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your seal, is therefore to give him the use of that authority and power which your own signature possesses. This explains the extraordinary interest about seals which is exhibited in the laws and usages of the East. It illustrates Judah's anxiety about the signet which he had pledged to Tamar (ch. xxxviii.), and it explains the force of the present act of Pharaoh. In Egypt, the crime of counterfeiting a seal was punished with the loss of both hands. In Persia, at the present day, letters are seldom written, and never signed, by the person who sends them; and it will thus appear that the authenticity of all orders and communications, and even of a merchant's bills, depends wholly on the seal. This makes the occupation of a seal-cutter one of as much trust and danger as it seems to have been in Egypt. Such a person is obliged to keep a register of every seal he makes, and if one be lost, or stolen from the party for whom it was cut, his life would answer for making another exactly like it. The loss of a seal is considered a very serious calamity; and the alarm which an Oriental exhibits when his seal is missing can only be understood by a reference to these circumstances. As the seal-cutter is always obliged to affix the real date at which the seal was cut, the only resource of a person who has lost his seal is to have another made with a new date, and to write to his correspondents to inform them that all accounts, contracts, and communications to which his former seal is affixed, are null from the day on which it was lost.
That the ring, in this case, was a signet appears from other passages, which describe it as used for the purpose of sealing. It would seem that most of the ancient seals were rings; but they were not always finger-rings, being often worn as bracelets on the arm. Indeed, it is observable, that nowhere in the Bible is a signet expressly said to be worn on the finger, but on the hand, as in the present text; and although this may denote the finger, we may understand it literally, as of a ring worn on the wrist. Finger seal-rings are now, however, more usual than bracelets ; and very often seals are not used as rings at all, but are carried in a small bag in the bosom of a person's dress, or suspended from his neck by a silken cord. They are and were, whether rings or otherwise, made of gold or silver, or even inferior metals, such as brass. But an inscribed stone is frequently set in the metal; and that this custom was very ancient appears from Exod. xxviii. ll, and other places, where we read of engraving in stone like the engraving of a signet.' The editor of Calmet (Mr. Charles
Joseph's EXALTATION, Taylor) was mistaken in his explanation that such seals, finger over the surface, the seal is pressed upon the paper, used as stamps-manual to impress a name with ink upon where it leaves a black impression, in which the characters paper, must have the characters raised, as in our printing | remain white or blank. and wood-engraving, and not indented as in our seals. - 'Arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold The fact is, that they are cut in the same fashion as our chain about his neck.'—This also was probably part of the seals; and the thick ink being lightly daubed with the investiture of Joseph in his high office. A dress of honour
still, in the East, accompanies promotion in the royal was that Joseph should cease to be regarded as a foreigner, service; and otherwise forms the ordinary medium through the word has in this sense a consequence and significance which princes and great persons manifest their favour and which no other interpretation conveys. It amounts to a esteem. In Persia, where perhaps the fullest effect is in proclamation of naturalization, which, among such a people our own time given to this usage, the king has always a as the Egyptians, was essential to enable Joseph to work large wardrobe from which he bestows dresses to his own out the great plan he had undertaken. subjects or foreign ambassadors whom he desires to honour.
45. • Zaphnath-Paaneah.'—This is, of course, an EgypThese dresses are called 'kelaats ;' and the reception of
tian name, the original form of which is supposed to have them forms a distinction, which is desired with an earnest
been more nearly preserved in the Septuagint reading of ness, and received with an exultation only comparable to that which accompanies titular distinctions or insignia of
Vovdoupavhx, Psonthom-phanech. Josephus gives the same knighthood in Europe. They form the principal criterion
form with the exception of the n, which he drops, reading through which the public judge of the degree of influence
Psothom-phanech. As thus represented in the Greek,
those learned in the antiquities of Egypt recognise the which the persons who receive them enjoy at court, and therefore the parties about to be thus honoured exhibit the
Egyptian word PSOTUMFENEH, meaning the salvation' utmost anxiety that the kelaat may, in all its circum
or 'the saviour of the age,' which corresponds closely stances, be in the highest degree indicative of the royal
enough with Jerome's interpretation of salvator mundi.' favour. It varies in the number and quality of the articles
Gesenius and others incline, however, rather to seek the which compose it, according to the rank of the person to
Egyptian form in the word PSONTMFENEH, sustainer of
the age, which certainly seems a more appropriate meanwhom it is given, or the degree of honour intended to be afforded; and all these matters are examined and discussed
ing. This, in Hebrew letters, would probably be repreby the public with a great degree of earnestness. Besides
sented by aye n Paznath-paaneah ; but in the name the robes occasionally bestowed by the king and princes,
as it now stands the letters xa are transposed in order to the former regularly sends a kelaat, once a-year, to the
bring it into the Hebrew analogy. See Jablonski, Opusc. governors of provinces, who are generally royal princes.
c. 207-216; Kosellini, Monument. Storici, i. 185; GeseAt the distance of every fey miles from every provincial
| nius, Thesaurus, s. v. Mr. Cory, in his curious book, capital, there is usually a town or village called . Kelaat,' | Chronological Inquiry, pp. 37, 41, has some remarks on which name it derives from its being the appointed place to this name, which are, however, too closely involved in his which the governor proceeds in much state from his city, argument for regarding Joseph as the Hermes Phænix attended by great part of its population, to be invested with (Phænich), whom the Egyptians esteemed as an incarnathe dress of honour thus sent him from the king. The | tion of Thoth, to be here introduced with advantage. occasion is attended with great rejoicings; and is of so
1 -'Asenath.'-This name, in common with others of much importance that it is postponed until the arrival of foreign origin which are found in the Bible, has attracted what the astrologers decide to be a propitious day, and even much attention and occasioned some discussion. The Hethe favourable moment for investiture is determined by brew form NDX Asenath, and that of the Septuagint the same authorities. A common Persian kelaat consists 'Agevéo, Aseneth, are regarded by the learned Jablonski as of a vesture of fine stuff, perhaps brocade; a sash or girdle representing the Coptic compound ASSHENEIT. The latter for the waist, and a shawl for the head; and when it is | member of this word he takes to be the name of Neith, the intended to be more distinguishing, a sword or dagger is titular goddess of Sais, the Athene of the Greeks; and he added. Robes of rich furs are given to persons of distinc- supposes the whole to signify worshipper of Neith. The tion. A kelaat of the very richest description consists, interpretation given by Gesenius in his Thesaurus does not besides the dress, of the same articles which Xenophon much differ from this. He suggests that the original describes as being given by the ancient princes of Persia, Coptic form was ASNEITH, which means who belongs to namely :-a horse with a golden bridle, a chain of gold Neith'- quæ Neithæ est. These explanations are ren(as in this kelaat which Pharaoh gave to Joseph), and a dered the more probable from the fact that the Egyptians golden sword--that is, a sword with a scabbard orna- were accustomed to choose names which expressed some mented with gold. The chain of gold now given is part | relation to their gods, and this was the more likely to be of the furniture of the horse, and hangs over his nose. done in the case of a priest's daughter. A new explanaJoseph's chain of gold was, however, a personal ornament; tion, given by Mr. Cory in his Chronological Inquiry, p. it had thus early become a mark of official distinction, and 47-51, is at least curious, and we shall state it without remains such to this day among different nations. It is comment.-The Egyptian monuments exhibit the name also observable that Xenophon mentions bracelets among and symbols of a personage whose presence among the the articles in the ancient Persian kelaat. Bracelets are princes of the eighteenth dynasty has greatly perplexed not now worn by Persians, and are therefore not given; the students of Egyptian antiquity. It is not a sovereign, but we have already intimated that the ring,' mentioned and yet exhibits sovereign attributes and exercises sovein the preceding text, may be understood as well to signify reign functions. It is not even known whether this pera bracelet as a finger ring. (See the note on Esth. vi. 8.) sonage be male or female. The figure itself is bearded,
43. 'Bow the knee.' – The Hebrew word here is 77228 and the dress is male, but the hieroglyphic attributes are abréch. If the word be Hebrew, which is rather doubtful,
female, and feminine nouns and verbs are employed in it is probably an imperative of 779 in Hiphil, and would
the legends relating to the achievements of this personage.
Sir J. G. Wilkinson regards this personage as a queen, then mean, as in our version, · Bow the knee.' We are
whom he calls Amun Neitgori; but M. Champollion, indeed assured by Wilkinson that the word abrek is, even
who reads the name as Amenenthe, regards the figure as at the present day, used by the Arabs, when requiring a
that of a man, husband of a queen in her own right, and camel to kneel to receive its load. But some good scholars
acting as regent in her name, and on her behalf. This deem the word to be a compound of 70-3x, the father of
regent Mr. Cory regards as Joseph, acting in the name of the state, and to be of Chaldee origin. Gesenius and his wife Amenenthe or Asenath. This explanation will others incline to ascribe to the word an Egyptian ori render intelligible the following extract: The name gin, but inflected by the sacred writer so that, although which M. Champollion reads Amenenthe, is simply, withforeign, it might yet have a Hebrew sound, and be re out its intermediate vowels (which are gratuitously inserted) ferred to a Hebrew etymology. Now in the Coptic, the AMNNTH, which differs from the name of the wife of word APEREK or ABEREK means 'bow the head,' which Joseph, ASNTH, or according to the Greek version Asenethe, supplies a very good sense here. And it may be well to in no important particular except in the substitution of the add that Origen, a native of Egypt, and Jerome, both of s for the m, two letters in the ancient Hebrew alphabet so whom were well versed in the languages involved in the much alike, that they are not distinguishable from one question, concur in representing abrech as signifying 'a another; and I presume that in process of time the s has native Egyptian ;' and when we consider how important it | been substituted in the Hebrew for the M. This lady, On. chosen by Pharaoh for the wife of Joseph, was the daugh- Correspondingly, Strabo speaks of the remote antiquity of ter of Poti-Phra, the priest of On, at that time the royal its temple; and this is confirmed by existing inscriptions city; and from the near connection, in those early times, bearing the name of Osirtasen, who reigned from 1740 to of the kingly and priestly offices — from the names of her 1696 B.C., and it must therefore have been quite recently father, a compound of the two royal titles Peté and Phra || erected when Joseph married the daughter of its chief priest. -- from the honours designed to Joseph—and from the cir- | The most ancient accounts of the city describe it as uot only cumstance of Amenoph I. having no sons to succeed him, famous for its temple, but as the principal seat of learning I conclude that the lady was not only closely connected in Egypt, and the usual resort of foreigners who wished to with the royal family, but was actually or eventually one acquaint themselves with the wisdom of the Egyptians. of the co-heiresses presumptive of the throne, perhaps a When Strabo visited the place he was shown the houses in sister or cousin of the lady in whose right Thothmos I. which Eudoxus and Plato were said to have studied thirobtained it. ... Connected with the higher destinies of the teen years under the priests of Heliopolis. But it was then nation, Joseph would of course decline the sovereignty for already a deserted city. It had suffered by the invasion of his descendants; but the crown of Lower Egypt, which Cambyses; afterwards Alexandria superseded it as a seat this regent wears, seems to intimate that his wife retained, of learning, and thither as well as to Rome many of its at least, the viceroyalty of that part of the kingdom during obelisks, and probably other monuments, bad been reher life,' We fear that this is rather too conjectural to moved. About six miles north-east of Cairo, is the bear the test of strict investigation; but it is but justice to village of Metaréch, hard by which are the mounds and Mr. Cory to state that these symbols and circumstances solitary obelisk which mark the site of Heliopolis. The appear to belong to the age in which Joseph flourished. obelisk appears to be one of the two which stood in front
- Poliphera.'—This name is the same as that of Poti- of the temple, and it is highly interesting as the presence phar- the name of Joseph's former master, in a contracted of the name of Osirtasen testifies that it is coeval with this form. The name is, of course, Egyptian, and is, in the first Scriptural notice of the city. Septuagint, accommodated to the analogy of the Egyptian 48. • Laid up the food in the cities,' etc.—The labours language, being given as sleteopî Petephre. In this ortho of Joseph, here described, in building storehouses, etc., graphy the name (not necessarily, as belonging to the same are placed vividly before us in the paintings upon the monu. person) occurs in several Egyptian monuments, and is cou ments, which show how common such storehouses were in sidered to mean, of or belonging to the sun. The principal ancient Egypt. In one of the grottoes of Eleithuias a man element of the name is the same as in Pharaoh. See the is represented whose business it evidently was to take an ac. note on v. 15.
count of the number of bushels, which another man acting - On.'—This is the same place which is called Beth under him measures. The inscription is, The writer or shemes (house of the sun) in Jer. xliii. 13; and, according to registrar of bushels, Thutnofre.' Then follows the transthe Authorized Version, Aven in Ezek. xxx. 17, although portation of the grain. From the measurer others take it the original word is the same as here. This is owing in sacks and carry it to the storehouses. In the tomb of to our putting useless vowels into Hebrew words, and in Amenemhe at Beni Hassan, there is a painting of a great mistaking vowels for consonants. We do the same in storehouse, before the door of which lies a large heap of Welsh names, and write Glendwr, Glendower' (Wilkin grain, already winnowed. The measurer fills a bushel in son, Modern Egypt. i. 296). The Septuagint identifies it order to pour it out into the uniform sacks of those who with Heliopolis, the name of which, meaning city of the carry the grain to the granary. The bearers go to the door sun,' is equivalent to Bethshemes. The ancient Egyptian of the storehouse, and lay down their sacks before an officer, name Re-Ei, or Ei-Re, was of the same import, “house' or | who stands ready to receive the corn. This is the owner
abode of the sun.' The mention of it in the present text of the storehouse. Near by stands the bushel with which it would suffice to show that it is a place of very ancient date. is measured, and the registrar who takes the account. At
the side of the windows there are characters which in- | gaged in carrying the corn up the steps to the top of these dicate the quantity of the mass which is deposited in the vaults, it is manifest that it was cast in through an opening magazine. Compare this with the clause in v. 49, until he at the top, which does not appear in the engraving-just as left numbering, etc. The paintings also throw light on the coal is cast into our cellars from the street. passage (Exod. i. 11), in which the Israelites are described 56. • The famine was over all the face of the earth.'— In as building treasur: cities' for Pharaoh. From the sub former cases we find that there was plenty in Egypt when joined Cut it seems that the granaries of Egypt consisted scarcity prevailed in other lands, and it has been pointed of a series of vaulted chambers; and as the men are en- | out as a contradiction that here Egypt, which depends for
its fertility upon the Nile, is subjected to famine at the same time with other countries whose harvests depend on the rain. But although the famine of Egypt was caused by the deficient waters of the Nile, and in the neighbouring countries by the want of rain; and although, from the difference of immediate and intermediate operations, Egypt often has plenty when the fruits of the soil have failed in the neighbouring countries; yet, essentially, the cause of dearth in Egypt and in the neighbouring countries is one and the same. The overflowings of the Nile are caused, as even llerodotus knew, by the tropical rains which fall upon the Abyssinian mountains. These rains have the same origin as those of Palestine. It is now known that the Nile owes its increase to the violent rains which proceed from the clouds that are formed upon the Mediterranean Sea, and carried so far by the winds, which annually at nearly the same time blow from the north.' (Le Père, in Descript, de l’Egypte, vii. 576.) There are also not wanting historical instances of years of dearth which were common to Egypt with the adjoining countries. Thus the historian Makrizi describes a famine which took place in Egypt, on account of a deficiency in the increase of the Nile, in the year of the Hegira 444, which at the same time extended over Syria, and even to Baghdad.
57, and xlii. 6.-— All countries came into Egypt to Joseph, to buy corn. .... Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people.'— The abundant supply of grain and other produce gave to Egypt advantages which no other country possessed. Not only was her dense population supplied with a profusion of the necessaries of life, but the sale of the surplns conferred considerable benefit on the peasant, in addition to the profits which thence accrued to the state ; for Egypt was a granary where, from
the earliest times, all people felt sure of finding a plenteous store of corn; and some idea may be formed of the immense quantity produced there, from the circumstance of
seven plenteous years' affording, from the superabundance of the crops, a sufficiency of corn to supply the whole population during seven years of dearth, as well as ó all countries' which sent to Egypt to buy’it, when Pharaoh, by the advice of Joseph, laid up the annual surplus for that purpose. The right of exportation, and the sale of superfluous produce to foreigners, belonged exclusively to the government, as is distinctly shown by the sale of corn to the Israelites from the royal stores, and the collection having been made by Pharaoh only; and it is probable that the landowners were in the habit of selling to government whatever quantity remained on hand, at the approach of each successive harvest. Indeed, their frugal" mode of living enabled the peasants to dispose of nearly all the wheat
and barley their lands produced, and ihey may frequently, | as at the present day, have been contented with bread made of Dhurah (maize) flour; children, and even grown persons,
according to Diodorus, often living on roots and esculent i herbs, as the papyrus, lotus and others, either raw, toasted,
or boiled. At all events, whatever may have been the quality of bread they used, it is certain that the superabundance of grain was very considerable, Egypt annually producing three, and even four crops; and though the government obtained a large profit on the exportation of corn, and the price received from foreign merchants far exceeded that paid to the peasants, still these last derived
great benefit from its sale, and the money thus circulated | through the country tended to improve the condition of the
agricultural classes. See Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, 1 i. 23, 24,
16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your
brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that 1 Jacob sendeth his ten sons to buy corn in Egypt. 16 They are imprisoned by Joseph for spies. 18
your words may be proved, whether there be They are set at liberty, on condition to bring Ben any truth in you: or else by the life of Phajamin. 21 They have remorse for Joseph. 24 raoh surely ye are spies. Simeon is kept for a pledge. 25 They return with 17 And he put them all together into ward corn, and their money. 29 Their relation to Jacob.
three days. 36 Jacob refuseth to send Benjamin.
18 And Joseph said unto them the third Now when 'Jacob saw that there was corn in | day, This do, and live ; for I fear God : Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye 19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren look one upon another ?
be bound in the house of your prison : go ye, 2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that carry corn for the famine of your houses : there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, 20 But bring your youngest brother unto and buy for us from thence; that we may live, me; so shall your words be verified, and ye and not die.
shall not die. And they did so. 3 And Joseph's ten brethren went down 21 | And they said one to another, We to buy corn in Egypt.
are verily guilty concerning our brother, in 4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he sent not with his brethren ; for he said, Lest besought us, and we would not hear; therefore peradventure mischief befall him.
is this distress come upon us. 5 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn | 22 And Reuben answered them, saying, among those that came : for the famine was in "Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin the land of Canaan.
against the child ; and ye would not hear? 6 | And Joseph was the governor over the therefore, behold, also his blood is required land, and he it was that sold to all the people | 23 And they knew not that Joseph underof the land : and Joseph's brethren came, and stood them ; for Rhe spake unto them by an bowed down themselves before him with their interpreter. faces to the earth.
24 And he turned himself about from them, 7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he and wept; and returned to them again, and knew them, but made himself strange unto communed with them, and took from them , them, and spake roughly unto them; and he Simeon, and bound him before their eyes. said unto them, Whence come ye? And they 25 | Then Joseph commanded to fill their said, From the land of Canaan to buy sacks with corn, and to restore every man's i food.
money into his sack, and to give them provision 8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they for the way: and thus did he unto them. knew not him.
26 And they laded their asses with the corn, 9 And Joseph Sremembered the dreams and departed thence. which he dreamed of them, and said unto 27 And as one of them opened his sack to : them, Ye are spies ; to see the nakedness of | give his ass provender in the inn, he espied the land ye are come.
his money ; for, behold, it was in his sack's 10 And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, mouth. but to buy food are thy servants come.
28 And he said unto his brethren, My 11 We are all one man's sons; we are true money is restored ; and, lo, it is even in my men, thy servants are no spies.
sack : and their heart failed them, and they 12 And he said unto them, Nay, but to see were afraid, saying one to another, What is the nakedness of the land ye are come.
this that God hath done unto us? 13 And they said, Thy servants are twelve 29 4 And they came unto Jacob their father brethren, the sons of one man in the land of unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that Canaan ; and, behold, the youngest is this day | befell unto them ; saying, with our father, and one is not.
30 The man, who is the lord of the land, 14 And Joseph said unto them, That is it spake 'roughly to us, and took us for spies of that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies : | the country.
15 Hereby ye shall be proved : By the life 31 And we said unto him, We are true of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except men ; we are no spies : your youngest brother come hither.
32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our
1 Acts 7. 12. 2 Heb. hard things with them. Chap. 37. 5. | 7 Chap. 37. 21.
8 Heb. an interpreter was between them.
4 Heb. bound.
5 Heb. gathered.
3 Chap 43. 10 Heb. with us hard things.