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A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. wealth shall quite lose all form, and never recover it makes Cyrus speak) at the point of death became proagain.”
phetic. Though, therefore, the last words which we find The bequest which Jacob makes to his son Joseph, our patriarch uttering to his sons, may be rather accountruns into this form :* Moreover, I have given to thee ed prophecies than benedictions; yet since the text one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the assures us, that 8" he blessed every one with a separate hand of the Amorite, with my sword, and with my bow.' blessing,' we may fairly infer, that though he found But when did we ever read of Jacob's being a military reason to rebuke the three eldest very sharply; yet if his man? His sons indeed invaded Shechem, and took, not rebukes, and the punishment pronounced against them, from the Amorites, but the Hivites, the adjacent country, had the good effect to bring them to a due sense of their as we may suppose; but so far is he from approving of transgressions, it was a blessing to them, though not a what they did, that to his very dying hour, we find him temporal one ; though, even in this last sense, it cannot severely remonstrating against it, and must therefore be be said but that he blessed them likewise, since he supposed 100 conscientious, either to retain himself, or assigned each of them a lot in the inheritance of the to consigo to his beloved son, a portion of land acquired promised land, which it was in his power to have deby such wicked and sanguinary means.
prived them of. The tract of ground, therefore, which he mentions, However this be, it is certain that all impartial crimust certainly be that which he purchased of Hamor, tics have observed, that the style of these blessings or the father of Shechem; which he gave Joseph for a prophecies, call them which we will, is much more lofty burying-place, and where Joseph, in consequence of that than what we meet with in the other parts of this book ; donation, was afterwards buried, and not in the field of and therefore some have imagined, that Jacob did not Mackpelah, the common repository of most of his ances- deliver these very words, but that Moses put the sense of tors. And to resolve the difficulty of his saying, that what he said into such poetical expressions. But to me he took it from the Amorite by force of arms, when it is it seems more reasonable to think, that the spirit of promanifest that he bought it of Hamor the Hivite, for an phecy, now coming upon the good old patriarch, raised hundred pieces of silver, we may observe, that the per- his diction, as well as sentiments ; even as Moses himsons who are called Hivites in one place, may, without self is found to have delivered 10 his benedictions in a any impropriety, be called Amorites in another, foras- strain more sublime than what occurs in his other writings. much as the Amorites, being the chief of all the seven It is true, indeed, that in the predictions of the nations in Canaan, might give denomination to all the rest, patriarch, as well as in the benedictions of Moses, severin like manner as all the people of the United Provinces al comparisons do occur, which are taken from brute ue, from the pre-eminence of that one, commonly called animals. Thus Judah is compared to a lion, Issachar Hollanders: and then, if we can but suppose, that after to an ass, Dan to a serpent, Benjamin to a wolf, and Jacob's departure from Shechem, for fear of the neigh- Naphtali to an hind let loose. But this is so far from bouring nations, some straggling Amorites came, and being a disparagement to the prophetic spirit, that it is eized on the lands which he had purchased, and that he a commendation of it; since, if the lion be a proper vas forced to have recourse to arms to expel the emblem of power and strength; if the ass be an image kvaders and maintain his right, all the difficulty or of labour and patience ; if the serpent, an hieroglyphic Feming repugnance of the passage vanishes.
of guile and subtlety; if the wolf, a symbol of violence Jacob, we allow, was a man of peace, but his sons and outrage ; and if a hind let loose be no bad repreere warriors; and to them be might the rather give sentation of a people loving liberty and freedom; then ernission to recover the possession of what he had were these qualities, which nothing but a Divine Spirit right, because he looked upon it as an earnest of his could foresee, abundantly specified, as their respective asterity's future possession of the whole land. 5 And histories show, in the posterity of the several heads of hough we read nothing in the foregoing history, either tribes to which they are applied. I the Amorites invading Jacob's property, or of his And as these comparisons are a kind of testimony of spelling them thence; yet this is far from being the the divine inspiration of the holy patriarch upon this mały instance of things being said to be done in Scrip- occasion, so are they far from being any diminution of tre, whose circumstances of time, place, and persons, the dignity of the subject he was then treating of; since o find nowhere recorded; and a much easier supposi- a man must be a stranger to all compositions of this on it is, than to make, as some have done, the sword kind, who is not persuaded, that comparisons taken from id the bow, here mentioned, to signify the money the animal world, are, as it were, the sinews and support berewith he purchased this small territory.
of what we call the sublime ; and who finds not himself Jacob is the first, that we read of, who particularly less inclined to cavil at Jacob's manner of expression, clared the future state of every one of his sons, when when he perceives the lofty Homer comparing his heroes
left the world; but it has been an ancient opinion, so frequently to a lion, a wolf, an ass, a torrent, or a at the souls of excellent men, the nearer they approach tree, according to the circumstances he places them in, their departure hence, the more divine they grew, had or the different point of light wherein he thinks proper clearer prospect of things to come, and (as ’ Xenophon to take them. And I mention it as an argument of the
truth and excellency of the Mosaic history, that we find " Gen. xlviii. 22.
its author adhering to the original simplicity, and pur* Gen. zzxiii. 19, compared with Joshua xxiv. 32. suing that very method of writing, which was certainly * Josh. xxiv. 32.
Poole's Annotations. Patrick's Commentary.
. To this purpose, see Gen. * Gen. xlix. 28. • Patrick's Commentary. viü. 22. Deut, ii. 9, 10, 11. Josh. xxiv. 11.
10 Deut. xxxii.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. Xxxvii. TO THE END. in vogue, when the most ancient books that we know are therefore very right in rendering the word, a prince any thing of were composed.
or minister of Pharaoh: for if we compare the several Moses' method of writing, as we have had occasion parts of his history, we shall find, 5 that Potiphar had more than once to take notice, is very succinct; and the chief command of the forces that guarded the person therefore when he tells us, that upon Joseph's coming and palace-royal; that as such he presided in all courts into Egypt, and being sold to Potiphar, captain of the and causes that had a more immediate relation to these ; guard, he commenced steward of his household, we that he had power under the king, of judging and deciding must not suppose, that there did not a sufficient space of all cases within those walls, of imprisoning and releastime intervene to qualify him for that office. What ing, of life and death, and of hastening or suspending therefore some of the Jewish doctors tell us, seems the execution of capital punishments. not improbable, namely, that his master, as soon as he And if Potiphar was a person invested with all this bought him, sent him to school, and had him instructed, authority, it may seem a little strange, why he did not not in the language only, but in all the learning of the immediately put Joseph to death ; since, had his wife's Egyptians. However this be, it is certain that there is accusation been true, his crime deserved no less a punno small affinity between the Hebrew and Egyptian ishment. But whether it was that Joseph had found tongue; so that a person of good natural parts, and of means to vindicate himself, by the mediation of the an age the fittest that could be for learning any thing, keeper of the prison, who was Potiphar's deputy, though might, with a little diligence and application, make him there is no account of it in Scripture ; or God, in behalf self master of it in a very short time.
of the righteous, might interpose to mollify the heart of Joseph, indeed, as we may observe, talked to his this great man, and restrain his hand from doing violence; brethren by an interpreter ; and that he might do, though the issue of the matter shows, that he was in a short time the difference between the two tongues was not very convinced of his innocence, or otherwise it cannot be great. » A Frenchman, we see, is not understood at believed that he would have suffered him to be made so first by an Italian or Spaniard, though all the three easy, and to be invested with so much power in the languages are derived from the same original ; but when prison ; though at the same time, he might not think once he is let into the knowledge of this, and comes to proper to release him, for fear that so public an acquitperceive their different formations and constructions, ment might bring disreputation both to his wife and what was foreign to him before, soon becomes familiar.
himself. And in like manner, Joseph, with a small matter of Joseph could not but foresee, that to live in the palaces instruction, and some observation of his own, might be of kings, and to accept of high posts and honours, would let into the secret of the Egyptian language, the nature be very hazardous to his virtue. But when he perof their accounts, and the customs of the country, and ceived the hand of providence so visible in raising him, 80 become every way qualified to give the content, we by ways and means so very extraordinary, to eminence, find he did, in the place to which he was advanced.
and an office wherein he would have it in his power to * The notion that we have of an eunuch, is a person be beneficial to so very many, he could not refuse the who has lost his virility; and therefore to assign him a
offers which the king made him, without being rebellious wife, as we find Potiphar had a very naughty one, may to the will and destination of God. To him therefore seem a manifest incongruity; but for this there is an easy who had secured him hitherto, he might in this case comsolution to be given. The word Saris indeed denotes mit the custody of his innocence, and accept of the usual equally an eunuch,' and any “court minister ;' and the ensigns of honour, without incurring the censure of vanity reason of this ambiguity is – That, as eastern kings, for or ostentation. their greater security, were wont to have slaves, who And though, in after ages, all marriages with infidels were castrated, to attend the chambers of their wives were certainly prohibited, yet there seems to be at this and concubines, and upon the proof of their fidelity, did time a certain dispensation current, forasmuch as Judah frequently advance them to the other court employments, to be sure, if not more of Joseph's brethren, had done such as being privy-counsellers, high-chamberlains, cap- the same : besides that, in Joseph's case, there was tains of their guards, &c., it hence came to pass, that the something peculiar. "For as he was in a strange title of eunuch was conferred on any who were promoted country, he had not an opportunity of making his to those posts of honour and trust, even though they were addresses to any of the daughters of the seed of Abranot emasculated. And indeed, when we read, in the ham; as the match was of the king's making, he was not books of Kings and Chroniclés, so frequent mention at liberty to decline it, without forfeiting his pretensions made of eunuchs about the person of David, and other to the royal favour, and consequently to the means of Jewish princes, we must be far from supposing, that doing so much good; and as it is not improbable that these were all eunuchs in reality, since it was unlawful, he might be advised to it by a particular revelation, so • according to their historian, in that nation, to castraté it is highly reasonable to believe that he converted his even a domestic animal; and according to the institution wife, at least to the worship of the true God, before he of their law, an express prohibition it was, that she who espoused her : even though there should be nothing in had his privy members cut off, should not enter into the that opinion of the rabbins, that he made a proselyte congregation of the Lord.'
likewise of her father, the priest of On, who could not Both the Arabic version, and the Targum of Onkelos, but be desirous to purchase at any rate so advantageous
'Le Clerc's Commentary in Gen. xlii. 23.
* Bibliotheca Biblica on Gen. vol. 2. Occasional Annotations, 39.
• Heidegger's Hist. Patriar., vol. 2. Essay 20.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. XxxYİ. TO THE END. an alliance, and took this occasion to establish the rite | dreams, had gained a great reputation for knowledge, of circumcision, if not in all Egypt, at least among per- and perhaps among the populace, might pass for a sons of the sacred order, who, according to the account diviner, he took an occasion from hence, in order to of those who wrote the history of that country, in very carry on his design, to assume a character that did not early days certainly were not without it.
belong to him. There is no reason, however, to infer from Some may imagine, that the better to personate an the words, that b the art of divining by the cup, as it came Egyptian lord, and thereby conceal himself from his afterwards to be practised, was then in use in Egypt; brethren, or rather to comply with the language of the because the words before us, according to the sense of court, in this particular, ‘ Joseph swore by the life of the best interpreters, do not relate to this cup as the Pharaoh,' in the same manner as the Romans, in adula- instrument, but as the subject of divination ; not as the tion to their emperor, were wont to swear by his genius. thing with which, but as the thing concerning which this It must be acknowledged indeed, that, as every oath is a magical inquiry was to be made. And so the sense of the solemn appeal to God, to swear by any creature what-steward's words will be, “How could you think, but that ever must needs be an impious and idolatrous act; and my lord, who is so great a man at divination, would use therefore the proper solution of this matter is,-not that the best of his skill to find out the persons who had oaths of this kind were allowable before the institution robbed him of the cup, which he so much prizes ?" And of Christianity, but that Joseph, in making use of these this tallies exactly with the subsequent words of Joseph, words, did not swear at all. For since every oath im- Wot ye not that such a man as 1,” “ I, who have raised plies in it either an invocation of some witness, or a myself to this eminence, by my interpretation of dreams, postulation of some revenge, as our great Sanderson and may therefore well be accounted an adept in all terms it, to say that Joseph appealed to the life of other sciences, should not be long at a loss to know who Pharaoh as a witness is ridiculous; and without a very the persons were that had taken away my cup?". This forced construction indeed, the words can never be sup- seems to be the natural sense of the words; the only posed to include in them a curse, and therefore their one, indeed, that they will fairly bear : ' and though most easy signification must be, what we call indicative: they do not imply that Josepb was actually a magician,
By the life of Pharaoh,' that is, as sure and certain as yet they seem to justify the notions of those men who Pharaoh liveth, 'ye are spies ;' just as we say, “By the think, that he carried his dissimulation to his brethren so sun that shines, I speak truth,' that is, as sure as the sun far, as to make them believe that he really bad soine shines ; neither of which can with any propriety be called knowledge that way. oaths, but only vehement asseverations.
The royal psalmist, in his description of the sufferings The words which Joseph's steward, sent to apprehend of Joseph, 8 tells us, that he was not only sold to be a his brethren, makes use of, are, : Is not this the cup in 'bond-servant,' but that' his feet were hurt in the stocks, which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth ?' and iron entered into his soul,' which signifies at least that and the words wherein Joseph accosts them, when they he endured very hard usage, before the time came that are brought before him, are, 3. What deed is this that ye his cause was known,' and his innocence discovered ; have done? Wot ye not, that such a man as I can cer- and of all this his brethren, when they sold him into tainly divine ?' And from hence some have imagined, slavery, were properly the occasions. So that, could that Joseph was a person addicted to magical arts, and we conceive, that any angry resentments could harbour by virtue of this single cup, could discover strange and in a breast so fully satisfied of a divine providence in wonderful things. But in answer to this, others have all this dispensation, we might have imagined that observed,' that the word nashah, which we render to Joseph took this opportunity to retaliate the injuries divine, was formerly of an indefinite sepse, and meant which were formerly done to him ; but this he did not. in general to discover, or make a trial of; and accord- He desired indeed to be informed in the circumstances ingly they have devised a double acceptation of the of their family, without asking any direct question ; and steward's words, as if he should say,—By this cup (viz: therefore he mentions bis suspicion of their being spies, left in a careless and negligent manner) my master was merely to fish out of them, as we call it, whether his aged minded to make an experiment, whether you were thieves, or bonest men; or say,-By this cup, wherein
• Heidegger's Hist. Patriar, vol. 2. Essay 20. be drinketh, my a master discovers and finds out the Saurin's Dissertations.
8 Ps, cv. 17, 18. temper and dispositions of men, when they are in liquor.
6 Julius Serenus tells us, that the method of divining by But both of these senses seem a little too much forced, the cup, among the Assyrians, Chaldees, and Egyptians, was and are far from agreeing with the other words of Joseph. to fill it first with water, then to throw into it thin plates of It must be acknowledged, therefore, that as magical gold and silver, together with some precious stones
, whereon arts of divers kinds were in use among the Egyptians, who came to consult the oracle, used certain forms of incanta
were engraven certain characters; and after that, the persous many years before Joseph's time of coming thither; and tion, and so calling upon the devil, were wont to receive their that as Joseph, by his wonderful skill of interpreting answers several ways: sometimes by articulate sounds ; some
times by the characters which were in the cup rising upon the "Sanderson's Prælec, 5. sect. 7.
. Gen, xliv. 5.
surface of the water, and by their arrangement forming the * Gen, xliv, 15. * See Saurin's Dissertation 38.
answer; and many times by the visible appearing of the persons * Poole's Annotations, and Patrick's Commentary.
themselves, about whom the oracle was consulted. Cornelius
Agrippa, (De Occult. Philos. b. 1. c. 57,) tells us likewise, a What may seem to give some small sanction to this sense, that the manner of some was, to pour melted wax into the cup, is that known passage in Xorace :-“Kings are said to have sup- wherein was water, which wax would range itself in order, and plied liberal potations to him whom they wished to scrutinize, so form answers, according to the questions proposed. – Saurin's if Le was worthy of their friendship."
Dissertation 38; and Heidegger's Hist. Patriar. Essay 20.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. father, and his younger brother were yet alive. For never imitate. So that, upon a review of his whole conupon their return, we may perceive, especially consider- duct, Joseph is far from deserving blame, that all this ing that it is the first minister of a mighty state that seeming rigour and imperiousness of his did eventually speaks to a company of poor indigent shepherds, a produce a great deal of good ; and was in reality no wonderful tenderness in his expressions: 1. Is your more than the heightening the distress, or thickening the father well; the old man of whom you spake, is he still plot, as we call it in a play, to make the discovery, or alive ?' besides the instructions which he plainly gave future felicity he intended his family, more conspicuous his steward to bid them be of good cheer.' When he and agreeable. understood that his father and brother were both alive, It must be acknowledged, indeed, that Moses has done and as yet had not matters prepared for the removal of justice to the history of Joseph, and employed most of his father and family, the eagerness of his affections may the tender passions of human nature to give it a better perhaps be thought to have carried him a little too far, grace; but we must not therefore infer, either that he in demanding his brother to be brought to him ; but we bath transcended truth or committed an error, in recordare not to doubt but that Joseph, by the Divine Spirit ing the quality of the persons employed to embalm his wherewith he was endowed, did certainly foresee what father. What has led some into a great mistake conwould happen, and that his father's grieving a little time cerning the origin of physic, and that it was of no for Benjamin, would be so far from endangering his vogue in the world until the days of Hippocrates, was health, that it would only increase his joy, when he saw the great superiority of skill and genius which he him again, and dispose him the better for the reception demonstrated both in his practice and writings. The of the welcome news of his own advancement in Egypt; truth is, the divine old man, as one expresses it, did so which, had it come all upon him at once, and on a totally eclipse all who went before him, that as posterity sudden, might have been enough to have bereaved him esteemed his works the canon, so did it look upon him of his senses, if not of his life itself, by a surfeit of joy. as the great father of medicine. But if we will credit
Upon their second dismission, after a very kind enter the testimony of “Galen, who, though a late writer, was a tainment, it may be thought perhaps a piece of cruelty very competent judge, we shall find, that he was far from in Joseph, to have his cup conveyed, of all others, into being the first of his profession, even among the Greeks. Benjamin's sack, and thereupon to threaten to make him Homer, indeed, in his poem of the Trojan war, seems a bond-slave for a pretended felony: but herein was to have cut out more work for surgeons than physicians; Joseph's great policy and nicety of judgment. He and therefore we find the chief of the faculty only emhimself had been severely treated by the rest when he ployed in healing wounds, extracting arrows, preparing was young, and therefore was minded to make an expe- anodynes, and other such like external operations ; but riment, in what manner they would now behave towards if we look into his other work, which is of a more pacific his brother ; whether they would forsake him in his dis- strain, we shall soon discern the use of internal applicatress, and give him up to be a bond-slave, as they had tions, when we find Helen brought in as giving Telemasold him for one ; or whether they would stand by him chus a preparation of opium, which, as the poet informs in all events, make intercession for his release, or ad- us, she had from Polydamna, the wife of Thon, an venture to share his fate.
Egyptian physician of great note. And well might the This, perhaps, may be thought, was carrying the matter physicians of Egypt be held in great esteem,“ when (as a little too far : but, without this conduct, Joseph could Herodotus relates the matter) every distinct distemper not have known whether his brethren rightly deserved had its proper physician, who confined himself to the the favour and protection which he might then design, study and cure of that only; so that one sort having the and afterwards granted them. Without this conduct we cure of the eyes, another of the head, another of the bad not had perhaps the most lively images that are to teeth, another of the belly, and another of occult diseases, be met with in Scripture, of injured innocence, of meek- we need not wonder, that all places were crowded with ness and forbearance, and the triumphs of a good con- men of this profession, or that the physicians of Joseph's science in him; and of the fears and terrors, the convic- household should be represented as a large number.” tions and self-condemnations of long concealed guilt in True it is indeed, that these physicians, and the very them. Without this conduct, we had not had this lovely portraiture of paternal tenderness, as well as brotherly Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses, vol. 2.b. 4. sect. 3. affection; we had never had those solemn, sad, and
6 Meth, Medic. b. 1. melting words of Jacob, 3 “If I am bereaved of my worth our notice and serious consideration. " Since such pas. children, I am bereaved,' enough to pierce a tender sages are related by men, who affect no art, and who lived long parent's heart; or those words, * * Joseph is yet alive, I after the parties who first uttered them, we cannot conceive how will see him before I die,' enough to raise it into joy and they had been suggested by his spirit
, who gives mouth and exultation again. In a word, without this conduct, we speech to man; who, being
alike present to all successions, is able had never had that courteous, that moving, that pleasingly to communicate the secret thoughts of forefathers to their children, mournful speech, wherein Moses makes Judah address and put the very words of the deceased, never registered before, Joseph, in behalf of his poor brother Benjamin, which after, and that as exactly and distinctly as if they had been caught,
into the mouths or pens of their successors, for many generations exceeds all the compositions of human invention, and in characters of steel or brass, as they issued out of their mouths: & flows indeed from such natural passions, as art can for it is plain every circumstance is here related, with such
natural specifications, as he terms it, as if Moses had heard them Gen. xliii. 7.
Universal History, b. 1. c. 7. talk; and therefore could not have been thus represented to us, * Gen. xliii. 14.
• Gen. xlv. 28.
unless they had been written by his divine direction, who knows a The observation of a learned author upon the dialogue be all things, as well forepast, as present, or to come." - Dr Jackson tween Jacob and his sons, as well as the speech of Judah, is well on the Creed, b. 1. c. 4.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. XXXVII. TO THE END. best of them, were employed in embalming the dead; but come to a conclusion, he gave the people back their then there was a wise designation in this, namely, not liberties and estates, reserving to the king no more than only to improve them in the knowledge of anatomy, but a double tenth out of the produce of their lands, as a to enable them likewise to discover the causes of such tribute of their vassalage ; which, considering the richdisorders as were a baffle to their art. And therefore ness of the soil, and the little pains required in cultivatit was the custom of the kings of Egypt, as Pliny ing it, was an imposition far from being burdensome to informs us, to cause dead bodies to be dissected, on the subject, or vastly disproportionate to the benefit they purpose to find out the origin and nature of all diseases. had received. a Thus it appears from the concurring testimony of other There is but one thing more that I find objected to historians, that the practice of physic was a common Joseph, in this public station, and that is, his favour thing in Egypt, as early as the days of Joseph ; that the and indulgence to the priests, and priests that were naultitude of its professors makes it no strange thing his idolaters, in sparing their lands, and laying no tax upon having a number of them in his family; and that the them. nature of the thing, as well as the order of the state, The Jewish doctors have a tradition, that when Joseph obliged the very best of them to become dissectors and was in prison, and his master bad bad designs against embalmers.
him, it was by the interest of the priests that he was set This may serve for a vindication of what the sacred free, and that, consequently, in gratitude, he could not historian has related of our patriarch in his private life, do less than indulge them with some particular marks of and we come now to consider him in his public capacity. his favour, when he came into such a compass of power. As soon as he had foretold the king the long famine But there is no occasion for any such fiction as this. that was to befall Egypt, he gave him advice to have the 2 The priests of Egypt were taken out of the chief famififth part of the product of the country laid up in store lies of the nation ; they were persons of the first quality; against the ensuing want. The tenth part, according to the constitution of the nation, belonged to the king 'Lord Shaftesbury's Characteristics, vol. 3. Miscel. 3.
* Shuckford's Connection, vol. 2. b. 7. already, and to advise him to purchase as much more, for seven succeeding years, was to consider him as the Joseph as viceroy of Egypt; but fortunately that conduct stands
a This is rather a feeble attempt to vindicate the conduct of public father of his people, for whose support and wel- in need of no other vindication, than to be fairly stated. If credit fare he was concerned to provide. When himself was be due to Diodorus Siculus, all the land of Egypt was, prior to appointed to the office of gathering in the corn, he took this period, divided, in equal shares, among the king, the priestcare , no doubt, to have his granaries in fortified places, the beginning, adscriptilii glebæ; and they were not likely to
hood, and army. The people therefore must have been, from and as the scarceness increased, to have them secured suffer by being transferred with the soil, which they cultivated, by a guard of the king's forces, to prevent insurrections from the vassalage in which they had hitherto been held by a and depredations. When he came to open his store- fierce soldiery to the common sovereign and father of his people. houses, he sold to the poor and to the rich ; and was it But let us suppose, that Diodorus was mistaken, and that not
the army but the people at large, shared the soil in equal not highly reasonable, that be who bought the corn, portions with the king and the priests. Even on this supposishould likewise sell it? or that the money, which by the tion they were gainers by the new regulation of Joseph; for king's commission and order, had been laid out for such they henceforth enjoyed four-fifths of two-thirds of the produce of a stock of provisions against the approaching necessities the whole kingdom, instead of one-third as formerly. Indeed of his subjects, should return to the king's coffers again, happy for them that the minister, whom they acknowledged to
whatever was the state of the Egyptians before this famine, it was to answer his occasions ? When their money was gone, have saved their lives, was not on that occasion influenced by they brought him their cattle ; but this they did of their modern notions of civil and political liberty.—“ By the policy of own accord, without any compulsion or circumvention ; Joseph, the whole of the land of Egypt, not occupied by the
priests, became the property of the sovereign, and the people with and might he not as legally exchange corn for cattle, as
their children his slaves; an event, which, however unpropitious he did it for money before ? His corn be kept up perhaps it might be in any other country, was necessary there, where at a high rate; but had he sold it cheap, or given it every harvest depended on the Nile, and where the equal distrigratis, the people, very likely, would bave been profuse bution of its waters could alone produce a general cultivation. and wanton in the consumption of it; whereas his great possible to induce individuals to sacrifice their own possessions,
When the lands of Egypt were private property, would it be care and concern was, to make it hold out the whole time that they might be turned into canals for the public benefit ? or, of the famine. He obliged the inhabitants of one city when the canals were constructed, would it be possible to prevent and district to remove, or make room for those of the inhabitants of the upper provinces from drawing off' more another ; but this he might do, not so much to show their water than was requisite for their own use, and thereby injuring
the cultivators lower down? But when the whole belonged to subjection to Pharaoh, as to secure the public peace, by one man, the necessary canals would be constructed; the distridisabling them in this way from entering into any sedi-bution of water would be guided by prudence ; each district would tious measures and combinations.
receive its necessary proportion; and the collateral branches It cannot be imagined, indeed, but that, in a time of would then, as they are now, be opened only when the height of
the river justified such a measure for the public benefit.” (Lord such general want and calamity, men's minds would be Valentia's Travels, vol. 3, p. 348.)–Our author's supposition, ripe for rapine, violence, and mutiny; and yet we meet that the people who had sold their lands to preserve their lives, with no one commotion, during the whole period of his were transplanted into cities far from their former places of abode, critical ministry; which bespeaks the skill of the mariner, that they might, in time, lose the remembrance of their ancient
possessions, is a groundless dream. Granaries were formed, and wben be is found able to steer steady in the midst of so
cities and villages built in every district of the kingdom; and In fine, after he had a long while when cultivation ceased, the people were transplanted, for the executed his high trust, and the years of famine were easiness of distribution, from the country into such of those cities
as were nearest to them; and when the famine ceased, they were "Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses, b. 4. sect. 3. sent back, with seed to sow their former fields.
tumultuous a sea.