewish sages say.

      Peace,
      sharon

  4. Hi Sharon,

    Yes, but Artaxerxes acted on a drunken impulse. The Book of Esther prefaces the event with the words, “And it was when the heart of the King was goodly with wine …”. By the time he realized what he had done it was too late. According to the Jewish Sages, he executed her. However, the scroll did not explicitly say so because it was written by Mordechai and Esther under the King’s watchful eye. So the scroll could not contain anything that disparaged him. However, many of the events accompanying this story our people passed down as an oral tradition.

    In the case of Mr. & Mrs. Potiphar they (unlike Artaxerxes)hopefully had the benefit of time to think the matter through and maybe they came to a reconciliation.

    An another note. Blogging is very very new to me. I know almost nothing about it. Somebody in my Synagogue suggested to me to create a blog site on the universal aspects of Jewish spirituality. I stumbled upon your post while tentatively trying to feel my way through the topic of blogging and said to myself, “Well, I can help someone on this particular question.”

    However, I don’t really know yet what my options are and how to go about this. It’s all too new for me. However, you are welcome to keep in touch with me and contribute to my blogging education if you want to. Do you get my e-mail address when I post on your blog or is there possibly another private way to provide you with my e-mail address?

    Shalom,
    Choni

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