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A. M. 2149. A. C. 1855; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3495, A. C. 1916. GEN. CH. xxviil. 10-xxxvi. common the use of oil was in these hot countries, to life under his father and grandfather, and, as some refresh the limbs when weary with travelling, and how suppose, under Melchizedek likewise, was not unqualinecessary, upon that account, it was to carry some with fied to make use of; and that the very ancient, if not him in his journey: nor is there any reason to suppose, universal custom of erecting, anointing, and consecratthat Jacob made use of this form of consecration in ing such like stones, with an inscription, either literal compliance with the custom of the country where he or hieroglyphical, and sometimes both, could hardly then was.
It is uncertain whether this custom was have any other foundation than this practice of his. established in Jacob's time ; but if it was, it is hardly But besides the bare inscription of the name and title credible that a pious man, as he is represented, would of the stone, there might probably be yet something more have adopted a superstitious ceremony into the worship to attract the eyes of the traveller, and to raise a veneof the true God. ? The much more probable opinion, ration for the place. And, therefore, admitting the stone therefore, is, that as the rites of sacrificing and circum- to be square, we find that there were two vaths, as it cision were instituted before the promulgation of the were, taken upon it, by the covenanting parties, that is, law, so this manner of consecrating things, by way of the oath of God to Jacob, repeating the substance of unction or libation, was at first enjoined the patriarchs what he had sworn to his fathers, and limiting it to him Abraham and Isaac by God, and either by precept or and his seed ; and the oath of Jacob to God, obliging tradition from them, came afterwards to be practised by himself and his posterity to such a constant homage as Jacob. Nor is it unlikely but that Jacob's practice in is therein specified ; and hereupon we may infer, that for this particular, and the great veneration which was the better preservation of the memory of this great afterwards paid to his monumental pillar, might give league, there might be written, on one side, the obligaoccasion « to the worshipping such erected stones in tion of God, exactly in the terms of the 13th, 14th, and future ages, and, upon such abuse, of God's so strictly 15th verses ; and on the opposite, the obligation of prohibiting any to be set up: 2 • Ye shall not make ye Jacob, as expressed by him in the three last verses of the any idols or graven image, neither shall ye rear up any | 28th chapter of Genesis. And, because it was necessary matzebah,' statue or pillar, 'to bow down unto it, for I that the name of the person who erected and consecrated am the Lord your God.'
the stone should be preserved, we may further suppose, In the religious sense of the word, then, matrebah that as God's signing this covenant on his part might be may properly signify a large consecrated stone, erected in this form, Ani Jehovah, ELOHE ABRAHAM, ELOHE pillarwise, before which prostrations and adorations Isaac, I the Lord, the God of Abraham, the God of were made, and upon which oblations and libations, but Isaac; by parity of reason, Jacob's signing might run not any bloody sacrifices, were presented: but then the thus, Ani Jacob, Ben Isaac, BEN ABRAHAM, I Jacob, the question is, how Jacob could think to secure this monu- son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. ment from being thrown down by the natives or passen
On the vacant sides of the stone, we may suppose gers; or how he could impose a new name upon it, and again, that the other awful sentences which Jacob upon establish that name in future ages, when the place had this occasion pronounced, 3 • How dreadful is this place! a name before, and no person was present to bear | This is the gate of heaven, and verily the Lord is in testimony of what he did. This, indeed, the Scripture this place !' were engraven. And because a very early gives us no manner of account of; and therefore, if we custom of crowning such public pillars with garlands do it but modestly, we are left at liberty to make our might very likely take its rise from Jacob's practice at own conjectures.
this time, we may therefore be allowed to make one According to the ancient versions of the word, we conjecture more, namely, that as Luz, near which this may suppose that there was upon this stone some legible transaction happened, had its name from a grove of and intelligible title or inscription; nor is it improbable almond-trees, not far distant from it; so Jacob might that the title should be, what the patriarch in a sort of think it very decent, in memory of the divine favours ecstasy called it,' Bethel,' or 'the house of God.' How there received, to crown and adorn the top of this titular Jacob might be provided with an iron pen, or style, for stone, with a garland of almond branches taken from the purpose of engraving this title, can be no difficult thence. · All this, we allow, is no more than supposition thing to imagine, if we do but consider that the style and conjecture; but, without some such contrivance as was the common instrument of writing in those days, this, how could this stone have been an instrument to which every scholar used to carry about with him, and perpetuate the memory of an event? How a means of which Jacob, having led a studious and contemplative Jacob's imposing a new name upon a place that was
entirely in the possession of others ? Well might the Heidegger's Hist. Patriar. . Lev, xxvi, 1. natives or proprietors ask, by what authority this was a From Jacob's pouring oil upon the stone of Bethel did arise the superstition of the ancients for their betuli, which were stones apointed and consecrated to the memory of great men after their
Gen, xxviii. 16, 17. death. Sanchoniatho, or rather Porphyry, the author of the genius, is not only a general tradition of the Jews, but supported fragment which Eusebius has preserved under the name of likewise by some lines in the character which the pen of Moses Sanchoniatho, attributes the invention of these betuli to Saturn; gives us of him. He had certainly great advantages under his but the best account that can be given of this absurd practice is father and grandfather, who justly deserved a name among the from hence, and a sufficient demonstration it is how the best and eldest oriental philosophers; and therefore he is described, in noblest acts of piety may be perverted, and degenerate into mere the eastern style, as 'a man dwelling in tents,' as much as to stupidity, by & fond, superstitious imitation. Calmet's Dic- say, one who leads a philosophical and contemplative life, or a tionary, under the word Bethel; and Bibliotheca Biblica, vol. minister or student of the house of learning, as the Targums 1.: Occasional Annotations, 30.
truly interpret the phrase.—Bibliotheca Biblica, vol. 1. ; OccaThat Jacob was a man of learning, and of an extraordinary | stonal Annotations, 35.
A. M. 2149. A. C. 1855; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3495. A. C. 1916. GEN. CH, xxviii. 10-xxxvii, done ? And since Jacob was not there to give them an child, as being the son of his dear departed Rachel, and answer, his only way could be to leave the history and a youth of a very promising and extraordinary genius. occasion of it engraven upon the very stone.
As a mark of his peculiar love, the fond father gave him And indeed, without some such supposition, why clothes richer than he did the rest, and among others, e should this stone, even by different nations, be accounted one coat more especially, which was made of a changesuch a valuable piece of antiquity? Why should the able or party-coloured stuff. This made his other broJews be so fond to have it thought that they had it in the thers envy bim not a little ; and what gained him no sanctuary of their second temple, and that upon it the good-will among them, was their looking upon him as a ark of the covenant was placed ? Since the destruction spy, because he had told his father some things wherein of their temple, why should it be their custom, one day the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah,d with whom he was chiefly in a year, with great lamentation, to go and anoint this conversant, e had grossly misbehaved, which made them stone, in remembrance of their father Jacob, and the covenant made with him ? And why should the Maho prolix in relatiog the adventures of Joseph than of any other of metans pretend, that they have this stone (though by piety, chastity, meekness, and prudence ; and because it was by
Jacob's children: both because his life is a bright example of mistake of one patriarch for another, they call it the the means of Joseph that Jacob went down into Egypt: and as stone of Abraham) set up at their temple at Mecca, his going down gave occasion to the wonderful departure of the which they make their common Kibla, or point of wor children of Israel from thence, so the history of the Jews would ship, and before which the pilgrims pay their solemn have been sadly imperfect, and indeed altogether unintelligible,
without a longer account than ordinary of Joseph's life and transdevotions ?
actions there. Heidegger's Hist. Patriar. vol. 2. Essay 20. These, we allow, may be no more than false pretences ; 6 Most versions, as well as ours, have made Jacob to love but still they are an evidence, that this pillar was once Joseph, because he was the son of his old age; whereas had this held in high veneration, which it could hardly have been, been the cause of his affection, he must have loved Zebulun, as but must very soon have been buried in oblivion and much more, because he was above fifteen years younger (only
much as Joseph, because he was of the same age, and Benjamin rubbish, had it been no more than a large ragged stone, thirteen years, according to Dr Hales' table given before.) It without any thing to distinguish it, that is, without any seems, therefore, as if they had confounded the words Bensculpture or inscription on it. And therefore, notwith Zekenim, the son of senators
, or elders, as he is called here, with standing the silence of Scripture, we have sufficient reason fication quite different. According to the Hebrew idiom, it signi.
Ben-Ziknuh, the son of old age; whereas the former has a signito conclude, that this pillar was erected in order to pre- fies the son, or disciple of senators,' that is, one endued with an serve the remembrance of the heavenly vision which God extraordinary wisdom and prudence ; accordingly the Samaritan, in this place vouchsafed Jacob; that to this purpose it Arabic, and Persian versions have rendered it, because he was a was engraven with such inscriptions as night give pos- of the idiom, and might more properly be rendered, because he
wise and prudent son,' though even this comes short of the energy terity sufficient intelligence upon what occasion it was
was as wise and prudent as a senator.' And this justifies the erected; that by means of such inscriptions, it came reason of Jacob's extraordinary love to Joseph, because it is to be recognised as Jacob's pillar, and held in great natural for parents, especially for fathers, to admire those children esteem in future generations ; that this pillar thus be fond of a child begotten in one's old age, and for no other
who show any degree of wisdom above their years; whereas, to engraved, as it was the first of its kind that we have upon reason, is no more than a piece of dotage, which Moses would record, gave probably the origin to the invention of hardly have thought worth recording. - Universal History, b. I. stylography, or the ancient manner of writing upon c. 7, and Howell's History, b. 1. stone, ever after ; and that the consecration of this stone, the rest of his brothers, is generally thought to signify a garment
c The coat whereby Jacob distinguished his son Joseph from and the imposition of a new name upon the place where that was wrought with threads of divers colours, or made up it stood, is enough to justify the practice of sanctifying pieces of silk or stuff, which had much variety in them; but the places appointed for religious worship, by some solemn word passim, which is here made use of, according to some form of separation ; of calling them the house of God," learned annotators, does properly signify a long garment, down and imputing to them a relative holiness ; in Christian which had a border at the bottom, and a facing, as we call it, at
to the heels or ankles, with long sleeves down to the wrists
, countries, of dedicating them to the memory of departed the hands, of a colour different from the garment, which was saints and martyrs ; and every where, of observing that accounted noble, as well as beautiful, in ancient times.--Patrick's wholesome and devout advice of the preacher : 1. Keep
d He chose the sons of his father's concubines, rather than thy foot when thou goest into the house of God, and be those of his wife Leah, to be his companions
, on purpose, perhaps more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools. to avoid the ill consequences of the latter's envy and emulation Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be against him. For it is not unlikely that Leah's sons, considerhasty to utter any thing before God, for he is in heaven, ing the excessive love which their father had for him, might
be ready to suspect, that he designed to bequeath the right of and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few.'
primogeniture to him, which each of them thinking they had a better title to, might thereupon be tempted to malign and mab treat him: whereas, among the sons descended from concubines,
as having not the like ambition, he might find better quarter, SECT. IV.
and to their company the rather resort, out of a principle of
humility and condescension, and to discountenance the haughty CHAP. I.-Of the Life of Joseph, a which includes behaviour of the sons of Leah towards the sons of the concubines. the rest of Jacob's.
- Patrick's Commentary, and Bibliotheca Biblica in locum.
e The Hebrew and the Alexandrian Septuagint have it, they
brought unto their father an evil report,' or grievous complaints Jacob had not been long with his father before there against Joseph,' that is, they began their base and barbarous tres: befell him another sad disaster. Joseph was his beloved ment of him with lies and calumnies. However, Aquila,
Symmachus, and the Syriac, make Joseph the -accuser ; but of · Eccles. v. 1, 2.
what crime it was, that he accused them to his father, and « Two reasons are generally assigned, why Moses is more I whether it consisted in deeds or words only, is a subject that has
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728, OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3526. A, C, 1885. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. treat him so very surly, that whenever he spake to them, after them; and no sooner did they see him approaching, they would scarce give him a civil answer. But that but their old malice revived, and immediately they which completed their envy and resentment, or rather resolved to make away with this master-dreamer, as türbed them into an irreconcilable hatred, was his inno- they called him, and to persuade their father that some cently telling them some of his dreams, which seemed wild beast had devoured him. tv portend his advancement in the world above them. Thiş resolution, barbarous as it was, had certainly
He told them that one night he dreamed, that as he and been put in execution, I had not Reuben, who was the they were binding sheaves together in the field, his sheaf eldest, interposed, and, dissuading them from imbruing slood upright, while theirs fell prostrate before it, as if their hands in his blood, advised rather to throw him into they had been doing obeisance; and that another time, the next pit, with a design himself to draw him out he fancied himself inounted on bigh, and the sun, moon, privately, and convey him safe home to his father, and eleven stars, doing him the like homage. This Reuben's advice was liked ; and therefore, as soon as raised the indignation of the rest, as thinking it a dispar- Joseph came up to them, they immediately seized him, agement to have a younger brother their superior : which pulled off his fine coat, and threw him into a pit, which, their father perceiving, in hopes of mitigating their at that time, chanced to be dry; whereupon Reuben withresentment, “ thought fit to discountenance him in the drew, to contrive some means for rescuing his brother, interpretation of his dreams, by telling him, that they whilst the others, as if they had done some glorious act, were vain and chimerical, and what could never come to sat down to eat, and drink, and regale themselves. pass ; though, in himself, he could not but think, that In the mean time? a caravan of Ishmaelites, who there was something extraordinary and ominous in them. were travelling from Mount Gilead into Egypt with His brothers, however, instead of abating their hatred, spices and other merchandise, appeared in sight, which grew every day more and more exasperated ; so that put Judah in the thought of taking their brother out of they resolved at last to cut him off, and only waited for the pit, and selling him to these merchants, which would a convenient opportunity. .
every whit answer their purpose as well, or better. The It happened, at this time, that Joseph's ten brethren proposal was no sooner made, than it was approved : (for Benjamin was as yet too young for any business) Joseph was taken out of the pit, was sold to the merchants, were keeping their flocks not far from Shechem, when and the merchants sold him again to Potiphar, one of their father not having heard from them for some time, the king's chief officers, and captain of his guards. and being not a little anxious for their welfare, sent Reuben being absent while this was done, came to the Joseph to find them out, and know how they did. As pit not long after, in order to rescue his brother ; but he drew near to Shechem, he was informed by a person finding him not there, he began to bewail and lament whom he met with by accident, that they had removed himself to such a degree, that his brethren, to pacify his from thence, and were gone about twenty miles farther north to a place called Dothan. Thither Joseph went d He either thought himself most concerned to save his brother,
as being the first-born, and therefore like to be the first in the occasioned a great variety of conjectures among critics and blame; or he might hope, by thus piously and compassionately commentators. Some will have it, that Joseph told of their preserving the favourite Joseph, to recover that place in his wkindness and asperity to him; others, of their quarrelling and father's atlection, which he had lost by his incest with Bilhah, contentious way of living. Some of their committing sodomy his concubinary wife. The speech which Josephus introduces of bestiality; while those who confine it to words only, suppose him as making upon this occasion, is very moving and very it to be passionate and undutiful reflections they might make rhetorical. “It were an abominable wickedness," says he, “ to upon their father, for loving Joseph more than themselves. But take away the life, even of a stranger, but to destroy a kinsman Whatever it was, it may be gathered, from their propense malice and a brother, and, in that brother, a father and a mother too, to him, that it was no small crime, because that for his telling it, with grief for the loss of so good, and so hopeful a son. Bethink and which he might do with no other intent, but ouly that his yourselves, if any thing can be more diabolical. Consider that father's rebukes and admonitions might reform them,) they hated there is an all-seeing God, who will be the avenger, as well as him even unto death.- Bibliotheca Biblica and Howell's History.' witness of this horrid murder. Bethink yourselves, I say, and
a St Chrysostom, in his homily upon the place, has given us repent of your barbarous purpose. You must never expect to this farther reason." Besides," says he, she might think it commit this fagitious villany, and the divine vengeance not convenient to give this calm check to a spirit so much elated, as overtake you; for God's providence is every where, in the wilderthis young man must be, by those great and certain expectations ness, as well as in the city, and the horrors of a guilty conscience which God was pleased, in so extraordinary a manner, to set will pursue you wherever you go. But, put the case, your brother before him. The foreknowledge of all that greatness and glory, had done you some wrong; yet is it not our duty to pass over the which was one day infallihly to be his portion, might have put slips of our friends ? When the simplicity of his youth may justly hita upon a wrong bias of behaviour; might have tempted him plead his excuse, his brothers certainly, of all men living, should to antedate his superiority; and fail, or waver, more or less in be his friends and guardians, rather than his murderers; especially his duty to his elder brethren, if not to his father himself; and when the ground of all your quarrel is this, that God loves your this seems to be the meaning of Jacob'a mentioning his mother, brother, and your brother loves God.”—Josephus, b. 2. c. 3. who was dead, and did not so well comport with his dream. e Though we name the Ishmaelites only, yet here seem to be But at the same time, that in prudence he was willing to prevent two, if not three sorts of merchants mentioned in this passage, any vain aspiring conceits, or tumours in his son, in faith he was the Ishmaelites, the Midianites, and Medanites, (as they are persuaded, that the fact would prove such as it was foretold.” called in the Hebrew, Gen. xxxvii, 36.) who were a distinct
b. The reason of Jacob's uneasiness, and of sending his son people from the Midianites, as descended from Medan, one of Joseph upon this errand, will be very obvious, if it be remem- Abraham's sons by Keturab, and brother to Midian, Gen. xxv. 2. bered, that the sons of Jacob had so incensed the neighbouring But as they and the Midianites lived near together in Arabia, places by the massacre of the Shechemites, that Jacob was obliged not far from the Ishmaelites, they all joined together in this immediately to guit the country, for fear of a general insurrec- caravan, as one society of merchants; as it is the custom even lion upon him, as we read, Gen. xxxiv, 30.
to this day, in those eastern countries, for merchants and others e li was a town about twelve miles to the north of the city of to travel through the deserts in large companies, for fear of wild Samaria, us Eusebius informs us.
Wells' Geography of the old beasts or robbers. - Patrick's Commentary, and Poole's AnnotaTestament, yol. 1.
A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3526. A. C. 1885. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. grief, were forced to tell him in what manner they had had it not been for an adventure of a nature somewhat disposed of him ; whereupon Reuben, finding it impossi- singular. He was now in the bloom of his youth, and ble now to recover him, joined with them in contriving of a beauty and comeliness so extraordinary, that his how to manage the matter with their father, so as to take master's wife could not forbear conceiving an irregular off from themselves all manner of suspicion.
passion for him. Upon several occasions, she had To this purpose they killed a kid, and dipping given him indications enough of her ardent desire to Joseph's coat in the blood of it, a sent it to their father, draw him into a wanton familiarity with her, but he was as if they had found it in the field, and were fearful that blind to her signs, and deaf to her soft speeches ; so it was their brother. Their father soon perceived whose that she was at last resolved to break through the rules coat it was; and supposing that some wild beast or of her sex, and court him in plain terms. But how other had slain his son, he rent his clothes, and put on great was her surprise when, instead of a ready complisackcloth, and began to mourn for his death. In vain ance, as she probably expected, she found herself not did the rest of his children endeavour to comfort him; only denied, but severely reprimanded likewise for her his grief would admit of no remedy; his resolution was disloyal passion! Being willing, however, to hope that to c lament his loss to the hour of his death ; nor did he another opportunity would prove more favourable, after ever cease this disconsolate way of life, until he was several fruitless attempts, she at last laid hold on one, told the surprising news of Joseph's advancement in when all the family was abroad, and S accosted him in Egypt.
so violent and passionate a manner, that she would not From the time that Joseph had admission into Poti-hear any farther denial. In vain it was for him to phar's family, he showed such diligence and fidelity, and proved so successful in every thing he undertook, e Joseph at this time was about seven and twenty years old. that his master soon took notice of him, and in some for he was seventeen when he was sold to Potiphar, Gen. time, having made him his steward, d put all his affairs xxxvii. 2, and he was committed to prison immediately upon
his noncompliance with his mistress's temptation; where, as far under his manageinent.
as it appears, he had not been long before he interpreted the In this condition Joseph might have lived very happy, dreams of the two disgraced courtiers; and two years after that
he was released and promoted, namely, when he was thirty
years old: so that we may reasonably conclude that this temptaa In one and the same verse it is said, that they sent the tion befell him about three years before his releasement, that is, coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father:' but in the twenty-seventh year of his age. At this time it is supthis seeming solecism is easily resolved, only by saying, that they posable that he was a comely person enough, and the saying is, sent it by the hands of persons who brought it to their father; or that “a comely person is a silent recommendation;" but the that they sent it by a messenger, as being afraid to be present at stories relating to his excessive beauty, as they are recorded by the first gust of their father's passion, and afterwards brought the Talmudists, are ridiculous, and not much better than what or produced it, when one of them, as Judah is supposed to have Mahomet, in his history of the patriarch, tells us, namely, that been their spokesman, related the tale which follows: by which his mistress having invited the ladies of the town to a splendid artifice they seemed to give themselves an air of compassion, entertainment, ordered Joseph to be called for, but that, as soon since it was no uncommon thing afterwards (as in the case of as he appeared, they were amazed at his beauty, and so conJulius Cæsar, and Julia his daughter, the wife of Pompey), on founded, that they knew not what they did, but instead of eating mournful occasions, to produce such affecting relics and remains. their meat they ate their fingers, and said among themselves
, Bibliotheca Biblica.
“ This is not a man, but an angel." - Bibliotheca Biblica in 6 Rending the clothes was an eastern way of expressing either locum, and Alcoran, chap. of Joseph. grief for calamity or horror for sin. Reuben was the first we read f Josephus tells us, that Potiphar's wife took the opportunity of, who, to denote his exceeding sorrow, rent bis clothes; and as of a certain festival, when all the people were gone a merryJacob we find does the like, we may well suppose that it was an making, to tempt Joseph; that, feigning herself sick, she usual manner of expressing all grief and uneasiness of mind in decoyed him by that means into her apartment, and then those days; and by putting on sackcloth, which Jacob is here addressed herself to him in words to this effect:-" It had been the first precedent of doing, but was afterwards commonly used much better for you,” says she, " had you complied with my upon all mournful occasions, he seemed to signify, that since he first request; if for no other consideration, in regard at least to had lost his beloved son, he looked upon himself as reduced to the dignity of the person who is become your petitioner, and to the meanest and lowest condition of life.- Bibliotheca Biblica, the excess of my passion. Besides, it would have saved me the Howell's History, and Burder's Oriental Customs.
shame of condescending to some words and expressions, which c Jacob expresses his sorrow in these words, “I will go down I am still out of countenance when I think of. You might unto the grave unto my son.' But if by the grave we are here perhaps make some doubt before, whether I was in earnest; but to understand a place of sepulture, how could Jacob say that he this is to satisfy you that I mean no ill by my persisting in the would go down thither to his son, when he presumes here that same mind. Take, therefore, your choice now, whether you he was not buried, but torn to pieces by wild beasts. To solve will improve this opportunity of present satisfaction, in the this difficulty, some imagine that the particle el should not, in embraces of a creature that loves you dearly, and from whom this place, be rendered to, but, as it sometimes means, for, or you may expect still greater things; or stand the shock of my in the stead of; and so the sense is, ‘I will go down to the hatred and revenge, if you will presume to value yourself upah grave instead of my son,' who, unhappy child as he was, had no the vain conceit of your chastity more than my favour," &c.burial: but since the word scholah, in Greek dons, in Latin Antiquities, b. 2. c. 4. infernum, signifies very frequently the state of the dead in g Josephus, however, brings in his namesake expostulating general, the much clearer sense of the words will be, 'I will the matter with his mistress, and reminding her of her duty to not cease mourning until I die, and be laid in my grave.”—Le herself and her husband, to piety, and common fame.' "What Clerc's Commentary.
signifies," says he, "a momentary pleasure,' with a certain d The words in the text are," he knew not aught he had, repentance immediately to ensue; an heaviness of heart for a - save the bread which he did eat; which is one of the highest thing once done, and an utter impossibility of recalling and expressions of confidence that we can imagine: for it signifies, undoing it
, together with perpetual fears of discovery and dis that he was utterly careless about any thing that concerned his grace ? What does all this signify, I say, in balance of the estate, not minding
what his expense or receipts were; but most substantial comforts, and the most necessary duties of taking his ease, left all to Joseph's honesty. In short, he human life? Whereas, in a conjugal state, the selfsame delights thought of nothing, but only to enjoy what he had, without care are all free, safe, innocent, and warrantable, both before God and or trouble.- Patrick's Commentary.
Consider again, how it would lessen your authority, to A. M. 2276. A. C. 1728; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3526. A. C. 1885. GEN. CH. xxxvii. TO THE END. expostulate the heinousness of the crime : her appetite hurried poor Joseph away, and clapped him up in the was eager and impatient; and therefore she caught him king's prison ; where we shall leave him for a while, to by the cloak, and pressed him to lie with her; and he take a view of what passed in his father's family. having no other way to escape, left his cloak in her d Before the time that Joseph was sold into Egypt, hand, and fled.
Judah, his father's son by Leah, had married e a CanaanWhether it was that she feared, by his manner and itish woman name Shuah, by whom he had three sons, behaviour, that he might accuse her to her husband, or Er, Onan, and Shelah. Er being cut off for his wickedthat she was enraged at the slight put upon her proffered ness before he had any children by his wife Thamar, love; but so it was, that she resolved his immediate Judah ordered his second son Onan, according to the ruin: and accordingly she began with a setting up a custom of the country, to marry her, and s to raise a most horrid outcry, which immediately brought in all posterity to his brother. Onan seemingly obeyed his that were within hearing, and then showing them father, but not brooking the thought that any of his chilJoseph's cloak, which she pretended he put off in order dren should inherit his brother's name who was dead, he to lie with her, she told them that he had made so took such a wicked and unnatural way to prevent having furious an attempt upon her virtue, that nothing but her any, that God was provoked to punish him with sudden loud cries could have saved her.
death likewise. His third son Shelah was not yet fit for By the time that her husband came home, 6 she bad marriage; and therefore Judah desired his daughter-indressed up her story so well, and expressed the pre- law to retire to her father's house, and there live a widow, tended indignity put upon her with such an air of resent- until he became adult, and then he would make him her ment, that her credulous husband, little suspecting his husband. Thamar did so, and waited till Shelah was wife's treachery, was so prepossessed with the circum- come to man's estate ; but finding no performance of stance of the cloak, that, without any farther inquiry, he Judah's promise, (as indeed he never heartily intended
any,) she was resolved to make herself amends some make your servant your equal, by a shameful participation in other way, which she did by the following stratagem. one common crime; and pray, is it not better to trust to a good conscience, that fears no light, than to commit wickedness in usual days of mourning were over, he took a particular
Judah bad lately buried his wife; and as soon as the the dark, and then live all your days in a restless dread of being friend with him, and went to Timnah, to divert himself a detected," &c.—Antiquities, b. 2. c. 4.
. There is something not imlike this revengeful artifice in Putiphar's wife, in the representation which the poet makes of in the course of his life, which God had predetermined and forePhædra, when, in an affair of the like nature, she finds herself told.—Chrys. Hom, in locum. rejected by her son-in-law Hippolytus:--"I myself will retort d Though the latter part of Judah's story, relating to the incest the crime, and spontaneously accuse him of an illicit love; with his daughter Thamar, was acted after Joseph was sold, and favour me, ye faithful band of servants, lend me thine aid, thou, while he was in Egypt; yet the former part of it relating to his &c. Lo, rapidly he fled, and in his consternation left behind marriage, and the birth of his three sons, must needs fall out his sword; still yet we hold the token of his crime.”—Seneca, before Joseph was sold. For since there were but two and Hippol.
twenty, or at the most, but three and twenty years between Upon Potiphar's coming home, Josephus makes his wife Joseph's being sold into Egypt, and Jacob's going down break out into these words:-"You will never deserve to live, thither, it could no ways be, that in so short a space of husband, unless you make an example of that perfidious wretch, time, Judah could marry a wife, have three sons at three your man. He has forgotten what he was when you took him several times by her, marry two of her sons successively to one into your house, how kindly and respectfully he has been treated woman; defer the marriage of the third son to the same woman, here, to a degree beyond his very hope, as well as his desert. beyond the due time; afterwards himself have sons by the same The charge of your whole family is committed to him, the woman his daughter-in-law; and one of these sons, Pharez, command of the rest of your servants, and the trust of all you beget two sons, Hezron and Hamul, Gen. xlvi. 12. It can no have. What will you think of this fellow now, who, in requital ways be, I say, that all these transactions should be comprised in of all your bounty and good offices, could have the impudence to so short a time. And therefore we must suppose, that the busiattempt the violation of your bed, and to take the opportunity of ness of his being married, and having children, was prior to this festival day, when you were out of the way, to break in Joseph's being sold; but that Moses, not willing to intermingle upon my privacy, and press the enjoyment of his beastly ends. the story of the two brothers too much, brings all he had to say You have made him, in effect, master of all things under your concerning Judah into the compass of one chapter, and so conroof; and would nothing serve him, but he must have your wife cludes his adventures, before he proceeds to those of Joseph.likewise ? Here is the ungrateful villain's cloak, which, in his Howell's History, b. 1; Universal History, b. 1. c. 7; and Bibliofright, he left behind him, when I cried out, as he was going to theca Biblica in locum, force me."-Antiquities, b. 2. c. 4.
e It was not so bad for a man circumcised to marry the daughter • It is somewhat wonderful, that if Potiphar believed his wife's of one uncircumcised, as it was for an Israelite to give a daughter story, he did not immediately put him to death; but there is one in marriage to an uncircumcised husband, Gen. xxxiv. 14; for thing which might check the violence of his passion, and that an uncircumcised man was accounted unclean, though he had was, the great opinion he had for some time been confirmed in, renounced idolatry; but a woman, born of uncircumcised parents, of Joseph's virtue and integrity. Joseph, he saw, was young and if she embraced the true religion, was not so accounted. And beautiful, and therefore he might think it a thing not impossible such an one we may suppose Judah's wife to have been; otherfor a lady of distinction to be in love with him, and upon a dis- wise he had offended his father, as much as Esau did Isaac, by appointment to be exasperated: as therefore he would not inflict marrying the daughter of Heth.-Patrick's Commentary. any capital or corporal punishment on him, so he thought it pru- f This is the first mention we have of this custom, which never. dent to hurry him away to prison unheard, lest, being allowed to theless seems to have been a very common ove, and well underspeak in his own vindication, he might clear himself, and thereby stood even by young Onan; for he knew that the first-born child bring discredit upon his family. It must not be denied, however, was not to be accounted his, but his deceased brother's, was to be what St Chrysostom has observed that here again was a special, called by his name, and inherit his estate. For this, say the and as it were a miraculous intervention of the divine power, Hebrew doctors, was an ancient custom in force before the law which preserved his life as it did before, when he was cast into of Moses, that when a man died without issue, his brother should the pit. The superior influence which softened the heart of marry his wife, and that the first son, upon such marriage, was Reuben, restrained the hand of Potiphar, in order to make our to be reputed her deceased husband's heir.—Patrick's and Le patriarch a more glorious example, and to complete these events Clerc's Commentary.