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Историко-культурный контекст Ветхого Завета

В.Сорокин

Евреи в Египте

С египетским периодом еврейской истории связаны прежде всего такие ветхозаветные тексты, как новелла об Иосифе (гл.37–50 Книги Бытия, за исключением гл.38 и гл.48-49, представляющих собой вставные эпизоды) и мидраши из Книги Исхода, описывающие положение потомков Иакова накануне Исхода (гл.1-2 книги). Надо заметить, что ещё сто лет назад об изложенной в Библии истории Иосифа отзывались порой весьма скептически: уж очень она напоминает волшебную сказку об удачливом бедняке, чудесным образом находящем своё счастье. Интересно, что ассоциации с восточной сказкой жизнеописание Иосифа вызывает не случайно: стиль его действительно заметно отличается от стиля основного текста Книги Бытия (как, впрочем, и от стиля Пролога этой книги). Сегодня никто из исследователей Библии не сомневается, что и стилистически, и композиционно оно является законченным целым. Исключение составляют лишь упомянутые выше вставки, первая из которых (эпизод с Иудой) изначально явно никак не был связан с историей Иосифа, а вторая представляет собой подробное описание кончины Иакова и благословения им основателей двенадцати еврейских кланов — предание, восходящее, судя по стилю и форме, к эпохе Патриархов, но разрывающее ход основного повествования (так, в начале этой вставки говорится о болезни Иакова и о приходе Иосифа, а в конце — о кончине Иакова, причём оба упоминания очевидно дублируют основной текст жизнеописания, сравним Быт 47:29-31Быт 48:1-2 и Быт 49:33Быт 50:26, соответственно). За исключением же рассмотренных нами вставок, жизнеописание Иосифа представляет собой вполне законченный и, вероятнее всего, изначально самостоятельный рассказ, который библеисты и называют обычно новеллой об Иосифе.

Встаёт вопрос о том, когда она могла быть написана. Конечно, речь в любом случае не может идти о египетском периоде, так как в это время евреи ещё не имели ни собственной литературной традиции, ни даже собственной письменности. Но отсутствие письменности, разумеется, никак не могло помешать появлению уже к концу египетского периода предания об Иосифе, благодаря которому потомки Иакова и оказались в Египте. Судя по мидрашу из главы 1 Книги Исхода, в это время положение живших в Египте семитов (в том числе и протоеврейского этноса) заметно ухудшилось, и времена Иосифа должны были вспоминаться как «золотые дни» египетской жизни. Но едва ли новелла об Иосифе просто воспроизводит в письменной форме древнее предание. Перед нами, скорее, литературное произведение, написанное на его основе. И надо отметить, что в жанровом отношении новелла об Иосифе представляет собой уникальное явление в контексте библейской письменности. Дело в том, что из всех жанров древней ближневосточной литературы новелла об Иосифе ближе всего к тому, который можно было бы условно назвать жанром «философской биографии». Он был распространён как в Вавилонии, так и в Египте (начиная с эпохи Среднего Царства), и появление его отражало, по-видимому, те гуманистические тенденции, развитие которых было характерной чертой этих обществ начиная приблизительно с середины второго тысячелетия.

Основной темой таких «философских биографий» были те извечные вопросы человеческого бытия, ответ на которые во все времена искали основатели философских школ и религиозных систем: кем и зачем дана человеку жизнь, откуда он пришёл и куда уйдёт и в чём смысл происходящих с человеком на протяжении его жизни событий. Но египетские и вавилонские авторы искали ответов не на путях абстрактного философствования или мистико-аскетического познания, а на примерах жизни конкретных людей, которые они и пытались осмыслить. Конечно, в качестве примеров использовались биографии не обычных людей, а таких, чья жизнь была насыщена событиями, приключениями и крутыми поворотами (биография Иосифа этому условию вполне соответствовала). Но когда же в таком случае могла быть написана новелла об Иосифе? Очевидно, это могло произойти не ранее того момента, когда в древнеизраильском обществе мог появиться интерес к отдельной человеческой судьбе.

Скорее всего, такой интерес мог возникнуть в эпоху Соломона, когда традиционный родоплеменной социум постепенно уходил в прошлое, и ему на смену шли новые формы общественного уклада. Кризис родового сознания всегда переживается болезненно, и поиски смысла жизни в это время занимают многих. Если вспомнить к тому же тот интерес к египетской культуре, который был характерен для израильского образованного общества при Соломоне, а также тот факт, что именно тогда в Израиле зарождалась собственная литературная традиция, станет понятно, что лучшей идейной и культурной среды для усвоения и введения в яхвистский контекст жанра «философской биографии» не найти. К тому же, при Соломоне в еврейском обществе явно вырос и интерес к собственной истории, что, прежде всего, проявилось в организации регулярного летописания, а также, возможно, в собирании и письменной фиксации эпических преданий.

Обращение в такой среде к древнему преданию египетской эпохи как к сюжету для литературного произведения едва ли должно удивлять. Но тогда, разумеется, встаёт вопрос о том, насколько соответствует сюжет новеллы сюжету древнего предания. Прямо на этот вопрос сегодня ответить невозможно, так как изначальное предание об Иосифе до нас не дошло. Но косвенно на него можно ответить, анализируя, как отражены в тексте новеллы реалии соответствующей эпохи: ведь изначальное предание, вероятнее всего, могло появиться во время пребывания потомков Иакова в Египте, когда память об Иосифе и его времени была ещё свежа.

С этой точки зрения начало биографии Иосифа выглядит вполне достоверным. Он, очевидно, с детства обладал даром пророческих сновидений, а также и даром их истолкования. Нельзя сказать, что такой дар был в древности чем-то уникальным, в той или иной мере он был известен всем народам и цивилизациям. Но всегда и везде человек, им обладавший, считался отмеченным Богом (богами). В такой ситуации Иосиф, даже будучи младшим в своём роде, мог, после смерти старого вождя (Иакова) претендовать на власть в племени, тем более, что и его сновидения были в этом отношении вполне прозрачны и понятны даже непосвящённому (Быт 37:6–11).

Неудивительно, что старшие братья Иосифа, имевшие по старшинству больше прав на власть, видели в Иосифе, который был к тому же любимцем отца, опасного соперника. Решение избавиться от него было в такой ситуации вполне объяснимым; примечательно, что, планируя и осуществляя свои намерения, они прежде всего имеют в виду сновидения Иосифа, связанные с его будущей властью в племени (Быт 37:18–20). Отказ от убийства Иосифа также легко объясним как простой человеческой жалостью, так и нежеланием проливать кровь, так как кровопролитие считалось осквернением и могло, по понятиям того времени, навлечь проклятие не только на непосредственного исполнителя, но и на весь его род (Быт 37:21-22). Между тем, неподалёку от Вирсавии, где обитало в это время племя Иакова, проходила большая караванная дорога, тянувшаяся вдоль моря и связывавшая города Финикии и северной Палестины с Египтом, и проходившие по ней караваны не гнушались покупкой товаров (в том числе рабов) у местных племён, что и решило судьбу Иосифа (Быт 37:26-28). Что же касается невольничьего рынка Египта, то здесь его судьбу решила привлекательная внешность: раб-семит, не обладающий соответствующими навыками, не годился ни для работы на плантациях, ни для занятий ремеслом, но привлекательная внешность делала его пригодным к роли домашнего слуги (Быт 39:1-2).

Далее же многое определили, как мы сказали бы сегодня, административно-хозяйственные способности Иосифа. Его хозяин занимал высокую придворную должность начальника личной стражи фараона (Быт 39:1); это подразделение размещалось непосредственно на территории дворцового комплекса и в египетской армии исполняло роль гвардейских частей, будучи одновременно и личной охраной самого фараона. Кроме того, начальник личной стражи мог иногда выполнять особо важные поручения самого фараона. Неудивительно, что у него в подчинении была даже собственная тюрьма (Быт 41:10), которая была, между прочим, также и местом заключения для особо высокопоставленных лиц (Быт 40:1-3). (Заметим в скобках, что и главный виночерпий, и главный хлебодар — должности в придворной иерархии весьма значимые, так как именно на них возлагалась ответственность за снабжение продовольствием, как самого фараона, так и его ближайшего окружения).

У столь занятого человека, по-видимому, оставалось не так уж много времени для собственного хозяйства, которое также требовало внимания: как у всякого египетского аристократа той эпохи, тем более придворного, у него, несомненно, должны были быть и собственные имения. Иосиф, став домоправителем (Быт 39:4), должен был фактически исполнять должность управляющего крупным хозяйством, которое приносило бы своему хозяину доход, и, судя по тому, что хозяин ему полностью доверял, он вполне с этим справлялся (Быт 39:3-6). Можно думать, что, если бы не история с женой хозяина, Иосиф мог бы прожить в доме купившего его египтянина в должности управляющего до старости. Но, разумеется, после того, что произошло, Иосиф уже не мог оставаться на прежнем месте; хорошо уже и то, что он избежал смертной казни или отправки на каторжные работы в каменоломни. Впрочем, административные таланты Иосифа принесли ему пользу даже в тюрьме (Быт 39:21-23).

Больше всего вопросов вызывает неожиданное возвышение Иосифа после того, как на него обратил внимание фараон. Конечно, немалую роль в этом сыграл дар толкования пророческих сновидений, который был у Иосифа с детства. Но дело, конечно, было не только в том, что ему удалось объяснить смысл увиденного вначале двум высокопоставленным придворным, оказавшимся в одной с ним тюрьме, а затем и самому фараону. В другие времена египетской истории это вряд ли многое изменило бы в судьбе Иосифа (в лучшем случае его, возможно, освободили бы из заключения). Но речь, по-видимому, идёт об эпохе, когда на египетском престоле находился один из фараонов семитского происхождения. Такие фараоны — несколько первых правителей первой династии Нового Царства — пришли к власти после события, известного в истории под названием нашествия гиксосов.

Собственно, «гиксосами» (египетское название «хека-хасут», что означает буквально «владыки пустынных нагорий») называли вождей тех семитских племён, которые обитали на территории Синайского полуострова, а также севернее, в Палестине и Сирии. Речь идёт о нашествии этих семитских племён на Египет, которое имело место в XVIII - XVII веках. Надо заметить, что не все семитские племена прорывались на египетскую территорию силой; некоторые проникали мирным путём, так, как это сделало племя Иакова. Оседали семитские кочевники в основном в северном Египте, в дельте Нила. Территория дельты была вполне пригодна для занятия пастбищно-отгонным скотоводством: болота в этих местах чередовались с заливными лугами, а климат был исключительно благоприятным.

К тому же, египтяне, с предубеждением относившиеся к скотоводству как к варварскому и даже оскверняющему занятию (например, в Быт 46:34), нечасто селились на этих землях. В результате к концу XVIII веке на территории дельты накопилась уже масса семитского населения, достаточная для создания собственного небольшого государства, а впоследствии выходцы из семитских племён дельты сумели занять даже египетский престол. Произошло это в XVII веке, и, по-видимому, именно на середину XVII века приходится карьера Иосифа и переселение в Египет его соплеменников. Конечно, такие потрясения стали возможны, прежде всего, из-за внутренней слабости Египта, переживавшего не самый простой период своей истории.

К концу Среднего Царства (середина XVIII века) в стране начинается некоторое ослабление центральной власти, появляется и набирает силу областной сепаратизм, питательной средой для которого стали крупные землевладельцы, недовольные всё усиливающимся налоговым гнётом. Власть фараона ослабела, и Иосиф предложил достаточно действенный (и притом вполне законный) способ её укрепления, что и было одобрено как самим фараоном, так и всем его окружением. Конечно, семиту было проще сделать карьеру во время правления семитских фараонов, но, не будь у Иосифа конкретных предложений по исправлению ситуации, его едва ли сделали бы первым министром, каковым он был назначен по личному приказанию фараона (Быт 41:39-41). Предложение же заключалось в том, чтобы использовать предстоящую длительную засуху для ослабления влияния крупных землевладельцев и укрепления центральной власти.

Для этого надо было, прежде всего, сделать зерновые запасы на семь лет предстоящего голода, что было не сложно, так как в Египте практически на всём протяжении его истории государство продолжало оставаться крупнейшим землевладельцем (Быт 41:34-36). В дальнейшем же, когда начнутся засушливые годы, запасённое зерно предполагалось давать в долг, и как продовольствие, и как посевной материал. Конечно, всякое крепко стоящее на ногах хозяйство вполне может пережить один или даже два неурожайных года, но если такие годы следуют один за другим, рано или поздно все резервы приходят к концу (Быт 47:13-17). Тогда остаётся лишь брать в долг под залог собственных земель, а если и следующий после залога год будет неурожайным, имение отходит государству за долги.

Именно этим механизмом, очевидно, и воспользовался Иосиф, увеличив тем самым государственный земельный фонд и, очевидно, ослабив влияние крупных землевладельцев (Быт 47:19-25). Осуществив такой план, Иосиф, по-видимому, должен был способствовать укреплению египетской государственности. Однако, для истории народа Божия гораздо более важным оказался тот факт, что его высокий пост в Египте сделал возможным мирное переселение в Египет его соплеменников: ведь это позволило им не только выжить физически, но и вырасти численно, так как пастбищно-отгонное скотоводство обеспечивает экономически существенно более высокий уровень жизни по сравнению с кочевым или даже полукочевым. Как и все другие семитские племена, племя Иакова поселяется на территории нильской дельты, которая в Библии называется Гошен (Гесем). Так начинается очень непростой египетский период еврейской истории, который завершится совершенно неожиданно не только для египтян, но и для самих потомков Иакова.

Отрывки к тексту:
Gen 48
Gen 49
Gen 38
Exo 1
Exo 2
Gen 47
Gen 50
Gen 37
Gen 39
Gen 40
Gen 41
Gen 46
1
Now it came about after these things that Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is sick.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him.
2
When it was told to Jacob, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed.
3
Then Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me,
4
and He said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.’
5
Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are.
6
But your offspring that have been born after them shall be yours; they shall be called by the names of their brothers in their inheritance.
7
Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”
8
When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”
9
Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” So he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.”
10
Now the eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them.
11
Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face, and behold, God has let me see your children as well.”
12
Then Joseph took them from his knees, and bowed with his face to the ground.
13
Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right, and brought them close to him.
14
But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the firstborn.
15
He blessed Joseph, and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
16
The angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”
17
When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him; and he grasped his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
18
Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn. Place your right hand on his head.”
19
But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also will become a people and he also will be great. However, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”
20
He blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!’” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.
21
Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers.
22
I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”
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Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the days to come.
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“Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob; And listen to Israel your father.
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“Reuben, you are my firstborn; My might and the beginning of my strength, Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
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“Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, Because you went up to your father’s bed; Then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.
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“Simeon and Levi are brothers; Their swords are implements of violence.
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“Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self-will they lamed oxen.
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“Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel.
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“Judah, your brothers shall praise you; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s sons shall bow down to you.
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“Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up?
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“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
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“He ties his foal to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; He washes his garments in wine, And his robes in the blood of grapes.
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“His eyes are dull from wine, And his teeth white from milk.
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“Zebulun will dwell at the seashore; And he shall be a haven for ships, And his flank shall be toward Sidon.
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“Issachar is a strong donkey, Lying down between the sheepfolds.
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“When he saw that a resting place was good And that the land was pleasant, He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, And became a slave at forced labor.
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“Dan shall judge his people, As one of the tribes of Israel.
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“Dan shall be a serpent in the way, A horned snake in the path, That bites the horse’s heels, So that his rider falls backward.
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“For Your salvation I wait, O LORD.
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“As for Gad, raiders shall raid him, But he will raid at their heels.
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“As for Asher, his food shall be rich, And he will yield royal dainties.
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“Naphtali is a doe let loose, He gives beautiful words.
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“Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a spring; Its branches run over a wall.
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“The archers bitterly attacked him, And shot at him and harassed him;
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But his bow remained firm, And his arms were agile, From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
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From the God of your father who helps you, And by the Almighty who blesses you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
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“The blessings of your father Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; May they be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.
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“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he devours the prey, And in the evening he divides the spoil.”
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All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, every one with the blessing appropriate to him.
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Then he charged them and said to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
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in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site.
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There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah—
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the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth.”
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When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
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And it came about at that time, that Judah departed from his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
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Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her.
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So she conceived and bore a son and he named him Er.
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Then she conceived again and bore a son and named him Onan.
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She bore still another son and named him Shelah; and it was at Chezib that she bore him.
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Now Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.
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But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD took his life.
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Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.”
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Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother.
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But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD; so He took his life also.
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Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”; for he thought, “I am afraid that he too may die like his brothers.” So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
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Now after a considerable time Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died; and when the time of mourning was ended, Judah went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
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It was told to Tamar, “Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.”
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So she removed her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gateway of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah had grown up, and she had not been given to him as a wife.
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When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, for she had covered her face.
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So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, “Here now, let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”
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He said, therefore, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” She said, moreover, “Will you give a pledge until you send it?”
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He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” And she said, “Your seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him.
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Then she arose and departed, and removed her veil and put on her widow’s garments.
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When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her.
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He asked the men of her place, saying, “Where is the temple prostitute who was by the road at Enaim?” But they said, “There has been no temple prostitute here.”
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So he returned to Judah, and said, “I did not find her; and furthermore, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no temple prostitute here.’”
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Then Judah said, “Let her keep them, otherwise we will become a laughingstock. After all, I sent this young goat, but you did not find her.”
24
Now it was about three months later that Judah was informed, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry.” Then Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!”
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It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “I am with child by the man to whom these things belong.” And she said, “Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?”
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Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not have relations with her again.
27
It came about at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were twins in her womb.
28
Moreover, it took place while she was giving birth, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.”
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But it came about as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out. Then she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named Perez.
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Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.
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Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household:
2
Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
3
Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;
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Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
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All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt.
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Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
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But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.
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Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
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He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.
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Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.”
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So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.
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But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.
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The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously;
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and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.
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Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah;
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and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”
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But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.
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So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?”
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The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get to them.”
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So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty.
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Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them.
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Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”
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Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi.
2
The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.
3
But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile.
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His sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him.
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The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her.
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When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
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Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?”
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Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go ahead.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother.
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Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him.
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The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
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Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.
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So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
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He went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, “Why are you striking your companion?”
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But he said, “Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said, “Surely the matter has become known.”
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When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well.
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Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.
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Then the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock.
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When they came to Reuel their father, he said, “Why have you come back so soon today?”
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So they said, “An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and what is more, he even drew the water for us and watered the flock.”
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He said to his daughters, “Where is he then? Why is it that you have left the man behind? Invite him to have something to eat.”
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Moses was willing to dwell with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses.
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Then she gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”
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Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God.
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So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
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God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.
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1
Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, “My father and my brothers and their flocks and their herds and all that they have, have come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen.”
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He took five men from among his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh.
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Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” So they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers.”
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They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, therefore, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.”
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Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you.
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The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.”
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Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
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Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many years have you lived?”
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So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.”
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And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from his presence.
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So Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered.
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Joseph provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to their little ones.
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Now there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.
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Joseph gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain which they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.
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When the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone.”
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Then Joseph said, “Give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone.”
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So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys; and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year.
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When that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord’s. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands.
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Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”
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So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh’s.
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As for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other.
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Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they did not sell their land.
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Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land.
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At the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones.”
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So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.”
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Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.
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Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.
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Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.
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When the time for Israel to die drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “Please, if I have found favor in your sight, place now your hand under my thigh and deal with me in kindness and faithfulness. Please do not bury me in Egypt,
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but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” And he said, “I will do as you have said.”
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He said, “Swear to me.” So he swore to him. Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed.
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Then Joseph fell on his father’s face, and wept over him and kissed him.
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Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel.
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Now forty days were required for it, for such is the period required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.
4
When the days of mourning for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your sight, please speak to Pharaoh, saying,
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‘My father made me swear, saying, “Behold, I am about to die; in my grave which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.” Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.’”
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Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”
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So Joseph went up to bury his father, and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
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and all the household of Joseph and his brothers and his father’s household; they left only their little ones and their flocks and their herds in the land of Goshen.
9
There also went up with him both chariots and horsemen; and it was a very great company.
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When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed seven days mourning for his father.
11
Now when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning for the Egyptians.” Therefore it was named Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
12
Thus his sons did for him as he had charged them;
13
for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field for a burial site from Ephron the Hittite.
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After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers, and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
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When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!”
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So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father charged before he died, saying,
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‘Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
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Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
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But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place?
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As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
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So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
22
Now Joseph stayed in Egypt, he and his father’s household, and Joseph lived one hundred and ten years.
23
Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s sons; also the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph’s knees.
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Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.”
25
Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.”
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So Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.
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1
Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan.
2
These are the records of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.
3
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.
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His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.
5
Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.
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He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had;
7
for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
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Then his brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
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Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, “Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10
He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?”
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His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
12
Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock in Shechem.
13
Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “I will go.”
14
Then he said to him, “Go now and see about the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
15
A man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
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He said, “I am looking for my brothers; please tell me where they are pasturing the flock.”
17
Then the man said, “They have moved from here; for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18
When they saw him from a distance and before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death.
19
They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer!
20
Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.’ Then let us see what will become of his dreams!”
21
But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands and said, “Let us not take his life.”
22
Reuben further said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father.
23
So it came about, when Joseph reached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the varicolored tunic that was on him;
24
and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.
25
Then they sat down to eat a meal. And as they raised their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing aromatic gum and balm and myrrh, on their way to bring them down to Egypt.
26
Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood?
27
Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him.
28
Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.
29
Now Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; so he tore his garments.
30
He returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is not there; as for me, where am I to go?”
31
So they took Joseph’s tunic, and slaughtered a male goat and dipped the tunic in the blood;
32
and they sent the varicolored tunic and brought it to their father and said, “We found this; please examine it to see whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”
33
Then he examined it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!”
34
So Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days.
35
Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, “Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him.
36
Meanwhile, the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s officer, the captain of the bodyguard.
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1
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there.
2
The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
3
Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.
4
So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge.
5
It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD’S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field.
6
So he left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.
7
It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
8
But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge.
9
There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?”
10
As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her.
11
Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside.
12
She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.
13
When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside,
14
she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed.
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When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside.”
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So she left his garment beside her until his master came home.
17
Then she spoke to him with these words, “The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me;
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and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside.”
19
Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” his anger burned.
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So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.
21
But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.
22
The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it.
23
The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper.
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Then it came about after these things, the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt.
2
Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker.
3
So he put them in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, in the jail, the same place where Joseph was imprisoned.
4
The captain of the bodyguard put Joseph in charge of them, and he took care of them; and they were in confinement for some time.
5
Then the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt, who were confined in jail, both had a dream the same night, each man with his own dream and each dream with its own interpretation.
6
When Joseph came to them in the morning and observed them, behold, they were dejected.
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He asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in confinement in his master’s house, “Why are your faces so sad today?”
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Then they said to him, “We have had a dream and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please.”
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So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream, behold, there was a vine in front of me;
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and on the vine were three branches. And as it was budding, its blossoms came out, and its clusters produced ripe grapes.
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Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.”
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Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days;
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within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you will put Pharaoh’s cup into his hand according to your former custom when you were his cupbearer.
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Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.
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For I was in fact kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.”
16
When the chief baker saw that he had interpreted favorably, he said to Joseph, “I also saw in my dream, and behold, there were three baskets of white bread on my head;
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and in the top basket there were some of all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
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Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days;
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within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off you.”
20
Thus it came about on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
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He restored the chief cupbearer to his office, and he put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand;
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but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had interpreted to them.
23
Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
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Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile.
2
And lo, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass.
3
Then behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and gaunt, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile.
4
The ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.
5
He fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good.
6
Then behold, seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them.
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The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.
8
Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
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Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I would make mention today of my own offenses.
10
Pharaoh was furious with his servants, and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker.
11
We had a dream on the same night, he and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream.
12
Now a Hebrew youth was with us there, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we related them to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each one he interpreted according to his own dream.
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And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened; he restored me in my office, but he hanged him.”
14
Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh.
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Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
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Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
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So Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, “In my dream, behold, I was standing on the bank of the Nile;
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and behold, seven cows, fat and sleek came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the marsh grass.
19
Lo, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such as I had never seen for ugliness in all the land of Egypt;
20
and the lean and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows.
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Yet when they had devoured them, it could not be detected that they had devoured them, for they were just as ugly as before. Then I awoke.
22
I saw also in my dream, and behold, seven ears, full and good, came up on a single stalk;
23
and lo, seven ears, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them;
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and the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. Then I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
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Now Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same; God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do.
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The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one and the same.
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The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine.
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It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do.
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Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt;
30
and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land.
31
So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe.
32
Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about.
33
Now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
34
Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance.
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Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and let them guard it.
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Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine.”
37
Now the proposal seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his servants.
38
Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?”
39
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are.
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You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.”
41
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
42
Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck.
43
He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, “Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44
Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
45
Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt.
46
Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt.
47
During the seven years of plenty the land brought forth abundantly.
48
So he gathered all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields.
49
Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
50
Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him.
51
Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
52
He named the second Ephraim, “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53
When the seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end,
54
and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
55
So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.”
56
When the famine was spread over all the face of the earth, then Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.
57
The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth.
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So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2
God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”
3
He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.
4
I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.”
5
Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6
They took their livestock and their property, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him:
7
his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.
8
Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.
9
The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi.
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The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
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The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12
The sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah and Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13
The sons of Issachar: Tola and Puvvah and Iob and Shimron.
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The sons of Zebulun: Sered and Elon and Jahleel.
15
These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three.
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The sons of Gad: Ziphion and Haggi, Shuni and Ezbon, Eri and Arodi and Areli.
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The sons of Asher: Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi and Beriah and their sister Serah. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.
18
These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and she bore to Jacob these sixteen persons.
19
The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
20
Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.
21
The sons of Benjamin: Bela and Becher and Ashbel, Gera and Naaman, Ehi and Rosh, Muppim and Huppim and Ard.
22
These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; there were fourteen persons in all.
23
The sons of Dan: Hushim.
24
The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel and Guni and Jezer and Shillem.
25
These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these to Jacob; there were seven persons in all.
26
All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all,
27
and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.
28
Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
29
Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time.
30
Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.”
31
Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me;
32
and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’
33
When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’
34
you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”
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