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A. M. 2276. A. C. 1723; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3548. A. C. 1863. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. Joseph supposing to proceed from a mistake, he was go- should the whole nation of the Jews derive their appeling to rectify, but was told by his father, that what he did lation; and that the form of government which he then was by divine direction, and so made Ephraim not only instituted, should endure among them until the Messiah the first in nomination, but gave him a blessing much came. e Of Zebulun I he foretold that his tribe should more extensive than what he gave his brother.
be planted near the sea-coasts; and of & Issachar, that By this tine Jacob, finding himself grow faint, and his should prove a pusillanimous people, and be lovers the hour of his departure near approaching, called the of inglorious ease, more than of liberty and renown. rest of his sons together, to take his farewell of them, From Leah's sons the patriarch passes to those of his and distribute his blessing, or rather to foretell what two concubinary wives ; and h of Dan's posterity be should befall them and their posterity in future ages : foretells, that though they were descended from an handand so directing his speech to them severally, he began maid, yet they should have the same privileges with the with Reuben the eldest, and told him,—That for the other tribes, should become a politic people, and greatly crime of incest, in polluting his father's bed, he and versed in the stratagems of war; of • Gad's, that they bis tribe were degraded a from the privileges of his should be frequently infested with robbers, but overcome birthright. He told Simeon and Levi, whom he joined them at last ; of Asher's, that they should be situated in together upon this occasion, that for their impious a fruitful and exuberantly rich soil; and k of Naphtali's, massacre of Hamor and his people, their tribes should that they should spread their branches like an oak, and for ever be separated and dispersed among the other ; but multiply exceedingly. then turning to Judah, he prophesied of him, that to his tribe should the sovereignty belong, e and they be d along whose banks were the most delicious pasture-grounds for situated in a very fruitful country; that from his name cattle ; and, as modern travellers tell us, here are very large
grapes still to be met with, especially in the valley of Hebron, head of this victim."-See Outram De Sacr, b. 1. c. 22. 5, 6, 9. which in all probability is that through which this torrent Magee on Atonement and Sacrifice, vol. 1. p. 341.
runs.-Poole's Annotations, Bibliotheca Biblica, and Universal a The prerogatives of the birthright consisted chiefly in the History, b. 1. c. 7. honour of the priesthood, in the rule and government of the family,
e Gen. xlix, 10. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judab.' and in a double portion of the inheritance, which at this time Sceptres, or staves of some kind or other, have been among almost were all taken away from Reuben, and divided severally; since all nations the ensigns of civil authority, as they are to this day, it appears, in the sequel of the history, that the tribe of Reuben being in themselves very proper emblems of power extended, or continued all along in obscurity, while the priesthood was conferred acting at a distance from the person. Achilles, who was the on Levi, the government on Judah, and the double portion on
chief of a Grecian tribe or clan, is described in Homer as holding Joseph, to descend to their respective tribes. Howell's History a sceptre or staff, which of the Bible.
The delegates of Jove, dispensing laws, b Jacob's words, in this place, may imply a double dispersion,
Bear in their hands. namely, of the two tribes from each other; and of their being This remarkable prophecy fixes the date of the Saviour's interspersed among the rest: and accordingly that of Levi had no coming, which was not to exceed the time that the descendants inheritance among his brethren in the land of Canaan, but only of Judah were to continue an united people,—that a king should a certain number of cities assigned to them in every tribe. And rule over them—that they should be governed by their own laws, as for that of Simeon, they had properly no more than a portion and that their judges were to be from among their brethren.-ED. of Judah's inheritance, (Josh. xix. 1.) if we except some few f Had Jacob been present at the division of the land of Canaan places which they got upon mount Seir, and in the wilds of the he could hardly have given a more exact description of Zebulum's valley of Gedor, I Chron. vi. 39, &c.—Universal History, lot than we find him doing two hundred and fifty years before it b. I. c. 7.
happened. For it extended from the Mediterranean sea on the c Gen. xlix. 8. “Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine ene-west, to the lake of Genezareth on the east, and lay therefore mies.' This expression denotes triumph over an enemy, and very commodiously for trade and navigation. The foretelling so that Judah should subdue his adversaries. This was fulfilled in precisely and distinctly the situation and employment of this the person of David, and acknowledged by him. “Thou hast tribe, though, at first appearance, it may seem å matter of 10 also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy great moment, yet will be found to be quite otherwise, when it them that hate me,' Ps. xviii. 40. Treading on the neck of a is considered, that such particularities as these could not but be vanquished foe has been a very common practice. Amongst the very convincing to the Israelites that it was not chance, nor, Franks it was usual to put the arm round the neck as a mark of power, nor policy, that put them in possession of the land of superiority on the part of him that did it. When Chrodin, de-Canaan, but • God's right hand and his arm, and the light of his clining the office of mayor of the palace, chose a young nobleman, countenance, because he had a favour unto them.' named Gogen, to fill that place, he immediately took the arm of g No less remarkable is the description of Issachar's tribe, that young man, and put it round his own neck, as a mark of his since, though they were a very laborious people in all rural edependance on him, and that he acknowledged him for his gene- ployments, yet they had no great inclination to war; and were ral and chief. “When a debtor became insolvent, he gave him- therefore frequently infested and subjected by strangers, especially self up to his creditor as his slave, till he had paid all his debt: in the time of the judges. and to confirm his engagement, he took the arm of his patron, h The Jews think, that the prophecy of Dan's destroying his and put it round his own neck. This ceremony invested as it enemies by craft was more particularly fulfilled when Sampson, were, his creditor in his person.”—Stockdale's Manners of the who was of that tribe, pulled down the temple, which crushed Ancient Nations, vol. 1. p. 356. See Gen. xxvii. 40. Deut. himself and the Philistines to death. xxviii. 48, Isa, x. 27. Jer, xxvii. 8. Josh, x. 24. Lam. v. 5. i Gad's lot happened on the other side of Jordan, where they
d The country which the tribe of Judah was to inhabit is were continually exposed to the incursions of the bordering thus described by Jacob: • Binding his foal unto the vine, and his Arabs; but, by their watchfulness and bravery, they not auly ass unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his prevented them, but several times caught, and plundered them clothes in the blood of grapes,” (Gen. xlix. 11,) which are expres- in their turns, insomuch that, in one battle, they took from them sions somewhat hyperbolical: for they implý, that vives in this fifty thousand camels, two hundred and fifty thousand sheep, country should be as common as thorns in other places; and wine besides an hundred thousand men prisoners.—Deut. xxxiii. in that fertile land which fell to the tribe of Judah's share. For *** The words in our translation, “ Nephtali is a hind let loose, here was the valley of Escol, a bunch of whose grapes was he giveth goodly words,' are very obscure, and scarce intelligible
, brought hy the spies as a specimen of the fruitfulness of the land, For though the former part of the prediction is commonly applied Numb. xiii. 23. Here was a brook or torrent of the same name, I to Barak's overcoming Sisera, and the latter to that noble cantiche
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 fing 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 time 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 and outstretch the everlasting mountains, and prove to
verified by their events, the Jews ascribe some other works him 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 it partake of the same blessing ; but so it was, that he were composed by him. As to the commendations which they
so plentifully bestow upon this patriarch, these, in a great contented himself with describing its o 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 tetrards 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 lie became the foundation or for this reason, such as died in foreign countries had usually hasis, 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 Tisaso soft a term, it is rather to be thought that he used the word menes from Helice to Sparta, and Aristomenes from Rhodes to nazir, which signifies crowned, in allusion to the superintendents Messene.-ED. of the king's household in all the eastern countries, who were e Gen. 1. 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 ber skill in medicine, made against the accession of David to the throne, and which Go up into Gilead, and take balm,' (or balsam,) O 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. xxxvii. TO THE END. 4 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 which time it being 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 came 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 his 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 officers 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 é a very large his 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. When a man died, his body was carried to the artificers, whose business protection, as formerly. This, when Joseph heard, such it was to make cofins. 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 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 minæ was a moderate one; love, and adherence to them upon all occasions, as made and the lowest a very small matter. As the body lay extended; them return to their families full of joy and satisfaction. one of them, whom they called the designer, marked out the place on the left side where it was to be opened, and then a dis- $ 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 conntry. Bibliotheca and binding drugs. The brains they drew through the nostrils, Biblica, Occasional Annotations, 46. with an hooked piece of iron, made 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. 1. 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 Israelites 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 nitre, without including Petræa, quite on the eastern 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 consequently 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 Maehpelab; or perhaps it might Legation, vol. 2. b. 3.
be the custom, at the very entrance of the country, where they o 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 publie, 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 Commentary. courtiers to carry 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 care 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 patriarch's funeral into Egypt, and kept him there prisoner as long as Joseph 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 affected me in the comparison, were indeed the noble obse- into Italy.- Universal History, in the notes, b. I. c. 7. quies of Marcellus, as Virgil has deseribed them, but how do f The author of Ecclesiasticus bas given us an encomium of even these, with all their parade of poetry about 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 prinee 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 of multitude, which swelled like a flood, and moved like a river, to his people. His bones 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 hones were removed of the land of Egypt, that is, to the officers of his household, and out of Egypt, and that this fell out as a consequence of his prodeputies of his provinces, with all the house of Joseph, and his phecy, that God 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. II.-Difficulties obviated, and Objections he lived to see himself tbe 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. 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 sheyet, 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 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 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, 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 his 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 of light, like a star, which was an indelible mark of the gift of and in this sense it differs very little from the scribes, 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. 2dly, 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 veneration 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. xfii. 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 linen 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.-Thec Gen. 1. 26. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years I venot, part 1. p. 131.
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, unuch 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 pardtled 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 tute of rulers and they appointed feasts and fasts, and ordered all other governors, (no, not whe matters relating to their civil and ecclesiastical state dition,) until the comi among themselves ; and that, upon their return from Ba-is come, there shall bylon, they were thought a people considerable enough and Gentiles, whto be complained of to Artaxerxes; we cannot but con- and after that,
king nor ruler Bishop Sherlock's third dissertation, annexed to his Use and Intent of Prophecy.
• John vill i Jer. xxix. 5, 7.