Potiphar

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{son, year, death}
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{government, party, election}
{woman, child, man}
{household, population, female}

Potiphar (or Potifar) (Hebrew: פּוֹטִיפַר / פּוֹטִיפָר, Modern Potifar Tiberian Pôṭîp̄ar / Pôṭîp̄ār ; Arabic: العزيز ; Egyptian origin: p-di-p-rʿ ; "he whom Ra gave.") is a person in the Book of Genesis's account of Joseph. Potiphar is said to be the captain of the palace guard.

Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, is taken to Egypt where he is sold to Potiphar as a household slave. Potiphar makes Joseph the head of his household, but Potiphar's wife, furious at Joseph for resisting her attempts to seduce him into sleeping with her, accuses him falsely of attempting to rape her. Potiphar casts Joseph into prison, where he comes to the notice of Pharaoh through his ability to interpret the dreams of other prisoners.

Potiphar's wife is not named in either the Yahwist or Elohist stories. The mediaeval Sefer HaYashar, a commentary on the Torah, gives it as Zuleikha, as does the Persian poem called Yusuf and Zulaikha (from Jami's Haft Awrang ("Seven thrones")). For more on the nameless in the Holy Bible, please see List of names for the Biblical nameless.

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Historical evidence

It is difficult to place Potiphar or Joseph accurately to a particular pharaoh or time period. On the Jewish calendar, Joseph was purchased in the year 2216, which is 1544 BC, at the end of the Second Intermediate Period or very beginning of the New Kingdom.[citation needed]

According to the documentary hypothesis, the story of Potiphar and his wife derives from the Yahwist source, and stands in the same place that the stories of the butler and the baker and Pharaoh's dreams stand in the Elohist text.

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