Imágenes de páginas


10 | And Jacob a went out from Beer-sheba, 14 And b thy seed shall be as the dust of the and went toward Haran.

earth, and thou shalt i spread abroad to the 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and west, and to the east, and to the north, and to tarried there all night, because the sun was set; the south: and in thee and in thy reed shall all and he took of the stones of that place, and put the families of the earth be blessed. them for his pillows, and lay down in that place 15 And, behold, m I am with thee, and will to sleep.

keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and 12 And he c dreamed, and behold a ladder set will bring thee again into this land; for pl will upon the earth, and the top of it reached to not leave thee, ? until I have done that which I heaven: and Behold, d the angels of God as- have spoken to thee of. cending and descending on it.

16 | And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and 13 e And, Behold, the LORD stood above it, he said, Surely the Lord is in ' this place and I and said, ' I am the Lord God of Abraham thy knew it not. father, and the God of Isaac: & the land whereon 17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy is this place! this is none other but the house seed;

of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

a H». 12. 12-5 Callel, AcW 7.2 Charranc Ch. 11. 1. Job. 33 15.- John I. 51. Jer 1. | |-e Ch. 35. I. 4 13 3.– Ch. 1 21-g Ch. 13, 15 x 35. 12– Ch. 13. 16.- Heh, break forth. --k Ch. 13. 11. Deut. 12 ).

1 Ch. 12 3. & 18. 18.& 22. 18. & 26. 1.--m See Ver. 20, 21. Ch. 25. 21. & 31. 3. n Ch. 48 16. Pen. 121. 5,7,8.-- Ch. 35.6.---p Dent 3. 6. Josh. 1. 5. 1 Kmgs 6. 57. Hebr. 13. 5.--- Numb. 3. 19.-r Exol. 3 5. Josh. 5. 15.

and hence, with propriety it might be said, Esau went unto ceeded from the Abrahamic family, be blessed: for Jesus Ishmad-and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael-to Christ by the grace of God tasted death FOR EVERY MAN, be his wife. See the notes on chap. xxxi. 38, &c.

Heb. ii. 9. Verse ll. A cerluin place, and tarried there all night, Verse 15. And behold, I am with thee] For I fill the because the sun was set] From ver. 19. we find this cer heavens and the earth :--my WORD shall be thy help ; tain place was Luz, or some part of its vicinity. Jacob | Targum-und will keep thee in all

places, $ Ty D8 T*T*, had probably intended to reach Luz, but the sun being set, in all this way; Septuagint. I shall direct, help, and and night coming on, he either could not reach the city, or support thee in a peculiar manner, in thy present journey; he might suspect the inhabitants, and rather prefer the be with thee while thou sojournest with thy uncle; and open field, as he must have heard of the character and con will bring thee again into this land; so that in all thy duct of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah: or the gates concerns thou mayest consider thyself under my especial miglit be shut by the time he reached it, which would pre- providence, for I will not leave thee: thy descendants also, vent his wmission; for it frequently happens, to the pres- shall be my peculiar people, whom I shall continue to preent day, that travellers not reaching a city in the eastern serve as such, until I hare done that which I hare spoken countries, previous to the shutting of the gates, are obliged to thee of ; until the Messiah shall be born of thy race; to lodge under the walls all night; as, when once shut, and all the families of the earth, the Gentiles, be blessed they refuse to open them till the next day. This was through thee, the Gospel being preached to thein, and they, probably Jacob's case.

with the believing Jews, made ONE FOLD, under ONE SHEPHe look of the stones] He took one of the stones that HERD, and one Bishop or Orerscer of souls. And this were in that place: for from ver. 18. we find it was one circumstantial promise has been literally and punctually stone only, which he bad for his pillow. Luz is supposed fulfilled. known unlo God are all his works from the to have been about forty-eight miles distant from Beershe beginning ba; too great a journey for one day, through what we may Verse 16. The Lord is in this place; and I knew it conceive, very unreadly roads.

not] That is, God has made this place his peculiar resiVerse 12. He dreamed, and behold a ladder] A multi- dence; it is a place in which he meets withi, and reveals tude of fanciful things have been spoken of Jacob's vision himself to his followers. Jacob might have supposed that of the lartder, and its signification. It might have several this place had been consecrated to God. And it has already designs, as God chooses to accomplish the greatest number been supposed, that his mind having been brought into a of ends by the fewest and simplest means possible. 1. It | humble frame; he was prepared to hold communion with is very likely that its primary design was to point out the his Maker. providence of God, by which he watches over and regu Verse 17. Hou dreadful is this place] The appearance lates all terrestrial things: for nothing is left to merely of the ladder, the angels, and the dirine glory at the top natural causes: a heavenly agency pervades, actuates, and of the ladder, must have left deep, solemn, and even awful directs all. In his present circumstances, it was highly impressions on the mind of Jacob; and hence the exclanecessary that Jacob should have a clear and distinct view mation in the Text, Hou dreadful is this place! of this subject, that he might be the better prepared to meet This is none other but the house of God] The Chaldee all occurrences with the conviction, that all was working gives this place a curious turn; "This is not a common together for his good. 2. It might be intended also to point place, but a place in which God delights; and opposite to out the intercourse between hearen and carth, and the ihis place is the gate of heaven.” Onkelos seems to supconnexion of both worlds by the means of angelic minis- pose that the gate or entrance into heaven was actually abore try. That this is fact, we learn from many histories in the this spot; and that when the angels of God descended to Old Testament; and it is a doctrine that is unequivocally earth, they came through that opening into this place, and aught in the New. Are they not all ministering spirits, returned by the same way, and it really appears that Jacob sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of sal himself had a similar notion. vation? 3. It was probably a type of Christ, in whom Verse 18. And Jacob-look the stone-and sct it up for both worlds meet, and in whom the divine nature are con a pillar) He placed the stone in an erect posture, that it joined; the LADDER was set upon the EARTH, and the top might stand as a monument of the extraordinary vision of it reached to HEAVEN : for GOD was manifest in the which he had in this place: and he poured oil upon it, FLESH ; and in him dwelt all the fulness of the God- thereby consecrating it to God, so that it might be considhend bodily. Nothing could be a more expressive emblem ered an allar, on which libations might be poured, and of the incarnation and its effects: Jesus Christ is the grand sacrifices offered unto God.-See chap. xxxv. 14. connecting medium between heaven and earth, and between There is a foolish tradition, thnt the stone set up by God and man. By him, God comes down to man: through Jacob was afterward brought to Jerusalem, from which, him, man ascends to God. It appears that our Lord ap- after a long lapse of time, it was brought to Spain, from plies the vision in this wny himself, 1st. In that remarkable Spain to Ireland, from Ireland to Scotland, and on it the speech to Nathaniel, Hereafter ye shall see the heaven kings of Scotland sat to be crowned; and concerning opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending which the following leonine verses were made : on the Son of man; John i. 51. 2dly. In his speech to

Ni fallit latum.-Scoti quorunque localum Thomas, Johın xiv. 6, “I am the way, and the truth, and

Invenieni lapidem,---regnare tenentur ibidem. the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."

Or Cate's decris'd, or heaven decrees in vain; Verse 13. I am the Lord God of Abraham] Here God

Or where they find this store the Scots shall reign.-See Dode. confirms to him the blessing of Abraham, for which Isaac Edward the first had it brought to Westminster, and had prayed; var. 3, 4.

there this stone, called Jacob's Pillar, and Jacob's Pilloin, Verse 14. Thy seed shall be as the dust] The people is now placed under the chair on which the king sits when that shall descend from thee, shall be extremely numer- crowned! It would be as ridiculous to attempt to disprove ous; and in thee and thy seed—the Lord Jesus de the truth of this tradition, as to prove that the stone under scending from thee, according to the flesh-shall all the the old chair in Westminster was the identical stone which families of the earth, not only all of thy race, but all the served the patriarch for a bolster. other families or tribes of mankind, which have not pro And poured oil upon the top of it] Stones, images, and

18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, way that I go, and will give me & bread to eat, and took the stone that he had put for his pil- and raiment to put on, lows, and a set it up for a pillar, band poured 21 So that I come again to my father's oil upon the top of it.

house in peace; i then shall the Lord be my 19 And he called the name of ¢ that place God: d Beth-el: but the name of that city was called 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pilLuz at the first.

lar, kshall be God's house: land of all that thou 20 | And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto "God" will be with me, and will keep me in this thee.

a Ch 31. 13, 45. & 35.145 Lev. 8. 10, 11, 12 Numb 7. 1,-- Judges 1. 23, 25. Hos 4. 1.- That is, the house of God. Ch. 31. 13. Judge IL 30. 2 Sam. 15. 8.- Ver. 15

g 1 Tim 6.9.-- Judges 11. 31. 2 Sam. 19. 21, 30.-- Exod. 15. 2. Deut. 26. 17. 2. Sam. 15. 8. 2 Kings 5. 17.-k Ver. 17. Ch. 14. 20. & 35. 7, 14.- Lev. 27. 30-33. Deut. 14. 22, 23.

altars dedicated to divine worship, were always anointed

Solyma, Luza, Bethd, Hierosolymai, Jehus, Ælia

Urbs sacra, Hierusalem dicitur atque Salem. with oil. This appears to have been considered as a con

Solyma, Luz, Beth-EI, Hierosolyma, Jebus, Ælia secration of them to the object of the worship, and a means

The holy city is called, os also Jerusalem and Salem. of inducing the god or goddess to take up their residence From Beth-El, came the Baithulia, Bethyllia, BxrTV21%, there, and answer the petitions of their votaries. Anoint or animated stones, so celebrated in antiquity, and to ing stones, iźnages, &c. is used in idolatrous countries to which divine honours were paid. The tradition of Jacob the present day, and the whole idol is generally smeared anointing this stone, and calling the place Beth-El, gave over with oil.' Sometimes, besides the anointing, a crown rise to all the superstitious accounts of the Baithylia or or garland was placed on the stone or altar, to honour the consecrated stones, which we find in Sanchoniatho and divinity, who was supposed in consequence of the anoint-others. These became abused to idolatrous purposes, and ing, to have set up his residence in that place. It was on hence God strongly prohibits them, Lev. xxvi. 1., and it this ground that the seats of polished stone, on which the is very likely, that stones of this kind, were the most ankings sat in the front of their palaces to administer justice, cient objects of idolatrous worship: these were afterward were anointed ; merely lo invite the Deity to reside there, formed into beautiful human figures, male and female, that true judgment might be given, and a righteous sen when the art of sculpture became tolerably perfected: and tence always be pronounced. Of this we have an instance hence the origin of idolatry, as far as it refers to the worin Homer, 'Odyss. T. v. 406—10.

shipping of images; for these being consecrated by anoint. Εκ δ' ελθών, κατ' αρ' ζετ' επι ξεστοισι λιθοισιν

ing, &c. were supposed immediately to become instinct 0.0 C SV senapside bue**v unt*,

with the power and energy of some divinity. Hence then, Λευκοι, αποστιλύοντες αλειφατος" οις επι μεν πριν the Baithylia, or liring stones of the ancient Phænicians, Νηλευς «ζεσαι, θεοφιν μαστως αταλαντος.

&c. As oil is an emblem of the gifts and graces of the

Holy Spirit, Psal. xlv. 7. 1 John ii. 20, 27.: so those who
The old man early rose, walk'd forth aol sate
On polished atone, before his palace gate :

receive this anointing are considered as being alive unto
With unguent am 20th, the lucid muurble shone,
Where ancient Neleus sate, a rustic throne. Pope.

God, and are expressly called by St. Peter living stones,

1 Pet. ii. 4, 5.; may not the apostle have reference to those This gives a part of the sense of the passage; but the living stones or Bethyllia of antiquity, and thus correct last line, on which much stress should be laid, is most the notion, by showing that those rather represented the miserably rendered by the English poet : it should be true worshippers of God, who were consecrated to his translated,

service and made partakers of the Holy Ghost; and that "Where Neleus sat, equal in counsel to the gods ;"

these alone could be properly called the living stones, out because inspired by their wisdom, and which inspiration of which the true spiritual temple is composed ? he and his successor took pains to secure by consecrating Verse 20. Vowed a row) A solemn holy promise, by with the anointing oil, the seat of judgment on which which a man bound himself to do certain things, in a parthey were accustomed to sit. Some of the ancient com ticular way, time, &c. and for power to uccomplish which, mentators on Homer mistook the meaning of this place he depended on God; hence all vows were made with oy not understanding the nature of the custom; and these prayer, see Psal. Ixi. 6. Judges xi. 30, 31. see on Lev. Corper unfortunately follows, translating “resplendent xxvii. 1, &c. as with oil;" which as, destroys the whole sense, and ob If God will be with me, &c.) Jacob seems to make this literates the allusion. This sort of anointing, was a com vow rather for his posterity than for himself, as we may mon custom in all antiquity, and was probably derived learn from verses 13, 14, and 15; for be particularly refers from this circumstance. Arnobius tells us that it was to the promises which God had alreally made io him, customary with himself, while a heathen, "when he saw which concerned the multiplicalion of his offspring, and a smooth polished stone that had been smeared with oil, to their establishment in that land. If, then, God shall fulfil kiss and adore it, as if possessing a divine virtue." Si these promises, he binds his posterity to build God a house quando conspeceram lubricatum lapidem, et ex olivi or temple, and to devote, for the maintenance of his worunguine sorditatum, (ordinatum?) ianquam inesset ris ship, the tenth of all their earthly goods. This mode of præsens, adulabar, affabar. And Theodoret, in his interpretation removes that appearance of self-interest eighty-fourth question on Genesis, asserts that many pious which almost any other view of the subject presents. women in his time, were accustoined to anoint the collins Jacob had certainly, long ere this, taken Jehovah for his of the martyrs, &c. And in catholic countries, when a God; and so thoroughly had he' been instructed in the church is consecrated, they anoint the door-posts, pillars, knowledge of Jehovah, that we may rest satisfied no realtars, &c. So under the law, there was a holy anointing verses of fortume could bave induced him to apostatize : oil, to sanctify the labernacle, laver, and all other things but as his taking refuge with Laban was probably typical used in God's service; Exod. xl. 9, &c.

of the sojourning of his descendants in Egype-his perseVerse 19. He called the name of that place Beth-el] cution, so as to be obliged to depart from Laban--the bad That is, the house of God; for in consequence of his treatment of his posterity by the Egyptians-bis rescue having anointed the stone, and thus consecrated it to God, froin death, preservation on his journey, re-establishment he considered it as becoming henceforth his peculiar resi in his own country, &c. were all typical of the exodus of dence; see on the preceding verse. This word should be his descendants, their travels in the desert, and establishalways pronounced as two distinct syllables, each sironyly ment in the promized land-where they built a house to accented, Beth-El.

God; and where, for the support and maintenance of the Was called Luz at the first] The Hebrew has 15 obw pure worship of God, they gave to the priests and Levites Uram Luz, which the Roman cdition of the Septuagint the tenth of all their worldly produce. If all this be untranslates Ouna su?, Oulamlonz ; the Alexandrian MS. derstood as referring to Jacob only, the Scripture gives lis OVA 212 yeus, Oulammaüs ; the Aldine, Our zu Hague, Qulam no information how he performed his vow. maous; Symmachus, Ax"MAINS, Lammaous; and some Verse 22. This stone--shall be God's house] That is, others, Owney, Oulam. The Hebrew osw ulam, is some-(as far as this matter refers to Jacob alone") should I be times a partirle signifying as, just as ; hence, it may sig. preserved to return in safety, I shall worship God in this nify that the place was called Beth-El, as it was formerly place. And this purpose he fulfilled, see chap. xxxv.? called Luz. As Luz signifies an almond, almond or and 14. for there he builded an altar, anointed it with oil, hazel tree, this place probably had its naine from a number and pourul a drink-offering thereon. of such trece growing in thu region. Many of the an For a religious and practical use of Jacob's vision, sce cients confounded this city with Jerusalem, to which they the notes on verse 12. attribute the cight following names, which are all express- I from one who never received any; and has none in pros

On the doctrine of tithes, perhaps a word may be bor nie ed in this verse :


THEN Jacob he went on his journey,


6 And he said unto them, e Is he well ? ' And Jacob proceeds on his journey, 1: comes to a well where tw flocks of his uncle Laban, they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his as well as those of several others were usually watere 1, 2, 3 sinines from the daughter cometh with the sheep. shepherds concerning Laban and his fainily, 4-6. While they are conversing alvut watering the sheep, 7, 9, Rachel arrives, 9. He asists her to water ber flock. 7. And he said, LO, 6 it is yet high day; neither 10; makes hulsell known into her, 11. 12 She hastena home and communicates

is it time that the cattle should be gathered the things of Jacob's arrival to her father, 12 Lahan hasten to the well, einbrues Jacob, and bring him home, 13. Alter a month's many labus propres to give together: water ye the sheep and go and feed Jacob wagon, 14, 15 laah and Rachei Jesenbad, 16, 17. Jacob propuses to serve seven years for Rachel, 19: Lan cuents, 19. When the seven years were fub

them. fille, Jacob demand his wife, 20, 21. Lahan makes a inatinge least, 22; an in the evening suttitutte Leah for Rachel, to whom he had given Zipah for hun

8. And they said, We cannot, until all the mail, 23, 24. Jacob discovers the trand, and uphraida labu, 27. He excuses hin flocks be gathered together, and till they roll sls, ar promises to give him Ruchel for another seven years of service, 29 Alter atriding a week with Leah, he receives Rachel for wile, w whom Laban gave

the stone from the well's mouth; then we water Bilhah for handmadl, , 2. Jacoby loves Rachel more than Leah, and more the sheep: Beven years for ber, 30 Leah, being despised, the Lord makes her frutful, while Rachel continues laren, 31. Leah bears Reuben, 32, ami Simeon, 33, and Levi, 9 | And while he yet spake with them, Ra31, and Judah ; after which she leaves off bearing, 35.

chel came with her father's sheep: for she kept b

and them. the

people of the 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw east.

Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's 2 And he looked, and beheld a well in the brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep brother, that Jacob went near, and i rolled the lying by it ; for out of that well they watered stone from the well's mouth, and watered the the flocks: and a great stone was upon the flock of Laban his mother's brother. well's mouth.

11 And Jacob k kissed Rachel, and lifted up 3 And thither were all the flocks gathered : his voice and wept. and they rolled the stone from the welự's mouth, 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was i her and watered the sheep; and put the stone again father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's upon the well's mouth in his place.

son: mand she ran and told her father. 4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, 13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are the " tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that "he we.

ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed 5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the him, and brought him to his house. And he told son of Nahor ? And they said, We know him. Laban all these things.

a Heb. lift up his feat.-b Ch 28. 5-7. Numb. 23 7. Judges 6. 3, 33. Hos 12 12 g Heb. yet the day is great... Exod. 2.16. ---- Exol. 2 17-k Ch. 33. 4. & 15. 14, c Heb. children. Ch. 27. 43. & 2. 10.-- Heb. Is there peace to him.-- Ch. 13 n. 15.--I Ch. 13. 8. & 11, 14, 16.--m Ch. 21. 28.-n Heb. hearing.-oCh. 24. 2. pect. Tithes, in their origin, appear to have been a sort me no drink; naked, and ye clothed me not! It is true, of eucharistic offering made unto God; and probably were that where a provision is established on a certain order or something similar to the mincah, which we learn from priesthood, by the law, it may be sometimes claimed and Gen. iv. was in use almost from the foundation of the consumed by the worthless and the profane ; but this is no world. When God established a regular, and we may necessary consequence of such establishment, as there are add, an expensive worship, it was necessary that a proper laws, which, if put in action, have sufficient energy 10 provision should be made for the support of those who expel every wicked and slothful servant from the vineyard were obliged to devote their whole time to it, and conse of Christ. At all events, this is no reason why those who quently were deprived of the opportunity of providing for have served God and their generation, should not be comthemselves in any secular way. It was soon found that a

fortably supported during that service; and when incapable tenth part of the produce of the whole land was necessary of it, be furnished at least with the necessaries of life. for this purpose, as a whole tribe, that of Levi, was de-Though many ministers have reason to complain of this voted to the public service of God; and when the land neglect, who have no claims on a legal ecclesiastical was divided, this tribe received no inheritance among their establishment; yet none have cause for louder complaint brethren. Hence, for their support, the law of tithes was than the generality of those called curates, or unbeneficed enacied; and by these, the priests and Levites were not ministers, in the Church of England. only supported as the ministers of God, but as the teachers

NOTES ON CHAPTER XXIX. and intercessors of the people; performing a great variety Verse 1. And Jacob went on his journey) The original of religious duties for them, which, otherwise, they them- is very remarkable. And Jacob lifled up his feet, and he selves were bound to perform. As this mode of supporto travelled unto the land of the children of the east. There ing the ministers of God was instituted by himself, so we is a certain cheerfulness marked in the original, which may rest assured it was rational and just. Nothing can comports well with the state of mind into which he had be more reasonable than to devote a portion of the earthly been brought by the vision of the ladder and the promises good, which we receive from the free mercy of God, to his of God. He now saw, that having God for his protector, own service; especially, when by (Loing it, we are essen he had nothing to fear; and therefore he went on his way tially serving ourselves. If the ministers of God give up rejoicing. their whole time, talents, and strength, to watch over, People of the cast] The inhabitants of Mesopotamia labour for, and instruct the people in spiritual things, juis- and the whole country beyond the Euphrates, are called tice requires that they shall receive their support from the cap kedem, or easterns, in the sacred writings. work. · How worthless and wicked must that man be, Verse 2. Three flocks of sheep] 1NTson, small catwho is continually receiving good from the Lord's hands, tle, such as sheep, goats, &c. see on chap. xii. 16. Sheep, without restoring any part for the support of true religion, in a healthy state, seldom drink in cold and comparatively and for charitable purposes! To such, God says, their cold countries; but it was probably different in hot climates. table shall become a snare to them, and that he will curse The three flocks, if flocks and not shepherds be meant, their blessings. God expects returns of gratitude in this which were lying now at the well, did not belong to way from every man; he that has much should give plen Laban, but to three other chiefs ; for Laban's flock was leously; he that has little, should do his diligence to give yet to come, under the care of Rachel, ver. 6. of that little.

Verse 3. All the flocks) Instead of Dutynha-adarim, It is not the business of these notes to dispute on the flocks, the Samaritan reads we mo gharði m shepherds; article of tithes--perhaps it would be well could a proper which reading Houbigant strongly contends to be the substitute be found for them, and the clergy paid by some true one, as well in this verse as in verse 8. It certainly other method. But still the labourer is worthy of his cannot be said, that all the flocks rolled the stone from the hire; and the maintenance of the public ministry of the well's mouth, and watered the sheep--and yet so it appears word of God, should not be left to the caprices of men. to read, if we prefer the common Hebrew text to the He who is only supported for his work, will be probably Samaritan. It is probable that the same reading was abandoned when he is no longer capable of public service; originally that of the second verse also. I have seen many aged and worn-out ministers reduced to And they put the stone again upon the well's mouth] It great necessity, and almost literally obliged to beg their is very likely that the stone was a large one, which was bread among those whose opulence and salvation were, necessary to prevent ill-minded individuals from either under God, the fruits of their ministry! Such persons may disturbing the water, or filling up the well: hence a great think they do God service by disputing against " Tithes, stone was provided, which required the joint exertions of as legal institutions, long since abrogated," while they several shepherds to remove it; and hence those who permit their worn-out ministers to starve: but how shall arrived first, waited till all the oihers were come up, that They appear in that day when Jesus shall say, I was they might water their respective flocks in concert. hungry, and ye gare me no meat; thirsty, and ye gare Verse 4. My brethren, whence be ye] It is certain that

wages be?

14 And Laban said to him, surely thou art 21 J And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him my wile, for my days are fulfilled, that I may b the space of a month.

go in unto her. 15 | And Laban said unto Jacob, Because 22 And Laban gathered together all the men thou art my brother, shouldst thou therefore of the place, and la made a seast. serve me for nought ? tell me, what shall thy

23 And it came to pass in the evening, that

he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to 16 And Laban had two daughters: the name him; and he went in unto her. of the elder was Leah, and the name of the 24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah younger was Rachel.

Zilpah his maid for a handmaid. 17 Leah was tender-eyed; but Rachel was 25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, e beautiful and well favoured.

behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, 18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, " I will What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then daughter,

hast thou beguiled me? 19 And Laban said, e It is better that I give 26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in her to thee, than that I should give her to our country, ito give the younger before the another man: abide with me.

firstborn. 20 And Jacob'served seven years for Ra 27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee chel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, this also, for the service which thou shalt serve for the love he had to her.

with me, yet seven other years. Ch 2 2 Judg. 9.2 2 Sam á 1. & 19. 12, 13.-b Heb. a month of days. c Ch. 12. 11. & 21. 16. & 39. 6. Prov. 31. 30-4 Ch. 31. 41. & 34. 12 2 Sam 3. 14. & Judg. 15. 1.- Judg. 14. 10. Matt. 2. 2-10. John 2 1,2-- Heb. place. - Judges e Pan 12 24 Ch 30. *. Hos 12. 13. Cant. 8. 6. 7. I Cor. 13. 7.

14. 12 Lev. 18. 18. Mal. 2. 15. Ch. 29. 20.

the language of Laban and his family was Chaldee, and God for the favour he had shown him, in conducting him not Hebrew: see chap. xxxi. 47. but from the names thus far in peace and safety. which Leah gave to her children, we see that the two And wept] From a sense of the goodness of his heavenly languages had many words in common; and therefore Father, and his own unworthiness of the protection and Jacob and the shepherds might understand each other with success with which he had been favoured. The same exlittle difficulty. It is possible also that Jacob might have pressions of kindness and pure affection are repeated on learned the Chaldee or Aramitish language from his the part of Laban, ver. 13. mother, as this was his mother's tongue.

Verse 14. My bone and my flesh] One of my nearest Verse 5. Laban the son of Nahor] Son is here put for relatives. grandson, for Laban was the son of Bethuel the son of Verse 15. Because thou art my brother, &c.) Though Nahor.

thou art my nearest relative, yet I have no right to thy Verse 6. Is he well?] 5 Dibon ha-shalom lo? Is there services without giving thee an adequate recompense. peace to him? Peace, among the Hebrews, signified all Jacob had passed a whole month in the family of Laban, kinds of prosperity. Is he a prosperous man in his family, in which he had undoubtedly rendered himself of considand in his property ? and they said, He is well, O15 erable service. As Laban, who was of a very saving, if shalom, he prospers.

not covetous disposition, saw that he was likely to be of Rachel cometh with the sheep! Son Rachel, (the ch great use to him in his secular concerns, he wished to sounded strongly guttural,) signifies a sheep or eve; and secure his services, and therefore asks him what wages he she probably had her naine from her fondness for these wished to have. animals.

Verse 17. Leah was tender-eyed] nun rakoth, soft, Verse 7. It is high day-The day is but about half delicate, lovely. I believe the word means just the reverse run-neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered of the signification generally given to it. The design of together] It is surely not time yet to put them into the the inspired writer is to compare both the sisters together, folds : give them therefore water, and take them again to that the balance may appear to be greatly in favour of pasture.

Rachel. The chief 'recommendation of Leah, was her Verse 9. We cannot, until all the flocks-shepherds soft and beautiful eyes ; but Rachel was wnnd' yephath see ver. 3,-be gathered together} li is a rule that the toar, beautiful in her shape, person, mien, and gait: and stone shall not be removed till all the shepherds and the ano no yephath mareh, beautiful in her countenance. flocks, which have a right to this well, be gathered The words plainly signify, a fine shape, and fine features; together; then, and not before, we may water the sheep. all that can be considered as essential to personal beauty.

Verse 9. Rachel came with her father's sheep] So we Therefore Jacob loved her; and was willing to become a find that young women were not kept concealed in the bond-serrant for seven years, that he might get her to house, till the time they were married, which is the com wife; for in his destitute state he could produce no dowry, mon gloss put on nový âlmuh, a virgin, one concealed, and it was the custom of those times, for the father to resee on chap. xxiv. 43. Nor was it beneath the dignity of ceive a portion for his daughter, and not to give one with the danghters of the most opulent chiefs to carry water her. The bad system of education, by which women are from the well, as in the case of Rebekah; or tend sheep, spoiled and rendered in general good for nothing, makes it as in the case of Rachel. The chief property in those necessary for the husband to get a dowry with his wife, to limes consisted in flocks, and who so proper to take care enable him to maintain her : whereas in former times, of them, as those who were interested in their safety and they were well educated, and extremely useful: hence he increase? Honest labour, far from being a discredit, is an who got a wife, almost invariably got a prize. honour both to high and low. The king himself is served Verse 20. And Jacob scrved seven years for Rachel] by the field; and without it, and the labour necessary for In ancient times it appears to have been a custom among its cultivation, all ranks must perish. Let every son, let all nations, that men should give dowries for their wives : every daughter learn, that it is no discredit to be employed, and in many countries this custom still prevails. When whenever it may be necessary, in the meanest offices, by Shechen asked Dinah for wife, he said, Ask me nerer so which the interests of the family may be honestly pro much doury and gift, and I will give uccording as moted.

ye shall say unto me, chap. xxxiv. 12. When Eliezar Verse 10. Jacob went near, and rolled the stone] Prob went by Abraham's command, to get Rebekah to be ably the flock of Laban was the last of those which had a wife to Isaac, he took a profusion of riches with him, right to the well: that flock being now come, Jacob as in silver, gold, jewels, and raiment, with other costly sisted the shepherds to roll off the stone : for it is not things, which, when the contract was made, he gave to likely he did it by himself, and so assisted his cousin, to Rebekah, her mother, and her brothers, see chap. xxiv. whom he was as yet unknown, to water her flock.

10, 22, 53. David, in order to be Saul's son-in-law, must, Verse 11. Jacob kissed Rachel] A simple and pure instead of a dowry, kill Goliah; and when this was done, method by which the primitive inhabitants of the earth he was not permitted to espouse Michal till he had killed testified their friendship to each other--first abused by one hundred Philistines, 1 Sam. xvii. 25. and xvii. 25. hypocrites, who pretended affection while their vile hearts The prophet Hosea bought his wife for fifteen pieces of meditated terror-see the case of Joab—and afterward silver, and a homer and a half of burley, chap. iii. 2. disgrared by refiners on morals, who, while they pre- The same custom prevailed anong the ancient Greeks, tended to stumble at those innocent expressions of atfection Indians, and Germans. The

Romans also had a sort and friendship, were capable of cominitting the grossest of marriage which was entitled per coemptionem, by purar is of imprurity.

chase. The Tartars and Turks still buy their wives ; And lifted up his roice] It may be, in thanksgiving to l but among the latter they are bought as a sort of slaves. VOL. 1.-16


28 | And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: I will my husband be joined unto me, because I and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife have borne him three sons: therefore was his also.

name called i Levi. 29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter 35 And she conceived again, and A. M. cir

: 123 Bilha his handmaid to be her maid.

bare a son: and she said, Now will I 30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he praise the LORD: therefore she called his name b loved also Rachel more than Leah; and served Judah ;l and m left bearing. with him yet seven other years. 31 T And when the LORD d saw that Leah was

CHAPTER XXX. hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was Rachel envies her sister, and chidee Jacob, 1. He reproves her, and vindicates hárs

ml, 2 She gives bin her maid Bilhah, 3. 4. She conceives and lears Dar, 5, 6, barren.

and afterwari Naphiali, 7,8 Leah gives Zitpah ber maid to Jacob, 9. She cost A. M. cir. 223.

ceives, and berry Gol, 10, 11, and abo Asher, 12, 13. Reuben firuls mandrakes, of B. C. cir. 1771. 32 And Leah conceived, and bare a

which Rachel tegueels a part, 14. The bargain made between her and Leah, 15. son, and she called his name ' Reuben: Jacob, in conseyi'nce, Lodges with Leah indicad of Rachel, 16. She conceives and

bears Issachar, 17, 18, ai Zebulun, 19, 2), and Dinah, 21. Rachel conceives, for she said, Surely the Lord hath & looked upon and bears Joseph, 22-24. Jacob repiests perhuission from Lahan to go to his own my affliction; now therefore my husband will country, 25, 26. Laban intreats him to ury, and offer to give him a luat wage he

shall choose to name, 27, 28. Jacob details the importance of his services to Laban, love me.

29, 30, and others to continne those services for the speckled and opotted among the A. M. cir. 224. 33 And she conceived again, and

gurts, and the broren among the sheep, 31–33. Laban consent, 34, ani diyales B. C. cir. 1770.

all the ring-trakel and a pored among the he-gonts, and epeckled and posted bare a son; and said Because the LORD among the she-goats, and the brown among the sheep, and pats twn under the

care of his sons, and sets three day. journey between himself and Jacob, 35, 36. hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore Jacob's stratagem of the pillel roda, to cause the cattle

to bring forth the risk

atraked, speckled, and spotted, 37-39. In consequence of which he increased his given me this son also: and she called his name

flock greatly, getting all that was strong and healthy in the flock of Labas, Simeon. A. M. cir. 25.

ND when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob B. C. cir. 1769.

bare a son; and said, Now this time no children, Rachel 'envied her sister;


34 And she conceived again, and AN

Ver. 21. Ch. 30, 3-3.-h Ver. 20. Deut. 21. 15.- Ch. 30. 26. & 31. 41. Host 12 12 d Psa. 127. 3.-e Ch. 30. 1.- That is, see a zon.-g Exod. 3. 7. & 4. 31. Deut. 26. 7. Psa. 25. 18.& 106. 14.

h That is, hearing.-i That is joined. See Numb. 18. 24.-k Matt. 1. 2-1 That is, proiec.-m Hleb stood from bcaring.-n Ch. 29. 31. - Ch. 37. 11.


Herodotus mentions a very singular custom among the have passed those days in which passion runs away with Babylonians, which may serve to throw light on the con

Still, however, the obvious construction of the duct of Laban towards Jacob. “In every district,” says text shows, that he got Rachel the week after he had he, “they annually assemble all the marriageable virgins married Leah. on a certain day; and when the men are come together, Verse 21. My days are fulfilled} My seven years are and stand round the place, the crier rising up, sells one now completed let me have my wife, for whom I have after another, always bringing forward the most beautiful given this service as a doury. first; and having sold her for a great sum of gold, he puts Verse 22. Laban-made a feast) mun mishleh, signiup her who is esteemed second in beauty. On this occa fies a feast of drinking. As marriage was a very solemn sion, the richest of the Babylonians used to contend for the contract, there is much reason to believe that sacrifices fairest wife, and to outbid one another. But the vulgar were offered on the occasion, and libations poured out; are content to take the ugly and lame with money : for and we know that, on festival occasions, a cup of wine when all the beautiful virgins are sold, the crier orders the was offered to every guest; and as this was drunk with most deformed to stand up : and after he has openly de- particular ceremonies, the feast might derive its name from manded who will marry her with a small sum, she is at this circumstance, which was the most prominent and oblength given to the man that is contented to marry her

servable on such occasions. with the least. And in this manner,


money arising Verse 23. In the ereninghe took Leah his daughter] from the sale of the handsome, serves for a portion to As the bride was always veiled, and the bride-chamber those, whose look was disagreeable, or who had any bodily generally dark, or nearly so, and as Leah was brought to imperfection. A father was not permitted to indulge his Jacob in the evening, the imposition here practised by own fancy in the choice of a husband for his daughter ; Laban might easily pass undetected by Jacob, till the enneither might the purchaser carry off the woman which suing day discovered the fraud. he had bought, without giving sufficient security that he Verse 24. And Laban gave--Zilpah his maid) Slaves would live with her as his own wife. Those also who given in this way to a daughter on her marriage, were received a sum of money with such as could bring no price the peculiar property of the daughter; and over them in this market, were obliged also to give sufficient security the husband had neither right nor power.-See the case of that they would live with them; and if they did not, they Sarah and Hagar, chap. xvi. I, &c. were obliged to refund the money." See Herodotus, in Verse 26. It must not be so done in our country) It Clio, p. 82. edit. Gale; and see Calmet, in loco. Thus was an early custom to give daughters in marriage accord Laban made use of the beauty of Rachel, to dispose of ing to their seniority; and it is worthy of remark, that his daughter Leah, in the spirit of the Babylonian cus the oldest people now existing next to the Jews, I mean tom, though not in the letter.

the Hindoos, have this not merely as a custom, but as a And they seemed to him but a few days) If Jacob had positive law: and they deem it criminal to give a younger been obliged to wait seven years before he married Rachel, danghter in marriage while an elder daughter remains could it possibly be said, that they could appear to him as unmarried. Among them, it is a high offence, equal to a few days ? Though the letter of the text seems to say adultery, "for a man to marry while his elder brother the contrary, yet there are eminent men, who strongly remains unmarried ; or for a man to give his daughter to contend that he received Rachel soon after the month was such a person, or to give his youngest daughter in marfinished, see ver. 14. and then served seven years for her; riage while the eldest sister remains unmarried.”—Code which might really appear but a few days to him, because of Gentoo Laws, c. XV. sect. 1. p. 204. This, it appears, of his increasing love to her : but others think this quite was a custom at Mesopotamia; but Laban took care to incompatible with all the circumstances marked down in conceal it from Jacob till after he had given him Leah. the text; and on the supposition that Jacob was not now Verse 27. Fulfil her week] The marriage feast, it apseventy-seven years of age, as most chronologers make peara, lasted seven days ; it would not, therefore, have him, but only fifty-seven, see on chap. xxxi. there will be been proper to break off the solemnities to which all the timé sufficient to allow for all the transactions which are men of the place had been invited, ver. 22. and probably recorded in his history, during his stay with Laban. As Laban wished to keep his fraud from the public eye; to the incredibility of a passionate lover, as some have therefore he informs Jacob, that if he will fulfil the martermed him, waiting patiently for seven years before he riage week for Leah, he will give him Rachel at the end could possess the object of his wishes, and those seven years of it, on condition of his serving seven other years. To appearing to him as only a few days, it may be satisfac- this the necessity of the case caused Jacob to agree ; and torily accounted for, they think, two ways.' I. He had thus Laban had fourteen years service instead of seten : the continual company of his elect spouse, and this cer for it is not likely that Jacob would have served even seven tainly would take away all tedium in the case. 2. Love days for Leah, as his affection was wholly set on Rachel, affairs were not carried to such a pitch of insanity among the wife of his own choice. By this stratagem Laban the patriarchs as they have been in modern timesthey gained a settlement for both his daughters. What a man were much more sober and sedate, and scarcely ever mar- soweth, that shall he reap. Jacob had before practised deried before they were forty years of age, and then more ceit, and is now deceived'; and Laban, the instrument of for conveniency, and the desire of having an offspring, it, was afterward deceived himself. than for any other purpose. At the very lowest computa Verse 28. And Jacob did soand he gare him Rachel) tion, Jacob was now fifty-seven, and consequently must | It is perfectly plain that Jacob did not serve seven years

« AnteriorContinuar »