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Re: about Joseph and Aseneth

To Al et al.,
The main argument of my 1994 Princeton dissertation was that Joseph and 
Aseneth is best read as a document stemming from the Jewish center in 
Heliopolis, and probably written in the second century BCE. I believe 
that the central honeycomb scene is a typical revelation-scene, where an 
angel shows Aseneth how some bees, who are "wearing" linen, scarlet, 
purple, and violet (the four priestly materials), leave their honeycomb 
and establish a second comb, similar to the first, on Aseneth's lips and 
mouth. This is a symbolic depiction of Jewish priests leaving Jerusalem 
and establishing a second temple, similar to the first, in Heliopolis, 
An Oniad context also helps elucidate other elements in the novel, such 
as its obssession with Levi, who is much more prominent than Judah, 
Reuben, or Joseph's other brothers; its interest in warfare (the Oniads 
were soldier-settlers); its emphasis on close relations between Egypt's 
Jews and its king (in spite of its dislike of Egyptians in general), etc.

I published a preliminary analysis of the honeycomb scene in the 
Proceedings of the last Int. Con. of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem). The 
dissertation itself is available through UMI, and a revised edition will 
be published shortly with Scholars Press. I am working on the final 
revision at this very moment. In the next SBL, a session is planned on 
Joseph and Aseneth, and I hope the book will be out by then. 

Gideon Bohak