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ZAPHENATH-PANEAH (zăf'ē-năth-pa-nē'a, Heb. tsaphenath-pa‘ănēah, the one who furnishes the sustenance of the land). The name given to Joseph by Pharaoh on the occasion of his promotion for showing the pharaoh the meaning of his dream (Gen.41.45).

ZAPHENATH-PANEAH zăf’ ə năth pə ne’ ə, (Heb. צָֽפְנַ֣ת פַּעְנֵחַ; LXX Ψονθομφανήχ), is the Hebraized form of the Egyp. name given to Joseph by the king of Egypt (Gen 41:45) after Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams. Though the Heb. must represent some transliterated Egyp. name, there is no certainty as to what that Egyp. name was nor is there any Egyp. name which completely accounts for the Heb. form. The earliest known attempt to tr. the name is that of Josephus, who stated that it meant “the revealer of secrets” (Antiq. II. 6. 1). The most widely accepted explanation of the name is that advanced by G. Steindorff (ZÄS 27 [1899], 41, 42; ibid., 30 [1892], 50-52), followed by Brugsch, Griffith, et al.: “the god speaks and he lives” (or “the god said: he will live”); cf. J. Vergote, Joseph en Égypte (1959), 141-146. E. Naville suggested that Zaphenathpaneah is a title, not a name: “the head of the sacred college of magicians” (JEA 12 [1926], 16-18). Other interpretations, largely rejected, include that of A. S. Yahuda, who proposed “food, sustenance, of the land ‘is the living’ or ‘is this living one’” (The Language of the Pentateuch in its Relation to Egyptian [1933], 33).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

zaf-e’-nath-pa-ne’-a, zaf’-nath-pa-a-ne’a (tsaphenath pa`aneach; Egyptian Zoph-ent-pa-ankh; Septuagint D, Psonthomphantch, "the one who furnishes the nourishment of life," i.e. the chief steward of the realm): The name given Joseph by the Egyptian king by whom he was promoted, probably the Hyksos king Aphophis (Ge 41:45).

See Joseph.

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