All’s Well That Ends Well

Moments after Potiphera’s *talk with Asenath*, a young man from Joseph’s entourage burst into Potiphera’s house and announced in a loud voice that Joseph had arrived at the gates of the courtyard.

“Young man,” said Potiphera, “did your Father and Mother not teach you any manners, that when you go to someone’s house you knock first, and that when you speak, you do so quietly?”

“Who do you think you’re talking to, you old coot?” said the young man as he grabbed Potiphera’s beard and  pulled his face close to his. “Do you know I’m part of the select entourage of Joseph, prime minister and second most powerful man in Egypt, who answers only to his majesty the Pharaoh? If it weren’t for the prime minister being just outside, I would beat you to a pulp. So I’ll let you off for now, old man. But while you’re talking with the prime minister I’ll be around. Any disrespect to him, and you’ll wish you never lived.”

With that, the young man released Potiphera’s beard and marched out.

Despite this unpleasant encounter, Potiphera was able quickly to regain his composure. He told Asenath to go back to her tower, and he told his wife to come with him outside to greet Joseph, who was riding in a gold-covered chariot pulled by four snow-white horses. Joseph was wearing a dazzlingly white tunic wrapped by a purple robe woven with gold. On his head was a golden crown with twelve precious stones. In his right hand was a royal sceptre, and in his left hand was an olive branch with much fruit.

After the gates of the courtyard were clanged shut by the gatekeepers, Joseph got down from his chariot and said,  “Potiphera, I presume?”

“Yes, prime minister, I’m Potiphera.”

“Your name is remarkably like that of Potiphar, who is the head of Pharaoh’s guard. And you look a bit like him. You’re not by chance related?”

“As a matter of fact, prime minister, he and I are. We’re brothers. ”

“Mmm. I suppose you know of that *nasty business* I had with that wife of his, Zuleikha?”

“I’d heard, prime minister”.

“I was innocent, you know. I didn’t do what she said I did. But I bear her no ill-will, for we had moments together that I’ll always cherish. I still dream of her. And, but for her, I wouldn’t now be the second most powerful man in Egypt.”

“All’s well that ends well, then.”

“Well put, Potiphera.”

“Please do come in, prime minister,” said Potiphera as he indicated the entrance to his house.


–  Genesis 41, 45 – 46

Joseph and Asenath – Chapter 5

This entry was posted in Asenath, Joseph, Potiphar, Potiphera, Zuleikha and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to All’s Well That Ends Well

  1. Richard says:

    Reading between the lines, do I detect a need to read the lines between the lines?

  2. Christopher says:

    You are ascribing to me a subtlety I don’t possess.

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