Women of the Word: Asenath


Asenath was the daughter of Potiphera who was priest of On. After Joseph got out of prison in Egypt, she became his wife, and they had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. After that, the Bible (Genesis 41:45-50 and Genesis 46:20) does not tell us anything more about her. While Joseph was a Hebrew who believed in the one true God, Asenath was most likely a heathen who worshipped the Egyptian pantheon of gods and goddesses. Even her name means “she who belongs to Neith” – the goddess of war and weaving.

What we do know is that Joseph remained faithful to God his entire life. What we don’t know is if his faithfulness influenced Asenath to become a believer too.

As the daughter of one of Egypt’s important priests, Asenath probably didn’t plan to marry a foreigner who didn’t share her background, culture, or religion. But God had plans of His own. He used a series of unfortunate events in Joseph’s life to bring about an unexpected marriage which brought about the birth of two children who became tribes to help create a nation as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

1. Asenath accepted God’s plan for her. Instead of rejecting Joseph by refusing to marry him, Asenath set aside her agenda for what God had planned. As an unbeliever, she may not have acknowledged that the one true God was in control of her life, but she probably did recognize that someone else’s hand was at work besides her own. Because she did not resist this unexpected event, she was used by God to play an important part in the growth of His people into a great nation.

When everything goes our way, it is easy to think that we are in control. It often takes everything falling out of control to make us realize that while we may make plans, God directs our actions. We may not understand why God allows certain people into our lives and we may not understand why God allows certain events to happen to us. Our lack of understanding should not keep us back from accepting God’s plan.

If Joseph had not been (unjustly) thrown into prison, he would never have discovered his God-given talent of interpreting dreams and he would have never been brought before Pharaoh. He would never have married a woman called Asenath either. And if Asenath had not married Joseph, she would never have become the foremother of two tribes of Israel.

God’s plans for us are always far better than the ones we make for ourselves.


2 thoughts on “Women of the Word: Asenath

  1. Pingback: Women of the Word (Recap 9) | The Virtuous Girls

  2. Pingback: Women of the Word | The Virtuous Girls

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