Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

the brethren of Christ, against whom we have rebelled, and by and through whom we hope to be forgiven. Let us love one another, as he hath loved us ; and hold the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

4. How willing should the true christian be to go to his heavenly father's house ! Jacob was glad to hear that Joseph was alive, and governor of Egypt, and said, It is enough, I will surely go and see him before I die. He knew he should have a most kind reception, and all good things there. Thus let us long to be above, in that better country, where our dearest friends dwell; where every good thing is to be had. We have many attractives to draw us there ; regard not the stuff that must be left behind ; the good of the land is before us. While here, let us not seek great things for ourselves, and use what we have, as not abusing it. The good of all the heavenly country is ours ; let us therefore sit loose to earthly things, and be willing to leave them. Did Jacob rejoice to go out of the land of promise, to a foreign strange land, for Joseph's sake? How glad then should we be, to leave this strange land, to go to the heavenly Canaan, to a glorious inheritance in that better and lightsome Goshen, which is full of all durable riches, and divine delights ! To dwell with all our best friends, and Jesus, our best beloved, and be for ever with each other and the Lord! The holy soul may, with humBle resignation, say, Why are the chariots, that are sent to fetch me, so long in coming ? why tarry the wheels of his chariots ?

CHAP. XLVI.

The apostle says, concerning the patriarchs, that they were pilgrims

and strangers ; they were driven from place to place, and had no continuing city. This was remarkably the case with Jacob. We have here an account of his journey to Egypt, and his interview with his beloved son Joseph. I A ND Israel took his journey with all that he had, and

[1 came to Beersheba, thirty two miles from Hebron, and, as it had been a place of devotion for Abraham and Isaac, there he also offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac : he was thankful for God's kindness to Isaac, and to himself, and

sought his protection and blessing on his journey to see Joseph. 2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, in a

dream, and said, Jacob, Jacob ; repeating the name as a token 3 of affection, and a note of attention. And he said, Here [am]

1. And he said, I [am] God, the God of thy father ; fear not to go down into Egypt ;* for I will there make of thee a

• Jacob had many fears : he was an old man, it was a long journey ; Isaac was forbid. den to go there in the time of famine ; it was a kind of forsaking the holy land, and he was fearful of idolatry, and what the consequences might prove to his children and posterity.

great nation; though thou hast now but seventy souls belonging to thee, thy sced shall soon become as the stars of heaven for multitule : I will go down with thee into Egypt ; and I will also surely bring thee up (again ;] that is, thy bones, or rather, in thy posterity ; and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes ; he shall outlive thee, and close thine eyes, as the last office of respect and friendshifi.

And Jacob rose up from Beersheba, and went cheerfully on his journey : and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the waggons which 6 Pharaoh had sent to carry him. And they took their cattle,

and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him : bringing these things with them, that they might not be charge

able, and that none might reproach them with coming empty : "7. His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his

sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into

Egypt. 8 And these [are] the names of the children of Israel, which

came into Egypt, most of whom we afterward read of, as heads

of large families or tribes ; Jacob and his sons : Reuben, Ja9 cob's firstborn. And the sons of Reuben ; Hanoch, and 10 Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. And the sons of Simeon ;

Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, of whom we never read any

more, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaan11 itish woman, And the sons of Levi : Gershon, Kohath, the

grandfather of Moses and Aaron, and Merari. And the sons 12 of Judah ; Er and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zarah :

but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul. Pharez was very young,

not above fifteen, when he went into Egypt; perhaps these sons 13 were born afterward. And the sons of Issachar ; Tola, who

was so fruitful, that in the days of David (1 Chron. vii. 2.)

twenty two thousand six hundred valiant men were descended 14 from him, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron. And the sons 15 of Zebulun ; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. These [be] the

sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padanaram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters [were] thirty and three : counting Jacob himself for one, and

excluding Er and Onan who were dead, as Leah herself also was. 16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ez17 bon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. And the sons of Asher ;

Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their 18 sister : and the sons of Beriah ; Heber, and Malchiel. These

[are] the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his

daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, [even) sixteen souls. 19 The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife ; Joseph and Benjamin. 20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh

and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah 21 priest, or prince, of On, bare unto him. And the sons of

Benjamin (were] Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and

Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. 22 These [are] the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob ; 23 all the souls (were] fourteen. And the sons of Dan ; Hus, 24 him. And the sons of Naphtali ; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Je25 zer, and Shillem. These [are] the sons of Bilhah, which

Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these 26 unto Jacob : all the souls (were] seven. All the souls that

came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, be, side Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls [were] threescore and six ; they were so many, excluding Jacob their common parent,

and Joseph and his two sons, who were there before ; which 27 four being included, make up the number of seventy. And the

sons of Joseph, which were borne him in Egypt, [were] two

souls : all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into · Egypt, [were] threescore and ten.* 28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his

face unto Goshen, to meet him in a convenient place there ; and 29 they came into the land of Goshen. And Joseph showed

great respect to his father, and honoured him before all the peopile, and made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel

his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him, as subjects do before a prince ; and he fell on his neck, and wept

on his neck a good while ; this filled the good old man with 30 joy and triumph. And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me

die, since I have seen thy face, because thou (art] yet alive.t Since Joseph is alive and happy, all my wishes seem accomplished at once, and I am willing to die when God pleases. Nevertheless God spared him seventeen years after this. Joseph then proceeds to direct his father and brethren, how to behave before

Pharaoh. 31 And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's

house, I will go up, and show Pharaoh, and say unto him, My

brethren, and my father's house, which were] in the land of 32 Canaan, are come unto me; And the men [are] shepherds,

for their trade hath been to feed cattle ; and they have brought 33 their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have. And it

shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, 34 What (is) your occupation ? That ye shall say, Thy servants'

trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we [and] also our father's : that ye may dwell in the

* Stephen, in Acts vii. says they were seventy five souls. The difference may be thus accounted for; Moses only mentions Jacob's immediate descendants, and not his son's wives, without which they were not so many; that is, eleven brethren and a sister, fity two grand children, and the cleven wi es of the brethren, made seventy five.

† The great Ali Bey, governor of Egypt, who died but a very few years ago, was in some respects a second Joseph. See Su vury's Letters oa Egypt. Vol. II. Let. 4i.

land of Goshen, a place fit for your occupation, and at a distance from Pharaoh and his court ; for every shepherd [is] an abomination unto the Egyptians, especially the Israelitish sheria herds ; because they lived by selling those cattle for slaughtere which the Egyptians held sacred; particularly the ox and the cow, which the Egyptians worshipped as emblems of Osiris and Isis.

REFLECTIONS.

1. T ET us acknowledge God in all our journeys and removes.

u The patriarchs walked with God; so Jacob did in this important affair. The heathen never set out on a journey, without offering sacrifices to their deities. It is good in all our waye to acknowledge God, to beg his protection and blessing ; it is that which maketh men rich and prosperous. A horse, or any carriage, is but a vain thing to trust to for safety. Let us have our eyes ever toward the Lord ; he can make our journey safe and successiul. It is an old saying, that prayer and provender hinder no man.' • 2. Let the'thought which comforted Jacob, when going down to Egypt, comfort us when going down to the grave, v. 4. We may go with fear and trembling, but we have God's promise to rest upon, that he will not suffer his servants to perish in the grave ; but will surely bring us up again. Let us rejoice in this thought, and be willing to go. where God would have us, since he will go with us. Yea, says David, though I walk through the val. ley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thy rod and thy staff shall comfort me:

3. How comfortable will be the interview of good men in heaven! It was agreeable to Jacob to see Joseph again ; what congratulations and joy were there on this occasion ! But how much more excellent will the meeting of parents and children, and friends be, in that better world ! There will be no weeping, even for joy, all will be tranquillity and peace, harmony and etêrnal friendship. What an happy meeting will that be! An heathen philosopher could say, Let us make haste to our heaven. ly country ; there are our fathers, and there are all our friends.' Should not the christian then say so; bless God for the prospect of meeting them there, and cultivate sincere affection and friendship one toward another, that we may relish the heavenly country ?

4. It is a great instance of friendship, to keep those that we love out of the way of temptation. Joseph was desirous that his brethren should abide in their calling, and remain in Goshen ; he did not wish to prefer them at court, to put them in places of trust and power, and raise them above the station in which they pere brought up, and for which they were best qualified: but to keep them to the innocent life of shepherds, that they might not þe corrupted by the vices and idolatry of the Egyptian court : that they might not forget Canaan, but be desirous of returning to it, and keep together while they were absent from it. Par. ents will do right and well to choose such settlements in life for their children, where they will be most free from temptation, and those occupations in which they will be in least danger of being corrupted : if those are not so profitable, yet they are much to be preferred by all, except those who think this world better than the other. Let us learn to watch over one another, as Joseph did over his brethren ; and labour to keep all around us, especially our relations, from those stations and circumstances which would be injurious to their virtue, and make them forget their heavenly country. Let us thus watch over others as well as ourselves, and pray also that we enter not into temfitation.

CHAP. XLVII.

It is promised to good men, in Psalm xxxvii. 19. " That in the days of famine they shall be satisfied ;' this was the case here. Jo

seph presents his father and brethren to Pharaoh ; they are pro

vided for, while the famine greatly prevails. We have an ac. · count of Joseph's prudent management at this time ; and his promise to his father concerning his funeral.

THEN Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My

1 father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan ; and, behold, they (are) in the land of Goshen.

Though prime minister, he came to know Pharaoh's pleasure. 2 And he took some of his brethren, [even) five men, and pre• sented them unto Pharaoh. Some say the meanest of them,

lest Pharaoh should have employed them at court, or in the ar3 my. And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What [is] your

occupation ? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants • Care] shepherds, both we, [and] also our fathers ; our ances4 tors have always been used to this employment. They said

moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come, during the famine ; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine [is] sore in the land of Ca. naan : now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen.

And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and 6 thy brethren are come unto thee: The land of Egypt [is] be

fore thee; in the best of the land make thy father and bretli ren to dwell ; in the land of Goshen let them dwell : and if thou knowest (any) men of activity among them, then make

ren

« FöregåendeFortsätt »