Imatges de pàgina

flight till the third day after, was full seven days before he could overtake him ; by which time Jacob had already


the most received and probablewards universally known by opinion is, that it was human, the name of talismen, as they or something resembling a hu- are to this day all over India. man form, as a bufto, termiThe Persians called them telenus, &c. though the Jews pre- phim, a name not unlike tera, tend, that it was the head of phim. They were made of a first-born son, plucked off different metals and sizes, caft from the neck, and embalmed; under certain constellations, under the tongue of which was with the figures of some plafaftened a golden plate, with nets, and magic characters, en. the name of some false deity graven upon them.

What engraved upon it'; which head, metal those of Laban were, or being placed in a nich, or up- how big, or how many, is not on a shelf, gave vocal an- easy to guess ; only this the swers (160): but these are ra- text tells us, that the hid them ther to be looked on as fables in the straw, and fat upon not worth confuting; and the them. As for their use, it was figure which Michol put in chiefly to give answers, to foreDavid's bed (161), which the tel what was to come, to disoriginal calls by the name of cover what was hid or loft, and teraphim, shews, that it muft the like. Besides this, they have had an human shape. Jo- were also addressed to for temJephus indeed, who might think poral blessings, and to avert it a reflection on David, that evils. They were to be con. there should be found an image fulted and prayed to at ceror teraphim in his house, has tain times, under particular attributed a more subtle strata- aspects of the planets, from gem to Michol, though less which, according to the Jews, credible (162). But, waving they partly received that the improbability of this story, power, and partly from the we shall meet with so many characters engraven on them instances in the sequel of this (163). Another rabbi goes history, wherein this author further, and pretends that they doth depart, from the Scriptures, gave their answers viva voce and from truth, whenever the 1164), and proves it from the honour of his nation is con- words of the prophet, The tecerned, that his authority will raphims have spoken vain be of little weight in all such things (165). However, we cases.

must not suppose, that all the These teraphims were after-, teraphims were of the same

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(161) Jonat, targ. in Gen. xxxi. R.Tanbuma Eleaz, & al. (161) 1 Sam. Tix. 16. (162) Ant. lib. vi. 6. 14.

(163) D. Kimchi fub vos. Teraph. (164) R. Eleaz, cop. 36. (165) Zecbar. X. 2.

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passed the Euphrates (C), and was got up the mountains of Gilead, where he had pitched his tent for that night.

make, or for the same uses, and buried them under a tree even among the Jews. We in Sichem (172). shall have occasion to mention (C) Though the text doth fome of other forts, when we not say what river he passed, come to speak of that of Mic yet it is plain, it could be no cah (166): besides, as they other than the Euphrates, which came to be universal, every the Scripture sometimes calla one had them made after his the river Perah, sometimes the own fancy ; though the gene- great river, and sometimes rality of them had at least an emphatically, the river, or human head.

flood (173); either because The last thing worth in that and the Nile were the quiring into, is, what induced only two considerable ones they Rachel to steal her father's knew ; or, because it was one gods. To which fome answer, of the four rivers of Paradise; that she did it to repay herself or lastly, because it was the for the damage which they boundary of the promised land had sustained by her father (174). However, Jacob must (167); others, that she thought have made prodigious speed to by that means to prevent La- have arrived at mount Gilead ban's inquiring of them, which in io days, with all his family, way Jacob went (168); others, cattle and lumber, it being that she would thereby cure little less distant from Haran her father of his idolatry, than 250 miles ; so that he against which Jacob had read must be supposed to have trahis wives many a lecture (169). velled at the rate of 25

miles The learned Shuskford looks a day, unless he had perhaps upon this theft to have been taken the advantage of two or committed by her, out of a fond three days journey, under

preregard for her ancestors (170). tence of fresh pasture before he And lastly, others think, that set out for good. Laban and his both she and her sister were company must have made ftill still addicted to that supersti- greater hafte to have overtion, and that their designing tåken him in seven days, and to continue in it, made her to have travelled at the rate of conceal the theft from her 37 miles a day ; which plainly husband (171); which seems thews, that he was no less eathe most probable, since Ja- ger to wreak his resentment cob, making a thorough re- on him, than Jacob was to formation in his house, caused avoid it. them to be taken from her, (166) Jud. xvii. 1, & feqz.

(167) Percir. Fabnfon, & a!. (168) Abenezra in loc.

(169) Theodoret. quaeft. 9. Rab. Sal. Greg. Nazianz. orat. de S. Pasib. & al.. (170) Connect. vol. i. 1. ve p. 342. vol. ii. l.vii. p. 154. (171) Cyril. in Gen. Ixi. Cbryfoft. Cajet. Musc. Calv. & al.

(172) Gen. Xxxv. 4. (173) Vid. feb. i. 4 xxiv, alib, (174) Vid. Gen. xv. 18.

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It is evident, that he had some ill design against his fon-in-
law; but God, who appeared to him that night in a
dream, was pleased to avert it, by threatening him fe-
verely, if he committed any hostility or violence against
him so that he contented himself with expoftulating Laban
with him, that he had stolen away without giving him an overtakes
opportunity of kissing his children and grandchildren, them.
and sending them away with the usual ceremonies of music
and dances. Jacob, on the other hand, was not without
his complaints'; Laban's deceiving him, and making him
serve so long for a woman he did not care for ; the chang-
ing his salary so many times, and his late strange behaviour
towards him and his family ; all these and many more, he
answered him, were but ill requitals for all his diligence
and care, or for the blessings which God had heaped upon
him for his fake. Laban had yet another thing to lay to
his charge, namely, the stealing of his gods; and Jacob,
ignorant of Rachel's theft, desired him to make the most
diligent search for them throughout his family, promising
that the person on whom they were found, should be im-
mediately put to death. Laban loft no time, but searched Searches
every tent, and last of all came to that of Rachel, who for his gods
had hid the teraphim under the camel's litter, and had
set herself down upon them. She kept fitting whilst he
was curiously examining every corner, and excused it,
with telling him, that the condition she was then in, al-
lowed her Tex to dispense with the usual ceremonies. This
prevented all further scrutiny; and Laban, departing with
an heavy heart, acquainted his son-in-law with bis il suces
cess. This caused some fresh expoftulations; which being
ended, they fell upon a more agreeable subject, which
was to make an alliance between them, and to erect a

monument as a standing witness of it to future ages. They
all put a helping hand, and reared the pile, which Laban
called in the Syrian tongue Jegar- fahadutha, and Jacob cob.
in Hebrew, Gilead; both which fignify the heap of wit. They rear
ness b. Here they likewife swore, that neither would
pass over that monument to hurt the other; and Jacoba ment in me-
that he would use his wives and children with all becom:mory of it.
ing tenderness and affection. The ceremony being ended, Laban re-
and a facrifice offered upon the occasion, Jacos feafted turns home.
the whole company the rest of that day; and the next
morning Laban having embraced and bleffed the whole
family, returned home to Padan-aram.

b. Vid. fup. vol. i. p. 347, & feqq. & vol. ii. p. 292. & Gen. xxxi, p. cot.



with Ja

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Jacob'svi- JACOB, who thought his absence a greater security than fion. the oaths he had sworn, was glad to have so well escaped ; He calls but one fear fucceeded another, and the resentment of his the place brother Efau began now to give him a fresh trouble ; but Maha

a vision which he had of an host of angels, who met him naim.

in his way to Canaan, allayed his anxiety for a while ; and
in memory of this vision he called the place Mahanaim
(two camps). But, being still fearful of his brother ,
he resolved to soften him with a submissive message ; and
though still near 120 miles from him, yet to send a mes-
fage to acquaint him with the success he had during his
stay in Mesopotamia, the riches and multitude of wives,
children, servants, and cattle, which he had acquired ; and
that he did not think fit to proceed further homewards,
till he had sent him his best compliments (D). The
messengers returned with the news, that Efau was
coming to meet him, accompanied with four hundred
of his men.

This was enough to make him conclude,
that he came with a design to destroy him, and all
that belonged to him ; but, recovering little from his fear,
he set himself about giving orders to his family. He
divided them into two bands, in hopes that if the one pe-
rished, thə other might escape ; which done, he addrefied
himself to God in a very humble prayer, acknowlege-

ing his great mercies, and his own unworthiness,
He sends and begging his future protection against his brother's
fome pre- sword, and that he would fulfill all his former pro-
sents to mises to him. After this he resolved to try how far pre-
sents would work upon Esau's temper ; and, having set

a Vid. sup. vol. ii. p. 166.
(D) As Jacob was still so ing. It might moreover be
many miles from mount Seir, done with a politic view, to
where Efau then dwelt, this inform himself how he stood
message would have been su- affected towards him, in order
perfluous or premature, had he to stop short or fteer another
not designed, by acquainting course, if he found him in no
him with the great wealth he better temper than he had left
had got in Haran, to have him. And this, as a judicious
dispoliessed his brother of a divine rightly observes (172),
prejudice, that he came empty- sufficiently accounts for Jacob's
handed, and with a view only message, without fuppofing
of inheriting his old father's two lands of Edom, one nearer,
substance, which might have and another farther from Gi-
rekindled his resentment, and lead, as Adrichomius, and o-
caused a fresh misunderstand- thers after him, have done.
(172) See Sbuckford's connect. vol. ii. p. 156, & Je79.


apart two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty The-camels, with their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty fhe-asses and ten colts, he sent them before him in separate bands, and charged their drivers, when they met his brother, to tell him, that they were presents sent by Jacob to his lord Esau, in order to intreat his favour and good will b. On the next morning he made all his family and focks go over the brook Jabbok long before break of day, whilst himself tarried at Mahanaim. Here appeared to him in the shape of a man, according to the prophet Hofea , the same divine person that had before at Bethel, who wrestled with him till the morning; and, not being able to prevail with him, touched the hollow of his thigh, and put it out of joint; then desired him to let him go, since day appeared. Jacob then begged, that he might have his Jacob is blessing first ; upon which he changed his name from Ja-named Ifcob to Ifrael, which signifies a man that has prevailed rael at Po with God. But, when he was desired to tell his own

niel. name, he refused, and departed from him (D). Jacob

therefore b Gen. xxxii. 14, 15.

c Hof. xii. ver. 4. (D) Most versions, as well more comfortable to Jacob in as ours, render the words of the streight he was in, about the angel to Jacob in the lat- meeting his brother Esau, than ter part of the 28th verse, as such a promise ? or what can if Jacob had prevailed over more naturally account for this men as well as over him; vision, than to suppose, that whereas he had been so far it happened to him in order from prevailing over the only to dispel his fears? This version two enemies he had, viz. Elau is likewise more agreeable to and Laban, that he had been the Cbaldee paraphrase, the forced to flee from them both. Septuagint, and the Vulgate, This makes it therefore ne- which render it thus, If thon cessary to have recourse to a haft been thus far able to prebetter 'version of these words, vail with God, how much if the original can bear us out more wilt thou be able to prein it , which it will do without vail over men! the least violence ; or rather, Some of the antiept fathers by following the most strict and think it was to be understood literal sense of it, which runs in a spiritual, and not actual thus, Thou hast acted or be- sense (173). As to the person haved prince-like' (in thy wre- who wrestled with Jacob, fome Atling) with God, and thou have believed it to be an angel, Jhalt also prevail over men. only because Hosea calls him And indeed, what could be by that name in the place

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