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(1) Heb. do not thou excel.
(5) Heb. an arrow-snake.
15 And he saw that rest was good, and the commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet land that it was pleasant; and bowed his into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto was gathered unto his people. tribute. 16 | Dan shall judge his people, as one of
(2) Or, my couch is gone.
(4) Or, houghed oxen.
(3) Or, their swords are weapons the tribes of Israel.
(6) Heb. daughters. 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, San adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
We have been informed, step by step, of the 18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD. gradual approach of the patriarch's final dis19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but solution.
In one chapter we are told that he shall overcome at the last.
“the time drew nigh that Israel must die ” 20 | Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
(ch. xlvii. 29); and that he conversed freely
In another, we 21 Naphtali is a hind let loose : he giv- with Joseph on the subject. eth goodly words.
read that when Joseph heard of his father's 22 | Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a sickness (ch. xlviii. 1) he“ took with him his fruitful bough by a well; whose branches two sons” to receive his father's blessing. run over the wall:
These were significant intimations of the 23 The archers have sorely grieved him, solemn event that in due time would come and shot at him, and hated him: 24 But his bow abode in strength, and the
to pass, and which is distinctly recorded in the arms of his hands were made strong by the
chapters before us. And who, I would ask, hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from
has not had some intimation of his own final thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) departure? What is the voice of every pain
25 Eren by the God of thy father, who we feel; of every fleeting period of life; and shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who
of every instance of mortality around us, but shall bless thee with blessings of heaven this, “Behold, thy days approach that thou above, blessings of the deep that lieth under,
must die?” (Deut. xxxi. 14.) blessings of the breasts, and of the womb : 26 The blessings of thy father have pre
This chapter throughout is a dying scene ; vailed above the blessings of my progenitors and, in whatever point of view you regard it, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: how interesting, how solemn, and how awakenthey shall be on the head of Joseph, and on ing are the circumstances narrated! Here the crown of the head of him that was sepa- is an aged saint, evidently upon his dying rate from his brethren.
bed, assembling his children around him, 27 | Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the
and, in the twofold capacity of a prophet morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.
and a parent, foretelling what would befall 28 | All these are the twelve tribes of
each in the last days, and giving them all his Israel: and this is it that their father spake
final blessing. How few death-beds are like unto them, and blessed them; every one ac
this ! How seldom are our eyes gladdened cording to his blessing he blessed them.
with such a spectacle as this! Oh! let each 29 And he charged them, and said unto one think of his latter end, and consider what them, I am to be gathered unto my people: testimony of the Lord's faithfulness and love bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in
he can leave for the benefit of those who the field of Ephron the Hittite,
survive him. 30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of
In the order of this blessing each son is Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field specially noticed by the dying parent, and of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a each one is addressed by him according to buryingplace.
his peculiar character and future history. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah
Reuben's guilt and unstable disposition ; his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah
Simeon and Levi's horrible cruelty ; Judah's his wife; and there I buried Leah. 32 The purchase of the field and of the
dominion and praise; Zebulun's position and cave that is therein was from the children of
maritime course; Issachar's patient and perHeth.
severing industry ; Dan's decision and sub33 And when Jacob had made an end of tilty; Gad's victories; Asher's prosperity;
Joseph's lively and expansive fertility; Ben- (Luke xxii. 44); when his naked body was jamin's restless and rapacious exploits, are torn with the lashing scourge, and the crown all specified in succession. « This is it that of thorns was forced upon his sacred head; their father spake unto them, and blessed when his hands and his feet were nailed to them; every one according to his blessing he the accursed cross, and the soldiers with the blessed them ” (v. 28). The full meaning of spear pierced his side, and the blood and each respective address, in its appropriate water flowed from the wound (John xix. 34); application, no doubt was literally verified in was not this ancient prediction most astonishtheir future career; in which many deplorable, ingly fulfilled, even to the
ingly fulfilled, even to the very letter? Oh! as well as many pleasing events took place. what blessed proofs are these of the truth of Alas! were every dying parent endued with God, and of the Saviour's love! This was the the spirit of prophecy to foretel the future hope of the patriarch's soul. To that bleeddestiny of those he leaves behind, generally ing Redeemer he looked. . In that bloodspeaking, it would be far more likely to add bought redemption he trusted. By that thorns to his dying pillow, than to give peace sacrifice he was saved. In the anticipation or comfort to his soul. - This is a sad reflec- of its fulness, under the sweet unction of its tion ; but in most cases it will be found to be saving efficacy, and in the midst of his as
sembled sons, he cried out, “I have waited Two things here narrated more especially for thy salvation, O Lord” (v. 18).
Thus demand our notice ; namely, the prediction giving vent to his hope," he gathered up
his of Christ, and the delightful state of the dying feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, saint's mind. Here is one of the most glo- and was gathered unto his people” (v. 33). rious prophecies of the promised Redeemer. May the language of all our hearts be, "Let One is here spoken of under the name of me die the death of the righteous; and let “ Shiloh,” who was to “come,” and unto my last end be like his.” (Num. xxiii. 10.) whom “the gathering of the people should be” (v. 10). The time of his appearance is given ; when there should be no “sceptre ”
CHAPTER L. nor “lawgiver” in Judah (v. 10). Some 1 The mourning for Jacob. 4 Joseph gelleth leave of Pha
raoh to go to bury hin. 7 The funeral. 15 Joseph comincidents attending his coming are also noted. forteth his brethren, who craved his pardon. 22 His age. A“foal” and an “ass's colt” are mentioned
23 He seeth the third generation of his sons.
prophesieth unto his brethren of their return. 25 He as being bound, or tied; and his garments taketh an oath of them for his bones. 26 He dieth, and washed in blood (v. 11).
and things refer? Is not Jesus Christ here clearly
2 And Joseph commanded his servants the foretold ? Is he not the true Shiloh, the mes
physicians to embalm his father: and the senger of the covenant, the “sent” of God?
physicians embalmed Israel. The sceptre had gone from Judah, and the 3 And forty days were fulfilled for him ; lawgiver also, when he appeared. They were
for so are fulfilled the days of those which are in subjection to the Roman empire. They
embalmed: and the Egyptians 'mourned for
him threescore and ten days. had lost not only the power of making laws,
4 And when the days of his mourning were but also of putting any man to death. This
past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, fact is confirmed by their own confession.
saying, If now I have found grace in your (John xviii. 31.) Jesus made his solemn
eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, entry into Jerusalem on an ass with a colt the saying, foal of an ass. (Matt. xxi. 2-5.) His garments
5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, were literally dyed and steeped in blood;
I die : in my grave which I have digged for in his own most precious blood, which he
me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou
bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray shed for the remission of sins. When in the
thee, and bury my father, and I will come garden of Gethsemane he was in that fearful
again. agony,” and his “sweat was as it were great 6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy drops of blood falling down to the ground" father, according as he made thee swear.
Can there be any doubt to whom these A Nana Joseph fell upon his father's face,
(1) Heb. wept.
(3) Heb. charged.
7 [ And Joseph went up to bury his father: his father's house: and Joseph lived an hunand with him went up all the servants of
dred and ten years. Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of elders of the land of Egypt,
the third generation : the children also of 8 And all the house of Joseph, and his Machir the son of Manasseh were brought brethren, and his father's house; only their
up upon Joseph's knees. little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, 24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I they left in the land of Goshen.
die: and God will surely visit you, and bring 9 And there went up with him both cha- you out of this land unto the land which he riots and horsemen: and it was a very great sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. company.
25 And Joseph took an oath of the children 10 And they came to the threshingfloor of of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there ye shall carry up my bones from hence. they mourned with a great and very sore 26 So Joseph died, being an hundred and lamentation: and he made a mourning for his ten years old : and they embalmed him, and father seven days.
he was put in a coffin in Egypt. 11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor (2) That is, 'The mourning of the
Egyptians. of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called 'Abel-mizraim, which is beyond Jordan.
The death of a parent is a great loss. No 12 And his sons did unto him'according as
one knows the value of a godly parent, till he commanded them :
he is removed to his heavenly rest. The loss 13 For his sons carried him into the land of is more keenly felt, when a long course Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the of affectionate attachment has held both pafield of Machpelah, which Abraham bought
rent and child together for many years. This with the field for a possession of a burying
was the lovliest feature in the mutual history place of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.
of Israel and Joseph. The love of the father 14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with
for that child was beyond all description; him to bury his father, after he had buried
and the love of that son for his father exhis father.
ceeded that of all his brothers. Nothing 15 | And when Joseph's brethren saw that weakened that attachment. Years of separatheir father was dead, they said, Joseph will tion, when neither of them expected to see peradventure hate us, and will certainly re
each other's face again, found the sacred quite us all the evil which we did unto him.
flame burning as brightly as ever.
It is a 16 And they 'sent a messenger unto Jo
lovely instance of true parental aud filial seph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
affection, seldom realised in this vale of 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I misery and tears. pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, Can you wonder, then, at what is here and their sin; for they did unto thee evil : and recorded? Can you feel surprised at Joseph's now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the
tears and sorrow, when his father was really servants of the God of thy father. And Jo
dead? Every kiss which he imprinted on seph wept when they spake unto him.
his cold cheek was a renewed pledge of his 18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold,
strong affection. It was not a sorrow without we be thy servants.
hope. It was a mournful sensation chastened 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: by the faith of the Redeemer; and felt for for am I in the place of God ?
one, over whose happy release he could 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against rejoice and be glad. Thus the tears which me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to he shed were not so much the tears of anpass, as it is this day, to save much people guish, as of affectionate remembrance of the alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish
past, and of lively anticipation and joy for you, and your little ones. And he comforted the future. In like manner, as believers in them, and spake “ kindly unto them.
Christ, may we mourn and rejoice over those 22 | And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and who sleep in Jesus ! We may grieve for
their personal loss to ourselves; but we ought the dust, whose soul is with the Lord in to rejoice over the fulness of their blessedness,
The parable of Dives and Lazarus and feel encouraged to press on till we join (Luke xvi. 19—31) clearly teaches these them on high. (1 Thess. iv. 13-18.)
truths. Indeed, these external matters are of But death makes way for all the solemni- small concern, if the soul be safe. But that ties of the grave. This is the last sad duty must be a “grievous mourning," both as regards we owe to those who precede us to the tomb. the dead and the living, where there is no It is at once both a solemn and an invigo- pardon of sin and no peace with God. No rating event to those who know the Lord. wonder that wicked men are afraid to die, We know that the bodies of the saints will and that they often shudder at the sight of be as safe in the tomb, till the resurrection- a coffin and the grave.
It is that, however, day shall come, as their souls are ssed in which is beyond the grave that racks and heaven. Then both will be re-united, and torments their mind, and fills them with be for ever with the Lord. When we follow horror and dismay. the remains of a believer to the grave, it is In the case of Joseph's brethren after their in the sure and certain hope of the resur- father's death, we behold a picture of the rection to eternal life” we commit that body guilty conscience. They were afraid that he to the dust; not to remain there for ever; would now avenge their evil conduct. Whence but until the time come when the Lord shall arose that fear?
Had he not repeatedly have accomplished “the number of his elect, assured them of his forgiveness and love? and shall hasten his coming and his kingdom.” But perhaps they had not sought forgiveness Then shall we arise. Then shall we awake from God. Man's forgiveness of an infrom the dust. Then shall we mount up on jury done to him, cannot supersede the the wings of love to meet the Lord in the necessity of seeking mercy from God; and air: and so shall we for ever be with the where that is wanting, guilt and fear still Lord.” (1 Thess. iv. 17.)
remain. In comparison of this blessedness, what At length Joseph himself dies, and follows are all the pomp and parade of a funeral ? his happy father to the regions of purity and Many a dead body is carried with state to love. So, in due time must we all die, too. the grave, whose soul, it is feared, may be in May our last hours be illuminated with the the torments of hell; and many a humble glorious prospect, and the joyful assurance of believer in Christ is committed unnoticed to being for ever with the Lord !
THE SECOND BOOK OF MOSES,
the male children to be cast into the river.
'loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph CHAPTER I.
was in Egypt already. 1 The children of Israel, after Joseph's death, do multiply. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, 8 The more they are oppressed by new king, the more
and all that generation. they multiply. 15 The godliness of the midwives, in saving the men children alive. 22 Pharaoh commandeth
7 And the children of Israel were fruitful,
and increased abundantly, and multiplied, OW these are the names of the children and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land
was filled with them. man and his household came with Jacob.
8 Now there arose up a new king over 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. people of the children of Israel are more and 5 And all the souls that came out of the mightier than we:
No Israel, which came into Egypt; every
10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; years. This relates the bondage of the Islest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, raelites in Egypt, and their deliverance by when there falleth out any war, they join also
Moses, who was appointed by God for that unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so
special work. The history of man may soon get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them task
be told. Much may be comprised in a small masters to afflict them with their burdens. space. But in the last day all actions, and And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, all events, will be produced before the bar of Pithom and Raamses.
God for his righteous decision; and they 12 But the more they afflicted them, the whose sins are not blotted out of the book more they multiplied and grew. And they
of remembrance, and whose names are not were grieved because of the children of Israel.
written in the Lamb's book of life, will be 13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour :
condemned, and perish for ever. (Rev. xx. 14 And they made their lives bitter with
11--15.) hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in Again are the names of the sons of Israel all manner of service in the field : all their
specially enumerated, and all the souls that service, wherein they made them serve, was went down into Egypt, including Joseph, who with rigour.
had been previously there. From that little 15 And the king of Egypt spake to the
handful of seventy persons sprung all the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the
innumerable multitudes that afterwards peoone was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:
pled the several tribes.
Thus the promise 16 And he said, When ye do the office of given to Abraham was fulfilled ; and thus, in a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see like manner, will every word of God, in due them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye time, be also accomplished. shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then
The people multiplied in Egypt exceedshe shall live.
ingly; but the kindness and services of Joseph, 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them,
in the government of the land, were soon forbut saved the men children alive.
gotten. Others arose who thought of nothing 18 And the king of Egypt called for the
but the aggrandisement of the nation; and midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye finding a people extending among them, done this thing, and have saved the men diverse from themselves, it soon became an children alive?
act of national policy to crush their power, 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh,
whilst they profited by their labours. Hence Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and
arose a series of unparalleled sufferings under are delivered ere the midwives come in unto a most rigorous system of injustice and opthem.
pression. Thus craft and cruelty went hand 20 Therefore God dealt well with the mid- in hand together. How often is this the case wives: and the people multiplied, and waxed in the government of natious! The weak are very mighty.
oppressed by the mighty; and severity and 21 And it came to pass, because the mid
Let wives feared God, that he made them houses.
injustice follow as the necessary result. 22 And Pharaoh charged all his people,
us be thankful for the mild and merciful saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast
government under which we live; and use into the river, and every daughter ye shall
our best exertions that others may possess save alive.
the same privileges which we enjoy. (2) Heb. And as they afflicted them, so they multiplied, &c.
The history of these sufferings is very distressing. First, the Egyptians said, Let
us deal wisely with them; lest they get out We now enter upon another portion of the of the land. Then, they set taskmasters over Book of God. The former contained the them to afflict them with their burdens. inspired record of the creation of the world, Then, they caused them to serve with rigour, and the history of the patriarchs, to the going and made their lives bitter with hard bondage. down into Egypt, and the death of Joseph, When it was found that the more they afflicted embracing a period of more than two thousand them, the more they multiplied and grew, the
(1) Heb. thigh.