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"And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen ; and ye shall haste and bring down my father
"And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamín wept upon his neck.
"Moreover, he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them ; and after that, his brethren talked with him." (Gen. xlv. 9.)
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.
WHO but must admire the tender feelings of Joseph, with all the affectionate regard of a child toward a parent, which he here expressed in the moment he was pouring forth the love of his heart toward his brethren! He had felt no doubt, a thousand anxious moments concerning what his father felt at his supposed death, not only the many years that had passed since he left him at his father's command to go and enquire after the health of his brethren at Shechem; but also all the while since his brethren had first come to Egypt to buy food, and had returned without Simeon, and had come again. Under all these impressions, the the heart of Joseph felt for his father, and he cried 'out as soon as he had made himself known unto his brethren; Haste, (said he) and go up to my father, and tell him all you know concerning me. Say that I am not only alive, but governor over all the land of Egypt, and blessed of our gracious covenant God, to preserve him and all his from famine.
When the reader hath pondered over this view of the subject, let him connect with it one infinitely higher, and behold the Lord Jesus, when from his cross exalted to his throne, sending to call his own to himself, that "where he is, there they might be also.” Our Lord Jesus cannot be content to enjoy his Father's presence alone. He must have all his redeemed with him. His language is, "Father, I will, that they whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before the
foundation of the world." (John xvii. 24.) I cannot pass away from this part of the subject, without first stopping to behold the affectionate salutation and the weeping over of each other of Joseph and Benjamin. These were indeed brothers by one and the same mother. Rachael their mother had died upon the birth of Benjamin, and she called him Benoni, which signifies, "the son of my sorrow," in consequence of it. So that in beholding Benjamin, Joseph beheld his mother, the only representative beside himself of his beloved mother. Hence it is said, they fell upon each other's neck, and wept. Yea, Joseph wept upon the neck of all his brethren, and blessed them. Say what the world will, there is somewhat very precious and costly in the tears of nature. I love them. I love to see them. Even in the moment I am now writing, a period of at least three thousand years since this interview of Joseph with his brethren, the tears are dropping from my eyes as I write the lines concerning it. I can and do enter into the feelings of this gracious family and weep with them. We weep in the sympathy of our common nature. Oh! when I add to this view, the assurance that the Son of God hath taken union into himself with this nature, and mingled his tears with ours, I consider the tearful drop which falls from the eye of the child of God when called forth by grace, as more lovely than "the dew of the morning, or the spiced wine of the pomegranate."
I detain the reader to admire another endearing feature in the character of Joseph. "Haste ye (said he) and bring down my father, and I will nourish him and his; lest he and his household come to poverty." How graciously hath the Lord arranged the events of life for giving exercise to all the finer feelings of our nature. Ruined and undone as we are all by the fall, the common wants and endearments of nature
remain. They are indeed by reason of the mighty injury sustained in our first father's apostacy lessened and defaced in numberless instances; but like the ruins of some ancient temple, enough remains of the sculptured monuments and majestic columns to shew what it once was, and in a what state of overthrow it now is. And when we see, as that we do see in the example of Joseph to his father; and even now and then in life, degenerate as the age is, here and there the child of years returning, to the hoary and helpless parent, some of the solicitude shewn to his infant state, when that infant state could not help himself; we take part in the mercy, and bless God, that amidst all the unworthiness of man, the Lord hath not left himself without witness in the earth.
"And the fame thereof was heard in Pharoah's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come; and it pleased Pharoah well, and his servants.
"And Pharoah said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This ye, lade your beasts and go, get you unto the land of Canaan. "And take your father and your household and come unto me, and I will give you of the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.
Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land 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 the land of Egypt is yours.
"And the children of Israel did so, and Joseph gave them wagons according to the commandment of Pharoah, and gave them provisions for the way.
"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 ter she asses laden with corn, and bread and meat, for his father by the way.
"So he sent his brethren away; and they departed, and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way." (Gen. xlv. 16.)
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.
I ADMIRE the generosity of Pharoah and his servants. Joseph had been instrumental in saving Pharoah and his kingdom from famine; and he rejoiced in being useful to Joseph and his family. How the Lord maketh men who know him not, the unconscious instruments of serving his chosen! "The earth helped the woman." (Rev. xii. 16.) Even in his common providences, he over-ruleth all things for his people's welfare. Upon another remarkable occasion, we find the Lord thus speaking; "Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler." (Isaiah xvi. 4.) Moab, like Egypt, was of the world, and by nature an enemy to the Lord's people. But though a foe to the people of God, God will over-rule the mind of Moab to take care of them when they need it. They shall be housed, sheltered, fed, and nourished, and have all suited supplies; for though outcasts, they are still the Lord's outcasts.
There is somewhat very striking also in what Pharoah commanded concerning Jacob's stuff. He was to bring nothing with him, for the good of the land of Egypt should be his. Hence we may gather a sweet scriptural and spiritual improvement. When we come to Christ, we must bring nothing of our stuff with us. Christ is treasure and fulness enough for all his people. Hence with an eye to this, we find one of old triumphing in God's holiness, in his Gilead and Manasseh, and Ephraim. "Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim, who is the strength of my head." (Psalm 1x. 7.) So the redeemed and regenerated child of God may say, and ought to say
in Christ's holiness; Christ is mine; God is mine: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; all are mine; "for all is your's, (saith the apostle,) for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (1 Cor. iii. 22, 23.)
The generosity of Pharaoh was farther manifested in ordering wagons to be sent with the brethren of Joseph, for the conveyance of Jacob's family into Egypt; and thus we see, how the Lord, who hath the hearts of all men at his disposal, and like rivers of water turneth them whithersoever he pleaseth ; maketh all things minister to his people's good, as occasion requires. And the same is every day carried on in life, however inattentive the Lord's people are to the Lord's watchful care over them. I find it always good when through grace I can have these things in remembrance. For it heightens every blessing, be that blessing what it may, when the Lord's hand is seen in it, and in the appointment of it. And even when a reverse of circumstances takes place, and things are unpromising and frowning ; when to speak in the language of this Scripture, there are no wagons for our conveyance, nor accommodation for the way; still while I am enabled to keep an eye fixed on the Lord Jesus; sure I am, his presence will go with me, and give me rest. I am only a sojourner here below, as all my fathers were. And what signifieth the coarseness or scantiness of the fare to the way-faring man, that turneth in but to tarry for the night? to morrow he leaves the present place for another, and all the ill-accommodations on the road; as a pilgrim hastening on, or the soldier on his march, will trouble him no more. "The Lord is my shepherd, (said one of old,) I shall not want." (Psalm xxiii. 1.)
We must not overlook the present Joseph sent to his father; neither the tokens of love he gave to his brethren. The larger gifts to Benjamin. It was