Potipherah /pɒˈtɪfərə/ was a priest of the ancient Egyptian town of On,[1] mentioned in the Genesis 41:45 and 41:50.

Joseph and Asenath together on this image in Berlin. Man depicted close to them may be Potipherah.

He was the father of Asenath, who was given to Joseph as his wife by Pharaoh, (41:45) and who bore Joseph two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim.[2]

His name means "he whom Ra has given".[3]


It has been suggested that Potipherah was a prince, not only a priest.[3] A Jewish legend makes him the same person as Potiphar, whose wife[4] was in love with Joseph and whose false accusation got him thrown in prison.


And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over [all] the land of Egypt.

— Genesis 41:45, KJV 1611


  1. ^ The Open court , Volume 27. Harry Houdini Collection (Library of Congress).
  2. ^ 41:50
  3. ^ a b Smith, William (1865). A Concise Dictionary of the Bible for the Use of Families and Students. John Murray. p. 747. OCLC 31387564.
  4. ^ Legends of Old Testament characters from the Talmud and other sources by Sabine Baring-Gould