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his ass, and returned to the city. And Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, and he was still there ; and they fell before him on the ground. And Joseph said to them, What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that such a man as I can certainly divine? And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord ? what shall we speak ? or how shall we justify ourselves ? God has found out the iniquity of thy servants : behold, we are my lord's servants, both we and he in whose hand the cup has been found. And he said, God forbid that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup has been found, he shall be my servant, but you go up in peace to your father. .
* And Judah stepped near to him, and said : O my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thy anger burn against thy servant; for thou art as Pharaoh. My lord asked his servants, Have you a father or a brother? And we said to my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a young one; and his brother is dead; and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him. And thou saidst to thy servants, Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes upon him. And we said to my lord, The youth cannot leave his father; for if he should leave his father, his father would die. And thou saidst to thy servants, Unless your youngest brother come down with you, you shall see my face no more. And when we came up to thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little corn for food. And we said, We cannot go down ; if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down, for we may not see the man's face if our youngest brother be not with us. And thy servant my father said to us, You know that my wife bore me two sons; and the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since; and if you take this one also from
me, and an accident befall him, you will bring down my grey hairs with sorrow into the grave. Now, therefore, when I come to thy servant my father, and the youth be not with us, since his soul is bound up in the youth's soul, it will happen, when he sees that the youth is not with us, that he will die; and thy servants will bring down the grey hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow into the grave. For thy servant became surety for the youth to my father, saying, If I do not bring him to thee, then I will have sinned to my father for ever. Now, therefore, I pray thee let thy servant remain instead of the youth as a bondman with my lord ; and let the youth go up with his brothers. For how shall I go up to my father, and the youth is not with me? lest perhaps I see the evil that will befall my father.
Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried, Let every man go out from me. And there stood no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, I am Joseph ; does my father yet live? And his brothers could not answer him, for they were confounded before him. And Joseph said to his brothers, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. And now be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that you sold me hither; for God sent me before you for the preservation of life. For these two years has the famine been in the land, and there are yet five years in which there will neither be ploughing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So, now, it was not you that sent me hither, but God, and He has made me governor to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a
ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Hasten, and go up to my father, and say to him, Thus says thy son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me; tarry not, and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast; and there will I nourish thee, for there are yet five years of famine, lest thou and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. And you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen ; and you shall hasten, and bring down my father hither. And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers, and wept upon them; and after that his brothers spoke to him.
“The report was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brothers are come; and it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Say to thy brothers, This do, load your animals, and go, proceed to the land of Canaan; and take your father and your households, and come to me; and I will give you the best part of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land. Now thou art commanded, this do: take you carriages out of the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. And do not regard your utensils; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours. And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them carriages, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver, and five changes of raiment. And to his father he sent after this manner : ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt,
and ten she-asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father on the way. And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan to Jacob their father. And they told him, Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart remained cold, for he did not believe them. And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them; and when he saw the carriages which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. And Israel said, It is enough, Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.'
It will be observed that Joseph throughout sustained his assumed character of an Egyptian noble, and remained true to it to the minutest detail-in the meal eaten apart from his brothers and from his inferiors, in the constant presence of the interpreter, his pretence of miraculous insight, his prophecy from the sacred goblet, and his repeated oaths by the life of Pharaoh ; he, in fact, succeeded completely in perplexing and amazing his brothers by what appeared to them supernatural knowledge and wisdom.
24. SETTLEMENT OF JACOB'S FAMILY IN EGYPT.
[GENES. XLVI.—XLVII. 12.] Once more was Jacob to journey forth from the old familiar Hebron, his Canaanite home, but this time it was not to escape from an offended brother, but to meet a beloved and affectionate son in power.
His heart may indeed have been troubled as he left the spot where the Lord had bid him stay. But he was cheered and comforted by the assurance of God's continued protection; he offered up sacrifices at Beer-sheba, his first resting-place and the future boundary of the promised land. In the visions of the night the Lord appeared to him and said,
'I am the Omnipotent, the God of thy father; fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt, and I will also surely bring thee up again, and Joseph shall put his hands upon thy eyes.' So he departed from Beer-sheba, encouraged and strengthened, and journeyed on the usual south-western road towards Egypt, a caravan of sixty-seven souls, so that, including Joseph and his two sons, the Hebrew settlement in Egypt consisted of seventy souls, in addition to the wives of Jacob's sons and the servants. When they entered the territory of the land which was to be their new home, Jacob ósent Judah before him to Joseph, to direct him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up, to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and he
appeared before him, and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a long time. And Israel said to Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, that thou art yet alive.'
Who would not rejoice with Jacob, the man of sorrows and trials, brought at last to a haven of rest, in an unknown country it is true, but still as the beloved father and chief of a numerous family, the ancestor of a Godfearing race!
Joseph wished his brothers to have ample pasturage in the land of Goshen, one of the most fertile parts of Egypt. With his usual wisdom, he saw that his family must not mix with the idolatrous Egyptians, in order that their faith and worship might remain as pure as they had been in Canaan. To attain this end, he effected a complete separation between his brothers and the people of Egypt. Jacob's sons were, like all Bedouins, herdsmen; but the agricultural and highly civilized Egyptians held nomadic shepherds in unreasonable scorn; thus by urging before Pharaoh his brothers' pastoral pursuits, Joseph hoped to secure for them the undisturbed, if not the exclusive,