James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 1) online

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must have religion." So I say to-day, concerning that better faith,
which overthrows what Eomanism sets up, which breaks the
shackles Romanism binds on, which is the only security of
national permanence, — America must have religion.*


1 — 4. (1) Jacob, having bought the birthright, dwelt . .
Strang-e," lit. in the land of his father's sojournings. (2)
generations, family hist. Joseph . . old, at wh. time Isaac
was living, feeding" . . brethren, lit. was tending his brethren
in the flock, lad . . wives, with tJu-se in particular, and . .
report, an ace. of their ill-doings : this was part of his duty as
overseer. (8) because . . age,^ lit. son of old age to him;
perh. it means son of wisdom, wise son : wisdom and age being
related, and . . colours,'' prob. to sig. distinction, office. (4)
hated,'' instead of imitating his example.

Jo.^rj;h'.^ coat of maun colours (v. 8). — It may remind us — I. Of
the dress which earthly parents i^repare for their children.
Respecting which consider — 1 . They toil to procure it, working
hard and long. 2. They exercise thought in selecting-. Have to
consider size, season, material, appearance. 8. They have to
inspect it often. How it has been used ; how it wears ; does it
need repair. 4. They have to renew it often. The best will
wear out or be o-at-grown, (See 1 Sam. ii. 19.) II. Of the robe
which our Heavenly Father prepares for those who love Him.
1. We need clothing for the soul, as well as for the body (1 Pet.
iii. 3, 4 ; v. 5). God knows what things we have need of, even
if we are unconscious of our need (Rev. iii. 17). 2. We cannot
make, or purchase, soul-clothing. We must receive it as a free
gift. Only Ood can give it (Rev. iii. 18). 8. For earnest, per-
severing, asking — accompanied by watching — we may obtain
the robe of righteousness, the garment of salvation. This robe ]
Jesus \\TOught for us. 4. This robe will fit well, look well, wear
for ever. It is a white robe. AMiite includes all the colours
(explain). Hence it is a coat of many colours. 5. It is a court
dress (explain) in which to enter the great King's presence.
Learn — (1) Be careful of clothes. Those who cannot earn them j
may lessen their parents' expenses and labour and anxiety by'
taking care of them. (2) Keep your soul-clothes unspotted from i
the world. Beware of sin-stains, and of self-righteous cleansing j
and patching. (See the hymn by Dr. Watts, "Awake, my heart;
tu-jse. my tongue.'") I

FamiLij tiaininrj. — "Anothor manifest principle observed byj
Mrs. Wesley in the education and ti. 'ning of her family, was

B.C. 1796.

"Kings do with
men as with
pieces of money;
they give tliem
wliat value tliey
ploase, and we
are obliged to
receive them at
tlieir current and
not at tlieir
real value." — La

a C. D. Fost.

B.C. dr. 1728.

the history
of Joseph.

his coat of



a Ge. xvii. 8; He.
xi. 9.

b Ge. xliv. 20.

c The LXX. and

Vulg. say, a
garm. of dif.
pieces, patch-
work; hence, of
dif. colours.
Other V.S. as
Aquila, Svriac,
etc., say a tunic
with fringes
reaching to
liands and feet.
See Jos. Ant. vii
8, 1, and cf. 2 S4,
xiii. 18.

d Ep. vl 4.

"It is the curse
of service; pre-
ferment goes by
letter and affec-
tion, not by the
old gradation,
when each
second stood
heir to the first."
— Shakespeare.

"Atalmost every
step in lite wc
meet wish young
meu from wiium
we a u I i c i p U/ 1 c
tking.-^, but o/



[Cap. xxxvii. 5—81

B.C. 1713.

whom, after
careful inquiry,
we never
another word.
Like certain
chintzes, calicoes
and ginghams,
they show finely
on their first
newness, but
cannot stand the
sun ana rain, and
assume a very
sober aspect after
washing-day." —

e J, Kit*.

his dreams

the sheaves

a Ge. xlii. 6, 9;
xliii. 26 ; xliv. 14.

Sheaf, the stalks
of grain, shored
and bound to-
gether. A.S.
sceaf. Ger. sJiaub,
A.S. sceofun, Ger.
schieben, tO shove.

If Dr. Thomas.

«' What the ten- j
der and poetic I
youth dreams I
to-day, and con- i
jures up with
inar t icula te |
speech, is to-
morrow the vo-
ciferated result
of pulilic opinion,
andt.he oay after
is ihe character
of narions." —

"Nothing so
much convinces
me of the bound-
lessness of the
human mind as
its operations in
dreaming." — W.
B. Clldoio.

"Every one turns
his dreams into
realities •■s far as
he can ; man is
cold as ice to the
truth, hot as fire
to falseliood." —
La Fontaine.

9 Dry den.

that of thorough impartiality. There was no pet lamb in her
deeply interesting- flock ; no Joseph among her children to be
decked out in a coat of many colours, to the envy of his less
loved brethren. It was supposed by some of her sisters that
Martha was a greater favourite with Mrs. Wesley than the rest
of her children, and Charles expressed his ' wonder that so wise
a woman as his mother could give way to such a partiality, or
did not better conceal it.' This, however, was an evident mis-
take. Many years afterwards, when the saying of her brother
was mentioned to Martha, she replied, '"WTiat my sisters call
partiality was what they might all have enjoyed if they had
wished it, Avhich was permission to sit in my mother's chamber
when disengaged, to listen to her conversation v\^ith others, and
to hear her remarks on things and books out of school-hours.'
There is certainly no evidence of partiality here. All her children
stood before her on a common level, with equal claims, and all
were treated in the same way."«

6—8. (5) he . . brethren, a more crafty person would have
concealed it. they . . more, without perfectly understanding
it, they saw it pointed to his advancement. Perh. regarded it as
the result of ambitious day-dreams. (6) he . . them, in guile-
less confidence. (7) behold, etc.,^ imagery related to most
familiar objects, shalt . . us, they understood this to be the
general drift of the dream.

The (lreamiiofJost.'2)h (v. .5 — 11). — Look at these dreams as illus-
trating — I. The visions of youth. A tendency to brighten the
future belongs t© youth. This tendency serves to — 1. Increase
the amount of man's happiness on this earth ; 2. Supply a mighty
stimulus to our msntal powers ; 3. Intimate what human nature
would have been had there been no sin. II. The jealousies of
society. Three remarks about this jealousy. It is — 1. Very
general ; 2. An unhappy feeling ; 3. Unchristian. III. The
destiny of virtue. Glory is ever the destiny of virtue. 1. There
is much in a vii-tuOus life itself to ensure advancement; ; 2.
Advancement is pledged by God Himself to a virtuous life.
Learn in conclusion : — (1) The fata of eminence ; (2) The patli
of glory.*

Human views of dreams. —

Dreams are but interludes which fancy makes ;
When monarch reason sleeps, this mimic wakes ;
Compounds a medley of disjointed things,
A court of cobblers, and a mob of kings ;
Light fumes are merry, grosser fumes are sad.
Both are the reasonable soul run mad ;
And many monstrous f oitus in sleep we see,
That neither were, nor are, nor e'er can be.
Sometimes forgotten things, long cast behind,
Rush forward in the brain, and come to mind.
The nurse's legends are for truths receiv'd-
And the man's dreams but what the boy believ'd*
Sometimes we but rehearse a former play,
The night restores our actions done by day,
As hounds in sleep svill open. for their prey}
In short, the farce of dreams is of a piece,
Chimeras all, and more absurd or less.«

Cap, xxxvll. 9—18.]



B.C. cir. 1729.


9—11. (9) and . . dream, imagery dif., but meaning- the
same. Repetition confirms tlie certainty of the event predicted.
sun . . moon, ref. to father and mother : first dream ref. to
brethren alone. (10) rebuked, if for dnanibifi, this was unjust, j dream
since Joseph coiild hardly be responsible for his dreams : if for a Lu. ii. ]o.
77'/'c?f////7 the dream, Jacob showed want of faith. (11) father.. " Dreaming is an
saying-," lit. kept the word : i.e. laid it to heart. fic't of pure

The href liven and father of Joseph (v. 11).— We observe— I. ;estfn-''^T^ all
That both brethren and father were worshippers, in the dream \ men a creative
which they heard related. II. That, if any might naturally be I P/'wer which,^ if
angry wdth Joseph for so dreaming, it was the father. III. That I '" ' " ''

sundry matters of interest account for the difference in the
feelings of the father and brethren ; but chiefly the faith, in God
that Jacob jjossessed.

Interpretation of dreams. — Many people find out more mysteries
in their sleep than they can well expound waking. If they dream
of a green garden, they shall hear of a dead corpse ; if they
dream_they shake a dead man by the hand, then there is no way
but death. It is sui^erstition. folly, to repose any such confidence
in dreams ; but. if any man desire to profit by them, let him con- j ^—t1 p. Blount.
sider in what direction these usually carry him. so by his thoughts i '■ Dreams a.
in the night, he shall learn to know himself by day. Be his i like portraits

it were availah^
in -wakiiig. would
make every man
a DaiUe or a
Shakespeare." — ■
F. H. Hedge.
'•As dreams are
the fancies of
lliose that sleep,
so fancies are
but the dreams
of those awake."

dreams lustful, he may ask if his heart runs after concupiscence ; | ^'^'^ ^^^ ^^ ^"^y
are they turbulent, they may indicate a contentious disposition ; \\^^y^ are^^con-
are they revengeful, they point out malice ; run they upon gold
and silver, they argue covetousness. Generally, men answer to
such waking, as their thoughts do sleeping.*

N. fr. Hebron where

teased resem-

b lance s." —


h Spencer.

he is sent to

"As ships meet
at sea a moment
together, when

12—14. (12) Shechem, ab. sixty ms
Jacob then was

(14) see . . well, Ut. see the peace, etc. Jacob might judge the
neighbourhood of Shechem an unsafe place.

Joseph's filial ohedience (v. 13). — Eeady at his father's bidding
to— I. Set out on a long journey. II. Set out on a long journey j words of greeting
through enemies' country. III. Set out on a long journey to j must be Vpoken,
brethren who hated him (comp. with Jesus). !u"on*^he d"^.^^

The Yale of Slieehent. — Having crossed the hill, we entered the 'socmen meeT?n
rich vale of Shechem, or ISTablous, clad with olives, full of gardens i this world : and
and orang-e groves, with palm trees, and watered by plenteous |l^l""k^''''0'liould
rills. It was the brightest and most civilised scene we had met j ^^^^^ "°wh£t
with. Passengers on horse and foot, many of iiem unarmed, j hailing hiu:. and
were travelling to and fro : camels, in long file, laden with i if _ he needs
cotton bales, were mingled with asses bearing firewood and \ pJ,^^""_^V."^ /"^"
baskets of cotton husks to the city ; and Vv-ild horsemen were | ., „^* ^"^ 1^'
galloping in and out as they skilfully threaded their way among j oonuiit'^'ihaT ^a
the laden beasts. Jays and woodpeckers laughed among the j reputation for
olive trees, and a fox slunk past us to his hole : while the home- j honesty is ac-
like caw of the jackdaw, whose acquaintance we had not before idl?ii7r^-,v^ronff"—
mad 3 in the country, was re-echoed from the poplar trees and the i he Levis.
minarets.« a Dr. Tristram.

15 — 18. (15) wandering-, etc.. he would not return without they conspire
information of his brethren. His father would be anx' ns. against him
(T/te)/ showed less thought presently.) (16) tell . . flocks, a2K. vi. 13.
flocks of such size could hardly be unnoticed. (17) let . . 6 Ps. xxxvii. 32.
Dothan, either bee. of danger : or of scant herbage. Dotban'^ j .; combinations
{tn'o eisterm or wells), on S. edje of plain of Esdraelon ; ab. j of wickpduesg

VOL. I. li



[Cap. xxxvii. 19—291

B.C. cfr. 1729. j

would over- I
whel-m the world j
by theadvmtage :
which licentious
priQciples afford, ]
did not those ;
who have long
practise 1 perfidy !
grow faithless to j
each other." —
Johnson. \

"OoDspi aciesno
BOoner should be j
formed than exe- j
gvAqJu'— Addison, i

"Conspiracies, '
like thunder-!
clouds, should in i
a moni'^Tit firm i
and strilie, like ;
lightning, ere the ,
sound is heard"
— J. Dow.

e Dr. Cuyler.

V. 17, 18. Bp.
Words war th,
Christian Boy-
hood, ii. 52.

their plot
and Reuben's

a Pr. xxvii. 4;
Ma. xxvii. 14.

h Ge. xUi. 22.

" On him that
takes revenge
revenge shall be
taken, and by a i
real evil he shall !
dearly pay for I
the goods that !
are but airy and \
fantastical ; it is j
like a rolling j
Btone, which. I
when a man hath j
forced up a hill, j
will return upon \
him with a i
greater violence, i
and break those
hones whose si- i
news gave it I
motion. ''•—Bp. J. \
Taylor. j

t Dr. W. Arnot.

Joseph is

Bold to the

twelve ms. "N". cf Samaria; site now called Tell Dotliaim. (18)
v/hen . . off, and recog-. him by his coat, they . .,'' lit.
tliey craftily consijired, etc.

Stages of crime (v. 18). — " They conspired against him to slay
him." Let us inquire into the various processes that at last
resulted in this deliberate scheme of murder. I. Envy. This
vice was the first symptom. They envied Joseph. II. Hatred.
Envy, long- indulg-ed in. developes into open hatred. III. Trea-
cherous conspiracy. The brothers conspire in secret, after the
manner of all criminals. Wickedness can never bear the light of
day. IV. The plan of murder itself. This is the culminating-
point. Learn — 1. The 'danger of secret and small vices ; 2. The
tendency of all sin to increase in magnitude.

Allurements of sin. — We have heard of a singular tree, that
forcibly illustrates the deceitfulness of sin. It is called the
Judas tree. The blossoms appear before the leaves, and they are
of brilliant crimson. The flaming beauty of the flowers attracts
innumerable insects ; and the wandering bee is drawn to it to
gather honey. But every bee that alights upon the blossoms
imbibes a fatal opiate, an'l drops dead from among the crimson
flowers to the earth. Beneath this enticing tree, the earth is
strewed with the victims of its fatal fascinations. That fatal
plant that attracts only to destroy is a vivid emblem of the
deceitfulness and deadliness of sin. For the poison of sin's
be-svitching flowers, there is but one remedy : it is found in the
" leaves of the tree of life" that grpweth on Mount Calvary."

19 — 22. (19) dreamer, lit. lord of dreams. Spoken in con^
tempt. (20) pit,« none deep enough to conceal their crime fr.
God. say, etc., they would be murderers of their bro., and liars
to their father, we . . dreams, this they did see, some twenty
years hence. (21) delivered, ^ i.e. it was his intention to do so.
(22) to . . again, at some convenient time.

Joseph and his dreams (w. 19, 2()). — I. The causes of the
unkind feelings with which Joseph w^as regarded by his
brethren. 1. His piety ; 2. His father's fondness for him ; 3.
The dreams that he dreamt. II. The consequences to which the
indulgence of such feelings led. These were awful in the
extreme. III. The object which the brethren of Joseph con-
templated in the accomplishment of the evil designs to which
their hatred prompted them.

Hidden sin. — Certain great iron castings have been ordered for
a railway bridge. The thickness has been calculated according
to the extent of the span and the weight of the load. The con-
tractor constructs his moulds according to the specification, and,
when all is ready, pours in the molten metal. In the process of
casting, through some defect in the mould, portions of air lurk in
the heart of the iron, and cavities like those of a honeycomb are
formed in the interior of the beam ; but all defects are hid, and
the flaws are effectively concealed. The artisan has covered his
fault ; but he will not prosper. As soon as it is subjected to
a strain, tte beam gives way. Sin covered becomes a rotten
hollow in a human soul ; and, when the strain comes, the false
gives way.c

23—28. (2.3) stript, etc., thus they sought to degrade him:
taking away the proofs of a father's love. (24) took, etc.y<^ yet

Cap. xxxvii. 29— sai



B.C. cir. 1729.

lie whom tliey intended to starve lived to feed them in a time of

fajnine. (2;')) they . . bread,* their hungry bro. in the pit hard

by. Reuben had left them meanwhile, v. 29. company,

caravan. Ishmaelites, or Midianites/ vv. 28 and 36. spiceiy,

peril. St ova, f, gaim of the styrax tree, balm, gum of ojHihalsam,

or balsam tree : used for healing wounds, myrrh, or ladanum, | Abraham by

a gum Avh. exudes fr. a shrub, the cistits ladanifcnis. Egypt, |Keturah; Ish-

Cairo is still the seat of the myrrh trade. (2G) profit,'^ the|maei his sou by

spirit of Judas in this Judah. (27) come . . flesh, a pretence i ^/^^^^[j J^'^ J^^J

of mercy for the sake of gain, content, lit. hearkened. (28)

drew . . Joseph, who might think they relented, sold, the

son becomes a slave. they . . Egypt, torn fr. his earthly

father, his heavenly Father accom. him thither.

The executlun vf ilie i^lot against Jose2)h.—l. They stripped
him. Thus, in imagination, they degraded him from the birth-
right. II. They went about to starve him, throwing him into a
d^ pit. III. They slighted him in distress, eating bread before
his very face. IV. They sold him. This jDlan was — 1. Proposed
by Judah through compassion ; 2. Acquiesced in by the others
from policy. They thought if he were sold for a slave, he would
never be a lord.«

The selling of Joseph hy h is brethren (v. 28). — I. From what
sources this horrible deed arose. II. How the Divine mouth
remains silent, whilst the Divine hand so much the more strongly
holds. III. The tyi^es that lie concealed herein/

TJie eompang of Ishmaelttes. — These were coming, says Kiel,
along the road which leads from Beisan, past Jenin, and through
the plain of Dothan to the great caravan road running from
Damascus to Legum, Eamleh, and Gaza into Egypt. These
traders are called by two or three names, which shows that these
tribes (the descendants of Ishmael, Medan, and Midian) re-
sembled eacii other, not -only in their common parentage, but j ~^^*^"'""-
also in their mode of life and frequent change of abode. There (g^jj^*^ of ^^fl^'^^^®
is nothing improbable in the fact that these descendants of , lanies commonly
Abraham should have so far increased by this time, as more than [ called^^ a slave-
a hundred years must have elapsed since Ishmael was expelled | *,^26— 28^ ' J^ &m
from his father's house. The burden of the camels was, probably,
first, gum tragacanth ; secondly, balm, or balsam ; and, thirdly
labdanum, the fragrant resin of the cistus rose.

29 — 33, (29) and . . pit, prob. he had gone to devise means |
of Joseph's escape, behold . . pit, having been sold meanwhile. [ j^°''^ *°
and .. clothes, oust, sign of grief. (30) and .. brethren, '
evidently he was not present at the sale, and . . said, etc., as
the eldest bro. he felt responsible. (31) and . . coat, etc., to
conceal their crime, and ace. for absence of Joseph. (32) they
. . father, the old man waiting for his son. this . . found, one
crime begetting another, now falsehood, know . . no, who
should know so well. (33) an . . him, the thing they wished to
suggest Joseph . . pieces, he could not suspect them of so
foul a crime.

The character of Henben. — In his farewell benediction in later
days, Jacob declared this his eldest son was " unstable as water,"
or, as Craik points out, rather " impetuous as the water-floods."
He was a man moved by sudden impulse ; hence, in this inci-
dent, he is seen almost beside himself with grief, and expresses
himself in extravagant language j though at one time he had

a Ge. xlii. 21.
b Pr. XXX. 20

Am. \'i. 6.
I c Medan and
I Midian, sons of

Midianites wen
neighbours and
prob. united for
commercial pur-
d Ge. iv. 10.
e M. Henry,
f Taube.

"There ia an
inward world
which none see
but those who
belong to it ; and
though the out-
side robe be
many - coloured,
like Joseph's
coat, inside it is
linedwith camel's
hair, or sack-
cloth, fitting
those who desire
to be one with
Him who fared
hardly in the
wilderness, in
the mountain,
and on the sea."

rin. Disc, L 439;
Ibid, Bisserta-
(ions^ 253.

his coat 13

" Cruelty is no
more the cure of
crimes than it is
the cure of suffer-
ings. Compas-
sion, in the first
instance, is good
for both ; I have
known it to bring
com pun ction
when nothing
else would."—

" Let me be
cruel, not un-
natural ; I will
speak daggers
to her, but usa



[Cap, xxxviii. 1—5.

B.C. dr. 1729,

none : my tongue
md my soul in
til is be hypo-
ciites." — S/take-


mourns for
Jcssph who
is soi-d to
a He. vi. 12.

"Of permanent
griefs there are
none, for they
are but clouds.
'Ihe swifter they
dove through
the sky, the more
foUoV after
them ; and even
the immovable
ones are absorbed
by the other, and
become smaller
till they vanish."
— Richie?'.

" Excess of grief
for the deceased
is madness; for
it is an injury to
the living, and
the dead know it
not.'" — Xeni'p/ion.
b Paxton Hood.

U.C.cir. 1727.

birth of Er
and On an

« 1 S. XXii. 1;
Jos. xii. 15; 2 S.
xxiii. IS; 1 Ch.
xi. 15; 2 Ch. xi.
7; Mi. i. 15.

b Ge. xxiv. 3.

c Ge. xlvi. 12;
Nu. XX vi. 19; 1
Ch. iL 3.


d Jos.
Mi. i. 14.

" "WTien love is
well timed, it is
not a fault to
love ; the strong,
the brave, the
virtuous, and the
■wise, sink in the
Boft captivity to-
gether," -' Addi^

, evidently taken part in the general dislike glio\^'Ti by Jacob's sons
to the favoured child. Judah also desired to save his life, from a
dread of incurring- the guilt of fratricide, yet he was willing- to
get Joseph out of the v/ay. But Reuben, though thus affected at
the moment, had not courage afterwards to disclose the crime
; committed by his brothers.

j 34—36. (34) sackcloth,'' made sometimes of camel's hair.
and .. days, they unmoved by his grief. (3.5) daughters,
prob. daus.-in-law : only one daughter named — Dinah, grave ,
j Heb. shcohth, Gk. Hades, i.e. the invisible world, thus . . him»
j inconsolable. (36) Potiphar (consecrated to the sim). cap-
; tain, etc., lit. prince of the executioners, or, commander of liie
body guard.

Jacoh uiourmng for Joseph (v. 35). — " Thus " etc. — I. In re-
lation to time : " many days." II. In relation to degree :
'•refused to be comforted." III. In relation to cause. 1. The
loss of Joseph ; 2. The lurking suspicion that his other eons
knew something more about Joseph than they professed,
1 Njirsing troiihles. — " Some people are as careful of their
; troubles as mothers are of their babies ; they cuddle them, and
rock them, and hug them, and cry over them, and fly into
a passion with you if you try to take them away from them ;
'they want you to fret ^\dth them and to help them to believe
I that they have been worse treated than anybody else ; if they
could, they would have a picture of their grief, in a gold frame,
hung over the mantel-shelf for everybody to look at. And their
grief makes them ordinarily selfish — they think more of their
dear little gTief in the blanket and in the cradle than they do of
all the world beside ; and they say you are hard-hearted if you
say, don't fret. ' Ah ! you don't understand me — ^yoii don't know
me— you can't enter into my triala.' "^


1 — 5. (1) and . . time, while and before those events were
proceeding in Egypt. Judah, going from sin to sin. down, i.e.
; southward. Adullamite, native of Adullam« (justice of the
people). Hirah (nohle lirth). (2) Shuah* (n-calth). (3)
Er (watchful). (4) Onan« (strong, stout). (f>) Shelah
I (petition'). Chezib (false) or Achzib^ (deceit)^ a city in the
plain of Judah.

Sin, a quichsand. — It sometimes happens on the coast of
Britain or Scotland, that a person walking on the strand ^^dll
suddenly find difficulty in walking. The shore is like pitch, to
which the soles of his feet cling. Tlie coast appears perfectly
dry ; but the footprint that he leaves is immediately filled with
, water. Nothing distinguishes the sand Mhich is solid from that
I which is not. He passes on unaware of his danger. Suddenly he

Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 1) → online text (page 28 of 67)