Page images

themselves. And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves; and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.

And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met ? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.

And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand : for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.

And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.

And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it ? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.

So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. And Jacob

And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-aram; and pitched his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's

father, for a hundred pieces of money, And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel. [Jacob's daughter, Dinah, having been

ill-treated by Shechem, her brothers, Simeon and Levi, killed him, and took away the wealth of the city and made many captives.]

And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

And they journeyed : and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Beth-el, he and all the people that were with him. And he built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Beth-el under an oak: and the name of it was called Allon-bachuth.

And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

Let my

And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply ; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.

And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Beth-el. [Rachel had another son, and died im

mediately after his birth.]

And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni : but his father called him Benjamin.

And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.' And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.

And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.

And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Questions and Explanations.

Question. It is said that, when Jacob was left

alone, a man wrestled with him, and afterwards Jacob said he had seen God face to face. What

did he mean by this? Answer.--As in the case of the visitor to Abraham, the Lord

took human form, and at first, perhaps, Jacob thought it was only a man with whom he wrestled, but afterwards knew that it was the Lord. It will be seen that the Lord frequently appeared to Jacob and directed him what to do in times of difficulty. He does not appear visibly to us, but He watches over us, and hears our

prayers. Q:-Why was the name of Jacob changed to Israel ? A.-The latter name means, “a prince who prevails with

God;" a prince, as the ancestor of the royal race. The memory of this event is preserved by the Jews now, who, like their forefathers, will not eat a particular sinew in

the leg of any animal. Q:-Is any lesson especially taught by the story

of Jacob and Esau? 4.-Yes. The forgiveness of injuries, the duty of re

turning good for evil, and the beauty of brotherly love, Esau had much reason to complain of Jacob, who had done him a great wrong; but he hastened to meet him, and fell on his neck and kissed him. They both wept : Jacob because he repented of the deceit and unkindness he had been guilty of; Esau because he loved his brother, and his tears showed the real tenderness and goodness of his heart. It must have been a great comfort to old Isaac to know that his sons were again

friends, and most likely they were both with him when he died, for it is said that “ his sons Esau and Jacob

buried him," Q:-How was it that the household, that is, the

family and servants of Jacob, had strange gods ? A.-The images taken from Laban by Rachel are perhaps

referred to; and, as Simeon and Levi had been engaged in a quarrel with the Shechemites, an idolatrous people, and had spoiled the city, and taken away their cattle and goods, it is probable that more images had

been brought into the house of Jacob. Q:—What are the meanings of the names given

to places mentioned in the narrative ? A.-El-elohe-Israel means, God, the God of Israel ; Maha

naim, two hosts, or camps; Peniel, the face of God; Beth-el, the house of God; El-beth-el, the God of Beth-el; Allon-bachuth (the name given to the oak

under which Deborah was buried), the oak of weeping. Q:—Why did Rachel and Jacob give different names

to their youngest son ? A.-Rachel, dying at his birth, spoke of him as the son of

her sorrow, the meaning of Ben-oni; Jacob looked forward hopefully, and named him Benjamin, the son of the right hand, the right hand being the symbol of

prosperity. Q:--Are we to understand that the pillar over the

grave of Rachel is to be seen now? A.-No. “Unto this day” means the time when Moses

wrote the book of Genesis, about three hundred years after the death of Rachel.


O happy child, who early makes

The path of duty his delight, The way of wickedness forsakes,

And walks as in his Maker's sight!

O happy youth, whose soul hath found

Pardon and favour with the Lord ! True riches shall to him abound,

True pleasure spring from God's pure Word.


ND Jacob dwelt in the land wherein

his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren : and they hated him yet the more.

And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed ? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed

come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth ?

And his brethren envied him ; but his father observed the saying.

And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.

And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem ? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said unto him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field : and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.

And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him : and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him ; and they took him, and cast him into a pit : and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

And they sat down to eat bread : and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood ? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted

up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the İshmeelites for twenty pieces of silver : and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. And he rcturned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; and they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found : know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.

And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him ; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him ; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

Questions and Explanations,

Question.- Is any explanation given of these dreams

which Joseph had ? Answer.-We shall find an explanation of them farther on.

Jacob, it will be seen, supposed that the sun, moon, and eleven stars meant himself, Rachel, and the brothers of Joseph. Although Joseph was his favourite son, he would not permit him to assume to be superior to his other children, or to his parents. Joseph did not wish to be so, and does not seem to have understood the dreams

His brothers, however, appear to have as their father did, and hated Joseph, not only because he was loved by their father, but because of these dreams, which made them jealous. When he came to them in Shechem, they did not say “ Here is our brother," but

“ Behold this dreamer cometh,” which shows how much they thought of the dreams. Q.-How was it that Reuben, who would not allow

his brothers to kill Joseph at the time, proposed that he should be thrown into a pit ?

in that sense. thought

A.-The reason is given. He intended to take him out,

when the others had gone away, and take him back to Jacob. Reuben was only one against eight, and could not protect Joseph; but he was anxious to preserve his life, and we shall see that Joseph afterwards remem

bered his kindness. Q.-Ishmeelite and Midianite merchants are men

tioned; who were they ? A.—They were neighbouring people who carried on a trade

with Egypt, taking the produce of their country, packed on the backs of camels, and exchanging it for money or other goods in Egypt. It is still the practice in East. ern countries for merchants to travel together in large numbers, forming what is known as caravans, so as to protect each other against robbers. Ishmeelites and Midianites appear to have united themselves in this manner. Slavery was common in Egypt, and the mer. chants bought Joseph, thinking to get a good price for him in that country.


AND. Joseph was brought down to


down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.

And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him : and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. [Potiphar's wife tempted Joseph to be

wicked and deceive his master, and because he would not do so, made false charges against him.]

And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, that his wrath was kindled.

And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison;

and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that

under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.

And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.

And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.

And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them : and they continued a season in ward.

And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.

And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to

And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In

my dream, behold, a vine was before me; and in the vine were three branches : and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth ; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:


« PreviousContinue »