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God to Jacob, and that without the consent came in from hunting; and when Isaac perof Isaac, bade him kill kids of the goats, and ceived his mistake, he was silent. Esau prepare a supper. Jacob obeyed his mother, earnestly requested that he might be made according to all her instructions, and when partaker of the blessing which his brother the supper was ready, he took a goat's skin, had received, but his father refused, because and put it about his arm, that by reason of all his prayers had been spent upon Jacob. its hairy roughness, his father might believe So Esau lamented the mistake; however, his him to be Esau ; for they being twins, and father being grieved at his weeping, said, in all things else alike, differed only in this that “ He should excel in hunting, in arms, thing. This was done out of his fear, that in strength of body; and should obtain glory before Isaac had made his supplications, he for ever on those accounts, he and his posshould be caught in his evil practice, and
terity after him; but still should serve his thereby provoke his father to curse him. So brother." he brought in the supper to his father. Isaac Now the mother delivered Jacob, when he perceiving, by the peculiarity of his voice, was afraid that his brother would inflict some who he was, called his son to him; who gave punishment upon him because of the mistake him his hand, which was covered with the about the prayers of Isaac: for she persuaded goat's skin. When Isaac felt that, he said, her husband to take a wife for Jacob out of * Thy voice is like the voice of Jacob; yet Mesopotamia,* of her own kindred. Esau because of the thickness of thy hair, thou having already married Basemmath, the seemest to be Esau.” So suspecting no deceit, daughter of Ishmael, without his father's conhe ate the
prayers sent: for Isaac, not liking the Canaanites, disand intercession to God, and said, “0 Lord approved of Esau's former marriage, which of all ages, and creator of all substance, it made him take Basemmath to wife, in order was thou that didst propose to my father to please him; and indeed he had a great great plenty of good things, and hast vouch affection for her. safed to bestow on me what I have; and hast promised to my posterity to be their kind
CHAP. XIX. supporter, and to bestow on them still greater blessings. Do thou therefore confirm these
OF JACOB'S FLIGHT INTO MESOPOTAMIA. thy promises, and do not overlook me because of my present weak condition, on account of TOW Jacob was sent by his mother into which I more earnestly pray to thee. Be Mesopotamia, in order to marry her gracious to this my son, preserve him, and brother Laban's daughter, (which marriage keep him from every thing that is evil. Give was permitted by Isaac, on account of his him a happy life, and the possession of as obsequiousness to the desires of his wife,) many good things as thy power is able to be and he accordingly journeyed through the stow. Make him terrible to his enemies, and land of Canaan; and because he hated the honourable and beloved among his friends.” | people of that country, he would not lodge
Thus did Isaac pray to God, thinking his with any of them, but took up his lodging in prayers had been made for Esau. He had the open air, and laid his head on a heap of but just finished them, however, when Esau stones that he had gathered together.f Havof his younger son, Jacob; as Josephus supposes, II. 7. as if the bare relation of what we should esteem the I certainly cannot say. If so, this might tempt Rebeka,
faults and blemishes of the patriarchs, and other very to contrive, and Jacob to practise, this imposition upon good men in the scripture, implied a justification of them. him. However, Josephus says here, that it was Isaac, The scripture affords us faithful accounts of the great and not Rebeka, who inquired of God at first, and re men with whom it is concerned ; and relates their vices ceived the forementioned oracle ; which, if it be the true and follies as impartially as their good and wise actions ; reading, renders Isaac's procedure the more inexcusable. yet it does not always characterize those actions, but freNor was it probable that any thing else, so much encou quently leaves them to the readers own judgment and taged Esau formerly to marry two Canaanitish wives, censure; to their imitation of the good, and avoidance of without his parents' consent, as Isaac's unhappy fondness the bad. for him.
* Gen. xxvii. 46. N. B. Upon this occasion it may be necessary to cau † Gen, xxviii. 11. tion the reader against a common prejudice of the moderns;
ing fallen asleep, he dreamed that he saw a marriage thou goest so zealously about shall ladder which reached from the earth unto be consummated. And thou shalt have chilheaven, and persons descending down the dren of good characters; whose multitude shall ladder that seemed more excellent than be innumerable. And they shall leave what human; and at last God himself stood above they have to a still more numerous posterity; it, and calling him by his name, said, “ O to whom, and to whose posterity, I give the Jacob, it is not fit for thee, who art the son of dominion of all the land, and their posterity a good father, and grandson to one who had shall fill the earth, so far as the sun beholds obtained a great reputation for his eminent them. But do not thou fear any danger, nor virtue, to be dejected at thy present circum be afraid of the many labours thou must stances, but to hope for better times. For undergo, for by my providence I will direct thou shalt have great abundance of all good thee what thou art to do in the time present, things, by my assistance. For I brought Abra and still more in the time to come.' ham hither, out of Mesopotamia, when he Such were the predictions which God made was driven away by his kinsmen; and I made to Jacob. Whereupon he became very joythy father a happy man. Nor will I bestow ful at what he had seen and heard; and he an inferior degree of happiness on thyself. || poured oil
poured oil upon the stones,* because on them Be of good courage, therefore; and under the prediction of such great benefits was my conduct, proceed on thy journey; for the made. He also vowed a vow that he would
* One of the idols in the Pagoda of Jaggernaut is de of the world, as we learn from Major Symes's narrative of scribed, by Captain Hamilton, as a huge black stone, of a his Embassy to the kingdom of Ava. The temples of that pyramidical form, and the Sammona Codom of the Siamese people, vast as many of them are, are built without cavity is of the same complexion. The Ayeen Akbery mentions an of any sort, and he only mentions some of the most ancient octagonal pillar of black stone fifty cubits high. Tavernier of those at Pagahm as constructed otherwise. The folobserved an idol of black stone in the Pagoda of Benares, lowing extract will sufficiently illustrate this matter : and that the statue of Chreeshna, in his celebrated tem • The object in Pegu that most attracts, and most ple of Mathura, is of black marble. It is very remarkable, merits notice, is the noble edifice of Shoemadoo, or the that one of the principal ceremonies incumbent upon the golden supreme. This is a pyramidical building, composed priests of these stone deities, according to Tavernier, is to of brick and mortar, without excavation or aperture of anoint them daily with odoriferous oils : a circumstance any sort : octagonal at the base, and spiral at the top. which immediately brings to our remembrance the similar Each side of the base measures one hundred and sixtypractice of Jacob, who, after the famous vision of the ce two feet. The extreme height of the edifice, from the lestial ladder, took the stone which he had put for his pillow, level of the country, is three hundred and sixty-one feet, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. and above the interior terrace three hundred and thirtyIt is added, that he called the name of that place, Bethel ; one feet. Along the whole extent of the northern face of that is, the house of God. This passage evinces of how the upper terrace there is a wooden shed for the congreat antiquity is the custom of considering stones in a venience of devotees, who come from a distant part of the sacred light, as well as the anointing them with consecrated country. There are several low benches near the foot of oil. From this conduct of Jacob, and this Hebrew appel the temple, on which the person, who comes to pray, lative, the learned Bochart, with great ingenuity and places his offering, commonly consisting of boiled rice, a reason, insists that the name and veneration of the sacred plate of sweetmeats, or cocoa-nuts fried in oil; when it is stones, called Baetyti, so celebrated in all pagan antiquity, given, the devotee cares not what becomes of it; the were derived. These Baetyti were stones of a round crows and wild dogs often devour it in the presence of the form; they were supposed to be animated by means of donor, who never attempts to disturh the animals. magical incantations, with a portion of the Deity; they several plates of victuals disposed of in this manner, and were consulted on occasions of great and pressing emer understood it was the case with all that was brought. gency, as a kind of divine oracles, and were suspended, " The temple of Shoedagan, about two miles and a half either round the neck, or some other part of the body. north of Rangoon, is a very grand building, although not so Thus the setting up of a stone by this holy person, in high, by twenty-five or thirty feet, as that of Shoemadoo, grateful memory of the celestial vision, probably became at Pegu. The terrace on which it stands is raised on a the occasion of the idolatry in succeeding ages, to these rocky eminence, considerably higher than the circumjacent shapeless masses of unhewn stone, of which so many country, and is ascended by above a hundred stone steps. astonishing remains are scattered up and down the Asiatic The name of this temple, which signifies Golden Dagon, and the European world. MAURICE's Indian Antiquities, naturally recalls to mind the passage in the scriptures, vol. ii. p. 355.
where the house of Dagon is mentioned, and the image of Jacob calls the pillar which he had set up, God's house. idolatry bows down before the Holy Ark.” It appears strange to us to hear a stone pillar called God's Many of the most ancient temples at Pagahm are not house, being accustomed to give names of this kind to such solid at the bottom: a well arched dome supports a popbuildings only as are capable of containing their worship derous superstructure ; and, within, an image of Gaudona pers within them. But this is not the case in every part sits enshrined.” B.
offer sacrifice upon them, if he lived and re cement of mutual kindred which we bear to
between us." At the mention of Re-
assistance he wanted. Then Jacob gave him Jacob was quite overcome, not so much by an account of the whole occasion of his jourtheir kindred, nor by that affection which ney, and told him that Isaac had twin sons, might arise thence, as by his love to the himself and Esau; and that his brother haydamsel, and his surprise at her beauty, which ing failed of his father's prayers, which by was such as few of the women of that age his mother's wisdom were put up for him, could vie with. He then said, “There is a sought to kill him; as deprived of the kingrelation between thee and me, elder than dom* which was to be given him of God; either of our births, if thou be the daughter and of the blessings for which their father of Laban. For Abraham was the son of prayed; and that this was the occasion of his Terah, as well as Haran and Nahor. Of the coming hither, as his mother had commanded last of whom, Nahor, Bethuel thy grandfather him. “ For,” said he, 6 we are all brethren was the son: Isaac my father was the son of one to another; but our mother esteems an Abraham and of Sarah, who was the daughter alliance with your family more than she does of Haran. But there is a nearer and later one with the families of the country; so I
* By this deprivation of the kingdom that was to be Messiah ; who, therefore, was to be born of his posterity given Esau of God, as the first-born ; it appears that Jose whom Isaac should so bless. Jacob, therefore, by obphus thought a kingdom to be derived of God was due to taining this blessing of the first-born, became the genuine him whom Isaac should bless as his first-born : which I heir of that kingdom, in opposition to Esau. take to be that kingdom which was expected under the