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JOSEPH INTERPRETS PHARAOH'S DREAMS. [2347-1635 B.C. 15. THE EXALTATION OF JOSEPH.

Genesis xl. xlvii. 26. God was with Joseph and gave him .favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Pharaoh's chief butler and chief baker were in prison also, each of whom had a dream which Joseph interpreted. After some time Joseph was released from prison to interpret the dreams of the king. The king's dreams were to show him, that there would be seven years of great plenty in Egypt; and then seven years of grievous famine. And Joseph said “ Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. And officers to gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt ; that the land perish not through the famine.” Pharaoh acknowledged the wisdom of Joseph and made him governor over all Egypt; he also

gave

him to wife ·Asenath, daughter of Potipherah, the priest of On. Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. During the years of plenty the earth brought forth by handfuls, and Joseph stored up much corn; and in the years of famine people from many lands came to Egypt to buy corn.

The famine was sore in all lands, but there was corn in Egypt. Jacob sent his sons, except Benjamin, from Canaan to Egypt, to buy corn. Joseph knew them, but they did not know him. They bowed themselves to the earth before him. He treated them roughly, said they were spies, and put them in prison. He heard them speaking to each other of their cruelty to their brother Joseph. He bound Simeon, and sent the others to Canaan with corn. He commanded them to bring their youngest brother with them. Jacob was unwilling to let Benjamin go; at last he consented. They came the second time to Joseph, then he made himself known to them. He .forgave them, and sent waggons for his father, and his brothers families. When Jacob heard that Joseph was governor of Egypt, and when he saw the waggons which had been sent by him, he said, “It is enough, Joseph my son PERIOD 11.) JACOB'S FAMILY REMOVE INTO EGYPT. is yet alive, I will go down and see him before I die.” Seventy souls of the house of Jacob came into Egypt.

Pharaoh received Joseph's father and brothers very kindly. He gave them the land of Goshen to dwell in. He told Joseph to make some of his brothers 'rulers over his own cattle. Joseph nourished his brethren and their families with bread. During the famine he bought up all the land of Egypt for the king, in exchange for corn, 'except the land of the priests.

as

new

NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. favour-respect and esteem on ac- a son caused such joy to Joseph that he count of his virtuous conduct.

forgot all his sufferings, both from the chief butler, &c.—two officers of great conduct of his own brothers, and that trust in eastern courts.

of his Egyptian master and mistress. dream—the importance attached to

people from—though Egypt's fertility dreams in ancient times as intimations was great, yet the wisdom and pruof future events, shows how ardently dence of Joseph in disposing of the men desired communications from the abundance of the land was necessary Deity. Dreams are

no longer con- that a suitable supply of corn might be sidered a channel of instruction stored up against the years of famine. from God to man, because Revelation bowed-how literally were Joseph's is complete—“life and immortality dreams fulfilled ! having been brought to light by the treated, &c.—not from vindictive feelGospel.”

ings, but to bring to their remembrance discreet-wise; cautious; prudent. their past sins, and their cruelty towards the land-by a figure of speech, the himself

. land is used for the inhabitants.

heardthey, imagining that Joseph governor-Pharaoh also gave Joseph was an Egyptian, and not acquainted the name Zaphnath-paaneah,

with their language, (for he spake unto which means the revealer of secrets, them by an interpreter) and that he was in allusion to his ability to interpret ignorant of their history, spoke of dreams.

their crime towards their brother with Asenath-daughter of an idolatrous

remorse, even in his hearing. priestor prince, and the mother of Simeon— hearer;' he who assisted Ephraim and Manasseh, the heads of Levi in the slaughter of the Shechemtwo of the tribes of Israel.

ites, had probably been foremost in

persecuting and selling his brother Potipherahsun's own; Joseph's Joseph; he was bound and retained in father-in-law; he held a post of great Egypt. importance as a religious chief, or civil ruler, or as both.

youngest-Benjamin was innocent of

any unkindness towards Joseph; he Ephraim— fruitful;' the younger of was the youngest member of the Joseph's two sons; his name though family. given by Joseph, as expressive of his

forgave—this was another proof of own prosperity, referred chiefly, by Joseph's goodness of heart. prophetic intimation, to Ephraim's

rulers--the care of cattle was not future greatness, as the head of a numerous and powerful tribe. Less. 16. agreeable to the Egyptians, probably be

cause Egypt had been recently under Manasseh- forgetting ;' the birth of the dominion of shepherd-kings, who

no

JACOB'S APPROACHING DEATH. [2317-1635 B.C. bad conquered the former kings and Heliopolis, one of its names, means established a new dynasty.

the city of the Sun;' and Bethshemesh, bought up—the Egyptians who held another name of the city, means the

It was their lands independent of the will of house or temple of the Sun.' their sovereign,' had from this time to the daughter of the priest of On whom pay a tribute of one-fifth of the pro- Pharaoh gave in marriage to Joseph. duce to the king ; the land was GOSHEN— approaching; the district longer their own.

of Egypt which Pharaoh gave to Jacob except—the lands of the nobility and and his family, in which they settled,

Jacob lived seventeen years, priesthood were left in their own hands where by the policy of Joseph.

and where he died. It was on the

eastern side of the Nile and had GEOGRAPHICAL NOTES.

excellent pastures; it was preserved

from the plagues with which the other ON-a city of Egypt near to the land parts of Egypt were afterwards of Goshen, noted for its idolatry.I afflicted.

JOSEPH'S EXALTATION. * AND JOSEPH'S BRETHREN CAMB AND BOWED DOWN THEMSELVES BEFORE HIM."

In lofty halls of gorgeous state,

The wond'ring shepherds stand,
And humbly bend before the prince,

The ruler of the land;
They little dream their brother sits,

On that exalted seat,
And they fulfil the word of God,

In bowing at his feet.
God is not man, that he should lie,

His purposes shall stand,
And vain it is for worms of earth

To rise against his hand;
God is not man, that he should change,

His word is fixed and sure,
Though heaven and earth shall pass away,
His word shall still endure.

M. A. Stopart.

16. DEATH AND BURIAL OF JACOB. DEATH OF

JOSEPH.

Genesis xlvii. 27-1. When the time of Jacob's death drew nigh he charged Joseph not to bury him in Egypt. He made Joseph's two sons heads of tribes, saying, “Thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, are mine ; as Reuben and Simeon they shall

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PERIOD 11.] JACOB BLESSES HIS SONS. be mine.” He then blessed them, saying, “God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac ; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth,” And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. And Joseph said unto his father “ Not so, my father : for this is the firstborn ; put thy right hand upon his head.” And his father refused, and said, “ I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be "greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations." And he blessed them that day, saying, “ .In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh : and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.” Jacob then called his sons to him to tell them what should .befal their descendants in the last days. He spoke to them of the future .condition of their children under various 'expressive figures. He predicted the coming of Christ in the tribe of Judah, saying, “ The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a 'lawgiver from between his feet till Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the nations be.”

After Jacob had made an end of blessing his sons he charged them thus, “I am to be gathered unto my people ; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the field of Machpelah which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan.” All the time that Jacob lived in Goshen was seventeen years; he died at the age of one-hundred-andforty-seven years.

Jacob's body was 'embalmed in Egypt before it was taken into Canaan. Joseph and his brethren went from Egypt to Canaan to bury their father. Many of the Egyptians went with them to a place which was called Abel-mizraim. When Joseph and his brethren had buried their father, they returned into Egypt.

JOSEPH'S DEATH. [2347-1635 B.C. After the burial of Jacob, Joseph repeated his forgiveness to his brethren, who had feared he would punish them. Joseph spoke kindly, and said God intended their evil for good, to save much people alive. He nourished his brethren and their families while he lived; he died at the age of one-hundredand-ten years. Before he died he said to his brethren, “God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.” Joseph's remains were then embalmed and put in a coffin in Egypt.

NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. charged—Jacob's confidence in the figures-emblems, or representations; faithfulness of God to give Canaan to the sceptre for royalty, a star for a king, his posterity, was so unwavering that a lion for power, &c. he gave this last testimony to it.

sceptre—the emblem

of royalty. Angel— messenger; Jacob experi- Though the national independence of enced many deliverances by the inter- the Jews was quite gone at the coming position of a spiritual messenger.

of Christ, yet there was an appearance displeased—the feelings of paternal of sovereignty in the person of Herod : affection in Joseph were, as in the case

so that this prophecy was literally of Isaac, drawn more towards the first fulfilled. born than the younger; hence he felt lawgiver—referring to Moses, who displeased at discovering what he con- was heard by the people in the teachceived to be an unfortunate mistake on ings of the Scribes and Pharisees, whose the part of his aged father.

duty it was to instruct the people in all greater—the preference was on moral things pertaining to the laws of Moses. grounds; personal religion can alone Matt. xxiii. 2,3; Acts xv. 21. render a man acceptable with God. betweenas a lion standing over his

in thee-or by thee;' their posterity young securely defends them from should be the standard and example of danger, so the tribe of Judah—the most fruitfulness to all the other tribes. powerful of the twelve, protected and sons--the heads of the twelve tribes Moses till Christ came in whom it

perpetuated

the ritual religion of of Israel, viz: Reuben, behold a son;'

was fulfilled. Simeon, bearing;' Levi, 'joined; Judah, . ' praise;. Dan, “judging;

Shiloh'sent ;' a title of the MesNaphiali, wrestling;" Gad, "a troop; siah, employed especially to denote the Asher, .blessed ;'. Issachar, reward;

consummation of the kingdom of Zebulon, delight; Joseph, adding' Judah, and priesthood of Levi in him. and Benjamin, son of my right hand.'

In the next generation after the death

of Christ the Romans came and overbefalcome to pass, or happen unto threw the temple and city of Jeru

last daysincluding their history salem, so that the ecclesiastical and from the conquest of Canaan down to civil government of the Jewish people the second coming of Christ.

were together destroyed. condition-circumstances of

their

gathering—while the last sentence civil, social, and religious state.

refers to Christ's first coming, this expressive-distinct; plain ; forcible. looks forward to the time when he

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