Jo'seph (Heb. Yoseph', יוֹסֵŠ, containing, according to Ge 30:23-24, a two-fold significance [the two Heb. roots coinciding in form in Hiphil], remover, from אָסִŠ, and increaser, from יָסִŠ, the latter favored by the uncontracted or Chaldaistic form Yehoseph', יהוֹסֵŠ, occurring only Ps 81:6; Sept. and N.T. Ι᾿ωσήφ, i.q. Josephus), the name of several men in the Scriptures and Josephus, all doubtless after the first of the name, whose beautiful history is told at length in the Scriptures with inimitable simplicity. SEE JOSEPHUS.
I. The elder son of Jacob and Rachel, born (B.C. 1913; comp. Ge 41:46) under peculiar circumstances, as may be seen in Ge 30:22; on which account, and because he was the son of his old age (Ge 37:3), he was beloved by his father more than were the rest of his children, though Benjamin, as being also a son of Jacob's favorite wife Rachel, was in a peculiar manner dear to the patriarch. The partiality evinced towards Joseph by his father excited jealousy on the part of his brethren, the rather as they were born of different mothers (Ge 37:2). Jacob at this time had two small pieces of land in Canaan, Abraham's burying place at Hebron in the south, and the "parcel of a field, where he [Jacob] had spread his tent" (Ge 33:19), at Shechem in the north, the latter being probably, from its price, the lesser of the two. He seems then to have stayed at Hebron with the aged Isaac, while his sons kept his flocks.
1. Joseph had reached his seventeenth year, having hitherto been engaged in boyish sports, or aiding in pastoral duties, when some conduct on the part of "the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives," seems to have been such as, in the opinion of Joseph, to require the special attention of Jacob, to whom accordingly he communicated the facts. This regard to virtue, and this manifestation of filial fidelity, greatly increased his brothers' dislike, who henceforth "hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him" (Ge 37:4). Their jealousy was aggravated by the fact that Jacob had shown his preference by making him a dress (פִּסַּיםכּתֹנֶת), which appears to have been a long tunic with sleeves, worn by youths and maidens of the richer class. SEE ATTIRE. Their aversion, however, was carried to the highest pitch when Joseph acquainted them with the two dreams that he had had, to the effect — the first, that while he and they were binding sheaves, his sheaf arose and stood erect, while theirs stood round and did obeisance to his; the second, that "the sun and the moon and the eleven stars did him homage." These dreams appeared to indicate that Joseph would acquire preeminence in the family, if not sovereignty; and while even his father rebuked him, his brothers were filled with envy (Ge 37:11). Jacob, however, was not aware of the depth of their ill will; so that, on one occasion, having a desire to hear intelligence of his sons, who were pasturing their flocks at a distance, he did not hesitate to make Joseph his messenger for that purpose. They had gone to Shechem to feed the flock and Joseph was sent thither from the vale of Hebron by his father to bring him word of their welfare and that of the flock. They were not at Shechem, but had gone to Dothan, which appears to have been not very far distant, pasturing their flock like the Arabs of the present day, wherever the wild country (ver. 22) was unowned. His appearing in view of his brothers was the signal for their malice to gain head. They began to devise means for his immediate destruction, which they would have unhesitatingly effected but for his half brother Reuben, who, as the eldest son might well be the party to interfere on behalf of Joseph. A compromise was entered into, in virtue of which the youth was stripped of the distinguishing vestments which he owed to his father's affection, and cast into a pit. Having performed this evil deed, and while they were taking refreshment, the brothers beheld a caravan of Arabian merchants (Ishmaelites =Midianites), who were bearing the spices and aromatic gums of India down to the well known and much frequented mart, Egypt. Judah on this feels a better emotion arise in his mind, and proposes that instead of allowing Joseph to perish, they should sell him to the merchants, whose trade obviously from this embraced human beings as well as spicery. Accordingly the unhappy young man was sold for a slave (at the price of twenty shekels of silver, a sort of fixed rate: see Le 27:5), to be conveyed by his masters into Egypt. While on his way thither, Reuben returned to the pit, intending to rescue his brother, and convey him safely back to their father. Finding Joseph gone, he returned with expostulations to the wicked young men, who, so far from relenting, now concerted a fresh act of treachery, by which at once to cover their crime and also punish their father for his partiality towards the unoffending sufferer. With this view they dipped Joseph's party colored garment in the blood of a kid and sent it to Jacob in order to make him believe that his favorite child had been torn to pieces by some wild beast. The trick succeeded, and Jacob was grieved beyond measure (Ge 38:12-30). B.C. 1895.
2. Meanwhile the merchants sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the royal guard, who was a native of the country (Ge 37:36). It is by no means easy to determine who at this time was the Pharaoh, or ruling monarch, though, what is far more important, the condition of the country, and therein the progress of civilization, are in certain general and important features made clear in the course of the narration. According to Syncellus, however, the general opinion in his day was that the sovereign's name who ruled Egypt at the time of the deportation of Joseph was Aphophis. SEE EGYPT. In Potiphar's house Joseph enjoyed the highest confidence and the largest prosperity. A higher power watched over him; and whatever he undertook succeeded, till at length his master gave everything into his hands. He was placed over all his master's property with perfect trust, and "the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake" (ver. 5). The sculptures and paintings of the ancient Egyptian tombs bring vividly before us the daily life and duties of Joseph. The property of great men is shown to have been managed by scribes, who exercised a most methodical and minute supervision over all the operations of agriculture, gardening, the keeping of livestock, and fishing. Every product was carefully registered to check the dishonesty of the laborers, who in Egypt have always been famous in this respect. Probably in no country was farming ever more systematic. Joseph's previous knowledge of tending flocks, and perhaps of husbandry, and his truthful character, exactly fitted him for the post of overseer.
The Hebrew race have always been remarkable for personal beauty, of which Joseph seems, to have had an unusual share. This fact explains, though, it cannot palliate, the conduct of Potiphar's wife, who, with the well known profligacy of the Egyptian women; tried every means to bring the pure minded youth to fulfill her unchaste desires. Foiled in her evil wishes, she resolved to punish Joseph, who thus a second time innocently brings on himself the vengeance of the ill disposed. Charged with the very crime to which he had in vain been tempted; he is, with a fickleness characteristic of Oriental lords, at once cast into the state prison. (Genesis 39). If the suddenness and magnitude of this and other changes in the lot of Joseph should surprise anyone, the feeling will be mainly owing to his want of acquaintance with the manners and customs of the East, where vicissitudes not less marked and sudden than are those presented in our present history are not uncommon; for those who come into the charmed circle of an Eastern court, especially if they are persons of great energy of character, are subject to the most wonderful alternations of fortune, the slave of today being the vizier of tomorrow, and vice versa.
It must not be supposed, from the lowness of the morals of the Egyptians in practice, that the sin of unfaithfulness in a wife was not ranked among the heaviest vices. The punishment of adulterers was severe, and a moral tale, entitled "The Two Brothers" (contained in a papyrus of the 19th dynasty, found in the British Museum, and translated in the Cambridge Essays for 1858), is founded upon a case nearly resembling that of Joseph.
It has, indeed, been imagined that this story was based upon the trial of Joseph, and as it was written for the heir to the throne of Egypt at a later period, there is some reason in the idea that the virtue of one who had held so high a position as Joseph might have been in the mind of the writer, were this part of his history well known to the priests, which, however, is not likely. This incident, moreover, is not so remarkable as to justify great stress being laid upon the similarity to it of the main event of a moral tale. The story of Bellerophon might as reasonably be traced to it, were it Egyptian and not Greek. The Muslims have founded upon the history of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, whom they call Yusuf and Zelikha, a famous religious allegory. This is much to be wondered at, as the Koran relates the tempting of Joseph with no material variation in the main particulars from the authentic narrative. The commentators say that, after the death of Potiphar (Kitfir), Joseph married Zelikha (Sale, chap. 12). This mistake was probably caused by the circumstance that Joseph's father-in-law bore the same name as his master.
Potiphar, although believing Joseph guilty, does not appear to have brought him before a tribunal, where the enormity of his alleged crime, especially after the trust placed in him, and the fact of his being a foreigner, which was made much of by his master's wife (Ge 39:14,17), would probably have insured a punishment of the severest kind. He seems to have only cast him into the prison, which appears to have been in his house, or, at least, under his control since afterwards prisoners are related to have been put "in ward. [in] the house of the captain of the executioners, into the prison" (40:3), and simply "in ward [in] the captain of the executioners' house" (Ge 41:10; comp. 40:7). The prison is described as "a place where the king's prisoners [were] bound" (Ge 39:20). Here the hardest time of Joseph's period of probation began. He was cast into prison on a false accusation, to remain there for at least two years, and perhaps for a much longer time. At first he was treated with severity; this we learn from Psalm 105, "He sent a mail before them, Joseph [who] was sold for a slave: whose feet they afflicted with the fetter: the iron entered into his soul" (ver. 17:18). There is probably here a connection between "fetter" and "iron" (comp. Ge 49:8), in which case the signification of the last clause would be "the iron entered into him," meaning that the fetters cut his feet or legs. This is not inconsistent with the statement in Genesis that the keeper of the prison treated Joseph well (Ge 39:21), for we are not justified in thence inferring that he was kind from the first. In the prison, as in Potiphar's house. Joseph was found worthy of complete trust, and the keeper of the prison placed everything under his control, God's especial blessing attending his honest service. After a while Pharaoh was incensed against two of his officers, "the chief of the cup bearers" (שִׂר הַמִּשׁקַים), and "the chief of the bakers" (שִׂר הָאוֹפַים), and cast them into the prison where Joseph was. Here the chief of the executioners, doubtless a successor of Potiphar (for, had the latter been convinced of Joseph's innocence, he would not have left him in the prison, and if not so convinced he would not have trusted him), charged Joseph to serve these prisoners. Like Potiphar, they were "officers" of Pharaoh (40:2), and though it may be a mistake to call them grandees, their easy access to the king would give them an importance that explains the care taken of them by the chief of the executioners. Each dreamed a prophetic dream, which Joseph correctly interpreted, disclaiming human skill and acknowledging that interpretations were of God. It is not necessary here to discuss in detail the particulars of this part of Joseph's history, since they do not materially affect the leading events of his life; they are, however, very interesting, from their perfect agreement with the manners of the ancient Egyptians as represented on their monuments. On the authority of Herodotus and others, it was long denied that the vine grew in Egypt; and if so, the imagery of the butler's dream would hardly have been appropriate. Wilkinson, however, has shown beyond a question that vines did grow in Egypt, and thus not only removed a doubt, but given a positive confirmation of the sacred record (Manners of the Anc. Egypt. 2, 152).
The butler, whose fate was auspicious, promised the young Hebrew to employ his influence to procure his restoration to the free air of day; but when again in the enjoyment of his "butlership," "he forgat" Joseph (Genesis 40). B.C. 1885. Pharaoh himself, however, had two dreams, which found in Joseph a successful expounder; for the butler remembered the skill of his prison companion, and advised his royal master to put it to the test in his own case. Pharaoh's dream, as interpreted by. Joseph, foreboded the approach of a seven years' famine; to abate the evils of which Joseph recommended that some "discreet and wise man" should be chosen and set in full power over the land of Egypt. The monarch was alarmed, and called a council of his advisers. The wisdom of Joseph was recognized as of divine origin and supereminent value; and the king and his ministers (whence it appears that the Egyptian monarchy — at Memphis — was not despotic, but constitutional) resolved that Joseph should be made (to borrow a term from Rome) dictator in the approaching time of need. "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art. Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled. only in the throne will I be greater than thou. See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee. SEE ABRECI. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah [savior of the world; comp. Jablonsky, Opusc. 1, 207.sq.]; and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt" (41:39 sq.). The monuments show that on the investiture of a high official in Egypt, one of the chief ceremonies was the putting on him a collar of gold (see Ancient Egyptians, pl. 80); the other particulars, the vestures of fine linen and the riding in the second chariot, are equally in accordance with the manners of the country. It has been supposed that Joseph was taken into the priestly order, and thus ennobled. The Biblical narrative does not support this opinion, though it leaves it without a doubt that in reality, if not in form as well, the highest trust and the proudest honors of the state were conferred on one so recently a Hebrew slave. The age of Joseph is stated to have been thirty years at the time of this promotion (41:46). B.C. 1883.
3. Seven years of abundance afforded Joseph opportunity to carry into effect such plans as secured an ample provision against the seven years of need. The famine came, but it found a prepared people. The representations of the monuments, which show that the contents of the granaries were accurately noted by the scribes when they were filled, well illustrate this part of the history. SEE GRANARY. The visitation was not merely local, for "the famine was over all the face of the earth;" "and all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn" (ver. 56, 57). The expressions here used, however, do not require us to suppose that the famine extended beyond the countries around Egypt, such as Palestine, Syria, and Arabia, as well as some part of Africa, although of course it may have been more widely experienced. It may be observed, that although famines in Egypt depend immediately upon the failure of the inundation, and in other countries upon the failure of rain, yet that, as the rise of the Nile is caused by heavy rains in Ethiopia, an extremely dry season there and in Palestine would produce the result described in the sacred narrative. It must also be recollected that Egypt was anciently the granary of neighboring countries and that a famine there would cause first scarcity, and then famine, around. Famines are not very unfrequent in the history of Egypt; but the famous seven years' famine in the reign of the Fatimite Caliph El'Mustansir-billah is the only known parallel to that of Joseph. SEE FAMINE. Early in the time of famine, Joseph's brethren came to buy corn, a part of the history which we mention here only as indicating the liberal policy of the governor of Egypt, by which the storehouses were opened to all buyers, of whatever nation they were.
After the famine had lasted for a time, apparently two years, there was "no bread in all the land; for the famine [was] very sore, so that the land of Egypt and [all] the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house" (Ge 47:13-14). When all the money of Egypt and Canaan was exhausted, barter became necessary. Joseph then obtained all the cattle of Egypt, and in the next year, all the land, except that of the priests, and apparently, as a consequence, the Egyptians themselves. He demanded, however, only a fifth part of the produce as Pharaoh's right. It has been attempted to trace this enactment of Joseph in the fragments of Egyptian history preserved by profane writers, but the result has not been satisfactory. Even were the latter sources trustworthy as to the early period of Egyptian history, it would be difficult to determine the age referred to, as the actions of at least two kings are ascribed by the Greeks to Sesostris, the king particularized. Herodotus says that, according to the Egyptians, Sesostris "made a division of the soil of Egypt among the inhabitants, assigning square plots of ground of equal size to all, and obtaining his chief revenue from the rent which the holders were required to pay him every year" (2, 109). Elsewhere he speaks of the priests as having no expenses, being supported by the property of the temples (2, 37), but he does not assign to Sesostris, as has been rashly supposed, the exemption from taxation that we may reasonably infer. Diodorus Siculus ascribes the division of Egypt into nomes to Sesostris, whom he calls Sesoosis. Taking into consideration. the general character of the information given by Herodotus respecting the history of Egypt at periods remote from his own time, we are not justified in supposing anything more than that some tradition of an ancient allotment of the soil by the crown among the population was current when he visited the country. The testimony of Diodorus is of far less weight.
There is a notice, in an ancient Egyptian inscription, of a famine which has been supposed to be that of Joseph. The inscription is in a tomb at Beni Hasan, and records of Ameni, a governor of a district of Upper Egypt, that when there were years of famine, his district was supplied with food. This was in the time of Sesertesen 1, of the twelfth dynasty. It has been supposed by Bunsen (Egypt's Place, 3, 334) that this must be Joseph's famine; but not only are the particulars of the record inapplicable to that instance, but the calamity it relates was never unusual in Egypt, as its ancient inscriptions and modern history equally testify.
Joseph's policy towards the subjects of Pharaoh is important in reference to forming an estimate of his character. It displays the resolution and breadth of view that mark his whole career. He perceived a great advantage to be gained, and he lost no part of it. He put all Egypt under Pharaoh. First the money, then the cattle, last of all the land, and the Egyptians themselves, became the property of the sovereign, and that. too, by the voluntary act of the people without any pressure. This being effected, he exercised a great act of generosity, and required only a fifth of the produce as a recognition of the rights of the crown. Of the wisdom of this policy there can be no doubt. Its justice can hardly be questioned when it is borne in mind that the Egyptians were not forcibly deprived of their liberties, and that when these had been given up they were at once restored. We do not know all the circumstances; but if, as we may reasonably suppose, the people were warned of the famine, and yet made no preparation during the years of overflowing abundance, the government had a clear claim upon its subjects for having taken precautions they had neglected. In any case it may have been desirable to make a new allotment of land, and to reduce an unequal system of taxation to a simple claim to a fifth of the produce. We have no evidence whether Joseph were in this matter divinely aided, but we cannot doubt that if not he acted in accord with a judgment of great clearness in distinguishing good and evil.
4. We have now to consider the conduct of Joseph at this time towards his brethren and his father. Early in the time of famine, which prevailed equally in Canaan and Egypt, Jacob reproved his helpless sons and sent them to Egypt, where he knew there was corn to be bought. Benjamin alone he kept with him. Joseph was now governor, an Egyptian in habits and speech, for like all men of large mind he had suffered no scruples of prejudice to make him a stranger to the people he ruled. In his exalted station he labored with the zeal that he showed in all his various charges, presiding himself at the sale of corn. They had, of necessity, to appear before Joseph, whose license for the purchase of corn was indispensable. Joseph had probably expected to see them, and he seems to have formed a deliberate plan of action. His conduct has brought on him the always ready charges of those who would rather impeach than study the Bible, and even friends of that sacred book have hardly in this case done Joseph full justice (Niemeyer, Charakt. 2, 366; Heuser, Diss. non inhumaniter sed prudenttissime Josephum cum fratribus fecisse, Hal. 1773). Joseph's main object appears to have been to make his brothers feel and recognize their guilt in their conduct towards him. For this purpose suffering, then as well as now, was indispensable. Accordingly, Joseph feigned not to know his brothers, charged them with being spies, threatened them with imprisonment and allowed them to return home to fetch their younger brother, as a proof of their veracity, only on condition that one of them should remain behind in chains, with a prospect of death before him should not their words be verified. Then it was, and not before, that "they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul and would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben said, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child, and ye would not hear? therefore. behold, also his blood is required" (Ge 42:21). Upon this after weeping bitterly, he by common agreement bound his brother Simeon, and left him in custody. How deeply concerned Joseph was for his family, how true and affectionate a heart he had, may be learned from the words which escape from the brothers in their entreaty that Jacob would allow Benjamin to go into Egypt, as required by Joseph: "The man asked us straitly of our state and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother?" (Ge 43:7).
At length Jacob consents to Benjamin's going in company with his brothers: "And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved" (ver. 14). Thus provided, with a present consisting of balm, honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts and almonds, and with double money in their hands (double, in order that they might repay the sum which Joseph had caused to be put into each man's sack at their departure, if, as Jacob supposed, "it was an oversight"), they went again down to Egypt and stood before Joseph (Ge 43:15); and there, too, stood Benjamin, Joseph's beloved brother. The required pledge of truthfulness was given. If it is asked why such a pledge was demanded, since the giving of it caused pain to Jacob, the answer may be thus: Joseph knew not how to demean himself towards his family until he ascertained its actual condition. That knowledge he could hardly be certain he had gained from the mere words of men who had spared his life only to sell himself into slavery. How had these wicked men behaved towards his venerable father? His beloved brother Benjamin, was he safe? or had he suffered from their jealousy and malice the worse fate with which he himself had been threatened? Nothing but the sight of Benjamin could answer these questions and resolve these details.
Benjamin had come, and immediately a natural change took place in Joseph's conduct: the brother began to claim his rights in Joseph's bosom. Jacob wag safe, and Benjamin was safe. Joseph's heart melted at the sight of Benjamin: "And he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay and make ready, for these men shall dine with me at noon" (Ge 43:16). But guilt is always the ready parent of fear; accordingly, the brothers expected nothing but being reduced to slavery. When taken to their own brother's house, they imagined they were being entrapped. A colloquy ensued between them and Joseph's steward, whence it appeared that the money put into their sacks, to which they now attributed their peril, was in truth a present from Joseph, designed, after his own brotherly manner, to aid his family in their actual necessities. The steward said," Peace be to you; fear not; your God and the God of your father hath given you the treasure in your sacks. I had your money" (ver. 23).
Noon came, and with it Joseph, whose first question regarded home: "He asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? is he yet alive? And he lifted up his eves and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son!"' "And Joseph made haste, for his bowels did yearn upon his brother, and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there." Does this look like harshness?
The connection brings into view an Egyptian custom, which is of more than ordinary importance, in consequence of its being adopted in the Jewish polity: "And they set on (food) for him by himself (Joseph), and for them by themselves (the brethren), and for the Egyptians which did eat with them, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination with the Egyptians" (ver. 32). This passage is also interesting, as proving that Joseph had not, in his princely grandeur, become ashamed of his origin, nor consented to receive adoption into a strange nation: he was still a Hebrew, waiting, like Moses after him, for the proper season to use his power for the good of his own people.
Other customs appear in this interesting narrative: "And they (the brothers) sat before him (Joseph), the first born according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth." "And he sent messes (delicacies) unto them from before him; but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs" (ver. 32, 33). Fear had now given place to wonder, and wonder at length issued in joy and mirth (comp. ver. 18, 33, 34). The scenes of the Egyptian tombs show us that it was the custom for each person to eat singly, particularly among the great; that guests were placed according to their right of precedence, and that it was usual to drink freely, men and even women being represented as overpowered with wine, probably as an evidence of the liberality of the entertainer. SEE BANQUET.
Joseph, apparently with a view to ascertain how far his brethren were faithful to their father, hit upon a plan which would in its issue serve to show whether they would make any, and what sacrifice, in order to fulfill their solemn promise of restoring Benjamin in safety to Jacob. Accordingly, he orders not only that every man's money (as before) should be put in his sack's mouth, but also that his "silver cup, in which my lord drinketh, and whereby he divineth," should be put in the sack's mouth of the youngest. The brethren leave, but are soon overtaken by Joseph's steward, who charges them with having surreptitiously carried off this costly and highly- valued vessel. They, on their part, vehemently repel the accusation, adding, "with whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen." A search is made, and the cup is found in Benjamin's sack. Accordingly they return to the city. And now comes the hour of trial: Would they purchase their own liberation by surrendering Benjamin? After a most touching interview, in which they prove themselves worthy and faithful, Joseph declares himself unable any longer to withstand the appeal of natural affection. On this occasion Judah, who is the spokesman, shows the deepest regard to his aged father's feelings, and entreats for the liberation of Benjamin even at the price of his own liberty. In the whole of literature we know of nothing more simple, natural, true, and impressive; nor, while passages of this kind stand in the Pentateuch, can we even understand what is meant by terming that collection of writings "the Hebrew national epic," or regarding it as an aggregation of historical legends. If here we have not history, we can in no case be sure that history is before us (Genesis 44).
Most natural and impressive is the scene also which ensues, in which Joseph, after informing his brethren who he was, and inquiring, first of all, "Is my father alive?" expresses feelings free from the slightest taint of revenge, and even shows how, under divine Providence the conduct of his brothers had issued in good — "God sent me before you to preserve a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance." Five years had yet to ensue in which "there would be neither earning nor harvest," and therefore the brethren were directed to return home and bring Jacob down to Egypt with all speed. "And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover, he kissed all his brethren and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him" (Ge 45:14-15).
The news of these striking events was carried to Pharaoh, who, being pleased at Joseph's conduct, gave directions that Jacob and his family should come forthwith into Egypt: "I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land; regard not your stuff, for the good of all the land is yours." The brethren departed, being well provided for: "And to his father Joseph sent ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn, and bread, and meat for his father by the way." The intelligence which they bore to their father was of such a nature that "Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not." When, however, he had recovered from the thus naturally told effects of his surprise, the venerable patriarch said, "Enough; Joseph, my son, is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die" (Ge 45:26,28). Accordingly Jacob and his family, to the number of threescore and ten souls, go down to Egypt, and by the express efforts of Joseph, are allowed to settle in the district of Goshen, where Joseph met his father: "And he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while." There Joseph "nourished his father and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families" (Ge 47:12). B.C. 1874.
5. Joseph had now to pass through the mournful scenes which attend on the death and burial of a father (Ge 1:1-21). B.C. 1856. Having had Jacob embalmed, and seen the rites of mourning fully observed, the faithful and affectionate son — leave being obtained of the monarch — proceeded into the land of Canaan, in order, agreeably to a promise which the patriarch had exacted (Ge 47:29-31), to lay the old man's bones with those of his fathers, in "the field of Ephron the Hittite." Having performed with long and bitter mourning Jacob's funeral rites, Joseph returned into Egypt. The last recorded act of his life forms a most becoming close. After the death of their father, his brethren, unable, like all guilty people, to forget their criminality, and characteristically finding it difficult to think that Joseph had really forgiven them, grew afraid, now they were in his power, that he would take an opportunity of inflicting some punishment on them. They accordingly go into his presence, and in imploring terms and an abject manner entreat his forgiveness. "Fear not" this is his noble reply — "I will nourish you and your little ones."
6. By his Egyptian wife Asenath, daughter of the high priest of Heliopolis, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Ge 42:38 sq.), whom Jacob adopted (Ge 48:5), and who accordingly took their place among the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Joseph lived a hundred and ten years, kind and gentle in his affections to the last; for we are told, "The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were brought up upon Joseph's knees" (Ge 50:23). Having obtained a promise from his brethren that when the time came, as he assured them it would come, that God should visit them, and "bring them unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob," they would carry up his bones out of Egypt, Joseph at length "died, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin" (Ge 50:26). B.C. 1802. This promise was religiously fulfilled. His descendants, after carrying the corpse about with them in their wanderings, at length put it in its final resting place in Shechem, in a parcel of ground that Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor, which became the inheritance of the children of Joseph (Jos 24:32). A tomb which probably represents the same spot is still shown to travelers in the vicinity of Jacob's Well (Hackett's Illustrations, p. 197). It is a flat roofed rectangular building surmounted by a dome, under which is pointed out the real tomb, in shape like a covered wagon (Wilson, Bible Lands, 2, 60).
The history of Joseph's posterity is given in the articles devoted to the tribes of EPHRAIM and MANASSEH. Sometimes these tribes are spoken of under the name of Joseph (Jos 14:4; Jos 17:14,17; Jos 18:5; Jg 1:23,35, etc.), which is even given to the whole Israelitish nation (Ps 80:1; Ps 81:5; Am 5:15; Am 6:6). Ephraim is, however, the common name of his descendants, for the division of Manasseh gave almost the whole political weight to the brother tribe (Ps 78:67; Eze 37:16,19; Zec 10:6). That great people seems to have inherited all Joseph's ability with one of his goodness, and the very knowledge of his power in Egypt, instead of stimulating his offspring to follow in his steps, appears only to have constantly drawn them into a hankering after that forbidden land which began when Jeroboam introduced the calves, and ended only when a treasonable alliance laid Samaria in ruins and sent the ten tribes into captivity.
7. The character of Joseph is wholly composed of great materials, and therefore needs not to be minutely portrayed. We trace in it very little of that balance of good and evil, of strength and weakness, that marks most things human, and do not anywhere distinctly discover the results of the conflict of motives that generally occasions such great difficulty in judging men's actions. We have as full an account of Joseph as of Abraham and Jacob, a fuller one than of Isaac; and if we compare their histories, Joseph's character is the least marked by wrong or indecision. His first quality seems to have been the greatest resolution. He not only believed faithfully, but could endure patiently, and could command equally his good and evil passions. Hence his strong sense of duty, his zealous work, his strict justice, his clear discrimination of good and evil. Like all men of vigorous character, he loved power, but when he had gained it he used it with the greatest generosity. He seems to have striven to get men unconditionally in his power that he might be the means of good to them. Generosity in conferring benefits, as well as in forgiving injuries, is one of his distinguishing characteristics. With this strength was united the deepest tenderness. He was easily moved to tears, even weeping at the first sight of his brethren after they had sold him. His love for his father and Benjamin was not enfeebled by years of separation, nor by his great station. The wise man was still the same as the true youth. These great qualities explain his power of governing and administering, and his extraordinary flexibility, which enabled him to suit himself to each new position in life. The last trait to make up this great character was modesty, the natural result of the others.
In the history of the chosen race Joseph occupies a very high place as an instrument of Providence. He was "sent before" his people, as he himself knew, to preserve them in the terrible famine, and to settle them where they could multiply and prosper in the interval before the iniquity of the Canaanites was full. In the latter days of Joseph's life, he is the leading character among the Hebrews. He makes his father come into Egypt, and directs the settlement. He protects his kinsmen. Dying, he reminds them of the promise, charging them to take his bones with them. Blessed with many revelations, he is throughout a God taught leader of his people. In the N.T. Joseph is only mentioned; yet the striking particulars of the persecution and sale by his brethren, his resisting temptation, his great degradation and — yet greater exaltation, the saving of his people by his hand, and the confounding of his enemies, seem to indicate that he was a type of our Lord. He also connects the patriarchal with the Gospel dispensation, as an instance of the exercise of some of the highest Christian virtues under the less distinct manifestation of the divine will granted to the fathers.
8. For further discussion of the events of Joseph's history, see Wolfenb. Fragment. p. 36; Less, Geschichte der Rel. 1, 267; J.T. Jacobi, Sämmtl. Schrift. part 3; Hess, Gesch. der Patriarch. 2, 324; Niemeyer, Charakt. 2, 340; Allgem. Welthist. 2, 332; Heeren, Ideen, 2, 551; Jablonski, Opusc. 1, 207, Gesenius, Thes. Hebr. p. 1181; Hammer, D. Osman. Reich. 2, 83 Hengstenberg, Mos. und Lqg. p. 30; J.B. Burcardi, in the Ius. Helv. 1, 3, 355; Voigt, in the Brem. und verd. Biblioth. 5, 599; Bauer, Heb. Gesch. 1, 181; Ewald, Isr. Gesch. 1, 464; Doderlein, Theol Biblioth. 4, 717; Rosenmüller, Alterth. 3, 310; Lengerke, Kendan, 1, 263; Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 331; Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. 2, 332; Kitto, Daily Bible Illust.; Kurtz, Hist. of the Old Covenant; Stanley, Hist. of the Jewish Church; Adamson, Joseph and his Brethren (Lond. 1844); Edelman, Sermons on the Hist. of Joseph (Lond. 1839); Leighton, Lectures on Hist. of J. (Lond. 1848); Plumptre, Hist. of Joseph (Lond. 1848); Randall, Lectures on Hist. of J. (Lond. 1852); Wardlaw, Hist. of Joseph (new ed. Lond. 1851); Gibson, Lectures on 1list. of J. (Lond. 1853); Overton, Lectures on Life of Joseph (London. 1866). Treatises on special points are the following: Hoppe, De philosophia Josephi (Helmst. 1706); A Review of the Life and Administration of Joseph (London, 1743); J.B. Burckhard, De criminibus
Josepho inpactis (Basil. 1746); Ansaldus, Josephi religio vindicata (Brix. 1747); Triglalid, De Josepho adorato (L.B. 1750): Winkler, Unters. einiger Schwierigk. vom Jos. (in his Schriftsteller, 3, 1); Heuser, De non inhumaniter Josephumfticisse (Halle, 1773); Kuchler, Quare Josephus patrent non de se certiorem fecerit (Leucop. 1798); Nicolai, De servis Josephi Medicis (Helmst. 1752); Piderib. De nomine Josephi in AEgypto (Marb. 1768-9); Reineccius, De nomine צפנת פענח (Weissenf. 1725); Schröder, De Josephi laudibus (in Schonfeld's Vita Jacobi. Marb. 1713); Von Seelen, De Josepho Egyptiorum rectore (Lub. 1742); T. Smith, Hist. of Joseph in connection with Eg. Antiquities (Lond. 1858); Walter, De Josepho lapide Israelis (Hersf. 1734); Wunschald, De cognomin Josephi AEgyptiaco (Wittenb. 1669). SEE JACOB.
2. The father of Igal, which latter was the Issacharite "spy" to explore Canaan (Nu 13:7). B.C. ante 1657.
3. The second named of the sons of Asaph, appointed head of the first division of sacred musicians by David (1Ch 25:2,9). B.C. 1014.
4. The son of Jonan, and father of Judah or Adaiah, among Christ's maternal ancestors, but unmentioned in the O.T. (Lu 3:30). B.C. ante 876.
5. Son of Shebaniah, and one of the chief priests contemporary with Jehoiakim (Ne 12:14). B.C. post 536.
6. One of the "sons" of Bani who divorced his Gentile wife after the exile (Ezr 10:42). B.C. 459.
7. The son of Judah, and father of Semei, maternal ancestors of Jesus (Lu 3:26); probably the same with SCHECHANIAH, the son of Obadiah, and father of Shemaiah (1Ch 3:21,24). B.C. between 536 and 410.
8. The son of Mattathiah, and father of Janna, maternal ancestors of Christ, unmentioned in the Old Test. (Lu 3:24). B.C. considerably post 406. See on this and Nos. 4 and 7, SEE GENEALOGY OF JESUS CHRIST.
9. (Ι᾿ωσήφ.) Son of Oziel, and father of On, an ancestor of Judith (Judith 8:1).
10. A young man of high character, son of Tobias, and nephew of the Jewish high priest Onias II, whose avarice he rebuked. but prevented its evil consequences by propitiating Ptolemy, and becoming the collector of his taxes. His history is given at considerable length by Josephus (Ant. 12, 4, 2 10), including his unintentional marriage with his own niece, by whom he had a son named Hyrcanus.
11. (Ι᾿ώσηφος.) Son of Zacharias, left with Azarias as general of the Jewish troops by Judas Maccabaeus, and defeated by Gorgias, B.C. cir. 164 (1 Macc. 5, 8, 56 60; Josephus, Ant. 12, 8, 6).
12. (Ι᾿ώσηπος.) In 2 Macc. 8:22; 10:19. Joseph is named among, the brethren of Judas Maccabaeus apparently in place of JOHN (Ewald, Gesch. 4:384, note; Grimm, ad 2 Macc. 8:22). The confusion of Ι᾿ωάννης, Ι᾿ωσήφ, Ι᾿ωσῆς is well seen in the various readings in Mt 13:55. SEE JOSES.
13. Uncle of Herod the Great, who left him in charge when he went to plead his cause before Antony, with injunctions to put Mariarne to death in case he never returned; but this order, being disclosed to Mariarne, led to Joseph's death by command of Herod through suspicion of criminal intercourse with Marianne (Josephus, Ant. 15, 5, 6, 9). He had married Salome, Herod's sister ( War, 1, 22, 4). He seems to be the same elsewhere called Herod's treasurer (ταμίας, Ant. 15, 6, 5).
14. Son of Antipater, and brother of Herod the Great (Josephus, War, 1, 8, 9), was sent by the latter with a large force to subdue the Idumaeans (Ant. 14:15,4), and afterwards left by him in Jerusalem with full powers to act on the defensive against Macheras, neglecting which orders he lost his life in an engagement near Jericho (War, 1, 17, 1-4). He also had a son named Joseph (Ant. 18, 5, 4), who seems to be the one mentioned as cousin (ἀνεψιός.) of Archelaus ( War, 2, 5, 2).
15. Son of Ellemus, a relative of the high priest Matthias, in whose place he officiated for a single day (apparently that of the annual atonement), in consequence of the accidental disqualification of the pontiff (Josephus, Ant. 17, 6, 4).
16. The foster father of our Savior, being "the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ" (Mt 1:16). By Matthew he is said to have been the son of Jacob, whose lineage is traced by the same writer through David up to Abraham. Luke represents him as being the son of Heli, and traces his origin up to Adam. Luke appears to have had some specific object in view, since he introduces his genealogical line with words of peculiar import: "Jesus being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli" (Lu 3:23) — ὠς ἐνομίζετο, "as was supposed," in other terms, as accounted by law, as enrolled in the family registers; for Joseph being the husband of Mary, became thereby, in law (νόμος), the father of Jesus. SEE GENEALOGY OF JESUS CHRIST. He lived at Nazareth, in Galilee (Lu 2:4), and it is probable that his family had been settled there for some time, since Mary lived there too (Lu 1:26-27).
The statements of Holy Writ in regard to Joseph are few and simple. According to a custom among the Jews, traces of which are still found, such as hand fasting among the Scotch, and betrothing among the Germans, Joseph had pledged his faith to Mary; but before the marriage was consummated she proved to be with child. Grieved at this, Joseph was disposed to break off the connection; but, not wishing to make a public example of one whom he loved, he contemplated a private disruption of their bond. From this step, however, he is deterred by a heavenly messenger, who assures him that Mary has conceived under a divine influence. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:18 sq.; Lu 1:27). It must have been within a very short time of his taking her to his home that the decree went forth from Augustus Caesar which obliged him to leave Nazareth with his wife and go to Bethlehem. He was there with Mary and her firstborn when the shepherds came to see the babe in the manger, and he went with them to the Temple to present the infant according to the law, and there heard the prophetic words of Simeon as he held him in his arms. When the wise men from the East came to Bethlehem to worship Christ, Joseph was there; and he went down to Egypt with them by night, when warned by an angel of the danger which threatened them; and on a second message he returned with them to the land of Israel, intending to reside at Bethlehem, the city of David; but, being afraid of Archelaus, he took up his abode, as before his marriage, at Nazareth, where he carried on his trade as a carpenter. When Jesus was twelve years old Joseph and Mary took him with them to keep the Passover at Jerusalem, and when they returned to Nazareth he continued to act as a father to the child Jesus, and was always reputed to be so indeed.
Joseph was by trade a carpenter, in which business he probably educated Jesus (Thilo, Apocr. 1, 311). In Mt 13:55, we read, "Is not this the son of the carpenter?" and in Mr 6:3, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?" The term employed, τέκτων, is of a general character, and may be fitly rendered by the English word artificer or artizan, signifying any one that labors in the fabrication (jaber in Latin) of articles of ordinary use, whatever the material may be out of which they are made. SEE CARPENTER. Schleusner (in voc.) asserts that the universal testimony of the ancient Church represents our Lord as being a carpenter's son. This is, indeed, the statement of Justin Martyr (Dial. cum Tryphone, § 88), for he explains the term τἐκτων, which he applies to Jesus, by saying that he made ἄροτρα καὶ ζυγά, ploughs and yokes; but Origen, in replying to Celsus, who indulged in jokes against the humble employment of our Lord, expressly denied that Jesus was so termed in the Gospels (see the passage cited in Otho's Justin Martyr, 2, 306, Jenoe, 1843) — a declaration which suggests the idea that the copies which Origen read differed from our own; while Hilarius, on Matthew (quoted in Simon's Dictionnaire de la Bible, 1, 691), asserts, in terms which cannot be mistaken, that Jesus was a smith (ferrum igne vincentis, massamque formantis, etc.). Among the ancient Jews all handicrafts were held in so much honor that they were learned and pursued by the first men of the nation. SEE ARTIFICER.
Jewish tradition (Hieros. Shaph. c. 14) names the father of Jesus פנדירא, Pendira, or Penthira (פנתירא, Midrash, Kohel, 10, 5; Πάνθηρ, Thilo, Apocr. 1, 528), and represents him (Orig. c. Cels. 1, 32) as a rough soldier, who became the father of Jesus after Mary was betrothed to Joseph. Another form of the legend sets him forth (Toled. Jeshu, p. 3, ed. Wagenseil; comp. Epiphan. Hoer. 78, 7) under the name of Joseph Pandera (פנדרא יוסŠ). Christian tradition makes Joseph an old man when first espoused to Mary (Epiphan. Hoer. 78, 7), being no less than eighty years of age, and father of four sons and two daughters. Theophylact. on Mt 13:55, says that Jesus Christ had brothers and sisters, all children of Joseph, whom he had by his sister-in-law, wife of his brother Cleophas, who having died without issue, Joseph was obliged by law to marry his widow. Of the sons, James, the brother of the Lord, was, he states, the first bishop of Jerusalem. Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. 2, 1) agrees in substance with Theophylact; so also does Epiphanius, adding that Joseph was fourscore years old when he married Mary. Jerome, from whom it appears that the alleged mother's name was Escha, opposes this tradition, and is of opinion that what are termed the brothers of Jesus were really his cousins. SEE JAMES; SEE MARY. The painters of Christian antiquity conspire with the writers in representing Joseph as an old man at the period of the birth of our Lord — an evidence which is not to be lightly rejected, though the precise age mentioned may be but an approximation to fact. Another account (Niceph. 2, 3) gives the name of Salome as that of Joseph's first wife, who was related to the family of John the Baptist. The origin of all the earliest stories and assertions of the fathers concerning Joseph, as, e.g., his extreme old age, his having sons by a former wife, his having the custody of Mary given to him by lot, and so on, is to be found in the apocryphal Gospels, of which the earliest is the Protevangelium of St. James, apparently the work of a Christian Jew of the 2d century, quoted by Origen, and referred to by Clement of Alexandria and Justin Martyr (Tischendorf. Proleg. 13). The same stories are repeated in the other apocryphal Gospels. The Monophysite Coptic Christians are said to have first assigned a festival to St. Joseph in the Calendar, viz., on the 20th of July, which is thus inscribed in a Coptic Almanac: "Requies sancti senis justi Josephi fabri lignarii, Deiparae Virginis Mariae sponsi, qui pater Christi vocari promeruit." The apocryphal Historia Josephi fabri lignarii, which now exists in Arabic (ed. Walling, Lips. 1722; in Latin by Fabricius, Pseudepigr. 1, 300; also by Thilo and Tischendorf), is thought by Tischendorf to have been originally written in Coptic, and the festival of Joseph is supposed to have been transferred to the Western churches from the East as late as the year 1399. The above named history is acknowledged to be quite fabulous, though it belongs probably to the 4th century. It professes to be an account given by our Lord himself to the apostles on the Mount of Olives, and placed by them in the library of Jerusalem. It ascribes 111 years to Joseph's life, and makes him old, and the father of four sons and two daughters before he espoused Mary. It is headed with this sentence: "Benedictiones ejus et preces servant nos omnes, o fratres. Amen." The reader who wishes to know the opinion of the ancients on the obscure subject of Joseph's marriage may consult Jerome's acrimonious tract Contra Helvidium. He will see that Jerome highly disapproves the common opinion (derived from the apocryphal Gospels) of Joseph being twice married, and that he claims the authority of Ignatius, Polycarp, Ireaeus, Justin Martyr, and "many other apostolical men," in favor of his own view, that our Lord's brethren were his cousins only, or, at all events, against the opinion of Helvidius, which had been held by Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentine, that they were the children of Joseph and Mary. Those who held this opinion were called Antidicomarianitoe, as enemies of the Virgin. (Epiphanius, Adv. Hoeres. l. 3, t. 2; Hoeres. 78, also Hoer. 41. See also Pearson, On the Creed, art. Virgin Mary; Mill, On the Brethren of the Lord; Calmet, De St. Joseph. St. Mar. Virg. conjuge; and, for an able statement of the opposite view, Alford's note on Matthew 13:55.) SEE GOSPELS, SPURIOUS.
It is not easy to determine when Joseph died. That event may have taken place before Jesus entered on his public ministry. This has been argued from the fact that his mother only appeared at the feast at Cana in Galilee. The premises, however, hardly bear out the inference. With more force of argument, it has been alleged (Simon, Dict. de. la Bible) that Joseph must have been dead before the crucifixion of Jesus, else he would in all probability have appeared with Mary at the cross. Certainly the absence of Joseph from the public life of Christ, and the failure of reference to him in the discourses and history, while "Mary" and "his brethren" not unfrequently appear, afford evidence not only of Joseph's death, but of the inferior part which, as the legal father only of our Lord, Joseph might have been expected to sustain. So far as our scanty materials enable us to form an opinion, Joseph appears to have been a good, kind, simple-minded man, who, while he afforded aid in protecting and sustaining the family, would leave Mary unrestrained to use all the impressive and formative influence of her gentle, affectionate, pious, and thoughtful soul. B.C. cir. 45 to A.D. cir. 25.
Further discussion of the above points may be seen in Meyer, Num Jos. tempore nativ. C. fuerit senex decrepitus (Lips. 1762); comp. Reay, Narratio de Jos. e s. codice desumpta (Oxon. 1823); Walther, Dass Jos. d. wahre Vater Christi sei (Berlin, 1791); Oertel, Antijosephismus (1792); Hasse, Jos. verum Jesu patrers non fuisse (Regiom. 1792); Ludewig, Hist. Krit. Unters. (Wolferb. 1831). The traditions respecting Joseph are collected in Act. Sanct. 3, 4 sq.; there is a Life of Joseph written in Italian by Affaitati (Mail. 1716). See also Volbeding, Index, p. 8; Hase, Leben Jesu (4th ed. 1854), p. 56. SEE JESUS CHRIST.
17. Surnamed CAIAPHAS SEE CAIAPHAS (q.v.), Jewish high priest in the time of our Lord's ministry.
18. A native (not resident, as in Michaelis, Begräbniss- und Auferstehungsgesch. Christi, p. 44) of Arimathaea (Mt 27:57,59;
Mr 15:43,45; Lu 23:50; Joh 19:38), a city, probably the Ramah of the O.T., in the territory of Benjamin, on the mountain range of Ephraim, at no great distance south of Jerusalem (Jos 18:25; Jg 4:5), not far from Gibeah (Jg 19:13; Isa 10:29; Ho 5:8). SEE ARIMATHEA.
Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus — "an honorable counsellor (βουλευτης), who waited for the kingdom of God" (Mr 15:43), and who, on learning the death of our. Lord, "came and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus." Pilate, having learned from the centurion who commanded at the execution that Jesus was actually dead, gave the body to Joseph, who took it down and wrapped his deceased Lord in fine linen which he had purchased for the purpose; after which he laid the corpse in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the sepulchre (Mr 15:43 sq.). From the parallel passages in Mt 27:58 sq., Lu 23:50 sq., and Joh 19:38 sq., it appears that the body was previously embalmed at the cost of another secret disciple, Nicodemus, and that the sepulchre was new, "wherein never man before was laid" (thus fulfilling Isa 53:9); also that it lay in a garden, and was the property of Joseph himself (comp. Origen, c. Cels. 2, p. 103, ed. Spenc.; Walch, Observ. in Matthew ex inscript. p. 84). This garden was "in the place where Jesus was crucified." A.D. 29. SEE GOLGOTHA. Luke describes the character of Joseph as "a good man and a just," adding that "he had not assented to the counsel and deed of them," i.e. of the Jewish authorities. From this remark it is clear that Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrim: a conclusion which is corroborated by the epithet "counsellor," applied to him by both Luke and Mark. Whether Joseph was a priest, as Lightfoot (Hor. Iseb. p. 669) thought, there is not evidence to determine. Various opinions as to his social condition may be found in Thiess (Krit. Comment. 2, 149). Tradition represents Joseph as having been one of the Seventy (Ittig, Diss. de Pat. Apostol. § 13; Assemani, Biblioth. Orient. 3, 1, 319 sq.); and that Joseph, being sent to Great Britain by the apostle Philip about the year 63, settled with his brother disciples at Glastonbury, in Somersetshire, and there erected of wicker twigs the first Christian oratory in England, the parent of the majestic abbey which was afterwards founded on the same site. The local guides to this day show the miraculous thorn (said to bud and blossom every Christmas day) that sprung from the staff which Joseph stuck in the ground as he stopped to rest himself on the hill top. (See Dugdale's Monasticon, 1, 1; and Hearne, Hist. and Antiq. of Glastonbury). Other traditional notices May be seen in the Evang. Nicod. c. 12 sq.; Acta sanctor. Mart. 2, 507 sq.; comp. the dissertations De Josepho Arimath of Bromel [Teutzel] (Viteb. 1683) and Björnland (Aboa, 1729). SEE JESUS CHRIST.
19. Surnamed BARSABAS SEE BARSABAS (q.v.), one of the two persons whom the primitive Church, immediately after the resurrection of Christ, nominated, praying that the Holy Spirit would show which of them should enter the apostolic band in place of the wretched Judas. On the lots being cast, it proved that not Joseph, but Matthias, was chosen (Ac 1:23). A.D. 29.
Joseph also bore the honorable surname of Justus (q.v.), which was not improbably given him on account of his well known probity. He was one of those who had "companied with the apostles all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them, beginning from the baptism of John," until the ascension (Ac 1:15 sq.). Tradition also accounted him one of the Seventy (Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. 1, 12). The same historian relates (3, 39), on the authority of Papias, that Joseph the Just "drank deadly poison, and by the grace of God sustained no harm." It has been maintained that he is the same as Joses, surnamed Barnabas, mentioned in Ac 4:36; but the manner in which the latter is characterized seems to point to a different person (Heinrichs, On Acts, 1:23; Ullmann, in the Theolog. Stud. u. Kritik. 1, 377; Alynster, ibid. 1829, 2, 326). He is also to be distinguished from Judas Barsabas (Ac 15:22).
20. Son of Camus or Camydus, appointed Jewish high priest in place of Cantheras by Herod, brother of Agrippa I, who had obtained temporary control over the Temple from Claudius Caesar during the presidency of Longinus and the procuratorship of Fadus, A.D. 46. 8 (Josephus, Ant. 20, 1,3). He was removed by the same authority in favor of Ananias, son of Nebedaeus, during the procuratorship of Tiberius Alexander, A.D. 48 (ib. 5, 2).
21. Surnamed Cabi, son of Simon, a former high priest of the Jews, and himself appointed to that office by Agrippa during the procuratorship of Festus (A.D. 62), but shortly afterwards removed by the same authority on the arrival of Albinus (A.D. 62), in favor of Ananus, son of Ananus (Josephus, Ant. 20, 8, 11; 9, 1). SEE HIGH PRIEST.
22. Son of a female physician (ἰατρίνηΙ), who excited a sedition at Gamala near the close of the Jewish independence (Josephus, Life, 37).
23. Son of Daleeus, an eminent Jew, who threw himself into the flames of the Temple rather than surrender to the Romans (Josephus, War, 6, 5, 1).