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578

Jacob and his sons are carried into Canaan to be buried.

SECT. XIV.

Stephen proceeds, in his discourse before the Sanhedrim, to enumerate

several other facts in the Jewish history, all tending to the purpose of his own vindication, and their conviction. Acts VII. 15--36.

Acts

in

Acts VII. 15.

ACTS VII. 15. SECT: STEPHEN, while he stood before the council SO Jacob went down

with the radiancy of countenance iaken no- died, he and our fa

tice of above, procceded in his discourse, and thers. VII. 15. said, I have observed to you, brethren, and fa

thers, how Jacob went down into Egypt; and
you well know, that having been supported
about seventeen years by the filial gratitude and
tenderness of Joseph, he died there; and our

fathers also, the patriarchs his children, ended
16 their lives in the same country. · And yet, by

16 And were car

ried over into Sythe war, they were solicitous not to be buried

chem, and laid there; but as Jacob was immediately brought the sepulchre that up, with solemn funeral pomp and procession, Abraham bought for to be buried in the cave of Machpelah with a sum of money of Abraham and Isaac, (Gen. xlix. 30, so the patri. archis also, having been embalmed and put into coffins in Egypt, (Gen. 1. 26,) were, at the return of Israel from thence, carried over to Sychem, and were laid in the sepulchre which was made in that field which Jacob bequeathed to Joseplı as a peculiar legacy; he having first, as

Abraham had done in a like case, purchased it for a sum of money ?, that is, for an hundred

pieces

the

a Which Abraham purchased, &c.] It is when compared with such a designed prea so evident from Gen. xxxiii. 19. and varication. But, without supposing eiJosh. xxiv. 32, that the field at Sychem ther, I apprehend with Beza in his admior Shechem, in which the bones of Jo- rablc note on this text, that Luke proseph (and, as it should seem from this bably wrote only which he (that is, as the passage; and from what is asserted by Je- connection fixes it, Jacob) bought, &c. rom, Epiaph. Paulē, those of the other which was the exact truth; and some of patriarchs,) were buried, was purchased, ficious transcriber, who fancied the verb not by Abraham, but by Jacob, and also wanted a nominative case, and thought he that Abraham's sepulchre was purchased, remembered the purchase of Abraham, not of Emmor, or Hamor, le former (which it is plain he did not exactly disproprietor of Jacob's ground, but of E. tinguish,) put in his name. This solution, phron the Hittile, (Gen. xxiii. 10, & seg.) which is advariced by the learned Boa that it seems demonstrable, that this pass chart (Hierozoic. Part I. lib. ii. cap. 43.) sage has suff red something by the addi- Dr. Benson, and others, is so natural, tion or omission of transcribers; for to that I will not trouble the reader Fith the suppose, that Stephen or Luke designedly mention of several others, which may be used the name of Abraham for Jacob, is, I scen in Dr. Whitby, Sir Norton Knaichthink, , one of the grossest affronts that bull, and Brennius; but shall only obcan be offered to the character of either, scrve, that, if this be not allowed, (which A real slip of memory would be a trifle, has indeed no copy to support it, the ea.

siest

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SECT. xiv.

Acts

The Israelites are cruelly oppressed in Egypt.

579 the sons of Emmor tie pieces of silver, of the sons of Emmor (the father] father of Sychoin.

of Sychem, from whom in particular, the place
was named ; and the Amorites baving after-
wards seized it, Jacob had by force recovered vii. 16.
it out of their hands. (Compare Josh. xxiv.
32. with Gen. xlviii. 22.) And it was by their
own direction the heads of our tribes were kept
to be interred here, that they might testify
thereby to their posterity, as long as their em-
balmed bodies continued unburied in Egypt,
that they died in the faith of Israel's being led
forth from thence and settled in the land of

promise, which accordingly happened.
19 But when the And to make way for the accomplishment of 17
time of the promise this event, as the time of the promise drew near,
drew nigh, which God,
had sworn to Abra- which God had sworn to Abraham, (Gen. xxii.
ham, the people, grew 16, 17.) the people of Israel, though they had

multiplied in such a small beginning, grew very numerous; Egypt ;

16 Till another king and multiplied exceedingly in Egypt : And 18 arose, which knew not they coutinued there for many years in very Joseph :

comfortable circumstances, till another king a-
rose, of a different race and family from the

former, who knew not Joseph, and had no re-
19 The same dealt gard to his memory. (Exod. i. 8.) He there. 19
subtilly with our kind, fore used them in a barbarous way, and form-
red, and evil

entreued ing crafty and treacherous designs against our cast out their young kindred, lest they in time shonld grow to be children, to the end too powerful, treated our fathers most injuriousthey might not live.

ly, and cruelly contrived to cut them off from
being a people, by causing all their male infants
in obedience to a most inhuman order that he
published, to be exposed or cast into the river
Nile, that in a little time their race might pe-

rish, and be quite extinct. (Exod. i. 22.)
20 In which time Such was the miserable state to which our 20
Moses fathers were reduced, in which afflictive perse-

cuting

siest sense seems to be that which Mr. Taxud is Mary the mother of James : (Luke
L'Enfant has given in his note, that Jacob xxiv. 10. compared with Mark xv. 40.) and
died, he and our fathers, and then, (that is, lydcę lil sie 6s is Judas the brother of James :
our fathers ] were carried over to Sycher, and Actsi. 13. compared with Jude, ver. 1. Nor
buried : he that is, Jacob, ) in the sepulchre was this only usual with the Jews, but
which Abraham bought for a sum of money, (as Bochart bas shewn in the place cited
and they (that is, the other patriarchs, in before,) we have many instances of the
that which was bought of the sons of Em- like way of speaking in the most approved
mor, the father of Sychem.--That Ep.pos T8 Greck writers. See Dr. Whitby's note
Luxifs is very justly rendered Enmor the fu on Luke xxiv. 1.-The other ohjections,
ther of Sychem,(as he is declared to be in the which Rabbi Isaac has made against this
Old Testament,) though the relation be not passage (Chiss. Emun. Part II. cap. 63.)
here expressed in the original, sufficiently are so trifling, that I content myself with
appears from other passages, in which not referring to Mr. Biscoe's full account and
only the relation of a son, of which we learned solution of them, Boyle's Lect.
have frequent instances, but other relations chap. xyiii. p. 607-609.
too are left to be supplied. So Magice

b Erceçding
VOL. VII.

4 D

xiv.

Acts

580 Moses is born, and educated in the court of Pharaoh.
SFCT. cuting time it was, that the celebrated Moses was Moses was born, and

born, and he was so exceeding beautifulb, that and nourished up in

his parents were struck with a peculiar desire of his father's house three VII. 20. preserving him; and that they might, if pos- months :

sible, secure him from the exi cution of the bar-
barous edicts I have just now mentioned, he was
bred up with all the privacy that could be for
three months in his father's house : But as they
were unable to conceal him any longer, he was
comunitted by them to the care of providence,
and having put him in an ark of bulrushes,

they laid him in the flags upon the brink of the
21 river Nile. (Exod. ii. 2, 3.) And being thus 21 And when he

exposed, the providence of God so ordered it, was cast out, Pharaoh's
that he was found by the daughter of Pharoah, and nourished him for
who at the sight of him was noved with pity, her own son.

and took him upe and nourished him, with a pur-
22 pose of adopting him for her own son. And 22 And Moses was
Moses by this means was educated in all the learned in all the wis-

dom of the Egyptians,
whole circle of arts and learning, which came and was

mighty is within the system of the celebrated wisdom and words, and in deeds. philosophy of the Egyptians d. And such was

his

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b Erceeding beautiful.] This our trans whom he takes to have been Joseph, bis
lators render in the margin, fair to God, beantiful appearance greatly recommend.
which is the literal sense of the original, ed him. See Grotius and Whitby in loc.
αςεισ τω Θεω. Grotius and others have c The daughter of Pharoah took him up.]
observed, it is a common Hebrnism, being All these extraordinary circumstances rela.
no more than an emphatical erpression to ting to the birth, preservation, education,
denote his extraordinary beauty which genius, and character of Moses, serve to
might perhaps be not unfitly rendered di- aggravate the crime of Israel in rejecting
vinely berdiful, the name of God being him, when he offered himself to them as
often introduced to express such things as o deliverer under so many advantages, and
were extraordinary in their kind. So in the when Providence bad so wonderfully inter•
Hebrew, what we translate greal wrestlin's, ested itself in bis favour.
is wrestlings of God; (Gen. xxx. 8.) d Educated in all the wisdom of the
goodly cedars are cedars of God; (Psal. Ixxx. Egyptians.] Geography, geometry, arith-
10;) great mountains are mountains of God; metic, astronomy, natural history, phy,
(Psal. xxxvi. 6.) and an erceeding great sic, and hieroglyphics, are all mentioned
city is a great city of God; (Jon. ii. 3.) by ancient writers, as branches of Egyp:
τoλις μεγαλη τω Θεω ; Septuag. And in tian literature. As for magic in the bad
like maoner, in the Neto Testament, (2 sense of the word, it is not to be imagined
Cor. x. 4.) weapons mighty through God, that so good a man would have any thing
The Suncerce TW Ow, might not improperly to do with it. Several ancient testimonies
be rendered very strony weapons. This then to the extraordinary learning of Moses
agrees with what is said of Moses, (Exod. may be seen in the following passages :
ii. 2.) that he was a goodly child; and, in Phil. de Vit. Mos. lib. i. p. 470. Justin
the account Josephus gives of him, he Mart. Quæst. ad Orthod. xxv. Orig. contra
says, “ that, when he was but three years Cels. lib. iii. p. 139. Clem. Aler. Strom.
old, his extraordinary beauty was such, lib. i. p. 513.-I only add, it must
that it struck every one that saw him ; and, have been a self-denial, which none but a
as they carried him about, persons would lover of learning, and one who has made
leave their work to look at him.” (An- some progress in it, can understand, for
tiq. lib. ii. cap. 9. [al. 5.] $ 6.) The fame a person of sueh a genius and education,
of it had also spread among the Heathen; in the prime of life, to leave the polite
for Justin in his History relates from Tro- court of Egypt, and live as a retired shep-
gus, lib. xxxvi. cap. 2.) that, besides herd in the Arabian desarl.
the inheritance of his father's knowledge,

e Mighty

SECT.
XIV.

When forty years old, he goes to visit his brethren. 581

his remarkable proficiency, that he was mighty
in the solidity of his discourses and in the pro-
dence of his actions ;f so that he made a very Acts
conspicuous figure, both in the counsels that he VII.22.
gave and the commands he executed, in that

polite and justly renowed nation.
23 And when he But when he was arrived at the full age of 23
was full forty years old
it came into his heart forty years, he was conducted into a very diffe-
to visit his brethren the rent scene of life ; for having been instructed
children of Israel,

in the knowledge of his real descent, and in
the principles of the Jewish religion, it came
into his heart to visit his brethren the children of
Israel ; and his spirit was so impressed with
it, that all the pleasure and grandeur at the
court of Egypt could not make him easy, with-

out going in person to take a survev of their
24 And seeing one state. And there beholding one of them) 24
of "them sutier wrong, injured by an oppressive Egyptian task-master,
he defended him, and who had subdued and got him down, and seem-
avenged him that was ed about to take away bis life, his generous
oppressed, and smose
the Egyptian :

spirit was not able to brook it ; but he defend-
ed [him] and smiling the Egyptian with a mor-

tal wound, he at once rescued and avenged him 25 For he supposed that was oppressed. (Exod. ii. 11, 12.) And 25) have understood, how as he did this action by a special impression that God by his hand from God on his mind, intimating the important would deliver them; work for wbich he was intended, so he supposed but they understood

that his brethren, observing the remarkable cir-
cumstances of the fact, by which he substantially
declared his readiness to venture, not only his
fortune but his life in their service, would have
understood that the action was expressive of
what they might hope to obtain by his means,
and intimated that God would give them salva-
tion and deliverance by his hand 8: But they

his

not.

were

e Mighty in discourses.] It may seem f And in actions.] Archbishop Tillotson difficult to reconcile this with what Moses (in his work, Vol. II. p. 23.) and many himself says of his own want of eloquence, others think, that this refers to a story (Exod. iv. 10.) Some have attempted mentioned by Josephus, (antig. lib. ii. to do it by explaining this expression, as cap. 10. al. 5.) that, when Moses dwelt importing the wisdom of the laws he gave in Pharaoh's court, the Ethiopians invadas they explain the next clause, mighty in ed Egypt, and Moses, being made general actions, of the miracles he wrought. But in the war against them, gave them a lotal Stephen seems rather to refer to what he defeat, and drove back the small remainwas in the court of Pharaoh, than to what der of their forces in confusion to their he afterwards proved. I conclude there. Own country. fore, that it expresses such a weight and g lle supposed that his brethren rould have solidity in his counsels and speeches, as may understood, &c.) They might have be very consistent with the want of a fiorc- known, that the time drew near which God ing elocution, and the remarkable calmness had prefixed in his promise to Abraham, in of his natural temper would render him a prediction which might probably be demore entirely master of himself on great livered down by tradition, and which occasions, rather than others of rcadier would be more likely to be remembered speech with warmer passious.

under their oppression, as the patriarchs diad 4 D 2

in

SECT.

xiv.

Acts

at

27 But he that did

582

They slight him, and he flies into the land of Midian. were so exceeding stupid, that they did not understand it. And the next day he shewed him 26 And the next day

self again to two of them, as ihey were quarrel- he shewed himself unVII.26. ling together, and would huve interposed be- and would have set

tween them, and have persuaded them to live in them one again, peace and friendship, saying, Men, my friends, saying, Sirs, ye are breconsider you are brethren, descended from thren; 'hy do ye wrong

one to another? Jacob our

common ancestor, and now too joined in affliction as well as in religion, which

ought doubly to cement your affections to each 27 other, why then do ye injure one another ? But

he that injured his neighbour, unable to bear his neighbour wrong, with bis plain and faithful reproof, insolently ing, who made thee thrust him away', saying, What hast thou to do a ruler and a judge with this controversy ? Who hast made thee a over us ?

ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, 28 Wilt thou kill 28 as I know thou didst yesterday slay the Egyp- me, as thou didst the tian? His blood may cost thee dear enough

Egyptian yesterday? without adding mine to the account. (Exod. 29 ii. 13, 14.) Then Moses, as he found the 29 Then fied Moses

matter was discovered, and was apprehensive at this saying, and was
that in consequence of it the Egyptian power of Madian, where he
would be soon armed against him, while the begat iwo sons.
Israelites were not inclined to use any efforts
for his protection, nor to put themselves under
his guidance, presently fled from Egypt at this
saying, and became a sojourner in the land of
Nidian ; where nevertheless Providence fur-
nished him with a comfortable settlement,
though in circumstances of great retirement;
for he became the chief shepherd to Jethro,
the prince of the country, and marrying Zip-
porah, bis daughter, he begat two sons Gershom

and Eliezer. 30 And when forty years more were fulfilled, in 30 And when forty which Israel had continued under this bondage, there appeared to bim

were expired, and Moses had been trained up in that humble in the wilderness of and retired life for the great work for which mount Sinai, an angel God had intended him, the angel of the Lord

of appeared to him in a flame of fire in the midst of

years

in dependance upon it directed, that their his, to enter into some treaty with him re-
bones should continue unburied in Egypt: lating to it,
And when they saw a person of so much h He that injured his neighbour, thrust
dignity, authority, and influence, whom him away.] It is plain the speech of this
God had so wonderfully preserved, inter- single person is represented ver. 35. as ex.
posing in this generous and heroic manner, pressing the sentiments of the whole body
which plainly shewed that he in good of the people, as their slowness afterwards
earnest intended at all bazards to do to believe the mission of Moses, wben
his utmast for their deliverance, it would attested by mirucle, Exod. v. 20, 21.)
have been highly reasonable for them to seems evidently to shew that it was.
have taken occasion, from this action of

Loose

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