페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

be your mind that I should bury my dead out of in the presence of the sons of my people give ! my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron it thee: bury thy dead. the son of Zohar.

12 And Abraham bowed down himself before 9 That he may give me the cave of Machpe-| the people of the land. lah, which he hath, which is in the end of his 13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience field; for a as much money as it is worth, he of the people of the land, saying, But if thou shall give it me for a possession of a burying-wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me, I will give place amongst you,

thee money for the field ; take it of me, and I 10 And Ephron dwelt among the children of will bury my dead there. Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abra 14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying ham in the audience of the children of Heth, unto him, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, 15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth saying

four hundred • shekels of silver; what is that 11 7'Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead. thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; 16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron;

a Heb. full money - Heb. ears.- Ch. 31. 20, 24. Ruth 4. 4.

d See 2 Sam. 24. 21-24 - Exod. 30. 15. Ezek. 45. 12

the only woman in the Sacred Writings, whose age, death, at Hebron : and it is likely that while he sojourned at and burial, are distinctly noted. And she has been deene Beer-sheba, Sarah died at Hebron; and his coming to worthy of higher honour ; for St. Paul, Gal. iv. 22, 23, mourn and weep for her, signifies his coming from the makes her a type of the church of Christ ; and her faith former to the latter place on the news of her death. in the accomplishment of God's promise, that she should Verse. 3. Abraham stood up from before his dead] He have a son, when all natural probabilities were against it, had probably sat on the ground some days in token of is particularly celebrated in the epistle to the Hebrews, sorrow, as the custom then was ; see Tobit ii. 12, 13. Isai. chap. xi. ver. 11. Sarah was about ninety-one years old xlvii. 1. and Gen. xxxvii. 35. and when this time was when Isaac was born, and she lived thirty-six years after, finished, he arose, and began to treat about a buryingand saw him grown up to man's estate. With Sarah the place. promise of the incarnation of Christ commenced, though a Verse 4. I am a stranger and a sojourner] It appears comparatively obscure prophecy of it had been delivered from Heb. xi. 13—16. 1 Pet. ij. 11. that these words reser to Eve, chap. iii. 15. and with Many it terminated, having more to the state of his mind than of his body. He felt had its exact completion. Thus God put more honour that he had no certain dwelling-place, and was seeking by upon those two women than upon all the daughters of faith a city that had foundations. Eve besides. Her conception of Isaac was supernatural, Give me a possession for a burying-ground) It has she had passed the age and circumstances in which it was been remarked, that in different nations it was deemed possible, naturally speaking, to have a child ; therefore ignominious to be buried in another's ground; probably she laughed when the promise was given, knowing that this prevailed in early times in the east: and it may be in the thing was impossible, because it had ceased to be with reference to a sentiment of this kind, that Abraham refusea her after the manner of women. God allows this natural to accept the offer of the children of Heth to bury in any impossibility, and grants that the thing must be the effect of their sepulchres, and earnestly requests them to sell him of divine interposition;

and therefore asks, is any thing one, that he might bury his wife in a place that he could too hard for 'God? The physical impossibility was claim as his own. increased in the case of Mary, she having no connexion Verse 6. Thou art a mighty prince] OSN N Nasi with man.

But the same power interposed as in the case Elohim, a prince of God; a person whom we know to of Sarah ; and we find, that when all aptitude for natural be divinely favoured; and whom, in consequence, we procreation was gone, Sarah received strength to conceive deeply respect and reverence. seed, and bore à son, from whom, in a direct line, the Verse 8. Entreat for me to Ephron) Abraham had alMessiah, the Saviour of the world, was to descend : and ready seen the cave and field, and finding to whom they through this same power we find a virgin conceiving and belonged, and that they would answer bis purpose, came to bearing a son against all natural impossibilities. Every the gate of Hebron, where the elders of the people sat to adthing is supernatural in the births, both of the type and minister justice,&c. and where bargains and sales were made antitype ; can it be wondered at then if the spiritual and witnessed; and having addressed himself to the elders, offspring of the Messiah must have a supernatural birth among whom Ephron was, though it appears he was not likewise ? hence the propriety of that saying, unless a personally known to Abraham, he begged them to use their man be born again-born from above--born, not only of influence with the owner of the cave and field to sell it to water, but of the Holy Ghost, he cannot see the kingdom hiin, that it might serve him and his family for a place of of God. These may appear hard sayings, and those who sepulture. are little in the habit of considering spiritual things may Verse 10. And Ephron dwelt among the children of exclaim, " It is enthusiasm! Who can bear it ? Such Heth] And Ephron son yosheb, was sitting among the things cannot possibly be.” To such persons I have only children of Heth, but as was before conjectured was perto say, God hath spoken. This is sufficient for those who sonally unknown to Abraham; he therefore answered for credit his Being and his Bible ; nor is there any thing too himself, making a free tender of the field, &c. to Abraham hard for him. He, by whose almighty power, Sarah had in the presence of all the people, which amounted to a strength to conceive and bear a son in her old age ; and by legal conveyance of the whole property to the patriarch. whose miraculous interference a virgin conceived, and the Verse 13. Instead of, if thou will give il, we should read, man Christ Jesus was born of her, can, by the same But if thou will sell it, I will give thee money for the power, transform the sinful soul, and cause it to bear the field] 905 keseph, silver, not coined money, for it is not image of the heavenly, as it has borne the image of the probable that any such was then in use. earthly.

Verse 15. The land is worth four hundred shekels of Verse 2. Sarah died in Kirjath-arba) Literally in the silver] Though the words is worth, are not in the text, city of the four. Some suppose this place was called yet they are necessarily expressed here to adapt the He. the city of the four, because it was the burial-place of brew to the idiom of our tongue. A shekel, according to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; others, because, the general opinion, was equal to two shillings and sixaccording to the opinion of the rabbins, Eve, was buried pence; but according to Dr. Prideaux, whose estimate ! there, with Sarah, Rebekah and Leah. But it seems shall follow, three shillings English, four hundred of which evidently to have had its name from a Canaanite, one of are equal to sixty pounds sterling; but it is evident that a the Anakim, probably called Arba, for the text, Josh, xiv. certain weight is intended, and not a coin; for in ver. 16. 15. does not actually say, this was his name; who was it is said, and Abraham weighed Spon va yishekal, the the chief of the four brothers who dwelt there; the names silver, and hence it appears that this weight itself passed of the others being Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, see afterward as a current coin; for the word 'pu shekel, is Judges i. l. These three were destroyed by the tribe of not only used to express a coin, or piece of siver, but also Judah ; probably the other had been previously dead. to weigh; see the note on chap. xx. 16.

Abraham came to mourn for Sarah] From ver. 19. of Verse 16. Current--with the merchant.] anos nay Ober the preceding chapter it appears that Abraham had settled lasocher, passing to, or with the traveller, such as was at Beer-sheba ; and here we find that Sarah died at commonly used by those who travelled about with merHebron, which was about twenty-four miles distant from chandise of any sort. The word signifies the same as Beer-sheba. For the convenience of feeding his numerous hawker or pedlar among us. flocks Abraham had probably several places of temporary Verse 17. All the trees that were in the field] It is posresidence, and particularly one at Beer-sheba, and another sible that all these were specified in the agreement.

A

and Abraham 'weighed to Ephron the silver,

CHAPTER XXIV. which he had named in the audience of the sons Abraham being solicitous to get his son leac properly marrad, calls his confidential of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current

wrvant, probalily Eliear, and makes him swear that he will not take a wise for

Tanac fron among the Canaanites, 1-3. but from among his own kinirel, 4. "The money with the merchant.

servant propones cortam difficulties, 5; wbich Abraham remover by giving him the

strong insurances of God's direction in the basins, 6,7; and then specifies the 17 And the field of Ephron, which was in the conditions of the oath, 8. The form of tim oath itself, 9. The servant makes Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, preparations for his journey, and sets out fur Mevsporawia, the residence of Abra

ham's kinrul, 10. Arrives at a well pear to the place, ll. His prayer to God, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees 12-14. Rebeckan, the daughter of Bethuel, son of Xahor, Abrahon's brother, comes

to the well to draw water, 15. She is describel, 16. Conversation between her and that were in the field, that were in all the borders Abraham's servant, in which every thing took place according to his prayer to round about, were made sure,

Gol, 17-21. He makes her presenta, and learn whose daughter she is, 22-24.

She invites him to her father's house, 25. He returns thanks to God for having thus 18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the pre far given bin a prosperour journey, 3, 27. Rebekal runs home and informis ber sence of the children of Heth, before all that

farily, R. on which her trouver Laban comes out, and invites the servant home,

29.-31. His reception, 32, 3 Tes his ertaw, 31, and how be had proceeded in went in at the gate of his city.

executing the trust reposel in hin, 35--18. Requests an answer, 19. The family

of Rebekah consent that she should become the wife of Isaac, 50, 51. The ervan 19 | And after this Abraham buried Sarah his worships God, 52 and gives prevents to Mileah, Laban, and Rebekah, 3. Ho wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before

recrets to be dismis, 51. Rebekah being consulter consente to go, 57, 58

She is accompaniel by her nurse, 59, and having received the blessing of her parents Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Ca aux relatives, 60, she departs with the servant of Abraham, 61. They are met by

Isaac who was on an evening walk, for the purpose of melitation, 62---15. The naan.

servant relates to Isaac all that he bad done, 6. Irage and Rebekah are married, 67. 20 And the field and the cave that is therein, ND Abraham was old, and I well stricken were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying place d by the song of Heth. ham in all things. a Jer. 32 9.- Ch. 25. 9. & 49. 30, 31, 32. & 50. 13. Acts 7. 16. - See Rath 4. 7, e Ch. 13. 11. & 21.5.- Heb. gone into days.-g Ch. 13. 2. Ver. 35. Pra 8, 9, 10 Jer. 32. 10, 11,-- Ch. 50. 13. 2 Kings 21. 18.

112 3. Prov. 10. 22. Verse 20. And the field, &c. were made sure) op who, under the sanction of religion, trample under foot the Vayakam, were established, caused to stand ; the whole decent forms of civil respect, supposing, that because they are transaction having been regulated according to all the forms religious, they have a right to be rude, totally mistake the of law then in use.

spirit of Christianity, for love or churity (the soul and esIn this transaction between Abraham and the sons of sence of that religion) bchaveth not itself unseemly. Every Heth, concerning the cave and field of Machpelah, we attentive reader of the thirteenth chapter of St. Paul's first have the earliest account on record of the purchase of land. epistle to the Corinthians, will clearly discern that the deThe simplicity, openness, and candour on both sides, can- scription of true religion, given in that place, applies as not be too much admired.

forcibly to good breeding, as to inward and outward holiSarah being dead, and Abraham being only a sojourner ness. What lessons of honesty, decent respect, and good in that land, shifting from place to place, for the mere pur- manners, could a sensible man derive from Abraham pose of pasturing his flocks, and having no right to any treating with the sons of Heth for the cave of Machpelah; part of the land, wished to purchase a place in which he and William Penn, treating with the American Indians might have the continual right of sepulture. For this for the tract of land now called Pennsylvania ! I leave purpose, 1. He goes to the gate of the city, the place where, others to draw the parallel, and to show how exactly the in all ancient times, justice was administered, and bargains conduct and spirit of patriarch the first, were exemplified and sales concluded; and where, for these purposes, the in the conduct and spirit of patriarch the second. Let the elders of the people sat. 2. He there proposes to buy the righteous be had in everlasting remembrance ! cave, known by the name of the care of Machpelah, the

NOTES ON CHAPTER XXIV. cave of the turning, or the double care, for a burying place Verse 1. And Abraham was old] He was now about for his family. 3. To prevent him from going to any un one hundred and forty years of age, and consequently Isaac necessary expense, the people, with one voice, offer him was forty, being born when his father was one hundred the privilege of burying his wife in any of their sepulchres: years old. See chap. xxi. 5. & xxv. 20. this appearing to them to be no more than the common Verse 2. Eldest servant] As this eldest servant is stated rights of hospitality and humanity required. 4. Abraham, to have been the ruler over all that he had, it is very likely intent on making a purchase, Ephron, the owner of the that Eliezar is meant. See chap. xv. 2, 3. field and cave, values them at four hundred shekels; but Put, I pray thee, thy hand] See on ver. 9. at the same time wishes Abraham to receive the whole as Verse 3. I will make thee swear] See on ver. 9. a gift. 5. Abraham refuses the gift, and weighs down the Of the Canaanites] Because these had already been silver specified. 6. The people who enter in at the gate, devoted to slarery, &c. and it would have been utterly ini. e. the inhabitants coming from or going to their ordinary consistent, as well with prudence as with the design of occupations in the country, witness the transaction, and God, to have united the child and heir of the promise with thus, the conveyance to Abraham is made sure, without the one who was under a curse, though that curse might be intervention of those puzzlers of civil affairs, by whose considered to be only of a political nature. See the curse tricks and chicanery, property often becomes insecure, of Canaan, chap. ix. 25. and rights and succession precarious and uncertain. Bui Verse 4. My country] Mesopotamia: called here, Abrathis censure does not fall on lawyers properly so called, ham's country, because it was the place where the family who are men of honour, and whose office, in every well of Haran, his brother, had settled ; and where himself had regulated state, is as useful as it is respectable. But the remained a considerable time with his father Terali. In accumulation and complex nature of almost all modern this family, as well as in that of Nahor, the true religion systems of law, puzzles even justice herself, and often had been in some sort preserved, though afterward coninduces decisions, by which truth falls in the streets, and siderably corrupted. See chap. xxxi. 19. equity goes backwards. In the first ages of mankind, sus Verse 5. Peradventure the woman will not be willing) picion, deceit, and guile, seem to have had a very limited We may see, says Celmet, by this and other passages of influence. Happy days of primitive simplicity! past, for Scripture, Josh. ix. 18. what ihe sentiments of the ancients ever past. When shall they return?

were relative to an oath. They believed they were bound We often hear of the rudeness and barbarity of the prim- precisely by what was spoken, and had no liberty to initive ages; but on what evidence ? Every rule of polite-ierpret the intentions of those to whom the onth was made. ness that could be acted upon in such a case ag that Verse 7. The Lord God, &c.] He expresses the strongmentioned here, is brought into full practice. Is it possible est confidence in God, that the great designs for which he to read the simple narration in this place without admiring had brought him from his own kindred, to propagate the the amiable, decent, and polite conduct displayed on both true religion in the earth, would be accomplished ; and sides? Had even Lord Chesterfield read this account, his that therefore, when earthly instruments failed, heavenly good sense would have led him to propose it as a model in ones should be employed. He shall send his angel, probaall transactions between man and his fellows. There is bly meaning the angel of the covenant, of whomn see chap. neither awkward stiff formality on the one hand, nor frip- xv. 7. pery affectation on the other. Decent respect, good sense,

Verse 9. Put his hand under the thigh of Abraham] good nature, and good breeding, are all prominently dis- This form of swearing has greatly puzzled the commenplayed. And how highly laudable and useful is all this! tators; but it is useless to detail opinions which I neither A pedant or a boor on either side, might have destroyed believe myself, nor would wish my renulers to credit. I, the simplicity of the whole transaction; the one by engen- believe the true sense is given in the Targum of Jonadering caution and suspicion, and the other by exciting dis- than ben Uzriel, and that

called the Jerusalem Targum. gust. In all such transactions, the beau and the boor are In the former it is said, Put now thy hand bro n 112 equally to be avoided. From the first, no sincerity can be bigezirath maholeti-in sectione circumcisionis meæ : expected; and the manners of the latter render him

intoler in the latter, pp 7" mian techoth yerec keyami-sub able. The religion of the Bible recommends and inculcates femore fæderis mci. When we put the circumstances orderly behaviour, as well as purity of heart and life. They mentioned in this and the third verse together, wc shall

[ocr errors]

2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant 11 And he made his camels to kneel down of his house, that ruled over all that he had, without the city by a well of water at the time • Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: of the evening, even the time P that women go

3 And I will make thee d swear by the LORD, out to draw water.! the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, 12 1 And he said, - O LORD God of my master that thou shalt not take a wile unto my son of Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom this day, and show kindness unto my master I dwell:

Abraham. 4 But thou shalt go 5 unto my country, and 13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. and u the daughters of the men of the city come

5 And the servant said unto him, Peradven-out to draw water: ture the woman will not be willing to follow me 14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray unto the land from whence thou camest? thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink,

6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou and I will give thy camels drink also let the that thou bring not my son thither again. same be she that thou hast appointed for thy

7 The Lord God of heaven, which took me servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that from my father's house, and from the land of thou hast showed kindness unto my master. my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that 15 1 And it came to pass, before he had done sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who give this land ; k he shall send his angel before was born to Bethuel, son of w Milcah, tbe wife thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher from thence.

upon her shoulder. 8 And if the woman will not be willing to 16 And the damsel * was ' very fair to look follow thee, then I thou shalt be clear from this upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: my oath : only bring not my son thither again. and she went down to the well, and filled her

9 And the servant put his hand under the pitcher, and came up. thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him 17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, concerning that matter.

Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy 10 1 And the servant took ten camels of the pitcher. camels of his master, and departed; (m for all 18 ? And she said, Drink, my lord. and she the goods of his master were in his hand :) and hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the and gave him drink. city of Nahor.

19° And when she had done giving him drink, Heh. that women tohich drau water go forth.-9 Exod. 2. 16. 1 Sain. 9. 11.

. u.

i Ver, 13.--u Ch. 29. 9. Exod 2 16. - See Judges 6. 17, 37. 1 Sam. 6. 7. & 14.8 & 18. & 17. 8. Exod. 32 13. Deut. 1.8. & 34. 4. Acts 7. 5.- Exol. 23 20, 23. & 3. 2. 2. 7. I Mac. 5. 40.-w Ch. 11. 29. & 222-x Ch. 36. 7.-y Heb.good of counte

a Ch. 15. 2.- Ver. 10. Ch. 39. 4, 5, 6.-c Ch. 47. 21. I Chron. 29. 21. Lam. 5. 6. d Ch. 14. 22. Deut. 6. 13. Josh. 2 12.-e Ch. 2. 35. & 9. 16. & 28. 2 Exod. 31. 16. Deut. 7.3.- Ch. 2.2-8 Ch. 12. 1.-h Ch. 121, 7.-i Ch. 12. 7. & 13. 15. & 15. Heb. 1. 14.- Josh. 2. 17, 20.-m Ver. 2o Or, and.-o Ch. 2. 43.

nance.- 1 Pet. 3. 8. & 4.9.

find that they fully express the ancient method of binding themselves, or lie down, as the Septuagint has very propby oath, in such transactions as had a religious tendency. erly expressed it-K:sxoloos *5 ** Limacus. 1. The file or ceremony used on the occasion: the

person Verse 12. And he said, O Lord God, &c.] “The conbinding himself, put his hand under the thigh of the person duct of this servant,” says Dr. Dodd," appears no less to whom he was to be bound; i. e. he put his hand on the pious than rational. By supplicating for a sign, he acpart that bore the mark of circumcision, the sign of God's knowledges God to be the great Superintendant and Dicovenant; which is tantamount to our kissing the book, rector of the universe, and of that event in particular; or laying the hand upon the Nero Testament, or covenant and, at the same time, by asking a natural sign, such as of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2. The form of the oath itself: betokened humanity, condescension, and other qualities the person swore by Jehovah, the God of heaven, and the which promised a discreet and virtuous wife, he puts his God of the earth. Three essential attributes of God are prayer upon such a discreet rational footing, as to be a here mentioned: 1. His self-cxistence and eternity in the proper example for all to imitate, who would not tempt name Jehovah. 2. His dominion of glory, and blessed the providence of God by expecting extraordinary signs ness in the kingdom of heaven. 3. His providence and to be given them for the deiermination of cases, which bounty in the earth. The meaning of the oath seems to they are capable of deciding by a proper use of their be this: "As God is unchangeable in his nature and pur- rational faculties.” This is all very good; but certainly poses, so shall I be in this engagement, under the penalty the case referred to here, is such an one as required especial of forfeiting all expectation of temporal prosperity, the direction from God; a case which no use of the rational benefits of the mystical covenant, and future glory.' An faculties, without divine influence, could be sufficient to oath of this kind, taken at such a time, and on such an determine. It is easy to run into extremes, and it is very occasion, can never be deemed irreligious or profane. natural so to do. In all things, the assistance aud blessThou shalt swear by his name-shalt acknowledge and ing of God are necessary, even where human strength and bind thyself unto the true God, as the just Judge of thy wisdoın have the fullest and freest sphere of action : but motives and actions, is a command of the Most High; there are numberless cases of infinite consequence to man, and such an oath as the above, is at once (on such an where his strength and prudence can be of little or no occasion,) both proper and rational. The person binding avail; and where the God of all grace must work all himself, proposes for a pattern the unchangeable and just things according to the counsel of his own will. To God; and as He is the avenger of wrong, and the pun- expect the accomplishment of any good end, without a isher of falsehood, and has all power in the heavens and proper use of the means, is the most reprehensible enthuin the earth, so he can punish perjury by privation of siasm; and to suppose, that any good can be done or prospiritual and temporal blessings; by the loss of life, and cured without the blessing and mercy of God, merely by inflicting the perdition due to ungodly men, among because proper means are used, is not less reprehensible. whom liars and perjured persons occupy the most distin- Plan, scheme, and labour, like Eliezar, and then, by earnest guished rank. Our ideas of delicacy may revolt from the faith and prayer, commit the whole to the direction and rite used on this occasion; but when the nature of the blessing of God. covenant is considered, of which circumcision was the Verse 15. Behold, Rebekah came out] How admirably sign, we shall at once perceive, that this rite could not be had the providence of God adapted every circumstance to used without producing sentiments of reverence and godly the necessity of the case ; and so as in the most punctual fear, as the contracting party must know that the God of manner to answer the prayer which his servant had offered this covenant was a consuming fire.

Verse 10. Took ten camels] It appears that Abraham Verse 19. I will draw water for thy camels also] Had had left the whole management of this business to the Rebekah done no more than Eliezar had prayed for, we discretion of his servant, to take with him what retinue might have supposed, that she acted not as a free agent, and what dowry he pleased; for it is added- Au the goods hut was impelled to it by the absolutely controlling power of his master were in his hand; and in those times, it of God: but as she exceeds all that was requested, we see was customary to give a dowry for a wife, and not to that it sprang from her native benevolence, and sets her receive one with her.

conduct in the most amiable point of view. Verse 11. He made his camels to kneel doron] To rest Verse 21. The man wondering at her] And he was so

up!

she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, 29 | And Rebekah had a brother, and his until they have done drinking.

name was 1 Laban: and Laban ran out unto the 20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher man, unto the well. into the trough, and ran again unto the well to 30 And it came to pass, when he saw the eardraw water, and drew for all his camels. ring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and

21 And the man wondering at her, held his when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, peace, to wit whether * the Lord had made his saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he journey prosperous or not.

came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by 22 T And it came to pass, as the camels had the camels at the well. done drinking, that the man took a golden ear 31 And he said, Come in, k thou blessed of the ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets LORD; wherefore standest thou without ? for I for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; prepared the house, and room for the camels.

23 And said, Whose daughter art thou tell 32 And the man came into the house: and he me, I pray thee; is there room in thy father's ungirded his camels, and I gave straw and provhouse for us to lodge in?

ender for the camels, and water to wash his 24 And she said unto him, d I am the daugh-feet, and the men's feet that were with him. ter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare 33 And there was set meat before him to eat: unto Nahor.

but he said, m I will not eat, until I have told 25 She said moreover unto him, We have mine errand. And he said, Speak on. both straw and provender enough, and room to 34 | And he said, I am Abraham's servant. lodge in.

35 And the LORD hath blessed my master 26 And the man bowed down his head, and greatly; and he is become great: and he hath worshipped the LORD.

given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, 27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God and men-servants, and maid-servants, and camof my master Abraham, who hath not left des-els, and asses. titute my master of his mercy and his truth: 36 And Sarah my master's wife · bare a son I being in the way, the LORD " led me to the to my master when she was old, and P unto him house of my master's brethren.

hath he given all that he hath. 28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her 37 And my master · made me swear, saying, mother's house these things.

Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the

Ver. 12, 58 - Exod. 22. 23. Isi. 8. 19, 20, 21. Esek. 16. 11, 12. 1 Pet. 3. a CO Jessel for the forehead. - Ch.28 - Ver. 32. Exod. 4. 31.- Exol. 18. 10. Ruth 1 14. 1 Sam. 5. 32, 30. 2 Sam. 18. 2 Luke 1. 68.mg Ch. 22. 10. Poa. N. 3.

h Ver. 18.-i Ch. 29. 5.-- Ch.26. 2. Judges 17. 2. Ruth 3. 10. Pst. 115. 15.- Ch. 43 24. Judges 19.21.-m Job 23 12 John 1. 31. Eph. 6. 5, 6, 7.-- Ver. I. Ch. 13.2 o Ch. 21.2.-pCh. 2. 10. & 25. 5.- Ver. 3.

uncommon cast.

lost in wonder and astonishment at her simplicity, inno- son called Bethuel, ver. 50. was a younger brother. This cence, and benevolence, that he permitted this delicate is possible; but the mother's house might be mentioned, female to draw water for ten camels, without ever attempt were even the father alive : for in Asiatic countries, the ing to afford her any kind of assistance! I know not women have apartments entirely separate from those of which to admire most, the benevolence and condescension the men, in which their little children and grown up of Rebekah, or the cold and apparently stupid indifference daughters reside with them. This was probably the case of the servant of Abraham. Surely, they are both of an here, though it is very likely that Bethuel was dead, as

the whole business appears to be conducted by Rebekah's Verse 22. The man took a golden ear.ring) 21 DI brothers. nezem zahab. That this could not be an ear-ring is very Verse 31. Thou blessed of the Lord) Probably a usual probable, from its being in the singular number. The mode of expressing kindness, and wishing prosperity; as margin calls it a jewel for the forehead; but it most likely he that is blessed of the Lord is worthy of all respect, for, means a jewe for the nose, or nose-ring, which is in uni- enjoying the Divine favour, he is in possession of the sum versal use through all parts of Arabia and Persia, particu- of happiness. larly among young women. They are generally worn in Verse 32. Provender for the camels] These were the the left nostril. The word is very, properly translated first objects of his care; for a good man is merciful to his Fleetvisv, an ornament for the nose, by Symmachus. beast.

And two bracelets) D1703 ver usheney tsemidim. As Water to wash his feet, &c.) Thus it appears that he Isemidim comes from ros tsamad, to join or couple to- had servants with him; and as the fatigues of the journey gether, it may very properly mean bracelets, or whatever must have fallen as heavily upon them as upon himself, may clasp round the arms or legs; for rings and orna 80 we find no distinction made, but water is provided to ments are worn round both, by females in India and Persia. wash their feet also. The small part of the leg is generally decorated in this Verse 33. I will not eat until I have told) Here is a way: and so is the whole arm from the shoulder to the servant who had his master's interest more at heart than wrist. As these tsemidim were given to Rebekah for her his own. He refuses to take even necessary refreshment, hands, it sufficiently distinguishes them from a similar till he knows whether he is likely to accomplish the object ornament used for the ankles.

of his journey. Did not our blessed Lord allude to the In different parts of the Sacred Writings, there are allu- conduct of Abraham's servant, John iv. 34.-My meat is sions to ornaments of various kinds, still in use in different to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work? Asiatic countries. They are of seven different sorts : 1. Verse 36. Ünto him he hath given all that he hath] He For the forehead; 2. For the nose; 3. For the cars ; 4. has made Isaac his sole heir. These things appear to be For the arms ; 5. for the fingers ; 6. The neck and spoken to show the relatives of Rebekah, that his master's breast; 7. The ankles.-See above, ver. 22. and see ver. son was a proper match for her; for, even in those primi47. also Ezek. xvi. 12. Prov. xi. 22. Irai. iii

. 21. Gen. tive times, there was regard had to the suitability of station XXXV. 4. Exod. xxxij. 2, 3. Job xlii. 11. Judg. viii. 24. and rank in life, as well as of education, in order to render The principal female ornaments are enumerated in the a match comfortable. Persons of dissimilar habits, as well third chapter of Isajah, which are very nearly the same as of dissimilar religious principles, are never likely to be that are in use in Persia and India to the present time. very happy in a married life. Even the poor and the rich

Half a shekel weight] For the weight of a shekel, see may better meet together in matrimonial alliances, than ch. xx. 16.

the religious and the profane, the well bred and the rulgar. Verse 26. Bowed down his head, and worshipped] Two A person may be unequally yoked in a great variety of acts of adoration are mentioned here : 1. Bowing the ways :-Bear ye one another's burdens, is the command head, ap yikkod-and, 2. Prostration upon the earth, of God; but where there is unsuitableness in the disposinoon dayishtachu. The bowing of the head was to Re- tions, education, mental capacity, &c. of the persons, then bekah, to return her thanks for her kind invitation. The one side is obliged to bear the whole burden, and endless prostration was to Jehovah, in gratitude for the success dissatisfaction is the result. See at the end. with which he had favoured him.

Verse 42. O Lord Gud of my master) As Abraham Verse 27. I being in the way, the Lord led me) By de was the friend of God, Eliezar makes use of this, to give sire of his master, he went out on this journey; and as he weight and consequence to his petitions. acknowledged God in all his ways, the Lord directed all Verse 43. When the virgin) robyn haalmah, from Oby his steps.

alam, to hide, cover, or conceal-a pure virgin, a woman Verse 29. Her mother's house] Some have conjectured uncovered, and in this respect still concealed from man. from this, that her father Bethuel was dead; and the per- I The same as abına bethulah, ver. 16. which, from the ex

son,

daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land Ishipped the LORD: and blessed the LORD God of dwell:

my master Abraham, which had led me in the 38 - But thou shalt go unto my father's house, right way, to take m my master's brother's and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my daughter unto his son.

49 And now if ye will n deal kindly and truly 39 And I said unto my master, Peradven- with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me: ture the woman will not follow me.

that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. 40 ° And he said unto me, The LORD, before 50 | Then Laban and Bethuel answered and whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and said, “The thing proceedeth from the LORD: prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for we cannot P speak unto thee bad or good. my son of my kindred, and of my father's house: 51 Behold, Rebekah 9 is before thee, take her,

41 - Then shalt thou be clear from this my and go and let her be thy master's son's wife, oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if as the Lord hath spoken. they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from 52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's my oath.

servant heard their words, he 'worshipped the 42 And I came this day unto the well, and LORD, bowing himself to the earth. said, ' O LORD God of my master Abraham, if 53 And the servant brought forth jewels of now thou do prosper my way which I go; silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and

43 & Behold, I stand by the well of water; gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin brother and to her mother“ precious things. cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, 54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy that were with him, and tarried all night; and pitcher to drink;

they arose up in the morning, and he said, 44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I Send me away unto my master. will also draw for thy camels : let the same be 55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out the damsel abide with us wa few days, at the for my master's son.

least ten; after that she shall go. 45 h And before I had done i speaking in mine 56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, heart, behold, Rebekah came forth, with her seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down me away that I may go to my master. unto the well, and drew water : and I said unto 57 And they said, We will call the damsel, her, Let me drink, I pray thee.

and inquire at her mouth. 46 And she made haste, and let down her 58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, I will go. and she made the camels drink also.

59 And they sent away Rebekah, their sis47 And I asked her, and said, whose daughter ter, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, art thou? And she said, The daughter of and his men. Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto 60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto him: and I put the ear-ring upon her face, and her, Thou art our sister, be thou " the mother the bracelets upon her hands.

of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess 48 And I bowed down my head, and wor- the gate of those which hate them.

* Ver. 4.-5 Ver. 5.- Ver. 7.-d Ch. 17. 1. V. 8- Ver. 12-g Ver. 13 h Ver. 5, &c.1 Sam. 1. 13.--- Ezek. 16. 11, 12 - Ver. 26.-In Ch.22 2.

Ch. 47. 2. Josh. 2. 14.-- Ps. 118. 2. Matt. 21. 42. Mark 12 11.-- Ch. 31. 24.

gCh 20. 15.- Ver. 26. Heb. reseele.- Exod. 3. 22. & 11.2 & 19. 35.- 2 Chron. 21.3 Ezra 1. 6. - Ver. 56. & 50.-w Or, a full year, or ter months. Judges 14. & xCh. 36. 8.-y Ch. 17. 16-1Ch. 2 17.

planation there given, incontestably means a virgin in the But it may mean gifts in general, though rather of an proper sense of the word-a young woman, not that is inferior kind to those mentioned above. covered, or kept at home, the common gloss; but who was Verse 54. And they did eat and drink] When Eliezar not uncovered, in the delicate sense in which the Scripture had got a favourable answer, then he and his servants sat uses this word.-See this interpretation vindicated on down to meat: this he had refused to do till he had told Isai. vii. 14.

his message, ver. 33. Verse 44. Before I had done speaking in mine heart] Verse 55. Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at So we find that the whole of this prayer, so circumstan least ten] The original is very abrupt and obscure, betially related ver. 12–14. and again 42–44. was mental, cause we are not acquainted with the precise meaning of and heard only by that God to whom it was directed. It the form of speech which is here used — 19DY W D'Dyamin would have been improper to have used public prayer on au ësor, days, or Ten, probably meaning a year, or ten the occasion; as his servants could have felt no particular months, as the margin reals it, or a week or ten days. interest in the accomplishment of his petitions, because This latter is the most likely sense, as there would be no they were not concerned in them, having none of the re- propriety, after having given their consent that she should sponsibility of this mission.

go, in detaining her for a year or ten months. In matters Verse 49. That I may turn to the right hand, or to the of simple phrascology, or in those which concern peculiar left). That is, that I may go elsewhere, and seek a proper customs, the Septuagint translation, especially in the match for the son of

my master.

Some have imagined, Pentateuch, where it is most accurate and pure, may be that Eliezar intimated by these expressions, that if he did considered a legitimate judge : this translation renders the not succeed in obtaining Rebekah, he would go and seek words ukspxs wesi Se**, about ten days. Houbigant confor a wife either among the descendants of Ishmael, or the tends strongly, that instead of the words veyw Did yamim descendants of Lot. This interpretation is fanciful. au ësor, days, or ten, we should read Dipy urn chodesh

Verse 50. Laban and Bethuel] These seem both to be yamim, a month of days, i.e. a full month; without which brothers, of whom Laban was the eldest and chief; for emendation, he asserts, locus explicari non possit—"the the opinion of Josephus appears to be very correct, viz. passage cannot be explained.”. This emendation is supportthat Bethuel the father had been some time dead. See ed by the Syriac version, which reads here to win

yerach yoinin, a month of days, or a full month. The Bad or good] We can neither speak for, nor against : reader may adopt the Syriac, or the Septuagint, as he it seems to be entirely the work of God; and we cordially judges best. submit-consult Rebekah; if she be willing, take her and Verse 58. Wilt thou go with this man) So it appears go. See ver. 58.

it was left ullimately to the choice of Rebekah, whether Verse 53. Jeroels of silver and jeroels of gold] The she would accept the proposals now made to her, unless word 'sa keley, which we here translate jewels, signifies we suppose that the question meant-Wilt thou go immeproperly vessels or instruments ; and those presented by diately, or stay with us a month longer ? Eliezar might have been of various kinds. What he had She said, I will go] It fully appears to be the will of given before, ver. 22. was in token of respectwhat he God that it should be so, and I consent. This at once degave now, appears to have been in the way of dowry. termined the whole business.

Precious things) nuo migdonoth. This word, is used Verse 59. And her nurse] Whose name, we learn to express exquiside fruits, or delicacies, Deut. xxxii. 13, from ch. xxxv. 8. was Deborah, and who, as a second 14, 15, 16. precious plants, or flowers, Cant. iv. 16. vii. 13. I mother, was deemed proper to accompany Rebekah. This

ver. 29.

« 이전계속 »