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the beard, and regarded the loss of it as a deep disgrace. That this was the feeling of the Hebrews we shall frequently have occasion to observe: but here Joseph shaves himself in conformity with an Egyptian usage, of which this passage conveys the earliest intimation, but which is confirmed not only by the subsequent accounts of Greek and Roman writers, but by the ancient sculptures and paintings of Egypt, in which the male figure is usually beardless. It is true that in sculptures some heads have a curious rectau ular beard, or rather beard-case attached to the chin; but this is proved to be an artificial appendage, by the same head being represented sometimes with and at other times without it; and still more by the appearance of a band which passes along the jaws and attaches it to the cap on the head, or to the hair. It is concluded that this appendage was never actually worn, but was used in sculpture to indicate the male character. (See • British Museum-Egyptian Antiquities,' vol. ii., in • Library of Entertaining Knowledge.)

42. Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand.—This was, no doubt, a principal circumstance in Joseph's investiture in the high office of chief minister to the king of Egypt. Investiture by a ring is not unknown in the history of Europe during the middle ages. But the present ring was undoubtedly a signet, or seal-ring, which gave validity to the documents to which it was affixed, and by the delivery of which, therefore, Pharaoh delegated to Joseph the chief authority in the state. The king of Persia in the same way gave his seal-ring to his successive ministers Haman and Mordecai; and in Esther viii. 8, the use of such a ring is expressly declared :“The writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse." session of such a ring therefore gave absolute power in all things to the person to whom it was entrusted. This may in some degree be understood by the use of a seal among ourselves to convey validity to a legal instrument or public document; and still more perhaps by the use of the Great Seal, the person who holds which is, at least nominally, the second person in the state. But our usages do not perfectly illustrate the use of the seal as it exists in the East; because we require the signature in addition to the seal ; whereas in the East, the seal alone has the effect which we give to both the seal and the signature. People in the East do not sign their naines. They have seals in which their names and titles are engraven, and with which they make an impression with thick ink on all occasions for which we use the signature. To give a man your seal, is therefore to give him the use of that authority and power which your own signature possesses. This explains the extraordinary anxiety about seals which is exhibited in the laws and usages of the East. It explains Judah’s anxiety about the signet which he had pledged to Tamar, (ch. xxxviii.) and it explains the force of the present act of Pharaoh. In Egypt, the crime of counterfeiting a seal was punished with the loss of both hands. In Persia, at the present day, letters are seldom written, and never signed by the person who sends them; and it will thus appear that the authenticity of all orders and communications, and even of a merchant's bills, depends wholly on the seal. This makes the occupation of a seal-cutter one of as much trust and danger as it seems to have been in Egypt. Such a person is obliged to keep a register of every seal he makes, and if one be lost, or stolen from the party for whom it was cut, his life would answer for making another exactly like it. The loss of a seal is considered a very serious calamity; and the alarm which an Oriental exhibits when his seal is missing can only be understood by a reference to these circumstances. As the seal-cutter is always obliged to affix the real date at which the seal was cut, the only resource of a person who has lost his seal is to have another made with a new date, and to write to his correspondents, to inform them that all accounts, contracts, and communications to which his former seal is affixed, are null from the day on which it was lost.

That the ring, in this case, was a signet appears from other passages, which describe it as used for the purpose of sealing. It would seem that most of the ancient seals were rings; but they were not always finger-rings, being often worn as bracelets on the arm. Indeed, it is observable, that nowhere in the Bible is a signet expressly said to be worn on the finger, but on the hand, as in the present text; and although this may denote the finger, we may understand it literally, as of a ring worn on the wrist. Finger seal-rings are now, however, more usual than bracelets ; and very often seals are not used as rings at all, but are carried in a small bag in the bosom of a person's dress, or suspended from his neck by a silken cord. They are and were, whether rings or otherwise, made of gold or silver, or even inferior metals, such as brass. But an inscribed stone is frequently set in the metal; and that this custom was very ancient appears from Exod. xxviii. 11, and other places, where we read of “engraving in stone like the engraving of a signet." The intelligent editor of Calmet (Mr. C. Taylor) is mistaken in his explanation that such seals, used as stamps-manual to impress a name with ink upon paper, must have the characters raised, as in our printing and wood-engraving, and not indented as in our seals. The fact is, that they are cut in the same fashion as our seals; and the thick ink being lightly daubed with the finger over the surface, the seal is pressed upon the paper, where it leaves a black impression, in which the characters are left white or blank.

Arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck.”—This also was probably part of the investiture of Joseph in his high office. A dress of honour still in the East accompanies promotion in the royal service ; and otherwise forms the ordinary medium through which princes and great persons manifest their favour and esteem. In Persia, where perhaps the fullest effect is in our own time given to this usage, the king has always a large wardrobe from which he bestows dresses to his own subjects or foreign ambassadors whom he desires to honour. These dresses are called “ Kelaats ;” and the reception of them forms a distinction, which is desired with an earnestness, and received with an exultation only comparable to that which accompanies titular distinctions or insignia of knighthood in Europe. They form the principal criterion through which the public judge of the degree of influence which the persons who receive them enjoy at court, and therefore the parties about to be thus honoured exhibit the utmost anxiety that the kelaat may, in all its circumstances, be in the highest degree indicative of the royal favour. It varies in the number and quality of the articles which compose it, according to the rank of the person to whom it is given, or the degree of honour intended to be afforded ; and all these matters are examined and discussed by the public with a great degree of earnestness. Besides the robes occasionally bestowed by the king and princes, the former regularly sends a kelaat, once a year, to the governors of provinces, who are generally royal princes. At the distance of every few miles from every provincial capital, there is usually a town or village called * Kelaat,” which name it derives from its being the appointed place to which the governor proceeds in great state from his city, attended by great part of its population, to be invested with the dress of honour thus sent him from the king. The occasion is attended with great rejoicings ; and is of so much importance, that it is postponed until the arrival of what the astrologers decide to be a propitious day, and even the favourable moment for investiture is determined by the same authorities. A common Persian kalaat consists of a vesture of fine stuff, perhaps brocade ; a sash or girdle for the waist, and a shawl for the head; and when it is intended to be more distinguishing, a sword or dagger is added. Robes of rich furs are given to persons of distinction. A kelaat of the very richest description consists, besides the dress, of the same articles which Xenophon describes as being given by the ancient princes of Persia, namely :-a horse with a golden bridle, a chain of gold, (as in this kelaat which Pharaoh gave to Joseph,) and a golden sword—that is, a sword, with a scabbard oruamented with gold. The chain of gold now given is, however, part of the furniture of the horse, and hangs over his nose. Joseph's chain of gold was, however, a personal ornament: it had thus early become a mark of official distinction, and remains such to this day among different nations. It is also observable that Xenophon mentions bracelets among the articles in the ancient Persian kelaat. Bracelets are not now worn by Persians, and are therefore not given ; but we have already intimated that the “ ring,” mentioned in the preceding text, may be understood as well to signify a bracelet as a finger ring.

The expression “ fine linen" in the text would suggest some observations on the linen manufactures of Egypt; but this, and some other subjects connected with that remarkable country, are reserved for the notes on Isaiah xix., the 9th verse of which mentions the Egyptians who “work in fine flax.”

45. Pharaoh ... gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On.—Many writers have been anxious on various theories to explain away the apparent impropriety of this marriage of Joseph with the daughter of an idolatrous priest. By far the most probable hypothesis of any that has come under our notice is that of Mr. Sharon Turner, in his . Sacred History of the World.' We give it in his own words: “ In ancient days, we learn from Juba, the African prince and historian, that the Arabs peopled part of Egypt from Meroe to Syene, and built the City of the Sun. Pliny has preserved this remarkable but little noticed fact: *Juba says that the City of the Sun, which was not far from Memphis in Egypt, has had the Arabs for its founders; and that the inhabitants of the Nile, from Syene up to Meroe, are not Ethiopian people, but Arabs. (Pliny, l. vi., c. 34.) He says of this Juba, as noting his good authority, 'In this part it pleases us to follow the Roman arms and King Juba, in his volumes written to Caius Cæsar, of the same Arabian expedition. This important passage of Juba bears, I think, upon the history of Joseph, and explains why he married the daughter of a priest at Heliopolis or On. Being an Arabian colony, it would not have then in it the base superstitions of Egypt, but would have, at that period, retained enough of the Abrahamic or patriarchal religion to make a female there more near to his own faith and feelings than any other part of Egypt.” Several objections to this occur; such as, that the Arabs may have colonized on the Nile very early, and yet not have done it before Joseph's time; that, if they had done so as early as this, they were more likely to have been rather Arabs of the Kahtan or Cushite tribes than descendants of Ishmael, who could not at this time have been numerous enough to establish large colonies. However, if these objections have no force, we are willing to admit this theory, provided that we are allowed at all events to conclude, that whatever were the religious opinions of the priest of On, he was a member of that great priestly caste whose authority and paramount influence were such as to render the Egyptian government rather ecclesiastical than monarchical. We know that when a king was elected who was not previously of the sacerdotal caste, he was adopted into that caste and instructed in its mysteries and science; and this fact alone seems to us sufficient to warrant the conclusion, that the desire of the priesthood to concentrate all power in their own body induced them to wish that Joseph should connect himself with them; or that it was done from the desire felt by the king, that a person in whom he had so much confidence should be put in a condition to claim the support and countenance of that powerful body in his undertakings.

57. All countries came into Egypt, corn.”—Egypt seems to have been then, what it has continued to the present day, the granary of the neighbouring nations, who in all their exigencies and deficiencies look to Egypt as the source whence a supply of corn may be derived. That country is singularly circumstanced, its fertility not depending on local rains, but on the annual inundation of its river, which renders the soil richly productive even in seasons when the harvests fail in the neighbouring countries from continued drought. We have here the earliest notice of the extensive corn trade which Egypt has always enjoyed. This trade, which has at different periods enabled other nations to partake in the benefit of the extraordinary fertility of the country, seems for a long time to have been exclusively conducted by caravans, as in the instance before us. It is true that scarcely any notice exists of this trade until the Greeks and Romans became interested in it, and began to resort to Egypt for corn. But according to the important remark of Heeren, “ It is the nature of land-trade to be less conspicuous than that by sea, and indeed the less so the more regular it is in its course. May not our knowledge of the African caravan trade be considered, to a certain extent, as a discovery of modern times? And yet it stands incontrovertible, that it has continued, with but few alterations, for many centuries.” To illustrate the importance of this trade to ancient Egypt, the same able inquirer adduces an example quoted by Aristotle, in which the payment of the public taxes was rendered impossible by an attempt to interdict the exportation of corn.


4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob 1 Jacob sendeth his ten sons to buy corn in Egypt.

sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest 16 They are imprisoned by Joseph for spies. 18

peradventure mischief befall him. They are set at liberty, on condition to bring Ben- 5 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn jamin. 21 They have remorse for Joseph. 24 among

those that came : for the famine was Simeon is kept for a pledge. 25 They return with in the land of Canaan. corn, and their money. 29 Their relation to Jacob. 36 Jacob refuseth to send Benjamin.

6 And Joseph was the governor over

the land, and he it was that sold to all the Now when 'Jacob saw that there was corn in people of the land : and Joseph's brethren Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye came, and bowed down themselves before look one upon another?

him with their faces to the earth. 2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that 7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he there is corn in Egypt: get you down thi- knew them, but made himself strange unto ther, and buy for us from thence; that we them, and spake 'roughly unto them; and he may live, and not die.

said unto them, Whence come ye? And 3 And Joseph's ten brethren went they said, From the land of Canaan to buy down to buy corn in Egypt.

food. 1 Acts 7. 12.

? Heb. hard things with them.

8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but | sacks with corn, and to restore every man's they knew not him.

money into his sack, and to give them pro9 And Joseph Sremembered the dreams vision for the way: and thus did he unto which he dreamed of them, and said unto them. them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of 26 And they laded their asses with the the land ye are come.

corn, and departed thence. 10 And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, 27 And as one of them opened his sack but to buy food are thy servants come. to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied

11 We are all one man's sons; we are his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's true men, thy servants are no spies.

mouth. 12 And he said unto them, Nay, but to 28 And he said unto his brethren, My see the nakedness of the land ye are come. money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my

13 And they said, Thy servants are twelve sack: and their heart "failed them, and they brethren, the sons of one man in the land of were afraid, saying one to another, What is Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this this that God hath done unto us? day with our father, and one is not.

29 | And they came unto Jacob their fa14 And Joseph said unto them, That is ther unto the land of Canaan, and told him it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: all that befell unto them ; saying,

15 Hereby ye shall be proved: By the 30 The man, who is the lord of the land, life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, spake Ioroughly to us, and took us for spies except your youngest brother come hither.

of the country 16 Send one of you, and let him fetch 31 And we said unto him, We are true your brother, and ye shall be ‘kept in prison, men; we are no spies : that your words may be proved, whether 32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our there be any truth in you: or else by the father; one is not, and the youngest is this life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies.

day with our father in the land of Canaan. 17 And he 'put them all together into

33 And the man, the lord of the country, ward three days.

said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye 18 And Joseph said unto them the third are true men; leave one of your brethren day, This do, and live; for I fear God: here with me, and take food for the famine

19 If ye be true men, let one of your bre- of your housholds, and be gone: thren be bound in the house of your prison : 34 And bring your youngest brother unto go ye, carry corn for the famine of your me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, :

but that ye are true men : so will I deliver 20 But bring your youngest brother unto you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the me; so shall your words be verified, and


land. shall not die. And they did so.

35 | And it came to pass as they emptied 21 9 And they said one to another, We their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle are verily guilty concerning our brother, in of money was in his sack: and when both that we saw the anguish of his soul, when they and their father saw the bundles of he besought us, and we would not hear; | money, they were afraid. therefore is this distress come upon us.

36 And Jacob their father said unto them, 22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Me have ye bereaved of my children : Joseph "Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take against the child; and ye would not hear? Benjamin away: all these things are against therefore, behold, also his blood is required.

23 And they knew not that Joseph un- 37 And Reuben spake unto his father, derstood them; for ‘he spake unto them by saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not an interpreter.

to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will 24 And he turned himself about from bring him to thee again. them, and wept; and returned to them 38 And he said, My son shall not go down again, and communed with them, and took with you; for his brother is dead, and he is from them Simeon, and bound him before left alone : if mischief befall him by the way their eyes.

in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down 25 | Then Joseph commanded to fill their my gray hairs with sorrow to the



3 Chap. 37. 5.

4 Heb. bound.

Heb.gathered. 8 Chap. 43. 5. i Chap. 3. 21.
Heb. went forth,

10 Heb, with us hard things.

O Heb. an interpreter was between them.

Verse 9. “ Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.”—It will be seen in the note to chap. xlvi. 34, that Joseph had sufficient apparent cause to justify this affected suspicion. But we may here remark, that such an imputation as this remains to this day that to which a stranger is continually exposed in the East. The Orientals generally have no idea that people will make a journey unless from urgent necessity, or on gainful speculations; and if, therefore, a person does not travel in a mercantile character, or on some public business, he is invariably considered as a spy-more especially if he turns aside or stops to examiye any remarkable object, or is discovered in the act of writing, or making oliservations of any kind. Curiosity, or the desire of collecting information, are motives perfectly incomprehensible to them, and are always treated as shallow and childish pretences. They ask triumphantly whether you have no trees, birds, animals, rivers, or ruins at home to engage your attention, that you should come so far to look for them.

15. By the life of Pharaoh."-Swearing by the life of a superior or respected person, or by that of the person aldressed, is a common conversational oath in different parts of Asia. In Persia, although the force of the expression is precisely the same, its form is varied to swearing by the head, particularly by the head of the king. “By the king's head, by his death, or by his soul!" are expressious which are continually heard in that country, and are used even by the king, who generally speaks of himself in the third person. The Persians also swear by their own heads, and by those of the persons to whom they speak. Pharaoh's swearing by himself, in chap. xli. 44, “ I am Pharaoh," seems to receive some illustration from the practice of the Persian king.

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fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry 1 Jacob is hardly persuaded to send Benjamin. 15 down the man a present, a little balm, and a Joseph entertaineth his brethren. 31 °He maketh little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and althem a feast.

monds: And the famine was sore in the land.

12 And take double money in your hand; 2 And it came to pass, when they had and the money that was brought again in eaten up the corn which they had brought the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in out of Egypt, their father said unto them, your hand; peradventure it was an overGo again, buy us a little food.

sight: 3 And Judah spake unto him, saying, 13 Take also your brother, and arise, go The man 'did solemnly protest unto us, say- | again unto the man: ing, Ye shall not see my face, except your

14 And God Almighty give you merey 'brother be with you.

before the man,

that he


away your 4 If thou wilt send our brother with us, other brother, and Benjamin. "If I be bewe will go down and buy thee food :

reaved of my children, I am bereaved. 5 But if thou wilt not send him, we will 15 q And the men took that present, and not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye they took double money in their hand, and shall not see my face, except your brother be Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to

Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 6 And Israel said, Wherefore dealt

16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring had yet a brother?

these men home, and "slay, and make ready; 7 And they said, The man 'asked us for these men shall dine with me at noon. straitly of our state, and of our kindred, 17 And the man did as Joseph bade; saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye and the man brought the men into Joseph's another brother? and we told him according house. to the tenor of these words: Scould we cer- 18 And the men were afraid, because they tainly know that he would say, Bring your were brought into Joseph's house; and they brother down?

said, Because of the money that was returned 8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, in our sacks at the first time are we brought Send the lad with me, and we will arise and in; that he may "seek occasion against us, go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and thou, and also our little ones.

and our asses. 9 I will be surety for him ; of my hand 19 And they came near to the steward shalt thou require him: 'if I bring him not of Joseph's house, and they communed with unto thee, and set him before thee, then let him at the door of the house, me bear the blame for ever:

20 And said, Osir, ?we 13came indeed 10 For except we had lingered, surely now down at the first time to buy food : we had returned this second time.

21 And it came to pass, when we came 11 And their father Israel said unto them, to the inn, that we opened our sacks, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best ) and, behold, every man's money was in Heb. protesting protested. * Chap 42. 20. 3 Heb. asking asked us.

5 Heb. knowing could we know ? 6 Chap 44. 32. 7 Or, twice by this. 8 Or, and I, as I have been, &c. 9 Heb. kill a killing.

11 Heb. roll himself upon us.

lo Clip. 43. 3. 13 Heb, coming down we came doun.

4 Heb, mouth.

10 Heb. cat.

the mouth of his sack, our money in full | they bowed down their heads, and made weight: and we have brought it again in obeisance. our hand.

29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his 22 And other money have we brought brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, down in our hands to buy food: we cannot Is this your younger brother, of whom ye tell who put our money in our sacks. spake unto me? And he said, God be gra

23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not : cious unto thee, my son. your God, and the God of your father, hath 30 And Joseph made haste ; for his given you treasure in your sacks: "I had bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he your money. And he brought Simeon out sought where to weep; and he entered into unto them.

his chamber, and wept there. 24 And the man brought the men into 31 And he washed his face, and went out, Joseph's house, and 's gave them water, and and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. they washed their feet; and he gave their 32 And they set on for him by himself, asses provender.

and for them by themselves, and for the 25 And they made ready the present Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themagainst Joseph came at noon : for they heard selves: because the Egyptians might not that they should eat bread there.

eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an 26 And when Joseph came home, they abomination unto the Egyptians. brought him the present which was in their 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn hand into the house, and bowed themselves according to his birthright, and the youngest to him to the earth.

according to his youth: and the men mar27 And he asked them of their 18welfare, velled one at another. and said, "Is your father well, the old man of 34 And he took and sent messes unto whom ye spake? Is he yet alive ?

them from before him: but Benjamin's mess 28 And they answered, Thy servant our was five times so much as any of their's. And father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they drank, and "were merry with him. 14 Heb. your money came to me. 15 Chap. 18. 4, and 24. 32 16 Heb. peace. 37 Heb. Is there peace to your father. 18 Heb. drank largely.

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Verse 11. For “ balm,” “spices,” and “myrrh,” see notes on chap. xxxvii. 25,

Nuts," D'U2 Botnim.—The nuts here spoken of were the Pistachio nuts, produced by one of the terebinthaceous trees once peculiar to Syria, Pistacia vera, whence it was brought into Europe by Lucius Vitellius, governor of Syria, and since that spread over the shores of the Mediterranean. The nuts are about the size of a hazel-nut, covered este

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