« PreviousContinue »
our daughter, and we will be gone. And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son. And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father. And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them ; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every
male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised. Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of their's be our's ? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us. And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city. And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. And they slev Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, and all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. 30 And Jacob said to Simeon and and his people merited punishment
30 But though the sin of Shechem Levi, Ye have troubled me to at the hand of God, nothing could make me to stink among the justify the conduct of the sons of inhabitants of the land, among
Jacob. Their father therefore was the Canaanites and the Pe
justly indignant. rizzites : and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot ?
No extremity of passion, no zeal for the honour of their family, could justify their deceit and violence. In the expressive and humiliating language of Jacob every parent can sympathise. The conduct of his children had been his shame. Let children be warned! Let them, for their parents' sake, flee from evil as they would flee from misery. conduct of Jacob is an instance of true magnanimity. He himself had deceived his father Isaac ; and he now, in retributive justice, is himself
deceived by his sons. Yet he defends not the wrong ; but condemns it deeply-awfully ! even though as he condemns others he condemns hinslf
. So powerfully must the deceit of his sons have brought his own sin to his remembrance.
The third Sunday in Lent.
MORNING. GENESIS xxxix. And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. ? And the
2 God is the source of all prosperity. LORD was with Joseph, and If He blesseth your worldly course, he was a prosperous man; to Him give the praise. From riches and he was in the house of and honour to bare subsistence, all his master the Egyptian. is his gift. Our bread, day by day,
comes from Him. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. * And
4 Under the most comfortless state, Joseph found grace in his
we may trust to God, that He will sight, and he served him : find a way of escape from our misery. and he made him overseer
He will raise up to us unexpected over his house, and all that
friends, and open some unlooked-for
prospect of relief, where we least he had he put into his hand. look for it. Trust we then in Him. . And it came to pass from 5 Faithful servants, in studying the time that he had made their master's benefit, secure their him overseer in his house,
own advantage. and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph ; and she said, Lie with me. 8 How firm a rejection of sin ! how But he refused, and said high a sense of honour ! tuto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand ; there 9 But who can wonder at firm virtue is tone greater in this house and honourable principle, when their than 1; neither hath he kept foundation is religion? The fear of back any thing from me but thee , because thou art his Joseph could not injure man, be
“ sin against wife : how then can I do this
cause he dare not
God.” He feared the Lord.
great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unta her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me : and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, that she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying. See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
and it came to pass, when 15 The devil is the father of lies ! he heard that I lifted up my With what readiness, when he has voice and cried, that he left once tempted a soul to sin, does he his garment with me, and fled, supply a lie to mask it * ! and got him out. And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: and it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the pri- 21 So is the Lord ever at hand to son.
21 But the LORD was succour those who trust in Him t. with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the
22 Joseph, even in prison, was innoprison. And the keeper of cent, and honoured, and happy : had the prison committed to Jo- he yielded to sin, he had been seph's hand all the prisoners wretched even in a palace I. that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to
But the lie betrayed itself. If she had cried aloud, how was it, that of all the numerous attendants in the house of Potiphar no one heard !
+ Suppose we are called to suffer in our innocence ? Even then, in bonds and dungeons, God will be with us. The light of his countenance dispels every gloom.
# A careful consideration of this chapter convinces us, that if we do but avoid sin, and flee from temptation, God's grace will be with us, and guide us into peace and safety ; whilst his providence will so order our steps, if we commit our way unto Him, that all things, however painful and grievous in themselves, shall work together for our final good.
any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
EVENING. GENESIS xlii.
Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy com in Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren ; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came : for the famine was in the land of Canaan. And Joseph was 6 Thus fulfilling, though unintenthe governor over the land, tionally, Joseph's dream. and he it was that sold to all the people of the land : and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the 7 As his brethren had long thought earth. *And Joseph saw his him dead, it is no wonder that they brethren, and he knew them, did not recognise the simple shepbut made himself strange of Egypt. Time and circumstances
herd youth in the lordly governor unto them, and spake roughly had made less change in them. By unto them; and he said unto him, therefore, they were easily rethem, Whence come ye? And cognised *. they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies ; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants
11 A good argument. No man come. We are all one man's would send all or most of his sons on sons; we are true men, thy an expedition full of danger, were servants are no spies. And any fraud intended. he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies : hereby ye shall be proved : By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. Send one of you, let him fetch your
* Joseph was about seventeen years old when his brethren sold him into Egypt. He was now forty years old.
brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. And he put them all together into ward three days. And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison : go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses : but bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and
21 Affliction is a bitter but salutary And they did so.
medicine, and in this case worked they said one to another, We good. More than twenty years had are verily guilty concerning passed, but sin lay at the door. our brother, in that we saw
Conscience may sleep, but it never
dies*. the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear ; therefore is this distress come upon us.
And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear ? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by 24 Simeon's imprisonment was a an interpreter. And he just retribution. Had he not been turned himself about from a consenting party to the cruelty
exercised upon Joseph, his brethren them, and wept; and returned
would have spared Joseph his capto them again, and com- tivity, and themselves their sin. muned with them, and took But Simeon now is imprisoned as from them Simeon, and bound Joseph was. him before their
eyes. Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them. And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence. And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money ; for, behold, it was in his sack's
28 When is guilt free from fear ! mouth.
28 And he said unto The guilty ever suffer from a fainthis brethren, My money is
ness of heart ; the sound of a shaking restored ; and, lo, it is even
leaf shall chase them. in my sack : and their heart failed them, and they were afraid,
* So the Spirit of God abideth ever to execute its office of “convincing the world of sin.” Thus, even after long years, the recollection of sorrows which our unkindness has brought upon others rises up, and arrays against us all the wretchedness we have caused. It is well if these scenes present themselves in life, when we may repent of the evil and recompense it ; lest they sleep till our death hour, and then spring up, to add torment to our pangs.