« ÎnapoiContinuați »
your words be verified, and ye shall not die." Then the brethren said one to another in their own language, "We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us." They did not know that Joseph understood them, who, when he heard these words, turned himself away from them, and wept. Then he commanded Simeon to be bound before their eyes, and taken back to the prison; and the rest went home to Jacob, in Canaan. But when their aged father heard all these things, he was very sad, and said, "Ye have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. My son shall not go down with you." a
18. THE SECOND JOURNEY OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN.
BUT the famine was so severe in the land, that the sons of Jacob were obliged to go to Egypt again. Jacob was very unwilling to let Benjamin go with them; but he could not do otherwise. He gave them, also, presents to take with them of the best productions of the land of Canaan; balm and honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds; "And God Almighty," said he, "give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
When Joseph was informed of their arrival, he
a Gen. xlii. 1-21, 36, 38.
OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN.
had them brought before him, and spoke kindly to them: " Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is this your younger brother? God be gracious unto thee, my son." He could scarcely keep up his disguise any longer. His heart burned towards his brothers, and he went into his chamber, and wept. a
Then, after he had washed his face, he came out to them again, and kept his countenance. He invited them to dine with him, and commanded food to be set on; and he ate with them, although, according to the custom of the country, they sat at separate tables. The brethren wondered not a little when they saw that they were all placed according to their ages, and they were full of gladness.
Joseph then commanded that their sacks should be filled with corn, and that the money of each of them should be laid at the top of the sack, and that in Benjamin's sack there should also be put his own silver drinking cup. Scarcely had they set off, before Joseph sent his steward after them: "Wherefore," said he to them, "have ye rewarded evil for good?" The brethren looked at one another, and could not understand what he meant. "Now," said the steward, "you want to know what I mean. It is that cup out of which my lord drinks. Who has stolen the cup?" They said, "Wherefore said my lord these words? we are honest men; with whomsoever the cup is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondsmen." Hereupon all the sacks were opened and examined, and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. Then they rent their clothes, and all returned back to the city.b
a Gen. xliii. 26-30.
b Gen. xliv. 1–13.
SECOND JOURNEY OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN.
On their being brought again before Joseph, he questioned them severely about the cup. Then Judah took upon him to speak: "What shall we say unto my lord? What shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found." Joseph replied, “Far be it from me to do so; but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father." Then Judah entreated with many words, and prayed earnestly that this might not be done. "When I come to thy servant my father," said he, "and the lad be not with us, seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life, it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the grey hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever. Now, therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad, a bondman to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father."c
Joseph could refrain himself no longer; he cried out that all the Egyptians should go out. No stranger must be present while Joseph made himself known to his brethren. Then he gave full vent to his tears: "I am Joseph," he cried out, weeping aloud: "doth my father yet live?" And his
с Gen. xliv. 16-34.
JACOB GOES TO EGYPT.
brethren could not answer him, for they were troubled at his presence. Shame and fear were so mingled with joyful surprise, that they all stood as if petrified. Then he said to his brethren, "Come near to me, I pray you;" and they came near, but they were not yet able to speak. "I am Joseph," he said, "your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt; now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you, to preserve life. Ye shall tell my father," he continued, "of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste, and bring down my father hither."d'
And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover, he kissed all his brethren, and wept over them; and after that his brethren talked with him. The king himself sent to invite the aged Jacob to come to Egypt; and Joseph sent to his father wagons for the journey, and other valuable presents.
"See that ye fall not out by the way," said Joseph, on taking leave of his brethren; and, full of joy, they went back to Canaan.
19. JACOB GOES TO EGYPT.
"JOSEPH is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt," cried out the sons, on returning to their father. But this was so contrary to all that Jacob had supposed, that he did not believe them. But when they told him all the words that
d Gen. xlv. 1-24.
Joseph had said, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent, Jacob's spirit revived, and he exclaimed, "It is enough: Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die." a
So Jacob went to Egypt with his children and his grandchildren, sixty-six in number, and with all his goods, and his numerous menservants and maidservants. And Joseph went out in his chariot to meet his father; and when he saw him, he
fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
And Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since
a Gen. xlv. 25-28.