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• Ex. 21. 9-15.
10 Ps. 45. 5.
C Num. 20. 24-29.
b Num. n. 12, 13.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I jover against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, live for ever.
which I give unto the children of Israel for a pos41 If I whet my glittering sword," and mine session : hand take hold on judgment, I will render vengeance 50 And die in the mount whither thou goest up, to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy bro
42 I will make mine arrows "drunk with blood, ther died 'in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the people : blood of the slain and of the captives, from the be 51 Because ye trespassed dagainst me among the ginning of revenges upon the enemy.
children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Ka43 Rejoice, 0 ye nations, with his people : for desh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanche will avenge "the blood of his servants, and will tified ‘me not in the midst of the children of Israel : render vengeance to his adversaries, and ywill be 52 Yet thou shalt see the land before thee ; but merciful unto his land, and to his people.
thou shalt not go thither unto the land which i give 44 And Moses came and spake all the words of the children of Israel, this song in the ears of the people, he, and 'Hoshea the son of Nun.
CHAPTER XXXIII. 45 And Moses made an end of speaking all these
Yet Moses has not done with the children of Israel; he seemed to have taken final words to all Israel:
leave of them in the close of the foregoing chapter, but still he has something more
to say. He had preached them a farewell seriod, a very copious and pathetic 46 And he said unto them, Set your hearts
discourse. After sermon he had given out a psalm, a long psalm ; and now unto all the words which I testify among you this nothing remains but to dismiss them with a blessing; that blessing he pronounces
in this chapter in the name of the Lord, and go leaves them. I. He pronounces day, which ye shall command your children to ob
thern all blessed in what God had done for them alreads, especially in giving them serve to do, all the words of this law.
his law, v. 2-5. 11. He pronounces a blessing upon each tribe, which is both a
prayer for, and a prophecy of, their felicity. 1. Reuben, r. 6. '2. Judah, v. 7. 47 For it is not a vain thing for you ; because 3. Levi, v. 8-11. 4. Benjamin, v. 12. 5. Joseph, v. 13-17. 6. Zebulun and
Issachar, v, 18, 19. 7. Gad, v. 20, 21. 8. Dan, v. 22. 9. Naphtali, v. 23. it is your life :' and through this thing ye shall pro
10. Asher, v. 24, 25. III. He pronounces them all in general blessed, upon the long your days in the land, whither ye go over account of what God would be to them, and do for them, if they were obedient,
v. 26-29. Jordan to possess it.
48 And the LORD spake unto Moses that self ND this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the same day, saying,
man of God blessed the children of Israel be49 Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto fore his death. mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is 2 And he said The Lord came afrom Sinai, and
or, sing ye,
d Num. 20. 11, 12. 1 or, orife at & Rev. 19. 2. y Pa. 85.1. or, Joshua. : Prov. 3. 1-4. Ea. 10. 4. Lev. 18.
e Lev. 10. 3. ls. 8. 13. § c. 34. 1–4. a Ex. 19. 18, 20. Judg. 5. 4, 5. 5. Prov. 4. 22. terrible; the sword shall devour flesh in abundance, and the upon them, use it for this purpose; and comwand them, (as arrows be made drunk with blood, such vast quantities of it shall your father Abraham did, Gen. 18. 19,) to observe lo do all the be shed; the blood of the slain in battle, and of the captives, words of this law.". They that are good themselves, cannot to whom no quarter should be given, but who shall be put under but desire that their children may be so likewise; and that military execution. When he begins revenge, he will make an posterity may keep up religion in their day, and the entail of it end; for in this also his work is perfect. The critics are much may not be cut off. 2. The arguments he uses to persuade perplexed with the last clause, From the beginning of revenges them to make religion their business, and to persevere in it, upon the enemy. The learned Bishop Patrick (that great mas are, (1.) The vast importance of the things themselves which ter) thinks it may admit this reading, From the king to the slave he had charged upon them, v. 47,." It is not a vain thing, because of the enemies, Jer. 50.35—37. When the sword of God's wrath it is your life. It is not an indifferent thing, but of absolute is drawn, it will make bloody work, blood to the horse-bridles, necessity; it is not a trifle, but a matter of consequence, a Rev. 14. 20.
matter of life and death; mind it, and you are made for ever; III. Comfort to his own people, v. 43, Rejoice, O ye nations, neglect it, and you are for ever undone.” O that men were with his people. He concludes the song with words of joy; for but fully persuaded of this, that religion is their life, even the in God's Israel there is a remnant whose end will be peace; life of their souls! (2.) The vast advantage it would be God's people will rejoice at last, will rejoice everlastinglyof to them: Through this thing ye shall prolong your days in Three things are here mentioned as matter of joy. 1. The Canaan, which is a typical promise of that eternal life, which enlarging of the church's bounds; the apostle applies the first Christ has assured us they shall enter into, that keep the comwords of this verse to the conversion of the Gentiles, Rom. 15.10, mandments of God, Matt. 19. 17. Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. See what the grace of III. Orders given to Moses concerning his death. Now God does in the conversion of souls, it brings them to rejoice that this renowned witness for God has finished his testimony, with the people of God; for true religion brings us acquainted he must go up to mount Nebo and die; in the prophecy of with true joy; so great a mistake are they under, that think it Christ's iwo witnesses there is a plain allusion to Moses and tends to make men melancholy. 2. The avenging of the church's Elias, Rev. 11. 6, and perhaps their removal, being by marcontroversies upon her adversaries. He will make inquisition tyrdom, is no less glorious than the removal either of Moses or for the blood of his servants, and it shall appear how precious it Elias. Orders were given to Moses that selfsame day, v. 48. is to him, for they that spilt it shall have blood given them to Now that he had done his work, why should he desire to live a drink. 3. The mercy God has in store for his church, and for day longer? He had indeed formerly prayed that he might go all that belong to it; he will be merciful to his land, and to his over Jordan, but now he is entirely satisfied, and, as God had people, that is, to all, every where, that fear and serve him. bidden him, saith no more of that matter. Whatever judgments are brought upon sinners, it shall go well 1. God here reminds him of the sin he had been guilty of, for with the people of God; in this let Jews and Gentiles rejoice which he was excluded Canaan, v. 51, that he might the more together.
patiently bear the rebuke because he had sinned; and that now V. 44-52. Here is,
he might renew his sorrow for that unadvised word, for it is I. The solemn delivery of this song to the children of Israel, good for the best of men to die repenting of the infirmities they v. 44, 45. Moses spake it to as many as could hear him, while are conscious to themselves of. "It was an omission that was Joshua, in another assembly, at the same time, delivered it to as thus displeasing to God: he did not sanctify God, as he ought many as his voice would reach. Thus coming to them from the to have done before the children of Isruel, he did not carry himmonth of both their governors, Moses, who was laying down self with a due decorum, in executing the orders he had then the government, and Joshua, who was taking it up, they would received. see they were both in the same mind, and that, though they 2. He reminds him of the death of his brother Aaron, v. 50, changed their commander, there was no change in the divine to make his own the more familiar, and the less formidable. command; Joshua, as well as Moses, would be a witness against Note, It is a great encouragement to us when we die, to think them, if ever they forsook God.
of our friends that have gone before us through that darksome II. An earnest charge to them to mind these and all the rest valley, especially of Christ our elder Brother and great High of the good words that Moses had said unto them. How ear. Priest. nestly does he long after them all, how ry desirous that the 3. He sends him up to a high hill, from thence to take a view word of God might make deep and lasting impressions upon of the land of Canaan, and then die, v. 49, 50. The remembrance them, how jealous over them with
a godly jealousy, lest they of his sin might make death terrible, but the sight God gave bim should at any time let slip these great things. 1. The duties of Canaan took off the terror of it
, as it was a token of God's he charges upon them, are, (1.) Carefully to attend to these being reconciled to him, and a plain indication to him, that themselves; your hearts both to the laws, and to the pro- though his sin shut him out of the earthly Canaan, yet it should mises and threatenings; the blessings and curses, and now at not deprive him of that better country, which in this
world can last to this
song. Let the mind be closely applied to the consi- only be seen, and that with an eye of faith. Note, Those may deration of these things; be affected with them; be intent upon die with comfort and case whenever God calls for them, (notduty, and cleave to it with full purpose of heart." (2.) Faith withstanding the sins they remember against themselves,) who fully to transmit these things to those that should come after have a believing prospect and a well-grounded hope of eternal them: “What interest you have in your children, or influence life beyond death.
6 Ps. 68. 17. Gal. 3.19.
NOTES TO CHAPTER XXXIII,
rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from 4 Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritmount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of ance of the congregation of Jacob. saints: from his right hand went a *fiery law for 5 And he was king lin Jeshurun, when the them.
heads of the people and the tribes of Israel were 3 Yea, he loved the people: all his saints are gathered together. in thy hand : and they sat down at thy feet: every 6 Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not one shall receive of thy words.
his men be few. * or, fire of. c Hos. II. 1. 1 Joba 4. 19. d 1 Sam. 2. 9. Ps. 31. 15. John 17. 11-15. € 1 Thes, 1.6. Ex. 18. 16, 19. & Gen. 19. 3, &c.
III. He disposed them to receive the law which he gave V.1–5. The first verse is the title of the chapter: It is a them, they sat down at thy feet, as scholars at the feet of their blessing. In the foregoing chapter be had thundered out the master, in token of reverence, in attendance and humble subterrors of the Lord against Israel for their sin; it was a chap. mission to what is taught; so Israel sal at the foot of mount ter, like Ezekiel's roll, full of lamentation, and mourning, and Sinai, and promised to hear and do whatever God should say.
Now to soften that, and that he might not seem to part They were struck lo thy feet, so some read it; namely, By in anger, he here subjoins a blessing, and leaves his peace, the terrors of mount Sinai, which greatly humbled them for the which should descend and rest upon all those among them that present, Ex. 20. 19. Every one then stood ready to receive were the sons of peace. Thus Christ's last work on earth was God's words, and did so again when the law was publicly read to bless his disciples, (Luke 24. 50,) like Moses here, in token to them, as Josh. 8. 34. It is a great privilege when we have of parting friends. Moses blessed them, 1. As a prophet; a heard the words of God, to have opportunity of hearing them man of God. Noie, It is a very desirable thing to have an again, John 17. 26, I have declared thy name, and will declare it. interest in the prayers of those that have an interest in heaven; So Israel not only had received the law, but should still receive it is a prophet's reward. In this blessing Moses not only ex their prayers, and other lively oracles. presses his good wishes to this people, but by the spirit of pro The people are taught, v. 4, 5, in gratitude for the law of phecy foretels things to come concerning them. 2. As a parent God, always to keep up an honourable remembrance both of to Israel; for so good princes are to their subjects. Jacob the law itself, and of Moses by whom it was given. Two of upon his death-bed blessed his sons, (Gen. 49. 1, ) in conformity the Chaldee paraphrasts read it, The children of Israel said, to whose example Moses here blesses the tribes that were Moses commanded us a law : And the Jews say, that as soon as descended from them, to show that though they had been very a child was able to speak, his father was obliged to teach him provoking, yet the entail of the blessing was not cut off. The these words ; Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance doing this immediately before his death, would not only be the of the congregation of Jacob. more likely to leave an impression upon them, but would be an 1. They are taught to speak with great respect of the law, indication of the great good will of Moses to them, that he de- and to call it the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. They sired their happiness, though he must die and not share in it. looked upon it, (1.) As peculiar to them, and that by which
He begins his blessing with a lofty description of the glorious they were distinguished from other nations, who neither had appearances of God to them in giving them the law, and the the knowledge of it, Ps. 147. 20, nor, if they had, were under great advantage they had by it.
those obligations to observe it that Israel were under: and I. There was a visible and illustrious discovery of the divine therefore, (says Bishop Patrick,) “when the Jews conquered majesty; enough to convince and for ever silence atheists and any country, they did not force any to embrace the law of infidels, to awaken and affect those who were most stupid and Moses, but only to submit to the seven precepts of Noah.” careless, and to put to shame all secret inclinations to other (2.) As entailed upon them; for so inheritances are to be gods, v. 2. 1. His appearance was glorious : he shined forth transmitted to their posterity. And (3.) As their wealth and like the sun when he goes forth in his strength. Even Seir true treasure. 'Those that enjoy the word of God and the and Paran, two mountains at some distance, were illuminated means of grace, have reason to say, We have a goodly heritage. by the divine glory which appeared on mount Sinai, and re He is indeed a rich man, in whom the word of Christ dwells Mected some of the rays of it; so bright was the appearance, richly. Perhaps the law is called their inheritance, because it and so much taken notice of by the adjacent countries. To was given them with their inheritance, and was so annexed to this the prophet alludes, to set forth the wonders of the divine pro- it, that the forsaking of the law would be a forfeiture of the invidence, Hab. 3. 3, 4. Ps. 18. 7-9. The Jerusalem Targum heritance. See Ps. 119. 111. has a strange gloss upon this, that, “when God came down to 2. They are taught to speak with great respect of Moses : give the law, he offered it on mount Seir to the Edomites, but and they were the more obliged to keep up his name, because they refused it, because they found in it, Thou shalt not kill. he had not provided for the keeping of it up in his family; his Then he offered it on mount Paran to the Ishmaelites, but they posterity were never called the sons of Moses, as the priests also refused it, because they found in it, Thou shall not steal ; were the sons of Aaron. (1.) They must own Moses a great and then he came to mount Sinai, and offered it to Israel, and benefactor to their nation, in that he commanded them the law; they said, All that the Lord shall say, we will do." I would not for though it came from the hand of God, it went through the have transcribed so groundless a conceit but for the antiquity hand of Moses. (2.) He was king in Jeshurun. Having comof it. 2. His attendance was glorious; he came with his holy manded them the law, as long as he lived, he took care to see it myriads, as Enoch had long since foretold he should come in observed and put in execution; and they were very happy in the last day to judge the world, Judo 14. These were the having such a king, who ruled them, and went in and out before angels, those chariots of God, in the midst of which the Lord them at all times, but did in a special manner look great, when was on that holy place, Ps. 68. 17. They attended the divine the heads of the people were gathered together in parliament, as it majesty, and were employed as his ministers in the solemnities were, and Moses was president among them. Some underof the day. Hence the law is said to be given by the disposi-stand this of God himself; he did then declare himself their tion of angels, Acts 7. 53. Heb. 2. 2.
King, when he gave them the law, and he continued so, as long II. He gave them his law, which is, 1. Called a fiery law, as they were Jeshurun, an upright people, and till they rejected because it was given them out of the midst of the fire, Deut. 4. him, 1 Sam. 12. 12. But it seems rather to be understood of 33, and because it works like fire; if it be received, it is melta Moses. A good government is a great blessing to any people, ing, warming, purifying, and burns up the dross of corruption; and what they have reason to be very thankful for; and that if it be rejected, it hardens, sears, torments, and destroys. The constitution is very happy, which, as Israel's, which, as ours, Spirit descended in cloven tongues, as of fire; for the Gospel divides the power between the king in Jeshurun and the heads also is a fiery law. 2. It is said to go from his right hand, of the tribes, when they are gathered together, either because he wrote it on tables of stone; or, denoting the V. 6,7. Here is, power and energy of the law, and the divine strength that goes I. The blessing of Reuben. Though Reuben had lost the along with it, that it may not return void. Or, it came as a honour of his birthright, yet Moses begins with him; for we gift to them, and a precious gift it was, a right-hand blessing. should not insult over them that are disgraced, nor desire to
per3. It was an instance of the special kindness he had for them. petuate marks of infamy upon any, though never so justly fastYea, he loved the people, v. 3, and therefore, though it was a ened at first, v. 6. Moses desires and foretels, 1. The preservfiery law, yet it is said to go for them, v. 2, that is, in favour to ing of this tribe, though a frontier tribe on the other side Jordan, them. Note, The law of God written in the heart is a certain yet, “Let it live, and, not be either ruined by its neighbours, or evidence of the love of God shed abroad there: we must reckon lost among them. And perhaps he refers to those chosen men God's law one of the gifts of his grace. Yea, he loved the of that tribe, who, having had their lot assigned them already, people, or, laid them in his bosom; so the word signifies, which left their families in it, and were now ready to go over armed denotes not only the dearest love, but the most tender and care- before their brethren, Num. 32. 27.
“Let them be protected in ful protection. All his saints were in his hand. Some understand this noble expedition, and their heads covered in the day of it particularly of his supporting them and preserving them alive battle.” 2. The increase of this tribe, Let not his men be few; at mount Sinai, when the terror was so great, that Moses him or, Let his men be a number. “Let it be a numerous tribe; self quaked; they heard the voice of God and lived, ch. 4. 33, though their other honours be lost, so that they shall not excel, Or, it denotes his forming them into a people by his law; he yet let them multiply.” Lel Reuben live and nol die, though his moulded and managed them, as the potter does the clay. 'Or, men be few; so Bishop Patrick thinks it may be rendered, they were in his hand to be covered and protected, used and "Though he must not expect to flourish, (Gen. 49. 4,) yet let disposed of, as the seven stars were in the hand of Christ, him not perish." All the Chaldee paraphrasts refer this to the Rev. 1. 16. Note, God has all his saints in his hand; and other world; Let Reuben live in life cternal, and not die the second though there are ten thousands of his saints, v. 2, yet his hand death: So Onkelos. Let Reuben live in this world, and not die with which he measures the waters, is large enough, and strong that death which the wicked die in the world to come : So Jonaenough, to hold them all, and we may be sure that none can pluck than, and the Jerusalem Targum. them out of his hand, John 10. 28,
II, The blessing of Judah; which is put before Levi, because
7 And this is the blessing of Judah: and he 10 They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and said, Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring Israel thy law: "they shall put "incense before thee, him unto his people : let his hands be sufficient for and “whole burnt-sacrifice upon thine altar. him; and he thou an help to him from his enemies. 11 Bless, Lord, his substance, and accept the
8 'And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and work of his hands: mite through the loins of them thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst that rise against him, and of them that hate him, prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive that they rise not again. at the waters of Meribah;
12 And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the 9 Who said unto his father and to his mother, Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD I have not seen him ; neither kdid he acknowledge shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they between his shoulders. have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. 13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD & Ps. 146.5.
* Lev. 1. 9, 17. Ps. 51. 19.
Ex. 28. 30.
k Ex, 32, 25-28.
I Mal. 2. 5-7.
in Ex. 30. 7,8. t at thy nose.
o Job 42. 8. Ex. 20.
our Lord sprang out of Judah, and (as Dr. Lightfoot says)
be- stayed the plague. And indeed, the office of the priests and cause of the dignity of the kingdom above the priesthood. The Levites, which engaged their constant attendance, at least in blessing, v. 7, may refer, either, 1. To the whole tribe in gene their turns, at God's altar, laid them under a necessity of being ral. Moses prays for, and prophesies, the great prosperity of frequently absent from their families, which they could not take that tribe. That God would hear his prayers, (see an instance, such care of, nor make such provision for, as other Israelites 2. Chr. 13. 14, 15,) settle him in his lot, prosper him in all might. This was the constant self-denial they submitted to, his affairs, and give him victory over his enemies. It is taken that they might observe God's word, and keep the covenant of for granted, that the tribe of Judah would be both a praying tribe priesthood. Note, Those that are called to minister in holy and an active tribe. “Lord," says Moses, "hear his prayers, things, must sit loose to the relations and interests that are and give success to all his undertakings; let his hands be suffi- dearest to them in this world, and prefer the fulfilling of their cient for him, both in husbandry and in war." The voice of pray: ministry before the gratifying of the best friend they have, Acts er should always be attended with the hand of endeavour, and 21. 13.-20. 24. Our Lord Jesus knew not his mother and his then we may expect prosperity. Or, 2. It may
refer in particu- brethren, when they would have taken him off from his work, lar to David, as a type of Christ'; that God would hear his Matt. 12. 48. prayers, Ps. 20. 1, (and Christ was heard always, John 11. 42,) 2. He confirms the commission granted this tribe to minister that he would give him victory over his enemies, and success in holy things, which was the recompense of their zeal and in his great undertakings. See Ps. 89. 20, &c. And that fidelity, v. 10. (1.) They were to deal for God with the people. prayer, that God would bring him to his people, seems to refer They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy laws, fo Jacob's prophecies concerning Shiloh, Thai to him should both as preachers in their religious assemblies, reading and the gathering of the people be, Gen. 49. 10.
expounding the law, Neh. 8. 7, 8, and as judges, determining The tribe of Simeon is omitted in the blessing, because Jacob doubtful and difficult cases that were brought before them,' had left it under a brand, and it had never done any thing, as 2 Chr. 17.8, 9. The priests' lips kept this knowledge for the Levi had done, to retrieve its honour. It was lessened in the use of the people, who were to ask the law at their mouth, wilderness more than any other of the tribes; and Zimri, who Mal. 2. 7. Even Haggai, a prophet, consulted the priests in a was so notoriously guilty in the matter of Peor but the other day, case of conscience, Hag.2.11, &c. Note, Preaching is neceswas of that tribe. Or, because the lot of Simeon was an ap- sary, not only for the first planting of churches, but for the prependage to that of Judah, that tribe is included in the blessing serving and edifying of churches when they are planted. See of Judah. Some copies of the LXX join Simeon with Reu Ez. 44. 23, 24. (2.) They were to deal for the people with ben, Let Reuben live and not die, and let Simeon be many in God, in burning incense to the praise and glory of God, and number,
offering sacrifices to make atonement for sin, and to obtain the V. 8–11. Moses is large in blessing the tribe of Levi, not so divine favour. This was the work of the priests, but the Levites much because it was his own tribe, (for he takes no notice of attended and assisted in it. Those that would have benefit by his relation to it,) as because it was God's tribe. The bless- their incense and offerings, must diligently and faithfully obing of Levi has reference,
serve their instructions, 1. To the high priest, here called God's holy one, v. 8, be 3. He prays for them, v. 11. (1.) That God would prosper cause his office was holy, in token of which, Holiness to the Lord them in their estates, and make that which was allotted them was written opon his forehead. 1. He seems to acknowledge, for their maintenance, comfortable to them. Bless, Lord, his that God might justly have displaced Aaron and his seed, for substance. The provision made for them was very plentiful, his sin at Meribah, Num. 20. 12. So many understand it. It and came to them easily, and yet they could have no joy of it, is rather probable to me, that, on the contrary, he pleads with unless God blessed it to them, and since God himself was their God the zeal and faithfulness of Aaron, and his boldness in portion, a particular blessing might be expected to attend this stemming the tide of the people's murmurings at the other Me- portion. Bless, Lord, his virtue ; so some read it. "Lord, ribah, Ex. 17. 7, which might be very remarkable, and which increase thy graces in them, and make them more and more fit God might have an eye to in conferring the priesthood upon for their work.” (2.) That he would accept them in their serhim, though to mention is made of it there. All the Chaldee vices. “ Accept the work of his hands, both for himself, and for paraphrasts agree, that it was a trial in which he was found the people for whom he ministers." Acceptance with God is perfect and faithful, and stood in the trial; therefore not that, that which we should all aim at, and be ambitious of, in all our Num. 20. 12. 2. He prays that the office of the high priest devotions, whether men accept us no, 2 Cor. 5. 9, and it is the might ever remain, Let thy Trummim and thy Urim be with most valuable blessing we can desiro either for ourselves or him. It was given him for some eminent piece of service, as others. (3.) That he would take his part against all his eneappears, Mal. 2. 5. “Lord, let it never be taken from him.” mies, smite through the loins of them that rise against him. He Notwithstanding this blessing, the Urim and Thummim were supposes that God's ministers would have many enemies : some lost in the captivity, and never restored under the second tem would hate their persons for their faithfulness, and would enple: but it has its full accomplishment in Jesus Christ, God's deavour to do them a mischief; others would envy them their Holy One, and our great High Priest, of whom Aaron was a maintenance, and endeavour sacrilegiously to deprive them of type : with him who had lain in the Father's bosom from eter- it; others would oppose them in the execution of their office, nity, the Urim and Thummim shall remain ; for he is the won and pot submit to the sentence of the priests; and some would derful and everlasting Counsellor. Some translate the Thum- aim to overthrow the office itself. Now he prays that God mim and Urim appellatively; the rather because the usual order would blast all such attempts, and return the mischief upon the is here inverted, and here only. Thummim signifies integrity, heads of the authors. This prayer is a prophecy, that God and Urim, illumination ; Let these be with thy holy one, that is, would certainly reckon with those that are enemies to his minis“Lord, let the high priest ever be both an upright man and an ters, and will keep up a ministry in his church to the end of understanding man." A good prayer to be put up for the minis time, in spite of all the designs of the gates of hell against it. ters of the Gospel, that they may have clear heads and honest Saul rose up against the Lord's priests, 1 Sam. 22. 18, and it hearts; light and sincerity make a complete minister.
filled the measure of his sin. II. To the inferior priests and Levites, v. 9–11.
V. 12-17. Here is, 1. He commends the zeal of this tribe for God, when they I. The blessing of Benjamin, v. 12. Benjamin is put next to sided with Moses (and so with God) against the worshippers Levi, because the templo, where the priests' work lay, was just of the golden calf, Ex. 32. 26, &c. and being employed in cutting upon the edge of the lot of this tribe; and it is put before Joseph, off the ringleaders in that wickedness, they did it impartially because of the dignity of Jerusalem (part of which was in this the best friends they had in the world, though as dear to them tribe) above Samaria, which was in the tribe of Ephraim, and as their next relations, they did not spare, if they were idola- because Benjamin adhered to the house of David, and 10 the ters. Nole, Our regard to God and to his glory, ought always temple of the Lord, when the rest of the tribes deserted both to prevail above our regard to any creature whatsoever. And with Jeroboam. 1. Benjamin is here called the beloved of the those who not only keep themselves pure from the common Lord, as the father of this tribe was Jacob's beloved son, the iniquities of the times and places in which they live, but, as they son of his right hand. Note, Those are blessed indeed that are are capable, utier testimony against them, and stand up for beloved of the Lord. Saul the first king, and Paul the great God against the evil-doers, shall have special marks of honour apostle, were both of this tribe. 2. He is here assured of the put upon them. Perhaps Moses may have an eye to the sons divine protection; he shall duell safely. Note, Those are safe of Korah, who refused to join with their father in his gainsaying, whom God loves, Ps. 91. 1. 3. It is here intimated, that the Num. 26. 11. Also to Phinehas, who executed judgment, and temple in which God would dwell should be built in the borVOL, I.-62
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be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, him that was separated from his brethren.
14 And for the precious fruits brought forth by 17 His rglory is like the firstling of his bullock, the sun, and for the precious things *put forth by and his horns are like the "hom of Iunicorns : with the moon,
them he shall push 'the people together to the ends 15 And for the chief things of the ancient moun- of the earth : and they are the ten thousands of tains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
16 And for the precious things of the earth and 18 And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. dwelt in the bush ;let the blessing come upon the 19 They “shall call the people unto the mountain ; p Gen. 27. 2. or, thrust. † moons. 7 Ex. 3. 2, 4. r 1 Chr. 5.1.
$ Ps. 92. 10. 1 a unicorn. Ps. 44.5. u Is. 2. 3. ders of this tribe. Jerusalem, the holy city, was in the lot of desires to improve for the good of this tribe. Many a time God this tribe, Josh. 18. 28, and though Zion, the city of David, is had appeared to Moses, but now that he is just dying, he seems supposed to belong to Judah, yet mount Moriah, on which the to have the most pleasing remembrance of that, which was that temple was built, was in Benjamin's lot. God is therefore said time, when his acquaintance with the visions of the Almighty to dwell between his shoulders, because the temple stood on that first began, and his correspondence with heaven was first selmount as the head of a man upon his shoulders. And by this tled; that was a time of love never to be forgotten. It was at means Benjamin was covered all his day long under the protec- the bush that God declared himself the God of Abraham, Isauc, tion of the sanctuary, (Ps. 125. 2,) which is often spoken of as and Jacob, and so confirmed the promise made to the fathers, a place of refuge, Ps. 27. 4, 5. Neh. 6. 10. Benjamin dwelling that promise which reached as far as the resurrection of the by the temple of God dwelt in safety by him. Note, It is a body and eternal life, as appears by our Saviour's argument happy thing to be in the neighbourhood of the temple. This from it, Luke 20. 37. So that when he prays for the good will situation of Benjamin, it is likely, was the only thing that kept of him that dwelt in the bush, he has an eye to the covenant that tribe close with Judah to the divine institutions, when the then and there renewed, on which all our hopes of God's favour other ten tribes apostatized. Those have corrupt and wicked must be bottomed. Now he concludes this large blessing with hearts indeed, who, the nearer they are to the church are so a prayer for the favour and good will of God: [1.) Because much the further from God.
that is the
fountain and spring-head of all these blessings; they II. The blessing of Joseph, including both Manasseh and are the gifts of God's good will; they are so to his own people, Ephraim. In Jacob's blessing, Gen. 49. that of Joseph is the whatever they are to others. Indeed when Ephraim (a delargest, and so it is here ; and from thence Moses here borrows scendant from Joseph) slid back from God, as a backsliding the title he gives to Joseph, v. 16, that he was separated from heifer, those fruits of his country were so far from being the his brethren, or, as it might be read, a Nazarite among them, gifts of God's good will, that they were intended but to fatten both in regard of his piety, wherein it appears, by many in-him for the slaughter, as a lamb in a large place, Hos. 4.16, 17. stances, he excelled them all; and of his dignity in Egypt, [2.] Because that is the comfort and sweetness of all these where he was both their ruler and benefactor; his brethren blessings; then we have joy of them, when we taste God's good separated him from them by making him a slave, but God dis- will in them. [3.] Because that is better than all these, infitinguished him from them by making him a prince.
nitely better; for if we have but the favour and good will of Now the blessings here prayed for, and prophesied of, for this God, we are happy, and may be easy in the want of all these tribe, are, great plenty, and great power.
things; and may rejoice in the God of our salvation, though 1. Great plenty, v. 13-16. In general, Blessed of the Lord be the fig-tree do not blossom, and there be no fruit in the vine, Hab. his land. They were very fruitful countries that fell into the 3. 17, 18. lot of Ephraim and Manasseh, yet Moses prays they might be 2. Great power Joseph is here blessed with, v. 17. Here watered with the blessing of God, which makes rich, and on are three instances of this power foretold. (1.) His authority which all fruitfulness depends.
among his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, Now, (1.) He enumerates many particulars which he prays or a young bull, which is a stately creature, and therefore for may contribute to the wealth and abundance of those two tribes, merly used as an emblem of royal majesty. Joshua, who was looking up to the Creator for the benefit and serviceableness of to succeed Moses, was of the tribe of Ephraim the son of Joseph, all the inferior creatures, for they are all that to us, which he and his glory was indeed illustrious, and he was an honour to makes them to be. He prays, [1.] For seasonable rains, and his tribe. In Ephraim was the royal city of the ten tribes afterdews, the precious things of heaven; and so precious they are, ward. And of Manasseh were Gideon, Jephthah, and Jair, though but pure water,
that without them the fruits of the earth who were all ornaments and blessings to their country. Some would all fail and be cut off. [2.) For plentiful springs, which think he is compared to the firstling of the bullock, because the help to make the earth fruitful, called here the deep that coucheth birthright which Reuben lost, devolved upon Joseph, 1 Chr. 5. beneath; both are the rivers of God, Ps. 65. 9, for he is the 1, 2, and to the firstling of his bullock, because Bashan, which Father of the rain, Job 38. 28, and he made particularly the was in the lot of Manasseh, was famous for bulls and cows, fountains of water, Rev. 14. 7. [3.] For the benign influences Ps. 22. 12. Am. 4. 1. (2.) His force against his enemies and of the heavenly bodies ; v. 14, for the precious fruits, (the word victory over them; his horns are like the horn of a unicorn, signifies that which is most excellent, and the best in its kind,) that is, " The
forces he shall bring into the field shall be very put forth by the quickening heat of the sun, and the cooling strong and formidable, and with them he shall push the people, moisture of the moon. “Let them have the yearly fruits in that is, “He shall overcome all that stand in his way. their several months, according to the course of nature, in one appears from the Ephraimites' contests both with Gideon, Judg. month olives, in another dates," &c. So some understand it. 8. 1, and with Jephthah, Judg. 12.1, that they were a warlike [4.) For the fruitfulness even of their hills and mountains, which tribe and fierce. Yet we find the children of Ephraim, when in other countries used to be barren, v. 15, let them have the they had forsaken the covenant of God, though they were armed, chief things of the ancient mountains; and if the mountains be turning back in the day of battle, Ps. 78. 9, 10; for, though here fruitful, the fruits on them will be first and best ripened. They pronounced strong and bold as unicorns, when God was deare called ancient mountains, not because prior in time to other parted from them, they became as weak as other men. (3.) mountains, but because, like the first-born, they were superior The numbers of his people, in which Ephraim, though the in worth and excellency; and lasting hills, not only because as younger house, exceeded, Jacob having, in the foresight of the other mountains they were unmoveable, Hab. 3. 6, but because same thing, crossed hands, Gen. 48. 19, They are the ten thouthe fruitfulness of them should continue. [5.] For the pro-sands of Ephraim, and the thousands of Manasseh. Jonathan's ductions of the lower grounds, v. 16, For the precious things Targum applies it to the ten thousands of Canaanites conquered of the earth. Though the earth itself seems a useless, worth by Joshua, who was of the tribe of Ephraim, and the thouless lump of matter, yet there are precious things produced out sands of Midianites conquered by Gideon, who was of the tribe of it for the support and comfort of human life, Job 28. 5, Out of Manasseh. And the gloss of the Jerusalem Targum upon of it cometh bread, because out of it came our bodies, and to it the former part of this verse is observable; that "as the firstthey must return. But what are the precious things of the earthlings of the bullock were never to be worked, nor could the unito a soul that came from God, and must return to him? Or, corn ever be tamed, so Joseph should ever continue free; they what is its fulness to the fulness that is in Christ, whence we would have continued free, if they had not by sin sold themreceive grace for grace? Some make these precious things selves." here prayed for to be figures of spiritual blessings in heavenly V. 18—21. Here we have, things by Christ, the gifts, graces, and comforts of the Spirit. I. The blessings of Zebulun and Issachar put together, for
(2.) He crowns all with the good will, or favourable accept- they were both the sons of Jacob by Leah, and by their lot in ance of him that dwelt in the bush, v. 16; that is, of God, that Canaan they were neighbours; it is foretold, God who appeared to Moses in the bush that burned and was 1. That they should both have a comfortable settlement and not consumed, (Ex. 3. 2.) to give him his commission for the employment, v. 18. Zebulun must rejoice, for he shall have bringing of Israel out of Egypt. Though God's glory appeared cause to rejoice ; and Moses prays that he may have cause in there but for a while, yet it is said to dwell there, because it his going out, either to war, for Zebulun jeoparded their lives in continued as long as there was occasion for it: The good will the high places of the field, Judg. 5. 18, or rather to sea, for of the Shechinah in the bush ; so it might be read, for Shechinah Zebulun was a haven of ships, Gen. 49. 13. And Issachar must signifies that which dwelleth: and though it was but a little rejoice in his tents, that is, in his business at home, his huswhile a dweller in the bush, yet it continued to dwell with the bandry, to which the men of that tribe generally confined thempeople
of Israel. My dweller in the bush; so it should be ren- selves, because they saw that rest was good, and when the sea dered: that was an appearance of the Divine Majesty to Moses was rough, the land was pleasant, Gen. 49. 14, 15. Observe only, in token of the particular interest he had in God, which he here, (1.) That the providence of God, as it variously appoints