Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

brother what he has unhappily committed,|| angry man, commanded all that were present thou wilt preserve us all. For we cannot to depart, that he might make himself known think of living if he be put to death; since we to his brethren, when they were alone.† And dare not shew ourselves alive to our father, when the rest were gone out, he discovered without our brother. But here must we par- | bimself, and said, “ I commend you for your take of one and the same catastrophe. And so virtue, and for your kindness to your brother; far we beg of thee, O governor, that if thou I find you better men than I could have excondemnest our brother to die, thou wilt pu- | pected from what you contrived about me. nish us together with him, as partakers of his indeed I did all this to try your love to your crime; for we shall not think it reasonable to brother.

brother. So I believe you were not wicked be reserved 'to kill ourselves for grief of our by nature, in what you did in my case: bot brother's death, but so to die rather as equally || that all has happened according to God's will; guilty with him of this crime. I will only who has hereby procured our enjoyment of leave with thee this one consideration, and what good things we have ; and if he conthen will say no more, viz. that our brother tinue in a favorable disposition, of what we committed his fault when he was young, and hope for hereafter. Since, therefore, I know not yet of confirmed wisdom in his conduct; that our father is safe, and well, beyond exand that men naturally forgive such young | pectation, and I see you so well disposed topersons. And I end here, without adding wards your brother, I will no longer rememwhat more I have to say, that in case thou ber what guilt you seem to have had about condemnest us, that omission may be supposed me; but rather return you my thanks, that to have hurt us, and permitted thee to take you have concurred with the intentions of God the severer side. But in case thou settest us to bring things to their present state. I would free, that this may be ascribed to thy own have you also forget the same, since that imgoodness ; of which thou art inwardly con- prudence of yours is come to such a happy scious, that thou freest us from condemna- | conclusion, rather than to be uneasy and blush tion; and that not by barely preserving us, at those your offences. Do not, therefore, let but by granting us such a favor as will make your evil intentions, when you condemned us appear more righteous than we really are: me, and that bitter remorse which might foland by representing to thyself more motives low, be a grief to you now; because those for our deliverance than we are able to pro- intentions were frustrated. Go your way, reduce ourselves. If, therefore, thou resolvest joicing in what has happened by the Divine to slay him, I desire thou wilt slay me in his Providence, and inform your father of it, lest stead, and send him back to his father; or, if he should be spent with tears for you, and dethou pleasest to retain him with thee as a prive me of the most agreeable part of my foslave, 'I am fitter to labor for thy advantagelicity; I mean lest he should die before he in that capacity, and, as thou seest, am better || comes into my sight, and enjoys the good prepared for either of those sufferings."* Sol things that we now have. Bring therefore, Judas being very willing to undergo any with you, our father, and your wives and chilthing for the deliverance of his brother, cast || dren, and all your kindred, and remove your himself down at Joseph's feet, and earnestly || babitation hither; for it is not proper that the labored to assuage and pacify his anger. All persons dearest to me should live remote from his brethren also fell down before him, weep- || me, now my affairs are so prosperous; espeing and delivering themselves up.for destruc- cially when they must endure five more years tion for the preservation of the life of Ben- of famine.” When Joseph had said this, he janin.

embraced his brethren, who were in tears and Joseph being now overcome with his af sorrow; but the generous kindness of their fection, and no longer able to personate an brother seemed to leave

brother seemed to leave among them no room

* In all this speech of Judas's we may observe, that theft in Egypt, in the days of Joseph; though it never was Josephus supposed death 10 have been the punishment of so among the Jews, by the law of Moses.

t Gen, xlv. l.

for

INTO

OF THE REMOVAL OF JACOB AND ALL HIS PAMILY

EGYPT, ON ACCOUNT OF THE PAMINE.

for fear, lest they should be punished on ac-|| For when thy father would have deprived thee count of what they had consulted and acted of the dominion, I gave it thee; and by my against him. And they were then feasting. kindness it was that when thou wast sent Now the king, as soon as he heard that. Jo into Mesopotamia alone, thou obtainedst good seph's brethren were come to him, was ex-wives, and returnedst with many children, ceeding glad of it, as if it bad been part of and much wealth. Thy whole family, also, his own good fortune ; and gave them wag-has been preserved by my providence; and gons full of corn, and gold, and silver, to be it was I who conducted Joseph thy son, whom conveyed to their father. Now when they thou gavest up for lost, to the enjoyment of had received more of their brother, part to great prosperity. I also made him lord of be carried to their father, and part as free gifts Egypt, so that he differs but little from a king. to every one of themselves, Benjamin having Accordingly I come now as a guide to thee still more than the rest, they departed. in this journey, and foretel to thee that thou

shalt die in the arms of Joseph, and that thy CHAP. VII.

posterity shall be many ages in authority and glory; and I will settle them in the land which I have promised them.

Encouraged by this dream, Jacob went on

more cheerfully for Egypt, with his sons, AS

S soon as Jacob came to know, by his and all belonging to them. Now they were

sons returning home, in what state Jo- in all seventy. I once indeed thought it best seph was; that he had not only escaped death, not to set down the names of this family; but that he lived in splendor and happiness, especially because of their difficult pronunciaand ruled over Egypt, jointly with the king ;tion by the Greeks. But upon the whole, I and had intrusted to his care almost all his think it necessary to mention those names; affairs, he did not think any thing he was told that I may confute such as believe that we to be incredible, considering the greatness of came originally not out of Mesopotamia, but the works of God, and his kindness to him: are Egyptians. although that kindness had, for some time past, Now Jacob had twelve sons. Of these Jobeen intermitted. So he immediately and zea. seph was come thither before: we will therelously set oùt upon his journey to him.

fore set down the names of Jacob's children When he came to the well of the oath, Beer- and grand-children. Reuben had four sons; sheba, be offered sacrifice to God;* and being | Anoch, Phallu, Assaron, and Charmi.

Siafraid that the happiness there was in Egypt méon had six ; Jamuel, Jamin, Avod, Jachin, might tempt bis posterity to fall in love with Soar, and Saul. Levi had three sons; Gersom, it, and settle in it, and no more think of re- Caath, and Merari. Judas had three sons: moving into the land of Canaan, and possess- Sala, Pharez, and Zerab; and by Pharez, two ing it as God bad promised them;

also, being grand-children; Esrom and Amur. Isachar afraid, lest if this descent into Egypt were had four sons: Thola, Phua, Jasub, and made without the will of God, his family Samaron. Zabulon had with birn three sons; might be destroyed there, and out of fear Sarad, Helon, and Jalel. So far is the poslest he should depart this life before he came terity of Leah, with whom went her daughter to the sight of Joseph ; he fell asleep, revolv-Dinah. These are thirty-three. Rachel had ing these doubts in his mind.

two sons; one of whom, Joseph, had two But God stood by him, and called to him sons also ; Manasseh and Ephraimn. The twice by his name: and when he asked who he other, Benjamin, had ten sons; Bolau, Bacwas? God said, “ It is not just that thou Ja-char, Asabel, Geras, Naaman, Jes, Ros, cob shouldest be unacquainted with that God Momphis, Opphis, and Arad. These fourwho has ever been a protector and a helper toteen, added to the thirty-three before enumethy forefathers, and after them to thyself. rated, amount to forty-seven: and this was

* Gen. xlvii. 1.

the

the legitimate posterity of Jacob. He had | take care of their father; as also bereby
beside by Bilha, the handmaid of Rachel, he provided, that they might be acceptable
Dan, and Naphthali, which last had four sons, to the Egyptians, by doing nothing that would
that followed him ; Jesel, Guni, Issari, and be common to them with the Egyptians; for
Sellim. Dan had an only begotten son, Usi. the Egyptians are prohibited † from feeding
If these be added to those above mentioned, sheep.
they completed the number fifty-four. Gad When Jacob was come to the king, and
and Aser were the sons of Zilpha, who was bad saluted him, and wished all prosperity to
the handmaid of Leah. Gad had these seven his government, Pharaoh asked how old, he
sons; Saphoniab, Augis, Sunis, Azabon, was? Upon whose answer, that he was a
Aerin, Eroed, and Ariel. Aser had a daugh-hundred and thirty years old, he admired Ja-
ter, Sarah, and six male children, whose coh on account of the length of his life. And
names were Jomne, Isus, Isoui, Baris, Abar, when he had added, that still he had not lived
and Melcbiel. If we add these, which are so long as his forefathers, he gave him leave
sixteen, to the fifty-four, the afore-mentioned to live with his children in Heliopolis; for in
number, seventy, is completed, Jacob * him- that city the king's shepherds had their pas-
self not being included.

turage.
When Joseph understood that his father The famine now increased among the Egyp-
was coming, for Judas his brother arrived tians, and this heavy judgment grew more
before him, and announced his approach, he oppressive to them, because neither did the
went out to meet him, and they met together river overflow the ground, for it did not rise
at Heroopolis. But Jacob almost fainted to its former height; nor did God send rain $
away at this great and unexpected joy; how-upon it. Nor did they, indeed, make the
ever, Joseph revived him, though unable least provisions for themselves, so ignorant
himself to refraio being affected in the same were they what was to be done. But Joseph
manner. Yet he was not wholly overcome sold them corn for their money; and when
with his passion, as his father was. After their money failed them, they bought corn
this he desired Jacob to travel on slowly, with their cattle and their slaves; and if any
whilst he himself took five of his brethren of them had a small piece of land, they gave
with him, and hastened to the king, to tell up that to purchase them food. By which
him that Jacob and his family were come. means the king became the owner of all their
This was a joyful hearing to Pharaoh, who substance; and they were removed some to one
bid Joseph tell him what sort of life his bre-place, and some to another; that so the pos-
thren loved to lead, that he might give them session of their country might be firmly as.
permission to follow the same. He said, sured to the king; excepting the lands of the
they were good shepherds, and had been used | priests ; for their country continued still in
to follow no other employment: by which he their own possession. And indeed this sore
provided for them, that they should not be || famine made their minds as well as their bo-
separated, but live in the same place, and dies slaves; and at length compelled them to

[ocr errors]

* All the Greek copies of Josephus have the negative || Whereas Bishop Cumberland has shewn, that they rather particle here, that Jacob himself was not reckoned one hated such Phænician or Canaanite shepherds as had long of the seventy souls that came into Egypt. But the old I enslaved the Egyptians of oid time. See his Sanchoniotha, Latin copies want it, and directly assure us he was one

page 361-362. of them. It is, therefore, hardly certain which of these Reland here puts the question, how Josephus could was Josephus's true reading : since the number seventy complain of its not raining in Egypt during this famine, is made up without him, jf we reckon Leah for one ; but, I while the ancients affirm that it never does naturally rain if she be not reckoned, Jacob himself must be one, to com there? His answer is, that when the ancients deny that plete the number.

it rains in Egypt, they only mean the upper Egypt, N. B. The LXXII. add Machir, and Gilead, and Sate- || above the Delta, which is called Egypt in the strictest laam, and Taom, and Edem, who were born in Egypt, and sense : but that in Delta, and consequently in the Lower so have in all seventy-five souls: as Acts vii. 14. Egypt adjoining to it, it did not hoid, and still does rain

† Josephus thought that the Egyptians hated or despised sometimes. See the note on III. 1. the employment of a shepherd in the days of Joseph.

procure

1

procure a sufficiency of food by such disho- || But this happened many years afterwards. norable means. But when this misery ceas- || He also enlargedt upon the praises of Joseph ; ed, and the river overflowed the ground, and how he had not remembered the evil doings the earth brought forth its fruits plentifully, of his brethren to their disadvantage: nay, Joseph came to every city, and gathered the on the contrary, was kind to them; bestowpeople thereto belonginy together, and gave ing upon them so many benefits, as seldom are them back entirly the land, which, by their bestowed on men's own benefactors. He own consent, the king might have possessed then commanded bis own sons that they should alone, and alone enjoyed the fruits of it. He admit Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, also exhorted them to look on it as their own into their number: and divided the land of possession ; to resume their labors of us- Canaan in common with them ; concerning bandry with cheerfulness; and to pay as a whom we shall treat hereafter. However, tribute to the crown, the fifth part * of the he made it his request, that he might be 'fruits of the land which the king, when it buried at Hebron. So he died ; when he was his own, restored to them. These men || had lived a hundred and forty-seven years ; $ rejoiced upon their becoming unexpectedly having not been inferior to any of his ancesowners of their land, and diligently observ- tors in piety towards God; and having such ed what was enjoined them. And by this a recompense for it as it was fit those should means Joseph procured to himself a greater || have, who were so good as these were. Joauthority among the Egyptians, and a greater seph, by the king's permission, carried his love to the king from them. Now this law, || father's dead body to Hebron, and there buthat they should pay the fifth part of their ried it, at a great expense. But bis brefriuits as tribute, continued until the time of thren were at first unwiling to return back their later kings.

with him ; because they were afraid, lest now CHAP. VIII.

their father was dead, he should punish them for their secret practices against him; since

he was now gone, for whose sake he had THEN Jacob had lived seventeen years | been so gracious to them. He persuaded

in Egypt, he fell into a disease, and them, however, to fear no harm, and to endied in the presence of his sons; but not till tertain no suspicions of him ; so he brought he had made his prayers for their prosperity; them along with him, and gave them great and had foretold prophetically how every one possessions, and continually evinced the most of them was to dwell in the land of Canaan. || particular concern for them.||

OF THE DEATH OF JACOB AND JOSEPH.

*' Josephus supposes that Joseph now restored the been buried in Egypt, his posterity, upon that very acEgyptians their lands again, upon the payment of a fifth count, would have been too much wedded to the country, part as tribute. It seems to me rather that the land was ever to attempt the acquisition of the promised land; and now considered as Pharaoh's; and this fifth part as its therefore, to wean them from the thought of continuing rent, to be paid to him, as he was their landlord, and in Egypt, and to fix their minds and affections in Canaan, they his lenants; and that the lands were not properly || be ordered his body to be carried thither beforehand, in restored, and this fifth part reserved as a tribute only, till testimony that he died in full persuasion of the truth of the days of Sesostris,

the promises which were given to him and his ancestors. + As to this encomium upon Joseph, as preparatory to Nor was it inconvenient, that future generations, after Jacob's adopting Ephraim and Manasseh into his own fa- | their return into Canaan, should have before their eyes mily, and to be admitted into his two tribes, which Jo- | the sepulchre of their forefathers, for a record of their sephus here mentions; all our copies of Gen. omit it, c. virtues, and an incitement to the imitation of them. But xlviii. nor do we know whence he took it; or whether it || the strongest motive of all for Jacob's desiring to be buried be his own einbellishment.

in Canaan (supposing that he foreknew that our Saviour Gen. xlvii. 28.

Christ was to live and die, and, with some others, rise s Though there be something of a natural desire in again in that country) was, that he might be one of that most aien to be buried in the places where their ancestors blessed number; as it was indeed an ancient tradition in lie; yet Jacob's aversion to bave bis remains deposited in the church, that among those, who came out of their graves Egypt seems to be more earnest than ordinary, 'ur other after our Lord's resurrection, Mat. xxvii. 53, the patriarch wise he would never have imposed an oath upon his sons, Jacob was one. Pool's Annotations, and Bibliotheca and charged them all, with his dying breath, not to suffer | Bibl. B. it to be done. For he very well knew, that had his body U Gen, 1, 21. VOL. 1.—(6.)

R:

Joseph

Joseph also died when he had lived a hun- || selves up to pleasure, and in particular to dred and ten years ;* having been a man of the love of gain. They also became very ill admirable virtue ; who conducted all his af- affected towards the Hebrews, as touched fairs by the rules of reason, and used his au- | with envy at their prosperity; for when they thority with moderation; which was the cause saw how the nation of the Israelites tourishof his great felicity among the Egyptians, ed, and were become eminent already in even when he came from another country, plenty of wealth, which they had acquired by and that in such ill circumstances as we have their virtue and natural love of labor, they already described. At length his brethren thought their increase was to their own des died, after they had lived happily in Egypt. triment; and having in length of time forNow the posterity and sons of these men after | gotten the benefits they had received from some time carried their bodies, and buried || Joseph, particularly the crown being now † them at Hebron. But as to the bones of || come into another family, they became very Joseph, they carried them into the land of abusive to the Israelites, and contrived many Canaan afterwards, £ when the Hebrews went ways of afflicting them, for they enjoined out of Egypt; for so had Joseph made them them to cut a great number of channels for promise him upon oath. But what became the river, and to build walls ** for their cities of every one of these men, and by what toils and ramparts, that they might restrain the they got the possession of the land of Canaan, || river, and hinder its waters from stagnating, shall be shewn hereafter; when I have ex- upon its running over its own banks; they set plained on what account it was that they left them also to build pyramids, tt and by all this Egypt.

wore them out; and forced them to learn all

sorts of mechanical arts, and to 'accustom CHAP. IX.

themselves to hard labor: and four hundred OF THE AFFLICTIONS THAT BEPEL THE HEBREWS IN EGYPT, | years did they spend under these afflictions, DURING FOUR HUNDRED YEARS.||

for they strove one against another which OW it happened that the Egyptians grew should get the mastery, the Egyptians desir

delicate and indolent, and gave them- | ing to destroy the Israelites by these labors,

[ocr errors]

NOW

1

* When Joseph died he was not only embalmed, but § There are several reasons which might induce Joseph put into a coffin. This was an honor appropriated to not to have his dead body immediately carried into Capersons of distinction, coffins not being universally used naan, and buried as his father was. Ist, Because his in Egypt. Maillet, speaking of the Egyptian reposito brethren, after his disease, might not have interest enough ries of the dead; having given an account of several at court to provide themselves tvith such things as were niches that are found there, says, “it must not be ima

necessary to set off the pomp and solemnity of a funeral gined, that the bodies deposited in these gloomy apart- befitting so great a personage. 201y, Because he might ments were all enclosed in chests, and placed in niches; || foresee, that the Egyptians, in all probability, as long as the greatest part were simply embalmed and swathed their veneration for his memory was warm, would barely after that manner that every one hath some notion of ; | have suffered his remains to have been carried into ana after which they laid then one by the side of another, other country. 3dly, Because the continuance of his re. without any ceremony : some were even put into these 1 mains among them might be a means to preserve the retombs without any embalming at all, or such a slight one, membrance of the services he had done them, and therethat there remains nothing of them in the linen in which | by an inducement to them to treat the relations he had they were wrapped but the bones, and those half rotten,' left behind him with more kindness. 4thly, And chiefly (Letter vii. p. 281.) Antique coffins of stone, and syca- because the presence of his body with the Israelites might more wood, are still to be seen in Egypt. It is said that be a pledge to assure them, and a means to strengthen and some were formerly made of a kind of pasteboard, form- || confirm their faith, and hope in God's promises to their ed by folding and glueing cloth together a great number of || progenitors, that he would infallibly put their posterity in times; these were curiously plastered, and painted with possession of the land of Canaan: and accordingly, when hieroglyphics. Thevenot, part i. p. 137. B.

Moses delivered them out of Egypt, he carried Joseph's t. Of the burying places of Joseph, and of the other it to the care of the tribe of Ephraim, who buried it near

body along with him, (Exod. xiii. 19.) and committed patriarchs, as they are here rightly stated, see Test

. Shechem, (Josh. xxiv. 32.) in the field which Jacob, a Simeon, s 8. and Test. Benjamin, $ 12, with the Note, little before his death, gave to Joseph, as his peculiar in Authent. Rec. Part 1, page 415, 416.

property ; Pereius, and Patrick's Commentary; Pool's * Exodus, siii. 19. Acts vii. 16.

Annotations, and Calmet's Dictionary, under the word. B.

and

« PreviousContinue »