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live together with him, while he was incensed against should come to him, and that his offspring should him, and so had gone out of the country; but now, never fail, and that no man should be too hard for thinking the time of his absence must have made up his power. He also commanded him to be called their differences, was returning; that he brought with Israel,t which in the Hebrew tongue signifies one him his wives and his children, with what possessions that struggled with the divine angel
. These promhe had gotten, and delivered himself, with what was ises were made at the prayer of Jacob; for when he most dear to him, into his hands; and should think perceived him to be the angel of God, he desired he it his greatest happiness to partake, together with would signify to him what should befall him herehis brother, of what God had bestowed on him. after, and when the angel had said what is before
When this message was delivered, Esau was very related, he disappeared. Jacob was pleased with glad, and met his brother with four hundred men: these things, and named the place Phanuel, which but when Jacob heard that he was coming to meet signifies, the face of God. But when he felt pain him with such a number, he was greatly afraid. by this struggling upon his broad sinews, he abstainHowever, he committed his hope of deliverance to ed from eating that sinew himself afterward, and for God: and considered how in his present circum- his sake it is still not eaten by us. I. stances he might preserve himself, and those that When Jacob understood that his brother was were with him, and overcome his enemies, if they approaching, he ordered his wives to go before, each attacked him injuriously. He therefore distributed by herself, with the handmaids, that they might see his company into parts; some he sent before the the actions of the men as they were fighting, if Esau rest,* and the others he ordered to come close behind: were so disposed. He then went and bowed down that if the first were overpowered, when his brother to his brother Esau, who had no evil design upon attacked them, they might have those that followed him, but saluted him,g and asked him about the comas the refuge to flee unto; and when he had put his pany of the children, and of the women ; and decompany in this order, he sent some of them to his sired, when he had understood all he wanted to know brother, with presents of cattle, and a great number about them, that he would go along with him to of four-footed beasts of many kinds, such as would their father ; but Jacob pretending that the cattle be very acceptable to those that received them, on were weary, Esau returned to Seir, for there was his account of their rarity. Those who were sent pro- place of habitation, which he had named roughness, ceeded at certain intervals of space asunder, that by from his own hairy roughness. following thick one after another, they might appear to be the more numerous, that Esau might remit of
CHAP. XXI. his anger on account of these presents, if he were still unappeased. Instructions were also given to those that were sent, to speak submissively to him. After this interview, Jacob came to the place, till
When Jacob had made these appointments, and this day called Succoth, or Tents, whence he went night came on, he began to move with his company: to Shechem, a city of the Canaanites. Now as the and as they were gone over a certain river, called Shechemites were keeping a festival, Dina, who was Jabboc, Jacob was left behind; and meeting with an the only daughter of Jacob, went into the city, to angel, he wrestled with him, the angel beginning the see the women of that country; but when Shechem, struggle; but he prevailed over the angel, who used the son of Hamor the king, saw her, he defiled her a voice, and spake to him in words, exhorting him by violence; and being greatly in love with her, he to be pleased with what had happened to him, and desired his father to procure the damsel for him in not to suppose that his victory was a trifling one, marriage. To this request Hamor acceded, and but that he had overcome a divine angel, and to came to Jacob, desiring permission that his son Sheesteem the victory as a sign of great blessings that chem might, according to law, marry Dina ; but
OF THE VIOLATION OF DINA'S CHASTITY.
* Jacob appears to have been very cautious in conducting † Perhaps this may be the proper meaning of the word Israel both his family and his flocks in their journey. He was particu- by the present and the old Jerusalem analogy of the Hebrew larly desirous of preserving them. They would have been ex tongue. But it is certain that the Hellenists of the first century, posed to great danger by haste. Prepared as the Arabs are for in Egypt and elsewhere, interpreted Is-ra-el, to be a man seeing speedy flight, a quick motion is very destructive to the young God. of their flocks. Chardin says, “ Their flocks feed down the # Gen. xxxii. 32. places of their encampment so quick, by the great numbers Ś When Jacob and Esau met, they saluted each other. Esau which they have, that they are obliged to remove them too often, ran to meet Jacob, embraced him, fell on his neck, and kissed which is very destructive to their flocks, on account of the young him, Gen. xxxiii. 4. Such persons as are intimately acquainted, ones, which have not strength enough to follow.” This circum or of equal age and dignity, mutually kiss the hand, the head, stance shows the energy of Jacob's apology to Esau for not or the shoulder of each other. Shaw's Trav. p. 237. B. attending him. Harmer's Observations, i. 126. B.
OF ISAAC'S DEATH AND INTERMENT AT HEBRON.
Jacob, not knowing how to deny the desire of one When he was gone thence, and was come over of such great dignity, and yet not thinking it lawful against Ephrata, he there buried Rachel,f who to marry his daughter to a stranger, entreated leave died in childbed; she was the only one of Jacob's to have a previous consultation. So the king went kindred that had not the honour of burial at away, in hopes that Jacob would approve of this Hebron; and when he had mourned for her a marriage: but Jacob informed his sons of the defile- great while, he called the son that was born of ment of their sister, and of the address of Hamor, her Benjamin,|| because of the sorrow the mother and desired them to give him their advice, what they had with him. "These are all the children of Jacob, should do. Upon this, the greatest part said nothing, twelve males, and one female ; of whom eight not knowing what advice to give; but Simeon and were legitimate, viz. six of Leah, and two of RaLevi, the brethren of the damsel, by the same mother, chel; and four were of the handmaids, two of each, agreed between themselves upon the action follow all whose names have been set down already. ing: it being now the time of a festival, when the Shechemites were employed in ease and feasting, they fell upon the watch when they were asleep, and
CHAP. XXII. entering into the city,* slew all the males, as also the king and his son with them, but spared the women: and when they had done this, without their father's consent, they brought away their sister.
From thence Jacob went to Hebron, a city sitNow, while Jacob was astonished at this daring uate among the Canaanites, and the residence of act, and was severely blaming his sons for it, God Isaac; and there they lived together for a little stood by him, and bid him be of good courage, but while: for as to Rebeka, Jacob did not find her to purify his tents, and to offer those sacrifices which alive. Isaac also died not long after the coming he had vowed to offer when he went first into Meso- of his son, and was buried, with his wife, in Hepotamia, and saw his vision. As he was therefore bron, where the family had a monument belonging purifying his followers, he found the gods of Laban, to them from their forefathers. Now Isaac was (for he did not before know they were stolen by a man who was beloved of God, and was vouchRachel,) and he hid them in the earth, under an safed great instances of providence by God, after oak, in Shechem; and departing thence, he offered Abraham his father, and lived to be exceeding sacrifice at Bethel, the place where he saw his vision old; for when he had lived virtuously one hunwhen he went first into Mesopotamia.
dred and eighty-five years, he then died. * Why Josephus has omitted the circumcision of these She- and suppose that, in correspondence to other copies, he wrote chemites, as the occasion of their death, and of Jacob's great that Rachel called her son's name Benoni, but his father called grief, as in the testament of Levi, I cannot tell.
him Benjamin ; Gen. xxxv. 18. As for Benjamin, as commonly † Gen. xxxv. 1.
explained, the son of the right-hand, it makes no sense at all, Gen. xxxv. 19.
and seems to be a gross modern error only. The Samaritan li Since Benoni signifies the son of my sorrow, and Benjamin always writes this name truly, Benjamin, which probably is here the son of days, or one born in the father's old age, Gen. xliv. of the same signification, only with the Chaldee termination in 20, I suspect Josephus's present copies to be here imperfect, | instead of im, in the Hebrew.
AFTER the death of Isaac, his sons divided It happened that Jacob attained so great haptheir habitations respectively. Nor did they re- piness as rarely any other person has arrived at; tain what they had before : but Esau departed he was richer than the rest of the inhabitants of from the city of Hebron, and left it to his brother, that country, and was at once envied and admired and dwelt in Seir, and ruled over Idumea. He for such virtuous sons; for they were deficient in called the country by that name from himself; for nothing, but were of great strength, both for lahe was named Adom, on the following occasion : bouring with their hands, and enduring of toil, He once returned from the toil of hunting, very and shrewd also in understanding. And God exhungry, when he was a child in age, and met with ercised such a providence over him, and such a his brother, when he was getting ready. lentile- care of his happiness, as to bring him the greatest pottage for his dinner ; it was of a very red co- blessings, even out of what appeared to be the lour, on which account be the more earnestly most sorrowful condition: and to make him the longed for it, and desired some of it to eat. But cause of our forefathers’ departure out of Egypt; Jacob took advantage of his brother's hunger, him, I say, and his posterity. The occasion was and forced him to give up his birth-right: and he this: when Jacob had this son Joseph born to being pinched with famine, resigned it up to him, him by Rachel, his father loved him above the under an oath. Whence it came, that on account rest of his sons, both because of the beauty of his of the redness of the pottage, he was, in way of body, and the virtues of his mind; for he excelled jest, by his contemporaries called Adom; for the the rest in prudence. This affection of his father Hebrews call what is red, Adom; and this was excited the envy and the hatred of his brethren, as the name given to this country. But the Greeks did also his dreams which he related to his father gave it a more agreeable pronunciation, and and to them ; which foretold his future happiness; named it Idumea.
it being usual with mankind to envy their very He became the father of five sons, of whom nearest relation such prosperity. Now the visions Jaus, Jolomus, and Coreus, were by one wife, which Joseph saw in his sleep were these : whose name was Alibama ; but of the rest Aliphaz When they were in the middle of harvest, and was born to him by Ada, and Raguel by Basemath: Joseph was sent with his brethren to gather the and these were the sons of Esau. Aliphaz had fruits of the earth, he saw a vision in a dream, five legitimate sons; Theman, Homer, Sapphus, greatly exceeding the customary appearances that Gotham, and Kanaz: for Amalek was not legiti- come when we are asleep; which, when he got up, mate, but by a concubine, whose name was Tham- he told his brethren, that they might judge what it na. These dwelt in that part of Idumea which portended. He said, he saw the last night, that his was called Gebelatis, and that denominated from wheat-sheaf stood still
, in the place where he set it; Amalek, Amalekites; for Idumea was a large but that their sheafs ran to bow down to it, as sercountry, and preserved the name of the whole: vants bow down to their masters.* But as soon as while in its several parts it kept the names of its peculiar inhabitants.
* Gen. xxxvii. 7.
AND SUBSEQUENT GREATNESS. IN EGYPT.
they perceived the vision foretold that he should
CHAP. III. obtain power and great wealth, and that his power should be in opposition to them, they gave no inter
OF JOSEPH'S CRUEL TREATMENT BY HIS BRETHREN, HIS SLAVERY, pretation of it to Joseph; as if the dream were not understood by them. But they prayed that no part Now these brethren rejoiced as soon as they saw of what they suspected to be its meaning, might their brother coming to them; not, indeed, as at the come to pass: and their hatred against him was presence of a near relation, or even as one sent by augmented on that account.
their father ; but as at the presence of an enemy, But God, in opposition to their envy, sent a sec- and one that by divine providence was delivered into ond vision to Joseph, which was more wonderful their hands; and they already resolved to kill him, than the former; for it seemed to him that the sun and not let slip the opportunity that lay before them. took with him the moon, and the rest of the stars, But when Reubal, the eldest brother, saw them thus and came down to the earth, and bowed down to disposed, and that they had agreed together to exehim. He told this vision to his father, and that, as cute their purpose, he tried to restrain them ;t showsuspecting nothing of ill-will from his brethren, when ing them the heinous enterprise they were going they were there also; and desired him to interpret about, and the horrid nature of it; that this action what it should signify. Now Jacob was pleased would appear wicked in the sightof God, and impious with the dream ; for considering the prediction in his before men, even though they should kill one not mind, and shrewdly and wisely guessing at its mean- related to them; but more flagitious and detestable ing, he rejoiced at the great things thereby signified; to appear to have slain their own brother ; by which because it declared the future happiness of his son: act the father must be treated unjustly in the son's and that, by the blessing of God, the time should slaughter, and the motherf also be in perplexity while come when he should be honoured, and thought she laments that her son is taken away from her; worthy of worship by his parents and brethren; as and this not in a natural way. He therefore entreatguessing that the moon and sun were like his mother ed them to have a regard to their own consciences, and father—the former as she that gave increase and wisely to consider what mischief would befall and nourishment to all things; and the latter, he them upon the death of so good a child, and their that gave form and all other powers to them; and youngest brother; and they would also fear God, that the stars were like his brethren, since they were who was already both a spectator and a witness of eleven in number, as were the stars that receive their the designs they had against their brother; that he power from the sun and moon.
would love them if they abstained from this act, and And thus did Jacob make a shrewd judgment of yielded to repentance and amendment. But in case this vision; but these interpretations caused great they proceeded to do the fact, all sorts of punishgrief to Joseph's brethren ; and they were affected ments would ove
ments would overtake them from God; since they to him hereupon as if he were a stranger that was polluted his providence, which was everywhere presto have those good things which were signified by ent, and which did not overlook what was done either the dreams, and not as one that was a brother, with in deserts or in cities. For wherever a man is, there whom it was probable they should be joint partakers; ought he to suppose that God is also. He told them and as they had been partners in the same parent- farther, that their consciences would be their enemies age, so should they be of the same happiness. They if they attempted to go through so wicked an enteralso resolved to kill the lad: and having fully rati- prise; which they never can avoid, whether it be a fied that intention, as soon as their collection of the good conscience, or whether it be such a one as they fruits was over, they went to Shechem, which is a will have within them when once they have killed country good for feeding of cattle, and for pastur- their brother. He also added, that it was not a age; there they fed their flock, without acquainting righteous thing to kill a brother, though he had their father with their removal
. Jacob, therefore, injured them ; that it was a good thing to forget the had melancholy suspicions about them, as being actions of such near friends, even in things wherein ignorant of his sons condition; and receiving no they might seem to have offended; but that they messenger from the flocks that could inform him of were going to kill Joseph, who had been guilty of their true state, he sent Joseph to learn the circum- nothing that was ill towards them; in whose case stances his brethren were in, and to bring him word the infirmity of his tender years should rather prohow they did.
cure him mercy, and induce them to unite in the
* Gen. xxxvii. 9.
alive as well as his father, should come and bow down to him, Gen. xxxvii. 21.
Josephus represents her here as still alive, after she was dead, # We may here observe, that in correspondence to Joseph's for the decorum of the dream that foretold it, as the interpretasecond dream, which implied that his mother, who was then tion of that dream does also in all our copies, Gen. xxxvii.
care of his preservation. He likewise observed, him to the merchants for twenty pounds.* He was that the cause of killing him made the act itself now seventeen years old. But Reuben coming in much worse, while they determined to take him off the night-time to the pit, resolved to save Joseph out of envy at his future prosperity, an equal share without the privity of his brethren ; and when, upon of which they would naturally partake while he his calling to him, he made no answer, he was afraid enjoyed it; since they were to him not strangers, that they had destroyed him after he was gone; he but the nearest relations; for they might reckon accordingly complained to his brethren, but was upon what God bestowed upon Joseph as their own; pacified when they had told him what they had done. and that it was fit for them to believe, that the anger When Joseph's brethren had done thus to him, of God would for this cause be more severe upon they considered how they should escape the susthem, if they slew him who was judged by God to picions of their father. Now they had taken be worthy of that prosperity which was to be hoped away from Joseph the coat which he had on for; and while, by murdering him, they made it im- | when he came to them, at the time they let him possible for God to bestow it upon him.
down into the pit; so they thought proper to tear Reuben said these, and many other things, and that coat in pieces, and to dip it into goats' blood, likewise used entreaties to divert them from the mur- and then to carry it, and show it to their father, der of their brother: but when he saw that his dis- that he might believe he was destroyed by wild course had not mollified them at all, and that they beasts; and when they had so done, they came to prepared to do the fact, he advised them to alleviate the old man, but this not till what had happened the wickedness they were going about in a manner to his son had already come to his knowledge. of taking Joseph off; for, as he had exhorted them Then they said that they had not seen Joseph, first, when they were going to revenge themselves, nor knew what mishap had befallen him, but that to be dissuaded from doing it; so, since the sentence they had found his coat bloody, and torn to pieces, for killing their brother had prevailed, he said that whence they had a suspicion that he had fallen they would not be so grossly guilty, if they would among wild beasts, and so perished, if that were be persuaded to follow his present advice, which the coat he had on when he came from home. would include what they were so eager about, but Jacob had before some better hopes that his son was not so very bad, but, in the distress they were was only made a captive, but now he laid aside in, of a lighter nature. He begged of them, there that notion, and considered this coat as a suffifore, not to kill their brother with their own hands, cient proof of his death, for he well remembered but to cast him into the pit that was hard by, and that this was the coat he had on when he sent so to let him die, by which they would gain so much, him to his brethren. He therefore lamented the that they would not defile their own hands with his lad as now dead, and as if he had been the father blood. To this the young men readily agreed: so of no more than one, without taking any comfort Reuben took the lad, and tied him to a cord, and let in the rest; and so he was also affected with his him down gently into the pit, for it had no water in misfortune before he met with Joseph's brethren, it; and when he had done this, he went his way to when he also conjectured that Joseph was deseek for such pasturage as was proper for feeding stroyed by wild beasts. He sat down also clothed their flocks.
in sackcloth,t and in heavy affliction, insomuch But Judas, being one of Jacob's sons also, seeing that he found no ease when his sons comforted some Arabians, of the posterity of Ishmael, carry- him, neither was his sorrow assuaged by length ing spices and Syrian wares out of the land of Gil- of time. ead to the Egyptians, after Reuben was gone, advised his brethren to draw Joseph out of the pit, and
CHAP. IV. sell him to the Arabians; for if he should die among strangers, a great way off, they should be freed from this barbarous action. This, therefore, was resolved Now Potiphar, an Egyptian, who was chief on; so they drew Joseph up out of the pit, and sold cook to king Pharoah, bought Joseph of the mer
OF JOSEPH'S SIGNAL CONTINENCY.
* The LXXII. have 20 pieces of gold; the testament of Gad, as Jacob we find does the like, we may well
that it was 30; the Heb. and Samar. 20 of silver; the vulgar Latin, 30. a usual manner of expressing all grief and uneasiness of mind What was the true number and true sum, cannot therefore now in those days; and, by putting on sackcloth, (which Jacob is be known.
here the first precedent of doing, but was afterwards commonly † Jacob is represented by Moses not only as being clothed in used upon all mournful occasions,) he seemed to signify, that sackcloth, but as rending his clothes on this occasion. Rend. since he had lost his beloved son, he looked upon himself as ing the clothes was an eastern way of expressing either grief reduced to the meanest and lowest condition of life. Biblio. for calamity, or horror for sin. Reuben was the first we read theca Bibl. and Howell's History. B. of, who, to denote his exceeding sorrow, rent his clothes; and I Gen. xxxvii. 35.