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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 II.] 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.
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS.
Asenath-daughter of an idolatrous priest or prince, and the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh, the heads of two of the tribes of Israel.
Potipherah sun's own;' Joseph's father-in-law; he held a post of great importance as a religious chief, or civil ruler, or as both.
Ephraim fruitful;' the younger of Joseph's two sons; his name though given by Joseph, as expressive of his own prosperity, referred chiefly, by prophetic intimation, to Ephraim's future greatness, as the head of a numerous and powerful tribe. Less. 16. Manasseh-forgetting;' the birth of
a son caused such joy to Joseph that he forgot all his sufferings, both from the conduct of his own brothers, and that of his Egyptian master and mistress.
people from though Egypt's fertility was great, yet the wisdom and prudence of Joseph in disposing of the abundance of the land was necessary that a suitable supply of corn might be stored up against the years of famine. bowed-how literally were Joseph's dreams fulfilled!
treated, &c.-not from vindictive feelings, but to bring to their remembrance their past sins, and their cruelty towards himself.
heard they, imagining that Joseph was an Egyptian, and not acquainted with their language, (for he spake unto them by an interpreter) and that he was ignorant of their history, spoke of their crime towards their brother with remorse, even in his hearing.
Simeon-hearer;' he who assisted Levi in the slaughter of the Shechemites, had probably been foremost in persecuting and selling his brother Joseph; he was bound and retained in Egypt.
youngest-Benjamin was innocent of any unkindness towards Joseph; he was the youngest member of the family.
forgave this was another proof of Joseph's goodness of heart.
rulers the care of cattle was not agreeable to the Egyptians, probably because Egypt had been recently under the dominion of shepherd-kings, who
JACOB'S APPROACHING DEATH. [2347-1635 B.C.
had conquered the former kings and established a new dynasty.
bought up the Egyptians who held their lands independent of the will of their sovereign, had from this time to pay a tribute of one-fifth of the produce to the king; the land was no longer their own.
except the lands of the nobility and priesthood were left in their own hands by the policy of Joseph.
ON-a city of Egypt near to the land of Goshen, noted for its idolatry.
Heliopolis, one of its names, means
GOSHEN approaching;' the district of Egypt which Pharaoh gave to Jacob and his family, in which they settled, where Jacob lived seventeen years, and where he died. It was on the eastern side of the Nile and had excellent pastures; it was preserved from the plagues with which the other parts of Egypt were afterwards afflicted.
"AND JOSEPH'S BRETHREN CAME AND BOWED DOWN THEMSELVES BEFORE HIM."
In lofty halls of gorgeous state,
They little dream their brother sits,
And they fulfil the word of God,
God is not man, that he should lie,
And vain it is for worms of earth
God is not man, that he should change,
Though heaven and earth shall pass away,
His word shall still endure.
M. A. STODART.
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
JACOB BLESSES HIS SONS.
PERIOD II.] 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.
After the burial of Jacob, Joseph repeated his forgiveness to his brethren, who had feared he would punish them. Joseph spcke 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 faithfulness of God to give Canaan to his posterity, was so unwavering that he gave this last testimony to it.
Angel-messenger;' Jacob experienced many deliverances by the interposition of a spiritual messenger. displeased-the feelings of paternal affection in Joseph were, as in the case of Isaac, drawn more towards the firstborn than the younger; hence he felt displeased at discovering what he conceived to be an unfortunate mistake on the part of his aged father.
greater the preference was on moral grounds; personal religion can alone render a man acceptable with God.
in thee or by thee;' their posterity should be the standard and example of
fruitfulness to all the other tribes.
sons--the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel, viz: Reuben, behold a son ;' Simeon, hearing;' Levi, joined; Judah, 'praise; Dan, 'judging; Naphtali, wrestling;' Gad, a troop; Asher, blessed;' Issachar, reward; Zebulon, delight;' Joseph, adding; and Benjamin, son of my right hand.' befal-come to pass, or happen unto. last days-including their history from the conquest of Canaan down to the second coming of Christ.
condition-circumstances of their civil, social, and religious state.
expressive-distinct; plain; forcible.
figures-emblems, or representations; the sceptre for royalty, a star for a king, a lion for power, &c.
sceptre-the emblem of royalty. Though the national independence of the Jews was quite gone at the coming of Christ, yet there was an appearance of sovereignty in the person of Herod : so that this prophecy was literally fulfilled.
lawgiver-referring to Moses, who was heard by the people in the teachings of the Scribes and Pharisees, whose duty it was to instruct the people in all things pertaining to the laws of Moses. Matt. xxiii. 2,3; Acts xv. 21.
between-as a lion standing over his young securely defends them from danger, so the tribe of Judah-the most powerful of the twelve, protected and Moses till Christ came in whom it perpetuated the ritual religion of was fulfilled.
Shiloh 'sent; a title of the Messiah, employed especially to denote the consummation of the kingdom of Judah, and priesthood of Levi in him. In the next generation after the death of Christ the Romans came and over
threw the temple and city of Jerusalem, so that the ecclesiastical and civil government of the Jewish people were together destroyed.
gathering-while the last sentence refers to Christ's first coming, this looks forward to the time when he