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I shall also get you to accompany me over the vast field of Nature, while I describe to you the many wonders of Creation. The sweet smelling flowers, the beautiful singing birds, and the noble animals, each and all bearing witness to the goodness of the Great God who made the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein. My desire also is that, you should be conversant with the principal events of the country in which we live. I shall, therefore, from time to time, give you Chapters on English History: also Lessons on the Arts and Manufactures of England and Foreign Countries : and in the endeavour to assist you to conquer your giants, I hope we shall get well acquainted, and like one another; and that the “Little Child's Pictorial Keepsake” may be one of the means of making you good, wise, and happy children.
JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN, OR, THE GOOD
OSEPH was the son of Jacob and Rachael,
the youngest daughter of Jacob's uncle Laban, and was born A. M. (or the year of the world) 2259, at Padan-Aram, in Mesopotamia, and his infancy was, no doubt, passed there with his father; although no especial mention is made of him in Scrip
ture, until his father had left his uncle, to reside at Canaan; and then we find Joseph at the age of seventeen years. His occupation was at that time the same as his brethren, viz. that of a shepherd ; property in those early times consisting of flocks and herds; and the principal duty of the young men was attending to them.
Joseph appears to have been a most dutiful and affection. ate son; and the commentators upon the Bible, in alluding
to his character, all agree that he was endowed with extraordinary wisdom and prudence, which to a great extent may
ccount for Jacob's preference of him over his brethren; as it is very natural for parents to admire those children who Show a degree of wisdom beyond their years.
Joseph had eleven brethren; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Iudah. Dan, Napthali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulon, and Benjamin.
Benjamin, the youngest, being his orent brother, that is whey were both sons of Rachael, Jacob's second wife, who
at the barth of Benjamin, when they arrived at Bethel, itbeur ourner from Wesopotomia to Canaan.
Ve further and that Jacob, as a mark of attachment to bis favourite son, Josepi gave him a ovat of many colours arch
i le thought to be a garment made up of S u silver sitt which hat much variety in them;
> MANASAP INTHE STaiwa he tout á
ve silt at the s
t aat uit te vier garments and We also take Wil Jouetui, in ancient
an example have we in Joseph's brethren of where this bad passion of jealousy led them to, almost to commit murder, as we shall find afterwards. Therefore, dear young readers, always remember when you find you are beginning to be jealous of another's talents, or acquirements, or presents, " that where much is given, much will be required,” as in the case of Joseph, how much more was required of him than his brethen!
It was at the time Joseph's brethren treated him so badly, that he dreamed a dream, and not having any bad feelings towards them, told them it, “For behold,” said he, “we were binding sheaves in a field, and lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.”
His brethren hated him the more for his dream, and said “shalt thou indeed reign over us?" And he dreamed another dream, and told that also to them, saying, “ Behold the sun, and moon, and eleven stars, made obeisance to me,” and when he had told this to his father and brethren, his father rebuked him, saying, “ Shall I, and thy mother, and thy brethren, indeed, bow unto thee?” Jacob did not wish these dreams of future greatness to make Joseph vain or proud: neither did they. God, who in those days worked by 'signs and wonders,' evidently intended those dreams to buoy up Joseph in his future trouble and affliction, consequent upon his brethren's cruel behaviour.
At this time his brethren were feeding their flocks at Sheckem ; and his father told Joseph to go and see how his brethren were, and bring him word. Jacob's uneasiness about his other children arose from their having so angered the neighbouring places by Simeon's and Levi's massacre of the Sheckemites, that he was obliged to quit the country for fear of the people rising against him. When Joseph arrived at Sheckem, he found they had left, and gone to Dothan, (a town twelve miles to the north of Samaria ;) he went to that place, and there found them. Now, when they saw him afar off, they conspired against him, to slay him, saying, “ Behold this dreamer cometh; let us slay him, and cast him into some pit. And we will say some wild oeast has devoured him.”
And Reuben, his eldest brother, was against their shed. ding his blood, and persuaded them to cast him in the pit hard by in the wilderness, intending to take him out when his brothers were gone; and when Joseph came up to them, they stripped him of his “coat of many colours” and cast him in the pit, and the pit was dry, there being no water in it.
When they had so done, " they sat down to eat bread."
On looking up they beheld a company of Ishmaelites, from Gilead, with their camels, taking spices, myrrh, and balm, down to Egypt.'
And Judah, another of his brethren, said, “ What good will it do us if we slay him and conceal his blood ? Let not our hands be upon him ;" and his brothers agreed with him.
Then passed the Midianites merchantmen; and they drew, and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the merchants for twenty pieces of silver-who took him to Egypt.
Now Reuben, who had left his brethren previous to their