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1. John 12. 7.
27 Benjamin shall raven as a wolf; in the 32 The purchase of the field and of the cave morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he that is therein was from the children of Heth. shall divide the spoil.“
33 And when Jacob had made an end of com28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel : and manding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the this is it that their father spake unto them, and bed, and yielded up the 'ghost, and was gatherede blessed them; every one according 'to his blessing unto his people. he blessed them. 29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I
CHAPTER L. am to be gathered unto my people : bury me with my fathers min the cave that is in the field of Here is, 1. The preparation for Jacob's funeral, v. 1–6. 11. The funeral itself, ".
7-14. III. The settling of a good understanding between Joseph and his brethren Ephron the Hittite :
after the death of Jacob, v.15-21. IV. The age and death of Jureph, v. 2230 In the cave "that is in the field of Machpelah,
26. Thus the book of Genesis, which began with the originals of lighi and lise,
ends with nottung but death and darkness ; so sad a change bas sin made. which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron ND Joseph fell upon his father's face, and the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place.
wept upon him, and kissed him. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his 2 And Joseph commanded his servants the phywise; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his sicians to embalm his father: and the physicians wife ; and there I buried Leah.
embalmed Israel. i Judg. 20. 21, 25. k Ez. 39. 8-10. I Rom. 12. 6, &c. m c. 47. 30. 2 Sam. 19. o Job 14.10. p ver. 29. a ver. 26. 2 Chr. 16. 14. Matt. 28. 12. Mark 14.8. 16. 37. 1 c. 23. 3, &c. mighty God, who was therefore able to strengthen him, and night. Or, in the first times of Israel, they shall be noted for the God of Jacob, a God in covenant with him, and therefore activity, though many of them left-handed, Judg. 3. 15.-20. 16. engaged to help him. All our strength for the resisting of Ehud, the second judge, and Saul, the first king, were of this templations, and the bearing of afflictions, comes from God: Libe, and so also in the last times Esther and Mordecai were of his grace is sufficient, and his strength is perfected in our this iribe, by whom the enemies of the Jews were destroyed. weakness. (4.) The state of honour and usefulness he was The Benjamites ravened like wolves, when they desperately esadvanced to after this; from thence, from this strange method poused the cause of the men of Gibeah, those men of Belial, of providence, he became the shepherd and slone, the feeder Judg. 20. 14. Blessed Paul was of this tribe, (Rom. 11. 1. Phil. and supporter of God's Israel, Jacob and his family. Herein 3. 5,) and he did in the morning of that day, devour the prey as Joseph was a type, [1.] Of Christ; he was shot at and hated, a persecutor, but in the evening, divide the spoil as a preacher. but borne up under his sufferings, (Is. 50. 7-9,) and was Note, God can serve his own purposes by the different tempers afterward advanced to be the shepherd and slone. (2.) of the of men ; the deceived and the deceiver are his. church in general, and particular believers; hell shoots its V. 28—33. Here is, arrows against the saints, but Heaven protects and strengthens 1. The summing up of the blessings of Jacob's sons, v. 28. them, and will crown them.
Though Reuben, Sineon, and Levi, were put under the marks 2. The promises of God to Joseph. See how these are con of their father's displeasure, yet he is said to bless them every one nected with the former! (v. 25,) Even by the God of thy father according to his blessing; for none of them were rejected as Ésau Jacob, who shall help thee. Note, Our experiences of God's power was. Note, Whatever rebukes of God's word or providence we and goodness in strengthening us hitherto, are our encourage are under at any time, yet, as long as we have an interest in ments still to hope for help from him; he that has helped us will: God's covenant, a place and a name among his people, and good we may build much upon our Eben-Ezers. See what Joseph hopes of a share in the heavenly Canaan, we must account ourinay expect from the Almighty, even the God of his father. (1.) selves blessed. He shall help thee in difficulties and dangers which may yet be 2. The solemn charge Jacob gave them concerning his burial, before thee, help thy seed in their wars. Joshua came from him, which is a repetition of what he had before given to Joseph. See who commanded in chicf in the wars of Canaan. (2.) He shall | how he speaks of death, now that he is dying ; (v. 29,) I am to be bless thee; and he only blesses indeed. Jacob prays for a bless- gathered unto my people. Note, It is good to represent death ing upon Joseph, but the God of Jacob commands the blessing to ourselves under the most desirable images, that the terror of Observe the blessings conferred on Joseph ; [1.] Various and it may be taken off. Though it separate us from our children abundant blessings. Blessings of heaven above; rain in its sea- and our people in this world, it gathers us to our fathers and to son, and fair weather in its season, and the benign influences of our people in the other world. Perhaps Jacob uses this expresthe heavenly bodies ; blessings of the deep that lieth under this sion concerning death, as a reason why his sons should bury him carth, which, compared with the upper world, is but a great deep, in Canaan; for says he, I am to be gathered unto my people, my with subterraneous mines and springs. Spiritual blessings are soul must be gone to the spirits of just men made perfect; and blessings of heaven above, which we ought to desire and seek for, therefore bury me with my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, and in the first place, and to which we must give the preference, their wives, v. 31. Observe, while temporal blessings, those of this earth, must lie under in (1.) His heart was very much upon it, not so much from a our account and esteem. Blessings of the womb and the breasts natural affection to his native soil, as from a principle of faith are given, when children are safely born, and confortably nursed in the promise of God, that Canaan should be the inheritance of In the word of God, by which we are born again, and nourished his seed in due time. Thus he would keep up in his sons a up, (1 Pet. 1. 23.–2. 2;) there are to the new man blessings remembrance of the promised land, and not only would have both of the womb and the breasts. [2.] Eminent and transcend their acquaintance with it renewed by a journey thither on that ent blessings, which prevail above the blessings of my progeni- occasion, but their desire towards it and their expectation of it lors, v. 26. His father Isaac had but one blessing, and when he preserved. had given that to Jacob, he was at a loss for a blessing to bestow (2.) He is very particular in describing the place, both by upon Esau; but Jacob had a blessing for each of his twelve sons, the situation of it, and by the purchase Abraham had made of and now, at the latter end, a copious one for Joseph. The it, for a burying-place, v. 30, 32. He was afraid lest his sons great blessing entailed upon that family was increuse, which did after seventeen years sojourning in Egypt, had forgotten Canot so immediately and so signally follow the blessings which naan, and even the burying-place of their ancestors there, or lest Abraham and Isaac gave to their sons, as it followed the bless the Canaanites should dispute his title to i: ; and therefore he ing which Jacob gave to his ; for, soon after his death, they mul- specifies it thus largely, and the purchase of it, even when he tiplied exceedingly. (3.) Durable and extensive blessings ; lies a-dying, not only to prevent mistakes, but to show how unto the ulmost bounds of ihe everlasting hills, including all the mindful he was of that country. Note, It is, and should be, a productions of the most fruitful hills, and lasting as long as they great pleasure to dying saints, to fix their thoughts upon the healast, Is. 54. 10. Note, The blessings of the everlasting God venly Canaan, and the rest they hope for there after death. include the riches of the everlasting hills, and much more. 3. The death of Jacob, v. 33. When he had finished both Well, of these blessings it is here said, They shall be, so it is a his blessing and his charge, (boh which are included in the promise, or, Let them be, so it is a prayer, on the head of Joseph; commanding of his sons) and so had finished his iestimony, he to which let them be as a crown to adorn it, and a helmei to pro- addressed himself to his dying work. (1.) He put himself into lect it. Joseph was separated from his brethren (so we read it) a posture for dying; having before seated himself upon the bedfor a time; yet, as others read it, he was a Nazarite among his side, to bless his sons; (the spirit of prophecy bringing fresh oil brethren, better and more excellent than they. Note, It is no to his expiring lamp, Dan. 10. 19;) when that work was done, new thing for the best men to meet with the worst usage ; for he gathered up his feet into the bed, that he might lie along, not Nazarites among their brethren to be cast out and separated from only as one patiently submitting to the stroke, but as one cheertheir brethren; but the blessing of God will make it up to them. fully composing himself to rest, now that he was weary. I will
II. The blessing of Benjamin ; (v. 27,) He shall raven as a lay me down, and sleep. (2.) He freely resigned his spirit into wolf ; it is plain by this, that Jacob was guided in what he said the hand of God, the father of spirits i he yielded up the ghost. by a spirit of prophecy, and not by natural affection ; else he (3.) His separated soul went to the assembly of the souls of the would have spoken with more tenderness of his beloved son Ben faithful, which, after they are delivered from the burden of the jamin, concerning whom he only foresees and foretells this, that flesh, are in joy and felicity ; he was gathered to his people. his posterity should be a warlike tribe, strong and daring, and Note, If God's people be our people, death will gather us to them. that they should enrich themselves with ihe spoils of their enemies; that they should be active and busy in the world, and a tribe as much feared by their neighbours as any other; in the V. 1-6. Joseph is here paying his last respects to his morning he shall devour the prey, which he seized and divided over deceased father.
NOTES TO CHAPTER L.
cc. 47. 29.
d Is, 22. 16. Matt. 27. CO.
& c. 49. 29.
hc. 23. 16. i e. 27, 41. Lev. 26. 36. Job 15, 21. Prov. 28. 1. I charged. k Prov. 28. 13. Matt. 6. 12, 14. 18. 35. Luke 17. 3, 4. Eph. 4. 32. Col. 3. 13. Jam. 5. 16.
3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so with a great and very sore lamentation: and he are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed ; made a mourning for his father seven days. and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore 11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the and ten days.
Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, 4 And when the days of his mourning were past, they said, "This is a grievous mourning to the Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, 1 A bel-mizraim, which is beyond Jordan. pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,
12 And his sons did unto him according as he 5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die : commanded them: in my grave which I have digged for me in the 13 For his sons carried him into the land of land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field father, and I will come again.
for a possession of a burying-place of Ephron the 6 And Pharaoh said, Go up and bury thy father, Hittite, before Mamre. according as he made thee swear.
14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his 7 And Joseph went up to bury his father : and brethren, and all that went up with him to bury with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the his father, after he had buried his father. elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of 15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that their Egypt,
father iwas dead, they said, Joseph will peradven8 And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, ture hate us, and will certainly requite us all the and his father's house : only their little ones, and evil which we did unto him. their focks, and their herds, they left in the land of 16 And they tsent a messenger unto Joseph, Goshen.
saying, Thy father did command before he died, 9 And there went up with him both chariots and saying, horsemen; and it was a very great company. 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray
10 And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, thee know, the trespass of thy brethren, and their which is beyond Jordan, and thero they mourned sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray . sept. & Num. 20. 22. Deut 31. 8.
Ex. 10. 9. 28. Deut. 34. 8. 1 Sam. 31. 13. 2 Sam. 1. 17. Job 2. 13. Acts 8. 2. 1 l. e. ide mourning of the Egyptians.
1. With tears and kisses, and all the tender expressions of a their souls be gone to our heavenly Father's house, we may filial affection, he takes leave of the deserted body, v.1. Though say, with more reason, " They have left us behind.". (5.) He Jacob was old and decrepit, and must needs die in the course of obtained leave; (v. 6,) Go, and bury thy father ; Pharaoh is nature ; though he was poor comparatively, and a constant willing his business should stand still so long; but the service charge to his son Joseph, yet such an affection he had for a lov- of Christ is more needful, and therefore he would not allow one ing father, and so sensible was he of the loss of a prudent, pious, that had work to do for him, to go first and bury his father; no, praying father, that he could not part with him without floods of Let the dead bury their dead, Matt. 8. 22. tears. Note, As it is an honour to die lamented, so it is the V. 7–14. We have here an account of Jacob's funeral. duty of survivors to lament the death of those who have been of the funerals of the kings of Judah, usually, no more is said useful in their day, though for some time they may have survived than this, They were buried with their fathers in the city of their usefulness. The departed soul is out of the reach of our David; but the funeral of the patriarch Jacob is more largely tears and kisses, but with them it is proper to show our respect and fully described. 1. To show how much better God was to the poor body, of which we look for a glorious and joyful re to him ihan he expected; he had spoken more than once of surrection. Thus Joseph showed his faith in God, and love to dying for grief, and going to the grave bereaved of his children, his father, by kissing his pale and cold lips, and so giving an but, behold, he dies in honour, and is followed to the grave by affectionate farewell. Probably, the rest of Jacob's sons did the all his children. 2. Because his orders concerning his burial same, much moved, no doubt, with his dying words.
were given and observed in faith, and in expectation both of 2. He ordered the body to be embalmed, (v. 2,) not only the earthly and of the heavenly Canaan, because he died in Egypt, and that was the
manner of the Egyp Now, tians, but because he was to be carried to Canaan, which would 1. It was a stately funeral: he was attended to the grave, not be a work of time, and therefore it was necessary the body only by his own family, but by the courtiers, and all the great should be preserved as well as it might be from putrefaction. men of the kingdom, who, in token of their gratitude to Joseph, See how vile our bodies are, when the soul has forsaken them; showed this respect to his father for his sake, and did him without a great deal of art, and pains, and care, they will, in a honour at his death. Though the Egyptians had had an antivery little time, become noisome. If the body have been dead pathy to the Hebrews, and had looked upon them with disdain, four days, by that time it is offensive.
(ch. 43. 32,) yet now that they were better acquainted with 3. He observed the ceremony of solemn mourning for him, them, they began to have a respect for them. Good old Jacob 1.3. Forty days were taken up in embalming the body, which had conducted himself so well among them, as to gain universal the Egyptians (they say) had an art of doing so curiously, as to esteem. Note, Professors of religion should endeavour, by preserve the very features of the face unchanged; all this time, wisdom and love, to remove the prejudices which many may and thirty days more, seventy in all, they either confined them- have conceived against them, because they do not know them. selves and sat solitary, or when they went out, appeared in the There went abundance of chariots and horsemen, not only to habit of close mourners, according to the decent custom of the attend them a little way, but to go through with them. Note, country. Even the Egyptians, many of them, out of the great The decent solemnities of funerals, according to a man's siturespect they had for Joseph, (whose good offices done for the ation, are very commendable; and we must not say of them, king and country were now fresh in remembrance,) put them- To what purpose is this waste? See Acts 8.2. Luke 7. 12. selves into mourning for his father. As with us, when the 2. It was a sorrowful funeral; (v. 10, 11,) standers-by took court goes into mourning, those of the best quality do so too. notice of it as a grievous mourning. Note, The death of good About ten weeks was the court of Egypt in mourning for Jacob. men is a great loss to any place, and ought to be greatly Note, What they did in state, we should do in sincerity, weep lamented. Stephen dies a martyr, and yet devout men make eith them that reep, and mourn with them that mourn, as being great lamentations for him. The solemn mourning for Jacob ourselves also in the body.
gave a name to the place, Abel-mizraim, The mourning of the 4. He asked and obtained leave of Pharaoh to go to Canaan, Egyptians; which_served for a testimony against the next thither to attend the funeral of his father, v. 4–6. (1.) It was generation of the Egyptians, who oppressed the posterity of a piece of necessary respect to Pharaoh, that he would not go this Jacob to whom their ancestors showed such respect. without leave; for we may suppose, that though his charge V. 15–21. We have here the settling of a good correspondabout the corn was long since over, at he continued a prime ence between Joseph and his brethren, now that their father minister of state, and therefore would not be so long absent was dead. Joseph was at court, in the royal city; his brethren from his business without license. (2.) He observed decorum, were in Goshen, remote in the country; yet the keeping up of in employing some of the royal family, or some of the officers a good understanding, and a good affection, between
them, of the household, to intercede for this license; either because would be both his honour and their interest. Note, When it was not proper for him in the days of his mourning to come Providence has removed the parents by death, the best methods into the presence-chamber, or because he would not presume ought to be taken, not only for the preventing of quarrels among too much upon his own interest. Note, Modesty is a great the children, (which often happen about the dividing of the ornament to dignity. (3.) He ploaded the obligation his father estate,) but for the preserving of acquaintance and love, that had laid upon him, by an oath, to bury him in Canaan, v. 5. unity may continue, even when that centre of unity is taken It was not from pride or humour, but from his regard to an away. indispensable duty, that he desired it. All nations reckon that 1. Joseph's brethren humbly make their court to him for his oaths must be performed, and the will of the dead must be favour. 1. They began to be jealous of Joseph ; not that he observed. (4.) 'He promised to return; I will come again. had given them any cause to be so, but the consciousness of When we return to our own houses from burying the bodies of guilt, and of their own inability in such a case to forgive and our relations, we say, "We have left them behind;" but if forget, made them suspicious of the sincerity and constancy of
thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the Godfather's house : and Joseph lived an hundred and of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake ten years. unto him.
23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's rchildren of the 18 And his brethren also went and fell down third generation: the children also of Machir'the son before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees. servants.
24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this am I in the place 'of God?
land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to 20 But as for you, ye thought mevil against me; Isaac, and to Jacob. but God meant "it unto good, to bring to pass, as it 25 And Joseph took an oath ‘of the children of is this day, to save much people alive.
Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, carry up my bones from hence. cand your little ones. And he comforted them, and 26 So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten spake *kindly unto them.
years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put 22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his in a coffin in Egypt.
1 Deut. 32. 35. 2 King 5. 7. Job 31. 29. Rom. 12. 19. Heb. 10.30. n c. 45.5, 7. o Matt. 5. 44. • to their hearis.
m Ps. 56. 5.
p Job 42. 16. Num. 32. 39.
Ex. 3. 16.
8 Ex. 13. 19. Josh. 24.
Joseph's favour; (v. 15,) Joseph will peradventure hate us; them; Fear not, I will nourish you, v. 21. See what an excelwhile their father lived, they thought themselves safe under his lent spirit Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for shadow; but now that he was dead, they feared the worst from evil. He did not tell them they were upon their good behaviour, Joseph. Note, A guilty conscience exposes men to continual and he would be kind to them if he saw they conducted themfrighis, even where no fear is, and makes them suspicious of selves well ; no, he would not thus hold them in suspense, nor every body, as Cain, ch. 4. 14. Those that would be fearless, seem jealous of them, though they had been suspicious of him; must keep themselves guiltless. If our heart reproach us not, he comforted them, and io banish all their fears, he spake kindly then have we confidence both toward God and man. 2. They to them. Note, Broken spirits must be bound up and encouhumbled themselves before him, confessed their fault, and raged. Those we love and forgive, we must not only do well begged his pardon. They did it by proxy, (v. 17;) they did it for, but speak kindly to, in person, v. 18. Now that the sun and moon were set, the V. 22–26. Here is, eleven stars did obeisance to Joseph, for the further accom 1. The prolonging of Joseph's life in Egypt; he lived to be plishment of his dream. They speak of their former offence an hundred and len years old, v. 22. Having honoured his fawith fresh regret; Forgive the trespass: they throw themselves ther, his days were long in the land, which, for the present, at Joseph's feet, and refer themselves to his mercy; We be thy God had given him; and it was a very great mercy to his reservants. Thus we must bewail the sins we committed long lations, that God continued him so long, a support and comfort ago, even those which we hope through grace are forgiven; and to them when we pray to God for pardon, we must promise to be his 2. The building up of Joseph's family; he lived to see his servants, 3. They pleaded their relation to Jacob, and to great-grandchildren by both his sons, (v. 23,) and, probably, Jacob's God. (1.) To Jacob; urging, that he directed them he saw his two sons solemnly owned as heads of distinct tribes, to make this submission, rather because he questioned whether equal to any of his brethren. It contributes much to the comthey would do their duty in humbling themselves, than because fort of aged parents, if they see their posterity in a flourishing he questioned whether Joseph would do his duty in forgiving condition, especially if with it they see peace upon Israel, Ps. them: nor could he reasonably expect Joseph's kindness to 128. 6. them, unless they thus qualified themselves for it; (v. 16,) Thy 3. The last will and testament of Joseph published in the father did command. Thus, in humbling ourselves to Christ presence of his brethren, when he saw his death approaching : by faith and repentance, we may plead that it is the command those that were properly his brethren, perhaps were some of of his father, and our Father, thai we do so. (2.) To Jacob's them dead before him, as several of them were elder than he; God. They plead, (v. 17,) We are the servants of the God but to those of them who yet survived, and to the sons of those of thy father, not only children of the same Jacob, but wor who were gone, who stood up in their fathers' stead, he said this. shippers of the same Jehovah. Note, Though we must be (1.) lle comforted them with the assurance of their return ready to forgive all that are any way injurious to us, yet we to Canaan in due time; (v. 24,) I die, but God will surely visit must especially take heed of bearing malice towards any that you : to this purport Jacob had spoken to him, ch. 48.21. Thus are the servants of the God of our father : such we should always must we comfort others with the same comforts with which we treat with a peculiar tenderness; for we and they have the ourselves have been comforted of God, and encourage them to same master,
rest on those promises which have been our support. Joseph II. Joseph, with a great deal of compassion, confirms his was, under God, both the protector and the benefactor of his brereconciliation and affection to them: his compassion appears, thren; and what would become of them, now that he was dying? v. 17, He wept when they spake to him. These were tears of Why, let this be their comfort, God will surely visit you. Note, sorrow for their suspicion of him, and tears of tiderness upon God's gracious visits will serve to make up the loss of our besi their submission. In his reply,
friends. They die; but we may live, and live comfortably, if 1. He directs them to look up to God in their repentance ; we have the favour and presence of God with us. He bids (v.19,) Am I in the place of God? He, in his great humility, them be confident; God will bring you out of this land, and thought they showed him too much respect, as if all their hap- therefore, (1.) They must not hope to settle there, nor look piness were bound up in his favour; and said to them, in effect, upon it as their rest for ever; they must set their hearts upon as Peter to Cornelius, “ Stand up, I myself also am a man. the land of promise, and call that their home. (2.) They must Make your peace with God, and then you will find it an easy not fear sinking, and being ruined there; probably he foresaw matter to make your peace with me." Note, When we ask the ill usage they would meet with there after his death, and forgiveness of those whom we have offended, we must take therefore gives them this word of encouragement; "God will hoed of putting them in the place of God, by dreading their bring you in triumph out of this land at last.” Herein he has wrath and soliciting their favour more than God's.
“ Am I
an eye to the promise, ch. 15, 13, 14, and, in God's name, in the place of God, to whom alone vengeance belongs ? No, assures them of the performance of it. I will leave you to his mercy.” Those that avenge thomselves, (2.) For a confession of his own faith, and a confirmation or step into the place of God, Rom, 12. 19.
theirs, he charges them to keep him unburied till that day, that 2. He extenuates their fault, from the consideration of the glorious day should come, when they should be settled in the great good which God wonderfully brought out of it, which, land of promise, v. 25. He makes them promise him with an though it should not make them the less sorry for their sin, yet oath, that they would bury him in Canaan. In Egypt they it might make him the more willing to forgive it; (v. 20,) Ye buried their great men very honourably, and with abundance thought evil, to disappoint the dreams, but God meant it unlo of pomp; but Joseph prefers a significant burial in Canaan, good, in order to the fulfilling of the dreams, and the making of and that deferred too almost two hundred years, before a magJoseph a greater blessing to his family than otherwise he could nificent one in Egypt. Thus Joseph, by faith in the doctrine have been. Note, (1.) When God makes use of men's agency of the resurrection, and the promise of Canaan, gave comfor the performance of his counsels, it is common for him to mandment concerning his bones, Heb. 11.22. He dies in Egypt; mean one thing, and them another, even the quite contrary; but but lays his bones at stake, that God will surely visit Israel, God's counsels shall stand. See Is. 10. 7. (2.) God often and bring them to Canaan. brings good out of evil, and serves the designs of his providence, 4. The death of Joseph, and the reservation of his body for even by the sins of men; not that he is the Author of sin, far a burial in Canaan, v. 26. He was put in a coffin in Egypt, be it from us to think so; but his infinite wisdom so overrules but not buried till his children had received their inheritance in events, and directs the chain of them, that, in the issue, that Çanaan, Josh. 24. 32. Noto, (1.) If the separate soul, at death, ends in his praise, which in its own nature had a direct ten- do but return to its rest with God, the matter is not great, dency to his dishonour; as the putting of Christ to death, Acts though the deserted body find not at all, or not quickly, its resi 2. 23. This does not make sin the less sinful, nor sinners the in the grave. (2.) Yet care ought to be taken of the dead boless punishable, but it redounds greatly to the glory of God's dies of the saints, in the belief of their resurrection ; for there wisdom.
is a covenant with the dust, which shall be remembered, and a 3. He assures them of the continuance of his kindness to commandment is given concerning the bones.
E X POSITION,
PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS, UPON THE SECOND BOOK OF MOSES,
E X O D U S.
Moses, (the Servant of the Lord in writing for him, as well as in acting for him—with the pen of God, as well as with the rod
of God, in his hand,) having, in the first book of his history, preserved and transmitted the records of the church, while it existed in private families, comes, in this second book, to give us an account of its growth into a great nation; and as the former furnishes us with the best Economics, so this with the best Politics. The beginning of the former book shows us how God formed the world for himself; the beginning of this shows us how he formed Israel for himself, and both to show forth his praise, Is. 43. 21. There we have the creation of the world in history, here the redemption of the world in type. The Greek translators called this book Exodus, (which signifies a departure, or going oul,) because it begins with the story of the going out of the children of Israel from Egypt. Some allude to the names of this and the foregoing book, and observe, that immediately after Genesis, which signifies the beginning, or original, follows Erodus, which signifies a departure; for a time to be born is immediately succeeded by a time to die. No sooner have we made our entrance into the world, than we must think of making our exit, and going out of the world. When we begin to live, we begin to die. The forming of Israel into a people, was a new creation. As the earth was in the beginning first fetched from under the water, and then beautified and replenished; so Israel was first, by an Almighty power, made io emerge out of Egyptian slavery, and then enriched with
God's law and tabernacle. This book gives us, I. The accomplishment of the promises made before to Abraham; ch. 1. to 19. And then, II. The establishment of the ordinances which were afterward observed by Israel; ch. 20. to 40. Moses, in this book, begins, like Caesar, to write his own Commentaries ; nay a greater, a far greater than Carsar is here. But henceforward the penman is himself the hero, and gives us the history of those things of which he was himself an eye and car witness, et quorum pors magna fuit-and in which he bore a conspicuous part. There are more types of Christ in this book, than perhaps in any other book of the Old Testament; for Moses wrote of him, John 5. 46. The way of man's reconciliation to God, and coming into covenant and communion with him by a Mediator, is here variously represented; and it is of great use to us for the illustration of the New Testament, now that we have that to assist us in the explication of the Old.
@ Gen. 46.8
c Gen. 50. 26.
d Gen. 46. 3. Deut. 26. 5. Ps. 105. 24.
The Death of Joseph and his Brethren.
B. C. 1635. CHAPTER I.
4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
5 And all the souls that came out of the loins* of We hare here, 1. God's kindness to Israel, in multiplying them exceedingly, Jacob were seventy osouls : for Joseph was in 814 2. Murdering their children, 15. Thus whom the court of Egypt already. , of , and for
6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all these are the names of the children of that generation.
7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and and his household came with Jacob.
increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
3. The death of Joseph, v. 6. All that generation by degrees V.1–7. In these verses we have,
wore off; perhaps all Jacob's sons died much about the same 1. A recital of the names of the twelve patriarchs, as they time; for there was not more than seven years difference in are called, Acts 7, 8. Their names are often repeated in age between the eldest and the youngest of them, except Benscripture; that they many not sound uncouth to us, as other jamin; and when death comes into a family, sometimes it hard names, but that, by their occurring so frequently, they may makes a full end in a little time; when Joseph, the stay of the become familiar to us; and to show how precious God's spi- family, died, the rest went off apace. Note, We must look ritual Israel are to him, and how much he delights in them. upon ourselves and our brethren, and all we converse with, as
2., The account which was kept of the number of Jacob's dying, and hastening out of the world. This generation passeth family, when they went down into Egypt; they were in all away, as that did which went before. seventy souls, (v. 5,) according to the computation we had, 4. The strange increase of Israel in Egypt, v. 7. Here are ch. 46.27. This was just the number of the nations by which the four words used to express it; they were fruitful, and increased earth was peopled, according to the account given, ch. 10. For abundantly, like fishes or insects, so that they multiplied; and, bewhen the Most High separaled the sons of Adam, he set the ing generally healthful and strong, they wazed exceeding mighty, hounds of the people according to the number of the children of so that they began almost to outnumber the natives, for the land Israel, as Moses observes, Deut. 32. 8. Notice is taken of was in all places filled with them, at least, Goshen, their own this, here, that their increase in Egypt might appear the more allotment. Observe, (1.) Though, no doubt, they increased wonderful. Note, It is good for those whose latter end greatly considerably before, yet, it should seem, it was not till after
the increases, often to remember how small their beginning was, death of Joseph that it began to be taken notice of as extraorJob 8. 7.
dinary. Thus, when they lost the benefit of his protection,
8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, midwives; of which the name of the one which knew 'not Joseph.
Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midthe children of Israel are more and mightier than we: wife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the
10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them ; lest stools, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him : but if it they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there be a daughter, then she shall live. falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as and fight against us, and so get them up out of the the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the land.
men-children alive. 11 Therefore they did set over them task-mas 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midters, to afflict them with their burdens. And they wives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this built for Pharaoh treasure-cities, Pithom and thing, and have saved the men-children alive? *Raamses.
19 And the midwives said unto mPharaoh, Be12 * But the more they alficted them, the more cause the Hebrew women are not as the Egypthey multiplied and grew. And they were grieved tian women; for they are lively, and are delivered because of the children of Israel.
ere the midwives come in unto them. 13 And the Egyptians made the children of 20 Therefore God dealt well •with the midwives; Israel to serve with rigour:
and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 14 And they made their lives ibitter with hard 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner leared God, that he pmade them houses. of service in the field : all their service, wherein 22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, they made them serve, was with rigour.
Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, 15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew and every daughter ye shall save alive. Ec. 2. 19. Acts 7. 18., Ps. 83. 3, , Prov. 1. 11. 21.30. Act 23. 12. 1 Cor. 3. and as they nflicted them, so they multiplied.
p 1 Sam. 2. 35. 2 Sam. 7. 11. 1 Kings
19. Jam. 3. 15. & C 3. 7. Gen. 15. 13. Deut. 26. 6. Ps 81.6. A Gen. 47. 11.
i c. 2. 23. 6. 9. Num. 20. 15. Ruth 1. 20. Acts 7, 19,34.
k Nah. 3. 14. P. 81. 6. I Lev. 25. 43. Is. 58. 6. Jer. 50, 33. m Neh. 5. 15.
God made their numbers their defence, and they became better mise made to their fathers, that they should settle in Canaan. able than they had been, to shift for themselves. If God con- Note, The policies of the church's enemies aim to defeat the tinue our friends and relations to us while we most need them, I promises of the church's God, but in vain; God's counsels shall and remove them when they can be better spared, let us own stand. 3. It is therefore proposed that a course be taken to that he is wise, and not complain that he is hard upon us. After prevent their increase; Come on, let us deal wisely with them, the death of Christ, our Joseph, his Gospel Israel began most lest they multiply. Noie, (1.) The growth of Israel is the grief remarkably to increase ; his death had an influence upon it, it of Egypt, and that against which the powers and policies of was like the sowing of a corn of wheat, which, if it dic, bringeth hell are levelled. (2.) When men deal wickedly, it is common forth much fruit, John 12. 24. (2.) This wonderful increase for them to imagine that they deal wisely ; but the folly of sin was the fulfilment of the promise long before made unto the will, at last, be manifested before all men. fathers: from the call of Abraham, when God first told him he III. The method they took to suppress them, and check their would make of him a great nation, to the deliverance of his growth, v. 11, 13, 14, The Israelies behaved themselves so seed out of Egypt, it was 430 years, during the first 215 of peaceably and inoffensively, that they could not find any occawhich, they were increased but to 70, but, in the latter half, sion of making war upon them, and weakening them by that those 70 multiplied to 600,000 fighting-men. Note, (1.) Some- means; and therefore, 1. They took care to keep them poor, by times God's providences may seem for a great while to thwart charging them with heavy taxes, which, some think, is included his promises, and to go counter to them, that his people's faith in the burdens with which they alllicted them. 2. By this means may be tried, and his own power the more magnified. [2.] they took an effectual course to make them slaves; the IsraelThough the performance of God's promises is sometimes slow, ites, it should seem, were much more industrious, laborious yet it is always sure; at the end it shall speak, and shall not lie, people than the Egyptians, and therefore Pharaoh took care to Hab. 2. 3.
find them work, both in his building, (they made him trensureV. 8–14. The land of Egypt here, at length, becomes to cities,) and in his husbandry, even all manner of service in the Israel a house of bondage, though, hitherto, it had been a happy field, and this was exacted from them with the utmost rigour shelter and settlement for them. Note, The place of our satis- and severity. Here are many expressions used, to affect us faction may soon become the place of our affliction, and that with the condition of God's people. They had task-musters may prove the greatest cross to us, of which we said, This same set over them, who were directed not only to burden them, but, shall comfort us. Those may prove our sworn enemies, whose as much as might be, to afflict them uith iheir burdens, and conparents were our faithful friends ; nay, the same persons that trive how to make them grievous. They not only made them loved us, may possibly turn to hate us: therefore, Cease from serve, which was sufficient for Pharaoh's profit, but they made man, and say not concerning any place on this side heaven, them serve with rigour, so that their lives became bitter to This is my rest for ever. Observe here,
them; intending thereby, (1.) To break their spirits, and I. The obligations they lay under to Israel, upon Joseph's ac- rob them of every thing in them, that was ingenuous and genca count, were forgotten ; (v. 8,). There arose a new king, after rous. (2.) To ruin their health, and shorten their days, and several successions in Joseph's time, which knew not Joseph. so diminish their numbers. (3.) To discourage them from marAll that knew him loved him, and were kind to his relations for rying, since their children would be born to slavery. (4.) To his sake; but, when he was deari
, he was soon forgotten, and oblige them to desert the Hebrews, and incorporate themselves the remembrance of the good offices he had done was either with the Egyptians. Thus he hoped to cut off the name of not retained, or not regarded, nor had it any influence upon Israel, that it might be no more in remembrance. And it is to their councils. Note, The best, and the most useful and accept- be feared that the oppression they were under had this bad efable services done to men, are seldom remembered, so as to be fect upon them, that it brought over many of them to join with recompensed to those that did them, in the notice iaken either the Egyptians in their idolatrous worship; for we read, (Josh. of their memory, or of their posterity, after their death, Ec. 9. 24. 14,) that they served other gods in Egypt; and though it is 5,15. And therefore our great care should be to serve God, not mentioned here in this history, yet we find, (Ez. 20. 8,) and please him, who is not unrighteous, whatever men are, to that God had threatened to destroy them for it, even while they forget our work and labour of love, Heb. 6. 10. If we work for were in the land of Egypt: however, they were kept a distinct men only, our works, at furthest, will die with us; if for God, body, unmingled with the Egyptians, and by their other customs they will follow us, Rev. 14. 13. This king of Egypt knew not separated from them, which was the Lord's doing, and marJoseph; and after him arose one that had the impudence to say, vellous. I know not the Lord, ch. 5. 2. Note, Those that are unmind IV. The wonderful increase of the Israelites, notwithstandful of their other benefactors, it is to be feared, will forget the ing the oppressions they groaned under; (v. 12.) The more they Supreme Benefactor, 1 John 4, 20.
afflicted them, the more they multiplied, sorely to the grief and Il. Reasons of state were suggested for their dealing hardly vexation of the Egyptians. Note, 1. Times of affliction have with Israel, v. 9, 10. 1. They are represented as more and often been the church's growing times, Sub pondere crescit mightier than the Egyptians; certainly, they were not so; but -Being pressed, it grows. Christianity spread most when it the king of Egypt, when he resolved to oppress them, would was persecuted: the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the have them thought so, and looked on as a formidable body. church. 2. They that take counsel against the Lord and his 2. Hence it is inferred, that, if care were not taken to keep them Israel, do but imagine a vain thing, (Ps. 2. 1,) and create so under, they would become dangerous to the government, and in much the greater vexation to themselves : hell and earth cannot time of war would side with their enemies, and revolt from their diminish those whom heaven will increase. allegiance to the crown of Egypt. Note, It has been the policy V. 15—22. The Egyptians' indignation at Israel's increase, of persecutors to represent God's Israel as a dangerous people, notwithstanding the many hardships they put upon them, drove hurtful unto kings and provinces, not fit to be trusted, nay, not them, at length, to the most barbarous and inhuman methods fit to be tolerated, that they may have some pretence for the of suppressing them, by the murder of their children. It was barbarous treatment they design them, Ezra 4.12, &c. Esth. 3.8. strange that they did not rather pick quarrels with the grown Observe, The thing they feared, was, lest they should get them men, against whom they might find some occasion perhaps ; to up out of the land ; probably, having heard them speak of the pro- l be thus bloody toward the infants, whom all musi own to be