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Jacob commanded to leave Laban.

CHAP. XXXI.

He consults with his wives.

2.

A. M. 2265. Laban, and, behold, it was not changed my wages *ten times; but A. M. 2265. B. C. 1739.

B. C. 1739. c toward him a as before.

God Isuffered him not to hurt me. 3 And the LORD said unto Jacob, • Return 8 If he said thus, * The speckled shall be unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kin- thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled dred; and I will be with thee.

and if he said thus, The ring-streaked shall be 4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and thy hire; then bare all the cattle ring-streaked. Leah to the field unto his flock,

9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of 5 And said unto them, I see your father's your father, and given them to me. countenance, that it is not toward me as be- 10 And it came to pass at the time that the fore; but the God of my father & hath been cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, with me.

and saw in a dream, and, behold, the orams 6 And ye know that with all my power I which leaped upon the cattle were ring-streaked, have served your father.

speckled, and grisled. 7. And your father hath deceived me, and 11 And P the angel of God spake unto me Deut. xxviii. 54. Heb. as yesterday and the day before ;

i Ver. 41.

Lk Num. xiv. 22; Neh. iv. 12; Job xix. 3; Zech. 1 Sam. xix. 7. Le Chap. xxviii. 15, 20, 21; xxxii. 9.- Ver. viii. 23. Chap. xx. 6; Psa. cv. 14. Chapter xxx. 32 - Ver. 3. Ch Ver. 38, 39, 40, 41; chap. xxx. 29.

n Ver. 1, 16. -Or, he-goats. —p Chap. xlviii. 16. ceived from God, determined him to return to his own held from him all the party-coloured lambs which had country.

been brought forth for five years, and because the ewes Hath he gotten all this glory.) All these riches, brought forth lambs twice in the year, bis gravidæ pethis wealth, or property. The original word 722 cudes, therefore the number ten is used, Jacob having signifies both to be rich and to be heavy; and been defrauded of his part of the produce of ten births. perhaps for this simple reason, that riches ever bring It is supposed that the Septuagint use lambs for years. with them heavy weight and burden of cares and as Virgil does aristas, anrieties. Verse 3. And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return

En unquam patrios longo post tempore fines, and I will be with thee.) I will take the same care of

Pauperis el tuguri congestus cespite culmen, thee in thy relurn, as I took of thee on thy way to

Post aliquot mea regna videns mirabor aristas? this place. The Targum reads, My WORD shall be

Virg. Ec. i., ver. 68. for thy help, see chap. xv. 1. A promise of this kind

Thus inadequately translated by DRYDEN :was essentially necessary for the encouragement of Jacob, especially at this time ; and no doubt it was a

O must the wretched exiles ever mourn ; powerful means of support to him through the whole

Nor, after length of rolling years, return ? journey; and it was particularly so when he heard that

Are we condemn'd by Fate's unjust decree, his brother was coming to meet him, with four hundred

No more our harvests and our homes to see? men in his retinue, chap. xxxii. 6. At that time he

Or shall we mount again the rural throng, went and pleaded the very words of this promise with

And rule the country, kingdoms once our oww? God, chap. xxxii. 9.

Here aristas, which signifies ears of corn, is put for Verse 4. Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah] harvest, harvest for autumn, and autumn for years. He had probably been at some considerable distance After all, it is most natural to suppose that Jacob uses with the flocks; and for the greater secrecy, he rather the word ten times for an indefinite number, which we sends for them to the field, to consult them on this most might safely translate frequently; and that it means an momentous affair, than visit them in their tents, where indefinite number in other parts of the sacred writings, probably some of the family of Laban might overhear is evident from Lev. xxvi. 26 : Ten women shall bake their conversation, though Laban himself was at the your bread in one oven. Eccles. vii. 19: Wisdom time three days' journey off. It is possible that Jacob strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men the shore his sheep at the same time; and that he sent for city. Num. xiv. 22 : Because all these men have his wives and household furniture to erect tents on the tempted me now these ten times. Job xix. 3: These spot, that they might partake of the festivities usual TEN times have ye reproached me. Zech. viii

. 23 : In on such occasions. Thus they might all depart with those days—ten men shall take hold of the skirt of out being suspected.

him that is a Jew. Rev. ii. 10 : Ye shall have tribuVerse 7. Changed my wages ten limes] There is a lation ten days. strange diversity among the ancient versions, and an- Verse 11. The angel of God spake unto me in a cient and modern interpreters, on the meaning of these dream] It is strange that we had not heard of this words. The Hebrew is D'ia nowy asereth monim, dream before ; and yet it seems to have taken place bewhich Aquila translates deka apkopovs, ten numbers's fore the cattle brought forth, immediately after the barSymmachus, dekakis aplovo, len times in number ; the gain between him and Laban. If we follow the saSeptuagint deka apvov, ten lambs, with which Origen maritan the difficulty is at once removed, for it gives appears to agree. St. Augustine thinks that by ten us the whole of this dream after verse 36 of the prelambs five years' wages is meant : that Laban had with-1 ceding chapter.

Jacob and his family

GENESIS.

steal away from Laban, 6. 4. 295. in a dream, saying, Jacob : and 1 16 For all the riches which God 8. 4. 255.

said 12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and is ours, and our children's: now then, what see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle soever God hath said unto thee, do. are ring-streaked, speckled, and grisled : for 17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and 9 I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. his wives upon camels ;

13 I am the God of Beth-el, 'where thou 18 And he carried away all his cattle, and anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst all his goods which he had gotten, (the cattle a vow unto me : now s arise, get thee out from of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanthis land, and return unto the land of thy aram,) for to go to Isaac his father in the land kindred.

of Canaan. 14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said 19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and unto him, * Is there yet any portion or inherit- Rachel had stolen the images w that were her ance for us in our father's house?

father's. 15 Are we not counted of him strangers ?

20 And Jacob stole away, for u he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that also our money.

he fled.

unawares to

9 Exod. iii. 7.

xxxu. 9.

Chap. xxviii. 18, 19, 20.--Ver. 3; chap. Heb. teraphim ; Judg. xvii. 5; 1 Sam. xix. 13; Hosea iii. 4.
- Chap. ii. 24.- Chap. xxix. 15, 27.

Chap. xxxv. 2. - Heb. the heart of Laban.

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Verse 12. Grisled) 0'772 beruddim ; 773 barad sig- the science of Laban the Syrian, that it might not nifies hail, and the meaning must be, they had white spots discover his departure.” on them similar to hail. Our word grisléd comes from If the word be derived from xon rapha, to heal or the old French, greslé, hail, now written grele ; hence restore, then the teraphim may be considered as a sort greslé, grisled, spotted with white upon a dark ground. of talismans, kept for the purpose of averting and curing

Verse 15. Are we not counted of him strangers ?] diseases ; and probably were kept by Laban for the same Rachel and Leah, who well knew the disposition of purpose that the Romans kept their lares and penales. their father, gave him here his true character. He It is however possible that d'on teraphim is the same has treated us as strangers—as slaves whom he had as D'IW seraphim, the n tau and ů sin being changed, a right to dispose of as he pleased; in consequence, which is very frequent in the Syrian or Chaldee lanhe hath sold us_disposed of us on the mere princi-guage; and we know that Laban was an Aramean or ple of gaining by the sale.

Syrian. Fire has been considered from the earliest And hath quite devoured also our money.) · Has ap- ages as a symbol of the Deity; and as the word seraplied to his own use the profits of the sale, and has phim comes from 918 saraph, to burn, it has been conallowed us neither portion nor inheritance.

jectured that the teraphim of Laban were luminous Verse 19. Laban went to shear his sheep] Laban had forms, prepared of burnished brass, &c., which he gone; and this was a favourable time not only to take his might imagine a proper medium of communication beimages, but to return to Canaan without being perceived. tween God and his worshippers. Mr. Parkhurst has

Rachel had stolen the images] d'orn teraphim. observed that the teraphim were in use among believers
What the teraphim were is utterly unknown. In ver. and unbelievers. Among the former, see this chapter;

See also
30 they are termed abs elohai, gods ; and to some it for he denies that Laban was an idolater.
appears very likely that they were a sort of images Judg. xvii

. 5 ; xviii. 14, 18, 20; 1 Sam. xix. 13, 16. devoted to superstitious purposes, not considered as

Among the latter, see 2 Kings xxiii. 24; Ezek. xxi. gods, but as representatives of certain Divine attributes. 21; Zech. x. 2. Compare 1 Sam. xv. 23, and Hos. Dr. Shuckford supposes them to be a sort of tiles, on ii. 4. These are all the places in which the original which the names or figures of their ancestors were en

word is found. graven. Theodoret, in his 89th question, calls them

The Persian translator seems to have considered udols; and says that. Rachel, who was a type of the these teraphim as tables or instruments that served for true Church, stole them from her father that he might purposes of judicial astrology, and hence translates the be delivered from idolatry. R. S. Jarchi gives nearly word let Xylaws asterlabha, astrolabes. As the astrothe same reason.

labe was an instrument with which they took the altiThe Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel gives a strange tude of the pole-star, the sun, &c., it might, in the turn to the whole passage. “And Rachel stole the notion of the Persian translator, imply tables, &c., by images of her father : for they had murdered a man, which the culminating of particular stars might be who was a first-born son ; and having cut off his head, determined, and the whole serve for purposes of judithey embalmed it with salt and spices, and they wrote cial astrology. Now as many who have professed divinations upon a plate of gold, and put it under his themselves to be believers in Christianity, have nevertongue ; and placed it against the wall, and it conversed theless addicted themselves to judicial astrology, we with them, and Laban worshipped it. And Jacob stole might suppose such a thing in this case, and still con

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Laban and his friends pursue, and CHAP. XXXI. overtake them at Mount Gilead.

21 So he fled with all that he awares to me, and d carried away A. M. 2265. B. C. 1739.

had ; and he rose up, and passed my daughters, as captives taken over the river, and y set his face toward the with the sword? mount Gilead.

27 Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, 22 And it was told Laban on the third day and steal away from me; and didst not tell that Jacob was fled.

me, that I might have sent thee away with 23 And he took z his brethren with him, and mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with pursued after him seven days' journey; and harp? they overtook him in the mount Gilead. 28 And hast not suffered me fto kiss my

24 And God 4 came to Laban the Syrian in sons and my daughters ? 8 thou hast now done a dream by night, and said unto him, Take foolishly in so doing. heed that thou speak not to Jacob either 29 It is in the power of my hand to do you good or bad.

hurt: but the God of your father spake unto 25 Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Ja- me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that cob had pitched his tent in the mount: and thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount 30 And now, though thou wouldest needs be of Gilead.

gone, because thou sore longedst after thy 26 And Laban said to Jacob, What hast father's house, yet wherefore hast thou k stolen thou done, that thou hast stolen away un- my gods?

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Chap. xlvi. 28; 2 Kings xii:17; Luke ix. 51, 53.

e Heb. hast stolen me.Ver. 55; Ruth i. 9,14; 1 Kings xix. xiii. 8.->Chap. xx. 3 ; Job xxxiii. 15 ; Matt. i. 20. — Ch. 20; Acts xx. 37. € 1 Sam. xii. 13; 2 Chron. xvi. 9.

<h Ver. Ixiv. 50.- Heb. from good to bad.- d1 Sam. Xxx. 2. 53; chap. xxviii. 13.-i Ver. 24. k Ver. 19; Judg. xviii. 24.

sider Laban as no idolater. If the Persian translator attended to, how many of those affairs of honour, so has not hit on the true meaning, he has formed the termed, which commence with, “I hope you are well" most likely conjecture.

-"I am infinitely glad to see you"-"I am happy Verse 21. Passed over the river] The Euphrates, to see you well,” &c., and end with small swords and as the Targum properly notices. But how could he pistol bullets, would be prevented! Where God and pass such a river with his flocks, &c. ? This difficulty true religion act, all is fair, kind, honest, and upright; does not seem to have struck critics in general. The but where these are not consulted, all is hollow, deceitrabbins felt it, and assert that God wrought a miracle ful, or malicious. Beware of unmeaning compliments, for Jacob on this occasion, and that he passed over dry and particularly of saying what thy heart feels not. shod. As we know not in what other way he could God hates a hypocrite and a deceiver. pass, it is prudent to refer it to the power of God, Verse 27. I might have sent thee away with mirth] which accompanied him through the whole of his jour- anava besimchah, with rejoicing, making a feast or ney. There might, however, have been fords well entertainment on the occasion; and with songs, O'VI known to both Jacob and Laban, by which they might beshirim, odes either in the praise of God, or to comreadily pass.

memorate the splendid acts of their ancestors; with The mount Gilead.) What the ancient name of this tabret, qna bethoph, the tympanum used in the east mountain was, we know not; but it is likely that it to the present day, and there called cis diff, a thin had not the name of Gilead till after the transaction broad wooden hoop, with parchment extended over one mentioned ver. 47. The mountains of Gilead were end of it, to which are attached small pieces of brass, eastward of the country possessed by the tribes of tin, &c., which make a jingling noise ; it is held in Reuben and Gad; and extended from Mount Hermon the air with one hand, and beat on with the fingers of to the mountains of Moab.—Calmet. It is joined to the other. It appears to have been precisely the Mount Libanus, and includes the mountainous region same with that which is called the tambourine, and called in the New Testament Trachonitis.--Dodd. which is frequently to be met with in our streets. And

Verse 24. And God came to Laban] God's cau- with harp, ia bekinnor, a sort of stringed instrution to Laban was of high importance to Jacob-Take ment, a lute or harp; probably the same as the Greek heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad; Kivupa kinura, a harp ; the name being evidently boror rather, as is the literal meaning of the Hebrew, rowed from the Hebrew. These four things seem to yn w dion mittob ad ra, from good to evil; for had include all that was used in those primitive times, as he neither spoken good nor evil to Jacob, they could expressive of gladness and satisfaction on the most have had no intercourse at all. The original is, there- joyous occasions, fore, peculiarly appropriate ; for when people meet, Verse 29. It is in the power of my hand to do you the language at first is the language of friendship; the hurt]. Literally, My hand is unto God to do you evil, command therefore implies, “ Do not begin with Peace i. e., I have vowed to God that I will punish thee for be unto thee, and then proceed to injurious language thy flight, and the stealing of my teraphim; but the and acts of violence.” If this Divine direction were God of your father has prevented me from doing it.

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Laban searches for his images.

GENESIS.

Jacob chides with him. 31 And Jacob answered and said fore thee; for the custom of women A. M. 2265.

to Laban, Because I was afraid : is upon me. And he searched, but for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take found not the images. by force thy daughters from me.

36 And Jacob was wroth, and chode with 32 With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, Laban: and Jacob answered and said to I let him not live : before our brethren discern Laban, What is my trespass ? what is my sin, thou what is thine with me, and take it to that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had 37 Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, stolen them.

what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? 33 And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and set it here before my brethren and thy bre into Leah's tent, and into the two maid-ser- thren, that they may judge betwixt us both. vants' tents; but he found them not. Then 38 This twenty years have I been with thee; went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into thy ewes and thy she-goats have not cast Rachel's tent.

their young, and the rams of thy flock have I 34 Now Rachel had taken the images, and not eaten. put them in the camel's furniture, and sat 39 • That which was torn of beasts I brought

And Laban m searched all the not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of P my tent, but found them not.

hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by 35 And she said to her father, Let it not day, or stolen by night. displease my lord that I cannot rise up

be- 40 Thus I was; in the day the drought

*G

at 39

upon them.

1 See chap. xliv. 9.

Heb. felt.

- Exod. xx. 12; Lev. xix. 32.

L. Exod. xxii. 10, &c.

-P Exod. xxii. 12.

It is a singular instance that the plural pronoun, when by his services. He had served him at least twenty addressing an individual, should be twice used in this years, fourteen for Rachel and Leah, and six for the place—the God of your father, Dmax abichem, for cattle ; and some suppose he had served him twenty T'as abicha, thy father.

years besides the above, which is not unlikely : see the Verse 32. Let him not live) It appears that an- remarks at the conclusion of this chapter. Forty or ciently theft was punished by death ; and we know that even twenty years of a man's life, devoted to incessant the patriarchs had the power of life and death in their labour and constantly exposed to all the inclemencies hands. But previously to the law, the punishment of of the weather, (see ver. 40,) deserve more than an death was scarcely ever inflicted but for murder. The ordinary reward. Laban's constitutional sio was covelrabbins consider that this was an imprecation used by ousness, and it was an easily besetting sin; for it apJacob, as if he had said, Let God take away the life pears to have governed all his conduct, and to have of the person who has stolen them! And that this rendered him regardless of the interests of his chilwas answered shortly after in the death of Rachel, dren, so long as he could secure his own. That he had chap. xxxv.

frequently falsified his agreement with Jacob, though Verse 35. The custom of women is upon me.) This the particulars are not specified, we have already had she knew must be a satisfactory reason to her father ; reason to conjecture from ver. 7, and with this Jacob for if the teraphim were used to any religious purpose, charges his father-in-law, in the most positive manner, and they seem to have been used in this way, as La- ver. 41. Perhaps some previous unfair transactions ban calls them his gods, he therefore could not suspect of this kind were the cause why Jacob was led to adopt that a woman in such a situation, whose touch was con- the expedient of outwilling Laban in the case of the spotsidered as defiling, would have sat upon articles that led, spangled, ring-streaked, and grisled cattle. This were either the objects of his adoration, or used for if it did take place, though it cannot justify the measure, any sacred purpose. The stratagem succeeded to her is some palliation of it; and almost the whole of Jacob's wish, and Laban departed without suspicion. It seems conduct, as far as relates to Laban, can be better exvery natural to suppose that Rachel did believe that cused than his injuring Laban's breed, by leaving him by the use of these teraphim Laban could find out their none but the weak, unhealthy, and degenerated cattle. flight, and the direction they took, and therefore she Verse 39. That which was torn-of my hand didst stole them; and having stolen them she was afraid to thou require il] This more particularly marks the acknowledge the theft, and probably might think that covetous and rigorous disposition of Laban ; for the they might be of some use to herself. Therefore, for law of God required that what had been torn by beasts these reasons, she brought them away.

the shepherd should not be obliged to make good, Exod. Verse 36. And Jacob was wroth, and chode with xxii. 10, 13. And it is very likely that this law was Laban] The expostulation of Jacob with Laban, and in force from the earliest times. their consequent agreement, are told in this place with Verse 40. In the day the drought consumed me, and great spirit and dignity. Jacob was conscious that the frost by night] The being exposed to the heat by though he had made use of cunning to increase his day, and frost by night, is made part of the heaviest flocks, yet Laban had been on the whole a great gainer punishment of Prometheus by Æschylus.

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B. C. 1739.

mine eyes.

Jacob expostulates with Laban. CHAP. XXXI.

They set up a monument.
A. M. 2265. consumed me, and the frost by | 44 Now therefore, come thou, w let A. M. 2265.
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night; and my sleep departed from us make a covenant, I and thou ;

*and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy 45 And Jacob Ytook a stone, and set it up
house; I 9 served thee fourteen years for thy for a pillar.
two daughters, and six years for thy cattle : 46 And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather
and 'thou hast changed my wages ten times. stones; and they took stones, and made a

42 • Except the God of my father, the God heap: and they did eat there upon the heap. of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been 47 And Laban called it z Jegar-sahadutha · with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now but Jacob called it - Galeed. -empty. u God hath seen mine affliction and 48 And Laban said, • This heap is a witness the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee between me and thee this day. Therefore yesternight.

was the name of it called Galeed, 43 And Laban answered and said unto Ja- 49 And · Mizpah ; a for he said, The LORD cob, These daughters are my daughters, and watch between me and thee, when we are abthese children are my children, and these cat- sent one from another. tle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is 50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if mine : and what can I do this day unto these thou shalt take other wives beside my daughmy daughters, or unto their children which ters, (no man is with us ;) see, God is witness they have born?

betwixt me and thee.

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-Σταθευτος δ' ήλιου φοιβη φλογι,

second puré Hebrew.: 728 agar signifies to collect, Χροιας αμειψεις ανθος" ασμενω δε σου

hence 42' yegar and 2018 ogar, a collection or heap ποικιλειμων νυξ αποκρυψει φαος"

made up of gathered stones ; and hence also xux Παχνην θ έραν ήλιος σκεδα παλιν.

egora, an altar, used frequently by the Chaldee paraÆschyl. Prom. Vinc., v. 22. phrast. See 1 Kings xii. 33 ; Judg. vi. 31; 2 Kings

xxi. 3 ; Jer. xvii. 1. See Castel's Lexicon. From Opposed to the sun's most fervid beam, The hue of beauty changed; till parch'd by heat

this example we may infer that the Chaldee language The night with spangled stole shall hide its light

was nearly coeval with the Hebrew. A gloss made

by St. Jerome, and which was probably only entered From thee rejoicing, but again the sun

by him in his margin as a note, has crept into the text Chases the hoar frost from thy harass'd form.

J. B. B. C.

of the Vulgate. It is found in every copy of this

version, and is as follows: Uterque juxta proprietaVerse 41. Twenty years) See the remarks at the end. tem linguæ suæ, Eąch according to the idiom.of his

Verse 42. The fear of Isaac] It is strange that own tongue. Jacob should say, the God of Abraham and the FEAR Verses 48, 49. I think these two'verses are badly of Isaac, when both words are meant of the same Be- divided, and should be read thus :ing. The reason perhaps was this; Abraham was long Verse 48. And Laban said, This heap is a witness since dead, and God was his unalienable portion for between me and thee this day. ever. Isaac was yet alive in a state of probation, liv- Verse 49. Therefore was the name of it called Gaing in the fear of God, not exempt from the danger of leed and Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between falling ; therefore God is said to be his fear—not only me and thee, when we are absent one from another. the object of his religious worship in a general way, Mizpah] 1982 mitspah signifies a watch-tower; but that holy and just God before whom he was still and Laban supposes that in consequence of the conseworking out his salvation with fear and trembling-—-fear cration of the place, and the covenant now solemnly lest he should fall, and trembling lest he should offend. made and ratified, that God would take possession of : Verse 46. Made a heap] 97 gal, translated heap, this heap, and stand on it as on a watch-tower, to presignifies properly a round heap; and this heap was vent either of them from trenching on the conditions probably made for the double purpose of an altar and of their covenant. a table, and Jacob's stone or pillar was set on it for the Verse 50. No man is with us] Though all were purpose of a memorial.

present at the sacrifice offered, yet it appears that in Verse 47. Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha] 4 making the contract Jacob and Laban withdrew, and enigne yegar sahadutha, the heap or round heap of transacted the business in private, calling on God to witness; but Jacob called it Thi galed, which signi- witness it. fies the same thing. The first is pure Chaldee, the Jacob had already four wives; but Laban feared that VOL. J. ( 14 )

193

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