Millions miss a meal or two each day.
Help us change that! Click to donate today!
Joseph bewails the death of his father, and commands the
physicians to embalm him, 1, 2.
The Egyptians mourn for him seventy days, 3.
Joseph begs permission from Pharaoh to accompany his father's
corpse to Canaan, 4, 5.
Pharaoh consents, 6.
Pharaoh's domestics and elders, the elders of Egypt, Joseph and
his brethren, with chariots, horsemen, c., form the funeral
They come to the threshing-floor of Atad, and mourn there
seven days, 10.
The Canaanites call the place Abel-Mizraim, 11.
They bury Jacob in the cove of Machpelah, 12, 13.
Joseph returns to Egypt, 14.
His brethren, fearing his displeasure, send messengers to him to
entreat his forgiveness of past wrongs, 15-17.
They follow, and prostrate themselves before him, and offer to be
his servants, 18.
Joseph receives them affectionately, and assures them and theirs
of his care and protection, 19-21.
Joseph and his brethren dwell in Egypt, and he sees the third
generation of his children, 22, 23.
Being about to die, he prophecies the return of the children of
Israel from Egypt, 24,
and causes them to swear that they will carry his bones to Canaan, 25.
Joseph dies, aged one hundred and ten years is embalmed, and put
in a coffin in Egypt, 26.
NOTES ON CHAP. L
Verse Genesis 50:1. Joseph fell upon his father's face — Though this act appears to be suspended by the unnatural division of this verse from the preceding chapter, yet we may rest assured it was the immediate consequence of Jacob's death.
Verse Genesis 50:2. The physicians — רפאים ropheim, the healers, those whose business it was to heal or restore the body from sickness by the administration of proper medicines; and when death took place, to heal or preserve it from dissolution by embalming, and thus give it a sort of immortality or everlasting duration. The original word חנט chanat, which we translate to embalm, has undoubtedly the same meaning with the Arabic [Arabic] hanata, which also signifies to embalm, or to preserve from putrefaction by the application of spices, c., and hence [Arabic] hantat, an embalmer. The word is used to express the reddening of leather and probably the ideal meaning may be something analogous to our tanning, which consists in removing the moisture, and closing up the pores so as to render them impervious to wet. This probably is the grand principle in embalming; and whatever effects this, will preserve flesh as perfectly as skin. Who can doubt that a human muscle, undergoing the same process of tanning as the hide of an ox, would not become equally incorruptible? I have seen a part of the muscle of a human thigh, that, having come into contact with some tanning matter, either in the coffin or in the grave, was in a state of perfect soundness, when the rest of the body had been long reduced to earth; and it exhibited the appearance of a thick piece of well tanned leather.
In the art of embalming, the Egyptians excelled all nations in the world; with them it was a common practice. Instances of the perfection to which they carried this art may be seen in the numerous mummies, as they are called, which are found in different European cabinets, and which have been all brought from Egypt. This people not only embalmed men and women, and thus kept the bodies of their beloved relatives from the empire of corruption, but they embalmed useful animals also. I have seen the body of the Ibris thus preserved; and though the work had been done for some thousands of years, the very feathers were in complete preservation, and the colour of the plumage discernible. The account of this curious process, the articles used, and the manner of applying them, I subjoin from Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, as also the manner of their mournings and funeral solemnities, which are highly illustrative of the subjects in this chapter.
"When any man of quality dies," says Herodotus, "all the women of that family besmear their heads and faces with dirt; then, leaving the body at home, they go lamenting up and down the city with all their relations; their apparel being girt about them, and their breasts left naked. On the other hand the men, having likewise their clothes girt about them, beat themselves. These things being done, they carry the dead body to be embalmed; for which there are certain persons appointed who profess this art. These, when the body is brought to them, show to those that bring it certain models of dead persons in wood, according to any of which the deceased may be painted. One of these they say is accurately made like to one whom, in such a matter, I do not think lawful to name; του ουκ ὁσιον ποιουμαι το ουνομα επι τοιουτῳ πρηγματι ονομαζειν; (probably Osiris, one of the principal gods of Egypt, is here intended;) then they show a second inferior to it, and of an easier price; and next a third, cheaper than the former, and of a very small value; which being seen, they ask them after which model the deceased shall be represented. When they have agreed upon the price they depart; and those with whom the dead corpse is left proceed to embalm it after the following manner: First of all, they with a crooked iron draw the brain out of the head through the nostrils; next, with a sharp AEthiopic stone they cut up that part of the abdomen called the ilia, and that way draw out all the bowels, which, having cleansed and washed with palm wine, they again rinse and wash with wine perfumed with pounded odours: then filling up the belly with pure myrrh and cassia grossly powdered, and all other odours except frankincense, they sew it up again. Having so done, they salt it up close with nitre seventy days, for longer they may not salt it. After this number of days are over they wash the corpse again, and then roll it up with fine linen, all besmeared with a sort of gum, commonly used by the Egyptians instead of glue. Then is the body restored to its relations, who prepare a wooden coffin for it in the shape and likeness of a man, and then put the embalmed body into it, and thus enclosed, place it in a repository in the house, setting it upright against the wall. After this manner they, with great expense, preserve their dead; whereas those who to avoid too great a charge desire a mediocrity, thus embalm them: they neither cut the belly nor pluck out the entrails, but fill it with clysters of oil of cedar injected up the anus, and then salt it the aforesaid number of days. On the last of these they press out the cedar clyster by the same way they had injected it, which has such virtue and efficacy that it brings out along with it the bowels wasted, and the nitre consumes the flesh, leaving only the skin and bones: having thus done, they restore the dead body to the relations, doing nothing more. The third way of embalming is for those of yet meaner circumstances; they with lotions wash the belly, then dry it up with salt for seventy days, and afterwards deliver it to be carried away. Nevertheless, beautiful women and ladles of quality were not delivered to be embalmed till three or four days after they had been dead;" for which Herodotus assigns a sufficient reason, however degrading to human nature: Τουτο δε ποιεουσι οὑτω τουδε εἱνεκα, ἱνα μη σφι οἱ ταριχευται μισγωνται τῃσι γυναιξι· λαμφθηναι γαρ τινα φασι μισγομενον νεκρῳ προσφατῳ γυναικος· κατειπαι δε τον ὁμοτεχνον. [The original should not be put into a plainer language; the abomination to which it refers being too gross.] "But if any stranger or Egyptian was either killed by a crocodile or drowned in the river, the city where he was cast up was to embalm and bury him honourably in the sacred monuments, whom no one, no, not a relation or friend, but the priests of the Nile only, might touch; because they buried one who was something more than a dead man." - HEROD. Euterpe, p. 120, ed. Gale.
Diodorus Siculus relates the funeral ceremonies of the Egyptians more distinctly and clearly, and with some very remarkable additional circumstances. "When any one among the Egyptians dies," says he, "all his relations and friends, putting dirt upon their heads, go lamenting about the city, till such time as the body shall be buried: in the meantime, they abstain from baths and wine, and all kinds of delicate meats; neither do they, during that time, wear any costly apparel. The manner of their burials is threefold: one very costly, a second sort less chargeable, and a third very mean. In the first, they say, there is spent a talent of silver; in the second, twenty minae; but in the last there is very little expense. 'Those who have the care of ordering the body are such as have been taught that art by their ancestors. These, showing each kind of burial, ask them after what manner they will have the body prepared. When they have agreed upon the manner, they deliver the body to such as are usually appointed for this office. First, he who has the name of scribe, laying it upon the ground, marks about the flank on the left side how much is to be cut away; then he who is called παρασχιστης, paraschistes, the cutter or dissector, with an AEthiopic stone, cuts away as much of the flesh as the law commands, and presently runs away as fast as he can; those who are present, pursuing him, cast stones at him, and curse him, hereby turning all the execrations which they imagine due to his office upon him. For whosoever offers violence, wounds, or does any kind of injury to a body of the same nature with himself, they think him worthy of hatred: but those who are ταριχευται, taricheutae, the embalmers, they esteem worthy of honour and respect; for they are familiar with their priests, and go into the temples as holy men, without any prohibition. As soon as they come to embalm the dissected body, one of them thrusts his hand through the wound into the abdomen, and draws forth all the bowels but the heart and kidneys, which another washes and cleanses with wine made of palms and aromatic odours. Lastly, having washed the body, they anoint it with oil of cedar and other things for about thirty days, and afterwards with myrrh, cinnamon, and other such like matters, which have not only a power to preserve it a long time, but also give it a sweet smell; after which they deliver it to the kindred in such manner that every member remains whole and entire, and no part of it changed, but the beauty and shape of the face seem just as they were before; and the person may be known, even the eyebrows and eyelids remaining as they were at first. By this means many of the Egyptians, keeping the dead bodies of their ancestors in magnificent houses, so perfectly see the true visage and countenance of those that died many ages before they themselves were born, that in viewing the proportions of every one of them, and the lineaments of their faces, they take as much delight as if they were still living among them. Moreover, the friends and nearest relations of the deceased, for the greater pomp of the solemnity, acquaint the judges and the rest of their friends with the time prefixed for the funeral or day of sepulture, declaring that such a one (calling the dead by his name) is such a day to pass the lake; at which time above forty judges appear, and sit together in a semicircle, in a place prepared on the hither side of the lake, where a ship, provided beforehand by such as have the care of the business, is haled up to the shore, and steered by a pilot whom the Egyptians in their language called Charon. Hence they say Orpheus, upon seeing this ceremony while he was in Egypt, invented the fable of hell, partly imitating therein the people of Egypt, and partly adding somewhat of his own. The ship being thus brought to the lake side, before the coffin is put on board every one is at liberty by the law to accuse the dead of what he thinks him guilty. If any one proves he was a bad man, the judges give sentence that the body shall be deprived of sepulture; but in case the informer be convicted of false accusation, then he is severely punished. If no accuser appear, or the information prove false, then all the kindred of the deceased leave off mourning, and begin to set forth his praises, yet say nothing of his birth, (as the custom is among the Greeks,) because the Egyptians all think themselves equally noble; but they recount how the deceased was educated from his youth and brought up to man's estate, exalting his piety towards the gods, and justice towards men, his chastity, and other virtues wherein he excelled; and lastly pray and call upon the infernal deities (τους κατω θεους, the gods below) to receive him into the societies of the just. The common people take this from the others, and consequently all is said in his praise by a loud shout, setting forth likewise his virtues in the highest strains of commendation, as one that is to live for ever with the infernal gods. Then those that have tombs of their own inter the corpse in places appointed for that purpose; and they that have none rear up the body in its coffin against some strong wall of their house. But such as are denied sepulture on account of some crime or debt, are laid up at home without coffins; yet when it shall afterwards happen that any of their posterity grows rich, he commonly pays off the deceased person's debts, and gets his crimes absolved, and so buries him honourably; for the Egyptians are wont to boast of their parents and ancestors that were honourably buried. It is a custom likewise among them to pawn the dead bodies of their parents to their creditors; but then those that do not redeem them fall under the greatest disgrace imaginable, and are denied burial themselves at their deaths." - Diod. Sic. Biblioth., lib. i., cap. 91-93., edit. Bipont. See also the Necrokedia, or Art of Embalming, by Greenhill, 4to., p. 241, who endeavoured in vain to recommend and restore the art But he could not give his countrymen Egyptian manners; for a dead carcass is to the British an object of horror, and scarcely any, except a surgeon or an undertaker, cares to touch it.
Verse Genesis 50:3. Forty days — The body it appears required this number of days to complete the process of embalming; afterwards it lay in natron thirty days more, making in the whole seventy days, according to the preceding accounts, during which the mourning was continued.
Verse Genesis 50:4. Speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh.] But why did not Joseph apply himself? Because he was now in his mourning habits, and in such none must appear in the presence of the eastern monarchs. See Esther 4:2.
Verse Genesis 50:7. The elders of his house — Persons who, by reason of their age, had acquired much experience; and who on this account were deemed the best qualified to conduct the affairs of the king's household. Similar to these were the [Anglo-Saxon] Eldermen, or Aldermen, among our Saxon ancestors, who were senators and peers of the realm.
The funeral procession of Jacob must have been truly grand. Joseph, his brethren and their descendants, the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders-all the principal men, of the land of Egypt, with chariots and horsemen, must have appeared a very great company indeed. We have seen LORDS, for their greater honour, buried at the public expense; and all the male branches of the royal family, as well as the most eminent men of the nation, join in the funeral procession, as in the case of the late Lord Nelson; but what was all this in comparison of the funeral solemnity now before us? Here was no conqueror, no mighty man of valour, no person of proud descent; here was only a plain man, who had dwelt almost all his life long in tents, without any other subjects than his cattle, and whose kingdom was not of this world. Behold this man honoured by a national mourning, and by a national funeral! It may be said indeed that "all this was done out of respect to Joseph." Be it so; why was Joseph thus respected? Was it because he had conquered nations, had made his sword drunk with blood, had triumphed over the enemies of Egypt? NO! But because he had saved men alive; because he was the king's faithful servant, the rich man's counsellor, and the poor man's friend. He was a national blessing; and the nation mourns in his affliction, and unites to do him honour.
Verse Genesis 50:10. The threshing-floor of Atad — As אטד atad signifies a bramble or thorn, it has been understood by the Arabic, not as a man's name, but as the name of a place; but all the other versions and the Targums consider it as the name of a man. Threshing-floors were always in a field, in the open air; and Atad was probably what we would call a great farmer or chief of some clan or tribe in that place. Jerome supposed the place to have been about two leagues from Jericho; but we have no certain information on this point. The funeral procession stopped here, probably as affording pasturage to their cattle while they observed the seven days' mourning which terminated the funeral solemnities, after which nothing remained but the interment of the corpse. The mourning of the ancient Hebrews was usually of seven days' continuance, Numbers 19:19; 1 Samuel 31:13; though on certain occasions it was extended to thirty days, Numbers 20:29; Deuteronomy 21:13; Deuteronomy 34:8, but never longer. The seventy days' mourning mentioned above was that of the Egyptians, and was rendered necessary by the long process of embalming, which obliged them to keep the body out of the grave for seventy days, as we learn both from Herodotus and Diodorus. Seven days by the order of God a man was to mourn for his dead, because during that time he was considered as unclean; but when those were finished he was to purify himself, and consider the mourning as ended; Numbers 19:11; Numbers 19:19. Thus God gave seven days, in some cases thirty, to mourn in: man, ever in his own estimation wiser than the word of God, has added eleven whole months to the term, which nature itself pronounces to be absurd, because it is incapable of supporting grief for such a time; and thus mourning is now, except in the first seven or thirty days, a mere solemn ill-conducted FARCE, a grave mimicry, a vain show, that convicts itself of its own hypocrisy. Who will rise up on the side of God and common sense, and restore becoming sorrow on the death of a relative to decency of garb and moderation in its continuance? Suppose the near relatives of the deceased were to be allowed seven days of seclusion from society, for the purpose of meditating on death and eternity, and after this to appear in a mourning habit for thirty days; every important end would be accomplished, and hypocrisy, the too common attendant of man, be banished, especially from that part of his life in which deep sincerity is not less becoming than in the most solemn act of his religious intercourse with God.
In a kind of politico-religious institution formed by his late majesty Ferdinand IV., king of Naples and the Sicilies, I find the following rational institute relative to this point: "There shall be no mourning among you but only on the death of a father, mother, husband, or wife. To render to these the last duties of affection, children, wives, and husbands only shall be permitted to wear a sign or emblem of grief: a man may wear a crape tied round his right arm; a woman, a black handkerchief around her neck; and this in both cases for only two months at the most." Is there a purpose which religion, reason, or decency can demand that would not be answered by such external mourning as this? Only such relatives as the above, brothers and sisters being included, can mourn; all others make only a part of the dumb hypocritical show.
Verse Genesis 50:12. And his sons did unto him — This and the thirteenth verse have been supposed by Mr. Locke and others to belong to the conclusion of the preceding chapter, in which connection they certainly read more consistently than they do here.
Verse Genesis 50:15. Saw that their father was dead — This at once argues both a sense of guilt in their own consciences, and a want of confidence in their brother. They might have supposed that hitherto he had forborne to punish them merely on their father's account; but now that he was dead, and Joseph having them completely in his power, they imagined that he would take vengeance on them for their former conduct towards him.
Thus conscience records criminality; and, by giving birth to continual fears and doubtfulness, destroys all peace of mind, security, and confidence. On this subject an elegant poet has spoken with his usual point and discernment: -
Exemplo quodcumque malo committitur, ipsi
Displicet auctori. Prima est haec ultio, quod se
Judice nemo nocens absolvitur, improba quamvis
Gratia fallaci Praetoris vicerit urna.
JUV. Sat. xiii. 1, c.
Happily metaphrased by Mr. Dryden: -
He that commits a fault shall quickly find
The pressing guilt lies heavy on his mind.
Though bribes, or favour shall assert his cause,
Pronounce him guiltless, and elude the laws,
None quits himself his own impartial thought
Will damn, and conscience will record the fault.
This, first, the wicked feels.
We have seen this in the preceding history often exemplified in the case of Joseph's brethren.
Verse Genesis 50:16. Thy father did command — Whether he did or not we cannot tell. Some think they had feigned this story, but that is not so likely. Jacob might have had suspicions too, and might have thought that the best way to prevent evil was to humble themselves before their brother, and get a fresh assurance of his forgiveness.
Verse Genesis 50:17. The servants of the God of thy father. — These words were wonderfully well chosen, and spoken in the most forcible manner to Joseph's piety and filial affection. No wonder then that he wept when they spake to him.
Verse Genesis 50:19. Am I in the place of God? — These words may be understood either as a question, or an affirmative proposition. How should I take any farther notice of your transgression? I have passed it by, the matter lies now between God and you. Or, in the order of Divine providence I am now in God's place; he has furnished me with means, and made me a distributor of his bounty; I will therefore not only nourish you, but also your little ones, Genesis 50:21: and therefore he spake comfortably unto them, as in Genesis 45:8, telling them that he attributed the whole business to the particular providence of God rather than to any ill will or malice in them, and that, in permitting him to be brought into Egypt, God had graciously saved their lives, the life of their father, the lives of the people of Canaan, and of the Egyptians: as therefore God had honoured him by making him vicegerent in the dispensations of his especial bounty towards so many people, it was impossible he should be displeased with the means by which this was brought about.
Verse Genesis 50:22. Joseph dwelt in Egypt — Continued in Egypt after his return from Canaan till his death; he, and his father's house-all the descendants of Israel, till the exodus or departure under the direction of Moses and Aaron, which was one hundred and forty-four years after.
Verse Genesis 50:23. Were brought up upon Joseph's knees. — They were educated by him, or under his direction; his sons and their children continuing to acknowledge him as patriarch, or head of the family, as long as he lived.
Verse Genesis 50:24. Joseph said - I die — That is, I am dying; and God will surely visit you - he will yet again give you, in the time when it shall be essentially necessary, the most signal proof of his unbounded love towards the seed of Jacob.
And bring you out of this land — Though ye have here every thing that can render life comfortable, yet this is not the typical land, the land given by covenant, the land which represents the rest that remains for the people of God.
Verse Genesis 50:25. Ye shall carry up my bones — That I may finally rest with my ancestors in the land which God gave to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and which is a pledge as it is a type of the kingdom of Heaven. Thus says the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews 11:22: "By FAITH Joseph, when he died, (τελευτων, when dying,) made mention of the departure (εξοδου, of the EXODUS) of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. From this it is evident that Joseph considered all these things as typical, and by this very commandment expressed his faith in the immortality of the soul, and the general resurrection of the dead. This oath, by which Joseph then bound his brethren, their posterity considered as binding on themselves; and Moses took care, when he departed from Egypt, to carry up Joseph's body with him, Exodus 13:19; which was afterwards buried in Shechem, Joshua 24:32, the very portion which Jacob had purchased from the Amorites, and which he gave to his son Joseph, Genesis 48:22; Acts 7:16. See the reason for this command as given by Chrysostom, vol. ii., p. 695, sec. D.E.
Verse Genesis 50:26. Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old — בן מאה ועשר שנים ben meah vaeser shanim; literally, the son of a hundred and ten years. Here the period of time he lived is personified, all the years of which it was composed being represented as a nurse or father, feeding, nourishing, and supporting him to the end. This figure, which is termed by rhetoricians prosopopaeia, is very frequent in Scripture; and by this virtues, vices, forms, attributes, and qualities, with every part of inanimate nature, are represented as endued with reason and speech, and performing all the actions of intelligent beings.
They embalmed him — Genesis 50:2; Genesis 50:2. The same precautions were taken to preserve his body as to preserve that of his father Jacob; and this was particularly necessary in his case, 'because his body was to be carried to Canaan a hundred and forty-four years after; which was the duration of the Israelites' bondage after the death of Joseph.
And he was put in a coffin in Egypt. — On this subject I shall subjoin some useful remarks from Harmer's Observations, which several have borrowed without acknowledgment. I quoted my own edition of this Work, vol. iii., p. 69, c. Lond. 1808.
"There were some methods of honouring the dead which demand our attention the being put into a coffin has been in particular considered as a mark of distinction.
"With us the poorest people have their coffins; if the relations cannot afford them, the parish is at the expense. In the east, on the contrary, they are not always used, even in our times. The ancient Jews probably buried their dead in the same manner: neither was the body of our Lord put in a coffin, nor that of Elisha, whose bones were touched by the corpse that was let down a little after into his sepulchre, 2 Kings 13:21. That coffins were anciently used in Egypt, all agree; and antique coffins of stone and of sycamore wood are still to be seen in that country, not to mention those said to be made of a sort of pasteboard, formed by folding and gluing cloth together a great number of times, curiously plastered, and then painted with hieroglyphics.
"As it was an ancient Egyptian custom, and was not used in the neighbouring countries, on these accounts the sacred historian was doubtless led to observe of Joseph that he was not only embalmed, but was also put in a coffin, both being practices almost peculiar to the Egyptians.
"Mr. Maillet conjectures that all were not inclosed in coffins which were laid in the Egyptian repositories of the dead, but that it was an honour appropriated to persons of distinction; for after having given an account of several niches which are found in those chambers of death, he adds: 'But it must not be imagined that the bodies deposited in these gloomy apartments were all inclosed in chests, and placed in niches. The greater part were simply embalmed and swathed, after which they laid them one by the side of the other, without any ceremony. Some were even put into these tombs without any embalming at all, or with such a slight one that there remains nothing of them in the linen in which they were wrapped but the bones, and these half rotten. It is probable that each considerable family had one of these burial-places to themselves; that the niches were designed for the bodies of the heads of the family; and that those of their domestics and slaves had no other care taken of them than merely laying them in the ground after being slightly embalmed, and sometimes even without that; which was probably all that was done to heads of families of less distinction.' - Lett. 7, p. 281. The same author gives an account of a mode of burial anciently practised in that country, which has been but recently discovered: it consisted in placing the bodies, after they were swathed up, on a layer of charcoal, and covering them with a mat, under a bed of sand seven or eight feet deep.
"Hence it seems evident that coffins were not universally used in Egypt, and were only used for persons of eminence and distinction. It is also reasonable to believe that in times so remote as those of Joseph they might have been much less common than afterwards, and that consequently Joseph's being put in a coffin in Egypt might be mentioned with a design to express the great honours the Egyptians did him in death, as well as in life; being treated after the most sumptuous manner, embalmed, and put into a coffin."
It is no objection to this account that the widow of Nain's son is represented as carried forth to be buried in a σοπος or bier; for the present inhabitants of the Levant, who are well known to lay their dead in the earth uninclosed, carry them frequently out to burial in a kind of coffin, which is not deposited in the grave, the body being taken out of it, and placed in the grave in a reclining posture. It is probable that the coffins used at Nain were of the same kind, being intended for no other purpose but to carry the body to the place of interment, the body itself being buried without them.
It is very probable that the chief difference was not in being with or without a coffin, but in the expensiveness of the coffin itself; some of the Egyptian coffins being made of granite, and covered all over with hieroglyphics, the cutting of which must have been done at a prodigious expense, both of time and money; the stone being so hard that we have no tools by which we can make any impression on it. Two of these are now in the British Museum, that appear to have belonged to some of the nobles of Egypt. They are dug out of the solid stone, and adorned with almost innumerable hieroglyphics. One of these, vulgarly called Alexander's tomb, is ten feet three inches and a quarter long, ten inches thick in the sides, in breadth at top five feet three inches and a half, in breadth at bottom four feet two inches and a half, and three feet ten in depth, and weighs about ten tons. In such a coffin I suppose the body of Joseph was deposited; and such a one could not have been made and transported to Canaan at an expense that any private individual could bear. It was with incredible labour and at an extraordinary expense that the coffin in question was removed the distance of but a few miles, from the ship that brought it from Egypt, to its present residence in the British Museum. Judge, then, at what an expense such a coffin must have been digged, engraved, and transported over the desert from Egypt to Canaan, a distance of three hundred miles! We need not be surprised to hear of carriages and horsemen, a very great company, when such a coffin was to be carried so far, with a suitable company to attend it.
Joseph's life was the shortest of all the patriarchs, for which Bishop Patrick gives a sound physical reason - he was the son of his father's old age. It appears from Archbishop Usher's Chronology that Joseph governed Egypt under four kings, Mephramuthosis, Thmosis, Amenophis, and Orus. His government, we know, lasted eighty years; for when he stood before Pharaoh he was thirty years of age, Genesis 41:46, and he died when he was one hundred and ten.
On the character and conduct of Joseph many remarks have already been made in the preceding notes. On the subject of his piety there can be but one opinion. It was truly exemplary, and certainly was tried in cases in which few instances occur of persevering fidelity. His high sense of the holiness of God, the strong claims of justice, and the rights of hospitality and gratitude, led him, in the instance of the solicitations of his master's wife, to act a part which, though absolutely just and proper, can never be sufficiently praised. Heathen authors boast of some persons of such singular constancy; but the intelligent reader will recollect that these relations stand in general in their fabulous histories, and are destitute of those characteristics which truth essentially requires; such, I mean, as the story of Hippolytus and Phaedra, Bellerophon and Antea or Sthenobaea, Peleus and Astydamia, and others of this complexion, which appear to be marred pictures, taken from this highly finished original which the inspired writer has fairly drawn from life.
His fidelity to his master is not less evident, and God's approbation of his conduct is strongly marked; for he caused whatsoever he did to prosper, whether a slave in the house of his master, a prisoner in the dungeon, or a prime minister by the throne, which is a full proof that his ways pleased him; and this is more clearly seen in the providential deliverances by which he was favoured.
On the political conduct of Joseph there are conflicting opinions. On the one hand it is asserted that "he found the Egyptians a free people, and that he availed himself of a most afflicting providence of God to reduce them all to a state of slavery, destroyed their political consequence, and made their king despotic." In all these respects his political measures have been strongly vindicated, not only as being directed by God, but as being obviously the best, every thing considered, for the safety, honour, and welfare of his sovereign and the kingdom. It is true he bought the lands of the people for the king, but he farmed them to the original occupiers again, at the moderate and fixed crown rent of one-fifth part of the produce. "Thus did he provide for the liberty and independence of the people, while he strengthened the authority of the king by making him sole proprietor of the lands. And to secure the people from farther exaction, Joseph made it a law over all the land of Egypt, that Pharaoh (i. e. the king) should have only the fifth part; which law subsisted to the time of Moses, Genesis 47:21-26. By this wise regulation," continues Dr. Hales, "the people had four-fifths of the produce of the lands for their own use, and were exempted from any farther taxes, the king being bound to support his civil and military establishment out of the crown rents." By the original constitution of Egypt established by Menes, and Thoth or Hermes his prime minister, the lands were divided into three portions, between the king, the priests, and the military, each party being bound to support its respective establishment by the produce. See the quotations from Diodorus Siculus, in the note on Genesis 47:23. Genesis 47:23; Genesis 47:23. It is certain, therefore, that the constitution of Egypt was considerably altered by Joseph, and there can be no doubt that much additional power was, by this alteration, vested in the hands of the king; but as we do not find that any improper use was made of this power, we may rest assured that it was so qualified and restricted by wholesome regulations, though they are not here particularized, as completely to prevent all abuse of the regal power, and all tyrannical usurpation of popular rights. That the people were nothing but slaves to the king, the military, and the priests before, appears from the account given by Diodorus; each of the three estates probably allowing them a certain portion of land for their own use, while cultivating the rest for the use and emolument of their masters. Matters, however, became more regular under the administration of Joseph; and it is perhaps not too much to say, that, previously to this, Egypt was without a fixed regular constitution, and that it was not the least of the blessings that it owed to the wisdom and prudence of Joseph, that he reduced it to a regular form of government, giving the people such an interest in the safety of the state as was well calculated to insure their exertions to defend the nation, and render the constitution fixed and permanent.
It is well known that Justin, one of the Roman historians, has made particular and indeed honourable mention of Joseph's administration in Egypt, in the account he gives of Jewish affairs, lib. xxxvi. cap. 2. How the relation may have stood in Trogus Pompeius, from whose voluminous works in forty-four books or volumes Justin abridged his history, we cannot tell, as the work of Trogus is irrecoverably lost; but it is evident that the account was taken in the main from the Mosaic history, and it is written with as much candour as can be expected from a prejudiced and unprincipled heathen.
Minimus aetate inter fratres Joseph fruit, c. "Joseph was the youngest of his brethren, who, being envious of his excellent endowments, stole him and privately sold him to a company of foreign merchants, by whom he was carried into Egypt where, having diligently cultivated magic arts, he became, in a short time, a prime favourite with the king himself. For he was the most sagacious of men in explaining prodigies; and he was the first who constructed the science of interpreting dreams. Nor was there any thing relative to laws human or Divine with which he seemed unacquainted; for he predicted a failure of the crops many years before it took place; and the inhabitants of Egypt must have been famished had not the king, through his counsel, made an edict to preserve the fruits for several years. And his experiments were so powerful, that the responses appear to have been given, not by man, but by God." Tantaque experimenta ejus fuerunt, ut non ab homine, sed a Deo, responsa dari viderentur. I believe Justin refers here in the word experimenta, to his figment of magical incantations eliciting oracular answers. Others have translated the words: "So excellent were his regulations that they seemed rather to be oracular responses, not given by man, but by God."
I have already compared Joseph with his father Jacob, Genesis 48:12; Genesis 48:12, and shall make no apology for having given the latter a most decided superiority. Joseph was great; but his greatness came through the interposition of especial providences. Jacob was great, mentally and practically great, under the ordinary workings of Providence; and, towards the close of his life, not less distinguished for piety towards God than his son Joseph was in the holiest period of his life.
THUS terminates the Book of GENESIS, the most ancient record in the world; including the history of two grand subjects, CREATION and PROVIDENCE, of each of which it gives a summary, but astonishingly minute, and detailed account. From this book almost all the ancient philosophers, astronomers, chronologists, and historians have taken their respective data; and all the modern improvements and accurate discoveries in different arts and sciences have only served to confirm the facts detailed by Moses; and to show that all the ancient writers on these subjects have approached to or receded from TRUTH and the phenomena of nature, in proportion as they have followed the Mosaic history.
In this book the Creative Power and Energy of God are first introduced to the reader's notice, and the mind is overwhelmed with those grand creative acts by which the universe was brought into being. When this account is completed, and the introduction of Sin, and its awful consequences in the destruction of the earth by a flood, noticed, then the Almighty Creator is next introduced as the Restorer and Preserver of the world; and thus the history of Providence commences: a history in which the mind of man is alternately delighted and confounded with the infinitely varied plans of wisdom and mercy in preserving the human species, counteracting the evil propensities of men and devils by means of gracious influences conveyed through religious institutions, planting and watering the seeds of righteousness which himself had sowed in the hearts of men, and leading forward and maturing the grand purposes of his grace in the final salvation of the human race.
After giving a minutely detailed account of the peopling of the earth, ascertaining and settling the bounds of the different nations of mankind, the sacred writer proceeds with the history of one family only; but he chooses that one through which, as from an ever-during fountain, the streams of justice, grace, goodness, wisdom, and truth, should emanate. Here we see a pure well of living water, springing up into eternal life, restrained in its particular influence to one people till, in the fullness of time, the fountain should be opened in the house of David for sin and for uncleanness in general, and the earth filled with the knowledge and salvation of God; thus by means of one family, as extensive a view of the economy of providence and grace is afforded as it is possible for the human mind to comprehend.
In this epitome how wonderful do the workings of Providence appear! An astonishing concatenated train of stupendous and minute events is laid before us; and every transaction is so distinctly marked as everywhere to exhibit the finger, the hand, or the arm of God! But did God lavish his providential cares and attention on this one family, exclusive of the rest of his intelligent offspring? No: for the same superintendence, providential direction, and influence, would be equally seen in all the concerns of human life, in the preservation of individuals, the rise and fall of kingdoms and states, and in all the mighty Revolutions, natural, moral, and political, in the universe, were God, as in the preceding instances, to give us the detailed history; but what was done in the family of Abraham, was done in behalf of the whole human race. This specimen is intended to show us that God does work, and that against him and the operations of his hand, no might, no counsel, no cunning of men or devils, can prevail; that he who walks uprightly walks securely; and that all things work together for good to them who love God; that none is so ignorant, low, or lost, that God cannot instruct, raise up, and save. In a word, he shows himself by this history to be the invariable friend of mankind, embracing every opportunity to do them good, and, to speak after the manner of men, rejoicing in the frequent recurrence of such opportunities; that every man, considering the subject, may be led to exclaim in behalf of all his fellows, Behold How He Loveth Them!
On the character of Moses as a Historian and Philosopher (for in his legislative character he does not yet appear) much might be said, did the nature of this work admit. But as brevity has been everywhere studied, and minute details rarely admitted, and only where absolutely necessary, the candid reader will excuse any deficiencies of this kind which he may have already noticed.
Of the accuracy and impartiality of Moses as a historian, many examples are given in the course of the notes, with such observations and reflections as the subjects themselves suggested; and the succeeding books will afford many opportunities for farther remarks on these topics.
The character of Moses as a philosopher and chronologist, has undergone the severest scrutiny. A class of philosophers, professedly infidels, have assailed the Mosaic account of the formation of the universe, and that of the general deluge, with such repeated attacks as sufficiently prove that, in their apprehension, the pillars of their system must be shaken into ruin if those accounts could not be proved to be false. Traditions, supporting accounts different from those in the sacred history, have been borrowed from the most barbarous as well as the most civilized nations, in order to bear on this argument. These, backed by various geologic observations made in extensive travels, experiments on the formation of different strata or beds of earth, either by inundations or volcanic eruption, have been all condensed into one apparently strong but strange argument, intended to overthrow the Mosaic account of the creation. The argument may be stated thus: "The account given by Moses of the time when God commenced his creative acts is too recent; for, according to his Genesis, six thousand years have not yet elapsed since the formation of the universe; whereas a variety of phenomena prove that the earth itself must have existed, if not from eternity, yet at least fourteen if not twenty thousand years." This I call a strange argument, because it is well known that all the ancient nations in the world, the Jews excepted, have, to secure their honor and respectability, assigned to themselves a duration of the most improbable length; and have multiplied months, weeks, and even days, into years, in order to support their pretensions to the most remote antiquity. The millions of years which have been assumed by the Chinese and the Hindoos have been ridiculed for their manifest absurdity, even by those philosophers who have brought the contrary charge against the Mosaic account. So notorious are the pretensions to remote ancestry and remote eras, in every false and fabricated system of family pedigree and national antiquity, as to produce doubt at the very first view of their subjects, and to cause the impartial inquirer after truth to take every step with the extreme of caution, knowing that in going over such accounts he everywhere treads on a kind of enchanted ground.
When in the midst of these a writer is found who, without saying a word of the systems of other nations, professes to give a simple account of the creation and peopling of the earth, and to show the very conspicuous part that his own people acted among the various nations of the world, and who assigns to the earth and to its inhabitants a duration comparatively but as of yesterday, he comes forward with such a variety of claims to be heard, read, and considered, as no other writer can pretend to. And as he departs from the universal custom of all writers on similar subjects, in assigning a comparatively recent date, not only to his own nation, but to the universe itself, he must have been actuated by motives essentially different from those which have governed all other ancient historians and chronologists.
The generally acknowledged extravagance and absurdity of all the chronological systems of ancient times, the great simplicity and harmony of that of Moses, its facts evidently borrowed by others, though disgraced by the fables they have intermixed with them, and the very late invention of arts and sciences, all tend to prove, at the very first view, that the Mosaic account, which assigns the shortest duration to the earth, is the most ancient and the most likely to be true. But all this reasoning has been supposed to be annihilated by an argument brought against the Mosaic account of the creation by Mr. Patrick Brydone, F.R.S., drawn from the evidence of different eruptions of Mount Etna. The reader may find this in his "Tour through Sicily and Malta," letter vii., where, speaking of his acquaintance with the Canonico Recupero at Catania, who was then employed on writing a natural history of Mount Etna, he says: "Near to a vault which is now thirty feet below ground, and has probably been a burying-place, there is a draw-well where there are several strata of lavas, (i. e., the liquid matter formed of stones, etc., which is discharged from the mountain in its eruptions), with earth to a considerable thickness over each stratum. Recupero has made use of this as an argument to prove the great antiquity of the eruptions of this mountain. For if it requires two thousand years and upwards to form but a scanty soil on the surface of a lava, there must have been more than that space of time between each of the eruptions which have formed these strata. But what shall we say of a pit they sunk near to Jaci, of a great depth? They pierced through seven distinct lavas, one under the other, the surfaces of which were parallel, and most of them covered with a thick bed of rich earth. Now, says he, the eruption which formed the lowest of these lavas, if we may be allowed to reason from analogy, must have flowed from the mountain at least fourteen thousand years ago! Recupero tells me, he is exceedingly embarrassed by these discoveries, in writing the history of the mountain; that Moses hangs like a dead weight upon him, and blunts all his zeal for inquiry, for that he really has not the conscience to make his mountain so young as that prophet makes the world.
"The bishop, who is strenuously orthodox, (for it is an excellent see), has already warned him to be upon his guard; and not to pretend to be a better natural historian than Moses, nor to presume to urge any thing that may in the smallest degree be deemed contradictory to his sacred authority."
Though Mr. Brydone produces this as a sneer against revelation, bishops, and orthodoxy, yet the sequel will prove that it was good advice, and that the bishop was much better instructed than either Recupero or Brydone, and that it would have been much to their credit had they taken his advice.
I have given, however, this argument at length; and even in the insidious dress of Mr. Brydone, whose faith in Divine revelation appears to have been upon a par with that of Signior Recupero, both being built nearly on the same foundation; to show from the answer how slight the strongest arguments are, produced from insulated facts by prejudice and partiality, when brought to the test of sober, candid, philosophical investigation, aided by an increased knowledge of the phenomena of nature. "In answer to this argument," says Bishop Watson, (Letters to Gibbon), "It might be urged that the time necessary for converting lavas into fertile fields must be very different, according to the different consistencies of the lavas, and their different situations with respect to elevation and depression, or their being exposed to winds, rains, and other circumstances; as for instance, the quantity of ashes deposited over them, after they had cooled, etc., etc., just as the time in which heaps of iron slag, which resembles lava, are covered with verdure, is different at different furnaces, according to the nature of the slag and situation of the furnace; and something of this kind is deducible from the account of the canon (Recupero) himself, since the crevices in the strata are often full of rich good soil, and have pretty large trees growing upon them. But should not all this be thought sufficient to remove the objection, I will produce the canon an analogy in opposition to his analogy, and which is grounded on more certain facts.
"Etna and Vesuvius resemble each other in the causes which produce their eruptions, in the nature of their lavas, and in the time necessary to mellow them into soil fit for vegetation; or, if there be any slight difference in this respect, it is probably not greater than what subsists between different lavas of the same mountain. This being admitted, which no philosopher will deny, the canon's (Recupero's) analogy will prove just nothing at all if we can produce an instance of seven different lavas, with interjacent strata of vegetable earth, which have flowed from Mount Vesuvius within the space, not of fourteen thousand, but of somewhat less than one thousand seven hundred years; for then, according to our analogy, a stratum of lava may be covered with vegetable soil in about two hundred and fifty years, instead of requiring two thousand for that purpose.
"The eruption of Vesuvius, which destroyed Herculaneum and Pompeii, is rendered still more famous by the death of Pliny, recorded by his nephew in his letter to Tacitus. This event happened a. d. 79; but we are informed by unquestionable authority, (Remarks on the nature of the soil of Naples and its vicinity, by Sir William Hamilton, Philos. Transact., vol. lxi., p. 7), that the matter which covers the ancient town of Herculaneum is not the produce of one eruption only, for there are evident marks that the matter of six eruptions has taken its course over that which lies immediately over the town, and was the cause of its destruction. The strata are either of lava or burnt matter with veins of good soil between them. You perceive," says the bishop, "with what ease a little attention and increase of knowledge may remove a great difficulty; but had we been able to say nothing in explanation of this phenomenon, we should not have acted a very rational part in making our ignorance the foundation of our infidelity, or suffering a minute philosopher to rob us of our religion." In this, as well as in all other cases, the foundation stands sure, being deeply and legibly impressed with God's seal. See also Dr. Greaves's Lectures on the Pentateuch.
There is a very sensible paper written by Don Joseph Gioeni (The Chevalier Gioeni was an inhabitant of the first region of Etna). on the eruption of Etna in 1781; in which, among many other valuable observations, I find the following note: "I was obliged to traverse the current of lava made by the eruption of 1766, the most ancient of any that took this direction, viz., Bronte. I saw several streams of lava which had crossed others, and which afforded me evident proofs of the fallacy of the conclusions of those who seek to estimate the period of the formation of the beds of lava from the change they have undergone. Some lava of earlier date than others still resist the weather, and present a vitreous and unaltered surface, while the lava of later date already begin to be covered with vegetation." - See Pinkerton on Rock, vol. ii., p. 395.
On the geology and astronomy of the book of Genesis, much has been written, both by the enemies and friends of revelation; but as Moses has said but very little on these subjects, and nothing in a systematic way, it is unfair to invent a system pretendedly collected out of his words, and thus make him accountable for what he never wrote. There are systems of this kind, the preconceived fictions of their authors, for which they have sought support and credit by tortured meanings extracted from a few Hebrew roots, and then dignified them with the title of The Mosaic System of the Universe. This has afforded infidelity a handle which it has been careful to turn to its own advantage. On the first chapter of Genesis, I have given a general view of the solar system, without pretending that I had found it there. I have also ventured to apply the comparatively recent doctrine of caloric to the Mosaic account of the creation of light previous to the formation of the sun, and have supported it with such arguments as appeared to me to render it at least probable: but I have not pledged Moses to any of my explanations, being fully convinced that it was necessarily foreign from his design to enter into philosophic details of any kind, as it was his grand object, as has been already remarked, to give a history of Creation and Providence in the most abridged form of which it was capable. And who, in so few words, ever spoke so much? By Creation I mean the production of every being, animate and inanimate, material and intellectual. And by Providence, not only the preservation and government of all being, but also the various and extraordinary provisions made by Divine justice and mercy for the comfort and final salvation of man. These subjects I have endeavored to trace out through every chapter of this book, and to exhibit them in such a manner as appeared to me the best calculated to promote glory to God in the highest, and upon Earth Peace And Good Will Among Men.
The ancient Jews divided the whole law of Moses into fifty-four sections, which they read in their synagogues in the course of the fifty-two Sabbaths in the year, joining two of the shortest twice together, that the whole might be finished in one year's space; but in their intercalated years, in which they added a month, they had fifty-four Sabbaths, and then they had a section for each Sabbath: and it was to meet the exigency of the intercalated years that they divided the law into fifty-four sections at first. When Antiochus Epiphanes forbade the Jews on pain of death to read their law, they divided the prophets into the same number of sections, and read them in their synagogues in place of the law; and when, under the Asmoneans, they recovered their liberty, and with it the free exercise of their religion, though the reading of the law was resumed, they continued the use of the prophetic sections, reading them conjointly with those in the law. To this first division and mode of reading the law there is a reference, Acts 15:21: For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being READ IN THE SYNAGOGUES EVERY SABBATH DAY. To the second division and conjoint reading of the law and the prophets we also find a reference, Acts 13:15; And after the reading of the LAW AND THE PROPHETS, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, &c. And that the prophets were read in this way in our Lord's time, we have a proof, Luke 4:16, &c., where, going into the synagogue to read on the Sabbath day, as was his custom, there was delivered unto him the book of the Prophet Isaiah: and it appears that the prophetical section for that Sabbath was taken from the sixty-first chapter of his prophecies.
Of these sections the book of Genesis contains twelve:
The FIRST, called ברשית bereshith, begins Genesis 1:1, and ends Genesis 6:8.
The SECOND, called נח Noach, begins Genesis 6:9, and ends Genesis 11:32.
The THIRD, called לך לך lech lecha, begins Genesis 12:1, and ends Genesis 18:1.
The FOURTH, called וירא vaiyera, begins Genesis 18:1, and ends Genesis 22:24.
The FIFTH, called חיי שׂרה chaiyey Sarah, begins Genesis 23:1, and ends Genesis 25:18.
The SIXTH, called תולדת toledoth, begins Genesis 25:19, and ends Genesis 28:9.
The SEVENTH, called ויצא vaiyetse, begins Genesis 28:10, and ends Genesis 32:3.
The EIGHTH, called וישלח vaiyishlach, begins Genesis 32:4, and ends Genesis 36:43.
The NINTH, called וישב vaiysheb, begins Genesis 37:1, and ends Genesis 40:23.
The TENTH, called מקץ mikkets, begins Genesis 41:1, and ends Genesis 14:17.
The ELEVENTH, called ויגש vaiyiggash, begins Genesis 44:18, and ends Genesis 47:27.
The TWELFTH, called ויחי vayechi, begins Genesis 47:28, and ends Genesis 50:26.
These sections have their technical names, from the words with which they commence; and are marked in the Hebrew Bibles with three פפפ pe's, which are an abbreviation for פרשה parashah, a section or division; and sometimes with three ססס samech's, which are an abbreviation for the word סדר seder, or סדרא sidra, an order, a full and absolute division. The former are generally called פרשיות parashioth, distinctions, divisions, sections; the latter סדרים sedarim, orders, arrangements; as it is supposed that the sense is more full and complete in these than in the parashioth. See the Tables, &c., at the end of the Book of Deuteronomy, where all these matters, and others connected with them, are considered in great detail.
At the end of all the books in the Hebrew Bible, the Masoretes have affixed certain notes, ascertaining the number of greater and smaller sections, chapters, verses, and letters. These they deemed of the greatest importance, in order to preserve the integrity of their law, and the purity of their prophets. And to this end they not only numbered every verse, word, and letter, but even went so far as to ascertain how often each letter of the alphabet occurred in the whole Bible! Thus sacredly did they watch over their records in order to prevent every species of corruption.
The sum of all the VERSES in Bereshith (Genesis) is 1534. And the memorial sign of this sum is אך לד - aleph א signifying 1000; final caph ך 500; lamed ל 30, and daleth ד 4. is = 1534.
The middle verse of Genesis is the Genesis 27:40: By thy sword shalt thou live.
The PARASHIOTH, or greater sections; are twelve. The symbol of which is the word זה zeh, THIS, Exodus 3:15: And THIS is my memorial to all generations. Where zain ז stands for 7, and he ה, for 5.=12.
The SEDARIM, or orders, (see above) are forty-three. The symbol of which is the word גם gam. Genesis 27:33: YEA (גם gam) and he shall be blessed. Where gimel ג stands for 3, and mem ם for 40.=43.
The PERAKIM, or modern division of chapters, are fifty; the symbol of which is לך lecha, Isaiah 33:2: We have waited FOR THEE. Where lamed ל stands for 30, and caph ך for 20.=50.
The open sections are 43, the close sections 48, total 91: the numerical sign of which is צא tse, GET THEE OUT, Exodus 11:8, where tsaddi צ stands for 90, and aleph א for 1.=91.
The number of letters is about 52,740; but this last is more a matter of conjecture and computation than of certainty, and on it no dependence can safely be placed, it being a mere multiplication by twelve, the number of sections, of 4395, the known number of letters in the last or twelfth section of the book. On this subject see Buxtorf's Tiberias, p. 181.
THE reader will observe, from the chronological notes in the margin of the preceding work, that in a few instances I have departed from the Usherian computation, for which he will find my reasons in the notes.
This table I have considerably enlarged by inserting the Edomitish kings and dukes, and a few other transactions of profane history contemporary with the facts mentioned by Moses, by which the reader will have a synopsis or general view of all the transactions of the first two thousand four hundred years of the world, which stand upon any authentic records.
The first year of the world, answering to the 710th year of the Julian period, and supposed to be 4004 before the vulgar era of the birth of Christ.
|1|| First day's work: Creation of the heavens and earth; of light, with the distinction of day and night, Genesis 1:1-5. |
Second day: Creation of the firmament, and separation of the superior and inferior waters, Genesis 1:6-8.
Third day: The earth drained, the seas, lakes, &c., formed; trees, plants, and vegetables produced, Genesis 1:9-13.
Fourth day: The sun, moon, planets, and stars produced, Genesis 1:14-19.
Fifth day: All kinds of fowls and fishes created, Genesis 1:20-23.
Sixth day: Beasts wild and tame, reptiles, insects, and man, Genesis 1:24-28.
Seventh day: Set apart and hallowed to be a Sabbath, or day of rest for ever, Genesis 2:2-3.
Tenth day: The first woman sins, leads her husband into the transgression, is called Eve, Genesis 3:1-20.
They are both expelled from Paradise, Genesis 3:22-24.
N. B. This opinion, though rendered respectable by great names, is very doubtful, and should be received with very great caution. I think it wholly inadmissible; and though I insert it as the generally received opinion, yet judge it best to form no guesses and indulge no conjectures on such an obscure point.
|2||Cain and Abel born, Genesis 4:1-2.||4002|
|129||Abel killed by his brother Cain, Genesis 4:8.||3875|
|130||Birth of Seth, Genesis 4:25.||3874|
|235||Enos son of Seth born, Genesis 4:26. Hence followed the distinction between the descendants of Cain and those of Seth; the former being called sons of men, the latter sons of God, Genesis 6:1-4.||3769|
|325||Birth of Cainan, son of Enos, Genesis 5:9.||3679|
|395||) ) ) ) of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan, Genesis 5:12.||3609|
|460||) ) ) ) of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, Genesis 5:15.||3544|
|622||) ) ) ) of Enoch, son of Jared, Genesis 5:18.||3382|
|687||Birth of Methuselah, son of Enoch, Genesis 5:21.||3317|
|874||) ) ) ) of Lamech, son of Methuselah, Genesis 5:25.||3130|
|930||Death of Adam, aged 930 years, Genesis 5:5.||3074|
|987||Enoch is translated in the 365 year of his age, Genesis 5:24.||3017|
|1042||Seth dies, aged 912 years, Genesis 5:8.||2962|
|1056||Birth of Noah, son of Lamech, Genesis 5:29.||2948|
|1140||Enos dies, aged 905 years, Genesis 5:11.||2864|
|1235||Cainan dies, aged 910 years, Genesis 5:14.||2769|
|1290||Mahalaleel dies, aged 895 years, Genesis 5:17.||2714|
|1422||Jared dies, aged 962 years, Genesis 5:20.||2562|
|1536||God commissions Noah to preach repentance to the guilty world, and to announce the deluge. He commands him also to build an ark for the safety of himself and his family. This commission was given 120 years before the flood came, 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; Genesis 6:17.||2468|
|1556||Birth of Japheth, son of Noah, Genesis 5:32, compared with Genesis 10:21.||2448|
|1558||) ) ) ) of Shem.||2446|
|1560||) ) ) ) of Ham.||2444|
|1651||Death of Lamech, aged 777 years, Genesis 5:31.||2353|
|1656||) ) ) ) of Methuselah, aged 969 years, Genesis 5:27.||2348|
|——||The general DELUGE, Genesis 7:0||——|
|——||Noah, his family, and the animals to be preserved, enter the ark the 17th day of the 2d month of this year, vii. 11. The rain commences, and continues 40 days and nights, and the waters continue without decreasing 150 days; they afterwards begin to abate, and the ark rests on Mount Ararat, Genesis 8:4.||——|
|——||Noah sends out a raven, Genesis 8:7.||——|
|——||Seven days after he sends out a dove, which returns the same day; after seven days he sends out the dove a second time, which returns no more, Genesis 8:8-12.||——|
|1657||Noah, his family, &c., leave the ark. He offers sacrifices to God, Genesis 8:0 and Genesis 9:0.||2347|
|1658||Birth of Arphaxad, son of Shem, Genesis 11:10-11.||2346|
|1693||))))of Salah, son of Arphaxad, Genesis 11:12.||2311|
|1723||))))of Eber, son of Salah, Genesis 11:14.||2231|
|1757||))))of Peleg, son of Eber, Genesis 11:16.||2247|
|——||Building of the Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:1-9.||——|
|1771||About this time Babylon was built by the command of Nimrod.||2233|
|1787||Birth of Reu, son of Peleg, Genesis 11:18.||2217|
|1816||Commencement of the regal government of Egypt, from Mizraim, son of Ham. Egypt continued an independent kingdom from this time to the reign of Cambyses, king of Persia, which was a period of 1663 years, according to Constantinus Manasses.||2188|
|1819||Birth of Serug, son of Reu Genesis 11:20||2185|
|1849||) ) ) ) of Nahor, son of Serug, Genesis 11:22.||2155|
|1878||) ) ) ) of Terah, son of Nahor, Genesis 11:24.||2126|
|1915||About this time, Ægialeus founds the kingdom of Sicyon, according to Eusebius.||2089|
|1948||Birth of Nahor and Haran, sons of Terah, Genesis 11:26.||2056|
|1996||Peleg dies, aged 239 years, Genesis 11:19.||2008|
|1997||Nahor dies, aged 148 years, Genesis 11:25.||2007|
|2006||Noah dies, aged 950 years, 350 years after the flood, Genesis 11:29.||1998|
|2008||Birth of ABRAM, son of Terah, Genesis 11:26.||1996|
|2018||) ) ) ) of SARAI, wife of Abram.||1986|
|2026||Reu dies, Genesis 11:21.||1978|
|2049||Serug dies, Genesis 11:23.||1955|
|2079||Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, subdues the kings of the Pentapolis, Sodom, Gomorrah, &c., to whom they continued in subjection 12 years, Genesis 14:4.||1925|
|2083||The calling of Abram out of UR of the Chaldees, where the family had been addicted to idolatry, Joshua 24:2. He comes to Haran in Mesopotamia, with Lot his nephew, Sarai his wife, and his father Terah, who dies at Haran, aged 205 years, Genesis 11:31-32.||1921|
|——||Abram comes to Canaan, when 75 years of age, Genesis 12:4. From this period the 430 years of the sojourning of the Israelites, mentioned Exodus 12:40-41, is generally dated.||——|
|2084||Abram goes into Egypt because of the famine, Genesis 12:10; causes Sarai to pass for his sister. Pharaoh (Apophis) takes her to his house; but soon restores her, finding her to be Abram's wife, Genesis 12:14-20.||1920|
|2086||Abram and Lot, having returned to the land of Canaan, separate; Lot goes to Sodom, and Abram to the valley of Mamre, near to Hebron, Genesis 13:0.||1918|
|2090||The kings of the Pentapolis revolt from Chedorlaomer, Genesis 14:4.||1914|
|2091||Chedorlaomer and his allies make war with the kings of the Pentapolis; Lot is taken captive; Abram with his allies pursues Chedorlaomer, defeats him and the confederate kings, delivers Lot and the other captives, and is blessed by Melchizedek, king of Salem, Genesis 14:0.||1913|
|2093||God promises Abram a numerous posterity, Genesis 15:1.||1911|
|——||About this time Bela, the first king of the Edomites, began to reign, Genesis 36:32.||——|
|2094||Sarai gives Hagar to Abram, Genesis 16:2.||1910|
|——||Of her Ishmael is born, Genesis 16:15, Abram being then 86 years old.||——|
|2096||Arphaxad dies, 403 years after the birth of Salah, Genesis 15:13.||1908|
|2107||God makes a covenant with Abram; gives him the promise of a son; changes his name into Abraham, and Sarai's into Sarah, and enjoins circumcision, Genesis 17:1, Genesis 17:5-6, &c. Abraham entertains three angels on their way to destroy Sodom, &c., Genesis 18:0. He intercedes for the inhabitants; but as ten righteous persons not be found in those cities, they are destroyed, Genesis 19:23. Lot is delivered and for his sake Zoar is preserved, Genesis 19:19, &c.||1897|
|——||Abram retires to Beer-sheba, afterwards sojourns at Gerar. Abimelech, king of Gerar, takes Sarah, in order to make her his wife, but is obliged to restore her. Genesis 20:0.||——|
|2108||Isaac is born, Genesis 21:2-3.||1896|
|——||Moab and Ben-ammi, the sons of Lot, born, Genesis 19:37-38.||——|
|2110||Abraham sends away Ishmael, Genesis 21:13-14.||1894|
|2118||Abimelech and Phichol his chief captain make an agreement with Abraham, and surrender the well of Beer-sheba for seven ewe lambs, Genesis 21:22, &c.||1886|
|2126||Salah dies 403 years after the birth of Eber, Genesis 21:15.||1878|
|2135||About this time Jobab, the second king of the Edomites, began to reign, Genesis 36:33.||1869|
|2141||Abraham is called to sacrifice his son Isaac, Genesis 22:0.||1863|
|2145||Sarah dies, aged 127 years, Genesis 23:1.||1859|
|2148||Abraham sends Eliezer to Mesopotamia to get a wife for his son Isaac, Genesis 24:0.||1856|
|2154||About this time Abraham marries Keturah, Genesis 25:1.||1850|
|2158||Shem, son of Noah, dies 500 years after the birth of Arphaxed, Genesis 11:11.||1846|
|2168||Birth of Jacob and Esau, Isaac their father being 60 years old, Genesis 25:22, &c.||1836|
|2177||About this time Husham, the third king of the Edomites, began to reign, Genesis 36:34.||1827|
|2183||Abraham dies, aged 175 years, Genesis 25:7-8.||1821|
|2187||Eber dies, 430 years after the birth of Peleg, Genesis 11:17.||1817|
|2200||God appears to Isaac, and gives him glorious promises, Genesis 26:4. He stays at Gerar during the famine, Genesis 26:6.||1804|
|2208||Esau marries two Canaanitish women, Genesis 26:34.||1796|
|2219||About this time Hadad, the fourth king of the Edomites, began to reign, Genesis 36:35.||1785|
|——||Deluge of Ogyges in Greece, 1020 years before the first Olympiad.||——|
|2225||Jacob by subtlety obtains Esau's blessing, Genesis 27:0. He goes to Haran, and engages to serve Laban seven years for Rachel, Genesis 28:0, Genesis 29:0.||1779|
|——||Esau marries Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, Genesis 28:9.||——|
|2231||Ishmael dies, aged 137 years, Genesis 25:17.||1773|
|2232||Jacob espouses Rachel seven years after his engagement with Laban: Leah is put in the place of her sister; but seven days after he receives Rachel, Genesis 29:0.||1772|
|2233||Reuben is born, Genesis 29:32.||1771|
|2234||Simeon is born, Genesis 29:33.||1770|
|2235||Levi is born, Genesis 29:34.||1769|
|2236||Judah is born, Genesis 29:35.||1768|
|2237||Dan is born, Genesis 30:5-6.||1767|
|2239||Naphtali is born, Genesis 30:7-8.||1765|
|2240||Gad is born, Genesis 30:10-11.||1764|
|2242||Asher is born, Genesis 30:12-13.||1762|
|——||Evechous begins to reign over the Chaldeans 224 years before the Arabs reigned in that country (Julius Africanus). Usher supposes him to have been the same with Belus, who was afterwards worshipped by the Chaldeans.||——|
|2247||Issachar is born, Genesis 30:17-18.||1757|
|2249||Zebulun is born, Genesis 30:19-20.||1755|
|2250||Dinah is born, Genesis 30:21.||1754|
|2259||Joseph is born, Genesis 30:23-24.||1745|
|2261||About this time Samlah, the fifth king of the Edomites, began to reign, Genesis 36:36.||1743|
|2265||Jacob and his family, unknown to Laban, set out for Canaan. Laban, hearing of his departure, pursues him; after seven days he comes up with him at the mountains of Gilead; they make a covenant, and gather a heap of stones, and set up a pillar as a memorial of the transaction, Genesis 31:0.||1739|
| ||Jacob wrestles with an Angel, and has his name changed to that of Israel, Genesis 32:24-29.||——|
|——||Esau meets Jacob, Genesis 33:4.||——|
|——||Jacob arrives in Canaan, and settles among the Shechemites, Genesis 33:18.||——|
|2266||Benjamin born, and Rachel dies immediately after his birth, Genesis 35:18.||1738|
|——||Dinah defiled by Shechem, and the subsequent murder of the Shechemites by Simeon and Levi, Genesis 34:0.||——|
|2276||Joseph, aged seventeen years, falling under the displeasure of his brothers, they conspire to take away his life, but afterwards change their minds, and sell him for a slave to some Ishmaelite merchants, who bring him to Egypt and sell him to Potiphar, Genesis 37:0.||1728|
|2278||Pharez and Zarah, the twin-sons of Judah, born about this time, Genesis 38:27-30.||1726|
|2285||Joseph, through the false accusation of his mistress, is cast into prison, where, about two years after, he interprets the dreams of the chief butler and the chief baker, Genesis 39:0, Genesis 40:0.||1719|
|2288||Isaac dies, aged 180 years, Genesis 35:28.||1716|
|2289||Joseph interprets the two-prophetic dreams of Pharaoh, Genesis 41:0.||1715|
|——||Commencement of the seven years of plenty.||——|
|2290||About this time was born Manasseh, Joseph's first-born.||1714|
|2292||About this time was born Ephraim, Joseph's second son.||1712|
|2296||Commencement of the seven years of famine.||1708|
|2297||Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy corn, Genesis 42:1, &c.||1707|
|2298||He sends them a second time, and with them his son Benjamin, Genesis 43:11.||1706|
|——||Joseph makes himself known to his brethren, sends for his father, and allots him and his household the land of Goshen to dwell in; Jacob being then 130 years old, Genesis 45:0, Genesis 46:0.||——|
|2300||Joseph sells corn to the Egyptians, and brings all the money in Egypt into the king's treasury, Genesis 47:14.||1704|
|2301||He buys all the cattle, Genesis 47:16.||1703|
|2302||All the Egyptians give themselves up to be Pharaoh's servants, in order to get corn to preserve their lives and sow their ground, Genesis 47:18, &c.||1702|
|2303||The seven years of famine ended.||1701|
|——||About this time Saul, the sixth king of the Edomites, began to reign, Genesis 36:37.||——|
|2315||Jacob, having blessed his sons and the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, dies, aged 147 years. He is embalmed and carried into Canaan, and buried in the cave of Machpelah, Genesis 49:1.||1689|
|2345||About this time Baal-hanan, the seventh of king the Edomites, began to reign, Genesis 36:38.||1659|
|2369||Joseph dies, aged 110, having governed Egypt fourscore years.||1635|
|2387||About this time Hadar or Hadad, the eighth and last king of the Edomites, began to reign, Genesis 36:39.||1617|
|2429||About this time the regal government of the Edomites is abolished, and the first aristocracy of dukes begins, Genesis 36:15, Genesis 36:16.||1575|
|2471||About this time the second aristocracy of Edomitish dukes begins, Genesis 36:40-43.||1533|
|2474||Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, born forty years before he was sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan.||1530|
|2494||Ramasses Miamun died in the 67th year of his reign, under whom, and his son Amenophis, who succeeded him, the children of Israel endured the cruel bondage and oppression mentioned in Exodus 1:0.||1510|
Finished the correction of this Part, April 6th, 1827. - A. CLARKE.
These files are public domain.
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Genesis 50". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13