Imatges de pàgina

death alfo (O). Judah therefore bid her remain a widow in her father's houfe, till his third fon was grown old enough to fupply his brother's place; but the time being come, and Judah neglecting to fend for her, as indeed he never defigned it, left Shelah fhould meet with the fate of his two brothers, fhe refolved to put him in mind of his engagement by fome other way.

JUDAH, having buried his wife about this time, as foon Judah and as the ufual days of mourning were over, went to over- Tamar. look his fheep-fhearers at Timnath, attended only by his friend Adullam. Tamar had timely notice of his defign; and, thinking this a favourable opportunity to execute her own, the divefted herself of her widow's garments, covered her face with a veil, and in the attire of an harlot placed herself between the two ways that led to Timnath, Judah faw her, and, taking her to be what the appeared, made his addreffes to her, and prevailed. He won her confent, by promifing her a kid, and leaving with her, at her requeft, his fignet, his bracelets, and his ftaff, as so many pledges for the performance of his promife. The kid he immediately fent by his friend Adullam; but the pretended harlot had disappeared, and no tidings could be heard of her.

ed to be burnt,

SOME months after Judah was informed, that Tamar Tamar was certainly with child. At this news he was not dif- with child pleased, as her death would free him from his promife of marrying her to his fon Shelah. He pretended,. however, to be highly provoked at her incontinency, and condemned her accordingly to the flames (R); but, Condemn upon mily, had power of life and death over all that belonged to it; but it is hardly probable, that the Canaanites, in whofe country they dwelt, would give a stranger fuch a power. Tis more likely therefore, that he meant only, that the fhould be brought before a court of judicature, and fentenced according to the laws of the country. But, whether judge or profecutor, it was an


(204) Vid. Alix, in pentat.

U 4

(O) Though Onan's fin was in itself great enough, yet it is very probable, that it was aggravated with a worfe circumstance; viz. his having an eye to the fuppreffing of the MESSIAH'S Coming, fince he should not have the honour to be numbered among his anceftors (204), which might provoke God to cut him off.

(R) Some think that Judab, as head of his own fa

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But abfolved.

upon her producing the above-mentioned pledges, and
declaring that the owner of them was the father of the
child, fudah, in the greatest confufion and furprize, owned,
that he was the more innocent of the two, and that he
had wronged her in with-holding Shelah from her. He
afterwards conducted her home, but never touched her
from that time. When her full time came fhe brought
forth twins; but the manner of their birth was very fur-
prifing; for one of them putting forth his hand, the
midwife tied a fcarlet thread round it as a token of his
being the firft-born: but he withdrew his hand, and, his
brother fhewing him the way into the world, he was
called by his mother Phares, or breach, by reafon of the
breach he had made between his brother and him
other was called Zaraht.

; the

A ftrange birth

Jofeph. JOSEPH in the mean while was got into fuch favour Year of with the keeper of the prifon, that he intrufted him with flood the care of all the prifoners. To two of them, men of 632. fome diftinction, viz. Pharaoh's chief butler and baker, Bef. Chr. Jofeph not only interpreted the dreams they had had, but 1717. told them alfo the precife time when they should fee them fulfilled. Accordingly three days after the butler was reDreams of stored to his place, and the baker hanged (S). Jofeph two prifon

ers ex



t Gen. xxxviii. P. tot,

inhuman thing to put a woman
to death before the was deliver-
ed; and the Romans, bad as
they were with refpect to chil-
dren, whom they used to ex-
pofe when they thought fit,
had yet a law to prevent a
pregnant woman being put to
death before her delivery (209).
But it is probable, that his
eagerness to be rid of her,
made him fpeak more unad-
vifedly than he would have
done, had the been a more in-
different perfon. And it is
plain, that Jofephus looked up-
on all the tranfactions mention-
ed in this chapter to be fo
little for the credit of Judah,

and his fons, that he has fup-
preffed them all. This is one,
though far from the only in-
ftance of his fuppreffing any
thing that cafts a reflection on
his nation: the reft will occur
in the fequel.

(S) Our tranflation has rendered the expreflion which Jofeph uses to the butler and the baker, hall lift up thy bead, too literally, fince that would imply the fame fate to them both, contrary to the event. The words in the original mean, that in three days Pharaoh would have them brought to their trial, in which cafes the prifoner was fet up on high

(309) Ælian. & V.

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took this opportunity of addreffing himself to the former, and to beg his affiftance and intereft to get him out of prifon, telling him at the fame time how he had been fold out of his country, and falfly accufed by his miftrefs, and what elfe he thought proper to move him to comply with his request ".

THE former, being fet at liberty, and reftored to his place, never remembred his fellow prifoner till two years after, when the two famous dreams of Pharaoh forced him, in a manner, to call him to mind, and to recommend him to the king, as one who had a much greater talent at interpreting dreams, than any he had yet confulted. Upon his recommendation, Jofeph was fent for out of prifon; and he no fooner appeared than Pharaoh told him his dreams; and promised him a confiderable reward, if he could give him an interpretation of them. Pharaoh had dreamed, that he had feen feven lufty fat cows feeding on the banks of the Nile; foon after which feven others, lean and ill-favoured, came and devoured them; and yet looked neither the fatter or bigger for it. His fecond dream was much of the fame kind; viz. feven full ears of corn devoured by feven blafted ones. Jofeph anfwered the king, with his ufual Pharaoh's modefty, that the feven cows and feven ears fignified the 2 dreams fame thing; that the dream being repeated, was only a interpretfign, that the thing was to happen immediately after that ed by Jothe feven fat cows and full ears fignified feven years of ex- seph. ceffive plenty, which would nevertheless be quite forgot- Year of ten in the feven fucceeding years of famine, fignified by flood 633. the seven lean cows and blafted ears *. He thereupon ad- Bef. Chrift vifed the king to appoint a wife and expert man over his 1715. whole kingdom, who should take care to build granaries, and fend officers into every province,to lay up a fifth part of all the corn of the feven plentiful years, against the fucceeding years of famine.


THE king and all that heard him were furprised at the Jofeph's wifdom of this young ftranger, who was then but thirty advanceyears old; and concluded that he was the fitteft perfon to ment and be fet over the kingdom, and to put his proposal in execu- glory.

u Ibid. xxxix,

* Ibid. xl. per tot.

to be easily seen by the judges and court (210). The fequel thews this to have been the true

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meaning, fince, after fuch exa-
mination, the one was hanged,
and the other reinstated,

(210) See Kings xxi. 9.

His marriage.

tion. He was thereupon made mafter and overfeer of Pharaoh's houfe; and orders were given, that he should be obeyed in all things, as if he had been Pharoah himfelf. The king took his fignet off his finger, and gave it to him, caufed him to be cloathed in fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; telling him, that he appointed him fuperintendant over the whole kingdom, and the next to himself in authority: he gave him moreover the name of Zaphnaph-paaneah, which fignifies a revealer of fecrets (T); beftowed on him in marriage the daughter of Potipherah, prieft or prince of On (U); and made

(T) These are not Hebrew words, as fome rabbies dream (210), who render it by

a; for though the first word may be derived from (Y zaphan, to hide; yet the original of paaneab is not to be found in the Hebrew. St. Jerom and others think it fignifies a SAVIOUR of the world

in the Egyptian tongue (zi);
but it is moft probable, that
it fignifies the revealer of fe-
crets, and is accordingly fo
rendered by most Jewish and
Christian expofitors (212).

(U) As it is not likely, that
Jofeph fhould fo foon have for-
gotten his religion (213), as to
have married the daughter of an
uncircumcifed perfon, whether
prince or priest, on the one
hand; and, on the other, Poti-
pherah could not but be de-
firous to purchase so advan-
tageous an alliance at any rate;
this might have given the for-
mer a fair opportunity of in-
troducing circumcifion into the

latter's family, and thence by degrees, among all the Egyp tian priests and laity. However that be, we must not mif. take the city of On for that of No, threatened with deftruction by Ezekiel (214), which was Alexandria. On therefore was Heliopolis, the chief city of the canton of that name, called by Ptolemy, Onium (215), diftant about twenty miles from Memphis, the metropolis of the kingdom (216). Nor must we confound this Potipherah with that to whom Jofeph had been fold, as St. Jerom has done. 'Tis much more probable, that they were two distinct persons: 1. Because the names are differently written; the first Potiphar, and the other Potipherangb, ending with the letter V (ain). 2. The one is called captain of the guards, the other prieft or prince of On. 3. The former therefore must have his refidence in the capital, to be al

(211) Hieron. in lac. Eugubin, &c. LXX. Grot, Fun. in loc. (214) Ezek. xxx. 16. (216) Vid. fup. vol. i, p. 411.

(210) Maimen.
(212) Targ. Onkel. in loc. Jef. Ant. 7. ii. c. 6.
& al.
(213) Gen. xlii. 18.
(215) Vid. Hieron. loc. Hebr.



made him ride in his fecond chariot, while the men that Years of ran before it cried, Bow the knee (W). Jofeph, being raised plenty. to this height of power, took a progrefs through the whole Year of flood 633. kingdom, built his granaries,appointed proper officers in every Bef. Chr. place, and ordered all things with fuch prudence and application, that, before the feven years of plenty were over, he found his ftores filled above numbering. During this time he had two fons born of his wife Afenath: the first of whom he called Manaffeh; intimating, that God had and Emade him forget all his toils; and the next he called phraim Ephraim, becaufe GoD had made him fruitful in the land of his affliction.



THESE feven plentiful years were fucceeded immediately The years by the other feven of famine; nor was the scarcity con-of famine. fined to the land of Egypt, but was felt all over the land Year of of Canaan, and all the nations round about it. As foon, flood 640. Bef. Chr. therefore, as the Egyptians came to be pinched for want of bread, they applied to Pharaoh, who commanded them, 1708. 3 to repair to Jofeph; upon which he immediately ordered his ftores to be opened, and corn to be fold to the people who flocked to him, not only from all parts of Egypt, but from all the neighbouring countries".

By this time Jacob, who was not exempt from the common calamity, hearing that there was corn to be bought in Egypt, fent ten of his fons thither to buy fome, and kept only Benjamin with him. Thefe, upon their arrival

"Gen. xli. p. tot.

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(216) Auguft. quæft. in Gen, 1. 36. Chryfoft. bomil, 63. in Gen. Mercer. fun. Mufcul. & ali (217) Targ, Onkel, R. Jebud, & al,


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