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Chapter XLVI.

Celsus, moreover, sneers at the “hatred” of Esau (to which, I suppose, he refers) against Jacob, although he was a man who, according to the Scriptures, is acknowledged to have been wicked; and not clearly stating the story of Simeon and Levi, who sallied out (on the Shechemites) on account of the insult offered to their sister, who had been violated by the son of the Shechemite king, he inveighs against their conduct.  And passing on, he speaks of “brothers selling (one another),” alluding to the sons of Jacob; and of “a brother sold,” Joseph to wit; and of “a father deceived,” viz., Jacob, because he entertained no suspicion of his sons when they showed him Joseph’s coat of many colours, but believed their statement, and mourned for his son, who was a slave in Egypt, as if he were dead.  And observe in what a spirit of hatred and falsehood Celsus collects together the statements of the sacred history; so that wherever it appeared to him to contain a ground of accusation he produces the passage, but wherever there is any exhibition of virtue worthy of mention—519as when Joseph would not gratify the lust of his mistress, refusing alike her allurements and her threats—he does not even mention the circumstance!  He should see, indeed, that the conduct of Joseph was far superior to what is related of Bellerophon,39063906    Cf. Homer, Iliad, vi. 160. since the former chose rather to be shut up in prison than do violence to his virtue.  For although he might have offered a just defence against his accuser, he magnanimously remained silent, entrusting his cause to God.


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