The Antiquities of the Jews
Flavius Josephus

Part 2 out of 26

the multitude of his possessions. He promised him as before,
because he thought such an increase was not to be expected; but
when it appeared to be fact, he deceived him.

11. But then, as to the sacred images, he bid him search for
them; and when Laban accepted of the offer, Rachel, being
informed of it, put those images into that camel's saddle on
which she rode, and sat upon it; and said, that her natural
purgation hindered her rising up: so Laban left off searching any
further, not supposing that his daughter in such circumstances
would approach to those images. So he made a league with Jacob,
and bound it by oaths, that he would not bear him any malice on
account of what had happened; and Jacob made the like league, and
promised to love Laban's daughters. And these leagues they
confirmed with oaths also, which the made upon certain as whereon
they erected a pillar, in the form of an altar: whence that hill
is called Gilead; and from thence they call that land the Land of
Gilead at this day. Now when they had feasted, after the making
of the league, Laban returned home.


Concerning The Meeting Of Jacob And Esau.

1. Now as Jacob was proceeding on his journey to the land of
Canaan, angels appeared to him, and suggested to him good hope of
his future condition; and that place he named the Camp of God.
And being desirous of knowing what his brother's intentions were
to him, he sent messengers, to give him an exact account of every
thing, as being afraid, on account of the enmities between them.
He charged those that were sent, to say to Esau, "Jacob had
thought it wrong to live together with him while he was in anger
against him, and so had gone out of the country; and that he now,
thinking the length of time of his absence must have made up
their differences, was returning; that he brought with him his
wives, and his children, with what possessions he had gotten; and
delivered himself, with what was most dear to him, into his
hands; and should think it his greatest happiness to partake
together with his brother of what God had bestowed upon him." So
these messengers told him this message. Upon which Esau was very
glad, and met his brother with four hundred men. And Jacob, when
he heard that he was coming to meet him with such a number of
men, was greatly afraid: however, he committed his hope of
deliverance to God; and considered how, in his present
circumstances, he might preserve himself and those that were with
him, and overcome his enemies if they attacked him injuriously.
He therefore distributed his company into parts; some he sent
before the rest, and the others he ordered to come close behind,
that so, if the first were overpowered when his brother attacked
them, they might have those that followed as a refuge to fly
unto. And when he had put his company in this order, he sent some
of them to carry presents to his brother. The presents were made
up of cattle, and a great number of four-footed beasts, of many
kinds, such as would be very acceptable to those that received
them, on account of their rarity. Those who were sent went at
certain intervals of space asunder, that, by following thick, one
after another, they might appear to be more numerous, that Esau
might remit of his anger on account of these presents, if he were
still in a passion. Instructions were also given to those that
were sent to speak gently to him.

2. When Jacob had made these appointments all the day, and night
came on, he moved on with his company; and, as they were gone
over a certain river called Jabboc, Jacob was left behind; and
meeting with an angel, he wrestled with him, the angel beginning
the struggle: but he prevailed over the angel, who used a voice,
and spake to him in words, exhorting him to be pleased with what
had happened to him, and not to suppose that his victory was a
small one, but that he had overcome a divine angel, and to esteem
the victory as a sign of great blessings that should come to him,
and that his offspring should never fall, and that no man should
be too hard for his power. He also commanded him to be called
Israel, which in the Hebrew tongue signifies one that struggled
with the divine angel. (37) These promises were made at the
prayer of Jacob; for when he perceived him to be the angel of
God, he desired he would signify to him what should befall him
hereafter. And when the angel had said what is before related, he
disappeared; but Jacob was pleased with these things, and named
the place Phanuel, which signifies, the face of God. Now when he
felt pain, by this struggling, upon his broad sinew, he abstained
from eating that sinew himself afterward; and for his sake it is
still not eaten by us.

3. When Jacob understood that his brother was near, he ordered
his wives to go before, each by herself, with the handmaids, that
they might see the actions of the men as they were fighting, if
Esau were so disposed. He then went up to his brother Esau, and
bowed down to him, who had no evil design upon him, but saluted
him; and asked him about the company of the children and of the
women; and desired, when he had understood all he wanted to know
about them, that he would go along with him to their father; but
Jacob pretending that the cattle were weary, Esau returned to
Seir, for there was his place of habitation, he having named the
place Roughness, from his own hairy roughness.


Concerning The Violation Of Dina's Chastity.

1. Hereupon Jacob came to the place, till this day called Tents
(Succoth); from whence he went to Shechem, which is a city of the
Canaanites. Now as the Shechemites were keeping a festival Dina,
who was the only daughter of Jacob, went into the city to see the
finery of the women of that country. But when Shechem, the son of
Hamor the king, saw her, he defiled her by violence; and being
greatly in love with her, desired of his father that he would
procure the damsel to him for a wife. To which desire he
condescended, and came to Jacob, desiring him to give leave that
his son Shechem might, according to law, marry Dina. But Jacob,
not knowing how to deny the desire of one of such great dignity,
and yet not thinking it lawful to marry his daughter to a
stranger, entreated him to give him leave to have a consultation
about what he desired him to do. So the king went away, in hopes
that Jacob would grant him this marriage. But Jacob informed his
sons of the defilement of their sister, and of the address of
Hamor; and desired them to give their advice what they should do.
Upon fills, the greatest part said nothing, not knowing what
advice to give. But Simeon and Levi, the brethren of the damsel
by the same mother, agreed between themselves upon the action
following: It being now the time of a festival, when the
Shechemites were employed in ease and feasting, they fell upon
the watch when they were asleep, and, coming into the city, slew
all the males (38) as also the king, and his son, with them; but
spared the women. And when they had done this without their
father's consent, they brought away their sister.

2. Now while Jacob was astonished at the greatness of this act,
and was severely blaming his sons for it, God stood by him, and
bid him be of good courage; but to purify his tents, and to offer
those sacrifices which he had vowed to offer when he went first
into Mesopotamia, and saw his vision. As he was therefore
purifying his followers, he lighted upon the gods of Laban; (for
he did not before know they were stolen by Rachel;) and he hid
them in the earth, under an oak, in Shechem. And departing
thence, he offered sacrifice at Bethel, the place where he saw
his dream, when he went first into Mesopotamia.

3. And when he was gone thence, and was come over against
Ephrata, he there buried Rachel, who died in child-bed: she was
the only one of Jacob's kindred that had not the honor of burial
at Hebron. And when he had mourned for her a great while, he
called the son that was born of her Benjamin, (39) because of the
sorrow the mother had with him. These are all the children of
Jacob, twelve males and one female. - Of them eight were
legitimate, - viz. six of Lea, and two of Rachel; and four were
of the handmaids, two of each; all whose names have been set down


How Isaac Died, And Was Buried In Hebron.

From thence Jacob came to Hebron, a city situate among the
Canaanites; and there it was that Isaac lived: and so they lived
together for a little while; for as to Rebeka, Jacob did not find
her alive. Isaac also died not long after the coming of his son;
and was buried by his sons, with his wife, in Hebron, where they
had a monument belonging to them from their forefathers. Now
Isaac was a man who was beloved of God, and was vouchsafed great
instances of providence by God, after Abraham his father, and
lived to be exceeding old; for when he had lived virtuously one
hundred and eighty-five years, he then died.

Containing The Interval Of Two Hundred And Twenty Years.

From The Death Of Isaac To The Exodus Out Of Egypt.


How Esau And Jacob, Isaac's Sons Divided Their Habitation; And
Esau Possessed Idumea And Jacob Canaan.

1. After the death of Isaac, his sons divided their habitations
respectively; nor did they retain what they had before; but Esau
departed from the city of Hebron, and left it to his brother, and
dwelt in Seir, and ruled over Idumea. He called the country by
that name from himself, for he was named Adom; which appellation
he got on the following occasion : - One day returning from the
toil of hunting very hungry, (it was when he was a child in age,)
he lighted on his brother when he was getting ready
lentile-pottage for his dinner, which was of a very red color; on
which account he the more earnestly longed for it, and desired
him to give him some of it to eat: but he made advantage of his
brother's hunger, and forced him to resign up to him his
birthright; and he, being pinched with famine, resigned it up to
him, under an oath. Whence it came, that, on account of the
redness of this pottage, he was, in way of jest, by his
contemporaries, called Adom, for the Hebrews call what is red
Adom; and this was the name given to the country; but the Greeks
gave it a more agreeable pronunciation, and named it Idumea.

2. He became the father of five sons; of whom Jaus, and Jalomus,
and Coreus, were by one wife, whose name was Alibama; but of the
rest, Aliphaz was born to him by Ada, and Raguel by Basemmath:
and these were the sons of Esau. Aliphaz had five legitimate
sons; Theman, Omer, Saphus, Gotham, and Kanaz; for Amalek was not
legitimate, but by a concubine, whose name was Thamna. These
dwelt in that part of Idumea which is called Gebalitis, and that
denominated from Amalek, Amalekitis; for Idumea was a large
country, and did then preserve the name of the whole, while in
its several parts it kept the names of its peculiar inhabitants.


How Joseph, The Youngest Of Jacob's Sons, Was Envied By His
Brethren, When Certain Dreams Had Foreshown His Future Happiness.

1. It happened that Jacob came to so great happiness as rarely
any other person had arrived at. He was richer than the rest of
the inhabitants of that country; and was at once envied and
admired for such virtuous sons, for they were deficient in
nothing, but were of great souls, both for laboring with their
hands and enduring of toil; and shrewd also in understanding. And
God exercised such a providence over him, and such a care of his
happiness, as to bring him the greatest blessings, even out of
what appeared to be the most sorrowful condition; and to make him
the cause of our forefathers' departure out of Egypt, him and his
posterity. The occasion was this : - When Jacob had his son
Joseph born to him by Rachel, his father loved him above the rest
of his sons, both because of the beauty of his body, and the
virtues of his mind, for he excelled the rest in prudence. This
affection of his father excited the envy and the hatred of his
brethren; as did also his dreams which he saw, and related to his
father, and to them, which foretold his future happiness, it
being usual with mankind to envy their very nearest relations
such their prosperity. Now the visions which Joseph saw in his
sleep were these : -

2. When they were in the middle of harvest, and Joseph was sent
by his father, with his brethren, to gather the fruits of the
earth, he saw a vision in a dream, but greatly exceeding the
customary appearances that come when we are asleep; which, when
he was got up, he told his brethren, that they might judge what
it portended. He said, he saw the last night, that his
wheat-sheaf stood still in the place where he set it, but that
their sheaves ran to bow down to it, as servants bow down to
their masters. But as soon as they perceived the vision foretold
that he should obtain power and great wealth, and that his power
should be in opposition to them, they gave no interpretation of
it to Joseph, as if the dream were not by them undestood: but
they prayed that no part of what they suspected to be its meaning
might come to pass; and they bare a still greater hatred to him
on that account.

3. But God, in opposition to their envy, sent a second vision to
Joseph, which was much more wonderful than the former; for it
seemed to him that the sun took with him the moon, and the rest
of the stars, and came down to the earth, and bowed down to him.
He told the vision to his father, and that, as suspecting nothing
of ill-will from his brethren, when they were there also, and
desired him to interpret what it should signify. Now Jacob was
pleased with the dream: for, considering the prediction in his
mind, and shrewdly and wisely guessing at its meaning, he
rejoiced at the great things thereby signified, because it
declared the future happiness of his son; and that, by the
blessing of God, the time would come when he should be honored,
and thought worthy of worship by his parents and brethren, as
guessing that the moon and sun were like his mother and father;
the former, as she that gave increase and nourishment to all
things; and the latter, he that gave form and other powers to
them; and that the stars were like his brethren, since they were
eleven in number, as were the stars that receive their power from
the sun and moon.

4. And thus did Jacob make a judgment of this vision, and that a
shrewd one also. But these interpretations caused very great
grief to Joseph's brethren; and they were affected to him
hereupon as if he were a certain stranger, that was to those good
things which were signified by the dreams and not as one that was
a brother, with whom it was probable they should be
joint-partakers; and as they had been partners in the same
parentage, so should they be of the same happiness. They also
resolved to kill the lad; and having fully ratified that
intention of theirs, as soon as their collection of the fruits
was over, they went to Shechem, which is a country good for
feeding of cattle, and for pasturage; there they fed their
flocks, without acquainting their father with their removal
thither; whereupon he had melancholy suspicions about them, as
being ignorant of his sons' condition, and receiving no messenger
from the flocks that could inform him of the true state they were
in; so, because he was in great fear about them, he sent Joseph
to the flocks, to learn the circumstances his brethren were in,
and to bring him word how they did.


How Joseph Was Thus Sold By His Brethren Into Egypt, By Reason Of
Their Hatred To Him; And How He There Grew Famous And Illustrious
And Had His Brethren Under His Power.

1. Now these brethren rejoiced as soon as they saw their brother
coming to them, not indeed as at the presence of a near relation,
or as at the presence of one sent by their father, but as at the
presence of an enemy, and one that by Divine Providence was
delivered into their hands; and they already resolved to kill
him, and not let slip the opportunity that lay before them. But
when Reubel, the eldest of them, saw them thus disposed, and that
they had agreed together to execute their purpose, he tried to
restrain them, showing them the heinous enterprise they were
going about, and the horrid nature of it; that this action would
appear wicked in the sight of God, and impious before men, even
though they should kill one not related to them; but much more
flagitious and detestable to appear to have slain their own
brother, by which act the father must be treated unjustly in the
son's slaughter, and the mother (1) also be in perplexity while
she laments that her son is taken away from her, and this not in
a natural way neither. So he entreated them to have a regard to
their own consciences, and wisely to consider what mischief would
betide them upon the death of so good a child, and their youngest
brother; that they would also fear God, who was already both a
spectator and a witness of the designs they had against their
brother; that he would love them if they abstained from this act,
and yielded to repentance and amendment; but in case they
proceeded to do the fact, all sorts of punishments would overtake
them from God for this murder of their brother, since they
polluted his providence, which was every where present, and which
did not overlook what was done, either in deserts or in cities;
for wheresoever a man is, there ought he to suppose that God is
also. He told them further, that their consciences would be their
enemies, if they attempted to go through so wicked an enterprise,
which they can never avoid, whether it be a good conscience; or
whether it be such a one as they will have within them when once
they have killed their brother. He also added this besides to
what he had before said, that it was not a righteous thing to
kill a brother, though he had injured them; that it is a good
thing to forget the actions of such near friends, even in things
wherein they might seem to have offended; but that they were
going to kill Joseph, who had been guilty of nothing that was ill
towards them, in whose case the infirmity of his small age should
rather procure him mercy, and move them to unite together in the
care of his preservation. That the cause of killing him made the
act itself much worse, while they determined to take him off out
of envy at his future prosperity, an equal share of which they
would naturally partake while he enjoyed it, since they were to
him not strangers, but the nearest relations, for they might
reckon upon what God bestowed upon Joseph as their own; and that
it was fit for them to believe, that the anger of God would for
this cause be more severe upon them, if they slew him who was
judged by God to be worthy of that prosperity which was to be
hoped for; and while, by murdering him, they made it impossible
for God to bestow it upon him.

2. Reubel said these and many other things, and used entreaties
to them, and thereby endeavored to divert them from the murder of
their brother. But when he saw that his discourse had not
mollified them at all, and that they made haste to do the fact,
he advised them to alleviate the wickedness they were going
about, in the manner of taking Joseph off; for as he had exhorted
them first, when they were going to revenge themselves, to be
dissuaded from doing it; so, since the sentence for killing their
brother had prevailed, he said that they would not, however, be
so grossly guilty, if they would be persuaded to follow his
present advice, which would include what they were so eager
about, but was not so very bad, but, in the distress they were
in, of a lighter nature. He begged of them, therefore, not to
kill their brother with their own hands, but to cast him into the
pit that was hard by, and so to let him die; by which they would
gain so much, that they would not defile their own hands with his
blood. To this the young men readily agreed; so Reubel took the
lad and tied him to a cord, and let him down gently into the pit,
for it had no water at all in it; who, when he had done this,
went his way to seek for such pasturage as was fit for feeding
his flocks.

3. But Judas, being one of Jacob's sons also, seeing some
Arabians, of the posterity of Ismael, carrying spices and Syrian
wares out of the land of Gilead to the Egyptians, after Rubel was
gone, advised his brethren to draw Joseph out of the pit, and
sell him to the Arabians; for if he should die among strangers a
great way off, they should be freed from this barbarous action.
This, therefore, was resolved on; so they drew Joseph up out of
the pit, and sold him to the merchants for twenty pounds (2) He
was now seventeen years old. But Reubel, coming in the night-time
to the pit, resolved to save Joseph, without the privity of his
brethren; and when, upon his calling to him, he made no answer,
he was afraid that they had destroyed him after he was gone; of
which he complained to his brethren; but when they had told him
what they had done, Reubel left off his mourning.

4. When Joseph's brethren had done thus to him, they considered
what they should do to escape the suspicions of their father. Now
they had taken away from Joseph the coat which he had on when he
came to them at the time they let him down into the pit; so they
thought proper to tear that coat to pieces, and to dip it into
goats' blood, and then to carry it and show it to their father,
that he might believe he was destroyed by wild beasts. And when
they had so done, they came to the old man, but this not till
what had happened to his son had already come to his knowledge.
Then they said that they had not seen Joseph, nor knew what
mishap had befallen him; but that they had found his coat bloody
and torn to pieces, whence they had a suspicion that he had
fallen among wild beasts, and so perished, if that was the coat
he had on when he came from home. Now Jacob had before some
better hopes that his son was only made a captive; but now he
laid aside that notion, and supposed that this coat was an
evident argument that he was dead, for he well remembered that
this was the coat he had on when he sent him to his brethren; so
he hereafter lamented the lad as now dead, and as if he had been
the father of no more than one, without taking any comfort in the
rest; and so he was also affected with his misfortune before he
met with Joseph's brethren, when he also conjectured that Joseph
was destroyed by wild beasts. He sat down also clothed in
sackcloth and in heavy affliction, insomuch that he found no ease
when his sons comforted him, neither did his pains remit by
length of time.


Concerning The Signal Chastity Of Joseph.

1. Now Potiphar, an Egyptian, who was chief cook to king Pharaoh,
bought Joseph of the merchants, who sold him to him. He had him
in the greatest honor, and taught him the learning that became a
free man, and gave him leave to make use of a diet better than
was allotted to slaves. He intrusted also the care of his house
to him. So he enjoyed these advantages, yet did not he leave that
virtue which he had before, upon such a change of his condition;
but he demonstrated that wisdom was able to govern the uneasy
passions of life, in such as have it in reality, and do not only
put it on for a show, under a present state of prosperity.

2. For when his master's wife was fallen in love with him, both
on account of his beauty of body, and his dexterous management of
affairs; and supposed, that if she should make it known to him,
she could easily persuade him to come and lie with her, and that
he would look upon it as a piece of happy fortune that his
mistress should entreat him, as regarding that state of slavery
he was in, and not his moral character, which continued after his
condition was changed. So she made known her naughty
inclinations, and spake to him about lying with her. However, he
rejected her entreaties, not thinking it agreeable to religion to
yield so far to her, as to do what would tend to the affront and
injury of him that purchased him, and had vouchsafed him so great
honors. He, on the contrary, exhorted her to govern that passion;
and laid before her the impossibility of her obtaining her
desires, which he thought might be conquered, if she had no hope
of succeeding; and he said, that as to himself, he would endure
any thing whatever before he would be persuaded to it; for
although it was fit for a slave, as he was, to do nothing
contrary to his mistress, he might well be excused in a case
where the contradiction was to such sort of commands only. But
this opposition of Joseph, when she did not expect it, made her
still more violent in her love to him; and as she was sorely
beset with this naughty passion, so she resolved to compass her
design by a second attempt.

3. When, therefore, there was a public festival coming on, in
which it was the custom for women to come to the public
solemnity; she pretended to her husband that she was sick, as
contriving an opportunity for solitude and leisure, that she
might entreat Joseph again. Which opportunity being obtained, she
used more kind words to him than before; and said that it had
been good for him to have yielded to her first solicitation, and
to have given her no repulse, both because of the reverence he
ought to bear to her dignity who solicited him, and because of
the vehemence of her passion, by which she was forced though she
were his mistress to condescend beneath her dignity; but that he
may now, by taking more prudent advice, wipe off the imputation
of his former folly; for whether it were that he expected the
repetition of her solicitations she had now made, and that with
greater earnestness than before, for that she had pretended
sickness on this very account, and had preferred his conversation
before the festival and its solemnity; or whether he opposed her
former discourses, as not believing she could be in earnest; she
now gave him sufficient security, by thus repeating her
application, that she meant not in the least by fraud to impose
upon him; and assured him, that if he complied with her
affections, he might expect the enjoyment of the advantages he
already had; and if he were submissive to her, he should have
still greater advantages; but that he must look for revenge and
hatred from her, in case he rejected her desires, and preferred
the reputation of chastity before his mistress; for that he would
gain nothing by such procedure, because she would then become his
accuser, and would falsely pretend to her husband, that he had
attempted her chastity; and that Potiphar would hearken to her
words rather than to his, let his be ever so agreeable to the

4. When the woman had said thus, and even with tears in her eyes,
neither did pity dissuade Joseph from his chastity, nor did fear
compel him to a compliance with her; but he opposed her
solicitations, and did not yield to her threatenings, and was
afraid to do an ill thing, and chose to undergo the sharpest
punishment rather than to enjoy his present advantages, by doing
what his own conscience knew would justly deserve that he should
die for it. He also put her in mind that she was a married woman,
and that she ought to cohabit with her husband only; and desired
her to suffer these considerations to have more weight with her
than the short pleasure of lustful dalliance, which would bring
her to repentance afterwards, would cause trouble to her, and yet
would not amend what had been done amiss. He also suggested to
her the fear she would be in lest they should be caught; and that
the advantage of concealment was uncertain, and that only while
the wickedness was not known [would there be any quiet for them];
but that she might have the enjoyment of her husband's company
without any danger. And he told her, that in the company of her
husband she might have great boldness from a good conscience,
both before God and before men. Nay, that she would act better
like his mistress, and make use of her authority over him better
while she persisted in her chastity, than when they were both
ashamed for what wickedness they had been guilty of; and that it
is much better to a life, well and known to have been so, than
upon the hopes of the concealment of evil practices.

5. Joseph, by saying this, and more, tried to restrain the
violent passion of the woman, and to reduce her affections within
the rules of reason; but she grew more ungovernable and earnest
in the matter; and since she despaired of persuading him, she
laid her hands upon him, and had a mind to force him. But as soon
as Joseph had got away from her anger, leaving also his garment
with her, for he left that to her, and leaped out of her chamber,
she was greatly afraid lest he should discover her lewdness to
her husband, and greatly troubled at the affront he had offered
her; so she resolved to be beforehand with him, and to accuse
Joseph falsely to Potiphar, and by that means to revenge herself
on him for his pride and contempt of her; and she thought it a
wise thing in itself, and also becoming a woman, thus to prevent
his accusation. Accordingly she sat sorrowful and in confusion,
framing herself so hypocritically and angrily, that the sorrow,
which was really for her being disappointed of her lust, might
appear to be for the attempt upon her chastity; so that when her
husband came home, and was disturbed at the sight of her and
inquired what was the cause of the disorder she was in, she began
to accuse Joseph: and, "O husband," said she, "mayst thou not
live a day longer if thou dost not punish the wicked slave who
has desired to defile thy bed; who has neither minded who he was
when he came to our house, so as to behave himself with modesty;
nor has he been mindful of what favors he had received from thy
bounty (as he must be an ungrateful man indeed, unless he, in
every respect, carry himself in a manner agreeable to us): this
man, I say, laid a private design to abuse thy wife, and this at
the time of a festival, observing when thou wouldst be absent. So
that it now is clear that his modesty, as it appeared to be
formerly, was only because of the restraint he was in out of fear
of thee, but that he was not really of a good disposition. This
has been occasioned by his being advanced to honor beyond what he
deserved, and what he hoped for; insomuch that he concluded, that
he who was deemed fit to be trusted with thy estate and the
government of thy family, and was preferred above thy eldest
servants, might be allowed to touch thy wife also." Thus when she
had ended her discourse, she showed him his garment, as if he
then left it with her when he attempted to force her. But
Potiphar not being able to disbelieve what his wife's tears
showed, and what his wife said, and what he saw himself, and
being seduced by his love to his wife, did not set himself about
the examination of the truth; but taking it for granted that his
wife was a modest woman, and condemning Joseph as a wicked man,
he threw him into the malefactors' prison; and had a still higher
opinion of his wife, and bare her witness that she was a woman of
a becoming modesty and chastity.


What Things Befell Joseph In Prison.

1. Now Joseph, commending all his affairs to God, did not betake
himself to make his defense, nor to give an account of the exact
circumstances of the fact, but silently underwent the bonds and
the distress he was in, firmly believing that God, who knew the
cause of his affliction, and the truth of the fact, would be more
powerful than those that inflicted the punishments upon him : - a
proof of whose providence he quickly received; for the keeper of
the prison taking notice of his care and fidelity in the affairs
he had set him about, and the dignity of his countenance, relaxed
his bonds, and thereby made his heavy calamity lighter, and more
supportable to him. He also permitted him to make use of a diet
better than that of the rest of the prisoners. Now, as his fellow
prisoners, when their hard labors were over, fell to discoursing
one among another, as is usual in such as are equal sufferers,
and to inquire one of another what were the occasions of their
being condemned to a prison: among them the king's cupbearer, and
one that had been respected by him, was put in bonds, upon the
king's anger at him. This man was under the same bonds with
Joseph, and grew more familiar with him; and upon his observing
that Joseph had a better understanding than the rest had, he told
him of a dream he had, and desired he would interpret its
meaning, complaining that, besides the afflictions he underwent
from the king, God did also add to him trouble from his dreams.

2. He therefore said, that in his sleep he saw three clusters of
grapes hanging upon three branches of a vine, large already, and
ripe for gathering; and that he squeezed them into a cup which
the king held in his hand; and when he had strained the wine, he
gave it to the king to drink, and that he received it from him
with a pleasant countenance. This, he said, was what he saw; and
he desired Joseph, that if he had any portion of understanding in
such matters, he would tell him what this vision foretold. Who
bid him be of good cheer, and expect to be loosed from his bonds
in three days' time, because the king desired his service, and
was about to restore him to it again; for he let him know that
God bestows the fruit of the vine upon men for good; which wine
is poured out to him, and is the pledge of fidelity and mutual
confidence among men; and puts an end to their quarrels, takes
away passion and grief out of the minds of them that use it, and
makes them cheerful. "Thou sayest that thou didst squeeze this
wine from three clusters of grapes with thine hands, and that the
king received it: know, therefore, that this vision is for thy
good, and foretells a release from thy present distress within
the same number of days as the branches had whence thou
gatheredst thy grapes in thy sleep. However, remember what
prosperity I have foretold thee when thou hast found it true by
experience; and when thou art in authority, do not overlook us in
this prison, wherein thou wilt leave us when thou art gone to the
place we have foretold; for we are not in prison for any crime;
but for the sake of our virtue and sobriety are we condemned to
suffer the penalty of malefactors, and because we are not willing
to injure him that has thus distressed us, though it were for our
own pleasure." The cupbearer, therefore, as was natural to do,
rejoiced to hear such an interpretation of his dream, and waited
the completion of what had been thus shown him beforehand.

3. But another servant there was of the king, who had been chief
baker, and was now bound in prison with the cupbearer; he also
was in good hope, upon Joseph's interpretation of the other's
vision, for he had seen a dream also; so he desired that Joseph
would tell him what the visions he had seen the night before
might mean. They were these that follow: - "Methought," says he,
"I carried three baskets upon my head; two were full of loaves,
and the third full of sweetmeats and other eatables, such as are
prepared for kings; but that the fowls came flying, and eat them
all up, and had no regard to my attempt to drive them away." And
he expected a prediction like to that of the cupbearer. But
Joseph, considering and reasoning about the dream, said to him,
that he would willingly be an interpreter of good events to him,
and not of such as his dream denounced to him; but he told him
that he had only three days in all to live, for that the [three]
baskets signify, that on the third day he should be crucified,
and devoured by fowls, while he was not able to help himself. Now
both these dreams had the same several events that Joseph
foretold they should have, and this to both the parties; for on
the third day before mentioned, when the king solemnized his
birth-day, he crucified the chief baker, but set the butler free
from his bonds, and restored him to his former ministration.

4. But God freed Joseph from his confinement, after he had
endured his bonds two years, and had received no assistance from
the cupbearer, who did not remember what he had said to him
formerly; and God contrived this method of deliverance for him.
Pharaoh the king had seen in his sleep the same evening two
visions; and after them had the interpretations of them both
given him. He had forgotten the latter, but retained the dreams
themselves. Being therefore troubled at what he had seen, for it
seemed to him to be all of a melancholy nature, the next day he
called together the wisest men among the Egyptians, desiring to
learn from them the interpretation of his dreams. But when they
hesitated about them, the king was so much the more disturbed.
And now it was that the memory of Joseph, and his skill in
dreams, came into the mind of the king's cupbearer, when he saw
the confusion that Pharaoh was in; so he came and mentioned
Joseph to him, as also the vision he had seen in prison, and how
the event proved as he had said; as also that the chief baker was
crucified on the very same day; and that this also happened to
him according to the interpretation of Joseph. That Joseph
himself was laid in bonds by Potiphar, who was his head cook, as
a slave; but, he said, he was one of the noblest of the stock of
the Hebrews; and said further, his father lived in great
splendor. "If, therefore, thou wilt send for him, and not despise
him on the score of his misfortunes, thou wilt learn what thy
dreams signify." So the king commanded that they should bring
Joseph into his presence; and those who received the command came
and brought him with them, having taken care of his habit, that
it might be decent, as the king had enjoined them to do.

5. But the king took him by the hand; and, "O young man," says
he, "for my servant bears witness that thou art at present the
best and most skillful person I can consult with; vouchsafe me
the same favors which thou bestowedst on this servant of mine,
and tell me what events they are which the visions of my dreams
foreshow; and I desire thee to suppress nothing out of fear, nor
to flatter me with lying words, or with what may please me,
although the truth should be of a melancholy nature. For it
seemed to me that, as I walked by the river, I saw kine fat and
very large, seven in number, going from the river to the marshes;
and other kine of the same number like them, met them out of the
marshes, exceeding lean and ill-favored, which ate up the fat and
the large kine, and yet were no better than before, and not less
miserably pinched with famine. After I had seen this vision, I
awaked out of my sleep; and being in disorder, and considering
with myself what this appearance should be, I fell asleep again,
and saw another dream, much more wonderful than the foregoing,
which still did more affright and disturb me: - I saw seven ears
of corn growing out of one root, having their heads borne down by
the weight of the grains, and bending down with the fruit, which
was now ripe and fit for reaping; and near these I saw seven
other ears of corn, meager and weak, for want of rain, which fell
to eating and consuming those that were fit for reaping, and put
me into great astonishment."

6. To which Joseph replied: - "This dream," said he, "O king,
although seen under two forms, signifies one and the same event
of things; for when thou sawest the fat kine, which is an animal
made for the plough and for labor, devoured by the worser kine,
and the ears of corn eaten up by the smaller ears, they foretell
a famine, and want of the fruits of the earth for the same number
of years, and equal with those when Egypt was in a happy state;
and this so far, that the plenty of these years will be spent in
the same number of years of scarcity, and that scarcity of
necessary provisions will be very difficult to be corrected; as a
sign whereof, the ill-favored kine, when they had devoured the
better sort, could not be satisfied. But still God foreshows what
is to come upon men, not to grieve them, but that, when they know
it beforehand, they may by prudence make the actual experience of
what is foretold the more tolerable. If thou, therefore,
carefully dispose of the plentiful crops which will come in the
former years, thou wilt procure that the future calamity will not
be felt by the Egyptians."

7. Hereupon the king wondered at the discretion and wisdom of
Joseph; and asked him by what means he might so dispense the
foregoing plentiful crops in the happy years, as to make the
miserable crops more tolerable. Joseph then added this his
advice: To spare the good crops, and not permit the Egyptians to
spend them luxuriously, but to reserve what they would have spent
in luxury beyond their necessity against the time of want. He
also exhorted him to take the corn of the husbandmen, and give
them only so much as will be sufficient for their food.
Accordingly Pharaoh being surprised at Joseph, not only for his
interpretation of the dream, but for the counsel he had given
him, intrusted him with dispensing the corn; with power to do
what he thought would be for the benefit of the people of Egypt,
and for the benefit of the king, as believing that he who first
discovered this method of acting, would prove the best overseer
of it. But Joseph having this power given him by the king, with
leave to make use of his seal, and to wear purple, drove in his
chariot through all the land of Egypt, and took the corn of the
husbandmen, (3) allotting as much to every one as would be
sufficient for seed, and for food, but without discovering to any
one the reason why he did so.


How Joseph When He Was Become Famous In Egypt, Had His Brethren
In Subjection.

1. Joseph was now grown up to thirty years of age, and enjoyed
great honors from the king, who called him Psothom Phanech, out
of regard to his prodigious degree of wisdom; for that name
denotes the revealer of secrets. He also married a wife of very
high quality; for he married the daughter of Petephres, (4) one
of the priests of Heliopolis; she was a virgin, and her name was
Asenath. By her he had children before the scarcity came on;
Manasseh, the elder, which signifies forgetful, because his
present happiness made him forget his former misfortunes; and
Ephraim, the younger, which signifies restored, because he was
restored to the freedom of his forefathers. Now after Egypt had
happily passed over seven years, according to Joseph's
interpretation of the dreams, the famine came upon them in the
eighth year; and because this misfortune fell upon them when they
had no sense of it beforehand, (5) they were all sorely afflicted
by it, and came running to the king's gates; and he called upon
Joseph, who sold the corn to them, being become confessedly a
savior to the whole multitude of the Egyptians. Nor did he open
this market of corn for the people of that country only, but
strangers had liberty to buy also; Joseph being willing that all
men, who are naturally akin to one another, should have
assistance from those that lived in happiness.

2. Now Jacob also, when he understood that foreigners might come,
sent all his sons into Egypt to buy corn, for the land of Canaan
was grievously afflicted with the famine; and this great misery
touched the whole continent. He only retained Benjamin, who was
born to him by Rachel, and was of the same mother with Joseph.
These sons of Jacob then came into Egypt, and applied themselves
to Joseph, wanting to buy corn; for nothing of this kind was done
without his approbation, since even then only was the honor that
was paid the king himself advantageous to the persons that paid
it, when they took care to honor Joseph also. Now when he well
knew his brethren, they thought nothing of him; for he was but a
youth when he left them, and was now come to an age so much
greater, that the lineaments of his face were changed, and he was
not known by them: besides this, the greatness of the dignity
wherein he appeared, suffered them not so much as to suspect it
was he. He now made trial what sentiments they had about affairs
of the greatest consequence; for he refused to sell them corn,
and said they were come as spies of the king's affairs; and that
they came from several countries, and joined themselves together,
and pretended that they were of kin, it not being possible that a
private man should breed up so many sons, and those of so great
beauty of countenance as they were, such an education of so many
children being not easily obtained by kings themselves. Now this
he did in order to discover what concerned his father, and what
happened to him after his own departure from him, and as desiring
to know what was become of Benjamin his brother; for he was
afraid that they had ventured on the like wicked enterprise
against him that they had done to himself, and had taken him off

3. Now these brethren of his were under distraction and terror,
and thought that very great danger hung over them; yet not at all
reflecting upon their brother Joseph, and standing firm under the
accusations laid against them, they made their defense by Reubel,
the eldest of them, who now became their spokesman: "We come not
hither," said he, "with any unjust design, nor in order to bring
any harm to the king's affairs; we only want to be preserved, as
supposing your humanity might be a refuge for us from the
miseries which our country labors under, we having heard that you
proposed to sell corn, not only to your own countrymen, but to
strangers also, and that you determined to allow that corn, in
order to preserve all that want it; but that we are brethren, and
of the same common blood, the peculiar lineaments of our faces,
and those not so much different from one another, plainly show.
Our father's name is Jacob, an Hebrew man, who had twelve of us
for his sons by four wives; which twelve of us, while we were all
alive, were a happy family; but when one of our brethren, whose
name was Joseph, died, our affairs changed for the worse, for our
father could not forbear to make a long lamentation for him; and
we are in affliction, both by the calamity of the death of our
brother, and the miserable state of our aged father. We are now,
therefore, come to buy corn, having intrusted the care of our
father, and the provision for our family, to Benjamin, our
youngest brother; and if thou sendest to our house, thou mayst
learn whether we are guilty of the least falsehood in what we

4. And thus did Reubel endeavor to persuade Joseph to have a
better opinion of them. But when he had learned from them that
Jacob was alive, and that his brother was not destroyed by them,
he for the present put them in prison, as intending to examine
more into their affairs when he should be at leisure. But on the
third day he brought them out, and said to them, "Since you
constantly affirm that you are not come to do any harm to the
king's affairs; that you are brethren, and the sons of the father
whom you named; you will satisfy me of the truth of what you say,
if you leave one of your company with me, who shall suffer no
injury here; and if, when ye have carried corn to your father,
you will come to me again, and bring your brother, whom you say
you left there, along with you, for this shall be by me esteemed
an assurance of the truth of what you have told me." Hereupon
they were in greater grief than before; they wept, and
perpetually deplored one among another the calamity of Joseph;
and said, "They were fallen into this misery as a punishment
inflicted by God for what evil contrivances they had against
him." And Reubel was large in his reproaches of them for their
too late repentance, whence no profit arose to Joseph; and
earnestly exhorted them to bear with patience whatever they
suffered, since it was done by God in way of punishment, on his
account. Thus they spake to one another, not imagining that
Joseph understood their language. A general sadness also seized
on them at Reubel's words, and a repentance for what they had
done; and they condemned the wickedness they had perpetrated, for
which they judged they were justly punished by God. Now when
Joseph saw that they were in this distress, he was so affected at
it that he fell into tears, and not being willing that they
should take notice of him, he retired; and after a while came to
them again, and taking Symeon (6) in order to his being a pledge
for his brethren's return, he bid them take the corn they had
bought, and go their way. He also commanded his steward privily
to put the money which they had brought with them for the
purchase of corn into their sacks, and to dismiss them therewith;
who did what he was commanded to do.

5. Now when Jacob's sons were come into the land of Canaan, they
told their father what had happened to them in Egypt, and that
they were taken to have come thither as spies upon the king; and
how they said they were brethren, and had left their eleventh
brother with their father, but were not believed; and how they
had left Symeon with the governor, until Benjamin should go
thither, and be a testimonial of the truth of what they had said:
and they begged of their father to fear nothing, but to send the
lad along with them. But Jacob was not pleased with any thing his
sons had done; and he took the detention of Symeon heinously, and
thence thought it a foolish thing to give up Benjamin also.
Neither did he yield to Reubel's persuasion, though he begged it
of him, and gave leave that the grandfather might, in way of
requital, kill his own sons, in case any harm came to Benjamin in
the journey. So they were distressed, and knew not what to do;
nay, there was another accident that still disturbed them more, -
the money that was found hidden in their sacks of corn. Yet when
the corn they had brought failed them, and when the famine still
afflicted them, and necessity forced them, Jacob did (7) [not]
still resolve to send Benjamin with his brethren, although there
was no returning into Egypt unless they came with what they had
promised. Now the misery growing every day worse, and his sons
begging it of him, he had no other course to take in his present
circumstances. And Judas, who was of a bold temper on other
occasions, spake his mind very freely to him: "That it did not
become him to be afraid on account of his son, nor to suspect the
worst, as he did; for nothing could be done to his son but by the
appointment of God, which must also for certain come to pass,
though he were at home with him; that he ought not to condemn
them to such manifest destruction; nor deprive them of that
plenty of food they might have from Pharaoh, by his unreasonable
fear about his son Benjamin, but ought to take care of the
preservation of Symeon, lest, by attempting to hinder Benjamin's
journey, Symeon should perish. He exhorted him to trust God for
him; and said he would either bring his son back to him safe, or,
together with his, lose his own life." So that Jacob was at
length persuaded, and delivered Benjamin to them, with the price
of the corn doubled; he also sent presents to Joseph of the
fruits of the land of Canaan, balsam and rosin, as also
turpentine and honey. (8) Now their father shed many tears at the
departure of his sons, as well as themselves. His concern was,
that he might receive them back again safe after their journey;
and their concern was, that they might find their father well,
and no way afflicted with grief for them. And this lamentation
lasted a whole day; so that the old man was at last tired with
grief, and staid behind; but they went on their way for Egypt,
endeavoring to mitigate their grief for their present
misfortunes, with the hopes of better success hereafter.

6. As soon as they came into Egypt, they were brought down to
Joseph: but here no small fear disturbed them, lest they should
be accused about the price of the corn, as if they had cheated
Joseph. They then made a long apology to Joseph's steward; and
told him, that when they came home they found the money in their
sacks, and that they had now brought it along with them. He said
he did not know what they meant: so they were delivered from that
fear. And when he had loosed Symeon, and put him into a handsome
habit, he suffered him to be with his brethren; at which time
Joseph came from his attendance on the king. So they offered him
their presents; and upon his putting the question to them about
their father, they answered that they found him well. He also,
upon his discovery that Benjamin was alive, asked whether this
was their younger brother; for he had seen him. Whereupon they
said he was: he replied, that the God over all was his protector.
But when his affection to him made him shed tears, he retired,
desiring he might not be seen in that plight by his brethren.
Then Joseph took them to supper, and they were set down in the
same order as they used to sit at their father's table. And
although Joseph treated them all kindly, yet did he send a mess
to Benjamin that was double to what the rest of the guests had
for their shares.

7. Now when after supper they had composed themselves to sleep,
Joseph commanded his steward both to give them their measures of
corn, and to hide its price again in their sacks; and that withal
they should put into Benjamin's sack the golden cup, out of which
he loved himself to drink. - which things he did, in order to
make trial of his brethren, whether they would stand by Benjamin
when he should be accused of having stolen the cup, and should
appear to be in danger; or whether they would leave him, and,
depending on their own innocency, go to their father without him.
When the servant had done as he was bidden, the sons of Jacob,
knowing nothing of all this, went their way, and took Symeon
along with them, and had a double cause of joy, both because they
had received him again, and because they took back Benjamin to
their father, as they had promised. But presently a troop of
horsemen encompassed them, and brought with them Joseph's
servant, who had put the cup into Benjamin's sack. Upon which
unexpected attack of the horsemen they were much disturbed, and
asked what the reason was that they came thus upon men, who a
little before had been by their lord thought worthy of an
honorable and hospitable reception? They replied, by calling them
wicked wretches, who had forgot that very hospitable and kind
treatment which Joseph had given them, and did not scruple to be
injurious to him, and to carry off that cup out of which he had,
in so friendly a manner, drank to them, and not regarding their
friendship with Joseph, no more than the danger they should be in
if they were taken, in comparison of the unjust gain. Hereupon he
threatened that they should be punished; for though they had
escaped the knowledge of him who was but a servant, yet had they
not escaped the knowledge of God, nor had gone off with what they
had stolen; and, after all, asked why we come upon them, as if
they knew nothing of the matter: and he told them that they
should immediately know it by their punishment. This, and more of
the same nature, did the servant say, in way of reproach to them:
but they being wholly ignorant of any thing here that concerned
them, laughed at what he said, and wondered at the abusive
language which the servant gave them, when he was so hardy as to
accuse those who did not before so much as retain the price of
their corn, which was found in their sacks, but brought it again,
though nobody else knew of any such thing, - so far were they
from offering any injury to Joseph voluntarily. But still,
supposing that a search would be a more sure justification of
themselves than their own denial of the fact, they bid him search
them, and that if any of them had been guilty of the theft, to
punish them all; for being no way conscious to themselves of any
crime, they spake with assurance, and, as they thought, without
any danger to themselves also. The servants desired there might
be a search made; but they said the punishment should extend to
him alone who should be found guilty of the theft. So they made
the search; and, having searched all the rest, they came last of
all to Benjamin, as knowing it was Benjamin's sack in which they
had hidden the cup, they having indeed searched the rest only for
a show of accuracy: so the rest were out of fear for themselves,
and were now only concerned about Benjamin, but still were well
assured that he would also be found innocent; and they reproached
those that came after them for their hindering them, while they
might, in the mean while, have gotten a good way on their
journey. But as soon as they had searched Benjamin's sack, they
found the cup, and took it from him; and all was changed into
mourning and lamentation. They rent their garments, and wept for
the punishment which their brother was to undergo for his theft,
and for the delusion they had put on their father, when they
promised they would bring Benjamin safe to him. What added to
their misery was, that this melancholy accident came
unfortunately at a time when they thought they had been gotten
off clear; but they confessed that this misfortune of their
brother, as well as the grief of their father for him, was owing
to themselves, since it was they that forced their father to send
him with them, when he was averse to it.

8. The horsemen therefore took Benjamin and brought him to
Joseph, his brethren also following him; who, when he saw him in
custody, and them in the habit of mourners, said, "How came you,
vile wretches as you are, to have such a strange notion of my
kindness to you, and of God's providence, as impudently to do
thus to your benefactor, who in such an hospitable manner had
entertained you ?" Whereupon they gave up themselves to be
punished, in order to save Benjamin; and called to mind what a
wicked enterprise they had been guilty of against Joseph. They
also pronounced him more happy than themselves, if he were dead,
in being freed from the miseries of this life; and if he were
alive, that he enjoyed the pleasure of seeing God's vengeance
upon them. They said further; that they were the plague of their
father, since they should now add to his former affliction for
Joseph, this other affliction for Benjamin. Reubel also was large
in cutting them upon this occasion. But Joseph dismissed them;
for he said they had been guilty of no offense, and that he would
content himself with the lad's punishment; for he said it was not
a fit thing to let him go free, for the sake of those who had not
offended; nor was it a fit thing to punish them together with him
who had been guilty of stealing. And when he promised to give
them leave to go away in safety, the rest of them were under
great consternation, and were able to say nothing on this sad
occasion. But Judas, who had persuaded their father to send the
lad from him, being otherwise also a very bold and active man,
determined to hazard himself for the preservation of his brother.
"It is true," (9) said he, "O governor, that we have been very
wicked with regard to thee, and on that account deserved
punishment; even all of us may justly be punished, although the
theft were not committed by all, but only by one of us, and he
the youngest also; but yet there remains some hope for us, who
otherwise must be under despair on his account, and this from thy
goodness, which promises us a deliverance out of our present
danger. And now I beg thou wilt not look at us, or at that great
crime we have been guilty of, but at thy own excellent nature,
and take advice of thine own virtue, instead of that wrath thou
hast against us; which passion those that otherwise are of lower
character indulge, as they do their strength, and that not only
on great, but also on very trifling occasions. Overcome, sir,
that passion, and be not subdued by it, nor suffer it to slay
those that do not otherwise presume upon their own safety, but
are desirous to accept of it from thee; for this is not the first
time that thou wilt bestow it on us, but before, when we came to
buy corn, thou affordedst us great plenty of food, and gavest us
leave to carry so much home to our family as has preserved them
from perishing by famine. Nor is there any difference between not
overlooking men that were perishing for want of necessaries, and
not punishing those that seem to be offenders, and have been so
unfortunate as to lose the advantage of that glorious benefaction
which they received from thee. This will be an instance of equal
favor, though bestowed after a different manner; for thou wilt
save those this way whom thou didst feed the other; and thou wilt
hereby preserve alive, by thy own bounty, those souls which thou
didst not suffer to be distressed by famine, it being indeed at
once a wonderful and a great thing to sustain our lives by corn,
and to bestow on us that pardon, whereby, now we are distressed,
we may continue those lives. And I am ready to suppose that God
is willing to afford thee this opportunity of showing thy
virtuous disposition, by bringing us into this calamity, that it
may appear thou canst forgive the injuries that are done to
thyself, and mayst be esteemed kind to others, besides those who,
on other accounts, stand in need of thy assistance; since it is
indeed a right thing to do well to those who are in distress for
want of food, but still a more glorious thing to save those who
deserve to be punished, when it is on account of heinous offenses
against thyself; for if it be a thing deserving commendation to
forgive such as have been guilty of small offenses, that tend to
a person's loss, and this be praiseworthy in him that overlooks
such offenses, to restrain a man's passion as to crimes which are
capital to the guilty, is to be like the most excellent nature of
God himself. And truly, as for myself, had it not been that we
had a father, who had discovered, on occasion of the death of
Joseph, how miserably he is always afflicted at the loss of his
sons, I had not made any words on account of the saving of our
own lives; I mean, any further than as that would be an excellent
character for thyself, to preserve even those that would have
nobody to lament them when they were dead, but we would have
yielded ourselves up to suffer whatsoever thou pleasedst; but now
(for we do not plead for mercy to ourselves, though indeed, if we
die, it will be while we are young, and before we have had the
enjoyment of life) have regard to our father, and take pity of
his old age, on whose account it is that we make these
supplications to thee. We beg thou wilt give us those lives which
this wickedness of ours has rendered obnoxious to thy punishment;
and this for his sake who is not himself wicked, nor does his
being our father make us wicked. He is a good man, and not worthy
to have such trials of his patience; and now, we are absent, he
is afflicted with care for us. But if he hear of our deaths, and
what was the cause of it, he will on that account die an immature
death; and the reproachful manner of our ruin will hasten his
end, and will directly kill him; nay, will bring him to a
miserable death, while he will make haste to rid himself out of
the world, and bring himself to a state of insensibility, before
the sad story of our end come abroad into the rest of the world.
Consider these things in this manner, although our wickedness
does now provoke thee with a just desire of punishing that
wickedness, and forgive it for our father's sake; and let thy
commiseration of him weigh more with thee than our wickedness.
Have regard to the old age of our father, who, if we perish, will
be very lonely while he lives, and will soon die himself also.
Grant this boon to the name of fathers, for thereby thou wilt
honor him that begat thee, and will grant it to thyself also, who
enjoyest already that denomination; thou wilt then, by that
denomination, be preserved of God, the Father of all, - by
showing a pious regard to which, in the case of our father, thou
wilt appear to honor him who is styled by the same name; I mean,
if thou wilt have this pity on our father, upon this
consideration, how miserable he will be if he be deprived of his
sons! It is thy part therefore to bestow on us what God has given
us, when it is in thy power to take it away, and so to resemble
him entirely in charity; for it is good to use that power, which
can either give or take away, on the merciful side; and when it
is in thy power to destroy, to forget that thou ever hadst that
power, and to look on thyself as only allowed power for
preservation; and that the more any one extends this power, the
greater reputation does he gain to himself. Now, by forgiving our
brother what he has unhappily committed, thou wilt preserve us
all; for we cannot think of living if he be put to death, since
we dare not show ourselves alive to our father without our
brother, but here must we partake of one and the same catastrophe
of his life. And so far we beg of thee, O governor, that if thou
condemnest our brother to die, thou wilt punish us together with
him, as partners of his crime, - for we shall not think it
reasonable to be reserved to kill ourselves for grief of our
brother's death, but so to die rather as equally guilty with him
of this crime. I will only leave with thee this one
consideration, and then will say no more, viz. that our brother
committed this fault when he was young, and not yet of confirmed
wisdom in his conduct; and that men naturally forgive such young
persons. I end here, without adding what more I have to say, that
in case thou condemnest us, that omission may be supposed to have
hurt us, and permitted thee to take the severer side. But in case
thou settest us free, that this may be ascribed to thy own
goodness, of which thou art inwardly conscious, that thou freest
us from condemnation; and that not by barely preserving us, but
by granting us such a favor as will make us appear more righteous
than we really are, and by representing to thyself more motives
for our deliverance than we are able to produce ourselves. If,
therefore, thou resolvest to slay him, I desire thou wilt slay me
in his stead, and send him back to his father; or if thou
pleasest to retain him with thee as a slave, I am fitter to labor
for thy advantage in that capacity, and, as thou seest, am better
prepared for either of those sufferings." So Judas, being very
willing to undergo any thing whatever for the deliverance of his
brother, cast himself down at Joseph's feet, and earnestly
labored to assuage and pacify his anger. All his brethren also
fell down before him, weeping and delivering themselves up to
destruction for the preservation of the life of Benjamin.

10. But Joseph, as overcome now with his affections, and no
longer able to personate an angry man, commanded all that were
present to depart, that he might make himself known to his
brethren when they were alone; and when the rest were gone out,
he made himself known to his brethren; and said, "I commend you
for your virtue, and your kindness to our brother: I find you
better men than I could have expected from what you contrived
about me. Indeed, I did all this to try your love to your
brother; so I believe you were not wicked by nature in what you
did in my case, but that all has happened according to God's
will, who has hereby procured our enjoyment of what good things
we have; and, if he continue in a favorable disposition, of what
we hope for hereafter. Since, therefore, I know that our father
is safe and well, beyond expectation, and I see you so well
disposed to your brother, I will no longer remember what guilt
you seem to have had about me, but will leave off to hate you for
that your wickedness; and do rather return you my thanks, that
you have concurred with the intentions of God to bring things to
their present state. I would have you also rather to forget the
same, since that imprudence of yours is come to such a happy
conclusion, than to be uneasy and blush at those your offenses.
Do not, therefore, let your evil intentions, when you condemned
me, and that bitter remorse which might follow, be a grief to you
now, because those intentions were frustrated. Go, therefore,
your way, rejoicing in what has happened by the Divine
Providence, and inform your father of it, lest he should be spent
with cares for you, and deprive me of the most agreeable part of
my felicity; I mean, lest he should die before he comes into my
sight, and enjoys the good things that we now have. Bring,
therefore, with you our father, and your wives and children, and
all your kindred, and remove your habitations hither; for it is
not proper that the persons dearest to me should live remote from
me, now my affairs are so prosperous, especially when they must
endure five more years of famine." When Joseph had said this, he
embraced his brethren, who were in tears and sorrow; but the
generous kindness of their brother seemed to leave among them no
room for fear, lest they should be punished on account of what
they had consulted and acted against him; and they were then
feasting. Now the king, as soon as he heard that Joseph's
brethren were come to him, was exceeding glad of it, as if it had
been a part of his own good fortune; and gave them wagons full of
corn and gold and silver, to be conveyed to his father. Now when
they had received more of their brother part to be carried to
their father, and part as free gifts to every one of themselves,
Benjamin having still more than the rest, they departed.


The Removal Of Joseph's Father With All His Family,
To Him, On Account Of The Famine.

1. As soon as Jacob came to know, by his sons returning home, in
what state Joseph was, that he had not only escaped death, for
which yet he lived all along in mourning, but that he lived in
splendor and happiness, and ruled over Egypt, jointly with the
king, and had intrusted to his care almost all his affairs, he
did not think any thing he was told to be incredible, considering
the greatness of the works of God, and his kindness to him,
although that kindness had, for some late times, been
intermitted; so he immediately and zealously set out upon his
journey to him.

2. When he came to the Well of the Oath, (Beersheba,) he offered
sacrifice to God; and being afraid that the happiness there was
in Egypt might tempt his posterity to fall in love with it, and
settle in it, and no more think of removing into the land of
Canaan, and possessing it, as God had promised them; as also
being afraid, lest, if this descent into Egypt were made without
the will of God, his family might be destroyed there; out of
fear, withal, lest he should depart this life before he came to
the sight of Joseph; he fell asleep, revolving these doubts in
his mind.

3. But God stood by him, and called him twice by his name; and
when he asked who he was, God said, "No, sure; it is not just
that thou, Jacob, shouldst be unacquainted with that God who has
been ever a protector and a helper to thy forefathers, and after
them to thyself: for when thy father would have deprived thee of
the dominion, I gave it thee; and by my kindness it was that,
when thou wast sent into Mesopotamia all alone, thou obtainedst
good wives, and returnedst with many children, and much wealth.
Thy whole family also has been preserved by my providence; and it
was I who conducted Joseph, thy son, whom thou gavest up for
lost, to the enjoyment of great prosperity. I also made him lord
of Egypt, so that he differs but little from a king. Accordingly,
I come now as a guide to thee in this journey; and foretell to
thee, that thou shalt die in the arms of Joseph: and I inform
thee, that thy posterity shall be many ages in authority and
glory, and that I will settle them in the land which I have
promised them."

4. Jacob, encouraged by this dream, went on more cheerfully for
Egypt with his sons, and all belonging to them. Now they were in
all seventy. I once, indeed, thought it best not to set down the
names of this family, especially because of their difficult
pronunciation [by the Greeks]; but, upon the whole, I think it
necessary to mention those names, that I may disprove such as
believe that we came not originally from Mesopotamia, but are
Egyptians. Now Jacob had twelve sons; of these Joseph was come
thither before. We will therefore set down the names of Jacob's
children and grandchildren. Reuben had four sons - Anoch, Phallu,
Assaron, Charmi. Simeon had six - Jamuel, Jamin, Avod, Jachin,
Soar, Saul. Levi had three sons - Gersom, Caath, Merari. Judas
had three sons - Sala, Phares, Zerah; and by Phares two
grandchildren, Esrom and Amar. Issachar had four sons - Thola,
Phua, Jasob, Samaron. Zabulon had with him three sons - Sarad,
Helon, Jalel. So far is the posterity of Lea; with whom went her
daughter Dinah. These are thirty-three. Rachel had two sons, the
one of whom, Joseph, had two sons also, Manasses and Ephraim. The
other, Benjamin, had ten sons - Bolau, Bacchar, Asabel, Geras,
Naaman, Jes, Ros, Momphis, Opphis, Arad. These fourteen added to
the thirty-three before enumerated, amount to the number
forty-seven. And this was the legitimate posterity of Jacob. He
had besides by Bilhah, the handmaid of Rachel, Dan and
Nephtliali; which last had four sons that followed him - Jesel,
Guni, Issari, and Sellim. Dan had an only begotten son, Usi. If
these be added to those before mentioned, they complete the
number fifty-four. Gad and Aser were the sons of Zilpha, who was
the handmaid of Lea. These had with them, Gad seven - Saphoniah,
Augis, Sunis, Azabon, Aerin, Erocd, Ariel. Aser had a daughter,
Sarah, and six male children, whose names were Jomne, Isus,
Isoui, Baris, Abar and Melchiel. If we add these, which are
sixteen, to the fifty-four, the forementioned number [70] is
completed (11) Jacob not being himself included in that number.

5. When Joseph understood that his father was coming, for Judas
his brother was come before him, and informed him of his
approach, he went out to meet him; and they met together at
Heroopolis. But Jacob almost fainted away at this unexpected and
great joy; however, Joseph revived him, being yet not himself
able to contain from being affected in the same manner, at the
pleasure he now had; yet was he not wholly overcome with his
passion, as his father was. After this, he desired Jacob to
travel on slowly; but he himself took five of his brethren with
him, and made haste to the king, to tell him that Jacob and his
family were come; which was a joyful hearing to him. He also bid
Joseph tell him what sort of life his brethren loved to lead,
that he might give them leave to follow the same, who told him
they were good shepherds, and had been used to follow no other
employment but this alone. Whereby he provided for them, that
they should not be separated, but live in the same place, and
take care of their father; as also hereby he provided, that they
might be acceptable to the Egyptians, by doing nothing that would
be common to them with the Egyptians; for the Egyptians are
prohibited to meddle with feeding of sheep. (12)

6. When Jacob was come to the king, and saluted him, and wished
all prosperity to his government, Pharaoh asked him how old he
now was; upon whose answer, that he was a hundred and thirty
years old, he admired Jacob on account of the length of his life.
And when he had added, that still he had not lived so long as his
forefathers, he gave him leave to live with his children in
Heliopolis; for in that city the king's shepherds had their

7. However, the famine increased among the Egyptians, and this
heavy judgment grew more oppressive to them, because neither did
the river overflow the ground, for it did not rise to its former
height, nor did God send rain upon it; (13) nor did they indeed
make the least provision for themselves, so ignorant were they
what was to be done; but Joseph sold them corn for their money.
But when their money failed them, they bought corn with their
cattle and their slaves; and if any of them had a small piece of
land, they gave up that to purchase them food, by which means the
king became the owner of all their substance; and they were
removed, some to one place, and some to another, that so the
possession of their country might be firmly assured to the king,
excepting the lands of the priests, for their country continued
still in their own possession. And indeed this sore famine made
their minds, as well as their bodies, slaves; and at length
compelled them to procure a sufficiency of food by such
dishonorable means. But when this misery ceased, and the river
overflowed the ground, and the ground brought forth its fruits
plentifully, Joseph came to every city, and gathered the people
thereto belonging together, and gave them back entirely the land
which, by their own consent, the king might have possessed alone,
and alone enjoyed the fruits of it. He also exhorted them to look
on it as every one's own possession, and to fall to their
husbandry with cheerfulness, and to pay as a tribute to the king,
the fifth part (14) of the fruits for the land which the king,
when it was his own, restored to them. These men rejoiced upon
their becoming unexpectedly owners of their lands, and diligently
observed what was enjoined them; and by this means Joseph
procured to himself a greater authority among the Egyptians, and
greater love to the king from them. Now this law, that they
should pay the fifth part of their fruits as tribute, continued
until their later kings.


Of The Death Of Jacob And Joseph.

1. Now when Jacob had lived seventeen years in Egypt, he fell
into a disease, and died in the presence of his sons; but not
till he made his prayers for their enjoying prosperity, and till
he had foretold to them prophetically how every one of them was
to dwell in the land of Canaan. But this happened many years
afterward. He also enlarged upon the praises of Joseph (15) how
he had not remembered the evil doings of his brethren to their
disadvantage; nay, on the contrary, was kind to them, bestowing
upon them so many benefits, as seldom are bestowed on men's own
benefactors. He then commanded his own sons that they should
admit Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasses, into their number, and
divide the land of Canaan in common with them; concerning whom we
shall treat hereafter. However, he made it his request that he
might be buried at Hebron. So he died, when he had lived full a
hundred and fifty years, three only abated, having not been
behind any of his ancestors in piety towards God, and having such
a recompense for it, as it was fit those should have who were so
good as these were. But Joseph, by the king's permission, carried
his father's dead body to Hebron, and there buried it, at a great
expense. Now his brethren were at first unwilling to return back
with him, because they were afraid lest, now their father was
dead, he should punish them for their secret practices against
him; since he was now gone, for whose sake he had been so
gracious to them. But he persuaded them to fear no harm, and to
entertain no suspicions of him: so he brought them along with
him, and gave them great possessions, and never left off his
particular concern for them.

2. Joseph also died when he had lived a hundred and ten years;
having been a man of admirable virtue, and conducting all his
affairs by the rules of reason; and used his authority with
moderation, which was the cause of his so great felicity among
the Egyptians, even when he came from another country, and that
in such ill circumstances also, as we have already described. At
length his brethren died, after they had lived happily in Egypt.
Now the posterity and sons of these men, after some time, carried
their bodies, and buried them at Hebron: but as to the bones of
Joseph, they carried them into the land of Canaan afterward, when
the Hebrews went out of Egypt, for so had Joseph made them
promise him upon oath. But what became of every one of these men,
and by what toils they got the possession of the land of Canaan,
shall be shown hereafter, when I have first explained upon what
account it was that they left Egypt.


Concerning The Afflictions That Befell The Hebrews In Egypt,
During Four Hundred Years. (16)

1. Now it happened that the Egyptians grew delicate and lazy, as
to pains-taking, and gave themselves up to other pleasures, and
in particular to the love of gain. They also became very
ill-affected towards the Hebrews, as touched with envy at their
prosperity; for when they saw how the nation of the Israelites
flourished, and were become eminent already in plenty of wealth,
which they had acquired by their virtue and natural love of
labor, they thought their increase was to their own detriment.
And having, in length of time, forgotten the benefits they had
received from Joseph, particularly the crown being now come into
another family, they became very abusive to the Israelites, and
contrived many ways of afflicting them; for they enjoined them to
cut a great number of channels for the river, and to build walls
for their cities and ramparts, that they might restrain the
river, and hinder its waters from stagnating, upon its running
over its own banks: they set them also to build pyramids, (17)
and by all this wore them out; and forced them to learn all sorts
of mechanical arts, and to accustom themselves to hard labor. And
four hundred years did they spend under these afflictions; for
they strove one against the other which should get the mastery,
the Egyptians desiring to destroy the Israelites by these labors,
and the Israelites desiring to hold out to the end under them.

2. While the affairs of the Hebrews were in this condition, there
was this occasion offered itself to the Egyptians, which made
them more solicitous for the extinction of our nation. One of
those sacred scribes, (18) who are very sagacious in foretelling
future events truly, told the king, that about this time there
would a child be born to the Israelites, who, if he were reared,
would bring the Egyptian dominion low, and would raise the
Israelites; that he would excel all men in virtue, and obtain a
glory that would be remembered through all ages. Which thing was
so feared by the king, that, according to this man's opinion, he
commanded that they should cast every male child, which was born
to the Israelites, into the river, and destroy it; that besides
this, the Egyptian midwives (19) should watch the labors of the
Hebrew women, and observe what is born, for those were the women
who were enjoined to do the office of midwives to them; and by
reason of their relation to the king, would not transgress his
commands. He enjoined also, that if any parents should disobey
him, and venture to save their male children alive, (20) they and
their families should be destroyed. This was a severe affliction
indeed to those that suffered it, not only as they were deprived
of their sons, and while they were the parents themselves, they
were obliged to be subservient to the destruction of their own
children, but as it was to be supposed to tend to the extirpation
of their nation, while upon the destruction of their children,
and their own gradual dissolution, the calamity would become very
hard and inconsolable to them. And this was the ill state they
were in. But no one can be too hard for the purpose of God,
though he contrive ten thousand subtle devices for that end; for
this child, whom the sacred scribe foretold, was brought up and
concealed from the observers appointed by the king; and he that
foretold him did not mistake in the consequences of his
preservation, which were brought to pass after the manner
following: -

3. A man whose name was Amram, one of the nobler sort of the
Hebrews, was afraid for his whole nation, lest it should fail, by
the want of young men to be brought up hereafter, and was very
uneasy at it, his wife being then with child, and he knew not
what to do. Hereupon he betook himself to prayer to God; and
entreated him to have compassion on those men who had nowise
transgressed the laws of his worship, and to afford them
deliverance from the miseries they at that time endured, and to
render abortive their enemies' hopes of the destruction of their
nation. Accordingly God had mercy on him, and was moved by his
supplication. He stood by him in his sleep, and exhorted him not
to despair of his future favors. He said further, that he did not
forget their piety towards him, and would always reward them for
it, as he had formerly granted his favor to their forefathers,
and made them increase from a few to so great a multitude. He put
him in mind, that when Abraham was come alone out of Mesopotamia
into Canaan, he had been made happy, not only in other respects,
but that when his wife was at first barren, she was afterwards by
him enabled to conceive seed, and bare him sons. That he left to
Ismael and to his posterity the country of Arabia; as also to his
sons by Ketura, Troglodytis; and to Isaac, Canaan. That by my
assistance, said he, he did great exploits in war, which, unless
you be yourselves impious, you must still remember. As for Jacob,
he became well known to strangers also, by the greatness of that
prosperity in which he lived, and left to his sons, who came into
Egypt with no more than seventy souls, while you are now become
above six hundred thousand. Know therefore that I shall provide
for you all in common what is for your good, and particularly for
thyself what shall make thee famous; for that child, out of dread
of whose nativity the Egyptians have doomed the Israelite
children to destruction, shall be this child of thine, and shall
be concealed from those who watch to destroy him: and when he is
brought up in a surprising way, he shall deliver the Hebrew
nation from the distress they are under from the Egyptians. His
memory shall be famous while the world lasts; and this not only
among the Hebrews, but foreigners also: - all which shall be the
effect of my favor to thee, and to thy posterity. He shall also
have such a brother, that he shall himself obtain my priesthood,
and his posterity shall have it after him to the end of the

4. When the vision had informed him of these things, Amram awaked
and told it to Jochebed who was his wife. And now the fear
increased upon them on account of the prediction in Amram's
dream; for they were under concern, not only for the child, but
on account of the great happiness that was to come to him also.
However, the mother's labor was such as afforded a confirmation
to what was foretold by God; for it was not known to those that
watched her, by the easiness of her pains, and because the throes
of her delivery did not fall upon her with violence. And now they
nourished the child at home privately for three months; but after
that time Amram, fearing he should be discovered, and, by falling
under the king's displeasure, both he and his child should
perish, and so he should make the promise of God of none effect,
he determined rather to trust the safety and care of the child to
God, than to depend on his own concealment of him, which he
looked upon as a thing uncertain, and whereby both the child, so
privately to be nourished, and himself should be in imminent
danger; but he believed that God would some way for certain
procure the safety of the child, in order to secure the truth of
his own predictions. When they had thus determined, they made an
ark of bulrushes, after the manner of a cradle, and of a bigness
sufficient for an infant to be laid in, without being too
straitened: they then daubed it over with slime, which would
naturally keep out the water from entering between the bulrushes,
and put the infant into it, and setting it afloat upon the river,
they left its preservation to God; so the river received the
child, and carried him along. But Miriam, the child's sister,
passed along upon the bank over against him, as her mother had
bid her, to see whither the ark would be carried, where God
demonstrated that human wisdom was nothing, but that the Supreme
Being is able to do whatsoever he pleases: that those who, in
order to their own security, condemn others to destruction, and
use great endeavors about it, fail of their purpose; but that
others are in a surprising manner preserved, and obtain a
prosperous condition almost from the very midst of their
calamities; those, I mean, whose dangers arise by the appointment
of God. And, indeed, such a providence was exercised in the case
of this child, as showed the power of God.

5. Thermuthis was the king's daughter. She was now diverting
herself by the banks of the river; and seeing a cradle borne
along by the current, she sent some that could swim, and bid them
bring the cradle to her. When those that were sent on this errand
came to her with the cradle, and she saw the little child, she
was greatly in love with it, on account of its largeness and
beauty; for God had taken such great care in the formation of
Moses, that he caused him to be thought worthy of bringing up,
and providing for, by all those that had taken the most fatal
resolutions, on account of the dread of his nativity, for the
destruction of the rest of the Hebrew nation. Thermuthis bid them
bring her a woman that might afford her breast to the child; yet
would not the child admit of her breast, but turned away from it,
and did the like to many other women. Now Miriam was by when this
happened, not to appear to be there on purpose, but only as
staying to see the child; and she said, "It is in vain that thou,
O queen, callest for these women for the nourishing of the child,
who are no way of kin to it; but still, if thou wilt order one of
the Hebrew women to be brought, perhaps it may admit the breast
of one of its own nation." Now since she seemed to speak well,
Thermuthis bid her procure such a one, and to bring one of those
Hebrew women that gave suck. So when she had such authority given
her, she came back and brought the mother, who was known to
nobody there. And now the child gladly admitted the breast, and
seemed to stick close to it; and so it was, that, at the queen's
desire, the nursing of the child was entirely intrusted to the

6. Hereupon it was that Thermuthis imposed this name Mouses upon
him, from what had happened when he was put into the river; for
the Egyptians call water by the name of Mo, and such as are saved
out of it, by the name of Uses: so by putting these two words
together, they imposed this name upon him. And he was, by the
confession of all, according to God's prediction, as well for his
greatness of mind as for his contempt of difficulties, the best
of all the Hebrews, for Abraham was his ancestor of the seventh
generation. For Moses was the son of Amram, who was the son of
Caath, whose father Levi was the son of Jacob, who was the son of
Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. Now Moses's understanding
became superior to his age, nay, far beyond that standard; and
when he was taught, he discovered greater quickness of
apprehension than was usual at his age, and his actions at that
time promised greater, when he should come to the age of a man.
God did also give him that tallness, when he was but three years
old, as was wonderful. And as for his beauty, there was nobody so
unpolite as, when they saw Moses, they were not greatly surprised
at the beauty of his countenance; nay, it happened frequently,
that those that met him as he was carried along the road, were
obliged to turn again upon seeing the child; that they left what
they were about, and stood still a great while to look on him;
for the beauty of the child was so remarkable and natural to him
on many accounts, that it detained the spectators, and made them
stay longer to look upon him.

7. Thermuthis therefore perceiving him to be so remarkable a
child, adopted him for her son, having no child of her own. And
when one time had carried Moses to her father, she showed him to
him, and said she thought to make him her successor, if it should
please God she should have no legitimate child of her own; and to
him, "I have brought up a child who is of a divine form, (21) and
of a generous mind; and as I have received him from the bounty of
the river, in , I thought proper to adopt him my son, and the
heir of thy kingdom." And she had said this, she put the infant
into her father's hands: so he took him, and hugged him to his
breast; and on his daughter's account, in a pleasant way, put his
diadem upon his head; but Moses threw it down to the ground, and,
in a puerile mood, he wreathed it round, and trod upon his feet,
which seemed to bring along with evil presage concerning the
kingdom of Egypt. But when the sacred scribe saw this, (he was
the person who foretold that his nativity would the dominion of
that kingdom low,) he made a violent attempt to kill him; and
crying out in a frightful manner, he said, "This, O king! this
child is he of whom God foretold, that if we kill him we shall be
in no danger; he himself affords an attestation to the prediction
of the same thing, by his trampling upon thy government, and
treading upon thy diadem. Take him, therefore, out of the way,
and deliver the Egyptians from the fear they are in about him;
and deprive the Hebrews of the hope they have of being encouraged
by him." But Thermuthis prevented him, and snatched the child
away. And the king was not hasty to slay him, God himself, whose
providence protected Moses, inclining the king to spare him. He
was, therefore, educated with great care. So the Hebrews depended
on him, and were of good hopes great things would be done by him;
but the Egyptians were suspicious of what would follow such his
education. Yet because, if Moses had been slain, there was no
one, either akin or adopted, that had any oracle on his side for
pretending to the crown of Egypt, and likely to be of greater
advantage to them, they abstained from killing him.


How Moses Made War With The Ethiopians,

1. Moses, therefore, when he was born, and brought up in the
foregoing manner, and came to the age of maturity, made his
virtue manifest to the Egyptians; and showed that he was born for
the bringing them down, and raising the Israelites. And the
occasion he laid hold of was this: - The Ethiopians, who are next
neighbors to the Egyptians, made an inroad into their country,
which they seized upon, and carried off the effects of the
Egyptians, who, in their rage, fought against them, and revenged
the affronts they had received from them; but being overcome in
battle, some of them were slain, and the rest ran away in a
shameful manner, and by that means saved themselves; whereupon
the Ethiopians followed after them in the pursuit, and thinking
that it would be a mark of cowardice if they did not subdue all
Egypt, they went on to subdue the rest with greater vehemence;
and when they had tasted the sweets of the country, they never
left off the prosecution of the war: and as the nearest parts had
not courage enough at first to fight with them, they proceeded as
far as Memphis, and the sea itself, while not one of the cities
was able to oppose them. The Egyptians, under this sad
oppression, betook themselves to their oracles and prophecies;
and when God had given them this counsel, to make use of Moses
the Hebrew, and take his assistance, the king commanded his
daughter to produce him, that he might be the general (22) of
their army. Upon which, when she had made him swear he would do
him no harm, she delivered him to the king, and supposed his
assistance would be of great advantage to them. She withal
reproached the priest, who, when they had before admonished the
Egyptians to kill him, was not ashamed now to own their want of
his help.

2. So Moses, at the persuasion both of Thermuthis and the king
himself, cheerfully undertook the business: and the sacred
scribes of both nations were glad; those of the Egyptians, that
they should at once overcome their enemies by his valor, and that
by the same piece of management Moses would be slain; but those
of the Hebrews, that they should escape from the Egyptians,
because Moses was to be their general. But Moses prevented the
enemies, and took and led his army before those enemies were
apprized of his attacking them; for he did not march by the
river, but by land, where he gave a wonderful demonstration of
his sagacity; for when the ground was difficult to be passed
over, because of the multitude of serpents, (which it produces in
vast numbers, and, indeed, is singular in some of those
productions, which other countries do not breed, and yet such as
are worse than others in power and mischief, and an unusual
fierceness of sight, some of which ascend out of the ground
unseen, and also fly in the air, and so come upon men at
unawares, and do them a mischief,) Moses invented a wonderful
stratagem to preserve the army safe, and without hurt; for he
made baskets, like unto arks, of sedge, and filled them with
ibes, (23) and carried them along with them; which animal is the
greatest enemy to serpents imaginable, for they fly from them
when they come near them; and as they fly they are caught and
devoured by them, as if it were done by the harts; but the ibes
are tame creatures, and only enemies to the serpentine kind: but
about these ibes I say no more at present, since the Greeks
themselves are not unacquainted with this sort of bird. As soon,
therefore, as Moses was come to the land which was the breeder of
these serpents, he let loose the ibes, and by their means
repelled the serpentine kind, and used them for his assistants
before the army came upon that ground. When he had therefore
proceeded thus on his journey, he came upon the Ethiopians before
they expected him; and, joining battle with them, he beat them,
and deprived them of the hopes they had of success against the
Egyptians, and went on in overthrowing their cities, and indeed
made a great slaughter of these Ethiopians. Now when the Egyptian
army had once tasted of this prosperous success, by the means of
Moses, they did not slacken their diligence, insomuch that the
Ethiopians were in danger of being reduced to slavery, and all
sorts of destruction; and at length they retired to Saba, which
was a royal city of Ethiopia, which Cambyses afterwards named
Mero, after the name of his own sister. The place was to be
besieged with very great difficulty, since it was both
encompassed by the Nile quite round, and the other rivers,
Astapus and Astaboras, made it a very difficult thing for such as
attempted to pass over them; for the city was situate in a
retired place, and was inhabited after the manner of an island,
being encompassed with a strong wall, and having the rivers to
guard them from their enemies, and having great ramparts between
the wall and the rivers, insomuch, that when the waters come with
the greatest violence, it can never be drowned; which ramparts
make it next to impossible for even such as are gotten over the
rivers to take the city. However, while Moses was uneasy at the
army's lying idle, (for the enemies durst not come to a battle,)
this accident happened: - Tharbis was the daughter of the king of
the Ethiopians: she happened to see Moses as he led the army near
the walls, and fought with great courage; and admiring the
subtility of his undertakings, and believing him to be the author
of the Egyptians' success, when they had before despaired of
recovering their liberty, and to be the occasion of the great
danger the Ethiopians were in, when they had before boasted of
their great achievements, she fell deeply in love with him; and
upon the prevalency of that passion, sent to him the most
faithful of all her servants to discourse with him about their
marriage. He thereupon accepted the offer, on condition she would
procure the delivering up of the city; and gave her the assurance
of an oath to take her to his wife; and that when he had once
taken possession of the city, he would not break his oath to her.
No sooner was the agreement made, but it took effect immediately;
and when Moses had cut off the Ethiopians, he gave thanks to God,
and consummated his marriage, and led the Egyptians back to their
own land.


How Moses Fled Out Of Egypt Into Midian.

1. Now the Egyptians, after they had been preserved by Moses,
entertained a hatred to him, and were very eager in compassing
their designs against him, as suspecting that he would take
occasion, from his good success, to raise a sedition, and bring
innovations into Egypt; and told the king he ought to be slain.
The king had also some intentions of himself to the same purpose,
and this as well out of envy at his glorious expedition at the
head of his army, as out of fear of being brought low by him and
being instigated by the sacred scribes, he was ready to undertake
to kill Moses: but when he had learned beforehand what plots
there were against him, he went away privately; and because the
public roads were watched, he took his flight through the
deserts, and where his enemies could not suspect he would travel;
and, though he was destitute of food, he went on, and despised
that difficulty courageously; and when he came to the city
Midian, which lay upon the Red Sea, and was so denominated from
one of Abraham's sons by Keturah, he sat upon a certain well, and
rested himself there after his laborious journey, and the
affliction he had been in. It was not far from the city, and the
time of the day was noon, where he had an occasion offered him by
the custom of the country of doing what recommended his virtue,
and afforded him an opportunity of bettering his circumstances.

2. For that country having but little water, the shepherds used
to seize on the wells before others came, lest their flocks
should want water, and lest it should be spent by others before
they came. There were now come, therefore, to this well seven
sisters that were virgins, the daughters of Raguel, a priest, and
one thought worthy by the people of the country of great honor.
These virgins, who took care of their father's flocks, which sort
of work it was customary and very familiar for women to do in the
country of the Troglodytes, they came first of all, and drew
water out of the well in a quantity sufficient for their flocks,
into troughs, which were made for the reception of that water;
but when the shepherds came upon the maidens, and drove them
away, that they might have the command of the water themselves,
Moses, thinking it would be a terrible reproach upon him if he
overlooked the young women under unjust oppression, and should
suffer the violence of the men to prevail over the right of the
maidens, he drove away the men, who had a mind to more than their
share, and afforded a proper assistance to the women; who, when
they had received such a benefit from him, came to their father,
and told him how they had been affronted by the shepherds, and
assisted by a stranger, and entreated that he would not let this
generous action be done in vain, nor go without a reward. Now the
father took it well from his daughters that they were so desirous
to reward their benefactor; and bid them bring Moses into his
presence, that he might be rewarded as he deserved. And when
Moses came, he told him what testimony his daughters bare to him,
that he had assisted them; and that, as he admired him for his
virtue, he said that Moses had bestowed such his assistance on
persons not insensible of benefits, but where they were both able
and willing to return the kindness, and even to exceed the
measure of his generosity. So he made him his son, and gave him
one of his daughters in marriage; and appointed him to be the
guardian and superintendent over his cattle; for of old, all the
wealth of the barbarians was in those cattle.


Concerning The Burning Bush And The Rod Of Moses.

1. Now Moses, when he had obtained the favor of Jethro, for that
was one of the names of Raguel, staid there and fed his flock;
but some time afterward, taking his station at the mountain
called Sinai, he drove his flocks thither to feed them. Now this
is the highest of all the mountains thereabout, and the best for
pasturage, the herbage being there good; and it had not been
before fed upon, because of the opinion men had that God dwelt
there, the shepherds not daring to ascend up to it; and here it
was that a wonderful prodigy happened to Moses; for a fire fed
upon a thorn bush, yet did the green leaves and the flowers
continue untouched, and the fire did not at all consume the fruit
branches, although the flame was great and fierce. Moses was
aftrighted at this strange sight, as it was to him; but he was
still more astonished when the fire uttered a voice, and called
to him by name, and spake words to him, by which it signified how
bold he had been in venturing to come into a place whither no man
had ever come before, because the place was divine; and advised
him to remove a great way off from the flame, and to be contented
with what he had seen; and though he were himself a good man, and
the offspring of great men, yet that he should not pry any
further; and he foretold to him, that he should have glory and
honor among men, by the blessing of God upon him. He also
commanded him to go away thence with confidence to Egypt, in
order to his being the commander and conductor of the body of the
Hebrews, and to his delivering his own people from the injuries
they suffered there: "For," said God, "they shall inhabit this
happy land which your forefather Abraham inhabited, and shall
have the enjoyment of all good things." But still he enjoined
them, when he brought the Hebrews out of the land of Egypt, to
come to that place, and to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
there, Such were the divine oracles which were delivered out of
the fire.

2. But Moses was astonished at what he saw, and much more at what
he heard; and he said, "I think it would be an instance of too
great madness, O Lord, for one of that regard I bear to thee, to
distrust thy power, since I myself adore it, and know that it has
been made manifest to my progenitors: but I am still in doubt how
I, who am a private man, and one of no abilities, should either
persuade my own countrymen to leave the country they now inhabit,
and to follow me to a land whither I lead them; or, if they
should be persuaded, how can I force Pharaoh to permit them to
depart, since they augment their own wealth and prosperity by the
labors and works they put upon them ?"

3. But God persuaded him to be courageous on all occasions, and
promised to be with him, and to assist him in his words, when he
was to persuade men; and in his deeds, when he was to perform
wonders. He bid him also to take a signal of the truth of what he
said, by throwing his rod upon the ground, which, when he had
done, it crept along, and was become a serpent, and rolled itself
round in its folds, and erected its head, as ready to revenge
itself on such as should assault it; after which it become a rod
again as it was before. After this God bid Moses to put his right
hand into his bosom: he obeyed, and when he took it out it was
white, and in color like to chalk, but afterward it returned to
its wonted color again. He also, upon God's command, took some of
the water that was near him, and poured it upon the ground, and
saw the color was that of blood. Upon the wonder that Moses
showed at these signs, God exhorted him to be of good courage,
and to be assured that he would be the greatest support to him;
and bid him make use of those signs, in order to obtain belief
among all men, that "thou art sent by me, and dost all things
according to my commands. Accordingly I enjoin thee to make no
more delays, but to make haste to Egypt, and to travel night and
day, and not to draw out the time, and so make the slavery of the
Hebrews and their sufferings to last the longer."

4. Moses having now seen and heard these wonders that assured him
of the truth of these promises of God, had no room left him to
disbelieve them: he entreated him to grant him that power when he
should be in Egypt; and besought him to vouchsafe him the
knowledge of his own name; and since he had heard and seen him,
that he would also tell him his name, that when he offered
sacrifice he might invoke him by such his name in his oblations.
Whereupon God declared to him his holy name, which had never been
discovered to men before; concerning which it is not lawful for
me to say any more (24) Now these signs accompanied Moses, not
then only, but always when he prayed for them: of all which signs
he attributed the firmest assent to the fire in the bush; and
believing that God would be a gracious supporter to him, he hoped
he should be able to deliver his own nation, and bring calamities
on the Egyptians.


How Moses And Aaron Returned Into Egypt To Pharaoh.

1. So Moses, when he understood that the Pharaoh, in whose reign
he fled away, was dead, asked leave of Raguel to go to Egypt, for
the benefit of his own people. And he took with him Zipporah, the
daughter of Raguel, whom he had married, and the children he had
by her, Gersom and Eleazer, and made haste into Egypt. Now the
former of those names, Gersom, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies
that he was in a strange land; and Eleazer, that, by the
assistance of the God of his fathers, he had escaped from the
Egyptians. Now when they were near the borders, Aaron his
brother, by the command of God, met him, to whom he declared what
had befallen him at the mountain, and the commands that God had
given him. But as they were going forward, the chief men among
the Hebrews, having learned that they were coming, met them: to
whom Moses declared the signs he had seen; and while they could
not believe them, he made them see them, So they took courage at
these surprising and unexpected sights, and hoped well of their
entire deliverance, as believing now that God took care of their

2. Since then Moses found that the Hebrews would be obedient to
whatsoever he should direct, as they promised to be, and were in
love with liberty, he came to the king, who had indeed but lately
received the government, and told him how much he had done for
the good of the Egyptians, when they were despised by the
Ethiopians, and their country laid waste by them; and how he had
been the commander of their forces, and had labored for them, as
if they had been his own people and he informed him in what
danger he had been during that expedition, without having any
proper returns made him as he had deserved. He also informed him
distinctly what things happened to him at Mount Sinai; and what
God said to him; and the signs that were done by God, in order to
assure him of the authority of those commands which he had given
him. He also exhorted him not to disbelieve what he told him, nor
to oppose the will of God.

3. But when the king derided Moses; he made him in earnest see
the signs that were done at Mount Sinai. Yet was the king very
angry with him and called him an ill man, who had formerly run
away from his Egyptian slavery, and came now back with deceitful
tricks, and wonders, and magical arts, to astonish him. And when
he had said this, he commanded the priests to let him see the
same wonderful sights; as knowing that the Egyptians were
skillful in this kind of learning, and that he was not the only
person who knew them, and pretended them to be divine; as also he
told him, that when he brought such wonderful sights before him,
he would only be believed by the unlearned. Now when the priests
threw down their rods, they became serpents. But Moses was not
daunted at it; and said, "O king, I do not myself despise the
wisdom of the Egyptians, but I say that what I do is so much
superior to what these do by magic arts and tricks, as Divine
power exceeds the power of man: but I will demonstrate that what
I do is not done by craft, or counterfeiting what is not really
true, but that they appear by the providence and power of God."
And when he had said this, he cast his rod down upon the ground,
and commanded it to turn itself into a serpent. It obeyed him,
and went all round, and devoured the rods of the Egyptians, which
seemed to be dragons, until it had consumed them all. It then
returned to its own form, and Moses took it into his hand again.

4. However, the king was no more moved when was done than before;
and being very angry, he said that he should gain nothing by this
his cunning and shrewdness against the Egyptians; - and he
commanded him that was the chief taskmaster over the Hebrews, to
give them no relaxation from their labors, but to compel them to
submit to greater oppressions than before; and though he allowed
them chaff before for making their bricks, he would allow it them
no longer, but he made them to work hard at brick-making in the
day-time, and to gather chaff in the night. Now when their labor
was thus doubled upon them, they laid the blame upon Moses,
because their labor and their misery were on his account become
more severe to them. But Moses did not let his courage sink for
the king's threatenings; nor did he abate of his zeal on account
of the Hebrews' complaints; but he supported himself, and set his
soul resolutely against them both, and used his own utmost
diligence to procure liberty to his countrymen. So he went to the
king, and persuaded him to let the Hebrews go to Mount Sinai, and
there to sacrifice to God, because God had enjoined them so to
do. He persuaded him also not to counterwork the designs of God,
but to esteem his favor above all things, and to permit them to
depart, lest, before he be aware, he lay an obstruction in the
way of the Divine commands, and so occasion his own suffering
such punishments as it was probable any one that counterworked
the Divine commands should undergo, since the severest
afflictions arise from every object to those that provoke the
Divine wrath against them; for such as these have neither the
earth nor the air for their friends; nor are the fruits of the
womb according to nature, but every thing is unfriendly and
adverse towards them. He said further, that the Egyptians should
know this by sad experience; and that besides, the Hebrew people
should go out of their country without their consent.


Concerning The Ten Plagues Which Came Upon The Egyptians.

1. But when the king despised the words of Moses, and had no
regard at all to them, grievous plagues seized the Egyptians;
every one of which I will describe, both because no such plagues
did ever happen to any other nation as the Egyptians now felt,
and because I would demonstrate that Moses did not fail in any
one thing that he foretold them; and because it is for the good
of mankind, that they may learn this caution - Not to do anything
that may displease God, lest he be provoked to wrath, and avenge
their iniquities upon them. For the Egyptian river ran with
bloody water at the command of God, insomuch that it could not be
drunk, and they had no other spring of water neither; for the
water was not only of the color of blood, but it brought upon
those that ventured to drink of it, great pains and bitter
torment. Such was the river to the Egyptians; but it was sweet
and fit for drinking to the Hebrews, and no way different from
what it naturally used to be. As the king therefore knew not what
to do in these surprising circumstances, and was in fear for the
Egyptians, he gave the Hebrews leave to go away; but when the
plague ceased, he changed his mind again, end would not suffer
them to go.

2. But when God saw that he was ungrateful, and upon the ceasing
of this calamity would not grow wiser, he sent another plague
upon the Egyptians: - An innumerable multitude of frogs consumed
the fruit of the ground; the river was also full of them,
insomuch that those who drew water had it spoiled by the blood of
these animals, as they died in, and were destroyed by, the water;
and the country was full of filthy slime, as they were born, and
as they died: they also spoiled their vessels in their houses
which they used, and were found among what they eat and what they
drank, and came in great numbers upon their beds. There was also
an ungrateful smell, and a stink arose from them, as they were
born, and as they died therein. Now, when the Egyptians were
under the oppression of these miseries, the king ordered Moses to
take the Hebrews with him, and be gone. Upon which the whole


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