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Bibil Identifier bibil:237912
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Aseneth’s Eight-Day Transformation as Scriptural Justification for Conversion
Author Thiessen, Matthew
Journal Journal for the Study of Judaism (Volume: 45, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2014
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2014
Year (Copyright) 2014
Year (Reference) 2014
Language English
Pages 229-249 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The author of Joseph and Aseneth writes a lengthy narrative about Aseneth’s conversion, thereby providing a justification for Joseph’s marriage to an Egyptian woman. The author explicitly connects her seven-day period of withdrawal to creation, thus portraying her conversion as a divinely wrought new creation. In addition, her eight-day conversion process imitates two similar processes from Jewish scripture. First, Aseneth’s transformation parallels the circumcision of the newborn male eight days after his birth. Second, on the eighth day Aseneth partakes of an angelic existence, conversing with an angel, eating the food of angels, and being dressed in angelic garb. This elevation in her status parallels the consecration of the priestly class in Lev 8, which goes through a period of seven days before it can serve as priests on the eighth day. This process thus stresses the distance between non-Jew and Jew, while at the same time providing a scriptural rationale for how Aseneth overcame it.
DOI 10.1163/15700631-00000396
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha : Apocryphal Texts relating to Old Testament Characters or Events : Texts : Patriarchs : Joseph and Asenath
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Themes : Conversion
Last modification 2018-04-07