Potiphar and Potiphera


The names Potiphar and Potiphera are very similar. Is it the same person?
I read one commentary, which says yes, (including Rashi) and another, which says no.

Genesis 41:45
Pharaoh gave Asenath to Joseph for a wife.
Asenath was the daughter of POTI PHERA, the governor of On.
בַּת־פּ֥וֹטִי פֶ֛רַע כֹּהֵ֥ן אֹ֖ן

Genesis 37:36
The Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to POTIPHAR, chief of the slaughterers.

2 years


  1. There is no definitive answer to your question! As you write, some are of the opinion that they are one and the same person. Rashi subscribes to that opinion, and he explains why the name is slightly different in verse 45. Others explain that the fact that the Torah uses two different names indicates that they are two different people. The majority opinion follows Rashi, and there are several sources in the Midrashic texts that seem to back up Rashi’s opinion.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team