Sacrifice at Beer-sheba.
1. Israel took his journey with all that he
had—that is, his household; for in compliance with Pharaoh's
recommendation, he left his heavy furniture behind. In contemplating a
step so important as that of leaving Canaan, which at his time of life
he might never revisit, so pious a patriarch would ask the guidance and
counsel of God. With all his anxiety to see Joseph, he would rather
have died in Canaan without that highest of earthly gratifications than
leave it without the consciousness of carrying the divine blessing
along with him.
came to Beer-sheba—That place, which
was in his direct route to Egypt, had been a favorite encampment of
21:33) and Isaac (Ge 26:25), and was memorable for their
experience of the divine goodness; and Jacob seems to have deferred his
public devotions till he had reached a spot so consecrated by covenant
to his own God and the God of his fathers.
2. God spake unto Israel—Here is a
virtual renewal of the covenant and an assurance of its blessings.
Moreover, here is an answer on the chief subject of Jacob's prayer and
a removal of any doubt as to the course he was meditating. At first the
prospect of paying a personal visit to Joseph had been viewed with
unmingled joy. But, on calmer consideration, many difficulties appeared
to lie in the way. He may have remembered the prophecy to Abraham that
his posterity was to be afflicted in Egypt and also that his father had
been expressly told not to go [Ge 15:13; 26:2]; he may have feared the contamination
of idolatry to his family and their forgetfulness of the land of
promise. These doubts were removed by the answer of the oracle, and an
assurance given him of great and increasing prosperity.
3. I will there make of thee a great
nation—How truly this promise was fulfilled, appears in the
fact that the seventy souls who went down into Egypt increased [Ex 1:5-7], in the space of two hundred
fifteen years, to one hundred eighty thousand.
4. I will also surely bring thee up
again—As Jacob could not expect to live till the former
promise was realized, he must have seen that the latter was to be
accomplished only to his posterity. To himself it was literally
verified in the removal of his remains to Canaan; but, in the large and
liberal sense of the words, it was made good only on the establishment
of Israel in the land of promise.
Joseph shall put his hand upon thine
eyes—shall perform the last office of filial piety; and this
implied that he should henceforth enjoy, without interruption, the
society of that favorite son.
Ge 46:5-27. Immigration to
5. And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba—to
cross the border and settle in Egypt. However refreshed and invigorated
in spirit by the religious services at Beer-sheba, he was now borne
down by the infirmities of advanced age; and, therefore, his sons
undertook all the trouble and toil of the arrangements, while the
enfeebled old patriarch, with the wives and children, was conveyed by
slow and leisurely stages in the Egyptian vehicles sent for their
6. goods, which they had gotten in the
land—not furniture, but substance—precious things.
7. daughters—As Dinah was his only
daughter, this must mean daughters-in-law.
all his seed brought he with
him—Though disabled by age from active superintendence, yet,
as the venerable sheik of the tribe, he was looked upon as their common
head and consulted in every step.
8-27. all the souls of the house of Jacob, which
came into Egypt, were threescore and ten—Strictly speaking,
there were only sixty-six went to Egypt; but to these add Joseph and
his two sons, and Jacob the head of the clan, and the whole number
amounts to seventy. In the speech of Stephen (Ac 7:14) the number is stated to be
seventy-five; but as that estimate includes five sons of Ephraim and
Manasseh (1Ch 7:14-20), born in Egypt, the two accounts
Ge 46:28-34. Arrival in
28. he sent Judah before him unto
Joseph—This precautionary measure was obviously proper for
apprising the king of the entrance of so large a company within his
territories; moreover, it was necessary in order to receive instruction
from Joseph as to the locale of their future settlement.
29, 30. Joseph made ready his
chariot—The difference between chariot and wagon was not only
in the lighter and more elegant construction of the former, but in the
one being drawn by horses and the other by oxen. Being a public man in
Egypt, Joseph was required to appear everywhere in an equipage suitable
to his dignity; and, therefore, it was not owing either to pride or
ostentatious parade that he drove his carriage, while his father's
family were accommodated only in rude and humble wagons.
presented himself unto him—in an
attitude of filial reverence (compare Ex 22:17). The interview was a most affecting
one—the happiness of the delighted father was now at its height;
and life having no higher charms, he could, in the very spirit of the
aged Simeon, have departed in peace [Lu 2:25, 29].
31-34. Joseph said, … I will go up, and show
Pharaoh—It was a tribute of respect due to the king to inform
him of their arrival. And the instructions which he gave them were
worthy of his character alike as an affectionate brother and a