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ved for the Father's sake ; and the hour is fast approaching, when Joseph shall be made known to his brethren, and they shall cry aloud, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord to save us. 4. When Jacob sent his sons to Egypt, he resided in Canaan. It is well entitled to our observation, that Canaan, the land of promise, was a land of famine to Abraham, Gen. xii, 10. ; to Isaac, Gen. xxvi. 1. ; and here to Jacob. Remarkable must have been the trial to those who were looking forward to it as, a land flowing with milk and honey. It is impossible so much as to mention every circumstance in this remarkable chapter, which seems to call for our attention. The apparent strangeness of Joseph while his brethren are in ánguish, is an admirable picture of what passes daily at the throne of grace. At the very moment when Joseph's bowels are yearning towards his brethren, he speaks and acts as if with harshness. Are we straining the text when we say, that while Joseph is speaking roughly, and calling his brethren spies, he is returning their money, and dealing out provision to them without money and without price? We had almost omitted to mention a most important circumstance, which well deserves attention,--the retaining of Simeon as an hostage for his younger brother Benjamin's appearance. Those who have considered Him who was the surety of a better testament, will not misunderstand this figure.
CHAP. XLIII.-In this chapter we find a continuance of this important history, as a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after. Jacob and his sons mistake the character of the governor of the land, not recognising their brother in their redeemer. In this fatal delusion the Jews continue to this day. To Jesus, the Lord and Christ, has the father committed all things into his hand. When the ten sons of Jacob return, and Joseph is made known to them, they have little Benjamin in their hand. Whether we think of the first calling of the Gentiles, or of their fulness, this text is most applicable. We hinted the appearance which Simeon made as a surety, but still more remarkably was this character displayed in Judah. It was Jesus who undertook for his Benjamin.
In their ignorance of Joseph's character, and the true cause of his conduct towards them, they take double money, and a present of the good things of the land ; but we find Joseph takes no notice of these their vain oblations. Just so will be the conduct of all who are ignorant of Joseph's character. The human heart was never more faithfully dissected than it is in all this history. As Benjamin in all this history appears the representative of the Gentile church, we may observe the kindness of Joseph to his younger brother in a very interesting point of view ; and Benjamin's double mess will at once bring to recollection the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ with which the Gentiles are blest. The abominations of the Egyptians most probably was, that the Hebrews scrupled not to eat of those things which the Egyptians worshipped, 2 Kings xxiii. 13. We find also from what took place on this occasion, that eating even a common meal was reckoned a degree of familiarity totally unsuitable between Jews and Egyptians, though otherwise on good terms. Hence
many think, that the practice of not eating with excommuni. cants, was no new or strange law, but had been long understood as the practice in such cases, even previous to the New Testament Revelation. We cannot shut this chapter, without reminding our readers of the remarkable scene which it exhibits. Jacob's sons come up from Canaan, famishing with hunger, and trembling at the very thoughts of the presence of Joseph: See them kindly and af. fectionately received, set down to a plentiful table, and their hearts made merry with his blessings. .
Chap. XLIV.-In this chapter the history of Joseph is continued, and several very interesting incidents recorded. The reader will naturally inquire, what was the nature of the divination mentioned in verses 2. and 5.? Divination of old was of two kinds ;real and natural, as communicated by the Spirit of God; unnatural or artificial, alleged to be attained by the use of certain means laid down for that purpose.
Divination is, in one sense, but another word for prophecy. The chief ground of distinction is, that divination, properly so called, proceeds upon some stated facts : thus Joseph divined, when he foretold the seven years of famine and plenty ; but his divination proceeded upon Pharaoh's dream. The abuse of this gave * rise to the artificial divination, which in some instances was just, under the influence of Satan ; in others pretended, to deceive the multitude. After the public and well-known divination of Joseph, both to the butler and baker, as well as Pharaoh, of which Joseph's brethren must have heard, it was a very natural policy in the steward to mention the cup by which he certainly divineth. The cup of divination is spoken of, in allusion to the practice of the Egyptians, and other heathen priests, who generally divined with the sacred cup in their hand. It was in their temples, sometimes the cup
filled with the blood of the sacrifice, but more frequently with the wine of the sacred feast, that they pronounced their oracles. As the wine sparkled or was dull, they predicted good or evil ; and various other rules of prediction. Sometimes they filled the cup with certain herbs and drugs to produce their incantations. It ought not to be omitted, that the reading of cups among the jugglers in our own days, is a vestige of this part of the worshipping of demons.' Whether Joseph was entirely free from the doctrine of Egyptian divination, though married with the daughter of the Priest of On, it is not necessary for us to determine. One thing is clear, that divination was carried to greater length in Egypt, than in any heathen country since. We shall have occasion to trace this subject farther, in the account of the magicians in Egypt.
The two great points that will strike the mind on reading this chapter, are Joseph's policy to retain his brethren, and the intercession of Judah. As to the first, all Joseph's design appears to have been in loving-kindness ; in like manner, as God's dealings with the Jewish nation are all intended to enforce this conviction, we are verily guilty concerning our brother. Judah’s intercession is of the
most interesting kind, and one of the finest figures of the Great Advocate, which the scriptures contain. Words cannot convey to our minds a more impressive idea of the intercession of our great High Priest, and the grounds of it, than the 33d verse of this chapter. Some have considered Joseph's cup in a figurative sense, and its being found with Benjamin as a figure of the manner in which the gospel found its way among the Gentiles; but this by no means appears clear to us.
CHAP. XLV. This chapter opens with one of the most interesting scenes which the sacred page exhibits, Joseph making himself known to his brethren. It is not for our purpose to enter upon the feelings and natural emotions of the different parties here set before us ; but we shall briefly lead the reader's attention to it, in three very
inte. resting points of view. 1. As a figure of the character in which Christ reveals himself to every guilty sinner by the gospel. 2. As corresponding with the revelation made of Jesus of Nazareth to his betrayers and murderers on the day of Pentecost. And, 3. When he shall be revealed at his second coming. We can conceive no greater ground of surprise than that of Joseph's brethren ; to find that great personage, whose presence had filled them with so much disquiet, to be none other than that same Joseph whom they had cast into the pit. The first discovery which the gospel makes to the mind of a sinner, is the glory of the person of Christ ; the second, the vileness of their own character. It is hard to say, whether the minds of Joseph's brethren were most affected by the astonishment to find this distinguished Lord of the land was their own brother Joseph ; or the trouble his presence gave them, from recollection and conviction of their own baseness. Just so is it in the mind of every guilty sinner, on whose mind the gospel comes with proper evidence. Again, when the betrayers and murderers of Jesus of Nazareth saw the Holy Ghost, in its extraordinary influences, bearing testimony that God had made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ, they were pricked in their hearts. Nothing can furnish a more exact parallel than what passed in the minds of the three thousand on the day of Pentecost, and Joseph's brethren on this occasion; and, with respect to both, it is difficult to say, whether the mind was most impressed with the glory of the exalted Lord, or the baseness of their conduct in shedding his blood. Many think, (nor do we imagine the idea void of foundation), that the grand counterpart of this scene will be exhibited in the morning of the resurrection. • Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, even 80, Amen!'
Let the reader consider attentively on this subject, Zech. xii. 10.
Before Joseph revealed himself to his brethren, he said, Let every • man go out from me.' – I will love him,' said Jesus, • and manię fest myself unto him.'-Lord,” said Thomas, • how wilt thou manifest thyself unto us, and not to the world?' Christ's manie festation of himself to his brethren, is connected with that joy with
which a stranget intermeddleth not. This is a rich subject : we have but touched on the outline ; but it is well worth the reader's time and thought to study and examine minutely.
The sentiments and feelings which overwhelmed the mind of Joseph, exhibit a noble picture of Him, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again. The natural temperament of the human mind would have suggested a conduct of a very different kind; to have as. sumed, if not revenge, at least that haughty superiority, to which, from his present station and their baseness, he was so well entitled. How opposite to all this is his conduct ? What a picture of the bowels of compassion with which the tender-hearted high-priest over the house of God receives the chief of sinners ! He checks every appearance of retrospection, and receives them with open arms. He gives a most endearing view of the gospel of Christ : for this great end was the Lord of glory laid in the lowest pit, that he might redeem the souls of his brethren from death. • God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity on the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. In the 9th and 10th verses we have a striking view of the gracious call of the gospel : it is a report of the gladsome tidings that our brother, our near kinsman, our Joseph, is Lord of all the land; and that it is his message, . Come up to me, thou and all that thou hast, and live in Goshen, where thou shalt be near me ; there I will amply provide for, and nourish you.' Goshen means drawing near to, or approaching, and it gives an admirable view of the church of Christ, her dwelling-place in this
world. It is a rich land, near Joseph ; yet is it on the border of Egypt, where a king may arise that knows not Joseph. Even in Goshen, the people dwell alone, and are not numbered with the nations. We shall afterwards have occasion to consider the situation of the church here more fully. There is a most admirable picture of the gospel in the 27th verse, When Jacob, famishing in Canaan, heard the words of Joseph, and the
very waggons sent to convey him, his heart reviyed! When a guilty sinner hears the glad news of the plenty that is with Joseph, and his gracious message, nay, his very words of eternal life, the scriptures of truth appear to him as waggons for conducting him in safety to the land of nourishment. Nor should we forget to men, tion, that Joseph’s command is, ' Regard not your stuff:' if we are crediting Joseph when he says, ' Ye shall eat of the fat of the land,' we will put very little value on all the stuff he calls us to leave behind, And indeed all the anxiety, all the regard we are shewing about our stuff, arises from our infidelity as to the plenty prepared in Goshen. The changes of raiment Joseph gives his brethren, and especially his younger brother, his Benjamin, the church of the Gentiles, is a fine picture of those garments of salvation which Joseph has provided. Take
away the filthy garments from him. Behold I have taken as way thine iniquity from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment,: Zech. iii. 3, 4. See also Rev. iii. 5. vii. 9.
CHAP. XLVI.-We now find the patriarch setting out on his journey with all his family, Jacob and all his sons, their wives and their little ones. It is in this way the gospel addresses a guilty sinner, . The promise is to you, and to your children.' Never are the little ones omitted, nor does the spirit of God deem it unnecessary to men. tion them uniformly ; although, in the opinion of some, they are not even entitled to the outward visible sign of fellowship with the house. hold of faith. We hesitate not to say, that had Jacob thought his son's little ones were unmeet to partake in baptism, or in the outward sign or seal of the righteousness of faith, he would have thought them no less so to be transported on Joseph's waggons. It is worthy of remark, that the souls which Jacob carried
with him were the seed of the Old Testament church : and that they amounted to threescore and ten souls. It will not escape observation, that this corresponds with the twelve apostles and seventy disciples whom Jesus sent forth as the seed of his New-Testament church. Jacob, then, and all his family, set forward on their journey; he comes to Beer-sheba, and there he offers sacrifices. The reader will recol. lect the well of the oath, and will of course remember the Psalmist's language concerning those who journeying to Zion, and passing through Baca’s vale, go to the well-spring, Psal. Ixxxiv. The well of living water which springs up to everlasting life, solace the Chris. tian traveller; and by that well he offers his sacrifices of thanksgie ving.
By this well, he is blessed with a new revelation, and a fresh renew. al of the divine promise, and covenant of mercy. As to the genealogy here, we shall only remark, 1. That the children of the bondwo. man are always more numerous than the children of the free. 2. That Jacob little thought of having sons born to him in Egypt by a daughter of the Priest of On; or that he should have spiritual seed among the nations. 3. Two hundred years of the four hundred and thirty fixed with Abraham had now elapsed, when God promised he should be a great nation, and his seed as the stars 'of heaven, yet seventy souls is the whole amount of their number. May we not say, that Judah is again employed in a figurative office to direct his face to Goshen?' verse 27. Most affecting is the meeting of poor
old Jacob with his son ; · Now let me die, since I have seen thy face,' &c. It is a sight of Joseph in his glory that reconciles the guilty to die. Before Stephen yielded up the ghost, he said, • I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.' When Simeon saw the Lord's Christ, he said, · Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. The care of Joseph to keep his brethren distinct from the Egyptians is very remarkable, verse 34. Here then we find the church of God safe in Egypt,
and finding protection there from famine and want. This same Egypt after. wards protected Jesus Christ himself, and his church has since been' protected, as well as persecuted in spiritual Egypt.
CHAP. XLVII.-The manner in which Joseph introduces his brethren to Pharaoh, bears so small affinity to the manner in which the church was introduced to spiritual Egypt in the days of Cone