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that his beloved Joseph should there close* his eyes. Jacob encouraged by this divine promise, left Beersheba, and cheerfully pursues his journey towards Egypt; his sons carrying with them their little ones, and their wives, in the waggons which Pharaoh had sent to convey them. They took also with them their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, his sons, and his sons' sons, his daughters, t and his sons' daughters; making in all seventyf persons.
Jacob being arrived on the borders of Egypt, dispatches his son Judah before him, to receive directions for going to Goshen; who soon returns to his father and conducts him thither; where, Joseph, with a train becoming his high station, meets him, and with infinite satisfaction congratulates his happy arrival in a place where he had power to make the rest of his life easy and comfortable. Here were the highest ecstacies of filial duty and parental affection expressed : tears of joy flowed on both sides; and while Joseph was contemplating the divine goodness which had once more restored him to the arms of his aged father, the pious patriarch, thinking his joy on earth complete, desired to live no longer : “Now, (says he) let me die, since I have seen thy face !"
• Close. From hence Jacob might justly infer that he should die a natural death, and that his son Joseph should be with him to the last moment of his life ; which must have been a great comfort to the fond old patriarch.
+ Dawgbters. This will admit of a two-fold meaning ; First, As it was a general way of speaking, such as Sarah used when she said, “ Who should have said to Abraham that Sarah should have given suck to children ?" Gen. xxi. 7. whereas she never gave suck but to one child, Isaac. Secondly, Though Jacob strictly had but one daughter, which was Dinah, yet here he may be understood to speak of his daughters-in-law.
The names of Jacob's family, which he brought into Egypt, are particularly expressed in Gen. xlvi. 8, to 25. And both here and in Deut. x. 22. are computed to be in the whole number three-score and ten persons. But because there is an apparent difference between the account here, and that which is given by St. Stephen, Acts vii. 14. the one reckoning seventy, the other making it seventy-five, it may not be unpleasant to reconcile these different accounts. " This difficulty will be small, if we say, that the places are not parallel : for Moses makes a catalogue, VOL. I.
After these mutual endearments were somewhat over, Joseph proposes to his father and brethren, that he would go
and acquaint the king with their arrival, which he was in gratitude obliged to do, since the king had sent for them; informing them at the same time, that he would acquaint him with their manner of life, which was in breeding and nourishing cattle, that if he should enquire of them what occupation they were bred to, they should answer accordingly ; by which they would secure the land of Goshen for their use, where they might live and take care of their flocks and herds by themselves; for the Egyptians did so abominate shepherds, that they would never suffer them to live promiscuously amongst them.
Then Joseph, taking five of the most graceful persons of his brethren, went and acquainted Pharaoh that his father and family were arrived in Goshen ; and presented the five he had brought with him to the king, who treated them respectfully for Joseph's sake; and demanding what they were bred to, they, according to their instructions answered that they were shepherds, and humbly begged leave to settle in Goshen. The king, turning to Joseph, graciously said, “ The whole of the land is at thy
in which, together with Jacob, his own offspring only, they that came of his loins, are comprehended, his son's wives being expressly excepted, v. 26. For which reason not only they who actually went into Egypt with him, but Joseph also, with his two sons Ephraim and Manassed, although they were in Egypt before, are included in the number seventy: because they having sprung from Jacob's loins, and taking their original from the land of Canaan, lived as strangers in the land of Egypt, and therefore were justly to be reckoned as if they had entered Egypt with Jacob. There is a substantial reason also, why Hezron and Hamul, the two grandsons of Judah by Pharez, are put into that number, though they were born afterwards in Egypt, that they might supply the place of Judah's two sons Er and Onan, who were dead before. But St. Stephen in his oration doth not set forth Jacob's genealogy; but declares who they were that Joseph called out of the land of Canaan into Egypt: for he called more than sprang from Jacob's loins. There, in the first place, are to be omitted Judah's two grandsons Hezron and Hamul; and in the next place, Joseph and his two sons: Judah’s two grandsons he could not call, because they were not yet born: himself and his sons he could not call, because they were in Egypt already. Those five therefore, and then Jacob, whom St. Stephen mentions by himself, being set aside, there remain of Moses's number seventy, only sixty-four, viz. the eleven brethren, one sister, Dinah, and fifty-two children of the brethren ; to which add the eleven wives of the eleven brethren, whom Joseph must needs call together with their husbands, and which belonged to the kindred, you have all his kindred in three-score and fifteen souls.”
disposal, place them in the best part of it, in Goshen, if “ they like that best; and if there be any among them of “extraordinary skill in their way, let them have the care " and management of my cattle."
Joseph's project thus happily succeeding, he introduces his father to the king, whom Jacob reverently salutes, The king, graciously condescending to talk with him, enquired his age. He replied that he was an hundred and thirty years old, though his ancestors had lived to a longer period. Then taking leave of Pharaoh, Joseph placed his father and his brethren in Rameses, a city afterwards of Goshen, which was the most fertile part of Egypt; where hę nourished them, and provided for them according to their families, with that care and tenderness, as if they had been his children.
Good old Israel, and his family, being thus happily settled, Joseph returns to his charge. And now the fá. mine increasing, people from all parts of Egypt and Canaan repair to Joseph, who furnished them with provi. sions, as long as their money held out; by which means he had collected all the money in the land, and brought it into the king's exchequer : and when that failed, they brought their cattle, for which he gave them bread in exchange. Thus they went on till the sixth* year ;
and then the famine pressed them so extremely hard, that they were constrained to lay their condition before him, telling him that their money was all spent ; and having already parted with their cattle, they had now nothing left to offer him but their persons and their lands,
Sixth. This generally is translated the second year; but it must not be understood to be the second year of the seven years of famine, but the second from the time that their money failed, which was indeed the sixth of the seven, Gen. xyii. 9. 18.
which they intreated him, in pity, to accept, or else they must perish. Joseph took them at their word ; and, in the king's name, and for his use, bought all the land of Egypt, except the land of the priests, who having an allowance from the king, were not compelled to part with their possessions : but the rest of the Egyptians sold their estates; and thus the land became entirely the king's, Then Joseph, repeating the condition of the bargain, tells them : - Behold I have this day bought both you and your land for Pharaoh : now here is seed for
and ye shall sow* the land. But upon these terms shall ye “ hold your land : ye shall every year give the fifth part “ of your increase to Pharaoh, and the other four parts “ shall be your own for seed, and for food for yourselves « and families."
Thus Joseph settled it a standing law over all Egypt, that Pharaoh' should have a fifth part of the yearly increase of the lands, except the lands of the priests. As for the common people, Joseph remoyedt them from the places of their constant abode tu a greater distance, whereby they in process of time, knew not where to claim. Thus the Egyptians sayed their lives at the expence of their estates and liberties, and of freemen became bondmen; in which condition they yet rejoiced, and gratefully acknowledged Joseph's care, calling him their Preserver : and to shew how willingly they submitted to these terms, they assured their prince, notwithstanding this, of their duty and loyalty, and unanimously said to Joseph, * Let us find favour in thy sight [that those condi
Sow. This being the last year of the seven barren years, they might sow in hopes of plenty again.
# Kemoved. 4. This Joseph probably did, with intent that by so displacing and unsettling them from their ancient seats and demesns, and shifting them to and fro one upon another's land, but leaving none upon their own, he might confirm Pharaoh's title to the whole. Besides, this changing of habitations shewed that they had nothing of their own, but received all of the king's bounty."
“ tions may be ratified,] and we will be the king's ser" vants,”
The seven years of famine were succeeded by plentiful and seasonable years, the earth resuming its former fertility, and the whole land abounding in all the usual productions of nature. Twelye of these years of plenty Jacob lived to see ; at the end of which the lamp of nature became dim, and was nearly extinguished ; his decayed spirits warn him of approaching dissolution, and each drooping faculty became a prelude of death. He therefore sends for his son Joseph, and obliges him, by an oath, to bury him in the sepulchre of his fathers, which Joseph swears to do : upon this Jacob bowed himself to God, who, besides all his other mercies, had given him a fresh assurance, by Joseph's promise and oath, that he should be carried out of Egypt into the promised land.
Joseph, leaving his father perfectly satisfied in the assura:ice he had given him, returns home; but is soon recalled by the sad message of his sickness: upon which he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim, and went to visit him. The feeble patriarch summoned up all his spirits, and exerted them so far as to sit up in his bed to receive his favourite son. And when Joseph came near him, he recounted to him the promise which God had made to him of the land of Canaan : “God Almighty (said he) “appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, is and blessed me, and said unto nie, Behold I will make “thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and will make of thee “ a multitude of people, and will give this land to thy so seed for an everlasting possession,"* Then taking Joseph's two sons into a peculiar participation of this promise, he adopted them as his own immediate offspring : " As Reuben and Simeon (says he) they shall be * mine," (so as to become each of thein head of a distinct tribe in Israel, and to enjoy the privilege of primogeni
* Possession. Perhaps Joseph might not know of this before, he having been separated from his father's family when he was but a boy.