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more disturbed. And now it was that the memory || seven other ears of corn, meagre and weak for
foreshows what is to come upon men, not to grieve The king took him by the hand, and said, “O them, but that when they know it beforehand, they young man, for my servant bears witness that thou may, by prudence, make the actual experience of art at present the best and most skilful person I what is foretold the more tolerable. If thou therecan consult with ; vouchsafe me the same favours fore carefully dispose of the plentiful crops which which thou bestowed on this servant of mine, and will come in the former years, thou wilt procure tell me what events are predicted by the visions that the future calamity will not be felt by the of my dreams: and I desire thee to suppress no- Egyptians.” thing out of fear, nor to flatter me with lying Hereupon the king wondered at the discretion words, or with what may please me, although the and wisdom of Joseph; and asked him by what truth should be of a melancholy nature. It seemed means he might so dispense the plentiful crops in to me that as I walked by the river, I saw kine the happy years, as to make the miserable crops fat and very large, seven in number, going from more tolerable: Joseph then added this advice; the river to the marshes; and other kine of the to spare the good crops, and not permit the same number like them met them out of the Egyptians to spend them luxuriously; but to remarshes, exceeding lean and ill-favoured; which serve what they would have spent in luxury beyond ate up the fat and large kine, and yet were no their necessity against the time of want. He also better than before, and not less miserably pinched exhorted him to take the corn of the husbandwith famine. After I had seen this vision, I awoke men, and give them only so much as might suffice out of my sleep; but being in disorder, and con- for their food. Accordingly Pharaoh, being sursidering with myself what this appearance should prised at Joseph, not only for his interpretation be, I fell asleep again, and saw another dream of the dream, but for the counsel he had given, much more wonderful than the foregoing, which intrusted him with dispensing the corn; with the did still more affright and disturb me.
power to do what he thought would be for the seven ears of corn growing out of one root, having benefit of the people of Egypt
, and for the benefit their heads borne down by the weight of the grains, of the king: as believing that he who first disand bending down with the fruit, which was now covered this method of acting would prove the ripe, and fit for reaping: and near these I saw best overseer of it. Joseph having this power given
* In Barbary, one talk of wheat, or barley, will sometimes | Dr. Shaw : “In Barbary it is common to see one grain produce bear two ears, while each of these ears will as often shoot out ten or fifteen stalks. Even some grains of the murwaany wheat, into a number of less ones, thereby affording a most plentiful which I brought with me to Oxford, and sowed in the physic increase. May not these large prolific ears, when seven are garden, threw out each of them fifty. But Muzeratty, one of the said to come upon one stalk, explain what is further mentioned late kaleefas, or viceroys, of the province of Tlemsan, brought of the seven fruitful years in Egypt, that is, that the earth brought once with him to Algiers a root that yielded four-score: telling forth by handfuls ?
us, that the prince of the western pilgrims sent once to the This latter passage may, indeed, mean, that the earth brought bashaw of Cairo one that yielded six-score. Pliny mentions forth handfuls of stalks from single grains, and not handfuls of some that bore three or four hundred.” B. ears from single stalks, agreeably to the following passage from
OF THE ARRIVAL OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN IN EGYPT, AND HIS CONDUCT
him by the king,* with leave to make use of his who sold the corn to them; being become conseal, and to wear purple,f drove in his chariot fessedly a saviour to the whole multitude of the
i fessediya saviour to the whole multitude of the through all the land of Egypt ;and took the Egyptians. Nor did he open this market of corn corns of the husbandmen, allotting as much to for the people of that country only: but strangers every one as would be sufficient for seed and for had liberty to buy also, Joseph being willing that food"; but without discovering to any one the all men, who are naturally akin to each other, reason why he did so.
should have assistance from those that lived in
happiness. CHAP. VI.
Jacob, also, when he understood that foreigners had this privilege, sent all his sons into Egypt to buy corn; for the land of Canaan was grievously afflicted
with the famine: and this great misery touched the JOSEPH was now grown up to thirty years of whole continent. He only retained Benjamin, who age, and enjoyed great honours from the king; was born to him by Rachel ; and was of the same who called him Psothom Phanech, out of regard mother as Joseph. These sons of Jacob came into to his prodigious degree of wisdom; for that Egypt, and applied themselves to Joseph, to buy corn, name denotes a revealer of secrets. He also for nothing of this kind was done without his appromarried a wife of very high quality: she was the bation; since even the honour that was paid the king daughter of Petephres, | one of the priests of He- himself, was only advantageous to the persons
that liopolis, and her name was Asenath. By her he paid it, when they took care to honour Joseph also. had children before the scarcity came on: Manas- Now when he well knew his brethren, they thought seh, the elder, which signifies forgetful; because nothing of him; for he was but a youth when he left his present happiness made him forget his former them, and was now come to an age so much greater, misfortunes. And Ephraim, the younger, which that the lineaments of his face were changed, and he signifies restored; because he was restored to the was not known to them; besides this, the greatness freedom of his forefathers.
of the dignity wherein he appeared, suffered them Now after Egypt had happily passed over seven not so much as to suspect the truth. He therefore years, according to Joseph's interpretation of the now made trial what sentiments they had about the dreams, the famine came upon them on the eighth affairs of the greatest consequence; for he refused year: and because this misfortune fell upon them to sell them corn, and said they were come as spies when they had no sense of it beforehand, they of the king's affairs; and that they came from sevewere all sorely afflicted by it, and came running ral countries, and joined themselves together, and to the king's gates'; and he called upon Joseph, pretended they were of kin; it not being possible
but , , de parts,
* Joseph had his name changed on this occasion. It was an † To be arrayed in a rich dress, and to ride in great pomp ancient custom among eastern princes, upon their promotion of and ceremony, were the ancient modes of investing with the any favourite, to give him a new name. Nebuchadnezzar, we highest degree of subordinate power in Egypt; and with a small read, Dan. i. 7, imposed new names upon Daniel, and his com- variation, still remains so. The history of the revolt of Ali Bey, panions in Babylon ; and to this very day Mogul never advances (p. 43.) informs us, that on the election of a new sheik bellet, a man, but he gives him a new name, and that significative of the pasha who approves of him invests him with a valuable fur,
is treats the meaning of the name which Pharaoh gave Joseph ? In the pasha presents him with a horse richly caparisoned. HARMER, Hebrew text it is Zaphnah paaneah, but in the Egyptian and vol. iii. p. 308. B. Greek Pentateuch it is Pson-thonphanech. The oriental ver- Gen. xlv. 42, 43. sions, however, are pretty unanimous in rendering it, a revealer That is, bought it for Pharaoh at a very low price. of secrets; but there are some reasons why this should not be This Potiphar, or as in Josephus, Petephres, who was now its true interpretation. For the time that Pharaoh gave the a priest of On or Heliopolis, is the same name in Josephus, and patriarch this name, was when he advanced him from the condi- perhaps in Moses also, with him who is before called the Head tion of an imprisoned slave to that of a ruler throughout all the Cook or Captain of the Guard; and to whom Joseph was sold. land of Egypt; and therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that See Gen. xxxvii. 36. xxxix. 1. with xli. 50. They are also he gave it in commemoration of such promotion, rather than of affirmed to be one and the same person in the Testament of his expounding dreams: because to have called him an interpreter Joseph, for he is there said to have married the daughter of his of dreams only, had been degrading him to the level of magi- master and mistress. Nor is this a notion peculiar to the Testacians. Now if Pharaoh gave him this name in memory of his ment; but as Dr. Bernard confesses, common to Josephus, to promotion, it was very likely that this name was strictly and the Septuagint interpreters, and to other learned Jews of old properly Egyptian, (otherwise the have time. understood it,) though Moses, in his recording it, might ene To This entire ignorance of the Egyptians of these years of deavour to accommodate it to the Hebrew idiom; and if it was famine before they came, told us before, as well as here, by Egyptian, the word in that language signifies what we call a Josephus, seems almost incredible. It is in no other copy prime minister: or strictly the first, or prince of the lords. I know of. Bibliotheca Bibl. occas. annot. 41. B.
that a private man should breed up so many sons,
Thus did Reubel endeavour to persuade Joseph and those of so great a beauty of countenance as to have a better opinion of them; but when he had they were: such an education of so many children learned that Jacob was alive, and that his brother being not easily obtained by kings themselves. Now was not destroyed by them, he, for the present, put this he did in order to discover what concerned his them in prison; as intending to examine more into father; and what happened to him after his own their affairs when he should be at leisure. But on departure from him; and as desiring to know what the third day he brought them out, and said to them, was become of Benjamin his brother; for he was “Since you constantly affirm, that you are not come afraid that they had ventured on the like wicked to do any harm to the king's affairs, that you are enterprise against him, that they had done to him- brethren, and sons of the father whom you named; self, and had taken him off also.*
you will satisfy me of the truth of what
you say, if Now these brethren of his were under distraction you leave one of your company with me, who shall and terror, and thought that very great danger hung suffer no injury here; and it
, when you have carried over them; yet not at all reflecting upon their bro- corn to your father, you will come to me again, and ther Joseph, and standing firm under the accusations bring your brother, whom you say you left there, laid against them, they made their defence by Reu- along with you, this shall be esteemed an assurance bel, the eldest of them, who now became their spokes- of the truth of what you have told me.” Hereupon man. “We come not hither,” said he,“ with any they were in greater grief than before; they wept, unjust design, nor in order to bring any harm to the and perpetually deplored one among another the king's affairs; we only want to be preserved, as calamity of Joseph; and said, they were fallen into supposing your humanity might be a refuge for us this misery as a punishment inflicted by God for the from the miseries which our country labours under; evil contrivances they had against him. And Reuwe have heard that you proposed to sell corn, not bel reproached them for their too late repentance, only to your own countrymen, but to strangers also; whence no profit arose to Joseph; and earnestly and that you determined to allow that corn in order exhorted them to bear with patience whatever they to preserve all that want it. But that we are breth- suffered, since it was done by God in way of punren, and of the same common blood, the peculiar ishment on his account. Thus they spake to one lineaments of our face, and those not much different another, not imagining that Joseph understood their from one another, plainly show. Our father's name language. A general sadness also seized on them is Jacob, an Hebrew; who had twelve sons, by four at Reubel's words, and a repentance for what they wives, which twelve of us while we were all alive, had done; and they condemned the wickedness they were a happy family. But when one of our breth- had perpetrated, for which they judged they were ren, whose name was Joseph, died, our affairs justly punished by God. Now when Joseph saw changed for the worse, for our father could not for that they were in this distress, he was so affected bear to make a long lamentation for him; and we that he burst into tears; but not being willing that are in affliction both by calamity of the death of our they should take notice of him, he retired, and after brother, and the miserable state of our aged father. a while came to them again; and taking Simeon,t We are now, therefore, come to buy corn: having in order to his being a pledge for his brethren’s reintrusted the care of our father, and the provision turn; he bid them take the corn they had bought, and of our family, to Benjamin, our youngest brother; go their way. He also commanded his steward privily and if thou sendest to our house, thou mayest learn to put the money which they had brought with them whether we are guilty of the least falsehood in for the purchase of corn, into their sacks,f and to diswhat we say."
miss them therewith, who did as he was commanded.
* In scripture, Joseph is represented as swearing by the life but sixty horses for ninety-four persons. The Mehemander (or of Pharaoh. Most authors take this for an oath, the original of conductor) swore by the head of the king, (which is the greatest which is well explained by Mr. Selden, (in his Titles of Honour, oath among the Persians,) that he could not possibly find any p. 45.) where he observes, that the names of gods being given more.” And THEVENOT says, (Trav. p. 97, part 2.) “his subto kings very early, from the excellency of their heroic virtue, jects never look upon him but with fear and trembling; and which made them anciently great benefactors to mankind; they have such respect for him, and pay so blind an obedience thence arose the custom of swearing by them; which Aben to his orders, that, how unjust soever his commands might be, Ezra saith, continued in his time, (about 1170,) when Egypt they perform them, though against the law both of God and was governed by caliphs. If any man swore by the king's head, nature. Nay, if they swear by the king's head, their oath is and were found to have sworn falsely, he was punished capitally, more authentic, and of greater credit, than if they swore by all Extraordinary as this kind of oath which Joseph made use of, that is most sacred in heaven and upon earth.” may appear to us, it still continues in the East. Mr. HanwAY † The reason why Simeon might be selected out of the rest for says, the most sacred oath among the Persians is,“ By the king's Joseph's prisoner, is plain in the Testament of Simeon, viz. that head; (Trav. vol. i. p. 313.) and among other instances of it, he was one of the bitterest of all Joseph's brethren against him. we read in the travels of the Ambassadors, p. 204, “ there were | There are two sorts of sacks taken notice of in the history
When Jacob's sons were come into the land of | delivered Benjamin to them, with the price of the Canaan, they told their father what had happened to corn doubled ;* he also sent presents to Joseph, of them in Egypt; and that they were taken to have the fruits of the land of Canaan; balsam,t and rosin, come thither as spies upon the king; how they said as also turpentine and honey. Now their father they were brethren, and had left their eleventh bro- shed many tears at the departure of his sons, as ther with their father, but were not believed; and well as themselves; his concern was, that he might that they had left Simeon with the governor, until receive them back again safe after their journey; Benjamin should go thither, and be a testimonial of and their concern was, that they might find their the truth of what they had said. They then begged father well
, and noway afflicted with the grief for of their father to fear nothing, but to send the lad them. And this lamentation lasted a whole day; along with them: but Jacob was not pleased with so that the old man was at last tired with grief, and any thing his sons had done, and being grieved at stayed behind; but they went on their way for the detention of Simeon, he thought it a foolish thing Egypt, endeavouring to mitigate their grief for their to give up Benjamin also. Neither did he yield to present misfortunes, with the hopes of better sucReubel's persuasion, though he said that the grand- cess hereafter. father might, in way of requital, kill his own sons, As soon as they came into Egypt, they were in case any harm came to Benjamin in the journey. brought down to Joseph; but here no small fear So they were distrest, and knew not what to do. disturbed them, lest they should be accused about Nay, there was another accident that still disturbed the price of the corn, as if they had cheated them more; the money that was found hidden in Joseph. They therefore made a long apology to their sacks of corn. Yet when the corn they had Joseph's steward, and told him that when they brought failed them, and when the famine still aftlict- came home they found the money in their sacks; ed them, and necessity forced them, Jacob did not and that they had now brought it along with them. still resolve to send Benjamin with his brethren; He said he did not know what they meant. So although there was no returning into Egypt unless they were delivered from that fear. And when they came with what they had promised. Now the he had loosed Simeon, and put him into a handmisery growing every day worse, and his sons beg- some habit, he suffered him to be with his brethren; ging it of him, he had no other course to take in his at which time Joseph came from his attendance present circumstances; and Judas, who was of a on the king. So they offered him their presents, bold temper, on other occasions, spake his mind very and upon his putting the question to them about freely. He told him, that it did not become him to their father, they answered that they found him be afraid on account of his son, nor to suspect the well. He also, upon his discovery that Benjamin worst, as he did; for nothing could be done to his was alive, asked, whether this was their youngest son but by the appointment of God; which must brother ? for they had not seen him. Whereupon also for certain come to pass, though he were at they said he was; he replied, that the God over home with him: that he ought not to condemn them all was his protector. But when his affection to such manifest destruction, nor deprive them of made him shed tears, he retired; desiring he that plenty of food they might have from Pharaoh, might not be seen in that state by his brethren. by his unreasonable fear about his son Benjamin, Then Joseph took them to supper; and they were but ought to take care of the preservation of Simeon; seated in the same order as they used to sit at lest by attempting to hinder Benjamin's journey, their father's table. And although Joseph treated Simeon should perish. He exhorted him to trust them all kindly, yet did he send a mess to BenjaGod for him; and said he would either bring his son min, that was doublef to what the rest of the back to him safe, or, together with his, lose his own guests had for their shares. life: so that Jacob was at length persuaded, and Now when after supper they had composed of Joseph, which ought not to be confounded; one for the corn, # | Five times as much. Heb. and Septuagint. the other for the baggage. There are no wagons almost through The reason which some assign for the Egyptians refusing all Asia, as far as to the Indies; every thing is carried upon to eat with the Hebrews, was their sacrificing some creatures beasts of burthen, in sacks of wool, covered in the middle with which the Egyptians worshipped: but though, in after ages, leather, the better to make resistance to water. Sacks of this they certainly did worship several kinds of animals, yet there sort are called tambellit; they inclose in them their things done appears nothing from the story that they did so in Joseph's up in large parcels. It is of this kind of sacks we are to under. days; for their worship of the famous ox, called Apis, was a stand what is said here and all through this history, and not of much later invention, as many learned men have demonstrated. their sacks in which they carry their corn. (Chardin.) HAR- It is much more likely, therefore, that this great abhorrence MER, vol. i. p. 429. B.
should be resolved into their different manner, both of dressing * Gen. xliii. 12.
and eating their victuals. No people, as Herodotus tells, (even + Of the precious balsam of Judea, and the turpentine, see where he treats of their manner of feasting, Euterpe, c. 28.) note on VIII. 6.
were more tenacious of their old customs than the Egyptians.
themselves to sleep, Joseph commanded his stew- || was so hardy as to accuse those who did not be-
such thing; cup, out of which he himself used to drink. Which so far were they from offering any injury to Joseph things he did in order to make trial of his brethren, voluntarily. But still, supposing that a search whether they would stand by Benjamin' when he would be a more sure justification of themselves should be accused of having stolen the cup, and than their own denial of the fact; they bid him should appear to be in danger; or whether they search them, and said, if any of them had been would leave him, and, depending on their own in- guilty of theft, he might punish them all; for being nocency, go to their father without him. When noway conscious of any crime, they spake with the servant had done as he was bidden, the sons assurance, and, as they thought, without any danof Jacob, knowing nothing of this, went their way, ger to themselves. T'he servants desired there and took Simeon with them, and had a double might be a search made; but they said, the puncause of joy; both because they had received him ishment should extend to him alone who should again, and because they took back Benjamin to be guilty of the theft. So they made the search; their father, as they had promised. But presently a and having searched all the rest, they came at troop of horsemen encompassed them, and brought last to Benjamin, as knowing it was Benjamin's with them Joseph's servant, who had put the cup sack in which they had hidden the cup; they havinto Benjamin's sack. Upon this unexpected at- ing searched the rest only for a show of accuracy; tack, they were much disturbed, and asked the so the rest were out of fear for themselves, and reason why they came thus upon men, who, a little were now only concerned about Benjamin; but before, had been by their lord thought worthy of still were well assured that he would be also found an honourable and hospitable reception? They re- innocent; and they reproached those that came plied, by calling them wicked wretches, who had after them for their hindering them, while they forgot that very hospitable and kind treatment might have proceeded a good way on their jourwhich Joseph had given them, and did not scruple ney. But as soon as the cup was found in Bento be injurious to him; and to carry off that cup jamin's sack, all was changed to mourning and out of which he had, in so friendly a manner, lamentation. They rent their garments, and wept drank to them; regarding their friendship with for the punishment which their brother was to Joseph no more than the danger they should be undergo for his theft; and for the delusion they in, if they were taken, in comparison of the unjust had put upon their father, when they promised gain. Hereupon he threatened, that they should they would return Benjamin safe to him. What be punished, for though they had escaped the added to their misery was, that this melancholy knowledge of him, who was but a servant, yet had accident came unfortunately at a time when they they not escaped the knowledge of God, nor had thought they had been gotten off clear. But they gone off with what they had stolen ; and after all, confessed that this misfortune of their brother, as asked, why they were pursued, as if they knew well as the grief of their father for him, was owing nothing of the matter; and he told them, that they to themselves; since they had forced their father to should immediately know it by their punishment. send him with them, when he was averse from it. This and more of the same nature did the servant The horsemen therefore took Benjamin and say, in way of reproach; but they being wholly brought him to Joseph, his brethren also followignorant of any thing here that concerned them, ing him, who, when he saw him in custody, and laughed at what he said, and wondered at the them in the habit of mourning, said, * “ How came abusive language which he gave them, when he you, vile wretches as you are, to have such a They would not use those of any other nation whatever ; and we may suppose, that he had a great variety of little dishes or therefore the Hebrews were not the only people they had an plates set before him; and as it was a custom for great men to aversion to. For (as the same historian informs us) an Egyp- || honour those who were in their favour, by sending such dishes tian man, or woman, would not kiss the mouth of a Greek, to them as were first served up to themselves, Joseph showed would not make use of-a spit or a pot belonging to them; nor that token of respect to his brethren: but to express a particular eat any meat that was cut with one of their knives. Patrick's value for Benjamin, he sent him five dishes to their one, which and Le Clerc's Commentary. The manner of eating among the disproportion could not but be marvellous and astonishing to ancients was not for all the company to eat out of one and the them, if what Herodotus tells us be true, 1.6, c. 27, viz. “That sme dish, but for every one to have one or more dishes to him the distinction in this case, even to Egyptian kings themselves, self. The whole of these dishes were set before the master of in all public feasts and banquets, was no more than a double the feast, and he distributed to every one his portion. As mess." Patrick's Commentary and Bibliotheca Bibl. B. Joseph, however, is here said to have had a table to himself, * This oration seems too long, and too unusual a digression