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us bread: for why should we die in thy pre- | Behold, I have bought you this day and sence? for the money faileth. your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.
24 And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your housholds, and for food for your little ones.
16 And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
17 And they brought their cattle unto Joseph and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
18 When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:
19 Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.
20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's.
21 And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof.
22 Only the land of the 'priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands.
23 Then Joseph said unto the people,
25 And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants.
26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the 'priests only, which became not Pharaoh's.
27¶ And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.
28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, 'put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt:
30 But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said.
31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And 10Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.
5 Heb. led them. 6 Or, princes. 7 Or, princes. 8 Heb. the days of the years of his life. 9 Chap. 24. 2.
10 Heb. 11. 21.
Verse 22. "Only the land of the priests bought he not."-The various passages in which the priests are mentioned concur with the accounts which all history brings to show that the priesthood formed the highest and most privileged class in the Egyptian state. The Egyptian population, like that of India at present, was divided into distinctly marked castes of which the priests, like the Brahmins, were the first; and the sailors, swineherds, and others, were, like the Pariahs, the lowest, and so degraded that the higher castes were polluted by communication with them. The military caste was next below that of the priests in rank and influence; then followed the others, as traders, artificers, and husbandmen; concerning which it is only necessary to observe, that every man was obliged to follow the occupation of his father, whatever it might be; and no man could hope by any degree of talent to raise himself out of that state of life in which he was born. Thus also in the priesthood, not only must the son of a priest Le a priest, but must be a priest of the same one out of the many deities to whom his father had ministered. These priests were dispersed, in parties, in the several districts, where they constituted the forming and governing body; but the large cities, which had at different times been the capitals of Egypt, and where the great temples were found, formed their principal seats. Every priest was attached to some temple or other, and every temple had its chief priest, whose office was hereditary; and in the principal cities, the high-priests were to a certain degree hereditary princes, who ranked next the kings, and enjoyed nearly equal advantages. Such a person was Joseph's father-in-law, the "priest of On;" and it is observable that the Hebrew word (cohen), rendered "priest,” signifies equally a prince." The organization of the inferior priesthood was, as Heeren reasonably concludes, probably different in different cities, according to the size and wants of the locality. "They did not," says the same author, "constitute the ruling race merely because from them were chosen the servants of the state, but much rather because they monopolized every branch of scientific knowledge, which was entirely formed by the locality, and had immediate reference to the wants of the people. Their sole, or even their most usual, employment was not the service of the gods: they were judges, physicians, soothsayers, architects-in short, every thing in which any species of scientific knowledge was concerned." Attached to each temple and settlement of priests were extensive estates, which were farmed out at moderate rents,
and supplied a common fund, which gave the necessaries of life to the priests and their families, who lived at free tables, which were furnished every day with meats and wine. Thus," says Herodotus, "it was not necessary for them to contribute anything from their own private means towards their support." This expression confirms other facts, which enable us to discover that, besides their common lands, the priests might have, and had, private property and estates, as might be expected when we find them almost exclusively entrusted with the management of state affairs, and engrossing the most profitable branches of business. We the rather call attention to this point, as it affords a valuable incidental corroboration of the reason given in the text why the priesthood did not find it necessary to sell their estates for food.
not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.
12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.
13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.
14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who and his left hand upon the younger, Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 ¶ And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
16 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.
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.
18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 And his father refused, and said, 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 multi
tude of nations.
20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.
22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.
Chap. 35. 19.
4 Heb. heavy. 5 Heb. 11. 21. 7 Heb. fulness.
* Heb, as fishes do increase.
Verse 20. "He set Ephraim before Manasseh."--Here we have two instances of a preference of the younger son over the elder; or rather, we have two instances combined: for not only does Jacob give to Joseph, his youngest son but one, the double portion of the elder son, through Ephraim and Manasseh, but also, of these two, prefers the younger to the elder. The fact seems to be, that although there was a general understanding as to the prior claims of the first-born, the father retained the absolute power of making whatever distribution of the inheritance seemed proper to himself. We have already remarked on the difference in the treatment of the sons of Abraham and Jacob by their respective concubines; to which we have now to add this instance of preference; and, on turning to the book of Job, which is supposed to have been written in patriarchal times, we observe that the inent person to whom it refers even gives to his daughters an equal share in the inheritance with their brothers (Job xlii. 15). This frequent preference which is exhibited for the younger son obviously leads to the remark, that such a preference became a principle of inheritance among some nations. We have some trace of this in the old Saxon tenure called "Borough English;" which Sir William Blackstone conjectures may be traced to the Tartars, among whom the elder sons, as they grew up to manhood, migrated from their paternal tents with a certain allowance of cattle; while the younger son continued at home, and became heir to the remaining possessions of his father.
22. "Which I took out of the hand of the Amorite.”—In several passages of Scripture we find, as here, incidental allusions to facts which are not included in the regular narrative. We have no previous notice of any land taken by Jacob from the Amorites. It is conjectured that, after the patriarch's removal to another part of the country, the Amorites appropriated the parcel of ground near Shechem, which he had bought of Hamor, and which he afterwards recovered by force of arms. This place was certainly in the inheritance of Joseph's sons (Josh. xvii. 1, and xx. 7); there also Joseph's bones were ultimately deposited (Josh. xxiv. 32); and in John iv. 5, this is expressly described as the parcel of ground which Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
2 Chap. 35. 22. 1 Chron. 5. 1.
13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
14 ¶ Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:
15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
21 ¶ Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 But his bow abode in strength, and
3 Or, my couch is gone. 4 Or, their swords are weapons of violence. 6 Heb, an arrow-snake. 7. Heb. daughters.
unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.
29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: "bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.
32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.
9 Chap. 23. 16.
Verse 3. "Reuben.”—It is understood that Jacob here enumerates the rights of Reuben as a first-born, of which, in consequence of his crime, he was to be deprived; namely, the birthright or double portion of the inheritance, which was given to Joseph; the priesthood, which ultimately fell to Levi; and the sovereignty which became Judah's. As here foretold, the tribe of Reuben never excelled or rose to eminence. It was also, with the other tribes beyond Jordan, the first that was carried into captivity.
5. "Simeon and Levi.”—The disapprobation with which these two full brothers are mentioned, refers to their cruel and treacherous conduct in the affair at Shechem (ch. xxxiv. 2-19). The concluding clause of v. 7 was literally fulfilled. The tribe of Simeon was never of any importance. At first they had only a small portion, consisting of a few towns and villages in the least favourable part of Judah's inheritance; and at an after-period they formed colonies in the outskirts of the promised land, in territory won from the Edomites and Amalekites. The Jews believe that the meagre inheritance and straitened circumstances of the tribe of Simeon obliged many of its members to seek a subsistence among the other tribes by acting generally as schoolmasters to their children. As to the tribe of Levi, although it afterwards recovered its character in part, in consequence of its zeal against idolatry (Exod. xxii. 26, et seq.), and was intrusted with the priesthood and the religious instruction of the people, it was, like Simeon, dispersed and scattered in Israel. It had no inheritance except forty-eight towns in different parts of Canaan. Thus the brethren were not only divided from each other, but distributed in sections among the other tribes.
8. "Judah."-We cannot trace out all the details of this remarkable prophecy, as is ably done in Hales's Analysis of Chronology,' and many theological commentaries. But we may observe, that, as his father's blessing intimates, the tribe of Judah seems on all occasions to have possessed the pre-eminence. It led the van in the grand march from Egypt to Palestine (Num. x. 14): it was the first appointed after the death of Joshua to expel the Canaanites (Judges i. 2): the first of the judges, Othniel, the nephew of Caleb, was of this tribe: David, who was of this tribe, was nominated to the sovereign power, which he transmitted to his descendants; and from the same tribe and family sprang CHRIST himself, in whom so many of the Old Testament predictions centre. The 10th and 11th verses seem to indicate that Judah's country should be a land of vineyards and pastures, which was the fact. The famous vineyards of Engedi and of Sorek (Sol. Song, i. 14) were in this tribe, as was also the brook Eshcol, near which the spies obtained the extraordinary clusters of grapes mentioned in Num. xiii. 23, 24. The domain of Judah was also noted for its fine pastures. Josephus observes, generally, that it was a good pasture country; and this might indeed be inferred from the fact, that the sojourning the patriarchs with their numerous flocks and herds was chiefly within its limits. Even now, in the desolation which has overspread this "glory of all lands," Judæa still affords fine pastures. Dr. Shaw observes, that “the mountains abound with shrubs and a delicate short grass; both which the cattle are more fond of than of such plants as are more common to fallow grounds and meadows." He adds, that the milk of the cattle fed on these mountain-pastures is more rich and delicious, and their flesh more sweat and nourishing than could otherwise be obtained.
9. “Lion's whelp,” “lion" and "old lion.”—The word " (lebia), rendered "old lion," is now generally considered to mean a "lioness." But as this reading is not unquestionable, we venture to prefer the rendering of our version, particularly as the text is the more intelligible, the progression from a "lion's whelp" to an " old lion" being, seemingly, the leading idea of the comparison. The meaning of it seems to be, that Judah should at first be warlike and enterprizing; but in the end, satisfied with its conquests, should settle in repose, and yet remain so formidable that none would venture to assault it.
13. "Zebulun."-It is here foretold that Zebulun should become a mariti tribe, with a sea-coast bordering on the territories of the great commercial state of Zidon. This distinct and minute specification of locality, so long before the conquest and division of the Promised Land took place, is very remarkable.
14. “Issachar is a strong ass,”—literally "an ass of bone,” or “bony ass.”—Judah having been compared to a lion, Issachar is here described as an ass, to denote the strength and patience of this tribe, and its assiduity in the labours of the field. That its allotment was pleasant and fertile, as here described, is evinced, among other circumstances, by
what Josephus says of Lower Galilee, in which it lay:-"The soil is universally rich and fruitful, and full of plantations of various trees; insomuch, that by its fruitfulness it invites the most slothful to take pains in its cultivation. Accordingly it is all cultivated by its inhabitants." The tribe of Issachar is scarcely mentioned in the wars and troubles of the Jews. It was not a warlike tribe; and as its name does not occur in the account of the wars in which the other eight and half tribes on the west of the Jordan were engaged with the natives, it seems that they made no attempt to drive out the old inhabitants, but dwelt among them, and submitted to their rule; fulfilling the prediction in verse 15. The text, and this inference, warrant the observation of Buffon, who remarks that, although Issachar was a strong ass, "able to refuse a load as well as to bear it ;” yet, "like the passive drudge which symbolized him, he preferred inglorious ease to the resolute vindication of his liberty, a burden of tribute to the gains of a just and well-regulated freedom, and a yoke of bondage to the doubtful issue of war."
16. "Dan.”—Jacob, having first enumerated the children of Leah, now proceeds to those of Rachel's handmaid, Bilhah. It is observable, that the patriarch begins with intimating that his sons by the handmaids were to inherit equally with the other sons, as one of the tribes of Israel. The word Dan means "judge:" and the prophecy here and elsewhere has allusion to the name. This was a very numerous and warlike tribe, not more noted, it would seem, for its boldness than for its stratagems and craft; verifying the comparison to a serpent in the next verse. All the exploits of the tribe illustrate this character, such as the doings of Samson, who was of this tribe; and their sending spies to discover what part of the unconquered country was weakest, and then surprising the careless and secure inhabitants of Laish, afterwards Dan, near the sources of the Jordan-a place at a great distance from the proper territory of the tribe.
17. "Serpent"-" an adder”—(Li), nachash)—seems to be a general designation for any individual of the serpent kind, as is the case with the Arabic word suban, by which it is rendered. The same animal is meant in both divisions of the verse, agreeable to the genius of Hebrew poesy, which is wont, in the first hemistich of the analogy, to mention a thing obscurely, or in general terms, " Dan shall be a serpent in the way;" and, in the second hemistich, to be more precise and explicit, "An adder in the path:" or, as we would render it, "A cerastes, or horned viper, upon the path.” The Hebrew (shephiphon) appears to be the Coluber cerastes of Linnæus; grows to the length of eighteen inches or two feet, and is distinguished by a small prominence or horn above each eye, whence its Greek name spans, from κέρας, a horn. Nicander cites the horned viper as remarkable for lurking among the sand and in wheel-tracks: and from its retreat it bites the heels of the passing horses, whose hinder legs become almost immediately torpid from the activity of the poison. They are the more dangerous as heir greyish colour renders it difficult to distinguish them from the sand in which they lurk. They are found in Arabia, Syria and Egypt.
19. "Gad." This tribe is frequently mentioned as one of the most valiant in Israel. Commentators differ in the application of the prediction.
20. "Asher.”—The lot of Asher corresponds with his name, which signifies "happiness." The territory of the tribe of Asher was very fertile in corn, wine, and oil. The word shemen, rendered "fat," equally signifies "oil;" and it is well observed by the author of the Universal History,' that "the blessing spoken to Asher is capable of a double sense; namely, either that his country should be the most fertile, and produce the noblest corn in the whole country of Palestine, which it actually did; or else that it should abound with the finest and most delicious oil, which his portion was also remarkable for, insomuch that its oil was the most famed in all Canaan." In the parallel blessing of Moses (Deut. xxxiii. 24) it is said, that "Asher shall dip his feet in oil." In Judges xviii. 10, the Danite spies describe part of the land which formed Asher's lot, as "a place where there is no want of any thing that is on the earth."
21. "Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words."-There is high authority for thus reading this very difficult text. But the want of any connexion between the clauses of the sentence, and the different senses of which the leading words, translated "hind" (ailah) and "words" ( amrai) are susceptible, has occasioned much perplexity. Bochart advocated the reading of the Septuagint, which regards ailah as a tree, and amrai as its branches. Modern commentators have generally concurred in Bochart's views, and since his time the text has commonly been rendered to the effect: "Naphtali is like a goodly tree [oak or terebinth] that puts forth lovely branches." If, however, we receive this rendering, the ensuing blessing of Joseph seems too like a repetition of the figure employed in this; for which, and other reasons, we strongly incline to the reading of Gesenius, who translates: Naphtali is a slender hind, that brings forth lovely young ones." The word amar in Chaldee means a lamb, and may without impropriety be extended to the young of the hind. (See Gesenius in N.) Understood as in our version, the first clause of the prophecy is apprehended by some to apply to the victory of Barak, who was of this tribe, over Sisera (Judges iv.); and the second clause to the eloquent song in which that victory was commemorated. But both the renderings which make Naphtali like a tree with lovely branches, or like a hind producing lovely young, may be understood to apply to the fecundity of this tribe, and we may venture to conjecture that it might not be without an allusion to some superiority in their personal appearance. Finally, some good commentators are content, with the Chaldee, to understand the text to express, which was really the case, that Naphtali should have a pleasant and fertile land. The territory of the tribe," says Hales, "bordered on Lebanon, so celebrated for beauty and fertility; and when David was crowned king of all Israel at Hebron, this and the neighbouring tribes supplied meat, meal, cakes of figs, bunches of raisins, wine, oil, oxen, and sheep for the entertainment. 1 Chron. xii. 40."
22. "Joseph."-Israel now comes to his favourite son, on whose past history and future blessings he expatiates with a force and beauty of language and expression which no translation can adequately render. We think that we shall consult the advantage of the reader better by laying before them the admirable version of Dr. Boothroyd than by any number of detached notes of the separate clauses pointing out the better alternatives. The learned translator's version of the whole of this chapter is excellent, although there are some few points on which we should venture to differ from him. There is also a very good translation in Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology.'
"A fruitful stem is Joseph,
And strong were his arms and his hands;