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The Baldwin Library
THE ANGEL BLESSING JACOB. Seepage59.
SA ?:D i
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
1, ,! I, I49
BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE FARMER BOY;" "THE CASKET LIBRARY; JAMIE NOBLE;"
"THE FISHER BOY," &c,, &c.
WITH TWENTY ILLUSTRATIONS
BY THE DALZIEL BROTHERS.
ESTES & LAURIAT,
301 Washington St.
JOHN WILSON & SON, CAMBRIDGE.
N offering this book of Bible Stories and Illustrations to
the public the editor makes no claim of originality, but
tells the old, old stories in simple language, and presents them
in an attractive form, to please the taste of the Little Folks,
for whom they are intended. The cuts are drawn in a free, bold
manner, with little or no superfluous details, and are, it is be-
lieved, as faithful illustrations of the scenes they represent as
can be presented. The editor trusts they may form an attractive
addition to the juvenile literature of the day.
THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. 11
NOAH AND THE FLOOD. .13
THE TOWER OF BABEL. 27
ISAAC AND REBEKAH. 49
ESAU AND JACOB. 53
THE STORY OF JOSEPH. 60
THE CAPTIVITY OF ISRAEL. 78
ESTHER AND MORDECAI. 83
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE ANGEL BLESSING JACOB. (Frontispiece.) PAGE
BUILDING THE ARK. 15
THE DELUGE. 19
RETURN OF THE DOVE. 23
THE TOWER OF BABEL. 29
ABRAHAM AND THE ANGELS. 35
THE ESCAPE FROM SODOM. .39
HAGAR AND ISHMAEL. 43
ABRAHAM OFFERING ISAAC. 47
REBEKAH AT THE WELL. 51
ESAU SELLING HIS BIRTHRIGHT. 57
ISAAC BLESSING JACOB. 59
SELLING JOSEPH. 63
JOSEPH FEEDING THE PEOPLE. 67
THE CUP FOUND. 71
THE MEETING OF JACOB AND JOSEPH. 75
GOING INTO CAPTIVITY 81
MORDECAI'S TRIUMPH. 85
ESTHER AND THE KING. 8 9
AFTER THE CAPTIVITY. 93
THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.
HERE was once a time when this world, this firm earth,
was not here. So the Lord God made the earth, and the
sea, and the beautiful sky, and all the animals, and green
trees. In fact, everything which we see, God made out of nothing.
And we call this making of the earth, the Creation. God made all
these things in six days, and he rested on the seventh, and called it
the Sabbath, and commanded that we should all rest on his Sabbath
Day, and keep it a holy day. After God had made the earth and all
things in it, he made man, and the first man was called Adam. He
then created a woman to be Adam's wife, and the name of the first
woman was Eve. God gave Adam and Eve a beautiful place to
live in, called the Garden of Eden, and they were very happy there,
because they were good, and obedient to God; but afterwards they
became sinful, and disobedient, and God sent an angel, with a
sword in his hand, to drive them out of the garden. So they were
obliged to leave their beautiful home, and wander forth and labor
12 THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.
hard, and to be sorry all their lives for their sin and disobedience.
Remember this, dear children, that sin and disobedience are sure
to be punished sooner or later. But -this was not all of their pun-
ishment, for after a while they had two sons, one called Cain, and
the other Abel. And Abel was good and obedient, and pleased
God, but Cain was wicked; and when he saw that God loved Abel,
he hated his own brother, and killed him. But God knew it all,
and he cursed Cain, and sent him to wander over the whole earth,
seeking rest, but finding none. What a terrible punishment to
Adam and Eve, and to wicked Cain! But afterwards, when Adam
and Eve were very sorry for their sin and disobedience, they had
another son, and they named him Seth; and Adam lived to be very
old indeed. He was nine hundred and thirty years old when he
died; and by this time there were a great many people on the earth,
some of whom lived to be older than Adam was when he died.
Methuselah lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and was the
oldest man that ever lived on the earth. In those days there was
one very good old man, named Enoch, who pleased God by his
obedience, and "God took him" to dwell with Him in happiness in
heaven. God takes all good people to heaven when they die. Try
to be good, my dear children, so that the good Lord will take you
to dwell with him in Heaven when you die.
NOAH AND THE FLOOD.
FTER the days of the good Enoch, who walked with God
and pleased him, and who was not, for God took him,"
men became very wicked upon the earth. And God saw
That the wickedness of man was great in the earth;" and
it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and
it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy
man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man
and beasts, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air."
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord;" for Noah
was a just man before all the people, and he walked with God."
Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
God told Noah that he would destroy all living things from
off the face of the earth, and said: "Make thee an ark of go-
pher-wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch
it within and without with pitch." "A window shalt thou make
to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above. And the
14 NOAH AND THE FLOOD.
door of the ark shalt thou set in the 'side thereof; with lower,
second, and third stories shalt thou make it." "And of every
living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into
the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and
female. Of fowls after their kind and cattle after their kind, of
every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every
sort shall come unto thee to keep them alive. And take thou
unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to
thee; and it shall be for food for thee and for them. Thus did
Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."
Besides the two of each sort of animals, Noah was commanded
to take into the ark seven pairs of each of the kinds of beasts
and fowls which were used for food and for sacrifices.
It was a long time after God gave Noah commandment to
build the ark before it was completed; even one hundred and
twenty years. During all this time Noah preached to the
wicked people, no doubt, to bring them to repentance. (God gave
them this opportunity to turn away from their sins, and thus
escape the terrible punishment that was threatened. But they
did not believe Noah's words. It is very likely that they
laughed at him, and called his story of a coming flood the silly
notion of an old man.) Perhaps when the good man was giving
directions to the workmen, while they were at work on the tim-
bers of the ark, they came and pointed at him, and laughed, as
BUILDING THE ARK.
-. -)- ---- ----T `~"PXT~-r-
NOAH AND THE FLOOD. 17
they are represented as doing in the picture. At any rate, we
know that "They were eating and drinking, marrying and
giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the
ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all
When the one hundred and twenty years were ended, the
Lord said unto Noah: "Come thou and all thy house into
the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this
generation. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain
upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living
substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face
of the earth. And Noah did according to all that God com-
manded him. And Noah was six hundred years old when
the flood of waters was upon the earth. And Noah went in,
and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him,
into the ark because of the waters of the flood."
And all the animals went in with Noah into the ark, as
God commanded; "and God shut him in." Then "were all
the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows
of heaven were opened." "And the flood was forty days upon
the earth; and the waters increased and bare up the ark,
and it was lifted above the earth. And the waters prevailed
and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark
went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed
18 NOAH AND THE FLOOD.
exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were
under the whole heaven were covered; and the moun-
tains were covered." "And all flesh died that moved upon
the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of
every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every
man; all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that
was in the dry land, died." "And Noah only remained alive,
and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters
prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days."
Now the wicked people, who made themselves merry at
the foolish notions of God's holy prophet, Noah, are having their
time of deep distress. They flee to the highest mountains;
but the flood follows them! Wicked children cling to their
wicked parents; but the parents cannot help them! Those
who mounted their horses, find that the horse is a vain thing
for safety. The horse and the rider sink into the deep togeth-
er. Some, who are higher up the mountain, lay hold of
their drowning fellows and draw them from the waters; but
it is only for a moment that they can save them. God's
swift destruction pursues them. Oh, that they had heard his
words which he spoke by Noah, and accepted mercy when it
was offered! But now it is too late! So it will be with
the sinner at the day of judgment. Now is the accepted
time. Christ is the ark of safety. They who fly to him now
NOAH AND THE FLOOD. 21
will be safe when the heavens pass away with a great noise,
and the earth and all that is therein shall be burned up.
Though he would not spare the wicked, God remembered
Noah and his family, as they were floating away on the wide
waters; and he caused the rain to cease, and stopped the
great fountains. Then the waters decreased continually, until
the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. After this, the
waters continued to decrease, nntil the tops of the mountains
"And it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah
opened the window of the ark, which he had made; and he
sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters
were dried up from off the earth. Also, he sent forth a dove
from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face
of the ground. But the dove found no rest for the sole of
her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark; for the
waters were on the face of the whole earth. Then he put forth his
hand and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth
the dove out of the ark. And the dove came in to him in
the evening, and, lo! in her mouth was an olive-leaf plucked off;
so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth."
No doubt, the dove seemed like a good friend to the eight
persons in the ark. She brought them good tidings. The olive-
22 NOAH AND THE FLOOD.
leaf, which she brought in her mouth, told them that peace
had returned to the earth, which God had smitten. Perhaps
they gathered round it as represented in the picture. This bird
has ever been the sweet emblem of the love which God offers
to a wicked world.
When Noah had waited, after the dove's return, seven days,
he sent the dove out again, which returned to him no more.
Pretty soon, after this, Noah removed the covering of the ark,
and looked out upon the face of the earth. And he saw that
the ground was dry.
When he had been a whole year in the ark, God said unto
him: "Go forth of the 6rk, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons,
and thy sons' wives with thee; bring forth with thee every liv-
ing thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle,
and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that
they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful and
multiply upon the earth."
"And Noah went forth, and his wife, and his sons, and his
sons' wives with him; every beast, every creeping thing, and
every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their
kind, went forth out of the ark."
When he had come out of the ark, Noah built an altar and
offered sacrifices unto God. And God was well pleased, and
said: "I will not any more smite everything living, as I
RETURN OF THE DOVE.
NOAH AND THE FLOOD. 25
have done. While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest,
and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night,
shall not cease."
Noah and his family were now alone in the earth. Perhaps
they feared that the beasts, which they saved in the ark, and
which were now allowed to roam where they pleased, would
multiply faster than men, and become dangerous. If this were
the case, God removed their fears, for he said to them: "The
fear of you, and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast of
the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all that
moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea;
into your hands are they delivered." He told them, concerning
their food, that "Every moving thing that liveth shall be
meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all
"And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, say-
ing: And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and
with your seed after you; neither shall all flesh be cut off
any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there be a
flood any more to destroy the earth." "I do set my bow in
the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between
me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a
cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud.
And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and
26 NOAH AND THE FLOOD.
you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall
no more become a flood to destroy all flesh."
The rainbow, which we see so beautifully spanning the heav-
ens, is, then, God's love-token to the earth. It should lead us
to love him, and then our happy hearts will ever feel the to-
kens of his love manifested within. Children often imagine that
angels are flying around that glorious bow in the skies. They
It seems, unto my childhood's sight,
A midway station given,
For happy spirits to alight
Betwixt the earth and heaven."
Noah, after the flood, planted a vineyard and became a hus-
bandman. And he lived three hundred and fifty years after
the flood. His whole life was nine hundred and fifty years.
And he died in faith, a good man, full of years.
The following interesting account of the flood, written in
rhymes, many years ago, by one who loved the young, and wrote
many excellent things for them, will impress the whole story
more deeply upon the mind: -
"The world grew worse as old it grew; God bids a refuge straight prepare
Sin gathered strength, grew bolder too; For those his goodness meant to spare.
Long-suffering patience now was past, Blest Noah and his favored race,
Th' appalling sentence comes at last: Alone obtain the special grace.
'My spirit shall not always strive, A picture of our world remark,
No further respite will I give.' In those who labored in the ark;
NOAH AND THE FLOOD. 27
A stronger instance need we find The weak their safety seek below,
Of the hard heart of base mankind? The rapid waves above them flow;
However assiduously they wrought, The strong attempt the mountain's steep,
No builder his own safety sought; The mountains are become the deep.
A century was the task pursued,- Half dead with famine, half with fear,
Not one his own destruction viewed; Now few, and fewer now appear!
Oh, blind, God's menaced blow to slight! All strive, all sink; sink beasts and men-
What! perish with the ark in sight? Perished each living substance then.
See God his awful threatening keep, Existence is extinct! the world
Break up the fountains of the deep; Itself to dire destruction hurled.
Remove the limits long assigned Good Noah's house alone remained;
Th' encroaching waters fast to bind! The waves his floating ark sustained.
Heaven's windows open, lo, the sky
Pours down its deluge from on high!
The floods that rise, the floods that fall There is an ark that's open still,
Meet at one point and cover all; Where all may shelter if they will;
All cry, none aid; with anguish wild That ark is Christ, a refuge true;
The frantic mother grasps her child. Let all by faith keep him in view."
THE TOWER OF BABEL.
OD commanded the children of Noah to scatter into differ-
ent parts of the earth, that it might be filled with inhabi-
tants. But as they journeyed, they came to a plain in the
land of Shinah. Here they resolved to make a great city,
and build a very high tower; they thought to make themselves
very famous, and to make their city and tower so attractive
that the people would stay there. They did not wish to be
scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. So they be-
28 THE TOWER OF BABEL.
gan to build. They had no stones, but "they had brick for
stone, and slime had they for mortar." See how their king and
great men consult together, while the laborers toil away with
great diligence. They say, in their pride, "We will build a tow-
er whose top may reach unto heaven." They were all one peo-
ple, and spoke one language; but God was not pleased to have
them dwell together in one place. And he said he would take
notice of what they were doing. So, "The Lord came down to
see the city, and the tower which the children of men builded."
For a while he did not hinder them. They went on their own
way, growing prouder of their works every day. They thought
too much of their own wisdom to consult God. He was not in
all their thoughts. But see in what an unexpected way to them
all their plans are defeated. God confounded their language, so
that they could not understand one another. They were made
to speak in different languages, so they could not proceed with
their work. They then left off building their city, and scattered
abroad throughout all the face of the earth.
Perhaps these foolish builders thought that this tower would
be a safe place, if there should be another flood. How vain a
shelter would it have been! "The name of the Lord is a strong
tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe."
THE TOWER OF BABEL.
ANY years after the flood, there was a good man, living
in a country east of Canaan, by the name of Abram; this
name God changed to Abraham. The fathers of Abra-
ham were worshippers of idols, but he knew and obeyed
the one only and true God. Soon after his father Terah's death,
God commanded Abraham to leave his own country, and to go
into a land which he should show him. This command he cheer-
fully and instantly obeyed. He took his wife Sarai, whom God
afterwards called Sarah, and his brother's son, Lot, and his cattle,
and all that he had, and went into the land of Canaan. Here
the Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said: "Unto thy seed
will I give this land. And there builded he an altar unto the
Lord who appeared unto him."
Soon after this, there was a great famine in the land of Ca-
naan, and Abraham went down into Egypt. Then Pharoah, king
of Egypt, took Sarah from Abraham, because she was very beau-
tiful, and brought her into his own house. "And the Lord
plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues, because of
Sarah, Abraham's wife." So the king sent away Abraham in
peace, with his wife, and Lot, and with all that he had. "And
Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold," and
he journeyed until he came to Bethel where he had before
builded an altar. "And there Abraham called upon the name
of the Lord."
"And Lot, also, who went with Abraham, had flocks and
herds and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that
they might dwell together; for their substance was great, so
they could not dwell together." And the herdsmen of Abraham
and Lot strove together.
Then Abraham, though he was Lot's uncle, and much the
greater man, and might have claimed a choice of places, very
generously said to Lot: "Let there be no strife, I pray thee,
between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herds-
men, for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee?
Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; if thc-a wilt take the
left hand, then I will take the right; or, if thou wilt depart
to the right hand, I will go to- the left." How unlike those
persons who always seek the best for themselves!
Lot was more selfish, and chose the plains of Jordan, be-
cause they were well watered everywhere, "even as the garden
of the Lord." He seemed to desire rich pastures and greater
flocks of sheep and more numerous herds of cattle, and so for-
got the evils of the bad company into which he was going; for
"the men of Sodom were wicked, and sinners before the Lord
exceedingly." We shall see how unwise such a choice was.
When Lot was separated from him, God appeared again unto
Abraham and said, "Arise and walk through the land, in the
length of it, and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto
thee." And he went and dwelt in Hebron.
After this, several kings made war against the king of Sodom,
and the kings who were his friends; and the king of Sodom
was defeated in battle, and all the goods of those who followed
him were taken; and Lot and all that was his were taken,
too, and carried away. See what trouble his desire for rich
pastures brought upon him! When all this was told Abraham,
he armed his three hundred and eighteen household servants,
and pursued the conquerors, and defeated them, took their spoil,
and brought back Lot and all his goods. So the generous Abra-
ham was stronger than the selfish Lot, even when Lot had sev-
eral kings to help him!
Now, after these things, word came unto Abraham in a vis-
ion, saying, "Fear not, Abraham; I am thy shield, and ex-
ceeding great reward. And he brought him forth abroad, and
said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars if thou be
able to number them. And he said unto him, so shall thy seed
Now Abraham had no child, and he and Sarah were old: yet,
"he believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for
Many years after this, the Lord appeared again unto Abra-
ham. In the heat of the day, he sat in his tent-door. Lift-
ing up his eyes, he saw three men in appearance. It may be
they carried staves in their hands, and looked like travellers: so
Abraham invited them to come in; he commanded water to be
brought to wash their feet, and he set food before them, and
they did eat. How pure and loving they seem, as they talk
with Abraham! Indeed, they are not mere men; they are heav-
enly messengers, sent by God to renew his promise to Abraham.
They tell him that Sarah shall have a son. After talking awhile
with them, Abraham went with his visitors toward Sodom; and
two of them left him and went on, and one of them, who is
called "the Lord," remained with him.
Now God had determined to destroy Sodom, and the cities
of the plains of Jordan, on account of their great wickedness.
But he loved Abraham so much that he would not do it with-
out telling him. When Abraham heard of the dreadful judg-
ment about to fall upon them, he began to pray earnestly that
the Lord would spare them, and said, "Peradventure there be
ABRAHAM AND THE ANGELS.
fifty righteous in the city; wilt thou also destroy, and not
spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? And
the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the
city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. Then
Abraham said, Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty
righteous; wilt thou destroy all the city for the lack of five ?
And he said, If I find there forty-and-five, I will not de-
stroy it. And Abraham spoke unto the Lord yet again, and said,
Peradventure there shall be forty found there? And he said,
I will not do it for forty's sake. And he said, Oh, let not
the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall
thirty be found there? And he said, I will not do it if I find
thirty there. And he said, Behold, now, I have taken upon
me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall twenty
be found there? And he said, I will not destroy it for twen-
ty's sake. And he said, Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and
I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be
found there ? And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
"And the Lord went his way as soon as he had- left com-
muning with Abraham; and Abraham returned unto his place.
"And there came two angels to Sodom, at even. And Lot
sat in the gate of Sodom; and Lot, seeing them, rose up to
meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the
ground; and he said, Behold, now, my lords, turn in, I pray
you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your
feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And
they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made
them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat."
Before these angels had lain down to sleep, the people of Sodom,
both old and young, came about Lot's house, and called to him,
and demanded that he should bring the men who had come to
lodge with him out to them, that they might abuse them, and treat
them with shameful cruelty. And Lot went out of the door unto
them, and shut the door after him, and said, "I pray you, my breth-
ren, do not so wickedly.
Then they pressed sore upon Lot, and came near to break the
door. But the angels put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into
the house to them, and shut to the door.
"And they smote the men that were at the door of the house
with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied them-
selves to find the door." Then the angels told Lot to take his
family and get out of that place, for God had sent them to de-
"And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot,
saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters which are here;
lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he
lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand
of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, the Lord
Ic ;^ \\X\X'^.^^ ^\' n -- --- --- ^
/'\ ,\ .^^ \ .' ; ^ \ .
THE ECAPEFROM ODOM
being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth, and set him
without the city.
"And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth
abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee,
neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest
thou be consumed." But Lot begged to be permitted to tarry in
the plains, in a little city called Zoar. So he was permitted; and
he turned aside to Zoar.
"The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into
Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah
brimstone and fire from God out of heaven; and he overthrew
those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities,
and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back
from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."
Pretty soon after Lot reached Zoar, he left it, and went and
dwelt in the mountain, as God at first commanded him. "For
he feared to dwell in Zoar."
After this, Abraham removed his tents further south. Now Abra-
ham had a son, whose name was Ishmael, and whose mother's name
was Hagar. When Ishmael was fourteen years of age, Abraham
had another son, whose name he called Isaac. When Isaac was
grown, and was weaned, Abraham made a great feast. And Sarah,
Isaac's mother, saw Hagar mocking. "Wherefore Sarah said unto
Abraham, Cast out the bondwoman and her son. And the thing was
very grievous in Abraham's sight, because of his son. And God said
unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight, because of the
land and because of thy bondwoman ; in all that Sarah hath said
unto thee hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be
called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation,
because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning,
and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar,
putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away; and
she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. And
the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under
one of the shrubs. And she went and sat her down over against
him a good way off, and lifted up her voice and wept. And the
angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her,
What aileth thee, Hagar ? Fear not; for God hath heard the voice
of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in
thy hand; for I will make him a great nation.
"And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and
she went and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad to
How glad the poor mother must be, as she sits down by the
well, and presses her boy to her bosom i She now knows that
he will not die with hunger and thirst in the wilderness. After
this, God was with the lad." That was a great comfort to his
HAGAR AND ISHMAEL.
"And it came to pass, after these things, that God said unto
Abraham, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou
lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for
a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains that I will tell thee of.
"And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his
ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac, his son,
and clave the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went
unto the place of which God had told him. Then, on the third
day, Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the
ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come
again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offer-
ing, and laid it upon Isaac, his son; and he took the fire in his
hand, and a knife; and they went, both of them together. And
Isaac spoke unto Abraham, his father, and said, My father; and
he said, here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire, and
the knife; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? And
Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a
burnt-offering; so they went both of them together. And they
came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham
built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound
Isaac, his son, and laid him upon the altar, on the wood. And
Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his
At this moment "the angel of the Lord called unto him out of
heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham! and he said, Here am 1.
And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou
anything unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God, see-
ing that thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind
him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns."
Turn to the picture again. See how the ram struggles to get
free; but he is caught in the snare God has set for him, and
he cannot escape! The angel points to the ram, and seems to
say to Abraham, See! God has provided himself a lamb, as you
told Isaac. According to your faith, it is done unto you.
"And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for
a burnt-offering in the stead of his son."
And Abraham lived until Isaac was about seventy-five years
old, and his whole age was one hundred and seventy-five years.
Then Abraham died in a good old age, an old man and full of
years, and was gathered unto his people."
ABAHMOFEIN U SAC
ISAAC AND REBEKAH.
BRAHAM was now growing old, and the time seemed not
far distant when he should rejoin his beloved wife Sarah,
to dwell in the presence of the Lord whom he had loved and
served all his life. He naturally wished before he died that his son
Isaac should be firmly fixed in the land where he himself had dwelt
so long, and had risen to such honor and respect. He wished to see
Isaac married, and that Isaac's wife should be one of his own kin-
dred, from the house of his brother Nahor, whose descendants lived
in Mesopotamia. Therefore Abraham called before him the faithful
steward of his household, Eliezer, to swear a solemn oath or promise
that he would go and seek a wife for Isaac, and that he would find
one among Abraham's relatives, and not take a heathen woman.
And Abraham had faith in God, and trusted that he would lead
Eliezer to make a wise choice. Eliezer took ten camels, and de-
parted on his journey to seek a wife for Isaac.
And he travelled until he came to a well near a city in Mes-
opotamia, where the descendants of Nahor, the brother of Abra-
ham, dwelt; and he prayed to the Lord to prosper him, and help
50 ISAAC AND REBEKAH.
him to make a good choice. It was the time when the women
of the city were in the habit of coming to the well to draw water,
and Eliezer prayed that the maiden whom the Lord had appointed
to be the wife of Isaac might be the one who should offer to give
him drink from the well; and the Lord heard and answered him,
for, before he had finished speaking, Rebekah, the granddaughter
of Nahor, Abraham's brother, came down to the well. She was a
very beautiful maiden, and Eliezer ran to meet her, and begged for
a little water out of her pitcher. She replied, Drink, my lord,"
and offered to draw water for his camels. Eliezer now felt sure that
he was right in his choice, and he presented her with golden brace-
lets and earrings as soon as he found whose daughter she was,
and he rejoiced in the Lord who had directed him in the right way.
Bethuel, the father of Rebekah, and Laban, her brother, saw that
the Lord had directed Eliezer, therefore they freely consented that
Rebekah should return with him, and be Isaac's wife. In the
morning he begged them to dismiss him; for he was anxious to
return to his master Abraham with the good tidings. Laban and
the mother of Rebekah were loath to part with the damsel so soon,
and begged him to remain with them a few days; but he said,
"Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way;" and they
gave Rebekah their blessing, and sent her away with him. And
Isaac went out to meet them; and he took Rebekah for his wife,
to comfort him for the loss of Sarah, his mother.
/I __ ___________
JREBEAH A THEWELL
2` ;~"~? \
ESAU AND JACOB.
I HE Lord blessed Isaac, and gave him two sons, and he
called them Esau and Jacob. Esau was the elder, and
he was a hunter, and Jacob was a keeper of flocks of sheep
and cattle. Esau brought venison to his father, and his father loved
him, but Jacob was his mother's favorite.
As Esau was the oldest son, it was his right, according to the cus-
tom of those times, to inherit from his father, when he should die,
the greater part of all his wealth: his cattle and servants, and gold
and silver. This was called his birthrighit. Jacob desired that it
should be his instead of Esau's, and he contrived to buy it of him
in this way: One day Esau had been out hunting, and had come
home very tired and hungry, and found that Jacob had made some
red pottage. He begged Jacob to give him some, but Jacob refused,
unless Esau would give him his birthright in exchange for it. Esau
was very hungry, and had not the firmness to resist the temptation,
and was foolish enough to sell his birthright for one dish of food.
54 ESAU AND JACOB.
He was very sorry indeed afterwards, but he nad sworn an oath to
Jacob, and it was too late: he had lost all his right to his father's
great wealth! It was very wicked for Jacob to take advantage of
his brother's hunger to deprive him of his rights, and he was after-
wards punished for it, as you will see if you read the history of his
In many ways Esau was thoughtless and wicked, and he grieved
his parents by marrying two heathen women, instead of the women
of his own nation. When Isaac became old, and his eyes became
dim, he sent for Esau, and said to him, "I am old, and do not know
how soon I may die;" and he desired Esau to go out hunting, and
bring him some venison, to give him strength ; and he promised to
give him his blessing. But Rebekah heard him, and she wished
Jacob to have the blessing instead of Esau. So she went and found
Jacob, and told him to go and bring two kids from the flock, and she
prepared some very nice food from them, and told Jacob to go and
give it to his old father, Isaac, and ask for his blessing. Jacob
reminded his mother that Esau's skin was rough and hairy, whereas
his own was smooth, and that his father would find out the decep-
tion, and curse him instead of blessing him. But Rebekah said,
" Upon me be thy curse, my son." So she put Esau's clothes upon
Jacob, and put the skins of the kids upon his hands and neck, and
sent him with the food to Isaac. So they deceived Isaac, and he
gave Jacob the blessing, telling him that he should be lord over his
ESAU SELLING HIS BIRTHRIGHT.
ESAU AND JACOB. 57
brother, and praying God to give him prosperity and plenty. When
Esau returned, he prepared food for his father, and came expecting
to receive the blessing; and he was exceedingly sorry, and very
bitter and angry when he found that Jacob had deceived his father,
and defrauded him of his blessing as well as his birthright. He
begged very sorely for another blessing, and his father gave him one,
but not such a blessing as he had given Jacob. He then was wicked
enough to form a plan to kill Jacob, and so get back what Jacob had
deprived him of. But Rebekah heard of this, and sent Jacob away
to Laban, her brother, and they never saw him again, for he did not
dare return for fear of Esau. So Jacob was punished for his decep-
tion by being sent away from his home and friends, and, afterwards,
he was deceived by his uncle, and when he was old he was deceived
by his own sons. All this came upon him to repay his own sin of
defrauding his brother and deceiving his father. When he fled for
fear of Esau, he travelled to Padan-aram, where Laban, his uncle,
lived, and he met a maiden coming with a flock of sheep, and he
watered the sheep at a well for her, and found that she was Rachel,
the daughter of Laban. And he was greatly rejoiced; and Laban,
his uncle, came out to meet him, and welcomed him with kind words.
And Laban proposed that Jacob should stay with him, and serve
him, and asked what wages he would have. Jacob agreed to stay,
and serve him seven years, if he would give him his beautiful daugh-
ter, Rachel, to be his wife: and Laban promised to do so. Jacob did
58 ESAU AND JACOB.
as he agreed; and so much did he love Rachel, that the seven years
seemed but a few days to him. But when he came to claim her, his
uncle refused to give her to him, and said he could not have her
until Leah, her older sister, was married. So Jacob had to marry
Leah, and serve another seven years for Rachel.
But the Lord prospered Jacob, and he grew to a very wealthy man.
But Laban and his sons became very jealous of him ; so he took his
flocks and herds, and his two wives, and started for his own country.
But lie was afraid to meet Esau, his brother, whom he had so wronged
when he was a young man, and he sent him presents to appease his
wrath. The night before he was to meet Esau, there appeared to him
an angel as he sat alone; and this angel wrestled with him until the
break of day : but Jacob at last obtained a blessing from him, and
lie found it was the Lord himself. And the Lord remembered his
promise to Jacob, and said he was no longer to be called Jacob, but
Israel. Therefore, the descendants of Jacob are called children of
When Esau met Jacob, he acted very generously. He received his
brother very kindly, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they
were always good friends afterwards. If Esau had faults, he had also
the kindness of heart to forgive an injury. This is a good trait of
character, and one we should all try to have.
I Ile I
ISAAC BLESSING JACOB
^ vE youngest but one of the twelve sons of Jacob was called
Joseph. Jacob was more than ninety years of age when
he was born. Because he was the son of his old age, he
loved him more than he loved his other children, and made
him a coat of many colors. When Joseph's brethren saw that
their father loved him more than he loved them, they hated him,
and could not speak peaceably unto him.
When Joseph was about seventeen years old, he had two re-
markable dreams. No doubt they were given him by God to
teach him and his friends that he would become a great ruler.
He dreamed that he and his brethren were binding sheaves in
a field, and that his sheaf stood upright, while their sheaves stood
round about and made obeisance to his sheaf.
Joseph told this dream to his brethren, and they hated him yet
more, saying, "Shalt thou indeed reign over us?"
And Joseph dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his father
and his brethren, saying, I dreamed that the sun and moon and
eleven stars came and made obeisance to me." Then his father re-
buked him, saying, Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed
come and bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? His brethren
envied him; but his father thought much of these dreams, not
knowing perhaps exactly what they meant, yet thinking that they
promised some great things for his favorite son.
About this time, his brethren went away with Jacob's flocks to
find pasture for them in a distant place. After a while, their
father became anxious about them, and sent Joseph to inquire if it
was well with them, and well with the flocks.
When Joseph came in sight of his brethren, they said to one
another, Here comes the dreamer! Let us slay him, and cast him
into some pit, and say a wild beast hath devoured him, and we
will see what will become of his dreams." But Reuben, the oldest
brother, was not as cruel as the others. He said, Shed no blood,
but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness." He said
this that he might rid him out of their hands, and deliver him
to his father again. So the brethren consented; and when Joseph
was come to them, they seized him, and stripped him of his coat
of many colors, and put him into the pit, thinking, no doubt, that
he would starve to death there. They then sat down to eat bread;
and, lifting up their eyes, they saw a company of Arabian mer-
chants, with their camels loaded with spices, and balm, and myrrh,
going into Egypt. Seeing them, one of the brothers said, Come,
let us sell Joseph to these merchants;" and the rest were con-
tented to do so. Then they lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold
him to the merchants for about fifteen dollars. Look at the pic-
ture How mean the brother looks who is taking the money!
The whole company, except Joseph, appear like a band of misera-
ble slave-holders, as they are The noble camels lift up their heads
and look in another direction, as if ashamed of their masters!
Poor Joseph seems sad! He is thinking, perhaps, of his dear
father; of the cruel slavery in Egypt, into which he knows he is
going. But he has been taught to trust in God, and this trust is
a great comfort to him in his lonely situation.
Joseph was brought down into Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian,
an officer of Pharaoh's guard, bought him of the merchants; and
the Lord was with him, and he was a prosperous man. When
his master saw that the Lord was with him, he put all that he had
into his hands, and God blessed the whole house of Potiphar for
Now Joseph was a very beautiful young man, and his master's
wife tried to make him commit a great sin against God. But he
refused as often as she made her requests, until, at last, she became
very angry, and told a lying story against him to his master. This
story his master believed, and he cast Joseph into prison. But
God was still with him, and gave him favor in the sight of the
keeper of the prison, who set him over all his prisoners, and all
of his affairs.
After these things, two servants of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, his
chief baker and chief butler, offended the king, and were cast into
prison, where Joseph was; and each of them one night had a re-
markable dream. In the morning, they were very sad, and told
Joseph their dreams. The chief butler said, "In my dream, behold,
a vine was before me; and in the vine were three branches; and
it was as though it budded, and its blossoms shot forth; and the
clusters brought forth ripe grapes; and the king's cup was in my
hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into the cup, and
gave the cup into the king's hand."
Then Joseph told him that the branches meant three days, and
that in three days the king would take him out of prison, and
restore him to his place as his cup-bearer.
Then the chief baker told his dream, saying, Behold, I had three
white baskets on my head; and in the uppermost basket were all
kind of baked meats for the king; and the birds did eat them out
of the basket upon my head."
Then Joseph told the chief baker that his dream meant, that in
three days the king would bring him out of prison, and hang.him
upon a tree, and the birds would eat his flesh from off him.
In three days, all that Joseph had said came to pass; for the
king restored the chief butler to his office, and hanged the chief
baker. "Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph."
h f \
JOSEPH FEEDING THE PEOPLE.
Two years after this, God gave King Pharaoh two very wonder-
ful dreams. He dreamed that seven fat cows came up out of the
river and fed in the meadow, and that there came up after them
seven lean cows; and the lean cows ate up the fat cows, but were
still very lean themselves. Then the king dreamed again, and saw,
in his dream, seven good ears of corn on one stock; and after them
came seven thin and withered ears, and devoured the good ears.
These dreams very much troubled the king, for none of his wise
men could tell him what they meant. Then the chief butler re-
membered Joseph, and told the king about him; and the king
immediately sent for him; and he came and stood before him, and
told him the meaning of his dreams, saying, The two dreams teach
the same thing. They mean that there will be seven years of great
plenty in Egypt; and after them shall come seven years of famine.
He advised the king to set a wise man over his affairs, during the
seven years of plenty, who should appoint officers to gather the
corn from all parts of Egypt, and put it into storehouses for the
years of famine. The king was greatly pleased with Joseph, and
made him ruler over all the land next to himself.
The seven years of plenty came as Joseph had said, and he gath-
ered up the grain into store cities, for the king, a great quantity.
Then came the years of dreadful famine. The Egyptians soon
ate up their old grain, and came to Joseph, to buy for themselves
and for their little ones.
Food became more and more scarce, not only in Egypt, but in
all the countries round about. In the land of Canaan, where Jacob
lived, the famine was terrible; so he said to his sons, Go into
Egypt, and buy food for us that we may live. Then all of Jo-
seph's brethren, except Benjamin, came into Egypt.
The ten brethren came into Joseph's presence; and he knew them,
but they did not know him; and, as they bowed down before him,
he thought of his dream. He spoke roughly unto them to try
them, and accused them of being spies, come to see the nakedness
of the land. But they said they were true men, being twelve
brethren, the sons of one father. Then Joseph told them to take
food, and return to their father, and to come back, bringing their
youngest brother with them, that he might know that they were true
men, and no spies. To try them still further, and to make sure
of their return, he commanded that their brother Simeon should
be bound before their eyes, and be cast into prison.
Before they left, Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn,
and to put every man's money in the sack's mouth.
When they came to their father, they told him all that had hap-
pened to them; and, as they opened their sacks, behold, every
man's money was in his sack's mouth; and they were still more
afraid. Jacob was exceedingly grieved, and said, Me ye have be-
reaved of my children; Joseph is not, and Simeon is not; and ye will
take Benjamin away."
When, after a short time, all the corn which they brought
from Egypt was eaten up, Jacob said to his sons, "Go again, buy
us a little food." Judah replied, The man did solemnly protest unto
us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with
you." Jacob, seeing that he must let Benjamin go, said to his
sons, "Take a present for the governor of Egypt, and return the
money which was found in your sacks; take also your brother, and
arise, go again unto the man."
Then the ten brothers went again into Egypt. When they ar-
rived, they were kindly received, and Simeon was restored to them,
and they all came into Joseph's presence, and bowed down before
him. How strangely was his dream fulfilled!
Joseph then asked them of their welfare, and said, "Is your
father well, the old man of whom ye spake ? Is he yet alive ?"
And, lifting up his eyes, he saw his brother Benjamin. Is this
your younger brother of whom ye spake unto me ?" And he said,
" God be gracious unto thee, my son." Then Joseph went away
and wept; and he washed his face and refrained himself and re-
turned and said, "Set on bread."
When they were ready to return to their own land, Joseph com-
manded his stewards to fill their sacks with corn, and to put every
man's money in his sack's mouth, as he did before, and to put
his silver cup into the sack of Benjamin. When they had gone
a short distance, he sent his steward to say to them, Why have
ye rewarded evil for good ? The steward, when he overtook them,
repeated what Joseph had said, and charged them with taking his
master's silver cup. They were greatly surprised and afraid, and
said, With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him
die, and we also will be my Lord's bondmen." Then the stew-
ard examined their sacks, beginning with the eldest, and he found
the cup in Benjamin's sack.
What can they say? Judah comes forward with a noble gen-
erosity, and pleads very tenderly for his brother Benjamin, whom
Joseph proposes to keep as his servant, and let the rest go unto
their father in peace; and finally Judah said, Now, therefore, I pray
thee, let thy servant abide, instead of the lad, a bondman to my
lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren."
"Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood
by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And
there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known
unto his brethren. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Jo-
seph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not an-
swer him, for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said
unto his brethren, Come near to me, 1 pray you. And they came
near. And he said, I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into
Egypt. Now, therefore, be not grieved nor angry with your-
selves that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you
to preserve life.
THE CUP FOUND.
SOF JACOB AND JOSEPH.
THE MEETING OF JACOB AND JOSEPH.
Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith
thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt; come down
unto me, tarry not.
"And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land
of Canaan unto Jacob their father, and told him, saying, Joseph
is yet 'alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt.
And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not. And they
told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them;
and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry
him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. And Israel said,
It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see
him before I die.
"And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet
Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him;
and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good
"Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father
and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all
that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and be-
hold they are in the land of Goshen. And he took some of
his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh.
"And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him be-
fore Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
"And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave
them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the
land, as Pharaoh had commanded. And Joseph nourished his
father and his brethren, and all his father's household, with
bread, according to their families."
Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years, and died,
and was carried to the land of Canaan and buried.
Joseph continued to be very kind to his brethren and all
their families, after his father's death; and the kindness which
he showed to others, God showed to him. He lived in great
prosperity until he was one hundred and ten years old, and
died; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in
OD'S people, the Jews, sinned greatly against him. This
displeased him exceedingly, for he desired that they should
be holy and happy. But he had great patience with them.
When they were sorry for their sins, he forgave them; and
when they turned away from him again, he sent his servants the
prophets to persuade them to love and obey him. As a kind and
loving father weeps over a wicked son, so God stood with his hands
extended to his people, crying, "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye
die, 0 house of Israel!" He did not delight to have them pun-
ished, but when they refused to hear him, he exclaimed. "How
shall I give you up!"
Most of the great men of the Jews--their kings, their priests,
and the leaders of their armies -rebelled against God with the
common people. Yet a few of their kings were holy, seeking to
do as God commanded them. Then the people forsook their idols,
and God loved them. Such kings were Asa, Hezekiah, and Josiah.
80 THE CAPTIVITY.
Josiah was the last of these good kings. He was a child, only
eight years of age, when he became king; but probably the good
high priest, Hilkiah, performed the duties which belonged to the
king, until Josiah was old enough to understand them.
Josiah began when he was very young to do that which was
pleasing in the sight of God. When he was twenty-six years of
age, the Holy Book of God, which he gave to Moses, was found
in the temple. It had been hid a long time. When this book
was read to Josiah, he was afraid, and wept exceedingly, because
the kings which were before, and the people, had not done as this
book commanded them. He sent into every part of his kingdom,
and gathered the rulers to the temple, and a great multitude of
people came up to Jerusalem with them. Then Josiah promised,
and caused all the people to promise, to love and obey God. He
burned all their idols, broke down all the groves where they wor-
shipped them, removed all the priests of the idols, and broke down
the houses of other wicked men.
All the time that Josiah was king, thirty-one years, the people
kept their promise to serve the true God; but when he was dead,
they turned again to their idols.
God tried them after this with four more kings; but they and
their kings sinned continually. For their sins, God sent the king
of Babylon to Jerusalem, and he took the city. He carried their
king away to Babylon, with all their great men, and all their men
THE CAPTIVITY. 81
of war, and all their workmen, such as carpenters, masons, and
blacksmiths, and left only the poor people in the land. He took
also the gold and silver, and all the wonderful things of their
temple, and put them in his own treasure-house. A few years
afterward, he came again, and burned the temple and threw down
the walls of Jerusalem. A sad day was that to the poor Jews
when they were compelled to leave their homes, and go far away
into a strange country. See them in the picture! How sad they
look! There were little children on foot in that long and mourn-
ful procession, led by their older brothers or sisters. With them
were the weeping mothers, and the long-bearded men whose
fierce-looking faces seemed to say that they still hated God. The
soldiers rode behind on horseback, to urge forward the weary cap-
tives. Among them, were some great and holy men, for the good
often suffer in this world with the wicked: Daniel was there, who
became a great ruler in the land of his captivity, and to whom
God gave a wonderful escape from the lions' den. Ezekiel, the
prophet, was with them, too, and Mordecai, of whom we shall tell
you in the next story.
ESTHER AND MORDECAI.
HE king who carried the Jews into captivity died, and a king
of another nation took possession of his country. His name
was Ahasuerus, and he lived in the city of Shushan, where
She had wonderful gardens and a splendid palace.
In this city many of the captive Jews resided; among
them were Mordecai and his cousin Esther. Esther was an orphan,
and Mordecai had brought her up as his own child. She was
very beautiful and very affectionate. She loved Mordecai, and
obeyed him as if he had been her own father.
At one time, the king made a great feast for many days for his
great men. He showed them his riches, and talked with them of
his honors and great power. After this, he made a great feast
for all the people of his palace, both great and small. At these
feasts, they drank much wine from golden vessels. At length the
king became very merry with wine. While he was thus drunk,
he commanded his servants to bring his beautiful queen, Vashti,
GOING INTO CAPTIVITY.
ESTHER AND MORDECAI. 85
and show her to the people. The queen, like a sensible person,
refused to come. If the king had not been full of wine, he would,
no doubt, have loved her better for her modesty; but now he was
very angry, and took away her royal garments, and commanded
that she should no longer be queen.
After this, the king sent into all parts of his kingdom, and
gathered together all the young women of great beauty, to the city
of Shushan, where they were committed to the care of one of his
great officers. From these, the king intended to select the one
who pleased him best, to be queen instead of Vashti.
Among these young women was Esther, to whom the officer
showed great kindness, taking great pains to make her appear
attractive to the king. When she was brought to the king, she
pleased him greatly, and he made her queen.
There was a man at this time in Shushan whose name was
Haman. The king delighted in him above all his chief men, and
gave him great riches' and honor; but Haman was exceedingly
wicked. The king commanded that all the people should bow
down and reverence Haman, whenever they saw him. But Mor-
decai, who was daily at the gate of the palace, refused to do so.
The servants of the king were astonished at this, and proud Ha-
man was full of wrath. But none of them knew that Mordecai was
related to Queen Esther, or that the queen was a Jew. Haman
resolved that he would cause all the Jews to be put to death in
86 ESTHER AND MORDECAI.
revenge for Mordecai's refusal to honor him. So he went to the
king with cunning and lying words, saying that there was a peo-
ple, scattered throughout his kingdom, which did not obey the laws
of the land, meaning the Jews; and asked permission to have them
destroyed. This wicked request the king granted, and Haman made
haste to command, in the king's name, that, on a certain day, the
people among whom the Jews lived, should kill them, not sparing
even the women and little children. But see now how God de-
feated his plans! When Mordecai heard that his people were to
be destroyed, he put on his mourning garments, and went into the
city, and cried a loud and bitter cry. He went even to the gate
of the king's palace, and wept aloud. The maids of Queen Esther
saw him, and told her. She then sent her chief officer to Morde-
cai to inquire the cause for mourning, for Esther had not heard
of Haman's plan to destroy her people. So Mordecai made known
to her the whole matter, and requested her to go immediately to
the king and beg him to spare her nation. She replied, that if
she went into the presence of the king without being called, she
would be put to death, except the king reached out to her the
golden sceptre. Mordecai replied that she must venture. Then
Esther requested Mordecai and all the Jews in the city to con-
tinue in fasting and prayer during three days, while she and her
servants did the same; and she added: "I will then go in unto
the king, and if I perish, I will perish." But the king did not
, I' I l'- I, ,
I i b I
M E S U
ESTHER AND MORDECAI. 89
command her head to be cut off when she came into his pres-
ence. He reached out the golden sceptre; that meant that he was
not angry to have her come uninvited into his presence. The
king told her to ask what she pleased, and he would grant her
request. She, at this time, simply requested that the king and
Haman should come that day to a banquet which she had pre-
pared. This the king and Haman did. At the banquet, the king
said to Esther, "Ask what you will, and I will do it." Esther re-
plied that if he and Haman would come to another banquet, on the
next day, she would then make known her request. Haman went
home more proud than ever to think that the queen had invited
him only, with the king, to her banquet. But Mordecai bowed
not to him as he passed along. This alone marred all his pleas-
ure. He was so angry that he built a very high gallows, and
came the next day to ask the king's permission to hang Mor-
decai upon it. But God's eye was upon him, and he disappointed
his wicked purpose! That night the king could not sleep, and
he called for the books, in which was written an account of the
remarkable things which had happened since he became king.
He there found that Mordecai had once saved his life. It hap-
pened in this way: Two of the king's servants had laid a plan
to kill him. This Mordecai found out, and caused the king to
know it. So these servants were hanged, and the king's life saved.
When Haman came in the morning to request that Mordecai might
90 ESTHER AND MORDECAI.
be hanged, the king said to him: "What shall be done to the man
whom the king delighteth to' honor? Haman, thinking that the
honor must be intended for himself, advised that the royal garment
be brought, and the horse which the king rode, and that the man
in whom the king delighted should be clothed in this garment, and
made to ride through the streets of the city, while the king's mes-
sengers went before him, shouting, Thus shall it be done unto
the man whom the king delighteth to honor." "So," said the
king, "do all that you have said, to Mordecai, the Jew!" Poor
Haman! See how humbled he appears, while he leads the roy-
al horse! How like a king Mordecai looks, with the crown upon
his head, while the people gaze at him in wonder. Haman went
to Esther's feast after this, but with a sorrowful heart. God had
begun to punish him, and he was afraid!
At the feast, the king asked Esther again, what she desired.
Esther exclaimed, Let my life be given to me at my petition, and
my people at my request; for we are sold, I and my people,
to be slain!" The king was greatly excited, and replied, "Who
is he, and where is he, that hath dared to do so ?" Then Esther
answered, "The enemy is this wicked Haman!" See how boldly
she approaches the king while she pleads for her life, and the life of
her people! The king was very angry at Haman, and commanded
that he should be hanged upon the gallows he had made for Morde-
cai." Then he made Mordecai a great ruler, and saved the Jews
but destroyed their enemies.
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pil I j
ESTHER AND THE KING I
fill ty ~I'
I i iiII f a
ESTHERAND T E KIN
EVENTY weary years were the Jews in Babylon. Their sor-
rows made them think of their sins, and the sins of their kings
and priests, and the sins of their whole nation. On this ac-
+) count, they fasted much, and prayed sincerely for forgiveness.
God heard and answered their prayers, as he always does the pray-
ers of sinners who come humbly to him. God gave the country
where they lived into the hands of a great general by the name
of Cyrus, and he became its king. God caused him to feel great
pity and love for the Jews, and to desire to send them back to
their own land. This he did; and he gave them the gold and
silver vessels which had been taken from the temple seventy
years before, and he also commanded the people of Babylon to
give them things necessary for their journey. After the Jews had
been in their own land a few months, they began to rebuild the
temple. The altar was first erected, and the sacrifices offered upon
it. The priest stood by with his beautiful garments, his hands
94 RETURNING HOME.
and eyes raised to heaven, and his heart full of sincere gratitude
to God. The Levites gathered about the altar, with their instru-
ments of music. See how earnestly they play, while the smoke
of the sacrifice rolls grandly to heaven, as if it bore their songs
to the ears of God! But who are those whose heads are bowed
down? Why are they so sad while their brethren rejoice? Ah!
they are the old men, who saw the first temple seventy years ago.
They are thinking how beautiful that was, and that they shall
never see one like it, yet they are glad they are to have a new
Soon after, Cyrus, the good friend of the Jews, died, and then
their enemies started up and made many bitter complaints against
them to the new king. The king heard their complaints, and com-
pelled the Jews to stop building the temple. But God watched over
it, and in a few years it was finished, and a great feast was made,
and the people of God rejoiced with great joy.
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AFTER THE CAPTIVITY.
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-FTER THE CAPTIVITY.
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