« ElőzőTovább »
28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen A Moda Scarpe, Benoid the father is sick and he
ophecy i Abrahain's and Isaac's are not. God's
Y . 24. 2.
s 1 Kings 1. 47. Heb. 11. 21.
Josh. 14. 4. < c. 35. 16_19.
ND it came to pass, after , years : so the *whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 29 And the time Pdrew nigh that Israel must die: 2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If Joseph cometh unto thee : And Israel strengthened now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray himself, and sat upon the bed. thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly 3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty and iruly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, Egypt:
and blessed me, 30 But Ir will lie with my fathers; and thou shalt 4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their bury- fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee ing-place. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy
31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware seed after thee, for an everlasting possession. unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the 5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasbed's head.
seh, which were born unto thee in the land of
Egypt, before I came unto thee into Egypt, are CHAPTER XLVIII.
mine: as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, The time drawing migh that. Iarned must die, having in the former chaptersiven shall be thine, and dshall be called after the name of in the next, of all his children. Thus Jacob's dying words are recorded, because their brethren in their inheritance. he then pake by a spirit of
7 And as for me, when I came from Padan gifts au graces shive forth much more in come aginu than in others upon their Death-berts. The Spirit, like the wind, blows where it listeth. In this chapter, Rachel «died by me in the land of Canaan, in the for his own, v. 3–2 TU. He bless thein, v. 5–16., V. He explains and juan unto Ephraih: and I buried her there in the way sons with him, v. 1 2 ... Jacob bok fanly asepts his two sons, and takes there way, when yet there was but a little way to come lifies the russing of his hands in blessing them, v. 17–5. V. He leaves a pars of Ephrath; the same is Beth-lehem. ticular legacy to Joseph, 1, 21, 22. • days of the years of his life. Deut. 31. 14. 1 Kings 2. 1. Job 7. 1. 14. 14, 2. 50.5. Hebi'ii.
a c. 28. 13-19. 35. 6, &c. 6 e. 17. 8. Deut. 32. 8. Am. 9. 14, 15. & c. 41.50 -52. for it, being well provided for by his son without his own fore- been, above all his brethren, kind to his father, and therefore Thus God considers the frame of his people.
had reason to expect particular favour from him. 2. The care Jacob died in. At last, (v. 29,) The time dreu II. Jacob, upon notice of his son's visit, prepared himself as nigh that Israel must die. Israel, a prince with God, that had well as he could to entertain him, v. 2. He did what he could power over the angel, and prevailed, yet must yield to death. to rouse his spirits, and to stir up the gift that was in him; There is no remedy, he must die: it is appointed for all men, what little was left of bodily strength he put forth to the utmost, therefore for him; and there is no discharge in that war. Joseph and sal upon the bed. Note, It is very good for sick and aged supplied him with bread, that he might not die by famine; but people to be as lively and cheerful as they can, that they may that did not secure him from dying by age or sickness. He not fa int in the day of adversity. Strengthen thyself, as Jacob died by degrees; his candle was not blown out, but gradually here, and God will strengthen thee; hearten thyself and help burnt down to the socket, so that he saw, at some distance, the thyself, and God will help and hearten thee. Let the Spirit time drawing nigh. Note, It is an improvable advantage, to sustain the infirmity. see the approach of death, before we feel its arrests, that we III. In recompense to Joseph for all his attentions to him, he may be quickened to do what our hand finds to do, with all our adopted his two sons. In this charter of adoption, there is, might: however, it is not far from any of us. Now Jacob's 1. A particular recital of God's promise to him, to which care, as he saw the day approaching, was about his burial, not this had reference. “God blessed me, (v. 3,) and let that the pomp of it, (he was no way solicitous about that,) but the blessing be entailed upon them.” God had promised him two place of it.
things, a numerous issue, and Canaan for an inheritance, (r. 4,) (1.) He would be buried in Canaan ; this he resolved on, not and Joseph's sons, pursuant hereunto, should each of them from mere humour, because Canaan was the land of his na- multiply into a tribe, and each of them have a distinct lot in tivity, but in faith, because it was the land of promise, (which Canaan, equal with Jacob's own sons. See how he blessed he desired thus, as it were, to keep possession of, till the time them by faith in that which God had said to him, Heb. 11.21. should come when his posterity should be masters of it,) and Note, in all our prayers, both for ourselves and for our children, because it was a type of heaven, that better country which he we ought to have a particular eye to, and remembrance of, that said these things declared plainly that he was in expectation God's promises to us. of, Heb. 11. 14. He aimed at a good land, which would be his 2. An express reception of Joseph's sons into his family, rest and bliss on the other side death.
Thy sons are mine, (0.5,) not only my grandchildren, but as (2.) He would have Joseph sworn to bring him thither to be my own children." Though they were born in Egypt, and buried, (v. 29, 3!,) that Joseph being under such a solemn obli- their father was then separated from his brethren, which might gation to do it, might have thai to answer to the objections which seem to have cut them off from the heritage of the Lord, yet otherwise might have been made against it, and for the greater Jacob takes them in, and owns them for visible church-memsatisfaction of Jacob now in his dying minutes. Nothing will bers. He explains it, (v. 16,) Let my name be named upon better help to make a death-bed easy, than the certain prospect them, and the name of my fathers; as if he had said, "Let of a rest in Canaan after death.
them not succeed their father in his power and grandeur here (3.) When this was done, Israel bowed himself upon the bell's in Egypt; but let them succeed me in the inheritance of the herit, yielding himself, as it were, to the stroke of death; promise made to Abraham,” which Jacob looked upon as (“Now let it come, and it shall be welcome;") or worshipping much more valuable and honourable, and would have them to God, as it is explained, Heb. 11. 21, giving God thanks for all prize and covet accordingly. Thus the aged dying patriarch his favours, and particularly for this, that Joseph was ready, not teaches these young persons, now that they were come of age, only to put his hand upon his eyes to close them, but under his being about iwenty-one years old,) not to look upon Egypt as thigh to give him the satisfaction he desired concerning his bu- their own, nor to incorporate themselves with the Egyptians, rial. Thus they that go down to the dust should with humble but to take their lot with the people of God, as Moses afterthankfulness bow before God, the God of their mercies, Ps. ward in the like temptation, Heb. 11. 24--26. And because it 22, 29.
would be a piece of self-denial in them, who stood so fair for preferment in Egypt, to adhere to the despised Hebrews; to
encourage them, he constitutes each of them the head of a V.1-7. Here,
tribe. Note, Those are worthy of double honour, who, through 1. Joseph, upon notice of his father's illness, goes to see him; God's grace, break through the temptations of worldly wealth thongh a man of honour and business, yet he will not fail to and preferment, to embrace religion in disgrace and poverty. show this due respect to his aged father, v. 1. Visiting the Jacob will have Ephraim and Manasseh to believe, that it is sick, to whom we lie under obligations, or may have opportunity better to be low, and in the church, than high, and out of it; of doing gownd, either
for body or soul, is our duty: The sick that to be called by the name of poor Jacob, is better than to be bed is a proper place both for giving comfort and counsel to called by the name of rich Joseph. others, and receiving instruction ourselves. Joseph took his 3. A proviso inserted concerning the children he might aftertwo sons with him, that they might receive their dying grand- ward have ; they should not be accounted heads of tribes, as father's blessing, and that what they might see in him, and hear Ephraim and Manasseh were, but should fall in with the one from him, might make an abiding impression upon them. Note, or the other of their brethren, y. 6. It does not appear that 1. It is good to acquaint young people that are coming into the Joseph had any more children; however, it was Jacob's proworld, with the aged servants of God that are going out of it, dence to give this direction, for the preventing of contest and whose dying testimony to the goodness of God, and the plea- mismanagement. Note, In making settlements, it is good to santness of wisdom's ways, may be a great encouragement to take advice, and to provide for what may happen, while we the rising generation. Manasseh and Ephraim (I dare say) cannot foresee what will happen. Our prudence must attend would never forget what passed at this time. 2. Pious parents God's providence. are desirous of a blessing, not only for themselves, but for their 4. Mention is made of the death and burial of Rachel, Jochildren. “O that they may live before God!" ' Joseph had I seph's mother, and Jacob's best beloved wife, (0.7,) referring
NOTES TO CHAPTER XLVIII,
8 And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, 16 The angel °which redeemed Pme from all evil, Who are these?
bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, 9 And Joseph said unto his father, They are my and the naine of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And and let them igrow into a multitude ?in the midst of he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I the earth. will bless Ethem.
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his 10 Now the eyes of Israel were *dim for age, so right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased that he could not see. And he brought them near him; and he held up his father's hand, to remove unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.
11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not 18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my thought to see thy face; and, lo, God hath showed father: for this is the first-born; put thy right hand me also thy seed.
upon his head. 12 And Joseph brought them out from between 19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, his knees, and he bowed "himself with his face to my son, I know it : he also shall become a people, the earth.
and he also shall be great; but truly his younger 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh become a multitude of nations. in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In brought them near unto him.
thee 'shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and Ephraim, and as Manasseh : and he set Ephraim laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, before Manasseh. and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding 21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die; his hands wittingly, for Manasseh was the first- but "God shall be with you, and bring you again born.
unto the land of your fathers. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before 22 Moreover, I have given to thee one porwhom "my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, tion above "thy brethren, which I took out of the the God which "fed me all my life long, unto this hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my day,
bow. • heavy. h c. 37. 33, 35. 45. 26.
re. 33. 5. & c. 27. 4. Heb. 11. 21. 3. 20. k Ex. 20. 12. Lev. 19. 32. 1 ver. 19. o c. 31. 11. 18. 63, 9.
i Eph. m c. 17. 1. 24. 40. ^ P. 103. 4, 5.
p Ps, 31, 2, tas fishes do increase.
9 Num 26. 34, 37. Num. 1. 33, 35. ! Ruth 4. 11, 12 u c. 50.24. Joab. 23.
to that story, ch. 35. 19. Note, (1.) When we come to die have never wanted food convenient. He that has fed us all our ourselves, it is good to call to mind the death of our dear rela-life long, surely will not fail us at last. (2.) He had by his tions and friends, that are gone before us, to make death and angel redeemed him from all evil, v. 16. A great deal of hardthe grave the more familiar to us. See Num. 27. 13. Those ship he had known in his time, but God had graciously kept that were to us as our own souls, are dead and buried; and him from the evil of his troubles. Now that he was dying, he shall we think much to follow them in the same path? (2.) looked upon himself as redeemed from all evil, and bidding an The removal of dear relations from us, is an athliction the everlasting farewell to sin and sorrow. Christ, the angel of the remembrance of which cannot but abide with us a great while. covenant, is he that redeems us from all evil, 2 Tim. 4. 18. Strong affections in the enjoyment, cause long attlictions in Note, [1.] It becomes the servants of God, when they are old the loss.
and dying, to witness for our God that they have found him V.8-22. Here is,
gracious. [2.) Our experiences of God's goodness to us are 1. The blessing with which Jacob blessed the two sons improvable, both for the encouragement of others to serve God, of Joseph, which is the more remarkable, because the apostle and for encouragement to us in blessing them, and praying for makes such particular mention of it, (Heb. 11. 21,) when he them. says nothing of the blessing which Jacob pronounced on the 4. That when he confers the blessing and name of Abraham rest of his sons, though that also was done in faith.
and Isaac upon them, he recommends the pattern and example Observe here,
of Abraham and Isaac to them, v. 15. He calls God, the God 1. That Jacob was blind for age, v. 10. It is one of the com- before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, that is, in mon infirmities of old age; They that look out of the windows whom they believed, whom they observed and obeyed, and are darkened, Ec. 12. 3. It is folly to walk in the sight of with whom they kept up communion in instituted ordinances, our eyes, and to suffer our hearts to go after them, while we according to the condition of the covenant. Walk before me, know death will shortly close them, and we do not know but ch. 17. 1. Note, (1.) Those that would inherit the blessing of some accident between us and death may darken them. Jacob, their godly ancestors, and have the benefit of God's covenant like his father before him, when he was old, was dim-sighted with them, must tread in the steps of their piety. (2.) It Note, (1.) Those that have the honour of age, must therewith should recommend religion and the service of God to us, that be content to take the burden of it. (2.) The eye of faith may God was the God of our fathers, and that they had satisfaction be very clear, even then when the eye of the body is very much in walking before him. clouded.
5. That in blessing them, he crossed hands. Joseph placed 2. That Jacob was very fond of Joseph's sons. He kissed them so as that Jacob's right hand should be put on the head them, and embraced them, v. 10. It is common for old people of Manasseh the eldest, v. 12, 13. But Jacob would put it on to have a very particular affection for their grandchildren, the head of Ephraim the youngest, v. 14. This displeased perhaps more than they had for their own when they were Joseph, who was willing to support the reputation of his firstliule; which Solomon gives a reason for, (Prov. 17. 6,) Child born, and would therefore have removed his father's hands, dren's children are the crown of old men. With what satisfac v. 17, 18, But Jacob gave him to understand that he knew what tion does Jacob say here, (v. 11,) I had not thought to see thy he did, and that he did it neither by mistake, nor in a humour, face, (having, many years, given him up for lost,) and, lo, God nor from a partial affection to one more than the other, but hath showed me also thy seed! See here, (1.) How these two from a spirit of prophecy, and in compliance with the divine good men own God in their comforts. Joseph says, (v. 9,) counsels. Manasseh should be great, but truly Ephraim should They are my sons whom God has given me, and, to magnify the be greater. When the tribes were mustered in the wilderness, favour, he adds, “ In this place of my banishment, slavery, and Ephraim was more numerous than Manasseh, had the standard imprisonment. Jacob says here, God hath showed me thy of that squadron, (Num. 1. 32, 33, 35.–2. 18, 20,) and is seed. Our comforts are then doubly sweet to us, when we see named firsi, Ps. 80.2. Joshua was of that tribe, so was Jerothem coming from God's hand. (2.) How often God, in his boam. The tribe of Manasseh was divided, one half on one merciful providences, outdoes our expectations, and thus greatly side Jordan, the other half on the other side, which made it the magnifies his favours! He not only prevents our fears, but less powerful and considerable. In the foresight of this, Jacob exceeds our hopes. We may apply this to the promise which crossed hands. Note, (1.) God, in bestowing his blessings is made to us and to our children. We could not have thought upon his people, gives more to some than to others, tnore gifts, that we should have been taken into covenant with God our graces, and comforts, and more of the good things of this life. selves, considering how guilty and corrupt we are; and yot, lo, (2.) He often gives most to those that are least likely. He he has showed us our seed also in covenant with him.
chooses the weak things of the world ; raises the poor out of the 3. That before he entails his blessing, he recounts his expe- dust. Grace observes not the order of nature, nor does God riences of God's goodness to him. He had spoken (v. 3) of prefer those whom we think fittest to be preferred, but as it God's appearing to him. The particular visits of his grace, pleases him. It is observable, how often God, by the distinand the special communion we have sometimes had with him, guishing favours of his covenant, advanced the younger above ought never to be forgotten. But (v. 15, 16) he mentions the the elder; Abel above Cain, Shem above Japheth, Abraham constant care which the Divine Providence had taken of him above Nahor and Haran, Isaac above Ishmael, Jacob above all his days. (1.) He had fed him all his life long unto this Esau; Judah and Joseph were preferred before. Reuben; day, v. 15. Note, As long as we have lived in this world, we Moses before Aaron; David and Solomon before their elder have had continual experience of God's goodness to us, in pro- brethren. Sce 1 Sam. 16.7. He tied the Jews to observe the viding for the support of our natural life. Our bodies have birth-right, (Deut. 21.17,) but he never tjed himself to observe called for daily food, and no little has gone to feed us, yet we it. Some make this typical of the preference given to the Gen
3 Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might,
and the beginning dof my strength, the excellency This chapter is a prophecy : the likest to it we have yet met with, was that of Noah, ot' dignity, and the excellency of power.
ch. 9. 6, &c. Jacob ia bere upou his death-bed, making his will: he put it off tilí DOW , because dying men's words are ape to make deep impressions, and to be 4 Unstable as water, *thou shalt not excel; restremhered loog: what he saad bere, he could not say when he would but as the because thou wentest up to thy father's bed ; then fected in his weakness. The twelve some of Jacob were, in their day, men of defiledst thou it; the went up to my couch. regown, but the twelve tribes of Israel, which descended and were denominated fron them, were much more renowned; we find their names upon the gates of the 5 Simeon 1 and Levi are brethren; instruments scenething remarkalde of ench son, or of the tribe that bere his name. Here 1,1 of cruelty fare in their habitations. The preface, v. 1, 2. 11. The prediction concerning each tribe, v. 3-28. 6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; The charge repeated concerning his burial, v. 29-32. IV. His death, v. 33.
unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou ND -Jacob called unto his sons, and said, united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in you that whích shall befall you in the last days. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and
2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide ithem in of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Deut. B. I, &c. Num. 24. 14. Deut. 4. 30. c Is. 2. 2. Jer. 23. 20. d Deut. j c. 29. 33, 31. 1 or, their words are weapons of violence. 21, 17. do rollhou, e c. 35. 22. Deut. 5. 21. or, my couch is gone. h Ps. 26. 9. Prov. 1. 15, 16. or, hrughed oren. Joeh.21. 3. tiles above the Jews; the Gentile converts were much more it was pardoned; yet it was a necessary piece of justice, in numerous than those of the Jews. See Gal. 4.27. Thus free detestation of the villany, and for warning to others, io put this grace becomes more illustrious.
mark of disgrace upon him. Now according to the method of II. The particular tokens of his favour to Joseph.
degrading, 1. Jacob here puts upon him the ornaments of the 1. He left with him the promise of their return out of Egypt, birth-right, (v. 3,) that he and all his brethren might see what he as a sacred trust; (v. 21,) I die, but God shall be with you, and had forfeited, and, in that, might see the evil of the sin : as the bring you again. Accordingly, Joseph, when he died, left it first-born, he was his father's joy, almost his pride, being the with his brethren, ch. 50. 24. This assurance was given them, beginning of his strength. How welcome he was to his parents and carefully preserved among them, that they might neither his name bespeaks, Reuben, See a son. To him belonged the love Egypt too much when it favoured them, nor fear it too much excellency of dignity, above his brethren, and some power when it frowned upon them. These words of Jacob furnish us over them. Christ Jesus is the first-born among many brethren, with comfort in reference to the death of our friends ; they die. and to him, of right, belong the most excellent power and But, (1.) Gorl shall be with us, and his gracious presence is dignity: his church also, through him, is a church of the firstsufficient to make up the loss. They leave us, but he will never born. 2. He then strips him of these ornaments, (v. 4,) lifts fail us. (2.) He will bring us to the land of our fathers, the him up, that he may cast him down, by that one word, " Thou heavenly Canaan, whither our godly fathers are gone before us. shall not ercel; a being thou shalt have as a tribe, but not an If God be with us while we stay behind in this world, and will excellency:" no judge, prophet, or prince is found of that tribe, receive us shortly to be with them that are gone before to a nor any person of renown, only Dathan and Abiram, who were better world, we ought not to sorrow as those that have no hope. noted for their impious rebellion against Moses. That tribe,
2. He bestowed one portion upon him above his brethren, as not aiming to excel, meanly chose a settlement on the other v.22. The lands bequeathed are described to be those which he side Jordan. Reuben himself seems to have lost all that intook out of the hand of the Amorite, with his sword, and with his Auence upon his brethren, which his birth-right entitled him bow. He purchased them first, (Josh. 24. 32,) and it seems, to; for when he spake unto them, they would not hear, ch. 42.22. was afterward disseized of them by the Amorites, but retook Those that have not understanding and spirit to support the them by the sword, repelling force by force, and recovering his honours and privileges of their birth, will soon lose them, and right by violence, when he could not otherwise recover it. retain only the name of them. The character fastened upon These lands he settled upon Joseph; mention is made of this Reuben, for which he is laid under this mark of infamy, is, grant, John 4.5. Pursuant to it, this parcel of ground was that he was unstable as water. (1.) His virtue was unstable ; given to the tribe of Ephraim, as their right, and the lot was he had not the government of himself and his own appetites: never cast upon it; and in it Joseph's bones were buried, which sometimes he would be very regular and orderly, but at other perhaps Jacob had an eye to, as much as to any thing, in this times he deviated into the wildest courses. Note, Instability settlement. Note, It may sometimes be both just and prudent is the ruin of men's excellency. Men do not thrive, because to give some children portions above the rest; but a grave is they do not fix. (2.) His honour consequently was unstable ; that which we can most count upon as our own in this earth. it departed from him, vanished into smoke, and became as
water spilt upon the ground. Note, Those that throw away NOTES TO CHAPTER XLIX,
their virtue, must not expect to save their reputation. Jacob V.1-4. Here is,
charges him particularly with the sin for which he was thus I. The preface to the prophecy, in which,
disgraced; Thou wentest up to thy father's bed. It was forty 1. The congregation is called together; (v.2,) Gather your years ago that he had been guilty of this sin, yet now it is selves together, let them all be sent for from their several em- remembered against him. Note, As time will not of itself ployments, to see their father die, and to hear his dying words. wear off the guilt of any sin from the conscience, so there are It was a comfort to Jacob, now that he was dying, to see all his some sins whose stains it will not wipe off from the good name, children about him, and none missing, though he had sometimes especially seventh-commandment sins. Reuben's sin left an thought himself bereaved. It was of use to them, to attend him indelible mark of infamy upon his family; a dishonour that in his last moments, that they might learn of him how to die, was a wound not to be healed without a scar, Prov. 6. 32, 33. as well as how to live: what he said to each, he said in the Let us never do evil, and then we need not fear being told of it. hearing of all the rest ; for we may profit by the reproofs, V. 5—7. These were next in age to Reuben, and they also counsels, and comforts, that are principally intended for others. had been a grief and shame to Jacob, when they treacherously His calling upon them once and again, to gather together, inti- and barbarously destroyed the Shechemites, which he here mated both a procepe to them to unite in love, to keep together, remembers against them. Children should be afraid of incurring not to mingle with the Egyptians, not to forsake the assembling their parents' just displeasure, lest they fare the worse for it of themselves logether, and a prediction that they should not long afterward, and, when they would inherit the blessing, be be separated from each other, as Abraham's sons and Isaac's rejected. were, but should be incorporated, and all make one people. Observe, 2. A general idea is given of the intended discourse, (v. 1,) I. The character of Simeon and Levi; they were brethren That I may tell you that which shall befall you, (not your persons, in disposition; but, unlike their father, they were passionate but your posterity,) in the last days; this prediction would be and revengeful, fierce and uncontrollable; their swords, which of use to those that came after them, for the confirming of their should have been only weapons of defence, were (as the margin faith, and the guiding of their way, on their return to Canaan, reads it, v. 5) weapons of violence, to do wrong to others, not and their settlement there. We cannot tell our children what to save themselves from wrong. Note, It is no new thing for shall befall them or their families in this world; but we can tell the temper of children to differ very much from that of their thom, from the word of God, what will befall them in the last parents, we need not think it strange, it was so in Jacob's day of all, according as they conduct themselves in this world. family. 'It is not in the power of parents, no, not by education, 3. Attention is demanded (v. 2,) “Hearken to Israel your to form the dispositions of their children; Jacob bred his sons father ; let Israel, that has prevailed with God, prevail with to every thing that was mild and quiet, and yet they proved to you." Note, Children must diligently hearken to what their be thus furious. godly parents say, particularly when they are dying; Hear, ye II. A proof of this is the murder of the Shechemites, which children, the instruction of a father, which carries with it both Jacob deeply resented at the time, (ch. 34. 30,) and still conauthority and affection, Prov. 4. 1.
tinued to resent. They slew a man, Shechem himself, and II. The prophecy concerning Reuben ; he begins with him, many others; and, to effect that, they digged down a wall, broke (v. 3, 4,) he was the first-born ; but by committing uncleannes: the houses, 'to plunder them, and murder the inhabitants. with his father's wife, to the great reproach of the family which Note, The best governors cannot always restrain those under he ought to have been an ornament to, he forfeited the prero- their charge from committing the worst villanies. And when gatives of the birth-right; and his dying father here solemnly two in a family are mischievous, they commonly make one degrades him, though he does not disown or disinherit him: he another so much the worse, and it were wisdom to part them. shall have all the privileges of a gon, but not of a first-born. Simeon and Levi, it is probable, were most active in the
wrong We have reason to think Reuben had repented of bis sin, and I done to Joseph, which some think Jacob has here some reference
B. C. 1689.
Jacob blesses his Sons. 8 Judah, thou kart he whom thy brethren shall 12 His reyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth praise; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine white with milk. enemies : thy father's children shall bow down 13 Zebulun «shall dwell at the haven of the sea; before thee.
and he shall be for an haven of ships : and his 9 Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my border shall be unto Zidon. son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched 14 Issachar is a strong ass, couching down beas a lion, mand as an old lion; who shall rouse him tween two burdens :
15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land 10 The sceptre "shall not depart from Judah, that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to nor a lawgiver from pbetween his feet, until Shiloh bear, and became a servant unto tribute. scome; and unto him rshall the gathering of the 16 Dan «shall judge his people, as one of the people be.
tribes of Israel. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an *adder colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in the path, that biteth the horse-heels, so that his in wine,' and his clothes in the blood of grapes : rider shall fall backward.
k c. 29. 35. Ps. 76. 1. 1 1 Chr. 5. 2. Rev. 3. 9. m Num. 23. 24. Rev. 5.5. * Num. 24. 17. o Ps. 60. 7. Is. 33. 22. p Deut. 28. 57. 2 Is. 11. 1-5. Ex. 21.
27 t John 12. 32. 11.52. & Matt. 21.2. Is. 63. 1-3.
u Cant. 5. 10-16.
to; for in their anger they would have slain that man. Ob 4. That it should be the royal tribe, and the tribe from which serve what a mischievous thing self-will is in young people : Messiah the Prince should come; (v. 10,) The sceptre shall not Simeon and Levi would not be advised by their aged and depart from Judah, till Shiloh come. Jacob here foresees and experienced father; no, they would be governed by their own foretells, (1.) That the sceptre should come out of the tribe of passion, rather than by his prudence. Young people would Judah, which was fulfilled in David, on whose family the crown better consult their own interest, if they would less indulge was entailed. (2.) That Shiloh should be of this tribe ; his their own will.
Seed, that promised Seed, in whom the earth should be blessed; III. Jacob's protestation against this barbarous act of theirs, that peaceable and prosperous one, or the Saviour, so others O my soul, come not thou into their secret. Hereby he professes translate it, he shall come of Judah. Thus dying Jacob, at a not only his abhorrence of such practices in general, but his great distance, saw Christ's day, and it was his comfort and innocence particularly in that matter. Perhaps he had been support on his death-bed. (3.) That after the coming of the suspected as, under hand, aiding and abetting; he therefore sceptre into the tribe of Judah, it should continue in that tribe, thus solemnly expresses his detestation of the fact, that he at least, a government of their own, till the coming of the might not die under that suspicion. Note, 1. Our soul is our Messiah, in whom, as the King of the church, and the great honour; by its powers and faculties we are distinguished from, High-Priest, it was fit that both the priesthood and the royally and dignified above, the beasts that perish. 2. We ought, from should determine. Till the captivity, all along from David's our hearts, to detest and abhor all society and confederacy with time, the sceptre was in Judah, and from thence governors of bloody and mischievous men. We must not be ambitious of that tribe, or of the Levites that adhered to it, (which was coming into their secret, or knowing the depths of Satan. equivalent,) till Judea became a province of the Roman empire,
IV. His abhorrence of those brutish lusts that led them to just at the time of our Saviour's birth, and was at that iime
5. That it should be a very fruitful tribe, especially that it V. A token of displeasure which he foretells their posterity should abound with milk for babes, and wine to make glad the should lie under for this; I will divide them: The Levites were heart of strong men, v. 11, 12. Vines, so common in the scattered throughout all the tribes, and Simeon's lot lay not hedge-rows, and so strong, that they should tie their asses to together, and was so strait, that many of the tribe were forced them, and so fruitful, that they should load their asses from to disperse themselves in quest of settlements and subsistence.them. Wine, as plentiful as water, so that the men of that This curso was afterwards turned into a blessing to the Levites; tribe should be very healthful and lively, their eyes brisk and but the Simeonites, for Zimri's sin, (Num. 25. 14,) had it bound sparkling, their teeth white. Much of that which is here said on. Note, Shameful dispersions are the just punishment of concerning Judah, is to be applied to our Lord Jesus. (1.) sinful unions and confederacies.
He is the Ruler of all his father's children, and the conqueror V. 8-12. Glorious things are here said of Judah. The of all his father's enemies; and he it is, that is the praise of mention of the crimes of the three eldest of his sons had not all the saints. (2.) He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, as he so put the dying patriarch out of humour, but that he had a is called with reference to this here, (Rev. 5. 5,) who, having blessing ready for Judah, to whom blessings belonged. Judalı's spoiled principalities and powers, went up, a Conqueror, and name signifies praise, in allusion to which, he says, Thou art couched' so as none can stir him up, when he sat down on the he whom thy brethren shall praise, v. 8. God was praised for right hand of the Father. (3.) To him belongs the sceptre; him, (ch. 29. 35,) praised by him, and praised in him; and he is the Lawgiver, and to him shall the gathering of the peotherefore his brethren shall praise him. Note, Those that are ple be, as the Desire of all nations, (Hag. 2. 7,) who, being to God for a praise, shall be the praise of their brethren, lified up from the earth, should draw all men unto him, (John It is prophesied,
12. 32,) and in whom the children of God, that are scattered 1. That the tribe of Judah should be victorious and successful abroad, should meet, as the centre of their unity, John 11. 52. in war! Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies. This (4.) In him there is plenty of all that which is nourishing and was fulfilled in David, Ps. 18. 40.
refreshing to the soul, and which maintains and cheers the di2. That it should be superior to the rest of the tribes; not vine life in it; in him we may have wine and milk, the riches only in itself more numerous and illustrious, but having a of Judah's tribe, without money, and without price, Is. 55. I. dominion over them; Thy father's children shall bou down V. 13—21. Here we have Jacob's prophecy concerning six before thee : Judah was the lawgiver, Ps. 60. 7. That tribe led of his sons. the van through the wilderness, and in the conquest of Canaan, I. Concerning Zobulun, (v. 13,) that his posterity should Judg. 1. 2.
The prerogatives of the birth-right which Reuben have their lot upon the seacoast, and should be merchants and nad forfeited, the excellency of dignity and power, were thus mariners, and traders at sea. This was fulblled, when, two or conferred upon Judah. Observe, " Thy brethren shall bow three hundred years after, the land of Canaan was divided by down before thee, and yet shall praise thee, reckoning them-lot, and the border of Zebulun went up towards the sea, Josh. selves happy in having so wise and bold a commander." Note, 19. 11. Had they chosen their lot themselves, or Joshua apHonour and power are then a blessing to those that have them, pointed it, we might have supposed it done with design to make when they are not grudged and envied, but praised and ap- Jacob's words good; but, being done by lot, it appears that plauded, and cheerfully submitted to.
that was divinely disposed, and Jacoh divinely inspired. 3. That it should be a strong and courageous tribe, and so Note, The lot of God's providence exactly agrees with the qualified for command and conquest; (v. 9,) Judah is a lion's plan of God's counsel, like a true copy with the original. If whelp. The lion is the king of beasts, the terror of the forest prophecy says, Zebulun shall be a haven of ships, Providence when he roars; when he seizes his prey, none can resist him; will so plant him. Note, 1. God appoints the bounds of our when he goes up from the prey, none dares pursue him to habitation. 2. It is our wisdom and duty to accompiolate revenge it. By this it is foretold that the tribe of Judah should
ourselves to our lot, and to improve it. If Zebulun dwell at become very formidable, and should not only obtain great vic- the haven of the sea, let him be for a haven of ships. tories, but should peaceably and quietly enjoy what was got by II. Concerning Issachar, v. 14, 15. 1. That ihe men of those victories; that they should make war, not for the sake of that tribe should be strong and industrious, fit for labour, and war, but for the sake of peace. Judah is compared, not to a inclined to labour, particularly the toil of husbandry, like tho lion rampant, always tearing, always raging, always ranging; ass, that patiently carries his burden, and, by using himself to but to a lion couchant, enjoying the satisfaction of his power it, makes it the casier. Issachar submitted to two burdens, and success, without creating vexation to others: this is to be lillage and tribute. It was a tribe that took pains, and, thrirtruly great.
ing thereby, was called upon for rents and taxes. 2. That
& P. 49. 1. Is. 35. 9. 26.8.
18 Ishave waited for thy salvation, O LORD. bof his hands were made strong by the hands of the
19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him; but he mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the Shepyshall overcome at the last.
herd, the stone dof Israel :) 20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he 25 Even by the God of thy father, 'who shall shall yield royal dainties.
help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless 21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of words.
the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts 22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful and of the womb: bough by a well, whose branches run over the 26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed wall.
above the blessings of thy progenitors, unto the 23 The 'archers have sorely grieved him, and utmost bound of the everlasting hills :: they shall shot at him, and hated him:
be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the 24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms head of him that was separate from his brethren.
y I Chr. 5. 18.
• daughters. * c. 37. 4, &c. 6 Ps. 18. 32, 34. cc. 45. 10, 11, 50. 21. d Is, 28. 16. e Deut. 33. 27. | Eph. 33. 20. e Job 29, 20. Ps. 37. 14, 15.
1. 3. g Hab. 3. 6. A 19. 66 5. they should be encouraged in their labour by the goodness of in its conflicts, troops of corruption overcome it, but the cause the land that should fall to their lot. (1.) He saw that rest at is God's, and grace will in the issue come off conqueror, yea, home wels good. Note, The labour of the husbandman is more than conqueror, Rom. 8. 37. really rest, in comparison with that of soldiers and seamen, V. Concerning dsher, v. 20. That it should be a very rich whose hurries and perils are such, that those who larry al tribe, replenished not only with bread for necessity, but with home the most constant service have no reason to envy fatness with dainties, royal dainties, (for the king himself is thein. (2.) He saw that the land was pleasant, yielding not served of the field, Ec. 5. 9,) and these exported out of only pleasant prospects to charm the eye of the curious, but Asher, to other tribes, perhaps to other lands. Note, The pleasant fruits to recompense his toils. Many are the plea- God of nature has provided for us not only necessaries but sures of a country life, abundantly sufficient to balance the in- dainties, that we might call him a bountiful Benefactor; yet, conveniences of it, if we can but persuade ourselves to think whereas all places are competently furnished with necessaso. Issachar, in prospect of advantage, bowed his shoulder to ries, only some places afford da inties. Corn is more combear: let us, with an eye of faith, see the heavenly rest to be mon than spices. Were the supports of luxury as universal good, and that land of promise to be pleasant; and that will as the supports of life, the world would be worse than it is, make our present services easy, and encourage us to bow our and that it needs not be. shoulder to them.
VI. Concerning Nuphtali, v. 21. A tribe that carries III. Concerning Dan, v. 16, 17. What is said concerning struggles in its name; it signifies wrestling, and the blessing Dan, has reference either, 1. To that tribe in general; that entailed upon it signifies prevailing; it is a hind let loose. though Dan was one of the sons of the concubines, yet he | Though we find noi this prediction so fully answered in the should be a tribe governed by judges of his own as well as event as some of the rest, yet, no doubt, it proved true, that other tribes; and should, by art, and policy, and surprise, gain those of this tribe were, 1. As the loving hind, (for that is advantages against his enemies, like a serpent suddenly biting her epithet, Prov. 5. 19,) friendly and obliging to one anothe heel of the traveller. Note, (1.) In God's spiritual Israel ther, and to other tribes; their converse remarkably kind and there is no distinction made of bond or free, Col. 3. 11. Dan endearing. 2. As the loosened hind, zealous for their libere shall be incorporated by as good a charter as any of the other ty. 3. As the swift hind, (Ps. 18. 33,) quick in despatch tribes. (2.) Some, like Dan, may excel in the subtlety of the of business; and perhaps, 4. As the trembling hind, timorous serpent, as others, like Judah, in the courage of the lion; and in times of public danger. It is rare that those that are most both may do good service to the cause of God against the Ça- amiable to their friends, are most formidable to their enemies. naanites. Or, it may refer, 2. To Samson, who was of that 5. That they should be affable and courteous, their language tribe, and judged Israel, that is, delivered them out of the refined, and they complaisant, giving goodly words. Note, hands of the Philistines, not as the other judges, by fighting Among God's Ísrael there is to be found a great variety of them in the field, but by the vexations and annoyances he gave dispositions, contrary to each other, yet all contributing to the them underhand: when he pulled the house down under the beauty and strength of the body; Judah like a lion, Issachar Philistines that were upon the roof of it, he made the horse like an ass, Dan like a serpent, Naphtali like a hind. Let not throw his rider.
those of different tempers and gisis censure one another, or Thus was Jacob going on with his discourse; but now, be envy one another, any more than those of different statures and ing almost spent with speaking and ready to faint and die complexions. away, he relieves himself with those words which come in as V. 22–27. He closes with the blessings of his best-beloved a parenthesis, (v. 18,) I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord; sons, Joseph and Benjamin, with these he will breathe his last, as those that are sainting are helped by taking a spoonful of a I. The blessing of Joseph, which is very large and full. He cordial, or smelling at a boule of spirits; or, if he must break is compared (v. 22) to a fruitful bough, or young tree; for off here, and his breath will not serve him to finish what he in- God had made him fruitful in the land of his afiliction; he tended, with these words he pours out his soul into the bosom owned it, ch. 41. 52. His two sons were as branches of a of his God, and even breathes it out. Note, The pious ejacu- vine, or other spreading plant, running over the wall. Note, lations of a warm and lively devotion, though sometimes they God can make those fruitful, great comforts to themselves and may be incoherent, yet they are not therefore to be censured others, who have been looked upon as dry and withered. as impertinent; that may be uttered affectionately, which does More is recorded in the history concerning Joseph, than connot come in methodically. It is no absurdity, when we are cerning any other of Jacob's sons; and therefore what Jacob speaking to men, lo lift up our hearts to God. The salvation says of him, is historical as well as prophetical. Observe, he waited for, was, (1.) Christ, the promised Seed, whom i. The providences of God concerning Joseph, v. 23, 24. he had spoken of, v. 10. Now that he was going to be gather. These are mentioned to the glory of God, and for the encoued to his people, he breathes after him to whom the gathering ragement of Jacob's faith and hope, that God had blessings in of the people shall be. (2.) Heaven, the better country, store for his seed. Here observe, (1.) Joseph's straits and which he declared plainly that he soughi, (Heb. 11. 13, 14,) troubles, v. 23. Though he now lived at ease, and in honour, and continued seeking, now that he was in Egypt. Now that Jacob reminds him of the difficulties he had formerly waded he is going to enjoy the salvation, he comforts himself with through. He had had many enemies here, called archers, bethis, that he had waited for the salvation. Note, First, li is ing skilful to do mischief, masters of their art of persecution : the character of a living saint, that he waits for the salvation they hated him, there persecution begins; they shot their poiof the Lord. Chrisl, as our Way to heaven, is to be waited sonous darts at him, and thus they sorely grieved him. His on; and Hegen, as our rest in Christ, is to be waited for. brethren, in his father's house, were very spiteful toward Scoondly, It is the comfort of a dying saint thus to have wait- him, mocked him, stripped him, threatened him, sold him, ed for the salvation of the Lord, for then he shall have what thought they had been the death of him. His mistress in the he has been waiting for: long-looked for will come.
house of Potiphar, sorely grieved him, and shot at him, when IV. Concerning Gad, v. 19. He alludes to his name, she impudently assaulted his chastity; (iemptations are fiery which signifies a troop, foresees the character of that tribe, darts, thorns in the flesh, sorely grievous to gracious souls ;) that it should be a warlike tribe, and so we find, 1 Chr. 12. 8, when she prevailed not in this, she hated him, and shot at him, the Golile rere men of war fie for the battle. He foresees by her false accusations, arrows which there is little fence that the situation of that tribe on the other side of Jordan, against, but the hold God has in the consciences of the worst would expose it to the incursions of its neighbours, the
Doubtless he had enemies in the court of Pharaoh, Moabitcs and Ammonites; and that they might not be proud that envied his preferment, and sought to undermine him. of their strength and valour, he foretells that the troops of (2.) Joseph's strength and support under all these troubles ; their enemies should in many skirmishes overcome them; yet, (v. 24,) His bow abode in strength, that is, his faith did not that they might not be discouraged by their defeats, he assures fail, but he kept his ground, and came off a conqueror. The them that they should overcome at the last, which was fulfilled arms of his hands were made strong, that is, his other graces when, in Saul's time and David's, the Moabites and Am- did their part, his wisdom, courage, and patience, which are monites were wholly subdued; see l’Chron. 5. 18,&c. Note, better ihan weapons of war. In short, he maintained both his The cause of God and his people, though it may seem for a integrity and his comfort through all his trials; he bore all his time to be baffled and run down, yet it will be victorious at burdens with an invincible resolution, and did not sink under last, Vincimur in prælio, sed non in bello-We are foiled in them, nor do any thing unbecoming him. (3.) The spring battle, but nol in a campaign. Grace in the soul is often foiled and fountain of this strength; it was by the hands of the VOL. I.-21
( 161 )