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in his fecond chariot, while the men that ram before it cried, Bow the knee. Jofeph, being raised to this height of power, took a progrefs through the whole kingdom; built his granaries; appointed proper officers in every place; and ordered all things with fuch prudence and application, that, before the fevenyears of plenty were over, he found his ftores filled above numbering. During this time, he had two fons, born of his wife Afenath; the firft of whom he called Manaffeh, intimating that God had made him forget all his toils; and the next he called Ephraim, becaufe God had made him fruitful in the land of his affiction.
THESE feven plentiful years were fucceeded immediately by the other feven of famine; nor was the fcarcity confined to the land of Egypt, but was felt all over the land of Canaan, and all the nations round about it. As foon, therefore, as the Egyptians came to be pinched for want of bread, they applied to Pharaoh, who commanded them to repair to Jofeph; upon which he immediately ordered his ftores to be opened, and corn to be fold to the people, who flocked to him, not only from all parts of Egypt, but from all the neighbouring countries.
By this time, Jacob, who was not exempt from the common calamity, hearing that there was corn to be bought in Egypt, fent ten of his fons thither to buy fome, and kept only Benjamin with him. Thefe, upon their arrival in Egypt, were directed to Jofeph, for an order: and, as foon as they faw him, they proftrated themselves before him, and begged
they might be fupplied with fome corn. Jofeph knew them immediately, though e was fo altered, that they could not call him to mind: he put on a fevere look, and, in an angry tone, asked them, whence they came? and, upon their anfwering, from the land of Canaan, he charged them with being fpies, who were come to discover the weakness of the land. Such an unexpected accufation forced them to justify themselves, by affuring. him, in the moft fubmiffive terms, that they were all one man's fons; that they had left another, a younger brother, with their father, befides another who was now no more.
was what Joseph wanted; who, in a furly commanding tone, told them, that, unlefs one of them fetched this youngest fon, whilft the reft were kept in fafe cuftody, he would not. be perfuaded, but that they were fpies, and would punish them accordingly. To fhew that he was in earneft, he fent them all to prifon, and kept them there three days; at the end of which, he fent for them; and, in a milder tone, faid to them, This do, and live; for I fear God: let one of you remain a prifoner with me, while the rest go home with provifion for your family; and when you bring your youngest brother hither, he fall be delivered up fafe, and you juftified. He then commanded Simeon, who had been perhaps one of his moft zealous enemies, to be bound before their eyes, and fent to prifon; whilft he had the pleasure to hear them confefs their inhumanity towards their brother, whofe bitter cries had not been able to foften them into pity;. acknowledging that D 31 this
this misfortune had befallen them, as a just punishment for it. Here Reuben had an opportunity of justifying himself, by reminding them of the pains he took to diffuade them from the horrid fact; not imagining, any more then his brethren, who heard them: for Jofeph spoke by an interpreter to them. At length, having learned all that he wanted to know, he difmiffed them; not without contriving a fresh occasion of surprise to them, after they were gone. Having bid the officer, who was to fill their facks with corn, to return their money in the mouth of their facks.
cordingly, when they came to bate, and to give fome provender to their beafts, they were not a little frighted to find all their money in their facks; and failed not to make all the difmal reflexions upon it, that their fear could fuggeft to them; concluding that the haughty Egyptian lord had done it, that he might have a pretence to enslave them at their next coming. As foon as they were got home, they acquainted their father with all thefe adventures; who, though he was grieved at the detention of his fon Simeon, was much more fo, when he found that Benjamin must go down to redeem him. He withstood all their perfuafions as long as he could; till at length, the famine increasing, and the provision being almost Spent, Judah prevailed upon him to part with his favourite fon for a time, promifing to bring him fafe back, or elfe to be anfwerable for him at the hazard of his life. As it was not without the utmost reluctancy that Jacob confented to this feparation, so he failed not to give his fons the strictest charge about him, to take all the
proper measures for their fafe return, and to gain the favour of the proud Egyptian lord. He bid them carry double their money, and make ready fuch prefents as they thought would be acceptable to him; and, having intreated heaven for their good fuccefs, difmiffed them, little dreaming what glorious news he should hear at their return, to make him amends for his fon's abfence. They no fooner appeared before Jofeph, with their brother Benjamin, but he commanded his fteward to conduct them to his house, where he defigned they fhould dine with him. But they, who had abandoned themfelves to fear, began to fuspect that some ill defign was hatching to enflave them, upen account of the money they had found in their facks; to prevent which, they affured the steward, that they had brought it back, with new fupply, to buy fome fresh provifions; who, feeing their concern, bid them not be under any apprehenfions about it; and brought them into the house, and, foon after, their brother Simeon, unbound, to them. He afterwards acquainted them, that they were to dine with his lord, who would be back by noon; upon which, they fet themfelves about making ready their prefents; which they accordingly laid before him, with the utmost reverence, as foon as he came home.. Jofeph, having faluted them round, began to inquire after their father's health, and whether that was their youngest brother that stood before him. Benjamin bowed his head to the ground, and Jofeph, having bleffed him, ordered the victuals to be brought in, and made them fit down by themselves, and to
be ferved according to their rank and feniority, whilft he fat at a table by himself, and his Egyptian guests at another by themfelves; it being an abomination to the Egyptians to eat with the Hebrews..
JOSEPH, according to the cuftom of the country, and of thofe times, fent dishes from his own table to all his brethren; and they' were not a little furprised to fee how exactly he served them according to their feniority:: but much more fo, when they faw Benjamin's portion five times larger than any of the reft; which was an ufual mark of honour to the perfon to whom it was fent. After they had: eat and drank plentifully, they began to think of taking their leave, and of going about their other affairs; but Jofeph had yet one fright more in referve for them, before he discovered himself. He bid his fteward put his drinking-cup into Benjamin's fack, and to overtake them at fome diftance from the city; and, after a thorough fearch, to bring the pretended thief back to him. The thing was punctually executed; and we may eafily imagine their furprise and concern, when a filver cup was produced out of the fack of their younger brother. They made all poffible hafte to load their affes again, and returned to Jofeph, who received them with a warm reprimand for thus requitting his kindness and ci-vility to them; which he concluded, however, with affuring them, that, though he might juftly punish them all, yet the perfon only upon whom the cup was found fhould remain a flave, whilft the reft might go home in peace. After they had expreffed their grief and shame