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into Egypt, and much about the time that he was preferred there.—Gen. xxxv. 21-29.
The word duke is from the Latin word “dux," which signi. fies a leader or captain ; this agrees with the meaning of the Hebrew word which is applied to leaders or heads of families. Gen. xxxvi.-19.—Henry and Scott.
The land of Edom was on the south and south-east of Judea, and included a great part of Arabia Petræa. The remains of several large cities still exist there, some of which were in. habited as late as the times of the Roman Empire.-Gen. Xxxvi. 21.
Those who are trained up to do nothing, are likely to be good for nothing.–Gen. xxxvii. 1.4.
GARMENTS made of stripes of different coloured cloth are worn in many parts of the East at the present day, by persons of distinction.-Gen. xxxvii. 3.
ESTIMATED at three pounds.--Gen. xxxvii. 28.
HE tore his upper garment a little way. This was usual at funerals, 2 Sam. iii. 31; or upon any sudden news of evil: or upon any great calamity befalling friends, Job ii. 12; 2 Sam. i. 11; Josh. vii. 6: or in sign of sorrow for sin, 2 Chron. xxxiv. 19; Joel ii. 13; Ezra ix. 3: or in detestation of blasphemy, 2 Kings xviii. 37; xix. 1; Matt. xxvi. 65: or for any other great dishonour done to God, Jer. xxxvi. 24; Acts xiv. 14.Gen. xxxvii. 29.-S. Clark.
Our enemies may strip us of our external distinctions and ornaments; but wisdom and grace cannot be taken from us. They may separate us from friends, relatives, and countries; but they cannot deprive us of the presence of the Lord. They may exclude us from outward blessings, rob us of liberty, and confine us in dungeons; but they cannot shut us out from communion with God, seclude us from the throne of grace, or bereave us of the blessings of salvation. Nearly thirteen years passed from the time of Joseph's being sold into Egypt to that of his standing before Pharaoh. He was confined some years in prison, but more passed while he continued in Putiphar's family, where he had opportunities of acquiring that sort of knowledge which his future station required. —Gen. xxxix. 1-6.
JOSEPH is frequently mentioned in the writings of the East. He is described as most beautiful in person, and exemplary in his conduct.-Gen. xxxix. 6.
A sort of wheat grows in Egypt, the stalk of which is very strong, from wheuce a number of ears grow.-Gen. xli. 5.
Rings anciently had seals upon them, by which orders and covenants were signed, and things of value conveyed or secured. In this view the delivery of a ring was a token of perfect love and confidence, and implied the conveyance of authority and property.-Gen. xli. 42.
The supernatural sagacity of Joseph, in interpreting dreams, is mentioned by Justin, who particularly instances his having saved all Egypt from desolation and famine through an esertion of this nature, so that his answers were considered as proceeding, not from man, but from God.”—Gen. xli. 46-57.Faber.
With those that fear God we have reason to expect fair dealicg.--Gen. xlii. 7-20.
The inns in the East do not resemble those of Europe. They are merely buildings to shelter travellers and their property. Every one carries his own provisions, and attends to his own wants. In the days of Joseph most likely even these did not exist; and the word translated inn, only denotes a place where it was customary for travellers to stop, probably near a well. -Gen. xlii. 27.
The articles mentioned in this verse appear to have been the productions of Canaan, and scarce in Egypt; the word translated balm is applied to those resinous substances which flow from many plants and trees, some of which were much valued for medicine. Honey may mean either that which is produced by bees, or a sweet syrup from ripe dates. What we call spices did not grow in Canaan; but a resinous drug called storax, wbich is abundant in Syria, and peculiarly pleasant and fragrant, appears to be meant here. See ch. xxxvii. 25. The word translated myrrh the interpreters consider to mean laudanum. The pistachio nuts of Syria are peculiarly fine. The almonds were the same as we call by that name. – Gen. xliii. 11.
EARING is an old English word, now obsolete, signifying ploughing.–Gen. xlv. 6.
GOSHEN was the most eastern district of Egypt, the near. est to Canaan, from whence it was about eighty miles distant. - Gen. xlv. 10.
JOSEPA having forgiven them all, lays this obligation upon them, not to upbraid one another. This charge our Lord Jesus has given to us, that we love one another, that we live in peace, that whatever occurs, or whatever former occurrences are remembered, we fall not out. For we are brethren, we have all one Father. We are his brethren, and shame our relation to him, who is our peace, if we fall out. We are all guilty, verily guilty, and instead of quarrelling with one another, have reason to fall out with ourselves. We are, or hope to be forgiven of God, whom we have all offended, and therefore should be ready to forgive one another. We are “ by the way," a way that lies through the land of Egypt, where we have many eyes upon us, that seek occasion and advantage against us; a way that leads to Canaan, where we hope to be for ever in perfect peace.-Gen. xlv. 16-24.
ANCIENT historians record that some tribes, called Hycassos, or Shepherd Kings, whose chief employment, like the Bedouin Arabs at the present day, was keeping flocks, invaded Egypt, which they conquered and ruled with great tyranny for inore than two hundred years. Hence shepherds became an abomi. nation to the Egyptians. It is also considered that the Israelites were an abomination to the Egyptians because they sacrificed oxen and sheep, which the latter worshipped.Gen. xlvi. 28-34.
This remarkable dearth or famine appears to have extended even to China. It is mentioned in the annals of that empire as having occurred at a period which differs only a few years from the calculation of our chronologers. Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian, says that the same calamity extended over the whole world in the reign of Erectheus, Egypt only excepted.See Faber's Hore Mosaicæ.-Gen. xlvii. 27-31.
The death-beds of eminent believers often afford most instructive lessons to those around them. It is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart. Such scenes, with the pravers and counsels of dying persons, are suited to make serious impressioos upon the young, the gay, and the prosper. ous: we shall do well to take our children on such occasions, when it can be done with propriety. If the Lord please, it is very desirable to bear our dying testimony to his truth, to his faithfulness, and the pleasantness of his ways. One would wish to be enabled so to live as to give energy and weight to our dying exhortations ; yet at the last the Spirit directeth in this matter even as he will. Abraham and Isaac died in faith, and in peace, yet we have no record of their dying testimony. All true believers are blessed at their death, but all do not depart equally full of spiritual consolation, nor alike edify the spectators.-Gen. xlviii. 1-7.
No judge, prophet, or prince is found of the tribe of Reuben, nor any person of renown, only Datban and Abiram, who were noted for their impious rebellion against Moses.-Gen. xlix. 4. OBSERTE the displeasure Jacob foretells their posterity should lie under: I will divide them. The sentence was not reversed, but as it respects Levi it was converted into a blessing. His descendants performed an acceptable service in their zeal against the worshippers of the golden calf, Exod. xxxii. Being consecrated to God, as the priestly tribe, they were in that character scattered through Israel. But the tribe of Simeon was deeply criminal in the matter of Baal-peor, Num. I56. 14. Simeon's lot lay not together, and was so strait, that many of the tribe were forced to disperse in quest of settlements and subsistence. It is said that numbers of this tribe were dispersed among the other tribes, as instructors of children, for their support.-Gen. xlix 5-7.
It is prophesied that Judah should be victorious and successful in war, that it should be superior to the rest of the tribes; not only in itself more numerous and illustrious, but having a dominion over them. That tribe led the van through the wilderness, and in the conquest of Canaan, Judges i. 2. That it should be a strong and courageous tribe, and so qualified for command and conquest. Judah is a lion's whelp, &c. Judah is compared, not to a lion rampant, always tearing, always raging, always ranging; but to a lion couchant, enjoying the satisfaction of his power and success, without creating vexation to others; this is to be truly great. That it should be the royal tribe, the tribe from which Messiah the Prince should come. Jacob here foresees and foretels that the sceptre should come out of the tribe of Judah, which was fulfilled in David, on whose family the crown was entailed. That Shiloh should be of this tribe; his seed, that promised seed, in whom the earth should be blessed ; " that peaceable and prosperous one,” or * the Saviour," so others translate it, he shall come of Judah. Thus dying Jacob, at a great distance, saw Christ's day, and it was bis comfort and support on his death-bed. After the coming of tbe sceptre into the tribe of Judah, it should continue in that tribe, at least a government of their own, till the coming of the Messiah ; in whom, as the King of the Church, and the great High-Priest, it was fit that both the priesthood and the royalty should determine. From David's time till the captivity, the sceptre was in Judah ; afterwards, there were governors of that tribe, or of the Levites, who adhered to it, till Judea became a province of the Roman empire just at the time of our Saviour's birth. And at the time of his death, the Jews expressly owned, “ We have no king but Cæsar.” Hence it is undeniably inferred against the Jews, that our Lord Jesus is He that shoud come, and that we are to look for no other; for he cane ersetir at the time appointed. Till Christ's coming Jadah possessed considerable authority, but after his crucinion this authority was abridged, and before that generation had passed away, according to his express predictions, Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jewish state was utterly subrerted, and all distinctions among the poor harrassed remnant were confounded. The Jews were scattered abroad over the face of the earth, eighteen hundred years they have been more destitute of sceptre and lawgiver than even during the Babrlonish captivity. This consideration has perplexed many Jews; the inquiry, if duly considered, must press them more and more.—Gen. slis. 8-12.
HERE we have Jacob's prophees concerning Zebulun, that his posterity should have their lot upon the sea-coast, and should be merchants, and mariners, and traders at sea. This was fulfilled when the land of Canaan was divided by lot, and the border of Zebulun went up toward the sea, (Josh. six. 11). Had they chosen their lot themselves, or Joshua appointed it, we might bave supposed it done with design to make Jacob's words good, but being done by lot, it appears that tbat was Divinely disposed, and Jacob divinely inspired. Concerning Issachar, he intermeddled little with the affairs of state or war. This tribe is scarcely mentioned in subsequent history. See, however, 1 Chron. xii. 32. Concerning Gad, Jacob alludes to his name, which signifies a troop, and foresees the character of that tribe, that it should be a warlike tribe. So we find, (1 Chron. xii. 8), the Gadites were men of war fit for the battle. The situation of that tribe, on the other side of Jordan, would expose it to the incursions of its neighbours, the Moabites and Ammonites; and that they might not be proud of their strengh and valour, be foretells that the troops of their enemies should in many skirmishes overcome them ; yet, that they might not be discouraged by their defeats, he assures them that they should overcome at the last; which was fulfilled when, in Saul's time and David's, the Moabites and Ammonites were wholly subdued, see 1 Chron. v. 18, &c. Concerning Asher, that it should be a rich tribe replenished not only with bread for necessity, but with dainties, and these exported out of Asher to other tribes, perhaps to other lands. His inberitance bordered upon Carmel, which was fruitful to a proverb.Gen. xlix. 13-21.
Moses wrote or revised his books on the east side of Jordan ; therefore, in them, beyond Jordan means westward, elsewhere