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Chapter XII.

In the mean time, affairs having been well settled in Egypt to meet the famine, a grievous want of corn began to distress the world. Jacob, constrained by this necessity, sent his sons into Egypt, keeping only Benjamin with himself at home. Joseph, then, being at the head of affairs, and having complete power over the corn-supplies, his brothers come to him, and pay the same honor to him as to a king. He, when he saw them, craftily concealed his recognition of them, and accused them of having come as enemies, subtly to spy out the land. But he was annoyed that he did not see among them his brother Benjamin. Matters, then, are brought to this point, that they promised he should be present, specially that he might be asked whether they had entered Egypt for the purpose of spying out the land. In order to secure the fulfillment of this promise, Symeon was retained as hostage, while to them corn was given freely. Accordingly, they returned, bringing Benjamin with them as had been arranged. Then Joseph made himself known to his brothers to the shame of these evil-deservers. Thus, he sent them home again, laden with corn, and presented with many gifts, forewarning them that there were still five years of famine to come, and advising them to come down with their father, their children, and their whole connections to Egypt. So Jacob went down to Egypt, to the great joy of the Egyptians and of the king himself, while he was tenderly welcomed by his son. That took place in the hundred and thirtieth year of the life of Jacob, and one thousand three hundred and sixty years271271    The chronology of the LXX is, as usual, here followed. after the deluge. But from the time when Abraham settled in the land of the Canaanites, to that when Jacob entered Egypt, there are to be reckoned two hundred and fifteen years. After this, Jacob, in the seventeenth year of his residence in Egypt, suffering severely from illness, entreated Joseph to see his remains placed in the tomb. Then Joseph presented his sons to be blessed;272272    The original is, “quibus benedictis, cum tamen benedictionis merito majori minorem præposuisset, filios omnes benedictione lustravit.” and when this had been done, but so that he set the younger before the elder as to the value of the blessing given, Jacob then blessed all his sons in order. He died at the age of one hundred and forty-seven years. His funeral was of a most imposing character, and Joseph laid his remains in the tomb of his fathers. He continued to treat his brothers with kindness, although, after the death of their father, they felt alarmed from a consciousness of the wrong they had done. Joseph himself died in his one hundred and tenth year.

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