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Potiphar in The World of Joseph

World of Joseph:Mentuhotep Vizieer of Egypt

The title of this blog is Potiphar in the World of Joseph. And it is part of my ongoing blogging about my upcoming book The World of Joseph: Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt. So, today I will highlight Potiphar and wife, whom I call Zulekha.

According to the Bible in Genesis 39: 1, Potiphar was the Captain of the guard. In my book I used the term Royal Guard as Pharaoh was the king. But it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that this guard was not a dozen men guarding the king, but rather Pharaoh’s army.

In those days Egypt was under one ruler, Pharaoh Sesostris I. His father had taken the throne from another and united the north and south under one rule. But it wasn’t done with just his army. Although he was looked upon as the ruler, Pharaoh did not have absolute rule at that time.

His support was dependent upon the governors of the various regions. These governors had their own armies, and some were strong enough to resist Pharaoh if they had a mind to do so. As long as they were kept busy fighting the Nubians in the south and the Hyksos in the north, they were controllable.

But they represented a problem. As Captain of the Guard, a position probably equivalent to General of the Army, Potiphar would have had responsibility not only for Pharaoh’s life but for the kingdom itself.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

In the Bible, Potiphar disappears from the account of Joseph’s life in Egypt when Joseph is cast into prison. But most likely Potiphar was still around as the commanding general and perhaps over the royal prison. If so, he would have had numerous opportunities to run into the young man.

When writing I like to ask questions and my first question was, What happened when Joseph became Mentuhotep the Vizier, and he came into contact with Potiphar? It was an intriguing question that led to the development of Potiphar’s position and interaction with the vizier.

A follow-up question was, Did Potiphar keep track of Joseph while the lad was in prison? After all, it appears in the Bible that Potiphar did not believe his wife’s charge of attempted rape by Joseph. Another question would be, As the second most powerful man in the kingdom what, if any, relationship would Mentuhotep have with Potiphar?

In other words, there is a lot of room for speculation about their relationship. And for that matter, Joseph’s relationship with Potiphar’s wife!

Research didn’t answer those questions, but it did provide the backdrop that I could use to develop the story. And if you are a writer reading this then I want you to see that no matter how hard or uncomfortable research maybe it has the benefit of adding to your story. Not only as historical backup, but it can lead to subplots that bring your story alive!

I have mentioned in previous blogs about recent developments in Egyptology. When I began writing, Egyptology was based on Traditional chronologies. These chronologies were totally unreliable. So, I was very pleased when modern archaeological research resulted in a far more reliable chronology.

In the past I had to try to make the Egyptian timelines match with the Biblical. And that was horrendous! So, you can imagine my relief when I discovered that there was now a newer, clearer, and far more accurate Egyptian chronology.  I was even more excited when I compared that chronology to the Biblical and found virtual agreement!

If you are an author and you are leery of doing research or you regard it as too much grunt work, I recommend you purpose to do it anyway. And remember, when using secular sources, they tend to radically change. If your book is related to the Bible, then consider the Bible as your ultimate source. The King James Bible is an excellent resource and doesn’t change unlike some of the newer translations.

When you pick up my book to read take the time to see how much of a role Potiphar had in Joseph’s life. And take a look at his wife, Zulekha.

On August 8, 2021, the eBook version will go on Pre-Order and the actual launch will be August 12, 2021. The paperback and hard cover versions will also be published on August 12, 2021. The printed books will be available at Amazon.com and at TR Independent Bookstore where they are always discounted. The eBook will only be available on Amazon.com.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Insights From World of Joseph

World of Joseph:Mentuhotep Vizieer of Egypt

In this blog, I am reporting on some insights from The World of Joseph, my latest novel. Today’s insight takes a look at the different names of Joseph. Let’s begin:

Joseph is the name that is most commonly associated with this man. According to the Biblical account he was a young man who God chose to reveal two particular dreams. These two dreams indicated that Joseph’s brothers and parents would someday bow to him.

This became problematic and led to his being sold as a slave. He was first a slave to Potiphar, a captain of Pharaoh’s Royal Guard (which can be interpreted as General of Pharaoh’s Army). He was a slave for three years and followed that up by ten years in prison for a total of thirteen years. Then, at the age of 30, he became the Vizier of Egypt.

Zaphnaath-paaneah is the Egyptian name given by Pharaoh. It has various interpretations, such as life’, ‘Support of Life’, ‘the god speaks and he lives’, ‘god speaks’, ‘says the god’. The last phrase which says ‘the god speaks, he will live’ seems to capture Pharaoh’s acknowledgement that the wise Joseph had the “Spirit of God” within him (Genesis 41:38).

However, this name is used only once in Scripture.

Mentuhotep is the third name and you don’t find it in Scripture. However, it is found in Egyptian history. There were actually at least two Mentuhoteps and due to the confusion over pharaohs and their dynasties, our Mentuhotep has been referred to as Mentuhotep II. But researchers now know that the Mentuhotep of the 12th dynasty was never a pharaoh, but rather the Grand Vizier or Prime Minister of Egypt. He served under Pharaoh Sesostris I in the 12th dynasty.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

So, what can we learn from these names?

First of all, we learn what we already knew: the Bible is reliable. This has been proven over and over again. People point out supposed errors and eventually, sometimes after hundreds of years, the Bible is proven correct. But the Bible doesn’t need to be proved, it is the Word of God no matter what man says or thinks.

The name of Zaphnaath-paaneah gives insight into the mind of Pharaoh. He was deeply impressed by Joseph and believed that Jehovah God of the Jews spoke through him. That belief followed Pharaoh throughout his life. It helps us understand the true power Joseph had. He was not only second to Pharaoh in position, but in his power. Since Pharaoh acknowledged that God spoke through Joseph, he never according to the Bible, overruled Joseph’s decisions.

But it is the name of Mentuhotep that speaks the loudest in the sense that it provides insight into the Egyptian hearts of the people! The cover of my novel shows a headless statue of Mentuhotep. The loss of the head probably speaks of time, erosion, and maybe vandalism, but the statue itself reveals something altogether different.

First of all, it was unheard of to make a statue of anyone other than Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was considered divine. And yet here we have a statue of someone who obviously was not a pharaoh.

Why do I say obviously?

Because Mentuhotep is shown wearing the garb and cradling on his lap the tools of a trade. Not the tools of a government official, but of a scribe. This depiction tells us that Mentuhotep was a scribe, which fits in well with Joseph’s career as a slave where he ran Potiphar’s house, his career in prison where he ran the prison, and his career as Vizier where he ran the whole government’s effort to provide for the coming famine and to distribute food during the famine. This was a man who wielded great influence and power affecting Egypt and other nations, and he did so by using the tools of a scribe. In other words, pen and paper in modern times.

The Egyptian historical records also reveal insight from secular records that agree with Biblical records. Viewed from opposing perspectives, we see a commonality of facts. While the Bible does not need verification, it is nonetheless always a positive reinforcement. And it helps the unbelievers put their trust in the Bible.

I always emphasize research as a tool of an author. The above is just one of the reasons; it expands your knowledge! But another reason is that it expands the book itself. In my case, it provided the subtitle of my book, Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt. But it also contributed to the story writing itself.

The World of Joseph: Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt is available on Amazon.com and at T&R Independent Bookstore beginning August 12th. Pre-orders of the eBook will begin August 8th. You will find that this book comes in the following formats: paperback, hardcover, and eBooks. Paperback and hardcover are available at both Amazon and our bookstore, but the eBooks are only available at Amazon.com!

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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A NOVEL ABOUT JOSEPH

World of Joseph:Mentuhotep Vizieer of Egypt

On August 12th my new novel The World of Joseph, which is a novel about Joseph, will be published. And around August 8th you can preorder your eBook.

This is the last book of the series The World That Was. It started with Perished: The World That Was which covered Creation to the Flood. This first and foundational book of the series introduced the readers to Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Seth, Enos, Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah. It provided a peak into the civilized world that existed prior to the Flood.

Then came the book The World of Noah and The Ark which covered the construction of the Ark, the gathering of the animals, the wickedness of the world, the coming of the Flood, and the Flood itself. It also included the landing on Mount Ararat, the descent, the establishment of a new life, and the first snowball fight.

This was followed by The World of Shem in which Shem was called by God to observe and report on Noah’s descendants. It included the Tower of Babel, the founding of Elam, Egypt, and Libya. Then came The World of Abraham and the reader experienced his adventurous life. After that came The World of Jacob which detailed his adventures and his relationship with his brother Esau.

Now comes the latest novel, The World of Joseph.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

The World of Joseph tells the story of a 17-year-old boy sold into slavery, later imprisoned, and then rising to the position of Vizier of Egypt. This latter title could best be understood as the Prime Minister of Egypt.

We know who Joseph was and what he accomplished by reading the Bible. But a man of his stature surely would have been written about in Egyptian history. Alas, for centuries the history of Egypt has been mysterious and confusing. The problem was that the original government of Egypt was actually two governments and two royal families.

In the beginning, there was an Upper Egypt, which was located in the southern end of Egypt, and an Lower Egypt located in the north. Upper and Lower were related to the Nile which flowed from the south down to the north. The Nile is one of only a few rivers that flow from the south to the north.

The earliest histories of Egypt dealt with two Egyptian thrones. This started with two brothers shortly after the Confusion of Tongues in Babel. Although brothers they were both aspiring to rule both kingdoms and that created strife. Especially if they talked like they ruled both areas. So, confusion began at the very start and for centuries the history of Egypt treated these kingdoms as one following the other instead of existing side by side.

But in recent decades the confusion has been penetrated and a better understanding has emerged. Whereas the Traditional Egyptian history could not mesh with known history elsewhere, new understandings have emerged that have made Egyptian history more amenable to that of other countries and histories, including the Bible.

Which brings us to the 12th Dynasty. New revelations have shown that the second Pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty was Sesostris I. It was during his rule that a young teenage boy entered Egypt as a slave. His name was Joseph, and he was sold to the Captain of the King’s Guard. This title can be freely translated as General of the Egyptian army.

Amenemhet I was the first Pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty having removed Pharaoh Nebtawyre of the 11th Dynasty. His son was Sesostris I and they co-reigned for a while. Joseph served in Potiphar’s house for 3 years and then spent the next 10 years in prison.

At the age of 30, Joseph became Vizier of Egypt. While the Pharaoh gave him another name, the name that stuck was Mentuhotep! And this is where we discover the Egyptian record of Joseph as Mentuhotep. The cover of my book is a picture of Mentuhotep as a scribe, which fits completely with Joseph as a slave running affairs for Potiphar and later the prison, and finally as Vizier of all of Egypt.

Discovering all this history has not been easy. There are still web pages out there on the internet that use Traditional Egyptian history. But more and more the newer, better organized, history has been emerging. As an author doing research, I had to discover new sources that were reliable. As always, I used the Bible as the filter determining what could be believed and what couldn’t. Fortunately, the new updated Egyptian history meshes well with Biblical and other secular histories, all of which made my job easier.

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, the new book will be available in all formats, such as paperback, hardcover, and eBook on August 12th . And the eBook can be preordered around August 8th.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Researching Egypt

Researching Egypt may sound odd for a blog title, but it isn’t as odd as you might think. I have often talked about doing your research. Well, I have been writing a book that is nearing completion. It is the World of Joseph, subtitled Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt. Guess what, it takes place primarily in Egypt!

So, it required research. The subtitle itself is a product of this research. Before I started, I didn’t know Joseph’s Egyptian name other than the one given him by Pharaoh. But research showed that the name Mentuhotep was the name that history identified with him. The many and conflicting names of pharaohs and their viziers was just one of the issues I had to deal with when doing research.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to do the work all by myself. I am not an expert Egyptologist. But through the internet I was able to gather a great deal of information about the Pharaoh, Sesostris I, along with the Vizier Mentuhotep, and the capital of Egypt, which was Itjtawy pronounced Ish ta way. Through research I was able to find the possible location of this mysterious city, design the palace which resembled other Egyptian palaces, and locate the land of Goshen.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Tracking down Joseph in Egyptian history was quite a struggle. Not for me, but for Egyptologists. To begin with, Egyptian dynasties had to be discovered. Using ancient records proved daunting and made for a very unreliable Egyptian timeline, which not only didn’t compare with the Bible but didn’t compare with other well-known facts.

Fortunately, Egyptologists were able to make additional discoveries that led to a new Egyptian timeline. Although not intended, this new timeline merged well with the Biblical timeline.

But another aspect in tracking down Joseph was that Egyptians either did not know Joseph as Joseph or they chose not to use that name. It was a Hebrew name and therefore unlikely to be used by them. What the researchers did is research the Biblical facts regarding the feast and famine. Combining this knowledge with the knowledge they now had of where the Hebrews settled, the researchers were able to zoom in on the 12th Dynasty or Middle Kingdom. And when they did, they discovered that Mentuhotep was likely the Vizier we know as Joseph.

This vizier under Sesostris I was the second most powerful person in the government. He is credited with many things, chiefly the survival of Egypt during a seven-year famine! And not just that, he played a significant role in helping to establish the 12th Dynasty.

So, the truth is that others did the research, and I reaped the benefits! Not only did I now have a reliable history from which to work, I was now able to dive into the 12th Dynasty and discover much information, some of which found its way into my novel.

This is an example of what it takes to create a believable story. It is also an example of how you, the author, should handle the need for information. Whenever possible, let others do the heavy lifting of research. Eventually you have to get involved, but it is a major aid if you let others do the work for you.

And there is a big reward for you when the book is finished. First of all, you get a very special feeling of accomplishing something. While the novel is fictional, when the facts are examined, the book not only comes alive, but the reader gains insight. Moreover, the reader comes away with a greater understanding of the times and the people. And you have written something that has value.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.