The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 67 of 160
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Final Notes on Genesis.
pp. 68 - 70
While the story of Joseph carries us through to the close of the book of Genesis, there
are one or two items of dispensational importance that may be profitably gathered
together before leaving this book of the beginning.
Judah, who made such a sorry figure in the parenthesis of chapter 38:, becomes a
noble type of Israel's Redeemer in chapters 43: and 44: There the great feature is
"I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto
thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever" (43: 9).
"Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my
lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father and the
lad be not with me?" (44: 33, 34).
The language of these verses is so clear, so beautiful that any words of ours would
seem to spoil their teaching. All that we will do will be to indicate the usage and
meaning of the word translated Surety.
SURETY (Hebrew Arab).--The root idea of the word appears to be "To mix", as in
Psa. 106: 35, "mingle"; Prov. 14: 10, "intermediate". In the Chaldee section of Daniel
the equivalent occurs in Dan. 2: 41, "Iron mixed with miry clay".
In weaving, the ereb is the "woof", that which is woven into or mixed in the texture
(Lev. 13: 48). The word is translated many times "evening", the time when darkness
begins to "mix" with the light. Now all this bears upon the truth of Surety-ship. The
Surety so "mixes" with the one for whom he acts as to take his place and be treated in his
stead. Judah clearly perceived this when he said:--
"Let thy servant abide INSTEAD of the lad A BONDMAN, and let the lad GO UP
with his brethren" (Gen. 44: 33).
Benjamin was the one who really should have been bound and Judah the one who
should have gone up to his father, but Judah as the Surety was so intermingled with the
case of his brother that he could be treated "instead of" Benjamin with perfect justice.
The attitude of Reuben with regard to Joseph must not be passed over without a word.
Reuben, being the first-born, might well have been jealous of Joseph but we find him
doing his best to save Joseph from the hands of his brethren. It was during Reuben's
absence that Joseph was sold, and his grief is expressed upon his return in the words:--
"The child is not, and I, whither shall I go? (37: 30).
The student of the Scripture must have noticed the important place given to the
firstborn. Christ Himself bears the title, and so do the elect. A careful weighing of the
statements of Scripture would make one feel that believers to-day constitute a kind of