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B. C. 1739.
B. C. 1739.
Laban and Jacob part
in a friendly manner. A. M. 2265. 51 And Laban said to Jacob, twixt us. And Jacob
sware by A. M. 2265. Behold this heap, and behold this the fear of his father Isaac. pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and 54 Then Jacob b offered sacrifice upon the thee;
mount, and called his brethren to eat bread : 52 This heap be witness, and this pillar be and they did eat bread, and tarried all night witness, that I will not pass over this heap to in the mount. thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this 55 And early in the morning Laban rose up, heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. and kissed his sons and his daughters, and
53 The God of Abraham, and the God of i blessed them: and Laban departed, and kre Nahor, the God of their father, e judge be- turned unto his place.
Chap. xvi. 5. - Chap. xxi. 23. - Ver. 42. - Or, killed beasts. i Chap. xxviii. I. * Chap. xviii. 33; xxx. 25.
he might take others, whose children would naturally them—prayed heartily for their prosperity, though we come in for a share of the inheritance to the prejudice find from ver. 29 that he came having bound himself of his daughters and grandchildren. Though the Ko- by a vow to God to do them some injury. Thus God ran allows a man to have four wives if he.can main- turned his intended curse into a blessing. tain them, yet we learn that in many cases where a man takes a wife, the parents, or relatives of the The most important topics in this chapter have woman stipulate that the man is not to take another already been considered in the notes, and to those the during the lifetime of that one whom he now espouses; reader is referred. Jacob's character we have already and notwithstanding the permission of the Koran, he seen, and hitherto have met in it little to admire ; but is obliged to fulfil this agreement.
we shall soon find a blessed change both in his mind Verse 51. And Laban said to Jacob-behold this and in his conduct. Laban's character appears in pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee] · But almost every instance to disadvantage ; he does not this pillar, not cast but set up, was certainly set up by seem to be what we commonly term a wicked man, Jacob; for in ver. 45 we rèad, And Jacob took a stone, but he was certainly both weak and covetous ; and and-set it up for a pillar: it is therefore for the honour covetousness extinguished in him, as it does in all its of one Hebrew and one Samaritan MS. that they have votaries, the principles of righteousness and benevopreserved the true reading in ver. 51, nefy yaritha, lence, and the very charities of human life. Provided Thou hast set up.-Kennicott. Instead of either of he could get an increase of property, he regarded not the above readings the Samaritan text has Adam who was wronged or who suffered. In this case he yarata, The pillar which thou seest betwixt me and thee. hid himself even from his own bowels, and cared not
Verse 53. The God of their father) As Laban cer- that his own children should lack even the necessaries tainly speaks of the true God here, with what propriety of life, provided he could increase his own store! How can he say that this God was the God of Terah, the watchful should we be against this destructive,' unfather of Abraham and Nahor? It is certain that Teráh natural, and degrading vice! It is impossible for a was an idolater ; of this we have the most positive man who loves money to love either God or man; and proof, Josh. xxiv. 2. Because the clause is not in the consequently he must be in the broad way that leads Septuagint, and is besides wanting in some MSS., Dr. to destruction. Kennicott considers it an interpolation.
But there is For the difficulties in the chronology of Jacob's no need of having recourse to this expedient if we sojourning in Padan-aram, I beg leave 'to refer to the adopt the reading. DJ'Ix.abichem, your father, for following remarks. Diox abihem, their father, which is supported by Remarks upon Gen. xxxi.' 38, &c., relative to the several of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., and is precisely the same, form made use of by Laban, ver.
time spent by Jacob in the service of his father-in29, when addressing Jacob, and appears to me to be
law Laban, in Mesopotamia ; from Dr. Kennicott. used here in the same way; for he there most mani- “If every reading which introduces but a single festly uses the plural pronoun, whea speaking only to difficulty demands our attention, much greater must Jacob himself. It is therefore to be considered as a that demand be when several difficulties are caused by form of speech peculiar to Laban; at least we have any one mistake, or any one mistranslation of this two instances of his use of it in this chapter.
nature is the passage before us, which therefore shall Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.] See be here considered more fully, especially as I have on ver. 42.
not already submitted to the learned any remarks upon Verse 54. Offered sacrifice upon the mount] It is this subject. Jacob's age, at the time of his going to very likely that Laban joined in this solemn religious Laban, has (till very lately) been fixed, perhaps unirite, and that, having offered the blood and fat to God, versally, at seventy-seven years. But I think it has they feasted upon the sacrifice.
; been shown by the learned Mr. Skinner, in an excelVerse 55. Kissed his sons and his daughters] That lent dissertation, (4to. 1765,) that the number seventyis, his grandchildren, Jacob's eleven sons with Dinah seven cannot here be right. their sister, and their mothers Leah and Rachel. AH “Jacob was one hundred and thirty when he went these he calls his children, ver. 43. And blessed down (with sixty-six persons) into. Egypt. Joseph 194
f 14* )
Reasons to prove that Jacob CHAP. XXXI. was with Laban forty years. had then been governor ten years; and when made his resentment; and had the death of Esau happened, governor was thirty; therefore Jacob could not be Jacob would then have been secure. But let us also more than ninety at the birth of Joseph. Now, upon remember that Isaac was still alive, and that Esau had supposition that Jacob was seventy-seven at going to determined to kill Jacob whenever their father should Laban, and that he had no son till he was eighty-five, die. It would therefore be no wonder if Jacob should and that he, with eleven sons, left Laban at ninely- have desired to continue" longer in Haran. And to seven, there will follow these amongst other strange carry this point more effectually, he might offer to take consequences which are enumerated by Mr. Skinner, care of Laban's cattle, and to live in his neighbourhood, page 11, &c. : 1. Though Isaac and Esau married at upon such terms of advantage to Laban as could not forty, Jacob goes at seventy-seven to look for a wife, easily be withstood. Lastly, when the good effects and agrees to marry her seven years after. 2. Issa- to Laban from this connection had been experienced, char is born after the affair of the mandrakes, which without profit, nay with some losses, to Jacob, for Reuben finds and brings home when he (Reuben) was twenty years, Jacob might naturally grow tired of thus about four years old ; that is, 'if Issachar was born assisting Laban without providing for his own growing before Joseph, agreeably to Gen. xxx. 18, 25. 3. Ju- family. Accordingly we find that Jacob covenants dah begets Er at thirteen ; for in the first of the fol- with Laban for six years of more close attendance and lowing tables Judah is born in Jacob's year eighty- service in Laban's own house, for which the wages eight, and Er in one hundred, and two. 4. Er marries were expressly settled. : Agreeable. to the preceding at nine, and is destroyed for profligacy. Er, born one possibilities seems to have been the fact, Jacob living hundred and two, marries in one hundred and eleven. in Haran forty years, and in this manner :See also Gen: xxxviii. 7. 5. Onan marries at eight; 14 years in Lában's house, a covenant servant for his for Onan, born in one hundred and three, marries in
wives. one hundred and eleven. 6. Shelah, being grown at 20 in Laban's neighbourhood, as a friend. ten, ought to be married ; for Shelah, born in one 6 in Laban's house, a covenant servant for cattle. hundred and four, is marriageable, but not married to Tamar in one hundred and fourteen. See Gen. xxxviii. 40 14. 7. Pharez kept from marrying while young, yet “ Now the twenty concurrent years of neighbourly has a son at thirteen ; for Pharez, born in one hundred assistance, and the disjointed twenty of covenant serand fifteen, had two sons at going to Egypt in one | vice, seem both of them distinguished in the history hundred and thirty. 6. Esau goes to Ishmael and itself. For upon Laban's "pursuit of Jacob he menmarries his daughter, after Jacob went to Laban at tions twenty years twice ; which two sets of twenty, seventy-seven ; though. Ishmael died when Jacob was if really different, make forty. Each mention of the sixty-three. 9. If Jacob had no son till he was eighty- twenty years is introduced with the word ni zeh, which fwe, and if Joseph was born when his father was word, when repeated, is used by way of distinction ; ninety, then the eleven şons and Dinah were born in as when we say, this and that, the one or the other.
five years. Lastly, if Jacob had no son till eighly-five, Thus, Exod. xiv. 20 : So that the one came not near and he went to Egypt at one hundred and thirty, with the other., Eccles. vị: 5: This hath more rest than the sixty-six persons, only forty-five years are allowed for other. And with the two words at a great distance, his family; whereas the larger sum of sixty-five years Job xxi. 23: One dieth ; ver. 25; and another dieth, seems necessary for the births of so many children and &c. So here, in Gen. xxxi. 38, Jacab says to Lagrandchildren.
, nounced, Hisce rebus accurrunt nodi, quos nemo immach, during the one set of twenty years I was with hactenus solvit; neque porro, ut opinor, solvet. There thee, fc.; meaning the time in which he lived, not in are difficulties here which have never been explained, Laban's house, but in his neighbourhood ; not as a and in my opinion never can be explained. But upon servant, but a friend ; after he had served in Laban's the single principle of Mr. Skinner, that Jacob went to house fourteen years for his daughters, and before he Laban at fifty-seven, (instead of seventy-seven,) these served six years for his cattle. But then, as to the difficulties are solved. And it only remains to wish other twenty, he tells Laban, at verse 41, varying, the that some authority may be found to support this con- phrase very remarkably, 7'073877'3a normy inne jecture, thus strongly founded on the exigentia loci. zeh li esrim shanah bebeithecha abadticha, during the The common opinion is formed by reckoning back other twenty years ('5 li) FOR MYSELF (for my own from the age of Joseph, when governor of Egypt, to benefit) in THY HOUSE ;. I served thee fourteen years, the time of his birth, and from the twenty years which and six years, fc. And during this last period, though Jacob was with Laban. This number, Mr. Skinner only six years, he charges Laban with changing his thinks, was originally forty; and I think that the He- wages ten times. So that Jacob. insists upon having brew text as it now stands confirms the conjecture, and well earned his wages through the twenty years when furnishes the very authority which is so much wanted. he served for hire ; but he makes a far greater merit
“ After Jacob had served Laban fourteen years for of having, for another twenty years, assisted him with- his two wives, where was Jacob to reside ? Esau was out wages, and even with some losses; and therefore, still living; and Jacob might well be afraid of return- with particular propriety, he reminds Laban of that set ing to him, till more years of absence had disarmed 1 of twenty years in the first place.
zeh esrim shanah anochs זה עשרים שנה אנכי עמן ,On this subject Le Clere has pro
Reasons to prove that Jacob
was with Laban forty years. The following Tables, taken chiefly from Mr. Skinner, will greatly elucidate the true chronology of Jacob,
TABLE 1.-On Jacob's being at Haran only twenty years. O Jacob (and Esau) born. 40 Esau marries two wives, Hittites
Gen. xxvi. 34. 63 Ishmael dies, aged 137
Gen. xxv. 17. 77 Jacob goes to Haran. 84 marries Leah and Rachel
Gen. xxix. 20, 21, 27, 28. 85 REUBEN born of Leah 86 SIMEON do..
Gen. xxix. 32-35. 87 LEVI
do. 88 JUDAH
Gen. XXX. 6-24.
ZEBULUN and Dinah do.
Er born,-103 Onan,—104 Shelah. 106 Shechemites destroyed by Simeon and Levi. 107 BENJAMIN is born, and Rachel dies. 108 Joseph sold when seventeen :
Gen. xxxvi. 2. 111 Tamar married to Er, and immediately afterwards to Onan. 114 Tamar's incest with Judah. 115 Pharez and Zarah born to Judah.' 120 Isaac dies, aged 180 ;..
Gen. XXXV. 28. 121 Joseph is made governor of Egypt
Gen. xli. 46, 130 Jacob goes into Egypt
Gen. xlvii, 9. 147 and dies
do. 28; and xlix. 33. TABLE II.-On Jacob's being at Haran forty years. 0 Jacob (and Esau) born. 40 Esau marries two wives, Hittites
Gen. xxvi. 34. 57 Jacob.goes to Haran. 58 Esau goes to Ishmael, and marries his daughter
Gen. xxviii. 9. 63 Ishmael dies, aged 137
• Gen. xxv. 17. 64 Jacob, marries Leah and Rachel
Gen. xxix. 20, 21, 27, 28. 65 Reuben born of Leah Simeon do.
Gen. xxix. 32-35. 67 Levi
Rachel, not bearing, gives Bilhah
Leah, not bearing, gives Zilpah 72 Gad born of Zilpah
Gen. x, 6-24. 74 Asher do. 78
Reuben at 13 finds the mandrakes 79 Issachar born of Leah 81
Zebulun do. 82 Dinah 86 Judah at 18 marries Shuah's daughter.** 87
Er born, -88 Onan,–89 Shelah. 91 Joseph born of Rachel. 6
years' service for cattle. 97 Jacob comes from Haran to Succoth and Shalem.
Dinah defiled, and the Shechemites destroyed.
Benjamin is born, and Rachel dies. 103 Beriah, fourth son of Asher, born.
* Not placed in order of time, Gen. xxxvii.
14 years' service.
20 years' assist.
Jacob is met by the angels
of God at Mahanaim.
Tamar married to Er-106 to Onan. 108 Joseph, at seventeen, is carried into Egypt 109
Shelah, at twenty, not given to Tamar. 110
Pharez and Zarah born of Tamar, by Judah. 120 Isaac dies, aged 180 121 Joseph, at thirty, governor of Egypt 123
Beriah, at twenty, marries. 125
Heber—127 Malchiel-born to Beriah. 128
Pharez, at eighteen, marries. 129
Hezron-130 Hamul-born to Pharez. 130 Benjamin, at thirty-two, has ten sons.
Jacob goes to Egypt 147
· and dies
Gen. xlvii. 9.
do. 28; and xlix. 33.
« Our translation now is, xxxi. 38 : THIS TWENTY “ It must not be omitted that Archbishop Usher and YEARS HAVE I been WITH THEE; thy ewes and thy she- Bishop Lloyd ascribe sons to Jacob very soon after his goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy coming to Laban; nay, assert that he was married al
flock have I not eaten. 39. That which was lorn of most as soon as he came to Haran, instead of waiting beasts I brought not unlo thee; I bare the loss of it; seven years, as he most evidently did. And Mr. Jackof my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day son allows that some of the sons of Benjamin, who or stolen by night. 40. Thus I was; in the day the are expressly numbered as going into Egypt with Jadrought consumed and the frost by night; and my cob, might be born in Egypt ! From such distresses, sleep.departed from mine eyes. 41. THUG HAVE I BEEN and such contradictions, does the distinction of two sets TWENTY YEARS IN THY HOUSE : I served thee fourteen of twenty years happily deliver us.” years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle ; and thou hast changed my wages ten times.
Hoc temporis intervallo riemo concipere poterit tot res " The alteration here recommended is this, chap. contingere potuisse.
SPINOSA. xxxi. 38: DURING THE ONE TWENTY YEARS I WAS WITH
In such a short space of time, it is impossible that THEE; thy ewes and thy she-goats have not cast their so many transactions could have taken place. young, and the rams, fc., fc. 41. DURING THE OTHER TWENTY YEARS FOR MYSELF, IN THY HOUSE, I served, fc. I shall leave this subject with chronologers and The same distinction is expressed in chap. xxx. 29 : critics, and shall not attempt to decide on either opinion. Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cal- That of Dr. Kennicott I think the most likely, and to tle was with me; i. e., how I behaved during the time it I have adapted the chronology in those cases to I was with thee as thy 'servant, and how thy cattle which it relates; but there are difficulties in both cases. fared during the time they were with me as thy friend. See the note on chap. xxxviii. 1.
CHAPTER XXXII. Jacob, proceeding on his journey, is met by the angels of God, 1, 2. Sends messengers before him to his
brother Esau, requesting to be favourably received, 3–5. The messengers relurn without an answer, but with the intelligence thai Esau, with four hundred men, was coming to meet Jacob, 6. He is greatly alarmed, and adopts prudent means for the safety of himself and family, 7, 8. His affecting prayer to God, 9-12. Prepares a present of five droves of different cattle for his brother, 13–15. Sends them forward before him, al a certain distance from each other, and instructs the drivers what to say when met by Esau, 15-20. Sends his wives, servants, children and baggage, over the brook Jabboş, by night, 21-23. Himself stays behind, and wrestles with an angel until the break of day, 24. He prevails and gets a new name, 25-29.
Calls the name of the place Peniel, 30. Is lame in his thigh in consequence of his wrestling with the angel, 31; 32. AM: 2265. AND Jacob went on his way,
2 And when Jacob, saw them, he A. M. 2265.
B. C. 1739. and * the angels of God said, This is God's host: and he met him.
called the name of that place · Mahanaim. a Psa. xci. N ; Heb. i. 14.- b Josh. v. 14; Psa. ciii. 21 ; cxlviii. 2; Luke ii. 13. That is, two hosts or camps. NOTES ON CHAP. XXXII.
employ, is nearly of the same import ; and hence we Verse 1. The angels of God met him.] Our word may see the propriety of St. Augustine's remark : No. angel comes from the Greek ayyełos, angelos, which men non naturæ sed officii, “ It is a name, not of literally signifies a messenger; or, as translated in some nature, but of office ;” and hence it is applied indifof our old Bibles, a tidings-bringer. The Hebrew ferently to a human agent or messenger, 2 Sam. ii. word 7859 malach, from 785 laach, to send, minister to, 5; to a prophet, Hag. i. 13; to a priest, Mal
Jacob sends messengers to Esau. GENESIS.
Esau comes to meet him. A. M. 2265. 3 And Jacob sent messengers 5 And h I have oxen, and asses, A. M. 2265. B. C. 1739.
B. C. 1739. before him to Esau his brother, flocks, and men-servants,
and unto the land of Seir, the f country of women-servants : and I have sent to tell my Edom.
lord, that I may find grace in thy sight. 4 And he commanded them, saying, Thus 6 And the messengers returned 10 Jacob, shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy ser- saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and vant Jacob saith thus : I have sojourned with also k he cometh to meet thee, and four hunLaban, and stayed there until now :
dred men with him.. a Chap. xxxiii. 14, 16.- Chapter xxxvi. 6, 7, 8; Deut. ii. 5. 6 Prov. xv. 1. Chapter xxx. 43 Clupter xxxiii. 8, 15. Josh. xxiv. 4. * Heb. field.
k Chap. xxxiii. do ii. 7; to celestial spirits, Psa. ciii. 19, 20, 22 ; among Jews and Christians, and perhaps most among civ. 4.
the latter. Angels with feigned names, litles, and in“We often,” says Mr. Parkhurst, “read of the harbo fluences, have been and still are invoked and worship77179 malach Yehovah, or 75x9x59 malakey Elohim, ped by a certain class of men; because they have found the angel of Jehovah, or the angels of God, that is, his that God has been pleased to employ them to minister agent, personator, mean of visibility or action, what to mankind ;, and hence they have made supplications was employed by God to render himself visible and to them to extend their protection, to shield, defend, approachable by flesh and blood.” This angel was instruct, &c. This is perfectly absurd. 1. They are evidently a human form, surrounded or accompanied God's instrüments, not self-determining agents. 2. by light or glory, with or in which Jehovah was pre- They can only do what they are appointed to perform, sent; see Gen. xix. 1, 12, 16; Judg. xiii. *6, 21; Exod. for there is no evidence that they have any discretioniii. 2,6. "By this vision,” says Mr. Ainsworth, “God ary power. 3. God helps man by ten thousand means confirmed Jacob's faith in him who commanded his, an- and instruments; some intellectual, as angels; some gels to keep his people in all their ways, Psa. xci. 11. rational, as men; some irrational, as brutes; and some Angels are here called God's' host, camp, or army, as merely material, as the sun, wind, rain, food, raiment, in wars; for angels are God's soldiers, Luke ii. 13; and the various productions of the earth. He therehorses and chariots of fire, 2 Kings ii. 11; fighting fore helps by whom he will help, and to him alone befor God's people against their enemies, Dan. X. 20; longs all the glory; for should he be determined to deof them there are thousand thousands, and ten thou- stroy, all these instruments collectively could not save. sand times ten thousand, Dan. xii. 10;. and they are Instead therefore of worshipping them, we should take all sent forth to minister for them that shall be heirs their own advice : See thou do it not-Worship Goda of salvation, Heb. i. 14 ; and they pitch a camp about Verse 3. Jacob.seni messengers) D'Oxbo malachim, them that fear God, Psa. xxxiv. 7." One of the oldest the same word which is before translated angels. It of the Greek poets had a tolerably correct notion of is very likely that these messengers had been sent the angelic ministry :
some time before he had this vision at Mahanaim, for Αυταρ επεικεν τουτο γενος κατα γαια καλυψεν they appear to have returned while Jacob encamped at Τοι μεν Δαιμονες εισι, Διος μεγαλου δια βουλας,
the brook Jabbok, where he had the vision of angels; Εσθλοι, επιχθονιοι, φυλακες θνητων ανθρωπων", κ. τ. λ. | see verses 6 and 23. HESIOD. Op. f Dies, 1. i., ver. 120.
The land of Seir, the country of Edom.] This land, When in the grave this race of men was laid,
which was, according to Dr. Wells, situated on the Soon was a world of holy demons made,
south of the Dead Sea, extending from thence to the Aerial spirits, by great Jove design'd
Arabian Gulf, 1 Kings ix, 26, was formerly possessed To be on earth the guardians of mankind.
by the Horites, Gen, xiv, 6; but Esau with his chilInvisible to mortal eyes they go;
dren drove them out, destroyed them, and dwelt in And mark our actions good or bad below;
their stead, Deut, ii. 22; and thither Esau went from The immortal spies with watchful care preside,
the face of his brother Jacob, chap. xxxvi. 6, 7. • Thus And ihrice ten thousand round their charges glide :
we find he verified the prediction, By thy sword shalt They can reward with glory or with gold,
thou live, chap, xxvii. 40, A power they by Divine permission hold. Cooke.
Verse 4. Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau] Verse 2. Mahanaim.] The two hosts, if read by for the time was not yet come in which it could be
Jacob acknowledges the superiorily of his brother, the points, the angels forming one, and Jacob and his company forming another; or simply hosts or camps
said, The elder shall serve the younger. in the plural. . There was a city built afterwards here, with him.] Jacob, conscious that he had injured his
Verse 6. Esau-cometh—and four hundred men and inhabited by the priests of God, Josh. xxi. 38. brother, was now apprehensive that he was coming For what purpose the angels of God met Jacob, does with hostile intentions, and that he had every evil to not appear from the text ; probably it was intended to show him that he and his company were under the care
fear from his displeasure. Conscience is a terrible of an especial providence, and' consequently to confirm
It was a fine saying of a heathen,his trust and confidence in God.
Hic murus aheneus esto, The doctrine of the ministration of angels has been Nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa. much abused, not only among the heathens, but also
Hor. Ep., k. i., E. i., v. 60,