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the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator 1."
The life of Jacob, in the point of view in which we must here consider it, is not so replete with distinguishing particulars, as that of his grandfather Abraham. It is, however, remarkable on account of the Messiah having arisen from his line, in preference to that of Esau, and on account of the typical force which St. Paul gave to the rejection of the latter, and of the selection of the former.' “For this is the word of promise,” says he, “At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth ;) it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then ? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid ? !” The real bearing of the Apostle's argument goes not in support of the exclusive doctrines with respect to individuals, which have been founded upon the circumstance, as the connexion in Malachi, “I have loved you, saith the Lord: yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord; yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness 1,” superabundantly convinces us; and even to those, who have not studied the tropical style of the Hebrews, it will be evident, that the idea of hating in this case is a mere meiosis ; when they recollect that one Evangelist speaks of a man hating his father and mother, but another of loving them less, which is the real sense in both passages. Esau had profanely sold his birth-right,-profanely, because the priesthood was in those days attached to it and he was by disposition a wild marauder: but Jacob was devoted to pastoral pursuits, and domestic life; therefore having also acquired the priesthood by Esau's impiety, he was not only duly elected to the blessing, but was the best fitted to continue the particular line, from which Christ should spring. For, as far as we can judge, all those patriarchs who transmitted this line were also priests of the Most High God.
1 Gal. iii. 16-19.
Rom. ix. 9_14.
Such in this case was the purpose of God according to election”; hence too the Divine Præscience
1 Ch. i. 2, 3.
? Rom. ix. 11.
enacted', that the elder should serve the younger. But the blessing, the full blessing, which Esau obtained from Isaac, is a demonstration, that his rejection was from the honour of being an ancestor of the Messiah, not an individual rejection from temporal blessings or from the Divine mercy, as some have too hastily supposed.
In the history of JOSEPH are many clear types of Christ; but there are so many striking coincidences besides, that we cannot pass them by, although we have not a direct authority to pronounce them actually typical of him. The separation of Joseph from his brethren, for the purpose of a high dispensation of Providence, has thus been compared to Christ's separation for the purpose of his office; nor indeed incorrectly: yet, when it is applied to Christ in his character of a Nazarene, it is forgotten that there exists no evidence, that Christ was one according to the requisitions of the Mosaic Law; the passage in St. Matthew, from whence the idea proceeded, having evidently related to those propheti annunciations, which described our Saviour as a Branch.
There is decidedly an extraordinary analogy in
1 Gen. xxv. 23.
the two histories. Joseph was the beloved son of his father-God himself pronounced Jesus to be his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased. Joseph was hated by his brethren–Jesus “came to his own, and his own received him not.” The same language was used both to Jesus and to Christ, “Come, let us kill him.” Joseph was sold for money—so was Christ. Joseph was forced to go down into Egypt—so was Christ. Joseph was numbered with transgressors—so was Christ. Joseph suffered with Pharaoh's butler and baker, one of whom was saved-Jesus suffered with two thieves, of whom one was saved in a far higher sense. The corn also, which Joseph sold, has been cited in comparison with that bread of life, which our Saviour brought from heaven; and the genuflexions in honour of the former have been accounted typical of that universal homage, that bending of every knee at the name of Jesus, which is due to his Divine dignity. So also Joseph was exalted after his sufferings; and after those which he endured Jesus ascended into the glory of his father. Joseph was tempted by the wife of Potiphar, and resisted the temptationJesus was tempted by the Devil, and also resisted it. Joseph was about thirty years old when he took office in Pharaoh's house-Christ was about thirty years old when he entered on his public ministry. Joseph 66 knew his brethren” Christ knew his own, as a faithful shepherd knoweth his sheep. “I am Joseph,” said he to his brethren—“Thou sayest,” said Jesus, when they demanded of him, whether he was the Christ, which signifieth I am. Joseph received the especial blessing of his father—the heavens opened, and a blessing descended upon the Son of God. But we might carry these resemblances to a great extent: sufficient however have been adduced to substantiate the shadow or type. The fifteenth and two following verses of the 105th Psalm are satisfactory, and authorize us to fix the above observations on a sure basis. “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. Moreover, he called a famine upon the land; he brake the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant." The word man has been translated eminent man, and answers well to Joseph, who was a great deliverer of his brethren, even as Christ also was a great deliverer of his people.
Moses, perhaps, was the most remarkable of the types of the Messiah. Eusebius', treating of the prophecies concerning Christ, produces first that of Moses; and then asks, which of the prophets after
Eusebii Demos. Evangel. lib. iii. cap. 2. p. 90–94. Ed. Paris, 1628. These observations are introduced in Bishop Newton's valuable “ Dissertations on the Prophecies.”