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GLEANINGS 



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GENESIS 



Th±e On 



Xhi_#-ui - ^o 



GLEANINGS 



tn 



GENESIS 



By 
ARTHUR W. PINK 



MOODY PRESS • chicago 



Copyright €, 1922, by 
The Moody Bible Institute 

OF CmCAGO 



Printed in the United States of America 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

Introduction 5 

1. Creation and Restoration 9 

2. Christ in Genesis 1 20 

3. Two Trees 27 

4. The Fall 33 

5. The Fall, continued 41 

6. The Fall, concluded 47 

7. Cain and Abel 56 

8. Cain and Abel, continued 63 

9. Enoch 72 

10. Noah 80 

11. The Flood 88 

12. Noah a Type of Christ 96 

13. The Typology of the Ark 103 

14. God's Covenant with Noah 110 

15. Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 119 

16. Nimrod and the Tower of Babel 129 

17. The Call of Abraham 136 

18. Abraham and Lot 147 

19. Abraham and Melchizedek 155 

20. Abraham's Vision 164 

21. Abraham and Hagar 173 

22. Abraham at Ninety and Nine 181 

23. Abraham at Gerar 191 



Contents 

24. Abraham "the Father of us all" 198 

25. The Birth of Isaac 207 

26. The Ofíering Up of Isaac 218 

27. The Man Isaac 228 

28. Isaac Blessing His Sons 237 

29. The Man Jacob 245 

30. Jacob at Padan-Aram 254 

31. Jacob at Padan-Aram, continued 262 

32. Jacob's Departure from Haran 271 

33. Jacob at Mahanaim 280 

34. Jacob at Peniel 286 

35. Jacob Meeting Esau 295 

36. Jacob at Bethel Again 302 

37. The Sunset of Jacob's Life 309 

38. Jacob's Prophecy 318 

39. Jacob's Prophecy, continued 329 

40. Joseph As a Youth 341 

41. Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 353 

42. Joseph in Egypt 362 

43. Joseph's Exaltation 372 

44. Joseph the Saviour of the World 381 

45. Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally 

Considered 390 

46. Joseph and His Brethren, Evangelically 

Considered 400 



INTRODUCTION 

Appropriately has Genesis been termed **the seed plot 
of the Bible, ' ' f or in it we have, in germ f orm, almost all of 
the great doctrines whieh are afterwards fully developed 
in the books of Scripture which f ollow. 

In Genesis God is revealed as the Creator-God, as the 
Covenant-God, as the Almighty-God, as well as **the Most 
High, Possessor of heaven and earth." 

In Genesis we have the first hint of the Blessed Trinity, 
of a plurality of Persons in the Grodhead — ^**Let us make 
man in our image" (1:26). 

In Genesis man is exhibited. First as the creature of 
God's hands, then as a fallen and sinful being, and later as 
one who is brought back to God, fínding grace in His sight 
(6:8), walking with God (6:9), made 'Hhe friend of 
God'' (James2:23). 

In Genesis the uriles of Satan are exposed. We * * are not 
ignorant of his devices,^^ for here the Holy Spirit has fully 
uncovered them. The realm in which the arch-enemy works 
is not the moral but the spiritual. He calls into question 
the Word of God, casts doubt on its integrity, denies its 
veracity. 

In Genesis the truth of sovereign election is first exhib- 
ited. God singles out Abraham f rom an idolatrous people, 
and makes him the f ather of the chosen Nation. God passes 
by Ishmael and calls Isaac. 

In Genesis the truth of salvation is typically displayed. 
Our f allen first parents are clothed by God Himself , clothed 
with skins: to procure those skins death had to come in, 
blood must be shed, the innocent was slain in the stead of 
the guilty. Only thus could man's shame be covered, and 
only thus could the sinner be fitted to stand bef ore the 
thrice holy God. 

In Genesis the truth of justification hy faith is first made 
known: '^And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it 
to him f or righteousness " (15 : 6) . Abraham believed God : 
not Abraham obeyed God, or loved God, or served God; 
but Abraham believed God. And it was counted unto him 



6 Gleanings in Genesis 

for (not instead of, but unto) righteousness. Then, if 
righteousness was ''counted'^ unto Abraham, he had none 
of his own. Believing God, righteousness was reekoned to 
Abraham's aeeount. 

In Genesis the heliever's security is strikingly iUustrated. 
The flood of Divine judgment descends on the earth, and 
swallows up all its guilty inhabitants. But Noah, who had 
f ound grace in the eyes of the Lord, was saf ely preserved in 
the ark, into which God had shut him. 

In Genesis the truth of separation is clearly inculcated. 
Enoch 's lot was cast in days wherein evil abounded, but he 
lived apart from the world, walking with God. Abraham 
was called upon to separate himself f rom idolatrous Chal- 
dea, and to step out upon the promises of God. Lot is held 
up before us as a solemn example of the direful conse- 
quences of being unequally yoked with unbelievers, and of 
having f ellowship with the unf ruitful works of darkness. 

In Genesis God 's disciplinary chastisements upon an err- 
ing believer are portrayed. Jacob is the standing example 
of what happens to a child of God who walks after the 
flesh, instead of after the spirit. But in the end we are 
shown how Divine grace triumphs over human f railty. 

In Genesis we are shown the importance and value of 
prayer. Abraham prayed unto God and Abimelech's life 
was spared (20: 17). Abraham's servant cries to the Lord 
that God would prosper his efforts to secure a wife for 
Isaac, and God answered his petition (chap. 24). Jacob, 
too, prays, and God hearkened. 

In Genesis the saint's rapture to heaven is vividly por- 
trayed. Enoch, the man who walked with God, *'was not,'' 
for God had translated him. He did not pass through the 
portals of death. He was suddenly removed from these 
scenes of sin and suffering and transported into the realm 
of glory without seeing death. 

In Genesis the divine incarnation is first declared. The 
Coming One was to be supernaturally begotten. He was to 
enter this world as none other ever did. He was to be the 
Son of Man, and yet have no human father. The One who 
should bruise the serpent's head was to be the woman's 

Tn Genesis the death and resurrection of the Saviour are 
strikingly foreshadowed. The ark, in which were pre- 



Introduction 7 

served Noah and his family, were brought safely through 
the deluge of death on to the new earth. Isaae, the beloved 
son of Abraham, at the bidding of his f ather, is laid, unre- 
sistingly, on the altar, and from it Abraham **reeeived him 
back as in a figure f rom the dead. ' ' 

In Gtenesis we also learn of the Saviour's coming exaltOr' 
tion. This is strikingly typified in the history of Joseph — 
the most complete of all the personal types of Christ — ^who, 
after a period of humiliation and suffering was exalted to 
be the governor over all Egypt. Jacob, too, on his death- 
bed, also declares of Shiloh that **unto him shall the gather- 
ing of the peoples be^' (49 : 10). 

In Genesis the priesthood of Christ is anticipated. The 
Lord Jesus is a Priest not of the Aaronic system, but * ' af ter 
the order of Melchzedek. ^ ' And it is in Genesis that this 
mysterious character, who received tithes f rom and blessed 
Abraham, is brought bef ore our view. 

In Genesis the coming Antichrist is announced, an- 
nounced as **the seed of the serpent" (3: 15). He is seen, 
too, foreshadowed in the person and history of Nimrod, the 
rebel against the Lord, the man who headed the first great 
federation in open opposition to the Most High. 

In Genesis we first read of God giving Palestine to Abra- 
ham and to his seed: **And the Lord appeared unto 
Abraham, and said, Unto thy seed wiU I give this land'' 
(12:7). And again, ''For all the land which thou seest, 
to thee wiU I give it, and to thy seed forever '' (13 : 15). 

In Genesis the wondrous future of Israel is made known. 
** And I wiU make thy seed as the dust of the earth : so that 
if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy 
seed also be numbered'' (13: 16). '*And in thy seed shall 
all the nations of the earth be blessed" (22 : 18). 

In Genesis the judgment of God on the uncked is solemnly 
exhibited. Cain conf esses his punishment is greater than he 
can bear. The flood comes on the world of the ungodly and 
sweeps them all away. Fire and brimstone descend on 
Sodom and Gomorrah, tiU naught but their ashes remain. 
Lot's wife, for one act of disobedience, is turned into a 
piUar of salt. 

What a marvelous proof is all this of the Divine Author- 
ship! Who biit the One who knows the end from the be- 
ginning, could have embodied, in germ form, what is after- 



8 Gleanings in Genesis 

wards expanded and amplified in the rest of tlie Biblet 
What unequivoeal demonstration that there was One supert 
intending mind, direeting the pens of all who wrote the later 
books of Holy Scripture! May the blessing of God rest 
upon us as we seek to enjoy some of the inexhaustible riches 
of this book of beginnings. 

Abthub W. Pink. 
Swengel, Pa. 



1. CREATION AND RESTORATION 

Genesis 1 



* The manner in which the Holy Scriptures open is worthy 
of their Divine Author. *^In the beginning God created 
the heaven and the earth/' and that is all that is here re- 
corded concerning the original creation. Nothing is said 
which enables us to fix the date of their creation ; nothing 
is revealed concerning their appearance or inhabitants; 
nothing is told us about the modus operandi of their Divine 
Architect. We do not know whether the primitive heaven 
and earth were created a f ew thousands, or many millions 
of years ago. We are not inf ormed as to whether they were 
called into existence in a moment of time, or whether the 
process of their f ormation covered an interval of long ages. 
The bare f act is stated : * * In the beginning God created, ' ' 
and nothing is added to gratify the curious. The opening 
sentence of Holy Writ is not to be philosophized about, but 
is presented as a statement of truth to be received with un- 
questioning f aith. 

**In the beginning God created.*^ No argument is en- 
tered into to prove the existence of God : instead, His exist- 
ence is affirmed as a fact to be believed. And yet, sufficient 
is expressed in this one brief sentence to expose every f al- 
lacy which man has invented concerning the Deity. This 
opening sentence of the Bible repudiates atheism, for it 
postulates the existence of God. It ref utes materialism, f or 
it distinguishes between God and His material creation. It 
abolishes pantheism, f or it predicates that which necessitates 
a personal God. ^^ln the heginning God created,'^ tells us 
that He was Himself hefore the beginning, and hence, Bter- 
nal. **In the beginning God created/' and that informs us 
He is a personal heing, for an abstraction, an impersonal 
*'first cause,'^ could not create. '^ln the beginning God 
Cfeated the heaven and the earth,'' and that argues He is 
infinite and omnipotenty for no finite beiug possesses the 
power to '^create,'' and none but an Omnipotent Being 
could create * * the heaven and the earth. ' ' 



10 Gleanings in Genesis 

**In the beginning God." This is the foundation truth 
of all real theology. God is the great Originator and Ini- 
tiator. It is the ignoring of this which is the basic error 
in all human schemes. False systems of theology and phil- 
osophy begin with man, and seek to work up to God. But 
this is a turning of things upside down. We must, in all 
our thinking, begin with God, and work down to man. 
Again, this is true of the Divine inspiration of the Scrip- 
tures. The Bible is'couched in human language, it is ad- 
dressed to human ears, it was written by human hands, but, 
in the beginning God — ^''holy men of God spake, moved by 
the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21). This is also true of saU 
vation. In Eden, Adam sinned, and brought in death ; but 
his Maker was not taken by surprise : in the beginning God 
had provided for just such an emergency, for, '^the Lamb'' 
was * ' f oreordained before the foundation of the world'' (1 
Pet. 1 : 20) . This is also true of the new creation. The soul 
that is saved, repents, believes, and serves the Lord; but, 
in the beginning, God chose us in Christ (Eph. 1:4), and 
now, ''we love Him, because He first loved us.'' 

*'In the beginning God created the heaven and the 
earth, ' ' and we cannot but belíeve that these creations were 
worthy of Himself, that they reflected the perfections of 
their Maker, that they were exceedingly fair in their pris- 
tine beauty. Certainly, the earth, on the morning of its 
creation, must have been vastly different from its chaotic 
state as described in Genesis 1 : 2. '* And the earth was with- 
out form and void^' must refer to a condition of the earth 
much later than what is bef ore us in the preceding verse. 
It is now over a hundred years ago since Dr. Chalmers 
called attention to the f act that the word * ' was ' ' in Genesis 
1:2 should be translated '^became," and that between the 
first two verses of Genesis 1 some terrible catastrophe must 
have intervened. That this catastrophe may have been con- 
nected with the apostasy of Satan, seems more than likely ; 
that some catastrophe did occur is certain from Isa. 45 : 18, 
which expressly declares that the earth was not creoted in 
the condition in which Genesis 1 : 2 views it. 

What is fotind in the remainder of Genesis 1 ref ers not to 
the primitive creation but to the restoration of that which 
had fallen into ruins. Genesis 1 : 1 speaks of the original 
creation ; Genesis 1 : 2 describes the then condition of the 
earth six days before Adam was called into existence. To 



Creation and Restoration 11 

what remote point in time Genesis 1 : 1 conduets us, or as to 
how long an interval passed before the earth ^^became" a 
ruin, we have no means of knowing ; but if the surmises of 
geologists could be conclusively established there would be 
no conflict at all between the findings of science and the 
teaching of Scripture. The unknown interval between the 
first two verses of Genesis 1, is wide enough to embrace all 
the prehistoric ages which may have elapsed; but all that 
took place f rom Genesis 1 : 3 onwards transpired less than 
six thousand years ago. 

*'In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, 
and all that in them is" (Ex. 20 : 11). There is a wide dif- 
ference between ^^creating^' and ^^making^^: to ^'create" 
is to call into existence something out of nothing; to 
**make" is to form or fashion something out of materials 
already existing. A carpenter can '*make" a chair out of 
wood, but he is quite unable to **create'' the wood itself. 
'*In the beginning (whenever that was) God created the 
heaven and the earth"; subsequently (after the primitive 
creation had become a ruin) '**the Lord m^de heaven and 
earth, the sea, and all that in them is.'' This Exodus 
scripture settles the controversy which has been raised as 
to what kind of '*days'' are meant in Genesis 1, whether 
days of 24 hours, or protracted periods of time. In **six 
days,*' that is, literal days of twenty-four hours duration, 
the Lord completed the work of restoring and re-f ashioning 
that which some terrible catastrophe had blasted and 
plunged into chaos. 

What f ollows in the remainder of Genesis 1 is to be re- 
garded not as a poém, still less as an allegory, but as a lit- 
eraly historical statement of Divine revelation. We havc lit- 
tle patience with those who labor to show that the teaching 
of this chapter is in harmony with modern science — as well 
ask whether the celestial chronometer is in keeping with the 
timepiece at Greenwich. Rather must it be the part of 
scientists to bring their declarations into accord with the 
teaching of Genesis 1, if they are to receive the respect of 
the ehildren of God. The faith of the Christian rests not in 
the wisdom of man, nor does it stand in any need of buttress- 
ing f rom scientific savants. The faith of the Christian rests 
upon the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture, and we need 
nothing more. Too of ten have Christian apologists deserted 
their proper ground. For instance : one of the ancient tab- 



12 Gleanings in Genesis 

lets of Assyria is deciphered, and then it is triumphantly 
announced that some statements found in the historical 
portions of the Old Testament have been confirmed. But 
that is only a turning of things upside down again. The 
Word of God needs no * * confirming. ' ' If the writing upon 
an Assyrian tablet agrees with what is recorded in Scrip- 
ture, that confirms the historical accuracy of the Assyrian 
tablet; if it disagrees, that is proof positive that the As- 
syrian writer was at f ault. In like manner, if the teachings 
of science square with Scripture, that goes to show the 
f ormer are correct ; if they confiict, that proves the postu- 
lates of science are f alse. The man of the world, and the 
pseudo-scientist may sneer at our logic, but that only dem- 
onstrates the truth of God's Word, which declares, *'but 
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of 
God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he 
know them, because they are spiritually discerned'' (1 Cor. 
2:14). 

Marvelouslyconcise is what is f ound in Genesis 1. A single 
verse suflSces to speak of the original creation of the heaven 
and the earth. Another verse is all that is needed to dsá- 
scribe the awful chaos into which the ruined earth was 
plunged. And less than thirty verses more tell of the six 
days' work, during which the Lord ''made heaven and 
earth, the sea, and all that in them is." Not all the com- 
bined skill of the greatest literary genuii, historians, poets, 
or philosophers this world has ever produced, could design 
a composition which began to equal Genesis 1. For recon- 
diteness of theme, and yet simplicity of language ; f or com- 
prehensiveness of scope, and yet terseness of expression; 
for scientific exactitude, and yet the avoidance of all tech- 
nical terms; it is unrivalled, and nothing can be found 
in the whole realm of literature which can be compared 
with it for a moment. It stands in a class all by itself . If 
''brevity is the soul of wit" (i. e. wisdom) then the brevity 
of what is recorded in this opening chapter of the Bible 
evidences the divine wisdom of Him who inspired it. Con- 
trast the labored formulae of the scientists, contrast the 
verbose writings of the poets, contrast the meaningless cos- 
mogonies of the ancients and the foolish mythologies of the 
heathen, and the uniqueness of this Divine account of Crea- 
tion and Restoration wiU at once appear. Every line o£ 



Creation and Restoration 13 

this opening chapter of Holy Writ has stamped aeross it 
the autograph of Deity. 

Concerning the details of the six days' work we cannot 
now say very much. The orderly manner in which Otoá 
proceeded, the ease with which He accomplished His work, 
the excellency of that which was produced, and the sim- 
plicity of the narrative, at once impress the reader. Out 
of the chaos was brought the **cosmos,'' which signifies 
order, arrangement, beauty; out of the waters emerged 
the earth; a scene of desolation, darkness and death, was 
transformed into one of light, lif e, and f ertility, so that at 
the end all was pronounced *'very good." Observe that 
here is to be f ound the first Divine Decalogue : ten times we 
read, ''and God said, let there he/^ etc. (vv. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 
14, 20, 24, 26, 30), which may be termed the Ten Command- 
ments of Creation. 

In the Hebrew there are just seven words in the opening 
verse of Genesis 1, and these are composed of twenty-eight 
letters, which is 7 multiplied by 4. Seven is the number of 
perfection, and four of creation, hence, we learn that the 
primary creation was perfect as it left its Maker's hands. 
it is equally significant that there were seven distinct 
stages in God's work of restoring the earth: first, there 
was the activity of the Holy Spirit (1:2); second, the call- 
ing of light into existence (1:3); third, the making of the 
firmament (1:6-9); fourth, the clothing of the earth with 
vegetation (1:11); fifth, the making and arranging of 
the heavenly bodies (1:14-18); sixth, the storlng of the 
waters ( 1 : 20-21 ) ; seventh, the stocking of the earth ( 1 : 
24). The perfection of God's handiwork is further made 
to appear in the seven times the word '*good'* occurs here 
— vv. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31— also the word *'made" is 
f ound seven times in this section — 1 : 7, 16, 25, 26, 31 ; 2 : 
2, 3. Seven times '*heaven'' is mentioned in this chapter — 
vv. 1, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17, 20. And, it may be added, that 
**God'' Himself is referred to in this opening section (1:1- 
2:4) thirty-five times, which is 7 multiplied by 5. Thus 
the seal of perfection h stamped upon everjrthing God 
here did and made. 

Turning from the literal meaning of what is before us 
in this opening chapter of Holy Writ, we would dwell now 
upon that which has often been pointed out by others, 
namely, the typical significance of these verses. The order 



14 Gleanings in Genesis 

foUowed by God in re-constructing the old creation is the 
same which obtains in connection with the new creation, 
and in a remarkable manner the one is here made to fore- 
shadow the other. The early history of this earth corre- 
sponds with the spiritual history of the believer in Christ. 
What occurred in connection with the world of old, finds 
its counterpart in the regenerated man. It is this line of 
truth which will now engage our attention. 

1. ^^ln the heginning Ood created the heaven and the 
earth.^' As we have already observed, the original condi- 
tion of this primary creation was vastly different f rom the 
state in which we view it in the next verse. Coming fresh 
from the hands of their Creator, the heaven and the earth 
must have presented a scene of unequalled freshness and 
beauty. No groans of suffering were heard to mar the 
harmony of the song of **the morning stars" as they sang 
together ( Job 38 : 7). No worm of corruption was there to 
defile the perfections of the Creator's handiwork. No in- 
iquitous rebel was there to challenge the supremacy of 
God. And no death shades were there to spread the spirit 
of gloom. God reigned supreme, without a rival, and every- 
thing was very good. 

So, too, in the beginning of this world's history, God also 
created man, and vastly different was his original state 
from that into which he subsequently f ell. Made in the 
image and likeness of God, provided with a helpmate, placed 
in a small garden of delights, given dominion over all the 
lower orders of creation, ''blessed'' by His Maker, bidden 
to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and 
included in that which God pronounced '*very good,*' 
Adam had all that heart could desire. Behind him was no 
sinful heredity, within him was no deceitful and wicked 
heart, upon him were no marks of corruption, and around 
him were no signs of death. Together with his helpmate, in 
fellowship with his Maker, there was everything to make 
him happy and contented. 

2. ^^And the earth hecame without form and void; and 
darkness was upon the face of the deep/' Some fearful 
catastrophe must have occurred. Sin had dared to raise 
its horrid head against God, and with sin came death and 
all its attendant evils. The fair handiwork of the Creator 
was blasted. That which at first was so fair was now 
marred, and what was very good became very evil. The 



Creation and Restoration 15 

light was quenched, and the earth was submerged beneath 
the waters of judgment. That which was perfect in the 
beginning became a ruin, and darkness abode upon the 
face of the deep. Profoundly mysterious is this, and un- 
speakably tragic. A greater contrast than what is pre- 
sented in the first two verses of Genesis 1 can hardly be con- 
ceived. Yet there it is: the primitive earth, created by 
God * * in the beginning, ' ' had become a ruin. 

No less tragic was that which bef ell the first man. Like 
the original earth before him, Adam remained not in his 
primitive state. A dreadf ul catastrophe occurred. Descrip- 
tion of this is given in Genesis 3. By one man sin entered 
the worldy and death by sin. The spirit of insubordination 
possessed him; he rebelled against his Maker; he ate of 
the forbidden fruit; and terrible were the consequences 
which foUowed. The fair handiwork of the Creator was 
blasted. Where before there was blessing, there now de- 
scended the curse. Into a scene of life and joy, entered 
death and sorrow. That which at the first was *'very 
good,'* became very evil. Just as the primitive earth be- 
fore him, so man became a wreck and a ruin. He was sub- 
merged in evil and enveloped in darkness. Unspeakably 
tragic was this, but the truth of it is verified in the heart 
of every descendant of Adam. 

''There was, then, a primary creation, afterward a fall; 
first, ^heaven and earth,' in due order, then earth without 
a heaven — in darkness, and buried under a 'deep' of salt 
and barren and restless waters. What a picture of man's 
condition, as fallen away from God! How complete the 
confusion! How profound the darkness! How deep the 
restless waves of passion roU over the wreck of what was 
once so f air ! ' The wicked are like the troubled sea, when 
it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt' '' (F. 
W. Grant). 

Here, then, is the key to human destiny. Here is the 
cause of all the suíf ering and sorrow which is in the world. 
Here is the explanation of human depravity. Man is not 
now as God created him. God made man ''upright'' (Eccl. 
7:9), but he continued not thus. God faithfully warned 
man that if he ate of the forbidden f ruit he should surely 
die. And die he did, spiritually. Man is, henceforth, a 
f allen creature. He is born into this world * * alienated f rom 
the life of God" (Eph. 4:18). He was born into this 



16 Gleanings in Genesis 

world with a heart that is "deceitful above all things, and 
desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9). This is the heritage of 
The Fall. This is the entail of Adam's transgression. Man 
is a ruined creature, and * * darkness, ' ' moral and spiritual, 
rents upon the face of his understanding. (Eph. 4: 18). 

3. *^A7id the spirit of God moved upon the face of the 
waters." Here is where hope begins to dawn. God did not 
abandon the primitive earth, which had become a ruin. It 
would not have been surprising, though, if He had. Why 
should God trouble any f urther about that which lay under 
His righteous judgmentï Why should He condescend to 
notice that which was now a desolate waste í Why, indeed. 
But here was where sovereign mercy intervened. He had 
gracious designs toward that formless void. He purposed 
to resurrect it, restore it, ref ructif y it. And the first thing we 
r ead of in bringing about this desir ed end was, ' * the Spirit 
of God moved upon the face of the waters.'* There was 
Divine activity. There was a movement on the part of the 
Holy Spirit. And this was a prime necessity. How could 
the earth resurrect itselfï How could that which lay 
under the righteous judgment of God bring itself into the 
place of blessing? How could darkness transform itself 
into lif e í In the very nature of the case it could not. The 
ruined creation was helpless. If there was to be restoration, 
and a new creation, Divine power must intervene, the Spirit 
of God must * ' move. ' * 

The analogy holds good in the spiritual realm. Fallen 
man had no more claim upon God's notice than had the 
desolated primitive earth. When Adam rebelled against 
his Maker, he merited naught but unsparing judgment at 
His hands, and if God was inclined to have any f urther re- 
gard for him, it was due alone to sovereign mercy. What 
wonder if God had left man to the doom he so richly de- 
served! But no. God had designs of grace toward him. 
From the wreck and ruin of fallen humanity, God pur- 
posed to bring forth a ''new creation.'* Out of the death 
of sin, God is now bringing on to resurrection ground all 
who are united to Christ His Son. And the first thing in 
bringing this about is the activity of the Holy Spirit. And 
this, again, is a prime necessity, Fallen líian, in himself, 
is as helpless as was the fallen earth. The sinner can no 
more regenerate himself than could the ruined earth lift 
itself out of the deep which rested upon it. The new cre- 



Creation and Restoration 17 

ation, like the restoration of the material creation, must 
be accomplished by God Himself. 

4. *^And God said, let there he light, and there was 
light/' First the activity of the Holy Spirit and now the 
spoken Word. No less than ten times in this chapter do we 
read **and God said.'' God might have refashioned and 
refurnished the earth without speaking at all, but He did 
not. Instead, He plainly intimated from the beginning, 
that His purpose was to be worked out and His counsels 
accomplished by the Word. The first thing God said was, 
**Let there be light," and we read, '*There was light." 
Light, then, came in, was produced by, the Word. And 
then we are told, * ' God saw the light, that it was good. ' ' 

It is so in the work of the new creation. These two are 
inseparably joined together — the activity of the Spirit and 
the ministry of the Word of God. It is by these the man 
in Christ became a new creation. And the initial step to- 
ward this was the entrance of light into the darkness. The 
entrance of sin has blinded the eyes of man 's heart and has 
darkened his understanding. So much so that, lef t to him- 
self , man is unable to perceive the awf ulness of his condi- 
tion, the condemnation which rests upon him, or the peril 
in whích he stands. Unable to see his urgent need of a 
Saviour, he is, spiritually, in total darkness. And neither 
the affections of his heart, the reasonings of his mind, nor 
the power of his wiU, can dissipate this awful darkness. 
Light comes to the sinner through the Word applied hy the 
Spirit. As it is written, *'the entrance of Thy words giveth 
light'' (Psa. 119:130). This marks the initial step of 
God's work in the soul. Just as the shining of the Ught in 
Genesis 1 made manif est the desolation upon which it shone, 
so the entrance of God 's Word into the human heart reveals 
the awf ul ruin which sin has wrought. 

5. ^^And God divided the light from the darknessJ^ 
Heb. 4 : 12 tells us, the Word of God is quick, and powerf ul, 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the 
dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joirits and 
marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of 
the heart. ' ' This is not a figurative expression but, we be- 
lieve, a statement of literal f act. Man is a tripartite being, 
made up of ' ' spirit and sóul and body ' ' ( 1 Thess. 5 : 23 ) . 
The late Dr. Pierson distinguished between them thus: 
*'The spirit is capable of God-consciousness ; the soul is 



18 Gleanings in Genesis 

the seat of self-consciousness ; the body of sense-conscious- 
ness." In the day that Adam sinned, he died spiritually. 
Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the 
body; spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from 
God. When Adam died, his spirit was not annihilated, 
but it was * * alienated ' ' f rom God. There was a falL The 
spirit, the highest part of Adam 's complex being, no longer 
dominated; instead, it was degraded, it fell to the level 
of the soul, and ceased to function separately. Hence, to- 
day, the unregenerate man is dominated by his soul, which 
is the seat of lust, passion, emotion. But in the work of 
regeneration, the Word of God **pierces even to the divid- 
ing asunder of soul and spirit,'* and the spirit is rescued 
f rom the lower level to which it has fallen, being brought 
back again into communion with God. The ^'spirit'' being 
that part of man which is capable of communion with God, 
is light; the ''soul'' when it is not dominated and regulated 
by the spirit is in darkness, hence, in that part of the six 
days' work of restoration which adumbrated the dividing 
asunder of soul and spirit, we read, ' * And God divided the 
light from the darkness." 

6. ^^ And God said, let there he a firmament in the midst 
of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters 

and God called the firmament heaven'' (Gen. 1:6, 8). 

This brings us to the second days work, and here, for the 
first time, we read that ''God made" something (1:7). 
This was the formation of the atmospheric heaven, the 
* ' firmament, ' ' named by God ''heaven." That which cor- 
responds to this in the new creation, is the impartation of 
a new nature. The one who is * * born of the Spirit ' ' becomes 
a *'partaker of the Divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4). Regen- 
eration is not the improvement of the flesh, or the cultiva- 
tion of the old nature ; it is the reception of an altogether 
new and heavenly nature. It is important to note that 
the ''firmament" was produced by the Word, for, agaln 
we read, '*And God said." So it is by the written Word of 
God that the new birth is produced, * * Of His own wiU begat 
He us with the Word of truth'' ( James 1 : 18). And again, 
^^being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incor- 
ruptible, hy the Word of God'' (1 Pet. 1 : 23). 

7. ^^And God said, Let the waters under the heaven he 
gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land a/p' 
pear: and it was so, And God said. Let the earth hriny 



Creation and Restoration 19 

forih grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruii iree yield- 
ing fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself^^ (Qen. 1: 
9-11). These verses bring before us Qod's work on the 
third day, and in harmony with the meaning of this nu- 
meral we find that which clearly speaks of resurrection. 
The earth was raised out of the waters which had sub- 
merged it, and then it was clothed with vegetation. Where 
bef ore there was only desolation and death, lif e and f ertility 
now appeared. So it is in regeneration. The one who was 
dead in trespasses and sins, has been raised to walk in new- 
ness of life. The one who was by the old creation ''in 
Adam," is now by new creation ''in Christ.'^ The one 
who bef ore produced nothing but dead works, is now fitted 
to bring f orth f ruit to the glory of God. 

And here we must conclude. Much has been left un- 
touched, but sufficient has been said, we trust, to show that 
the order f ollowed by God in the six days ' work of restora- 
tion, f oreshadowed His work of grace in the new creation : 
that which He did of old in the material world, typified 
His present work in the spiritual realm. Every stage was 
accomplished by the putting forth of Divine power, and 
everything was produced by the operation of His Word. 
May writer and reader be more and more subject to that 
Word, and then shall we be pleasing to Him and fruitful 
in His service. 



2. CHRIST IN GENESIS 1 

In our first meditation upon this wonderf ul book of be- 
ginnings we pointed out some of the striking analogies 
which exist between the order f ollowed by Go*d in His work 
of creation and His method of procedure in the **new cre- 
ation/' the spiritual creation in the believer. First, there 
was darkness, then the action of the Holy Spirit, then the 
word of power going f orth, and then light as the result, and 
later resurrection and fruit. There is also a striking fore- 
shadowment of God's great dispensational dealings with 
our race, in this record of His work in the six days, but as 
this has already received attention f rom more capable pens 
than ours, we pass on to still another application of this 
scripture. There is much concerning Christ in this first 
•ehapter of Genesis if only we have eyes to see, and it is the 
typical application of Genesis 1 to Christ and His work 
we would here direct attention. 

Christ is the key which unlocks the golden doors into the 
temple of Divine truth. **Search the Scriptures, ' ' is His 
command, *'for they are they which testify of Me,^^ And 
again, He declares, ' ' In the volume of the Book it is written 
of Me." In every section of the written Word the Personal 
Word is enshrined — ^in Genesis as much as in Matthew, 
And we would now submit that on the f rontispiece of Di- 
vine Eevelation we have a typical programme of the entire 
Work of Redemption. 

In the opening statements of this chapter we discover, in 
type, the great need of Redemption. *'In the beginning 
God created the heavens and the earth." This carries us 
back to the primal creation which, like everything else that 
comes f rom the hand of God, must have been perf ect, beau- 
tiful, glorious. Such also was the original condition of man. 
Made in the image of his Creator, endowed with the breath 
of Elohim, he was pronounced '*very good.'' 

But the next words present a very different picture — 
''And the earth was without form and void," or, as the 
original Hebrew might be more literally translated, **The 
earth hecame a ruin." Between the first two verses in 
Genesis 1 a terrible calamity occurred. Sin entered the 



20 



Christ in Genesis 1 21 

tmiverse. The heart of the mightiest of all God 's creatures 
was fiUed with pride — Satan had dared to oppose the wiU 
of the Almighty. The dire effeets of his f all reached to our 
earth, and what was originally created by 6od fair and 
beautifuly became a ruin. Again we see in this a striking 
analogy to the history of man. He too f ell. He also be- 
came a ruin. The effects of his sin likewise reached beyond 
himself — ^the generations of an unborn humanity being 
curst as the result of the sin of our first parents. 

**And darkness was upon the face of the deep.^* Dark- 
ness is the opposite of light. God is light. Darkness is the 
emblem of Satan. Well do these words describe the natural 
condition of our fallen race. Judicially separated from 
God, morally and spiritually blind, experimentally the 
slaves of Satan, an awful pall of darkness rests upon the 
entire mass of an unregenerate humanity. But this only 
furnishes a black background upon which can be displayed 
the glories of Divine Grace. **Where sin abounded grace 
did much more abound. ' * The method of this ' * abounding 
of grace'' is, in type, outline^ in God's work during the 
six days. In the work of the first four days we have a 
most remarkable foreshadowment of the four great stages 
in the Work of Redemption. We cannot now do much 
more than call attention to the outlines of this marvellous 
primitive picture. But as we approach it, to gaze upon it 
in awe and wonderment, may the Spirit of God take of the 
things of Christ and show them unto us. 

7. In the first day^s work the Divine Incarnation is typi- 
cally set forth. 

If f allen and sinful men are to be reconciled to the thrice 
holy God what must be done í How can the infinite chasm 
separating Deity from humanity be bridgedí What lad- 
der shall be able to rest here upon earth and yet reach right 
into heaven itself í Only one answer is possible to these 
questions. The initial step in the work of human redemp- 
tion must be the Incarnation of Deity. Of necessity this 
must be the starting point. The Word must become flesh. 
God Himself must come right down to the very pit where 
a ruined humanity helplessly lies, if it is ever to be lifted 
oat of the miry clay and transported to heavenly places. 
The Son of God must take upon Himself the f orm of a serv- 
ant and be made in the likeness of men. 



22 Gleanings in Genesis 

This is precisely what the first day 's work typifies in its 
foreshadowment of the initial step in the Work of Redemp- 
tion, namely, the Incarnation of the Divine Redeemer. 
Notice here five things. 

First, there is the work of the Holy Spirit. ''And the 
Spirit of God moved (Heb. ^brooded') upon the face of the 
waters'' (v. 2). So also was this the order in the Divine 
Incarnation. Concerning the mother of the Saviour we 
read, **And the angel answered and said unto her, The 
Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the 
Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy 
thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son 
of God'' (Lukel:35). 

Second, the word issues forth as light, ''And God said 
(the word) let there be light and there was light" (v. 3). 
So also as soon as Marj^ brings forth the Holy Child 
''The glory of the Lord shone round about" the shepherds 
on Bethlehem's plains (Luke 2:9).- And when He is pre- 
sented in the temple, Simeon was moved by the Holy Spirit 
to say, *'For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which 
Thou hast prepared bef ore the f ace of all people : a light to 
lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. ' ' 

Third, the light is approved by God. * ' And God saw the 
light, that it was good^^ (v. 4). We cannot now enlarge 
much upon the deep typical import of this statement, but 
would remark in passing that the Hebrew word here trans- 
lated ''good" is also in (Eccl. 3: 11) rendered ''beautifur' 
— ''He hath made everything heautiful in his time." God 
saw that the light was good, beautiful! How obvious is 
the application to our incarnate Lord! After His advent 
into this world we are told that ''Jesus increased in wis- 
dom and stature and in favor tvith God and man" (Luke 
2: 52), and the first words of the Father concerning Him 
were, ''This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased/^ 
Yes, good and beautiful was the light in the Right of the 
Father. How blind was man that he should see in Him no 
beauty that he should desire Him ! 

Fourth, the light was separatcd from the darkness. *' And 
God divided the light from the darkness" (v. 4). How 
jealously did the Holy Spirit guard the types ! How care- 
ful is He to call our attention to the immeasurable differ- 
ence between the Son of Man and the sons of men ! Though 
in His infinite condescension He saw fit to share our hu- 



Christ in Genesis 1 23 

maiiityy yet He shared not our depravity. The light of 
Christ was divided from the darkness (fallen humanity). 
**For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, 
undefiled, separate from sinners^^ (Heb. 7: 26). 

Fifth, the light was named hy God. '*And God called 
the light Day " (v. 5). So also was it with Him who is the 
Light of the world. It was not lef t to Joseph and Mary to 
select the name f or the Holy Child. Of old the prophet had 
declared, **Listen, isles unto me; and hearken, ye peo- 
ple, from far; the Lord hath called Me from the womb; 
from the howels of My mother hath He made mention of My 
name^' (Isa. 49:1). And in fulfilment thereof, while yet 
in His mother's womb, an angel is sent by God to Joseph, 
saying, *'And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt 
csól His name Jesus. ' ' 

//. In the second day^s work the Cross of Christ is typi^ 
cally set forth. 

What was the next thing necessary in the accomplish- 
ment of the Work of Redemption ï The Incarnation by it- 
seLf would not meet our need. ''Except a corn of wheat 
f all into the ground and die, it abideth alone : but if it die, 
it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24). The In- 
carnate Christ reveals the spotless and perf ect life which 
alone meets the Divine mind, but it helps not to bridge the 
awful gulf between a holy God and a ruined sinner. For 
this, sin must put away, and that cannot be done except 
death comes in. ' ' For without shedding of blood is no 
remission.'' The Lamb of God must be slain. The Holy 
One must lay down His life. The Cross is the only place 
where the righteous claims of God 's throne can be met. 

And in the second day 's work this second step in the ac- 
plishment of human redemption is typically set forth. The 
prominent thing in this second day 's work is division, sep- 
aration, isolation. '* And God said, Let there be a firmament 
in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters f rom 
the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the 
waters which were under the firmament from the waters 
which were above the firmament: and it was so" (vs. 6-7). 
It is striking to note here that there is a twofold division. 
First there is a firmament in the midst of the waters and 
this firmament divides the waters from the waters, and 
secondly, the firmament divided the waters which were 



24 Gleanings in Genesis 

under it from those whieh were above it. We believe that 
the * * firmament ' ' here typifies the Cross, and sets forth its 
twofold aspect. There our blessed Lord was divided or 
separated from 6od Himself — **My 6od, My 6od, why hast 
Thou forsaken Meï"; and there also He was separated 
from m8in—^Cut off out of the land of the living." 

That the ''firmament" here does foreshadow the Cross 
seems to be clearly borne out by the marvellous analogy be- 
tween what is here told us concerning it and its typical 
agreement with the Cross of Christ. Observe f our things. 

First, the firmament was purposed by 6od hefore it was 
actually made. In verse 6 it reads, ''And 6od said let 
there he a firmament," and in verse 7, **And 6od made the 
firmament." How perfect is the agreement between type 
and antitype ! Long, long bef ore the Cross was erected on 
6olgotha's heights, it was purposed by 6od. Christ was 
*'The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world'^ (Rev. 
13:8). 

Second, the firmament was set in the midst of the waters. 
It is well known to Bible students that in Scripture 
**waters'* symbolize peoples, nations (cf. Rev. 17: 15). In 
its typical application then, these words would seem to 
signif y, * ' Let there be a Cross in the midst of the peoples. ' * 
Manifold are the applications suggested by these words. 
Accurate beyond degree is the type. Our minds imme- 
diately turn to the words, **They crucified Him, and two 
others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst^^ 
(John 19:18). The geographical situation of Calvary is 
likewise a fulfilment: Palestine being practically the cen- 
tre or midst of the earth. 

Third, the firmament divided the waters. So the Cross 
has divided the ''peoples." The Cross of Christ is the 
great divider of mankind. So it was historically, for it 
divided the believing thief from the impotent thief . So it 
has been ever since, and so it is today. On the one hand, 
' * The preaching of the Cross is to them that perish, f oolish- 
ness, ' ' but on the other, * ' unto us which are saved, it is the 
powerof 6od" (1 Cor. 1:18). 

Fourth, the firmament was designed hy God. ** And 6od 
made the firmament. ' ' So was it announced on the Day of 
Pentecost concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. *'Him, being 
delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of 
6od ' ' ( Acts 2 : 23 ) . So was it declared of old, ' * It pleased 



Christ in Genesis 1 25 

t'he Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief/' The 
Cross was of Divine design and appointment. 

Is it not also deeply significant that the words, **An4 
God saw that it was good ' ' are omitted at the close of this 
second day 's work t Had they been included here the type 
would have been marred. The second day's work pointed 
forward to the Cross, and at the Cross God was dealing 
with sin. There His wrath was being expended on the Just 
One who was dying for the unjust. Though He was with- 
out any sin, yet was He * ' made sin f or us ' ' and dealt with 
accordingly. Does not then the omission here of the usual 
expression '*God saw that it was good^^ assume a deeper 
significance than has been hitherto allowed. 
///. In the third day*s work our Lord^s Resurrection is 
typicaUy set forth. 

Our article has already exceeded the limits we originally 
designed, so perforce, we must abbreviate. 

The third thing necessary in the accomplifihment of the 
Work of Redemption was the Resurrection of the Crucified 
One. A dead Saviour could not save anyone. ' * Wheref ore 
He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto 
God by Him''; Whyt ''Seeing He ever liveth'' (Heb. 
7:25). 

Thus it is in our type. Beyond doubt, that which is f ore- 
shadowed on the third day's work is resurrection. It is in 
the record concerning this third day that we read ' * Let the 
dry land appear^^ (v. 9). Previously the earth had been 
submerged, buried beneath the waters. But now the land 
is raised above the level of the seas ; there is resurrection, 
the earth appears. But this is not all. In verse 11 we read, 
* * And let the earth bring f orth grass, etc. ' ' Hitherto death 
had reigned supreme. No life appeared upon the surface 
of the ruined earth. But on the third day the earth is com- 
manded to ''bring forth." Not on the second, not on the 
fourth, but on the third day was life seen upon the barren 
earth! Perfect is the type for all who have eyes to see. 
Wonderf uUy pregnant are the words, * í Let the earth bring 
forth^' to all who have ears to hear. It was on the third 
day that our Lord rose again from the dead **according to 
the Scriptures. ' ' According to what Scripturest Do we 
not have in these 9th and llth verses of Genesis 1 the first 
of these scriptures, as well as the primitive picture of our 
Lord 's Resurrection I 



26 Gleanings in Genesis 

IV. In the fourth day's work our Lord's Ascensipn is typ* 
ically suggested. 

The Resurrection did not complete our Lord's redemp- 
tion work. In order f or that He must enter the Heavenly 
Place not made with hands. He must take His seat on the 
right hand of the Majesty on high. He must go **into 
heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for 
us" (Heb. 9:24). 

Once more we find the type corresponds with the Anti- 
type. In the f ourth day 's work our eyes are removed f rom 
the earth and all its affairs and are turned to the heavensl 
(See vs. 14-19). As we read these verses and gather some- 
thing of their typical import, do we not hear the Holy 
Spirit saying, **Seek those things which are above, where 
Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection 
on things above, not on things on the earth'' (Col. 3 : 1, 2). 

And as we lift our eyes heavenwards what do we seeï 
*'Two great lights" — ^typically, Christ and His people. The 
sun which speaks to us of *Hhe Sun of Righteousness " 
(Malachi 4:2), and the moon which tells of Israel and the 
Church (Rev. 12: 1), borrowing its light from, and reflect- 
ing the light of, the sun. And observe their functions. 
First, they are **to give light upon the earth (v. 17), and 
secondly, they are * * to rule over the day and over the night ' ' 
(v. 18). So it is with Christ and His people. During the 
present interval of darkness, the world's night, Christ and 
His people are ^*the light of the world,'' but during the 
MiUennium they shall rule and reign over the earth. 

Thus in the first four days' work in Genesis 1, we have 
foreshadowed the four great stages or crises in the accom- 
plishment of the Work of Redemption. The Incarnation, 
the Death, the Resurrection, and the Ascension of our 
blessed Lord are respectively typified. In the light of this 
how precious are those words at the close of the six days' 
work: '^Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and 
all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended 
His work which He had made ; and He rested on the sev- 
enth day f rom all His work which He had made ' ' ( Gen. 2 : 
1, 2). The work of Redemption is completed, and in that 
work God finds His restl 

As we continue our meditations on the book of Genesis 
may God in His condescending grace reveal unto us **won- 
drous things out of His Law. ' ' 



3. TWO TREES 
Genesis 2 

It is not our purpose to give a detailed and exhaustive 
exposition of Genesis, rather shall we attempt to single out 
some of the less obvious treasures f rom this wonderf ul mine, 
in which are stored inexhaustible supplies of spiritual 
riches. This first book in the Word of God is fuU of typical 
pictures, prophetic foreshadowings, and dispensational 
adumbrations, as well as important practical lessons, and it 
will be our delight to call attention to a f ew of these as we 
pass f rom chapter to chapter. 

In studying the typical teaching of the Old Testament 
Scriptures we learn f rom them sometimes by way of con- 
trast and sometimes by way of comparison. A striking il- 
lustration of this double f act is f ound in the second chapter 
of Genesis. In the ninth verse we read of **The tree of 
knowledge of good and evil. ' ' In Acts 5 : 30 we read, ' * The 
God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and 
hanged on a tree^^; and again in 1 Peter 2 : 24, ^^ Who His 
own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.** Now 
the thoughtful reader wiU naturally inquire, Why should 
the Cross of our blessed Lord be spoken of as a *Hree''t 
Surely there must be some deeper meaning than that which 
appears on the surf ace. Was it not intended by the Holy 
Spirit that we should ref er back to Gen. 2 : 9 and compare 
and contrast these two treest We believe so, and a quiet 
meditation thereon reveals some remarkable points both of 
comparison and contrast between the tree of knowledge of 
good and evil and the tree on which our Lord was crucified. 
Let us consider some of the points of contrast first. 

1. The first tree was planted by God. **And out of the 
ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleaa- 
ant to the sight and good f or f ood ; the tree of lif e also in 
the midst of the garden and the Tree of Knowledge of good 
and evir* (Gen. 2:9). This tree then was planted not by 
Adam, but by Adam's Maker — God. But the second tree, 
the tree to which our Lord was nailed, was planted by man. 
**And they crucified Him'' (Mat. 27:35) is the brief but 
terrible record. It was human hands which devised, pro- 
vided and erected that cruel tree on the hill of Calvary. 



27 



28 Gleanings in Genesis 

In marked contrast f rom the first tree, h was the hands of 
the creature and not the Creator which planted the second 
tree. 

2. The first tree was pleasant to the eyes. ''And when 
the woman saw that the tree was good f or f ood, and that it 
was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make 
one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eaf (Gen. 
3:6). Exactly in what this ^'pleasantness'* consisted we 
do not know, but the Divine record seems to indicate that 
this tree was an object of beauty and delight. What a 
contrast f rom the second Tree ! Here everything was hid- 
eous and repellant. The suffering Saviour, the vulgar 
crowd, the taunting priests, the two thieves, the fiowing 
blood, the three hours darkness — ^nothing was there to 
please the outward eye. The first tree was ^ * pleasant to the 
eyes," but concerning the One on the second tree it is 
written, **They saw in Him no heauty that they should de- 
sire Him.'* 

3. God forbade man to eat of the first tree. '*But of the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat 
of if ( Gen. 2:17). A divine prohibition was placed upon 
the fruit of this tree. But again, how different from the 
second tree ! How startling the contrast ! There is no re- 
striction here. In this case man is freely invited to draw 
near and eat of the f ruit of this tree. The sinner is bidden 
to * ' Taste and see that the Lord is good. " * * AU things are 
ready, Come." The position is exactly reversed. Just as 
man was commanded not to eat of the f ruit of the first tree, 
he is now commanded to eat of the second. 

4. Because God f orbade man to eat of the first tree, Satan 
used every artifice to get man to eat of it. Contrariwise, be- 
cause God now invites men to eat of the second tree, Satan 
úses all his powers to prevent men eating of it. Is not this 
another designed contrast marked out for us by the Holy 
Spiritt Humanly speaking it was solely due to the cun- 
ning and malice of the great enemy of God and man that 
our first parents ate of the forbidden f ruit, and can we not 
also say, that it is now primarily due to the subtle devices 
of the old serpent the Devil that sinners are kept from 
eating the f ruit of that second tree ? 

5. The eating of the first tree hrought sin and death 
* ' For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely 
die'* (Gen. 2: 17). It was through eating of the fruit of 



Two Trees 29 

this tree that the Curse deseended upon our raee with all 
its attendant miseries. By eating of the second Tree comes 
life and salvation. **Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except 
ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye 
have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh 
my blood, hath eternal life'* (John 6 : 53, 54). Is there not 
in these words of our Lord a latent ref erence to the history 
of man's fall, and a designed contrast from the first treeï 
Just as by the act of ^ ' eating ' * man lost his spiritual lif e, 
so by an act of **eating'' man now obtains spiritual and 
eternal lif e ! 

6. Adam, the thief , through eating of the flrst tree, was 
turned out of Paradise, while the repentant thief , through 
eating of the second Tree, entered Paradise. We doubt not 
that once again there is a designed antithesis in these two 
things. A thief is connected with both trees, for in eating 
of the forbidden f ruit our flrst parents committed an act 
of theft. Is it not then something more than a coincidence 
that we flnd a '*thief " (yea, two thieves) connected with 
the second Tree alsot And when we note the widely dif- 
f erent experiences of the two thieves the point is even more 
striking. As we have said one was cast out of Paradise (the 
garden), the other was admitted into Paradise, and to say 
the least, it is remarkable that our Lord should employ the 
word **Paradise*' in this connection — the only time He 
ever did use it ! 

Now, briefly, let us consider some of the points of re- 
semblance : 

1. Both trees were planted in a garden, The flrst in the 
Garden of Eden, the second in a garden which is unnamed. 
* * Now in the place where He was crucifled there was a gar- 
den^^ (John 19:41). Are we not told this, for one reason, 
in order that we should connect the two trees ï Is it not a 
striking point of analogy, that both the flrst Adam and the 
last Adam died in a ^ * garden ' ' ! 

2. In connection with both trees we find the words ^4n 
the midsf **The tree of life also in the midst of the gar- 
den, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil'' (Gen. 
2:9). The word ''and'' connecting the two trees together 
and intimating their juxtaposition in the midst of the gar- 
den. In like manner we also read concerning our Saviour, 
''They crucified Him, and two others with Him on either 
side one, and Jesus in the midst.^^ 



SO Gleanings in Genesis 

3. Both are trees of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. 
Where in all the world, or in all the Scriptures, do we 

learn the knowledge of good and evil as we do at the second 
Tree — the Cross ï There we see Goodness inearnate. There 
we behold the Holiness of God displayed as nowhere else. 
There we discover the unfathomable love and matchless 
grace of Deity unveiled as never before or since. But 
there, too, we also see Evil — ^see it in all its native hideous- 
ness. There we witness the consummation and climax of 
the creature's wickedness. There we behold as nowhere 
else the vileness, the heinousness, the awfulness of sin as it 
appears in the sight of the thrice holy God. Yes, there is 
a designed resemblance as well as a contrast between the 
two trees. The Cross also is the tree of the knowledge of 
good and evil. 

4. Finally, there is another tree beside the one that was 
planted in Eden, of which Genesis 3 : 6 is true, ** And when 
the woman saw that the tree was good for f ood, and that 
it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to 
make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.*' 
Ah ! that second Tree is surely ' ' good f or f ood, ' ' too. The 
Cross of Christ and all that it stands for, is the very meíit 
and marrow of the believer's life. It is '^good'' as **food'' 
for the soul! And how ^'pleasant'' it is '^to the eyes" of 
f aith ! There we see all our sins blotted out. There we see 
our old man crueified. There we see the ground upon 
which a holy God ean meet a guilty sinner. There we see 
the Finished Work of our adorable Redeemer. Truly, it is 
'^pleasant to the eyes.'' And is not this second Tree also 
' * a tree to be desired to make one wise ' ' ? Yes ; the preach- 
ing of the Cross is not only the power of God, but *'the 
wisdom of God'' as well. The knowledge of this second 
Tree makes the sinner **wise'' unto salvation. 

In closing this little meditation we would call attention 
to one or two other scriptures in which a 'Hree" figures 
prominently. First, f rom Genesis 3 : 17 we learn that the 
'Hree" is linked directly with the Curse: '^Because thou 
hast hearkcned unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten 
of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt 
not eat of it : cursed is the ground f or thy sake ; in sorrow 
shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.'' In the light 
of this how significant are the following passages : In Gen- 
esis 40 we have recorded the dreams of the two men who 



Two Trees 31 

were in prison with Joseph. When interpreting the baker 's 
dream, Joseph said, '*Within three days shall Pharaoh lift 
up thy head from off thee, and shalt hang thee on a tree^' 
(Gen. 40: 19). Again, in Joshua 8: 29 we are told, **And 
the king of Ai was hanged on a tree until eventide : and as 
soon as the sun was down, Joshua eommanded that they 
should take his carcass down f rom the tree. ' ' Once more, in 
Esther 2 : 23 we read, ' * And when inquisition was made of 
the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both 
hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the 
chronicles before the king.'' What striking iUustrations 
are these of what we find in Gal. 3: 13, **Christ hath re- 
deemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse 
f or us : f or it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth 
on a tree'^I 

'*And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of 
Mamre : and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day ; 
And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men 
stood by him: when he saw them, he ran to meet them 
from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 
And said, My lord, if now I have f ound favor in thy sight, 
pass not away, I pray thee, f rom thy servant : Let a little 
water, I pray thee, be fetched, and wash your feet, and 
rest yourselves under the tree^* (Gen. 18: 1-4). How sug- 
gestive are the last words of this quotation. Why should 
we be told that Abraham invited his three visitors to rest 
*'under the tree," unless there is some typical meaning to 
his words? The ''tree,'' as we have seen, speaks of the 
Cross of Christ, and it is there that ^^rest" is to be found. 
An additional point is brought out in the eighth verse of 
Genesis 18 : ' ' And he took butter, and milk, and the calf 
which he had dressed, and set it bef ore them ; and he stood 
by them under the tree, and they did eat/' Eating is the 
symbol of communion, and it was under the tree these threë 
men ate : so, it is the Cross of Christ which is the basis and 
ground of our fellowship with God. How striking, too, 
the order here : first, rest under the * ' tree, ' ' and then eat- 
ing, or f ellowship ! 

Finally, how meaningful is Exodus 15 : 23-25. When 
Israel, at the commencement of their wilderness journey 
reached Marah, 'Hhey could not drink of the waters of 
Marah, f or they were bitter. ' ' And Moses ' ' cried unto the 
Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had 



S2 Gleanings in Genesis 

cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet." Com- 
ment is almost needless, the type is so apparent. Here 
again, the ''tree'' typiíies the Cross of Christ and the 
Christ of the Cross. It was our blessed Lord Who, by going 
down into the place of death, sweetened the bitter waters 
for us. Furthermore, it is only as the believer applies, 
practically, the principle of the Cross to his daily lif e, that 
the Marahs of our wilderness experiences are transmuted 
into *'waters that are made sweet.'' To enter into **the 
fellowship of His sufferings,'' and to be **made conformable 
unto His death, ' ' is the highest Christian privilege. 

How remarkable is the order, the progressive order, of 
these passages! First, the **tree" is seen as the place of 
the curse. Second, the *Hree" is seen as the place where 
rest is found. Third, the '*tree'' is seen as the ground of 
communion. Fourth, the **tree'' is seen as the principle 
of action to the daily lif e of the believer. 



4. THE FALL 

Genesis 3 

The third chapter in Genesis is one of the most important 
in all the Word o£ Gk>d. What has of ten been said of Gen« 
esis as a whole is peculiarly true of this chapter : it is the 
**seed-plot of the Bible." Here are the foundations upon 
which rest many of the cardinal doctrines of our f aith. Here 
we trace back to their source many of the rivers of divine 
truth. Here commences the great drama which is being 
enacted on the stage of human history, and which well-nigh 
six thousand years has not yet completed. Here we find the 
Divine explanation of the present f allen and ruined condi- 
tion of our race. Here we learn of the subtle devices of our 
enemy, the Devil. Here we behold the utter powerlessness 
of man to walk in the path of righteousness when divine 
grace is withheld f rom him. Here we discover the spiritual 
effects of sin— man seeking to flee from God. Here we dis- 
cern the attitude of God toward the guilty sinner Here we 
mark the universal tendency of human nature to cover its 
own moral shame by a device of man's own handiwork. 
Here we are taught of the gracious provision which God 
has made to meet our great need. Here begins that marvel- 
lous stream of prophecy which runs all through the Holy 
Scriptures. Here we learn that man cannot approach God 
except through a mediator. To some of these deeply im- 
portant subjects we shall now give our attention. 

I. The Fall Itself 

The divine record of the Fall of man is an unequivocal 
refutation of the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution. In- 
stead of teaching that man began at the bottom of the moral 
ladder and is now slowly but surely climbing heavenwards, 
it declares that man began at the top and f ell to the bottom. 
Moreover, it emphatically repudiates the modern theory 
about Heredity and Environment. During the last fifty 
years socialistic philosophers have taught that all the iUs to 
which man is heir are solely attributable to heredity and 
environment. This conception is an attempt to deny that 
man is a f allen creature and at heart desperately wicked. 



33 



84 Gleanings in Genesis 

We are told that if legislators will only make possible a per« 
f ect environment, man wiU then be able to realize his ideals 
and heredity will be purified, But man has already been 
tested under the most f avorable conditions and was found 
wanting. With no evil heredity behind them, our first 
parents were placed in the f airest imaginable environment, 
an environment which God Himself pronounced ''very 
good." Only a single restriction was placed upon their 
liberty, but they f ailed and f ell. The trouble with man is 
not external but internal. What he needs most is not a new 
berth, but a new birth. 

A single restriction was placed upon man's liberty, and 
this f rom the necessity and nature of the case. Man is a 
responsible being, responsible to serve, obey and glorify 
his Maker. Man is not an independent creature, for he 
did not make himself. Having been created by God he 
owes a debt to his Creator. We repeat, man is a respon- 
sible creature, and as such, subject to the Divine govern- 
ment. This is the great f act which God would impress upon 
us f rom the commencement of human history. * ' But of the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of 
it^^ (Gen. 2 : 17). There was no other reason why the fruit 
of this tree should not be eaten save the plain command of 
God. And, as we have sought to show, this command was 
not given arbitrarily in the real meaning of that word, 
but gave emphasis to the relationship in which man stood 
to God. As an intelligent, responsible creature, man is sub- 
ject to the Divine government. But the creature became 
self-seeking, self-centred, self-willed, and as the result he 
disobeyed, sinned, fell. 

The record of the Fall deserves the closest study. Abler 
pens than ours have called attention to the different steps 
which led up to the overt act. First, the voice of the 
tempter was heeded. Instead of saying, ' * Get thee behind 
me, Satan, ' ' E ve quietly listened to the E vil One challeng- 
ing the word of Jehovah. Not only so, but she proceeds to 
parley with him. Next there is a tampering with God's 
Word. Eve begins by adding to what God h^s said — al- 
ways a fatal course to pursue. *'Ye shall not eat of it, 
neither shall ye touch it/' This last clause was her own 
addition, and Proverbs 30 : 6 received its first exemplifica- 
tion, * * Add thou not unto his words, lest He reprove thee, 
and thou be found a liar.'' Next she proceeded to alter 



The Fall 35 

God's Word, ^^lest ye die/' The sharp point of the Spirit's 
Sword was blunted. Finally, she altogether omits God's 
solemn threat, '*Thou shalt surely die." How true it is 
that **History repeats itself." God's enemies today are 
treading the same path: His Word is either added to, al- 
tered, or flatly denied. Having f orsaken the only source of 
light, the act of transgression became the natural conse- 
quence. The forbidden fruit is now looked upon, desired, 
taken, eaten, and given to her husband. This is ever the 
logical order. Such, in brief , is the Divine account of the 
entry of sin into our world. The will of God was resisted, 
the word of God was rejected, the way of God was deserted. 
The Divine record of the Fall is the only possible expla- 
nation of the present condition of the human race. It 
alone accounts f or the presence of evil in a world made by a 
beneficent and perfect Creator. It affords the only ade- 
quate explanation for the universality of sin. Why is it 
that the king's son in the palace, and the saint's daughter 
in the cottage, in spite of every safeguard which human 
love and watchfulness can devise, manifest from their 
earliest days an unmistakable bias toward evil and tendency 
to sinï Why is it that sin is universal, that there is no 
empire, no nation, no family free from this awful diseaset 
Eeject the Divine explanation and no satisfactory answer 
is possible to these questions. Accept it, and we see that 
sin is universal because all share a common ancestry, all 
spring f rom a common stock, ^ * In Adam all die. ' ' The Di- 
vine record of the Fall alone explains the mystery of death. 
Man possesses an imperishable soul, why then should he 
diet He had breathed into him the breath of the Eternal 
One, why then should he not live on in this world for ever? 
Eeject the Divine explanation and we face an insoluble 
enigma. Accept it, receive the fact that, ^^By one man sin 
entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death 
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned'' (Eom. 5: 
12), and we have an explanation which meets all the facts 
of the case. 

II. Satan and the Fall 

Here for the first time in Scripture we meet with that 
mysterious personage the Devil. He is introduced without 
any word of explanation concerning his previous history. 
For our knowledge of his creation, his pre-Adamic exist- 



86 Gleanings in Genesis 

ence, the exalted position whieh he occupied, and his terri- 
ble fall from it, we are dependent upon other passages, 
notably Isaiah 14:12-15, and Ezekiel 28:12-19. In the 
chapter now bef ore us we are taught several important les- 
sons respecting our great Adversary. We learn what is 
the sphere of his activities, what the method of his approach 
and what the f orm of his temptations. And here also we 
leam of the certainty of his ultimate overthrow and de- 
struction. 

Contrary to the popular conception, which makes Satan 
the author of the grosser sins of the flesh, and which at- 
tributes to him that which our Lord plainly dedared issues 
out of the human heart, we are here informed that the 
sphere of his operations is the religious or spiritual realm. 
His chief aim is to get between the soul and 6od, to estrange 
man^s heart from hís Maker and inspire confidence instead, 
in himself . He seeks to usurp the place of the Most High 
to make His creatures his own wiUing subjects and chil- 
dren. His work consists of substituting his own lies in the 
place of divine truth. Genesis 3 gives us a sample of his 
operations and the method he employs. These things are 
written for our learning, for his activities, and the realm 
in which he works are the same today as they were in the 
Garden of Eden. 

The method of Satan 's approach was the same then as it 
is now. ''Yea hath 6od saidt" He begins by throwing 
doubt on the Divine Word ! He questions its veracity. He 
suggests that God did not mean what He had said. So it 
is today. Every effort that is being made to deny the 
Divine inspiration of the Scriptures, every attempt put 
f orward to set aside their absolute authority, every attack 
on the Bible which we now witness in the name of scholar- 
ship, is only a repetition of this ancient question, '^Yea, 
hath God saidf Next, he substitutes his own word for 
God's, ''Ye shall not surely die.'* We see the same prin- 
ciple illustrated in the first two parables in Matthew 13. 
The Lord Jesus goes forth sowing the seed which is the 
Word of God, and then the Evil One immediately foUows 
and sows his tares. And the sad thing is that while men 
refuse to believe the Word of the living God, yet they are 
sufl5ciently credulous to accept Satan 's lies. So it was at the 
beginning, and so it has been ever since. Finally, he dares 
to cast reflection upon God's goodness, and to call in ques- 



The Fall 87 

tion His perfections. **For God doth know that in the day 
ye eat thereof , then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shaU 
be as gods, knowing good and evil." In other words, the 
Devil here suggests, that God was despotically withholding 
f rom man something which would be advantageous to him, 
and he presents as his bait the promise that, if only Eve 
wiU believe his lie rather than God 's Word she shall be the 
gainer, and the obtainer of a knowledge and wisdom previ- 
ously denied her. The same attraction is being dangled by 
him before the eyes of the devotees of Spiritism and The- 
osophy, but into this we cannot now enter. 

It is to be noted that in the temptation a threefold ap- 
peal was made to Eve corresponding with the tripartite na- 
ture of the human constitution. ' * The woman saw that the 
tree was good for food^^ — appealing to the bodily senses; 
*'and that it was pleasant to the eyes'* — appealing to the 
desire nature, the emotions, which have their seat in the 
soul; ''and a tree to be desired to make one vnse'^ — ^ap- 
pealing to the intelligence, which has its centre in the 
spirit (Cf. 1 Cor. 2 : 11). Thus we leam here a deeply im- 
portant fact, namely, that Satan works from without to 
within, which is the very reverse of the Divine operations. 
Ck)d begins His work in man's heart, and the change 
wrought there reacts and transf orms the outward lif e. But 
Satan begins with the extemal and through the bodily 
senses and emotions of the soul works back to the spirit — 
the reason for this being, that normally he has not direct 
access to man 's spirit as Gk)d has. This same line was f ol- 
lowed in reference to our blessed Lord. **Command that 
these stones be made bread'* — appealing to the bodily 
senses ; * * Cast Thyself down ' ' — a challenge to His coúrage 
or an appeal to the emotional nature of the soul. **Fall 
down and worship me ' ' — an appeal to the spirit, f or we wor- 
ship the Father *'in spirit and in truth/' 

///. The Fall and Man 

The first effect of the Fall upon Adam and Eve was a 
realization of their shame. *'And the eyes of them both 
were opened, and they knew that they were naked. ' ' 
Through sin man obtained that which he did not have be- 
fore (at least, in operation), namely, a conscience — ^a knowl- 
edge of both good and evil. This was something which un- 



88 Gleanings in Genesis 

f allen man did not possess, for man was created in a state of 
innoeency, and innocence is ignorance of evil. But as soon 
as man partook of the forbidden f ruit he became conscious 
of his wrongdoing, and his eyes were opened to see his 
fallen condition. And conscience, the moral instinct, is 
something which is now common to human nature. Man 
has that within him which witnesses to his f allen and sinf ul 
condition! But not only does conscience bear witness to 
man's depravity, it is also one of the marks of a personal 
Creator's handiwork. The conscience cannot be of man's 
making. He would not voluntarily have set up an accuser, 
a judge, a tormentor, in his own breast. From whence then 
does it proceed ï It is no more the result of education than 
is reason or memory, though like both it may be cultivated. 
Conscience is the stiU small voice of God within the soul, 
testifying to the f act that man is not his own master but 
responsible to a moral law which either approves or re- 
proves. 

Having become conscious of their shame Adam and Eve 
at once endeavored to hide it by making unto themselves 
aprons of fig leaves. This action of theirs was highly sig- 
nificant. Instead of seeking God and openly confessing 
their guilt, they attempted to conceal it both from Him 
and f rom themselves. Such has ever been the way of the 
natural man. The very last thing he wiU do is to own 
before God his lost and undone condition. Conscious that 
something is wrong with him, he seeks shelter behind his 
own self-righteousness and trusts that his good works will 
more than counter-balance his evil ones. Church-going, 
religious exercises, attention to ordinances, philanthropy 
and altruism are the fig leaves which many today are weav- 
ing into aprons to cover their spiritual shame. But like 
those which our first parents sewed together they wiU not 
endure the test of eternity. At best they are but things 
of time which wiU speedily crumble away to dust. 

A passage in the Gospels throws light on the one we are 
now considering — ^we refer to another fig tree, the one on 
which our Lord f ound no f ruit. How striking is the lesson 
taught us by comparing these two Scriptures! Why are 
we told that Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves togetherí 
And why are we informed that it was a fig tree which our 
Lord cursed ? Was it not in order that we should connect 
them together? The fig tree was the only thing whi^.h our 



The Fall 39 

Lord cursed while He was here upon earth, and are we not 
intended to learn f rom that action of His that that which 
man employs to hide his spiritual shame is directly under 
the curse of Christ, bears no f ruit, and is doomed to quickly 
witheraway! 

But these self-manuf actured aprons did not remove f rom 
Adam and Eve the sense of their shame, for when they 
heard the voice of the Lord God they ^*hid themselves'* 
from Him. Man's conscience then did not bring him to 
God — f or that there must be the work of the Holy Spirit — 
rather did it terrify him and drive him away f rom God. 
Our first parents sought to hide themselves. Again we note 
how characteristic and representative was their action. 
They had some f aint conception at least of the moral dis- 
tance that there was between themselves and their Creator. 
He was holy, they were sinful, consequently they were 
afraid of Him and sought to flee from His presence. So 
it is with the unregenerate today. In spite of all their 
proud boastings, religious exercises, and self-manuf actured 
coverings, men are uneasy and f earf ul. Why is it that the 
Bible is so much neglectedt It is because it brings man 
nearer to God than any other book, and men are uneasy in 
the presence of God and wish to hide f rom Him. Why is it 
that the public ministry of the Word is so sparsely at- 
tendedt People will proffer many excuses, but the real 
reason is because that these services bring God near to them 
and this makes them uncomfortable in their sin, so they 
seek to flee f rom Him. How evident it is then that we all 
shared in the flrst sin and died in Adam. The position in 
which the first man stood was a f ederal one ; and that he 
acted in a representative capacity is seen by the f act that 
all his children share his nature and perpetuate his trans- 
gression. 

When God sought out Adam and brought him f ace to 
face with his guilt, he was given f air and fuU opportunity 
to conf ess his sin. ' * Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I 
commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat T ^ And what 
was the replyí How did Adam avail himself of this op- 
portunityï Instead of a broken-hearted confession of his 
sin he excused himself — ^''And the man said, The woman 
whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, 
and I did eat." It was the same with Eve: *'And the 
Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast 



40 Gleanings in Genesis 

done t And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and 
I did eat. ' ' Attempt was thus made to palliate the sin by 
shif ting the responsibility upon others. How marvellously 
true to life in this twentieth centuryl What undesigned 
proofs are these of Divine inspiration! But the very ex- 
cuse man makes is the ground of his condemnation. We 
have another iUustration of this principle in the parable of 
the marriage supper. **I have bought a piece of ground 
and must needs go to see it. I pray thee have me excused.'' 
Where was the **needs" bet Just this, that he preferred 
his own gratification rather than to accept God 's invitation. 
So it was with Adam — ''the woman whom thou gavest to 
be with me" — the excuse he furnishes is the very ground 
of his condemnation. ^^Because thou hast hearkened unto 
the voice of thy wif e, and hast eaten of the tree, of which 
I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it; cursed 
is the ground f or thy sake ; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it 
all the days of thy life." All these subterfuges were un- 
availing and man stood f ace to f ace with a holy God and 
was convicted of his guilt and unspeakable shame. Thus 
wiU it be at the great white throne. 

We find then that the effects of the Fall (so far as we 
have yet considered it) upon man himself were fourfold: 
the discovery that something was wrong with himself ; the 
effort to hide his shame by a self-provided covering; fear 
of God and an attempt to hide from His presence; and 
instead of conf essing his sin, seeking to excuse it. The same 
effects are observable today the world over. 



5. THE FALL, CONTINUED 

lY. The Fall and Ood 

^^And the Lord Gk>d called unto Adam, and said unto 
him, Where art thou t ' ' Beautif ul indeed is this record of 
Divine grace. This was not the voice of the policeman, but 
the call of a yearning love. Dark as is the background 
here, it only serves more clearly to reveal the riches of 
Gtod's grace. Highly favored as our first parents were, blest 
with everything the heart could desire, only a single restric- 
tion placed upon their liberty in order to test their loyalty 
and fidelity to their Maker — ^how fearful then their fall, 
how terrible, their sin! What wonder if God had con- 
signed them to * * everlasting chains under darkness,'' as 
He did the angels when they sinned t What wonder if His 
wrath had instantly consumed themt Such would have 
been no undue severity. It would simply have been bare 
justice. It was all they deserved. But no. In His infinite 
condescension and abundant mercy, God deigned to be the 
Seeker, and came down to Eden crying, Where art thou t 

W. GriflBth Thomas has f orcibly summed up the signifi- 
cance of this question in the foUowing words: ''God's 
question to Adam stiU sounds in the ear of every sinner: 
*Where art thout' It is the call of Divine justice, which 
cannot overlook sin. It is the call of Divine sorrow, which 
grieves over the sinner. It is the call of Divine love* 
which offers redemption f rom sin. To each and to every one 
of us the call is reiterated, * Where art thou t ' ' ' 

Everything recorded in Genesis 3 has far more than a 
local significance. God's attitude and action there were 
typical and characteristic. It was not Adam who sought 
God, but God that sought Adam. And this has been the 
order ever since. * ' There is none that seeketh af ter God ' ' 
(Rom. 3:11). It was God who sought out and called 
Abram while yet an idolater. It was God who sought 
Jacob at Bethel when he was fleeing f rom the consequences 
of his wrong doing. It was God who sought out Moses while 
a fugitive in Midian. It was Christ who sought out the 
apostles whilst they were engaged in fishing, so that He 
eould say, ** Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.'* 



41 



42 Gleanings in Genesis 

It was Christ who, in His ineffable love, eame to seek and 
to save that which was lost. It is the Shepherd who seeks 
the sheep, and not the sheep that seek the Shepherd. How 
true it is that **We love Him because He first loved us." 
0, that we might appreciate more deeply the marvelloug 
condescension of Deity in stooping so low as to care for 
and seek out such poor worms of the dust. 

'*And I wiU put enmity between thee and the woman, 
and between thy jseed and her seed ; it shall bruise thy 
head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (6en. 3:15). Here 
again we behold the exceeding riches of God's grace. Be- 
f ore He acted in judgment He displayed His mercy ; bef ore 
He banished the guilty ones from Eden, He gave them a 
blessed promise and hope. Though Satan had encompassed 
the downfall of man, it is announced that One shall come 
and bruise his head. By woman had come sin, by woman 
should come the Saviour. By woman had come the curse, 
by woman should come Him who would bear and remove 
the curse. By woman Paradise was lost, yet by woman 
should be born the One who should regain it. what grace 
— the Lord of glory was to be the woman's Seed ! 

Here we have the beginning and germ of all proph^cy. 
It would be outside our province now to attempt anything 
more than a bare outline of the contents of this wonderful 
verse. But three things should be carefuUy noted. First, 
it is announced that there should be enmity between Satan 
and the woman. This part of the verse is invariably passed 
over by commentators. Yet it is of profound importance. 
The *'woman'' here typifies Israel — ^the woman from whom 
the promised Seed came — the woman of Revelation 12. 
The children of Israel being the appointed channel 
through which the Messiah was to come, became the object 
of Satan's continued enmity and assault. How marvel- 
lously this prediction has already been fulfiUed all stu- 
dents of Scripture know fuU well. The **famines" men- 
tioned in Genesis were the first efforts of the enemy to de- 
stroy the fathers of the chosen race. The edict of Pharaoh 
to destroy all the male children; the Egyptian attack at 
the Red Sea; the assaults of the Canaanites when in the 
land ; the plot of Haman, are all so many examples of this 
enmity between Satan and **the woman," while the con- 
tinued persecution of the Jew by the Gentiles and the yet 
f uture opposition by the Beast witness to the same truth. 



The Fall, continued 43 

Second, two '*seeds" are here referred to— another item 
whieh is generally overlooked — * * thy seed ' ' and * * her seed ' ' 
— Satan's seed and the woman's Seed — the Antichrist and 
the Christ. In these two persons all prophecy eonverges. 
In the former of these expressions — '*thy seed" (Satan's 
seed) we have more than a hint of the supernatural and 
satanic nature and character of the Antichrist. From the 
beginning the Devil has been an imitator, and the climax 
wiU not be reached until he daringly travesties the hy- 
postatic union of the two natures in our blessed Lord — His 
humanity and His Deity. The Antichrist wiU be the Man 
of Sin and yet the Son of Perdition — ^literally the *'seed" 
of the serpent — just as our Lord was the Son of Man and 
the Son of God in one person. This is the only logical con- 
clusion. If ''her seed" ultimates in a single personality — 
the Christ — ^then by every principle of sound interpreta- 
tion ' ' thy seed ' ' must also ultimate in a single person — the 
Antichrist. 

'^Her seed" — ^the woman's Seed. Here we have the 
first announcement concerning the supernatural birth of 
our Saviour. It was prophetically foretold that He should 
enter this world in an unique manner. ^^Her seed — ^thc 
woman's seed, not the man's! How literally this was ful- 
fiUed we learn from the two inspired records given us in 
the New Testament of the miraculous conception. A ''vír- 
flrín" was with child and four thousand years after this 
initial prediction **God sent forth His Son, made of a 
woman'* (Gal. 4:4). 

In the third item of this marvelous prophecy ref erence is 
made to a double **bruising" — ^the woman's Seed shall 
bruise the Serpent's head, and the Serpent should bruise 
His heel. The last clause in this prediction has already 
become history. The ''bruising" of the heel of the woman's 
Seed is a symbolical reference to the sufferings and death 
of our Saviour, who was '^wounded for our transgressions 
and hruised for our iniquities." The first of these clauses 
yet awaits fulfilment. The bruising of the Serpent's head 
wiU take place when our Lord returns to the earth in per- 
son and in power, and when ''the dragon, that old serpentf 
which is the Devil and Satan shall be bound f or a thousand 
years (the MiUennium) and cast into the bottomelss pit 
(Rev. 20:2, 3). Again, we say, what a remarkable proof 
this verse furnishes us of the Divine Inspiration of the 



44 Gleanings in Genesis 

Scriptnresl Who but He who knoweth the end from the 
beginning conld have given such an accurate outline o£ sub- 
sequent history, and packed it within the limits of this one 
verset 

^ ' Unto Adam also and to his wif e did the Lord Gk>d make 
coats of skins, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:21). In order 
to adequately explain and expound this verse many pages 
might well be written, but perforce, we must content our- 
selves with a few lines. This verse gives us a typical pic- 
ture of a sinner 's salvation. It was the first Gospel sermon, 
preached by God Himself , not in words but in symbol and 
action. It was a setting f orth of the way by which a sin- 
ful creature could return unto and approach his holy 
Creator. It was the initial declaration of the fundamental 
fact that *'without shedding of blood is no remission/' It 
was a blessed iUustration of substitution — ^the innocent 
dying in the stead of the guilty. 

Bef ore the Fall, God had defined the wages of sin : * * In 
the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely díe.'' God is 
righteous, and as Judge of all the earth He must do right. 
His law had been broken and justice cried aloud for the 
enf orcing of its penalty. But is justice to override mercy t 
Is there no way by which grace can reign through right- 
eousnesst Blessed be God there is, there was. Mercy de- 
sired to spare the offender and because justice demands 
death, another shall be slain in his place. The Lord God 
clothed Adam and Eve with skins, and in order to procure 
these skins animals must have been slain, life must have 
been taken, blood must have been shed ! And in this way 
was a covering provided f or the f allen and ruined sinner. 
The application of the type is obvious. The Death of the 
Son of God was shadowed forth. Because the Lord Jesus 
laid down His life for the sheep God can now be just and 
the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 

How beautif ul and perf ect is the type ! It was the Lord 
God who furnished the skins, made them into coats and 
clothed our first parents. They did nothing. God did it 
all. They were entirely passive. The same blessed truth 
is iUustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. When the 
wanderer had taken the place of a lost and undone creature 
and had owned his sin, the grace of the father's heart was 
displayed. *'But the father said to his servants, Bring 
forth the best robe, and put it on him^* (Luke 15 : 22). The 



The Fall, continued 45 

prodigal did not have to f urnish the robe, nor did he have 
put it on himself , all was done for him. And so it is with 
every sinner. **For by grace are ye saved through faith, 
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of 6od" (Eph. 
2:8). Well may we sing, * * I will greatly re joice in the 
Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my 6od; for He hath 
clothed me unth the garments of salvation, He hath covered 
me with the rohe of righteousness^' (Isa. 61 : 10). 

* ' So He drove out the man ; and He placed at the east of 
the 6arden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword which 
turned every way to keep the way of the tree of lif e * ' ( 6en. 
3:24). This was the immediate climax in the Divine con- 
demnation of the first sin. After sentence of judgment had 
been passed first upon the serpent, then upon the woman, 
and finally upon the man, and after 6od had acted in 
mercy by giving them a precious promise to stay their 
hearts and by providing a covering for their shame, Adam 
and Eve were driven out of Paradise. The moral signifi- 
cance of this is plain. It was impossible f or them to re- 
main in the garden and continue in fellowship with the 
Lord. He is holy, and that which defileth cannot enter 
His presence. Sin always results in separation. *'But 
your iniquities have separated between you and your Gk)d, 
and your sins have hid His face from you'' (Isa. 59 : 2). 

Here we see the fulfilment of 6od's threat. He had an- 
nounced, * * In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely 
díe.'' Die, not only physically — ^there is something infinite- 
ly worse tíian that — ^but die spiritually. Just as physical 
death is the separation of the soul f rom the body, so spir- 
itual death is the separation of the soul f rom 6od. — ^ * This 
my son was dead (separated from me) and is alive again — 
restored to me. When it is said that we are by nature 
**dead in trespasses and sins,'* it is because men are ^^alien- 
ated from the life of Ood through the ignorance that is in 
them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Eph. 4 : 18). 
In like manner, that judicial death which awaits all who 
die in their sins — ^the ' ' Second Death ' * — ^is not annihilation 
as so many are now f alsely teaching,* but eternal separation 
from 6od and everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. 
And so here in 6enesis 3 we have 6od's own definition of 



(^Note In Rev. 20 after the unsaved are resurrected, they are still 
termed "dead" — dead for ever, dead to Qod even while they live). 



46 Gleanings in Genesis 

death — separation from Him, evidenced by the expulsion 
of man from Eden. 

The barring of the way to the tree of lif e iUustrated an 
important spiritual truth. In some peculiar way this tree 
seems to have been a symbol of the Divine presence (see 
Prov. 3:18), and the f act that f allen man had no right 
of access to it further emphasized the moral distance at 
which he stood f rom God. The sinner, as such, had no ac- 
cess to God, for the sword of justice barred his way, just 
as the veil in the Tabernacle and Temple shut man out 
f rom the Divine presence. But blessed be God, we read of 
One who has opened f or us a ' ' new and living way ' ' to God, 
yea, who is Himself the Way (John 14: 6). And how has 
that been accomplished ï Did justice withdraw her swordt 
Nay, it sheathed it in the side of our adorable Saviour. 
Doubtless that solemn but precious word in Zechariah 13 : 7, 
*'Awake, sword, against My Shepherd,'' looks back to 
Genesis 3 : 24. And because the Shepherd was smitten the 
sheep are spared, and in the Paradise of God we shall eat 
of the fruit of that tree from which Adam was barred (see 
Rev. 2:7). 

Summing up, then, this important division of our sub- 
ject — God and the Fall — ^we discover here : An exhibition of 
His condescension in seeking man; an evidence of His 
mercy in giving a blessed prophecy and promise to sustain 
and cheer the heart of man ; a demonstration of His grace 
in providing a covering f or the shame of man ; a display of 
His holiness in punishing the sin of man; and a typical 
foreshadowment of the urgent need of a Mediator between 
God and man. 



6. THE FALL, CONCLUDED 



The philosophy of life as interpreted by the Darwinian 
school, affirms that sin is merely a present imperf eetion and 
limitation which wiU gradually disappear as the human 
race ascends the hiU of life. The evolutionary hypothesis, 
therefore, not only denies the teaching of Genesis one, but 
it also repudiates the f acts recorded in Genesis three. And 
here is the real point and purpose of Satan's attack. The 
specious reasoning of our modern theologians has not only 
attempted to undermine the authenticity of the account of 
Creation, but it has also succeeded in blunting the point 
of the Gospers appeal. 

By denying the Fall, the imperative need of the new 
birth has been concealed. For, if man began at the hottom 
of the moral ladder — as evolutionists ask us to believe — and 
is now slowly but surely climbing heavenwards, then all he 
needs is education and cultivation. On the other hand, if 
man commenced at the top of the ladder hut through sin 
fell to the hottom — as the Bible declares — ^then he is in ur- 
gent need of regeneration and justification. The issue 
thus raised is vital and fundamental. 

V. The Fall and Human History 

While we are entirely dependent upon the revelation 
which God has given us in His Word f or our knowledge of 
the beginnings of human history, and while His Word is 
absolutely authoritative and to be received with unques- 
tioning faith, and while the Holy Scriptures need no but- 
tressing with human logic and argument, yet an appeal 
to history and experience is not without interest and value. 
This is the case in respect to the **Fall.'' And we would 
now submit that the teaching of Genesis three is substanti- 
ated and vindicated by the great facts of human history 
and experience. 

1. The Teaching of Human Experience 

Bead the annáls of history, examine the reports of our 
police courts, study life in the slums of our large cities, 
and then ask, How comes it that man, the king of creation, 
designed and fitted to be its leader and lord, should have 



47 



48 Gleanings in Genesis 

sunken lower than the animalsf Illustrations are scarcely 
necessary to show how low man has sunk, f or all who know 
vice as it really exists beneath the thin covering provided 
by the conventionalities of modern civilization, are only too 
painfuUy aware of the degradation and desolation which 
exist on all sides. A beast will not abandon its young as 
is now so f requently the case with the parents of illegitimate 
children. The beasts of the field put multitudes of human 
beings to shame, for in the breeding season they confine 
themselves to their own mates— exceptions being found 
only among those animals which man has partially domes- 
ticated ! No animal wiU drink f oul and poisoned water, yet 
thousands of well educated men and women are annucúly 
poisoned with alcohol. 

But what is the cause of these effects. What is the true 
explanation of these sad f acts t How comes it that the king 
of creation has sunken lower thtin the beasts of the fieldt 
Only one answer is possible — 8IN, the FALL. Sin has 
entered the human constitution ; man is a fallen creature, 
and as such, capable of any vileness and wickedness. 

2. The Discords of Human Nature 

Man, the unregenerate man, is a composite being. Two 
principles are at work within him. He is a self-contradic- 
tion. One moment he does that which is noble and praise- 
worthy, but the next that which is base and vile. Some- 
times he is amenable to that which is good and elevating, 
but more often he abandons himself to the pleasures of 
sin. In some moods he seems closely akin to God, in others 
he is clearly a child of the devil. 

Whence comes this conflict between good and evil t Why 
this perplexing duality in our common make-upí Only 
one explanation meets all the f acts of the case. On the one 
hand, man is *'the offspring of God"; but, on the other, 
sin has come in through the Fall and marred the Creator 's 
handiwork. 

3. The Universality of 8in 

Why is it that the king 's son in the palace and the saint ^s 
daughter in the cottage, in spite of every safeguard which 
love and watchf ulness can devise, manifest an unmistakable 
bias towards evil and tendency to sint Why is it that 
heredity and environment, education and civilization are 



The Fall, concluded 49 

powerless to change this order t Why are all sinf ul t Why 
is it that there is no nation, no tribe, no family, free from 
the taint of sin t Only the Word of God solves this prob- 
lem. AU have a common origin (Adam) ; all share a eom- 
mon heritage (the Fall) ; all enter into a common legacy 
(Sin). 

4. The Existence of Death 

**There is one event that happeneth to all/^ but why 
should itt We have been created by the Etemal God, we 
possess a never-dying soul ; why, then, should not men con- 
tinue to live on this earth f or ever t Why should there be 
such things as decay and destructiont Why should man 
die t Science can f urnish no answer to these questions, and 
philosophy offers no explanation. Again we are shut up 
to the Word of God. Death is the wages of sin, and death 
is universal because sin is universal. If any inquire, Why 
are sin and death universal, the answer is, ^'By one man 
sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death 
passed upon all men, f or all have sinned. ' ' 

5. The Present Paralysis of the Human Race 

Every being and organism is subject to a necessity of 
becoming other than it is — ^in a single word, it must grow. 
Not only the animal and the plant, but the crystal, too, 
obeys this law, and it is difficult to see why humanity which, 
as history shows, forms an organic whole, alone does not 
f oUow it. The only solution of this problem is, that man is 
not now in his original and normal state : he is no longer as 
God created him. He who denies the Fall has no light upon 
this prof ound mystery. It is beyond doubt that had man 
never fallen, he would have continued to grow in knowl- 
edge, goodness and happiness: in fact, would have be- 
come more and more like to God. Enoch, the man who 
walked with God, and whom He took to Himself after he 
had lived the great cycle of three hundred and sixty-five 
years — a year f or a day — is an example of a human being 
who had fulfiUed his destiny, and most probably a type of 
what the destiny of all men might have been. But alas! 
man f ell, hence progress and advancement in the final sense 
became impossible. 

The fact that man has not progressed, or rather, is not 
now progressing, may be seen by comparíng the products 
from the various fields of human enterprise of today with 



50 Gleanings in Genesis 

those o£ two or three thousand years ago. In literature, 
nothing has appeared which equals the Book o£ Job, or 
which rivals the Psahns. In Philology — which is a sure 
test o£ the intellectual development and mental li£e o£ a 
people — ^there is no modern language which matches the 
Sanskrit. In Art, all that is best we borrow £rom the an- 
cient Greeks. In Science, we are stiU far behind the de- 
signers and builders o£ the Pyramids — a recent examina- 
tion o£ some mummies has revealed the £act that the Egyp- 
tians were ahead o£ us even in dentistry. In Ethics, the 
marvellous system £ormulated by Con£ucius is superior to 
anything we have today outside o£ the Bible. In gigantie 
civilizations, none have outstripped those o£ the Baby- 
lonians and Phoenicians, which flourished hundreds o£ years 
be£ore the Christian era commenced. In legislation, £o- 
rensic and organizing ability, the Romans have never been 
surpassed. While physically, we compare unf avorably with 
the ancients. 

Here then is a fact fully demonstrated, that as an or- 
ganic whole, our race is making no real progress and evi- 
dencing no signs of growth. And we repeat, it is the only 
one among all living organisms which is not growing — ^grow- 
ing, not evolving. What, then, is the cause of this mys- 
terious paralysis í How can we account f or it except by the 
explanation furnished in the Word of God, namely, that 
this organism has had a terrible f all, is marred and broken, 
is not now in its normal and original state ! 

If then the Fall is a historical f act and the only adequate 
explanation of human history, what f oUows 1 First, man is 
a fallen creature; second, he is a sinner; third, he needs 
a Saviour. This then is the foundation of the Gospel ap- 
peal. By nature, man is alienated from God, under con- 
demnation, lost. What then is the remedy í The answer is, 
A new creation. ''lf any man be in Christ he is a new 
creation" (2 Cor. 5:17). It is not the cultivation of the 
old nature which is needed, for that is ruined by the Fall, 
but the reception of an entirely new nature which is be- 
gotten by the Holy Spirit. **Ye must be born again.^* 
Anything short of this is worthless and useless. 

VI. The Fall and Christ 

No study of Genesis 3 would be complete without 
meditating upon it with the Lord Jesus before the heart. 



The Fall, concluded 51 

Several passages in the Word link together Adam and 
Christ, and theref ore it behooves us to carefully compare 
and contrast them. In thinking of Christ and the Fall a 
threefold line of thought may be developed. First, a con- 
trast between the first man and the second man in their 
characters and conduct. Second, Christ Himself bearing 
the Curse of the Fall. Third, Christ reversing the effects 
of the Fall and bringing in the * ' better thing. ' ' Let us take 
up these thoughts in this order. 

It has been suggested by another, that in eating of the 
forbidden fruit Adam cast reproach upon God's love, God's 
truth and God's majesty. Created in the image of his 
Maker : vitalized by the very breath of Deity : placed in a 
perfect environment: surrounded by every blessing the 
heart could desire: put in complete authority over the 
works of God 's hands : provided with a suitable companion 
and helpmeet: made an example to all the universe of 
Jehovah's goodness and love, and given one single com- 
mand that he might have opportunity to show his appre- 
ciation by an easy observance of it — ^j^et, he gives ear to the 
voice of the tempter and believes the Devil's lie. 

*'And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not 
surely die : For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof 
then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, 
knowing good and evil. ' ' What did Satan wish these words 
to implyï They were as though he said: Did God tell 
you not to eat of this treeï How unkind! He is with- 
holding from you the very best thing in the garden. He 
knows f uU well that if you partake of this f rult your eyes 
wiU be opened, and you yourselves wiU become as God. In 
other words, it was an appeal for them to distrust God, to 
doubt His grace, and to question His goodness. Thus in 
eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam repudiated and dis- 
honored God's love. 

Moreover, he questioned and dishonored God's veracity. 
God had plainly warned him. In unequivocal language He 
had threatened, ' * In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt 
surely die." Adam knew nothing of death. He was sur- 
rounded only by living creatures. Reason might have 
argued that it was impossible for death to enter such a 
fair land as Paradise. But there rang the Word of Him 
who cannot lie, * * Thou shalt surely die. ' ' The serpent, how- 
Bver, boldly denies Jehovah's Word — ''Ye shall not surely 



52 Gleanings in Genesis 

die/* he declares. Which would Adam believe — God or 
Satan. He had more confidence in the latter : he dared to 
doubt the f ormer, and the f ell deed was done. ThuSy in eat- 
ing of the forbidden fruit, Adam repudiated and dishon- 
ored God's Truth. 

Further : he re jected God 's authority. As the Creator, 
God possesses the inherent right to issue commands, and to 
demand from His creatures implicit obedience. It is His 
prerogative to act as Law-giver, ControDer, Governor, and 
to define the limits of His subjects' freedom. And in Eden 
He exercised His prerogative and exprest His wiU. But 
Adam imagined he had a better f riend than God. He re- 
garded Him as austere and despotic, as One who begrudged 
him that which would promote his best interests. He f elt 
that in being denied the f ruit of this tree which was pleas- 
ant to the eyes and capable of making one wise God was act- 
ing arbitrarily, cruelly, so he determined to assert himself , 
daim his rights and throw off the restraint of the Divine 
government. He substitutes the Devil's word for God's 
law: he puts his own desire before Jehovah's command. 
Thus, in eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam repudiated 
and dishonored God 's Majesiy. So much then f or the char- 
acter and conduct of the first Adam. 

In turning to the last Adam we shall find that everything 
is in direct antithesis. In thought, word and deed, the 
Christ of God completely vindicated the love, truth, and 
majesty of Deity which the first man had so grievously and 
deliberately dishonored. How He vindicated the love of 
God! Adam harbored the wicked thought that God be- 
grudged him that which was beneficial, and thereby ques- 
tioned His goodness. But how the Lord Jesus has reversed 
that decision ! In coming down to this earth to seek and to 
save that which was lost, He fuUy revealed the compassion 
of Deity f or humanity. In His sympathy f or the afficted, 
in His miracles of healing, in His tears over Jerusalem, in 
His unselfish and unwearied works of mercy, He has openly 
displayed the beneficence and benevolence of God. And 
what shall we say of His sufferings and death on the cruel 
treeï In laying down His life for us, in dying upon the 
cross He unveiled the heart of the Father as nothing eke 
could. **God commendeth His love toward us, in that, 
while we were yet sinners, Chbist died for us. ' In the 



The Fall, concluded 53 

light of Galvary we can never more doubt the goodness and 
grace of Gk>d. 

How Christ vindicated the truth of Gtod ! When tempted 
by Satan to doubt Gk>d's goodness, question His truth and 
repudiate His majesty, He answered each time, '*It is 
written/^ When He entered the synagogue on the Sab- 
bath day it was to read out of the Holy Oracles. When 
selecting the twelve apostles He designedly chose Judas in 
order that the Scriptures * * might be f ulfilled. ' ' When cen- 
suring His critics, He dedared that by their traditions they 
made void * * the Word of Gk>d. ^ ' In His last moments upon 
the Cross, knowing that all things had been accomplished, 
in order that the Scriptures might be f ulfilled He said, * * I 
thirst. ^ ' Af ter He had risen f rom the dead and was jour- 
neying with the two disciples to Emmaus, He * * expounded 
unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Him- 
self.*' At every point, and in every detail of His life He 
honored and magnified Gk>d 's truth. 

Pinally, Christ completely vindicated the majesty of GU>d. 
The creature had aspired to be equal with the Creator. 
Adam chafed against the governmental restraint which Je- 
hovah had placed upon him. He despised God's law, in- 
sulted His majesty, defied His authority. How different 
with our blessed Saviour! Though He was the Lord of 
Glory and equal with God, yet He made Himself of no 
reputation, and took upon the form of a servant. match- 
less grace ! He condescended to be **made under the law,'' 
and during the whole of His stay here upon earth He re- 
fused to assert His rights, and was ever subject to the Fa- 
ther . * ^ Not My will ' ' was His holy cry. Nay , more : * ' He 
became óbedient unto death, even the death of the cross." 
Never was God's law so magnified, never was God's au- 
thority so honored, never were God's govemment daims so 
iUustriously upheld, as during the thirty-three years when 
His own Son tabernacled among men. Thus in His own 
Person Christ vindicated the outraged majesty of God. 

We turn now to contemplate Christ Himself hearing the 
Curse of the Fall. What was the punishment which fol- 
lowed the first Adam 's sin ï In answering this question we 
confine ourselves to the chapter now before us. Beginning 
at the seventeenth verse of Genesis 3 we may trace a seven- 
fold consequence upon the entrance of sin into this world. 
First, the ground was cursed. Second, in sorrow man was 



54 Gleanings in Genesis 

to eat of it all the days o£ his lif e. Third, thorns and this- 
tles it was to bring f orth. Fourth, in the sweat of his faee 
man was to eat his bread. Fifth, unto dust man was to re- 
tum. Sixth, a flaming sword barred his way to the tree of 
lif e. Seventh, there was the execution of God 's threat* that 
in the day man partook of the forbidden fruit he should 
surely die. Such was the curse which fell upon Adam as 
the result of the Fall. 

Observe now how completely the Lord Jesus bore the full 
consequences of man's sin. First, Christ was **made a 
curse for us'' (Gal. 3: 13). Second, so thoroughly was He 
acquainted with grief, He was denominated **the man of 
sorrows'^ (Isa. 53 : 3). Third, in order that we might know 
how literally the Holy One bore in His own body the con- 
sequences of Adam 's sin, we read * ' Then came Jesus f orth 
wearing the crown of thorns^^ (John 18:8). Fourth, cor- 
responding with the sweat of his face in which the first 
man was to eat his bread, we leam concerning the second 
man, **And His sweat was as it were great drops of blood 
falling down to the ground'' (Luke 22 : 44). Fifth, just as 
the first Adam was to return unto the dust, so the cry of the 
last Adam, in that wonderful prophetic Psalm, was **Thou 
hast brought Me into the dust of death" (Psalm 22:15). 
Sixth, the sword of justice which barred the way to the 
tree of life was sheathed in the side of God's Son, for of 
old, Jehovah had said, ' ' Awake, sword, against My shep- 
herd, and against the man that is My Fellow'' (Zech. 13: 
7). Seventh, the counterpart of God's original threat to 
Adam, namely, spiritual death (for he did not die phys- 
ically that same day), which is the separation of the soul 
from God, is witnessed in that most solemn of all cries, 
*'My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Meï" (Mat. 
27:46). How absolutely did our blessed Saviour identify 
Himself with those which were lost, took their place and 
suffered the Just f or the unjust ! How apparent it is, that 
Christ in His own body, did bear the Curse entailed by the 
Fall. 

In conclusion we shall now consider Christ reversing the 
effects of the Fall. God alone is able to bring good out of 
evil and make even the wrath of man to praise Him. The 
Fall has afforded Him an opportunity to exhibit His wis- 
dom and display the riches of His grace to an extent which, 
so far as we can sae, He never could have done, had not sin 



The Fall, concluded 55 

entered the world. In the sphere of redemption Christ has 
not only reversed the effects of the Fall, but because of it 
has brought in a better thing. If God could have f ound a 
way, consistently with His own character, to restore man to 
the position which he occupied before he became a trans- 
gressor, it would have been a remarkable triumph, but 
that through Christ man should actually be the gainer is a 
transcendent miracle of Divine wisdom and grace. Yet 
such is the case. The redeemed have gained more through 
the last Adam than they lost through the first Adam. They 
occupy a more exalted position. Before the Fall Adam 
dwelt in an earthly Paradise, but the redeemed have been 
made to sit with Christ in heavenly places. Through re- 
demption they have been blest with a nobler nature. Be- 
fore the Fall man possessed a natural life, but now, all in 
Christ have been made partakers of the Divine nature. 
They have obtained a new standing bef ore God. Adam was 
merely innocent, which is a negative condition, but be- 
lievers in Christ are righteous, which is a positive state. 
We share a better inheritance. Adam was lord of Eden, 
but believers are '^heirs of all things,'' '^heirs of God and 
joint heirs with Christ." Through grace we have been 
made capable of a deeper joy than unfallen spirits have 
known : the bliss of pardoned sin, the heaven of deep con- 
scious obligation to Divine mercy. In Christ believers enjoy 
a closer relationship to God than was possible before the 
Fall. Adam was merely a creature, but we are members 
of the body of Christ — * ' members of His body, of His flesh 
and of His bones. ' ' How marvellous ! We have been taken 
into union with Deity itself, so that the Son of God is not 
ashamed to call us hrethren, The Fall provided the need 
of Redemption, and through the redeeming work of the 
Cross, believers have a portion which unfallen Adam could 
never have attained unto. Truly, '^where sin abounded, 
grace did much more abound. ' ' 



7. CAIN AND ABEL 

Genesis 4 

There is a very close conneetion between Genesis 3 and 4. 
In the former we see the beginning of sin in man, in the 
latter we read of its progress and f ruits ; in the one it was 
sin in the individual, in the other, sin in the f amily. Like 
leprosy, sin contaminates, spreads and issues in death. In 
Oenesis 3 the sin was against God, in Genesis 4 it is against 
a fellow-man. The order here is ever the same; the one 
who has no fear of God before his eyes, has no genuine 
respect for the rights of his neighbor. Again, in Genesis 
4 we see the local f ulfilment of Genesis 3 : 15 — ^the enmity 
between the two seeds — the wicked and the righteous, Cain 
and Abel. Further ; we are shown, even more clearly than 
by the coats of skins in the previous chapter, that the 
guilty sinner can only approach God by means of a sacrifice. 
We propose now to study briefly the contents of Genesis 4 
from three viewpoints, namely; the historical, the typical 
and the dispensational. 

7. Cain and Ahel Considered Historically 

The record of Genesis 4 is exceedingly terse and much is 
gathered up which scarcely appears on the surface. The 
central truth of the chapter is that God is to be worshipped, 
that He is to be worshipped through sacrifice, that He is to 
be worshipped by means of a sacrifice which is appropri- 
ated by faith (cf. Heb. 11:4). Three things are to be 
caref uUy noted in regard to the worship of Cain and Abel. 
First, that there was a place where God was to be wor- 
shipped. This is indicated in the third verse: ''Cain 
brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the 
Lord. ' ' That is, he hrought his offering to some particular 
place. This supposition seems to be supported by the lan- 
guage of verse 16 — **And Cain went out from the presence 
of the Lord. ' ' A f urther corroboration may be discovered 
in the mention of ''the fat" which Abel brought (verse 4). 
**The firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof" suggests 
an altar upon which the victim should be offered and upon 
which the fat should be burned. Where this place of wor- 
ship was located perhaps we cannot say for certain, but 



56 



Cain and Abel 57 

there is ground for believing that it was at the east of the 
Garden of Eden. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, in their 
commentary on Genesis, translate the last verse of Genesis 
3 as foUows: *'And He (God) dwelt at the east of the 
Garden of Eden between the Cherubim, as a Shekinah (a 
fire-tongue or fire-sword) to keep open the way to the tree 
of lif e. ' '• The same thought is presented in the Jerusalem 
Targum. If the grammatical construction of the Hebrew 
wiU warrant this translation, then Genesis 3 : 24 would seem 
to signify that, having expelled man f rom the garden, God 
established a mercy-seat protected by the Cherubim, the 
fire-tongue or sword being the symbol of the Divine pres- 
ence, and whoever would worship God must approach this 
mercy-seat by way of sacrifice. We commend this sugges- 
tion to the prayerf ul consideration of our readers. To say 
the least, Genesis 4 seems to imply that there was some deiÊ- 
inite place to which Cain and Abel brought their offerings, 
a place which they entered and f rom which they went out. 

Second: Not only does there appear to have been a 
definite place of worship, but there seems also to have been 
an appointed time for worship. The marginal reading of 
Genesis 4 : 3 gi ves, * ' And at the end of days it came to pass, 
that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering 
unto the Lord.^' May not this signify, at the end of the 
weekt In other words, does not this expression appear to 
point to the Sahhath day as the time when God was to be 
formally worshippedt A third thing implied is a pre- 
scribed means of worship. God could be approached and 
worshipped only by means of sacrifice. This incident then 
seems to intimate that the children of Adam and Eve had 
been definitely instructed that there was a place where Gk)d 
could be found, that there was a time in which to come be- 
fore Him, and that appointed means of approach had been 
established. Neither Cain nor Abel would have known 
anything about sacrifices unless sacrifiees had been definitely 
appointed. From Hebrews 11 : 4 we learn that it was *'By 
f aith Abel offered ' ' his sacrifice, and in Romans 10 : 17 we 
are told that * ' Faith cometh by hearing. ' ' It was by f aith 
and not by fancy that Abel brought his offering to Gk)d. 



*We may say that the Hebrew word shaken, which in Genesis 3 : 24 Is 
translated '*placed" is defined in Young's Conoordance "to tabemacle," etc. 
Nowhere else in the Old Testament is shaken translated *'placed/' but 
eighty-three times it is rendered "to dwell." It is the same Hebrew word 
wbich i8 giTen as "to dwell" in Exodus 25 : 8. 



58 Gleanings in Genesis 

He had heard that God required a sacrifiee, he believed, 
and he evideneed his faith by a complianee with God s re- 
vealed wiU. 

The nature of the offerings which Cain and Abel brought 
unto the Lord, and God's rejection of the one and ac- 
ceptance of the other, point us to the most important truth 
in the chapter. Attention should be fixed not so much on 
the two men themselves, as upon the difference between 
their offerings. So far as the record goes there is nothing 
to intimate that up to this time Cain was the worst man of 
the two, that is, considered f rom a natural and moral stand- 
point. Cain was no infidel or atheist. He was ready to 
acknowledge the existence of God, he was prepared to wor- 
ship Him after his own fashion. He ^^brought of the fruit 
of the ground an offering unto the Lord. ' ' But mark three 
things. First, his offering was a bloodless one, and **with- 
out shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9 : 22). Sec- 
ond, his offering consisted of the fruit of his own toil, it 
was the product of his own labors, in a word, it was the 
works of his own hands. Third, he brought of *'the fruit 
of the ground, ' ' thus ignoring the Divine sentence recorded 
in Genesis 3 : 17, ' * Cursed is the ground. ' ' Abel ' * brought 
of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof," and to 
secure this, sacrifice had to be made, life had to be taken, 
blood had to be shed. The comment of the Holy Spirit upon 
this incident is, that **By faith Abel offered unto God a 
more excellent sacrifice than Cain" (Heb. 11:4). He does 
not state that Abel was more excellent, but that the offering 
which he presented was more pleasing and acceptable to 
his Maker. 

Next we learn that ' ' The Lord had respect unto Abel and 
to his offering," or, as Hebrews 11:4 expresses it, '*God 
testifying of his gif ts. ' ' By comparing later Scriptures we 
may justly inf er that the manner in which Jehovah showed 
His acceptance of the offering was by fire coming down 
from heaven and consuming the sacrifice (see Lev. 9:24; 
Judges 6 : 21 ; 1 Kings 18 : 38 ; 1 Chron. 21 : 26 ; 2 Chron. 
7:1). *'But unto Cain and his offering He had not re- 
spect. ' ' No doubt Cain 's offering was a very beautif ul one. 
No doubt he selected the very choicest fruits that could be 
found. No doubt his offering cost him considerable toil 
and labor, and probably it was with no little self-satisfac- 
tion that he came before the Lord. But Jehovah had no 



Cain and Abel 59 

respect unto his gift; there was no visible token of the 
Divine approval; no fire came down from heaven to con- 
sume it in proof of God's acceptance. And Cain's counte- 
nance f ell. He was f urious that all his labors should stand 
for nothing. He was angry at the thought that he could not 
approach and worship God according to the dictates of his 
own mind. And, as we shall see later, he was filled with 
wrath as he contemplated the exaltation of Abel above him. 
So it is today. Unless the darkened understanding of man 
be iUumined by the Holy Spirit and the enmity of the 
carnal mind be subdued, the human heart rebels against the 
idea of the impossibility of approaching God save through 
a bloody sacrifice. The natural man in his pride and self- 
righteousness hates f he truths of substitution and expiation 
worse than he hates the Devil. 

''And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wrotht 
and why is thy countenance fallení" The condition of 
Cain's heart was clearly revealed by his anger at God's 
refusal to receive his offering. His worship, like that of 
multitudes in our day, was merely *'a form of godliness, 
but denying the power thereof " (2 Tim. 3:5), that is, des- 
titute of any genuineness or reality. Had Cain's offering 
been presented in the right spirit there would have been 
no **wroth" when Jehovah refused to accept it, but instead, 
a humble desire to learn God 's wiU. 

*'If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And 
if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door; and unto thee 
shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him" (Gen. 
4:7). This verse has always been a difficult one to expos- 
itors and commentators, and we have never yet seen any 
explanation of it that fuUy satisfied us. The interpreta- 
tion most widely received is as foUows: Why art thou 
wroth, Cain? If thou doest well — if you wiU present the 
proper and specified offering it wiU be accepted; and if 
thou doest not well — if the offering you brought has been 
rejected the remedy is simple — *'sin lieth at the door," i. e., 
a suitable and meet offering, a sin offering is right to your 
hand, and if you present this you shall *'have the excel- 
lency'' (margin), that is, you shall retain the right of the 
firstborn and have the precedence over Abel your younger 
brother. The Hebrew word here translated sin, is in other 
passages sometimes rendered sin-offering — ^the one Hebrew 
word doing duty for our two English expressions. Though 



60 Gleanings in Genesis 

many of the ablest Bible students have aceepted this trans* 
Ifltion and interpretation, we f eel oblíged to humbly dissent 
from it. And for this reason. Apart from this one doubt- 
ful case (Gen. 4:7), doubtful, as to whether or not the 
Hebrew word should be translated sin or sin-offering — ^there 
is no other ref erence in Scripture of any Sin off ering bef ore 
the giving of the Law at Sinai. We do read of the patri- 
arch 's presenting bumt and meat off erings, but never of sin 
offerings. In the light of Romans 3 : 20 we firmly believe 
that there was no sin offering hefore Moses. ''By the Law 
is the knowledge of sin. ^ ^ The Law was given in order that 
sin might be recognized as sin. It was the Law which con- 
victed men of sin and of their need of a sin offering. Hence 
we submit that there was no sin offering bef ore the Law was 
given. Job 1 : 5 supports this contention, ' ' And it was so, 
when the days of their f easting were gone about, that Job 
sent and sanctifíed them, and rose up early in the morning, 
and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them 
all, for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned and 
cursed God in their hearts'' — ^had they sinned after the 
Law was given a sin offering, not a burnt offering, would 
have been needed. What then is the significance of Qen- 
esis 4:7? 

Undoubtedly the words ' * If thou doest well ^ ' have ref er- 
ence to the bringing of a proper offering to the Lord. In 
case Cain was wiUing to do this Jehovah asks. * ' Shalt thou 
not have the excellency'' (margin), which means, Shalt 
thou not retain the right of primogeniture over Abelf 
' ' And if thou doest not well sin lieth at the door, ^ ' which 
we understand to mean, If you ref use to bring the required 
offering, sin lieth (Hebrew, is crouching) at the door, and 
like a wild beast is ready to spring upon you and devour 
you. The remainder of the verse referring back to the 
matter of Cain 's rights by virtue of his seniority. 

The use of the word ' ' And ' ^ all through the passage and 
the word ^'Also" in verse 4 seem to show that Cain and 
Abel came together to present their offerings unto the Lord. 
Abel's offering was accepted, Cain's was rejected. Prob- 
ably, Cain reasoned f rom this that there would likely be a 
change in the order of primogeniture and that his younger 
brother should become his ruler. Hence his ^^wroth'' and 
readiness to kiU Abel rather than submit to him. In a word 
Cain intended to be first at all costs. Believing that he had 



Cain and Abel 61 

lost the place and privilege o£ the firstborn — ^f or only upon 
his bringing o£ the stipulated offering eould he continue to 
rule over his brother — and re£using to sacrifice according 
to God's requirements, and £earing that Abel would now 
be his ruler, he decided that rather than submit to this, he 
would kiU his brother. Such we believe to be the real ex- 
planation, the motive, the cause o£ the first murder. The 
first word of verse 8 which recounts the deed bears this 
out, linking it as it does with the previous verse, 

To summarize our suggested interpretation of verse 7 : 
Cain's offering having been refused, anger filled his heart. 
Jehovah asks him why he is wroth, and tells him there is no 
just cause £or his displeasure, and that i£ he wiU bring the 
required offering it would be accepted and Cain would then 
retain the rights o£ the firstbom. At the same time God 
faithfuUy and solemnly wams him of the consequences 
which wiU follow his ref usal to bring the speeified sacrifice. 
If his sin is not removed by an expiatory offering, it wiU 
spring upon and devour him. Cain ref used to comply with 
Jehovah's demands and the Divine threat was carried out. 
What an iUustration of James 1 : 15 ! *'When lust (desire, 
passion) hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin 
when it is finished (consummated), bringeth forth death.'* 
This was the precise order in Cain's case : first — ^lust, anger 
— ^then, sin — ^lying at the door, — ^then, death — ^Abel mur- 
dered. 

*'And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy 
brothert And he said, I know not. Am I my brother's 
keeper ? And He said, What hast thou done t the voice of 
thy brother 's blood crieth unto me f rom the ground. ' ' Sin 
cannot be hid. There may have been no human witness to 
Cain's crime, but the eye of God had seen it. Solemn is 
the lesson taught here. *'Be not deceived, God is not 
mocked.'^ '^Be sure your sin wiU find you out.*' **For 
there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed ; neither 
hid, that shall not be known,'' are only so many ways o£ 
stating the same truth. To Jehovah 's pointed inquiry, Cain 
replied, * ' I know not. ' ' How this brings out the inveterate 
evil of the human heart ! There was no contrition, no con- 
f essing of sin, but instead, a repudiation and covering of it. 
So it was with our first parents in Eden, and so it ever is 
with all their descendants until God's grace works effectu- 
ally in us. It is to be noted that we have here the first 



62 Gleanings in Genesis 

mention of * * blood ' ' in Scripture, and like all first mention- 
ings therein, it expresses what is primary and f undamental, 
hinting also at the amplifieations of subsequent teaching. 
The blood here was innocent blood, blood shed by wicked 
hands, blood which cried aloud to God. How deeply sig- 
nificant! How it speaks to us of the precious blood of 
Christ ! 

After the Divine inquisition comes the Divine sentence 
upon the guilty one telling of God 's holiness and righteous- 
ness which wiU not for an instant tolerate sin, ''And now 
art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her 
mouth to receive thy brother 's blood f rom thy hand. When 
thou tiUest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto 
thee her strength ; a f ugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be 
in the earth. ' ' No matter where he should go in the world 
the ground should be against him, the ground that held the 
blood of his brother, the blood of his victim. The remem- 
brance of his murder should pursue him, so that he would 
not be able to content himself long in any one place. 

' * And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater 
than I can bear. ' ' Cain now realizes something of what he 
has done, though his mind is occupied more with his pun- 
ishment than with the sin which had caused it. * * My pun- 
ishment is greater than I can bear ' ' wiU be the language of 
the lost in the Lake of Fire. The awful lot of the unsaved 
wiU be unbearáble, and yet it will have to be endured and 
endured for ever. *'From Thy face shall I be hid" cried 
Cain. Though the sinner knows it not, this wiU be the most 
terrible f eature of his punishment — eternally banished f rom 
God. '^Depart from Me ye cursed'' wiU be the fearful 
sentence passed upon the wicked in the day of judgment. 
*'And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and 
dwelt in the land of Nod." Nod means ''wandering" — 
there is no peace or rest f or the wicked : in this world they 
are like the troubled waves of the sea ; in the world to come, 
they shall be like wandering stars, lost in the blackness of 
darkness for ever. My reader, if you reject the Sacrifice of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, Cain's doom shall be your doom. 
* * He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting lif e : and 
he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the 
wrath of God abideth on him.'' 



8. CAIN AND ABEL, CONTINUED 

//. Cain and Ahel Considered Typically or Representor 

tively 

Cain and Abel stand as the representatives of two great 
classes of people. They typify respectively the lost and the 
saved; the self-righteous and the broken-spirited ; the 
f ormal prof essor and the genuine believer ; those who rely 
upon their own works, and those who rest upon the finished 
work of Christ ; those who insist upon salvation by human 
merits, and those who are wiUing to be saved by Divine 
grace ; those who are rejected and cursed by God, and those 
who are accepted and blessed. Both Cain and Abel were 
the children of f allen parents, and both of them were born 
/)utside of Eden. Both were, theref ore, by nature ' ' children 
of wrath," and as such judicially alienated from God. 
Both had been shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, and 
hence both stood in need of a Saviour. But, as we shall 
show, Cain denied his ruined and f allen condition and re- 
fused to accept the Remedy God provided; while Abel 
acknowledged his sinnership, believed the Divine testimony, 
put his f aith in a sacrificial substitute, and was accounted 
righteous bef ore 6od. 

In our study of Genesis 3, we saw that before God ban- 
ished our first parents from Eden, He revealed to them the 
way of salvation : * ' Unto Adam also and to his wif e did the 
Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them (Gen. 3 : 
21 ) . This was the first Gospel sermon ever preached on this 
earth, preached not by word but by symbol. By clothing 
Adam and Eve with these skins God taught them four les- 
sons. First, that in order for a guilty sinner to approach 
a holy God he needed a suitable coyering. Second, that 
the aprons of fig leaves which their own hands had made 
were not acceptable to Him. Third, that God Himself must 
provide the covering. Fourth, that the necessary covering 
could only be obtained through death. Death is the wages 
of sin. Adam and Eve had broken God's command, and 
justice clamored for the execution of law's penalty. Either 
they must die or another must die in their place. Mercy 
can only come in after justice has been satisfied. Grace 



63 



64 Gleanings in Genesis 

reigns 'Hhrough righteousness/ ' and never at the expense 
of it, God dealt with Adam and Eve in merey, but in 
doing so He first met the claims of His broken law. In 
clothing them with skins God showed them by f orcef ul sym- 
bol that sin could only be covered — atoned for, for the 
Hebrew word for atone means '*to cover'' — at the cost of 
sacrifice, by life being taken, by blood being shed. And 
so in Eden itself we find the first type and foreshadowment 
of the Cross of Christ. To Adam and Eve, God preached 
the blessed and basic truth of suhstitution — ^the just dying 
for the unjust, the innocent suffering f or the guilty. Adam 
and Eve were guilty and merited destruction, but these ani- 
mals died in their stead, and by their death a covering was 
provided to hide their sin and shame. So it is with Christ 
and the believer. In Him I am provided with a robe of 
righteousness — ^*'the best robe" — ^which perfectly satisfies 
the eye of the thrice holy God. 

In Eden then we hear the first Gospel message. But not 
only so, in Eden God showed man plainly and unmistakably 
what He required of him. In the slaying of those animals 
from whose bodies the skins were taken to clothe our first 
parents, God revealed the condition upon which alone the 
sinner can approach his Maker, namely, blood-shedding. 
Man must put a suhstitute hetween himself and God's 
wrath. In the slaying of the animal, the offerer identified 
himself with his offering and acknowledged that he was a 
sinner, that he deserved naught but judgment at God's 
hands, that death was his legitimate due. In the slaying of 
the offering with which the offerer had identified himself , he 
saw the death of his suhstitute, the meeting of God 's claims, 
the satisfying of Divine justice, and that, because his sub- 
stitute had died in his stead, he went free. 

We have again commented somewhat freely upon Gen- 
esis 3 : 21 because our understanding of this important 
verse is uecessary in order to intelligently apprehend the 
contents of Genesis 4. As we have seen, Adam and Eve 
were clearly and definitely instructed by God Himself con- 
cerning the terms of approach to their Maker. To them He 
explicitly revealed His requirements, and these require- 
ments were made lcnown hy Adam and Eve to their chiU 
dren. It is beyond question that Cain and Abel knew that 
in order to come before Jehovah with acceptance they must 
bring with them a bloody offering. Heb. 11 : 4 makes that 



Cain and Abel, continued 65 

fact abundantly clear. It was *'by faith" that Abel pre- 
sented his sacrifice to God, and Romans 10 : 17 telLs us 
**Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of 
6od," hence it is evident that he and his brother had 
' ' heard ' ' of God 's requirements. 

**And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain 
brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the 
Lord." In bringing such an offering Cain deliberately 

« 

turned his back on God's revealed wiU and dared to set 
up his own wiU in defiance. In bringing the offering he did, 
Cain denied that he was a fallen creature — the f allen child 
of fallen parents — and as such under the sentence of Di- 
vine condemnation. He denied that he was a guilty sinner, 
morally and penally separated f rom God. He deliberately 
ignored God 's demand f or expiation by the death of a sac- 
rificial substitute. He insisted upon approaching God on 
the ground of personal worthiness. Instead of accepting 
God's way, he audacioUsly went his own way and selected 
an offering which commended itself tó his own tastes. He 
offered to God the fruits of the ground which God had 
cursed. He presented the product of his own toil, the work 
of his own hands, and God ref used to receive it. 

Cain represents the natural man. He represents those 
who turn their back upon the blood of the Cross and who 
speak of the Atonement as '*a doctrine of the shambles.'^ 
He represents that large class of people who reject the fin- 
ished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and who think to ob- 
tain salvation by works of righteousness which they have 
done. Cain is the f ather of the Pharisee, who prides him- 
self that he is the superior of the contritious Publican, and 
who boasts loudly of his morality and religiousness. He is 
the representative of all who pride themselves that they can 
in their own strength live a life which is pleasing to God 
and who can by their own efforts produce that which shall 
merit Divine esteem. 

Jude, verse 11, pronounces a solemn woe upon those who 
have **gone in the way of Cain." To whom does he refert 
They are those who deny that the whole human race sinned 
and fell in Adam and who are therefore by nature children 
of wrath. They are those who deny that man has been 
driven out of God's presence and that a great gulf is now 
fixed between them. They deny that that gulf can only be 
bridged by the Cross of Christ and that through Him and 



66 Gleanings in Genesis 

His redemption lies the sole way baek to the Father. They 
deny that human nature is essentially evil, incurably 
wicked, and under the curse of God. They deny that it is 
absolutely impossible f or a clean thing to come out of an 
unclean, and that unless a man be born again he cannot 
see the Kingdom of God. On the contrary, they declare 
that human nature is essentially good, and that by a proc- 
ess of development and culture it can bring f orth good f ruit 
— fruit which is acceptable to God. They offer this fruit 
unto God in the form of moral character, unselfish deeds 
and charitable works. Their language is, Something in my 
hands I bring, to my goodness I do cling. This is the way 
of Cain. Cain brought of the fruits of the ground which 
God had cursed, and God had no respect unto such an of- 
fering. Human nature is under God's curse, and as like 
can only produce like, it foUows that human works — the 
best of them — are only the f ruits of a cursed ground ; as it 
is written, ''AU our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,*' 
i. e.y obnoxious to God. As it was in the beginning, so it 
is now. God has no respect f or such offerers and offerings. 
He wiU not accept them. The only offering that God wiU 
receive is that which is presented to Him on the ground of 
the merits of His blessed Son. 

*'And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock 
and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto 
Abel and to his offering" (Gen. 4:4). Abel presents a 
sharp antithesis to Cain. In bringing the offering which 
he did Abel conf essed that he was a f allen creature, a guilty 
sinner, one at a moral and penal distance f rom God. He 
bowed to the Divine sentence of condemnation resting upon 
him and owned its justice. He acknowledged that he was 
worthy of death. By offering a lamb he testified that his 
only hope before God lay in a substitute taking his place 
and bearing the penalty which was his due. He presented 
his offering **by faith.'' That is to say, he believed that 
God would accept this slain lamb, that its shed blood would 
meet all His requirements and satisfy His justice. He had 
heard from the lips of his parents that the only way back 
to God was through sacrifice — through an innocent life 
being offered up on the behalf of the guilty, and having 
heard this he believed it, and believing it he acted upon it. 
This is precisely what constitutes saving faith: It is be- 
lieving God's Word and acting on it. Consider an iUustra- 



Cain and Abel, continued 67 

tion in proof : ' * He said unto Simon, Launch out into the 
deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon 
answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the 
night, and have taken nothing : nevertheless at Thy Word 
I wiU let down the net ' ' (Luke 5 : 4, 5) . Faith is more than 
an intelleetual assent. Faith is the committal of ourselves 
to God's Word. Faith necessarily involves volition, ''/ will 
let down the net. ' ' Faith flies in the f ace of all carnal rea- 
sonings, feelings and experience and says, ^^Nevertheless at 
Thy Word I wiU." Abel then took God at His Word, of- 
fered his sacrifice by faith and was accepted and pro- 
nouneed righteous. 

As Cain represents the natural man so Abel typifies the 
spiritual man, the man born from above, the man created 
anew in Christ Jesus. Abel is the representative of those 
who take God's side against themselves; who accept the 
character which God has given them in His Word; who 
own that they are lost, undone, helpless ; who realize their 
only hope lies outside of themselves in Another, and who 
realizing this, cast themselves upon God's grace, crying, 
*'God be merciful to me a sinner.^' Abel represents those 
who pin their faith to the atoning sacrifice of Calvary, who 
rest their all both f or time and eternity on the redemptive 
work of the Cross, who sing f rom their hearts, * ' My hope is 
built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. " 
In short, Abel stands as a lasting type of all who receive as 
their substitute and Saviour the Lamb of God which taketh 
away the sin of the world. 

The ultimate difference, then, between Cain and Abel 
was not in their characters, but in their offerings. In one 
word, it was a difference of blood. Abel was accepted be- 
cause he offered to God a bleeding lamb. Cain was rejected 
because he refused to offer such. Here, then, we have 
traced back to their fountain head the two streams which 
empty themselves in Heaven and Hell, namely, the saved 
and the lost, and the dividing line between them in a line 
of blood. That was the difference between the Israelites 
and the Egyptians. On the night when God's avenging 
angel passed through the land of Pharaoh and found a 
house upon whose door blood was sprinkled — ^the blood of 
a lamb, he passed over. But, when he f ound a house with- 
out blood upon it, he entered and slew the firstborn, from 
the king upon his throne to the prisoner in the dungeon. 



68 Gleanings in Genesis 

This will be the test in the day of judgment — all whose 
names are not f ound written in the Larnb 's book of lif e shall 
be cast into the lake of fire. Redemption is to be obtained 
only through Jesus Christ. * * Whom God hath set f orth to 
be a propitiation through faith in líis hlood'^ (Rom. 3 : 26). 
Reader, on what is your hope basedï If you are relying 
upon your efforts and works, if you are trusting to your 
own goodness and morality to carry you through, you are 
building your house upon a f oundation of sand and great 
wiU be the f all of it. But, if you are trusting in and rely- 
ing upon the merits of the precious blood of Christ, then 
are you building upon the rock, and in that Rock shall you 
find shelter f rom the wrath to come. And now in conclu- 
sion: 

III. Cain and Abel Considered Dispensationally 

*'Now all these things happened unto them for types 
(margin) ; and they are written for our admonition" (1 
Cor. 10:11). Abel is a striking type of Christ, and his 
murder by Cain was a remarkable f oreshadowment of out 
Lord's rejection and crucifixion by the Jews. At least 
thirty.five points of resemblance can be traced here between 
type and antitype. In considering Abel as a type of oui 
Lord, it is to be noted that, like Isaac, offered up on the 
altar and the ram caught in a thicket, which afterwards 
took his place in death, we have here a double type also. 
Both Abel and the offering which he brought pointed to the 
Lord Jesus. To make it easier f or our readers to f oUow us, 
we have numbered the different points of agreement in 
type and antitype. 

(1) Abel was a shépherd (Gen. 4:2) and (2) it was a$ 
a shepherd that he presented his offering unto God. (3) 
Though giving no cause f or it, he was hated by his brother. 
As we have shown in the last chapter, Cain was jealous of 
his brother and (4) it was out of ^'envy" that he slew him. 
(5) Abel then did not die a natural death, but (6) met with 
a violent end at the hand of his own brother. (7) After his 
death God declared that Abel's blood ^'cried'' unto Him, 
and severe punishment was meted out upon his murderer. 

Turning from Abel himself to his offering, we note: 

(8) Abel presented an offering '^unto God" (Heb. 11:4). 

(9) That the offering which he presented was *'the first- 
lings of his flock": in other words, a ^'lamb.*' (10) In 



Cain and Abel, continued 69 

bringing his offering *'by faith,'^ he honored and magni- 
fied the Will and Word of the Lord. (11) The offering 
whieh Abel presented is described as an **excellent" one 
(Heb. 11:4). (12) God had ^'respect unto Abel and to 
his offering": in other words, He accepted them. (13) In 
the presentation of his off ering Abel * * obtained witness that 
he was righteous" (Heb. 11:4). (14) After he had pre- 
sented his off ering, God publicly ' ' testified ' ' His acceptance 
of it. (15) Finally, Abel's offering still ''speaks" to God 
— ^^By it he being dead yet speaketh.^^ 

The type is perfect at every point. (1) Our Lord is a 
^'shepherd" — the Good Shepherd — ^and (2) it was as the 
Shepherd He presented His offering to God (John 10: 11). 
(3) Though giving no cause for it, He was hated by His 
brethren according to the fiesh (John 15: 25). (4) It was 
through *'envy" that He was delivered up to be crucified 
(Matt. 27 : 18). (5) Our Lord did not die a natural death. 
He was ''slain" by wicked hands (Acts 2:23). (6) He 
was crucified by **The House of Israel'' (Acts 2:36), His 
own brethren according to the fiesh. (7) After His death 
our Lord's murderers were severely punished by God 
(Mark 12:9). 

Turning from Himself to His offering we note : (8) The 
Lord Jesus presented an offering *'to God" (Eph. 5:2). 
(9) The offering He presented was Himself — a ''Lamb" 
(1 Peter 1 : 19). (10) In presenting Himself as an offering 
He honored and magnified the WiU and Word of God 
(Heb. 10:7-9). (11) The offering Christ presented was 
an ^'excellent" one — ^it was a ''sweet smelling savor" 
(Eph. 5:2). (12) God accepted His offering: the proof 
of this is seen in the fact that He is now seated at God's 
right hand (Heb. 10:12). (13) While presenting Him- 
self on the Cross as an offering to God, He ' ' obtained wit- 
ness that He was righteous" — the centurion crying» '*Cer- 
tainly this was a righteous man" (Luke 23 : 47). (14) God 
publicly testified His acceptance of Christ's offering by 
raising Him from the dead (Acts 2 : 32). (15) Christ's of- 
fering now ''speaks'' to God (Heb. 12 : 24). 

Just as Abel and his offering are, at every point, a won- 
derful type of Christ and His offering, so Cain, who slew 
Abel, prefigures the Jews, who crucified their Messiah. 
(16) Cain was ''a tiUer of the ground'' (Gen. 4:2). Thus 
the first thing told us about him connects him with the land. 



70 Gleanings in Genesis 

(17) In refusing to bring the required lamb, Cain rejected 
the offering which God's grace had provided. (18) In his 
self-righteousness Cain brought an offering of his own 
choosing. (19) The offering he brought was the product 
of his own labors. (20) This offering was rejected by Gk)d. 
(21) It was Cain's God-given privilege to rule over his 
brother (Gen. 4: 7). (22) This privilege he forfeited. (23) 
Being envious of Abel, he wickedly slew him. (24) God 
eharged him with his crime. (25) God told him that Abel's 
blood cried for vengeance. (26) Because of the shedding 
of his brother's blood, God's curse fell upon Cain. (27) 
Part of his punishment consisted in the ground becoming 
barren to him (Gen. 4:12). (28) Further, he was to be 
a fugitive and vagabond in the earth. (29) Cain acknowl- 
edged that his punishment was greater than he could bear. 

(30) Because of his sin, he was **driven out" (Gen. 4: 14). 

(31) Because of his sin, he was hidden from God's face. 

(32) Every man's hand was now against him (Gen. 4: 14). 
(33)God set a mark upon him (Gen. 4: 15). (34) God de- 
clared that He would visit with a sevenfold vengeance 
those who slew Cain. (35) Cain left the land and went 
and dwelt in a city (Gen. 4: 17). 

Turning once more to the antitype, let us note how accu- 
rately Cain foreshadowed the history of Israel. (16) The 
first thing which is conspicuous about the Jews was that 
they were the people of a land — ^the promised land, the 
Holy Land (Gen. 13:15). (17) In refusing the Lamb of 
God (John 1:11) the Jews rejected the offering which 
God's grace had provided. (18) The apostle Paul declares 
that the Jews were **ignorant of God's righteousness and 
going about to establish their own righteousness " (Rom. 
10 : 3). (19) The Jews rested upon their own obedience to 
God's Law (Rom. 9 : 21). (20) But God had no respect to 
their works (Acts 13:39). (21) Had Israel walked in 
God's statutes they would have been the head of the na- 
tions (Deut. 28 : 13). (22) But through sin they forfeited 
the place and privilege (Isa. 9: 14). (23) It was the Jews 
who crucified the Christ of God (Acts 5:30). (24) God 
charged them with their crime (Acts 2:22, 23). (25) 
Christ's blood is now judicially resting **upon" the Jews 
(Matt. 27:25). (26) Because of the crucifixion of their 
Messiah, God's curse fell upon Israel (Jer. 24:9). (27) 
Part of the curse which God threatened of old to bring 



Cain and Abel, continued 71 

upon Israel was the barrenness o£ their land — ^^'desolate" 
(Lev. 26:34, 35). (28) The Jew has been an age-long 
wanderer in the earth (Deut. 28 : 65). (29) Israel will yet 
acknowledge their punishment is greater than they can 
bear (Zech. 12:10). (30) Forty years after the Cruci- 
fixion, Israel was driven out o£ Palestine. (31) Since then 
Gtod's face has been hid from them (Hos. 1:9). (32). For 
nigh 2,000 years, almost every man 's hand has been against 
the Jew (Deut. 28 : 66). (33) A mark o£ identification has 
been placed upon the Jew so that he can be recognized any- 
where. (34) God's special curse has always rested on those 
who have cursed Israel (Gen. 12:3). (35) For the most 
part, even to this day, the Jews continue to congregate in 
large cities. 

Upon what ground can we account £ or this remarkable 
agreement between type and antitypet The only possible 
explanation lies in the supernatural inspiration of the Old 
Testament Scriptures. The Holy Spirit **moved" the 
writer of Genesis. Only He who knew the end from the 
beginning could have foreshadowed so accurately and mi- 
nutely that which came to pass thousands of years after- 
wards. Prophecy, either in direct utterance or in symbolic 
type, is the Divine autograph upon the sacred page. May 
God continue to strengthen our f aith in the divinity, the 
authority and the absolute sufficiency o£ the Holy Oracles. 



9. ENOCH 

Genesis 5 

In our comments upon the f ourth chapter of Qenesis, we 
noted how that the descendants of Adam f oUowed two dis- 
tinct lines of worship through Cain and Abel, Abel wor- 
shipping God by f aith and bringing a bleeding sacrifice as 
the ground of his approach ; Cain, ignoring the double f act 
that he was depraved by nature because descended from 
f allen parents, and a sinner by choice and deed and, there- 
fore, rejecting the vicarious expiation prescribed by grace, 
tendered only the product of his own labors, which was 
promptly refused by his Maker. The remainder of the 
chapter traces the godless line of Cain down to the seventh 
generation, and then closes with an account of the birth of 
Seth — the appointed successor of Abel and the one from 
whom the chosen race and the Messiah should come. 

Genesis 5 begins a new section and traces f or us the line 
of Seth. The opening words of this chapter are worthy of 
close attention. No less than ten times we find in Genesis 
this phrase, * * These are the generations of , " (see 2 : 4 ; 6:9; 
10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12; 25:19; 36:1; 36:9; 37: 
2 ) ; but her e in Genesis 5 : 1 there is an important addition 
— '^This is the hook of the generations of Adam." Nowhere 
else in Genesis, nor, indeed, in the Old Testament (compare 
Num. 3:1 and Ruth 4:18), does this form of expression 
recur. But we do find it once more when we open the New 
Testament, and there it meets us in the very first verse! 
^'The book of the generation of Jesus Christ."* This is 
deeply significant and a remarkable proof of verbal inspira- 
tion. 

Why, then, should there be these two different forms of 
expression, and only these two — Genesis 5 : 1 and Matthew 
1 : 1 — exceptions to the usual f orm ? Surely the answer is 
not far to seek. Are not these the two books of Federal 
Headship ? In the first book — * * The book of the generations 

♦Students of Scripture Numerics will observe above that there are just 
thirteen of these "generations" recorded in the Old Testament — the number 
of rebellion and apostasy (see Gen. 14:4). It is man's ruin fully told 
out ! Thirteen was all that the law could reveal ! But grace and truth 
came by Jesus Christ, hence, He added (Matt. 1:1) to the Old Testament. 
Fourteen gives us double perfectlon — perfect God and perfect Man. Or, 
taking the multiples separately, we have division or difference (the signifi- 
cance of two) and completeness (seven). What a complete difference the 
fourteenth — "The generation of Jesus Chrlst" — has made ! 



72 



Enoch 73 

of Adam ' ' — ^are enrolled the names of the f allen descendants 
of the first man ; in the second — * * The hook of the genera- 
tion of Jesus Christ" — are inscribed the names of all who 
have been redeemed by sovereign grace. One is the Book 
of Death ; the other is the Lamb 's Book of Lif e. 

**The book of the genera- **The book of the genera- 
tions of Adam, ' ' tion of Jesus Christ, ' ' 

and do we not see the marvelous unity of the two Testa- 
mentst The whole of the Bible centers around these two 
books — ^the book of the generations of Adam, and the book 
of the generation of Jesus Christ. 

But what is the f orce of this word ' * generations ' ' ? Here 
the law of First Mention wiU help us. The initial occur- 
rence of this expression defines its scope. When we read 
in Genesis 2:4** These are the generations of the heavens 
and of the earth" the reference is not to origin but to de- 
velopment. Had Genesis 2 : 4 been intended to supply in- 
formation as to how the heavens and the earth were pro- 
duced, this expression would have occurred at the com- 
mencement of Genesis 1, which treats of that subject. 
Again, when we read of * * The generations of Noah ' ' ( Gen. 
6:9) it is not to give us the ancestry of this patriarch — 
that is found in Genesis 5 — ^but to tell us who were his 
descendants, as the very next verse goes on to show. ' * Gen- 
erations, ' ' then, means history, development, and not origin. 
Try this key in each lock and you wiU find it fits perf ectly. 
**The generations (or history) of the heavens and of the 
earth." So here in Genesis 5 : 1. From this point onwards 
we have the history and development of Adam's progeny. 
So, too, of Matthew 1:1. What is the New Testament but 
the history and development of Jesus Christ and His 
'^brethren"? 

As we have stated, chapter five opens a new section of 
Genesis. Righteous Abel has been slain, and all the de- 
scendants of Cain are doomed to destruction by the Flood. 
It is from Seth that there shall issue Noah, whose children, 
coming out of the Ark, shall replenish the earth. Hence it 
is that we are here taken back once more to the heginning, 
Adam is again brought before us — fallen Adam — ^to show 
us the source f rom which Seth sprang. 

Two sentences in the opening verses of this chapter 
(Gen. 5) need to be carefuUy compared and contrasted. 



74 Gleanings in Genesis 

'*In the day that Qod created man, in the likeness of Ood 
made He him/^ Gen. 5 : 1. ** And Adam. . .begat a son in 
his own likeness, after his image/' Gen. 5:3. By sin Adam 
lost the image of God and became corrupt in his nature and 
a fallen parent could do no more than beget a f allen child. 
Seth was begotten in the likeness of a sinf ul father ! Since 
Noah was the direct descendant of Seth and is the father 
of us all, and since he was able to transmit to us only that 
which he had, himself, received from Seth, we have here 
the doctrine of universal depravity. Every man living in 
the world today is, through Noah and his three sons, a 
descendant of Seth, hence it is that care is here taken at the 
beginning of this new section to trace the spring back to its 
fountain head, and show how all are, by nature, the fallen 
ofïspring of a fallen parent — ^that we have all been be- 
gotten in the image and likeness of a corrupt and sinful 
father. 

Until we reach the twenty-first verse of Genesis 5, there 
is little else in the chapter which calls for comment. The 
intervening verses trace for us the line of Seth's seed, and 
death is writ large across the record. Eight times we read, 
' * And he died. ' ' But in verses 21 to 24 we have a notable 
exception. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, died not. He 
was translated without seeing death. And to the consid- 
eration of this remarkable man we shall now direct our at- 
tention. 

Enoch is a striking character. He is one of but two men 
of whom it is said in Scripture that he * * walked with God. ' ' 
He is one of but two men who lived on this earth and went 
to heaven without passing through the portals of death. 
And he is the only one, except our blessed Lord, of whom it 
is written, ' * He pleased God. ' '* He is one of the very f ew 
who lived before the Flood of whom we know anything at 
all. The days when Enoch lived on the earth were flagrant- 
ly wicked, as the Epistle of Jude plainly shows. He seems 
to have stood quite alone in his fearless denunciation of the 
ungodly and in his faithful testimony for God. Very little 
is recorded of him, which is another proof of the Divine 
inspiration of the Scriptures — a truth which cannot be over- 
emphasized. Had the Bible been a human production, 
much would have been written about Enoch and an attempt 



*In this, as in everything, our Lord has the preêminence. He alone 
could say, "I do alwaya those things that please Him !" 



Enoch 75 

made to show the cause and explain the method of his mys- 
terious exit f rom this world. The silence of Holy Scripture 
attest their Divine origin! But though little is told us 
about Enoch, a careful examination of what is recorded 
suggests and supplies a wonderfully complete biography. 

*' And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methu- 
selah: And Enoch walked with.God after he begat Me- 
thuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daugh- 
ters : And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty 
and five years. And Enoch walked with God : and he was 
not ; f or God took him. ' ' ( Gen. 5 : 21-24) . 

The first thing implied in Enoch's walk with God is 
reconciliation. A pertinent question is asked in Amos 3 : 3, 
'*How can two walk together except they be agreedf^^ 
Thus two walking together supposes agreement, sympathy, 
harmony. From the nature of the case, it is implied that 
one of the two had been at enmity with the other and that 
there had been a reconciliation. So that when we say of 
any man that he walks with God, it implies that he has been 
reconciled to God. God has not conf ormed to him, but he 
has conformed to God. 

To walk with God implies a correspondency of nature. 
Light hath no communion with darkness. No sinner can 
walk with God f or he has nothing in common with Him, 
and more, his mind is at enmity against Him. It is sin 
which separates f rom God. The day that Adam sinned he 
fled f rom his Maker and hid himself among the trees of the 
garden. A walk with God then supposes the judicial put- 
ting away of sin and the impartation of the Divine nature 
to the one who walked with Him. 

To walk with God implies a moral fitness. God does not 
walk out of the way of holiness. Before God would walk 
through Israel's camp everything which defiled had to be 
put away. Before Christ commences His miUennial reign 
all things that offend must be gathered out of His Kingdom. 
The thrice holy God keeps no company with the unclean. 
' ' If we say that we have f ellowship with Him, and walk in 
darkness, we lie, and do not the truth : But, if we walk in 
the light, as He is in the light, we have f ellowship one with 
another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us 
from all sin.** 1 John 1 : 6, 7. In a sentence, then, walking 
with God means that we cease taking our own way, that 
we abandon the world 's way, that we f oUow the Divine way. 



76 Gleanings in Genesis 

To walk with God implies a surrendered mll. God does 
not f orce His company upon any. * * How can two walk to- 
gether except they be agreed t ' ' The supreme example and 
iUustration is the Lord Jesus. None enjoyed such perfect 
and intimate communication with the Father as He. And 
what was the secret of it all? **I delight to do Thy will, 
God, ' ' supplies the explanation. If , then, we would walk 
with the Lord, there must be a wiUingness and readiness 
on our part. ^^Take My yoke upon you.*' He does not 
f orce it on any ! 

To walk with God implies spiritual communion. *'How 
can two walk together except they be agreed ? ' ' The word 
**walk" suggests steady progress. It has been quaintly but 
well said, Enoch ''did not take a turn or two with God and 
then leave His company, but he walked with God for hun- 
dreds of years. What a splendid walk ! A walk of three 
hundred years ! It was not a run, a leap, a spurt, but a 
steady walk. ' ' 

'*And Enoch walked with God." What light that one 
word casts on the life and character of this man! How 
much it reveals to us. Like every other descendant of 
Adam, Enoch was by nature a child of wrath, alienated 
from the lif e of God. But a day came when he was recon- 
ciled to his Maker. If it be asked, What was the cause of 
this reconciliation t Hebrews 11:5 supplies the answer — 
Enoch ''had this testimony, that he pleased God.'' If it be 
f urther asked, How did he please God ? the very next verse 
inf orms us, * * Without faith it is impossible to please Him. " 
Faith then was the instrumental cause of his reconciliation. 
Again we say, how much that one sentence tells us about 
this ''seventh from Adam'M Born into this world a lost 
sinner, he is saved by grace through f aith. He is born again 
and thus made a partaker of the Divine nature. He is 
brought into agreement with the Most High and fitted to 
have f ellowship with the Holy One. 

But f rom the analogy of other Scriptures, by comparing 
text with text we may learn stiU more about this man who 
*'pleased God." What would be the result of his walk with 
God? Would not the first consequence of such a walk be 
a growth in grace? Walking implies progress, and that in 
a forward direction. Enoch 's lif e must have been progres- 
sive. At the close of three hundred years of communion 



Enoch 77 

with God, Enoch could not be morally and spiritually where 
he was at the beginning. He would have a deeper abhor- 
rence of sin and a humbler estimate of himself. He would 
be more conscious of his own helplessness and would feel 
more and more his need of absolute dependency on God. 
There would be a larger capacity to enjoy God. There 
would be a going on f rom strength to strength and f rom 
glory to glory. 

There would also be a growth in the knowledge of the 
Lord, It is one thing to talk about God, to reason and 
speculate about Him, to hear and read about Him, it is 
quite another to know Him. This is the practical and ex- 
perimental side of the Christian life. If we would know 
God we must walk with Him: we must come into living 
contact with Him, have personal dealings with Him, com- 
mune with Him. After such a walk of three hundred years 
Enoch would have a deeper appreciation of God's excel- 
lency, a greater enjoyment of His perfections and would 
manifest a more earnest concern for His glory. 

Another consequence of Enoch's walk with God would 
be a deep settled joy and peace. Enoch's life must have 
been supremely happy. How could he be miserable with 
such a Companion ! He could not be gloomy in such com- 
pany. *'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death I will fear no evil : for Thou art with me.'' 
Walking with God ensures protection. He that dwelleth in 
the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the 
shadow of the Almighty. Nothing can harm the man who 
has the Lord God at his right hand. 

A further consequence of Enoch's walk was his witness 
for Ood — see Jude 14 and 15. This is something which 
needs to be stressed. This order cannot be reversed, it is 
of Divine appointment. Before we can witness for God, 
we must walk with God. It is greatly to be feared that 
much of what passes for ''Christian service'' in our day 
is not the product of such a walk, and that it wiU prove 
but ''wood, hay and stubble" in the day of testing. There 
is something which must precede service, * ' Thou shalt wor- 
ship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve/^ 

Having considered at some length the character of 
Enoch's walk, let us in closing note two other things, the 
commencement and the culmination of this walk. 



78 Gleanings in Genesis 



ii 



And Enoch lived sixty and five years and begat Methu- 
selah: And Enoeh walked with God'' (Gen. 5:21, 22). 
It is not said that Enoch walked with God before his son 
was born, and the inference seems to be that the coming 
into his life of this little one — God's gift — may have been 
the means of leading him into this close fellowship. Such 
ought ever to be the case. The responsibilities of parent- 
hood should cast us more and more upon God. 

The name of his son strongly implies that Enoch had re- 
ceived a revelation f rom God. Methuselah signifies, ^' When 
he is dead it shall he sent/^ i. e., the Deluge (Newberry). 
In all probability then, a Divine revelation is memorialized 
in this name. It was as though God had said ta Enoch, 
* ' Do you see that baby t The world wiU last as long as he 
lives and no longer! When that child dies, I shall deal 
with the world in judgment. The windows of heaven wiU 
be opened. The fountains of the great deep wiU be broken 
up, and all humanity wiU perish." What would be the 
effect of such a communication upon Enoch t Imagine f or 
a moment a parallel case today. Suppose God should make 
known to you, in such a way that you could not question 
His veracity, that this world would last only as long as the 
life of some little one in your home. Suppose God should 
say to you, '*The life of that little one is to be the life of 
the world. When that child dies the world wiU be de- 
stroyed. ' ' What would be the effect upon you t Not know- 
ing how soon that child might die, there would come before 
you the possibility that the world might perish at any time. 
Every time that child fell sick the world's doom would 
stare you in the face! Suppose further, that you were 
unsaved. Would you not be deeply exercised t Would you 
not realize as never before your urgent need of preparing 
to meet Godt Would you not at once begin to occupy 
yourself with spiritual thingst May not some such ef- 
fects have been produced upon Enocht Be this as it may 
— and it is difficult to escape such a conclusion — ^it is cer- 
tainly implied that from the time Methuselah was born, 
the world lost all its attractiveness f or Enoch and from that 
time on, if never before, he walked with G^d. 

*'By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see 
death and was not f ound, because God had translated him : 
for before his translation he had this testimony, that he 



Enoch 79 

pleased God" (Heb. 11:5). God had translated him.* 
After Enoch had lived on earth the great cycle — a year for 
a day — of three hundred and sixty-five years, God took him 
to Himself , as if to show that he was an example of a human 
being, who had f ulfilled his destiny, and a type of what the 
destiny of all mankind might have been had sin never en- 
tered the world (Bettex). 

God had translated him. We cannot do better than quote 
here from Dr. B. H. Carroll's exposition of Genesis — a 
work from which many original and excellent suggestions 
may be gathered: ''God translated him. This is an old 
Latin word, an irregular verb, and it simply means carried 
over or carried across. God carried him across. Across 
whatt Across death. Death is the river that divides this 
world f rom the world to come, and here was a man that 
never did go through that river at all. When he got there 
God carried him across. God transf erred him ; translated 
him ; God picked him up and carried him over and put him 
on the other shore. And walking along here in time and 
communing with God by f aith, in an instant he was com- 
muning with God by sight in another world. Faith, Oh, 
precious faith! Faith had turned to sight, and hope had 
turned to fruition in a single moment. The life of faith 
was thus crowned by entrance into the lif e of perf ect f el- 
lowship above, **And they shall walk with Me in white'' 
(Rev. 3:4). 

In conclusion, we would point out the fact that Enoch is 
a type of those believers who shall be alive on the earth 
when our Lord shall descend into the air to catch up to 
Himself His blood bought people ^'Behold, I show you a 
mystery; We shall not all sleep (díe), but we shall be all 
changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 
15 : 51, 52). Just as Enoch was translated to heaven with- 
out seeing death, so also will those of the Lord 's people who 
remain on the earth tiU the time of His return. May it be 
ours to ''walk with God" during the short interval that 
now intervenes, and, if it pleaseth Him, may we be among 
that number which shall be raptured to glory without hav- 
ing to first pass through the portals of the grave. 

*"God had translated him." fíere again, by contrast we see the unique- 
ness of our blessed Lord. He alone aacended to heaven (John 3: 13) — this 
by virtue of His own rights and by the exercise of His own power. Of 
Bnoch it is said, "God took him." Of Elijah it is written, "Elijah went up 
by a whirlwind into heaven." At the second coming of Christ the saints 
will be "caught up." 



10. NOAH 

Genesis 6 

Little is told iis of the parentage of Noah, yet sufficient 
is revealed to indicate that he was the descendant of believ- 
ing ancestors and the child of a God-fearing father. Noah 
was the grandson of Methuselah, and the great grandson 
of Enoch who was translated to heaven. The name of his 
f ather was Lamech, and on the birth of his son we are told 
that ''he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall 
comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, be- 
cause of the ground which the Lord hath cursed" (Gen. 
5:29). That Lamech was a man of f aith appears f rom the 
fact that he attributed his ^'toil'' and the condition of the 
ground to the Lord 's * * curse. ' ' Further, it seems as though 
God had revealed to him something of His f uture purposes 
in connection with Noah in that he looked on him as one 
that was to bring * ' comf ort ' ' or ' ' rest. ' ' 

The times in which Noah lived and the condition of the 
world then serve as a dark background to bring out in vivid 
relief the f aith and righteousness of the one who was ' ' per- 
fect in his generations ' ' and **walked with God.'' **And 
God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, 
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was 
only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He 
had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His 
heart. And the Lord said, I wiU destroy man whom I have 
created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, 
and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it 
repenteth Me that I have made man'' (Gen. 6:5-7). What 
a terrible scene was here spread bef ore the all-seeing eye of 
God, and how startling the contrast between it and the 
one on which He had looked at the close of the six days' 
work! There we are told, ''God saw everything that He 
had made, and, behold, it was very good'' (Gen. 1:31). 
But here, the next time we read that **God saw'' we are 
told that *'the wickedness of man was great in the earth." 
How awful is sin, and how fearful its course when unre- 
strained by God ! 

But there is another, and a blessed contrast here, too. 
Af ter we read of the greatness of man 's wickedness and the 



80 



Noah 81 

consequent grief of God's lieart, we are told, '*But Noah 
found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Gen. 6:8). There 
was an oasis in the inidst of the dreary desert, an oasis 
which the grace of God had prepared, and on which His 
eyes dwelt. When beholding the wicked we read only that 
God '*saw,' but when Noah is in view the **eyes of the 
Lord" are mentioned. A look at the former was sufficient; 
but something more definite and protracted greeted th« lat- 
ter. Before we study the Character of Noah, a word first 
on the one f ollowing the last quoted. 

' ' These are the generations of Noah ' ' ( Gen. 6:9). Here 
a new section of Genesis commences. The Chronology of 
Genesis having been brought up to Noah's day in Genesis 
5, the opening verses of Genesis 6 look backward not for- 
ward, giving us the history of the world and describing the 
character of mankind in the days which preceded the Flood 
Verses 5 to 8 of Genesis 6 close the second main division 
of the book. Each new division opens with the words 
* * These are the generations of , ' ' see 2:4; 5:1; 6:9, etc. 
The thought to which we would now call attention is that 
each of these divisions ends (we use the word relatively) 
with a picture that portrays the effects and results of sin. 
The first division (the concluding verses of Genesis 4, closes 
with the record of Abel 's murder by Cain, and of Lamech 's 
glorying over a young man whom he had slain. The second 
division closes (Gen. 6:1-8) with God looking down on the 
wickedness of the Antediluvians. The third division closes 
(Gen. 9:20-29) with the sad scene of Noah's drunkenness, 
the curse pronounced on a part of his descendants, and the 
patriarch's death. The fourth division closes (Gen. 11:1- 
9) by bringing before us the overthrow of the Tower of 
Babel. The fifth division closes (Gen. 11:10-26) with the 
births, ages, and deaths of Shem's descendants. The sixth 
division closes (Gen. 11 : 31, 32) with the death of Terah. 
The seventh division closes (Gen. 25 : 10, 11) with the burial 
of Abraham. The eighth division closes (Gen. 25 : 18) with 
the death of Ishmael. The ninth division closes (Gen. 35: 
29) with the death of Isaac. The tenth division closes 
(Gen. 36 : 8) with the departure of Esau from the promised 
land, the birthright to which he had sold for a mess of 
pottage. The eleventh division closes (Gen. 36) wlth a list 
of the descendants of Esau, and significantly ends with the 
words, '*He is Esau the father of the Edomites/' While 



82 Gleanings in Genesis 

the last division closes (Gen. 1:26) with the death of 
Joseph. 

*'But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord'' (Gen. 
6:8). This is the first thing that is told us about Noah. 
Grace is the foundation of every life that is well-pleasing 
to God. Grace is the source f rom which issues every bless- 
ing we receive. It was the grace of God and not the graces 
of Noah which preserved him from a watery grave. Is it 
not beautiful to note that it is here this precious word 
* * grace ' ' is seen f or the first time in God 's Word ! It was 
when the sin of the creature had reached its climax that 
Grace was exercised and displayed, as if to teach us from 
the onset, that it is nothing within man which calls forth 
the bestowment of Divine favors. 

When God said, * ' I will destroy man whom I have created 
from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the 
creeping thing, and the fowls of the air," it seemed as if 
He was about to make an end of the entire race. But Noah 
found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He was as a lily 
among the thorns, whose godly walk would appear the 
lovelier from contrast with that of the world about him. 
Humanly speaking it has never been an easy matter f or the 
believer to live that lif e that brings glory to God, nót even 
when he receives encouragement from fellow-saints. But 
here was a man living in a world of wickedness, where ^^all 
flesh had corrupted his way on the earth. ' ' Here was a man 
who was compelled to set his f ace against the whole current 
of public opinion and conduct. What a testimony to the 
sufficiency and keeping power of Divine grace ! 

The character of Noah is described in Genesis 6 : 9 where 
three things are told us about him : * * Noah was a just man 
and perf ect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. ' ' 
first, he was *' just.'' He is the first man so called, though 
not the first man who was so. The meritorious ground of 
justification is the Blood of Christ (Rom. 5:9); the instrii- 
mental cause is faith (Rom. 5:1). The just shall live by 
f aith, hence we find Noah among the fif teen believers men- 
tioned in the great faith chapter (Heb. 11). The faith by 
which Noah was justified bef ore God was evidenced by him 
being ' * moved with f ear ' ' and in his obedience to the Divine 
command to build the ark. Second, he was ''perfect in his 
generations. " Here the reference seems to point to Noah 
and his family having kept themselves separate from the 



Noah 83 

moral evil around them and preserved themselves from 
contact with the Nephilim. The Hebrew word is **tamim'' 
and is elsewhere translated in the Old Testament * * without 
blemish'' forty-four'times. It is probably the word from 
which our English * * contaminated ' ' springs. Noah was un- 
contaminated in his generations. Third, he ''walked with 
God.'' It is only as we walk with Him that we are kept 
from the evil around us. 

The faith of Noah is described in Hebrews 11:7: * * By 
faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, 
moved with f ear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house ; 
by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the 
righteousness which is by f aith. ' ' In this remarkable verse, 
remarkable for its fulness and terseness, seven things are 
told us about Noah's faith, each of which we do well to 
ponder. The first thing we learn here of Noah's faith is 
its ground, namely, God's Word — ''being warned of God." 
The ground of all faith which is acceptable to God is that 
which rests neither on f eelings nor f ancy, but on the naked 
Word. '^Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the 
Word of God'' (Rom. 10:17). Simon and his partners 
had fished f rom sunset to sunrise and their labors had been 
in vain. The Lord entered their ship and said, **Launch 
out into the deep and let down your nets for a draiight,'' 
and Simon replied, ''Master, we have toiled all the night, 
and have taken nothing : nevertheless, at Thy word I will 
let down the net*' (Luke 5:4, 5). Once again: for many 
days the ship in which the apostle was journeying to Italy 
battled with stormy seas, until all hope that he and his 
fellow passengers should be saved had disappeared. Then 
it was, when everything to the outward eye seemed to con- 
tradict, that Paul stood forth and said, **Sirs, be of good 
cheer : f or I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told 
me^^ (Acts 27:25). A faith that does not rest upon the 
written word is mere credulity. 

The second thing mentioned in connection with Noah's 
faith is its sphere. His faith laid hold of things **not seen 
as yet, ' ' that is, of things which pertained to the realm of 
the unseen. Believers walk by faith and not by sight (2 
Cor. 5:7). As Noah labored at the building of the ark, 
doubtless, the world looked upon him as an enthusiastic 
fanatic, as one who was putting himself to a great deal of 
needless trouble. What was there to portend such a calam- 



84 Gleanings in Genesis 

ity as the Deluge? Nothing at all. All things continued 
as they were f rom the beginning of creation. History f ur- 
nished no analogy whatever. Not only had there never 
been any previous flood, but even rain was then unknown. 
What then could induce Noah to act in the way he did? 
Nothing but the testimony of God. Here then is an ex- 
emplification and demonstration of the nature of faith. 
Faith is the eye of the spirit. It is that which visualizes 
the unseen; it is that which gives tangibility to the in- 
visible ; it is that which makes substantial the things hoped 
for. 

In the third place we learn here of the character of 
Noah's faith — it was ''moved with fear/^ Faith not only 
relies upon the precious promises of God, but it also be- 
lieves His solemn threatenings. As the beloved Spurgeon 
said, **He who does not believe that God will punish sin, 
wiU not believe that He wiU pardon it through the atoning 
blood. He who does not believe that God wiU cast unbe- 
lievers into hell, wiU not be sure that He wiU take believers 
to heaven. If we doubt God's Word about one thing, we 
shall have small confidence in it upon another thing. Since 
f aith in God must treat all God 's Word alike ; f or the f aith 
which accepts one word of God, and rejects another, is 
evidently not f aith in God, but faith in our own judgment, 
faith in our own taste.'' Noah had received from God a 
gracious promise, but he had also been warned of a coming 
judgment which should destroy all living things with a 
flood, and his f aith believed both the promise and the warn- 
ing. Again, we need the admonition of Mr. Spurgeon — * * I 
charge you who prof ess to be the Lord 's, not to be unbeliev- 
ing with regard to the terrible threatenings of God to the 
ungodly. Believe the threat, even though it should chiU 
your blood ; believe, though nature shrinks f rom the over- 
whelming doom, f or, if you do not btlieve, the act of disbe- 
lieving God about one point wiU drive you to disbelieve 
Him upon the other parts of revealed truth, and you wiU 
never come to that true, childlike faith which God will ac- 
cept and honor. ' ' 

Fourth, we see the evidence of Noah's faith — ^he *'pre- 
pared an ark. " * ' Faith, if it hath not works is dead, being 
by itself" (Jas. 2:17), which means, it is a lifeless faith, 
a merely nominal f aith, and not the * ' f aith of God 's elect ' ' 
(Titus 1:1). To the same effect: ''What doth it profit, 



Noah 85 

my brethren, though a man say he hath f aith, and have not 
works" (Jas. 2: 14). The Apostle Paul writes o£ the jus- 
tification of believing sinners ; James writes of the justifica- 
tion of f aith itself , or rather, the claim to be in possession 
of f aith. I prof ess to be a believer, how shall I justify my 
claim ï By my works, my walk, my witness f or God. Bead 
through Hebrews 11 and it wiU be seen that in every case 
recorded there, faith was evidenced by works. Abel had 
f aith. How did he display it ï By presenting to God the 
Divinely preserved sacrifice. Enoch had faith. How did 
he manifest it? By walking with God. Noah had faith. 
How did he evidence it ï By preparing the ark. And mark 
this also — f aith expresses itself in that which costs its pos- 
sessor something ! The preparing of the ark was no small 
undertaking. It was not only a very laborious and pro- 
tracted task, but it must have been a very expensive one, 
too. It has ever been thus ; Abraham was the f ather of the 
faithful, and his faith found expression and resulted in 
that which meant personal sacrifice. To Abraham it meant 
leaving home, kindred and country, and subsequently the 
offering up of his well beloved son on the altar of sacrifice. 
What is it costing you to express your f aith ï A f aith that 
does not issue in that which is costly is not worth much. 

Fif th, we see the issue of Noah 's f aith — ^Noah ' ' prepared 
an ark to the saving of his house. ' * God always honors real 
f aith in Him. The particular issue of Noah 's f aith deserves 
prayerful consideration. While it is true that there is no 
such thing as salvation by proxy, that no parent can believe 
to the saving of his child's soul, yet, Scripture furnishes 
many examples of God's blessings coming upon those who 
exercised no faith themselves on account of the faith of 
others. Because Abraham exercised f aith, God gave to his 
seed the land of Palestine. Because Rahab believed the re- 
port of the spies, her whole household was preserved f rom 
destruction. Coming to the New Testament, we remember 
such cases as the man sick of the palsy, who was brought 
to the Lord Jesus by others — ^ * And Jesus seeing their faith 
said unto the sick of the palsy : Son, be of good cheer ; thy 
sins be forgiven thee'' (Matt. 8:2). Because of the noble- 
man's faith, his servant was healed. Because of the Ca- 
naanitish woman's faith, her daughter was made whole. 
Noah's faith then issued in the temporal salvation of ''his 
house. ' ' Is not this written f or our leaming ï Is there no 



86 Gleanings in Genesis 

word of encouragement here for believing parents today 
who have unsaved childrenï Do we remember the word 
spoken to the Philippian jailor — ''Believe on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house^^—áo 
we appropriate it and plead it bef ore God ï 

Sixth, we learn of the witness of Noah's faith — ^''by which 
he condemned the world/' In considering this clause we 
would first inquire into the nature of f aith. What is f aith t 
In Bom. 14:23, we read, '*Whatsoever is not of faith is 
sin. * ' Faith is the opposite of sin. What then is sin ï The 
divinely inspired answer is f ound in 1 John 3 : 4 — ^ ' Sin is 
lawlessness' ^ (R. V.) . Sin is more than an act, it is an atti- 
tude. Sin is rebellion against God 's government, a defiance 
of His authority. Sin is spiritual anarchy. Sin is the 
exercise of self-wiU, self-assertion, self-independency. God 
says, ' ' Thou shalt, ' ' and I don 't ; what is that but me saying 
' * I won 't ! ' ' God says * * Thou shalt not, ' ' and I do ; what is 
that but me saying, ' ' I wiU ! ' ' But f aith is in every respect 
the antithesis of sin. Faith is also more than an act, it is 
an attitude. Faith is submission to God's government, a 
yielding to His authority, a compliance with His revealed 
wiU. Faith in God is a coming to the end of myself . Faith 
is the spirit of entire dependency on God. There is a great 
gulf then separating between those who are members of the 
household of f aith and those who are the children of the 
wicked one. We walk by f aith, they by sight ; we live f or 
God 's glory, they f or self -gratification ; we live f or eternity, 
they for time. And every Christian who is walking by 
faith, necessarily condemns the world. His conduct is a 
silent rebuke upon the course f oUowed by the ungodly. His 
lif e is a witness against their sin. 

Finally, we learn here the reward of Noah's faith — ^he 
''became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.*' 
Faith brings a present blessing : it wins God 's smile of ap- 
proval, fiUs the heart with peace, oils the machinery of lif e, 
and makes ' ' all things ' ' possible. But the grand reward of 
f aith is not received in this lif e. The inheritance into which 
f aith conducts us is not possessed here and now. Abraham, 
Isaae, and Jacob never did anything more than ^^sojourn 
in the land of promise. ' ' The children of God are * ' heirs of 
God and joint heirs with Christ,'' but the entering into 
their inheritance is yet f uture — ^we do not say the enjoy- 



Noah 8T 

ment oí it, for faith appropriates it and revels in it even 
now. The Son Himself has been **appointed heir of all 
things'* (Heb. 1:2), and it is not until He enters into His 
possessions that we shall share them with Him. Mean- 
while, we are, with Noah, ^^heirs of the righteousness which 
is by f aith. ^ ' 






11. THE FLOOD 

Genesis 6 

In our article on **Enoch'' it was pointed out that the 
name of his child intimated that God had given warning to 
him of the coming of the Deluge — ' ' And Enoch lived sixty 
and five years, and begat Methuselah" (Gen. 5:21). The 
signification of Methuselah is, ^^When he is dead it shall he 
sent/' i. e., the Deluge (Newberry). A divine revelation 
then was memorialized in this name. The world was to last 
only as long as this son of Enoch lived. If 1 Peter 3 : 20 
be linkêd to Genesis 5 : 21 an interesting and precious 
thought is brought before us: ''Which (the antediluvians 
now in 'prison') some time were disobedient, when once 
the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah. 
To what does this ' ' long-suffering ' ' refer which *'waited 
while the ark was a preparingï How long had God's pa- 
tience been exercised ? Nine hundred and sixty-nine years 
seems to be the answer — the span of Methuselah's life. As 
long as Enoch 's son lived the world was saf e ; but when he 
died, then should it (the Deluge) be sent. Is it not a most 
impressive demonstration of God's '*long-suffering" that 
the man whose life was to measure the breath of a world's 
probation, was permitted to live longer than any one else 
ever did livel Nine hundred and sixty-nine years — ^what 
an exhibition of God's mercy! How wondrous are the 
ways of Jehovah ! As that child was to live until the time 
came f or mankind to be swept away by the flood ; and, as 
during this interval God 's servants were to warn men f rom 
the coming wrath, shall not the mercy of God prolong that 
dayï Shall not this man live longer than any other man 
ever did live? Shall not his age be unique, standing out 
f rom the ages of all others í — ^because that f rom the hour of 
his birth the Divine decree had gone forth, ''When the 
breath leaves his body the throes of dissolution shall com- 
mence : when he departs the thunder clouds of God 's anger 
shall burst, the windows of heaven shall be opened, the 
foundations of the great deeps shall give way, and every 
living thing shall be swept from this earth by the besom of 
Divine destruction. " And so it was. Methuselah out- 



88 



The Flood 89 

lived all his contemporaries and remained on earth almost 
a thousand years. 

Having viewed the postponement of the flood through the 
long-suffering of God, let us next consider the provocation 
of it. We have already dwelt upon the f act that the New 
Testament Scriptures call our attention to the **long- 
suffering of 6od (which) waited in the days of Noah'^ 
(1 Pet. 3:20). These words intimate that God's long- 
suffering had already heen exercised and that it continued 
to ^'wait'' even in the days of Noah. This causes us to in- 
quire how and when had God 's ' * long-suffering ' ' been mani- 
f ested previously to Noah ï 

The word ' * long-suff ering " implies that God had dealt 
in mercy, that His mercy had been slighted, and that His 
patience (humanly speaking) had been sorely tried. And 
this leads us to ask another question — a deeply interesting 
and important one: What Divine light did the antedi- 
luvians enjoy? What knowledgé of God, of His character 
and of His ways, did they possess 1 What was the measure 
of their responsibility ï To answer these questions is to 
discover the enormity of their sin, is to measure the extent 
of their wickedness, is to determine the degree of their 
aggravation of God; and, consequently, is to demonstrate 
the magnitude of His long-suffering in bearing with them 
for so long. 

While the record is exceedingly brief, sufficient is re- 
vealed to show that men in general possessed no small 
amount of light even in days before the flood. Not only 
had they, in common with all generations the '*light of 
Nature,*' or as Romans 1:19, 20 expresses it, '^Because 
that which may be known of God is manif est in them ; f or 
God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of 
Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being 
understood by the things that are made, even His eternal 
power and Godhead" — ^which rendered them ^^without ex- 
cuse^^; not only had they the testimony of conscience 
(Rom. 2: 14, 15), but, in addition, they possessed the light 
of Divine revelation. In what this latter consisted we shall 
now endeavor to show. 

First, man had the Promise of a Redeemer. Before our 
first parents were banished from Eden, God declared that 
the woman's Seed should bruise the serpent's head, and for 
His appearing believers looked and longed (see Gen. 51: 



90 Gleanings in Genesis 

18). Second: There was the institution of expiatory sac- 
rifices as the one means of approach to Jehovah. This was 
made known by God to Adam and Eve by means of the 
coats of skins which He provided as a covering for their 
nakedness. The meaning of His gracious condescension 
was clearly understood by them, and the significance of it 
and need of such sacrifice was communicated to their chil- 
dren, as is clear from the acts of Cain and Abel. That 
such knowledge was handed down f rom f ather to son is also 
seen in the fact that as soon as Noah came out of the ark 
he ' * built an altar unto the Lord . . . and offered bumt of •• 
ferings on the altar'' (6en. 8 : 20). 

Third: There was the ''mark" which God set upon 
Cain (Gen. 4 : 15), which was a reminder of his disapproba- 
tion, a visible memorial of his own sin, and a solemn warn- 
ing unto those among whom his lot was subsequently cast. 
Fourth: As we indicated in our comments on Genesis 4, 
the institution of the Sabbath was even then established, as 
may be seen from the fact that there was a set time for 
worship (Gen. 4 : 3, margin) . Fifth : The longevity of the 
patriarchs must be borne in mind. But two lives spanned 
the interval from the beginning of human history to the 
Deluge itself ,• namely Adam's and Methuselah 's. For nine 
hundred and thirty years the first man lived to tell of his 
original creation and condition, of his wicked disobedience 
against God, and of the fearful consequences which fol- 
lowed his sin. A striking iUustration of the communica- 
tion of this knowledge from one generation to another may 
be seen in the words of Lamech, who lived to within a f ew 
years of the flood itself — ^words recorded in Genesis 5 : 29, 
where it wiU be found he makes reference to ''the ground 
which the Lord God hath cursed/^ Sixth: There was the 
preaching of Enoch through whom God warned the world 
of its approaching doom (Jude 14, 15). Seventh: The 
mysterious and supernatural translation of Enoch, which 
must have made a profound impression upon those among 
whom his lot was cast. Eighth: The preaching of Noah 
(2 Pet. 2:25), foUowed by his building of the ark, by 
which he condemned the world. Ninth: The ministry of 
the Holy Spirit (Gen. 6:3; 1 Pet. 3:19), striving with 
men and, as the record implies, this for some considerable 
time. From these things then it is abundantly clear that 
the antediluvians fell not through ignorance but by wil- 



The Flood 91 

fuUy rejecting a Divine revelation, and from deliberately 
persisting in their wickedness. 

Having considered the Provocation of the Flood, let us 
now examine the cause of it. Stated in a sentence, this was 
the awful depravity and wickedness of mankind, or to 
quote the language of our chapter, *'And God looked upon 
the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had 
corrupted his way upon the earth. And 6od said unto 
Noah, The end of all flesh is come bef ore me ; f or the earth 
is fiUed with violence through them; and, behold, I wiU 
destroy them with the earth" (Gen. 6 : 12, 13). 

God's saints are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5: 13), and 
little as the world realizes or appreciates it, the fact re- 
mains that it is the presence of God's people here which 
prevents the mystery of iniquity coming to a head and pre- 
serves mankind from an outpouring of God's wrath. Ten 
righteous men in Sodom would have stayed the Divine judg- 
ment, but only one could be found. 

The salt character of God's people is due to the Holy 
Spirit dwelling within and working through them. Let 
His gracious manifestations be resisted and despised and 
they wiU be withdrawn, then the measure of man 's iniquity 
will be quickly fiUed up. These two preserving and re- 
straining f actors are brought together in 2 Thessalonians 2. 
Before our Lord shall retum to the earth itself, accom- 
panied by the saints (previously translated), there shall 
come one who is denominated, '*the man of sin, the son of 
perdition.'' This superman shall oppose God and blas- 
phemously exalt himself above all that has any ref erence to 
God, so that he shall sit in God's temple (at Jerusalem) 
claiming to be God, and demanding Divine homage. His 
coming will be ' ' af ter tie working of Satan, with all power 
and signs and lying wonders, and with all receivableness of 
unrighteousness. ' ' But though this ' ' mystery of iniquity ' ^ 
was at work, even in the days of the apostles, two things 
have prevented it coming to fuU fruition. The Man of Sin 
cannot be *'revealed" tiU *'his time" because of ^^what 
withholdeth" and ^^he who now letteth (hindereth) until 
he be taken out of the way'' (2 Thess. 6:7). Undoubtedly 
the neuter pronoun here has reference to the Church of 
God, and the masculine one to the Holy Spirit Himself. 
While they are upon earth Satan's work is held in check; 
but let them — the Holy Spirit and the Church — be removed, 



92 Gleanings in Genesis 

let the salt be taken away and the One who gives it pun- 
gency, and the restraining and preserving influenees are 
gone, and then nothing remains to stay corruption or hinder 
the outworking of Satan 's plans. 

From the above premises, established by the analogies 
furnished in Scripture, we have no difficulty in discovering 
the immediate cause of the Flood. A' Divine revelation had 
been despised and rejected. Repeated warnings had been 
flouted. Atonement for sin by an expiatory sacrifice had 
been spurned. Men loved darkness rather than light, be- 
cause their deeds were evil. The number of God's saints 
had been diminished to such an extent that there was but 
one family left who feared the Lord and walked by f aith. 
There was not sufficient **salt" left to preserve the carcass. 
God had forewarned the race that His Spirit would not 
always strive with man, and now His long-suffering was 
ended; therefore, His Spirit would be withdrawn, and 
naught then remained but summary judgment. Though 
the faithful remnant should be sheltered, yet, the storm of 
Divine wrath must now burst upon a world fiUed with 
iniquity. 

We turn now to consider the occasion of the Flood. * ' And 
it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face 
of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the 
sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were f air ; 
and they took them wives of all which they chose ' ' ( Gen. 
6:1, 2). There has been considerable difference of opinion 
among commentators and expositors in respect to the iden- 
tity óf these *^sons of God.'* The view which has been 
most widely promulgated and accepted is, that these mar- 
riages between the sons of God and the daughters of men 
refer to unions between believers and unbelievers. It is 
supposed that the '^sons of God" were the descendants of 
Seth, while the *'daughters of men" are regarded as the 
offspring of Cain, and that these two lines gradually amal- 
gamated, until the line of distinction between God's people 
and the world was obliterated. It is further supposed that 
the Deluge was a visitation of God's judgment, resulting 
f rom His peoples ' f ailure to maintain their place of separa- 
tion. But, it seems to us, there are a number of insuper- 
able objections to this interpretation. 

If the above theory were true, then, it would foUow that 
at the time this amalgamation took place God 's people were 



The Flood 93 

limited to the male sex, for the '^sons of God'* were the 
ones who * ' married ' ' the ^^daughters of men. ' ' Again ; if 
the popular theory were true, if these * * sons of 6od ' ' were 
helievers, then they perished at the Flood, but 2 Peter 2 : 5 
states otherwise — * ' Bringing in the flood upon the world of 
the ungodly.'^ Once more; there is no hint in the Divine 
record (so far as we can discover) that God had yet given 
any specific command forhidding His people to marry un- 
believers. In view of this silence it seems exceedingly 
strange that this sin should have been visited with such a 
fearful judgment. In all ages there have been many of 
God's people who have united with worldlings, who have 
been ''unequally yoked together," yet no calamity in any- 
wise comparable with the Deluge has foUowed. Finally; 
pne wonders why the union of believers with unbelievers 
should result in **giants" — *'there were giants in the earth 
in those days^' (Gen. 6:4). 

If, then, the words *'sons of God'* do not signify the 
saints of that age, to whom do they ref er ï In Job 1 : 6, 
2:1, 38 : 7, the same expression is found, and in these 
passages the reference is clearly to angels. It is a signifi- 
cant f act that sóme versions of the Septuagint contain the 
word '^angels'' in Genesis 6 : 2, 4 . That the ''sons of God," 
who are here represented as cohabiting with the daughters 
of men were angels — ^f allen angels — seems to be taught in 
Jude 6 : '* And the angels which kept not their principality 
but left their own hahitation, He hath reserved in everlast- 
ing chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great 
day.'^ 

These ''sons of God,'^ then, appear to be angels who left 
their own habitation, came down to earth, and cohabited 
with the daughters of men. Before we consider the out- 
come of this iUicit intercourse, let us first enquire into the 
cause of it. Why did these angels thus ''sin" (2 Pet. 2:4)? 
The answer to this question leads us into a mysterious sub- 
ject which we cannot now treat at length: the *'why ' 
finds its answer in Satan. 

Immediately after that old serpent, the Devil, had 
brought about the downf all of our first parents, God passed 
sentence on the '^serpent" and declared that the woman's 
^'Seed'' should ''bruise his head" (Gen. 3:15). Hence, 
in due course, Satan sought to frustrate this purpose of 
God. His first effort was an endeavor to prevent his 



94 Gleanings in Genesis 

Bruiser entering this world. This effort is plainly to be 
seen in his attempts to destroy the channel through which 
the Lord Jesus was to come. 

First, God revealed the fact that the Coming One was 
to be of human kind, the woman's Seed, hence, as we shall 
seek to show, Satan attempted to destroy the human race. 
Next, 6od made known to Abraham that the Coming One 
was to be a descendant of his ( Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3 : 18 ; Matt. 
1:1); hence, four hundred years later, when the descend- 
ants of Abraham became numerous in Egypt Satan sought 
to destroy the Abrahamic stock, by moving Pharaoh to seek 
the destruction of all the male children (Ex. 1:15, 16). 
Later, God made known the f act that the Coming One was 
to be of the offspring of David (2 Sam. 7 : 12, 13) ; hence, 
the subsequent attack made upon David through Absalom 
(2 Sam. 15). As, then, the Coming One was to be of the 
seed of l>avid, He must spring from the tribe of Judah, 
and hence the significance of the divided Kingdom, and the 
attacks of the Ten Tribes upon the íribe of Judah ! 

The reference in Jude 6 to the angels leaving their own 
habitation, appears to point to and correspond with these 
'*sons of God^' (angels) coming in unto the daughters of 
men. Apparently, by this means, Satan hoped to destroy 
the human race (the channel through which the woman's 
Seed was to come) hy producing a race of monstrosities. 
How nearly he succeeded is evident f rom the f act, that with 
the exception of one family, ''all flesh had corrupted his 
way upon the earth'* (Gen. 6:12). That monstrosities 
were produced as the result of this unnatural union between 
the ''sons of God'' (angels) and the daughters of men, is 
evident from the words of Genesis 6:4: '^There were 
giants in the earth in those days.'^ The Hebrew word for 

giants'* here is nephilim, which means fallen ones, from 

naphal" to fall. The term ''men of renoun'* in Gen- 
esis 6:4 probably finds its historical equivalent in the 
'^heroes" of Grecian mythology. Satan's special object in 
seeking to prevent the advent of the woman's ''Seed'* by 
destroying the human race was evidently an attempt to 
avert his threatened doom ! 

Against the view that ' ' the sons of God ' ' ref er to f allen 
angels Matt. 22 : 30 is of ten cited. But when the contents 
of this verse are closely studied it wiU be found there is, 
really, nothing in it which conflicts with what we have said 






The Flood 95 

above. Had our Lord said, ^'in the resurrection they nei- 
ther marry, nor are given in marriagey but are as the angels 
of Gk)d'' and stopped there, the objection would have real 
force. But the Lord did not stop there. He added a quali' 
fying clause about the angels : He said ' ' as the angels o£ 
Gk)d in heaven/^ The last two words make all the differ- 
ence. The angels in heaven neither marry nor are they 
given in marriage. But the angels referred to in Qenesis 
6 as the ^'sons of Gk)d'' were no longer in heaven: as Jude 
6 expressly informs us ^'they left their own principality. ' * 
They fell f rom their celestial position and came down to 
earth, entering into unlawf ul alliance with the daughters of 
men. This, we are assured, is the reason why Christ modi- 
fied and qualified His assertion in Matt. 22 : 30. The angels 
of God in heaven do not marry, but those who left their own 
principality did. 

Ere we close, there is one other passage of Scripture 
which ought to be considered in this connection, namely, 
Matt. 24 : 37 — ' ' But as the days of Noah were, so shall also 
the coming of the Son of Man be. ' * History is to repeat it- 
self. Ere the Lord returns to this earth, the condition 
which prevailed in the world before the Flood are to be 
reproduced. The characteristic of the days of Noah may 
be summarized in thé f oUowing ten items : 

1. Multiplication of mankind (Gen. 6 : 1) — ^note the great 
increase of earth 's population during the past century. 2. 
God dealing in long-suffering with a wicked world. 3. God 
sending His messengers to warn sinners of coming judg- 
ment. 4. God^s Spirit striving with men, and the threat that 
He would not always do so— cf 2 Thessalonians 2, which 
tells of His Spirit being taken away once more. 5. God's 
overtures toward men despised and rejected — such is the 
condition of the world today. 6. A small remnant who find 
grace in the sight of the Lord and walk with Him. 7. Enoch 
miraculously translated — ^typifying the removal of the 
saints f rom the earth caught up to meet the Lord in the air. 
8. Descent to the earth of the f allen angels and their union 
with the daughters of men : how near we have already ap- 
proached to a repetition of this may be discovered in the 
demoniacal activities among Spiritists, Theosophists and 
Christian Scientists. 9. God's judgments poured forth on 
the ungodly — cf Revelation 6 to 19. 10. Noah and his f am- 
ily miraculously preserved — type of the Jewish remnant 
preserved through the Tribulation, see Revelation 12. 



12. NOAH A TYPE OF CHRIST 

Genesis 6 

No study of the person and character of Noah wonld be 
complete without viewing him as a type of the Lord Jesus. 
With one or two notable exceptions it wiU be beside our 
purpose to do more than call attention to some of the most 
striking points of correspondency between the type and 
the antitype, leaving our readers to develop at greater 
length these seed thoughts. 

1. To begin at the beginning, Noah's very name fore- 
shadowed the Coming One. In Genesis 5 : 28, 29 we read, 
'^And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and 
begat a son ; and he called his name Noah. ^ ' Noah means 
^^rest/^ His father regarded him as the one who should 
be the rest-giver, and as one who should provide comfort 
f rom the toil incurred by the Curse. ' ' He called his name 
Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our 
work and toil of our hands, hecause of the ground which 
the Lord hath cursed.'' Lamech looked upon his son as 
one who should bring deliverance from the Curse, as one 
who should provide comfort and rest from the weariness of 
toil. Our readers wiU readily see how this ancient prophecy 
(for prophecy it undoubtedly was) receives its fulfilment 
in the One of whom it was also written, ' * And His rest shall 
be glorious^* (Isaiah 11: 10), and who when on earth said, 
* ' Come unto Me, all y e that labor and are hea\y laden, and 
I will give you rest'' (Matt. 11:28). But fUrther than 
this, Noah's name, and the prophecy of his father on the 
occasion of the bestowment of it upon his son, also looks f or- 
ward to the time of our Lord's Second Advent when He 
shall deliver the earth from its Curse — See Isaiah 9; 35, etc. 

2. The first thing which is told us in connection with 
Noah is that he **found grace in the eyes of the Lord" 
(Gen. 6:8). In a previous article we have commented 
upon the setting of these words and have pointed out the 
contrast which they are designed to emphasize. **A11 flesh 
had corrupted his way upon the earth.'' The ruinous and 
ravaging effects of sin were universal. But as God looked 
down upon the creatures of His hand, now fallen and de- 
praved, there was one who stood out by himself, one who 



96 



Noah a Type of Christ 97 

was JTist and perfect in his generation, one upon whom 
God 's eye delighted to rest. It is very significant that noth- 
ing at all is said about Noah's family — ^his '*sons and their 
^ives'' — ^in this connection; Noah only is mentioned, as 
if . to show he is the one on whom our attention should be 
fixed. When we note what a striking type of our Lord 
Jesus Noah is, the reason f or this is ob vious ; He is the 
one in whom the heart of the Father delighted, and just as 
the first thing told us in connection with Noah is that he 
' ' f ound grace in the eyes of the Lord, ' ' so the first words 
of the Father after the Lord Jesus had commenced His 
public ministry were, '*This is My beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased'' (Matt. 3: 17). 

3. The next thing told us about Noah is that he **was a 
jusí man" (Gen. 6:9). As is well known, the word just 
means ' ' righteous. ' ' Like all other sinners who find ac- 
ceptance with God, Noah was **justified by faith.'' He 
possessed no inherent righteousness of his own. Righteous- 
ness is imputed, imputed to those that believe (Rom. 4: 6, 
22-25). There was only one man who has ever walked our 
earth who was inherently and intrinsically righteous and 
that was He whom Noah foreshadowed, He of whom the cen- 
turion testified, **Certainly this was a righteous man'' 
(Luke 23:47). 

4. Next we read that Noah was *'perfect in his genera- 
tions ' ' ( Gen. 6:9). In a previous article we have seen 
that this expression has reference to the body and not to 
perf ection of character. Noah and his f amily had not been 
defiled by contact with the Nephilim. ' ' Perf ect in his gen- 
erations" signifies that Noah was uncontaminated phys- 
ically. ''Perfect in his generations ' ' is predicated of Noah 
alone ; of none other is this said. How plain and perf ect 
the type! Does it not point to the immaculate humanity 
of our Lord? When the Eternal Word was '*made flesh'* 
He did not contract the corruptions of our fallen nature. 
Unlike all of human kind, He was not ''shapen in iniquity 
and conceived in sin." On the contrary His mother was 
told, '*That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall 
be called the Son of God" (Luke 1 : 35). In His humanity 
our Lord was ''separate from sinners'' (Heb. 7:26). He 
was uncontaminated by the virus of sin; He was ''perfect 
in His generation. ' * 



98 Gleanings in Genesis 

5. Next we read of Noah that he '*walked with God'' 
(Gen. 6:9). In this also he was a type of Him who for 
thirty-three years lived here in unbroken communion with 
the Father. AU through those years, however varied His 
circumstances, we find Him enjoying holy and blessed fel- 
lowship with the Father. During His early life, in the se- 
dusion of Nazareth we learn that '* Jesus increased in wis- 
dom and stature, and in favor with Ood and man'' (Luke 
2: 52). During the long season of fasting and temptation 
in the wilderness, we find Him living by ''every word of 
God^^ (Luke 4:4). While His disciples slept, our blessed 
Lord retired to the solitudes of the mountain, there to pour 
out His soul to God and enjoy fellowship with His Father 
(Luke 6: 12). At the close of His sufferings on the Cross 
we hear Him cry, ' * Father, into Thy hands I commend My 
spirit'' (Luke 23:46). Truly His walk was ever ''with 
God.^' 

6. God Gave Noah an Honorous Work io Do 

'^Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt 
thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without 
with pitch. With thee wiU I establish My covenant ; and 
thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy 
wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living 
thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring in the 
ark, to keep them alive with thee'' (Gen. 6:14, 18, 19). 
Here we find a work is entrusted to Noah by God, a highly 
important work, a momentous and stupendous work. Never 
bef ore or since has such a task been allotted to a single man. 
The task of preserving from God's judgment representa- 
tives of all creation was committed to Noah ! The type is 
so clear and plain that comment is almost needless. To 
the Lord Jesus Christ, God's beloved Son, was entrusted 
the task of effeeting the salvation of lost and ruined sinners. 
It is to this He ref ers when He says, ' ' I have finished the 
work which Thou gavest Me to do'^ (John 17:4) — speak- 
ing here as though in Glory, where He now is as our great 
High Priest. 

7. Noah, AlonCy Did the Work 

We shall consider separately the typical significance 
of the ark ; f or the moment we would direct attention upon 
Noah and his work. Is it not striking that there is no ref- 
erence here to any help that Noah received in the executing 



Noah a Type of Christ 99 

of his God-given task ï There is no hint whatever that any 
assisted him in the work of building the ark. The record 
reads as though Noah alone provided the necessary means 
for securing the lives of those that 6od had entrusted to 
his care ! Surely the reason is obvious. The truth which is 
f oreshadowed here is parallel with the typology of Leviticus 
16:17 — ''And there shall he no man in the tabernacle of 
the congregation when he goeth in to mdke an atonement in 
the holy place, until he come out'' — ^when atonement was 
being made the High Priest must be alone. So it was in the 
antitype. The work of redemption was accomplished by 
our Lord Jesus Christ, ''Who His own self bare our sins 
in His own body on the tree'' (1 Pet. 2 : 24), and He needed 
no assistance in this work, for God had *4aid help upon 
One that is mighty'^ (Ps. 89: 19, R. V.). In fuU harmony 
then with the Leviticus 16 type, and in perfect accord with 
its fulfilment in our gracious Saviour, we find that the rec- 
ord in Genesis reads as though Noah was alone in his task 
and received no assistance in the work of providing a ref uge 
f rom the coming storm of Divine wrath. 

8. Moreoveí, is not the perfection of the type further to 
be seen in the fact that the inspired record passes over the 
interval of time necessary f or Noah to have performed his 
taskí This is very striking, for many months, and prob- 
ably years, would be required to build an ark of the dimen- 
sions given us in Genesis. But not a word is said about 
this. Af ter God gave instructions to Noah to build the ark, 
the next thing we read is, ' ' Thus did Noah according to all 
that God commanded him, so did he. And the Lord said 
unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark'' 
(Gen. 6 : 22 ; 7 : 1) — as though to show that when he began, 
his work was speedily accomplished! How much we may 
learn f rom the silences of Scripture ! Again we call atten- 
tion to the parallel type in Leviticus 16 — ' ' For on that day 
shall the priest make an atonement f or you to cleanse you, 
that you may be clean f rom all your sins bef ore the Lord ' * 
(v. 30). In Leviticus 23 the Day of Atonement is classed 
among Israel 's great f easts, and by noting this the point we 
are now making comes out more clearly by way of contrast. 
Others of these f easts, e. g., Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles, 
etc, extended over a period of several days, but Atonement 
was accomplished in one day, Nothing was left over to be 
completed on the next day ; which reminds us of the blessed 



100 Gleanings in Genesis 

words of our triumphant Saviour — * * It is finished. * * There 
is nothing now f or us to do but rest on His Finished Work. 
In one day, yes, in three hours, on the Cross, our Lord put 
away sin by the sacrifice of Himself . As we have said, this 
was anticipated in the typical significance of Noah's work 
by the silence of Scripture upon the length of time he was 
engaged in the perf ormance of his task, the record reading 
as though it was speedily executed. 

9. The successful issue of Noah's work, seen in ''the sav- 
ing of his house^^ (Heb. 11:7) reminds us of the language 
of Hebrews 3:6, *'But Christ as a son over his own house" 
(Heb. 3:6). But the type goes further: Noah's work 
brings blessing to all creation as is seen f rom the f act that 
the animals and birds were also preserved in the ark. Ob- 
serve how beautif uUy this is brought out in Genesis 8 : 1 — 
*'And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and 
all the cattle that was with him in the ark." So, too, the 
work of Christ shall yet bring blessing to the beasts of the 
field. At His return to the earth '^the creation itself also 
shall be delivered f rom the bondage of corruption into the 
glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8: 21). 

10. In Genesis 6 : 19 we have a hint of the animal crea- 
tion being subject to Noah — **And of every living thing of 
all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, 
to keep them alive with thee/' We have a passing glimpse 
of the yet future fulfilment of this part of the type in 
Mark 1 : 13 — ' * And He was there in the wilderness f orty 
days tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts." 
Noah's headship over all creatures comes out even more 
clearly in Genesis 9 : 2 — ^ * And the f ear of you and the dread 
of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon 
every f owl of the air, upon all that moveth upon earth, and 
upon all the fishes of the sea ; into your hand are they deliv- 
ered.^^ How this reminds us of Psalm 8, which speaks of 
the future dominion of the Son of Man. ''For Thou hast 
made Him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned 
Him with glory and honor. For thou madest Him to have 
dominion over the works of Thy hands ; Thou hast put all 
things under His feet (compare Heb. 2:8), **But now we 
see not yet all things put under Him, all sheep and oxen, 
yea, and the beasts of the field ; the f owl of the air and the 
fish of the sea ! ' ' This same thought is repeated in the Gen- 
esis narrative again and again as if with deliberate empha- 



Noah a Type of Christ 101 

sis. When we read of the animals entering the Ark we are 
told *'They went in unto Noah (not unto Noah and his fam- 
ily) into the Ark," and then we are told **And the Lord 
shut him (not 'them') in" (Gen. 7:15, 16). And again, 
on leaving the ark we read that God said unto Noah, ' * E very 
moving thing that liveth shall be meat f or you ; even as the 
green herb have I given you all things" (Gen. 9:3). So 
Christ is '^the Heir of all things" (Heb. 1:2). 

11. In Genesis 6 : 21 we find Noah presented as the great 
f ood-provider : * * And take thou unto thee of all f ood that 
is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be 
for food for thee, and for them." We need hardly say 
that this finds its complement in Christ the Bread of Life. 
He is God's Manna for our souls. He is tbe Shewbread 
which was eaten by Aaron and his sons (Lev. 24 : 9). He is 
the Old Corn of the land (Joshua 5:11). In short, it is 
only as we f eed upon Christ as He is presented unto us in 
the written Word that our spiritual life is quickened and 
nourished. 

12. In Genesis 6 : 22 we learn of Noah's implicit and com- 
plete ohedience — **Thus did Noah according to all that God 
commanded him, so did he." And again, **And Noah did 
according unto all that the Lord commanded him" (Gen. 
7:5). So, too, we read of the perfect obedience of Him 
whom Noah f oreshadowed : **If ye keep My command- 
ments, ye shall abide in My love; even so I have kept My 
Father^s commandments, and abide in His love'' (John 15: 
10). Only, be it noted, the obedience of our blessed Lord 
went farther than that of Noah, for He **became obedient 
unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2 : 8) — in all 
things He has the preëminence. 

13. **And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, 
and his sons ' wives with him ; every beast, every creeping 
thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the 
earth, after their kinds went forth out of the ark" (Gen. 
8 : 18, 19). In these verses we see Noah bringing all whom 
God had committed to his care on to the new earth, which 
reminds us of our Lord's words, **0f them which Thou 
gavest Me have I lost none^^ (John 18: 9). However, the 
fact that the animal creation is here specifically mentioned 
as sharing in this blessing seems to point to a milennial 
scene when all creation shall enjoy the benefit of Christ's 
reign (cf. Isaiah 11). 



102 Gleanings in Genesis 

14. **And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and 
took of every clean beast, and of every clean f owl, and of- 
fered burnt oíferings on the altar (Gen. 8:20). Here we 
see Noah oíf ering a burnt oíf ering unto the Lord : the anti- 
typical parallel is found in Ephesians 5:2 — ^**Christ also 
hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering 
and a sacrifice to God f or a sweet smelling savor. ' ' 

15. **And God hlessed Noah and his sons^' (Gen. 9:1). 
It is beautif ul to see Noah and his sons here linked together 
in the en joyment of God 's blessing, as though to f oreshadow 
the blessed fact that every mercy we now enjoy is ours for 
Christ's sake.^* ^'Blessed be the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ who hath hlessed us with all spiritual 
blessings in heavenly places in Chrisf (Bph. 1:3). 

16. With Noah and his sons God established Éis CoV' 
enant, *'And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with 
him, saying, And I, behold, I establish My covenant with 
you, and with your seed after you" (Gen. 9:8, 9). The 
word **covenant" occurs just seven times in this passage, 
namely, in verses 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17. Note, the cove- 
nant that God made with Noah was '^an everlasting cove- 
nant" (Gen. 9:16), and so we read concerning the anti- 
type — ' ' Now the God of peace, that brought again f rom the 
dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenanf (Heb. 
13:20). 



13. THE TYPOLOGY OF THE ARK 

Genesis 7 

The ark which was built by Noah according to divine di- 
rections, in which he and his house, together with represen- 
tatives from the lower creation, found shelter from the 
storm of God's wrath, is one of the clearest and most com- 
prehensive types of the believer 's salvation in Christ which 
is to be found in all the Scriptures. So important do we 
deem it, we have decided to devote a separate article to its 
prayerf ul and caref ul consideration. 

1. The first thing to be noted in connection with the ark 
is that it was a Divine provision. This is very clear from 
the words of Genesis 6 : 13, 14 — ^ ' And God said unto Noah, 
the end of all flesh is come bef ore Me . . . . make thee an 
ark. ' ' Before the flood came and bef ore the ark was made, 
a means of escape for His own people existed in the mind 
of God. The ark was not provided by Him after the waters 
had begun to descend. Noah was commanded to construct 
it before a drop had fallen. So, too, the Saviourship of 
Christ was no afterthought of God when sin had come in 
and blighted His creation ; f rom all eternity He had pur- 
posed to redeem a people unto Himself , and in consequence, 
Christ, in the counsels of the Godhead, was '*a lamb slain 
from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13 : 8). The ark 
was God's provision for Noah as Christ is God's provision 
for sinners. 

2. Observe now that God revealed to Noah His own de- 
signs and ordered him to build a place of ref uge into which 
he could flee f rom the impending storm of judgment. The 
ark was no invention of Noah 's ; had not God re vealed His 
thoughts to him, he would have perished along with his 
fellow creatures. In like manner, God has to reveal by 
His Spirit His thoughts of mercy and grace toward us; 
otherwise, in our blindness and ignorance we should be 
eternally lost. ''For God, who commanded the light to 
shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the 
light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of 
JesusChrist" (2Cor.4:6). 

3. In the next place, we note that Noah was commanded 
to make an ark of gopher-wood (Gen. 6 : 14). The material 



103 



104 Gleanings in Genesis 

out of which the ark was built teaches an important lesson. 
The ark was made, not of steel like our modern ^'dread- 
noughts," but out of wood. The typieal truth whích this 
fact is designed to teach us lies not on the surface, yet is 
one that is brought before us again and again both in the 
Word and in Nature; the truth, that life comes out of 
death, that life can be secured only by sacrifice. Before the 
ark could be made, trees must be cut down, That which 
secured the life of Noah and his house was obtained by the 
death of the trees. We have a hint here, too, of our Lord 's 
humanity. The trees f rom which the wood of the ark was 
taken were a thing of the earth, reminding us of Isaiah's 
description of Christ — '*a root out of a dry ground'' (Isae 
53 : 2 ) . So Christ, who was the eternal Son of God must 
become the Son of man — part of that which, originally, was 
made out of the dust of the earth — and as such be cut down, 
or, in the language of prophecy, be *'cut off '' (Dan. 9 : 26), 
before a refuge could be provided for us. 

4. The ark was a refuge from Divine judgment. There 
are three arks mentioned in Scripture and each of them 
was a shelter and place of safety. The ark of Noah se- 
cured those within it from the outpoured wrath of God. 
The ark of bulrushes (Bx. 2:3) protected the young child 
Moses from thé murderous designs of Pharaoh, who was a 
type of Satan. The ark of the covenant sheltered the two 
tables of stone on which were inscribed the holy law of 
God. Bach ark speaks of Christ, and putting the three to- 
gether, we learn that the believer is sheltered from God's 
wrath, Satan's assaults and the condemnation of the law — 
the only three things in all the universe which can threaten 
or harm us. The ark of Noah was a place of saf ety. It was 
provided by God when death threatened all. It was the 
only place of deliverance from the wrath to come, and as 
such it speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour 
of lost sinners — '^Neither is there salvation in any other; 
for there is none other name under heaven given among 
men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4: 12). 

5. Into this ark man was invited to come. He was invited 
by God Himself , * * And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou 
and all thy house into the ark ' ' ( Gen. 7:1). This is the 
first time the word * * come ' ' is f ound in the Scriptures, and 
it recurs over five hundred times in the remainder of the 



The Typology of the Ark 105 

Bible. Is it not highly significant that we meet with it 
here as its first occurrence! A number of thoughts are 
suggested by this connection, for several of which we are 
indebted to Dr. Thomas ' work on Genesis. Observe that the 
Lord does not say ' ' Go into the ark, ' ' buf Come. " ' ' Go " 
would have been a command, * ' Come ' ' was a gracious invi- 
tation ; ' ' Go " would have implied that the Lord was bidding 
Noah depart f rom Him, * * Come ' ' intimated that in the ark 
the Lord would be present with him. Is it not the same 
thought as we have in the Gospel — **Come unto Me and I 
wiU give you rest!" Observe further that the invitation 
was a personal one — ^'Come thou'^; God always addresses 
Himself to the heart and conscience of the individual. 
Yet, the invitation went further — ^**Come thou and all thy 
house into the ark,'' and again we find a parallel in the 
Gospel of grace in our day : ' ' Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house^^ (Acts 
16:31). 

6. The ark was a place of ábsolute security. This truth 
is seen from several particulars. First, the ark itself was 
pitched 'Vithin and without with pitch" (Gen. 6:14), 
hence it would be thoroughly watertight, and as such, a 
perfect shelter. No matter how hard it rained or how high 
the waters rose, all inside the ark were secure. The ark was 
in this respect also, a type of our salvation in Christ. 
Speaking to the saints, the apostle said, '*Your life is hid 
(like Noah in the ark) with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). In 
the next place, we read concerning Noah after he had en- 
tered the ark, **And the Lord shut him in^^ (Gen. 7: 16). 
What a blessed word is this ! Noah did not have to take 
care of himself ; having entered the ark, God was then re- 
sponsible f or his preservation. So it is with those who have 
fled to Christ for refuge, they are ^^k'ept by the power of 
God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in 
the last time" (1 Pet. 1:5). Finally, the security of áll 
in the ark is seen in the issuing of them f orth one year later 
on to the destruction-swept earth — ^**And Noah went forth, 
and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him: 
every beast, every creeping thing, and every f owl, and what- 
soever creepeth upon the earth, af ter their kinds, went f orth 
out of the ark'' (Gen. 8 : 18, 19). AU who had entered that 
ark had been preserved, none had perished by the flood, 
and none had died a natural death, so perfect is the type. 



106 Gleanings in Genesis 

How this reminds us of our Lord 's words, * * Of them which 
thou gavest Me have I lost none^' ( John 18 : 9). 

7. Next we would note what has often been pointed out 
by others, that the ark had only one door to it. There was 
not one entranee f or Noah and his f amily, another f or the 
animals, and yet another f or the birds. One door was all 
it had. The same was true later of the tabernaele ; it, too, 
had but a single entrance. The spiritual application is 
apparent. There is only one way of eseape from eternal 
death. There is only one way of deliverance from the 
wrath to come. There is only one Saviour f rom the Lake 
of Fire, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ — ^ ' I am the way, 
the truth, and the lif e, no man cometh unto the Father hut 
hy Me'' ( John 14 : 6) . The language of our type is directly 
employed by Christ in John 10 : 9, where we hear Him say, 
**I am the door/^ It is also worthy of attention to note that 
Noah was ordered by God to set the door *'in the side'^ of 
the ark (Gen. 6: 16). Surely this pointed forward to the 
piercing of our Lord's ^'side'* ( John 19 : 34) which was the 
intimation that the way to the heart of Ood is now open to 
guilty and ruined sinners. 

8. The ark had three stories in it, **with lower, second, 
and third stories shalt thou make if (Gen. 6: 16). Why 
are we told thisí What diíference does it make to God's 
saints living four thousand years afterwards how many 
stories the ark had, whether it had one or a dozen í Every 
devout student of the Word has learned that everything in 
the Holy Scriptures has some significance and spiritual 
value. Necessarily so, for every word of God is pure. 
When the Holy Spirit * * moved ' ' Moses to write the book of 
Genesis, He knew that a book was being written which 
should be read by the Lord's people thousands of years 
later, therefore, what He caused to be written must have in 
every instance, something more than a merely local appli- 
cation. ^^Whatsoever was written aforetime was written 
for our learning.'' What then are we to ^'learn'* from the 
f act that in the ark there were three stories, no less and no 
more? 

We have already seen that the ark itself unmistakably 
f oreshadowed the Lord Jesus. Passing through the waters 
of judgment, being itself submerged by them; grounding 
on the seventeenth day of the month — as we shall see, the 
day of our Lord 's Resurrection ; and aíïording a shelter to 



The Typology of the Ark 107 

all who were within it, the ark was a very clear type of 
Christ. Therefore the inside of the ark must speak to xxs 
of what we have in Christ. Is it not clear then that the ark 
divided into three stories more than hints at our threefold 
sálvation in Christt The salvation which we have in Christ 
is a threef old one, and that in a double sense. It is a salva- 
tion which embraces each part of our threef old constitution, 
making provision f or the redemption of our spirit, and soul, 
and body (1 Thess. 5 : 23) ; and further, our salvation is a 
three tense salvation — ^we have heen saved from the penalty 
of sin, are heing saved from the power of sin, we shall yet he 
saved f rom the presence of sin. 

9. Next, we observe that the ark was fumished with a 
window and this was placed **above" — ^**A window shalt 
thou make to the ark and in a cubit shalt thou finish it 
ábove^* (Gen. 6:16). The spiritual application is patent. 
Noah and his companions were not to be looking down on 
the scene of destruction beneath and around them, but up 
toward the living God. The same lesson was taught to 
Jehovah's people in the Wilderness. The piUar of cloud to 
guide them by day and the piUar of fire to protect them by 
night was provided not only for their guidance, but was 
furnished for their instruction as well. Israel must look 
up to the great Jehovah and not be occupied with the 
difficulties and dangers of the wilderness. So, we, called 
upon to walk by faith, are to journey with our eyes turned 
heavenward. Our affection must be set upon ' ' things ahove, 
not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). 

10. The ark was furnished with ^^rooms^' or ^^nests^^ — 
**Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms (margin 
**nests^') shalt thou make in the ark" (Gen. 6:14). In 
every other passage in the Old Testament where the Hebrew 
word **gen" occurs, it is translated '^nest.'* We hesitate 
to press the spiritual signification here ; yet, we have seen 
that the ark is such a striking and comprehensive type of 
our salvation in Christ we must believe that this detail in 
the picture has some meaning, whether we are able to dis- 
cern it or no. The thought which is suggested to us is, that 
in Christ we have something more than a ref uge, we have 
a resting place; we are like birds in their nests, the objects 
of Another 's loving care. Oh, is it that the ' ' nests ' ' in the 
ark look f orward to the * ' many mansions ' ' in the Father 's 
House í which our Lord has gone to prepare f or us. It is 



108 Gleanings in Genesis 

rather curious that there is some uneertainty about the 
precise meaning of the Greek word here translated **man- 
sions. ' ' Weymouth renders it, ' ' In My Father 's house are 
many resting placesy 

11. In connection with the ark the great truth of Atone- 
ment is typically presented. This comes out in several par- 
ticulars : ' * Make thee an ark of gopher wood ; rooms shalt 
thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without 
with pitch" (Gen. 6:14). The Hebrew word here is not 
the common one for ^'pitch'' which is **zetteth,*' but is 
**kapher,'' which is translated seventy times in the Old 
Testament *Ho make atonement.'' The simple meaning of 
''kapher^' is ^Uo cover'^ and nowhere else is it rendered 
**pitch.'* Atonement was made by the blood which pro- 
vided a covering for sin. Our readers being f amiliar with 
this thought, there is no need f or us to develop it. God is 
holy, and as such He is **of purer eyes than to behold evil, 
and canst not look on iniquity'* (Hab. 1:13), hence sin 
must be covered — covered by blood. It is theref ore remark- 
able that this word ''kapher^' should be employed (for the 
first time in Scripture) in connection with th^ ark, as though 
to teach us that a shelter from God's wrath can be found 
only beneath the atoning blood ! Again we notice that the 
storm fell upon the ark which provided shelter for Noah 
and those that were with him. So, too, the clouds of Divine 
judgment burst upon our adorable Redeemer as He suf- 
fered in our stead: *'A11 Thy waves and thy biUows are 
gone over Me" (Ps. 42:7) was His cry; and may not His 
words here be language pointing back to the very type we 
are now consideringí 

12. As others have pointed out, the typical teaching of 
the ark reaches beyond the truth of atonement to resurrec- 
tion itself. We quote here from the writings of the late 
Mr. WiUiam Lincoln: ''There seems no reason to doubt 
that the day the ark rested on the mountain of Ararat is 
identical with the day on which the Lord rose from the 
dead. It rested **on the seventeenth day of the seventh 
month." But by the commandment of the Lord, given at 
the time of the institution of the feast of the Passover, the 
seventh month was changed into the first month. Then 
three days after the Passover, which was on the fourteenth 
day of the month, the Lord, having passed quite through 
the waters of judgment, stood in resurrection in the midst 



The Typology of the Ark 109 

of His disciples, saying, '^Peace be unto you/^ They, as 
well as Himself , had reached the haven of e verlasting rest. ' ' 
But not only does our type prefigure our Lord's resurrec-* 
tion f rom the dead, it also suggests the truth of His ascen- 
siony f or we read * * And the ark rested in the seventh month, 
on the seventeenth day of the month upon the mountains of 
Ararat^* (Gen. 8:4). The final resting place of the ark 
was upon the mountain top, speaking of the place **on 
high ' ' where our Saviour is now seated at the right hand of 
God. 

We lay our pen down with a strengthened conviction that 
the Holy Scriptures are no mere **cunningly devised 
fables, ' ' but that they are indeed the inspired Word of the 
living God. 



14. GOD'S COVENANT WITH NOAH 

Genesis 8 

The covenants referred to therein constitute one of the 
principal keys to the interpretation of the Old Testament, 
denoting, as they do, the dividing lines between the diífer- 
ent Dispensations, and indicating the several changes of 
procedure in God's dealings with the earth. At various 
times God condescended to enter into a compact with man, 
and failure to observe the terms and scope of these com- 
pacts necessarily leads to the utmost confusion. The Word 
of truth can only be rightly divided as due attention is paid 
to the different covenants recorded therein. The covenants 
varied in their requirements, in their scope, in their prom- 
ises and in the seals or signs connected with them. The in- 
spired history growing out of the covenants furnishes a 
signal demonstration of God's faithfulness and of man's 
faithlessness and failure. 

There are exactly seven covenants made by God referred 
to in Scripture, neither more nor less. First, the Adamic 
which concerned man's continued enjoyment of Eden on 
the condition that he ref rained f rom eating the fruit of the 
forbidden tree. But Adam failed to keep his part of the 
agreement, see Hosea 6:7 margin. Second, the Noahic 
which concerned the earth and its seasons, see Genesis 9. 
Third, the Ahrahamic which concerned Israel's occupancy 
of Palestine, see Genesis 15 : 18, etc. Fourth, the Mosaic 
which concerned Israel's continued enjoyment of God's 
favors, conditioned by their obedience to His law, see Ex- 
odus 24 : 7, 8 ; 34 : 27. Fif th, the Levitic which concerned 
the priesthood, promising that it should remain in this 
tribe, see Numbers 25 : 12, 13 ; Malachi 2:4, 5 ; Ezekiel 
44 : 15, which proves God 's f aithf ulness in respect to this 
covenant in the MiUennium. Sixth, the Davidic which con- 
cerns the Kingdom and particularly the throne, see 2 Sam- 
uel 23 : 5 ; 2 Chronicles 13 : 5. Seventh, the Messianic or 
New Covenant which concerns the MiUennium, see Isaiah 
42 : 6 ; Jeremiah 31 : 31-34. Much might be written con- 
cerning these different covenants, but we limit ourselves to 
the second, the Noahic. We wish to say, however, that a 
careful study of the above references wiU richly repay 
every diligent and prayerful reader. 



110 



God's Covenant tvith Noah 111 

1. Coming now to the second of these great eovenants let 
us notice the occasion of it. It was as it were the beginning 
of a new world. There was to be a fresh start. With the 
exception of those who found shelter in the ark, the flood 
had completely destroyed both the human family and the 
lower orders of creation. On to the destruction-swept earth 
came Noah and his family. Noah's first act was to build, 
not a house f or himself , but an altar * * unto the Lord, ' ' on 
which he presented bumt offerings. These were, unto the 
Lord, a *'sweet savor,*' and after declaring that He would 
not curse the ground any more for man's sake, and after 
promising that while the earth remained its seasons should 
not cease, we are told *'God blessed Noah and his sons" 
(9:1). This is the first time that we read of God blessing 
any since He had blessed unfallen man in Eden (Gen. 
1:28). The hasis of this **blessing" was the burnt offer- 
ings; the design of it to show that the same Divine favor 
that was extended to Adam and Bve should now rest upon 
the new progenitors of the human race. 

Here then we have the second '^beginning" of Genesis, a 
beginning which, in several respects, resembled the first, 
particularly in the command to be fruitful and multiply, 
and in the subjection of the irrational creature to man's 
dominion. But there is one difference here which it is im- 
portant to notice : all now rests upon a covenant of grace 
hased upon shed hlood. Man had forfeited the ^'blessing** 
of God and his position as lord of creation, but grace re- 
stores and reinstates him. God makes a covenant with 
Noah which in its scope included the beasts of the field 
(9:2) who are made to be at peace with him and subject 
to his authority ; and which in its duration would last while 
the earth remained. Let us now note : 

2. The source of this covenant. At least two of the 
seven covenants referred to above (the first and the fourth) 
were mutual agreements between God and man, but in the 
one now before us, God Himself was the initiator and sole 
compacter. The whole passage emphasizes the fact that it 
was a covenant of God with Noah, and not of Noah with 
God. God was the giver, man the receiver. Note — ^^'I wiU 
establish My covenant with you'* (v. 11); ''This is the 
token of the covenant which / make** (v. 12) ; **And I 
wiU remember My covenant^' (v. 15). That this was God's 
covenant with Noah, and that man had no part in the mak- 



112 Gleanings in Genesis 

ing or keeping of it is f urther seen f rom the f oUowing lan- 
guage : * ' I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be f or 
a token of a covenant between Me and the earth" (v. 13), 
and, **I will remember My covenant, which is between Me 
and you and every living creature of all flesh'' (v. 15). 

It is further to be noted that God said to Noah *'with 
thee will I establish My covenant" (Gen. 6: 18). The ben- 
efits of it have been enjoyed by Noah's posterity, yet the 
covenant was not made with them. Favor has been shown 
to his descendants for Noah's sake. Similarly, God made 
a covenant with Abraham in which He promised to bless 
his offspring. Thus, at this early period in human history 
God was revealing the great principle by which redemption 
should afterwards be effected by His Son, namely, that of 
representation, the one acting for the many, the many re- 
ceiving blessing through the one. 

3. The hasis of this covenant is seen in the closing verses 
of Genesis 8. The chapter division here is most unfortu- 
nate. Genesis 8 ought to terminate with the nineteenth 
verse, the remaining three forming the proper commence- 
ment of the ninth chapter. '*And Noah builded an altar 
unto the Lord ; and took of every clean beast, and of every 
dean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar" (Gen. 
8 : 20 ) — ^the next two verses, and the whole of chapter nine 
down to the seventeenth verse, contain Jehovah's response 
to Noah's offering. It is in these verses we learn God's 
answer to the '^sweet savor" that ascended from the altar. 
This covenant, then, was based upon sacrifice, and being 
made by God with Noah, and not by Noah with God, is 
therefore unconditionable and inviolable. How blessed to 
learn from this type that every temporal blessing which the 
earth enjoys as well as every spiritual blessing which is the 
portion of the saints, accrues to us f rom the Sacrifice of the 
Lord Jesus Christ of whom Noah 's burnt off erings spok^. 

4. The contents of this covenant call for careful consid- 
eration. A part of these has already engaged our atten- 
tion. ''While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, 
and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and 
night, shall not cease" (8: 20) ; '^And I wiU establish My 
covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any 
more by the waters of a flood ; neither shall there any more 
be a flood to destroy the earth" (9:11). These promises 
were given more than four thousand years ago, and the 



God's Covenant with Noah 113 

unfailing annual fulfilment of them all through the cen- 
turies forms a striking demonstration of the faithfulness 
of God. The terms of this eovenant refer us to that which 
is almost universally lost sight of in these days, namely, the 
fact that behind Nature's *4aws'' is Nature's Lord. Men 
now seek to shut God out of His own creation. We hear so 
much of the science of f arming and the laws of diet that our 
daily bread and the health of the body are regarded as 
something that man produces and controls. Our daily 
bread is a gift, f or without the recurring seasóns and God 's 
**renewal of the face of the earth" (Ps. 104: 30) man could 
produce no grain at all, and the recurring of the seasons 
and the renewal of the earth are the fulfilment of the cove- 
nant that God made with Noah. A casual observation of 
Nature 's ' ' laws ' ' reveals the f act that they are not unif orm 
in their operation, hence if a Divine Revelation be elim- 
inated man possesses no guarantee that the seasons may not 
radically change or that the earth shall not be destroyed 
again by a flood. Nature's **Iaws" did not prevent the Del- 
uge in Noah's day, why should they prevent a recurrence 
of it in ours? How blessed for the child of God to turn to 
the inerrant Word and hear his Father say, '^And I wiU 
establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be 
cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall 
there any more be a flood to destroy the earth ! ' ' 

5. The design of the covenant is hinted at in the scrip- 
ture just quoted. The timeliness and blessedness of such a 
revelation are apparent. Such an awful catastrophe as the 
Flood would shake violently the confidence of men in the 
established order of Nature, and distressing apprehensions 
were likely to obsess their minds for generations to come. 
They would be filled with terror as they f eared a repetition 
of it. It was therefore a merciful act on the part of God 
to set their minds at rest and assure His creatures that He 
would no more destroy the earth with a flood. It was a 
wondrous display of His grace, for man had fully shown 
that he was utterly unworthy of the least of heaven's 
mercies, yet, despite the f act that ' * the imagination of man 's 
heart is evil from his youth," the Lord said in His heart, 
'^Neither will I again smite any more every thing living, 
as I have done" (8: 21). It was also an affirmation of His 
Creatorship — the varying seasons, the planets that rule 
them, the influences of climatic conditions, were all beneath 



114 Gleanings in Genesis 

the control of Him who upholds * ' all things by the word of 
Hispower" (Heb. 1:3). 

6. The requirements of the covenant are of deep interest. 
Though the word itseif does not occur tiU the eleventh verse 
of the ninth chapter, a caref ul study of the context makes 
it dear that the covenant itself is expressed in 8 : 22, and 
that f rom there on the * * covenant ' ' is the one theme of the 
entire passage. Three things are included among the Di- 
vine requirements : first, blood must not be eaten ; second, 
the principle of retributive judgment is clearly enunciated 
for the first time, capital punishment as the penalty of 
murder being now commanded; the human race was to 
multiply and people the earth which had been depopulated 
by the flood. Let us take a brief look at each of these 
things. 

**But fiesh with the life thereof, which is the blood 
thereof, shall ye not eaf (9:4). This is the second passage 
in Scripture in which the word blood occurs. Here, as 
everywhere in the Word, the earliest references forecast in 
outline all that is subsequently said upon the subject. The 
first seven passages in which the word blood is found con- 
tain a complete summary of the teaching of God's Word 
upon this fundamental theme. (1) Genesis 4: 10, 11, gives 
us the first mention of blood, and here we leam that the 
blood cries unto God. (2) Genesis 9 : 4-6, here we learn that 
the blood is the life, and that blood must be held sacred. 
(3) Genesis 37: 22, 26, 31, Joseph's coat is dipped in blood 
and is brought to Jacob : here we learn, in type, that the 
blood of the 8on is presented to the Father. (4) Genesis 
42 : 22, here we learn that blood is required at the hand of 
those who shed it. (5) Genesis 49: 11, here, in poetic and 
prophetic language, Judah's clothes are said to be washed 
in the blood of grapes." (6) Exodus 4:9, the waters of 
the Nile are turned into blood, teaching us that blood is the 
symbol and expression of God's judgment upon sin. (7) 
Exodus 12 : 13, the blood provides a covering and shelter 
for Israel from the avenging angel. We say again, that in 
these passages which are the first seven in the Scriptures in 
which blood is referred to, we discover a marvellously com- 
plete summary of all that is subsequently said about the 
precious blood. It is deeply significant, then, that in the 
first requirement in this covenant, which God made with 
Noah, man should be taught to regard the blood as sacreá. 



God's Covenant with Noah 115 

We tum now to the second of God's requirements men- 
tioned here in connection with His covenant with Noah — 
'*Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be 
shed : for in the image of God made He man ' ' (9:6). Here 
we have instituted the principle of all human government. 
The sword of magisterial authority is, for the first time, 
committed into the hands of man. Before the flood, there 
does not seem to have been any recognized form of human 
govemment designed for the suppression of crime and the 
punishment of evil doers. Cain murdered his brother, but 
his own lif e was spared. Lamech also slew a man, but there 
is no hint that he had to def end himself bef ore any tribunal 
that had been ordained by God. But now, af ter the flood, 
capital punishment as the penalty of murder is ordained, 
ordained by God Himself, ordained centuries before the 
giving of the Mosaic law, and therefore, universally bind- 
ing until the end of time. It is important to observe that 
the reason f or this law is not here based upon the well-being 
of man, but is grounded upon the basic fact that man is 
made **in the image of God.'* This expression has at least 
a twofold significance — ^a natural and a moral. The moral 
image of God in man was lost at the Fall, but the natural 
has been preserved as is clear from 1 Corinthians 11:7, 
and James 3:9. It is primarily because man is made in the 
image of God that it is sinf ul to slay him. ' * To def ace the 
King's image is a sort of treason among men, implying a 
hatred against him, and that if he himself were within 
reach, he would be served in the same manner. How much 
more treasonable, then, must it be to destroy, curse, oppress, 
or in any way abuse the image of the King of kings!'' 
(Andrew Fuller's Exposition of Genesis). As we have 
said above, God's words to Noah give us the institution of 
human govemment in the earth. The sword of magisterial 
authority has been given into the hands of man by God 
Himself, hence it is we read, **Let every soul be subject 
unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God : 
the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever there- 
fore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of Qod'* 
(Rom. 13:1, 2). 

We tum now to the third of God's requirements — ^'^And 
you, be ye f raitf ul, and multiply ; bring f orth abundantly 
in the earth, and multiply therein'' (9:7). This was the re- 
newal of God's word to Adam (1: 28). The human family 



116 Gleanings in Genesis 

was starting out af resh. There was a new beginníng. Noah 
stood, like Adam stood, as the head of the human race. The 
need f or this word was obvious. The earth had been depop- 
ulated. The human family had been reduced to eight 
souls* (1 Pet. 3:20). If then the purpose of man's crea- 
tion was to be realized, if the earth was to be replenished 
and subdued, then must man be **fruitful and multiply.'* 
* * And the f ear of you and the dread of y ou shall be upon 
every beast of the earth and upon every fowl of the air, 
upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes 
of the sea; into your hand are they delivered'' (9:2) is 
further proof that Noah stood as the new head of the race, 
the lower orders of creation being delivered into his hands 
as they had been into the hands of Adam. 

7. **And God said, This is the token of the covenant 
which I make between Me and you, and every living crea- 
ture that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set 
My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a cove- 
nant between Me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, 
when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be 
seen in the cloud ; . . . . and I will look upon it, that I may 
remember the everlasting covenant between God and every 
living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth'' (9: 12- 
16). These verses bring before us the token of the cove- 
nant. In the giving of the rainbow God ratified the prom- 
ise which He had made. The bow in the cloud was not 
only to assure man that no more would the earth be de- 
stroyed by a flood, but it was also the memorial of the new 
relationship which God had entered into with His creatures. 
^'His eye," and not man's only, is upon the bow, and thus 
He gives them fellowship with Himself in that which speaks 
of peace in the midst of trouble, of light in the place of 
darkness ; and what this bow speaks of it is ours to realize, 
who have the reality of which all figures speak. 

'* 'God is light,' and that which doth make manifest is 
lighf Science has told us that the colors whlch every- 
where clothe the face of nature are but the manifold beauty 
of the light itself. The pure ray ^hich to us is colorless is 
but the harmonious blending of all possible colors. The 
primary one — a trinity in unity — from which all others are 

•It is something more than a coincidence that the word "covenant" is 
found in this conncction just eight times, see Genesis 6 : 18 ; 9 : 9, 11, 12, 
13, 15, 16, 17 — eight being the numeral that signifies o new beginning, 
B8 the eighth day is the first of a new weelc. 



God's Covenant with Noah 117 

produced, are blue, red, and yellow ; and the actual color of 
any object is the result of its capacity to absorb the rest. 
If it absorb the red and yellow rays, the thing is blue ; if 
the blue and yellow, it is red ; if the red only, it is green ; 
and so on. Thus the light paints all nature ; and its beauty 
(which in the individual ray, we have not eyes for) comes 
out in partial displays wherein it is broken up for us and 
made perceptible. 

'' 'God is light'; He is Father of lights.'' The glory, 
which in its unbroken unity is beyond what we have sight 
for, He reveals to us as distinct attributes in partial dis- 
plays which we are more able to take in, and with these He 
clothes in some way all the works of His hands. The jewels 
on the High Priest's breastplate — ^the many-colored gems 
whereon the names of His people were engraved were thus 
the ' * Urim and Thummim ' ' — the * * Lights and Perf ections, ' ' 
typically, of God Himself ; for His people are identified 
with the display of those perfections, those '*lights,'' in 
Him more unchangeable than the typical gems. 

* * In the rainbow the whole array of these lights manif ests 
itself , the solar rays reflecting themselves in the storm ; the 
interpretation of which is simple. **When I bring a cloud 
over the earth," says the Lord, '*the bow shall be seen in 
the cloud ; and I (not merely you) wiU look upon it. ' ' How 
blessed to know that the cloud that comes over our sky is of 
His bringing ! and if so, how sure that some way He wiU 
reveal His glory in it ! But that is not all, nor the half ; 
for surely but once has been the fuU display of the whole 
prism of glory, and that in the blackest storm of judgment 
that ever was; and it is this in the cross of His Son that 
God above all looks upon and that He remembers" (F. W. 
Grant). 

In the rainbow we have more than a hint of grace. As 
some one has said, **The bow is directed towards heaven, 
and arrow to it there is none, as if it had already been 
discharged." There are many parallels between the rain- 
bow and God's grace. As the rainbow is the joint product 
of storm and sunshine, so grace is the unmerited favor of 
God appearing on the dark background of the creature's 
sin. As the rainbow is the eífect of the sun shining on the 
drops of rain in a raincloud, so Divine grace is manifested 
by God 's love shining through the blood shed by our blessed 
Redeemer. As the rainbow is the telling out of the varied 



118 Gleanings in Genesis 

hues of the white light, so the ^'manifold grace of God'' 
1 Pet. 4: 10) is the ultimate expression of God's heart. As 
Nature knows nothing more exquisitely beautiful than the 
rainbow, so heaven itself knows nothing that equals in love- 
liness the wonderful grace of our God. As the rainbow is 
the union of heaven and earth — ^spanning the sky and reach- 
ing down to the ground — so grace in the one Mediator has 
brought together God and men. As the rainbow is a public 
sign of God hung out in the heavens that all may see it, so 
* * the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to 
all men'' (Titus 2: 11). Finally, as the rainbow has been 
displayed throughout all the past forty centuries, so in the 
ages to come God wiU shew forth **the exceeding riches of 
His grace, in His kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus'' 
(Eph. 2:7). 



15. NOAH'S FALL AND NOAH'S 

PROPHECY 

Genesis 9 

In our last article we inquired into God's Covenant with 
Noah — its basis, its contents, its requirements, etc. We 
saw, in the emerging out of the ark that from Noah and his 
sons the human f amily started out afresh. The new begin- 
ning promised well. God entered into a covenant with 
Noah, declaring that the earth should not again be de- 
stroyed by a flood — thus did the Lord set the heart of His 
creatures at rest. Then, we learned that * * God hlessed Noah 
and his sons ' ' ; that He caused the f ear and dread of man 
to fall upon every beast of the field, and **delivered'' all 
the lower orders of creation into his hands. Further, we 
discovered that man was now vested with the sword of 
magisterial authority, the principle of human govemment 
being ordained and instituted by God Himself . 

After such a merciful deliverance from the deluge, after 
witnessing such a solemn demonstration of God's holy 
wrath against sin, and after being started out with full 
provision and Divine assurance, one would have supposed 
that the human race, ever after, would adhere to the path 
of righteousness — ^but, alas ! The very next thing we read 
is that * * Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a 
vineyard : and he drank of the wine and was drunken, and 
he was uncovered within his tenV^ (Gen. 9 : 20, 21). Schol- 
ars tell us that the Hebrew word here for ' * uncovered ' ' 
clearly indicates a deliberate act and not a mere uncon- 
scious effect of drunkenness. The sins of intemperance and 
impurity are twin sisters! No wonder the Psalmist was 
constrained to cry, *'What is man that thou art mindful of 
him?" What a contrast there is between this section of 
Genesis and the last that we considered ! Who would have 
imagined such a tragic sequel ? How evident it is that truth 
is stranger than fiction. 

Genesis 9 brings before us the inauguration of a new he- 
ginning and as we study and ponder what is recorded 
herein our minds revert to the first * * beginning ' ' of the 
human race, and careful comparison of the two reveals the 
f act that there is a most extraordinary resemblance in the 



119 



120 Gleanings in Genesis 

history of Noah with that of Adam. We would here call 
attention to a tenfold correspondence or likeness. Adam 
was placed npon an earth which came up out of the * * deep 
and which had previously been dealt with by God in judg- 
ment'' (Gen. 1:12); so, also, Noah came forth onto an 
earth which had just emerged from the waters of the great 
Deluge sent as a Divine judgment upon sin. Adam was 
made lord of creation (Gen. 1:28) and into the hands of 
Noah God also delivered all things (Gen. 9:2). Adam was 
''blessed'' by God and told to **be fruitful and multiply 
and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1 : 28), and, in like manner, 
Noah was ''blessed'' and told to **be fruitful and multiply 
and replenish the earth'' (Gen. 9:1). Adam was placed by 
God in a garden to *'dress and to keep if (Gen. 2 : 15), and 
Noah '*began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vine- 
yard'' (Gen. 9 : 20). In this garden Adam transgressed and 
fell, and the product of the vineyard was the occasion of 
Noah's sin and fall. The sin of Adam resulted in the ex- 
posure of his nakedness (Gen. 3:7), and so, too, we read 
**And he (Noah) was uncovered within his tent'* (Gen. 9: 
21). Adam's nakedness was covered by another (Gen. 
3: 21) ; thus also was it with Noah (Gen. 9: 23). Adam's 
sin brought a terrible curse upon his posterity (Rom. 5 : 12), 
and so did Noah's too (Gen. 24: 24, 25). Adam had three 
sons — Cain, Abel and Seth, the last of which was the one 
through whom the promised Seed came ; and here again the 
analogy holds good, f or Noah also had three sons — Japheth, 
Ham and Shem, the last mentioned being the one from 
whom descended the Messiah and Saviour. Almost imme- 
diately after Adam's fall a wonderful prophecy was given 
containing in outline the history of redemption (Gen. 3: 
15) ; and almost immediately after Noah's fall, a remark- 
able prophecy was uttered containing in outline the history 
of the great races of the earth. Thus does history repeat 
itself. 

Noah **planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine 
and was drunken, and he was uncovered within his tent'' 
(Gen. 9:21). As we read these words we are reminded 
of the Holy Spirit's comment upon the Old Testament 
Scriptures — **For whatsoever things were written afore- 
time were written for our leaming'' (Rom. 15:4). What 
then are we to **leam'' from this narration of Noah's sad 
fall 



Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 121 

First, we discover a striking proof of the Divine inspira- 
tion of the scriptures. In the Bible human nature is 
painted in its true colors : the characters of its heroes are 
faithfully depicted, the sins oí its most prominent person- 
ages are frankly recorded. It is human to err, but it is 
also human to conceal the blemishes of those we admire. 
Had the Bible been a human production, had it been written 
by uninspired historians, the defects of its leading char- 
acters would have been ignored, or if recorded at all, an 
attempt at extenuation would have been made. Had some 
human admirer chronicled the history of Noah, his awful 
f all would have been omitted. The f act that it is recorded 
and that no effort is made to excuse his sin, is evidence that 
the characters of the Bible are painted in the colors of truth 
and nature, that such characters were not sketched by 
human pens, that Moses and the other historians must have 
written by Divine inspiration. 

Second, we learn from Noah's fall that man at his best 
estate is altogether vanity, in other words, we see the utter 
and total depravity of human nature. Genesis 9 deals with 
the beginning of a new dispensation, and like those which 
preceded it and those which foUowed it, this also opened 
with failure. Whatever the test may be, man is unable to 
stand. Placed in an environment which the besom of de- 
struction had swept clean ; a solemn warning of the judg- 
ment of heaven upon evil-doers only recently spread before 
him ; the blessing of God pronounced upon him, the sword 
of magisterial authority placed in his hand, Noah, never- 
theless, fails to govern himself and falls into open wicked- 
ness. Leam then that man is essentially ^^evil'' (Matt. 
7: 11) and that naught avails but **a new creatinn'' (Gal. 
6:15). 

Third, we learn from Noah's fall the danger of using 
wine and the awful evils that attend intemperance. It is 
surely significant and designed as a solemn warning that 
the first time wine is referred to in the Scriptures it is 
found associated with drunkenness, shame and a curse. 
Solemn are the denunciations of the Word upon drunken- 
ness, a sin which, despite all the efforts of temperance 
reformers, is, taking the world as a whole, still on the 
increase. Drunkenness is a sin against Ood, for it is the 
ábusing of His mercies; it is a sin against our neighhors, 
for it deprives those who are in want of their necessary 



122 Gleanings in Genesis 

fiupplies and sets bef ore them an evil example ; it is a sin 
against ourself, for it robs of usefubiesSy self-government 
and eommon decency. Moreover, drunkenness commonly 
leads to other evils. It did in Noah 's case ; Noah 's sin gave 
occasion for his son to sin. 

Fourth, in Noah 's sin we leam our need of watchf ulness 
and prayer. A believer is never immune f rom falling. 
The evil nature is stiU within us and nothing but constant 
dependency upon God can enable us to withstand the solici- 
tations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. **Let him 
that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he f all ' Ms a word 
that every saint needs daily to take to heart. Neither age 
nor character is any security in the hour of testing. Here 
was a man who had withstood the temptations of an evil 
world for six hundred years, yet nevertheless, he now suc- 
cumbs to the lusts of the flesh. And this is one of the things 
which is written for ^^our admonition^^ (1 Cor. 10:11). 
Then let us not sit in judgment upon Noah with pharisaical 
complacency, rather let us ^'consider ourselves, lest we 
also be tempted'' (Gal. 6:1). No experience of God's 
mercies in the past can deliver us from exposure to new 
temptations in the future. 

Finally, Noah's fall utters a solemn waming to every 
servant oí God. It is deeply significant that f oUowing this 
prophecy, recorded in the closing verses of Genesis 9, 
nothing whatever save his death is recorded about Noah 
after his terrible f all. The last three hundred years of his 
life are a blank! **But I keep under my body, and bring 
it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have 
preached to others, I myself should be a castaway'* (1 
Cor. 9:27). 

Having dwelt at some length upon Noah's fall and the 
lessons it is designed to teach us, we turn now to examine 
the prophecy which he uttered immediately after. Three 
things wiU engage our attention: the occasion of this 
prophecy, the meaning of this prophecy, and the f ulfilment 
of it. 

1. The occasion of Noah's prophecy. The setting of it 
is a remarkable one. The terrible fall of the iUustrious 
patriarch and the wonderful prediction he uttered concern- 
ing the future history of the three great divisions of the 
human family are placed in juxtaposition. The fact that 
the Holy Spirit has thus joined these two together is a 



Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 123 

Striking iUustration of the truth that 6od*s ways are dif- 
ferent from ours. The devout student of the Word has 
learnt that not only are the very words of Scripture in- 
spired of God, but that their arrangement and order also 
evidence a wisdom that transcends the human. What then 
are we to leam from this linking together of Noah's fall 
and Noah's prophecy? 

In seeking an answer to our last question we need to 
observe the scope of the prophecy itself. Noah's prediction 
contains an outline sketch of the history of the nations of 
the world. The great races of the earth are here seen in 
their embryonic condition: they are traced to their com- 
mon source, through Shem, Ham and Japheth, back to 
Noah. The nature of the stream is determined by the 
character of the fountain — a bitter fountain cannot send 
forth sweet waters. The type of fruit is governed by the 
order of the tree — a corrupt tree cannot produce wholesome 
fruit. Noah is the fountain, and what sort of a stream 
could flow f rom stich a f ountain ! Read again the sad recital 
of Noah's fall and of Ham's wickedness and then ask, what 
must be the fruit which springs from such a tree, what 
must be the harvest that is reaped from such a sowingt 
What wiU be the history of the races that spring from 
Noah 's three sons í What can it be t A history that hegan 
by Noah abusing God 's mercies ; a history that commenced 
with the head of the new race f ailing, completely, to govern 
himself ; a history that started with Ham's shameful im- 
propriety can have only one course and end. It began with 
human f ailure, it has continued thus, and it will end thus. 
Here then is the answer to our question : Why is Noah 's 
prophecy, which sketches the history of the three great races 
of mankind, linked to Noah's fallí The two are joined 
together as cause and effect, as premise and conclusion, 
as sowing and harvest! 

It was written of old that **the wisdom of this world is 
foolishness with God." A striking iUustration of this is 
discovered today in the wicked writings of the self-termed 
**Higher Critics." These blind leaders of the blind aim 
to degrade God's Word to the level of human productions 
and in this remarkable prophecy of Noah regarding his 
sons they see nothing more than a hasty ejaculation caused 
by the knowledge of his humiliation and expressed in this 
wrse and blessing. That these words of Noah were not 



124 Gleanings in Genesis 

uttered to gratify any feeling of resentment, but were 
spoken under a Divine impulse is proven by the f ulíilment 
of the prophecy itself. A very superficial acquaintance 
with the f acts of ancient history wiU evidence the f act that 
there is far more in Noah's words than a local expression 
of indignation and gratitude. A careful comparison of 
other scriptures shows that this utterance of Noah was a 
prophecy and its remarkable fulfilment demonstrates that 
it was a Divine revelation. 

^^And he said, Cursed he Canaan; a servant of servants 
shall he he unto his hrethren. 

^^And he said, Blessed he the Lord Ood of Shem; and 
Canaan shall he his servant. 

^^God sháll enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the 
tents of Shem; and Caanan shall he his servant^* (Oen. 
9:25-27). 

2. Let us consider now the meaning of Noah's prophecy. 
This utterance consists of two parts : a malediction and a 
benediction. Noah's prediction concerning his sons cor- 
responds with their conduct on the occasion of their father's 
drunkenness. Fearful had been the fall of Noah, but it 
was a stiU greater sin f or Ham, on discovering the sad con- 
dition of his parent, to go out and report with malignant 
pleasure to his brethren. It is * * f ools ' ' who ' * make a mock 
of sin" (Prov. 14: 9). For a child to expose and sneer at 
his parent's fall was wickedness of the worst kind, and 
evidenced a heart thoroughly depraved. 

In the curse passed upon Canaan we find an exceedingly 
solemn instance of the sins of the f athers being visited upon 
the children. In this day of human pride and scepticism, 
when everything is questioned and challenged, men have 
dared to criticise the ethics of this hereditary law. It has 
been termed unmerciful and unjust. The humble believer 
does not attempt to pry into things which are too deep for 
him, it is enough for him that the thrice holy God has 
instituted this law and theref ore he knows it is a righteous 
one whether he can see the justice of it or no. 

Ham's sin consisted of an utter failure to honor his fa- 
ther. He was lacking, altogether, in filial love. Had he 
really cared for his father at all he would have acted as 
his brothers did ; but instead, he manifested a total disre- 
spect for and subjection unto his parent. And mark the 
fearful consequence: he reaped exactly as he had sown — 



Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 125 

Ham sinned as a son and was punished in his sonl The 
punishment meted out to Ham was that his son shall be 
brought into subjection to others, his deseendants shall be 
compelled to honor, yea, **serve" others — '*servant of serv- 
ants" (verse 25) implies the lowest drudgery, slavery. 

It is to be noted that the *'curse" uttered by Noah did 
not fall directly on Ham but upon one of his sons, the 
fourth — * * Canaan" (Gen. 10 : 6) . As we shall seek to show, 
this curse was not confined to Canaan but embraced all 
the descendants of Ham. It is highly probable that 
* * Canaan ' ' was specifically singled out f rom the rest of his 
brethren as a special encoiiragement to the Israelites who, 
centuries later, were to go up and occupy the Promised 
land. Moses would thus be taught by the Holy Spirit that 
a special curse rested upon the then occupants of the land, 
í. e., the Canaanites. Yet, as we have said, all of Ham's 
children appear to have been included within the scope of 
this malediction as is evident f rom the fact that no blessing 
at all was pronounced upon Ham as was the case with each 
of his brothers. 

**Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall 
be his servant" (verse 26). The reward of Shem was in 
the sphere of religious privileges. The Divine title em- 
ployed here supplies the key. In the foUowing verse we 
read, ^^God shall enlarge Japheth," but here ^'Blessed be 
the Lord God of Shem," this being the title expressive of 
covenant relationship. God was to enter into covenant 
relationship with the children of Shem. The realization 
that Jehovah was to be the God of Shem caused Noah to 
break forth into thanksgiving — ^^Blessed be the Lord God 
of Shem.'' 

''God shall enlarge Japheth'' (verse 27). The word 
Japheth means * * enlargement " so that here there was a 
play upon words. **And he shall dwell in the tents of 
Shem." This expression is somewhat ambiguous, the ob- 
scurity being occasioned by the difficulty to ascertain the 
antecedent. Scholars and students have differed as to 
whether the * ' he " ref ers to God or to Japheth dwelling in 
the tents of Shem. Personally, we incline toward the latter 
alternative, though we believe that each of them has been 
verified in subsequent history. May it not be that the Holy 
Spirit has designedly left it uncertain, to show that both 
interpretations are true í Sure it is that God did dwell in 



126 Gleanings in Genesis 

the tents of Shem, and equally sure is it that the descend- 
ants of Japheth are now doing so. 

3. The fulfillment of Noah's prophecy. The wonderful 
prediction uttered by the builder of the Ark gives in a f ew 
brief sentences the history of the new world, and shows the 
positions that were delegated by God to the three great divi- 
sions of the human f amily. In the closing verses of Genesis 
9 we have a remarkable unfolding of the future destinies 
of the new humanity. The various parts which are to be 
played in human history by its leading characters are now 
made known. The subjection of one, the religious pre- 
ëminence of the second, and the enlarging of the third head 
of the postdiluvian race, is here revealed. 

**Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be 
unto his brethren" (verse 25). Above, we intimated that 
as no blessing at all was pronounced upon Ham as was 
the case with each of his brothers, it would seem that the 
curse was not intended to be limited to Canaan (there being 
a particular reason why Canaan should be thus singled out, 
namely, as an encouragement to the Israelites,) but included 
all of his children. By tracing the history of Ham's other 
sons it becomes evident that the scope of Noah's prophecy 
reached beyond Canaan. Nimrod sprang f rom Ham through 
Cush (Gen. 10: 6-8), and he founded the city and empire 
Babylon. Mizraim was another of Ham's children and he 
was the father of the Egyptians (Gen. 10:6 and Ps. 78: 
51). For a time Babylon and Egypt waxed great, but sub- 
sequently both of them were reduced to subjection, first by 
the Persians who descended from Shem, and later by the 
Greeks and Komans who were the children of Japheth. 
And f rom these early subjugations they have never recov- 
ered themselves. The whole of Af rica was peopled by the 
descendants of Ham, and for many centuries the greater 
part of that continent lay under the dominion of the 
Romans, Saracens, and Turks. And, as is well known, the 
negroes who were for so long the slaves of Europeans and 
Americans, also claim Ham as their progenitor. 

''Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall 
be his servanf (verse 26). Two things are promised here: 
Jehovah was to be the God of Shem and Canaan was to be 
his servant. Shem was **the father of all the children of 
Eber," that is, the Hebrews (G«n. 10:21). Thus, in the 
Hebrews, the knowledge and worship of God was preserved 



Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 127 

in the f amily of Shem. The f ulfillment of this part of the 
propheey is well known to our readers. God was in a 
peculiar sense the God of the Hebrews — ^ * And I will dwell 
among the ehildren of Israel, and wiU be their Ood^^ (Ex. 
29: 45). And again, *'Tou only have I known of all the 
families of the earth'' (Amos 3:2). 

''And Canaan shall be his (Shem's) servanf This 
received its first fulfillment in the days of Joshua — ^**And 
Joshua made them (the Gibeonites) hewers of wood and 
drawers of water for the congregation ' ' ( Josh. 9 : 27). The 
foUowing scriptures set forth its further accomplishment : 
**And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they 
put the Canaanites to trihute^^ (Judges 1:28). *'And all 
the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Periz- 
zites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children 
of Israel, their children that were left after them in the 
land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly 
to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of hond 
service unto this day'' (1 Kings 9: 20, 21). 

'*God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the 
tents of Shem'^ (verse 27). Two things were also predicted 
of Japheth : fiirst, he should be enlarged ; second, he should 
dwell in the tents of Shem or, in other words, should receive 
blessing from Shem. The accomplishment of this predic- 
tion is witnessed to by history both sacred and secular. 
Those nations whieh have been most enlarged by God have 
descended f rom Japheth. The Greeks and the Komans who 
in their time dominated practically all of the then known 
world ; and more recently the European Powers who have 
entered into the rich possessions of Asia (inhabited by the 
children of Shem) ; and, to-day, the Anglo-Saxon race, 
which occupies more territory than any other people, are 
all the descendants of Noah's firstborn! In Genesis 10, 
where a list of Japheth 's sons is f ound, we read, ' * By these 
were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands. ' ' 

**And he shall dwell in the tents of Shem'' intimates 
that Japheth was to be Shem 's guest, that he should share 
the rest and shelter of Shem's tabernacles. How remark- 
ably has this prophecy been fulfiUed spiritually! *'The 
revelation which we prize is that of the God of Israel; the 
Saviour in whom we trust is the seed of Ahraham; the 
Old Testament was written principally f or Israel ; and the 
New Testament though written in a Japhetic tongue, and, 



128 Gleanings in Genesis 

therefore for us, was penned by Jewish fingers^^ (Urqu- 
hart). To this may be added the words of our Lord, 
**Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4: 22) ; and that remark- 
able statement of the Apostle Paul's in Bomans 11 where, 
writing of the Gentiles, he says, *'And thou, being a wild 
olive tree, wert grafted in among them (Israel), and with 
them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree" 
(verse 17). Thus do we see Japheth **dwelling in the tents 
of Shem.'' 

Who but He who knows the end f rom the beginning could 
have outlined the whole course of the three great divisions 
of the postdiluvian race so tersely and so accurately! 



16. NIMROD AND THE TOWER 

OF BABEL 

Genesis 10, 11 

In Gtenesis 10 and 11 we have the historical links which 
connect f or ns the time of Noah with the days of Abraham. 
Uninteresting as they may appear to the casual reader they 
f urnish most valuable inf ormation to the prayerf ul student. 
Without these two chapters and the genealogies which they 
contain, we should be quite unable to trace the fulfillment 
of Noah 's wonderf ul prophecy ; we should be without any 
satisf actory solution to the ethnological problem presented 
by the variety and number of the different nations and 
tongues; and, we should be left in ignorance concerning 
the cause (from the human side) which led up to God 
abandoning His dealings with the nations and singling out 
Abram tu be the father of His chosen people Israel. 

Qenesis 10 and 11 give us the history of the postdiluvian 
world ; they show us the ways of men in this new world — 
in revolt against God and seeking to glorify and deify 
themselves ; and they set bef ore us the principles and judg- 
ments upon which this world is f ounded. For the under- 
standing of the chapters it is necessary to pay careful 
attention to their structure and chronology. Chapter 
eleven historically antedates much of Genesis 10, f urnishing 
us with a commentary upon it. Verses eight to twelve of 
chapter ten and verses one to nine of chapter eleven should 
be read as two parentheses. Reading them thus, we find, 
that outside of these parentheses, these chapters furnish 
us with the genealogical descent of Abram f rom Noah. Upon 
these genealogies and origins of the various nations we 
shall not now comment, pref erring to dwell at some length 
on the parenthetical portions. 

Like everything else in Genesis, the historical events 
recorded in these brief parentheses are remarkable in their 
typical significance and reach. In the clearer and fuller 
light of the New Testament we cannot f ail to see that Nim- 
rod foreshadowed the last great World-Ruler before our 
Lord descends to earth and ushers in His miUennial reign 
It is deeply significant that the person and history of Nim- 
rod are here introduced at the point immediately preceding 



129 



130 Gleanings in Genesis 

Ood calling Abram f rom among the Oentiles and bringing 
him into the Promised Land. So wiU it be again in the 
near future. Just before God gathers Abraham's descend- 
ants from out of the lands of the Gentiles (many, perhaps 
the majority of whom wiU be found dwelling at that very 
time in Assyria, — see Isaiah 11:11), there wiU arise one 
who wiU fiU out the picture here typically outlined by 
Nimrod. We refer of course to the Antichrist. As the 
Antichrist is a subject of such interest and importance — 
his manif estation being now so near at hand— we digress 
for a moment to say one or two things about him. 

To begin at the beginning. We need not remind our 
readers that Satan is the avowed and age-long enemy of 
God and that all through the course of human history he 
has been opposing his Maker and seeking to secure the 
scepter of earth 's sovereignty. Further, we need not dwell 
upon the fact, so plainly revealed in Scripture, that Satan 
is an imitator, parodying and counterfeiting the ways and 
things of the Lord. But the climax of all Satan 's schemes 
has not yet become history, though the inspired Word shows 
us clearly what form this climax wiU assume. God's pur- 
poses f or this earth are to be realized and consummated in 
a man, *'the man Christ Jesus" who wiU yet reign over 
it as King of kings and Lord of lords. Satan's designs wiU 
also head up in a man, ''the man of Sin" who wiU for a 
short season reign over the earth as its acknowledged King. 
This man wiU be, preëminently, energized by Satan himself 
(2 Thess. 2:9). He wiU assume the right to enforce his 
autocratic dictates on all alike — ^''And he causeth all, both 
small and great, rich and poor, f ree and bond, to receive a 
mark in their right hand, or in their f oreheads ; and that 
no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the 
name of the beast, or the number of his name'' (Rev. 13 : 16, 
17 ) . He it was who was bef ore the Psalmist when he said, 
*'He (Christ) shall wound the head over m^ny countries^' 
(Psa. 110:6). He was the one pictured by the prophet 
when he wrote — ^''Yea also, because he transgresseth by 
wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who 
enlargeth his desire as hell, ánd is as death, and cannot be 
satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nationSf and heapeth 
unto him all people/^ etc, see Habakkuk 2 : 1-8. This Man 
of Sin (2 Thess. 2:3) wiU be the super-man of whom the 
world is even now talking about, and f or whom it is so 



Nimrod and the Tower of Babel 131 

rapidly being prepared. He will be the "Lord of Light" 
— the great Mahatma — for whom Theosophists and Baha- 
ists are looking. 

The Antichrist is not only the subject of Old Testament 
prophecy, but he is also the subject of Old Testament 
typology. Most of the characters brought bef ore us in Old 
Testament history are types of one of two men — the Christ 
or the Antichrist. Much attention has been paid to the 
study of and much has been written about those personages 
which foreshadowed our blessed Lord, but much less 
thought has been devoted to the consideration of those who 
prefigured the Man of Sin. A wide field here lies open f or 
investigation, and we doubt not that as his appearing draws 
nigh the Holy Spirit will fumish additional light on this 
little studied subject. 

One of those who f oreshadowed the Antichrist was Nirnr 
rod. In at least seven particulars can the analogy be clearly 
traced. First : his very name describes that which will be 
the most prominent characteristic of all in the one whom 
he typifies. ''Nimrod" means ^Uhe Rehel/' reminding us 
of one of the titles of tíie Antichrist, f ound in 2 Thessaloni- 
ans 2:8— ''The Lawless One'— R. V. Second: the form 
which Nimrod 's rebellion assumed was to head a great con- 
federacy in open revolt against God. This confederacy is 
described in Genesis eleven and that it was an organized 
revolt against Jehovah is clear f rom the language of Genesis 
10:9 — ^''Nimrod, the mighty hunter hefore the Lord/' 
which (as we shall see) means that he pushed his own 
designs in brazen defiance of his Maker. Thus it will be 
with the Antichrist; of him it is written, *'And the King 
shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself 
and magnify himself above every god (ruler), and shall 
speak marvellous things against the God of Gods, and shall 
prosper tiU the indignation be accomplished ; f or that that 
is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the 
God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard 
any god, for he shall magnify himself above all" (Dan. 
11:36, 37). Third: four times over the word *'mighty*' 
is used to describe Nimrod. Here again we are reminded 
of the Lawless One of whom it is said, ''Even him whose 
coming is after the working of Satan with all power and 
signs and lying wonders" (2 Thess. 2:9). Fourth: Nim- 
rod was a '*hunter" (Gen. 10:9), probably a hunter of 



132 Gleanings in Genesis 

men. This is precisely what the Lawless One will be. In 
Psalm 5:6 he is denominated ^'the bloody and deceitful 
man.'' Fifth: Nimrod was a **king'' — ^the beginning of 
his kingdom was Babel (Gen. 10: 10), and, as we have seen 
in Daniel 11:36 the Antichrist is also termed '*king." 
Sixth : Nimrod's headquarters were in Bahylon, see Genesis 
10 : 10 and 11 : 1-9 ; so also, we find the Man of Sin is called 
**the king of Babylon" (Is. 14:4), and in the Apocalypse 
he is connected with **mystery Babylon" (Rev. 17:3-5). 
Seventh: Nimrod's supreme ambition and desire was to 
make to himself a name. He had an inordinate desire f or 
fame. Here, too the antitype agrees with the type. *'Pride'' 
is spoken of as the condemnation of the Devil : it was an 
impious ambition which brought about his downf all. The 
Man of Sin wiU be fuUy possessed by Satan, hence, an 
insatiable pride wiU possess him. It is this Satanic egotism 
which wiU cause him to oppose and ''exalt himself above 
all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; so that he as 
God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he 
is God" (2 Thess. 2:4). 

We have now prepared' the way f or a more detailed, yet 
brief , exposition of the two parenthetical portions of Gene- 
sis 10 and 11. 

*^And Cush begat Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one 
in the earth" (Gen. 10:8). The first thing we note here 
is that Nimrod was a descendant of Ham, through Cush; 
in other words, he sprang f rom that branch of Noah 's f am- 
ily on which rested the ' * curse. ' ' Next, we observe that it 
is said, *'he began to be mighty/^ which seems to suggest 
the idea that he struggled for the preëminence, and by 
mere force of wiU obtained it. Finally, we observe that 
he '^began to be mighty in the earth.'* The intimation 
appears to be that of conquest or subjugation, as though 
he became a leader and ruler over men, as indeed he did. 

*'He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; wherefore 
it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the 
Lord" (Gen. 10:9). In so brief a description the repeti- 
tion of these words, **mighty hunter before the Lord^' 
are significant. Three times in Genesis 10 and again in 
1 Chronicles 1 : 10 the word * ' mighty ' ' is applied to Nim- 
rod. The Hebrew word is ''gibbor,** and is translated in 
the Old Testament ^'chief" and * ' chief tain. * * The verse 
in Chronides is in perf ect agreement with these in Gtenesis 



Nimrod and the Tower of Babel 133 

— ^ ' And Cush begat Nimrod ; he began to be mighty upon 
the earth/' The Chaldee paraphrase of this verse says, 
*'Cush begat Nimrod who began to prevail in wickedness, 
for he slew innocent blood and rebelled against Jehovah/' 
Observe, ''a mighty hunter before the Lord.^' If we com- 
pare this expression with a similar one in Genesis 6 : 11 — 
*'The earth also (in the days of Noah) was corrupt before 
God/' the impression conveyed is that this *'Rebel" pur- 
sued his own impious and ambitious designs in brazen and 
open defiance of the Almighty. As we shall see, the con- 
tents of Genesis eleven confirm this interpretation. 

'^And the beginning of his kingdom was BabeV' (Gene- 
sis 10: 10). Here is the key to the first nine verses of the 
eleventh chapter. Here we have the first mention of Babel, 
and like the first mention of anything in Scripture this 
one demands careful consideration. ïn the language of 
that time Babel meant *Hhe gate of Ood^* but afterwards, 
because of the judgments which God infiicted there, it came 
to mean * * Conf usion, " and from here onwards this is its 
f orce or meaning. By coupling together the various hints 
which the Holy Spirit has here given us we learn that 
Nimrod organized not only an imperial government over 
which he presided as king, but that he instituted a new and 
idolatrous worship. If the type is perf ect, and we believe 
it is, then like the Lawless One wiU yet do, Nimrod de- 
manded and received Divine honors; in all probability it 
is just here that we have the introduction of idolatry. Here, 
again, we leam how wonderf uUy the first mention of any- 
thing in Scripture defines its future scope; from this point 
Babylon in Scripture stands f or that which is in opposition 
to God and His people — ^it was a Babylonish garment ( Josh. 
7 : 21) which led to the first sin in the promised land, while 
from Revelation 17 we learn that Bomanism, which will 
gather into itself the whole of apostate Christendom, is 
termed *'Mystery Babylon.*' 

Out of that land he went forth into Assyria (marginal 
rendering) and builded Nineveh, and the city Behoboth, 
and Calah, and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah; the 
same is a great city" (Gen. 10: 11, 12). From these state- 
ments we gather the impression that Nimrod's ambition 
was to establish a world-empire. But we must tum now 
to the next chapter, asking our readers to study carefully 
the first nine verses in the light of what we have said above. 



134 Gleanings in Genesis 

"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one 
speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the 
eastf that they f ound a plain in the land of Shinar ; and 
they dwelt there" (11:1, 2). These geographical and 
topographical references have a moral force, just as we 
read of '*going down to Egypt/^ but ^^up to Jerusalem/' 
Here we are told that men journeyed ''from the east/' 
i. e.y turned their backs upon the sunrise. Note further, 
"a plain (not a ^'mountain'') in the land of Shinar/' 

Nimrod is not mentioned at all in Genesis 11, but from 
the statements made in the previous chapter we learn that 
he was the ''chief' and '*king" which organized and 
headed the movement and rebellion here described. 

"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city, and a 
tower, whose top may reach unto heaven ; and let us make 
us a name, lest wehe scattered abroad upon the face of the 
whole earth" (11:4). Here we discover a most blatant 
defiance of God, a deliberate refusal to obey His command 
given through Noah. He had said, ' ' Be f ruitf ul, and multi- 
ply, and replenish the earth'^ (Gen. 9:1); but they said, 
*'Let us make us a name lest we be scattered abroad upon 
the face of the whole earth." 

ÁB we have seen, Nimrod's ambition was to establish a 
world-empire. To accomplish this two things were neces- 
sary. First, a center of unity, a city headquarters ; and 
second, a motive for the encouragement and inspiration of 
his foUowers. This latter was supplied in the *'let us make 
us a name.'' It was an inordinate desire for fame. Nim- 
rod 's aim was to keep mankind all together under his own 
leadership 'Uest we be scattered." The idea of the "tower** 
(considered in the light of its setting) seems to be that of 
strength — a stronghold — rather than eminence. 

*'And the Lord said*, Behold, the people is one, and they 
have all one language ; and this they begin to do ; and now 
nothing will be restrained from them, which they have 
imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there conf ound 
their language, that they may not understand one another 's 
speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence 
upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build 
the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel (Confu- 
sion) ; because the Lord did there confound the language 
of all the earth, and from thence did the Lord scat- 
ter them abroad upon the face of all the earth" (11: 
6-9) . Another crisis had arrived in the history of the world. 



Nimrod and the Tower of Babel 135 

Once again the human race was guilty of the sin of apostasy. 
Theref ore did God intervene, brought Nimrod 's schemes to 
naught by confounding the speech of his subjects and 
scattered them throughout the earth. Here was one of the 
mightiest and most far-reaching miracles of history. It 
finds no parallel until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit 
on the Day of Pentecost when another miracle of ' * tongues ' ' 
was performed. The effect of God's intervention was the 
origination of the different nations and after the destruc- 
tion of the Tower of Babel we get the formation of the 
*'worid" as we now have it. At this point the nations were 
abandoned to their own devices — ^''God gave them up'^ 
(Rom. 1) — ^but not until the race had twice enjoyed a 
revelation of God's mercy (first to Adam and then to Noah) 
and had twice forsaken Him before and now, after the 
Deluge. 

To sum up. In Nimrod and his schemes we see Satan's 
initial attempt to raise up a universal ruler of men. In 
his inordinate desire for fame, in the mighty power which 
he wielded, in his ruthless and brutal methods — ^suggested 
by the word **hunter"; in his blatant defiance of the 
Creator, (seen in his utter disregard for His command to 
replenish the earth,) by determining to prevent his sub- 
jects f rom being scattered abroad ; in his f ounding of the 
kingdom of Babylon — ^the Gate of God — ^thus arrogating to 
himself Divine honors ; inasmuch as the Holy Spirit has 
placed the record of these things immediately before the 
inspired account of God's bringing Abram into Canaan — 
pointing f orward to the re-gathering of Israel in Palestine 
immediately af ter the overthrow of the Lawless One ; and 
finally, in the f act that the destruction of his kingdom is 
described in the words, ''Let us go down and there con- 
found their language" (11:7 — foreshadowing so marvel- 
lously the descent of Christ from Heaven to vanquish His 
impious Rival, we cannot fail to see that there is here, 
beneath the historical narrative, something deeper than 
that which appears on the surface; yea, that there is here 
a complete typical picture of the person, work and destruc- 
tion of the Anti-christ. 

Much more might have been written upon this interesting 
and suggestive incident, but we trust sufficient has been 
said to indicate the broad outlines of its typical teaching 
and to stimulate others to f urther study f or the fiUing in 
of the details. 



17. THE CALL OF ABRAHAM 

Genesis 12 

We have now reached a section of this book which is of 
surpassing interest and one that is f uU of important lessons 
for those who are members of the household of f aith. The 
passage for our present consideration introduces us to the 
third great section of Genesis. As its name intimates, 
Genesis is the book of Beginnings. Its literary structure is 
true to its title for the whole of its contents center around 
three beginnings. First there is the beginning of the human 
race in Adam; second, there is the new beginning on the 
post-diluvian earth in Noah and his sons; third, there is 
the beginning of the Chosen Nation in Abram. Thus in 
Genesis we have three great ' * beginnings, " and therefore 
as three is the number of the Godhead, we see how in this 
first book of the Divine Library, the very autograph of 
Deity is stamped on the opening pages of Holy Writ as 
though anticipating and rebuking the modern assaults on 
this book by the Evolutionists and Higher Critics. 

The relative importance (we do not say 'Walue") of the 
three main divisions of Genesis is indicated by their respec- 
tive dimensions. The first two divisions cover a period of 
not less than two thousand years, yet, but eleven chapters 
are devoted to this section of human history ; whereas the 
third division, covering scarcely f our hundred years, con- 
tains no less than thirty-nine chapters. More than three- 
fourths of the book is occupied with narrating the lives of 
Abram and the first three generations of his descendants. 

While it is true that the first two divisions of the book 
are embraced by the first eleven chapters in Genesis, yet, 
f rom a literary viewpoint, it would really be more correct 
to regard these chapters as a preface, not only to the re- 
maining twenty-nine chapters of Genesis, but also to the 
entire Old Testament, and, we may add, of the Bible as a 
whole. This Divine *'preface'' is given to explain that 
which is made known in all that foUows. The first eleven 
chapters of Genesis are really the foundation on which rests 
the remainder of the Old Testament. They trace in rapid 
review the line of descent f rom Adam to Abram. It has 
been well said concerning the book of Genesis that ''as the 



136 



The Call of Abraham 137 

root to the stem so are chapters 1-11 to 12-50, and as the 
stem to the tree so is Genesis to the rest of the Bible. ' ' One 
of the main purposes of Genesis is to reveal to us the origin 
and beginnings of the Nation of Israel, and in the first 
eleven chapters we are shown the different steps by which 
Israel became a separate and Divinely chosen nation. In 
Genesis 10 and 11 the entire human race is before us, but 
from Genesis 12 onwards attention is directed to one man 
and his descendants. 

Genesis 12 brings before us Abram — ''the father of all 
them that believe. ' ' Abram whose name was subsequently 
changed to Abraham the most iUustrious personage in 
ancient history. Abraham! venerated by Jews, Chris- 
tians and Mohammedans. Abraham ! the progenitor of the 
nation of Israel. Abraham ! termed * ' the f riend of God. ' ' 
Abraham! from whom, according to the flesh, our Lord 
came. Surely we shall be richly repaid if we devote our 
most diligent attention to the prayerful study of the life 
of such a man. The present article wiU serve to introduce 
a short series of papers which wiU be given to the considera- 
tion of the history of one who, in several respects, was the 
most eminent of all the patriarchs. 

**Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of 
thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy father's 
house, unto a land that I wiU show thee" (Gen. 12:1). 
The tense of the verb here looks back to an incident which 
was ref erred to by Stephen and which is recorded in Acts 
7 : 2, 3 — * * The God of glory appeared unto our f ather Abra- 
ham, when he was in Mesopotamia before he dwelt in 
Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, 
and f rom thy kindred and come into the land which I shall 
show thee.'' Three things here call for a brief comment; 
first, the Divine title used in this connection; second, the 
fact of the Lord's ' ' appearing, " and third, His communica- 
tion to Abram. 

The Divine title which is used here is found in only one 
other scripture, namely, Psalm 29, which is one of the 
MiUennial Psalms — *'The voice of the Lord is upon the 
waters, the God of Glory thundereth" (v. 3), That this is 
a Millennial Psalm is clear from verse 10 — '*The Lord 
sitteth upon the fiood yea, the Lord sitteth King f or ever. * ' 
Closely connected with the above Divine title is the one 
by which the Lord Jesus is designated in Psalm 24 (an- 



138 Gleanings in Genesis 

other Millennial Psalm) — '^Lift up your heads, ye gates; 
and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and ihe King 
of Glory shall come in" (verse 7). Thus we see that this 
title is peculiarly a Kingdom title, and therefore, when 
Jehovah appeared to the father of the Kingdom people, it 
was as **The God of Glory." The appropriateness of this 
title is further evident from the religious state of Abram 
and his fathers at the time that God appeared to him, 
namely, a state of Idolatry. The ''God of Glory'' was in 
vivid contrast from the ''other gods'' mentioned in Joshua 
24:2. 

**The God of Glory appeared unto our father Abraham, 
when he was in Mesopotamia. ' ' This is the first recorded 
*'appearing" of God after the banishment of our parents 
from Eden. It was probably the earliest of all the theo- 
phanic manifestations that we read of in the Old Testament 
and which anticipated the Incarnation as well as marked the 
successive revelations of God to men. We do not hear of 
God appearing to Abel or Noah. Great then was the privi- 
lege thus conferred upon the one who afterwards was 
termed the **friend of God/' We turn now to consider 
the terms of the Divine communication received by Abram. 

And God said unto him **Get thee out of thy country, 
and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I 
shall show thee. ' ' This command f rom God came to Abram 
in Mesopotamia, in the city of Ur of the Chaldees, 
which was situated near to the Persian Gulf . The time of 
Abram's call is significant. It occurred shortly after the 
destruction of Babel and dispersion of the nations. As we 
endeavoured to show in our last paper, even in that early 
day, men had added to their other offences against God, the 
sin of idolatry. A scripture which throws considerable 
light upon the religious conditions that prevailed through- 
out the earth in the days immediately preceding the Call of 
Abram is to be f ound in Roman 1 — ' * When they knew God, 
they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful ; but 
became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart 
was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they be- 
came fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible 
God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to 
birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Where- 
fore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the 
lusts of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies be- 



The Call of Abraham 139 

tween themselves: who changed the tnith of Qod into a 
lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the 
Creator, who is blessed for ever'' (vs. 21-25, and read to 
end of V. 28). Three times over in this solemn passage we 
read '*God gave them up,'' that is, He tumed away from 
those who had first tumed from Him. We believe the hiS" 
torical reference here is to Genesis 11. It was at that time 
God abandoned the nations, suffering them all to **walk in 
their own ways'' (Aets 14:16, and compare Amos 3:3). 
The family from which Abram sprang was no exception to 
the general rule, his progenitors were idolaters too as we 
learn f rom Joshua 24 : 2 — * * Thus saith the Lord God of Is- 
rael, your f athers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old 
time even Terah, the f ather of Abraham and the father of 
Nachor and they served other godsJ' 

Here then is the setting of the incident now before us. 
Having ábandoned (temporarily) the nations, God now 
síngles out a man from whom the Chosen Nation was to 
spring. Having dealt in judgment (at Babel) God now 
deals in grace. This has been, and wiU ever be, trae of all 
God's dealings. According to His infinite wisdom, judg- 
ment (which is His '*strange" work) only serves to pre- 
pare the way for greater manifestations of His redeeming 
love. God 's judgment upon Israel resulted in the enriching 
of the Gentiles. The outpouring of Divine wrath in the 
Tribulation period will be but the precursor of MiUennial 
blessedness. And, we may add, the judgment of the great 
white throne wiU be f ollowed by the new heaven and new 
earth wherein righteousness shall **dweir' and upon which 
the tabemacle of God shall be with men. Thus it was of 
old. The overthrow of Babel and the scattering of the na- 
tions was f ollowed by the call of Abraham to be the f ather 
of a divinely governed nation which was to be a witness f or 
God, the depository of His revelation, and ultimately, the 
channel through which His blessing should flow to all the 
families of the earth. 

The lesson to be leamed here is a deeply important one. 
The connection between Genesis eleven and twelve is highly 
significant. The Lord God determined to have a people of 
His own by the calling of grace, but it was not until all the 
claims of the natural man had been repudiated by his own 
wickedness that Divine clemency was free to flow forth. In 
other words, it was not until the utter depravity of man 



140 Gleanings in Genesis 

had been fully demonstrated by the antediluvians, and 
again at Babel, that God dealt with Abram in soyereign 
grace. That it was grace and grace alone, sovereign grace, 
which called Abram is seen in his natural state when God 
first appeared to him. There was nothing whatever in the 
object of His choice which commended him to God. There 
was nothing whatever in Abram which merited God's es- 
teem. The cause of election must always be traced to God 's 
wiU. Election itself is ''o/ grace^' (Rom. 11: 5), therefore 
it depends in no wise upon any worthiness in the object — 
either actual or foreseen. If it did, it would not be *'of 
grace. ^ * That it was not a question of worthiness in Abram 
is clear f rom the language of Isaiah 51 : 1, 2 — * ' Hearken to 
me, ye that foUow after righteousness, ye that seek the 
Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn and to the 
hole of the pit whence ye are digged. LOOK TJNTO ABBA- 
HAM your father, and unto Sarah that bare you. * ' While 
God's dealings are never arbitrary, yet their raison d^etre 
must ever be found in His own sovereign pleasure. 

* * Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy 
country, and f rom thy kindred, and f rom thy f ather 's house 
unto a land that I wiU show thee" (Gen. 12:1). As we 
have seen from Acts 7 : 3 this call f rom God came to Abram 
at his home in Mesopotamia. It was a call which demanded 
absolute confidence in and obedience to the word of Jehovah. 
It was a call of separation f rom the ties of the natural man. 
This is a marked advance upon that which we studied in 
connection with our previous patriarch. The connection 
between the histories and experiences of Noah and Abraham 
is most instructive. Noah passing through the judgment of 
the old world and coming forth upon a new earth, repre- 
sents the acceptance of the believer in Christ, with a new 
standing ground before God. Abram called upon to sep- 
arate himself from his home and kindred and bidden to go 
out into a place which afterwards God would give him f or 
an inheritance, typifies the one whose citizenship is in 
heaven but who is stiU in the world, and in consequence, 
called upon to walk by faith and live as a stranger and pil- 
grim on the earth. In a word, Abram iUustrates the heav- 
enly cálling of those who are members of the body of Christ. 

In Abram we have exhibited the lif e of faith which is just 
what we shall expect, seeing that he is termed ''the father 
of all them that believe.'' The call of Abram shows us the 



The Call of Abraham 141 

starting-point of the life of f aith. The first requirement 
is separation from the world and from our place in it by 
nature. Abram was called upon to leave his * * kindred ' ' as 
well as his **country.'' Terah was an idolater, whereas 
Abram had become a believer in the living God, therefore it 
was expedient that Terah should be left behind for **how 
can two walk together except they be agreed" Even the 
closest ties of human affection cannot unite souls which are 
sundered by opposite motives, the one possessing treasure 
in heaven and the other having nought save that which 
moth and rust doth corrupt and which thieves may steal. 

In order to learn what response Abram made to 6od*s 
call it is necessary to revert again to the previous chapter 
— *'And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of 
Haran his son's son and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son 
Abram's wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of 
the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan and they came 
unto Haran and dwelt there'* (Gen. 11:31). From these 
words we discover a two-fold failure on Abram's part. 
Three things were commanded him by God ; he was to leave 
his own country, he was to separate himself f rom his kin- 
dred, and he was to go f orth unto a land which Jehovah had 
promised to show him. In respect to the first requirement 
Abram obeyed, but with ref erence to the last two he f ailed. 
He left Chaldea, but instead of separating himself from his 
kindred, Terah his father and Lot his nephew accompanied 
him. Terah means ^'delay/^ and thus it proved. Terah's 
accompanying Abram resulted in a delay of at least five 
years in Haran, which word means **parched'' !* Abram's 
response to God's call then, was partial and slow, 
f or observe that in Isaiah 51 : 2 we are expressly told that 
God called Abram ''alone," yet in the end he *'obeyed.'' 
How beautiful it is to note that when we come to the New 
Testament Abram's failure is not mentioned — '*By faith 
Abram, when he was called to go out into a place which he 
should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went 
out, not knowing whither he wenf (Heb. 11 : 8), his obedi- 
ence in leaving Ur is thus singled out, but no notice is here 
taken by the Holy Spirit of his disobedience in taking his 
*'kindred'* with him — ^that sin, with all of his others, had 
been^'blottedout'M 



^Haran was the point at which caravans for Canaan left the Euphrates 
to strike across the deaert. 



142 Gleanings in Genesis 

**Get thee ouf was Jehovah's command, and His com- 
mands are not grievous. The Lord's conmiands are rarely 
accompanied with reasons but they are always accompanied 
with promises, either exprest or understood. So it was in 
Abram 's case. Said the Lord : ' * And I wiU make of tíiee 
a great nation, and I wiU bless thee, and make thy name 
great; and thou shalt be a blessing" (Gen. 12: 2). In the 
first place it is to be observed, however, that this promise 
was couched in very general terms and in a manner calcu- 

lated to test Abram's faith. **Get thee out unto a 

land/^ not unto a land flowing with milk and honey.'* And 
again, * * unto a land that I wiU show thee ' ' as yet there was 
no assurance that God was going to give it to him and his 
seed. In the second place it is to be noted that the promise 
corresponds closely with the command. The command in- 
cluded a threefold requirement and the promise embraced 
a threefold blessing.*' ^^And I will make of thee a great 
nation/^ this was compensation for the loss of country. 
The nation from which he sprang had f allen into gross idol- 
atry and ultimately perished beneath God's judgments; 
but from Abram God would make a great nation." ^^And 
I will bless thee/' the blessing of Jehovah would more than 
make up f or any loss of carnal joys he would lose by leaving 
his '*kindred.'' ^^And make thy name great.'^ He was to 
leave his father's house, but God would make of him the 
head of a new house, even the house of Israel, on account of 
which he would be known and venerated the world over. 
In the third place, it should be pointed out that this promise 
included within its scope the call and blessing of the Gen- 
tiles. Abram's response to God's demand was to be the 
first link in a series of Divine interpositions by which God's 
mercy might be extended to the whole earth. ^^And thou 
shalt be a blessing.'^ Abraham was not merely the subject 
of Divine blessing, but a medium of blessing to others. 
^^And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that 
curseth thee." Here we see Jehovah identifying the cause 
of Abram with His own. ^^And in thee shall all families of 
the earth be blessed.^^ This part of the promise received a 
partial fulfiUment in the birth of Him who was according 
to the flesh, **the son of Abraham'' (Matt. 1:1), but its 
complete and ultimate fulfilment looks forward to the Mil- 
lennium, for then it wiH be that aU famiUes of the earth 
shaU receive blessing through Abram and his seed. 



The Call of Abraham 143 

* ' So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him ; 
and Lot went with him ; and Abram was seventy and five 
years old when he departed out of Haran" (Gen. 12:4). 
As we have seen, instead of journeying unto Canaan, Abram 
tarried at Haran. It was not until af ter Terah 's death that 
Abram left Haran and came into Canaan. It was death 
whieh broke the link which bound Abram to Haran — * ' Then 
came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in 
Charran (Greek for '*Haran") and from thence, when his 
father was dead he removed him into this land, wherein ye 
now dweir* (Acts 7:4). So it is with all his spiritual 
children. It is death which separates the believer f rom that 
which by nature unites him with the old creation — *'But 
God f orbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I 
unto the world'^ (Gal. 6: M), 

* ' And they went f orth to go into the land of Canaan, and 
into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed 
through the land unto the place of Sichem, and unto the 
place (oak) of Moreh'* (Gen. 12:5, 6). Abram did not 
enter into occupation of Canaan, he merely * ' passed through 
the land." As we read in Acts 7 : 5 — **He (God) gave him 
none inheritance in it, not so much as to set his foot on: 
Yet He promised that He would give it to him for a pos- 
session and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no 
child." Abram first halted at Sichem (Shecham) which 
signifies '*shoulder" — ^the place of strength, unto the oak 
of Moreh which means * ' instruction. " How significant! 
What a lesson for us! It is only as we separate oui*selves 
from the world and walk in the path marked out for us by 
God that we reach the place where strength is to be found, 
and, it is only thus that we can enter into fellowship with 
and learn from Him in whom are hid all the treasures of 
wisdom and knowledge. *'And the Canaanite was then in 
the land^' (v. 6) — ^to challenge and contest the occupation 
of it, just as the hosts of wickedness are in present occu- 
pancy of the heavenlies to wrestle with those who are par- 
takers of the heavenly calling. 

* ' And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy 
seed wiU I give this land, and there builded he an altar unto 
the Lord, who appeared unto him'' (Gen. 12: 7). There is 
no record of Abram receiving any further revelation from 
God until His call had been f uUy obeyed, but now that he 



144 Gleanings in Genesis 

had left Ur and Haran behind him and had actually ar- 
rived in the land, Jehovah appeared once more unto him. 
At the first appearing God called him to go unto a land 
that He would show him, and now He rewards Abram's 
faith and obedience by promising to give this land unto his 
seed. Thus does the Lord lead His children step by step. 
At the first appearing the God of Glory called upon Abram 
to separate himself from his place by nature; but at this 
second appearing He reveals Himself to Abram for com- 
munion, and the result is that Abram erects an altar. There 
was no * * altar ' ' f or Abram in Ur or Haran. It is not until 
there is real separation from the world that f ellowship with 
God is possible. First the obedience of faith and then 
communion and worship. 

* * And he removed f rom thence unto a mountain on the 
east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the 
west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar 
unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord" 
(Gen. 12:8). How significant! Bethel means **the house 
of God" while Hai signifies **a heap of ruin," and it was 
between them that Abram pitched his tent — ^typical of the 
sphere of the believer 's present path, with the old creation 
(a ruin) on the one side and the house of God (on high) on 
the other. Observe the two objects here: **tent" and the 
**altar" — symbols of that which characterizes a walk in 
separation with God, the one speaking of the pilgrim life 
and the other of dependency upon and worship of God. 
Note, too, the order of mention : we must first be strangers 
and pilgrims on the earth before acceptable worship is pos- 
sible. 

And now we come to the second f ailure of Abram, namely, 
his leaving Canaan and going down into Egypt. Concern- 
ing this incident we can here say only a f ew words. First 
it is to be noted that, '*Abram joumeyed, going on stiU 
toward the south^^ (v. 9). This geographical reference is 
deeply significant : southward was Egyptward ! When the 
**famine'' overtook Abram his face was already toward 
Egypt. 

* * And there was a f amine m the land : and Abram went 
down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was 
grievous in the land'* (v. 10). This is the first mention in 
Scripture of Egypt, and like all its subsequent references, 
so here, it stands f or that which is a constant men>ace to the 



The Call of Abraham 145 

people of God symbolizing, as it does, alliance with the 
world and reliance upon the arm of flesh — ^'Woe to them 
that go down to Egypt for help and stay on horses, and 
trust in chariots, because they are many ; and in horsemen, 
because they are very strong; but they look not unto the 
Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord !" (Isa. 31 : 1). 

The famine was sent as a trial of Abram's faith. A 
famine in the Land of Promise. What a test of faith! 
*'God would see whether he had such confidence in His 
goodness that even f amine could not shake it. Alas, Abram 
did as we are all prone to do, he sought relief from all his 
difficulties, rather than profit by the triar* (Ridout). Ob- 
serve that when this famine came there was no seeking 
counsel from the Lord. Abram was prompted by the wis- 
dom of the flesh which ever suggests relief in means and 
human help, in fact, anything rather than in the living 
God. 0, the inconsistencies of God's children! Faith in 
God with regard to our eternal interest, but afraid to con- 
fide in Him for the supply of our temporal needs. Here 
was a man who had joumeyed all the way from Chaldea to 
Canaan on the bare word of Jehovah and yet was now 
afraid to trust Him in the time of famine. Sad that it 
should be so, but how like us today ! 

One sin leads to another. Failure in our love to God al- 
ways results in f ailure in our love to our neighbor. Down 
in Egypt Abram practices deception and denies that Sarai 
is his wife, thus endangering the honor of the one who was 
nearest and should have been dearest to him. Alas 1 What 
is man ? But Jehovah would not allow His purposes to be 
frustrated — ''lf we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: 
He cannot deny Himself^' (2 Tim. 2: 13). So it was here. 
The Lord interposed — ^''And the Lord plagued Pharaoh 
and his house with great plagues hecause of Sarai, Abram's 
wife'' (v. 17). The sequel is found in the next chapter — 
**And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife, and 

all that he had and he went on his joumeys f rom the 

south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had 
been at the heginning, between Bethel and Hai; unto the 
place of the altar, which he had made there at the first, and 
there Abram called on the name of the Lord'' (Gen. 13: 1, 
3, 4). He returned to the very place he had left. He re- 
pented and ''did the first works.'* Abram's sojoum in 
Egypt was so much lost time. 



146 Gleanings in Genesis 

We cannot close this paper without first seeking to gather 
up in a few words the practical and deeply important les- 
sons here recorded for our leaming. 1. The call which 
came to Abram comes to each one of his believing children 
— ^the call for absolute confidence in God; the call to take 
Him at His word and step out in simple and unquestioning 
faith; the call to separate ourselves from the world to a 
life of pilgrimage in dependency upon Jehovah. 2. The 
trial of Abram's faith is also the lot of all his children. 
Prof ession must be tested and at times the meal in the barrel 
will run very low. The f ailure of Abram is a solemn warning 
against being occupied with circumstances instead of with 
God. Look not at the famine but unto God's faithfuhiess. 
3. Beware of going down to Egypt. The friendship of the 
world is enmity with God. Time spent in Egypt is wasted. 
Days lived out of communion with God produce nought 
but **wood, hay and stubble.'* 4. As you see in the failures 
of Abram the sad record of your own history, marvel anew 
at the long suflferance of God which deals in such infinite 
patience and grace with His erring and ungrateful children. 



18. ABRAHAM AND LOT 

Genesis 13 

In our last article we foUowed Abraham f rom Ur of Chal- 
dea to Haran, and from Haran to Canaan. We saw that 
af ter he had arrived in the land to which God called him, 
a famine arose, and his faith failing him in the hour of 
crisis, Abraham, accompanied by Lot, sought refuge in 
Egypt. Our present study reveals some of the results of 
the patriarch's backsliding. While God, in faithfulness 
and grace, restored His wandering child, yet the effects of 
his departure f rom the path of faith were manifested soon 
afterwards and continued to harass him the remainder of 
his days. The principle of sowing and reaping is of uni- 
versal application and is true of believers equally as much 
as unbelievers. Two things Abraham obtained from his 
sojourn in Egypt, each of which proved a hindrance and 
curse, though in the end both were overruled by God f or His 
own glory. We refer to them here in the inverse order of 
their mention in Genesis. 

**And Sara, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the 
Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of 
Canaan, and gave her to her husband, Abram, to be his 
wife'' (Gen. 16:3). During their stay in Egypt, Sarah 
took unto her the maid, Hagar. The strife, the jealousy, 
the trouble which Hagar introduced into the patriarch's 
household is well known, the climax of it all being seen in 
Ishmael (Hagar's son) '*mocking Isaac'' (Gen. 21:9) and 
his subsequcnt expulsion from Abram's tent. 

The seeond thing which Abraham seems to have obtained 
in Egypt was great earthly possessions — ^''And Abram went 
up out of Egypt, he, and his wife and all that he had, and 
Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich 
in cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Gen. 13:1, 2). This is 
the first time we read of Abram 's ' ' cattle, ' ' and it is deeply 
significant that shortly afterwards these very flocks and 
herds became the occasion of strife between him and his 
nephew. It also deserves to be noticed that this is the first 
mention of '^riches'' in Scripture, and, as now, so then, 
they pierced their possessor through with '*many sorrows'' 
(1 Tim. 6:10). 



147 



148 Gleanings in Genesis 

' * And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and 
herds, and tents" (Gen. 13: 5). TiU now we hear nothing 
of Lot since he lef t Haran, but he appears to have been one 
of Abram 's f amily and to have gone with him wherever he 
went. The characters and careers of Abram and Lot pre- 
sent a series of sharp antitheses. Throughout the biograph- 
ical portions of Scripture we find the Holy Spirit f requently 
brings together two men of widely different character and 
placing them in juxtaposition so that we might the better 
leam the salutary lessons He would teach us. Abel and 
Cain, Moses and Aaron, Samuel and Saul, David and Sol- 
omon, are well known examples of this principle. In almost 
every respect Lot compares unfavorably with Abram. 
Abram walked by f aith, Lot by sight. Abram was generous 
and magnanimous ; Lot greedy and worldly. Abram looked 
f or a city whose builder and maker was God ; Lot made his 
home in a city that was built by man and destroyed by God. 
Abram was the f ather of all who believe ; Lot was f ather of 
those whose name is a perpetual inf amy. Abram was made 
**heir of the world" (Rom. 4:3), while the curtain falls 
upon Lot with all his possessions destroyed in Sodom, and 
himself dwelling in a ''cave" (Gen. 19: 30). 

The history of Lot is a peculiarly tragic one and for that 
reason full of * * admonition ' ' for us upon whom the ends 
of the ages have come. We attempt nothing more than a 
rapid sketch of it, considering : 
1. Lot^s Departure from Abram. 

This is described in Genesis 13 : ' ' And the land was not 
able to bear them, that they might dwell together, f or their 
substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 
And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's 
cattle and the herdmen of Lot 's cattle'' (vs. 6 and 7) . How 
of ten * * strif e ' ' between kinsmen has been brought about by 
earthly possessions and wealth! The record is very terse, 
but there can be little doubt as to who was to blame. The 
subsequent conduct of Lot and the Lord's rewarding of 
Abram indicate plainly that it was Lot who was in the 
wrong. Nor is the cause f ar to seek. Lot had brought with 
him out of Egypt something else besides *'herds and flocks'' 
— ^he had contracted its spirit and acquired a taste for its 
^'fleshpots." 

* * And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strif e, I pray 
thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and 



Abraham and Lot 149 

thy herdmen ; f or we are brethren. Is not the whole land 
before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me. If 
thou wilt take the lef t hand, then I will go to the right ; or, 
if thou depart to the right hand, then I wiU go to the lef t ' ' 
(vs. 8, 9). Abram foresaw there was danger of a falling 
out between himself and his nephew, that what had begun 
with the servants would probably end with the masters. 
Deprecating the thought of frietion between brethren, he 
proposed that they should separate. The wisdom which is 
from above is first pure and then peaceable. In spirit, 
Abram carried out the letter of the Divine admonition: 
**As much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." 

The proposal made by Abram to his nephew was exceed- 
ingly generous, and in his greed, Lot took full advantage 
of it. Instead of leaving the choice to Abram, we read: 
''And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of 
Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the 
Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden 
of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto 
Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and 
Lot joumeyed east, and they separated themselves the one 
from the other'' (vs. 10, 11). Observe, that Lot ^^Lifted 
up his eyes and beheld/' In other words, he preferred to 
walk by sight, rather than by faith. How impossible then 
f or Lot to remain with Abram ! How can two walk together 
except they be agreedï Abram "endured as seeing him 
who is invisible, ' ' while Lot 's heart was set upon the things 
of time and sense. Hence, we are told, *'they could not 
dwell together'' (v. 6) — it was a moral impossibility. 

Lot ''lifted up his eyes.'* This was the commencement, 
outwardly, at least, of a decline which ended in the utmost 
shame. Eye-gate is one of the avenues through which 
temptations assail the soul : ' * For all that is in the world, 
the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride 
of life, is not of the Pather, but is of the world" (1 John 
2: 16). Walking by sight is the cause of most of our fail- 
ures and sorrows. So it was at the beginning : * * And when 
the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it 
was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make 
one wise, she took of the fruit thereof (Gen. 3:6). Mark, 
too, the confession of Achan: **When I saw among the 
spoils a goodly Babylonish garment and two hundred 
shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fif ty shekels weight, 



150 Gleanings in Genesis 

then I coveted them and took them" (Joshua 7: 21). How 
significant the order here — I saw, I coveted, I tookl So it 
was with Lot: first he lifted up his eyes and beheld, and 
then he '*chose him/' How significant are the closing 
words of Genesis 13 : 10 : ' * And Lot lif ted up his eyes, and 
beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered 
every where . . . . Even as the garden of the Lord, like the 
land of Egypt/^ which shows us that Lot was still attached 
to *'Egypt" in heart. But how true it is that **the Lórd 
seeth not as man seeth" (1 Sam. 16:7) ! To the worldly 
eye of Lot all the plain appeared * * well watered and as the 
garden of the Lord,'' but to the holy eye of Jehovah the 
cities of the plain were peopled by those who were * * wicked 
and sinners before the Lord exceedingly ' ' (v. 13) ; **before 
the Lord, ' ' shows us what it was that His eyes dwelt ui>on. 
We consider next, 
2. Lot 's Sojourn in Sodom 

*'Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot 
journeyed eastward : and they separated themselves the one 
from the other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and 
Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent to- 
ward Sodom" (vs. 11, 12). The various steps in the down- 
ward course of Lot are plainly marked out. First, he 
*4ifted up his eyes and beheld.'' Second, he **chose him 
all the plain of Jordan.'' Third, he ' ' separated ' ' himself 
from Abram. Pourth, he ''dwelt in the cities of the plain.^' 
Fifth, he "pitched his tent toward Sodom." Sixth, he 
**dwelt in Sodom'' (14: 12). Finally, we see him an alder- 
man of Sodom, seated in its ''gate'' (19: 1) and his daugh- 
ters wedded to men of Sodom. Behold how great a fire a 
little matter kindleth. From a lifting up of the eyes to 
behold the land and seek pasturage for his flocks, to be- 
coming an official in the city of wickedness ! Like leprosy, 
sin has often a seemingly small beginning, but how rapid 
its spread, how loathsome its issue, how dreadful its end! 
Similar was the course of the Apostle Peter : the denial of 
his Lord was no sudden, isolated act, but the sequel and 
climax of an antecedent chain. There was first the boasting 
self-confidence, ' * Though all shall be offended, yet wiU not 
I'' (Mark 14: 29). Then there was the ''sleeping'' in the 
garden when he should have been watching and praying 
(Mark 14 : 37) . Then there was the following Christ * ' af ar 
off '* (Matt. 26 : 58). Then there was the seating of himself 



Abraham and Lot 151 

at the fire in the presenee of his Lord's enemies (Matt. 26: 
69). And then. amid these evil assoeiates, came the awful 
denial and cursing. 

And what did Lot gain by his separation from Abram 
and sojourn in Sodom? Nothing at all. Instead of gain- 
ing, he was the loser. The men of Sodom were ' * wicked and 
sinners before the Lord exceedingly'' and Lot was *'vexed 
with the filthy conversation of the wicked. For that right- 
eous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, 
vexed his righteous soul f rom day to day with their unlaw- 
ful deeds'' (2 Pet. 2: 7, 8). Consider now, 
3. LoVs Deliverance from Sodom 

In the first place notice how, in His faithfulness and 
grace, God had given Lot a very definite warning. From 
Genesis 14 we learn that in the battle between the four 
kings with the five, * ' they took all the goods of Sodom and 
Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And 
they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, 
and his goods, and departed'' (vs. 11, 12). Yet though 
Lot lost all his goods and seems to have been in imminent 
danger of losing his life but for the timely intervention of 
Abram with his armed servants, nevertheless, this experi- 
ence failed to teach Lot the evil of being associated with the 
world, but he recovered his freedom and his property only 
to return unto Sodom. Alas! what is manï Even God's 
providential dealings are insufficient to move his heart. 

The contents of Genesis 18 and 19 are so familiar to our 
readers that no lengthy exposition is needed. The Lord 
Himself makes known to His * ' f riend ' ' what He is about to 
do; but no such revelation was vouchsafed Lot who was 
altogether out of communion with Jehovah. The ' * secret of 
the Lord'' is only with them that *'fear Him.'* The two 
angels who accompanied the Lord to Abram's tent, go for- 
ward to Sodom, the Lord Himself remaining behind, and 
with Him Abram intercedes on behalf of the righteous who 
may be in the doomed city. 

The two angels found Lot sitting in the gate of Sodom 
and in response to his request that they partake of his hos- 
pitality, said, ''Nay, but we will abide in the street all 
night." Their reluctance to enter Lot's dwelling — ^in 
marked contrast with their fellowship with Abram — ^inti- 
mates the condition of Lot's soul. Observe, too, that it was 
*'in the heat of the day'' (Gen. 18:1) that they visited 



152 Gleanings in Genesis 

Abram; whereas, it was **even" (19:1) when they ap- 
peared to his nephew. The utter meanness and selfishness 
of Lot's character was quickly exhibited in the eontempti- 
ble proposal to sacrifice his daughters to the men of Sodom 
in order to secure his own preservation and peace (19: 8). 
The powerlessness of his testimony appeared in the response 
made by his ' * sons-in-law " when he warned them that the 
Lord was about to destroy the city — * ' he seemed as one that 
mocked" (19: 14) ; his words had now no weight because 
of his previous ways. The words ^^while he lingered, the 
men (the angels) laid hold upon his hand'* (19: 16) show 
plainly where his heart was. The summary judgment which 
overtook his wife and the fearful crime of his daughters 
was a terrible harvest f rom his sowing to the flesh. 

The deliverance of Lot was a remarkable instance of 
God 's care f or His own. Lot was living f ar below his priv- 
ileges, and manif estly was out of communion with the Lord, 
yet he was a *'righteous man'' (2 Pet. 2:7, 8) and there- 
f ore was he snatched as a brand f rom the buming. Blessed 
be His name, ' ' He abideth f aithful ; He cannot deny Him- 
self '* (2 Tim. 2: 13). Just as a shelter was provided for 
Noah, just as Israel was protected f rom the avenging angel, 
so with Lot. Said the angel to him, ' ' I cannot do anything 
tiU thou be come thither'' (Gen. 19: 22). 

We cannot leave this section without noticing the obvious 
connection between Lot's deliverance from Sodom and 
Abram's intercession for him. The particular word em- 
ployed by Abram in his supplications was deeply signifi- 
cant. Said he, ' ' Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with 
the wickedT' (Gen. 18:23, and compare vs. 24, 25, 26, 
28), which is the very word which the Holy Spirit employs 
in 2 Peter 2:8! May we not also see in Abram here a type 
of our blessed Lord ? Lot was delivered f rom the kings by 
Abram's sword and from God's judgment upon Sodom by 
Abram's supplications. And are not these the instruments 
(if we may so speak) employed by our Saviour! He de- 
livers His own from the (defilements of ) the world by the 
Word — the sword — see John 13, and when they sin He acts 
as their Advocate with the Pather (1 John 2:1). 

It only remains f or us now to point out a f ew of the lead- 
ing lessons brought out in Genesis 13 and 19. Let us notice : 



Abraham and Lot 153 

1. The Certain Accomplishment of God's Purpose. 

Mysterious are the ways of Him with whom we have to 
do. The ''strife'' which God permitted to arise between 
the herdmen of Abram and Lot was designed f or the carry- 
ing out of His own counsel. The declared purpose of God 
was to separate Abram f rom the land of his birth and f rom 
his own kinsmen, in order to educate him and his in the 
knowledge and obedience of Jehovah. God called Abram 
*'alone" (Isa. 51 : 2), yet at least two of his relatives accom- 
panied him when he left Ur of the Chaldees. But, in the 
end, God's purpose was realized. Terah, Abram's father, 
died at Haran. Lot accompanied him into the land of Ca- 
naan, but it is obvious that a worldly spirit like his, together 
with his own separate and large encampment imbued, no 
doubt, with the spirit of its chief and over which it would 
be diflficult if not impossible f or Abram to exercise author- 
ity, could not help forward the Divine purpose. In the 
separation of Lot from Abram, then, we see the departure 
of the last of his kinsf olk, and now Abram is lef t * * alone ' ' 
with God! Verily, *'There are many devices in a man's 
heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord that shall 
stand'^ (Prov. 19:21). Let us consider, 

2. The Magnanimity of Ahram. 

The proposal which Abram made to his nephew was ex- 
ceedingly gracious and beautiful. Abram was the senior, 
and the one to whom God had promised to give the land 
(Gen. 12:7), yet, he generously waived his rights, and 
**with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, ^ he 
forebore with Lot in love. Note carefully his words, **l8 
not the whole land before thee'^ (13 : 9). Gladly did Abram 
surrender every claim and f orego every right to put a stop 
to this strife between * * brethren. ' ' 

In the waiving of his rights Abram f oreshadowed that 
One who was made, according to the flesh, '*the son of 
Abraham'* (Matt. 1:1). He who was in the form of God 
and thought it not robbery to be equal with God voluntarily 
waived His rights and took upon Him the form of a serv- 
ant. All power in heaven and earth was His, yet He suf- 
fered Himself to be led as a lamb to the slaughter, and 
though He had the right to summon twelve legions of angels 
to come and do His bidding, He waived it and refused to 
give the command. Though He did no sin, had no sin, was 



154 Gleanings in Genesis 

without siiiy and as such death had no claim upon Him, yet 
was He **made sin for us'' and beeame obedient unto death, 
even the death of the cross. Yes, He **waived His rights'' 
and He has left us an example that we should f oUow His 
steps. 

3. The Warnings Pointed hy LoVs Failures. 

We mention three without dwelling upon them at any 
length : 

First, his choice of residence. Surely this needed lesson 
is writ large across the story of Lot's life. He preferred 
the '*well-watered" plains above Abram's ''altar.*' He 
regarded temporal advantages only, and had no regard for 
his spiritual welf are. Alas ! how many believers are there 
now who, when seeking a: location f or themselves and fam- 
ily follow his evil example. Seek ye first the kingdom of 
God and His righteousness ought to regulate our every deci- 
sion. 

Second, his yielding to the spirit of worldliness. Lot 
seems to be a type of that class of Christians who aim to 
make the best oiE both worlds, who are really occupied more 
with the things of earth than the things of heaven. Lot 
was a man who sowed to the flesh, and of the flesh he reaped 
corruption. Temporal prosperity was what he sought, but 
in the end he lost even his worldly possessions. His Ufe 
on earth was a wretched failure, made up entirely of 
'*wood, hay, stubble.^' There was no witnessing for Qod 
and no blessing of God upon his f amily. Lot is a concrete 
waming, a danger signal, for aU Christians who feel a 
tendency to be carried away by the things of the world. 

Third, his miserdble end. Wretched, indeed, must have 
been the closing days of Lot— cowering in a cave, stript of 
aU his earthly possessions, his sons-in-law destroyed in 
Sodom, his wife tumed to a piUar of salt, and he left face 
to f ace with the f ruit of his own awf ul sin. 



19. ABRAHAM AND MELCHIZEDEK 

■ 

Genesis 14 

Our last chapter was concerned with Abraham and Lot. 
We touched upon the first part of Genesis 13, which records 
the strife that came between their herdmen, the prompt 
measures taken by the patriarch to put an end to the fric- 
tion, the generous oflfer which he made his nephew, and 
Lot's leaving Abram and journeying to Sodom. In this 
present paper we continue our study of the career of the 
f ather of all that believe, resuming at the point where we 
left him in our last. 

* * And the Lord said unto Abram, af ter that Lot was sep* 
arated f rom him, Lif t up now thine eyes, and look f rom the 
place where thou art northward, and southward, and east- 
ward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, 
to thee will I give it, and to thy seed f or ever. And I will 
make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man 
can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also 
be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length 
of it and in the breadth of it ; f or I will give it unto thee ' ' 
(Gen. 13:14-17). Abraham was now alone, and yet not 
alone, for the Lord was with him and gracious was the 
revelation that He made of Himself. It was with a true 
concern for God's glory that Abram had suggested Lot's 
separating from him. ''There was a strife between the 
herdmen of Abram 's cattle and the herdmen of Lot 's cattle : 
and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the 
land'' (v. 7). Abram could not endure the thought of 
*'strife'' between brethren in the presence of the Lord's 
enemies — ^would that God 's children today were equally re- 
luctant to bring reproach upon the holy name they bear. 

God did not allow His child to lose by his magnanimous 
oflfer to Lot, made, as we have said, out of consideration f or 
God's glory. To Lot Abram had said, ''Is not the whole 
land bef ore thee ? Separate thyself , I pray thee, f rom me : 
if thou wilt take the left hand, then I wiU go to the right 
hand ; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I wiU go to 
the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the 
plain of Jordan,*' etc. (vs. 9, 10) ; and now Jehovah ap- 



155 



156 Gleanings in Genesis 

pears to Abram and says, '^Lift up now thine eyes and 
look'* (v. 14). 0, what a contrast! Lot **lifted up his 
eyes^' at the dietate of worldly interests; Abram lifted up 
his to behold the gif t of God. Thus does our ever f aithf ul 
God delight to honor those who honor Him. The student 
will note there are three passages in Genesis where it is said 
that Abram *'lifted up his eyes.^' First, here in 13:14, 
when he beheld **the land^'; second, in 18: 2, when he be- 
held ''three men,*' one of whom was the Lord Himself ; 
third, in 22 : 13, when he beheld the suhstitute — ^ * a ram 
caught in a thicket.'' 

Above we have said that Abram was now alone. At last 
the purpose of God is realized. God *'called him alone'* 
(Isa. 51:2). He had said *'Get thee out of thy country, 
and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall 
shew thee'* (Acts 7:3), but to this command Abram had 
rendered but a tardy and partial obedience. Both his fa- 
ther and nephew accompanied him as he left Chaldea, and 
instead of joumeying straight to Canaan, he stopped short 
at Haran where he **dwelt" until the death of Terah (11: 
31, 32). Yet even now the Divine command was not fuUy 
obeyed — ^into the land of God's call Abram came, Lot still 
with him. But now, at the point we have reached, Lot has 
taken his departure and Abram (with Sarai) is left alone 
with God. And is it not deeply significant that not until 
now did the Lord say, *'For all the land which thou seest, 
to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever'' (v. 15) ; 
Observe carefully the ascending scale in God's promises to 
Abram. In Chaldea God promised to ''shew" Abram the 
land (Gen. 12:1). Then, when Abram had actually en- 
tered it and arrived at Sichem the Lord promised to ^'give'' 
the land unto his seed — ^"And the Lord appeared unto 
Abram, and said, Unto thy seed wiU I give this land ( 12 : 
7). But now — now that he is at last separated from the 
last of his ^^kindred^' — God promises to give **all the land'' 
unto Abram himself . Furthermore, it is to be noted that 
not until now does God say to Abram, *' Arise, walk through 
the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of if (v. 
17), which intimated that God would have Abram appro- 
priate His gif t. Abram was to * * f eel at home ' ' in the land 
as though the title deeds of it were already in his hands. 
Do we not discover in all this a striking illustration of an 
all important principle in God 's dealings with His own peo- 



Abraham and Melchizedek 157 

ple. How often our iinbelief limits the outflow of Divine 
grace! An imperfeet and circumscribed obedience pre- 
vents our enjoying much that God has for us. As a f urther 
illustration compare and contrast Caleb and the inheritance 
which he obtained for *'following the Lord fully'' (Num. 
14:24). 

In the words * ' Arise, walk through the land in the length 
of it and in the breadth of it" (v. 17) another important 
truth is suggested — appropriation. It was as though God 
had said to Abram, I have called you into this land, I have 
given it to you and your seed, now enjoy it. He was to 
travel through it, to look upon it as already his — ^his by 
faith, for he had God's word for it. As another has said, 
* * He was to act towards it as if he were already in absolute 
possession. ' ' And is not this what God invites His people 
to do today ? We, too, have received a call to separate our- 
selves f rom the world. We, too, have been begotten unto an 
inheritance, an inheritance which is * ' incorruptible, and un- 
defiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven.'* 
And now we, too, are bidden tc ' ' walk through the land in 
the length of it and in the breadth of it. ' ' In other words, 
we are called to the exercise of faith; to look not at the 
things that are seen, but at the things which are unseen; 
to set our aflfection upon things above, and not upon things 
below. In brief, we are to make our own, to appropriate 
and enjoy the things which God has promised us. It is un- 
belief which hinders us from enjoying to the fuU what is 
already ours in the purpose of God. Mark that word 
through the prophet Obadiah, * * But upon Mount Zion shall 
be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house 
of Jacob shall possess their possessions^ ' (v. 17). In the 
MiUennium Israel wiU fuUy ''possess their possessions. ' ' 
We say ' * f uUy possess ' ' f or they have never done so in the 
past. And why? Because of unbelief. Then let us fear, 
lest there be in us also an evil heart of unbelief . 

''Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in 
the plain of IMamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an 
altar unto the Lord'' (13:18). The connection between 
this statement and the immediate context is also full of in- 
struction. ' ' Mamre ' ' signifies fatness and * ' Hebron ' ' means 
fellowship. Notice the opening word ^Uhen^': it was not 
until Lot had left him and Abram was fuUy in the wiU of 
the Lord that Hebron — fellowship — ^is now mentioned for 



158 Gleanings in Genesis 

the first timef It is disobedience that hinders full fellow- 
ship with Jehovah. And, note, too, that Abram *'built 
there an altar unto the Lord/' Fellowship resulted in 
worship ! This is ever the order : obedience, f atness of soul, 
fellowship, worship. Confirmatory of these remarks, is it 
not significant that this very ''Hebron'* became the in- 
heritance and portion of Caleb who **followed the Lord 
fullyl — ^ * Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb 
the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day ; because 
that he wholly foUowed the Lord God of Israer* (Josh. 
14:14). 

Genesis 14 opens with a brief account of the first war 
mentioned in Scripture. It would be beside our purpose to 
pause and examine in detail what is here recorded of the 
f our and five kings,* our present purpose is to note Abram 's 
connection and dealings with them. The outcome of the 
confiict was the capture of Lot and his possessions (v. 12). 
As another has said, ' * He had laid up treasures f or himself 
on earth, and the thieves had broken through.'' One who 
had escaped brought intelligence to Abram that his nephew 
had been captured. 

It is beautiful to observe the effect of this intelligence 
upon our patriarch. Abram was not indifferent to his 
nephew's well-being. There was no root of bitterness in 
him. There was no callous, **Well, this is none of my 
doing: he must reap what he has sown.*' Promptly he 
goes to the aid of the one in distress. But note it was not 
in the energy of the flesh that he acted. It was no mere tie 
of nature that prompted Abram here — ^''When Abram 
heard that his brother (not his 'nephew') was taken cap- 
tive.^' A hrother — a spiritual brother — ^was in need, and so 
he *'armed his trained servants, bom in his own house, 
three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan'' 
(14: 14). And has this no voice for us today? Surely the 
spiritual application is obvious. How often is a ''brother'' 
taken captive by the enemy, and the word comes, ''Ye, 
which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of 
meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted 
(Gal. 6:1). But only too often the call falls upon ears 
that are duU of hearing. Only too often, our prided sep- 



*A careful study of the order of mention and the meaning of the various 
proper names mentioned in Genesis 14 : 1-10 will well repay the devout 
student. 



Abraham and Melchizedek 159 

aration from evil leads to independence and indiflference. 
Alas ! that it should be so. How diflferent f rom our blessed 
Lord, who leaves the ninety and nine and goes after the 
sheep that has strayed, and rests not until it is f ound and 
restored ! 

* ' The righteous are bold as a lion ' ' (Prov. 28 : 1) . When 
the news came that Lot was a prisoner in the hands of a 
mighty warrior, Abram showed no hesitation but imme- 
diately set out in pursuit of the victorious army, and tak- 
ing the initiative was quickly successful in rescuing his 
nephew. * ' And he divided himself against them, he and his 
servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto 
Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he 
brought back all the goods, and also brought again his 
brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the 
people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, 
after his return f rom the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and of 
the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, 
which is the kings' dale'' (14: 15-17). 

It is just at this point that a very remarkable personage is 
brought before us, namely, Melchizedek. Much has been 
said and written about him. Some have thought he was 
Shem who was a contemporary of Abram's for a hundred 
years; but this cannot be, for we are distinctly informed 
concerning Melchizedek that he was * * without f ather, with- 
out mother'' (Heb. 7:3), which, as we shall see, means that 
Scripture is absolutely silent concerning his genealogy. 
This then disposes of the Shem theory, f or we do know who 
his father was. Others have concluded that he was Christ 
Himself , but this supposition is equally unscriptural f or we 
are told that Melchizedek is **made like unto the Son of 
God ' ' and that Christ 's priesthood is ' * af ter the similitude 
of Melchizedek" (Heb. 7:3, 15), which could not be said 
it Melchizedek were Christ Himself . StiU others have sup- 
posed that he was some mysterious celestial being, but that 
is emphatically negatived by Hebrews 7 : 4, where Melchize- 
dek is expressly called a * ' man. ' ' 

In the words "made like unto the Son of God^' (Heb. 7: 
3) we have the key to the mystery which centers around 
Melchizedek. Melchizedek was a type of Christ, and partic- 
ularly a type of our Lord's priesthood. There are other 
points of resemblance which we shall consider below, but 
the first point of analogy between Melchizedek and the 



160 Gleanings in Genesis 

Son of God singled out by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 7 is 
that he is ''without father, without mother, without de^ 
seendant, having neither beginning of days nor end of life/' 
This does not mean that Melehizedek was a supematural, a 
divine being, but that he is presented to us in the Old Testa- 
ment as without f ather or mother, etc. In other words, the 
silence of the Old Testament Seriptures eonceming his 
parentage has a designed significance. The entire omission 
of any reference to Melchizedek 's ancestry, birth or death, 
was ordered by the Holy Spirit (who **moved'' Moses both 
in what he inserted and what he left out of the Genesis 
narrative) in order to present a perfect type of the Lord 
Jesus. No information conceming the genealogy of Mel- 
chizedek is recorded in Genesis, which is a book that abounds 
in genealogies. This is an instance where speech is silvem 
and silence golden. The silence was in order that there 
might be a nearer approximation between the type and the 
glorious antitype. 

Not only was Melchizedek a type of our Lord in the fact 
that he is presented to us in G^nesis as being **without 
f ather, without mother, * * but also in a number of other im- 
portant particulars. Melchizedek was a priest — ^ * the priest 
of the Most High God'' (Gen. 14:18). But not only so, 
he was a king — "King of Salem^* — and therefore a royal 
priest. In the person of Melchizedek the offices of priest 
and king were combined, and thus was he a notable type of 
our great High Priest who according to the flesh was not of 
the tribe of Levi, but of the tribe of Judah, the royal tribe 
(see Heb. 7: 14). Not only was Melchizedek a type of the 
royal priesthood of Christ by virtue of his office as King 
of Salem (which means '*peace'') but his name also had a 
typical significance. ' ' Melchizedek ' ' means ' ' king of right- 
eousness.** Here again there is a wonderful and blessed 
bringing together of things which out of Christ are di- 
vorced. Not only did Melchizedek combine in his person 
the offices of king and priest, but in his titles he united 
righteousness and peace. Melchizedek was both king of 
righteousness and king of peace and thus did he foreshadow 
the blessed result of the cross work of our adorable Lord, 
for it was at the Cross that ''mercy and truth met together, 
and righteonsness and peace kissed each other'^ (Ps. 85: 
10). 



Ahraham and Melchizedek 161 

Observe the order of mention in Hebrews 7 : 2, * * to whom 
also Abraham gave a tenth part of all ; first being by inter- 
pretation King of Bighteousness, and af ter that also King 
of Salem, which is, King of Peace/* This is ever (Jod's 
order. God cannot be at peace with guilty rebels until the 
elaims of His throne have been met. Only upon a righteous 
basis can peace be established. ''And the work of right- 
eousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, 
quietness and assurance forever" (Isa. 32:17). This is 
unfolded at length in the Epistle to the Bomans, and par^ 
ticularly in 3:21-26, God's righteousness was **declared" 
at the Cross where the Lord Jesus made propitiation and 
fully satisfied every demand of the thrice holy God. There 
it is that the great **work of righteousness ' ' was accom- 
plished, the effect of which is peace. As it is written, 
**Having made peace through the blood of His Cross^^ (Col. 
1:20). The benefits of this accrue to the believer through 
the channel of faith, for *'being justified (pronounced right- 
eous) by faith we have peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ^* (Rom. 5:1). The same order is found again 
in Bomans 14 : 17 — ^ * For the Kingdom of God is not meat 
and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the 
HolySpirit.^' 

In Hebrews 7:4 attention is called to the greatness of 
this man Melchizedek, his * * greatness ^ ' being recognized 
and acknowledged by Abraham who ' ' gave him tithes. ' ' In 
this also he is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, our ^^great 
High Priest*' — ^the only Priest so denominated in the Scrip- 
tures. The greatness of our Lord's priesthood inheres in 
His intrinsic glory which is in contrast with the f eebleness 
of the perishable priests of the Levitical order who could 
not save. Two things prominently characterized the Leviti- 
cal priests : first, they were personally unclean, and there- 
fore needed to **offer for their own sins*' (Heb. 7:27); 
and second, they were mortal, and therefore death put an 
end to their ministrations. Now in contradistinction, not 
only is our great High Priest sinless, but He is made * * af ter 
the power of an endless life'^ (Heb. 7: 16), and hence it is 
written conceming Christ, **Thou art a priest for ever after 
the order of Melchizedek ' ^ (Heb. 7:21). It is important 
to remark here that it is as risen and ascended that the Lord 
Jesus has received the etemal excellency of the Melchizedek 
title. His never-ending ministry of hlessing dates its ef- 



162 Gleanings in Genesis 

fectual beginning from the finished work of the Ooss. 
Here again we note the aecuraey of our type, for not only is 
the Genesis narrative silent concerning the origin of Mel- 
chizedek, but it makes no mention of his death. 

Finally, it is to be noted that Melchizedek is termed 
*'priest of the Mosi High Ood'^ (Gen. 14: 18), a title which 
looks beyond all national relationships. Here is the final 
contrast between the two orders of priesthood — ^the Mel- 
chizedekian and the Aaronic. Aaron's priestly ministry 
never transcended the limits of Israel, and he was ever the 
priest of Jehovah as the God of Israel. But Melchizedek 
was priest of Jehovah under His more comprehensive title 
of the Most High Ood, ^^Possessor of heaven and earth'* 
(Gen. 14: 19), and therefore Melchizedek foreshadowed the 
millennial glory of Christ when * * He shall be a priest upon 
His throne'' (Zech. 6:13) and reign in righteousness and 
peace. As it is written, ^'Behold, the days come, saith the 
Lord, that I wiU raise unto David a righteous Branch, and 
a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment 
and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, 
and Israel shall dwell saf ely : and thie is His name whereby 
He shall be called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS^' 
(Jer. 23 : 5, 6). Then shall the Divine Melchizedek rule as 
King of Righteousness and King of Peace. As it is written 
again, **His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, 
The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of 
Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there 
shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His 
Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and 
with justice (righteousness) f rom hencef orth even f or ever ' * 
(Isa. 9:6, 7). 

That Melchizedek foreshadowed the millennial glory of 
Christ is further to be seen from the occasion when he ap- 
peared before Abram. The typical picture is wonderfully 
complete. Melchizedek met Abram as he was retuming 
from the slaughter of the kings, having rescued from them 
his nephew Lot who foreshadows the Jewish remnant in 
the tribulation period.* Then it was that Melchizedek met 
Abram and hlessed him (14 : 19) . Thus it wiU be when our 



*In the federation oí the kings under Chedorlaomer we haye íore- 
shadowed the ten kingdomed Empire over which the Beast will nile, and 
surely it is more than a coincidenoe that here we flnd mentioned nine kings 
— "four kings with flve" (v. 9) — which with Abram and his armed senrants 
make in all ten contesting forces! 



Abraham and Melchizedek 163 

Lord retums to usher in the MiUennium. He wiU over- 
throw the Beast and his forees in this same ''King's dale," 
deliver Israel out of their hands and bless the descendants 
of Abraham, and just as Abram acknowledged the superior- 
ity of Melchizedek by paying him tithes, so wiU Israel ac- 
knowledge their Divine Melchizedek and own Him as their 
Priest and King. 

It now only remains f or us to consider here the immediate 
effects upon Abram of the appearing of Melchizedek before 
him and the blessing he had received f rom him. * * And the 
King of Sodom said unto Abram, give me the persons, and 
take the goods to thyself" (Gen. 14:21). In the King of 
Sodom's offer we may discover one of the ''wiles" of the 
devil f or we are not ignorant of his * ' devices. ' ' The world 
is only too ready to offer God's children its subsidies so as 
to bring them under obligation to itself. But Abram was 
preëminently a man of faith and faith is *'the victory that 
overcometh the world'* (1 John 5:4). 

' * And Abram said to the King of Sodom, I have lif ted up 
mine hand unto the Lord, the Most High God, the Possessor 
of heaven and earth.f That I wiU not take from a thread 
even to a shoelatchet, and that I wiU not take anything that 
is thine, lest thou shouldest say I have made Ahram rich. 
Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the 
portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and 
Mamre; let them take their portion" (14:22-24). What 
noble words were these ! With quiet dignity our patriarch 
refuses to be dependent in anywise upon the King of Sodom 
— what a contrast was Balaam and the offer made him by 
Balak ! Abram knew that in heaven he had a * * better and 
an enduring substance" (Heb. 10:34). The words, **I 
have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord^* (compare Deut. 
32 : 40) signify a vow or solemn oath, and seem to show 
that when he started out in pursuit of Lot's captors he 
promised the Lord that if He would give him success he 
would not enrich himself by his campaign ; but it is beauti- 
ful to note that he did not forget or overlook the claims of 
those who had accompanied him and shared his perils. In 
the giving of tithes to Melchizedek, priest of the Most High 
God, Abram acknowledged God's grace in giving him the 
victory. 

tThe use of this Divine title bere gives the lie to the wicked teaching of 
the higher critics who erroneously declare that the god of the patriarch 
and of Israel wós a tribal or tutelary god. The 6od of Abram was no mere 
local deity but "The Possessor of heAveil Aod «asth*" 



20. ABRAHAM'S VISION 

Genesis 15 

The connecting link between our present portion of Scrip- 
ture and the one whieh we took f or the basis of meditation 
in our last chapter is found in the opening words of Gen- 
esis 15— ^^After these things the Word of the Lord came 
unto Abram in a vision." Chedorlaomer, the King of 
Elam, had united his f orces to those of three other kings 
in a league of conquest. Their military prowess seemed ir- 
resistible. The Bephaim, the Zuzim, the Emim, the Horites, 
the Amalekites and the Amorites were each def eated in tum 
(Gen. 14: 5-7). Five kings with their forces now combined 
and went forth to engage the armies of Chedorlaomer, but 
they also were overthrown, and in consequence the cities of 
Sodom and Gomorrah were sacked and Lot was taken 
prisoner. Then it was that Abram went f orth at the head 
of his three hundred and eighteen armed servants and by a 
surprise night attack gained a signal victory. Chedorla- 
omer was slain, Lot was delivered, and the booty taken f rom 
Sodom and Gomorrah was recovered. 

And now came the reaction, mental and physical. Abram 
had good reason to conclude that the remaining foUowers 
of the powerful King of Elam would not abandon the enter- 
prise which had only been frustrated by a surprise attack 
at night — ^made by an insignificant force — ^but instead, 
would return and avenge their reverse. In defeating 
Chedorlaomer and his allies, Abram had made some bitter 
and influential foes. It was not likely that they would rest 
content until the memory of their reverse had been wiped 
out with blood. They who had been strong enough to cap- 
ture the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were too powerf ul to 
be set at defiance by Abram and his little colony. Thus 
alarmed and apprehensive Abram now receives a special 
word of reassurance : * * Af ter these things the Word of the 
Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Ahramj 
I am thy shield/' Thus in tender grace did Jehovah quiet 
the troubled heart of the one whom He was pleased to call 
His ''friend.^' 

But further. In the remaining part of this opening 
verse — ''I am....thy exceeding great Beward^^ — ^we have 



164 



Abraham's Vision 166 

another word which looks back to the previous chapter; 
ánd a precious word it is. After Abram had defeated 
Chedorlaomer, and af ter he had been blessed and refreshed 
by Melchizedek, the King of Sodom offered to reward 
Abram by suggesting he take the recovered ''goods'* unto 
himself (14:21). But he who ''looked for a city which 
hath foundations whose builder and maker is God^' de- 
clined to accept anything from this worldling, saying, **I 
have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord, the Most High 
God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I wiU not take 
f rom a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take 
anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, / have made 
Abram rich'' (14: 22, 23). Noble reply ! And now we be- 
hold the sequel. God never permits His own to lose for 
honoring Him and seeking His glory. Abram had refused 
the spuil of Sodom, but God more than makes it up to him. 
Just as when our patriarch had shown his magnanimity to 
Lot by say ing : * * Is not the whole iand bef ore thee . . . . if 
thou wilt take the left hand, then I wiU go to the right; 
or if thou depart to the right hand then I wiU go to the 
lef t, ' * and the Lord appeared unto Abram and said, * * Lif t 
up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art 
northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward. 
For all the land which thou seest, to thee wiU I give it, and 
to thy seed forever" (13: 9, 14, 15) ; so it was here. The 
refusal to be enriched by the king of Sodom is now com- 
pensated, more than compensated by a revelation from God 
which would greatly increase the joy of His servant. How 
important is the principle which here receives such lovely 
exemplification ! How much are the Lord's people losing 
today because of their acceptance of the world^s favors! 
Unto how few can the Lord now reveal Himself as He did 
here to Abram ! 

**I am thy shield and thy exceeding great Reward.^^ We 
would f ain tarry and extract some of the sweetness of these 
words. This is a special promise applicable to those who 
are ''strangers and pilgrims on the earth." It is God's 
word to those who ''choose rather to suffer afiíiction with 
the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a 
season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than 
the treasures in Egypt" for they have **respect unto the 
reeompense of the reward'' (Heb. 11: 25, 26). Unto such, 
God promises to bé their Shield, their Def ense, the One be- 



166 Gleanings in Genesis 

hind whom f aith shelters and trusts ; as well as their Be« 
ward, their exceeding great Reward. So it was with our 
blessed Lord Himself. Refusing to accept from Satan the 
kingdoms of the world and their glory, He could say, ^^The 
Lord is the portion of Mine inheritance, and of My cup^' 
(Ps. 16:5). 

''And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, 
seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this 
Eliezer of Damascus ? And Abram said, Behold, to me Thóu 
hast given no seed ; and, lo, one born in my house is mine 
heir'* (vs. 2, 3). ín hearing the words, **I am thy Shield 
and thy exceeding great Beward/^ Abram's mind seems to 
have turned toward his inherita/nce and the f act that he had 
no seed of his own to enter into the promises of God. What 
Abram longed for was a son, for he rightly judged that to 
go childless was to lose the inheritance. In other words, the 
patriarch here recognizes that heirship is hased upon sonr 
ship, and thus we have foreshadowed a truth of vital im- 
portance, a truth which is fuUy revealed in the Scriptures 
of the New Testament. There we read, **The Spirit Him- 
self beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the chil- 
dren of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, 
and joint heirs with Christ'* (Rom. 8: 16, 17). And again: 
* ' Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by 

Jesus Christ to Himself in whom also we have obtained 

an inheritance^* (Eph. 1 : 5, 11). 

We do not consider that in asking * * What wilt thou give 
me,^' etc, that Abram was giving expression to unbelief. 
On the contrary we regard his words as the language of 
f aith. Observe there was no rebuke given him by the Lord ; 
instead, we are told, **And, behold, the Word of the Lord 
came unto him saying, This shall not be thine heir ; but he 
that shall come f orth out of thine own bowels shall be thine 
heir. And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look 
now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to 
number them; and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be^* 
(vs. 4, 5). It is to be noted that in Genesis 13: 15 God 
compared Abram's seed to the dust of the earth, but here, 
where Christ is contemplated (as well as a numerous off- 
spring), the word is, ^^Look now towUrd heaven,^^ and his 
seed is likened to the * * stars. * ' 

And now we come to those words which have been so 
precíous unto multitudes : * * And he believed in the Lord ; 



Abraham's Vision 167 

and He counted it to him for righteousness'^ (v. 6). A full 
exposition of this verse would lead us f ar beyond the limits 
of our present spaee, so we content ourselves with a few 
brief comments, referring the reader to Romans 4 for God's 
own exposition. 

Literally rendered our verse reads, * ' And he stayed himr 
self upon the Lord ; and He counted it to him f or righteous- 
ness." At the time God promised Abram that his heir 
should be one who came forth from his own bowels Abram^s 
body was '*as good as dead" (Heb. 11:12), nevertheless, 
he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief ; 
but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being 
fuUy persuaded that what He had promised, He was able 
also to perform'* (Rom. 4:20, 21). Abram reasoned not 
about the naiural impossibility that lay in the way of the 
realization of the promise, but believed that God would act 
just as He had said. God had spoken and that was enough. 
His own body might be dead and Sarah long past the age of 
child-bearing, nevertheless he was fuUy assured that God 
had power even to quicken the dead. And this faith was 
reckoned or counted unto him for righteousness ; not that 
f aith is accepted by God in lieu of righteousness as an equiv- 
alent for righteousness, else would faith be a meritorious 
thing, but that faith is the recipient of that righteousness 
by which we are justified. The force of the preposition is 
**unto" rather than **instead of ** — it was ^'counted to him 
unto righteousness. ' * Abram^s case was a representative 
one. Today justification (to be declared righteous) is by 
faith, but with this important difference that whereas 
Abram believed God would give him a son through the 
quickening of his body, we believe that God has given us 
His Son, and through His death and quickening from the 
dead a Saviour is ours through f aith. 

Just here we would pause to consider what seems to have 
proven a real difficulty to expositors and commentators. 
Was not Abram a **believer^' years before the point of time 
contemplated in Genesis 15 : 6 ? Not a f ew have suggested 
that prior to this incident Abram was in a condition similar 
to that of Comelius before Peter preached to him. But are 
we not expressly told that it was ^^By faith'' (Heb. 11 : 8) 
he had left Ur of the Chaldees and went out **not knowing 
whither he went^M Yet, why are we here told that '*he 
believed in the Lord ; and He counted it to him f or right- 



168 Gleanings in Genesis 

eousness" t Surely the answer is not far to seek. It is true 
that in the New Testament the Holy Spirit informs ns that 
Abram was a believer when he lef t Chaldea, but his f aith is 
not there (í. e., Heb. 11:8) mentioned in connection with 
his justification. Instead, in the Epistles to the Bomans 
and Galatians the ineident whieh the Holy Spirit singles 
out as the occasion when Abram's faith was counted for 
righteousness is the one in Genesis 15 now before us. And 
why ? Because in Genesis 15 Abram 's f aith is directly con- 
nected with God's promise respecting his **seed," which 
**seed'' was Christ (see Gal. 3: 16) ! The faith which was 
^^counted for righteousness^' was the faith which believed 
what God had said concerning the promised Seed. It was 
this instance of Abram's faith which the Holy Spirit was 
pleased to select as the model for believing unto justifica- 
tion. There is no justification apart from Christ — 
^^Through this Man is preached unto you the forgive- 
ness of sins. And by Him all that helieve are justified from 
all things'* (Acts 13 : 38, 39). Therefore we say it was not 
that Abram here ''believed God" for the first time, but that 
here God was pleased to openly attest his righteousness for 
the first time, and that f or the reason stated above. Though 
Christians may believe God with respect to the common 
concerns of this life, such faith, while it evidences they 
have been justified is not the faith by which they were 
justified — the faith which justifies has to do directly with 
the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was 
the character of Abram 's f aith in Genesis 15 ; he believed 
the promise of God which pointed to Christ. Hence it is in 
Qenesis 15 and not in Genesis 12 we read, * ' And He counted 
it to him f or righteousness. ' ' How perf ect are the ways of 
God! 

*' And He said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee 
out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit 
it'* (v. 7). Abram now ventures to ask for a sign by which 
he may know that by his posterity, he shall inherit the land. 
** And he said, Lord God, wherehy shall I know that I shall 
inherit it?'' (v. 8). We do not regard this question from 
Abram as arising from unbelief, but that having just been 
granted (v. 5) a sign or view of a numerous offspring he 
now desires a further sign or pledge by way of explanation. 
And now the Lord answers by putting Christ, in tjT^e, be- 
fore him. 



Abraham's Vision 169 

** And He said unto him, Take Me a heifer of three years 
old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three 
years old, and a turtle dove, and a young pigeon. And he 
took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and 
laid eaeh pieee one against another, but the birds divided he 
not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, 
Abram drove them away^' (vs. 9-11). The typical picture 
is wonderfully complete. ''Take Me," observe, for the 
sacrifice belongs to, is for God. It has been pointed out by 
another that each of the three animals named here were 
tame ones, not wild and needing to be captured by Abram ; 
instead, they were the wiUing servants of man's need. Each 
one foreshadowed a distinctive aspect of Christ's perfec- 
tions and work. The heifer of three years seems to have 
pointed to the freshness of His vigor; the goat, gave the 
sin-offering aspect; the ram is the animal that in the 
Levitical offerings was connected speeially with consecra- 
tion. The birds told of One from Heaven, The **three 
years,'* thrice repeated, suggested perhaps the time of our 
Lord's sacrifice, offered after ''three years" of service! 
Note that death passed upon them all, for without shedding 
of blood is no remission and where no remission is there can 
be no inheritance. The *'dividing" of the animals indi- 
cated that this sacrifice was to f orm the basis f or a covenant 
(cf. Jer. 34:18, 19). The ''driving away" of the fowls 
seems to have shown forth the energy of f aith. 

**And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell 
upon Abram ; and, lo, a horror of great darkness f ell upon 
him. And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy 
seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and 
shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred 
years'* (vs. 12, 13). A profound truth Is here taught us 
in type. Abram now learns that the inheritance can be 
reached only through suffering! His heirs would have to 
pass through the furnaee before they entered into that 
whjch God had prepared for them. In the '^deep sleep'^ 
and the **horror of great darkness" Abram, as it were, 
entered in spirit into death, as that thróugh which all his 
seed would have to pass ere they experienced God's deliv- 
erance after the death of the Paschal Lamb. First the suf- 
fering, the four hundred years' **affliction," and then the 
inheritance. How this reminds us again of Romans 8 : 17 ! 
**And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs 



170 Gleanings in Genesis 

with Christ ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may 
be also glorified together. ' ' And again : * * We must through 
mueh tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God" (Acts 
14:22). Thus it was with our blessed Lord — first the 
''sufferings" and then **the glory.'^ We call attention to 
the wonderful and perfect order of the typical teaching 
here: first the sacrifice (v. 9) ; second, *'thy seed" — ^sons 
(v. 13); third, suffering— ''affliction" (v. 13); fourth, 
entering into the inheritance — ^''come hither again" (v. 16). 
How complete the typical picture ! 

**And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell 
upon Abram ; and, lo, a horror of great darkness f eli upon 
him'* (v. 12). By this deep sleep we leam how God was 
showing the patriarch, symbolically, that not during his 
natural lif e would he inherit the land ; instead, he must go 
down into the grave and inherit it together with the Prom- 
ised Seed. In his awaking from this '*deep sleep" Abram 
received a veiled promise of resurrection from the dead 
and the horror of great darkness as of the grave (cf. Heb. 
2 : 15 ) f rom which he was recalled again to the light of day . 
In a word, the way to blessing, to the inheritance, was 
through death and resurrection. 

*'And He said unto Abram, know of a surety that thy 
seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and 
shall serve them ; and they shall afflict them f our hundred 
years. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, wiU I 
judge ; and af terward shall they come out with great sub- 
stance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou 
shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the f ourth genera- 
tion they shall come hither again ; f or the iniquity of the 
Amorites is not yet full" (vs. 13-16). These verses contain 
a sevenfold prophecy which received a literal and complete 
fulfillment. It had reference to the sojourn of Abram's 
descendants in the land of Egypt, their bondage there, and 
their deliverance and return to Canaan. We can do little 
more now than outline the divisions of this compound 
prophecy. First, Abram 's descendants were to be strangers 
in a land not theirs (v. 13). Second, in that strange land 
they were to ''serve'* (v. 13). Third, they were to be 
**afflicted" four hundred years (v. 13) — note that Exodus 
12:40 views the entire ^'sojourning" of the children of 
Israel in Egypt. They ''dwelt" in Egypt four hundred 
and thirty years, but were *'afflicted" for only four hun- 



Ahraham's Vision 171 

dred years of that time. Fourth, the nation whom Abram's 
descendants **served" God would ** judge" (v. 14). Fifth, 
Abram's offspring were to come out of Egypt with **great 
substance'' (v. 14), cf. Ps. 105:37. Sixth, Abram himself 
was to be spared these aflflictions — he should die in peace 
and be buried in a good old age (v. 15). Seventh, in the 
'*fourth generation" Abram's descendants would return 
again to Canaan (v, 16). We take it that our readers are 
sufficiently well acquainted with the book of Exodus to 
know how wonderfuUy this prophecy was fulfilled, but we 
would point out here how accurately the seventh item was 
realized. By comparing Exodus 6:16-26 we find that it 
was exactly in the ^^fourth generation" that the children of 
Israel left Egypt and returned to Canaan. In this par- 
ticular example the first generation was Levi, the son of 
Jacob, who entered Egypt at the time his father and breth- 
ren did (Ex. 6:16). The second generation was Kohath 
(Ex. 6: 16), who was a son of Levi. The third generation 
was Amran, son of Kohath (Ex. 6:18). And the fourth 
generation brings us to Moses and Aaron, who were the sons 
of Amram (Ex. 6:20), and these were the ones who led 
Israel out of Egypt ! 

* ' And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and 
it was dark, behold a smoking fumace and a burning lamp 
that passed between those pieces'* (v. 17). Much is sug- 
gested here which we have to pass by. The * ' smoking f ur- 
nace ' ' and the ' ' burning lamp ' ' symbolized the two leading 
features of the history of Abram's descendants. For the 
''fumace'* see Jeremiah 11:3, 4, etc. ; for the *'burning 
lamp'' see 2 Samuel 22:29; Psalm 119:105; Isaiah 62: 
1, etc. Note a ''smoking furnace and a burning lamp." 
Did not this teach Abram that in Israel's sufferings God 
would be with them; and that in all their aflflictions, He 
would be aflflicted, too ? 

* ' In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, 
saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river 
of Egypt, unto the great river, the river Euphrates^' (v. . 
18). The covenant which God here made with Abram was 
based upon death, typically, the death of Christ. This cove- 
nant, based on sacriíice, was made by the Lord Himself ; it 
concerned the land ; and was absolutely unconditional. It 
has never yet been completely f ulfiUed. Note carefuUy its 
wording — ^'^Unto thy seed have I given this land.'* Con- 



172 Gleanings in Genesis 

trast these words with Genesis 13 : 15 — ^ * For all the land 
whieh thou seest to thee mll I give it.^^ But now a sacri- 
fice had been oífered, blood had been shed, the purchase 
price had been paid, and hence the change from **I will'* to 
''I have." 

In these articles we are not attempting complete exposi- 
tions. They are little more than •'Notes" — * ' Gleanings ' * — 
and our prime endeavor is to indicate some of the broad 
outlines of truth in the hope that our readers wiU be led 
to fiU in the details by their own personal studies. In con- 
cluding this paper it deserves to be noted that Genesis 15 
is a chapter in which quite a number of important terms 
and expressions occur for the first time. The foUowing is 
not a complete list, but includes some of the more important 
examples. Here f or the first time we find that notable ex- 
pression, **The word of the Lord came unto" (v. 1). Here 
is the first reference to a **vision" (v. 1). Here for the 
first time we read the words **Fear not'^ (v. 1) , which, with 
their equivalent, **Be not afraid," occur in Scriptures al- 
most one hundred and eighty times. Here is the first men- 
tion of Qod as a **Shield" (v. 1). Here is the first occur- 
rence of the Divine title ^'Adonai Jehovah" — ^Lord God 
(v. 2). Here for the first time we find the words '*Be- 
lieved," *'counted" or reckoned, and * ' righteousness. * ' 
May writer and reader search the Scriptures daily and dili- 
gently so that each shall say, ''I rejoice at Thy Word, as 
one that findeth great spoil" (Ps. 119: 162). 



21. ABRAHAM AND HAGAR 

Genesis 16 

It is difficult to imagine a greater contrast than what is 
presented in our present chapter f rom the one reviewed in 
our last article. In Gen^is 15 Abram is seen as the man 
of faith, in chapter 16 as the man of unbelief. In Genesis 
15 he **believed in the Lord," in Genesis 16 he **hearkened 
to the voice of Sarai." There he walks after the Spirit, 
here he acts in the energy of the flesh. Sad inconsistency ! 
But One could say, **I do always these things that please 
Him" (John8:29). 

* * Now Sarai, Abram *s wif e, bare him no children ; and 
she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath re- 
strained me from bearing. I pray thee, go in unto my 
maid, it may be that I may obtain children by her" (Gen. 
16: 1, 2). In this suggestion of Sarai's we witness a fresh 
testing of Abram. Again and again our patriarch was tried 
— ^tried, may we not say, at every point. First, his faith 
had to overcome the ties of nature : God 's call was f or him 
to leave his country and his kindred. Then, shortly after 
he had actually arrived in Canaan, his faith was tried by 
stress of circumstances — ^there was a famine in the land. 
Next, he had to meet a trial respecting a brother: Abram 
feared that the friction between his herdsmen and the 
herdsmen of his nephew might lead to **strife'* between 
brethren, and how he met this by his magnanimous offer to 
Lot we have already seen in an earlier chapter. Later, 
there was a testing of Abram's couragcj as well as his love 
f or his nephéw. Lot had been captured by a powerf ul war- 
rior, but Abram hastens to his rescue and delivers him. 
Subsequently, there was a testing of his cupidity. The King 
of Sodom offered to **reward" him for overcoming Chedor- 
laomer. And now he is tested by a suggestion from his 
wife. Would he take matters out of the hand of God and 
act in the energy of the flesh with ref erence to the obtaining 
of a son and heir. Thus, at six different points (to this 
stage in his history) was the character of Abram tested. 
We might summarize them thus : There was the trying of 
the fervor of his faith— did he love Qod more than home 



173 



174 Gleanings in Genesis 

and kindred. There was the trying of the sufficiency of 
his faith — was he looking to the living God to supply all 
his need, or was he depending on propitious eircumstances ? 
There was the trying of the humility oí his faith — ^would 
he assert his ' ' rights, ' ' or yield to Lot ? There was the try- 
ing of the boldness of his faith — would he dare attempt the 
rescue of his nephew from the hands of a powerful war- 
riort There was the trying of the dignity of his faith — 
would he bemean himself by accepting honors from the 
King of Sodom? There was the trying of the patience of 
his faith — would he wait for Qod to fulfil His word in His 
own good time and way, or would he take matters into his 
own hand ? 

It is most instructive to note the setting of these various 
trials and temptations. Arrived in the land Abram was 
faced with a famine, and Egypt was at hand to lure the 
patriarch with its promise of relief f rom his anxiety. After 
his departure from Egypt and return to the path of Qod^s 
wiU, the very next thing we read of is the strife between 
the herdsmen. Again : no sooner had Abram rescued Lot 
from his captors and been blessed by Melchizedek than he 
was tempted to dishonor God and bemean himself by a re- 
ward from the King of Sodom. And, immediately after 
Abram had received the wonderful revelation and promise 
of God recorded in Genesis 15, we read of this subtle temp- 
tation emanating from his wife. 

It seems to be a general principle in the ways of God with 
His own to first bless and enrich and then to test the recip- 
ient. Elisha ardently. desired to receive Elijah's mantle. 
His wish was granted ; and the next thing we read of him is 
the f acing of Jordan — ^the mantle had to be used at once ! 
Solomon prayed f or wisdom, and his prayer was heard, and 
at onee his gift was called into exercise by the case of the 
two mothers each claiming the living child as hers. Thus 
it was, too, with our blessed Lord ; no sooner had the Holy 
Spirit deseended upon Him in the form of a dove than we 
read, **And immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the 
wilderness'' (Mark 1:12), where He was tempted of the 
devil. It is highly necessary for us to take the lesson to 
heart — it is when we have received some special mark of thé 
Lord's favor, or immediately after we have enjoyed some 
unusual season of communion with him, that we need most 
to be on our guard ! 



Abraham and Hagar 175 

The evil suggestion that Sari made to Abram was a test- 
ing of the patience of his f aith. God had said to Abram, * ' I 
will make of thee a great nation, and I wiU bless thee and 
make thy name greaf' (Gen. 12 : 2). He had said, further, 
* * Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able 
to number them ; and He said unto him, So shall thy seed 
he" (15 : 5) , yet ten years had passed since the first of these 
promises and stiU Abram was childless. When the Lord re- 
peated His promise **Abram believed in the Lord" (15: 6), 
and now he was left to wait for the fulfiUment of it. But 
waiting is just what the natural heart finds it so hard to 
endure. Rather than wait man pref ers to take the manage- 
ment of his affairs into his own hands and use human ex- 
pediencies to give effect to the Divine promise. It was thus 
with Jacob ; the portion of the firstborn had been given to 
him and not to Esau, but instead of waiting f or God to se- 
cure the inheritance f or him, he sought to obtain it himself 
by his own dishonorable scheming. It was the same with 
Moses; God had declared that the descendants of Abram 
should be aflflicted for 400 years in a strange country, and 
but 360 years had passed when Moses saw an Egyptian 
smiting a Hebrew, and taking matters into his own hands 
he smote and slew the Egyptian. It is one thing to * ' com- 
mit ' ' our way unto the Lord, but it is quite another to trust 
also in Him, ' ' and wait tiU He brings it to pass. 

**And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai'* (v. 2). 
The father of mankind sinned by hearkening to his wife, 
and here the father of the faithful foUows his example. 
These things are recorded for our learning. How often it 
is that a man 's f oes are those of his own household ! How 
often those who are nearest to us by nature are snares and 
hindrances in the spiritual life! Hence, how deeply im- 
portant to heed the Divine admonition and '*Be not un- 
equally yoked together. ' ' 

*'And Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the 
Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of 
Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife'' 
(v. 3). Galatians 4 : 22-26 is the inspired commentary ui>on 
the doctrinal principles involved in this act and in Abram's 
response to it. The dispensational significance of Abram's 
fall has often been expounded by others so that it is un- 
necessary for us to dwell upon it here at any length. In 
ref using to wait upon the Lord, and in summoning to his 



176 Gleanings in Genesis 

aid this Egyptian maid f or the f ulfilling of the Divine prom- 
ise, Abram took a step which only * * gendered to bondage, ' ' 
just as now the believer does, if having begun in the Spirit 
he seeks to be made perf ect by the flesh. 

The outcome oí Abram 's yielding to the specious tempta- 
tion from his wife was quickly evidenced. **And he went 
in unto Hagar, and she conceived ; and when she saw that 
she had conceived, her mistress was despísed in her eyes" 
(v. 4). The consequence was just what might have been 
expected. The Egyptian maid was elated at the honor ( t) 
conferred upon her, and Sarai f alls in her estimation. And 
now, when it is too late, Sarai repents and complains to her 
husband — ^** And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon 
thee. I have given my maid into thy bosom ; and when she 
saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes ; the 
Lord judge between me and thee^^ (v. 5). How true to 
human nature (fallen human nature) — ^to throw the blame 
of wrong-doing upon another ! Man ever seeks to shelve his 
responsibility and charge either God or Satan with what he 
terms his * * misf ortunes. ' ' 

**But Abram said upto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy 
hand ; do to her as it pleaseth thee" (v. 6) . Abram refuses 
to accept the responsibility of Sarai's ^'wrong^' and leaves 
her to deal with the evil which was the f ruitage of her own 
sowing. But observe how one evil leads to another; in 
wronging his wife, Abram now surrenders to her his posi- 
tion as head of the household. 

'*And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from 
her face^' (v. 6). Was it to this Solomon had reference 
when he said, * * It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than 
with a contentious and an angry woman" (Prov. 21: 19) í 
Hagar, too, had to leam that the way of the transgressor is 
hard. ' * And the angel of the Lord f ound her by a f ountain 
of water in the wildemess, by the f ountain in the way to 
Shur^' (v. 7). What grace was this, Divine grace, for we 
need not stop to prove that the ** Angel of the Lord" (men- 
tioned here for the first time) was God Himself in the- 
ophanic manifestation. The place where He found this 
poor Egyptian maid attracts our attention. It was ''by a 
fountain of water in the wildemess,'' termed in verse 14 
**the well." This is the first time we read of the **weir' in 
Scripture. We pause to look at several other passages in 
the Old Testament where the *'well'' is mentioned, for the 



Abraham and Hagar 177 

purpose of noting how beautif ully they pointed to the One 
Who giveth the living water, that water of which those who 
drink shall never thirst" and which is in them a well of 
water springing up into * * everlasting life'' (John 4). 

Ere turning to a few of those Scriptures, where the 
* ' well ' * is mentioned we pause to note first what is said of it 
hefe in Genesis 16. Three things are to be observed con- 
cerning this **well/* First, it was located in the **wilder- 
ness/' Second, the well itself was **by the fountain" — 
mark the repetition of these words in verse 7. And third, 
it was at this well that God revealed Himself to Hagar. 
Surely the symbols are easily interpreted. It is not amid 
the gaieties or the luxuries of the world that Christ is to be 
found. It is not while the soul is enjoying **the pleasures 
of sin f or a season ' ' that the Saviour is met with. It is in 
the wilderness, that is, it is as we withdraw from the attrac- 
tions of earth and are in that state of soul which answers to 
the * * wilderness ' ' that the Lord meets with the sinner, and 
where is it that the needy one finds the Saviour? Where, 
but **by the fountain of water" — ^type of the written 
Word! Should these lines catch the eye of some sin-sick 
and troubled heart that is earnestly seeking the Lord Jesus, 
turn, we beseech thee, away from man, and **search the 
Scriptures,'' for they are they which testify of Him. Fi- 
nally, note that it was here at the **weir' that God was 
revealed — * * and she called the name of the Lord that spake 
unto her, Thou God seest me ; f or she said, Have I also here 
looked after Him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was 
called Beer-lahai-roi — the well of Him that liveth and seeth 
me'' (vs. 13, 14). So Christ— of whom the *'weir' speaks 
— **He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.^' It is in 
Him that God is f ully revealed. 

The next Scripture in which the **well'' is found is 
Genesis 21:19, again in connection with Hagar: **And 
God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.*' How 
plain is the type! **No man can come to Me, except the 
Father which hath sent Me draw him^' ( John 6 : 44) . And 
not only so, but none can see Christ with the eyes of the 
heart until they are opened by God. ' ' And Jesus answered 
and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona ; f or 
flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee (í. e., that 
Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God), but My 
Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 16 : 17) . As it was here 



178 Gleanings in Genesis 

with Hagar — **God opened her eyes, and she saw a weU'* — 
80 also was it with Lydia, ''whose heart the Lord opened, 
that she attended unto the things which were spoken of 
Paur* (Acts 16: 14), and as it was with Lydia so is it with 
all who believe. 

* * Then Jacob went on his joumey, and came into the land 
of the people of the East. And he looked, and behold a 
well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep 
lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks" 
(Gen. 29: 1, 2). Comment here is needless. The **well" is 
the place where the sheep were watered and refreshed. 
So, again, with the antitype. Not only does our Lord give 
life — His own life — ^but He refreshes our parched souls day 
by day. 

**And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well 
whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people to- 
gether, and I wiU give them water. Then Israel sang this 
song, Spring up, well: sing ye unto it'^ (Num. 21: 16, 
17). What a word is this! It reminds us of Genesis 22: 8 
compared with Isaiah 53:7. In the former passage the 
promise is that * * God wiU provide Himself a lamb, ' ' and in 
the latter, the Lamb is definitely identified — ^^He was led 
as a lamb to the slaughter.'^ And so here. The **weir' is 
personified — * * Sing ye unto it " ! Note, too, that the well 
was here made the gathering center of Israel. 0, may we, 
as we gather around our blessed Lord, **sing'' unto Him 
that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own 
blood. 

**Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel, for 
they might not be seen to come into the city ; and a wench 
went and told them ; and they went and told King David. 
Nevertheless, a lad saw them, and told Absalom; but they 
went both of them away quickly , and came to a man *s house 
in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they 
went down. And the woman took and spread a covering 
over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; 
and the thing was not known'' (2 Sam. 17: 17-19). Thus 
the *'weir' was a place of protection for Jonathan and his 
servant. They were securely hidden in the well. How this 
reminds us of that word, **Your life is hid with Chrisi in 
God'' (Col. 3:3). 

Summarizing the typical teaching of the Scriptures we 
have little more than glanced at, we learn : First, that the 



Abraham and Hagar 179 

**well'' is to be found **by the fountain of water/' which, 
to interpret, signifies, that Christ is to be found in the 
written Word. Seeond, that it is at the well God revealed 
Himself , just as in Christ God is now fully told out. Third, 
it was not until God opened the eyes of Hagar, that she 
**saw" the well. So it is not until the eyes of our heart are 
opened by God the Spirit that we are enabled to see Christ 
as the One we need and as the Fairest among ten thousand. 
Fourth, that it is at the well the *'sheep" are **watered.'* 
So it is in communion with Christ our souls are refreshed. 
Fifth, that the well was the place where Israel were gath- 
ered together by the Word of Jehovah through Moses. So 
Christ is now the appointed Gathering-Center when we 
come together f or worship. Sixth, unto the well Israel were 
bidden to ''sing." So throughout time and eternity our 
adorable Lord wiU be the Object and Subject of our praises. 
Seventh, the well was the place where Jonathan and his 
servant found protection f rom their enemies. So in Christ 
we find shelter f rom every f oe and ref uge f rom every storm. 
**And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of 
water in the wildemess, by the f ountain in the way to Shur. 
And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thouí 
and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the 
f ace of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said 
unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under 
her hands'' (vs. 7-9). **Grace reigns through righteous- 
ness." It was grace that sought her, it was righteousness 
that thus counselle^ her. Grace is never exercised at the 
expense of righteousness. Grace upholds rather than ig- 
nores our responsibilities toward God and toward our neigh- 
bor. The grace of God that bringeth salvation, teaches us 
to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, 
righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2: 12). 
Note two things here in connection with Hagar. First, the 
angel of the Lord addresses her as **Sarai's maid,'' thus 
disallowing her marriage (?) with Abram; and second, she 
is bidden to **retum" to her mistress. The day would come 
when God Himself would open the door, and send Hagar 
out of Abram's house (21:12-14), but tiU then she must 
**submit'* herself to the authority of Sarai. For another 
thirteen years she must patiently endure her lot and per- 
form her duty. In the meantime, the Lord cheers Hagar's 
heart with a promise (see v. 10). Is there a word here for 



180 Gleanings in Genesis 

any of our readersf Is there one who has fled from the 
post of dutyt Then to sueh the Lord's word is, **Retuni 
.... submit. ' * If we have done wrong, no matter what the 
temptation or provoeation may have been, the only way to 
Divine blessing, to peace and happiness, is to retrace our 
footsteps (as far as this is possible), in repentance and sub- 
mission. 

* * And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou 
art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name 
Ishmael ; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And 
he wiU be a wild man ; his hand wiU be against every man, 
and every man's hand against him" (vs. 11, 12). This 
prophecy seems to have had ref erence more to his posterity 
than to Ishmael himself . It is weU known how accurately 
its terms have been fulfiUed in the Arabs who, in all ages, 
have been a wild and warlike people, and who, though sur- 
rounded by nations that have each been conquered in tum, 
yet have themselves been unsubdued by the great Powers 
unto this day. 

^'And she caUed the name of the Lord that spake unto 
her, Thou God seest me; for she said, Have I also here 
looked after Him that seeth me. Wherefore, the well was 
called, The weU of Him that liveth and seeth me'* (vs. 13, 
14). May the Lord Himself find tis at the **weU'' as He 
did Hagar of old, and may it be ours as it was hers to hear 
and see Him. 



22. ABRAHAM AT NINETY 

AND NINE 

Genesis 17 

We have reached another of the importaiit erises in the 
history of our patriareh and are to behold again the match- 
less grace of Jehovah in His dealings with the f ather of all 
them that believe. Thirteen years had elapsed (see 17 : 25) 
since Abram, in his impatient unbelief had *'hearkened to 
the voice of Sarah.'^ Significant number this! In Scrip- 
ture thirteen is invariably f ound in an evil connection sig- 
nifying, as it does in the language of numerics, unbelief, 
rebellion, apostasy. The first time this numeral is met with 
in the Word is Genesis 14 : 4, where we read, * ' Twelve years 
they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they 
rebelled.^^ How closely Abram's own experience resembled 
this ! Abram was seventy-five years of age when God 's call 
had come to leave home and kindred and to tread the high- 
way of faith, and for practically twelve years he had en- 
dured as seeing Him who is invisible. But at the age of 
eighty-six (Gen. 17:1, ninety-nine, less the thirteen years 
f or the age of Ishmael, 17 : 25 ) Abram tumed aside f rom 
the path of faith and resorted to the devices of the fiesh, 
hearkening to the suggestion of Sarah to obtain a son by 
Hagar her Egyptian maid. And now another thirteen years 
pass, during which time there is no mention of any appear- 
ing of the Lord unto him. This interval is passed over in 
silence; it is a blank, a period of spiritual barrenness ; ap- 
parently a season which brought forth nothing but wood, 
hay and stubble. Thus we find that the first two mention- 
ings of this numeral thirteen are associated, respectively, 
with rebellion and impatient unbelief in resorting to camal 
efforts instead of waiting upon God. And it wiU be f ound 
that thirteen is an evil number right through the Scriptures 
(see 1 Kings 7 : 1 and contrast 6 : 38 ; Esther 3 : 12, 13, etc.) . 
The same is true of instances where the numeral is not 
specifically mentioned as, for example, the marching of Is- 
rael thirteen times around the defiant Jericho; also the 
thirteen ** judges'' enumerated in Judges, which is the book 
of apostasy (see 21: 25) ; so, too, of Mark 7: 21-23, where 
the Lord specifies just thirteen of the evil characteristics 



181 



182 Gleanings in Genesis 

and products of the depraved heart of man ; other exam- 
ples might be added such as the f act that the term * * Drag- 
on^' is found exactly thirteen times in the apocalypse. 
Again, the same uniform evil significance of this numeral is 
discovered in cases where multiples of thirteen occur in 
Scripture : thus Jacob says to Pharaoh, * * The days of the 
years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years 
(13 X 10) : f ew and evil have the days of the years of my lif e 
been'* (Gten. 47 : 9). In Numbers 16, which records the re- 
bellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram and the visitation of 
God's wrath upon them and their foUowers, we find there 
perished 250 (Num. 16:35) plus 14,700 (Num. 16:49) or 
14,950 in all, which is 13 x 1,150. In Deuteronomy 14 
there is a list of the unclean animals and birds which the 
Israelites were f orbidden to eat, and a careful count shows 
there were just 26 or 13 x 2, which were prohibited (see 
vs. 7-19). At the hands of his unbelieving countrymen the 
Apostle Paul received **forty stripes save one'* (2 Cor. 
11: 24), or 39, that is 13 x 3. The Epistle of Jude which 
treats of the apostasy of Christendom is the twenty-sixth 
book of the New Testament. And so on. In the light of 
these examples it is surely not without deep meaning that 
we learn there was an interval of just thirteen years be- 
tween the incident mentioned in Genesis 16 and that re- 
corded in Genesis 17, between Abram hearkening to the 
voice of Sarah and the Lord 's appearing to him anew, and 
that this interval is one of spiritual barrenness and is 
passed over in silence. Ere we tum and consider the 
gracious revelation which the Lord made to Abram at the 
close of this interval let us first ask and ponder an im- 
portant question : 

Why had Abram to wait all this while before the Lord 
appeared to him again? Why must so many years drag 
their weary course before Jehovah reveals Himself once 
more and makes promise of giving him Isaac ? Is not the 
answer to be f ound in Romans 4:19? * * And being not 
weak in faith; he considered not his own body now dead, 
when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the 
deadness of Sarah 's womb. ' ' God was about to act in grace, 
but ere grace can be displayed the creature has first to come 
to the end of himself : ere divine power is put forth man 
must learn his own impotency. Not tiU Tsrael were driven 
to desperation and despair at the Red Sea did the word 



Abraham at Ninety and Nine 183 

come, * * Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. ' ' So 
here. Not tiU Abram's body was **dead" would God ful- 
fil His word and give him a son. God's opportunity does 
not come until man 's extremity is reached. This is a lesson 
we sorely need to take to heart, for it is of great practical 
importance. It might be tersely expressed thus : the Lord 
has a reason for all His delays, God not only does that 
which is right and best but He always acts at the right and 
best time. Mark, it was not until * * the fulness of time had 
come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman" (Gal. 
4:4). Is not this the explanation of what is a sore problem 
to many hearts? We mean, God's delay in sending back 
His Son the second time. Like one of old, we are often 
tempted to ask, **Why is His chariot so long in coming? 
Why tarry the wheels of His chariotsf (Judges 5:28). 
Ah ! here is the answer — the ^^fulness of time" has not yet 
arrived. God has a wise and good reason for the delay. 
What that is we learn f rom 2 Peter 3:9: ' * The Lord is 
not slack conceming His promise (to send back His Son — 
see V. 4) , as some men count slackness ; but is long-suffering 
to usward, not wiUing that any should perish, but that all 
should come to repentance. ' ' God's delay in sending back 
His Son is due to His long-sufferance, not wiUing that any 
should perish. 

Let us repeat what we have said above and apply it to 
another perplexing problem. God has a reason for His 
delays. Not until man comes to the end of himself wiU God 
put f orth His power. Not until man 's extremity is reached 
does God's opportunity arrive. Not until our own powers 
are ^^dead^' will God act in grace. What is the great lesson 
of Psalm 107 but this ? * * They wandered in the wilderness 
in a solitary way ; they f ound no city to dwell in.-» Hungry 
and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried 
unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out 

of their distresses Theref ore He brought down their 

heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to 
help. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and 

He saved them out of their distresses They that go down 

to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters ; These 
see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. 
For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which 
lifteth up the waves thereof . They mount up to the heaven, 
they go down again to the depths : their soul is melted be- 



184 Gleanings in Genesis 

cause of trouble. They reel to and f ro and stagger like a 
drunken man, and are at their wit^s end. Then they cry 
unto the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out 
of their distresses" (Ps. 107:4-6, 12, 13, 23-28). Ah! it is 
when we are at our **wit's end,*' when all our own devices 
have failed and all our own éfforts come to nought, that 
we **cry unto the Lord in our trouble,'' and ''then'* He 
bringeth us out of our distresses. 

Beloved reader, apply now this principle to your own in- 
dividual life. Are you anxiously exercised over God's 
delayf He has some wise purpose for it. He had with 
Abram, and He has with you. From seventy-five — ^his age 
when he left Haran — to one hundred — when Isaac was 
born — was a long time to wait, but the sequel evidenced 
the Lord *s wisdom. God has more than one reason f or Hia 
delays. Often it is to test the faith of His children, to de- 
velop their patience, to bring them to the end of them- 
selves. His delays are in order that when He does act His 
delivering power may be more plainly evident, that what 
He does may be more deeply appreciated, and that in conse- 
quence He may be more illustriously glorified. 

'*And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the 
Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Al- 
mighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfecf (Gen. 
17: 1). TKese words are to be regarded first as a reproof. 
It was as though the Lord had said, **Have recourse no 
more to unbelieving expedients; keep now to the path of 
uprightness, and leave Me to fulfil My promise in My own 
good time and way." This opening verse of Genesis 17 
needs to be read in the light of God's original promise to 
Abram to give him a *'seed'' (Gen. 13: 15, 16) and the at- 
tempt made by our patriarch to obtain fulfilment by his 
own efforts. What Abram needed to be reminded of was 
God's Almightiness. It was for want of considering this 
that he had had reeourse to crooked devices. Another les- 
son this which we do well to mark — never to employ unlaw- 
ful means in seeking to promote the cause of God. How 
much the Lord's servants need to heed this truth! Like 
Abram, they are longing for seed, spiritual seed, but it 
comes not; and only too often they resort to unworthy 
methods to produee seed of themselves, arguing that the end 
justifies the means. Here is the effectual cure for all im- 



Abraham at Ninety and Nine 185 

patient anxiety — ^to reckon on One who is all-gracious, all- 
powerful, allH3uflBcient. 

**And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the 
Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Al- 
mighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect'* (Gen. 
17:1). But again. These words must be regarded as a 
blessed exhibition of Divine Love. It is written that **Love 
suffereth long, and is kind. ' ' How this was exemplified in 
Gk)d's dealings with the patriarchs of old ! How they tried 
that love! How often they grieved itl How often they 
acted unworthily of itl Yet, notwithstanding, as it was 
with the apostles so it was with the patriarchs — 
'*Having loved His own which were in the world, He 
loved them to the end" (John 13:1). How patiently 
Qod bore with Abram! It was love that **suffered long'* 
with Abram's failings! It was love that persisted 
with him in spite of every check and drawback. It was love 
that now met him and promised to grant the desire of his 
heart, and in old age give him a son. And, Christian 
readers, is it not Divine Love that stiU **suffers long" with 
each of us ! Would we not have perished long ago were it 
not that nothing is able to separate us f rom the love of God 
in Christ Jesus ? Ah, note the last three words. It is the 
love of God in Chríst Jesus. That love is a ríghteous love 
and not a sickly sentimentality at the expense of holiness. 
In the epistle which tells us that God is Love, we first read 
that **God is Light^^ (see 1 John 1: 5; 4: 8). But to return 
to Genesis 17 : 1. 

**And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the 
Lord appeared to Abram and said unto him, I am the AU 
mighty Ood.'^ The revelation which God here made of 
Himself was well suited to the occasion. This was the first 
time that He revealed Himself as **the Almighty.'' None 
but One who possessed all power could meet Abram's need 
at this time. Ninety and nine years of age, his body dead ; 
Sarah barren and long past the age of child-bearing — ^how 
could they hope to have a son ? But with God all things 
are possible. And whyT Because He is El Shaddai, the 
All-Sufficient One. The ^'Almighty" is a title which strikes 
terror into the hearts of the wicked, but to the righteous it 
is a haven of rest. **The name of the Lord is a strong 
tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe'* (Prov% 
18:10). 



186 Gleanings in Genesis 

The second time that the Lord revealed Himself as El 
Shaddai was under cirenmstances very similar to those 
f ound in Genesis 17 : 1 and context. ' * And God appeared 
unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padam-aram, and 
blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob : 
thy name shall not bé called any more Jacob, but Israel 
shall be thy name; and He called his name Israel. And 
God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and 
multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of 
thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins" (Gen. 35 : 9-11). 
It will be noted that when God revealed Himself as the AU 
mighty to Abram, He changed his name from Abram to 
Abraham; so here, He changes the name of his grandson 
from Jacob to Israel. To Abram God said, **And I will 
make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply 

thee exceedingly and thou shalt be a f ather of many 

nations" (17:2, 4) ; to Jacob He said, **Be fruitful and 
multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of 
thee" (35: 11). Again, we are told that God **appeared'' 
to Abram (17: 1), literally **was seen to Abram,*' and here 
in 35 : 9 the same word is used — ^this is the more striking 
f or, excepting 12 : 7, these are the only occasions in Genesis 
where we read of God **appearing" to the patriarchs, as 
though to emphasize the importance of this Divine title. 
Finally, in noting the parallelisms between Genesis 17 and 
35, we may observe that at the close of this Divine inter- 
view we read **And He left off talking with him, and God 
went up from Abraham" (Gen. 17: 22) and in 35: 13 we 
are told, ''And God went up from him in the place where 
He talked with him. ' ' 

It is blessed to remember that this same divine title is 
f ound in the Church epistles : * * Wheref ore come out f rom 
among them (as Abram did from Chaldea), and be ye sep- 
arate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing (as 
Abram did with Hagar) ; and I wiU receive you, And will 
be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daugh- 
ters, saith the Lord Almighty^' (2 Cor. 6:17, 18). It is 
because our God and Father is the **Almighty'' that *^He 
is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto 
God by Him'' — Christ (Heb. 7:25). It is because our 
God and Father is the **Almighty'' that ^^He is áble to 
succor them that are tempted^' (Heb. 2:18). It is 
because our God and Father is the ''Almighty^' that 



Abraham at Ninety and Nine 187 

nothing **shall he able to separate us from the love of God 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:39). It is 
beeause our Saviour is *'Almighty" that He shall **change 
our vile body, that it may be f ashioned like unto His glori- 
ous body, aecording to the working whereby He is able even 
to subdue all things unto Himself " (Phil. 3 : 21). It is be- 
cause our God is the ''Almighty" that He ^^is able to do 
exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, ac- 
cording to the power that worketh in us" (Eph. 3:20). 
It is because our Lord is ''Almighty'' that He ''is able to 
keep us from f alling, and to present us faultless before the 
presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24). 

**And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the 
Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Al- 
mighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfecf (Gen. 
17:1). We would call attention to four passages which 
refer to the walk of the Lord's people in which a different 
preposition is used. Here in Genesis 17 : 1 Abram is bidden 
to '*walk before'' Almighty God. The children of Israel 
were exhorted to '*walk after" the Lord: ''Ye shall walk 
after the Lord your God, and fear Him, and keep His com- 
mandments'' (Deut. 13: 4). Of Enoch and Noah it is wit- 
nessed that they ''walked with God" (Gen. 5:24; 6:9). 
But of those who are members of the Body of Christ the 
word is, **As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the 
Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Col. 2:6). To walk before is 
suggestive of a child running ahead and playing in the 
presence of his father, conscious of his perfect security be- 
cause he is just behind. To walk after becomes a servant 
foUowing his master. To walk with indicates fellowship 
and friendship. To walk in denotes union. As to how we 
are to walk in Christ, the Holy Spirit tells us in the words 
which immediately foUow the exhortation: *'Rooted and 
built up in Him" (Col. 2:7). We might summarize these 
varied aspects of the believer's walk as intimated by the 
four different prepositions thus: we walk ''before" God as 
children; we walk **after** Him as servants; we walk 
**with" Him as His friends; we walk *'in" Him as mem' 
bers of His body. 

'^Be thou perfect/^ The careful reader will notice that 
the words ^'upright" and *'sincere" are supplied in the 
margin as alternatives for **perfect,*' but it seems to us 
there is no need f or this, that the word in the text is a legit* 



188 Gleanings in Genesis 

imate rendering of the Hebrew ' ' tamin. ' ' The same word 
occors in Psahn 19 : 7 : **The Law (Word) of the Lord Í8 
perfect, converting the soul." It is the same word which 
is translated forty-four times ^^without blemish." Then, 
did Qod really say to Abram, ''Be thou perfectf He cer- 
tainly did. And how could He say anything lessf What 
lower standard than that of perf ection can the Perf ect One 
set bef ore His creatures f Only too often men whittle down 
the Word to make it square with their own conceptions. 
All through the Scriptures, the standard of perfection is 
set before us. The law required that Israel should love the 
Lord their God with M their hearts. The Lord Jesus bade 
His discipleSy **Be ye therefore perfect as your Father 
which is in heaven is perfecf (Matt. 5:48). And the 
teaching of the Epistles is all sunmied up in that Word, 
* * Christ also suffered f or us, leaving us an example, that ye 
should follow His steps" (1 Pet. 2:21). Is not that the 
standard of j^erfectiont Brethren, such is the standard 
set bef ore us. This is that which we are constantly to strive 
after. With nothing short may we be satisfied. It is be- 
cause such is the standard that none in the flesh have ever 
realized it, that each and all must say with the apostle, ' * Not 
as though I had already attained, either were already per- 
fect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for 
which also I am aprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I 
count not myself to have apprehended : but this one thing 
I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reach- 
ing f orth unto those things which are bef ore, I press toward 
the mark f or the prize of the high calling of God in Christ 
Jesus" (Phil. 3: 12-14). Yet, nevertheless, the Word to us 
today is the same as that to Abram of old : * * Be thou per- 
f ect. ' ' Does some one murmur, * * An impossible standard ! ' ' 
Then remember that it was El Shaddai who gave it. Who 
dares to talk of ' * impossibilities * * when the Almighty is our 
God ? Has He not said * * My grace is suflficient f or thee * ' í 
Then, do not charge Him with setting before us an imat- 
tainable standard: rather let us charge ourselves with 
failure to rest upon His Almighty arm, and confess with 
shame that the blame is ours through not appropriating His 
all-suflScient grace. 

*' And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him*' 
(Gen. 17:3). ít seems to us that this act of Abram in 
prostrating himself before the Lord must be looked at in 



Abraham at Ninety and Nine 189 

the light of his ways as recorded in the previous chapter — 
his taking of matters into his own hands instead of leaving 
them with God ; his resorting to fleshly expedienees instead 
of patiently waiting f or Him to act. And now that Jehovah 
condescends to reveal Himself again to Abram, he is over- 
whehned at such grace. Thns we regard Abram's falling 
on his face not so much due to confusion as to wonderment 
at the divine f avor shown him notwithstanding his unbelief . 

We cannot now comment upon the remaining verses of 
the chapter, but in closing would call attention to one other 
feature. It is to be noted that in connection with the rev- 
elation of Himself as the * ' Almighty * ' the Lord God made 
Abram a composite promise in which seven times He said 
**I vnlV^ — ^''And / will make thee exceeding fruitful, and 
/ will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of 
thee. And / will establish My covenant between Me and 
thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an 
everlasting covenant to be a God unto thee and to thy seed 
after thee. And / will give unto thee, and to thy seed after 
thee the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of 
Canaan, f or an everlasting possession ; and / will be their 

God And God said, Sarah thy wif e shall bear thee a son 

indeed : and thou shalt call his name Isaac : and / will es- 
tablish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, 

and with his seed af ter him But My covenant will I es- 

tablish with Isaac'* (vs. 6, 7, 8, 19, 21). The relationship 
between this compound promise and the title of Deity used 
on the occasion of its utterance is the pledge of its fulfil- 
ment. It is because all power is at His disposal, it is be- 
cause He is suflScient in Himself , that the performing of all 
He has said is sure. What God says He wiU do. So sure 
is the f ulfihnent that in verse 5 the Lord says, * * f or a f ather 
of many nations have I made thee" (not **will I make 
thee")» just as in Bomans 8:30 it is **whom He justified 
them He also glorified, * * and yet in experience the glorifica- 
tion is yet future. 

With the above seven '*I wills^' of God should be com- 
pared the seven ''I wiUs'' of Exodus 6:6-8, **Wherefore 
say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and / will 
bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, 
and / will rid you of their bondage, and / will redeem you 
with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: and 
/ will take you to be a people, and / will be to you a God : 



190 Gleanings in Genesis 

and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which 
bringeth you out f rom under the burdens of the Egyptians. 
And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which 
I did sware to give it to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob ; 
and / will give it y ou f or a heritage : I am the Lord. ' * Our 
purpose in calling attention to this latter passage is that in 
Genesis 16 the Lord revealed Himself to Abram as the Al- 
mighty and foUowed the revelation with a sevenfold prom- 
ise, and here in Exodus 6 He reveals Himself as Jehovah 
(v. 3) and foUows this revelation with another sevenfold 
promise. Perf ect are the ways and perfect is the Word of 
Him with whom we have to do. 



23. ABRAHAM AT GERAR 

Genesis 20 

In our last chapter we considered at some length the rev- 
elation which God made of Himself to Abraham as the Al- 
mighty, together with the sevenfold promise which accom- 
panied this revelation, including, as it did, that Abraham 
and Sarah should be given Isaac in their old age. In Gen- 
esis 18 we behold the Lord in fuU fellowship with the one 
He thrice terms His ' ' f riend, ' ' eating at his table, and mak- 
ing known his purpose concerning Sodom; while at the 
close of the chapter Abraham is seen as an intercessor be- 
f ore God. And now, in Genesis 20, we are to witness a sad 
and dramatic change. There is a return to the miserable 
policy which he foUowed down in Egypt. Afraid that his 
life may be taken from him on account of his wife, he 
causes her to pose as his sister, and only through a direct 
interposition by God is she delivered from the effects of 
his sin. 

' * And Abraham joumeyed f rom thence toward the south 
country and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned 
in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my 
sister : and Abimelech, King of Gerar, sent and took Sarah'* 
(Gen. 20 : 1, 2) . The contents of Genesis 20 furnish a strik- 
ing proof of the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures. No 
fictitious historian would have recorded this dark blot on 
the life of such an iUustrious personage as Abraham. The 
tendency of the human heart is ever toward hero worship, 
and the common custom of biographers is to conceal the de- 
fects and blemishes in the careers of the characters which 
they delineate, and this, had it been foUowed, would nat- 
urally forbid the mention of such a sad fall in the life of 
one of the most venerated names on the scroU of history. 
Ah ! but herein the Bible differs f rom all other books. The 
Holy Spirit has painted the portraits of Scripture char- 
acters in the colors of nature and truth. He has given a 
f aithful picture of the human heart such as is common to 
all mankind. 

At first sight it seems incredible that Abraham should 
have acted as recorded here in Genesis 20, but further re- 
flection will convince any honest Christian that the picture 



191 



192 Gleanings in Genesis 

here drawn is only too true to lif e : * * As in water f aee an- 
swereth to face, so the heart of man to man" (Prov. 27 : 19). 
The remaining of the old nature in the believer, the occa- 
sional manifestations of it in God-dishonoring activities, 
the awful backslidings which God's children have been sub- 
ject to in all ages, and the reviewing of our own sad de- 
partures f rom the path of f aith and righteousness, are quite 
enough to explain the deplorable and seemingly unaccount- 
able conduct of the father of all who believe. And if the 
reader knows nothing of such departures and backslidings 
let him not boast of his faithfulness and superior piety, 
rather let him ascribe all glory to the matchless graee of 
Him that is able to keep us from falling. 

Sad indeed, inexpressibly sad, was Abraham's conduct. 
It was not the fall of a young and inexperienced disciple, 
but the lapse of one who had long walked the path of faith 
that here shows himself ready to sacrifice the honor of his 
wife, and what is worse, give up the one who was the de- 
positary of all the promises. ' * What then is man, and what 
hope for him except in God None, surely. And it is to 
ground us well in this that we are given to see the sad and 
terrible failures of these honored servants of God. Not to 
discourage but to lead us to the Source of all comfort and 
strength. Only in realized weakness do we find this. Only 
when unable to do without God for a moment do we fitnd 
what He is for us moment by momenf' (F. W. Grant). 

What made the matter so much worse in Abraham's case 
was that it was not a question of being surprised into a 
sudden f ault. It was the recurrence of an old sin. Long ago 
he had foUowed the same wicked course in Egypt, where 
his duplicity had been discovered and from whence he was 
banished in disgrace. But the experience profited him not. 
Some twenty or twenty-five years had passed since then, 
and in the interval he had built an altar unto the Lord, 
had vanquished Chedorlaomer, had been blessed by Mel- 
chizedek the priest of the Most High God, had repulsed the 
offer of the King of Sodom to be enriched at his hands, and 
had received wondrous revelations and promises f rom God ; 
yet now we see him leaving God out of his reckoning, and 
ensnared by the fear of man, resorting to the most shameful 
deception. How then shall we account for this? The ex- 
planation is obvious: until the time referred to in Gen- 



Abraham at Gerar 193 

esis 20 Abraham had not been in circumstances to call into 
exercise the evil that was in his heart. 

' ' The evil was not fully hrought out — ^not conf essed, not 
got rid of — and the proof of this is, that the moment he 
again íinds himself in circumstances which could act upon 
his weak point, it is at once made manifest that the weak 
point is there. The temptation through which he passed 
in the matter of the King of Sodom was not by any means 
calculated to touch this peculiar point; nor was anything 
that occurred to him f rom the time that he came up out of 
Egypt until he went down to Gerar calculated to touch it, 
for had it been touched it would no doubt have exhibited 
itself. 

* ' We can never know what is in our hearts until circum- 
stances arise to draw it out. Peter did not imagine he could 
deny his Lord, but when he got into circumstances which 
were calculated to act upon his peculiar weakness, he showed 
that his weakness was there. 

**It required the protracted period of forty years in the 
wilderness to teach the children of Israel * what was in their 
hearts' (Deut. 8:2); and it is one of the grand results of 
the course of diseipline through which each child of God 
passes, to lead him into a more profound knowledge of his 
own weakness and nothingness. 'We had the sentence of 
death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves 
but in God which raiseth the dead' (2 Cor. 1:9). The more 
we are growing in the sense of our infirmities, the more shall 
we see our need of clinging more closely to Christ — drawing 
more largely upon His grace, and entering more fully into 
the cleansing virtue and value of His atoning blood. The 
Christian, at the opening of his course never knows his own 
heart ; indeed, he could not bear the f uU knowledge of it ; 
he would be overwhelmed thereby. ' The Lord leads us not 
by the way of the Philistines lest we should see war,' and 
so be plunged into despair. But He graciously leads us by 
a circuitous route, in order that our apprehension of His 
graee may keep pace with our growing self -knowledge ' ' 
(C. H. M.). 

As we have seen, it was stress of circumstances which re- 
vealed the state of Abraham 's heart, as it is of ours. Though 
the wording of it might be improved, we thoroughly agree 
with the sentiment of a preacher who long ago said, ''We 
possess no more religion than what we have in the time 



194 Gleanings in Genesis 

of trouble.** It is comparatively easy to trust Gkxi while 
everything goes along pleasantly, but the time of disap- 
pointment, of loss, of persecution, of bereavement, is the 
time of testing ; and then how of ten we f ail ! Here is where 
the Lord Jesus is in such striking contrast from all others. 
Stress of circumstances only served to display the perfeo- 
tions of His heart. When He was a hungered, and tempted 
by Satan to make bread to supply His own need, He lived 
by every word of God. When He sat by the well, wom with 
His joumey, He was not too weary to speak words of grace 
and lif e to the poor Samaritan woman. When the cities in 
which His mightiest works had been done rejected His mes- 
sage, He meekly submitted, saying **Even so, Father: for 
so it seemed good in Thy sight'' (Matt. 11 : 23-26). When 
He was reviled, He reviled not again. And in the supreme 
crisis, on the cross, His perfections were fuUy displayed — 
praying for the forgiveness of His enemies, speaking the 
word of acceptance to the repentant thief, making provi- 
sion f or His widowed mother, yielding up His spirit into 
the hands of the Father. Ah! our garments (symbols of 
conduct, habits, ways) are at best, so much patchwork, but 
His were ^^without seam, woven from the top throughouf 
(John 19: 23). Yes, in all things He has the preëminence. 

Light is thrown upon Abraham's fall by the thirteenth 
verse of our chapter — ^**And it came to pass, when God 
caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said 
unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto 
me ; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is 
my brother.*' It is to be noted that this arrangement en- 
tered into by Abraham with his wife, was made before they 
left Chaldea. It was therefore something which they 
brought with them f rom the place of their birth ! In other 
words, it was that which was attached to the old man and, 
as we hav^ seen, something which had never been judged. 
Let us leam then from this, the vileness of the flesh, the 
utter cormption of the old nature, the hideousness of the 
old man. Truly there is need f or us to ' * mortify ' ' our mem- 
bers which are on the earth. 

Plainly, the evil compact which Abraham made with 
Sarah was due to the f eebleness of his f aith in God 's power 
to take care of them. And once more, let not writer or 
reader sit in pharisaic judgment upon Abraham, but see a 
picture of himself . Abraham did but illustrate what is all 



Abraham at Gerar 195 

too sadly common among the Lord's people — ^that which 
might be termed the inconsistency of faith. How often 
those who are not afraid to tnist God with their souls, are 
af raid to tnist Him with regard to their bodies ! How often 
those who have the f ull assurance of f aith in regard to eter- 
nal things, are f ull of unbelief and f ear when it comes to 
temporal things! We have believed in the Lord and it 
has been counted unto us f or righteousness ; yet, how of ten, 
like Abraham, in the matter of the practical concems of 
our daily lif e, we too, have more confidence in our own wis- 
dom and scheming than we have in the suflBciency of God. 

And how did God act ? Did He lose patience with Abra- 
ham, and cast off one so fickle and inconsistent ? Manif estly 
Abraham had dishonored the Lord in acting as he did, in 
setting such an evil example before these heathen (Phil- 
istines). Yet, behold the grace of Him with whom we have 
to do. Instead of casting him off, God interposed and de- 
livered Abraham and his wif e from the peril which men- 
aced them. Not only did God not f orsake Abraham, but He 
would not abandon him to his f oes. Ah ! the gif ts and call- 
ing of God are **without repentance. ' ' And why? Be- 
cause they are bestowed altogether without respect to any 
worthiness in the recipient, and hence, because God^s gifts 
are free and we do nothing to merit them, we can do noth- 
ing to demerit them. 

* * The soul that on Jesus hath leaned f or repose, 
I wiU not, I will not desert to his f oes ; 
That soul, though all Hell should endeavor to shake, 
I'U never, no never, no never forsake.'* 

**But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and 
said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, f or the woman 
which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife^' (Gen. 20: 
3). This statement may appear very commonplace to the 
casual reader — ^the mere narration of a detail lacking in 
importance. But the meditative mind discovers here an 
exemplification of a truth of profound importance and 
high value, though one that is now generally lost sight of. 
We refer to the universality of God's rule; the dbsólute 
control which he has over His creatures; the ease with 
which He can move men to accomplish His wilL God has 
access to áll minds and can impress them by a dream, an 
afBiction, or in any way He thinks proper. In the above 



196 Gleanings in Genesis 

case God used a dream to instnict Abimelech, to show him 
the wrong he had unconsciously done, and to point out to 
him his immediate duty. Abimelech was a Philistine, and, 
so far as we know to the contrary, a heathen. He knew 
nothing of the fact that Sarah was the one chosen to be the 
mother of the Jewish race, and the one from whom, accord- 
ing to the flesh, the Messiah was to come. Appearances 
seemed to show that Jehovah's purpose was in immediate 
danger of being foiled. But how simply God dealt with the 
situation! By means of a dream, nothing more, Sarah is 
delivered, the seeming hindrances to God's purpose is re- 
moved, the situation is saved ! What we here desire to em- 
phasize is the perfect ease with which God can move men 
when He pleases. All this modern talk about man's **free- 
dom'' and man's going his own way in defiance of God's 
secret counsels leaves God out entirely. To say that God 
wants to influence men but that men will not let Him is to 
reduce the Almighty to a helpless spectator, fuU of gracious 
intentions but lacking in power to make them good. But 
what saith the Scriptures ? Hear them : * * The king *s heart 
is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water : He turn- 
eth it whithersoever He wilP' (Prov. 21: 1). Yes, and so 
easily can He tum the king's heart, that when He pleases 
He needs employ nothing more than a * * dream ' ' ! 

**And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that 
thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also 
withheld thee f rom sinning against Me : theref ore suffered 
I thee not to touch her'' (Gen. 20: 6). In these words we 
have (as so often in Scripture) an apparently incidental 
statement which throws great light upon a diflBcult problem 
and which positively refutes the proud reasoning of the 
philosophic theologians. How often it has been said that 
in endowing Adam with the power of choice God was un- 
able to prevent his fall. But how untenable are such theo- 
rizings in the face of the above passage! If God could 
*'withhold" Abimelech from sinning against Him, then had 
He pleased He eould have done the same with our first par- 
ents. Should it be asked why He did not **withhoW 
Adam from sinning, the answer must be that He permitted 
sin to enter that opportunity might be given to display His 
grace, 

'^Therefore Abimeleeh rose early in the moming, and 
called all his servants, and told all these things in their 



Abraham at Gerar 197 

ears and the men were sore afraid. Then Abimeleeh called 
Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us ? 
and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on 
me and on my kingdom a great sin ? thou hast done deeds 
unto me that ought not to be done'' (Gen. 20: 8, 9). It is 
important to note that Abimelech recognized fornication as 
a **great sin." Unquestionably the heathen are aware of 
the criminality of many of the sinful acts which they com- 
mit — **their conscience also bearing witness, and their 
thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one an- 
other'- (Rom. 2:15). 

A brief consideration of one other thought and our space 
is exhausted. Notice how differently God looked at and 
spoke of Abraham f rom Abimelech 's words concerning him 
— **Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a 
prophet, and he shall pray for thee and thou shalt live.'^ 
AU that Abimelech saw in our patriarch was a man guilty 
of barefaced deception. But God looked at Abraham in 
Christ, and therefore speaks of him as a **prophet" (one 
who has His mind), and makes Abimelech debtor to his 
prayers ! This is how God ever vindicates His own bef ore 
the unbelieving. It was a similar case to what He said 
through Balaam concerning Israel at a later date — ^*He 
hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen 
perverseness in Israel'' (Num. 23:21). In some such way 
as this is now being answered on high the charges of the 
enemy.who aecuses the brethren before God day and night. 
Oh ! blessed f act, * * There is theref ore now no condemnation 
to them which are in Christ Jesus.'' WiU this encourage 
careless living? God forbid, **For sin shall not have do- 
minion over you : f or ye are not under the law, but under 
grace. ' ' 



24. ABRAHAM "THE FATHER OF 

US ALL" 

It is to be f eared that many who read the Old Testament, 
particularly its earlier books, look upon these Scriptures 
as little more than historical narratives, as simply contain- 
ing a description of certain events that happened in the f ar 
distant past, and that when they come to the record of the 
lives of the patriarchs they discover nothing beyond a piece 
of ancient biography. But surely this is very dishonoring 
to God. Is it not obvious that when we relegate to a remote 
date in the past what we are told about Abraham, Isaac, 
Joseph, etc, and see in the inspired record little or nothing 
applicable to ourselves today, that we virtually and prac- 
tically reduce Genesis to a dead bookf Suppose we express 
this in another way: If Genesis is a part of **The Word 
of Life^^ (Phil. 2:16), then it is a living book, charged 
with vitality; a book wbich must have about it a freshness 
which no other book, outside of the Sacred Canon, pos- 
sesses ; a book which speaks to our day, which is pertinent 
and applicable to our own times. 

Let us now f oUow out another line of thought which will 
lead us to the same point at which we arrived at the close 
of the preceding paragraph. One truth which Scripture 
reveals about God is, that He changes not, for He is **the 
same yesterday, and today, and forever.'' Therefore, it 
foUows that, fundamentally, His ways are ever the same; 
that is to say, He deals through all time with men, especially 
His own people, upon the same principles. It is this which 
explains the well-known fact that so often history repeats 
itself . Having stated the broad principle, let us now apply 
it. If what we have just said is correct, should we not ex- 
pect to find that God's dealings with Abraham forecast and 
foreshadow His dealings with usf Thal, stripped of their 
incidental details, the experiences of Abraham illustrate our 
experiences ? Grant this, and we reach a similar conclusion 
(as we anticipated) to the one expressed at the close of the 
preceding paragraph. Let us now combine the two concep- 
tions. 

Because the Bible is a living book no portion of it is 
obsolete, and though much that is recorded in it is ancient, 



198 



Abraham "the Father of us alV' 199 

yet none of it is antiquated. Beeause the Bible is a living 
book, every portion of it has some message which is appli- 
cable and appropriate to our own times. Because God 
changes not, His ways of old are, fundamentally, His ways 
today. Hence, God's dealings with Abraham, in the gen- 
eral, f oreshadow His dealings with us. Therefore, to read 
most profitably the record of Abraham's life, we must see 
in it a portrayal of our own spiritual history. Before we 
attempt to particularize, let us take one other starting point 
and lead up to the place where we here leave oflE. 

**Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to 
the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to 
that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of 
the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all" (Bom. 
4:16). How is Abraham the * * f ather ** oí us all í In what 
sense is he such? Not, of course, literally, by procreation, 
but figuratively, by typification. Just as naturally the son 
inherits certain traits from his father, just as there is a 
resemblance between them, just as Adam "begat a son in 
his own likeness, after his image" (Gen. 5: 3), so there is a 
resemblance and likeness between Abraham and those who 
are **Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise^' 
(Gal. 3: 29). In a word, Abraham is to be regarded as a 
sample believer, Thus there wiU be a close correspondence, 
in the broad outline, between Abraham's history and ours. 
And here, once more, we reach the same point as at the 
close of each of the above paragraphs. We are now pre- 
pared to test the accuracy of these conclusions and follow 
them out in some detail. 

I read, then, the life of Abraham as recorded in Genesis, 
not merely as a piece of inspired history (though truly it 
is such), not as an obsolete narrative of something which 
happened in the far distant past, but also, and specially, as 
a portrayal of the experiences of Abraham's children in all 
ages, and as a description of God's dealings with His own 
in all time. To particularize : What was Abraham at the 
beginning? A lost sinner; one who knew not God; an 
idolator. So were we: **Wherefore remember, that ye 
being in time past Gentiles .... that at that time ye were 
without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of 
Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, hav- 
ing no hope, and without God in the world'* (Eph. 2:11, 
12). What happened? The God of glory appeared unto 



200 Gleanings in Genesis 

him (Acts 7:2). So it was with us. He revealed Himself 
to us. What was the next thing? God's call to Abraham 
to separate himself from everything which pertained to his 
old life. Such is God's call to us — ^to separate ourselves 
f rom the world and everything of it. Did Abraham obey ? 
At íirst only imperfectly. Instead of leaving his kindred 
as commanded, Terah his father and Lot his nephew accom- 
panied him as he left Chaldea. Has this no voice for us? 
Does it not solemnly condemn Abraham's * ' children ' ' ? Has 
not our response to God 's call of separation been tardy and 
partial ? To proceed : Soon af ter Abraham arrived in Ca- 
naan painful circumstances try his faith — a **famine" 
arose. How did this affect him? Did he make known his 
need to God and look to Him to meet it ? Ah, can we not 
supply the answer f rom our own sad experience ? Have we 
not turned to the world f or help and deliverance in the 
hour of emergency, as Abraham turned to Egypt? See 
Abraham again in Genesis 16. He is childless. God has 
promised that his seed should inherit the land. But years 
have passed and Sarah is stiU barren. What does Abraham 
do? Does he patiently wait upon God and go on waiting? 
Suppose the Bible had not told us, could not our own ex- 
perience supply the answer once more? Abraham has re- 
course to fleshly means, and drags in Hagar to assist God 
( ?) in the furtherance of His purpose. And what was the 
outcome? Did God lose patience? Well He might. But 
did He cast oíï His erring child? Has He dealt thus with 
us ? No, indeed, ' * If we believe not, yet He abideth f aith- 
ful" (2 Tim. 2: 13). We need not review Abraham's life 
any further. Do you not see now, dear reader, why Abra- 
ham is termed the ^^father of us all''? Is not the saying of 
the world — **Like father, like son'' — ^true here? But let 
us look at one other line in the picture ere we leave it. 
Look at Abraham in Genesis 22, offering up Isaac. Does 
this apply to us? Is there anything in the experiences of 
Christians today which corresponds with the scene enacted 
on Mount Moriah ? Surely, but note when this occurred — 
not at the beginning, but near the close of Abraham's pil- 
grimage. Ah! life's discipline had not been in vain: the 
íire had done its work, the gold had been refined. At the 
last Abraham had reached the place where he is not only 
wiUing to give up Terah and Lot at the call of God, but 
where he is ready to lay his Isaac upon the altar ! In other 



Abraham "the Father of us all" 201 

wordí, he resigns all to God, and places at His f eet the dear- 
est idol of his heart. Graee had triumphed, f or grace alone 
can bring the human heart into entire submission to the 
Divine will. So wiU grace triumph with us in the end. 
See, then, in Abraham's up and down experiences, his 
trials, his failures, a representation of yours. See in God's 
patient dealings with Abraham a portrayal of His dealings 
with you. See in the final triumph of grace in Abraham the 
promise of its ultimate triumph in youy and thus wiU Gen- 
esis be a living book by translating it into the present. 

Deeply important are the lessons to be leamed from the 
life of Abraham, and many are the precious truths which 
are seen illustrated in his character and career. Having 
looked at him as a simple believer, let us next consider him 
as a Mqn of Faith. In Hebrews 11, the great f aith chapter, 
Abraham is given striking prominence. Only once do we 
read **By faith Isaac,'* and only once do we read **By faith 
Jacob ' ' ; but three times the f aith of Abraham is mentioned 
(see vs. 8, 9, 17). Probably it is no exaggeration to say 
that Abraham 's f aith was tried more severely , more repeat- 
edly, and more varisomely than that of any other human 
being. First, he was called upon to leave the land of his 
birth, to separate himself from home and kindred, and to 
set out on a long journey unto a land which God promised 
to * * show ' ' him, and, we are told, * * he went out not knowing 
whither he went. ' ' Af ter his arrival in the new land he did 
not enter into occupation of it, but instead, sojoumed there 
as a stranger and pilgrim. All that he ever owned in it was 
a burying-place. Dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, 
he remained there well-nigh a century. Again, his faith 
was tested in connection with God's promise to give him a 
son by Sarah. His own body **dead,'' and his wife long 
past the age of child-bearing, nevertheless **he staggered 
not at the promise of God through unbelief ; but was strong 
in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded 
that, what He had promised, He was able also to perf orm ' ' 
(Rom. 4: 20, 21). Finally, the supreme test came when he 
was bidden to offer up his son Isaac, but, **By faith Abra- 
ham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac : and he that had 
received the promises offered up his only begotten son .... 
accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from 
tiiedead'' (Heb. 11:17, 19). 



202 Gleanings in Genesis 

But did Abraham's faith never waiver? Alas, it did. 
He was a man of like passions to ourselves, and in him, too, 
there was an evil heart of unbelief. The Spirit of Qod has 
faithfully portrayed the dark as well as the fair side, and 
were it not that we are painfuUy conscious of the tragic 
history of our own spiritual lives, we might well marvel at 
the strange mingling of faith and unbelief, obedience and 
disobedience. By faith Abraham óbeyed when God called 
him to leave Chaldea ; yes, but by unbelief he disoheyed in 
that his father and nephew accompanied him in direct con- 
travention of Jehovah 's express command. By f aith he lef t 
Chaldea, but by unbelief he stopped short at Haran (Gen. 
11: 31). By faith he entered the land of promise, but as 
soon as a famine arose he forsook it and went down to 
Egypt (Gen. 12: 10). By faith he retumed and sojoumed 
in the land of promise, but by unbelief he took to himself 
the maid Hagar rather than wait f or God to put f orth His 
power and give him a son by Sarah. By f aith he went forth 
against Chedorlaomer and his armies to rescue Lot, but later, 
by unbelief he lied to Abimelech about his wife (G^n. 20: 
21). What a sad exemplification is all this of the two na- 
tures in the believer ! 

How terribly inconsistent are the lives of God's saintsl 
By faith Israel crossed the Red Sea, but a little later, in 
unbelief, they feared they had been brought into the wil- 
derness to perish from hunger. With heart stayed upon 
the Lord, David feared not to engage the mighty Gtoliath, 
yet the time came when he fled from Saul. FiUed with 
confidence in Jehovah, Elijah, single-handed, faced the four 
hundred prophets of Baal, but within a few hours he ran 
in terror from an angry woman. Peter was not afraid to 
step out on to the sea, nor was he intimated in the presence 
of the Roman soldiers, but drew his sword and smote off 
the ear of the high priest's servant; yet, the same night, 
he trembled before a maid and dared not to confess his Lord. 
Oh! the God dishonoring ways of unbelief! Unbelief! 
Surely this is the sin which doth so easily beset us. 

Do not the above histories and their sequels hring out the 
marvelous and gracious long-suffering of Him with whom 
we have to do ? How patiently God deals with His people ! 
Israel did not perish with hunger in the wildemess, even 
though they murmured against God ; instead, they were f ed 
with **angel's food'' (Ps. 78 : 25) ! David was not slain by 



Abraham "the Father of us all" 203 

Saul, even though he did flee from him; instead, he was 
af terwards exalted to the throne of Israel ! Elijah did not 
fall a victim to the wrath of Jezebel, though his f aith did 
f ail him ; instead, he was af terwards taken to heaven with- 
out seeing death at all ! Peter was not disowned because he 
denied his Lord, nay, after his restoration, he had the 
signal honor of opening the door of the kingdom both to 
the Jews and to the Gentiles! So it was with Abraham. 
God did not abandon him when his faith faltered, but dealt 
gently and patiently with him, leading him on step by 
step, disciplining him in the school of experience, until by 
wondrous grace He enabled him to do by faith on Mount 
Moriah that which was a type of Calvary itself ! 

The divine dealings with Abraham wonderfuUy demon- 
strated Ood^s Sovereignty. A unique honor was conferred 
upon our patriarch, for he was chosen by God to be the fa- 
ther of the chosen nation, that nation from which, accord- 
ing to the flesh, Christ was to come. And mark how God's 
Sovereignty was displayed in the character of the one se- 
lected by Him. There was nothing in Abraham by nature 
to commend him to Jehovah. By descent he belonged to a 
family of idolaters. Ere he left Chaldea, in response to 
God's call, he entered into an evil compact with his wife 
(G^n. 12: 7). As though to give special emphasis to their 
unworthiness, God said to Israel, **Look unto Abraham, 
your f ather, and unto Sarah that bore you : f or I called him 
alone — look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the 
hole of the pit whence ye are digged" (Isa. 51 : 2, 1). And 
Abraham, the father of us all, was a pattern or semple case. 
God's choice before the foundation of the world was not 
determined by any good or merit foreseen in ourselves. 
Election itself is of ^'grace^^ (Rom. 11:5). It is all of 
grace from beginning to end, sovereign grace, gratuitous 
grace, matchless grace. 

Consider next Abraham as an object of God's Love. The 
history of our patriarch was one of strange vicissitudes. 
On no flowery beds of ease was he permitted to luxuriate. 
Painf ul were the trials he was called upon to endure. Again 
and again he passed through the waters and the fire, but 
there was ever One by him that forsook him not. As the 
f ather of them that believe, Abraham was, as we have seen, 
a representative believer. In kind though not in character 
the experiences of Abraham are the same we meet with. 



204 Gleanings in Genesis 

Paith has to be tried that it may work patience : the gold 
has to be put in the cnicible that it may be refined. God 
had one Son without sin, but none without suffering and 
sorrow. Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourg- 
eth every son whom He receiveth. First, Abraham had to 
endure the severance of nature's ties; at the call of God 
he had to leave home and kindred, And the word comes to 
us, too, ' * He that loveth f ather or mother more than Me, is 
not worthy of Me ' ' (Matt. 10 : 37 ) . Called to leave the land 
of his birth, to be a stranger and pilgrim in a foreign land, 
he was taught, as we are, that **Our citizenship is in heav- 
en'' (Phil. 3: 20). The ''strife" which arose between the 
herdmen of Abraham and Lot, necessitating the separation 
between our patriarch and his nephew, iUustrates the fact 
that the path of f aith is ofttimes a lonesome one, and that 
frequently we are obliged to walk apart from those loved 
by the flesh. The years of waiting that Abraham experi- 
enced ere the longing of his heart was gratified and a son 
was given him, exemplified that lesson, so hard to learn, 
that we must wait only upon Him with our expectation 
from Him. Finally, as Abraham was called upon to relin- 
quish his Isaac and offer to God his only son, so we are re- 
quired to place our all at His disposal, and in doing this 
we shall not be the losers any more than Abraham was. 
See, then, the love of God exercised toward the f ather of all 
who believe; love displayed in faithful chastening, and 
issuing in the peaceable fruit of righteousness. 

There are many facets to this precious jewel. We have 
noted how God's long-sufferance, His sovereignty, His love 
were manif ested toward Abraham ; now observe His match- 
less grace. Is not this the only appropriate word to use 
here? Was it not grace that made Abraham the ^^friend of 
God"? Oh, wondrous condescension that should stoop so 
low as to lay hold of a worm of the earth ! Oh, matchless 
benignity that should bring one of His own creatures into 
such intimate relationship with Himself ! Oh, undeserved 
and unmerited favor that made him '*the friend of God'M 
And mark how this friendship was exhibited. See how the 
Lord makes known to His ''friend'' what shall happen to 
his descendants for a long time (Gen. 15:13-16). Mark, 
again, how He takes him into His confidence and counsels 
respecting what He was about to do with Sodom (Gen. 18: 
17). Observe the Lord in intimate fellowship with Abra- 



I 



Ahraham "tke Fatker of us all" 205 

ham, eating and drinking at his board (Gen. 18:8). Fi- 
nally, eonsider how marvelously God took him into the 
fellowship of His keart {Qen. 22). Probably no other 
human being ever entei-ed so deeply into the meaning and 
movements of the Father's heart at Calvary as did Abra- 
ham on Mouut Moriah. 

In the last place, let us look upon Abraham as a typical 
characUr. We do not know of any Old Testament pers'on- 
age who was sueh a multifarious type as was Abraham. 
First, he was a type of the Father. This is seen in his de- 
8ire for children (eompare Eph. 1:5); in his making a 
"feast" at the weaning of Isaac (compare Matt. 22: 2-4) ; 
in the ofFering up of his only son Isaae (compare John 3 : 
16) ; in his sending for a bride for his son (compare Eev. 
21:9); in appointiug his son heir of all things (25:5). 
Second, Abraham was a type of Christ. This is seen in 
bim leaving his father's house at the call of Gx)d; in that 
he is the one in whom all the families of the earth are to 
be blessed ; in that he is the kinsmari — redeemer of Israel ; 
in that he is the holder of headship of the nationa. Third, 
he is a type of the Church. This is seen, partieulariy, in 
that he was a stranger and pilgrim Ín the earth. Observe 
that though he left his home in Chaldea he did not find an- 
other in Canaan ; instead, he was the man of the tent. Note 
how this comes out toward the eud of his life. When he 
needed a burying-place he purchased it of the children of 
Heth (Gen. 23:3, 4). He preferred to buy it rather than 
reeeive it as a gift from these worldlings. He would not 
be enriehed by them any more than he would be a debtor 
to and accept favors from the king of Sodom. The stranger- 
ship of Abraham was also displayed in the seeking of a wife 
for Isaae. He was a stranger in Canaan, so he sent to 
Haran! Thus, though he tabemacled in Canaan, he was 
sharply distinguished from the people of the land — he was 
among them but not of them. Fourth, Abraham was a type 
of Israel. This is seen in t he was the one to whom God 
gïtTe Pa]<"»*'oe ; the one th iom Gïod entered into a cove- 
Dw -..ii who wa! divinely preserved while dwelling 

ïountry {' i. 20) ; the one who, after a 
■*- n maturally quiekened in old age, 

Itimately joined to the Gentiles 



206 Gleanings in Genesis 

May divine grace enable writer and reader to walk by 
faith and not by sight, to live in complete separation from 
the world as strangers and pilgrims, to render unto God a 
more prompt and unreserved obedience, to submit to His 
wiU and hold all at His disposal, and then shall we find with 
Abraham that the path of the just shineth more and more 
unto the perf ect day. 



25. THE BIRTH OF ISAAC 

Genesis 21 

The birth of Isaac marked a pivotal point in the outwork- 
ing of God's eternal purpose. The coming of this son to 
Abraham and Sarah was the second great step toward the 
fulfiUment of Jehovah's plan. This purpose and plan was 
to have a people of His own, separate from the surrounding 
nations; a people to whom should be entrusted the Holy 
Oracles, a people of whom as concerning the flesh the Sav- 
iour was to be born; a people who should ultimately be- 
come the medium of blessing to all the earth. In the reali- 
zation of this plan and purpose the first great step was the 
selection of Abram to be the father of the chosen nation, 
the call which separated him from the idolatrous people 
among whom he lived, and the migration unto the land 
which Jehovah promised to give him. 

Some twenty-five years had now passed since Abram had 
left Ur of the Chaldees, and during these years he had re- 
ceived promise from the Lord that He would make of him 
a great nation (Gen. 12:2) and that He would make his 
seed as the dust of the earth (Gen. 13 : 16) . But years went 
by and Abram remained childless: the promised seed had 
not been given and Abram was exercised and perplexed. 
*'And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, 
seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this 
Eliezar of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me 
Thou hast given no seed : and, lo, one bom in my house is 
mine heir" (Gen. 15:2, 3). To these questions the Lord 
retumed answer, **This shall not be thine heir; but he 
that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine 
heir" (Gen. 15:4). Another interval passed and yet no 
child appeared, and ' ' Sarai said unto Abram, Behold, now, 
the Lord hath restrained me f rom bearing : I pray thee, go 
in unto my maid ; it may be that I may obtain children by 
her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai, and he 
went in unto Hagar, and she conceived'* (Gen. 16:2, 4), 
A further thirteen years dragged their weary course and 



207 



208 Gleanings in Genesis 

* * God said unto Abraham, as f or Sarai thy wif e, thou shalt 
not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And 
I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her : yea, I will 
bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations: Kings of 
people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, 
and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be bom 
unto him that is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, 
that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto 
God, O that Ishmael might live before Thee! And God 
said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and 
thou shalt call his name Isaac'' (Gen. 17: 15-19). Shortly 
after this the Lord, accompanied by two angels, appeared 
unto His servant in the plains of Mamre and, '*they said 
unto him, Where is Sarah thy wif e ? And he said, Behold, 
in the tent. And He said, I wiU certainly return unto thee 
according to the time of lif e ; and, lo, Sarah thy wif e shall 
have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was 
behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well 
stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the 
manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within her- 
self , saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my 
lord being old also? And the Lord said unto Abraham, 
Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear 
a child, which am old ? Is any thing too hard f or the Lord ? 
At the time appointed I wiU retum unto thee, according to 
the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son*' (Gen. 18: 
9-14). 

And now the appointed hour for the fulfillment of God^s 
promises to Abraham and Sarah had struck, and we read, 

* * And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord 
did unto Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived, 
and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of 
whieh God had spoken to him" (Gen. 21:12). Thus we 
reach, as we have said, the seeond stage in the accomplish- 
ment of Jehovah's purpose. The birth of Isaac marked an 
important crisis in connection with the history of the chosen 
line, for not in Ishmael but in Isaac was Abraham's seed to 
becalled (Gen. 21:12). 

Many are the important tmths iUustrated in the above 
Scriptupes, and many are the profitable lessons to be 
learned therefrom. We name a few of them without at- 
tempting to enlarge. We see from the above that God is 
in no hurry in the working out of His plans. Man may f ret 



The Birth of Isaac 209 

and fume, hurry and bustle, but Jehovah has all etemity 
at His disposal and works leisurely and with deliberation. 
Well for us to mark this attentively — **he that believeth 
shall not make haste" (Is. 28:16). Again, we note here 
Qod's Almightiness. Nothing ean hinder or thwart the out- 
working of His purpose. Abraham may be old, Sarah may 
be barren, but such trifles present no difficulty to Him who 
is infinite in power. Abraham may seek to obtain an heir 
through Hagar, but Jehovah's plan cannot be foiled: 
Sarah 's son shall he his heir, not Ishmael. Behold, too, the 
faithfulness of God. The Lord had said Sarah shall have a 
son, and what He promised He performed. His promise 
may seem unreasonable and impossible to the camal mind, 
but His word is sure. Learn, also, how faith is tried and 
tested. This is in order to display its genuineness. A faith 
that is incapable of enduring trial is no faith at all. A hard 
thing was promised to Abraham but, * ' he considered not his 
own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years 
old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah 's womb : he staggered 
not at the promise of God through unbelief , but was strong 
in faith, giving glory to God*' (Rom. 4: 19, 20). Finally, 
note that God has a set time f or the accomplishing of His 
wiU and the fulfiUing of His word. Nothing is left to 
chance. Nothing is contingent on the creature. Everything 
is definitely fixed beforehand by God. *'For Sarah con- 
ceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set 
time of which God had spoken to him*^ (Gen. 21 : 2). Mark 
how this is emphasized by repetition — **But my covenant 
will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee 
at this set time in the next year'* (Gen. 17: 21) ; ^^At the 
time appointed I wiU return unto thee, according to the 
time of life, and Sarah shall have a son'* (G^n. 18 : 14). So 
also we read in another connection, **For the vision is yet 
for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak^' (Hab. 
2:3). Compare Gal. 4 : 4. 

Isaac was the child of promise. The Lord took great 
interest in the birth of this boy. More was said about him 
hefore his birth than about any other, excepting only 
Abraham's greater Son. God first made promise to Abra- 
ham ; * * As f or Sarai thy wif e, thou shalt not call her name 
Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I wiU bless her, 
and give thee a son also of her'' (Gen. 17:15, 16). The 
response of the aged patriarch is recorded in the next verse 



210 Gleanings in Genesis 

~ *Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed/' Later, 
the promise was renewed in the hearing of Sarah, * * And He 
said I wiU certainly retum unto thee aeeording to the time 
of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son'' (Gten. 
18:10). Then we are told, ''Therefore Sarah laughed 
within herself, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, 
which am oldt^' How reason ever opposes the promises of 
Qod. The ^Uaughter'* of Abraham was the laughter of 
worshipf ul joy, that of Sarah was credulous unbelief . There 
is a laughter which the Lord fills the mouth with, when, at 
some crisis, He comes to our relief. '^When the Lord 
turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that 
dream. Then was our mouth fiUed with laughter, and our 
tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, 
the Lord hath done great things for them'' (Fs. 126: 112). 
But there is also the laughter of cynicism and unbelief . The 
f ormer we are not af raid to avow ; the latter makes us, like 
Sarah, cowards and liars. But are we not told ''Through 
faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, 
and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because 
she judged him faithful who had promised" (Heb. 11 : 11). 
How shall we harmonize this with her laugh of unbelief ? 
To the infidel this would appear a contradiction, but the 
believer has no diflSculty in reconciling these two, for he 
knows from experience there is a continual struggle going 
on in his heart between faith and unbelief, sometimes the 
one and sometimes the other being uppermost. But is it 
not beautif ul and blessed to note that in the New Testament 
Sarah 's unbelief is passed over, just as nothing is said there 
of Rahab's deception (Heb. 11: 31), or of Job's impatience 
(Jas. 5: 11). 

Isaac was the child of miracle. Sarah's womb was ^^dead^* 
(Rom. 4:19) and ere she could conceive a supernatural 
*'strength" must be given her (Heb. 11: 11). In this, of 
course, we discover a foreshadowment of the miraculous 
birth of the Lord Jesus — ^now, alas, so generally denied. 
We are tempted to digress here but must refrain. Certain 
it is that the vital importance of the virgin birth of our 
Saviour cannot be overestimated. Well did Sir Robert 
Anderson say, **The whole Christian system depends upon 
the truth of the last verse of Matthew one'' (**The Coming 
Prince"). Returning to the miraculous birth of Isaac, do 
we not see in it, as also in the somewhat similar cases of 



The Birth of Isaac 211 

Bachel, tbe motlier of Samson, Hannah, and Elisabeth, not 
only a foreshadowing of the supernatural birth of Christ, 
but also the graeious way of God in preparing Israel to 
believe in it, f acilitating f aith in the Divine incarnation. If 
God quickened a dead womb and caused it to bear, why 
should it be thought a thing incredible if He made the 
virgin give birth to the Child ! 

The birth of Christ was markedly foreshadowed by that 
of Isaac and this in seven ways at least. First, Isaac was 
the promised seed and son (Gen. 17:16); so also was 
Christ (Gen. 3:15; Is. 7:14). Second, a lengthy interval 
occurred between God's first promise to Abraham and its 
realization. When we are told, **And the Lord visited 
Sarah as he had said'* (Gen. 21:1), the immediate refer- 
ence is to 17 : 16 and 18 : 14, but the remote ref erence was to 
the original promise of 12 : 7. So also was there a lengthy 
interval between God's promise to send Christ and the 
actual f ulfiUment of it. Third, when Isaac 's birth was an- 
nounced, his mother asked, *'Shall I of a surety bear a 
child, which am old?" (Gen. 18: 13), to which the answer 
was returned, **Is anything too hard for the Lord?'' and 
the striking analogy is seen in the f act that when the angel 
of the Lord made known unto Mary that she was to be the 
mother of the Saviour, she asked, * ' How shall this be, seeing 
I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34), to which query the 
answer was retumed, *'With God nothing shall be impos- 
sible" (Luke 1:37) : so that in each case God's omnipo- 
tency was affirmed foUowing the annunciation of the birth 
of the child. Fourth, Isaac's name was specified hefore he 
was born — ^**And thou shalt call his name Isaac'' (Gen. 
17 : 19) ; compare with this the words of the angel to Joseph 
before Christ was bom — ^''And thou shalt call his name 
Jesus'* (Matt. 1:21)! Fifth, Isaac's birth occurred at 
God's appointed time (Gen. 21:2) **at the set time*'; so 
also in connection with the Lord Jesus we read **But when 
the fullness of timc was come, God sent f orth His Son, bom 
of a woman" (Gal. 4:4). Sixth, as we have seen above, 
Isaac's birth required a miracle to bring it about; so also 
was it with the incamation of Immanuel. Seventh, the 
name Isaac (given unto him by Abraham and not Sarah, 
Gen. 21:3), which means laughter, dedared him to be his 
father^s delight; so also was the one bom at Bethlehem — 
this is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. ' ' Need 



tt 



212 Gleanings in Genesis 

we remark how strikingly this sevenf old type evidences the 
Divine inspiration of Scripture, and demonstrates that the 
book of Genesis — so much attacked by the critics — ^was writ- 
ten by one * * moved by the Holy Spirit. ' ' 

It has been noticed by others that in Abraham we have a 
striking iUustration of election, while in Isaac we get, 
typically, the precious truth of sonship. Abraham was the 
one chosen and called by God ; Isaac was the one promised 
and born of God's power. The historicál order of Genesis 
is thus the doctrinal order of the New Testament. Thus we 
read in Eph. 1:4, 5, * * According as He hath chosen us in 
Him bef ore the f oundation of the world, that we should be 
holy and without blame before Him: in love having pre- 
destinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ 
to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His wiU/' 
Isaac brings before us in type regeneration, and it is this 
which wiU now engage our attention. 

The first point we would here dwell upon is that before 
Isaac was born the power and activities of nature were made 
an end of. Abraham and Sarah had come to the end of 
themselves. Abraham's body was **dead,'' and so too was 
Sarah's womb (Rom. 4: 19). And in order for Isaac to be 
born that which was dead must be quickened, quickened by 
God. This is a very humbling truth; one which is thor- 
oughly distastef ul to man ; one which nothing but the grace 
of God wiU enable us to receive. The stats of the natural 
man is f ar worse than he imagines. It is not only that man 
is a sinner, a sinner both by nature and by practice, but 
that he is ^^alienated from the life of God" (Eph. 4: 18). 
In a word the sinner is dead — dead in trespasses and sins. 
As the f ather said of the prodigal, ' * This my son was dead, 
and is alive again; he was lost, and is found" (Luke 
15:24). 

That the natural man is dead in trespasses and sins is no 
mere figure of speech; it is a solemn reality, an awful fact. 
It is ignorance and the denial of this fact which lies at the 
root of so much of the f alse teaching of our day. What the 
natural man needs first and foremost is not education or 
reformation, but life. It is because the sinner is dead that 
he needs to be born again. But how little this is pressed 
today ! The unspeakably dreadful state of the natural man 
is glossed over where it is not directly repudiated. For the 
most part our preachers seem afraid to insist upon the utter 



The Birth of Isaac 213 

ruin and total depravity of human nature. This is a fatal 
def ect in any preaching : sinners wiU never be brought to 
see their need of a Saviour until they realize their lost con- 
dition, and they wiU never discover their lost condition until 
they learn that they are dead in sin. 

But what does Scripture mean when it says the sinner 
is **dead"? This is something which seems ahsurd to the 
natural man. And to him it is absurd. * * The natural man 
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : f or they are 
foólishness unto him: neither can he know them, because 
they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). To the 
natural man it seems that he is very much alive. Tes, and 
Scripture itself speaks of one that lives in pleasure as being 
^^dead while she liveth'* (1 Tim. 5:6). Herein lies the key 
to the meaning of that expression employed by our Lord 
in His teaching upon the Good Samaritan. Describing the 
condition of the natural man under the figure of one who 
had fallen among thieves, who had stripped him of his 
raiment and left him wounded by the wayside, the Saviour 
termed him ^^half dead^^ (Luke 10:30). Mark then the 
absolute accuracy of Christ's words. The sinner is **half 
dead'': he is alive manward, worldward, sinward, but he 
is dead Godward! The sinner is alive naturally — ^physically, 
mentally, morally — but he is dead spiritually. That is why 
the new birth is termed a **passing from death unto life'' 
( John 5 : 24) . And just as the deadness of Abraham and 
Sarah — in their case natural deadness, for they but fore- 
shadowed spiritual truths — ^had to be quickened by God 
before Isaac could be bom, so has the sinner to be quickened 
by God into newness of life before he can become a son of 
God. And this leads us to say. 

Second, before Isaac could be bom God had to perform 
a miracle. As we have said, Abraham's body was **dead" 
and Sarah was long past the age of child-bearing. How 
then could they have a son ? Sarah laughed at the mention 
of such a thing. But what was beyond the reach of nature's 
capacity was fully within the scope of Divine power. *'Is 
there anything too hard for the Lord V^ (Gen. 18 : 14) . No, 
indeed. ''Ah, Lord God, behold! Thou hast made the 
heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out 
arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee*^ (Jer. 32 : 17). 

As it was with Isaac so it is with every Christian. Bef ore 
any of us could be born again God had to work a miracle. 



214 Gleanings in Genesis 

Make no mistake on this point; regeneratiou is the direct 
result of the supernatural operation of God. This needs to 
be stressed today, for regeneration has been so misrepre- 
sented by modern evangelists that to the popular mind the 
**new birth" signifies nothing more than a process of 
reformation. But the new birth is no mere tuming over 
of a new leaf and the endeavor to live a better life. The 
new birth is very much more than going forward in a reli- 
gious meeting and taking the preacher 's hand ; very much 
more than signing a card and **joining the church.*' The 
new birth is an act of God 's creative power, the impartation 
of spiritual life, the communication to us of the Divine na- 
ture itself . 

Abraham and his wif e — each of them nearly a hundred 
years old— desiring a son — ^what could they do ? Nothing ! 
absolutely nothing. God had to come in and work a miracle. 
And thus nature had nothing to glory in. So it is with us. 
The natural man is not only a sinner, a lost sinner, but he is 
a helpless sinner — ^impotent, unable to do anything of him- 
self. If help comes it must come from outside of himself. 
He is, like Abraham and Sarah, shut up to God. 

Third, the coming of Isaac into Abraham's household 
aroused opposition and produced a confiict. **And Sarah 
saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had bome 
unto Abraham, mocking'^ (Gen. 21 : 9) . In the epistle to the 
Galatians we are shown the dispensational meaning and 
application of this, and there we read, * * But as then he that 
was born after the flesh (Ishmael) persecuted him that was 
born after the Spirit, even so it is now^' (Gal. 4: 29) ; but 
it is with the individual application of this type that we are 
now concerned. Ishmael exemplifies the one born after the 
flesh : Isaac the one born af ter the Spirit. When Isaac was 
born the true character of Ishmael was manif ested ; and so 
when we are born again and receive the new nature, the 
old nature, the flesh, then comes out in its true colors. 

Just as there were two sons in Abraham's household, the 
one the produet of nature, the other the gift of God and the 
outworking of Divine power, each standing for a totally 
different principle, so in the believer there are two natures 
which are distinct and diverse. And just as there was a 
confiict between Ishmael and Isaac, so the flesh in us lusteth 
against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh (GaL 
5:17). 



The Birth of Isaac 215 

It is of fírst importance that the Christian, especially the 
young Christian, shonld be clear upon the two natures in the 
believer. The new birth is not the improving of the old 
nature, but the receiving of a new; and the receiving of 
the new nature does not in any wise improve the old. Not 
only so, the old and the new natures within the believer 
are in open antagonism the one to the other. We quote now 
from the works of one deeply respected and to which we 
are much indebted : * * Some there are who think that regen- 
eration is a certain change which the old nature undergoes ; 
and, moreover, that this change is gradual in its operation 
until, at length, the whole man becomes transf ormed. That 
this idea is unsound, can be proved by various quotations 
f rom the New Testament. For example : The camal mind 
is enmity against God. How can that which is thus spoken 
of ever undergo any improvement ? The apostle goes on to 
say, * * It is not sub ject to the law of God, neither indeed can 
he/^ If it cannot he subject to the law of God, how can it 
be improved ? How can it undergo any change ? Do what 
you will with flesh, and it is flesh all the while. As Solomon 
says, * * Though thou shouldst bray a f ool in a mortar among 
wheat with a pestle, yet wiU not his foolishness depart from 
him" (Pro. 27:22). '*There is no use seeking to make 
f oolishness wise. Tou must introduce heavenly wisdom into 
the heart that has been hitherto only governed by foUy** 
(C. H. M.). 

Fourth, it is to be noted that it was the birth of Isaac 
which revealed the true character of Ishmael. We know 
practically nothing of Ishmael's life hefore the birth of 
Isaac, but as soon as this child of promise made his appear- 
ance the real nature of Hagar 's son was made manif est. He 
may have been very quiet and orderly before, but as soon 
as the child of God's quickening-power came on the scene, 
Ishmael showed what he was by persecuting and mocking 
him. Here again the type holds good. It is not until the 
believer receives the new nature that he discovers the real 
character of the old. It is not until we are bom again we 
leam what a horrible and vile thing the flesh is. And the 
discovery is a painf ul one : to many it is quite unsettling. 
To those who have supposed that regeneration is an ím- 
proving of the old nature, the recognition of the awful 
depravity of the flesh comes as a shock and often destroys 
all peace of soul, f or the young convert quickly concludes 



216 Gleanings in Genesis 

that, after all^ he has not been bom again. The truth is 
that the recognition of the true character of the flesh and a 
corresponding ahhorrence of it, is one of the plainest evi- 
dences of our regeneration, for the unregenerate man is 
hlind to the vileness of the flesh. The f act that I have within 
me a conflict between the natural and the spiritual is the 
proof there are two natures present, and that I find the 
Ishmael-nature * * persecuting ' ' the Isaac-nature is only to be 
expccted. That the Ishmael-nature appears to me to be 
growing worse only goes to prove that I now have capacity 
to see its real character, just as the real character of Ishmael 
was not revealed until Isaac was bom. 

Fif th, we read, * * And Abraham circumdsed his son Isaac 
being eight days old, as God had commanded him'' {Oten. 
21 : 4). Our space is exhausted and we must be very brief 
on these last points. The circumcising of Isaac, and later of 
the Israelites, was a foreshadowing of our spiritual circum- 
cision : * * And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of 
all principality and power: in whom also ye are circum' 
cised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting 
off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of 
Chrisf (Col. 2:10, 11). Jitdicially we have been circum- 
cised and God no longer looks at us in the flesh but in 
Christ, for circumcision — typically and spiritually — is sep- 
aration from the flesh, and the eighth day brings us on to 
resurrection ground — in Christ. Compare Col. 3 : 9, etc. 

Sixth, **And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abra- 
ham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was 
weaned" (Gen. 21:8). Here again the type holds good. 
Isaac * * gre w ' ' by f eeding on his mother 's milk. Thus, too, 
is it with the believer. By the new birth we are but spiritual 
babes, and our growth is brought about by feeding on the 
milk of the Word. * * As new-bom babes, desires the sincere 
milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby'^ (1 Pet. 2:2). 
We cannot now touch upon the significance of the '^great 
feast" above. 

Seventh, ** And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, 
which she had borne unto Abraham mocking. Wherefore 
she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her 
son : f or the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with 
my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous 
in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto 
Abraham, let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the 



The Birth of Isaac 217 

lad, and because of thy bondwoman ; in all that Sarah hath 
said nnto thee, hearken unto her voice ; f or in Isaac shall 
thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman 
wiU I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham 
rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of 
water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, 
and the child, and sent her away " (Gen. 21 : 9-14). At last 
the conflict is over. He who * * persecuted " Isaac is now 
^^cast ouf (Gal. 4 : 29) . So it wiU yet be with us. Judicially 
the life of the flesh is already ended for us, but practically it 
is stiU here with us and in us. But blessed be God what is 
true now judicially shall soon be true experimentally also. 
When Christ returns for us, the flesh shall be put off for 
ever, just as Elijah left behind him his earthly mantle. But 
mark how accurate our type is: not tiU Isaac **grew" and 
was * * weaned ' ' was the persecuting Ishmael cast out ! Let 
this be our closing thought. Soon our Ishmael shall be cast 
out. Soon shall this vile body of ours be made like unto the 
body of Christ's glory (Phil. 3 : 21) . Soon shall the Saviour 
return and we shall be ^Hike Him/^ for we shall see Him 
as He is ( John 3:2). Blessed promise ! Glorious prospect ! 
Does not the presence of the vile flesh within us now only 
serve to intensify the longing for our blessed Lord's return? 
Then let us continue to cry daily, **Come quickly. Even 
so, come Lord Jesus. ' ' 



26. THE OFFERING UP OF ISAAC 

Genesis 22 



tt 



And it came to pass after these things, that God did 
tempt (try) Abraham" (Qen. 20:1). These words ref er 
as back to the context, a context that is rich in typical sig- 
nificance. The immediate context is the twenty-first chapter, 
where we have recorded the Birth of Isaac — ^a remarkable 
type which, with what f oUows it, needs to be viewed from 
two standpoints : its individuál application, and its dispevr 
sational application. In our last paper we considered the 
f ormer, here we shall deal briefly with the latter. 

The birth of Isaac awakened the enmity of Ishmael, and 
in conseqnence Sarah came to Abraham saying, **Cast ont 
this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bond- 
woman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac** 
(21 : 10). From the Epistle to the Galatians (4: 22-31) W€ 
leam there was a profound meaning to the act here re- 
quested by Sarah, that it possessed a dispensational sig- 
nificance. It is to be noted first that Sarah refers to the 
* * inheritance ' ' — ^the son of Hagar should not be * * heir with 
Isaac. ' \ Now Isaac, as we have shown in our last, not only 
f oreshadowed the Lord Jesus in His miraculous birth, but 
also pointed forward to those who now beeome the children 
of God through faith in Christ Jesus. In a word, Isaac 
stands for Divine sonship. Only the spiritual family of 
promise answers to Isaac, and takes the titte of ^^heirs of 
God and joint heirs with Christ.^' Israel, nationally, does 
not inherit with the church. Hence, as Isaac in Genesis 21 
f oreshadowed those who are members of the Body of Christ, 
Ishmael stands for the Nation of Israel which is now ^^cast 
out'^ during the time that God is visiting the Gentiles and 
taking from among them a people for His name (Acts 
15: 14). With this key in hand let us tum to the second 
part of G^nesis 21 and note how the course of Israel as a 
nation is pursued in the type. 

1. **And Abraham rose up early in the morning and took 
bread and a bottle of water, and gave unto Hagar, putting 
it on her shoulder, and the ehild, and sent her away, and she 
departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba^* 
(21: 14). First we note (and we shall be as brief as pos- 
sible) that Hagar and her son hecame wanderers in the 



218 



The Offering Up of Isaac 219 

wilderness. How true the picture. Such has been Israers 
portion ever since she rejected Abraham's greater Son, the 
Lord of Glory. Thronghout all these centuries, during 
which Gk)d has been building the Church, the Jews have 
dwelt in the wildemess, and **wanderers'' well describes 
* * the nation of the weary f oot ! ' ' 

2. **And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast 
the child under one of the shrubs" (21: 15). In type, the 
Holy Spirit is here taJcen from Israel—tlie water was spent. 
This it is which explains the tragic **veir' which is over 
the heart of the Jews as they read the Scriptures (2 Cor. 
3 : 15) , for without the Spirit none can understand or draw 
ref reshment f rom the Word of God. 

3. **And she went and sat her down over against him a 
good way off, as it were a bowshot : f or she said, Let me not 
see the death of the child. And she sat over against him 
and lifted up her voice and wepV^ (21 : 16). We see here a 
foreshadowment of Jerusálem hemoaning her desolations, 
and at this point the lamentations of Jeremiah are most 
appropriate to her condition. O, how the above type antici- 
pated the poor Jews **wailing'' before th^ gates of Jeru- 
salem ! 

4. **And God heard the voice of the ladj and the angel 
of Gk)d called to Hagar out of heaven and said unto her, 
What aileth thee, Hagar t Fear not ; f or God hath heard 
the voice of the lad where he is'* (21: 17). And here is 
where hope begins. It is not until the Jew hewails his sins 
(see Hosea 5:15, etc), confesses his dreadful crime of 
crucifying the Son of God, not until after much bitter 
humiliation they shall cry, **Blessed is He that cometh in 
the name of the Lord'^ (Matt. 23:39), that Jehovah wiU 
take up again His covenant people. 

5. '*And God opened her ey^, and she saw a well of 
water; and she went and filled the bottle with water and 
gave the lad drink'' (21: 19). In type the Spirit is given 
once more to Israel. Just as God here ' ' opened the eyes of 
Hagar, ' ' so in a near-coming day wiU He open the eyes of 
the Jews, and even during the days of the now rapidly 
approaching tribulation, a pious remnant shall keep the tes- 
timony of Qod and wash their garments in the blood of the 
Lamb (Rev. 14:3, 4; 20:4). 

6. * * And Qoá was with the lad ; and he grew, and dwelt 
in the wildemess, and became an archer'' (21: 20). Coupl^ 



220 Gleanings in Genesis 

with this the promise o£ verse 18, * * For I wiU make him a 
great nation." How accurate the type! Thus it will be 
with Israel in the MiUennium after Qod has taken into favor 
again the chosen race. 

7. **And he dwelt in the wildemess o£ Paran'' (21: 21), 
Paran means **Beauty or Qlóry/' speaking in type of 
Palestine, the dwelling place of Israel in the MiUennium, 
when the wilderness shall be made to blossom as the rose, 
for the curse now resting on the material creation shall then 
be removed ; and then the Shekinah Qlory shall once more 
be in their midst. 

8. **And his mother took him a wife out of the land of 
Egypt" (21:21). In type this allies Israel with Egypt, 
and thus will it be during the MiUennium — ^**In that day 
shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even 
a blessing in the midst of the land ; whom the Lord of hosts 
shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria 
the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance ' ' (Is. 
19:24, 25). 

9. * ' And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and 
Phichol the chief captain of his host spoke unto Abraham 
saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest" (21:22). 
How this reminds us that in the MiUennium the Qentile will 
seek out the Jew, because conscious that Jehovah is once 
more in their midst ! As it is written, * ' Thus saith the Lord 
of hosts, In those days it shall come to pass that ten men 
shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shaU 
take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, * * We wiU 
go with you, for we have heard that God is with you^^ 
(Zech. 8:23). 

10. Note the close of this chapter: **And Abraham 
planted a grove in Beer-Sheha'^ (21:33). This action of 
the patriarch was deeply significant when viewed typically. 
It marked the change f rom strangership to possession. Abra- 
ham, who stands figuratively as the federal head of the 
nation plants a **grove" in Beer-Sheha, which means, ** Well 
of the oath, ' ' f or all is f ounded upon the Covenant, and thus 
takes possession of the land, for the planting of a tree em- 
blemizes settled and long continuance — ^**They shall not 
build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and an- 
other eat : f or as the days of a tree are the days of My peo- 
ple, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands * 
(Is. 64:22). 



The Offering Up of Isaac 221 

11. **And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-Sheba, and 
called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God" 
(21: 33). Here Abraham calls not on Jehovah, nor on the 
Almighty, but on the Lord, *'the Everlasting God." So 
wiU it be when the Kingdom comes in power and glory. 
Instead of eeaseless change and decay in all around we 
see, as now, there shall be fixity, permanence, peace and 
blessing. Then shall Israel say, **Thou art the same, and 
Thy years shall have no end. The children of Thy servants 
shall continue, and their seed shall be established before 
Thee" (Is. 102:27,28). 

12. One more notice is given to this type and it completes 
the picture — * * These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are 
their names, by their towns and by their castles; twelve 
princes according to their nations'' (25 : 16) . In the MiUen- 
nium the whole of the twelve tribes of Israel wiU be restored 
and raised to princely dignity among the nations. 

And now what foUows this marvellous sketch of Israers 
course? — for marvellous it surely is to the anointed eye. 
What foUowsV why, that unparalleled foreshadowing of 
the Saviour's Death and Resurrection. And why this link- 
ing of the two together? To show us, and later the Jews, 
that Israel owes her MiUennial blessedness, as we do our 
present and eternal blessings, to the precious Sacrifice of 
the Lamb of God. But we must leave the dispensational 
application of the type, and turn and consider once more 
its individual application. 

In our last article we pointed out how that in seven par- 
ticulars the birth of Isaac was a type of the Birth of the 
Lord Jesus. Now, we are to see how the offering up of Tsaac 
upon the altar pointed forward to the Cross of Calvary. 

This twenty-second chapter of Genesis has ever been a 
f avorite one with the saints of God, and our difficulty now 
is to single out for mention that in it which wiU be most 
precious to our hearts and most profitable for our walk. 
Ere examining it in detail it should be said that this is, we 
believe, the only type in the Old Testament which distinctly 
intimated that God required a human sacrifice. Here it was 
that God first revealed the necessity f or a human victim to 
expiate sin, f or as it was man that had sinned, it must be by 
man, and not by sacrifice of beasts^ that Divine justicft 
would be satisfied. 



222 Gleanings in Genesis 

1. **And He said, **Take now thy son, thine only son 
IsaaCy whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of 
Moriah, and oflfer him there for a bumt oflfering upon one* 
of the mountains which I wiU tell thee of (Qen. 22:2). 
This is one of the very f ew Old Testament types that brings 
before us not only God the Son but also Ood the Father. 
Here, as nowhere else, are we shown the Father's heart. 
Here it is that we get such a wonderf ul f oreshadowment of 
the Divine side of Calvary. Oh! how the Spirit of God 
lingers on the oflíering and the oflferer, as if there must be a 
thorough similitude in the type of the antitype — ^^thy son — 
thine only son — whom thou lovest^^I Here it is we leam, in 
type how that Qod **spared not His own Son'' (Bom. 8 : 32). 
Really, this is central in Genesis 22. In this chapter Abra- 
ham figures much more prominently than Isaac — Isaac is 
shown simply (and yet how sweetly!) obeying his father's 
wiU. It is the aflíections of the father's heart which are 
here displayed most conspicuously. 

2. * ' And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and sad- 
dled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and 
Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt oflíering, 
and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told 
him'' (22 : 3) . Here we see in type the Father setting apart 
the Son for sacrifice. Just as we find the passover-lamb was 
separated f rom the flock four days before it was to be killed 
(Ex. 12: 3), so here Isaac is taken by Abraham three days 
before he is to be oflíered upon the altar. This brings be- 
fore us an aspect of tmth exceedingly precious, albeit 
deeply solemn. The seizure and crucifixion of the Lord 
Jesus was something more than the frenzied act of those 
who hated Him without a cause. The cross of Christ was 
according to '*the determinate counsel and foreknowledge 
of God" (Acts 2: 23). Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles 
and Jews only did * * whatsoever " God's hand and counsel 
**determined before to be done" (Acts 4:28). Christ was 
the Lamb *'without blemish and without spot, who verily 
was foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1 

^The writer has little doubt that the particular "mountain" upon which 
Isaac was bound to the altar was Calvary itself. Here, the mountain i8 
not denominated, it was "one of the mountains" in the "land of Moriah" (it 
Is signiflcant that "Morfah" meana "the Lord will provide"), and Calyarj 
was one of the mountains in the land of Moriah. What seems to identify 
Isaac's mountain with Calvary is not only that the marvelous fullness and 
accuracy of thia type would seem to require it, but the fact that in Oen. 
22 : 14 thi8 mount on which Isaac was ofiTered is distinctly termed "the 
mount 0/ the Lord," Surely this establishes it, for what other saye Calvary 
oould be thus named ! 



The Offering Up of Isaac 223 

Pet. 1 : 20). Yes, the Lord Jesus was marked out for saeri- 
fice from all eternity. He was, in the purpose o£ Qod, **the 
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13 : 8). 
And note how this is suggested by our type, ** And Abraham 
rose up early in the morning" (22: 3). 

3. **And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye 
here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and wor- 
ship, and come again to you" (22: 5). Here we see in type 
that what took place on that mount of sacrifice was a trans- 
action between the Father and the Son ONLY. How jeal- 
ously God guarded these types ! Nothing whatever is said 
of Sarah in this chapter though she figures prominently in 
the one before and is mentioned in the one succeeding. 
Abraham and Isaac must be alone. XJp to the time the 
appointed place enters their range of vision ^Uwo young 
men" (22: 3) accompany Isaac; but as they near the scene 
of sacrifice they are left behind (22:5). Is it without a 
reason we are told of these two men journeying with Abra- 
ham and Isaac just so far? We think not. Two is the 
number of witness, but there is more in it than this. These 
two men witnessed Isaac carrying the wood on his shoulder 
up the mountain, but what took place between him and his 
father at the altar they were not permitted to see. No; 
no human eye was to behold that. Look now at the Anti- 
type. Do you not also see there **two men," the two thieves 
who followed Abraham's greater son so far but who, like all 
the spectators of that scene, were not permitted to behold 
what transpired between the Father and the Son on the 
altar itself — the three hours of darkness concealing from 
every human eye the Divine Transaction. 

4. **And Abraham took the wood of the bumt oflfering, 
and laid it upon Isaac his son" (22: 6). This was no half 
grown boy (as pictures so often represent Isaac), but a 
full-grown man who is here brought before us, one who 
could, had he so wished, have easily resisted the aged 
patriarch. But instead of resisting, Isaac quietly foUows 
his father. There is no voice of protest raised to mar the 
scene, but he acquiesces fuUy by carrying the wood on his 
own shoulder. How this brings before us the Peerless One, 
gladly performing the Father's pleasure. • There was no 
alienated will in Him that needed to be brought into sub- 
jection: **Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God,'* was His 
gladsome cry . * * I delight to do Thy will ' * revealed the per- 



224 Gleanings in Genesis 

fections o£ His heart. Christ and the Father were of one 
accord. Note how beautifuUy this is brought out in the 
type — '*And they went both of them togetheri'' twice re- 
peated. We need hardly say that Isaac carrying **the 
wood'^ foreshadowed Christ bearing His cross. 

5. **And he took the fire in his hand and a knife; and 
they went both of them together" (22 : 6). And he (Abra- 
ham) took the fire in his hand. Here, as everywhere in 
Scripture, *'fire" emblemizes Divine judgment. It ex- 
presses the energy of Divine Holiness which ever burns 
against sin. It is the perf ection of the Divine nature which 
cannot tolerate that which is.evil. This was first manifested 
by the flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the 
way of the tree of life (Gen. 3 : 24). And it wiU be finally 
and eternally exhibited in the Lake which hurneth with fire 
and brimstone. But here in our type it pointed forward to 
that awf ul storm of Divine judgment which burst upon the 
head of the Sin-Bearer as He hung upon the Cross, for 
there it was that sin, our sin, Christian reader, was being 
dealt with. Just as Isaac 's f ather took in his hand the fire 
and the knife, so the beloved Son was **smitten of Ood, and 
afflicted" (Is. 53:4). 

6. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father and said, 
My f ather : and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, 
Behold the fire and the wood : but where is the lamb f or a 
burnt oíïering ? And Abraham said, My son, God wiU pro- 
vide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering : So they went both 
of them together " (22 : 7, 8) . These words of Abraham have 
a double meaning. They tell us that God was the One who 
should ^^provide'' the **lamb,'* and they also make known 
the f act that the lamb was for Himself. God alone could 
supply that which would satisfy Himself . Nothing of man 
could meet the Divine requirements. If sacrifice f or sin was 
ever to be found God Himself must supply it. And mark, 
the **lamb" was not only provided hy God but it was also 
for God. Before blessing could flow forth to men the claims 
of Divine holiness and justice must be met. It is true, 
blessedly true, that Christ died f or sinners, but He first died 
(and this is what we are in danger of forgetting) for God, 
i. e., as the Holy Spirit expresses it through the apostle. 
**to declare His righteousness . . . that He might he 
just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus*' 
(Rom. 3 : 26) . Note how this comes out in our passage : it is 



The Offering Up of Isaac 225 

not **God Himself wiU provide a lamb/' but **God will 
provide Himself a lamb ' ' — put this way, abstractly, so as to 
take in hoth of these truths. 

7. * * And they came to the place which God had told him 
of ; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood 
in order, and bóund Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar 
upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, 
and took the knif e to slay his son. And the Angel of the 
Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, 
Abraham, and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay 
not Thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything 
unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing 
thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me. 
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and beheld 
behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and 
Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for 
a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham 
called the name of that place Jehovah- Jireh : as it is said to 
this day. In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen'* 
(22:9-14). Here the type passes from Isaac to the ram 
offered up — '^offered up in his stead^' — a beautiful fore- 
shadowment of Christ dying in the stead of sinners who 
are, as Isaac was, álready in the place of Death, * * bound, ' * 
unable to help themselves, with the knife of Divine justice 
suspended over them. Here it was that the Oospel was 
*'preached unto Abraham'' (Gal. 3:8). Similarly in other 
scriptures we find this double type (both Isaac and the ram) 
as in the sweet savor and the sin offerings, the two goats on 
the Day of Atonement, the two birds at the cleansing of the 
leper. 

8. *'By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up 
Isaac : and he that had received the promises offered up his 
only begotten son, of whom it was said, In Isaac shall thy 
seed be called, accounting that God was able to raise him up, 
even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a 
figure'^ (Heb. 11:17-19). From this scripture we leam 
that Gen. 22 presents to us in type not only Christ offered 
upon the altar, but Christ raised again from the dead, and 
that on the third day, too, for it was on **the third day^' 
Abraham received Isaac back again, for during the three 
days that elapsed from the time Abraham received com- 
mand f rom God to offer him up as a bumt offering, his son 
was as good as dead to him. And now to complete this won- 



226 Gleanings in Genesis 

derful picture, observe how Gen. 22 anticipatedj in type, 
the Ascension of Christl It is very striking to note that 
after we read of Isaac being laid upon the altar (from 
which Abraham received him back) nothing further is said 
of him in Oen. 22. Mark carefully the wording of verse 19 
— * * So Abraham retumed unto his young men, and they rose 
up and went together to Beer-Sheba. ' ' Our type leaves 
Isaac up in the mountl 

This article would not be complete did we say nothing 
about the remarkable trial of Abraham's faith and of the 
Divine grace which sustained him, yet, a very brief word 
is all we now have space for. 

The spiritual history of Abraham was marked by four 
great crises, each of which involved the surrender of some- 
thing which was naturally dear to him. First, he was called 
on to separate himself from his native land and kindred 
(Gen. 12:1); Second, he was called on to give up Lot 
(Gen. 13:1-18) ; Third, he had to abandon his cherished 
plan about Ishmael (Gen. 17:17, 18) ; Fourth, God bade 
him qffer up Isaac as a burnt offering. The lif e of the be- 
liever is a series of tests, for only by discipline can Chris- 
tian character be developed. Frequently there is one su- 
preme test, in view of which all others are preparatory. So 
it was with Abraham. He had been tested again and again, 
but never as here. God's demand is, **Son, give Me thine 
heart (Pro. 23 : 26). It is not our intellect, our talents, our 
money, but our heart, God asks for first. When we have 
responded to God's requirement, He lays His hand on some- 
thing especially near and dear to us, to prove the genuine- 
ness of our response, for God requireth truth in the inward 
parts and not merely on the lips. Thus He dealt with Abra- 
ham. Let us consider now, The Time of Abraham's Trial. 

It was **after these things" that God did try Abraham; 
that is, it was after the twenty-five years of waiting, after 
the promise of a seed had been f requently repeated, after 
hope had been raised to the highest point, yea, after it had 
been turned to enjoyment and Isaac had reached man's 
estate. Probably Abraham thought that when Isaac was 
born his trials were at an end; if so, he was greatly mis- 
taken. Let us look now at, The Nature of Ahraham^s Trial. 

Abraham was bidden to take his son — ^and what? De- 
liver him to some other hand to sacrifice? No: be thou 
thyself the priest; go, offer him up for a burnt offering. 



The Offering Up of Isaac 227 

This was a staggering request ! When Ishmael was thirteen 
years old, Abraham could have been well contented to have 
gone without another son, but when Isaac was born and 
had entwined himself around the father's heart, to part 
with him thus must have been a f earf ul wrench. Add to 
this, the three days' journey, Isaac having to carry the 
wood and Abraham the knife and íire up the mountainside, 
and above all, the cutting question of the son asked in the 
simplicity of his heart, without knowing he himself was to 
be the victim — ^**Behold the fire and the wood: hut where 
is the lamb for a burnt offeringí'' (22:8) — ^this would 
seem to be more than the human heart could bear. Tet, 
this shock to Abraham^s natural affection was not the se- 
verest part of the trial. What must it have been to his 
faith. It was not only that Isaac was his son, but the promr 
ised seed, the one in whom all the great things spoken of the 
seed were to be fulfiUed. When he was called to give up 
his other son God condescended to give him a reason for 
it, but here no reason was given. In the f ormer case, though 
Ishmael must go, it was because he was not the child of 
promise (**in Isaac shall thy seed be called'*), but if Isaac 
goes who shall substitute for him? To offer up Isaac was 
to sacrifice the very object of faith! Tum now and con- 
sider, Abraham's Response. 

Mark his promptitude. There was no doubt or delay, 
and no reluctance or hesitation ; instead, he * ' rose up early 
in the morning.*' There was no opposition either from 
natural affection or unbelief, rather did he bow in absolute 
submission to the wiU of God. Faith triumphed over nat- 
ural affection, over reason, and over self-will. Here was a 
most striking demonstration of the efficacy of Divine grace 
which can subdue every passion of the human heart and 
every imagination of the camal mind, bringing all into un- 
repining acquiescence to God. And what was the effect of 
this trial upon Abraham ? He was amply rewarded, f or he 
discovered something in God he never knew before, or at 
most knew imperfectly, namely, that God was Jehovah- 
Jireh — the Lord who would provide. It is only by passing 
through trials that we learn what God is — His grace, His 
faithfulness, His sufficiency. May the Lord grant both 
writer and reader more of that power of faith which, with 
open hand, takes every blessing which God gives us, and 
with open hand gives back to Himy in the spirit of worship. 



27. THE MAN ISAAC 

Genesis 26 

In our last two articles we have been occupied more par- 
ticularly with the person oí Isaac, now we are to review his 
history. It is noticeable that though Isaac lived the longest 
o£ the four great patriarchs yet less is recorded of him 
than o£ the others: some twelve chapters are devoted to 
the biography o£ Abraham, and a similar number each to 
Jacob and Joseph, but excepting for one or two brief men- 
tionings, before and after, the history of Isaac is con- 
densed into a single chapter. Contrasting his character 
with those of his father and son, we may remark that of 
Isaac there is noted less of Abraham 's triumphs o£ f aith and 
less of Jacob 's f ailures. 

As we have seen in our previous studies Isaac, typically, 
represents sonship. In perfect consonance with this we 
may note how he was appointed heir oí all things. Said 
Eliazer to Bethuel, ''And Sarah my master's wife bare a 
son to my master when she was old : and unto him hath he 
given all that he hath'' (24: 36). Observe how this is re- 
peated f or sake of emphasis in 25 : 5 — ^ * And Abraham gave 
all that he had unto Isaac. ' ' In the type this pointed first 
to Abraham^s greater Son, **Whom He (God) hath ap- 
I>ointed Heir of all things" (Heb. 1:2). But it is equally 
true of all those who are through faith the children of 
Abraham and the children of God — **And if children, then 
heirs: heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Chrisf (Rom. 8: 
17). As with Isaac, so with us: all the wealth of the Fa- 
ther's house is ours! But Isaac not only represented the 
believer's sonship and heirship, but he also foreshadowed 
our heavenly calling. As is well known to most of our 
readers, the land of Canaan typified the Heavenlies where 
is our citizenship (Phil. 3:20) and our spiritual warfare 
(Eph. 6: 12). Hence it was that Isaac alone of the patri- 
archs is never seen outside the Land. This is the more no- 
ticeabte and striking when we remember how that Abra- 
ham, Jacob and Joseph each did leave the Land, for a 
time at least. 

Having looked at Isaac mystically we shall now consider 
him morally. The first thing we read about him after the 
remarkable scene pictured in Gen. 22 is that **Isaac came 



228 



The Man Isaac 229 

from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the 
south country. And Isaae went out to meditate (or pray) 
in the field at the eventide" (24: 62, 63). This gives us a 
good insight into Isaac's character. He was of the quiet 
and retiring order. He had not the positive, active, ag- 
gressive disposition of his eminent father, but was gentle 
and retiring and unresisting. In One only do we find all 
the Divine graces and perfeetions. 

Isaac was essentially the man of the well. Abraham was 
markedly the man of the altar, Jacob specially the man of 
the tent but that which was most prominent in connection 
with Isaac was the '*well.*' The first thing said of Isaac 
after he was bound to the altar (Gen. 22) is, **Isaac came 
from the way of the well Lahai-roi" (24 : 62). This is very 
striking coming as the next mention of Isaac after we have 
seen Christ typically slain, resurrected and ascended (com- 
pare our last article on Gen. 22), Hence that which fol- 
lows here in the type is the figure of the Holy Spirit's oper- 
ations — as succeeding Christ's Ascension! But retuming 
to Isaac and the well. The next time he is referred to we 
are told, ' ' And it came to pass af ter the death of Abraham, 
that God blessed his son Isaac ; and Isaac dwelt by the well 
Lahai-roi" (25: 11). And again we read, ''And Isaac de- 
parted thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, 
and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of 
water which they had digged in the days of Abraham his 
father; for the Philistines had stopped them'' (26: 18, 19). 
For further ref erences see Gen! 26 : 20, 21, 22, 25. It is 
very striking and significant that the name of Isaac is asso- 
ciated with **wells" just seven times, not less, not more. 
XJndoubtedly there is some important lesson to be gathered 
f rom this. 

A well differs from a cistem, in that it is the place of 
running water. What a marvelous hint of the typical 
meaning of Isaac's well is that found in 26:19! — ''And 
Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a 
well of springing water," the margin gives, *'of living 
water'M Water is imperative for the maintenance of the 
natural lif e ; so, too, is it with the spiritual. The first need 
of the believer is the **living water," that is, the Spirit 
acting through the Word. ''The way that water ministers 
to life and growth is indeed a beautiful type of the Spirit's 
action. Without water a plant will die in the midst of 



230 Gleanings in Genesis 

abundance of food in actual contact with its roots. Its 
ofiSce is to make food to be assimilated by the organism, 
and to give power to the system itself to take it up'' (F. 
W. G.). 

The first well by which Isaac is seen is that of Lahai-roi 
(24:62; 25: 11), the meaning of which is, **Him that liv- 
eth and seeth me" (See 16: 14). It told of the unfailing 
care of the ever-living and ever-present Qod. And where 
is such a **weir' to be found to-day? Where is it we are 
brought to realize the presence of this One í Where but in 
the Holy Scriptures! The Word of Qod ministered to us 
by the power and blessing of the Spirit is that which re- 
veals to us the presence of Qod. The **well," then, typi- 
fies the place to which the son is brought — ^into the presence 
of God. His remaining there, practically, depends upon 
his use of and obedience to the Word. 

We have just looked at Isaac by the Well of Lahai-roi; 
did he remain there ? What do you suppose is the answer, 
reader? Could you not supply it from your own experi- 
ence! **And there was a famine in the land, besides the 
first f amine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac 
went unto Ahimelech, king of the Philistines unto Qerar" 
(26:1). Isaac's departure from the well Lahai-roi to 
Gerar typifies the failure oí the son (the believer) to main- 
tain his standing in the presence of God and his enjoy- 
ment of Divine fellowship. But is it not blessed to read 
next, '*And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not 
down into Egypt ; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee 
of . Sojoum in this land, and I wiU be with thee, and will 
bless thee, for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all 
these countries, and I wiU perf orm the oath which I sware 
unto Abraham thy father" (26:2, 3). Apparently, Isaac 
was on his way to Egypt, like his f ather bef ore him in time 
of f amine, and would have gone there had not the Lord ap- 
peared to him and arrested his steps. In passing, we would 
remark that here we have a striking iUustration of the sov- 
ereign ways of God. To Isaac the Lord appeared and 
stayed him from going down to Egypt, yet under pre- 
cisely similar circumstances He appeared not unto Abra- 
ham! 

**And Isaac dwelt in Gerar'* (26:6). Gerar was the 
horderland midway between Canaan and Egypt. Note that 
Qod had said to Isaac, ^^Sojourn in this land*' (v. 3), but 



The Man Isaac 231 

Isaac ^^dwelV^ there (v. 6), and that **a long time'' (v. 8). 
Mark now the consequence of Isaac settling down in Qerar 
— type of the believer out of communion. He sinned there I 
'*And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he 
said, She is my sister : f or he f eared to say, She is lúy wife ; 
lest, said he, the men of the place should kiU me for Re- 
bekah; because she was fair to look upon" (26: 7). Isaac 
thus repeated the sin of Abraham (Gen. 20:1, 2). What 
are we to leam from Isaac thus following the evil example 
of his father? From others we select two thoughts. First, 
the readiness with which Isaac f oUowed in the way of Abra- 
ham suggests that it is much easier for children to imitate 
the vices and weaknesses of their parents than it is to emu- 
late their virtues, and that the sins of the parents are fre- 
quently perpetuated in their children. Solemn thought 
this ! But, second, Abraham and Isaac were men of vastly 
different temperament, yet each succumbed to the same 
temptation. When famine arose each fled to man for help. 
When in the land of Abimelech each was afraid to own his 
wife as such. Are we not to gather from this that no mat- 
ter what our natural temperament may be, unless the grace 
of God supports and sustains us we shall inevitably falll 
What a warning ! 

* ' Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same 
year a hundred-f old : and the Lord blessed him. And the 
man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he 
became very great" (26:12, 13). Most of the commenta- 
tors have had difBculty with these verses and have resorted 
to various ingenuities to explain this prosperity of Isaac 
while he was out of communion with God. But the diflS- 
culty vanishes if we look at the above statement in the light 
of V. 3, where the Lord had said, **I will bless thee'* — ^a 
promise given hefore Isaac had practised this deception 
upon Abimelech. That this is the true interpretation ap- 
pears from the word **bless.'' God had said, **I will bless 
thee'' (v. 3), and v. 12 records the fulfillment of Gtoá'B 
promise, for here we read, **And the Lord blessed him.'* 
The failure of Isaac between the time when God made 
promise and its fulfilhnent only affords us a striking iUus- 
tration of that blessed word, '*He is faithful that promised'* 
(Heb. 10 : 23) ! Yes, blessed be His name, even **if we be- 
lieve not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Him- 
seW (2 Tim.2:13). 



232 Gleanings in Genesis 

Next we are told, **And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go 
from us; for thou art much mightier than we^' (26:16). 
Was not this God speaking to Isaac, speaking at a distance 
(through Abimelech) and not yet directly ! 

**And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the 
valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again 
the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of 
Abraham his f ather ; f or the Philistines had stopped them 
after the death of Abraham; and he called their names 
after the names by which his father had called them'' (26: 
17, 18). In digging again these wells of Abraham which 
had been stopped up by the Philistines, Isaac appears to 
typify Christ who, at the beginning of the New Testament, 
dispensation re-opened the Well of Living Water which 
had, virtually, been blocked up by the traditions and cere* 
monialism of the Pharisees. 

'*And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and fouiid 
there a well of springing water. And the herdsmén of 
Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, sáying, The water 
is ours....And they digged another well and strove for 

that also And he removed f rom thence and digged an- 

other weir* (26:19-22). Again we would ask, Was not 
this **strife'' God's way of leading his child back to Him- 
self again ! But note also the lovely moral trait seen here 
in Isaac, namely, his nonresistancé of evil. Instead of 
standing up for his **rights,'' instead of contending for the 
wells which he had dug, he quietly **removed'' to another 
place. In this he beautifully points out the path which the 
Christian should foUow: **For this is thankworthy, if a 
man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering 
wrongfuUy. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted 
for your f aults, ye shall take it patiently ? but if , when ye 
do well, ye suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is accept- 
able with God'' (1 Pet. 2 : 19, 20). We need hardly remind 
the reader that the attitude displayed by Isaac, as above, 
was that of the Saviour who *^when He was reviled, reviled 
not again." 

**And he went up from thence to Beersheba'^ (26:23). 
Mark here the topographical reference which symbolized 
Isaac 's moral aseent and return to the place of communion, 
for **Beersheba" means the Well of the Oath. In fuU ac- 
cord with this behold the blessed sequel — ^**And the Lord 
appeared unto him the same nighi and said, I am the Qod 



The Man Isaac 233 

of Abraham thy f ather ; f ear not, f or I am with thee, and 
will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for My servant Abra- 
ham's sake" (26 : 24). On the very night of Isaac's retum 
to Beersheba the Lord * * appeared unto ' ' him ! 

*'And he builded an altar there, and called upon the 
name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there 
Isaac digged a weU'' (26:25). Mark how the **altar" is 
mentioned before the **tent" — ^there was no mention of any 
altar in Gerar! How striking, too, that next we read, 
* * Then Abimelech went to him from Qerar, and Ahurzzath 
one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his 
army '* (26 : 26). Personal blessings from the Lord was not 
the only result of his return to Beersheba. Abimelech seeks 
him out, not now to distress him (we no longer read of any 
*'striving" for this last well), but to ask a favor. And 
they said, * ' We certainly saw that the Lord was with thee : 
and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even be- 
twixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee'* 
(26:28). Now that our patriarch has entered again the 
path of God's wiU, those who formerly were his enemies 
seek him and bear witness to the presence of Qod with him. 
An iUustration is this that * * when a man 's ways please the 
Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him'* 
(Pro. 16:7). 

**And he (Isaac) made them a feast, and they did eat 
and drink. And they rose up betimes in the moming, and 
sware one to another : and Isaac sent them away, and they 
departed from him in peace'^ (26: 30, 31). Above we called 
attention to how meekly Isaac suffered wrong when the 
Philistines strove for his wells, but here we may mark his 
failure to manifest another grace which ought always to 
accompany meekness. There is a meekness which is accord- 
ing to nature, but usually this degenerates into weakness. 
The meekness which is of the Spirit will not set aside the 
requirements of righteousness, but wiU maintain the claims 
of God. And here Isaac failed. To forgive is Christian, 
but with that there must be faithfulness in its season. **If 
thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he 
repent, forgive him'* (Luke 17: 3). Abimelech had clearly 
wronged him, but instead of dealing with Abimelech 's con- 
science, Isaac made him a **féasf This was amiable, no 
doubt, but it was not upholding the claims of righteousness. 
Contrast the conduct of Abraham under similar circum- 



234 Gleanings in Genesis 

stances — ^**And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a 
well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently 
taken away '' (Gen. 21 : 25) ! 

*'And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife 
Judithy the daughter of Beeri the HittHe, and Bashemath, 
the daughter of Elon the Hittite: which were a grief of 
mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah" (26 : 34 and 35). This is 
sad, and points a solemn warning to us. Marriage is a 
momentous undertaking, and for one of the Lord's people 
to unite with a worlding is to court disaster as well as to 
dishonor Christ. Jehovah 's instructions to Israel were very 
pointed: under no circumstances must they marry a Ca- 
naanite (Deut. 7:3). In the times covered by the book of 
Genesis, though apparently no divine law had been given 
respecting it, yet the mind of God was clearly understood. 
This is evident from the care which Abraham took to secure 
Isaac a wife from among his own people (Gen. 24), thus 
did he prevent Isaac from marrying a daughter of Ca- 
naan. But Isaac was careless about this matter. He failed 
to watch over his children so as to anticipate mischief. 
Esau married a daughter of the Hittites. Qod could not 
say of Isaac as he had of his f ather, * * For I know him, that 
he will command his children and his household after him, 
and they shall keep the way of the Lord" (Gen. 18: 19). 
However, that Isaac had within him a righteous soul to be 
'*vexed'* is clear from the words, **which were a grief of 
mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah'* (26: 35). 

We reserve for our next article a detailed examination 
of Genesis 27. Suffice it now to refer barely to the incident 
which is well known to our readers. Isaac was one hundred 
and f orty years old and was fearful that death might soon 
overtake him. He therefore prepares to perform the last 
religious act of a patriarchal priest and bestow blessing 
upon his sons. But mark how that instead of seeking guid- 
ance from God in prayer his mind is occupied with a feast 
of venison. Not only so, but he seeks to reverse the ex- 
pressed wiU of God and bestow upon Esau what the Lord 
had reserved for Jacob. But whatsoever a man soweth that 
shall he also reap. Isaac acts in the energy of the flesh, 
and Rebekah and Jacob deal with him on the same low 
level. And here the history of Isaac terminates! After 
charging Jacob not to take a wife from the daughters of 
Canaan (28: 1) he disappears from the scene and nothing 



The Man Isaac 235 

further is recorded of him save his death and burial (35: 
27-29) . As another has said, ' ' instead of wearing out, Isaac 
rusted out,'' rusted out as a vessel no longer fit for the 
master's use. 

"Was Isaac, I ask, a vessel marred on the wheel? Was 
he a vessel laid aside as not fit f or the Master 's use ? or at 
least not fit f or it any longer ? His history seems to tell us 
this. Abraham had not been such an one. All the distin- 
guishing features of *the stranger here,' all the proper 
fruits of that energy that quickened him at the outset, were 
bome in him and by him to the very end. We have looked 
at this already in the walk of Abraham. Abraham's leaf 
did not wither. He brought forth f ruit in old age. So was 
it with Moses, with David, and with Paul. They die with 
their harness on, at the plough or in the battle. Mistakes 
and more than mistakes they made by the way, or in their 
cause, or at their work; but they are never laid aside. 
Moses is counselling the camp near the banks of the Jor- 
dan ; David is ordering the conditions of the Kingdom, and 
putting it (in its beauty and strength) into the hand of 
Solomon ; Paul has his armour on, his loins girded. When, 
as I may say, the time of their departure was at hand, the 
Master, as we may read in Luke 12, found them *so doing,' 
as servants should be found. But thus was it not with 
Isaac. Isaac is laid aside. For forty long years we know 
nothing of him; he had been, as it were, decaying away 
and wasting. The vessel was rusting till it rusted out. 

**There is surely meaning in all this, meaning for our 
admonition. And yet — such is the f ruitfulness and instruc- 
tion of the testimonies of God — there are others in Scrip- 
ture, of other generations, who have stiU more solemn les- 
sons and wamings for us. It is humbling to be laid aside 
as no longer fit f or use ; but it is sad to be left merely to 
recover ourselves, and it is terrible to remain to defile our» 
selves. And iUustrations of all this moral variety we get 
in the testimonies of God. Jacob, in his closing days in 
Egypt, is not as a vessel laid aside, but he is there recov- 
ering himself . I know there are some truly precious things 
connected with him during those seventeen years that he 
spent in that land, and we could not spare the lesson which 
the Spirit reads to us out of the life of Jacob in Egypt. 
But still, the moral of it is this— a saint, who had been 
under holy discipline, recovering himself, and yielding 



236 Gleanings in Genesis 

hxútj meet f or recovery. And when we think of it a little, 
that is but a poor thing. But Solomon is a stiU worse ease^ 
He lives to defile himself ; sad and terrible to tell it. Thig 
was neither Isaac nor Jacob — it was not a saint simply laid 
aside, nor a saint left to recover himself . Isaac was, in the 
great moral sense, blameless to the end, and Jacob's last 
days were his best days ; but of Solomon we read, * It came 
to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives tumed away 
his heart after other gods/ and this has made the writing 
over his name, the tablet to his memoiy, equivocai, and 
hard to be deciphered to this day. 

* ' Such lessons do Isaac and Jacob and Solomon, in these 
ways, read for us, beloved — such are the minute and vari- 
our instructions left f or our souls in the fruitful and living 
pages of the oracles of Gkxi. They give us to see, in the 
house of Ood, vessels fit for use and kept in use even to the 
end — vessels laid aside, to rust out rather than to wear out 
— vessels whose best service is to get themselves dean again 
— and vessels whose dishonor it is, at the end of their serv- 
ice, to contract some fresh defilement." (J. G. Béllett, 
''ThePatriarchs.") 



28. ISAAC BLESSING HIS SONS 

Genesis 27 

Let us look at the two sons who were to receive the bless- 
ing. They are first brought bef ore us in Gen. 25 : 20-26 — 
*'And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to 
wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-Aran, 
the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac entreated the 
Lord for his wife, because she was barren and the Lord 
was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And 
the children struggled together within her; and she said, 
If it be so, why am I thus ? And she went to enquire of the 
Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy 
womb, and two manner of people shall be separated f rom 
thy bowels ; and the one people shall be stronger than the 
other people ; and the elder shall serve the younger. And 
when her days to be delivered were fulfiUed, behold, there 
were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all 
over like a hairy garment ; and they called his name Esau. 
And after that came his brother out, and his hand took 
hold on Esau 's heel ; and his name was called Jacob : and 
Isaac was three-score years old when she bare them. ' ' We 
reserve our comments on this passage until our next article 
on Jacob, and pass on now to the well-known incident of 
Esau selling his birthright. 

* ' And the boy s grew : and Esau was a cunning hunter, 
a man of the field ; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in 
tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his 
venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. And Jacob sod pot- 
tage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 
And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that 
same red pottage ; f or I am f aint : theref ore was his name 
called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birth- 
right. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: 
and what profit shall this birthright do to me ? And Jacob 
said, Swear to me this day ; and he sware unto him : and 
he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau 
bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, 
and rose up, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his 
birthright. ' ' (Gen. 25 : 27-34.) There is far more beneath 
the surface here (as in all Scripture) than meets the eye 
at first glance. Esau and Jacob are to be considered ds 



237 



238 Gleanings in Genesis 

representative characters. Esau typifies the unbeliever, 
Jacob the man of f aith. Every line in the brief sketch that 
18 here given of their characters is profoundly significant. 

Esau was **a cunning hunter'' (v. 27). The *^hunter'^ 
tells of the roving, daring^ restless nature that is a stranger 
to peace. A glance at the concordance wiU show that the 
word ''hunter'' is invariably found in an evil connection 
(cf . 1 Sam. 24 : 11 ; Job 10 : 16 ; Psa. 140 : 11 ; Prov. 6 : 26 ; 
Micah 7:2; Ezek. 13 : 18). ^'Search^' is the antithesis, the 
good word, the term used when God is seeking His own. 
Only two men in Scripture are specifically termed *'hun- 
ters,*' namely, Nimrod and Esau, and they have much in 
common. The f act that Elgiau is thus linked together with 
Nimrod, the rebel, reveals his true character. 

Next we are told that Esau was *'a man of the field'* (v. 
27 ) . Ín the light of Matt. 13 : 38—' ' The field is the world ' ' 
— it is not diflScult to discern the spiritual truth iUustrated 
in the person of Esau. He was, typically, a man of th€ 
world. In sharp contrast from what we are told of Esau 
two things are said of J acob : — ^he was * * a plain man ; dwell- 
ing in tents" (v. 27). The Hebrew for ''plain" is ''tam,'» 
which is translated in other passages * ' perf ect, " " upright, ' * 
* ' undefiled. ' ' The reference is to his character. The 
**dwelling in tents" denotes that he was a stranger and 
pilgrim in this scene; having here no abiding city, but 
seeking one to come. 

**And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field. 
and he was faint." Here again the contrast between the 
two sons of Isaac is sharp and instructive. Jacob was oc- 
cupied with the affairs of the house, cooking a meal, and 
enjoying his portion,* whereas Esau was again connected 
with the *'field" and is *'faint." Remembering what we 
have seen above, namely, that Esau is to be viewed as a 
representative character, a man of the world, this next linc 
in the pícture is highly suggestive. Esau returns from the 
field without his venison, hungry and faint. Such is ever 
the case with the worldling. There is nothing to be found 
in the ' * field ' ' which can satisf y, or, to drop the figure, the 
world affords nothing that is able to meet man's spiritual 
needs, f or be it noted, that man in contrast from the beasts, 
is essentially a spiritual being. No; over all the sjrstems 
of this poor world it is written * * Whosoever drinketh of thiS 

^Note in 2 Kings 4 : : 38-40 "potUge" was the food of CKmI's propheU. 



Isaac Blessing His Sons 239 

water shall thirst again.'* It cannot be otherwise. How 
can a world into which sin has entered, which is away from 
Ood, and which ^^lieth in the Wicked One'' fumish any- 
thing which can truly meet the need of the heart that, con- 
sciously or unconsciously, ever panteth after God! Esau's 
experience was but that of Solomon at a later date, and of 
many another since — vanity and vexation of spirit is the 
only portion for those who seek contentment ^'under the 
sun. ' ' So it is now. Only the Jacobs — ^the ob jects of God 's 
grace — possess that which appeases the hunger of the inner 
man. 

*'And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with 
that same red pottage for I am faint.*' It is a pity that 
the translators of our noble King James Version should 
have obscured the meaning here by inserting in italics the 
word ' ' pottage. ' ' As it so f requently the case the words in 
italics, put in to convey a better sense, only hide the real 
sense. So it is here. In v. 29 the word ^'pottage" i$ em- 
ployed by the Holy Spirit to denote the portion which 
Jacob enjoyed. But here in v. 30 what Esau really says is 
* ' Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red, ' ' and this was 
all he said. He was ignorant of even the name of that 
which was Jacob's. No doubt he was thoroughly versed in 
the terms of the chase, but of the thirigs of the house, of the 
portion of God's chosen, he knew not — ''Therefore the world 
knoweth us not, because it knew Him not" (1 John 3:1). 

* ' And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright, ' * etc. 
(v. 31). Here Jacob offers to huy from Esau what was his 
by the free bounty of God. A word now conceming this 
* ' birthright. " The birthright was a most cberished pos- 
session in those days. It consisted of the excellency of dig- 
nity and power, usually a double portion (see Gen. 49:3 
and Deut. 21 : 17) . In connection with the family of Abra- 
ham there was a peculiar blessing attached to the birth- 
right : it was spiritual as well as temporal in its nature. 
* ' The birthright was a spiritual heritage. It gave the right 
of being the priest of the family or clan. It carried with 
it the privilege of being the depository and communicator 
of the Divine secrets. It constituted a link in the line of 
descent by which the Messiah was to be born into the 
world." (F. B. M.) 



240 Gleanings in Genesis 

Esau reveals his true character by saying * * Behold, I am 
going to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to 
me?" These words show what a low estimate he placed 
upon ' ' the blessing of Abraham. ' ' This birthright he con- 
temptuoiisly termed it. We think, too, that in the light of 
the surrounding circumstances Esau's utterance here ex- 
plains the word of the Holy Spirit in Heb. 12: 16 — ^'^Lest 
there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who 
for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.'* Surely Esau 
did not mean he would die of hunger unless he ate imme- 
diately of the pottage, f or that is scarcely conceivable when 
he had access to all the provisions in Isaac 's house. Rather 
does it seem to us that what he intended was, that in a little 
time at most, he would be dead, and then of what account 
would the promises of God to Abraham and his seed be to 
him — I cannot live on promises, give me something to eat 
and drink, for to-morrow I die, seems to be the force of 
his words. 

The next time Esau is mentioned is at the close of Gen. 
26: there we read **And Esau was forty years old when 
he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, 
and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: which 
were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah." We 
cannot do better than quote f rom Mr. Grant : — ' ' This is the 
natural sequel of a profanity whieh could esteem the birth- 
right at the value of a mess of pottage. These forty years 
are a significant hint to us of a completed probation, In 
his two wives, married at once, he refuses at once the exam- 
ple and counsel of his father, and by his union with Ca- 
naanitish women disregarded the Divine sentence, and 
shows unmistakably the innermost recesses of the heart.'* 

We are now ready to look at the sad scene which Q-en. 
27 presents to us. '*And it came to pass, that when Isaac 
was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he 
called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: 
and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. And he said, 
Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver 
and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some 
venison; And make me savory meat, such as I love, and 
bring it to me, that I may eat; that ray soul may bless 
thee before I die'* (Gen. 27: 1-4). Why was it that Isaac 
desired to partake of venison from Esau before blessiug 



Isaac Blessing His Sons 241 

him? Does not Gen. 25:28 answer the question — ^''And 
Isaac loved Esau hecause he did eat of his venison/' In 
view of this statement it would seem, then, that Isaac de- 
sired to enkindle or intensify his aflPections for Esau, so 
that he might bless him with all his heart. But surely 
Isaac's eyes were '*dim'' spiritually as well as physically. 
Let us not f orget that what we read here at the beginning 
of Gen. 27 foUows immediately after the record of Esau 
marrying the two heathen wives. Thus it will be seen that 
Isaac's wrong in being partial to Esau was greatly aggra- 
vated by treating so lightly his son's affront to the glory 
of Jehovah — and all f or a meal of venison ! Alas, what a 
terrible thing is the flesh with its *'affections and lusts" 
even in a believer, yea, more terrible than in an unbeliever. 
But worst of all, Isaac 's partiality toward Esau was a plain 
disregard of God's word to Rebekah that Esau should 
'*serve"Jacob(Gen. 25 : 23). By comparing Heb. 11 : 20 with 
Eom. 10 : 7 it is certain that Isaac had himself **heard" this. 

''And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son 

and Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son Now 

theref ore, my son, obey my voice according to that which 
I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from 
thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them 
savory meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou 
shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he 
may bless thee before his death" (vs. 6-10). How like 
Sarah before her, who, in a similar **evil hour^* imagined 
that she could give effect to the Divine promise by fleshly 
expediences (Gen. 16: 2). As another has suggested *'they 
both acted on that God dishonoring proverb that ' The Lord 
helps those who help themselves,' '* whereas the truth is, 
the Lord helps those who have come to the end of them- 
selves. If Rebekah really had confidence in the Divine 
promise she might well have followed tranquiUy the path 
of duty, assured that in due time God would Himself bring 
His word to pass. 

*'And Jacob said to R^bekah his mother, Behold, Esau 
my brother is a hairy man, and I p-m a smooth man: My 
father peradventure wiU feel me, and I shall seem to him 
as a deeeiver ; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a 
blessing" (vs. 11, 12). How the character of Jacob comes 
out here ! He reveals his native shrewdness and f oresight, 
but instead of shrinking back in horror from the sin, he 



242 Gleanings in Genesis 

appears to have been oecupied only with what might prove 
its unpleasant consequences. 

*'And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, 
my son : only obey my voice, and go f etch me them. And 
he went and f etched, and brought them to his mother : and 
his mother made savory meat, such as his father loved. 
And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son, Esau, 
which were with her in the house, and put them upon 
Jaeob her younger son : And she put the skins of the kids 
of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his 
neck : And she gave the savory meat and the bread, which 
she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob'* (vs. 
13-17). It is difl5cult to say who was most to blame, Jacob 
or his mother. Rebekah was the one to whom God had 
directly made known His purpose respecting her two sons, 
and, be it noted, the wife of Isaac was no heathen but, in- 
stead, one who knew the Lord — cf . * ' She went to enquire of 
the Lord'* (25:22). Her course was plain: she should 
have trusted the Lord to bring to nought the camal design 
of Isaac, but she took the way of the flesh, plotted against her 
husband, and taught her son to deceive his father. Yet in 
condemning Rebekah we are reminded of Rom. 2 : 1, **There- 
fore thou are inexcusable man, whosoever thou art that 
judgest : f or wherein thou judgest another, thou condemn- 
est thyself ; f or thou that judgest doest the same things. ' ' 

We ref rain f rom quoting at length the verses that f oUow. 
Jacob complies with his mother's suggestion, and adds sin 
to sin. First he impersonates his brother, tells lies to his 
father, and ends by going the awful length of bringing in 
the name of the Lord God (v. 20). To what fearful lengths 
wiU sin quickly lead us once we take the first wrong step I 
A similar progression in evil is seen (by way of implica- 
tion) in Psa. 1:1: the one who **walks*' in the counsel of 
the ungodly wiU soon be found **standing'' in the way of 
sinners, and then it wiU not be long ere he is discovered 
* * sitting ' ' in the seat of the scornf ul. 

At first suspicious, Isaac's fears were allayed by his son's 
duplicity, and the blessing was given, **and he came near 
and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, 
and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as 
the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed : Theref ore 
God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the 
earth, and plenty of corn and wine : Let people serve thee, 



Isaac Blessing His Sons 243 

and nations bow down to thee : be lord over thy brethren, 
and let thy mother 's sons bow down to thee : cursed be every 
one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee'* 
(vs. 27-29). It is to be noted that the "blessing" which 
Jacob here receives f rom the lips of his f ather was f ar below 
the blessed string of promises which he received directly 
from God when wholly cast upon His grace (see 28 : 13-15). 

We need not tarry long on the pathetic sequel. No sooner 
had Jacob left his father's presence than Esau comes in 
with his venison and says, **let my father arise and eat of 
his son 's venison, that thy soul may bless me. ' ' Then it is 
that Isaac discovers the deception that has been practiced 
upon him, and he **trembled very exceedingly. " Esau 
leams of his brother's duplicity, and with a great and ex- 
ceeding bitter cry says, *'Bless me, even me also, my fa- 
ther, ' ' only to hear Isaac say, * ' Thy brother came with sub- 
tlety , and hath taken away thy blessing . • . . behold I have 
made him thy lord." Esau renews his request saying, 
*'Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even 
me, also. ' ' Then it was that Isaac uttered that prophecy 
that received such a striking fulfillment in the centuries 
that foUowed — ^''Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness 
of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And 
by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother : 
and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the domin- 
ion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck'' (vs. 
39, 40) . For Esau *'serving liis brother'' see 2 Sam. 8 : 14 
(David was a descendant of Jacob) ; and for **thou shalt 
break his yoke from off thy neck'' see 2 Chron. 21: 8. 

Above we have noticed that when Isaac discovered that 
he had blessed Jacob instead of Esau he **trembled very 
exceedingly. ' ' This was the tuming point in the incident, 
the point where, for the first time, light breaks in on this 
dark scene. It was horror which was awakened in his soul 
as he now fuUy realized that he had been pitting himself 
against the expressed mind of Jehovah. It is beautif ul to 
notice that instead of ^^cursing" Jacob (as his son had 
feared, see v. 12) now that Isaac discovers how God had gra- 
ciously overmled his wrong doing, he bowed in self-judg- 
ment, and **trembled with a great trembling greatly" (mar- 
gin). Then it was that faith found expression in the words 
**And he shall be blest'* (v. 33). He knew now that Otoá 
had been securing what He had declared bef ore the sons 



244 Gleanings in Genesis 

were born. It is this which the Spirit seizes on in Heb. 
11:20, ^^By faith Isaac blest Jacob and Esau conceming 
things to come/' 

Many are the lessons illustrated and exemplified in the 
above incident. We can do little more than name a few of 
the most important. 1, How many to-day are, like Esau, 
bartering Divine privileges for carnal gratiíication. 2. Be- 
ware of doing evil that good may come. What shame and 
sorrow they do make for themselves who in their zeal for 
good do not scruple to use wrong means. Thus it was with 
Bebekah and Jacob. 3. Let us seek grace to prevent nat- 
ural affections overriding love for God and His revealed 
wiU. 4. Eemember the unchanging law of Sowing and 
Beaping. How striking to observe that it was Bebekah, 
not Isaac, who sent her beloved child away! She it was 
who led him into grievous sin, and she it was whom God 
caused to be the instrument of his exile. She, poor thing, 
suggested that he íind refuge in the home of Laban her 
brother for "some days.*' Little did she imagine that her 
f avorite child would have to remain there f or twenty years, 
and that never again should she behold him in the flesh. 
Ah! the miUs of God grind slowly, but they grind ex- 
ceeding small, and we might add "surely." And during 
those long years Jacob was to be ckeated by Laban as he 
had cheated Isaac. 5. Learn the utter futility of seeking to 
foil God: '*So then it is not of him that wiUeth, nor of 
him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy" (Rom. 
9:16) ; neither Isaac's "wiUing'' nor Esau's *'running'' 
could defeat the purpose of Jehovah. "There are many 
devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the 
Lord that shall stand" (Prov. 19: 21). Man proposes but 
God disposes. 

Finally, have we not here, deeply hidden, a beautiful 
picture of the Gospel. Jacob found acceptance with his 
father and received his blessing because he sheltered behind 
the name of the father's firstbom, beloved son, and was 
clothed with his garments which diffused to Isaac an excel- 
lent odor. In like manner, we as sinners, find acceptance 
before God and receive His blessing as we shelter behind 
the name of His beloved Firstborn, and as we are clothed 
with the robe of righteousness which we receive from Him 
thus coming before the Father in the merits of His Son who 
**hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to 
Ood for a sweet smelling savor'' (Eph. 5; 2). 



29. THE MAN JACOB 

Genesis 28 

Jacob and his experiences may be viewed from two chief 
viewpoints : as a picture of the believer, and as a type of 
the Jewish nation. We shall take up the latter first. As to 
Jacob foreshadowing the history of the Jews we may note, 
among others, the f oUowing analogies : 

1. Jacob was markedly the object of God's election: 
Eom. 9 : 10. So, too, was the Jewish nation. See Deut. 6 : 
7; 10:15; Amos3:2. 

2. Jacob was loved before he was born, Rom. 9 : 11-13. 
Of the Jewish nation it is written, ''Thus saith the Lord, 
the people which were left of the sword found grace in the 
wilderness ; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest, 
the Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have 
loved thee with an everlasting love" ( Jer. 31 : 2, 3). 

3. Jacob was altogether lacking in natural attractiveness. 
This is singularly true of the Jewish people. 

4. Jacob was the one from whom the Twelve Tribes di- 
rectly sprang. 

5. Jacob is the one after whom the Jewish race is most 
f requently called. See Isaiah 2 : 5, etc. 

6. Jacob was the one whom God declared should be 
' ' served, ' ' Gen. 25 : 23 ; 27 : 29. Of the Jews the prophetic 
scriptures aíBrm, * ' Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I wiU 
lift up Mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up My standard 
to the people, and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, 
and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. 
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens 
thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with 
their face to the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feef 
(Is. 49: 22, 23). And again it is written of Israel, "And 
they shall hring all your brethren for an oflPering unto the 
Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in 
litters, and upon mules" (Is. 66:20). 

7. Jacob was the one to whom God gave the earthly in- 
heritance, Gen. 27 : 28 ; 28 : 13. So, too, the Jews. 

8. Jacob suffered a determined effort to be robhed of his 
inheritance, Gen. 27 : Isaac and Esau. So have the Jews. 

9. Jacob valued the blessing of God, but sought it in car- 
nal ways, totally opposed to faith, Gen. 26 : 27. So it ifl 



245 



246 Gleanings in Genesis 

written of the Jews, *'For I bear them record that they 
have a zeal of God, hut not according to knowledge. For 
they being ignorant of Qod 's righteousness, and going about 
to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted 
themselves unto the righteousness of God'' (Rom. 10: 2, 3). 

10. Jacob was exiled from the land as the result of his 
sin, Gen. 28 : 5. So have the Jews been. 

11. Jacob spent much of his life as a wandering exile 
f rom the land ; such has been the history of his descendants 

12. Jacob was distinctly the wanderer among the patri- 
archs, and as such a type of the wandering Jew ! 

13. Jacob experienced, as such, the sore chastenings of a 
righteous God. So, too, the Jews. 

14. Jacob had no *'altar'' in the land of his exile: thus 
also is it written of the Jews, *'For the children of Israel 
shall abide many days without a Eing, and without a prince, 
and without a sacrifice^^ (Hosea 3:4). 

15. Jacob set his heart upon the land while exiled from 
it. His yearning for home is strikingly expressed in his 
words to Laban : ' ' Send me away, that I xnay go unto mine 
own place, and to my country,'' (30: 25). How we behold 
the same yeaming among the Zionists today, as they appeal 
to American and British statesmen to make it possible for 
them to retum in saf ety to Palestine ! 

16. Jacob was unjustly dealt with in the land of exile, 
Gen. 29 : 23 ; 31 : 41, 42. 

17. Jacob developed into a crafty schemer and used sub- 
tle devices to secure earthly riches, Gen. 30 : 37, 43. 

18. Jacob while in exile receives promise from God that 
he shall return unto the promised land, Gen. 28 : 15. 

19. Jacob received no further reveiation from God dur- 
ing all the years of his exile, until at length bidden by Him 
to return, Gen. 31 : 3. 

20. Jacob was graciously preserved by God in the land 
of his exile and was the object of His ceaseless providential 
care. 

21. Jacob became wealthy while in the land of exile, Q^n, 
30 : 43. 

22. Jacob, because of this, had stirred up against him the 
enmity of those among whom he sojoumed, Gen. 31 : 1. 

23. Jacob ultimately returned to the land bearing with 
him the riches of the Gentiles, 31 : 18. 



The Man Jacob 247 

24. Jacob is seen at the end hlessing the Gentiles (Gen. 
47: 7), and acting as God's prophet, Gen. 49. In all these 
respects Jacob was a striking type of the Jew. 

We shall next look at Jacob as a picture of the believer. 
It is intensely interesting to mark how each of the patri- 
archs f oreshadowed some distinct truth in the believer. In 
Abraham we see the tnith of Divine sovereigntj'^, and the 
lif e of f aith ; in Isaac Divine sonship, and the lif e of sub- 
mission ; in Jacob Divine grace, and the lif e of conflict. 
In Abraham, election; in Isaac, the new birth; in Jacob, 
the manifestation of the two natures. Thus we find the 
order of these Old Testament biographies foreshadowed ac- 
curately what is now fuUy revealed in the New Testament. 
Again, we may remark further that, typically, Jacob is the 
servant. This is ever the Divine order. Abraham, the 
chosen ob ject of God 's sovereign purpose, necessarily comes 
first, then Isaac, the son bom supematurally, the heir of 
the father's house, foUowed by Jacob, the servant. It is 
needful to call special attention to this order to-day, though 
we cannot here enlarge upon it, Man would place sonship 
at the end of a long life of service, but God places it at the 
beginning. Man says, Serve God in order to become His 
son; but God says, You must first be My son in order to 
serve Me acceptably. The apostle Paul expressed this order 
when he said: "Whose I am, and whom I serve'' (Acts 
27: 23). How carefully this order is guarded in our type 
appears further in the fact that before Jacob commenced 
his service at Padan-aram he first tarried at Bethel, which 
means '*the House of God" — ^we must first enter God'd 
household before we can serve Him! That Jacob does, 
typically, represent service is clear f rom, Hosea 12 : 12, 
where we are told, *'And Jacob fied into the country of 
Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept 
sheep." The history of this we get in Genesis 29 and 30. 
As a servant with Laban, Jacob was singularly faithfid. 
Here is his own challenge, **These twenty years have I been 
with thee ; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their 
young, and the rams of thy fiock have I not eaten. That 
which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare 
the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether 
stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was, in the day 
the drought consumed me, and the f rost by night. ' ' 



248 Gleanings in Genesis 

There is stiU another way in which this progressive order 
ÍD the typical foreshadowings of the three great patriarehs 
comes out. This has been forcef ully set f orth by Mr. F. W. 
Grant who, when commenting on the words of the Lord to 
Moses at the burning bush — '*say unto the children of Is- 
rael, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the 
God of Jacob sent me unto you" — says, *'In Abraham we 
find manifested the type of the Father, and in Isaac ad- 
mittedly that of the Son, in Jacob-Israel we find a type 
and pattern of the Spirit's work which is again and again 
dwelt on and expanded in the after-scriptures. Balaam's 
words as to the people, using this double — ^this natural and 
this seriptural — name, are surely as true of the nation's 
ancestors. *It shall be said of Jacob, and of Israel, what 
hath God wroughtT What God hath wrought is surely 
what in the one now bef ore us we are called in an especial 
way to acknowledge and glory in. For Jacob's God is He 
whom we stiU know as accomplishing in us by almighty 
power the purposes of sovereign grace." 

While it is true that each of the three great patriarchs 
exemplified in his own person some fundamental truth of 
Divine revelation, yet it is to be particularly noted that 
each succeeding individual carried forward what had gone 
before, so that nothing was lost. In Abraham we behold the 
truth of election — God's singling of him out from all the 
people on the earth; yet in Isaac the same truth is mani- 
fested, as is evident from the passing by of Ishmael and 
God's declaration that "In Isaac shall thy seed be called.** 
Isaac represents the truth of Divine sonship, born super- 
naturally by the intervention of God's power. Now in 
Jacob both of these truths, with important additions, are 
also to be observed. Even more notably than in the cases 
of Abraham and Isaac, Jacob is the object of God's sov- 
ereign choice: *'Jacob gives occasion to the exercise of 
God 's soverei^nty as to the twin children of Isaac and Ke- 
bekah. * For they being not yet bom, nor having done any 
good or bad, that the purpose of God aecording to election 
raight stand, not of works, but of Him that calls, it was said 
to their mother, the elder shall serve the younger. ' It had 
been shown before in casting out the bond-woman and her 
son; but so it was now far more emphatically in Jacob 
chosen, not Esau. No flesh shall glory in His sight; in 
Jehovah certainly. as it ought to be. Is man only to think 



The Man Jacob 249 

and talk of his righfs? Sinful man! Has God alone no 
rights ? Is He to be a mere registrar of man 's wrongs ? Oh ! 
his wrongs, not rights: this is the truth, as no believer 
should forget from the dawn of a vital work in his soul!" 
C^Jacob/'by W.Kelly). 

As the above truth is now so much controverted we sub- 
join a further quotation from the pen of one who is re- 
garded as one of the leading orthodox teachers of our day : 
* * In all this we see the marvel and glory of the Di vine sov- 
ereignty. Why the younger son should have been chosen 
instead of the elder we do not know. It is, however, very 
striking to find the same principle exercised on several other 
occasions. It is pretty certain that Abraham was not the 
eldest son of Terah. We know that Isaac was the younger 
son of Abraham, and that Joseph was not the eldest son of 
Jacob. AU this goes to emphasize the simple fact that the 
order of nature is not necessarily the order of grace. AU 
through, God decided to display the sovereignty of His 
grace as contrasted with that which was merely natural in 
human life. The great problem of Divine sovereignty is of 
course insoluable by the human intellect. It has to be ac- 
cepted as a simple fact. It should, however, be observed 
that it is not merely a fact in regard to things spiritual; 
it is found also in nature in connection with human temper- 
aments and races. AU history is f uU of iUustrations of the 
Divine choice, as we may see from such examples as Cyrus 
and Pharaoh. Divine election is a fact, whether we can 
understand it or not (italics ours). God's purposes are as 
certain as they are often inscrutable, and it is perfectly evi- 
dent f rom the case of Esau and Jacob that the Divine choice 
of men is entirely independent of their merits or of any 
pre-vision of their merits or attainments (Rom. 9: 11). It 
is in connection with this subject that we see the real force 
of St. Paul 's striking words when he speaks of God as act- 
ing * according to the good pleasure of His wiU' (Eph. 1:5), 
and although we are bound to confess the ^mystery of His 
wiU' (Eph. 1:9), we are also certain that He works aU 
things 'after the counsel of His wiU' (Eph. 1:11 — ^itaHcs 
not ours). There is nothing arbitrary about God and His 
ways and our truest wisdom when we cannot understand 
His reasons is to rest quietly and trustf uUy, saying, * Even 
so, Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight.' *In His 



250 Gleanings in Genesis 

WiU Í8 our peace' '* (Dr. Qriffith-Thomas, Commentary on 
(ïenesis) . 

Not only is the Divine sovereignty illustrated in Jacoby 
as in Abraham, but we also see typified in him the truth of 
regeneration (as in the case of Isaac) inasmuch as nature 
was set aside, and only in answer to prayer and by Divine 
intervention was Bebekah enabled to bear Jacob : see Oten. 
25:21. 

That which is most prominent in the Divine dealings with 
Jacob was the matchless grace of God, shown to one so iin- 
worthy, the marvellous patience exercised toward one so 
slow of heart to believe, the changeless love which unwear- 
iedly foUowed him through all his varied course, the faith- 
fulness which no unfaithfulness on Jacob's part could 
change, and the power of Qod which effectively preserved 
and delívered him through numerous dangers and which, in 
the end, caused the spirit to triumph over the flesh, trans- 
f orming the worm Jacob into Israel the prince of Otod. How 
these Divine perfections were displayed will be discovered 
as we tum our attention to the various scenes in which the 
Holy Spirit has portrayed our patriarch. We tum now to 
look briefly at Jacob in Genesis 28. 

In our last article we dwelt upon Jacob deceiving his fa- 
ther, now we see how quickly he began to suffer for his 
wrongdoing! "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, 
and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wif e of the daugh- 
ters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of 
Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from 
thence of the daughters of Laban, thy mother's brother** 
(28: 1, 2). Jacob is sent away from home, to which he re- 
turns not for many years. In our studies upon Isaac we 
have seen how he foreshadowed those who belong to the 
heavenly calling, whereas, as we have pointed out above, 
Jacob typified the people of the earthly calling. This 
comes out in many incidental details. Isaac was f orbidden 
to leave Canaan (type of the Heavenlies) — ^24:5, 6 — and 
his bride was brought to him, but Jacob is sent forth out 
of Canaan to the house of his mother 's f ather in quest of a 
wife, and thus was signified the evident contrast between 
Isaac and Jacob, and Jacob 's earthly place and relationship. 

* * And Jacob went out f rom Beersheba, and went toward 
Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried 
there all night, because the sun was set ; and he took of the 



The Man Jacob 251 

stones of that place, and put them for his piUows, and lay 
down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold 
a ladder set up on the earth^ and the top of it reached to 
heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and de- 
scending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and 
said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the 
God of Isaac; the land whereon thy liest to thee wiU I 
give it, and to thy seed ; and thy seed shall be as the dust 
of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, 
and to the east, and to the north, and to the south ; and in 
thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be 
blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in 
all places whither thou goest, and wiU bring thee again into 
this land ; for I wiU not leave thee, until I have done that 
which I have spoken to thee of*' (28:10-15). There is 
much here that might be dwelt upon with profit to our 
souls, but we can do little more than mention one or two 
things. 

Here we behold the marvellous grace of God, which de- 
lights to single out as its objects the most unlikely and un- 
worthy subjects. Here was Jacob a fugitive from his fa- 
ther's house, fleeing from his brother's wratTi, with prob- 
ably no thought of God in his mind. As we behold him 
there on the bare ground with nothing but the stones for 
his piUow, enshrouded by the darkness of night, asleep — 
symbol of death — ^we obtain a striking and true picture of 
man in his natural state. Man is never so helpless as when 
asleep, and it was while he was in this condition that God 
appeared unto him 1 What had Jacob done to deserve this 
high honor ? What was there in him to merit this wondrous 
privilege? Nothing; absolutely nothing. It was God in 
grace which now met him for the first time and here gave 
to him and his seed the land whereon he lay. Such is evep 
His way. He pleases to choose the foolish and vile things 
of this world : He selects those who have nothing and gives 
them everything : He singles out those who deserve naught 
but judgment, and bestows on them nothing but blessing. 
But note — and mark it particularly — the recipient of the 
Divine favors must first take his place in the dust, as Jacob 
here did (on the naked earth) before God will bless him. 

And under what similitude did the Lord now reveal Him- 
self to the worm Jacob ? Jacob beheld in his dream a Zaá- 
der set up on the earth, whose top reached unto heaven, and 



252 Gleanings in Genesis 

from above it the voice of Qod addressed him. Forta- 
nately we are not lef t to our own speeuiations to determine 
the signifícation of this : John 1 : 51 interprets it for us. 
We say f ortunately, f or if we could not point to John 1 : 51 
in proof of what we advance, some of our readers might 
charge us with indulging in a wild flight of the imagination. 
The ''ladder" pointed to Christ Himself, the One who 
spanned the infinite gulf which separated heaven from 
earth) and who has in His own person provided a Way 
whereby we may draw near to God. That the ^'ladder" 
reached from earth to heaven, told of the complete pro- 
vision which Divine grace has made for sinners. Bight 
down to where the fugitive lay, the ladder came, and right 
up to God Himself the **ladder'' reached! 

In His address to Jacob, the Lord now repeated the prom- 
ises which He had made bef ore to Abraham and Isaac, with 
the additional assurance that He would be with him, pre- 
serving him wherever he went, and ultimately bringing him 
back to the land. In perfect harmony with the fact that 
Jacob represented the earthly people we may observe here 
that God dedares Jacob *s seed shall be * * as the dust of the 
earth, ' ' but no reference is made to * ' the stars of heaven ! ' * 

The sequel to this vision may be told in few words. 
Jacob awoke and was afraid, saying, *'How dreadful is this 
place! This is none other but the house of God, and this 
is the gate of heaven*' (v. 17). Next, he took the stone on 
which his head had rested and poured oil upon it. Then he 
changed the name of the place from Luz to Bethel. It is 
instructive to note this change of name, Luz — ^its original 
name, signifies " separation, ' ' while Bethel, its new name, 
means ' ' the house of God. ' * Is it not beautif ul to mark tbe 
typical force of this? God calls us to separate from the 
world, but in leaving the world we enter His house! ^'Never 
do we part from ought at His call, but He far more than 
makes it up to us with His own smile'' (W. Lincoln). 

Finally, we are told, ''And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, 
If God wiU be with me, and wiU keep me in this way that 
I go, and wiU give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 
so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then 
shall the Lord be my God. And this stone, which I have 
set f or a piUar, shall be God 's house, and of all that Thou 
shalt give me I will surély give the tenth unto Thee** (28: 
20-22) . How true to life thls is ! It was not only character- 



The Man Jacob 253 

istic of Jacob personally, but typical of u$ representatively. 
Ja^ob failed to rise to the level of Qod's grace and was filled 
with f ear instead of peace, and expressed hnman legality by 
speaking of what he wiU do. Oh, how often we foUow in 
his steps! Instead of resting in the goodness of God and 
appropriating His free grace, like Jacob, we bargain and 
enter into conditions and stipulations. May the God of 
Grace enlarge our hearts to receive His grace, and may He 
empower us to magnify His grace by refusing to defile it 
with any of our own wretched additions. 



30. JACOB AT PADAN-ARAM 

Genesis 29 

In our last article we foUowed Jacob as he left his fa- 
ther's house and commenced his long journey to Padan- 
aram where lived Laban, his mother 's brother. On his first 
night out from Beersheba he lit upon a certain place and 
making a piUar of the stones lay down to sleep. Then it 
was that he dreamed, and in the dream the Lord appeared 
unto him, probably for the first time in his lifCj and after 
promising to give him the land whereon he lay and to make 
his seed as numerous as the dust of the earth and a bless- 
ing to all families, he received the comforting assurance 
that God would be with him, would keep him in all places 
whither he went, and ultimately bring him back again to 
the land given to him and his fathers. In the moming 
Jacob arose, poured oil on the stone piUar, and named the 
place Bethel, which means **The House of God.'* 

The effect of this experience on Jacob is briefly but 
graphically signified in the opening words of Genesis 29, 
where we read, '^Then Jacob lifted up his feet, and came 
into the land of the people of the East" (marginal render- 
ing). The heaviness with which he must have left home 
had now gone. Assured of the abiding presence and protec- 
tion of Jehovah, he went on his way light-heartedly. It de- 
serves to be noted that the journey which Jacob had scarce- 
ly begun the previous day was an arduous and difficult one. 
From Beersheba, Isaac's dwelling-place, to Padan-Aram, his 
destination, was a distance of something like five hundred 
miles, and when we remember that he was on f oot and alone 
we can the better appreciate the blessed grace of Jehovah 
which met the lonely fugitive the first night, and gave him 
the comforting promise that He was with him and would 
keep him in all places whither he went (28:15). Little 
wonder, then, that now Jacob goes f orth so confidently and 
cheerfuUy. As a Jewish commentator remarks, *'His heart 
lif ted up his f eet. ' ' And, reader, do not we need to be re- 
minded that our Lord has promised, '*Lo, I am with you 
always, even unto the end'*? If our hearts drew from this 
cheering and inspiring promise the comfort and incentive 
it is designed to convey should not we ' ' lif t up ' ' our f eet as 
we joumey through this world ? Oh ! it is unbelief , f ailure 



254 



Jacob at Padan-Aram 255 

to rest upou the **exceeding great and precious promises'* 
of our God, and forgetfulness that He is ever by our side, 
that makes our feet leaden and causes us to drag along so 
wearily. 

The remainder of the long journey seems to have passed 
without further incident, for the next thing we read of is 
that Jacob had actually come into that land which he 
sought. And here we find a striking proof that the Lord 
was with him indeed, for he was guided to a well where he 
met none other than the daughter of the very man with 
whom he was going to make his home! It was not by 
chance that Jacob lit upon that well in the field, nor was it 
by accident that Eachel came to that well just when she 
did. There are no chance-happenings or accidents in a 
world that is governed by God. It was not by chance that 
the Ishmaelites passed by when the brethren of Joseph 
were plotting his death, nor was it an accident they were 
journeying down to Egypt. It was not by chahce that 
Pharoh's daughter went down to the river to bathe, and that 
one of her attendants discovered there the infant Moses in 
the ark of bullrushes. It was not by chance that upon a 
certain night, critical in the history of Israel, that Ah- 
asuerus was unable to sleep and that he should arise and 
read the state-records which contained an entry of how 
Mordecai had foiled an attempt on the King's life, whieh 
led, in turn, to the saving of Mordecai 's lif e. So, we say , it 
was not by chance that Jacob now met Eachel. No; we 
repeat, there cannot be any chance-happenings in a world 
that is governed by God, still less can there be any accidents 
in the lives of those He is constantly ^'with.'^ My reader, 
there are no chance-happenings, no chance-meetings, no 
chance delays, no chance losses, no chance anythings in our 
lives. All is of Divine appointment. 

But while we have called attention to God's faithfulness 
in guiding Jacob to the well where he met Eachel, we must 
not ignore Jacob's personal failure, a noticeable failure of 
omission. As he had come so near to the end of his journey 
and had almost arrived at his destination we would have 
thought, as he reached this well, that now was the time 
for him to very definitely commit himself into the hands of 
God, especially in view of the fact that he was engaged in 
the important and momentous undertaking of seeking a 
wife. Years before, when the servant of Abraham was upon 



256 Gleanings in Genesis 

a similar mission, seeking a wife for Isaac, when he BTTÍyed 
at a well we are told that **he said, Lord Gk)d of my 
master Abraham, I pray Thee, send me good speed this 
day'' (24:12). But here in connection with Jacob we 
read of no prayer for Divine guidance and blessing, instead, 
we find him interrogating the Haran shepherds. 

'^And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, 
there were three flocks of sheep lying by it ; f or out of that 
well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon 
the well 's mouth. And thither were all the flocks gathered : 
and they roUed the stone f rom the well *s mouth, and watered 
the sheep, and put the stone again upon the weirs mouth 
in his place. And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, 
whence be ye ? And they said, Of Haran are we. And he 
said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And 
they said, We know him. And he said unto them, Is he 
well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Eachel his 
daughter cometh with the sheep '* (29 : 2-6) . Without doubt 
there is a spiritual meaning to each detail here. It cannot 
be without some good reason that the Spirit of God has 
told us this was in a field, that there were three flocks of 
sheep lying by it, and that there was a great stone upon the 
well's mouth. But we confess we discem not their sig- 
nificance, and where spiritual vision be dim it is idle, or 
worse, to speculate. 

^'Behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.*' 
At mention of Rachel, Jacob acted in a thoroughly charac- 
tenstic manner: **And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, 
neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered to- 
gether : water ye the sheep, and go and feed them'* (29 : 7). 
Jacob 's design is evident ; he sought to send the shepherds 
away, so that he might be alone when he met Rachel. But 
his design was foiled, *'and while he yet spake with them, 
Rachel came with her f ather 's sheep : f or she kept them. ' ' 
And then foUows a touching description of the meeting 
between Jacob and this young woman who was to become 
his wife. 

' * And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daugh- 
ter of Laban his mother 's brother, and the sheep of Laban 
his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the 
stone f rom the well 's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban 
his mother's brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted 
up his voice, and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he 



Jacob at Padan-Aram 257 

was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: 
and she ran and told her father" (29 : 10-12) . These verses 
shed an interesting light on Jaeob's natural character. 
Rachers appearance awakened within him all the warmth 
of natural feeling. He courteously roUed away the stone, 
watered the sheep, kissed Rachel and burst into tears. The 
remembrance of home and the relationship of his mother to 
Rachel overpowered him — ^note the threefold reference to 
his mother in verse 10: "When Jacob saw Rachel the 
daughter of Laban his mother^s brother, and the sheep of 
Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and 
roUed the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the 
flock of Laban his mother^s brother.'* Jacob, then, was no 
cold, calculating stoic, but was of a warm disposition, and 
everything that revived the memory of his mother went to 
his heart. What a lovely human touch this gives to the 
picture ! Nothing is trivial with God. 

'*And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of 
Jacob his sister's sou, that he ran to meet him, and em- 
braced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. 
And he told Laban all these things. And Laban said to 
him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode 
with him the space of a month" (29 : 13, 14). The plan of 
Jacob's mother seemed to be working very well. Every- 
thing appeared to be running very smoothly. Esau had been 
left behind at a safe distance, the long joumey from Beer- 
sheba to Padan-aram had been covered without harm, little 
or no difficulty had been experienced in locating his mother's 
brother. Rachel had shown no resentment at Jacob ^s affec- 
tionate greeting, and now Laban himself had accorded the 
fugitive a warm welcome, and for a whole month nothing 
seems to have broken their serenity. And what of Oodt 
What of His moral government? What of the law of 
retribution? Was Jacob to suffer nothing for his wrong- 
doing ? Was the deception he had practiced upon Isaac to 
escape unnoticed ? Would it, in his case, fail to appear that 
* ' the way of the transgressor is hard ' * ? (Pro. 13:15). Ah ! 
be not deceived ; God is not mocked. Sometimes the actions 
of God 's government may appear to move slowly , but sooner 
or later they are sure. Often-times this is overiooked. Men 
take too short a view: '*Because sentence against an evil 
work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the 
sons of men is fuUy set in them to do evil'* (Ecc. 8: 11). 



258 Gleanings in Genesis 

It is in the sequel that God is vindicated. History in frag* 
ments denies God, but history as a whole is seen to be His 
story. Look at the cruel Egyptian task-masters and at the 
helpless Hebrews. They cried to Heaven, and for years it 
seemed as though Heaven was deaf . But the sequel showed 
God had seen and heard, and in the s'equel His righteous 
government was vindicated. We have had striking illus- 
trations of this abiding principle in the history of our own 
times. A few years ago we were horrified by the Belgian 
atrocities on the Congo, and equally so by the cruel in- 
humanities practiced by the Russians upon the Jews. But 
behold the sequel — mark Belgium and Bussia today! Yes, 
the way of the transgressor is hard, and so Jacob f ound it in 
the sequel. 

**And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my 
brother, shouldest thou theref ore serve me f or nought ? Tell 
me, what shall thy wages bef (29:15). Here was the 
first cloud on Jacob's horizon, and the first appearing of 
the Divine rod of chastisement. Here, too, was a most 
striking example of the law of righteous retribution. Jacob 
was about to begin reaping that which he had sown. Per- 
haps this is not apparent on the surface, so we tarry to 
explain. It wiU be remembered that the end before Jacob 
and his mother in their scheming and lying was that he 
should secure f rom Isaac the blessing which was the portion 
of the first born. What this blessing was we know from 
the words of the Lord to Rebekah before her sons were 
born, words which expressly declared that Jacob should 
receive the first-born's portion — **the elder shall serve the 
younger'' (25: 23). That, then, upon which Jacob had set 
his heart, and that which he had sought to obtain from 
Isaac by a wicked device, was the position of dignity and 
honor. Instead of serving he wanted to be served. How 
striking, then, to note that the very first word spoken by 
Laban after Jacob had enjoyed the hospitality of his house 
for a month, concerned that of service! How significant 
that Jacob should have fallen into the hands of a crafty 
schemer! Laban was glad to receive Jacob into his house- 
hold, but even though his nephew he did not intend that he 
should remain on indefinitely as a guest. No, he meant to 
profit by Jacob 's presence, and so seeks to strike a bargain, 
lets Jacob know that if he remained with him it must be in 
the capacity of a servant, and so raises the question of 



Jacob at Padari'Aram 259 

*^wages/' This must have been a bitter portion f or Jacob 
and a painful blow to his pride. He was beginning to leam 
that the way of the transgressor is hard. 

But \v iiat f oUows is even more remarkable : * * And Laban 
had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leahý and 
the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender- 
eyed; but Raehel was beautiful and well favored. And 
Jacob loved Rachel ; and said, I wiU serve thee seven years 
for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is 
better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her 
to another man : abide with me. And Jacob served seven 
years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few 
days, for the love he had to her. And Jacob said unto 
Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I 
may go in unto her. And Laban gathered together all the 
men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass 
in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought 
her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave 
unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. 
And it came to pass, that in the moming, behold it was 
Leah : and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done 
unto me ? did not I serve with thee f or Rachel ? wheref ore 
then hast thou beguiled me ? And Laban said, It must not 
be so done in our country, to give the younger before the 
first-born. Fulfil her week, and we wiU give thee this also 
for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven 
other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfiUed her week: 
and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also" (29 : 16- 
28). The quotation is a lengthy one but it was neeessary 
to give it in fuU so that the reader might be able to foUow 
our remarks upon it. In the preceding paragraph we have 
seen how that the first lesson God was now teaching Jacob 
was that of humble submisHon — if he had refused to submit 
to God then he must submit to ''serve*' a human master. 
Here, in this quotation, we discover the second lesson that 
Jacob must leam was to respect the rights of the first'hornJ 
This was just what Jacob had disregarded in connection 
with Esau, so that which he had ignored conceming his 
brother he must bow to in connection with his wif e. In the 
third place, mark how God was correcting the impatience of 
our patriarch. It was because he had refused to wait Ood^s 
tim^ for the fulfillment of His promise (as per 25: 23) that 
he had involved himself in so much trouble, and had to 



260 Gleanings in Genesis 

leave home and flee f rom Esau ; how fitting then he should 
now be obliged to wait seven years before he could obtain 
Bachel, and that he should be made to serve a f urther seven 
years f or her af ter they were married ! 

In drawing this article to a close we would seek to expand 
briefly what seems to us to be the outstanding principle in 
the ecripture we have just examined, namely, the principle 
of Divine retribution. *'Even as I have seen, they that 
plough iniqujty, and sow wickedness, reap the same'' (Job 
4:8). In Laban*s treatment of Jacob we see the deceiver 
deceived! This principle that whatsoever a man soweth 
that shall he also reap is writ large across the pages of 
Holy Scripture and is strikingly, nay marvelously, iUus- 
trated again and again. Pharaoh, King of Egypt, gave 
orders that every son of the Hebrews should be drowned 
(Ex. 1 : 22), and so in the end he was drowned (Ex. 14: 28). 
Korah caused a cleft in the Congregation of Israel (Num. 
16: 2, 3), and so God made a cleft in the earth to swallow 
him (Num. 16:30). Again, we read of one Adoni-bezek 
that he fled, ' * and they pursued af ter him, and caught him, 
and cut ofï his thumbs and his great toes. And Adoni- 
bezek said, Three score and ten kings, having their thumbs 
and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my 
table: as I have done, so God hath requited me!*' (Judges 
1:6, 7). Wicked Ahab caused Naboth to be slain and the 
dogs came and licked up his blood (1 Kings 21: 19), accord- 
ingly we read that when Ahab died he was buried in 
Samaria, ''And one washed the chariot (in which he had 
been slain) in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up 
his blood'* (1 Kings 22 : 38). King Asa caused the prophet 
to be placed in *'the house of the stocks^' (2 Chron. 16: 10 
R. V.), and accordingly we read later that God punished 
him by a disease in his feet (1 Kings 15 : 23) . Haman pre- 
pared a gallows for Mordecai, but was hanged upon it him- 
self (Esther 7:10). Saul of Tarsus stood by and con- 
sented to the stoning of Stephen, and later we read that at 
Lystra the Jews stoned Paul (Acts 14 : 19) — this is the more 
noticeable because Barnabas who was with him escaped ! 

But the most striking example of what men term *'poetic 
justice" is the case of Jacob himself. First, he deceived 
his father and was, in tum, deceived by his f ather-in-law : 
Jacob came the younger for the elder to deceive Isaac, and 
has the elder daughter of Laban given instead of the 



Jacob at Padari'Aram 261 

younger for a wife. Second, we may mark the same prin- 
ciple at work in Jaeob's wife. In deeeiving Jacob in the 
matter of Leah, Laban tricked Rachel ; later we find Rachel 
tricking Laban (31 : 35). Again, we note how a mercenary 
spirit actuated Jacob in buying the birthright from Esau 
for a mess of pottage ; the sequel to this was the mercenary 
spirit in Laban which caused him to change Jacob's wages 
ten times (see 31:41). Finally we may remark, what is 
most striking of all, that Jacob deceived Isaac by allowing 
his mother to cover his hands and neck with *'the skins of 
the kids of the goats'^ (27: 16), and later Jacob's sons de- 
ceived him by dipping the coat of Joseph in the blood of 
^'a kid of the goats^' (37: 31) and making him believe an 
evil beast had devoured him : note, too, that Jacob deceived 
Isaac in regard to his favorite son (Esau), and so was Jacob 
deceived in regard to his favorite son (Joseph). 

While it is true that very often the connection hetween 
evil-doing and its evil consequences is not so apparent as 
in the above examples, nevertheless, God has given us, and 
stiU gives us, sufficient proof so as to provide us with 
solemn warnings of the fact that He is not mocked, that He 
does observe the ways of men, that He hates sin wherever it 
is found, and that His righteous govemment requires that 
^^every transgression and disobedience" shall receive ''a 
just recompense of reward*' (Heb. 2:2). This **just re- 
compense of reward" is visited upon His own children here 
in this world, not sent in anger but in love, not in judgment 
but directed to the conscience and heart so as to bring them 
to judge themselves for their evil doing. With the wicked 
it is often otherwise. Frequently they flourish here as a 
green bay tree, but at the Great White Throne the books 
shall be opened and every one of them shall be ''judged 
according to their works/^ 

Should one who is out of Christ, a lost sinner, have read 
this article, let it be unto him as a voice crying ''Flee from 
the wrath to come ; ' ' flee to the Lord Jesus, the Saviour, 
the only Refuge, who came into this world to save sinners. 
And, let the Christian reader learn anew the exceeding sin- 
fulness of sin, and eamestly seek grace to enable him to 
cmcify the flesh with its affections and lusts so that he may 
* ' sow to the Spirit, ' ' then shall he * * of the Spirit reap lif e 
everlasting. ' ' 



31. JACOB AT PADAN-ARAM, 

CONTINUED 

Genesis 29, 30 

Jacob's stay at Padan-Aram was a lengthy one, mueh 
longer than he imagined when he first went there, so little 
do any of us know what the immediate future hoids for us. 
We move to some place expecting to settle there, and lo, in 
a short time, God calls us to strike our tents and move to 
another region. Or, we go to a place thinking it is only for 
a transient visit, but remain there many years. So it was 
with Jacob. How blessed to remember, ''My times are in 
Thy hand" (Ps. 31: 15). 

A somewhat lengthy account is given describing Jacob's 
sojourn in Laban's home. It is not our aim to expoimd 
in detail this section of Genesis — abler pens have done that ; 
rather shall we proffer a few general remarks upon some 
of the outstanding features which are of special interest 
and importance. 

The thirtieth chapter of Genesis is not pleasant reading, 
yet is it, like every other in the Old Testament, recorded 
for our learning. No reflecting Christian mind can read 
through this chapter without being disgusted with the fruit- 
age and consequenees of polygamy as therein described. 
The domestic discords, the envies and jealousies between 
Jacob's several wives, forcibly iUustrate and demonstrate 
the wisdom and goodness of God 's law that each man should 
have his own wife, as well as each woman her own husband. 
Example is better than precept, and in Gen. 30 the Holy 
Spirit sets before us an example of what a plurality of 
wives must necessarily result in — discord, jealousy and 
hatred. Let us thank God, then, for giving to us His writ- 
ten precepts to regulate the marriage relationship, the ob- 
servance of which is neeessary not only for the protection 
of the purity of the home but for its peace and happiness 
as well. 

Though the strifes and jealousies of Jacob's wives were 
indeed distressing and disgusting yet, we must not at- 
tribute their desire f or children, or the devices they resorted 
to in order to obtain them, to mere carnal motives. Had 
there been nothing more than this the Holy Spirit would 
not have condescended to record them. There can be little 
doubt that the daughters of Laban were influenced by the 



262 



Jacob at Padari'Ararn, continued 263 

promises of God to Abraham, on whose posterity were en- 
tailed the richest blessings, and from whom the Messiah 
Himself, in the fuUness of time, was to descend. It was 
faith in these promises whieh made every pious woman of 
those times desirous of being a mother, and that explains 
why we read so often of Hebrew women praying so ear- 
nestly for this honor. 

In the previous article we dwelt at some length on the 
law of retribution as it was exemplified in the history of 
Jacob. In an unmistakable and striking manner it is shown 
again and again in the inspired narrative how that he 
reaped just what he had sown. Yet it must be borne in 
mind that in dealing retributively with Jacob God was not 
acting in wrath but in love, holy love it is true, for Divine 
love is never exercised at the expense of holiness. Thus, in 
this evident retribution God was speaking to our Patriarch ^s 
conscience and heart. A f urther iUustration of the righteous* 
ness of God's governmental dealings is here seen, in that, 
now Jacob had obtained Laban's first-born daughter his 
desire was thwarted — ^she was barren. As another has re- 
marked, **God would have His servant Jacob leam more 
deeply in his own wounded affections the vileness of self- 
seeking deceit, and hence He permitted what He would use 
for chastening and good in the end.'* (W. K.) 

That which occupies the most prominent place in the 
passage we are now considering is the account there given 
of the birth and naming of Jacob's twelve sons by his dif- 
ferent wives. Here the record is quite fuU and explicit. 
Not only is the name of each child given, but in every in- 
stance we are told the meaning of the name and that which 
occasioned the selection of it. This would lead us to con- 
clude there is some important lesson or lessons to be leamed 
here. This chapter traces the stream back to its source and 
shows us the beginnings of the twelve Patriarchs f rom which 
the twelve-tribed Nation sprang. Then, would not this 
cause us to suspect that the meaning of the names of these 
twelve Patriarchs and that which occasioned the selection 
of each name, here so carefully preserved, must be closely 
connected with the early history of the Hebrew Nation? 
Our suspicion becomes a certainty when we note the order 
in which the twelve Patriarchs were bom, for the circum- 
stances which gave rise to their several names correspond 



264 Gleanings in Genesis 

exactiy with the order of the history of the Children of 
Israel. 

Others before us have written much upon the twelve 
Patriarchs, the typical significance of their names, and the 
order in which they are mentioned. It has been pointed out 
how that the Gospel and the history of a sinner saved by 
grace is here f ound in veiled f orm. For example : Reuben, 
Jacob's first-born, means, See, a Son! This is just what 
God says to us through the Gospel : to the Son of His love 
we are invited to look — ^^'Behold the lamb of God." Then 
comes Simeon whose name signifies Hearing and this points 
to the reception of the Gospel by faith, for faith cometh 
by hearing, and the promise is, ' ' Hear, and your soul shall 
live. ' ' Next in order is Levi, and his name means Joined, 
telling of the blessed Union by which the Holy Spirit makes 
us one with the Son through the hearing of the Word. In 
Judah, which means Praise, we have manifested the Divine 
life in the believer, expressed in joyous gratitude for the 
riches of grace which are now his in Christ. Dan means 
Judgment, and this tells of how the believer uncompromis- 
ingly passes sentence upon himself , not only f or what he has 
done but because of what he is, and thus he reckons him- 
self to have died unto sin. Naphtali means Wrestling and 
speaks of that earnestness in prayer which is the very 
breath of the new life. Next is Gad which means a Traop 
or Company, speaking, perhaps of the believer in fellow- 
ship with the Lord's people, and Jacob's eighth son an* 
nounces the effect of Christian fellowship, for Asher meanS 
Happy. Issachar means Hire, and speaks of service, and 
Zebulon which signifies Dwelling reminds us that we are 
to '*occupy" tiU Christ comes; while Joseph which means 
Adding tells of the reward which He wiU bestow on those 
who have served diligently and occupied faithfully. Ben- 
jamin, the last of Jacob 's sons, means Son of my right hand, 
again speaking directly of Christ, and so the circle ends 
where it begins — with our blessed Lord, f or He is * ' The Pirst 
and the Last." 

There is, then, a typical significance behind the meaning 
of the names of Jacob ^s twelve sons, and we believe there is 
also a prophetic significance behind the carefuUy preserved 
record of the words used by the mothers upon the naming 
of their sons, a significance which must be apparent to all, 
once it is pointed out. In view of the f act that the Hebrew 



Jacob at Padan-Aram, continued 265 

nation became known as the chiidren of Israei, it is to be 
expected that we should loolc closely at the children of 
Jacob, from whom the nation took its name. And further, 
in view of the fact that Gen. 29, 30 records the early history 
of Jacob 's twelve sons, we should expect to find their history 
in some way corresponds with the early history of the 
Nation descended from them. Such is indeed the case, as 
we shall now endeavor to set before the reader. 

What w^e have written above in connection with the 
typical significance of the names of Jacob's twelve sons is 
no doubt, with perhaps slight variations, well known to 
our readers. But it is to be noted that in addition to the 
naming of the twelve Patriarchs, Gen. 29 and 30 records the 
circumstances which gave rise to the selection of their re- 
spective names, for in each case a reason is given why they 
received the names they did, yet, so far as we are aware, 
little or no attention at all has been paid to this f eature. 
We are fuUy satisfied, however, that the words uttered by 
the respective mothers of these twelve sons on the occasion 
of their births, is not without some special signifícance, and 
it behooves us to enquire prayerfuUy into the Spirit's pur- 
pose in so carefuUy preserving a record of them. 

Jacob's first son was bom to him by Leah, and was 
named Reuben, and upon giving her son this name she said, 
**Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction^^ {Qen. 
29: 32). The second son was also bome by Leah and was 
named Simeon, and her reason for thus naming him was 
as foUows, **Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated'* 
(Gen. 29 : 33) . The striking resemblance between these two 
utterances and what is recorded in Exodus in connection 
with the sufferings of Israel in Egypt is at once apparent. 
First, we read that **God looked upon the Children of 
Israer' (Ex. 2:25). Then, unto Moses He said, **I have 
surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt'* 
(Ex. 3:7). Then, corresponding with the words of Leah 
when Simeon was bom, He adds, **And have heard their 
cry'' (Ex. 3:7). It is surely something more than a mere 
coincidence that at the birth of Israel's first two sons their 
mother should have spoken of **affliction," which she said 
the Lord hath * ' looked upon ' ' and * * heard, ' ' and that these 
identical words should be found in the passage which de- 
scribes the first stage in the national history of the Children 
of Israel who were then ^^hated'' and **afflicted*' by the 



266 Gleanings in Genesis 

cruel Egyptians. When the Lord told Moses He had seen 
the **affliction'' of His people Israel and had '*heard'' their 
cry^ did He not have in mind the very words which Leah 
had uttered long years before ! 

Jacob's third son was named Leví, and at his birth his 
mother said, ' * This time wiil my husband be joined to me * ' 
(Gen. 29: 34). Again these words of the mother point us 
forward to the beginning of Israers national history. When 
was it that Jehovah was * * joined ' ' to Israei, and became her 
**husband''ï It was on the eve of their leaving Egypt on 
the night of the Passover when the lamb was slain and its 
blood shed and sprinkled. Then it was Jehovah was 
** joined'' to His people — ^just as now Qod is joined to us 
and becomes one with us only in Ghrist : it is in the Lamb 
slain, now glorified, that God and the believing sinner meet. 
And then it was that Jehovah entered into covenant rela- 
tionship with the chosen Nation, and became their ^'Hus- 
band.'^ Note how this very word is used in Jeremiah, and 
mark how this ref erence points back to the Passover night : 
*'Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a 
new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House 
of Judah : Not according to the covenant I made with their 
f athers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring 
them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they 
brake, although I was an Husband unto them, saith the 
Lord'' (Jer. 31:31, 32). 

Jacob's fourth son was Judah, and upon his birth the 
mother said, *^Now wiU I praise the Lord'' (Gen. 29:35). 
As Leah 's words at Levi 's birth point us back to the Pass- 
over, so her words at Judah 's birth carry us f orward to the 
crossing of the Red Sea, where Israei celebrated Jehovah^s 
victory over their foes in song and praised the Lord for 
their wondrous deliverance. Then it was that, for the first 
time, Israel sang : * * Who is like unto Thee, Lord, among 
the gods ? Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, f earful in 
praises, doing wonders?'' (Ex. 15:11.) Mark, too, that 
the Psalmist when referring back to this momentous event 
said, ^ * And the waters covered their enemies : there was not 
one of them left. Then believed they His words : they sang 
Uispraise'' (Psa. 106: 11, 12). 

Next comes Dan, and upon his birth Rachel said, "Gk>d 
hath judged me'' (Gen. 30:6). If the line of interpre- 
tation and application we are now working out be cop- 



Jacob at Padari'Aram, continued 267 

rect, then these words of Rachel, foUowing those of Leah 
at the birth of Judah, which as we have seen carry us, 
prophetically, to the Eed Sea, wiU bear upon the early 
experiences of Israel in their Wilderness wanderings. Suclv 
indeed, we believe to be the case. Do not the above words 
of Rachel, *'God hath judged me,^' point us to the dis- 
pleasure and **wrath" of God against Israel when, in re- 
sponse to their * * murmuring ' ' He sent the **quails,'' and 
when again they provoked His wrath at the waters of 
Massah and Merribahï 

At the birth of Jacob's sixth son Bachel exclaimed^ 
*^With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and 
I have prevailed'^ (Gen. 30:8), How strikingiy this eor- 
responds with Israel 's history t The very next thing we read 
of af ter that God ' ' judged ' ' Israel f or their sin at Merribah 
was their conflict or ^ * wrestling ' ' with Amalek, and agaiii 
be it particularly noted that the self-same word used by 
Rachel at the birth of Napthali is used in describing the 
' * wrestling ' ' between Israel and Amalek, f or in Ex. 17 : 11 
we read, **And it came to pass, when Moses held up his 
hand, that Israel prevailed : and when he let down his hand, 
Amalek prevailed/' Surely it is something more than mere 
coincidence that the very word used by the mother of 
Napthali should occur twice in thc verse which records that 
in Israel's history which her words prophetically antici- 
pated; the more so, that it agrees so accurately with the 
order of events in Israel 's history. 

The utterances of the mother of the seventh and eighth 
sons of Jacob may be coupled together, as may also those 
connected with the birth of his ninth and tenth sons, At 
the birth of Gad it was said, *^A troop cometh'^ (Gen. 30: 
11), which perfectly agrees with the order of Israel's his- 
tory, for after the Wilderness had been left behind and the 
Jordau crossed, a * ' troop ' ' indeed ^ ' came ' ' to meet Israel, 
the seven nations of the Canaanites seeking to oppose their 
occupation of the promised land. The words of the mother 
of Asher, the next son, ^^Happy am V' (Gen, 30 : 13), tell of 
Israel's joy foUowing the overthrow of their foes, Then, 
the words of Leah at the birth of Jacob 's ninth and tenth 
sons, namely **God, hath given me my hire" (Gen. 30: 18), 
and '*God hath endued me with a good dowry" (Gen. 
30: 20), tell of Israel's occupation of the goodly inheritance 
with which Jehovah had **endowed" them. Then, just as 
5 



268 Gleanings in Genesis 

there was a break or interval bef ore the last two sons were 
boriiy and just as these two completed Jacob's family, and 
realized his long eherished desire, inasmuch as they were 
bom to him by his beloved Rachel, so her words, *'The Lord 
shail add to me another son'' (Gen. 30: 24), and ^*The son 
of my sorrow'' changed by the father to ''Son of my right 
hand" (Gen. 35:18), would point to the completion of 
Israel's history as an ttndivided nation and the realization 
of their long cherished desire^ in the giving to them a King, 
even David, to whom was ''added'' oniy one *'other," 
namely, Solomon ; and the double sentence uttered at Ben- 
jamin 's birth was surely appropriate as a prophetic intima- 
tion of Solomon's course— so bright, yet so dark— for while 
in his reign the Eingdom attained its highest dignity and 
glory (the position signified by the *'right hand'*), yet, 
nevertheless, from the time of Solomon's coronation began 
Israel 's sorrowful decline and apostasy. 

Thus we have sought to show how the utterances of the 
mothers of Jacob's twelve sons were so many prophetic 
intimations of the course of the history of the Nation which 
descended from them, and that the order of the sayings of 
these mothers corresponds with the order oí Israers hístory, 
outlining that history f rom its beginning in Egypt untii the 
end of the undivided Kingdom in the days of Soiomon, for 
it was then the history of Israel as a nation terminated, the 
ten tribes going into captivity, f rom which they have never 
retumed, almost immediately after. 

To complete the study of this hidden but wonderful 
prophecy, particular attention should be paid to the way 
in which Jacob's sons were grouped under their different 
mothers, for this also corresponds exactiy with the group- 
ing of the outstanding events in Israel's history. The 
first four sons were all horne by Leah, and her utterances 
all pointed forward to one group of incidents, namely, Is- 
rael's deliverance from Egypt and the Egyptians. The 
fif th and sixth sons were borne by a different mother, name- 
ly, Bilhah, and her utterances pointed to a distinct series 
of events in Israel's history, namely, to their experiences 
in the Wilderness. The seventh and eighth sons were 
bome by Zilpah, and the ninth and tenth by Leah, and 
their utterances, closely connected yet distinct, pointed, 
prophetically, to Israel's occupation and enjoyment of Ca- 
naan. The eleventh and twelfth sons were separated from 



Jacob at Padan-Aram, continued 269 

all the others, being borne by Rachael, and so also that to 
which her words at their births pointed forward to, wa» 
also clearly separated f rom the early events of Israel '» bis- 
tory, carrying us on to the establishment of the Kin^om ÍD 
the days of David and Solomon, 

In drawing thia article to a close, one or two reflectíont 
upon the groimd we have eovered wiU, perhaps, be in placo : 

First, What a striking proof of the Divine inspiration of 
Seripture is here furnished ! Probably no uninspired writer 
would have taken the trouble to inform us of the wordíi UHed 
by those mothers in the naming of their boys — where can be 
found in all the volumes of secular history one that re- 
cords tke reason whp the parent gave a certain name to hú 
or her chiIdT But there was a good and suflScient reason 
why the words of Jacob's wives should be preserved — un* 
known to themselves their iips were guided by God, aod 
the Holy Spirit has recorded their utterances bccause they 
carried with them a hidden, but real, prophetic BÍgnÍS- 
cance; and in that recording of them, and their perÍN^ 
agreement with the outstanding events in the biata^ of 
Israel, in which, though centuries afterward, these prfíptittic 
utterances received such striking fulfiUment, we fctw «h 
unmistakable proof of the Divine inspiration oi tkt ^Hp- 
tures. 

Second, What an object lesson is there hereí»«« **•«' 
nothing in Seripture is trivial or meaninglenl lll» to K- 
feared that many of us dishonor God'e Word ï^ Ihf tiTí 
worthy thoughts which we entertain abont it ^ft»' ^N 
to acknowledge that much in the Bible ia wiHlwWW^ n< 
vine, yet there is not a little in it in wtíA «W 
beauty or value. But that is dne to tbe M 
vision and not in anywise to any intrw''-'' 
Word. "Áll Scripture" is given br iirsr'i*'" 
the proper nouns as much as the conitri'' ' 
logical lists equally as much as th <"■ 
Psalmiat. Who would have thonste*^ ' 
thing of signifieance in the n 
sonsï Who would have av' 
portance that we shoiild n *- 
bomt ' 
. prophe^ 1 



270 Gleanings in Genesis 

all that there is nothing in the Bible which is trivial and 
meaningless, once we are assured that everything in Scrip- 
ture, each word, has a signiíicance and value, then we shall 
prayerfully ponder every section, and expect to find **hid 
treasures" (Prov. 2:4) in every list of names, and accord- 
ing unto our f aith so it wili be unto us. 

Third, What a remarkable illustration and demonstra- 
tion of the absoiute Sovereignty of God is found here in 
Genesis 29 and 30 ! What a proof that God does rule and 
overuie ! What a showing f orth of the f act that even in our 
smallest actions we are controUed by the Most High! All 
unconsciously to themseives, these wives of Jacob in nam- 
ing their babies and in stating the reasons for these names, 
were outlining the Gospel of God^s Grace and were pro- 
phetically foreshadowing the early history of the Nation 
which descended from their sons. If then these women, in 
the naming of their sons and in the utterances which fell 
f rom their lips at that time were unknown to themselves, 
guided by Ood, then, verily, God is Sovereign indeed. And 
80 aflfirms His Word, for OF HIM, and through Him^ and 
to Him, are aU things.^^ (Eom. 11:36.) 




from Haran 



273 



ring at Jacob's prosperity, 

t the same mind and bore an 

} nephew — ' ' And Jacob beheld 

md bebold, it was not toward 

tiad promised to be with Jaeob, 

whither he went, and he now 

a watchful friend at hand, He 

bids him depart. As another 

d removed from mere personal 

ed only by a sense of injury, he 

God, thongh not against Laban. 

him 'Retum unto the land of thy 

red, and I will be with thee,' his 

m. In all our removals, it becomes 

: may hope for the Divine presence and 

us; else, though we may flee from one 

into many, and be less able to endure 

Fuller.) 

^!ffá said unto Jacob, Retum unto the land of 

iid ío thy kindred; and I will be with thee." 

-;it a showing forth of God's wondrous grace 

a!l that ia told us about Jacob during the 

i.e spent at Padan-Aram there was not a word 

!08 he had any dealings with Qod during that 

1 13 no mention of any "altar," no reference to 

.'thing to distinguish him from a thorough world- 

Lieeds to be remembered that the "altar" BpeatB 

' of sacrifice but of comtnunion too. The altar 

forward to Christ, and it is only in Him that God 

ihe redeemed sinner meet and commune together. 

■., then, had no altar in Padan-Aram beeause he was 

<if communion with Jehovah. "Although God in His 

rlifulness be with us. we are not always with Him," 

' N. D.) But Íf Jacob had forgotten the Lord, Jehovah 

.id not forgotten him ; and now that Jacob begins to be in 

real need the Lord spoke the suited word. Tet mark the 

other side. 

Having been wamed of God to depart, Jaeob sends for 
his wives into the field, where he might converse with them 
freely on the subjeet, without danger of being overheard. 
(See 31: 4-13.) The reasons he names for leaving were 
lartly the treatment of Laban, and partly the intimations 
)f God — ^"I see your father's countenance that it is not 




272 Gleanings in Genesis 

tian's house for Joseph's sake.^' And again we have an- 
other beautiful iUustration of this same precious fact and 
truth in 2 Sam. 9:1: **And David said, Is there yet any 
that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kind- 
ness for Joríathan^s sake.'' Reader, have you apprehended 
this saving truthï That for which we are accepted and 
saved hy God is, not any work of righteousness which we 
have done, nor even for our believing — ^necessary though 
that be — but simply and solely for Christ^s sake. 

The sequel would seem to show that Jacob accepted 
Laban's offer, and decided to prolong his stay. Instead, 
however, of leaving himself at the mercy of his grasping 
and deceitful uncle, who had already ^'changed his wages 
ten times'' (see Gen. 31:7), Jacob determined to outwit 
the one whom he had now served f or upwards of twenty 
years by suggesting a plan which left him master of the 
situation, and promised to greatly enrich him. (See Qen. 
30:31-42.) Much has been written conceming this de- 
vice of Jacob to get the better of Laban and at the same 
time secure for himself that which he had really eamed, 
and varied have been the opinions expressed. One thing 
seems clear : unless God had prospered it Jacob 's plan had 
failed, for something more than sticks from which a part 
of the bark had been removed was needed to make the 
cattle bear * * ringstreaked, speckled, and spotted'' young 
ones. (Gen. 30:39.) 

The outcome of Jacob's device is stated in the last verse 
of Gen, 30 : *^ And the man increased exceedingly, and had 
much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and 
camels, and asses.'' This intimates that some little time 
must have elapsed since our patriarch suggested (30: 25) 
leaving his uncle. Now that prosperity smiled upon him 
Jacob was, apparently, well satisfied to remain where he 
was, for though Laban was no longer as friendly as hitherto, 
and though Laban*s sons were openly jealous of him (31: 
1, 2) we hear no more about Jacob being anxious to depart. 
But, as we have said, God 's time f or him to leave had almost 
arrived; and so we read, *'And the Lord said unto Jacob, 
Beturn unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kíndred; 
and I will be with thee.'' (31 : 3.) 

God timed this word to Jacob most graciously. The 
opening verses of Gen. 31 show there was not a little envy 
and evilmindedness at work in the f amily against him. Not 



Jacob's Departure from Haran 273 

only were Laban's sons murmuring at Jacob's prosperity, 
but their f ather was plainly of the same mind and bore an 
unkindly demeanor toward his nephew — ' * And Jacob beheld 
the countenance of Laban, and behold, it was not toward 
him as bef ore. ' ' The Lord had promised to be with Jacob, 
and to keep him in all places whither he went, and he now 
makes good His word. Like a watchful friend at hand, He 
observes his treatment and bids him depart. As another 
has well said, *'If Jacob had removed from mere personal 
resentment, or as stimulated only by a sense of injury, he 
might have sinned against God, though not against Laban. 
But when it was said to him *Retum unto the land of thy 
fathers and to thy kindred, and I wiU be with thee,' his 
way was plain before him. In all our removals, it becomes 
us to act as that we may hope for the Divine presence and 
blessing to attend us; else, though we may flee from one 
trouble, we shall fall into many, and be iess able to endure 
them. ' ' ( Andre w PuUer . ) 

* ' And the Lord said unto Jacob, Retum unto the land of 
thy f athers, and to thy kindred ; and I wiU be with thee." 
(31: 3.) What a showing forth of Qod's wondrous grace 
was this! In all that is told us about Jacob during the 
twenty years he spent at Padan-Aram there was not a word 
which intimates he had any dealings with God during that 
time. There is no mention of any * ^ altar, * ' no ref erence to 
prayer, nothing to distinguish him from a thorough world- 
ling. It needs to be remembered that the '^altar'' speaka 
not only of sacrifice but of communion too. The altar 
pointed forward to Christ, and it is only in Him that God 
and the redeemed sinner meet and commune together. 
Jacob, then, had no altar in Padan-Aram because he was 
out of communion with Jehovah. ^'Although God in His 
faithfulness be with us, we are not always with Him.*' 
( J. N. D.) But if Jacob had forgotten the Lord, Jehovah 
had not f orgotten him ; and now that Jacob begins to be in 
real need the Lord spoke the suited word. Tet mark the 
other side. 

Having been wamed of God to depart, Jacob sends for 
his wives into the field, where he might converse with them 
freely on the subject, without danger of being overheard, 
(See 31: 4-13.) The reasons he names for leaving were 
partly the treatment of Laban, and partly the intimations 
of God — ^'^I see your father's countenance that it is not 



274 Gleanings in Genesis 

toward me as before/' Mr. Fuller's practical observations 
on these words are so good we cannot refrain f rom quoting 
them : * ' It is wisely ordered that the countenance should^ 
in most cases, be an index to the heart ; else there would be 
much more deception in the world than there is. We gather 
more of men's disposition toward us from their looks than 
their words ; and domestic happiness is more influenced by 
the one than by the other. Sullen silence is often more in- 
toierable than contention itself, because the latter, painful 
as it is, afifords opportunity for mutual explanation. But 
while Jacob had to complain at Laban 's cloudy countenance 
he could add, * The God of my f ather hath been with me. ' 
Qod 's smiles are the best support under man's f rowns ; if 
we walk in the light of His countenance we need not fear 
what man can do unto us.' ^ 

Having talked the matter over with his wives, and ob- 
tained their consent to accompany him, the next thing was 
to prepare for their departure. Had Laban known what was 
in his nephew 's mind there is reason to f ear he would have 
objected, perhaps have nsed force to detain him, or at least 
deprived him of the greater part of his possessions. Acting 
with his usual caution, Jacob waited untii Laban was a 
three days^ journey away from home, absent at a sheep- 
shearing. Taking advantage of this, Jacob, accompanied 
by his wives, his children, and his flocks, ^'stole away un- 
awares to Laban.^' (31: 20.) How little there was of 
Divine guidance and of faith in Jehovah in this stealthl 
Not of him could it be said ^'For ye shall not go out with 
haste, nor by flight ; f or the Lord wiU go bef ore you ; and the 
6od of Israel wiU be your rearward.*^ (Isa. 52 : 12.) That 
the Holy Spirit was not here leading is made still more evi- 
dent by what is told us in verse 19: **And Bachel had 
stolen the teraphim that were her f ather 's. ' ' It may be of 
interest to some of our readers if we here digress again and 
contemplate these teraphim in the light of other scriptures. 

Scholars tell us that the word **teraphim'' may be traced 
to a Syrian root which means ^ * to enquire. ' ^* This explains 
the reason why Rachel took with her these family **gods*' 
when her husband stole away surreptitiously from her home 
— it was to prevent her father from **enquiring" of these 
idol ^'oracles" and thus discovering the direction in which 
they had gone. INTark that Laban calls these teraphim his 

*ProbabIy the name "teraphim" was originally a corruption of cherubim. 



Jacob's Departure from Haran 275 

' ' gods. ' ' (31 : 30. ) The next ref erence to the ' ' teraphim " 
in Scripture confirms the idea that they were used for orac- 
ular consultation. In Judges xvii: 5 we read: '*And the 
jnan Micah had a house of gods, and made an ephod, and 
teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons who became his 
priesf; next we are told *^In those days there was no king 
in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own 
eyes" and *'Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young 
man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.*' 
(Verse 6, 12.) Then, in the chapter that foUows, we read 
of the tribe of Dan seeking an inheritance to dwell in, and 
sending out spies to search out the land ; and they came to 
*Hhe house of Micah (who had the teraphim) and said to 
his priest, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may 
know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous. * ' 
(Judges 18: 6.) That it was of the ^'teraphim'' they 
wished him to enquire, and not of the Lord, is clear from 
what follows, for when the spies retumed to their tribe and 
made their report (which was adopted), the tribe on going 
forth to secure their inheritance carefuUy saw to it that 
Micah's '*priest" with his ''graven image, and the ephod, 
and the teraphim'* accompanied them, so that we are told 
he became their ^'priest." (See 18: 8-20.) Next we read 
in 1 Sam. 19 : 13 : ' ' And Michal took a teraphim and laid 
it in the bed, and put a pillow of goat's hair for his bolster, 
and covered it with a cloth.*' This scripture not only re- 
veals the sad f act that Saul 's daughter was an idoiator and 
practiced necromancy, but also intimates that by this time 
the **teraphim" were fashioned after the human form — 
hence Michal 's selection of one of these to appear like the 
figure of her sleeping husband.* Ezek. 21 : 21 also makes it 
clear that the **teraphim" were used for oracular consulta- 
tion — **The king of Babylon . . . consulted with tera- 
phim.'' Later scriptures indicate that after Israel had 
apostatized from Jehovah they turned to the ^^teraphim" 
more and more — ^*For the teraphim have spoken vanity, 
and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told f alse dreams ; 
they comfort in vain.'' (Zech. 10: 2.) Hence it was in pro- 
nouncing sentence on recreant Israel, God said: **For the 
children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and 
without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without a 



*This one must have been much largor tiiaii tiiose which Rachael concealed 
under her saddle. 



276 Gleanings in Genesis 

teraphim.*^ What a terrible analogy to all this we behold 
in our own day ! Just as in olden time Israel tumed from 
Jehovah to the **teraphim" of the heathen, so today, now 
that Christendom has apostatized, men on all sides are 
turning away from the Holy Scriptures which are the 
Oracles of God, and are giving heed to seducing spirits and 
the deceptions of Satan. 

That Laban harbored in his home these **teraphim** 
shows that the idolatry of Babylonia stiU clung to his 
f amily, notwithstanding he had some knowledge of the true 
Qod. (See 31: 53.) Laban appears to have been a man 
much after the order of those of whom it is written: **They 
sware by the Lord and by Malchom'' (a heathen god). 
(Zeph. 1: 5.) This strange contradiction in Laban's reli- 
gious lif e appears to throw light upon a passage and person 
that has long puzzled Bible students. We refer to Balaam. 
This mysterious prophet seems to have been a heathen sooth- 
sayer, and yet it is evident he also had some dealings with 
Jehovah. If Balaam was a descendant of Laban this would 
account for this religious anomoly. Now in Num. 23: 7 
we leam that Balaam came f rom * ' Aram, ' ' which may pos- 
sibly be identicai with Padan-Aram where Laban dwelt. 
Balaam prophesied only some 280 years after Jacob's de- 
parture from Laban's home, and may then have been an 
old man, at any rate in those days 280 years covered only 
about two generations. The Targum of Jonathan on Num. 
27:5, and the Targum on 1 Chron. 1:44 make Balaam 
to be Laban himself ; and others say he was the son of Beor, 
the son of Laban. Bearing in mind that Laban employed 
the * * teraphim ' ' as his ' ^ gods, ' ' if Balaam were one of his 
descendants then it would explain why he did not utterly 
disown Jehovah while yet practicing the abominations of 
the heathen. 

To return to the narrative. It was not long af ter Jacob 's 
stealthy departure that Laban heard of what had taken 
place, and gathering together what was, no doubt, a con- 
siderable force, he immediately set out in pursuit. But on 
the night before he overtook Jacob's party, God appeared 
to him in a dream, and warned him against even speaking 
to Jacob "good or bad.^' Thus did Jehovah, once again, 
make good His original promise to our patriarch and mani- 
fest His preserving Presence with Jacob. The mcasure in 
which Laban respected the word of God is seen in the 



Jacob's Departure from Haran 277 

charges he brought against Jacob when they met the next 
day. We refrain from commenting on the lengthy coUoquy 
between Jacob and his unde, Though considerable feeling 
was evidenced by both parties, the interview terminated 
happily, and the final leave-taking was quite aflfecting. But 
it is remarkable that at the close of their interview each 
man revealed himself and his true condition of heart. It is 
by the seemingly little things that our characters are shown 
— ' * By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words 
thou shalt be condemned. '* (Matt. 12 : 37.) So it was here. 
When Jacob took a stone and **set it up for a pillar" to be a 
witness of the covenant made between them (31: 44-46) 
Lahan called it ' * Jegar-sahadutha ' * which is Chaldean for 
*'heap of witness," thus speaking in the language of 
heathendom; whereas, Jacob termed it *'Qaleed" which was 
Hebrew for **heap of witness.*' Only the true believer can 
speak the language of God's people ; of the worldling, the 
godless idolator, it must be said of him as the maid said of 
Peter when he was denying his Lord, **Thy speech be- 
trayeth thee.'' (Matt. 26: 73.) 

The closing verses of our chapter present briefly another 
beautiful typical picture: **Then Jacob ofïered sacrifice 
upon the mount, and called his brethem to eat bread ; and 
they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount. 
And early in the moming Laban rose up, and kissed his sons 
and his daughters, and blessed them ; and Laban departed 
and retumed unto his place.** First a covenant of peace 
was proposed, then it was ratified by a sacrifice, and last it 
was commemorated by a feast. So it was in Egypt. God 
made promise to Moses, then the lamb was slain, and then 
the people feasted upon his roasted flesh. Thus it is with 
us. God entered into a covenant of peace before the founda- 
tion of the world, in the fullness of time the great Sacrifice 
was offered and accepted, and this is now commemorated at 
the '*feast" of the Lord's Supper. (I Cor. v: 8.) Note, too, 
it was not Laban the elder, but Jacob his nephew who 
*^offered sacrifice upon the mounf 

One practical observation on the circumstance of Jacob 
leaving Padan-Arara and we conclude. It has been sug- 
gested by Dr. GrifBth-Thomas that this incident supplies 
us with valuable principles for regulating the believer in 
his daily life when in doubt conceming the wiU of God. 
How of ten one is puzzled to know whether God would have 



278 Gleanings in Genesis 

us take a certain course or not. How may I be sure of 
God's wiU concerning some issue which confronts meí An 
important question; one that is frequently met with, and 
one which must find answer in the Word alone. Surely God 
has not left us without something definite for oúr guidance. 
Not that we must always look for a passage of Scripture 
whose terms are absolutely identical with our own situation, 
but rather must ^ve search f or some passage which sets f orth 
some clearly defined principles which are suited to mect our 
case. Such indeed we find here in Gen. 31. 

Jacob was in a strange land. He had been there for 
twenty years, yet he knew he was not to spend the remainder 
of his days there. God had assured him he should retum 
to Canaan. How much longer then was he to tarry at 
Padan-Aram ï When was he to start out f or his old home t 
How could he be sure when Ood's time for him to move had 
arrivedt Pressing questions these. Note how the answer 
to them is f ound here in three things : first, a definite desire 
sprang up in Jacob's heart to retum home — ^this is evi- 
dent from Gen. 30: 25. But this in itself was not suffi- 
cient to warrant a move, so Jacob must wait a while longer. 
Second, circumstances became such that a move seemed the 
wise thing ; the jealousy of Laban and his sons made his con- 
tinued stay there intolerable. (Gen. 31: 1, 2.) This was 
ordered of God who makes all things **work together'* fop 
the good of His own people. But still something more was 
needed ere Jacob was justified in leaving. So, in the third 
place there was a clear word from Ood — ^**The Lord said 
unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers.*' (Gen. 
31: 3.) 

It is not always that God gives us a manifestation of these 
three principles, but whenever they do combine and are evi- 
dent we may be sure of His will in any given circumstance. 
First, a definite conviction in our hearts that God desires 
us to take a certain course or do a certain thing. Second, 
the path He would have us take being indicated by outward 
circumstances, which make it (humanly) possible or expe- 
dient we should do it. Then, third, after definitely waiting 
on God f or it, some special word from the Scriptures which 
is suited to our case and which by the Spirit bringing it 
manifestly to our notice (while waiting for guidance) is 
plainly a message from God to our individual heart. Thus 
may we be assured of God 's wiU for us. The most important 



Jacoh's Departure from Haran 279 

thing is to wait on Ood. Tell Him your perplexity, ask 
Him to prevent you from making any mistake, ery earnestly 
to Him to make ''plain His way before your face** (Psa. 5: 
8), and then */wait patiently'' tili He does so. Remember 
that '*whatsoever is not of faith is sin.*' (Rom. 4: 23.) 
If you are sincere and patient, and pray in faith, then, in 
His own good time and way, He will most certainly answer, 
either by removing the conviction or desire from your heart, 
and arranging your circumstances in such a manner that 
your way is blocked — and then you will know His time for 
you to move has not arrived — or, by deepening your convic- 
tion, so ordering your circumstances as that the way is 
opened up without your doing anything yourself, and by 
speaking definitely through His written Word. **Commit 
thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall 
bring it to pass. (Psa. 37: 5.) The meek will He 
guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way.'* 
(Psa. 25: 9.) **He that believeth shall not make haste.'* 
May writer and reader be permitted by Divine grace to 
enjoy that blessed peace that comes from knowing we are 
in the wiU — ^that *^good and perfect and acceptable will"-^ 
ofGod. 



33. JACOB AT MAHANAIM 

Genesis 32 

In our last article we contemplated Jacob, in obedience 
to the word of the Lord who bade him * * retum unto the land 
of thy f athers, and to thy kindred, and I wiU be with thee' ' 
(Qen. 31: 3), as then leaving Padan-Aram and starting 
out for Canaan. We also paid some attention to Laban's 
pursuit of our patriarch, and of the affectionate leave-tak- 
ing which eventually ensued. Here we are to consider 
another important incident which befell Jacob by the way. 

' ' And Jacob went on his way , and the angels of God met 
him.'' (6en. 32:1.) Jacob was now in the path of 
obedience and therefore 6od favored him with another 
revelation to strengthen his faith and inspire him with 
courage for what lay before him — ^the meeting with Esau 
and his four hundred men. While in the path of obedience 
we must expect to encounter that which wiU test our faith, 
and not the least of such trials wiU be that to all outward 
appearances God Himself is against us ; yet as we start out 
along any path He has appointed, God in His grace, usually 
encourages us with a plain revelation from Himself, a token 
of His approval, a strengthener to faith; and at the end 
we find the path of the just is as the shining light that 
shineth more and more unto the perfect daj^ So it proved 
with Jacob. 

'^And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of 6od met 
him.'' The word '*met" here suggests a beautiful thought. 
It is not that the angels ''appeared'' to him, but they '^met** 
him. Jacob is returning from his long exile, retuming to 
the land given to his fathers (and later to himself) by 
Jehovah. These angels then came forward to greet him, 
as it were. 6od sent these messengers of His in advance 
to welcome his servant home, and to express to him His good- 
wiU. On his journey out from Canaan to Padan-Aram the 
Lord Himself met Jacob and gave him a vision of the angels ; 
and here, now that he is on his way back f rom Padan-Aram 
to Canaan, the angels met him, followed immediately after- 
wards by the Lord appearing to him. 

* * And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of 6od met 
him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is Gtod's 
host; and he called the name of that place Mahanaim,*' 



280 



Jacob at Mahanaim 281 

(Gen. 32:1, 2.) Once again we note how Umely are 
God's interventions. Jaeob had just escaped from one 
company of his enemies (Laban and his brethren — Gen. 
31: 22, 23), and another was now advancing to meet him, 
namely, Esau with his four hundred men. But at this 
juncture God's host made its appearance, as though to 
show him to whom he owed his recent escape, and as if to 
further assure him that He who had delivered, did deliver, 
and he might safely trust would deliver him. It is to be 
remarked that the angels (32: 1) which appeared on 
this occasion were termed by Jacob **God*s hosf in the 
singular number, but f rom the name which Jacob gave to 
the place — ^Mahanaim — it is evident they were divided into 
two companies, for Mahanaim signiíies two hosts. It would 
seem, then, there was one host of these ''angels*' of Gtod, 
but divided into two companies, probably encompassing 
him both before and behind. Was not this God's provision 
for the two hosts of Jacob 's adversaries, which at the same 
time, and no doubt with the same violent designs, were 
coming against him ! The one had already been sent back 
without striking a blow (Laban and his company), and the 
other should yet also be, While this was not expressly 
revealed to Jacob, nevertheless, this host of angels before 
him, as well as the one behind, was raost evidently a com- 
forting assurance f rom God that He was with His child and 
would preserve him whithersoever he went. How it reminds 
us of the experience of the Children of Israel in the wilder- 
ness, centuries later, when the PiUar of Cloud went before 
them by day, and the PiUar of Fire protected their rear by 
night. 

**And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau, his 
brother, unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And 
he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my 
lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojumed 
with Laban, and stayed there until now; and I have oxen, 
and asses, flocks, and men-servants, and women-servants ; 
and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy 
sight.'' (Gen. 32: 3-5.) As yet Jacob had heard noth- 
ing of his brother Esau, save that he was now settled in the 
land of Seir ; but recalling the past, remembering the angry 
threat of the man, he was plainly apprehensive of the con- 
sequences of meeting him again. He, therefore, decided 
to send messengers before him, much as an army which is 



282 Gleanings in Genesis 

marching through an enemy's country sends on spies in 
advance. These messengers were evidently instructed to 
sound Esau (for they returned to Jacob with their report), 
and if needs be to appease his anger. These messengers 
were carefully instructed what they should say to Esau, 
how they should conduct themselves in his presence, and 
the impression they must aim to make upon him — all de- 
signed to conciliate. While they were coached to say noth- 
ing but what was strictly true, nevertheless, the craftiness 
oí Jacob comes out plainly in the words he puts into the 
mouths of his messengers : 

**And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak 
unto my lord Esau ; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have 
sojoumed with Laban, and staved there until now; and I 
have oxen, and as55es, flocks, and men servants, and women 
servants ; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find 
grace in thy sight.'' (Gen. 32: 4, 5.) Jacob does not 
insist on the fulfillment of the blessing which he had ob- 
tained from his father. Isaac had said, ''Be lord over thy 
brother, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee/^ But 
here Jacob refuses to press the claim of his precedency, 
and instead of requiring that Esau should ''bow down'' un- 
to him, he refers to Esau as ^^his lord" and takes the place 
of a servant"! Note, too, nothing is said of the reason 
why he had fled to Padan-Aram — all reference to his out- 
witting of Esau is carefully passed over — instead, he naively 
says, ''I have sojourned (not found refage) with Laban, 
and stayed there until now," Once again be it remarked, 
Jacob would have Esau plainly to understand that he had 
not come to claim the double portion, nor even to seek a 
division of their father's inheritance — ^he had no need for 
this, for God had given him plenty of this world's goods. 
How plainly the native shrewdness of our patriarch comes 
out in all this needs not be argued. 

'*And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We 
came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, 
and four hundred men with him.'' (Gen. 32: 6.) It 
would seem f rom the sequel that the messengers sent out by 
Jacob never delivered their message, but only went far 
enough to discover that Esau was advancing toward them 
accompanied by four hundred men — ^to them, no doubt, with 
hostile intentions. It must have come upon Jacob aa a 
terrible shock to learn that his brother was already ac- 



Jacob at Mahanaim 283 

quainted with his movements. It could only be about a 
f ortnight at most since Jacob had lef t his uncle 's f arm, and 
as his joumey had been conducted with all possible secrecy 
(in order to escape from Laban), how could Esau have 
learned of it at allt Was his thirst for revenge upon his 
brother so great that he had had him watched all these 
years t Was there some spy of his in the employ of Laban, 
who had now secretly communicated with Esau t Someone 
must have informed him, and the fact that Esau was now 
advancing upon him was disquieting news indeed. * ' Then 
Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed'* (32: 7) — a 
guilty conscience needs no accusing. 

''And he divided the people that was with him, and the 
flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands ; and said, 
If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the 
other company which is left shall escape.'*^ (32: 7, 8.) 
There seemed no time to be lost, so Jacob acted promptly, 
and with accustomed shrewdness. First he divided his 
people and his flocks into two bands, so that if Esau came 
up with one and smote it, the other at least might escape. 
Second he betook himself to prayer. Ere condemning 
Jacob here, let us examine our own hearts and remember our 
own ways. How often we come to God only as a last 
resortt How often we scheme and plan, and not until 
afterwards do we cry unto God. Alas, how often we act on 
the principles of that God-dishonoring proverb that ''God 
helps those who help themselves" — as though anybody was 
sufficient to *'help himself without God first helping him! 
The truth is rather, and how blessed, that God is ever ready 
to help those who have learned by sad experience that they 
are quite unáble to * ^ help themselves. ' ^ His promise is * * He 
giveth power to the f aint ; and to them that have no might 
He increaseth strength. ' ' ( Isa. 40 : 29. ) 

There is not a little in the prayer of Jacob which is 
worthy of close attention, the more so as it was a prevailing 
prayer, and that it is the iirst recorded real praj'^er in the 
Bible. **Aiid Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, 
and God of my f ather Isaae, the Lord which saidst unto me, 
Retum unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will 
deal well with thee ; I am not worthy of the least of all the 
mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast showed unto 
thy servant ; f or with my staff I passed over this Jordan ; 
and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, 



284 Gleanings in Genesis 

m 

f rom the hand of my brother, f rom the hand of Esau ; f or I 
fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother 
with the ehildren. And thou saidst, I wiU surely do thee 
good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which can« 
not be numbered for multitude/' (32: 9-12.) Notiee 
first the Qod to whom he prayed. He approached Qod not 
merely as God the Creator, but as *'the God of his father 
Abraham and the God of his f ather Isaac. ' * It was God in 
Covenant relaíionship. This was laying hold of the Divine 
f aithf ulness ; it was the prayer of f aith. It means much to 
approach God thus; to appeal to Him on the ground of a 
sure and established relationship. We come before God not 
as the God of our forefathers, but as the God and Father of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and theref ore our ' ' God and Father. * ' 
It is as we plead this relationship He is pleased to bless us. 
Second, Jacob cast himself on the sure Word of Jehovah, 
pleading before Him His promise. He humbly reminded 
the Lord how He had said, *'Return unto thy country, and 
to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee. * ' Here again 
we do well to leam from Jacob. The Scriptures contain 
many promises given to believers in general, and it is our 
individual privílege to plead them before God in particular, 
the more sa when, like our patriarch, we encounter diíïicul- 
ties and opposition in the way wherein He has directed us 
to walk. Jacob pleaded a definite promise ; so must we. In 
2 Cor. 12: 9 we read, '^My grace is suflBcient for thee.** 
Come to the Throne of Grace at the beginning of each day, 
reverently and believingly ramind the Lord of this declara- 
tion of His, and then say with one of old, '*Do as Thou hast 
said.'* (2 Sam. 7: 25.) Again, we read in Phil. 4: 19, 
**My God shall supply all your need.^* Tell the Lord of 
this in the hour of emergency, and say, Lord * ' Do as Thou 
hast said.'* 

Third, Jacób fully acknowledged his own utter lack of 
desert. He confessed that the Lord was in no wise his 
debtor. He took a lowly plaee before the Most High. He 
owned that ^^he was not worthy of the least of all Gtod's 
mercies.'* Mark this well, dear reader, for very little teach- 
ing is heard in these days that leads to self-abasement. It 
has become a rarity to hear a saint of God confessing his 
-unworthiness. There is so much said about living on a 
high plane of spirituality, so much Laodicean boasting, that 
many are afraid to acknowledge before other believers that 



Jacob at Mahanaim 285 

ihey are "not worthy of the least of God's mercies.** One 
sometimes wonders if this is the ehief reason why so few of 
us have any real power ia prayer today. Certaia it is that 
we must get down into the dust before God if we would 
receive His blessing. We must come before Him as empty- 
handed supplicants, if He is to fill us. We must own our ill 
deserts, and be ready to receive f rom Him on the ground 
of grace alone if we are to have our prayers answered. 

Finally, notice the motive which actuated Jacob in pre- 
senting the petition he did. That for which he made re- 
quest was expressed as f oUows : * * Deliver me, I pray thee, 
f rom the hand of my brother, f rom the hand of Esau ; f or I 
fear him, lest he wiU come and smite me, and the mother 
with the children.'* At first glance it would appear that 
our patriarch was moved by nothing higher than the natural 
affections of the human heart. It would seem that this was 
the petition of a kind husband and a tender father. But as 
we re-read this request of Jacob in the light of the dosing 
words of his prayer, we shall discover he was prompted by a 
far worthier and higher motive. He at once added ''And 
thou saidst, I wiU surely do thee good, and make thy seed 
as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for mul- 
titude.'* In this conclusion to the prayer we may see not 
only a further pleading of God's promise, but an eye to 
Ood^s glory. Jehovah had promised to make Jacob's seed 
as the sand of the sea, but if his wife and children were 
slain how then could God's promise be f ulfiUed ! Now it is 
natural, and by no means wrong, for us to be deeply con- 
cerned over the salvation of our loved ones ; but our chief 
concem must center itself not in the well-being of those who 
are united to us by the ties of blood or intimate friendship, 
but for the glory of Ood. ^^Whatsoever ye do (in prayer, 
as in everything else) do all to the glory of God'' — ^to this 
everything else must be subordinated. Here, then, is a 
searching test : Why am I so anxious to see certain ones 
saved í — simply because they are near and déar to me í or 
that God may be glorified and Christ magnified in their 
salvation? May Divine grace purge us of selfishness and 
purify our motives in prayer. And may God use these few 
words and cause both writer and reader to cry, with ever 
increasing fervor, '*Lord, teach us to pray/' 



34. JACOB AT PENIEL 

Genesis 32 

In our last article we eontemplated Jacob as he continued 
on his way home f rora Padan-Aram where he had lived as an 
exile f or so long. As Jacob went on his way ' * the angels of 
God met him," apparently in two distinct companies or 
**hosts,'' probably one of them to his rear and the other 
before him. It was suggested that there was a symbolic 
meaning to this ordering of the angels ; that as God had just 
delivered our patriarch from Laban and his company, who 
were now left behind, so would he deliver him from Esau 
and his company which were ahead of him. After the an- 
gels had disappeared, Jacob sent out messengers to meet 
Esau, to pacify him with friendly overtures, and thus pre- 
pare for their meeting. Shortly afterwards these messen- 
gers returned to Jacob bringing with them the discomfort- 
ing news that Esau was advancing, accompanied by no less 
than four hundred men. Jacob was '^greatly afraid and 
distressed," and after dividing his party and possessions 
into two bands, he at once betook himself to earnest prayer. 
We considered this prayer at some length, and sought to 
point out some of its striking and suggestive features. It 
was a prayer of faith, and one which, in its general prin- 
ciples, we do well to copy. 

What f ollowed Jacob 's prayer is now to engage our atten- 
tion. A striking contrast is immediately presented to our 
notice, a contrast which seems unthinkable but for the sad 
fact that it is so often repeated in our own experiences. 
Jacob at once turns from the exercise of faith to the mani- 
festation of unbelief , from prayer to scheming, from God to 
his own fleshly devises. '*And he lodged there that same 
night ; and took of that which came to his hand a present f or 
Esau his brother.^' (32 : 13.) 

There was nothing inherently wrong in thus sending a 
present to his advancing brother; it was the motive whieh 
actuated him which is censurable, and which is* ''written 
for our admo7iition," (1 Corinthians 10: 11.) Tn the verses 
which follow the Holy Spirit lays bare for us the heart of 
Jacob, that we may the better become acquainted with our 
own deceitf ul and wicked hearts. Had Jacob 's motive been 
a righteous and praiseworthy one there was no need f or him 



286 



Jacob at Peniel 287 

to have bcen at so mueh care and trouble in arranging his 
present for Esau. First he divided his extravagant present 
into three parts, or droves (for it consisted of cattle), put- 
ting a space between each and thus spreading them out to 
the best advantage, with the obvious intention of making as 
great an impression as possible upon his brother. Next, he 
commanded the servants who were entrusted with the care 
of his present, that when they should meet Esau and he 
enquired who these flocks and herds belonged to, they should 
say, ^*these be thy servant's Jacob's; it is a present sent 
iinto my lord Esau/' Clearly, the message which Jacob 
sent to Esau was utte?ly beneath the dignity of a child of 
Qod; such fawning phrases as *'my lord Esau" and **thy 
servant Jacob'' tell their own sad tale. This obsequious 
servility before a man of the world evidenced the state of 
his heart. Clearly, Jacob was afraid of Esau, and was no 
longer exercising confidence in God. Finally, Jacob's real 
design is made still more evident when we note his own 
soliloquizing — ^'^For he said I wiU appease him with the 
present that goeth before me, and afterward I wiU see his 
face; preadventure he will accept of me.** (32, 20.) 

Instead of trusting in the Lord to work in him a spirit of 
conciliation, he undertook himself to propitiate Esau — ^^V* 
wiU appease him. But mark carefully, dear reader, that 
after all his scheming and devising he could say only ^^per- 
adventure he will accept of me ! " So it is stiU ; af ter all our 
fleshly efforts have been put forth there is no confidence 
begotten thereby , nothing but an uncertain * ' peradventure ' ' 
for our pains. How different from the way of f aith, and the 
calm but certain assurance which is the blessed fruit of 
resting on the Divine promise and trusting God to under- 
take for nsf 

Ere proceeding further we would pause to consider a per- 
tinent and pressing question which naturally arises out of 
what we have seen above : How was it possible f or Jacob to 
tum to fleshly scheming and efforts of his own to appease 
Esau when just bef ore he had prayer with such earnestness t 
to God, and had not failed to plead the Divine promises? 
Was Jacob after all an t^ii-believer t Surely not — God's 
dealings with him previously dispel the idea. Had he then 
**fallen from grace'' and hecome an unbelieverí And again 
we must reject any such suggestion, for the Scriptures are 
plain and explicit on the point that one who has been born 



288 Gleanings in Genesis 

again cannot be unborn — an unf aithful and nnworthj child 
of God I may be, but I am stiU His child, nevertheless. 
The gifts and calling of Qod are '^without repentance'* — 
**without change of mind.'^ (Romans 11: 29.) Once a sin- 
ner has becn called out of darkness into Qod's marvAlous 
light, and once Qod has given to him light and salvation, he 
never undoes that calling or withdraws His gift, for the sin- 
ner did nothing whatever of himself to merH Qod's gift, 
and he can do nothing to demerit it. The basis on which 
Qod bestows His gifts is not that of works and human desert, 
but that of sovereign grace alone. This does not argue that 
we shall therefore be careless and free to sin as much as we 
want, for that would only go to prove that we had never 
received God 's * * gif t * ^ of salvation ; rather shall we become 
more careful and have a greater hatred of sin, not because 
we are afraid of the consequences of wrong doing, but be- 
cause we are desirious of showing our deep gratitude to 
Qod, by a life which is pleasing to Him, in retum for His 
abounding mercy and goodness to us. 

But this still leaves unanswered our question conceming 
Jacob. Jacob was a believer in Qod — a careful study of his 
prayer as recorded in Genesis 32:9-12 evidences that. 
But though Jacob was a believer there still remained the 
*'flesh,'' the old evil nature in him. And to this he gave 
way. The flesh is ever unbelieving, and where it is not 
constantly judged breaks forth in God-dishonoring activi- 
ties. The dearest exemplification and demonstration of the 
two natures in the believer is to be seen in the history of 
Jacob recorded faithfuUy by the Holy Splrit not for our 
emulation but for our ''warning.'' The same two natures 
are in every child of God today, the spiritual and the camal, 
the one which believes God and the other which disbelieves. 
It is because of this we need to cry daily, '*Lord, I believe; 
help Thou mine unbelief.'' (Mark 9: 24.) 

* ^ So went the present over bef ore him ; and himself lodged 
that night in the company. And he rose up that night, and 
took his two wives, and his two women-servants, and his 
eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took 
them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he 
had. And Jacob was left alone ; and there wrestled a man 
with him until the breaking of the day.'' (32: 21-24.) 
This passage introduces us to a most important crisis in the 
lif e of Jacob. The book of Ctenesis presents our patríarch 



Jacob at Peniel 289 

in two charactersy as he is exhibited to us as Jacob and as 
Israel; the one looking at the natnral man, and the other 
at the spiritual man, the one telling of how Divine grace 
found him and the other of what Divine grace made him — 
this wiU become clearer as we continue these studies, if the 
Lord wiU. We are now to consider the memorable occasion 
when Jacob formally received his new name of Israel, when 
he who was rightly termed ' ' the supplanter' ' became known 
as *'God commands/' 

The circumstances under which Jacob formally received 
his new name are worthy of the closest attention. He was, 
as we have seen, in great distress. News had come to hand 
that Esau, accompanied by four hundred men, was on the 
way to meet him. That for which he had labored so hard 
and so long to obtain in Padan-Aram seemed about to be 
wrested from his hands; his wives and his children ap- 
peared to be in imminent danger, and his own life in peril. 
As a precautionary measure he had sent his family over the 
brook Jabbok,* and now he was left alone — ^more desolate 
than when twenty years before he had left his father^s 
house. Night had fallen, when suddenly a mysterious 
stranger appeared, and in the darkness grappled with him. 
AIl through the night this strange conflict continued. 

**And Jacob was left alone/* In this sentence we have 
the first key to the incident we are now considering. On 
these words it has been well said, ** To be left alone with God 
is the only true way of arriving at a just knowledge of our- 
selves and our ways. We can never get a true estimate of 
nature and all its actings until we have weighed them in the 
balances of the sanctuary, and there we may ascertain their 
real worth. No matter what we may think about ourselves, 
nor yet what man may think about us, the great question is, 
"What does God think about ust And the answer to this 
question can only be leamed when we are 'left alone.' 
Away from the world, away from self , away from all the 
thoughts, reasonings, imaginings, and emotions of mere 
nature, and ' alone with Qod, ^ — ^thus, and thus alone, can we 
get a correct judgment about ourselves.*' (C. H. M.) 

**And there wrestled a man with him.*' In Hosea 12: 4 
this *'man'' is termed **the anger'; that is, we take it; **the 
Angel of the Covenant, ** or, in other words, the Lord Jesus 

^ ^Jabbok tÍKHtflefl "emptytiiir" — appropriate name, for it emphasixes the 
Caet tliat Jaoob was "left alone." 



290 Gleanings in Genesis 

Himself in theophanic manifestation. It was the same One 
who appeared unto Abraham just before the destruetion of 
Sodom. In Genesis xviii: 2 we read of '*three men/' but 
later in the chapter one of them is spoken of as * ' the Lord. ' * 
(5:13.) So here in Genesis 32, at the close of the conflict 
between this '*Man" and our patriarch, Jacob called the 
name of the place Peniel, saying, **For I have seen Ood face 
toface.'' (32: 30.) 

**And there wrestled a Man with him/^ Note we are not 
told that Jacob wrestled with the mysterious Visitor, but 
''there wrestled a Man with him/' that is, with Jacob. 
This incident has often been referred to as an illustration 
and example of a saint's power in prayer, but such a thought 
is wide of the mark. Jacob was not wrestling with this 
Man to obtain a blessing, instead, the Man was wrestling 
with Jacob to gain some object from him. As to what this 
object is the best of the commentators are agreed — ^it was to 
reduce Jacob to a sense of his nothingness, to cause him to 
see what a poor, helpless and worthless creature he was ; it 
was to teach us through him the all important lesson that in 
recognized weakness lies our strength. 

* * And there wrestled a Man with him till the hreaking of 
the day.'' From dark tiU dawn the mysterious conflict 
continued. There are those who have taken exception to 
the view set forth above, and who argue that if it was God 
who was wrestling with Jacob for the purpose of bringing 
him to a sense of his impotency He would have taken a 
shorter cut and arrived at the designed end much quicker. 
But such an objection loses sight of the wondrous patience 
which God ever exercises toward His own. He is ^^long 
sufferíng to usward.*' Long does He bear with our fleshly 
struggling, but in the end He accomplishes His purpose and 
grace triumphs. The delay only serves to provide oppor- 
tunity for Him to display His infinite forbearance. 

^ ' And when He saw that He prevailed not against him, He 
touched the hoUow of his thigh ; and the hollow of Jacob ^s 
thigh was out of joint as He wrestled with him.*' This 
shows us how quickly and how easily God could, when it so 
pleased Him, bring to an end Jacob 's resistance and reduce 
him to helplessness ; all He had to do was but to ^^touch the 
hollow of his thigh," and in a moment Jacob's power to 
continue wrestling was gone ! And here we get the second 
key to the incident. Jacob was now brought to the end of 



Jacob at Peniel 291 

his own resources. One swift stroke from the Divine hand 
and he was rendered utterly powerless. And this is the 
purpose God has before Him in His dealings with us. One 
of the principal designs of our gracious heavenly Pather in 
the ordering of our path, in the appointing of our testings 
and trials, in the discipline of His love, is to bring us to the 
end of ourselves, to show us our own powerlessness, to teach 
us to have no confidence in the flesh, that His strength may 
be perfected in our conscious and realized weakness. 

' ' And He said, Let me go, f or the day breaketh. And he 
said, I wiU not let thee go, except thou bless me.'' (32: 
26. ) Here is the third key which unlocks to us the precious 
contents of our narrative. Here we see the object of the 
Heavenly Wrestler accomplished. No longer could Jacob 
wrestle ; all he could do was cling. The mysterious Stranger 
brought Jacob to the point where he had to lean his entire 
weight on Him! Hitherto Jacob had sought to order his 
own lif e, planning, scheming and devising ; but now he was 
* * lef t alone " he is shown what a perf ectly helpless ereature 
he was in himself . ' * The seat of his strength being touched, 
he learnt to say, *I will not let Thee go' — 'other refuge have 
I none ; clings my helpless soul to Thee. ' This was a new 
era in the history of the supplanting, planning, Jacob. Up 
to this point he had held fast by his own ways and means, 
but now he is brought to say *I wiU not let thee go.' '* But 
mark caref uUy, it was not until ^ ^ the hoUow of his thigh was 
touched" that Jacob said this; and, it is not until we fully 
realize our own helplessness and nothingness that we are 
brought to cling to God and really seek His blessing, for 
note, not only did Jacob say '*I wiU not let Thee go,'* but 
he added '^except Thou hless me." 

''And He said unto him, What is thy name? And he 
said, Jacob. And He said, Thy name shall be called no more 
Jacob, but Israel ; f or as a prince hast thou power with God 
and with men, and hast prevailed.'' (32:27, 28.) We 
cannot but feel that these verses have been generally mis- 
understood by most of the commentators. Why should the 
Divine Wrestler ask our patriarch his name, if not to em- 
phasize and press upon the conscience of Jacob the force of 
it, namely, supplanter or contender. And in the new name 
here given him, it seems to us Jacob received a rehuke, 
though its meaning also well sums up the central teaching 
of this incident which describes the occasion when he re- 



292 Gleanings in Genesis 

ceived it. But what is the signifieance of ^ ' Isr&el, '* his new 
name? The marginal reading of the B. V. gives ^^Ood 
striveth'' which we believe conveys the real thonght, though^ 
*'God commandeth^ ' would probably be a happier altema- 
tive. One who was a profound Hebrew scholar tells us that 
' ^ names compounded with ' El ' have that of the nominative 
when the other part of the name is a verb as here. Out of 
some f orty Hebrew names compounded with ' EP or * Jah/ 
God is always the Doer of what the verb means. Thus, 
Hiel=God liveth; Daniel=God judgeth; Gabriel=God is 
my strength. " Israel would, theref ore, be ' ' God conunand- 
eth. ' ' Does not this f urnish a most appropriate significance 
to the name of the Nation which were and wiU be again the 
center of God's governmental dealings on earth — Israel, 
**God conunandeth ! ' * 

^ ' And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, 
but Israel ; f or as a prince hast thou power with God and 
with men, and hast prevailed.'' (32: 28.) *^Asa prince^' 
— as a deposer, orderer (see the various renderings of the 
Hebrewword: rendered **ruler'' thirty-three times) ; used 
not to dignify but to reproach. ^^Hast thou power'^ — ^hast 
thou contended (the Hebrew cognate is translated **rebel- 
lion,** '^revolt,'' etc.) ; Jacob had contended with Esau in 
the womb and thus got his name ' ' Jacob. ' ' And long had 
Jacob, *'the orderer" of hiá life contended *'with God and 
with men.'^ *^And hast prevailed^' or succeeded. To quote 
from the Companion Bible: ^*He had contended for the 
birthright and had succeeded. (25:29-34.) He had con- 
tended for the blessing and succeeded. (27.) He had con- 
tended with Laban and sueceeded. (31.) He had contended 
with 'men' and succeeded. Now he contended with (Jod 
(the Wrestler ) , and fails. Hence his new name was changed 
to Isra-el, God commands, to teach him the greatly needed 
lesson of dependance upon God.'' Jacob had arranged 
everything for meeting and appeasing his brother Esau. 
Now, God is going to take him in hand and order all things 
for him. To learn this lesson, and take this low place before 
God, Jacob must be humbled. He must be lamed as to his 
own strength, and made to limp. Jacob 's new name was to 
be henceforth the constant reminder to him that he had 
leamed, and was never to f orget this lesson ; that it was not 
he who was to order and arrange his affairs, but God ; and 
bis new name, Israel, henceforth to be, him, that **God com- 



Jacob at Peniel 293 

xnandeth/ ' As Jacob he had ' ' prevailed, ' * but now as Israel 
Ood would command and prevaiL 

In the above incident then — ^together with its setting and 
sequel — we have a most striking and typical picture of the 
**flesh" in a believer, its vitality and incurability, Qtod^s 
marvelous forbearance toward it and dealings with it and 
victory over it. First, in choosing and arranging the present 
for Esau we see the character and activities oí the *'flesh'' — 
devising and scheming. Second, in Jacob's experience we 
are shown the worthlessness and helplessness of the ' ' flesh. ' * 
Third, we learn that our nothingness can be discovered only 
as we get ''alone'' with God. Fourth, in the Man coming 
to wrestle with Jacob we see Ood subduing the **flesh'* in 
the believer, and in the prolongation of the wrestle all 
through the night we have more than a hint of the patience 
He exercises and the slowness of His process — for only 
gradually is the ^'flesh'' subdued. Fifth, in the touching 
of the hoUow of Jacob 's thigh we are enabled to discem the 
method God pursues, namely, the bringing us to a vivid 
realization of our utter helplessness. Sixth^ in the clinging 
of Jacob to the God-man we discover that it is not until He 
has written the sentence of death on our members that we 
shall cast ourselves unreservedly on the Lord. Seventh, in 
the fact that Jacob's name was now changed to Israel we 
leam that it is only after we have discovered our nothingness 
and helplessness that we are unlling and ready for Qoá to 
command and order our lives for us. Eighth, in the words, 
**and He blessed him there/' we leam that when Qoá *'com- 
mands'' blessing foUows. Ninth, behold the lovely sequel 
~ *And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him.^' 
(32:31.) Does not this defiine or rather describe (sym- 
bolically) the spiritual nature of the ' ' blessing ! ' ' Tenth, 
note how accurate is the picture — **The sun rose upon him, 
and he halted upon his thigh. Therefore the children of 
Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the 
hoUow of the thigh, unto this day ; because He touched the 
hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.^^ (32 : 31, 
82.) The sinew only **shrank," it was not removed. Nor 
is the ' ' flesh ' ' eradicated f rom the believer 1 

Many are the important lessons taught in the Scripture 
we have been examining, but for lack of space we can but 
barely name some of them: (1) It is natural to the *'flesh*' 
to plan and scheme and to desire the ordering of our lives. 



294 Gleanings in Genesis 

(2) The mind of the flesh deems itself fully competent io 
order our life. (3) But God in His faithfulness and love 
determines to correct this habit in His child. (4) Long does 
He bear with our self-confidence and self-sufficiency, but 
He must and will bring us to the end oí ourselves. (5) To 
accomplish this He lays His hand on us, and makes us con- 
scious of our utter helplessness. (6) This He does by ** with- 
ering* ' us in the seat of our creature strength, and by writ- 
ing the sentence of death oií our flesh. (7) As the result we 
leam to cling to Him in our weakness, and seek His * ' bless^ 
ing.'' (8) What a lesson is this! The ''flesh" cannot be 
subdued, but must be '^withered'* in the very sinew of its 
power — ^'^because the carnal mind is enmity against God; 
for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can 
6e.'' (9) That which hinders us in our growth in grace is 
not so much our spiritual weakness as it is confidence in our 
natural strength! (10) Not until these truths are appre- 
hended shall we cease to be ' * contenders, ' ' and shall we 
gladly take our place as clay in the hands of the Potter, 
happy for Him to **command'' and order our liyes for us. 
(11) Then wiU it be with us, as with Jacob — ^**And He 
blessed him there.'* (12) And so will the sequel, too, prove 
true of us — * * The sun rose upon him,' ' f or ' * the path of the 
just shineth more and more unto the perfect day/* 



35. JACOB MEETING ESAU 

Genesis 33 

'*And Jacob lifted np his eyes, and looked, and, behold, 
Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he 
divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto 
the two handmaids. And he put the handmaids and their 
children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and 
Rachel and Joseph hind^rmost. And he passed over before 
them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until 
he came near to his brother.'' (33: 1-3.) Here again we 
meet with one of those strange and sudden transitions in this 
living narrative of our patriarch's history. Truth is 
stranger than fiction, it is said, and no doubt this is so, but 
certainly truth is more accurate than fiction. In the Epistle 
of James the one who is a hearer of the Word and not a doer 
is said to be * * like unto a man beholding his natural f ace in 
a glass" (1 : 24.) There is no other book in the whole range 
and realm of literature which so marvelously uncovers the 
innermost recesses of the human heart, and so f aithf uUy de- 
lineates its workings. In the biographical portions of Scrip- 
ture the Holy Spirit, as everywhere, paints human nature 
in the colors of truth. An uninspired writer would have 
f oliowed Jacob 's wondrous experience at Peniel by a walk 
which was henceforth flawless. But not so the Holy Spirit. 
He has recorded just what did happen, and shows us Jacob 
distrusting God and yielding to the fear of man. Thus it 
is all through. Abraham in faith-obedience to the call of 
Qod went ont **not knowing whither he went," but after 
his arrival in Canaan, when a famine arose, he seeks refuge 
in Egypt. Eli jah displays unexampled courage on Mt. Car- 
mel, as alone he confronted the four hundred priests of 
Baal ; but the next we hear of him he is fleeing f rom Jezebel I 
David dares to meet Qoliath, but later, he runs away from 
Saul And thus we have recorded the sad inconsistencies 
of the noblest of God's saínts. So it was again here with 
Jacob : what a change f rom clinging to the Divine Wrestler 
to prostrating himself bef ore Esau ! 

There is a lesson and waming for each of us here which 
we do well to take to heart. It is one thing to be privileged 
with a special visitation from or manifestation of God to 
us, but it is quite another to live in the power of it. Jaoob 's 



295 



296 Gleanings in Genesis 

experience at this point reminds us of the f avored disciples 
who were with Christ in **the holy mount." Thejr were 
deeply impressed with what they saw and heard, and Peter, 
acting as spokesman, said, ''Lord, it is good for us to be 
here. ' ' But observe the sequel. Next day a f ather brought 
his lunatic son to the disciples, but ''they could not cure 
him,'' (Luke) and when they asked the Lord the cause of 
their failure He said, **Because of your unhelief.^^ Is not 
the juxtaposition of these two scenes — ^the Transfiguration 
witnessed by the disciples, and their f ailure in the presence 
of need — intended to teach us the lesson that unless faith re- 
mains active we shall cease to live in the power of the Yision 
of Glory. Such is also the4esson we learn from Jacob's 
f ailure foUowing immediately the visitation from God f rom 
Peniel. Ah, there was but One who could say **I do álways 
those things that please Him." (John 8: 29.) 

Let us mark for our instruction just wherein Jacob failed. 
He failed to use in faith the blessedness of his new name. 
The lessons which the all-night wrestle ought to have taught 
him were the worthlessness and futility of all his own 
efforts; that instead of putting confidence in the flesh, he 
needed to cling to God ; and in the new name he received — 
Israel, God commands — ^he should have learned that God is 
the Orderer of our lives and can well be trusted to under- 
take for us at every point. But O, how slow we are to 
appropriate and live in the blessedness of the meaning of the 
new names which God has given us **Saint!" **Son!'* 
* * Heir ! ' ' How little we live our daily lives under the com- 
fort, the inspiration, the strength, the elevation, which such 
titles ought to bring to us and produce f rom us. Instead of 
trusting God to manage Esau for him Jacob at once resorts 
to his old devisings and subtleties. 

Hardly had Jacob passed over the brook Jabbok and re- 
gained his family when, lifting up his eyes, he beheld his 
brother approaching accompanied by four hundred men. 
To flee was impossible; so at once he took whatever pre- 
cautionary measures were possible under the circumfitances. 
He had just sufficient time before Esau came up to arrange 
his family, placing his different children with their respec- 
tive mothers, and putting those in the rear that he had the 
most love for. This shows that though outwardly he ap- 
peared to treat Esau with confidence, nevertheless, he was 
secretly af raid of him. He was obliged, however, to put the 



Jacob Meeting Esau 297 

best face he could upon it, and goes out at the head of his 
company to meet his brother — '^Aud he passed over before 
them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until 
he came near to his brother. ' ' This betokened the f act that 
Jacob was ready to take the place of complete suhmission 
to his elder brother. His action reveals plainly the real 
state of Jacob 's heart, he was anxious to impress upon Esau 
that he intended to make no claim of preëminence but rather 
was willing to be subordinate to him. This will be even 
more apparent when we attend to the words he used on this 
occasion. 

* ' And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and f ell 
on his neck, and kissed him" (33 : 4.) It seems to us that 
most of the commentators have missed the point of this. 
Instead of discovering here the power, goodness, and faith- 
fulness of God, they see only the magnanimity of Esau. 
Personally we have no doubt that had Esau been left to 
himself his reception of his erring brother would have been 
very different from what it was. But he was not left to 
himself. Jacob had prayed eamestly to God and had 
pleaded His promise. And now, He in whose hands is the 
king's heart and who **tumeth it whithersoever He wiU'* 
(Proverbs 21:1), inclined the fierce and envious heart of 
Esau to deal kindly with Jacob. Mark it : and he ' * f ell on 
his neck and kissed him ! " Is not the hand of Gk>d f urther 
to be seen in the fact that Jacob's wives and children att 
unif ormly * * bowed * ' too, to Esau — * * Then the handmaidens 
came near, they and their children, and they bowed them- 
selves. And Leah also with her children came near, and 
bowed themselves ; and af ter came Joseph near and Bachel, 
and they bowed themsel ves. * ' (33 : 6-7.) 

* * And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which 
I met t And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of 
my lord." (33 : 8.) Esau desired to know the meaning of 
those droves of cattle which had been sent on to him earlier 
as a present. Jacob's answer is quite frank, but it shows 
what it was in which he placed his confidence — ^he was de- 
pending on his present, rather than upon God, to conciliate 
his brother. Note, too, as in verse 5 he had spoken of him- 
self to his brother as 'Hhy servant,*' so here, he terms Esau 
"my lord.^* Such obsequious cringing ill-became a child of 
God in the presence of a man of the world. The excessive 
def erence shown to the brother he had wronged evidenced 



298 Gleanings in Genesis 

a servile f ear : the f awning obloquy was manif estly designed 
to imply that he was f uUy prepared to aeknowledge Esau 's 
seniority and superiority. 

**And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that 
thou hast unto thyself." (33: 9.) Whether we are to ad- 
mire these words of Esau or not is not easy to determine. 
They may have been the language of independency, or they 
may, which is more likely, have expressed the generosity of 
his heart. Esau was no pauper; in any case, no sueh 
present from Jacob was needed to heal the breach between 
them. Such was the plain implication of Esau 's words, and 
in them we are shown the futility and needlessness of 
Jaeob 's scheming. Jacob had devoted much thought to the 
pToblem how he could best propitiate the brother whose 
anger he f eared, and had gone to much expense and trouble 
to this end. But it accomplised nothing ! It was all labor 
lost as the sequel shows. God had **appeased" Esau, just 
as before He had quietened Laban ! How much better then 
had Jacob just heen **still" and trusted in the Lord to act 
for him. Let us seek grace to learn this important lesson, 
that not only are all our fleshly plannings and efforts dis- 
honoring to God, and that they are quite uncalled for and 
unnecessary, but also that in the end God sets them aside 
as they accomplish NOTHING. 

Jacob was not satisfied with the generous words of his 
brother, and proceeded to press his present upon him, urg- 
ing him to receive it as a token of good-wiU. **And Jacob 
said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy 
sight, then receive my present at my hand ; f or theref ore I 
have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of Orody 
and thou wast pleased with me." (v. 10.) The receiving 
of a present at the hands of another has always been re- 
garded as a pledge of amity and good-wiU. None wiU re- 
ceive a present from the hand of an enemy. The same 
principle underlies God's dealings with us. He wiU receive 
no offering from His sinful creatures until they are recon- 
ciled to Him by faith in the Atonement of His Son. Let 
the reader make no mistake upon this score. The Lord God 
wiU receive nothing from your hands until you have first 
received from His hands, received the Saviour which His 
love has provided for sinners. Many there are who sup- 
pose they must first bring something to God in order to win 
His f avor. But no matter how beautiful their offering may 



Jacob Meeting Esau 299 

be, no matter what self-saerifíee it has entailed, if Christ is 
stiU rejected God will not accept it. To offer God your 
own works while continuing to despise Christ is but to insult 
Him and to walk in the way of Cain. The teaching of 
Scripture on this point is most emphatic — ' ' The sacrifice of 
the wicked is an abomination to the Lord." (Proverbs 
15:8.) 

Jacob continues to press his suit. To have his present 
accepted would be proof to him that his brother no longer 
bore him any ill-wilL Hence, he continues to assure him 
how highly his favor was regarded, yea, to have seen his 
f ace, was, he say s, * * as though I had seen the f ace of God. ' ' 
Finally, he adds **take, I pray thee, my blessing that is 
brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with 
me, and because I have enough." (v. 11.) In the end, he 
prevailed upon Esau to accept his present— ' And he urged 
him, and he took it. ' ' 

**And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, 
and I will go before thee. And he said unto him, My lord 
knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and 
herds with young are with me; and if men should over- 
drive them one day, all the flock wiU die. Let my lord, I 
pray thee, pass over before his servant ; and I wiU lead on 
softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and 
the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord 
unto Seir." (33:12-14.) If there can be any question 
raised as to Jacob's secret fears when he met his brother, 
what we read of in these verses surely settles the point. 
The old Jacob is here very evident. Now that his brother 
had accepted his present, he was only too anxious for them 
to separate again. Esau suggests they resume the joumey 
in each other's company. But this was not what Jacob 
wanted. Old memories might revive in Esau's mind, and 
when that time came Jacob wished to be far away. How- 
ever, he could not afford to offend his brother, so Jacob, 
at once, begins to frame excuses as to why they should 
joumey separately. Then Esau suggested that some of his 
own company should stay behind with Jacob — *'And Esau 
said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are 
with me. ' ' This was probably to afford protection f or Jacob 
and his herds while passing through a wild and dangerous 
country. But Jacob seems to have suspected some un- 
friendly design lay behind Esau's offer, and so he declined 



SOO Gleanings in Genesis 

it — * * What needeth it t Let me find grace in the sight of 
my lord. ' * 

The sequel is indeed a sad and hnmbling one. Not onlj 
was Jacob distnistful of his brother but he lied unto him. 
Jacob had said ' * let my lord, I pray thee, pass over bef ore 
his servant . • . until I come unto my lord unto Seir/' 
(y. 14.) But after Esau had taken his departure we read, 
''And Jacob joumeyed to Succoth and built him a house, 
and made booths for his cattle. " (v. 17.) Instead of making 
for Seir, the appointed meeting-place, he joumeyed in an- 
other direction entirely. Even af ter the unexpected cordial- 
ity which Esau had displayed, Jacob would not believe that 
God had permanently subdued his brother's enmity ; there- 
fore did he mistmst Esau, refusing his offer of protection, 
and sought to avoid another meeting by a deliberate un- 
tmth. Alas, what is manl How trae it is '^that every 
man at his best state is altogether vanity.'* (Psalm 39 : 5.) 

Jacob's unbelief explains why his joumey back to the 
Land was delayed, f or instead of pressing on home he settled 
down in Succoth. Not only so, but we are told that ** Jacob 
eame to Shalem, a city of Shechem^ which is in the land of 
Canaan, when he came from Padan-Aram; and pitched 
his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field, 
where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of 
Hamor, Shechem's father, for a Lundred pieces of money.*' 
(33 : 18-19,) And this in the very face of God's word **re- 
turn unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred, and I 
will be with thee. " (31:3.) But he had to pay a dear prioe 
for his unbelief and disobedience. Divine retribution did 
not sleep. We have only to read what happened to his 
family while Jacob abode at Shechem to discover how, 
once more, Jacob was called upon to reap that which he had 
sown — Jacob 's so joum in Succoth was f ollowed by the ruin- 
ing of his only daughter ! 

Little light seems to have been given as yet upon the 
closing verse of our chapter — **And he erected there an 
altar, andcalleditGodtheGodof Israel.'* (33:20.) That 
this was an act of faith on the part of Jacob cannot be 
doubted, but as to how high his f aith rose the best of the 
expositors are not agreed. When Jacob denominated tfais 
altar **God the God of Israer* was he losing sight o£ 
Jehovah's convenant relationship with Abraham and his 
seed, and thinking of God merely as his God t Or, was he 



Jacob Meeting Esau 301 

appropriating to himself his new name of Israelt Which- 
ever view be the true one it should be caref uUy noted that 
in th€ very next word our patriarch received f rom the Lord 
it concemed the **altar" and intimated that God was not 
pleased with the altar he had erected in Succoth — **and 
God said unto Jacob, arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there^ 
and make there an altar unto God/' (35:1.) But this 
belongs to our next Genesis study. In the meantime may 
Divine grace open our eyes fuUy to see the wickedness, as 
well as the vanity of placing any confidence in our fleshly 
devisings and bring us to trust the Lord with all our heart. 



36. JACOB AT BETHEL AGAIN 

Genesis 35 

In our last article we closed with Jacob parting from Esau 
and failing to keep his word and rejoin his brother at Seir. 
We pass over the sad record of the intervening chapter, 
asking our readers to turn to it for themselves. After 
passing through the grievous experiences narrated in Gen- 
esis 34, we might well have supposed that Jacob had been 
in a hurry to leave Shechem — ^yet, whither would he flee ! 
Laban he had no desire to meet again. Esau he wished to 
avoid. And now f rom the Shechemites also he was anxious 
to get away. But whither should he go í Poor Jacob ! He 
must have been in a grand quandary. Ah, but man's ex- 
tremities are God's opportunities, and so it was shown to be 
here. Once more God appeared to him, and said, **Arise, 
go up to Bethel, and dwell there : and make there an altar 
unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fledest from 
the face of Esau thy brother. ' ' (Genesis 35 : 1.) 

In studying the above passage we have arrived at the con- 
clusion that God 's word to Jacob on this occasion was one of 
admonition. The reference to him ''fleeing" from the face 
of Esau, takes us back, of course, to the time when Jacob first 
fled f rom home f earf ul of his brother 's anger at the decep- 
tion practiced on him in winning from their father the 
coveted blessing. On the first night out the Lord had ap- 
peared to our patriarch in a dream in which He promised 
to keep him in all places whither he went, and to bring him 
again into the land and unto his kindred. When Jacob 
awoke he said, *'Surely the Lord is in this place" (28 : 16), 
and rising up early in the morning he took the stone on 
which his head had rested during the night and set it up 
for a piUar, pouring oil on the top of it, and calling the name 
of the place Bethel, which means **House of God." And 
there, we are told, ' * And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If Gk>d 
wiU be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and 
will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I 
come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the 
Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a 
piUar, shall be God 's house.' ' ( Genesis 28 : 20-22. ) 

Probably thirty years at least had passed since Jacob had 
had that vision of the ' * ladder, ' ' and now Qod reminds him 



302 



Jacob at Bethel Again 303 

o£ the pledge whieh our patriarch had failed to redeem. 
God here addressed Himself to Jacob's conscience, with re- 
spect to his neglect in performing his vow. Gk)d had per- 
formed His part, but Jacob had f ailed. God had preserved 
him whithersoever he had journeyed, and had brought him 
back saf ely to the land of Canaan ; but now that Jacob had 
been in the land at least seven years (for in less time than 
this Simeon and Levi could not have reached man's estate — 
34 : 25), yet, he had not gone up to Bethel. 

That God 's word to Jacob recorded in Genesis 35 : 1, was 
a reproof is f urther evidenced by the immediate effect which 
it had upon him. Not only had Jacob failed to go to Bethel, 
but, what was worse, while Jehovah had been his personal 
God, his household was defiled by idols. Rebekah's stolen 
**teraphim" had proven a snare to the family. At the time 
Laban overtook them Jacob seems to have known nothing 
about these gods ; later, however, he was evidently aware of 
their presence, but not until aroused by the Lord appearing 
to him did he exert his parental authority and have them 
put away. It is striking to note that though God Himself 
said nothing, directly, about the * * teraphim " yet, the imme- 
diate effect of His words was to stir Jacob's conscience 
about them — ^^Then Jacob said unto his household and to 
all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are 
among you, and be clean, and change your garments" (35: 
2.) These words show that Jacob was avare of the corrupt 
practices of his family, and had only too long connived at 
them. 

There is good reason to believe that the troubles into 
which Jacob fell at Shechem were due immediately to his 
f ailure in this very particiriar, and had he gone directly to 
Bethel his household had been purged the more promptly 
of the * * strange gods ' ' that were in it, and his children had 
escaped the taint which these of necessity must impart. 
Furthermore, had he gone sooner to Bethel his children 
would have been kept out of the way of temptation (34: 1), 
and then the impure and bloody conduct of which they were 
guilty had been prevented. Mark, too, how this second 
verse of Genesis 35 iUustrates the awful spread of the lep- 
rosy of sin. At first the teraphim were hidden by Bachel. 
and none of the family except her seem to have known of 
them : but now Jacob had to command his "household" and 
'^all that were with him'' to **put away the strange gods'* 



S04 Gleanings in Genesis 

which were among them. The moral is evident: spiritaal 
neglect and trifling with temptation can issue only in evíl 
and disaster. Let ns not neglect Ood 's Honse, nor delay to 
keep His commandments. 

* ' And let us arise, and go up to Bethel ; and I wiU make 
there an altar unto Ood, who answered me in the day of my 
distress, and was with me in the way that I went" (35 : 3). 
Jacob not only commands his household to put away their 
idols, but seeks to impress them with his own sentiments, 
and urges them all to accompany him to Bethel. His re- 
citing to them how that Ood had ' * answered him in the day 
of his distress ' ' not only argued the propriety of the step he 
was urging upon them, but would excite a hope that Qoá 
might disperse the cloud which now hung on them on ac- 
count of the late lamentable transactions in Shechem. 

'^And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which 
were in their hand, and all their ear-rings which were in 
their ears ; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by 
Shechem" (35:4). It is pleasing to observe the readiness 
with which his family acceded to Jacob's command. They 
not only gave up their **gods" but their ^^ear-rings^^ also. 
These, too, were f requently converted to the use of idolatrous 
practices, as is evident not only f rom the example of Aaron 
who made the calf out of the *'golden ear-rings" (Exodus 
32 : 2) , but from Hosea 2 : 13 as well — * * And I wiU visit upon 
her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, 
and she decked herself with her ear-rings and her jewels, 
and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me, saith the 
Lord." That Jacob huried the teraphim and ear-rings, in- 
stead of attempting to convert them to a more honorable 
use, teaches us that the things of Satan must not be em- 
ployed in the service of Ood, and that we need to forsake 
even the appearance of evil. There can be no doubt that 
in the readiness with which the family acted in response to 
Jacob's command we are to see the hand of the Lord. In 
fact the power of Ood is evident at every point in this in- 
cident : the immediate effect of Ood 's word to Jacob to go 
to Bethel (the effect on his conscience, evidenced by the 
prompt purging of his household) ; the unanimous response 
of his f amily ; and f urther, what we read of in verse 5 all 
demonstrate this — **and they joumeyed; and the terror of 
Ood was upon the cities that were round about them, and 
they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob." 



Jacob at Bethel Again 305 

In the scripture last quoted we íind a striking illustration 
of the sovereign control which God exercises over and upon 
men, even upon those who are not His people. Evidently 
the Shechemites were so enraged against Jacob and his 
family that had not God put forth His power they had 
promptly avenged the wrong done them. But not a hand 
can be raised against any of the Lord 's people without His 
direct permission, and even when our enemies are incensed 
against us, all God does is to put His 'Herror" upon them 
and they are impotent. How true it is that ^Hhe king's 
heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water : He 
tumeth it whithersoever He wiir' (Proverbs 21: 1). And 
Ood is stiU the same : living, ruling, almighty. There is no 
doubt in the writer's mind that in the authenticated reports 
of ^'the Angels at Mons" we see in the terror which caused 
the German cavalry to tum about and flee f rom the out- 
numbered English a modem example of what we read of in 
Genesis 35 : 5 — * * And the terror of God was upon the cities 
that were round about them, and they did not pursue after 
the sons of Jacob. '* 

' ^ So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, 
that is, Bethel, he and ali the people that were with him. 
And he built there an altar, and called the place El-Bethel ; 
because there God appeared unto him, when he fled f rom the 
face of his brother*' (35 : 6, 7). It is significant that Bethel 
is here first called by its original name, **Luz*' which means 
* * departure. " From God Jacob had departed for (as pre- 
viously pointed out) Jacob built no **altar'' during all the 
years he sojourned in Padan-Aram, and only now does he 
retum to (ïod, to the * * house of God, ' ' to the altar of God, 
and in order to do this he must needs retrace his steps and 
retum to the place from which he had *'departed.*' So it 
was with Abraham before him, for after he left Egypt 
(whither he had gone in unbelief) we read, **And he went 
on his joumeys f rom the south even to Bethel, unto the place 
where his tent had been at the heginning, between Bethel and 
Ai ; unto the place of the altar, which he had made there 
at the first^^ (Genesis 13 : 3, 4) . And so it has to be with us. 

* * But Deborah, Bebekah *s nurse, died, and she was buried 
beneath Bethel under an oak, and the name of it was called 
Allon-Bachuth. And Gtoá appeared unto Jacob again, when 
he came out of Padan-Aram and blessed him'' (35:8, 9). 
In principle these two verses are inseparably connected. 



306 Gleanings in Genesis 

No mention is made of Deborah in the sacred narrative from 
the time Jaeob left his father's house until the time when 
he had now returned to Bethel. The departure and the re- 
turn of Jacob are thus linked together f or us by the mention 
of Deborah ^'Rehekah's nurse." The same thing is seen 
again in the verse which foUows. ** And God appeared unto 
Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-Aram. ' ' God had 
appeared to him just before he entered Padan-Aram, and He 
now appeared **again" when he came out of Padan-Aram. 
AU the years spent with Laban were lost, as were also those 
lived in Succoth and Shechem. The twenty years he 
served with his f ather-in-law were so much * * wood, hay and 
stubble." We find another illustration of this same sad 
principle in Hebrew 11:29-30, where we read, first, ^^hy 
faith Israel passed through the Red Sea, ' ' and the next thing 
we read is, ^'hy faith the walls of Jericho fell down.'' The 
f orty years wandering In the wilderness in unbelief is passed 
over! Nothing of **faith'' was to be found in that period 
of IsraeFs history. The forty years was so much lost timel 
Ah, my reader, when our records are reviewed at the Judg- 
ment-seat of Christ methinks there wiU be similar tragic 
hlanks in most, possibly all, of our lives. 

The sequel of Jacob's return to Bethel is very beautiful, 
but we cannot here dwell much upon the details. Qod 
appeared unto Jacob again, reaíïirmed that he should be 
called by his new name Israel, revealed Himself as the ** Al- 
mighty" or ^ * All-Sufficient One,'' bade him to be **fruit- 
ful and multiply," assuring him that ^'a nation and a com- 
pany of nations should be of him, and kings should come out 
of his loins ; ' ' and, finally, ratifying the gif t of the land imto 
his fathers, unto himself, and unto his sons (35: 11, 12). 

Thal Jacob was now fully restored to communion with 
God is seen from the fact that he now once more **set up a 
piUar" in the place where he had talked with God and 
poured oil theron (35 : 14, and cf . 28 : 18) . 

Next, we are told * ' And they journeyed f rom Bethel ; and 
there was but a little way to come to Ephrath.'' How 
significant and how beautiful is the moral order here: 
Ephrath is Bethlehem (verse 19), and Bethlehem signifies 
**House of Bread.'' Note carefully the words, **There is 
hut a little way (i, e, from Bethel) to come to Ephrath/' 
Tes, it is but a short distance f rom the place whertí the soul 



Jacob at Bethel Again 307 

is restored to communion with God to the place where nour- 
ishment and satisf action of heart are to be f ound ! 

*'And Bachael died, and was buried in the way to 
Ephrath, which is Bethlehem'* (35: 19). Thus the leading 
link of Jacob's lif e at Padan-Aram was now severed ! The 
**teraphim'' had been **hid under the oak" (verse 4), 
Deborah (the link with his old unregenerate life) had also 
been **buried under an oak" (verse 8), and now Bachael 
is * * buried. ' ' Death is written large across this scene. And 
we too must have *'the sentence of death'* written on our 
members if we would walk in f ull communion with God and 
dwell in the house of bread. And is it not lovely to mark 
that f rom the dying Rachael there came forth Benjamin — 
**the Son of the right hand!" 

Having considered some of the moral lessons which the 
35th chapter of Genesis inculcates, we would in closing point 
out how that once again we have here another of those 
marvelous typical pictures in which this first book of Scrip- 
ture abounds; this time a dispensational foreshadowment 
of the coming restoration of Israel. 

1. Just as Jacob left the house of God (Bethel — Genesis 
28) for the land of exile, so has the Nation which had 
descended f rom him. 2. Just as God said to Jacob * * Arise, 
go up to Bethel,*' return to the place of Divine communion 
and privilege, so wiU He yet call to Israel. 3. Just as the 
immediate effect upon Jacob of God's **call" was to purge 
his house f rom idolatry and to issue in a change of his ways 
(emblemized by **changing of garments^^ — 35:2), so the 
Nation will yet be purged from their final idolatry (in con- 
nection with Antichrist) and be changed in their ways and 
walk. 4. Just as Jacob acknowledged that God had **an- 
swered him in the day of his distress^' (35 : 3) , so will Israel 
when He responds to their cry in the great Tribulation. 5. 
Just as the *'terror of God'' fell upon the Shechemites (35: 
5), so wiU His terror fall once more upon the Gentiles when 
He resumes His dealings with His covenant people. 6. Just 
as when Jacob retumed to Bethel he built another * * altar, ' * 
80 will Israel once more worship God acceptably when they 
are restored to His favor. 7. Just as now the link with 
Jacob*s past was severed (the death of Rebekah — 35:8), 
so will Israel die to their past life. 8. Just as God now ap- 
peared unto Jacob **again,'* so will He, in the coming day, 
manifest Himself to Israel as of old. 9. Just as Gk>d then 



308 Gleanings in Genesis 

said ''Thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but 
Israel shall be thy name" (35: 10), so his descendants shall 
no more be callcd Jews, but as Israel shall they be known. 
10. Just as 6od now f or the first time discovered imto Jacob 
his name ''Almighty/' so on Israel's restoration will the 
Messiah be revealed as ''the wonderful Counsellor, the 
mighty God.'' 11. Just as national prosperity was here as- 
sured unto Jacob — * * be f ruitf ul and multiply, a nation and 
a company of nations shall be of thee" 35: 11 — so shall the 
prosperity and blessings promised through the prophets be- 
come theirs. 12. Just as God here said unto Jacob '^the 
land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee wiU I give it 
and to thy seed after thee" (35: 12), so wiU He say to the 
restored nation. 13. Just as Jacob poured oil on the pillar 
he erected at Bethel, so wiU God pour the Holy Spirit upon 
Israel and upon all flesh. 14. Just as Jacob found Bethel 
to be but a little way f rom Bethlehem, so shall Israel at last 
find the Bread of Life once they have had their second 
Bethel. 15. Just as Ben jamin now took his place in Jacob 's 
household, so wiU the true Ben jamin — ^ * Son of his mother 's 
sorrow, but also of his father's right hand'' — ^take His 
rightful place among redeemed Israel. There are other 
points in this typical picture which we leave for the reader 
to search out for himself . Surely as the Christian ponders 
the wondrous and blessed f uture which yet awaits the Israel 
of God he cannot do less than heed that eamest word — ^ * Ye 
that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give 
Him no rest, tiU He establish, until He make Jerusalem a 
praise in the earth'' (Isaiah 62 : 6, 7) I 



37. THE SUNSET OF JACOB'S LIFE 

Genesis 3749 

It is not easy to decide whicli of the two is the more won- 
derful and blessed — the grace of Qod which has given the 
believer a perfect standing in Christ, or the grace which 
ever bears with the believer who f ails so miserably in making 
his state correspond with his standing. Which is the more 
remarkable — that, judicially, my sins are all put away for- 
ever, or, that in His govemmental dealings God treats so 
leniently with my sins as a saint í Though it is true we reap 
as we sow, it also remains true conceming believers that 
Qod **hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded 
us according to our iniquities" (Ps. 103: 10). 

That is a marvelous word which is f ound in Numbers 23 : 
21, a word that has been of untold comfort to many of the 
saints — * * He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath 
He seen perverseness in Israel. ' ' These words were spoken 
by Qod through the mouth of Balaam, spoken of that very 
people who so f requently were wajrward and filled with mur- 
muring. Mark, the prophet does not say that iniquity and 
perverseness were not in Jacob. That would not give the 
believer confidence, which is the very thing Qod desires to 
give. It could never assure my poor heart to be told there 
was no sin in me f or, alas I know too well there is. What I 
am to rest in is the wondrous fact that God sees no sin on 
me — ^that gives the conscience peace. God saw no perverse- 
ness and iniquity on Israel because He looked at them as 
under the Blood of the Lamb. And why is it that Qod sees 
no sin on believerst It is because '^the Lord hath laid on 
Him (on Christ) the iniquities of us all^' (Isa.,53: 6). 

In view of this, what a walk ought to be ours. Surely we 
can do nothing now which would displease the One who has 
dealt so wondrously toward us. Surely we ought now to 
render a ready and joyful obedience to Him who has done 
so much f or us. Surely we ought to abstain even f rom every 
appearance of evil. And y et that word * ' ought ' ' condemns 
us, for it implies our failure. I would not say to one who 
was fulfiUing his duty, You ought to do so and so. Should 
I say to any one, Tou ought to do this, the plain inference 
is that he is not doing it. How wondrous then^ how heart- 



309 



310 Gleanings in Genesis 

affecting, is the patience of grace which bears with our 
failures, with our base ingratitude, with our Christ-dis- 
honoring ways ! And so we say again, it is difficult to deter- 
mine which is the more amazing: whether the love whieh 
hath washed us f rom our sins, or the love which loves us * * to 
the end'* despite our unloveliness. 

These are the reflections suggested by a review of Jacob 's 
history. As we have foUowed the Holy Spirit's record of 
Jacob's life we have marvelled again and again at the match- 
less patience of God in His dealings with one so intractable 
and unworthy. Surely none but the *'God of all grace" 
(1 Pet. 5: 10) would have bome with such an one so long. 
Ah! such is equally true of-^the reader and of the writer. 
The only way in which it is possible to account for God's 
dealings with you and with me, these many years, is the 
fathomless and matchless grace of our God. Truly He is 
**long suífering to usward'* (2 Pet. 3:9). 

Not only is it aífecting to trace the dealings of God 
through the changing scenes of Jacob's life, but it is also 
beautiful to mark the triumphs of Divine grace as these are 
exemplified in his closing days. The path of the just 
*'shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4: 
18). And plainly is this manifested in the case of our 
patriarch. So feeble were the manifestations of the Divine 
life in Jacob in his early and middle life, so much did he 
walk in the energy of the flesh, that it is difficult to deter- 
mine exaetly when his spiritual life really began. But as 
he draws near the end of his earthly pilgrimage it becomes 
inereasingly evident in him as in us that **though our out- 
ward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by 
day'' (2 Cor. 4:16). The sunset of Jacob's life reveals 
the triumph of God 's mighty grace and the marvelous trans- 
forming effects of His power which works upon material 
that seemed so unpromising. It is to some of the f ruits of 
the Divine life in Jaeob that we would now direct attention. 

And what is it which produces these fruitst One an- 
swer to the question is found in Heb. 12 — ''My son, despise 
not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor f aint when thou art 
rebuked of Him : For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, 
and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth . . . Now no 
chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but 
grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peacable 
fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised there- 



The Sunset of Jacob's JLife 311 

by'* (Heb. 12 : 5, 6, 11). Do not these scriptures furnish a 
key to the closing scenes in the lif e of our patriarch ! How 
plainly we may discem Qod's chastening hand upon him. 
Pirst there is the death of the faithful nurse Deborah (35: 
8), and this is foUowed almost immediately by the decease of 
his beloved Bachel (35:19)^ next we read that his eldest 
son **went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine'* (35 : 
22), and then Isaac dies (35:29). Poor Jaeob! sorrows 
came upon him thick and fast, but the hand of Divine 
chastisement is soon to fall stiU heavier. Jacob is touched 
now in his tenderest spot — Joseph, his f avorite son, is taken 
from him, and moumed for as dead. This was indeed a 
severe blow, for we read '*And Jacob rent his clothes, and 
put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned f or his son many 
days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to 
comf ort him ; but he refused to be comf orted ; and he said, 
For I wiU go down into the grave unto my son mouming. 
Thus his father wept for him'' (Gen. 37 : 34-35). 

How are these aflBictions to be viewed ? As marks of the 
Divine anger ? As judgment f rom God ? Surely not. Not 
80 does God act toward His own. Whom the Lord loveth 
He chasteneth. Even afSietions are among his love-gifts, 
sent in faithfulness, sent for our blessings, sent to exercise 
our hearts, sent to wean our affections f rom things of earth, 
sent to cast us more upon God that we may leam, experi- 
mentally, His suflBciency. The losses which Jacob suflfered 
and the trials he was called upon to meet were among the 
* * all things' ' which worked together f or his good. 

But not immediately did God 's disciplinary dealings with 
our patriarch yield the peaceable frait of righteousness — 
that comes ^'afterward" (Heb. 12:11). At first, we see 
only the resistance of the flesh. When Jacob 's sons returaed 
f rom Egypt Simeon was not with them, and what was worse, 
they informed their father that the lord of Egypt's gran- 
aries required them to bring Ben jamin with them when they 
came back again. Listen to the petulent outburst from 
Jacob 's lips when he hears these tidings, * ' And Jacob their 
f ather said unto them, Me have ye bereaved : Joseph is not, 
and Simeon is not, and ye wiU take Benjamin away: all 
these things are against me'* (42 : 36). Poor Jacob ! He is 
looking at the things that are seen, rather than at the things 
unseen. He is walking by sight rather than by faith. It 
does not seem to have occurred to him that Gk>d might have a 



312 Gleanings in Genesis 

wise purpose in all these events. He judged by 'feeble 
sense.' But ere undertaking to pass sentence upon Jacob 
let us remember that word in Rom. 2:1, * * Theref ore thoa 
art inexeusabley man, whosoever thou art that judgeth: 
f or wherein thou judgeth another, thou eondemneth thyself ; 
f or thou that judgeth doest the same things. " 

Not long, however, does Jacob continue in such a state of 
mind. The next thing recorded of him reveals a better 
spirit: '^And the famine was sore in the land. And it 
came to pass, when they had eaten up the com which they 
had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, 
Go again, buy us a little food^' (43: 1-2). The relief which 
had been obtained by the first joumey to Egypt of Jacob's 
sons and the com they had brought back was soon exhausted. 
The f amine was yet * * sore in the land. ' ' Jacob bids his sons 
**Go again, buy us a little food.*' Does not this word 
*'little "evidence the beneficent effects of Gtod's disciplin- 
ary dealings with himt Unbelief and avarice would have 
wished f or much f ood so as to hoard against a prolongation 
of the famine. But Jacob is contented with *'little.'' No 
longer do we see him, as aforetime, selfish and greedy; in- 
stead, he is desirous that others, whose stores were running 
loWy should have a part as well as himself ; and, so f ar as 
the unknown future was concerned, he would trust Qoá. 

But now a diflSculty presented itself . Jacob ^s sons could 
not go down to Egypt unless Benjamin accompanied them, 
and this was the last thing his father desired. A stmggle 
ensued in the breast of our patriarch ; the affections of the 
father are pitted against the calls of hunger. To allay 
Jacob 's f ears, Judah offers to stand as surety f or his younger 
brother. And Jacob yielded, though not without a measure 
of reluctance. Yet, it is sweet to notice the manner in which 
the aged patriarch acquiesced. It was not the sullen con- 
sent of one that yielded to an inexorable fate when, in 
heart, he rebelled against it. No, he yielded in a manner 
worthy of a man of God. After arranging that every pos- 
sible means should be employed to conciliate the lord of 
Egypt, he committed the whole issue to God. 

*'Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the 
man : And God Almighty give you mercy bef ore the man, 
that He may send away your other brother, and Ben jamin : 
If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved" (43: 13, 
14.) Note how Jacob speaks of God — *'God Almighty," or 



The Sunset of Jacob's Life 313 

"God, the SuflBcient One/' This was the name under 
whieh Abraham was blessed (17: 1). This was the name 
used by Isaac in blessing Jacob, **God Almighty 
bless thee," etc., (28: 3). In using this name here, then, 
Jacob rests on the covenant promise and blessing, and thus 
we see that his prayer was a prayer of f aith. Note further, 
his confidence in God 's sovereign power, seen in his request 
that God would so move upon the man at the head of Egypt 
that he would be made wiUing to send Jacob's sons away. 
Pinally, mark here his spirit of resignation — ^''lf I be be- 
reaved, I am bereaved. ' ' 

Is it not lovely to mark the sequel. Jacob committed 
Benjamin into the hands of God, and he was retumed saf ely 
to his father. When God deals with His saints He usually 
touches them in their tenderest parts. If there be one 
object around which the heart has entwined itself more than 
any other and which is likely to be God's rival, this it is of 
which we must be deprived. But if , when it is taken from 
us, we humbly resign it into God's hands, it is not unusual 
for Him to retum it. Thus Abraham on giving up Isaac, 
received him again ; so David, on giving himself up to God 
to do as seemed Him best, was preserved in the midst of 
peril; and so, in the present case of Benjamin, who later 
was retumed to Jacob. 

When Jacob's sons retuméd home they brought with 
them a strange tale — Joseph was yet alive, in f act governor 
over all the land of Egypt. Little wonder that at first 
Jacob refused to believe his sons, for the news seemed too 
good to be trae. But we read ' * And they told him all the 
words of Joseph, which he had said unto them : and when 
he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the 
spirit of Jacob their father revived. And Jsrael said, It is 
enough ; Joseph my son is yet alive ; I will go and see him 
before I die'' (45: 27, 28). It is beautiful to note the 
change here f rom Jacob to Tsrael, especially as this is carried 
on into the next verse, "And Israel took his joumey with 
all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacri- 
fices unto the God of his father Isaac" (46: 1). Thus, the 
first thing recorded of Jacob after his long joumey to Egypt 
iiad begun, was the offering of sacrifices to Qod. Long 
years of discipline in the school of experience had, at last, 
taught him to put God first; ere he goes forward to see 
Joseph he tarries to worship the Qoá of his f ather Isaac t 



314 Gleanings in Genesis 

Beautifuly too, is it to note that here God met him for the 
seventh and last recorded time (see 28:13; 31:3; 32:1.; 
32:24; 35:1; 35:9), and said, *'Jacob, Jacob. And he 
said, Here am I. And Ile said, I am God, the God of thy 
father; fear not to go down into Egypt; for I wiU there 
make of thee a great nation. I wiU go down with thee into 
Egypt; and I wiU also surely bring thee up again; and 
Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes" (46: 2-4). 

Arrived in Egypt, restored to Joseph the aged patriarch 
is brought before Pharaoh: ''And Joseph brought in Jacob 
his f ather, and set him bef ore Pharaoh ; and Jacob blessed 
Pharaoh'* (47: 7). The aged and feéble patriarch stands 
before the monarch of the mightiest empire of the world. 
And what dignity now marks Jacob 1 What a contrast from 
the day when he bowed himself seven times before Esau! 
There is no cringing and fawning here. Jacob carries him- 
self as a child of Qod. He was a son of the King of kings, 
and ambassador of the Most High. Brief is the record, yet 
how much the words suggest when we remember that **the 
less is blessed of the better" (Heb. 7:7). Note, further, 
**And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, the days of the years of 
my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years^* (49:7). 
At last Jacob has learned that his home is not here, that he 
is but a stranger and sojourner on earth. He sees now that 
life is but a journey, with a starting point and a goal — ^the 
starting point, regeneration ; the goal, heavenly glory. 

In Heb. 11 : 21 we read, '*By faith Jacob, when he was a 
dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, 
leaning upon the top of his staff . " It is striking to observe 
that here the Holy Spirit passes by the feebler struggles of 
Jacob's faith and goes on to mention the brightness of its 
setting glory, as it beautified the closing scenes of this 
vessel of God's choice. Two distinct acts of Jacob are here 
singled out : the f ormer is recorded in Gen. 48, the latter in 
Gen. 47 : 31. Into the probable reasons for this reversal of 
the historical order we cannot now enter, but a brief word 
concerning these two manifestations of faith wiU be iu place. 

*'And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he 
called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have 
found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand upon 
my thigh and deal kindly and truly with me : bury me not^ 
I pray thee, in Egypt: But I will lie with my fathers, 
and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me 



The Sunset of Jacob's Life 315 

In their bnrying place. And he said, I will do as 
thou hast said. And he said, Swear nnto me. And 
he sware nnto him. And Israel bowed himself on the 
top of his staff . ' ' It is exeeedingly beautiful to notiee this 
act of worship and what occasioned it. There is more here 
than meets the eye at first glance. This was no mere senti- 
mental whim of the aged patriarch. God had promised^ 
many years bef ore, to give to Jacob and to his seed the land 
of Canaan, and now His promise is ' * embraced, ' ' Jacob had 
never possessed the land, and now he is abont to die in a 
strange country. But he knows God's word cannot fail, 
and his faith looks forward to resurrection. At last the 
easily besetting sin (unbelief) is laid aside, and faith 
triumphs. Having secured from Joseph the assurance that 
he should not be buried in Egypt, but that his remains 
should be carried up out of Egypt and placed in the sepul- 
chre of his fathers, Jacob '^worshipped (bowing himself) 
on the top of his staíf . * * It was a blessed exhibition of f aith, 
and of his confidence in God, that He would do all that He 
had said and perform all that He had promised. 

The second act of Jacob to which the Holy Spirit calls at- 
tention in Heb. 11 is rceorded in Gen. 48. All through this 
chapter we may see how God was now in all Jacob^s 
thoughts, and how His promises were the stay of his heart. 
He recounts to Joseph how God had appeared to him at 
Luz (v 3) and how He had promised to give the land of 
Canaan to him and his seed for an everlasting possession. 
He spoke of God as the One who * * f ed me all my lif e long 
unto this day'' (v 15), and as the One '^which redeemed 
me f rom all evil, ' ' which was only another way of acknowl- 
edging that ''goodness and mercy" had **followed'' him 
'^allthedaysof hislife.'' 

Jacob was now about to die, and he wishes to bless the 
two sons of Joseph. Joseph had his own desires and wishes 
on this subject, and his desire was that Manasseh, the first- 
born, should receive the blessing. Accordingly, he placed 
Manasseh at Jacob's left hand and Ephraim at his right, so 
that Jacob 's right hand might rest on the head of Manasseh 
and his left on Ephraim. But though Jacob 's natural eye- 
sight was dim, his spiritual discernment was not. Deliber- 
ately, Jacob crossed his hands **guiding his hands wit- 
tingly*' (48: 14), or, as the Hebrew reads, literally, '^he 
made his hands to understand." Note it is expressly said 



S16 Gleanings in Genesis 

that ^'lsrael" did this : it was the new man that was acting, 
not the old man, *'Jacob." And **by faith'' he blessed 
both the sons of Joseph. Truly, it was not by sight or 
reason. What was more unlikely than that these two yoitng 
Egyptian prinees, for this is virtually what they were, 
should ever forsiJ^e Egypt, the land of their birth, and 
migrate to Canaanl How unlikely, too, that eaeh should 
become a separate tribe. And how improbable that the 
younger should be exalted above the elder, both in im- 
portance and number, and should become ^'a multitude of 
peoples'' (48: 19). How impossible for him to foresee (by 
any human deduction) that long centuries afterwards 
Ephraim should become representative of the kingdom of 
*'Israel/* as distinct from *'Judah.'' But he had heard 
Gk)d, rested on His word, and believed in the sure fulfilment 
of His promise. What a grand display of faithl Nature's 
eyes might be dim, but faith's vision was sharp: in his 
bodily weakness the strength of f aith was perf ected. 

After blessing Joseph's sons, Jacob tums to their f ather 
and says, '*Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and 
bring you again unto the land of your fathers'* (48:21). 
How utterly unlikely this appearedl Joseph was now 
thoroughly established and settled in Egypt. But no longer 
is Jacob walking by sight. Firm indeed was his confidence, 
and with an unshaken f aith he grasps firmly the promises of 
God (that his seed should enter Canaan), and speaks out of 
a heart fiUed with assurance. 

The final scene (portrayed in Gen. 49) presents a fitting 
climax, and demonstrates the power of God's grace. The 
whole family is gathered about the dying patriarch, and 
one by one he blesses them. AU through his earlier and 
mid lif e, Jacob was occupied solely with himself ; but at the 
end, he is occupied solely with others ! In days gone by, he 
was mainly concerned with planning about things present ; 
but now (see 49 : 1), he has thought for nothing but things 
future! One word here is deeply instructive: ''I have 
waited for thy salvation, Lord'' (49: 18). At the begin- 
ning of his life ''waiting'' was something quite foreign to 
his nature : instead of waiting f or God to secure f or him the 
promised birth right, he sought to obtain it for himself. 
And so it was, too, in the matter of his wages from Laban. 
But now the hardest lesson of all has been leamed. Grace 
has now taught him how to wait. He who had begun a good 



The Sunset of Jacob's Life 317 

work in Jacob performed and completed it. In the end 
grace triumphed. At eveningtide it was light. May God 
deepen His work of grace in the writer and reader so that 
we may **lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth 
so easily beset us, and rim with patience the race that is 
set before us'' (Heb. 12: 1). 



38. JACOB^S PROPHECY 

Genesis 49 

We have at last reaehed the elosing seene in Jaeob 's life. 
Here and there we have beheld the light of heaven shining 
on and through our patriarch, but only too often the elouds 
of earth have obscured it. The struggle between the flesh 
and the spirit in him was fierce and protracted, but as the 
end drew near the triumphs of grace, and the faith which 
overcomes the world, were more and more manifest. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in the scene prescnted 
to us in Genesis 49. Long years before, God had promised 
to give the land of Palestine to Abraham and his de- 
scendants. This promise had been confirmed to Isaac, and 
renewed to Jaeob. But^ up to this time, there had been no 
visible signs that the promise was about to be made good. 
Abraham and Isaac had been but * ' strangers and pilgrims ' ' 
in Canaan, owing none of it save a burying-ground f or their 
dead, and this they had purchased. Jacob, too, had *'dwelt 
in tabernacles (tents) with Abraham and Isaac.** (Hebrews 
11:9.) And now Jacob is dying — dying not in the promised 
land, but many miles away from it. In a strange country, 
in Egypt, our partiarch prepares to leave this earthly scene ; 
but despite the f eebleness of nature, the vigor of his f aith 
was strikingly manifested. 

Jacob summoned to his bedside each of his twelve sons, 
and proceeded to utter one of the* most striking predictions 
to be found in all the Old Testament. Like most prophecies, 
this one of our dying patriarch has, at least, a double fulfiU- 
ment. In its ultimate accomplishment it looks forward to 
the fortunes of the Twelve Tribes in 'Hhe last days" 
(Genesis 49 : 1) ; that is, it contemplates their several condi- 
tions and positions as they wiU be in the End-time, namely, 
during íhe Seventieth Week of Daniel and on into the mil- 
lennium (cf. Jeremiah 23: 19, 29; Isaiah 2: 2 for the **last 
days'* of Israel). Concerning the final fulfillment oí 
Jacob's prophecy we cannot now write; instead, we shaU 
note how strikingly the past history of the descendants of 
Jacob's twelve sons has corresponded with their father's 
dying utterance : 

' ' Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob ; 
and hearken \mto Israel your father. Êeuben, thou art 



318 



Jacob's Prophecy S19 

my first-bom, my might, and the beginning of my strength, 
the exeellency of dignity, and the excellency of power. 
Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel, because thou wentest 
up to thy f ather 's bed, then defilest thou it ; he went up to 
my couch/' (Genesis 49:2-4.) Three things are here 
said of Reuben : First, as the first-born son of Jacob, the 
place of ' ' excellency, ' ' the position of dignity, was his 
natural birthright. Second, this position of preëminency 
had been forfeited through his sin in defiling his father's 
bed, and Jacob here foretells that the tribe which is to 
descend f rom Reuben * ' Shalt not excel. ' * Third, Jacob also 
predicted that this tribe should be **unstable as water,*' 
which is a figurative expression taken f rom the passing away 
of water which had dried up like a summer stream. We 
shall now refer to several passages in the Old Testament 
which treat of Reuben, showing how the fortunes of this 
tribe verified the words of the dying patriarch. 

Let us tum first to 1 Chronicles v : 1, 2 : * * Now the sons 
of Reuben, the first-bom of Israel (for he was the first- 
bom) ; but, for as much as he defiled his father's bed his 
birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph, the son of 
Israel; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the 
birthright. For Judah prevailed ahove his brethren, and 
of him (viz., of Judah, instead of Reuben as it ought to- 
have been) came the Chief Ruler (í. e., Christ) ; but the 
birthright was Joseph's.'* In this striking passage the 
* ' birthright ' ' ref ers, of course, to the position of excellency, 
and this, as Jacob declared it should be, was taken away 
from Reuben and given to the sons of Joseph (they receiv- 
ing the double or * * first-bom 's " portion) ; and Judah, not 
Reuben, becoming the royal tribe from which Messiah 
sprang, and thus *'prevailing'' above his brethren. Verily, 
then, Reuben did not *'excel.*' 

Second, as we trace the fortunes of this tribe through the 
Old Testament it wiU be found that in nothing did they 
* * excel. ' ' From this tribe came no judge, no king, and no 
prophet. This tribe (together with Gad) settled down on 
the wildemess side of the Jordan, saying, **Bring us nót 
over Jordan.'^ (Numbers 32 : 5.) From this same scripture 
it appears that the tribe of Reuben was, even then, but 
a cattle loving one — ^''now the children of Reuben and 
the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle; 
and when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, 



320 Gleanings in Genesis 

that, behold, the place was a place for cattle came 

and spoke unto Moses and Eleazar the priest saying. . . . 
the country which the Lord smote bef ore the congregation of 
Israel, is a land for cattie, and thy servants have cattle. 
Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, 
let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and 
bring us not over Jordan." (Numbers 32: 1-5.) With this 
agrees Judges 5:15, 16: *'For the divisions of Beuben 
there were great thoughts of heart. Why abodest thou 
among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks. 
For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of 
heart.'* When the land was divided among the tribes in 
the days of Joshua, the portion allotted to.Reuben served, 
again, to fulfiU the prophecy of Jacob— it was the southem- 
most and smallest on the east of Jordan. 

Third, this tribe was to be ''unstable as water," it was to 
dry up like a stream in summer ; it was, in other words, to 
en joy no numerical superiority. In harmony with this was 
the prophecy of Moses concerning Reuben — ^''Let Reuben 
live, and not die; and (or *'buf ) let his men be few.*' 
Note, that at the first numbering of the tribes, Reuben had 
46,500 men able to go forth to war ( Numbers 1: 21), but 
when next they were numbered they showed a slight de- 
crease — 43,730. (Numbers 26: 7.) This is the more note- 
worthy because most of the other tribes registered an in- 
crease. Remark, too, that Reuben was among those who 
stood on Mt. Ebal to '*curse," not among those who stood 
on Mt. Gerizim to **bless." (See Deuteronomy 27 : 12, 13.) 
In 1 Chronicles 26 : 31, 32, we read: *'In the fortieth year 
of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were 
f ound among them mighty men of valor at Jazer of Gilead. 
And his brethren, men of valor, were two thousand and 
seven hundred chief fathers, whom king David made rulers 
over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of 
Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs 
of the king." It is also deeply significant to discover that 
when Jehovah commenced to inflict His judgments upon 
Israel we are told, ''ln those days the Lord began to cut 
Israel short; and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of 
Israel; from Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the 
Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from 
Arser, which is by the River Arnon, even Gilead and 
Bashan.'' (2 Kings 10: 32, 33.) Thus it wiU be found 



Jacob's Prophecy S21 

throughout; at no point did Reuben *'excer^ — ^his dignity 
and glory eompletely dried up! 

* ' Simeon and Levi are brethren ; instruments of cruelty 
are in their habitations. my Soul, come not thou into 
their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou 
united ; f or in their anger they slew a man, and in their self- 
will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for 
it was fierce ; and their wrath, for it was cruel ; I wiU divide 
them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.^' (49: 5-7.) 
What a proof are these verses of the Divine Inspiration of 
the scriptures ! Had Moses been lef t to himself he surely 
would have lef t out this portion of Jacob 's prophecy , seeing 
that he was himself a descendant of the tribe of Levi ! 

Simeon and Levi are here linked together and are termed 
^ ' instruments of cruelty.*' The historic reference is, no 
doubt, to Genesis 34: 25, where we read: ''And it came 
to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of 
the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took 
each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and 
slew all the males.'* It would seem from the fact that 
Simeon's name is here mentioned first that he was the leader 
in that wickedness. It is not unlikely that Simeon was also 
the one who took the lead in the conspiracy to get rid of 
Joseph, for Simeon was the one whom Joseph **bound'* 
(Genesis 42: 24) ere he sent his brethem back to Jacob. 
It is highly interesting to notice how that the later refer- 
ences to this tribe correspond in character with what we 
know of their ancestor. For example : When Judah went 
up to secure his portion in Canaan, he called upon Simeon 
to help him (Judges 1: 8), as if sunmioning to his aid the 
men who possessed the old fierceness of their progenitor. 
*'And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with 
me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaánites ; 
and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot — so Simeon 
went with him. * * And so again, we read in 1 Chronicles 4 : 
42, 43: **And some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, 
five hundred men, went to Mount Seir, having for their 
captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Bephaiah, and Uzziel, 
the sons of Ishi. And they smote the rest of the Amalekites 
that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day.** 

Conceming Levi it is interesting to note that when Moses 
came down f rom the mount and saw Israel worshipping the 
calf, that when he said, **Who is ou the Lord's sidef " we 



S22 Gleanings in Genesis 

read, ''All the sons of Levi gathered themselves togeiher 
unto him, and he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord €k>d 
of Israely Put eveiy man his sword by his side, and go in 
and out f rom gate to gate throughout the camp, and slajr 
every man his brother, and every man his companion, and 
every man his neighbor. And the Children of Levi did 
aceording to the word of Moses : and there f ell of the people 
that day about three thousand men." (Exodus 32: 27, 
28.) Beautiful is it, also, to leam how similar devotion to 
the Lord and boldness in acting for Him cancelled Jacob's 
'^curse" and secured Jehovah's blessing. ïn Numbers 25: 
6-13 we are told: **And, behold, one of the Children of 
Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish 
woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the con- 
gregation of the Children of Israel, who were weeping be- 
f ore the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And 
when Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the 
priest, saw it, he rose up f rom among the congregatión, and 
took a javelin in his hand ; and went af ter the man of Israel 
into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of 
Israel, and the woman through her belly. So tbe plague 
was stayed from the Children of Israel. And those that 
died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. And 
the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Phineas, the son of 
Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath tumed My wrath 
away f rom the Children of Israel, while he was zealous for 
My sake among them, that I consumed not the Children of 
Israel in My jealousy. Wherefore say, behold, I give unto 
him my covenant of peace; and he shall have it, and his 
seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priest- 
hood, because he was zealous for his God, and made an 
atonement for the Children of Israel.** Thus the **curse'' 
on Levi was revoked. Levi was first joined to Simeon in 
craelty, but af ter, he was joined to the Lord in grace I 

That which is most prominent, however, in Jacob's 
prophecy conceming the tribes of Simeon and Levi is that 
they were to be * ' divided* ' and * ' scattered ' ' in Israel. (See 
49: 7.) And most literally and remarkably was this ful- 
filled. When the land was divided in the days of Joshua, 
we leam that Simeon received not a separate territory in 
Canaan, but obtained his portion within the allotment of 
Judah (see Joshua 19 : 1-8) : thus the Simeonites were 
necessarily ^ ' scattered, ' ' being dispersed among the cities of 



Jacoh's Prophecy 323 

Judah. So it was with the Levites also ; their portion was 
the forty-^ight cities which were scattered throughout the 
inheritance of the other tribes. (See Numbers 35: 8; 
Joshua 14: 4, and Joshua 21.) Thus, while each of the 
other tribes had a separate portion which enabled them to 
be congregated together, the descendants of Simeon and 
Levi were *'divided'' and * * scattered/ * Exactly as Jacob 
had, centuries bef ore, declared they should be ! 

**Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; 
thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's 
children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's 
whdp : f rom the prey, my son, thou art gone up : he stooped 
down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion ; who shall 
rouse him up t The sceptre shall not depart f rom Judah nor 
a law-giver f rom between his f eet, until Shiloh come ; and 
imto Him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his 
f oal unto the vine, and his ass 's colt unto the choice vine ; he 
washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of 
grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white 
withmilk.*' (49:8-12.) 

This part of Jacob 's prophecy conceming Judah finds its 
ultimate fulfiUment in Christ. With it should be coupled 
1 Chronicles 5:2: ^^Judah prevailed above his brethren, 
and of him is the Chief Ruler,'' a, **Prince''; the Hebrew 
word here is * ' Nagid' ' and is the same term which is trans- 
lated * * Messiah the Prince ' ' in Daniel 9 : 24. It was f rom 
this tribe our Lord came. Retuming now to the words of 
Jacob. 

First, we are told of Judah : * * Through art he whom thy 
brethren shall praise.*' The word here for ''praise'* is 
always used of praise or worship which is offered to Qoá I 
Christ is the One who shall yet receive the praise and wor- 
ship of His **brethren*' according to the flesh, namely, 
Israel. Second, of Judah, Jacob said, * * Thy hand shall be in 
the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow 
down before thee.*' (Genesis 49: 8.) So, again, Christ is 
the One who shall yet have dominion over Israel and sub- 
due their enemies. This dominion of the tribe of Judah 
commenced in the days of David, who was the first king 
from that tribe ; and it was during his reign that Judah 's 
hand was **in the neck of their **enemies.'* Third, the 
destinies of the tribe of Judah is here contemplated under 
the figure of a ^^lion," which at once reminds us of Bevela- 



324 Gleanings in Genesis 

tion 5 : 5, where the Lord Jesus is expressly denominated 
*'The Lion of the Tribe of Judah." 

In dealing with the destinies of the tribe of Judah under 
the figure of a *'lion," it is to be observed that this tribe's 
history is eontemplated under three distinet stages, accord- 
ing to the growth or age of the lion. First, we have **a 
lion*s whelp," then *'a lion,'' lastly *'an old lion*' — the 
gradual growth in power of this tribe being here set forth. 
We would suggest that this looks at the tribe of Judah first 
from the days of Joshua up to the time of Saul; then we 
have the fuU grown lion in the days of the fierce warrior 
David ; lastly, f rom Solomon 's reign and onwards we have 
the**oldlion.'' 

*'The sceptre shall not depart from Judah; nor a law- 
giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and imto 
Him shall the gathering of the people be. '^ (49 : 10.) This 
calls f or a separate word. The Hebrew term f or * ' sceptre ' ' 
here is translated *'tribe" in verses 16 and 28 of this same 
chapter — according to its usage in scripture it signifies the 
tribal-rod or staff of office which belonged to any tribe and 
was the ensign of authority. This part of Jacob's prophecy, 
then, intimated that the tribal-rod should not depart from 
Judah until a certain eminent Personage had come ; in other 
words, that Judah should retain both its tribal distinctness 
and separate authority until Shiloh, the Messiah, had ap- 
peared. And most remarkably was this prophecy fulfilled. 
The separate Kingdom of Israel (the Ten Tribes) was de- 
stroyed at an early date, but Judah was stiU in the land 
when Messiah came. 

It is further to be noted that Jacob declared of Judah 
that there should not depart from this tribe **a lawgiver 
until Shiloh.*' It is a striking fact that after Shiloh had 
come the legal authority vested in this tribe disappeared, as 
is evident from John 18:31: *'Then said Pilate unto 
them, Take ye Him, and judge Him according to your law. 
The Jews theref ore said unto him : It is not lawf ul f or us 
to put any man to death." What a remarkable confession 
this was! It was an admission that they were no longer 
their own governors, but instead, under the dominion of a 
foreign power. He that has the power to condemn an 
offender to death is the governor or ' ' lawgiver " of a coun- 
try. It is ''not lawful for us'* said Caiaphas and his asso- 
ciates — ^you, the Roman governor, alone, can pass sentence 



Jacob's Prophecy 325 

of death on Jesus of Nazareth. By their own admission 
Genesis 49 : 10 had received its fulfillment. No longer had 
they a * * lawgiver ' ' of their own stock ! By their * * words ' ' 
they were * * condemned. " (Matthew 12: 37.) The 
*'sceptre'' had departed, the ''lawgiver'' had disappeared, 
therefore— Shiloh must have come. 

**Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be'' looks 
f orward to Christ 's second coming, as also do the words that 
foUow: ''Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt 
unto the choice vine ; he washed his garments in wine, and 
his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes shall be red 
with wine, and his teeth white with milk.'^ (Gtenesis 49 : 11, 
12.) The reference here seems to be a double one: first to 
the tribe of Judah, second to Christ Himself . Judah 's por- 
tion in the land was the vine-growing district in the South. 
(See 2 Chronicles 26: 9, 10.) Note, too, in Song of Solo- 
mon 1 : 14 that we read of * * the vineyards of Engedi ' ' and 
in Joshua 25 : 62 we learn that ' * Engedi ' ' was one of the 
cities of Judah ; note further Joshua 15 : 55 that ' * Carmel 
was also included in Judah's portion. The application of 
Genesis 49 : 11, 12, to our Lord may be seen by comparing 
Isaiah 63 : 1-3 : '* Who is this that cometh from Edom, with 
dyed garments f rom Bozrah ? This that is glorious in His 
apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength ? I that 
speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art 
Thou red in Thine apparel^ and Thy garments like Him that 
treadeth in the winefat? — compare above *he washed his 
garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes' 
— I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people 
there was none with Me: for I wiU tread them in Mine 
anger, and trample them in My fury ; and their blood shall 
be sprinkled upon my garments. ' ' 

*'Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he 
shall be f or a haven of ships ; and his border shall be unto 
Zidon.*' (Genesis 49: 13.) In blessing his children Jacob 
here passes from his fourth to his tenth son. Why should 
he do this? Everything in scripture is perfect. Not only is 
its every word Divinely inspired, but the very arrangement 
of its words also evidences the handiwork of the Holy 
Spirit. God is a God of order, and every diligent student 
discovers this everywhere in His word. When blessing his 
fourth son we found that the words of our dying patriarch 
manifestly looked forward to Christ Himself, who, accord- 



S26 Gleanings in Genesis 

ing to the flesh, sprang from this tribe of Judah. H.enee^ 
because of the close connection of our Lord with the land 
of Zebulun during the days of His earthly sojoum, these 
two tribes are here plaeed in juxtaposition. Having spoken 
of the tribe of whieh our Lord was barn, we have next men- 
tioned the tribe in whose territory He lived for thirly years. 
This is, we believe, the main reason why the tenth son of 
Jacob is placed immediately after the fourth. 

The part played by the tribe of Zebulun in the history of 
the nation of Israel was not a conspicuous one, but though 
ref erred to but rarely as a tribe, each time they do eome be- 
fore us it is in a highly honorable connection. First, we 
read of them in Judges 5, where Deborah celebrates in song 
Israers victory over Jabin and Sisera, and recounts the 
parts taken by the difïerent tribes. Of Zebulun and Naph- 
tali she says, ^^Zébulun and Naphtali were a people that 
jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of 
the field." (Verses 18.) Again, in 1 Chronicles 12, where 
we have enumerated those who ' * Came to David to Hebron, 
to tum the kingdom of Saul to him" (verse 33), conceming 
Zebulun we read, ''O/ Zehulun, such as went forth to battle, 
expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, 
which could keep rank, they were not of double heart/^ 
And again, in this same chapter, * * Moreover they that were 
nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zébulun and Naphtali, 
brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and 
on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of raisins, and wine, and oil, 
and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in 
Israel/' (1 Chronicles 12: 40.) 

Jacob's prophecy conceming the tribe, which was to 
spring ffom his tenth son, referred, mainly, to the positian 
they were to occupy in the land of Canaan, and also to the 
character of the people themselves. Moses' prophecy con- 
ceming the twelve tribes, recorded in Deuteronomy 33, is 
very similar to that of Jacob's with respect to Zebulun: 
*'And of Zebulun he said, Rejoiee, Zebulun, in thy going 
out (í. e.y to sea) ; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall 
call the people unto the mountain (i, 6, Zion) ; there they 
shall offer sacrifices of righteousness : for they shall suds: 
of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the 
sand.'' (VerseslS, 19.) 

The character of Zebulun as here outlined by Jacob Í8 
very different from that of Judah, who is pictured as dwell- 



Jacoh's Prophecy 327 

ing, more or less, apart from the other tribes — as a lion 
^^gone up from the prey •/' very different, too, from Issaehar, 
here referred to as an ass crouching down in lazy sloth. 
(See verses 14, 15.) Zebulun was to be a commercial and 
seafaring tribe. When Jacob said of Zebulun, '*his border 
shall be unto Zidion," which was in Phcenica, he implied 
that it would take part in Phcenican commerce. 

The portion which fell to the tribe of Zebulun ( Joshua 
19:10, 11), together with that of the tribe of Naphtali 
which joined theirs, became known as * ' Galilee of the Gen- 
tiles. " (See Matthew 4 : 15.) These Galileans were to be an 
energetic, enterprising people, who were to mingle freely 
with the nations. The prophecy of Moses concerning Zebu- 
lun, to which we have already referred, clearly establishes 
this fact (see Deut^ronomy 33: 18, 19), and, plainly looked 
forward to New Testament times, when the men of Galilee 
took such a prominent part as the íirst heralds of the Cross. 
Note that Moses said, ^^Rejoice Zebulun, in thy going out.^* 
Is it not remarkable that no less than eleven out of the 
twelve apostles of Christ were men of Oálilee — Judas alone 
being an exception ! How beautif ul are the next prophetic 
words of Moses in this connection: *'They shall call 
the people unto the mountain : there they shall offer sacri- 
fices of righteousness ! ' ' (Deuteronomy 33 : 19.) 

One other word concerning Jacob 's prophecy about Zebu- 
lun. Of this tribe he said, '*He shall be for a haven of 
ships.*' Galilee was to provide a refuge, a harbor, a place 
where the storm-tossed ships might anchor at rest. And 
here it was that Joseph and Mary, with the Christ Child, 
f ound a * ' haven ' ' af ter their retum f rom Egypt ! Here it 
was the Lord Jesus dwelt until the beginníng of His public 
ministry. And note, too, John 12:1, **After these things 
Jesus walked in Oalilee : f or He would not walk in Jewry, 
because the Jews sought to kiU Him." Galilee was still a 
''haven^' to Him! 

'•'lssachar is a strong ass couching down between two 
burdens : And he saw that rest was good, and the land that 
it was pleasant ; and he bowed his shoulder to bear, and be- 
came a servant unto tribute." (Gen. 49:14, 15.) Upon 
these verses the writer has but little light. It is diflScult 
to determine the precise force and significance of the several 
statements that Jacob made here conceming his fifth son; 
nor is it easy to trace the fulfilment of them in the record of 



S28 Gleanings in Genesis 

the tribe whieh sprang from him. One thing is dear, how- 
ever: to compare a man (or a tribe) to an ''ass" is, today, 
a figure of rcproach, but it was not so in Jacob 's time. In 
Israel, the ass was uot looked upon with contempt; instead, 
it was an honorable animal. Not only was it a useful beast 
of burden, but people of rank rode on them. (See Judg. 
10 : 4 ; 12:14.) Until the days of Solomon Israel had no 
horses, being f orbidden by Jehovah to rear them (see Deut. 
17: 16) ; but asses were as common and as useful among 
them as horses are now among us. The ^'ass" was a re- 
minder to Israel that they were a peculiar (separated) 
peoplCy whose trust was to be in the Lord and not in horses 
and chariots, which were the confidence of the other nations 
of antiquity. 

* ' Issachar is termed by Jacob a ' * strong ass, ' ' and the ful- 
fihnent of this portion of Jacob's prophecy is clearly dis- 
covered in the subsequent history of this tribe. In Numberg 
26, where we have recorded the second numbering of those 
among the tribes which were able to go forth to war, we 
find that only Judah and Dan out of the twelve tribes were 
numerically stronger than Issachar, and Dan had but one 
hundred fighting men more than Issachar. Again, in the 
days of the Kings, the tribe of Issachar had become stronger 
still, f or while in Numbers 26 : 25, we read that the number 
of their men able to go f orth to war were 64,300, in 1 Chron- 
icles 7:5 we are told, **And the brethren among all the 
families of Issachar were valiant men of might, reckoned in 
all by the genealogies 87,000 !'* 



39. JACOB'S PROPHECY, CONTINUED 

Genesis 49 

'^Dan shall judge his people, as one o£ the tribes o£ IsraeL 
Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that 
biteth the horse 's heels, so that his rider shall f all backward. 
I have waited for Thy salvation, Lord." (Gen. 49: 16- 
18.) With this prophecy of Jacob concerning the tribe of 
Dan should be compared that of Moses, recorded in Deu- 
teronomy 33 : 22, ' * And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion 's 
whelp: he sball leap from Bashan.^' It is to be seen that 
both predicted evil of that tribe, around which there seems 
to be a cloud of mystery. 

The first thing that Scripture records of Dan is his low 
birth. (See Gen. 30: 1-6.) Next, he is brought before us 
in Genesis 37 : 2, though he is not there directly mentioned 
by name. It is highly significant that of the four sons of 
Bilhah and Zilpah, Dan was the oldest, being at that time 
twenty years of age, and so, most likely, the ríngleader in 
the ''evil'* which Joseph reported to their father. Next, 
in Genesis 46, reference is made to the children of Jácob's 
sons: the descendants of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and the 
others, being speeifically named in order. But wlien Dan 
is reached, the names of his sons are not given ; instead, they 
are simply called by the tribal name — Hushim or Shuham. 
(See 46:23.) This is the more striking, because in Num- 
bers 26 we meet with the same thing again: the children 
bom to each of Jacob 's twelve sons are carefuUy enumerated 
until Dan is reached, and then, as in Genesis 46, his de- 
scendants are not named, simply the tribal title being given. 
(See Num. 26:42.) This concealment of the names of 
Dan's children is the first indication of that silent ''blotting 
out ' ' of his name, which meets us in the total omission of this 
tribe f rom the genealogies recorded in 1 Chronicles 2 to 10, 
as well as in Revelation 7, where, again, no mention is made 
of any being ' * sealed' ' out of the tribe of Dan. There seems 
to have been an unwillingness on the part of the Holy Spirit 
to even mention this tribe by name. In cases where the 
names of all the tribes are given, Dan is generally f ar down, 
often last of all, in the list. For example, we read in Num- 
bers 10 : 25, * ' And the standard of the camp of the children 



329 



SSO Gleanings in Genesis 

of Dan set f orward, which was the rearward of átt ihe camps 
throughout their hosts." Again, Dan was the last of the 
tribes to receive his inheritanee when Joshua divided up the 
land — ^*^ This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of 
Dan according to their families, these cities with their vil- 
lages. When they had made an end of dividing the land for 
inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an 
inheritance to Joshua.'' (Josh. 19:47-49.) Note again 
that in 1 Chronicles 27 : 16-22, where all the tribes are re- 
ferred to, Dan is mentioned lastl 

Putting together the several prophecies of Jaeob and 
Moses we find two traits met in Dan — treachery ''a serpent 
by the way, an adder in the path"; and cruelty: ''Dan is 
a lion's whelp; he shall leap from Bashan." In Judges 18 
the Iloly Spirit has reeorded at length how these predictions 
received their first fulfílment. The attack of this tribe on 
Laish was serpentile in its cunning and lionlike in its crael 
execution. Then it was that Dan leaped from Bashan, and 
from the slopes of Mount Hermon (which was in the terri- 
tory of this tribe) like a young lion and like an addw 
springing on its prey. From Judges 18 : 30 we leam that 
Dan was the first of the tribes to f all into Idolatry. Appar- 
ently they remained in this awful condition right until the 
days of Jeroboam, for we find that when this apostate king 
set up his two golden calves, saying, ^'Behold thy gods, O 
Israel,'' he set up one in Bethel and ''the other put he in 
Dan." (1 Ki. 12 : 28, 29.) And, as late as the time of Jdiu 
these two golden calves were stiU standing, and it is a sig- 
nificant and solcmn fact that though there was a great 
ref ormation in his day, so that the prophets and worshippers 
of Baal were slain and the images were bumed and the 
house of Baal was broken down, yet we are told, "Howbeit, 
from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made la- 
rael to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the 
golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan.^' 
(2 Ki. 10:29.) 

One other item in Jacob 's prophecy conceming this tríbe 
remains to be noticed — ^''Dan shall judge his people." Thig 
received a partial fulfilment in the days of Samson — ^though 
we doubt not that its final fulfilment awaits the time of the 
great tribulation. Joshua 19:41 informs us that among 
the towns allotted to this tribe were Zorah and EshtaoL 
Compare with this Judges 13 : 2, which tells us that the par- 



Jacob's Prophecy, continued 331 

ents of Samson belonged to the tribe of Dan and had their 
home in Zorah. How remarkably the prophecies of Jacob 
and Moses combined in the person of Samson (one of Is- 
rael's ** judges") is apparent on the surface. Serpent-like 
methods and the lion's strength characterized each step in 
his strange career. How Samson '^bit," as it were, "the 
horse 's heels ' ' in his death ! 

It is to be noted that after Jacob had completed his 
prophecy concerning Dan, and ere he took up the next 
tribe, that he said, **I have waited for Thy salvation, 
Lord." (Gen. 49:18.) This is very striking and signifi- 
cant, coming in just where it does. Having spoken of Dan 
as ''a serpent by the way,'* the Holy Spirit seems to have 
brought to his mind the words spoken by God to that old 
Serpent the Devil, recorded in Genesis 3 : 15. The eye of 
the dying patriarch looks beyond the '*Serpent" to the one 
who shall yet * * bruise his head, " and theref ore does he say, 
* * I have waited f or Thy salvation, Lord. " No doubt these 
very words wiU yet be appropriated in a coming day by the 
godly remnant among the Jews. If , as it has been generally 
held by prophetic students, both ancient and modern, both 
among Jews and Gentiles, that the Anti-Christ will spring 
from this tribe of Dan, the ancient prophecy of Jacob con- 
cerning the descendants of this son wiU then receive its final 
fulfilment. Then, in a supreme manner, wiU Dan (in the 
person of the Anti-Christ) ^^judge'^ and rule over *'his 
people, ' ' i. e.y Israel ; then, will Dan be a * ' serpent in the 
way" and **an adder in the path,'' then wiU he treacher- 
ously and crueUy '^bite the horse's heels/' And then, too, 
wiU that faithful company, who ref use to worship the Beast 
or receive his **mark,'' cry, **I have waited for Thy salva- 
tion, OLord!" 

* ' Gad, a troop shaU overcome him : but he shaU overcome 
at the last." (Gen. 49: 19.) The Hebrew word for troop 
here signifies a marauding or plundering troop. The cog- 
nate to this word is rendered ''companies" in 2 Kings 5 : 2 
— '*And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had 
brought away captive out of the land of Israel a Uttle 
maid.'' The same word is translated *'bands'' in 2 Kings 
24 : 2 — * ' And the Lord sent against him hands of the Chal- 
dees, and hands of the Syrians, and hands of the Moabites, 
and hands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against 
Judah to destroy it, according to the Word of the Lord, 



SS2 Gleanings in Genesis 

which Ile spakc by IIis servants, the prophets/' When, 
thereforc, Jacob said of this tribe, **Gad, a troop shail over- 
corae him, but he shall overcome at the last," the referenee 
seems to \ye to alternate defeat and victory. This tribe was 
to be in a eonstant state of warfare, leading like the Bedouin 
Arabs a wandering, wild, and unsettled existenee. One 
wonders whether the (slangy) expression * * Gad about ' * may 
not have its origin in the character of this tribe.'' 

We may notice, once more, how closely parallel with this 
predietion of Jaeob is the prophecy of Moses eoncerning this 
tribc : * * And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlaii^th 
Gad : he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the 
crown of the head. And he provided the first part f or him- 
self, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he 
seated." (Deut. 33 : 20, 21.) The first part of this proph- 
ecy emphasizes the unsettled and warlike character of Gad. 
The second statement that Gad *'provided the first part (of 
the inheritance) for himself,*' has reference to the fact that 
this tribe sought and obtained as their portion the land on 
the east side of the Jordan, and this hefore Canaan was di- 
vided among the tribes in the days of Joshua. This portion 
of Gad's became known as **the land of Gilead.** (See 
Deut. 3:12-15.) Note, further, that Moses said, ^^Blessed 
be he that enlargeth Gad." The fulfilment of this may be 
seen by a ref erence to 1 Chronicles 5 : 16, where we read 
that the children of Gad dwelt in ''all the suburbs of 
Sharon. ' ' Note that in Joshua 13 : 24-28 no mentÍQn is 
made of Sharon: their border was thus * * enlarged ! ' ' 

The position that Gad occupied was a precarious one. 
Being cut off from that of the other tribes, they were more 
or less isolated. They were open, constantly, to the attacks 
f rom the desert bands or troops, such as the Ammonites and 
Midianites, and consequently, they lived in a continual 
state of warfare. Jacob's words were being repeatedly ful- 
filled. Gad suffered severely from their lack of faith and 
enterprise in asking f or the territory they did. Their choice 
was almost as bad as Lot's, and proved as disastrous, for 
they were among the first tribes that were carried into cap- 
tivity. (See 1 Chron. 5 : 26.) 

For particular iUustrations of the fulfilment of Jacob's 
prophecy we may note the foUowing: '*And it came to pass 
in process of time, that the ehildren of Ammon made war 
against IsraeL'* Note now, the portion of Israel whieh 



Jacob's Prophecy, continued 333 

they assailed : * * And it was so, that when the ehildren of 
Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Oilead went 
to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: and they said 
unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may íight 
with the children of Ammon. . . . Then Jephthah went 
with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him captain 
over them : and Jephthah uttered all his words bef ore the 
Lord in Mizpah. And Jephthah sent messengers unto the 
king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to 
do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my 
land? (Judg. 11:4-6, 11, 12.) *^Then Nahash the Am- 
monite came up, and encamped against Jabesh-gilead: and 
all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant 
with us, and we wiU serve thee/' (1 Sam. 11: 1.) But in 
the End-time Gad **shall overcome/' It is to this, we be- 
lieve, that Jeremiah 49 : 1-2, ref ers : * ' Concerning the Am- 
monites thus saith the Lord ; hath Israel no sons ? hath he 
no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his 
people dwell in his cities? Therefore, behold, the days 
come, saith the Lord, that I wiU cause an alarm of war to 
be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a 
desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire : 
then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, said 
the Lord." And again in Zephaniah 2: 8-9, **I have heard 
the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of 
Ammon, whereby they have reproached My people, and 
magnified themselves against their border. Therefore, as I 
live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab 
shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, 
even the breeding of nettles and salt pits, and a perpetual 
desolation : the residue of My people shall spoil them, and 
the remnant of My people shall possess them.^^ 

* * Out of Asher his bread shall be f at, and he shall yield 
royal dainties" (Gen. 49 : 20) . Asher 's descendants, in com- 
mon with the tribes of Zebulun, Naphtali and Issachar, 
were settled in the northem part of Palestine, which was 
called by the general name of ''Gaiilee of the Gentiles,*' 
which name was perfectly appropriate to Asher, for from 
first to last this was a half Gentile tribe. Asher's territory 
lay in the extreme north of Palestine between Mount Leb- 
anon and the Mediterranean Sea, and included within its 
borders the celebrated cities of Tyre and Sidon (See Josh. 
19 : 24-31). The portion of this tribe was better known by 



SS4 Gleanings in Genesis 

its Orecian name of PhGenicia, which means "land of ihe 
palmsy ' ' 80 designated because of the luzuriant palms which 
abounded there. It was to this land, preëminently rich and 
beautif ul, Jacob 's prediction looked. 

* * Out of Asher his bread shall be f at, and he sháll yiéld 
ROTAL dainties." Let us tum now to a few Scriptures 
which fumish iUustrations of the repeated fulfiUment 
of Jacob 's prophecy. 

''And Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David^ ánd 
cedar trees and carpenters and masons, and they buili 
David a house'^ (2 Sam. 5: 11). This city of Tyre was, as 
pointed out above, wíthin the territory of the tribe of Asher 
(Josh. 19:29), and here we leam how the king of T^yre 
yielded or provided ^'royal dainties'' by fumishing both 
material and workmen for building a house for king David. 

We behold a repetition of this in the days of Solomon. 
In 1 Eings 5 we read: ^' And Hiram, king of Tyre, sent his 
servants unto Solomon, for he had heard that thqr had 
anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram 
was ever a lover of David. And Solomon sent to Hiram, 
saying, Thou knowest how that David, my f ather, could 
not build a house unto the name of the Lord his Gk>d, f or the 
wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord 
put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord 
my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is 
neither adversary nor evil occurrent. And, behold, I pur- 
pose to build a house unto the name of the Lord my Gkxl, as 
the Lord spake unto David, my father, saying, Thy son, 
whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build 
a house unto my name. Now, theref ore, command thou that 
they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon ; and my servants 
shall be with thy servants ; and unto thee wiU I give hire 
for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: 
f or thou knowest that there is not among us any that can 
skiU to hew timbers like unto the Sidonians. And it eame 
to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he 
rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the Lord this day, 
which hath given unto David a wise son over this great 
people. And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have con- 
sidered the things which thou sentest to me f or : and I wiU 
do all thy desire eoncerning timber of cedar, and conceming 
timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from 
Lebanon imto the sea, and I will convey them by sea in 



Jacob's Prophecy, continued 335 

floats iinto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and wiU 
canse them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive 
them : and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving f ood 
for my household. 80 Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and 
fir trees according to all his desire'* (verses 1-10). Thus 
again do we see how Asher **yielded royal dainties." 

Jacob also said: **Out of Asher his hread shall be fat.*' 
Is it not striking to discover that in the time of famine in 
the days of Elijah that God sent his prophet to the widow 
in Zarephath, saying: **Behold, I have commanded a widow 
woman there to sustain thee" (1 Ki. 17:9). Note Zare- 
phath was in Sidon (see Lu. 4:26) and Sidon was in 
Asher's territory (Josh. 19 : 28). 

In 2 Chronicles 30, we have another illustration, along 
a different line, of how Asher yielded ^'royal dainties/' It 
was at the time of a great religious revival in Israel. King 
Hezekiah '*sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters 
also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to 
the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover 
unto the Lord God of Israel" (verse 1). Then we are told, 
* ' So the posts passed f rom city to city, through the country 
of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun: hut they 
laughed them to scorn, and mocked them" (verse 10). But 
in marked and blessed contrast f rom this we read : * ' Never- 
theless, divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun fcwm- 
hled themselveSy and came to Jerusalem'' (verse 11). 

The New Testament supplies us with two more illustra- 
tions. In Luke 2 we leam of how one who belonged to this 
Tribe of Asher yielded a most blessed * ' dainty ' ' to Israel 's 
new-bom King, even the Lord Jesus. For when His parents 
brought the Child Jesus into the Temple, foUowing the 
beautiful Song of Simeon, we read, **And there was one 
Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the Tribe 
of Asher; she was of a great age, and had lived with an 
husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a 
widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed 
not from the Temple, but served God with fastings and 
prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant 
gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to 
all that looked for redemption in Jemsalem*' (Lu. 2:36- 
38). 

Finally, note in Acts 27 we are told that when the apostle 
Paul was being carried prisoner to Rome, that when the ship 



SS6 Gleanings in Genesis 

reached Sidon (whieh was in the borders of Asher) that 
'*Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty 
to go unto his friends to refresh himself " (verse 3). Thus, 
once more, do we read of * * bread ' ' out of Asher. 

'*Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodiy words'* 
(Gen. 49 : 21) . The word Naphtali means *' wrestling" (see 
Qen. 30:8). ''Naphtali is a hind let loose*'; it was as 
though Jacob said, Naphtali is as a deer caught in the toils 
of the hunters, hemmed in by them, but by his struggles she 
escapes from their snares. Naphtali would be a hind **let 
loose.^' This expression has a double meaning. In the 
Hebrew the word signifies, first, **sent" or **sent forth,'* 
just as a stag driven from its covert goes forth, scattering 
her pursuers. Btit the word also means '4et loose" or '*let 
go.'* It is the term used of Noah when he **sent forth'' the 
raven and the dove f rom the ark ; as also of the priest, when 
at the cleansing of the leper, he let go or let loose the living 
bird. The word expresses the joy of an animal which has 
been made captive and, in its recovered liberty, bounds 
forth in gladness, just as we have often seen a dog jumping 
for joy after it has been unchained. Jacob, then, pictures 
Naphtali rejoicing as a freed hind. Then he foretells the 
joy which the Tribe shall express after its escape — ^''goodly 
words' ' he shall give f orth. Af ter it regains its liberty, the 
Tribe shall sing a Song of Praise. 

The striking fulfiUment of this prediction by our dying 
patriarch is seen in the victory of Barak, the great hero of 
this Tribe (see Judg. 4:6), who, sent forth as a hind from 
its cover in the mountains of Galilee, came down Mount 
Tabor to f ace on foot the hosts of Sisera with his nine hun- 
dred chariots of iron. Barak, like a hind let loose, was at 
first timid of responding to Deborah's call. He had not 
dared to go forth with his little handful of men unless 
Deborah had sent f or him and assured him of success. Bead 
through Judges 4, and note the hindlike swiftness of his 
onslaught down the slopes of Tabor. It is significant that 
the name *'Barak" means * ' lightning, ' ' and, like lightning 
he burst as a storm on the startled hosts of Sisera, which 
were scattered by the hand of God at his unexpected ap- 
proach. (Note Judg. 4: 14.) '*So Barak went down from 
Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him,'' not **with 
him ' ' — ^he r unning ahead of all ! 



Jacob's Prophecy, continued 337 

The battle was not o£ Barak's choosing, rather was it 
forced npon him by Deborah. He was literally '*sent 
f orth ' ' into the valley . ( Note ' ' sent ' ' in Judges 5:15.) In 
the heights of Tabor, Barak and his men were beyond the 
reach of Sisera's cavalry and chariots. But down in the 
valley, on foot, they would be like a herd of defenseless deer, 
unarmed, without either spear or shield, for attack or de- 
fense. (See Judg 5:8.) In the defenselessness of Naphtali 
— deserted by their brethren (see 5: 15-18) — ^hemmed in by 
the hosts of the Canaanites, they were indeed a picture of 
helplessness. Nevertheless, the hand of the oppressor was 
broken. God interposed, and Naphtali was ^^set freey^* and 
the exuberance of their consequent joy found expression 
in the Song of Deborah and Barak recorded in Judges 5. 
There were the **goodly words" which Jacob had foretold. 
Thus Naphtali was a hind *'let loose" in the double sense — 
*'sent forth" by Deborah and ''set free'' from the yoke of 
the Canaanites by God ! 

But if this Tribe is interesting to us from its Old Testa- 
ment association, it has far deeper interest for us from its 
New Testament connections. Zebulun and Naphtali were 
closely linked together, yet each had a separate interest. 
The land of Zebulun provided a ''haven'' of rest for the 
Lord Jesus during the first thirty years that He tabernacled 
among men; but it was in the bounds of Naphtali in the 
cities of Capemaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin, and other places, 
that He went about doing good and ministering the Word 
of Life. In His preaching of the Gospel to the poor were 
the ' ' goodly words ' ' of which Jacob spoke ! 

*'Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a 
well ; whose branches run over the wall : The archers have 
sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him. But 
his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were 
made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob (from 
thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel) ; even by the 
God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Al- 
mighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, 
blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts 
and of the womb. The blessings of thy father have pre- 
vailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the ut- 
most bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the 
head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that 
was separate from his brethren'' (Gen. 49 : 22-26). 



SS8 Gleanings in Genesis 

These words oí Jacob concerning Joseph are to be divided 
into two parts: what is said in verses 22 to 24 ia mainly 
retrospective ; what is recorded in verses 25, 26 is prospeo* 
tive. This appears f rom the change of tense : in the íirst 
part the verbs are in the past tense, in the second part they 
are in the future. As Jacob reviews the past be mentions 
three things in connection with his f avorite son. Verse 22 
seems to view Joseph as a youth in his father's house, as 
an object of beauty, of tender care, and as well pleasing to 
his father's heart — all pictures under the beautiful figure 
of a * ' f ruitf ul bough by a well. ' ' Next, Jacob ref ers to the 
bitter enmity and íierce hatred which were directed against 
him — the archers sorely grieved him ; they shot at him their 
cruel arrows, they vented upon him their unreasonable 
spite. But through it all Joseph was Divinely sustained* 
The arms of the Etemal God were beneath him, and the 
Angel of the Lord encamped round about him. '^His hands 
were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of 
Jacob. ' ' 

Some have experienced diffieulty with the wording of 
verse 24; even the translators do not appear to have been 
clear upon it. Inserting the word * * is * ' in italics the verse 
as it stands in the Authorized Version reads as though it 
were a prediction concerning Christ. But many other plain 
Scriptures show that this is a mistake. The Messiah was 
not **from" the Tribe of Joseph, but came of the Tribe of 
Judah, just as Messianic prophecy declared He should. The 
little word * * is " in italics should be omitted, and the verse 
punctuated thus — ^''His hands were made strong by the 
hands of the Mighty (One) of Jacob, from thence — the 
Shepherd, the Stone of Israel. ' * It was * ' f rom thence/' i. e., 
from the Shepherd and Stone of Israel, came all of Joseph's 
strength and blessing. 

The prominent feature about this prophecy conceming 
Joseph is fruitfulnessy and this received its f ulfilment in the 
double Tribe which sprang from him — Ephraim and Manas- 
seh, like two branches out of the parent stem. Joseph 
received a double portion in the land, viz., the fírstbom's 
^'birthright," this being transferred to him from Reuben. 
(See 1 Chron. 5 : 1, 2.) So, too, shall it be in the Millen- 
nium. Conceming the coming Kingdom, of which Ezekiel'a 
closing chapters treat, we read : ''Thus saith the Lord Grod, 
This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land 



Jacob's Prophecy, continued 339 

according to the twelve tribes o£ Israel : Joseph shall have 
two portions ' ' ( Ez. 47 : 13 ) . It is noteworthy that * ' Ephra- 
im" means '^fruitfulness/^ and of Manasseh Jacob had pre- 
dicted, * * Let them grow into a multitude in the midst o£ the 
earth. ' ' Finally, it should be pointed out that Joshua was 
from one of the tribes which sprang from Joseph (Num. 
13 : 8), and in him Jacob's prophecy conceming his favorite 
son received its main fulfilment. 

' ' Ben jamin shall raven as a wolf : in the moming he shall 
devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil'* 
(Gen. 49 : 27) . What a striking evidence is this of the com- 
plete setting aside of the natural man by God ! Surely it 
is clear that had Jacob f oUowed the inclinations of his heart 
he would not have said thi^ of Benjamin, his youngest and 
dearly loved son! But this divine prediction was unmis- 
takably f ulfilled as the Scriptures which bear upon this tribe 
plainly show. 

Ben jamin is here likened to a * ' wolf , ' ' which is noted f or 
its swiftness and ferocity. Benjamin was the fiercest and 
most warlike of the tribes. For iUustrations, note the fol- 
lowing passages; Judges 19, and mark verse 16; 2 Sam. 
2:15, 16: ''Then there arose and went over by number, 
twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth, the 
son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. And they 
caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his 
sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together.*' 
(See also 1 Chron. 8 : 40 ; 12 : 2 ; 2 Chron. 17 : 17.) 

The heroes of this tribe were marked by fierceness and 
wolf-like treachery. Ehud was of this tribe. (Eead Judg. 
3: 15-22.) King Saul was a Benjaminite. (Eead 1 Sam, 
22:17-20.) Mark the wolf seizing the helpless sheep as 
recorded in 2 Samuel 4 : 1-6. Saul of Tarsus, who first per- 
secuted the CÊurch, was also of this Tribe (Rom. 11 : 1). 

In closing our study of this remarkable prophecy from the 
dying Jacob, let us mark how everything good which he 
severally predicted of his sons finds its realization in the 
Lord Jesus. 

1. The prophecy concerning Reuben (Gen. 44:3) re- 
minds us of the Excellency and Dignity of Christ 's person : 
He is the * * Firstborn, ' * in whom is '*the excellency of dig- 
nity and the excellency of power. ' ' 

2. The prophecy concerning Simeon and Levi (49 : 5-7) 
may well speak to us of Christ on the Cross : then it was 



340 Gleanings in Genesis 

that ' ' instruments of cruelty" were used against 
Jacob says: ''O my soul, come not thou into their secret" — 
he would have nothing to do with them : so on the Cross, 
Christ was f orsaken by Gkxl and man ; a ' ' curse ' ' is here 
pronounced by Jacob upon them, as Christ, on the Gross, 
was ''made a Curse for us." 

3. The prophecy concerning Simeon and Levi anticipated 
our Lord's Priesthood, for Levi became the priestly Tribe, 

4. The prophecy conceming Judah (49:8-12) pictures 
our Lord's Kingship. 

5. The prophecy concerning Zebulun (49 : 13) looks at 
Christ as the great Ref uge and Haven of Rest. 

6. The prophecy concerning Issachar (49:14, 15) pre- 
figures His lowly Service. 

7. The prophecy concerning Dan (49 : 16-18) views Him 
as the Judge. 

8. The prophecy concerning Gad (49: 19) announces His 
triumphant Besurrection. 

9. The prophecy concerning Asher (49 : 20) looks at Him 
as the Bread of Lif e, the One who satisfíes the hearts of His 
own. 

10. The prophecy concerning Naphtali (49:21) regards 
His as God's perfect Prophet, giving forth **goodly words.'* 

11. The prophecy concerning Joseph (49:22-26) fore- 
casts His MiUennial reign. 

12. The prophecy concerning Benjamin (49:27) depicts 
Him as the terrible Warrior (Cf. Isa. 63 : 1-3). 



40. JOSEPH AS A YOUTH 

Genesis 37 

In the first of our articies upon Jacob we caiied attention 
to tlie f act tliat eacti of ttie great Israeiitisli patriarctis iiius^ 
trated some basic spiritual truth and that the chronolog- 
icai order of their lives agrees with the doctrinal order of 
truth. In Abraham we have illustrated the doctrine of 
election, f or he was singied out by God from all the heathen 
and chosen to be the head of the Jewish nation. In Isaac 
we have foreshadowed the doctrine of Divine sonship: 
Abram's firstborn, Ishmael, represents the man born after 
the flesh, the oid nature ; but Isaac, born by the miraculous 
power of God, teiis of the new man, the spiritual nature. 
In Jacob we see exemplified the conflict between the two 
natures in the beiiever, and aiso God's gracious discipline 
which issued, slowiy but surely, in the triumph of the spirit 
over the flesh. Joseph, typicaliy, speaks to us of heirship 
preceded by * ' suffering,* ' and points forward to the time 
when the sons and heirs shall reign together with Christ. 
There is thus a beautiful moral order in the several leading 
truths iliustrated and personified by these men. And it 
should be observed that here, as in everything which per- 
tains to God's Word, its orderliness evidences its Divine 
Authorship ; everything is in its proper place. 

Joseph, then, speaks of heirship and, as another has beau- 
tif ully expressed it, * * And consistently with this, in Joseph, 
we get stiffering before glories. * * * For whiie discipline 
attaches to us as children, sufferings go bef ore us as heirs ; 
and this gives us the distinction between Jacob and Joseph. 
It is discipline we see in Jacob, discipline leading him as a 
child, under the hand of the Father of his spirit, to a par- 
ticipation of God's hoiiness. It is sufferings, martyr- 
sufferings, sufferings for righteousness, we see in Joseph, 
marking his path to glories. And this is the crowning 
thing ! and tlius it comes as the closing thing, in this won- 
drous book of Genesis — after this manner perfect in its 
structure, as it is truthful in its records. One moral after 
another is studied, one secret after another is revealed, in 
the artless family scenes which constitute its materials, and 
in them we learn our calling, the sources and the issues of 



341 



S42 Gleanings in Genesis 

our history, from our etection to our inheritance'' (Mr. J. 
G. BeUett). 

Joeeph is the last of the saints which occupieB a prominent 
position in Oenesis. In all there are seven — ^Adam, Abel, 
Noahy Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph. More space ia de- 
voted to the last of these seven than to any of the others. 
There are several reasons for this which appear on the 
surface. In the first place, the hístory of Joseph is the 
chief link which connects Exodus with Qenesis ; the earlier 
chapters of Exodus being unintelligible without the laat 
ten chapters of Qenesis. It is Joseph's life which explains 
the remarkable development of the Hebrews from a mere 
handf ul of wandering shepherds to a numerous and settled 
colony in Egypt. But no doubt the chief reason why the 
life of Joseph is described with such fulness of detail is 
because aknost everything in it typified something in con- 
nection wíth Christ. But more of this later. 

''Joseph was the elder son of Rachel (30:24). Of bis 
early lif e nothing is recorded. He could not have been more 
than five or six years old when his f ather left Mesopotamia. 
He was theref ore the child of Jacob 's later lif e, and escaped 
all the sad experiences assocíated with the earlier years at 
Harau. He comes before us in this chapter (Oten. 37) at 
the age of seventeen. His companions were his half- 
brothers, the grown-up sons of Bilhah and Zilpah. From 
aU that we have hitherto seen of them they must have been 
utterly unfit eompanions for such a youth. Jacob's elder 
sons had, naturally, been affected by the lif e in Haran, l^ 
the jealousy at home, and by the scheming between Laban 
and Jacob. They had been brought up under the infiuence 
of the old Jacob, while Joseph had been the companion of 
the changed Jacob or * Israel. ' There are f ew people more 
tmfitted for infiuence over younger brothers than elder 
brothers of bad eharaeter." (Dr. 0. Thomas.) 

* * These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph being seven- 
teen years old, was feeding the fiock with his brethren; 
and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons 
of Zilpah, his f ather 's wives : and Joseph brought unto hÍ8 
f ather their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than 
all his children, because he was the son of his old age : and 
he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren 
saw that their f ather loved him more than all his brethreiiy 



Joseph As a Youth 343 



>> 



they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him 
(37:2-4). 

There are perhaps f ew portions of Holy Writ with whieh 
we are more familiar than the one now before us. From 
earliest childhood many of us have listened to this beautiful 
but pathetic narrative. The aged patriarch, his favorite 
son, the coat of many colors, Joseph's dreams, the envious 
brothers, their wicked conduct — all so true to life — ^have 
been indelibly impressed upon our memories since we first 
learned them on our mother's knee, or from the lips of our 
Sunday School teacher. Many are the lessons which may 
be drawn, and pointed are the wamings which are found 
here. But we shall pass from these to something deeper 
and even more precious. 

As we read thoughtfuUy the books of the Old Testament 
our study of them is but superficial if they fail to show us 
that in divers ways and by various means God was pre- 
paring the w^ay for the coming of His Son. The central 
purpose in the Divine Incarnation, the great outstanding 
object in the life and death of the Lord Jesus, were pre- 
figured beforehand, and ought to have been rendered fa- 
miliar to the minds of men. Among the means thus used 
of God was the history of different persons through whom 
the life and character of Christ were to a remarkable degree 
made manifest beforehand. Thus Adam represented His 
Headship, Abel His Death, Noah His Work in providing 
a refuge for His people. Melchizedek pointed to Him as 
priest, Moses as prophet, David as King. But the fuUest 
and most striking of all these typical personage was Joseph, 
for between his history and that of Christ we may trace 
fuUy a hundred points of analogy! Others before us 
have written upon this captivating theme, and from their 
writings we shall draw f reely in the course of these papers 
on the typical significance of Joseph^s history.* 

In the verses quoted above f rom Genesis 37 there are seven 
points in which Joseph prefigured Christ, each of which is 
worthy of our attention, namely, the meaning of his name, 
the nature of his occupation, his opposition to evil, his fa- 
ther 's love, his relation to his f ather's age, his coat of many 
colors, and the hatred of his brethren. Let us consider each 
of these in turn : 



*We take this occaslon to acknowledge our indebtednetis to Dr. Haldeman 
and Mr. C. Knapp. 



344 Gleanings in Genesis 

1. The Meaning of his Name. It is most significant that 
our patriarch had two names — Joseph, and Zaphnath- 
paaneah (41 : 45) which the rabbins translate ''Revealer of 
secrets. ' ' This latter name was given to him by Pharaoh in 
acknowledgment of the Divine wisdom which was in him. 
Thus, Joseph may be said to be his human name and 
Zaphnath-paaneah his Divine name. So, also, the one whom 
Joseph foreshadowed has a double name — ''Jesus" being 
His human name, ''Christ" signifying *'the Anointed'' of 
Ood, or, again, we have his double name in '*Son of Man'' 
which speaks of His humanity, and **Son of God'' which 
tells of His Deity. Let us note how the meaning of Joseph's 
names were typical in their signifícance. 

''Joseph" means adding (see 30:24). The first Adam 
was the great suhtractor, the last Adam is the great Adder: 
through the one, men became lost; by the other, all who bê- 
lieve are saved. Christ is the One who *'adds'' to Heaven'g 
inhabitants. It was to this end that He came to this earth, 
tabemacled among men for more than thirty years, and 
then died on the Cross: *'Verily, verily, I say unto you, 
except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it 
abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" 
( Jno. 12 : 24) . The ultimate result of His Death wiU be 
**much fruit,'' and at His retum this wiU be gathered into 
the Heavenly garner (Jno. 14: 3). 

But Joseph's second name means **Revealer of secrets.*' 
This was a most appropriate name. Bevealer of secrets 
Joseph ever was, not merely as an interpreter of dreams, 
but in every scene of his life, in every relation he sustained 
— when with his brethren in Potiphar's household, in prison, 
or before Pharaoh — ^his words and his works ever tested 
those with whom he had to do, making manifest their secret 
condition. now strikingly this foreshadowed Christ, of 
whom it was said in the days of His infancy, **Behold this 
Child is set f or the f all and rising again of many in Israel ; 
and for a sign which shall be spoken against • • • that 
the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed'' (Lu. 2: 
34,35). 

In the incident now before us Joseph is seen as the Re- 
vealer of secrets in a double way. First, he revealed his fa- 
ther's heart, for he is here seen as the special object on 
which Jacob 's affeetions were centered. Second, he revealed 
the hearts of his brethren by making manifest their wicked 



Joseph As a Youth 346 

^'hatred.*' In like manner, our blessed Saviour revealed 
the Father's heart, **No man hath seen God at any time; 
the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, 
He hath declared Him'* (Jno. 1 : 18). And in like manner, 
the Lord Jesus also revealed what was in the hearts of men, 
One of the most striking and prominent features presented 
in the four Gospels is the fact that everywhere He went 
the Lord Jesus exposed all. He made manifest the secret 
condition of all with whom He came into contact. He was 
truly **the Light oí the world,*' shining in *'a dark place'*^ 
— detecting, displaying, uncovering, bringing to light the 
hidden things of darkness. Well, then, was Joseph named 
the one who added, and the one that revealed, 

2. By Occupation Joseph was a Shepherd, **feeding the 
flock." This is one of the prominent lines which is found 
running through several of the Old Testament typical per- 
sonages. Abel, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, were each of 
them ' * shepherds, " and a close study of what is recorded 
of each one in this particular relation wiU reveal that each 
pointed forward to some separate and distinctive aspect of 
our Lord's Shepherdhood. No figure of Christ is more 
beautiful than this : our f avorite Psalm (the twenty-third) 
presents Him in this character. One of our earliest concep- 
tions of the Saviour, as children, was as the Good Shepherd. 
The figure suggests His watchful care, His unwearied de- 
votion, His tender solicitude, His blessed patience, His pro- 
tecting grace, His matchless love in giving His life for the 
sheep. Above, Joseph is seen * * f eeding the flock, ' ^ pointing 
to the earthly ministry of Christ who, sent unto **the lost 
sheep of the House of Israel,^^ spent Himself in tending 
the needs of others. 

3. His Opposition to Evil. '*And Joseph brought unto 
his father their evil report.'^ It is truly pathetic to find 
how this action of Joseph has been made an occasion for 
debate, some arguing that in doing what he did Joseph 
acted wrongly; others defending him. But it is not as a 
tale bearer that Joseph is here viewed, rather is he seen as 
the truth-speaker. Not by cowardly silence would he be the 
aceomplice of their evil-doing. And here too we may dis- 
cern a clear foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus Christ. We 
wiU quote but one verse, but it is sufficient to establish the 
type : ' ' The world cannot hate you ; but Me it hateth, be- 



346 Gleanings in Genesis 

cause / testify of it that the works thereof are eviV' ( Jno. 

7:7). 

4. His Father's Love. ''lsrael loved Joseph more than 
all his brethren. '* This is one of the lines whieh stands oat 
most distinctly in this lovely Old Testament picture. How 
Jacob loved Joseph ! His mark of special esteem in making 
for him the coat of many colors: his unconsolable grief 
when he believed that Joseph had been devoured by beasts ; 
his taking of that long joumey into Egypt that he might 
again look upon his favorite son ere death overtook him — 
all tell out the deep love of Jacob f or Joseph. And how all 
this speaks to us of the Father's love for His only begotten 
Son! Through Solomon the Spirit of prophecy, speaking 
of the relation which existed between the Father and the 
Son in a past etemity , said, * * The Lord possessed Me in the 
beginning of Hís way bef ore His works of old ; ' * and again, 
* * Then I was by Him, as One brought up with Him, and I 
was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him'* (Prov. 
8:22, 30). How sweetly was this illustrated by Jacob's 
love for Joseph! Again, when the Son of Gk)l became 
incamate, and was about to begin His public ministry, the 
heavens were opened and the Voice of the Pather was heard 
saying, *'This is My heloved Son, in whom I am well 
pleased*^ (Mat. 3 : 17). So, also, when His public ministry 
neared its close, once more the Father's Voice was heard, 
upon the Mount of Transfiguration, saying, **This is My 
leloved 8on, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him" 
(Mat. 17:5). The Son, too, affirmed the Pather's love for 
Himself — *'Therefore doth My Pather love me, because I 
lay down My life, that I might take it again" ( Jno. 10 : 17). 
And when the Son had finished the Work given Him to do, 
when He had laid down His life and had risen again from 
the dead, the Pather displayed His love by removing Him 
from the scenes of His sufferings and shame, **Wherefore 
God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name 
which is above every name" (Phil. 2:9). And not only did 
God highly exalt His blessed Son, but He also seated Him 
upon His own throne (Rev. 3: 21), that during these cen- 
turies when the Church is being built Christ might he near 
to the Father! 

5. His Relation to his father's Age. '*He was the son of 
his old age.'^ No line in this picture is without its own 
meaning — ^how could it be, when none other than the Spirit 



Joseph As a Youth 347 

of God drew it ! Every word here is prof oundly significant. 
We quote f rom the words of another : ' ' Old age, translated 
into spiritual language and applied to God, signifies *eter- 
nity.* Jesus Christ was the Son of Qod^s eternity. From 
all etemity He was God ^s Son. Ile was not derived, He was 
eternally begotten ; He is God of God, very God of very God, 
equal with, and of the same substance as, the Father. ' ' As 
the opening verse of John's Gospel declares, ''Zn the hegin- 
ning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the 
Word was God." And again, in His high-priestly prayer 
the Lord Jesus said, * ' And now, Father, glorify thou Me 
with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee 
hefore the world was^^ ( Jno. 17 : 5) . The Lord Jesus Christ 
is no creature, He is Creator (Jno. 1:3) ; He is no mere 
emanation of Deity, He is the One in whom dwelleth ''all 
the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). He is far 
more than a manifestation of God, He is Himself *'God 
manifest in the flesh*' (1 Tim. 3: 16). He is not a person 
who had His beginning in time, but is Etemal in His being ; 
as the true rendering of Micah 5 : 2 declares, the One who 
was bom in Bethlehem of Judea was none other than He 
''whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of 
Eternity/^ Christ then was, in the language of our type 
*'the Son of (His Father's) old age'^ — ^the eternal Son of 
God. 

6. His Coat of Many Colors. Thus far the interpreting 
of the type has been simple, but here, we encounter that 
which is not quite so easy. How gracious of God for pro- 
viding us with help on this point ! We are not lef t to our 
own imaginations to guess at the meaning of the many col- 
ored coat. No ; guesswork is not only vain, but altogether 
needless in regard to God's blessed Word. Scripture is 
its own interpreter. In Judges 5 : 30, we read, * * Have they 
not sped ? have they not divided the prey ; to every man a 
damsel or two ; to Sisera a prey of divers colors, a prey of 
divers cólors of needlework, of divers colors on both sides, 
meet for the necks of them that take the spoilt" Here we 
learn that such garments were to be wom as a mark of dis- 
tinction. Again in 2 Samuel 13 : 18 we read, '* And she had 
a garment of divers colors upon her : f or with such robes 
were the Eing's daughters that were virgins apparelled.'* 
Here again we get the same thought : This was the attire of 
unmarried princesses ; it was a mark of honor, singling out 



S48 Gleanings in Genesis 

the wearcr as one of noble birth. This, no doubt, was 
Jacob's object to distinguish Joseph (bom of Rachel) from 
his half brothers (born of the slave-wives). 

IIow appropriate was this as an adombration of Christ! 
He, too, was marked off f rom all His brethren accordiag to 
the ílesh, marked off as one of noble birth, marked off by 
outward signs of peculiar distinction and honor. It is 
blesscd to behold what care and pains Gk>d took to manifest 
this coat of many colors, in connection with His blessed 
Son. The ''virgin's" Babe was distinguished from all 
others bom by the Angelic Song o'er Bethlehem's plains — 
none other was ever welcomed thus by the Heavenly hosts I 
So, too, the **star" that appeared to the wise meu gave 
evidence of the Heavenly Origin of the new-bom King. At 
His baptism we see again the many-colored coat: multi- 
tudes presented themselves to John at the river Jordan and 
were baptized of him ; but when the Christ of Qod came up 
out of the waters, the Heavens were opened and the Spirit 
of God descended upon Him in the form of a dove, thus 
distinguishing Christ from all others! Behold again the 
coat of many colors in John 12. In John 13 the f eet of the 
disciples (pointing to their walk) are defiled, and need to 
be washed with water (type of Word) ; but in the previous 
chapter (for in all things Christ must have the preëminence) 
we see the f eet of our blessed Lord, not washed with water 
(for there was no defilement in Him), but anointed with 
precious ointment, the fragrance of which fiUed the house, 
telling that the walk of Him (as well as His blessed person) 
was a sweet smelling savor to the Father. Thus again was 
Christ distinguished from and elevated above all others. 
So, too, at the Cross, the distinguishing coat of many colors 
may be seen. In death, as everywhere, His uniqueness was 
manif ested. He died as none other ever died or could : He 
*4aid down His life." And the uniqueness of His death 
was divinely attested in the supernatural phenomena that 
accompanied it: the three hours darkness, the quaking of 
the earth, and the rending of the veil. The ^^many colors" 
of the coat also speak to us of Christ's varied glories and 
infinite perfections. 

7. The Hatred of his Brethren, **They hated him and 
could not speak peaeeably to him.*' It was Jacob's love 
which brought out the heart 's enmity of these men. Joseph 
then, made manifest both his father's love and his breth* 



Joseph As a Youth 349 

ren's hatred. So when Christ came to the earth He did 
these two things. He revealed the Father's heart and He 
exposed man's enmity. And one of two things always fol- 
lowed: either men hated Him for exposing them, or they 
aecepted such exposure and took refuge in the Grace which 
He revealed. When Christ exposed the hypocrisy of the 
Pharisees they hated Him; but when He exposed to the 
woman at the well her sinful life and condition, she wel- 
comed it, and availed herself of God's grace. So it is now : 
those who hear the truth of God faithfully preached, the 
lost and guilty condition of the natural man f earlessly pro- 
claimed, either they hate it, and seek to hide behind the 
filthy rags of their own self-righteousness, or they come out 
into the light, bow to God 's verdict, and casting themselves 
in the dust before Him as Hell-deserving sinners, believe in 
the Saviour which the Gospel makes known. In which class 
are you f ound, dear reader ? Are you, like the brethren of 
Joseph who hated the son of the father's love, '^despising 
and rejecting'' Christï Friend, make no mistake here. 
Tou either love or you hate the Lord Jesus Christ ! and it is 
written, '*If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him 
be accursed'^ (1 Cor. 16:22). heed now this solemn 
admonition of God, '*Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and 
ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a 
little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him'' 
(Ps.2:12). 

Before we turn to consider the special subject of this ar- 
ticle we must first notice three or four points in the first 
eleven verses of Genesis 37 which, through lack of space, we 
omitted f rom our last. 

* * And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his breth- 
ren : and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto 
them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed : 
For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, 
my sheaf arose, and also stood upright ; and, behold, your 
sheaves stood around about, and made obeisance to my 
sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed 
reign over usï or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? 
And they hated him yet the more f or his dreams, and for his 
words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his 
brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more ; 
and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars 
made obeisance to me. And he told it to his f ather, and to 



350 Gleanings in Genesis 

hÍB brethren: and his father rebuked him, and fliaid nnto 
him, What is this dream that thou haat dreamed t Shall I 
and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down 
ourselves to thee to the eartht And his brethren envied 
bim; but his father observed the saying'' (veraea 5-11). 
Gontinuing our numcration we may note: 

8. Joseph is hated hecause of his Words. There are two 
lines which are, perhaps, made more prominent than others 
in this íirst typical picture : the lovet of Jacob for his soni 
and the hatred of the brethren. Three times over vrithin 
the compass of these few verses reference is made to the 
*'hatred'' of Joseph's brethren. In verse 4 we read, *'th^ 
hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.'' 
Again, in verse 5 we are told, * ' and they hated him yet the 
more/' And again in verse 8: ''And they hated him yet 
the more for his dreams and for his words.^' It will be 
seen f rom these ref erences there was a twof old occasion f or 
their wicked enmity. Pirst, they hated Joseph's person, 
because of Jacob 's special love f or him ; second, they hated 
him because of ^^his words.** They hated him because of 
what he was, and also because of what he said. Thus it was, 
too, with the One whom Joseph typified. 

As we turn to the four Gospels it will be found that those 
who were our Lord^s brethren according to the flesh hated 
Him in this same twofold way. They hated Him because 
He was the beloved Son of the Father, and they also hated 
Him because of His teaching. As illustrations of the f ormer 
we may note the f ollowing passages : * * Theref ore the Jews 
sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken 
the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making 
Himself equal with God'' (Jno. 5:18). *'The Jews then 
murmured at Him, because He said, I am the Bread which 
came down from heaven^' ( Jno. 6 : 41). **I and My Fath» 
are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him" 
( Jno. 10 : 30, 31 ) . Such was their wicked hostility against 
His person. And it was just the same, too, in regard to His 
teaching: **And all they in the synagogue when they heard 
these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thmst 
Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill 
whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down 
headlong'' (Lu. 4:28, 29). ''The world cannot hate you: 
but Me it hateth, hecause I testify of it, that the worka 
thereof are evil* ' ( Jno. 7:7). * ' But now ye seek to kill Me^ 



Joseph As a Youth 361 

a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of 
God" (Jno.8:40). 

9. Joseph was to enjoy a remarkahle future. These 
dreams of Joseph intimated that this f avored son of Jacob 
was the subject of high destinies: they were Divine an- 
nouncements of his future exaltation. There can be little 
doubt that Jacob and his sons perceived that these dreams 
were prophetic, otherwise the brethren would have regarded 
them as ''idle tales," instead of being angered by them. 
Note, too, that '*his father observed the saying" (verse 11 )• 

So, too, of the Antitype. A remarkable f uture was prom- 
ised to the One who fírst appeared in lowliness and shame. 
Concerning the Child that was to be born unto Israel, the 
Son given, it was pre-announced : *'The govemment shall 
be upon His shoulder : and His name shall be called Won- 
derful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, 
the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government 
and peace there shall be no end'* (Isa. 9:6, 7). To his 
mother the angel declared, **Behold, thou shalt conceive in 
thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name 
Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the 
Highest : and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne 
of His f ather David ; and He shall reign over the House of 
Jacob for ever : and of His kingdom there shall be no end'* 
(Lu. 1 : 31-33). That Joseph's Antitype was to enjoy a re- 
markable f uture was thus intimated bef orehand. 

10. Joseph foretold his future Sovereignty. It is worthy 
of notice that the two recorded dreams of Joseph contem- 
plated a douhle sovereignty : the first dream concemed **the 
field,'* which pointed to the earthly dominion of our Lord; 
but the second dream was occupied with the sun, the moon 
and the stars, and tells, in type, of the Heavenly dominion 
of Christ, for all power (or authority) has been given to 
Him in heaven and on earth. 

Joseph^s announcement of his future exaltation only 
served to fan the fires of enmity, and gave intensity to his 
brethren's hatred. And so it was with the Saviour. The 
more our Lord unfolded the glory of His person, the more 
He spoke of His future exaltation, the more did the Jews — 
His brethren according to the flesh — ^hate Him. The climax 
of this is to be seen in Matthew 26 : 64 : * * Nevertheless, I 
say tmto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting 
on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of 



352 Gleanings in Genesis 

heaven." Here was the announcement of His future sov- 
ereignty, and mark the immediate eífects of His words on 
those that heard Him: *^Then the high priest rent his 
clothes, saying, He hath spoken hlasphemy/^ 

11. Joseph was envied by his brethren. '* When his breth- 
ren saw that their father loved him more than all his breth- 
ren, they hated him'' (verse 4). In these words are found 
the key to what f ollowed. That which was the prime cause 
of the brethren's hatred was envy: as verse 11 tells us, 
*' And his brethren envied him." They were jealous of the 
partiality shown by Jacob to their half-brother. This is a 
sin which has charaeterized human nature all down the 
ages : the difference between envy and covetousness is this 
— ^we envy persons, we covet things. 

Here, too the type holds good. Christ was **envied*' by 
those who were His brethren, according to the flesh. This 
comes out in His parable of the Wicked Husbandman, 
*'Having yet therefore one son, His well-beloved, He sent 
Him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence My 
Son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This 
is the Heir ; come, let us kiU Him, and the inheritance shall 
be ours" (Mk. 12 : 6, 7). Again, *'For this eause the people 
also met Him, for that they heard that He had done this 
miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, 
Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is 
gone after Him^^ (Jno. 12:18, 19). How that utterance 
manifested the jealousy of their hearts ! But even plainer 
is the testimony of Matthew 27 : 17, 18, f or there the very 
word **envy" is found, ''Therefore when they were gath- 
ered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I 
release unto you ï Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ t 
For he knew that for envy they had delivered Him.'* In 
our next we shall consider, Joseph betrayed by his brethren. 



41. JOSEPH BETRAYED BY HIS 

BRETHREN 

Genesis 37 

*'And his brethren went to feed their father's flock In 
Shechem. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren 
feed the floek in Shechem? Come, I wiU send thee unto 
them. And he said to him, Here am I ' ' (37 : 12, 13) . 

12. Joseph sent forth hy his father. The verses just 
quoted above introduce to us the second of these marvelous 
typical scenes in which Joseph shadows forth the Lord 
Jesus. Here the brethren of Joseph are seen away from 
their father. Jacob says to his beloved son, *'Com€, and I 
wiU send thee unto them." How this reveals the heart of 
Jacob to us. He was not indifferent to their welfare. Ab- 
sent from the father's house as they were, Jacob is con- 
cerned for the welfare of these brethren of Joseph. He, 
theref ore, proposes to send his well beloved son on an errand 
of mercy, seeking their good. And is it not beautiful to 
mark the promptness of Joseph ^s response ! There was no 
hesitancy, no unwillingness, no proffering of excuses, but a 
blessed readiness to do his father's will, '*Here am I." 

One cannot read of what passed here between Jacob and 
Joseph without seeing that behind the historical narrative 
we are carried back to a point before time began, into the 
eternal counsels of the Qodhead, and that we are permitted 
to leam something of what passed between the Father and 
the Son in the remote past. As the Lord God with Divine 
omniscience foresaw the fall of man, and the alienation of 
the race from Himself, out of the marvelous grace of His 
heart, He proposed that His beloved Son should go forth on 
a mission of mercy, seeking those who were away from the 
Father 's House. Hence we read so of ten of the Son being 
sent by the Father, * ' Herein is love, not that we loved God, 
but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitia- 
tion for our sins" (1 Jno. 4 : 10) . And blessed it is to know 
that the Beloved of the Father came forth on His errand of 
love, freely, wiUingly, gladly. Like Joseph, He, too, 
promptly responded, * * Here am I. ' * As it is written of Him 
in Hebrew 10 : 7, **Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of 
the book it is written of Me) to dx) Thy will, God.'* 



363 



S54 Gleanings in Genesis 

13. Joseph seeks the welfare of his brethren. ^'And he 
said to him, Oo, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy 
brethren, and well with the fiocks, and bring me word 
again" (37: 14). Joseph could not have been ignorant of 
his brethren's "envy"; he must have known how th^ 
^'hated'' him; and in view of this, one had not been sur- 
prised to íind him unwilling to depart on such a tliftnlrlftaii 
errand. But with gracious magnanimity and filial f ear he 
stood ready to depart on the proposed mission. 

Two things are to be particularly observed here as bring- 
ing out the striking accuracy of this type: Firsty Joscph 
is sent f orth with a definite object before him — to seek his 
brethren. When we tum to the Gospels we find the cor- 
respondence is perfect. When the Beloved of the Father 
visited this world, His earthly mission was restricted to 
His brethren according to the flesh. As we read in John 1 : 
11, ''He came unto His own, and His own received Him 
nof': His *'own^' here refers to His own people, the Jews. 
Again, in Matt. 15 : 24, it is recorded that the Lord Jesus 
Himself expressly declared, ''I am not sent but unto the 
lost sheep of the House of Israel. ' ' And again, in Bom. 15 : 
8, we are told, ' ' Now I say that Jesus Christ was a Minister 
of the Circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the 
promises made unto the fathers.*^ 

In the second place, observe the character of Joseph's 
mission : said Jacob, * ' Go, I pray thee, see whether it be wétt 
with thy brethren. ^ ^ He was sent not to censure them, but 
to inquire after their welfare. So, again, it was with the 
Lord Jesus Christ. As we read in John 3 : 17, ' * For Qoá 
sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world ; but 
that the world through Him might be saved.'' 

14. Joseph was sent forth from the vale of Hehron: **So 
he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to 
Shechem*' (37 : 14). There is no line in this lovely picturei 
drawn by the Spirit of God, whieh is without its own dis- 
tinctive significance. We quote here from the well chosen 
words of Mr. C. Knapp: *'Hebron means fellowship or 
communion. The vale suggests quiet peacefulness and resL 
It was intended, I believe, to point them forward (and i)OUit 
us back) to the fellowship of the Son with the Father in 
heaven's etemal calm and peace previous to His entrance, 
at His incarnation, into this scene of sin and toil and sor* 
row'^ (A Fruitful Bough). 



Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 355 

The peaceful vale of Hebron, then, was the place where 
Joseph dwelt in happy f ellowship with his f ather ; there he 
was at home, known, loved, understood. But from this he 
was sent to a place characterized by strife and blood-shed- 
ding, unto those who appreciated him not, yea, to those who 
envied and hated him. Faintly but accurately this tells of 
the love-passing-knowledge which caused the Lord of Qlory 
to leave His Home above and descend to a hostile realm 
where they hated Him without a cause. 

15. Joseph came to Shechem (37:14). The word **She- 
chem ' ' means ' * Shoulder, ' ' being taken f rom * * the position 
of the place on the 'saddle' or 'shoulder' of the heights 
which divide the waters there that flow to the Mediterra- 
nean on the west and to the Jordan on the east** (Smith's 
Bible Dictionary). The meaning of this name conforms 
strictly to the Antitype. The ' * shoulder ' ' speaks of burden- 
bearing and suggests the thought of service and subjection. 
The moral meaning of the term is Divinely defined for us 
in this very book of Qenesis — ^''and bowed his shoulder to 
bear and become a servant unto tribute'* (49:15). How 
striking it is to read, then, that on leaving his f ather in the 
vale of Hebron, Joseph came to Shechem. How marvelously 
this f oreshadowed the place which the Lord of Qlory took ! 
Leaving His peaceful place on high, and coming down to 
this scene of sin and suflfering. He took the ServanVs place, 
the place of submission and subjection. As we read in 
Phil. 2: 6, 7, **Who, being in the form of Qod, thought it 
not robbery to be equal with Qod : but made Himself of no 
reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant/' 
And again in Qal. 4:4, *'When the fulness of time was 
come, Qod sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made 
under the law.^^ Verily, *'Shechem" was the place that the 
Beloved of the Father came to. 

Moreover, is it not significant that Shechem has been 
mentioned bef ore in the Qenesis narrative — see 34 : 25-30 — 
especially when we note what occurred there. Shechem was 
the place of sin and sorrow, of evil passions and blood- 
shedding. Little wonder that Jacob was anxious about his 
sons in such a place, and that he sent Joseph to them there 
to inquire after their welfare. And how what we read of 
in Qen. 34 well depicts in terse but solemn summary the 
history of this earth. How aptly and how accurately the 
scene there portrayed exhibited the character of the place 



S56 Gleanings in Genesis 

into which the Lord Jesus eame. The plaee which He took 
was that of the Servant ; the scene into which He came was 
one of sin and strife and suffering. 

16. Joseph now hecame a Wanderer in the field. **And 
a certain man fonnd him, and, behold, he was wandering in 
the field: and the man asked him: saying, What seekest 
thouT And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray 
thee, where they feed their flocks" (37 : 15, 16). In His in- 
terpretation of the Parable of the Tares, the Lord Jesus said, 
'*the field is the worW (Matt. 13 :38). Like Joseph, the Be- 
loved of the Father became a Wanderery a homeless Stranger 
in this world. The foxes had holes, and the birds of the air 
had their nests, but the Son of man had not where to lay his 
head. What a touching word is that in John's Qospel, 
•'And every man went unto his own house: Jesus went 
nnto the Mount of Olives ' ' ( John 7 : 53 ; 8:1). Every other 
man had his own house to which he could go, but the Lord 
Jesus, the homeless Wanderer here, must retire to the bleak 
mountain side. my soul, bow in wonderment before that 
matchless grace which causes thy Saviour who, though He 
was rich, yet He f or our sakes became poor, that we through 
His poverty might be rich ! 

17. Joseph seeks until he finds his hrethren. *'And the 
man said, They are departed hence ; f or I heard them say, 
Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren 
and found them in Dotham " (37 : 17) . When Joseph arrived 
at Shechem he found his brethren gone; they were not 
there. * * Now is his chance to return to Hebron if his heart 
is not whoUy in his mission. Here he has given him a good 
excuse for turning baek and giving up the undertaking. But 
no ; he has no thought of tuming baek, or giving up the work 
given him of his father to do" (Mr. K.). Thus it was with 
that blessed One whom Joseph foreshadowed. From start 
to finish we find Him prompted by unswerving devotion to 
His Father and unwearied love toward His lost sheep, con- 
tinuing the painful search until He found them. No seem- 
ing failure in His mission, no lack of appreciation in those 
to whom He ministered, daunted Him. Man might despise 
and rejeet Him, those nearest might deem Him ''beside 
Himself"; Peter might cry, **Spare Thyself," yet none 
of these things turned Him aside from going about His 
Father 's business ! A work had been given Him to do, and 
He would not rest tiU it was ''finished.'' 



Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 357 

' * And Joseph went af ter his brethren. ' ' How these words 
gather np into a brief sentenee the whole story reeordéd in 
the f onr Gospels ! As the Redeemer went about f rom place 
to place, one end only was in view — He was going after His 
brethren. He enters the synagogue and reads from thei 
prophet Isaiah, and with what object? That His brethren 
might be reached. He walks by the Sea of Galilee, seeking 
out those who should walk with Him for a season. He 
must needs go through Samaria we read; and whyf Be 
cause there were some of His **brethren" in that place. 
Yes, the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was 
lost. And, my Christian reader, of what do these words re- 
mind you, **Joseph went after his brethren?'' Ah, how 
patiently and untiringly that One of whom Joseph was but 
a type **went after'' you! How many years His unwearied 
love pursued you ; pursued you over the mountains of un- 
belief and across the precipices of sin! AU praise to His 
marvelous grace. 

**And found them in Dothan." Dr. Haldeman tells us 
that **Dothan" signifies *'Law or Custom.'' '*And it was 
there Jesus f ound His brethren, dwelling under the bondage 
of the Law, and slaves to mere religious formalism.'* Yes, 
the Law of Jehovah had degenerated into the **customs'* 
of the Pharisees, **Laying aside the commandments of Qod, 
ye hold the traditions of men" (Mark 9:8), was our Lord's 
charge against them. 

18. Joseph conspired against. ' * And when they saw him 
af ar oíï, even before he came near unto them, they conspired 
against him to slay him" (37:18). The hatred of the 
brethren found opportunity in the love that sought them. 
It is striking to notice how that a conspiracy was formed 
against Joseph **before he drew near unto them.*' How 
this reminds us of what happened during the days of our 
Saviour's infancy. No sooner was He bom into this world 
than the enmity of the carnal mind against God displayed 
itself ! A horrible * * conspiracy ' * was hatched by Herod in 
the attempt to slay the newly born Saviour. This was in 
the days when He was ' ' af ar oíï. ' ' Thirty years bef ore He 
presented Himself publicly to the Jews. The same thing is 
f ound again and again during the days of His public minis- 
try. '*Then the Pharisees went out and held a council 
again Him, how they might destroy Him'' (Matt. 12:14), 
may be cited as a sample. 



S58 Gleanings in Genesis 

19. Joseph's words disbelieved. ''And th^ aaid one to 
another, Behold this dreamer cometh. Come now, there- 
fore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and 
we wiU say, Some evil beast hath devoured him; and we 
shall see what will become of his dreams" (37:19, 20). 
The prophetic announcement of Joseph seemed unto his 
brethren as idle tales. They not only hated him, but they 
refused to believe what he had said. Their scepticism 
comes out plainly in the wicked proposal, ^'Let us slay him 
• . • • and we shall see what wiU become of his dreams." 
Thus it was with the Christ of God. After He had bera 
nailed to the cross, ''they that passed by reviled Him, 
wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyed the 
temple and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. // 
Thou be the Son of God, come down f rom the cross. Like- 
wise, also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes 
and eldersy said, He saved others ; Himself He cannot save. 
7/ He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from 
the cross, And we wUl believe Him ' ' — ^which was an admis- 
sion that they did not believe. The Jews believed Him noL 
His teaching was nothing more to them than empty dreams. 
SOy too, af ter His death and burial. ' ' The chief priests and 
Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we re- 
member that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, 
After three days I wiU rise agaín. Command therefore, 
that the sepulchre be made sure'' (Matt. 27). When the 
stone was sealed and the watch was set, the sceptical Phari- 
sees were but saying in eflfect, * * We shall see what will be- 
come of His dreams.'^ 

And is it any diflferent now in modem Christendomf 
How do men and women today treat the words of the Faith- 
f ul and True Witness ? Do those who listen to the Gospel 
give credenee to what they hear í Do they set to their seal 
that God is true ? Do they really believe as true tbe Lord 's 
own words, *'He that believeth not is condemned already" 
( John 3 : 18) í Ah, unsaved reader, dost thou believe that, 
that even now the condemnation of a Holy God is resting 
upon theeí Tou do not have to wait until the last great 
day; you do not have to wait until the judgment of the 
great white throne. No; God's condemnation rest upon 
thee now. Unspeakably solemn is this. And there is but 
one way of deliverance. There was but one way of escape 
f or Noah and his f amily f rom the flood, and that was to seek 



Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 359 

ref uge in the Ark. And there is but one way of escape f rom 
God's condemnation for you, and that is, to flee to Christ, 
who was Himself eondemned in the stead of all who believe 
on Him. Again: He who was truth incamate declared, 
*'He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the 
wrath of Qod abideth on him" (John 3:36). unsaved 
f riend, if you really believed these words of Him who can- 
not lie you would not delay another moment. You would 
not dare to procrastinate any longer. Even now, you would 
cast yourself at His feet, just as you are, as a poor needy 
and guilty sinner, receiving Him by faith as your own 
Saviour. Treat not, we beseech you, these words of the Son 
of God as idle tales, but believe them to the saving of your 
soul. 

20. Joseph is insulted. **And it came to pass, when 
Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped 
Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on 
him" (37: 23). How this brings out the wicked hatred of 
these men for the one who had come seeking only their 
welf are. Like beasts of prey they immediately spring upon 
him. It was not enough to injure him; they must instdt 
him too. They put him to an open shame by stripping him 
of his coat of many colors. And how solemnly this agrees 
with the Antitype. In a similar manner the Lord of Glory 
was dealt with. He, too, was insulted, and puf to shame: 
*'Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the 
common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of 
soldiers. And they stripped Him" (Matt. 27:27, 28). 
The same horrible ignominy is witnessed again at the Cross : 
*'Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus, took His 
garments'' (John 19:23). 

21. Joseph is cast into a pit. *'And they took him, and 
cast him into a pit ; and the pit was empty, there was no 
water in if' (37 : 24). We quote now from Dr. Haldeman: 
* * The pit wherein is iio water, is another name f or Hades, 
the underworld, the abode of the disembodied dead : of all 
the dead bef ore the resurrection of Christ. * The pit where- 
in is no water' (Zech. 9:11). *For as Jonah was three 
days and three nights in the whale 's belly, so shaU the Son 
of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the 
earth' (Matt. 12:40). It was here our Lord, as to His 
Soul, abode between death and resurrection.* ' 



S60 Gleanings in Genesis 

22. Joseph was taken out of the pit, alive, in his hody. 
''Andthey liftedup Josephoutof thepit'' (37:28). "The 
aetual order of the oceurrenee is that Joseph was first cast 
into the pit and then sold ; but the moral order of the lype 
is not derangcd by the f act ; it is in the light of the Anti- 
typical history that we make the type to be verified, as well 
as to verify it. The lifting out of the pit is one of those 
Divine anticipations of the resurrection scattered all 
through the Old Testament from Qenesís to Malachi'* 
(Dr.H.). 

23. Joseph's brethren mingle Hypocrisy with iheir 

Hatred. * * And they sat down to eat bread And Judah 

said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our 
brother and conceal his blood í Come, and let us sell him 
to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him ; for 
he is our brother and our fiesh** (37: 27). First, notice the 
opening words of verse 25, '*And they sat down to eat 
bread," and this, while Joseph was helpless ín the pit! 
How this reminds us of Matt. 27 : 35, 36— ** And they cruci- 
fied Him And sitting down they watched Him there !'' 

But mark now this hypocrisy: *'Come, and let us sell 
him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him. ' * 
The parallel to this is f ound in John 18 : ' * Then led they 
Jesus f rom Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment ; and it was 
early ; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, 
lest they should he defiled'' (verse 28). Such deceptions 
wiU men practice upon themselves. And again, how re- 
markable, in this conneetion, are the words found in John 
18 : 31 : ' * Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye Him and 
judge Him aceording to your law. The Jews therefore 
said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to 
death!'' 

24. Joseph is sold. ''They drew and lifted up Joseph 
out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites '* (37 : 28). 
Is it not exceedingly striking to note that from among the 
twelve sons of Jaeob Judah should be the one to make this 
horrible bargain, just as from the twelve apostles Judas 
(the Anglecized form of the Qreek equivalent) was the 
one to sell the Lord ! 

25. Joseph's blood'Sprinhled coat is presented io his 
father. '*And they took Joseph's coat and killed a kid o£ 



Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 361 

the goatSy and dipped the coat in the blood ; and they sent 
the eoat of many colors, and they brought it to their 
f ather. ' ' V The anticipation of the type is self evident. The 
blood of Jesns Christ as the blood of a scapegoat, a sin 
oflfering, was presented to the Father" (Dr. H.). In our 
next, D. V., we shall consider Joseph in Egypt. 



42. JOSEPH IN EGYPT 

Genesis 39, 40 

Oenesis 37 doses with an account oí Jacob 's sons selling 
their brother Joseph unto the Midianites, and they, in tum 
selling him into Egypt. This speaks, in type, of Christ 
being rejected by Israel, and delivered unto the Ghentiles. 
From the time that the Jewish leaders deliirered their 
Messiah into the hands of Pilate they have, as a nation, had 
no further dealings with Him; and Ood, too, has tumed 
from them to the Gentilcs. Hence it is that there is an im- 
portant tum in our type at this stage. Joseph is now seen 
in the hands of the Oentiles. But before we are told what 
happened to Joseph in Egypt, the Holy Spirit traees íor 
us, in typical outline, the history of the Jews, while the 
antitypical Joseph is ábsent from the land. This is foimd 
in Oen. 38. 

It is remarkable that Gen. 38 records the history of 
Judah, f or long bef ore the Messiah was re jected by the Jews, 
Israel (the ten tribes) had ceased to have a separate his- 
tory. Here, then, Judah foreshadows the history of the 
Jews since their rejection of Christ. **And Judah saw 
there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was 
Shuah; and he took her, and went in to her" {Gten. 38. 2). 
How striking this is! *'Canaanite" signiíies **the mer- 
chantman,^' and *'Shuah" means *'riches.'' How plainly 
the mcaning of these names give us the leading character- 
istics of the Jews during the centuries f rom the Cross ! No 
longer are they the settled husbandmen and quiet shtphards 
as of old ; but, instead, travelling merchants. And * * riches ' ' 
has been their great pursuit. Three sons were bom to 
Judah by Shuah, and. the ''Numerical Bible'' suggests as 
the meaning of their names: **Er*'— enmííj/; ''Onan'' — 
iniquity; **Shelah" — sprout. Deeply significant, too, are 
these names. ''Enmity '^ against Christ is what has marked 
the Jews all'through the centuries of this Christian era. 
**Iniquity*' surely íits this avaricious people, the average 
merehant of whom ís noted for dishonesty, lying and cheat- 
ing. While ''sprout'* well describes the feeble life of this 
nation, so marvellously preserved by God through innumer- 
able trials and persecutions. The chapter terminates with 
the sordid story of Tamar, the closing portions of whieh 



362 



Joseph in Egypt 363 

obviously foreshadowing the end-time conditions of the 
Je ws. In the time of her travail * * twins were in her womb ' ' 
(38:27). So in the tribulation period there shall be two 
companies in Israel. The first, appropriately named 
* ' Pharez, ' ' which means ' * breach, ' ' speaking of the ma jor- 
ity of the nation who will break completely with Qod and 
receive and worship the Antichrist. The second, * * Zerah, ' ' 
that had the **scarlet thread" upon his hand (38:30), 
pointing to the godly remnant who wiU be saved, as was 
Bahab of old by the **scarlet cord/' But we must tum 
now to Qen. 39. 

Qenesis 39 is more than a continuation of what has been 
before us in Qen. 37, being separated, as it is, from that 
chapter by what is recorded in 38. Genesis in 39 is really 
a new heginning in the type, taking us back to the Incama- 
tion, and tracing the experiences of the Lord Jesus from 
another angle. Continuing our enumeration (see previous 
article), we may observe: 

26. Joseph hecomes a Servant. 

*' And Joseph was brought down to Bgypt ; and Potiphar 
an oflficer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, 
brought him out of the hands of the Ishmaelitesi which had 
brought him down thither (39: 1). What a contrast from 
being the belovcd son in his father's house to the degrada- 
tion of slavery in Egypt! But this was as nothing com- 
pared with the voluntary self-humiliation of the Lord Jesus. 
He who was in the form of Qod, and thought it not robbery 
to be equal with Qod, made Himself of no reputation, and 
took upon Him the form of a servant (Phil. 2:6, 7). 
* * Bond-slave '* expresses the f orce of the original better than 
**servant.*' It is to this the prophetic language of Psalm 
40 refers. There we hear the Lord Jesus saying, **Sacrifice 
and offering Thou didst not desire; Mine ears hast Thou 
digged; burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not re- 
quired. Then said I, lo, I come ; in the volume of the book 
it is written of Me. I delight to do Thy will, My Cïod." 
These words carry us back to Exod. 21 : 5, 6 : And if the 
servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and 
my children ; I will not go out f ree. Then his master shall 
bring him unto the judges ; he shall also bring him to the 
door, or unto the door post ; and his master shall hore his 
ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him f or ever. ' ' 
The Lord Jesus was the Speaker of that prophecy in Psalm 



S64 Gleanings in Genesis 

40, and the fulfíller of this type in Exod. 21. He was ihe 
One who took the Servant plaee, and voluntarily entered 
into the degradation of slavery. And it is this which 
Joseph here so strikingly typifíed. 

27. Joseph was a Prosperous Servant. 

^ ' And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous 
many and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 
And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that 
the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand'' (39: 
2, 3). Observe, particularly, it is here said, the Lord made 
all that Joseph did **to prosper in his hand.*' How these 
words remind us of two prophetic scriptures which speak 
of the perfect Servant of Jehovah. The first is the opening 
Psalm, which brings before us the **Blessed Man,*' the Man 
who walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stopd in 
the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scomf ul ; the 
Man whose delight was in the Law of the Lord, and in 
whose Law He did meditate day and night; the Man of 
whom God said, '*And He shall be like a trée planted by 
the rivers of water, that bringeth forth His fruit in Hig 
Season ; His leaf also shall not wither ; and whatsoever He 
doeth shall prosper'^ (Psa. 1:3). Manifestly, this spoke, 
specifically, of the Lord Jesus, in whom, alone, the terms of 
the opening verses of this Psalm were fuUy realized. The 
second scripture is found in that matchless fifty-third of 
Isaiah (every sentence of which referred to the Son of Qod 
incarnate, and to Him, expressly, as Jehovah's ^^Servant'^ 
see 52 : 13 ) , we read, ' * The pleasure of the Lord shall pros- 
per in His hand." How marvellously accurate the typel 
Of Joseph it is recorded, '^The Lord made all that he did 
to prosper in his hand'' (Gen. 39: 3). Of Christ it is said, 
*'The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand'* (Isa. 
53:10), 

28. Joseph's master was well pleased with him. 

' ' And Joseph f ound grace in his sight, and he served him : 
and he made him overseer over his house, ánd all that hë 
had he put into his hand'' (39 : 4). How could it be other- 
wise ? Joseph was entirely diflferent f rom any other servant 
that Potiphar ever had. The fear of God was upon him; 
the Lord was with him, prospering him ; and he served his 
master faithfuUy. So it was with the One whom Joseph 
foreshadowed. The Lord Jesus was entirely different from 
any other servant God ever had. The f ear of the Lord waa 



Joseph in Egypt 365 

upon Him (see Isa. 11:2). And so f aithfuUy did He serve 
Gk)d, He eould say, **I do always those things that please 
Him'' (John 8:29). 

29. Joseph, the servant, was made a blessing to others. 
**And it came to pass from the time that he had made 

him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the 
Lord blessed the Egyptian 's house f or Joseph 's sake ; and 
the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the 
house and in the field" (34:5). So, too, the Father en- 
trusted to the Son all the interests of the Godhead — ^the 
manifestation of the Divine character, the glorifying of 
God's name, and the vindication of His throne. And what 
has been the outcome of the Beloved of the Father taking 
the Servant place, and assuming and discharging these 
onerous responsibilities ? Has not the Lord **blessed" the 
antitypical **Egyptian's house," for the sake of that One 
whom Joseph f oreshadowed ? Clearly, the '^Egyptian's 
house" symbolized ihe world, and how bountifully has the 
world been blessed for Christ's sake! 

30. Joseph was a goodly person. 

"And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favored^' 
(39: 6). How carefuUy has the Holy Spirit here guarded 
the type ! We must always distinguish between the person 
and the place which he occupies. Joseph had entered into 
the degradation of slavery. He was no longer at his own 
disposal, but subject to the will of another. He was no 
longer dwelling in his father's house in Canaan, but in- 
stead, was a bond slave in an Egyptian 's house. Such was 
his position, But concerning his person we are told, 
* ' Joseph was a goodly person, and well f avored. " So, too, 
the Son of God took a lowly place, the place of humiliation 
and shame, the place of submission and servitude. Yet, 
how zealously did the Father see to it that the glorj^ of His 
person was guarded ! No sooner was He laid in the manger 
(the place He took), than God sent the angels to announce 
to the Bethlehem shepherds that the One born (the person) 
was none other than ' ' Christ, the Lord. ' ' A little later, the 
wise men from the East prostrate themselves before the 
young child in worship. As soon as He comes forth to 
enter (the place of) His public ministry — serving others, 
instead of being served — God causes one to go before Him 
and testify that he was not worthy to stoop down and un- 
loose the shoe-latchet of the (person) of the Lamb of God. 



366 Gleanings in Genesis 

S09 too, on the Cross, where, Bupremely, Ood's Servant was 
seen in the plaee of riiame, Gkxl cauaed Him to be owned as 
''the Son of God" (Matt. 27 : 54) 1 Truly, waa Jltf a ''goodly 
person, and well f avored. ' ' 

31. Jaseph was sorely tempted, yet sinned not 

" And it came to pass after these things, that his mastOT's 
wif e cast her eyes upon Joseph ; and she said, Lie with me. 
But he ref used and said unto his master 's wif e» Behold, my 
master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he 
hath committed all that he hath to my hand. There is none 
greater in this house than I ; neither hath he kept back any- 
thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife; how 
then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against Gk)dt 
And it came to pass as she spake to Joseph day by day, 
that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with 
her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went 
into the house to do his business ; and there was none of the 
men of the house there within. And she caught him hy his 
garmenty saying, Lie with me : and he lef t his garmant in 
her handy and fled, and got him out" (39 : 7-12). 

It is surely not without design that the Holy Spirit has 
placed in juxtaposition the account of the unchastity of 
Judah in Gen. 38 with the chastity of Joseph here in Gon. 
39. And how significant that the t^n-faithf ulness of the one 
is placed hefore the faithfukiess of the otber! Joseph'a 
temptation f oreshadowed the temptation of the Lord Jesns, 
the last Adam, and His faithfulness in refusing the evil 
solicitations of Satan, which was in marked contrast from 
the failure of the first Adam, before Him. The manrelloua 
accuracy of our type may be f urther seen by observing that 
Joseph's temptation is here divided into three distinct parta 
(as was that of our Lord), see verses 7, 10, 12. So, again, 
it should be remarked, that Joseph was tempted not in 
Canaan, by his brethren, but in Egypt (symbol of the 
world), by the wife of a captain of Pharaoh's guard. And 
the temptation suffered by the Lord Jesus emanated, not 
from His brethren according to the flesh, but from Satan, 
* * the prince of this world. ' ' 

Beautiful is it to mark how Joseph resisted the repeated 
temptation — * ' How then can I do this great wickedness and 
sin against God f ' ' This is the more striking if we link np 
this utterance of Joseph's with Psa. 105 : 19, **The Word o£ 
the Lord tríed him.' ' So it was by the same Word that the 



Joseph in Egypt 367 

Savionr repulsed the Enemy. But notice here one point in 
contrast: **And he (Joseph) left his garment in her hand, 
and fied, and got him out" (39 : 12). So, the Apostle Paul, 
writing to Timothy, enjoined him to ^^Flee youthful lusts" 
(2 Tim. 2: 22). How different with the Perfect One! He 
said, **Get thee henee, Satan'' (Matt. 4:10), and we read, 
*'Then the Devil leaveth Him.'' In all things He has the 
preëminence. 

32. Joseph was falsely accused. 

^ ' And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came 
home. And she spake unto him according to these words, 
saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto 
us, came in unto me to mock me. And it came to pass, as 
I lifted up my voice and cried, that he lef t his garment with 
me, and fled ouf' (39 : 16-18). There was no ground what- 
ever for a true charge to be brought against Joseph, so an 
unjust one was preferred. So it was, too, with Him who was 
**holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." His 
enemies ^'the chlef priests, and elders, and all the council, 
sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death. 
But found none.^^ Tet, at the last, '^came two false wit- 
nesses'' (Matt. 16: 59, 60), who bore untruthful testimony 
against Him. 

33. Joseph attempted no defence. 

''And it came to pass, when his master heard the words 
of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this 
manner did thy servant to me : that his wrath was kindled' ' 
(39 : 19), though notice, it does not add, ^'against Joseph.'* 
In Gen. 37, we beheld Joseph's passive submission to the 
wrong done him by his heartless brethren. So here, when 
falsely and foully accused by this Egyptian woman, he at- 
tempts no self-vindication ; not a word of appeal is made ; 
nor is there any murmuring against the cruel injustice done 
him, as he is cast into prison. There was no recrimination ; 
nothing but a quiet enduring of the wrong. When Joseph 
was reviled, like the Saviour, he reviled not again. And 
how all this reminds us of what we read in Isa. 53 : 7, with 
its recorded f ulfillment in the Gospels, * * He was oppressed, 
and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He 
is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep bef ore 
her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouihl*' 



368 Gleanings in Genesis 

34. Joseph was cast into prison. 

^'And Joseph's master took him, and put him into fhe 
prison, a plaee where the king's prisoners were bound; and 
he was there in the prison" (39: 20). 

* ' Taking the garment that Joseph had lef t behind him in 
his flight, she uscd it as a proof of his guilt, and first to the 
servants, and then to her husband. She made out a case 
against the Hebrew slave. The way she spoke of her hus- 
band to the servants (verse 14) shows the true character of 
the woman, and perhaps also the terms of her marricd lif e ; 
while the fact that Potiphar only placed Joseph in prison 
instead of commanding him to be put to death is another 
indication of the state of affairs. For appearance' sake 
Potiphar must take some action, but the precise action taken 
tells its own tale. He evidently did not credit her story** 
(Dr. G. Thomas). 

Just as Joseph, though completely innocent, was un* 
righteously cast into prison, so our Lord was unjustly sen- 
tenced to death by one who owned repeatedly, *^*I find no 
fault in Him." And how striking is the parallel between 
the acts of Potiphar and Pilate. It is evident that Potiphar 
did not believe the accusation which his wife brought against 
Joseph — had he really done so, as has been pointéd out, he 
would have ordered his Hebrew slave put to death. But 
to save appearances he had Joseph cást into prison. Now 
mark the close parallel in Pilate. He, too, it is evident, did 
not believe in the guilt of our Lord or why have been so 
reluctant to give his consent for Him to be crucified ? Hê, 
too, knew the character of those who accused the Saviour. 
But, for the sake of appearances — as an officer of the Roman 
Empire, against the One who was charged with being a 
rebel against CsBsar, for political expediency — ^he passed 
sentence. 

35. Joseph thiis suffered at the hands of the Gentiles. 
Not only was Joseph envied and hated by his own breth- 

ren, and sold by them into the hancls of the Gentiles, but 
he was also treated unfairly by the Gentiles too, and nn- 
justly cast into prison. So it was with his Antitj^pe, '*The 
kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered 
together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For 
of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast 
anointed, both Herod and Pontius Piiate. with the OentiieSf. 



Joseph in Egypt 369 

and the people of Israel were gathered together" (Acts 4: 
26,27). 

36. Joseph, the innocent one, suffered severely. 

In Stephen's speech we find a statement which bears this 
out. Said he, ''And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold 
Joseph into Egypt, ' ' and then, ref erring to his experiences 
after he had become a slave, he adds, *'but God was with 
him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions^* (Acts 7: 
9, 10). How much, we wonder, is covered by these words! 
What indignities, trials and pains, was he called on to 
suffer í In Psa. 105 there is another word more specific, * ^ He 
(God) sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold 
for a servant: whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was 
laid in iron'' (verses 17, 18). How these references re- 
mind us of that Blesed One, who was mocked and spat upon, 
scourged and crowned with thoms, and nailed to the cruel 
tree! 

37. Joseph won the respect of his jailor. 

* * But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, 
and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison'' 
f 39 : 21) . Is not the antitype of this found in the fact that 
the Roman centurion, the one who had charge of the Cruci- 
fixion of the Saviour, cried, ' ' Certainly this was a Righteous 
Man ' ' (Luke 23 : 47 ) . Thus did God give His Son f avor in 
the sight of this Koman who corresponded with Joseph's 
jailor. 

38. Joseph was numbered with transgressors. 

**And it came to pass that after these things, that the 
butler of the king of Egypt, and his baker had offended 
their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was wroth 
against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers 
and against the chief of the bakers. And he pnt them in 
ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the 
prison, the place where Joseph was bound'* (40: 1-3). What 
a marvellous line is this in our typical picture. Joseph was 
not alone in the place of shame and suffering. Nor was the 
Lord Jesus as He hung on the heights of Calvary. And 
just as there were two malefactors crucified with Him, 
so two offenders were in the prison with Joseph ! But the 
analogy extends ever f urther than this. 

39. Joseph was the means of hlessing to one, hut the 
pronouncer of judgment on the other. 



370 Gleanings in Genesis 

Hi8 fellow prÍBoners had each of them a dreaniy and m 
interpreting them, Joseph declared that the bntler ahonld 
be delivered from priaon, but to the baker he said, *' Within 
three days shall Pharaoh lift np thy head from off thee, 
and shall hang thee on a tree, and tiie birds áhall eat thy 
flesh f rom off thee ' ' (40 : 19) . It is not withont good reaaon 
that the Holy Spirit has seen fit to record the details of 
these dreams. Connected with the spared one, the butler, 
we read of ' ' the cup '' into which the grapes were pressed 
(49:10-12), suggesting to us the precious Blood of the 
Lamb, by which all who believe are delivered. Connected 
with the one who was not delivered, the baker, were baskets 
full of bakemeats (40:16, 17), suggesting human labors, 
the works of man's hands, which are powerless to deliver 
the sinner, or justif y him bef ore Ood : f or all such there is 
only the '^Curse,'* referred to here by the baker being 
^'hanged on a tree'' (cf. Gal. 3 : 13). So it was at the Cross: 
the one thief went to Paradise ; the other to Perdition. 

40. Joseph evidenced his knowledge of the future. 

In interpreting their dreams, Joseph foretold the futnre 
destiny of the butler and the baker. But observe that in 
doing this he was careful to ascribe the glory to Another, 
saying, "Do not interpretations belong to Qod?" (40:8). 
So the One whom Joseph f oreshadowed, again and again, 
made known what should come to pass in the future^ 
yet did he say , * ' For I have not spoken of Myself ; but the 
Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what 
I should say, and what I should speak" John 12:49). 

41. Joseph's predictions came true. 

" And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh'a 
birthday, that he made a f east unto all his servants ; and he 
lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker 
among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto 
his butlership again ; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's 
hand. But he hanged the chief baker : as Joseph had inter- 
preted to them'^ (40:20-22). Just as Joseph had inter^ 
preted so it came to pass. So shall it be with every word of 
the Son of God, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His 
words shall not pass away. And 0, unsaved reader, just as 
the solemn announcement of Joseph conceming the baker 
was actually fulfilled, so shall these words of the Lord 
Jesus be found true — ^''he that believeth not shall be 
damned ! " 



Joseph in Egypt 371 

42. Joseph desired to he Rememhered. 

Said Joseph to the butler, ' ' But think on me when it shall 
be well with thee'' (40:14). So, in connection with the 
Supper, the Saviour has said, ' * This do in remembranee of 
Me.'' 

As we admire these lovely typieal pictures, like the queen 
of Sheba, there is no more strength left in us, and we can 
only bow our heads and say, "How precious are Thy 
thoughts unto me, O God ! How great is the sum of them ! ' ' 



43. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION 

Genesis 41 

Our present ehapter opens by presenting to ua the king 
of Egypt dreaming two dreams, and awaking with his spirit 
troubled. The court magicians and wise men were sum* 
moned, and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but **there was 
none that could interpret them to Pharaoh/' Then it was 
that the chief butler recalled his experienee in prison. He 
remembers how he had a dream, and that a Hebrew slave 
had interpreted aright its significance. He recounts this 
now to the king, and Pharaoh sends at once for Joseph, who 
explains to him the meaning of his own dreams. There are 
several important truths which here receive a striking ex- 
emplification : 

First, we are shown that ^^The king^s heart is in the hand 
of the Lord, as the rivers of waters. He turneth it whither- 
soever He wiU" (Prov. 21:1). It was no accident that 
Pharaoh dreamed as he did, and when he did. God's time 
had come for Joseph to be delivered f rom prison and exalted 
to a position of high honor and responsibility, and these 
dreams were but the instrument employed by God to accom- 
plish this end. Similarly, He used, long afterwards, the 
sleeplessness of another king to lead to the deliverance of 
Mordecai and his f ellows. This truth has been expressed so 
forcefuUy and ably by C. H. M. in his ''Notes on Gtenesis," 
we cannot ref rain f rom quoting him : 

**The most trivial and the most important, the most likely 
and the most unlikely circumstances are made to minister 
to the development of God's purposes. In chapter 39 Satan 
uses Potiphar's wife, and in chapter 40 he uses Pharaoh's 
chief butïer. The former he used to put Joseph into the 
dungeon ; and the latter he used to keep him there, through 
his ungrateful negligence ; but all in vain. God was behind 
the scenes. His finger was guiding all the springs of the 
vast machine of circumstances, and when the due time was 
come, he brought forth the man of His purpose, and set his 
feet in a large room. Now, this is ever God's prerogative. 
He is ábove all, and can use all for the accomplishment o£ 
His grand and unsearchable designe. It is sweet to be able 
thus to trace our Father's hand and counsel in everything. 
Sweet to know that all sorts of agents are at His sovereign 



372 



Joseph's Exaltation 373 

disposal ; angels, men and devils — all are under His om- 
nipotent hand, and all are made to earry out His purposes" 
(p. 307: italics are ours). How rarely one finds such 
f aith-strengthening sentiments such as these set f orth, 
plainly, by writers of today ! 

Second, we are shown in the early part of Gtenesis 41 how 
that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with Ood. Aa 
it is well known, Egypt stands in Scripture as a figure of 
this world, In Joseph's time, the land of the Pharaoh 's was 
the center of learning and culture, the proud leader of the 
ancient civilizations. But the people were idolaters. They 
knew not God, and only in His light can we see light. Apart 
from Him, all is darlmess, morally and spiritually. So we 
see it in the chapter before us. The magicians were im- 
potent, the wise men displayed their ignorance, and Pharaoh 
was made to feel the powerlessness of all human resources 
and the worthlessness of all human wisdom. 

Third, the man of God was the only one that had true 
wisdom and light. How true it is that '*the secret of the 
Lord is with them that f ear Him ! ' ' These dreams of Pha- 
raoh had a prophetic significance: They respected the fu- 
ture of Egypt (typically, the world), and no Gentile, as 
such, had intelligence in the purpose of God respecting the 
earth. God was pleased to make known His counsels to a 
Gentile, as here, a Jew had to be called, each time, as inter- 
preter. It was thus with Nebuchadnezzar. The wise men 
of Chaldea were as helpless as the magicians of Egypt; 
Daniel, alone, had understanding. So, too, with Belshazzar 
and all his companions — ^the aged prophet had to be called 
in to decipher the message upon the wall. Well would it be 
if leaders of the world today turned to the inspired writings 
of the Hebrew prophets of the things which must shortly 
come to pass. 

Fourth : That ' ' all things work together for good to them 
that love God, to them who are the called according to His 
purpose, ' ' is writ large across our lesson. And well f or us 
if we take this to heart. But the trouble is, we grow so im- 
patient under the process, while God is taking the tangled 
threads of our lives and making them **work together for 
good." We become so occupied with present circumstances 
that hope is no longer exercised, and the brighter and better 
future is blotted f rom our view. Let us bear in mind that 
Scripture declares, ^^Better is the end of a thing than the 



374 Gleanings in Genesis 

beginning thereof" (Ece. 7:8). Be of good cheer, faint 
heart ; sorrow may endure f or a night, but joy cameth in 
the moming. So it was with Joseph. For a season he suf- 
fered wrongfully, but at the last Qoá vindicated and re- 
warded him. Remember Joseph then, troubled reader, and 
"let patience have her perfect work.'' But we must tum 
f rom these moralizinga and consider the typical bearings of 
our chapter. We continue our previous enumeration. 

43. Joseph, in due time, was delivered from prison. 

Joseph had been rejeeted by his brethren, and treated un* 
justly and cruelly by the Egyptians. Through no fault of 
his own he had been cast into prison. But Qod did not 
suffer him to end his day& there. The place of shame and 
suffering was to be exchanged for one of high dignity and 
glory. The throne was to supplant the dungeon. And now 
that God's time for this had arrived, nothing could hinder 
the accomplishment of His purpose. So it was with our 
blessed Lord. Israel might despise and reject Hiniy wicked 
hands might take and crucify Him, the powers of darkness 
might rage against Him ; His lif eless body might be taken 
down and laid in the tomb, the sepulchre sealed and a wateh 
set, but ^^it was not possible that He should be holden of 
death'' (Acts 2: 24). No; on the third day, He rose again 
in triumph o'er the grave, leaving the cerements of death 
behind Him. How beautifuUy this was prefigured in the 
case of Joseph. ' ' Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and 
they brought him hastily out of the dungeon ; and he shaved 
himself , and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pha- 
raoh ' ' (41 : 14) . Compare John 20 : 6, 7 ! 

44. Joseph was delivered from prison hy the hand of Ood. 

It is evident that, apart from Divine intervention, Joseph 
had been suffered to languish in the dungeon to the end of 
his days. It was only the coming in of Qoá — ^Pharaoh's 
troubled spirit, the failure of the magicians' to interpret hig 
dream, the butler's sudden recoUection of the Hebrew in- 
terpreter — that brought about his release. Joseph himself 
recognized this, as is clear from his words to his brethren, 
at a later date : * * And God sent me bef ore you to preserve 
you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives hy a 
great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me 
hither, hut God: and He hath made me a father to Pharaohy 
and Lord of all his house, and ruler throughout all the land 



Joseph's Exaltation 375 

of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say nnto 
him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, Ood hath made me lord of 
all Egypt" (45 : 7-9). So it was with the Saviour in being 
delivered f rom the prison of the tomb : * ' Whom God hath 
raised up, having loosed the pains of death'' (Acts 2: 24). 
*'This Jesus hath Ood raised up^' (Acts 2: 32). Him God 
raised up the third day, and showed Him openly'* (Acts 
10:40).* 

45. Joseph is seen now as the Revealer of secrets. 

Like the butler and baker before him, Pharaoh now re- 
counted to Joseph the dreams whieh had so troubled his 
spirit, and which the **wise men'* were unable to interpret. 
It is beautif ul to mark the modesty of Joseph on this occa* 
sion, **And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in 
me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace" (41: 16). 
So, in a much higher sense, the Lord Jesus said, **I have 
given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me" (Jno. 
17 : 8) . And again, '* As the Father hath taught Me, I speak 
these things" (Jno. 8:28), Once more, **For I have not 
spoken of Myself : but the Father which sent Me, He gave 
Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should 
speak'' (Jno. 12:49). 

Having listened to the king's dream, Joseph said: ^^Qoá 
hath showed Pharaoh what He is about to do'' (41:25), 
and then he made known the meaning of the dreams. How 
close is the parallel between this and what we read of in the 
opening verse of the Apocalypse ! Just as God made known 
to the Egyptians, through Joseph, what He was *'about to 
do, ' ' so has He now made known to us, through Jesus Christ, 
the things He wiU shortly do in this world. The parallel is 
perfect : said Joseph, " What God is about to do He showeth 
unto Pharaoh" (41:28), and the Apocalypse, we are told, 
is ' * the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him 
to show unto His servants things which must shortly come 
to pass. ' ' 

46. Joseph warned of a coming danger, and urged his 
hearers to make suitahle provision to meet it. 

Joseph was no honied-mouthed ' * optimist,' ' who spake 
only smooth and pleasant things. He fearlessly told the 
truth. He shunned not to declare the whole counsel of Qod. 



^There are other Scriptures which show that the Iiord Jesus raUed Himaelf 
(John 2:19; 10.17. 18, etc). But, aboYe, we have quoted those whloii 
emphaslzed the fuIflUment of the type. 



376 Gleanings in Genesis 

He declared that, following the season of Divine blessing 
and privilege, there would eome a time of famine, a famine 
which should consume the land, and be *'very grievous/' 
And in view of this, he warned them to make ready and be 
prepared. So also was Christ the faithful and true Wit- 
ness. He made known the fact that death does not end all, 
that there is a life to come. He warned those who trusted in 
their earthly possessions and who boasted of how they were 
going to en joy them, that their souls would be ' ' required '* 
of them, and that at short notice. He lifted the veiï which 
hides the unseen, and gave His hearers a view of the suffer- 
ings of the damned in Hell. He spake often of that place 
where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched, 
and where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of 
teeth. He counselled men to make provision against the 
future. He bade men to prepare for that which lies ahead 
of all — a face to f ace meeting with God. 

47. Joseph appeared next as the Wonderful CounseUor. 

Having interpreted to Pharaoh the meaning of his 
dreams, Joseph then undertook to advise the king as to the 
wisest course to follow in order to meet the approaching 
emergency, and provide for the future. There were to be 
seven years of plenty, which was to be foUowed by seven 
years of famine. Joseph, therefore, counselled the king to 
store up the corn during the time of plenty, against the need 
which would arise when the season of scarcity should come 
upon them. Thus did Joseph manifest the wisdom given to 
him by God, and display his immeasurable superiority over 
all the wise men of Egypt. Again the analogy is perfect 
Christ, too, has been exhibited as ' * the Wonderf ul Counsel- 
lor, ' ' the One sent by God with a message to tell men how to 
prepare for the future, and make sure their etemal inter* 
ests. He is the One '^in whom are hid all the treasures o£ 
wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). 

48. Joseph 's counsel commended itself to Pharaoh and his 
officers. 

"And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in 
the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his 
servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom 
the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Josephy 
Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none 
so discreet and wise as thou art" (41:37-39). Pharaoh 



Joseph's Exaltation 377 

recognized that the wisdom manif ested by this Hebrew slave 
had its souree not in oceult magic, but in the Spirit of God. 
Joseph had spoken with a discretion and wisdom far diflfer- 
ent from that possessed by the court philosophers, and this 
was f reely owned by the king and his servants. So, too, the 
words of the Lord Jesus made a profound impression upon 
those who heard Him. ''And it came to pass, when Jesus 
had ended these sayings, the people were astonishcd at IIis 
doctrine, For He taught them as One having authority, 
and not as the scribes" (Mat. 7: 28, 29). ''And when He 
was come into His own country, He taught them in their 
synagogues, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, 
Whence hath this man this wisdomt^^ (Mat. 13: 54). Just 
as Pharaoh and his servants were struck by the wisdom in 
Joseph. So here, those who listened to the Lord Jesus mar- 
velled at His wisdom. And just as Pharaoh confessed, 
**Can we find such a one as this is? . . . there is none so 
discreet and wise/' so the auditors of Christ aclmowledged, 
**Never man spake like this Man'* ( Jno. 7 : 46) ! 

49. Joseph is duly exalted, and set over all Egypt. 

* * And Pharaoh saíd unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath 
showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as 
thou art. Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto 
thy word shall all my people be ruled : only in the throne 
wiU I be greater than thou'' (41: 39, 40). What a blessed 
change this was : f rom shame to glory, f rom the dungeon 
to the place of rule, from being a slave in fetters to being 
elevated high above all, Pharaoh alone being excepted. This 
was a grand reward for his previous fidelity, and a fitting 
recognition of his worth. And how beautifuUy this speaks 
to us of the One whom Joseph f oreshadowed ! He was here 
in humiliation and shame, but He is here so no longer. GU)d 
has highly exalted Him. He is **gone into heaven, and is on 
the right hand of God ; angels and authorities and powers 
being made subject unto Ilim'^ (1 Pet. 3 : 22). 

50. Joseph was seated on the throne of another. 

How marvellously accurate is the type. Joseph was not 
seated upon his own throne ; he was not in the plaoe of mle 
over his brethren. Though he was placed over Pharaoh's 
house, and according to his word was all Egypt to be ruled 
yet, ' ' in the Throne ' ' Pharaoh was greater than Joseph. So 
we read in Revelation 3 : 21, that the ascended Christ has 



378 Gleanings in Genesis 

saidy ^'to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me 
in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down 
with My Father in His Throne.'' 

^'Today our Lord Jesus Christ shares the throne of the 
Father as Joseph shared the throne of Pharaoh. As Joseph 
ruled over Pharaoh's house with his word, so today our 
Lord Jesus Christ rules over the Father's householdy the 
household of faith, the Church, by and through His Word. 
And today, while the Lord Jesus Christ is on the throne of 
His Father, He is not on His own throne. Read the passage 
just quoted in Revelation again, and it will be seen that our 
Lord Jesus Christ Himself makes a distinction between His 
own throne and the Father's throne, and promises reward 
to the overcomer, not on the Father's throne, but on His 
own ; and we know, according to the promise of the angel 
made to Mary, and the covenant made to David, and the title 
He wears as the King of Israel, ^the Son of David, the 
Son of Abraham/ that His throne is at Jerusalemy 'the 
city of the great King.' On His Father's throne He sits 
today as the Rejected Man, the Bejected Jew" (Dr. Halde- 
man). 

51. Joseph was exalted to the throne hecause of his per* 
sonal worth. 

**A11 this is typical of the present exaltation of Christ 
Jesus the Lord. He who was once the Crucified is now the 
Glorified. He whom men once put upon a gibbet, has been 
placed by God upon His throne. Joseph was given his place 
of exaltation in Egypt purely on the ground of his personal 
worth and actual service rendered by him to the country 
and kingdom of Egypf (Mr. Knapp). And what a lovely 
parallel to this we find in Phil. 2 — yet as far as our Lord 
excelled Joseph in personal worth and service, so far is His 
exaltation the higher — ''Who, being in the form of Qod, 
thought it not robbery to be equal with Gtodi But made 
Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of 
a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being 
f ound in f ashion as a man, He humbled Himself , and became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore 
God also hath highly exalted Him'' (Phil. 2 : 6-9). 

52. Joseph was invested with such insignia as hecame hii 

new position. 



Joseph's Exaltation 379 

^'And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put 
it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine 
linen, and put a gold chain about his neek'' (40: 42). And 
thus we read of the Antitype : * ' Him hath God exalted with 
His right hand to he a Prince, and a Saviour'' (Aets 5 : 31). 
And again, * * But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower 
than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with 
glory and honof^' (Heb. 2:9). Compare, too, the descrip- 
tion of our glorified Lord as given in Revelation 1. There 
we behold Him, * * clothed with a garment down to the f oot, 
and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle'* (5 : 13). 

53. Joseph's authority and glory are puhlicly owned. 

* ' And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he 
had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee; and he 
made him ruler over all the land of Egypf (41:43). On 
the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jews who had con- 
demned and crucified the Saviour, ^'Therefore let all the 
House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that 
same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, hoth Lord and ChrisV* 
(Acts 2 : 36) . And it is the part of wisdom, dear reader, to 
recognize and own this. Have you recognized the exalted 
dignity of Christ, and by faith seen that the One who died 
on Calvary's Cross is now seated on the right hand of the 
Ma jesty on high ? Have you submitted to His Lordship, so 
that you live now only to please Him? Have you '*bowed 
the knee'' before Himí If not, 0, may Divine grace con- 
strain you to do so without further delay, voluntarily and 
gladly, that you may not be among the great crowd who 
shall, in the coming Day, be compelled to do so; for God 
has sworn, '*that at the Name of Jesus every knee should 
hoWy of things in heaven and things in earth and things 
under the earth'' (Phil. 2 : 10). 

54. Joseph received from Pharaoh a new name. 

**And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah'* 
(41:45), which signifies, according to its Egyptian mean- 
ing, **the Saviour of the world.** So, to quote once more 
from Phil. 2, we read, '^Wherefore 6od also hath highly 
exalted Him, and given Him the Name which is ahove every 
name . . . Jesus'^ (Phil. 2:9, 10). This name He bore 
while on earth, but at that time it was held as pledge and 
promise, '*Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall 
save His people from their sins'* (Mat. 1:21) said the 



S80 Gleanings in Genesis 

angel. But Ile could not ' ' save His people f rom their sins** 
until He had bome them in His own body on the tree, until 
He had risen from the dead, until He retumed to heaven 
and sent forth the Holy Spirít to apply the benefits and 
virtues of His finished work. But when He ascended on 
high He became Saviour in fact. Gk>d exalted Him with 
His right hand ^^to he a Prince and a Saviour^* (Acts 5: 
31), and therefore did Ood Himself then give to His be- 
lovcd Son the Name which is above every name, even the 
Name of ^^Jesus/^ which means the Saviour; just as after 
the period of his shame was over, and Joseph had been 
exalted by Pharaoh, he, then, received the name which sig- 
nifies * ' the Saviour of the world ! " 

Reader, have you an interest, a personal one, in the value 
and saving efficacy of that Name which is above every name ? 
If not, receive Him now as your own Saviour. If by grace, 
you have, then bow bef ore Him in adoration and praise. 



44. JOSEPH THE SAVIOUR OF 

THE WORLD 

Genesis 41 

55. Joseph has a wife given to him. 

**And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah 
(the Egyptian meaning of which is 'Saviour of the world') ; 
and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti- 
pharah priest of On" (40:45). It is with some hesitation 
and much reluctance that at this point the writer finds him- 
self differing f rom other students and commentators. Many 
whom we respect highly have regarded Asenath as here pre- 
figuring the Church. Their principal reason for doing this 
is because Joseph 's wif e was a Oentile. But while allowing 
the force of this, we feel that it is more than counterbal- 
anced by another point which makes against it. Believing 
that everything in this inspired narrative has a definite 
meaning and typical value, and that each verse has been 
put into its present place by the Holy Spirit, we are con- 
fronted with what is, to us, an insuperable diflSculty if 
Asenath prefigures the Church, namely, the f act that in the 
very next verse which follows the mention of Pharaoh giv- 
ing a wif e to Joseph, we are told, * * And Joseph was thirty 
years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt" 
(41:46). Had this statement foUowed immediately after 
41 : 14, which records Joseph being brought out of prison to 
appear before Pharaoh, and after this we had been told 
Joseph received his wif e, we should be obliged to regard 
Asenath as a type of the Church ; but as it is, we believe the 
typical application must be sought elsewhere, as we shall 
now proceed to point out. 

The Holy Spirit has here (we are assured, with definite 
design) made mention of Joseph having a wife before his 
**age" is referred to, and hefore his life's work began. 
That the age of Joseph at the time his real work started, 
pointed to the age of the Lord Jesas when His public min- 
istry commenced, is too obvious to admit of dispute. The 
fact, then, that the Holy Spirit speaks of Joseph's wife 
hefore the mention of him being thirty years of age, suggests 
to the writer that the typical significance of Asenath must be 
sought at some point of time hefore the Lord Jesus entered 
upon His lif e 's mission. And that, of course, takes us back 



381 



382 Gleanings in Genesis 

to Old Testament times. And there, we do leam of Jehoyáb 
(the Lord Jesus) possessing a '^wife/' even IsraeL From 
the various Scriptures which bring this out we select two 
verses from Jeremiah 3. There, €k)d's prophet, when ez- 
postulating with His wayward people, said, '^Tum, O back- 
aliding children, said the Lord ; f or I am married unto yaví* 
(verse 14) ; ''Surely as a wife treacherously dei>arteth from 
her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, 
house of Israel, saith the Lord'' (verse 20). 

But against this it wiU be objected, How could Asenath, 
the Egyptian, wif e of Joseph, typify Israel, the wif e of Je- 
hovah f Formidable as this ob jectíon appears at first sighty 
it is, nevertheless, capable of easy solution. The difflcully 
disappears if we go back to the time when Israel first became 
Jehovah's wife. Upon this point the Scriptures are very 
explicit. In Ezekiel 16, where the prophet is outlining the 
sad history of Israel, and where he says, * * How weak is tíiine 
heart, saith the Lord Ood, seeing thou doest all these things, 
the work of an imperious whorish woman; in that thou 
buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and 
makest thine high place in every street ; and hast not been 
as a harlot, in that thou scomest hire. But as a wife that 
committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her 
husband;" here, at the outset, the prophet declares, ''Thus 
saith the Lord God unto Jemsalem, Thy birth and thy na- 
tivity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, 
and thy mother a Hittite'' (Ezek. 16:3). Here, then, we 
leam the origin (the moral origin, no doubt) of Israel, and 
how fittingly did Asenath, the Oentile, prefigure Jehovah's 
wife at that time! It was not until after Israel was re- 
deemed from Egypt's bondage and corraption that they 
became separated from all other nations. If further con- 
firmation be necessary it is f ound in Jeremiah 2 : 2, ' ' Gk) cry 
in the ears of Jerasalem, thus saith the Lord; I remember 
thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, 
when thou wentest af ter Me in the wildemess, in a land that 
was not sown/' Israel, then, became Jehovah's in Egypi, 
when redeemed by blood, and af ter by power. 

The issue f rom Joseph 's marriage appears to us to fit in 
with the interpretation suggested above much better than 
with the common applieation of the type of Asenath to th6 
Church. **Unto Joseph were bom two sons" (41: 50), and 
does not this correspond with the history of Israel after 8he 



Joseph the Saviour of the World 383 

became Jehovah's wife? Was not the issue of that union 
the two kingdoms in the days of Rehoboam, and does not the 
meaning of the names of Joseph's two sons well deseribe the 
two kingdoms which, ultimately, issued from Israelt **Jo- 
seph ealled the name of the first born Manasseh'' (41 : 51), 
which signifies ^^Forgetting/' and was it not that which, 
peculiarly, characterized the ten-tribed kingdom! *'The 
name of the second called he Ephraim'* (41:52), which 
means ^^Fruitful/' and such was Judah, from whom the 
Lord Jesus came ! 

56. Joseph 's marriage was arranged by Pharaoh. 

How perf ectly this agrees with what we read of in Mat^ 
thew 22 : 2 ! ' ' The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain 
king, which made a marriage for His Son. ' ' The f act that 
Asenath is mentioned hefore we are told that Joseph was 
thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh and began 
his life's work (type of Christ as He began His public min- 
istry), and that the birth and naming of his sons occurred 
afterward, suggests (as is so often the case, both in types 
and prophecies) that there is here a double foreshadowment. 
This Gentile wife of Joseph points backward, first, to Is- 
rael's condition hefore Jehovah separated her from all other 
peoples and took her unto Himself ; and, second, the type 
seems to point f orward to the time when the Lord shall re- 
sume His dealings with her, see Jeremiah 31 : 31-34 ; Ezekiel 
16:62, 63; Hosea 2:19-23; Isaiah 54:5-8*). Then, too, 
shall the names of Joseph's two sons be found to possess a 
douhle significance, for God's wiU ^'forget'* Israel's past, 
and Israel shall then, as never before, be found ^^fruitfuU^ 

57. Joseph was thirty years old when he hegan his life's 
work, 

*'And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before 
Pharaoh king of Egypt" (41 : 46). Every line in this won- 
drous picture has its own beauty and value. There is noth- 
ing here without profound significance. The Holy Spirit 
has a definite design in telling us what was Joseph's age 
when his public service began. He was thirty years old. 
How perf ectly does type and antitype correspond ! In Luke 
3 : 23 we read, ' * And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty 



^The spiritual and dispensational condition of Israel at the moznent 
when God shall resume Hls dealings with His ancient people, is» again, 
aptly fígured by a Gentile, for they are termed by Him now, and until thea 
"Lo-ammi" (Hosea 1:9), which means "Not My people," 



384 Gleanings in Genesis 

years of age." This was the age of the Lord Jesns when He 
commenced II is public ministryy as it was Joseph's when he 
began kis lif e 's work. 

58. Joseph went forth on his mission from PkaraohU 
presence. 

''And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before 
Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the 
presence of Pharaoh'* (41:46). In this chapter Pharaoh 
— as the one who ruled Egypt, who delighted in the excel- 
lences of Joseph, who set Joseph over all his house, but who 
retained the position of supremacy as to the throne — pre- 
figured God the Father. Viewed in this light, how blessed 
is the typical f orce of the last-made quotation. It was from 
Pharaoh's **presence" Joseph began his life's work! How 
marvellously this corresponds, again, with what we read in 
Liike 3 ! The words which immediately precede the mention 
of the Lord being thirty years old when His public service 
began, are the well-known utterance of the Pather at the 
time of His baptism, * * Thou art My beloved Son ; in Thee I 
am well pleased*' (Lu. 3 : 22). So littleis told us about the 
Saviour before His active ministry began. The years spent 
at Nazareth, save f or that one brief statement which covered 
the period of His boyhood, are passed over in silence. But 
as He came up out of the waters of baptism, the Father bore 
public testimony to the perf ect lif e which His Son had lived 
here on earth, f or, without doubt, the words, * * In Thee I am 
well pleased," not only aflSrmed the excellency of Christ's 
person, but witnessed to the Father's approval of the thirty 
years which His incarnate Son had spent in obscurity. That 
which we desire to call attention to here is, just as Joseph 
went forth to his work from Pharaoh's * * presence, ' ' so the 
Lord Jesus started out on His public service f rom the Fa- 
ther 's presence, there manif ested at the Jordan ! 

59. Joseph's service was an a^tive and itinerent one. 

' * And Joseph went out f rom the presence of Pharaoh, and 
went throughout all the land of Egypt*' (41:46). Joseph 
was no idler. He did not betray Pharaoh's confidence in 
him, but f aithfuUy discharged his duty. He did not remain 
in the place of ease and comf ort, but * * went throughout all 
the land of Egypt." How well these words remind us of 
what we read in the Gospels concerning that One whom 
Joseph foreshadowed. Of Him we read, '^And Jesos went 



Joseph the Saviour of the World 385 

ahout all Qalitee, teaching in their synagogues, and preach- 
ing the gospel o£ the kingdom, and healing all manner of 
sickness'' (Mat. 4:23). And again, **And Jesus went 
about all the cities and villages'' (Mat. 9 : 35). 

60. Joseph 's exaltation was followed by a season of plenty. 

**And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought 
f orth by handf uls. And he gathered up all the f ood of the 
seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up 
the f ood in the cities : the f ood of the field, which was round 
about every city, laid he up in the same. And Joseph gath- 
ered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left 
numbering ; f or it was without number ' ' (41 : 47-49 ) . Con- 
cerning the typical meaning of these verses we quote from 
Mr. Knapp : * * These seven years of great abundance pic- 
ture, if they do not typify, the present dispensation of grace 
in which it is our happy lot to live. 'Now is the accepted 
time; behold, now is the day of salvation' (2 Cor. 6:2). 
There were seven years, not of plenty merely, but of * great 
plenty.' And during those years, we read *the earth 
brought f orth by handf uls. ' It was a time of extraordinary 
abimdance. And there was never a day like the one in 
which we live. Never before the present dispensation did 
God send His messengers out into all the world to proclaim 
to every sinner a f ree and a f uU salvation through f aith in 
the name of His own exalted Son. There never was a time 
of such 'abundance,' such *great plenty,' at any former 
period of God's dealings with the earth. And it is a re- 
markable fact, which I have not seen previously noted, that 
of all the distinct dispensations of time ref erred to in Scrip- 
ture, the present is by far the longest. And oh, what a tale 
of grace this tells ! God is indeed ' long suffering to usward, 
not wiUing that any should perish.' " 

We doubt not that the saved of this dispensation are far 
in excess of any previous one. How few were saved during 
the centuries which passed f rom the days of Abel up to the 
Flood! How few appear to have been saved during the 
times of the patriarchs ! How f ew among Israel, f rom the 
days of Joshua onwards, gave evidence of being born again ! 
How few seem to have been saved during the public min- 
istry of Christ — but a hundred and twenty were found in 
the upper room waiting for the Holy Spirit. How evident 
it is, then, that in contrast trom all that has preceded, the 



386 Gleanings in Genesis 

earth is now bringing forth ''in abundance'M It is the 
^'much fruit" ( Jno. 12 : 24) which our Lord declared shoold 
issue from His death. 

61. Joseph's exaltation was also followed hy a period of 
famine. 

''And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the 
land of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth 
began to come, according as Joseph had said; and the 
dearth was in all lands ; but in all the land of Egypt there 
was bread" (41:53, 54). Just as the **seven years'' — a 
complete period — pointed to the present interval of Grace, 
during which the great spiritual harvest is being gamered, 
so the *'seven years'' of famine (another complete period) 
look onward to that which shall follow the present dis- 
pensation. After the going forth of the Oospel of God's 
grace has accomplished its Divine purpose, and ^Uhe fulness 
of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11 : 25), the Holy Spirit 
wiU depart out of the world, and there shall come that sea- 
son which Scripture denominates **the great tribulation/' 
Many are the passages which refer to that season. It is 
termed **the time of Jacob's trouble'* (Jer. 30: 7), for then 
will be the season of Israel's darkest hour. It was to this 
Daniel referred when he said, **There shall be a time of 
trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to 
that same time " (Dan. 12 : 1) . Conceming this same i>eriod 
the Lord Jesus spake, when He said, **For in those days 
shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the 
creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 
And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh 
should be saved" (Mk. 13:19, 20). It will be the time 
when Satan is cast down to the earth, when the Antichrist 
shall be here in fuU power, and when the storm of Gk)d'8 
judgment shall burst upon the world. Morally and spirit- 
ually, it wiU be a time of **famine,'' and, like that which 
typiíied it in the days of Joseph, it shall be **very grievous'* 
(Gen. 41 : 31 ) . Moreover, the sphere encompassed by Qod's 
sore judgments in that day will be no local one, but just as 
we are told that the dearth of old was not confined to Egypt, 
but that '*the famine was over the face of all the ewrth" 
(41: 56), so in Revelation 3: 10 we are told, the "Hour of 
Temptation'' comes upon ^^áll the world, to try them which 
dwell upon the earth." It was of this same period that 



Joseph the Saviour of the World 387 

Amos prophesied, ^^Behold, the days come, saith the Lord 
God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a f amine of 
bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of 
the Lord. And they shall wander, f rom sea to sea, and f rom 
the north even to the east ; they shall run to and f ro to seek 
the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it" (Amos 8: 11, 
12). At present the world is enjoying the years of plenty, 
and how little it believes in the coming time of ''famine," 
now so near at hand! Be warned then, dear reader, and 
^'Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon 
Him while He is near'* (Isa. 55: 6) ; for, if you are left on 
earth for the coming Day of Wrath, it shall be said, '^the 
harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved'' 
(Jer. 8:20). 

62. Joseph is now seen dispensing hread to a perishing 
world. 

' ' And when all the land of Egypt was f amished, the peo- 
ple cried to Pharaoh f or bread : and Pharaoh said unto all 
the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do'' 
(41 : 55) . * * It was a wonderful thing that the despised and 
rejected Jew should be the passport to the favor of Pha- 
raoh; a wonderful thing that the rejected Jew should be 
cxalted into the place of a Saviour for a famine-smitten 
world; it was a wonderful thing that this rejected Jew 
should be the only Saviour f or that starving world. Equally 
true and wonderful is it today that Jesus the rejected Jew 
is the passport to the f avor of God ; that He is ' the Way, 
the Truth, and the Lif e, ' and that * no man cometh unto the 
Father but by Him'; wonderful that this rejected Christ 
fthould be exalted into a Saviour f or a f amine-smitten world ; 
wonderf ul that this rejected Christ is the alone Saviour f or 
a starving world. 

*' Joseph was sent by his father to his brethren that he 
might be a blessing unto them, and they ref used ; then God 
tumed their sin so that while it shoúld remain as a judg- 
ment to them, it might become a blessing to others. In 
sending His Son to fulfiU the promises made to the f athers, 
God would have brought covenant and numberless blessings 
to Israel; they refused, and God has made use of their 
blindness and sin to turn salvation to others. He has made 
the very sin and blindness of the people to be the occasion 
of grace and mercy to the whole world. * Through their f all 



388 Gleanings in Genesis 

salvation is come unto the Gentiles' (Rom. 11:11).' — 
Dr. H. 

63. Joseph álone dispensed the Bread of Life. 

It is beautif ul to observe here how Pharaoh directed all 
who cried to him f or bread to go unto Joseph : * ' And when 
all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to 
Pharaoh f or bread : and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyp- 
tians : Oo unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do*' (41 : 55) . 
May we not say this was the Gospel for Egypt, the good 
news that Joseph was the appointed Saviour, the glad ti- 
dings that whosoever was hungry might go to Joseph and 
obtain relief . How perf ectly this f oreshadowed the present 
€k)spel of God*s grace ! When a guilty and convicted sin- 
ner, with a great hunger in his soul, cries unto Qod, what 
is His responset Why, does He not refer all such to the 
person of His blessed Son ! Only in Christ is salvation to be 
found, for **neither is there salvation in any other: for 
there is none other Name under heaven, given among meu 
whereby we must be saved'' (Acts 4; 12). Just as of old 
Pharaoh said to the Egyptians, * * Go unto Joseph : what he 
saith to yon, do, ' ' so, upon the Mount of Transfiguration the 
Father said to the disciples of Christ, * * This is My beloved 
Son, ín whom I am well pleased; hear ye him^' (Mat. 17: 
5), and this is what He is stiU saying to men. 

64. Joseph hecame a Saviour to all peoples. 

* * And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph f or to buy 
com ; because that the famine was so sore in all lands'' (41 : 
57). Joseph was raised up by God to meet a world-wide 
need. The ^'dearth'* was in *'all lands'' (41:54). But 
God, through Joseph, made ample provision to supply the 
wants of all. There was nothing provincial about the boun- 
ties which Joseph dispensed, he readily gave to each alike, 
no matter whether it was the Egyptians, his own brothers, 
or strangers from distant lands, all were fed. And how 
blessed to know this is equally true of the Antitype ! God's 
Saviour f or sinners is no provincial one. He is f or both Jew 
and Gentile, rich and poor, educated and iUiterate, old and 
young, men and women — all, alike, may find in Him that 
which can satisfy their deepest need, the Gosj^el is f or every 
creature, and its terms are, ^^Whosoever believeth in Him 
shall not perish, but have everlasting life.*' And just as 
peoples from **all countries came to Joseph,** so those who 



Joseph the Saviour of the World 389 

will sing the new song in heaven shall proclaim, **Worthy 
art Thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof ; f or 
Thou wast slain, and didst purchase unto God with Thy 
blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people and na- 
tion'' (Rev. 5:9). 

65. Joseph had illimitahle resources to meet the need of 
all. 

* * And Joseph gathered com as the sand of the sea, very 
much, until he lef t numbering ; f or it was without number ' ' 
(41:49). How abundant was God's provision! He pro- 
vided with no niggardly hand. There was to be amply suffi- 
cient for every one that applied for the alleviation of his 
need. And how this reminds us of those blessed expressions 
which we meet with so frequently in the Epistles ! There 
we read of **the riches of His grace'* (Eph. 1:7), yea, '*the 
exceeding riches of His grace'' (Eph. 2:7). There we read 
of God being **rich in mercy'' (Eph. 2:4), and, again, of 
His **abundant mercy'* (1 Pet. 1:3). There we read of 
**the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph. 3:8), for '*in 
Him dwelleth all the fuUness of the Godhead bodily'' (Col. 
2:9). And again we are told, *'The same Lord over all is 
rich unto all that call upon Him'' (Rom. 10 : 12). 

Thank God, the Saviour He has provided for us is pos- 
sessed of iUimitable resources. There is no shortness or 
strainness in Him. There is infinite value in that precious 
blood which He shed .upon the Cross to make an atonement 
for sin. There is infinite pity in His heart toward sinners. 
There is infinite readiness and willingness on His part to 
receive all who wiU come to Him. There is tnfinite power 
in His arm to deliver and keep that which is committed 
unto Him. There is no sinner so depraved that Christ's 
blood cannot cleanse him. There is no sinner so bound by 
the fetters of Satan that Christ cannot free him. There is 
no sinner so weary and despondent that Christ cannot sat- 
isfy him. The promise of the Saviour Himself is, **Come 
unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I wiU 
give you resf' (Mat. 11: 28). 0, sin-sick soul, put Him to 
the test for yourself , and see. Come to Christ just as you 
are, in aU your wretchedness and need, and He wiU gladly 
receive you, blot cut aU your iniquities, and put a new song 
into your mouth. May God, in His grace, cause some de- 
spondent ones to prove f or themselves the infinite sufficiency 
of His Son. 



45. JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 
DISPENSATIONALLY CONSIDERED 

Since we left Gen. 37-38 nothing more has been heard 
of the family of Jacob. Joseph is the one upon whom the 
Holy Spirit has concentrated attention. In Qen. 37 we 
saw how Joseph was sent by his father on an errand of 
mercy to his brethren, inquiring after their welfare; that 
Joseph came unto them and they received him not; that, 
instead, they envied and hated him, and sold him into the 
hands of the Gentiles. Then, we have foUowed his career 
in Egypt, and have seen how that the Egyptians, too, 
treated him badly, casting him into the place of shame and 
humiliation. Also, we have seen how Qod vindicated His 
faithful servant, bringing him out of prison-house and 
making him governor of all Egypt. Pinally, we have 
learned how that Joseph's exaltation was foUowed by a 
season of plenty, when the earth brought f orth abundantly, 
and hów this in turn, was followed by a grievous famine, 
when Joseph came before us as the dispenser of bread to a 
perishing humanity. But during all this time the brethren 
of Joseph faded f rom view, but now, in the time of famine 
they come to the front again. 

AU of this is deeply significant, and perf ect in its typical 
application. Joseph foreshadowed the Beloved of the 
Father, sent to His brethren according to the flesh, seeking 
their welfare. But they despised and rejected Him. They 
sold Him, and delivered Him up to the Gentiles. The 
Gtentiles unjustly condemned Him to death, and foUowing 
the crucifixion, His body was placed in the prison of the 
tomb. In due time God delivered Him, and exalted Him 
to His own right hand. Following the ascension, Christ 
has been presented as the Saviour of the world, the Bread 
of Lif e f or a perishing humanity. During this dispensation 
the Jew is set aside : it is out f rom the Gentiles God is now 
taking a people for His name. But soon this dispensation 
shall have run its appointed course and then shall come the 
tribulation period when, foUowing the removal of the Holy 
Spirit from the earth, there shall be a grievous time of 
spiritual famine. It is during this tribulation period that 
God shaU resume His dealings with the Jews — the brethren 



390 



Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 391 

of Christ according to the flesh. Hence, true to the anti- 
type, Joseph's brethren figure prominently in the closing 
chapters of Genesis. Continuing our previous enumeration 
we shall now foUow the experiences of the brethren f rom 
the time they rejected Joseph. 

66. Joseph's brethren are driven out of their own land. 

In Gen. 37 the sons of Jacob are seen delivering up 
Joseph into the hands of the Gentiles, and nothing more is 
heard of them till we come to Gen. 42. And what do we 
read concerning them theret This: **Now when Jacob 
saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, 
Why do ye look one upon another t And he said, Behold, 
I have heard that there is corn in Egypt : get you down 
thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, 
and not die. And Joseph 's ten brethren went down to buy 
corn in Egypt. And the sons of Israel came to buy corn 
among those that came : for the famine was in the land of 
Canaan ' ' (42 : 1-3, 5 ) . Canaan was smitten by the scourge 
of God. It was eaten up by a famine. Jacob and his 
family were in danger of dying, and the pangs of hunger 
drove the brethren of Joseph out of their land, and com- 
pelled them to journey down to Egypt — symbol of the 
world. This was a prophecy in action, a prophecy that 
received its tragic fulfiUment two thousand years later. 
Just as a few years after his brethren had rejected Joseph, 
they were forced by a famine (sent from God) to leave their 
land and go down to Egypt, so a few years after the Jews 
had rejected Christ and delivered Him up to the Gentiles, 
God's judgment descended upon them, and the Romans 
drove them from their land, and dispersed them through- 
out the world. 

67. Joseph was unknown and unrecognized hy hi^ 
hrethren, 

''And Joseph was the govemor over the land, and he it 
was that sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's 
brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with 
their faces to the earth. And Joseph knew his brethren, 
but they knew not him'' (42:6, 8). Joseph had been 
exalted over all the house of Pharaoh, but Jacob knew it 
not. All these years he thought that Joseph was dead. And 
now his f amily is suffering f rom the f amine, the scourge o£ 



S92 Gleanings in Genesis 

Ood, and his sons, dríyen out of Oanaan by the pangs of 
hunger^ and going down to Egypt, they know not the one 
who was now governor of the land. So it has been with 
Jacob 's descendants ever sinee the time they re jected their 
Messiah. They received not the love of the truth, and for 
this cause Qod has sent them strong delusion that they 
should believe a lie. They know not that Ood raised the 
Lord Jesus : they believe He is dead, and through all the 
long centuries of the Christian era a veil has been over their 
hearts, and the beginning of the tribulation períod wiU find 
them stiU ignorant of the exaltation and glory of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

68. Joseph, however, saw and knew his hrethren. 

^^And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them" 
(42:7). Yes, Joseph **saw'' his brethren, his eye was 
upon them, even though they knew him not. So the eye of 
the Lord Jesus has been upon the Jews aU through the long 
night of their rejection. Hear His words (as Jehovah) 
through Jeremiah the prophet, ^^For mine eyes are upon 
aU their ways: they are not hid from My face, neither is 
their iniquity hid from Mine 'Eyes' '' (16:17). So, too, 
through Hosea, He said, '^I know Ephraim, and Israel Í8 
not hidfromMe'' (5:3). 

69. Joseph punished his hrethren. 

*'And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but 
made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto 

them and he put them aU together into ward three 

days" (42:7, 17). We quote here from the impressive 
words of Dr. Haldeman : * * Joseph was the cause of their 
troubles now. Joseph was punishing them for their past 
dealíng with himself. The secret of aU Judah's suffering 
during the past centuries is to be found in the faet that 
the rejected Messiah has been deaUng ^roughly' with 
them. He has been punishing them, making use of their 
wilfulness and the cupidity of the nations, but, aU the 
same, punishing them. *My God wiU cast them away, be- 
cause they do not hearken unto Him: and they shaU be 
wanderers among the nations ' ( Hosea 9:17). * For I say 
unto you, Ye shaU not see Me henceforth, tiU ye shall say, 
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.' (Matt. 
23:38, 39) 'That upon you may come aU the ríghteoua 



Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 393 

blood shed upon the earth, f rom the blood of righteous Abel 
unto the blood of Zeeharias, son of Barachias, whom ye 
slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto 
you, AU these things shall come upon this generation 
(nation) ' (Matt. 23: 35, 36). Nothing can account for the 
unparalleled suffering of this people, but the judgment 
and discipline of the Lord. ' ' 

70. Joseph made knoum to them a way of deliverance 
through Substitution. 

*'And he put them all together into ward three days. 
And Joseph said unto them the third day, this do, and 
live, for I fear God. If ye be true men, let one of your 
brethren be bound in the house of your prison; go ye, 
carry corn f or the f amine of your houses .... And he took 
from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes'' 
(42 : 17-19, 24). Once more we quote from Dr. Haldeman's 
splendid article on Joseph: 

*'0n the third day he caused Simeon to be bound in the 
place of his brethren, and declared that by this means they 
might all be delivered, in the third day era, that is to say, 
on the resurrection side of the grave. On the day of Pente- 
cost, the apostle Peter presented our Lord Jesus Christ as 
the risen one whom God had exalted to be a Prince and a 
Saviour unto Israel, declaring that if the latter should 
repent of their evil and sin toward Him whom He had sent 
to be Messiah and King, He would accept His death as the 
substitution for the judgment due them; that He would 
save them and send His Son again to be both Messiah and 
Saviour. ' ' 

71. Joseph made provision for his brethren while they 
were in a strange land. 

**Then Joseph commanded to fiU their sacks with com, 
and to restore every man 's money into his sack, and to give 
them provision for the way; and thus did he unto them'' 
(42:25). Although they knew not Joseph, and although 
he spoke roughly unto his brethren and punished them by 
casting tliem into prison, nevertheless, his judgments were 
tempered with mercy. Joseph would not suffer his brethren 
to perish by the way. They were here in a strange land, 
and he ministered unto their need. So it has been through- 
out this dispensation. Side by side with the faet that the 



S94 Gleanings in Genesis 

Jews have been severely punished by Gk)d, so that they 
have suffered as no other natíon, has been their miraeuloos 
preservation. Ood has sustained them during all the long 
centuries that they have been absent from their own land. 
God has provided for them by the way, as Joseph did for 
his erring brethrcn. Thus has Ood fulfiUed His promises 
of old. * ' For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee : 
though I make a full end of all nations whither I have 
scattered thee, yet wiU I not make a f uU end of thee ; but 
I will correct thee in measure, and I will not leave thee 
altogether unpunished ' ' ( Jer. 30 : 11 ) . And again ; * ' Thus 
saith the Lord Ood; although I have cast them far off 
among the heathen, and although I have scattered them 
among the countries, yet wiU I be to them as a little sanc- 
tuary in the countries where they shall come'' (Ezek. 
11:16). 

72. Joseph was made known to his brethren at the second 
time. 

This was emphasized by Stephen in his parting message 
to Israel ; * ' And at the second time Joseph was made known 
to his brethren" (Acts 7: 13). At their first visit, though 
Joseph knew his brethren, they knew not him. It was on 
the occasion of their second visit to Egypt that Joseph re- 
vealed himself to them. How marvelously accurate the 
type! The first time the Lord Jesus was seen by His 
brethren after the flesh, they knew Him not, but when they 
see Him the second time He shall be known by them. 

It is significant that the Holy Spirit has singled out this 
highly importaDt point, and has repeated it, again and 
again, in other types. ít was thus with Moses and IsraeL 
'^ And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, 
that he went out unto his irethren, and looked on their 
burdens ; and he spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one 
of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and 
when he saw that, there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, 
and hid him in the sand'' (Ex. 2:11, 12). And how did 
his brethren appreciate his intervention on their behalf f 
They despised him; they said, **Who made thee a prince 
and a judge over us" (Ex. 2: 14). They said, in effect, aa 
Israel said of Christ, ''We wiU not have this Man to reign 
over us" (Luke 19 : 14). But the second tims (after a long 
interval, during which Moses was hid from them) that he 
appeared unto them, they accepted him as their Leader. 



Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 395 

It was thus with Joshua and Israel. The first time that 
Joshua appeared before the Nation was as one of the two 
**spies" who brought to them a favorable report of the 
land, and counselled his brethren to go up and possess it. 
But Israel rejected his message (Num. 13). It was not 
until long after when Joshua came before the people, 
publicly, for the second time, that they accepted him as 
their Leader, and were conducted by him into their in- 
heritance. 

The same principle is illustrated, again, in the history of 
David. David was sent by his f ather seeking the welf are o£ 
his hrethren; ''And Jesse said unto David his son, take 
now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and 
these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren. And 
carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, 
and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge'' 
(1 Sam. 17:17-18). But when he reached them, they re- 
sented his kindness, and their ^^anger was kindled against 
David'' (See 1 Sam. 17:28), and it was not until years 
later that they, together with all Israel, owned him as their 
King. 

Each of these was a type of the Lord Jesus. The first 
time He appeared to Israel they received Him not; but at 
His second advent they shall accept Him as their Leader 
and King. 

73. Joseph^s hrethren confess their Ouilt in the sight of 
Ood. 

**And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lordt 
What shall we speak t or how shall we clear ourselves ! Ood 
hath found out the iniquity of thy servants^' (44:16). 
There are several striking verses in the prophets which 
throw light upon the antitypical significance of this point. 
** And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring 
you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which 
I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers. And 
there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, 
wherein ye have been defiled ; and ye shall loathe yourselves 
in your own sight f or all your evils that ye have committed ' ' 
(Ezek. 20:42, 43). And again, ^'I will go and return to 
My place, till they acknowledge their ojfence, and seek My 
face; in their affliction they will seek me early" (Hosea 
5:15). So it was with Joseph; he did not reveal himself 



S96 Gleanings in Genesis 

to his brethren until they had aeknowledged tbeir ''in- 
iquity. ' ' And so wiU Israel have to turn to Ood in real and 
deep penitenee before He sends His Son baek to them (see 
Acts 3:19, 20). 

74. Joseph's brethren were also, at first, trouhled in his 
presence. 

' ' And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph ; doth 
my father yet livet And his brethren could not answer 
him, for they were troubled at his presence" (45 : 3). How 
perf ectly does antitype correspond with type ! When Israel 
shall first gaze upon their rejected Messiah, we are told, 
'*And they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, 
and they shall mourn for Him, as one moumeth for his only 
son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in 
bitterness for his first born" (Zech. 12:10). As Israel 
shall learn then the awfulness of their sin in rejecting and 
crucifying their Messiah, they shall be ''troubled" indeed. 

75. Joseph acted toward his brethren in marvelous grace. 

''And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, 
I pray you. And they came near, And he said, I am 
Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now there- 
fore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold 
me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve 

lif e Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept 

upon them, and after that his brethren talked with him" 
(45:4, 5, 15). So shall it be when Israel is reconciled to 
Christ; **In that day there shall be a fountain opened to 
the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for 
sin and for uncleanness" (Zech. 13: 1). Then shall Christ 
say to Israel, *'For a small moment have I forsaken thee, 
but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath 
I hid My f ace f rom thee f or a moment ; but with everlast- 
ing kindness wiU I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy 
Eedeemer" (Is. 54:7, 8). 

76. Joseph was revealed as a Man of Compassion. 

**And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made 
himself known unto his brethren, And he wept oloud'* (45: 
1-2). Seven times over we read of Joseph weeping. He 
wept when he listened to his brethren conf essing their goilt 
(42 : 24) . He wept when he beheld Benjamin (43 : 30). He 
wept when he made himself known to his brethren (45: 



Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 397 

1-2). He wept when his brethren were reconciled to him 
(45:15). He wept over his father Jacob (46:29). He 
wept at the death of his father (50 : 1). And he wept when, 
later, his brethren questioned his love for them (50 : 15-17). 
How all this reminds us of the tenderheartedness of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, of whom we read so often, He was 
**moved with compassion," and twice that He **wept" — 
once at the graveside of Lazarus, and later over Jerusalem. 

77. Joseph revealed himself to Judah and his hrethren, 
hefore he was made known to the rest of Jacob's household, 

So, too, we are told in Zech. 12: 7, **The Lord also shall 
save the tents of Judah first." 

78. Joseph then sends for Jacóh. 

''ln Scripture, Judah stands for Judah and Benjamin 
considered together. You wiU note that it is Judah and 
Benjamin who are made prominent in the revelation of 
Joseph. Jaeob in prophetic language signifies the Ten 
Tribes. Sending for Jacob and his household, in typical 
language, is sending f or the Ten Tribes of Israel. Precisely 
as the type brings Judah before the self-disclosed Joseph, 
and then Jacob is brought into the land in the presence of 
Joseph, so the scriptures clearly teach us that after the 
Lord comes to repentant Judah and is received by them at 
Jerusalem, He wiU send for the remaining household of 
Jacob, for the lost and wandering tribes of Israel, to come 
into the land to own and greet him. *And they shall bring 
all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord, out of alí 
nations' (Is. 66:20)'' — Br. Haldeman. 

79. Joseph's hrethren go forth to proclaim his glory. 

**Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, 
thus saith thy son Joseph, Ood hath made me lord of all 

Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not And ye shall 

tell my f ather of áll my glory in Egypf (45: 9, 13). In 
like manner, af ter Israel has been reconciled to Christ, they 
shall go f orth to tell of the glories of their King : * * And I 
wiU send those that escape of them unto the nations, to 
Tarshish, Pul and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and 
Javan, to the isles af ar off, that have not heard My f ame, 
neither have seen My glory, and they shall declare My glory 
among the Gentiles'* (Is. 66:19). And again: **And the 
remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as 



398 Gleanings in Genesis 

a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that 
tarrieth not for man" (Mieah. 5:7). 

80. Joseph makes ready his chariot and goes forth to 
meet Jacob. 

**And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to 
meet Jacob his father'' (46:29). Says Dr. Haldeman, 
* * This is really the epiphany of Joseph. He reveals himself 
in splendor and Kingliness to his people. He meets Judah 
in Goshen first and then meets his f ather, the household of 
Jacob. This is a representation of the truth as we have al- 
ready seen it. It is the coming of Christ in His glory to 
meet Judah first, and then all Israel. Our attention is 
specially drawn to his appearing to the people in chariots 
of glory. So of the greater Joseph we read, *For, behold, 
the Lord wiU come with fire, and with His chariots like a 
whirlwind' (Is. 66: 15).'* 

81. Joseph settles his hrethren in a land of their own. 

*'And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country 
of Goshen ; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and 
multiplied exceedingly" (47:27). Goshen was the best 
part of the land of Egypt (symbol of the world). As 
Pharaoh had said, **The land of Egypt is before thee, in 
the best of the land make thy f ather and brethren to dwéil ; 
in the land of Goshen let them dwell" (47:6). So Pal- 
estine, when restored to its pristine beauty and fertility, 
shall be * * the best land ' ' in all the earth ; and there, in the 
MiUennium, shall Israel have * * possessions ' ^ and **multiply 
exceedingly." 

82. Joseph's hrethren prostrate themselves hefore him as 
the Bepresentative of God. 

* * And his brethren also went and f ell bef ore his f ace ; and 
they said, Behold we be thy servants. And Joseph said 
unto them, Fear not ; for (am) I in the place of Godt " (50 : 
18, 19). The prophetic dream of Joseph is realized. The 
brethren own Joseph's supremacy, and take the place o£ 
servants bef ore him. So in the coming Day, all Israel shall 
fail down before the Lord Jesus Christ, and say, **Lo, this 
is our God ; we have waited f or Him, and He will save us ; 
this is the Lord ; we have waited f or Him, we wiU be glad 
and rejoice in His salvation" (Is. 25:9). 

We close at the point f rom which we started. Joseph 



Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 399 

fiignifies **Addition," and Addition is Increafie, and **in. 
erease ' ' is the very word used by the Holy Spirit to describe 
the dominant characteristic of the Kingdom of Him whom 
Joseph so wondrously foreshadowed. **0f the increase of 
His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the 
throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it and to 
establish it with judgment and with justice f rom hencef ortíi 
even for ever'' (Is. 9:7). 



46. JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 
EVANGELICALLY CONSIDERED 

We have grouped together again the last nine chapten oi 
Oenesis, which treat principally of Joseph and his brethren» 
and have singled out from them the most prominent and 
significant of their typical teachings. In our last article, 
we contemplated the dispensational bearings of the type, 
and this is, no doubt, its primary application. But there Í8 
also a secondary one, one which we may term the evan' 
gelical, and it is this we shall now consider. Joseph here 
strikingly prefigures Christ as the Saviour of sinners^ while 
his brethren accurately portray the natural condition of 
the ungodly, and in the experiences through which they 
passed as their reconciliation with Joseph was finally 
effected, we have a lovely Oospel representation of the un- 
saved being brought f rom death unto lif e. Continuing our 
previous enumeration, note. 

83. Joseph^s brethren dwelt in a land wherein was no 
corn. 

They dwelt in Canaan, and we are told, ^Hhe famine was 
in the land of Canaan" (42: 5). There was nothing there 
to sustain them. To continue where they were meant death, 
therefore did Jacob bid his sons go down to Egypt and 
buy from there **that we may live, and not die'* (42:2). 
Such is the eondition which obtains in the place where the 
ungodly dwell. Alienated from the life of Ood, they are 
living in a world which is smitten with a Spiritual famine, 
in a world which f umishes no f ood f or the Soul. The ex- 
perience of every unregenerate person is that of the Prod- 
igal Son — there is nothing f or him but the husks which the 
swine f eed upon. 

84. Joseph^s hrethren wished to pay for what they re- 
ceived. 

**And Joseph's ten brethren went down to huy com in 
Egypf' (42:3). It is striking to observe the prominence 
of this f eature here. The word * * buy ' ' occurs no less than 
five times in the first ten verses of this chapter. Clearly, 
they had no other thought of seeuring the needed food than 



400 



Joseph and His Brethren, Evangelically Considered 401 

by purchasing it. Such is ever the conception of the natural 
man. His own mind never rises to the level of receiving a 
gift from Ood. He supposes that he must earn God's ap- 
proval, win God's favor, and merit God's acceptance of 
him. ít was thus with Naaman, when he went to the prophet 
of God, to be healed of his leprosy. This was the Prodigal 's 
conception — ^ ' make me as one of thy hired servants, ' ' that 
is, as one who worked f or what he received. So it was here 
with Joseph 's brethren. And so it is still with every natural 
man. 

85. Joseph^s hrethren assume a self-righteous attitude as 
they conie hefore the lord of Egypt. 

When they appeared before Joseph he tested them. He 
^'spoke roughly unto them'' (42:7). He said, *'Ye are 
spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come" (42: 
9). And what was their responsef They answered him, 
' ' Nay , my lord, but to buy f ood are thy servants come. We 
are ali one man 's sons ; we are true men ; thy servants are 
no spies'' (42:10, 11). It is thus when God begins His 
work with the sinner. He wounds before He heals, He 
wounda in order that He may heal. By His Spirit He 
speaks **roughly.'' He sends forth the arrow of conviction. 
He speaks that which condemns the natural man. And what 
is the sinner's first responset He resents this **rough*^ 
speaking. He repudiates the accusations brought against 
him. He denies that he is totally depraved and **dead in 
trespasses and sins." He attempts to vindicate himself. 
He is self-righteous. He boasts that he is a ^^true man"! 

86. Joseph^s hrethren were cast into prison for three days. 

'*And he put them all together into ward three days** 
(42 : 17). This was not unjust, nor was it harsh treatment, 
It was exactly what they deserved. Joseph was putting 
these men into their proper place, the place of shame and 
condemnation. It is thus God deals with the lost. The 
sinner must be made to realize what is his just due. He 
must be taught that he deserves nothing but punishment. 
He must be shown that the place of condemnation and shame 
is where he, by right, belongs. He must be abased before 
he can be exalted. 



402 Gleanings in Genesis 

87. Joseph^s hrethren were now smitten in their Cún^ 
science. 

' ' And they said one to another, We are verily guilty con- 
ceming our brother, in that we saw the anguish o£ his soul, 
when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is 
this distress come upon us" (42 : 21). Notice they said this 
* * one to another, ' ' not yet were their consciences active ín 
the presence of Ood! The analogy holds good in the ex- 
perience of the unregenerate. As God 's work goes f orward 
in the soul, conscience becomes active, there is deep ^'dis- 
tress, ' ' and there is an acknowledgment of sin, but at this 
stage the awakened and troubled one has not yet come to 
the point where he will take the place of a lost sinner hefore 
Ood. 

88. Joseph makes it known that deliverance is hy Orcu^ 

*'Then Joseph commanded to fiU their sacks with com, 
and to restore every man^s money into his sack, and to give 
them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them'* 
(42 : 25) . What a lovely touch to the picture is this! The 
Bread of Lif e cannot be purchased. It must be accepted as 
a free gift, if it is received at all. The terms of the Gospel 
are ^'without money, and unthout price.'' And how beau- 
tif uUy was this shown f orth here, when Joseph, as the type 
of Christ, orders the money to be restored to those who came 
to **buy the corn." Clearly, this was a foreshadowing o£ 
the blessed truth, **By grace are ye saved, through faith; 
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not o£ 
works, lest any man should boast'' (Eph. 2:8, 9), 

89. Joseph^s hrethren now enjoy a hrief respite. 

*'And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed 
thence'' (42:26). They had been brought out of prison, 
the desired corn was obtained, and they were retuming 
home. Their minds were now at rest, and we may well con- 
clude that their recently disturbed consciences were quiet 
again. But not yet had they been brought into their trae 
rest. Not yet had they been reconciled to Joseph. Only 
temporary relief had been obtained after all. Deeper ex- 
ercises lie before them. And how strikingly this prefigures 
the experiences of the awakened sinnerl After the first 
season of convietion is over, after one has first leamed that 
salvation is by grace and not by works, there generally fol- 



Joseph and His Brethren, Evangelically Considered 403 

lows a season of relief, a temporary and false peace is 
enjoyed, before the sinner is truly and savingly brought 
into the presence of Christ. 

90. Joseph's brethren soon had their superficial peace 
disturhed. 

'^And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass 
provender in the inn, he espied his money ; f or, behold, it 
was in his sack's mouth. And he said unto his brethren, 
My money is restored, and lo, it is even in my sack: and 
their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to 
another, What is this that God hath done unto usT'* (42: 
27, 28). How true to life again! The type is easily in» 
terpreted. God wiU not allow the awakened soul to rest 
until it rests upon Christ alone. And, so, He causes the 
experiences of the way to dispel the false peace. What do 
we read of next T ' ' And the f amine was sore in the land. 
And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the com which 
they had brought out of Egypt, their f ather said unto them, 
Go again, buy us a little food" (43 : 1, 2). And again, the 
analogy is easily traced. The hunger of the Soul becomes 
more acute in the one with whom the Spirit of God is deal- 
ing; the sense of need is deepened; the '^famine'* con- 
ditions of this poor world are f elt more keenly. And there 
is no relief to be obtained until, once more, he comes into 
the presence of the true Govemor of Egypt. 

91. Joseph's brethren continued to manifest a legal spirit. 

** And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so 
now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your 
vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, 
and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds. . . . 
And the men took that present, and they took double money 
in their hand, and Benjamin, and rose up, and went down 
to Egypt, and stood before Joseph" (43:11, 15). How 
like the soul that has begun to be exercised before God! 
Uneasy in conscience, and discerning more and more the 
vanity of the world, the sinner redoubles his efforts to please 
Ood, He turns over a new leaf and seeks harder than ever 
to win God's approval. How little these men knew Joseph 
— ^what did he, as Governor over all Egypt, want with their 
presents ! And how little, as yet, the newly awakened soul, 
knows Christ! Joseph said, **These men shall dine with 
me at noon'' (43 : 16). So, too, Christ is the One who has 



404 Gleanings in Genesis 

spread the f east. The word of the Oospel is, ^ ^ Come f or all 
things are now ready " (Luke 14: 17). Christ is the Pro- 
vider; the poor sinner is but the receiver. 

92. Joseph^s hrethren are now made happy again. 

' ' And they sat bef ore him, the firstbom according to his 
birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and 
the m'en marvelled one at another. And he took and sent 
messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess 
was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, 
and were merry with him'' (43 : 33, 34). Ah, what is manl 
Not yet had sin been told out. Not yet had a right relation- 
ship been established. Nevertheless, they could be * * merry. * * 
A superficial observer would have concluded that all was 
now well. It reminds us of the stony ground in the 
parable of the Sower — he ^'heareth the Word, and anon 
with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself 
(Matt. 13 : 20, 21) . It is greatly to be feared that there are 
many such to-day. God's saving work goes much deeper 
than producing evanescent emotions. 

93. Joseph is determined to hring his hrethren out inio 
the light. 

'^And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, 
FiU the men's sacks with food as much as they can carry, 
and put every man's money in his sack's mouth. And put 
my cup in the saek's mouth of the youngest, and his com 
money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had 
spoken" (44: 1, 2). There could be no settled or real fel- 
lowship between Joseph and his brethren until the wrong 
had been righted. There could be no communion of heart 
until fuU confession of guilt had been made. And this is 
the goal God has in view. He desires to bring us into fel- 
lowship with Himself. But He is holy^ and sin must be 
conf essed and put away, bef ore we can be reconciled to Him. 

94. Joseph 's hrethren, at last, take their true place hefore 
God. 

They had been in the presence of Joseph, though thqr 
knew him not; they had been **merry" before him, and 
they were now going on their way light-heartedly. Joseph, 
then, sent his **steward" after them, saying, **Up, folloíW 
after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say 
unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil fop goodt" 



Joseph and His Brethren, Evangelically Considered 405 

(44:4). In like manner, the Lord sends His Holy Spirit 
to f ollow np His work in the heart o£ the awakened soid. 
The "steward" brought baek the brethren into the presence 
of Joseph once more. Thus, too, does the Holy Spirit bring 
the convicted sinner back into the presence of God. And 
mark the sequel here: **And Judah said, What shall we 
say unto my lordf what shx:!! we speakf or how shall we 
clear ourselvesf GOD hath found out the iniquity of thy 
servants^' (44: 16). How blessed is thisl What a change 
f rom their earlier attitude before him, when they affirmed 
they were ^Urue men'M Now, they give up all attempt to 
clear themselves, and take the place of guilty ones before 
Joseph, acknowledging that God had '*found out'* their 
^Hniquity.^^ This is the goal Joseph has had before him 
all the way through. And this is the design of the Spirit's 
work in the sinner. Not tiU he ceases to vindicate himself , 
not tiU he comes out into the light, not till he owns he is 
guilty^ and undble to * ' clear himself , ' ' can he be blest. Once 
the sinner acknowledges bef ore God that he is undone, lost, 
it wiU not be long tiU Christ is revealed to him as the One 
who can fuUy meet his deep, deep need. So it was with 
Joseph and his brethren. 

95. Joseph made himself known to his hrethren. 

* * Then Joseph could not ref rain himself bef ore all them 
that stood by him, and he cried, Cause every man to go out 
f rom me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph 
made himself known unto his brethren'^ (45:1). How 
blessed to note the opening word here — ^*Then.^^ Now 
that his brethren had acknowledged their guilt, there was 
no delay. That which had áindered Joseph f rom revealing 
himself sooner was now gone. 

Notice, particularly, that as Joseph made himself known 
unto his brethren he cried, **Cause every vMm to go out 
f rom me. ' ' Thus it is when Christ reveals Himself to the 
self-conf essed and needy sinner. None must come between 
the needy soul and the Eedeemer. Away, then, ye priests, 
who pose as mediators. Away, ye ritualists who would 
interpose your ordinances as conditions of salvation. Away, 
all ye human interferers, who would get the poor sinner 
occupied with any but Christ alone. Let ^^every man go 
out.'' 



406 Gleanings in Genesis 

96. Joseph invites his brethren to come near to him. 

^ ' And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, 
I pray you. And they came near" (45:4). Unspeakably 
blessed is this. There is no aloofness here. All distance is 
done away with. So, too, in marvelous grace, the Saviour 
bids the poor trembling sinner ' * Come near ' ' unto Himself . 
Joseph did more. He proelaimed in their ears a wondrous 
message; he said, ''God hath sent me before you to pre- 
serve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives hy 
a great deliverance^^ (45:7). 

' ' It is a great salvation, mark. It is not the limited, 
partial, mean salvation that some men would make it out to 
be — saving only those who help to save themselves, or sav- 
ing them for a time, and allowing them to lapse and be 
lost again. Oh no, thank God, it is a salvation worthy of 
Himself , and such a salvation as only could result f rom that 
finished, f aultless work of Christ on the Cross. And what 
but a great salvation could avail for sinners such as wef 
We are all of us great sinners; our guilt was great, our 
need was great, and nothing but a great salvation could be 
of any use to us. I hope you have it, friend. Don't neglect 
it. ' How shall we escape, ' the Spirit asks, * if we neglect so 
great salvationT (Heb. 2:3)'' (Mr. Knapp). 

97. Joseph tells his brethren of full provision made for 
them. 

He said, **And thou shalt dwell in the land of Ooshen, 
and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and 
thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and 
all that thou hast. And there wiU I nourish thee ; f or yet 
there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy house« 
hold, and all that thou hast come to poverty" (45 : 10, 11). 
How this tells out, in type, what is in the heart of our 
blessed Saviour! He desires His redeemed to be near to 
Himself ! He is to be no Stranger to them now. Moreover, 
He promises to sustain them — *'there wúU I nourish thee'* 
said Joseph, and the promise to all who believe is, * * My Ood 
shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory 
by Christ Jesus'' (Phil. 4:19). 

98. Joseph gives proof that he is fully reconciled to his 

hrethren. 

**Moreover, he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon 
them, and after that his brethren talked with him" (45 : 15). 



Joseph and His Brethren, Evangelically Considered 407 

The '*kiss" betokened the fact they were forgiven. It 
speaks, too, of love. Thus was the Prodigal greeted after 
he retumed from the far country and owned himself as a 
sinner. Notice, it was Joseph who kissed them, and not the 
brethren who kissed Joseph. So, also, it was the Father 
who kissed the Prodigal. God always takes the initiative, 
at every point. How blessed, too, the words which foUow, 
**and after that his brethren talked with him.'' Their fears 
were all gone now. Reconciled to Joseph, they could now 
enjoy his fellowship and converse with him. So it is with 
the saved sinner and his Saviour. 

99. Joseph^s joy was shared by others. 

**And the fame thereof, was heard in Pharaoh's house, 
saying, Joseph 's brethren are come, and it pleased Pharaoh 
well, and his servants'' (45 : 16). '^This is the Old Testa- 
ment fifteenth of Luke. Sinners are received and recon- 
ciled ; the lost is f ound ; it is, as it wer e, * lif e f rom the dead ' 
with souls. 'And there is joy in the presence of God.' 
God and the angels, like Pharaoh and his servants, rejoice 
when sinners are brought to repentance. There is joy all 
around. Joseph rejoices; his brethren rejoice; Pharaoh 
rejoices; his servants rejoice" (Mr. Knapp). 

100. Joseph^s brethren now go forth seeking others. 

Joseph gave to his brethren an honorable commission. 
He had said to them, **Haste ye, and go up to my father, 
and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath 
made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry 

not And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in 

Egypt, and of all that ye have seen ; and ye shall haste and 
bring down my father hither" (45:9, 13). So, too, in 
marvelous grace, the Lord commissions those whom He 
saves. He bids them go f orth seeking others who know Him 
not. Joseph bade his brethren tell Jacob that he was alive, 
that God had made him * * lord of all Egypt, ' ' and they were 
to tell of his * * glory. ' ' In like manner, believers are sent 
forth to tell of a Saviouí that is alive for evermore; of a 
Saviour whom God hath made *'both Lord and Christ^'; 
of a Saviour, who has been crowned with '*glory and 
honor." Notice that twice over Joseph bade his brethren 
to make **haste" in their going forth (vv. 9, 13). So with 
us : there is to be no tardiness. The King 's business * * re- 



408 Gleanings in Genesis 

quireth haste." The time is short, and precious souls are 
perishing all around. 

101. Joseph gives his hrethren a word of admonition as 
they go forth. 

**So he sent his brethren away, and they departed and 
he said unto them, 8ee that ye fall not out hy the way^' 
(45 : 24) . And how much we need this word of exhortation. 
The flesh is stiU in us. The Devil seeks to stir up a spirit 
of rivalry and jealousy. But says the apostle, * ' The servant 
of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all'' (2 
Tim. 2: 24). If each of us were to heed this, there would 
be no * * f alling out by the way ' ' ! 

We leave the reader to trace out f or himself the typical 
application of the sequel. Joseph's brethren were faithful 
to the commission given them. They did not invent a mes- 
sage of their own as they approached Jacob. They had no 
need to do so. Joseph had told them what to say; their 
business was to repeat the words of Egypt's '^governor.** 
And God owned their message. The end for which it was 
designed was achieved. Jacob and his household — seventy 
souls in all — ^went down to Egypt and were royally received 
by Joseph. So, too, we do not have to invent our message. 
We are sent forth to '*preach the Word,'' and as we are 
faithful to our calling, God will reward us, for He has 
promised that His Word **shall not return unto Him void.'* 
Let us be encouraged then by this example of the first Old 
Testament evangelists, and go forth into a famine-stricken 
world telling of One who is mighty to save, leaving the 
measure of our success to the sovereign will of Him who 
alone giveth the increase. Thus shall we have a share in 
discharging our honorable commission of giving the Oospel 
to every creature, thus shall we glorify God, and thus shall 
we be bringing nearer that glad Day when the One whom 
Joseph f oreshadowed shall return to this earth, and, taking 
the government upon His shoulder, shall reign in righteous- 
ness and peace. 



r