Page images

and they did eat there upon the heap.47 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadatha : but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; 49 And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee. 51 And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee; 62 This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. 6 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt

And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac. V. 53. • And Jacob sware by the fear and subjection to Him. Speak awfully of his father Isaac.'—Jacob had ob- before them, so as never to take that served what Isaac's reverence of God great name in vain; so as that your was, and so called Him my father's fear, your own fear, of the great God, fear. O teach your children, if you whose name you bear, may be exemhave any, to know God as their pa- plary to them.-Howe. rents' fear. Teach them reverence

64 Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread : and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount. 55 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.


CHAP. XXXII. A ND Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.

2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

When God designs His people for by extraordinary comforts.-Bogatzky. extraordinary trials, He prepares them

3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:

5 And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants : and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight. And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. ? Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed : and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; 8 And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then

the other company which is left shall escape. 9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

V. 10. It was the excellent Mr. prepared for the greatest mercies that Herbert's motto, ' Less than the least see

themselves unworthy of the least. of all God's mercies. Those are best -M. Henry.

11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. 12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. 18 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother; 14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, 15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals. 16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove. 17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou ? and whither goest thou ? and whose are these before thee? Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us. 19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him. And

say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us.

For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.

21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.

22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. 23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh ; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

V. 25. He with whom Jacob wres- Himself to be prevailed over, it was tled, by touching the 'hollow of his the effect of mercy, and the gracious thigh, and dislocating the bone, evi- acceptance of Jacob's prayers.--Scott. dently showed, that when He suffered Wrestling believers may obtain glo



rious victories, and yet come off with weak in themselves, but strong in broken bones; for when they are weak, Christ.—Henry. then are they strong (2 Cor. xii. 10)

26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

Jacob's boldness would have been an unbeliever's mouth is like a shot arrant presumption, if he had not in a gun's mouth without any fire to taken bis stand on the Divine promise ; put to it. O, how cold and dead doth and with this no importunity is too a promise drop from him in prayer ! great.-L.

he speaks promises, but cannot pray Faith melts promises into argu- promises, or press promises. And ments, as the soldier does lead into therefore, try thyself, not by thy naked bullets, and then helps the Christian praying, but by thy importunity in to send them with force to heaven in

prayer.Gurnail. earnest prayer; whereas a promise in

27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. What seems less than for a Chris- flies the presence of God,

like guilty tian to pray?

Yet this cannot be per- Adam, and dares not look Him in the formed aright without a princely spi. face.-Gurnall. rit; as Jacob is here said to behave Fervent prayer has great power with like a prince when he did but pray, for God. Luther excelled other Chriswhich he came out of the field God's tians in the tone of his spirit in banneret. Indeed, if you call that prayer as much as he did in actual prayer which a carnal person per- efficiency. John Knox was second to forms, nothing is more poor and das- none in regard to this quality. The tard-like. Such a one is as great a depths of earnestness with which his stranger to this enterprise as the cow- soul entered into the spirit of prayer ardly soldier is to the exploits of a are told in this one petition of hisvaliant chieftain. The Christian in Give me Scotland, or I die. His prayer comes up close with God, with heart had seized its object with such a humble boldness of faith, and takes an intensity of desire, that its grasp kold of Him, wrestles with Him; yea, was stronger than death. He pleaded will not let Him go without a blessing; for a nation's deliverance from the and all this in the face of his own pollutions and prisonhouse of Popery. sins, and Divine justice, which lets fly The magnitude of the object had abupon him from the fiery mouth of the sorbed his very heart, and thus was he law; while the other's boldness in qualified to put forth that prayer, prayer is but the child, either of igno- •Give me Scotland, or I die.' And so rance in his mind, or hardness in his manifestly was that prayer the secret heart; whereby not feeling his sins, of his power, that even his enemies and not knowing his danger, he rushes were made to confess it. And the upon the duty with a blind confidence, Popish Queen of Scots declared that which soon fails when conscience she would rather face an army of awakes ; then in a fright the poor-spi- 20,000 men, than the prayers of John rited wretch throws down his weapon, Knox.-Anon.

29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name ? And he blessed him there.

Spiritual blessings which secure our gel's blessing is better than acquaintfelicity, are better and much more de- ance with his name. The tree of sirable than fine notions that satisfy life' is better than the tree of knowour curiosity. An interest in the an- ledge.'-—M. Henry.

30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel : for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

It was a popular opinion, that an succeeded by the death of the person apparition of the Divinity must be to whom He appeared.Old Bible.

s1 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.

32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.

The Lacedemonian disliked not his heaven. Most Christians can unfold friend's limping, ‘Because,' said he, Mr. Herbert's riddle by experience :it will make you think of virtue at • A poor man's rod, when thou dost every step.' And so, perhaps, Jacob often remembered the angel. When Is both a weapon and a guide.' adversity has laid us flat upon our (Ps. cxix. 71-75.)Dr. Stoughton. backs, we cannot choose but look up to


CHAP. XXXIII. AN ND Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau

came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. 2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. 8 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. 4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell upon his neck, and kissed him : and they wept. 5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.

6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. 7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves : and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves. 8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met ? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. 9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother : keep that thou hast unto thyself. 10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand : for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. 11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it,


[ocr errors]

The Christian will expose all he heaven; and then no matter if the hath in this world to preserve his rest go; even then he can say, not as hopes for another. Jacob, in his Esau to Jacob, 'I have a great deal' march towards Esau, sent his servants (v. 9 Heb.), but as Jacob to him, "I with his flocks before, and came him- have all' (v. 11 Heb.).; all I want, all self with his wives behind. If he can I desire. He that hath much would save anything from his brother's rage, have more ; but he that thinks he has it shall be what he loves best. If the all is sure he has enough.Gurnall; Christian can save anything, it shall

M. Henry. be his soul, his interest in Christ and

12 And he said, Let us take journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. 18 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. 14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. 15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it ? let me find grace in the sight of my lord. 16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. 17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle : therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. 18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan. aram; and pitched his tent before the city.

And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.

20 And he erected there an altar, and called it El-eloheIsrael.

Jacob, in his tender care and atten- still the mighty God, the God of tion to his family and flock, reminds Israel. May he who writes, and all as of the good Shepherd of our souls, who read, these reflections, be num. who'gathers the lambs in His bosom, bered among the true Israel of God; and gently leads those that are with that we may record His name, and reyoung ;' whose example we all, as pa- joice in His love, through our pilgrimrents, teachers, and pastors, should age here on earth, and for ever in the imitate. Blessed be His name, He is Canaan above! Amen!-Scott.


[ocr errors]

CHAP. XXXIV. ND Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob,

2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. “And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; now his sons were

« PreviousContinue »