Obrazy na stronie

father ; one is not, and the youngest is this and their father saw the bundles of money, day with our father in the land of Canaan. they were afraid.

33 And the man, the lord of the country, 36 And Jacob their father said unto them, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph true men; leave one of your brethren here is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take with me, and take food for the famine of your Benjamin away: all these things are against me. housholds, and be gone :

37 And Reuben spake unto his father, 34 And bring your youngest brother unto saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not me : then shall I know that ye are no spies, to thee : deliver him into my hand, and I will but that ye are true men : so will I deliver | bring him to thee again. you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the 38 And he said, My son shall not go down land.

with you ; for his brother is dead, and he is 35 | And it came to pass as they emptied | left alone : if mischief befall him by the way their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down of money was in his sack : and when both they | my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

Verse 9. "Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land | rivers, or ruins, at home, to engage your attention, that ye are come.'-It will be seen in the note to ch. xlvi, 34, you should come so far to look for them. that Joseph had sufficient apparent cause to justify this 15. By the life of Pharaoh.'—Swearing by the life of a affected suspicion. But we may here remark, that such superior or respected person, or by that of the person adan imputation as this, remains to this day that to which a dressed, is a common conversational oath in different parts stranger is continually exposed in the East. The Orientals of Asia. In Persia, although the force of the expression generally have no idea that people will make a journey is precisely the same, its form is varied to swearing by the unless from urgent necessity, or on gainful speculations ; | head, particularly by the head of the king. By the king's and if, therefore, a person does not travel in a mercantile head, by his death, or by his soul !' are expressions which character, or on some public business, he is invariably are continually heard in that country, and are used even considered as a spy--more especially if he turns aside, or by the king, who generally speaks of himself in the third stops, to examine any remarkable object, or is discovered person. The Persians also swear by their own heads, and in the act of writing, or making observations of any kind. by those of the persons to whom they speak. Pharaoh's Curiosity, or the desire of collecting information, are mo- swearing by himself, in ch. xli. 44, 'I am Pharaoh,' seems tives perfectly incomprehensible to them, and are always to receive some illustration from the practice of the Persian treated as shallow and childish pretences. They ask kings. triumphantly whether you have no trees, birds, animals,



7 And they said, The man asked us straitly

of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Ís 1 Jacob is hardly persuaded to send Benjamin. 15

your father yet alive? have ye another brother? Joseph entertaineth his brethren. 31 He maketh them a feast.

and we told him according to the 'tenor of

these words : could we certainly know that And the famine was sore in the land.

he would say, Bring your brother down? 2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten 8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, up the corn which they had brought out of Send the lad with me, and we will arise and Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, go; that we may live, and not die, both we, buy us a little food.

and thou, and also our little ones. 3 And Judah spake unto him, saying, The 9 I will be surety for him ; of my hand man 'did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shalt thou require him: 'if I bring him not shall not see my face, except your "brother be unto thee, and set him before thee, then let with you.

me bear the blame for ever : 4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, we | 10 For except we had lingered, surely now will go down and buy thee food :

we had returned 'this second time. 5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will | 11 And their father Israel said unto them, not go down : for the man said unto us, Ye | If it must be so now, do this; take of the best shall not see my face, except your brother be fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry with you.

down the man a present, a little balm, and 6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had almonds : yet a brother?

| 12 And take double money in your hand; 1 Heb. protesting protested. 2 Chap. 42. 20. 3 Heb. asking asked us. Heb. mouth. Heb. knowing could we knowo. © Chap. 44.32. 7 0r, twice by this.

and the money that was brought again in the sack, our money in full weight: and we have mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your brought it again in our hand. hand : peradventure it was an oversight : 22 And other money have we brought down

13 Take also your brother, and arise, go in our hands to buy food : we cannot tell who again unto the man:

put our money in our sacks. 14 And God Almighty give you mercy 23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: before the man, that he may send away your your God, and the God of your father, hath other brother, and Benjamin. 'If I be be given you treasure in your sacks : "I had reaved of my children, I am bereaved. your money. And he brought Simeon out

15 | And the men took that present, and | unto them. they took double money in their hand, and 24 And the man brought the men into | Benjamin ; and rose up, and went down to Joseph's house, and "s gave them water, and ! Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

they washed their feet, and he gave their 16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with asses provender. them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring 25 And they made ready the present against these men home, and 'slay, and make ready ; Joseph came at noon : for they heard that they for these men shall ''dine with me at noon. should eat bread there.

17 And the man did as Joseph bade ; 26 | And when Joseph came home, they and the man brought the men into Joseph's brought him the present which was in their house.

hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.

27 And he asked them of their ''welfare, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake ? Is he yet alive?

28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.

29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.

30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yern upon his brother : and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his cham

ber, and wept there. ANCIENT EGYPTIAN HOUSE.

31 And he washed his face, and went out, 18 And the men were afraid, because they and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. were brought into Joseph's house ; and they 32 And they set on for him by himself, and said, Because of the money that was returned for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, in our sacks at the first time are we brought which did eat with him, by themselves : bein ; that he may "seek occasion against us, cause the Egyptians might not eat bread with and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto and our asses.

the Egyptians. 19 4 And they came near to the steward of 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn Joseph's house, and they communed with him according to his birthright, and the youngest at the door of the house,

according to his youth: and the men marvelled 20 And said, () sir, ''we'3 came indeed one at another. down at the first time to buy food : .

34 And he took and sent messes unto them ! 21 And it came to pass, when we came to from before him : but Benjamin's mess was the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, five times so much as any of their’s. And they every man's money was in the mouth of his drank, and ''were merry with him.

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8 Or, and I, as I hare been, &c. Heb. kill a killing.

b. eat, 13 Hleb, coming down wc came doren. 14 Heb, Your money came to me.

17 Web, Is there peace to your father

11 Heb. roll himself upon ks.

15 Chap. 18. 4, and 24. 32. 18 Hel, drank largely,

12 Chap. 42. 3. 16 lieb. pecce.

Verse il. For • balm, "spices, and myrrh, see notes on ch. xxxvii. 25. .

- Nuts,' voi botnim.- The nuts here spoken of were the pistachio nuts, produced by one of the terebinthaceous trees once peculiar to Syria, Pistacia vera, whence it was brought into Europe by Lucius Vitellius, governor of Syria, and since that spread over the shores of the Mediterranean. It is more abundant in northern Syria than in Palestine, where it is not much cultivated. But it is found growing wild in some very remarkable situations, as on Mount Tabor, and on the summit of Mount Attarus (Nebo?). The pistachio nuts are about the size of a hazel-nut, covered exteriorly by a greenish flesh, which places the fruit among the drupaceous kind. The meat, which is of a green colour, covered with a red filon of great firmness, is soft, oily, and very agreeable to the taste, having much resemblance to the sweet almond in flavour. The leaves are placed in pairs upon a common

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NUTS (Pistacia vera). foot-stalk, and are egg-shaped, and pointed. The tree, when laden with clusters of ripe nuts, which are of a pale blushing hue, makes a fine appearance; but at other times it is far from being handsome, since the branches are crooked, and ramify in a rude and irregular manner.

- 'Almonds, Difpuj shekedim.—The Amygdalus communis is found wild in some parts of Northern Africa; it is a handsome spreading tree; the leaves are lance-shaped, with a delicately toothed edge. The calyx is bell-shaped, whence an imitation of it was chosen for some of the ornamental parts of the golden candlestick. The fruit is of the drupaceons character, covered with a velvety pubescence. The cortical investment breaks in a fibrous manner, and by degrees lays open the interior, which contains the wellknown nut, singularly perforated with small holes. The almond-tree grows abundantly in Palestine, and may be regarded as one of its characteristic productions, the present and other texts (which will be illustrated as we come to them) show that it was such in very ancient times.

- Honey.'-The learned authors of the Universal Histury, taking the right view that the presents sent by Jacob to the vizier of Egypt must have consisted of articles which that country did not afford, contend that “honey' cannot be really intended here, as it is not likely that honey' could be a rarity in Egypt. They therefore think


ALMOND (Amygdalus communis). that dates are meant, which are called by the same name, wz7 debesh, and which when fully ripe yield a sort of honey, not inferior to that of bees. Now, on this very principle, dates were still less likely than honey to have been sent; as Egypt is a famous date-growing country, and the tax on date-trees constitutes one of the most considerable articles in the revenue of its government. It is, however, not necessary to understand honey here, as the word certainly does seem to imply different kinds of sweet things and fruits, in different passages. Gesenius understands it here to denote 'syrup of grapes,' that is, must boiled to the thickness of a syrup; and which, as he observes, is still exported from Palestine, especially from the neighbourhood of Hebron, to Egypt. It certainly means bee-honey in Judg. xiv. 8; and if it has that signification here, we must understand that the honey of Palestine was superior to that of Egypt, and this is the opinion to which we incline. At present, however, the natives of the latter country keep a great quantity of bees, which they transport up and down the Nile, to give them the advantage of different climates and productions. The hives are kept in the boats, and the bees disperse themselves over the banks of the river in quest of food, returning regularly on board in the evening.

18. The men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house.'-A more natural picture of the conduct of men, from the country, in Asia, when taken into the house of a superior, cannot be drawn. When they are told to go inside, they at once suspect that they are about to be punished or confined ; and as they go through the house, they look in every direction, and are ready for a run at the least appearance of danger.

33. . The firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled. Josephus says that they were set according to their seniority as they used to sit at home at their father's table; and their wonder of course arose from considering how their respective ages could be so accurately known in the house of the governor of Egypt, particularly as some of them were nearly of the same age with others. The statement is interesting, however understood, as it shows the distinction which in those early times was given to seniority of birth even in the common intercourse of life. The Orientals are, however, particularly punctilious at their meals.

34. * Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of their's.'— This seems best explained by an allusion to exist



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EGYPTIANS AT MEAT. ing Persian customs. The dishes are not brought in suc- l persons forms them into distinct groups in the act of eating, cessively during the course of an entertainment, but are as will be understood by recollecting that the Orientals placed at once upon the table, or rather floor. A tray con- make no use of plates, but transfer their food immediately taining a variety of dishes is placed between every two, or from the dishes or bowls to their mouths, unless they may at most three guests, from which they help themselves, occasionally find it convenient intermediately to rest the without attending in any degree to the party at the next morsel they have detached upon the cake of bread which tray. The number of dishes on the tray is proportioned to is spread out before them. Hence there is a concentration the rank of the guest or guests before whom it is set, or to of each group upon the tray which is set before it. The the degree of preference and attention which the enter separation so distinctly marked in Joseph's feast may have tainer desires to manifest towards them. The trays, when been effected much in the same way, Joseph having a tray they are brought in, contain only five or six different dishes wholly to himself, while, in the distribution into groups, and bowls, and they thus remain in ordinary circumstances; care was taken that no Egyptian should be obliged to eat but when the guest is a person of much consideration, other out of the same tray with a Hebrew. Herodotus bears dishes are introduced between, or even piled upon the witness to this distinction of quantity among the Egyptians. former, until at last there may be fifteen or more dishes He says that, in their public banquets and entertainments, upon the same tray. It is not therefore to be supposed twice as much was set before the king as before any one that Benjamin ate five times as much as his brethren, who else. If a double quantity was the mess for a king, Benwere all no doubt amply and variously supplied ; but his jamin's quintuple proportion was a great distinction indeed. distinction consisted in the greater variety offered for his The representations of persons at meals, in the Egyptian selection, and in the palpable mark of preference, on the sculptures, confirm, so far as they go, the analogies we part of his entertainer, which it indicated. A Persian feast have indicated; and these details from existing usages may seems to illustrate other particulars in this Egyptian enter- be regarded as filling up the outlines of information which tainment. The plan of setting a tray between every two l these representations offer.


thou dost overtake them, say unto them,

Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for 1 Joseph's policy to stay his brethren. 14 Judah's

good ? humble supplication to Joseph.

5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, ! And he commanded 'the steward of his house, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much done evil in so doing. as they can carry, and put every man's money 6 | And he overtook them, and he spake in his sack's mouth.

| unto them these same words. 2 And put my cup, the silver cup, in the 7 And they said unto him, Wherefore saith sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn my lord these words ? God forbid that thy money. And he did according to the word servants should do according to this thing : that Joseph had spoken.

8 Behold, the money, which we found in 3 As soon as the morning was light, the our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto men were sent away, they and their asses. thee out of the land of Canaan : how then

4 And when they were gone out of the should we steal out of thy lord's house silver city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his or gold ? steward, Up, follow after the men ; and when ģ With whomsoever of thy servants it be 146

1 Heb. him that was over his house. Or, maketh trial.

found, both let him die, and we also will be him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes my lord's bondmen.

upon him. 10 And he said, Now also let it be accord 1 22 And we said unto my lord, The lad ing unto your words : he with whom it is | cannot leave his father : for if he should leave found shall be my servant ; and ye shall be his father, his father would die. blameless.

23 And thou saidst unto thy servants, 11 Then they speedily took down every ‘Except your youngest brother come down man his sack to the ground, and opened every with you, ye shall see my face no more. man his sack.

24 And it came to pass when we came up 12 And he searched, and began at the unto thy servant my father, we told him the eldest, and left at the youngest : and the cup words of my lord. was found in Benjamin's sack.

| 25 And our father said, Go again, and buy 13 Then they rent their clothes, and laded us a little food. every man his ass, and returned to the | 26 And we said, We cannot go down : if city.

our youngest brother be with us, then will we 14 | And Judah and his brethren came go down : for we may not see the man's face, to Joseph's house ; for he was yet there: and except our youngest brother be with us. they fell before him on the ground.

27 And thy servant my father said unto us, 15 And Joseph said unto them, What deed Ye know that my wife bare me two sons : is this that ye have done ? wot ye not that such 28 And the one went out from me, and I a man as I can certainly divine ?

said, 'Surely he is torn in pieces ; and I saw 16 And Judah said, What shall we say him not since: unto my lord ? what shall we speak? or how 29 And if ye take this also from me, and shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out | mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my the iniquity of thy servants : behold, we are | gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. my lord's servants, both we, and he also with 30 Now therefore when I come to thy serwhom the cup is found.

vant my father, and the lad be not with us; 17 And he said, God forbid that I should seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; do so : but the man in whose hand the cup is 31 It shall come to pass, when he seeth found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, that the lad is not with us, that he will die : get you up in peace unto your father.

and thy servants shall bring down the gray 18 1 Then Judah came near unto him, hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray the grave. thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let 32 For thy servant became surety for the not thine anger burn against thy servant: for lad unto my father, saying, 'If I bring him thou art even as Pharaoh.

not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, my father for ever. Have ye a father, or a brother?

*33 Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy 20 And we said unto my lord, We have a servant abide instead of the lad a bondman father, an old man, and a child of his old age, to my lord ; and let the lad go up with his a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone brethren. is left of his mother, and his father loveth 34 For how shall I go up to my father, and him.

the lad be not with me? Test peradventure I 21 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring see the evil that shall 'come on my father.

3 Or, make trial. 4 Chap. 43. 3. 5 Chap. 37. 33. Chap. 43. 9. 7 Heb. find my father.

shall my lord udah said, 'divinenot that

Verse 5. Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and by this cup. As the last clause of the sentence may fairly schereby indeed he divineth? - The cup in question was be rendered, and for which he would carefully inquire, silver, Josephus says gold. The Egyptians of rank had it is perhaps safest to accept this rendering, as most condrinking vessels of silver and gold, the forms of which sistent with the general character of Joseph. It is, howmay be seen from the figures which we introduce. We ever, certain that there was a sort of pretended divination have thus ope proof among many of the luxury and refine by cups among the Egyptians and other eastern people; ment to which the Egyptians had even at this early time and there is and was a very ancient tradition of a famous attained. The vessels (translated jewels') of gold and of cup which exhibited all that was passing in the world. silver which Abraham sent to Mesopotamia by Eliezer, The possession of this cup, or else of the power of divinaprobably formed part of the presents which he had re tion by cups, is still occasionally pretended to by great ceived at a former period from the king of Egypt. There persons, when they wish to alarm others, or to extort some is considerable difficulty in what is said about divination | discovery or compliance from them; and it is barely pos

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