« AnteriorContinuar »
B. C. cir. 1779
Esau entreats his father,
and receives a blessing A. M. cir. 2225. venison, and brought it me, and I 37 And Isaac answered and A. M. cir. 2225 B. C. cir. 1779.
have eaten of all before thou said unto Esau, m Behold, I have camest, and have blessed him ? yea, and he made him thy lord, and all his brethren have shall be blessed.
I given to him for servants; and with corn 34 And when Esau heard the words of his and wine have I sustained him': and what father, he cried with a great and exceeding shall I do now unto thee, my son ? bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, 38. And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou even me also, O my father.
but one blessing, my father ? bless me, even . 35. And he said, Thy brother came with me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
his voice, P and wept. 36 And he said, 'Is noč he rightly named 39 And Isaac his father answered and said Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two unto him, Behold, a thy dwelling shall be the times : he took away my birthright; and fatness of he earth, and of the dew of heaven behold, now he hath taken away my blessing from above ; And he said, Hast thou not reserved a bless- | .40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and ing for me?
$ shalt serve thy brother.; and it shall come
< Chap. xxviii. 3,4; Rom. xi. 29.- h Heb. xii. 17. TYY. 26,
*That is, a supplanter.- - Chap. xxv. 33. filled, 2 Sam. vid. 14 ; ver. 29. Lo Ver. 28.
-P Heb. xii. 17. 4 Ver. 28; Heb. xi. 20. am Ful.. * Or, of the fatness.- Ch. xxv. 23; Obad. 18, 19, 20; 2 Sam.
viii. 14. --2 Kings viii. 20.
Though Isaac must have heard of that which God had constant wars; but that they should be of a fierce and spoken to Rebekah, The elder shall serve the younger, warlike disposition, gaining their sustenance by huntand could never have wished to reverse. this Divine ing, and by predatory excursions upon the possessions purpose ; yet he might certainly think that the spiritual of others. Bishop Newton speaks on this subject with blessing might be conveyed to Esau, and by him to all his usual good sense and judgment: “ The elder branch, the nations of the earth, notwithstanding the superiority it is here foretold, should delight more in war and vioof secolar dominion on the other side..
lence, but yet should be subdued by the younger. Ву Yea, and he shall be blessed.] From what is said in thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother this verse, collated with Heb. xii. 17, we see how bind- Esau might be said to live much by the sword; for ho ing the conveyance of the birthright was when cóm-, was a cunning hunter, a man of the field. He and municated with the riles already mentioned. When his children got possession of Mount Seir by force and Isaac found that he had been deceived by Jacob; he violence, expelling from thence the Horiles, the former certainly would have reversed the blessing if he could ; inhabitants." By what means they spread themselves but as it had been conveyed in the sacramental .way farther among the Arabians is not known ; but it apthis was impossible. I have blessed him, says he, yea, pears that upon a sedition and separation several of and he must, or will, be blessed. Hence it is said by the Edomites, came and siezed upon the south-west the apostle, Esau found no place for repentance, pera- parts of. Judea, during the Babylonish captivity, and volas yap TOTOV ovx kúpe, no place for change of mind settled 'there ever after. - Before and after this they or purpose in his father, though he sought it carefully' were almost continually at war with the Jews; upon with lears, The father could not reverse it because every occasion they were ready to join with their enethe grant had already been made and confirmed. But mies; and when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, this had nothing to do with the final salvation of poor they encouraged him utterly to destroy the city, sayoutwitted Esau, nor indeed with that of his unnatural ing, Rase: it, rase it, even to the foundations thereof. brother.
Psa. cxxxvii. 7. And even long after they were subVerse 35. Hath taken away thy blessing) This dued by the Jews, they retained the same martial blessing, which was a different thing from the birth spirit; for Josephus in his time gives them the characright, seems to consist of two parts : 1. The dominion, ter of a turbulent and disorderly 'nation, always erect generally and finally, over the other part of the family ; to commotions, and rejoicing in changes; at the least and, 2. Being the progenitor of the Messiah. But the adulation of those who beseech them, beginning war, former is more explicitly declared than the latter. See and hasting to battles as to a feast.' And a little bethe notes on chap. xxv. 31.
fore the last siege of Jerusalem they came, at the enVerse 36. Is not he rightly named Jacob.?] See on treaty of the Zealots, to assist them against the priests chap. xxv. 26.
and people; and there, together with the Zealots, com- He took away my birthright] So he might say with mitted unheard-of cruelties, and barbarously murdered considerable propriety; for though he sold it to Jacob, Annas, the high priest, from whose death Josephus yet as Jacob had taken advantage of his perishing situ- dates the destruction of the city.” See Dr. Dodd. ation, he considered the act as a species of robbery. : And—when thou shalt have the dominion] It is here
Verse 37. I have made him thy lord] See on ver. 28. foretold that there was to be a time when the elder
Verse 40. By thy sword shalt thou live). This does was to have dominion and shake off the yoke of the not absolutely mean that the Edomites should have younger. The word yiv tarid, which we translate
B. C. cir. 1779.
Esau purposes to slay Jacob.
Rebekah's counsel to him A. M. cir. 2225. to pass, when thou shalt have Jacob her younger son, and said A. M. cit. 2225.
B. C. cir. 1779. the dominion, that thou shalt unto him, Behold, thy brother break his yoke from off thy neck.
Esau, as touching thee, doth * comfort him41 And Esau " hated Jacob because of the self, purposing to kill thee. blessing wherewith his father blessed him : 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and Esau said in his heart, The days of and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to mourning for my father are at hand; "then Haran; will I slay my brother Jacob.
44" And tarry, with him a few days, until 42 And these words of Esau her elder son thy brother's fury turn'away; were told to Rebekah : and she sent and called 45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from
u Chap. iv. 2-8; xxxvii. 4, 8; Ezek. xxv. 12-15; 1 John ili.
12-15. Chap. xxv. 29 ; 1. 3, 4, 10.
w Eccles. vii. 9; Obad. 10; Eph. iv. 26, 27. * Psa luir. 5
Prov. ii 14; iv. 16, 17. Chap. xi. 31.
have dominion, is rather of doubtful meaning, as it may used about the end of the first century of the Chrisbe deduced from three different roots, 77 yarad, to tian era. Thus were they rewarded for insulting and descend, to be brought down or brought low; 1777 ra- oppressing their brethren the Jews; and hereby other dah, to obtain rule or have dominion; and 717 rud, to prophecies were fulfilled, viz., Jer. xlix. 7, &c. ; Ezek. complain ; meaning either that when reduced very low xxv. 12, &c. ; Joel ii. 19; Amos i. 11, &c.; and God would magnify his power in their behalf, and de- particularly Obadiah ; for at this day we see the Jews liver them from the yoke of their brethren ; or when subsisting as a distinct people, while Edom is no more, they should be increased so as to venture to set up a agreeably to the words of Obadiah, ver. 10: For thy king over them, or when they mourned for their trans- violence against thy brother Jacob, in the return of his gressions, God would turn their captivity. The Je- posterity from Egypt, shame shall cover thee, and thou rusalem Targum gives the words, the following turn : shall be cut off for ever. And again, ver. 18: There “When the sons of Jacob attend to the law and ob- shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau, for serve the precepts, they shall impose the yoke of ser-| the Lord hath spoken it. In what a most extensive vitude upon thy neck ; but when they shall turn away and circumstantial manner has God fulfilled all these themselves from studying the law and neglect the pre- predictions ! and what a proof is this of the Divine cepts, thou shalt break off the yoke of servitude from inspiration of the Pentateuch, and the omniscience of thy neck.”
God!" " It was David who imposed the yoke, and at that Verse 41. The days of mourning for my father are time the Jewish people observed the law; but the yoke at hand). Such was the state of Isaac's health at that was very galling to the Edomites from the first; and time, though he lived more than forty years afterwards, towards the end of Solomon's reign Hadad, the Edom- that his death was expected by all ; and Esau thought ite, of the blood royal, who had been carried into Egypt that would be a favourable time for him to avenge him. from his childhood, returned into his own country, and self on his brother Jacob, as, according to the custom raised some disturbances, but was not able to recover of the times, the sons were always present at the burial his throne, his subjects being overawed by the garri- of the father.
Ishmael came from his own country risons which David had placed among them ; but in the to assist Isaac to bury Abraham ; and both Jacob and reiga of Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat king of Ju- Esau assisted in burying their father Isaac, but the endah, the Edomites revolted from under the dominion mity between them had happily subsided long before of Judah, and made themselves a king. Jehoram made that time.
Verse 42. Doth comfort himself, purposing to kill some attempts to subdue them again, but could not prevail; so the Edomites revolted from under the hand of thee.] 7 Dngna mithnachem lecha, which HoubiJudah unto this day, 2 Chron. xxi. 8, 10, and hereby gant renders cogitat super te, he thinks or meditates this part of the prophecy
was fulfilled about nine hun- to kill thee. : This sense is natural enough here, but it dred years after it was delivered." See Bishop Newton. does not appear to be the meaning of the original ; nor
“ Thus," says Bishop Newton, l have we traced, in does Houbigant himself give it this sense, in his Raour notes on this and the xxvth chapter, the accom- cines Hebraiques. There is no doubt that Esau, in plishment of this prophecy from the beginning; and his hatred to his brother
, felt himself pleased with the we find that the nation of the Edomites has at several thought that he should soon have the opportunity of times been conquered by and made tributary to the avenging his wrongs. Jews, but never the nation of the Jews to the Edomites ; Verse 44. Tarry with him a few days) It was
considerable people, probably forty years before he returned, and it is and the Jews have been the more more known in the world, and more famous in history. likely Rebekah saw him no more ; for it is the geneWe know indeed little more of the history of the ral opinion of the Jewish rabbins that she died before Edomites than as it is connected with that of the Jews; Jacob's return from Padan-aram, whether the period and where is the name or nation now? They were of his stay be considered twenty or forty years. See swallowed up and lost, partly among the Nabathean on chap. xxxi. 38, &c.
Verse 45. Why should I be deprived also of you Arabs, and partly among the Jews; and the very name, as Dr. Prideaux has observed,
was abolished and dis- I both] If Esau should kill Jacob, then the nearest akin
B. C. cir. 1779.
B. C. cir. 1779.
Rebekah's alarm on account
of the daughters of Heth. A. M. cir. 2225. thee, and he forget that which of my life because of the daugh- A. M. cir. 2225.
thou hast done to him: then I will ters of Heth: a if Jacob take a send, and fetch thee from thence: why should wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these I be deprived also of you both in one day ? which are of the daughters of the land, what 46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, ? I am weary good shall my life do me?
* Chap. xxvi. 35; xxviii. 8; Num. xi. 15; 1 Kings xix. 4; Job üi. 20-22.
Chap. xxiv. 3.
to Jacob, who was by the patriarchial law, Gen. ix. 6, I consider the whole of the conduct both of Rebekah the avenger of blood, would kill Esau"; and both these and Jacob in some respects deeply criminal, and in all deaths might. possibly take place in the same day. highly exceptionable. And the impartial relation of This appears to be the meaning of Rebekah. Those the facts contained in this and the xxvth chapter, gives who are ever endeavouring to sanctify the means by me the fullest evidence of the truth and authenticity the end, are full of perplexity and distress. God will of the sacred original. How impartial is the history not give his blessing to even à Divine service, if not that God writes! We may see, from several comdone in his own way, on principles of truth and right-mentators, what man would have done, had he had the eousness. - Rebekah and her son would take the means same facts to relate. The history given by God deout of God's hands; they compassed themselves with tails as well the vices as the virtues of those who are their own sparks, and warmed themselves with their | its subjects. How widely different from that in the own fire; and this had they at the hand of God, they Bible is the biography of the present day! Virtuous lay down in sorrow. God would have brought about acts that were never performed, voluntary privations his designs in a way consistent with his own perfec- which were never borne, piety which was never felt, tions ; for he had fully determined that the elder should and in a word lives which were never lived, are the serve the younger, and that the Messiah should spring principal subjects of our biographical relations. These pot from the family of Esau, but from that of Jacob; may be well termed the Lives of the Saints, for to and needed not the cunning craftiness or deceits of these are attributed all the virtues which can adorn men to accomplish his purposes. Yet in his mercy the human character, with scarcely a failing or a blehe overruled all these circumstances, and produced mish ; while on the other hand, those in general mengood, where things, if left to their own, operations and tioned in the sacred writings stand marked with deep' issues, would have produced nothing but evil. How-shades. What is the inference which a reflecting erer, after this reprehensible transaction, we hear no mind, acquainted with human nature, draws from a more of Rebekah. The Holy Spirit mentions her no comparison of the biography of the Scriptures with more, her burial excepted, chap. xlix. 31. See on that of uninspired writers ? The inference is this chap. xxxv. 8.
the Scripture history is natural, is probable, bears all : . Verse 46. I am weary of my life] It is very, likely the characteristics of veracity, narrates circumstances that Rebekah kept many of the circumstances related which seem to make against its own honour, yet duells above from the knowledge of Isaac; but as Jacob on them, and often seeks occasion to REPEAT them. could not go to Padan-aram without his knowledge, It is true ! infallibly true! In this conclusion common she appears here quite in her oron character, framing sense, reason, and criticism join. On the other hand, an escuse for his departure, and concealing the true of biography in general we 'must say that it is often cause. Abraham had been solicitous to get a wife unnatural, improbable; is destitute of many of the for his son Isaac from a branch of his own family ; essential characteristics of truth; studiously avoids hence she was brought from Syria. She is now afraid, mentioning thoše circumstances which are dishonouror pretends to be afraid, that her son Jacob will marry able to its subject; ardently endeavours either to cast among the Hittites, as Esau had done ; and therefore those which it cannnot wholly hide into deep shades, makes this to Isaac-the ostensible reason why Jacob or sublime them into virtues. This is notorious, and should immediately go to Padan-aram, that he might we need not go far for numerous examples. From these get a wife there. Isaac, not knowing the true cause facts a reflecting mind will draw this general concluof sending him away, readily falls in with Rebekah's sion-an impartial history, in every respect true, can proposal, and immediately calls Jacob, gives him suit- be expected only from God himself. able directions and his blessing; and sends him away. 2. These should be only preliminary observations This view of the subject makes all consistent and to an extended examination of the characters and connatural; and we see at once the reason of the abrupt duct of Rebekah and her two sons ; but this in detail speech contained in this verse, which should be placed would be an ungracious task, and I wish only to draw at the beginning of the following chapter,
the reader's attention to what may, under the blessing
of God, promote his moral good. No pious man can 1. In the preceding notes I have endeavoured to read the chapter before him without emotions of grief represent things simply as they were. I have not and pain. A mother teaches her favourite son to copied the manner of many commentators, who have cheat and defraud his brother, deceive his father, and laboured to vindicate the character of Jacob and his tell the most execrable lies ! " And God, the just, the mother in the transactions here recorded. As I fear impartial God relates all the circumstances in the most God, and wish to follow him, I dare not bless what he ample and minute detail !' I have already hinted that hath not blessed, nor curse what he hath not cursed, this is a strong proof of the authenticity of the sacred
Directions to Jacob
concerning his marriage. book. Had the Bible been the work of an impostor, ment. The facts, however, relative to this point, may a single trai: of this history had never appeared. God, be summed up in a few words. 1. The descendants it is true, had purposed that the elder should serve of Jacob were peculiarly favoured by God. 2. They the younger ; but never designed that the supremacy generally had the dominion, and were ever reputed should be brought about in this way. Had Jacob's superior in every respect to the Edomites. 3. The unprincipled mother left the matter in the hands of Edomites were generally tributary to the Israelites. God's providence, her favourite son would have had 4. They often revolted, and sometimes succeeded so the precedency in such a way as would not only have far in their revolts as to become an independent peomanifested the justice and holiness of God, but would ple. 5. The Jews were never subjected to the Edom have been both honourable and lasting to HIMSELF. ites. 6. As in the case between Esau and Jacob, He got the birthright, and he got the blessing; and who after long enmity were reconciled, so were the how little benefit did he personally derive from either! Edomites and the Jews, and at length they became What was his life from this time will his return from one people. . 7. The Edomites, as a nation, are now Padan-aram? A mere tissue of vexations, disappoint- totally extinct ; and the Jews still continue as a disments, and calamities. Men may endeavour to palliate tinct people from all the inhabitants of the earth! So the iniquity of these transactions; but this must pro- exactly have all the words of God, which he has ceed either from weakness or mistaken zeal. God has spoken by his prophets, been fulfilled! sufficiently marked the whole with his disapprobation. 4. On the blessings pronounced on Jacob and Esau,
3. The enmity which Esau felt against his brother these questions may naturally be asked. 1. Was there Jacob seems to have been transmitted to all his pos- any thing in these blessings of such a spiritual pature terity; and doubtless the matters of the birthright and as to affect the eternal interests of either ? Certainly the blessing were the grounds on which that perpetual there was not, at least as far as might absolutely inenmity was kept up between the descendants of both volve the salvation of the one, or the perdition of the families, the Edomites and the Israelites. So unfor- other. 2. Was not the blessing pronounced on Esau tunate is an ancient family grudge, founded on the as good as that pronounced on Jacob, the mere tempoopinion that an injury has been done by one of the rary lordship, and being the progenitor of the Messiah, branches of the family, in a period no matter how excepted? So it evidently appears. 3. If the blessremote, provided its operation still continues, and cert ings had referred to their eternal states, had not Esau tain secular privations to one side be the result. How as fair a prospect for endless glory as his unfeeling possible it is to keep fends of this kind alive to any brother ? Justice and mercy both say-Yes. The assignable period, the state of a neighbouring island truth is, it was their posterity, and not themselves, sufficiently proves; and on the subject in question, the that were the objects of these blessings. Jacob, perbloody contentions of the two houses of York and sonally, gained no benefit; Esau, personally, sustained LANCASTER in this nation are no contemptible com- I no loss.
Isaac direcls- Jacob lo take a wise from the family of Laban, 1, 2 ; blesses and sends him away, 3, 4. Jacob
begins his journey, 5. Esau; perceising that the daughters of Canaan were not pleasing to his parents, and thal Jacob obeyed them in going to get a wife of his own kindred, 6–8; went and took to wife Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael his father's brother, 9. Jacob, in his journey towards Haran, came to a certain place, (Luz, ver. 19,) where he lodged all night, 10, 11. He sees in a dream a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, on which he beholds the angels of God ascending and descending, 12. God appears above This laulder, and renews those promises which he had made to Abraham and to Isaac, 13, 14 ; promises Jacob personal proteclion and a safe relurn to his own country, 15. Jacob awakes, and makes reflections upon his dream, 16, 17. Sels up one of the stones he had for his pillow, and pours oil on it, and calls, the place Beth-el, 18, 19. Makes a vow that if God will preserve him in his journey, and bring him back in safely, the stone should be God's house, and that he would give him the tenths of all that he should
have, 20-22. 8. M. cir. 9225. AND Isaac called Jacob, and take a wife of the daughters of : M. cir. 1725.
a blessed him, and charged Canaan. him, and said unto him, " Thou shalt not 2 • Arise, go to a Padan-aram, to the house
a Chap. xxvii. 33. Chap. xxiv. 3.
• Hos. xii. 11.. Chap. xxv. 20.
NOTES ON CHAP. XXVIII.
obtained through subtlety. It was necessary that he Verse 1. And Isaac called Jacob) See the note on should have this confirmation previously to his departver. 46 of the preceding chapter.
ure ; else, considering the way in which he had obtained And blessed him] Now voluntarily and cheerfully both the birthright and the blessing, he might be doubtconfirmed to him the blessing, whieh he had before I ful, according to his own words, whether he might not Jacob goes to Padan-aram.
Esau marries Mahulath.
B. C. cir. 1779.
A. M. cir. 2225. of Bethuel thy mother's father; 6 When Esau saw that Isaac A. M. cir. 2225 and take thee a wife from thence had blessed Jacob, and sent him
B. C. cir. 1779 of the daughters of Laban thy mother's away to Padan-aram, to take him a wife from brother.
thence; and that as he blessed him, he gave 3 & And God Almighty bless thée, and make him á charge, saying, Thou shalt not take thee fruitful, and multiply thee, thất thou a wife of the daughters of Canaan ; mayest be ha multitude of people :
7 And that Jacob obeyed his father, and his 4 And give thee i the blessing of Abraham, mother, and was gone to Padan-aram; to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that 8 And Esau seeing
8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of thou mayest inherit the land k wherein "thou Canaan pleased not Isaac his father ; art a stranger, which God gave unto Abra- 9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took ham.
unto the wives which he had, • Mahalath the 5 And Isaac sent away Jacob : and he went daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, P the to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife. the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's 10 And Jacob 9 went out from Beer-sheba, and Esau's mother.
and went toward Haran.
have got a curse instead of a blessing. . As the bless- 4 me, to the exclusion of Ishmael. But, aecording to ing now pronounced on Jacob was obtained without St. Paul, much more than this is certainly intended any deception on his part, it is likely that it produced here, for it appears, from Gal. iii. 6–14, that the blessa salutary effect upon his mind, might have led him to ing of Abraham, which is to come upon the Gentiles confession of his' sin, and prepared his heart for those through Jesus Christ, comprises the whole doctrine of discoveries of God's goodness with which he was fa- justification by faith, and its attendant privileges, viz., voured at Luz.
redemption from the curse of the law, remission of Verse 2. Go to Padan-aram] This mission, in its sins, and the promise of the Holy Spirit, including the spirit and design, is nearly the same as that in chap: constitution and establishment of the Christian Church. xxiv., which see. There have been several ingenious Verse 5. Bethuel the Syrian) Literally the Aramean, conjectures concerning the retinue which Jacob had, so called, not because he was of the race of Aram the or might have had, for his journey; and by some he son of. Shem, but because he dwelt in that country has been supposed to have been well allended. Of which had been formerly possessed by the descendants this nothing is mentioned here, and the reverse seems of Aram. to be intimated elsewhere. It appears, from ver. 11,1 Verse 9. Then went Esau unto Ishmael] Those that he lodged in the open air, with a stone for his pil- who are apt to take every thing by the wrong handle, low; and from chap. xxxii. 10, that he went on foot and who think it was utterly impossible for Esau to do with his staff in his hand ; nor is there even the most. any right action, have classed his taking a daughter indirect mention of any attendants, nor is it probable of Ishmael among his crimes; whereas there is nothing there were any.
He no doubt took provisions with more plain than that he did this with a sincere desire him sufficient to carry him to the nearest encampment to obey and please his parents. Having heard the pious or village on the way, where he would naturally re- advice which Isaac gave to Jacob, he therefore went cruit his bread and water to carry him to the next stage, and took a wife from the family of his grandfather and so on.
The oil that he poured on the pillar might Abraham, as Jacob was desired to do out of the family be a little of that which he had brought for his own of his maternal uncle Laban, Mahalath, whom he use, and can be no rational argument of his having a took to wife, stood in the same degree of relationship stock of provisions, servants, camels, &c., for which it to Isaac his father as Rachel did to his mother Rehas been gravely brought. He had God alone with him. bekah Esau married his father's niece; Jacob mar.'
Verse 3. That thou mayest be a multitude of people) ried his mother's niece. It was therefore most obO'By youp's likhal ammim. There is something very viously to please his parents that Esau took this addiremarkable in the original words : they signify literally tional wife. It is supposed that Ishmael must have for an assembly, congregation, or church of peoples; been dead thirteen or fourteen years before this time, referring no doubt to the Jewish Church in the wild and that going to Ishmael signifies only going to the derness, but more particularly to the Christian Church, family of Ishmael. If we follow the common comcomposed of every kindred, and nation, and people, putation, and allow that Isaac was now about one hunand tongue. This is one essential part of the blessing dred and thirty-six or one hundred and thirty-seven of Abraham.'See ver. 4.
years of age, and Jacob seventy-seven, and as Ishmael Verse 4. Give thee the blessing of Abraham] May died in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of his he confirm the inheritance with all its attendant bless- age, which according to the common computation was ings to thee, to the exclusion of Esan; as he did to the one hundred and twenty-third of Isaac, then Ish