« AnteriorContinuar »
13 | And there came one that brother of Eschol, and brother of had escaped, and told Abram the Aner: ' and these were confedHebrew ; for he dwelt in the erate with Abram. plain of Mamre the Amorite,
as to give a sort of melancholy em. Septuagint, which is adopted by several phasis to the fact of Lot's dwelling in of the early Greek fathers, principally Sodom, which is entirely lost sight of no doubt on the authority of thật verin our translation. The unhappy man sion. The advocates of this opinion now begins to reap the bitter conse- object to the derivation of the name quences of taking up his abode in the from Eber or Heber, the great grandmidst of the habitations of wickedness. son of Shem, and one of the ancestors "That wealth, which was the cause of of Abraham, on the ground, that the his former quarrels, is made a prey to Scriptures do not represent him as an merciless heathens; that place, which historical personage of any special nohis eye covetously chose, betrays his toriety, and ihat no reason can be aslife and goods. How many Chris- signed why his name should now be tians, whilst they have looked at gain, first used as an appellative of Abraham, have lost themselves!' Bp. Hall.
seeing that five generations had inter13. And told Abram the Llebrero. vened between him and Eber, during Heb. 2yn 07083 7777. Gr. ann. which we have no evidence that it was γειλεν Αβραμ τώ περιτη told Abram the employed as a patronymic at all. But passenger. This is the first instance to this it may be answered, that no of the occurrence of the word “He other descendant of his sustained the brew.' It may perhaps be applied to
same relation as did Abraham to the Abraham here for distinction' sake, to great promise made to Shem, ch. 9. intimate that however closely connect 26, 27, on which we would refer to the ed for a time by league or friendship considerations adduced in our note on with his Amoritish neighbours, Mainre that passage. But apart from this, and his brethren, he was still mindful the philological reasons appear to us sufof his extraction and his destiny, and ficicnt to warranı ihis view of the orihad not suffered himself to become a gin of the name. For (1) had the originaturalized Canaanite. As to the ori- nal may ibri been intended to convey gin of the term, opinions are much di- the import of passer-over which the vided. Modern interpreters, particular- Sept. assigns to it, grammatical proly of the German school, incline for priety would have required the partithe most part to have recourse to the cipial form 7279 ober, which has that etymology of the word, and as a distinct meaning. (2.) The analogy of aber has the import of transition or proper names ending in yod (-) decipassage, contend that the term was dedly confirms this mode of understandfirst applied to or taken by Abraham, ing it. Most of the patronymic and as an epithet to distinguish him as one gentile nouns in the language are formthat had come from beyond the Euphra-led in the same way.
According to this hypothesis Moabite from 2*9 Moab; Dan"Abram the Hebrew' is equivalent to ite from 77 Dan; 23 Calebite from
אלן Elomite from אלגי ; Caleb כלב | -Abrain the Transluvian
cuphratèản.!.„„In this they are plainly Elon : and so in a multitude of simcountenanced by the rendering of the lilar cases. Why not suppose then 14 And when Abram heard | vants, w born in his own house, that his brother was taken cap-three hundred and eighteen, and tive, he armed his trained ser- pursued them * unto Dan.
uch. 13. 18.
w ch. 15. 3. & 17. 12, 27. Eccles 2. 7. x Deut. 34. 1. Judg. 18. 29.
that 4729 Eberite (Hebrew) comes in Heb. in which ‘Baal,' lord, has for from 29 Eber. Such names are al- the most part the signification of 'posmost invariably derived either as above sessor, proprietor,' expressing often to from a person, some ancestor of dis- the following noun the relation of adtinction, or from a place, country, or dictedness, or habitual usage; as Gen. cily, which imparts its denomination 37. 19. 'Dreamer;' Heb. 'lord of to an individual, as myn Mitzri, an
dreams;' i. e. addicted to dreaming;
Gen. 49. 23. 'Archers ;' Heb. 'lords Egyptian, -279 Arbi, an Arabian ; l of arrows;' i. e. inured to the use of 77372 Shiloni, a Shilonite. But as
arrows, 2 Kings 1. 8. 'Hairy men;' the name -23 ibri has no local refer- Heb. 'lord of hair ;' i. e. possessor of ence which can account for its use in hair; Prov. 22. 24. 'Angry man;' this connection, we seem to be forced Heb. lord of anger;' i. e. one habitto resolve it into a patronymic term, ually given to the indulgence of anger. and if so, to what origin can it be so 'lords of covenant implies those traced with more probability than to who were allies of long standing and tay Eber? (3.) The passage Num. peculiar intimacy; who habitually stood 24. 24, goes strikingly to corroborate by the patriarch in this relation. Gr. the present interpretation ; 'And ships 'Sworn friends.' shall come from the coast of Chittim,
14. Abrum heard that his brother and shall afflict Ashur, and shall afflict
was taken captive. Lot was Abraharn's Eber.' Here as by 'Ashur' is meant nephew, but he is called here his the sons of Ashur, or Assyrians, so by brother in conformity to the usage so 'Eber' are meant the sons of Eber, or
common in the Scriptures, which exHebrews; and accordingly, while the tends that term to all near kindred. Sept. in the former text renders as - Armed Heb. yarek, draw by neparns passenger, it here renders out; from a root signifying to unsheath may by EBpalovs, Hebrews. For these a sword, or to draw out any weapon of reasons we feel little hesitation in tra
war; equivalent perhaps to put them cing the epithet to Heber.- For he in readiness,' as a sword when draron dwelt, &c. Heb. 750 4777 and he is ready for execution. Gr. np:Ouijos was tabernacling. There is no suffi- numbered, mustered.- - Trained. cient ground for rendering the particle Heb. 77 catechized, initiated, in7
and by the illative 'for.' It would structed, whether in civil or sacred appear from our mode of rendering as things, but especially the latter. It is, if the latter clause of the verse were however, very improbable that the intended to assign a reason for the fact peaceful patriarch, who was so much mentioned in the former. But for this engaged in the worship of God wherthere is no foundation in the original. ever he sojourned, should have made
- These were confederate with his household establishment a military Abram. Heb. na 3y2 Buali be- school, 'training his domestics in the rith ; i. e. lords or masters of care- murderous arts of war. On the connant; an idiom of frequent occurrence trary, their training' was undoubtedly
in the doctrines and duties of religion. 'of a degraded condition. Slaves are But as these foreign kings, in their in- generally treated with such kindness discriminate abduction of the inhabit• and favour, that they conimonly be. ants of the conquered cities, had carried come much attached to their masters, away Lol who was dwelling peaceably and devoted to their interest. They as a sojourner among them, having had do not till the fields, or work in no concern in the war or its causes, manufactories. Their employment is Abraham deemed the occasion such as almost wholly of a domestic nature, to justify him in fitting out an expedition and their labour light. This is partic. for his recovery, at the same time rely- ularly the case with those who are ing more upon the aid of Providence purchased young and brought up in than upon the skill or numbers of his the family, and still more with those followers. Born in his own house. who, like Abraham's, are 'born in ike Heb. 1072 1739 the in-born of his house.' Few Europeans would do for house ; in opposition to those acquired their hired servants what the Asiatice by purchase or otherwise from abroad. do for their slaves, or repose such en"The word translated serrant general- tire confidence in them. Illustrations ly denotes what we should call a slave. on this subject will occur as we proIn subsequent passages we shall indeed ceed. Meanwhile it is obvious, that as have occasion to remark on humble Abraham had among the slaves 'born friends or disciples performing servile in his own house,' 318 men fit to bear offices and therefore called 'servants;' arms, exclusive of purchased slaves, and also on the Jewish slaves whom old men, women, and children, he their own countrymen held in bondage must have been regarded as a puwerfor a limited tinie, and under defined ful chief by the petty princes among restrictions. But the mass of the ser
whom he dwelt. Hence, a few chapvants mentioned in the Scripture his-ters on, ch. 23. 6, the children of Heth tory were absolute and perpetual slaves. say to him, 'My lord, thou are a mighty They were strangers, either purchased prince among us.'' Pict. Bible. or taken prisoners in war. They and Pursued them unto Dan. "We learn their progeny were regarded as com from Judges, 18. 7, that this place was pletely the property of their masters, called Laish until taken by the Danwho could exchange or sell them at ites, who gave it the name by which it pleasure, could inflict what punish- is here mentioned. As this event did ments they pleased, and even, in some not occur till long after the death of cases, put them to death. Abraham's Moses, who never mentionis the old 'servants' were manifestly of this de- name, that of Dan must have been inscription. This form of slavery is still terpolated by another hand, that the common in the East; and the facts reference might be the more clearly unwhich the book of Genesis brings under derstood. This and other interpolaour notice show how little Asiatic usa- tions of existing for ancient names are ges have altered after the lapse of al- supposed to have been made by Ezra, most four thousand years. The con- when he revised the Old Testament dition of slavery in Mohammedan Asia Scriptures. Being at the northern end is, however, unattended, except in very of Palestine, as Beersheba was at the rare instances, with the revolting cir- southern, 'from Dan to Beersheba' becumstances which we usually associ-came a proverbial expression to desig. ale with the word. The term “slave' nate the entire length of the kingdom. itself is not regarded as one of oppro- It was situated near the sources of the brium, nor does it convey the idea Jordan; and if that river derived its
15 And he divided hinıself 16 And he brought back all against them, he and his servants the goods, and also brought again ty night, and ysmote them, and his brother Lot, and his goods, pursued them unto Hobah, which and the women also, and the is on the left hand of Damascus. people.
name from the town, the name must village there is another ruined fortress also be interpolated in the books of of similar construction. Some travelMoses, in the place of some more an-lers attribute these castles to the A:acient name not preserved. This is bian caliphs, and others to the crusades probable enough ; but to avoid this and consider that one of the two (they conclusion, some writers prefer to de- differ in saying which) probably occurive the name of the river from the verb pies the site, and includes some of the Jared, 'to descend,' on account of the materials of a temple which Herod the full and rapid course of the stream. The Great erected here in honour of Augustown of Dan is commonly identified tus.' Pict. Bible. with the Paneas of heathen writers, 15. And he divided himself against the present Banias. This identity does them--by night. Heb. 017 37777; not seem indisputable. We may, how- perhaps more correctly rendered, 'And ever, state that the name was derived he came upon them by stealth in the from the worship of Pan, to which a night, he and his servants.' The verb cavern, described by Josephus, was pin signifies not only to part, to dihere consecrated. The town was great vide, to distribute, but also to be smooth, ly enlarged and embellished by the Te- or soft; and in Hiphil to polish, to trarch, Herod Philip, who changed ils sooth, or flutter. And from this sense name 10 Cæsarea, in honour of the it may naturally take another, of doing Emperor Tiberins, to which the adjunct any thing coverily or by stealth. Thus Philippi was added, to distinguish it in Jer. 37. 12, it signifies to remove from from the Cæsarta on the coast. Its a place by stealth, leniter et placide se name was afterwards changed to Nero- subducere. Here it may mean that nius, in compliment to ero. Banias Abraham came upon them in the night is situated in a pleasant and fertile by stealıh and surprise, probably while neighbourhood, at the base of a moun they were asleep, as Josephus says he tain called Djebel Heish. It is now did, which accounts for his putting an merely a village, containing at most army that must have been numerous, 150 houses, chiefly occupied by Turks. to fight with so small a furce. It is The river of Banias rises to t e north-not, however, to be supposed, that the east of the village, on approaching 319 men of Abraham's own household which it passes under a good bridge, made the whole of his force. Eshcol near which there are some remains of and Aner were with him, v. 24, and in the ancient town. No walls remain, their march through the country up to but great quantities of stone and archi- Dan, where they first came up with tertural fragments are strewed around. Chedorlaomer, they probalily gathered About three miles east by south from udditional numbers. Still the common the village are the remains of a strong interpretation of the word pin may be and extensive fortress, called the 'Cas- admitted, and on this presumption the tle of Banias.' situated on the sumnit Editor of the Pictorial Bible remarks, of a nivuntain ; and to the south of the He probably divided his forces so
that a simultaneous ruslı was made up-, tioned proleptically ; for we find it noon the camp of the enemy from differ- | ticed in ch. 15. 2, as the birth-place of ent quarters. Here again the usa.es Abraham's steward Eliezer ; and it of Arabian warfure assist us. Surprise, must therefore have been one of the by sudden attacks, is their favourite , earliest cities in the world, and is one mode of warfare. Some tribes consid- of the very few that have maintained a er it cowardly and disgraceful to make flourishing existence in all ages. It is a night attack on a camp. But this is situated in east long. 36° 25', and north noi the general feeling. When such an | lat. 33° 27', in the north west of an exattac. is resolved upon, the assailants tensive and remarkably level plain,
nge their march that they may which is open eastward beyond the fall upon the camp about an hour be- reach of vision, but is bounded in every fore the first dawn, when they are tol- other direction by mountains, the near erably certain to find the whole camp est of which—those of Salehie, to the asleep. With some tribes it is then the north west--are not quite two miles custom to rush upon the lenis, and from the city. These hills give rise to knock down the principal tent-poles, the river Barrady, and to various rivuthus enveloping the sleepers in their lets, which afford the city a most libertent-cloths, which renders the victory al supply of water, and render its dis easy even over superior forces. What trict one of the most pleasant and fergreally facilitates the success of such tile of Western Asia (see Note on attacks is the general neglect of posl. 2 Kings, 5. 12). The district, within a ing night-watches and sentinels, even circumference of from lwenty to twenwhen in the vicinity of an enemy. Ifty-five miles, is thickly covered with an immediate attack is apprehended, well-watered gardens and orchards, in all the males of an encampment, or all the midst of which stands the town iithe soldiers of an expedition, remain self. It thus appears as in a vast wood, watci.ing their fires throughout the and its almost innumerable public buildnight. In the present transaction, we ings, including an extensive citadel and do not read of any men killed on either a vast number of mosques, with their side. Probably none were. It is as domes and minarets, give it a fine aptonishing how little blood is shed by pearance as viewed from the neighbourthe Arabs in their most desperate ac- ling hills; but on approaching over the tions, which more resemble frays level plain, the plantations by which it among an unorganized rabble than ais environed shroud i entirely from battle between soldiers. We may hear view. Its finest building is a grand of a battle lasting a whole day without mosque, of the Corinthian order, said a in:in being killed on either side. to have been built as a cathedral church Burckhardt says: 'When fifteen or six- by the Emperor Heraclius. It was teen mien are killed in a skirmish, the dedicated to St. John of Damascus, circumstance is remembered as an event and is still called the mosque of St. os 212at imporiance for many years by John the Baptist by the Turks, who both parties."' Pict. Bible.- - On believe that in the latter days Jesus the left hand of Damascus. Chal. 'On shall descend thereon, and from its the north of mascus ;' probably a summit require the adhesion of all his correct interpretation as the Scriptures followers to the Moslem faith. The suppose the face to be diected to the city is surrounded by an old wall of east, where right and lejl are meglion- sun-dried brick, strengthened with towed, if no other point of the compass be ers ; but this wall has fallen to decay, specified. "The city is not here men. I and the town has so greatly extended