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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter XVIII

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Text Commentary

1And while this was happening, 1 So B: D Slav. ‘and when Aseneth said this’; F ‘and Aseneth was saying these things to herself’; A ‘and while Aseneth was yet saying these things to herself’. behold, 2 So B Slav.: D ‘immediately’. a young man, one of Joseph's 3 So BDA Slav.: EFG ‘Pentephres's’. servants, came and said, Lo, Joseph, the mighty man of God is coming to you 4 So D Slav. (plural): B ‘you’ (sing.). to-day. 2And Aseneth called her steward 5 Lit ‘him who was over her house’. and said, Get ready a special dinner for me, because Joseph, the mighty man of God, is coming to us. 3And Aseneth went into her room and opened her wardrobe, and she took out her finest 6 Lit. ‘first’. robe that shone like lightning, and she put it on. 4And she tied a resplendent royal girdle round her waist – and this girdle was 7 and this g. was: B om. of precious stones. 5And she put golden bracelets round her hands, and golden boots on her feet, and a costly necklace about her neck; and she put a golden crown upon her head, and in the crown, in front, were the costliest of stones. 6,7And she covered her head with a veil. And she said to her maidservant, Bring me pure water from the spring. And Aseneth bent down to the water in the basin [on the cockle-shell]; 8 Philonenko would exclude these words on the ground that they make no sense. He interprets the verse as a description of a rite of divination (lecanomancy): Aseneth, therefore, could not bend over both a basin and a shell at the same time. It is worth noting, however, that Batiffol's much fuller text, not only makes no mention of a shell, but also leaves no room for doubt that Aseneth's purpose in sending for the water was ‘to wash her face’, and that it was only when she saw her reflection in the water that she desisted (‘Lest I wash off this great and welcome beauty’). and her face was like the sun, and her eyes like the rising morning star.

Notes:

1 So B: D Slav. ‘and when Aseneth said this’; F ‘and Aseneth was saying these things to herself’; A ‘and while Aseneth was yet saying these things to herself’.

2 So B Slav.: D ‘immediately’.

3 So BDA Slav.: EFG ‘Pentephres's’.

4 So D Slav. (plural): B ‘you’ (sing.).

5 Lit ‘him who was over her house’.

6 Lit. ‘first’.

7 and this g. was: B om.

8 Philonenko would exclude these words on the ground that they make no sense. He interprets the verse as a description of a rite of divination (lecanomancy): Aseneth, therefore, could not bend over both a basin and a shell at the same time. It is worth noting, however, that Batiffol's much fuller text, not only makes no mention of a shell, but also leaves no room for doubt that Aseneth's purpose in sending for the water was ‘to wash her face’, and that it was only when she saw her reflection in the water that she desisted (‘Lest I wash off this great and welcome beauty’).

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