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ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. As Joseph had formed a plan for the benefit of his relations, and could not by any other means obtain inr telligence, whether his brethren were deserving of his intended kindness, he was perfectly justified in making the experiments he did. The circumstance he particularly wanted to know, was whether they really loved Benjamin, and would protect him at all events. It must doubtless have given him the greatest degree of satisfaction to find, that they not only repented of their crime towards himself, but were strictly just in their mercantile concerns, and tenderly attached to each other.
Joseph's question, Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine ? is not to be understood as if he practised magical arts, or was constantly inspired : it is rather a proof that he was liable to human infirmi. ties, which led him to make use of this artifice, in or, der to intimidate his brethren. It may be observed by the by, that this was not consistent with Joseph's usual wisdom, because his charging them with a theft which they had not committed, shewed his brethren, that, in one instance at least, his divination was false, ".
Judah was at a loss what reply to make. He might justly have pleaded, that there was artisice in the whole transaction from beginning to end, but having no advocate to support his cause, he was afraid to do this, He therefore in ambiguous terms acknowledged the consciousness of guilt, which oppressed the minds of himself and his brethren, and the conviction accompanying it, that their affliction was from God.
What a pathetic scene now ensued, and how power, fully did Judah plead! Never was a tale related with more pathetic eloquence than this! No wonder that Joseph, whose heart was agitated with the tenderest
emotions, could no longer refrain himself! Who but a sacred penman, inspired to describe the workings of nature, by Him to whom all hearts are open, could have conveyed to the world such a lively representation of this memorable event ?
Having tried his brethren as much as was necessary for their justification, and his own 'satisfaction, Joseph nobly and piously resolved to make them amends for the sufferings he had inflicted, by freely forgiving the personal injuries he had received from them; and henceforth to consider what had happened as a dispensation of Providence, to which his brothers had been instrumental. Nothing could be more generous than his kind endeavours to quiet their consciences: for though God in his infinite mercy over-ruled their de. sigos, their cruelty towards him was the result of their own wicked inclinations ; they were actuated by hu. man passions, not compelled by divine power.
What happiness must Joseph have enjoyed in the power of removing his father from a state of famine, to ease and affluence ! and low great must have been the felicity of all parties at this perfect. restoration of family harmony !
This portion of Scripture affords a striking picture of filial affection and duty. Judah was more concerned for his father's happiness than for his own safety : Joseph could no longer refrain from discovering himself, when he knew the painful uncertainty that Jacob endured. * In this respect both Judah and Joseph are worthy of imitation : for those who have, with anxious care, reared a family, have an undoubted right to the tenderest regards of every individual of it. subject to many infirmities; and it should be the study of every child not to add to the sufferings of their aged parents, but to lessen them as much as possible. Howe
Old age is
dreadful is the idea of “ bringing down the gray hairs of a parent with sorrow to the grave !"
Fraternal affection is also strongly enforced by the examples of Judah and Joseph. In the first, we behold an elder brother acting as the guardian and protector of a younger one. In the other, a forgiveness of injuries, and a participation of benefits, with a fervent desire to increase the happiness of an honoured parent, and promote the general prosperity of the family.
A useful lesson of worldly prudence is likewise conveyed in this portion of Scripture ; namely, that it is the interest of brethren to live in friendship and harmony, as the success of the one may lead to the advantage of all.: Happy would it be, if these considerations were allowed their due weight with all christians !
DEPARTURE OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN.
JACOB AND HIS FAMILY SETTLE IN EGYPT.
From Genesis, Chap. xlv. xlvi. and xlvii.
And it was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye : lade your beasts, and go get ye into the land of Canaan ; And take your father, and your households, and come
me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat of the fat of the land.
Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you waggons out of the land of Egypt for
of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Also regard not your stuff, for the good of all the M3
land of Egypt is yours. And the children of Israel dia 80 : and Joseph gave them waggons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for
To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment : but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.
And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt; and ten she-asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by
So he sent his brethren away, and they departed : and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way. And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan, unto Jacob their father,
And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.
And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them; and when he saw the waggons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.
And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive, I will
and him before I die. And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.
And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob; and he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father : fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will there make of thee great
nation. I will down with thee into Egypt : and I will also surely bring thee up again : and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba ; and the sons of Israel carried Jacob , their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the waggons which Pharaoh had sent to carry
him. And they took their cattle, and their goods which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him.
His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed, brought he with him into Egypt.
All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, be. sides Jacob's sons wives, were threescore and six: And the sons of Joseph which were born to him in Egypt, were two souls. In all threescore and ten*
And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen; and he presented himself unto him : and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.)
And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethen and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me:
And the men are shepherds ; for their trade hath been to feed cattle : and they have brought their focks, and their herds, and all that they have.
And it shall come to pass when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation ! That
say, Thy servants trade hath been about
* Reckoning Jacob himself, and Joseph.