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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 eph 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
I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.” And Joseph presented his father Jacob before Pharaoh. “ How old art thou ?” asked the king. And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years : few and evil have the days of the years
life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage."
Seventeen years did the aged Jacob live in Egypt. When his end was near, Joseph came with his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to visit his dying father. And Israel said to Joseph, “I had not thought to see thy face; and, lo, God hath showed me also thy seed.” And Joseph took his sons and placed them before his father, that he might lay his hands upon them and bless them. And Israel laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim the younger, and his left hand upon the head of Manasseh the firstborn, and blessed them, and said, God, before whom
fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long, unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.”c Thus he gave them equal rights with his own sons, so that Ephraim and Manasseh formed two of the tribes of the people of Israel ; and he added, Whoever in Israel shall bless any one, let him say, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh.” Jacob then assembled his sons around his dying bed, and gave to every one a particular blessing. Looking forward into future times, he
b Gen. xlvii. 1-9.
Gen. xlviii. 5- 16.
expressed his last will; then laid himself down again upon his bed, and departed.
After his death, Joseph and his brethren, accompanied by many of the chief men among the Egyptians, with a great multitude of chariots and horsemen, took the dead body of their father into the land of Canaan to the burying place of Abraham in the cave of Machpelah. When they came back to Egypt, Joseph's brethren were afraid that, now their father was dead, he would recompense to them the evil which they had done to him. But Joseph said unto them, “ Fear not: for am I in the place of God? As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." You will now
see why Joseph, with all his brotherly affection, tried his brethren so long and so severely before he made himself known to them. No thought of returning evil for evil was ever in his heart; but Joseph acted as he did in order to discover how his brethren were minded towards one another, and towards his father, and towards himself, without which it was impossible for him to provide for their real welfare. So Joseph lived happily with his brethren in Egypt, and saw his grandchildren and his great grandchildren.
I should be glad now, my dear young readers, having finished the history of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to tell you of another holy man, named Job, who is supposed to have lived about this time; but my little book must not be too long. You may hear this remarkable history from the lips of your parents or of your teachers, or read it for yourselves in the book of Job. We will proceed with the history of the children of Israel.
d Gen. 1. 15–21.
20. The descendants of the twelve brethren grew, and multiplied exceedingly; so that, in a few centuries afterwards, the Israelites formed a very numerous people, consisting of twelve tribes. But after Joseph's death it was not so well with them as before. When Israel went down to Egypt, God had given him this promise, “I will make of thee a great people ;” and God did not let this fail. But when they were become numerous and powerful, the kings of Egypt began to be afraid of them. There arose a new king in Egypt who knew not Joseph, and he treated the Israelites as slaves, and compelled them to