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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
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 if
, 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 dis
miss them therewith, who did as he was commanded.
what we say."
* 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. H.SWAY 14 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,f 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 afflict- 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 Simoon 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: 80 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 Š 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.)
were more tenacious of their old customs than the Egyptians.
note on VIII. 6.
themselves to sleep, Joseph commanded his stew- ' was so hardy as to accuse those who did not beard both to give them their measures of corn, and fore so much as retain the price of their corn, to hide its price again in their sacks; and withal which was found in their sacks, but brought it they should put into Benjamin's sack the golden again, though nobody else knew of any 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. The 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 himishment 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 same 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
strange notion of my kindness to you, and of home to our family, as much as has preserved God's providence, as impudently to do thus to them from perishing by famine. Nor is there any your benefactor, who in such an hospitable man- difference between not overlooking men that were ner had entertained you ?" Hereupon they gave perishing for want of necessaries, and not punishup themselves to be punished, in order to save ing those that seem to be offenders, and have been Benjamin ; and called to mind what wicked en so unfortunate as to lose the advantage of that terprise they had been guilty of against Joseph. glorious benefaction which they received from They also pronounced him more happy than them- thee. This will be an instance of equal favour, selves, if he were dead, in being freed from the though bestowed after a different manner. For miseries of this life; and if he were alive, that he thou wilt save those this way, whom thou didst enjoyed the pleasure of seeing God's vengeance feed the other: and thou wilt hereby preserve upon them. They said farther, that they were alive, by thy own bounty, those souls, which thou the plague of their father; since they should now didst not suffer to be distressed by famine. It beadd to his former grief for Joseph, this other ing indeed at once a wonderful and a great thing, affliction for Benjamin. Reubel also was very to sustain our lives by corn, and to bestow on us severe upon this occasion. But Joseph dismissed that pardon, whereby, now we are distressed, we them; for he said, they had been guilty of no of- may continue those lives. And I am ready to fence, and that he would content himself with the suppose that God is willing to afford thee this oplad's punishment; for he said it was not proper to portunity of showing thy virtuous disposition, by let him go free, for the sake of those who had not bringing us into this calamity, that it might appear offended; nor was it just to punish them together thou canst forgive the injuries that are done to with him, who had been guilty of stealing. When thyself, and mayest be esteemed kind to others, he promised to give them leave to go away in besides those, who, on other accounts, stand in safety, they were under great consternation, and need of thy assistance; since it is indeed a right were able to say nothing on this sad occasion; thing to do well to those who are in distress for but Judas, who had persuaded their father to send want of food; but still a more glorious thing to the lad from him, being otherwise also a very bold save those who deserve to be punished, when it is and active man, determined to hazard himself for on account of heinous offences against thyself the preservation of his brother.
For if it be a thing deserving commendation to “ It is true,” said he, “O governor, that we have forgive such as have been guilty of small offences, been very wicked with regard to thee, and on that that tend to a person's loss, and this be praiseaccount deserve punishment; even all of us may worthy in him that overlooks such offences; to rejustly be punished, although the theft were not strain a man's passion, as to the crimes which are committed by all, but only by one of us, and he capital to the guilty, is to be like the most excelthe youngest also. But yet, there remains some lent nature of God himself. And truly, as for hope for us, who otherwise must be under despair myself, had it not been that we had a father, who on his account, and this from thy goodness, which had discovered, on occasion of the death of Jopromises us a deliverance out of our present dan- seph, how miserably he is always afflicted at the ger. And now, I beg thou wilt not look at us, or loss of his sons, I had not spoken on account of at that crime we have been guilty of, but at thy the saving our own lives : I mean any farther own excellent nature; and take advice of thine than as that would be an excellent character for own virtue, instead of that wrath which those thyself, to preserve even those that would have that otherwise are of a low character indulge, as nobody to lament them when they were dead; they do their strength: and that not only on great but we would have yielded ourselves up to suffer but also on very trifling occasions. Overcome, whatsoever thou pleasedst. But now, (for we do sir, that passion; and be not subdued by it, nor not plead for mercy to ourselves, though indeed, suffer it to slay those that do not otherwise pre- if we die, it will be while we are young, and besume upon
their own safety, but are desirous to fore we have had the enjoyment of life,) have accept of it from thee. For this is not the first regard to our father, and take pity on his old age; time that thou wilt bestow it on us; but before on whose account it is that we make these supwhen we came to buy corn, thou affordedst us plications. We beg thou wilt give us those lives, great plenty of food, and gavest us leave to carry which this wickedness of ours has rendered ob
to have been composed by Joseph on this occasion. It seems he thought fit to insert on this occasion. See two more such to me a speech or declaration composed formerly, in the person speeches or declamations, VI. 14. of Judas, and in the way of oratory, that lay by him; and which
noxious to thy punishment; and this for his sake | die rather as equally guilty with him of this crime. who is not himself wicked; nor does his being I will only leave with thee this one consideration, our father make us wicked. He is a good man, and then will say no more, viz. that our brother and not worthy to have such trials of his patience; committed his fault when he was young, and not now we are absent, he is afflicted with care for yet of confirmed wisdom in his conduct; and that
But if he hear of our deaths, and what was men naturally forgive such young persons. And the cause of it, he will on that account die an im- I end here, without adding what more I have to mature death: and the reproachful manner of our say, that in case thou condemnest us, that omisruin will hasten his end, and will directly kill him; sion may be supposed to have hurt us, and pornay, will bring him to a miserable death, while he mitted thee to take the severer side. But in case will make haste to rid himself out of the world, thou settest us free, that this may be ascribed to and bring himself to a state of insensibility, before thy own goodness; of which thou art inwardly the sad story of our end come abroad into the conscious, that thou freest us from condemnation; rest of the world.
and that not by barely preserving us, but by “Consider things in this manner, although our granting us such a favour as will make us appear wickedness does now provoke thee, with a just more righteous than we really are: and by repredesire of punishing that wickedness; and forgive senting to thyself more motives for our deliverit for our father's sake; and let thy commisera- ance than we are able to produce ourselves. If, tion of him weigh more with thee, than our wicked therefore, thou resolvest to slay him, I desire thou ness. Have regard to the old age of our father, wilt slay me in his stead, and send him back to who, if we perish, will be very lonely while he his father, or if thou pleasest to retain him with lives; and will soon die himself also. Grant this thee as a slave, I am fitter to labour for thy adboon to the name of father, for thereby thou wilt vantage in that capacity, and, as thou seest, am honour him that begat thee, and wilt grant it to better prepared for either of those sufferings."* thyself also, who enjoyest already that denomina- So Judas being very willing to undergo any thing tion; thou wilt then, by that denomination, be for the deliverance of his brother, cast himself preserved of God, the father of all; by showing a down at Joseph's feet, and earnestly laboured to pious regard to which in the case of our father, assuage and pacify his anger. All his brethren thou wilt appear to honour him who is styled by also fell down before him, weeping and delivering the same name. I mean if thou wilt have this themselves up for destruction for the preservation pity on our father, upon the consideration how of the life of Benjamin. miserable he will be if he be deprived of his sons. Joseph being now overcome with his affection, It is thy part, therefore, to bestow on us what and no longer able to personate an angry man, God has given us, when it is in thy power to take commanded all that were present to depart, that it away; and so to resemble him entirely in he might make himself known to his brethren, charity. For it is good to use that power which when they were alone. And when the rest were can neither give nor take away, on the merciful gone out, he discovered himself, and said, “I comside, and when it is in thy power to destroy, to mend you for your virtue, and for your kindness forget that thou ever hadst that power, and to look to your brother; I find you better men than I on thyself as only allowed power for preservation; could have expected from what you contrived and that the more any one extends this power, about me. Indeed I did all this to try your love the greater reputation does he gain to himself
. to your brother. So I believe you were not Now by forgiving our brother what he has unhap- wicked by nature, in what you did in my case: pily committed, thou wilt preserve us all. For we but that all has happened according to God's will; cannot think of living if he be put to death; since who has thereby procured our enjoyment of what we dare not show ourselves alive to our father good things we have; and if he continue in a fawithout our brother. But here must we partake vourable disposition, of what we hope for hereof one and the same catastrophe. And so far we after. Since, therefore, I know that our father is beg of thee, O governor, that if thou condemnest safe and well, beyond expectation; and I see you our brother to die, thou wilt punish us together so well disposed towards your brother, I will no with him, as partakers of his crime; for we shall longer remember what guilt you seem to have not think it reasonable to be reserved to kill our had about me; but rather return you my thanks, selves for grief of our brother's death, but so to that you have concurred with the intentions of
* In all this speech of Judas's we may observe, that Josephus in the days of Joseph; though it never was so among the Jews, supposed death to have been the punishment of theft in Egypt, by the law of Moses.
† Gen. xlv. i.