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which a stranger 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.

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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 assumed, 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 revived! 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.

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Take away the filthy garments from him. Behold I have taken a 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

up

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 stantine. She was welcomed at first, and the richest possessions of the empire bestowed on her ; yet was she soon persecuted and ha. rassed. It is to be noticed, that when Joseph introduces his five brethren, they are taught to say, ' To sojourn in the land are we come :' they were to be no fixed or settled inhabitants, but strangers craving a temporary residence. They also solicited Goshen, as a place of separation for their residence. Verses 7–10. we find Ja. cob himself introduced, and from his lips we have an admirable view of human life in general, and a very just one of his own. In verse 11. we find the church enjoying her plenty, nourished by Joseph, when not only Canaan, but even the land of Egypt itself is fainting by reason of the famine. This gives occasion to introduce an account of Joseph's conduct and management as ruler of the land, which deserves noticę. Jacob and his family are fed and nourished by the bounty of Joseph without money and without price. The poor starving Egyptians first bring their money : when that fails they bring their cattle'; then they sell their land, and then they become Pharaoh's bondmen. Whenever the food of Joseph's store becomes a matter of traffic, it is found to be a very expensive ware to deal in : soon will it exhaust all the stores of the poor Egyptians, and land them in the strictest and most cruel bondage. In opposition to all this, * Israel dwelt in Goshen, and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.' Revelation does not contain a more remarkable figure of the peace and prosperity of the church of God, contrasted with the spiritual famine, penury and bondage of Antichrist, than this chapter sets before us. Is it possible to read it withouť thinking of Isaiah's words, chap. lxv. 13. • Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry : behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye

shall be ashamed.' We ought not to leave this part of the subject without mentioning, that the Lord was careful, that in all after ages, Israel should never forget in what state he came to Egypt: when they were to bring their offering of the first fruits, this was the confession they were to use : • Thus shalt thou speak and say before the Lord thy God, a Syrian seady to perish was my father; and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few,' &c. see Deut. xxvi. 5. Jacob lived se. venteen years with Joseph in Egypt, the same space of time which Joseph spent in his house in childhood.

We come now to the last subject which occupied Jacob's mind in the view of death,--the place of his burial. In chapter xlix. 29. we find him charging all his sons on this subject, and here he is solemnly swearing Joseph on the point. Are we to suppose that dying Ja. cob's mind is here occupied about this matter, merely from some foolish partiality for a place or particular spot? In that case, we must suppose that the Spirit of God is recording the effects of dotage. But this anxiety about his burial-place was not peculiar to Jam

• There,' said he to his sons, « they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife ; there I buried Leah.' Nay Joseph was fully as particular on this head as

cob:

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his father; and what puts the subject beyond all doubt, is, that Paul, in selecting the instances of the faith, as it appeared in the OldTestament saints, when he comes to Joseph, does not make choice of many singular appearances, which we might have supposed more fit or proper to be selected, but says, By faith, Joseph gave commandment concerning his bones,' Heb. xi. 22. We have already attempted to elucidate the history of this burial-place, see chapter xxiii. pages 33. and 34.; but something more seems necessary. Abraham bought this burying place from Ephron (that is, dust) the Hittite, or son of Heth, fear or trembling. For this cause Abraham's Antitype and Lord became obedient unto death, that through death he might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Christ purchased this burying place when he descended into the lower parts of the earth; for, for this end Christ both died, rose and revived, that he might be Lord of the dead and living. It is often mentioned, when this purchase of Abraham is spoken of, that it might be made sure for a possession. Jesus Christ made the grave as it were his property; he holds the keys of the grave and of the separate state. This cave is therefore called Machpelah, that is, doubling or folding back again, a proper name for the burial-place of Jesus Christ. When Christians die in the faith, they wish to be laid in that grave, which is Christ's property, because from it there shall be a returning back again. There is an expression in the last verse of this chapter, which is well entitled to notice; And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.' This circumstance is alluded to by Paul, Heb. xi. 21., when it is said, that By faith Jacob worshipped, leaning (note, that the word leaning is entirely supplementary, there is no authority for it in the text) on the top of his staff. From this passage it is contended, that Jacob carried an image on the top of his staff, which he worshipped; and thus the Catholics adduce this passage in support of the practice of worshipping images. Nothing can be more absurd; and the whole difficulty will be obviated, by attending to what is called his bed in Gen. xlvii. 31., and his staff in Heb. xi. 21. A bed is a place of rest and refreshment; a staff is a supporter. The original word includes both ideas, and is strongly expressive of his faith in Jesus Christ, as his supporter, his resting-place, in the view of being gathered to his fathers. What a beautiful view does this give us of the whole passage! Hear him swearing Joseph as to his burial; and, satisfied that what he wished on this head would be attended to, he bowed himself, that is, he worshipped the Supporter of his Head. The reader who takes the trouble of examining the original, will find the same character or attribute of Jesus Christ frequently introduced, particularly in such passages as the following: But thou, Lord, art a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter up of my head.' Again, I laid me down and slept; I awaked: for the Lord sustained me,' Psalm iii. 3. 5. In like manner we see the term bed misapplied, Psalm cxlix. 5. Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds,

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viz: in their place of rest. When the saints are singing their song of triumph in glory, they will then be in a place of rest.

poor in.

CHAP. XLVIII.-In this chapter and the following, we are called to attend to Jacob's deathbed scenes. We have seen him, and that in a most interesting light, from his struggling in the womb before his birth. We have followed him in childhood, youth, manhood, and old age ; and have uniformly been led to see, that heaven was employing him in a most distinguished manner, to elucidate that gospel which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Last words and dying sayings have in all ages and nation's been attended to: let us hear what the Spirit of God has left on record as to Jacob.

Joseph, hearing of his father's sickness, goes up to visit him, and takes his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, in his hand. The firm old man, strengthened by his Supporter, sits up to receive him, and to pronounce that blessing, which by inspiration it was his office to communicate. We have already had occasion to notice this mode of inspiration ; Jacob himself had participated in it, in a very remarkable manner, from the lips of his dying father. This, like e. very other branch of revelation, has been transplanted among the heathen, and the traces of it are not effaced in our own country. The blessings of the dying and the poor, have for ages been highly esteemed. It is very proper, on such occasions, to express their good wishes, and we believe this is all that is intended ; but the term blessing should be avoided; for this, in scripture, was very sacred. Before examining this blessing, which Joseph pronounced, we may remark, that it appeared to the apostle Paul in a very remarkable point of view, when he takes notice of it in the following manner, • By faith, Jacob, when he was a-dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph,' Heb. xi. 21.

He introduces the subject, by reminding Joseph of what took place with himself at Bethel, when God Almighty appeared to him, and blessed him. We have already examined that blessing, and find it contained that everlasting covenant, which David said, in his dying words, is well ordered in all things and sure.' Now, this is the blessing which Jacob, by inspiration, is about to communicate. And now,' says he, “thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in Egypt, shall be mine,' &c. As for Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan, by the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath,' &c. Rachel, we have seen, was the figure of the Gentile church ; she died when but a little way from Ephrath; for during all the life of the Jewish church, that is, during the continuance of the temporal part of the Abrahamic covenant, the Gentile church was as it were dead in Jacob's fa. mily ; yet she left a seed. Little Benjamin always kept at home with his father, as his tribe afterwards kept close to Judah, even when the ten tribes were as it were lost. But in Joseph, the true seed of the Gentile mother were preserved; and therefore, although born in Egypt, their mother a daughter of the priest of On, they

me,

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