YASHAR 42 (Jasher 42)

1 And they went and sat on the opposite side, about the distance of a bow-shot, and they sat there to eat bread. And while they were eating, they consulted together what was to be done with him, whether to slay him or to bring him back to his father.

2 They were consulting, when they lifted their eyes, and looked, and see, there was a company of Yishma’ĕlites coming at a distance by the way of Gil’aḏ, going down to Mitsrayim.

3 And Yahuḏah said to them, “What gain will it be to us if we slay our brother? Maybe Elohim will require him from us? This then is the counsel proposed concerning him, which you shall do to him: See this company of Yishma’ĕlites going down to Mitsrayim.

4 “Now therefore, come let us dispose of him to them, and let our hand not be upon him, and they will lead him along with them, and he will be lost among the people of the land, but we will not put him to death with our own hands.” And the proposal pleased his brothers and they did according to the word of Yahuḏah.

5 And while they were speaking about this matter, and before the company of Yishma’ĕlites had come up to them, seven trading men of Miḏyan passed by them. And as they passed they were thirsty, and they lifted up their eyes and saw the pit in which Yosĕph was confined, and they looked, and see, every species of bird was upon it.

6 And these Miḏyanites ran to the pit to drink water, for they thought that it contained water, and on coming before the pit they heard the voice of Yosĕph crying and weeping in the pit. And they looked down into the pit, and they looked and see, there was a youth handsome in form and appearance.

7 And they called to him and said, “Who are you and who brought you here, and who placed you in this pit, in the wilderness?” And they all assisted to raise Yosĕph up and they drew him out, and brought him up from the pit, and took him and went away on their journey and passed by his brothers.

8 And they said to them, “Why do you do this, to take our servant from us and to go away? Indeed we placed this youth in the pit because he rebelled against us, and you come and bring him up and lead him away! Now then give us back our servant.”

9 And the Miḏyanites answered and said to the sons of Ya’aqoḇ, “Is this your servant, or does this man attend you? Maybe you are all his servants, for he is more handsome in form and appearance than any of you! And why do you all speak falsely to us?

10 “Now therefore we will not listen to your words, nor attend to you, for we found the youth in the pit in the wilderness, and we took him. We will therefore go on.”

11 And all the sons of Ya’aqoḇ approached them and stood up to them and said to them, “Give us back our servant, and why should you all die with the edge of the sword?” And the Miḏyanites cried out against them, and they drew their swords, and approached to fight against the sons of Ya’aqoḇ.

12 And see, Shim’on rose up from his place against them, and leaped on the ground and drew his sword and approached the Miḏyanites. And he gave a terrible shout before them, so that his shouting was heard at a distance, and the earth shook at Shim’on’s shouting.

13 And the Miḏyanites were afraid because of Shim’on and the noise of his shouting, and they fell upon their faces, and were exceedingly alarmed.

14 And Shim’on said to them, “Truly I am Shim’on, son of Ya’aqoḇ the Iḇri, who have, only with my brother, destroyed the city of Sheḵem and the cities of the Amorites! So shall Elohim also do that to me if all your brothers, the people of Miḏyan, and also the sovereigns of Kena’an, were to come with you, they could not fight against me.

15 “Now therefore give us back the youth whom you have taken, lest I give your flesh to the birds of the skies and the beasts of the earth!”

16 And the Miḏyanites were more afraid of Shim’on, and they approached the sons of Ya’aqoḇ with dread and fear, and with humble words, saying,

17 “Indeed you have said that the young man is your servant, and that he rebelled against you, and therefore you placed him in the pit. What then will you do with a servant who rebels against his master? Now therefore sell him to us, and we will give you all that you require for him.” And 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 was pleased to do this in order that the sons of Ya’aqoḇ should not slay their brother.

18 And the Miḏyanites, seeing that Yosĕph was handsome in form and appearance, desired him in their hearts and were urged to purchase him from his brothers.

19 And the sons of Ya’aqoḇ listened to the Miḏyanites and they sold their brother Yosĕph to them for twenty pieces of silver, but Re’uḇĕn their brother was not with them. And the Miḏyanites took Yosĕph and continued their journey to Gil’aḏ.

20 They were going along the way, but the Miḏyanites repented of what they had done, in having purchased the young man, and one said to the other, “What is this matter that we have done, in taking this youth from the Iḇrim, who is handsome in form and appearance?

21 “Maybe this youth is stolen from the land of the Iḇrim, and why then have we done this matter? And if he should be sought for and found in our hands we shall die through him.

22 “Now indeed strong and mighty men have sold him to us, the strength of one of whom you saw this day. Maybe they stole him from his land with their might and with their powerful arm, and have therefore sold him to us for the small value which we gave to them.”

23 And while they were so speaking together, they looked, and see, company of Yishma’ĕlites which was coming at first, and which the sons of Ya’aqoḇ saw, was advancing toward the Miḏyanites. And the Miḏyanites said to each other, “Come let us sell this youth to the company of Yishma’ĕlites who are coming toward us, and we will take for him the little that we gave for him, and we will be delivered from this evil.”

24 And they did so, and they reached the Yishma’ĕlites, and the Miḏyanites sold Yosĕph to the Yishma’ĕlites for twenty pieces of silver which they had given for him to his brothers.

25 And the Miḏyanites went on their way to Gil’aḏ. And the Yishma’ĕlites took Yosĕph and they let him ride upon one of the camels, and they were leading him to Mitsrayim.

26 And Yosĕph heard that the Yishma’ĕlites were proceeding to Mitsrayim, and Yosĕph lamented and wept at this matter that he was to be so far removed from the land of Kena’an, from his father, and he wept bitterly while he was riding upon the camel. And one of their men observed him, and made him go down from the camel and walk on foot. Nevertheless Yosĕph continued to cry and weep, and he said, “O my father, my father!”

27 And one of the Yishma’ĕlites rose up and struck Yosĕph on the cheek, but he still continued to weep. And Yosĕph was tired on the way, and was unable to continue because of the bitterness of his being, and they all struck him and afflicted him on the way, and they frightened him in order that he might stop weeping.

28 And 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 saw the desire of Yosĕph and his trouble, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 brought down upon those men darkness and confusion, and the hand of every one that struck him became withered.

29 And they said to each other, “What is this matter that Elohim has done to us on the way?” and they did not know that this befell them because of Yosĕph. And the men continued on the way, and they passed along the way of Ephrath where Raḥĕl was buried.

30 And Yosĕph reached his mother’s grave, and Yosĕph hastened and ran to his mother’s grave, and fell upon the grave and wept.

31 And Yosĕph cried aloud upon his mother’s grave, and he said, “O my mother, my mother! O you who brought me forth, awake now, and rise and see your son, how he has been sold for a slave, and no one to pity him!

32 “O rise and see your son, weep with me because of my troubles, and see the heart of my brothers.

33 “Arise my mother, arise! Awake from your sleep for me, and direct your battles against my brothers. O how have they stripped me of my robe, and already sold me twice for a slave, and separated me from my father, and there is no one to pity me?

34 “Arise and lay your cause against them before Elohim, and see whom Elohim will justify in the judgment, and whom He will condemn.

35 “Arise, O my mother, arise. Awake from your sleep and see my father how his being is with me this day, and comfort him and ease his heart.”

36 And Yosĕph continued to speak these words, and Yosĕph cried aloud and wept bitterly upon his mother’s grave. And he ceased speaking, and from bitterness of heart he became still as a stone upon the grave.

37 And Yosĕph heard a voice speaking to him from beneath the ground, which answered him with bitterness of heart, and with a voice of weeping and praying in these words:

38 “My son, my son Yosĕph, I have heard the voice of your weeping and the voice of your lamentation. I have seen your tears. I know your troubles, my son, and it grieves me for your sake, and abundant grief is added to my grief.

39 “Now therefore my son, Yosĕph my son, hope to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, and wait for Him and do not fear, for 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 is with you, He will deliver you from all trouble.

40 “Rise my son, go down to Mitsrayim with your masters, and do not fear, for 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 is with you, my son.” And she continued to speak similar words to Yosĕph, and she was still.

41 And Yosĕph heard this, and he wondered greatly at this, but he continued to weep. And after this one of the Yishma’ĕlites observed him crying and weeping on the grave, and his wrath was kindled against him, and he drove him from there, and he struck him and cursed him.

42 And Yosĕph said to the men, “May I find favour in your sight to take me back to my father’s house, and he will give you abundant riches.”

43 And they answered him, saying, “Are you not a slave, and where is your father? And if you had a father you would not already twice have been sold for a slave for so little value!” And their wrath was still roused against him, and they continued to strike him and to chastise him, and Yosĕph wept bitterly.

44 And 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 saw Yosĕph’s affliction, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 again smote these men, and chastised them, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 caused darkness to envelope them upon the earth. And the lightning flashed and the thunder roared, and the earth shook at the sound of the thunder and of the mighty wind, and the men were afraid and did not know where they should go.

45 And the beasts and camels stood still, and they led them, but they would not go. They struck them, and they crouched upon the ground, and the men said to each other, “What is this that Elohim has done to us? What are our transgressions, and what are our sins that this matter has so befallen us?”

46 And one of them answered and said to them, “Maybe because of the sin of afflicting this slave has this matter befallen us today. Now therefore implore him strongly to forgive us, and then we shall know for whose sake this evil befalls us. And if Elohim shall have compassion over us, then we shall know that all this came upon us because of the sin of afflicting this slave.”

47 And the men did so, and they begged Yosĕph and pressed him to forgive them. And they said, “We have sinned to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 and to you, now therefore promise to request of your Elohim that He shall put away this death from among us, for we have sinned against Him!”

48 And Yosĕph did according to their words, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 listened to Yosĕph, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 put away the plague which He had inflicted upon those men because of Yosĕph. And the beasts rose up from the ground and they led them, and they went on. And the raging storm abated and the earth became quiet, and the men continued on their journey to go down to Mitsrayim. And the men knew that this evil had befallen them because of Yosĕph.

49 And they said to each other, “Look we know that it was because of his affliction that this evil befell us. Now therefore why shall we bring this death upon our beings? Let us hold counsel what to do to this slave.”

50 And one answered and said, “Indeed he told us to bring him back to his father. Now therefore come, let us take him back and we will go to the place that he will tell us, and take from his clan the price that we gave for him and we will then go away.”

51 And one answered again and said, “Look this counsel is very good, but we cannot do so for the way is very far from us, and we cannot go out of our way.”

52 And one more answered and said to them, “This is the counsel to be taken, we will not swerve from it. See, we are this day going to Mitsrayim, and when we have come to Mitsrayim, we will sell him there at a high price, and we will be delivered from his evil.”

53 And this word pleased the men and they did so, and they continued their journey to Mitsrayim with Yosĕph.