5573. A certain one was present above the head who was unseen, but whose presence was perceived from an odor of burnt horn or bone, and from a stench of teeth. Afterward a great multitude, like a black cloud, came unseen from beneath upward behind the back, and stopped above the head. I supposed they were unseen because they were subtle; but I was told that where there is a spiritual sphere they are invisible, but where there is a natural sphere they are visible. They are called invisible natural spirits. The first thing disclosed about them was that they strove with the utmost diligence, skill, and artfulness to prevent anything from being divulged about them, to which end they were skilled in stealing from others their ideas, and inducing other ideas, by which they hindered detection. This continued quite a long time. Hence it was given to know that in the life of the body they had been such as not to desire to have anything divulged of what they did or thought, assuming a different face and a different speech. Nevertheless they had not used these things in order to deceive in a lying manner.
 It was perceived that they who were present had been traders in the life of the body, but traders whose delight of life consisted rather in trading itself than in riches, so that trading had been as it were their soul, I therefore spoke to them about this, and was given to say that trading does not at all prevent anyone from coming into heaven, and that the rich as well as the poor are in heaven. But they objected, saying that it had been their opinion that if they were to be saved they would have to renounce trade, give all they had to the poor, and make themselves miserable. But it was given to reply to them that such is not the case, and that those among them who are in heaven because they had been good Christians, had thought otherwise, and yet they had been wealthy, and some of them very wealthy. These had the common good and love toward the neighbor as their end, and had engaged in mercantile pursuits merely for the sake of employment in the world, and moreover had not set their heart on these things. And the reason why they themselves are below is that they had been merely natural, and therefore had not believed in a life after death, nor in hell and heaven, nor even in any spirit; and that they had not hesitated to deprive others of their goods by any artifice whatever, and could without mercy see whole families ruined for the sake of their own gain; and that they therefore had ridiculed everyone who spoke to them about a spiritual life.
 The kind of faith they had had about the life after death, and about heaven and hell, was also shown. There appeared one who was taken up into heaven from the left toward the right; and it was said that it was one who had recently died, and was being immediately conducted by the angels into heaven. There was a conversation about this. But although they also saw it they nevertheless had a very strong sphere of unbelief, and spread it around, so much so that they wanted to make themselves and others believe contrary to what they saw. And as their unbelief was so great I was given to say to them, Suppose that in the world you had seen someone resuscitated who was lying dead in a coffin. They said that at first they should not have believed unless they had seen many dead persons resuscitated; and if they had seen this, still they would have attributed it to natural causes. And after they had been left awhile to their own thoughts, they said that at first they would have believed it to be a fraud; and when it was proved to be no fraud they would have believed that the soul of the dead person had a secret communication with him who resuscitated it; and finally that there was some secret thing they did not comprehend, because there are very many incomprehensible things in nature; so that they could never have believed that such a thing took place from any force above nature. Hereby was disclosed the nature of their faith that they could never have been brought to believe that there is any life after death, nor that there is a hell, nor that there is a heaven; thus that they were wholly natural. When such persons appear in the light of heaven, they appear without a face, and with a thick mass of hair in place thereof.
1. And the famine became grievous in the land.
2. And it came to pass when they had finished the eating of the produce which they had brought from Egypt, and their father said unto them, Go back, buy us a little food.
3. And Judah spoke unto him, saying, Protesting the man did protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my faces except your brother be with you.
4. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food.
5. And if thou wilt not send, we will not go down; for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my faces except your brother be with you.
6. And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye ill with me, to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?
7. And they said, Asking the man asked unto us, and unto our birth, saying, Is your father yet alive? Have ye a brother? And we told him according to the mouth of these words. Knowing could we know that he would say, Bring your brother down?
8. And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go; and we will live, and not die, both we and thou, and also our little ones.
9. I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him; if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then I shall sin to thee all the days.
10. For except we had lingered, surely we had now returned these two times.
11. And their father Israel said unto them, If therefore this be so, do this: take of the song of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little resin and a little honey, wax and stacte, terebinth* nuts and almonds.
12. And take double silver in your hands, and the silver that was returned in the mouth of your bags carry back in your hand; peradventure it was an error.
13. And take your brother, and arise, and return unto the man.
14. And God Shaddai give you mercies before the man, and send you your other brother and Benjamin. And I, as I have been bereaved, I shall be bereaved.
15. And the men took this present, and they took double silver in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16. And Joseph saw Benjamin with them, and he said to him that was over his house, Bring the men to the house, and slaying slay, and make ready; for the men shall eat with me at noon.
17. And the man did as Joseph said; and the man brought the men to Joseph's house.
18. And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph's house; and they said, Over the word of the silver that was returned in our bags in the beginning are we brought; to roll down upon us, and to cast himself upon us, and to take us for servants, and our asses.
19. And they came near to the man that was over Joseph's house, and they spoke unto him at the door of the house,
20. And said, In me, my lord, in coming down we came down in the beginning to buy food;
21. And it came to pass, when we came to the inn and we opened our bags, and behold everyone's silver in the mouth of his bag, our silver in its weight; and we have brought it back in our hand.
22. And the other silver have we brought down in our hand to buy food; we know not who put our silver in our bags.
23. And he said, Peace be to you, fear not; your God and the God of your father gave you a hidden gift in your bags; your silver came to me. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
24. And the man brought the men to Joseph's house, and gave water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.
25. And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon; for they heard that they should eat bread there.
26. And Joseph came to the house, and they brought him the present which was in their hand to the house, and bowed down themselves to him to the earth.
27. And he asked them to peace, and said, Is there peace to your father, the old man of whom ye spoke? Is he yet alive?
28. And they said, There is peace to thy servant our father; he is yet alive. And they bent themselves, and bowed themselves down.
29. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin his brother, his mother's son, and said, Is this your youngest brother, of whom ye spoke unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
30. And Joseph made haste, for his compassions were moved toward his brother; and he sought to weep, and he came to the bed-chamber, and wept there.
31. And he washed his faces, and went out, and he restrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
32. And they set on for him alone, and for them alone, and for the Egyptians who did eat with him, alone; because the Egyptians cannot eat bread with the Hebrews; because this is an abomination to the Egyptians.
33. And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth; and the men were amazed, everyone at his companion.
34. And he brought out portions from his faces unto them; and he multiplied Benjamin's portion above the portions of them all, five measures. And they drank and drank largely with him.