TgOnk Gen. 41-44
THE TARGUM OF ONKELOS
ON
THE BOOK BERESHITH OR
GENESIS 41-44 .

SECTION X.

VAYEHI MEKETS.

 

AND it was at the end of two years that Pharoh dreamed, and, behold, he stood by the River. And, behold, there came up from the River seven oxen, goodly in appearance, and fat‑fleshed; and they grazed in the meadow.[1] And, behold, seven other oxen came up from the river after them, evil in appearance, and leanfleshed; and they stood beside them by the bank of the the river. And the evil‑looking and lean‑fleshed oxen ate up the seven well‑looking and fat ones: and Pharoh awoke. And he slept, and dreamed a second (time); and, behold, seven ears rose up from one stalk, large and good, and, behold, seven ears, thin, and blighted (with the) east (wind), sprang up after them. And the seven wasted ears devoured the seven large and full ears. And Pharoh awoke, and, behold, a dream. And when it was morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called all the magicians[2] of Mizraim, and all the wise men;[3] and Pharoh related the dreams to them, but they could not interpret them to Pharoh. And the chief of the cupbearers spake to Pharoh, saying, My faults I do remember this day. Pharoh was displeased with his servants, and gave me into custody at the house of the chief executioner, and the chief baker with me. And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, we dreamed. And with us there was a Hebrew youth, a servant of the chief executioner; and we recounted to him, and he explained to us our dreams, to each man according to his dream be explained; and according as he had explained to us, so it was: me he restored to my service, and him he hanged. And Pharoh sent, and called Joseph, and made him hasten from the prison; and he dressed his hair,[4] and changed his garments, and came unto Pharoh. And Pharoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one to interpret it. And I have heard of thee, saying, that thou hearest a dream, and dost interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharoh, saying, Not from my wisdom, but from before the Lord, will there be an answer of peace unto Pharoh. And Pharoh spake with Joseph, saying, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the River; and, behold, from the River rose up seven oxen, fat‑fleshed and goodly in appearance, and they grazed in the meadow.[5] And, behold, seven other oxen came up after them, lean and most evil in appearance, so wanting in flesh, that their like I have not seen in all the land of Mizraim for badness. And the lean oxen and evil ones ate up the seven first fat oxen. And they entered into their stomachs; but it could not be known that they had entered into their stomachs, for their appearance was bad as before; and I awoke. I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears of corn arose on one stalk, full and good. And, behold, seven (other) ears, hard, thin, and blasted (with the) east (wind), sprang up after them. And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could show it to me. And Joseph answered Pharoh, The dream of Pharoh is one. That which the Lord is about to do He hath showed to Pharoh. The seven good oxen are seven years; and the seven good ears of corn are seven years; the dream is one. And the seven lean and evil oxen which came up after them are seven years; and the seven ears, thin, and blasted with the east wind, are seven years of famine. This is the word which I have spoken to Pharoh. What the Lord is about to do, He hath showed to Pharoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty in all the land of Mizraim. And after them will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty in the land of Mizraim will be forgotten, and the famine will consume the people of the land. And plenty will not be known in the land for that famine which will be afterward; for it will be very mighty. And forasmuch as the dream was repeated to Pharoh twice, it is a confirmed thing before the Lord, and the Lord will hasten to do it. And now let Pharoh look out a prudent and wise man, and appoint him over the land of Mizraim. Let Pharoh do this, and appoint officers (lit., faithful men) over the land, and let them sow the land of Mizraim in the seven years of plenty, and collect all the produce of those good years that come, and lay up provision under the hand of Pharoh's officers, and preserve it in the cities: and it will be provision for the people of the land in the seven years of famine that are coming in the land of Mizraim, that the people of the land may not be consumed by the famine. And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharoh said to his servants, Can we find a man like this, in whom is the spirit of prophecy from the Lord? And Pharoh said to Joseph, Since the Lord hath made all this known to thee, there is none more prudent or wise than thou; thou shalt be appointed over my house, and by thy word shall all my people be governed;[6] only in the throne of this kingdom will I be more honourable than thou. And Pharoh said to Joseph, See, I have appointed thee over all the land of Mizraim. And Pharoh took off his ring from his hand, and set it upon Joseph's hand, and clothed him in a robe of lawn,[7] and put a chain of gold upon his neck. And he made him ride in his own second chariot,[8] and they proclaimed before him, This is the father of the king;[9] and he appointed him over all the land of Mizraim. And Pharoh said to Joseph, I am Pharoh; and without thy word shall no man lift up his hand to hold a weapon, nor his foot to mount a horse, in all the land of Mizraim. And Pharoh called the name of Joseph, The man to whom mysteries are revealed.[10] And he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Poti Phera,[11] prince of On, to be his wife; and Joseph went forth ruling over the land of Mizraim. And Joseph was a son of thirty years when he stood before Pharoh, king of Mizraim. And Joseph went out from before Pharoh, and passed through all the land of Mizraim.

 

And the inhabitants of the land collected in the seven years of plenty the provision into granaries. And he collected all the provision of the seven years which was in the land of Mizraim, and laid up the provision in cities, in the midst of each city the provision of the land surrounding it. And Joseph gathered provision as the sand of the sea, exceeding much, until he ceased to number, for it was without number. And unto Joseph were born two sons, (before the year of famine came,) which Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, prince of On, bare to him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Menasheh;[12] because the Lord hath made me to forget all my labour and all my father's house. And the name of the second he called Eph‑ra‑im;[13] because the Lord hath made me to increase in the land of my servitude. And the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Mizraim were completed. And the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said; and the famine was in all the lands, but in all the land of Mizraim there was bread. Yet all the land of Mizraim was famished, and the people cried before Pharoh for bread: and Pharoh said to all the Mizraee, Go unto Joseph, and what he shall say to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the land; and Joseph opened all the granaries in which was the corn, and sold to the Mizraee, and the famine became mighty in the land of Mizraim. And all the inhabitants of the earth came into Mizraim to buy corn of Joseph, because the famine was mighty in all the earth.

 

XLIII. And Jakob saw that corn was sold in Mizraim, and Jakob said to his sons, Whylook you (on each other)?[14] And he said, Behold, I have heard that corn is sold in Mizraim: go down thither, and buy us from thence, and we shall live, and not die. And the ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy corn from Mizraim; but Benjamin, the brother of Joseph, Jakob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest death should befall him. And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among them who came; for the famine was in the land of Kenaan. And Joseph, who was ruler over the land, was he who sold the corn to all the people of the earth. And the brothers of Joseph came, and bowed before him with their faces upon the ground. And Joseph saw his brothers, and knew them, and considered what he should say to them. And he spake with them severely, and said to them, Whence come you? And they said, From the land of Kenaan, to buy corn. And Joseph knew his brothers, but they did not know him. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed of them; and he said to them, You are spies; to see the ruin[15] of the land are you come. And they said, No, my lord, (ribboni,) thy servants are come to buy corn. We are all the sons of one man. Right (men) are we; thy servants are not spies. But he said to them, No, but you are come to see the ruin of the land. And they said, Thy servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man, in the land of Kenaan; and, behold, the youngest is with our father to‑day, and one is not! And Joseph said to them, That is what I have told you, saying, You are spies; by this you shall be proved: by the life of Pharoh you shall not go hence, until your youngest brother be come hither. Send one of you, and bring your brother; but you shall be bound, and your words shall be proved, whether you have spoken the truth; if not, by the life of Pharoh, you are spies. And he put them in the house of custody three days. And Joseph said to them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear before the Lord. If you be true, let one of your brethren be bound in the prison ; and go you, carry the provision which is needed in your house, and bring your youngest brother to me, and your words will be verified, and you shall not die. And they did so. And they said, a man to his brother, We are verily guilty concerning our brother; that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he implored us, and we would not hearken to him: therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Did not I tell you, saying, Do not sin against the youth? but you, would not hearken. Thus, behold, his blood is required. But they knew not that Joseph heard; for there was an interpreter between them. And he turned himself away from them, and wept. And he returned and spake to them, and took Shemeon from them, and bound him before their eyes. And Joseph commanded to fill their vessels with corn, and return their money (that of each) man in his sack, and give them food in the way. And he did so by them. And they laid their corn upon their asses, and went thence. And one opened his sack to give provender to his ass at the house of lodging,[16] and saw his money, and, behold, it was in the mouth of his package; and he said to his brothers, My money is returned, and, behold, it is in my package. And the knowledge of their hearts failed, and they were each of them confounded, saying, What is this which the Lord hath done to us? And they came to Jakob their father in the land of Kenaan, and showed him all that had happened to them, saying, The man, the lord of the country, spoke hardly with us, and dealt with us as spies of the land. And we told him, We are true men, not spies: we are twelve brothers, sons of one father: one is not, and the youngest is today with our father in the land of Kenaan. And the man, the lord of the country, said to us, By this I shall know that you are true men. Leave one of your brethren with me, and take the corn which is needed in your house, and go, and bring your youngest brother to me, and I shall know that you are not spies: and when you (will be proved to) be true men, I will give up your brother to you., and you shall trade in the land. And it was, as they emptied their sacks, behold, each man's money was bound up in his sack; and when they and their father saw the envelopes of their money, they were afraid. And Jakob their father said to them, Me have you made desolate; Joseph is not, and Shemeon is not (here), and Benjamin you would take away; upon me are all these! And Reuben spake with his father, saying, Thou shalt put my two children to death if I do not bring him back to thee. Deliver him into my hand, and I will return him to thee. But he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone remains; and if death should befall him in the way in which you will go, you will bring down my grey hairs with mourning unto Sheol.

 

XLIII. But the famine prevailed in the land. And it was when they had ended to eat the corn which they had brought from Mizraim, that their father said to them, Return, and buy for us a little corn. And Jehuda spake to him, saying, The man attesting attested to us, saying, You shall not see my face unless your brother be with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee corn; but if thou wilt not send, we will not go down: for the man told us, You shall not see my face unless your brother be with you. And Israel said, Why did you do me this evil, in showing the man that you have a brother? And they said, The man asking asked us concerning our family,[17] saying, Is your father yet alive ? Have you a brother? And we showed him according to the word of these things: knowing could we know that be would say, Bring your brother to me? And Jehuda said to Israel his father, Send the youth with me, and let us arise and go, that we may live and not die, we, and thou, and our little ones. I will be the pledge for him; of my hand shalt thou require him; if I do not bring him back to thee, and set him before thee, let mine be the sin with thee all the days. For except we had delayed in this, we might now have returned twice. And Israel their father said to them, If then it is to be, do this: take of what is praiseworthy[18] in the land in your vessels, and carry down to the man an offering; a little gum, and a little honey, storax and ladanum, nuts and almonds; and silver, two for one take in your hands, even the. silver which was returned in the mouth of your bags take back in your hands; perhaps it was an oversight. And take your brother, and arise, return to the man; and God the Almighty give you favour before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And I, when desolated, shall be desolate! And the men took that offering, and the money two for one took they in their hands; and they took Benjamin, and arose, and went down into Mizraim, and stood before Joseph. And Joseph saw Benjamin with them; and he said to him who was appointed over his house, Bring the men into the house, and kill a killing[19] and prepare; for the men shall eat with me at dinner. And the man did as Joseph had said; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. And the men were afraid because they were brought into the, house of Joseph; and said, It is on account of the money that was returned in our baggage at first, that we are brought in, that he might domineer over us,[20] and find occasion against us, and take possession of us as slaves, and seize upon our asses. And they drew near the man who was set over Joseph's house, and spake with him at the gate of the house, and said, We entreat my lord (to hear us). Descending we came down at first to buy corn. And it was while we were at the resting‑place, we opened our baggage, and, behold, a man's silver was in the mouth of the bag; the silver in its weight. But we have returned it in our hand. And other silver have we brought in our hand to buy corn. We knew not who put the silver in our baggage. And he said, Peace be to you: fear not; your God, and the God of your father, gave you treasure in, your bags; your money came to me. And he brought out Shemeon to them. And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave water, and they washed their feet, and he gave provender for their asses. And they made ready the offering against the entrance of Joseph to dinner: for they had heard that there they were to eat bread. And Joseph entered the house, and they brought to him the offering which was in their hands into the house; and they bowed to him upon the ground. And he saluted them,[21] and said, Is your father well, the old man you spake of? Is he yet alive? And they said, It is well with thy servant our father, he is yet alive; and they bowed and worshipped. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin his brother, the son of his mother; and he said, Is this your youngest brother of whom you spake to me? And he said, Mercy from the Lord be upon thee, my son.[22] And Joseph made haste, for his bowels were commoved over his brother, and he sought (where) to weep; and he entered into the chamber, the place of sleeping, and wept there. And he washed his face, and came out, and was comforted, and said, Put on bread; and they set for him alone, and for them alone, and for the Mizraee who ate with him, alone. For the Mizraee might not eat bread with the Hivraee, because the animals that the Mizraee worshipped the Hivraee did eat. And they reclined before him, the chief according to his chiefship, and the less according to his minority; and the men wondered, each man at his companion. And portions were brought from him, and set before them, and greater was Benjamin's portion than the portions of them all five portions. And they drank and were merry with him.[23]

 

XLIV. And Joseph commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's bags with corn as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his baggage. And put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the youngest one's baggage, and his purchase‑money. And he did according to Joseph's word which he spake. The morning lightened, and the men were sent away, they and their asses. They had not gone far from the city, when Joseph said to him who was set over his house, Arise, follow after the men, and overtake them, and say to them, Why have you rendered evil for good? Is it not this from which my lord drinketh, and, behold, by which inquiring he inquireth?[24] You have done the thing that is evil. And he overtook them, and spake with them these words. And they said, Why does my lord speak these words? Be it far from thy servants to do according to this thing! Behold, the money which we found in the mouth of our baggages we brought to thee again from the land of Kenaan; how then should we steal from the house of thy lord vessels of silver, or vessels of gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it is found, let him die; and we also will be servants to my lord. And he said, According to your words, so let it be. With whomsoever it is found, he shall be my servant, but you will be acquitted. And they made haste, and brought down every man his baggage to the ground; and every man opened his baggage. And he searched, beginning with the greatest and finishing with the least; and the chalice was found in the baggage of Benjamin. And they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city. And Jehuda entered and his brothers into Joseph's house, for he was still there; and they fell before him on the ground. And Joseph said to them, What work is this which you have done? Did you not know that a man like me divining can divine? And Jehuda said to him, What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? How shall we be justified? Before the lord there is sin found in thy servants. Behold, we are the servants of my lord; we also and he in whose hand the chalice hath been found. But he said, Far be it from me to do so: the man in whose hand the chalice has been found shall be my servant; but go you up in peace to your father.


[1] Or, "sedge."

[2] Harashee.

[3] Hakimaha.

[4] Vesafir-attonsus est.

[5] Or, "sedge."

[6] Sam. Vers. "be fed."

[7] Butz byssus.

[8] Sam. Vers. "double chariot."

[9] Deen aba lemalka.

[10] Sam Vers. Temirithi gala, "The Revealer of mysteries."

[11] Sam. Vers. "the daughter of the Kohen Potiphera."

[12] From nashah, "to forget."

[13] From pharah, "to be fruitful."

[14] Lama tithchazun.

[15] Sam. Vers. "the shame of the land."

[16] Beth mebatha.

[17] "Our generation."

[18] Medimshabach. Sam Vers. "celebrated."

[19] Or, "a victim," niksatha.

[20] Sam. Vers. "lord it over us."

[21] Lit. "asked for their peace."

[22] Sam. Vers. "Elohim be propitious to thee, my son."

[23] Lit. "were drunken." Sam Vers. "were heavy."

[24] Badaqa mebadiq.