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selves ; to sec the nakedness of the land yc are come, where
%X) the country lies most open and exposed to danger. And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants
11 come. We [are] all one man's sons; and it is not likely one man would expose all his sons at once to so dangerous an employ.
J2 ment; we [are] true [men,] thy servants are no spies. And he said unto them, Nay, but to sec the nakedness of the land ye are come, to observe its "weakness, and where you may bes'
13 attack it. And they said, Thy servants [arc] twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest [is] this day with our father, and one [is] not.
i\ And Joseph said unto them, That [is it] that I spake unto you, saying, Ye [are] spies; this confirms my saying: it is not likely a father should send ten sons on such an errand, and
I5 keep only one at hone. Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh, as sure as Pharaoh lives, ye shall not go forth
J 6 hence, except your youngest brother come hither. Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether [there be any] truth in you : or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye [are] spies. They might have brought any young man, and called him their brother: and it is probable Joseph supposed
17 they had really made away with him. And he put them all together into ward three days; that their own sin might be
IS brouglit to remembrance. And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; [for] I fear God, and would not
19 do an inl*uman action: If ye [be] true [men,] let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry
20 corn for the famine of your houses : But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so, or promised and resolved to do so.
21 And they said one to another, white in Joseph's presence, (little thinkmg that he understood the Hebrew language,) We [are] verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. We sold our brother Joseph for a slave, and now we ourselves are captives; we would not hear his cry, and now our cry will not be heard: this brought their sin to their remem
22 brance. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not untp you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? (this shows that they sold him unknown to Reuben :) therefore, behold, also his blood is re.
,23 quired; we shall now be punished for his deatp. And they knew not that Joseph understood [them ;] for he spake unto them by an interpreter. The interpreter might now be withdrawn, or attending only to one of them, while Joseph heard the
fi+ discourse of the rest. And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes; who by this seems to have had the greatest hand in Joseph's trouble; or, being by nature bold and fierce, Joseph thought he might be the most likely to hinder Benjamin from coming.
25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them
26 provision for the way: and thus did he unto them. And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence,
27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it [was] in
28 his sack's mouth. And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, [it is] even in my sack: and their heart failed [them,] and they were afraid; they thought it could not be designed as a kindness, but must be intended as a foundation for a quarrel; however they acknowledge the hand and justice of God in it, saying one to another, What [is] this [that] God hath done unto us? Is it not a just punishment for our sin against our brother?
2 9 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befel unto them; saying,
30 The man, [who is] the lord or governor of the land, spake
31 roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. And we said unto him, We [are] true [men ;] we are no spies:
32 We [be] twelve brethren, sons of our father; one [is] not, and the youngest [is] this day with our father in the land of
3" Canaan. And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye [are] true [men ;] leave one of your brethren [here] with me, and take [food for] the famine
34 of your households, and be gone: And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye [are] no spies, [hut] that ye [are] true [men: so] will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffic in the land.
35' And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money [was] in his sack: and when [both] they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid: theif fear returned with more violence, having more time to think of the matter; and their tvise, experienced father suggesting many things to them, which might deeply affect both himself and them: he probably imagined they had behaved themselves ill and brought the money away craftily.
S6 And Jacob their father seemed to think they only were in faulty and said untp them, Me have yc bereaved [of my children :*] Joseph [is] not, and Simeon [is] not, and ye will take Benjamin [away:] all these things are against me; this renewed stroke upon my former sorrows is very grievous, and greatly.
* Of.my children, is no: in the orty;iti»l. and 8poil s thft.beanty of the sentence. The expression is elliptical; M: ':^.:yt bercj:>d; t'atn pethaps followed a sigh or groan.
37 afflict» me. And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay. my two sons, or two of my eons, (fur he had four, ch. xlvi.9.J if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again. This -was a rash und foolish firoftoeal; but it "was only intended to cxfiress his full belief that the man would release Simeon, and to fiersuade Mm
38 to let Benjamin go, which for the fircatnt he refuses. And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone of Rochet's children: if mischief be- • fal him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
1. ^ | ч НЕ fear of God, wherever it prevails, will promote JL a sense of humanity, v. 18. Joseph durst do no •wrong; no, nor deal unkindly with those who had injured him, because he feared God; the almighty, allknowing, aud merciful God. Though Joseph was a great man, he was sensible diere was one infinitely greater than he, to whom he was accountable, and whom he ought to reverence. This is the best principle for social duties to be discharged by; reverence for God will make us deal honestly and tenderly; it will guard us against all rigour and severity. It was a strange and absurd speech of a great man, that he was ' the friend of God, but the enemy of mankind.' The best way to incline us to do justly, and love mercy is, to walk humbly laith God, and te in his fear all the day Ion?.
'2. See the force of conscience: it brought to the mind of Joseph's brethren, those crimes that were committed twenty years before; their conscience immediately struck upon this; they. remembered their faults that day. Conscience brings old sins to a new reckoning; though it seems to be asleep, it records faithfully, and will be a fearful accuser another day. Let us guard against sin, for it may be very bitter many months, yea many years, after it is committed and forgotten. Reuben had this satisfaction that he did not consent to this wicked act; it will be comfortable amidst the calamities we may suffer with others to think we had no hand in the guilt. Herein then, let us exercise ourselves, to maintain a conscience void of offence toward God and man.
.3. See the usefulness of affliction in bringing our sins to remembrance. These men perhaps never thought much of Joseph before, nor were much concerned about what became of him ; but now they think of his case, with deep sorrow and repentance. God will write bitter things against us, to bring our sin to remembrance, and humble us for it. Afllictions, in this view, are great mercies, and it is God's common method of deaN ing with" men: see Job xxxvi. 8—10. And if they be ЬоипЛ in fetiers, and be /widen in cords of affliction; then he skoweth them their work, and their transgressions, that they have exceeded. He openeth also their e«r to discipline, and commandeth that tiny return from iniquity. Let us, therefore, patiently bear God's rebukes, and consider wherefore he contendetii with us; and resolve that wherein we have done iniquity, we will do so no more.
4. How ready are we to draw rash conclusions, as Jacob did, who said, All tliese thin's are against me, when all were for him, and working together for his good. We are ready to conclude, when wc lose our wealth or fame, our health or friends, all this is against us; but God intends it for our good. To judge by passion, or affection, is the way to judge wrong: Jacob's grief darkened his mind, and overwhelmed his faith. We are in great danger of forming a wrong judgment of the divine dispensations, especially of those which are a source of grief and sorrow : Jacob was happily disappointed. Let us learn to judge nothing before the time, but patiently wait till the mystery of Providence is opened; and then we shall see the truth of Paul's observation, that ail things wort together for good to them tliat love God, and are the called according to his purpose.
Jacob's sons are forced to go a second time into Egypt ; Benjamm goes with them; their conversation with Joseph's steward; and the kind entertainment they received from their brother.
] AND the famine [was] sore in the land; a still greater ., 2 XX. scarcity prevailed. And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food> just enough for the present, hoping next year to have a plentiful
3 crop. And Judah, who probably had more interest with his father than .Reuben or Levi, spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my
4 face, except your brother [be] with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food;
f But if thou wilt not send [him,] we will not go down, we cannot go, without breach of our promise, nor without datiger: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not sec my face, except
6 your brother [be] with you. And Israel said, wherefore dealt ye [so] ill with me, [as] to tell the man whether ye
7 had yet a brother? And they said, The man asked us strait. ly of our state and of our kindred, saying, [Is] your father yet alive ? have ye [another] brother? and we told him ac» cording to the tenor of these words ; gave Jam such answers as these questions required; could we certainly know that he
• would say, Bring your brother down ? And Judah said unto Israel his father, send the lad with me (so called, because he was the youngest, though now above thirty years old) and we will arise arfid go ; that we may live, and not die, both
9 we, amd thou, [and] also our little ones. I will be surety for him; of my hand.shalt thou require him; / will do all I can to secure him, and rather suffer any thing than lose him: If I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me
10 bear the blame for ever, and He under thy displeasure: For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this sec.
11 Oiki time. And their father Israel, when he saw there was no help, but he must risk an uncertain danger, or be accessary to the certain rum of his family, consented, and said unto them, If [it must be] so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts,* and almonds; having found in the case of Esau, that a gift pacifieth anger:
12 And take double money in youf hand, as corn may now be grown dearer; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry [it] again in your hand ; perad. venture it [was] an oversight, either in you, or the receiver of
13 the money, and it must therefore be restored: Take also your
14 brother, and arise, go again unto the man: And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved [of hiy Children,] I am bereaved; God's will be done; I commit the issue wholly to Itim.
15 And the men took that present, and they took double money m their hand, and Benjamin ; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph, at the place where he
16 gave audience, or sold corn. And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said privately to the ruler of his house, Bring [these] men home, and slay, and make ready ; for [these] men shall dine with me at noon. In those hot countries it was necessary to dress their meat immediately afler it was killed.
17 And the man did as Joseph bade ; and the man brought the
18 men into Joseph's house. And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, because of the money that was returned in the sacks at the first time are we brought in ; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen and our asses. Conscience accused them, and they thought they should be taken up Jor cheats, and made slaves of; therefore they begin eagerly to make their afwlogy.
19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and 30 they communed with him at the door of the house. And
• Most probably the Pistachio n«t», which ware fivtiar to Judaa ajia Syria.
a great dainty, and werejif