By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning on the top of his staff.
I. IT IS AN EMINENT MERCY WHEN FAITH NOT ONLY HOLDS OUT TO THE END, BUT WAXETH STRONG TOWARDS THE LAST CONFLICT WITH DEATH, as it was with Jacob.
II. It is so also to be able by faith, in the close of our pilgrimage, TO RECAPITULATE ALL THE PASSAGES OF OUR LIVES, IN MERCIES, TRIALS, AFFLICTIONS, SO AS TO GIVE GLORY TO GOD WITH RESPECT TO THEM ALL, as Jacob did in this place.
III. THAT WHICH ENLIVENS AND ENCOURAGETH FAITH AS TO ALL OTHER THINGS IS A PECULIAR RESPECT TO THE ANGEL, THE REDEEMER BY WHOM ALL GRACE AND MERCY IS COMMUNICATED TO US.
IV. IT IS OUR DUTY SO TO LIVE IN THE CONSTANT EXERCISE OF FAITH, AS THAT WE MAY RE READY AND STRONG IN IT WHEN WE ARE DYING.
V. Though we should die daily, yet THERE IS A PECULIAR DYING SEASON, WHEN DEATH IS IN ITS NEAR APPROACH, WHICH REQUIRES PECULIAR ACTINGS OF FAITH.
VI. In all acts of Divine worship, whether solemn or occasional, it is our duty TO DISPOSE OUR BODIES INTO SUCH A POSTURE OF REVERENCE AS MAY REPRESENT THE INWARD FRAME OF OUR MINDS. SO did Jacob here, and it is reckoned as an act of duty and faith.
VII. THERE IS AN ALLOWANCE FOR THE INFIRMITIES OF AGE AND SICKNESS, IN OUR OUTWARD DEPORTMENT IN DIVINE WORSHIP, SO THAT THERE BE AN INDULGENCE TO SLOTH OR CUSTOM, BUT THAT AN EVIDENCE OF A DUE REVERENCE OF GOD AND HOLY THINGS BE PRESERVED. These postures which are commended in Jacob would not, it may be, become others in their health and strength.
(John Owen, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.