2.33 Joseph's Marriage
As one of the fringe benefits of working for Pharaoh, Joseph was given the daughter of an Egyptian priest in marriage (Gen 41:45). Since the women of Canaan were later considered a threat to Israel, leading the men into idolatry, one has to wonder about the impact of a priest's daughter in Joseph's house. But she had no active part to play in the Bible, beyond giving birth to Manasseh and Ephraim. The fact that these sons were mixed race is a significant but ignored fact of racial history -- it means that the progenitors of two of the twelve tribes of Israel were half-Egyptian. This is a substantial "investment" of Egyptian blood in what was to become an enemy nation. Furthermore, these two sons would later be allotted land in Canaan as part of Abraham's inheritance. The implications of this would shock many in our modern world: Egypt has a stake in Israel, not just the land, but in the people who inhabit the land. And there is an even greater result (see section 2.37).
There is implied in this union of Joseph and Asenath the blessing and approval of God upon Egyptian pedigree. This is another nail in the coffin of the "curse on Ham's offspring" teaching. Mizraim was the son of Ham who settled in and founded Egypt (Gen 10:6). If there was a curse of inferiority or slavery upon all of Ham's sons, then surely God would never have permitted Joseph, God's standard-bearer, to marry an Egyptian, who was also a pagan priest's daughter. Indeed, according to the illogic of the Ham-haters, Israel itself is tainted by the curse on Ham, because Egyptian blood flows in two of the twelve tribes. The conclusion is clear to an unbiased interpreter -- Noah's curse was specifically linked to Canaan, and not to the African sons of Ham.