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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 46

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4


‘Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.’

Genesis 46:4

I. ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.’ Nothing in by-gone years would have given Jacob more pleasure than the knowledge that at the end of his sad and weary pilgrimage, Joseph should close his eyes in death. When Rachel was taken from him, he turned naturally to Joseph to perform the last sad offices; but at one time nothing seemed more unlikely than that this would be the case; yet now the impossible had suddenly become possible, and Joseph was to receive his last instructions ( Genesis 47:29).

II. It is pleasant to think that God takes delight in gratifying the innocent and natural wishes of His saints, where it is possible. ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,’ and surely the last ones. He who loved to receive at Mary’s hands the anointing for His burying, will see that the body which has served Him, and been His temple, shall be rightly honoured. I like to believe that God’s love-idylls end joyfully; that those who have loved find each other, and enclasp in an embrace that can never be unloosed; that days of weeping clear towards evensong, and that Josephs put their hands upon our eyes. But even if that cannot be, our risen Lord will stand beside us then.

‘Thou shalt see,

Steadfastly gazing towards eternity,

The heavens opened, and at God’s right hand,

With the same smile as once, thy Master stand;

Nor only so, but come down from His place,

And stand beside thee, and His arms embrace,

Nor ever let thy hand go, holding fast,

Till all the tyranny be overpast.’


‘It is very good that an old man’s years, last years, should be illumined by messages and tokens of love from his children and his grandchildren, that he should enter when he is past seventy into the pleasant stir of new lives and new friends, into a world of wider interests. Those, I imagine, are the lives that best deserve to be called happy, those lives in which all that has been given in the anxious days comes back tenfold in the days of peace, and where the end is a golden sunset.’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Genesis 46". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/genesis-46.html. 1876.
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