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declares a severe punishment against one who violates a free woman, which indicates that there were some who were not free. On this Reynier remarks, that these laws appear to have been promulgated by the successors of Psammeticus, when new customs began to be introduced, and the communications of the Egyptians with foreigners became more open. These remarks are interesting for the illustrations of Egyptian usages which they convey ; but we cannot admit their validity. This, of Joseph, is not the first or only instance of slavery in Egypt which the Bible mentions. Indeed, the very first notice of slaves occurs in connexion with that country. It was the king of Egypt who gave male and female slaves to Abraham ; and what condition other than slavery was that into which the descendants of Israel ultimately fell in that country? Moreover, the very text before us indicates the remote antiquity of that most just law which protected the life of the slave from the anger of his master. Joseph's master appears to have been one of the principal lords of Pharaoh's court, and he believed that his slave had dealt most perfidiously and ungratefully with him, acting in a way which of all others was most calculated to provoke indignation and summary punishment. Yet we read of no violence that he committed upon his slave. He sent him to the royal prison, apparently with the intention that, after proper trial and conviction, he should receive the chastisement which the law adjudged to his offence. This is one of the instances in which we seem to perceive the advance which, in many respects, the Egyptians had made before other nations in civilization. It is evident also, from the case of the butler and baker, that culprits were committed to prison until their offences could be investigated, and not summarily punished in moments of heat and anger. The laws of Egypt indeed precluded even the king from the power of inflicting an unjust or hasty punishment. We read of nothing like this elsewhere in Genesis. When Judah believed that his daughter-in-law had “ played the harlot,” he did not deliberate a moment or propose investigation, but said at once, “ Bring her forth, and let her be burnt:”.
10 And in the vine were three branches: 1 The butler and baker of Pharaoh in prison. 4
and it was as though it budded, and her Joseph hath charge of them. 5 He interpreteth blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof their dreams. 20° They come to pass according to brought forth ripe grapes: his interpretation. 23 The ingratitude of the 11 And Pharaoli's cup was in my hand: butler.
and I took the grapes, and pressed them And it came to pass after these things, that into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into the butler of the king of Egypt and his Pharaoh's hand. baker had offended their lord the king of 12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the Egypt.
interpretation of it: The three branches are 2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of three days: his officers, against the chief of the butlers, 13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh and against the chief of the bakers.
* lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy 3. And he put them in ward in the house place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup of the captain of the guard, into the prison, into his hand, after the former manner when the place where Joseph was bound.
thou wast his butler. 4 And the captain of the guard charged 14 But 3 think on me when it shall be Joseph with them, and he served them: well with thee, and shew kindness, I
pray and they continued a season in ward. thee, unto me, and make mention of me
5 ( And they dreamed a dream both of unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this them, each man his dream in one night, house: each man according to the interpretation of 15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the his dream, the butler and the baker of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I king of Egypt, which were bound in the done nothing that they should put me into prison.
the dungeon. 6 And Joseph came in unto them in the 16 When the chief baker saw that the morning, and looked upon them, and, be interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, hold, they were sad.
I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had 7 And he asked Pharaoh's officers that three * white baskets on my head: were with him in the ward of his lord's 17 And in the uppermost basket there was house, saying, Wherefore 'look ye so sadly of all manner of "bakemeats for Pharaoh ; to day?
and the birds did eat them out of the basket 8 And they said unto him, We have upon my head. dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter 18 And Joseph answered and said, This of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not is the interpretation thereof : The three interpretations belong to God? tell me them, baskets are three days. I pray you.
19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh 9 And the chief butler told his dream to lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, be thee on a trec; and the birds shall eat thy hold, a vine was before me;
flesh from off thee. 1 Heb. are your faces evil.
4 Or, full of loles. 5 Heb. meat of Pharaoh, the work of
6 Or, reckon thee, and take thy office from thee.
2 Or, reckon, 3 Heb. remember me with thee.
a baker, or, cook,
20 q And it came to pass the third day, his butlership again; and he gave the cup which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made into Pharaoh's hand: a feast unto all his servants: and he ? lifted 22 But he hanged the chief baker: as up the head of the chief butler and of the Joseph had interpreted to them. chief baker among his servants.
23 | Yet did not the chief butler remem21 And he restored the chief butler unto ber Joseph, but forgat him.
Verse 9. “Behold, a vine was before me.”—Herodotus says that the culture of the vine was unknown in Egypt. But he was certainly mistaken ; for every kind of evidence concurs to confirm the statement of Scripture. Indeed, other ancient writers even say that the Egyptians claim for their Osiris the honour of being the first who cultivated the vine, and extracted wine from its fruit; and Athenæus, Strabo, Pliny, and Clement of Alexandria, specify districts in which it was grown. Modern travellers still find the vine cultivated in some places ; and vine-branches
, laden with ripe grapes, are among the ornaments of ancient Egyptian architecture. Egyptían paintings also have been found representing the vintage, with men occupied in pressing the ripe fruit. It is, nevertheless, true that the soil of Egypt is not generally favourable to the culture of the vine, and it does not appear that it throve well except in some more elevated spots. The quantity of wine afforded by the vines of Egypt was so small that wine was never, as in Greece, a common drink. Beer was the ordinary Egyptian beverage ; not, indeed, what we call by that name, as the use of hops was not known in ancient times; but still, a fermented drink, prepared from barley. The Egyptians assigned the honour of this invention also to their Osiris, who, as they state, favoured those whose land would not produce the vine, by teaching them how to obtain from barley a liquor not very different from wine in odour and strength. It is certain that the use of beer is only less ancient than that of wine. The earlier origin of the latter is accounted for by the greater simplicity of its preparation, which is such that the discovery may (as the Persians taught) have been accidental ; whilst it is difficult to imagine the circumstances which could have suggested to people of primitive times the idea of a drink prepared from barley. (See Reynier ; Goguet; and Heeren, ‘Politique et Commerce des Peuples de l'Antiquité,' &c.)
11. “ I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup.”—Wine could not be the result of this process ; although, by a poetical licence, the expressed juice of the grape is often called “ wine.” The juice was no doubt mixed with water, forming a sherbet. The Orientals are still very fond of such drinks, formed by mixing the juices of fruits with water. Such beverages stand to them in the place of fermented or distilled drinks to Europeans. This drink could not be intoxicating ; but the use of proper wine—that is, a fermented and intoxicating drink-was known long before, as we have seen in the respective histories of Noah and Lot. It has been asserted that wine was forbidden to the Egyptians by their religion ; but this must be understood with some important limitations ; for we learn from Herodotus, that the people were allowed to drink wine at certain festivals, and that the privileged class, the priesthood, were only interdicted from the use of it on the days of their service in the temples, and even on those days they were only required to abstain until their ministrations for the day had terminated. There was, however, such a diversity of usages in the different nomes or provinces of ancient Egypt, that wine may have been wholly prohibited in some and partially allowed in others. As to the king, it is perhaps too much to infer that, because on this occasion he drank the expressed juice of the grape, he never drank wine ; but it is remarkable, in connexion with this statement, that, according to Diodorus Siculus, the king, all whose movements were regulated by the priests, was restricted to a certain quantity of wine. That wine was not entirely disallowed in Egypt seems to be further evinced by the representation of vintage-scenes, mentioned in the previous note, which still exist in the subterraneous temples and sepulchral caverns of that country. These scenes show that the Egyptians trod the grapes with their feet, and deposited the expressed juice in jars buried nearly to their mouths in the ground. In the time of Pliny, the Roman tables were furnished with their choicest wines from Sebenytus. (See Reynier, p. 355-359; and Goguet, tome i. p. 123, et seq. and 368.)
13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted 1 Pharaoh's two dreams. 25 Joseph interpreteth to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine
them, 33 He giveth Pharaoh counsel. 41 Joseph office, and him he hanged. is advanced. 50 He begetteth Manasseh und 14 Then Pharaoh sent and called JoEphraim. 54 The famine beginneth.
seph, and they brought him hastily out of the And it came to pass at the end of two full dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. he stood by the river.
15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have 2 And, behold, there came up out of the dreamed a dream, and there is none that river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; can interpret it: and I have heard say of and they fed in a meadow.
thee, that's thou canst understand a dream to 3 And, behold, seven other kine came up | interpret it. after them out of the river, ill favoured and 16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an the brink of the river.
peace. 4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed 17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my kine did eat up the seven well favoured and dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
the river: 5 And he slept and dreamed the second 18 And, behold, there came up out of the time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; up upon one stalk, 'rank and good.
and they fed in a meadow: 6 And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted 19 And, behold, seven other kine came up with the east wind sprung up after them. after them, poor and very ill favoured and
7 And the seven thin ears devoured the leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh land of Egypt for badness: awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine 8 And it came to pass in the morning that did eat up the first seven fat kine: his spirit was troubled; and he sent and 21 And when they had 'eaten them up, it called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all could not be known that they had eaten the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them; but they were still ill favoured, as at them his dream; but there was none that the beginning. So I awoke. could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, 9 Then spake the chief butler unto seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults 23 And, behold, seven ears, ?withered, this day:
thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung 10 Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, up after them: and put me in ward in the captain of the 24 And the thin ears devoured the seven guard's house, both me and the chief baker: good ears: and I told this unto the magi
11 And we dreamed a dream in one night, cians; but there was none that could declare I and he; we dreamed each man according it to me. to the interpretation of his dream.
25 | And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The 12 And there was there with us a young dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of Pharaoh what he is about to do. the guard; and we told him, and he inter- 26 The seven good kine are seven years ; preted to us our dreams; to each man ac- and the seven good ears are seven years: the cording to his dream he did interpret.
dream is one.
| Heb. fat.
* Chap. 40. 12, &c.
8 Psal. 105. 20. 4 Heb. made him run,
3 Or, when thou hearest a dream, thou canst interpret it.
27 And the seven thin and ill favoured him, " Bow is the knee: and he made him kine that came up after them are seven years ; ruler over all the land of Egypt. and the seven empty cars blasted with the 41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am east wind shall be seven years of famine. Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift
28 This is the thing which I have spoken up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name sheweth unto Pharaoh.
Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife 29 Behold, there come seven years of great Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah " priest plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: of On. And Joseph went out over all the 30° And there shall arise after them seven
land of Egypt. years of famine; and all the plenty shall be 46 | And Joseph was thirty years old forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the fa- when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. mine shall consume the land;
And Joseph went out from the presence of 31 And the plenty shall not be known in Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land the land by reason of that famine following; of Egypt. for it shall be very 8 grievous.
47 And in the seven plenteous years the 32 And for that the dream was doubled earth brought forth by handfuls. unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing 48 And he gathered up all the food of the is 'established by God, and God will shortly seven years,
were in the land of Egypt bring it to pass.
and laid up the food in the cities: the food 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a of the field, which was round about every city man discreet and wise, and set him over the laid he up in the same. land of Egypt.
49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him ap- of the sea, very much, until he left numberpoint ''officers over the land, and take up the ing, for it was without number. fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven 50 T 8 And unto Joseph were born two sons plenteous years.
before the years of famine came, which Ase35 And let them gather all the food of nath the daughter of Poti-pherah "priest of those good years that come, and lay up corn On bare unto him. under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep 51 And Joseph called the name of the food in the cities.
firstborno Manasseh: For God, said he hath 36 And that food shall be for store to the made me forget all my toil, and all my father's land against the seven years of famine, which house. shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land 52 And the name of the second called he 1 perish not through the famine.
9 Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be 37 And the thing was good in the eyes of fruitful in the land of my affliction. Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 53 | And the seven years of plenteousness,
38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. Can we find such a one as this is, a man in 54 2 And the seven years of dearth began whom the Spirit of God is?
to come, according as Joseph had said: and 39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Foras- the dearth was in all lands; but in all the much as God hath shewed thee all this, there land of Egypt there was bread. is none so discreet and wise as thou art : 55 And when all the land of Egypt was
40 12 Thou shalt be over my house, and ac- famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for cording unto thy word shall all my people bread : and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyp13 be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater tians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, than thou.
do. 41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I
56 And the famine was over all the face have set thee over all the land of Egypt. of the earth: And Joseph opened * all the
42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and and the famine waxed sore in the land of arrayed him in vestures of " fine linen, and Egypt. put a gold chain about his neck;
57 And all countries came into Egypt to 43 And he made him to ride in the second Joseph for to buy corn; because that the chariot which he had; and they cried before famine was so sore in all lands. 8 Heb, heavy. 9 Or, prepared of God. 15 Or, Tender father.
17 Or, prince. 18 Chap. 46. 20, and 48. 5. 19 Or, prince. 20 That is, forgetting.
21 That is, fruitful
10 Or, overscers.
13 Heb. be armed, or, kiss.
14 Or, silk.
11 Hel), le not cut of'. 12 Psal. 105. 21. 1 Mac. 2. 53. Acts 7. 10. 16 Heb. Abrech.
22 Psal. 105. 16. 23 Heb, all wherein was,
Verse 2. “ There came up out of the river seven well favoured kine.”—It should be observed, as indicated by Rosenmüller, after Clement of Alexandria, that the ox, in the symbolical writings of the Egyptians, signifies agriculture and subsistence; and the river Nile being by its inundations the exclusive source of fertility in Egypt, the emergence of the oxen from its waters renders the application of the dream obvious when the clue is once obtained ; and its identity with the other dream also becomes apparent. At the same time, the action of the oxen in coming up out of the water is quite natural, and such as Pharaoh might have witnessed every day. Animals of the buffalo kind in hot countries seem almost amphibious; they delight to stand for hours in the water, with their bodies immersed except the head; and they will swim the most broad and rapid rivers without reluctance or difficulty. This may be often witnessed in the Nile; and the writer has also seen it in the Tigris and other rivers of Asia. Dr. A. Clarke, who was not aware how kine could be represented as coming up out of the river, concludes that the hippopotamus, or river-horse, is intended.
" In a meadow.”—The ng achu is elsewhere (Job viii. 11) translated “flag;” by the Septuagint, Boutopov: but in this place, as not knowing a proper Greek word for it, they content themselves by saying lv om öxsi, which is the original in different characters. "We know at present of no river-herb which has so fair a title to be considered as the achu as the Maawatumia of Theophrastus and the Cyperus esculentus of the moderns. The genus Cyperus is distinguished by its elegant spikelets, which bear a row of scales on each side, wherein the seeds are concealed. The Cyperus esculentus is remarkable for the edible nature of its roots, which are in tubercles of about the size of a walnut; they contain much oil and starch, and were eaten in the days of Theophrastus, as ogaynuatu, or sweetmeats. He tells us that every part of the plant is eaten by sheep and oxen. He speaks also of a different kind which grows in the lakes and marshes, and is given to cattle when green, and laid up in a state of dryness as winter fodder. It was given them while they were at work and when they required the best food. It seems, therefore, that the vision represented one of the best kinds of pasturage, if not the very best, for the cattle of Egypt.
5.“ Seren ears of corn came up upon one stalk.”—M. de Lamarck is of opinion that several kinds of wheat, which
Ears or CORN. are generally looked upon by botanists as distinct species, are all of them only varieties of the Triticum hibernumLammas or winter wheat. And when we consider the varieties that arise from cultivation, and that the originals cannot be found in a state of nature, this opinion seems to be founded upon reason and analogy. Nothing certain about the original country of the wheat is known: Sicily, Siberia, and Persia, have been in their turn pointed out as claimants, but without any unequivocal evidence. If we were to suggest Egypt as the birth-place of the wheat, we should not perhaps be far from the truth; since the first time we hear of it, in the most ancient of all histories, is in Egypt, from whence the cultivated wheat might have extended to the islands of the Mediterranean, and subsequently to Greece, and her colonies to the westward.
The terms "rank” and “good” express the plumpness and beauty of the ears. The corresponding word for the former in the original is “ fat” (
Jina), and is afterwards explained, in verse 22, by “full." In our own language, "rank” is applied to a plant when it exhibits an excessive freeness in its growth.
6. “ Blasted with the east wind;" the blighting effect which a “shrewd and eager” wind has upon vegetation is often exemplified among us in early spring. Nothing but observation can make us sensible of the wide difference between a sheltered and an unsheltered spot, in reference to the health of some plants, during spring and autumn.
6 In Kamtchatka, the writer of this note has often seen a plant in full blossom a few inches from the snow. Just under the brow of some eminence, in a little recess, it seemed to enjoy all the advantages of a more genial season, simply because it was sheltered from the wind, and the air about it was tranquil.
Compare this passage with verse 47, where it is said that “the earth brought forth by handfuls :" by which we are probably to understand that each stalk, in the plentiful years, produced as much corn as, popularly speaking, the hand could grasp. This, or even more than this productiveness is not at this day unusual in Egypt. Mr. Jowett, in his • Christian Researches,' states that, when in Egypt, he plucked up at random a few stalks out of the thick cornfields. “We counted the number of stalks which
a Triticum sativum. b Holcus sorghum, sprouted from single grains of seed, carefully pulling to pieces each root, in order to see that it was one plant. The first had seven stalks; the next three; then eighteen ; then fourteen. Each stalk would bear an ear.” Even greater numbers than these are mentioned by Dr. Shaw, and still more by Pliny. It also often happens that one of the stalks will bear two ears, while each of these ears will shoot out into a number of lesser ears; affording a most plentiful increase.
14. “ He shaved himself.”—This is what we should probably do on a similar occasion; but, carefully considered, this is one of many passages in which the truth of the Scripture narrative is attested by an incidental and slight allusion to remarkable customs, which no mere inventor would think of noticing, or notice without explaining. Shaving
was a remarkable custom of the Egyptians, in which they were distinguished from other oriental nations, who carefully cherished