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A PARABLE ON BROTHERLY LOVE. 1. In those days there was no worker of iron in all the land. And the merchants of Midian passed by with their camels, bearing spices, and myrrh, and balm, and wares of iron.

2. And Reuben bought an axe of the Ishmaelite merchants, which he prized highly, for there was none in his father's house.

3. And Simeon said unto Reuben his brother, Lend me, I pray thee, thine axe. But he refused and would not.

4. And Levi also said unto him, My brother, lend me, I pray thee, thine ase; and he refused him also.

5. Then came Judah unto Reuben, and entreated him, saying, Lo! thou lovest me, and I have always loved thee; do not refuse me the use of thine axe.

6. But Reuben turned from him, and refused him


7. Now it came to pass, that Reuben hewed timber on the bank of the river, and his axe fell therein, and he could by no means find it.

8. But Simeon, Levi, and Judah, had sent a messenger after the Ishmaelites with money, and had bought for themselves each an axe.

9. Then came Reuben unto Simeon, and said, Lo! I have lost mine axe, and my work is unfinished ; lend me thine, I pray thee.

10. And Simeon answered him, saying, Thou wouldest not lend me thine axe, therefore will I not lend thee mine.

11. Then went he unto Levi, and said unto him, My brother, thou knowest my loss and my necessity; lend me, I pray thee, thine axe.

12. And Levi reproached him, saying, Thou wouldest not lend me thine axe when I desired it, but I will be better than thou, and will lend thee mine.

13. And Reuben was grieved at the rebuke of Levi, and being ashamed, turned from him, and took zot the axe, but sought his brother Judah.

14. And as he drew near, Judah beheld his countenance as it were covered with grief and shame; and he prevented him, saying, My brother, I know thy loss; but why should it trouble thee? Lo! have I not an axe that will serve both thee and me? Take it, I pray thee, and use it as thine own.

15. And Reuben fell on his neck, and kissed him, with tears, saying, Thy kindness is great, but thy goodness in forgiving me is greater. Thou art indeed my brother, and whilst I live will I surely love thee.

16. And Judah said, Let us also love our other brethren ; behold, are we not all of one blood ?

17. And Joseph saw these things, and reported them to his father Jacob.

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