The Talmud: Selections, by H. Polano, , at sacred-texts.com
JOSEPH, the son of Jacob and Rachel, did not take part in the war of Shechem: he was but a lad, too young to associate with his brothers. Yet he experienced a desire to emulate their greatness, and he felt that his fame would yet be superior to theirs. His father loved him tenderly as the son of his old age, and as a token of this love he made him a handsome coat, a garment of many colours. This especial mark of distinction increased Joseph's natural feeling of superiority, and as he found fault with his brothers' doings and carried tales to his father he soon gained their enmity; they could not even speak to him in a peaceable manner.
When Joseph was seventeen years of age he dreamed his well-known dream, and related it to his brethren.
"What!" they exclaimed, "do you presume to tell us that you shall reign over us?"
Joseph then related the dream to his father, who listened attentively, and in his great love kissed and blessed the lad. And when the other sons of Jacob learned of this action of their father they hated Joseph still more. But when the second dream was told them, and Joseph stated that the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him, their anger reached a climax, and even Jacob felt himself called upon to rebuke the ambitious dreamer.
And it came to pass, on a certain day, the sons of Jacob started out to feed their father's flocks, and remained away
so long a time that Jacob became troubled, for their welfare. He thought that perhaps the men of Shechem had received aid and wrought vengeance on his sons for the warfare they had brought upon that city.
So Jacob called Joseph to him; and said:
"Thy brothers started out to feed the flocks in Shechem, and they have not yet returned. Go, I pray, and seek them, and bring me back word of their well-doing."
Joseph wandered around some time in the neighbourhood of Shechem without seeing aught of his brethren, and he did not know which way to turn to seek them, when a man espied him straying aimlessly about, and asked, "Whom seekest thou?" Joseph answered, "I am looking for my brethren; knowest thou which way they have travelled?" "I do," replied the man; "I saw thy brethren, and I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'"
When Joseph's brethren saw the lad approaching them they conspired against him, and resolved to kill him.
"Behold," said Simeon, "the great master of dreams comes this way. Now let us destroy him; we can cast his body into one of the pits in the wilderness, and when our father inquires concerning him we can say that a wild beast has devoured him."
But when Reuben heard these words he said:
"No, we must not do this thing. Our father could never pardon us for such a crime. Rather cast him in one of the pits and let him perish there, but shed not his blood."
This proposition was made by Reuben with the purpose of rescuing the lad later, and returning him safely to his father.
When Joseph was cast into the pit, in accordance with this suggestion, he cried loudly to his brethren:
"What are ye doing? wherefore are ye treating me thus? What have I done,--what is my sin? Have ye no fear of the Lord that ye do this thing, for am I not of your flesh and blood, the son of Jacob? Reuben, Judah, Levi, Simeon," he cried, "lift me up out of this pit,--oh, sons of Jacob, have mercy upon me! If I have sinned against you, remember the precepts of your father, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to have mercy on the fatherless, to give food to the hungry, drink to those who thirst, clothing to the naked; and will ye deny mercy to your own flesh and blood? If I have sinned against you, oh pardon me for the sake of our father, Jacob."
His brothers, however, moved away from the pit, that they might not hear his cries, and they sat down to partake of their usual meal. While eating they consulted as to the final disposition of their brother; they were undecided whether to leave him as he was, to kill him, or to restore him to his father.
While considering the matter they saw a party of Ishmaelites approaching, on their way down to Egypt, and Judah said to his brethren, "What would it profit us to kill our brother? Let us sell him to this party of Ishmaelites, let them carry him whither they will; perchance he may be destroyed among the people of the earth; but our hands will not have shed his blood."
The brothers agreed to this proposition, and resolved to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites.
But it happened that while they were discussing the question, a party of Midianites on a journey were seeking for a well of water. They lighted by chance upon the pit in which Joseph was concealed, and looking in, they were astonished to meet the gaze of a bright and handsome lad. They drew Joseph up from the pit and carried him along
with them. As they passed by, the sons of Jacob saw Joseph with them, and called aloud:
"Hold! Wherefore have ye done this, to steal our slave whom we cast into the pit for disobedience? Come, give him up."
"And is he your slave?" answered the Midianites; "does he serve you? Likely it is the reverse, for he is handsomer and nobler than any among ye. We found the lad in the pit, and we shall take him with us."
"Give us our slave," repeated the sons of Jacob, or peradventure we shall kill you."
The Midianites drew their weapons, and were ready to enter upon a bloody fray at once.
"Beware," said Simeon, "do ye not know that we killed a whole city? Beware, if ye give us not our slave we may treat you as we treated the city of Shechem."
Upon hearing these words the Midianites lowered their tone, and assumed a more amicable attitude.
"What do you want," they asked, "with a disobedient slave? Sell him to us; we will pay you whatever you may ask."
A bargain was at once concluded, and the sons of Jacob sold their brother Joseph to the Midianites for twenty pieces of silver, for Reuben was absent, unable to speak a word to change their purpose.
The Midianites, taking Joseph with them, journeyed on towards Gilead. As they journeyed, however, they regretted the purchase which they had made, and they said one to the other, "See, this is a lad of noble appearance; doubtless the men from whom we bought him stole him from the land of the Hebrews, and if search is made for him he may be found in our hands; this will surely be death to us."
While they were speaking in this strain, the body of
[paragraph continues] Ishmaelites which the sons of Jacob had seen, approached the Midianites, and the latter hailing them, sold Joseph for the same amount they had paid for him, glad to be rid of the fear which had seized them.
The Ishmaelites placed Joseph upon one of their camels and carried him with them into Egypt. Joseph wept bitterly during this journey at the thought that each step took him farther away from his father's house, and shut the gates of hope more securely behind him. The Ishmaelites were provoked at his sighs and weeping, and treated him quite cruelly.
On their way they passed the spot where Rachel, Joseph's mother, lay buried. Joseph knew the spot, and throwing himself upon his mother's grave, he gave free vent to the anguish of his soul.
"My mother, oh my mother," he cried, "rise from thy grave and look upon thy son! He is sold for a slave, and there is no eye to pity him. Arise and look upon thy son, weep with him for his trouble and his distress! Answer me, oh my mother! Awake from thy sleep, and take up arms against my brethren for thy son! My coat they have torn from me, and they have consigned me into bondage; twice have I been sold, separated from my father, from every compassionate heart, from every pitying eye. Arise, my mother, call upon thy God! See, my mother, whom the Eternal will justify, and whom He will condemn! Wake from thy sleep, my mother, seek my father, stricken down in grief, whisper to him words of comfort and glad tidings, that his heart may live again. Arise, my mother, and look upon thy son!"
The Ishmaelites drove Joseph from his mother's grave with blows and threats. Then Joseph spoke to them: "Let me find grace in your eyes," said he; "take me
home, I pray you, to my father's house, and he will make all of you rich."
But they laughed, and answered him:
"Art thou not a slave? Who is thy father? Lo, thou hast been twice sold; thou art a slave, and a disobedient slave; hadst thou been worthy thou wouldst not have been twice sold."
Joseph wept, and pined, and grew sick; and his masters said:
"Behold, the boy will die upon our hands, and the money which we have paid for him will be lost to us. He wishes to go home to his father's house; let us carry him thither, and ‘tis likely we shall receive the money that we paid for him."
But others answered, "No, the distance is too great; should we turn back now, we shall be kept but so much longer from our own homes. Let us take the lad to Egypt; we will be able to sell him there, and for a large price."
This advice met with the approval of the majority of the party, and they carried Joseph into Egypt.
Now when the sons of Jacob had sold their brother their consciences smote them, and they wished to repurchase him; but on account of the second sale they were unable to find him. While they were seeking for him Reuben returned to the pit in which Joseph had been placed, designing to release him. He stood at the edge of the pit, but he heard no sound. Then he called aloud, "Joseph, Joseph!" but still there came no answer--all was still. Reuben became greatly terrified; he thought that Joseph had died of fright, and he descended into the pit, hoping that the body might not be beyond resuscitation. When he found the pit empty he rent his garments and cried aloud,
[paragraph continues] "How can I return to my father! How look upon his face and Joseph dead!"
He then hurried after his brethren, and found them consulting as to the manner in which they should inform their father of Joseph's loss. Reuben upbraided his brethren, and said to them, "Evil has been your behaviour; our father's old age you bring in sorrow to the grave."
The brothers agreed to keep the fact of Joseph's fate a secret, and acting upon the advice of Issachar, they took Joseph's coat, tore it in several places, and killing a kid dipped the garment in its blood, and then trampled it in the dust. Then they sent the coat to their father by the hands of Naphtali, and these words they charged him to deliver with the coat:
"Behold, we gathered our herds together and proceeded upon the read to Sheehan, and this coat we found by the way, in the wilderness, torn, smeared with blood, and trampled in the dust. Examine it, we pray thee, and see whether or not it be the coat of thy son."
Jacob immediately recognised Joseph's coat, and fell with his face to the ground. He remained motionless for a long time, and then he arose and wept aloud, crying, "It is my son's coat."
Towards evening he sent for his sons, and the messenger found them with their clothing rent and dust upon their heads.
When they reached home the bitter lamentation of their father touched their hearts, and it was with self-accusing consciences that they denied having seen Joseph and repeated their story of the finding of the coat.
Jacob gave himself up to the abandonment of grief, and lay with his face to the ground. Judah raised his father's head and wiped the tears from his father's eyes, but Jacob
refused to be comforted. "Some wild beast has devoured Joseph," he said, "I shall never see him more;" and he mourned for Joseph many years.
The Ishmaelites carried Joseph down to Egypt, and when they came near to the place they met four men, the descendants of Medan, the son of Abraham and Ketura, and they said to them:
"Do you not wish to purchase this slave from us?"
The men saw that Joseph was a handsome and likely lad, and they bought him from the Ishmaelites for nine shekels, and carried him into Egypt.
Then these Medanites said, "Behold, Potiphar, the officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, desires to buy a slave, a trusty, active youth, to superintend his household. Let us see whether we can sell this lad to him."
The Medanites carried Joseph before Potiphar, and the latter was very favourably impressed with his bearing and appearance.
"What is his price?" he inquired.
"Four pieces of silver," replied the Medanites.
"I will buy him," said Potiphar, "provided you bring before me the man from whom you purchased him. He does not look like a slave, and I fear he has been stolen from his country and his home."
The Medanites then hutted up the Ishmaelites from whom they had bought Joseph, and Potiphar, satisfied with their account of the manner in which they had obtained possession of the lad, paid the four pieces of silver, and purchased Joseph for his slave.
Joseph found grace in the eyes of Potiphar, and was placed over the house of the latter, and over all his possessions. And the Lord was with Joseph, and for his sake blessed Potiphar and all his household.
At this time Joseph was about eighteen years of age, and a lad of such beautiful appearance that his equal could not be found in the land of Egypt. Being obliged, in the pursuance of his duties, to enter freely all parts of his master's house, he attracted the attention of Zelicha, Potiphar's wife. She was fascinated by his manners and handsome form and face, and declared to him day by day her passion, praying for a return upon his part of the favour with which she regarded him. Joseph refused to listen to her, and endeavoured to rid himself of her attentions. When she praised his beauty, and said, "Thou art fairer than all the rest of the world," he replied, "The same One who created me created also all mankind." When she admired his fine eyes, he replied, "What can they avail me; they will not move or sparkle in the grave."
When Zelicha found that Joseph could not be induced by fair words to desecrate his master's house, she tried threats of death and loss of freedom in case of further obstinacy; but Joseph replied to them, "The God who hath created man, looseneth the fetters of those who are bound, and He will deliver me from thy chastisement."
Her female friends who called to see her also admired Joseph, and lauded his beauty. On one occasion when fruit was set before the visitors, one of them, paring the same, cut her fingers, and knew nothing of the accident till her attention was called to the blood upon her garments, for her eyes were fixed on Joseph, and her mind was filled with thoughts of his appearance.
Thus time passed on, and though Zelicha still entreated, Joseph remained cold to her allurements.
And it came to pass at the time of the overflowing of the Nile, that all the inhabitants of Egypt left their houses, the king, the princes, and all the people, to see the overflow
and make a holiday in its honour. And with the rest of the people the family of Potiphar went also, all save Joseph, who remained to protect his master's goods, and Zelicha, who remained to be alone with Joseph.
She attired herself in her richest garments, and was more ardent than ever in her appeals to Joseph, so that to escape them he turned and fled abruptly from her presence. As he did so she caught his garment to stay him, but it sundered, and a portion remained in her hand. As she looked upon it, and became conscious of how she had been shamed, a deep feeling of hate entered her heart, and she was also terrified lest the affair might now become known to her husband. She quickly replaced her elegant clothing with her ordinary wear, and calling a lad she sent him to summon home the men of the house. When they arrived she met them with loud wailing, and related to them a story of Joseph's presumption, crediting him with the entreaties and protestations which she had herself made, and adding to them a charge of violence. "I caught hold of his garment," she said, "and cried with a loud voice; he became frightened and fled, leaving this portion of his cloth in my hand."
The men repeated these charges to Potiphar, who returned to his house in a great rage against Joseph, and commanded at once that the lad should be whipped severely. During the infliction of this punishment Joseph cried aloud, raising his hands to Heaven, "Thou knowest, oh God," said he, "that I am innocent of all these things; wherefore, shall I die through falsehood!"
Potiphar carried Joseph before the judges, and made an accusation against him, saying, "Thus and thus has the slave done." The judges then addressed Joseph, and he gave his version of the story, saying, "Not so; but thus
and thus did it occur." The judges then ordered that the rent garment should be brought to them, and upon an examination of the same they pronounced Joseph "not guilty." But still they sent him to prison, that the character of the wife of one as high in the state as Potiphar might not suffer.
For twelve long years Joseph was confined in prison, and during this time Zelicha visited him, offering to restore him to honour and liberty if he would but do her will. Yet steadfastly he refused, till finally she abandoned the attempt. And while Joseph was thus in custody, deprived of his freedom, his father Jacob, in Canaan, mourned for him as a father mourns for a beloved child torn from him by death.
It came to pass about this time that Pharaoh gave a feast to his officers and princes, and the chief butler and the chief baker waited upon the guests. The princes found stone grits in the bread, and one of them discovered a fly in his wine. Pharaoh was very angry at this, and condemned the two officials to prison, where they remained a whole year.
Then a son, his first child, was born to Pharaoh, and there was great rejoicing in the land. When the infant was three days old Pharaoh ordered a grand banquet, and released the chief butler that he might attend to the same. But the butler forgot his promise to Joseph to remember him in the return to prosperity which he had predicted, and for two years longer the prison was his home.
At this time Isaac, the son of Abraham, was still living in the land of Canaan; he was one hundred and eight years old. Esau, his son, was living then in Edom. When Esau learned that his father had grown very feeble, and that his
last days on earth were approaching, he and his entire family journeyed to Canaan, to his father's house. Jacob and his sons, from Hebron, also journeyed thither, Jacob still mourning for the lost Joseph.
And Isaac said to Jacob, "Bring near to me thy children, in order that I may bless them," and Jacob placed his eleven sons and one daughter by his father's side.
Isaac laid his hands upon the heads of Jacob's children and embraced them each in turn, and he said to them:
"The God of your fathers will bless you, and will increase your seed as the stars of the heaven."
Isaac also blessed the children of Esau, saying:
"The dread of you shall be upon your enemies; your God will fill their hearts with fear."
Then Isaac called them all together, children and grandchildren, and thus addressed them, speaking especially to Jacob:
"The Lord, the God of the Universe, spoke unto me saying: 'Unto thy seed will I give this land to possess it, it thy children will keep my statutes and my ways; and I will establish the oath which I have sworn unto thy father Abraham.' And now, my son, teach thy children, and thy children's children, to fear the Lord and traverse the path which is pleasing in his eyes; for if thou wilt diligently follow His statutes, He will keep with you the covenant which He made with Abraham, and He will look with favour on you and your seed for ever."
Then Isaac died, and Jacob and Esau wept together for their father's demise. They carried his body to the cave of Machpelah, which is in Hebron, and all the kings of Canaan followed with the mourners in the funeral train of Isaac. He was buried with great reverence, even as though he had been a king; his children mourned for him twelve
months, and the kings of Canaan lamented sorely for thirty days.
Isaac bequeathed his cattle and all his possessions to his two sons.
Esau said then to Jacob, "Behold, this which our father has left us must be divided into two portions, then I will select my share."
Jacob divided all his father's possessions into two portions in the presence of Esau and his sons, and then addressing his brother, said:
"Take unto thyself both these portions which thou seest before thee. Behold, the God of Heaven and Earth spoke unto our ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, saying, 'Unto thy seed will I give this land as an everlasting possession.' Now, all that our father left is before thee; if thou desirest the promised possession, the land of Canaan, take it, and this other wealth shall be mine; or if thou desirest these two portions, be it as it is pleasing in thy eyes, and the land of Canaan shall be the share for me and mine."
Before Esau replied and made his choice, he sought Nebaioth, the son of Ishmael, who was in that country, and asked his advice as to the selection.
"Behold the Canaanites are now living in the land in peace and safety; at present it is theirs; let Jacob believe that he may inherit it some day; take thou the substance, the personal wealth of thy father."
Esau followed this advice, and taking the personal substance, he gave Jacob for his portion the land of Canaan from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates, also the cave of Machpelah, in Hebron, which Abraham purchased from Ephron for a burying-place. Jacob took it as a burying-place for himself and his seed
forever. Jacob drew up a deed and recorded all the particulars of the contract, which was duly witnessed and sealed. The following is the expression of the same:
"The land of Canaan and all the cities which it contains,--the Hittites, the Hivites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Perizites, and all the seven nations, from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates; the city of Hebron, which is Kiriath arbah, and the cave which is in it. All this hath Jacob bought with money from his brother Esau, as a possession to him and an inheritance to his sons and their descendants forever."
Jacob put this deed in an earthen vessel, that it might be kept safely, and gave the same as a charge to his children.
Esau took what his father had left and parted from his brother Jacob, as it is written:
"And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle and his beasts, and all his substance which he had got in the land of Canaan, and went into another country from the face of his brother Jacob" (Gen. 37: 6). He went with all his possessions to the land of Sëir, and never returned to Canaan, which became an inheritance unto Israel for everlasting.
Then Pharaoh, the king, issued a proclamation throughout the whole land of Egypt to the wise men thereof. And he called upon all the wise men to seek his presence and listen to the dreams which troubled him.
"He who can properly interpret to me the meaning of these visions, shall have his dearest wishes granted as they issue from his lips; but he who is able to read dreams and neglects my bidding, shall surely be put to death.'
Then the wise men, and the soothsayers, and the
magicians of the land of Egypt, came and stood before the king.
And the king related to them his dream, and though many interpreted no two agreed as to its meaning. They contradicted one another, and they served but to confuse the king. Many were the interpretations. "The seven fat cows," said one, "are seven kings who will arise over Egypt from royal families, and the seven lean cows are seven princes who will arise from them, and in the end of days destroy the seven kings. The seven rank ears are seven great princes of this land who shall in a coming time of war fall into the power of seven princes, now weak and in no wise to be feared."
"The seven fat cows," said another, "are seven queens whom thou shalt marry in the coming days, and the seven lean cows declare that these queens shall die during thy life, oh king! The seven rank ears and the seven lean ears are fourteen children whom thou shalt beget, and they will fight among themselves, and the seven weaker ones shall conquer their stronger brethren."
But the king was not satisfied with these interpretations. His mind was still unquiet, for the Lord had ordained that Joseph was to be released from his prison and elevated to a princely position therefore did Pharaoh remain unsatisfied with the words of his wise men.
And the king was wroth, and he dismissed the wise men from his presence; and all the wise men and the soothsayers and magicians of Egypt went out from the presence of their king in shame and confusion. And the king commanded in his wrath that all these men should be put to death.
When the chief butler heard this he sought the presence of the king, and in deep obeisance before him spoke as follows:
"Oh king, live forever! May thy greatness, oh king, increase forever through the land. Lo, thou wast wroth with thy servant, and thou didst place him in confinement. For a year was I imprisoned, I and the chief baker. And with us in our dungeon was a Hebrew servant who belonged to the captain of the guard. His name was Joseph, and his master growing wroth with him, had placed him in prison, where he served the captain of the guard, and he served us also.
"And it came to pass when we had been in the prison for a year we dreamed, each, a dream, and the Hebrew slave interpreted for each of us his dream. And lo, as he interpreted our dreams so was the reality. As he spoke so did it come to pass.
"Therefore, my lord king, I pray thee, do not kill the wise men of Egypt for naught. Behold, this slave is still in the prison. If it be pleasing in the eyes of the king let him be sent for. Let him listen to the dreams which trouble the mind of the king, and he will be able to solve them correctly."
The king listened to the words of the chief butler, and he ordered that Joseph should be brought before him. But he commanded his officers to be careful not to frighten the lad, lest through fear he should be unable to interpret correctly.
And the servants of the king brought Joseph forth from his dungeon, and shaved him and clothed him in new garments, and carried him before the king. The king was seated upon his throne, and the glare and glitter of the jewels which ornamented the throne dazzled and astonished the eyes of Joseph.
Now the throne of the king was reached by seven steps and it was the custom of Egypt for a prince or noble who
held audience with the king, to ascend to the sixth step; but when an inferior or a private citizen of the land was called into his presence, the king descended to the third step and from there spoke with him. So when Joseph came into the presence of the king he bowed to the ground at the foot of the throne, and the king descended to the third step and spoke to him.
And he said:
"Behold, I have dreamed a dream, and among all the wise men and magicians of the land there is not one able to read for me its meaning. I have heard that thou art far-sighted and blest with the gift of divination, and I have sent for thee to solve my dream."
And Joseph answered:
"Oh king, the power is not with me; but God will answer and give Pharaoh peace."
And Joseph found favour in the eyes of the king, and he told to him his dream. And the spirit of God was upon Joseph, and the king inclined his ears and heart to the words of Joseph.
And Joseph said to Pharaoh:
"Let not the king think that his dreams are two and distinct; they have but a single portent, and what the Lord intends doing upon the earth He has shown to Pharaoh in a vision. Let me advise thee, oh king, how thou mayest preserve thy life and the lives of all the inhabitants of thy land from the grievous evils of the famine which is soon to drain and dry up its fruitfulness and its plenty. Let the king appoint a man wise and discreet, a man well versed in the laws of the country, and let him appoint other officers under him to go out through all the length and breadth of the land to gather food during the years of plenty and store it carefully away for future use, that the land may not die
in the years of famine which will follow. And let the king command the people of the land, that they shall each and every one gather and store up in the years of plenty of the produce of the fields, to provide for their wants when the ground shall be barren and the fields unproductive."
And the king answered, "How knowest thou that thou hast read the dream aright?"
And Joseph said, "Lo, this shall be a sign that my words are true. A son shall be born to the king, and upon the day of his birth, thy first-born son, who is now two years old, shall die."
And when Joseph finished speaking these words, he bowed low before the king and departed from his presence.
The occurrence which Joseph predicted came to pass. The queen bore a son, and upon the day when it was told to the king he rejoiced greatly. But as the messenger of glad tidings retired, the servants of the king found his first-born son dead, and there was a great crying and wailing in the palace of the king.
And when Pharaoh inquired as to the cause of this great cry he was informed of his loss, and remembering the words of Joseph he acknowledged them as true.
After these things the king sent and gathered together all his princes, officers, and men of rank, and when they came before him, he said, "You have seen and heard all the words of this Hebrew, and you know that as he spoke so has the thing occurred; therefore must we believe that his solution of my dream was the correct one, and that his words of advice were of good weight and consideration. We must take measures of protection against the famine which is surely to come upon us. Therefore search, I pray you, over all Egypt for a man with wisdom and knowledge
in his heart, that we may appoint him governor over the land."
And they answered the king, "The advice of this Hebrew was very good; behold, the country is in the hands of the king to do with it what is pleasing in his eyes; but the Hebrew has proved himself wise and skilful, why should our lord the king not select and appoint him as governor over the land."
"Yea, surely," said the king, "if God has made these things known to the Hebrew, then there is none among us as wise and discreet as he is, What you have suggested is in accordance with my own thoughts; we will appoint the Hebrew our governor, and through his wisdom shall our country be saved the pangs of want."
And Pharaoh sent for Joseph and said to him, "Thou didst advise me to appoint a wise and discreet man to deliver the land from the anguish of famine. Surely, there can be none more discreet than thyself to whom God has made known all these things. Thy name shall no more be Joseph, but 'Zaphenath-Päaneeth' (Revealer of hidden things) shalt thou hereafter be called among men.
"Thou shalt be second to me only, and according to thy words shall the land of Egypt be ruled; only upon the throne shall I be greater than thyself."
Then the king removed his ring from his finger and placed it upon the hand of Joseph. And he dressed Joseph in royal apparel, and placed a crown upon his head and a chain of gold about his neck. And Pharaoh commanded that Joseph should ride in his second chariot throughout the land of Egypt. And the people followed him with music, and a large concourse accompanied him upon his journey.
Five thousand soldiers with drawn swords in their hands,
swords glittering in the sunlight, preceded him, and twenty thousand soldiers followed. And the people of the land, men, women, and children gazed upon the pageant from windows and from house-tops, and the beauty of Joseph pleased all eyes.
And flowers were strewn in his path when he walked, and the air was made sweet with perfume, and the savoury odour of balms and spices, And proclamations were placed in prominent places declaring the authority of Joseph, and threatening death to those who failed to pay him homage; for he was considered as dishonouring his king who failed to honour the man made second in the kingdom. The people bowed down and shouted, "Long live the king and his viceroy!" And Joseph, seated in his chariot, lifted his eyes to Heaven, and exclaimed in the fulness of his heart:
"He raiseth the poor from the dust; from the dunghill He lifteth up the needy. Oh Lord of Hosts, happy is the man who trusteth in thee!