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them a burying-place, which piece of ground | phran, the country of Africa took its name; Abraham bought, for four hundred shekels, because these men were auxiliaries to Herof Ephron, an inhabitant of Hebron: and cules, when he fought against Libya and both Abraham and his descendants built Antæus; and that Hercules married Aphıra's themselves sepulchres in that place. daughter, and of her begat a son Diodorus;

and that Sophon was his son, from whom the CHAP. XV.

barbarous people called Sophacians were denominated.”





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BRAHAM after this married Keturah,

whom six sons were born to him, men of courage, and of sagacious minds. Zambran, and Jazar, and Madan, and Madian, and Josabak and Sous. Now the sons of Sous were Sabathan and Dadan. The sons of Dadan were Latusim, Assur, and Luom. The sons of Madian were Ephas, Ophren, Anoch, Ebidas, and Eldas. Now Abraham contrived to settle all these sons and grandsons in colonies, and they took possession of Troglodytis, and the country of Arabia the Happy, as far as it reaches to the Red Sea. It is related of Ophren, that he made war against Lybia, and took it; and that his grandchildren, when they inhabited it, called it from his name Africa: and indeed Alexander Polyhistor gives his attestation to what I here say when he speaks thus: “ Cleodemus, the prophet, who was also called Malchus, who wrote a history of the Jews in agreement with the history of Moses, their legislator, relates that there were many sons born to Abraham by Keturah. He even names three of them. Apher and Surim, and Japhran: that from Surim was the land of Assyria denominated; and that from the other two, Apher and Ja

TOW when Abraham, the father of Isaac,

had resolved to take Rebeka, who was grand-daughter to his brother Nahor, for a wife to his son Isaac, who was then about forty* years old, he sent the eldest of his servants to betroth her; after he had obliged him to give him the strongest assurances of his fidelity, after the following manner. They put each other's hands under each other's thighs, and called upon God as the witness of what was to be done. He also sent such presents to those that were there as were in esteem, on account that they either rarely, or never were seen in that country. This servant got thither not under a considerable time; for it requires much time to pass through Mesopotamia, in which it is tedious travelling both in winter, for the depth of the clay, and in summer, for want of water; and besides this, for the robberies there committed, which are not to be avoided by travellers, but by the utmost caution. However, the servant came to Haran; and when he was in the suburbs, he met a considerable number of maidens going to the water:| be therefore Læstrygonians. (Od. vii. 20. et x. 105.) Dr. Shax', speaking of the occupation of the Moorish women in Barbary, says, “ to finish the day, at the time of the evening, even at the time that the women go out to draw water, they are still to fit themselves with a pitcher or goat-skin, and tying their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water." Travels,

p. 421.

* An. 1897.

† The present mode of swearing among the Mohammedan Arabs, that live in tents as the patriarchs did, according to de la Roque, (Voy, dans la Pal. p. 152.) is by laying their hands on the Koran. They cause those who swear to wash their hands before they give them the book; they put their left hand underneath, and the right over it. Whether, among the patriarchs one hand was under, and the other upon the thigh, is not certain ; possibly Abraham's servant might swear with one hand under his master's thigh, and the other stretched out to Heaven. As the posterity of the patriarchs are described as coming out of the thigh, it has been supposed, this ceremony had some relation to their believing the promise of God, to bless all the nations of the earth, by means of one that was to descend from Abraham. B.

HARMER, vol. iv. p. 477. | Homer mentions the same custom of women's being employed in drawing water among the Phæcians and

The same custom prevailed in ancient Greece. Homer represents Minerva meeting Ulysses as the sun was going down, under the form of a Phæcian virgin carrying a pitcher of water, that being the time when the maidens went out to draw water.

When near the fam’d Phæcian wall he drew,
The beauteous city op'ning to his view,
His step a virgin met, and stood before;
A polish'd urn the seeming virgin bore.

Odyss. b. vii. 25. Pope.


prayed to God that Rebeka might be found and, together with my mother, takes care of among them, or her whom Abraham sent him all our family affairs, and is my guardian.'' as his servant to espouse to his son, in case

When the servant heard this, he was very his will were that this marriage should be glad at what had happened, and at what was consummated; and that she might be made told him, as perceiving that God had thus known to him by this sign, that while others plainly directed his journey; and producing denied him water to drink, she might give it his bracelets,* and some other ornaments him.

which it was esteemed decent for virgins to With this intention he went to the well, wear, he gave them to the damsel, by way of and desired the maidens to give him some acknowledgment, and as a reward for her water to drink: but while the others refused, kindness in giving him water to drink, sayon pretence that they wanted it all at home, ing, it was but just that she should have them, and could spare none for him, one only of the because she was so much more obliging than company rebuked them for their peevish be any of the rest. She desired also that he haviour towards the stranger, and said, would come and lodge with them since the “ What is there that you will ever communi approach of the night gave him not time to cate to any body, who have not so much as proceed farther. Then producing his pregiven the man some water?” She then offered cious ornaments for women, he said, he dehim water in an obliging manner, and he be sired to trust them to none more safely, than gan to hope that this grand affair would suc to such as she had shewed herself to be; and ceed; but desiring still to know the truth, he that he believed he might guess at the hucommended her for her generosity and good manity of her mother and brother, that they nature, that she did not scruple to afford a would not be displeased from the virtue he sufficiency of water to those who wanted it, found in her, for he would not be burthenthough it cost her some pains to draw it. He some, but would pay the hire for his enterthen asked her who were her parents, and tainment, and spend his own money: to wished them joy of such a daughter; 6 and which she replied, that he guessed rightly as mayest thou be espoused,” said he, “ to their to the humanity of her parents, but comsatisfaction, into the family of an agreeable plained that he should think them so parhusband, and bring him legitimate children.” simonious as to take money, for that he Nor did she disdain to satisfy his enquiries should have all his wants supplied freely; but told him her family. They call me Re but she said, she would first inform her brobeka,” said she: “ my father was Bethuel, ther Laban, and if he gave her leave, she but he is dead; and Laban is my brother, would conduct him in. See also Odyss. lib. x. 105.

Orientals are not subject to much variation, so we find A similar custom prevailed also in Armenia, as may be that this propensity to golden ornaments, prevails even in seen in Xenophon's Anabasis, b. iv. B.

the present age, among the females in the countries bor* The weight of the ornaments put upon Rebeka ap dering on Judea. Thus Mungo Park, in the account of pears extraordinary. But Chardin assures us, that even his travels in Africa, mentions the following singular cirheavier were worn by the women of the East when he cumstance, respecting the ornamental part of the dress of was there. He says that the women wear rings and an African lady. " It is evident from the account of the bracelets of as great weight as this, and even heavier, process by which negroes obtain gold in Manding, that the through all Asia. They are rather manacles than brace country contains a considerable portion of this precious lets. There are some as large as the finger. The women metal. A great part is converted into ornaments for the wear several of them, one above the other, in such a women : and, when a lady of consequence is in full dress, manner as sometimes to have the arm covered with them the gold about her person may be worth, altogether, from from the wrist to the elbow. Poor people wear as many fifty to eighty pounds sterling.” of glass or horn. They hardly ever take them off. They We find also that the same disposition for rich ornaare their riches. Harmer's Observations, vol. i. p. 500. mental apparel prevailed in the times of the Apostles ; for

Among the several female ornaments which Abraham St. Peter cautioned the females of quality in the first ages sent by his servant, whom he employed to search out a of Christianity, when they adorned themselves, not to wife for his son Isaac, were jewels of silver and jewels of have it consist, in the outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, gold, exclusive of raiment, which probably was very rich and of wearing gold, or of putting on apparel. 1 Pet. iii. and valuable for the age in which Abraham lived. Rich 3. See also Psalm xlv. 9, 13. Upon thy right hand did and splendid apparel, especially such as was adorned with stand the queen in gold of Ophir.-Her clothing is of wrougha gold, was very general in the eastern nations, from the earliest ages : and as the fashions and customs of the

gold. B.


As soon as this was done, the servants of Laban brought the camels in, and took care of them, and the stranger was himself brought



said to him, and to the mother of the damsel, A died; he was a man of incomparable


addressing himself to her, Abraham is the son of Terah, and a kinsman of yours: for Nahor,

virtue, and honoured by God in a manner the grandfather of these children, was the

agreeable to his piety towards him. The

whole time of his life was one hundred and brother of Abraham, by both father and mother, upon which account he hath sent me

seventy-five years,|| and he was buried in

Hebron with his wife Sarah, by their sons to you, being desirous to take this damsel for

Isaac and Ismael. his son to wife. He is his legitimate son, and is brought up as his only heir. He could indeed have had the most happy of all the

CHAP. XVIII. women in that country for him, but he would not have his own son marry any of them out of regard to his own relations. I would not, therefore, have you despise his affection; for TSAAC's wife proved with child,g after the it was by the good pleasure of God that other death of Abraham; and when she was accidents fell out in my journey, and that

far advanced in her pregnancy, Isaac was thereby I met with your daughter and your very anxious, and inquired of God; who anhouse; for when I was come near your city, I swered, that Rebeka should bear twins, and saw a great many maidens coming to a well, that two nations should take the names of and I prayed that I might meet with this those sons : and that he who appeared the damsel, which has come to pass accordingly. | second, should excel the elder. ** Accordingly Do you therefore confirm that marriage, she in a little time, as God foretold, gave whose espousals have been already made by birth to twins; the elder of whom, from his a divine appearance, and shew the respect head to his feet was very rough and hairy; you have for Abraham, who has sent me with but the younger took hold of his heel as they so much solicitude, in giving your consent to

were in the birth. Now the father loved the the marriage of this damsel."

elder, who was called Esau: a name agreeable Upon this they understood it to be the to his roughness, for the Hebrews call such an will of God, and greatly approved of the hairy roughness Esautt for Seir; but Jacob offer, and sent their daughter,* as was de the younger was best beloved by his mother. sired.f Accordingly Isaac married her, the When there was a famine in the land, Isaac inheritance being now come to him: for the resolved to go into Egypt, the land there children of Keturah were gone to their own being good; but he went to Gerar, as God remote habitations.

commanded him. Here Abimelech, the king

* Gen. xxiv. 59.

† When Rebeka was sent away, it appears that her nurse accompanied her. Nurses were formerly held in very high esteem, and considered as being entitled to constant and lasting regard. “ The nurse in an Eastern family is always an important personage. Modern travellers inform us, that in Syria she is considered as a sort of second parent, whether she has been foster-mother or otherwise. She always accompanies the bride to her husband's house, and ever remains there an honoured character. Thus it was in ancient Greece.” Siege of Acre, b. ii. p. 35. Note.

Rebeka upon leaving her family received their blessing. Nuptial benedictions were used both by the Jews, Greeks, and Romans. That of the Jews was in this form : “ Blessed be thou, O Lord, who hast created man and woman, and ordained marriage, &c.” This was repeated every day during the wedding week, provided

there were

new guests. The Grecian form of benediction was, αραδη τυχη. The Latin was, Quod faustum felixque sit.

The Jews constantly made use of the same form, but the Greeks and Romans frequently varied theirs : a benediction, however, in some form, was always used. See Selden de Jure, N. et G. 1. 5. c. 19. B

I An. 1862. i Gen. xxv. 7. § The birth of Jacob and Esau is here said to be after Abraham's death ; it should have been after Sarah's death. The chronology here certainly shews the other to be a mistake. The order of the narration in Genesis, not always exactly according to the order of time, seems to have led Josephus into it, as Dr. Bernard observes here.

** Gen. xxv, 23.

ff For Seir, in Josephus, the coherence requires that we read Esau or Seir ; which signifies the same thing.

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