XXXIX. But all this conduct was but an experiment, just as the former circumstances had been too, because the governor of the country was desirous to see what kind of good-will they had towards him who was his brother by the same mother. For he had been afraid that they felt some kind of natural dislike towards him, as children of a stepmother often do to the family of a previous wife of their father, who may have been held in equal honours by him. It was with this view that he both reproached them as spies and inquired about their family, for the sake of knowing whether his brother was still alive, or whether he had been put out of the way by treachery. And he retained one while he allowed the rest to depart, after they had agreed to bring back their youngest brother with them, whom he desired to see above all things, and so to be relieved of his bitter and grievous sorrow on his account. And when he arrived, and when he beheld his brother, he was then in a slight degree relieved from his anxiety, and he invited them to an entertainment, and while he was feasting them he regaled his own brother by the same mother with more costly viands and luxuries than the rest, looking carefully at every one ot them, and judging from their countenances whether there was any envy secretly cherished in their hearts. And when he saw them all cheerful, and all eager, and earnest for the honour of the youngest, conjecturing now by two strong proofs that there was no hatred smouldering beneath, he devised a third mode of trial likewise, bringing a charge against their youngest brother, that he appeared to have committed a theft; for this was likely to be the clearest possible proof of the disposition of each of them and of the affection which they bore to their brother, who was thus falsely accused. From all which circumstances he now clearly saw that his mother’s offspring was not looked upon with hostile feelings and was not plotted against, and he also received a very probable impression respecting the events which had befallen himself, and learnt to think that he had suffered what he had, not so much because of the treachery of his brethren, as through the direction of the providence of God who sees things afar off, and who beholds the future no less than the present.