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Potiphar's Wife: Hebrew Sorcerer: In Joseph's story, he faces yet another foe - Potiphar's wife
Posted by Douglas, Apr 28, 2008. 2086 views. ID = 1215

Potiphar's Wife: Hebrew Sorcerer

Posted by Douglas, Apr 28, 2008. 2086 views. ID = 1215
This post was written in 55 minutes.
Considering how utterly the Egyptians despised and were repulsed by the Hebrew people, one has to wonder what was going on in the mind of Potiphar's wife...
This post has been awarded 20 stars by 5 readers.
This post is Part 6 of a writing series titled Joseph's Story.

It has been interesting to watch my husband interact with the new slave boy. At first their sole interaction consisted of Potiphar pausing in his work - when he thought no one was watching - to stare out toward the fields at the Hebrew slave. If Joseph had been a girl, I would have said my husband had developed an infatuation.

"There's something different about that slave, love," he said to me on several occasions.

I just laughed and reminded him of the nasty rumors about the Hebrews. "Of course there's something different about him; have you forgotten how Hebrew fathers mutilate their boy children?"

"That's not what I mean. Haven't you noticed how quietly he works, without complaint, finishing every task long before the others have even started?"

I shrugged. "I do my best to avoid watching filthy, sweaty slaves working the fields. My skin breaks out in a rash just thinking about the layers of grime on those boys."

Potiphar said, "I was thinking about giving Joseph a little more responsibility."

"You're going to hook him up to the yoke and let him pull the plow as well as steering it?" I teased.

"No, love. I mean, I think he would do well at some of the household duties."

"Potiphar, you wouldn't dare bring that filthy boy in our house!" I exclaimed.

Intentionally misunderstanding me, my husband replied, "He could be taught to bathe, you know. Eventually those layers could all be washed away."

"That's not what I'm talking about, and you know it. The boy is a Hebrew. And you're going to let him inside the house? Do you really think I'm going to suffer the indignity of passing that mutilated riffraff in the hallway every day for the rest of my life?"

"I'll keep him well away from you, dearest."

"And the neighbors? What will they think?"

"They won't know. Joseph may be a Hebrew, but his complexion is not so far from ours. It's not like everyone else keeps a list of our slaves' origins."

I gave a resigned little shrug. "Just see that you keep him away from me."

Potiphar kept true to his word. For months I never even saw the barbarian in the house; my husband kept him busy with duties far from me. When our paths finally did cross, it was because I was looking for my husband in his office, and there sat the young slave, keeping books.

At first I didn't know who this stranger was - clean-shaven, bathed, and sprinkled with the sweet fragrances that staved off the stench of perspiration in our hot climate - he looked nothing like the vile-smelling rat Potiphar used to watch out in the fields.

My first thought on seeing the boy was, Who is this handsome young man my husband has working for him? Then, when I realized the answer to my unspoken question, I fled the room in shame. I spent the rest of the day in the bathing rooms, hoping to wash the shame away with intense scrubbing, but the shame was on the inside, and no amount of washing could remove it.

I prayed to all the gods that my friends would never discover the terrible thoughts I had entertained toward a Hebrew slave boy.

I think the Hebrews must be sorcerers of great power, for I found myself again and again thinking of this handsome young man. Some days, even without meaning or intending to, I would walk the hallways to my husband's office, there to peek in on this Joseph. Eventually I realized that my days had come to consist of pacing the hallways, hoping for even a quick glimpse of the cruel magician who had invaded my heart with his sorcery.

Then came the day of my great shame, and the day of the demon's triumph. The day when - without conscious control or effort - my mouth opened to form the words, "Sleep with me."

The boy stared at me like he didn't know what I was talking about, as though he wasn't the one who was inspiring these evil, disgusting thoughts in my mind. In a voice shrill with shock he said, "What?"

Oh, Joseph, do not pretend innocence to me; I know what state you have brought me to with your treacherous sorcery. Aloud I said again, "Sleep with me."

The boy had the audacity to say, "No," and then he turn his back on me, returning to his book work as though I didn't even exist.

By this I know it must have been with the most powerful of witchcraft that he poisoned my mind: the boy's rejection did not prevent me from approaching him day after day with that same three word command.

And day after day his reply was the same.

Then after many weeks of this there came a day when Potiphar and all the other men of the house were away. In my ceaseless haunting of the hallways I passed by Joseph striding purposefully from one part of the house to another. On that day, the day of my ultimate humiliation, I grabbed the young man by his robe and demanded of him, more vehemently, and with more force than ever before: "Sleep with me."

The cruel sorcerer must have known to what terrible depths he had brought me, but there was no sympathy in his eyes - only a look of terror which I knew must be feigned. When he saw that I had grabbed hold of him, and that I would not let go until he consented to join me, the boy pulled away, ripping his fine Egyptian garment in the process, and then fled altogether, leaving his robe in my hands as he ran naked outside.

I stared at the torn robe in my arms, and in that moment awoke from my ensorceled dream.

Oh, Joseph, barbarian slave, I thought to myself, you shall be sorry for this.

I always knew it would be trouble, bringing a Hebrew into our home.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 20 stars by 5 readers.
This post is Part 6 of a writing series titled Joseph's Story. The next part of this series can be found here: The Baker: In Pharaoh's Prison.
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version

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