Verse 22. "Moreover I have given to thee one portion" - dja ”k shechem achad, one shechem or one shoulder. We have already seen the transactions between Jacob and his family on one part, and Shechem and the sons of Hamor on the other. See Genesis xxxiii. 18, 19, and chap. 24. As he uses the word shechem here, I think it likely that he alludes to the purchase of the field or parcel of ground mentioned chap. xxxiii. 18, 19. It has been supposed that this parcel of ground, which Jacob bought from Shechem, had been taken from him by the Amorites, and that he afterwards had recovered it by his sword and by his bow, i. e., by force of arms. Shechem appears to have fallen to the lot of Joseph's sons; (see Josh. xvii. 1, and Josh. xx. 7;) and in our Lord's time there was a parcel of ground near to Sychar or Shechem which was still considered as that portion which Jacob gave to his son Joseph, John iv. 5; and on the whole it was probably the same that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of money, chap. xxxiii. 18, 19. But how it could be said that he took this out of the hand of the Amorite with his sword and his bow, we cannot tell. Many attempts have been made to explain this abstruse verse, but they have all hitherto been fruitless. Jacob's words were no doubt perfectly well understood by Joseph, and probably alluded to some transaction that is not now on record; and it is much safer for us to confess our ignorance, than to hazard conjecture after conjecture on a subject of which we can know nothing certainly.
1. ON filial respect to aged and destitute parents we have already had occasion to speak; see ver. 11. The duty of children to their parents only ceases when the parents are laid in their graves, and this duty is the next in order and importance to the duty we owe to God. No circumstances can alter its nature or lessen its importance; honour thy father and thy mother is the sovereign, everlasting command of God. While the relations of parent and child exist, this commandment will be in full force.
2. The Redeeming Angel, the Messenger of the covenant, in his preserving and saving influence, is invoked by dying Jacob to be the protector and saviour of Ephraim and Manasseh, Genesis xlviii. 16. With what advantage and effect can a dying parent recommend the Lord Jesus to his children, who can testify with his last breath that this Jesus has redeemed him from all evil! Reader, canst thou call Christ thy Redeemer? Hast thou, through him, recovered the forfeited inheritance? Or dost thou expect redemption from all evil by any other means? Through him, and him alone, God will redeem thee from all thy sins; and as thou knowest not what a moment may bring forth, thou hast not a moment to lose. Thou hast sinned, and there is no name given under heaven among men whereby thou canst be saved but Jesus Christ. Acquaint thyself now with him, and be at peace, and thereby good shall come unto thee.
3. We find that the patriarchs ever held the promised land in the most sacred point of view. It was God's gift to them; it was confirmed by a covenant that spoke of and referred to better things. We believe that this land typified the rest which remains for the people of God, and can we be indifferent to the excellence of this rest! A patriarch could not die in peace, however distant from this land, without an assurance that his bones should be laid in it. How can we live, how can we die comfortably, without the assurance that our lives are hid with Christ in God, and that we shall dwell in his presence for ever? There remains a rest for the people of God, and only for the people of God; for those alone who love, serve, reverence, and obey him, in his Son Jesus Christ, shall ever enjoy it.