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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

He described in general terms the fertility of the cantons of Ephraim amd Manasseh, and invocated blessings of every kind upon his posterity.

Recalling Joseph's history in the past as indicative of his descendants' in the future, he predicted that they would be sorely grieved by their enemies, and separated from the other tribes.

Nevertheless, their bow, though unstrung, should abide in strength, and they should be made strong again "by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob, who should help them," and bless them above what their progenitors enjoyed before they were carried away into captivity.

He saw that they would be a royal tribe, and that at some period of their nationality, "the everlasting hills" unto their utmost bound, should bow to his sceptre who is destined to rule them.

But in the blessing of Joseph, Jacob gave a very remarkable intimation concerning the Shiloh.

He styles him "the shepherd and stone of Israel".

In his blessing on Judah, he foretold his descent from him; but in the blessing of Joseph, he declares he is from the God of Jacob, and (being thus spoken of in connection with Joseph) after the parable of his history.

In other words, that the Seed should be both son of Judah and Son of God; and that his relation to the tribe of Israel should be after the representation of Joseph's to his brethren.

The archers should sorely grieve him, and shoot at him, and hate him; but his bow should abide in strength, 'and his arms be made stronger by the God of his fathers, who should help him; and cause all blessings to rest upon his crown, who should be long separated from his brethren".


After the death of Joseph, which occurred two hundred and seventy-six years after the confirmation of the covenant concerning Christ, Levi and his sons Kohath, Amram, and Moses, may be regarded as the more especial conservators of the faith with which God is pleased.

Many of Jacob's family in the period which elapsed between the death of Joseph and their glorious exodus under Moses, had given themselves up to the service of Egypt's gods.

This, however, was not the case with all.

Some still kept the promises of God before them; and we find it testified of Moses when only forty years old, and before he fled from Egypt, that "he supposed that his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them; but they understand not".

This was forty years before their deliverance, and one hundred and fourteen years after Joseph's death.

Seventy-four years after this event Moses was born to Amram the grandson of Levi.

The supposition he entertained concerning his brethren's spiritual intelligence is an indication of his own; for he evidently judged them by his own understanding of the divine promise.

Although "he was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians," this did not divert him from the faith.

He had been indoctrinated into this in his tender years by his parents.

For it is testified that "by faith they hid him three months, not being afraid of the king's commandment"; thus becoming heirs of the righteousness which is by faith of the promises.

This testimony to their faith shows that, however delinquent others might be, "the faith," the one faith of the gospel, dwelt in them.

They instilled this faith into Moses, on the fleshy table of whose heart it was so indelibly inscribed, that not all the blandishments of the court of Egypt could efface it.

The result of the parental instruction he had received was that "by faith when he came to years he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction 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 of Egypt; for he had respect to the recompense of the reward.