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of Egypt is yours. 21. And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them carriages, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22. To all of then he gave each man changes of raiment: but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver, and five changes of raiment. 23. And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father on the way. 24. So he sent his brothers away, and they departed: and he said to them, Do not be afraid on the way.-25. And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan to
were considered to have been so remark- imposed upon him during a journey suffiable for elegance and costliness that they ciently encumbered in itself.— The bromainly contributed to make Jacob believe thers, still astonished and overwhelmed, the royal elevation of his son (ver. 27). were about to return to Canaan with But battle-chariots were in Canaan, as in feelings singularly conflicting. They had other eastern countries, extensively em- indeed to convey to their mourning ployed from early times. About the dif- father a most joyous and happy message: ferent kinds of Egyptian carriages we but in doing this, they were obliged refer to Comm. on Exod. p. 181.
at once to confess to him the detestable 22-24. To seal the reconciliation crime committed by them against Joseph. with his brothers, Joseph dismissed them How could they face his look of mingled with such presents as are not unusually reproach and horror? They might well given in the east to testify love or respect. tremble in depicting to themselves the terAs in warm countries a frequent change rible moment. Joseph, therefore, shrewdly of dress is more a matter of comfort than reading their sentiments, exclaimed, when of luxury, suits of clothes, varying in they were departing, “Do not be afraid value and richness, in accordance with on the way": but he added no other word the ability of the donor and his regard of encouragement. By maliciously sacrifor the recipient, are an acceptable gift ficing him to their jealousy, they had offered to welcome guests, or to friends sinned against their father also; they were after a longer separation, and even to to atone for it by a scene of the deepest kings as a mark of homage. If Joseph, on shame and confusion; and Joseph, who this as on a former occasion, in signally in more than one respect, represents the distinguishing Benjamin by more liberal working of Providence, could not wish to presents, appears almost guilty of the check its justice. same weakness which he had reformed in 25—28. How, indeed, should Jacob Jacob, it will be remembered, that nature credit his sons, when they told him of herself justified him in bestowing a larger Joseph's life and greatness, as this share of affection on his only full brother. very account made it manifest, that
Anxious to show the fervent love he during more than twenty years they had bore to his father, instead of offering him hypocritically feigned to believe in their presents on his arrival in Egypt, he sent brother's death, and to be ignorant of its him, besides the necessary provisions, ten cause? But when, together with their camels, laden with every kind of wealth, guilt, he saw their earnest repentance; unconcerned at the additional burden thus when he heard the lofty view taken by
Jacob their father. 26. And they told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and indeed he is governor over all the land of Egypt.
And Jacob's heart remained cold, for he did not believe them. 27. And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them: and when he saw the carriages which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: 28. And Israel said, It is enough, Joseph my son is yet alive: I will
and see him before I die.
Joseph of his abduction to Egypt, and the cordial pardon granted by him to his brothers (ver. 5); and when he beheld the beautiful presents and carriages which they had brought from Egypt: his heart, so long dead to joy and almost to hope, once more shook off the habitual torpor into which it had fallen; life recovered its charm; he seemed born to new vigour: but his mind, purified and freed, at length, from worldly vanity and weakness, seemed entirely indifferent to the splendour of the Egyptian grand-vizier, and agitated only by the fond sentiments of the father, he exclaimed: “It is enough that my son Joseph is still alive"! It cannot escape the attention of the reader, that herceforth the patriarch is represented not only as fully prepared for
death, but as rapidly approaching towards it; thus even on hearing of Joseph's preservation, he added, “ let me go and see him before I die” (comp. xlvi. 30; xlvii. 9; xlviii. 1, 10); whereas hitherto he bad appeared to dread the thought of the grave (xxxvii. 35; xlii. 38). He had completed the third period of his life, atonement by suffering (see p. 388); he felt reconciled with God and the deeds of his youth and manhood; he had borne the yoke of chastisement; and though he was justified in expecting a last stage of undisturbed blessing, he willingly renounced it, having long since acknowledged the undeserved abundance of Divine mercy towards him (xxxii. 11); and being now satisfied with the peace of his mind, and with the noble privileges of Abraham's faith (xlvi. I).
1. And Israel journeyed with all he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2. And God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob! Jacob! And he said, Here am I.
1-7. When Jacob, on his way from Hebron (xxxvii. 14) towards Egypt, passed Beer-sheba, destined to form the southern frontier-town of the future land of the Hebrews (see p. 286), he imitated the example of his father and his grandfather who had there built altars and in.
voked God in prayer(xxi. 33; xxvi.24,25). But his position was at that time much more calculated to rouse religious sentiments than either that of Abraham or Isaac had been when they worshipped at the same place. Though on the point of meeting a beloved son, he might naturally
3. And He said, I am the Omnipotent, the God of thy father : fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 4. I will go down with thee into Egypt, and I will also surely bring thee up again : and Joseph shall put his hand upon thy eyes.-5. And Jacob rose from Beer-sheba : and the sons of Israel brought Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the carriages which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6. And they took their cattle, and their property which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: 7. His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed, he brought with him into Egypt.
8. And these are the names of the children of Israel,
feel that his immigration into Egypt with his whole fainily was the first step towards the realisation of the stern prophecy given to Abraham regarding the sojourn of his descendants in a strange land during four centuries, and their merciless oppression by a heartless nation (xv. 13). He knew that this prediction applied to no land more appropriately than to Egypt, famous for its irrational hatred against strangers; that Abraham had been promised to die peacefully in Canaan (xv. 15); and that Isaac had been forbidden to enter Egypt, because the time of fulfilment had not yet arrived (xxvi. 2; see p. 327). He, therefore, having reached the last town on the sacred soil, paused once more, and poured out before God his joy, his gratitude, and his fear. He felt certainly relieved, when he surveyed the circumstances under which he approached the land of the Pharaohs; his chief guarantee was not the almost unlimited, but transitory, power of his son, nor the deep, but fluctuating, obligation of the people towards him as their rescuer, but the express permission of the king in terms of official authority (xlv. 18-20). But how, if the political condition of Egypt, by some unforeseen event, as, for instance, by a change of dynasty, should
be so fundamentally altered as to cause either oblivion or disregard of the old conventions and pledges? (Exod. i. 8). Would the sympathy of the people be sufficient to shield a helpless colony, the invited guests of a benevolent king, against the cruelty of tyrannical successors? Therefore God appeared to Jacob, calmed his anxieties, and exhorted him fearlessly to enter Egypt, wherewhatever their prosperity or general wellbeing a numerous people would spring from his sons; and whence, in accordance with former promises, they would in due time be gloriously led out to conquer the land of Canaan (xv. 16). But Jacob himself would certainly not see the beginning of oppression; he would end his days in happiness in the arms of his favourite son; and though dying in the strange country, he would be buried in the land of promise (comp. xv. 15).-It was considered a happy privilege to know that the eyes would, in the moment of death, be closed by some loving hand, especially a devoted child; not less than to be buried by affectionate sons, and in the land, if not the grave, of ancestors or relatives (xxv.9; xxxv. 29; xlix. 29–32; 1. 25).
—27. The list of Jacob's family, here appropriately inserted, offers various and
who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons : Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.-9. And the sons of Reuben ; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. – 10. And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Saul the son of a Canaanitish woman.11. And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. -12. And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Perez, and Zerah : but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.-13. And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron.–14. And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel.–15. These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Padan-aram, with his grave difficulties; but they are of a na- clans; and if the introduction of Dinah is ture to open a welcome insight into the explicable from the preceding narrative peculiarities of the historical style of the (xxxiv.), Serah may later have become Bible.
noted in the organization of the tribe of The text distinctly observes, “ All the Asher (comp. Num. xxxvi. 1-5). souls of the house of Jacob that came into This view is confirmed by a comparison Egypt were seventy" (ver. 27). The same with the similar list inserted in the hisstatement is as clearly repeated in other tory of the wanderings of the people in passages (Exod. i. 5; Deut. x. 22). It is, the desert, when the census was actually therefore, scarcely possible to doubt that taken (Numb. xxvi. 5—60). The persons this was a historical tradition generally here mentioned appear there as the received among the Israelites. However, founders or heads of families; and the the tenour of the present list certainly house of Jacob corresponds with the leads to the inference, that the total num- people of Israel. Yet both lists offer 3 ber of Hebrew settlers in Egypt was con- considerable number of differences which siderably larger than seventy. For 1.Ja- but partially admit of a conciliation. 1. cob had daughters (ver. 7); and yet Dinah In one case a letter is changed, in another • alone, known from a former occurrence, is transposed, and in others omitted or added, mentioned in this place (ver. 15). 2. His while in one instance a syllable is left out. sons came with their wives (ver. 26), none of (We refer to the larger edition of this whom is here counted. 3. They had like. work). These variations are possibly aturiwise daughters (ver. 7); but Serah only, butable to the inattention of copyists; and, the daughter of Asher, is introduced. therefore, do not necessarily demand the
Further, are these names fictitious and supposition of two different traditions; chosen at random? or which was the though even the former alternative would author's source or guide? The reply to naturally derogate from the critical accuthese questions will lead us to a solution racy of the Hebrew text. 2. Some names of the difficulty just pointed out.
here introduced are omitted in Numbers; Our text evidently embodies the chief while some new ones, not found in our list, families which subsequently became im- are mentioned in the later portion. This portant or powerful in each tribe; as in circumstance may certainly be explained almost all preceding genealogies, the by the conjecture that these families, exnames are, on the whole, not those of isting in the time of Jacob, had become individuals, but represent divisions or extinct in the time of Moses; whereas
daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty-three.
16. And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.-17. And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Jishvah, and Jishvi, and Beriah, and Serah, their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.--18. These are the sons of Zilpah whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bore to Jacob, sixteen souls.
19. The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife were Joseph and Benjamin. 20. And to Joseph were born in the land of Egypt Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bore to him.—21. And the
others may have been formed since the ear- as his grand-sons (by Bela, ver.40). It lier period. 3. But some names are entire- may here be again observed, with a cerly altered. It is true, that many persons tain specious plausibility, that the two had more than one name, and that there- families just alluded to(Naaman and Ard), fore the individuals might here be men- independent at the time of the immitioned by one, and the families in Num- gration into Egypt, had in the time bers by another; that in one instance of the exodus fallen under the authe two names are synonymous, and that thority of the fraternal family of in another the one corresponds with Bela; and that Becher the Benja. the other in a kindred dialect; and that, mite had become extinct, while a fareferring to the preceding head (No. 3), mily of the same name, but totally one family might have disappeared and unconnected with it, had sprung up in another arisen in its stead. But it is evident the tribe of Ephraim: but those who would that all these arguments are artificial ex- be satisfied with such a light tissue of supedients scarcely amounting to more than perficial likelihood, would be opposed by & feeble appearance of probability; and another difficulty which remains to be conthat the impression of the unbiassed sidered. A third list of Jacob's descendants reader is that those differences of the occurs in the first Book of Chronicles names imply likewise inaccuracies of (chapters ii.-viii.), and it contains deviathe tradition. 4. This opinion gains still tions not only from our list, but also from greater force by the fact, that in some that of Numbers. The most numerous and instances the relative connection of the decided differences are again found in the families is altered in the two lists: the tribe of Benjamin; they there almost descendants of Benjamin especially are amount to a perfect confusion; a double so essentially different in both cases that genealogy is given (vii. 6—13 and viii. no means of conciliation can possibly be 1-40), having but very few points of reeffectual. Not only are two names added semblance with the lists under discusin our list, and there others appear in a sion; new names are added, old ones more or less modified form: butone, Becher, are omitted, altered, or placed in anhere mentioned among the Benjamites other relationship with the founder of (ver. 21), is in Numbers (xxvi. 35) the tribe. It may, indeed, be urged that counted among the Ephraimites; while all these modifications represent as many two others (Naaman and Ard) here stated internal changes of the Benjamites, quite as sons of Benjamin, are there introduced natural in the youngest, and therefore