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A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3559. A. C. 1872. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END.' that besides the money which they found returned, they sent dishes to every one of his brothers, but to Benjamin had brought more along with them, to buy a fresh quan- he sent five dishes for each of their one ; which was tity of provisions.
another mystery they could not unriddle ; however, for 'The steward, on the other hand, being let into the the present, they were very cheerful and merry. secret, and perceiving the concern they were in, bade After they bad ate and drank very plentifully, they them dismiss all uneasy apprehensions ; told them, that began to think of taking their leave, and of going about what they found in their sacks they ought to look upon the affair for which they came : but Joseph had one as a treasure sent them from heaven; owned that he fright more in reserve for them; and therefore he ordered hinself had fairly received their money; and gave them his steward, when he filled their sacks with corn, to assurance that they should never hear any more of it; return their money, as he had done before, but into and, that they might believe his words to be true, he Benjamin's sack, not only to put his money, but the went and brought Simeon unbound to them; acquainted silver cup likewise, wherein he himself used to drink, them that they were to dine with his lord that day; and and after they were gone a little way out of town, to go showed them, in the mean while, all the tokens of civility and overtake them, and charge them with felony. that were fitting for welcome guests.
The steward did as he was commanded : and, when Joseph was to return by noon, and therefore his he came up with Joseph's brethren, upbraided them with brothers took care to have their present in readiness ; ingratitude, in so badly requiting his lord's civility, as and when he was come, introduced it in the handsomest to steal away his cup. © Conscious of their own inno. and inost submissive manner they could. He received cence, and disdainful of so vile a charge, they put the them all with a friendly countenance; inquired much natter upon this short issue :-That whoever, upon search, concerning the health and welfare of their aged father; should be found to have the cup, should be given up to and then turning to Benjamin, asked them, if he was the suffer death, and themselves become all his lord's bond younger brother they had mentioned to him; and without slaves. So said, so done: the beasts were uploaded staying for their answer, saluted him in these words, the sacks were searched and to their great astonish"God be gracious to thee, my son.' But finding his ment and surprise, the cup was found in Benjamin's. affections begin to work, and fearing lest he should To no purpose it was for the poor youth to say any discover hiinself too soon, he retired into his chamber, thing in his own defence : upon such a demonstration and there vented his passion in a flood of tears ; which none would believe himand yet, being all concerned when he had done, he washed his face, and returned to in the disgrace, they loaded their asses again, and in a the company, and ordered the dinner to be served up.
mournful manner returned to the city. Three tables were spread in a large dining-room ; Joseph was at home expecting their return, and when one for himself alone, by reason of his dignity; another they came before him, reprimanded them very sharply, for his Egyptian guests, a who hate to eat with people while they lay prostrate at his feet, and d acknowledged of a different nation; and a third for his brethren, who were amazed to find themselves placed in exact order, lous and astonishing to them, if what Herodotus tells us be true, according to their seniority, and did not a little wonderb: vi.c. 27., namely, “ that the distinction in this case, even to
Egyptian kings themselves, in all public feasts and banquets, was what this unexpected civility might end in.
no more than a double mess." — Patrick's Commentary, and Joseph, however, during the whole entertainment, Bibliotheca Biblica. behaved very courteously. From his own table he c Gen. xliv. 5. •Whereby indeed he divineth.' Grotius
thinks that Joseph meant by this speech, that he used this cup The reason which some assiga for the Egyptians refusing to in his drink-offerings, when he sacrificed to prepare himself to eat with the Hebrews, was their sacrificing some creatures which receive divine presages; but I think we had better say, there the Egyptians worshipped; but though, in after ages, they cer- was a kind of divination by cups, though we know not what it tainly did worship several kinds of animals, yet there appears was, as we are certain there was by many other things among nothing from the story that they did so in Joseph's days; for the Greeks, who borrowed much of their religion from the their worship of the famous ox, called Apis, was a much later Egyptians. Such vessels as were used in divine service were invention, as many learned men have demonstrated. It is much not used in their own, being held sacred, and therefore separated more likely, therefore, that this great abhorrence should be from common use, and kept so safe, no doubt, that it was not resolved into their different manner both of dressing and eating easy to steal them. He speaks, therefore, of some divination their vietuals. No people, as Herodotus tells, (even where he treats that was used at their meals, which doth not signify that Joseph of their manner of feasting, Euterpe, c. 41.)
were more tenacious practised it. But the words are still capable of a more simple of their old customs than the Egyptians. They would not use interpretation, for machash sometimes signifies no more than to those of any other nation whatever; and therefore the Hebrews make an experiment, as in the words of Laban, Gen. xxx. 27, were not the only people they had an aversion to. Por, as the and so the meaning may be, “ Might you not have considered same historian informs us, an Egyptian man, or woman, would that thy master niade a trial, by laying this in your way, whether not kiss the mouth of a Greek; would not make use of a spit or you were honest men or filchers.”- Patrick's Commentary on a pot belonging to them; nor eat any meat that was cut with Genesis one of their knives.- Patrick's and Le Clerc's Commentary. d Judah, in behalf of himself and his brethren, might very
6 The manner of eating among the ancients was not for all well have pleaded in defence, that they received their sacks from the company to eat out of one and the same dish, but for every the officer tied up as they were, without ever once opening them; mne to have one or more dishes to himself. The whole of these and that the same hand which now, for these two times, had dishes were set before the master of the feast, and he distributed returned their money, was the most likely to have conveyed the to every one his portion. As Joseph, however, is here said to cup into them: bat since there was a manifest juggle in the have had a table to himself, we may suppose that he had a great thing, he was fearful of irritating the governor if he should go variety of little dishes, or plates, set before him; and as it was a about to detect it; and therefore he thought that the best way custom for great men to honour those who were in their favour, for him and his brethren to escape was to acknowledge the crime, by sending such dishes to them as were first served up to them- though they were innocent of it
, and, as if they had no percepselves. Joseph showed that token of respect to his brethren; tion of the trick that was put upon them, to implore his pity but to express a particular value for Benjamin, he sent him five and compassion, by arguments taken from other topics.--Le disbes to their one, which disproportion could not but be marvel- | Clerc's Commentary.
and as a person
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728 ; OR. ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3539. A. C. 1872. GEN. CH. XXXVİL TO THE end. their guilt; but, in the conclusion of his speech, he him, and wept. over him for joy; and having treated assured them, that the person only who was detected in all the rest in the same kind manner, the theft should remain a slave; the rest might return that was perfectly reconciled to them, they began to home when they pleased to their father.
take courage, and conversed more familiarly with him. Judah, who had taken Benjamin under his care, being A rumour, in the mean time, was spread through the by this time recovered from his surprise, drew near, and court, that Joseph's brethren were come to buy com; addressed Joseph in the most submissive and pathetic which, when Pharaoh heard, he sent for him, and told terms. He acquainted him with the whole case between him, that since his father's family was so numerous, and them and their father, in relation to their bringing Benja- the famine as yet not half over, his best way would be min into Egypt, to take away the suspicion of their being to send for them, and place them in what part of the spies. He described very passionately their father's country he thought fit; for that they should never want melancholy condition for the loss of his son Joseph ; the provisions or any other favour that he could show them. extreme fondness he had for his son Benjamin; the He put him in mind likewise to send them a fresh supply difficulty they were under to prevail with him to trust of corn, and whatever else be thought would be necessary him with them, so that he himself was forced to become in their journey, with chariots and wagons to bring security for his safe return; and that, if he should go down their wives and children, and the best of their home without him, his father's life was so wrapt up in moveables. the child, that he would certainly die with grief. Rather Joseph gladly obeyed the king's command : and, therefore than see this grief of his aged father, and his besides the chariots and provisions, sent to his father grey hairs with sorrow descending to the grave, he ten asses, laden with the choicest commodities of Egypt; offered himself an equivalent for his brother : 'Now, to his brethren he gave each of them changes of gartherefore, I beseech thee, my lord, let me, thy servant, ments, but to Benjamin he gave five, with three hundred abide here a slave, instead of the lad, and let him go pieces of silver; and so dismissed them with this kind up with his brethren; for how shall I see my father charge, that they should not 'fall out by the way.' without him?' This moving speech, and generous offer, With hearts full of joy they proceeded in their journey were what Joseph's soul could not withstand; and there to Canaan, and were gladly received by their good old fore, being able to contain himself no longer, he father, especially upon the return of his two sons, ordered all the company to leave the room, that he Simeon and Benjamin, whom he scarce expected to have might have a more affectionate freedom in discovering seen any more. But when they informed him that his himself to his brethren.
son Joseph was likewise alive, and in what pomp and But no sooner had he told them that he was Joseph splendour he lived ; that he was the very man, the king's their brother, which was all that his full heart would let prime minister and governor of Egypt, who had put him utter, than, reflecting upon what they had once them into so many deadly frights, being not able to bear done to him, they were all struck with such a surprise so much good news at once, be fainted away in their and confusion, that for a long time they could make him arms : but when he came to himself again, and they no answer.
showed him the presents which Joseph had sent, and the As soon, however, as he had recovered himself, he chariots and carriages which were come to take him and desired them to draw near unto him : he embraced them his goods away, his spirits revived, his doubts and his all round with an unfeigned tenderness; and to dispel fears vanished, and in an ecstasy of joy, he cried out, all farther apprehensions, told them, that their selling 2. It is enough! Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go him into Egypt was directed by an unforeseen provi- and see him before I die.' dence ; that therefore, they had no reason to be angry
To see so dear a son, for whom he had mourned so with themselves for doing it, since they were no more long, in all his Egyptian state and glory, was enough to than the instruments in God's hand to bring about what make him hasten his journey; but as his gratitude to his eternal purpose bad determined ; that he had no God for all his late mercies vouchsafed unto him, and reason to resent it, since by that means he had been his farther want of the divine protection to accompany advanced to the honour and dignity of being governor him into Egypt, required some fresh act of religion from of all Egypt; nor his father or any of his family to him, he chose to go to Beersheba, and there offer some murmur at it, since God had appointed this method for sacrifices, both because it was the place where Abraham the preservation of their lives. For five years more, he and Isaac had lived so long, and because it was in the told them, there were to be of the famine ; and, there way to Egypt, as being the utmost boundary of Canaan fore, he bid them hasten into Canaan, and tell his father towards the south. of all his glory and greatness, and desire him to come Here it was that God appeared to him again in a down, that he might take care of him, and feed him in vision; bid him a not fear to go down into Egypt, since this time of dearth, and provide him with a country, even the land of Goshen, not far distant from him, and
: Gen. xlv. 28. very commodious for such as led a pastoral life. All a It is not unlikely, that the good old man had promised him this, he owned, would be strange and surprising for them self the comfort of spending the remainder of his days in the to tell ; but their father would hardly doubt the testimony land which God had been pleased to promise him; and therefore, of so many eye-witnesses ; above all, he would not fail after so much labour of life, and change of place, when he thought to believe what his favourite Benjamin told him : and the patriarchal line being put in possession before his death, to
himself at the end of his pilgrimage, and perhaps depended upon with that, he threw himself upon Benjamin's neck, kissed be obliged to leave his land, and to go into a foreign one, as
not a little discouraging, especially if he retained in his mind 1 Gen. xliv. 33, 31.
the melancholy prediction to his grandfather, Gen. x6. 13,
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. he would be with him, and protect him, and in due time and with infinite satisfaction, congratulated his arrival bring his posterity out of it again to enter into the pos- at a place where he had it in his power to make his life session of the promised land; and that, as to his own happy and comfortable. What the expressions of filial particular, he should live near his beloved Joseph, die duty, and paternal affection were upon this occasion, in his arms, "a and bave his eyes closed by his hand. words cannot describe : tears of joy flowed from both So that, encouraged by this divine promise, Jacob left sides ; and while the son was contemplating the good Beersheba, and cheerfully pursued his journey into ness of God, in bringing him to the sight of his aged Egypt, where, when he arrived," he and his family father, the father, on the other hand, thought all his made up in all just the complement of seventy persons. happiness upon earth completed in this interview; and
As soon as he came within the borders of Egypt, not therefore, "Now let me die,' says he to his son, since far from the land of Goshen, he sent Judah before to I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.' acquaint his son Joseph with his arrival'; who instantly As soon as these tender greetings, and the solemn took his chariot, with a retinue suitable to his high station, rejoicings which followed upon them, were over, Joseph
proposed to his father and brethren, to go and acquaint Kuow of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land Pharaoh with their arrival : and as he supposed that the that is not theirs, four hundred years, and shall serve them.'- king would have a curiosity to see some of them, he Bibliotheca Biblica in locum.
gave them in charge, that in case he should ask them a Gen. xlvi. 4.—This appears to have been a very ancient what occupation they were of, their answer should be, and general custom, as there are evidences of its existence that they were shepherds, as their ancestors, for mauy among the Jews, Greeks, and Romans. Homer describes Ulysses thus expressing himself on the death of Socus :- generations, had been before them; by which means he Ah, wretch! no father shall thy corpse compose,
might d secure for them the land of Goshen, which would Thy dying eyes no tender mother close. 1. xl.- Pope, be a separate habitation, and a happy retreat from the There seems to be something of a reason in nature why insults of the Egyptians, who were known e to have an sach a particular regard should be had at death to the eyes, and utter detestation to shepherds. that is, because they are in life so eminently serviceable both to body and mind. We close the eyes of the dead, because no part of the body looks so ghastly after death, whereas nothing was so
Gen. xlvi. 30. sprightly and beautiful before : and the reason why the nearest d By the general consent of ancient geographers, the land of in blood or sriendship should have this office is too obvious to Goshen is situate in the eastern part of Egypt, between the Red need any explication. _“I entreat that the gods may ordain that Sea and the river Nile, upon the borders of Canaan. It was a when I am doom ed to pay the debt of nature, he may be there fruitful spot of ground, very fit for pasturage; and therefore to close my eyes and thine.”—Penel
. ad Ulyss, de Telemach. Josephus tells us that Pharaoh's own cattle were kept there, and The whole account of Jacob's sons and grandsons, who went accordingly we find him ordering Joseph to make one of his along with him into Egypt, stands thus : -By Leah 32; by brothers the inspector-general over them. The country was Zilpah 16; by Rachel 11; by Bilhah 7: in all 66, exclusive of separate from Egypt: and for this reason the Israelites inhabiting Jacob himself, and of Joseph, and his two sons, which make up it, might keep themselves in a body, without endangering their the 70: and it was necessary indeed that these genealogies religion or manners, by intermixing with the Egyptians, and should be exactly registered, not only to distinguish each tribe, without incurring their envy or odium, as they would have done, and thereby discover the Messias when he came, but, as it is in had they lived among them, and shared any power or profit the case before us, to make it apparent, that the increase of in the government. They came down into Egypt upon a partiIsrael, even under oppression, should bear a fair proportion to the cular exigency, and were to return again to take possession of promise made to Abraham, namely, “That his seed should be the promised land; and therefore a country, that lay in a mamer even as the stars of heaven, and as the sand upon the sea-shore contiguous to it, was the most convenient for their abode, that for multitude.' – Universal History, and Bibliotheca Biblica, they might be in readiness to remove whenever God should order
© There are three difierent accounts in Scripture of the num- them to leave it, which they would not have found so easy a ber of Jacob's family, when they came down into Egypt. In thing to do, had they been settled in the heart of Egypt.— Poole's Gen. xlvi. 26, it is said, that all the souls which came with Annotations. Jacob into Egypt, were threescore and six :' in the very next e The country of Egypt, as Diodorus tells us, b. 1., was divided verse, and in Deut. x. 22, it is said, that they were threescore into three parts, whereof the priests had one, the king a second, and ten;' and yet St Stephen, in Acts vii. 14, tells us expressly and the soldiery a third; but under these there were three other that they were seventy-five. Now, in order to reconcile these ranks of men, shepherds, husbandmen, and artificers. The husBeeming contradictions, we must observe, that in each place bandmen served the king, and the other two orders, in tilling the there is a different manner of computation. In the first cata- ground for very small wages, and so did the shepherds, in their logue, Moses speaks of those persons only who came out of capacities; for the Egyptians, we must remember, had sheep and Jacob's loins, that is, his children and grandchildren that went oxen, as well as horses and asses, which they sold unto Joseph, in into Egypt with him ; and these exclusive of Jacob himself, and the time of the famine. It cannot be thought, therefore, that they Joseph and his two sons, who were in Egypt before, were exactly abominated all shepherds in general, but only such shepherds as sixty-six : whereas, including Jacob himself, together with were foreigners, and for what reason it was that they did this, is Joseph and his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who, though not so easy a matter to resolve. Some are of opinion, that shepthey were in Egypt before, yet living there as strangers only, herds were held in detestation, because they were a people in' and having their original from the land of Canaan, may be those days addicted to robbery, which made them very odious to reckoned as if they had come into Egypt with Jacob, the number the Egyptians; but others imagine, that theft among the Egypis exactly seventy. The difference between Moses and St tians was not reputed so abominable a crime; and therefore they Stephen is a little more difficult to reconcile; and yet, if we think, that the most probable reason for this aversion to shepherds, suppuse that St Stephen follows the first number of Moses, and to the Hebrews, as such, was the great oppression and tyranny namely, sixty-six, out of which he excludes Jacob, Joseph, and under which they had lately groaned, when the Phænician shephis two sons, and to which he adds only nine of his sons' wives, herds penetrated Egypt, wasted their cities, burnt their temples, for Judah's wife was already dead, and Benjamin is supposed to murdered the inhabitants, and seated themselves for a considerable be still unmarried, and Joseph's wife out of the case, these nine while in the possession of it. (See note, page 215.) But upon wives, I say, which though out of Jacob's blood, yet belonged whatever account it was, that the Egyptians had this aversion to to his family, and to Joseph's kindred, which is the very ex. shepherds, it certainly was an instance of Joseph's great modesty pression St Stephen makes use of, added to the number of and love of truth, that he was not ashamed of an employment, sixty-six other persons, will amount exactly to seventy-five. so mean in itself, and so vile in the eyes of the Egyptians. Had Patrick's Commentary, Universal and Howell's Histories. he been minded to make the most of the matter, he might have
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii, TO THE END. With this caution he took five of his brothers along their cattle, their houses, their lands, and 6 at length, with him; and having informed Pharaoh that his father their very selves, for provisions. All these Joseph purand family were come as far as Goshen, he presented chased of the people in the king's name, and for the his brothers to the king, who for his sake received them king's use; and to let them see that the purchase was in very graciously; and when he asked them what profession earnest, and that their liberties and properties were now they were of, they told him that they were shepherds, as become the king's, he transplanted them from their former their family for many generations had been ; that want places of abode, into distant and different parts of the of pasture for their cattle, and of sustenance for them- kingdom, that they might in time lose the very rememselves, had made them leave Canaan; but that since, as brance of their ancient possessions. C they understood, his majesty had been so hospitable, as This, in another person, might have been thought an to give them reception in his dominions, they humbly immoderate zeal for an absolute power in the king, and prayed, that they might be allowed to settle in Goshen, an advantage unjustly taken of the necessities of the as a country most convenient for their purpose : which subject; but Joseph so managed the matter as to gain he readily granted, and offered moreover to make any the commendation of both prince and people; for when one of them, whom Joseph should appoint, his royal the seventh and last year of famine was come, be shepherd.
acquainted them that they might now expect a crop Not long after this, Joseph, in like manner, presented against next year ; that the Nile would overflow, and his father to Pharaoh, who seeing him look very hale and the earth would bring forth her fruits as usual. Herehearty, and desiring to know of what age he might be, upon he distributed fresh lands, cattle and corn to them, was informed by Jacob, that he was 4 an hundred and that they might return to their tillage as before ; but upon thirty; which, when the king seemed to wonder at, he this condition he did it, that from thenceforth the fifth told him moreover, that his life was not as yet, near 60 part of all the product of their lands should go to the long as that of some of his ancestors, because his fate king, and the rest be theirs. To these conditions the had been to have too large a share of troubles and people willingly consented, as imputing the preservation fatigues to harass and wear him out ; and 80, wishing his of their lives entirely to Joseph's care ; and from that majesty abundance of health and prosperity, he returned time it passed into a law, that the fifth part of the proto Goshen, where Joseph took care to supply him, and duct of the land of Egypt should always belong to the all his family, with such a plentiful provision of corn, crown. and other necessaries, from the king's storehouses, as in While Joseph was enjoying the fruits of his great the time of the greatest scarceness made him insensible success and policy, his family at Goshen, which he failed of any want.
not frequently to visit, became very wealthy, and very But while Jacob and his family lived in plenty, the numerous, till at length his father Jacob, finding himself Egyptians found the sad eftects of the famine, which grow old and feeble, and perceiving that his latter end increased daily upon them, and Joseph holding up his was near approaching, sent for him, and to this purpose corn at a high rate, in a short time brought all their addressed himself to him : “ Though the desire of seemoney into the king's cofters; and when their money ing a son, so dear to me as you are, raised to the height was gone, they were all, except the priests, who were of Egyptian glory, joined to the raging famine which furnished from the king's stores, obliged to part with then visited our land, made me willingly come down into
this strange conntry; yet Canaan being the inheritance instructed his brothers to have concealed their way or business which God promised to Abraham and his posterity, and of life; or if he was aware that they would follow the same in where he lies interred with my father Isaac, and some Egypt that they had done in Canaan, he might nevertheless have others of our family, in the ground which he purchased put into their mouths the high dignity of their descent, and the of the inhabitants for that purpose ; my last, and dying wonderful history of their family, namely, that Abraham was their great-grandfather, a prince renowned for his defeat of four request to you is, d that you will not suffer me to be confederate monarchs; that Isaac was their grandfather, whose amity and alliance had been courted by kings; and that Israel 6 When the Egyptians were driven to this last extremity, in was their father, who once gained a victory even over a mighty our translation it is said to be in the second year;' but this must prince of the celestial host; all great men in their generations, not be understood to be the second year of the seven years of and dignified with the conversation of God himself. This, and famine, but the second after that last mentioned, wherein they a great deal more, had Joseph been minded to serve the purposes had sold their cattle, which was in reality the last year of the of vanity, he might have suggested to his brethren; but by this famine; because he now gave them corn for seed, as well as for open declaration, we may perceive, that his pleasure and ambi- food; whereas in the first years, there was neither sowing nor tion was, that the wonderful chain of the divine measures and reaping. Gen. xlv. 6.- Poole's Annotations. counsels, in bringing him from an humble condition of life, to · c See note on this subject in the following chapter.-Ep. such a sublimity of power and figure, might be as conspicuous d Though there be something of a natural desire in most men as possible.- Poole's Annotations, Patrick's Commentary, and to be buried in the places where their ancestors lie; yet Jacob's Bibliotheca Biblica in locum.
aversion to have his remains deposited in Egypt seems to be a Pharaoh's question to Jacob, and Jacob's answer, we may more earnest than ordinary, or otherwise he would never have suppose, were not all the discourse that passed between them, imposed an oath upon his sons, and charged them all with his but only what most deserved to be mentioned; because as the dying breath, not to suffer it to be done. For he very well learned' Pererius observes this answer of Jacob's is the very knew, that had his body been buried in Egypt, his posterity
, hinge upon which the whole chronology of the patriarchal times upon that very account, would have been too much wedded to turns. The same excellent commentator remarks, that though the country, ever to attempt the acquisition of the promised Jacob lived seventeen years after this, yet, even at last, he did not land; and therefore, to wean them from the thoughts of continuattain to the days of the years of the life of his father,' since his ing in Egypt, and fix their minds and affections in Canaan, he father Isaac lived an hundred and fourscore years, and his grand ordered his body to be carried thither beforehand, in testimony father Abrabam to an hundred and seventy-five.—Bibliotheca that he died in full persuasion of the truth of the promises which Biblioa.
were given to him and his ancestors: nor was it inconvenient, A M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. baried here, but swear to see me carried to Machpelah,|" How tenderly I loved her," continued he, “all my and there deposited with my ancestors. Your great family can testify; but this farther proof I design to give power with the king will easily obtain that favour, which you of my affection to her. You have two sons born is the last I have to ask.” Joseph was not long before in a foreign country, and who, according to the usual he gave his father a satisfactory answer. He promised, order of inheritance, should bave only the portion of and he swore to him, that he would fulfil his desire, grandchildren, in the division of the promised land; but which pleased the good old man to that degree, that a from this day forward, they shall be called by my name, he bowed, and made his acknowledgment for this kind be esteemed my sons, and as heads of two distinct tribes assurance.
(for they shall not be called the tribe of Joseph, but the Joseph, who could not be long absent from court, took tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh) receive a double porhis leave of his father, but not without giving strict tion in that allotment. But it must not be so with the charge to some of the family, that upon the very first other sons which you beget after these : they come in appearance of danger, they should immediately send for only for the portion of grandchildren : and to you in him. Accordingly, as soon as word was brought him, particular, I bequeath that tract of ground, which, by that his father was a dying, he took his two sons, Ma- force of arms, I took from the Amorites, that it may nasseh and Ephraim with him, and went to visit him ; descend to your tribe for ever." who when he heard that his favourite son was come, sum
All this while Jacob, whose sight was very much demoned all his spirits together, and was so far revived cayed, talked to his son concerning his children, as if as to be able to sit up in his bed.
they had been absent; but when he perceived that they Here he began with recapitulating all the glorious were in the room, he rejoiced not a little, and ordered promises which God had formerly made him, concerning them to be brought near him. Joseph placed them in a his numerous posterity's inhabiting the land of Canaan, position according to the order of their age, to receive and concluded 6 with the death of his dear Rachel. his father's blessing ; but Jacob, crossing his hands, laid
his right, which carried with it the preference, upon the that future generations, after their return to Canaan, should have younger, and his left upon the elder of them ; ¢ which before their eyes the sepulchre of their forefathers, for a record of their virtues, and an iocitement to the imitation of them. But and frequented place; to which a right reverend commentathe strongest motive of all for Jacob's desiring to be buried in tor has added a further apology,—That, as she died in childbed, Canaan, supposing that he foreknew that our Saviour Christ and Jacob in his travels might not have all things necessary to was to live and die, and with some others, rise again in that preserve her body long, he was constrained to bury her sooner comotry, was, that he might be one of that blessed number; as it perhaps than otherwise he would have done.- Patrick's Commenwas indeed an ancient tradition in the church, that among those tary, and Bibliotheca Biblica in locum. who came out of their graves after our Lord's resurrection,' c Gen, xlviii. 14. • And Israel stretched out his right hand, Matth. xxvii, 53, the patriarch Jacob was one.—Poole's Anno- and laid it upon Ephraim's head.' Imposition of hands was a tations, and Bibliotheca Biblica.
Jewish ceremony, introduced, not by any divine authority, but a The words in our translation are, ‘he bowed himself upon the by custom: it being the practice among these people, whenever bed's head,' (Gen. xlvii. 31,) where some expositors, presuming, they prayed to God for any person, to lay their hand on his head, that his bowing was a religious action, will hy no means have it Our Saviour observed the same custom, both when he conferred direrted to Joseph, but to God only, for the assurance which Jo- his blessing on children, and when he healed the sick, adding seph had given him, that he should be buried according to his prayer to the ceremony. The apostles likewise laid hands upon desire. But if the word must be translated bowed,' there is no those upon whom they bestowed the Holy Ghost. The priests necessity to make it an act of adoration, but only a common form observed the same custom when any one was received into their of civility, wherewith the father might comply, without any dimi- body. And the apostles themselves underwent the imposition of nution to his superiority over his son. What led these expositors hands afresh every time they entered upon any new design. In into this conception, was the version of the Septuagint, and the the ancient church imposition of hands was even practised upon words of the apostle to the Hebrews, where Jacob is said, in al persons when they married, which custom the Abyssinians still lusjon, as they suppose, to this passage, to have ' worshipped on observe. The ceremony of the imposition of hands on the head of the top of his stati,' Heb. xi. 21. But the plain truth is, that the the victim, has been usually considered, in the case of piacular apostle here speaks of another thing, not of what Jacob did now, sacrifices, as a symbolical translation of the sins of the offender when Joseph swore unto him, but of what he did when he blessed upon the head of the sacrifice; and as a mode of deprecating the his other children. In the former case, he seems to have kept evil due to his transgressions, So we find it represented by his bed; but in the latter, to have received fresh spirits, and sat Abarbinel, in the introduction to his commentary on Leviticus, upon it, though leaning perhaps upon his staff.' So that the (De Viel, p. 301,) and so the ceremony of the scape-goat, in apostle's words are not taken from those of Moses, but are a reflec-Levit, xvi. 21, seems directly to assert. And it is certain that tion of his own, whereby he signifies the strength of Jacob's faith, the practice of imprecating on the head of the victim, the evils even when he was so weak as not to be able to bow himself and which the sacrificer wished to avert from himself, was usual worship, without the help of his staff. This clearly removes the amongst the heathen, as appears particularly from Herodotus, difficulty, and seconciles Moses and the apostle very perfectly. (b. ii. C. 39.) who relates this of the Egyptians, and at the same But there seems to be a more compendious way of doing this; for time asserts that no Egyptian would so much as taste the head of since the word Shacah, which signifies to bow the body, may, in any animal, but under the influence of this religious custom, like manner, be rendered to lie or fall down, the most easy Aung it into the river. Confession of sin was always connected translation seems to be, he laid himself doun upon his pillow, as with piacular sacrifices. (Levit, v. 5.; xvi. 21.; Numb. v. 7.) weak med are wont to do, after they have sat up a while, to des. The particular forms of confession used in the different kinds of patch some business.- Patrick's and Le Clerc's Commentary. piacular sacrifices are handed down to us by the Jewish writers,
6 Since Jacob had so strictly insisted upon his being buried and are given by Outram, (De Sacr. b. 1. c. 15, 10, 11.) The with his fathers, and bound Joseph with an oath to see it done, it form prescribed for the individual presenting his own sacrifice, wa proper for him to explain and clear himself, as to what might seems particularly significant. “ O God, I have sinned, I have be secretly objected to his not interring Rachel, Joseph's owu done perversely, I have trespassed before thee, and have done so mother, and his best beloved consort, in that burying-place, where and so. Lo, now I repent, and am truly sorry for my misdeeds, he so earnestly desired to lie himself; and for his excuse in this Let then this victim be my expiation." These last words were respect be had two things to offer: 1st, That he was then upon accompanied by the action of laying hands on the victim; and his journey, and in his return from Padan; and, 2dly, That he had were considered by the Jews as equivalent to this, “Let the evils erected a monumental pillar upon ber grave, in a very public / whicb in justice should have fallen on my head, light upon the