JOSEPH

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JOSEPH, the son of the favorite Rachel, was tenderly beloved by his father Jacob. Stung with envy and with the arrogance which they thought was displayed in his innocent dreams, his brothers sold him to some Ishmaelitish slavedealers, by whom he was sold to Potiphar, a distinguished officer in Egypt. The prudence and fidelity which he displayed in the service of his master ameliorated his condition; but his refusal to comply with the unlawful desires of Potiphar's wife caused him to be thrown into prison, at her instigation. Yet, even here, Joseph was able to gain the confidence of the keeper; and the interpretation which he gave to a dream of the king's butler, who was likewise in prison, opened for him the way to a better fortune; for, after the butler had been restored to favor, Pharaoh and his whole court were troubled by a dream. The butler remembered the Hebrew boy, who had given so happy an interpretation to his own dream when in prison. Joseph was brought to court, and explained the king's dream of seven fat and seven lean kine. The monarch now released him from confinement, and raised him to the second place in the empire. He suggested wise measures for preserving the people from famine, during the unproductive years which he had predicted, and Pharaoh committed to him the charge of carrying them into execution. Married to the daughter of an Egyptian nobleman, in possession of the highest power next to the royal, Joseph saw all his wishes gratified, except his yearning after his relations. In the years of famine, his brothers came to buy corn from the stores which he had collected in Egypt. Without making himself known to them, he endeavored, by some harsh treatment, to discover their thoughts, and to make them repent of the wrong which they had done him. His feelings at length overcame him. He disclosed himself to his brethren, and provided them and his father with lands in Egypt. He was now their benefactor, and therefore Jacob, in his last blessing, gave to his two sons equal rights with the other brothers, and the two tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim preserved the memory of Joseph among the Hebrews. JOSEPH I, emperor of Germany, son of Leopold J, born at Vienna, July 26, 1678, received the crown of Hungary in 1689, and was soon after crowned as Roman king. In 1705, he began his reign, which, though short, was troubled by wars in the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Italy and Spain. He was well disposed, but weak and indolent. He revived the imperial chamber. The Protestants enjoyed toleration and some privileges under his reign. He died April 17,1711.