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obliged to pass through Jacob's country, to go into Egypt; they might have crossed the Red Sea, but they had no ships; so they travelled on camels, and carried things to sell. They carried spice, and drugs, and sometimes they carried men to sell.
When the brothers saw the Ishmaelites coming, one of them, Judah, said to the others
Let us not kill Joseph, he is our brother; let us sell him to these Ishmaelites." The brothers said they would sell him; so they drew him up out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver money.
Reuben was not with his brothers when all this happened; he was in some other place; but he went back to the pit, and found that Joseph was taken away; he was very sorry for this.
Jacob had given Joseph a very fine coat, because he loved him so much; it was this coat which his brothers stripped off; they killed a little kid, and stained Joseph's coat with the kid's blood, and carried it home, and showed it to their father. When they showed the coat to Jacob, they told him they had found it, and asked him if he knew whose coat it was.
Jacob knew it; he said, "it is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him: Joseph is torn in pieces." Jacob wept, and mourned very much, and his children tried to comfort him. Perhaps when they saw him in so much trouble, they were sorry for what they had done.
The Ishmaelites carried Joseph into Egypt, and sold him to a rich man named Potiphar
Potiphar liked Joseph very much, for Joseph was very good, and did every thing well. Potiphar's wife was a wicked woman; she told lies about Joseph to her husband. Potiphar believed his wife; and because she made him angry with Joseph, he put Joseph in prison.
While Joseph was in the prison, two of the king's servants, the butler and the baker, were in the prison also. The keeper of the prison liked Joseph very much; every body liked him, he was so wise and good a man. The keeper gave Joseph the care of the prisoners, and they used to talk with him.
One morning, Joseph went to see the butler and baker. The night before, they had both been dreaming; they thought their dreams had some meaning, but they could not tell the meaning. Joseph understood the dreams, and he explained them. He told the butler his dream meant that he would be taken out of prison; and he told the baker his dream meant, that he would be hanged. It happened as Joseph said. The butler was taken out of prison; and the baker was hanged.
Joseph staid two years in the prison; then the king dreamed, and the wise men of Egypt did not understand his dream. The butler remembered Joseph, and told the king how he had explained his dream; so the king sent for Joseph, and told him his dream. Joseph told the king his dream meant, that for seven years, there should be plenty of food in Egypt, and then, for seven years after, there should be a famine.
Joseph advised the king to save what food he
could, for his people to eat when there should be a famine. The king liked Joseph's advice, and he liked Joseph also. The king took a ring off his finger, and put it on Joseph's hand, and dressed him in fine clothes, and put a gold chain about his neck. Pharaoh was the king's name ; he gave Joseph a wife, and they had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
ere was a famine, not only in Egypt, but in other places; in the country of Jacob, the people had not enough to eat. Jacob heard that the people of Egypt had saved food, so he sent his sons thither to buy some. When the brothers of Joseph had arrived in Egypt, he knew them, as soon as he saw them; but they did not know him. They bowed, and laid themselves down before him, with their faces to the ground.
Joseph's brothers prostrated themselves before him, because he sold the corn to the people of Egypt, and they wanted to ask a favour of him; they wanted him to sell corn to them, who were strangers. Joseph did not speak kindly to them; he called them spies.
Joseph told his brothers they had come to Egypt to do some harm, if they could. His brothers answered that they were not spies; that their father was a good man; that he had twelve sons--one of his sons was dead--one, the youngest of all, called Benjamin was home with his father-the rest had come for food. Joseph said he would not believe them, unless one of them would go back and bring their youngest brother Benjamin into Egypt. He put them all in prison, and kept them there three days; then,
he said they might go home; he would keep only one of them, till they should bring their brother Benjamin.
Joseph spoke in the language of Egypt, but he remembered the language of Canaan, his own country. His brothers spoke the language of Canaan. When one of them was to be kept. behind in Egypt, they remembered how they had treated their brother Joseph long before. They said one to another, that God was now punishing them for their cruelty to Joseph. Joseph heard them; they did not know that he understood them; he longed to take them in his arms, and to tell them he forgave them; he was obliged to turn away, to hide his tears from them; he did not choose to tell them so soon that he was their brother; he took one of his brothers and bound him before their eyes; then the nine others went away, carrying as much food as they wanted.
Their corn was tied in large bags or sacks, and they paid money for it; but when they opened the sacks they found the money in them; this made them a little uneasy;--they did not know what it meant. When they got home, they told their father all that had happened. Their father was very unhappy; he said, Joseph was gone, and Simeon was gone, and they would take his young son Benjamin away also. Jacob would not let Benjamin go.
In a little while, they ate up the food which they had bought, and they wanted more. Jacob bid his sons go again; his sons would not go, unless Jacob would allow Benjamin to go also;
at last Jacob consented; and he sent Joseph a present of spice, and honey, and nuts.
When the brothers arrived in Egypt, Joseph invited them all to come to his house and dine. The brothers were afraid to go; they said, " "perhaps he will say that we stole the money which we found in our sacks." They told one of Joseph's servants that they were afraid; but the man said they need not fear, that he had put their money into their sacks. He brought out their brother Simeon to them; gave them water to wash, and gave them food for their asses.
They gave Joseph the present, which they had brought; and he inquired for their father's health. When Joseph saw Benjamin, his mother's son, he longed to take him in his arms; he was obliged to go out and weep. They had a good meal, but Benjamin had more food given to him than the others. They were all happy together.
When they had finished their business, and were about to return home, Joseph commanded the steward to fill the sacks, and to put the money into them as before; he also ordered him to put a silver cup, besides the money, into Benjamin's sack. Early the next morning they went away. Soon after they were gone, Joseph bade his servant follow his brothers, and ask them for his silver cup, and to speak to them angrily, as if they had tolen the cup.
The man did as he was commanded. But the sons of Jacob declared that none of them had the cup; they said if it should be found among them, the man who took it should be a servant to Jo