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these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat, Isaac : And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. 21 Aud Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 29 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus ? And she went to enquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
V. 22-23. Christian, do not judge but are soon dissolved by the sun. 0, thy grace to be grown weaker, because it is a sweet sign that the love of thy sense of corruption is grown
Christ shines with a force upon thy stronger. This often lies at the bot- soul, that no corruptions can lie long tom of poor souls' complaints in this in thy bosom, but they melt into sorcase: 0, they never felt pride, hypo- row and bitter complaints; that is the crisy, and other corruptions so haunt decaying soul, where sin lies bound up them as they do now; none knows and frozen, and where little sense of it how they are vexed with these and the or sorrow for it appears.---Gurnall. like beside themselves. Now let me Again, Christian, take comfort in ask thee, who niakes this sad moan ? this; thou art a wrestler, not a conDeal faithfully between God and thy queror. Thou that askest this quessoul, and tell not a lie for God by tion of Rebekah's mistakest the state bearing false witness against thyself. of a Christian in this life. When one If it be thus, thou hast rather a com- is made a Christian, he is not prefortable sign of grace growing than de- sently called to triumph over his slain caying. Sin cannot be on the getting enemies, but carried into the field to hand, if the sense of sin grow quick. meet and fight them. The state of This is the concomitant of a thriving grace the commencing of a war soul; none are so full of complaints against sin, not the ending of it. This of their own hearts as such ; the least struggle within thee, if upon the right sin goes now to their very souls, which ground and to the right end, doth evi. makes them think worse of themselves dence there are two natures within than ever ; but it is not the increase thee, two contrary natures ; the one of sin in them, but the advance of from earth, earthly; and the other their love to Christ that makes them from heaven, heavenly; yea, for thy judge so. When the sun shines with further comfort know, though thy corsome power, and the year gets up, we rupt nature be the elder, yet it shall observe, though we may have frost serve the younger.—Ibid. and snow, yet they do not lie long,
24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. 27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field ; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
Esau was as full of hairs when he born before the other's foot. But bewas born as others are at man's estate. cause Esau is some minutes the elder, -Bp. Patrick.
that the younger might have better Esau and Jacob were the champions claim to that which God had proof two nations; the field was their mised, he buys that which he could mother's womb; their quarrel, prece
not win. If either by strife, or purdency and superiority. Esau got the chase, or suit, we can attain spiritual right of nature, Jacob of grace; yet blessings, we are happy. If Jacob had that there might be some pretence to come forth first, he had not known equality, lest Esau should outrun his how much he was indebted to God for brother into the world, Jacob holds the favour of his advancement.-Bp. him fast by the heel; so his hand was Hall.
28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison : but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 And Jacob sod pottage : and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage ; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 82 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 83 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 84 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles ; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
The spirit of Esau's language was, surely, as M. Henry says, his was • I cannot live upon promises ; give the dearest morsel that was ever eaten me something to eat and drink, for since the taking of the forbidden to-morrow I die. Such is the spirit fruit;' and he lived to think it so of unbelief in every age; and thus when it was too late.-L. it is that poor deluded souls con- In the whole of this transaction, tinue to despise things distant and however, Jacob was highly to blame, heavenly, and prefer to them the mo- and did not act that plain and honourmentary gratifications of flesh and able part he ought to have done. He sense.-A. Fuller.
took an unfair advantage of his broEsau, for this wretched barter, is ther, and hurried on an unfair barcalled profane (Heb. xii. 16). And gain.-Orton.
CHAP. XXVI. A ND there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that
was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. _* And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of : 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father ; “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Repeated famines in the land of tions should teach us, to look to the promise' taught the patriarchs, and heavenly inheritance alone for unaluneasiness in the most eligible situa- loyed felicity.-Scott.
6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: ?And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife ; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon. 8 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife. And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister ? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
The temptation of Isaac is the same fore us are so many rocks on which as that which had overcome his fa- others have split; and the recording of ther, and that in two instances. This them is like placing buoys over them, rendered his conduct the greater sin. for the security of future mariners.The falls of them that have gone be- A. Fuller.
10 And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us. u And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
Such an enormous crime did the such a race of people, how forcibly Philistines think adultery to be, that do they apply to those evangelized Abimelech expected God would have states of Europe, and refined counpunished all his country for it. If tries, where the pure Gospel is daily these sentiments were entertained by taught !-Old Bible.
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold : and the LORD blessed him : 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 11 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. 16 For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.
In those countries a well of water venging themselves on their enemies, was a great acquisition, and hence this is still resorted to among the inhabimode of injuring new settlers, or re- tants.—Comp. Bible.
16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
Adam Clarke observes that this is jealous; and that the remarkable saythe first instance on record of what ing of Bacon on this subject seems an was termed among the Greeks ostra- allusion to this circumstance : ' Public cism; i.e., the banishment of a per- envy is an ostracism that eclipseth son from the State, of whose power, men when they grow too great.'—Comp. influence, or riches, the people were Bible.
17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
Many of our enjoyments, both civil adversaries since their days, we must and religious, are the sweeter for being restore them to their former purity. the fruits of the labour of our fathers ; -A. Fuller. and if they have been corrupted by
19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is our's: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. they digged another well, and strove for that also : and he called the name of it Sitnah.
Many will try to deprive us of the and endeavour to preserve for our chilwells of salvation; but we must con- dren the religious privileges which we tend earnestly, yet meekly, for them, have received from our fathers.-Scott.
22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well ; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth : and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
The piety of the language here used worth noticing and imitating.–Scott. in the ordinary concerns of life is
25 And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba. 24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake. he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.
As Isaac constantly chose to reside many other advantages in order to be near a well, so we should give up near the ordinances of God.—Scott.
26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army. Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing 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 us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29 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. 30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. 31 And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to
another : and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him
82 And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. 33 And he called it Shebah : therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day. 84 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite : 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
We must have some trial to coun- has anything been more generally terbalance each of our comforts; yet the bane of domestic happiness, as children are highly culpable who, by well as of piety, than unhallowed martheir sins, grieve the hearts of their riages, and the practice of polygamy. pious and affectionate parents; nor -Scott.
CHAP. XXVII. AN ND it came to pass, that when Isaac was 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 I. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death : 8 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; * And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
There is but little reason to wish • The blessing,' says Adam Clarke, for a very advanced age. Isaac's life which Isaac was to confer on his son, was now a burden to him, though, was a species of Divine right, and no doubt, he enjoyed the pleasures of must be communicated with appromeditation and devotion. He lived priate ceremonies. As eating and above 40 years after he was almost drinking were used among the Asiatics blind. It often happens in advanced on almost all religious occasions, and age for those that look out of the win- especially in making and confirming dows to be darkened.'. Let young per
covenants, it is reasonable to suppose sons, therefore, be admonished to re- that something of this kind was necesmember their Creator in the days of sary on this occasion, and that Isaac their youth, before the evil days come, could not convey the right till he had and the years draw nigh, when they eaten of the meat provided for the shall say, we have no pleasure in purpose by him who was to receive the them.'-Orton.
blessing.'—Comp. Bible. 5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. Rebekah spake unto: Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, ? Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
8 Now therefore, my son, 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