The Narrow Path

Come to Me, says Mashiach, and drink of Living Water

True Atonement

True Atonement

The following story from Apocryphal writings; is a perfect example of what true Atonement is and should be for all of us.  I believe we will not receive the understanding that comes with the indwelling of His Ruach without this kind of experience concerning our own past sins.

The Father led me to this story last Shabath and I had the notion to share its depth with you.  I took the text from the web, edited the Name of YHWH and other Hebrew names, I changed all the pagan titles and a number of other words that derive from the very religions that Asnath finds her-self guilty.

I have sought for years how to explain the true conversion and indwelling and never found the words, as I attempted to do, when I first wrote the blog on Atonement. 

The Story of Yoseph and Asnath describes it perfectly.  Asnath sees Yoseph in the same Light as we are to see Mashiach, YHWSHA.  In fact, Yoseph is the Mashiach figure to her.

 

 

In the first year of the seven years of plenty, the second month, Pharaoh sent out Yoseph to go round the whole land of Mitsrayim.  And Yoseph came, in the fourth month of the first year, on the eighteenth day of the month, into the district of Heliopolis (On).  And he was collecting all the grain of that land, as the sand of the sea.  Now there was in that city a man, a satrap of Pharaoh; and this man was the chief of all Pharaoh's governors and masters.  And he was very rich, and wise, and generous, and he was Pharaoh's counsellor, and his name was Poti Phera; and he was the priest of Heliopolis.  Poti`Phera had a maiden daughter of about eighteen years of age, tall and beautiful and refined, more beautiful than any other maiden in the land.  And she was quite unlike the daughters of the Mitsrites, but in every respect like the daughters of the Hebrews.  And she was as tall as Sarah, and as beautiful as Ribqa, and as fair as Rahel; and this maiden's name was Asnath. And the fame of her beauty spread through all that land, even to its remotest grainers; and all the sons of the masters and of the governors and of the sovereigns sought her hand in marriage, young men all of them.  There was great rivalry between them because of her, and they began to fight among themselves because of Asnath.  Pharaoh's eldest son heard about her, and he begged his father to give her to him as his wife.  He said to him; "Give me Asnath the daughter of Poti Phera the priest of Heliopolis as wife."  His father Pharaoh said to him; "Why should you want a wife of lower station than yourself?  Are you not sovereign of all the earth?  No!  See now, the daughter of Sovereign Joachim is betrothed to you, and she is a queen and very beautiful indeed: take her as your wife."

Now Asnath despised all men and regarded them with contempt; yet no man had ever seen her, for Poti Phera had a tower in his house, and it was large and very high.  And the top story had ten rooms in it. The first room was large and pleasant; and it was paved with purple stones, and its walls were faced with precious stones of different kinds.  And the ceiling of that room was of gold; and within it were arranged the innumerable gods of the Mitsrites, in gold and silver.  And Asnath worshipped all these; and she feared them and offered sacrifices to them.  The second room contained all the finery for Asnath's adornment and treasure chests.  And there was much gold in it, and silver, and garments woven with gold, and precious stones of great price, and fine linens. And all her girlish ornaments were there.  The third room contained all the good things of the earth; and it was Asnath's storehouse. And seven maidens had the remaining seven rooms, one each.  And they used to wait on Asnath, and were of the same age as she was, for they were all born on the same night as Asnath; and they were very beautiful, like the stars of heaven, and no man or boy had ever had anything to do with them.  And Asnath's large room, where she spent her time, had three windows.  One window looked out over the courtyard to the east; the second looked to the north, onto the street and the third to the south.  And a golden bed stood in the room, facing the east.  And the bed had a coverlet of purple woven with gold, embroidered with blue in fine linen.  In this bed, Asnath used to sleep alone, and no man or woman ever sat upon it, except Asnath only.  And there was a great court all around the house, and a wall around the court, very high, built of great rectangular stones.  There were four gates to the court, overlaid with iron; and eighteen strong young men-at-arms used to guard each one of them.  And along the wall, inside the court, every kind of beautiful tree that produces fruit had been planted; and the fruit on every one of them was ripe, for it was harvest time.  On the right of the court, there was an ever-bubbling spring of water.  And beneath the spring a great cistern that received the water from the spring, out of which a river flowed through the middle of the court and watered all the trees in it.

In the fourth month, on the eighteenth day of the month, Yoseph came into the district of Heliopolis.  And as he approached the city, Yoseph sent twelve men in front of him to Poti Phera, the priest of Heliopolis, saying, May I be your guest today?, for it is near noon and time for a midday meal.  The sun's heat is overpowering, and I would enjoy some refreshment under your roof.  When Poti Phera heard this, he was overjoyed and said; "Blessed be YHWH, the Elohim of Yoseph."  And Poti Phera called his steward and said to him; "Make haste and get my house in order, and prepare a great feast, because Yoseph, the mighty man of Elohim, is coming to us today.  And Asnath heard that her father and mother had come back from their family estate in the country.  And she rejoiced and said; I will go and see my father and my mother for they have come back from their family estate in the country. And Asnath hurried and put on a fine linen robe of blue woven with gold and a golden girdle round her waist, she put bracelets round her hands and feet, and she put on golden trousers and a necklace round her neck.  And there were precious stones all about her, with the names of Mitsrite gods inscribed on them everywhere, on the bracelets and on the stones; and the names of the idols were stamped on the stones.  And she put a headdress on her head, bound a wreath round her temples and covered her head with a veil.  And she hurried and came down by the staircase from her story at the top; and she came to her father and mother and greeted them.  And it gave Poti Phera and his wife great joy to see their daughter Asnath adorned as the bride of Elohim.  And they took out all the good things they had brought from their estate in the country, and they gave them to their daughter.  Asnath rejoiced at the good things, and at the fruit, the grapes and the dates, and at the doves and at the pomegranates and the figs, for they were all delightful.  And Poti Phera said to his daughter Asnath, "child": she said, "Lo, here I am, my master.” And he said to her; "Sit down, please, between us: I want to talk to you."  And Asnath sat down between her father and her mother.  And her father Poti Phera  took her right hand  in his right hand and said to her; "child"; and Asnath said; "What is it, father?"  And Poti Phera said to her; "See, Yoseph, the mighty man of Elohim, is coming to us today.  And he is ruler of all the land of Mitsrayim, for Pharaoh has appointed him ruler of all our land and he is the distributor of grain throughout the country and is to save it from the famine that is to come upon it.  Yoseph is a man that worships Elohim: he is discriminating, and a maiden (as you are today), and a man of great wisdom and knowledge, and the Spirit of Elohim is upon him, and the favour of YHWH is with him.  So come, my child, and I will give you to him as his wife: you shall be his bride, and he shall be your bridegroom forever."  And when Asnath heard what her father said, a great red sweat came over her, and she was furious and looked sideways at her father.  And she said, "Why should my master and my father speak like this and talk as if he would hand me over like a prisoner to a man of another race, a man who was a fugitive and was sold as a slave?  Is this not the shepherd's son from the land of Kena’an, and he was abandoned by him?  Is not this, the man who had intercourse with his mistress and his master threw him into prison where he lay in darkness, and Pharaoh brought him out of prison, because he interpreted his dream?  No!  I will marry the eldest son of the sovereign, for he is sovereign of all the earth."  On hearing this, Poti Phera thought it wiser to say no more to his daughter about Yoseph, for she had answered him arrogantly and in anger.

And behold, one of the young men from Poti Phera's retinue burst in and said; "Lo. Yoseph is at the gates of our court."  And Asnath quickly left her father and her mother and ran upstairs and went into her room and stood at the big window that looked towards the east, to see Yoseph as he came into her father's house.  And Poti Phera and his wife and all his relatives went out to meet Yoseph.  And the gates of the court that faced east were opened, and Yoseph came in, sitting in Pharaoh's second chariot.  There were four horses, yoked together, white as snow, with golden reins; and the chariot was covered over with gold.  And Yoseph was wearing a marvellous white tunic, and the robe wrapped around him was purple, made of linen woven with gold: a golden crown on his head, and all round the crown were twelve precious stones, and a royal sceptre was in his right hand.  He held an olive branch stretched out, and there was much fruit on it.  And Yoseph came into the court, and the gates were shut.  And strangers, whether men or women, remained outside, because the gatekeepers had shut the doors.  And Poti Phera came with his wife and all his relatives, except their daughter Asnath; and they made obeisance to Yoseph with their faces to the ground.  And Yoseph got down from his chariot and extended his right hand to them. 

Asnath’s Repentance

True Atonement

And Asnath saw Yoseph and she was cut to the quick, her stomach turned over, her knees became limp, and her whole body trembled.  And she was much afraid, and cried out and said, "Where shall I go, and where can I hide myself from him?  And how will Yoseph, the son of Elohim, regard me, for I have spoken evil of him?  Where can I flee and hide myself, for he sees everything, and no secret is safe with him, because of the great light that is in him?  And now may Yoseph's Elohim be favorable to me because I spoke evil in ignorance.  What can I hope for, wretch that I am?  Have I not spoken, saying, Yoseph is coming, the shepherd's son from the land of Kena’an?  And now behold the light is come to us from heaven in his chariot and has come into our house today.  But I was foolish and reckless to despise him, and I spoke evil of him and did not know that Yoseph is the son of Elohim.  For whom among men will ever father such beauty and what mother will ever bear such a light?  Wretch that I am, and foolish, for I spoke evil of him to my father.  Now, let my father give me to Yoseph as a maidservant and a slave, and I will serve him forever."

And Yoseph came into Poti Phera's house and sat down on a seat; and he washed his feet, and he placed a table in front of him separately, because he would not eat with the Mitsrites, for this was an abomination to him.  And Yoseph spoke to Poti Phera and all his relatives, saying, "Who is that woman standing in the tower by the window?  Tell her to go away." (This was because Yoseph was afraid she too might solicit him; for all the wives and daughters of the masters and governors of all the land of Mitsrayim use to solicit him to lie with him.  And many of the wives and daughters of the Mitsrites suffered much, after seeing Yoseph, because he was so handsome; and they would send emissaries to him with gold, silver and valuable gifts.  And Yoseph would reject them out of hand, saying; “I will not sin before the Elohim of Yisra’el”.  And Yoseph kept his father Ya’aqob's face before his eyes continually, and he remembered his father's commandments; for Ya’aqob used to say to Yoseph and his brothers, "Be on your guard, my children, against the strange woman, and have nothing to do with her, for she is ruin and destruction”.  That is why Yoseph said; "Tell that woman to go away.")  And Poti Phera said to him; " Master, the woman you have seen in the story at the top is no stranger: she is our daughter, a maiden, who detests men; and no other man has ever seen her, apart from you today.  And if you wish it, she shall come and speak with you; for our daughter is your sister.  And Yoseph was overjoyed because Poti Phera said, "She is a maiden who detests men."  And Yoseph answered Poti Phera and his wife and said, "If she is your daughter, then let her come, for she is my sister, and I will regard her as my sister from today."

And Asnath's mother went up to the top story and brought Asnath to Yoseph; and Poti Phera said to his daughter Asnath; "Greet your brother, for he too is a maiden as you are today, and he detests all strange women just as you detest strange men."  And Asnath said to Yoseph; "May you have joy, my master, blessed of Elohim Most High"; and Yoseph said to her; "May Elohim, who has given all things life, bless you."  And Poti Phera said to Asnath, "Come near and kiss your brother."  

When she came near to kiss Yoseph, Yoseph stretched his right hand out, laid it against her breast, and said: "It is not right for a man who worships Elohim, who with his mouth blesses the living Elohim, eats the blessed bread of life, drinks the blessed cup of immortality, and is anointed with the blessed fervor of incorruption; to kiss a strange woman, who with her mouth blesses dead and dumb idols, eats of their table the bread of anguish, drinks of their libations the cup of treachery, and is anointed with the balm of destruction.  A man who worships Elohim will kiss his mother and his sister that is of his own tribe and kin, and the wife that shares his couch, who with their mouths bless the living Elohim.  So too it is not right for a woman who worships Elohim to kiss a strange man, because this is an abomination in Elohim's eyes."  And when Asnath heard what Yoseph said, she was most distressed and cried out aloud; and she fixed her gaze on Yoseph, and her eyes were filled with tears.  And Yoseph saw her and his heart went out to her, for Yoseph was tender hearted, compassionate, and feared YHWH.  And he lifted up his right hand above her head and said;

"O YHWH, the Elohim of my father Yisra’el, the Most High, the Mighty One,
Who did quicken all things, and did call them
from darkness into light.
And from error into truth,
and from death into life;
Do, You, O YHWH, Thyself quicken and bless this maiden,
And renew her by Your Spirit, and remold her by Your secret hand,
And quicken her with Your life.
And may she eat the bread of Your life,
And may she drink the cup of Your blessing,
She whom You did choose before she was begotten,
And may she enter into Your rest, which You have prepared for Your elect."  

Asnath’s Response to Yoseph’s Blessing

And Asnath was filled with joy at Yoseph's blessing, and she went up in haste to her story at the top and fell on her couch exhausted, because she felt not only happy, but also disturbed and very frightened.  She had been bathed in perspiration from the moment she heard Yoseph speaking to her in the name of Elohim Most High.  

She wept bitterly, and she repented of the gods she used to worship; and she waited for evening to come.  And Yoseph ate and drank; and he said to his servants; "Yoke the horses to the chariot" (for he said, "I must depart and go round the whole city and the district").  And Poti Phera said to Yoseph; "Stay the night here, my master and tomorrow go your way."  And Yoseph said, "No!  I must be going now, for this is the day when Elohim began his works: in eight day’s time I will come back again  and stay the night here with you."

Then Poti Phera and his relatives went away to their estate.  And Asnath was left alone with the maidens, and she was listless and wept until sunset: she ate no bread and drank no water; and while all slept, she alone was awake.  And she opened the door and went down to the gate; and she found the porters asleep with her children.  And Asnath quickly took down the leather curtain from the door, and she filled it with ashes, and carried it up to the top story and laid it on the floor.  And she secured the door and fastened it with the iron bar from the side; and she groaned aloud and wept.  And the maiden that Asnath loved most, of all the maidens, heard her mistress groaning, and she roused the other maidens, came and found the door shut.  And she listened to Asnath groaning and weeping and said; "Why are you so sorrowful my lady?  What is it that is troubling you?  Open the door for us, so that we can see you."  And Asnath said to them from inside; "I have a violent headache and am resting on my bed; and I have no strength left to open to you now, for I am utterly exhausted; but go each of you to her room."  And Asnath got up and opened her door quietly, and went into her second room, where her treasure-chests and the finery for her adornment were, and she opened her wardrobe and took out a black and somber tunic.  (And this was her mourning tunic, which she had worn for mourning when her eldest brother died).  And Asnath took off her royal robe and put on the black one, she untied her golden girdle and tied a rope around her waist instead, and she took her headdress off her head, the wreath, and the bracelets from her hands.  And she took her best robe, just as it was, and threw it out of the window, for the poor.  And she took all her innumerable gold and silver gods and broke them up into little pieces, and threw them out of the window for the poor and needy.  And Asnath took her royal dinner, even the fatted beasts and the fish and the meat, and all the sacrifices of her gods, and the wine-vessels for their libations; and she threw them all out of the window as food for the dogs.  And after this, she took the ashes and poured them out on the floor.  And she took sackcloth and wrapped it round her waist, and she removed the fillet from her hair and sprinkled herself with ashes; and she fell down upon the ashes.  And she beat her breast repeatedly with her two hands, wept bitterly and groaned all night until the morning.  And in the morning, Asnath got up and looked and lo, the ashes underneath her were like mud because of her tears.  Again, Asnath fell down on her face upon the ashes until sunset.  And so Asnath did for seven days; and she tasted neither food nor drink.

 And it came to pass, on the eighth day, that Asnath looked up from the floor where she was lying, for she was losing the use of her limbs because of her great affliction.

And she stretched her hands out, and her eyes looked up to heaven, and she said;

"O YHWH, Elohim of the ages, that did give to all, the breath of life,
That did bring into the light the things unseen,
That has made all things, and made visible, what was invisible,
That has raised up the heaven and founded the earth upon the waters,
That has fixed the great stones upon the abyss of water,
Which shall not be submerged,
But to the end they do Your will.
O YHWH, my
Elohim, to thee will I cry: hear my supplication;
And
unto You will I make confession of my sins,
And unto You will I reveal my transgressions of Your law.
I have sinned, O YHWH, I have sinned:
I have transgressed Your law and acted wickedly,
And I have spoken things evil before You.
My mouth, O YHWH, has been defiled by things offered to idols,
And by the table of the gods of the Mitsrites.
I have sinned, O YHWH, before You; I have sinned and acted wickedly,
Worshipping idols deaf and dumb,
And I am not worthy to open my mouth unto You, wretch that I am.
I have sinned, O YHWH, before You,
I, the daughter of Poti Phera the priest,
I, the haughty and arrogant Asnath
.
To You, O YHWH, I present my supplication, and unto You will I cry:
Deliver me from my persecutors, for unto You have I fled,
Like a child to his father and his
mother.
And do, You, O YHWH, stretch forth Your hands over me,
As a father that loves his children and is tenderly affectionate,
And snatch me from the hand of my enemy.
For lo, the wild primeval lion pursues me;
And his children are the gods of the
Mitsrites that I have abandoned and destroyed;
And their father the Devil is trying to devour me.
But do, You, O YHWH deliver me from his hands,
And rescue me from his mouth,
Lest he snatch me like a wolf and tear me,
And cast me into the abyss of fire, and into the tempest of the sea;
And let not the great Sea-monster swallow me.
Save me, O YHWH, deserted as I am
,
For my father and mother denied me,
Because I destroyed and shattered their gods;
And I have no other hope save in thee, O YHWH;
For You are the Father of the orphans, and the Champion of the persecuted,
And the help of them that are oppressed.
[1]

For lo, all the gods of my father Poti Phera are but for a season and uncertain; but the inhabitants of Your inheritance, O YHWH, are incorruptible and eternal.  

 Look upon my orphan hood, O YHWH, for unto You did I flee, O YHWH.  Lo, I took off my royal robe interwoven with gold and put on a black tunic instead.  Lo, I loosed my golden girdle and girt myself with a rope and sackcloth.  Lo, I threw off my wreath from my head and sprinkled myself with ashes.  Lo, the floor of my room once scattered with stones of different colors and of purple, and sprinkled with myrrh, is now sprinkled with my tears and scattered with ashes.  Lo, YHWH, from the ashes and from my tears there is as much mud inside my room as there is on a public highway.  Lo, YHWH, my royal dinner and my fatted beasts have I given to the dogs.  And lo, for seven days and seven nights I have neither eaten bread nor drunk water; and my mouth is dry like a drum and my tongue like horn, and my lips like a potsherd, and my face is shrunken, and my eyes are failing as a result of my incessant tears.  But do You, O YHWH, pardon me, for in ignorance did I sin against You and uttered slanders against my master Yoseph.    And I did not know, wretch that I am, that he is Your son, O YHWH; for they told me that Yoseph was a shepherd's son from the land of Kena’an, and I believed them; but I was wrong, and I despised Yoseph, Your elect one, and I spoke evil to him, not knowing that he is Your son.  For what man ever, was so handsome and who else is as wise and strong as Yoseph.  But to You, my Elohim, do I entrust him; for I love him, more than mine own soul.  Preserve him in the wisdom of Your favour, and give me to him as a servant, so that I may wash his feet and serve him and be his slave for all the seasons of my life.

And as Asnath finished her confession to YHWH, lo, the morning star rose in the eastern sky.  And Asnath saw it, rejoiced and said; "YHWH Elohim has indeed heard me, for this star is a messenger and herald of the light of the great day.  And lo, the heaven was torn open near the morning star and an indescribable light appeared.  And Asnath fell on her face upon the ashes; and there came to her a man from heaven and stood at her head; and he called to her; "Asnath".  And she said; "Who called me?  For the door of my room is shut and the tower is high: how then did anyone get into my room?"  And the man called her a second time and said; "Asnath, Asnath;" and she said; "Here am I, my master, tell me who you are."  And the man said; "I am the commander of YHWH's house and chief captain of all the host of the Most High: stand up, and I will speak to you."    And she looked up and saw a man like Yoseph in every respect, with a robe and a crown and a royal staff.  But his face was like lightning, and his eyes were like the light of the sun, and the hairs of his head like flames of fire, and his hands and feet like iron from the fire.  And Asnath looked at him, and she fell on her face at his feet in great fear and trembling.  And the man said to her; "Take heart, Asnath, and do not be afraid; but stand up, and I will speak to you."  And Asnath got up, and the man said to her; "Take off the black tunic you are wearing and the sackcloth round your waist, and shake the ashes off your head, and wash your face with water.  And put on a new robe that you have never worn before, and tie your bright girdle round your waist; the double girdle of your maidenhood.  And then come back to me, and I will tell you what I have been sent to you to say."  And Asnath went into the room where her treasure-chests and the finery for her adornment were; and she opened her wardrobe and took a new, fine robe, and she took off her black robe and put on the new and brilliant one.  And she untied the rope and the sackcloth round her waist; and she put on the brilliant double girdle of her maidenhood, one girdle round her waist and the other round her breast.  And she shook the ashes off her head, washed her face with pure water, and covered her head with a fine and lovely veil.

Asnath’s Redemption

And she came back to the man; and when the man saw her he said to her, "Take now the veil off your head, for today you are a pure maiden and your head is like a young man's."  So she took it off her head; and the man said to her; "Take heart, Asnath, for lo, YHWH has heard the words of your confession.  Take heart, Asnath, your name is written in the book of life, and it will never be blotted out.  From today you will be made new, and refashioned, and given new life; and you shall eat the bread of life and drink the cup of immortality, and be anointed with the faith of incorruption.  Take heart, Asnath: lo, YHWH has given you to Yoseph to be his bride, and he shall be your bridegroom.  And you shall no more be called Asnath, but 'City of Refuge' shall be your name; for many nations shall take refuge in you, and under your wings shall many peoples find shelter, and within your walls those who give their allegiance to Elohim in repentance will find security.  For Atonement is the Most High's daughter.  She entreats the Most High on your behalf every hour, and on behalf of all who repent.  For He is the Father of Repentance, she the mother of maidens, and every hour she petitions him for those who repent; for she has prepared a heavenly bridal chamber for those who love her, and she will look after them forever.  And Repentance is herself a maiden, very beautiful and pure and chaste and gentle; and Elohim Most High loves her, and all his messengers do her reverence.  And lo, I am on my way to Yoseph, and I will talk to him about you, and he will come to you today, and see you and rejoice over you; and he shall be your bridegroom.  So listen to me, Asnath, and put on your wedding robe, the ancient robe, the first that was stored away in your room, and deck yourself in all your finest jewelry, and adorn yourself as a bride, and be ready to meet him.  For lo, he is coming to you today; and he will see you and rejoice."  And when the man had finished speaking Asnath was overjoyed.  And she fell at his feet and said to him; "Blessed be YHWH Elohim that sent you out to deliver me from darkness and bring me into light; and blessed be His Name forever.  Let me speak now, my master, if I have found favour with you: sit down a little on the bed, and I will get a table ready and food for you to eat; and I will bring you good wine, of the finest flavor, for you to drink; and then you shall go your way."

And the man said to her, "Bring me, please, a honeycomb too."  And Asnath said; "Let me send someone my master, to my family estate in the country and I will get you a honeycomb."  And the man said to her; "Go into your inner room and you will find a honeycomb there."  And Asnath went into her inner room and found a honeycomb lying on the table; and the comb was as white as snow and full of honey, and its smell was like the breath of life.  And Asnath took the comb and brought it to him; and the man said to her; "Why did you say, 'There is no honeycomb in my house?' And lo, you have brought me this."  And Asnath said, My master, I had no honeycomb in my house, but it happened just as you said: did it perchance come out of your mouth, for it smells like myrrh?"  And the man stretched his hand out and placed it on her head and said; "You are blessed, Asnath, for the indescribable things of Elohim, have been revealed to you; and blessed too are those who give their allegiance to YHWH Elohim in repentance, for they shall eat of this comb.  The bees of the Paradise of Delight have made this honey, the messengers of Elohim eat of it, and no one who eats of it shall ever die.  And the man stretched his right hand out, broke off a piece of the comb and ate it; and he put a piece of it to Asnath's mouth.  And the man stretched his hand out and put his finger on the edge of the comb that faced eastwards; and the path of his finger became like blood.  And he stretched out his hand a second time and put his finger on the edge of the comb that faced northwards, and the path of his finger became like blood.  And Asnath was standing on the left and watching everything the man was doing.  And bees came up from the cells of the comb, and they were white as snow, and their wings were iridescent, purple and blue and gold; and they had golden crowns on their heads and sharp-pointed strings.  And all the bees flew in circles round Asnath, from her feet right up to her head; and yet more bees, as big as queens, settled on Asnath's lips.  And the man said to the bees, "Go, please, to your places."  And they all left Asnath and fell to the ground, every one of them, and died.  And the man said, "Get up now, and go to your place;" and they got up and went, every one of them, to the court round Asnath's tower.

And the man said to Asnath, "Have you observed this?" and she said, "Yes, my master, I have observed it all.  And the man said, "So shall be the words I have spoken to you."  And the man touched the comb, and fire went up from the table and burnt up the comb; and, as it burned, the comb gave out a refreshing fragrance that filled the room.  And Asnath said to the man, "There are, my master, seven maidens with me, who have been brought up with me, and who wait upon me: they were born in the same night as I was and I love them: let me call them, so that you can bless them as you have blessed me.  And the man said, "Call them;" and Asnath called them, and the man blessed them and said, "Elohim, the Most High, will bless you forever."  And the man said to Asnath, "Take this table away;" and Asnath turned to move the table, and the man vanished out of her sight, and Asnath saw what looked like a chariot of fire being taken up into heaven towards the east.  And Asnath said, "Be merciful, O YHWH, to Your maidservant, because it was in ignorance that I spoke evil before thee."

And while this was happening, behold, a young man, one of Yoseph's servants, came and said, "Lo, Yoseph, the mighty man of Elohim is coming to you today."  And Asnath called her steward and said, "Get ready a special dinner for me, because Yoseph the mighty man of Elohim, is coming to us."  And Asnath went into her room and opened her wardrobe, and she took out her finest robe that shone like lightning, and she put it on.  And she tied a splendid royal girdle round her waist; this girdle was of precious stones.  And she put golden bracelets round her hands, and golden boots on her feet, and a costly necklace about her neck; and she put a golden crown upon her head, and in the crown, in front, were the costliest of stones.  And she covered her head with a veil.  And she said to her maidservant; "Bring me pure water from the spring.  And Asnath bent down to the water in the basin [on the cockleshell]; and her face was like the sun, and her eyes like the rising morning star.

And a little slave came and said to Asnath, "Lo, Yoseph is at the gates of our court;" and Asnath went down with the seven maidens to meet him.  And when Yoseph saw her, he said to her; "Come to me, pure maiden, for I have had good news about you from heaven, explaining everything about you."  And Yoseph stretched his hands out and embraced Asnath, and Asnath embraced Yoseph, and they greeted each other for a long time and received new life in their spirit.

And Asnath said to him, "Come, my master, come into my house;" and she took his right hand and brought him inside her house.  And Yoseph sat down on her father Poti Phera's seat, and she brought water to wash his feet; and Yoseph said to her, "Let one of your maidens come, and let her wash my feet."  And Asnath said to him, "No, my master, for my hands are your hands, and your feet my feet, and no one else shall wash your feet;" and so she had her way and washed his feet.  And Yoseph took her by the right hand and kissed it, and Asnath kissed his head.  And Asnath's parents came back from their country estate, and they saw Asnath sitting with Yoseph and wearing a wedding robe; and they rejoiced and esteemed Elohim, and they ate and drank.  And Poti Phera said to Yoseph, "Tomorrow I will invite the masters and governors of Mitsrayim, and I will celebrate your wedding, and you shall take Asnath as your wife."  And Yoseph said, "First I must tell Pharaoh about Asnath, because he is my father; and he will give me Asnath as my wife himself."  And Yoseph stayed that day with Poti Phera; and he did not sleep with Asnath, for he said, "It is not right for a man who worships Elohim to have intercourse with his wife before their marriage."

 

And Yoseph got up early in the morning, and he sent away to Pharaoh and told him about Asnath.  And Pharaoh sent and called Poti Phera and Asnath.  And Pharaoh was astonished at her beauty and said, "The Master will bless you, even the Elohim of Yoseph, who has chosen you to be his bride, for he is the first born son of Elohim, and you will be called daughter of the Most High, and Yoseph shall be your bridegroom forever.  And Pharaoh took golden crowns, put them on their heads and said; "Elohim Most High will bless you and prosper your family forever."  And Pharaoh turned them towards each other, and they kissed each other.  And Pharaoh celebrated their wedding with a banquet and much merry-making for seven days; and he invited all the chief men in the land of Mitsrayim.  And he issued a proclamation, saying; "Any man who does any work during the seven days of Yoseph and Asnath's wedding shall die."  And when the wedding was over and the banquet ended, Yoseph knew Asnath; and Asnath conceived by Yoseph and bore Menashsheh and his brother Ephrayim in Yoseph's house.

And after this, the seven years of plenty, ended and the seven years of famine began.  When Ya’aqob heard about his son Yoseph, he came into Mitsrayim with his family, in the second month, on the twenty-first day of the month; and he settled in the land of Goshen.  And Asnath said to Yoseph; "I will go and see your father, because your father Yisra’el is my father; and Yoseph said to her, "Let us go together."  And Yoseph and Asnath came into the land of Goshen, and Yoseph's brothers met them and made obeisance to them upon the ground.  And they came to Ya’aqob and he blessed them and kissed them; and Asnath hung upon his father Ya’aqob's neck and kissed him.  And after this, they ate and drank.  And Yoseph and Asnath went to their house, and Shim’on and Lewi escorted them, to protect them: Lewi was on Asnath's right hand and Shim’on on the left.  And Asnath took Lewi's hand because she loved him as a man who was a prophet and a worshipper of Elohim and a man who feared YHWH.  And he used to see letters written in the heavens, and he would read them and interpret them to Asnath privately; and Lewi saw the place of her rest in the highest heaven.

And as Yoseph and Asnath were passing by, Pharaoh's eldest son saw them from the wall.  And when he saw Asnath, he was driven to distraction by her because she was so beautiful; and Pharaoh's son sent messengers and summoned Shim’on and Lewi to him, and they came to him and stood before him.  And Pharaoh's son said to them; "I have heard that you are better soldiers than any others there are on earth and that with your own right hands you destroyed the city of Shechem and with your own two swords you cut to pieces thirty thousand fighting men.  I need your help: let us get together without delay; and I will give you gold and silver in abundance, and menservants and maidservants, and houses and great estates.  Make a compact with me, and show kindness to me; for I was greatly wronged by your brother Yoseph, because he married Asnath although she was originally pledged to me.  And now come with me, and I will take up arms against Yoseph and kill him with my sword, and I will marry Asnath; and you shall be my brothers and my friends forever.  But if you will not listen to me, I will kill you with my sword" (and as he said this he bared his sword and showed it them).  Now Shim’on was a brave but impetuous man, and he drew his sword from its scabbard and made a rush at Pharaoh's son, as if to strike him.  And Lewi was aware of what Shim’on was about to do, for Lewi was a prophet and foresaw everything that was to happen; and Lewi trod hard on Shim’on's right foot as a sign to him to curb his wrath.  And Lewi said to him; "Why so angry with him?  For we are the children of a man who worships Elohim, and it is not right for a man who worships Elohim to repay his neighbour evil for evil."  And Lewi said to his neighbour, Pharaoh's son, respectfully and in good humor, "My master, why do you speak to us like this?  For we are men who worship Elohim, and our father is the servant of Elohim Most High, and our brother Yoseph is loved by Elohim: how could we do anything so wicked in Elohim's eyes?  And now, listen to us, and be careful you never repeat what you have just said about our brother Yoseph.  If, however, you persist in this wicked plan, see, our swords are drawn against you."  And they drew their swords from their scabbards and said, "Do you see these swords?  It was with them that YHWH Elohim avenged the outrage on the sons of Yisra’el, which the men of Shechem committed in the affair of our sister Dinah, whom Shechem, Hamor's son, defiled."  And Pharaoh's son saw their drawn swords, and he was afraid and trembled and fell on his face to the ground at their feet.  And Lewi stretched his hand out and lifted him up, saying, "Do not be afraid: only be careful you say nothing against our brother."  And they went out from him, leaving him trembling and afraid.

And Pharaoh's son was in much affliction and torment because of Asnath, and he was greatly distressed.  And his servants whispered in his ear, "Lo, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, the maidservants of Leah and Rahel, Ya’aqob's wives, hate Yoseph and Asnath and are jealous of them, and they will do what you want."  And Pharaoh's son sent messengers and summoned them, and they came to him by night; and Pharaoh's son said to them, "I have heard that you are good soldiers."  And Gad and Dan, the elder brothers, said to Pharaoh's son, "Let our master tell his servants what it is he wants, and he will do it."  And Pharaoh's son was overjoyed, and he said to his servants, "Go away and leave us alone, for I have something to say to these men privately."  And all the servants went out; and Pharaoh's son told them lies, saying, "I offer you a choice between prosperity and death: so choose prosperity and not death.  I know that you are good soldiers, and that you will not die as women die; but act like men and take vengeance on your enemies.  I heard your brother Yoseph say to my father Pharaoh, 'Dan and Gad are the children of maidservants and are not my brothers.  And I am only waiting for my father to die to take action against them and all their offspring, so that they will not share the inheritance with us, for they are the children of maidservants, and it was they who sold me to the Yishma’elites.  When my father is dead I will repay them for the wrong they did me.'  And my father Pharaoh commended Yoseph and said to him, 'What you have said is quite right, my son; and now take some of my soldiers and proceed against them as they did against you, and I will help you.'"  And when the men heard what Pharaoh's son told them they were much troubled and distressed, and they said to him, "We appeal to you, our master, to help us; and whatever you tell your servants to do, we will do it."  And Pharaoh's son said to them; "Tonight I will kill my father, for my father Pharaoh is like a father to Yoseph; and do you also kill Yoseph, and I will marry Asnath."  And Dan and Gad said to him, "We will do everything you have told us to.  We overheard Yoseph say to Asnath, 'Go tomorrow to our country estate, for it is vintage time; and he has arranged for six hundred armed soldiers to go with her and fifty out-runners."   And when Pharaoh's son heard this, he gave the four men five hundred men each and appointed them their officers and commanders.  And Dan and Gad said to him; "We will go by night and lie in wait at the brook and hide in the woods on the banks.  And as for you, take fifty men with you, archers on horseback, and go on ahead, some distance in front; and Asnath will come and fall into our hands, and we will cut down the men who are with her.  And Asnath will flee in her chariot and fall into your hands and you will be able to deal with her as you wish.  And afterwards we will kill Yoseph while he is fretting about Asnath; and we will kill his children before his eyes."  And Pharaoh's son was delighted when he heard this, and he sent two thousand soldiers after them.  And they came to the brook and hid in the woods on the banks, and five hundred men took up their position in front; and in between them was a highway.  

And Pharaoh's son went to his father's room to kill him; but his father's guards would not allow him to go in to him.  And Pharaoh's son said to them; "I want to see my father because I am going off to gather the grapes from my newly planted vine.  And the guards said to him; "Your father is in pain, and he has been awake all night; but he is resting now; and he said to us, "Do not let anyone in to me, not even my eldest son."  And he went away in anger; and he took fifty mounted archers, and he went in front of them as Dan and Gad had told him to.  And Naphtali and Asher said to Dan and Gad, "Why must you plot again against our father Yisra’el and against our brother Yoseph?  For Elohim looks after him as if he were the apple of his eye.  Did you not once sell Yoseph as a slave, and today he is sovereign of the whole earth, and its rescuer, and gives us grain?  And now, if you make plots against him again, he will call upon the Elohim of Yisra’el, and he will send fire from heaven, and it will burn you up, and the messengers of Elohim will fight against you."  And their elder brothers Dan and Gad were angry with them, saying, "Are we then to die like women?  Elohim forbid!"  And they went out to encounter Yoseph and Asnath.

And Asnath got up early in the morning and said to Yoseph, "I am going to our estate in the country; but I am frightened because you are not coming with me."  And Yoseph said to her; "Take heart and do not be afraid, but go; for YHWH is with you and he will keep you from all evil as the apple of an eye.  And I will go and distribute my grain, and give grain to all the men in the city, so that no one dies of famine in the land of Mitsrayim."  And Asnath departed on her journey and Yoseph to the distribution of the grain.  And Asnath came to where the brook was with her six hundred men; and suddenly the men that were with Pharaoh's son leaped out from their ambush and joined battle with Asnath's soldiers, and they cut them down with their swords and killed all Asnath's out-runners.  And Asnath fled in her chariot.  And Lewi, the son of Leah, was informed about all this (for he was a prophet), and he told his brothers about Asnath's danger; and they took, each one of them, his sword on his thigh, and their shields on their arms, and their spears in their right hands, and they went after Asnath with what speed they could.  And Asnath fled, and lo, Pharaoh's son met her, and fifty men with him; and Asnath saw him, and she was afraid and trembled.

 And Benjamin was sitting with her in the chariot.  Benjamin was a sturdy lad, about eighteen years old, indescribably handsome, and as strong as a young lion; and he feared Elohim.  And Benjamin jumped down from the chariot, and he took a round stone from the brook, hurled it with all his might at Pharaoh's son, hit him on his left temple and wounded him severely, and he fell from his horse half-dead.  And Benjamin clambered up on a rock and said to the driver of Asnath's chariot; "Give me fifty stones from the brook;" and he gave him fifty stones.  And Benjamin hurled the stones and killed the fifty men that were with Pharaoh's son; and the stones sank into the temples of each one of them.  Then the sons of Leah, Re’uben and Shim’on, Lewi and Yahudah, Yissaskar and Zebulon, went after the men who had lain in ambush; and they fell upon them suddenly, and cut down the two thousand men, and the six of them killed them.  And their brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, fled; and they said; "We have been ruined through our brothers; and Pharaoh's son is dead, killed by Benjamin, and all those with him have perished at his hand: come now, let us kill Asnath [and Benjamin], and let us make for the woods."  And they came, with their swords drawn, covered in blood; and Asnath saw them, and she said; "O YHWH my Elohim, that did quicken me from death, that did say to me, 'Thy soul shall live forever, deliver me from these men.'"  And YHWH Elohim heard her voice, and immediately, their swords fell from their hands, to the ground and were reduced to dust.

And the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah saw the miracle that had happened and they were afraid and said, "YHWH is fighting for Asnath against us."  And they fell on their faces to the ground and made obeisance to Asnath, saying, "Have mercy on us, your servants, for you are our mistress and queen, and we have done you a great wrong and our brother Yoseph.  And now Elohim has brought retribution on us: we pray you, therefore, have mercy on us, and deliver us from our brothers' hands, for they will avenge the outrage done to you and their swords will be against us."  And Asnath said to them; "Take heart and do not be afraid, for your brothers are men who worship Elohim, and do not repay evil for evil to any man.  But retire to the woods until I can secure your pardon and appease their wrath; for what you have been trying to do to them is indeed no trifling matter.  Take heart, though, and do not be afraid, for YHWH will see justice done between us."  And Dan and Gad fled to the woods.  And behold, the sons of Leah came, running like deer in pursuit of them; and Asnath got down from her chariot, and she greeted them with tears.  And they made obeisance to her on the ground and wept aloud; and they asked about their brothers, the maidservants' sons, intending to kill them.  And Asnath said to them; "Spare you brothers and do them no harm, for YHWH has shielded me and reduced the swords in their hands to dust, and they melted away like wax before the fire.  Surely this is enough for us that YHWH is fighting for us: so spare your brothers."  And Shim’on said to Asnath; "Why should our mistress plead for her enemies?  No!  We will cut them down with our swords, because they have plotted evil against our father Yisra’el and against our brother Yoseph now on two occasions, and they have plotted against you today."  And Asnath said to him; "No brothers, you must not repay evil for evil to your neighbour, for YHWH will avenge this outrage."  And after this Shim’on bowed to Asnath; and Lewi came to her, and he kissed her right hand and blessed her.  Thus, Asnath saved the men from their brothers' wrath, so that they did not kill them.

And Pharaoh's son lifted himself up from the ground and sat up; and he spat blood from his mouth, because his blood was running from his temple into his mouth.  And Benjamin advanced upon him, took hold of his sword and drew it from its scabbard, for Benjamin had no sword of his own with him.  As he was about to strike Pharaoh's son, Lewi rushed up, seized him by the hand and said: "No brother, you must not do this, for we are men who worship Elohim.  It is not right for a man who worships Elohim to repay evil for evil, to trample upon a man who has already fallen, or to harry his enemy to death.  But come: let us bind up his wound; and if he lives, he will be our friend, and his father Pharaoh will be our father."  And Lewi raised Pharaoh's son up, washed the blood off his face and bound a bandage round his wound; and he set him on his horse and took him to his father.  And Lewi told him everything that had happened.  And Pharaoh got up from his throne and made obeisance to Lewi upon the ground.  And on the third day, Pharaoh's son died from the wound of Benjamin's stone.  And Pharaoh mourned for his eldest son, and he was worn out with grief.  And Pharaoh died at the age of one hundred and nine; and he left his crown to Yoseph.  And Yoseph was sovereign of Mitsrayim for forty-eight years.  And after this Yoseph gave the crown to Pharaoh's grandson; and Yoseph was like a father to him in Mitsrayim.

 



[1] As our families, friends and acquaintances will deny us when we truly repent and confess as Asnath does here.

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