YASHAR 44 (Jasher 44)

1 And the sons of Yishma’ĕl who had bought Yosĕph from the Miḏyanites, who had bought him from his brothers, went to Mitsrayim with Yosĕph, and they came upon the borders of Mitsrayim. And when they came near to Mitsrayim, they met four men of the sons of Meḏan son of Aḇraham, who had gone out from the land of Mitsrayim on their journey.

2 And the Yishma’ĕlites said to them, “Do you desire to purchase this slave from us?” and they said, “Give him over to us.” And they gave Yosĕph over to them, and they saw him, that he was a very handsome youth and they purchased him for twenty sheqels.

3 And the Yishma’ĕlites continued their journey to Mitsrayim, and the Meḏanites also returned that day to Mitsrayim. And the Meḏanites said to each other, “Look we have heard that Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, seeks a good servant who shall stand before him to attend him, and to make him overseer over his house and all belonging to him.

4 “Now therefore, come let us sell him to him for what we may desire, if he is able to give to us that which we shall require for him.”

5 And these Meḏanites went and came to the house of Potiphar, and said to him, “We have heard that you seek a good servant to attend you. Look, we have a servant that will please you, if you can give to us that which we may desire, and we will sell him to you.”

6 And Potiphar said, “Bring him before me, and I will see him, and if he pleases me I will give to you that which you may require for him.”

7 And the Meḏanites went and brought Yosĕph and placed him before Potiphar. And he saw him, and he pleased him exceedingly, and Potiphar said to them, “Tell me what you require for this youth?”

8 And they said, “Four hundred pieces of silver we desire for him.” And Potiphar said, “I will give it to you if you bring me the record of his sale to you, and will tell me his history, for maybe he is stolen. For this youth is neither a slave, nor the son of a slave, but I observe in him the appearance of a pleasant and handsome person.”

9 And the Meḏanites went and brought to him the Yishma’ĕlites who had sold him to them, and they told him, saying, “He is a slave and we sold him to them.”

10 And Potiphar heard the words of the Yishma’ĕlites in his giving the silver to the Meḏanites. And the Meḏanites took the silver and went on their journey, and the Yishma’ĕlites also returned home.

11 And Potiphar took Yosĕph and brought him to his house that he might serve him. And Yosĕph found favour in the sight of Potiphar, and he placed trust in him, and made him overseer over his house, and all that belonged to him he delivered over into his hand.

12 And 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 was with Yosĕph and he became a prosperous man, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 baraḵ the house of Potiphar for the sake of Yosĕph.

13 And Potiphar left all that he had in the hand of Yosĕph, and Yosĕph caused matters to come in and go out, and everything was regulated by his word in the house of Potiphar.

14 And Yosĕph was eighteen years old, a youth with good-looking eyes and of handsome appearance, and none like him was in the whole land of Mitsrayim.

15 At that time while he was in his master’s house, going in and out of the house and attending his master, Tseliqah, his master’s wife, lifted up her eyes toward Yosĕph and she looked at him, and see, he was a youth handsome in form and appearance.

16 And she coveted his good looks in her heart, and her being was fixed upon Yosĕph, and she enticed him day after day. And Tseliqah pressed Yosĕph daily, but Yosĕph did not lift up his eyes to look upon his master’s wife.

17 And Tseliqah said to him, “How handsome is your appearance and form. Indeed I have looked at all the slaves, and have not seen such a good-looking slave as you are.” And Yosĕph said to her, “Certainly He who created me in my mother’s womb created all mankind.”

18 And she said to him, “How good-looking are your eyes, with which you have dazzled all the inhabitants of Mitsrayim – men and women.” And he said to her, “How good-looking they are while we are alive, but should you see them in the grave, indeed you would move away from them.”

19 And she said to him, “How fair and pleasing are all your words. Please take the harp which is in the house, and play with your hands and let us hear your words.”

20 And he said to her, “How fair and pleasing are my words when I speak the praise of my Elohim and His esteem.” And she said to him, “How very good-looking is the hair of your head. See, the golden comb which is in the house, please take it and curl the hair of your head.”

21 And he said to her, “How long will you speak these words? Cease speaking these words to me, and rise and attend to your household matters.”

22 And she said to him, “There is no one in my house, and there is nothing to attend to but to your words and to your desire.” Yet despite all this, she could not bring Yosĕph to her, neither did he place his eye upon her, but directed his eyes below to the ground.

23 And Tseliqah desired Yosĕph in her heart, that he should lie with her. And at the time that Yosĕph was sitting in the house doing his work, Tseliqah came and sat before him, and she enticed him daily with her words to lie with her, or ever to look at her, but Yosĕph would not listen to her.

24 And she said to him, “If you will not do according to my words, I will punish you with the punishment of death, and put an iron yoke upon you.”

25 And Yosĕph said to her, “Indeed Elohim who created man loosens the shackles of prisoners, and it is He who will deliver me from your prison and from your judgment.”

26 And when she could not overcome him, to persuade him, and her soul being still fixed upon him, her desire threw her into a grievous sickness.

27 And all the women of Mitsrayim came to visit her, and they said to her, “Why are you in this declining state? You that lack nothing! Indeed your husband is a great and esteemed prince in the sight of the sovereign. Should you lack anything of what your heart desires?”

28 And Tseliqah answered them, saying, “This day it shall be made known to you, where this unrest arises in which you see me.” And she commanded her female servants to prepare food for all the women, and she made a banquet for them, and all the women ate in the house of Tseliqah.

29 And she gave them knives to peel the oranges to eat them, and she commanded that they should dress Yosĕph in costly garments, and that he should appear before them. And Yosĕph came before their eyes and all the women looked on Yosĕph, and could not take their eyes from him, and they all cut their hands with the knives that they had in their hands, and all the oranges that were in their hands were filled with blood.

30 And they did not know what they had done but they continued to look at the good looks of Yosĕph, and did not turn their eyelids from him.

31 And Tseliqah saw what they had done, and she said to them, “What is this matter that you have done? Look, I gave you oranges to eat and you have all cut your hands.”

32 And all the women looked at their hands, and see, they were full of blood, and their blood flowed down on their garments. And they said to her, “This slave in your house has overcome us, and we could not turn our eyelids from him because of his good looks.”

33 And she said to them, “Indeed this came to be the moment that you looked at him, and you could not contain yourselves from him. How then can I refrain when he is constantly in my house, and I see him day after day going in and out of my house? How then can I keep from declining or even from perishing because of this?”

34 And they said to her, “The words are true, for who can see this good-looking form in the house and refrain from him? But is he not your slave and attendant in your house, and why do you not tell him that which is in your heart, but allow your being to perish through this matter?”

35 And she said to them, “I am daily endeavouring to persuade him, but he will not consent to my wishes. And I promised him everything that is good, and yet I could meet with no return from him. I am therefore in a declining state as you see.”

36 And Tseliqah became very ill because of her desire toward Yosĕph, and she was desperately lovesick because of him. And all the people of the house of Tseliqah and her husband knew nothing of this matter, that Tseliqah was ill because of her love toward Yosĕph.

37 And all the people of her house asked her, saying, “Why are you ill and declining, yet lack naught?” and she said to them, “I do not know this matter which is daily increasing upon me.”

38 And all the women and her friends came daily to see her, and they spoke with her, and she said to them, “This can only be through the love of Yosĕph.” And they said to her, “Entice him and seize him secretly. Maybe he may listen to you, and put off this death from you.”

39 And Tseliqah became worse from her love toward Yosĕph, and she continued to decline, till she scarcely had strength to stand.

40 And on a certain day Yosĕph was doing his master’s work in the house, and Tseliqah came secretly and fell suddenly upon him. And Yosĕph rose up against her, and he was more powerful than she, and he brought her down to the ground.

41 And Tseliqah wept because of the desire of her heart toward him, and she begged him with weeping. And her tears flowed down her cheeks, and she spoke to him in a voice of pleading and in bitterness of being, saying,

42 “Have you ever heard, seen or known of so good-looking a woman as I am, or better than myself, who speaks daily to you, fall into a decline through love for you, lay all this honour upon you, and still you will not listen to my voice?

43 “And if it is through fear of your master lest he punish you, as the sovereign lives no harm shall come to you from your master through this matter. Now, therefore please listen to me, and consent for the sake of the honour which I have laid upon you, and put off this death from me, for why should I die for your sake?” And she ceased to speak.

44 And Yosĕph answered her, saying, “Refrain from me, and leave this matter to my master. Look, my master does not know what there is with me in the house, for all that belongs to him he has delivered into my hand. And how shall I do these matters in my master’s house?

45 “For he has also greatly honoured me in his house, and he has also made me overseer over his house, and he has exalted me, and there is no one greater in this house than I am, and my master has kept nothing from me, except you who are his wife. How then can you speak these words to me, and how can I do this great evil and sin against Elohim and against your husband?”

46 “Now therefore refrain from me, and speak such words as these no more, for I will not listen to your words.” But Tseliqah would not listen to Yosĕph when he spoke these words to her, and she daily enticed him to listen to her.

47 And it came to be after this that the river of Mitsrayim was filled above all its sides, and all the inhabitants of Mitsrayim went out. And the sovereign and princes also went out with timbrels and dances, for it was a great rejoicing in Mitsrayim, and a holiday at the time of the flooding of the sea Shiḥor, and they went there to rejoice all the day.

48 And when the Mitsrites went out to the river to rejoice, as was their custom, all the people of the house of Potiphar went with them. But Tseliqah would not go with them, for she said, “I am sick.” And she remained alone in the house, and no other person was with her in the house.

49 And she rose up and went up to her palace in the house, and dressed herself in princely garments, and she placed precious shoham stones upon her head, inlaid with silver and gold, and she adorned her face and skin with all kinds of women’s purifying liquids. And she perfumed the palace and the house with cassia and frankincense, and she spread myrrh and aloes, and afterward she sat in the entrance of the palace, in the passage of the house, through which Yosĕph passed to do his work. And see, Yosĕph came from the field, and entered the house to do his master’s work.

50 And he came to the place through which he had to pass, but he saw all Tseliqah had done, and he turned back.

51 And Tseliqah saw Yosĕph turning back from her, and she called out to him, saying, “What troubles you Yosĕph? Come to your work, and see, I will make room for you until you shall have passed to your seat.”

52 And Yosĕph returned and came to the house, and passed from there to the place of his seat, and he sat down to do his master’s work as usual. And see, Tseliqah came to him and stood before him in regal garments, and the scent from her clothes was spread to a distance.

53 And she hastened and caught hold of Yosĕph and his garments, and she said to him, “As the sovereign lives if you will not perform my request you shall die today!” And she hastened and stretched out her other hand and drew a sword from beneath her garments, and she placed it on Yosĕph’s neck, and she said, “Rise and perform my request, and if not you die today!”

54 And Yosĕph was afraid of her at her doing this matter, and he rose up to flee from her. But she seized the front of his garments, and in the fear of his flight the garment which Tseliqah seized was torn, and Yosĕph left the garment in the hand of Tseliqah, and he fled and got out, for he was fearful.

55 And when Tseliqah saw that Yosĕph’s garment was torn, and that he had left it in her hand, and had fled, she was afraid for her life, lest the report should spread concerning her. And she rose up and acted with cunning, and took off the garments in which she was dressed, and she put on her other garments.

56 And she took Yosĕph’s garment, and she laid it beside her, and she went and seated herself in the place where she had sat in her illness, before the people of her house had gone out to the river. And she called a young man who was then in the house, and she ordered him to call the people of the house to her.

57 And when she saw them she said to them with a loud voice and lamentation, “See what sort of Iḇri your master has brought to me in the house, for he came this day to lie with me!

58 “For when you had gone out, he came to the house, and seeing that there was no person in the house, he came toward me, and caught hold of me, with intent to lie with me.

59 “And I seized his garments and tore them and called out against him with a loud voice, and when I had lifted up my voice he was afraid for his life and left his garment before me, and fled.”

60 And the people of her house spoke nothing, but their wrath was very much kindled against Yosĕph, and they went to his master and told him the words of his wife.

61 And Potiphar came home enraged, and his wife cried out to him, saying, “What is this matter that you have done to me in bringing an Iḇri servant into my house? For he came to me today to mock me as he did so to me today!”

62 And Potiphar heard the words of his wife, and he ordered Yosĕph to be punished with severe blows, and they did so to him.

63 And while they were striking him, Yosĕph called out with a loud voice, and he lifted up his eyes to the shamayim, and he said, “O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 Elohim, You know that I am innocent of all these matters! And why shall I die this day through falsehood, by the hand of these uncircumcised wicked men, whom You know?”

64 And while Potiphar’s men were beating Yosĕph, he continued to cry out and weep. And there was a child there eleven months old, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 opened the mouth of the child, and he spoke these words before Potiphar’s men, who were striking Yosĕph, saying,

65 “What do you want of this man, and why do you do this evil to him? My mother speaks falsely and speaks lies; such was the matter.”

66 And the child told them rightly all that came to pass, and he told to them all the words of Tseliqah to Yosĕph day after day.

67 And all the men heard the words of the child and they wondered greatly at the child’s words, and the child ceased to speak and became still.

68 And Potiphar was very much ashamed at the words of his son, and he commanded his men not to beat Yosĕph any more, and the men ceased beating Yosĕph.

69 And Potiphar took Yosĕph and ordered him to be brought to justice before the priests, who were judges belonging to the sovereign, in order to judge him concerning this matter.

70 And Potiphar and Yosĕph came before the priests who were the sovereign’s judges, and he said to them, “Please decide what judgment is due to a servant, for what he has done.”

71 And the priests said to Yosĕph, “Why did you do this matter to your master?” And Yosĕph answered them, saying, “Not so my masters, this was the matter.” And Potiphar said to Yosĕph, “Indeed I entrusted all that belonged to me into your hands, and I withheld nothing from you but my wife, and how could you do this evil?”

72 And Yosĕph answered saying, “Not so my master, as 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 lives, and as your being lives, my master, the word which you heard from your wife is untrue, for this was the matter this day.

73 “A year has passed by me since I have been in your house. Have you seen any wickedness in me, or any matter which might cause you to demand my life?”

74 And the priests said to Potiphar, “Please send, and let them bring before us Yosĕph’s torn garment, and let us see the tear in it, and if it shall be that the tear is in front of the garment, then his face must have been opposite to her and she must have caught hold of him, to come to her, and your wife has done all that she has spoken with deceit.”

75 And they brought Yosĕph’s garment before the priests who were judges, and they looked and see, the tear was in front of Yosĕph, and all the judging priests knew that she had pressed him. And they said, “The judgment of death is not due to this slave for he has done nothing, but his judgment is that he be placed in the prison house because of the report, which through him has gone out against your wife.”

76 And Potiphar listened to their words, and he placed him in the prison, the place where the sovereign’s prisoners are imprisoned. And Yosĕph was in the prison twelve years.

77 And nevertheless, his master’s wife did not turn from him, and she did not cease from speaking to him day after day to listen to her. And at the end of three months Tseliqah continued going to Yosĕph to the prison day by day, and she enticed him to listen to her. And Tseliqah said to Yosĕph, “How long will you remain in this house? But listen now to my voice, and I will bring you out of this house.”

78 And Yosĕph answered her, saying, “It is better for me to remain in this house than to listen to your words, to sin against Elohim.” And she said to him, “If you will not perform my desire, I will pluck out your eyes, add shackles to your feet, and deliver you into the hands of them whom you did not know before.”

79 And Yosĕph answered her and said, “See, the Elohim of the whole earth is able to deliver me from all that you can do to me, for He opens the eyes of the blind, and looses those that are bound, and watches over all strangers who are unknown in the land.”

80 And when Tseliqah was unable to persuade Yosĕph to listen to her, she ceased going to entice him, but Yosĕph was still confined in the prison. And Ya’aqoḇ the father of Yosĕph, and all his brothers who were in the land of Kena’an still mourned and wept in those days for the sake of Yosĕph, for Ya’aqoḇ refused to be comforted for his sone Yosĕph. And Ya’aqoḇ cried aloud, and wept and mourned all those days.