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When Paul is pointing out the manner in which the people were gathered to Shiloh, he says, the Gentiles were made partakers of the root and fatness of the olive. The Old Testament Church, God's Judah, was the parent stem of that olive, from which all this fatness of the olive flowed. To point out this, Canaan of old was a land flowing with milk and honey ; and every man in Judah sat safely under his vine and fig-tree. This is the wine, which Jotham says exhilarateth the Spirit of God in man. It was a vineyard of this kind which Noah planted. When our Lord is explaining to his disciples the cause, why the ordinances of the Old Testament should not be introduced into his New-Testament kingdom, he says,

6 No man putteth new wine into old bottles,' &c. The vine of Judah is oppo. sed to the grape of Sodom,' and that wine was drunk new in Christ's kingdom, when, in place of the paschal cup, the Lord of the kingdom sent forth the blessings of his house on the day of Pentecost. We have been more copious on Judah’s blessing than our limits will properly justify, because commentators have long perplexed their readers, hunting after the appearance of a worldly kingdom in that tribe ; whereas the grand object of the promise manifestly is, that the church of Christ, which is his kingdom, with all her privileges, should be continued in Judah, till the appearance of the Messiah.

ZEBULON, dwelling. His lot reached from the sea of Gallilee on the east, to the Mediterranean on the west, long stretch of seacoast, abounding with commodious havens for ships, by which means his posterity became famous for commerce. His border reached to Phenicia, the capital of which is Zidon ; so literally just is the description in this prophecy. Zebulon was remarkable as the dwelling of the Messiah ; and there he chiefly exercised his ministry. From Zebulon he collected his apostles. Nazareth, Cana, and Capernaum, were chief cities of this tribe. But the coast of Zebulon is chiefly remarkable among the tribes, as the great medium of intercourse with the nations; and Zebulon in its later history represented that of which the prophet says, The abundance of the seas shall be converted to thee. ISSACHAR, hire or reward.


prophecy gives a most remark. able character of this tribe. The hieroglyphic of Issachar 'is an ass, intimating their being patient under injuries, and such lovers of ease, that they would rather submit to be tributaries to others, than enter into war or any contest with them, to interrupt their beloved repose. The land of Issachar was subject to inroads from enemies, and was the scene of many battles. That tribe became willing tributaries, and served the gods of the nations. The expression, two burdens, however, seems particularly to respect their situation between the Assyrians and Babylonians. After the captivity, they saw the land was pleasant ; therefore they planted vineyards, and gave their backs to the burden.

Dan, judgment. While considering the history of Dinah, chapter xxxiv. we have in part considered this prophecy. Dan was one of the most eminent of the tribes, but was the first which fell back into idolatry , and finally not only relapsed into com.

plete heathenism, but was an enticing and envenomed adder to the other tribes. With the dreadful apostacy of this tribe full in his view, Jacob says, 'I have waited for thy salvation, O God!' Here is indeed a grand prophetical display of what befel the tribes of Israel in the later days. As among the twelve sons of Jacob, one with his posterity appears devoted to final apostacy; so among the twelve apostles of the Lamb, is there one, the son of perdition, who with his whole tribe go into perdition. Dan judged among the tribes; Judas was deacon of the apostles, and betrayed his master with a kiss. But of all the descriptions of Antichrist, which the book of God contains, none are more expressive and exact, than that prefigured by Dan. He appeared literally as a serpent by the way. All deceivableness of unrighteousness, doctrines of demons, and unclean spirits, have characterised the New-Testament Dan: with these he bit the horse heels, so that his rider fell backward. The force of every word in this description will carry itself to the mind of the reader conversant in the history of Antichrist.

GAD, a troop or band. A troop cometh,' said his mother at his birth. This was literally fulfilled when he settled beyond Jordan in the wilderness. As he was much exposed to the ravages of the Arabs and Hagarenes, that tribe kept close together, banded or trooped in warlike posture; but he overcame at last, 1 Chron. v. 19. 21. Moses prophesied in like manner of them, Deut. xxxiii. 20. Gad seems to exhibit a picture of God's troop, his church. They also, while on the other side Jordan, are much exposed to their enemies: they are kept constantly in a state of warfare, but they shall overcome at last.


ASHER, blessing. The blessing of Asher was literally fulfilled in the portion of that tribe; his land abounded in corn and oil, and produced provision for a royal table. The words literally are, his bread shall be oiled; and thus Moses says, He shall dip his feet in oil. Similar language is used by Job, to point out luxuriant plenty, Job xxix. 6. Asher the blessing, is a fine figure of the church of Christ; and we accordingly find, that the prosperity and happiness of the church is frequently foretold under figures expressly applied to this tribe. We read of her members being fat and flourishing. The Spirit of God is the oil, the great blessing which comes from our Asher; and he fills our table with royal dainties.

NAPHTALI, my writing. There are two versions of the blessing of Naphtali, and both of them were fully verified; the 1st, Naphtali is a well-spread oak, which sendeth out pleasant branches. Now this was certainly the appearance of this tribe in after ages: it was one of the most numerous in Israel. But we are inclined to adhere to our own version, which is supported, both by the literal words, the history of that tribe, and its spiritual tendency. The hind was the emblem of the first breaking dawn of the morning, the messenger and harbinger of day; so a faithful messenger is compared to a hind. In this manner the Jews paraphrase it: he is a swift messenger, as a hart on the mountains, bringing good tidings of good.' It is said, that on the high mountains of Naphtali, the jubilee was first proclaimed to Israel, and these were indeed goodly words. In the later

days, when the morning began to dawn, the gospel was preached in Naphtali, by Christ himself. There likewise were some of the ac postles born, who are called princes of Naphtali, Psal. lxviii. 27. They were swift as hinds in proclaiming the goodly words of the gospel. We may add, that in Naphtali, the great light began to beam forth, even before it shone on Judah's tribe.

JOSEPH, increase or addition. The blessing of Joseph is more remarkable than that of any of the tribes, Judah excepted. Nor are we to suppose that this proceeds in any degree from his father's partiality: had this been in any way concerned, the blessing of Benja. min, which we have yet to consider, would have been very

different. Joseph's blessing differs in this from all of them, that it has a retrospect to what has passed, as connected with those things to come. In the other we find the literal fulfilment, perhaps fully more strongby marked, but the glorious antitype of Joseph appears prominent in every sentence of this blessing. Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall.' This was literally fulfilled in his numerous progeny : from him proceeded two tribes, and one of them a correct figure, as we have seen, of the multitude of the nations. In this he represented that blessed one from whom the whole church of God, Jew and Gentile, springs. He is indeed a fruitful bough, or, as the Psalmist says, a cast of corn in the earth, which shakes with fruit, like Lebanon. Sorely did the archers grieve and shoot at Joseph, but his bow abode in strength, and his arms were made strong by the God of Jacob, who is the shepherd and stone of Israel. We have been led, in glancing through Joseph's history, to see how much more justly these words may be referred to Joseph's Lord. Beholding his sufferings, when the ar. rows of Satan were directed against him in the house and power of darkness, we see the archers grieving him ; let us behold him raised from the dead by the glory of the fathers, and we shall see how his hands were 'made strong by the God of Jacob, the shepherd, and stone of Israel. We consider our translation as misleading by the expression from thence : we may be well assured that the shepherd and stone of Israel are terms which can be applied to none other than the Great Shepherd of the sheep, who was raised from the dead by the blood of the everlasting covenant. Now, he sprang not from Jo. seph, but he was the strengthener of Joseph's hands amidst all his sufferings. When he is called the Shepherd of Israel, the reader will remember the repeated words of the God of Jacob to him. . I will keep thee in all places,' &c. When he is called the stone of Israel, we are immediately led to that stone in Bethel which Jacob took for his pillow (the supporter of his head) and which he anointed. Jacob then adds, the God of thy father, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above,' &c. We have the temporal part of the blessing of Joseph more fully expressed in the blessing of Moses, Deut. xxxiii.; and as to it, we shall only say, that we have no cause to suppose

that one good thing failed of all that was promised to him in this respect. But considering it in its spiritual aspect, we have here set before as the blessings with which the Beloved Son of the Highest is now


blessed for evermore. Joseph was the nazir, that is, the separated one of his brethren. Here is the first notice, of what was afterwards more fully pointed out in the Nazaritish vow, which will fall to be afterwards considered.

BENJAMIN, the son of the right hand. Having shared so largely in his father's parental regard, he perhaps expected a more distinguished blessing. There is nothing however said of him, but merely that he should be a warlike tribe ; and as we find he held by Judah, in all their exploits, so he shared with him in the spoil. We find the warlike disposition of this tribe on many occasions very particularly noticed, such as Judges xx. 18. His ravening from morning to evening, must apply to the morning and evening of the Jewish state. This blessing of Benjamin was remarkably applicable to Paul's personal history, which is no faint allegory of that of the Jewish nation. In the morning, Saul blasphemed and persecuted, ravening like a wolf ; but in the evening he divided the spoil between Jews and Gentiles.

This chapter gives a very interesting account of his later moments. It is impossible to conceive a more quiet returning to the dust, than these words convey to the mind ; ' He gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his fathers.' Here is a specimen of dying in the faith. Viewing the tranquillity of this scene, we may cry out, death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory.'' Here is a disciple and follower of Him of whom it is said, “ Mark the perfect, and behold the upright man; for surely of that man the latter end is peace.

CHAP. L.-Joseph's affection for his father is most pathetically set before us ; and here it may be remarked, that throughout the whole scriptures, the highest respect is paid to the ties of nature. • Without natural affection,' is ranked among the awful crimes of the later days. The gospel unhinges none of those endearing ties, which form the chief comforts of man in this vale of tears. The Christian sorrows not, as those without hope, but he follows his Lord to the grave of Lazarus, and weeps. The body is embalmed by physicians, a custom which took its rise from the hope of the resurrection. When the poor woman anointed our Lord himself, he said, she had done so for his burial, and that wherever the gospel was preached, this which the woman had done should be mentioned as a memorial of her. When the woman came to the grave of Jesus in the morning of the first day of the week, they brought sweet spices with them. The custom of anointing the body for burial, was prevalent among the Jews, and had a strong connection with faith in Him whose body saw no corruption. Joseph proceeds to fulfil his dying father's request, and bury him in Canaan, when also in a few years his own bones were carried. Their fear for their brother's revenge is a fine picture of the language of guilt in the conscience, while Joseph's reply is no less expressive of the genuine spirit of the gospel of the grace of God.

We have now finished a very hasty and summary glance through the book of Genesis,-a book which contains a most wonderful display of the progress of the gospel for the first 2400 years of the world. Keep Christ and him crucified out of view, and there can scarcely be conceived a single reason for its having a place in the sacred volume ; consider Him as the great object in all recorded in it, and this book may be regarded as a precious repository indeed. That glorious truth, on which the hopes of guilty man has depended in all ages, is indeed the INTRODUCTORY Key to this storehouse, which, like the precious stone, sparkles with refulgence whatever way you turn it. We have hinted at some leading and prominent circumstances ; but the ground is scarcely uncovered. Dig deep and carefully ; the mine is inexhaustible ; your labour will be amply repaid. We are exhorted to become followers of those, who through faith and patience are now inheriting the promises. If we study the biography of Genesis, we shall find a number of conspicuous characters introduced; but for what end? Is it to leave patterns of heroism, courage, military prowess, or even what men call the cardinal virtues ? No ;-through faith they all obtained a good report. A great conqueror, such as Nimrod, is dispatched in a single sentence ; but a believer of the truth as it is in Jesus, is followed through the steps of his faith.

We have professedly two great objects in view; and it remains for our readers to deterinine how far either, or both of them, have been attained as to the book of Genesis :- 1. To demonstrate that the Old. Testament scriptures are a mirror, intended to exhibit, as in a glass, the glory of the person and work of Christ. 2. That the infidel and despiser of the Old Testament, have only found their shafts of enmity and ridicule in any degree successful, from ignorance and er

May we be permitted to add, that many zealous friends of revelation, have failed in attempting to defend her, by mistaking the rock on which she stands. Remembering that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy,' Wisdom will be easily justified in her words, as well as in her children.


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