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PERIOD II.) JACOB RETURNS INTO CANAAN.
God blessed Jacob, and his riches increased exceedingly; he had much cattle, and many maid-servants, men-servants, and .camels, and asses. He stayed with Laban twenty years. Laban and his sons envied Jacob, because of his great riches. Jacob left Laban, and took with him his wives and children. Laban followed him and overtook him on Mount Gilead; but God came to Laban by night and said to him, “ Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.”
Rachel had stolen her father's images. Laban searched for them, but found them not, for she sat upon them; and Jacob was wroth with Laban : and said, “ What is my trespass ? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me ?” He also said, “ This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night ; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now .empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.” Laban and Jacob 'covenanted not to do harm to each other.
The 'angel of God met Jacob at Mahanaim. Jacob heard that his brother Esau was coming towards him, and he feared to meet him ; so he prayed to God to deliver him and his family from Esau's hand; he also sent messengers before him with a great present. At Peniel God changed Jacob's name to ISRAEL. The two brothers met, and were 'reconciled to each other. Esau returned to Mount Seir. Jacob journeyed to Succoth ; he bought a parcel of land from the Shechemites, and erected an altar there. Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, was taken by the prince of Shechem. Afterwards, her brothers, Simeon and Levi, deceitfully slew many of the Shechemites.
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. [2347-1635 B.C. a well-in eastern countries wells are had acquired in Padan-aram-bis wives, of" vast importance; those near towns children, and property. are frequented by the women of
angels met,&c.—to comfort him after every family, hence they are suitable one trial, and to prepare him for anoplaces for travellers to make inquiries. ther just at hand.
Rachelewe;' she Jacob's present–in the East gifts are precousin, her father being the brother of sented to superiors; the presentation of his mother Rebekab. This young which indicates the inferiority of the and beantiful woman followed the avo- party presenting them. cation of a shepherdess, a thing not Israel — beholding God,'
or the uncommon in those times. Exod. prince that prevailed with God;' the surii. 16,17. Rachel became the mother name of Jacob which was afterwards of two children-Joseph & Benjamin. applied to bis whole posterity.
deceived—a certain retribution attends reconciled—friendship was restored, every act of disobedience to the divine and distrust of each other removed. laws. Jacob had been guilty of deceiving his father, and now he is
GEOGRAPHICAL NOTES. himself deceived by his own uncle. Mount GILEAD— heap of testiMoreover Jacob was not privileged to mony;' the mountains of Gilead lie east
his mother any more, by whose of the Jordan, and extend from Antiaid he had deceived his father.
libanus southward into Arabia Petrea. Leah—God compensated Leah for On one of these bills was Galeed, the being less loved than Kachel, by making heap of witness, of Jacob and Laban. ber the happy mother of seven children MAHANAIM—'two hosts ;'a Levitical -Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, city beyond the Jordan, between Mount Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah.
Gilead and the brook Jabbok: its name camels—heasts of burden adapted for was given to it by Jacob because the travelling over sandy deserts. Less. 10. angels of God met him there on his
return from Padan-aram into Canaan. asses-eastern asses are larger and very superior to those with which we God; a place east of the Jordan near
PENIEL or PENUEL—the vision of are familiar; in many respects they the ford of the brook Jabbok, at which are preferable to horses.
Jacob received the name of ISRAEL. envied—envy leads to other crimes,
MOUNT SEIR—the mountainous tract as in the case of Cain ; and there is little doubt that the envy of Laban's to the south of Canaan extending from sons would have urged them to some
the southern extremity of the Dead desperate act, had not Jacob fled accord. Sea to Ezion-geber.
This country ing to the Lord's command.
was inhabited by the posterity of Esau,
and called Edom. Less. II, Idumea. God cameras God's intervention is
SUCCOTH_tents;' the first encampnever unnecessary, it is evident that Laban and his company had intended ment of the Israelites after they left to inflict some injury upon Jacob.
Egypt; also a city of Gilead at which
Jacob dwelt before he went to Shechem. images-probably small figures in buman shape; such household gods of Ephraim, forty miles from Jeru
SHECHEM—part or portion ;' a city were long a source of iniquity in Israel
. salem, situated in the valley between drought, &c.—so excessive are the Mts. Ébal and Gerizim. At this place summer heats in Canaan that the grass the sons of Jacob, Simeon & Levi, slew is often burned up ; while the night the Shechemites deceitfully. Near dews render the atmospbere very cold. Shechem was Jacob's well, and the
empty-Jacob apprehended that La- parcel of ground which Jacob gave to ban intended to rob him of all that he his son Joseph.
THE NAME OF JACOB CHANGED.
BROTHERLY FORGIVENESS. "AND ESAU RAN TO MEET JACOR, AND EMBRACED HIM, AND FELL ON US NECK,
AND KISSED HIM."
And play beneath the same green tree;
Where Christ our Lord shall ever be.
And count the sins our brothers do,
And we had nothing bad to rue.
To keep his bridal garment bright;
VERSES FOR Holy Seasons.
14. BENJAMIN BORN. JOSEPH'S EARLY HISTORY.
Genesis xxxiv.-xxxvii. & xxxix. After Jacob had lived some time at Shechem God commanded him to remove to Bethel, and to put away the strange gods from his household ; he built an altar at Bethel. At this place God had appeared to him when he fled from Esau way to Padan-aram. God appeared to Jacob again at Bethel, and blessed him, and called his name ISRAEL, and God said, “ The land which I gave Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, to thee will I give it and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” As Jacob journeyed from Bethel to Ephrath, Benjamin, his youngest son, was born. Rachel, the mother of Benjamin, died, and was buried at Ephrath. After that, Jacob came to his father at Mamre. Esau became rich, and had many children; his descendants were called Edomites. The des
JOSEPH IS HATED, SOLD, AND IMPRISONED. (2347-1635 B.C. cendants of Jacob were afterwards called ISRAELITES, from his new name ISRAEL.
Jacob loved Joseph more than his other children, but his brethren hated him. Joseph dreamed dreams, showing that his father and his brethren would bow down before him. His brethren hated him the more for these dreams, and sold him to a company of Midianites which came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery, balm, and myrrh, which they were carrying down into Egypt. His brethren dipped his coat in the blood of a kid which they killed, and showed it to their father. Jacob thought some evil beast had devoured Joseph. The Midianites took Joseph into Egypt, and sold him as a slave to Potiphar, an officer of Pharoah, king of Egypt. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous
And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him : and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake ; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand ; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat.
And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. Potiphar's wife spoke falsely of Joseph, and had him cast into prison. While Joseph was in prison in Egypt, Isaac died in Canaan. His sons Esau and Jacob went to Mamre, where Isaac had lived many years, and buried him. The age of Isaac was a-hundred-and-fourscore years.
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. strange gods-household divinities ; | instead of Benoni, son of my sorrow,' such as those which Rachel stole from which the dying Rachel had called him. her father. Lesson 13, 'images.'
Joseph—'adding;' was the elder of
Rachel's two sons; he was a youth of household—not only those which his upright principles and conduct; and wives possessed, but the idols belong. was afterwards of great service to his ing to his servants, male and female.
aged father and his brethren. Lesson 16. Benjamin, son of my right hand;' hated—because he told his father of this name was given him by Jacob their misdeeds.
DIRGE OF RACHEL.” GEOGRAPHICAL NOTES. bably composed of descendants of EDOMITES-from Edomóred,' a name both Midian and Ishmael. given to Esau. Lesson 12, · Ésau.' GILEAD-a country east of the Jor
EPHRATH-abundance ;' the ancient dan, celebrated at this time for its mediname of Bethlehem, on the way to cinal balsams, and
for its spices. which place Benjamin was born, and Lesson 13, ‘Mount Gilead.' Rachel was buried. Though celebrated
EGYPT-called also Mizraim after on many accounts, it was a very small one of Ham's sons, lay on the borders of place; it was on an eminence about the river Nile ; it measured in extent six miles south-west of Jerusalem. about 11,000 square miles. Though
MIDIANITES—descendants of Midian, the climate of Egypt was extremely the fourth son of Abraham & Keturah; hot, yet the inundations of the Nile their country was in Arabia Petrea. rendered it a very fertile country, so The merchants who bought Joseph of much so, that for a long period it was his brethren are called Midianites and reckoned the granary of the world. also Ishmaelites; the party was pro-'Less. 5, ' Egypt.'
DIRGE OF RACHEL.
«AND RACHEL DIED, AND WAS BURIED IN THE WAY TO EPHRATH, WHICH IS
Beneath her lonely oak of weeping,
The sleep of death for ever sleeping.
The lilies and the roses bringing ;
The flowers that in the world are springing.
And Jewish dames the dance are treading ;
Sleeps all unheeded and unheeding.
And reapers to the field is calling;
The choral song at twilight's falling.
And sweeps his howling blast around her;
To break the slumber that hath bound her.
But joy or grief no more betide her,