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Israel. From this place he goes again to Bethel, where he had a vision on his way to Haran. From Bethel he goes a little way to Ephrath, where his favorite wife Rachel is taken from him and where she is buried. Ephrath is described as the same as Bethlehem. Jacob, or Israel, as he is now called, journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Edar; and at last he came back to his father, now in Hebron, though, when Jacob left, he was in Beersheba. xxxii. 31; xxxiii. 17, 18; xxxv. 19, 21, 27.
206. The flight of Jacob has given us an interesting line of travel, from Syria, northeast of Canaan, to the patriarchal home in Hebron. The places that lie along this route, beginning at the north, are Haran, in Syria, Mt. Gilead, Mt. Seir or Edom, the ford Jabbok, Succoth, Shalem, Bethel, Ephrath or Bethlehem, tower of Edar, and finally Mamre or Hebron. Succoth and all the preceding places lay beyond the line of Canaan; the others in that country. That the route here spoken of was quite meandering, is obvious. Jacob probably went out of his way to visit his brother at Mt. Seir. He had to leave his return route too, when he visited Bethel, though his route to Syria was through that place.
207. Gerar, Kadesh, Shur, Beersheba, Valley of Gerar. The intercourse that the patriarchs held with the Philistines, will help us to locate some of the places mentioned in Genesis. Gerar was a city of the Philistines, and the residence of the king. It was near to Egypt and between Kadesh and Shur. Add to this, that the wilderness in the way to Shur, is the place where Hagar wandered when she left the home of her mistress, the first time. And as Shur was near Egypt, the wilderness must have been in that direction. Was not Hagar seeking her former home in Egypt? xvi. 7; xxvi. 1.
The second time she left, with Ishmael, her son, she was found in the wilderness of Beersheba. Was not
this then in the same general direction? What confirms this opinion, is, that when Isaac left the valley of Gerar, he went up to Beersheba. When the people of those days went to Egypt, or towards that country, they went down. When they returned they went up. Going from Gerar up to Beersheba, locates the latter place in the direction of Hebron from Gerar. Of course Hagar might very naturally get lost in that wilderness, on her way to Egypt. xxi. 14; xxvi. 23.
This Beersheba was an important place. Abram planted a grove there and called on the name of the Lord. He afterwards dwelt at Beersheba for a time. There Abimelech, king of the Philistines, made a covenant with Abraham, and afterwards with Isaac. Indeed, it was called Beersheba or, well of the oath, because there a controversy concerning a well had been settled, and a solemn covenant entered into between the parties. xxi. 33; xxii. 19; xxvi. 33.
a subsequent period Jacob visited Beersheba on his way to Egypt, which is a very natural occurrence, as that had been the residence of his father and grandfather. The circumstance shows also that the place was in the direction of Egypt as we had before conjectured. xlvi. 1.
208. Hebron, Shechem, Dothan, Mt. Gilead, On, Goshen, Rameses. The history of Joseph will help us to locate some of the places alluded to in Genesis. When Joseph had his dreams, his father Jacob resided at the old paternal mansion in Hebron; and he sent Joseph to inquire after his brothers at Shechem where they were tending their flocks. It is obvious then that Shechem was not far from Hebron. place was probably named after Shechem, son of Hamor, who is mentioned in another place. xxxvii. 13, 14; xxxiii. 19.
Joseph does not find his brethren at Shechem, and on inquiring he proceeds to Dothan. And here the plot of taking his life was formed, which resulted in
selling him as a slave to the Midianites, or what is the same, the Ishmaelites, who were on their way from Mt. Gilead to Egypt, carrying thither balm, spicery and myrrh. xxxvii. 17, 25.
All this confirms our previous location of places. There seems to have been a well known route from Egypt to Syria, and so on to Chaldea. Along this route lay Gilead, Succoth and sundry other places before mentioned. The route passed near enough to Dothan to attract the attention of the sons of Jacob, as the merchantmen passed with their camels. In connection with Egypt, mention is made of On, of which place Potipherah was priest-of Goshen where the sons of Jacob resided of Rameses, which seems only to be another name for Goshen. xli. 45; xlv. 10; xlvii. 11.
209. Dinhabah, Bosrah, Temani, Avith, Masrekah, Rehoboth, Pau. All these places were in Edom, the residence of Esau, the location of which has before been noticed. xxxvi. 32-39.
210. Havilah, Shur, Mesha, Sephar, Jehovah-jireh, Chezib, Timnath, Shiloh. These places we will notice without any particular stand-point of observation. The Ishmaelites are said to have their residence from Havilah to Shur. The latter place being near to Egypt, Havilah must have been in the other direction, on the Assyrian route, and a considerable way off, as the Ishmaelites were a numerous tribe. Mesha and Sephar are mentioned in defining the residence of the children of Jokshan, one of the descendants of Shem. Where they were, we cannot say, except that they are said to be in the east. Jehovah-jireh is the place where Isaac was taken for sacrifice. Chezib was the birthplace of Shelah, one of the sons of Judah, and Timnath is where Judah went to shear his sheep. Shiloh, we understand is a place in Canaan, and not as commonly regarded, a name of the promised Messiah. xxv. 18; x. 30; xxii. 14; xxxviii. 5, 82; xlix. 10.
SECTION VIII. - NATIONAL DESIGNATIONS.
211. It seems proper to note the national designations, in connection with the Geography of Palestine.
Canaanites. These were the descendants of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah. And as most of the people of Palestine were the children of Canaan, therefore, that land was called after his name. The term Canaanite is sometimes used in a more restricted sense, and denotes the people of a city or district. x. 15; xv. 21. The following tribes are expressly said to be descended from Canaan, viz., Jebusite, Amorite, Girgasite, Hivite, Arkite, Sinite, Arvadite, Zemarite, Hamathite. Heth, too, was a son of Canaan, and his tribe is called Hittites. x. 15-18.
The Rephaims, Zuzims, Emims, Horites, Amalekites and Amorites are mentioned as being conquered in the war of the kings. xiv. 4–7. So we have the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Perizzites, in addition to the above, as the people of Canaan. XV. 19, 20. The surrounding nations are sometimes referred to. Hence we read of the Chaldees, Syrians, Egyptians. So we have the Edomites or Horites, and Ishmaelites.
212. Some of these names have a derivation that is obvious, and some have not. The Hittites from Heth, were probably at first called Hethites, which was shortened into Hittites. Horites may have taken their name from Hori, son of Lotan, son of Seir. xxxvi. 22. Amalekites from Amalek, grandson of Esau. xxxvi. 16. Another grandson, Kenaz, may have originated the Kenizzites. xxxvi. 15. Edomites were called so from Edom, one of the names of Esau; and Ishmaelites from Ishmael; and Canaanites from Canaan. Adullamite is once mentioned. xxxviii.
CONTENTS: Dates from the Creation to the Deluge; Dates from the Deluge to Abraham; Dates from Abraham to the death of Joseph; Remarks.
213. Chronology treats of the dates of important events. In the present chapter we shall, of course, speak of only such events as are recorded in the book of Genesis. Three important periods are comprehended in the book. The first of these is from the Creation to the Flood; the second, from the Flood to the patriarch Abraham; and the last extends from Abraham to the death of Joseph. We subjoin a chronological table, having reference to each of these periods.
215. Remarks. The Septuagint adds one hundred years to each of the patriarchs, Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel and Enoch, before the birth of their sons, while it takes twenty from the age of Methusaleh and adds six to that of Lamech. This of course lengthens out the time that must have intervened between the Creation and the Deluge, and makes it to have been 2242 years, instead of 1656, as we have