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faid, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have 1 sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my fon? ver. 37. Esau still urges bis father; Bless me, even me also, O my father. Upon this Isaac blesses him: and pray observe; of corn and wine, and temporal power, he gives him a full and an equal share :-Thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above : the only limitation on the blessing is, Thou shalt serve thy brother. Whatever then was peculiarly given to Jacob, was contained in the grant, of being lord over his brethren; and what this peculiar gift was, we may learn from Isaac himself, who in the next chapter renews the blessing on Jacob, and gives expressly to him and his feed the blessing of Abraham, ver. 4. In the same chapter the blessing is renewed and confirmed by God himself; In thee and in thy feed shall all the families of the earth be blessed, ver. 14

That the regard of all nations to the seed in which they were all to be blessed, should be expressed by their bawing down to him, is no hard figure of speech; that even this yoke, this superiority of Abraham's family, should one day be broken, as the promise to Elau sets forth, when Jews and Gentiles should be on an equal foot, and equally the people of God, is no more than the original covenant contains; for the day was to come, when all nations should be equally blessed.

If you expound this blessing of temporal dominion, see how the case will stand : Jacob is to rule over Efau ; yet no fooner is the blessing given, but

he flies his country for fear of Erau, Gen. xxvii. 43, &c. He lives abroad for many years; and, when he returns, the fear and dread of his brother returns with him : he was greatly afraid and distressed, Gen. xxxii. 7. His only refuge in this distress was to God; Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Ejau, ver. 11. When he sends a message to him, he styles himself, Thy servant Jacob, ver. 20. · When he met him, he bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to Esau, xxxiii. 3. When he speaks to him, he calls him lord; when he was kindly received by Esau, he says, I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me, ver. 10. What is there in all this to Thew the rule and dominion that was given to Jacob over his mother's sons ?

If you suppose the prophecy, understood of temporal dominion, to be fulfilled in the posterity of these two brothers, let us see how the case stands upon this supposition : the family of Efau was settled in power and dominion many years before Jacob's family had any certain dwelling place ; the dukes and kings of Esau's house are reckoned up, Gen. Xxxvi. and the historian tells us, These are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel, ver. 31. When the appointed time was come for establishing the house of Israel, and giving them the land and possessions of their enemies, the family of Efau were, by a particular decree, exempted from the dominion of Israel. The Lord spake unto Mofes,-Command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Efau, which dwell in


Seir; and they shall be afraid of you : take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore: meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a posesion. Deut. ii. 4, 5. If in the time of David they of Edom became his servants, 2 Sam. viii. 14; yet in the days of Jehoram did they recover again, and made a king over themselves, 2 Kings viii.

And in the time of Ahaz they revenged the affront, by smiting Judah, and leading away captives, 2 Chron. xxviii. 17. Can you now suppose that this variety of fortune between the children of Jacob and Elau was the thing intended, or meant to be described, when the promise was given to Jacob, that his mother's children should bow down to him? If this were the case, Isaac needed not to be fo scrupulous in preserving the peculiar blessing to Jacob; he might have given Efau a share of it; and the event would have answered.

It appears, I think, from hence, that the blessing given to Jacob, and expressed in words implying a rule over his brethren, was truly a conveyance of the birthright to him in the family of Abraham ; that the birthright in Abraham's family respected the special blesling and covenant given to Abraham by God; that Ifaac himself calls this right of primogeniture in his house, the blessing of Abraham; that God himself, in confirmation of Jacob's right of primogeniture, aflures him, that in his feed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Now this promise being the only special promise made to Isaac and Jacob in preference to their brethren, and in consequence of God's everlasting covenant limited to them, this promise must necefsarily be understood to be the subject matter of the everlasting covenant: and it is very observable, that this blessing so peculiarly belongs to this covenant, that it is never mentioned with respect to any other person whatever, than such only, to whom the right of this covenant, and the promise of the land of Canaan, descended. Some interpreters have imagined that these words require no higher a sense than this; that all nations should see the prosperity of Abraham and his feed so evidently, that they should bless themselves and others in some such forın as this; God make thee as great as Abraham, and his feed. But can we imagine that God's everlasting covenant, as he himself calls it, was given only to produce a proverbial form of speech in the world that the prerogative of Isaac above Ishmael, of Jacob above Esau, lay in this only, that the nations should use the name of one in their mutual good wishes, and not of the other? Besides, when was this ever the case, when did all nations thus bless themselves, or when was there occasion for it? The posterity of Ishmael was established in power much sooner, and were as great and successful for many ages as the Jews, and much larger empires have sprung from them : so that there was hardly ever any ground to take up this proverbial speech, which some make to be the whole of this special covenant limited from Abraham to Isaac. and Jacob.

What distinct notion Abraham had of the blessing promised to all nations through him and his feed, what he thought of the manner and method by which it should be effected, we cannot pretend to

say. But that he understood it to be a promise of restoring mankind, and delivering them from the remaining curse of the fall, there can be little doubt. He knew that death had entered by fin; he knew that God had promised victory and redemption to the feed of the woman : upon the hopes of this restoration the religion of his ancestors was founded; and when God, from whom this blessing on all men was expected, did expressly promise a blessing on all men, and in this promise founded his everlasting covenant, what could Abraham elle expect but the completion in his seed of that ancient promise and prophecy; concerning the victory to be obtained by the woman's seed? The curse of the ground was expiated by the flood, and the earth restored with a blessing, which was the foundation of the temporal covenant with Noah ; a large share of which God expressly grants to Abraham and his posterity particularly, together with a promise, by their means, to bring a new and further blessing upon the whole race of men. Lay these things together, and say what less could be expected from the new promise or prophecy given to Abraham, than a deliverance from that part

of the curse still remaining on man, Duft thou art, and to dust thou shalt return? In virtue of this covenant, Abraham and his pofterity had reason to expect, that the time would come, when man should be called from his duft again : for this expectation they had his assurance who gave the cove. nant, that he would be their God for ever. Well might our Saviour then tell the sons of Abraham, that even Mofes at the bush Thewed the resurrection of the dead, when he calleth the Lord, the God of

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