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prophet directed an application of figs in order to his
but God suffered him not to hurt me. If he said thus, the speckled shall be thy wages, then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, the ringstraked shall be thy hire, then bare all the cattle ring-straked. Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them unto me.d
Jacob, finding Laban and his sons every day more and more indisposed towards him, took an opportunity, and contrived matters with his wives, and separated his own from his father-in-law's cattle; and retiring in a private manner, passed over Euphrates, and made towards Mount Gilead. lle was gone three days before Laban heard of it; who, when it was told him, gathered his family together and pursued him for seven days, and overtook him at Gilead. From Haran to mount Gilead must be above two hundred and fifty miles; so that Jacob made haste to travel thither in ten days, going about twenty-five miles each day; and Laban's pursuit of him was very eager, for he marched about thirty-seven miles a day for seven days together; but he was resolved to overtake him. When he came up with him, he purposed in his heart to revenge himself upon him ; 'but here God was pleased to interpose, and warn Laban not to offer Jacob any eyil. Hereupon, when he came up to him, he only expostulated with him his manner of leaving him, and complained that he had stolen his teraphim, which Rachel, fond of the memory of her ancestors, had, without Jacob's knowledge, taken
away with her;. but upon Jacob's offering all his company to be searched, Laban not being able to find where Rachel had hid them, they grew friends, made a solemn engagement with each other, and then parted. Laban returned home, and Jacob went on towards the place where he had left his father.
Jacob was now returning into Canaan in great prosperity; he was a few years before very low in the world, but now he had wives, children, and seryants, and a substance abundantly sufficient to maintain them. When he went over Jordan to go to Ilaran, his staff or walking stick was all his substance; but when he came to repass it, in order to return into Canaan, he found himself master of so large a family, as to make up two bands or companies;h and all this increase so justly acquired, that he could with an assured heart look up to God, and acknowledge his having truly blessed him, according to the promise which he had made. .
After Jacob had parted from Laban, he began to think of the danger which might befal him at his return home. The displeasure of his brother Esau came fresh into his mind; and he was sensible he could have no security, if he did not make his peace with him. Esau, when Jacob went to Haran, ohserving how strictly his father charged him not to marry a Canaanite, began to be dissatisfied with his own marriages;k therefore he went to Islımael and
& Ver. 30. See Vol. I. Book 5. p. 311.
married one of his daughters, and went and lived in mount Seir, in the land of Edom. Jacob finding by enquiry that he was settled here, thought it necessary to send to him in order to appease him; that he might be secure of living without molestation from him.
Some writers have questioned why, or how Jacob should send this message to his brother. Jacob was in Gilead, and Esau in mount Seir, one hundred and twenty miles at least distant from one another. Jacob went down Gilead to the brook Jabbok ;' from whence his way lay over Jordan into Canaan, without coming any nearer to Esau; why therefore should he send to him? or having lived so long at such a distance, how should he know where he was settled, or what was become of him? These objections have been thouglit considerable by some very good writers; and Adrichomius conceived it necessary to describe Seir in a different situation from that in which the common maps of Canaan place it. He imagined, that there were two distinct countries called by the name of the land of Edom, and in each of them a mountain called Seir; and that one of them, namely that in which Esau lived at this time, lay near mount Gilead; and Brocard and Torniellus m arc said to have been of the same opinion. They say, the children of Esau removed hence in time into the other Edom or Idumea, when they grew strong enough to expel the Horites out of it;" but that they did not live in this Edom, which was the land of the Horites, in Jacob's days.
m Pool's Syn. in loc.
Gen. xxxii. 22. • Deut, ij. 19.
But as there are no accounts of Canaan which can
•Gen. xxxvi. 2.
Ver. 20. 9 Ibid.
Ver. 29. . .