And Israel dwelled in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew…
There is a touching beauty in this scene between the veteran Israel and the prosperous Joseph.
I. An illustration of HUMAN INFIRMITY. The supplanter, the prince of God, must succumb at last to the King of Terrors. "Israel must die." Yet he is not afraid of death.
II. STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS. Grace appears brightest at the end. His gray hairs have not been "brought with sorrow to the grave," although he feared they would. The lost son is the comforter of his last days; to him he commits his dust-to be laid with his fathers.
III. PERSEVERANCE IS NOT THE FRUIT OF MAN'S PERFECTION, BUT OF GOD'S MERCY. Jacob is faithful to the covenant spirit to the end, although in many respects his character was a mingled one. Yet he clung to the Divine word. Seventeen years could not wear out his love for the promised land. He knew the Solemnity of an oath, for had he not himself sworn and changed not? He would leave behind him in his last wishes a testimony which would help to keep his children faithful. "And Israel bowed himself upon the becks head." The LXX., and the Syriac, and the Itala versions, with the reference in Hebrews 11:21; by a slight change in the Hebrew vowels, have rendered the words "he worshipped upon the top of his staff - i.e. leaning on that which had borne him through his pilgrimage, and thus, as it were, declaring the long journey at an end. But whether he turned towards the bed's head, as it were away from the world towards God, or leaned on his staff, the idea is the same - he bowed himself, like Simeon, saying, Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace." It was a lovely sunset after a day of many clouds and much weariness and fear. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.