lethargic_man: "Happy the person that finds wisdom, and the person that gets understanding."—Prov. 3:13. Icon by Tamara Rigg (limmud)
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When Pharaoh tells Joseph he wants him to interpret his dream for him, Joseph answers (Gen. 41:16):

Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." וַיַּעַן יוֹסֵף אֶת־פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר בִּלְעָדָי אֱלֹהִים יַעֲנֶה אֶת־שְׁלוֹם פַּרְעֹה׃
In the Samaritan text, this is curiously altered:
Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me: God shall not give Pharaoh an answer of peace." וַיַּעַן יוֹסֵף אֶת־פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר בִּלְעָדָי אֱלֹהִים לֹא יַעֲנֶה אֶת־שְׁלוֹם פַּרְעֹה׃
In Gen 41:45, we learn:
Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath Pa`néaḥ וַיִּקְרָא פַרְעֹה שֵׁם־יוֹסֵף צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ

Biblical interpreters and Egyptologists have had a field day trying to work out what this name means in Egyptian, though most agree that the second element is ankh, meaning "life". In the Samaritan text, the name is slightly different: צפינתי פענה. (The substitution of ה for ח is probably not significant, as the two letters are pronounced the same in Samaritan Hebrew; cf. the same substitution in, for example, the name of the Tigris in Gen. 2.)

There's more interest in names later on in the same verse:

He gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־אָסְנַת בַּת־פּוֹטִי פֶרַע כֹּהֵן אֹן

The Samaritan text runs these words together: פוטיפרע כהנאן. I don't know whether the change from כֹּהֵן אֹן to כהנאן changes the meaning; it's very unusual to have compound words like this in Hebrew, but the Samaritan Torah does this all the time with the name of Mt Gerizim.

[Samaritan Torah] Samaritan Torah notes         Jewish learning notes index


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Lethargic Man (anag.)

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