« הקודםהמשך »
B. C. cir. 1779.
Jacob meets with Rachel, and CHAP. XXIX.
is taken to Laban's house A. M. cir. 2225. 5 And he said unto them, Rachel the daughter of Laban A. M. cir. 2225. B. C. cir. 1779.
ye Laban the son of his mother's brother, and the Nahor ? And they said, We know him. sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that
6 And he said unto them, e Is he well ? ? Jacob went near, and rolled i the stone from And they said, He is well : and behold, Ra- the well's mouth, and watered the flock of chel his daughter cometh with the sheep. Laban his mother's brother.
7 And he said, Lo, & it is yet high day : 11 And Jacob & kissed Rachel, and lifted up neither is it time that the cattle should be his voice, and wept. gathered together: water ye the sheep, and 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was go and feed them.
1 her father's brother, and that he was Re8 And they said, We cannot, until all the bekah's son: mand she ran and told her flocks be gathered together, and till they roll father. the stone from the well's mouth; then we 13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard water the sheep
the - tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that ohe 9 And while he yet spake with them, “Ra- ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed chel came with her father's sheep: for she him, and brought him to his house. And he kept them.
told Laban all these things. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw 14 And Laban said to him, P Surely thou
• Heb. Is there peace to him?yet the day is greal.
h Exod. ii. 16. XXI. 4; xlv. 14, 15.
Chap. xliii. 27.
Chap. xiii. 8; xiv. 14, 16. -i Exod. ii. 17. k Ch. hearing.
Chap. xxiv. 29. 2 Sam. v. 1; xix. 12, 13.
m Chapter xxiv, 28.-n Heb, -P Chapter ii. 23 ; Judg. ix. 2;
guage of Laban and his family was Chaldee' and not the well, as in the case of Rebekah; or tend sheep, Hebrew; (see chap. xxxi. 47;) but from the names as in the case of Rachel. The chief property in those which Leah gave to her children we see that the two times consisted in flocks : and who so proper to take languages had many words in common, and there care of them as those who were interested in their fore Jacob and the shepherds might understand each safety and increase ? Honest labour, far from being other with little difficulty. It is possible also that a discredit, is an honour both to high and low. The Jacob might have learned the Chaldee or Aramitish king himself is served by the field ; and without it, and language from his mother, as this was his mother's the labour necessary for its cultivation, all ranks must tongue.
perish. Let every son, let every daughter, learn that Verse 5. Laban the son of Nahor] Son is here it is no discredit to be employed, whenever it may be put for grandson, for Laban was the son of Bethuel necessary, in the meanest offices, by which the intethe son of Nahor.
rests of the family may be honestly promoted. Verse 6. Is he well ?] in Bihor hashalom lo ? Is Verse 10. Jacob went near, and rolled the stone) there peace to him? Peace among the Hebrews sig. Probably the flock of Laban was the last of those nified all kinds of prosperity. Is he a prosperous man which had a right to the well ; that flock being now in his family and in his property? And they said, come, Jacob assisted the shepherds to roll off the stone, He is well, bihu shalom, he prospers.
(for it is not likely he did it by himself,) and so assisted Rachel—cometh with the sheep.) 57 rachel (the ch his cousin, to whom he was as yet unknown, to water sounded strongly guttural) signifies a sheep or ewe ; her flock. and she probably had her name from her fondness for Verse 11. Jacob kissed Rachel] A simple and pure these animals.
method by which the primitive inhabitants of the earth Verse 7. It is yet high day] The day is but about testified their friendship to each other, first abused by half run ; neither is it time that the callle should be hypocrites, who pretended affection while their vile gathered together—it is surely not time yet to put hearts meditated terror, (see the case of Joab,) and them into the folds ; give them therefore water, and afterwards disgraced by refiners on morals, who, while take them again to pasture.
they pretended to stumble at those innocent expressions Verse 3. We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered of affection and friendship, were capable of committing together] It is a rule that the stone shall not be the grossest acts of impurity. removed till all the shepherds and the flocks which And lifled up his voice] It may be, in thanksgiving have a right to this well be gathered together; io God for the favour he had shown him, in conductthen, and not before, we may water the sheep. See ing him thus far in peace and safety. on ver. 3.
And wept.) From a sense of the goodness of his Verse 9. Rachel came with her father's sheep] So heavenly Father, and his own unworthiness of the sucwe find that young women were not kept concealed in cess with which he had been favoured. The same the house till the time they were married, which is the expressions of kindness and pure affection are repeated common gloss put on 70 Sy almah, a virgin, one con- on the part of Laban, ver. 13. cealed. Nor was it beneath the dignity of the daugh- Verse 14. My bone and my flesh.] One of my nearters of the most opulent chiefs to carry water from est relatives.
B. C. cir. 1779.
B. C. cir. 1779.
seven years for Rachel. A. M. cir. 2225. art
bone and flesh. And 17 Leah was tender-eyed; but A. M. cir. 2225.
he abode with him the space Rachel was 'beautiful and well of a month.
favoured. 15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because 18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy serve me for naught? tell me, what shall thy younger daughter.
19 And Laban said, " It is better that I give 16 And Laban had two daughters : the name her to thee, than that I should give her to of the elder was Leah, and the name of the another 'man: abide with me. younger was Rachel.
20 And Jacob u served
seven years for
· wages be?
9 Heb. a month of days.
Prov. xxxi. 30.
-- Chap. xii. 11; xxiv. 16; xxxix. 6; Psa. xii. 2.- Chap. xxx. 26; Hos. xii. 12; Cant. viii. 6,7; Chap. xxxi. 41 ; xxxiv. 12.
I Cor. xiii. 7.
Verse 15. Because thou art my brother, fc.] David, in order to be Saul's son-in-law, must, instead Though thou art my nearest relative, yet I have no of a dowry, kill Goliath ; and when this was done, he right to thy services without giving thee an adequate was not permitted to espouse Michal till he had killed recompense. Jacob had passed a whole month in the one hundred Philistines. The Prophet Hosea bought family of Laban, in which he had undoubtedly render- his wife for fifteen pieces of silver, and a homer and ed himself of considerable service. As Laban, who a half of barley. The same custom prevailed among was of a very saving if not covetous disposition, saw the ancient Greeks, Indians, and Germans. The Rothat he was likely to be of great use to him in his mans also had a sort of marriage entitled per coempsecular concerns, he wished to secure his services, and tionem, " by purchase.” The Tarlars and Turks still therefore asks him what wages he wished to have. buy their wives; but among the latter they are bought
Verse 17. Leah was tender-eyed] 197 raccoth, soft, as a sort of slaves. delicate, lovely. I believe the word means just the Herodotus mentions a very singular custom among reverse of the signification generally given to it. The the Babylonians, which may serve to throw light on design of the inspired writer is to compare both the Laban's conduct towards Jacob. " In every district sisters together, that the balance may appear to be they annually assemble all the marriageable virgins on greatly in favour of Rachel. The chief recommenda- 'a certain day; and when the men are come together tion of Leah was her soft and beautiful eyes; but Ra- and stand round the place, the crier rising up sells one chel was 7x7 no' yephath toar, beautiful in her shape, after another, always bringing forward the most beauperson, mien, and gait, and 77877 no' yephath mareh, tiful first.; and having sold her for a great sum of gold, beautiful in her countenance. The words plainly sig- he puts up her who is esteemed second in beauty. On nify a fine shape and fine features, all that can be con- this occasion the richest of the Babylonians used to sidered as essential to personal beauty. Therefore contend for the fairest wife, and to outbid one another. Jacob loved her, and was willing to become a bond But the vulgar are content to take the ugly and lame servant for seven years, that he might get her to wife; with money ; for when all the beautiful virgins are sold, for in his destitute state he could produce no dowry, the crier orders the most deformed to stand up; and and it was the custom of those times for the father to after he has openly demanded who will máry her with receive a portion for his daughter, and not to give one a small sum, she is at length given to the man that is with her. One of the Hindoo lawgivers says, “A contented to marry her with the least. And in this person may become a slave on account of love, or to manner the money arising from the sale of the handobtain a wife.” The bad system of education by which some served for a portion to those whose look was diswomen are spoiled and rendered in general good for agreeable, or who had any bodily imperfection. A fanothing, makes it necessary for the husband to get a ther was not permitted to indulge his own fancy in the dowry' with his wife to enable him to maintain her.; choice of a husband for his daughter; neither might whereas in former times they were well educated' and the purchaser carry off the woman which he had bought extremely useful, hence he who got a wife almost in- without giving sufficient security that he would live variably got a prize, or as Solomon says, got a good with her as his own wife. Those also who received thing.
a sum of money with such as could bring no price in Verse 20. And Jacob served seven years for Rachel] this market, were obliged also to give sufficient secuIn ancient times it appears to have been a custom rity that they would live with them, and if they did among all nations that men should give dowries for not they were obliged to refund the money.” Thus their wives; and in many countries this custom still Laban made use of the beauty of Rachel to dispose of prevails. When Shechem asked Dinah for wife, he his daughter Leah, in the spirit of the Babylonian cussaid, Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will tom, though not in the letter. give according as ye shall say unto me. When Eliezer And they seemed unto him but a few days) If Jacob went to get Rebekah for Isaac, he took a profusion of had been obliged to wait seven years before he marriches with him, in silver, gold, jewels, and raiment, ried Rachel, could it possibly be said that they could with other costly things, which, when the contract was appear to him as a few days? Though the letter of made, he gave to Rebekah, her mother, and her brothers. ) the text seems to say the contrary, yet there are emiJacob demands Rachel, but
Laban gives him Leah A. M. cir. 2225. Rachel ; and they seemed unto 25 And it came to pass, that in A. M. cir. 2232. B. C. cir. 1779.
. him but a few days, for the love the morning, behold, it was Leah: he had to her.
and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast A. M. cir. 2232. 21 And Jacob said unto La- done unto me? did not I serve with thee B. C. cir. 1772.
ban, Give me my wife, for my for Rachel ? wherefore then hast thou bedays are fulfilled, that I may 'go in unto her. guiled me ?
22 And Laban gathered together all the 26 And Laban said, It must not be so done men of the place, and made a feast. in our country, * to give the younger before
23 And it came to pass in the evening, that the first-born. he took Leah his daughter, and brought her 27 y Fulfil her week, and we will give thee to him; and he went in unto her.
this also, for the service which thou shalt 24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah serve with me, yet seven other years. Zilpah his maid for a handmaid.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: * Judges xv. l.— Judges xiv. 10; Matthew xxii. 2-10; *Heb. place. — Judg. xiv. 12; Lev. xviii. 18; Mal. ii. 15; John ii. 1, 2.
chap. xxix. 20. nent men who strongly contend that he received Ra- brought to Jacob in the evening, the imposition here chel soon after the month was finished, (see ver. 14,) practised might easily pass undetected by Jacob, till and then served seven years for her, which might really the ensuing day discovered the fraud. appear but a few days to him, because of his increas- Verse 24. And Laban gave—Zilpah his maid) ing love to her ; but others think this quite incompati- Slaves given in this way to a daughter on her marriage, ble with all the circumstances marked down in the were the peculiar property of the daughter; and, over text, and on the supposition that Jacob was not now them the husband had neither right nor power. seventy-seven years of age, as most chronologers make Verse 26. It must not be so done in our country] him, but only fifty-seven, (see on chap. xxxi.,) there it was an early custom to give daughters in marriage will be time sufficient to allow for all the transactions according to their seniority; and it is worthy of remark which are recorded in his history, during his stay with that the oldest people now existing, next to the Jews, Laban. As to the incredibility of a passionate lover, I mean the Hindoos, have this not merely as a custom, as some have termed him, waiting patiently for seven but as a positive law; and they deem it criminal to years before he could possess the object of his wishes, give a younger daughter in marriage while an elder. and those seven years appearing to him as only a few daughter remains unmarried. Among them it is a high days, it may be satisfactorily accounted for, they think, offence, equal to adultery, “ for a man to marry while two ways: 1. He had the continual company of his his elder brother remains unmarried, or for a man to elect spouse, and this certainly would take away all give his daughter to such a person, or to give his tedium in the case. 2. Love affairs were not carried youngest daughter in marriage while the eldest sister to such a pitch of insanity among the patriarchs as remains unmarried.”—Code of Gentoo Laws, chap. they have been in modern times ; they were much xv., sec. 1, p. 204. This was a custom at Mesopomore sober and sedate, and scarcely ever married be- tamia ; but Laban took care to conceal it from Jacob fore they were forty years of age, and then more for till after he had given him Leah. The words of Laconveniency, and the desire of having an offspring, ban are literally what a Hindoo would say on such a than for any other purpose. At the very lowest com- subject. putation Jacob was now fifty-seven, and consequently Verse 27. Fulfil her week] The marriage feast, it must have passed those days in which passion runs appears, lasted seven days; it would not therefore have away with reason. Still, however, the obvious con- been proper to break off the solemnities to which all struction of the text shows that he got Rachel the the men of the place had been invited, ver. 22, and week after he had married Leah.
probably Laban wished to keep his fraud from the pubVerse 21. My days are fulfilled] My seven years lic eye ; therefore he informs Jacob that if he will fulfil are now completed, let me have my wife, for whom I the marriage week for Leah, he will give him Rachel have given this service as a dowry.
at the end of it, on condition of his serving seven other Verse 22. Laban-made a feast.] onun mishteh years. To this the necessity of the case caused Jacob signifies a feast of drinking. As marriage was a very to agree; and thus Laban had fourteen years' service solemn contract, there is much reason to believe that instead of seven ; for it is not likely that Jacob would sacrifices were offered on the occasion, and libations have served even seven days for Leah, as his affection poured out; and we know that on festival occasions a was wholly set on Rachel, the wife of his own choice. cup of wine was offered to every guest ; and as this By this stratagem Laban gained a settlement for both was drunk with particular ceremonies, the feast might his daughters. What a man soweth, that shall he reap. derive its name from this circumstance, which was the Jacob had before practised deceit, and is now deceived ; most prominent and observable on such occasions. and Laban, the instrument of it, was afterwards de.
Verse 23. In the evening-he took Leah his daugh-ceived himself. Ler] As the bride was always veiled, and the bride Verse 28. And Jacob did somand he gave him Rachamber generally dark, or nearly so, and as Leah was chel] It is perfectly plain that Jacob did not serve
B. C. cir. 1770,
Rachel also given to Jacob.
Leah bears four sons. A. M. cir. 2232. and he
him Rachel his 33 And she conceived again, A. M. cir. 2234. B. C. cir. 1772. daughter to wife also.
and bare a son; and said, Be29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter cause the Lord hath heard that I was hated, z Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. he hath therefore given me this son also : and
30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and she called his name & Simeon. he a loved also Rachel more than Leah, and 34 And she conceived again, A. M. cir. 2235.
B. C. cir. 1769. served with him yet seven other years. and bare a son; and said, Now
31 And when the LORD Csaw that Leah this time will my husband be joined unto me, was hated, he d opened her womb: but Ra- because I have borne him three sons: therechel was barren.
fore was his name called Levi. 32 And Leah conceived, and 35 And she conceived again, A. M. cir. 2236.
bare a son, and she called his and bare a son; and she said, name • Reuben : for she said, Surely the Now will I praise the LORD : therefore Lord hath 'looked upon my affliction; now she called his name i Judah ;k and 'left therefore
A. M. cir. 2233.
B. C. cir. 1768.
z Verse 24 ; chapter xxx. 3-8.- Verse 20; Deut. xxi. 15. Chap. xxx. 26; xxxi. 41 ; Hosea xii. 12.é Psa. cxxvii. 3. d Chap. xxx. 1. Le That is, see a son.
Exod. ii. 7; iv. 31 ; Deut. xxvi. 7; Psa. XXV. 18; cri. 44. & That is, hearing. h That is, joined; see Num. xviii. 2, 4. i Matt. i. 2. * That is, praise. Heb. stood from tearing.
seven years more before he got Rachel to wife; but ben, literally, see ye or behold a son; for Jehovah hath having spent a week with Leah, and in keeping the looked upon, 778n raah, beheld, my affliction ; behold marriage feast, he then got Rachel, and served after- then the consequence, I have got a son! wards seven years for her. Connections of this kind Verse 33. She called his name Simeon.] juun are now called incestuous; but it appears they were shimon, hearing ; i. e., God had blessed her with allowable in those ancient times. In taking both sis another son, because he had heard that she was hated ters, it does not appear that any blame attached to Ja
---loved less than Rachel was. cob, though in consequence of it he was vexed by their Verse 34. Therefore was his name called Levi.] 5 jealousies. It was probably because of this that the levi, joined; because she supposed that, in consequence law was made, Thou shall not take a wife to her sister, of all these children, Jacob would become joined to to vex her, besides the other in her life-time. After her in as strong affection, at least, as he was to Rachel. this, all such marriages were strictly forbidden. From Levi sprang the tribe of Levites, who instead
Verse 31. The Lord saw that Leah was hated] of the first-born, were joined unto the priests in the From this and the preceding verse we get the genuine service of the sanctuary. See Num. xviii. 2, 4. meaning of the word sjä sane, to hate, in certain dis- Verse 35. She called his name Judah] 7717 yeputed places in the Scriptures. The word simply sig. hudah, a confessor; one who acknowledges God, and nifies a less degree of love; so it is said, ver. 30: acknowledges that all good comes from his hands, “ Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah,” i. e., he loved and gives him the praise due to his grace and mercy. Leah less than Rachel ; and this is called hating in From this patriarch the Jews have their name, and • ver. 31: When the Lord saw that Leah was hated- could it be now rightly applied to them, it would that she had less affection shown to her than was her intimate that they were a people that confess God, due, as one of the legitimate wives of Jacob, he opened acknowledge his bounty, and praise him for his grace. her womb-he blessed her with children. Now the Left bearing.] That is, for a time ; for she had frequent intercourse of Jacob with Leah (see the fol- several children afterwards. . Literally translated, the lowing verses) sufficiently proves that he did not hate original n753 royn taamod milledeth-she stood still her in the sense in which this term is used among us; from bearing, certainly does not convey the same but he felt and showed less affection for her than for meaning as that in our translation ; the one appearing her sister. So Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I to signify that she ceased entirely from having hated, simply means, I have shown a greater degree children ; the other, that she only desisted for a lime, of affection for Jacob and his posterity than I have which was probably occasioned by a temporary susdone for Esau and his descendants, by giving the for- pension of Jacob's company, who appears to have mer a better earthly portion than I have given to the deserted the tent of Leah through the jealous managelatter, and by choosing the family of Jacob to be the ment of Rachel. progenitors of the Messiah. But not one word of all The intelligent and pious care of the original inthis relates to the eternal states of either of the two habitants of the world to call their children by those nations. Those who endeavour to support certain names which were descriptive of some remarkable peculiarities of their creed by such scriptures as these, event in providence, circumstance of their birth, or dodo greatly err, not knowing the Scripture, and not pro- mestic occurrence, is worthy, not only of respect, but perly considering either the sovereignty or the mercy of imitation. As the name itself continually called to of God.
the mind, both of the parents and the child, the cir. Verse 32. She called his name Reuben] faixa reu- cumstance from which it originated, it could not fail to
Rachel envies her sister,
CHAP. XXX. and is displeased with Jacob be a lasting blessing to both. How widely different names, so called, are absurd, others are ridiculous, is our custom! Unthinking and ungodly, we impose and a third class impious; these last being taken from names upon our offspring as we do upon our cattle; the demon gods and goddesses of heathenism. May we and often the dog, the horse, the monkey, and the hope that the rational and pious custom recommended parrot, share in common with our children the names in the Scriptures shall ever be restored, even among which are called Christian! Some of our Christian I those who profess to believe in, fear, and love God!
Rachel envies her sister, and chides Jacob, 1. He reproves her and vindicates himself, 2. She gives him her maid Bilhah, 3, 4. She conceives, and bears Dan, 5, 6; and afterwards Naphtali, 7, 8.
Leah gives Zilpah her maid to Jacob, 9. She conceives and bears Gad, 10, 11, and also Asher, 12, 13. Reuben finds mandrakes, of which Rachel requests a part, 14. The bargain made between her and Leah, 15. Jacob in consequence lodges with Leah instead of Rachel, 16. She conceives, and bears Issachar, 17, 18, and Zebulun, 19, 20, and Dinah, 21. Rachel conceives, and bears Joseph, 22–24.
Jacob requests permission from Laban to go to his own country, 25, 26. Laban entreats him to tarry, and offers to give him what wages he shall choose to name, 27, 28. Jacob details the importance of his services to Laban, 29, 30, and offers to continue those services for the speckled and spotted among the goats, and the brown among the sheep, 31-33. Laban consents, 34, and divides all the ring-streaked and spotted among the he-goats, the speckled and spotted among the she-goats, and the brown among the sheep, and puts them under the care of his sons, and sets three days' journey between himself and Jacob, 35, 36.
Jacob's stratagem of the pilled rods, to cause the cattle to bring forth the ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted, 37-39.
In consequence of which he increased his flock greatly, getting all that was strong and healthy in the flock of
Laban, 40-43. B. M. cir : 2236. AND when Rachel saw that 5 And Bilhah conceived, and A. M. cir. 2237.
B. C. cir. 1767. a she bare Jacob no chil- bare Jacob a son. dren, Rachel benvied her sister; and said unto 6 And Rachel said, God hath * judged me, Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. and hath also heard my voice, and hath given
2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against me a son: therefore called she his name Rachel : and he said, a Am I in God's stead, Dan. who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the ng And Bilhah Rachel's maid A. M. cir. 2239.
B. C. cir. 1765. womb?
conceived again, and bare Jacob 3 And she said, Behold, my maid Bilhah, a second son. go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my 8 And Rachel said, Withm knees, 8 that I may also b have children by her. lings have I wrestled with my sister, and I
4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid have prevailed: and she called his name i to wife : and Jacob went in unto her. • Naphtali.
ואבנה ממנה [ .That I may also have children by her
a Chapter xxix. 31. - Chapter xxxvii.-11.- -C Job v. 2. xvi. 3 ; xxxv. 22. k Psalm xxxv. 24 ; xlii. 1; Lam. iii. 59. a Chap. xvi. 2; 1 Sam. i. 5.- Le Chap. xvi. 2. Chap. 1. 23 ; That is, judging. Heb. wrestlings of God; chap. xxiii. 6. Job iii. 12. —5 Chap. xvi. 2.-h Heb. be built by her. -i Ch. o That is, my wrestling. - Called, Matt. iv. 13, Nephthalim. NOTES ON CHAP. XXX.
ously for their mistresses; and this appears to be the Verse 1. Give me children, or else I die.] This is import of the term, she shall bear upon my knees. a most reprehensible speech, and argues not only envy
. ] and jealousy, but also a total want of dependence on veibbaneh mimmennah, and I shall be built up by her. God. She had the greatest share of her husband's Hence ya ben, a son or child, from 733 banah, to build ; affection, and yet was not satisfied unless she could because, as a house is formed of the stones, &c., that engross all the privileges which her sister enjoyed ! enter into its composition, so is a family by children. How true are those sayings, Envy is as rottenness of Verse 6. Called she his name Dan.] Because she the bones ! and, Jealousy is as cruel as the grave ! found God had judged for her, and decided she should
Verse 2. Am I in God's stead) Am I greater than have a son by her handmaid ; hence she called his God, to give thee what he has refused ?
name 17 dan, judging. Verse 3. She shall bear upon my knees] The hand- Verse 8. She called his name Naphtalı.] body maid was the sole property of the mistress, as has naphtali, my wrestling, according to the common mode already been remarked in the case of Hagar; and of interpretation ; but it is more likely that the root therefore not only all her labour, but even the chil-bno pathal signifies to twist or entwine. Hence Mr. dren borne by her, were the property of the mistress. Parkhurst translates the verse, “ By the twistings These female slaves, therefore, bore children vicari- l agency or operation, of God, I am entwisted with my