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Then shall the loss of the fall be repaired, paradise be restored, and the tree of life shall yield her fruit again ; and the leaves thereof shall be for the healing of the nations.

DISSERTATION

III.

The Blessing of Judah, Gen. xlix.

WHEN Jacob drew near his end, he called his fons together, and blessed them, every one according to his blessing , benedictionibus fuis propriis b; i. e. giving to each a peculiar blessing. The part relating to Judah stands thus :

Ver.

Ver. 8. Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall

praise : thy hand shall be in the neck of thine ene-
mies ; thy father's children shall bow down be-
fore thee.
9.

Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my fon, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse

him up? Ver. 10. The scepire shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shi

and unto him shall the gathering of the

loh come;

people be.

Ver. 11. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's

colt unto the choice vine ; he washed his garmients in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.

a Gen. xlix. 28.

Vulg.

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There is no prophecy in the Old Testament that has undergone so many interpretations and critical disquisitions as this now before us. It would make a volume to report exactly the various sentiments of learned men upon this subject. They who desire to be acquainted with them, may consult Huetius , Mr. Le Clerc d, and Mr. Saurine,

It may be thought, perhaps, great presumption to attempt any thing upon this passage, after so much pains bestowed on it by men of great figure in learning: but as I have no intention to make shew of much learning, or much reading, but only to offer a plain natural sense of the most important passage in this prophecy, which seems to me to arise from the very state and circumstances of things, at the time this prophecy was delivered, I hope it will not be thought the effect of vanity or ostentation.

There is a passage in the book Ecclefiafticus, which will serve as a key to open to us the nature of the blessings bestowed on the twelve tribes by their father Jacob. This author, the Son of Sirach, observes, that God gave his covenant to Abraham, established it with Ifaac, and made it reft upon the head of Jacob'. Thus far the entire blessing, and all the parts of it, vested in single persons only: but in the next step there is an alteration; for God divided Jacob's portions 5, among the twelve tribes did he part

Demonftratio Evangelica, Cap. iv. Prop. 9. « Comment, in locum. c Discours Historiques, &c. Difc. 41.

Ecclus. xliv. 19, &c.

& Ver. 23.

then. There is no question but that this passage relates to the settlement and the blessing of the tribes by Jacob, in the xlviiith and xlixth of Genesis ; and it shews us, that the several blessings, given to the several tribes, are but parts or portions of the blessing which Jacob received from Ifaac; Ifaac from Abraham; and Abraham immediately from God. In this view then, the several blessings mentioned in the xlixth of Genesis, and limited to the several tribes, must be considered as an exposition of the original blessing given to Abraham : and the blessing from which the others are derived must limit and determine the sense of the particulars ; which cannot be extended beyond the bounds of the first promise. :· Setting aside the authority of the Son of Sirach, it is reasonable to think that this was the case from the custom and practice in Abraham's family, in which the blessing of the father was regularly conveyed to the son. And when we see Jacob blessing · all his children, what can we suppose else, but that he is transmitting to his posterity the blessing which he himself received. If we look to the beginning of the xlviiith of Genesis, where Jacob adopts Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph, and constitutes them heads of tribes in his family, and consequently entitles them to a share, among his own sons, of the land of Canaan ; there will be no room to doubt of this matter. For Jacob founds his right of allotting the land of Canaan, in the manner he does,

grant of that land to himself: Jacob faid unto Jofeph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Lux in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, and said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply

upon God's

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