All this talk about optimism and pessimism is itself a dismal fall from the old talk about right and wrong. Our fathers said that a nation had sinned and suffered like a man. We say it has decayed, like a cheese. — G. K. Chesterton

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut




A Lost Brother Found.


The food which Jacob's sons had brought from Egypt did not last long, for Jacob's family was large. Most of his sons were married and had children of their own; so that the children and grand-children, were sixty-six, besides the servants who waited on them, and the men who cared for Jacob's flocks. So around the tent of Jacob was quite a camp of other tents and an army of people.

When the food that had come from Egypt was nearly eaten up, Jacob said to his sons:

"Go down to Egypt again, and buy some more food for us."

And Judah, Jacob's son, the man who years before had urged his brothers to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites (see Story Fifteen), said to his father:

"It is of no use for us to go to Egypt, unless we take Benjamin with us. The man who rules in that land said to us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your youngest brother be with you.'"

Israel said, "Why did you tell the man that you had a brother? You did me great harm when you told him."

"Why," said Jacob's sons, "we could not help telling him. The man asked us all about our family. Is your father yet living? Have you any more brothers? And we had to tell him, his questions were so close. How should we know that he would say, 'Bring your brother here for me to see him.'"

And Judah said, "Send Benjamin with me, and I will take care of him. I promise you, that I will bring him safely home. If he does not come back, let me bear the blame forever. He must go, or we shall die for want of food; and we might have gone down to Egypt and come home again, if we had not been kept back." And Jacob said, "If he must go, then he must. But take a present to the man, some of the choicest fruits of the land, some spices, and perfumes, and nuts, and almonds. And take twice as much money, besides the money that was in your sacks. Perhaps that was a mistake, when the money was given back to you. And take your brother Benjamin; and may the Lord God make the man kind to you, so that he will set Simeon free, and let you bring Benjamin back. But if it is God's will that I lose my children, I cannot help it."

So ten brothers of Joseph went down a second time to Egypt, Benjamin going in place of Simeon. They came to Joseph's office, the place where he sold grain to the people; and they stood before their brother, and bowed as before. Joseph saw that Benjamin was with them, and he said to his steward, the man who was over his house: "Make ready a dinner, for all these men shall dine with me to-day."

Benjamin and Joseph
BENJAMIN IS BROUGHT TO JOSEPH


When Joseph's brothers found that they were taken into Joseph's house, they were filled with fear; they said to each other:

"We have been taken here on account of the money in our sacks. They will say that we have stolen it; and then they will sell us all for slaves."

But Joseph's steward, the man who was over his house, treated the men kindly, and when they spoke of the money in their sacks, he would not take it again, saying: "Never fear; your God must have sent you this as a gift. I had your money." The steward received the men into Joseph's house, and washed their feet, according to the custom of the land. And at noon, Joseph came in to meet them. They brought him the present from their father, and again they bowed before him, with their faces on the ground.

And Joseph asked them if they were well, and said; "Is your father still living, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he well?"

And they said, "Our father is well, and he is living." And again they bowed to Joseph. And Joseph looked at his younger brother, Benjamin, the child of his own mother, Rachel; and he said: "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious unto you, my son."

And Joseph's heart was so full that he could not keep back his tears. He went in haste to his own room, and wept there. Then he washed his face, and came out again, and ordered the table to be set for dinner. They set Joseph's table for himself, as the ruler, and another table for his Egyptian officers, and another for the eleven men from Canaan; for Joseph had brought Simeon out of the prison, and had given him a place with his brothers.

Joseph himself arranged the order of the seats for his brothers, the oldest at the head; and all in order of age down to the youngest. The men wondered at this, and could not see how the ruler of Egypt should know the order of their ages. And Joseph sent dishes from his table to his brothers; and he gave to Benjamin five times as much as to the others. Perhaps he wished to see whether they were as jealous of Benjamin as in other days they had been toward him.

After dinner, Joseph said to his steward, "Fill the men's sacks with grain, as much as they can carry; and put each man's money in his sack. And put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest, with his money."

The steward did as Joseph had said; and early in the morning the brothers started to go home. A little while afterward, Joseph said to his steward:

"Hasten, follow after the men from Canaan, and say, 'Why have you wronged me, after I had treated you kindly? You have stolen my master's silver cup, out of which he drinks.'" The steward followed the men, and overtook them, and charged them with stealing. And they said to him:

"Why should you talk to us in this manner? We have stolen nothing. Why, we brought back to you the money that we found in our sacks; and is it likely that we would steal from your lord his silver or gold? You may search us; and if you find your master's cup on any of us, let him die, and the rest of us may be sold as slaves."

Then they took down the sacks from the asses, and opened them; and in each man's sack was his money, for the second time. And when they came to Benjamin's sack, there was the ruler's silver cup! Then, in the greatest sorrow, they tied up their bags again, and laid them on the asses, and came back to Joseph's palace.

Benjamin and Joseph
THE CUP WAS FOUND IN THE SACK OF BENJAMIN


And Joseph said to them:

"What wicked thing is this that you have done? Did you not know that I would surely find out your deeds."

Then Judah said, "O my lord, what can we say? God has punished us for our sins; and now we must all be slaves, both us that are older, and the youngest in whose sack the cup was found."

"No," said Joseph, "only one of you is guilty, the one who has taken away my cup; I will hold him as a slave, and the rest of you can go home to your father."

Joseph wished to see whether his brothers were still selfish, and were willing to let Benjamin suffer, if they could escape.

Then Judah, the very man who had urged his brothers to sell Joseph as a slave, came forward, and fell at Joseph's feet, and pleaded with him to let Benjamin go. He told again the whole story, how Benjamin was the one whom his father loved the most of all his children, now that his brother was lost. He said:

"I promised to bear the blame, if this boy was not brought home in safety. If he does not go back, it will kill our poor old father, who has seen much trouble. Now let my youngest brother go home to his father, and I will stay here as a slave in his place!"

Joseph knew now what he had longed to know, that his brothers were no longer cruel nor selfish, but one of them was willing to suffer, so that his brother might be spared. And Joseph could not any longer keep his secret, for his heart longed after his brothers, and he was ready to weep again, with tears of love and joy. He sent all his Egyptian servants out of the room, so that he might be alone with his brothers, and then said:

"Come near to me, I wish to speak with you;" and they came near, wondering. Then Joseph said:

"I am Joseph, is my father really alive?" How frightened his brothers were, as they heard these words, spoken in their own language by the ruler of Egypt, and for the first time, knew that this stern man, who had their lives in his hand, was their own brother whom they had wronged! Then Joseph said again:

"I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But do not feel troubled because of what you did. For God sent me before you to save your lives. There have been already two years of need and famine, and there are to be five years more, when there shall neither be plowing of the fields nor harvest. It was not you who sent me here, but God, and he sent me to save your lives. God has made me like a father to Pharaoh and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Now, go home, and bring down to me my father and all his family, for that is the only way to save their lives."

Then Joseph placed his arms around Benjamin's neck, and kissed him, and wept upon him. And Benjamin wept on his neck. And Joseph kissed all his brothers, to show them that he had fully forgiven them; and after that his brothers began to lose their fear of Joseph, and talked with him more freely.

Afterward Joseph sent his brothers home with good news, and rich gifts, and abundant food. He sent also wagons in which Jacob and his wives and the little ones of his family might ride from Canaan down to Egypt. And Joseph's brothers went home happier than they had been for many years.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God