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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter XLVI

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Text Commentary

1And it came to pass after Jacob died the number of Israelites in the land of Egypt increased, and they became a great nation; and they were united in heart and mind, so that each one loved his brother and helped his brother. And their numbers increased more and more and multiplied greatly, ten weeks of years, all the time that Joseph was alive. 2And there was no adversary 1 Or ‘Satan’. nor any evil to afflict them all the time that Joseph lived after his father Jacob's death, for while Joseph lived all the Egyptians held the Israelites in high esteem.

3And Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten: for seventeen years he lived in the land of Canaan, for ten years he was a servant, for three years he was in prison, and for eighty years he was viceroy and ruled the whole of the land of Egypt. 4And he died, and so did all his brothers and all that generation. 5And before he died he gave instructions to the Israelites to take his bones with them when they went out of the land of Egypt. 6And he put them on oath regarding his bones, for he knew that the Egyptians would not take him and bury him in the land of Canaan (for Makamaron, 2 Alternative reading ‘Mamkeron’. king of Canaan, while living in the land of Assyria, fought in the valley with the king of Egypt and killed him there, and pursued the Egyptians to the gates of Ermon. 3 According to Charles this is Heroonpolis, near the desert, on the canal of Ramses. 7But he was not able to get inside, because another king, a new one, had become king of Egypt, and he was stronger than he was, and so he returned to the land of Canaan; and the gate of Egypt was shut, and no one went out of Egypt and no one went in). 8And Joseph died in the forty-sixth jubilee, in the sixth week, in the second year; and they buried him in the land of Egypt. And all his brothers died after him.

9And the king of Egypt went out to war with the king of Canaan in the forty-seventh jubilee, in the second week in the second year; and the Israelites brought out all the bones of Jacob's children except Joseph's, and they buried them in the country, in the double cave in the mountain. 10And most of them returned to Egypt, but a few of them remained in the mountains of Hebron; and your father Amram remained among them. 11And the king of Canaan was victorious over the king of Egypt; and he shut the gate of Egypt.

12And he devised an infamous plan to afflict the Israelites; and he 13said to the Egyptians, Behold the Israelite people have increased in number and multiplied more than we have. Come then, let us take steps to curb them 4 Eth. ‘let us act cleverly against them’: Lat. ‘let us afflict them’. before they become too many, and let us wear them down with heavy labour, 5 Eth. ‘let us afflict them with slavery’: Lat. ‘let us humble them by (in) their works’ – and similarly in verse 14. in case war comes on us and they join our enemies 6 So Lat.: Eth. ‘the enemy’. and fight against us too and leave our land altogether (for their hearts and faces are always turned towards the land of Canaan). 14And he set over them taskmasters 7 Eth. lit. ‘elders of workmen’: Lat. ‘executors of works’. to wear them down with heavy labour. And they built strong cities for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses; and they built all the walls and all the fortifications which had fallen in the cities 8 So Lat.: Eth. ‘city’. of Egypt. 15And they forced them into slavery; but the more harshly they treated them, the more their numbers increased and multiplied. 16And the Egyptians despised 9 Lit. ‘regarded as an abomination’. the Israelites.

Notes:

1 Or ‘Satan’.

2 Alternative reading ‘Mamkeron’.

3 According to Charles this is Heroonpolis, near the desert, on the canal of Ramses.

4 Eth. ‘let us act cleverly against them’: Lat. ‘let us afflict them’.

5 Eth. ‘let us afflict them with slavery’: Lat. ‘let us humble them by (in) their works’ – and similarly in verse 14.

6 So Lat.: Eth. ‘the enemy’.

7 Eth. lit. ‘elders of workmen’: Lat. ‘executors of works’.

8 So Lat.: Eth. ‘city’.

9 Lit. ‘regarded as an abomination’.

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