Translated by Victor Alexander ©2003 (posted June 29, 2003)
1. Joseph could not hide the welling of his tears from all those that stood before him and he said for everyone to leave his presence and he let no one stay as he revealed himself to his brothers.
2. And he wept audibly and the Egyptians heard it and the house of Pharaoh was told about it.
3. And Joseph said to his brothers, "It is I, Joseph, your brother -- is my father still alive?" And his brothers could not give him a reply because of their fear of him.
4. And Joseph said to his brothers, "Come closer to me," and he told them, "it is I, Joseph, your brother, whom you sold to the Egyptians.
5. "Now, do not try to recall what happened, and in your eyes now it was an evil* what you did when you sold me and I ended up here, because God sent me here to save us all from the famine.*
6. "Because it is now two years that there has been a famine in the land and there will be no planting and harvesting for five more years.
7. "So God sent me here ahead of you to bring you all this bounty and to show you the great welcome in the land of Egypt.
8. "And so now it was not you who sent me here, except God, who made me a father to the Pharaoh and the lord of all his household and the authority in all the land of Egypt.
9. "Go quickly to my father and tell him this is what your son Joseph says, 'God has made me the lord of all Egypt, come to me and do not delay,
10. "'And settle in the land of Geshan and be close to me, you and your children and the children of your household, your flocks and bulls and all you have.
11. "'And you will be satiated there, because there will be again five more years of famine, lest not you may perish and your household and all you have.
12. "'And, behold, that I may see your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that my own mouth may speak to you.'*
13. "And tell my father of all the honor there is for me in Egypt and of everything that you have seen, and so hurry and bring my father here."
14. And he fell on his brother Benjamin's chest and he cried and Benjamin cried on his chest also.
15. And he kissed all his brothers and cried over them. And later his brothers spoke to him.
16. And their voices were heard in the house of the Pharaoh; they said, "Joseph's brothers have come!" And this news was beautiful in the eyes of the Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants.
17. And the Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Tell your brothers, 'Do like this, load your animals with the excess grain and go, take it to the land of Canaan.'
18. "'And fetch your father and the members of your household and come to us, and I shall give you the blessings of the land of Egypt, and live off the fat of the land.'*
19. "And you are, behold, the authority now, tell your brothers to do this: 'Fetch your women to the land of Egypt quickly and bring all your valuables, take your father and come.
20. "'And do not let your eyes linger on what vessels you are leaving behind, because the best of the land of Egypt is yours now.'"
21. And the sons of Israel did accordingly and Joseph gave them the means of conveyance, according to the pronouncement of Pharaoh's mouth, and he gave all of them more of the same for the journey home.
22. And he gave each man a pair of robes and to Benjamin he gave three hundred coins and five pairs of robes.
23. And to his father he sent likewise, together with ten donkeys laden with the finest of the land of Egypt, and ten female donkeys carrying the excess grain and wine,* and extra provisions for his father for the journey.
24. He sent them and they went off, and he told them, "Do not fret on the journey."
25. And they went up from Egypt and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob.
26. And they showed him everything and told him, "Joseph is still alive and he is the one who has the authority over all the land of Egypt,' and Jacob's heart grew sluggish, because he could not believe them.
27. And they told him all the words Joseph had said to them, and Jacob saw the chariots that Joseph had sent to carry them and their father Jacob's spirit was relieved.
28. And he said, "This is the greatest thing that could ever happen to me, that my son Joseph is still alive; let me go see him before I die."
*45:5.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Now do not recall and do not let the evil in your eyes..."
*45:5.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "It was to satiate us that God sent me here."
*45:12 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: "That I shall be able to speak to you in person."
*45:18 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Eat of the bounty of the land."
*45:23 The female donkeys were less easily spooked and ideal for carrying breakables."
1. And Israel took himself up and all he had and came to Beer-Sheba, and he offered* the sacrifice to his father Isaac's God.
2. And God said to Israel in a night vision, "Jacob, Jacob," and Jacob said, Behold, it is I.
3. "I am* Eil, the God of your father, do not be afraid to go down into Egypt, because I will make you a great nation there.
4. "I will go down with you and I will nurture you* and it will be Joseph who will close your eyes when you die."*
5. Then Jacob left Beer-Sheba, and the children of Israel took their father and their valuables and their women in the chariots that the Pharaoh had sent for their conveyance.
6. They fetched their animals and the cattle they had gained in the land of Canaan, and they came to Egypt -- Jacob, together with all his offspring.
7. His sons and his sons' children with them; his daughters and their children, and all their offspring entered Egypt with him.
8. And these are the names of the children of Israel that entered Egypt. Jacob and his sons, Jacob's heir Reuel.
9. The children of Reuel, Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi.
10. And the sons of Simeon, Neumuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar and Shaul, son of a Canaanite woman.
11. And the sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
12. And the sons of Judah, Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah; however, Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan; and the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13. And the sons of Issachar; Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron.
14. And the sons of Zebulun, Sered, Elon and Jahleel.
15. These are the children of Leah that she gave birth to for Joseph in Aram's Peninsula,* and to Diana her daughter, all the number of souls of her sons and daughters were thirty-three.
16. And the sons of Gad, Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eddi, Arod and Adari.
17. And the sons of Ashir, Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah, and Serai their sister. And the sons of Beriah, Heber and Malchiel.
18. And these are the sons of Zilpah that Levin gave to Leah his daughter, and these are the sixteen souls she gave birth to for Jacob.
19. And the sons of Rachel, the wife of Jacob, were Joseph and Benjamin.
20. And there were born to Joseph in the land of Egypt, who were given birth to by Asyath, daughter of Potiphar, the king priest of Awon, they were Menasheh and Aprim.
21. And the sons of Benjamin, Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ahiram, Shupham, Hupham and Adar.
22. These are the children of Rachel that she gave birth to for Jacob, fourteen souls in all.
23. And the sons* of Dan, Hushim.
24. And the sons of Naphtali, Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem,
25. These were the sons of Bilhah that Levin gave to Rachel, his daughter, whom she gave birth to for Jacob, seven souls in all.
26. All the souls that entered Egypt with Jacob, the souls that were from his seed,* not counting the children of Jacob's sons, were sixty-six souls in all.
27. And the sons of Joseph that were born to him in Egypt were two; thus all the souls of the house of Jacob when he entered Egypt were seventy.
28. And he sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph, to meet him beforehand at Geshan, and so he came to the land of Geshan.
29. And Joseph dashed for his chariot and went up the road to meet up with his father on the way to Geshan, and he saw him and fell on his chest and cried in his arms again.
30. And Israel said to Joseph, "Let me die now that I have seen your face, my son, that you are still alive."
31. And Joseph said to his father and the children of his father's house, "I shall go up to the Pharaoh to show him and tell him that my brothers and the members of my father's house from the land of Canaan have come to me.
32. "And that these men are sheep herders, because these men earn their living with herds and cattle, and their sheep and cattle and all they have, they have brought it and come with it.
33. "And when the Pharaoh calls you and asks you what do you do?
34. "Tell him that we are shepherds of flocks, that is our work, form our childhood until now, we and our father too, and that is why you have settled in the land of Geshan, because the Egyptians hold in low esteem all herders of sheep and cattle."
*46:1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Sacrificed."
*46:3 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "I am I."
*46:4.1 Lit. Ar. expression: "Irrigate you," or "quench your thirst."
*46:4.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Consecrate his hand over your eyes." When a parent dies, it's the privilege for the heir or the eldest child to close their eyes.
*46:15 Paddan-Arram, the western region of Mesopotamia.
*46:23 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction retained: Implying the line of Hushim.
*46:26 Lit. Ar. figure of speech: "From his back."
1. And Joseph came and showed the Pharaoh, saying, "My father and my brothers, their herds and cattle, and everything they have, they have come from the land of Canaan, and, behold, they have settled in the land of Geshan."
2. And from his brothers he picked* five men and he stood them before the Pharaoh.
3. And the Pharaoh said to the brothers of Joseph, "What do you do?" And they said to Pharaoh, "Your servants are shepherds, we and our father also, from our childhood."
4. And they said to the Pharaoh, "We came to live off the land, because there is nothing for your servants' herds to graze on, because the famine has taken hold of the land of Canaan, and now your servants have settled in the land of Geshan."
5. And the Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Your father and brothers have come to you,
6. "And, behold, the land of Egypt is before you, let your father and brothers settle in the best* part of the land, in the land of Geshan, and if you know that there is among them a man of authority,* I shall make them the stewards of all the flocks that I have."
7. And Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented* him before the Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed the Pharaoh.
8. And the Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How old are you?"*
9. And Jacob said to the Pharaoh, "The days of my life as a sojourner are one hundred and thirty, though short and beset by evil have been the days of my life, and they are nothing compared to the days* of my parents in the days of their lives where they lived."
10. So Jacob blessed the Pharaoh and left his presence.*
11. And Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them inheritance in the land of Egypt, in the most beautiful part of the land, in the land of Ramses, as the Pharaoh had commanded.
12. And Joseph satisfied the needs of his father and his brothers and the entire household of his father, with the excess grain, as much as they required.
13. And there was no excess grain in all the land, for the famine had utterly taken hold of the land, and all the land of Egypt was ruined, and the land of Canaan also, by the famine.
14. And Joseph picked up all the money that could be found in the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan through the excess grain that he sold, and Joseph brought the money into the house of the Pharaoh.
15. And there was no money left* in the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan, and all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said to him, "Give us some of the excess grain, so we may live and not die before you, because we have no money left."
16. Joseph told them, "Give me your flocks and I will give you the excess grain for your flocks if there is no more money."
17. And they brought him their livestock and Joseph gave them the excess grain for their horses, the flocks of sheep and cattle and donkeys, and he satisfied them with bread that year in exchange for all their livestock.
18. And that year came to an end and they came to him the next year, and they said to him, "We will not hide it from our lord, on account of our money and all our livestock and animals are in our lord's possession, and nothing remains before our lord, except for our souls and lands.
19. "Why should we die in your presence* ourselves and our lands too? Buy us and our lands with the bread and let us and our lands become the slaves of Pharaoh, and give us the seed to plant so we may live and not die, and the land will not be destroyed."
20. And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for the Pharaoh, as the Egyptian men sold their fields and as the famine had taken its hold on them thoroughly, and so the land also became Pharaoh's.
21. And he moved the people from town to town,* from the outskirts of one district of Egypt to the opposite edge of another.
22. The only land he did not buy was that of the king priests, because there was a treaty with the king priests and the Pharaoh, and so they lived off* of their provisions which the Pharaoh gave them, that is why they did not sell their land.
23. And Joseph said to the nation, "Behold, on this day I have bought you and your lands for the Pharaoh, behold this seed for you to sow in the land.
24. "And when there are earnings coming in, give one fifth to the Pharaoh and let the four fifths be for you, for the sowing of the fields and for your food and the food for your household and for the feed of your livestock."*
25. And they said, "You have saved us, we have found favor in the eyes of our lord; we shall become the slaves of the Pharaoh."
26. And Joseph consecrated the law upon the land of Egypt, to this day, one fifth for the Pharaoh, except for the land of the king priests which did not belong to the Pharaoh.
27. And Israel settled in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Geshan where they became well established, and they grew big and increased in number.*
28. And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years and the length* of Jacob's life was one hundred and forty-seven years.
29. And as the days of Israel came to an end,* he called his son Joseph and said to him, "If I find mercy in your eyes, place your hand behind my back and raise me, and swear to me in the name of the Lord that you will do me the favor and abide by it, that you will not bury me in Egypt.
30. "Let me be buried* with my parents,* so take me out of Egypt and bury me in their grave;" and Joseph said, "I shall do according to your manifestation."
31. And he said, "Swear to me, " and he swore to him, and Israel bowed down to the tip of his staff.
*47:2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Raised."
*47:6 Lit. Ar. expression: "In its beauty."
*47:6 Lit. Ar. id.: "Power."
*47:7 Lit. Ar. id.: "Stood him."
*47:8 Lit. Ar. expression: "How many are the years of your life?"
*47:9 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And they did not reach the days..."
*47:10 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Jacob exited from before the Pharaoh."
*47:15 Lit. Ar. expression: "The money shrunk."
*47:19 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "For what shall we die before you?"
*47:21 Empire building strategy, to destroy the bond people formed with their land.
*47:22 Lit. Ar. id.: "Ate."
*47:24 The first income tax.
*47:27 Lit. Ar. id.: "Increased well."
*47:28 Lit. Ar. id.: "Days."
*47:29.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And the days of Israel neared death."
*47:29.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And let me swear you by the Lord."
*47:30.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Dig me down."
*47:30.2 Lit. Ar. id.: Or, "ancestors."
*47:31 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Worshipped upon the head of his [shepherd's] staff."
1. And after these events had transpired, Joseph was told that, behold, your father is ill, and he fetched his two sons, Menasheh and Aprim,*
2. And they informed Jacob and said to him, "Behold, your son Joseph is coming to you," and Israel came to and sat on his bed.
3. And Israel said to Joseph, "Almighty Eil* was revealed to me at Luz and Canaan and He blessed me,
4. "And said to me that, behold, I shall bless you and increase your progeny and give you the multitude of nations and I shall give this land to you and your offspring that follows you, an inheritance forever.*
5. "And now two of your sons that were born to you in the land of Egypt, as I had not come to the land of Egypt yet, are mine, Aprim and Menasheh, they are mine, just like Reuel and like Simon, they are to me.
6. "And the sons that will be born to you after them will be yours; they shall be mentioned after their brothers' names in their inheritance.
7. "And I, as I came from Paddan Aram,* Rachel died on me in the land of Canaan while still on the road, just a short distance before the entrance to Ephrat, and I buried her there on the road to Ephrat, which is the Bethlehem.*
8. So Israel saw the sons of Joseph and he said to him, "Who are these?"
9. And Joseph said to his father, "These are my sons whom God gave me here;" and Jacob said, "Bring them close to me so I can bless them."
10. And Israel's eyes were heavy from old age and he was not able to see well,* and so he brought them near to him and he kissed and hugged them.
11. And Israel said to Joseph, "I did not expect to see your face again and, behold, God showed me your offspring also."
12. And he removed them from his knees and they prostrated themselves on their faces over the ground.
13. Then Joseph took his two sons and placed Aprim on his right, to the left of Israel, and to Menasheh he placed from his own left, to the right of Israel, and he brought them near to him.
14. And Israel held out his hand and consecrated it over Aprim's head, who was the younger and his left hand over the head of Menasheh -- he changed his hands because Menasheh was the male heir.
15. And Jacob blessed Joseph, his sons, and said,"The God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac found favor,*
the God who satiated me from my childhood and until this day.
16. "The angel that saved me from every sin,
shall bless the young ones and shall call them after my name,*
and the names of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac,
and they shall grow big and multiply in the land."
17. And Joseph saw that his father had consecrated his right hand over Aprim's head, and it appeared wrong in his eyes, and so he pushed his father's hand past Aprim's head and placed it over Menasheh's head.
18. And Joseph said to his father, "Not like this, father; here is the heir, over him consecrate your right hand."
19. But his father refused and said, "I know, son, I know, he will also become a nation, he will also inherit; though he is the younger, his brother shall inherit from him, and it is the younger that shall usher in many nations."
20. So he blessed them on that day and said, "Through you Israel shall be blessed, and they shall say, 'God will make you like Aprim and Menasheh,' and he blessed Aprim before Menasheh.
21. And Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, I shall die, but God will be with you, and He shall return you to the land of your ancestors.
22. "And, behold, I place a greater obligation on you rather than your brothers, that which I received from the hand of the Amorites by my sword and by my bow."
*48:1 Lit. Ar. names retained: "Manasseh," and "Ephraim."
*48:2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Showed."
*48:3 Lit. Aramaic: "Eil Shaddai."
*48:4 Lit. Ar. id.: "To the end of the universe."
*48:7.1 Lit. Aramaic retained: "Aram's Peninsula," the western region of Mesopotamia.
*48:7.2 Lit. Aramaic: "House of the Bread," a prophesy of the birth of Jesus (the Bread of Life) at the entrance to Bethlehem, because there would be no place of accommodation in the town.
*48:10 Lit. Ar. id.: "Beautiful."
*48:15 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "The God before whom my parents appeared beautiful."
*46:16 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Will call my name through them."
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