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53 ¶ And the servant brought forth *jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: He gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

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61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

62 ¶ And Isaac came from the way of the well 'Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south-country. meditate

54 And they did eat and drink, he and 63 And Isaac went out to the men that were with him, and tarried in the field at the even-tide: and he lifted all night: and they rose up in the morn-up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the ing, and he said, Send me away unto my camels were coming.

master.

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55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.

56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way: send me away, that I may go to my master.

57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth.

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58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.

59 And they sent away Rebekah' their sister, and her & nurse, and Abraham's

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direction, of the Lord, that there was no room for hesitation or objection.

V. 53. Her brother and mother.] No mention is made of her father.

V. 55, 56. This good and faithful servant's desire of communicating the agreeable intelligence at home, no doubt induced him to hasten his departure as much as he could with propriety: yet the transaction may admit of a useful accommodation. (P. O. 33—67.)

V. 58. I will go.] The excellence of Rebekah's character forbids us to think, that there could be any thing in her answer inconsistent with true delicacy; though it does not accord to the modern standard, which is frequently subversive of sincerity. No doubt she saw with peculiar clearness, that the whole was the appointment of God; and she would not so much as seem to slight the honor and happiness of being a progenitor of the promised Seed; but, like his immediate parent, she answered, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." Luke 1:38. V. 59, 60. Their sister ... our sister.] Bethuel, as well as Laban, must have been her brother.-Nurse.] Note, 35:8.

V. 63. To meditate.] To reflect on the works and truths of God, and pour out his heart in prayer and praise.

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64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.

65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil and covered herself.

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66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.

67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife: and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

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The effect of good example and instructions, and the reverential worship of God, in public ordinances and in private families, will generally appear in the piety, faithfulness, prudence, and affection of the domestics: and to live in pious families, or to be favored with pious servants, is a blessing highly to be valued, and thankfully to be acknowledged.-No concern in life is of more importance to ourselves, to others, and to the church, and even to posterity, than contracting marriage; which therefore ought always to be undertaken with much circumspection and prudence, with an eye to the will and appointment of God, and with prayer for his direction and blessing. It is an important part of a parent's duty, to direct, counsel, and assist his children in this particular, with great tenderness and affection: and those young persons are highly favored, who have parents that will, in a proper manner, and with suitable consideration, perform this duty; and they are wise who avail themselves of these advantages. But where such parents are not consulted and regarded, the blessing of God cannot be expected; nor when godliness is not regarded as the primary requisite in a comlipanion for life.-They, who stay their minds on

CHAP. XXV.

Abraham marries Keturah, 1: his sons by her, 2-4. He gives
his substance to Isaac; and sends them away with gifts, 5, 6.
His death, and burial. 7-10. God blesses Isaac, 11. The
age,
posterity, age, and death of Ishmael, 12-18. Isaac prays for
Rebekah, who was barren; and is heard, 19-21. Circumstan-

ces preceding and attending the birth of Esau and Jacob, 22

26. Their different characters and pursuits, 27, 28. Esau sells his birth-right to Jacob, 29-34.

T

HEN

again Abraham took a wife,
Keturah.

and her name was

е

g

3 And Jokshan begat Sheba and e Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were 'Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

5 And Abraham 2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jok-unto Isaac. shan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ish

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bak, and Shuah.

a 23:1,2. 1 Chr. 1:32,33.

31:2,8. Judg. 6: 7: 8:

b 36:35. 37:28,36. Ex. 2:15,16. c Job 2:11. 18:1-4. Num. 22:4. 25:17,18.

V. 10-32.

41 Kings 10:1. Job 6:19. Ps. 72:

10.

e Jer. 25:23. 49:8. Ez. 25:13.
27:20.

f Ez. 27:6,

h

gave all that he had

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God, will be kept in peace, and enabled to dis- heavenly Father, having offered himself as a regard the peradventures which trouble others: sacrifice for sin, espouses his church unto himthey wait to know his appointment, are prepar-self, by the ministration of his servants, the ed to be satisfied with it, and assured that in preachers of the gospel; who, with his commisdue time it will take place, and correspond sion, go to find out those who are afar off, "that with his promises; and they only aim to know they may present them as a chaste virgin unto and to do their duty, and use the proper means. Christ." They represent to sinners his glory, But, in binding ourselves by an oath, we should his excellency, his suitableness and lovingtake great care that, through inattention, we kindness; their own experience of his grace, do not ensnare our souls. and his unsearchable riches, to induce their willingness: and by these representations, the drawings of his Spirit, and some foretastes of his goodness, they are prevailed on to consent to their own happiness, and made willing to forsake their own country, and to renounce all for him. (Note, John 16:14,15.) Then he adorns them with the robe of his righteousness, and the graces of his Spirit; endows them with all his riches; ennobles them by their relation to him, and makes them happy in his love, and their fellowship with him. They are now supremely attached to his person and interest, and faithful to their engagements to him; they give him their heart, and devote body and soul to his service, in sincerity and simplicity. He greatly delights in the beauty which he hath put upon them: being thus united to him, they bring forth fruit unto God; and at length he will wash away every spot and blemish, and present them, (adorned as a bride for her husband,) faultless before his presence with exceeding joy.-In this view, how punctual, laborious, faithful, self-denying, disinterested, fervent in prayer, watchful of providence, jealous for Christ, and affectionately desirous of souls, ought all to be, who sustain the sacred ministerial character! The good Lord send forth many such laborers and stewards, and make them wise to win souls!

They, who acknowledge God in all their ways, will find him present to direct their paths, and make their way prosperous: and, when the prayer of faith meets with an immediate answer, the glory ought as speedily to be rendered to God in solemn praise and thanksgivings. How are the times changed, since the chief persons, and their sons and daughters, cheerfully performed the most laborious services with their own hands! It is to be feared we have got but a poor exchange, in our excessive refinements, for the simplicity, diligence, and usefulness, which characterized the patriarchs. And surely common sense must allow, that these are the most valuable endowments in one, who is to fill up the important duties of a wife and a mother; to be the companion of a wise and pious man's retired hours; and to be entrusted with the management of his domestic concerns, and with forming the tender minds of his children!

V. 33 -67.

NOTES.

Whatever business we are entrusted with, we should, like this pious servant, attend to it in preference to our own indulgence or refreshment: and when our purpose is honorable, and we are waiting to know the Lord's appointment, a plain recital of facts, in which the hand of God appears evident, is more becoming, and frequently more effectual, than all the trappings of oratory, which too often disguise! CHAP. XXV. V. 1-4. Abraham was a hunthe real truth.-The remarkable private ex- dred and thirty-seven years of age when Sarah perience, which we have of God's mercy and died; and, nearly forty years before that event, faithfulness, ought to be declared among those his age had rendered it very improbable he who fear God, for his glory and their encour- should have children: yet he had six sons by agement.-Though the counsel and consent of Keturah, whom he sent away in his life-time: parents should be obtained; yet, before mar- and on these grounds it has been conjectured riage is solemnized, the mutual and cheerful that he had married this wife long before.compliance of the contracting parties is also But the language of the original text, "And requisite, being essential to the comfort and Abraham added, and took a wife," as well as happiness of that honorable state: and when the unnatural disturbance, which this supposimatters are thus begun, and completed in faith, tion occasions in the simple narration, militates and with the prayer of all parties, the blessing against the opinion. The Lord had promised of God on them and their posterity may reason-him an innumerable posterity, and the long ably be expected; while the comfort of one relation will compensate for the loss of another. -But, will not the most sober judgment allow, that in this transaction we have a type of Christ and his church? We know who is the Bridegroom, that in perfect harmony with his

delay both served to try his faith, and to illustrate the divine power and faithfulness; when at length, beyond all probability, the promise was so remarkably fulfilled. And, as Abraham lived thirty-eight years after Sarah's death, all these children might be grown up, and much

6 But unto the sons of the concubines, || sons of Ishmael, by their names, accordwhich Abraham had, Abraham gave ing to their generations: The first-born of "gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and son, (while he yet lived,) eastward, unto Adbeel, and Mibsam. the least-country.

7 And these are the days of the of Abraham's life which he

B. C.

years

1822. ] lived, an hundred threescore and

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14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massah,

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older than Ishmael was when he was sent away, and might be settled in the world before his death. They were afterwards intimately connected with the Ishmaelites; and many great nations at this very day claim Abraham for their progenitor, by some of these branches.Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, was descended from Midian: and Job and some of his friends, either from others of Keturah's sons, or from Ishmael, or from Esau. (Marg. Ref. Note, Job 2:11.)

V. 5, 6. Abraham gave the bulk of his substance to Isaac, as his legitimate heir, his only son by Sarah the free woman, according to the promise. Isaac typified the Son of God, "whom he hath appointed Heir of all things;" and also represented believers, to whom with Christ the Father giveth all things.-The word concubine is used, not only for one who cohabited with a man that had another wife, as Hagar; but also for one who was a lawful wife, though not admitted to the full privilege of that relation, in|| respect of rank and possessions, as Keturah. Ishmael was one of the sons here mentioned; and we may hence infer, that he was not sent away destitute, or finally deserted by Abra

ham.

V. 7, 8. The sacred historian here concludes the history of Abraham, to prevent the subsequent interruption of his narrative; for Esau and Jacob were born fifteen years before the death of Abraham.-The word, rendered VOL. I. 14

"Gave up the ghost," means no more than ex-
A Greek word of
pired, or ceased to breathe.
similar import is used concerning Ananias and
Sapphira: but the words of one Evangelist con-
cerning our Lord signify, that "he yielded up
his spirit." (Matt. 27:50.)-The words, of years,
are not in the original; and the term employ-
ed seems to denote, that Abraham was satisfied
with living in this world, and ripe for a better.

The expression, "gathered to his people," decides nothing concerning the eternal state of the persons spoken of, being used without any exact discrimination of characters. (Marg. Ref. o.)

V. 9, 10. It is probable, that Isaac and Ish mael maintained a degree of friendly intercourse with each other; and that Ishmael was satisfied the inheritance belonged to Isaac, as the son of Sarah, and that his father had acted properly in leaving it to him.

V. 11. God blessed Isaac with that special blessing, which had been engaged to his believ||ing father.

V. 16. The Ishmaelites were settled in towns and castles, when Moses wrote this history; and probably had been so a long time before the descendants of Isaac were delivered out of Egypt.

V. 18. The Ishmaelites inhabited the country to the east and south of Judea, from the entrance into Egypt almost to the river Euphrates: perhaps the direct road, from Egypt

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V. 20, 21. The faith of Isaac was tried by the barrenness of Rebekah during twenty years, as that of Abraham and Sarah had been for a much longer time; but Isaac, depending|| on the promise of an innumerable posterity, ceased not to intreat the Lord to remove this hindrance to its fulfilment; and at length his prayer was answered.

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23 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint.

30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birth-right.

32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birth-right do to me?

33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day: and he sware unto him: % and he sold his birth-right unto Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles: and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birth-right.

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true church of God, the seed of the serpent and the Seed of the woman; in which the church, which is the younger, after many struggles, will gain a final mastery. (Note, 3:14,15.)-The conflict, between "that which is born of the flesh," and "that which is born of the Spirit," in the true believer, is of the same nature, and will have a similar event. (Notes, John 3:7,8. Gal. 5:16-18.)

V. 25, 26. Esau signifies made, or formed.'He was as full of hairs when he was born, as others are at man's estate.' Bp. Patrick. Jacob, even at his birth, seemed to struggle for the primogeniture, which was an indication of his subsequent conduct. His name was given him with evident allusion to this circumstance; and signifies a supplanter, or one who throws down another, by taking hold of his heel.

V. 27. Esau hunted the beasts of the forest with dexterity and address; till probably, like Nimrod, he became a warrior and conqueror: accordingly, when he met his brother, he had with him four hundred men. But Jacob was a

V. 22, 23. The extraordinary sensations, experienced by Rebekah, convinced her that there was something supernatural in her case. -She therefore said, "If so, why is it thus with|| me?" This must be inquired into.' Abraham was yet living, and was a prophet; and probably he directed her in inquiring of the Lord; but the particular method used on this occasion is not recorded. She however received for answer, that two nations, and two manner of people, were in her womb; namely, the Isra-plain man dwelling in tents; an industrious, elites, and the Edomites or Idumeans, being then in their common parents, Jacob and Esau. They were men of very opposite dispositions, and their descendants were as dissimilar; they personally struggled hard for the pre-eminence, and so did their posterity during many ages. In the days of David, the descendants of Esau, the elder brother, were generally subject to those of Jacob the younger; and much more entirely in the latter times of the Jewish state. -These struggles may be considered as an emblem of the conflict between the world and the

honest, pious character: "a stranger and pil. grim" in his spirit, and a shepherd all his days. V. 28. (Notes, 27:)-Venison.] That which is taken in hunting. (Onpa. Sept.)

V. 30. Edom signifies red, and is nearly the same as Adam. (Note, 5:1,2.) This name was given Esau, because he so eagerly desired the red pottage of Jacob.

V. 31-34. As it does not appear, that Jacob inherited a double portion of Isaac's substance, it is probable this was not meant by the birthright. But it included the special blessings

CHAP. XXVI.

f

3. Sojourn in this land, and I will Isaac, because of a famine, sojerns in Gerar; and the Lord be with thee, and will bless thee: for unto thee and unto thy seed I will give

instructs and blesses him, 1-5. He denies his wife, and is detected and reproved, 6-11. The Philistines envy his prosperity; he removes from them, and they fill up, or take from

h

him, the wells which his father and he had dug, 12-17. He all these countries, and will perform the i oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.

digs several other wells, 19-22. The Lord blesses him at Beer-sheba, 23-25. Abimelech covenants with him, 26–33. Esau marries two Canaanitish wives, to the grief of his parents,

34, 35.

A

ND there was a famine in the land, besides a the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. b And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philis

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tines unto Gerar.

2 And the LORD appeared unto him,

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earth be blessed:

5 Because that Abraham m

obeyed

and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell my voice, and kept my charge, my

e

in the land which I shall tell thee of.

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covenanted to Abraham and his posterity; not
only in respect of the land of Canaan, but also
in respect of the Messiah, who would arise
from among them, and all the religious advan-
tages connected with this distinction. These
blessings, Jacob as a believer supremely valu-
ed; but unbelieving Esau despised them.-It
cannot be conceived, that Esau was literally
dying of hunger, nor would the transaction
have been so severely condemned had this been
so. He had indeed come in from hunting, in
the field, where he had continued till he was
faint for want of refreshment: but doubtless.
other food might have been procured in Isaac's
family, had he not inordinately craved Jacob's
pottage, which he probably saw as soon as he
entered the house, and determined at any rate
to obtain. The words signify, 'I am going to-
"wards death;' and he seems to have meant, I
'shall never live to inherit Canaan, or any of
"these future supposed blessings; and what sig-
'nifies it who has them when I am dead?' This
was the language of profaneness, for which the
Apostle condemns him; and it implied, a great ||
contempt of the birth-right, which the histori-
an notes with decided censure. (Note, Heb. 12:
15-17.)

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

V. 1-18.

f 20:1. Ps. 39:12. Heb. 11:9, | 1 12:3. 22:18. Ps. 72:17. Acts 3:

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They who are stirred up, by the delays of promised and expected blessings, to "pray always and not faint," will surely succeed; for "every one that asketh receiveth," though perhaps not immediately.-In all our doubts and perplexities, we should inquire of the Lord by prayer, attendance on his ordinances, and attention to his word: and in many of our conflicts and struggles with sin and temptations, we may adopt Rebekah's words: "If it be so, why am I thus?" If a child of God, why so careless or carnal? If not a child of God, why so afraid of sin or burdened with it?'-In the best of characters we perceive infirmities, and in the best of parents sinful partialities; but surely those children are entitled to our superior regard, who are evidently beloved of the Lord!-Men, who are slaves to their appetites, and who inordinately crave earthly things, and By repeated examples the Lord teaches us, despise spiritual blessings, will, however sagathat he tries the faith of his people by long de- cious in other respects, find themselves infilays; but at length vastly exceeds their expec- nitely excelled in wisdom by those, who "choose tations, by fulfilling to them his largest prom-that good part which shall never be taken from ises. The vision is for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." Hab. 2:3.-A great part of this history relates to those who go off, and those who appear on, the stage of life; and it is of little consequence, whether our continuance on this grand theatre be short or long, provided we act in such a manner, as to quit the world with comfort to ourselves, with bene- CHAP. XXVI. V. 1. Abraham sojourned in fit to others, and with the approbation of our Gerar just before the birth of Isaac, and soon gracious God. Only let us be anxious to leave after entered into a treaty with Abimelech; and behind us a testimony from our lips to the Isaac was sixty years of age when his sons were faithfulness and goodness of the Lord, and in born, and a hundred when Esau married. (34.) the consciences of others, to the uprightness Esau and Jacob are spoken of in the close of and consistency of our walk before him; and the former chapter, as grown up. The transthe blessing of God to our families. Having action, therefore, recorded in this chapter. then lived to every good purpose, and being must have been at least ninety years after the ripe for the world above, we may cheerfully former covenant. It is probable that Abimeresign our souls into the hands of our Redeem-lech, (which signifies my father the king,') was er, expecting to join "the spirits of just men the common name of the kings of the Philis made perfect;" and leave our bodies to the si-tines; and that this Abimelech was a successor lent tomb, in joyful hope of a happy resurrec- to him with whom Abraham covenanted. (Note, tion. But God forbid, that the writer or any || Ps. 34: title.)

them." But, while we should be of Jacob's judgment in preferring the birth-right, we ought carefully to avoid all approaches to imposition, in seeking to obtain the most important advantages; and even the appearance of being a supplanter, should be shunned with scrupulous vigilance.

NOTES.

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