« PreviousContinue »
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. Jacob had reserved the sons of his beloved Rachel ing to his children, according to the divine direction, to the last; and therefore turning to a Joseph at the and not according to his own inclination, reminded them same tince that he recollects his past troubles, and sets all, but Joseph more especially, to bury him among forth the future greatness of his tribe, he pours down his ancestors, d in the cave of Machpelah; and so laying upon him, and in him, upon his posterity, benedictions of himself down in his bed again, in a short time expired, all kinds. “ The Lord, even the God of thy father," after he had lived 147 years in all, and seventeen of says he, “ shall bless thee with the dew of heaven,' these in Egypt. and with the 'fatness of the earth,' with the fruit of the The loss of so good a father was doubtless lamented womb,' that is, with a numerous posterity, and with the by all his family, but by none with more sincere expres'fruit of the breast,' with plenty of all sorts of cattle. sions of filial sorrow than by Joseph. At length, May all the blessings' promised to me and my forefathers remembering his dying charge, he ordered his physibe doubled upon Joseph's royal head ; may they out-top cians, e according to the custom of the country, to aud outstretch the everlasting mountains, and prove to
verified by their events, the Jews ascribe some other works hiu more fruitful and more lasting than they.”
to him, namely, a treatise entitled The Ladder to Heaven, Whether Jacob might foresee no merit nor happiness and another called Jacob's Testament, which Pope Gelasius extraordinary in the tribe of Benjamin, or that its being reckons among the Apocrypha ; together with some forms of afterwards blended with the tribe of Judah might make prayer, which the Jews use every night, and pretend that they
were composed by him. As to the commendations which they it partake of the same blessing ; but so it was, that he
so plentifully bestow upon this patriarch, these, in a great contented himself with describing its 6 fierce and war
measure, are justified by the character which the author of Eclike disposition, which, like a ravenous wolf, would clesiasticus gives him, chap. xliv. 23. And as the Mahometans shed the blood of its enemies, and in the evening divide allow him not only to be a prophet, but the father likewise of their spoil.'
all the prophets, except Job, Jethro, and Mahomet; so they
believe, that the royal dignity did not depart from his posterity, Thus the good old patriarch having given his e bless until the times of John the Baptist
, and Jesus Christ ; and that
from him the twelve tribes of the Jews did spring, even as their which Deborah made upon that occasion; yet the exposition own twelve did from Ishmael. ---Calmet's Dictionary, under the which the learned Bochart gives us of this passage, “He shall be word Jacob. like a tree that shooteth out pleasant branches,' is both more d Gen. xlix. 29. ` And he charged them, and said unto them, agreeable to the original, and more answerable to the event; I am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with my fathers.' since no tribe multiplied so wonderfully as this of Naphtali, who Princes and persons of quality, who died in foreign parts, were had but four sons when he came into Egypt, and yet could usually carried into their own country, to be buried with their muster upwards of fifty-three thousand men fit to bear arms, fathers. That this was practised in the patriarchal times, when he came out of it, that is, in less than 220 years.-Essay appears from the injunction which Jacob laid upon his children towards a New Translation.
respecting his interment. It was also the custom of the Greeks. a In the benediction which Jacob gives his favourite Joseph, Homer represents Juno as thus speaking concerning Sarpedon: there are two remarkable titles which he confers upon him. ist,
Give the bold chief a glorious fate in fight; * That he was the shepherd, and the stone of Israel, which seems
And when th' ascending soul has wing'd her flight, to be a thankful recognition of Joseph's kindness to his father
Let sleep and death convey, by thy command, and family, in keeping and feeding them, even as a shepherd
The breathless body to his native land. does his sheep; by which means he became the foundation or for this reason, such as died in foreign countries had usually basis, as it were, of the house of Jacob, by preserving them from their ashes brought home, and interred in the sepulchres of their perishing by famine, and continuing them settled in the best part ancestors, or at least in some part of their native country; it of the Egyptian kingdom, for a considerable time: though some being thought that the same mother which gave them life and refer it rather to his virtuous resisting the temptations of his birth was only fit to receive their remains, and afford them a mistress, and patiently enduring the master's severity, to both peaceful habitation after death. Hence ancient authors afford of which he remained as immoveable as a stone. 2d, The other us innumerable instances of bodies conveyed, sometimes by the title is, that he was separate from his brethren:' where, though the command of oracles, sometimes by the good will of their friends, word nazir signifies to separate, as Joseph was certainly separated from foreign countries to the sepulchres of their fathers, and with from his brethren, when he was sold into Egypt, yet, as it is great solemnity deposited there. Thus Theseus was removed hardly supposable, that Jacob would couch so cruel an action in from Scyrus to Athens, Orestes from Tegea, and his son Tisa30 soft a term, it is rather to be thought that he used the word menes from Helice to Sparta, and Aristomenes from Rhodes to nasir, which signifies crowned, in allusion to the superintendents Messene.—ED. of the king's household in all the eastern countries, who were e Gen. I. 2. • And Joseph commanded his servants, the physicalled nazirs, and wore probably some kind of diadem about cians, to embalm his father.' Concerning the practice of physic their heads, by way of distinction and grandeur. And as for in Egypt, Herodotus says that it was divided amongst the faculty the fruitfulness promised to Joseph, this was exemplified in the in this manner-.“ Every distinct distemper hath its own physilarge extent of his twofold tribe, Ephraim and Manasseh, which, cian, who confines himself to the study and care of that alone, at their first numbering, yielded seventy-two thousand seven and meddles with no other: so that all places are crowded with hundred, Num, i., and at their second, eighty-five thousand and physicians; for one class hath the cure of the eyes, another of two hundred men, all able to go out to war. Num. xxvi. the head, another of the teeth, another of the region of the belly,
6 How brave and warlike a body of men, and how very expert and another of occult distempers,” (b. 2. c. 84.) After this we in feats of arms, this tribe became, we may conceive from what shall not think it strange that Joseph's physicians are represented We are told of them, namely, that there were seven hundred as a number. A body of these domestics would now appear an chosen men among them, left-handed, every one of whom could extravagant piece of state, even in a first minister. But then it sling stones at an hair's breadth, and not miss. (Judges xx. 16.) could not be otherwise, where each distemper had its proper And how pertinacious they were in their undertakings of this physician; so that every great family, as well as city, must kind is manifest, both from the fierce battles which they fought needs, as Herodotus expresses it, swarm with the faculty. There against all the other tribes, though in a very bad cause, (Judges, is a remarkable passage in Jeremiah (chap. xlvi. 11.), where, xix.) wherein they twice came off conquerors; and from the long foretelling the overthrow of Pharaoh's army at the Euphrates, opposition which the house of Saul, descended from this tribe, he describes Egypt by this characteristic of her skill in medicine, made against the accession of David to the throne, and which Go up into Gilead, and take balm,' (or balsam,) ( virgin, the could not be suppressed until Abner, the general of their forces, daughter of Egypt; in vain shalt thou use many medicines, for forsook them. Judges and 1 Sam. passim.
thou shalt not be cured.'—Warburton's Divine Legation, b. 4. • Besides these prophecies of Jacob, which were sufficiently sec. 3.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; or, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvj. TO THE END. a embalm his father's body, and all preparations for his As soon as they were entered into the land of Canaan, funeral to be made. For the space of seventy days they they made an halt at d the thrashing-floor of Atad, and continued their mourning for him ; in wbich time it boing there continued mourning, and lamenting the death of improper for Joseph to appear at court, he desired some their friend and father seven days ; which made the of the officers about the king, to acquaint his majesty, Canaanites, perceiving that the company cane from that his father, before his death, had obliged him, upon Egypt, call the place Abel-mizraim, or the mourning of oath, to bury him in a sepulchre belonging to their family, the Egyptians, ever after. They thence continued their in the land of Canaan ; and that therefore he begged march till they came to the field of Machpelah, where e leave to go and fulfil his last commands, and would, they deposited Jacob in the cave with bis ancestors, and without delay, return again. 6 The king readily con- so returned to Egypt again. sented to his request, and ordered moreover the chief As soon as their father was buried, Joseph's brethren oflicers of his household, and some of the principal nobi- began to reflect on the wrongs they had formerly done lity of the kingdom, to attend the funeral, who, joined him, and were not a little apprehensive, that as he with his own and his father's whole family, some in certainly had it in his power, he might now have it in chariots, and some on horseback, made e a very large bis intention, to avenge himself of them: and therefore and pompous procession.
they consulted together, and framed this message,
That it was his father's earnest request, that he should a The manner of embalming among the Egyptians according forget all past injuries, and continue them under his to Herodotus, Diodorus, and others, was as follows. man died, his body was carried to the artificers, whose business protection, as formerly. This, when Joseph heard, such it was to make coffins. The upper part of the coffin represented was his compassionate temper, that he could not refrain the person who was to be put in it, whether man or woman; from weeping; and therefore, to remove their fears, he and, if a person of distinction, was generally adorned with such sent immediately for them, and receiving them with the paintings and embellishments as were suitable to its quality. When the body was brought home again, they agreed with the same kind affection as when their father was alive, excused embalmers; but according to the quality of the person, the prices the actions committed against him, in such an obliging were different. The highest was a talent, that is, about three manner, and gave them such assurances of his future hundred pounds sterling: twenty min was a moderate one; love, and adherence to them upon all occasions, as made and the lowest a very small matter. one of them, whom they called the designer, marked out the them return to their families full of joy and satisfaction. place on the left side where it was to be opened, and then a dis- s The sacred history gives us no further account of sector, with a very sharp Egyptian stone, made the incision, through which they drew all the intestines, except the heart and brethren, and his father's house, conducting their solemn sorrow kidneys, and then washed them with palm wine, and other strong for near three hundred miles into a distant country.-Bitliotheca and binding drugs. The brains they drew through the nostrils, Biblica, Occasional Annotations, 46. with an hooked piece of iron, marle particularly for that purpose, d 'The words in the text are, — And they came to the thrashand filled the skull with astringent drugs. The whole body they ing-floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan,' Gen. I. 10. Where anointed with oil of cedar, with myrrh, cinnamon, and other this place was, we camot determine from any account in Scripdrugs, for about thirty days; by which means it was preserved ture; but it is very probable, that it lay not far from the place entire, without so much as losing its hair, and sweet, without where Jacob was buried, and so not far from Hebron. For since any signs of putrefaction. After this it was put into salt about it is absurd to suppose, that the corpse of Jacob was carried to forty days; and therefore when Moses says, that forty days were the cave of Machpelah such a round about way as the Israetites employed in embalming Jacob, (Gen. 1. 3.) he must mean the went afterwards into the land of Canaan, namely, through Arabia forty days of his continuing in the salt of pitre, without including Petra a, quite on the eastem side of Jordan, it remains to suppose, the thirty days that were spent in the other operations above that these places are said to be beyond Jordan, not in respect of mentioned: so that, in the whole, they mourned seventy days in Egypt, from whenee Jacob's corpse was brought, but in respect Egypt, as Moses likewise observes. Last of all, the body was taker of the place where Moses was, when he wrote the history, that out of this salt, washed, and wrapped up in linen swaddling bands is, in a country on the east of Jordan; and consequenty the dipped in myrrh, and rubbed with a certain gum, which the places beyond Jordan must be such as lay on the west of Jordan; Egyptians used instead of glue, and so returned to the relations, but why they made the thrashing-floor of Atad, rather than the who put it into the coffin, and kept it in some repository in their place of interment, the scene of their lamentations, is not so easy houses, or in tombs, made particularly for that purpose. --Calmet's to resolve. Perhaps it was a place more convenient to stay in Dictionary, under the word Embalm, and Warburton's Divine for seven days, than the field of Machpelah; or perhaps it might Legation, vol. 2. b. 3.
be the custom, at the very entrance of the country, where they It was against rule for any person, how great soever, in carried the corpse to be buried, to fall into lamentations, which mourning apparel, to appear in public, and especially in the royal they might repeat at the grave again, though no mention be presence, because in that state they were looked upon as defiled; made of it here. Wells' Geography of the Old Testament, vol. and therefore Joseph does not go himself, but desires some of the 1.; and Patrick's Corn mentary. courtiers to earry his request to the king: and this request he e The Jewish doctors have a tradition of a bloody fight which was the rather bound to make, because the retinue and guard Joseph had at his father's funeral, with one Tzepho, the son of which the pomp of the funeral, and the danger of molestation Eliphaz, who would have opposed his burying him in the cave of from enemies, made necessary, could not be obtained without Machpelah, as disputing his title to the ground, but that Joseph, the king's leave.-Musculus.
and his men, having overcome himn, carried him away with them c The splendour and magnificence of our patriaren's funeral into Egype, and kept him there prisoner as long as Josephı lived; seems to be without a parallel in history. What hitherto has however, as soon as he was dead, Tzepho found means to escape most atlected me in the comparison, were indeed the noble obse- into Italy.- Unirersel History, in the notes, b. I. c. 7. quies of Marcellus, as Virgil has deseribed them, but how do f The author of Ecelesiasticus bas given us an encomium of even these, with all their parade of poetry abvut them, fall short the patriarch Joseph in these words, Of Jacob was this man of of the plain and simple narrative before us? For what are the mercy born, who found favour in the eyes of all flesh. He was six hundred beds for which the Roman solemnities on this ocea- born to be the prince of his brethren, and the support of his sion were so famous, in comparison of that national itinerant family; to be the head of his kinsmen, and the firm support multitude, which swelled like
a flood, and moved like a river, to his people. His bodes were visited, and prophesied after his all Pharaoh's servants, to the elders of his house, and all the elders death,' xlix. 15.) His meaning is, that his bones were removed of the land of Egypt, that is, to the efficers of his household, and out of Egypt, and that this fell out as a consequence of his pro deputies of his provinces, with all the house of Joseph, and his phecy, that Gud would visit the Hebrews, and bring them into
A. M. 2276, A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3543. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. any particulars in Joseph's life, though he lived fiftyfour years after his father's death. It informs us, that
CHAP. 11.—Difficulties obviated, and Objections he lived to see himself the happy parent of a numerous
answered. offspring in his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, even to the third generation ; and all this while we may pre- The most material objection we have placed last ; and sume, that he continued in high favour with his prince, because it relates to a passage in Scripture, which is and in weighty employments under him. But when he known to have its difficulties, it may not be improper, grew old, and found his death approaching, he sent for in order to give it a clear solution, first to cite the pashis brethren, and with the like prophetic spirit, that his sage itself, and then to explain the terms contained in it: father Jacob had done, told them, that God, according 1 • The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawto his promise, would not fail to bring their posterity giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto out of Egypt into the land of Canaan; and therefore he him shall the gathering of the people be.' made them swear to him, as he had done to his father, 1. Now the word shevet, wbich we render sceptre, has that when it should please God thus to visit them, they both a literal and a figurative signification. In its literal, would not forget to 4 carry his body along with them : it denotes a rod, a wand, a sceptre, a shepherd's crook, and to this purpose, as soon as he was dead, which was &c., and in its figurative, it either implies the correction in the hundred and tenth year of his age, they had his and punishment, whereof the rod, or the authority and body embalmed, and 6 kept in a coffin, « until the time power, whereof the sceptre is the ensign. It cannot be their deliverance should come.
doubted, I think, but that the word is to be taken in a
figurative sense here; and yet it cannot be supposed to the promised land. The Jewish rabbins have taken a great signify punishment, because the tribe of Judah was so latitude in ascribing several particulars to this great man, which have not the least foundation in Scripture. They make him the far from being in a state of affliction, that it always inventor of all the arts and sciences, for which the Egyptians flourished exceedingly, and even in the time of its capafterwards became so famous; and attribute to him the compositivity, enjoyed its own form of government. The word tion of several books, such as Joseph's Prayer, Joseph's Mirror, must therefore, in this place, be put for that power and &r, which do not so much redound to his credit. Mahomet, in kis Coran, (Surat. 12.) relates his history at length, but blends dominion whereof the sceptre, in ancient times, was it with many fabulous circumstances, which have been much thought a fitter representation than either the crown or improved by the eastern people; for they made him in a manner diadem. greater than the Jewish doctors do. They tell us equally that
2. The word mechokek, which we translate lawgiver, he taught the Egyptians the most sublime sciences, and particularly geometry, which was highly necessary in their division of is not synonymous with the former, but has two distinct the land. They suppose, that all the wells, and baths, and significations. It sometimes signifies, not a person granaries, which go under his name, nay, that all the ancient who has power to make laws himself, but only to teach pyramids and obelisks, though they do not, were of his erection; and instruct others in those laws that are already made : and they believe, that he had all along upon his shoulder a point and in this sense it differs very little from the scribes, of light, like a star, which was an indelible mark of the gift of prophecy; with many more fictions of the like nature.Calmets and doctors, and teachers of the law, whereof there is so Dictionary, under the word Joseph.
much mention made in our Saviour's days. At other a There are several reasons which might induce Joseph not to times, it denotes a person invested with power and have his dead body immediately carried into Canaan, and buried, as his father
was. Ist, Because his brethren, after his decease, authority even to make laws, but then this authority of might not have interest enough at court to provide themselves with his is inferior to that of a king ; so that properly he may such things as were necessary to set off the pomp and solemnity of be called an inferior magistrate or governor set over a a funeral befitting so great a personage. 2lly, Because he might people by the license of some monarch, and, by his comforesee, that the Egyptians, in all probability, as long as their mission appointed to rule : and in this sense the word Feneration for his memory was warm, would hardly have suffered his remains to have been carried into another country. 3dly, should rather be taken here, because there were such Because the continuance of his remains among them, might be governors and deputies set over the Jews, after their a means to preserve the remembrance of the services he had done return from the Babylonish captivity. them, and thereby an inducement to them to treat the relations he had left behind him with more kindness. 4thly, And chiefly, because the presence of his body with the Israelites might be a
Gen. xlix. 10. pledge to assure them, and a means to strengthen and confirm old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in their faith and hope in God's promises to their progenitors, that Egypt.' When Joseph died he was not only embalmed, but put he would infallibly put their posterity in possession of the land into a coffin.' This was an honour appropriated to persons of disof Canaan: and accordingly, when Moses delivered them out of tinction, coffins not being universally used in Egypt. Maillet, Egypt, he carried Joseph’s body along with him, (Exod. xlii. 19.) speaking of the Egyptian repositories of the dead, having given and committed it to the care of the tribe of Ephraim, who buried an account of several niches that are found there, says, it must it near Shechem, (Josh. xxiv. 32.) in the field which Jacob, a not be imagined, that the bodies deposited in these gloomy apartlittle before his death, gave to Joseph, as his peculiar property ments were all enclosed in chests, and placed in niches; the - Pererius' and Patrick's Commentary; Poole's Annotations, and greatest part were simply embalmed, and swathed after that Calmet's Dictionary under the word.
manner that every one hath some notion of; after which they 6 The Jewish rabbins have a story, that the Egyptian magi- laid them one by the side of another, without any ceremony: rians came and told Pharaoh, that if he had a mind to keep the some were even put into these tombs without any embalming at Hebrews in his dominions, he must hide Joseph's body in some all, or such a slight one, that there remains nothing of them in certain place where they should never find it, because it would the lioen in which they were wrapped but the bones, and those be impossible for them to go out of Egypt without it; that there-half rotten,' (Letter vii. p. 281.) Antique coffins of stone, and upon his body was put into a chest of 6000 lb, weight, which was sycamore wood, are still to be seen in Egypt. It is said that sunk in the mud of one of the branches of the river Nile; and some were formerly made of a kind of pasteboard, formed by that Moses was forced to work a miracle to get it out, and carry folding and gluing cloth together, a great number of times; these it away.–Calmet, ibid.
were curiously plastered and painted with hieroglyphics. --Thi« Gen. I. 20. “So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years I venot, part 1. p. 137.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. 3. The phrase which we render "between his feet,' clude, that they made all along a figure far from comaccording to the modesty of the Scripture expression, porting with the condition of mere slaves, subjected means nothing else, but of his seed or posterity; and so entirely to a foreign yoke, without any law or governthe intendment of this part of the prediction must be, ment of their own. that the tribe of Judah shall have lawgivers of their own After the time of this captivity, indeed, the Jews were to the very last times.'
never so free a people as they had been before. They 4. From whatever radix it is that the word Shiloh is lived under the subjection of the Persian monarch, and derived, both Jews and Christians are agreed in this, that under the empire of the Greeks and Romans, to their by the person to whom this title is applied, the patriarch last destruction ; but still they lived as a distinct people, intended the great Saviour of the world, who is called governed by their own laws; and the authority of the the Messias, or Christ.
Persian, and other kings over them, destroyed not that 5. By Judah here, there is not an absolute necessity to rule, which, in all the vicissitudes that befell them, they understand the people of that tribe only, but all those still possessed. likewise who were afterwards called Jews. And, How the case stood in the time of the Asmonean
6. Whether we refer the gathering of the people to princes, may be collected from several passages in the the tribe of Judah, as they did in the times of the cap- Maccabees: and that the like government subsisted, tivity, or to Shiloh, when he should come, as to the to the very death of Christ, may in like manner be main of the prophecy, there is not a great deal of differ- evinced from many instances in the gospel; but one or ence; since the main of the prophecy is,- That the two of these will be enough to illustrate the thing. Messias shall come, before the Jewish government would When our Saviour tells the Jews, 3 The truth shall totally cease.' And therefore the question is, whether make you free,' and they reply,' We are Abraham's chilthere was any form of government subsisting among the dren, and were never in bondage to any man,' surely they Jews, and particularly in the tribe of Judah, at the time had not forgot their captivity in Babylon, much less could when Christ was born ?
they be ignorant of the power of the Romans over them The form of government which Jacob, upon his death at that time; and yet they accounted themselves free; bed instituted, was that of dividing his family into tribes, and so they were, because they lived by their own laws, and making his own, and the two sons of Joseph, heads and executed judgment among themselves. When our over their respective houses. This government was pro- Saviour foretels his disciples, that they should be deliperly aristocratical ; but in times of some extraordinary vered up to councils, and scourged in the synagogues,' he exigence, all authority was devolved in the hands of a shows, at the same time, what power and authority were judge, who, when the end for which he was appointed exercised in the councils and synagogues of the Jews: was effected, in the same manner as the Roman dictator and, to mention but one instance more, when Pilate, will. did, resigned up his power, and became no more than ing to deliver Jesus, says to the Jews, 5 Take ye him, one of the princes of the tribes of his fathers.' and crucify him ;' and again, * " Take ye him, and judge
The abuse of this judicial power, however, in the him according to your own law;' he likewise shows, that hands of Samuel's sons, made the people desirous of a the Jews lived under their own law, and had the exerregal government; and in that form it continued, from cise of judicial authority among themselves. the time it came into David's hands, who was of the By this deduction, it appears evidently that the sceptre, tribe of Judah, for the space of 470 years. The division placed in the hand of Judah by his father Jacob just of the kingdom made a great alteration in the fortunes before his death, continued in his posterity till the very of the people ; for the Assyrian captivity was the ruin of death of Christ. From that time all things began to the ten tribes. They lost their government, and from work towards the destruction of the Jewish polity, and that time never recovered it; but it was not so with the within a few years, their city, temple, and government, kingdom of Judah, in the Babylonish captivity. For were utterly ruined, and the Jews not carried into a genif we consider that the Jews were carried to Babylon, tle captivity, to enjoy their laws, and live as a distinct not to be slaves, but were transplanted as a colony, to people, in a foreign country; but were sold like beasts people that large city; that they were commanded there in a market, became slaves in the strictest sense, and fore, ' by the prophet, to build houses,' and 'plant from that day to this, have neither prince nor lawgiver gardens,' and to seek the peace of the city' in which they among them: so that, upon the whole, the sense of were captives ; and that, upon the expiration of their Jacob's prophecy, with relation to Judah, as it is now seventy years' captivity, many of them were so well set- fulfilled, may not improperly be summed up in this paratled in ease and plenty, that they refused to return to phrase :their own country again. If we consider farther, that “The power and authority which shall be established the Jews lived at Babylon as a distinct people, and were in the posterity of Judah, shall not be taken from them, governed, in their own affairs, by their own elders; that or at least they shall not hostitute of rulers and they appointed feasts and fasts, and ordered all other governors, (no, not when matters relating to their civil and ecclesiastical state dition,) until the comin among themselves ; and that, upon their return from Ba-is come, there shall b bylon, they were thought a people considerable enough and Gentiles, who s to be complained of to Artaxerxes ; we cannot but con- and after that, the
king nor ruler 'Bishop Sherlock's third dissertation, annexed to his Use and Intent of Prophecy.
3 John viii. 3 * Jer, xxix. 5, 7.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. Xxxvii. TO THE END. wealth shall quite lose all form, and never recover it makes Cyrus speak) at the point of death became proagain."
phetic. Though, therefore, the last words which we find The bequest which Jacob makes to his son Joseph, our patriarch uttering to his sons, may be rather accountruns into this form :J. Moreover, I have given to thee ed prophecies than benedictions; yet since the text one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the assures us, that 8 be blessed every one with a separate hand of the Amorite, with my sword, and with my bow.' blessing,' we may fairly infer, that though he found But when did we ever read of Jacob's being a military reason to rebuke the three eldest very sharply; yet if bis man? His sons indeed invaded Shechem, and took, not rebukes, and the punishment pronounced against them, from the Amorites, but the Hivites, the adjacent country, had the good effect to bring them to a due sense of their as we may suppose ; but so far is he from approving of transgressions, it was a blessing to them, though not a what they did, that to his very dying hour, we find him temporal one ; though, even in this last sense, it cannot severely remonstrating against it, and must therefore be be said but that he blessed them likewise, since he supposed too conscientious, either to retain himself, or assigned each of them a lot in the inheritance of the to consign to his beloved son, a portion of land acquired promised land, which it was in his power to have deby such wicked and sanguinary means.
prived them of. The tract of ground, therefore, which he mentions, However this be, it is certain that all impartial cri. must certainly be that which he purchased of Hamor, tics have observed, that the style of these blessings or the father of Shechem ; which he gave Joseph for a prophecies, call them which we will, is much more lofty burying-place, and where Joseph, in consequence of that than what we meet with in the other parts of this book ; donation, was afterwards buried, and not in the field of and therefore some have imagined, that Jacob did not Machpelah, the common repository of most of his ances- deliver these very words, but that Moses put the sense of tors. And to resolve the difficulty of his saying, that what he said into such poetical expressions. But to me he took it from the Amorite by force of arms, when it is it seems more reasonable to think, that the spirit of promanifest that he bought it of Hamor the Hivite, for an phecy, now coming upon the good old patriarch, raised hundred pieces of silver, we may observe, that the per- his diction, as well as sentiments ; even as Moses himsons who are called Hivites in one place, may, without self is found to have delivered 10 his benedictions in a any impropriety, be called Amorites in another, foras- strain more sublime than what occurs in his other writings. much as the Amorites, being the chief of all the seven It is true, indeed, that in the predictions of the nations in Canaan, might give denomination to all the rest, patriarch, as well as in the benedictions of Moses, severin like manner as all the people of the United Provinces al comparisons do occur, which are taken from brute are, from the pre-eminence of that one, commonly called animals. Thus Judab is compared to a lion, Issachar Hollanders: and then, if we can but suppose, that after to an ass, Dan to a serpent, Benjamin to a wolf, and Jacob's departure from Shechem, for fear of the neigh- Naphtali to an hind let loose. But this is so far from bouring nations, some straggling Amorites came, and being a disparagement to the prophetic spirit, that it is seized on the lands which he had purchased, and that he a commendation of it; since, if the lion be a proper was forced to have recourse to arms to expel the emblem of power and strength; if the ass be an image invaders and maintain his right, all the difficulty or of labour and patience ; if the serpent, an hieroglyphic seeming repugnance of the passage vanishes.
of guile and subtlety; if the wolf, a symbol of violence * Jacob, we allow, was a man of peace, but his sons and outrage ; and if a hind let loose be no bad reprewere warriors; and to them he might the rather give sentation of a people loving liberty and freedom; then permission to recover the possession of what he had were these qualities, which nothing but a Divine Spirit bought, because he looked upon it as an earnest of his could foresee, abundantly specified, as their respective posterity's future possession of the whole land. 5 And histories show, in the posterity of the several heads of though we read nothing in the foregoing history, either tribes to which they are applied. of the Amorites invading Jacob's property, or of his And as these comparisons are a kind of testimony of expelling them thence; yet this is far from being the the divine inspiration of the holy patriarch upon this only instance of things being said to be done in Scrip- occasion, so are they far from being any diminution of ture, whose circumstances of time, place, and persons, the dignity of the subject he was then treating of; since we find nowhere recorded; and a much easier supposi- a man must be a stranger to all compositions of this tion it is, than to make, as some have done, the sword kind, who is not persuaded that comparisons taken from and the bow, here mentioned, to signify the money the animal world, are, as it were, the sinews and support where with he purchased this small territory.
of what we call the sublime, and who finds not himself Jacob is the first, that we read of, who particularly less inclined to cavil at Jacob's manner of expression, declared the future state of every one of his sons, when w
perceives the lofty Homer comparing his beroes
antahe left the world; but it has been an ancient opinion
ly to a lion, a volt, az is, a torrent, or
.e their Jant meu,
nt point of light wherein be thinkes ng upon the id
forming the of the Mosaie listory,
d. Cornelius brige the engine simple
s us likewise,
into the cup, Tag
If in order, and used.–Saurin's