« AnteriorContinuar »
covenant with Jacob on Mount Gilead, and they took leave of one another in peace.
Jacob sent messengers to Esau, to inform him of his arrival. And Esau came out to meet him, with four hundred men. Then Jacob was greatly afraid, and divided the people that were with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; and said, "If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape." And Jacob prayed, saying, "O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou has showed unto thy servant: for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude." c And he chose the finest out of his flocks and herds for a present for his brother Esau. And he told the servants who took them, to say to Esau, when he asked whose they were, "These be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau.”
Then he led his company over the brook Jabbok, and in the night he was left alone. And there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when the day broke, the man
Gen. xxxii. 3-12.
JOSEPH IS SOLD.
said to him, "Let me go, for the day breaketh. And Jacob said, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Then said the man, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel" (that is, a prevailer over God); "for thou hast contended with God and with men, and hast prevailed."d
Jacob saw his brother Esau coming, and bowed himself to the earth seven times. And Esau ran to meet him, and fell on his neck and wept. And Jacob's wives and children bowed themselves down before Esau. The present Esau would not at first receive; but Jacob constrained him to do so. Then Esau went his way, and Jacob came again to the land of Canaan.
15. JOSEPH IS SOLD.
AMONG the sons of Jacob who were born in Padan-aram, the youngest was Joseph, the son of Rachel: the twelfth, Benjamin, was born in Canaan. And Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons, and gave him a beautiful coat. Therefore his brethren envied him, and hated him; so that they could not speak peaceably to him. And Joseph had a dream. He dreamed that they were all binding sheaves in the field, and his brothers' sheaves made obeisance to his sheaf. When he told them this dream, they hated him the more. And another time he said to them, "I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun, and the moon, and the eleven stars, made obeisance unto me.' And his father rebuked him for this, and said,
d Gen. xxxii. 24-28.
"Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" a But his father observed all these sayings.
Jacob sent him one day to visit his brethren, who were feeding their flocks at a place distant several days' journey from Hebron, where Jacob dwelt. He found them at Dothan. When they saw him coming, they said one to another, "Behold, this
dreamer cometh. Let us slay him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams." But Reuben, the eldest of the brethren, said, "Shed no blood,
a Gen. xxxvii. 3-11.
JOSEPH IN EGYPT.
but cast him into this pit;" for he intended afterwards to come secretly and take him out.
When they had cast him into the pit, they saw a company of Ishmaelitish merchants, who were on their way to Egypt. Then they drew him out, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took his coat, and they slew a kid, and they dipped the coat in the blood, and brought it to their father, and said, "This we have found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no." And Jacob knew it, and said, "It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him: Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces." And all his sons and all his daughters came and endeavoured to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, "I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning." b
16. JOSEPH IN EGYPT.
THE Ishmaelites took Joseph to Egypt, and sold him for a slave to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard. And when his master perceived Joseph's wisdom and integrity, and saw that God made him to prosper in all he did, he appointed him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. So Joseph enjoyed happy days, even in slavery.
Potiphar had an unchaste wife, who endeavoured to tempt Joseph to great wickedness and unfaithfulness; but Joseph said to her, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" When the woman saw that she could not tempt
b Gen. xxxvii. 23-35.
Joseph to sin, she brought a false charge against him to her husband. Then Potiphar cast him into prison. But God was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison, and he committed to Joseph's hand all the other prisoners. So Joseph had again comfortable days, even in prison.
About this time, two of the king's officers-the chief of the bakers and the chief of the butlerswere brought to the prison, and Joseph had the oversight of them. He found them one morning very sad; and upon his inquiring the cause, they told him that they had both in the night had remarkable dreams, and there was no one to interpret them. "Do not interpretations belong to God?" replied Joseph; " tell me them, I pray you."
The chief butler replied, "In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; and in the vine were three branches and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: and Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand." Joseph said unto him, "The three branches are three days: yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler. But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me; and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house."
When the chief baker saw that the interpre