YASHAR 51 (Jasher 51)

1 And afterward Ya’aqoḇ heard that there was grain in Mitsrayim, and he called for his sons to go to Mitsrayim to buy grain, for the scarcity of food was also severe on them. And he called to his sons, saying,

2 “Behold I hear that there is grain in Mitsrayim, and all the people of the earth go there to purchase. Now therefore why will you show yourselves satisfied before the whole earth? You also go down to Mitsrayim and buy us a little grain among those that go there, that we may not die.”

3 And the sons of Ya’aqoḇ listened to the voice of their father, and they rose up to go down to Mitsrayim in order to buy grain among the rest that went there.

4 And Ya’aqoḇ their father commanded them, saying, “When you come into the city do not enter together in one gate, on account of the inhabitants of the land.”

5 And the sons of Ya’aqoḇ went out and they went to Mitsrayim, and the sons of Ya’aqoḇ did all as their father had commanded them, but Ya’aqoḇ did not send Binyamin, for he said, “Lest an accident might befall him on the way like his brother.” And ten of Ya’aqoḇ’s sons went out.

6 And while the sons of Ya’aqoḇ were going on the way, they repented of what they had done to Yosĕph, and they spoke to each other, saying, “We know that our brother Yosĕph went down to Mitsrayim, and now we will seek him where we go. And if we find him we will take him from his master for a ransom, and if not, by force, and we will die for him.”

7 And the sons of Ya’aqoḇ agreed to this word and strengthened themselves for the sake of Yosĕph, to deliver him from the hand of his master. And the sons of Ya’aqoḇ went to Mitsrayim, and when they came near to Mitsrayim they separated from each other. And they came through ten gates of Mitsrayim, and the gatekeepers wrote their names on that day, and brought them to Yosĕph in the evening.

8 And Yosĕph read the names from the hand of the gatekeepers of the city, and he found that his brothers had entered at the ten gates of the city. And at that time Yosĕph commanded that it should be proclaimed throughout the land of Mitsrayim, saying,

9 “Go out all you storekeepers, close all the grain stores and let only one remain open, that those who come may purchase from it.”

10 And all the officers of Yosĕph did so at that time, and they closed all the stores and left only one open.

11 And Yosĕph gave the written names of his brothers to him that was appointed over the open store, and he said to him, “Whoever shall come to you to buy grain, ask his name, and when men of these names shall come before you, seize them and send them, and they did so.”

12 And when the sons of Ya’aqoḇ came into the city, they joined together in the city to seek Yosĕph before they bought themselves grain.

13 And they went to the walls of the whores, and they sought Yosĕph in the walls of the whores for three days, for they thought that Yosĕph would be brought into the walls of the whores, for Yosĕph was very handsome in form and appearance. And the sons of Ya’aqoḇ sought Yosĕph for three days, and they could not find him.

14 And the man who was appointed over the open store sought for those names which Yosĕph had given him, and he did not find them.

15 And he sent to Yosĕph, saying, “These three days have passed, and those men whose names you gave to me have not come.” And Yosĕph sent servants to seek the men in all Mitsrayim, and to bring them before Yosĕph.

16 And Yosĕph’s servants went and came into Mitsrayim and could not find them, and went to Goshen and they were not there, and then went to the city of Ra’meses and could not find them.

17 And Yosĕph continued to send sixteen servants to seek his brothers, and they went and spread themselves in the four corners of the city. And four of the servants went into the house of the whores, and they found the ten men there seeking their brother.

18 And those four men took them and brought them before him, and they bowed down to him to the ground. And Yosĕph was sitting on his throne in his palace, clothed with princely garments, and on his head was a large crown of gold, and all the mighty men were sitting around him.

19 And the sons of Ya’aqoḇ saw Yosĕph, and his form and appearance and excellency seemed wonderful in their eyes, and they again bowed down to him to the ground.

20 And Yosĕph saw his brothers, and he knew them, but they did not recognise him, for Yosĕph was very great in their eyes, therefore they did not recognise him.

21 And Yosĕph spoke to them, saying, “Where have you come from?” And they all answered and said, “Your servants have come from the land of Kena’an to buy grain, for the scarcity of food is severe throughout the earth. And your servants heard that there was grain in Mitsrayim, so they have come among the others who come to buy grain for their support.”

22 And Yosĕph answered them, saying, “If you have come to purchase as you say, why do you come through ten gates of the city? It can only be that you have come to spy throughout the land.”

23 And they all answered Yosĕph together and said, “Not so my master, we are upright! Your servants are not spies, but we have come to buy grain, for your servants are all brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Kena’an, and our father commanded us, saying, ‘When you come to the city, do not enter together at one gate on account of the inhabitants of the land.’ ”

24 And Yosĕph again answered them and said, “That is the word which I spoke to you, you have come to spy throughout the land, therefore you all came through ten gates of the city. You have come to see the nakedness of the land!

25 “Even everyone that comes to buy grain goes his way, and you are already three days in the land, and what are you doing in the walls of whores in which you have been for these three days? Indeed spies do such matters!”

26 And they said to Yosĕph, “Far be it from our master to speak so, for we are twelve brothers, the sons of our father Ya’aqoḇ, in the land of Kena’an, son of Yitsḥaq, son of Aḇraham, the Iḇri. And see, the youngest is with our father today in the land of Kena’an, and one is not, for he was lost from us. And we thought maybe he might be in this land, so we are seeking him throughout the land, and have come even to the houses of whores to seek him there.”

27 And Yosĕph said to them, “And have you then sought him throughout the earth, that there only remained Mitsrayim for you to seek him in? And what also should your brother do in the houses of whores, although he were in Mitsrayim? Have you not said that you are from the sons of Yitsḥaq, son of Aḇraham? And what shall the sons of Ya’aqoḇ do then in the houses of whores?”

28 And they said to him, “Because we heard that Yishma’ĕlites stole him from us, and it was told to us that they sold him in Mitsrayim. And your servant, our brother, is very handsome in form and appearance, so we thought he would indeed be in the houses of whores, therefore your servants went there to seek him and give ransom for him.”

29 And Yosĕph still answered them, saying, “Indeed you speak falsely and speak lies, to say of yourselves that you are the sons of Aḇraham. As Pharaoh lives you are spies, therefore have you come to the houses of whores that you should not be known.”

30 And Yosĕph said to them, “And now if you find him, and his master requires of you a great price, will you give it for him?” And they said, “It shall be given.”

31 And he said to them, “And if his master will not agree to part with him for a great price, what will you do to him for his sake?” and they answered him, saying, “If he will not give him to us we will slay him, and take our brother and go away.”

32 And Yosĕph said to them, “That is the word which I have spoken to you; you are spies! For you have come to slay the inhabitants of the land, for we heard that two of your brothers smote all the inhabitants of Sheḵem, in the land of Kena’an, because of your sister, and you now come to do likewise in Mitsrayim because of your brother.

33 “Only by this shall I know that you are true men; if you will send home one from among you to fetch your youngest brother from your father, and to bring him here to me. And by doing this word I will know that you are upright.”

34 And Yosĕph called to seventy of his mighty men, and he said to them, “Take these men and bring them into the prison.

35 And the mighty men took the ten men, they laid hold of them and put them into the prison, and they were in the prison three days.

36 And on the third day Yosĕph had them brought out of the prison, and he said to them, “Do this for yourselves if you are men of truth, so that you may live. One of your brothers shall be confined in the prison while you go and take home the grain for your household to the land of Kena’an, and fetch your youngest brother, and bring him here to me, that I may know that you are true men when you do this word.”

37 And Yosĕph went out from them and came into his room, and wept a great weeping, for his compassion was moved for them. And he washed his face, and returned to them again, and he took Shim’on from them and ordered him to be bound. But Shim’on was not willing to be done so, for he was a very powerful man and they could not bind him.

38 And Yosĕph called to his mighty men, and seventy mighty men came before him with drawn swords in their hands, and the sons of Ya’aqoḇ were afraid of them.

39 And Yosĕph said to them, “Seize this man and confine him in prison until his brothers come to him.” And Yosĕph’s mighty men hastened and they all laid hold of Shim’on to bind him, but Shim’on gave a loud and fearful shout and the cry was heard at a distance.

40 And all the mighty men of Yosĕph were afraid at the sound of the shout, that they fell on their faces, and they were greatly afraid and fled.

41 And all the men that were with Yosĕph fled, for they were greatly afraid for their lives, and only Yosĕph and Menashsheh his son remained there. And Menashsheh son of Yosĕph saw the strength of Shim’on, and he was exceedingly wroth.

42 And Menashsheh son of Yosĕph rose up to Shim’on, and Menashsheh smote Shim’on a heavy blow with his fist against the back of his neck, and Shim’on was stopped of his rage.

43 And Menashsheh laid hold of Shim’on and he seized him violently and he bound him and brought him into the prison house, and all the sons of Ya’aqoḇ were astonished at the act of the youth.

44 And Shim’on said to his brothers, “None of you must say that this is the beating of a Mitsrite, but it is the beating of the house of my father.”

45 And after this Yosĕph ordered him to be called who was appointed over the storehouse, to fill their sacks with grain – as much as they could carry – and to restore every man’s silver into his sack, and to give them provision for the journey, and so he did to them.

46 And Yosĕph commanded them, saying, “Take heed lest you transgress my orders to bring your brother as I have told you. And it shall be when you bring your brother here to me, then I will know that you are upright men, and you shall move about in the land, and I will restore your brother to you, and you shall return in peace to your father.”

47 And they all answered and said, “According to our masters words, so we will do.” And they bowed down to him to the ground,

48 and every man lifted his grain on his donkey, and they went out to go to the land of Kena’an to their father. And they came to the inn and Lĕwi spread his sack to give fodder to his donkey, when he looked and see, his silver in full weight was still in his sack.

49 And the man was greatly afraid, and he said to his brothers, “My silver is restored, and look, it is even in my sack!” And the men were greatly afraid, and they said, “What is this that Elohim has done to us?”

50 And they all said, “And where is the kindness of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 to our fathers, with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq, and Ya’aqoḇ, that 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 has delivered us this day into the hands of the sovereign of Mitsrayim to conspire against us?”

51 And Yahuḏah said to them, “Indeed we are guilty sinners before 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 our Elohim in having sold our brother, our own flesh, and why do you say, ‘Where is the kindness of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 with our fathers?’ ”

52 And Re’uḇĕn said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not sin against the boy,’ and you would not listen to me? Now Elohim requires him from us, and how dare you say, ‘Where is the kindness of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 with our fathers,’ while you have sinned against 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄?”

53 And they spent the night in that place, and they rose early in the morning and loaded their donkeys with their grain, and they led them and went on and came to their father’s house in the land of Kena’an.

54 And Ya’aqoḇ and his household went out to meet his sons, and Ya’aqoḇ looked and see, their brother Shim’on was not with them. And Ya’aqoḇ said to his sons, “Where is your brother Shim’on, whom I do not see?” And his sons told him all that had befallen them in Mitsrayim.