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that the above-mentioned Abimelech fewed great favour to Isaac, who came into the country of Gerar. It is not impoffible, says M. Bayle, this might have been the same Abimelech, but it is highly probable he was the successor of him who carried off Şarah (6); for a famine happening to prevail, Isaac withdrew into Gerar, where a king of this name then reigned. Here Rebecca's beauty obliged her husband to have recourse to the same artifice which Abraham had before practised; for Isaac, fearing he should be killed if he was known to be the husband of the beautiful Rebecca, gave her out to be his sister. Abimelech having from his window observed certain familiarities pass betwixt them, suspected they had a nearer relation to each other than that of brother and sister; he sent for Isaac, and thus spoke to him : « Behold of a surety she is thy wife ; and how faidst thou, Gen. xxvi. “ She is my sister what is this thou hast done unto us? one 9, 10, « of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife (c), and 6 thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.” At the same time he forbid all his subjects, upon pain of death, to offer the least violence to Isaac or Rebecca. Isaac's prospesity deprived him of the king's friendship, and having acquired vast wealth, he was desired, without the least ceremony, to go from amongst them, which he accordingly did. He still continued to prosper, notwithstanding the efforts of the Philistines to moleft him in several places, on account of the wells his people were digging : Abimelech again desired to enter into a covenant with Isaac, who complied with the Gen. ib. request.

negligente et prophano scriptore ha. carried off Sarah, is not the same bebemus. That is, 'I declare this with him who made the covenant

once for all, which you cannot with Isaac, is this : the latter Abi• prove to be false, that if Josephus melech was credulous enough to be' is true in many places, then Moses, lieve, on Isaac's affirmation, that I and all the sacred writers have re. Rebecca was his sister; and after he ' lated a number of falfities. But knew otherwise, he only gave him • let us rather look upon them as the a gentle reprimand. Now it is not

true interpreters of God himself, likely, had he been deceived by Abra

and Josephus as a priest very igno. ham, that he would bave been ro 'rant in religious affairs, and an easily imposed upon by Isaac. rignorant and profane writer. (c) The Philistines had a great ve. Refp. ad Balduinum oper. tom. II. neration for marriage ; but as for p. 220.

the unmarried women, they thought (6) The reason which induces M. them the property of any one who Bayle to think that Abimelech who should address them.


de Martyr.

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Wood's Falli ABLE, or ABEL (Thomas) was admitted batchelor of Oxon. vol.I. arts at Oxford, July 4, 1513, and took his degree of master 11.9: 21. of arts June 26, 1516. He was afterwards appointed chap,

lain to queen Catherine, wife to king Henry VIII. Mr. HiA. Ecclef. Bouchier thus speaks of him: Vir lònge doctiffimus, qui re

ginæ aliquando in muficarum tactu & linguis operam suam navaret. 66 A man of great learning, who used sometimes

to teach the queen music and the languages.” He greatly distinguished himself by opposing the divorce of the queen (a), and was a violent the king in all his unlawful proceedings. He wrote a treatise, De non dissolvendo Henrici et Catherinæ matrimonio. In the year 1534 he was attainted of misprifion, for taking part änd being active in the affair of Elizabeth Barton, the holy maid of Kent (6). He was afterwards sentenced to die for denying the king's supremacy, and was accordingly executed July 30, 1540. It is thought that he wrote several pieces : but they have been loft. When in prison he was confined very closely, and the keeper of Newgate was once sent to the Marshalsea for allowing him and Dr. Powel to go out upon bail.

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(a) The lawfulness of this divorce ( Canterbury, and Fisher bifhop of has been maintained by feveral emi “Rochester, and Sir Thomas More; nent persons, whose opinions have gave some belief to her : so that been fully refuted in bishop Burnet's notwithstanding the danger that history of the reformation, and in fe was to give ear to a prediction of veral other books.

- hers, that Henry VIII. should not b) Lord Herbert of Cherbury live one month after his marriage gives the following account of that with Mrs. Bolen, she was cried impostor: Elizabeth Barton had up with many voices; Silvester,

almost stirred up more than one • Antonio, Pollicari, and Darius, • tragedy; for being subornéd by " the Pope's agents, giving credit r the monks to use some ftrange " and countenance thereunto. But • gesticulations, and to exhibit di- "the plot being at lant discovered, « vers feigned miracles, accompa- • she was attainted of treason; and * nied with some wizardly unrooth. executed, with her chief accom. " sayings, se drew much credit and plices ; at which time the confessed • concourse to her, inromuch that their names who had instigated ' no mean persons, and amongit 'her to these praćtices.' Life and & others, Warliam late archbishop of reign of Henry VIII.

ABRABANEL (Isaac) a famous rabbi, börn át Lisbon. in the year 1437, of a family who boasted their descent from king David. He raised himfelf confiderably at the court of Alphonfo V. king of Portugal, and was honoured with very high offices, which he enjoyed till this prince's death; but upon his decease, he felt a strange reverse of fortune under the new king. Abrabanel was in his forty-fifth year, when John II. succeeded his father Alphonso. All


ceding reign, wete was fecretly, relive up the crow

those who had any hare in the administration in the pror çeding reign were discarded, and if we give credit to our rabbi, their death was secretly resolved, under the pretext of their having formed a design to give up the crown of Portu gal to the king of Spain, Abrabanel, however, fufpecting nothing, in obedience to the order he received to attend his majeftya set out for Lisbon with all expedition ; but having in his journey, heard of what was plotting against his life, he filed immediately to his Caftilian majesty's dominions. A party of soldiers were dispatched after him, with orders to bring him dead or alive: however he made his escape, but all his por sefhons were confiscated. On this occasion he lost all his books, and also the beginning of his Commentary upon the book of Deuteronomy, which he much regretted. Some writers.(a) affirm that the cause of his disgrace at this time was wholly owing to his bad behaviour; and they are of the fame opinion in regard to the other persecutions, which he afterwards suffered (à). But however this may be, upon his settling in Caftile, be began to teach and write. In 14849 he wrote his Commentary upon the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel. Being afterwards sent for to the court of Ferdinand and Isabel, he was advanced to preferment, which he enjoyed till the year 1492, when the Jews were driven out of the Spanish dominions. He used his utmost endeavours. (c) to turn off this dreadful storm ; but all proved, ineffectual, foi that he and all his family were obliged to quit the kingdom, with the rest of the Jews. He retired to Naples, and in the year1493wrote, his Commentary on the books of the Kings. Having been bred: a courtier, he did not neglect toi

(a). They affirm that Abrabanel aspire at the most illustrious titles,, justly deserved the usage he met with, such as the noblest houses in Spain and that he would have been treated could hardly attain ; and that being with greater severity, had not king a sworn enemy to the Christian reli-. John, out of his wonted clemency, gion, he was the principal cause of contented himself with banishing that storm which fell upon him and him. They, add farther, that he left the rest of his nation. Ib. p. 530. Portugal from a conscioufness of (c) He himself mentions, in one of guilt, Act. Lipf, Nov, 1686. P. 529, his performances, what he did on

(6) They also say, that by ne. this occasion ; Solomon Ben Virga gotiating bills of exchange (which, relates, it also in his hiftory of the was the business he followed in Car- Jews, where he gives a description tile) he got introduced at the court of of the dreadful calamities which beFerdinand and Isabel; that he amassed fel the three hundred thousand Jews, prodigious wealth, by practising the who were all obliged in one day to several arts and frauds of the Jewish leave the dominions of his Catholic people ; that be oppressed the poor, majesty, Comment, in litros regum and by his usury made a prey of every apud Nicol. Anton, Bibl, Hift. tom. I. sting; that he had the vanity to p. 627,

and wento my. The fohat he had writ this time he is

avail himself of the knowledge he had acquired at the courts of Portugal and Arragon, so that he foon ingratiated himself into the favour of Ferdinand king of Naples, and afterwards into that of Alphonso. He followed the fortune of the latter, accompanying him into Sicily,when Charles VIII. the French king, drove him from Naples. Upon the death of Alphonso, he retired to the island of Corfou, where he began his Commentary on Isaiah in 1495; and about this time he had the good fortune to find what he had written on the book of Deuteronomy. The following year he returned to Italy, and went to Monopoli in Apulia, where he wrote several books. In 1496 he finished his Commentary on Deuteronomy, and also composed his Sevach Pesach, and his Nachalath Avoth. In the succeeding year he wrote his Majene Hajeschua, and in 1498 his Maschania Jeschua, and his Commentary on Isaiah. Some time after he went to Venice, to settle the disputes betwixt the Venetians and Portuguese relating to the spice trade, and on this occafion he displayed so much prudence and capacity, that he acquired the favour and esteem of both those powers. In 1504 he wrote his Commentary on Jeremiah, and, according to some authors, his Commentary also on Ezekiel, and the twelve minor-prophets. In 1506 he composed his Comentary on Exodus, and died at Venice in the year 1508, in the seventy-first year of his age. Several of the Venetian nobles, and all the principal Jews attended his funeral with great pomp. His corpse was interred at Padua, in a burial-place without the city. Abrabanel wrote several other pieces, besides what we have mentioned, the dates of which are not settled, and some have not been printed (d). He was a man of so great a genius, that most persons have equalled him, and some even

(d) The following are mentioned 8.Miphaloth Elohim,works of God. in the Leipfic journal, viz.

9. Sepher Schamaim Chadaschim. 1. Commentaries on Genesis, Le 10. Labakath Nebhiim. viticus, and Numbers.

His Commentary on Haggai was 2. Rach Amana.

translated into Latin by Adam Sherze3. Sepher Jeschuoth Moschici, a rus, and inserted in the Trifolium Ori. treatise on the traditions relating to entale, published at Leipfic in 1663, the Messiah.

where his Commentary on Joshua, 4. Zedek Olammim,' upon future Judges, and Samuel was also printed in rewards and punishments.

folio in 1686. In this same year his An5. Sephor Jemoth Olam, a history notations on Hofea, with a preface from the time of Adam.

on the twelve minor prophets, were 6. Maamar Machase Schaddai, a transated into French by Francis ab treatise on prophecy and the vision Husen, and published at Leyden. In of Ezekiel, against rabbi Maimo- 1683 Mr. de Veil, a converted Jew, nides.

published at London Abrabanel's prç7. Sepher Atereth Sekenim. · face to Leviticus,"


preferred him to the celebrated Maimonides. The Jews fet a high value upon what he has written to refute the arguments and objections of the Christians; and the latter, though they hold in contempt what he has advanced upon this head, yet allow great merit in his other performances, wherein he gives many proofs of his great genius, learning, and penetration. He does not. blindly follow the opinions of his superiors, but censures their mistakes with great freedom. The persecutions of the Jews, under which he had been a considerable sufferer, affected him to a very great degree; fo that the remembrance thereof worked up his indignation against the Christians, and made him inveigh against them in the strongest terms : there is hardly one of his books where he has omitted to shew his resentment and desire of revenge ; and whatever the subject may be, he never fails, some how or other, to bring in the distressed condition of the Jews. He was a most affiduous man in his studies, in which he would spend whole nights, and would fast for a confiderable time. He had a great facility in writing; and though he discovered an implacable hatred to the Christians in his compositions, (e) yet, when in company with them, he behaved with great politeness, and would be very chearful in conversation.

(g) His commentaries on the Scrip- Bartolocci was desirous the Tews tures, especially those on the pro- should be forbid the perusal of them. phets, are filled with so much ran. And he tells us that they were accour against our Saviour; the church, cordingly not allowed to read or to the pope, the cardinal, the whole keep in their houses Abrabanel's comclergy, and all Christians in general, mentaries on the latter prophets. but in a particular manner against Biblioth. Rabbi, tom. III. p. 876, the Roman Catholics,' that father 879.

ABRAHAM, the father and stock whence the faithful sprung, was the son of Terah. He was descended from Noah by Shem, from whom he was nine degrees removed. Some fix his birth in the hundred and thirtieth year of Terah's age, but others place it in his father's seventieth year. 'Tis highly probable he was born in the city of Ur, in Chaldea, which he and his father left when they went to Canaan, where they re- Genefis xii mained till the death of Terah ; after which Abraham re- 31. sumed his first design of going to Palestine. The Scriptures: mention the several places he stopped at in Canaan; his journey into Egypt, where his wife was carried off from him ; his going into Gerar, where Sarah was again, taken from him, and restored to him as before; the victory he obtained over the four kings who had plundered Sodom; his compliance


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