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The time of Jacob's death drawing near, Joseph hastens to visit him: and the dying Patriarch takes occasion in this interesting interview, to recount to Joseph GOD'S gracious dealings with him from his youth. Joseph's two sons being brought before Jacob he blesseth them. And in the sure confidence that GOD would confirm his promise of bringing his seed again to Canaan, Jacob gives a particular spot of land there to his son Joseph. These are the contents of this Chapter.
Nothing can be more interesting than the closing scene of the life of the faithful. Joshua 23:14 . No doubt Manasseh and Ephraim felt an impression which all their lives did not obliterate. It is good to introduce the young and the gay into such solemn scenes as death. Ecclesiastes 7:2 .
Gen_28:12-19; Gen_35:6-7 .
It should seem very plain that the Patriarch considered the blessing in a double point of view, as implying, that the natural seed of Jacob should inherit the earthly Canaan; and his spiritual the heavenly. See Gen_12:20; Gen_35:11-12 . then see Genesis 17:19-20 .
This adoption of Joseph's sons had a reference to the promised blessing. The apostle explains this when he saith, it was by faith. See Hebrews 11:21 .
This particularly explains the foregoing verse, in marking the natural from the spiritual stock: see Romans 9:6-8 .
Genesis 35:19 ; 1 Samuel 10:2 .
Though the natural eyes of the Patriarch were grown dim; yet how quick sighted was the eye of faith?
Proverbs 17:6 .
Observe how Jacob refers all mercies into GOD'S gift. Reader are you a partaker of divine grace? Are you a parent also? And have you a well-grounded hope that any of your offspring are partakers of divine grace? And is there nothing in this expression of the Patriarch's, suited to your case? Can you not say, I had not thought that I should have been brought into the bonds of the covenant being so utterly unworthy: and yet GOD hath showed me my seed also in the mercy? Romans 11:33 .
I admire the filial reverence of Joseph to his dying father! Oh! what an example worthy of imitation. Leviticus 19:32 .
As Jacob in the blessing was acting under the spirit of prophecy, he was guided more by what should take place in those tribes of Israel in the after ages of the Church, than by birth-right. See Numbers 1:32-35 . And some have thought that the sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, were types of the Jewish and Gentile Church. Hence the last is more numerous than the first. Galatians 4:27 .
Sweet tribute to GOD the FATHER, and to GOD the SON, the Angel of the Covenant. Malachi 3:1 ; Exodus 25:20-21 ; 1 Corinthians 10:4 .
It is remarkable, how, even in gracious minds there is generally found a partiality to nature's choice. See Genesis 17:18 . But what saith the LORD? 1 Samuel 16:7 .
Observe, how strong and ardent the faith of the ancient fathers was respecting the promise. John 8:56 .
Ruth 4:11-12 .
John 4:5 .
READER! I would pass by many very sweet and interesting reflections which arise out of this Chapter, to fix my mind upon one most eminently striking, and as important as it is striking: namely, how triumphant must be that glorious principle of faith which animated the Patriarch's mind at such a distant period before the coming of JESUS; and which enabled him to sing such a song of praise to the GOD which had fed him all his life long, and to the angel which redeemed him from all evil. Oh, my soul! if these all died in faith in a coming Saviour; shall not I, now I have seen him come; having finished transgression, made an end of sin, made reconciliation for iniquity, brought in an everlasting righteousness, and sealed up the vision: shall not I find grace to be the follower of them, who now through faith and patience inherit the promises? Blessed LORD! give me this precious gift of faith. Enable me to see GOD'S CHRIST in this great salvation; and by an ardent lively faith to know my right of appropriation in it. Then shall I be assured, even as Jacob was in a dying hour, that this GOD is my GOD forever and ever, and he will be my guide even unto death.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 48". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent