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Joseph and Aseneth

Chapter 10

10:1 “And Joseph went away on his way and Pentephres and his whole family went away to their estate. And Aseneth was left alone with the seven virgins, and she continued to be weighed down and weep until the sun set. And she ate no bread and drank no water. And the night fell, and all the people in the house slept, and she alone was awake and continued to brood and to weep; and she often struck her breast with her hand and kept being filled with great fear and trembled with heavy trembling.”
10:2 “And Aseneth rose from her bed and quietly went down the stairs from the upper floor and went to the gateway, and the woman gatekeeper was asleep with her children. And Aseneth hurried and took down from the window the skin which hung there for a curtain, and filled it with ashes from the fireplace, and carried it up into the upper floor, and put it on the floor.”
10:3 “And she closed the door firmly and slipped the iron bolt across and sighed with great sighing and bitter weeping.”
10:4 “And the virgin who was her foster sister, whom Aseneth loved beyond all the virgins, heard her sighing and hurried and woke up the other six virgins. And they went to Aseneth’s door and found the door closed.”
10:5 “And they heard Aseneth’s sighing and weeping and said to her, What have you, mistress, and why do you feel so sad, and what is it that is bothering you? Open the door to us, and we will see what you have.”
10:6 “And Aseneth did not open the door, but said to them from within, My head is stricken with heavy pain, and I am resting in my bed, and I do not have the strength to rise and open the door to you, because I have grown weak in all my limbs.”
10:7 “But go each of you in your chamber and rest and let me be quiet.”
10:8 “And the virgins went away, each into her chamber. And Aseneth rose and opened the door quietly and went into her second chamber where the chests containing her ornaments were, and opened her coffer and took out a black and somber tunic. And this was her tunic of mourning when her younger brother died. In this Aseneth had dressed and mourned for her brother.”
10:9 “And she took her black tunic and carried it into her chamber and closed the door again firmly and slipped the bold across.”
10:10 “And Aseneth hurried and put off her linen and gold woven royal robe and dressed in the black tunic of mourning, and loosened her golden girdle and girded a rope around her, and put off the tiara from her head, and the diadem and the bracelets from her hands and feet, and put everything on the floor.”
10:11 “And she took her chosen robe and the golden girdle and the headgear and the diadem, and threw everything through the window looking north to the poor.”
10:12 “And Aseneth hurried and took all her gods that were in her chamber, the ones of gold and silver who were without number, and ground them to pieces, and threw all the idols of the Egyptians through the window looking north from her upper floor to beggars and needy persons.”
10:13 “And Aseneth took her royal dinner and the fatlings and the fish and the flesh of the heifer and all the sacrifices of her gods and the vessels of their wine of libation and threw everything through the window looking north, and gave everything to the strange dogs. For Aseneth said to herself, By no means must my dogs eat from my dinner and from the sacrifice of the idols, but let the strange dogs eat those.”
10:14 “And after that Aseneth took the skin full of ashes and poured it on the floor. and she took a piece of sackcloth and girded it around her waist. And she loosened the clasp of the hair of her head and sprinkled ashes upon her head.”
10:15 “And she scattered the ashes on the floor and struck her breast often with both hands, and wept bitterly, and fell upon the ashes and wept with great and bitter weeping all night with sighing and screaming until daybreak.”
10:16 “And Aseneth rose at daybreak and looked, and behold, there was much mud from her tears and from the ashes. And Aseneth fell again upon her face on the ashes till evening and until the setting of the sun.”
10:17 “And this way Aseneth did for seven days, and she ate no bread and drank no water in those seven days of her humiliation.”

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