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[175] And when the day came on which the king was to let the taxes of the cities to farm, and those that were the principal men of dignity in their several countries were to bid for them, the sum of the taxes together, of Celesyria, and Phoenicia, and Judea, with Samaria, [as they were bidden for,] came to eight thousand talents. Hereupon Joseph accused the bidders, as having agreed together to estimate the value of the taxes at too low a rate; and he promised that he would himself give twice as much for them: but for those who did not pay, he would send the king home their whole substance; for this privilege was sold together with the taxes themselves. The king was pleased to hear that offer; and because it augmented his revenues, he said he would confirm the sale of the taxes to him. But when he asked him this question, Whether he had any sureties that would be bound for the payment of the money? he answered very pleasantly, "I will give such security, and those of persons good and responsible, and which you shall have no reason to distrust." And when he bid him name them who they were, he replied, "I give thee no other persons, O king, for my sureties, than thyself, and this thy wife; and you shall be security for both parties." So Ptolemy laughed at the proposal, and granted him the farming of the taxes without any sureties. This procedure was a sore grief to those that came from the cities into Egypt, who were utterly disappointed; and they returned every one to their own country with shame.

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