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dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his | Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he am a smooth man: said unto him, Behold, here am I.

12 My father peradventure will feel and 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall not the day of my death:

bring * a curse upon me, and not a blessing. 3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy 13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and the field, and take me some venison;

go fetch me them. 4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, 14 And he went, and fetched, and brought and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul them to his mother: and his mother m made d may bless thee before I die.

savoury meat, such as his father loved. 5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to 15 And Rebekah took "goodly raiment of her Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to eldest son Esau, " which were with her in the hunt for venison, and to bring it.

house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: 6 | And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of Esau thy brother, saying,

his neck: 7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury 17 And she gave the savoury meat and the meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of LORD, before my death.

her son Jacob. 8 Now therefore, my, son, obey my voice 18 1 And he came unto his father, and said, according to that which I command thee. My, father: and he said, Here am I'; who art

9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thou, my son? thence two good kids of the goats; and I will 19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am. Esau make them savoury meat for thy father, such thy, first-born; I have done according as thou as he loveth:

badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my 10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that venison, P that thy soul may bless me. he may eat, and that he s may bless thee before 20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that his death.

thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he 11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.

a Prur. 27. 1. James 4. 14.-

Ch. 25. 27. 28.-c Heb. hunt. Ver, n. Ch. 48. 9, 15. & 49. 2. Deut 3.1.- Ver. 13 - Ver. 1 - Ver. 1.-hCh 25.2. - Ver.22

k Ch. 9. 35. Deut. 27. 18. Ch. 13. 9. I Sam. 25. 24. 2 Sam. 14. 9. Matt. 27. 25.

m Ver. 4,9.--- Heb. desirable.- Ver. 27.--p Ver. 4.--Heb. before me.

This seems to be the sole reason why savoury meat is in three different ways. 1. By his wordsI am thy firstso particularly mentioned in the text:-1. When we con-born, Esau. 2. By his actionshe gives him kids flesh sider that no covenant was deemed binding unless the for venison, and says he had executed his orders, and got parties had cater together : 2. That to convey this blessing it by hunting. 3. By, his clothing he put on Esau's some rite of this kind was necessary; and 3. That Isaac's garments, and the kids' skins upon his hands and the strength was now greatly exhausted, insomuch that he smooth of his neck. In short, he made use of every species supposed himself to be dying, we shall at once see why of deception that could be practised on the occasion, in meat was required on this occasion, and why that meat order to accomplish his ends. To attempt to palliate, or was to be prepared in such a manner as to deserve the find excuses for such conduct, instead of scrving, disscrves epithet of savoury. As I believe this to be the true sense the cause of religion and truh. Men have laboured, not of the place, I do not trouble my readers with interpreta- only to excuse all this conduct of Rebekah and Jacoh, but tions, which I suppose to be either exceptionable or false. even to show that it was consistent, and that the whole

Verse 5. And Rebekah heard] And was determined, if was according to the mind and will of God! possible, to frustrate the design of Isaac, and procure the

Non tali auxilio, non defensoribus istis blessing for her favourite son. Some have preiended, that she received a divine inspiration to this purpose; but if The cause of God and truth is under no obligation to she had, she needed not to have had recourse to deccit, to such defenders; their hands are more unhallowed than help forward the accomplishment of a divine purpose. those of Uzzah; and however the bearers may stumble, Isaac, on being informed, would have had too much piety the ark of God requires not their support. It was the not w prefer the will of his Maker to his own partiality for design of God, that the elder should serve the younger ; his eldest son; but Rebekah had nothing of the kind to and he would have brought it about in the way of his own plead, and therefore had recourse to the most exceptionable wise and just providence: but means, such as those here means to accomplish her ends.

used, he could neither sanction nor recommend. Verse 12. I shall bring a curse upon me) For, even Verse 23. And he discerned him not, because his hands in those early times, the spirit of that law was understood, were hairy] From this circumstance we may learn, that Deut. xxvii. 18. Curscd is he that maketh the blind tó Isaac's sense of feeling was much impaired by his present wander out of the way; and Jacob seems to have possessed malady. When he could not discern the skin of a kid at this time, a more tender conscience than his mother. from the flesh of his son, we see that he was, through his

Verse 13. Upon me be thy curse, my son] Onkelog infirmity, in a fit state to be imposed on by the deceit of gives this a curious turn-It has been revealed to me by his wife, and the cunning of his younger son. prophecy, that the curses will not come upon thee, my son. Verse 27. The smell of my son, is as the smell of a What a dreadful responsibility

did this woman take upon field] The smell of these garments, the goodly raiment her at this time! The sacred writer states the facts as which had been laid up in the house, (sce on ver. 15.) was they were, and we may depend on the truth of the state probably occusioned by some aromatic herbs, which we ment: but he no where says, that God would have any may naturally suppose were laid up with the clothes: a man to copy this conduct. He often relates facts and custom which prevails in many countries to the present sayings which he never recommends.

day. Thyme, lavender, &c. are often deposited in wardVerse 15. Goodly raiment] Mr. Ainsworth has a robes, to communicate an agreeable scent, and under the sensible note on this place. "The priest in the law had supposition that the moths are thereby prevented from holy garments to minister in, Exod. xxviii. 2-4. which fretting the garments. I have often seen the leaves of the Septuagint there, and in this place, term TuvoTonne, aromatic plants, and sometimes whole sprigs, put in THE robe, and cream zgorax, the holy robe. Whether the Eastern MSS. to communicate a pleasant smell, and to first-born, before the law, had such to minister in, is not prevent the worms from destroying ihem. Persons going certain; but it is probable by this example: for had they from Europe to the East-Indies, put pieces of Russia been common garments, why did not Esau himself, or his leather among their clothes for the same purpose. Such wives, keep them? But being, in all likelihood, holy a smell would lead Isaac's recollections to the fields, where robes, received from their ancestors, the mother of the aromatic plants grew in abundance; and where he had family kept them in sweet chests, from moths and the often been reguled by the scent. like; whereupon it is suid, ver. 27. Isaac smelled the Verse 29. God give thee of the dew of heaven) Bp. smell of his garments." The opinion of Ainsworth is Newton's view of these predictions is so correct and apfollowed by many critics.

propriate, as to leave no wish for any thing farther on the Verse 19. I am Esau, thy first-born) Here are many subject. palpable falsehoody, and such as should neither be imitated "It is here foretold, and in ver. 39. of these two brethren, nor excused. Jacob, suys Calmet, imposes on his father that as to situation, and other temporal advantages, they VOL. 1.-15

113

21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and pray thee, that I`may feel thee, my son, whether plenty of corn and wine : thou be my very son Esau or not.

29 · Let people serve thee, and nations bow 22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; / down to thee; be lord over thy brethren, and and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: 'cursed voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau, be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be

23 And he discerned him not, because b his he that blesseth thee. hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: 30 | And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac so he blessed him.

had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob 24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? was yet scarce gone out from the presence of and he said I am.

Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in 25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I from his hunting. will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may 31 And he also had made savoury meat, and bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he father, Let my father arise, and meat of his drank.

son's venison, that thy soul may blees me. 26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come 32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who near now, and kiss me, my son.

art thou ? And he said, I am thy son, thy first27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he born, Esau. smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed 33' And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and him, and said, See, d the smell of my son is said, Who? where is he that hath • taken venias the smell of a field which the LORD hath son, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all blessed:

before thou camest, and have blessed him ? yea, 28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of P and he shall be blessed.

a Ver. 12-b Ver. 16.- Ver. 4.- Hos. 14. 6.-e Heb. 11. 20.- Deut. 33. 13, 28. 2 Sam. 1. 21.- Ch. 45. 18.- Deut. 33. 2.-i Ch. 9. 25. & 25.23.-k Ch. 49.8.

I Ch. 12. 3. Numb. 21. 9.--In Ver. 4.- Heb. trembled with a great trembling greatly. Heb. hunied.-p Ch.2.3, 4. Rom. 11.20

should be much alike. It was said to Jacob— God give Zech. viii. 12. And on the other hand, the withholding of thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, these, denotes barrenness, distress, and the curse of God, and plenty of corn and wine and much ihe same is 2 Sam. i. 21. Hag. i. 10.-See Dodd. said to Esau, ver. 39.Behold thy dwelling shall be the Verze 29. Let people serve thce] " However alike their fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from temporal advantages were to each other,"

says Bp. Newabove. The spiritual blessing, or the promise of the blessed ton," in all spiritual gifts and graces the younger brother seed, could be given only to ONE; but temporal good was to have the superiority, was to be the happy instruthings might be imparted to both. Mount Seir and the

ment of conveying the blessing to all nations--- In thee, and adjacent country, was at first the possession of the Edom- in thy sced shall all the families of the earth be blessed. ites; they afterward extended themselves farther into and to this are to be referred, in their full force, those exArabia, and into the southern parts of Juden. But where pressions, Let people serve thee ; and nations bow doron ever they were situated, we find in fact, that the Edomites to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed in temporal advantages, were little inferior to the Israel- be he that blesseth thee. The same promise was made 10 ites. Esau had catlle, and beasts, and substance in abun- Abraham in the name of God, I will bless them that bless dance, and he went to dwell in Seir of his own accord; thce, and curse him that curseth thee, ch. xii. 3. and it is but he would hardly have removed thither with so many here repeated to Jacob, and thus paraphrased in the Jerucattle, had it been such a barren and desolate country as salein Targum-“He who curseth thee, shall be cursed some would represent it. The Edomites had dukes as Balaam the son of Beor: and he who blesseth thee, and kings reigning over them, while the Israelites shall be blessed as Moses the prophet, the law-giver of were slaves in Erypt. When the Israelites, on their re Israel.” It appears that Jacob was, on the whole, a man turn, desired leave to pass through the territories of of more religion, and believed the divine promises more Edom, it appears that the country abounded with FRUIT than Esau. The posterity of Jacob likewise preserved FUL FIELDS and VINEYARDS-Lci us pass, I pray thee, the true religion and the worship of one God, while the through thy country; we will not pass through the fields, Edomites were sunk in idolatry; and of the seed of Jacob or through the rincyards, neither will we drink of the was born at last the Saviour of the world. This was the arater of the rells, Num. xx. 17. And the prophecy of peculiar privilege and advantage of Jacob, to be the happy Malachi, which is generally alleged as a proof of the instrument of conveying these blessings to all nations. barrenness of the country, is rather a proof of the con This was his greatest superiority over Esau ; and in this .rary-I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his sense St. Paul understood and applied the prophecy. The heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness, Mal. i. clder shall serve the younger, Rom. ix. 12. The Christ, 2. for this implies that the country was fruitful before; and the Saviour of the world, was to be born of some one that its present unfruitfulness was rather an effect of war family; and Jacob's was preferred to Esau's, out of the and devastation, than any natural defect in the soil

. If good pleasure of Almighty God, who is certainly the best the country is barren and unfruitful now, neither is Judea judge of fitness and expedience, and has undoubted right what it was formerly.”

to dispense his favours as he shall see proper; for he says As there was but little rain in Juden, except what was to Moses, as the apostle proceeds to argue, ver. 15.—“I termed the early rain, which fell about the beginning of will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will spring, to moisten and fertilize the earth, and the latter have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” And rain, which fell about September: the lack of this was when the Gentiles were converted to Christianity, the supplied by the copious deus, which fell both morning and prophecy was fulfilled literally-Let people serve thee, and evening, or rather through the whole of the night. And let nations bow down to thee; and will be more amply we may judge, says Calmet

, of the abundance of these fulfilled, whien the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, dews by what fell on Gideon's fleece, Judges vi. 38. which and all Israel shall be saved. being wrung, filled a bowl. And Hushai compares an Verse 33. And Isaac trembled] The marginal reading army ready to fall upon its enemies, to a deu falling on is very literal and proper- And Isaac trembled with a the grounul, 2 Sam. xvii. 12. which gives us the idea that great trembling greatly. And this shows the deep conthis fluid fell in great profusion, so as to saturate every cern he felt for his own deception, and the iniquity of the thing. Travellers in these countries assure us, that the means by which it had been brought about. Though deus fall there in an extraordinary abundance.

Isaac must have heard of that which God had spoken to The fatness of the earth] What Homer calls cuine Rebekah- The elder shall serve the younger, and could upouens, Ilias ix. I. 141. and Virgil, uber glebæ, Æneis i. never have wished to reverse this divine purpose; yet he 531. both signifying a soil naturally fertile. Under this, might certainly think that the spiritual blessing might be therefore, and the former expressions, Isaac wishes his conveyed to Esau, and by him to all the nations of the son all the blessings which a plentiful country can pro- earth, notwithstanding the superiority of secular dominion duce : for, as Le Clerc rightly observes, if the dews and on the other side. seasonable rains of heaven fall upon a fruitful soil, nothing Yea, and he shall be blessed] From what is said in this but human industry is wanting to the plentiful enjoyment verse, collated with Heb. xii. 17. we see how binding the of all temporal good things. Hence they are represented conveyance of the birth-right was, when communicated in the Scripture as emblems of prosperity, of plenty, and with the rites already mentioned. When Isaac found that of the blessing of God, Deut. xxxiii. 13, 28. Micah v. 7. I he had been deceived by Jacob, he certainly would have

34 | And when Esau heard the words of his 40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and father, a he cried with a great and exceeding shalt serve thy brother; and mit shall come bitter cry, and said unto' his father, Bless me, to pass, when thou shall have the dominion, even me also, O my father.

that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy 35 And he said, Thy brother came with subt-neck. ility, and hath taken away thy blessing.

41 | And Esau n hated Jacob because of the 36 And he said, “Is not he rightly named blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and • Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning times: " he took away my birth-right; and, for my father are at hand : P then will I slay my behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. brother Jacob. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing 42 | And these words of Esau her elder for me?

son, were told to Rebekah: and she sent and 37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, called Jacob her younger son, and said unto • Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching brethren have I given to him for servants; theé, doth a comfort himself, purposing to kill and with corn and wine have I g sustained thee. him and what shall I do now unto thee, my and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother " to

43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; son ?

38 And Esau said unto his father; Hast thou | Haran; but one blessing, my father ? bless me, even me 44. And tarry with him a few days, until thy also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, brother's fury turn away; k and wept.

45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from 39 And Isaac his father answered and said thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to unto him, Behold, i thy dwelling shall be * the him: then I will send, and fetch thee from fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven thence: why should I be deprived also of you from above;

both in one day?

a Heb. 12. 17.-- Ch. 25. - That is, & supplanter.-I Ch. 35. 33.-e Fulfiller 2 Sam 14. Ver 2 - Ver. 2-Or, unirtel-h Hebr. 12 17-i Ver. Hetor. IL. 20.- Or, of the fatness. --1 Ch. 23 3 Obadi. 18. 19. 20. 2 Sam &. 14.

m 2 Kings R. 20.---- Ch. 4. 2-8. & 37-4.8. Ezek. 25. 12-15. 1 John 3. 12-15.---- Ch. 35. 29. & 50. 3, 4, 10.-- Eccl. 7. 9. Ovad. 10. Eph. 1. 8,27.- Puu. 64. 5. Prov. 2 14. & 1. 16, 17.-r Ch. Il. 81.

reversed the blessing, if he could ; but as it had been con entreaty of the Zealots, to assist them against the priests veyed in the proper sacramental way, this was impossible. and people; and there, together with the Zealots, comI hare blessed him, says he, yea, and he must, or will be mited unheard-of cruelties, and barbarously murdered blessed. Hence it is said by the apostle, Esau found no Annas, the high priest, from whose death Josephus dates place for repentance, 46Tavoias y 34.70700 Ouy, svet, no place the destruction of the city.” See Dr. Dodd. for change of mind or purpose in bis father, though he And-uhen thou shall have the dominion] It is here sought it carefully with tears. The father could not re-foretold, that there was to be a time when the elder was to verse it, because the grant had already been made and have dominion, and shake off the yoke of the younger. confirmed. But let the reader observe, that this had noth. The word aan tarid, which we translate have dominion, ing to do with the final salvation of poor outwitted Esau, is rather of doubtful meaning, as it may be deduced from nor, indeed, with that of his unnatural brother.

three different roots, 774 yarad, to descend, to be brought Verse 35. Halh taken away thy blessing] This blessing, down, or brought low; 179 radah, to obtain rule, or hare which was a different thing from the birthright, seems to dominion ; and 7 rud, to complain : meaning either consist of two parts: 1. The dominion generally and that when reduced very low, God would magnify his finally over the other part of the family; and, 2. Being power in their behalf, and deliver them from the yoke of the progenitors of the Messiah. But the former is more iheir brethren; or, when they should be increased so as to explicitly declared than the latter.-See the notes on ch. venture to set up a king orer them, or that when they xxv. 31.

mourned for their transgressions, God would turn their Verse 36. Is not he rightly named Jacob ?] See on ch. captivity. The Jerusalem Targum gives the words the Xxv. 26.

following turn :--"When the sons of Jacob attend to the He took away my birthright) So he might say with law, and observe the precepts, they shall impose the yoke considerable propriety; for though he sold it to Jacob, yet, of servitude upon thy neck; but when they shall turn as Jacob had taken advantage of his perishing situation, away themselves from studying the law, and neglect the he considered the act as a species of robbery.

precepts, thou shalt break off the yoke of servitude from Verse 37. Behold, I have made him thy lord] See on thy neck. ver. 28.

"It was David who imposed the yoke, and at that time Verse 40. By thy sword shalt thou live] This does not the Jewish people observed the law; but the yoke was absolutely mean that the Edomites should have constant very galling to the Edomites from the first; and towards wars, but that they should be of a fierce and warlike dis the end of Solomon's reign, Hadad, the Edomite, of the position, gaining their sustenance by hunting, and by blood royal, who had been carried into Egypt from his prelatory incursions upon the possessions of others. childhood, returned into his own country, and raised some Bishop Newton speaks on this subject with his usual | disturbances, 1 Kings xi. but was not able to recover his good sense and judgment—"The elder branch, it is here throne, his subjects being overawed by the garrisons which foretold, should delight more in war and violence, but yet David had placed among them; but in the reign of Jehoshould be subdued by the younger. By thy sword shalt ram, the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, the Edomites thou live, and shalt serve thy brother.- Esau himself rerolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made might be said to live much by the sword; for he was a themselres a king, 2 Kings viii. 20, 22. Jchoram made cunning hunter, a man of the field, ch. xxv. 27. He and some attempts to subulue them again, but could not prevail; his children got possession of Mount Seir by force and so the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah violence, expelling from thence the Horiles, the former unto this day, 2 Chron. xxi. 8, 10. and hereby this part of inhabitants, Deut. ii. 22. By what menns they spread the prophecy was fulfilled about nine hundred years after themselves further among the Arabians is not known: but it was delivered.”-Sce Bishop Newton. it appears that, upon a sedition and separation, several of "Thus,” says Dr. Dodd, quoting Bishop Newton, the Edomites came and seized upon the south west parts have we traced, in our notes on this and the xxvth of Judea, during the Babylonish captivity, and settled chapter, the accomplishment of this prophecy from the there ever after. Before and after this, they were almost beginning; and we find that the nation of the Edomites continually at war with the Jews : upon every occasion, has, at several times, been conquered by, and made tributhey were ready to join with their enemies; and when tuary to the Jews, but never the nation of the Jews to the Nebuchadnezzar besiegel Jerusalem, they encouraged him Edomites: and the Jews have been the more considerable utterly to destroy the city, saying-Rase it, rase it, even people, more known in the world, and more famous in to the foundations thereof, Psal. cxxxvii. 7. And even history. We know, indeed, little more of the history of long after they were subilued by the Jews, they retained the Edomites than as it is connected with that of the the same martial spirit; for Josephus, in his time, gives | Jews; and where is the name or the nation now? They them the character of " a turbulent and disorderly nation, were swallowed up and lost, partly among the Nabathean always erect to commotions, and rejoicing in changes : at Arabs, and partly among the Jews, and the very name, as the least adulation of those who beseech them, beginning Dr. Prideaux has observed, was abolished and disused about war, and hasting to battle as to a feast.” And a little the end of the first century of the Christian æra. Thus before the last siege of Jerusalem, they came, at the I were they rewarded for insulting and oppressing their

of

A , to , ,

a Ch. 26. 35. & B. 8. Numb. 11. 15. 1 Kings 19. 4. Job 3. 20-22.-6 Ch. 24.8.

46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, a l am weary 2 e Arise, go to ' Padan-aram, to the house of my life because of the daughters of Heth: of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee bif Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban such as these which are of the daughters of the thy mother's brother. land, what good shall my life do me ?

3 i And God Almighty bless thee, and make

thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest CHAPTER XXVIII.

be a k multitude of people: Isaac directs Jacob to take a wife from the family of Laban, 1, 2; blesses and wonde 4 And give thee ithe blessing of Abraham, to him away, 3, 4. Jacob begins his journey. 5. Exam Precio en dingen thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou

anaan were not pleasing to his parents, and thai Jacoboleyed them in going to get a wife of his own kindred, 6-3, he went and took to wite Mahaduth, wie mayest inherit the land m wherein " thou art a daughter of lelimael, his father's brother, 9. Jacob, in his journey towards Haran, one to a certain place, (Luz, ver. 19.) where he lolged all night, 10.11. He rees stranger, which God gave unto Abraham. in a dream a la ller reaching from earth to heaven, on which he beeld the angela

5 And 'Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to of God ascending and descending, 12 Gol appears above this lackler, and renewe those promises which he had made to Atualam ww to Israc, 13, 14. Promises Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the and makes rethetons tupan his dreum, 16, 17. Sets up one of the stones he had hw Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and for his pillow, and pont oil on it, and calls the place Beth-e?, 19, 19. Makta a vow, Esau's mother. that if God will preserve him in his journey, and bring him back in safety, the stone should be Gal's house, and that he would give him the tenths of all that he 6 1 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed should have, 2-24

Jacob, and sent him away to Padan-aram, to ND Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, take him a wise from thence; and that as he shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan;

Ch. 17. 1,6-k Heh an assembly of people. - Ch. 12. 2-m Heb. of dyes c Ch. 1. 34 Ch, 24, Hos. 12 12.- Ch 25. , g Ch. 2 3 – Ch. 2. 3. journingx..-n Ch. 17.8. brethren the Jews; and hereby other prophecies were Rebekah kept many of the circumstances related above fulfilled, viz. Jerem. xlix. 7, &c. Ezek. xxv. 12, &c. Joel from the knowledge of Isaac; but as Jacob could not go jii. 19. 'Amos i. 11, &c. and particularly Obadiah: for at to Padan-aram without his knowledge, she appears here this day we see the Jews subsisting as a distinct people, quite in her oon character, framing an excuse for his dewhile Edom is no more, agreeably to the words of Obadiah, parture, and concealing the true cause. Abraham had ver. 10, For thy violence against thy brother Jacob, in been solicitous to get a wife for his son Isaac from a branch the return of his posterity from Egypt, shame shall corer of his own family; hence she was brought from Syria. thee, and thou shall be cut off for ever. And again, ver. She is now afraid, or pretends to be afraid, that her son 19.' There shall nol be any remaining of the house of Jacob, may marry among the Hittites, as Esau had done ; Esau, for the Lord hath spoken it. In what a most and therefore makes this to Isaac the ostensible reason. extensive and circumstantial manner has God fulfilled all why Jacob should immediately go to Padan-aram, that he these predictions! And what a proof is this of the divine might get a wife there. Isaac, not knowing the true cause inspiration of the Pentateuch, and the omniscience of of sending him away, readily falls in with Rebekah's proGod!"--Soe the notes on chap, xxv.

posals, and immediately calls Jacob, gives him suitable Verse 41, The days of mourning for my father are directions and his blessing, and sends him away. This at hand) Such was the state of Isaac's health at that time, view of the subject makes all consistent and natural; and though he lived more than forty years afterward, that his we see at once the reason of the abrupt speech contained death was expected by all: and Esau thought, that would in this verse. be a favourable time for him to avenge himself on his In the preceding notes, I have endeavoured to represent brother Jacob; as, according to the custom of the times, things simply as they were. I have not copied the manner the sons were always present at the burial of the father of many commentators, who have laboured to vindicate Ishmael came from his own country to assist Isaac to bury the characters of Jacob and his mother in the transactions Abraham, ch. xxv. 9. and both Jacob and Esau assisted in here recorded. As I fear God, and wish to follow him, I burying their father Isaac, ch. xxxv. 29. but the enmity dare not bless what he hath noi blessed, nor curse what he between them had happily subsided long before that time. hath not cursed. I consider the whole of the conduct,

Verse 42. Doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee] both of Rebekah and Jacob, in some respects deeply crim75 oning methnachem leca, Houbigant renders, cogitat inal, and in all highly exceptionable. And the impartial super te, he thinks or meditates to kill thee. This sense relation of the facts contained in this and the xxvth chapis natural enough here, but it does not appear to be the ter, gives me the fullest evidence of the truth and authenmeaning of the original; nor does Houbigant himself ticity of the sacred original. How impartial is the history give it this sense in his Racines Hebraiques. There is that God writes! We may see, from several commentators, no doubt that Esau, in his hatred to his brother, felt him- what man would have done, had he had the same facts to self pleased with the thought that he should soon have the relate. The history given by God, details as well the rices opportunity of avenging his wrongs.

as the virtues of those who are its subjects. How widely Verse 44. Tarry with him a few duys] It was probably different from that in the Bible, is the biography of the forty years hefore he returned and it is likely Rebekah present day! Virtuous acts, that were never performed ; saw him no more; for it is the general opinion of the voluntary privations, which were never borne; piety, Jewish rabbins, that she died before Jacob's return from which was never felt; and, in a word, lives, which were Padan-aram, whether the period of his stay be considered never liredare the principal subjects of our biographical twenty or forty years. See on chap. xxxi. 38, &c. relations. These may be well termed the Lires of the

Verse 45. Why should I be deprived also of you both ?] | Saints ; for to these are attributed all the virtues which If Esau should kill Jacob, then the nearest akin to Jacob, can adorn the human character, with scarcely a failing or who was by the patriarchal law, Gen. ix. 6. the avenger a blemish ; while, on the other hand, those in general, of blood, would kill Esau; and both these deaths might mentioned in the sacred writings, stand marked with Jeep possibly take place in the same day. This appears to be shades. What is the inference which a reflecting mind, the meaning of Rebekah. Those who are ever endeavour-. acquainted with human nature, draws from a comparison ing to sanctify the means by the end, are full of perplexity of the biography of the Scriptures, with that of uninand distress. God will not give his blessing to even å spired writers? The inference is this: the Scripture divine service, if not done in his own way, on principles history is natural, is probable, bears all the characteristics of truth and righteousness. Rebekah and her son would of veracity ; narrates circumstances which seem to make take the means out of God's hands--they, compassed against its own honour, yet dwells on them, and often themselves with their own sparks, and warmed themselves seeks occasion to REPEAT them. It is true! infallibly with their own fire; and this had they at the hand of God, true! In this conclusion, common sense, reason, and critithey lay down in sorrow, God would have brought cism, join. On the other hand, of biography in general, about his designs in a way consistent with his own per we must say, that it is often unnatural, improbable, is desfections; for he had fully determined that the elder should ritute of many of the essential characteristics of truth ; serve the younger, and that the Messialı should spring, studiously avoids mentioning those circumstances which not from the family of Esau, but from that of Jacob; and are dishonourable to its subject : ardently endeavours either needed not the cunning craftiness or deceits of men to to cast those which it cannot wholly hide into deep shades, accomplish his purposes. Yet in his mercy he overruled or sublime them into virtues. This is notorious; and we all these circumstances, and produced good, where things, need not go far for numerous examples. From these if left to their own operations and issues, would have facts, a reflecting mind will draw this general conclusion produced nothing but evil. However, after this repre- an impartial history, in every respect true, can be expecta, hensible transaction, we hear no more of Rebekah. The ed only from God himself. Holy Spirit mentions her no more.

These should be only preliminary observations to an Verse 46.) I am weary of my life] It is very likely that I extended examination of the characters and conduct of

7 And that Jacob obeyed his father, and his 9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took mother, and was gone to Padan-aram;

unto the wives which he had, Mahalath the 8 And Esau seeing, " that the daughters of daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;

of Nebajoth to be his wife.

a Ch. 21. 3. & 3. 35.--b Heb. were evil in the eyes, &c.

c Ch. 36. 3. she is called Bashematch.d Ch. 25. 13.

Rebekah and her two sons; but this in detail would be an own words, whether he might not have got a curse instead ungracious task, and I wish only to draw the reader's of a blessing. As the blessing now pronounced on Jacob attention to what may, under the blessing of God, promote was obtained without any trick or deception on his part, it his moral good. No pious man can read the chapter is likely that it produced a salutary effect upon his mind, before him without emotions of grief and pain. A mother might have led him to confession of his sin, and prepared teaches her favourite son to cheat and defraud his brother, his heart for those discoveries of God's goodness, with deceive his father, and tell the most execrable lies! And which he was favoured at Luz God, the just, the impartial God, relates all the circum Verse 2. Arise, go to Padan-aram] This mission, in stances in the most ample and minute detail! I have its spirit and design, is nearly the same as that chap. xxiv. already hinted, that this is a strong proof of the authen- which see. There have been several ingenious conjectures ticity of the sacred book. Had the Bible been the work concerning the retinue which Jacob bad, or might have of an impostor, a single trait of this history had never had, for his journey; and by some he has been supposed appeared. God, it is true, had purposed that the elder to have been well attended. Of this nothing is mentioned should serve the younger ; but never designed that the here, and the reverse seems to be intimated elsewhere. It supremacy should be brought about in this way. Had appears from ver. 11. that he lodged in the open air, with Jacob's unprincipled mother left the matter in the hands a stone for his pillow; and from chap. xxxii. 10. he apof God's providence, her favourite son would have had pears to have taken the journey on foot, with his staff in the precedency in such a way as would not only have his hand; nor is there even the most indirect mention of manifested the justice and holiness of God, but would any attendants, nor is it probable there were any. He have been both honourable and lasting to HIMSELF. He took, no doubt, provisions with him sufficient to carry got the birthright, and he got the blessing; and how him to the nearest encampment, or village, on the way, little benefit did he personally derive from either? What where he would naturally recruit his bread and water to was his life from this time till his return from Padan- carry him to the next stage, and so on. The oil that he aram? A mere tissue of vexations, disappointments, poured on the pillar, might be a little of that which he and calamities. Men may endeavour to palliate the iniquity had brought for his own use, and can be no rational arguof these transactions, but this must proceed either from ment of his having a stock of provisions, servants, camels, weakness or mistaken zeal. God has sufficiently marked &c. for which it has been gravely brought. He had God the whole with his disapprobation.

alone with him. The enmity which Esau felt against his brother Jacob, Verse 3. That thou mayest be a multitude of people) seems to have been transmitted to all his posterity; and oppy Soaps likchal ammim. There is something very redoubtless the matters of the birthright and the blessing, markable in the original words; they signify literally for were the grounds on which that perpetual enmity was an assembly, congregation, or church of peoples ; referkept up between the descendants of both families, the ring, no doubt, to the Jewish church in the wilderness, but Edomites and the Israelites. So unfortunate is an an more particularly to the Christian church, composed of cient family grudge, founded on the opinion, that an injury every kindred and nation and people and tongue. This is has been done by one of the branches of the family, in a one essential part of the blessing of Abraham ; gee ver. 4. period no matter how remote, provided its operations still Verse 4. Give thee the blessing of Abraham) May he continues, and certain secular privations to one side be the confirm the inheritance with all its attendant blessings to result. How possible it is to keep feuds of this kind alive thee, to the exclusion of Esau; as he did to me, to the exto any assignable period, the state of a neighbouring island clusion of Ishmael. But according to St. Paul, much sufficiently proves: and on the subject in question, the more than this is certainly intended here; for it appears, bloody contentions of the two houses of York and LAN from Gal. iv. 6—14. that the blessing of Abraham, which CASTER in this nation, are no contemptible comment. The is to come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, comfacts, however, relative to this point, may be summed up prises the whole doctrine of justification by faith and its in a few words. 1. The descendants of Jacob were pecu- attendant privileges, viz. redemption from the curse of the Jiarly favoured by God. 2. They generally had the domin- law, remission of sins, and the promise of the Holy Spirit, ion, and were ever reputed superior in every respect to the including the constitution and establishment of the ChrisEdomites. 3. The Edomites were generally tributary to tian church. the Israelites. 4. They often revolted, and sometimes Verse 5. Bethuel the Syrian] Literally the Aramean, succeeded so far in their revolts, as to become an independ- so called, not because he was of the race of Aram, the ent people. 5. The Jews were never subjected to the son of Shem, but because he dwelt in that country which Edomités. 6. As in the case between Esau and Jacob, had been formerly possessed by the descendants of Aram. who, after long enmity, were reconciled, so were the Verse 9. Then went Esau 'unto Ishmael] Those who Edomites and the Jews, and at length they became one are apt to take every thing by the wrong handle, and who people. 7. The Edomites, as a nation, are now totally think it was utterly impossible for Esau to do any right extinci; and the Jews still continue as a distinct people action, have classed his taking a daughter of Ishmael from all the inhabitants of the earth! So exactly have all among his crimes: whereas, there is nothing more plain the worris of God, which he has spoken by his prophets, than that he did this with a sincere desire to obey and been fulfilled!

please his parents. Having heard the pious advice which On the blessings pronounced on Jacob and Esan, these | Isanc gave to Jacob, he therefore went, and took a wife questions may naturally be asked. 1. Was there any thing from the family of his grandfather Abraham, as Jacob in these blessings of such a spiritual nature, as to affect was desired to do out of the family of his maternal uncle the eternal interests of either! Certainly there was not, Laban. Mahalath, whom he took to wife, stood in the at least, as far as might absolutely involve the salvation same degree of relationship to Isaac his father, as Rachel of the one, or the perdition of the other. 2. Was not the did to his mother Rebekah. Esau married his father's blessing pronounced on Esau as good as that pronounced niece: Jacob married his mother's niece. It was therefore on Jacob, the mere temporary lordship, and being the most obviously to please his parents that Esau took this progenitor of the Messiah, excepted ? So it evidently additional wife. Ii is supposed that Ishmael must have appears. 3. If the blessings had referred to their eternal been dead thirteen or fourteen years before this time, states, had not Esau as fair a prospect for endless glory as and that going to Ishmael, signifies only going to the his deceitful and unfeeling brother? Justice and mercy family of Ishmael. If we follow the common computa, both say-- Yes. The truth is, it was their posterity and tion, and allow that Isaac was now about one hundred and not themselves, that were the objects of these blessings. thirty-six, or one hundred and thirty-seven years of age, NOTES ON CHAPTER XXVIII.

and Jacob seventy-seven, and as Ishmael died in the one Verge 1. And Isaac called Jacob) See the note on ver. hundred and thirty-seventh year of his age, which, accord46. of the preceding chapter.

ing to the common computation, was the one hundred and And blessed him) Now voluntarily and cheerfully con- twenty-third of Isaac, then Ishmael must have been dead firmed to him the blessing, which he had before obtained about fourteen years. But if we allow the ingenious reathrough subtlety. It was necessary that he should have soning of Mr. Skinner and Dr. Kennicott, that Jacob was this confirmation previous to his departure ; else consider at this time only fifty-seven years of age, and Isaac coning the way in which he had obtained both the birthright sequently only one hundred and seventeen, it will appear and the blessing, he might be doubtful, according to his that Ishmael did not die till six years after this period;

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