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And Jos tph mid unto them, What deed is this that ye have done ? wot ye not that such'a nun as 1 can certainly divine?
"And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord ? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants : behold, weare my lord's servants: both we, and he also, with whom the cup is found.
And he said, God forbid that I should do so; but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.
Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh, my lord, let thy servant, 1 pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant : for thou art even as Pharaoh.
My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother ? And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one: and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.
And, thou snidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.
And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.
And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother cone down with you, ye shall see my face no more.
And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food. And we said, We cannot go down : if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down; for we
may may not see the man's face except our younger brother be with us.
And thy servant, my father, said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons: And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely, he is torn to pieces; and I saw him not since:
And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us, (seeing that his life ii bound up in the lad's life;)
It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die; and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.
For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee*, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.
Now therefore, 1 pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad, a bond-man to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brethren.
For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.
Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him: and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me: and there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? and his brethren could not answer him: for they were troubled at his presence. Vol. I. M And
And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you; and they came near: and he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for Goo did send me before you to preserve life.
For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land ol Egypt.
Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not.
And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast.
And there will I nourish thee; (for yet there are five years of famine ;) lest thou and thy houshold, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
And behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speak-;th unto you. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste, and bring down my father hither.
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 upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.
ANNOTATIONS Akd REFLECTIONS. As Joseph had formed a plan for the benefit of hit relations, and could not by any other means obtain itw telligence, whether his brethren were deserving of his intended kindness, he was perfectly justified in making the experiments he did. The circumstance he particularly wanted to know, was whether they really loved Benjamin, and would protect him at all events. It must doubtless have given him the greatest degree of satisfaction to find, that they not only repented of their dime towards himself, but were strictly just in their mercantile concerns, and tenderly attached to each other.
Joseph's question, Wot ye not that such a man at I can certainly divine? is not to be understood as if he practised magical arts, or was constantly inspired: it is rather a proof that he was liable to human infirmi,ties, which led him to make use of this artifice, in order to intimidate his brethren. It may be observed by the by, that this was not consistent with Joseph's usual wisdom, because his charging them with a theft which they had not committer!, shewed his brethren, that, in one instance at least, his divination was false.
Judah was at a loss what reply to make. He might justly have pleaded, that there' was artifice in the.whole transaction from beginning to end, but having no advocate to support his cause, he was afraid to do this. He therefore in ambiguous terms acknowledged the consciousness of guilt, which oppressed the minds of himself and his brethren, and the conviction accompanying it, that their affliction was from God.
What a pathetic scene now ensued, and how powerfully did Judah plead! Never was a tale related with more pathetic eloquence than this'! No wonder that . Joseph, whose heart was agitated with the tenderest M 2 emotions, emotions, could no longer refrain himself! Who but a sacred penman, inspired to describe the workings of nature, by Him to whom all hearts are opeD, could have conveyed to the world such a lively representation of this memorable event?
Having tried his brethren as much as was necessary for their justification, and his own satisfaction, Joseph nobly and piously resolved to make them amends for the sufferings he had inflicted, by freely forgiving the personal injuries he < had received from them: and henceforth to consider what had happened as a dispensation of Providence, to which his brothers had been instrumental. Nothing could be more generous than his kind endeavours to quiet their consciences: for though God in his infinite mercy over-ruled their designs, their cruelty towards him was the result of their own wicked inclinations; they were actuated by human passions, not compelled by divine power.
What happiness must Joseph have enjoyed in the power of removing his father from a state of famine, to ease and affluence! and how great must have been the felicity of all parties at this perfect restoration of family harmony!
This portion of Scripture affords a striking picture of filial affection and duty. Judah was more concerned fot his father's happiness than for his own safety: Joseph could no longer refrain from discovering himself, when he knew the painful uncertainty that Jacob endured. In this respect both Judah and Joseph are worthy of imitation: for those who have, with anxious care, reared a family, have an. undoubted right to the tenderest regards of every individual of it. Old age is subject to many infirmities; and-it should be the study of every child not to add to the sufferings of their aged parents, but to lessen them as much as possible. How
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