Genesis 41:45 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 41:45, NIV: "Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt."

Genesis 41:45, ESV: "And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt."

Genesis 41:45, KJV: "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, NASB: "Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt."

Genesis 41:45, NLT: "Then Pharaoh gave Joseph a new Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah. He also gave him a wife, whose name was Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. So Joseph took charge of the entire land of Egypt."

Genesis 41:45, CSB: "Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah and gave him a wife, Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest at On. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt."

What does Genesis 41:45 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In extraordinarily quick fashion, Joseph's has gone from an imprisoned slave (Genesis 40:1–4) to second in command of all of Egypt under Pharaoh (Genesis 41:38–41). That role included clothing, jewelry, and other symbols associated with such power (Genesis 41:42–44). Further, Pharaoh will take two actions meant to fully assimilate this Hebrew into Egyptian culture. Likely, Pharaoh wanted to remove any obstacles to Joseph's authority in the land, including the possibility that Egyptians might not want to take orders from a foreign slave.

Thus, Pharaoh gives Joseph an Egyptian name: Zaphenath-paneah. Scholars are divided about exactly what this might mean. Common suggestions are variations of "the god is speaking, he is alive," or something like "revealer of secrets." The exact details of the new name are not as important as its purpose: making Joseph sound like he belonged in Egypt.

Next, Pharaoh arranged for Joseph to be married into a powerful Egyptian family. The city of On was a center of sun worship, and Joseph's new father-in-law Potiphera was a priest of On. His sudden wife's name was Asenath. Scripture tells us very little about her, or her relationship with Joseph. We know she gives birth to two children, Manasseh and Ephraim, who will be important later in Israel's history (Genesis 41:50–52; 46:20).

Now with the authority, position, and placement in Egyptian life, Joseph begins his reign as a ruler over Egypt. His first step, as one might expect, is to tour and visit the land. This is described using a Hebrew word meaning "exiting," or "proceeding." Joseph "went out" and began his duties.