« PreviousContinue »
thing in itself, and also becoming a woman, thus to prevent his accusation. Accordingly
CHAP. V. she sat sorrowfully, and in confusion, framing
OF JOSEPH'S SITUATION IN PRISON, AND HIS SUBSEQUENT herself so hypocritically and angrily, that the sorrow, which was really occasioned by her disappointment, might appear to be for an at.
to God, did not attempt to make any husband came home and inquired what was defence, nor to relate the exact circumstances the cause of the disorder she was in, she began of the fact, but silently underwent the bonds to accuse Joseph.
and the distress he was in, firmly believing that “O husband,” said she, “ mayest thou not God, who knew the cause of his affliction, and live a day longer if thou dost not punish the the truth of the fact, would be more powerful wicked slave who hast desired to defile thy than those that inflicted the punishment upon bed; who has neither recollected who he was, him. He accordingly soon received a proof when he came to our house, so as to behave of God's providence on his behalf; for the himself with modesty, nor has been minutul keeper of the prison taking notice of his care of what favours he had received from thy and fidelity in the affairs he had set him bounty; though he must be an ungrateful about, and the dignity of his countenance, reman, indeed in every respect, not to act laxed his bonds, and thereby made his heavy agreeable to us.
calamity lighter, and more supportable to private design to abuse thy wife, and this at him; he also permitted him to make use of a the time of a festival, observing when thou diet better than that of the rest of the priwouldst be absent : so that it now is clear
Now his fellow prisoners, when their that his modesty as it appeared to be for hard labors were over, used to discourse with merly, was only because of the restraint he
each other, being equal sufferers, and to inwas in out of fear of thee, but that he was not quire one of another what were the occasions really of a good disposition. This has been of their being condemned to a prison ? among occasioned by his being advanced to honor be
them Pharaoh's cup-bearer, and one that had yond what he deserved, or hoped for; inso been respected by him, was put in bonds upon much that he concluded that he who was
the king's anger at him. This man was under deemed fit to be trusted with thy estate, and the same bonds with Joseph, and soon grew the government of thy family, and was pre familiar with him ; and upon his observing ferred above thy eldest servants, might be al that Joseph had a better understanding than lowed, to touch thy wife also.” When she
the rest, he told him of a dream he had, and had spoken thus, she produced Joseph's gar desired he would interpret its meaning, comment, as if he had left it with her when he plaining, that besides the afflictions he under. attempted to force her. Potiphar not being went from the king, God also added to him, able to disbelieve what his wife said, and trouble from his dreams. what he saw himself, and being seduced by He therefore said, that in his sleep he saw his love, did not set bimself about the exami three clusters of grapes hanging upon three nation of the truth, but condemning Joseph branches of a vine, large, and ripe for gaas a wicked man, he threw hiın into the male- thering, and that he squeezed them into a factor's prison; and had a still higher opinion cup, which the king held in his hands, and of his wife, and bare her witness that she was
when he had strained the wine, he gave it to a woman of a becoming modesty and chastity. the king to drink, and that he received it from
* There is something not unlike the revengeful artifice in Potiphar's wife, in the representation which the poet makes of Pbædra, when in an affair of the like nature she finds herself rejected by her son-in-law Hippolytus.
Regerapius ipsa crimen, atque ultro impiam.
Veneraın arguamus, &c.
præceps Ensemque trepida tiquit attonitus fuga, Pignus tenemus sceleris, &c. Senec. Hip
him with a pleasant countenance. This, he | son with the cup-bearer, was in good hope said, was what he saw; and he desired Jo- upon Joseph's interpretation of the other's seph, that if he had any portion of under vision, for he had dreamed also ; so he destanding in such matters, he would tell him sired that Joseph would tell him what the what this vision foretold. Joseph bid bim visions he had seen the night before might be of good cheer, and expect to be loosed mean? “I thought,” said he, “ that I carfrom bis bonds in three days' time, because ried three baskets upon my head, two were the king desired his service, and was about to full of loaves, and the third full of sweetrestore it to him again; for he let him know meats, and other eatables, such as are prethat God bestows the fruit of the vine upon pared for kings ; but the fuwls came flying, men for good, which wine is, poured out to and ate them all up, and had no regard to my him, and is the pledge of fidelity and mutual || attempt to drive them away.
He then exconfidence among men, putting an end to pected a prediction like to that of the cnptheir quarrels, removing passion and grief | bearer's: but Joseph, considering the dream, out of the minds of them that use it, and said to him that he would willingly be an making them cheerful. “ Thou didst squeeze interpreter of good events to him, and not of this wine," said he, “ from three clusters of such as his dream denounced ; but he told grapes, with thine hands, and the king re him that he had only three days to live, as ceived it. Know, therefore, that this vision is the three baskets signified ; but that on the for thy good, and foretels a release from thy | third day he should be crucified, and devoured present distress within the same number of by fowls, while he was not able to help himdays as the branches whence thou gatheredst | self. Now both these dreams had the saine thy grapes in thy sleep.* † However, re events that Joseph foretold they should have, member what prosperity I have foretold thee, || and this to both parties : for on the third day, when thou hast found it true ; and when thou when the king solemnized his birth-day, he art in authority do not overlook us in this crucified the chief baker, but set the butler prison, wherein thou wilt leave us, when thou | free from his bonds, and restored him to his art gone to the place we have foretold : for former service. we are not in prison for any crime, but for God freed Joseph from his confinement afthe sake of our virtue and sobriety are we con ter he had endured his bonds two years, I and demned to suffer the penalty of malefactors, had received no assistance from the cupand because we are not willing to injure him bearer, who did not remember what he had that has thus distressed us, though it were for said to him formerly ; and God contrived this our own pleasure.” The cup-bearer rejoiced method of deliverance for him. Pharaoh, the to hear such an interpretation of his dream, king, had seen in his sleep the same evening and waited the completion of what had been two visions, and after them had the interprethus shewed him beforehand.
tation of them both given him; he had forAnother servant of the king's who had gotten the latter, but retained that of the been chief baker, and was now bound in pri- dreams themselves. Being, therefore, troubled
* An. 1767.
+ The expression which Joseph makes use of conrerving the king's cup-bearer and baker, Pharaoh shall lift up thy head, seems somewhat too literally translated, since the words in the original mean no more, than that Pharaoh would have them brought forth and examined. The ancients, we are to know, in keeping their reckonings, or accounts, of time, or their list of domestic officers, or servants, made use of tables with holes bored in them, in which they put a sort of pegs, or nails, with broad heaus, exhibiting the particulars, either number, or name, or whatever it was. These nails, or pegs, the Jews call heads, and the sockets of the heads they call bases. The meaning therefore of Pharaoh's lifting up
VOL. I.-NO. 4.
his head, is, that Pharaoh would take out the peg, which had the cup-bearer's name on the top of it, to read it; i.e. would sit in Judgment, and make examination into his accounts. For it seenis very probable that both be and the baker had been either suspected or accused of having cheated the king; and that, when their accounts were examined and cast up, the one was acquitted, while the other was found guilty. And thongh Joseph uses the same expression in both cases, yet we may observe, that speaking to the baker be adds, that Pharaoh shall lift up thy head from off thee, i. e. shall order thy name to be struck out of the list of his servants, by taking the peg
of of the soeket. Bibliotheca Bibl, in locum. B. Gen, xl. 18,
at what he had seen, for it seemed to him to most skilful person I can consult with ; vouchbe all of a melancholy nature : the next day || safe me the same favors which thou bestowed he called together the wisest men among the on this servant of mine, and tell me what Egyptians,* desiring to learn from them the events are predicted by the visions of my interpretation of his dreams; but when they dreams: and I desire thee to suppress nothing hesitated about them the king was so much out of fear, nor to Aatter me with lying words, the more disturbed. And now it was that the or with what may please me, although the memory of Joseph's skill came into the mind truth should be of a melancholy nature. It of the king's cup-bearer, when he saw the || seemed to me that as I walked by the river, confusion Pharaoh was in ; so he came and I saw kine fat and very large, seven in nummentioned Joseph to him, as also the visión beber, going from the river to the marshes ; and had seen in prison, and how the event proved other kine of the same number like them met as he had said ; as also that the chief baker | them out of the marshes, exceeding lean and was crucified on the very same day; and that ill favored ; which ate up the fat and large this also happened to him according to the kine, and yet were no better than before, and interpretation of Joseph: that Joseph himself not less miserably pinched with famine. After was laid in bonds by Potiphar as a slave, but I had seen this vision I awoke out of my sleep; he said he was one of the noblest of the stock | but being in disorder, and considering with of the Hebrews, and that his father lived in myself - what this appearance should be I great splendor. • If, therefore, said he, | fell asleep again, and saw another dream “ thou wilt send for him, and not despise him much more wonderful than the foregoing, on account of his misfortunes, thou wilt learn which did still more affright and disturb me.t what thy dreams signify.” The king, there- || I saw seven ears of corn growing out of one by, commanded that they should bring Joseph | root, having their heads borne down by the into his presence ; and those who received the weight of the grains, and bending down with command came and brought him with them, the fruit, which was now ripe : and fit for having taken care of his habit, that it might be reaping : and near these I saw seven other decent, as the king had enjoined them to do. ears of corn, meagre and weak for want of
The king took him by the hand, and said, rain, which fell to eating and consuming those “ O young man, for my servant bears wit- that were 'fit for reaping, and put me into ness that thou art at present the best and great astonishment.”
* The Chaldeans of old were the most famous people great abilities that way. Le Clerc's and Patrick's Comin the world for diviniations of all kinds : and therefore
mentary. B. it is very probable that the word Hhartaumim, which we + In Barbary one stalk of wheat, or barley, will some. render magicians, is not of Hebrew, but Chaldee origin. times bear two ears, while each of these ears will as often The roots, however from whence it springs (if it be a shoot out into a number of less ones, thereby affording compound word, as probably it is,) are not so visible; a most plentiful increase. May not these large prolific and iherefore commentators are perplexed to know by ears, when seven are said to come up upon one stalk, exwhat method men of this profession proceeded in their plain what is further mentioned of the seven fruitful inquiry into secret things, whether they pretended to years in Egypt, that is, that the earth brought forth by expound dreams, and descry future events, by natural handfuls ? observations, by the art of astrology, (which came much This latter passage may, indeed, mean, that the earth in request in future ages,) by such rules as are now found || brought forth handfuls of stalks from single grains, and in the books of Oneirocrites or by certain characters, not handfuls of ears from single stalks, agreeably to the images, pictures, and figures, which were engraved with following passage from Dr. Shaw : " In Barbary it is magical rites and ceremonies. It is not to be doubted, common to see one grain produce ten or fifteen stalks. indeed, but that the magicians, whom Pharaoh consulted Even some grains of the murwaany wheat, which I for the interpretations of his dreams, made use of some, at brought with me to Oxford, and sowed in the physic least, if not all, these arts; and the Jewish doctors would garden, threw out each of them fifty. But Muzeratty, make us believe, that after several attempts of divers one of the late kaleefas, or viceroys, of the province of kinds, they came at last to this exposition, that Pharaoh's Tlemsan, brought once with him to Algiers a root that daughters (for they suppose him to have seven) should yielded fourscore : telling us, that the prince of the die, and that he should have seven others born to him western pilgrims sent once to the bashaw of Cairo one in their stead; but this being not at all satisfactory to that yielded six score. Pliny mentions some that bore their master, put the cup-bearer în mind of Joseph's || three or four hundred.” B.
Joseph replied; “ This dream, O king, al- || they would have spent in luxury beyond their though seen under two forms, signifies one necessity against the time of want. He also and the saine event of things; for when thou exhorted him to take the corn of the husbandsa west the kine, which is an animal made for men, and give them only so much as might the plough and for labour, devoured by the suffice for their food. Accordingly Pharaoh, poorer kine; and the ears of corn eaten up being surprised at Joseph, not only for his inhy the smaller ears, they foretell a famine, and | terpretation of the dream, but for the counsel want of the fruits of the earth for the same he bad given, entrusted him with dispensing number of years, and equal with those when the corn; with the power to do what Egypt was in a happy state; and this so far, | thought would be for the benefit of the people that the plenty of these years will be spent in of Egypt, and for the benefit of the King : as the same number of years of scarcity, and believing that he who first discovered this that scarcity of necessary provisions will be method of acting would prove the best oververy difficult to be corrected :
be corrected: as a sign | seer of it. Joseph having this power given whereof the ill-favored kine, when they had him by the king, * with leave to make use of devoured the better sort, could not be satis. || his seal, and to wear purple, † drove in his fied. But still God foresbows what is to come chariot through all the land of Egypt; and upon men, not to grieve them, but that when took the corns of the husbandmen: allotting they know it beforehand, they may, by pru as much to every one as would be sufficient dence, make the actual experience of what is for seed and for food; but without discovering foretold the more tolerable. If thou therefore, to any one the reason why he did so. carefully dispose of the plentiful crops which will come in the former years, thou wilt pro
CHAP, VI. cure that the future calamity will not be felt by the Egyptians.
OF THE ARRIVAL OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN IN EGYPT, AND HIS Hereupon the king wondered at the discretion and wisdom of Joseph; and asked bien by what means he might so dispense the JOSEPH was now grown up to thirty years plentiful make the miserable crops more tolerable: the king; who called him Psothom Phanech, Joseph then added this advice; to spare the out of regard to his prodigious degree of wisgood crops, and not permit the Egyptians to dom; for that name denotes a revealer of sespend them luxuriously; but to reserve what
He also married a wife of very high
CONDUCT TOWARDS THEM.
* Joseph had his name changed on this occasion. It to the level of magicians. Now if Pharaoh gave him this was an ancient custom among eastern princes, upon their name in memory of his promotion, it was very likely that promotion of any favourite, to give him a new name. this name was strictly and properly Egyptian, (otherwise Nebuchadnezzar, we read, Dan. i, 7. imposed new names the common people could not have understood it,)though upon Daniel, and his companions in Babylon; and to Moses, in his recording it might endeavour to accommothis very day Mogul never advances a man, bnt the date to the Hebrew idiom; and if it was Egyptian the gives him a new name, and that significative of something word in that language signifies what we call a prime minisbelonging to him ; but here the question is, what is the ter: or strictly the first, or prince of the lords : Bibliomeaning of the name which Pharaoh gave Joseph ? In
theca Bibl. occas. annot. 41. B the Hebrew text it is Zaphnab-paaneah, but in the Egyp + To be arrayed in a rich dress and to ride in great tian and Greek Pentateuch it is Pson-thonphanech. The pomp and ceremony, were the ancient modes of investoriental versions, however, are pretty unanimous in ren ing with the highest degree of subordinate power in dering it, a revealer of secrets ; but there are some reason
Egypt; and with a small variation still remain so. 'The why this should not be its true interpretation. For the history of the revolt of AliBey, (p. 43.) informs us, that time and Pharoah gave the patriarch this name, was
on the election of a new sheik bellet, the pasba who apwhen he advanced him from the condition of an impri- | proves of him invests him with a valuable fur, treats him soned slave to that of a ruler throughout all the land of with sherbet, and when the sheik bellet departs, the pasha Egypt! and therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that be presents him with a horse richly caparisoned. gave it commemoration of such promotion, rather than
HARMER, vol iii p. 308. B. of his expounding dreams: because to have called him 1 Gen. xlv. 42-3 ap interpreter of dreams only, had been degrading him Ś That is, bought it for Pharaoh at very low price.
quality: she was the daughter of Petephres, * Joseph, to buy corn, for nothing of this kind one of the priests of Heliopolis, and her was done without his approbation ! since even name was Asenath. By her he had children the honor that was paid the king himself, was before the scarcity come on, Manasseh, the only advantageous to the persons that paid it
signifies forgetful ; because his when they took care to honor Joseph also. present happiness made him forget his former Now when he well knew his brethren, they misfortunes. And Ephrain, the younger, thought nothing of bim ; for he was but a which signifies restored ; because he was re- | youth when he left them, and was now come stored to the freedom of his forefathers.
to an age much greater, that the lineaments Now alter Egypt had happily passed over of his face were changed, and he was not seven years, according to Joseph's interpreta- || known to them ; besides this, the greatness of tion of the dreams, the famine came upon the dignity wherein he appeared suffered them on the eighth year : and because ihis | them not so much as to respect the truth. He misfortune fell upon them when they had no therefore now made trial what sentiments sense f of it before-hand, they were all sorely they had about the affairs of the greatest conafflicted by it, and came running to the king's sequence ; for he refused to sell them corn, gates; and he called upon Joseph, who sold and said they were come as spies of the kings the corn to them; being become confessedly a affairs: and that they came from several saviour to the whole multitude of the Egyp- | countries, and joined themselves together, and tians. Nordid he open this market of corn for pretended they were of kin ; it not being posthe people of that country only: but strangers sible that a private man should breed up so had liberty to buy also, Joseph being willing many sons, and those of so great a beauty of that all men, who are naturally akin to each || countenance as they were : such an education other, should have assistance from those that of so many children being not easily obtained lived in happiness.
by kings themselves. Now this he did in orJacob also when he understood that fo- der to discover what concerned his father; reigners had this privilege, sent all his sons and wbat happened to him after his own deinto Egypt to buy corn; for the land of Ca- || parture from him; and as desiring to know naan was grievously afflicted with the famine : what was to become of Benjamin his brother; and this great misery touched the whole con for he was afraid that they had ventured on tinent. He only retained Benjamin, who was the like wicked enterprise against him, that. born to him by Rachel; and was of the same they had done to himself, and had taken him mother as Joseph. These sons of Jacob then off also. I came into Egypt, and applied themselves to Now these brethren of his were under dis
* This Potiphar, or as in Josephus, Petepbres, who wa the excellency of their heroic virtue, which made them now a priest of On or Hellopolis, is the same name in Jo anciently great benefactors to mankind ; thence arose the sephus, and perhaps in Moses also, with him who is be custom of swearing by them: which Aben Ezra saith, fore called the Head Cook or Captain of the Guard ; and continued in his time, (about 1170) when Egypt was goto whom Joseph was sold. See Gen, xxxvii. 36. xxxix. 1. verned by caliph's. If any man swore by the king's with xli. 50. They are also affirmed to be one and the head, and were fonud to have sworn falsely, he was pusame person in tbe Testament of Joseph, for he is there nished capitally. Extraordinary as this kind of wath said to have married the daughter of his master and mis which Joseph made use of may appear to us, it still contress. Nor is this a notion pecular to that Testament; || tinues in the East. Mr. Hanway, says the most sacred but as Dr. Bernard confesses, common to Josephus, to ihe oath among the Persians is " by the king's head;" (Trav. Septuagint interpreters, and to other learned Jews of old Il vol. i, pag. 313.) and among other intances of it we read in time.
the travels of the Ambassadors, p. 204. “there were but + This intire ignorance of the Egyptians of these years sixty horses for ninety-four persons. The mehemander of famine before they caine, told us before, as well as (or conductor) swore by the head of the king(which is the here, by Josephus, seems almost incredible.
It is in no
greatest oath among the Persians) that he could not other copy that I know of.
possibly find any more.". And Thevenot says, (Trav. | In scripture Joseph is represented as swearing by p. 97, part 2.) « his subjects never look upon him but the life of Pharaoh. Most authors take this for an oathi. | with fear and trembling; and they have such respect the original of which is well explained by Mr. 'Selden, for him, and pay so blind an obedience to all his orders, (in his Titles of Honour, p. 45:). where he observes, thy that how unjusi svever his commands might be, they the names of gods being given to kings very early, from erform them, though against the law both of God and