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Jacob prays for deliverance CHAP. XXXII.
from the hand of Esau. 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid I showed unto thy servant; for with A. M. 2265.
and distressed: and he divided my staff I passed over this Jordan; the people that was with him, and the and now I am become two bands. flocks, and herds, and the camels into two. 11 • Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand bands;
of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I 8 And said, If Esau come to the one com- fear hím, lest he will come and smite me, and pany, and smite it, then the other company * the mother u with the children. which is left shall éscape.
12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee 9 - And Jacob said, "O God of my father good, and make thy seed as the sand of the Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. LORD · which saidst unto me, Return unto 13 And he lodged there that same night; thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will and took of that which came to his hand wa deal well with thee:
present for Esau his brother; 10 PI am not worthy of the least of all the 14 Two hundred 'she-goats, and twenty he4 mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
Chap. xxxv. 3. • Chap. 'xxi. 3, 13. X21, 27.
Job viii. 7. cm Psalm l. 15.- Chapter xxviii. 13.
- Psalm lix. I, 2. - Hos. x. 14. cu Heb. - Heb. I am less than all, &c. Chap. upon.- Chapter xxviii. 13, 14, 15.- —w Chapter xliii. 11';
Prov. xviii. 16.
Be this thy brazen bulwark of defence,
all the compassions, and than all the faithfulness, which Still to preserve thy conscious innocence, thou hast showed unto thy servant. Probably St. Paul Nor e'er turn pale with guilt.
had his eye on this passage when he wrote, Unto me, In other words, He that has a good conscience has a
who am less than the least of all saints. A man who brazen wall for his defence ; for a guilty conscience sees himself in the light of God will ever feel that he needs, no accuser; sooner or later it will tell the truth, has no good but what he has received, and that he deand not only make the man turn. pale who has it, but serves nothing of all that he has. The archangels of also cause him to tremble even while his guilt is known God cannot use a different language, and even the only to himself and God.
spirits of just men consummated in their plenitude of It does not appear that Esau in this meeting had bliss, cannot make a higher boast. any hostile intention, but was really coming with a part
For with my staff] i. e., myself alone, without any of his servants or tribe to do his brother honour: If attendants, as the Chaldee has properly rendered it. he had had any contrary intention, God had removed.
Verse 11. And the mather with the children.) He it; and the angelic host which Jacob met with before must have had an awful opinion of his brother when might have inspired him with sufficient confidence in he used this expression, which implies the utmost cruGod's protection. But we find that when he needed elty, proceeding in the work of slaughter to total exfaith most, he appears to have derived but little benefit
termination. See Hos, x. 14. from its influence, partly from the sense he had of the
Verse 12. Make thy seed as the sand] Having come injury he had done to his brother, and partly from not to the promise by which the covenant was ratified both attending sufficiently to the assurance which God had to Abraham and Isaac, he ceased, his faith having given him of his gracious protection.
gained strong confirmation in a promise which he knew Verse 7. He divided the people, fc.] His prudence could not fail, and which he found was made over to and cunning were now turned into a right channel, for him, as it had been to his father and grandfather
. he took the most effectual method to appease his brother,
Verse 13. And took of that which came to his hand) had he been irritated, and save at least a part of his 173 x3n habba- beyado, which came under his hand, family. This dividing and arranging of his flocks, i. e., what, in the course of God's providence, came family, and domestics, has something in it highly cha- under his power. racteristic. To such a man as Jacob such expedients Verse 14. Two hundred she-goats, fc.] This was a would naturally present themselves.
princely present, and such as was sufficient to have Verse 9. O God of my father Abraham, &c.] This compensated Esau for any kind of temporal loss he prayer is remarkable for its simplicity and energy ; might have sustained in being deprived of his birthand it is a model too for prayer, of which it contains right and blessing. The thirty milch camels were parthe essential constituents: 1. Deep self-abasement. ticularly valuable, for milch camels among the Arabs 2. Magnification of God's mercy. 3. Deprecation of constitute a principal part of their riches, the creature the evil to which he was exposed. 4. Pleading the being every way so serviceable that the providence of promises that God had made to him. And, 5. Taking God appears peculiarly kind and wise in providing such encouragement from what God had already wrought. a beast for those countries where no other animal could
Verse 10. I am not worthy of the least of all the be of equal service. * The she-camel gives milk conmercies] The marginal reading is more consistent tinually, not ceasing till great with young; the milk with the original: nan bol bironn injup ka- of which,” as Pliny has remarked, “when mixed with lonti miccol kachasadim umiccol hæmeth, I am less than three parts of water, affords the most pleasant and
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Tacob prepares and sends forward GENESIS.
a present for his brother Esau. 15 Thirty milch camels with vant Jacob is behind us. For he A. M. 2265.
their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, said, I will * appease him with the twenty she-asses, and ten foals.
present that goeth before me, and afterward I 16 And he delivered them into the hand of will see his face : peradventure he will accept his servants, every drove by themselves; and of me. said unto his servants, Pass over before me, 21 So went the present over before him : and put a space betwixt drove and drove. and himself lodged that night in the company.
17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, 22 And he rose up that night; and took his When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and two wives, and his two women-servants, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou ? and his eleven sons, 2 and passed over the ford whither goest thou ? and whose are these Jabbok. before thee?
23. And he took them, and a sent them over 18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant the brook, and sent over that he had. Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord 24 And Jacob was left alone, and there Esau : and; behold, also he is behind us. b wrestled a man with him until the breaking
19 And so commanded he the second, and of the day. the third, and all that followed the droves, 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto against him, he touched the hollow of his Esau, when ye find him.
thigh : and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was 20 And say ye moreover, Behold, thy ser- out of joint, as he wrestled with him. * Proverbs xxi. 14. — Heb. my face ; Job xlii. 8, 9.- -z Deut., Hos. xii. 3, 4; Eph. vi. 12._ Heb. ascending of the morning.
Heb. caused to pass.
a See Matt. xxvi. 44; 2 Cor. xi. 7.
wholesome beverage. Cameli lac habent, donec ite- every sensation of substance, and yet no substantiality rum gravescant, suavissimumque hoc existimatur, ad be in the case. unam mensuram tribus aqua additis.-Hist. Nat., lib. If angels, in appearing to men, bórrow human bodies, xi., chap. 41.
as is thought, how can it be supposed that with such Verse 15. Ten bulls] The Syriac and Vulgate have gross-substances they can disappear in a moment? Certwenty; but ten is a sufficient proportion to the forty tainly they do not take these bodies into the invisible kine. By all this we see that Jacob was led to make world with them, and the established laws of matter restitution for the injury he had done to his brother. and motion require a gradual disappearing, however Restitution for injuries done to man is essentially re. swiftly it may be effected. But this is ot allowed to quisite if in our power. He who can and will not be the case, and yet they are reported to vanish inmake restitution for the wrongs he has done, can have stantaneously. Then they must render themselves inno claim even on the mercy of God.
visible by a cloud, and this must be of a very dense Verse 22. Passed over the ford Jabbok.] This brook nature in order to hide a human body. But this very or rivulet rises in the mountains of Galaad, and falls, expedient would make their departure still more eviinto the Jordan at the south extremity of the lake of dent, as the cloud must be more dense and apparent Gennesaret.
than the body order to hide it. This does not reVerse 24. And there wrestled a man with him] This move the difficulty. But if they assume a quantity of was doubtless the Lord Jesus Christ, who, among the air or vapour so condensed as to become visible, and patriarchs, assumed that human form, which in the ful-modified into the appearance of a human body, they ness of time he really took of a woman, and in which can in a moment dilate and rarefy it, and so disappear; he dwelt-thirty-three years among men.
He is here for when the vehicle is rarefied beyond the power of styled an angel, because he was pleyaans Bovans Ay- natural vision, as their own substance is invisible they yeros, (see the Septuagint, Isa. ix. 7,) the Messenger can instantly vanish. of the great counsel or design to redeem fallen man From Hos. xii. 4, we may learn that the wrestling from death, and bring him to eternal glory; see of Jacob, mentioned in this place, was not merely a chap. xvi. 7.
corporeal exercise, but also a spiritual one; He wept But it may be asked, Had he here a real human and made supplication unto him. See the notes there. body, or only its form ?' The latter, doubtless. How Verse 25. The hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of then could he wrestle with Jacob! It need not be joint] What this implies is difficult to find out; it is supposed that this angel must have assumed a human not likely that it was a co ete luxation of the thigh body, or something analagous to it, in order to render bone, It may mean no more than he received a stroke himself tangible by Jacob; for as the soul operates on on the groin, not a touch ; for the Hebrew word yad the body by the order of God, so could an angel ope- naga often signifies to smile with violence, which stroke, rate on the body of Jacob during a whole night, and even if comparatively slight; would effectually disable produce in his imagination, by the effect of his power, him for a time, and cause him to halt for many hours, every requisite idea of corporeity, and in his nerves ! if not for several days. I might add that in this place
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Jacob wrestles with an angel, CHAP. XXXII.
and is surnamed Israel. 26 And he said, Let me go, fore is it that thou dost ask after my 4. M. 2265.
for the day breaketh : And he name? And he blessed him there. said, 'I will not let thee go, except thou 30 And Jacob called the name of the place bless me.
im Peniel: for ~ I have seen God face to face, 27 And he said unto him, What is thy and my life is preserved. name? And he said, Jacob.
31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun 28 And he said, " Thy name shall be called rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince 32. Therefore the children of Israel eat not hast thou power with God and with men, of the sinew, which shrank, which is upon the and hast prevailed.
hollow of the thigh, P unto this day: because 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, he touched the hollow of. Jacob's thigh in the I pray thee, thy name. And he said, ? Where- sinew that shrank.
e See Luke xxiv, 28. _ Hos. xii. 4. -5 Chapter xxxy. 10; m That is, the face of God. - Ch. xvi. 13; Exod. xxiv. 11; 2 Kings xvii. 34. - That is, a prince of God.- - iHos. xii. xxxii. 20; Deut. v. 25 ; Judg. vi. 22 ; xiii. 22 ; Isaiah vi. 5. 3, 4. — Chap. xxv. 31; xxvii. 33.-Judg. xii. 18.
o Mal. iv. 2. -P 1 Sam. v. 5.
—the groin, a blow might be of fatal consequence; God calling the things that were not as though they but as the angel gave it only as a proof of his power, had already taken place, because the prevalency of and to show that he could not prevail because he would this people, the Israelites, by means of the Messiah, not, hence the blow was only disabling, without being who should proceed from them, was already determined dangerous ; and he was probably cured by the time in the Divine counsel. . He has never said to the seed the sun rose.
of Jacob, Seek ye my face ia vain. He who wrestles Verse 26. Let me go, for the day breaketh] Pro-must prevail. bably meaning, that as it was now morning, Jacob must Verse 29. Tell me, I pray thee; thy name.] It is rejoin his wives and children, and proceed on their very likely that Jacob. wished' to know the name of journey. Though phạntoms are supposed to disappear this angel, that he might invoke him in his necessities; when the sun rises, that could be no reason in this case. bụt this might have led him into idolatry, for the docMost of the angelic appearances mentioned in the Old trine of the incarnation could be but little understood and New Testaments took place in open day, which at this time ; hence, he refuses to give himself any put their reality out of question.
name, yet shows himself to be the true God, and so Verse 28. Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, Jacob understood him; (see verse 28 ;) but he wished but Israel] Sony Yisrael, from 10 sar, a prince, or to have heard from his own lips that name by which 09 sarah, he ruled as a prince, and 58 el, God; or he desired to be invoked and worshipped. rather from U'x ish, a man, (the x aleph being drop- Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name ?] ped,) and axe rash, he saw, Se el, God; and this cor. Canst thou be ignorant who I am?' And he blessed responds with the name which Jacob imposed on the him there-gave him the new heart and the new naplace, calling it 4x'ja peniel, the faces of God, or of ture which God alone can give to fallen man, and by Elohim, which faces being manifested to him caused the change he wrought in him, sufficiently showed who him to say, verse 30, ND 58 D'o boss nyt he was. After this clause the Aldine edition of the raithi Elohim panim el panim, i. e., “ I have seen the Septuagint, and several MSS., add ó.eori Davjiaotov, or Elohim faces to-faces, (i. e., fully and completely, with Kal TOUTO EOTL Davjaotov, which is wonderful ; but this out any mediam,) 'vog Srini vattinnatsel napshi, and addition seems to have been taken from Judges xiii. 18. my soul is redeemed.”
Verse 31. The sun rose upon him) Did the ProWe may learn from this that the redemption of the phet Malachi refer to this, chap. iv. 2: Untó you that soul will be the blessed consequence of wrestling by fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with prayer and supplication with God: “The kingdom of healing in his wings ? Possibly with the rising of the heaven suffereth violence, and the violent lake it by sun, which may here be understood as emblematical of force.” From this time Jacob became a new man; the Sun of righteousness--the Lord Jesus, the pain and but it was not till after a severe struggle that he got weakness of his thigh passed away, and he felt both in
his heart, and his character changed. After soul and body that he was healed of his plagues. this he was no more Jacob the supplanter, but Israel Verse 32. Therefore the children of Israel eat not the man who prevails with God, and sees him face to of the sinew) What this sinew was neither Jew nor face.
Christian can tell ; and it can add nothing either to And hast prevailed.) More literally, Thou hast had science, or to a true understanding of the text, to mulpower with God, and with man thou shalt also prevail. tiply conjectures.. I have already supposed that the oobs by im Elohim, with the strong Gød; d'Vs Dy part which the angel touched or struck was the groin ; im anashim, with weak, feeble man. There is a beau- and if this be right, the sinew, nerve, or muscle that tiful opposition here between the two words : Seeing shrank, must be sought for in that place. thou hast been powerful with the Almighty, surely thou shalt prevail over perishing mortals; as thou hast pre- The serious reader must meet with much instrucfailed with God, thou shall also prevail with men : / tion in this chapter.
Esau comes to meet Jacob
with four hundred men 1. After his reconciliation with Laban, Jacob pro- part with it lightly; they remember the vinegar and ceeds on his way to Canaan; and as God, who was the gall, and they watch and pray that they enter not 'continually watching for his welfare, saw the trials to into temptation. which he would shortly be exposed, therefore he pro- 4. In the strife and agony requisite to enter in at vided for him the instructive vision of angels, that he the strait gate, it is highly necessary that we should might see that those who were for him were more know that the grace and salvation of God are not purthan those who could be against him. A proper con- chased by our tears, &c.; for those things which are sideration of God's omniscience is of the utmost advan- only proofs and arguments that we have sinned, can tage to every genuine Christian. He knows whereof never remove the iniquity of our transgressions. А we are made, he reinembers that we are but dust,' he sensible and pious man observes on this subject, “That sees our trials and difficulties, and his eye affects his prayer and wrestling with God should be made as though heart. Hence he is ever devising means that his ba- no other means were to be practised, and then the best nished be not expelled from him.
means be adopted as though no prayer or wrestling had 2. Jacob's recollection of his unkindness and injus- been used.” God marks even this strife, though highly tice to his brother, when he hears that he is coming to pleasing in his sight, with such proofs of its own ulmeet him, fills his soul with fear, and obliges him ter insufficiency, that we may carry about with us the betake himself to God by prayer and supplication.. memorial of our own weakness, worthlessness, and How important is the office of conscience! And how slowness of heart to believe. God smote the thigh of necessary are times of trial and difficulty. when its Jacob, 1. That he might know he had not prevailed voice is loudest, and the heart is, best.prepared to re- by his own strength, but by the power and mercy ceive its reproofs ! In how many cases has conscience of his God. 2. That he might have the most sensislumbered till pleased God to send some trial by ble evidence of the reality of the Divine interposition which it has been powerfully awakened, and the salva- in his behalf. 3. That he might see God's displeasure tion of the sinner was the result! Before I was af- against his unbelief. And 4. That men in general flicted I went astray.
might be taught that those who will be the disciples of 3. Though salvation be the free gift of God, yet he Christ must deny themselves, take up their cross daily, gives it not to any who do not earnestly seek it. and mortify their members which are upon the earth. The deeper the conviction of guilt and helplessness is, Those who have not cut off a right hand or foot, or the more earnest the application to God for mercy is plucked out a right eye, for the kingdom of heaven's likely to be. . They whose salvation costs them strong sake, are never likely to see God. The religion that erying and tears, are not likely (humanly speaking) to costs us nothing, is to us worth nothing.
CHAPTER XXXIII. Esau, with four hundred men, meets Jacob, 1. · He places his children under their respective mothers, passes
over before them, and bows himself to his brother, 2, 3. Esau receives him with great affection, 4. Receives the homage of the handmaids, Leah, Rachel, and their children, 5–7. Jacob offers him the present of cattle; which he at first refuses, but after much entreaty accepts, 8-11. Invites Jacob to accompany him to Mount Seir, 12. Jacob excuses himself because of his flocks and his children, but promises to follow him, 13, 14. Esau offers to leave him some of his attendants, which Jacob declines, 15. Esau returns to Seir, 16, and Jacob journeys to Succoth, 17, and to Shalem, in the land of Canaan, 18. Buys a parcel
of ground from the children of Hamor, 19, and erects an altar which he calls El-elohe-Israel, 20. A: M: 2285 AND Jacob lifted up his eyes
, Rachel, and unto the two hand- A. M: 2265. and looked, and, behold, Esau maids. came, and with him four hundred men.' And 2 And he put the handmaids and their chilhe divided the children unto Leah, and unto dren foremost, and Leah and her children after,
a Genesis, chap. xxxii. 6. NOTES ON CHAP. XXXIII.
then should the character of this man be perpetually Verse 1. Behold, Esau came, and with him four vilified ? · Here is the secret. With some people, on hundred men.] It has been generally supposed that the most ungrounded assumption, Esau is a reprobale, Esau came with an intention to destroy his brother, and the type and figure of all reprobates, and therefore and for that purpose brought with him four hundred he must be every thing that is bad. This serves a armed men. But, 1. There is no kind of evidence of system ; but, whether true or false in itself, it has this pretended hostility. 2. There is no proof that the neither countenance nor support from the character or four hundred men that Esau brought with him were at conduct of Esau. all armed. 3. But there is every proof that he acted Verse 2. He put the handmaids and their children towards his brother Jacob with all openness and can- foremost] There is something so artificial in this dour, and with such a forgetfulness of past injuries as arrangement of Jacob's family, that it must have had none but a great mind could have been capable of, Why, some peculiar design. Was Jacob still apprehensive
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Esau receives Jacob kindly.
They part in friendship. A. 'M. 2265. and Rachel and Joseph hinder- my present at my hand; for there- A. M. 2265.
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fore I have seen thy face, as 3 And he passed over before them, and though I had seen the face of God, and thou + bowed himself to the ground seven times, wast pleased with me. until he came near to his brother.
11 Take, I pray thee, » my blessing that is 4 ! And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced brought to thee; because God hath dealt him, d and fell on his neck, and kissed him : graciously with me, and because I have and they wept.
nenough. • And he urged him; and he 5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the took it. women and the children: and said, Who are 12 And he said, Let us take our journey, those with thee? And he said, The chil- and let us go, and I will go before thee. dren which God hath graciously given thy 13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth servant.
that the children are tender, and the flocks and 6 Then the handmaidens came near, they herds with young are with me: and if men and their children, and they bowed them- should overdrive them one day, all the flock selves.
will die. And Leah also with her children' came 14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over benear, and bowed themselves : and after came fore his servant; and I will lead on softly, Joseph near, and Rachel, and they bowed according pas the cattle that goeth before me themselves.
and the children be able to endure, until I 8 And he said, 6 What meanest thou by come unto my lord 9 unto Seir. h all this drove which I met? And he said, 15 And Esau said, Let me now ' leave with These are i to find grace in the sight of 'my thee some of the folk that are with me: and lord.
he said, "What needeth it?' let me find grace 9 And Esau said, I have enough, my bro- in the sight of my lord. ther; k keep that thou hast unto thyself. .16 So Esau returned that day on his way
10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now unto Seir. I have found grace in thy sight, then receive 17 And Jacob journeyed to " Succoth, and
Chap. xviii. 2; xlii. 6; xliii. 26.- Chap. xxxii. 28. Judges i. 15; 1 Sam. xxv. 27; XXX. 26; 2 Kings v. 15. a Chap. xlv. 14, 15. Heb. to thee. Chap. xlviii. 9; Psa. . Heb. all things; Phil. iv. 18. LO 2 Kings v. 23.— PHeb. cxxvii. 3; Isa, viii. 18.- - Heb. What is all this band to thee? according to the foot of the work, &c., and according to the foot of n Chap. xxxii. 16.—Chap. xxxii. 5. Heb. be that to thee the children. Ch. xxxii. 3.- Heb. set or place.
Heb. that is thine. Chap. xliii. 3 ; 2 Sam. iii. 13; xiv. 24, 28, Wherefore is this ?- - Chap. xxxiv. 11; xlvii. 25; Ruth u. 13. 32; Matt. xviii. 10.
u Josh. xvi. 27; Judg. viii. 5; Psa. Ix. 6.
of danger, and put those foremost whom he least es- over the left, with other ceremonies according to the teemed, that if the foremost met with any evil, those rank of the parties. who were behind might escape on their swift beasts? Verse 1o. Receive my present at my hand] Jacob chap. xxxii. 7, 8. Or did he intend to keep his could not be certain that he had found favour with Esau, choicest treasure to the last, and’exhibit his beautiful unless the present had been received ; for in accepting Rachel and favourite Joseph after Esau had seen all it Esau necessarily became his friend, according to the rest, in order to make the deeper impression on the custom of those times, and in that country. In the his mind ?
eastern countries, if your present be received by your Verse 4. Esau ran to meet him] How sincere and superior, you may rely on his friendship; if it be not genuine is this conduct of Esau, and at the same time received, you have every thing to fear. It is on this how magnanimous ! He had buried all his resentment, ground that Jacob was so urgent with Esau to receive and forgotten all his injuries; and receives his brother his present, because he knew that after this he must with the strongest demonstrations, not only of forgive- treat him as a friend. ness, but of fraternal affection.
Verse 14. Until I come unto my lord unlo Seir.) And kissed him] mposi vaiyishshakehu. In the It is very likely that Jacob was perfectly sincere in his Masoretic Bibles each letter of this word is noted with expressed purpose of visiting Esau at Seir, but it is as a point over it to make it emphatic. And by this kind likely that circumstances afterwards occurred that renof notation the rabbins wished to draw the attention of dered it either improper or impracticable; and we find the reader to the change that had taken place in Esau, that Esau afterwards removed to Canaan, and he and and the sincerity with which he received his brother Jacob dwelt there together for several years. See chap. Jacob. A. Hindoo when he meets a friend after ab- xxxvi. 6. sence throws his arms round him, and his head across Verse 17. Journeyed to Succoth] So called from his shoulders, twice over the right shoulder and once Inpo succoth, the booths or tents which Jacob erected