Page:An Exposition of the Old and New Testament (1828) vol 1.djvu/261

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to see his great-grand-children by both his sons, (v. 23.) and, probably, he saw his two sons solemnly owned as heads of distinct tribes, equal to any of his brethren. It contributes much to the comfort of aged parents, if they see their posterity in a flourishing condition, especially if with it they see peace upon Israel, Ps. 128. 6.

3. The last will and testament of Joseph published in the presence of his brethren, when he saw his death approaching: those that were properly his brethren, perhaps were some of them dead before him, as several of them were elder than he; but to those of them who yet survived, and to the sons of those who were gone, who stood up in their fathers' stead, he said this.

(1.) He comforted them with the assurance of their return to Canaan in due time; (v. 24.) I die, but God will surely visit you: to this purport Jacob had spoken to him, ch. 48. 21. Thus must we comfort others with the same comforts with which we ourselves have been comforted of God, and encourage them to rest on those promises which have been our support. Joseph was, under God, both the protector and the benefactor of his brethren; and what would become of them, now that he was dying? Why, let this be their comfort, God will surely visit you. Note, God's gracious visits will serve to make up the loss of our best friends. They die; but we may live, and live comfortably, if we have the favour and presence of God with us. He bids them be confident; God will bring you out of this land, and therefore, [1.] They must not hope to settle there, nor look upon it as their rest for ever; they must set their hearts upon the land of promise, and call that their home. [2.] They must not fear sinking, and being ruined there; probably he foresaw the ill usage they would meet with there after his death, and therefore gives them this word of encouragement; "God will bring you in triumph out of this land at last." Herein he has an eye to the promise, ch. 15. 13, 14. and, in God's name, assures them of the performance of it.

(2.) For a confession of his own faith, and a confirmation of their's, he charges them to keep him unburied till that day, that glorious day should come, when they should be settled in the land of promise, v. 25. He makes them promise him with an oath, that they would bury him in Canaan. In Egypt they buried their great men very honourably, and with abundance of pomp; but Joseph prefers a significant burial in Canaan, and that deferred too almost two hundred years, before a magnificent one in Egypt. Thus Joseph, by faith in the doctrine of the resurrection, and the promise of Canaan, gave commandment concerning his bones, Heb. 11. 22. He dies in Egypt; but lays his bones at stake, that God will surely visit Israel, and bring them to Canaan.

4. The death of Joseph, and the reservation of his body for a burial in Canaan, v. 26. He was put in a coffin in Egypt, but not buried till his children had received their inheritance in Canaan, Josh. 24. 32. Note, (1.) If the separate soul, at death, do but return to its rest with God, the matter is not great, though the deserted body find not at all, or not quickly, its rest in the grave. (2.) Yet care ought to be taken of the dead bodies of the saints, in the belief of their resurrection; for there is a covenant with the dust, which shall be remembered, and a commandment is given concerning the bones.







Moses, (the Servant of the Lord in writing for him, as well as in acting for him—with the pen of God, as well as with the rod of God, in his hand,) having, in the first book of his history, preserved and transmitted the records of the church, while it existed in private families, comes, in this second book, to give us an account of its growth into a great nation; and as the former furnishes us with the best Œconomics, so this with the best Politics. The beginning of the former book shows us how God formed the world for himself; the beginning of this shows us how he formed Israel for himself, and both to show forth his praise, Isa. 43. 21. There we have the creation of the world in history, here the redemption of the world in type. The Greek translators called this book Exodus, (which signifies a departure, or going out,) because it begins with the story of the going out of the children of Israel from Egypt. Some allude to the names of this and the foregoing book, and observe, that immediately after Genesis, which signifies the beginning, or original, follows Exodus, which signifies a departure, for a time to be born is immediately succeeded by a time to die. No sooner have we made our entrance into the world, than we must think of making our exit, and going out of the world. When we begin to live, we begin to die. The forming of Israel into a people, was a new creation. As the earth was in the beginning, first fetched from under water, and then beautified and replenished; so Israel was