This Chapter contains the particulars of Israel's journey to Egypt. And never surely was there a journey undertaken with more clear and leading views of the divine Providence. Constrained by famine, invited by his son, and encouraged and directed by his GOD, the hoary Patriarch sets forward to embrace a long lost child. He takes all his family with him, arrives at the place of meeting, and beholds his son: an account of their interview.
Beersheba, a memorable spot: see Genesis 21:33; Gen_26:33. This offering of sacrifices, was no doubt an offering with an eye, to the great sacrifice CHRIST: see Hebrews 11:4. That is a sweet scripture, GOD is not ashamed to be called their GOD. Hebrews 11:16.
It is probable that Jacob desired in prayer that the LORD would direct him about his intended journey: see Proverbs 3:6.
Precious tokens! not only GOD, GOD Almighty, but the GOD of Jacob's fathers: that is GOD in a covenant way. See Genesis 22:17-18; Isaiah 41:10.
May we not spiritualize this as a New Testament promise? Doth not JESUS indeed say, fear not to go down into the grave, I will be with thee' see Matthew 22:31-32; Romans 14:7-9; Isaiah 43:2; Psalms 23:4.
If we spiritualize this verse we may consider the means of grace as so many conveyances to carry our hearts to JESUS.
If we calculate the number we shall find it to be what the HOLY GHOST hath said, threescore and six persons: Acts 7:15.
See Numbers 26:5
I detain not the Reader through these verses, but only to observe upon the whole, that it was now more than 200 years since GOD promised to make of Abraham a great nation and yet that branch of Abraham's seed with whom the promise was deposited, was not increased but to 70 souls: that is, including the threescore and six persons which went down with Jacob into Egypt Jacob himself, Joseph, and Joseph's two sons, none of which were included in the threescore and six enumerated.
See Genesis 45:14. Here it is said that Joseph wept on the neck of his father a good while.
And what saith the believer when he hath seen the face of JESUS: see Luke 2:29-30.
Spiritually considered, this teaches the separation of GOD'S people from the carnal world. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18. The abomination of the Hebrews. See Exodus 8:26.
While, as a subject of particular providence, we read this Chapter to remark, how the LORD graciously arrangeth and ordereth the circumstances of his people so as to fulfil that promise, that all things work together for good to them that lore GOD let us more closely observe the spiritual instructions contained in it. Reader! this Chapter concerns us. Doth not our Almighty Joseph call us down as Israel was of old, into the Egypt of darkness, even the shadow of death: and doth he not say as to him, fear not to go down, I will go with thee: and will assuredly bring thee up again. Yes! he is and will be, the resurrection and the life. And therefore may you and I be enabled to say as David did, when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Blessed GOD! give to him that writes and to him that reads an happy meeting of our Spiritual Joseph, that like Jacob we may be content to die when that sight is accomplished, and cry out with the same full assurance as holy Simeon, in the taking the LORD'S CHRIST into our arms; LORD let thy servant now depart in peace, according unto thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 46". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany