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selves ; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come, where 90 the country lies most open and exposed to danger. And they

said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants 11 come. We [are] all one man's sons; and it is not likely one man

would expose all his sons at once to 80 dangerous an employ12 ment ; we [are) true [men,] thy servants are no spies. And

he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land , ye are come, 10 observe its weakness, and where you may best 13 attack it. And they said, Thy servants [are) twelve breth

ren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan ; and, behold,

the youngest [is] this day with our father, and one [is] not. 14 And Joseph said unto them, That [is it) that I spake unto

you, saying, Ye [are] spies ; this confirms my saying : it is

not likely a father should send ten sons on such an errand, and 25 keep only one at home. Hereby ye shall be proved : By the

life of Pharaoh, as sure as Pharaoh lives, ye shall not go forth 16 hence, except your youngest brother come hither. Send one

of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether (there be any) truth in you : or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye [are) spies. They might have brought any young man, and

called him their brother : and it is probable Joseph supposed 37 they had really made away with him. And he put them all

together into ward three days ; that their own sin might be 18 brought to remembrance. And Joseph said unto them the

third day, This do, and live ; [for] I fear God, and would not 19 do an inhuman action : If ye [be] true (men,] let one of your

brethren be bound in the house of your prison : go ye, carry 20 corn for the famine of your houses : But bring your youngest

brother unto me ; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so, or promised and resolved

to do so. 21 And they said one to another, while in Joseph's presence,

(little thinking that he understood the Hebrew 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. We sold our brother Joseph for a slave, and now we ourselves are captives ; we would not hear his cry, and now our cry

will not be heard : this brought their sin to their remem22 brance. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I

not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child ; and ye would not hear ? (this shows that they sold him un

known to Reuben :) therefore, behold, also his blood is re23 quired ; we shall now be punished for his death. And they

knew not that Joseph understood [them ;) for he spake unto them by an interpreter. The interpreter might now be with

drawn, or attending only to one of them, while Joseph heard the 24 discourse of the rest. And he turned himself about from

them, and wept ; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes ; who by this seems to have had the greatest hand in Joseph's trouble ; or, being by nature bold and fierce, Joseph thought he might be the most likely to hinder Benjamin

from coming. 25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and

to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them 26 provision for the way: and thus did he unto them. And

they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence, 27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass proven

der in the inn, he espied his money ; for, behold, it (was] in 28 his sack's mouth. And he said unto his brethren, My money

is restored ; and, lo, [it is] even in my sack : and their heart failed [them,) and they were afraid ; they thought it could not be designed as a kindness, but must be intended as a foundation for a quarrel ; however they acknowledge the hand and jus. tice of God in it, saving one to another, What [is] this [that] God hath done unto us? Is it not a just punishment for

our sin against our brother? 29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of

Canaan, and told him all that befel unto them ; saying, 30 The man, [who is] the lord or governor of the land, spake 31 roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. And

we said unto him, We Care] true [men ;] we are no spies : 32 We [be] twelve brethren, sons of our father ; one [is] not,

and the youngest [is] this day with our father in the land of 33 Canaan.' And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us,

Hereby shall I know that ye [are] true [men ;] leave one of

your brethren (here) with me, and take (food for) the famine 34 of your households, and be gone : And bring your youngest

brother unto me : then shall I know that ye [are] no spies, ? [but] that ye Care] true (men : so] will I deliver you your

brother, and ye shall traffic in the land. 35 And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, be

hold, every man's bundle of money (was) in his sack : and when [both] they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid : their fear returned with more violence, having more time to think of the matter ; and their wise, experienced father suggesting many things to them, which might deeply affect both himself and them : he probably imagined they

had behaved themselves ill and brought the money away craftily. -36 And Jacob their father seemed to think they only were in fault, ** and said unto them, Me have ye bereaved (of my children :*]

Joseph [is] not, and Simeon [is] not, and ye will take Benja. inin [away :) all these things are against me ; this renewed stroke upon my former sorrows is very grievous, and greatly

...of my children, is not in the original, and spoils the beauty of the sentence. Tac express!0! is elliptical; NIE 22: ye bercut; tan perhaps followed a sigh or groan.

37 afflicts me. And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay.

my two sons, or two of my sons, (for he had four, ch. xlvi.9.) if I bring him not to thee : deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again. This was a rash and foola ish proposal ; but it was only intended to express his full

belief that the man would release Simeon, and to persuade him 38 to let Benjamin go, which for the present he refuses. And he

said, My son shall not go down with you ; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone of Rachel's children : if mischief befal him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

REFLECTIONS.

1. T HE fear of God, wherever it prevails, will promote

1 a sense of humanity, v. 18. Joseph durst do no wrong ; no, nor deal unkindly with those who had injured him, because he feared God; the almighty, allknowing, and merciful God. Though Joseph was a great man, he was sensible there was one infinitely greater than he, to whom he was accountable, and whom he ought to reverence. This is the best principle for social duties to be discharged by; reverence for God will make us deal honestly and tenderly ; it will guard us against all rigour and severity. It was a strange and absurd speech of a great man, that he was the friend of God, but the enemy of mankind.' The best way to incline us to do justly, and love mercy is, to walk humbly with God, and be in his fear all the day long.

2. See the force of conscience : it brought to the mind of Joseph's brethren, those crimes that were committed twenty years before ; their conscience immediately struck upon this ; they. remembered their faults that day. Conscience brings old sins to a new reckoning ; though it seems to be asleep, it records faithfully, and will be a fearful accuser another day. Let us guard against sin, for it may be very bitter many months, yea many years, after it is committed and forgotten. Reuben had this satisfaction that he did not consent to this wicked act; it will be comfortable amidst the calamities we may suffer with others to think we had no hand in the guilt. Herein then, let us exercise ourselves, to maintain a conscience void of offence toward God and man.

3. See the usefulness of affliction in bringing our sins to remembrance. These men perhaps never thought much of Joseph before, nor were much concerned about what became of him ; but now they think of his case, with deep sorrow and repentance. God will write bitter things against us, to bring our sin to remembrance, and humble us for it. Afflictions, in this view, are great mercies, and it is God's common method of dea), ing with men : see Jab xxxvi. 8-10. And if they be bound in

fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction ; then he showeth them their work, and their transgressions, that they have exceeded. He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. Let us, therefore, patiently bear God's rebukes, and consider wherefore he contendeth with us ; and resolve that wherein we have done iniquity, we will do so no more.

4. How ready are we to draw rash conclusions, as Jacob did, who said, All these thin 18 are against me, when all were for him, and working together for his good. We are ready to conclude, when we lose our wealth or fame, our health or friends, all this is against us; but God intends it for our good. To judge by pas. sion, or affection, is the way to judge wrong : Jacob's grief dark, ened his mind, and overwhelmed his faith. We are in great danger of forming a wrong judgment of the divine dispensations, especially of those which are a source of grief and sorrow : Jacob was happily disappointed. Let us learn to judge nothing before the time, but patiently wait till the mystery of Providence is opencd ; and then we shall see the truth of Paul's observation, that all things work together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose.

CHAP. XLIII.

Jacob's sons are forced to go a second time into Egypt ; Benjamin

goes with them ; their conversation with Joseph's steward ; and the kind entertainment they received from their brother. 1 A ND the famine (was] sore in the land ; a still greater ,2 11 scarcity prevailed. And it came to pass, when they !.. had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt,

their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food,

just enough for the present, honing next year to have a plentiful 3 crop. And Judah, who probably had more interest with his

father than Reuben or Levi, spake unto him, saying, The man

did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my 4 face, except your brother [be] with you. If thou wilt send

our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food ; 5 But if thou wilt not send [him,] we will not go down, we

cannot go, without breach of our promisc, nor without danger : for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother [be] with you. And Israel said, wherefore

dealt ye (so) ill with me, [as] to tell the man whether ye 7 had yet a brother ? And they said, The man asked us straii

ly of our state and of our kindred, saying, [ls] your father yet alive ? have ye (another] brother ? and we told him according to the tenor of these words ; gave him such answers as these questions required ; could we certainly know that he • would say, Bring your brother down ? And Judah said unto

Israel his father, Send the lad with me ( 80 called, because he was the youngest, though now above thirty years old) and

we will arise and go ; that we may live, and not die, both 9 we, and thou, (and] also our little ones. I will be surety for

him ; of my hand shalt thou require him; I will do all I can to secure him, and rather suffer any thing than lose him : If I

bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me 10 bear the blame for ever, and the under thy displeasure : For

except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this sechond time. And their father Israel, when he saw there was no

help, but he must risk an uncertain danger, or be accessary to the certain ruin of his family, consented, and said unto them, If [it must be so now, do this ; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts,* and almonds ;

having found in the case of Esau, that a gift pacifieth anger : 12 And take double money in your hand, as corn may now be

grown dearer ; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry [it] again in your hand ; perad

venture it (was] an oversight, either in you, or the receiver of 13 the money, and it must therefore be restored : Take also your 14 brother, and arise, go again unto the man : And God Al

mighty 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 ; God's will be done ; I com

mit the issue wholly to hin. 15 And the men took that present, and they took double mon

ey in their hand, and Benjamin ; and rose up, and went down

to Egypt, and stood before Joseph, at the place where he 16 gave audience, or sold corn. And when Joseph saw Benjamin

with them, he said privately to the ruler of his house, Bring [these] men home, and slay, and make ready ; for [these] men shall dine with me at noon. In those hot countries it was

necessary to dress their meat immediately after it was killed. 17 And the man did as Joseph bade ; and the man brought the 18 men into Joseph's house. And the men were afraid, because

they were brought into Joseph's house ; and they said, because of the money that was returned in the sacks at the first time are we brought in ; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen and our asses. Conscience accused them, and they thought they should be taken un for cheats, and made slaves of; therefore they begin

eagerly to make their apology. 19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and 20 they communed with him at the door of the house. And

Most probably the Pistachio nuti, which were reckoned a great dainty, and were pecrtiar to judea wd Syria

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