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Father and his Royal Master. The account here given of their meeting together is very affecting. He presented himself to his father, and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. What a tender and dutiful Son. How much he respected and honored his father. The tears which he shed were tears of joy at the sight of his father; they were tears of sincere and strong affection. When we think of it, sure we must almost weep too! His brother Benjamin was very dear to him, but his beloved and venerable parent was dearer still. It was a good while before he could speak-the tender embrace lasted a good while. There is not a Joseph here but is ready to weep too. At last the good old man opened his mouth, and his words show the real satisfaction and pleasure which this meeting was to him he feels so happy, and he think of nothing but dying. "Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive." Per haps he thought his death was near, but he lived 17 years. He had enjoyed all that he desired in this world; therefore, it was very natural for him to wish to go to another. We must not be surprised at his words. It was a
very common wish, and uttered from the fulness of his joy on this happy event.
IV. Joseph's PRUDENCE and WISE INSTRUCTIONS to his Brethren.
As soon as Joseph could speak, he tells his father and brethren what he intends to do.
"I will go up and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren and my father's house which were in the land of Canaan are come unto me: And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have." Well, I must now go and tell the King that you are come, and that you are shepherds, and have been so from your youth; and that you have brought your flocks and herds along with you, and then he will be sure to appoint you to live in this part of the coun try, there being plenty of pasture for your cat, tle. Here you may live yourselves, a retired and country life. And when he shall call for you, for I know that he will invite you to the lace and wish to see you, and I dare say he will ask you, "What is your occupation, or what trade you are of?" And you must say what I
have told you, that you are shepherds, that your trade hath been to feed cattle from your youth even until now, both we and also our fathers. A grazier is a very good business in this country, but it was not thought so in Egypt. I wish you to dwell here, and the king when he hears this, will give you a grant of the land of Goshen. For every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians. This is counted a mean employment, and those that follow. it are despised, as unfit for any other employment. See how careful Joseph is to preserve his brethren from the snares to which they are exposed. He could have employed them under himself in the corn trade, he could have procured for them a place in the Court of Pharaoh, or in the Army, but this would have made them proud perhaps, andhigh minded. It would have caused the envy of the Egyptians also, and they might not be fitted for the station in which they were, and thus they would injure him, and disgrace themselves.
PHARAOH'S QUESTION & JACOB'S ANSWER
GEN. 47. 8, 9.-And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an kundred and thirty yearsz few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers, in the days of their pilgrimage.
JOSEPH having settled every thing with respect to his father and his brethren, and told them what they were to say, when they were sent for into the king's presence, goes to court; and takes five of his brethren, the most handsome of them all, to introduce them to Pharaoh, both out of respect to Pharaoh, affection for his brethren, and to obtain for them a residence or settlement in the land of Goshen. He mentioned to the king that they were come unto that part of his dominions called Goshen, with their flocks and herds. Goshen was a very pleasant country, this was the most fruitful part of all Egypt, especially for
for pasturage, and therefore the most suitable dwelling place for those who had so many cattle. It was situated to the North-east of Egypt, and for the most part eastward of the Nile. The young men appearing in the presence of Pharaoh, he asked them what their business was. Joseph appears to have known that it would be the first thing that he would inquire after. It was a very proper question for him to ask. He took it for granted that they were not brought up in idleness, therefore must be of some occupation, and perhaps one that might be useful to him or his people. Besides, this was not a time for idle people to come to Egypt. It was a time of famine, therefore if they will not work, they must not expect to have bread when it is so scarce; but Pharaoh appears to have asked the question that he might promote them to honor. However they answered they were shepherds, and to this they added, that they were not come to live constantly in the land of Egypt, but merely to sojourn; that is to stay for a certain time in the country with their flocks and herds, which were almost starved because of the severity of the famine, and the scarcity