Old Testament Legends eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about Old Testament Legends.

Accordingly, Aseneth’s mother went and fetched Aseneth, and she greeted Joseph, and he her.  Then said Potipherah, “Come near, my child, and kiss your brother.”  But when she drew near, Joseph put out his hand and thrust her away, and spoke thus:  “It is not right for one who worships the living God, and eats the bread of life and drinks the cup of immortality, to kiss one that praises with her lips dead idols, and eats the bread of death from their tables and drinks the cup of deceit.”  At these harsh words Aseneth was bitterly grieved:  she shrank back and looked piteously at Joseph, and her eyes filled with tears; and when he saw how hurt she was, Joseph, who was full of kindness raised his hand over her head and blessed her, praying that God, who gives life to all and brings us out of darkness into light, might give life and light to her soul, and number her among His chosen people, and bring her into the everlasting rest which He has promised to them.  So Aseneth went back to her chamber, full of mingled joy and sorrow; and she cast herself down on her bed and wept.  And that same evening Joseph left the house of Potipherah and set forth on his journey again.  “But,” said he, “I will come back to you in eight days’ time.”  Potipherah also and his wife and their servants went back to their country house; and Aseneth and her seven maidens were left alone.  And the sun went down and all was quiet.

II

When everyone else in the tower was asleep, Aseneth, who had remained weeping on her bed, rose up stealthily and crept downstairs to the gate of the tower, where the woman who kept the door was asleep with her children; and as quietly as she could she unhooked the heavy leather curtain that hung in the doorway, and spreading it out on the floor, heaped up upon it all the cinders and ashes out of the hearth, folded the corners together, dragged it upstairs and threw it down on the floor.  Then she barred the door of her room securely, and burst into bitter weeping.  It so happened that the maiden whom Aseneth loved the best of all her seven companions was awake, and heard the sounds of crying.  She was alarmed, and flew to wake up the other attendants, and all of them came to the door of Aseneth’s chamber, which was locked and barred.  They called to her, “What is the matter, dear mistress?  Open to us and let us come in and comfort you.”  But Aseneth answered from within, “It is nothing but a violent headache.  I am in bed, and too tired and ill to get up and open the door.  Go back all of you to your beds.  I shall be well to-morrow.”  So they dispersed to their rooms.

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Old Testament Legends from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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