A Visitor

After seven days of *not eating or drinking*, and with caked ashes clinging to her body and sackcloth, Asenath decided there was nothing more to lose by throwing herself on the mercy of God On High, the same God On High that Joseph worshipped.

She stretched her hands out towards the east, looked up in the direction of Heaven, where she’d deduced God On High would be. She spoke to Him at length of her wicked ways, and then asked Him, “Please God On High, or whoever You are, could You arrange that I might be given to Joseph as his servant, so I might always cater to his every need as long as he shall live?”

Asenath noticed the morning star rise in the eastern sky, and it shone with the brightest of all bright lights. A man, or what looked like a man, suddenly appeared before her and said, “Asenath”.

Asenath, who could hardly make out the outline of the man, so dazzling was the light, said, “Who are you, and how did you get into my room? My door is shut, as you can see. Did you just float through it, all etherial-like?

“I’m God On High’s representative. That’s all you need know,” said the man.

Asenath looked at the man more intently and saw he had a robe and a crown and a royal staff, and that his face was like  lightning, that his eyes were like the light of the sun, that the hairs of his head were like flames, and that his hands and feet glowed like hot irons. The effect on Asenath was so powerful that she fell on her face with fear and trembling.

“There’s no need of that”, said the man, “Get up. I want to talk to you.”

Asenath got to her feet, and the man said, “You look a sight, you know that? That sackcloth you’re wearing, and the ashes you’ve got all over you, do nothing for you. And you smell too. When last did you wash?”

“I’ve been depressed” said Asenath, “And when I’m depressed I let myself go.”

“I want you now to pull yourself together,” said the man, “Go now to wherever in this tower there’s water. Take that sackcloth off, and wash away all those horrible ashes, and wash your hair and all your other bodily parts. Then go to where you store your nice clothes and jewelery that you haven’t yet thrown away, and put some on, and perfume yourself too, so you’ll smell nice. I’ll wait here.  Then we’ll talk. There’s much I need to tell you.”

“When I take my sackcloth off and am naked while I wash my body, I do hope you won’t follow me and try to peek,” said Asenath.

“As much as I’d like to, I won’t,” said the man.


– Genesis 41, 45 – 46

Joseph and Asenath, Chapters 11 to 14

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