• Aseneth’s Eight-Day Transformation as Scriptural Justification for Conversion

    Author(s):
    Matthew Thiessen (see profile)
    Date:
    2014
    Group(s):
    Biblical Studies, Religious Studies
    Subject(s):
    Biblical interpretation, Biblical studies, Religious studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    angelification, Circumcision, Conversion, intermarriage
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M63T0B
    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.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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