Sidor som bilder

spoke of.

“ On these conditions only,” said Joseph, “ will I set you at liberty."

Grieved at this requisition, the Canaanitish strangers shed tears, and said one to another, " this befals us for the severity we showed our brother Joseph!” Reuben was particularly severe in his reproaches on the rest.

“ Did I not warn you, said he, “ against your cruelty to your brother? Behold, now his blood is required of us !" A general sadness seized them, and they sincerely repented of their hardheartedness.

Little did they think that these recriminations were understood by the Egyptian vicegerent, as he had spoken to them by an interpreter. Not a word however escaped him; and he felt their distress with so much pungency, that, overwhelmed by a flood of fraternal affection, he was forced to retire, to give vent to the exquisite emotions of his heart. When he was able to return to them, it was agreed that Simeon should be left as a pledge with him; and the other nine were suffered to depart.

Before their departure orders had been given that when the sacks were filled with corn each man's money should be returned in his sack's mouth. This circumstance, when it was discovered in their journey homewards, very much alarmed them; and they concluded that this was done in order to furnish a pretence for enslaving them when they next visited Egypt. Jacob heard their adventures with surprise and concern, more especially when he found that Simeon was left behind in custody, and that they were pledged to take Benjamin with them before they could obtain his release. At length, as the scarcity increased, and their supply was nearly exhausted, Jacob, with great reluctance, consented to part with Benjamin ; and having ordered them to provide presents for the ruler of Egypt, and to carry with them twice as much money as before, he committed them to the blessing of heaven, and dismissed them. Upon their arrival in Egypt, they hastened to present themselves before Joseph ; and were kindly received and liberally entertained at a public dinner which he had provided for them. Some circumstances occurred on this occasion, which might have brought their brother to their recollection; but they again departed with their sacks and money as before, and in Benjamin's sack was the silver cup out of which Joseph himself drank. Upon their return towards Canaan, they were followed by an officer, who charged them with ingratitude for the hospitality with which they had been treated, and with the theft of his lord's silver cup. All of them protested their innocence; but upon searching the sacks, the cup was found to their great surprize and concern, in that of Benjamin. They were therefore taken back to Joseph, who insisted upon detaining Benjamin as a slave, while they might be allowed to return home in peace. Recollecting the reluctance with which his father had company them.

parted with his son Benjamin, and that they were sureties for his return, they urged various pleas for his being allowed to ac

Judah was the advocate for his brother's liberty; and he offered himself as a substitute if he were permitted to return. Joseph was at length overcome; disguise became intolerably irksome to him; and he could no longer refrain from discovering himself to his brethren. B. C. 1706. This part of the sacred history is wrought up with incomparable beauty and pathos, and must suffer by any attempt to abridge it, or to relate it in different language. The discovery being made, they were all received, and particularly Benjamin, his brother by the same mother, with expressions of the tenderest and most affectionate regard ; nor did Joseph lose any time in acquainting Pharaoh with the arrival of his brethren, and with the circumstances of his father and his family. Such was the high esteem which Pharaoh had for Egypt, that he immediately gave orders for his kindred being sent for to Egypt, and for settling them in the richest part of the country. Goshen was the district which Joseph allotted to them; and there they were supplied with ample means of subsistence, while the inhabitants of other parts of Egypt were suffering great distress on account of the famine. The long duration of this calamity drained the people of all their money, and constrained them at length to part with their cattle, their houses, their land, and even their personal freedom, for support, B. C. 1705. Thus the whole kingdom of Egypt, the lands of the priests excepted, became the demesne of the crown; and all the people were reduced to the servile condition of the bondsmen to the crown. Moreover, the old owners were separated from one another, and dispersed through different parts of the kingdom, that they might thus forget their interest in the lands which they had sold, and be precluded from forming combinations for regaining them. In this instance, Joseph's zeal for Pharaoh's interest caused him to overstep the bounds which sound policy and justice prescribed ; and contributed to establish a despotism, which eventually proved very oppressive to the descendants of Joseph, and the rest of the Israelites. In the last year of the famine, Joseph informed the Egyptians that they might expect a crop during the following year, and that he would enable them to renew their attention to agriculture, by distributing to them fresh lands, cattle, and corn, but he stipulated this condition with them, that from henceforwards the fifth part of all the products of their lands should be reserved for the king; that the residue should be their own.

From this time, B. C. 1702, as the people consented to this regulation, it became a law, that remained in force for several centuries, that the fifth part of the produce of the whole kingdom of Egypt, the lands of the priests excepted, should belong to the crown. After the death of Jacob, and the return of his brethren to Egypt from Canaan, whither they had atttended the remains of their father, they were apprehensive that Joseph might retaliate the injuries which they had done him, and therefore they informed him, by a messenger, that it was their father's dying request that he would forgive them, and continue to afford them his protection. Joseph immediately took the opportunity of removing their suspicion and anxiety, by repeated assurances of his unabated affection and zealous concern for their welfare. Having survived his father about 60 years, he informed his brethren, B. C. 1635, that God, according to his promise, would bring their posterity from Egypt, to the land of Canaan; and he therefore made them pledge themselves on oath to bury him with his ancestors. Joseph, having occupied under six sovereigns the office of viceroy of Egypt, during 80 years, retained it till his death, which happened when he had attained the age of 110 years, in the year B. C. 1635. When the Israelites took their departure from Egypt, they observed his injunction concerning the removal of his body; and as we read in Joshua xxiv. 32. it was buried at Shechem, in the field which Jacob bought of Hamor. From Jerome we learn, that the Israelites erected a noble monument to his memory which was to be seen in his time.

It may be useful to observe, that the principal features in the history of Joseph, are recorded by Trogus Pompeius, a Latin historian, who lived in the reign of Augustus.

BENJAMIN, the youngest son of Jacob by Rachel, and his favourite after Joseph was sold. His mother, in her sufferings, called him BENONI, the son of my sorrow, which Jacob, by the spirit of prophecy, changed to Benjamin, the son of my right hand. Chronologists place his birth B. C. 1734. He married young, and was scarce 32 years of age when he had ten sons, five of whom seem to have died without issue, as the numerous tribe which descended from him is traced only from the other frve, viz. Bela, Ashbel, Ahiram, Shuppin, ard Huppim. Num. wxvi. 38, 39.

PHARAOH, the second of this name noticed in Scripture, reigned in Egypt in the time of Joseph, when he was sold thither by the Israelitish merchants. This prince, or perhaps his successor, had the mysterious dream of the seven fat kine, and the seven full ears of corn, consumed by seven lean kine, and seven barren ears; and he promoted Joseph to be regent of the whole kingdom, Gen. xiv. 8, 9. This is the same Pharaoh who sent for and entertained the patriarch Jacob and his family in Egypt.

POTIPHAR was an officer of the court of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Having purchased Joseph as a slave from the Midianites, who had bought him of his brethren; seeing all things prosper in his hands, he gave him the superintendance of his whole house. But, some years after, the wife of Potiphar, taking an unlawful liking to Joseph, and having even solicited him to the crime of adultery, Joseph repulsed her. Then her love changed into rage; she accused him to her husband, and Potiphar put Joseph in bonds, where his delegate, who had by office the charge of the prisoners, laid this care upon Joseph.

Joseph possessed an extraordinary talent of interpreting dreams, which, at length, made him known to Pharaoh, who appointed him ruler over all Egypt, and gave him in marriage Asenath, daughter of Potiphar. Whether this was the same Potiphar who purchased Joseph or not is uncertain.

ASENATH, the daughter of Potiphar, or Potipherah, and wife of Joseph, prime minister to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who seems to have made up the marriage, as it is said he gave her to the patriarch, Gen. xli. 45. Some authors suppose Potipherah to be the same with Potiphar, and that Asenath had endeared herself to Joseph by taking his part in his adversity, and vindicating him to her father against her lewd mother's calumny, which is indeed extremely probable.

AMALEK was the son of Eliphaz and Timna his concubine, and grandson to Esau. He succeeded Gatam in the government of Edom, south of Judah, Gen. xxxvi. 12, 16. 1 Chron. i. 36. Amalek was father of the Amalekites, a powerful people, who dwelt in Arabia Petræa, between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea, or between Havilah and Shur, perhaps in moving troops, 1 Sam. xv. 7. We cannot assign the particular place of their habitation, nor does it appear they had any cities, though one is mentioned, 1 Sam. xv. 5. They lived generally, in parties, in caves, or tents.

ONAN, was son of Judah, and grandson of the patriarch Jacob. Judah having given a young woman named Tamar to his eldest son Er for a wife, Er died

without children. Judah then caused his second son Onan to marry Tamar, that he might raise successors to his brother. But Onan perceiving the children produced by him would be deemed to belong to his brother, withheld from Tamar the means of becoming a mother. This was so displeasing to the Lord, that he caused him to die, Gen. xxxviii. 6, 7. &c. probably by some extraordidinary malady.

TAMAR, or THAMAR, was daughter-in-law to the patriarch Judah, wife of Er and Onan. After Onan's death Tamar lived with her father-in-law, expecting to marry his son Shelah ; but the marriage not having taken place, some years after, when Judah went to a sheep-shearing feast of his friend Hirah, the Adulamite, Tamar being informed of it, disguised herself as an harlot, and sat in a place where Judah would pass. Judah went in unto her, and gave her as pledges his ring, his bracelets, and his staff.

After some months her pregnancy began to show; Judah being informed of it, would have had her burned alive. when she produced the ring, the bracelets, and the staff, and said that person was the father of the child who owned those pledges, Judah acknowledged that she was more just than he had been. She had twins, of which one was called Pharez and the other Zarah. This happened

about B. C. 1727. PHAREZ, son of Judah and Tamar, Gen. xxxviii. 27, 28. &c. so named, from the circumstance attending his birth, by his mother Pharez, i. e. one breaking forth. His sons are mentioned in Num. xxvi. 21. and his posterity down to Mary and Joseph, in Matt. i. and Luke iii.

MANASSEH, the eldest son of Joseph, and grandson of the patriarch Jacob, Gen. xli. 50, 51. was born A. M. 2290, and B. C. 1714.

EPHRAIM, was the name of Joseph's second son, and Asenath, Potiphar's daughter. He was born in Egypt, B. C. 1710. Ephraim, with his brother Manasseh, was presented by his father Joseph to Jacob on his death-bed, Gen. xlviii. 8, &c. Jacob laid his right hand on Ephraim the younger, and his left on Manasseh the elder. Joseph was desirous to change his hands, but Jacob answered, I know it, my son; Manasseh shall be multiplied, but Ephraim shall be greater.

The sons of Ephraim having made an inroad into Palestine, the inhabitants of Gath killed them. Ephraim their father mourned many days for them, and his brethren came to comfort him, I Chron. vii. 20, 21. Afterwards he had a son named Beriah, and a daughter Sherah. He had also other sons, Rephah, Resheph, Tela, &c. His posterity multiplied in Egypt to the number of 40,500 men capable of bearing arms.

GILEAD, the son of Machir, and grandson of Manasseh. His posterity had their inheritance allotted them in the mountains of Gilead, so named from him.

ELIPHAZ, the eldest of Job's three uncharitable friends. From his being styled the Temanite, it is evident that he was a descendant of Esau, by Teman, the son of Eliphaz, and grandson of Esau, the first duke of Edom; which contributes to assist the chronologist in fixing the period when Job lived.

BILDAD, the Shuhite, one of Job's friends, descended from Shuah the son of Abraham and Keturah. Shuah's family lived in Arabia Deserta, eastward of the Holy Land.

ZOPHAR, the Naamathite, one of the friends of Job, Job i. 11. He is by some called king of the Mineans; by others, of the Nomades.

ELIHU, the son of Barachel the Buzite, a descendant of

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