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Q. How were they affected at the discovery?
A. “They could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence,”
Q. How did he dissipate their fears?
A. He extenuated their crime, resolving it into the Providence of God, who thereby designed to preserve their lives : and as the famine was to last five years longer, he bade them depart in baste to Canaan, and bring down Jacob and all his family and substance to Egypt.
Q. How did Pharaoh act on learning that Joseph's brethren were in Egypt?
A. He repeated Joseph's invitation, and ordered that waggons also should be supplied to facilitate the conveyance of Jacob's family.
Q. How did Joseph shew his respect to his brethren? A. By giving to each a change of raiment ;* “but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.”
Q. How did he shew his regard to his father?
A. He sent him “ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way."
Q. What was his parting advice to them?
To give “ changes of raiment” is still a custom in Asia, by which men of rank honour their guests. Several intimations of this practice occur in scripture. Judg. xiv. 12, 19. Matt. xxii, 11, 12. Rev. iii, 5. vi, 11.
Q. How was Jacob affected when his sons gave him an account of their journey?
A. Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not : but when he saw the waggons which Joseph had sent for him, his spirit revived. A. M. 2297. Q. What was his principal care preB, C. 1707. vious to his going down to Egypt?
A. To offer at Beersheba, where he and his family halted, sacrifices to the God of his fathers. On this occasion the Lord appeared to him, and assured him of his care and protection.
Q. Of how many persons did Jacob's family consist at this time?
A. Of seventy-five persons.*
Q. What was Jacob's expression when he again beheld his long-lost son ?
A. “Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.”
Q. Where did Pharaoh cause them to settle ? A. In Goshen, because of their occupation; for every shepherd was an abomination to the Egyptians.”'t
Q. How were the Egyptians supplied with corn during the years of famine?
A. They purchased corn out of the king's stores.
Sce Appendix E. + This may be ascribed to the abhorred memory of the shepherd kings; or to religious proscriptions, such as obtain among the Hindur.
Q. To what necessity were they ultimately reduced ?
A. To sell their cattle, land, and every thing they bad. The priests, however, enjoyed an exemption from these privations, having a portion assigned to them by Pharaoh.
Q. How long did Jacob live in Egypt?
when on his death-bed ?
Q. Who accompanied Joseph in a subsequent visit to his sick father?
A. His sons Ephraim and Manasseh, whom Jacob blessed, 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.”
Q. What followed this interview?
A. Jacob, calling his sons together, informed them, by the spirit of prophecy, of what should befal their posterity in the last days : and then, having strictly charged them to bury him with his fathers, the aged patriarch yielded up the ghost, and was gathered to
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Q. What remarkable prediction did he deliver concerning Christ?
A. “ The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a
lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come ;* and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”
Q. Was Jacob's body buried immediately?
* This prophecy implies the political extinction of all the other tribes, anterior to the Advent of the Messiah. The ten tribes were carried captive by Shalmaneser; and soon after the restoration from the Babylonish Captivity, the tribe of Benjamin was blended with that of Judah, which alone existed as a state, at the period of the Saviour's birth. After the crucifixion of Christ, and the preaching of the cross among the Gentiles, the Jewish state was overturned by the Roman arms; and thus the fact of Messiah’s appearance is demon. strated to the Jews, who all admit that Shiloh means the Messiah.-See Bp. Newton on the Prophecies, Dissert. iv.
+ From Herodotus, Diodorus, and other ancient authors, the particulars of this process have been collected by various commentators. There were different modes of performing it, some more, some less expensive. The body was first carried to the undertaker, who made the coffin, the upper part of which represented the person whose body it was designed to contain: and, if a person of distinction, it was generally adorned with paintings and embellishments suitable to his rank. The coffins brought of late years to England, prove the accuracy of this description. The figures which decorate the inner coffins, inside and out, refer to their mythology. After the body was returned by the undertaker, an incision was made in the left side, and all the intestines, the heart and kidneys excepted, being extracted, were washed in strong and binding drugs. The brain was drawn from the head, which was afterwards filled with spices. The body was then arointed with strong aromatic oils. This process appears to lave occupied forty days, Gen. J. 3. after which it lay thirty days in nitre, making, in all, the seventy days spoken of by Moses. It was then washed, and swathed in linen bandages dipped in myrrh and some glutinous preparation ; and lastly,
took up seventy days; after which it was taken to Canaan by Joseph and his brethren, accompanied by all the servants and elders of Pharaoh, and other principal men of Egypt. At the threshing-floor of Atad the procession halted, and for seven days mourned for Jacob, “with so great and sore a lamentation,”* that the place was afterwards called Abel-mizraim,--the mourning of the Egyptians. They then proceeded to the cave of Machpelah, before Mamre, and there they buried him.
Q. By what were Jacob's sons disquieted after the death of their father?
A. By the recollection of their cruelty to Joseph, whose resentment they apprehended. They therefore sent a messenger to him, saying, “ Thy father did comnand before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin : for they did unto thee evil : and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father.”
Q. How did Joseph reply?
A. He said unto them, “Fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones.
And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them."
was consigned to the coffin, which was sometimes kept at home, and sometimes deposited in a tomb. Of the efficacy of the means thus adopted, the appearance of bodies almost in a perfect state, after a lapse of centuries, if not thousands of years, is the most convincing proof.
• See Appendix F.