dedicated to Ra; i.e., to the sun-god, the Egyptian to whom the Ishmaelites sold Joseph ( Genesis 39:1 ). He was "captain of the guard", i.e., chief, probably, of the state police, who, while they formed part of the Egyptian army, were also largely employed in civil duties ( 37:36 ; marg., "chief of the executioners"). Joseph, though a foreigner, gradually gained his confidence, and became overseer over all his possessions. Believing the false accusation which his profligate wife brought against Joseph, Potiphar cast him into prison, where he remained for some years. (See JOSEPH .)
bull of Africa; a fat bull
an Egyptian name, also written Potipherah, signifies belonging to the sun . Potiphar. with whom the history of Joseph is connected is described as an officer of Pharaoh chief of the executioners, an Egyptian." ( Genesis 39:1 ) comp. Genesis37:36 (B.C. 1728.) He appears to have been a wealthy man. ( Genesis 39:4-6 ) The view we have of Potiphars household is exactly in accordance with the representations on the monuments. When Joseph was accused, his master contented himself with casting him into prison. ( Genesis 39:19 Genesis 39:20 ) After this we hear no more of Potiphar. [JOSEPH]
pot'-i-far (poTiphar; compare Egyptian Potiphera (Genesis 39:1)):
A high Egyptian official who became the master of Joseph. It is particularly mentioned that he was an Egyptian, i.e. one of the native Egyptian officials at the Hyksos court.
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