« AnteriorContinuar »
Account of the mandrakes.
Issachar is born unto Jacob A. M. cir. 2239. 9 When Leah saw that she 15 And she said unto her, A, M. cir. 2246 B. C. cir. 1765.
B. C. cir. 1758 had left bearing, she took Zilpah w Is it a small matter that thou her maid, and P gave her Jacob to wife. hast taken my husband ? and wouldest thou A. M. cir. 2240. 10 And Zilpah Leah's maid take away my son's mandrakes also ? And B. C. cir. 1764. bare Jacob a son.
Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee 11 And Leah said, A troop cometh : and she to-night for thy son's mandrakes. called his name 9 Gad.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the A. M. cir. 2242. 12 And Zilpah Leah's maid evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and B. C. cir. 1762.
bare Jacob a second son. said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely 13 And Leah said, "Happy am I, for the I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. daughters will call me blessed : and she And he lay with her that night. called his name + Asher.
17 And God hearkened unto A. M. cir. 2247.
B. C. cir. 1757.
days of wheat harvest, and found bare Jacob the fifth son.
Issachar.. p Ver. 4. - That is, a troop or company; chap. xlix. 19; 'That is, happy; chapter xlix. 20; Deut. xxxii. 24, 25. Deut. xxxiii. 20, 21; Isa. lxv. 11. Heb. in my happiness. Cant. vii. 13.- Chapter xxv. 30.-- Num. xvi. 9, 13. • Prov. xxxi. 28; Cant. vi. 9; Luke i. 48.
* That is, a hire. sister ; that is, my family is now entwined or inter into the Holy Land to make discoveries in natural hiswoven with my sister's family, and -has a chance of tory, imagines that the plant commonly called manproducing the promised Seed." The Septuagint, drake is intended ; speaking of Nazareth in Galilee he Aquila, and the Vulgate, have nearly the same mean-says: “What I found most remarkable at this village ing. It is, however, difficult to fix the true meaning was a great number of mandrakes which grew in a of the original.
vale below it. I had not the pleasure to see this plant Verse 11. She called his name Gad.] This has in blossom, the fruit now (May 5th, O. S.) hanging been variously translated. 7 gad, may signify a troop, ripe to the stem, which lay withered on the ground. an army, a soldier, a false god, supposed to be the From the season in which this mandrake blossoms and same as Jupiter or Mars ; for as Laban appears to ripens fruit, one might form a conjecture that it was have been, if not an idolater, yet a dealer in a sort of Rachel's dudaim. These were brought her in the judicial astrology, (see chap xxxi. 19,) Leah, in say- wheat harvest, which in Galilee is in the month of May, ing 723 bagad, which we translate a troop cometh, about this time, and the mandrake was now in fruit.” might mean, By or with the assistance of Gad—a par. Both among the Greeks and orientals this plant was ticular planet or star, Jupiter possibly, I have gotten held in high repute, as being of a prolific virtue, and this son ; therefore she called him after the name of helping conception; and from it philtres were made, that planet or star from which she supposed the suc- and this is favoured by the meaning of the original,
See the note on chap. xxxi. 19. The loves, i. e., incentives to matrimonial connections: and Septuagint translate it ev tux», with good fortune; the it was probably on this account that Rachel desired Vulgate, feliciter, happily; but in all this diversity our them. The whole account however is very obscure. own translation may appear as probable as any, if not Verse 15. Thou hast tuken my husband] the genuine one, 72 xa ba gad, for the keri, or mar-pears probable that Rachel had found means to engross ginal reading, has it in two words, a troop cometh ; the whole of Jacob's affection and company, and that whereas the textual reading has it only in one, 773she now agreed to let him visit the tent of Leah, on bagad, with a troop. In the Bible published by account of receiving some of the fruits or plants which Becke, 1549, the word is translated as an exclamation, Reuben had found. Good luck!
Verse 16. I have hired thee) We may remark Verse 13.' And Leah said, Happy am 1] x among the Jewish women an intense desire of having beoshri, in my happiness, therefore she called his name children ; and it seems to have been produced, not from 108 asher, that is, blessedness or happiness.
any peculiar affection for children, but through the hope Verse 14. Reuben-found mandrakes] D'8719 of having a share in the blessing of Abraham, by bring. dudaim. What these were is utterly unknown, and ing forth Him in whom all the nations of the earth were learned men have wasted much time and pains in en- to be blessed. deavouring to guess out a probable meaning. Some Verse 18. God hath given me my hire) "Jó sechari, translate the word lilies, others jessamine, others citrons, And she called his name Issachar, 300". This word others mushrooms, others figs, and some think the word is compounded of two yesh, is, and 0 sachar, WAGES, means flowers, or fine flowers in general. Hasselquist, from 10 sachar, to content, satisfy, saturate; hence the intimate friend and pupil of Linné, who travelled / a satisfaction or compensation for work done, &c.
B. C. cir. 1755.
B. C. 1745.
Joseph is born unto Jacob.
CHAP. XXX. Jacob's agreement with Laban. A. M. cir. 2249. 19 And Leah conceived again, thou knowest my service which I A. M. 2259.
and bare Jacob the sixth son. have done thee. 20 And Leah said, God hath endued me 27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, with a good dowry; now will my husband if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry : dwell with me, because I have borne him six for * I have learned by experience that the sons : and she called his name y Zebulun.2 Lord hath blessed me 'for thy sake. A. M. cir. 2250. 21 And afterwards she bare a 28 And he said, m Appointme thy wages, B. C. cir. 1754.
daughter, and called her name and I will give it. a Dinah.
29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest A. M. cir. 2258. 22 And God remembered how I have served thee, and how thy cattle B. C. cir. 1746.
Rachel, and God hearkened to was with me. her, and opened her womb.
30 For it was little which thou hadst before A. M. 2259. 23 And she conceived, and bare I came, and it is now o increased unto a mulB. C. 1745.
a son; and said, God hath taken titude; and the Lord hath blessed thee P since away d my reproach:
my coming : and now, when shall I 4 provide 24 And she called his name e Joseph ; and for mine own house also ? said, The Lord shall add to me another son. 31 And he said, What shall I give thee?
25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any borne Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, thing; if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will 8 Send me away, that I may go unto h mine again feed and keep thy flock: own place, and to my country.
32 I will pass through all thy flock to-day, 26 Give me my wives and my children, i for removing from thence all the speckled and whom I have served thee, and let me go : for spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among
” That is, dwelling.- -- Called, Matthew iv. 13, Zabulon. xviii. 33 ; xxxi: 55.- - Chap. xxix. 20, 30.- -k Chapter xxxix. a That is, judgment.
6 Chap. viii. 1; 1 Sam. i. 19. Chap. | 3, 5. See chap. xxvi. 24. · Chap. xxix. 15. Chapter xxix. 31. • 1 Sam. i. 6; Isa. iv. 1 ; Luke i. 25. Le That is, xxxi. 6, 38, 39, 40, Matt. xxiv. 45; Tit. ii. 10.adding: Chap. xxxv. 17. -8 Chap. xxiv. 54, 56. -h Chap. forth ; ver. 43.
-P Heb. at my foot.- -91 Tim. v. 8. Verse 20. Now will my husband dwell with me) I came] Jacob takes advantage of the concession yar yizbelenı ; and she called his name Zebulun, made by his father-in-law, and asserts that it was for 71531, a dwelling or cohabitation, as she now expected his sake that the Lord had blessed him : Since my that Jacob would dwell with her, as he had before coming, -5275 leragli, according to my footsteps-every dwelt with Rachel.
step I took in thy service, God prospered to the mulVerse 21. And called her name Dinah.] 07399 dinah, tiplication of thy flocks and property. judgment. As Rachel had called her son by Bilhah When shall I provide for mine own house] Jacob DAN, ver. 6, so Leah calls her daughter DINAH, God had already laid his plan; and, from what is afterwards having judged and determined for her, as well as for mentioned, we find him using all his skill and experience her sister in the preceding instance.
to provide for his family by a rapid increase of his flocks. Verse 22. And God hearkened to her] After the Verse 32. I will pass through all thy flock] X3 severe reproof which Rachel had received from her hus- tson, implying, as we have before seen, all smaller band, ver. 2, it appears that she sought God by prayer, cattle, such as sheep, goats, &c. . and that he heard her; so that her prayer and faith ob- All the speckled and spotted cattle) 10 seh, which tained what her impatience and unbelief had prevented. we translate cattle, signifies the young either of sheep or
Verse 24. She called his name Joseph] 901 Yoseph, goats, what we call a lamb or a kid. Speckled, 7p3 nakod, adding, or he who adds; thereby prophetically declaring signifies interspersed with variously coloured' spots. that God would add unto her another son, which was Spotted ] tib9 talu, spotted with large spots, either accomplished in the birth of Benjamin, chap. xxxv. 18. of the same or different colours, from who tala, to patch,
Verse 25. Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away) to make party-coloured or patch-work ; see Ezek. xvi. Having now, as is generally conjectured, fulfilled the 16. I have never seen such sheep as are here defourleen years which he had engaged to serve for Leah scribed but in the islands of Zetland. There I have and Rachel. See ver. 26, and conclusion of chap. xxxi. seen the most beautiful brown, or fine chocolate colour
Verse 27. I have learned by experience] nens among the sheep; and several of the ring-streaked, nichashti, from und nachash, to view attentively, to spotted, speckled, and piebald among the same; and observe, to pry into. I have diligently considered the some of the latter description I have brought over, and whole of thy conduct, and marked the increase of my can exhibit a specimen of Jacob's flock brought from property, and find that the Lord hath blessed me for the North Seas, feeding in Middlesex. thy sake. For the meaning of the word und nachash, And all the brown] Din chum. I should rather see on chap. iii, 1, &c.
suppose this to signify a lively brown, as the root sig. Verse 30. For it was little which thou hadst before nifies to be warm or hot.
B. C. 1745.
Separation of the
differently coloured cattie. the sheep, and the spotted and that were ring-streaked and spotted, A. M. 2259
B. C. 1745. speckled among the goats: and and all the she-goats that were * of such shall be my hire.
speckled and spotted, and every one that had 33 So shall my righteousness answer for some white in it, and all the brown among the me in time to come, when it shall come for sheep, and gave them into the " hand of his sons. my hire before thy face : every one that is not 36 And he set three days' journey betwixt speckled and spotted among the goats, and himself and Jacob.: and Jacob fed the rest brown among the sheep, that shall be counted of Laban's flocks. stolen with me.
37 And Jacob took him rods of green pop34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it lar, and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and might be according to thy word.
pilled white streaks in them, and made the 35 And he removed that day the he-goats white appear which was in the rods.
Chap. xxxi. 8.
Psa. xxxvii. 6.
- Heb. 10-morrow ; Exod. xiii. 14.—Chap. xxxi. 9.
- See chap. xxxi. 9–12.
Verse 35. The he-goats that were ring-streaked) perplexed. From the whole account we learn that d'ipyo o'v'nn hatteyashim haakuddim, the he-goats Laban acted with great prudence and caution, and that had rings of black or other coloured hair around Jacob with great judgment. Jacob had already served their feet or legs.
fourteen years; and had got no patrimony whatever, It is extremely difficult to find out, from the 320 though he had now a family of twelve children, eleven and 35th verses, in what the bargain of Jacob with sons and one daughter, besides his two wives, and his father-in-law properly consisted. It appears from their two maids, and several servants. See ver. 43. verse 32, that Jacob was to have for his wages all the It was high time that he should get some property for speckled, spotted, and brown among the sheep and the these ; and as his father-in-law was excessively parsigoats ; and of course that all those which were not monious, and would scarcely allow him to live, he was party-coloured should be considered as the property in some sort obliged to make use of stratagem to get of Laban. But in verse 35. it appears that Laban an equivalent for his services. But did he not push separated all the party-coloured cattle, and delivered this so far as to ruin his father-in-law's flocks, leaving them into the hands of his own sons ; which seems as him nothing but the refuse? See ver. 42. if he had taken these for his own property, and left the Verse 37. Rods of green poplar] ns ogas libneh others to Jacob. It has been conjectured that Laban, lach. The libneh is generally understood to mean the for the greater security, when he had separated the white poplar; and the word lach, which is here joined party-coloured, which by the agreement belonged to to it, does not so much imply greenness of colour as Jacob, see verse 32, put them under the care of his being fresh, in opposition to witheredness. Had they own sons, while Jacob fed the flock of Laban, verse not been fresh—just cut off, he could not have pilled 36, three days' journey being between the two flocks. the bark from them. If therefore the flocks under the care of Laban's sons And of the hazel] 5 luz, the nut or filbert tree, brought forth young that were all of one colour, these translated by others the almond tree; which of the two were put to the flocks of Laban under the care of is here intended is not known. Jacob; and if any of the flocks under Jacob's care And chestnut tree] guw armon, the plane tree, brought forth party-coloured young, they were put to from ow aram, he was naked. The plane tree is the flocks belonging to Jacob under the care of Laban's properly called by this name, because of the outer sons. This conjecture is not satisfactory, and the true bark naturally peeling off, and leaving the tree bare meaning appears to be this : Jacob had agreed to take in various places, having smooth places where it has all the party-coloured for his wages. As he was now fallen off. A portion of this bark the plane tree loses only beginning to act upon this agreement, consequently every year. The Septuagint translate it in the same none of the cattle as yet belonged to him ; therefore way, Tharavos' and its name is supposed to be derived Laban separated from the flock, verse 35, all such from thatus, broad, on account of its broad spreading cattle as Jacob might afterwards claim in consequence branches, for which the plane tree is remarkable. So of his bargain, (for as yet he had no right ;) therefore we find the Grecian army in Homer, II. ii., ver. 307, Jacob commenced his serviee to Laban with a flock sacrificing kann úno mataviotw, under a beautiful that did not contain a single animal of the description plane tree. of those to which he might be entitled ; and the others VIRGIL, Geor. iv. 146, mentions, were sent away under the care of Laban's sons, three
-ministrantem platanum potantibus umbras. days' journey from those of which Jacob had the care.
The plane Iree yielding the convivial shade. The bargain, therefore, seemed to be wholly in favour
And PetroniUS ARBITER in Satyr. :of Laban; and to turn it to his own advantage, Jacob made use of the stratagems afterwards mentioned.
Nobilis æstivas platanus diffuderat umbras. This mode of interpretation removes all the apparent
“ The noble plane had spread its summer shade.” contradiction between the 32d and 35th verses, with See more in Parkhurst. Such a tree would be pecuwhich commentators in general have been grievously liarly acceptable in hot countries, because of its shade.
B. C. 1745.
B. C. 1745
By the stratagem of the rods CHAP. XXX.
Jacob gets all the best cattle. A. M. 2259. 39 And he set the rods which he selves, and put them not unto
not unto A. M. 2259. had pilled before the flocks in the Laban's cattle. gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks 41 And it came to pass, whensoever the came to drink, that they should conceive when stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid they came to drink.
the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gut39 And the flocks conceived before the ters, that they might conceive among the rods. rods, and brought w forth cattle ring-streaked, 42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put speckled, and spotted.
them not in : so the feebler were Laban's, and 40 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and the stronger Jacob's. set the faces of the flocks toward the ring- 43 And the man * increased exceedingly, and streaked, and all the brown in the flock of y had much cattle, and maid-servants, and menLaban; and he put his own flocks by them- servants, and camels, and asses. w Jer. xxvii. 5.- - Ver. 30.
y Chap. xiii. 2; xxiv. 35; xxvi. 13, 14. Pilled white streaks in them] Probably cutting the birth, as he renders the word mekushsharoth by tpwbark through in a spiral line, and taking it off in a cer- toyovol, cattle of the first or earliest birth. Now this tain breadth all round the rods, so that the rods would does not apply merely to two births from the same appear party-coloured, the white of the wood showing female in one year, which actually did take place itself where the bark was stripped off.
according to the rabbins, the first in Nisan, about our Verse 38. And he set the rods which he had pilled March, and the second in Tisri, about our September ; before the flocks] It has long been an opinion that but it more particularly refers to early and late lambs, whatever makes a strong impression on the mind of a &c., in the same year; as those that are born just at female in the time of conception and gestation, will the termination of winter, and in the very commencehave a corresponding influence on the mind or body ment of spring, are every way more valuable than of the fetus. This opinion is not yet rationally ac- those which were born later in the same spring. Jacob counted for. It is not necessary to look for a miracle therefore took good heed not to try his experiments here ; for though the fact has not been accounted for, with those late produced caltle, because he knew these it is nevertheless sufficiently plain that the effect does would produce a degenerate breed, but with the early net exceed the powers of nature; and I have no doubt | cattle, which were strong and vigorous, by which his that the same modes of trial used by Jacob would pro- breed must be improved. Hence the whole flock of duce the same results in similar caseš. The finger of Laban must be necessarily injured, while Jacob's flock God works in nature myriads of ways unknown to us; was preserved in a state of increasing perfection. All we see effects without end, of which no rational cause this proves a consummate knowledge in Jacob of his can be assigned : it has pleased God to work thus and pastoral office. If extensive breeders in this country thus, and this is all that we know; and God mercifully were to attend to the same plan, our breed would be hides the operations of his power from man in a variety improved in a most eminent degree., 'What a fund of of cases, that he may hide pride from him. Even with instruction upon almost every subject is to be found in the little we know, how apt are we to be puffed up! the sacred writings! We must adore God in a reverential silence on such Verse 43. And the man increased exceedingly] No subjects as these, confess our ignorance, and acknow wonder, when he used such means as the above. And ledge that nature is the instrument by which he chooses had maid-servants, and men-servants—he was obliged to work, and that he performs all things according to to increase these as his cattle multiplied. And camels the counsel of his own will, which is always infinitely and asses, to transport his tents, baggage, and family, wise and infinitely good.
from place to place, being obliged often to remove for Verse 40. Jacob did separate the lambs, fc.) When the benefit of pasturage. Jacob undertook the care of Laban's flock, according to the agreement already mentioned, there were no We have already seen many difficulties in this chapparty-coloured sheep or goats among them, therefore the ter, and strange incidents, for which we are not able ring-streaked, &c., mentioned in this verse, must have to account. 1. The vicarious bearing of children; been born since the agreement was made ; and Jacob 2. The nature and properties of the mandrakes ; 3. makes use of them precisely as he used the pilled rods, The bargain of Jacob and Laban; and 4. The business that, having these before their eyes during conception, of the party-coloured flocks produced by means of the the impression might be made upon their imagination females looking at the variegated rods. These, espewhich would lead to the results already mentioned. cially the three last, may be ranked among the most
Verse 41. Whensoever the stronger cattle did con- difficult things in this book. Without encumbering the ceive] The word nnapa mekushsharoth, which we page with quotations and opinions, I have given the translate stronger, is understood by several of the an- best sense I could ; and think it much better and safer cient interpreters as signifying the early, first-born, or to confess ignorance, than, under the semblance of early spring cattle ; and hence it is opposed to b'duy wisdom and learning, to multiply conjectures. Jacob atuphim, which we translate feeble, and which Symma- certainly manifested much address in the whole of his chus properly renders devtepoyovoi, cattle of the second conduct with Laban, but though nothing can excuse Jacob is envied by
Laban and his sons. overreaching or insincerity, yet no doubt Jacob sup- means by the goodness of the end at which she aimed ; posed himself justified in taking these advantages of a which in social, civil, and religious life, is the most man who had greatly injured and defrauded him. Had dangerous principle on which a person can possibly Jacob got Rachel at first, for whom he had honestly act. In this art she appears to have instructed her and faithfully served seven years, there is no evidence son; and, unfortunately for himself, he was in some whatever that he would have taken a second wife. instances but too apt a proficient. Early habits are Laban, by having imposed his eldest daughter upon not easily rooted out, especially those of a bad kind. him, and by obliging him to serve seven years for her Next to the influence and grace of the Spirit of God who never was an object of his affection, acted a part is a good and religious education. Parents should wholly foreign to every dictate of justice and honesty ; teach their children to despise and abhor low cunning, (for though it was a custom in that country not to give to fear a lie, and tremble at an oath ; and in order to the younger daughter in marriage before the elder, yet, be sucesssful, they should illustrate their precepts by as he did not mention this to Jacob, it cannot plead in their own regular and conscientious example. How far his excuse ;) therefore, speaking after the manner of God approved of the whole of Jacob's conduct I shall men, he had reason to expect that Jacob should repay not inquire ; it is certain that he attributes his success him in his own coin, and right himself by whatever to Divine interposition, and God himself censures Lameans came into his power; and many think that he ban's conduct towards him ; see chap. xxxi. 7–12. But did not transgress the bounds of justice, even in the still he appears to have proceeded farther than this inbusiness of the party-coloured cattle.
terposition authorized him to go, especially in the means The talent possessed by Jacob was a most danger- he used to improve his own breed, which necessarily ous one: he was what may be truly called a scheming led to the deterioration of Laban's cattle ; for, after man ; his wits were still at work, and as he devised so the transactions referred to above, these cattle could be he executed, being as fruitful in expedients as he was of but little worth. The whole account, with all its in plans. This was the principal and the most promi- lights and shades, I consider as another proof of the nent characteristic of his life; and whatever was ex- impartiality of the Divine historian, and a strong evicessive here was owing to his mother's tuition ; she dence of the authenticity of the Pentateuch. Neither was evidently a woman who paid little respect to what the spirit of deceit, nor the partiality of friendship, is called moral principle, and sanctified all kinds of I could ever pen such an account.
Laban and his sons envy Jacob, 1, 2; on which he is commanded by the Lord to return to his own country, 3.
Having called his wives together, he lays before them a detailed statement of his situation in reference to their father, 4-5; the services he had rendered him, 6; the various attempts made by Laban to defraud him of his hire, 7; how, by d's providence, his evil designs had been counteracted, 8–12; and then informs them that he is now called to return to his own country, 13. To the proposal of an immediate deparlure, Leah and Rachel agree ; and strengthen the propriety of the measure by additional reasons, 14-16 ; on which Jacob collects all his family, his flocks and his goods, and prepares for his departure, 17, 18. Laban having gone to shear his sheep, Rachel secretes his images, 19. Jacob and his family, unknown to Laban, take their departure, 20, 21. On the third day Laban is informed of their flight, 22; and pursues them to Mount Gilead, 23. God appears to Laban in a dream, and warns him not to molest Jacob, 24. He comes up with Jacob at Mount Gilead, 25 ; reproaches him with his clandestine departure, 26–29; and charges him with having stolen his gods, 30. Jacob vindicates himself, and protests his innocence in the matter of the theft, 31, 32. Laban makes a general search for his images in Jacob's, Leah's, Bilhah's, and Zilpah's tents; and not finding them, proceeds to examine Rachel's, 33. Rachel, having hidden them among the camel's furniture, sat upon them, 34; and making a delicate excuse for not rising up, Laban desists from farther search, 35. Jacob, ignorant of Rachel's theft, reproaches Laban for his suspicions, 36, 37; enumerates his long and faithful services, his fatigues, and Laban's injustice, 38-41; and shows that it was owing to God's goodness alone that he had any property, 42. Laban is moderated, and proposes a covenant, 43, 44, Jacob sets up a stone, and the rest bring stones and make a heap, which Laban calls Jegar-Sahadutha, and Jacob Galeed, 45-47. They make a covenant, and confirm it by an oath, 48-53. Jacob offers a sacrifice; they eat together; and Laban and his companions, having lodged
in the mount all night, take a friendly leave of Jacob and his family next morning, and depart, 54, 55. A. M. 2265.
A. 2265 B. C. 1739.
B. C. 1739. Laban's sons, saying, Jacob he gotten all this glory. hath taken away all that
all that was our father's; and 2 And Jacob beheld bthe countenance of
Chap. iv. 5.
and degeneracy of those of Laban, were sufficient Verse 1. And he heard the words of Laban's sons) to rouse the jealousy of Laban's sons. This, with The multiplication of Jacob's cattle, and the decrease Laban's unfair treatment, and the direction he re