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OF ISAAC'S MARRIAGE

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that there were many sons born to Abraham by to God that Rebeka might be found among them, Keturah. He even names three of them. Apher, or her whom Abraham sent him as his servant to and Surim, and Japhran: that from Surim was the espouse to his son, in case his will were that this land of Assyria denominated ; and that from the marriage should be consummated ; and that she other two, Apher and Japhran, the country of Africa might be made known to him by this sign, that took its name; because these men were auxiliaries while others denied him water to drink, she might to Hercules, when he fought against Libya and An- give it him. tæus; and that Hercules married Aphra's daughter,. With this intention he went to the well, and and of her begat a son Diodorus; and that Sophon desired the maidens to give him some water to was his son, from whom the barbarous people called drink: but while the others refused, on pretence Sophacians were denominated.”

that they wanted it all at home, and could spare

none for him, one only of the company rebuked CHAP. XVI.

them for their peevish behaviour towards the stranger, and said, “ What is there that you will

ever communicate to any body, who have not so Now when Abraham, the father of Isaac, had much as given the man some water ?” She then resolved to take Rebeka, who was granddaughter offered him water in an obliging manner, and he to his brother Nahor, for a wife to his son Isaac, began to hope that this grand affair would sucwho was then about forty* years old, he sent the ceed; but desiring still to know the truth, he comeldest of his servants to betroth her; after he had mended her for her generosity and good-nature, obliged him to give him the strongest assurances of that she did not scruple to afford a sufficiency of

, his fidelity, after the following manner. They put water to those who wanted it, though it cost her each other's hands under each other's thighs, and some pains to draw it. He then asked her who called upon God as the witness of what was to be were her parents, and wished them joy of such a done. He also sent such presents to those that daughter; "and mayest thou be espoused,” said were there as were in esteem, on account that they he, “ to their satisfaction, into the family of an either rarely or never were seen in that country. agreeable husband, and bring him legitimate chilThis servant got thither not under a considerable dren.” Nor did she disdain to satisfy his inquitime; for it requires much time to pass through ries, but told him her family. “They call me ReMesopotamia, in which it is tedious travelling both beka,” said she: “my father was Bethuel, but he in winter, for the depth of the clay, and in summer, is dead; and Laban is my brother, and, together for want of water; and besides this, for the robber- with my mother, takes care of all our family ies there committed, which are not to be avoided by affairs, and is my guardian." When the servant travellers, but by the utmost caution. However, heard this, he was very glad at what had hapthe servant came to Haran; and when he was in pened, and at what was told him, as perceiving the suburbs, he met a considerable number of that God had thus plainly directed his journey; maidens going to the water ;f he therefore prayed and producing his bracelets, and some other ornaments which it was esteemed decent for virgins sent me to you, being desirous to take this damto wear, he gave them to the damsel, by way of sel for his son to wife. He is his legitimate son, acknowledgment, and as a reward for her kind- and is brought up as his only heir. He could inness in giving him water to drink, saying, it was deed have had the most happy of all the women but just that she should have them, because she in that country for him, but he would not have was so much more obliging than any of the rest. his own son marry any of them out of regard to She desired also that he would come and lodge his own relations. I would not, therefore, have with them, since the approach of the night gave you despise this affection; for it was by the good him not time to proceed farther. Then producing pleasure of God that other accidents fell out in his precious ornaments for women, he said, he my journey, and that thereby I met with your desired to trust them to none more safely, than daughter and your house ; for when I was come to such as she had showed herself to be; and that near your city, I saw a great many maidens he believed he might guess at the humanity of her coming to a well, and I prayed that I might meet mother and brother, that they would not be dis- with this damsel, which has come to pass accordpleased from the virtue he found in her, for he ingly. Do you therefore confirm that marriage, would not be burthensome, but would pay the hire whose espousals have been already made by a for his entertainment, and spend his own money: divine appearance, and show the respect you have to which she replied, that he guessed rightly as for Abraham, who has sent me with so much soto the humanity of her parents, but complained licitude, in giving your consent to the marriage that he should think them so parsimonious as to of this damsel.” take money, for that he should have all his wants Upon this they understood it to be the will of supplied freely; but she said, she would first in- God, and greatly approved of the offer, and sent form her brother Laban, and if he gave her leave, their daughter,* as was desired.f Accordingly she would conduct him in.

* An. 1897.

or goat-skin, and tying their sucking children behind them, † The present mode of swearing among the Mohammedan trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water." Arabs, that live in tents as the patriarchs did, according to de Travels, p. 421. la Roque, (Voy. dans la Pal. p. 152.) is by laying their hands The same custom prevailed in ancient Greece. Homer repreon the Koran. They cause those who swear to wash their hands sents Minerva meeting Ulysses as the sun was going down, before they give them the book ; they put their left hand under- under the form of a Phæcian virgin carrying a pitcher of water, neath, and the right over it. Whether, among the patriarchs that being the time when the maidens went out to draw water. one hand was under, and the other upon the thigh, is not certain;

When near the fam'd Phæcian wall he drew, possibly Abraham's servant might swear with one hand under

The beauteous city op'ning to his view, his master's thigh, and the other stretched out to Heaven. As

His step a virgin met, and stood before;

A polish'd urn the seeming virgin bore. the posterity of the patriarchs are described as coming out of

Odyss. b yir. 23. Pope. the thigh, it has been supposed, this ceremony had some rela- See also Odyss. lib. x. 105. tion to their believing the promise of God, to bless all the A similar custom prevailed also in Armenia, as may be seen nations of the earth, by means of one that was to descend from in Xenophon's Anabasis, b. iv. B. Abraham. B. HARMER, vol. iv. p. 477.

$ The weight of the ornaments put upon Rebeka appears | Homer mentions the same custom of women's being em. extraordinary. But Chardin assures us, that even heavier were ployed in drawing water among the Phæcians and Læstrygonians. worn by the women of the East when he was there. (od. vii. 20. et x. 105.) Dr. Shaw, speaking of the occupations that the women wear rings and bracelets of as great weight as of the Moorish women in Barbary, says, “ to finish the day, at this, and even heavier, through all Asia. They are rather manthe time of the evening, even at the time that the women go acles than bracelets. There are some as large as the finger. out to draw water, they are still to fit themselves with a pitcher The women wear several of them, one above the other, in such

He says OF ABRAHAM'S DEATH AND BURIAL

Isaac married her, the inheritance being now As soon as this was done, the servants of La- come to him: for the children of Keturah were ban brought the camels in, and took care of them, gone to their own remote habitations. and the stranger was himself brought in to supper by Laban, and after supper he said to him, and to

CHAP. XVII. the mother of the damsel, addressing himself to her, Abraham is the son of Terah, and a kinsman of yours : for Nahor, the grandfather of these A LITTLE while after this, Abraham died ;f he children, was the brother of Abraham, by both was a man of incomparable virtue, and honoured father and mother, upon which account he hath by God in a manner agreeable to his piety to

a manner as sometimes to have the arm covered with them from outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing gold, or the wrist to the elbow. Poor people wear as many of glass or of putting on apparel. 1 Pet. iii. 3. See also Psalm xlv. 9, 13. horn. They hardly ever take them off. They are their riches. Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.Her Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. p. 500. .

clothing is of wrought gold. B. Among the several female ornaments which Abraham sent * Gen. xxiv. 59. by his servant, whom he employed to search out a wife for his † When Rebeka was sent away, it appears that her nurse ac. son Isaac, werc jewels of silver and jewels of gold, exclusive of companied her. Nurses were formerly held in very high esraiment, which probably was very rich and valuable for the age teem, and considered as being entitled to constant and lasting in which Abraham lived. Rich and splendid apparel, especially regard. “The nurse in an Eastern family is always an importsuch as was adorned with gold, was very general in the eastern ant personage. Modern travellers inform us, that in Syria she nations, from the earliest ages: and as the fashions and customs is considered as a sort of second parent, whether she has been of the Orientals are not subject to much variation, so we find foster-mother or otherwise. She always accompanies the bride that this propensity to golden ornaments, prevails even in the to her husband's house, and ever remains there an honoured present age, among the females in the countries bordering on character. Thus it was in ancient Greece." Siege of Acre, Judea. Thus Mungo Park, in the account of his travels in b. ii. p. 35. Note. Africa, mentions the following singular circumstance, respecting Rebeka upon leaving her family received their blessing. the ornamental part of the dress of an African lady. “ It is Nuptial benedictions were used both by the Jews, Greeks, and evident from the account of the process by which negroes ob- Romans. That of the Jews was in this form : « Blessed be thou, tain gold in Manding, that the country contains a considerable O Lord, who hast created man and woman, and ordained mar. portion of this precious metal. A great part is converted into riage," &c. This was repeated every day during the wedding ornaments for the women: and when a lady of consequence is week, provided there were new guests. The Grecian form of in full dress, the gold about her person may be worth, altogether, benediction was, apadn suxn. The Latin was, Quod faustum from fifty to eighty pounds sterling."

felixque sit. The Jews constantly made use of the same form, We find also that the same disposition for rich ornamental but the Greeks and Romans frequently varied theirs: a beneapparel prevailed in the times of the Apostles; for St. Peter diction, however, in some form, was always used. See Selden cautioned the females of quality in the first ages of Christianity, de Jure, N. et G. 1. 5. c. 19. B when they adorned themselves, not to have it consist in the An. 1862.

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that he saw a ladder which reached from the earth | be afraid of the many labours thou must undergo, unto heaven, and persons descending down the for by my providence I will direct thee what thou ladder that seemed more excellent than human ; art to do in the time present, and still more in the and at last God himself stood above it, and calling time to come.” him by his name, said, “O Jacob, it is not fit for Such were the predictions which God made to thee, who art the son of a good father, and grand- Jacob. Whereupon he became very joyful at what son to one who had obtained a great reputation for he had seen and heard; and he poured oil upon his eminent virtue, to be dejected at thy present the stones,* because on them the prediction of circumstances, but to hope for better times. For such great benefits was made. He also vowed a thou shalt have great abundance of all good things, vow that he would offer sacrifice upon them, if he by my assistance. For I brought Abraham hither, lived and returned safe: and if he came again in out of Mesopotamia, when he was driven away by such a condition, he would give the tithe of what his kinsmen; and I made thy father a happy man. he had gotten to God. He also judged the place Nor will I bestow an inferior degree of happiness to be honourable, and gave it the name of Bethel; on thyself

. Be of good courage, therefore ; and which, if explained in the Greek tongue, is the under my conduct, proceed on thy journey; for the House of God. marriage thou goest so zealously about shall be He then proceeded on his journey to Mesopoconsummated. And thou shalt have children of good tamia, and at length came to Haran, and meeting characters; whose multitude shall be innumerable. with shepherds in the suburbs, with boys grown And they shall leave what they have to a still more up and maidens sitting round a certain well

, he numerous posterity; to whom, and to whose pos- stayed with them, as wanting water to drink; terity, I give the dominion of all the land, and their and beginning to discourse with them, he asked posterity shall fill the earth, so far as the sun be-them whether they knew such an one as Laban? holds them. But do not thou fear any danger, nor and whether he were still alive? they all said they

* One of the idols in the Pagoda of Juggernaut is described, from Major Symes's narrative of his Embassy to the kingdom of by Captain Hamilton, as a huge black stone, of a pyramidical Ava. The temples of that people, vast as many of them are, form, and the Sammona Codom of the Siamese is of the same are built without cavity of any sort, and he only mentions some complexion. The Ayeen Akbery mentions an octagonal pillar of the most ancient of those at Pagahm as constructed otherwise. of black stone fifty cubits high. Tavernier observed an idol of The following extract will sufficiently illustrate this matter : black stone in the Pagoda of Benares, and that the statue of “ The object in Pegu that most attracts, and most merits no. Chreeshna, in his celebrated temple of Mathura, is of black tice, is the noble edifice of Shoemadoo, or the golden supreme. marble. It is very remarkable, that one of the principal cere- This is a pyramidical building, composed of brick and mortar, monies incumbent upon the priests of these stone deities, ac- without excavation or aperture of any sort: octagonal at the cording to Tavernier, is to anoint them daily with odoriferous base, and spiral at the top. Each side of the base measures one oils; a circumstance which immediately brings to our remem- hundred and sixty-two feet. The extreme height of the edifice, brance the similar practice of Jacob, who, after the famous from the level of the country, is three hundred and sixty-one vision of the celestial ladder, took the stone which he had put feet, and above the interior terrace three hundred and thirty-one for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon feet. Along the whole extent of the northern face of the upper the top of it. It is added that he called the name of that place, terrace there is a wooden shed for the convenience of devotees, Bethel ; that is, the house of God. This passage evinces of how who come from a distant part of the country. There are several great antiquity is the custom of considering stones in a sacred low benches near the foot of the temple, on which the person, light, as well as the anointing them with consecrated oil. From who comes to pray, places his offering, commonly consisting of this conduct of Jacob, and this Hebrew appellative, the learned || boiled rice, a plate of sweetmeats, or cocoa-nuts fried in oil; Bochart, with great ingenuity and reason, insists that the name when it is given, the devotee cares not what becomes of it; the and veneration of the sacred stones, called Baetyti, so celebrated crows and wild dogs often devour it in the presence of the donor, in all pagan antiquity, were derived. These Baetyti were stones who never attempts to disturb the animals. I saw several plates of a round form; they were supposed to be animated by means of victuals disposed of in this manner, and understood it was the of magical incantations, with a portion of the Deity; they were case with all that was brought. consulted on occasions of great and pressing emergency, as “The temple of Shoedagan, about two miles and a half north a kind of divine oracles, and were suspended, either round the of Rangoon, is a very grand building, although not so high, by neck, or some other part of the body. Thus the setting up of a twenty-five or thirty feet, as that of Shoemadoo, at Pegu. The stone by this holy person, in grateful memory of the celestial terrace on which it stands is raised on a rocky eminence, con. vision, probably became the occasion of the idolatry in succeed. siderably higher than the circumjacent country, and is ascended ing ages, to these shapeless masses of unhewn stone, of which by above a hundred stone steps. The name of this temple, so many astonishing remains are scattered up and down the which signifies Golden Dagon, naturally recalls to mind the Asiatic and the European world. MAURICE's Indian Antiquities, passage in the scriptures, where the house of Dagon is men. vol. ii. p. 355.

tioned, and the image of idolatry bows down before the Holy Jacob calls the pillar which he had set up, God's house. It Ark.” appears strange to us to hear a stone pillar called God's house, “Many of the most ancient temples at Pagahm are not solid being accustomed to give names of this kind to such buildings at the bottom: a well-arched dome supports a ponderous suonly as are capable of containing their worshippers within them. perstructure ; and, within, an image of Gaudona sits en. But this is not the case in every part of the world, as we learn shrined.” B.

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knew him, for he was not so inconsiderable a per- || Laban; and being owned by his uncle, he was son as to be unknown to any of them; and that secure himself, as being among his friends; to his daughter fed her father's flock together with whom his unexpected arrival gave great pleasure. them: and that, indeed, they wondered she was But a little while afterward, Laban told him that not yet come, “for by her means," said they, he could not express in words the joy he had at “ thou mightest learn more exactly whatever thou his coming ; but still he inquired why he left his desirest to know about that family." While they aged mother and father, when they wanted to be were speaking, the damsel came, and the other taken care of by him; and that he would afford shepherds that came with her. Then they showed him all the assistance he wanted. Then Jacob her Jacob, and told her, that he was a stranger gave him an account of the whole occasion of his who came to inquire about her father's affairs. journey, and told him that Isaac had twin sons, But she, being pleased, after the custom of chil- himself and Esau; and that his brother having dren, with Jacob's coming, asked him who he was? failed of his father's prayers, which by his mother's and whence he came ? and what it was he wanted, wisdom were put up for him, sought to kill him ; that he came thither? She also wished it might as deprived of the kingdom* which was to be given be in their power to supply his wants.

him of God; and of the blessings for which their Jacob was quite overcome, not so much by father prayed; and that this was the occasion of their kindred, nor by that affection which might his coming hither, as his mother had commanded arise thence, as by his love to the damsel, and his him. “ For,” said he, "we are all brethren one surprise at her beauty, which was such as few of to another; but our mother esteems an alliance the women of that age could vie with. He then with your family more than she does one with the said, “ There is a relation between thee and me, families of the country; so I look upon yourself elder than either of our births, if thou be the and God to be the supporters of my travels, and daughter of Laban. For Abraham was the son think myself safe in my present circumstances.” of Terah, as well as Haran and Nahor. Of the

he Laban now promised to treat him with great last of whom, Nahor, Bethuel thy grandfather was humanity, both on account of his ancestors, and the son: Isaac my father was the son of Abraham particularly for the sake of his mother; towards and of Sarah, who was the daughter of Haran. whom he said he would show his kindness, even But there is a nearer and later cement of mutual though she were absent, by taking care of him kindred which we bear to one another. For my For he assured him he would make him the head mother Rebeka was sister to Laban, thy father, shepherd of his flock, and gave him authority suffiboth by the same father and mother. I, therefore, cient for that purpose ; and when he should be inand thou, are cousin-germans, and I am now come clined to return to his parents, he would send him to salute thee, and to renew that affinity which is back with presents, and this in as honourable a proper between us." At the mention of Rebeka, manner as their consanguinity should require. the damsel wept, and that out of the kindness she Jacob heard these promises gladly; and said he had for her father, and embraced Jacob: she would willingly undergo any sort of pains while he having learned an account of Rebeka from her tarried with him; but desired as the reward of those father, and knew that her parents loved to hear pains that he might be permitted to marry Rachel, her named; and when she had saluted him, she who was not only on other accounts esteemed by said, that he brought the most desirable and him; but also because she was the means of his comgreatest pleasure to her father, with all their ing to him ; for he said he was forced by the love of "family, who was always mentioning his mother, the damsel to make this proposal. "Laban was and always thinking of her, and her alone; "and pleased with this agreement, and consented to this,” said she, “ will make thee equal in his eyes give the damsel to him, if he would stay with him to any advantageous circumstance whatsoever.” some time; for he was not willing to send his Then she bid him follow her, while she conducted daughter to be among the Canaanites; for he rehim to her father, not wishing to deprive Laban pented of the alliance he had made already by of such a pleasure, by staying any longer away marrying his sister there. And when Jacob had from him.

given his consent to this, he agreed to serve his When she had said thus, she brought him to father-in-law seven years, that by giving a speci

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* By this deprivation of the kingdom that was to be given which was expected under the Messiah ; who, therefore, was to Esau of God, as the first-born ; it appears that Josephus thought | be born of his posterity whom Isaac should so bless. Jacob, a kingdom to be derived of God was due to him whom Isaac therefore, by obtaining this blessing of the first-born, became should bless as his first-born : which I take to be that kingdom | the genuine heir of that kingdom, in opposition to Esau.

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