The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 68 of 160
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firstborn, saved early and during this present time that they in their turn may deliver those
who have not been so favoured, when the time comes for the knowledge of the Lord to
cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.
Before Jacob died he gathered his sons together, to tell them what should befall them
"in the last days" (49:). The prophecy, though it finds partial fulfillment in Israel's past,
looks to the period of the second coming of the Lord and the time of Jacob's trouble and
restoration. By far the largest space is devoted to the future of Judah and Joseph. In both
come prophecies of Christ. Verse 10 speaks of "Shiloh" and the "Sceptre" in connection
with the royal tribe of Judah, and in Joseph's line Christ again figures as the "Shepherd"
and "Stone" of Israel of whom Joseph was such a type.
A brief outline may help to set out the chief points.
Reuben (Firstborn).
Not excel. Birthright forfeited (I Chron. 5: 1).
Simeon and Levi.
Divide; Scatter. (Josh. 19: 1; Lev. 25: 32-34;
Exod. 32: 26; Deut. 10: 8, 9).
The Lion.
The Sceptre.
Shiloh (Christ).
Haven of Ships.
Strong Ass.
The Serpent (Antichrist).
The Salvation (Christ) awaited.
Let loose.
The Fruitful Bough.
The Shepherd.
The Stone (Christ).
When Jacob had finished this prophecy, he spoke of his approaching death and
commanded that he should be buried together with Abraham and Isaac. Joseph lived to
nourish and care for his brethren, and when he was about to die, he too gave command
that his bones be carried up to the land of promise, saying "God will surely visit you".
The book, which commences with the creation of heaven and earth, concludes with the
history of one obscure man and his twelve sons, and stresses the fulfillment of God's
promise concerning the "land" and the close connection that resurrection would hold to
that fulfillment. The Scriptures focus upon a small space and a limited number, not
because the wider circle is forgotten, but because in the smaller sphere we may the better
see the purpose of the ages which indeed transcends the promised land and embraces the
heavens and the earth, and goes beyond the pale of the chosen people to embrace every
nation, tongue, people and language, and behind the promises made to Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob, to that promise made before the age times.