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The Book of the Bee 26 - 29

THE BOOK OF THE BEE

THE SYRIAC TEXT

EDITED FROM THE MANUSCRIPTS IN LONDON, OXFORD, AND MUNICH


CHAPTER XXV.

OF THE TEMPTATION OF JOB.

THERE was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. And he was a perfect, righteous and God-fearing man; and there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. The number of his possessions was seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she-asses, and a very large train of servants. This man was the greatest of all the children of the east. His children used to go and make a feast; and the day came that his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking in the house of their eldest brother. There came a messenger to Job and said to him, 'The oxen were drawing the ploughs, and the she-asses were feeding by their side, when robbers fell upon them and carried them off, and the young men were slain by the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell thee.' While he was yet speaking, there came another and said to him, 'The fire of God fell from heaven and consumed the sheep and the shepherds, and burnt them up; and I alone have escaped to tell thee.' While he was yet speaking, there came another and said to him, 'The Chaldeans divided themselves into three bands and fell upon the camels and carried them off, and slew the young men; and I alone have escaped to tell thee.' While he was yet speaking, there came another and said to him, 'Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking in the house of their eldest brother, when there came a mighty wind and beat upon the corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell thee.' Then Job stood up and rent his garment, and shaved his head; and he fell upon the ground and prostrated himself, saying, 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this did Job sin not, neither did he blaspheme God. And Satan smote Job with a grievous sore from the sole of his foot to his head (lit. brain); and Job took a potsherd to scrape himself with, and sat upon ashes. His wife says to him, 'Dost thou still hold fast by thy integrity? curse God and die.' Job says to her, 'Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh: we have received the good things of God; shall we not receive His evil things?' In all this did Job sin not, neither did he blaspheme God with his lips. Job's three friends heard of this evil which had come upon him, and they came to him, every man from his own land, to comfort him; and their names were these: Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. When they were come, they lifted up their eyes from afar off, and they did not know him. And they lifted up their voice and wept, and each man rent his garment, and they strewed dust upon their heads towards heaven; and they sat with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word, for they saw that his blow was very sore. And when he held fast by his God, He blessed him, and gave him seven sons and three daughters; and there were not found in the whole land women more beautiful than Job's daughters, and their names were Jemima, Keren-happuch, and Kezia. And God gave him fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels and a thousand yoke of oxen; and Job lived one hundred and forty years after his temptation, and died in peace.


CHAPTER XXVII.

OF THE BLESSINGS OF ISAAC.

JACOB was seventy-seven years old when his father Isaac blessed him; and he stole the blessings and birthright from his brother Esau, and fled from before his brother to Harr. On the first night Jacob saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending, and the Power of God upon the top thereof. And he woke and said, 'This is the house of the Lord.' He took the stone that was under his head, and set it up for an altar; and he vowed a vow to God. Now the ladder was a type of Christ's crucifixion; the angels that were ascending and descending were a type of the angels who announced the glad tidings to the shepherds on the day of our Saviour's birth. The Power of God which was upon the top of the ladder was (a type of) the manifestation of God the Word in pure flesh of the formation of Adam. The place in which the vision appeared was a type of the church; the stone under his head, which he set up for an altar, was a type of the altar; and the oil which he poured out upon it was like the holy oil wherewith they anoint the altar.

And Jacob went to Laban the Aramean, his mother's brother, and served before him as a shepherd for fourteen years. And he took his two daughters to wife; Leah with her handmaid Zilpah, and Rachel with her handmaid Bilhah. Now he loved Rachel more than Leah, because she was the younger and was fair in aspect, while Leah had watery eyes. There were born to Jacob by Leah six sons: R (Reuben), which is interpreted 'Great is God' (now Jacob was eighty-four years old at that time); Simeon, which is interpreted 'the Obedient;' Levi, that is 'the Perfect;' Judah, that is 'Praise;' Issachar, that is 'Hope is near;' and Zebulun, that is 'Gift' or 'Dwelling-place.' Two sons were born to him by Rachel: Joseph, that is 'Addition;' and Benjamin, that is 'Consolation.' By Zilpah two sons were born to him: Gad, that is 'Luck;' and Asher, that is 'Praise.' By Bilhah two sons were born to him: Dan, that is 'Judgment;' and Naphtali, that is 'Heartener;' and one daughter, whose name was Dinah. After twenty years Jacob returned to Isaac; and Isaac lived one hundred and eighty years. Twenty-three years after Jacob went up to his father, Joseph was sold by his brethren to the Midianites for twenty ds. When Isaac died, Jacob was one hundred and twenty years old.


Footnotes

Dinah was the daughter of Leah, Gen. xxx. 21.


CHAPTER XXVIII.

OF JOSEPH.

AFTER Jacob's sons had been born to him by Leah, then Joseph and Benjamin were born to him (by Rachel); and he loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the child of (his) old age, and because of his beauty and purity, and his being left motherless. He made him a garment with long sleeves, and his brethren envied him. And he dreamed dreams twice, and their hatred increased, and they kept anger in their hearts against him. They sold him to the Midianites, who carried him to Egypt, and sold him to Potiphar, the chief of the guards; and Potiphar delivered his house and servants into his hands; but because of the wantonness of Potiphar's wife, he was bound and kept in prison for two years. When the chief cup-bearer and the chief baker dreamed dreams in one night, and Joseph interpreted them, his words actually came to pass. After Joseph had remained in bondage two years, Pharaoh the king of Egypt saw two dreams in one night; and he was troubled and disturbed, and the sorcerers and enchanters and wise men were unable to interpret his dreams. Then one of those who had been imprisoned with Joseph remembered (him), and they told Pharaoh and Joseph interpreted his dreams, and Pharaoh made him king over Egypt. And Joseph gathered together and collected the corn of the seven prosperous years, and saved it for the seven years of famine. When the household of Jacob lacked bread, Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy corn, and they met Joseph, and he recognised them, but they did not know him. After he had tortured them twice by his harsh words, he at last revealed himself to them, and shewed himself to his brethren. And he sent and brought his father Jacob and all his family--seventy-five souls in number, and they came down and dwelt in the land of Egypt two hundred and thirty years. Concerning that which God spake to Abraham, 'Thy seed shall be a sojourner in a strange land four hundred and thirty years;' they were under subjection in their thoughts from the time that God spake to Abraham until they went forth from Egypt. Jacob died in Egypt, and he commanded that he should be buried with his fathers; and they carried him and buried him by the side of his fathers in the land of Palestine. After Joseph died, another king arose, who knew not Joseph, and he oppressed the children of Israel with heavy labour in clay; at that time Moses was born in Egypt. Since many have written the history of the blessed Joseph at great length, and the blessed M Ephraim has written his history in twelve discourses, concerning everything which happened to him from his childhood to his death, as well as another discourse upon the carrying up of his bones (to Palestine), we refrain from writing a long account of him, that we may not depart from the plan which we laid down in making this collection.


CHAPTER XXIX.

OF MOSES AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.

AFTER Joseph was dead, and another king had arisen who knew not the Israelitish people, the people increased and became strong in Egypt. And Pharaoh was afraid of them, and laid a burden upon them, and oppressed them with hard work in clay, and demanded a tale of bricks from them without giving them straw. At that time Moses the son of Amram, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, was born. Levi was forty-six years old when he begat Kohath; Kohath was sixty-three years old when he begat Amram; and Amram was seventy years old when he begat Moses. When Moses was born, Pharaoh the king commanded to throw the new-born children of the Israelites into the river. Moses was beautiful in appearance, and he was called Pant and Amly and the Egyptians used to call him the Shakwhof the daughter of Pharaoh. The name of Moses' mother was Yok (Jochebed). When the command of the king went forth for the drowning of the infants, she made a little ark covered with pitch, and laid the child in it; and she carried it and placed it in a shallow part of the waters of the river Nile (that is Gu>h); and she sat down opposite (that is, at a distance), to see what would be the end of the child. And Sh, the daughter of Pharaoh, came to bathe in the river--some say that she was called Tharmes and she saw the ark and commanded it to be fetched. When she opened it, and saw that the appearance of the child was beautiful and his complexion comely, she said, 'Verily this child is one of the Hebrews' children;' and she took him, and reared him up as her son. She sought a Hebrew nurse, and the mother of the child Moses came, and became a nurse to him; and he was reared in the house of Pharaoh until he was forty years old. One day he saw Pethk the Egyptian, one of the servants of Pharaoh, quarrelling with an Israelite and reviling him. Moses looked this way and that way, and saw no man; and zeal entered into him, and he slew the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. Two days after, he saw two Hebrews quarrelling with one another. And he said to them, 'Ye are brethren; why quarrel ye with one another?' And one of them thrust him away from him, saying, 'Dost thou peradventure seek to kill me as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?' Then Moses feared lest Pharaoh should perceive (this) and slay him; and he fled to Midian, and sat by the well there. Now Reuel the Midianite had seven daughters, who used to come to that well and water their father's flocks; and the shepherds came and drove them away; and Moses arose and delivered them, and watered their flocks. When they went to their father, he said to them, 'Ye have come quickly to-day.' They said to him, 'An Egyptian rescued us from the hands of the shepherds, and watered the flocks also.' He said to them, 'Why did ye not bring him? Go quickly and call him hither to eat bread with us.' When Moses came to the house of Reuel and dwelt with him, Reuel loved him and gave him his daughter Zipporah the Cushite to wife. And he said to him, 'Go into the house, and take a shepherd's crook, and go feed thy flocks.' When Moses went into the house to take the rod, it drew near to him by divine agency; and he took it and went forth to feed his father-in-law's flocks.

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