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the rest. These contentions are not likely to benefit any ; on the contrary, such animosities destroy that concord which is of greater value than much treasure ; and prevent the intercourse of good offices, which affords more substantial pleasures than riches can purchase. :. The lesson may be extended farther; for if Christians in general consider human life as a pilgrimage, surely it must appear the height of folly to fall out with their fellow-travellers by the way, about straws and pebbles ; when they are journeying towards a country where treasures of inestimable value will be bestowed on each of them, if they love one another, and live in other respects as their Heavenly Father requires.
THE EGYPTIANS SELL THEMSELVES TO PHARAOH.
From Genesis, Chap. xlvii.
AND there was no bread in all the land; for the fa. mine was very sore ; so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.
And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.
And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread ; for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth. .
And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
And they brought their cattle unto Joseph : and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the catole of the herds, and for the
asses : and he fed them with bread, for all their cattle, for that year.
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.
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.
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 Pha. raoh's. And
as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt, even to the other end thereof.
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.
Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day, and your land, for Pharaoh : lo, here is seed for
shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the increase, that you 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.
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.
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.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. It evidently appears, that the famine in the land of Egypt was designed as a judgment on the people, not on the king, for while the former were reduced to slavery, the latter was raised to the highest pitch of affluence.
On a superficial view, Joseph seems to have had a partial regard for the king ; but we find that the people conplied willingly with his requisition, and there is no doubt but that he did right, as he was in this matter guided by unerring wisdom. In respect to the cattle, they were a burden to the Egyptians, if they had no pasturage ; and the extremities of famine would have reduced the people to live entirely upon flesh, which would have been hurtful to their constitutions ; so that by giving them corn in exchange, Pharaoh certainly conferred an immediate benefit upon his subjects.
What is in this section called the second year, was, in reality, the last
of the famine. It is to be observed, that the Egyptians voluntarily offered to resign their lands, and sell themselves as slaves to Pharaoh ; and it will be found, that in making the purchase, he had their welfare in view. We may suppose, by Joseph's removing them from their usual abodes, that there were some irregularities among them that required a reform.
The priests of Egypt consisted of all the nobility of the land; they filled the chief offices in the government, and it is likely that they had shewn a dutiful attachment to their sovereign, though they were idolaters; on which account Pharaoh right be actuated by gratitude, as well as veneration, when he forbore to reduce then to a state of slavery.
It is apparent that Joseph had the good of the people at heart, as well as that of the king in the measures he pursued; for no sooner had the former submitted, as the exigencies of the state required, than he restored them their liberties, and allotted them a portion of land, with a right to cultivate it for their own advantage, reserving only a fifth part for the expences of government; a tax which so fertile a country as Egypt could very well bear ; especially as it required but little trouble or charge to cultivate it. This measure appeared very reasonable to the Egyptians, who, sensible that they could not have managed so well for themselves, gratefully ascribed the preservation of their lives to their humane governor.
Joseph's conduct in the character of governor of Egypt, affords an excellent example to persons intrusted with the administration of public affairs. His situation was very critical, but the wisdom of his plans, and his equity in the execution of them, obtained him the esteem of all parties.
DEATH OF JACOB. From Genesis, Chap. xlvii. and xlviii. And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt in the country of Goshen ; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.
And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years : so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
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.
But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place ; and he said, I will do as thou hast said.
And he said, Swear unto me; and he sware unto him, And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.
And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick; and he took with him his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim.
And one told Jacob, and said, Behold thy son Joseph cometh unto thee ; and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.
And Jacob said unto Joseph, GOD ALMIGHTY ap. peared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people, and will give this land to thy seed after thee, for an everlasting possession.
And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt, before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine ; .as Reuben and Simeon they shall be mine.
And thy issue which thou shalt have after them shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their breth. ren in their inheritance.
And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan, in the way, when yet there, was but a little way to come unto Ephrath ; and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath, the same is Bethlehem.
And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place ; and he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them. Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he