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first is an error, the last a truth. The critic overlooks the peculiar circumstances of preparation for this marriage, as well as the peculiar relative position of Pharaoh and Potiphar. Joseph was not married to Asenath while he was a foreign shepherd, an obscure alien; but after he had become a naturalized Egyptian, and assumed the Egyptian dress and name. Beside, a Pharaoh had commanded it, and a Potiphar did not dare to disobey; for he who ordered, possessed a double sovereignty over him whom he commanded. He was not only his king, but he was also the chief priest over all the priesthood. As to the intolerance of the Egyptians, and their assumed superiority to all strangers, the critic admits it; and it is strange that he did not in this very transaction find one of the strongest manifestations of its exhibition, when even a Pharaoh, in overcoming it, found it necessary not only to make Joseph a naturalized Egyptian, but also to allay Egyptian prejudice, and strengthen Joseph's hands by an alliance with a noble family. Except as an Egyptian by naturalization, and as the husband of Asenath, Egyptian intolerance would probably never have submitted to his rule. The story. therefore, is in harmony with the known historical fact of Egyptian conceit and intolerance.
10. During the seven years of plenty, Joseph collected the fruits of the earth and laid them up.
The monuments furnish numerous representations, illustrative and confirmatory of the labors of Joseph during the seven years of plenty. "In one of the grottoes of Eleithuias, a man is depicted whose business it evidently was to take an account of the number of bushels, which another man, acting under him, measures. The inscription over him is, "The writer, or registrar of bushels, Thutnofre." Then follows the transportation of the grain. From the measurer, others take it in sacks and carry it to the storehouses.
"At Beni Hassan, in the tomh of Amenemhe, there is a painting of a great storehouse; before the door of which lies a large heap of grain, already winnowed. The measurer fills a bushel, in order to pour it out into the sacks of those who carry the grain to the granary. The bearers go to the door of the storehouse, and lay down their sacks before an officer who stands ready to receive the corn. This is the owner of the storehouse. Near by stands the bushel with which it is measured, and the registrar who takes the account. At the side of the windows, there are characters which indicate the quantity of the mass which is deposited in the magazine." (Hengstenberg, Kit to.) •
From the cuts, it will be seen that the granaries consisted of a series of vaulted chambers. The grain was carried by means of steps to the top of these, when it was cast through an opening at the top. In the other cut, this opening is seen; as is also the sliding door at the bottom of the vault, by which the grain was removed when needed.
In our history we read: "And Joseph gathered cor n as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering." An illustration of this may be found in a cut on a previous page,* representing the numberer as sitting on a heap of corn, and receiving an account from a man standing below, who is using his hands to express the numbers.
11. The famine of the seven years of dearth "was over all lands."
We have already seen, that ordinarily, when there was famine in other countries of the East, their inhabitants looked to Egypt for a supply of food: but in this instance the famine reached Egypt also. Hence it has been said, that the author of the Pentateuch proves himself to be ignorant of the natural
« Vide ante, page 129.
condition of Egypt; for that in that country, a famine never occurs. We will dispose of that assertion first. It is boldly made, as most of Von Bohlen's assertions are, and betrays his own ignorance of the subject. The truth is that the swelling of the Nile a few feet only above or below a certain point, is alike destructive to the productions of the country: and there is scarcely a land on the face of the earth in which famine has raged so terribly as in this very Egypt; or in which measures, similar to those adopted by Joseph, could have been more needed. Ordinarily, the Nile is very uniform in its rise and fall: when it is so, abundance is the result: but it is not always so; and as its abundance in a favorable season is probably beyond that of any equal extent of cultivated land on the globe; so, as a counterpoise, its famine in an unfavorable year, exceeds in scarcity that of any other country of equal extent. In other lands watered by rains, the failure of food may not be total; if one crop fail, there still may be a chance left that refreshing rains will enable men to make a crop of some other production, in the course of the season, which will sustain life: but Egypt has no season but one, no watering of her land but once in the year; and if that fail, she is utterly without resource.
But history on this subject is explicit enough. There is a writer, Makrizi, who has found materials for a whole volume in the narratives of famines in Egypt. The accounts that have come down to us, are full of horrors. De Sacy gives this relation from Abdollatiph, an Arabian writer: "In the year 569 [of the Hegira, 1199 of our era], the height of the flood was small almost without example. The consequence was a terrible famine, accompanied by indescribable enormities. Parents consumed their children, human flesh was in fact a very common article of food; they contrived various ways of preparing it. They spoke of it, and heard it spoken of, as an indifferent affair. Man-catching became a regular business. The greater part of the population were swept away by death. In the following year, also, the inundation did not reach the proper height, and only the low lands were overflowed. Also much of that which was inundated could not be sown for want of laborers and seed; much was destroyed by worms which devoured the seed-corn; also of the seed which escaped this destruction, a great part produced only meagre shoots which perished." Makrizi gives an account of a famine in the year 457 of the Ilegira, not at all less severe than that described above. So much then, for the assertion that Egypt never knows famine.
But the peculiarity here is, not only that Egypt knew famine, but that other lands were simultaneously suffering. This was unusual, though history shows that there have been such occurrences. Makrizi describes a famine in 444 of the Hegira, which, like this, extended at the same time over Syria, and reached even to Bagdad. Now (thus say the objectors), as Egypt derived her fertility from the Nile, and other nations from occasional rains, it is not probable that there would be a simultaneous famine. Generally there would not be; and yet, from known physical causes it is perfectly obvious that such an event might occur. Even Herodotus knew that the waters causing an increase in the Nile, were the result of the tropical rains in the mountains of Abyssinia. To the quantity of water falling in these rains, two causes contribute, which in different years, may make them more or less. The one cause is in the formation of rain-clouds in Abyssinia itself, attracted by the mountains and