On the twenty-first day of the second month in the second of the seven years of famine, Jacob came down to Egypt, and his daughter-in-law Asenath visited him. She marvelled not a little at his beauty and strength. His shoulders and his arms were like an angel's, and his loins like a giant's. Jacob gave her his blessing, and with her husband she returned home, accompanied by the sons of Leah, while the sons of the handmaids, remembering the evil they had once done unto Joseph, kept aloof. Levi in particular had conceived a fondness for Asenath. He was especially close to the Living God, for he was a prophet and a sage, his eyes were open, and he knew how to read the celestial books written by the finger of God. He revealed to Asenath that he had seen her future resting-place in heaven, and it was built upon a rock and encompassed by a diamond wall.
On their journey they met the son of Pharaoh, his successor to the throne, and he was so transported with Asenath's beauty, that he made the plan of murdering Joseph in order to secure possession of his wife. He summoned Simon and Levi, and by blandishments and promises sought to induce them to put Joseph out of the way. Simon was so enraged that he would have felled him at once, had not his brother Levi, who was endowed with the gift of prophecy, divined his purpose, and frustrated it by stepping upon his foot, while whispering: "Why art thou so angry, and so wroth with the man? We that fear God may not repay evil with evil." Turning to the son of Pharaoh, he told him that nothing would induce them to execute the wickedness he had proposed; rather he advised him not to undertake aught against Joseph, else he would kill him with the sword that had served him in his slaughter of the inhabitants of Shechem. The culprit was seized with frantic alarm, and fell down before Simon and Levi to entreat their mercy. Levi raised him tip, saying, "Fear not, but abandon thy wicked plan, and harbor no evil design against Joseph."
Nevertheless the son of Pharaoh did not give up his criminal purpose. He approached the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, and sought to accomplish through them what had failed with Simon and Levi. He called them into his presence, and told them of a conversation between Joseph and Pharaoh that he had overheard. The former had said that he waited but to learn of the death of his father Jacob in order to do away with the sons of the handmaids, because they had been the ones to sell him into slavery. Their wrath excited against Joseph by these words, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah assented to the proposition of the son of Pharaoh. It was arranged that the latter should kill Pharaoh, the friend of Joseph, while they would fall upon their brother, and put him out of the way. They were furnished with six hundred able warriors and fifty spearmen for the purpose. The first part of the plan, the murder of Pharaoh, failed. The palace guard would not allow even the successor to the throne to enter his father's bedchamber, and he had to depart without having effected his object.
Now Dan and Gad gave him the advice to take up his station with fifty archers in a secret place that Asenath had to pass on her homeward journey. Thence he could make a successful attack upon her suite, and gain possession of her. Naphtali and Asher did not care to have anything to do with this hostile enterprise against Joseph, but Dan and Gad forced them into it, insisting that all the sons of the handmaids must stand together as men and repel the danger that threatened them.