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Q. What effect had the relation of these dreams upon his brethren?

A. “ They hated him yet the more ;” and at length conspired his death, 2. Did they find opportunity to gratify their malice?

A. Yes : whilst they fed their flocks A. M. 2274. at a considerable distance from the resiB. C. 1730. dence of their father," Joseph, then

seventeen years of age, was sent to inquire after their welfare. But they no sooner saw him, than they proposed to take away

his life. Q. How was this design frustrated ?

A. Reuben, anxious to save and restore him to Jacob, proposed to cast him into a pit and leave him there; and with this advice, having first stripped off his coat of many colours, they complied.

2. How did they subsequently dispose of him?

A. His brethren, who had sat down to eat bread, seeing a caravan of Ishmaelite Arabs coming from Gilead, “ with their camels bearing spicery, and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt," + hastily adopted a proposal of Judah's, and sold him in the absence of Reuben to these merchants.

Q. How did they impose upon their father?

* They travelled up and down with their flocks in search of pasturage.

+ This is the earliest notice of traffic in the productions of India.

A. They carried him Joseph's coat dipped in the blood of a kid ; at which sight, inferring that Joseph was slain by a wild beast, “ he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned many days,” saying, “I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning."

Q. What became of Joseph ?

A. He was sold to Potiphar, captain of the guard* to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who treated him with great kindness; for the Lord

gave
him
grace
in the

eyes

of his master, with whom he dwelt about ten years.

Q. Did this kindness continue ?

A. No: Joseph being accused by his master's wife, was cast into prison.

Q. Did he suffer much in his imprisonment?

A. No: the Lord gave him grace in the eyes of the keeper, who committed the other prisoners to the charge of Joseph.

Q. What happened in the prison ?

A. The butler and baker of Pharaoh having offended their master, were committed to prison, where each of them had a dream. The butler dreamed that he saw a vine with three branches, from which he plucked ripe grapes; and having pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, delivered it into his hand. The baker dreamed that he had three white baskets on his head, filled with

* Sar ha-tabachim, chief of the slayers ; probably a man that acted in a capacity similar to that of Benaiah's under king Solomon.

confectionary for Pharaoh, and that birds devoured it.

Q. Who explained these dreams?

A. Joseph ; who foretold thereby the restoration of the butler to favour, and the condemnation of the baker.

Q. What request did Joseph make to the butler ?
A. That his case might be made known to the king.
Q. Did the events predicted by Joseph come to pass ?

A. Yes : on Pharaoh's birth-day,* which happened three days after, the king made a feast to all his servants, and restored the butler to his office, but the chief baker he hanged.

Q. Did the butler remember Joseph ?

A. No; he forgot him: and Joseph remained two years longer in prison.

Q. What happened in Canaan about A. M. 2287. this time? B. C. 1717. A. Isaac died at the age of one hun

dred and eighty years, and was buried by

Esau and Jacob. Q. What circumstance occurred to procure Joseph's deliverance from prison ?

A. Pharaoh having dreamed two dreams, which none of the magicians or wise men could interpret, the butler, remembering Joseph, named him to the king, who immediately sent for him.

Q. What were Pharaoh's dreams?

* This is the first notice of the observation of a birth day.

A. He first dreamed that he saw seven fat kine arise out of the river ;* that whilst they were feeding in the neighbouring meadows, seven ill-favoured and leanfleshed kine arose also out of the river and devoured them. On sleeping again, he dreamed that seven ears of corn, rank and good, came up on one stalk, but were presently devoured by seven thin ears which came up after them.

Q. Did Joseph interpret these dreams ?

A. Yes; and Pharaoh, pleased with the spirit of wisdom manifested in him, raised him at once to the highest dignity in his kingdom, and confided to him the execution of the counsel he had given.

Q. What other marks of distinction did he confer on him?

A. He caused him to be clothed in fine linen, put a gold chain about his neck, gave him his own ring, I and married him to Asenath, daughter of Potipherah, priest of On.||

*" At Molubis, on the east bank of the Nile, I observed a cattle fair. Several buffaloes were swimming from the opposite side, across the water. Their emerging bronght to mind the passage Gen. xli. i. 2. Behold, he stond by the river; and behold, there came up out of the river, seven well-favoured kine and fat fleshed; and they fed in a meadow. It was the very scene, and the very country.”-Rev. W. JOWETT's Christ. Research.

# This was in all probability the seal usually affixed to the royal decrees.—See Esther iii. 10, 12.

© Joseph was enuobled by this marriage; for the priests in early ages were the most distinguished class of the community, and enjoyed extraordinary privileges. The offices of king and priest were not unfrequently united in one person, as appears both from sacred and profane history.

|| The Heliopolis, or City of the Sun, of the Septuagint. The Canaanites had a city of a similar name, Bethshemesh, the House or Temple of the Sun.

2

Q. Had he any children by Asenath?

A. Yes; Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born before the commencement of the famine.

Q. How did Joseph begin his administration ?

A. By making a tour through Egypt,* and ordering one-fifth of the produce, during the seven years of plenty, to be taken up for the king, and secured in storehouses against the years of famine.

Q. Did the famine take place at the time predicted?

A. Yes; and Egypt and all the adjacent countries were grievously afflicted by it.

Q. Where did the people of these countries procure corn during the famine?

A. From Egypt, where Joseph had laid up immense quantities during the seven years of plenty.

Q. To what circumstance did this lead?

A. To the fulfilment of Joseph's dreams : for his brethren went down to Egypt to buy corn, “and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth ;” but they knew him not.

Q. Did Joseph make himself known to them?

A. At first he alarmed them exceedingly, by his apparently rough and suspicious behaviour ; but before their departure from Egypt the second time, he made himself known to them.t

*The success of agriculture in Egypt depends on the overfowing of the Nile, which is cansed by the periodical rains in Abyssinia. This annual inundation renders Egypt one of the most fertile countries in the world, especially in corn.

+ The deeply interesting story of Joseph and his brethren must be read in detail. To abridge it is to destroy its simpli. city and beanty.

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