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called their names after the names by which his father had 19 called them, out of respect to his father's memory. And

Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well 20 of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive

with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water [is] ours : and he

called the name of the well Esek, that is, contention ; because 21 they strove with him. And they digged another well, and

strove for that also : and he called the name of it Sitnah, that 22 is, hatred. And he removed from thence, and digged another

well ; and for that they strove not : and he called the name of it Rehoboth, that is, room ; and he said, For now the Lord

hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. 23 And after some time, the famine being ended, and being afraid 24 of the Philistines, he went up from thence to Beersheba. And

the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I [am] the God of Abraham thy father : fear not these Philistines, or any mischief by them, for I [am] with thee, and will bless

thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake, 25 and for the sake of the covenant made with him. And he build

ed an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there : and there Isaac's servants digged a

well.

26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath

one of his friends, and Phichol* the chief captain of his army. 27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing 28 ye hate me, and have sent me away from you? And they

said, We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee ; and

we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, [even) betwixt 29 us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; That thou

wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace; thou (art) now the blessed of the LORD ; and

since God hath blessed thec 80 abundantly, thou oughtest not to 30 remember the small unkindness showed thee. And he made 31 them a feast, and they did eat and drink. And they rose up

betimes in the morning, and sware one to another : and Isaac 32 sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. And

it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and

told him concerning the well which they had digged, and 33 said unto him, We have found water. And he called it She

bah, that is, an oath : therefore the name of the city [is]

Beersheba, that is, the well of the oath, unto this day. 34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith

the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daugh35 ter of Elon the Hittite, both of them Canaanites : Which were

a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah ; being contrary to the command of his father, mother, and grandfather.

* This was probably a general name for the chief officer of the army.

REFLECTIONS.

1. L O W comfortable is it to converse with God, as the

IT God of our fathers! It was so to Isaac. He undoubtedly was glad that he was the heir of so good a man, and to have the promise, made to Abraham, renewed to him and his seed. As we desire the God of our fathers to bless us, let us see to it that we walk in their steps. Know thou the God of thy fathers, and serve him with a perfect heart and a willing mind. As our God, let us praise him ; as our fathers' God, let us exalt him.

2. We are in danger of imitating the failings of good men who are near and dear to us. Affection for them, and regard to their memory, lessen their faults in our esteem. There was a meanness even in Isaac's conduct. The appearance of God twice for his father, should have taught him to act better ; but he fell into the same error. We have all need to be watchful in following the example even of good men, lest we adopt their miscarriages : we should follow them no further than they followed Christ ; only in that which is good.

3. Adultery is a great crime, and brings guilt upon a nation ; it is baseness and injustice both to God and man ; it was condemned by heathen nations ; by the law of the Jews such were to be put to death ; so they were by the Saxon law; and it is strange it should not be so now, Profane persons may think and speak lightly of it, but such God will judge ; and they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

4. Let us seek the blessing of the Lord, that maketh rich. Isaac occupied other people's land, and the Lord blessed him. On that we should all depend. Let those whose labour is in the field, and who cultivate the land, look up to God for a blessing on the seed they sow, and pray the God of nature to prosper their labour. Let ministers also look to God to prosper the seed of the word, that it may not return void, but bring forth abundant fruit to the glory of God, and the eternal advantage of men's souls. Neither is he that soweth or planteth any thing, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.

5. It is God that maketh room for us in every agreeable settlement, v. 22. After difficulties and straits God will bring us into a large place, and make our way prosperous. Let us see his hand and adore his goodness, who fixes our stations, and makes pur endeavours successful ; and give him all the praise. We shall be likely to find it so, if we study a peaceful, contented spirit, and give up our interest for the sake of peace. To promote this, let us carry a sense of his presence wherever we go ; build an altar, and call upon his name, in those settlements which Providence allots us. If we set the Lord always before us, we shall not be moyed.

6. The imprudent and sinful behaviour of children, is a great grief to pious parents ; especially when they join themselves to irreligious families, and are unequally yoked with unbelievers. Esau's conduct imbittered Isaac's comfort, notwithstanding all his prosperity. A foolish son is a heaviness to his father. Let those wicked children, who are a grief of mind to their pious parents, and are bringing down their gray hairs with sorrow to the grave, know and consider, that God remembers their grief, will reckon with those who were the authors of it, and inflict a heavy punishment upon them, unless they repent of so ungrateful and abominable a conduct. Let parents inure their children to acts of self-denial and mortification ; and carefully restrain them from the appearance of evil, as the most likely way to keep them from such practices as would be a grief to their parents ; and incline them to those which would make them growing comforts

to their parents and friends, and ornaments to religion. My son, · says Solomon, if thou be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

CHAP. XXVII.

We have before been informed of the struggles between Esau and

Jacob, here we have a further account of them. Isaac intended to bless Esau ; Rebekah contrives to prevent it ; the blessing is conferred on Jacob; Esau lamenis it in vain; and discovers great enmity to his brother. 1 AND it came to pass, that when Isaac was on hundred

and thirty seven years old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said

unto him, My son : and he said unto him, Behold [here am) 2 I. And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day

of my death ; how soon I may die, I expect it every day : 3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and

thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me (some] venison : 4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring [it] to

me, that I may eat, and be refreshed and strengthened ; that my soul may bless thee before I die ; bestow my solemn, extraordinary, and prophetical blessing, whereby I declare and constitute thee my heir apparent of all the blessings bestowed by God upon me and my fathers. Isaac, out of his fond affection to

Esau, endeavours to entail the blessing upon him ; but God, by 5 Rebekah's means, disappoints his purpose. And Rebekah

heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went

to the field to hunt (for) venison, [and] to bring (it.] 6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold,

I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I

may eat, and bless thee before the Lord, in his presence, and 8 by his authority, before my death. Now therefore, my son, 9 obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go

now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of

the goats ; and I will make them savoury meat for thy fa10 ther, such as he loveth : And thou shalt bring [it] to thy

father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his 11 death, according as God hath promised. And Jacob said to

Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother [is] a hairy 12 man, and I [am] a smooth man : My father peradventure

will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver ; and I 13 shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. And his

mother said unto him, Upon me [be] thy curse, my son : 14 only obey my voice, and go fetch me (them.*] And he

went, and fetched, and brought (them) to his mother : and

his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. 15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau,

which [were] with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son : some say, the sacerdotal garments ;

probably they were some rich perfumed garments that were made 16 for Esau, as the eldest son. And she put the skins of the kids

of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: 17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she

had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father : and 19 he said, Here [am] I; who (art) thou, my son ? And Ja

cob said unto his father, I [am] Esau thy firstborn ; I have done according as thou badest me ; (this was a downright lie,

and cannot be vindicated :) arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of 20 my venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac said unto

his son, How [is it] that thou hast found [it] so quickly, my son ? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought [it]

to me. Strange that he should introduce the name of God; 21 but one lie generally draws on another. And Isaac said unto

Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, 22 whether thou [be] my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went

near unto Isaac his father, and he felt him, and said, The

voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands [are] the hands of Esau. 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as 24 his brother Esau's hands : so he blessed him, And he said,

[Art] thou my very son Esau ? And he said, I [am.] 25 And he said, Bring [it] near to me, and I will eat of

my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he

brought [it] near to him, and he did eat : and he brought 26 him wine, and he drank. And his father Isaac said unto

• Her design was undoubtedly good, being under the direction of a divine oracle, (ch. xxv. 23.) but she took a wrong method to accomplish it: it was imposing upon Isaac, it was teaching Jacob to lie, and might have brought a curse upon him, had the cheat been discovered. She ought to have informed Isaac of her apprehension of the design of the oracle, and prayed God to direét him right in the matter.

him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son : this was a

mark of that special favour and affection wherewith he be27 stowed the blessing. And he came near, and kissed him :

and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed

him, and said, See, the smell of my son [is] as the smell 28 of a field which the LORD hath blessed : Therefore God

give thee, or, he will give thee, (it is both a prayer and a promise of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine : these temporal blessings were

more frequently promised and bestowed under the Old Testa29 ment, and were types of spiritual blessings : Let people serve

thee, and nations bow down to thee; be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee, hereby confirming to him the right of the firstborn : cursed (be) every one

that curseth thee, and blessed [be] he that blesseth thee. 30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end

of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from

the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came 31 in from his hunting. And he also had dressed his venison and

made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said

unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's ven32 ison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac his father said 33 unto him, Who Cart] thou ? and he said, I (am] thy son,

thy firstborn Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where [is] he that hath taken venison, and brought [it] me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him ? yea, [and] however I might wish the contrary, I find my mind so much under a divine impulse, that I must confirm what I have done, and he shall be blessed; God

will ratify and establish it. 34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried

with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, [even) me also, O my father : but he found

no place for repentance in Isaac, though he sought it earnestly 35 with tears. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty,

and hath taken away thy blessing ; that which by birthright

belongs to thee, and which I had fully résolved to bestow upon 36 thee. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob ? that is, u

supplanter ; for he hath supplanted me these two times : he took away my birthright, (a false accusation, for he himself desfrised it, and sold it,) and, behold, now he hath taken away

my blessing. And he said, hast thou not reserved a blessing 37 for me? And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I

have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants ; and with corn and wine have I sustained

him : and what shall I do now unto thee, my son ? I have 38 no other blessing comparatively, to bestow upon thee. And

Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing my 39 father ? bless me, [even] me also, O my father. And Esau

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