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made him swear that his body should not be buried in Egypt, but should be taken to the cave of Machpelah, which Abraham had bought -so that he might be placed beside Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah. All this Joseph faithfully promised to do, and returned home.

Soon after this promise, it happened that Jacob was sick, and likely to die. Joseph therefore arose, and took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and brought them to Jacob to receive his blessing. As they were only the grandsons of Jacob, they were not entitled to so large a share of his blessing as his own sons would have;-how much do you think they would be entitled to?

W. I should suppose that they would have their own father's blessing-that is to say, that the blessing of Joseph would be divided between them.

P. But in this case, Jacob gave to Manasseh and Ephraim as large a share of his blessing as that of his own sons. This was done in honour to Joseph, who thus received through his sons a double portion, the portion which was due to the eldest son.

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When Jacob had thus blessed his grandsons, he next called unto his sons, and said "Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days." He then spake to them a noble poem," describing their different characters, and prophesying what should befall to each tribe when they should reach the land which God had promised them. It must have been a very interesting scenethe old man, as he sat up in his bed, gathering his last strength before he died, so that he might speak to his sons around him. The effort must have made his eye kindle brightly, while he would save all the voice he had left, by speaking in a whisper. How still his sons would stand! what silence they would keep! Every one in the circle would fix his eye upon the patriarch, and when he spake his solemn quiet whisper would go to their hearts. Each heard his name pronounced, and then heard his fate. Jacob concluded by charging them all, just as he had charged Joseph, to bury him in the family sepulchre; then, laying himself down in the bed, he gently died.

The Bible does not tell us what were the feelings of Jacob's sons. It is said that Joseph "fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him." No doubt they all wept; yet their sorrow would not last long. They would think of his joys in heaven, and would perhaps feel glad that God had sent for him. Why be sorry when an old man

dies?—an old man who has done with this world, and is prepared for a better one, why should he be sorry to remove? Nay, all old men, and even young men, and children, are glad to go to eternal joys.

W. Yes, because they can never lose them!

P. As Joseph was a rich man, it was considered proper, according to the customs of the Egyptians, that he should embalm his father's body, and preserve it in a case, so as to form it into a mummy-an object which you may perhaps have seen.

W. And was Jacob made into a real mummy, papa, like those at the British Museum?

P. Yes. This work was done by the physicians of Egypt; and during the time that the body was being embalmed, there was a public mourning in Egypt, which lasted seventy days. The public funeral then took place. This was attended by Joseph and his brethren, by all his father's family, the principal nobles of Egypt, and the officers of Pharaoh's household, forming together a cavalcade of chariots and horsemen which we read made "a very great company." Some of them, perhaps, carried arms, as a protection from the Philistines, through whose country they had to pass.

We read that when this company had crossed the Jordan, and had reached the threshing-floor of Atad, they began the solemn rites of burial, and "mourned with a very great and sore lamentation," which lasted seven days, so that when the Canaanites saw it, they remarked, "This is a grievous mourning of the Egyptians." From this threshingfloor they proceeded in a slow funeral-march to Hebron, where they placed the body of Jacob beside the bodies of his ancestors.

About fifty years after Jacob's death, Joseph also died. Before his departure, he made his brethren and their children swear that they would, when God should remove them to the promised land, take his body there, and not leave it in Egypt. It is said, "Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt."

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THE BIRTH OF MOSES.

You heard, in the last lesson, of the deaths of Jacob and Joseph; in the course of time Joseph's brothers also died, and the years passed on.

Ion. Now, shall we hear about a new man?

P. Yes. Let us begin with him as a babe.

Since the death of Joseph, about a hundred years had passed away, when there sat inside an Israelite's house, a mother, looking on her little child. She looked at him very tenderly, and perhaps the tears of sorrow and pity rolled down from her cheeks, and fell upon his little face. "Ah," she would think, "how can I spare my little child! They want to take him away; if I part with him I shall never see him again; for they will kill him with a dreadful sword!" The mother of this little child was called Jochebed, and the father, who was the grandson of Joseph's brother Levi, was called Amram. Perhaps Amram, the boy's father, would also stand by her side, and he would say, "No, we cannot give him up-let us keep him a little longer." Of course they would like to keep him! who would like, when God had given him a little child, to give it up to be killed? Yet such was the dreadful law, that all the male children of the Israelites were to be destroyed as soon as they were born.

L. But why were they to be destroyed, papa? will you tell us?

P. Yes. Let us look back on the history of the Israelites. Since the death of Jacob they had always lived in Goshen, apart from the Egyptians. It has been thought that when Pharaoh gave them that land to dwell in, perhaps he did not mean them to stay there always; he might only have intended them to remain until the famine was over. But, when the Egyptians found that these Israelites cultivated the land, and that they also protected the country, they, as well as the Israelites themselves, wished them to remain. But it seems that, living in so fruitful a land, and under a warm climate, they increased very rapidly indeed, and at length became more prosperous than many of the Egyptians.

Thus the Israelites went on increasing. The Bible says that they were fruitful-and increased abundantly-and multiplied-and waxed exceeding mighty-and the land was filled with them. Many an

Egyptian looked on with a jealous eye, for they began to think, "The Israelites are becoming stronger than we." They began to forget how much they owed to Joseph; and at last "there arose up a new king, who knew not Joseph." This king spoke to his people, and said,— "Behold, the children of Israel are more, and mightier than we. Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get out of the land." Then, it is said, they "afflicted the Israelites with burdens." They set them to make bricks, and build pyramids,* and treasure-cities, so that "the Egyptians made their lives bitter with hard bondage in mortar and brick.”

These afflictions, however, did not stop the increase of the Israelites; so at last the wicked King Pharaoh sent forth the cruel command that all their male children which were born were to be killed. This was the command,—“ Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive."

This, as I told you, is the law which caused Amram and Jochebed to look so sorrowfully on their little babe. Day after day they delayed to give it up-they knew that they must either do so, or must take it themselves, and put it into the broad stream; but they could not find the courage to do either, and still they kept their baby, and hid it, that nobody might know that it was alive. Thus they kept it three months, until they felt that they dare not hide it any longer, for fear of the punishment which would come to themselves and their whole family. Now Jochebed saw that her little one must go. Poor mother! she had had some pleasures-she had had the pleasure of seeing him for three months, and of feeding him, and of seeing him grow.-Well! that was better than not having seen him at all; so now she would thank God for the little pleasure which she had enjoyed, and would perform her dreadful task.

Accordingly Jochebed made for him a little ark of the leaves of bulrushes, or perhaps the broad-leaved papyrus plant, which grew in the Nile. This she daubed with slime and pitch, then she laid her dear baby in it, and carried it to the river. There she placed his little ark on the cold water, and perhaps kissed his rosy cheeks, and bade him good-bye, never to see him again. But she could not leave him so, without knowing what would become of him; she

Josephus.

would like to know whether the ark would sink or not, or how far it would float; so she called her daughter Miriam, and said to her, "Do not go away, but stop here to watch, and see what will become of him."

It seems that Jochebed then went home; she went, no doubt, to weep and to pray-she would pray with many tears, “O God, take care of my babe and do not let him die!”—and perhaps she would say it over and over again, for she believed that God could hear her. She was a wise woman to pray. All people who are in trouble should pray, for who can hear them, or who can help them so much as God? Nobody can, and what is more, there is nobody on earth who is half so willing to help as the Almighty. You shall hear how the Heavenly Father heard Jochebed's prayer, and helped her.

The little girl Miriam waited and watched; perhaps she hid herself behind a tree. There she stood, never taking her eyes off the little ark, but watching it as it rocked up and down, or moved to and fro, on the waves. Ah! she would think, the waves will rock it to sleep!-I hope it won't cry.-Poor little baby!-Suppose a great crocodile should come!"

No doubt Miriam thought many more such thoughts, and perhaps was going to take a peep at her little brother, when she heard a sound of steps, and saw that some people were coming. "Here they come!" she observed-" One lady, two ladies, three, four,—why they are all ladies! -and there is one lady who, I think, is their mistress. See how they all attend to her, and mind her, and pay attention to what she says-I suppose that she must be their mistress." And so she was. And Miriam saw, too, that they all came close to the river-side, where they could see the water. "Perhaps," she thought, "they will see the ark," and so they did. The mistress of these maidens was no less a person than the daughter of King Pharaoh, and when she saw the cradle she told one of her maidens to go into the water and fetch it. Now, how pleased Miriam was! They brought his little cradle to the dry land, and as they opened it, the baby cried. Then Miriam went near to notice what Pharaoh's daughter would do. We read that when Pharaoh's daughter saw the babe, she had compassion upon it, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children."

When Miriam saw the compassion shown to her brother, how pleased she must then have been!

Yes, she was more pleased than before; she had courage now.

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