Why Does Joseph Wash his Face? A Semantic, Historical, and Literary Analysis of Genesis 43:31a

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Sacred Theology (STM)


Exegetical Theology


Modern commentators do not discuss Joseph washing his face. The focus of many scholars is usually on another detail that occurs prior to the washing. This study is an attempt to remedy this oversight. As we explore this phrase in depth by means of semantic, historical, and literary analysis, it will become evident that this unique phrase is a crucial turning point in the Joseph Story.


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