Imatges de pàgina

burying-place from the sons of Heth, who dwelt in that city, and were probably the most considerable in that place. He had no sooner declared the occasion of his coming, but they one and all told him, with the utmost civility and respect, that he might make choice of the best sepulcre in the whole land ; assuring him, that none of

them should withhold his own from him. Abraham reAbraham turned their civilities, but begged to be permitted to buy buys the the cave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite, who was cave of then one of the assembly, and immediately made him a Mach

free offer of it f. But Abraham still insisting upon paypelah. ing the full value of it, they agreed for four hundred

pieces of silver (G), which he paid down in full weight : and, being become possessor of the cave, field, and trees belonging to it, he soon after deposited the dear remains

of his beloved wife in the cave 8. Year of By this time Abraham was well advanced in the flood Ifaac in the fortieth year of his age. He thought it

491. therefore high time to marry him to some of his own Bef. Chr. family during his life, which he then imagined could not

1857• laft much longer. To this end he called one of his chief mand most faithful servants, and, having made him take Abraham

an oath to get his son a wife out of his own kindred (H), fends his fervant to

gave f Vid. fup. vol. ii. p. 199, & seqq.

& Gen. xxiu. for Isaac.

years, and

get a wife

per tot.

forts of them, viz. the ra. will amount to fixty pounds
shim, or heads of the people, sterling (97).
the sophetim, or judges, and (H) The text tells us, that
the soterim, or officers. Abra- the servant took the oath by
ham, therefore, could not make putting his hand under his
his purchace from Ephron the master's thigh, or upon his
Hittite, without having re- privities. This is the first
course to the city-gates. time we read of that ceremony,

(G) The learned Prideaux, but it was afterwards used by who has given us the last and the patriarch Jacob (98), in best estimation of Hebrew and Egypt, when he was dying. Attic coins, reckons a shekel The oddness of it has inclined to be equivalent to three some judicious writers to think, fhillings of our English money; that it implied a more solemn fo that the sum which Abra- mystery than men are aware bam paid for his new purchace of, viz. a swearing by the

(97) Connect. pref. p. 22.

(98) Gen. xlvii. 29.


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gave him all necessary instructions and authority to con-
clude the marriage, and fent him away with a train suita-
ble to the embassy he was sent upon ; that is, with ten
camels loaden with the richest presents for the damsel's
dowry; it being the custom in those days for the husband
not to receive, but to pay a dowry for the wife. The
servant made the best of his way to Haran, where Nahor
dwelt; and what by his presents, what by his address,
and the favourable account he gave of Abraham’s grandeur
and wealth, did easily obtain from him the beautiful Re-Rebecca is
becca for his young master; and as soon as he had obtained given to
her father's and her brother Laban's consent, he forthwith Isaac.
took out all the jewels of silver and gold, and fine rai-
ment, which he had brought, and presented them to her,
making at the same time some considerable presents to her
mother and brother; after which, the rest of the day was
fpent in feasting and mirth. The next morning Abraham's
servant, impatient to acquaint his master with the good
success of his negotiation, desired to be dismissed, and
with some difficulty obtained it; and after they had wished
her all the usual blessings, and ordered her nurse to ac-
company her, they took their leave. The servant foon
after brought her in fight of his young master, who

chanced that night to be taking a solitary walk in the
neighbouring fields; and as foon as Rebecca was informed
who he was, she alighted; and, throwing a veil over her
face, as the manner of young damsels then


The waited to receive his first compliments h. He then con- Ifaac takes ducted her to his mother's tent, highly pleased with her ber bome. extreme beauty, and modest carriage, as well as the kindred she came from; all which he looked upon as ample amends for the loss of his mother. He had now nothing to wish for, but that she might prove fruitful ; but he was forced to wait nineteen years before he could obtain that blessing ; during which he comforted himself and

h Gen. xxiv. pal.

great MESSIAH that was to the privileges and benefits of
come, and the like (100). that covenant. Kimchi tells us,
Some Jews think it was a that it was still observed all
swearing by the covenant of over the east by those of his
circumcision; and that who- nation (101).
soever violated the oath, loft all

(100) Rab. Sal, in loc. Vid. Alix, in peniat, Munf, in loc,

(101) Kimcbi apud


her with the assurance of God's promises, and the example of Sarah, who remained childless till the ninetieth

year of her age. Year of ABRAHAM could not but be pleased to see his son in the flood the possession of so agreeable a wife ; but that not pro

495. ving sufficient to comfort him for the loss of his own, and Bef. Chr. finding himself ftill capable of making a new addition to

1853. his family, though he was then an hundred and forty-one Wyears old, and had continued a widower several years, Abraham, he took another wife, named Keturah (P); by whom he being 141 had fix sons, whom he afterwards portioned, that they years old,

might not interfere with Isaac's inheritance, and sent marries Keturah,

them to dwell towards the east. They went eastward of

Beerseba, and the land of Canaan; and settled in both fons by

Arabias, the Petræa and the Deserta ', where some footber.

steps of their names are still to be met with, of which we have given an account in a former volume k.

and has fix

i Gen. xxv. per tot.

k Vid. fup. vol. ii. p. 150, & feqq.

(P) The Jews pretend, that fons, and her name's being this Keturah was the same with changed from Hagar into KeHagar, whom Abraham fent turah, which fignifies incense, for again after his wife's death, and is the emblem of conciand by whom he had all these nency, in which she had lived children. The reasons they ever since she had been dismifgive for

are, 1. Because the sed from Abraham, are rabbi. Psalmist calls the Midianites, nical dreams, for the is still which came of Keturah, Ha-' called Hagar in the same chapgarens (108). 2. It is said ter (112). Besides, the text is elsewhere, they made war with plain against them, it being the Hagarens, with Jethur, said, that Abraham added or Naphish, and Nadab (109), proceeded to take another wife, which were the sons of Ishmael which is inconsistent with his (110). And, 3. Because Ifh- recalling the old one. Add to mael, Hagar's son, is said to this, that Hagar was only a have aslifted Isaac at the fune- concubine, and is no-where ral obsequies of their father called a wife, as Keturah is ; Abraham (111) To which and that Hagar must then have they add, that Hagar being been about eighty years of Abraham's lawful wife, it was

age, and so too old to bear so juster for him to marry her many fons to so old a man than another. But these rea- (113).

(103) Psal. Ixxxiii. 6. (109) 1 Chron. V. 10. ron. tradit. Hebr. in Gen. xxv. 20. (141) Gen. XXv. 9. (113) Yun. in loc. Villet. 6. 25. quæft. 3. & al.

(110) Hie. (112) Ver. 12.


CONCERNING Abraham we have nothing more record- Year of ed, except that he lived to the hundredth and seventy-fifth the flood year of his age, and was gathered unto his fathers; and 491. that his two sons paid him their last devoirs, Ifaac having Bef. Chr. probably sent for his brother Ishmael, and buried him in 1857. the cave of Machpelah, near Sarah his wife. Hence it

Abrais plain, that Moses has here anticipated his death, by ham's mentioning it before the birth of his two grandsons Efau death. and Jacob, though he must have lived to the fifteenth year of their age (Q).


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(Q) Abraham's history has written by him, wherein two been embellished with a great angels, a good one and a bad many notorious fictions by the one, are introduced disputing Jews, Arabians, and Indians. about his falvation or damnaWe have already touched on tion (118). The Jews make some of them in his life ; and him also the composer of some shall now subjoin some few more prayers, and of the ninetieth that are remarkable, such as psalm, and of a treatise against his making a long abode in idolatry (119). The Indian Egypt, and teaching aftronomy, fire-worshipers, who think and other sciences there (115); him to have been the same with his inventing the Hebrew cha- their great prophet Zoroafter, racters and tongue (116), the attribute his books to him, same that are now in use ; his which they call the Zend, Pabeingthe author of several books, Zend, and Voftah, containing and in particular the famous all the principles of their reone mentioned in the Talmud, ligion (120). Dr. Prideaux and highly valued by several mentions them as one book, learned rabbies, called Jetzi- or perhaps three books in one rah, or the creation; of which volume, which he calls Zenit gives an account. There is devesti; or, as the vulgar peoalso an apocalypse attributed ple pronounce it, Zundeveto him by the Sethians, a fort How or plain Zund. Which of heretics that sprang up in name, he tells us, signifies a the earliest times of christianity fire-kindler, such as a tinder(117). His assumption is men- box is here with us; and was tioned by St. Athanafius; and given it by the author to inOrigen tells us of an apocry- linuate, that it would kindle a phal book pretended to be brighter fire in those who should


(116). Id.

(115) Artapan. & Eupolem. ap. Euseb. præp. l. ix. C. 17, 18. Juftin.
ex Trog. l. xxxvi. Iofepb. ant. l.i. c. 8.
ibid. °Suid. in Abraham. Ifidor. Hifpal. l. i. 6. 3. Origen, &c. (117)
Epiphan. hæref. l. xxxix. c.5.

(118) Origen, komil.
xxxv. in Luc.

(119) R. Saloin. ir Bava Batbra, c. I. Ge. mar. cod. Talns, tra&t. Abodab 2 arab, c. 1,

(120) Her heist. bibliot, orient. p. 16.


Rebecca's As for Rebecca, she continued barren above nineteen pregnancy. years ; during which time Ifaac ceased not intreating the


attentively and devoutly read of their own invention, but it (130)

which we think not worth The Arabians have likewise a place in a book of this nagiven us an history of this pa- ture, and for which we shall triarch, though so altered and refer our reader to the author blended, that one would hardly quotea last in the margin (132). think they were descended, as The Perfian fire-worshipers they are, from him by Ilho to this day express a great ve. mael.

neration for him ; they call Abraham, according to them, him Zeerdoost, or Zoroafter, (131), was the son of Azar, which signifies the friend of fire; and grandson of Terab; which because when he was thrown, account, could it be relied upon, as they pretend, into the furnace would easily resolve that dif- by Nimrod's order, the flames, ficulty about his age when he instead of consuming him, cadied, which we have lately ressed and embraced him in spoken of, p. 248,(B); since Te- a friendly manner (133). We rah might have begot Azar in may add, that Calmet (134) the seventieth year of his age, mentions a book in the French and Azar have begot Abraham king's library, No. 792, writin the sixtieth of his; so that ten originally by St. Ephrem this fast number, which is the Syrian, and translated from wanting in Moses's account of the Syriac into Arabic, upon his life, would be here found Abraham's journey into Egypt; complete ; but we dare not af- in which book there is also a firm any thing about it. Cal sermon on his death, preached met indeed thinks we might by St. Athanafius, patriarch of easily suppose two Terahs, one Alexandria, on the twentysurnamed Azar, Abraham's fa- eighth of March ; on which ther, and the other his grand- day the Coptic or Egyptian father ; but we dare not add Christians celebrate his fewith him, that there is nothing stival. The antient fathers of in such a supposition that con- the church have highly celetradicts the sacred text. The brated him on the account of eastern heathens have also a his great faith and obedience ; long tradition of Abraham's and the martyrologies have life, though vastly different given him a place among their from that of Moses, and fraught other saints, on the ninth of with many wonderful additions O&tober (135). The church

(137) Conn. P. 31. (131) Tarikmounteckeb ap. eund. p. 12. ibid. p. 13. ex lib. Malleń.

(132) Id.

(133) Prid. conneet. p. i. bcok iv. (134) Ex bibl. orient. p. 16. (135) Martyrol. Rom. Adon. Ujue ard, &c.


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