Joseph's Egyptian name (Genesis 41:45)
The Hebrew form
- Consonantal form
- xn[P tnpc ... ts-ph-n-th p-‘-n-ch
- With vowels
- :xEn.[:P t:n.p"c ... tsâphenath pa‘enêach
Interpretations from the Egyptian
- Georg Steindorf
The classic form, still largely regarded as definitive.
dj-d p-aleph n-tj-r yodh-w.f ayin-n-kh
djad pah netjer Iuf Ankh
The God has said 'he will live'
Redford sees this as in use during Saite to Persian times (664-331), Schulman about 300 years earlier.
dj-f-aleph n t-aleph p-aleph ayin-n-kh
djefa n ta pa Ankh
food, sustenance of the land is living
This fits the pattern d-f-aleph + deity, eg dj-f-aleph h-ayin-p-yodh (Djefa Hapi), however lack of parallels for this name, and grammatical difficulties have meant it has not been well accepted.
p-aleph s n-t-y ayin-m.f n-aleph yodh-kh-t
pa s neti amaf na Ikhet
The man who knows things (Late Egyptian)
He sought to combine Hebrew + Greek elements in a composite collection, however this methodology has been seen as suspect, and there are no examples of this name pattern in Egyptian.
(Joseph) dj-d(w) n.f ayin-yodh-p ayin-n-kh
(Joseph) djadu naf aIp Ankh
(Joseph) who is called 'Who recognises life'
Well-attested Middle Kingdom pattern for foreigners in Egypt, "A who is called B"
With the exception of Vergote's approach, there is general agreement on:
- The initial ts comes from Dj-d, deriving from "to say"
- The final element ayin-n-ch comes from ayin-n-kh (Ankh), "life"
The main areas of uncertainty are therefore the middle consonants which are quite weak. The consonant-only rendering of the early Hebrew text also leads to differences as to how the vowels in the original Egyptian should be understood.