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look upon yourself and God to be the sup- || give him her whom he loved. Jacob subporters of my travels, and think myself safe in mitted to this condition; for his love to the my present circumstances."
damsel did not permit him to do otherwise; Laban now promised to treat him with and when seven years more were expired, he great humanity, both on account of his an took Rachel to wife.* cestors, and particularly for the sake of his Now each of these had handmaids, by their mother; towards whom he said he would shew father's donation. Zilpha was handmaid to his kindness, even though she were absent, || Lea,
Lea, and Bilba to Rachel; by no means by taking care of him. For he assured him slaves,t but subject to their mistresses. Now he would make him the head shepherd of his Lea was sorely troubled at her husband's love flock, and gave him authority sufficient for to her sister; and she expected she should that purpose; and when he should be inclined be better esteemed if she bare him children. to return to his parents, he would send him She, therefore intreated God perpetually, and back with presents, and this in as honourable when she had borne a son, and her husband a manner as their consanguinity should re was on that account better reconciled to her, quire. Jacob heard these promises gladly; she named her son Reubel, because God had and said he would willingly undergo any sort had mercy upon her in giving her a son, for of pains while he tarried with him; but de that is the signification of this name. After sired as the reward of those pains that he some time she bare three more sons; Simeon, might be permitted to marry Rachel, who which name signifies that God had hearkened was not only on other accounts esteemed by to her prayer; Levi, the confirmer of their him; but also because she was the means of friendship; and Judah, which denotes thankshis coming to him; for he said he was forced giving But Rachel, fearing lest the fruitby the love of the damsel to make this pro fulness of her sister, should estrange Jacob's posal. Laban was pleased with this agree affection from herself, gave him her handmaid ment, and consented to give the damsel to Bilba, by whom Jacob had Dan: one may him, if he would stay with him some time; | interpret that name into the Greek tongue, a for he was not willing to send his daughter divine judgment; and after him Nephthalim, to be among the Canaanites; for he repented as it were unconquerable in stratagems; since of the alliance he had made already by mar Rachel tried to conquer the fruitfulness of her rying his sister there. And when Jacob had sister by this stratagem. Accordingly Lea given his consent to this, he agreed to serve took the same method, and used a counter his father-in-law seven years, that by giving stratagem to that of her sister's; for she gave a specimen of his virtue, it might be better Jacob her own handmaid Zilpha, by whom he known what sort of a man he was.
had a son, whose name was Gad, which may
be wedding feast, but when it was night, without which may be called a happy man, because Jacob's perceiving it, he put his other daugh he added glory to Lea. ter into bed to him; who was both elder than Now Reubel, the eldest son of Lea, brought Rachel, and of no comely countenance. Jacob apples of mandrakes to his mother. When slept with her that night; but when it was Rachel saw them, she desired that she would day he knew what had been done to him, and give her the apples, for she longed to eat complained of this unfair proceeding. Laban them; but when she refused, and bid her be asked pardon for that necessity which forced content that she had deprived her of the behim to do what he did; for he said he did not nevolence she ought to have had from her give him Lea out of any ill design, but as husband, Rachel, in order to mitigate her overcome by another greater necessity; that, sister's anger, said she would yield her husnotwithstanding this, nothing should hinder band to her that evening. She accepted of him from marrying Rachel; but that when he the favour, and Jacob slept with Lea, who had served another seven years he would bare then these sons; Issachar, denoting one * Gen. xxix. 28.
on both sides, and dismiss again after the time contracted † Here we have the difference between slaves for life, for is over, who are no slaves, but free men and free and servants, such as we now hire for a time agreed upon
born by hire; and Zebulon, one born as a kindness to me would be greater than before; pledge of benevolence towards her; and a but thou hast had no regard to either thy daughter, Dina. After some time Rachel had own mother's relation to me, nor to the affinity a son, named Joseph, which signified there more recently contracted between us, nor to should be another added to him.
those wives whom thou hast married; nor to Now Jacob fed the flocks of Laban all this those children of whom I am the grandfather: time, being twenty years,* after which he de thou hast treated me as an enemy, by driving sired permission to take his wives, and go away my cattle, and by persuading my daughhome; but when his father-in-law would not ters to run away from their father: and by give him leave, he contrived to do it secretly. carrying home those sacred paternal images He made trial, therefore, of the disposition which were worshipped by my forefathers, of his wives, what they thought of this jour and which have been honoured with worship ney. When they appeared glad, and ap by myself. In short, thou hast done this proved of it, Rachel took along with her the whilst thou wert my kinsman, and my sister's images of the gods, which, according to their son, and the husband of my daughters, and laws, they used to worship in their own coun wast hospitably treated by me, and didst eat try, and ran away, together with her sister. at my table.” Their children also, and their handmaids, and When Laban had said this, Jacob replied what possessions they had, went along with in his defence, that he was not the only perthem. Jacob also drove away half the cattle, son in whom God had implanted the love of without letting Laban know of it beforehand : his native country, but that he had made it but the reason why Rachel took the images of natural to all men; and, therefore, it was but the gods, although Jacob had taught her to reasonable that, after so long time, he should despise such worship, was this, that in case go back to it. 6 But as to the prey,” said they were pursued and taken by her father, || he,“ of whose driving away thou accusest she might have recourse to these images, in me, if any other person were the arbitrator, order to obtain his pardon.
thou wouldst be found in the wrong, for inLaban, after one day, being acquainted stead of those thanks I ought to have had with Jacob's and his daughters' departure, from thee, for both keeping thy cattle, and was much troubled, and pursued after them, increasing them, how is it that thou art unleading a band of men with him; and on the || justly angry because I have taken a small seventh day overtook them, and found them portion of them; but then, as to thy daughresting on a certain hill; but he did not then ters, it is not through any evil practices of meddle with them, for it was even-tide. God mine that they follow me in my return home, stood by him in a dream the same night, and but from that just affection which wives nawarned him to receive his son-in-law and his turally have for their husbands; they follow, daughters in a peaceable manner, and not to therefore, not so properly myself, as their venture upon any thing rashly, or in wrath to own children.” Thus far his apology was them, but to make a league with Jacob; as made in order to clear himself from the suring him that if he despised their small charge of injustice; to which he added his number, and attacked them in an hostile man own complaint and accusation of Laban, sayner, he would himself assist them.
ing, “While I was thy sister's son, and thou Laban having been thus forewarned by hadst given me thy daughters in marriage, God, called Jacob to him the next day, in thou hast worn me out with thy harsh comorder to treat with him, and shewed him what mands, and detained me twenty years under dream he had; in dependence whereon he them; that, indeed, which was required in came confidently to him, and began to accuse order to my marrying thy daughters, hard as him, alledging that he had entertained him it was, I own to have been tolerable: but as when he was poor, and in want, and had to those that were put upon me after those given him plenty of all things which he had; || marriages, they were worse, and such indeed, só For," said he, “ I have joined my daughters as an enemy would have avoided.” For certo thee in marriage, and supposed that thy | tainly Laban had used Jacob very ill; for * From about an, 1801 to 1714 B. C.
when he saw that God was assisting to Jacob
in all that he desired, he promised him, that appeared to him, and suggested to him good of the young cattle which should be born, he hope of his future condition; and that place should have sometimes what was of a white he named the Camp of God; and being decolour, and sometimes what should be of a sirous of knowing his brother's intentions, he black colour; but when those that came to sent messengers to give him an exact account Jacob's share proved numerous, he did not of every thing, being afraid, on account of keep his faith with him, but said he would the enmity between them. He charged those give them to him the next year, because of that were sent, to say to Esau, that “ Jacob his envying him the multitude of his posses had thought it wrong to live together with sions. He promised him as before, because him, while he was incensed against him, and he thought such an increase was not to be ex so had gone out of the country; but now, pected: but when it appeared to be the fact, thinking the time of his absence must have he again deceived him.
made up their differences, was returning; that But with regard to the sacred images, he brought with him his wives and his chilJacob bid them search for them; and when dren, with what possessions he had gotten, Laban accepted of the offer, Rachel being and delivered himself
, with what was most informed of it, put those images in that camel's dear to him, into his hands; and should think saddle on which she rode, and sat upon it; it his greatest happiness to partake, together and by a well-timed excuse* evaded the ne with his brother, of what God had bestowed cessity of rising up; so Laban left off searching any farther, not supposing that his daugh When this message was delivered, Esau ter would conceal his images. He then made was very glad, and met his brother with four a league with Jacob, that he would not bear hundred men: but when Jacob heard that he him any malice on account of what had hap was coming to meet him with such a number, pened; and Jacob made the like league, and he was greatly afraid. However, he compromised to love Laban's daughters; and mitted his hope of deliverance to God: and these leagues they confirmed with oaths upon considered how in his present circumstances certain mountains, whereon they erected a he might preserve himself, and those that pillar, in the form of an altar; whence that were with him, and overcome his enemies, hill is called Gilead, and from thence they if they attacked him injuriously. He therecall that land the Land of Gilead at this day. fore distributed his company into parts; some Now when they had feasted,† after making he sent before the rest.|| and the others he the league, Laban returned home.I
ordered to come elose behind: that if the
first were overpowered, when his brother atCHAP. XX.
tacked them they might have those that fol
lowed as the refuge to flee unto; and when OF JACOB'S INTERVIEW WITH HIS BROTHER ESAU. he had put his company in this order, he sent
some of them to his brother, with presents TOW as Jacob was proceeding on his of cattle, and a great number of four-footed
journey to the land of Canaan, angels beasts of many kinds, such as would be very * Gen. xxxi. 35.
me, and applied himself to draw together stones into an † Gen. xxxi. 55.
heap, to build himself a new seat." This management | This league appears to have been made with peculiar might be owing to various causes. The extreme heat of circumstances: especially with the singular rite of making the ground might render sitting there disagreeable.
The an heap of stones, and eating upon it, and setting up one same inconvenience might arise also from its wetness. It stone for a pillar. Gen. xxxi. 45, 46. Niebuhr, relating was certainly a very common practice; and, as it appears his audience with the rinam of Yemen, says, “ I had gone from the instance of Jacob, a very ancient one. Harincr's from my lodgings indisposed, and by standing so long found Observations, Vol. iii. p, 215. 6. myself so faint, that I was obliged to ask permission to quit || Jacob appears to have been very cautious in conductthe room. I found near the door some of the principal ing both his family and his flocks in their journey. He officers of the court, who were sitting in a scattered man was particularly desirous of preserving them. They would ner, in the shade, upon stones, by the side of the wall. have been exposed to great danger by haste. Prepared Among them was the Nakit, (the general, or rather master as the Arabs are for speedy flight, a quick motion is very of the horse,) Cheir Allah, with whom I had some ac destructive to the young of their focks. Charlin says, waintance before. He immediately resigned his place to - Their flocks feed down the places of their encamment