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Genesis, Chapter 12

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

Genesis, Chapter 13

And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

Genesis, Chapter 14

And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;
That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.
All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.
Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness.
And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar.
And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eschol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Genesis, Chapter 15

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.
11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.
12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Genesis, Chapter 16

Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.
But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
14 Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

Genesis, Chapter 17

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.
24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.
27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

Genesis, Chapter 18

And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:
Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.
And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake.
30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.
32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

Genesis, Chapter 19

And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:
19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.
21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.
22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.
29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.
30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our Father.
35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
37 And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
38 And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

Genesis, Chapter 20

And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.
But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.
Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.
12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.
16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.
17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.

Genesis, Chapter 21

And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.
And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.
12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:
23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
24 And Abraham said, I will swear.
25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
31 Wherefore he called that place Beer-sheba; because there they sware both of them.
32 Thus they made a covenant at Beer-sheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.

Genesis, Chapter 22

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you,
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.
20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;
21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,
22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.
23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.

Genesis, Chapter 23

And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.
And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,
I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.
And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,
Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.
And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.
And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,
That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you.
10 And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,
11 Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.
12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.
13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.
14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,
15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.
16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.
17 And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure
18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.
19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.
20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.

Genesis, Chapter 24

And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.
And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.
10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.
11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.
12 And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.
13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.
15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.
18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.
19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.
20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.
21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;
23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?
24 And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor.
25 She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.
26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.
27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.
28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things.
29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.
30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.
31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.
32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him.
33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
34 And he said, I am Abraham's servant.
35 And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.
36 And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.
37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
38 But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
40 And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house:
41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.
42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go;
43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;
44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master's son.
45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.
46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son.
49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken.
52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.
55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth.
58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men.
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country.
63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

Genesis, Chapter 25

Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;
10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi.
12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham:
13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,
14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa,
15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah:
16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.
18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.
19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac:
20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD.
23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis, Chapter 26

And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.
And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.
And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
10 And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
14 For he had possession of flocks, and possessions of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
15 For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.
16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.
21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also:and he called the name of it Sitnah.
22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
23 And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba.
24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.
25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.
26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?
28 And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee;
29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD.
30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.
31 And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
32 And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water.
33 And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day.
34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

Genesis, Chapter 27

And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.
21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.
24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.
26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:
28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.
32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;
44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away;
45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?

Genesis, Chapter 28

And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.
And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padan-aram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan;
And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padan-aram;
And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;
Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
10 And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran.
11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Genesis, Chapter 29

Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.
And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well's mouth.
And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth in his place.
And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we.
And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.
And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.
And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep.
And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep: for she kept them.
10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.
13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month.
15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?
16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.
24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.
25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.
33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.
34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.
35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.

Genesis, Chapter 30

And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees that I may also have children by her.
And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.
And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.
And Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son.
And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.
When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife.
10 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son.
11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.
12 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son.
13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes.
15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.
19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.
20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.
21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:
24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.
25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.
26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.
27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.
28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.
30 For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?
31 And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock:
32 I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.
33 So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.
35 And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons.
36 And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.
37 And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
38 And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.
39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.
40 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle.
41 And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.
42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.

Genesis, Chapter 31

And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory.
And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.
And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock,
And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.
And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.
And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.
If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked.
Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.
10 And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.
11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.
13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?
15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.
16 For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.
17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan-aram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.
19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.
20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.
21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.
22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.
23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.
24 And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
25 Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.
26 And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?
27 Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?
28 And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.
29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
30 And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?
31 And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.
32 With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
33 And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.
34 Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.
35 And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.
36 And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?
37 Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.
38 This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.
39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.
40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.
42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?
44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
46 And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
47 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.
48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;
49 And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.
51 And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee;
52 This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.
53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.
54 Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
55 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.

Genesis, Chapter 32

And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.
And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.
Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;
And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
13 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;
14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.
17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?
18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.
19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.
20 And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.
21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.

Genesis, Chapter 33

And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-aram; and pitched his tent before the city.
19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.
20 And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel.

Genesis, Chapter 34

And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
11 And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,
21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.
22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.
31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

Genesis, Chapter 35

And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.
And he built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allon-bachuth.
And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him.
10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.
11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.
13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.
15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.
16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin.
19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.
21 And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar.
22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:
25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:
26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padan-aram.
27 And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.
28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.
29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Genesis, Chapter 36

Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;
And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.
For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.
Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.
And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:
10 These are the names of Esau's sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.
11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife.
13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife.
14 And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau's wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz,
16 Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.
17 And these are the sons of Reuel Esau's son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife.
18 And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau's wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau's wife.
19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.
20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,
21 And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.
22 And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan's sister was Timna.
23 And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
24 And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.
25 And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.
26 And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
27 The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.
28 The children of Dishan are these: Uz, and Aran.
29 These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah,
30 Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.
31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.
32 And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
33 And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
34 And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.
35 And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.
36 And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
37 And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
38 And Saul died, and Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
39 And Baal-hanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
40 And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,
41 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
42 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
43 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites.

Genesis, Chapter 37

And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
12 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.
13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.
33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.

Genesis, Chapter 38

And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.
And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.
And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.
12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.
14 And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.
16 And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?
17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?
18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
19 And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.
20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not.
21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.
22 And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place.
23 And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.
24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.
25 When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.
26 And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.
28 And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first,
29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.
30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.

Genesis, Chapter 39

And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.
16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:
18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
20 And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.

Genesis, Chapter 40

And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.
And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.
And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.
And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?
And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;
10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
11 And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand.
12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:
13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:
15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:
17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
18 And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:
19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.
20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.
21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:
22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

Genesis, Chapter 41

And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.
And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.
And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.
And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:
10 Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker:
11 And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
12 And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.
13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:
19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:
21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:
23 And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:
24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.
25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.
27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.
37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.
48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.
49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.
50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto him.
51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.
52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.
54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.
56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.
57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

Genesis, Chapter 42

Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another?
And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.
And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.
But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him.
And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.
And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.
And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
10 And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come.
11 We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies.
12 And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
13 And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.
14 And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies:
15 Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither.
16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies.
17 And he put them all together into ward three days.
18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:
19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:
20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.
25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them.
26 And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.
27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's mouth.
28 And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?
29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying,
30 The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country.
31 And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies:
32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.
33 And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone:
34 And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land.
35 And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.
36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.
37 And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.
38 And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

Genesis, Chapter 43

And the famine was sore in the land.
And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.
And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food:
But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?
And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down?
And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.
I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:
10 For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time.
11 And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:
12 And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:
13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man:
14 And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.
15 And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.
17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house.
18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.
19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,
20 And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:
21 And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.
22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.
23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
24 And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.
25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.
26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.
27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?
28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.
29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.
34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.

Genesis, Chapter 44

And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.
And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.
As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.
And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?
Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.
And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words.
And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing:
Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold?
With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen.
10 And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words; he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless.
11 Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack.
12 And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.
13 Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.
14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.
15 And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?
16 And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.
17 And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.
18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh.
19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother?
20 And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.
21 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.
22 And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.
23 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more.
24 And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
25 And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food.
26 And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us.
27 And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons:
28 And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since:
29 And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life;
31 It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.
32 For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.
33 Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.
34 For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.

Genesis, Chapter 45

Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:
10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:
11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.
13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.
14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.
16 And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.
17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan;
18 And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.
19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.
20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.
21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.
22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.
23 And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.
24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.
25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,
26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.
27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:
28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.

Genesis, Chapter 46

And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.
And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.
And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:
I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him:
His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.
And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.
And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi.
10 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman.
11 And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul.
13 And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron.
14 And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel.
15 These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padan-aram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three.
16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.
17 And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.
18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls.
19 The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife; Joseph, and Benjamin.
20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto him.
21 And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard.
22 These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.
23 And the sons of Dan; Hushim.
24 And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem.
25 These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven.
26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six;
27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.
28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
30 And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.
31 And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me;
32 And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.
33 And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation?
34 That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.

Genesis, Chapter 47

Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen.
And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh.
And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers.
They said moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen.
And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee:
The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.
And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?
And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.
11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.
12 And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families.
13 And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.
14 And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.
15 And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.
16 And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
17 And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
18 When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:
19 Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.
20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's.
21 And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof.
22 Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands.
23 Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.
24 And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.
25 And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants.
26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's.
27 And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.
28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt:
30 But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said.
31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.

Genesis, Chapter 48

And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.
And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.
And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.
And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.
And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these?
And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.
10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.
11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.
12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.
13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.
14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.
18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.
22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

Genesis, Chapter 49

And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.
Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:
15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.
29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.
32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

Genesis, Chapter 50

And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.
And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.
And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,
My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.
And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.
And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen.
And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
10 And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond Jordan.
12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them:
13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.
14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.
23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees.
24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
26 So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
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12 From henceforward Abram and his seed are almost the only subject of the sacred history. In this chapter we have,

  1. God's call of Abram to the land of Canaan Gen 12:1-3.
  2. Abram's obedience to this call, Gen 12:4-5.
  3. His welcome to the land of Canaan, Gen 12:6-9.
  4. His occasional remove into Egypt, with an account of what happened to him there. Abram's flight and fault, Gen 12:10-13.
    Sarai's danger and deliverance, Gen 12:14-20.

12:1 We have here the call by which Abram was removed out of the land of his nativity into the land of promise, which was designed both to try his faith and obedience, and also to set him apart for God. The circumstances of this call we may be somewhat helped to the knowledge of, from Stephen's speech, Act 7:2, where we are told,

  1. That the God of glory appeared to him to give him this call, appearedin such displays of his glory as left Abram no room to doubt. God spake to him after in divers manners: but this first time, when the correspondence was to be settled, he appeared to him as the God of glory, and spake to him.
  2. That this call was given him in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt inCharran, and in obedience to this call, he came out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran or Haran about five years, and from thence, when his father was dead, by a fresh command, he removed him into the land of Canaan. Some think Haran was in Chaldea, and so was still a part of Abram's country; or he having staid there five years, began to call it his country, and to take root there, till God let him know this was not the place he was intended for.Get thee out of thy country - Now,
    1. By this precept he was tried whether he loved God better than heloved his native soil, and dearest friends, and whether he could willingly leave all to go along with God. His country was become idolatrous, his kindred and his father's house were a constant temptation to him, and he could not continue with them without danger of being infected by them; therefore get thee out, (Heb.) vade tibi, get thee gone with all speed, escape for thy life, look not behind thee.
    2. By this precept he was tried whether he could trust God fartherthan he saw him, for he must leave his own country to go to a land that God would shew him; he doth not say, 'tis a land that I will give thee nor doth he tell him what land it was, or what kind of land; but he must follow God with an implicit faith, and take God's word for it in the general, though he had no particular securities given him, that he should be no loser by leaving his country to follow God.

12:2 Here is added an encouraging promise, nay a complication of promises,

  1. I will make of thee a great nation - When God took him from his ownpeople, he promised to make him the head of another people.This promise was.
    1. A great relief to Abram's burden, for he had now no child.
    2. A great trial to Abram's faith, for his wife had been long barren, sothat if he believe, it must be against hope, and his faith must build purely upon that power which can out of stones raise up children unto Abraham.
  2. I will bless thee - Either particularly with the blessing offruitfulness, as he had blessed Adam and Noah; or in general, I will bless thee with all manner of blessings, both of the upper and nether springs: leave thy father's house, and I will give thee a father's blessing, better than that of thy progenitors.
  3. I will make thy name great - By deserting his country he lost his namethere: care not for that, (saith God) but trust me, and I will make thee a greater name than ever thou couldst have had there.
  4. Thou shalt be a blessing - That is, thy life shall be a blessing tothe places where thou shalt sojourn.
  5. I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee - This made it a kind of league offensive and defensive between God andAbram. Abram heartily espoused God's cause, and here God promiseth to interest himself in his.
  6. In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed - This was thepromise that crowned all the rest, for it points at the Messiah, in whom all the promises are yea and amen.

12:4 So Abram departed - He was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.His obedience was speedy and without delay, submissive and without dispute.

12:5 They took with them the souls that they had gotten - That is, the proselytes they had made, and persuaded to worship the true God, and to go with them to Canaan; the souls which (as one of the Rabbins expresseth it) they had gathered under the wings of the divine Majesty.

12:6 The Canaanite was then in the land - He found the country possessed by Canaanites, who were likely to be but bad neighbours; and for ought appears he could not have ground to pitch his tent on but by their permission.

12:7 And the Lord appeared to Abram - Probably in a vision, and spoke to him comfortable words; Unto thy seed will I give this land - No place or condition can shut us out from God's gracious visits. Abram is a sojourner, unsettled, among Canaanites, and yet here also he meets with him that lives, and sees him. Enemies may part us and our tents, us and our altars, but not us and our God.

12:8 And there he built an altar unto the Lord who appeared to him, and called on the name of the Lord - Now consider this,

  1. As done upon a special occasion when God appeared to him, then andthere he built an altar, with an eye to the God that appeared to him: thus he acknowledged with thankfulness God's kindness to him in making him that gracious visit and promise: and thus he testified his confidence in, and dependence upon the word which God had spoken.
  2. As his constant practice, whithersoever he removed. As soon asAbram was got to Canaan, though he was but a stranger and sojourner there, yet he set up, and kept up, the worship of God in his family; and wherever he had a tent, God had an altar and that an altar sanctified by prayer.

12:10 And there was a famine in the land - Not only to punish the iniquity of the Canaanites, but to exercise the faith of Abram. Now he was tried whether he could trust the God that brought him to Canaan, to maintain him there, and rejoice in him as the God of his salvation, when the fig - tree did not blossom. And Abram went down into Egypt - See how wisely God provides, that there should be plenty in one place, whenthere was scarcity in another; that, as members of the great body, we may not say to one another, I have no need of you.

12:13 Say thou art my sister - The grace Abram was most eminent for was faith, and yet he thus fell through unbelief and distrust of the divine Providence, even after God had appeared to him twice. Alas, What will become of the willows, when the cedars are thus shaken

12:17 And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house - Probably, those princes especially that had commended Sarai to Pharaoh. We are not told, particularly, what these plagues were; but, doubtless, there was something in the plagues themselves, or some explication added to them, sufficient to convince them that it was for Sarai's sake they were thus plagued.

12:18 What is this that thou hast done? - What an ill thing; how unbecoming a wife and good man! Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? - Intimating, that if he had known that, he would not have taken her. It is a fault, too common among good people, to entertain suspicions of others beyond what there is cause for. We have often found more of virtue, honour, and conscience in some people, than we thought there was; and it ought to be a pleasure to us to be thus disappointed, as Abram was here, who found Pharaoh to be a better man than he expected.

12:20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him - That is, he charged them not to injure him in any thing. And he appointed them, when Abram was disposed to return home, after the famine, to conduct him safe out of the country, as his convoy.

13 In this chapter we have a farther account of Abram;

  1. In general, of his condition and behaviour in the land of promise, which was, now, the land of his pilgrimage.
    1. His removes, Gen 1:3. Gen 1:4. Gen 1:18.
    2. His riches, Gen 13:2.
    3. His devotion, Gen 13:4. Gen 1:18.

  2. A particular account of a quarrel that happened between him and Lot.
    1. The occasion of their strife, Gen 13:5-6.
    2. The parties concerned in the strife, with the aggravation of it, Gen 13:7.
    3. The stopping of it by the prudence of Abram, Gen 13:8-9.

  3. Lot's departure from Abram to the plain of Sodom, Gen 13:10-14.
  4. God's appearance to Abram, to confirm the promise of the land of Canaan to him, Gen 13:14-17.

13:3 He went on to Bethel - Thither he went, not only because he was willing to go among his old acquaintance; but because there he had formerly had his altar. and though the altar was gone, probably he himself having taking it down when he left the place, lest it should be polluted by the idolatrous Canaanites; yet he came to the place of the altar, either to revive the remembrance of the sweet communion he had had with God at that place, or, perhaps, to pay the vows he had there made to God when he undertook his journey into Egypt.

13:6 The land was not able to bear them - The place was too strait for them, and they had not room for their flocks.

13:7 And the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled in the land - This made the quarrel,

  1. Very dangerous; if Abram and Lot cannot agree to feed their flockstogether, it is well if the common enemy do not come upon them and plunder them both.
  2. Very scandalous: No doubt the eyes of all the neighbours were uponthem, because of the singularity of their religion, and the extraordinary sanctity they professed; and notice would soon be taken of this quarrel, and improvement made of it to their reproach by the Canaanites and Perizzites.

13:10 The garden of the Lord - That is, paradise.

13:13 Sinners before the Lord - That is, impudent daring sinners.

13:16 I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth - That is, they shall increase incredibly, and take them altogether; they shall be such a great multitude as no man can number. They were so in Solomon's time, Ki1 4:20.Judah and Israel were many as the land which is by the sea in multitude.This God here gives him the promise of.

13:17 Arise, walk through the land - Enter and take possession, survey the parcels, and it will appear better than upon a distant prospect.

13:18 Then Abram removed his tent - God bid him walk through the land, that is, Do not think of fixing in it, but expect to be always unsettled, and walking through it to a better Canaan; in compliance with God's will herein, he removed his tent, conforming himself to the condition of a pilgrim. And he built there an altar - in token of his thankfulness to God for the kind visit he had made him.

14 We have in this chapter,

  1. A war with the king of Sodom and his allies, Gen 14:1-12.
  2. Abram's rescue of Lot from captivity, Gen 14:13-16.
  3. Abram's return from that expedition, Gen 14:17.
    with an account of what passed,
    1. Between him and the king of Salem, Gen 14:18-20.
    2. Between him and the king of Sodom, Gen 14:21-24.

    In part fulfilled, that God would make his name great.

14:1 We have here an account of the first war that ever we read of in scripture, in which we may observe. [1.] The parties engaged in it. The invaders were four kings; two ofthem no less than kings of Shinar and Elam - That is, Chaldea and Persia; yet probably not the sovereign princes of those great kingdoms, but rather the heads of some colonies which came out thence, and settled themselves near Sodom, but retained the names of the countries from which they had their original. The invaded were the kings of five cities that lay near together in the plain of Jordan, Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar. [2.] The occasion of this war was, the revolt of the five kings from underthe government of Chedorlaomer.

14:4 Twelve years they served him - The Sodomites were the posterity of Canaan, whom Noah had pronounced a servant to Shem, from whom Elam descended. Thus soon did that prophecy begin to be fulfilled. In the thirteenth year, beginning to be weary of their subjection, they rebelled - Denied their tribute, and attempted to shake off the yoke.

14:5 In the fourteenth year - After some pause and preparation, Chedorlaomer, in conjunction with his allies, set himself to reduce the revolters.See note at Gen 14:1 (For [1.],[2.]) [3.] The progress of the war. The four kings laid the neighbouringcountries waste, and enriched themselves with the spoil of them, Gen 14:5-7. Upon the alarm of which, the king ofSodom and his allies went out and were routed.

14:13 We have here an account of the only military action we ever find Abram engaged in; and this he was not prompted to by avarice or ambition, but purely by a principle of charity.

14:14 He armed his trained servants, born in his house - To the number of three hundred and eighteen: a great family, but a small army; about as many as Gideon's that routed the Midianites, Jdg 7:7.He drew out his trained servants, or his catechized servants; not only instructed in the art of war, but instructed in the principles of religion; for Abram commanded his household to keep the way of the Lord.

14:16 His brother Lot - That is, his kinsman.

14:18 The Rabbins say, that Melchizedek was Shem the son of Noah, who was king and priest to those that descended from him, according to the patriarchal model. Many Christian writers have thought that this was an appearance of the Son of God himself, our Lord Jesus, known to Abram at this time by this name. But as nothing is expressly revealed concerning it, we can determine nothing. He brought forth bread and wine - For the refreshment of Abram and his soldiers, and in congratulation of their victory. This he did as a king. As priest of the most high God he blessed Abram, which we may suppose a greater refreshment to Abram than his bread and wine were.

14:19 Blessed be Abram, of the most high God - Observe the titles he here gives to God, which are very glorious.

  1. The most high God, which speaks his absolute perfections in himself,and his sovereign dominion over all the creatures.
  2. Possessor of heaven and earth - That is, rightful owner and sovereignLord of all the creatures; because he made them.

14:20 And blessed be the most high God - Note,

  1. In all our prayers we must praise God, and join hallelujahs with allour hosannas. These are the spiritual sacrifices we must offer up daily, and upon particular occasions.
  2. God as the most high God must have the glory of all our victories. Inthem he shews himself higher than our enemies, and higher than we, for without him we could do nothing. And he gave him tithes of all - That is, of the spoils, Heb 7:4. This may be looked upon,
    1. As a gratuity presented to Melchizedek, by way of return for hisrespects.
    2. As an offering dedicated to the most high God, and therefore putinto the hands of Melchizedek his priest. Jesus Christ, our great Melchizedek, is to be humbly acknowledged by every one of us as our king and priest, and not only the tithe of all, but all we have, must be given up to him.

14:21 Give me the souls, and take thou the substance - So the Hebrew reads it. Here he fairly begs the persons, but as freely bestows the goods on Abram. Gratitude teaches us to recompense to the utmost of our power those that have undergone fatigues, or been at expence for our service.

14:22 I have lift up mine hand to the Lord that I will not take anything - Here Observe,

  1. The titles he gives to God, the most high God, the possessor ofheaven and earth - The same that Melchizedek had just now used. It is good to learn of others how to order our speech concerning God, and to imitate those who speak well in divine things.
  2. The ceremony used in this oath; I have lift up my hand - In religiousswearing we appeal to God's knowledge of our truth and sincerity, and imprecate his wrath if we swear falsely; and the lifting up of the hands is expressive of both. Lest thou shouldst say, I have made Abram rich - Probably, Abram knew the king of Sodom to be a proud and scornfulman, and one that would be apt to turn such a thing as this to his reproach afterwards, and when we have to do with such men, we have need to act with particular caution.

14:23 From a thread to a shoe - latchet - Not the least thing that had ever belonged to the king of Sodom.

15 In this chapter we have a solemn treaty between God and Abram,

  1. A general assurance of God's kindness and good - will to Abram, Gen 15:1.
  2. A particular declaration of the purposes of his love concerning him, in two things.
    1. That he would give him a numerous issue, Gen 15:2-7.
    2. That he would give him Canaan for an inheritance, Gen 15:7-16.

15:1 After these things -

  1. After that act of generous charity which Abram had done, inrescuing his neighbours, God made him this gracious visit.
  2. After that victory which he had obtained over four kings; lestAbram should be too much elevated with that, God comes to tell him he had better things in store for him. The word of the Lord came unto Abram - That is, God manifested himself to Abram, in a vision - Which supposeth Abram awake, and some sensible token of the presence of the divine glory, saying, Fear not Abram - Abram might fear lest the four kings he had routed, should rally and fall upon him. No, saith God, fear not: fear not their revenge, nor thy neighbour's envy; I will take care of thee. I am thy shield - Or, emphatically, I am a shield to thee, present with thee, actually defending thee. The consideration of this, that God himself is, a shield to his people, to secure them from all destructive evils, a shield ready to them, and a shield round about them, should silence all perplexing fears. And thy exceeding great reward - Not only thy rewarder, but thy reward. God himself is the felicity of holy souls; He is the portion of their inheritance, and their cup.

15:3 Behold to me thou hast given no seed - Not only no son, but no seed. If he had had a daughter, from her the promised Messias might have come, who was to be the Seed of the Woman; but he had neither son nor daughter.

15:5 And he brought him forth - It seems, early in the morning, and said, look now toward heaven, and tell the stars: so shall thy seed be -

  1. So innumerable, for so the stars seem to a common eye. Abramfeared he should have no child at all, but God tells him his descendents should be so many as not to be numbered.
  2. So illustrious, as the stars of heaven for splendour; for to thempertained the glory, Rom 9:4.Abram's seed according to the flesh were like the dust of the earth, Gen 13:16, but his spiritual seed are like the stars of heaven.

15:6 And he believed in the Lord - That is, believed the truth of that promise which God had now made him, resting upon the power, and faithfulness of him that made it: see how the apostle magnifies this faith of Abram, and makes it a standing example, Rom 4:19-21. He was not weak in faith; he staggered not at the promise: he was strong in faith; he was fully persuaded. The Lord work such a faith in every one of us. And he counted it to him for righteousness - That is, upon the score of this he was accepted of God, and, by faith he obtained witness that he was righteous, Heb 11:4. This is urged in the New Testament to prove, that we are justified by faith without the works of the law, Rom 4:3, Gal 3:6, for Abram was so justified, while he was yet uncircumcised. If Abram, that was so rich in good works, was not justified by them, but by his faith, much less can we. This faith, which was imputed to Abram for righteousness, had newly struggled with unbelief, Gen 15:2, and coming off, conqueror, it was thus crowned, thus honoured.

15:7 I am the lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees - Out of the fire of the Chaldees, so some: that is, from their idolatries; for the Chaldeans worshipped the fire. Or, from their persecutions.The Jewish writers have a tradition, that Abram was cast into a fiery furnace for refusing to worship idols, and was miraculously delivered.It is rather a place of that name. Thence God brought him by an effectual call, brought him by a gracious violence; snatched him as a brand out of the burning. Observe how God speaks of it as that which he gloried in.I am the Lord that brought thee out - He glories in it as an act both of power and grace. To give thee this land to inherit it - Not only to possess it, but to possess it as an inheritance, which is the surest title.The providence of God hath secret, but gracious designs in all its various dispensations: we cannot conceive the projects of providence, 'till the event shews what it was driving at.

15:8 Whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? - This did not proceed from distrust of God's power or promise, but he desired this,

  1. For the strengthening of his own faith. He believed, Gen 15:6, buthere he prays, Lord help me against my unbelief, Now, he believed, but he desired a sign, to be treasured up against an hour of temptation.
  2. For the ratifying of the promise to his posterity, that they also mightbelieve it.

15:9 Take me an heifer - Perhaps Abram expected some sign from heaven, but God gives him a sign upon a sacrifice. Those that would receive the assurances of God's favour, must attend instituted ordinances, and expect to meet with God in them. Observe,

  1. God appointed that each of the beasts used for his service should bethree years old, because then they were at their full growth and strength.God must be served with the best we have.
  2. We do not read that God gave Abram particular directions how tomanage these, knowing that he was well versed in the custom of sacrifices.
  3. Abram took as God appointed him, though as yet he knew not howthese things should become a sign to him. He divided the beasts in the midst, according to the ceremony used in continuing covenants, Jer 34:18-19, where it is said, theycut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts.
  4. Abram, having prepared according to God's appointment, set himself toexpect what sign God would give him by these.

15:12 And when the sun was going down - About the time of the evening oblation. Early in the morning, while the stars were yet to be seen, God had given him orders concerning the sacrifices, Gen 15:5, and we may suppose it was at least his morning's work to prepare them, and set them in order; which when he had done, he abode by them praying and waiting 'till towards evening. A deep sleep fell upon Abram - Not a common sleep through weariness or carelessness, but a divine extasy, that being wholly taken off from things sensible, he might be wholly taken up with the contemplation of things spiritual. The doors of the body were locked up, that the soul might be private and retired, and might act the more freely. And lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him - This was designed to strike an awe upon the spirit of Abram, and topossess him with a holy reverence. Holy fear prepares the soul for holy joy; God humbles first, and then lifts up.

15:13 Thy seed shall be strangers - So they were in Canaan first, Psa 105:11-12, and afterwards inEgypt: before they were lords of their own land, they were strangers in a strange land. The inconveniences of an unsettled state make a happy settlement the more welcome. Thus the heirs of heaven are first strangers on earth. And them they shall serve - So they did the Egyptians, Exo 1:13. See how that which was the doom of the Canaanites, Gen 9:25, proves the distress of Abram's seed: they are made to serve; but with this difference, the Canaanites serve under a curse, the Hebrews under a blessing.And they shall afflict them - See Exo 1:11. Those that are blessed and beloved of God are often afflicted by wicked men. This persecution began with mocking, when Ishmael the son of an Egyptian, persecuted Isaac, Gen 21:9, and it came at last to murder, the basest of murders, that of their new born children; so that more or less it continued 400 years.

15:14 That nation whom they shall serve, even the Egyptians, will I judge - This points at the plagues of Egypt, by which God not only constrained the Egyptians to release Israel, but punished them for all the hardships they had put upon them. The punishing of persecutors is the judging of them; it is a righteous thing with God, and a particular act of justice, to recompense tribulation to those that trouble his people. 3. The deliverance of Abram's seed out of Egypt.And afterwards shall they come out with great substance - Either after they have been afflicted 400 years, or, after the Egyptians are judged and plagued.

15:15 Thou shalt go to thy fathers - At death we go to our fathers, to all our fathers that are gone before us to the state of the dead, to our godly fathers that are gone before us to the state of the blessed.The former helps to take off the terror of death, the latter puts comfort into it. Thou shalt be buried in a good old age - Perhaps mention is made of his burial here, where the land of Canaan is promised him, because a burying - place was the first possession he had in it. Old age is a blessing, if it be a good old age: theirs may be called a good old age,

  1. That are old and healthful, not loaded with such distempers as makethem weary of life:
  2. That are old and holy, whose hoary head is found in the way ofrighteousness, old and useful, old and exemplary for godliness, that is indeed a good old age.

15:16 They shall come hither again - Hither to the land of Canaan, wherein thou now art. The reason why they must not have the land of promise in possession till the fourth generation, is because the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. The righteous God has determined, that they shall not be cut off till they are arrived to such a pitch of wickedness; and therefore till it come to that, the seed of Abram must be kept out of possession.

15:17 When the sun was gone down the sign was given - The smoaking furnace signified the affliction of his seed in Egypt: they were there in the furnace of affliction, and labouring in the very fire.They were there in the smoke, their eyes darkened that they could not see to the end of their troubles. 2. The burning lamp speaks comfort in this affliction; and this Godshewed Abram at the same time with the smoaking furnace. The lamp notes direction in the smoke; God's word was their lamp, a light shining in a dark place. Perhaps too this burning lamp prefigured the pillar of a cloud and fire which led them out of Egypt. 3. The passing of these between the pieces was the confirming of thecovenant God now made with him. It is probable this furnace and lamp, which passed between the pieces, burned and consumed them, and so compleated the sacrifice, and testified God's acceptance of it, as of Gideon's, Jdg 6:21, Manoah's, Jdg 13:19-20, and Solomon's, Ch2 7:1. So it intimates,

  1. That God's covenants with man are made by sacrifice, Psa 50:5, by Christ, the great sacrifice.
  2. God's acceptance of our spiritual sacrifices is a token for good,and an earnest of farther favours.

15:18 In that same day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land - He had said before, To thy seed will I give this land, but here he saith, I have given it; that is,

  1. I have given the promise, the charter is sealed and delivered, andcannot be disanulled.
  2. The possession is as sure in due time, as if it were now actuallydelivered to them. In David's time and Solomon's their jurisdiction extended to the utmost of these limits, Ch2 9:26. And it was their own fault that they were not sooner and longer in possession of all these territories. They forfeited their right by their sins, and by their own sloth and cowardice kept themselves out of possession. The present occupants are named, because their number and strength and long prescription, should be no hindrance to the accomplishment of this promise in its season; and to magnify God's love to Abram and his seed, in giving to that one nation the possession of many nations.

16 Hagar probably was one of those maid - servants which the king of Egypt (among other gifts) bestowed upon Abram, Gen 12:16.
Concerning her we have four things in this chapter,

  1. Her marriage to Abram her master, Gen 16:1-3.
  2. Her misbehaviour towards Sarai her mistress, Gen 16:4-6.
  3. Her discourse with an angel that met her in her flight, Gen 16:7-14.
  4. Her delivery of a son, Gen 16:15-16.

16:1 We have here the marriage of Abram to Hagar, who was his secondary wife. Herein, though he may be excused, he cannot be justified; for from the beginning it was not so: and when it was so, it seems to have proceeded from an irregular desire to build up their families, for the speedier peopling of the world. But now we must not do so? Christ has reduced this matter to the first institution, and makes the marriage union to be between one man and one woman only.

16:4 We have here the ill consequences of Abram's marriage to Hagar: a deal of mischief it made presently. Hagar no sooner perceives herself with child, but she looks scornfully upon her mistress; upbraids her perhaps with her barrenness, and insults over her. Sarai falls upon Abram, and very unjustly charges him with the injury, suspecting that he countenanced Hagar's insolence: and as one not willing to hear what Abram had to say she rashly appeals to God.The Lord judge between me and thee, as if Abram had refused to right her. When passion is upon the throne, reason is out of doors, and is neither heard nor spoken. Those are not always in the right that are most forward in appealing to God. Rash and bold imprecations are commonly evidences of guilt and a bad cause.

16:6 Thy maid is in thy hand - Though she was his wife, he would not countenance her in any thing disrespectful to Sarai. Those who would keep up peace and love, must return first answers to hard accusations; husbands and wives particularly should endeavour not to be both angry together. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her - Making her to serve with rigour; she fled from her face - She not only avoided her wrath for the present, but totally deserted her service.

16:7 Here is the first mention we have in scripture of an angel's appearance, who arrested her in her flight. It should seem she was making towards her own country, for she was in the way to Shur, which lay towards Egypt. 'Twere well if our afflictions would make us think of our home, the better county. But Hagar was now out of the way of her duty, and going farther astray, when the angel found her. It is a great mercy to be stopt in a sinful way, either by conscience or providence.

16:8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid -

  1. As a check to her pride. Though she was Abram's wife, yet he callsher Sarai's maid to humble her.
  2. As a rebuke to her flight. Sarai's maid ought to be in Sarai'stent, and not wandering in the wilderness. Whence comest thou - Consider that thou art running away both from the duty thou wast bound to,and the privileges thou wast blest with, in Abram's tent. And Whither wilt thou go? - Thou art running thyself into sin in Egypt; if she return to that people, she will return to their gods. And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress - She acknowledges her fault in fleeing from her mistress; and yet, excuses it, that it was from the face, or displeasure, of her mistress.

16:9 And the angel said, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hand - Go home and humble thyself for what thou hast done amiss, and resolve for the future to behave thyself better.

16:10 I will multiply thy seed exceedingly - Heb. multiplying I will multiply it, that is, multiply it in every age, so as to perpetuate it. 'Tis supposed that the Turks at this day descended from Ishmael, and they are a great people.

16:11 Ishmael, that is, God will hear; and the reason is, because the Lord hath heard: he hath, and therefore he will. The experience we have had of God's seasonable kindness in distress should encourage us to hope for the like help in the like exigencies. Even there, where there is little cry of devotion, the God of pity hears the cry of affliction: tears speak as well as prayers.

16:12 He will be a wild man - A wild ass of a man, so the word is: rude, and bold and fearing no man; untamed, untractable, living at large, and impatient of service and restraint. His hand will be against every man - That is his sin, and every man's hand against him - That is his punishment.Note, Those that have turbulent spirits have commonly troublesome lives: they that are provoking, and injurious to others, must expect to be repaid in their own coin. And yet, he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren - Though threatened and insulted by all his neighbours, yet he shall keep his ground, and, for Abram's sake more than his own, shall be able to make his part good with them. Accordingly we read, Gen 25:18, that he died, as he lived, in the presence of all his brethren.

16:13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her - That is, thus she made confession of his name, Thou God seest me - This should be with her, his name for ever, and this his memorial, by which she will know him, and remember him while she lives, Thou God seest me. Thou seest my sorrow and affliction. This Hagar especially refers to: when we have brought ourselves into distress by our own folly, yet God has not forsaken us. Thou seest the sincerity of my repentance. Thou seest me, if in any instance I depart from thee. This thought should always restrain us from sin, and excite us to duty, Thou God seest me. Have I here also looked after him that seeth me? - Probably she knew not who it was that talked with her till he was departing, and then looking after him, with a reflexion like that of the two disciples, Luk 24:31-32. Here also - Not only in Abram's tent, and at his altar, but here also, in this wilderness: here, where I never expected it, where I was out of the way of my duty?

16:14 The well was called Beer - lahai - roi - The well of him that lives and sees me. 'Tis likely Hagar put this name upon it, and it was retained long after. This was the place where the God of glory manifested the special care he took of a poor woman in distress. Those that are graciously admitted into communion with God, and receive seasonable comforts from him, should tell others what he has done for their souls, that they also may be encouraged to seek him and trust in him.

17 This chapter contains articles of agreement betwixt the great Jehovah, the father of mercies, and pious Abram, the father of the faithful.Mention was made of this covenant, Gen 15:18.
but here it is particularly drawn up.Here are,

  1. The circumstances of the making of this covenant, the time and manner, Gen 17:1.
    and the posture Abram was in, Gen 17:3.
  2. The covenant itself, in the particular instances.
    1. That he should be the father of many nations, Gen 17:4. Gen 17:6.
      and in token of that his name was changed, Gen 17:5.
    2. That God would be a God to him and his seed, and would give them the land of Canaan, Gen 17:7-8.
      and the seal of this part of the covenant was circumcision, Gen 17:9-14.
    3. That he should have a son by Sarai, and in token of that her name was changed, Gen 17:15-16.
      This promise Abraham received, Gen 17:17.
      And his request for Ishmael, (Gen 17:18.) was answered abundantly
      to his satisfaction, Gen 17:19-22.
  3. The circumcision of Abraham and his family, according to God's appointment, Gen 17:23-27.

17:1 And when Abram was ninety nine years old - Full thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael. So long the promise of Isaac was deferred;

  1. Perhaps to correct Abram's over - hasty marrying ofHagar.
  2. That Abram and Sarai being so far striken in age, God's power inthis matter might be the more magnified.
The Lord appeared unto Abram - In some visible display of God's immediate glorious presence with him.And said, I am the Almighty God - By this name he chose to make himself known to Abram, rather than by his name Jehovah, Exo 6:3.He used it to Jacob, Gen 35:11. They called him by this name, Gen 28:5 Gen 43:14, Gen 48:3, . It is the name of God that is mostly usedthroughout the book of Job, at least 30 times in the discourses of that book, in which Jehovah is used but once. After Moses, Jehovah is more frequently used, and this very rarely. I am El - Shaddai. It speaks the almighty power of God, either
  1. As an avenger, from wrv he destroyed, or laid waste; so some:and they think God took this title from the destruction of the old world: Or,
  2. As a benefactor, v for rva who, and yr it sufficeth.
Our old English translation reads it here, very significantly,I am God All - sufficient. The God with whom we have to do, is self - sufficient; he hath every thing, and he needs not any thing. And he is enough to us, if we be in covenant with him; we have all in him, and we have enough in him; enough to satisfy our most enlarged desires; enough to supply the defect of every thing else, and to secure us happiness for our immortal souls.

But the covenant is mutual, walk before me, and be thou perfect - Thatis, upright and sincere. Observe,

  1. That to walk before God, is to set God always before us, and to think,and speak, and act, in every thing as those that are always under his eye.It is to have a constant regard to his word, as our rule, and to his glory, as our end, in all our actions. It is to be inward with him in all the duties of religious worship, and to be entire for him in all holy conversation.
  2. That upright walking with God is the condition of our interest in hisall - sufficiency. If we neglect him, or dissemble with him, we forfeit the benefit of our relation to him.
  3. A continual regard to God's all - sufficiency will have a great influenceupon our upright walking with him.

17:3 And Abram fell on his face while God talked with him - Either,

  1. As one overcome by the brightness of the Divine glory: Daniel andJohn did so likewise. Or.
  2. As one ashamed of himself, and blushing to think of the honours doneto one so unworthy. He looks upon himself with humility, and upon God with reverence, and, in token of both, falls on his face.

17:4 The promise is here introduced with solemnity: As for me, saith the Great God, Behold, behold and admire it, behold and be assured of it, my covenant is with thee. And thou shalt be a father of many nations - This implies,

  1. That his seed after the flesh should be very numerous, both in Isaacand in Ishmael, and in the sons of Keturah. And the event answered, for there have been, and are, more of the children of men descended from Abraham, than from any one man at equal distance with him from Noah, the common root.
  2. That all believers, in every age, should be looked upon as his spiritualseed, as the father of the faithful. In this sense the apostle directs us to understand this promise, Rom 4:16-17. He is the father of those, in every nation, that, by faith, enter into covenant with God, and (as the Jewish writers express it) are gathered under the wings of the divine majesty.

17:5 In token of this, his name was changed from Abram, a high father, to Abraham, the father of a multitude. This was to confirm the faith of Abraham, while he was childless; perhaps even his own name was sometimes an occasion of grief to him; Why should he be called a high father, who was not a father at all? But now God had promised him a numerous issue, and had given him a name which signified so much; that name was his joy.

17:7 And I will establish my covenant - Not to be altered or revoked; not with thee only, then it would die with thee but with thy seed after thee; and it is not only thy seed after the flesh, but thy spiritual seed. It is everlasting in the evangelical meaning of it. The covenant of grace is everlasting; it is from everlasting in the counsels of it, and to everlasting in the consequences of it; and the external administration of it is transmitted, with the seal of it, to the seed of believers, and the internal administration of it by the Spirit to Christ's seed in every age. This is a covenant of exceeding great and precious promises. Here are two which indeed are all - sufficient, that God would be their God. All the privileges of the covenant, all its joys, and all its hopes, are summed up in this. A man needs desire no more than this to make him happy. What God is himself, that he will be to his people: wisdom to guide and counsel them, power to protect and support them, goodness to supply and comfort them; what faithful worshippers can expect from the God they serve, believers shall find in God as theirs. This is enough, yet not all.

17:8 And I will give thee Canaan for an everlasting possession - God had before promised this land to Abraham and his seed, Gen 15:18.But here, it is promised for an everlasting possession, as a type of heaven, that everlasting rest which remains for the people of God. This is that better country to which Abraham had an eye, and the grant of which was that which answered the vast extent of that promise, that God would be to them a God; so that if God had not designed this, he would have been ashamed to be called their God, Heb 11:16. As the land of Canaan was secured to the seed of Abraham, according to the flesh; so heaven is secured to all his spiritual seed for a possession truly everlasting. The offer of this eternal life is made in the word, and confirmed by the sacraments, to all that are under the external administration of the covenant, and the earnest of it is given to all believers.

17:10 The token of the covenant, is circumcision, for the sake of which the covenant is itself called the covenant of circumcision, Act 7:8. It is here said to be thecovenant which Abraham and his seed must keep, as a copy or counterpart, it is called a sign and seal, Rom 4:11, for it was.

  1. A confirmation to Abraham and his seed of those promises whichwere God's part of the covenant, assuring them that, in due time, Canaan should be theirs: and the continuance of this ordinance, after Canaan was theirs, intimates, that that promise looked farther, to another Canaan.
  2. An obligation upon Abraham and his seed to that duty which wastheir part of the covenant, not only to the duty of accepting the covenants and putting away the corruption of the flesh, which were primarily signified by circumcision, but in general to the observation of all God's commands. They who will have God to be to them a God, must consent to be to him a people.
Now, 1. Circumcision was a bloody ordinance, for all things by the law werepurged with blood, Heb 9:22. See Exo 24:8. But the blood of Christ being shed, all bloody ordinances are now abolished. Circumcision therefore gives way to baptism. 2. It was peculiar to the males, though the women also were included in thecovenant. 3. Christ having not yet offered himself for us, God would have man toenter into covenant, by the offering of some part of his own body, and no part could be better spared. 4. The ordinance was to be administered to children when they were eightdays old, that they might gather some strength to be able to undergo the pain of it. 5. The children of the strangers were to be circumcised, which lookedfavourable upon the Gentiles, who should, in due time be brought into the family of Abraham, by faith. Here is, (1.) The promise made to Abraham of a son by Sarai, thatson in whom the promise made to him should be fulfilled, that he should be the father of many nations, for she also shall be a mother of nations, and kings of people shall be of her, Gen 17:16.Note,
  1. God reveals the purposes of his good - will to his people by degrees. Godhad told Abraham long before, that he should have a son, but never 'till now that he should have a son by Sarai.
  2. The blessing of the Lord makes fruitful, and adds no sorrow with it;no such sorrow as was in Hagar's case. I will bless her, with the blessing of fruitfulness, and then thou shalt have a son of her.
  3. Civil government and order is a great blessing to the church. It ispromised not only that people, but kings of people should be of her; not a headless rout, but a well modelled, well governed society.

17:15 Sarah shall her name be - The same letter is added to her name that was to Abraham's. Sarai signifies my princess, as if her honour were confined to one family only: Sarah signifies a princess, viz. of multitudes.

17:17 Then Abraham fell on his face, and laughed - It was a laughter of delight, not of distrust. Now it was that Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day, now he saw it and was glad, Joh 8:56, for as he saw heaven in the promise of Canaan, so he saw Christ in the promise of Isaac, and said, Shall a child be born to him that is an hundred years old? - He doth not here speak of it, as at all doubtful, for we are sure he staggered not at the promise, Rom 4:20, but as wonderful, and that which could not be effected but by the almighty power of God.

17:18 And Abraham said, O that Ishmael might live before thee! - This he speaks nor as desiring that Ishmael might be preferred before the son he should have by Sarah, but as dreading lest he should be forsaken of God, he puts up this petition on his behalf. The great thing we should desire of God, for our children, is, that they may live before him, that is, that they may be kept in covenant with him, and may have grace to walk before him in their uprightness. God's answer to this prayer, is an answer of peace. Abraham could not say he sought God's face in vain.

17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard thee; I have blessed him - That is, I have many blessings in store for him.

  1. His posterity shall be numerous; I will multiply him exceedingly;
  2. They shall be considerable; twelve princes shall he beget.We may charitably hope that spiritual blessings also were bestowed upon him, though the visible church was not brought out of his loins.

17:21 He names that child, Isaac - Laughter, because Abraham rejoiced in spirit when this son was promised him.

18 We have an account in this chapter of another interview between God and Abraham, probably within a few days after the former, as the reward of his chearful obedience to the law of circumcision.Here is,

  1. The visit which God made him, Gen 18:1-8.
  2. The matters discoursed of between them,
    1. The purposes of God's love concerning Sarah, Gen 18:9-15.
    2. The purposes of God's wrath concerning Sodom.
      1. The discovery God made to Abraham of his design to destroy Sodom, Gen 18:16-22.
      2. The intercession Abraham made for Sodom, Gen 18:23-33.

18:1 This appearance of God to Abraham seems to have had in it more of freedom and familiarity, and less of grandeur and majesty, than those we have hitherto read of, and therefore more resembles that great visit which in the fulness of time the Son of God was to make to the world. He sat in the tent - door in the heat of the day - Not so much to repose himself, as to seek an opportunity of doing good, by giving entertainment to strangers.

18:2 And lo three men - These three men were three spiritual heavenly beings, now assuming human shapes, that they might be visible to Abraham, and conversable with him. Some think they were all three created angels; others, that one of them was the Son of God. He bowed himself towards the ground - Religion doth not destroy but improve good manners, and teaches us to honour all men.

18:9 Where is Sarah thy wife? - By naming her, they gave intimation to Abraham, that tho' they seemed strangers, yet they well knew him and his family: by enquiring after her, they shewed a kind concern for the family of one, whom they found respectful to them. And by speaking of her, she over - hearing it, they drew her to listen to what was farther to be said.

18:10 I will certainly return unto thee - And visit thee. God will return to those that bid him welcome.

18:12 Sarah laughed within herself - It was not a laughter of faith, like Abraham's, Gen 17:17, but a laughter of doubting and distrust.The great objection which Sarah could not get over was her age.I am waxed old, and past child - bearing in a course of nature, especially having been hitherto barren, and which magnifies the difficulty, My lord is old also. Observe here, That Sarah calls Abraham her lord, and the Holy Ghost takes notice of it to her honour, and recommends it to the imitation of all Christian wives, Pe1 3:6.Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord, in token of respect and subjection.

18:17 Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do - Thus doth God in his councils express himself after the manner of men, with deliberation.The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. Those that by faith live a life of communion with God, cannot but know more of his mind than other people. They have a better insight into what is present, and a better foresight of what is to come.

18:19 I know Abraham that he will command his children, and his household after him - This is a bright part of Abraham's character.He not only prayed with his family, but he taught them, as a man of knowledge; nay, he commanded them as a man in authority, and was prophet and king, as well as priest, in his own house. And he not only took care of his children, but of his household: his servants were catechized servants. Masters of families should instruct, and inspect the manners of all under their roof. And this is given as the reason why God would make known to him his purpose concerning Sodom; because he was communicative of his knowledge, and improved it for the benefit of those that were under his charge.

18:21 I will go down now and see - Not as if there were any thing concerning which God is in doubt; but he is pleased thus to express himself after the manner of men.

18:23 Abraham drew near - This expression intimates, A holy concern.A holy confidence; he drew near with an assurance of faith, drew near as a prince, Job 31:37.

18:27 Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am but dust and ashes - He speaks as one amazed at his own boldness, and the liberty God graciously allowed him, considering God's greatness, he is the Lord; and his own meanness, but dust and ashes. Whenever we draw near to God, it becomes us reverently to acknowledge the vast distance that there is between us and Him. He is the Lord of glory, we are worms of the earth.

18:30 Oh let not the Lord be angry - The importunity which believers use in their addresses to God is such, that if they were dealing with a man like themselves, they could not but fear that he would be angry with them. But he with whom we have to do is God and not man, and he is pleased when he is wrestled with. But why then did Abraham leave off asking when he had prevailed so far as to get the place spared if there were but ten righteous in it? Either,

  1. Because he owned that it deserved to perish if there were not so many: asthe dresser of the vineyard, who consented that the barren tree should be cut down if one year's trial more did not make it fruitful, Luk 13:9. Or,
  2. Because God restrained his spirit from asking any farther. When God hathdetermined the ruin of a place, he forbids it to be prayed for, Jer 7:16.

18:33 Abraham returned into his place - To wait what the event would be; and it proved that his prayer was heard, and yet Sodom not spared, because there were not ten righteous in it.

19 We read, Gen 18. of God's coming to take a view of the state of Sodom, what its wickedness was, and what righteous there were in it: here we have the result of that enquiry.

  1. It was found upon trial that Lot was very good, Gen 19:1-3
    and it did not appear that there were any more of the same character.
  2. It was found that the Sodomites were very wicked, Gen 19:4-11.
  3. Special care was therefore taken for the securing of Lot and his family, Gen 19:12-23.
  4. The ruin of Sodom, and of Lot's wife, Gen 19:24-26.
    with a general repetition of the story, Gen 19:27-29.
  5. A foul sin that Lot was guilty of, in committing incest with his two daughters, Gen 19:30-38.

19:1 And there came two - Probably two of the three that had just before been with Abraham, the two created angels who were sent to execute God's purpose concerning Sodom.

19:3 And he pressed upon them greatly - Partly because he would by no means have them to expose themselves to the perils of lodging in the streets of Sodom, and partly because he was desirous of their converse.

19:4 Here were old and young all from every quarter - The old were not past it, and the young were soon come up to it. Either they had no magistrates to protect the peaceable, or their magistrates were themselves aiding and abetting.

19:8 I have two daughters - This was unadvisedly and unjustifiably offered. It is true, of two evils we must chose the less, but of two sins we must chose neither, nor ever do evil that good may come of it.

19:11 And they smote the men with blindness - This was designed to put an end to their attempt, and to be an earnest of their utter ruin the next day.

19:13 We will destroy this place - The holy angels are ministers of God's wrath for the destruction of sinners, as well as of his mercy for the preservation and deliverance of his people.

19:14 Up, get you out this place - The manner of expression is startling. It was not time to trifle, when the destruction was just at the door. But he seemed to them as one that mocked - They thought perhaps that the assault which the Sodomites had just now made upon his house had disturbed his head, and put him into such a fright that be knew not what he said. They that made a jest of every thing, made a jest of that, and so perished in the overthrow. Thus many who are warned of the danger they are in by sin, make a light matter of it; such will perish with their blood upon their heads.

19:16 Tho' Lot did not make a jest of the warning as his sons - in - law, yet he lingered, he did not make so much haste as the case required.And it might have been fatal to him, if the angels had not laid hold on his hand, and brought him forth. Herein the Lord was merciful to him, otherwise he might justly have left him to perish, since he was loath to depart. If God had not been merciful to us, our lingering had been our ruin.

19:17 Look not behind thee - He must not loiter by the way; stay not in all the plain - For it would all be made one dead sea: he must not take up short of the place of refuge appointed him; escape to the mountain - Such as these are the commands given to those who through grace are delivered out of a sinful state.

  1. Return not to sin and Satan, for that's looking back to Sodom.
  2. Rest not in the world, for that's staying in the plain. And,
  3. Reach toward Christ and heaven, for that is escaping to the mountain, short of which we must not take up.

19:22 I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither - The very presence of good men in a place helps to keep off judgments. See what care God takes for the preservation of his people!

19:24 Then the Lord rained - from the Lord - God the Son, from God the Father, for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. He that is the Saviour will be the destroyer of those that reject the salvation.

19:25 And he overthrew the cities, and all the inhabitants of them, the plain, and all that grew upon the ground - It was an utter ruin, and irreparable; that fruitful valley remains to this day a great lake, or dead sea. Travelers say it is about thirty miles long, and ten miles broad. It has no living creature in it: it is not moved by the wind: the smell of it is offensive: things do not easily sink in it. The Greeks call it Asphaltis, from a sort of pitch which it casts up.Jordan falls into it, and is lost there. It was a punishment that answered their sin. Burning lusts against nature were justly punished with this preternatural burning.

19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him - Herein she disobeyed an express command. Probably she hankered after her house and goods in Sodom, and was loath to leave them. Christ intimates this to be her sin, Luk 17:31-32, she too much regarded her stuff. And her looking back spoke an inclination to go back; and therefore our Saviour uses it as a warning against apostasy from our Christian profession. And she became a pillar of salt - She was struck dead in the place, yet her body did not fall down, but stood fixed and erect like a pillar or monument, not liable to waste or decay, as human bodies exposed to the air are, but metamorphosed into a metallic substance, which would last perpetually. Our communion with God consists in our gracious regard to him, and hisgracious regard to us. We have here therefore the communion that was between God and Abraham in the event concerning Sodom, as before in the consultation concerning It; for communion with God is to be kept up in providences as well as in ordinances.

19:27 And Abraham gat up early - And to see what was become of his prayers, he went to the very place were he had stood before the Lord.

19:28 And he looked toward Sodom - Not as Lot's wife did, tacitly reflecting upon the divine severity, but humbly adoring it, and acquiescing in it. Here is God's favourable regard to Abraham, Gen 19:29.As before when Abraham prayed for Ishmael, God heard him for Isaac, so now when he prayed for Sodom, he heard for Lot.

19:29 God remembered Abraham, and for his sake sent Lot out of the overthrow - God will certainly give an answer of peace to the prayer of faith in his own way and time.

19:30 He feared to dwell in Zoar - Here is the great trouble and distress that Lot was brought into after his deliverance, Gen 19:29.He was frightened out of Zoar, durst not dwell there, either because he was conscious to himself that it was a refuge of his own chusing, and that therein he had foolishly prescribed to God, and therefore could not but distrust his safety in it. Probably he found it as wicked as Sodom; and therefore concluded it could not long survive it; or perhaps he observed the rise and increase of those waters, which, after the conflagration, began to overflow the plain, and which, mixing with the ruins, by degrees made the dead sea; in those waters he concluded Zoar must needs perish, (though it had escaped the fire) because it stood upon the same flat. He was now glad to go to the mountain, the place which God had appointed for his shelter. See in Lot what those bring themselves to at last, that forsake the communion of saints for secular advantages.

20 We have here,

  1. Abraham's sin in denying his wife, and Abimelech's sin thereupon in taking her, Gen 20:1-2.
  2. God's discourse with Abimelech in a dream upon this occasion; wherein he shews him his error, Gen 20:3.
    accepts his plea, Gen 20:4-6.
    and directs him to make restitution, Gen 20:7.
  3. Abimelech's discourse with Abraham; wherein he chides him for the cheat he had put upon him, Gen 20:8-10.
    and Abraham excuses it as well as he can, Gen 20:11-13.
  4. The good issue of the story; in which Abimelech restores Abraham his wife, Gen 20:14-16.
    and Abraham by prayer prevails with God for the removal of the judgment Abimelech was under, Gen 20:17-18.

20:1 And Abraham sojourned in Gerar - We are not told upon what occasion he removed, whether terrified by the destruction of Sodom, or, as some of the Jewish writers say, because he was grieved at Lot's incest with his daughters, and the reproach which the Canaanites cast upon him for his kinsman's sake. The king of Gerar sent and took her - To his house, in order to the taking of her to his bed.

20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream - It appears by this that God revealed himself by dreams, which evidenced themselves to be divine and supernatural, not only to his servants the prophets, but even to those that were out of the pale of the church; but then usually it was with some regard to God's own people.

20:4 Wilt thou slay also a righteous nation - Not such a nation as Sodom.

20:6 I withheld thee from sinning against me - It is God that restrains men from doing the ill they would do; it is not from him that there is sin, but it is from him that there is not more sin, either by his influence on mens minds checking their inclination to sin, or by his providence taking away the opportunity. It is a great mercy to be hindered from committing sin, which God must have the glory of whoever is the instrument.

20:9 Thou hast done deeds that ought not to be done - Equivocation and dissimulation, however they may be palliated, are very ill things, and by no means to be admitted in any case. He takes it as a very great injury to himself and his family, that Abraham had thus exposed them to sin, What have I offended thee? - If I had been thy worst enemy, thou couldst not have done me a worse turn, nor taken a more effectual course to be avenged on me. Note, We ought to reckon, that those do us the greatest dislikedness in the world, that any way tempt us or expose us to sin, though they may pretend friendship, and offer that which is grateful enough to the corrupt nature. He challenges him to assign any just cause he had to suspect them as a dangerous people for an honest man to live among.

20:10 What sawest thou that thou hast done this thing - What reason hadst thou to think, that if we had known her to be thy wife, thou wouldst have been exposed to any danger by it?

20:11 I thought surely the fear of God is not in this place, and they will slay me - There are many places and persons that have more of the fear of God in them than we think they have; perhaps they are not called by our name, they do not wear our badges, they do not tie themselves to that which we have an opinion of; and therefore we conclude they have not the fear of God in their hearts!

20:13 When God caused me to wander from my father's house - Then we settled this matter. It may be, that God denied Abraham and Sarah the blessing of children so long to punish them for this sinful compact they had made to deny one another: if they will not own their marriage, why should God own it? But we may suppose, that alter this reproof they agreed never to do so again, and then presently we read, Gen 21:1-2, that Sarah conceived.

20:16 Thy brother is to thee a covering of the eyes - Thou must look at no other, nor desire to be looked at by any other. Yoke - fellows must be to each other for a covering of the eyes. The marriage - covenant is a covenant with the eyes, like Job's, Job 31:1.

21 In this chapter we have,

  1. Isaac, the child of promise, born into Abraham's family, Gen 21:1-8.
  2. Ishmael, the son of the bond - woman, cast out of it, Gen 21:9-21.
  3. Abraham's league with Abimelech, Gen 21:22-32.
  4. His devotion to God, Gen 21:33-34.

21:2 Sarah conceived - Sarah by faith, received strength to conceive, Heb 11:11. God therefore, by promise, gave that strength.Abraham was old, and Sarah old, and both as good as dead, and then the word of God took place.

21:4 He circumcised his son - The covenant being established with him, the seal of the covenant was administered to him.

21:6 And Sarah said, God has made me to laugh - He hath given me both cause to rejoice, and a heart to rejoice. And it adds to the comfort of any mercy to have our friends rejoice with us in it, See Luk 1:58.They that hear will laugh with me - Others will rejoice in this instance of God's power and goodness, and be encouraged to trust in him.

21:9 Sarah saw the son of the Egyptian mocking - Mocking Isaac no doubt, for it is sad, with reference to this, Gal 4:29, that he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the spirit. Ishmael is here called the son of the Egyptian, because (as some think) the four hundred years affliction of the seed of Abrahamby the Egyptians began now, and was to be dated from hence.

21:10 Cast out the bond - woman - This was a type of the rejection of the unbelieving Jews, who, though they were the seed of Abraham, yet, because they submitted not to the gospel - covenant, were unchurched and disfranchised. And that, which above any thing provoked God to cast them off, was, their mocking and persecuting the gospel - church, God's Isaac, in his infancy.

21:11 The thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight - it grieved him that Ishmael had given such provocation. And still more that Sarah insisted upon such a punishment.

21:13 The casting out of Ishmael was not his ruin. He shall be a nation because he is thy seed - We are not sure that it was his eternal ruin. It is presumption to say, that all these who are left out of the external dispensation of God's covenant are excluded from all his mercies.Those may be saved who are not thus honoured.

21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning - We may suppose immediately after he had in the night - visions received orders to do this.

21:17 God heard the voice of the lad - We read not of a word be said; but his sighs and groans, cried loud in the ears of the God of mercy. An angel was sent to comfort Hagar, who assures her, God has heard the voice of the lad where he is - Though he be in the wilderness; for wherever we are, there is a way open heavenwards; therefore lift up the lad, and hold him in thy hand - God's readiness to help us when we are in trouble must not slacken, but quicken our endeavours to help ourselves. He repeats the promise concerning her son, that he should be a great nation, as a reason why she should bestir herself to help him.

21:31 Beer - sheba - That is, the well of the oath, in remembrance of the covenant that they sware to, that they might be ever mindful of it.

21:33 And Abraham planted a grove - For a shade to his tent, or perhaps an orchard of fruit trees; and there, though we cannot say he settled, for God would have him while he lived to be a stranger and a pilgrim, yet he sojourned many days. And called there on the name of the Lord - Probably in the grove he planted, which was his oratory, or house ofprayer: he kept up publick worship, to which probably his neighbours resorted, and joined with him. Men should not only retain their goodness wherever they go, but do all they can to propagate it, and make others good.The everlasting God - Though God had made himself known to Abraham as his God in particular; yet he forgets not to give glory to him as the Lord of all, the everlasting God, who was before all worlds, and will be when time and days shall be no more.

22 We have here,

  1. The strange command which God gave to Abraham, Gen 22:1-2.
  2. Abraham's strange obedience to this command, Gen 22:3-10.
  3. The strange issue of this trial.
    1. The sacrificing of Isaac was countermanded, Gen 22:11-12.
    2. Another sacrifice was provided, Gen 22:13-14.
    3. The covenant was renewed with Abraham hereupon, Gen 22:15-19.

  4. An account of some of Abraham's relations, Gen 22:20-24.

22:1 Here is the trial of Abraham's faith, whether it continued so strong, so vigorous, so victorious, after a long settlement in communion with God, as it was at first, when by it he left his country: then it appeared that he loved God better than his father; now, that he loved him better than his son. After these things - After all the other exercises he had had, all the difficulties he had gone through: now perhaps he was beginning to think the storms were blown over but after all, this encounter comes, which is stranger than any yet. God did tempt Abraham - Not to draw him to sin, so Satan tempts; but to discover his graces,how strong they were, that they might be found to praise and honour and glory. The trial itself: God appeared to him as he had formerly done, called him by name Abraham, that name which had been given him in ratification of the promise: Abraham, like a good servant, readily answered, Here am I; what saith my Lord unto his servant? Probably he expected some renewed promise, like those, Gen 15:1 Gen 17:1, but to his great amazement that which God hath to say to him is in short, Abraham, go kill thy son: and this command is given him in such aggravating language as makes the temptation abundantly more grievous. When God speaks, Abraham, no doubt, takes notice of every word, and listens attentively to it: and every word here is a sword in his bones; the trial is steel'd with trying phrases. Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that he should afflict? No, it is not; yet when Abraham's faith is to be tried, God seems to take pleasure in the aggravation of the trial.

22:2 And he said, take thy son - Not thy bullocks and thy lambs; how willingly would Abraham have parted with them by thousands to redeem Isaac! Not thy servant, no, not the steward of thine house. Thine only son - Thine only son by Sarah. Ishmael was lately cast out, to the grief of Abraham, and now Isaac only was left and must he go too? Yes: take Isaac, him by name, thy laughter, that son indeed. Yea, that son whom thou lovest - The trial was of Abraham's love to God, and therefore it must be in a beloved son: in the Hebrew 'tis expressed more emphatically, and I think might very well be read thus, Take now that son of thine, that only son of thine, whom thou lovest, that Isaac. And get thee into the land of Moriah - Three days journey off: so that he might have time to consider it, and if he do it, must do it deliberately. And offer him for a burnt offering - He must not only kill his son, but kill him as a sacrifice, with all that sedateness and composedness of mind, with which he used to offer his burnt - offering.

22:3 The several steps of this obedience, all help to magnify it, and to shew that he was guided by prudence, and governed by faith, in the whole transaction.

  1. He rises early - Probably the command was given in the visions ofthe night, and early the next morning he sets himself about it, did not delay, did not demur. Those that do the will of God heartily will do it speedily.
  2. He gets things ready for a sacrifice, and it should seem, with his ownhands, cleaves the wood for the burnt - offering.
  3. He left his servants at some distance off, left they should havecreated him some disturbance in his strange oblation. Thus when Christ was entering upon his agony in the garden, he took only three of his disciples with him.

22:6 Isaac's carrying the wood was a type of Christ, who carried his own cross, while Abraham, with a steady and undaunted resolution, carried the fatal knife and fire.

22:7 Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb? - This is,

  1. A trying question to Abraham; how could he endure to think thatIsaac is himself the lamb?
  2. 'Tis a teaching question to us all, that when we are going to worshipGod, we should seriously consider whether we have every thing ready, especially the lamb for a burnt - offering.Behold, the fire is ready; that is, the Spirit's assistance, and God's acceptance: the wood is ready, the instituted ordinances designed to kindle our affections, which indeed, without the Spirit, are but like wood without fire, but the Spirit works by them. All things are now ready, but where is the lamb? Where is the heart? Is that ready to be offered up to God, to ascend to him as a burnt - offering?

22:8 My son, God will provide himself a lamb - This was the language either,

  1. Of his obedience; we must offer the lamb which God has appointed now tobe offered; thus giving him this general rule of submission to the divine will to prepare him for the application of it to himself.Or,
  2. Of his faith; whether he meant it so or no, this proved to be the meaningof it; a sacrifice was provided instead of Isaac.
  1. Christ the great sacrifice of atonement was of God's providing:when none in heaven or earth could have found a lamb for that burnt - offering, God himself found the ransom.
  2. All our sacrifices of acknowledgement are of God's providing too; 'tis he that prepares the heart. The broken and contrite spirit is asacrifice of God, of his providing.

22:9 With the same resolution and composedness of mind, he applies himself to the compleating of this sacrifice. After many a weary step, and with a heavy heart, he arrives at length at the fatal place; builds the altar, an altar of earth, we may suppose, the saddest that ever be built; lays the wood in order for Isaac's funeral pile; and now tells him the amazing news. Isaac, for ought appears, is as willing as Abraham; we do not find that he made any objection against it. God commands it to be done, and Isaac has learned to submit. Yet it is necessary that a sacrifice be bound; the great Sacrifice, which, in the fulness of time, was to be offered up, must be bound, and therefore so must Isaac. Having bound him he lays him upon the altar, and his hand upon the head of the sacrifice. Be astonished, O heavens, at this, and wonder, O earth! here is an act of faith and obedience which deserves to be a spectacle to God, angels and men; Abraham's darling, the church's hope, the heir of promise, lies ready to bleed and die by his own father's hands! Now this obedience of Abraham in offering up Isaac is a lively representation,

  1. Of the love of God to us, in delivering up his only begotten Son tosuffer and die for us, as a sacrifice. Abraham was obliged both in duty and gratitude to part with Isaac and parted with him to a friend, but God was under no obligations to us, for we were enemies.
  2. Of our duty to God in return of that love we must tread in the steps ofthis faith of Abraham. God, by his word, calls us to part with all for Christ, all our sins, tho' they have been as a right hand, or a right eye, or an Isaac; all those things that are rivals with Christ for the sovereignity of our heart; and we must chearfully let them all go. God, by his providence, which is truly the voice of God, calls us to part with an Isaac sometimes, and we must do it by a chearful resignation and submission to his holy will.

22:11 The Angel of the Lord - That is, God himself, the eternal Word, the Angel of the covenant, who was to be the great Redeemer and Comforter.

22:12 Lay not thine hand upon the lad - God's time to help his people is, when they are brought to the greatest extremity: the more eminent the danger is, and the nearer to be put in execution, the more wonderful and the more welcome is the deliverance. Now know I that thou fearest God - God knew it before, but now Abraham had given a memorable evidence of it. He need do no more, what he had done was sufficient to prove the religious regard he had to God and his authority. The best evidence of our fearing God is our being willing to honour him with that which is dearest to us, and to part with all to him, or for him.

22:13 Behold a ram - Tho' that blessed Seed was now typified by Isaac, yet the offering of him up was suspended 'till the latter end of the world, and in the mean time the sacrifice of beasts was accepted, as a pledge of that expiation which should be made by that great sacrifice.And it is observable, that the temple, the place of sacrifice, was afterward built upon this mount Moriah, Ch2 3:1, and mount Calvary, where Christ was crucified, was not far off.

22:14 And Abraham called the place Jehovah - jireh - The Lord will provide. Probably alluding to what he had said, Gen 22:8.God will provide himself a lamb - This was purely the Lord's doing: let it be recorded for the generations to come; that the Lord will see; he will always have his eyes upon his people in their straits, that he may come in with seasonable succour in the critical juncture. And that he will be seen, be seen in the mount, in he greatest perplexities of his people; he will not only manifest but magnify his wisdom, power and goodness in their deliverance. Where God sees and provides, he should be seen and praised. And perhaps it may refer to God manifest in the flesh.

22:15 And the Angel - Christ. Called unto Abraham - Probably while the ram was yet burning. Very high expressions are here of God's favour to Abraham, above any he had yet been blessed with.

22:16 Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not with - held thy son, thine only son - He lays a mighty emphasis upon that, and Gen 22:18, praises it as an act of obedience, in it thou hastobeyed my voice. By myself have I sworn - For he could swear by no greater.

22:17 Multiplying I will multiply thee - Those that part with any thing for God, shall have it made up to them with unspeakable advantage.Abraham has but one son, and is willing to part with that one in obedience to God; well, saith God, thou shalt be recompensed with thousands and millions. Here is a promise,

  1. Of the Spirit, In blessing I will bless thee - The Gift of the HolyGhost; the promise of the Spirit was that blessing of Abraham which was to come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, Gal 3:14.
  2. Of the increase of the church; that believers, his spiritual seed, shouldbe many as the stars of heaven.
  3. Of spiritual victories; Thy seed shall possess the gate of hisenemies - Believers by their faith overcome the world, and triumph over all the powers of darkness. Probably Zacharias refers to this part of the oath, Luk 1:74.That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear. But the crown of all is the last promise,
  4. Of the incarnation of Christ; In thy seed (one particular person thatshall descend from thee, for he speaks not of many but of one, as the apostle observes, Gal 3:16.) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed - Christ is the great blessing of the world. Abraham was ready to give up his son for a sacrifice to the honour of God, and on that occasion God promised to give his son a sacrifice for the salvation of man.

22:20 This is recorded here,

  1. To show that tho' Abraham saw his own family highly dignified withpeculiar privileges, yet he did not look with contempt upon his relations, but was glad to hear of the increase and prosperity of their families.
  2. To make way for the following story of the marriage of Isaac toRebekah, a daughter of this family.

23 Here is,

  1. Abraham a mourner, for the death of Sarah, Gen 23:1-2.
  2. Abraham a purchaser of a burying place for Sarah.
    1. The purchase proposed by Abraham, Gen 23:3-4.
    2. Treated of and agreed, Gen 23:5-16.
    3. The purchase - money paid, Gen 23:16.
    4. The premises conveyed and secured to Abraham, Gen 23:17-18, Gen 23:20.
    5. Sarah's funeral, Gen 23:19.

23:2 Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep - He did not only perform the ceremonies of mourning according to the custom of those times, but did sincerely lament the great loss he had, and gave proof of the constancy of his affection. Therefore these two words are used, he came both to mourn and to weep.

23:4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you - Therefore I am unprovided, and must become a suiter to you for a burying - place. This was one occasion which Abraham took to confess that he was a stranger and a pilgrim upon earth. The death of our relations should effectually mind us that we are not at home in this world. That I may bury my dead out of my sight - Death will make those unpleasant to our sight, who while they lived were the desire of our eyes. The countenance that was fresh and lively becomes pale and ghastly, and fit to be removed into the land of darkness.

23:6 Thou art a prince of God among us - So the word is; not only great, but good. He called himself a stranger and a sojourner, they call him a great prince.

23:7 Abraham returns them thanks for their kind offer, with all possible decency and respect. Religion teaches good manners, and those abuse it that place it in rudeness and clownishness.

23:11 The field give I thee - Abraham thought he must be intreated to sell it, but upon the first mention, without intreaty, he freely gives it.

23:13 I will give thee money for the field - It was not in pride that Abraham refused the gift; but

  1. In justice. Abraham was rich in silver and gold, andtherefore would not take advantage of Ephron's generosity.
  2. In prudence. He would pay for it, lest Ephron, when this goodhumour was over, should upbraid him with it.

23:15 The land is worth four hundred shekels of silver - About fifty pounds of our money, but what is that between me and thee? - He would rather oblige his friend than have so much money.

23:20 A burying place - 'Tis worth noting,

  1. That a burying - place was the first spot of ground Abraham waspossessed of in Canaan.
  2. That it was the only piece of land he was ever possessed of, tho' itwas all his own in reversion. Those that have least of this earth find a grave in it.

24 The subjoining of Isaac's marriage to Sarah's funeral (with a particular reference to it, Gen 24:67.) shews us, that as one
generation passeth away, another generation comes; and thus the entail of human nature is preserved. Here is,

  1. Abraham's care about the marrying of his son, and the charge he gave to his servant about it, Gen 24:1-9.
  2. The servant's journey into Abraham's country to seek a wife for his young master among his own relations, Gen 24:10-14.
  3. The kind providence which brought him acquainted with Rebekah, whose father was Isaac's cousin german, Gen 24:15-28.
  4. The treaty of marriage with her relations, Gen 24:29-49.
  5. Their consent obtained, Gen 24:50-60.
  6. The happy meeting and marriage between Isaac and Rebekah, Gen 24:61-67.

24:1 Abraham's pious care concerning his son was, that he should not marry with a daughter of Canaan, but with one of his kindred because he saw, the Canaanites were degenerating into great wickedness, and knew, that they were designed for ruin: would not marry his son among them, lest they should be either a snare to his soul, or, at least, a blot to his name. Yet he would not go himself among his kindred, lest he should be tempted to settle there: this caution is given, Gen 24:6, and repeated, Gen 24:8. Parents, in disposing of their children, should carefullyconsult their furtherance in the way to heaven.

24:2 His eldest servant - Probably Eliezer of Damascus, one whose conduct and affection he had had long experience of: he trusted him with this great affair, and not Isaac himself, because he would not have Isaac go at all into that country, but marry thither by proxy; and no proxy so fit as the steward of his house. This matter is settled between the master and the servant with a great deal of care and solemnity.The servant is bound by an oath to do his utmost to get a wife for Isaac among his relations, Gen 24:3-4. Abraham swears him to it, both for his own satisfaction, and for the engagement of his servant to all possible care and diligence. Thus God swears his servants to their work, that, having sworn, they may perform it.Swearing being an ordinance, not peculiar to the church, but common to mankind, is to be performed by such signs as are the common usages of our country.

24:7 God's angels are ministering spirits, sent forth, not only for the protection, but guidance of the heirs of promise, Heb 1:14.He shall send his angel before thee - And then thou shalt speed well.

24:11 He made his camels kneel down - Perhaps to unload them.

24:12 Send me good speed this day - We have leave to be particular in recommending our affairs to the care of Divine providence. Those that would have good speed must pray for it this day, in this affair. Thus we must, in all our ways acknowledge God.

24:14 Let it come to pass - He prays God, that be would please to make his way plain and clear before him, by the concurrence of minute circumstances in his favour. It is the comfort, as well as the belief, of a good man, that God's providence extends itself to the smallest occurrences, and admirably serves its own purposes by them. And it is our wisdom, in all our affairs, to follow providence. Yea, it is very desirable, and that which we may lawfully pray for, while, in the general, we set God's will before us as our rule, that he will, by hints of providence, direct us in the way of our duty, and give us indications what his mind is. Thus he guides his people with his eye, and leads them in a plain path.

24:15 And before he had done speaking, behold Rebekah came out - Who in all respects, answered the characters he wished for in the woman that was to be his master's wife, handsome and healthful, humble and industrious, courteous and obliging to a stranger. And providence so ordered it, that she did that which exactly answered his sign. She not only gave him drink, but, which was more than could have been expected, she offered her service to give his camels drink, which was the very sign he proposed. God, in his providence, doth sometimes wonderfully own the prayer of faith, and gratify the innocent desires of his praying people even in little things, that he may shew the extent of his care, and may encourage them at all times, to seek him, and trust in him; yet we must take heed of being over bold in prescribing to God, lest the event should weaken our faith rather than strengthen it. And the concurrence of providences, and their minute circumstances, for the furtherance of our success in any business, ought to be particularly observed with wonder and thankfulness to the glory of God.We have been wanting to ourselves both in duty and comfort, by neglecting to observe providence.

24:27 Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham - Observe here,

  1. He had prayed for good speed, and now he had sped well, he gives thanks.
  2. As yet, he was not certain what the issue might prove, yet he givesthanks. When God's favours are coming towards us; we must meet them with our praises. The Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren - Those of them that were come out of Ur of the Chaldees, though they were not come to Canaan, but staid in Haran. They were not idolaters, but worshippers of the true God, and inclinable to the religion of Abraham's family.

24:29 We have here the making up of the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah, related largely and particularly. Thus we are directed to take notice of God's providence in the little common occurrences of human life, and in them also to exercise our own prudence, and other graces: for the scripture was not intended only for the use of philosophers and statesmen, but to make us all wise and virtuous in the conduct of ourselves and families.

24:31 Come in thou blessed of the Lord - Perhaps, because they heard from Rebekah, of the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, they concluded him a good man, and therefore blessed of the Lord.

24:34 I am Abraham' servant - Abraham's name, no doubt, was well known among them, and respected; and we may suppose them not altogether ignorant of his state, for Abraham knew theirs, Gen 22:20.

24:45 Before I had done speaking in my heart - Which perhaps he mentions, lest it should be suspected that Rebekah had overheard his prayer, and designedly humoured it; no, saith he, I spake it in my heart, so that none heard it but God, to whom thoughts are words, and from him the answer came.

24:50 The thing proceedeth from the Lord - Providence smiles upon it, and we have nothing to say against it. A marriage is then likely to be comfortable when it appears to proceed from the Lord.

24:52 He worshipped the Lord - As his good success went on, he went on to bless God: those that pray without ceasing should in every thing give thanks, and own God in every step of mercy.

24:55 Let her abide a few days, at least ten - They had consented to the marriage, and yet were loth to part with her. It is an instance of the vanity of this world, that there is nothing in it so agreeable but has its allay. They were pleased that they had matched a daughter of their family so well, and yet it was with reluctancy that they sent her away.

24:57 Call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth - As children ought not to marry without their parents consent, so parents ought not to marry them without their own. Before the matter is resolved on, ask at the damsel's mouth, she is a party principally concerned; and therefore ought to be principally consulted.

24:61 And her damsels - It seems then, when she went to the well for water, it was not because she had no servants at command, but because she took pleasure in the instances of humanity and industry.

24:63 He went out to meditate (or pray) in the field at the even tide - Some think he expected his servants about this time, and went out onpurpose to meet them. But it should seem he went out to take the advantage of a silent evening, and a solitary field, for mediation and prayer. Our walks in the field are then truly pleasant, when in them we apply ourselves to meditation and prayer we there have a free and open prospect of the heavens above us, and the earth around us, and the hosts and riches of both, by the view of which we should he led to the contemplation of the Maker and Owner of all. Merciful providences are then doubly comfortable, when they find us in the way of our duty: some think Isaac was now praying for good success in this affair, and meditating upon that which was proper to encourage his hope in God concerning it; and now when he sets himself, as it were, upon his watch - tower, to see what God would answer him, he sees the camels coming.

24:64 She lighted off her camel, and took a vail and covered herself - In token of humility, modesty and subjection.

25 The sacred historian in this chapter,

  1. Takes his leave of Abraham with an account,
    1. Of his children by another wife, Gen 25:1-4.
    2. Of his last will and testament, Gen 25:5-6.
    3. Of his age, death and burial, Gen 25:7-10.

  2. He takes his leave of Ishmael, with a short account,
    1. Of his children, Gen 25:12-16.
    2. Of his age and death, Gen 25:17-18.

  3. He enters upon the history of Isaac;
    1. His posterity, Gen 25:11.
    2. The conception and birth of his two sons, with the oracle of God concerning them, Gen 25:19-26.
    3. Their different characters, Gen 25:27-28.
    4. Esau's selling his birth - right to Jacob, Gen 25:29-34.

25:1 Five and thirty years Abraham lived after the marriage of Isaac, and all that is recorded concerning him during that time lies here in a very few verses: we hear no more of God's extraordinary appearances to him, or trials of him; for all the days even of the greatest saints are not eminent days, some slide on silently, and neither come nor go with observation: such were these last days of Abraham. We have here an account of his children by Keturah, another wife, which be married after the death of Sarah. He had buried Sarah, and married Isaac, the two dear companions of his life, and was now solitary; his family wanted a governess and it was not good for him to he thus alone; he therefore marries Keturah, probably the chief of his maid servants, born in his house, or bought with money. By her he had six sons, in whom the promise made to Abraham concerning the great increase of his posterity was in part fulfilled. The strength he received by the promise still remained in him, to shew how much the virtue of the promise exceeds the power of nature.

25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac - As he was bound to do in justice to Sarah his first wife, and to Rebekah who married Isaac upon the assurance of it.

25:6 He gave gifts - Or portions to the rest of his children, both to Ishmael, though at first he was sent empty away, and to his sons by Keturah. It was justice to provide for them; parents that do not that, are worse than infidels. It was prudence to settle them in places distant from Isaac, that they might not pretend to divide the inheritance with him. He did this while he yet lived, lest it should not have been done, or not so well done afterwards. In many cases it is wisdom for men to make their own hands their executors, and what they find to do, to do it while they live. These sons of the concubines were sent into the country that lay east from Canaan, and their posterity were called the children of the east, famous for their numbers. Their great increase was the fruit of the promise made to Abraham, that God would multiply his seed.

25:7 And these are the days of Abraham - He lived one hundred and seventy - five years; just a hundred years after he came to Canaan; so long he was a sojourner in a strange country.

25:8 He died in a good old age, an old man - So God had promised him.His death was his discharge from the burdens of his age: it was also the crown of the glory of his old age. He was full of years - A good man, though he should not die old, dies full of days, satisfied with living here, and longing to live in a better place. And was gathered to his people - His body was gathered to the congregation of the dead, and his soul to the congregation of the blessed. Death gathers us to our people. Those that are our people while we live, whether the people of God, or the children of this world, to them death will gather us.

25:9 Here is nothing recorded of the pomp or ceremony of his funeral; only we are told, his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him - It was the last office of respect they had to pay to their good father. Some distance there had formerly been between Isaac and Ishmael, but it seems either Abraham had himself brought them together while he lived, or at least his death reconciled them. They buried him, in his own burying - place which he had purchased and in which he had buried Sarah. Those that in life have been very dear to each other, may not only innocently, but laudably, desire to be buried together, that, in their deaths, they may not be divided, and in token of their hopes of rising together.

25:11 And God blessed Isaac - The blessing of Abraham did not die with him, but survived to all the children of the promise. But Moses presently digresseth from the story of Isaac, to give a short account of Ishmael, for as much as he also was a son of Abraham; and God had made some promises concerning him, which it was requisite we should know the accomplishment of. He had twelve sons, twelve princes they are called, Gen 25:16, heads of families, which, in process of time, becamenations, numerous and very considerable. They peopled a very large continent that lay between Egypt and Assyria, called Arabia.The names of his twelve sons are recorded: Midian and Kedar we oft read of in scripture. And his posterity had not only tents in the fields wherein they grew rich in times of peace, but they had towns and castles, Gen 25:16, where in they fortified themselves in time of war. Their number and strength was the fruit of the promise made to Hagar concerning Ishmael, Gen 16:10.and to Abraham, Gen 17:20 Gen 21:13, .

25:17 He lived an hundred and thirty and seven years - Which is recorded to shew the efficacy of Abraham's prayer for him, Gen 17:18.O that Ishmael might live before thee! Then he also was gathered to his people. And he died in the presence of all his brethren - With his friends about him. Who would not wish so to do?

25:20 And Isaac was forty years old - Not much is related concerning Isaac, but what had reference to his father, while he lived, and to his sons afterward; for Isaac seems not to have been a man of action, nor much tried, but to have spent his day, in quietness and silence.

25:21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife - Though God had promised to multiply his family, he prayed for it; for God's promises must not supersede but encourage our prayers, and be improved as the ground of our faith. Though he had prayed for this mercy many years, and it was not granted, yet he did not leave off praying for it.

25:22 The children struggled within her - The commotion was altogether extra - ordinary, and made her very uneasy: If it be so, or, since it is so, why am I thus? - Before the want of children was her trouble, now the struggle of the children is no less so. And she went to enquire of the Lord - Some think Melchizedek was now consulted as an oracle, or perhaps some Urim or Teraphim were now used to enquire of God by, as afterwards in the breast - plate of judgment. The word and prayer, by which we now enquire of the Lord, give great relief to those that are upon any account perplexed: it is a mighty ease to spread our case before the Lord, and ask council at his mouth.

25:23 Two nations are in thy womb - She was now big not only with two children, but two nations, which should not only in their manners greatly differ from each other, but in their interest contend with each other, and the issue of the contest should be that the elder should serve the younger, which was fulfilled in the subjection of the Edomites for many ages to the house of David.

25:25 Esau when he was born was red and hairy, as if he had been already a grown man, whence he had his name Esau, made, reared already.This was an indication of a very strong constitution, and gave cause to expect that he would be a very robust, daring, active man. But Jacob was smooth and tender as other children.

25:26 His hand took hold on Esau's heel - This signified,

  1. Jacob's pursuit of the birth - right and blessing; from the first hereached forth to have catched hold of it, and if possible to have prevented his brother.
  2. His prevailing for it at last: that in process of time he should gainhis point. This passage is referred to Hos 12:3, and from hence he had his name Jacob, a supplanter.

25:27 Esau was an hunter - And a man that knew how to live by his wits, for he was a cunning hunter. A man of the field - All for the game, and never so well but as when he was in pursuit of it. And Jacob was a plain man - An honest man, that dealt fairly. And dwelt in tents - Either,

  1. As a shepherd, loving that safe and silent employment of keepingsheep, to which also he bred up his children, Gen 46:34. Or,
  2. As a student, he frequented the tents of Melchizedek or Heber, assome understand it, to be taught by them divine things.

25:28 And Isaac loved Esau - Isaac though he was not a stirring man himself, yet he loved to have his son active. Esau knew how to please him, and shewed a great respect for him, by treating him often with venison, which won upon him more than one would have thought. But Rebekah loved him whom God loved.

25:29 Sod - That is, boiled.

25:30 Edom - That is, red.

25:31 Sell me this day thy birth - right - He cannot be excused in taking advantage of Esau's necessity, yet neither can Esau be excused who is profane, Heb 12:16, because for one morsel of meat he sold his birth - right. The birth - right was typical of spiritual privileges, those of the church of the first - born: Esau was now tried how he would value those, and he shews himself sensible only of present grievances: may he but get relief against them, he cares not for his birth - right. If we look on Esau's birth - right as only a temporal advantage, what he said had something of truth in it, that our worldly enjoyments, even those we are most fond of, will stand us in no stead in a dying hour. They will not put by the stroke of death, nor ease the pangs, nor remove the sting. But being of a spiritual nature, his undervaluing it, was the greatest profaneness imaginable. It is egregious folly to part with our interest in God, and Christ, and heaven, for the riches, honours, and pleasures of this world.

25:34 He did eat and drink, and rise up and went his way - Without any serious reflections upon the ill bargain he had made, or any shew of regret.Thus Esau despised his birth - right - He used no means to get the bargain revoked, made no appeal to his father about it but the bargain which his necessity had made, (supposing it were so) his profaneness confirmed, and by his subsequent neglect and contempt, he put the bargain past recall.

26 In this chapter we have,

  1. Isaac in adversity, by reason of a famine in the land; which,
    1. Obliges him to change his quarters, Gen 26:1. but,
    2. God visits him with direction and comfort, Gen 26:2-5.
    3. He denies his wife, and is reproved for it by Abimelech, Gen 26:6-11.

  2. Isaac in prosperity, by the blessing of God upon him, Gen 26:12-14.
    1. The Philistines were envious at him, Gen 26:14-17.
    2. He continued industrious in his business, Gen 26:18-23.
    3. God appeared to him, and encouraged him, and he returned to his duty, Gen 26:24-25.
    4. The Philistines at length made court to him, and made a covenant with him, Gen 26:26-33.

  3. The disagreeable marriage of his son Esau was an allay to his prosperity, Gen 26:34-35.

26:2 The Lord said, go not down into Egypt. Sojourn in this land - There was a famine in Jacob's days, and God bid him go down intoEgypt, Gen 46:3-4, a famine in Isaac's days, and God bid him not go down: a famine in Abraham's days, and God left him to his liberty, directing him neither way, which (considering that Egypt was always a place of trial to God's people)some ground upon the different characters of these three patriarchs.Abraham was a man of very intimate communion with God, and to him all places and conditions were alike; Isaac a very good man, but not cut out for hardship, therefore he is forbidden to go to Egypt; Jacob inured to difficulties, strong and patient, and therefore he must go down into Egypt, that the trial of his faith might be to praise, and honour, and glory. Thus God proportions his people's trials to their strength.

26:5 Abraham obeyed my voice - Do thou do so too, and the promise shall be sure to thee. A great variety of words is here used to express the Divine Will to which Abraham was obedient, my voice, my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws - Which may intimate, that Abraham's obedience was universal; he obeyed the original laws of nature, the revealed laws of divine worship, particularly that of circumcision, and all the extraordinary precepts God gave him, as that of quitting his country, and that (which some think is more especially referred to) the offering up of his son, which Isaac himself had reason enough to remember. Those only shall have the benefit of God's covenant with their parents, that tread the steps of their obedience.

26:7 He said, she is my sister - So Isaac enters into the same temptation that his father had been once and again surprised and overcome by, viz. to deny his wife, and to give out that she was his sister!It is an unaccountable thing, that both these great and good men should be guilty of so odd a piece of dissimulation, by which they so much exposed both their own and their wives reputation.

26:8 This Abimelech was not the same that was in Abraham's days, Gen 20:2-18, for this was near an hundred years after, but that was thecommon name of the Philistine kings, as Caesar of the Roman emperors.

26:10 Lightly - Perhaps.

26:12 Isaac received an hundred fold - And there seems to be an emphasis laid upon the time; it was that same year when there was a famine in the land; while others scarce reaped at all, he reaped thus plentifully.

26:20 Esek - That is, contention.

26:21 Sitnah - That is, hatred.

26:22 He digged a well, and for that they strove not - Those that follow peace, sooner or later, shall find peace: those that study to be quiet seldom fail of being so. This well they called Rehoboth - Enlargements, room enough.

26:24 Fear not, I am with thee, and will bless thee - Those may remove with comfort that are sure of God's presence with them wherever they go.

26:28 The Lord is with thee, and thou art the blessed of the Lord, q.d. Be persuaded to overlook the injuries offered thee, for God has abundantly made up to thee the damage thou receivedst. Those whom God blesseth and favours, have reason enough to forgive those that hate them, since the worst enemy they have cannot do them any real hurt. Let there be an oath betwixt us - Whatever some of his envious subjects might mean, he and his prime ministers, whom he had now brought with him, designed no other but a cordial friendship. Perhaps Abimelech had received by tradition the warning God gave to his predecessor not to hurt Abraham, Gen 20:7,and that made him stand in such awe of Isaac, who appeared to be as much the favourite of heaven as Abraham was.

26:34 He took to wife - Marrying Canaanites, who were strangers to the blessing of Abraham, and subject to the curse of Noah.

27 We have here,

  1. Isaac's purpose to entail the blessing upon Esau, Gen 27:1-4.
  2. Rebekah's plot to procure it for Jacob, Gen 27:6-17.
  3. Jacob's obtaining of the blessing, Gen 27:18-29.
  4. Esau's resentment of this. In which,
    1. His importunity with his father to obtain a blessing, Gen 27:30-40.
    2. His enmity to his brother for defrauding him, Gen 27:41-46.

27:1 Here is Isaac's design to declare Esau his heir. The promise of the Messiah and the land of Canaan was a great trust first committed to Abraham, inclusive and typical of spiritual and eternal blessings; this by divine direction he transmitted to Isaac.Isaac being now old, and either not knowing, or not duly considering the divine oracle concerning his two sons, that the elder should serve the younger, resolves to entail all the honour and power that was wrapt up in the promise upon Esau, his eldest son. He called Esau - Tho' Esau, had greatly grieved his parents by his marriage, yet they had not expelled him, but it seems were pretty well reconciled to him.

27:2 I am old, and know not the day of my death - How soon I may die.

27:3 Take me some venison that I may; bless thee - Esau must go a hunting and bring some venison. In this he designed not so much the refreshment of his own spirits, as the receiving a fresh instance of his son's, filial duty and affection to him, before he bestowed this favour upon him. That my soul may bless thee before I die - Prayer is the work of the soul, and not of the lips only; as the soul must be employed in blessing God, Psa 103:1, so it must be in blessing ourselves and others: the blessing will not go to the heart, if it do not come from the heart.

27:6 Rebekah is here contriving to procure the blessing for Jacob, which was designed for Esau. If the end was good, the means were bad, and no way justifiable. If it were not a wrong to Esau to deprive him of the blessing, he himself having forfeited it by selling the birth right, yet it was a wrong to Isaac, taking advantage of his infirmity, to impose upon him: it was a wrong to Jacob, whom she taught to deceive, by putting a lie in his mouth. If Rebekah, when she heard Isaac promise the blessing to Esau, had gone to him, and with humility and seriousness put him in remembrance of that which God had said concerning their sons; if she had farther shewed him how Esau had forfeited the blessing, both by selling his birth - right, and by marrying of strange wives; 'tis probable Isaac would have been prevailed with to confer the blessing upon Jacob, and needed not thus to have been cheated into it. This had been honourable and laudable, and would have looked well in history; but God left her to herself to take this indirect course, that he might have the glory of bringing good out of evil.

27:19 And Jacob said, I am Esau - Who would have thought this plain man could have played such a part? His mother having put him in the way of it, he applies himself to those methods which he had never accustomed himself to, but had always conceived an abhorrence of. But lying is soon learned. I wonder how honest Jacob could so readily turn his tongue to say, I am Esau thy first - born: and when his father asked him, Gen 27:24.Art thou my very son Esau? to reply I am. How could he say, I have done as thou badst me, when he had received no command from his father, but was doing as his mother bid him? How could he say, Eat of my venison, when he knew it came not from the field, but from the fold?But especially I wonder how he could have the forehead to father it upon God, and to use his name in the cheat.

27:20 The Lord thy God brought it to me - Is this Jacob? It is certainly written not for our imitation, but our admonition, Let him that, standeth, take heed lest he fall.Now let us see how Isaac gave Jacob his blessing.

27:27 He kissed him; in token of particular affection to him. Those that are blessed of God are kissed with the kisses of his mouth, and they do by love and loyalty kiss the son, Psa 2:12. 2. He praised him. Upon occasion of the sweet smell of his garments hesaid, See the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed - That is, like that of the most fragrant flowers and spices.Three things Jacob is here blessed with,

  1. Plenty, Gen 27:28.Heaven and earth concurring to make him rich.
  2. Power, Gen 27:29. Particularly dominion over his brethren,viz. Esau and his posterity.
  3. Prevalency with God, and a great interest in heaven, Cursed beevery one that curseth thee - Let God be a friend to all thy friends, and an enemy to all thine enemies. Now, certainly more is comprised in this blessing than appears at first; it must amount to an entail of the promise of the Messiah: that was in the patriarchal dialect the blessing; something spiritual doubtless is included in it. First, That from him should come the Messiah, that should have a sovereign dominion on earth. See Num 24:19.Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, the star and scepter, Num 24:17.Jacob's dominion over Esau was to be only typical of this, Gen 49:10.Secondly, That from him should come the church that should be particularly owned and favoured by Heaven. It was part of the blessing of Abraham when he was first called to be the father of the faithful, Gen 12:3.I will bless them that bless thee; therefore when Isaac afterwards confirmed the blessing to Jacob, he called it the blessing of Abraham, Gen 28:4.

27:33 Isaac trembled exceedingly - Those that follow the choice of their own affections rather than the dictates of the Divine will, involve themselves in such perplexities as these. But he soon recovers himself, and ratifies the blessing he had given to Jacob, I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed - He might have recalled it, but now at last he is sensible he was in an error when he designed it for Esau. Either recollecting the Divine oracle, or having found himself more than ordinarily filled with the Holy Ghost when he gave the blessing to Jacob, he perceived that God did as it were say Amen to it.

27:39 Esau likewise obtained a blessing: yet it was far short of Jacob's.

  1. In Jacob's blessing the dew of heaven is put first, as that whichhe most valued and desired: in Esau's the fatness of the earth is put first, for that was it which he had the principal regard to.
  2. Esau hath these, but Jacob hath them from God's hand. Godgive thee the dew of heaven, Gen 27:28. It was enough to have the possession, but Jacob desired it by promise.
  3. Jacob shall have dominion over his brethren, for theIsraelites often ruled over the Edomites. Esau shall have dominion, he shall gain some power, but shall never have dominion over his brother: we never find that the Jews were sold into the hands of the Edomites, or that they oppressed them. But the great difference is, that there is nothing in Esau's blessing that points at Christ, nothing that brings either him or his into the church, and without that the fatness of the earth, and the plunder of the field, will stand him in little stead. Thus Isaac by faith blessed them both, according as their lot should be.

27:45 Why should I be deprived of you both? - Not only of the murdered, but of the murderer, who either by the magistrate, or by the immediate hand of God would be sacrificed to justice.

27:46 If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth - As Esau has done. More artifice still. This was not the thing she was afraid of. But if we use guile once, we shall be very ready to use it again. It should be carefully observed, That altho' a blessing came on his posterity by Jacob's vile lying and dissimulation, yet it brought heavy affliction upon himself, and that for a long term of years. So severely did God punish him personally, for doing evil that good might come.

28 We have here,

  1. Jacob's parting with his parents to go to Padan - aram: the charge his father gave him, Gen 28:1-2.
    the blessing he sent him away with, Gen 28:3-4.
    his obedience to the orders given him, Gen 28:5-10.
    and the influence this had upon Esau, Gen 28:6.
  2. Jacob's meeting with God, and his communion with him by the way. And there,
    1. His vision of the ladder, Gen 28:11-12.
    2. The gracious promise God made him, Gen 28:13-15.
    3. The impression this made upon him, Gen 28:16-19.
    4. The vow he made to God upon this occasion, Gen 28:20-22.

28:1 Isaac blessed him, and charged him - Those that have the blessing must keep the charge annexed to it, and not think to separate what God has joined.

28:3 Two great promises Abraham was blessed with, and Isaac here entails them both upon Jacob.

  1. The promise of heirs, God make thee fruitful and multiply thee.
    1. Through his loins that people should descend from Abraham whichshould be numerous as the stars of heaven.
    2. Through his loins should descend from Abraham that person in whom allthe families of the earth should be blessed.
  2. The promise of an inheritance for those heirs, Gen 28:4.That thou mayest inherit the land of thy sojournings - (So the Hebrew) Canaan was hereby entailed upon the seed of Jacob, exclusive of the seed of Esau. Isaac was now sending Jacob away into a distant country to settle there for some time; and lest this should look like disinheriting him, he here confirms the settlement of it upon him. This promise looks as high as heaven, of which Canaan was a type. That was the better country which Jacob, with the other patriarchs, had in his eye when he confessed himself a stranger and pilgrim on the earth, Heb 11:16.
See note at Gen 28:3

28:5 Rebekah is here called Jacob's and Esau's mother - Jacob is named first, not only because he had always been his mother's darling, but because he was now made his father's heir, and Esau was postponed.

28:6 This passage comes in, in the midst of Jacob's story, to shew the influence of a good example. Esau now begins to think Jacob the better man, and disdains not to take him for his pattern in this particular instance of marrying with a daughter of Abraham.

28:11 The stones for his pillow, and the heavens for his canopy! Yet his comfort in the divine blessing, and his confidence in the divine protection, made him easy, even when he lay thus exposed: being sure that his God made him to dwell in safety, he could lie down and sleep upon a stone.

28:12 Behold a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached heaven, the angels ascending and descending on it, and the Lord stood above it - This might represent

  1. The providence of God, by which there is a constantcorrespondence kept up between heaven and earth. The counsels of heaven are executed on earth, and the affairs of this earth are all known in heaven. Providence doth his work gradually and by steps; angels are employed as ministering spirits to serve all the designs of providence, and the wisdom of God is at the upper end of the ladder, directing all the motions of second causes to his glory. The angels are active spirits, continually ascending and descending; they rest not day nor night.They ascend to give account of what they have done, and to receive orders; and desend to execute the orders they have received. This vision gave seasonable comfort to Jacob, letting him know that he had both a good guide and good guard; that though he was to wander from his father's house, yet he was the care of Providence, and the charge of the holy angels.
  2. The mediation of Christ. He is this ladder: the foot on earth in hishuman nature, the top in heaven in his divine nature; or the former is his humiliation, the latter is his exaltation. All the intercourse between heaven and earth since the fall is by this ladder. Christ is the way: all God's favours come to us, and all our services come to him, by Christ.If God dwell with us, and we with him, it is by Christ: we have no way of getting to heaven but by this ladder; for the kind offices the angels do us, are all owing to Christ, who hath reconciled things on earth and things in heaven, Col 1:20.

28:14 In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed - Christ is the great blessing of the world: all that are blessed, whateverfamily they are of, are blessed in him, and none of any family are excluded from blessedness in him, but those that exclude themselves.

28:15 Behold I am with thee - Wherever we are, we are safe, if we have God's favourable presence with us. He knew not, but God foresaw what hardships he would meet with in his uncle's service, and therefore promiseth to preserve him in all places. God knows how to give his people graces and comforts accommodated to the events that shall be, as well as to those that are. He was now going as an exile into a place far distant, but God promiseth him to bring him again to this land. He seemed to be forsaken of all his friends, but God gives him this assurance, I will not leave thee.

28:16 Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not - God's manifestations of himself to his people carry their own evidence along with them. God can give undeniable demonstrations of his presence, such as give abundant satisfaction to the souls of the faithful, that God is with them of a truth; satisfaction not communicable to others, but convincing to themselves. We sometimes meet with God there, where we little thought of meeting with him. He is there where we did not think he had been, is found there where we asked not for him.

28:17 He was afraid - So far was he from being puffed up. The more we see of God, the more cause we see for holy trembling and blushing before him. Those whom God is pleased to manifest himself to, are laid and kept very low in their own eyes, and see cause to fear even the Lord and his goodness, Hos 3:5.And said, How dreadful is this place! - That is, the appearance of God in this place is to be thought of, but with a holy awe and reverence; I shall have a respect for this place, and remember it by this token as long as I live. Not that he thought the place itself any nearer the divine visions than any other places; but what he saw there at this time was, as it were, the house of God, the residence of the Divine Majesty, and the gate of heaven, that is, the general rendezvous of the inhabitants of the upper world; as the meetings of a city were in their gates; or, the angels ascending and descending were like travellers passing and repassing through the gates of a city.

28:18 He set up the stone for a pillar - To mark the place again, if he came back, and erect a lasting monument of God's favour to him: and because he had not time now to build an altar here, as Abraham did in the places where God appeared to him, Gen 12:7, he therefore poured oil on the top of this stone, which probably was the ceremony then used in dedicating their altars, as an earnest of his building an altar when he should have conveniencies for it, as afterwards he did, in gratitude to God, Gen 35:7. Grants of mercy call for our returns of duty and the sweet communion we have with God ought ever to be remembered.

28:19 It had been called Luz, an almond - tree, but he will have it henceforth called Beth-el, the house of God. This gracious appearance of God to him made it more remarkable than all the almond - trees that flourished there.

28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow - By religious vows we give glory to God, and own our dependance upon him, and we lay a bond upon our own souls, to engage and quicken our obedience to him. Jacob was now in fear and distress, and in times of trouble it is seasonable to make vows, or when we are in pursuit of any special mercy, Jon 1:16 Gen 28, Psa 66:13-14, Sa1 1:11, Num 21:1-3. Jacob had now had a gracious visit from heaven, God had renewed his covenant with him, and the covenant is mutual; when God ratifies his promises to us, it is proper for us to repeat our promises to him. If thou wilt be with me and keep me - We need desire no more to make us easy and happy wherever we are, but to have God's presence with us, and to be under his protection. It is comfortable in a journey to have a guide in an unknown way, a guard in a dangerous way, to be well carried, well provided for, and to have good company in any way; and they that have God with them, have all this in the best manner. Then shall the Lord be my God - Then I will rejoice in him as my God, then I will be the more strongly engaged to abide with him. And this pillar shall be God's house - That is, an altar shall be erected here to the honour of God.And of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee - To be spent either upon God's altar or upon his poor, which are both his receivers in the world. The tenth is a very fit proportion to be devoted to God, and employed for him; though as circumstances vary, it may be more or less, as God prospers us.

29 This chapter gives us an account of God's providences concerning Jacob, pursuant to the promise made him in the foregoing chapter.

  1. How he was brought in safety to his journey's end, and directed to his relations there, who bid him welcome, Gen 29:1-14.
  2. How he was comfortably disposed of in marriage, Gen 29:15-30.
  3. How his family was built up in the birth of four sons, Gen 29:31-35.

29:2 Providence brought him to the very field where his uncle's flock's were to be watered, and there he met with Rachel that was to be his wife. The Divine Providence is to be acknowledged in all the little circumstances which concur to make a journey or other undertaking comfortable and successful. If, when we are at a loss, we meet with those seasonably that can direct us; if we meet with a disaster, and those are at hand that will help us; we must not say it was by chance, but it was by providence: our ways are ways of pleasantness, if we continually acknowledge God in them. The stone on the well's mouth was either to secure their property in it, for water was scarce, to save the well from receiving damage from the heat of the sun, or to prevent the lambs of the flock from being drowned in it.

29:9 She kept her father's sheep - She took the care of them, having servants under her that were employed about them when he understood that this was his kinswoman (probably he had heard of her name before) knowing what his errand was into that country, we may suppose it struck into his mind immediately, that this must be his wife, as one already smitten with an honest comely face (though it is likely, sun - burnt, and she in the homely dress of a shepherdess) he is wonderfully officious, and ready to serve her, ver. Gen 29:10, and addresses himself to her with tears of joy, and kisses of love, ver. Gen 29:11, she runs with all haste to tell her father, for she will by no means entertain her kinsman's address without her father's knowledge and approbation, ver. Gen 29:12. These mutual respects at their first interview were good presages of their being a happy couple. Providence made that which seemed contingent and fortuitous to give a speedy satisfaction to Jacob's mind as soon as ever he came to the place he was bound for.Abraham's servant, when he came upon a like errand, met with the like encouragement. Thus God guides his people with his eye, Psa 32:8. It is a groundless conceit which some of theJewish writers have, that Jacob when he kissed Rachel wept, because he had been set upon his journey by Eliphaz the eldest son of Esau, at the command of his father, and robbed him of all his money and jewels, which his mother had given him when she sent him away: it is plain it was his passion for Rachel, and the surprise of this happy meeting that drew these tears from his eyes. Laban, though none of the best humoured men, bid him welcome, was satisfied in the account he gave of himself, and of the reason of his coming in such poor circumstances. While we avoid the extreme on the one hand of being foolishly credulous, we must take heed of falling into the other extreme of being uncharitably jealous and suspicious. Laban owned him for his kinsman, ver. Gen 29:14.Thou art my bone and my flesh. Note, Those are hard - hearted indeed that are unkind to their relations, and that hide themselves from their own flesh, Isa 58:7.

29:15 Because thou art my brother - That is, kinsman. Should thou therefore serve me for nought? - No, what reason for that? If Jacob be so respectful as to give him his service without demanding any consideration for it, yet Laban will not be so unjust as to take advantage either of his necessity, or of his good nature. It appears by computation that Jacob was now seventy years old when he bound himself apprentice for a wife; probably Rachel was young and scarce marriageable when Jacob came first, which made him the more willing to stay for her till his seven years were expired.

29:20 They seemed to him but a few days for the love he had to her - An age of work will be but as a few days to those that love God, and long for Christ's appearing.

29:25 Behold it was Leah - Jacob had cheated his own father when he pretended to be Esau, and now his father - in - law cheated him. Herein, how unrighteous soever Laban was, the Lord was righteous.

29:26 It must be so done in our country - We have reason to think there was no such custom in his country; but if there was, and that he resolved to observe it, he should have told Jacob so, when he undertook to serve him for his younger daughter.

29:27 We will give thee this also - Hereby he drew Jacob into the sin and snare, and disquiet of multiplying wives. Jacob did not design it, but to have kept as true to Rachel as his father had done to Rebekah; he that had lived without a wife to the eighty fourth year of his age could then have been very well content with one: but Laban to dispose of his two daughters without portions, and to get seven years service more out of Jacob, thus imposeth upon him, and draws him into such a strait, that he had some colourable reason for marrying them both.

29:31 When the Lord saw that Leah was hated - That is, loved less than Rachel, in which sense it is required that we hate father and mother, in comparison with Christ, Luk 14:26, then the Lord granted her a child, which was a rebuke to Jacob for making so great a difference between those he was equally related to; a check to Rachel, who, perhaps insulted over her sister upon that account; and a comfort to Leah, that she might not be overwhelmed with the contempt put upon her.

29:32 She appears very ambitious of her husband's love; she reckoned the want of it her affliction, not upbraiding him with it as his fault, nor reproaching him for it; but laying it to heart as her grief, which she had reason to bear, because she was consenting to the fraud by which she became his wife. She called her first - born Reuben, see a son, with this pleasant thought, Now will my husband love me. And her third son Levi, joined, with this expectation, Now will my husband be joined unto me. The Lord hath heard, that is, taken notice of it, that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son. Her fourth she called Judah, praise, saying, Now will I praise the Lord. And this was he, of whom, as concerning the flesh Christ came. Whatever is the matter of our rejoicing, ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. And all our praises must center in Christ, both as the matter of them, and as the Mediator of them. He descended from him whose name was praise, for he is our praise. Is Christ formed in my heart? Now will I praise the Lord.

30 In this chapter we have an account of the increase,

  1. Of Jacob's family; eight children more we find registered in this chapter; Dan and Naphtali by Bilhah, Rachel's maid, Gen 30:1-8.
    Gad and Asher by Zilpah, Leah's maid, Gen 30:9-13.
    Issachar, Zebulon, and Dinah, by Leah, Gen 30:14-21.
    And last of all Joseph by Rachel, Gen 30:22-24.
  2. Of Jacob's estate. He comes upon a new bargain with Laban, Gen 30:25-34.
    And in the six years further service he did to Laban, God wonderfully blessed him, so that his flock of all cattle became very considerable, Gen 30:35-43.
    And herein was fulfilled the blessing which Isaac dismissed him with, Gen 28:3.
    God make thee fruitful and multiply thee.

30:1 Rachel envied her sister - Envy is grieving at the good of another, than which no sin is more injurious both to God, our neighbour, and ourselves. But this was not all, she said to Jacob, give me children or else I die - A child would not content her; but because Leah has more than one, she must have more too; Give me children: her heart is set upon it. Give them me, else I die, That is, I shall fret myself to death. The want of this satisfaction will shorten my days. Observe a difference between Rachel's asking for this mercy, and Hannah's, Gen 1:10, etc Rachel envied, Hannah wept: Rachel must have children, and she died of the second; Hannah prayed for this child, and she had four more: Rachel is importunate and peremptory, Hannah is submissive and devout, If thou wilt give me a child, I will give him to the Lord. Let Hannah be imitated, and not Rachel; and let our desires be always under the conduct and check of reason and religion.

30:2 And Jacob's anger was kindled - He was angry, not at the person, but at the sin: he expressed himself so as to shew his displeasure.It was a grave and pious reply which Jacob gave to Rachel, Am I in God's stead? - Can I give thee that which God denies thee? He acknowledges the hand of God in the affliction: He hath withheld the fruit of the womb. Whatever we want, it is God that with - holds it, as sovereign Lord, most wise, holy, and just, that may do what he will with his own, and is debtor to no man: that never did, nor ever can do, any wrong to any of his creatures. The key of the clouds, of the heart, of the grave, and of the womb, are four keys which God has in his hand, and which (the Rabbins say) he intrusts neither with angel nor seraphin. He also acknowledges his own inability to alter what God appointed, Am I in God's stead? What, dost thou make a God of me? There is no creature that is, or can be, to us in God's stead. God may be to us, instead of any creature, as the sun instead of the moon and stars; but the moon and all the stars will not be to us instead of the sun. No creature's wisdom, power, and love will be to us instead of God's. It is therefore our sin and folly to place that confidence in any creature, which is to be placed in God only.

30:3 Behold my maid, Bilhah - At the persuasion of Rachel he took Bilhah her handmaid to wife, that, according to the usage of those times, his children by her might be adopted and owned as her mistresses children. She would rather have children by reputation than none at all; children that she might call her own, though they were not so. And as an early instance of her dominion over the children born in her apartment, she takes a pleasure in giving them names, that carry in them nothing but marks of emulation with her sister. As if she had overcome her,

  1. At law, she calls the flrst son of her handmaid, Dan, Judgment,saying, God hath Judged me - That is, given sentence in my favour.
  2. In battle, she calls the next Naphtali, Wrestlings, saying, Ihave wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed - See what roots of bitterness envy and strife are, and what mischief they make among relations!

30:9 Rachel had done that absurd and preposterous thing of putting her maid into her husband's bed, and now Leah (because she missed one year in bearing children) doth the same, to be even with her. See the power of rivalship, and admire the wisdom of the divine appointment, which joins together one man and one woman only. Two sons Zilpah bare to Jacob, whom Leah looked upon herself as intitled to, in token of which she called one Gad, promising herself a little troop of children. The other she called Asher, Happy, thinking herself happy in him, and promising herself that her neighbours would think so too.

30:14 Reuben, a little lad of five or six years old, playing in the field, found mandrakes. It is uncertain what they were; the critics are not agreed about them: we are sure they were some rarities, either fruits or flowers that were very pleasant to the smell, Sol 7:13. Some think these mandrakes were Jessamin flowers. Whatever they were, Rachel, could not see them in Leah's hands, but she must covet them.

30:17 And God hearkened unto Leah - Perhaps the reason of this contest between Jacob's wives for his company, and their giving him their maids to be his wives, was the earnest desire they had to fulfil the promise made to Abraham (and now lately renewed to Jacob) that his seed should be as the stars of heaven for multitude, and that, in one seed of his, the Messiah, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Two sons Leah was now blessed with; the flrst she called Issachar, a hire, reckoning herself well repaid for her mandrakes; nay, (which is a strange construction of the providence) rewarded for giving her maid to her husband. The other she called Zebulun, dwelling, owning God's bounty to her, God has endowed me with a good dowry. Jacob had not endowed her when he married her; but she reckons a family of children, a good dowry.

30:21 Mention is made, of Dinah, because of the following story concerning her, Gen 34:1-16, etc Perhaps Jacob had other daughters, though not registered.

30:22 God remembered Rachel, whom he seemed to have forgotten, and hearkened to her, whose prayers had been long denied, and then she bare a son. Rachael called her son Joseph, which, in Hebrew, is a - kin to two words of a contrary signification: Asaph, abstulit, he has taken away my reproach, as if the greatest mercy she had in this son were, that she had saved her credit: and Joseph, addidit, the Lord shall add to me another son: which may be looked upon as the language of her faith; she takes this mercy as an earnest of further mercy: hath God given me this grace? I may call it Joseph, and say, he shall add more grace.

30:34 Laban was willing to consent to this bargain, because he thought if those few he had that were now speckled and spotted were separated from the rest, which was to be done immediately, the body of the flock which Jacob was to tend, being of one colour, either all black or all white, would produce few or none of mixt colours, and so he should have Jacob's service for nothing, or next to nothing. According to this bargain, those few that were party - coloured were separated, and put into the hands of Laban's sons, and sent three days journey off: so great was Laban's jealouly lest any of those should mix with the rest of the flock to the advantage of Jacob.

30:37 Here is Jacob's policy to make his bargain more advantageous to himself than it was likely to be: and if he had not taken some course to help himself, it would have been an ill bargain indeed; which he knew Laban would never have considered, who did not consult any one's interest but his own.

  1. Now Jacob's contrivances were, He set pilled sticks before the cattlewhere they were watered, that looking much at those unusual party - coloured sticks, by the power of imagination, they might bring forth young ones in like manner party - coloured. Probably this custom was commonly used by the shepherds of Canaan, who coveted to have their cattle of this motly colour.
  2. When he began to have a flock of ring - straked and brown, hecontrived to set them first, and to put the faces of the rest towards them, with the same design as he did the former. Whether this was honest policy, or no, may admit of a question. Read Gen 31:7-16, and the question is resolved.

31 Jacob was in general, a man of devotion and integrity; yet he had more trouble than any of the patriarchs.Here is,

  1. His resolution to return, Gen 31:1-16.
  2. His clandestine departure, Gen 31:17-21.
  3. Laban's pursuit of him in displeasure, Gen 31:22-25.
  4. The hot words that passed between them, Gen 31:26-42.
  5. Their amicable agreement at last, Gen 31:43-55.

31:1 It should seem they said it in Jacob's hearing. The last chapter began with Rachel's envying Leah; this begins with Laban's sons envying Jacob. He has gotten all his glory - And what was this glory? It was a parcel of brown sheep and speckled goats, and some camels and asses. Jacob has taken away all that was our fathers - Not all, sure; what was become of those cattle which were committed to the custody of Laban's sons, and sent three days journey off?

31:3 The Lord said unto Jacob, Return and I will be with thee - though Jacob had met with very hard usage, yet he would not quit his place 'till God bid him. He came thither by orders from heaven, and there hewould slay 'till he was ordered back. The direction he had from heaven is more fully related in the account he gives of it to his wives, where he tells them of the dream he had about the cattle, and the wonderful increase of those of his colour; and how the angel of God in that dream instructed him that it was not by chance, nor by his own policy, that he obtained that great advantage but by the providence of God, who had taken notice of the hardships Laban had put upon him, and in performance of his promise.

31:4 And Jacob sent for Rachel and Leah to the field - That he might discourse with them more privately.

31:9 God hath taken away the cattle of your father and given them to me - Thus the righteous God paid Jacob for his hard service out of Laban's estate; as afterwards he paid the seed of Jacob for their service of the Egyptians with their spoils.

31:16 Whereas Jacob looked upon the wealth which God had passed over from Laban to him as his wages, they look upon it as their portions; so that both ways God forced Laban to pay his debts, both to his servant and to his daughters.

31:19 Laban went to shear his sheep - That part of his flock which was in the hands of his sons, three days journey off. Now,

  1. It is certain it was lawful for Jacob to leave his servicesuddenly: it was not only justified by the particular instructions God gave him, but warranted by the fundamental law of self - preservation which directs us, when we are in danger, to shift for our own safety, as far as we can do it without wronging our consciences.
  2. It was his prudence to steal away unawares to Laban, lest ifLaban had known, he should have hindered him, or plundered him.
  3. It was honestly done to take no more than his own with him, thecattle of his getting. He took what providence gave him, and would not take the repair of his damages into his own hands. Yet Rachel was not so honest as her husband; she stole her father's images, and carried them away. The Hebrew calls them Teraphim. Some think they were only little representations of the ancestors of the family in statue or picture, which Rachel had a particular fondness for, and was desirous to have with her now she was going into another country. It should rather seem they were images for a religious use, penates, household gods, either worshipped, or consulted as oracles; and we are willing to hope, that she took them away, not out of covetousness much less for her own use, or out of any superstitious fear lest Laban, by consulting his teraphim, might know which way they were gone; (Jacob no doubt dwelt with his wives as a man of knowledge, and they were better taught than so) but with a design to convince her father of the folly of his regard to those as gods which could not secure themselves.

31:23 He took his brethren - That is, his relations, and pursues Jacob to bring him back into bondage, or, to strip him of what he had.

31:24 Speak not, either good or bad - That is, say nothing against his going on with his journey, for the thing proceedeth from the Lord. The same Hebraism we have, Gen 24:50. The safety of good men is very much owing to the hold God has of the consciences of bad men, and the access he has to them.

31:27 I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp - Not as Rebekah was sent away out of the same family above one hundred and twenty years before, with prayers and blessings, but with sport and merriment; which was a sign that religion was much decayed in the family.

31:29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt - He supposeth that he had both right on his side, and strength on his side, either to revenge the wrong, or recover the right. Yet he owns himself under the restraint of God's power; he durst not injure one of whom he saw to be the particular care of heaven.

31:30 Wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? - Foolish man! to call those his gods that could be stolen! Could he expect protection from them that could neither resist nor discover their invaders? Happy are they who have the Lord for their God. Enemies may steal our goods, but not our God.

31:31 Jacob clears himself by giving the true reason why he went away unknown to Laban; he feared lest Laban would by force take away his daughters and so oblige him to continue in his service. As to the charge of stealing Laban's gods, he pleads not guilty. He not only did not take them himself, but he did not know that they were taken.

31:42 Jacob speaks of God as the God of his father, intimating that he thought himself unworthy to be thus regarded, but was beloved for his father's sake. He calls him the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac: for Abraham was dead, and gone to that world where there is no fear; but Isaac was yet alive, sanctifying the Lord in his heart as his fear and his dread.

31:43 All his mine - That is, came by me.

31:44 Let us make a covenant - It was made and ratified with great solemnity, according to the usages of those times.

  1. A pillar was erected, and a heap of stones raised, to perpetuate thememory of the thing, writing being then not known.
  2. A sacrifice was offered, a sacrifice of peace - offerings.
  3. They did eat bread together, jointly partaking of the feast upon thesacrifice. This was in token of a hearty reconciliation. Covenants of friendship were anciently ratified by the parties eating and drinking together.
  4. They solemnity appealed to God concerning their sincerity herein;
    1. As a witness, Gen 31:49. The Lord watch between me and thee - That is, the Lord take cognizance of every thing that shall be done on either side in violation of this league.
    2. As a judge, The God of Abraham, from whom Jacob was descended, and The God of Nahor, from whom Laban was descended, the God of their father, the common ancestor from whom they were both descended, judge betwixt us. God's relation to them is thus expressed, to intimate that they worshipped one and the same God, upon which consideration there ought to be no enmity betwixt them. Those that have one God should have one heart: God is judge between contending parties, and he will judge righteously, whoever doth wrong it is at their peril.
  5. They gave a new name to the place, Gen 31:47-48. Laban called it in Syriac, and Jacob in Hebrew, The heap of witness. And Gen 31:49, it was called Mizpah, a watch - tower. Posterity being included in the league, care was taken that thus the memory of it should be preserved. The name Jacob gave this heap stuck by it, Galeed, not the name Laban gave it.

31:54 And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac - The God whom his father Isaac feared, who had never served other gods, as Abraham and Nahor had done.

32 We have here Jacob still upon his journey towards Canaan.Never did so many memorable things occur in any march, as in this in Jacob's little family. By the way he meets,

  1. With good tidings from his God, Gen 32:1-2.
  2. With bad tidings from his brother, to whom he sent a message to notify his return, Gen 32:2-7.
In his distress,
  1. He divides his company, Gen 32:8.
  2. He makes his prayer to God, Gen 32:9-12.
  3. He sends a present to his brother, Gen 32:13-23.
  4. He wrestles with the angel, Gen 32:24-32.

32:1 And the Angel of God met him - In a visible appearance; whether in a vision by day, or in a dream by night, as when he saw them upon the ladder, is uncertain. They met him to bid him welcome to Canaan again; a more honourable reception than ever any prince had that was met by the magistrates of a city. They met him to congratulate his arrival, and his escape from Laban. They had invisibly attended him all along, but now they appeared, because he had greater dangers before him. When God designs his people for extraordinary trials, he prepares them by extraordinary comforts.

32:2 This is God's house - A good man may, with an eye of faith, see the same that Jacob saw with his bodily eyes. What need we dispute whether he has a guardian angel, when we are sure he has a guard of angels about him? To preserve the remembrance of this favour, Jacob gave a name to the place from it, Mahanaim, two hosts, or two camps probably they appeared to him in two hosts, one on either side, or one in the front, and the other in the rear, to protect him from Laban behind, and Esau before, that they might be a compleat guard. Here was Jacob's family that made one army, representing the church militant and itinerant on earth; and the angels another army, representing the church triumphant, and at rest in heaven.

32:4 He calls Esau his lord, himself his servant, to intimate that he did not insist upon the prerogatives of the birth - right and blessing he had obtained for himself, but left it to God to fulfil his own purpose in his seed. He gives him a short account of himself, that he was not a fugitive and a vagabond, but though long absent had dwelt with his own relations. I have sojourned with Laban, and staid there till now: and that he was not a beggar, nor likely to be a charge to his relations; no, I have oxen and asses - This he knew would (if any thing) recommend him to Esau's good affection. And, he courts his favour; I have sent that I may find grace in thy sight - It is no disparagement to those that have the better cause to become petitioners for reconciliation, and to sue for peace as well as right.

32:6 He cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him - He is now weary of waiting for the days of mourning for his father, and before those come resolves to slay his brother. Out he marches with four hundred men, probably such as used to hunt with him, armed no doubt, ready to execute the word of command.

32:7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed - A lively apprehension of danger, may very well consist with a humble confidence in God's power and promise.

32:9 He addresseth himself to God as the God of his fathers: such was the sense he had of his own unworthiness, that he did not call God his own God, but a God in covenant with his ancestors. O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac. And this he could better plead, because the covenant was entailed upon him. Thou saidst unto me, Return unto thy country - He did not rashly leave his place with Laban, out of a foolish fondness for his native country; but in obedience to God's command.

32:10 I am not worthy - It is a surprising plea. One would think he should have pleaded that what was now in danger was his own against all the world, and that he had earned it dear enough; no, he pleads, Lord, I am not worthy of it. Of the least of all the mercies - Here is mercies in the plural number, an inexhaustible spring, and innumerable streams; mercies and truth, past mercies given according to the promise and farther mercies secured by the promise. I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, much less am I worthy of so great a favour as this I am now suing for. Those are best prepared for the greatest mercies that see themselves unworthy of the least. For with my staff I passed over this Jordan - Poor and desolate, like a forlorn and despised pilgrim: He had no guides, no companions, no attendants. And now I am become two bands - Now I am surrounded with a numerous retinue of children and servants. Those whose latter end doth greatly increase, ought with humility and thankfulness to remember how small their beginning was.

32:11 Lord, deliver me from Esau, for I fear him - The fear that quickens prayer is itself pleadable. It was not a robber, but a murderer that he was afraid of: nor was it his own life only that lay at stake, but the mothers, and the childrens.

32:12 Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good - The best we can say to God in prayer is, what he hath said to us. God's promises as they are the surest guide of our desires in prayer, and furnish us with the best petitions, so they are the firmest ground of our hopes, and furnish us with the best pleas. Thou saidst, I will do thee good - Lord, do me good in this matter. He pleads also a particular promise, that of the multiplying of his seed. Lord, what will become of that promise, if they be all cut off?

32:13 Jacob having piously made God his friend by a prayer, is here prudently endeavouring to make Esau his friend by a present. He had prayed to God to deliver him from the hand of Esau - His prayer did not make him presume upon God's mercy, without the use of means.

32:17 He sent him also a very humble message, which he ordered his servants to deliver in the best manner. They must call Esau their lord, and Jacob his servant: they must tell him the cattle they had was a small present which Jacob had sent him. They must especially take care to tell him that Jacob was coming after, that he might not suspect him fled. A friendly confidence in mens goodness may help to prevent the mischief designed us by their badness.

32:24 Very early in the morning, a great while before day. Jacob had helped his wives and children over the river, and he desired to be private, and was left alone, that he might again spread his cares and fears before God in prayer. While Jacob was earnest in prayer, stirring up himself to take hold on God, an angel takes hold on him.Some think this was a created angel, one of those that always behold the face of our Father. Rather it was the angel of the covenant, who often appeared in a human shape, before he assumed the human nature. We are told by the prophet, Hos 12:4, how Jacob wrestled, he wept and made supplication; prayers and tears were his weapons. It was not only a corporal, but a spiritual wrestling by vigorous faith and holy desire.

32:25 The angel prevailed not against him - That is, this discouragement did not shake his faith, nor silence his prayer. It was not in his own strength that he wrestled, nor by his own strength that he prevails; but by strength derived from heaven. That of Job illustrates this, Job 23:6.Will he plead against me with his great power? No; had the angel done so, Jacob had been crushed; but he would put strength in me: and by that strength Jacob had power over the angel, Hos 12:3. The angel put out Jacob's thigh, to shew him what he could do, and that it was God he was wrestling with, for no man could disjoint his thigh with a touch. Some think that Jacob felt little or no pain from this hurt; it is probable be did not, for he did not so much as halt 'till the struggle was over, Gen 32:31, and if so, that was an evidence of a divine touch indeed, which wounded and healed at the same time.

32:26 Let me go - The angel, by an admirable condescension, speaks Jacob fair to let him go, as God said to Moses, Exo 32:10.Let me alone. Could not a mighty angel get clear of Jacob's grapples? He could; but thus he would put an honour upon Jacob's faith and prayer. The reason the angel gives why he would be gone is because the day breaks, and therefore he would not any longer detain Jacob, who had business to do, a journey to go, a family to look after. And he said, I will not let thee go except thou bless me - He resolves he will have a blessing, and rather shall all his bones be put out of joint, than he will go away without one. Those that would have the blessing of Christ must be in good earnest, and be importunate for it.

32:27 What is thy name? - Jacob (saith he) a supplanter, so Jacob signifies. Well, (faith the angel) be thou never so called any more: thou shalt be called Israel, a prince with God. He is a prince indeed, that is a prince with God; and those are truly honourable that are mighty, in prayer. Yet this was not all; having, power with God, he shall have power with men too; having prevailed for a blessing from heaven, he shall, no doubt, prevail for Esau's favour. Whatever enemies we have, if we can but make God our friend, we are well enough; they that by faith have power in heaven, have thereby as much power on earth as they have occasion for.

32:29 Wherefore dost thou ask after my name? - What good will it do thee to know that? The discovery of that was reserved for his death - bed, upon which he was taught to call him Shiloh. But instead of telling him his name, he gave him his blessing, which was the thing he wrestled for; he blessed him there, repeated and ratified the blessing formerly given him. See how wonderfully God condescends to countenance and crown importunate prayer? Those that resolve though God slay them, yet to trust in him, will at length be more than conquerors.

32:30 Peniel - That is, the face of God, because there he had seen the appearance of God, and obtained the favour of God.

32:31 He halted on his thigh - And some think he continued to do so to his dying day. If he did, he had no reason to complain, for the honour and comfort he obtained by his struggle was abundantly sufficient to countervail the damage, though he went limping to his grave.

33 We read in the former chapter how Jacob had power with God, and prevailed; here we find what power he had with men too.Here is,

  1. A friendly meeting between Jacob and Esau, Gen 33:1-4.
  2. Their conference at their meeting. Their discourse is,
    1. About Jacob's family, Gen 33:5-7.
    2. About the present he had sent, Gen 33:8-11.
    3. About the progress of their journey, Gen 33:12-15.

  3. Jacob's settlement in Canaan, his house - ground, and altar, Gen 33:16-20.

33:3 He bowed - Though he feared Esau as an enemy, yet he did obeisance to him as an elder brother.

33:4 And Esau ran to meet him - Not in passion but in love.Embraced him, fell on his neck and kissed him - God hath the hearts of all men in his hands, and can turn them when and how he pleases. He can of a sudden convert enemies into friends, as he did two Sauls, one by restraining grace, Gen 26:21, Gen 26:25, the other by renewing grace, Act 9:21.And they wept - Jacob wept for joy to be thus kindly received; Esau perhaps wept for grief and shame to think of the ill design he had conceived against his brother.

33:5 Eleven or twelve little ones followed Jacob, the eldest of them not fourteen years old: Who are these? saith Esau. Jacob had sent him an account of the increase of his estate, but made no mention of his children, perhaps because he would not expose them to his rage, if he should meet him as an enemy. Esau therefore had reason to ask who are those with thee? To which Jacob returns a serious answer; they are the children which God hath graciously given thy servant. Jacob speaks of his children,

  1. As God's gifts; they are a heritage of the Lord.
  2. As choice gifts; he hath graciously given them. Though they weremany, and but slenderly provided for, yet he accounts them great blessings.

33:10 I have seen thy face as though I had seen the face of God - That is, I have seen thee reconciled to me, and at peace with me, as I desire to see God reconciled.

33:12 Esau offers himself to be his guide and companion, in token of sincere reconciliation. We never find that Jacob and Esau were so loving with one another as they were now. God made Esau not only not an enemy, but a friend. Esau is become fond of Jacob's company, courts him to mount Seir: let us never despair of any, nor distrust God, in whose hands all hearts are. Yet Jacob saw cause modestly to refute this offer, wherein he shews a tender concern for his own family and flocks, like a good shepherd and a good father. He must consider the children, and the flocks with young, and not lead the one or drive the other too fast.Jacob intimates to him, that it was his design to come to him to mount Seir; and we may presume he did so, after he had settled his concerns elsewhere, though that visit be not recorded.

33:15 Esau offers some of his men to be his guard and convoy; but Jacob humbly refuseth his offer, only desiring he would not take it amiss that he did not accept it. What needs it? He is under the Divine protection. Those are sufficiently guarded that have God for their guard, and are under a convoy of his hosts, as Jacob was. Jacob adds, only let me find grace in the sight of my lord - Having thy favour I have all I need, all I desire from thee.

33:16 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth - Having in a friendly manner parted with Esau, who was gone to his own country, he comes to a place, where he rested, set up booths for his cattle, and other conveniences for himself and family. The place was afterwards known by the name of Succoth, a city in the tribe of Gad, on the other side Jordan; it signifies booths: that when his posterity afterwards dwelt in houses of stone, they might remember that the Syrian ready to perish was their father, who was glad of booths, Deu 26:5.

33:18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem - Or rather he came safe, or in peace, to the city of Shechem. After a perilous journey, in which he had met with many difficulties, he came safe at last, into Canaan.

33:20 He erected an altar -

  1. In thankfulness to God for the good hand of his providence over him.
  2. That he might keep up religion, and the worship of God in his family.He dedicated this altar to the honour of El - elohe - israel, God - the God of Israel: to the honour of God in general, the only living and true God, the Best of beings, the First of causes: and to the honour of the God of Israel, as a God in covenant with him. God had lately called him by the name of Israel; and now he calls God the God of Israel; though he be called a prince with God, God shall still be a prince with him, his Lord and his God.

34 In this chapter we have,

  1. Dinah debauched, Gen 34:1-5.
  2. A treaty of marriage between her and Shechem who had defiled her, Gen 34:6-19.
  3. The circumcision of the Shechemites, pursuant to that treaty, Gen 34:20-24.
  4. The perfidious and bloody revenge which Simeon and Levi took upon them, Gen 34:25-31.

34:1 Dinah was then about fifteen or sixteen years of age when she went out to see the daughters of the land - Probably on some public day.She went to see; yet that was not all, she went to be seen too: she went to see the daughters of the land, but it may be with some thoughts of the sons of the land too.

34:7 It is called folly in Israel - According to the language of after - times, for Israel was not yet a people, but a family only.

34:8 Hamor communed - That is, talked. He came to treat with Jacob himself, but he turns them over to his sons. And here we have a particular account of the treaty, in which it is a shame to say the Canaanites were more honest than the Israelites.

34:18 Hamor and Shechem gave consent themselves to be circumcised. To this perhaps they were moved not only by the strong desire they had to bring about, this match, but by what they might have heard of the sacred and honourable intentions of this sign, in the family of Abraham, which it is probable they had some confused notions of, and of the promises confirmed by it; which made them the more desirous to incorporate with the family of Jacob.

34:23 Shall not their cattle and their substance be ours? - They observed that Jacob's sons were industrious, thriving people, and promised themselves and their neighbours advantage by an alliance with them: it would improve ground and trade, and bring money into their country.

34:25 They slew all the males - Nothing can excuse this execrable villainy. It was true Shechem had wrought folly in Israel, in defiling Dinah: but it ought to have been considered how far Dinah herself had been accessary to it. Had Shechem abused her in her mother's tent, it had been another matter; but she went upon his ground, and struck the spark which began the fire. When we are severe upon the sinner, we ought to consider who was the tempter. It was true that Shechem had done ill; but he was endeavouring to atone for it, and was as honest and honourable afterwards as the case would admit. It was true that Shechem had done ill, but what was that to all the Shechemites? Doth one man sin, and must the innocent fall with the guilty? This was barbarous indeed.But that which above all aggravated the cruelty, was the most perfidious treachery that was in it. The Shechemites had submitted to their conditions, and had done that upon which they had promised to become one people with them. Yet they act as sworn enemies to those to whom they were lately become sworn friends, making as light of their covenant as they did of the laws of humanity. And these are the sons of Israel?Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce.

34:27 Tho' Simeon and Levi only were the murderers, yet others of the sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city - And so became accessary to the murder.

34:30 Ye have troubled me, to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land - That is, You have rendered my family odious among them. And what could be expected but that the Canaanites, who were numerous and formidable, would confederate against him, and he and his little family would become an easy prey to them? I shall be destroyed, I and my house - Jacob knew indeed that God had promised to preserve his house; but hemight justly fear that these vile practices of his children would amount to a forfeiture, and cut off the entail. When sin is in the house, there is reason to fear ruin at the door.

34:31 Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot? - No, he should not; but, if he do, Must they be their own avengers? And nothing less than so many lives, and the ruin of a whole city, serve to atone for the abuse.

35 In this chapter we have,

  1. Three communions between God and Jacob.
    1. God ordered Jacob to Beth-el, and in obedience to that order, he purged his house of idols, and prepared for that journey, Gen 35:1-5.
    2. Jacob built an altar at Beth-el to the honour of God that had appeared to him, and in performance of his vow, Gen 35:6-7.
    3. God appeared to him again, and confirmed the change of his name, and the covenant with him, Gen 35:9-13.
      of which appearance Jacob made a grateful acknowledgement, Gen 35:14-15.
  2. Three funerals.
    1. Deborah's, Gen 35:8.
    2. Rachel's, Gen 35:16-20.
    3. Isaac's, Gen 35:27-29.
  3. Here is also Reuben's incest, Gen 35:22.
    and an account of Jacob's sons, Gen 35:23-26.

35:1 Arise go to Bethel - Here God minds Jacob of his vow at Beth-el, and sends him thither to perform it, Jacob had said in the day of his distress, If I come again in peace, this stone shall be God's house, Gen 28:22. God had performed his part, had given Jacob more than bread to eat, and raiment to put on; but it should seem he had forgotten his vow, or, at least, deferred the performance of it.And dwell there - That is, Not only go himself, but take his family with him, that they might join with him in his devotions. Put away the strange Gods - Strange God's in Jacob's family! Could such a family, that was taught the knowledge of the Lord, admit them? Could such a master, to whom God had appeared twice, and oftner, connive at them?And be clean, and change your garments - These were ceremonies signifying the purification and change of the heart.

35:4 And they gave to Jacob - His servants, and even the retainers to his family, gave him all the strange gods, and the ear - rings they wore either as charms, or to the honour of their gods. Jacob took care to bury their images, we may suppose, in some place unknown to them, that they might not afterwards find and return to them.

35:5 And the terror of God was upon the cities - Though the Canaanites were much exasperated against the sons of Jacob for their barbarous usage of the Shechemites; yet they were so restrained by a divine power, that they could not take this fair opportunity to avenge their neighbours quarrel. God governs the world more by secret terrors on men's minds than we are aware of.

35:7 He built an altar - And no doubt offered sacrifice upon it, perhaps the tenth of his cattle, according to his vow, I will give the tenth unto thee. And he called the place, That is, the altar, El - beth-el, the God of Beth-el. As when he made a thankful acknowledgement of the honour God had done him in calling him Israel, he worshipped God by the name of El - elohe - israel, so now he was making a grateful recognition of God's former favour at Beth-el, he worships God by the name of El - beth-el, the God of Beth-el, because there God appeared to him.

35:8 There he buried Deborah, Rebekah's nurse - We have reason to think that Jacob, after he came to Canaan, while his family dwelt near Shechem, went himself to visit his father Isaac at Hebron.Rebekah probably was dead, but her old nurse (of whom mention is made Gen 24:59,) survived her, andJacob took her to his family. While they were at Beth-el she died, and died lamented, so much lamented, that the oak under which she was buried, was called Allon - bachuth, the oak of weeping.

35:10 God now confirmed the change of his name. It was done before by the angel that wrestled with him, Gen 32:28, and here it was ratified by the divine majesty, to encourage him against the fear of the Canaanites. Who can be too hard for Israel, a prince with God?

35:11 He renewed and ratified the covenant with him, by the name of El - Shaddai, I am God Almighty. God All - sufficient, able to make good the promise in due time, and to support thee and provide for thee.Two things are promised him.

  1. That he should be the father of a great nation: great in number,a company of nations shall be of thee - Every tribe of Israel was a nation, and all the twelve, a company of nations: great in honour and power, kings shall come out of thy loins.
  2. That he should be master of a good land, Gen 35:12. The landthat was given to Abraham and Isaac is here entailed on Jacob and his seed. These two promises had also a spiritual signification, which we may suppose Jacob himself had some notion of: for without doubt Christ is the promised seed, and heaven is the promised land; the former is the foundation, and the latter the top - stone of all God's favours.

35:13 And God went up from him - Or, from over him - In some visible display of glory, which had hovered over him, while he talked with him.

35:14 And Jacob set up a pillar - When he was going to Padan - aram he set up that stone which he had laid his head on for a pillar; but now he took time to erect one more stately, and durable, probably inserting that stone into it. And in token of his intending it for a sacred memorial of his communion with God, he poured oil, and the other ingredients of a drink - offering upon it. This stone shall be God's house, that is, shall be set up for his honour, as houses to the praise of their builders; and here he performs it. And he confirmed the name he had formerly given to the place, Beth-el, the house of God. Yet this very place afterwards lost the honour of its name, and became Beth - aven, a house of iniquity, for here it was that Jeroboam set up one of his calves. It is impossible for the best men to entail so much as the profession and form of religion upon a place.

35:16 She had hard labour - Harder than usual.

35:17 Rachel had said when she bore Joseph, God shall give me another son, which now the midwife remembers, and tells her, her words were made good. Yet this did not avail; unless God command away fear, no one else can. We are apt in extreme perils to comfort ourselves and our friends with the hopes of a temporal deliverance, in which we may be disappointed; we had better ground our comforts on that which cannot fail us, the hope of eternal life. Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now she had children (for this was her second) she died.

35:18 Her dying lips calls her new - born soon Benoni, the son of my sorrow. But Jacob because he would not renew the sorrowful remembrance of his mother's death every time he called his son by name, changed his name, and called him Benjamin, the son of my right hand - That is, very dear to me; set on my right hand for a right handblessing; the support of my age, like the staff in my right hand.Jacob buried her near the place where she died. If the soul be at rest after death, the matter is not great where the body lies. In the place where the tree falls, there let it lie. The Jewish writers say, The death of Deborah and Rachel was to expiate the murder of the Shechemites, occasioned by Dinah, a daughter of the family.

35:20 And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave - So that it was known long after to be Rachel's sepulchre, Gen 10:2, and Providence so ordered it, that this place afterwards fell in the lot of Benjamin.Jacob set up a pillar in remembrance of his joys Gen 35:14, and here he set up one in remembrance of his sorrows; for as it may be of use to ourselves to keep both in mind, so it may be of use to others to transmit the memorials of both.

35:21 Israel, a prince with God, yet dwells in tents; the city is reserved for him in the other world.

35:22 When Israel dwelt in that land - As if he were then absent from his family, which might be the unhappy occasion of these disorders. Though perhaps Bilhah was the greater criminal, yet Reuben's crime was so provoking that for it he lost his birth - right and blessing, Gen 49:4.And Israel heard it - No more is said, that is enough; he heard it with the utmost grief and shame, horror and displeasure.

35:27 And Jacob came unto Isaac his father - We may suppose he had visited him before since his return, for he sore longed after his father's house, but never 'till now brought his family to settle with him, or near him. Probably he did this now upon the death of Rebekah, by which Isaac was left solitary.

35:28 The age and death of Isaac are here recorded, though it appears by computation that he died not 'till many years after Joseph was sold into Egypt, and much about the time that he was preferred there.Isaac, a mild quiet man, lived the longest of all the patriarchs, for he was one hundred and eighty years old: Abraham was but one hundred and seventy - five. Isaac lived about forty years after he had made his will, Gen 27:2. We shall not die an hour the sooner, but abundance thebetter, for our timely setting of our heart and house in order. Particular notice is taken of the amicable agreement of Esau and Jacob in solemnizing their father's funeral, Gen 35:29, to shew how God had wonderfully changed Esau's mind, since he vowed his brother's murder, upon his father's death, Gen 27:41. God has many ways of preventing ill men from doing the mischief they in tended; he can either tie their hands, or turn their hearts.

36 In this chapter we have an account of the posterity of Esau, who were from him, were called Edomites;

  1. Because he was the son of Isaac, for whose sake this honour is put upon him.
  2. Because the Edomites were neighbours to Israel, and their genealogy would be of use to give light to the following stories of what passed between them.
  3. To shew the performance of the promise to Abraham, that he should be the father of many nations, and of that answer which Rebekah had from the oracle she consulted, Two nations are in thy womb; and of the blessing of Isaac, Thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth.
Here are,
  1. Esau's wives, Gen 36:1-5.
  2. His remove to mount Seir, Gen 36:6-8.
  3. The names of his sons, Gen 36:9-14.
  4. The dukes which descended of his sons, Gen 36:15-19.
  5. The dukes of the Horites, Gen 36:20-30.
  6. The kings and dukes of Edom, Gen 36:31-43.

36:1 Who is Edom - That name perpetuated the remembrance of the foolish bargain he made, when he sold his birth - right for that red pottage.

36:6 Esau had begun to settle among his wife's relations in Seir, before Jacob came from Padan - aram, Gen 32:3.Isaac it is likely, had sent him thither, that Jacob might have the clearer way to the possession of the promised land: yet probably during the life of Isaac, Esau had still some effects remaining in Canaan; but after his death, he wholly withdrew to mount Seir, took with him what came to his share of his father's personal estate, and left Canaan to Jacob, not only because he had the promise of it, but because he saw, if they should both continue to thrive, as they had begun, there would not be room for both.

36:8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir - Whatever opposition may be made, God's word will take place, and even those that have opposed it will see themselves, some time or other, under a necessity of yielding to it.Esau had struggled for Canaan, but now he retires to mount Seir; for God's counsels shall certainly stand concerning the times before appointed, and the bounds of our habitation.

36:10 These are the names - Observe here,

  1. That only the names of Esau's sons and grand - sons are recorded: nottheir history, for it is the church that Moses preserves the records of, not of those that were without. The elders only that lived by faith obtained a good report. Nor doth the genealogy go any farther than the third and fourth generation, the very names of all after are buried in oblivion; it is only the pedigree of the Israelites who were to be the heirs of Canaan, and of whom were to come the promised seed, and the holy seed, that is drawn out to any length, as far as there was occasion for it, even of all the tribes till Canaan was divided among them, and of the royal line 'till Christ came.
  2. That the sons and grand - sons of Esau are called dukes. Probablythey were military commanders, dukes or captains that had soldiers under them; for Esau and his family lived by the sword, Gen 27:40.
  3. We may suppose those dukes had numerous families of children andservants. God promised to multiply Jacob and to enrich him, yet Esau increases and is enriched first. God's promise to Jacob began to work late, but the effect of it remained longer, and it had its compleat accomplishment in the spiritual Israel.

36:20 These are the sons of Seir - In the midst of the genealogy of the Edomites is inserted the genealogy of the Horites, those Canaanites, or Hittites, (compare Gen 26:34,) that were the natives of mount Seir. Mention is made of them, Gen 14:6, and of their interest in mount Seir before the Edomites took possession of it, Deu 2:12, Deu 2:22. This comes in here, not only to give light to the story, but to be a standing reflexion upon the Edomites for intermarrying with them, by which it is likely they learned their way, and corrupted themselves. Esau having sold his birth - right, and lost his blessing and entered into alliance with the Hittites, his posterity and the sons of Seir are here reckoned together. Those that treacherously desert God's church are justly numbered with those that were never in it: apostate Edomites stand on the same ground with accursed Horites. Notice is taken of one Anah, who fed the asses of Zibeon his father, Gen 36:20, and yet is called duke Anah, Gen 36:29.Those that expect to rise high should begin low. An honourable descent should not keep men from an honest employment, nor a mean employment baulk any man's preferment.

36:24 This Anah was not only industrious in his business, but ingenious too, and successful, for he found mules, or, (as some read it) waters, hot baths in the wilderness. Those that are diligent in their business sometimes find more advantages than they expected.

36:31 By degrees the Edomites worked out the Horites, and got full possession of the country.

  1. They were ruled by kings who governed the whole country, and seem to havecome to the throne by election, and not by lineal descent: these kings reigned in Edom before there reigned any king over the children of Israel - That is, before Moses's time, for he was king in Jeshurun. God had lately promised Jacob that kings shall come out of his loins: yet Esau's blood becomes royal long before any of Jacob's did. Probably it was a trial to the faith of Israel, to hear of the power of the kings of Edom, while they were bond - slaves in Egypt: but those that look for great things from God must be content to wait for them. God's time is the best time.
  2. They were afterward's governed by dukes again, here named, who, Isuppose, ruled all at the same time in several places in the country. They set up this form of government, either in conformity to the Horites, who had used it, Gen 36:29, or God's providence reduced them to it, as some conjecture, to correct them for their unkindness to Israel, in refusing them passage through their country, Num 20:18.

36:43 Mount Seir is called the land of their possession - While the Israelites dwelt in the house of bondage, and their Canaan was only the land of promise, the Edomites dwelt in their own habitations, and Seir was in their possession. The children of this world have their all in hand, and nothing in hope, while the children of God have often their all in hope, and next to nothing in hand. But, all things considered, it is better to have Canaan in promise than mount Seir in possession.

37 At this chapter begins the story of Joseph, Jacob's eldest son, by his beloved wife Rachel. It is so remarkably divided between his humiliation and his exaltation, that we cannot avoid seeing something of Christ in it, who was first humbled and then exalted; it also shews the lot of Christians, who must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom.In this chapter we have,

  1. The malice his brethren bore against him: they hated him,
    1. Because he informed his father of their wickedness, Gen 37:1-2.
    2. Because his father loved him, Gen 37:3-4.
    3. Because he dreamed of his dominion over them, Gen 37:5-11.

  2. The mischiefs his brethren designed, and did to him.
    1. His visit he made them gave an opportunity, Gen 37:12-17.
    2. They designed to slay him, but determined to starve him, Gen 37:18-24.
    3. They changed their purpose, and sold him for a slave, Gen 37:25-28.
    4. They made their father believe that he was torn in pieces, Gen 37:29-35.
    5. He was sold in Egypt to Potiphar, Gen 37:36.

    And all this was working together for good.

37:2 These are the generations of Jacob - It is not a barren genealogy, as those of Esau, but a memorable useful history. Joseph brought to his father their evil report - Jacob's sons did that when they were from under his eye, which they durst not have done if they had been at home with him; but Joseph gave his father an account of their ill carriage, that he might reprove and restrain them.

37:3 He made him a coat of divers colours - Which probably was significant of farther honours intended him.

37:5 Though he was now very young, about seventeen years old, yet he was pious and devout, and this fitted him for God's gracious discoveries to him. Joseph had a great deal of trouble before him, and therefore God gave him betimes this prospect of his advancement, to support and comfort him.

37:8 Shalt thou indeed reign over us? - See here,

  1. How truly they interpreted his dream? The event exactly answered thisinterpretation, Gen 42:6, etc
  2. How scornfully they resented it, Shalt thou that art but one, reignover us that are many? Thou that art the youngest, over us that are elder?The reign of Jesus Christ, our Joseph, is despised and striven against by an unbelieving world, who cannot endure to think that this man should reign over them. The dominion also of the upright in the morning of the resurrection is thought of with the utmost disdain.

37:10 His father rebuked him - Probably to lessen the offence which his brethren would take at it; yet he took notice of it more than he seemed to do.

37:18 And when they saw him afar off they conspired against him - It was not in a heat, or upon a sudden provocation, that they thought to slay him, but from malice propense, and in cold blood.

37:21 And Reuben heard it - God can raise up friends for his people, even among their enemies. Reuben of all the brothers had most reason to be jealous of Joseph, for he was the first - born, and so entitled to those distinguishing favours which Jacob was conferring on Joseph, yet he proves his best friend. Reuben's temper seems to have been soft and effeminate, which had betrayed him to the sin of uncleanness, while the temper of the two next brothers, Simeon and Levi, was fierce, which betrayed them to the sin of murder, a sin which Reuben startled at the thought of. He made a proposal which they thought would effectually destroy Joseph, and yet which he designed should answer his intention of rescuing Joseph out of their hands, probably hoping thereby to recover his father's favour which he had lately lost; but God over - ruled all to serve his own purpose of making Joseph an instrument to save much people alive. Joseph was here a type of Christ. Though he was the beloved Son of his Father, and hated by a wicked world; yet the Father sent him out of his bosom to visit us; he came from heaven to earth to seek and save us; yet then malicious plots were laid against him; he came to his own, and his own not only received him not, but consulted, This is the heir, come let us kill him. This he submitted to, in pursuance of his design to save us.

37:24 They call him into a pit - To perish there with hunger and cold; so cruel were their tender mercies.

37:25 They sat down to eat bread - They felt no remorse of conscience, which if they had, would have spoiled their stomach to their meat. A great force put upon conscience commonly stupifies it, and for the time deprives it both of sense and speech.

37:26 What profit is it if we slay our brother? - It will be less guilt and more gain to sell him. They all agreed to this. And as Joseph was sold by the contrivance of Judah for twenty pieces of silver, so was our Lord Jesus for thirty, and by one of the same name too, Judas.Reuben it seems, was gone away from his brethren when they sold Joseph, intending to come round some other way to the pit, and to help Joseph out of it. But had this taken effect, what had become of God's purpose concerning his preferment, in Egypt? There are many devices of the enemies of God's people to destroy them, and of their friends to help them, which perhaps are both disappointed, as these here; but the counsel of the Lord that shall stand. Reuben thought himself undone because the child was sold; I, whither shall I go? He being the eldest, his father would expect from him an account of him; but it proved they had all been undone, if he had not been sold.

37:35 He refused to be comforted - He resolved to go down to the grave mourning; Great affection to any creature doth but prepare for so much the greater affliction, when it is either removed from us, or embittered to us: inordinate love commonly ends in immoderate grief.

38 How little reason had the Jews, who were so called from this Judah, to boast, as they did, that they were not born of fornication? Joh 8:41.
We have in this chapter,

  1. Judah's marriage and issue, and the untimely death of his two eldest sons, Gen 38:1-11.
  2. Judah's incest with his daughter - in - law Tamar, Gen 38:12-23.
  3. His confusion when it was discovered, Gen 38:24-26.
  4. The birth of his twin sons in whom his family was built up, Gen 38:27-30.

38:1 Judah went down from his brethren - Withdrew for a time from his father's family, and got intimately acquainted with one Hirah an Adullamite. When young people that have been well educated begin to change their company, they will soon change their manners, and lose their good education. They that go down from their brethren, that forsake the society of the seed of Israel, and pick up Canaanites for their companions, are going down the hill apace.

38:2 He took her - To wife. His father, it should seem, was not consulted, but by his new friend Hirah.

38:7 And Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord - That is, in defiance of God and his law. And what came of it? Why God cut him off presently, The Lord slew him. The next brother Onan was, according to the ancient usage, married to the widow, to preserve the name of his deceased brother that died childless. This custom of marrying the brother's widow was afterward made one of the laws of Moses, Deu 25:5.Onan, though he consented to marry the widow, yet to the great abuse of his own body, of the wife he had married, and the memory of his brother that was gone, he refused to raise up seed unto his brother. Those sins that dishonour the body are very displeasing to God, and the evidence of vile actions. Observe, the thing which he did displeased the Lord - And it is to be feared, thousands, especially of single persons, by this very thing, still displeased the Lord, and destroy their own souls.

38:11 Shelah the third son was reserved for the widow, yet with design that he should not marry so young as his brothers had done, lest he die also. Some think that Judah never intended to marry Shelah to Tamar, but unjustly suspected her to have been the death of her two former husbands, (whereas it was their own wickedness that slew them) and then sent her to her father's house, with a charge to remain a widow. If so, it was an inexcusable piece of prevarication; however Tamar acquiesced, and waited for the issue.

38:14 Some excuse this by suggesting that she believed the promise made to Abraham and his seed, particularly that of the Messiah, and that she was therefore desirous to have a child by one of that family, that she might have the honour, or at least stand fair for the honour of being the mother of the Messiah. She covered her with a veil - It was the custom of harlots in those times to cover their faces, that tho' they were not ashamed, yet they might seem to be so: the sin of uncleanness did not then go so bare - faced as it now doth.

38:17 A kid from the flock - A goodly price at which her chastity and honour were valued! Had the consideration been thousands of rams, and ten thousand rivers of oil, it had not been a valuable consideration. The favour of God, the purity of the soul, the peace of the conscience, and the hope of heaven: are too precious to be exposed to sale at any such rates.He lost his Jewels by the bargain: He sent the kid according to his promise, to redeem his pawn, but the supposed harlot could not be found. He sent it by his friend, (who was indeed his back - friend, because he was aiding and abetting in his evil deeds) the Adullamite; who came back without the pledge. 'Tis a good account, if it be but true, of any place that which they here gave, that there is no harlot in this place, for such sinners are the scandals and plagues of any place. Judah sits down content to lose his signet and his bracelets, and forbids his friend to make any farther enquiry.

38:23 Lest we be shamed - Either,

  1. Lest his sin should come to be known publicly,Or
  2. Lest he should be laughed at as a fool for trusting a whore with hissignet and his bracelets. He expresses no concern about the sin, only about the shame. There are many who are more solicitous to preserve their reputation with men, than to secure the savour of God, lest we be shamed goes farther with them than lest we be damned.

38:28 It should seem the birth was hard to the mother, by which she was corrected for her sin: the children also, like Jacob and Esau, struggled for the birth - right, and Pharez who got it, is ever named first, and from him Christ descended. He had his name from his breaking forth before his brother; this breach be upon thee - The Jews, as Zarah, bid fair for the birth - right, and were marked with a scarlet thread, as those that come out first; but the Gentiles, like Pharez, or a son of violence got the start of them, by that violence which the kingdom of heaven suffers, and attained to the righteousness which the Jews came short of: yet when the fulness of time is come, all Israel shall be saved. Both these sons are named in the genealogy of our Saviour, Mat 1:3, to perpetuate the story, as an instance of the humiliation of our Lord Jesus.

39 At this chapter we return to the story of Joseph. We have him here,

  1. A servant, a slave in Potiphar's house, Gen 39:1.
    and yet there greatly honoured and favoured,
    1. By the providence of God, which made him in effect a master, Gen 39:2-6.
    2. By the grace of God, which made him more than conqueror over a strong temptation, Gen 39:7-12.

  2. We have him a sufferer, falsely accused, Gen 39:13-18.
    Imprisoned, Gen 39:19-20.
    And yet his imprisonment made both honourable and comfortable by the tokens of God's special presence with him, Gen 39:21-23.

39:1 The Jews have a proverb, If the world did but know the worth of good men, they would hedge them about with pearls. Joseph was sold to an officer of Pharaoh, with whom he might get acquainted with public persons, and public business, and so be fitted for the preferment he was afterwards designed for. What God intends men for, he will be sure, some way or other, to qualify them for.

39:2 Those that can separate us from all our friends, cannot deprive us of the gracious presence of our God. When Joseph had none of his relations with him, he had his God with him, even in the house of the Egyptian: Joseph was banished from his father's house, but the Lord was with him. It is God's presence with us that makes all we do prosperous. Those that would prosper, must therefore make God their friend; and those that do prosper, must therefore give God the praise.

39:6 He knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat - The servant had all the care and trouble of the estate, the master had only the enjoyment of it; an example not to be imitated by any master, unless he could be sure that he had one like Joseph for a servant.

39:9 How can I sin against God - Not only how shall I do it and sin against my master, my mistress, myself, my own body and soul, but against God? - Gracious souls look upon this as the worst thing in sin, that it is against God, against his nature and his dominion, against his love and his design. They that love God, for this reason hate sin.

39:10 He hearkened not to her, so much as to be with her. Those that would be kept from harm, must keep themselves out of harm's way.

39:12 When she laid hold on him, he left his garment in her hand - He would not stay to parley with the temptation, but flew out from it with the utmost abhorrence, he left his garment as one escaping for his life.

39:20 Where the king's prisoners were bound - Potiphar, it is likely, chose that prison because it was the worst; for there the irons entered into the soul, Psa 105:18, but God designed it to pave the way to his enlargement. Our Lord Jesus, like Joseph was bound, and numbered with the transgressors.

39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph and shewed him mercy. God despiseth not his prisoners, Psa 69:33. No gates nor bars can shut out his gracious presence from his people. God gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison - God can raise up friends for his people even where they little expect them. The keeper saw that God was with him, and that every thing prospered under his hand, and therefore intrusted him with the management of the affairs of the prison.

40 In this chapter things are working towards Joseph's advancement.

  1. Two of Pharaoh's servants are committed to prison, and there, to Joseph's care, and so became witnesses of his extraordinary conduct, Gen 40:1-4.
  2. They dreamed each of them a dream, which Joseph interpreted, Gen 40:5-19. and they verified the interpretation, Gen 40:20-22.
  3. Joseph recommends his case to one of them whose preferment he foresaw, Gen 40:14-15. but in vain, Gen 40:23.

40:1 We should not have had this story of Pharaoh's butler and baker recorded in scripture, if it had not been serviceable to Joseph's preferment. The world stands for the sake of the church, and is governed for its good. Observe, [1.] Two of the great officers of Pharaoh's court having offended the kingare committed to prison.Note, High places are slippery places; nothing more uncertain than the favour of princes. Those that make God's favour their happiness, and his service their business, will find him a better master than Pharaoh was, and not so extreme to mark what they do amiss. Many conjectures there are concerning the offence of these servants of Pharaoh; some make it no less than an attempt to take away his life; others no more but the casual lighting of a fly into his cup, and a little sand in his bread: whatever it was, Providence, by this means, brought them into the prison where Joseph was.

40:4 The captain of the guard, which was Potiphar, charged Joseph with them - Which intimates that he began now to be reconciled to him.

40:6 They were sad - It was not the prison that made them sad; they were pretty well used to that, but the dream. God has more ways than one to sadden the spirits of those that are to be made sad. Those sinners that are hardy enough under outward trouble, yet God can find a way to trouble them, and take off their wheels, by wounding their spirits, and laying a load upon them.

40:8 Do not interpretations belong to God? - He means the God whom he worshipped, to the knowledge of whom he endeavours hereby to lead them.And if interpretations belong to God, he is a free agent, and may communicate the power to whom he pleases, therefore tell me your dreams.

40:14 Think on me, when it shall be well with thee - Though the respect paid to Joseph, made the prison as easy to him as a prison could be, yet none can blame him to be desirous of liberty. See what a modest representation he makes of his own case. He doth not reflect upon his brethren that sold him, only saith, I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews. Nor doth he reflect on the wrong done him in this imprisonment by his mistress that was his persecutor, and his master that was his judge, but mildly avers his own innocency. Here have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon - When we are called to vindicate ourselves, we should carefully avoid as much as may be speaking ill of others. Let us be content to prove ourselves innocent, and not fond of upbraiding others with their guilt.

40:20 He lifted up the head of these two prisoners - That is, arraigned and tried them; and he restored the chief butler, and hanged the chief baker.

41 Two things providence is here bringing about.

  1. The advancement of Joseph.
  2. The maintenance of Jacob and his family in a time of famine; for the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the earth, and direct the affairs of the children of men.
In order to these, here is,
  1. Pharaoh's dream, Gen 41:1-8.
  2. The recommendation of Joseph to him for an interpreter, Gen 41:9-13.
  3. The interpretation of the dreams, and the prediction of seven years plenty, and seven years famine in Egypt, with the prudent advice given to Pharaoh thereupon, Gen 41:14-36.
  4. The preferment of Joseph to a place of the highest power and trust, Gen 41:37-45.
  5. The accomplishment of Joseph's prediction, and his fidelity to his trust, Gen 41:46-57.

41:8 His spirit was troubled - It cannot but put us into a concern to receive any extraordinary message from heaven. And his magicians were puzzled; the rules of their art failed them; these dreams of Pharaoh did not fall within the compass of them. This was to make Joseph's performance by the Spirit of God the more admirable.

41:9 I remember my faults this day - in forgetting Joseph. Some think he means his faults against Pharaoh, for which he was imprisoned, and then he would insinuate, that through Pharaoh had forgiven him, he had not forgiven himself. God's time for the enlargement of his people will appear, at last, to be the fittest time. If the chief butler had at first used his interest for Joseph's enlargement, and had obtained, it is probable, he would have gone back to the land of the Hebrews, and then he had neither been so blessed himself, nor such a blessing to his family.But staying two years longer, and coming out upon this occasion to interpret the king's dreams, way was made for his preferment. The king can scarce allow him time, but that decency required it, to shave himself, and to change his raiment, Gen 41:14. It is done with all possible expedition, and Joseph is brought in perhaps almost as much surprised as Peter was, Act 12:9, so suddenly is his captivity brought back, that he is as one that dreams, Psa 126:1.Pharaoh immediately, without enquiring who or whence he was tells him his business, that he expected he should interpret his dream.

41:16  (1.) He gives honour to God; It is not in me; God must give it.Great gifts then appear most graceful and illustrious, when those that have them use them humbly, and take not the praise of them to themselves, but give it to God, (2.) He shews respect to Pharaoh, and hearty good - will to him, supposingthat the interpretation would be an answer of peace. Those that consult God's oracles may expect an answer of peace.

41:29 See the goodness of God, in sending the seven years of plenty before those of famine, that provision might be made accordingly. How wonderful wisely has Providence, that great house - keeper, ordered the affairs of this numerous family from the beginning! Great variety of seasons there have been and the produce of the earth sometimes more, and sometimes less; yet take one time with another, what was miraculous concerning the manna, is ordinarily verified in the common course of Providence; He that gathers much has nothing over, and he that gathers little has no lack, Exo 16:18.

41:30 See the perishing nature of our worldly enjoyments. The great increase of the years of plenty was quite lost and swallowed up in the years of famine; and the overplus of it, which seemed very much, yet did but just serve to keep men alive.

41:44 Without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot - All the affairs of the kingdom must pass through his hand. Only in the throne will I be greater than thou - It is probable there were those about court that opposed Joseph's preferment, which occasioned Pharaoh so oft to repeat the grant, and with that solemn sanction, I am Pharaoh. He gave him his own ring as a ratification of his commission, and in token of peculiar favour; or it was like delivering him the great seal. He put fine clothes upon him instead of his prison garments, and adorned him with a chain of gold. He made him ride in the second chariot next his own, and ordered all to do obeisance to him, as to Pharaoh himself; he gave him a new name and such a name as spoke the value he had for him, Zaphnath - paaneah, a Revealer of secrets. He married him honourably to a prince's daughter. Where God had been liberal in giving wisdom and other merits, Pharaoh was not sparing in conferring honours. Now this preferment of Joseph, was, 1st, an abundant recompense for his innocent and patient suffering, alasting instance of the equity and goodness of providence, and an encouragement to all to trust in a good God. 2dly, It was typical of the exaltation of Christ, that great revealer ofsecrets, (Joh 1:18,) or as some translate Joseph's new name, the Saviour of the world. The brightest glories of the upper world are upon him, the highest trusts lodged in his hand, and all power given him both in heaven and earth. He is gatherer, keeper, and disposer of all the stores of divine grace, and chief ruler of the kingdom of God among men. The work of ministers is to cry before him; Bow the knee; kiss the Son.

41:50 Two sons - In the names he gave them, he owned the divine Providence giving this happy turn to his affairs. He was made to forget his misery, but could he be so unnatural as to forget all his father's house? And he was made fruitful in the land of his affliction. It had been the land of his affliction, and, in some sense, it was still so, for his distance from his father was still his affliction.Ephraim signifies fruitfulness, and Manasseh forgetfulness.

41:54 The seven years of dearth began to come - Not only in Egypt, but in other lands, in all lands, that is, all the neighbouring countries.

42 We have in this chapter,

  1. The humble application of Jacob's sons to Joseph, to buy corn, Gen 42:1-6.
  2. The fright Joseph put them into, for their trial, Gen 42:7-20.
  3. The conviction they were now under of their sin concerning Joseph long before, Gen 42:21-24.
  4. Their return to Canaan with corn, and the great distress their good father was in upon the account they gave him of their expedition, Gen 42:25-38.

42:1 Jacob saw that there was corn - That is, he saw the corn that his neighbours had bought there and brought home.

42:2 Get you down thither - Masters of families must not only pray for daily bread for their families, but must with care and industry provide it.

42:7 We may well wonder that Joseph, during the twenty years he had been in Egypt, especially during the last seven years that he had been in power there, never sent to his father to acquaint him with his circumstances; nay, 'tis strange that he who so oft went throughout all the land of Egypt, never made a step to Canaan, to visit his aged father. When he was in the borders of Egypt that lay next to Canaan, perhaps it would not have been above three or four days journey for him in his chariot. 'Tis a probable conjecture, that his whole management of himself in this affair was by special direction from heaven, that the purpose of God, concerning Jacob and his family, might be accomplished. When Joseph's brethren came, he knew them by many a good token, but they knew not him, little thinking to find him there.

42:9 He remembered the dreams, but they had forgot them. The laying up of God's oracles in our hearts will be of excellent use to us in all our conduct. Joseph had an eye to his dreams, which he knew to be divine, in his carriage towards his brethren, and aimed at the accomplishment of them, and the bringing his brethren to repentance; and both those points were gained.

  1. He shewed himself harsh with them: the very manner of his speaking,considering the post he was in, was enough to frighten them, for he spake roughly to them - He charged them with ill designs against the government, treated them as dangerous persons, ye are spies, protesting by the life of Pharaoh that they were so. Some make that an oath, others make it no more but a vehement asseveration; however, it was more than yea, yea, and nay, nay, and therefore came of evil.
  2. They hereupon were very submissive; they spoke to him with all respect;nay, my lord. They modestly deny the charge, we are no spies; they tell him their business, they came to buy food, they give a particular account of themselves and their family, Gen 42:13, and that was it he wanted.
  3. He clapt them all up in prison three days.
  4. He concluded with them at last, that one of them should be left as ahostage, and the rest should go home and fetch Benjamin. It was a very encouraging word he said, I fear God; q.d. You may assure yourselves, I will do you no wrong, I dare not, for I know that as high as I am, there is one higher than I. With those that fear God we have reason to expect fair dealing: the fear of God will be a check upon those that are in power, to restrain them from abusing their power to oppression and tyranny:

42:21 We are very guilty concerning our brother - We do not read that they said this during their three days imprisonment; but now when the matter was come to some issue, and they saw themselves still embarrassed, they began to relent. Perhaps Joseph's mention of the fear of God, put them upon consideration, and extorted this reflexion.

42:24 He took Simeon - He chose him for the hostage, probably because he remembered him to have been his most bitter enemy, or because he observed him now to be least humbled and concerned. He bound him before their eyes, to affect them all.

42:28 Their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done to us? - They knew that the Egyptians abhorred a Hebrew, Gen 43:32, and therefore, since they could not expect to receive any kindness from them, they concluded that this was done with a design to pick a quarrel with them, the rather because the man, the lord of the land, had charged them as spies. Their own conscience were awake, and their sins set in order before them, and this puts them into confusion. When the events of providence concerning us are surprising, it is good to enquire what it is that God has done and is doing with us?

42:38 My son shall not go down with you - He plainly intimates a distrust of them, remembering that he never saw Joseph since he had been with them; therefore Benjamin shall not go with you.

43 Here the story of Joseph's brethren is carried on.

  1. Their melancholy parting with their father Jacob, in Canaan, Gen 43:1-14.
  2. Their meeting with Joseph in Egypt, Gen 43:15-34.

43:9 Judah's conscience had lately smitten him for what he had done a great while ago against Joseph; and as an evidence of the truth of his repentance, he is ready to undertake, as far as a man could do it, for Benjamin's security. He will not only not wrong him but will do all he can to protect him. This is such restitution as the case will admit: when he knew not how he could retrieve Joseph, he would make some amends for the irreparable injury he had done him, by doubling his care concerning Benjamin.

43:11 If it must be so now, take your brother - If no corn can be had but upon those terms, as good expose him to the perils of the journey, as suffer ourselves and families, and Benjamin among the rest, to perish for want of bread: it is no fault, but our wisdom and duty, to alter our resolutions when there is a good reason for so doing: constancy is a virtue, but obstinacy is not: it is God's prerogative to make unchangeable resolves.

43:12 Take double money - As much again as they took the time before, upon supposition that the price of corn might be risen, or that, if it should be insisted upon, they might pay a ransom for Simeon. And he sent a present of such things as the land afforded, and were scarce in Egypt, the commodities that Canaan exported.

43:14 God almighty give you mercy before the man! - Jacob had formerly turned an angry brother into a kind one with a present and a prayer, and here he betakes himself to the same tried method. Those that would find mercy with men must seek it of God. He concludes all with this, if I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved - If I must part with them thus one after another, I acquiesce and say, The will of the Lord be done.

43:23 Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks - Hereby he shews that he had no suspicion of dishonesty in them: for what we get by deceit we cannot say God gives it us. He silences their farther enquiry about it: ask not how it came thither, providence brought it you, and let that satisfy you. It appears by what he said, that by his master's instructions he was brought to the knowledge of the true God, the God of the Hebrews. He directs them to look up to God, and acknowledge his providence in the good bargain they had. We must own ourselves indebted to God as our God, and the God of our fathers, (a God in covenant with us and them) for all our successes and advantages, and the kindnesses of our friends; for every creature is that to us, and no more, than God makes it to be.

43:26 When they brought him the present, they bowed themselves before him, and again, when they gave him an account of their father's health, they made obeisance, and called him, Thy servant, our father - Thus were Joseph's dreams fulfilled more and more; and even the father, by the sons, bowed before him. Probably Jacob had directed them, if they had occasion to speak of him to the man, the Lord of the land, to call him his servant.

43:29 God be gracious unto thee, my son - Joseph's favour, though he was the lord of the land, would do him little good, unless God were gracious to him.

43:33 He placed his brethren according to their seniority, as if he could certainly divine. Some think they placed themselves so according to their custom; but if so, I see not why such particular notice is taken of it, especially as a thing they marvelled at.

43:34 They drank and were merry - Their cares and fears were now over, and they eat their bread with joy, concluding they were now upon good terms with the man, the lord of the land. If God accept our works, our present, we have reason to be chearful.

44 Joseph having entertained his brethren, dismissed them: but here we have them brought back in a greater fright than any they had been in yet.Observe.

  1. What method he took, both to humble them farther, and to try their affections to his brother Benjamin, by which he would be able to judge the sincerity of their repentance for what they had done against him. This he contrived to do by bringing Benjamin into distress, Gen 44:1-17.
  2. The good success of the experiment: he found them all heartily concerned, and Judah particularly, both for the safety of Benjamin, and for the comfort of their aged father, Gen 44:18-34.

44:5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh? And for which he would search thoroughly - So it may be rendered.

44:16 God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants - Referring to the injury they had formerly done to Joseph, for which they thought God was now reckoning with them. Even in those afflictions wherein we apprehend ourselves wronged by men, yet we must own that God is righteous, and finds out our iniquity. We cannot judge what men are, by what they have been formerly, not what they will do, by what they have done. Age and experience may make men wiser and better, They that had sold Joseph, yet would not abandon Benjamin.

44:18 And Judah said - We have here a most pathetic speech which Judah made to Joseph on Benjamin's behalf. Either Judah was a better friend to Benjamin than the rest, and more solicitous to bring him off; or he thought himself under greater obligations to endeavour it than the rest, because he had passed his word to his father for his safe return. His address, as it is here recorded, is so very natural, and so expressive of his present passion, that we cannot but suppose Moses, who wrote it so long after, to have written it under the special direction of him that made man's mouth. A great deal of unaffected art, and unstudied rhetoric there is in this speech.

  1. He addressed himself to Joseph with a great deal of respect callshim his lord, himself and his brethren his servants, begs his patient hearing, and passeth a mighty compliment upon him, Thou art even as Pharaoh, whose favour we desire, and whose wrath we dread as we do Pharaoh's.
  2. He represented Benjamin as one well worthy of his compassionateconsideration, he was a little one, compared with the rest; the youngest, not acquainted with the world, nor inured to hardship, having been always brought up tenderly with his father. It made the case the more piteous that he alone was left of his mother, and his brother was dead, viz. Joseph; little did Judah think what a tender point he touched upon now. Judah knew that Joseph was sold, and therefore had reason enough to think that he was not alive.
  3. He urged it closely that Joseph had himself constrained them tobring Benjamin with them, had expressed a desire to see him, had forbidden them his presence, unless they brought Benjamin with them, all which intimated, that he designed him some kindness. And must he be brought with so much difficulty to the preferment of a perpetual slavery? Was he not brought to Egypt in obedience, purely in obedience to the command of Joseph, and would not he shew him some mercy?
  4. The great argument he insists upon was the insupportable grief it wouldbe to his aged father, if Benjamin should be left behind in servitude.His father loves him, Gen 44:20. Thus they had pleaded against Joseph's insisting on his coming down Gen 44:22.If he should leave his father, his father would die, much more if he now be left behind, never to return. This the old man of whom they spake, had pleaded against his going down. If mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my grey hairs, that crown of glory, with sorrow to the grave.This therefore Judah presseth with a great deal of earnestness, his life is bound up in the lad's life, when he sees that the lad is not with us, he will faint away and die immediately, or will abandon himself to such a degree of sorrow, as will, in a few days, make an end of him, And (lastly) Judah pleads, that, for his part, he could not bear to seethis. Let me not see the evil that shall come on my father.
  5. Judah, in honour to the justice of Joseph's sentence, and toshew his sincerity in this plea, offers himself to become a bond - man instead of Benjamin. Thus the law would be satisfied; Joseph would be no loser, for we may suppose Judah a more able bodied man than Benjamin; Jacob would better bear that than the loss of Benjamin. Now, so far was he from grieving at his father's particular fondness for Benjamin, than he is himself willing to be a bond - man to indulge it.

Now, had Joseph been, as Judah supposed, an utter stranger to thefamily, yet even common humanity could not but be wrought upon by such powerful reasonings as these; for nothing could be said more moving, more tender; it was enough to melt a heart of stone: but to Joseph, who was nearer a - kin to Benjamin than Judah himself, and who, at this time, felt a greater passion for him and his aged father, than Judah did, nothing could be more pleasingly nor more happily said. Neither Jacob nor Benjamin needed an intercessor with Joseph, for he himself loved them. Upon the whole, let us take notice,

  1. How prudently Judah suppressed all mention of the crime that wascharged upon Benjamin. Had he said any thing by way of acknowledgment of it, he had reflected on Benjamin's honesty. Had he said any thing by way of denial of it, he had reflected on Joseph's justice; therefore he wholly waves that head, and appeals to Joseph's pity.
  2. What good reason dying Jacob had to say, Judah, thou art hewhom thy brethren shall praise, Gen 49:8, for he excelled them all in boldness, wisdom, eloquence, and especially tenderness for their father and family.
  3. Judah's faithful adherence to Benjamin now in his distress wasrecompensed long after, by the constant adherence of the tribe of Benjamin to the tribe of Judah, when all the other ten tribes deserted it.

45 Joseph let Judah go on without interruption, heard all he had to say, and then answered it all in one word, I am Joseph. Now he found his brethren humbled for their sins, mindful of himself (for Judah had mentioned him twice in his speech) respectful to their father, and very tender of their brother Benjamin: now they were ripe for the comfort he designed them, by making himself known to them. This was to Joseph's brethren as clear shining after rain; nay, it was to them as life from the dead. Here is,

  1. Joseph's discovery of himself to his brethren, and his discourse with them upon that occasion, Gen 45:1-15.
  2. The orders Pharaoh gave to fetch Jacob and his family down to Egypt, and Joseph's dispatch of his brethren back to his father with these orders, Gen 45:16-24.
  3. The joyful tidings of this brought to Jacob, Gen 45:25-28.

45:1 Judah and his brethren were waiting for an answer, and could not but be amazed to discover, instead of the gravity of a judge, the natural affection of a father or brother.

[1.] Cause every man to go out - The private conversations of friendsare the most free. When Joseph would put on love, he puts off state, which it was not fit his servants should be witnesses of. Thus Christ graciously manifests himself and his loving kindness to his people, out of the sight and hearing of the world.See note at Gen 45:2 for continuation to item No. 2

[2.] V. 2. Tears were the introduction to his discourse. He had dammed upthis stream a great while, and with much ado, but now it swelled so high that he could no longer contain, but he wept aloud, so that those whom he had forbid to see him could not but hear him. These were tears of tenderness and strong affection, and with these he threw off that austerity, with which he had hitherto carried himself towards his brethren; for he could bear it no longer. This represents the Divine compassion towards returning penitents, as much as that of the father of the prodigal, Luk 15:20 Hos 11:8-9. See note at Gen 45:3 for continuation to item No. 3

[3.] V. 3. He abruptly tells them; I am Joseph - They knew him only byhis Egyptian name, Zaphnath - paaneah, his Hebrew name being lost and forgot in Egypt; but now he teaches them to call him by that, I am Joseph: nay, that they might not suspect it was another of the same name, he explains himself. I am Joseph your brother. This would both humble them yet more for their sin in selling him, and encourage them to hope for kind treatment. This word, at first, startled Joseph's brethren, they started back through fear, or at least stood still astonished: but Joseph called kindly and familiarly to them. Come near, I pray you. Thus, when Christ manifests himself to his people he encourages them to draw near to him with a true heart. Perhaps being about to speak of their selling of him, he would not speak aloud, lest the Egyptians should overhear, and it should make the Hebrews to be yet more an abomination to them; therefore he would have them come near, that he might whisper with them, which, now the tide of his passion was a little over, he was able to do, whereas, at first, he could not but cry out.

[4.] He endeavours to sweep their grief for the injuries they had donehim, by shewing them, that, whatever they designed, God meant it for good, and had brought much good out of it.See note at Gen 45:1 for start of item, ie. No. [1.]

45:5 Be not grieved or angry with yourselves - Sinners must grieve, and be angry with themselves for their sins; yea, though God, by his power, bring good out of them, for that is no thanks to the sinner: but true penitents should be greatly affected with it, when they see God bringing good out of evil. Though we must not with this consideration extenuate our own sins, and so take off the edge of our repentance; yet it may do well thus to extenuate the sins of others, and so take off the edge of our angry resentments. Thus Joseph doth here. His brethren needed not to fear that he would revenge upon them an injury which God's providence had made to turn so much to his advantage, and that of his family. Now he tells them how long the famine was likely to last, five years yet, Gen 45:6, and what a capacity he was in of being kind to his relations, which is the greatest satisfaction that wealth and power can give to a good man.

45:8 See what a favourable colour he puts upon the injury they had done him, God sent me before you - God's Israel is the particular care of God's providence. Joseph reckoned that his advancement was not so much designed to save a whole kingdom of Egyptians, as to preserve a small family of Israelites; for the Lord's portion is his people: whatever goes with others, they shall be secured. How admirable are the projects of Providence! How remote its tendencies! What wheels are there within wheels; and yet all directed by the eyes in the wheels, and the Spirit of the living Creature!See note at Gen 45:1 for start of item, ie. No. [1.]

[5.] He promises to take care of his father and all his family, during therest of the years of famine.

[1.] He desires that his father might speedily be made glad with thetidings of his life and honour. His brethren must hasten to Canaan, and acquaint Jacob that his son Joseph was lord of all Egypt - He knew it would be a refreshing oil to his hoary head, and a sovereign cordial to his spirits. He desires them to give themselves, and take with them to their father, all possible satisfaction of the truth of these surprising tidings.

45:12 Your eyes see that it is my mouth - If they could recollect themselves, they might remember something of his features and speech, and be satisfied.See note at Gen 45:1 for (1.)

(2.) He is very earnest that his father and all his family should come tohim to Egypt. Come down unto me, tarry not - He allots his dwelling in Goshen, that part of Egypt which lay towards Canaan, that they might be mindful of the country from which they were to come out.He promiseth to provide for him, I will nourish - Our Lord Jesus being, like Joseph, exalted to the highest honours and powers of the upper world, it is his will that all that are his should be with him where he is. This is his commandment, that we be with him now in faith and hope, and a heavenly conversation; and this is his promise, that we shall be for ever with him.

45:24 See that ye fall not out by the way - He knew they were but too apt to be quarrelsome; and what had lately passed, which revived the remembrance of what they had done formerly against their brother, might give them occasion to quarrel. Now Joseph having forgiven them all, lays this obligation upon them, not to upbraid one another. This charge our Lord Jesus has given to us, that we love one another, that we live in peace, that whatever occurs, or whatever former occurrences are remembered, we fall not out.For,

  1. We are brethren, we have all one father.
  2. We are his brethren; and we shame, our relation to him, who is ourpeace, if we fall out.
  3. We are all guilty, verily guilty, and instead of quarrelling with oneanother, have a great deal of reason to fall out with ourselves.
  4. We are forgiven of God, whom we have all offended, and therefore shouldbe ready to forgive one another.
  5. We are by the way, a way that lies through the land of Egypt,where we have many eyes upon us, that seek occasion and advantage against us; a way that leads to Canaan, where we hope to be for ever in perfect peace.

45:26 We have here the good news brought to Jacob. When, without any preamble, his sons came in crying Joseph is yet alive. The very mention of Joseph's name revived his sorrow, so that his heart fainted. It was a good while before he came to himself. He was in such care and fear about the rest of them, that at this time it would have been joy enough to him to hear that Simeon is released, and Benjamin is come safe home; for he had been ready to despair concerning both these; but to bear that Joseph is alive, is too good news to be true; he faints, for he believes it not.

45:27 When he saw the waggons his spirit revived - Now Jacob is called Israel, for he begins to recover his wonted vigour. It pleases him to think that Joseph is alive. He saith nothing of Joseph's glory, which they had told him of; it was enough to him that Joseph was alive: it pleases him to think of going to see him. Though he was old, and the journey long, yet he would go to see Joseph, because Joseph's business would not permit him to come to him. Observe, He will go see him, not I will go live with him; Jacob was old, and did not expect to live long: but I will go see him before I die, and then let me depart in peace; let my eyes be refreshed with this sight before they are closed, and then it is enough, I need no more to make me happy in this world.

46 Jacob is here removing to Egypt in his old age.

  1. God sends him thither, Gen 46:1-4.
  2. All his family goes with him, Gen 46:5-27.
  3. Joseph bids him welcome, Gen 46:28-34.

46:1 And Israel came to Beer - sheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac - He chose that place in remembrance of the communion which his father and grandfather had with God in that place. In his devotion he had an eye to God as the God of his father Isaac, that is, a God in covenant with him, for by Isaac the covenant was entailed upon him. He offered sacrifices, extraordinary sacrifices, besides those at his stated times. These sacrifices were offered,

  1. By way of thanksgiving for the late blessed change of the face of hisfamily, for the good news he had received concerning Joseph, and the hopes he had of seeing him.
  2. By way of petition for the presence of God with him in his intendedjourney.
  3. By way of consultation. Jacob would not go on 'till he had askedGod's leave.

46:2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night - (Probably the next night after he had offered his sacrifices.) Those who desire to keep up communion with God, shall find that it never fails on his side. If we speak to him as we ought, he will not fail to speak to us. God called him by his name, by his old name, Jacob, Jacob, to mind him of his low estate. Jacob, like one well acquainted with the visions of the Almighty, answers, Here am I - Ready to receive orders. And what has God to say to him?

46:3 I am God, the God of thy father - That is, I am what thou ownest me to be: thou shalt find me a God of divine wisdom and power engaged for thee: and thou shalt find me the God of thy father, true to the covenant made with him. Fear not to go down into Egypt - It seems though Jacob, upon the first intelligence of Joseph's life and glory in Egypt, resolved without any hesitation I will go and see him, yet upon second thoughts he saw difficulties in it.

  1. He was old, 130 years old; it was a long journey, and he was unfit totravel.
  2. He feared lest his sons should be tainted with the idolatry of Egypt,and forget the God of their fathers.
  3. Probably he thought of what God had said to Abraham concerning thebondage and affliction of his seed.
  4. He could not think of laying his bones in Egypt. But whatever hisdiscouragements were, this was enough to answer them all, Fear not to go down into Egypt.

46:4 I will go down with thee into Egypt - Those that go where God sends them shall certainly have God with them. And I will surely bring thee up again - Tho' Jacob died in Egypt, yet this promise was fulfilled,

  1. In the bringing up of his body to be buried in Canaan.
  2. In the bringing up of his seed to be settled in Canaan. Whatever lowand darksome valley we are called into, we may be confident if God go down with us, he will surely bring us up again. If he go with us down to death, he will surely bring us up again to glory. And Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes - That is a promise that Joseph should live as long as he lived, that he should be with him at his death, and close his eyes with all possible tenderness. Probably Jacob, in the multitude of his thoughts within him, had been wishing that Joseph might do this last office of love for him; and God thus answered him in the letter of his desire. Thus God sometimes gratifies the innocent wishes of his people, and makes not only their death happy, but the very circumstances of it agreeable.

46:7 All his seed - 'Tis probable they continued to live together in common with their father, and therefore when he went they all went; which perhaps they were the more willing to do, because, tho' they had heard that the land of Canaan was promised them, yet to this day they had none of it in possession. We have here a particular account of the names of Jacob's family; his sons sons, most of which are afterwards mentioned, as heads of houses in the several tribes. See Num 26:5, etc Issachar called his eldest son Tola, which signifies a worm, probably because when he was born he was a little weak child, not likely to live, and yet there sprang from him a very numerous off - spring, Ch1 7:2. The whole number that went down intoEgypt were sixty - six, to which add Joseph and his two sons, who were there before, and Jacob himself, the head of the family, and you have the number of seventy. 'Twas now 215 years since God had promised Abraham to make of him a great nation, Gen 12:2, and yet that branch of his seed, on which the promise was entailed, was as yet increased but to seventy, of which this particular account is kept, that the power of God in multiplying these seventy to so vast a multitude, even in Egypt, may be the more illustrious. When he pleases, A little one shall become a thousand.

46:30 Now let me die - Not but that it was farther desirable to live with Joseph, and to see his honour and usefulness; but he had so much satisfaction in this first meeting, that he thought it too much to desire or expect any more in this world.

47 In this chapter we have instances,

  1. Of Joseph's kindness to his relations, presenting his brethren first, and then his father to Pharaoh, Gen 47:1-10.
    setting them in Goshen, and providing for them there, Gen 47:11-12.
    paying his respects to his father when he sent for him, Gen 47:27-31.
  2. Of Joseph's justice between prince and people in a very critical affair; selling Pharaoh's corn to his subjects with reasonable profit to Pharaoh, and yet without any wrong to them, Gen 47:13-26.

47:3 What is your occupation? - Pharaoh takes it for granted they had something to do. All that have a place in the world should have an employment in it according to their capacity, some occupation or other.Those that need not work for their bread, yet must have something to do to keep them from idleness.

47:4 To sojourn in the land are we cane - Not to settle there for ever; only to sojourn, while the famine prevailed so in Canaan, which lay high, that it was not habitable for shepherds, the grass being burnt up much more than in Egypt, which lay low, and where the corn chiefly failed, but there was tolerable good pasture.

47:8 How old art thou? - A question usually put to old men, for it is natural to us to admire old age, and to reverence it. Jacob's countenance no doubt shewed him to be old, for be had been a man of labour and sorrow. In Egypt people were not so long - lived as in Canaan, and therefore Pharaoh looks upon Jacob with wonder.

47:9 Observe

  1. Jacob calls his life a pilgrimage, looking upon himself as astranger in this world, and a traveller towards another. He reckoned himself not only a pilgrim now he was in Egypt, a strange country in which he never was before, but his life even in the land of his nativity was a pilgrimage.
  2. He reckoned his life by days; for even so it is soon reckoned, andwe are not sure of the continuance of it for a day to an end, but may be turned out of this tabernacle at less than an hours warning.
  3. The character he gives of them was,
    1. That they were few. Though he had now lived 130 years, they seemedto him but as a few days, in comparison of the days of eternity, in which a thousand years are but as one day;
    2. That they were evil. This is true concerning man in general, Job 14:1, he is offew days and full of trouble: Jacob's life particularly had been made up of evil days. the pleasantest days of his life were yet before him.
    3. That they were short of the days of his fathers; not so many, not sopleasant as their days. Old age came sooner upon him than it had done upon some of his ancestors.

47:10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh - Which was not only an act of civility but an act of piety; he prayed for him, as one having the authority of a prophet and a patriarch: and a patriarch's blessing was not a thing to be despised, no not by a potent prince.

47:21 He removed them to cities - He transplanted them, to shew Pharaoh's sovereign power over them, and that they might, in time, forget their titles to their lands, and be the easier reconciled to their new condition of servitude. How hard soever this seems to have been upon them, they themselves were sensible of it as a great kindness, and were thankful they were not worse used.

47:28 Jacob lived seventeen years after he came into Egypt, far beyond his own expectation: seventeen years he had nourished Joseph, for so old he was when he was sold from him, and now, seventeen years Joseph nourished him. Observe how kindly Providence ordered Jacob's affairs; that when he was old, and least able to bear care and fatigue, he had least occasion for it, being well provided for by his son without his own forecast.

47:29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die - Israel, that had power over the angel, and prevailed, yet must yield to death. He died by degrees; his candle was not blown out, but gradually burnt down, so that he saw, at some distance, the time drawing nigh. He would be buried in Canaan, not because Canaan was the land of his nativity, but in faith, because it was the land of promise, which he desired thus, as it were to keep possession of 'till the time should come when his posterity should be masters of it: and because it was a type of heaven, that better country, which he was in expectation of. When this was done, Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head - Worshipping God, as it is explained, Heb 11:21, giving God thanks for all his favours, and particularly forthis, that Joseph was ready, to put his hand upon his eyes. Thus they that go down to the dust should, with humble thankfulness, bow before God, the God of their mercies.

48 In this chapter Jacob's dying words are recorded, because he speaks by a spirit of prophecy; Abraham's and Isaac's are not. God's gifts and graces shine forth much more in some than in others upon their death - beds. Here is,

  1. Joseph hearing of his father's sickness goes to visit him, and takes his two sons with him, Gen 48:1-2.
  2. Jacob solemnly adopts his two sons, and takes them for his own, Gen 48:3-7.
  3. He blesseth them, Gen 48:8-16.
  4. He explains and justifies the crossing of his hands in blessing them, Gen 48:17-20.
  5. He leaves a particular legacy to Joseph, Gen 48:21-22.

48:3 God blessed me - And let that blessing be entailed upon them. God had promised him two things, a numerous issue, and Canaan for an inheritance. And Joseph's sons, pursuant hereunto, should each of them multiply into a tribe, and each of them have a distinct lot in Canaan, equal with Jacob's own sons. See how he blessed them by faith in that which God had said to him Heb 11:21.

48:7 Mention is made of the death and burial of Rachel, Joseph's mother, and Jacob's best beloved wife. The removal of dear relations from us is an affliction, the remembrance of which cannot but abide with us a great while. Strong affections in the enjoyment cause long afflictions in the loss.

48:11 I had not thought to see thy face, (having many years given him up for lost) and lo God hath shewed me also thy seed? - See here, How these two good men own God in their comforts. Joseph saith, They are my sons whom God has given me - And to magnify the favour he adds, in this place of my banishment, slavery and imprisonment. Jacob saith here, God hath shewed me thy seed - Our comforts are then doubly sweet to us, when we see them coming from God's hand.

48:15 The God who fed me all my life long unto this day - As long as we have lived in this world we have had continual experience of God's goodness to us in providing for the support of our natural life. Our bodies have called for daily food, and we have never wanted food convenient. He that has fed us all our life long will not fail us at last.

48:16 The angel who redeemed me from all evil - A great deal of hardship he had known in his time, but God had graciously kept him from the evil of his troubles. Christ, the angel of the covenant is he that redeems us from all evil. It becomes the servants of God, when they are old and dying, to witness for our God that they have found him gracious. Joseph had placed his children so, as that Jacob's right - hand should be put on the head of Manasseh the eldest, Gen 48:12-13, but Jacob would put it on the head of Ephraim the youngest, Gen 48:14. This displeasedJoseph, who was willing to support the reputation of his first - born and would therefore have removed his father's hands, Gen 48:17-18, but Jacob gave him to understand that he knew what he did, and that he did it neither by mistake nor in a humour, nor from a partial affection to one more than the other, but from a spirit of prophecy.

48:19 Ephraim shall he greater - When the tribes were mustered in the wilderness Ephraim was more numerous than Manasseh, and had the standard of that squadron, Num 1:32-33, Num 1:35 - Num 2:18, Num 2:20, and is named first, Psa 80:2.Joshua was of that tribe. The tribe of Manasseh was divided, one half on one side Jordan, the other half on the other side, which made it the less powerful and considerable. God, in bestowing his blessings upon his people, gives more to some than to others, more gifts, graces and comforts, and more of the good things of this life. And he often gives most to those that are least likely: he chuseth the weak things of the world, raiseth the poor out of the dust. Grace observes not the order of nature, nor doth God prefer those whom we think fittest to be preferred but as it pleaseth him.

48:21 I die, but God shall be with you, and bring you again - This assurance was given them, and carefully preserved among them, that they might neither love Egypt too much when it favoured them, nor fear it too much when it frowned upon them. These words of Jacob furnish us with comfort in reference to the death of our friends: But God shall be with us, and his gracious presence is sufficient to make up the loss. They leave us, but he will never fail us. He will bring us to the land of our fathers, the heavenly Canaan, whither our godly fathers are gone before us. If God be with us while we stay behind in this world, and will receive us shortly to be with them that are gone before to a better world, we ought not to sorrow as those that have no hope.

48:22 He bestowed one portion upon him above his brethren. The lands bequeathed are described to be those which he took out of the hand of the Amorite with his sword and with his bow. He purchased them first, Jos 24:32, and it seems was afterwards disseized of them by the Amorites, but retook them by the sword, repelling force by force, and recovering his right by violence when he could not otherwise recover it.These lands he settled upon Joseph. Mention is made of this grant, Joh 4:5. Pursuant to it, this parcel of ground was given to thetribe of Ephraim as their right, and the lot was never cast upon it: and in it Joseph's bones were buried, which perhaps Jacob had an eye to as much as to any thing in this settlement. It may sometimes be both just and prudent to give some children portions above the rest: but a grave is that which we can most count upon as our own in this earth.

49 Jacob is here upon his death - bed making his will: what he said here he could not say when he would, but as the Spirit gave him utterance, who chose this time that divine strength might be perfected in this weakness. The twelve sons of Jacob were in their day men of renown; but the twelve tribes of Israel, which descended and were denominated from them, were much more renowned, we find their names upon the gates of the new Jerusalem, Rev 21:12. In the
prospect of which their dying father saith something remarkable of each son, or of the tribe that bore his name. Here is,

  1. The preface, Gen 49:1-2.
  2. The prediction concerning each tribe, Gen 49:3-28.
  3. The charge repeated concerning his burial, Gen 49:29-32.
  4. His death, Gen 49:33.

49:1 Gather yourselves together - Let them all be sent for to see their father die, and to hear his dying words. "Twas a comfort to Jacob, now he was dying, to see all his children about him tho' he had sometimes thought himself bereaved: 'twas of use to them to attend him in his last moments, that they might learn of him how to die, as well as how to live; what he said to each, he said in the hearing of all the rest, for we may profit by the reproofs, counsels and comforts that are principally intended for others. That I may tell you that which shall befal you, not your persons but your posterity, in the latter days - The prediction of which would be of use to those that come after them, for confirming their faith, and guiding their way, at their return to Canaan. We cannot tell our children what shall befal them, or their families, in this world; but we can tell them from the word of God, what will befal them in the last day of all, according as they carry themselves in this world.

49:2 Hearken to Israel your father - Let Israel that has prevailed with God, prevail with you.

49:3 Reuben thou art my first - born - Jacob here puts upon him the ornaments of the birth - right, that he and all his brethren might see what he had forfeited and in that might see the evil of his sin. As the first - born he was his father's joy, being the beginning of his strength. To him belonged the excellency of dignity above his brethren, and some power over them.

49:4 Thou shalt not excel - A being thou shalt have as a tribe, but not an excellency. No judge, prophet, or prince, are found of that tribe, nor any person of renown only Dathan and Abiram, who were noted for their impious rebellion. That tribe, as not aiming to excel, chose a settlement on the other side Jordan. The character fastened upon Reuben, for which he is laid under this mark of infamy, is, that he was unstable as water. His virtue was unstable, he had not the government of himself, and his own appetites. His honour consequently was unstable, it vanished into smoke, and became as water spilt upon the ground. Jacob charges him particularly with the sin for which he was disgraced, thou wentest up to thy father's bed - It was forty years ago that he had been guilty of this sin, yet now it is remembered against him.Reuben's sin left an indelible mark of infamy upon his family; a wound not to be healed without a scar.

49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren - Brethren in disposition, but unlike their father: they were passionate and revengeful, fierce and wilful; their swords, that should have been only weapons of defence, were (as the margin reads it) weapons of violence, to do wrong to others, not to save themselves from wrong.

49:6 They slew a man - Shechem himself, and many others; and to effect that, they digged down a wall, broke the houses to plunder them, and murder the inhabitants. O my soul, come not thou into their secret - Hereby he professeth not only his abhorrence of such practices in general,but his innocency particularly in that matter. Perhaps he had been suspected as under - hand aiding and abetting; he therefore solemnly expresseth his detestation of the fact.

49:7 Cursed be their anger - Not their persons. We ought always in the expressions of our zeal carefully to distinguish between the sinner and the sin, so as not to love or bless the sin for the sake of the person, nor to hate or curse the person for the sake of the sin. I will divide them - The Levites were scattered throughout all the tribes, and Simeon'slot lay not together, and was so strait that many of that tribe were forced to disperse themselves in quest of settlements and subsistence. This curse was afterwards turned into a blessing to the Levites; but the Simeonites, for Zimri's sin, Num 25:6-14, had it bound on.

49:8 Judah's name signifies praise, in allusion to which he saith, Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise, God was praised for him, Gen 29:35, praised by him, and praised in him; and therefore hisbrethren shall praise him. Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies - This was fulfilled in David, Psa 18:40.Thy father's children shall bow down before thee - Judah was the law - giver, Psa 60:7. That tribe led the van through the wilderness, and in the conquest of Canaan, Jdg 1:2.The prerogatives of the birth - right which Reuben had forfeited, the excellency of dignity and power, were thus conferred upon Judah.Thy brethren shall bow down before thee, and yet shall praise thee, reckoning themselves happy in having so wise and bold a commander.

49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp - The lion is the king of beasts, the terror of the forest when he roars; when he seizeth his prey, none can resist him; when he goes up from the prey, none dares pursue him to revenge it. By this it is foretold that the tribe of Judah should become very formidable, and should not only obtain great victories but should peaceably enjoy what was got by those victories. Judah is compared not to a lion rampant, always raging but to a lion couching, enjoying the satisfaction of his success, without creating vexation to others.

49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah till Shiloh come - Jacob here foretels, (1.) That the sceptre should come into the tribeof Judah, which was fulfilled in David, on whose family the crown was entailed. (2.) That Shiloh should be of this tribe; that seed in whom the earthshould be blessed. That peaceable prosperous one, or, the Saviour, so others translate it, shall come of Judah. (3.) That the sceptre should continue in that tribe, till the coming ofthe Messiah, in whom as the king of the church, and the great High - priest, it was fit that both the priesthood and the royalty should determine. Till the captivity, all along from David's time, the sceptre was in Judah, and from thence governors of that tribe, or of the Levites that adhered to it, which was equivalent; till Judea became a province of the Roman empire just at the time of our Saviour's birth, and was at that time taxed as one of the provinces, Luk 2:1, and at the time of his death the Jews expressly owned, We have no king but Caesar. Hence it is undeniably inferred against the Jews, that our Lord Jesus is be that should come, and we are to look for no other, for he came exactly at the time appointed. (4.) That it should be a fruitful tribe, especially that it should aboundwith milk and wine, Gen 49:11-12, vines so common, and so strong, that they should tye their asses to them, and so fruitful, that they should load their asses from them; wine as plentiful as water, so that the men of that tribe should be very healthful and lively, their eyes brisk and sparkling, their teeth white. Much of that which is here said concerning Judah is to be applied to our Lord Jesus.

  1. He is the ruler of all his Father's children, and the conqueror of allhis Father's enemies, and he it is that is the praise of all the saints.
  2. He is the lion of the tribe of Judah, as he is called with referenceto this, Rev 5:5, who having spoiled principalities and powers, went up a conqueror, and couched so as none can stir him up when he sat down on the right hand of the Father.
  3. To him belongs the sceptre, he is the lawgiver, and to himshall the gathering of the people be, as the desire of all nations, Hag 2:7, who beinglifted up from the earth should draw all men unto him, Joh 12:32,and in whom the children of God that are scattered abroad should meet as the centre of their unity, Joh 11:52.
  4. In him there is plenty of all that which is nourishing and refreshing tothe soul, and which maintains and chears the divine life in it; in him we may have wine and milk, the riches of Judah's tribe, without money, and without price, Isa 55:1.

49:13 Zebulon shall dwell at the haven of the sea - This was fulfilled, when 2 or 300 years after, the land of Canaan was divided by lot, and the border of Zebulon went up towards the sea, Jos 19:11.

49:14 Issachar is a strong ass, couching down between two burdens - The men of that tribe shall be strong and industrious, fit for and inclined to labour, particularly the toil of husbandry, like the ass that patiently carries his burden. Issachar submitted to two burdens, tillage and tribute.

49:16 Dan shall judge his people - Though Dan was one of the sons of the concubines, yet he shall be a tribe governed by judges of his own as well as other tribes; and shall by art and policy, and surprise, gain advantages against his enemies, like a serpent suddenly biting the heel of the traveller.

49:18 I have waited for thy salvation, Lord - If he must break off here, and his breath will not serve him to finish what he intended, with these words he pours out his soul into the bosom of his God, and even breaths it out. The pious ejaculations of a warm and lively devotion, though sometimes they maybe incoherent, yet they are not impertinent; that may be uttered affectionately, which doth not come in methodically. It is no absurdity, when we are speaking to men, to lift up our hearts to God. The salvation he waited for was, 1st, Christ, the promised seed, whom he had spoken of, Gen 49:10,now he was going to be gathered to his people, he breathes after him to whom the gathering of the people shall be. 2ndly, Heaven, the better country, which he declared plainly that hesought, Heb 11:13-14, and continued seeking now he was in Egypt.

49:19 Concerning Gad, he alludes to his name, which signifies a troop, foresees the character of that tribe, that it should be a warlike tribe; and so we find, Ch1 12:8, the Gadites were men of war fit for the battle. He foresees, that the situation of that tribe on the other side Jordan would expose it to the incursions of its neighbours, the Moabites and Ammonites; and that they might not be proud of their strength and valour, he foretells that the troops of their enemies should, in many skirmishes, overcome them; yet, that they might not be discouraged by their defeats, he assures them, that they should overcome at the last, which was fulfilled, when in Saul's time and David's the Moabites and Ammonites were wholly subdued.

49:20 Concerning Asher, he foretells, That it should be a rich tribe, replenished not only with bread for necessity, but with fatness, with dainties, royal dainties, and these exported out of Asher, to other tribes, perhaps to other lands. The God of nature has provided for us not only necessaries but dainties, that we might call him a bountiful benefactor; yet, whereas all places are competently furnished with necessaries, only some places afford dainties. Corn is more common than spices. Were the supports of luxury as universal as the supports of life, the world would be worse than it is, and that needs not.

49:21 Naphtali is a hind let loose - Those of this tribe were, as the loosen'd hind, zealous for their liberty, and yet affable and courteous, their language refined, and they complaisant, giving goodly words.Among God's Israel there is to be found a great variety of dispositions, yet all contributing to the beauty and strength of the body.He closes with the blessings of his best beloved sons, Joseph and Benjamin, with these he will breathe his last.

49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, or young tree, for God had made him fruitful in the land of his affliction, as branches of a vine, or other spreading plant, running over the wall.

49:23 The archer have sorely grieved him - Tho' he now lived at ease and in honour, Jacob minds him of the difficulties he had formerly waded through. He had many enemies here called archers, being skilful to do mischief; they hated him, they shot their poisonous darts at him. His brethren were spiteful towards him, mocked him, stripped him, sold him, thought they had been the death of him. His mistress sorely grieved him, and shot at him, when she solicited his chastity; and then shot at him by her false accusations.

49:24 But his bow abode in strength - His faith did not fail; he kept his ground, and came off conqueror. The arms of his hands were made strong - That is, his other graces did their part, his wisdom, courage, patience, which are better than weapons of war: By the hands of the mighty God - Who was therefore able to strengthen him; and the God of Jacob, a God in covenant with him. From thence, from this strange method of Providence, he became the shepherd and stone, the feeder and supporter of Israel, Jacob and his family. Herein Joseph was a type of Christ: He was shot at and hated, but borne up under his sufferings, and was afterwards advanced to be the shepherd and stone: and of the church in general, hell shoots its arrows against her, but heaven protects and strengthens her.

49:25 Even by the God of thy father Jacob, who shall help thee - Our experiences of God's power and goodness in strengthning us hitherto,are encouragements still to hope for help from him. He that has helped us, will. And by the Almighty, who shall bless thee; and he only blesseth indeed. Observe the blessings conferred on Joseph; First, Various and abundant blessings. Blessings of heaven above, rain in its season, and fair weather in its season; blessings of the deep that lies under this earth, or with subterraneous mines and springs.Blessings of the womb and the breasts are given when children are safely born and comfortably nursed.Secondly, Eminent and transcendent blessings, which prevail above the blessings of my progenitors - His father Isaac had but one blessing, and when he had given that to Jacob, he was at a loss for a blessing to bestow upon Esau; but Jacob had a blessing for each of his twelve sons, and now at the latter end, a copious one for Joseph.Thirdly, Durable and extensive blessings: unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills - Including all the products of the most fruitful hills, and lasting as long as they last. Of these blessings it is here said they shall be, so it is a promise; or, let them be, so it is a prayer, on the head of Joseph, to which let them be as a crown to adorn it, and a helmet to protect it.

49:27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf - It is plain, Jacob was guided in what he said by a spirit of prophecy, and not by natural affection, else he would have spoken with more tenderness of his beloved son Benjamin, concerning whom he only foretells, that his posterity should be a warlike tribe, strong and daring, and that they should enrich themselves with the spoil of their enemies, that they should be active in the world, and a tribe as much feared by their neighbours as any other; in the morning he shall devour the prey which he seized and divided over night.

49:29 I am to be gathered unto my people - Though death separate us from our children, and our people in this world, it gathers us to our fathers, and to our people in the other world. Perhaps Jacob useth this expression concerning death, as a reason why his sons should bury him in Canaan, for (saith he) I am to be gathered unto my people, my soul must be gone to the spirits of just men made perfect, and therefore bury me with my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and their wives.

49:33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding of his sons - He addressed himself to his dying work. He put himself into a posture for dying; having sat upon the bed - side to bless his sons, the spirit of prophecy bringing fresh oil to his expiring lamp, when that work was done, he gathered up his feet into the bed, that he might lie along, not only as one patiently submitting to the stroke, but as one chearfully composing himself to rest. He then freely resigned his spirits into the hand of God, the father of spirit; he yielded up the ghost; and his separated soul went to the assembly of the souls of the faithful, who after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh are in joy and felicity; he was gathered to his people.

50 Here, is,

  1. The preparation for Jacob's funeral, Gen 50:1-6.
  2. The funeral itself, Gen 50:7-14.
  3. The settling of a good understanding between Joseph and his brethren, after the death of Jacob, Gen 50:15-21.
  4. The age and death of Joseph, Gen 50:22-26.

50:1 And Joseph fell upon his father's face and wept upon him, and kissed him - Joseph shewed his faith in God, and love to his father, by kissing his pale and cold lips, and so giving an affectionate farewell.Probably the rest of Jacob's sons did the same, much moved, no doubt, with his dying words.

50:2 He ordered the body to be embalmed, not only because he died in Egypt, and that was the manner of the Egyptians, but because he was to be carried to Canaan, which would be a work of time.

50:3 He observed the ceremony of solemn mourning for him. Forty days were taken up in embalming the body, which the Egyptians had an art of doing so curiously, as to preserve the very features of the face unchanged.All this time, and thirty days more, seventy in all, they either confined themselves and sat solitary, or when they went out, appeared in the habit of close mourners, according to the decent custom of the country. Even the Egyptians, many of them, out of the respect they had for Joseph, put themselves into mourning for his father.

50:5 He asked and obtained leave of Pharaoh to go to Canaan, to attend the funeral of his father. It was a piece of necessary respect to Pharaoh, that he would not go without leave; for we may suppose, though his charge about the corn was long since over, yet he continued a prime minister of state, and therefore would not be so long absent from his business without license.

50:11 The solemn mourning for Jacob gave a name to the place; Abel - mizraim - The mourning of the Egyptians: which served for a testimony against the next generation of the Egyptians, who oppressed the posterity of this Jacob, to whom their ancestors shewed such respect.

50:15 Joseph will peradventure hate us - While their father lived, they thought themselves safe under his shadow; but now he was dead, they feared the worst. A guilty conscience exposeth men to continual frights; those that would be fearless must keep themselves guiltless.

50:16 Thy father did command - Thus in humbling ourselves to Christ by faith and repentance, we may plead that it is the command of his father and our father we should do so.

50:17 We are the servants of the God of thy father - Not only children of the same Jacob, but worshippers of the same Jehovah. Though we must be ready to forgive all that injure us, yet we must especially take heed of bearing malice towards any that are the servants of the God of our father; those we should always treat with a peculiar tenderness, for we and they have the same master. He wept when they spake to him - These were tears of sorrow for their suspicion of him, and tears of tenderness upon their submission.

50:19 Am I in the place of God? - He in his great humility thought they shewed him too much respect, and faith to them in effect, as Peter to Cornelius, Stand up, I myself also am a man. Make your peace with God, and then you will find it an easy matter to make your peace with me.

50:20 Ye thought evil, but God meant it unto good - In order to the making Joseph a greater blessing to his family than otherwise he could have been.

50:21 Fear not, I will nourish you - See what an excellent spirit Joseph was of, and learn of him to render good for evil. He did not tell them they were upon their good behaviour, and he would be kind to them if he saw they carried themselves well: no, he would not thus hold them in suspence, nor seem jealous of them, though they had been suspicious of him.He comforted them, and, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Those we love and forgive we must not only do well for, but speak kindly to.

50:24 I die, but God will surely visit you - To this purpose Jacob had spoken to him, Gen 48:21. Thus must we comfort others with the same comforts wherewith we ourselves have been comforted of God, and encourage them to rest on those promises which have been our support.Joseph was, under God, both the protector and benefactor of his brethren, and what would become of them now he was dying? Why let this be their comfort, God will surely visit you. God's gracious visits will serve to make up the loss of our best friends, and bring you out of this land - And therefore, they must not hope to settle there, nor look upon it as their rest for ever; they must set their hearts upon the land of promise, and call that their home.

50:25 And ye shall carry up my bones from hence - Herein he had an eye to the promise, Gen 15:13-14, and in God's name assures them of the performance of it. In Egypt they buried their great men very honourably, and with abundance of pomp; but Joseph prefers a plain burial in Canaan, and that deferred almost two hundred years, before a magnificent one in Egypt. Thus Joseph by faith in the doctrine of the resurrection, and the promise of Canaan, gave commandment concerning his bones, Heb 11:22.He dies in Egypt; but lays his bones at stake, that God will surely visit Israel, and bring them to Canaan.

50:26 He was put in a coffin in Egypt - But not buried till his children had received their inheritance in Canaan, Jos 24:32. If the soul do but return to its rest with God, the matter is not great, though the deserted body find not at all, or not quickly, its rest in the grave.Yet care ought to be taken of the dead bodies of the saints, in the belief of their resurrection; for there is a covenant with the dust which shall be remembered, and a commandment given concerning the bones.

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12 Начиная с 12 гл., священнописатель показывает на примере жизни нескольких людей, что происходит в мире, когда Бог руководит событиями и люди исполняют Его волю: обнаруживается единство и смысл истории.

12:4 Порывая со всеми земными связями и отправляясь в незнакомую страну, Авраам отвечает верою и повиновением на призыв Божий. Это одно из величайших событий ВЗ. От решения Авраама зависело существование и будущее избранного народа и всего духовного потомства "отца верующих" (Рим 9:4; Гал 3:8): своим духовным родоначальником его считают и иудеи, и христиане, и мусульмане.

12:11-20 Этот рассказ носит отпечаток нравственного уровня той эпохи, когда обман и добродетель не считались несовместимыми. Человечество лишь постепенно, под руководством Божиим, познавало нравственный закон.

14:18-20 "Мелхиседек, царь Салимский" (Салим отождествлен с Иерусалимом в Пс 75:3и во всей иудейской традиции). Хотя Мелхиседек и не принадлежит к избранному народу, он служит Всевышнему, отождествляемому с Богом Авраама. Здесь уже намечается тенденция к универсализму: есть путь, ведущий к Богу через Израиль и путь, которым идут другие языч. народы. Оба пути сходятся в христианстве, где "нет уже ни иудея, ни язычника", но "все одно во Христе" (Гал 3:28). Таинственное священство Мелхиседека, соединенное с его царским достоинством, прообразует Христа, "священника вовек по чину Мелхиседекову" (Евр 7:21; ср. Пс 109:4). Св. Отцы развили это толкование, усмотрев в хлебе и вине, принесенных Мелхиседеком Аврааму, прообраз Евхаристической жертвы.

15:4-6 Авраам принял обетование Божие, когда оно казалось неосуществимым, что свидетельствует о глубине его веры; Бог "вменил ему это в праведность". Праведник в библ. понимании - прямой и повинующийся воле Божией человек (ср. Втор 24:13; Пс 105:31). Ап. Павел, основываясь на этом тексте, утверждает, что оправдание зависит не от дел, а от веры (Рим 3 28). Но так как все поведение Авраама проникнуто его живой верой, ап. Иаков обращается к тому же тексту, чтобы осудить "мертвую" веру, не подтверждаемую делами (Иак 2:26).

15:10-17 Древний обряд рассечения жертвенных животных обычно сопровождал заключение договора, чем подчеркивалась святость и нерушимость заключаемого союза. Лица, заключающие союз, проходили между частями жертвенных животных, что означало тесное "кровное" единение. Бог явил Свое присутствие в дыме и пламени огня (Быт 15:17).

16:2-4 По месопотамскому праву времен Авраама неплодная жена могла "дать мужу" свою служанку и считать детей, рожденных от такого союза, своими (ср. Быт 30:1-6; Быт 30:9-13).

16:6-15 За перенесенные страдания и послушание Агарь вознаграждается обетованием Бога о благословенном и многочисленном потомстве - "великом народе". Имя Измаила означает "Бог услышал" или "Да услышит Бог" (Быт 17:20).

17:1 Ходи предо Мною и будь непорочен - моральные требования стали неотъемлемой частью религии Авраама. Однако в семейном быту патриарха можно видеть отдельные черты, которые христианину могут показаться далекими от нравственного идеала. Здесь следует помнить, что преобразование Богом жизни избранного народа началось не с изменения внешних обычаев, а с воспитания чувства преданности Ему и веры. Вера впоследствии будет преобразовывать жизнь.

17:3-5 Согласно пониманию древних, имя не есть просто название данного лица - оно определяет его индивидуальность или назначение. Переименование свидетельствует о перемене его назначения (ср. Быт 17:15и Быт 35:10). Хотя Аврам и Авраам представляют как будто две формы одного имени, означающего "он велик по отцу", имя Авраам объясняется здесь как созвучное "абхамон" (отец множества).

17:10 Обрезание было вначале обрядом, подготавливающим к браку и к посвящению в члены данной общины. Пролитие крови свидетельствовало о прочности заключенного между людьми союза. У израильтян этот обряд стал знаменовать вступление в Союз-Завет Авраама и избранного народа с Богом, принадлежность к общине, исповедующей одну веру. В евр понимании кровь священна, ибо в ней жизнь: "душа тела в крови" (Лев 17:11; Лев 17:14), "кровь есть душа" (Втор 12:13). Кровь, текущая из органа, передающего жизнь, означает посвящение Богу жизни, принятой как дар. Обрезание стало "знаком", напоминающем Богу (как и радуга: Быт 9:16-17) о Его Завете, а человеку - о его принадлежности к избранному народу и вытекающих из этого обязательствах. В НЗ обрезание заменено крещением (Деян 15).

17:15 Согласно народному пониманию Сара и Сарра - две формы имени, означающего "княгиня". Сарра будет матерью царей (Быт 17:16).

17:17-19 Смех Авраама и Сарры (Быт 18:12; ср. Быт 12:6) происходит от удивления этим, казалось бы невероятным, обетованием. В ответ Бог исполняет предреченное Им и велит Аврааму дать сыну имя Исаак, сокращенную форму слов "Бог улыбнулся" или "Да улыбнется Бог" (несов. форма), т.е. - "Да будет благосклонен".

18:1-6 Явление трех мужей, которым Авраам воздал поклонение, рассматривается многими Отцами Церкви как предвозвещение тайны Пресвятой Троицы, полное откровение о которой было дано в НЗ.

18:16-23 Сказание в образной форме излагает библейскую философию истории, согласно которой судьбы народов связаны с их нравственным состоянием, вопрошая Бога, Авраам уверен в Его справедливости. Участь Содома и Гоморры определена особо тяжкими нравственными и религиозными извращениями их жителей.

18:24 Всегда актуальная проблема: должны ли праведники страдать из-за неправедных и вместе с ними? В древнем Израиле чувство коллективной ответственности было так сильно, что не ставился даже вопрос о спасении отдельных людей. Принцип индивидуальной ответственности получил четкое выражение только во Втор 24:16; Иер 31:29-30; Иез 14:12сл.; Иез 14:18. Авраам говорит лишь о возможности помилования многих виновных ради нескольких праведников. Ответы Ягве утверждают спасительную роль праведников как ходатаев за грешный мир. Согласно Иер 51; Иез 22:30, Бог простил бы Иерусалиму ради одного праведника: Исаия, в свою очередь, говорит о страданиях Отрока-Раба, которые спасают весь народ. Это пророчество было понято только после исполнения его во Христе.

19:24-25 Данные геологии и археологии подтвердили, что в указанном районе действительно произошла катастрофа, погубившая города. О страшной каре, постигшей Содом и Гоморру, нередко упоминается как в ВЗ, так и в НЗ.

19:26 Жена Лота символизирует пристрастие к греховному миру тех, кто, став на путь спасения, обращается вспять. "Вспоминайте жену Лотову" (Лк 17:32), говорит Христос, призывая к бдению и отречению от благ земных (ср. Лк 9:62).

19:30-35 Дочери Лота поступили так, полагая, что все люди на земле погибли (ст. 31) и им предстоит возродить род человеческий.

20:7 "Он пророк" - здесь впервые в евр подлиннике употребляется слово "нави", существовавшее уже до Моисея. Корень "нава" (говорить) указывает на человека, говорящего с Богом, т.е. находящегося с Ним в близких отношениях, неприкосновенного (Пс 104:15) и великого ходатая (Втор 34:10; Числ 11:2; Числ 21:7).

21:2 Имя Исаак означает и "смех", и "радость". Отцы Церкви усматривают в Исааке прообраз Иисуса Христа, а в Измаиле - символ языч. народов (ср. Гал 4:23сл.; Рим 9; Евр 11:18). Авраам избран Богом до того, как был обрезан, поэтому он считается отцом и иудеев и язычников.

21:8-20 Здесь не продолжение Быт 16, а параллельный рассказ.

22:9 Исаак, сын обетования, принадлежит Богу. Господь, повелевая Аврааму принести в жертву Исаака, тем самым испытывает его. Готовность Авраама принести своего единственного сына в жертву прообразует любовь Бога Отца, не пощадившего своего Единородного Сына (Ин 3:16; Рим 8:32). Исаак, явивший кроткое послушание воле отца, прообразует послушание Иисуса воле Отца небесного и становится достойным быть прообразом Его Голгофской жертвы.

Древний обычай хананеян - приносить в жертву первородных (считавшихся лучшими), чтобы обеспечить себе покровительство божества, - неоднократно осуждается пророками (Иер 7:30; Иез 16:20; Иез 22:26).

23:19-20 Пещера Махпела и прилегающее к ней поле являются залогом владения Землей Обетованной.

24:2-9 Присяга считается нерушимой в силу прикосновения к органам передачи жизни, которые рассматривались как священные (ср. Быт 47:29).

25:22 Длительное соперничество между близнецами Исавом и Иаковом началось уже в утробе их матери. Они изображены здесь как исторически действующие лица, в то же время символизирующие два народа, родоначальниками которых они стали: Исав - идумеян, Иаков - израильтян.

27 Не осуждая определенно поступка Иакова и Ревекки, священнописатель дает все же понять, что он предосудителен: Иаков боится, что отец проклянет его, если обман, к которому он прибег по внушению Ревекки, будет обнаружен (Быт 27:12). Однако этот обман, свидетельствующий о том, что мораль того времени была недостаточно высока, таинственно служит осуществлению замысла Божия: Исав относился с таким пренебрежением к правам первородства и связанной с ним ответственности, что клятвенно отрекся от них (Быт 25:33-34), чтобы Иаков дал ему поесть. Бог передает тогда эти права Иакову, ценившему их более, чем Исав. Господь так велик, что Свои предначертания Он может приводить в исполнение с помощью несовершенных людей, если они сознают ценность даров Божиих.

27:33 Раз произнесенные благословения (как и проклятия) считались непреложными.

27:36 Игра слов: первенство (евр "бекора") и благословение (евр "берака").

28:12 Следуя Филону, многие Отцы видели в лестнице Иакова образ Провидения Божия, проявляющего свою заботу о мире через посредство ангелов. Согласно другим, она - прообраз воплощения Сына Божия, соединившего небо с землей (ср. Ин 1:51), и Божией Матери, "послужившей исполнению этой страшной тайны". Поэтому в Богородичные праздники читается паремия о сне Иакова.

29:25 Ошибка Иакова объясняется обычаем, существующим и поныне - закрывать лицо невесты покрывалом до наступления брачной ночи.

31:42-51 Страх (евр "пахад") Исаака- метонимия : "Страхом Исаака" назван объект его страха, т.е. Бог (ср. Ис 8:13). Страх Исаака есть "страх Божий", ибо его "носил Исаак в душе" (Бл. Феодорит, Вопросы, 92). Многие современные исследователи на основании изучения языков - арабского и пальмирского, родственных еврейскому, пришли к заключению, что более точным был бы перевод "Родитель Исаака".

32:23-27 Иаков остается один, вероятно ожидая особого знамения Божия, подтверждающего его права на Ханаан. Таинственная борьба, происшедшая на рубеже Св. Земли, означает, по мнению Отцов Церкви (напр, св. Иеронима и Оригена), что дар Божий будет дан только тому, кто мужественно борется и обращается к Богу с настойчивой молитвой.

32:30 Ср. Исх 33:20.

35:2-4 Отвергая идолы, похищенные Рахилью (Быт 31:19, (Быт 31:39), а также и те, которые хранили его люди, Иаков окончательно отказывается от суеверий предков и торжественно исповедует веру во единого Бога Израилева.

37 Иосиф (букв растущий) символизирует израильский народ. Его история (Gen 37-50) показывает, как Бог, вопреки искушениям, опасностям и злой воле людей, хранил Израиль в самые трудные периоды его истории. Жизнь Иосифа - любимого сына, преданного своими братьями, много и безропотно претерпевшего в рабстве, явившего пример нравственной чистоты и ставшего спасителем своего народа, прообразует земную жизнь возлюбленного Сына Бога Отца, посланного в земное изгнание, уничижившего Себя принятием "образа раба", преданного Иудой, пострадавшего "до смерти крестной" (Флп 2 7-8) и ставшего спасителем человечества. В то же время сказание, избегая идеализации Иосифа, говорит и об его отрицательных поступках.

37:26 Согласно древнему поверью, убийца, покрыв землей кровь убитого, чтобы она не возопила о мщении (Быт 4:10; Иез 24:4; Иов 16:18), мог избежать суда Божия.

38 Повествование правдиво освещает греховные явления в потомстве Авраама - в колене Иудине, ставшем коленом Обетования. Св. Иоанн Златоуст пишет, что Христос "пришел не для того, чтобы избежать позора нашего, но чтобы уничтожить его... Он показал, что не гнушается ничем нашим... Иудеи превозносились Авраамом и думали оправдаться добродетелью предков... Господь показывает, что надлежит хвалиться не родом... все и самые праотцы согрешили", поэтому "пришествие Христа было необходимым" (Толк, на св. Мф. еванг. Беседа III).

38:8 Этот древний обычай (т. н. левират) был позже узаконен Моисеем (Втор 25:5-10).

40:7 В Египте придавали большое значение снам, считая их откровением богов.

44:5 Указание на древневосточный обычай гадать по шуму воды, ее движению и форме, которую принимали капли масла, падающие в нее.

46:34 Земля Гесем расположена на востоке от Дельты. С 13 в. до Р.Х. эту область стали называть землей Рамзеса.

На протяжении кн. Быт мессианское Обетование (Быт 3:15) мало-помалу уточняется: Мессия произойдет из рода Сифа (Быт 4:26), из ветви Сима (Быт 9:26), из потомства Авраама (Быт 12:3), Исаака и Иакова (Быт 35:9и Быт 27:29), из колена Иуды (Быт 49:10).

48 Слова, произнесенные при благословении Иаковом Ефрема и Манассии, стали впоследствии формулой благословения.

49 В благословениях Иакова сыновьям содержатся данные в образной форме указания на историческое значение и участь каждого из двенадцати колен Израилевых (ср. Втор 33:5-24).

49:10 "Доколе не приидет Примиритель" (букв. - "доколе не приидут в Шило" - в библ. терминологии Шило (Силом) означает мессианское царство. Отсюда греч. и рус. перевод фразы. Ее смысл: колено Иуды будет главенствовать в народе Божием до тех пор, пока не осуществится обетование Господне.

В кн. Бытия говорится о творении вселенной и рода человеческого Богом Создателем и Промыслителем и о начале осуществления его спасительного замысла о человечестве. Сказание о творении мира (шестоднев) восходит к Моисею. В основу этого образного описания легла схема евр недели. Образ этот не следует понимать в буквальном смысле: «Не должно быть сокрыто от вас, возлюбленные — говорит ап. Петр (2 Петр 3:8) — что у Господа один день, как тысяча лет и тысяча лет как один день» (Пс 89:5). В шестодневе каждое поколение находит откровение о сотворении мира, соответствующее ступени его культурного и нравственного развития. Современный человек может найти в этом образе символическое изображение длительных периодов становления нашей земли. Священнописатель созерцает реалии этого мира от самой простой до самой сложной и совершенной, исходящими из рук Творца согласно ритму евр недели: шесть дней работы, т.е. сотрудничества с творческой деятельностью Бога, и один день отдыха — умиротворения перед лицом Божиим. Во вступительной фразе шестоднева отвергаются все языческие учения о миротворении, которые говорят либо о двух творцах (дуализм), либо о рождении мира из недр Божества (пантеизм). Мир творится единым Богом из ничего (2 Макк 7:28). Его создание есть тайна божественной любви. “Земля и небо” означают вселенную в целом. Многие толкователи усматривают в слове «небо» указание на духовный (ангельский) мир, созданный одновременно с первоматерией .

Названия, разделения и содержание

Пять первых книг Библии составляют одно целое, которое по-еврейски называется Тора, т.е. Закон. Первое достоверное свидетельство об употреблении слова Закон (греч. «νομος») в этом смысле мы встречаем в предисловии кн. Премудрости Иисуса, сына Сирахова. В начале христианской эры название «Закон» уже было общепринятым, как мы это видим в НЗ (Luk 10:26; ср. Luk 24:44). Иудеи, говорившие по-еврейски, называли первую часть Библии также «Пять пятых Закона», чему соответствовало в эллинизированных еврейских кругах η πεντατευχος (подраз. «βιβλος» ., т.е. Пятитомник). Это разделение на пять книг засвидетельствовано еще до нашей эры греческим переводом Библии семьюдесятью толковниками (LXX). В этом, принятом Церковью, переводе каждой из пяти книг было дано название, согласно ее содержанию или содержанию ее первых глав:

Кн. Бытия (собств. — книга о происхождении мира, рода человеческого и избранного народа); Исход (начинается с рассказа об уходе евреев из Египта); Левит (закон для священников из колена Левиина); Числа (книга начинается с описания переписи народа: гл. Num 1-4); Второзаконие («второй закон», воспроизводящий в более пространном изложении Закон, данный на Синае). Иудеи же до сих пор называют каждую книгу евр. Библии по ее первому значимому слову.

Кн. Бытия разделяется на две неравные части: описание происхождения мира и человека (Gen 1-11) и история праотцев народа Божия (Gen 12-50). Первая часть — как бы пропилеи, вводящие в историю, о которой повествует вся Библия. В ней описывается сотворение мира и человека, грехопадение и его последствия, постепенное развращение людей и постигшее их наказание. Происшедший затем от Ноя род расселяется по земле. Генеалогические же таблицы все суживаются и, наконец, ограничиваются родом Авраама, отца избранного народа. История праотцев (Gen 12-50) описывает события из жизни великих предков: Авраама, человека веры, послушание которого вознаграждается: Бог обещает ему многочисленных потомков и Святую Землю, которая станет их наследием (Быт 12 1—25:8); Иакова, отличающегося хитростью: выдав себя за старшего брата, Исава, он получает благословение своего отца Исаака и затем превосходит изворотливостью своего дядю Лавана; однако его ловкость оказалась бы напрасной, если бы Бог не предпочел его Исаву и не возобновил в его пользу обетования, данные Аврааму, и заключенный с ним союз (Gen 25:19-36:43). Бог избирает людей не только высокого нравственного уровня, ибо он может исцелить всякого человека, открывающегося Ему, как бы он ни был греховен. По сравнению с Авраамом и Иаковом Исаак выглядит довольно бледно. О его жизни говорится главным образом в связи с его отцом или сыном. Двенадцать сыновей Иакова — родоначальники двенадцати колен Израилевых. Одному из них посвящена последняя часть кн. Бытия: гл. Gen 37-50 — биография Иосифа. В них описывается, как добродетель мудрого вознаграждается и Божественное Провидение обращает зло в добро (Gen 50:20).

Две главные темы Исхода: освобождение из Египта (Exo 1:1-15:21) и Синайский Союз-Завет (Exo 19:1-40:38) связаны с менее значимой темой — странствия по пустыне (Exo 15:22-18:27). Моисей, получивший откровение неизреченного имени Ягве на горе Божией Хориве, приводит туда израильтян, освобожденных от рабства. В величественной теофании Бог вступает в союз с народом и дает ему Свои Заповеди. Как только союз был заключен, народ его нарушил, поклонившись золотому тельцу, но Бог прощает виновных и возобновляет союз. Ряд предписаний регулирует богослужение в пустыне.

Кн. Левит носит почти исключительно законодательный характер, так что повествование о событиях, можно сказать, прерывается. Она содержит ритуал жертвоприношений (Lev 1-7): церемониал поставления в священники Аарона и его сыновей (Lev 8-10); предписания о чистом и нечистом (Lev 11-15), завершающиеся описанием ритуала Дня Очищения (Lev 16); «Закон святости» (Lev 17-26), содержащий богослужебный календарь и заканчивающийся благословениями и проклятиями (Lev 26). В гл. Lev 27 уточняются условия выкупа людей, животных и имущества, посвященных Ягве.

В кн. Числа вновь говорится о странствии в пустыне. Уходу от Синая предшествуют перепись народа (Num 1-4) и богатые приношения по случаю освящения скинии (Num 7). Отпраздновав второй раз Пасху, евреи покидают святую гору (Num 9-10) и доходят до Кадеса, где предпринимают неудачную попытку проникнуть в Ханаан с юга (Num 11-14). После долгого пребывания в Кадесе они отправляются в Моавские равнины, прилегавшие к Иерихону (Num 20-25). Мадианитяне разбиты, и колена Гада и Рувима поселяются в Заиорданьи (Num 31-32). В гл. Num 33 перечисляются остановки в пустыне. Повествования чередуются с предписаниями, дополняющими синайское законодательство или подготовляющими поселение в Ханаане.

Второзаконие отличается особой структурой: это кодекс гражданских и религиозных узаконений (Deu 12:26-15:1), включенный в большую речь Моисея (Deu 5-11; Deu 26:16-28:68), которую предваряет его первая речь (Deu 1-4); за ней следует третья речь (Deu 29-30); наконец говорится о возложении миссии на Иисуса Новина, приводятся песнь и благословения Моисея, даются краткие сведения о конце его жизни (Deu 31-34).

Второзаконнический кодекс отчасти воспроизводит заповеди, данные в пустыне. Моисей напоминает в своих речах о великих событиях Исхода, об откровении на Синае и начале завоевания Земли Обетованной. В них раскрывается религиозный смысл событий, подчеркивается значение Закона, содержится призыв к верности Богу.

Литературная композиция

Составление этого обширного сборника приписывалось Моисею, что засвидетельствовано в НЗ (Joh 1:45; Joh 5:45-47; Rom 10:5). Но в более древних источниках нет утверждения, что все Пятикнижие написано Моисеем. Когда в нем, хотя очень редко, говорится: «Моисей написал» — эти слова относятся лишь к определенному месту. Исследователи Библии обнаружили в этих книгах различие в стиле, повторения и некоторую непоследовательность повествований, что не дает возможности считать их произведением, целиком принадлежащим одному автору. После долгих исканий библеисты, главным образом под влиянием К.Г. Графа и Ю. Велльгаузена, склонились в основном к т.н. документарной теории, которую схематически можно формулировать так: Пятикнижие представляет компиляцию из четырех документов, возникших в различное время и в различной среде. Первоначально было два повествования: в первом автор, т. н. Ягвист, условно обозначаемый буквой «J», употребляет в рассказе о сотворении мира имя Ягве, которое Бог открыл Моисею; другой автор, т. н. Элогист (Е), называет Бога распространенным в то время именем Элогим. Согласно этой теории повествование Ягвиста было записано в 11 веке в Иудее, Элогист же писал немного позже в Израиле. После разрушения Северного царства оба документа были сведены воедино (JE). После царствования Иосии (640-609) к ним было прибавлено Второзаконие «D», а после Плена ко всему этому (JED) был присоединен священнический кодекс (Р), содержащий главным образом законы и несколько повествований. Этот кодекс составил своего рода костяк и образовал рамки этой компиляции (JEDP). Такой литературно-критический подход связан с эволюционной концепцией развития религиозных представлений в Израиле.

Уже в 1906 г Папская Библейская Комиссия предостерегла экзегетов от переоценки этой т. н. документарной теории и предложила им считать подлинным авторство Моисея, если иметь в виду Пятикнижие в целом, и в то же время признавать возможность существования, с одной стороны устных преданий и письменных документов, возникших до Моисея, а с другой — изменений и добавлений в более позднюю эпоху. В письме от 16 января 1948 г, обращенном к кардиналу Сюару, архиепископу Парижскому, Комиссия признала существование источников и постепенных приращений к законам Моисея и историческим рассказам, обусловленных социальными и религиозными установлениями позднейших времен.

Время подтвердило правильность этих взглядов библейской Комиссии, ибо в наше время классическая документарная теория все больше ставится под сомнение. С одной стороны, попытки систематизировать ее не дали желаемых результатов. С другой стороны, опыт показал, что сосредоточение интереса на чисто литературной проблеме датировки окончательной редакции текста имеет гораздо меньшее значение, чем подход исторический, при котором на первое место выдвигается вопрос об источниках устных и письменных, лежащих в основе изучаемых «документов». Представление о них стало теперь менее книжным, более близким к конкретной действительности. Выяснилось, что они возникли в далеком прошлом. Новые данные археологии и изучение истории древних цивилизаций Средиземноморья показали, что многие законы и установления, о которых говорится в Пятикнижии, сходны с законами и установлениями эпох более давних, чем те, к которым относили составление Пятикнижия, и что многие его повествования отражают быт более древней среды.

Не будучи 8 состоянии проследить, как формировалось Пятикнижие и как в нем слилось несколько традиций, мы, однако, вправе утверждать, что несмотря на разнохарактерность текстов явистского и элогистского, в них по существу идет речь об одном и том же. Обе традиции имеют общее происхождение. Кроме того, эти традиции соответствуют условиям не той эпохи, когда они были окончательно письменно зафиксированы, а эпохи, когда произошли описываемые события. Их происхождение восходит, следовательно, к эпохе образования народа Израильского. То же в известной мере можно сказать о законодательных частях Пятикнижия: пред нами гражданское и религиозное право Израиля; оно эволюционировало вместе с общиной, жизнь которой регулировало, но по своему происхождению оно восходит ко времени возникновения этого народа. Итак, первооснова Пятикнижия, главные элементы традиций, слившихся с ним, и ядро его узаконений относятся к периоду становления Израильского народа. Над этим периодом доминирует образ Моисея, как организатора, религиозного вождя и первого законодателя. Традиции, завершающиеся им, и воспоминания о событиях, происходивших под его руководством, стали национальной эпопеей. Учение Моисея наложило неизгладимый отпечаток на веру и жизнь народа. Закон Моисеев стал нормой его поведения. Толкования Закона, вызванные ходом исторического развития, были проникнуты его духом и опирались на его авторитет. Засвидетельствованный в Библии факт письменной деятельности самого Моисея и его окружения не вызывает сомнений, но вопрос содержания имеет большее значение, чем вопрос письменного фиксирования текста, и поэтому так важно признать, что традиции, лежащие в основе Пятикнижия, восходят к Моисею как первоисточнику.

Повествования и история

От этих преданий, являвшихся живым наследием народа, вдохнувших в него сознание единства и поддерживавших его веру, невозможно требовать той строго научной точности, к которой стремится современный ученый; однако нельзя утверждать, что эти письменные памятники не содержат истины.

Одиннадцать первых глав Бытия требуют особого рассмотрения. В них описано в стиле народного сказания происхождение рода человеческого. Они излагают просто и картинно, в соответствии с умственным уровнем древнего малокультурного народа, главные истины, лежащие в основе домостроительства спасения: создание Богом мира на заре времен, последовавшее за ним сотворение человека, единство рода человеческого, грех прародителей и последовавшие изгнание и испытания. Эти истины, будучи предметом веры, подтверждены авторитетом Св. Писания; в то же время они являются фактами, и как истины достоверные подразумевают реальность этих фактов. В этом смысле первые главы Бытия носят исторический характер. История праотцев есть история семейная. В ней собраны воспоминания о предках: Аврааме, Исааке, Иакове, Иосифе. Она является также популярной историей. Рассказчики останавливаются на подробностях личной жизни, на живописных эпизодах, не заботясь о том, чтобы связать их с общей историей. Наконец, это история религиозная. Все ее переломные моменты отмечены личным участием Бога, и все в ней представлено в провиденциальном плане. Более того, факты приводятся, объясняются и группируются с целью доказать религиозный тезис: существует один Бог, образовавший один народ и давший ему одну страну. Этот Бог — Ягве, этот народ — Израиль, эта страна — святая Земля. Но в то же время эти рассказы историчны и в том смысле, что они по-своему повествуют о реальных фактах и дают правильную картину происхождения и переселения предков Израильских, их географических и этнических корней, их поведения в плане нравственном и религиозном. Скептическое отношение к этим рассказам оказалось несостоятельным перед лицом недавних открытий в области истории и археологии древнего Востока.

Опустив довольно длинный период истории, Исход и Числа, а в определенной мере и Второзаконие, излагают события от рождения до смерти Моисея: исход из Египта, остановка у Синая, путь к Кадесу (о долгом пребывании там хранится молчание), переход через Заиорданье и временное поселение на равнинах Моава. Если отрицать историческую реальность этих фактов и личности Моисея, невозможно объяснить дальнейшую историю Израиля, его верность ягвизму, его привязанность к Закону. Надо, однако, признать, что значение этих воспоминаний для жизни народа и отзвук, который они находят в обрядах, сообщили этим рассказам характер победных песен (напр, о переходе через Чермное море), а иногда и богослужебных песнопений. Именно в эту эпоху Израиль становится народом и выступает на арену мировой истории. И хотя ни в одном древнем документе не содержится еще упоминания о нем (за исключением неясного указания на стеле фараона Мернептаха), сказанное о нем в Библии согласуется в главных чертах с тем, что тексты и археология говорят о вторжении в Египет гиксосов, которые в большинстве своем были семитического происхождения, о египетской администрации в дельте Нила, о политическом положении Заиорданья.

Задача современного историка состоит в том, чтобы сопоставить эти данные Библии с соответствующими событиями всемирной истории. Несмотря на недостаточность библейских указаний и недостаточную определенность внебиблейской хронологии, есть основания предполагать, что Авраам жил в Ханаане приблизительно за 1850 лет до Р.Х., что история возвышения Иосифа в Египте и приезда к нему других сыновей Иакова относится к началу 17 в. до Р.Х. Дату Исхода можно определить довольно точно по решающему указанию, данному в древнем тексте Exo 1:11: народ сынов Израилевых «построил фараону Пифом и Рамзес, города для запасов». Следовательно, Исход произошел при Рамзесе II, основавшем, как известно, город Рамзес. Грандиозные строительные работы начались в первые же годы его царствования. Поэтому весьма вероятно, что уход евреев из Египта под водительством Моисея имел место около середины царствования Рамзеса (1290-1224), т.е. примерно около 1250 г до Р.Х.

Учитывая библейское предание о том, что время странствования евреев в пустыне соответствовало периоду жизни одного поколения, водворение в Заиорданьи можно отнести к 1225 г до Р.Х. Эти даты согласуются с историческими данными о пребывании фараонов XIX династии в дельте Нила, об ослаблении египетского контроля над Сирией и Палестиной в конце царствования Рамзеса II, о смутах, охвативших весь Ближний Восток в конце 13 в. до Р.Х. Согласуются они и с археологическими данными, свидетельствующими о начале Железного Века в период вторжения Израильтян в Ханаан.


В евр Библии Пятикнижие называется «Тора», т.е. Закон; и действительно здесь собраны предписания, регулировавшие нравственную, социальную и религиозную жизнь народа Божия. В этом законодательстве нас больше всего поражает его религиозный характер. Он свойственен и некоторым другим кодексам древнего Востока, но ни в одном из них нет такого взаимопроникновения религиозного и светского элементов. В Израиле Закон дан Самим Богом, он регулирует обязанности по отношению к Нему, его предписания мотивируются религиозными принципами. Это кажется вполне нормальным, когда речь идет о нравственных предписаниях Десятисловия (Синайских Заповедях) или о культовых законах кн. Левит, но гораздо более знаменательно, что в том же своде гражданские и уголовные законы переплетаются с религиозными наставлениями и что все представлено как Хартия Союза-Завета с Ягве. Из этого естественно следует, что изложение этих законов связано с повествованием о событиях в пустыне, где был заключен этот Союз.

Как известно, законы пишутся для практического применения и их необходимо с течением времени видоизменять, считаясь с особенностями окружающей среды и исторической ситуации. Этим объясняется, что в совокупности рассматриваемых документов можно встретить как древние элементы, так и постановления, свидетельствующие о возникновении новых проблем. С другой стороны, Израиль в известной мере испытывал влияние своих соседей. Некоторые предписания Книги Завета и Второзакония удивительно напоминают предписания Месопотамских кодексов, Свода Ассирийских Законов и Хеттского кодекса. Речь идет не о прямом заимствовании, а о сходстве, объясняющемся влиянием законодательства других стран и обычного права, отчасти ставшего в древности общим достоянием всего Ближнего Востока. Кроме того, в период после Исхода на формулировке законов и на формах культа сильно сказывалось ханаанское влияние.

Десятисловие (10 заповедей), начертанное на Синайских скрижалях, устанавливает основу нравственной и религиозной веры Союза-Завета. Оно приведено в двух (Exo 20:2-17 и Deu 5:6-21), несколько различающихся вариантах: эти два текста восходят к древнейшей, более краткой, форме и нет никаких серьезных данных, опровергающих ее происхождение от Моисея.

Элогистский кодекс Союза-Завета (Exo 20:22-23:19) представляет собой право пастушеско-земледельческого общества, соответствующее реальному положению Израиля, образовавшегося как народ и начавшего вести оседлый образ жизни. От более древних месопотамских кодексов, с которыми у него есть точки соприкосновения, он отличается большой простотой и архаическими чертами. Однако он сохранился в форме, свидетельствующей о некоторой эволюции: особое внимание, которое уделяется в нем рабочему скоту, работам в поле и на виноградниках, равно как и домам, позволяет думать, что он относится к периоду оседлой жизни. С другой стороны, различие в формулировке постановлений — то повелительных, то условных — указывает на разнородность состава свода. В своем настоящем виде он, вероятно, восходит к периоду Судей.

Ягвистский кодекс возобновления Завета (Exo 34:14-26) иногда называется, хотя и неправильно, вторым Десятисловием или обрядовым Декалогом. Он представляет собой собрание религиозных предписаний в повелительной форме и принадлежит к тому же времени, что и книга Завета, но под влиянием Второзакония он был переработан. Хотя кн. Левит получила свою законченную форму только после плена, она содержит и очень древние элементы. Так, например, запреты, касающиеся пищи (Lev 11), или предписания о чистоте (Lev 13-15) сохраняют завещанное первобытной эпохой. В ритуале великого Дня Очищения (Lev 16) тексты древних обрядовых предписаний дополняются более подробными указаниями, свидетельствующими о наличии разработанного представления о грехе. Гл. Lev 17-26 составляют целое, получившее название Закона Святости и относящееся, очевидно, к последнему периоду монархии. К той же эпохе надо отнести кодекс Второзакония, в котором собрано много древних элементов, но также отражается эволюция социальных и религиозных обычаев (напр, законы о единстве святилища, жертвеннике, десятине, рабах) и изменение духа времени (призывы к сердцу и свойственный многим предписаниям увещательный тон).

Религиозный смысл

Религия как Ветхого, так и Нового Завета есть религия историческая: она основывается на откровении Бога определенным людям, в определенных местах, при определенных обстоятельствах и на особом действии Бога в определенные моменты человеческой эволюции. Пятикнижие, излагающее историю первоначальных отношений Бога с миром, является фундаментом религии Израиля, ее канонической книгой по преимуществу, ее Законом.

Израильтянин находит в ней объяснение своей судьбы. Он не только получил в начале книги Бытия ответ на вопросы, которые ставит себе каждый человек — о мире и жизни, о страдании и смерти, — но получил ответ и на свой личный вопрос: почему Ягве, Единый Бог есть Бог Израилев? Почему Израиль — Его народ среди всех народов земли?

Это объясняется тем, что Израиль получил обетование. Пятикнижие — книга обетовании: Адаму и Еве после грехопадения возвещается спасение в будущем, т. н. Протоевангелие; Ною, после потопа, обещается новый порядок в мире. Еще более характерно обетование, данное Аврааму и возобновленное Исааку и Иакову; оно распространяется на весь народ, который произойдет от них. Это обетование прямо относится к обладанию землей, где жили праотцы, Землей Обетованной, но по сути дела в нем содержится большее: оно означает, что особые, исключительные отношения существуют между Израилем и Богом его отцов.

Ягве призвал Авраама, и в этом призыве прообразовано избрание Израиля. Сам Ягве сделал из него один народ. Свой народ по благоизволению Своему, по замыслу любви, предначертанному при сотворении мира и осуществляющемуся, несмотря на неверность людей. Это обетование и это избрание гарантированы Союзом. Пятикнижие есть также книга союзов. Первый, правда еще прямо не высказанный, был заключен с Адамом; союз с Ноем, с Авраамом и, в конечном итоге, со всем народом через посредство Моисея, получил уже ясное выражение. Это не союз между равными, ибо Бог в нем не нуждается, хотя почин принадлежит Ему. Однако Он вступает в союз и в известном смысле связывает Себя данными Им обетованиями. Но Он требует взамен, чтобы Его народ был Ему верен: отказ Израиля, его грех может нарушить связь, созданную любовью Бога. Условия этой верности определяются Самим Богом. Избранному Им народу Бог дает Свой Закон. Этот Закон устанавливает, каковы его обязанности, как он должен себя вести согласно воле Божией и, сохраняя Союз-Завет, подготовлять осуществление обетовании.

Темы обетования, избрания, союза и закона красной нитью проходят через всю ткань Пятикнижия, через весь ВЗ. Пятикнижие само по себе не составляет законченного целого: оно говорит об обетовании, но не об осуществлении его, ибо повествование прерывается перед вступлением Израиля в Землю Обетованную. Оно должно оставаться открытым будущему и как надежда и как сдерживающий принцип: надежда на обетование, которую завоевание Ханаана как будто исполнило (Jos 23), но грехи надолго скомпрометировали, и о которой вспоминают изгнанники в Вавилоне; сдерживающий принцип Закона всегда требовательного, пребывавшего в Израиле как свидетель против него (Deu 31:26). Так продолжалось до пришествия Христа, к Которому тяготела вся история спасения; в Нем она обрела весь свой смысл. Ап. Павел раскрывает ее значение, главным образом в послании к Галатам (Gal 3:15-29). Христос заключает новый Союз-Завет, прообразованный древними договорами, и вводит в него христиан, наследников Авраама по вере. Закон же был дан, чтобы хранить обетования, являясь детоводителем ко Христу, в Котором эти обетования исполняются.

Христианин уже не находится под руководством детоводителя, он освобожден от соблюдения обрядового Закона Моисея, но не освобожден от необходимости следовать его нравственному и религиозному учению. Ведь Христос пришел не нарушить Закон, а исполнить (Mat 5:17). Новый Завет не противополагается Ветхому, а продолжает его. В великих событиях эпохи патриархов и Моисея, в праздниках и обрядах пустыни (жертвоприношение Исаака, переход через Чермное море, празднование Пасхи и т.д.), Церковь не только признала прообразы НЗ (жертвоприношения Христа, крещения и христианский Пасхи), но требует от христианина того же глубокого к ним подхода, который наставления и рассказы Пятикнижия предписывали Израильтянам. Ему следует осознать, как развивается история Израиля (а в нем и через него всего человечества), когда человек предоставляет Богу руководить историческими событиями. Более того: в своем пути к Богу всякая душа проходит те же этапы отрешенности, испытания, очищения, через которые проходил избранный народ, и находит назидание в поучениях, данных ему.

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12:1  И сказал Господь Авраму. Обращают внимание здесь на имя Бога, Который называется не Элохим, как в большинстве случаев доселе, а Иегова, и находят в этом мудрое намерение бытописателя выразить мысль о Боге, как Промыслителе и Спасителе человечества. На вопрос: когда Бог сказал это Аврааму? — большинство, вслед за архидиаконом Стефаном (Д. VII, 2), отвечает, что это произошло еще при жизни Фарры, в Уре Халдейском, что подтверждается и последующим контекстом речи, именно указанием на отечественную землю, какой была только земля Халдейская, а не Харран.

Пойди из земли твоей, от родства твоего и из дому отца твоего... в землю, которую Я укажу тебе. Апостол Павел говорит, что Авраму не было еще открыто имя той земли, которая ему предназначалась ( Евр 11:8 ); и тем не менее он, послушный божественному гласу, нисколько не колеблется оставить все, что было у него дорогого (родину, родных и отчий дом), и безропотно меняет все это на неизвестное будущее и на предстоящую ему беспокойную жизнь кочевника. «Посмотри, — говорит по поводу этого св. Иоанн Златоуст, — как с самого начала праведник был приучаем предпочитать невидимое видимому и будущее тому, что уже находилось в руках... Подумай, возлюбленный, какой возвышенный, необладаемый никакой страстью или привычкой, дух потребен был для исполнения этого повеления!» Целью такого разрыва всяких связей с прошлым было божественное попечение о сохранении рода и дома Аврамова от увлечения повсюду разлившимся нечестием, охватившим даже и дом его отца Фарры ( Нав 24:2-3 ). Как бы в награду за такое послушание и веру Аврама, Господь преподает ему торжественное благословение, в котором возвещает четыре рода обетовании: 1) обещание многочисленного потомства; 2) дарование благ временных и вечных; 3) награду славы и бессмертия в потомстве и 4) превращение его личности в источник благословения для других. Все эти божественные обетования действительно и оправдались на последующей судьбе потомков Авраама, как плотских, т. е. евреев, так и еще более — духовных, т. е. христиан ( Рим 4:11-17; Гал 3:7-9 ).

12:3  Благословлю благословляющих тебя, и злословящих тебя прокляну. Заключая завет с Аврамом, Бог, по обычаю людей, как бы вступает с ним в дружбу ( 2 Пар 20:7; Ис 41:8; Иак 2:23 ) и обещает иметь с ним общими как друзей, так и врагов.

И благословятся в тебе все племена земные. Лучший комментарий к этим словам дает ап. Павел в своем Послании к Галатам, говоря, что через Иисуса Христа благословение Авраамово распространилось на язычников... «Писание, провидя, что Бог верою оправдает язычников, предвозвестило Аврааму: «в тебе благословятся все народы» ( 3:8,14 ).

12:4  И пошел Аврам, как сказал ему Господь. В последних словах некоторые видят указание на новое богоявление Авраму, бывшее уже в Харране и по смерти его отца Фарры.

И с ним пошел Лот. «Не по ослушанию против Господа, — говорит св. Златоуст, — но, конечно, потому, что Лот был молод, а Авраам заступал ему место отца; да и тот, по любви к нему и кроткому нраву, не хотел разлучиться с праведником». Вот почему и ап. Петр говорит о Лоте, что он подражал благочестию и вере Авраама ( 2 Петр 2:7 ).

12:5  И взял Аврам с собою Сару... и все имение, которое они приобрели, и всех людей, которых они имели в Харране. На основании этих слов можно думать, что остановка Аврама в Харране была довольно продолжительна, так как он успел уже приобрести здесь и имение, и рабов. Златоуст особенно подчеркивает то, что все это заведено было Аврамом в Харране и составляло его благоприобретенное имущество, а все отцовское наследство было оставлено еще в Халдее, согласно божественному повелению об этом.

И вышли, чтоб идти в землю Ханаанскую. Хотя, испытывая веру и послушание Аврама, Господь и скрывал от него до времени конечную цель его путешествия, однако, очевидно, самое направление этого пути было так или иначе внушено Богом Авраму или открыто какими-либо особыми знамениями.

И пришли в землю Ханаанскую, т. е. в плодородную палестинскую страну, где обитали потомки Ханаана. Границами ее на Севере служили горы Ливанские, на юге — Аравийские степи, с востока — пустыня Сирийская и с запада — Средиземное море. «Окруженная таким образом горами, степями и морями, эта страна, предназначенная в наследие избранному народу, больше, чем всякая другая, благоприятна была для воспитания его вдали от языческого влияния. С другой стороны, находясь в средоточии известного тогда мира, на перепутье между Европой (со стороны моря), большей частью стран Азийских и Африкой, эта страна представляла весьма много удобств для распространения повсюду евангельской проповеди» (Виссарион).

12:6  И прошел Аврам... до места Сихема, да дубравы Море. Вступив в пределы Палестины, как полагают, с севера, Аврам прошел большую часть ее к югу до того места, где впоследствии был построен город Сихем, названный сим именем в честь Сихема, сына Емморова ( Быт 33:18-19 ). Со временем этот Сихем сделался столицей Самарии и не раз выступает пред нами в Св. Писании как Ветхого, так и Нового Завета ( Втор 11:30; Суд 9:1; Пс 59:8; Ин 4:5 и др.). Во времена Иисуса Христа он назывался также еще Сихарем, а при Веспасиане был переименован в Неаполис, откуда произошло современное название этого местечка Набулус или Наблус.

До дубравы Морé, или «Мамре», как она называется в другом месте ( 13:18 ). Предполагают, что тут идет речь о целой дубовой или теревинфовой роще, принадлежавшей знатному хананеянину, носившему фамилию Море, или Мамре, и достаточно известной по тому времени и месту.

12:7  И явился Господь Авраму. Это первое библейское известие о явлении Бога человеку за послепотопный период. Хотя существо Бога невидимо и непостижимо, тем не менее из Св. Писания нам известен целый ряд внешних образов, в которых Он благоволил открывать Себя людям ( Быт 18:2,17,33; 21:17-18; 21:11-18; 31:11-13; 32:24-30 и пр.). Одним из подобных же богоявлений было, вероятно, и данное. «Общее основание богоявлений Ветхого и Нового Завета, наипаче в образе человеческом, — говорит митрополит Филарет, — есть вочеловечение Сына Божия». Отсюда-то большинство святоотеческих толкований и держится той мысли, что главным действующем лицом всех богоявлений является Вторая Ипостась Св. Троицы — Сын Божий.

И создал там Аврам жертвенник Господу. Он построил жертвенник или алтарь, без сомнения, для того, чтобы принести Господу благодарственную жертву за данное для него и его потомства обетование, а затем и с целью увековечить соответствующим внешним знаком священное место богоявления.

12:8-9 В этих двух стихах намечается общий путь кочевья Аврама по Палестине и его главнейшие остановки. Одной из таких крупных и важных остановок было то место, которое впоследствии стало называться «Вефилем» ( 28:19 ). Оно расположено в 5 милях на юг от Сихема и в 3 ч. пути от Иерусалима, в долине, обильной прекрасными пастбищами. Неподалеку отсюда находился и «Гай» ( Ис 10:28; Неем 11:31 ), развалины которого известны и доселе под названием «Мединет — Гай» и находятся в 5 м. от Вефиля на восток. Наконец, последнее обозначение пути, переведенное в нашей Библии словом «к югу», в подлиннике заключает в себе указание на определенный южный округ Палестины, носивший название «Негеб» ( 13:3; 20:1; 24:62 ), указывающее на пустынный или степной характер данной местности.

И создал там жертвенник и призвал имя Господа. И на этом новом месте своего поселения Аврам, прежде всего, спешит выразить чувства благодарности Богу, а всенародным и торжественным исповеданием имени истинного Бога ( Быт 4:26 ) свидетельствует свою правую веру перед язычествующими хананеями.

12:10  И был голод в той земле. Т. е. в земле «Негеб», или в северных пределах Аравийской пустыни, куда в конце концов спустился Аврам. Это было, конечно, новое и сильное искушение для веры Аврама: вместо того, чтобы, согласно божественному обетованию, наслаждаться различными благами от своего нового владения, он принужден на первых же порах испытывать в нем такое тяжкое лишение, как сильный голод.

И сошел Аврам в Египет пожить там. Так как Нильская долина Египта, славившаяся своим плодородием, лежала гораздо ниже Аравийской степи, то выражение «сошел» нельзя не признать особенно удачным. В Египет Аврам направился, вероятно, не без особого на то божественного внушения и притом лишь на время самого голода, как в подобных случаях и доселе поступают бедуины Аравии.

12:11  Когда же он приближался к Египту, то сказал Саре. Такой уговор у Авраама с Сарой сделан был гораздо раньше, еще перед самым выходом из Ура Халдейского ( 20:13 ), так как Аврам, очевидно, знал нравственную распущенность всех племен, среди которых ему придется странствовать и жить.

Я знаю, что ты женщина, прекрасная видом. Хотя Саре в это время было уже 65 лет, но так как данный возраст составлял лишь половину всей ее жизни ( 33:1 ) и так как, с другой стороны, она была бездетна ( 11:30 ), то и неудивительно, что могла до сего времени сохранить привлекательную красоту.

12:12  И когда египтяне увидят... убьют меня, а тебя оставят в живых. В этих словах видно прекрасное знание современных той эпохе обычаев и нравов Египетской страны, где муж красивой женщины убивался, а самая жена бралась в гарем; в особенности широко все это практиковалось с переселенцами из Аравии, женщины которых сильно выигрывали в красоте по сравнению с довольно безобразными египтянками и ефиоплянками.

12:13  Скажи же, что ты мне сестра. В этих словах Аврама не было полного обмана: во-первых, потому, что на Восток слово «сестра» не имеет того узкого смысла, который соединяется с ним у нас, а означает близкое родство вообще, в понятие которого входят все двоюродные братья и сестры, а также и племянники с племянницами ( 13:8; Мф 13:55-56; Ин 7:3 ); во-вторых, и потому, что Сара и в самом деле доводилась Авраму или сводной сестрой, или племянницей ( 11:29 ).

Дабы мне хорошо было ради тебя, и дабы жива была душа моя чрез тебя. «Это — весьма трудное место: оно одно из тех мест Библии, которые доказывают необычайную правдивость священной летописи, именно явным указанием слабостей, иногда даже преступлений, величайших и святейших мужей Ветхого Завета, Аврама, Иакова, Давида, Соломона и др.» (Властов). Как бы мы ни оправдывали поступка Аврама, но однако не в состоянии уничтожить в нем некоторого элемента малодушия и хитрости. Единственным оправданием его служит лишь грубость нравов той эпохи, позволявшая смотреть на брачный вопрос слишком широко и снисходительно, и безвыходное положение Аврама, заставлявшее его прибегнуть к меньшему злу, чтобы избегнуть большего — собственной погибели и полного порабощения Сары. Впрочем, св. Иоанн Златоуст в этом добровольном соглашении супругов и взаимном пожертвовании их своими интересами ради общего блага (один — правами мужа, другая — достоинством верной жены) видит венец их супружеской любви и образец, достойный подражания.

12:14-16 Предположения Аврама не замедлили осуществиться со всею точностью и его план спасения удался как нельзя лучше.

12:15  Увидели ее вельможи фараоновы. Вельможи, в подлиннике выражено словом «принцы» (sarej), что вполне согласно и с историей, свидетельствующей о принадлежности египетских царедворцев к высшим кастам страны. Эпитет «фараон» не был собственным именем какого-либо из египетских царей, а представляет собой общий титул всех древнеегипетских правителей, наподобие современных «царь, король, император» и т. п. Что касается словопроизводства этого термина, то лучшее из них, данное Руже, Бругшем и Эберсом на основании иероглифических текстов, производит слово «фараон» от древнеегипетского — «пераа» или «перао», что значит «великий дом» и что самому термину «фараон» придает значение, совершенно аналогичное современному названию Турецкой империи — «Высокая Порта». — По наиболее вероятному предположению египтологов, путешествие Аврама в Египет имело место при одном из первых царей XII-ой династии, т. е. за 2000 лет до Р. Х.

12:17  Господь поразил тяжкими ударами фараона и дом его. Какими именно, неизвестно; но по аналогии случаев, можно думать, что теми же, как впоследствии и дом Авимелеха, т. е. бесплодием ( Быт 20:18 ).

12:19  И я взял было ее к себе в жену. Отсюда можно заключать, что Промысел Божий сохранил супружескую чистоту Сары, которая жила при дворе фараона еще пока только для испытания.

12:20  И дал о нем фараон повеление. Так и из этого нового искушения праведник выходит полным победителем. И все, «кто видел, как он прежде, побуждаемый голодом, шел в Египет со страхом и трепетом, а теперь возвращался оттуда с такой славой, обилием и богатством, познавали из этого силу Божия о нем промышления» (Иоанн Златоуст).

13:1  И поднялся Аврам из Египта. Выражение очень картинное и вполне подходящее для кочующего пастуха со всеми его стадами.

И Лот с ним на юг. В предшествующей главе Лот не упоминался; теперь же он снова вводится в повествование, ввиду нарочитой речи о нем ниже.

13:2  И был Аврам очень богат, или, как в евр. подлиннике выражено, «очень тяжел», что служит обычным в Библии указанием на изобилие внешних благ ( Исх 12:38; 3 Цар 10:2; 4 Цар 5:14 и др.).

Сребром и золотом. Это первое библейское упоминание о металлических ценностях. Надо думать, что Аврам познакомился с ними в Египте, где они были предметом меновой торговли и имели форму пластинок или колец.

13:3-4 Как видно из сделанных здесь указаний, Аврам возвращался из Египта тем же самым путем, каким некогда и шел в него, при чем слова текста: «и продолжал он переходы» прекрасно выражают самый характер кочевой жизни номада, какую проводил этот патриарх. — И там призывал Аврам имя Господа. Дойдя до Вефиля, в котором Аврам некогда утвердил алтарь истинному Богу, он снова приносит на нем жертву хвалы и благодарения Богу за благополучный исход своего далекого и опасного путешествия в Египет и за возвращение в землю обетования.

13:5  И Лота, который ходил с Аврамом, также был мелкий и крупный скот. Так божественные благодеяния, данные Авраму, изливались и на его племянника Лота.

13:6  И непоместительна была земля для них. «Смотри, — восклицает по сему поводу Златоуст, — как избыток богатства тотчас становится причиной разделения, производит разрыв, нарушает согласие, расторгает узы родства!»

13:7  И был спор между пастухами. Неудовольствие и недоброжелательство, как это часто бывает, началось снизу, между пастухами Аврама и Лота; при большом количестве скота у того и другого и при совместных пастбищах и особенно водопоях, поводов к ним, конечно, было немало.

13:8  И сказал Аврам Лоту: да не будет раздора между мною и тобою. «Как прекрасно рисуется в этих простых словах высокая, благородная личность Аврама! Из этих слов уже ясно, что Лот готов был примкнуть к ссоре пастухов; спокойно и с достоинством Аврам напоминает ему, что они родственники, и намекает тем, что им и неприлично примыкать к ссоре слуг, и опасно ввиду того, что они окружены иноплеменникам» (Властов).

13:9  Не вся ли земля пред тобою? Холмы Вефиля, где происходило описываемое событие, занимают возвышенное и господствующее положение над расстилающейся у их подошвы долиной Иордана. Вообще, вся эта речь полна картинности и изобразительности.

Отделись же от меня: если ты налево, то я направо. Речь Аврама дышит великодушием и кротостью: «желая показать величие своей добродетели, и исполнить желание юноши, чтобы от разлуки их не произошло никакого повода к неудовольствию, предоставляет Лоту полную свободу и говорит: «и вся земля пред тобою, отлучись ты от меня, и какую землю хочешь, ту и возьми»» (Иоанн Златоуст).

13:10-11 Воспользовавшись предоставленной ему свободой выбора, Лот взял себе богатую и плодородную долину Иорданскую, цветущую, по выражению Библии, как сад Господень, т. е. как рай 2:10 ; Ис 51:3 ), и орошаемую водою Иордана, как Египет водами Нила ( Нав 3:15; 1 Пар 12:15; Иер 12:5; 49:19 ).

13:12  Аврам стал жить в земле Ханаанской, а Лот стал жить в городах окрестности. Аврам, верный своему призванию продолжал оставаться кочующим номадом и жил особняком в западной части Ханаанской земли. Лот же, наоборот, вошел в дружественные отношения с окружающим его населением и даже соблазнившись удобствам их жизни, решил переменить свой прежний кочевой образ жизни на спокойную и приятную жизнь горожанина.

13:13  Жители же Содомские были злы и весьма грешны пред Господом. Вот краткая, но выразительная характеристика тех жителей, в общение с которыми вступил их новый сосед — Лот. «Плодоносная долина Иордана и изнеживающий климат имели такое влияние на жителей Содома и Гоморры, что они превзошли все современные им города в наглом разврате. Заметим еще, что Библия присовокупляет, что они были и злы. Глубокий разврат сопровождается обыкновенно жестокостью и даже каким-то кровожадным сумасшествием (Нерон, Калигула, Гелиогабал и пр.). И надо предположить, что жители Содома пали так глубоко, что в них не осталось уже места для доброго чувства» (Властов).

13:14  И сказал Господь Авраму, после того как Лот отделился от него. Последняя прибавка в тексте особенно знаменательна: она показывает, что Лот, самовольно избравший себе долю по мирским расчетам, этим самым исключил себя из участия в жребии Аврама, со всеми его испытаниями и искушениями, но и со всеми его наградами и обетованиями.

13:15  Ибо всю землю... тебе дам Я и потомству твоему навеки. Как бы в награду за смирение, великодушие и бескорыстие, проявленное Аврамом в разделе с Лотом, Господь снова повторяет Свои обетования и утешает Своего верного раба обещанием, что вся эта земля, по которой он теперь скитается, не имея в ней наследства на стопу ноги ( Деян 7:5 ), со временем будет принадлежать ему, или, точнее, его потомству. Это обетование, действительно, и исполнилось над плотским его потомством тогда, когда народ еврейский, под предводительством Иисуса Навина, силой оружия занял землю Ханаанскую, и над духовным Израилем, т. е. верующими во Христа, которые в Нем и через Него сделались наследниками и причастниками всех божественных обетовании, ибо, по слову Писания, Авраам и по смерти своей продолжает говорить верою ( Евр 11:13,16; ср. Мф 22:31,32 ).

13:16  И сделаю потомство твое, как песок земный. «Поистине, — восклицает Златоуст, — обетование было превыше естества человеческого! Господь обещает не только сделать патриарха отцом, хотя столько было препятствий к этому (собственная его старость и неплодство Сарры), но и дать ему имя столь многочисленное, что оно сравняется с количеством песка земного и даже будет неисчислимо, — этим сравнением Он хотел показать необычайную великость (обетования)». Исполнилось это обетование и над евреями, известными своей выдающейся плодовитостью ( Исх 1:12 ), и еще больше сбылось оно над христианами, распространившимися по всему лицу земли.

13:17  Встань, пройди по земле сей. Образец высокой священной поэзии, дышащей изобразительностью и силой. По глубокому замечанию м. Филарета, «мера обетования есть мера веры» — сколько может вместить человек, столько и получит...

13:18  И поселился у дубравы Мамре, что в Хевроне. Мамре было собственно имя аморреянина, союзника Аврамова ( 14:13,24 ). Город Хеврон лежит в 22 милях на юг от Иерусалима, на пути в Вирсавию. Предполагают, что сначала он назывался Хевроном, затем был переименован в Кириаф-Арбу ( 23:2; 35:27; Нав 15:3; Суд 1:10 ), потом снова был восстановлен в своем древнем наименовании ( 2 Цар 15:7 ) и наконец у современных арабов известен под названием «Ел-Халил», т. е. город «друга Божия», каким называется Аврам даже и в Св. Писании ( Ис 51:8; Иак 2:23 ).

14:1  И было во дни Амрафела, царя Сеннаарского... и Фидала, царя Гоимского. Хотя, по-видимому, все четыре названных здесь царя и выставляются в качестве равноправных союзников, но последующий контекст речи явно выделяет одного из них, именно Кедорлаомера, царя эламского ( 4-5 ст. ), что стоит в полном согласии и с клинообразными текстами.

14:2  Пошли они войною против Беры, царя Содомского... и против царя Белы, которая есть Сигор. Очевидно, воинственный царь эламский, по обычаю всех азиатских владык, стремился к расширению своей монархии и, вероятно, искал даже дороги в богатый Египет; неудивительно, что на пути туда он успел поработить богатые и изнеженные ханаанские племена, и сделал это тем скорей и легче, что все эти племена жили одинокой, разобщенной жизнью и управлялись отдельными царьками, нередко даже враждовавшими между собой. Целый ряд подобных ханаанских царей, владения которых часто ограничивались пределами только одного города, и перечисляется здесь Моисеем.

14:3  Все сии соединились в долине Сиддим, где ныне море Соленое. Очевидно, общая неволя в рабстве эламитян заставила всех ханаанских владетелей, или, по крайней мере, наиболее видных из них, сплотиться между собою и поднять знамя общего восстания против своего поработителя. Местом их соединения послужила долина Сиддим, т. е. нижняя часть Иорданской долины, получившая свое имя от слова «Сид», что значит «горная смола», или «асфальт», чем богата была данная местность, где впоследствии образовалось так называемое Соленое или Мертвое море ( 19 гл.; Чис 34:3; Втор 3:17 ).

14:4-5  Двенадцать лет были они в порабощении у Кедорлаомера, а в тринадцатом году возмутились. В четырнадцатом году пришел Кедорлаомер и цари, которые с ним. Такая хронологическая точность свидетельствует о полной правдивости этого исторического памятника. Здесь же более ясно и определенно указана также и роль Кедорлаомера как главного поработителя, а других царей как только его пособников.

14:5-7 Конец пятого и два последующих за ним стиха указывают нам путь движения войск Кедорлаомера и перечисляют целый ряд попутно усмиренных им хананейских племен. Из них прежде всего называются «рефаимы» — народ исполинов или великанов, живший в Васане ( Втор 3:11-13 ) и сохранившийся до времен Давида ( 2 Цар 21:16,18 ). Они кланялись золотому изваянию богини Астарты, по имени которой назывался и главный их город — Астерот-Карнаим ( Втор 1:4; Нав 13:12 ), развалины которого известны и теперь под именем «Телль-Астерот». Два других народа «зузимы и емимы» представляются, по-видимому, родственными первым и соседними с ними; они жили в тех странах, которые впоследствии были заняты потомками Лота — аммонитянами и моавитянами ( Втор 2:9-11 ). Город «Гам», в котором жили зузимы, отождествляют с Рабат-Аммоном ( Втор 3:11 ), а столицей емимов был город Шаве-Кириафаим, т. е. «долина двух городов» ( Чис 32:37; Иер 48:1,23 ), на месте которой теперь лежит Керейяш, городок на западном углу Мертвого моря, недалеко от устья Иордана.

14:6  Хорреев в горе их Сеире — это троглодиты, т. е. пещерные обитатели Идумеи, изгнанные отсюда детьми Исава ( 36:20 ). Страна «Сеир» в самаританском Пятикнижии и иерусалимских таргумах заменена синонимом — «Габгала», откуда, очевидно, происходит и современное арабское название ее «Джебаль». — Ел-Фаран — есть название пустыни, простирающейся на юг от Палестины до Синайских гор и известной у современных арабов под именем «Ель-Ти».

14:7  И возвратившись оттуда, пришли к источнику Мишпат... поразили всю страну Амалекитян, а также Аморреев, живущих в Хацацон-Фамаре. Пустыня Ел-Фаран была крайним западным пунктом похода Кедорлаомера, откуда он снова повернул на юго-восток, сначала к источнику Мишпат (позднейшее название, Чис 20:12 ), или древнему Кадису ( Чис 34:4 ), затем прошел по стране, впоследствии населенной амалекитянами ( Исх 17 гл. ), и поразил аморреев, обитавших по берегам Иордана ( Чис 21:13 ) в их главном городе Хацацон-Фамаре, позднее названном «Енгеди» ( 2 Пар 20:2 ), т. е. источником дикой козы.

14:8-9  И вышли... и вступили в сражение с ними в долине Сиддим... четыре царя против пяти. Когда, таким образом, Кедорлаомер вместе со своими вассалами столь победоносно прошел чуть не всю Сирию и Палестину и приблизился к Пентаполю, то цари его соединились в долине Сиддим, дабы дать ему решительный отпор: но вместо этого, они сами потерпели полную неудачу.

14:10  В долине же Сиддим было много смоляных ям. И цари Содомский и Гоморрский, обратившись в бегство, упали в них; а остальные убежали в горы. Таково краткое, но совершенно ясное известие Библии об исходе этой войны царей. А так как царь содомский остался в живых и попал в плен ( 17 ст. ), то, очевидно, здесь идет речь не столько о личностях самих царей, сколько о судьбе их войск, которые частью погибли в нефтяных колодцах и частью спаслись бегством в соседние горы.

14:12  И взяли Лота, племянника Аврамова, жившего в Содоме. Пленение Лота было заслуженным для него наказанием за выбор им соседства с содомлянами, несмотря на их нравственную распущенность. Так, вместо благоденствия и счастья, на которые рассчитывал Лот, он встретил плен и позор ( Пс 36:16 ).

14:13  И пришел один из уцелевших и известил Аврама Еврея. Аврам называется евреем, как потомок Евера, внука Симова, точно в том же смысле (для отличия от упоминаемых в рассказе не евреев), в каком позднее прилагался этот эпитет и к Иосифу ( 39:17 ).

Мамре, Аморреянина, брата Эшколу и брата Анеру, которые были союзники Аврамовы. Названные здесь аморреяне, по всей вероятности, были довольно сильными и могущественными владетелями, напоминавшими собой царьков ханаанских. Они вводятся здесь в священное повествование, без сомнения, потому, что стояли в дружественных отношениях к Авраму, с которым они, очевидно, заключили наступательный и оборонительный союз.

14:14  Аврам... вооружил рабов своих, рожденных в доме его, триста восемнадцать. Решившись идти на выручку несчастного своего племянника Лота, Аврам вооружает с этой целью всех своих «домочадцев», как выражается наш славянский перевод, т. е. рабов, рожденных в его доме (а не приобретенных куплею), а потому и более верных и надежных. И таких-то людей нашлось у него только 318 человек. Священный историк точно указывает эту цифру, по-видимому, с тем намерением, чтобы, при виде такого слабого и малочисленного, по сравнению с громадными союзными войсками Кедорлаомера, отряда, очевидней и осязательнее сделать божественную помощь Авраму ( Пс 32:16-18 ).

И преследовал неприятелей до Дана. Т. е. гнался за неприятелем и настиг его только у Дана. Большинство экзегетов полагает, что имя этого города взято уже из позднейшей послемоисеевой эпохи; древнейшее же наименование его было «Лаис» ( Нав 19:47; Суд 18:29 ). В Св. Писании «Дан» часто употребляется для обозначения крайнего пункта Палестины на севере, и в этом смысле противополагается Вирсавии на юге ( Суд 20:1; 1 Цар 3:20; 2 Цар 3:10; 17:11 ).

14:15  И разделившись напал на них ночью... и поразил их. Это довольно обычный и известный из Библии стратегический прием, посредством которого малые отряды одерживали блестящие победы над большими войсками. Суть его состояла в том, что маленький отряд делился на несколько групп; и когда неприятель предавался мирному отдыху или сну, все эти отряды с военными кликами бросались на него и старались произвести панику, в чем часто и успевали, как это мы видим еще и на примере Гедеона с мадианитянами ( Суд 7:16 и далее ).

И преследовал их до Ховы, что по левую сторону Дамаска. В таргуме Онкелоса определеннее указано — по северную сторону Дамаска; хотя это в сущности одно и то же: евреи различали страны света всегда обратясь лицом на восток, так что левая сторона падала всегда на север. Местечко Хова существует и доселе в двух милях от Дамаска.

14:16  И возвратил все имущество и Лота. Таким образом, Аврам с Божьей помощью не только осуществил свое благородное намерение — выручить племянника из плена, но и отбил еще большую добычу у союзников, преимущественно, конечно, ту, которая была захвачена ими в последнюю победу при долине Сиддим.

14:17  Когда он возвращался после поражения Кедорлаомера и царей... царь Содомский вышел ему на встречу. Возвращение Аврама было настоящим триумфальным шествием победителя. Действительно, Аврам, так мужественно и храбро нанесший чувствительный урок Кедорлаомеру, которому не в силах были противостоять все цари Хананеи, должен был в глазах жителей последней казаться необыкновенным героем. А то обстоятельство, что в успехе Аврама была очевидна рука Божья, только еще более возвышало его в мнении всех народов. Одним из первых приветствовал Аврама царь содомский, или тот, который сам сражался с Кедорлаомером и еле успел спастись бегством, или, как думают другие, уже его преемник.

В долину Шаве, что ныне долина царская. Долина, в которой произошла эта встреча владетелей и царей, вероятно, оттуда и получила название «Царской». Под таким именем она встречается нам еще раз в истории Авессалома, воздвигшего себе здесь памятник ( 2 Цар 18:18 ). По свидетельству Иосифа Флавия, долина Саве отстоит от Иерусалима на две стадии, т. е. меньше, чем на полверсты, и называется теперь долиной потока Кедронского.

14:18  И Мелхиседек, царь Салимский. Из числа других лиц, выходивших в сретение Аврама, священный историк останавливает наше внимание на выдающейся и совершенно исключительной личности Мелхиседека, царя салимского. То обстоятельство, что Моисей не дает нам никаких биографических сведений о Мелхиседеке, а Псалмопевец и ап. Павел ставят его в таинственную связь с самим Господом Иисусом Христом ( Пс 109:4; Евр 7:1-3 ), породило множество самых разнообразных взглядов на личность Мелхиседека и на достоинство его служения: одни видят в нем престарелого патриарха Сима (таргумы, Лютер и др.), другие — ангела (Ориген), иные — Св. Духа (Иеракс египтянин), иные же — самого Иисуса Христа (Амвросий). Но ни одно из этих толкований, ввиду их неустойчивости и произвольности, принято быть не может. Наличность Мелхиседека должны быть твердо установлены две основные точки зрения: несомненно, во-первых, что это была строго определенная историческая личность, жившая и даже царствовавшая в эпоху Авраама, но столь же несомненно, что эта историческая личность получила впоследствии преобразовательное значение, которое и раскрывают отчасти Псалмопевец, а главным образом апостол Павел ( Евр 7 гл. ). Самое имя «Мелхиседек» — чисто семитического происхождения и в дословном переводе значит «царь правды» (malach-sedek); оно очень близко и родственно имени «Адониседек», которое носил царь Иерусалима в эпоху завоевания земли Ханаанской Иисусом Навином ( Нав 10:1,3,5,23 ). Это последнее обстоятельство сильно располагает нас и в пользу того мнения, что «Салим», где царствовал «Мелхиседек», есть не что иное, как «Иерусалим», в котором царствовал «Адониседек», так как устойчивость и постоянство известных царственных имен для каждой страны и народа составляет один из характерных признаков не только древних времен, но даже и наших дней. Но кроме этого предположительного (основанного на аналогии) доказательства тождественности «Салима» с «Иерусалимом» существует целый ряд и других, более положительных, опирающихся на данные Библии, на открытиях ориентологии и на авторитет древней традиции. К библейским свидетельствам принадлежит ясное указание Псалмопевца: «и было в Салиме место Его (Бога) и обитание Его в Сионе ( Пс 75:3 ). В клинообразных надписях ассирийских царей Иерусалим обыкновенно известен под формой «Уру-Салима», что, собственно, значит: «город Салим». В Тель-ель-Амарнской переписке палестинских наместников Египта с двором фараонов найдено письмо одного наместника к фараону Аменофису IV, в котором он, между прочим, говорил, что божеством-покровителем вверенного ему города считается Ел-Елион, который называется также и Салимом. Вероятно, чужеземный наместник, мало осведомленный с языком, религией и обычаями новой для него страны, еще плохо разбирался в ее особенностях и много здесь понимал по-своему (напр., это чисто египетское отождествление имени города и божества — его патрона); но самое упоминание его о «Салиме» и особенно о почитании в нем «Ел-Елиона» для нас в высшей степени ценно и дает прекрасное подтверждение Библии. Наконец за тождество Салима с Иерусалимом говорят древнеиудейские таргумы, Иосиф Флавий и большинство как древних, так и новых экзегетов (Абен-Езра, Кимхи, Кнобель, Делич, Кейль, Мёрфи, Буш и пр.). Ввиду всего этого, хотя Библия и знает еще два местечка, носившие также имя «Салима» ( Ин 3:23 и Быт 33:18 ), отождествление Мелхиседекова Салима с Иерусалимом является почти бесспорным. Этот последний Салим лежал на пути Авраама и отстоял от Содома приблизительно в шести часах пути, в течение которых царь Содома провожал Авраама.

Вынес хлеб и вино. В зависимости от различия взглядов на самую личность Мелхиседека неодинаково смотрят и на это его действие — изнесение хлеба и вина: одни видят здесь простую доставку провианта для подкрепления и освежения отряда Аврама; другие усматривают бескровное жертвоприношение, имеющее ближайшую, преобразовательную связь с новозаветным таинством евхаристии. Всецело удовлетвориться одним последним объяснением не позволяет уже одно то, что дары, употребленные здесь Мелхиседеком, приносятся не Богу, а человеку (Авраму), что противоречит основной идее божественной жертвы. Но нельзя признать состоятельным и первого объяснения, так как ниоткуда не видно, чтобы отряд Аврама нуждался в подобном подкреплении и чтобы последнего доставлено было такое количество, которого хватало бы на всех. Гораздо естественнее и ближе к истине будет то объяснение, что «хлеб и вино» — эти два главных жизненных продукта Палестины — употреблены были здесь Мелхиседеком для выражения его гостеприимства и почтения к Авраму, подобно тому, как и у нас практикуется встреча «с хлебом и солью» для высоких и почетных гостей. Этим, разумеется, нисколько не исключается возможность усматривать в данном историческом факте и известное преобразовательное значение, указывающее на его связь с новозаветным таинством евхаристического хлеба и вина.

Он был священник Бога Вышнего. В первый раз в Библии мы встречаемся здесь со специальным термином, указывающим на жреческое или священническое служение. Относя его прежде всего к личности исторического Мелхиседека, мы нисколько не должны смущаться тем обстоятельством, что здесь в одном лице совмещается служение «царя и священника»: это было в обычае у многих народов древности (напр., rex Romanorum был вместе и pontifex maximus), в особенности в ту отдаленную эпоху, которая еще жила преданиями патриархального быта, где старший в роде одновременно был и царем, и жрецом, и законодателем, и судьей. Впрочем, всем контекстом речи «священство» Мелхиседека поставляется в качестве особого, сакраментального служения; но и с этой своей стороны оно неоднократно и ясно отличается в Библии от последующего, подзаконного священства и даже как бы противополагается ему ( Пс 109:4; Евр 5:6 ). Отсюда можно заключать, что Мелхиседек был последним представителем того первобытного священства, некоторые намеки на которое мы находим в истории Еноса и Ноя ( 4:26 и 9:9 ); это было универсальное, мировое священство, служение религии первобытного откровения, остатки которого, как звезды на темном горизонте, продолжали еще сохраняться и среди мрака языческого суеверия и идолопоклонства. Что именно таково было священство Мелхиседека, об этом, помимо особо уважительного отношения к нему Аврама, свидетельствует и имя Бога, служителем Которого он был, — «Бог Вышний», или, как стоит в евр. подлиннике, — «Ел-Елион». Это имя истинного Бога, встречающееся в некоторых других местах Св. Писания ( Чис 24:16; Втор 32:18; Пс 7:18; 9:2; 57:3; 21:8 и пр.), изображающих Его, как высшую мировую силу и верховное господство, простирающееся на всю вселенную. Небезызвестно, по-видимому, это имя было и хананеям-язычникам, как это можно видеть из того, что тем же самым именем (Ел-Елион) называлось и верховное божество у финикиян, очевидно, по смутной памяти их об истинном Боге. В таинственном священстве Мелхиседека по особому чину и в соединении этого священнического служения с царским достоинством наиболее полно и ясно выражается преобразовательная параллель между Мелхиседеком и Христом, подробно раскрытая ап. Павлом ( Евр 7 гл. ).

14:19  И благословил его и сказал. Понятие «благословил» в евр. подлиннике выражено словом barech, которое может означать также и вообще «приветствовать, выражать благожелания». Но что здесь благословение Мельхиседека не было простым приветствием и обычным благожеланием, за это прежде всего говорит как предыдущий (18 ст. — «священник Бога Вышнего»), так и последующий контекст речи (20 ст., Аврам дает ему жреческую десятину); а во-вторых, это твердо устанавливает и ап. Павел ( Евр 7:6-7 ), который говорит, что «без всякого прекословия меньшее от большего благословляется» и что, следовательно, Аврам, принявшей благословение от Мельхиседека, этим самым признал в нем особого посредника между собою и Богом, способного низвести на него божественное благословение.

14:19-20  Благословен Аврам от Бога Всевышнего... и благословен Бог Всевышний. Как самое содержание этого благословения (исповедание божественной милости, явленной Авраму и хвала Богу за нее), так и еще больше его формула (двухстрофный, ритмический стих) довольно характерны для священно-библейской поэзии и имеют в ней ряд соответствующих себе аналогий ( Быт 27:27; 48:15; 31:15 и пр.).

(Аврам) дал ему десятую часть из всего. Перед этой фразой в тексте, очевидно, опущена точка. Хотя закон о десятине в пользу жрецов и левитов был дан позднее, уже при Моисее ( Лев 27:30-33; Чис 18:21-23 ), но ясно, что в качестве широко распространенного обычая он практиковался гораздо раньше, как у евреев, так и у других восточных народов.

14:22  Понимаю руку мою к Господу Богу Всевышнему, Владыке неба и земли. Эта торжественная клятва Аврама, данная царю содомскому, обращает на себя наше внимание, во-первых, тем внешним действием, которым она сопровождалась (поднятие руки) и которое сохраняется в присяге и доселе, и, во-вторых, своим сходством со словами благословения Мелхиседека, доказывающим, что оба они чтили одного и того же Бога.

14:23-24  Даже нитки и ремня от обуви не возьму... Анер, Эшкол и Мамрий пусть возьмут свою долю. «Нельзя не остановиться на этом прекрасном, поистине величественном образе патриарха, который с таким чувством достоинства отказывается от законной своей добычи, не забывая, однако, выговорить права своих союзников» (Властов). Не забыты были Аврамом даже и его друзья-союзники — Анер, Эшкол и Мамрий, которые, впрочем, оставались дома и охраняли интересы патриарха за время его вынужденного отсутствия.

15:1  После сих происшествий. Довольно обычное, хотя в то же время слишком общее хронологическое указание.

Было слово Господа к Авраму. Экзегеты обращают внимание на данное место, как на первый случай того, как в Библии под термином dabar «слово» предлагалось таинственное предуказание на боговоплотившееся Слово, т. е. на Господа нашего Иисуса Христа ( Исх 9:20 ; 1 Цар 3 ; Пс 32:6 и др.).

В видении (ночью). Последнее указание, стоящее в скобках, внесено LXX (не во всех кодексах, см. у Гольмеса); еврейский же подлинник его не имеет и большинство комментаторов считают его позднейшим добавлением. Но если даже и допустить, что это богоявление происходило ночью, то, во всяком случае, несомненно, что Аврам, воспринимая это откровение, находился не в сонном, а в бодрственном состоянии, как это ясно видно из всего контекста ( 2,5,9-11 ст. ). Точнее определяя это состояние, бытописатель называет его «видением», т. е. особо восторженным, приподнятым и, так сказать, экстатическим состоянием, подобным тому, в котором находился пророк Исаия в момент призвания его к пророческому служению ( Ис 6 ) или ап. Павел, когда восхищен был в рай и слышал неизреченные глаголы ( 2 Кор 12:3-4 ).

Не бойся Аврам; Я твой щит. Не бойся, прежде всего, мести от тех врагов, над которыми ты недавно одержал столь блистательную победу, а также не страшись недоброжелательства и зависти к твоему военному успеху и возрастающему благосостоянию со стороны окружающих тебя хананейских владетелей; не бойся ничего подобного, — говорит Господь: «ибо Я твой щит», т. е. покровитель и защитник ( Пс 3:3; 5:12; 83:16; 118:114 и др.).

Награда твоя (будет) весьма велика. В награду за все возвышенные и благородные свойства высокой души Аврама, в особенности за его послушание и веру, Господь не только даровал ему целый ряд обетовании, как временных, так и вечных благ, но и удостоил его особенной близости к Себе, которая дала апостолу Иакову ( Иак 2:23 ) основание назвать его даже другом Божьим, в чем нельзя не видеть высочайшей награды для человека.

15:2  Аврам сказал: Владыко Господи! Данное обращение в евр. подлиннике выражено словами: «Адонаи — Иегова» (следуя после «Адонай», «Иегова» в евр. произносится уже не с гласными первого имени, а с гласными имени «Элохим»); это первый в Библии пример подобного довольно, впрочем, редкого сочетания двух божеских имен (8 ст., ср. Втор 3:24 и 9:26 ), из которых первое указывает на Бога, как верховного судью (dan — судить), а второе — как на промыслителя и искупителя.

Что Ты дашь мне? я остаюсь бездетным. «Когда Господь обещал Авраму награду, и награду великую, очень великую, тогда он, обнаружив скорбь своей души и постоянно томившее его уныние по причине бесчадия, сказал: Господи, что такое Ты дашь мне? Ведь я уже достиг глубокой старости и отпускаюсь бесчаден» (Златоуст).

Распорядитель в доме моем этот Елиезер из Дамаска. В славянской Библии эта фраза начинается несколько иначе, словами: «сын же Масек домачадицы моея», в зависимости от чего меняется и самый смысл ее. Такая разность объясняется тем, что стоящее в евр. подлиннике первое слово этой фразы — «Бен-Мешек» LXX поняли и перевели в смысле собственного имени — «сын Масек»; тогда как правильный перевод этих слов дает идею «управителя, распорядителя домом или имуществом» (гебраизм: «сын владения», так же, как и «человек владения», означает просто лицо, чем-либо владеющее или распоряжающееся). Самое имя «Елиезер» означает того, «кому помогает Бог»; по месту же своего происхождения он называется жителем Дамаска.

15:3  И сказал Аврам... и вот домочадец мой наследник мой. Будучи бездетным уже на склоне своих лет, Аврам, хотя и изливает перед Богом свою скорбь об этом, однако далек от греховного уныния и ропота на Бога; он спешит усыновить своего любимого домочадца и сделать его участником и наследником всех данных ему Богом обетовании.

15:4  Не будет он твоим наследником; но тот, кто произойдет из чресл твоих. В греческой, латинской и нашей славянской Библии этот стих начинается наречием: «тотчас», по поводу чего Златоуст говорит: «Заметь точность Писания: сказано: абие, т. е. Господь не попустил праведнику и малое время скорбеть, но подает скоро утешение, и облегчает беседою с ним тяжесть печали». Бог преподаст Своему верному рабу самое сильное утешение, исцелявшее его главную сердечную рану, нанесенную отсутствием прямого, естественного потомства: Он, именно, торжественно возвещает Авраму, что не чужой домочадец, а собственный, родной его сын будет действительным его наследником.

15:5  И вывел его вон и сказал... сосчитай звезды... столько будет у тебя потомков. Для большей наглядности и силы Своего удостоверения Господь выводит Аврама под открытое небо и обращает его внимание на мириады рассыпанных по нему звезд, говоря, что таково же будет и количество его потомков. Смысл и значение этого сравнения уже известны нам по аналогичному образу из истории предшествующего богоявления ( 13:16 ). Но в раскрытии самого обетования замечается важная новая черта: раньше говорилось вообще о потомстве Аврама; теперь же добавляется, что потомство это будет личным и прямым, так как произойдет от собственного его сына.

15:6  Аврам поверил Господу. Среди связного исторического повествования, составляющего содержание данной главы, рассматриваемый нами стих представляет собой некоторое отступление, именно — вводное замечание самого бытописателя; очевидно, Моисей придавал ему слишком важное значение, если ради него решился нарушить связность и планомерность своего эпического повествования. И действительно, здесь говорится о главной религиозной добродетели человека — оправдывающей и спасающей его вере. Первое значение еврейского глагола «аман» — «поверил» дает мысль о «полном успокоении» и «неподвижном утверждении» в чем-либо или на чем-либо; в данном случае он, следовательно, означает уничтожение всяких сомнений и колебаний в душе Аврама и полное утверждение его заветных чаяний и надежд в благой и всесовершенной воле Божьей. Невзирая ни на свою старость, ни на бесплодство Сары, Аврам верит божественному обетованию о рождении у него сына, и верит искренно и горячо, нисколько не рассуждая и скептически не исследуя того, как же все это может произойти.

И Он вменил ему это в праведность. Бог, испытующий сердца и утробы человеческие и знающий все, даже самые малейшие движения человеческой души, по достоинству оценил этот благородный и высокий подъем духа Аврама и поставил его в качестве главного основания его будущего оправдания, т. е. заглаждения как его личного, так и тяготевшего над ним первородного греха. Окончательное же оправдание Аврама, как и других ветхозаветных праведников, наступило лишь после крестной смерти Господа Иисуса Христа и Его сошествия в ад ( 1 Петр 3:19 ). Этот знаменательный ветхозаветный факт оправдания по вере подробно комментируется ап. Павлом в его Послании к Римлянам ( Рим 4 гл. ), где пример Аврама служит у него очевидным доказательством той истинны, что и в христианстве оправдание дается не в силу каких-либо внешних подвигов и заслуг, а туне, единственно по вере в искупительную силу Христовой смерти. Но как у Аврама спасшая его вера была плодом и венцом всей его благочестивой деятельности и жизни, так и у христианина оправдывающая вера должна охватывать и проникать собою все его духовное существо и быть той живой и деятельной силой, которая необходимо искала бы соответствующего себе выражения и вовне, т. е. в благочестивой жизни и в добрых делах ( Иак 2:21-24 ).

15:7  Я Господь, Который вывел тебя из Ура Халдейского. Хотя Моисей и не говорит прямо того, чтобы выход Аврама из Ура Халдейского вместе с отцом его Фаррой был следствием особого божественного призвания, но он молчаливо заставляет это предполагать ( 12:1 ), а первомученник Стефан даже определенно свидетельствует об этом ( Деян 7:2-3 ). Указывая на факт изведения Аврама из отечественной земли и на цель этого факта, Бог тем самым хочет дать Авраму новое доказательство непреложности и верности Своих обетовании.

15:8  Владыко Господи! по чему мне узнать, что я буду владеть ею? Так как обетование обладания Палестиной относилось не к личности самого Аврама, а к судьбе его потомства, то лучшим объяснением данного вопроса является мнение тех экзегетов, которые полагают, что Аврам ставил этот вопрос не для себя и не за себя, а за свое будущее потомство, ради его удостоверения в правдивости таких, по-видимому, неосуществимых обетований. «Обетование о наследовании земли Ханаанской, думал Аврам, может исполниться не прежде, как потомство его возрастет в многочисленный народ. Для сего потребно немалое время, и в то время оно может испытать много превратностей в своей судьбе, много скорбей и бедствий. Немудрено, что эти скорби и бедствия, при долговременном ожидании обетованного наследия, могут поколебать в потомках Аврама веру в обетование. Посему естественно было желать Авраму, чтобы Господь особенным образом запечатлел для его потомков истину Своего обетования, и предварительно открыл им, как оно должно исполнится» (еп. Виссарион).

15:9-10  Возьми Мне трехлетнюю телицу... только птиц не рассек. Снисходя к уважительной просьбе Аврама о знамении, которое удостоверяло бы его потомство в исполнении божественных обетовании, Господь благоволит дать ему то же самое знамение, которое в подобных случаях употребляется и у людей. А у древних, в особенности на Востоке, когда люди связывали себя какими-либо важными обещаниями, то вступали между собою в союз, заключение которого сопровождали известным внешним обрядом: брали то или другое количество жертвенных животных, закопали их и проливали их кровь, разрубали их на две равные половины и проходили между этими рассеченными частями. Всеми этими символическими действиями лица, вступившая в союз, свидетельствовали пред Богом и людьми, что они готовы пролить друг за друга кровь, что обязываются представлять собою как бы две равных половины одного и того же живого целого и что нарушителя этого союза ожидает казнь от Бога, наподобие рассечения трупа животного ( Иер 34:18 ). Снисходя к человеческой немощи, Господь благоволил употребить этот клятвенный обряд и при Своем вступлении в завет с Аврамом и его потомством. Следует при этом отметить, что как перечень указанных здесь животных, так и самый ритуал обряда (напр. «несечение птиц», Лев 1:14-17 ) почти буквально совпадает с последующими законами о жертвоприношениях, откуда очевидно, что Моисей не вводил чего-либо нового, а лишь возвращал народ к забытым, древним установлениям.

15:11  И налетели на трупы хищные птицы. Эта мелкая подробность считается пророчественным предуказанием тех идолопоклоннических племен, которые, увлекая своим примером народ израильский, тем самым оскверняли этот завет и вредили его чистоте («блужение Израиля»).

15:12  Крепкий сон напал на Аврама. В тексте подлинника этот сон обозначен тем же самым термином — «тардема», как и сон Адама во время создания Богом ему жены ( Быт 2:21 ). Следовательно, это был не обыкновенный и естественный сон, а необычайный, сверхъестественный, в котором все высшие способности и силы человека не только не ослабевают, но наоборот — возрастают.

И вот, напал на него ужас и мрак великий. Оба этих состояния были чисто субъективными у Аврама и обусловливались приближающимся явлением самого Бога в материальном образе ( Иов 4:14-17 ). Некоторые экзегеты, впрочем, усматривают здесь пророчественное предчувствие тех ужасов и бедствий, которые ожидали потомство Аврама во дни египетского рабства.

15:13  Потомки твои будут пришельцами в земле не своей, и поработят их и будут угнетать четыреста лет. Из того, что ответ Господа относится к судьбе потомства Аврама, вытекает новое доказательство того, что и вышеприведенный вопрос Аврама касался того же самого предмета ( 8 ст. ). Как бы идя навстречу тревожным думам Аврама о превратностях судьбы, ожидающих его потомство, Господь открывает Авраму, что его потомство, прежде чем получить исполнение обетования, должно будет пережить целый ряд испытаний и бедствий: во-первых, им предстоит продолжительное и беспокойное странствование по земле Ханаанской, а во-вторых, длинное и тяжелое рабство, разумеется — рабство в Египте. Общую продолжительность этого первого периода еврейской истории — периода скитаний бедствий и рабства — Бог определяет в четыреста лет. Собственно говоря, более точная цифра всего этого периода, началом которого считается выход Аврама из Ура Халдейского, а концом исход евреев из Египта, указывается в четыреста тридцать лет (на 25-м году, по выходе из Ура, родился Исаак, на 60-м году у Исаака родился Иаков, 130-ти лет Иаков переселился в Египет и 215 лет истекло после этого до исхода евреев; Исх 12:40 ; Гал 3:17 ). Но тридцать лет, очевидно, откинуты здесь ради круглоты счета, как это практикуется и в других местах Библии, в особенности при счете столетиями, которые называются часто также и родами ( 16 ст. ).

15:14  Я произведу суд над народом. Выражение аналогичное с изречением: «Мне отмщение и Аз воздам» ( Втор 32:35; Рим 12:19; Евр 10:20 ). Исторически оно исполнилось над египтянами в то время, когда Господь поразил их жестокими казнями и тем самым принудил их отпустить евреев ( Исх 7:4; 8:1-12:21 ).

Они выйдут (сюда) с большим имуществом. Пророческая деталь, точно оправданная историей ( Исх 12:35-36 ).

А ты отойдешь к отцам своим... и будет погребен в старости доброй. В этих замечательных словах справедливо видят выражение идеи ветхозаветного бессмертия; на него указывает уже одно то, что в тексте ясно различается «уход к отцам» от «погребения тела», причем, если под последним, без сомнения, разумеется телесная, физическая смерть, то под первым может разуметься только духовное бессмертие, открывающее возможность загробного свидания с прежде умершими отцами. Толковать же это «приложение к отцам» в смысле обычного погребения в фамильной, родовой пещере, пример Аврама положительно не позволяет, ввиду того, что сам Аврам был погребен в пещере Махпел ( Быт 25:9 ), отец его Фарра в Харране ( Быт 11:32 ), а прочие предки в Уре Халдейском.

15:16  В четвертом роде возвратятся они сюда. Одни видят в этих словах параллель 13-му стиху, т. е. речь о четырех столетиях или родах — бедственной жизни Израиля, другие с большим основанием усматривают указание на продолжительность одного египетского рабства, которое имело закончиться в четвертом поколении тех пришельцев, которые впервые поселились в нем. Действительно, Моисей, деятель исхода евреев, был уже четвертым после Иакова, пришедшего в Египет (Левий, Кааф, Амрам и Моисей).

Ибо мера беззаконий Аморреев доселе еще не наполнилась. Аморреи взяты здесь в качестве представителей всех хананеев ( Нав 24:15 ). Долготерпение Божие щадило их целые века, чтобы дать им возможность покаяния; но они употребили это время во зло и заслужили грозный приговор божественной правды о полном их истреблении ( Нав 6:20; 8:22; 9:24 и др.).

15:17  Когда зашло солнце и наступила тьма. Замечание бытописателя, указывающее на выдающуюся продолжительность данного богоявления: начавшись предшествующей ночью, оно происходило в течение всего последующего дня и продолжалось при наступлении новой ночи.

Дым как бы из печи и пламя огня прошли между разобщенными животными. Дым и огонь — это излюбленная эмблема обнаружений Иеговы в истории Израиля, одновременно грозных и мрачных, как дым, и светлых и радостных, как огонь ( Исх 12:18 ). «Прохождение между разобщенными животными означало, по обычаю, соединение разделенного, т. е. союз. Отто Герлах замечает, что Аврам не проходил между рассеченными; проходил только видимый образ Господа, т. е. это был договор милости, благодеяние, обещанное и подтвержденное осязательно обрядом договора» (Властов).

15:18  В этот день заключил Господь завет с Аврамом. Еврейское название завета «берит», происходящее от глагола, означающего «резать, рассекать разрубать», ясно указывает на тесную связь его с вышеописанным обрядом прохождения через рассеченные части животных. Этим актом Господь вступает в торжественный завет с Аврамом, по примеру того, как раньше Он вступал в подобный же завет с Ноем ( 9:9 ). Впрочем, завет Бога с Аврамом имеет в виду более важные теократические цели, почему он и обставляется еще большей торжественностью, чем завет с Ноем.

Потомству твоему даю Я землю сию, от реки Египетской до великой реки. Границами будущего владения евреев Господь указывает две реки: с востока Евфрат, а с запада какую-то египетскую реку. Под последней нельзя разуметь Нила, так как Евфрат в сравнении с Нилом не мог бы быть назван великой рекой; очевидно — это какая-либо из пограничных египетских речек, значительно меньших Евфрата; полагают, что это — река Сихор, которая отделяла Египет от Палестины и на которой стоял город Риноколюра. В этих пределах евреи действительно владели землей Ханаанской во времена царей Давида и Соломона ( 3 Цар 4:21; 2 Пар 9:26; Пс 71:8; 80:8-11; 2 Цар 8 гл. и 2 Пар 5:19 ), когда не только вся Палестина и все окружающие ее кочевые племена признавали владычество царей Израиля, но даже и цари южной Аравии преклонились перед ими. «Но замечательнее на этом именно пространстве влияние нравственное, которое Аврам, потомки его патриархи, Давид и Соломон удержали до сих пор над умами кочевых племен. Память их чтится более памяти Магомета» (Властов).

15:19  Кенеев, Кенезеев, Кедмонеев. Печальная участь первых — порабощение ассириянами предсказана в пророчеств Валаама ( Чис 24:21-22 ), а их местожительство — на юг от Ханаана, близ амаликитян, а потом и вовсе в пределах Палестины, в колене Иудином, указано писателем кн. Царств ( 1 Цар 27:10; 30:29 ). В том же колене Иудином жили, по всей вероятности, и кенезеи, как можно догадываться из того, что Халев, житель колена Иудина, назывался кенезеянином ( Нав 14:6 ). Гораздо менее известны «кедмонеи», которые в Библии больше не упоминаются ни разу; но они встречаются на египетских памятниках, откуда некоторые догадываются, не называется ли этим именем какое-либо из пограничных с Хананеей египетских племен.

15:20  Хеттеи, Ферезеи, Рефаимы. Под первыми несомненно разумеется важная и сильная «хеттейская» народность, владевшая Сирией и имевшая свои колонии в окрестностях Хеврона и Вефиля ( Суд 1:23-26; 3 Цар 10:29 и 23:10 ). «Ферезеи» — это уже известные нам ( 13:7 ) хананейские обитатели горных стран Палестины ( Нав 11:3 ). «Рефаимы» — опять уже известное нам племя ( 14:5 ), обитавшее ( Нав 12:4 и 13:12 ) на северо-восток от долины Иордана, хотя позднее оно спустилось и значительно южнее, давши свое имя долине рефаимов или исполинов одной из окрестностей Иерусалима ( Нав 15:8 и 18:16 ).

15:21  Гергесеев и Иевусеев. Первые жили на запад от Иордана ( Нав 24 ), а вторые — около Иерусалима и в самом городе, который вследствие этого некоторое время назывался даже Джебусом ( Суд 19:10 ).

16:1  Но Сара, жена Аврамова, не рождала ему. Необходимое вводное замечание, подготовляющее к последующему повествованию. Прошло уже целых десять лет ( 3 ст. ) с того времени, как Аврам и Сара получили божественное обетование о многочисленном потомстве, а у последней не родилось еще ни одного сына.

16:2  И сказала Сара Авраму: вот, Господь заключил чрево мое... войди же к служанке моей. Смиренно считая себя главной виновницей неисполнения божественного обетования о потомстве и желая оказать Авраму содействие в получении его, Сара великодушно отказывается от своих прав на мужа и добровольно предлагает ему в жены свою собственную служанку Агарь, вывезенную ими еще из Египта, вероятно, в числе прочих даров, которыми снабдили их египтяне ( 12:16 ). Самое имя этой служанки «Агарь» значит бегство и дано ей было или по пророчественному предсказанию, или, вернее, по последующему воспоминанию ее двукратного бегства из дома госпожи своей ( 16:6; 21:14 ).

Может быть я буду иметь детей от нее. В тексте подлинника сказано еще выразительнее и сильнее: «чтобы мне создать дом (banch) мой от нее, опереться на нее, «усилиться чрез нее» ( Втор 25:9; Руфь 4:16 ); славянский: «да чада сотворю от нея». Через это и самый поступок Сары становится гораздо понятнее: очевидно, она здесь основывает свои надежды на том обычном праве этой эпохи, в силу которого дети мужа, рожденные от служанки, считались законными его детьми и, следовательно, равно принадлежали обоим супругам, т. е. как мужу, так и жене ( 30:3 ).

Аврам послушался слов Сары. Хотя в поступке Аврама и было допущено нарушение чистоты брачного союза ( 2:22 ), но извинением для него служило, во-первых, то, что он сделал это не по собственной страсти, а из послушания жене, и во-вторых, то, что при совершении сего поступка преследовал не личные, низменные интересы, а высшие, теократические цели ( Мал 2:15 ).

16:3  И дала ее Авраму, мужу своему, в жену. Название жены приложено здесь к Агари не в собственном и строгом смысле, а в смысле временной наложницы, как она и называется более точно в другом месте ( 25:6 ); но в то же время она была, так сказать, легальной наложницей, взятой с согласия, одобрения и даже по просьбе жены, так что в этом случае она для Аврама была женою второго ранга.

16:4  Увидев же, что зачала, она стала презирать госпожу свою. На всем древнем Востоке, а у евреев в особенности, многочадие считалось особым признаком божественного благословения и фамильной гордости ( 21:6; 24:60; Исх 23:26; Втор 7:14 ); тогда как бесплодие, наоборот, рассматривалось как несчастье и бесчестье ( 19:31; 30:1,23; Лев 20:20; Лк 1:48 и др.). Неудивительно, что молодая служанка Агарь, проникнутая подобными взглядами, могла забыться перед своей обездоленной госпожой.

16:5  И сказала Сара Авраму: в обиде моей ты виновен. «Сара наказана за свое нетерпение; она сама предложила мужу свою служанку, чтобы скорей исполнилось обетование, а теперь чувствует, что в доме восстает новая хозяйка. Но, не рассчитав последствий своего действия, она во всем обвиняет теперь Аврама» (Властов).

Господь пусть будет судьею между мною и между тобою. «Слова души огорченной! — говорит Златоуст, — и если б в праотце не было столько любомудрия и он не имел бы великого уважения к Саре, то вознегодовал бы и оскорбился такими жестокими словами. Но этот, достойный уважения, муж все ей простил, зная слабость пола». Впрочем, нетрудно понять и тяжелое душевное состояние Сары, в которой одновременно заговорили и ревность обездоленной супруги, и достоинство оскорбленной госпожи.

16:6  Вот, служанка твоя в твоих руках; делай с нею, что тебе угодно. Этими словами Аврам благоразумно укрощает начавшуюся домашнюю ссору между госпожой и служанкой, указывая действительную роль первой и ее законные права в отношении к последней.

И Сара стала притеснять ее. Но Сара не нашла в себе достаточного великодушия, а проявила в отношении к Агари некоторую пристрастную суровость. Вот новый пример того, что Писание нисколько не замалчивает и даже не ослабляет и недостатков у праведников.

И она убежала от нее. Гордая служанка не захотела переносить такого унижения и предпочла бегство в пустыню «Сур» ( 7 ст. ), лежавшую на пути между Египтом и Ассирией ( 25:18; 1 Цар 15:7; 27:8 ) в северо-западном углу аравийского полуострова, известную теперь под названием «Джифар». По ней вела дорога из Палестины в страну фараонов, куда естественней всего и было направиться Агари, как в свою отечественную страну.

16:7  Ангел Господень. В еврейском подлиннике стоит «Малеах-Иегова», аналогичное другому «Малеах-Элохим» ( 21:17; 31:11 ). По вопросу об этом известном деятеле ветхозаветных откровений существует целая огромная литература, все произведения которой делятся на две противоположных категории: в одной отстаивается тот взгляд, что «Малеах-Иегова» был обычным тварным существом, хотя и высшим в чине ангелов; в сочинениях другой категории утверждается та истина, что под формой «Малеах-Иегова» происходили явления самого Бога, именно Логоса или Сына Божия. Представители первого взгляда (Августин, Ориген, Иероним, Гофман, Баумгартен, Толлюк, Делич, Куртц) утверждаются на следующих основаниях: 1) термин «малеах» или «ангел» обычно означает собой класс духовно-тварных существ ( 19:1; 22:1; Иов 4:18; Пс 90:11; Суд 13:13 и др.) 2) и Новом Завете αγγελος κυρίου ( Мф 1:20; Лк 2:9 ) постоянно называется тварный ангел; 3) филологическое происхождение самого термина «малеах» указывает на его зависимое и подчиненное состояние ( 2 Цар 21:27; Зах 1:12 ) и 4) наконец, самое откровение Бога под такой человекообразной формой не могло быть понятно тогда, т. е. до пришествия в мир Спасителя. Ни один из этих мотивов не имеет решающей силы. Доказательства представителей другого лагеря (большинство отцов и учителей Церкви, Генстенберг, Кейль, Ланге, Геверник, Нитч, Эбрард, Элер, Баумгартен, Вордсворд, из русских: А. Глаголев, А. Лебедев, Ястребов и др.) сводятся к следующим основным тезисам: 1) «Малеах-Иегова» ясно отождествляет сам Себя с Иеговой ( 10 ст. ) и с Элохимом ( 22:12 ); 2) те, кому Он является, обыкновенно принимают Его за самого Бога ( 13 ст.; 18:23-33; 28:16-22; Исх 3:6; Суд 6:15,20-23; 13:22 ); 3) библейские авторы постоянно говорят о Нем, как о Боге, называя Его Иеговой ( 13 ст.; 18:1; 22:16; Исх 3:2 и др.); 4) учение о множественности лиц в Божестве, на которое опирается этот взгляд, находится в согласии и с раннейшими намеками на него ( 1:26; 11:7 ), и с позднейшими откровениями; 5) органическое единство двух заветов требует, чтобы центральным пунктом их было одно и то же Лицо, именно Логос — Сын Божий, а не допускает того, чтобы в Ветхом Завете таким лицом было тварное существо — «Малеах-Иегова». Сопоставление аргументов той и другой стороны довольно ясно свидетельствует о перевесе последней, т. е. о понимании «Ангела Иеговы» за один из видов богоявления, именно за ветхозаветную форму личного откровения Сына Божия.

16:8  Агарь, служанка Сарина! Самые слова этого обращения, лучше всякого упрека, должны были привести в чувство забывшуюся рабу.

16:9  Возвратись к госпоже своей и покорись ей. «Ангел не осуждает ни Агари, ни Сары, — говорит м. Филарет, — он только восстановляет их взаимные отношения. Из этого можно заключить, что происшедшее между Сарой и Агарью было скорей недоразумение, чем неблагонамеренная ссора; вероятно, Агарь думала, что зачавшей от Аврама неприлично оставаться служанкой; Сара же опасалась, чтобы ее служанка не сделалась ее госпожой» (Властов).

16:10  И сказал ей Ангел Господень: умножая умножу потомство твое. Весьма важно отметить здесь то, что ангел Господень от Своего лица говорит здесь так, как обычно говорит только сам Бог. Это — одно из главных оснований к признанию божественного достоинства в лице «ангела Господня». Так как Агарь стала женой Аврама, то и она в некоторой доле сделалась наследницей тех обетований о многочисленном потомстве, которые даны были Богом родоначальнику евреев. Это пророчество о потомстве Агари через ее сына Измаила блестяще оправдалось в истории, именно на судьбе тех двенадцати кочевых племен, которые под общим именем измаильтян, а также агарян или сарацин, заняли большую часть Аравийской пустыни ( Быт 25:12-16 ) и неоднократно эмигрировали отсюда в Африку, Испанию, Персию и даже Индию.

16:11  И наречешь ему имя: Измаил; ибо услышал Господь страдание твое. Вторая половина этой фразы и служит собственно объяснением имени «Измаил», которое в дословном переводе значит: «слышит Бог».

16:12  Он будет между людьми как дикий осел. Дикий осел, или онагр, который неоднократно и художественно изображается в Библии ( Иов 39:5-8; Ис 32:14 ), является, по общему мнению, поразительно жизненным и верным типом бедуина — этого дикого сына пустыни.

Руки его на всех, и руки всех на него. Столь же сильно и картинно изображается и будущая судьба этих кочевников, вся беспокойная жизнь которых чередуется между смелыми набегами и жестокой расплатой за них.

Жить он будет пред лицом всех братьев своих. Потомки двух братьев — Измаила и Исаака — не будут смешиваться между собою, а будут жить отдельно и независимо друг от друга, они будут находиться между собою не всегда в добром, но всегда в близком соседстве.

16:13  И нарекла (Агарь) Господа, Который говорил к ней. Замечание самого бытописателя, имеющее большую важность в вопросе об установлении личности ангела Иеговы.

Ты Бог видящий меня. Точно такое же значение имеют для нас и эти слова Агари. Кроме того, в них дано исповедание Агарью веры в божественный Промысл и Божие всеведение ( Пс 138:11,12; Иов 34:21-22; Ам 9:2-3 ). Это еще яснее выражено славянским переводом: «Ты Бог, призревый на мя», т. е. явивший на мне Свою промыслительную силу.

16:14  Посему источник тот называется: Беэр-лахай-рои. Собственное имя этого источника в славянском тексте заменено переводом, объясняющим смысл его названия: «идеже предо мною видех»; отсюда ясно, что Агарь, по общепринятому на Востоке обычаю, для увековечения воспоминания о бывшем ей у источника богоявлении, переименовала в честь его и самый этот источник.

Он находится между Кадесом и между Баредом. Колодезь Агари, упоминаемый в Библии еще дважды ( 24:62 и 25:11 ), по мнению одного ученого географа Палестины (Реландау Риттера), вероятнее всего будет видеть в источнике Аин-Кадес, в долине, лежащей на юг от Вирсавии, по которой идут караваны из Сирии к Синаю и которую арабы называют «Милхи» или «Мувельх», именем, которым они обозначают и Агарь, и где они показывают пещеру — «ложе Агари». Беэр-лахай-рои — источник Живого, видящего меня.

16:15  Агарь родила Авраму сына. Вразумленная бывшим ей откровением, Агарь возвратилась в дом Аврама, примирилась с Сарой и скоро сделалась матерью, родив сына, которого Аврам, согласно данному в откровении повелению, назвал Измаилом. Этим самым удостоверяется и реальность бывшего Агари видения.

16:16  Аврам был восьмидесяти шести лет. Замечание бытописателя, почерпнутое им, вероятно, из традиции, ревниво сохранявшей все детали из жизни этого самого популярного на всем Востоке патриарха ( 17:24-25 ).

17:1  Аврам был девяноста девяти лет. «Для чего Бог медлил столько времени? — задается вопросом св. Иоанн Златоуст и тут же отвечает на него: для того, чтобы мы узнали не только терпение и великую добродетель праведника, но и беспредельное всемогущество Божие. Когда уже изнемогла природа и стала неспособной к деторождению, потому что тело Аврама увяло и иссохло от старости, — тогда только, открывая вполне всю добродетель праведника и являя Свою силу, Бог исполняет Свои обетования» (Беседа XXXIX, 426 с.).

Я Бог Всемогущий. В еврейском тексте — «Эл-Шаддай». Это новое божеское имя, которым в Ветхом Завете обозначался Бог завета и откровения, т. е. Иегова, со стороны Своей всемогущей зиждительно-промыслительной силы (schadad — быть сильным, крепким) или устойчивой крепости и верности Своих обетовании ( 28:3; 35:11; Исх 6:3 ).

Ходи предо Мною и будь непорочен. Смысл и значение этих нравственных заповедей известны нам по примерам их осуществления двумя великими раннейшими праведниками Енохом ( 5:24 ) и Ноем ( 6:9 ).

17:2  И поставлю завет Мой. Или, как следует перевести ближе к подлинному тексту: «и дарую завет Мой», т. е. дарую исполнение того самого завета, который Я благоволил некогда заключить с тобой (15 гл.; речь, очевидно, идет о главном пункте этого завета — о рождении Исаака и происхождении от него многочисленного потомства, о чем и говорится дальше.

17:3  И пал Аврам на лицо свое. Это выражение глубокого смирения, радостной благодарности и доверчивого преклонения пред неисповедимыми судьбами божественного Промысла ( 17 ст.; 24:52; Чис 16:22; Лев 9:24; Руфь 2:10 ).

17:4  Вот завет Мой с тобою. Повторяя Свой завет с Аврамом, Бог теперь более раздельно излагает его условия и обязательства для каждой из двух договаривающихся сторон, благоволя начать это с самого Себя («Я — вот завет Мой»).

Ты будешь отцом множества народов. Бог обещает Авраму, что он станет не только отцом многочисленного еврейского народа, но и целого ряда других народов, как то: измаильтян, идумеев и агарян, а также и «отцом всех верующих», как обрезанных, так и необрезанных, но соединенных с ним веро