Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: Jacob and his sons
 Chapter II: Envy and hatred in...
 Chapter III: Joseph sold into...
 Chapter IV: Joseph among stran...
 Chapter V: Joseph's unselfish life...
 Chapter VI: The chief butler's...
 Chapter VII: From the prison to...
 Chapter VIII: Joseph's simple,...
 Chapter IX: The famine
 Chapter X: The startling disco...
 Chapter XI: The arrival of Joseph's...
 Chapter XII: The kind ruler and...
 Chapter XIII: Jacob's last...
 Chapter XIV: Jacob's last prophetic...
 Chapter XV: The land of promis...
 Back Cover

Title: Joseph and his brethren
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003104/00001
 Material Information
Title: Joseph and his brethren
Physical Description: 80 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bross, Robert S., b. ca. 1831 ( Engraver )
American Tract Society ( Publisher )
Publisher: American Tract Society
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: c1861
Subject: Bible Stories, English -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Brothers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1861   ( rbgenr )
Gold stamped cloth (Binding) -- 1861   ( local )
Bldn -- 1861
Genre: Biographies   ( rbgenr )
Gold stamped cloth (Binding)   ( local )
individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
General Note: Baldwin Library copy inscribed date: 1861.
General Note: Illustrations engraved and signed by Bross.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003104
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002232326
oclc - 15369687
notis - ALH2718
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter I: Jacob and his sons
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Chapter II: Envy and hatred in Joseph's brothers
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Chapter III: Joseph sold into Egypt
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Chapter IV: Joseph among strangers
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Chapter V: Joseph's unselfish life in prison
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Chapter VI: The chief butler's ingratitude
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Chapter VII: From the prison to the palace
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Chapter VIII: Joseph's simple, every-day piety
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Chapter IX: The famine
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Chapter X: The startling discovery
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    Chapter XI: The arrival of Joseph's friends
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Chapter XII: The kind ruler and provider
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Chapter XIII: Jacob's last days
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Chapter XIV: Jacob's last prophetic words
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Chapter XV: The land of promise
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text




Jacob and his sons ....... ..........5

Envy and hatred in Joseph's brothers ..... .. .. 9


Joseph sold into Egypt . . . .. 15

Joseph among strangers .. . 1

Joseph's unselfish life in prison . . 24

The chief butler's ingratitude . .. ..... 30

From the prison to the palace . ..... 32


Joseph's simple, every-day piety ..

The famine . . . .

The startling discovery . ..

The arrival of Joseph's friends . .. .

The kind ruler and provider . .

Jacob's last days . . .

Jacob's last prophetic words . .

The land of promise ..........

. . 46

. . 51

. . 60


. 66

S . 7

. . 75




HIRTY-SIX centuries ago there lived in the land of Ca-

naan-that delightful land, where the grapes hung in mag-

nificent clusters from the vines, and where milk and honey

t C.I~~
rI '



~.-~ :


were flowing all the year-a man, and the first description
of him would lead us to suppose he was a very happy man.
It is said of him that he was a plain man dwelling in
tents," Gen. 25:27, living a happy, shepherd life, with a
large family of twelve sons around him. There he lived in
Canaan, making no display of his riches, assuming nothing,
and troubling himself little about the fashion of this world.
He knew that fashion and splendor and pomp rob life of
its usefulness and truest ease, and that they who would live
well and wisely must live plainly, using the good and pleas-
ant things of the world, but caring little for what is un-
necessary and burdensome.
So Jacob lived; but as no man can be happy when his
children do not help to make him happy, so this good plain
man Jacob soon found his pleasant home beginning to
change. His sons began to show their evil dispositions
when they were out of his sight. He might not have known
any thing about it, had not Joseph been grieved at their
conduct and reported it to his father.
It was far from Joseph's intentions to make trouble for
his brothers, or to alienate from them any of their father's
love; but their conduct was such, that he thought it his
duty to tell it to his father. Whether they knew that he
did so or not, we are not told; but they soon began to feel


unkindly towards Joseph, and in their hearts to blame him
when he had done them no wrong. They also saw that
Jacob felt a great tenderness for him, because he was the
son of his old age ;" and more than that, they perceived that
his lovely character had made him a favorite child. This
was more than their evil hearts could bear; and when they
saw Joseph walking about in a beautiful gay coat his father
had given him, their hearts burned with jealousy, and they
felt as if they could do almost any thing to get him out of
the way. Filled with this jealous spirit, they commenced
ill-treating him, and thus their downward course began.
When we feel the first stirring of jealousy in our hearts,
we should hasten to get the evil corrected before it over-
spreads and blights every thing within us. Perhaps you
have some friend-it may be even a brother Joseph-who is
loved more than you; and your heart is often stirred like
the ocean in a storm. There is a fever there worse than
the fever of the body-it is the fever of jealousy. Would
you have this fever allayed, so that you can quietly and
even happily see others loved more than yourself, the only
way is to get your heart filled with love, and then act out
this love to all around you by kindness and doing them
good; not merely that you may be happy yourself, but that
you may make others happy, and be a blessing wherever you


go. This will make you lovely, and bring you all the friends
you need.
It is said of a great, but wicked man, that his first feeling
of hate sprung from jealousy. He was jealous of a friend,
and soon began to late him; and driven onward by jealousy,
he at length murdered him. Let us watch our hearts, and
especially let us bar the door against jealousy.




As evil feelings grow worse with time, unless removed
by the grace of God, this withering passion of jealousy grew
stronger and stronger in Joseph's brothers. At last they
hated Joseph so much that they could not speak peaceably
unto him "-a dreadful state of things between brothers.
There is no doubt that Joseph was a kind, loving brother,
and that he did whatever he could to make his home happy.
There is no record of a reproachful look or word that he
ever gave one of his brothers. He did them no wrong, and
his only crime was being so much beloved by his father.
For this they hated him.
Soon after they began to be jealous of him, God revealed
to him a strange dream; and like a simple-hearted child,
who meant no harm, he told it. He told his brothers that
he dreamed they were all out in a field together binding
sheaves, and that around his sheaf all the other sheaves
gathered and bowed down.
After this he dreamed another dream, and told it, as he


> ~ ,~~T
I -

did the first. He said lie had dreamed that the sun and moon
and eleven stars made obeisance to him.
As his brothers talked over these dreams together, an-
other bad passion crept into their hearts. One would think
that jealousy was enough; but now envy comes in. These
dreams are not common dreams." thought the envious broth-



ers; "they mean something. Joseph is to be greater than
all of us. It is plain enough what these dreams mean."
While tormented thus by jealousy and envy, the brothers
one day took their father's flocks and led them to Shechem,
where the pasture was better. They were gone a number of
days, and Jacob began to be anxious about them; so he
called Joseph, and sent him off to see whether it was well
with them and with the flocks.
The innocent are seldom afraid, and Joseph promptly
obeyed his father, and started for Shechem. But when he
reached there, he could not find his brothers. A kind stran-
ger met him as he was wandering about, and told him he
would find his brothers in Dothan. Intent on his errand,
he went towards Dothan. When his brothers saw him in
the distance, alone and unprotected, the horrible thought
of murder took possession of some of their minds; and
quickly after this thought followed another-the thought
of telling a lie to hide the murder, telling their father that
a wild beast had torn him in pieces.
But Joseph's time to die had not yet come. A great
many things were to happen before he died: he was to
come to greatness, and his brothers were to be the instru-
ments of his greatness; they were to take him by the hand,
and lead him directly to it. They did not intend any such



thing; they had only mortal eyes, and could not see that
their own acts were to bring about the very events they
would have dreaded, could they have foreseen them.
But the all-seeing God, whose eyes are upon the ways
of man, marking all his goings, saw exactly what the end
would be; and more than this, He was regulating and con-
trolling the whole himself, and using these cruel brothers to
do his will. Oh what heart that has learned what God can do
for it, need fear? He may lead us by a way that we know
not. Darkness may be around us, and clouds above us, yet
we need not be afraid, for God is caring for us all the time.
By his overruling power, the bitterest thing in life can be
turned into the sweetest blessing ; and even our enemies may,
in his hands, bring us richer blessings than our friends.
Joseph, without suspicion of what was to befall him,
approaches his brothers. The plan to murder him was
quickly matured. But Reuben, who was the oldest son,
was moved with pity for his brother, and for his father too ;
and the idea struck him that, if Joseph could be thrown
alive into a pit, it would do him no great harm; for as
soon as the others turned their backs and were out of the
way, he would help him out of the pit, and restore him to
his father. So the beautiful coat that Jacob had given him
was taken off, and he was thrown into the pit.


You may imagine how a brother's pleading cry rose
from the pit, and how he begged to be taken out. But his
tears and pleadings did no good; they could not soften
hearts hardened by jealousy and envy; and there Joseph
remained in the pit. Poor Joseph! far from his father,
unpitied by his brothers, and left alone to die. His heart
sinks; he trembles and prays, and then again he begs to be
taken out.
Ah, Joseph, you seem to be in a dreadful place, and it is
enough to break a tender heart to look at you; but there
is a guardian God close by your side; and though you are
in a pit, you are on the way to a throne, and such a throne
as few kings in this world have ever sat on.
Little friends, no matter how deep and dark may be the
pit into which you or I may be thrown, we need not be
afraid. God knows what is best for us. He knows the
character of every one of his children, and knows what is
necessary to prepare them to live and to die; and if we
trust in him, he will place us exactly where we can get the
greatest good, and there we ought to be willing to be. Let
your prayer to God be, that his will may be done, and not
yours; and promise him that you will trust him to lead you
wherever he will. If God give you riches and honor and
friends, and many joys in life, be thankful to him; and if lie



give you poverty and shame and enemies and sorrows, still
be thankful. All the gifts of God, whether they be pleas-
ant or otherwise, will, if received by a thankful, loving,
trusting, obedient heart, work out for you an exceeding
and eternal weight of glory."
It may not always be easy for you to realize this. But
when you open your eyes in heaven, when you there sit at
the Saviour's feet, and hear from him how he redeemed you
and led you home, you will understand it. He will make
it all plain to you; and you will then thank him for the sor-
rows that oppressed your heart, for the tears you shed, and
for all the providence that seemed so mysterious. What
you do not know now, you will know hereafter. Now you
must live by faith.



JOSEPH was left in the pit for a time; and while he was
there, perhaps he had some idea that God would interpose,
and send .ome one to his rescue.
But the last hope seemed gone, when a company of Ish-
maelites came along. The brothers, still restless with jeal-
ousy and envy, began to talk of selling him; and at last
they lifted him out of the pit, and though he was worth
more than mines of gold to his father, sold him for twenty
pieces of silver.
Now Reuben's plan to rescue him was of no use. "Oh,
what a pity," you may say, what a pity that Reuben had
gone away; what a pity that he allowed any thing to call
him off, when, if he had stayed close by the pit, he could have
saved him." Pretty soon Reuben comes back, finds Joseph
gone, and in the extremity of his agony rends his clothes, and
exclaims, "The child is not: and I, whither shall I go ?"
The brothers were as indifferent to his anguish as to
Joseph's, but went on in their wicked work. They were
first jealous, then envious, and afterwards deceitful and



hypocritical. To shield themselves from blame, they killed
a kid, dipped Joseph's coat in the blood, and took it home
with them, and told their father they had found that coat
all soaked in blood. Ah, thought Jacob, this coat tells the
mournful story; Joseph has been torn in pieces by wild
beasts. And he rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth.


\' r
', ~*L~::c.:'
.I r T


Though his sons saw him bowed down with grief, they
continued to wear a mask when they might have consoled
him by letting him know that Joseph was alive. This
would have been a great comfort to poor Jacob, but it was
withheld. All love to their father seemed lost in their evil
passions. And to all this they added the sin of hypocrisy;
they pretended to mourn with their father, and tried to
comfort him, when they knew Joseph had not been slain,
but was on the way to Egypt.
So it is that one sin leads to another. No heart ever
felt the full blight of sin in a moment, in an hour, or in a
day. One sin stains the soul, another makes the stain deep-
er and the guilt greater, and so an evil character is formed.
Children, let it be your prayer and mine that we may tremble
at the first approach of sin; that we may resist temptation,
and fly to the only safe place, the warm, quiet, sure hiding-
place under our heavenly Father's broad wing of love.
There we may take our rest,
There undisturbed may hide,
Sheltered and sweetly pressed
Close to our Father's side.
He loves to hide us there;
He loves to feel us cling,
While round us all he folds
His broad, protecting wing.
Joseph, etc.




THE next thing we hear of Joseph is, that the Ishmaelites
have taken him to Egypt, and sold him to Potiphar. There,
far away from home, without any friend near him, alone in
a land of strangers, he found favor in the eyes of those
around him. Potiphar was very much pleased with him,
and the secret of it was, that the Lord was pleased with
him. It is said that "the Lord was with him," and "he
was a prosperous man." The truth is, no man is prosperous
if God be not with him; and we should all believe this, and
let our every-day prayer be, that God may dwell with us,
and that we may have no other prosperity than that which
comes from him. No man, no child can have any thing
better said of him than this, "The Lord is with him."
It seems that from the moment Joseph became overseer
in Potiphar's house, every thing went on prosperously.
Whatever Joseph touched shone with a new lustre, even
with the bright blessing of God. Potiphar was a worldly
man, and did not care to please God; yet it did not escape
his eye that it was a glorious thing to be a son or a daugh-



ter of God, even were there no life beyond this present life.
Joseph's blameless character won his confidence. Though
he was a stranger, and had no credentials to prove that he
was a good, trusty young man, yet Potiphar soon gave up
every thing to his care, and made himself perfectly easy,
because he saw that the Lord was with Joseph and directed
his way.
If you want the confidence of others, the sure way to
secure it is to have the love of God warming your heart
and shining in your life. Yet you will sometimes have
trials. The sun may shine very bright one day, and be
under a cloud the next day. When God wants to teach us
to trust entirely in him, when he wants to give us a new
lesson in faith, he sometimes takes the light away, and calls
us to walk in the dark, and believe all the time that he will
take care of us. He wants to teach us how to walk when
we have no sunlight nor moonlight nor starlight upon our
path. God can lead us in the dark as well as in the light.
He can see, and it makes no difference whether we can or
not; and God wishes us to believe him, take him at his
word, and, whenever it is his will, walk in the dark.
A mother was once trying to teach her child how to
trust God. His mind seemed slow to take in the idea of
faith; but she said, I can teach you what faith is, Charley,


so that I think you will understand it. Get your hat, and
go out into the yard with me."
Charley hurried to get his hat, and was soon out-doors
with his mother.
"Now, Charley," said she, shut your eyes, and walk
right along."
Oh, mother, I can't," said he, there are ever so many
stones lying all around; and there's that big tree that blew
down last week, I shall stumble over it and hurt myself."
SWell, then, take hold of my hand and walk, but keep
your eyes shut."
Charley obeyed, and walked safely along, and did not
feel afraid. I do n't feel afraid, mother," said he; "I can't
see any thing myself, but you can see, and I 'e got fast hold
of your hand."
And you do n't feel at all afraid of getting hurt ?"
No, mother, for you can see, and you know just where
to lead (m."
"But, Charley, suppose I should lead you in a rough
path, over stones, and among bushes."
Oh, it would n't hurt me, mother. I should know all the
time that it was you, and that you would n't let me fall."
This little boy's answers may help to show what true
faith is. Charley had unwavering faith in his mother; and


God asks of us to have faith in him. If we can say, where-
ever we are led, that we know it is God who leads us, and
that he will never let us fall, this is one exercise of the faith
he requires of us.
It may be that Joseph needed more of this faith in God,
for the next thing we hear of him is that he is in prison!
Happily for him, he was there through no fault of his own,
but by the sin of another. It seemed a dark hour when he
was falsely accused, and thrown into prison; but God is
good, and it is his plan to discipline us and try our faith, so
that we may be all he would have us to be. Yet we do not
always see this to be'so; and poor Joseph may have rea-
soned in this way: What can all this mean? Every thing
went smoothly at first. I wa:T treated with confidence, and
I saw that God had made my cause his own. Now he has
left me, and there are none to care for me. Here I am in
prison, with no hope of getting out. What can it mean ?"
Ah, poor Joseph, you seem worse off than ever. You
are not only in a strange land, far away from home, but you
are in a prison; the last place in the world to give a man
comfort. Surely your prospects are dreary. The sky is
dark, the clouds are heavy, and you are under a terrible
But in this world we can seldom tell, from the appear-


ance of things, what is going to happen. It is a blessed
truth that the God who made the sky can paint a rainbow
on it, and roll away the heaviest clouds, and let the sun
shine through. It does not take long for the great God to
change the face of things. It needs but his touch, his word,
and the whole is done.
My little friends, remember this. If you want relief
from some great trouble, or if you long for some great bless-
ing, look up to the Almighty God. If we were down in
Egypt, where no one knew or loved us, prayer could bring
us what we need. God knows exactly how to help his lit-
tle, weak, ignorant children, when they have neither the
strength nor the knowledge to help themselves. What they
have to do is to go where he calls them to go, and trust in
him for all the help they need.
As Joseph was a good young man, and the Lord was
with him, he no doubt prayed very earnestly in prison; yet
he doubtless said, Not my will, but thine, O God, be done."
I think so, because that is the only kind of prayer that will
keep one quiet; and Joseph was very quiet in prison. This
prison-life was a sudden change, and more than he could
explain; yet he was quiet as a lamb. He did not make any
ado, as people are apt to do when suddenly driven from
prosperity to adversity, or from a palace to a prison. He



did not think himself worse off than any one else, and trou-
ble his brain and fret his spirit to see how he could get out
of prison. He went to work to comfort the other prisoners:
although his heart was full of his own sorrows, yet he was
touched with sympathy for the others; and when he saw
them cast down, he kindly asked, "Wherefore look ye so
sadly to-day ?"
It seems that the keeper of the prison perceived just
what a character Joseph's was, for he did not watch him at
all; and he not only let him take care of himself, but he
asked him to guard the others. He actually put all the
other prisoners under his charge; and Joseph made a trusty
keeper, because the Lord kept him.* They only can safely
be trusted whom God trusts. Joseph was one whom God
chose to do his good pleasure; and little by little He used
him to work out his bright designs. Had Joseph been pin-
ing under his afflictions, or murmuring at his lot, God would
not have honored and blessed and trusted him as he did.
In his quiet, submissive heart, God could dwell, leading him
onward in the path in which He would have him go.





IN prison, Joseph's unselfish character shone brightly.
In going about the prison, he found his hands full; just as
people always do when they have hearts of ready, quick
sympathy, and of earnest purpose to bless others.
Two important prisoners had been put in his charge, the
"chief butler," and the chief baker," men who had served
Pharaoh the king, but were now in prison as criminals.
Both dreamed a dream in the prison, and were full of trou-
ble because there was no one to interpret it.
Believing that God would give him the power to help
them out of their difficulty, Joseph kindly asked them to tell
him their dreams. The chief butler's dream was an omen of
good, but the chief baker's dream had a sad interpretation.
As soon as the chief baker told his dream, Joseph per-
ceived its terrible meaning, and plainly told him what it
was: that the three baskets upon his head meant three
days; and that as the birds ate the baked meats out of the
upper basket, so they would eat his flesh as he hung upon a


This was a hard truth, and the chief baker must have
trembled and turned pale as he listened to it; yet Joseph
did not withhold it, but in simple honesty and in the fear of
God told it all just as it was, though he did not know but it
would offend the chief baker and make him very angry.
Besides this, he must have shrunk from telling the prisoner




his doom; for he had a kind, warm heart for all in trouble.
It was only pain to him to tell the chief baker he must die;
still he did it.
If all the world were like Joseph, there would be no
flatterers in it. If we were all so good and truthful and
plain-hearted, that we could understand and trust each
other, how delightful it would be; and how much nearer
we should get to that high standard we ought to reach, that
of loving our neighbors as ourselves. A plain, honest-
hearted friend, and no other, deserves the name of friend,
He will dare to say what will be painful to us, when neces-
sary, and will kindly tell us our faults; and we may usually
rely upon him as just such a friend as we need. It is not
probable that any truthful, sincere Joseph will ever have to
tell us that we are to be hung upon a tree, and that the
birds of the air are to eat our flesh; yet we may have to
hear what will greatly try us, and make our hearts ache.
Then we must rejoice in it all as very good, remembering
that the wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an
enemy. It seems that Joseph told the truth, and interpreted
the chief baker's dream correctly; for in three days the
poor prisoner was taken out of prison and hung.
The chief butler's fate was very different. He had
dreamed of a grape-vine, laden with large, beautiful clusters


of grapes. He had dreamed of holding Pharaoh's cup in
his hand as in former days, and of pressing the wine into
the cup. This dream, as Joseph interpreted it, foretold the
poor man's restoration to the favor and employment of
As the chief butler listened to the interpretation of his
dream, he must have loved Joseph; for people generally
love those who bring them good news. It is always pleas-
ant to tell people what they like to hear; we can run fast
when we have good tidings to carry; and no doubt Joseph's
eye lighted up, and his whole face beamed with happiness,
when he told the good news to the chief butler.
But Joseph was himself a poor prisoner; and no doubt
his heart thrilled with pain at the thought of his own sor-
rows. As he talked with the chief butler, and told him that
in three days he would be no more a prisoner, he added,
"But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show
kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto
Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house; for indeed I was
stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also
have I done nothing that they should put me into the dun-
There is nothing in all the history of Joseph more beau-
tiful than these few words of gentle pleading with the chief



butler. He simply asked the chief butler to think of him,
and speak a few kind words for him to Pharaoh. He said
nothing of the cruelty of his brothers. He only said, "I
was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews." He made
no complaint of being in prison, as he might have done. He
could have said a great deal about the injustice of those
that had put him in prison, but all he said was, "I have
done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon."
These beautiful words of Joseph should teach us always
to speak gently of others, and to cover their faults when we
can. When we are tried by those who return unkindness
for kindness, it is good to pour out all our grief into the ear
of some wise and good friend, and we may do it; but if we
are like Joseph, we shall not go from one to another, and
complain of the unkindness from which we are suffering.
As he said, so we shall say, whenever we have to give any
answer: I have done nothing to deserve it." This is enough
for us to say. There is One who, in his own time, and in
his own way, will say the rest; and save us to the utter-
most." Remember, that when you do no more than simply
tell the truth, and appeal to God, your heavenly Father
will speak for you. We may take a great deal of pains to
defend ourselves, but we shall never be well defended unless
we have God for our defender.



If you who read this story have not made a friend of
the great God, and have never gone to him and leaned on
his bosom, and been hushed to rest when the little trials of
life were pressing heavily, go now, and lay your head on the
heart that beats for you as no human heart ever did. Love
Christ, and he will love you, and take you close to his side,
and be your friend and defender for ever.



WE are told in that good book whose words are all
truth, that if a true Christian does no more than, from love
to Christ, to give a cup of cold water to one who is thirsty,
it is remembered by Him whose eye sees the smallest thing.
Our almighty Friend has myriads of worlds to keep in
motion and regulate and control; and it is very wonderful
that he should notice every little thing we do, and bless us
for it too, if it is done from love to him, though it seems to
us so very little. All we can say about this is, that it is
like our heavenly Father. I wish we could say, it is like
us. But in this world we do not always treat each other as
God treats us. We do not always remember each other.
How did the chief butler do ? If we did not know, and
were asked what we supposed his conduct was, we should
say that the very first thing he did after his release, was to
talk to Pharaoh about Joseph, and plead his cause, and beg
that he might be taken out of prison. We should say that
he went immediately to work, and left no stone unturned
to get him out of prison.


But the truth was, that as soon as he was safely out of
prison himself, he was troubled no more about Joseph. It
seems too much to be believed, and yet it is true he did not
say a word for his brother prisoner; he .seems to have for-
gotten him entirely. Probably when Joseph asked him to
remember him, and tell Pharaoh about his case, he made
very fair promises, and led Joseph to think he should do
his utmost to reward him for his kindness. Yet what did
he do ? JVothing.
How is it with us ? Do our fathers and mothers, broth-
ers, sisters, and friends, feel in their hearts the sweet return
of all they have given us? They have held us up when we
were falling; they have wiped away our tears; they have
told us to be of good cheer; they have fed and clothed and
sheltered and cheered us, and the debt we owe them is very
great. Let us see to it that we pay it generously, and live
to bless others as we have been blessed.
If you would remember others. and never fail to render
them kindness and love, think how God has remembered
you; think how all the vast concerns of his great universe
have never led him for one moment to forget you. Think
of this as you ought, and there will never be any who will
have reason to say that you did not remember them, but
forgot them.



JOSEPH was yet in prison, and why he was still there
was probably more than he could understand. He wondered
why he had never heard from the chief butler, and what he
had been about all the time, that he had not helped him out
of prison.
At last, after two long years, the sun begins to shine
through the dark sky and gild the prison walls. Whether
Joseph's eyes, that had long been watching, saw the sunlight
coming or not, we do not know.
Pharaoh dreamed that he stood on the bank of a river;
and while he stood there, seven fat kine or cows came up
out of the river, and after them, seven poor, lean ones; and
these lean ones ate up the seven fat ones. This was the
king's first dream. Then he dreamed again that seven fine,
full ears came out on one stalk, and after them, seven poor
ears; and that these bad ears devoured the good ears.
Now the king was puzzled, and troubled too. We some-
times think that any one who is "happy as a king," must be
very happy; but the king of Egypt was in perplexity and


fear, and nobody seemed to be able to help him. The first
thing he did to get out of trouble, was to call all the "magi-
cians and wise men" together. Magicians and wise
men were imposing names, and Pharaoh thought these great
men could soon help him out of his troubles, for they had
the reputation of being able to do wonderful things, that no
one else could do. But how surprised Pharaoh must have
been, and how blank he must have looked, when he found
that with all their magic and wisdom they could do nothing
for him. They were men who made a great show of know-
ledge on every occasion; but real knowledge, and the show
of it, are two very different things. One is priceless sub-
stance, the other an empty shadow.
If these magicians and wise men do not know enough tc
help me out of these straits, who does ? thought Pharaoh;
and where shall 1 look next ? The chief butler saw his per-
plexity, and all at once thought of Joseph, and remembered
his power to interpret dreams. He must have been heartily
ashamed to speak of him, when he had shown no kind
remembrance of him for two years; and he told the truth
when he called this forgetfulness a fault." Joseph, his
friend and comforter, had been in prison two years, yet he
had done nothing for him, but stayed at court with Pharaoh
in ease and comfort. At last his slumbering thoughts are
Joseph, etc. 3



aroused, and he tells Pharaoh about the "Hebrew servant"
who had been with him in prison two years before, and how
he had interpreted the two dreams.
At any other time Pharaoh would have scorned the idea
that a servant, a Hebrew servant too, was able to interpret
dreams; but when people get into great trouble, they are
generally glad enough of help from any quarter. To turn
from the magicians and wise men to a Hebrew servant, no
doubt seemed to Pharaoh great condescension, especially for
a king; but in this case, he thought little of rank. This
did not enter into his mind, now that he was in trouble.
He sent in great haste for Joseph to come to court. Jo-
seph might have hesitated, and been afraid to go, not knowing
what it all meant; but he did not hesitate. He immediately
made himself ready, and went to Pharaoh to see what he
wanted. The king opened his heart to the Hebrew servant.
He told him what the difficulty was-that he had had trou-
blesome dreams, and could find no interpreter for them, and
that he had heard of his power to interpret dreams.
It is not in me. God shall give Pharaoh an answer
of peace," was Joseph's humble answer, as he looked up to
God to enlighten and teach him what to say. And here we
may learn a lesson of strong faith and beautiful humility.
" God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." Joseph



was not afraid that his interpretation would prove false.
He knew that God would teach him what to say, and he
ventured boldly upon him.
In these days, no one is called of God to interpret
dreams, or to tell what lies in the future; Joseph's faith was
the faith of miracles, a faith which we are not now called
to exercise. Yet we are all, even the smallest and weakest
child, commanded to believe with our whole hearts, and
never for a moment to doubt the sure word of our heavenly
Father. He has made it very safe and easy for us to trust
him. His promises rebuke all our doubts, and command us
to believe and never be afraid that he will break his word.
Now let us all, as the children of God, believe in our Fa-
ther, and live a life of faith.
Joseph's reply to Pharaoh teaches us not only faith, but
humility. Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have heard say of
thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it."
This was a great deal for a king to say to a Hebrew pris-
oner. If Joseph really possessed this power, it would at
once place him very high in the opinion of the king. Joseph,
if he had been so disposed, might have answered, Yes, my
lord, that is my gift. I interpreted the dreams of two pris-
oners while I was in your prison, the dreams of your chief
baker and chief butler; and I can now interpret yours, if



you will tell it to me." Joseph might have replied in this
way to the king; but with true humility he answered, "It
is not in me. God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
Whatever good thing we do in this world, may we do it
as Joseph did. May we lay aside all pride in what we can
do ; may we never admire ourselves for it, as though we had
done some great thing; may we be humble and lowly, and
always say, when flattered or praised, It is not in me;"
and may we understand, as Joseph did, that every good
thing is of God. A man or a child who trusts in himself is
very weak. They alone are strong who are strong in
Joseph had this glorious strength. He interpreted the
dreams correctly, for God was with him. He told the king
there would be seven years of great plenty; when every
thing would grow in great abundance, when the fields and
the gardens would be full of grain and fruit, and when
every thing would yield a hundred-fold. Then he told him
there would follow seven years of famine, and that the years
of abundance were given that he might prepare for the
famine. He told him he must select a wise, capable man to
help him get ready for this great famine; that he must put
the whole land of Egypt under the direction of such a ruler,
with officers under him; that these men must all work, and



gather one-fifth of every thing that grew, and have it all
stored away for the hard famine that was to come.
Pharaoh listened to Joseph, and believed all he said.
If we look only upon the surface of things, we shall say
this was very strange. Pharaoh believe all that Joseph
told him! Why, who was Joseph ? A young man, who
could not be expected to know as much as an old man.
He was a stranger too, from a foreign land. How could
Pharaoh trust him without knowing more about him ? Ap-
pearances were very much against him: he had been brought
to Egypt, and sold there, and for more than two years had
been in prison. Yet Pharaoh did not turn away from him
when he interpreted the dreams. God was with him, and
the king saw it, and was impressed with the fact that he
was the very man to be at the head of affairs, and to pre-
pare them for the famine. So he said, Can we find such
a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is ?"
Then he turned to Joseph, and said, "Forasmuch as God
hath shown thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise
as thou art: thou shalt be over my house, and according
unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the
throne will I be greater than thou."
When he had said this to Joseph, he immediately gave
orders to have his dress changed; he was arrayed in the



finest linen, a splendid chariot was given him to ride in,
and he was made ruler over all Egypt. The king also took
off his own ring, and put it upon Joseph's hand; and he put
a gold chain about his neck; and Joseph went out from the
presence of the king, clothed with all the emblems of au-
As he went away, and began the duties of his new office,
and as he rode in a chariot, honored by all the Egyptians,
he must have had a great many thoughts all to himself.
Before this, almost every thing had seemed to turn against
him. When the chief butler forgot him, there seemed to be
no one to remember him; but during all the long months
he was in prison God remembered him, and the eye that
never for a moment closes in sleep foresaw the time of his
poor prisoner's deliverance. God was working it all out
for him.
It seems to me I can almost see Joseph, as he sits in his
chariot-with a pleasant, yet serious face. Ah, Joseph, you
do not look quite happy yet. You have gold, and jewels,
and precious things; you ride in a chariot, and have great
power; but there is a shadow on your face, a sorrow in
your heart. You are thinking of your home in Canaan, of
your father; and he, poor old man, is thinking of you, and
going down with sorrow to the grave, for he thinks he shall



see your face no more. But wait a little longer, Joseph.
The God who has done so much for you, can and will do
And this is the way God treats all his true children.
We shall often be in sorrow and perplexity; the clouds will
gather above our heads, yet the same love that spread them



there will roll them away, and in due time show us why they
ever gathered there. It is hard to believe it, but it is true,
that the sorrows which make our hearts ache, the troubles
we cannot understand, are designed as blessings, and will
make us better and happier, if we bear them patiently, and
wait quietly for God to remove them when he pleases.
Though Joseph had been made almost equal with the
king, though he rode in a chariot, and dressed like a prince,
and had the homage of the whole Egyptian nation, yet no
doubt his heart was often very heavy as he thought of his
father, and wondered if he should ever see him again.
Often too his prayer went up to God that he might once
more see his home, and throw his arms around his father's
neck. Yet he did not give himself up to sorrow, and do
nothing but mourn and cry until he could see through all
his troubles; he held up his head like a man, like a good
man, who knew that every thing would come out right if he
trusted in God. He went to work, and performed all the
duties of his office as ruler over the land of Egypt, trusting
in God to take care of his sorrows.
This is a beautiful lesson for us. None of us can expect
to be wholly free from the troubles of life. They will in-
trude even into our brightest joys; and we shall often feel
our hearts in pain. We may have to carry the burden of



great sorrows. Oh, when the burden shall fall upon you or
me, may we look up to God with a strong, trusting heart,
and not forget that we have a work in life, a mission to ful-
fil, and that God will sustain us under the burden, and help
us to do all he has called us to do. A few more years, and
you will be men and women; life will bring you new joys,
but it will also bring you new sorrows. Oh, then be strong,
and look up to God, and he will help you to do your work
of love in the world, whatever your sorrows may be. He
will meet your case, and like Joseph, you will live an active
and useful life, and be kept from being the slave of earthly



JOSEPH gathered grain "as the sand of the sea," it is
said, and he filled all the storehouses with it, and made great
preparations for the famine. The whole seven years was



no doubt a very busy time; and Joseph's cool, steady head,
and quiet, trusting heart were occupied in preparation for
the hard famine.
Probably Pharaoh was more and more convinced that
Joseph was just the man they needed for such a time. If
he was a man who thought much, and knew how to put
ideas together, he must have seen why it was that this He-
brew was sold into Egypt, why he was thrown into prison,
and how God was using him now to be a greater blessing
to the Egyptian nation than any other man in it.
And then, too, he must have had his eyesopen after this,
to see that even a poor Hebrew prisoner, who had the Lord
for his God, could do a great deal more than all the magi-
cians and wise men. Those who say the least often do the
most; and there is nothing more beautiful than a life filled
with deeds of love that are never told. Remember this,
little friends, and never display what you do, nor seek a
reputation even for goodness. Be good, and do good with
all your might. Let every day of your life be filled with
acts of goodness, but let your lips be slow to speak your
own praise. The Pharisees sounded a trumpet before them;
they made their good deeds public; even when they prayed,
they chose the corners of the streets, where they would be
observed. Their reward was an earthly one, and a poor



reward it was. Joseph did not seek such a reward; he did
not toil for a great name, and he never boasted of what he
If you and I were to spend all our lives in a prison, and
the good we did was shut up there, with no eye but God's
to see it, our deeds would be as fair and our lives as shining
in the sight of God, as if we were seen of men and praised
through all the world. Whatever we do, God knows it;
let this be enough for us. One approving glance from God
is worth all that men and angels can say about us. Joseph
made no display of himself and his goodness. He served
God in simplicity, and lived a life of humble, unostentatious
One thing we ought to notice particularly in Joseph:
he never separated religion from the duties of life. No
doubt he prayed, and talked much about God; but he also
toiled hard to gather grain; he worked to prepare for the
famine: there was more true religion in Joseph's every-day
work than we perhaps have ever suspected.
To go to church all day on the Sabbath, to read God's
word, and sing and pray, is only a small part of what we
have to do in this world. These might be called the luxu-
ries of religion, not its toils, and self-sacrifice. If Joseph
were alive now, he would tell us the same thing. He would



tell us all to go to work; to give the hungry food, and the
naked clothes; to ease aching hearts, and start smiles upon
sad faces, and do whatever we can for ntedy ones around
us. This is the way Joseph would talk; for so he acted.
God has given us a beautiful world, with enough in it
for all to do; the child as well as the man may be a reaper
in the broad field. There is grain enough for us all to
gather; there is many a storehouse to be filled; no one
need say, "There is nothing for me to do."
Each child, however young,
May do his little part;
May drive away the gloom
From a sin-darkened heart;
May "speak a word in season;"
May do a deed of love;
And lead some wayward soul
To Him who dwells above.




THE famine was severe, not only in Egypt, but in all the
surrounding country. Even in Canaan, the land of milk
and honey, they began to feel the pangs of hunger, with no
prospect of any thing to relieve them. And Jacob's family,
those cruel sons, who years before had thrown their brother
into a pit intending to leave him there to die, were crying
for bread.
Jacob saw them looking at each other, as if they would
ask, What are we to do? Where are we to get bread to
keep us from starving ?" And he told them he had heard
there was grain in Egypt, and advised them to go there and
buy bread before they all died of starvation. So all of
them but Benjamin started for Egypt. You may all go but
Benjamin," said Jacob; "I will keep him at home, for fear
something will happen to him." Poor old man, his heart
clung to Benjamin. "Joseph is dead," he said to himself;
"Joseph is dead; I shall never see my darling child again;
and I cannot send my Benjamin away, for I may lose him



too." His remonstrances were so great that Benjamin was
left with him, and the other brothers all went to Egypt.
Joseph was the governor of the land; and it was he who
sold grain to all who came to buy. As he was selling one
day, who should come to buy but his brothers, ten of them;
and they all bowed down before him with great reverence.
Joseph immediately recognized them; but they did not know
him, nor imagine they were now fulfilling the dreams they
once so hated. When they sold Joseph, they felt sure they
would hear no more of him nor his dreams; but their selling
him was the very act that led on to the time when, as Jo-
seph dreamed, all their sheaves made obeisance to Joseph's
There they stood, bowing before Joseph; and* when he
looked upon them, and saw they were his brothers, what
thoughts rushed into his mind; howall the past came before
him; and how his heart must have leaped with the desire
to say, "I am Joseph 1" But he controlled his feelings for
a time, and looked quietly upon them. And that he might
bring their sins before them, and lead them to think of all
the wrong they had committed, he treated them very rough-
ly, calling them spies; and he had them shut up under guard
three days.
There, in confinement, in a strange country, they thought



of the time when they sold Joseph; and when Reuben said,
"Did I not tell you not to do it ? Do n't you remember
what I said, and how you would not hear me? Ah, my
brothers, you took Joseph out of the pit, and sold him; and
now we are all being punished for it. The lord of the land
has shut us up; when we shall get out of all this trouble no
one knows. We do not know but years of confinement are
before us." And all the brothers talked together about their
cruel treatment of Joseph. They said, We saw his agony,
and his tears; we heard him plead to be taken out of the
pit, and sent home to our father. But we would not hear
him; we sold him, we sold our own brother; and now we
must meet our doom."
Joseph heard all this; but they did not suppose he
understood their language, and they talked without any
restraint. It was too much for Joseph to bear, and he had
to go away to weep. He soon came back; and to make
their repentance deeper, he took his brother Simeon, and
bound him in chains -before their eyes, and sent him away to
prison. "Now," said he to his brothers, "I will keep this
man in prison, until you go home and come back with Ben-
jamin. Bring Benjamin here, and then I will believe that
you are not spies."
They had to do as Joseph told them, and go home with-



out Simeon. Every hour they seemed to be getting deeper
and deeper into trouble. On their way home, they opened
their sacks of grain, and there they found their money, the
money they owed Joseph, and which should have been in
his purse. We paid for the grain, thought they, but here is
all the money in the top of our sacks. What can this mean ?
Where will all this trouble end?
When they reached home, they told their father what
the governor of Egypt had said; and it was sad news for
poor Jacob. He had spent many years sorrowing for Jo-
seph; and now he was an old man, and his heart clung to
Benjamin; but the word had come. Ere long their food
would all be gone. He must give him up. Perhaps he
would never see him again. How could he let him go!
Reuben tried to comfort his father, and promised to take
good care of Benjamin, and bring him safely home again.
Jacob consented; and his last words to his children
were, God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that
he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I
be bereaved of my children. I am bereaved." He was a
heart-broken father; and now in his old age, his troubles
were more than he felt able to bear. Left alone, without a
child to comfort him, he awaited the return of his children
with good or evil tidings.
Joseph. etc 4


He had sent a present to the lord of the land; and com-
forted himself with the thought that it might incline his
heart to mercy and kindness, as presents often do. Jacob
had, many years before, sent a present to his brother Esau,
to appease his wrath. Perhaps he remembered this, and
thought that the governor of Egypt could be conciliated in
the same way. So he sent him a present, and waited to see
what would be the result.




WHEN Joseph knew that his brothers had come back to
Egypt, he ordered them to be taken to his own house, and
a sumptuous dinner to be prepared for them. This made
them still more afraid. They feared that the governor had
some bad design against them, and went to his house with
trembling: sin and fear go together. "The wicked flee
when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion."
They alone who seek to do right in all things, are fearless
and courageous. Such can go into a lion's den, or walk
through the fire.
It is no wonder that Joseph's brothers trembled every
step they took. They first went to the steward of the house,
and told him their fears, and talked with him about the
money they had found in their sacks. Oh, sir," said they,
" we came indeed down to buy food. And it came to pass,
when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and
behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our
money in full weight; and we have brought it again in our
hand." In their distress, they were appealing to the stew-



ard; but when Joseph pleaded with them to take him out
of the pit, they would not hear. Their hearts were hard,
and their ears were closed; and had the steward now
turned away from them, as they turned away from Joseph,
they would have been justly punished; but he did not. He
answered them, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and
the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your
sacks." And to allay their fears still more, he brought
Simeon to them.
Soon Joseph came home, and he again met his brothers
without making himself known to them. -But his heart was
full of tender feeling when he asked, Is your father well,
the old man of whom ye spake ? Is he yet alive ?" And
when he looked upon Benjamin, his youngest brother, and
said, "Is this your younger brother ? God be gracious to
thee, my son," his heart was so deeply moved that he had to
hurry to his own room to weep alone.
It was a trying day with Joseph, for the memory of his
home and his father came fresh upon him. The long years
of his exile in Egypt seemed like a dream. They had been
years of painful waiting to see what the end would be.
Now the feelings of a brother and a son were all stirred
within him, and it was a hard task for him to keep them



But he not only concealed them, he did more: he
treated his brothers with sternness, that he might lead them
to repentance for all they had done. Still, this second
time of their coming, he had spoken a few kind words to
them; so that their fears were somewhat allayed, and they
began to think the worst was over. Perhaps the thought
of their past sins was less painful to them when their fears
were lessened. They saw Simeon free; and there was no
reason to believe Joseph would keep Benjamin; so they
could all go home together, and soon be free from all their
Joseph then made a feast for them; and to their great
surprise, they were seated at the table in the order of their
ages. And when he sent them portions of the food from his
own table, Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any
of the others'. Early the next morning, he sent them all
But they were only a little way on their journey home,
when a messenger came full-speed after them, to take them
back to Egypt. He accused them of rewarding evil for
good-of stealing a silver cup belonging to the lord of
Egypt. They were innocent of this; they did not know
what it all meant, and denied the severe charge, saying,
" God forbid that thy servants should do this thing." Sure



that none of them were guilty, they took down their sacks,
and opened them all; and there, in the top of Benjamin's
sack, was found the cup. Overwhelmed with fear and
shame, they hastened back to the city; and went immedi-
ately to Joseph's house, and fell down before him, asserting
their innocence. And Judah said to Joseph, "What shall


I : I .'.
., Lr K ;,

/ 1
'; . r i.71
01 ,2' '""


we say unto my lord? What shall we speak, or how shall
we clear ourselves ?"
Joseph answered them severely, and told them that he
should keep for his servant the one in whose sack the cup
was found.
Then they began to plead with him. They told him
that their father was in his old age; that Joseph was dead;
and that they had promised to bring Benjamin safely back
Judah pleaded that he might stay, and be a servant in
Benjamin's place. It was for his poor old father's sake he
pleaded; and Joseph could control his feelings no longer.
He sent away all the men who were standing around look-
ing on; and then he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom
ye sold into Egypt !" And he fell upon their necks and
wept aloud, so that all in his house heard him. Then his
brothers were troubled, and they stood aside, afraid to
come near him; but he drew them close to him, and sooth-
ed them with all the gentleness of a brother. He told
them not to be grieved, or angry with themselves; for God
had sent him into Egypt to save them all from a dreadful
death, and to provide for the Egyptian nation. "Go home,"
said he, and tell our father that his son Joseph is the lord
of Egypt, and that he must come with you all, and live with



me in Egypt. Tell him that I will nourish and care for
him; and that we shall spend many good days together."
My young readers, if you want to be truly generous to
those who have ill-treated you, imitate Joseph. He had
suffered very much from his brothers, but he gave them
nothing but kindness. Not one unkind word, and not one
reproach for all they had done to him, fell from his lips.
His character was sweetened by that blessed love which so
tills the heart that there is no room left for angry feelings,
and hate and revenge. If an angry feeling stir our hearts,
if unkind thoughts lead us to unkind actions, we have not
Joseph's gentle, loving spirit. He really seemed to forget
all the unkindness his brothers had done him. He at least
so forgave it all, that the thought of having them around
him made him happy.
The Egyptians soon found out that his father and broth-
ers were coming to live in Egypt; and it would have been
strange enough if they had not understood it, for Joseph
was very busy preparing for them, and he in no way con-
cealed the happiness he felt.
He sent back his brothers to Canaan to bring their
father and all their families; and with them he sent wag-
ons loaded with provisions, and with every thing that would
be of service to them. And he sent his father a present


of ten asses laden with grain and bread and all the good
things of Egypt. When Jacob saw all these wagons and
asses and presents coming into Canaan, and when his sons
told him it was Joseph who was the governor of Egypt,
and that he had sent the wagons to bring them all to Egypt,
his heart fainted. And no wonder; it was too much to be
believed. After all these long years, how can Joseph be
alive? thought he; did I not see his bloody coat? How
can he yet be alive?
His sons told him what Joseph had said, and gave him
-the messages of love, and the presents; and then Jacob
believed it was true that Joseph was alive, and that he
would soon see his face.
It was not long before Jacob and all his family were on
their way to Egypt. On his way he offered sacrifices to
God. And God appeared to him in a vision by night, and
told him not to be afraid to go into Egypt. God said that
Joseph, his beloved son, would take care of him until he
died; and that the children of Jacob should become a great
nation in Egypt; and that after a good many years had
passed He would bring them back, to live in their own
happy land of promise.
After a few days' journey, Jacob and his whole com-
pany reached Goshen; and then Joseph went in his chariot



to meet his father. Oh, what a meeting it was. As soon
as Joseph saw his father, he alighted from his chariot and
fell upon his neck and wept a long time.
It probably was not long before Jacob and Joseph had
a comforting talk that satisfied them both, and made them
trust in God more than ever. Joseph no doubt told his



father how God had led him; how he had put him in prison,
and then taken him out, and put him on a throne. Joseph
and his father were more than ever convinced that the best
way to do in this world is to trust in God, and let him lead
us how and where he will.
May we all learn this same lesson, and may it be graven
on our hearts. We do not know how to lead ourselves;
but God our Father knows how to do it, and he cannot make
any mistake. He may sometimes lead us in a way that may
seem strange. It may be so dark that we see no light before
us, but we may be sure it is the best way, because it is
God's way. When we cannot understand where we are
going, or what our heavenly Father is doing with us, when
we are in trouble and afraid, let us think of Joseph.
There is no pit so deep that God cannot help us out of it;
no prison so strong that he cannot break its bars. Each
trial is a pit into which he casts us for our good. Each
sorrow is a prison in which he locks us, that when his pur-
poses are accomplished, with his own mighty hand he may
unlock the door and let his captives go free.




As soon as his father and brothers had come, Joseph
went to the king to inform him of it, and took five of his
brothers with him to present them to Pharaoh. Pharaoh
met them kindly, and extended to then his royal favor. The
name of Joseph was an honored name with Pharaoh and all
the Egyptian people, and Jacob and his family needed no
other passport to kingly favor than his great name. So God
receives us with favor for his Son's sake.
Pharaoh talked kindly with the five brothers Joseph
presented to him, and asked them what their occupation
was. When they replied that they were shepherds, and
requested him to let them dwell in the land of Goshen, he
turned to Joseph as if he would put all honor upon him, and
said, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee :
the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land
make thy father and thy brethren to dwell."
They had no design of making a permanent home in
Egypt; they came to remain only for a time, because the
famine was very great in Canaan. Goshen was at the en-



trance of Egypt, and there was some fine pasture land there.
This part of Egypt was all these shepherds asked, but Pha-
raoh answered them that the whole of the land was before
them, and that they might have the best of it to dwell in.
They surely needed nothing more to convince them of Jo-
seph's high position of honor in Egypt.
After this'Joseph brought in his father, and introduced
him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh, returning him
thanks, and praying for the blessing of heaven upon him.
Pharaoh appears to have been struck with his reverend ap-
pearance. It is probable that time and his deep sorrows
had made furrows in his face, and whitened his hair. As
he came before the king, he might have appeared to be a
very old man, bending low under age and affliction; and
perhaps this prompted the question, "How old art thou ?"
Certain it is that many long years of affliction prompted the
sad answer: The days of the years of my pilgrimage are a
hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of
the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the
days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of
their pilgrimage." Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went
out from his presence. No doubt his heart was full of bless-
ing for all the good that had been wrought out for Joseph.
He no longer said, "An evil beast hath devoured him: Jo-



seph is without doubt rent in pieces ;" but he blessed God,
and blessed Pharaoh, that he was alive and was ruler over
all the land of Egypt. His last years seemed his best years;
and yet he said of them all, that they had been the years of
his "pilgrimage." He regarded himself as a pilgrim, tarry-
ing only for a night, on his way home to heaven.
So should we all view ourselves. The world is very
fair, and life is very sweet, and we may pluck the flowers and
delight in their sweetness as we pass along; but we ought
to become heaven-bound pilgrims, and never forget that we
are going home to Christ. This will make it pleasant for
us to live, and pleasant for us to die. If we keep the eye
of faith fixed upon the celestial city, no path that leads to it
will seem a very difficult or dreary path for us to walk in.
"'T is by the faith of joys to come
We walk through deserts dark as night."
The light of the celestial city is reflected upon our path;
and lighted all the way, we journey home to heaven. With
Christ for our friend,-it is sweet to be pilgrims, sweet to
know that we are journeying rapidly to our home.
If you are not happy pilgrims, if you have never asked
Christ to wash you in his precious blood, do it now ; and
then you will love to feel that you are pilgrims going home
to heaven.



JACOB and his family gratefully accepted the kindness
of Pharaoh, and retired with their flocks to Goshen. and
there they lived while the famine continued to rage.
Instead of abating, the dearth grew more severe; and
in the third year there was a new cry for bread. The
Egyptians had eaten all they had themselves stored, and
they cried to Joseph for bread, bringing him their money.
So long as it lasted they were supplied with food. But
money soon failed, and in the extremity of their hunger they
said to Joseph, Give us bread ; for why should we die in
thy presence? for the money faileth." Joseph told them to
bring him their cattle for pay, and they should be supplied
with grain. Fainting and hungry, they did not stop to dis-
pute with him, but brought their cattle, and received bread
in return.
They were supplied in this way for a year; but the next
year they began again to feel the famine. They were indeed
in a pitiable condition: their bread was gone, their money
gone, their herds of cattle gone; and what could they do ?



They went to Joseph, and said, We will not hide it from
my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath
our herds of cattle; there is not aught left in the sight of
my lord, but our bodies and our lands. Wherefore shall we
die before thine eyes, both we and our lands? buy us and
our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants
unto Pharaoh." Joseph met their necessities as well as he
could. He wished to act worthy of the trust Pharaoh had
committed to him, while he yielded to the requests of the
people so far as it lay in his power. The Egyptians could
not have had a kinder ruler and provider than Joseph.
It might have seemed hard to the Egyptians to yield all
they had-their money, their cattle, and their lands-to
Pharaoh. They might have questioned his wisdom, and
made bitter complaint of the terms, but they willingly gave
all to satisfy their hunger. Now there is a deeper hunger
than the Egyptians felt, the hunger of the soul. There is
also a kinder Provider than Joseph. He offers us "living
bread," "without money and without price ;" and they who
have never gone to him, and asked for it, are famishing.
The great Ruler of heaven has a storehouse full of bread,
and all who will go to him may have their hunger satisfied.
It is not necessary to take a long journey, or to carry any
costly gifts, with which to purchase this living bread. The


kind Provider knows we are poor, and he offers us his riches
"without money and without price;" and wherever we are,
we may take them without the weariness or expense of a
long journey. Our blessed Provider is rich, and he is every-
where, dwelling all around us, ready to hear us when we
And yet there is a sense in which, if we would gain
Christ, the Bread of heaven, we must give him our all:
"Here, Lord, I give myself away;
'T is all that I can do."
We must not hold back from him our money, our cattle, our
lands, or ourselves. All we have and are must be the Lord's,
or we are "none of his." Go to this kind Saviour, and give
him your hearts, your all. He waits to hear you ask for
the bread of life, and to give you that of which if you eat
you will never hunger.

Joseph, ete.




JACOB continued to dwell in Goshen, and was happy and
prosperous there. Though he had expected to go to his
grave without seeing Joseph, yet he lived seventeen years
with him in Egypt, nourished and supported by him. His
aching heart had a long and quiet rest, and the last years of
his life were smoothed by the hand of Joseph. The time of
his death drew near, and he called Joseph, and said to him,
"If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee,
thy hand under my thigh," (the form of an oath,) "and
deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee,
in Egypt; but I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt
carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying-place."
It is of little consequence where our bodies lie, for they
soon decay and go to dust; and wherever they are, they
will at last come forth from their graves at the voice of
God, and be remoulded and fashioned after Christ's glorious
body, if on earth we were his followers, and died in the
hope of a blessed resurrection. So it matters little where
they are buried. And yet it is pleasant to die in our own



land, and not upon a strange shore; and it is pleasant to
know that we are to lie by the side of a departed mother or
father or friend in a family graveyard. Jacob doubtless
had these feelings, but other feelings too prompted the
request he made of Joseph. He knew that Canaan had
been given to his posterity; that they would dwell in a land
where their fathers were sleeping, anid that God would
remember his chosen people and give them a Saviour, the
Shiloh whom Jacob predicted; so he wished to be buried
there, with Abraham and Isaac. Joseph bound himself by
an oath to fulfil his father's wishes, and bury him in the land
of Canaan. His simple promise would no doubt have been
enough; but the oath made it surer, as Pharaoh would not
then interfere with it, but would willingly allow Joseph to
perform what he had sacredly promised with an oath.
Soon after this, Joseph took his two sons Manasseh and
Ephraim, and went to see his father. Jacob's days were
nearly spent, but he strengthened himself, and sat upon the
bed" to talk with Joseph. His last thoughts seemed to be
of Canaan. Resting upon the promise of God, he believed
that his posterity would have it for an everlasting posses-
sion. His reason for this belief was, that God had said so;
and this was enough to satisfy him. God Almighty ap-
peared to me at Luz," said he, "in the land of Canaan, and



blessed me, and said unto me, Behold, I will make thee
fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multi-
tude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after
thee for an everlasting possession."
He then assured Joseph that he would remember his
two sons in this great inheritance, that they should be as
his own: "As Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine,"
said he. Looking upon Joseph's sons, whom he could not
distinguish, for his eyes were dim, he asked, "Who are
these ?" When Joseph told him who they were, he kissed'
and embraced them; and as he reached out his hands to
bless them, he put his right hand on Ephraim's head, and
his left hand on Manasseh's head. Joseph saw his father
lay his right hand on Ephraim's head; and the right hand
being superior, he supposed his father intended to foretell
Ephraim's superior strength and greatness. This troubled
him, not because he loved Ephraim less than Manasseh, but
he thought the younger should not have the superiority;
and he said, "Not so, my father: for this is the first-born;
put thy right hand upon his head." But Jacob refused, telling
him that while Manasseh should prosper and become of great
renown, Ephraim should be greater..
It is God's way to confer favors where he thinks best,
to dispense his gifts according to his own pleasure. He



loves to honor the young as well as the old, the small as
well as the great. You who are yet young in years and
in wisdom may receive honor from God, and accomplish
much in the great work of doing good. God may put his
right hand on your head ; he may bless you above those who
are older. So you must not despise your youth, or say it is
but little you can do.
Jacob blessed-both Ephraim and Manasseh, and foretold
the future greatness of both of them. In the sure conviction
that his prophecy would be fulfilled, he told Joseph his two
sons would be so greatly blessed, that in future times the
Israelites would say, in their form of blessing, God make
thee as Ephraim and Manasseh." Jacob then assured Jo-
seph that God would be with him, and would bring him
again unto the land of his fathers. God shall be with
you," said he; and this was a blessing above all blessings.
In these days, children, none can speak to you in the
spirit of prophecy; none can foretell future events, and say
what you are to be. But to those of you who are in the
good Shepherd's fold, there comes a voice from these pages,
saying, God shall be with you," and bring you home to
heaven. And what more can any child ask 6thin this? If I
can say, God is with me," if I can know this, it is enough:
for it comprehends all the blessings any heart can ask or



receive. If God be with you, you are safe and happy, and
you will have every thing that is for your highest good and
happiness, and nothing will harm or work against you.
Jacob could not have left a better legacy than this to
Joseph God shall be with you." This was an inherit-
ance of far greater value than the entire land of Canaan;
and Joseph's heart must have been satisfied in these pro-
phetic words of Jacob: GOD SHALL BE WITH YOU."




JACOB, feeling that he was about to die, called all his
sons together, to speak the last farewell and foretell the his-
tory of their descendants. This power of prophecy, or of


fl :.")" ~
,''V c-
r/ ,,


seeing into the future, was a special gift from God. Jacob
could never have known what was to befall his posterity, if
God had not breathed this spirit of prophecy upon him. In
ancient times he often bestowed this gift; and upon Jacob
he now bestowed it largely, so that his last words were
prophecies. When his sons had all come together, he began
to tell them the future history of their posterity.
He called Reuben his "first-born," his "might," "the
beginning of his strength;" and yet he said of him that he
was "unstable as water."- However good we may be, we
are "unstable as water," if we are not firm and constant in
doing whatever is right. If our love and practise of right
change as circumstances do around us, we cannot excel in
strength, any more than Reuben did.
Having finished his prophecy concerning Reuben, Jacob
prophesied of Simeon and Levi. He said, Simeon and Levi
are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habita-
tions." By this he meant that they were alike in their cruel
dispositions and plans for the injury of others. And with
regard to them in the future, he said, "I will divide them
in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel." This prophecy was
all fulfilled: for the tribe of Simeon had but a small inher-
itance of their own in Canaan; their possession was little
more than a portion of that of Judah. And as to the tribe



of Levi, they had no separate inheritance, but were scattered
among the different tribes. God did not allow this to be a
curse to them. They afterwards showed their zeal for God
by attacking the worshippers of the golden calf, and for this
Moses blessed them before he died. Exod. 32 :26-29;
Deut. 33 :8-11.
Of Judah, Jacob said, Thou art he whom thy brethren
shall praise; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies;
thy father's children shall bow down before thee." He said
also, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-
giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come." He thus
predicted his future valor and independence. The tribe of
Judah early showed superior strength. They were gov-
erned by their own princes, and were always a leading tribe.
Jacob's prophecy concerning Judah was fulfilled not only in
the supremacy of this tribe, in the fertility of their country,
and in the richness of their possessions, but in the continu-
ance of rule and authority in that tribe till Shiloh, the prom-
ised Messiah, was born in Bethlehem of Judah.
Joseph was called "a fruitful bough, even -a fruitful
bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall."
Jacob said also of him, "The archers have sorely grieved
him, and shot at him, and hated him." These words must
have pierced the hearts of Joseph's brothers, as they recog-



nized themselves to be the cruel archers, grieving their
brother, and shooting at him, and hating him. Joseph had
suffered much from his brethren, yet Jacob said of him that
"his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were
made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob." In
all this he referred to his strength and patience and forti-
tude in trouble, and then he foretold many great blessings
the Almighty would drop upon him.
All the prophetic words of Jacob were fulfilled in his
posterity. The different tribes had the different characters
Jacob described; and occupied the different portions he
assigned them in the promised land.
When Jacob's prophecy was finished, he closed this last
interview with his sons by charging them to bury him with
his fathers. He marked out even the spot where he wished
to be buried, the cave that was in the field of Machpelah.
Then, as it is written, "he gathered his feet up into the
bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his



WHEN Joseph saw that his father was dead, he wept
upon him, and kissed him. Probably the remembrance of
all that Jacob had suffered, and of the years of sorrowful
separation from him, made Joseph's heart very tender, and
brought a flood of tears to his eyes. And perhaps his heart
was melted with thankfulness because he had had his father
with him for seventeen years, and had smoothed his way to
the grave.
Tenderly caring for him in death as well as in life,
Joseph ordered his servants the physicians to embalm him.
In ancient times, great men had a numerous train of ser-
vants, and among them a physician. Joseph, being the
ruler of Egypt, had probably many physicians in his ser-
vice, and some who were skilful in embalming bodies. This
custom of preserving bodies was an Egyptian one, and was
practised generally in Egypt. It was more or less costly,
according to the rank of the deceased: Those of the high-
est rank were embalmed at a great expense, and the process
was a long one, seventy days being required to perform the



whole. The body was filled with spices of various kinds,
and then immersed in nitre, where it lay many days. Dur-
ing all this time, Jacob's family and the Egyptians mourned
for him. Joseph mourned in his heart, but the Egyptians
mourned because mourning for the dead was an Egyptian
After these days were over, Joseph sent to Pharaoh to
obtain permission to go and bury his father. And Pharaoh
said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made
thee swear." Joseph had so grown in the favor of God
and man, and had attained so high a position and so great
a reputation, that many of those who were high in authority,
the governors of the different provinces and the principal
men of the land, swelled the funeral train. With these
went chariots and horsemen, and it was indeed "a very
great company."
When they reached a spot called "the threshing-floor of
Atad," they stopped to mourn for the dead. Why they did
not wait until they reached the grave, is not known; but as
they mourned seven days, and were a large company, some
other place than the grave might have been more desirable.
After the mourning was over, they carried the body of
Jacob to the grave, the cave of Machpelah, and buried it
just as Jacob commanded. These last duties to the dead


being finished, Joselph and all the funeral train returned to
The parade and excitem-nt of the funeral were past, and
now the fears of Joseph's brothers revive. These fears had
once been kindly stilled. Joseph, great in forbearance and
brotherly love, had wept over his brothers, and promised to
befriend and care for them. While their father lived; they
seemed to have no apprehensions of danger; but when they
were left orphans, and had no one to stand between them
and Joseph, they began to be afraid. They thought, Joseph
was kind to us for the sake of our father. He loved him,
and reverenced his age, and would not, by afflicting us, add
to the heavy weight of sorrow he hnd borne. But now he
is dead, Joseph will be free to punish us for all we did to
him. Oh, how we treated him! We would not give him
so much as a kind word, and at last we sold him. We did
not know but we were selling him into the most bitter bond-
age; and it is not owing to our kindness that he has pros-
pered and come to great honor.
Filled with fears, they sent a messenger to Joseph with
this message: "Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of
thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil:
and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants
of the God of thy father."



Joseph wept as he listened to this message. So far from
being disposed to use his power to punish his brethren, now
that their father was dead, his heart was the more inclined
to mercy, and his tears flowed as he thought of his brothers'
fears. After this, they all came and fell down before him,
offering to be his servants. Thus they again fulfilled Jo-
seph's dream; and though they little thought it, their sheaves
were making obeisance to Joseph's sheaf. So we see how
God can overrule every thing. There is nothing we do that
he does not overrule in his own way, and for his own pur-
As Joseph's brethren prostrated themselves before him,
and offered to be his servants, he did not triumph over them
as he might have done. He stilled their fears, and quieted
their troubled hearts with his kind words. Fear not,"
said he; "for am I in the place of God ?" Thus he humbly
disclaimed the right to judge them, and with comforting
words assured them of his love. Fearing they might brood
sorrowfully over the past and continue to chide themselves,
he told them that, dark and untoward as events might seem,
God overruled them all; that his being sold into Egypt had
been for the good of all, and that it was no longer necessary
to mourn over it. "You thought evil against me," said he;
"but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this


day, to save much people alive. Now, therefore, fear ye
not; I will nourish you and your little ones."
We have reason to believe that until the day of his death
he fulfilled these promises to his brothers.
He lived to be a hundred and ten years old, and died in
the faith of his father Jacob. God will surely visit you,"
said he, "and bring you out of this land unto the land which
he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."
Children, there is another goodly land which God has
promised to those who love him. It is a fair and glorious
inheritance, lying just over the river of death. It is but a
little way there, and but a little time before we who are
Christ's redeemed ones shall pass through the gates into the
city of light, the land of promise. As the Israelites lived in
Egypt a few years, so we live in the world, on our way to
Canaan, to heaven. If we are the children of God, then
God, through the death of Christ, has given us a sure title
to this blessed land; and "he will surely visit us," and bring
us to the possession of our inheritance. As the children of
a king, we shall dwell for ever in that glorious city, whose
builder and maker is God." That heavenly land is not flow-
ing with milk and honey, like the earthly Canaan, but with
the pure river of life, that proceedeth from the throne of
God and the Lamb. If we have been washed in the blood



of the Lamb, let us keep in view the goodly land we are
soon to possess. Yes, soon; for when a few months or
years are gone, we shall pass the river of death, and see,
rising before us, the mansions of light prepared for our hab-
itation. Yet a little while, and we shall be there, tuning
our harps, and singing our songs before Him who brought
us there.
Soon the evening shades will gather;
Soon we '11 turn our joy-lit eye
To the mansions of our Father,
To our blessed home on high.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs