Ch. 41-44




It was at the end of two years, that the remembrance of Joseph came before the Word of the Lord. And Pharoh dreamed, and, behold, he stood by the river, and, behold, from the river came up seven oxen goodjlooking and fatjfleshed; and they grazed in the midst of the sedges.[1] [JERUSALEM. Grazing in the midst of the sedges] And, behold, seven other oxen came up from the river, eviljlooking and lean in their flesh, and stood by the side of tile oxen on the bank of the river. And the eviljlooking and leanjfleshed oxen devoured the seven goodjlooking and fat. And Pharoh awoke from his sleep.


And he slept, and saw a second dream; and, behold, seven ears arose on one stalk, full and good; and, behold, seven ears, thin and blighted with the east wind, sprang up after them. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven fat and full. And Pharoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. And in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called all the magicians of Mizraim and all the wise men; and Pharoh told them the dreams; but no man was able to interpret it; for it was occasioned[2] by the Lord, because the time had come that Joseph should come forth from the house of the bound.


And the chief of the cupjbearers spake before Pharoh, saying, My faults do I remember this day. It was occasioned from the Lord that Pharoh was angry with his servants, and he put me in ward in the house of the chief executioner, me and the chief baker. And we dreamed a dream in one night I and he; each man his (own) dream, and the interpretation of his companion's dream we dreamed. And there was with us a Hebrew youth, a servant of the chief executioner; and we recounted to him, and he explained the dream to us, to each man be explained the interpretation of his dream. And even as he interpreted to us so it was; me he restored in his sentence to the order of my service, and him he hanged.


And Pharoh sent and called Joseph, and hastened him from the prison; and he dressed his hair[3], and changed his garments, and went unto Pharoh. And Pharoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter for it; and I have heard of thee, saying, that if thou hear a dream thou canst explain it. And Joseph answered Pharoh, saying, (It is) without me; it is not man who interprets dreams: but from before the Lord shall be an answer of peace unto Pharoh.


And Pharoh spake with Joseph, saying, I saw in my dream, and, behold, I stood on the bank of the river. And, behold, from the river came up seven oxen, fat-fleshed and goodjlooking, and they grazed in the midst of the sedges. And behold seven other oxen came up after them, wasted, and very eviljlooking, and lean in their flesh. I have not seen the like of them in all the land of Mizraim for badness. And the wasted and evil oxen devoured the first seven fat oxen. And they entered into their stomach, but it could not be known that they had entered into their stomach, for their appearance was evil as before; and I awoke.


And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears arose on one stalk, full and good; and, behold, seven ears withered, thin,[4] blighted with the east wind, sprang up after them. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven good ears. And I told the magicians, but there is no one who can teach me.


And Joseph said to Pharoh, The dream of Pharoh is one. That which the Lord is about to do He showeth to Pharoh. The seven good oxen announce seven years; and the seven good ears announce also those seven years: the dream is one. And the seven wasted and evil oxen which arose after them announce seven other years; and the seven ears thin and blighted with the east wind likewise make known that there will be seven years of famine. This is the word that I speak to Pharoh: what the Lord is about to do He showeth Pharoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty in all the land of Mizraim. And after them will arise seven years of famine, which will make all the plenty that was in the land of Mizraim to be forgotten; and the famine will consume the inhabitants of the land; neither will the plenty which had been in the land be known, for the famine that will be afterward, because it will be exceeding strong. And forasmuch as the dream was repeated to Pharoh twice, therefore is the thing confirmed before the Lord, and the Lord hasteneth to do it.


But now let Pharoh look out a man prudent and wise, and appoint him over the land of Mizraim. Let Pharoh make superintendents over the land, and let them take out one part in five of all the produce of the land of Mizraim in the seven years of plenty. [JERUSALEM. Let Pharoh make and appoint him a superintendent over the land; and let him set apart one in five throughout the land of Mizraim in the seven years of plenty.] And let them collect all the produce of those good years that are coming, and gather together the produce under the hand of Pharoh's superintendents, and set the produce in the cities to be kept; and there will be provision laid up (as) in a cavern in the earth, that therefrom they may take in the years of famine which come upon the land of Mizraim, that the people of the land perish not through the famine.


And the word was good before Pharoh, and before all his servants. And Pharoh said to his servants, Can we find a man like this, in whom is the spirit of prophecy from the Lord? And Pharoh said to Joseph, Since the Lord Hath made known all this to thee, there is no one so prudent and wise as thou art. Thou shalt be superintendent over my house, and by the decree of thy mouth shall all my people be armed only in the throne of the kingdom will I be greater than thou. And Pharoh said to Joseph, See, I have appointed thee prince[5] over the land of Mizraim.


And Pharoh took off his ring from his hand, and set it on Joseph's hand; and he clothed him in vestments of fine linen, and set a collar of gold upon his neck, and made him ride in the second chariot of Pharoh; and they chanted before him, This is the Father of the king; Great in wisdom, few[6] in years. And he appointed him prince over all the land of Mizraim. [Jerusalem And they chanted before him, and said, Live the Father of the king, Great in wisdom and few in years.] And Pharoh said to Joseph, I am Pharoh the king, and thou art viceregent,[7] and without thy word a man shall not lift up his hand to gird on arms, or his foot to mount a horse in all the land of Mizraim. And Pharoh called the name of Joseph, The man who revealeth mysteries. And he gave him Asenath, whom Dinah had borne to Shekem, and the wife of Potiphera prince (Rabba) of Tanis had brought up, to be his wife. And Joseph went forth ruler over the land of Mizraim. And Joseph was a son of thirty years when he stood before Pharoh, king of Mizraim. And Joseph went out from Pharoh, and passed, a prince and a ruler, through all ,the land of Mizraim.


And the earth (so) brought forth, that every blade made two handsfull in the seven years of plenty, until all the granaries were full. And they gathered all the produce of the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Mizraim, and he laid up the produce in the cities; the produce of the fields which were round about a city he laid up therein.


And to Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine arose, which Asenath who had been brought up in the house of Potipliera prince of Tanis bare to him. And Joseph called the name of his firstjborn Menasheh; because, the Lord hath made me forget all my weariness and all the house of my father. And the name of the second he called Ephraim; for he said, The Lord hath made me mighty in the land of my affliction, as he will make the house of my father mighty here in their afflictions.


And the seven years of plenty were completed which were to come in the land of Mizraim; and the seven years of famine began to be, as Joseph had said. And there was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Mizraim there was bread. And all the land of Mizraim had dearth; because the seed wheat bare no fruit, and the people cried before Pharoh for bread. And Pharoh said to all the Mizraee, Go to Joseph, and what he shall tell you do. And the famine was upon all the face of the land; and Joseph opened all the treasures and sold to the Mizraee. And the famine waxed mighty in the land of Mizraim; and all the inhabitants of the earth came into Mizraim to buy provision of Joseph; for the famine was mighty in all the earth.


XLII. And Jakob saw that provisions might be bought and that they brought corn from Mizraim; and Jakob said to his sons, Why are you afraid to go down to Mizraim? And he said, Behold, I have heard that corn is sold in Mizraim: go down thither and buy for us from thence, that we may live and not die. And the ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy corn from Mizraim. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jakob sent not down with his brethren; for he said, Behold, he is a youth, and I fear lest death should befall him.


And the sons of Israel went every one by one door, lest the evil eye should have sway over them, as they went together to buy among the Kenaanites who went also to buy; because the famine was in the land of Kenaan.


And Joseph was ruler over the land; and he knew that his brethren had come to buy; for he had appointed notaries at the gates of the city to register daily, of every one who came, his name and the name of his father; and he it was who sold corn to all the people of the land.


And the brethren of Joseph came. And they looked through all the streets, and public places, and hospices, but could not find Him. And they came unto his house, and worshipped him with their faces to the ground.


And Joseph saw his brethren, and recognised them; but he made himself as a stranger in their eyes, and spake hard words to them, and said to them, Whence come yon? And they said, From the land of Kenaan, to buy corn. Now Joseph recognised his brethren, because, when separated from them, they had the token of the beard; but they did not recognise him, because (at that time) he had not the token of the beard, and at this hour he had it. And Joseph remembered the dreams be had dreamed of them. And he said to them, You are spies: to see the nakedness of the shame of the land are you come. And they answered him, No, my lord, thy servants are come to buy corn: we are all the sons of one man; we are true; thy servants are not spies. But he said to them, No, but to see the nakedness of the shame of the land are you come. They answered, Thy servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man, in the land of Kenaan; and, behold, the youngest is tojday with our father, and one went from us, and we know not what hath been in his end! And Joseph said to them, This is what I have spoken to you, saying, You are spies. By that word you shall be proved. (By) the life of Pharoh you shall not go hence unless your youngest brother be brought hither. Send one of you, and bring your brother; but you shall be bound, and your words be proved if the truth is with you: and if not, (by) the life of Pharoh you are spies. And he kept them together in the house of confinement three days.


And Joseph said to them on the third day, This do, that you may live; for I fear the Lord. If you are true, let one of your brothers be bound in the house of your confinement and go you, carry the corn, that you may buy for the hunger of your house, and bring your youngest brother to me, that your words may be verified, and you may not die. And they did so.


And they said, a man to his brother, In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, when we saw the distress of his soul, when be entreated us, and we would not hearken to him; therefore hath this affliction come upon us. And Reuben answered them and said, Did I not tell you, saying, Do not sin against the youth? But you would not listen to me; and thus, behold, his blood is required of us. But they knew not that Joseph understood (heard) the holy language; for Menasheh was interpreter[8] between them. [Jerusalem. But they knew not that Joseph heard in the holy language; for as an interpeter Menasheh stood between them.] And he withdrew from them and wept, and returned and, spake with them. And from them he took Shimeon, who had counselled them to kill him, and bound him before them.


And Joseph commanded his servant to fill their vehicles with corn, and to return each man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the way. And he did so for them. And they laid their corn upon their asses and went thence.


Levi, who bad been left without Shimeon his companion, opened his sack to give food to his ass at the place of lodging, and saw his money: behold, it was in the mouth of his pannier. And he said to his brothers, My money is returned, behold, it is in my pannier. And knowledge failed from their hearts, and each wondered with his brother, saying, What is this which the Lord hath done, and not for sin of ours ?


And they came to Jakob their father in the land of Kenaan, and related to him all that had befallen them, saying, The man the lord of the land spake with us harshly, and treated us as spies of the country: but we said to him, We are faithful men, not spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; of one, we know not what was his end, and the youngest is tojday with our father in the land of Kenaan. And the man, the lord of the land said to us, By this I shall know that you are true. Leave me one of your brothers with me, and what is needed by the hunger of your houses take, and go, and bring your youngest brother to me, and I shall know that you are not spies, but faithful. I will (then) restore your brother to you, and you shall transact business in the land.


And it was as they emptied their baggages, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his baggage; and they and their father saw the bundles of money, and they were afraid on account of Shimeon whom they had left there. And Jakob their father said to them, Me have you bereaved! Of Joseph you said, An evil beast hath devoured him; of Shimeon you have said, The king of the land hath bound him; and Benjamin you seek to take away: upon me is the anguish of all of them. [JERUSALEM. And Jakob their father said to them Me have you bereaved of Joseph. From the hour that I sent him to you I have not known what was his end; and Benjamin you are seeking to take. Yet by me are to arise the twelve tribes.] And Reuben spake to his father, saying Slay my two sons with a curse[9] if I do not bring him to thee. Give him into my hand, and I will restore him to thee. But be said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone remains of his mother; and if death should befall him in the way that you go, you will bring down my age with mourning to the grave. But the famine was strong in the land. [JERUSALEM. Death.]


XLIII. And it was when they had finished eating the corn they had brought from Mizraim, their father said to them, Return and buy us a little corn. And Jehuda spake to him, saying, The man attesting attested to us saying, You shall not see the sight of my face unless your youngest brother be with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy corn for thee; but if thou wilt not send (him), we will not go down; for the man told us, You shall not see the sight of my face unless your brother be with you. And Israel said, Why did you do me evil in showing the man that you had yet a brother? And they said, The man demanding demanded (to know) about us, and about our family, saying Is your father yet living? Have you a brother? And we informed him according to the word of these things. Could we know that be would say, Bring your brother down? And Jehuda said to Israel his father, Send the youth with me, that we may arise and go; and that we may live and not die, both we, and you, and our little ones. I will be surety for him: of my hand shalt thou require him. If I bring him not to thee again, and set him before thee, the guilt be upon me before thee all days. [JERUSALEM. I will be afar off from the salutation of my father all days.] For unless we had thus delayed, we should already have returned these two times.


And Israel their father said to them, If it must be so, do this: Take of the praiseworthy things of the land, and put them in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little gum[10] and a little honey, wax and ladanum,[11] the oil of nuts, and the oil of almonds, and money two upon one [JERUSALEM. Double] take in your hands, even the money that was returned in the mouth of your baggage, take back in your hands; perhaps it was done in error. And take Benjamin your brother, and arise, return to the man, and God the Almighty give you mercies before the man, that he may release to you your other brother, and Benjamin: and I, behold, I am now certified by the Holy Spirit that if I am bereaved of Joseph, I shall also be bereaved of Shimeon and of Benjamin. [Jerusalem And I, behold, if I be not bereaved of my son Joseph, so shall I not add to be bereaved of Shimeon and of Benjamin.]


The men took the present, and the money two for one in their hands, and they took Benjamin, and went down to Mizraim, and stood before Joseph. And Joseph saw Benjamin with them: and he said to Menasheh whom he had made superintendent over his house, Bring the men into the house, and unloose the house of slaughter, and take out the sinew that shrank, and prepare meat before them; for the man shall eat with me at the time of the noonjday meal. And the man did as Joseph had said, and the man brought the men into Joseph's house.


The men feared when they were brought into Joseph's house, and said, For the money that was returned in our sacks at the first are we brought in, that be may find occasion against us and condemn us, and sell us for slaves, and take our asses. And they drew near the man who bad been appointed intendant over Joseph's house, and spake with him at the gate of the house. And they said, We entreat you, my lord: we indeed came down at first to buy corn. But it was when we had come to our place of lodging, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, the money of a man was in the mouth of his sack: but we have brought it back in our hand. And other money have we brought down in hand to buy corn. We know not who put the money in our sacks. And he said, Peace to you; be not afraid of my lord. Your God and the God of your fathers gave you treasure in your sacks: your money came to me. And he brought out Shimeon to them.


The man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave them provender for their asses. And they made read the present against the entrance of Joseph at the noonjday feast; for they had heard from him that they were to eat bread there.


And Joseph entered the house, and they offered to him the present which was in their hands for the house; and bowed before him upon the ground. And Joseph saluted them, and said, Is it well with your father, the old man of whom you told me? Is be still alive? They answered, It is well with thy servant our father; he is yet alive. And they bowed and made obeisance. And he lifted up his eyes and saw Benjamin his brother, the son of his mother, and said, Is this your youngest brother of whom you told me? And he said, Mercy from the Lord be upon thee, my son!


And Joseph made haste, for his compassions were moved upon his brother, and he sought to weep, and he went into the chamber [JERUSALEM. Into the chamber] the house of sleep, and wept there. And he washed [JERUSALEM. And he washed] his face from tears, and came forth, and hastened and said, Set bread. And they set for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Mizraee who ate with him by themselves; for it was not proper for the Mizraee to eat bread with the Yehudaee, because the animals which the Mizraee worshipped the Yehudaee ate. And they sat around him, the greatest according to his majority, and the less according to his minority. For he had taken the silver cup in his hand, and, sounding[12] as if divining he had set in order the sons of Leah on one side, and the sons of Zilpha on the other side, and the sons of Bilhah on another side, and Benjamin the son of Rahel he ordered by the side of himself. And the men wondered each at the other. And he sent portions from his table, and they set them forth from him before them. But Benjamin's portion was larger than the portions of any of them; five portions: one was his own portion one portion from himself, one from his wife, and two portions from his two sons. And they drank and were drunken with him; for from the day when they were separated from him they had not drunk wine, neither he nor they, until that day.


XLIV. And he commanded Menasheh whom he bad appointed intendant of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with corn, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his bag. And put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his purchase money. And he did according to the word which Joseph had spoken The morning lightened, and the men were sent away, they and their asses. They had not gone far from city, when Joseph said to Measheh whom he had appointed the intendant of his house, Arise, follow after the men, overtake them and say to them, Why have ye returned evil for good ? Is it not that from which my lord drinketh, and by which divining he divineth? That which you have done is evil. [Jerusalem By which divining he divineth] And he overtook them, and spake with them all these words.


They said to him, Why does my lord speak words like these ? Far be it from thy servants to do such a thing. Behold, the money which we found in the mouth of our bags we brought to thee again from the land of Kenaan; how then should we steal from thy lord's house vessels of silver, or vessels of gold ? With whomsoever of thy servants it shall be found, let him be guilty of death, and we also will be slaves of thy lord. And he said, According to your words let it be. With whomsoever it is found he shall be my slave, but you shall be innocent.


And they made haste, and brought down each man his sack upon the ground, and every man opened his sack. And he searched beginning with Reuben, and ending with Benjamin. And the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. And they rent their clothes; but the strength of fortitude was given to them ; and they laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.


And Jehuda and his brethren entered into Joseph's house. He was yet there ; and they fell before him on the ground.


And Joseph said to them, What deed is this that you have done ? Could you not know that a man like me divining can divine? And Jehuda said to him What shall we say to my lord concerning the former


money, and what concerning the latter money ? and how shall we be acquitted concerning the cup ? From before the Lord there is sin found upon thy servants. Behold, we are my lord's servants, and he in whose hand the chalice hath been found. But he said, Far be it from me to do thus; the man in whose hand the chalice hath been found shall be my slave; but you, go up in peace to your father.

[1] Gomaya papyri.”

[2] Istakaph

[3] Shaphar, totondit.”

[4] Or, stricken.”

[5] Sarkan

[6] Or tender”

[7] Alkaphta

[8] Meturgeman

[9] Be-schalmatha

[10] Seraph Ketaph, liquid gum.” Lachrymea arborum, sive herbarum

[11] Letom, Arab., Landanon, gum of the cistus.”

[12] Tinkling” or ringing.”