Imatges de pÓgina

kindness to his children in adopting them his own, and showed the high value which he set upon his father's blessing. "And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand towards Israel's left hand, and Manass.h in his left hand towards Israel's right hand, and thus he brought them to his father to receive his bles sing." Perhaps he had observed that his father spoke of Ephraim as the firstborn and put him before his brother Manasseh, who was the el dest; thinking his father had made a mistake, he placed the young men according to their ages.

3. But only observe, my dear children, the PECULIAR MANNER in which Jacob blessed them. He crossed his hands by the direction of God; that it was by the direction of God is evident, for Jacob could not distin. guish Ephraim from Manasseh. And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it up on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly (that is know. ing what he did), for Manasseh was the first born. Thus Jacob crossed his hands and preferred the younger b.fore the first born. Grace does not observe the order of nature. God does not alway prefer those

whom we

think should be preferred, but acts according to his own will. It is very remarkable that God often advanced the younger above the elder, by his particular favor. Abel above Cain, Shem above Japhet, Abraham above Nahor and Haran, Isaac above Ishmael, Jacob above Esau, Judah and Joseph above Reuben, Moses before Aaron, David before his elder brethren, and Solomon after him. Gentile converts were more numerous than those of the Jews.

4. The BLESSING itself. In this manner he proceeded to bless them: "And he blessed Joseph and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which led me all my life long unto this day, the angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; let my name be named on them, and the hame of my fathers Abraham and 'Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." Here he recounts the experience of God's goodness to him, the visits he made him, and the constant care he had taken of him. He blessed them in the name of their father and in the name of their grandfather's God, a God who loved them and was loved and served by them,

thine own friend and thy father's friend. For sake not, says Solomon, thine own God; and the God of thy fathers forsake not, says Jacob. This God is called the Angel who re deemed him from evil, meaning the Angel with whom he wrestled and prevailed, before he met Esau his brother, whom he was so much afraid of; concerning whom he said I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved.The blessing of that God is invoked on them, their forefathers' names put on them, and an abundant increase promised to them.

The circumstance of Jacob crossing his hands displeased Joseph, he endeavored to remove his father's hands, at the same time informing him in what manner they ought to be placed; but Jacob, who had been guided by an unseen hand, refusing to listen to his son Joseph, said to him, "I know it my son, I know it," I have not made a mistake. I am not partial to one any more than the other, what I have done is according to the will of God "He (Manasseh.) shall be great; but truly this young brother (Ephraim) shall be greater than he." Then he added to his former blessing: "In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh."



"I die, said Israel, but God shall be with you and bring you again to the land of your forefathers." He left Joseph this promise, that they should return out of Egypt as a sacred truth. And this promise when Joseph died lie left with his brethren. It was intended to break off their attachment to Egypt, and to fix their faith in the promise of the land of Canaan. He bestowed on Jos ph one portion above his brethren as a token of his special love. A parcel of ground which had been originally bought of the sons of Hamon, was afterwards seized by some of their posterity, and was therefore recovered by force of arms. This portion he gave to Jacob, and the tribe of Ephraim afterwards possessed it, and the lot was not cast upon it. In this portion Joseph's bones were at length buried. Being thus obtained with the sword and bow of his father, at the hazard of his life, it was no doubt doubly precious and valuable in the sight of Joseph to whom it was given; he would cer tainly prize what was acquired at so much expence..


JACOB'S BURIAL AND JOSEPH'S DEATH. GEN. 50. 5. & 26. 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. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

GOOD old Jacob, after he had blessed his children, gave them directions concerning his funeral. He had before mentioned his funeral only to his beloved Joseph, but now he mentions it to all his children. He desired to be buried in the land of Canaan, in the burying place of his fathers, the Cave of Machpelah, where they had buried Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and where he had buried Leah the sister of Rachel, his beloved wife; he would no doubt gladly have buried Rachel in this saered tomb; but the circumstances in which she died, obliged him to bury her on the spot, and the distance did not permit of her being carried to that place. Jacob did not wish to be buried by the side of his beloved wife, but dying in faith, he chose to mingle his dust with that of Abraham and Isaac, who had been heirs with him of the same promise. And


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