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He then enquired “How old art thou ?” Jacob replied, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years ; few and evil have the days of my years been, and have not attained unto the days of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage." Then, again blessing Pharaoh, he went out from his presence.

And Joseph gave his father and his brethren a possession of Goshen, in Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.


DURING seventeen years Jacob dwelt in Egypt, and then the time came for him to die. Then he called Joseph and made him swear to carry his body up to Canaan, and bury it with his fathers. Afterwards Joseph brought his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to receive his father's blessing, for Jacob had adopted them, and placed them upon an equality with his

own sons.

Israel could not distinctly see, by reason of his age ; and when Joseph came in with his two sons he could not tell who they were; but one told him, in answer to his enquiry, that they were Joseph's children ; and he made them come near and kissed them, exclaiming with pious gratitude, “I had not thought to see thy face; and, lo, God hath shewed me thy seed also.” Joseph also knelt low and bowed himself to the earth in acknowledgment of the mercy of Jehovah.

He then gave the lads to his father, Manasseh unto his right hand to receive the superior blessing, he being the elder, and Ephraim unto his left; but Israel crossed his hands over the heads of the kneeling boys, reversing the order of Joseph. And he said, “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 upon them, and the names of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

When Joseph noticed that his father gave his right hand, and with it the seniority to Ephraim, he attempted to change it; but Israel replied, “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." Then he concluded his benedic


tion in these words of peculiar power and fulness, “ In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh.” He also, at this time, prophesied the return of his family into Canaan, in these words,“ Behold, I die ; but God shall be with you, and bring you again into the land of your fathers.”

And, now the last day of Israel's mortal career arose, his sons gathered round his bed to receive his final blessing. He lay upon his couch and gazed in silence upon the weeping group who knelt around him; and then his dying eyes sparkled with the brilliance of the divine spirit of prophecy as it fell upon him, and raising himself he cried, “ Gather yourselves together and hear, ye sons of Jacob ; and hearken unto Israel your father.” Then upon each one he poured forth his prophetic blessing. But Levi and Simeon he cursed for their fierce rage and deceitful cruelty upon a former occasion, scattering them abroad through Israel. Afterwards the tribe of Levi, by their zeal for the honour of God, redeemed the curse, and though scattered in Israel, they became consecrated to Jehovah, but upon Simeon it ever remained.

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When he reached Joseph, he paused in his benediction for a moment whilst his eye rested upon him with intense affection ; and then, gathering fresh energy,he poured forth upon him a blessing, greater than that of all his brethren -a blessing full of rich tenderness and love, in these words, “ Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well ; whose branches run over the wall ; the archers have sorely grieved him and shot at him, and hated him ; but his

; bow abode in strength and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob (the same is the shepherd, the stone of Israel), even by the God of thy father who shall help thee: and by the Almighty who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb; the blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills; they shall be upon the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.”

After repeating his command that they should carry his body to the ca ve at Machpelah

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