« 上一页继续 »
membrance of his father's inadvertency, in all probability, made him particularly circumspect. It is remarkable, that Jacob calls the Gop before whom his fathers walked, (and whom he had just before styled God Almighty) the AN Gel that redeemed him from all evil, and sustained him. By recollecting the various revelations that were made to this patriarch, we shall find, that he did not allude to any created being, but to the Lord Himself, who was the only visible author of his deliverance and sustenance. The portion which Jacob gave to Joseph, as his own particular bequest, was the field which he purchased of Hamor the father of Shechem. It is likely that the Amorites seized upon this when Jacob went to settle at Beth el; and that on account of the altar which he had erected there, he resolved to recover it out of their hands; and though no warrior, the patriarch might be enabled to succeed in this enterprize by the aid of the Lord. We may suppose that all the sons of Jacob were present at the time the blessing was given upon Ephraim and Manasseh; for it was necessary that they should hear from their father's own mouth the Lord's will concerning Joseph's sons, otherwise they might have disputed their right to be considered as heads of tribes, or might have blended their posterities together, under the title of the tribe of Joseph. The blessings Jacob pronounced when his sons surrounded his bed, were predictions concerning the future state of their posterities, which have been explained by their completion, as will be observed in a future part of the History of the Israelites. It is sufficient to observe at present, that Judah was to have the preeminence. By Shiloh is to be understood the fromford reed; and we shall find that from the time of king David,
who was of the tribe of Judah, was settled upon the throne, till the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Judah possessed some degree of pre-eminence over the rest of the Jewish nation. ~ The patriarch Abraham had several sons; but one only received the promise of the inheritance of the land of Canaan. Isaac had two, but the youngest of them was sole heir of the promises. The numerous family of Jacob promised a great increase ; and it was the Divine will that they should incorporate together, and form one people under the denomination of Israelites; the inheritance therefore was portioned out among them. The peculiar blessing respecting the Everlasting Covenant was the lot of Judah ; on which account he was to have the sovereignty. It will afford great satisfaction to observe the gradual accomplishment of these predictions. There is something extremely edifying in Jacob's death. With the utmost composure did he expect his dissolution ; his soul seems to have been strengthened by the hopes of those blessings which are reserved beyond the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills for him, and all the nations of the earth, through the promised Redeemer. It is needless to descant on the character of this Patriarch : every attentive reader may discover from the events of his life, that he was a man of like infirmities with the rest of human kind, but eminent for his faith and piety; and, on account of these, supported under severe conflicts, sometimes by the visible appearance of the Lok D, sometimes by the secret influences of the Holy Spirit. Let it be our earnest prayer, that we may be enabled to imitate this faithful servant of God in every perfection, and that the same Lord who redeemed him from all evil, and sustained him, may also save and support us in all dangers, spiritual and
te al. mpor SECTION
the FU NERAL of J Acob.
From Genesis, Chaft. l.
AND Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father; and the physicians embalmed Israel. And forty days were fulfilled for Jacob (for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed); and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days. And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, if now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, - My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again. o,” 5 : And Pharaoh said, Go up and bury thy father, according as he made, thee swear. And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt. And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house : only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which
is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great Vol. I. N
and very sore lamentation; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaan. ites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: where. fore the name of it was called Abel mizraim, which is beyond Jordan. And his sons did unto him according as he com. manded them. For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burying place, of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. And Joseph returned into Egypt, he and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father. - And when Joseph’s brethren sawthat their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. - And they sent messengers unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, ... So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face : and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said, unto them, Fear not; for I am in the place of God : -- . . . But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day,
to save much people alive. Now
We find, that Joseph, like a dutiful son, fulfilled then dying request of his honoured and, lamented parent to and followed his dear remains with every circumstances of respect that affection could suggest, or his own. princely rank require in the eye of the world. Embalming was an honour usually paid to the deceased in the land of Egypt; the manner of performing it is said to: have been this: the bowels were taken out, washed, and secured from putrefaction by some powerful drugs, the whole body was anointed with oil of cedar, with: myrrh, cinnamon, and other costly things, for about thirty days, by which means it was preserved entire, without so much as losing the hair; after this, it was put in salt of nitre forty days; lastly, the body was taken out of the salt, washed and curiously wrapped in linen dipped in myrrh, and rubbed with a certain, gum, that the Egyptians used instead of glue; then it was put into a coffin, on the upper part of which was represented the deceased person; it was also adorned with curious embellishments; the nearest relations usually kept these coffins in their houses. Bodies thus preserved are called mummies; and there are many remaining to this day, though the custom of embalming: has long been discontinued. . . . . . . . ii.142 As Joseph had engaged to carry his father to such a distance, it was very necessary he should use every precaution for preserving the body, because it would have: been, before they arrived at the cave of Machpelah, in such a state of putrefaction, as would have endangered - N 2 the