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make a long lamentation for him; and we done; and they condemned the wickedness are in affliction both by calamity of the death they had perpetrated, for which they judged of our brother, and the miserable state of our they were justly punished by God. Now aged father. We are now, therefore, come when Joseph saw that they were in this disto buy corn; having intrusted the care of our tress, he was so affected that he burst into father, and the provision of our family to Ben tears; but not being willing that they should jamin, our youngest brother; and if thou take notice of him, he retired, and after a sendest to our house thou mayest learn whe while
to them again; and taking ther we are guilty of the least falsehood in Simeon,* in order to his being a pledge for what we say."
his brethren's return; he bid them take the Thus did Reubel endeavour to persuade corn they had bought, and
corn they had bought, and go their way. He Joseph to have a better opinion of them; but also commanded his steward privily to put when he had learned that Jacob was alive, the money which they had brought with and that his brother was not destroyed by them for the purchase of corn, into their them, he, for the present, put them in prison; sacks, and to dismiss them therewith, who as intending to examine more into their affairs did as he was commanded. when he should be at leisure. But on the When Jacob's sons were come into the third day he brought them out, and said to land of Canaan, they told their father what them, “Since you constantly affirm, that you had happened to them in Egypt; and that are not come to do any harm to the king's || they were taken to have come thither as affairs; that you are brethren, and sons of spies upon the king; how they said they the father whom you named; you will satisfy were brethren, and had left their eleventh me of the truth of what you say, if you leave brother with their father, but were not beone of your company with me, who shall lieved; and that they had left Simeon with suffer no injury here; and if, when you have the governor, until Benjamin should
go carried corn to your father, you will come to thither, and be a testimonial of the truth of me again, and bring your brother, whom you what they had said. They then begged of say you left there, along with you, this shall their father to fear nothing, but to send the we esteemed an assurance of the truth of lad along with them; but Jacob was not what you have told me.” Hereupon they pleased with any thing his sons had done, were in greater grief than before; they wept, and being grieved at the detention of and perpetually deplored one among another Simeon, he thought it a foolish thing to give the calamity of Joseph; and said, they were up Benjamin also. Neither did he yield to fallen into this misery as a punishment in Reubel's persuasion, though he said that the flicted by God for the evil contrivances they grandfather might, in way of requital, kill his had against him. And Reubel reproached own sons, in case any harm came to Benjathem for their too late repentance, whence min in the journey. So they were distrest no profit arose to Joseph; and earnestly ex and knew not what to do. Nay, there was horted them to bear with patience whatever another accident that still disturbed them they suffered, since it was done by God in more: the money that was found hidden in way of punishment on his account. Thus their sacks of corn. Yet when the corn they they spake to one another, not imagining that had brought failed them, and when the famine Joseph understood their language. A general still afflicted them, and necessity forced sadness also seized on them at Reubel's them, Jacob did not still resolve to send words, and a repentance for what they had Benjamin with his brethren; although there
* The reason why Simeon might be selected out of the every thing is carried upon beasts of burthen, in sacks of rest for Joseph's prisoner, is plain in the Testament of wool, covered in the middle with leather, the better to Simeon, viz. that he was one of the bitterest of all Joseph's make resistance to water. Sacks of this sort are called brethren against him.
tambellit; they inclose in them their things done up in † There are two sorts of sacks taken notice of in the large parcels. It is of this kind of sacks we are to underhistory of Joseph, which ought not to be confounded ; one stand what is said here and all through this history, and not for the corn, the other for the baggage. There are no of their sacks in which they carry their corn. (Chardin.) waggons almost through all Asia, as far as to the Indies, HARMER, v. i. p. 429. B
was no returning into Egypt unless they came tired with grief, and stayed behind; but they with what they had promised. Now the went on their way for Egypt, endeavouring to misery growing every day worse, and his sons mitigate their grief for their present misforbegging it of him, he had no other course to tunes, with the hopes of better success heretake in his present circumstances; and Judas, after. who was of a bold temper on other occasions, As soon as they came into Egypt they were spake his mind very freely. He told hiin, brought down to Joseph; but here no small that it did not become him to be afraid on fear disturbed them, lest they should be acaccount of his son, nor to suspect the worst, cused about the price of the corn, as if they as he did; for nothing could be done to his had cheated Joseph. They therefore made a son but by the appointment of God; which long apology to Joseph's steward, and told must also for certain come to pass though he him that when they came home they found were at home with him: that he ought not the money in their sacks; and that they had to condemn them to such manifest destruc now brought it along with them. He said he tion, nor deprive them of that plenty of food did not know what they meant. So they were they might have from Pharaoh, by his unrea delivered froin that fear. And when he had sonable fear about his son Benjamin, but loosed Simeon, and put him into a handsome ought to take care of the preservation of habit, he suffered him to be with his brethren; Simeon; lest by attempting to hinder Benja at which time Joseph came from his attendmin's journey, Simeon should perish. He ance on the king. So they offered him their exhorted him to trust God for him; and said presents, and upon his putting the question to he would either bring his son back to him them about their father, they answered that safe, or, together with his, lose his own life. they found him well. He also, upon his disSo that Jacob was at length persuaded, and covery that Benjamin was alive, asked, whedelivered Benjamin to them, with the price of ther this was their youngest brother? for they the corn doubled ;* he also sent presents to had not seen him. Whereupon they said he Joseph, of the fruits of the land of Canaan; was; he replied, that the God over all was balsam,t and rosin, as also turpentine and his protector. But when his affection made honey. Now their father shed many tears at him shed tears, he retired; desiring he might the departure of his sons, as well as them not be seen in that state by his brethren. selves; his concern was, that he might receive Then Joseph took them to supper; and they them back again safe after their journey; and were seated in the same order as they used to their concern was, that they might find their sit at their father's table. And although Joseph father well, and no way afflicted with the treated them all kindly, yet did he send a grief for them. And this lamentation lasted mess to Benjamin, that was doublef to what a whole day; so that the old man was at last the rest of the guests had for their shares.|| * Gen. xliii. 12.
rian informs us) an Egyptian man, or woman, would not kiss † Of the precious balsam of Judea, and the turpentine, the mouth of a Greek, would not make use of a spii or a see note on VIII. 6.
pot belonging to them; nor eat any meat that was cut with | Five times as much. Heb. and Septuagint.
one of their knives. Patrick's and Le Clerc's Commentary. li The reason which some assign for the Egyptians re The manner of eating among the ancients was not for all fusing to eat with the Hebrews, was their sacrificing some the company to eat out of one and the same dish, but for creatures which the Egyptians worshipped: but though, every one to have one or more dishes to himself. Thc in after ages, they certainly did worship several kinds of whole of these dishes were set before the master of the animals, yet there appears nothing from the story that feast, and he distributed to every one bis portion. As they did so in Joseph's days; for their worship of the Joseph, however, is here said to have had a table to himfainous ox, called Apis, was a much later invention, as we may suppose, that he had a great variety of little many learned men have demonstrated. It is much more dishes, or plates set before him; and as it was a custom for likely therefore, that this great abhorrence should be re great men to honour those who were in their favour, by solved into their different manner, both of dressing and sending such dishes to them as were first served up to eating their victuals. No people, as Herodotus tells, (even themselves, Joseph shewed that token of respect to his where he treats of their manner of feasting, Euterpe, c. 28.) brethren : but to express a particular value for Benjamin, were more tenacious of their old customs than the Egyp he sent him five dishes to their one, which disproportion tians. They would not use those of any other nation could not but be marvellous and astonishing to them, if whatever; and therefore the Hebrews were not the only what Herodotus tells us be true, 1. 6. c. 27. viz.. “ That people they had an aversion to. For (as the same histo the distinctiou in this case, even to Egyptian kings them
Now when after supper they had composed guage which he gave them, when he was so themselves to sleep, Joseph commanded his hardy as to accuse those who did not before steward both to give them their measures of so much as retain the price of their corn, corn, and to hide its price again in their sacks; which was found in their sacks, but brought it and withal they should put into Benjamin's again, though nobody else knew of any such sack the golden cup, out of which he himself thing; so far were they from offering any used to drink. Which things he did in order injury to Joseph voluntarily. But still, supto make trial of his brethren, whether they posing that a search would be a more sure would stand by Benjamin when he should be justification of themselves than their own deaccused of having stolen the cup, and should nial of the fact, they bid him search them; appear to be in danger; or whether they and said, if any of them had been guilty of would leave him, and, depending on their own theft, he might punish them all; for being no innocency, go to their father without him. way conscious of any crime, they spake with When the servant had done as he was bidden, assurance, and, as they thought, without any the sons of Jacob, knowing nothing of this, danger to themselves. The servants desired went their way, and took Simeon with them, there might be a search made; but they said, and had a double cause of joy; both because the punishment should extend to him alone they had received him again, and because who should be guilty of the theft. So they they took back Benjamin to their father, as made the search; and having searched all they had promised. But presently a troop of the rest, they came at last to Benjamin, as horsemen encompassed them, and brought knowing it was Benjamin's sack in which they with them Joseph's servant, who had put the had hidden the cup; they having searched cup into Benjamin's sack. Upon this unex the rest only for a shew of accuracy; so the pected attack, they were much disturbed, rest were out of fear for themselves, and were and asked the reason why they came thus now only concerned about Benjamin; but upon men, who a little before, had been by still were well assured that he would be also their lord thought worthy of an honourable found innocent; and they reproached those and hospitable reception? They replied, by that came after them for their hindering them, calling them wicked wretches, who had for while they might have proceeded a good way got that very hospitable and kind treatment on their journey. But as soon as the cup wa which Joseph had given them, and did not found in Benjamin's sack, all was changed to scruple to be injurious to him; and to carry mourning and lamentation. They rent their off that cup out of which he had, in so friendly
friendly garments, and wept for the punishment which a manner, drank to them; regarding their their brother was to undergo for his theft; and friendship with Joseph no more than the for the delusion they had put on their father, danger they should be in, if they were taken, when they promised they would return Benin comparison of the unjust gain. Hereupon jamin safe to him. What added to their he threatened, that they should be punished, misery was, that this melancholy accident for though they had escaped the knowledge came unfortunately at a time when they of him, who was but a servant, yet had they thought they had been gotten off clear. But not escaped the knowledge of God, nor had they confessed that this misfortune of their gone off with what they had stolen; and after brother, as well as the grief of their father all, asked, why they were pursued, as if they for him, was owing to themselves; since they knew nothing of the matter; and he told them, had forced their father to send him with them, that they should immediately know it by their
when he was averse from it. punishment. This and more of the same The horsemen therefore took Benjamin and nature did the servant say, in way of reproach; brought him to Joseph, his brethren also folbut they being wholly ignorant of any thing lowing him, who, when he saw him in custody, here that concerned them, laughed at what and them in the habit of mourning, said, he said, and wondered at the abusive lan ** How came you, vile wretches as you are, selves, in all public feasts and banquets, was no more than * This oration seems too long, and too unusual a digresa double mess." Patrick's Commentary and Bibliotheca sion to have have been composed by Joseph on this occaBibl. B.
sion. It seems to me a speech or declaration composed
to have such a strange notion of my kindness to slay those that do not otherwise presume to you, and of God's providence, as impu upon their own safety, but are desirous to dently to do thus to your benefactor, who in accept of it from thee. For this is not the such an hospitable manner had entertained first time that thou wilt bestow it on us; but you?" Hereupon they gave up themselves before when we came to buy corn, thou to be punished, in order to save Benjamin ; affordest us great plenty of food, and gavest and called to mind what wicked enterprise us leave to carry home to our family, as much they had been guilty of against Joseph. They as has preserved them from perishing by also pronounced him more happy than them famine. Nor is there any difference between selves, if he were dead, in being freed from not over looking men that were perishing for the miseries of this life; and if he were alive, want of necessaries, and not punishing those that he enjoyed the pleasure of seeing God's that seem to be offenders, and have been so vengeance upon them. They said farther, unfortunate as to lose the advantage of that that they were the plague of their father; glorious benefaction which they received since they should now add to his former grief from thee. This will be an instance of equal for Joseph, this other affliction for Benjamin. || favour, though bestowed after a different manReubel also was very severe upon this occa ner. For thou wilt save those this way, whom sion. But Joseph dismissed them; for he thou didst feed the other; and thou wilt said, they had been guilty of no offence, and hereby preserve alive, by thy own bounty, that he would content himself with the lad's those souls, which thou didst not suffer to be punishment; for he said it was not proper to distressed by famine. It being indeed at once let him go free, for the sake of those who had a wonderful and a great thing, to sustain our not offended; nor was it just to punish them lives by corn, and to bestow on us that partogether with him, who had been guilty of don, whereby, now we are distressed, we may stealing. When he promised to give them continue those lives. And I am ready to supleave to go away in safety, they were under pose that God is willing to afford thee this great consternation, and were able to say opportunity of shewing thy virtuous disposinothing on this sad occasion; but Judas, who tion, by bringing us into this calamity, that it had persuaded their father to send the lad might appear thou canst forgive the injuries from him, being otherwise also a very bold that are done to thyself, and mayest be esand active man, determined to hazard him teemed kind to others, besides those, who, self for the preservation of his brother. on other accounts, stand in need of thy assist
“ It is true," said he, “ O governor, that we ance; since it is indeed a right thing to do have been very wicked with regard to thee,
well to those who are in distress for want of and on that account deserve punishment; food; but still a more glorious thing to save even all of us may justly be punished, although those who deserve to be punished, when it is the theft were not committed by all, but only on account of heinous offences against thyself. by one of us, and he the youngest also. But For if it be a thing deserving commendation yet, there remains some hope for us, who to forgive such as have been guilty of small otherwise must be under despair on his ac offences, that tend to a person's loss, and this count, and this from thy goodness, which be praise-worthy in him that overlooks such promises us a deliverance out of our present offences; to restrain a man's passion, as to danger. And now, I beg thou wilt not look at the crimes which are capital to the guilty, is us, or at that crime we have been guilty of, to be like the most excellent nature of God but at thy own excellent nature; and take himself. And truly, as for myself, had it not advice of thine own virtue, instead of that been that we had a father, who had discowrath which those that otherwise are of a low vered, on occasion of the death of Joseph, character indulge, as they do their strength: how miserably he is always afflicted at the and that not only on great but also on very
loss of his sons, I had not spoken on account trilling occasions. Overcome, sir, that pas of the saving our own lives: I mean any farther sion; and be not subdued by it, nor suffer it
than as that would be an excellent character formerly, in the persou of Judas, and in the way of oratory, occasion. See two more such speeches or declamations. that lay by him; and which he thought fit to insert on this VI. 14.
for thyself, to preserve even those that would neither give nor take away, on the merciful have nobody to lament them when they were side, and when it is in thy power to destroy, dead; but we would have yielded ourselves to forget that thou ever hadst that up to suffer whatsoever thou pleasedst. But to look on thyself as only allowed power for now, (for we do not plead for mercy to our preservation; and that the more any one exselves, though indeed, if we die, it will be tends this power, the greater reputation does while we are young, and before we have had he gain to himself. Now by forgiving our the enjoyment of life,) have regard to our brother what he has unhappily committed, father, and take pity on his old age; on whose thou wilt preserve us all. For we cannot account it is that we make these supplications. think of living if he be put to death; since we We beg thou wilt give us those lives, which dare not shew ourselves alive to our father this wickedness of ours has rendered obnox without our brother. But here must we parious to thy punishment; and this for his sake take of one and the same catastrophe. And who is not himself wicked; nor does his being so far we beg of thee, O governor, that if thou our father make us wicked. He is a good condemnest our brother to die, thou wilt man, and not worthy to have such trials of his punish us together with him, as partakers of patience; now we are absent he is afflicted his crime; for we shall not think it reasonable with care for us. But if he hear of our deaths, to be reserved to kill ourselves for grief of and what was the cause of it, he will on that our brother's death, but so to die rather as account die an immature death: and the re equally guilty with him of this crime. I will proachful manner of our ruin will hasten his only leave with thee this one consideration, end, and will directly kill him; nay, will bring and then will say no more, viz. that our brohim to a miserable death, while he will make
ther committed his fault when he was young, haste to rid himself out of the world, and bring and not yet of confirmed wisdom in his conhimself to a state of insensibility, before the duct; and that men naturally forgive such sad story of our end come abroad into the
And I end here, without rest of the world.
adding what more I have to say, that in case “ Consider things in this manner, although thou condemnest us, that omission may be our wickedness does now provoke thee, with supposed to have hurt us, and permitted thee a just desire of punishing that wickedness; to take the severer side. But in case thou and forgive it for our father's sake; and let settest us free, that this may be ascribed to thy commiseration of him weigh more with thy own goodness; of which thou art inwardly thee, than our wickedness. Have regard to conscious, that thou freest us from condemthe old age of our father, who, if we perish, | nation; and that not by barely preserving us, will be very lonely while he lives; and will but by granting us such a favour as will make soon die himself also. Grant this boon to the
us appear more righteous than we really are: name of father, for thereby thou wilt honour and by representing to thyself more motives hin that begat thee, and wilt grant it to thy for our deliverance than we are able to proself also, who enjoyest already that denomi duce ourselves. If, therefore, thou resolvest nation; thou wilt then, by that nomination, to slay him, I desire thou wilt slay me in his be preserved of God the father of all; by stead, and send him back to his father, or if shewing a pious regard to which in the case thou pleasest to retain him with thee as a of our father, thou wilt appear to honour him slave, I am fitter to labour for thy advantage who is styled by the same name. I mean if in that capacity, and as thou seest, am better thou wilt have this pity on our father, upon prepared for either of those sufferings.'* So the consideration how miserable he will be if Judas being very willing to undergo any he be deprived of his sons. It is thy part, | thing for the deliverance of his brother, cast therefore, to bestow on us what God has given himself down at Joseph's feet, and earnestly us, when it is in thy power to take it away; laboured to assuage and pacify his anger. All and so to resemble him intirely in charity. his brethren also fell down before him, weepFor it is good to use that power which can ing and delivering themselves up for destruc
* In all this speech of Judas's we may observe, that theft in Egypt, in the days of Joseph; though it never was Josephus supposed death to have been the punishment of
the Jews, by the law of Moses.