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• . r . t . THE FUNERAL OF JACOB.
From Genesis, Chap. 1.
Ans Joseph commanded his servants the physician! 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 1 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.
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 and very sore lamentation; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. , . ,
And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, sa w the mourning in the floor of A tad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abel mizraim, which i* beyond Jordan.
And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them.
For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buri ed 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 peiadventure hate U3, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto bin). -
And they sent messengers unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, . . i 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; fori 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 therefore fear ye not: I will nourish yon, iaritf your little ones. And he comforted them, and Spak&
kindly unto them. ;"" ;03":
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
We find, that Joseph, like a dutiful son, fulfilled therdying request of his honoured and, lamented parent; and followed his dear remains with every circumstance of respect that affection could suggest, or, his owa^ princely rank require in the eye of the world. Embalming was an honour usually paid to the deceased in theland of Egypt; the manner of performing it is said>ta; 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 iwa8| taken out of the salt, washed and curiously wrapped jft linen dipped in myrrh, and rubbed with a certain,:gurB,, that the Egyptians used instead of glue; then it-i|»u| put into a coffin, on the upper part of which was rftr. presented 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 re-r maining to this day, though the custom of embalming! lias long been discontinued. .•"i •. i' !>.ni.t-iJa
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/ia such a state of. putrefaction, as would hitve endangered the healths of the attendants on the funeral solemnity; besides, it is necessary, in many instances, for. foreigners to comply with the customs of a country they have long resided in.
It certainly must have been a painful office for Joseph and his brethren to follow their dear father's remains so many miles; sometimes we may suppose them shedding tears of tender sorrow, for the loss of so affectionate a friend, recollecting a thousand instances of parental love; sometimes contemplating his character in those instances which procured him the favour of God, and drawing comfort from the hopes, that he enjoyed this ineffable blessing in a superlative degree; elevating their own souls with ardent wishes to obtain the same glorious reward, and forming resolutions to follow the example of their pious parent.
When they had performed the funeral rites, and deposited the body of Israel by the venerable remains of his honoured ancestors, Joseph returned, attended by his brethren, to the land of Egypt; for he would neither break his promise to Pharaoh, nor desert the office to which he had been appointed, as the whole land of Egypt would have been thrown into confusion by his resignation, because there was not another person qualified to fill his pkice.
Notwithstanding the numberless instances which Joseph had given his brethren of his sincere affection and perfect forgiveness, they could not divest themselves of tfee fear that his resentment, which might have been restrained by respect for his father, would break but again: so Hard is it for the guilty conscience to be at rest! Their hearts told them what offences they had committed against their brother in his helpless youth l and they well knew, that they had no title to his affection, but what was founded upon the goodness of his own disposition. With what amiable tenderness did he receive their .message, and afterwards assure them of his protection!
. As Joseph acted towards his brethren, so should all people act towards their relations. If a brother or sister have offended, we should never suffer resentment to break out either iD violent reproaches, or retaliation of injuries; but seek out occasions of recalling their love, by acts of kindness and friendship. Let us think how often we offend God, who bestows more benefits on us than we can possibly do on any creature. He forgives us; we should then forgive one another, more especially those who are nearly allied to us, and who have a natural claim to our
affection, s •. . .• '.' • „
, SECTION hV.
.' .... I-'''
THE DKATH OF JOSEPH.
From Genesis, Chap. 1.
Anb Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. i • 'i
And Joseph saw Ephraim's children, of the third generation: the children aJso of Machlr, the son of Manasseh, were brought up upon Joseph's knees.
And Joseph said unto his father's house, I die; and • Goo will surely visit you, and bring you out of this Isni, unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt; and all that generation died.
N 3 ANNOTA