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a bait to luxury, but use them so as not to abuse them, and show our gratitude to God for them. We should be thankful that God hath given to some a taste for navigation and the sea, and to others for the labours and pleasures of a country life: that we have the produce of our own land in such abundan.ee> and the produce of other countries, and of foreign climes, brought to our shores. God is to be owned and honoured in all this.
5. Let us be thankful that God hath raised us up so many judges, who have judged the people in equity, and formed wise and good laws ; so many deliverers, who have rescued us from tyranny, slavery, and sin, and overthrown those who would have trampled upon us, saying to our souls, Bow down, that we may go over you; who have confounded our enemies amidst their most sanguine prospects, and established our civil and religious liberties. . .
6. Let us, like the good patriarch, be waiting for God's salvation; and thankful that we have so much clearer discoveries of it than he had: it is a salvation worth Waiting for. Aged christians, especially, should cultivate this temper; they have seen much of the goodness of God to them, and experienced his faithfulness and care. Trust him then, in the last stages of your journey ; and patiently wait all the days of your appointed time, till your great change shall come. Be assured that God's time is the best; wait cheerfully for so glorious an event ; it is the best frame to be found in when your Lord comes ; and you will find it good indeed to hope and quietly wait for the salvation of God.
CHAP. XLIX. 19, to the end.
Jacob having recovered a little strength, and being revived, pre ceeds to bless the other tribes.
19 f^l A D, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome VJT at the last.*
*0 Out of Asher his bread [shall be] fat, and he shall yield royal dainties; hit corn land shall be very rich, and his bread corn of the choicest sort, fit fir princes. They dwelt near mount Carmel, which was a very rich country.
31 Naphtali [is] a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words. Some think this refers to his temper, that he should be amiable and gentle, and his descendants remarkable for eloquence.^
• Here is an illusion to his name, which signifies a troop; many enemies shall overcome him; the Ammonites and Moabitcs did so; neeJer.xMx i. but he lhalt overcome at the talt. So he did umier Jey brha. and kept possession of the country till the captivity. 1 Chrcn. v. 1&.-23. Dent, xxxtii. 20.
11 rather think it means they should live in a large and plentiful country, be lovers of. Bbcrry.like ahilid let loose ; and, being of a courteous, friindly disposition, should live m peace with their neighbours. Accordingly, we read of few was auMrou fhuweWct, or »p. pression from others.
Vol. I. Cc
A3 Joseph, whose name signifies.fruitful [is] a fruitful bough/ [even] a fruitful bough by a well ; [whose] branches run over the wall ; his /¡otlerity »pread tfiemtetvet to a great distance; чае read of the thousands of Manasseh, and ten thousand» of
23 Ephraim. The archers huvc sorely grieved him> and shot [at him,] and hated htm ; many set themselves against him, tifo brethren, ndstress, master, and Pharaoh's courtiers, as the rabotee
24 ear/, and endeavoured to ruin him: But hie bow abode in strength ; ne stood against all, tike a tough bow, which -neither breaks nor is weakened by use: his virtue toas strong and un* conquerable ¡ and the arms of his hands were made strong, to draw his bo-ю and stand his ground, by the bände of thé mighty [God] of Jacob, ioho laid his hand on Joseph's army while he ivas drawing the tow, and enabled him to conquer $ (from thence, that is, from God, [is] the shepherd, the stone of Israel ; from God's power and providence it was that Josefih became the shefiherd, to feed me and my family in the famine г, or, the rock of Israel, to support us; he was the feeder and
35 supporter of the whole family :) [Even] by, or from, the God of thy father, who shall help thee: and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, rain and devr which shall make thy land fruitful, blessings of the deep that lieth under, springs of water, blessings of the breasts, and of/ the womb, multitudes both of children and cattle, and those welt
26 nourished: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors ; I tenderly blessed thee when it child, and prayed for thee; and now Т have the pleasure to see my firayers have been heard for thee, more than my father's for me, in the extent of the blessings, which are unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills ; of large extent and long continuance, even unto Bashan, and Tabor, and Hermon, and they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren, when he was sold into Egypt, and afterward was there highly advanced to a sin» guiar degree of honour,
27 Benjamin shall ravin [as] a wolf, be strong,Jierce, and war" like; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil. This was the case at the beginning and end ofthat tribe; when ten were lost, this returned with Judah, and mingled with it.
28 All these [are] the twelve tribes of Israel, the state and condition of the twelve tribes: and this [is it] that their fathe^ spake unto them, and blessed them ; every one according to his blessing he blessed them, with such a blessing as God saw Jit for them, and his spirit dictated to Jacob.
Í9 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be
gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the
30 cave that [is] in the field of Ephron the Hittite, In the caw that [is] in the field of Machpelah, which [is] before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephroxi the Hittite for a possession of a burying place. Hereby he designed to withdraw their minds from Egypt, and
31 to fix them upon Canaan. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Uebekah his
32 wife; and there I buried Leah. The purchase of the field, and of the cave that [is] therein [was] from the children of
33 Heth. And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people, to his pious ancestors in another world. Thus peaceful and happy was Uie death of Ms friend of Gad I
I". <np« H E lot of Gad is an emblem of the state of true
1 christians; Gad, a troop shall overcome him; but he shall overcome at the last. They are often overcome in this world, by afflictions and temptations; but at length they shall be conquerors, and more than conquerors. It is an emblem of the state of the church; which has often been overcome and brought low, but not destroyed; and at length it shall triumph gloriously, and vanquish all opposition. Great is the truth, and will prevail; even the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
2. Let us imitate the sweetness of disposition that is celebrated in. Naphtali; as a loving hind who giveth goodly words. Good .words are cheap ; it is easy to behave with civility and respect, and to secure the friendship of, and an interest in, those around ufc.' It is not in our power to do service to every body; but we rtay use kind and respectful words to every one. The poor may do this; and if the rich will not add this to their other gifts, thej will signify little. On our tongue let there be the law of kindness. Yet we should not be content with this, but love, not m word or tongue only, but in deed and in truth.
3. Let us pray that the power which strengthened Joseph) may also strengthen us under our difficulties and temptations. The archers have shot at us; many are tempting us to sin; there is a busy adversary who is shooting his fiery darts. Let us pray, that the Lord would be our shield; our strength is from him; he makes our bow to abide in strength; and the arms of our hands are made strong, by the hand of the mighty God of Jacob. What an amiable idea does this give us of divine assistance, and how suitable a prayer is this for all christians, and ministers especially! They draw the bow; God must put his hand on theirs, if they desire success. They must aim right; but it is God alone that can give their words force and strength. Let us pray for this, and remember, that our strength to bear afflictions,
and to vanquish temptations, is all from God. Lord, malee tñy strength fterfect in our weakness, and thy grace sufficient for us.
4. In whatever instances we find support or esteem, learn from whence it proceeds, and to whom we are to give the praise. If we meet with those who are friends, either to body or soul, that feed the one or the other, on whose friendship or affection we can build a sure foundation, remember from whence it pro^ ceeds, even from the mighty God of Jacob. This made Joseph strong against temptations; gave him favour in the sight of men, and prosperity in all that he set his hand unto. Though the archers shot at aim, hie bow abode in strength. This was especially true of our Lord Jesus Christ ; the archers shot at him, the scribes and pharisees, and Herod and Pilate; Satan, tempted him, but he overcame all. Now, he is the shepherd of his church; he feeds his people with knowledge and understanding; leads them in the right way; secures them from danger, and cause* them to lie down in green pastures. He is the foundation «tone; the chief corner stone; the support of the whole spiritual building ; all this is owing to the hand of the Lord that was with him. Let us ascribe praise to God, who delivered his dear Son, and made him such a blessing to the world; thanks be to God for tAis uns/ieakable ¿if:.
5. Learn to adore the perfect knowledge of God, that points out such a variety of events -, that foretells the condition of each tribe so long before, and exactly corresponded with their circum-. stances, though determined afterward by lot. Let us reverence and adore so wise and glorious a God, and the spirit of prophecy which he gave to Jacob.
6. Let us choose our. lot among God's people, that we may be gathered to them at last. Jacob had followed the faith of Abraham and Isaac, and others of the patriarchs, holy men that went before him, and at death he ivas gathered to them^ and joined to their society. Let us also be followers of them who through
faith and ftatience inherit the firomiscs. Let us join our souls to God, and walk in his ways; and at length we shall be joined ta the general assembly of the church of theßrstborn, and to thf spirits of just men made fierfect; to enjoy all those blessings^ which God hath pn'Jiaredfor them that love him.
This chapter grogs an account of Jacob's funeral; of the friendship renewed between Joseph and his brethren; and of Joseph's death.
1 AND Joseph, who exceeded his brethren, as in piety to
ward God, so infilial affection and duty to his father, fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him, and thus paid his last respects to so pious and lender a parent.
2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to em
3 balm his father :• and the physicians embalmed Israel.f And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days, thirty days more than the forty for embalming.
4 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
5 Pharaoh, t 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.
6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.
7 And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all, or many of the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, the considerable persons of the king's household, and officers, civil and mili
8 tary, to show respect to Joseph and Jacob ; 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
9 land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen, to be a defence, and drive away the Canaanites,if they had taken possession of the place: and it was a very great
10 company, and a grand procession. And they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which [is] beyond Jordan, that is, from 'Egypt; and there they mourned with a great and very sore
• It was a piece of state to have physicians in the house, who performed the necessary
acts of surgery, and embalmed the dead.
'f" This was done by washing the body with oil of cinnamon, myrrh, and other rich spices, for forty days, and by puttmg some of these ingredients into the body. It then lay in pickle, in n,itre or salt petre,till seventy days were completed from the time they began their work; and thus the body would keep for many centuries, as we know the mummies do. Thus Joseph complied with the Egyptian custom out of respect to his father, and to preserve the body for burial in Canaan.
J It was respectful to Pharaoh not to go without his leave; and he set some of the courtiers to ask for it; because, as fterodctus tells us, it Wm not permitted for any in mourning to come into the presence of the prince: therefore he desires them to tell Pharaoh of hii