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as the margin of the Bible renders it, adding; and said,“ the Lord shall add to me another son.” (See the interesting history, Gen. xxx. throughout. See also Joseph.) After the birth of Joseph, Rachel conceived again, and bore. Benjamin, on which occasion she died. Moses gives a very affecting account of it, Gen. xxxv. 15 to 20. As the soul of Rachel was departing from her body, she named her child Ben-oni ; and the margin of our Bibles hath thought it proper to mark it with some degree of emphasis ; the son of my sorrow, from Ben, son; and On, grief or burden; and the pronoun I, makes it personal, my sorrow. Poor Rachel ! what a mistaken judgment she made! She earnestly desired children ; but behold the event! God
God gave her a son; but he was, as she properly named him, a son of sorrow; a Benoni. How many Rachels have there been since, who in wresting or wishing to take the government out of the Lord's hands, bave done it to their sorrow!
Jacob, though his love to Rachel was unbounded, (see Gen. xxix. 18—20.) yet he would not suffer the child to retain the name of Benoni, but changed it to Benjamin, which is, the son of my right hand, from Ben, son; and jamin, the right hand. And his love to Benjamin is much recorded in the Scripture. Moses, the man of God, viewing, most probably, Benjamin typically in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ, makes a beautiful observation in his dying blessing, which he gave to the tribes of Israel; “ And of Benjamin he said, the beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his
shoulders.” (Deut. xxxiii. 12.) BETHANY. A place ever dear and memorable to
BERYL. See gold.
the followers of the Lord Jesus, from being so sacred to the Lord's solemn moments of suffering. Perhaps the name is compounded, of Beth, an house; and hanah, affliction. It lay about fifteen furlongs (nearly two of our miles) from Jerusalem, at the foot of the mount of Olives. See John,
eleventh and twelfth chapters. BETH-AVEN. : It is the same place as. Bethel.
But after Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, set up his golden calves there, the pious among the Israelites called it Beth-aven; meaning, the house of iniquity; for it was no longer proper to call it Beth-el, the house of God.
(1 Kings xii. 26, to the end.): BETHEL. This spot is rendered memorable, from
being the place where the visions of God began with the patriarch Jacob. (Gen. xxviii, 19, &c.) The name is Beth, the house'; El, of God. And this name hath ever since been applied, by the people of God, to the sacred ground where their first interviews opened with the Lord. Believers in Jesus have been accustomed to call the hallowed spot of their first manifestations of God in Christ, and indeed, all their after visits from the Lord, as Jacob's was, their Bethels; for Jacob there saw the gracious revelation of God in Christ, in the vision manifested to him. (See Gen. xxvii. 12 to 17.) And those are our first real views of God, when we discover the riches and fulness of God's glory, as manifested to poor sinners, in the person, offices, and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the disciples, John i. 14. Thus Paul, Gal. i. 15, 16. And all the holy men of old, who saw the day of Christ afar off, rejoiced and were glad ; made certain memorandums of the hallowed ground, where the Lord thus revealed himself, to bring to remembrance. Abraham's JEHOVAA Jireh, (Gen. xxii. 14.) and Gideon's Jehovah Shalom, in Ophrah, are sweet proofs in this way: (Judges vi. 11 to 24.) And may I not hope, that both the writer and reader of this short memorial do the same, through grace, and can speak of their Be. the many causes for which the gospel according to St. John was added to the other memoirs of the Lord Jesus Christ, was purposely to relate some circumstances, which Matthew, Mark, and Luke, had not done. (See John xx. 30, 31 ; xxi. 25.)
thels also ? BETHER. We meet with this word only in the
Songs of Solomon. In the second Song, 17th verse, the word is retained in its original, Bether; but in the eighth Song, 14th verse, it is translated “ mountains of spices.” In the margin of the Bible it is rendered division; as if separating from Christ. Some of the copies read the word Bethel; but it certainly is a different word, and of a different meaning. It hath been rendered very sweet and gracious, I believe at times, to the follower of the Lord, when 'feeling the desires of the soul going out in longings for the Lord Jesus. So Old Testament saints sought the coming of Christ, as upon the mountains of Bether, when in the dark shade of Jewish ordinances they saw the type and shadow of good things to come, and longed for the substance. And so New Testament believers, who have once seen and tasted that the Lord is gracious, are longing for renewed visits' of Jesus, when in seasons of distance, and darkness, and unbelief, they feel as on the mountains of Bether, waiting his coming. And how do the best of saints, in the present day, and they who enjoy most of the Redeemer's
grace, still long for the full manifestation of his person, and the coming of that great day, when he will come
to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe.” (2 Thess. i. 10.) Say, reader, doth not your heart go forth, as the church of old did, (sure I am it must, if so be Christ is precious) crying out with the same rapture, “ Make haste.
my beloved; and until that everlasting day, break in upon my redeemed soul, be thou like to a roe, or a young hart, upon the mountains of Bether.” (Song
ii. 17. Song viii. 14.) BETHESDA. The word signifies, the house of
mercy; from Beth, an house; and Chesed, mercy. It was the pool which the evangelist John speaks of, John v. 2. I refer to the account. It is probable, that into this pool the waters from the temple emptied themselves: and if so, all the washings of the sacrifices. And some have been weak enough to fancy, that the efficacy of the pool arose from thence. And others, equally erroneous, have supposed that some mineral quality might be in the pool, from the waters imbibing it in passing over certain strata of the kind, as the mineral waters of Bath, and other places of the like nature. But had they attended to what the Holy Ghost hath recorded, by his servant John, in the history of the Bethesda, they would have observed, that the peculiar miraculous quality the pool possessed, was only at a certain season, and from the descent of an angel into the pool; and the miracle expressly limited also to one person.
Some have raised questions of doubt concerning the reality of the pool itself, because it is not noticed by any of the evangelists but John. But this, if admitted as an argument of doubt, would go farther than the objectors perhaps intend; since the same cause of objection would equally hold good against the pool of Siloam, the resurrection of Lazarus, several of the sweet and precious discourses of Christ, his miracle of Cana, at Galilee, and very many other blessed relations concerning the Lord Jesus, which are mentioned by none of the other evangelists. But these are childish objections, since we know that one among
Some have expressed their surprise that Josephus, the Jewish historian, should have been altogether silent concerning the pool of Bethesda. But not to remark that Josephus was not born at the time the pool was in repute, the well-known hatred he bore to every thing that had respect to the person and glory of the Lord Jesus, might well account for his not even glancing at the Bethesda, which must have connected with it Christ's miracle there ; rendered so memorable as it was, from the cure he wrought, by speaking a word, on the poor man, of a disease of thirtyeight years standing. And surely, no one who reads his history of Israel's Exodus, and their passage through the Red Sea, can be astonished that he should pass by all notice of the pool of Bethesda.
It is truly blessed to the believer in Christ, that his faith is not founded “ in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” The Holy Ghost hath given his testimony to the many blessed truths in his servant John's writings, and of consequence, to the reality and certainty of this pool of Bethesda among the rest. And I humbly conceive, that the pool itself was specially intended, by the mercy of the Lord, to be a standing miracle among his people, during their dark estate from the departure of the Spirit of prophecy, which ended with Malachi
; to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; as if to shew, that the Lord had not cast away his people whom he foreknew." Here, therefore, was a direction to wait for Christ. And as he