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Genesis 47:1-10 - Homilies By J.f. Montgomery

The presentation to Pharaoh.

I. TESTIMONY TO POWER OF CHARACTER . Joseph's influence. The five brethren selected perhaps with a view to their appearance, and in the number five, which was regarded as a significant number among the Egyptians. The monarch's reception of the strangers due to Joseph's influence. Generally diffused. There is much graciousness in the heathen monarch, although partly to be ascribed to national characteristics, for the Egyptians were a very different race from the Canaanites; still we may believe that the conduct of Pharaoh was mostly due to the effect of Joseph's ministry and personal exemplification of the religious life. One true man is a great power in a country.

II. A conspicuous EXAMPLE of Divine grace. The old patriarch is presented. He plainly impressed the monarch as extremely aged, perhaps indicating that the centenarian was a great rarity then among heathen nations. His long life was a long course of gracious dealings. The effect of a religious life in prolonging the years is exemplified. It is said that since Christianity obtained its legitimate, or more of its legitimate influence in Europe, the average length of human life has been doubled. Yet, as Jacob confesses, he is not as old as his fathers . His life had been a pilgrimage in a wilderness . His days few and evil , compared with what they might have been. Seventeen years longer they were lengthened out—a testimony to the effect of peace and prosperity in preserving life when it is under the blessing of God. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. The less is blessed of the greater. The two princes stood face to face—the prince of God —the prince of Egypt .

III. A PROPHETIC PACT : the world shall be blessed through the heirs of the Divine promise. Jacob had much to be thankful for; and although he thanked God first, he teaches us by his example not to forget the claims of fellow-creatures in our gratitude, even though they be separated from us in faith and religion.— R .


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