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to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready ; for these men shall dine with me at noon.
And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the 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 our sacks at the first time are we brought in 5 that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us and take us for bondmen, and our asses.
And they came near to the steward of'Joseph's house, . and they communed with him at the door of the house, and said,
O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food, and it came to pass when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and behold every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; and we have brought it again ia our hand.
And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food; we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.
And he said, Peace be to you, fear not; your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money; and he brought Simeon out unto them.
And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; andhe gave their asses provender.
And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon; for they heard that they should eat bread there.
And when Joseph camehom*, they brought him the
present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth'.
And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Ii your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?
And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive: and they bowed down their heads and made obeisance. >
And he lift 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. . .
And Joseph made haste, for his bowels did yearn upon his brother; and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. .
And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves; and for the Egyptians which did eat with him by themselves; because the . Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews: for that is an' abomination unto the Egyptians.
And they sat before him, the first born according to hit birth-right, and the youngest according to his youth ; and the men marvelled one at another.
And he took and sent messes unto them from before him; but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
There is an appearance of undutifulness in Judah's refusal to go down into Egypt at his father's command; mand; but we should consider the situation he was in. Jacob felt the force of his son's remonstrances, and was convinced that Judah insisted upon Benjamin's accompanying him, not from a principle of disobedience, but from prudence and necessity. The present which he sent consisted of the choicest produce of the land of Canaan.
Though Jacob at first had suffered his affection for one child to make him unmindful of what was due to the rest of .his family, he soon recollected his duty, and resigned his affairs to the disposal of Divine Providence.
It is evident that Joseph's detention of Simeon proceeded from a distrust that he rfad dealt treacherously with his youngest brother; for as soon as he was convinced that Benjamin was safe, he found it difficult to restrain the effusions of his tenderness towards all of them. With what anxious solicitude did he inquire after his aged parent! With what affection did he behold his Mother's son! Not one unkind or harsh expression did he utter, but entertained his brethren with the utmost hospitality. Prudence suggested that a farther trial of them was necessary, before he placed confidence in them, therefore he refrained himself, but the pain which it cost him to do so the sacred historian has most pathetically expressed. Well might Joseph's brethren, a company of shepherds, be astonished, at being treated with so much ceremony and respect in the palace of a Prime Minister! Hew condescending and engaging must Joseph's behaviour have been, which encouraged his biethren, under such circumstances, to Ic merry with turn.
It is' likely that the Egyptians possessed that illiberal spirit nvhich prevails too much among the lower kinds
of of Englishmen, of regarding foreigners as persons of aa inferior species to themselves; and that this was the ground of that abomination in which they held the Hebrews; or it might be on account of the difference of Religion between them.
The manner of eating among the ancients, was, to have a number of small dishes set before the master of the fcast, who distributed to each guest his portion. A double mess was the usual mark of distinction.
From this section, we learn, that it is adviseable, in extraordinary cases, for parents to comply with the remonstrances of their children, if the latter have had experience in the world, rather than to insist upon an implicit obedience in matters where their affections may lead them wrong. Before a father or mother determine to follow their own opinion in favour of one child, they should carefully consider whether their doing so will be consistent with their duty to the rest.
Whenever the interests of persons who have an equal claim to consideration seem to interfere, it is the best way for heads of families to imitate Jacob's example, and pursue'> the measure which present exigencies require, for the good of the whole, leaving the care of individuals to Divine Providence,
JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN.
From Genesis, Chap. xliv.
And Joseph commanded the steward of his hoese, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's
mouth; mouth; and put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn-money : and he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.
As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.
And when they were gone out of the city, a/id not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good i
Is not this it in which my- lord drinketh ? and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.
And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words. And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words ? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing.
Behold, the money which we found in our sack's mouths, we brought again unto thee outof the land of Canaan : how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold? ,
With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen. /*ad he said, Now also let it be according unto your words : he with whom it is found shall be my servant : and ye shall be blameless.
Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack. And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and they returned to the city. And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house (for he was yet there), and they fell before him on the ground.