| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 76 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
There is one more passage that must be noted, viz., Gen. 48: 21, 22:
"And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you
again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy
brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow."
Here we have a portion of the promised land not bought with money, but taken by the
sword. This was "a double portion", a portion above his brethren, the portion of the
victor, the overcomer. It is surely something more than coincidence that the word
"portion" in this passage should be the very word "shechem", which occurs as a place
name in the record of Josh. 24: 32. It would appear that the complete story is
somewhat as follows:
Abraham purchased the field of Machpelah, and there Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob,
Rebekah and Leah were buried (Gen. 23: 4-20; 49: 29-31).
Abraham also purchased a portion of land in Shechem of the sons of Emmor, as a
burying place for the twelve patriarchs (Acts 7: 16).
This piece of land was apparently seized by the Amorites, and delivered from them by
Jacob's sword and bow, and doubly secured by the further payment of a sum of money
to the sons of Emmor (Gen. 48: 21, 22 and Josh. 24: 32).
The glorious truth of Ephesians was a mystery, or secret, unknown when Abraham,
Jacob and Joseph lived. Certain underlying principles, however, receive a little light
from the Old Testament records. We can surely see how strong the hope of resurrection
was, how intimately it was associated with the inheritance and restoration. Here, in these
typical transactions, we can see the "redemption of the purchased possession", and in the
very possession of these sacred spots of earth, an "earnest of the inheritance", and in
Jacob's fight with the Amorite for this precious pledge the conflict with principalities and
powers in Eph. 6:
Jacob undertook no campaign against the Canaanites. In fact he was strongly opposed
to such a spirit (Gen. 34: 25-30). But when it was necessary to fight for the sacred
pledge of the inheritance for which he was willing to wait, then he did not hesitate to
enter into battle. This is the true overcoming for the present time. Many dear servants of
God are being persuaded to adopt an attitude that is alike dangerous and
undispensational. We must not forget that dominion over the Canaanite was not granted
to Israel until, under Joshua, they crossed over Jordan. No walls of Jericho fell down flat
before either Abraham, Isaac or Jacob. Such is not the condition of pilgrimage but of
conquest, and the day of redemption, the day of entry into our inheritance, though near, is
not actually present.
This precious lesson of faith would come with quickening force to the Hebrew who
read it, and, under God, it was calculated to strengthen the afflicted and persecuted
believer by the simple grandeur of its example:
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar
off" (Heb. 11: 13).