| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 18 of 270 INDEX | |
Arising out of this idea of mixing and interweaving comes that of the
surety, who is so intimately associated with the obligation laid upon the one
for whom he acts, that he can be treated in his stead. So we get:
'Thy servant became surety for the lad' (Gen. 44:32).
'He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it' (Prov. 11:15).
'We have mortgaged our lands' (Neh. 5:3).
'Give pledges to my lord the king' (2 Kings 18:23).
In Ezekiel 27:9,27 we find the word translated 'occupy' in the sense of
exchange or bartering. In the same way we understand the expression,
'Occupy, till I come', and still speak of a man's trade as his 'occupation'.
Such is the underlying meaning of the word 'surety' -- one who
identifies himself with another in order to bring about deliverance from
obligations. This is clearly seen in Proverbs 22:26,27: 'Be not thou one of
them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast
nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?' It is
evident from this passage that the surety was held liable for the debts of
the one whose cause he had espoused, even to the loss of his bed, and this
meant practically his all, as may be seen by consulting Exodus 22:26,27: 'If
thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it
unto him by that the sun goeth down: for that is his covering only, it is his
raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep?'
The Type. While some feature of suretyship enters into practically
every typical sacrifice of the law, and while it is set forth by the laying
of the offerer's hand upon the head of the offering, the fullest type of the
surety is found before the Law, in the story of Judah and Benjamin (Gen. 42
to 44). It is necessary that these three chapters in Genesis be read so that
the Scriptural setting of this type may be seen, and we trust that every
reader who has any appreciation of the Berean spirit, will not read a word
further until these chapters have been read as before the Lord. We will now
point out the steps in the narrative that illuminate the type.
The Cause. This is found in the famine that was in all lands, against
which Joseph had been divinely guided to provide (Gen. 41:54):
'Now when Jacob saw that
there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his
sons, Why do ye look one
upon another? And he said, Behold, I have
heard that there is corn
in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us
from thence; that we may
live, and not die' (Gen. 42:1,2).
Joseph's ten brethren, therefore, proceed to Egypt, leaving Benjamin
behind, for Jacob feared lest his younger son might be lost to him, even as
was Joseph. Upon arrival in Egypt, Joseph's brethren bow before him, and
although Joseph recognizes them, they know him not. In order to bring them
to repentance for their sin, and to make them confess concerning Benjamin and
his father, Joseph accuses them of being spies, to which they reply: 'We are
all one man's sons ... thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man
in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father,
and one is not' (Gen. 42:11-13). Joseph then says to them: 'Ye are spies ...
by the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest
brother come hither' (Gen. 42:14,15).
The brethren were then put into ward for three days, during which time
the sin against Joseph their brother came to the surface: 'We are verily