페이지 이미지

a son.

and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else 5 | And Bilhah conceived and bare Jacob I die.

2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against 6 And· Rachel said, God hath - judged me, Rachel: and he said, "Am I in God's stead, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the me a son: therefore called she his name i Ban. womb?

7 And Bilhah Rachel's maid con- A. M. cir. 2239. 3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go ceived again, and bare Jacob a second in unto her; d and she shall bear upon my knees, son. • that I may also have children by her.

8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings 4 And she gave him Bilhah her hand-maid | have I wrestled with my sister, and I have preKto wife: and Jacob went in unto her.

vailed: and she called his name i Naphtali.m & Job 5. 2 --- Ch. 16. 2 1 Sam 1. 5.-c Ch. 16. 2. Ch. 50. 23. Job 3. 12. Ch. h Paa. 35. 31. & 43 1. Lom. 3. 59.---That is, Judging - Heb. wrestlings of God. 16. 2.-f Heb. be built by her - Ch. 16. 3. & 35. 22.

Ch. 21. 6. That is, my trestling..-- Called, Matt. 4.13 Nephthalin.

B. C. .

more before he got Rachel to wife; but having spent a week circumstance of their birth, or domestic occurrence, is with Leah, and in keeping the marriage feast, he then got worthy not only of respect, but of imitation. As the Rachel, and served afterward seven years for her. Con name itself continually called to the mind, both of the nexions of this kind are now called incestuous; but it parents and the child, the circumstance from which it oriappears they were allowable in those ancient times. Ipinated, it could not fail to be a lasting blessing to both, laking both sisters, it does not appear that any blame al How widely different is our custom! Unthinking and tached to Jacob, though, in consequence of it, he was vexed ungodly, we impose names upon our offspring as we do by their jealousies. It was probably because of this that upon our cattle; and often the dog, the horse, the monkey, the law, Lev. xviii. 18. was made, Thou shalt not take a and the parrot, share in common with our children the wife to her sister, to vex her, besides the other, in her names which are called Christian! Some of our Chrislifetime. After this, all such marriages were strictly for- tian names, so called, are absurd, others are ridiculous, bidden.

and a third class impious: these last being taken from the Verse 31. The Lord sar that Leah was hated] From demon gods and goddesses of heathenism. May we ever this, and the preceding verse, we get the genuine meaning hope that the rational and pious custom recommended in of the word 72 sanah, to hate, in certain disputed places the Scriptures shall ever be restored, even among those in the Scriptures. The word simply signifies a less degree who profess to believe in, fear, and love God! of love: so it is said, ver. 30. " Jacob loved Rachel

NOTES ON CHAPTER XXX. more than Leah;" i. e. he loved Leah less than Rachel, Verse 1. Gire me children or else I die] This is a and this is called hating in ver. 31. When the Lord most reprehensible speech, and argues not only enry and saw that Leah was hated; that is, that she had less affec-jealousy, but also a total want of dependence on God. tion shown to her than was her due, as one of the legiti- She had the greatest share of her husband's affection, and mate wives of Jacob, he opened her wombhe blessed her yet was not satisfied, unless she could engross all the priviwith children. Now the frequent intercourse of Jacob leges which her sister enjoyed! How true is the saying, with Leah--see the following verses--sufficiently proves Envy is as roltenness of the bones! Prov. xiv. 30. And, that he did not hate her, in the sense in which this term is Jealousy is as cruel as the grave, Cant. viii. 6. used among us: but he felt and showed less affection for Verse 2. Am I in God's stead?] Am I greater than her than for her sister. So, Jacob have I loved, but Esau God, to give thee what he has refused? have I hated, Mal. i. 2, 3. and Rom. ix. 15. simply means, Verse 3. She shall bear upon my knees) The handmaid I have shown a greater degree of affection for Jacob and was the sole property of the mistress, as has already been his posterity, than I have done for Esau and his descend remarked in ihe case of Hagar; and therefore not only ante, by giving the former a better earthly portion than I all her labour, but even the children borne by her, were the have given to the latter; and by choosing the family of property of the mistress. These female slaves, therefore, Jacob to be the progenitors of the Messiah. But not one bore children vicariously for their mistresses: and this word of all this relates to the eternal states of either of the appears to be the import of the term, she shall bear upon two nations. Those who endeavour to support certain pe- my knees. culiarities of their creed by such scriptures as these, do That I may also have children by her- og many regreatly err, not knowing the Scripture, and not properly ibaneh mimennahand I shall be builded up by her] considering either the sovereignty or the mercy of God. Hence ja ben, a son, or child, from nsa banah, to build,

Verse 32. She called his name Reuben) jawn reu-ben, because, as a house is formed of the stones, &c. that enter literally, see ye, or behold a son! for Jehovah hath looked into its composition, so is a family by children. - raah, he hath beheld my affliction-behold then the Verse 6. She called his name Dan] Because she found consequence, I have got a son!

God had judged for her, and decided that she should have Verse 33. She called his name Simeon) nyov shimêon, a son by means of her handmaid; hence she called his hearing: i. e. God had blessed her with another son, be namen Dan, judging: cause he had heard that she was hated-loved less than Verse 8. She called his name Nuphtali] Snas naphRachel was, as the context tells us.

tali, My wrestling, according to the common mode of inVerse 34. Therefore was his name called Levi) 5terpretation; but it is more likely that the root Sno patal levi, joined; because she supposed that, in consequence signifies to trist or entwine. Hence Mr. Parkhurst transof all these children, Jacob would become joined to her in lates the verse—"By the twistings, agency or operation, as strong affection, at least, as he was to Rachel. From of God, I am entwisted with my sister;" that is, my Levi sprang the tribe of Levites, who, instead of the first family is now entwined, or interworen, with my sister's born, were joined unto the priests in the service of the family, and has a chance of producing the promised seed." sanctuary.--See Numb. xviii. 24.

The Septuagint, Aquila, and the Vulgate, have nearly the Verse 35. She called his name Judah) yehudah, same meaning. It is, however, difficult to fix the true a confessor ; one who acknowledges God, and acknow- meaning of the original. ledges that all good comes from his hands : and gives him Verse 11. She called his name Gad] This has been the praise due to his grace and mercy. From this patri- variously translated. 7 Gad, may signify a troop, an arch the Jews have their name; and could it be now army, a soldier, a false god, (Isai. Ixv. 11.) supposed to be rightly applied to them, it would intimate that they were a the same as Jupiter or Mars : for as Laban appears to people that confess God, acknowledge his bounty, and have been, if not an idolater, yet a dealer in a sort of praise him for his grace. -See Rom. ii. 29.

judicial astrology, see chap. xxxi. 19. Leah, in saying 722 Lefl bearing] That is for a time; for she had several | bagad, which we translate, a troop comet), might mean, children afterward, see chap. xxx. 17, &c. Literally by or with the assistance of Gad, a particular planet or translated, the original nabo ypyn taâmod miledeth-she star, Jupiter, possibly, I have gotten this son ; therefore stood still from bearing, which certainly does not convey she called him after the name of that planet or star, from the same meaning as that in our translation : .he one ap- which she supposed the succour came, see the note on pearing to signify, that she ceased entirely from having chap. xxxi. 19. The Septuagint translate it ov tuga, with children; the other, that she only desisted for a time, good fortune ; the Vulgate feliciter, happily ; but in all which was probably occasioned by a temporary suspension this diversity our own translation may appear as probable of Jacob's company, who appears to have deserted the as any, if not the genuine one, 72 na ba gad (for the keri tent of Leah, through the jealous management of Rachel. or marginal reading has it in two words) a troop cometh ; See chap. xxx. 14, 15, &c.

whereas the textual reading has it only in one, 13 bagad, The intelligent and pious care of the original inhabitants with a troop. In Taverner's Bible, published by Beck, of the world to call their children by those names which 1549, the word is translated as an exclamation, Good luck! were descriptive of some remarkable event in Providence, Verse 13. And Leah said, happy am I) una be

A. M. eir. 2210.
B. C. cir. 1701.

A M. cir 2212
B. C. cir. 1702

A M. cir. 2216. B. C. ur. 1758

9 ! When Leah saw that she had left bear 23 And she conceived, and bare a son; ing, she took Zilpah her maid, and a gave her and said, God hath taken away p my reJacob to wise.

proach: 10 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare 24 And she called his name a Joseph; and Jacob a son.

said, "The Lord shall add to me another 11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she son. called his name b Gad.

25 | And it came to pass, when Rachel had 12 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare borne Joseph, that Jacob' said unto Laban, Jacob a second son.

Send me away, that I may go unto ' mine own 13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the place, and to my country. daughters will call me blessed: and she called 26 Give me my wives and my children, " for his name e Asher.

whom I have served thee, and let me go: for 14 | And Reuben went in the days thou knowest my service which I have done

of wheat harvest, and found man- thee. drakes in the field, and brought them unto his 27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I & Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes. have learned by experience that the LORD hath

15 And she said unto her, "Is it a small matter blessed me w for thy sake. that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest 28 And he said, “ Appoint me thy wages, and thou take away my son's mandrakes also ? And I will give it. Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to 29 And he said unto him, , Thou knowest night for thy son's mandrakes.

how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was 16 And Jacob came out of the field in the with me. evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and 30 For it was little which thou hadst before I said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I came, and it is now ? increased unto a multitude; have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And and the LORD hath blessed thee . since my he lay with her that night.

coming: and now when shall I provide for 17 1 And God hearkened unto Leah, mine own house also ? and she conceived, and bare Jacob the 31 And he said, What shall I give thee? And

Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: 18 And Leah said, God hath given me my if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again hire, because I have given my maiden to my feed and keep thy flock: husband : and she called his name i Issachar. 32 I will pass through all thy flock to-day,

19 And Leah conceived again, and removing from thence, all the speckled and bare Jacob the sixth son.

spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among 20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with the sheep, and the spotted and speckled a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with among the goats: and of such shall be my me, because I have borne him six sons: and she hire. called his name « Zebulun. 1

33 So shall my d righteousness answer for me 21 And afterwards she bare a in time to come, when it shall come for my daughter, and called her name m Dinah. hire before thy face: every one that is not

22 1 And God "remembered Rachel, speckled and spotted among the goats, and

and God hearkened to her, and opened brown among the sheep, that shall be counted her womb.

stolen with me.

A. M. cir. 2217.
B. C. cir. 1757.

fifth son.

A. M. cir. 22 19.
B. C. cir. 1750

A. M. cir. 2250.
B. C. cir. 1754

A. M. cir. 258.
B. C. cir. 1746.

a Ver. 4. - That is, a troop, or company. Ch. 49. 19. Deut. 33. 20, 21. Isa. 65. 11. e Heb. In my happiness.- Prov. 31. 2. Cant. 6. 9. Luke I. 13. That is, happy. Ch. 19. 20. Deut. 33. 21, 25.- Cant. 7. 13.- Ch. 25. 30.-h Numb. 16. 9, 13.-i That is, an hire. - That is, duelling.-1 Calle, Matl 4. 13. Zabulon. That is, judgment.--O Ch. 3. 1.' 1 Sam. 1 19.- Ch. 29. 31.

pl Sam. 1.6. Isi 4.1. Luke 1. 35.-q'That is, adding - Ch. 35. 17.-(h24. 51,56.-I Ch. 18. 3. & 31. 55.-u (h. 29. 20, 30 - Ch. 3,5.-*See Ch. 2. 24. x Ch. 29. 15.-y Ch. 31. 6, 38, 39, 40. Matl. 2. 15. Tit. 2 10.--. Heb broken fortt. Verse 43-a deb at my fool-b1 Tim. 5. 8-e Ch. 31. 8.-Psa 31.6.- Heb. to-murron. Exod. 13. 14.

asheri, in my happiness, therefore she called his name the Jewish women, an intense desire of having children; Asher, UN that is, blessedness or happiness.

and it seems to have been produced, not from any peculiar Verse 14. Reuben-found mandrakes) ('71 dudaim. affection for children, simply considered in themselves, but What these were is utterly unknown; and learned men through the hope of having a share in the blessing of have wasted much time and pains, in endeavouring to Abraham, by bringing forth him in whom all the nations guess out a probable meaning. Some translate the word of the earth were to be blessed. lilies, others jessamine, others citrons, others mushrooms, Verse 18. God hath given me my hireShekari nuothers figs, and some think the word means flowers, or and she called his name Issachar) 1900. This word is fine flowers, in general. Hasselquist, the intimate friend compounded of vi yesh, is, and now skeker, wages, from and pupil of 'Linné, who travelled into the Holy Land to v shakar, to content, salisfy, saturate ; hence a satismake discoveries in natural history, imagines that the faction or compensation for work done, &c. plant commonly called mandrake is intended : speaking Verse 20. Now will my husband duell with me) yan of Nazareth in Galilee, he says, “What I found most yizebleni, and she called his name Zebulun, n bar a dwelremarkable at this village, was the great number of ling, or cohabitation, as she now expected that Jacob mandrakes which grew in a vale below it: I had not the would dwell with her, as he had before dwelt with Rache. pleasure to see this plant in blossom, the fruit now (May Verse 21. And called her name Dinah) 2017 Dinah, Śth, O. S.) hanging ripe to the stem, which lay withered judgment. As Rachel had called her son by Bilhah, on the ground. From ihe season in which this mandrake Dan, ver. 6. so Leah calls her daughter Dinan, God blossoms, and ripens fruit, one might form a conjecture, having judged and determined for her as well as for her that it was Rachel's dudaim. These were brought her in sister, in the preceding instance. the wheat-harvest, which, in Galilee, is in the month of Verse 22. and God hearkened to her] After the severe May, about this time, and the mandrake was now in reproof which Rachel had received from her husband,

Both among the Greeks and Orientals, this plant ver. 2. it appears that she sought God by prayer, and that was held in high repute, as being of a prolific virtue, and he heard her, so that her prayer and faith obtained what helping conception; and from it philtres or love potions her impatience and unbelief had prevented. were made; and this favoured by the meaning of the Verse 24. She called his name Joseph) 101. yoseph, original which signifies loves, i. e. incentives to matri- adding, or he who adds; thereby prophetically declaring monial connexions : and it was probably on this account that God would add unto her another son, which was that Rachel desired to have them. The whole account, accomplished in the birth of Benjamin, chap. xxxv. 18. however, is very obscure.

Verse 25. Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away) Verse 15. Thou hast taken away my husband] It Having now, as is generally conjectured, fulfilled the appears probable, that Rachel had found means to engross fourteen years which he had engaged to serve for Leah the whole of Jacob's affection and company, see chap. and Rachel, see ver. 26. xxix. 35. and that she now agreed to let him visit the tent Verse 27. I have learned by experience] nun nachashti, of Leah, on account of receiving some of the fruits or from ung nachash, to view attentively, to observe, to pry plants which Reuben had found.

into. I have diligently considered the whole of thy Verse 16. I have hired thee) We may remark, among conduct, and marked the increase of my property, and find


34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might 37 1 And Jacob took him rods of green pop, be according to thy word.

lar, and of the hasel and chesnut tree; and 35 And he removed that day the he-goats that pilled white strakes in them, and made the white were ring-straked and spotted, and all the she- appear which was in the rods. goats that were speckled and spotted, and 39 And he set the rods which he had pilled every one that had some white in it, and all the before the flocks in the gutters in the watering brown among the sheep, and gave them into the troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they • hand of his sons.

should conceive when they came to drink. 36 And he set three days journey betwixt 39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, himself and Jacob: and Jacob led the rest of and brought forth cattle ring-straked, speckled, Laban's flocks.

and spotted.

[blocks in formation]


that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake. For the and one daughter, besides his two wives, and their two meaning of the word wn) nachash, see on chap. iii. 1, &c, maids. It was high time that he should get some property

Verse 30. For it was little which thou hadst before I for these ; and as his father-in-law was excessively parcame) Jacob takes advantage of the concession made by simonious, and would scarcely allow him to live, he was his father-in-law, and asserts that it was for his sake that the in some sort obliged to make use of stratagem to get an Lord had blessed him-since my coming, sans le rageli, equivalent for his services; but this he pushed so far, as according to my footsteps--every step. I look in thy to ruin his father-in-law's flocks, leaving him nothing but service, God prospered to the multiplication of thy flocks the refuse, see ver. 42. and property;

Verse 37. Rods of green poplar] as nuas libneh lach. Then shall I provide for mine own house ?] Jacob had The libnch is generally understood to mean the white popalready laid his plan; and from what is afterward men lar; and the word lach, which is here joined to it, does tioned, we find him using all his skill and experience to not so much imply greenness of colour, as being fresh, ir provide for his family by a rapid increase of his flocks.

opposition to witheredness. Had they not been fresh, Verse 32. I will pass through all thy flock) 1 tson, just cut off, he could not have pilled the bark from them. implying, as we have before seen, all smaller cattle, such

And of the hazel] ns luz, the nut or filberd tree, transas sheep, goats, &c.

lated by others the almond tree : which of the two is here All the speckled and spotted cattle] ne seh, which we intended, is not known. translate cattle, signifies the young, either of sheep or And the chesnut tree) pony @remon, the plane tree, goats, what we call a lamb or a kid. Speckled mps from ony áram, he was naked. The plane tree is properly nakod, signifies interspersed with variously coloured called by this name, because of the bark naturally peeling spots.

off, and leaving the tree bare. The Septuagint translate Spotted) Nebo lalu, spotted with large spots, either of it in the same way, itthv95; and its name is supposed to the same or different colours, from nso tala, to patch, to be derived from ***TUS, broad, on account of its broad make parti-coloured, or patch-work, see Ezek. xvi. 16.

spreading branches, for which the plane tree is remarkaAnd all the brown) on chum. I should rather suppose ble. So we find the Grecian army in HOMER, II. ii. 1. this to signify red or yellow, as the root signifies to be 307. sacrificing, **** UTO FAXTAVIOT, under a beautiful plane warm or hot.

Verse 35. The he-goats that were ring-straked) d'uinn Virgil, Geor. iv. 1. 146. mentions, On pyn ha-teiyashim ha-âkuddim, the he-goats that had

ministrantem platanum potantibue umbras. rings of black, or other coloured hair, around their feet or

The plane tree yielding the convivial shade. lege.

And PETRONIUS ARBITER in Satyr. It is extremely difficult to find out, from the 32d and 35th verses, in what the bargain of Jacob with his father

Nobilis estiras platanas diffuderat umbras.

" The noble plane had spread its summer shade." in-law properly consisted. It appears from ver. 32. that Jacob was to have for his wages all the speckled, spotted, See more in Parkhurst. Such a tree would be

pecuand brown, among the sheep and the goats; and of course, liarly acceptable in hol countries, because of its shade. that all those which were not parti-coloured, should be Pilled white strakes in them] Probably cutting the bark considered as the property of Laban. But in ver. 35. it through, in a spiral line, and taking it off in a certain appears that Lahın sepirated all the parti-coloured cattle, breadth, all round the rods, so that the rods would appear and delivered them into the hands of his own sons; which parti-coloured, the white of the wood showing itself where seems as if he hud taken these for his own property, and the bark was stripped off. left the others to Jacob. It has been conjectured that La Verse 38. And he set the rods which he had pilled before ban, for the greater security, when he had separated the the flocks] It has long been an opinion, and seems to be parti-coloured, which by the agreement belonged to Jacob, founded on many facts, that whatever makes a strong imsee ver, 32. put them under the care of his own song, pression on the mind of a female in the time of conception while Jacob fed the flock of Liban, ver. 36. three days and gestation, will have a corresponding influence on the journey being between the two flocks. If, therefore, the mind or body of the feetus. This opinion, justified by the Hocks under the care of Laban's sons brought forth young text, and illustrated by a thousand facts, is not yet rationthat were all of one colour, these were put to the flocks of ally accounted for. It is not necessary to look for a miraLaban under the care of Jacob; and if any of the focks cle' here ; for though the fact has not been accounted for on under Jacob's care brought forth parti-coloured young, any principle yet known, it is nevertheless sufficiently they were put to the flocks belonging to Jacob, under the plain that the effect does not exceed the powers of nature; care of Laban's sons. This conjecture is not satisfactory, and I have no doubt that the same modes of trial used by and the true maning appears to be this: Jacob had agreed Jacob, would produce the same results in similar cases. to take all the parti-coloured for his wages. As he was The finger of God works in nature myriads of ways unnow only beginning to act upon this agreement, conse- known to us : we see effects without end, of which no grently none of the cattle as vet belonged to him; there rational cause can be assigned: it has pleased God to work fore Laban separate from the flock, ver. 35. all such cattle thus and thus, and this is all that we know; and God as Jacob might afterward claiın in consequence of his bar- mercifully hides the operations of his power from man in gain; for as yet he had no right: therefore Jacob com a variety of cases, that he may hide pride from hiin. Even ienced his service to Laban with a flock that did not with the little we know, how apt are we to be puffed up! contain a single animal of the description of those to We must adore God in a reverential silence on such subwhich he might be entitled ; and the others were sentjects as these, confess our ignorance, and acknowledge, away under the care of Laban's sons, three days' journey that Nature is the instrument by which he chooses to froin those of which Jacob had the care. The bargain, work, and that he performs all things according to the therefore, seemed to be wholly in favour of Laban; and to counsel of his own will, which is always infinitely wise turn it to his own advantage, Jacoh made use of the strat- and infinitely good. agems afterward mentioned. This mode of interpretation Verse 40. Jacob did separate the lambs, &c.) When removes all the apparent contradiction between the 321 Jacob undertook the care of Laban's flock, according to and 35th verses, with which commentators in general the agreement already mentioned, there were no partihave been grievously perplexed. From the whole account coloured sheep or goats among them, see ver. 32. and 35. we learn, that Laban acted with great prudence and cau- therefore the ring-straked, &c. mentioned in this verse, tion, and Jacob with great judgment. “Jacob had already must have been born since the agreement was made; and served fourteen years, and had got no patrimony whatever, Jacob makes use of them precisely as he used the pilled though he had now a family of twelve children, eleven sons I rods ; that having these before their eyes, during concep

40 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set | ban, and, behold, it was not toward him 'as the faces of the flocks towards the ring-straked, before. and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he 3 | And the LORD said unto Jacob, & Return put his own flocks by themselves, and put them unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kinnot unto Laban's cattle.

dred; and I will be with thee. 41 And it came to pass, whensoever the 4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the to the field unto his flock, rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, 5 And said unto them, h I see your father's that they might conceive among the rods. countenance, that it is not toward me as before;

42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put but the God of my father i hath been with me. them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and 6 And kye know that with all my power I. the stronger Jacob's.

have served your father. 43 And the man e increased exceedingly, and 7 And your father hath deceived me, and • had much cattle, and maid-servants, and men 1 changed my wages m ten times; but God sufservants, and camels, and asses.

fered him not to hurt me. CHAPTER XXXI.

8 If he said thus, • The speckled shall be thy

wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and Laban and his sons envy Jacob, 1, 2; on which he is commanded by the Lond to return to his own country, 3. Having called his wives together, he lays before them if he said thus, The ring-straked shall be thy a detailed statement of his situation in reference to their father, 1,5 the races he hire; then bare all

the cattle ring-straked. hire, ?; bow, hy God's providence, his evil designs had been counteracted, 8-12; 9 Thus God hath P taken away the cattle of the propsal of an imne linte departure, Leah atd Rachel agree, and surengthen your father, and given them to me. the propriety of the measure by acklitional reasons, 14–16; on which Jacob collects 10 And it came to pass at the time that the Laban having gone to stvar his sheep, Rachel secretes his images, 19 Jacoh and cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and his family, unknown to Littran, take their departure, 20, 21. On the third day Laban is informe i of their thight, 22; and pursues them to mount Gilea), 2 Gol

saw in a dream, and, behold, the 4 rams which appears to Laban in a dream, and warns him not to molest Jacob, 24.

leaped upon the cattle were ring-straked, speckup with Jacob at mount Giral, 25; reproaches him with his clandestine departure, 21-2); and charges hin with having stolen his gols

, 30. Jacob vin:licates him led, and grisled. well, and protests his innocence in the matter of the theft, 31, 32 general search for his images in Jacob's, Leah's, Bilhah's, and Zilpah's tots, and

11 And ' the angel of God spake unto me in a not finding theun, procee bo to examine kachel's, 12. Rachel, having hidden them dream, saying, Jacob: and I said, Here am I, not rising up, Laban desints from farther search, 35. Jacob, ignorant of Rachel's

12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and theft, reprouches Laban for his suspiciona, 36, 37; enumerate luis long and faithful

see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are to God's goodness alone that he had any property, 12 Laban is molerated, and ring-straked, speckled, and grisled: for • I have make a heap, which Laban call. Jegar-Sahadutha, and Jacob Geleed, 15.-7.

seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. they make a covenant, and coufirin it by an oath, 48-53. Jacob offers a sacrifice,


13 I am the God of Beth-El, where thou all night, take a friendly leave of Jacob and his family next morning, and depart, anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst 54, 55

a vow unto me: now varise, get thee out from ND he heard the words of Laban's A M. 2945. this land, and return unto the land of thy kin

dred. all that was our father's; and of that which 14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. unto him, Is there yet any portion or inherit

2 And Jacob beheld d the countenance of La- ance for us in our father's house?

He comes

Lahan makes a

[ocr errors]


a Ver. 30.-- Ch. 13 2 & 21. 35. & 2. 13, 14.-c Paa. 49.16.- Ch. 4. 5.- Deut. 23. 54.- Heb. as yesterday and the day before. 1 Sam. 19.7.-Ch. 23. 15, 20, 21. & 32. 9.--h Ver. 2-1 Ver. 3.--k Ver. 38, 39, 40, 41. Ch. 30. 2. Ver41.

m Numb. 14. 22 Neb. 4. 12 Job 19.3. Zech. 8. 2.- Ch. 20. 6. Paa. 106. 11.- Ch. 30. 32-p Ver. 1, 16.-- Or, hr-goats.-- Ch. 48. 16. --- Exod. 3. 7.-: Ch. 23. 18, 19, 40,-u Ver. 3 C. 32 9 - Ch. 2 3.

tion, the impression might be made upon their imagina of the parti-coloured flocks produced by means of the fetion which would lead to the results already mentioned. males looking at the variegated rods, may be, especially

Verse 41. Whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive] the three last, ranked among the most difficult things in this The word niaupo mekusharoth, which we translate book. Without encumbering the page with quotations stronger, is understood by several of the ancient interpre- and opinions, more diversified than the flocks in relation ters as signifying the early, first-born, or early spring to which they are proposed, I have given the best sense I cattle: and hence it is opposed to Didøy åtuphim, which could; and think it much better and safer to confess ignowe translate feeble, and which Symmachus properly ren rance, than, under the semblance of wisdom and learning, ders Soutopogovou, cattle of the second birth, as he renders to multiply conjectures. Jacob certainly manifested much the word mekusharoth by newrogorous, cattle of the first, address in the whole of his conduct with Laban; but or earliest birth. Now, this does not apply merely to two though nothing can excuse orer-scaching, or insincerity, births from the same female in one year, which actually yet, no doubt, Jacob supposed himself justified in taking did take place, according to the rabbins, the first in Nisan, these advantages of a man who had greatly injured and about our March; and the second in Tisri, about our defrauded him. Had Jacob got Rachel at first, for whom September ; but it more particularly refers to early and he had honestly and faithfully served seven years, there is late lambs, &c. in the same year ; as those that are born no evidence whatever that he would have taken a second just at the termination of winter, and in the very com wife. Laban, by having imposed his eldest daughter upon mencement of spring, are every way more valuable than him, and by obliging him to serve seven years for her, those which were born later in the same spring. Jacob, who never was an object of his affection, acted a part therefore, took good heed not to try his experiments with wholly foreign to every dictate of justice and honesty: for those late produced cattle, because he knew these would though it was a custom in that country not to give the produce a degenerate breed; but with the early cattle, younger daughter in marriage before the elder, yet as he which were strong and vigorous, by which his breed did not mention this to Jacob, it cannot plead in his excuse; must be improved. Hence the whole flock of Laban must therefore, speaking after the manner of men, he had reason be necessarily injured, while, by this artifice, Jacob's flock to expeci that Jacob should repay him in his own coin, and was preserved in a state of increasing perfection. All this right himself, by whatever ineans came into his power; proves a consummate knowledge in Jacob of his pastoral and many think that he did not transgress the bounds of office. If extensive breeders in this country were to at- justice, even in the business of the parti-coloured cattle. tend to the same plan, our breed would be improved in a The talent possessed by Jacob was a most dangerous most eminent degree. What a fund of instruction, upon one; he was what may be truly called a scheming man; almost every subject, is to be found in the Sacred Writings. his wits were still at work, and as he derised, so he ere

Verse 43.' And the man increased exceedingly) No cuted, being as fruitful in e.rpedients as he was in plans. wonder when he used such means as the above. And had This was the principal and the most prominent charactermaid-serrants and men-serrants,-he was obliged to in- istic of his life ; and whatever was excessive here, was crease these, as his cattle multiplied. And camels, and owing to his mother's tuition—she was evidently a woman asses--to transport his tents, baggage, and family from who paid little respect to what is called moral principle; place to place, being obliged often to remove, for the benefit and sanctified all kinds of means, by the goodness of the of pasturage.

end at which she aimed; which in social, civil, and religious We have already seen many difficulties in this chapter, life, is the most dangerous principle on which a person and strange incidents, for which we are not able to account. can possibly act. In this art she appears to have instructed 1. The vicarious bearing of children. 2. The nature and her son; and unfortunately for himself, he was in some properties of the mandrakes. 3. The bargain of Jacob instances but too apt a proficient. Early habits, are not and Laban, as related ver. 32. and 35. and 4. The business I easily rooted out, especially those of a bad kind. Next to

15 Are we not counted of him strangers ? for | Rachel had stolen the images that were her - he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also father's. our money.

20 And Jacob stole away, unawares, to 16 For all the riches which God hath taken Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that from our father, that is ours, and our children's: he fled. now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do. 21 So he fled with all that he had ; and he rose

.17 | Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and up, and passed over the river, and set his face his wives upon camels;

toward the mount Gilead. 18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all 22 | And it was told Laban on the third day his goods which he had gotten, the (cattle of his that Jacob was fled. getting, which he had gotten in Padan-aram,) for 23 And he took his brethren with him, and to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan. pursued after him seven days journey; and they

19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and overtook him in the mount Gilead.

a Ch. 215, 27.- Heb teraphim. Judg. 17,5. I Sam. 19. 13. Hos. 3. 4.- Ch. 35. 2.

d Heb. the heart of Laban.-e Ch. 46. 23. 2 Kings 12. 17. Luke 9. 51, 53-1 Ch. 13. 8.

O must the wretched exiles ever mouro,

Are we condeinn'd, by Fate's unjust decree,
No more our harceate and our home to see?

the influence of the grace and Spirit of God, is a good

En unquam patrios longo post tempore fines,

Paupeniset tuguri congestum cespite culmen, and religious education. Parents should teach their chil

Post aliquot mea regna videns mirator arisina ? dren to despise and abhor low cunning, to fear a lie, and

Virg. &c. I. t. 68. tremble at an oath : and in order to be successful, they Thus miserably translated by Dryden. should illustrate their precepts by their own regular con

Nor, after length of rolling years, return? scientious example. How far God approved of the whole of Jacob's conduct, I shall not inquire ; it is certain, that

Or shall we mount again the rural throng, he attributes his success to divine interposition, and God

And rule the country, kingdoms once our own 1 himself censures Laban's conduct towards him; see chap. Here aristas, which signifies ears of corn, is put for xxxi. 7-12. But still be appears to have proceeded far- harvest, harvest for autumn, and autunin for years. After ther than this interposition authorized him to go, especially all, it is most natural to suppose that Jacob uses the word in the means he used to improve his own breed, which ten times for an indefinite number, which we might safely necessarily led to the deterioration of Laban's cattle; for translate frequently; and that it means an indefinite numafter the transactions referred to above, these cattle could ber in other parts of the sacred writings, is evident from Lev. be but little worth. The whole account, with all its lights xxvi. 26.-Tex women shall bake your bread in one oven. and shades, I consider as another proof of the impartiality Eccles. vii. 19. Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than of the divine historian, and a strong evidence of the TEN mighty men the city. Num. xiv. 22. Because all authenticity of the Pentateuch. Neither the spirit of de- these men have tempted me now these TEN times. Job ceit, nor the partiality of friendship could ever pen such xix. 3. These TEN limes have ye reproached me. Zech. an account.

viii. 23. In those daysTEN men shall take hold of the

skirt of him that is a Jew. Rev. ii. 10. Ye shall have NOTES ON CHAPTER XXXI.

tribulation TEN days. Verse 1. And he heard the words of Laban's sons) Verse 11. The angel of God spake unto me in a dream] The multiplication of Jacob's cattle, and the decrease and it is strange that we had not heard of this dream before ; degeneracy of those of Laban, were sufficient to rouse the and yet it seems to have taken place before the cattle jealousy of Laban's gong. This, with Laban's unfair brought forth, immediately after the bargain between him treatment, and the direction he received from God, deter- and Laban. If we follow the Samaritan, the difficulty mined him to return to his own country.

is at once removed, for it gives us the whole of this dream Hath he gotten all this glory) All these riches, this after verse 36. of the preceding chapter. wealth, or property. The original word 723 cabod, signi Verse 12. Grisled) Digna berudim, 72 barad, signifies fies both to be rich and to be heavy; and, perhaps, for this hail; and the meaning must be, they had white spots on simple reason, that riches ever bring with them a heavy them similar to hail. Our word grisled comes from the weight, and burthen of cares and anxieties.

old French, gresle, hail, now written grêle ; hence greslé, Verse 3. And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return-and spotted with white, upon a dark ground. I will be with thee.] I will take the same care of thee in Verse 15. Are we not counted of him strangers ?] thy return, as I took of thee on thy way to this place. Rachel and Leah, who well knew the disposition of their The Targum reads—My WORD shall be for thy help, see father, gave him here his true character. He has treated chap. xv. l. A promise of this kind was essentially ne us as strangers, as slaves, whom he had a right to dispose cessary for the encouragement of Jacob, especially at this of as he pleased ; in consequence, he hath sold us, distime; and no doubt it was a powerful means of support posed of us, on the mere principle of gaining by the sale. to him through the whole journey; and it was particu And hath quite devoured also our money] Has applied larly so, when he heard that his brother was coming to to his own use the profits of the sale, and has allowed us meet him, with four hundred men in his retinue, chap. neither portion nor inheritance. xxxii. 6. At that time, he went and pleaded the very Verse 19. Laban went to shear his sheep) Laban had words of this promise with God, ver. 9.

gone, and this was a favourable time, not only to take his Verse 4. Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah] He images, but to return to Canaan without being perceived. had probably been at some considerable distance with the Rachel had stolen the images) Didn teraphim. What flocks, and for the greater secrecy, he rather sends for them the teraphim were is utterly unknown. In ver. 30. they to the field, to consult them on this most momentous affair, are termed 175N elohay, gods : and to some it appears very than go and visit them in their tents, where probably some likely, that they were a sort of images devoted to of the family of Laban might overhear their conversation, superstitious purposes: not considered as gods, but as though Laban was at the time three days' journey off. It representatives of certain divine attributes. Dr. Shuckford is possible, as Mr. Harmer conjectures, that Jacob shore supposes them to be a sort of tiles, on which the names or bis sheep at the same time, and that he sent for his wives figures of their ancestors were engraven. Theodoret, in and household furniture to erect tents on the spot, that they his 89th question, calls them idols, and says, that Rachel, might partake of the festivities usual on such occasions. who was a type of the true church, stole them from her Thus they might all depart without being suspected. father, that he might be delivered from idolatry. R. S.

Verse 7. Changed my wages ten times] There is a Jarchi gives nearly the same reason, strange diversity among the ancient versions, and ancient The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel gives a strange and modern interpreters on the meaning of these words. turn to the whole passage. “And Rachel stole the The Hebrew is Osp nnoy @sereth minim, which Aquila images of her father: for they had murdered a man, who translates 81** aprimovs, ten numbers. Symmachus, do****5 was a first-born son; and having cut off his head, they apropa, ten times in number. The Septuagint 8ox'z muxwv, embalmed it with salt and spices, and they wrote divinaten lambs, with which Origen appears to agree. St. Au- tions upon a plate of gold, and put it under his tongue ; gustin, who adopts the reading of the Septuagint, thinks and placed it against the wall, and it conversed with that by ten lambs, five years wages is meant. That them; and Laban worshipped it. And Jacob stole the Laban had withheld from him all the party-coloured lambs science of Laban the Syrian, that it might not discover his which had been brought forth for five years, and because departure." the ewes brought forth lambs twice in the year, bis gravide If the word be derived from non rapha, to heal, or pecudes, therefore the number ten is used, Jacob having restore then the teraphim may be considered as a sort of been defrauded of his part of the produce of ten births. It talismans, kept for

the purpose of averting and curing is supposed by some critics, that the Septuagint uses lambs diseases ; and probably were kept by Laban for the same for years, as Virgil does aristas.

purpose that the Romans kept their Lares and Penates.

« 이전계속 »