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A. M. 2108. A. C. 1896; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3358. A, C. 2053. GEN. CH. xx-xxv. 11. To that purpose, taking his son Isaac with him, and declaring a satisfaction in this last test of his obedience. some servants, with provisions and instruments proper Surprised at the voice, Abraham turns about to see for the sacrifice, he sets out; and a in three days' time, whence it came, and spies a ram caught by the horns in came within sight of 6 mount Moriah, the place which a thick bush, which he immediately took, and offered God had appointed for that dreadful scene. Here, up for a burnt-offering instead of his son; and, in leaving his servants behind, that they might not disturb memory of the whole transaction, called the place where him with their intercessions or lamentations, he goes up it was done Jehovah-jireh, in allusion to the ansiver to the mount without betraying any sign of grief or con- which he gave to his son's question, God will provide cern that might raise a suspicion in his son. His son, himself a lamb.' on the other hand, laden with the wood, and the other Thus having performed an act of such perfect and materials for a burnt-offering, but perceiving nothing heroic obedience as engaged God to renew his promise proper for a victim, could not forbear asking his father, with great amplifications, and to confirm it to him with where it was? Such a question, at such a time, was an oath, he went and rejoined his servants; and returnenough to have staggered any heart less firm than ing to Beersheba, was no sooner arrived, but he was Abraham's, who only answered calmly, “That God would welcomed with the joyful news of the increase of his provide himself with one, little thinking how propheti- family, namely, that Milcah, his brother Nahor's wife, cally he spake: for he had no sooner bound his son had born him a numerous issue, which s determined him, upon the wood, and stretched out his hand to give the at a proper time, to send thither for a wife for his son fatal blow, d but God was pleased to stop him short by Isaac; but h before he did that, it happened that his own a voice from heaven, forbidding him . to do it, e and wife Sarah died, in the 127th year of her age, at Kira The better to explain how Abraham came to know the place
jatharba, afterwards called Hebron, in the country of
Canaan. which God had appointed, the Jews have a tradition, that when God bade him go thither, and offer his son, he asked how he i Abraham was then probably at Beersheba ; but being should know it? To which the answer was, that wheresoever he informed of her death, he came to Hebron, there to should see the glory of the Lord, that should be the place; and mourn, and perform his last offices for her ; but what he that accordingly, when he came within sight of mount Moriah, he beheld a pillar of fire, reaching from the earth to the heavens, wanted was a convenient burying-place. He therefore whereby he knew that that was the place— Hottingeri Historia addressed himself to the people, assembled in a body; at Orient. p. 36.
6 This mountain whereon Abraham was ordered to offer his hand, and spare thy son, for I did not require it of thee, out of son Isaac, was certainly the same on which the temple was after- any delight I take in human blood, or that I would make a father wards built by Solomon, and on part of which, namely, mount the assassin of the very child which I myself have given him; Calvary, Christ did afterwards actually offer himself unto God for but to see how far thou wouldst submit to thy God in a self-denial the redemption of mankind; which offering of his, as it seems to thine own inclination and nature: but now, since I find thy to have been designedly prefigured by the intentional offering of piety to be proof against all temptations, I do here confirm over Isaac, so it might seem good to Divine reason to assign the same again to thee all my former promises,” &c.-Joseph. Antiq. b. for the typical offering of Isaac, where in due time, the Antitype, 1. c. 14. our Redeemer, was to be offered. But instead of Moriah, the f The children of Nahor hy Milcah were Huz, Buz, Kemuel, Samaritans read Moreh, and pretend that God sent Abraham Chezed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel, who begat Retowards Sechem, where certainly was Moreh (Gen. xii, 6; and becca, the wife of Isaac; and by his concubine, whose name was Deut. xi. 30.); and that it was upon mount Gerizim that Isaac Reumah, he had Tebah, Gaham, Thahash, and Maachah, from was brought in order to be sacrificed. But this, in all probability, whom the city of Maachah, or Abel-Beth-Maachah, whose terriis no more than a contrivance to enhance the glory of their tories are supposed to have been situate between the two Lebatemple.- Wells' Geography; and Calmet's History.
nons, might probably receive its name, Gen, xxii. 20, &c. c The words of God are, · Lay not thy hand on the child, g Nahor very probably either removed with his father Terali, neither do thou anything unto him,' Gen. xxii. 12; and yet in as Abraham did, from Úr in Chaldea, and settled at Haran in Heb. xi, 17, we are told, that Abraham offered up Isaac when Mesopotamia, or not long after followed them thither; because, he was tried.' But this is easily reconciled, if we do but remem- after that the family left Ur, the first news that we hear of him ber that God always takes that for done (whether in the commis. is, that he was settled at Haran, and there had got a numerous sion of sin, or performance of duty) where there is a will and family; and it is upon the account of his brother's residing there, intention to do it, supposing the person to have an opportunity.- as well as that himself had once lived there, that Abraham calls Street's dividing the Hoof.
it his own country,' and the place where his kindred dwelt,' d Gen. xxii. 9. And bound Isaac his son. Both his hands Gen. xxiv. 4. and his feet, as it is explained in R. Elieser, c. 31. When h Some of the Arabian writers tell us, that when Sarah heard the Gentiles offered human sacrifices, they tied both their hands that Abraham had taken her only son unto the mountain, to behind their backs.Ovid. 1. 3. De Pont. Eleg. 2. Patrick, in sacrifice to God, she fell into a very great agony, which brought locum.--Ep.
on a fit of sickness whereof she died. Eutychii Annales, p. 74. e The words in the beginning of the chapter are, 'that God Josephus, indeed, informs us that she died soon after this event ; tempted Abraham,' bidding him to go and sacrifice his son; but but if (as he says) Isaac was five and twenty years old when his in ver. 11. it is said, that the angel of the Lord forbade him to father would have sacrificed him, Sarah was ninety years old do it: from whence some may infer, that Abraham obeyed the when she bore him, and 127 when she died, she must (accorangel, who bade him spare his son, against the command of God, ding to his own calculation) have lived eleven or twelve years who bade him slay him. But to solve this difficulty, (if it be after it, and this our learned Usher makes the difference betwert thought any,) we must observe, that whenever the Holy Scrip- his sacrifice and her death.-Calmet's Dictionary. tures tell us, that God said any thing, or that an angel spake, i There is something of obscurity in this passage of the history. we are always to understand both of them to have been present; Sarah is said to have died at Hebron; and yet we have no notice for the angels ever attend upon the Divine Majesty, and, being of Abraham removing from Beersheba to that place; so thal, his ministers, do nothing but by his order: so that when he is upon some occasion or other, we must suppose them to have been said to speak, it is by them; and when they are said to speak, it parted, and that Sarah went to Hebron, while Abraham kept still is from him. It is the Lord, therefore, that speaks, whosoever in his own habitation : for to say that Abraham came from bis be the minister.- Patrick's Commentary. And the speech own tent to that of his wife, to make lamentation for her, is not which God makes to Abraham, upon this weighty occasion, the consistent with the sequel of the text. Jewish historian comments upon in this manner: “ Hold thy j The gates of the cities in these days, and for many ages after,
A. M. 2108. A. C. 1996; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3383. A. C. 2028. GEN. CH. XX-XXV. 11. the gate of the city, entreating them to allow him the By this time Abraham was well advanced in years ; liberty of burying his wife among them ; for as he was a and being desirous to see his son Isaac married, and stranger in the country, and had no land then of his own, settled in the world before he died, he called Eliezer, the he could pretend to no right of giving honourable inter- steward of his household, and f having taking an oath of ment to his dead in the sepulchres of the country, without him & (in case he died first) to procure his son a wife of the consent of the proprietors. He therefore desired his own kindred, h and not of the Canaanites, he sent Ephron, one of the principal inhabitants, to sell him the him into Mesopotamia, with full instructions and authofield called Machpelah, with the cave and sepulchre rity to conclude the marriage, and with a train suitable belonging to it. The purchase was made before all the to such an embassy. people of Hebron, at the price of 400 shekels of silver, Eliezer, in coming to Haran, the place where his masthat is, about sixty pounds sterling ;d and there he ter's relations dwelt, stopped at the public well (whither buried Sarah, after that he had mourned for her,e accord- it was customary for the young women of the place to ing to the custom of the country.
come every morning and evening for water) to rest, and
refresh his camels; i and being pensive and solicitous were the places of judicature, and common resort. Here the how to perform his message to his master's satisfaction, governors and elders of the city met to hear complaints, admi- much as read the book of the law, or say their usual prayers. nister justice, and make conveyances of titles and estates, and, Patrick's Commentary, and Calmet's Dictionary, under the word in short
, to transact all the public affairs of the place. And from Mourning, hence is that passage in the Psalmist, “They shall not be ashamed f The form in which Eliezer took his oath was, we are told, when they speak to their enemies in the gate,' Ps. cxxvii. ver, ult. by putting his hand under his master's thigh. This is the first that is, when they are accused by them before the court of magis time we read of that ceremony, which was afterwards used by trates. It is probable that the room or hall where these magis- Jacob and Joseph when they were a dying, and the oddness of it trates sat was over the gate, because Boaz is said to go up to the has inclined some judicious authors to think, that it implies a gate; and the reason of having it built there, seems to have been more solemn mystery than men are aware of. Some suppose for the calveniency of the inhabitants, who being all husband that it was swearing by the Messias, (who was to come out of men, and forced to pass and repass every morning and evening, Abraham's Joins or thigh, Gen. Ixvi. 26,) others, by the coveas they went and came from their labour, might be more easily nant of circumcision, the part circumcised being near the thigh. called as they went by, whenever they wanted to appear in any | But the most probable conjecture is, that as it could not well be business. So that from the whole it appears that Abraham could done but in a kneeling posture, so it was a token of subjection not have made his purchase from Ephron, without his having and homage from a servant to his lord, he sitting, and his serrecourse to the city gates.--Universal History, b. 1. c. 7. vant putting his hand under him; and thereby implicitly declar
a It is an observation of all those who have written about the ing, I am under your power, and ready to do whatever you shall sepulture of the ancients, that their dormitories or burying-places think fit to command me. The custom, however, afterwards, in were never in cities, much less in temples or churches, but swearing, was to lift up the hand to heaven,' Gen. xiv. 22, and always in the fields or gardens. The use of grottos or vaults is upon account of both these ceremonies, the Greek word opxos, certainly very ancient.— Bibliotheca Biblica, vol. 1.
which signifies an oath, is supposed to be derived from the b The word in Hebrew signifies double, whence it is supposed Hebrew jereck, a thigh, as the word eurów, to swear, is supposed by some, that there was one cave within another, or two or more to come from the Hebrew jamin, which is the right hand.. contiguous to each other, in one of which Sarah was buried, and Ainsworth's Annotations. afterwards Abraham in another. But those who derive it from g Gen. xxiv. 2, 3. • And Abraham said unto his eldest serthe Arabic tell us, that in that language it signifies shut up, or vant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, put, I pray taglied up, which, in eastern countries, was a common way of thee, thy hand under my thigh, and I will make thee swear by making their tombs, to prevent thieves from harbouring in them, the Lord.' The present mode of swearing among the Mohamor to hinder them from being in any manner violated or profaned. medan Arabs, that live in tents as the patriarchs did, according And if this be the right derivation, then may the cave of Mach- to De la Roque-(Voy. dans la Pal. p. 152)—is by laying their pelak be translated the cave that was shut up.—Calmet's Dic- hands on the Koran. They cause those who swear to wash their tionary.
hands before they give them the book; they put their left hand «Gen. xxiii, 11. . In the presence of the sons of my people.' underneath, and the right over it. Whether, among the patriContracts, or grants, were usually made before all the people, or archs one hand was under, and the other upon the thigh, is not their representatives, till writings were invented. — Patrick, in certain; possibly Abraham's servant might swear, with one hand locum.-E..
under his master's thigh, and the other stretched out to heaven. & Gen. xxiii, 16. • And Abraham weighed to Ephron the As the posterity of the patriarchs are described as coming out of silver.' Ancient nations have discovered a singular coincidence the thigh, it has been supposed this ceremony had some relation in the management of their money. The Jews appear to have to their believing the promise of God, to bless all the nations of med silver in lumps, perhaps of various dimensions and weights; the earth, by means of one that was to descend from Abraham.-and certainly, on some occasions at least, impressed with a par- Harmer, vol. 4. p. 477.-ED. ticular stamp. The Chinese also do the same. For “there is h Not but that Laban and his family were idolaters, as well as na silver coin in China, notwithstanding payments are made the Canaanites, but then he was much better than they, because with that metal, in masses of about ten ounces, having the form he still retained the worship of the true God, as appears from the of the crucibles they were refined in, with the stamp of a single sequel of the history, (ch. xxiv. 37,) though blended and corpharacter upon them, denoting their weight.”—Macartney, p. rupted with very gross mixtures and additions of his own; 290, vol. 2. p. 266, svo edition.-Ed.
whereas the Canaanites had utterly revolted from it.-Grot. Par. e What the rites of mourning for the dead in those days were, i Gen, xxiv, 11. * At the time of the evening, even the time it is hard to determine, because we have as yet no particulars of that women go out to draw water. Homer mentions the same it recorded in Scripture. From the subsequent practice, how- custom of women being employed in drawing water among tho ever, we may infer, that they shut themselves up from company, Phæacians and Læstrygonians.-(Odyss. vii. 20. et x. 105.; Tiad, meglected the care of their bodies, and abstained from their ordi- vi. 459.)—Dr Shaw, speaking of the occupation of the Moorish hary food. They fasted, and lay upon the ground; they wept, women in Barbary, says, “ To finish the day, at the time of the fore their clothes, smote their breasts, went barefoot, and pulled | evening, even at the time that the women go out to draw water, of their hair and beards. The time of mourning was usually for they are still to fit themselves with a piteher or goat skin, and seven days; but it was commonly lengthened or shortened, accord-their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner ing to the state or circumstances wherein they found themselves; two or three miles to fetch water."—(Travels, p. 421.)—Mr and, during this period, they did not dress themselves, nor make Forbes (Oriental Memoirs, vol. 1. p. 79) likewise mentions the their beds, nor cover their heads, nor shave themselves, nor cut practice of women drawing water, and tending cattle to the lakes their pails, vor go into the bath, nor salute any body, nay, nor so and rivers.-ED.
A. M. 2108. A. C. 1896 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3398. A. C. 2013. GEN. CH. xx-xxv. 11. he made a mental prayer to God, that he would be As soon as Laban had heard what his sister had to tell pleased to give this token of the successfulness of his him, he went immediately, and inviting the stranger into journey, namely, That the person designed for his young his house, ordered all proper provision to be made for master's wife might discover it by some token of courtesy the civil reception both of himself and his retinue. At to him. In the mean time « Rebecca came to the well; his first introduction, Eliezer opened to the family the and when Eliezer desired her to give him a draught of occasion of his coming ; acquainted them with the sucher water, she offered her service, not only to draw for cess that had attended him in his journey; and gave him, but for his camels likewise, which (being the very them a full account of the circumstances of his master's sign he requested of God) he permitted her to do, for family; of the wealth and prosperity wherewith God had his fuller conviction.c
blessed him ; of the son and heir which he had given him While he saw her thus employed, he took notice that in his old age; and of the large expectances which this his the damsel was exceeding beautiful ; and having inquired heir had, not only from the prerogative of his birth, but into her relations and family, he found that she was his from the donation and entail of all his father's possesmaster's brother's grand-daughter : whereupon he imme- sions. And, having in this manner delivered his credendiately took out a pair of gold ear-rings, to the weight tials, he demanded immediately, even before he did of two shekels, and a pair of bracelets, which weighed either eat or drink with them, their positive answer. about ten, with which he presented her, desiring, at the e Laban and Bethuel were both of opinion, that the same time, that if they had any room at her house he divine providence was very visible in this whole affair; might be permitted to lodge there that night. d Her and therefore concluding, that it would be mighty wrong answer was, that that he might do very conveniently; to refuse Rebecca upon this occasion, they consented and so accepting of the presents, she made haste home that he should carry her to her intended husband as soon to acquaint the family with this adventure, leaving Eli- as he pleased : so that matters being thus far agreed on, ezer full of contemplations and acknowledgments to the he thought it now proper to present her with the jewels divine favour, for this happy, surprisingly happy inci- of silver and gold, and fine raiment which he had brought dent.
for her ;/ and he having at the same time made some
considerable presents to her mother, and brethren, the a Great were the simplicity and humility of those early days, remainder of the day they devoted to feasting and mirth. when persons of the best rank, and of the female sex too, did not in the morning Eliezer, who began to think the time disdain to be employed in such servile offices. Thus, in the following age, Jacob found his cousin Rachel watering her father's long till his master was acquainted with the good success sheep; and several ages after that, the seven daughters of Jethro, of his negotiation, desired to be dismissed. The request who was a prince, as well as a priest of Midian, kept their a little startled them. They promised themselves, that father's flocks, and used to draw water for the cattle. So well at least he would stay ten days longer : but he persisting has our author expressed that simplicity of manners, which we may observe in Homer, or Hesiod, or any of the most ancient writers. - Houell's History, b. 1.
e This Bethuel could not be her father, because, had he been 6 Gen, xxiv. 15. Rebecca came out, with her pitcher upon named before him, or giving answer to Abraham's messenger
so, it would have been improper to have had Laban, either her shoulder.' The same custom prevailed in ancient Greece. when his father was by; and, therefore, since Josephus makes Homer represents Minerva meeting Ulysses as the sun was going the damsel tell Eliezer that her father had been dead long ago, down, under the form of a Phæacian virgin, carrying a pitcher of water, that being the time when the maidens went out to draw and that she was left to the care of her brother Laban, this
Bethuel, who is here named after Laban, and is never more water. " When near the fam'd Phracian walls he drew,
taken notice of during the whole transaction, must have been The beauteous city, op'ning to his view,
some younger brother of the family.--Universal History, b. 1. His step a virgin met, and stood before ; A polished uru the seeming virgin bore."
f Gen. xxiv. 53. “ Jewels of gold and raiment.' Among the
Odyssey, b. vii. 25, Pope. several female ornaments which Abraham sent by his servant, See also Odyssey, b, x. 105.
whom he employed to search out a wife for his son Isaac, were A similar custom prevailed also in Armenia, as may be seen jewels of silver, and jewels of gold,' exclusive of raiment, which in Xenophon's Anabasis, b. iv.--ED.
probably was very rich and valuable for the age in which Abrac Gen. xxiv. 20. • And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher ham lived. Rich and splendid apparel, especially such as was into the trough.' In some places where there are wells, there adorned with gold, was very general in the eastern nations from are no conveniences to draw water with. But in other places the earliest ages: and as the fashions and customs of the Orienthe wells are furnished with troughs, and suitable contrivances tals are not subject to much variation, so we find that this profor watering cattle. The M. S. Chardin tells us, that “there pensity to golden ornaments prevails, even in the present age, are wells in Persia and Arabia in the driest places, and, above among the females in the countries bordering on Judea. Thus all, in the Indies, with troughs and basins of stone by the side of Mungo Park, in the account of his travels in Africa, mentions them." Gen. xvi. 14. Exod. ii. 16.-Harmer, vol. 1. p. 431. the following singular circumstance, respecting the ornamental -ED.
part of the dress of an African lady: “ It is evident from the d Gen. xxiv. 22. “And it came to pass as the camels had account of the process by which negroes obtain gold in Manding, done drinking, that the man took a golden ear-ring of half a. that the country contains a considerable portion of this precious shekel' weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels metal. A great part is converted into ornaments for the women: weight, of gold.' The weight of the ornaments put upon Rebecca and, when a lady of consequence is in full dress, the gold about appears extraordinary. But Chardin assures us, that even her person may be worth, altogether, from fifty to eighty pounds heavier were worn by the women of the east when he was there. sterling.” He says that the women wear rings and bracelets of as great We find also that the same disposition for rich ornamental weight as this, through all Asia, and even heavier. They are apparel prevailed in the times of the Apostles; for St Peter rather manacles than bracelets. There are some as large as the cautioned the females of quality in the first ages of Christianity, finger. The women wear several of them, one above the other, when they adorned themselves, not to have it consist, in the in such a manner as sometimes to leave the arm covered with outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing gold, or them from the wrist to the elbow. Poor people wear as many of putting on apparel.' 1 Pet. iii. 3. See also Psalm xlv. 9, 13. of glass or horn. They hardly ever take them off. They are Upon thy right hand did stand the queen, in gold of Ophir, Fler their riches."--Harmer, vol. 2. p. 500.-ED.
clothing is of wrought gold.'—ED.
A. M. 2108. A. C. 1896; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3398. A. C. 2013. GEN. CH. xx-xxv. 11. in his resolution, the thing was referred to Rebecca, who the grief he had long conceived for the loss of his consented to go with him as soon as he pleased : so that mother. all things being presently made ready, and having a the After this happy marriage of his son, Abraham still bridal blessing bestowed upon her, she took her leave finding himself strong enough to make a new addition and departed, with her nurse, (whose name was Debo- to his family, took another wife, e whose name was rah,) and other servants appointed to attend her. Keturah, by whom he had six sons : but lest they
Whilst Eliezer was. conveying his fair charge to his should interfere with Isaac in his inheritance of Canaan, master's house, Providence had so ordered the matter, as they grew up, he portioned them off, and sent them that Isaac, taking a solitary walk in the fields that eve-away towards the east, where, settling in Arabia and ning, happened to espy his servants and camels upon Syria, they became in time heads of different nations ; the road, and thereupon went forwards to meet them. whereof we have footsteps both in sacred and profane As soon as Rebecca was informed who he was, she history. alighted, and c throwing her veil over her face (as the This is the substance of what the sacred history remanner of women then was) she waited to receive his lates concerning the great patriarch Abraham. 8 At first compliments. d Isaac, with great respect, addressed length, laden with honours and outworn with age, after bimself to her, and conducted her into his mother's tent, he had lived the space of an hundred and seventy-five which was fitted up for her apartment. Not long after years, he took leave of this world; and by his two sons, they were married together, and Isaac grew so fond of Ishmael and Isaac, was buried in the cave of Machpelah her, that the love he had for his wife helped to alleviate (where, above forty years before, he had reposited the
remains of his beloved wife Sarah), leaving a name a The blessing is comprised in these words: Be thou a famous to all posterity behind him. mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those that hate them;' which was afterwards made a solemn e Keturah is supposed, by some Jewish interpreters, to be the form of benediction in leading the bride to the bridegroom, same with Hagar, whom Abraham, after his wife's death, sent
Gen. xxiv. 60. “And they blessed Rebecca.' Nuptial bene- for again, and by her had all the six sons here mentioned: but, dictions were used both by the Jews, Greeks, and Romans. besides that Hagar must by this time have been above eighty That of the Jews was in this form—“Blessed be thou, O Lord, years of age, and consequently too old to bear so many children, who has created man and woman, and created marriage," &c. the text itself seems to be against this supposition; for it informs This was repeated every day during the marriage week, provided us, that Abraham added, or proceeded to take another wife, there were new guests.-ED.
which is a different thing to his recalling the old one. The 6 Gen, xxiv. 59. • And they sent away Rebecca their sister, more probable opinion therefore is, that this Keturah was a and her purse.' Nurses were formerly held in very high esteem, domestic of his own, a Canaanite perhaps, whom he had conand considered as being entitled to constant and lasting regard. verted to the true religion; but then the difficulty is, how " The nurse in an eastern family is always an important person- Abraham could dispose of so many sons, in so short å spare as agt. Modern travellers inform us, that in Syria she is consi- that which intervened between his wife's and his own death. dered as a sort of second parent, whether she has been foster- To solve this, some have supposed that this Keturah became his mother or otherwise. She always accompanies the bride to her wife, that is, wife of the second order, long before the death of husband's house, and ever remains there, an honoured character. Sarah, even immediately after he parted with Hagar; but then Thus it was in ancient Greece."-Siege of Acre, b. 2. p. 35, this supposition is contrary to the sense of the original; and
therefore, if we are minded to adhere to that, we must say, that la Hindostan the nurse " is not looked upon as a stranger, Abraham's living almost forty years after Sarah’s death gave bat becomes one of the family, and passes the remainder of her him time enough to dispose of the sons begotten of Keturah, as life in the midst of the children she has suckled, by whom she is the renovation of his strength, which was certainly miraculous, honoured and cherished as a second mother." - Forbes's Oriental (for forty years before he is said to have been dead to all such Memoirs, vol. 3. p. 134.
purposes, Rom. vi. 19.) enabled him to beget them.-- Calmets " In many parts of Hindostan are mosques and mausoleums, | Dictionary, Ainsworth's Annotations, and Universal History, built by the Mahommedan princes, near the sepulchres of their b. 1. c. 7. nurses. They are excited by a grateful affection to erect these f His sons were, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishstructures, in memory of those who, with maternal anxiety, bak, and Shuah, whereof Jokshan had Sheba and Dedan; Dedan watched over their helpless infancy; thus it has been from time had Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim; and Midian had Ephah, immemorial. How interesting is the interview which Homer has Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah, Gen. xxv. 2, &c. And described between Ulysses and Euryclea."-16. 3. p. 141.-Ed. the footsteps we find of these in history, according to the best
c The use of the veil was the universal practice among all conjectures, are such as follow. From Zimran, in all probabinations, as far as history can inform us, except the Spartans, who lity, were descended the Zamarens, a people mentioned by are reported to have been singular, in that their virgins were Pliny (Natural History, b. 6. c. 28.) From Sheba, the Sabeans, permitted to appear without a veil, but after they were married, mentioned in Job i. 15. From Dedan, the Dedanim, menthey were never to be seen in public withcut it. It was from tioned in Isaiah xxi. 13. From Midian, the Midianites, menthis practice of veiling the bride, when she was brought to the tioned in several places. From Shuah, the Shuites, mentioned bridegroom, in token both of modesty and subjection, that the in Job ii. 11. From Ephah, was a town of the same name, presents which he made her upon this occasion, were by the mentioned by Isaiah lx. 6. From Hanoch, a country called Greeks called evæxaduttñesceand thus the poets, in celebrating Canauna, mentioned by Pliny (Natural History, b. 6. c. 28.) the marriage of Proserpine to Pluto, have this fiction—Thal, And, to name no more, from Medan, a country called Mediana, upon unveiling his bride, he presented her with the island of in which is the famous city of Mecca, where Mahomet was Sicily, in lieu of her veil, which he took from her.-Bibliotheca born.—Bedford's Chronology, b. 3. c. 4. and Wells' Geography Biblica, vol. 1.
of the Old Testament, vol. I. d It may seem a little strange, that upon so singular an occasion 9 This account of Abraham's death is given by way of anticino mention should be made of Abraham, who was a principal pation; for when the text has recited his sons and their settleparty concerned herein; but for this some account by supposing ment, it brings him and Ishmael to their graves; not that they that Abraham, before this, had married Keturah (though, not to died before the birth of his two grandsons, Jacob and Esau, as break in with the account of his son's marriage, the history the text has placed things (for Abraham lived till they were relates it later) and resigned his estate, and the government of fifteen years old, and Ishmael till they were sixty-three), but his family, into the hands of Isaac, choosing to live the remain-having no more to say of the father and the son, Moses here der of his days in retirement with his new consort.
concludes their history at once.—Lightfoot.
A. M. 2103. A. C. 1897; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3398. A. C. 2013. GEN. CH. XX.-XXF. II. shall come forth out of thine own bowels, shall be thine Thus the desire of a numerous issue, the heir :' but still the second doubt remained, whether he beloved wife, and the supposed innocence of was to be his heir by Sarah, or by some other woman, in that age, may, in some measure, plea which, for the farther trial of his patience, God thought excuse in assuming Hagar to his bed. B proper to conceal. No wonder then if Abraham, (hav- shall we say for his turning her away so abi ing no longer hope of issue by his wife, finding her indeed a starving condition, after she had lived so as impatient for a child as himself, and desirous to have in the capacity of a wife, and had borne hir such a child as she might account her own, being begot-clear up this matter, we must inquire al ten by her husband and her maid) yielded to her time and occasion, as well as the manne importunity, not so much to please himself as to gratify quence of this her dismission. her desire. And this seems to be the reason why Sarah The whole account of this transaction is made choice of a slave (as Hagar is called in the text) by the sacred historian. 4 • And the child ( rather than a free woman, to bring to her husband's bed, child Isaac) grew, and was weaned, and Al namely,' that the child which the former might happen a great feast the same day that Isaac was wi to bear, might, imputatively at least, be accounted hers; Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whereas one conceived by a woman that was free, would born unto Abraham, mocking ; wherefore properly belong to the mother herself.
Abraham, cast out this bond-woman and he Whether polygamy, in the age of the patriarchs, was
son of the bond-woman shall not be heir innocent or no, is a question that has much employed even with Isaac. And the thing was ver the pens of the learned. « Most of the ancient fathers Abraham's sight, because of his son. And ( of the church maintain its lawfulness, and some of Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sig! our latter divines can hardly persuade themselves, that the lad, and because of thy bond-woman a practice which the most holy and venerable men Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto he ordinarily engaged in, and during that engagement in Isaac shall thy seed be called : and als continued an intimate conversation and familiarity with of the bond-woman will I make a nation, God; a practice which God never blamed in them, even thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in when he sharply reproved other vices, and for which they and took bread, and a bottle of water, an themselves never showed the least remorse or tokens of Hagar (putting it on her shoulder) and repentance, should be detestable in the sight of God. sent her away, and she departed, and wa Our blessed Saviour, who has restored matrimony to its wilderness of Beersheba.' primitive institution, has certainly declared it to be What the manner of celebrating this we criminal ; but whether it was so, under a less perfect feast of initiation was, we can only co dispensation, is not so well agreed. At present, if we certain circumstances, and some parallel suppose it only tolerated by God in the time of the pa- customs. There are no more than the wea triarchs, we shall soon perceive another inducement for and the weaning of Samuel, (two very Abraham's complying with his wife's request ; and that persons, both foretold by the spirit of i is, namely, the passionate desire for a numerous progeny, both miraculously born,) which are taken n which, in those days, was very prevalent; so very pre-sacred history. And (if we may be allow valent that we find men accounting of their children as
a parallel between them) as the feast at t their riches, their strength, their glory, and several Samuel was a sacred feast, and kept be families reckoning them up with a sort of pride, and (for the child was brought by his mother to placing the chief of their renown in the multitude of there presented, and there initiated, or de them; 3. For children, and the fruit of the womb, are an high-priest, whereupon a sacrifice first, an heritage and gift that cometh of the Lord ; like as arrows did ensue); so we may suppose, 1. That in the hand of a giant, so are young children. Happy feast of Isaac, there was a burnt sacrifice, w is the man that has a quiver full of them; he shall not be as priest and prophet, might early in the ashamed when he speaketh with enemies in the gate.' in order to sanctify both the feast and thos
communicate in it: 2. That there wer 'Heidegger's Hist. Patriar, vol. 2. Essay 6.
rainient given to all the guests, and to all * See Saurin in Dissertation 19. * Ps. cxxvii. 3, &c. a The words of St Ambrose, b. 1. c. 4, concerning the patri- no one was allowed to sit down at the tab
to keep the feast in, and that, without the arch Abraham, are very remarkable, and comprehend indeed the sentiments of most of the rest:-“Let us consider, in the first
new sort of vesture was given to Isaac, place, that before the existence of the law of Moses and the gos-distinction, by which he was declared heir pel, no interdict was laid on adultery. The punishment of a and the most honourable, next to his fa crime begins with the promulgation of a law prohibiting that crime. there was a dedication of the child, or an 1 It is not before but after the existence of a law, that there is any of him, in a very religious and solemn manr condemnation of a culprit. against a law, he only anticipated it. Although the Almighty by both the parents : 5. That there wa applauded the married state in paradise, yet he did not condemn commemoration of the entertainment of adultery.” Durandus, Tostatus, Selden, Grotius, and others, are clearly of opinion, that before the promulgation of the law, poly- grim's habit, and of the joyful message gamy was no sin; but as their error turns upon this, that the together with the killing of the fatted tirst institution of marriage between one pair in paradise was provisions made for them: and, 6. That not designed by God for a law, so have they received an ample confutation from the learned Heidegger, in his Historia Patriar.
* Gen. xxi, 8, &c.
5 1 Sam vol. 1. Essay 1, and Essay 7. and vol. 2. Essay 6.
• Bibliotheca Biblica, vol. 1. Occasional Am