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death. Jacob seems to have paid a visit to his father, and finding that his mother Rebekah was dead and her nurse advanced in years, he took her into his own family. She must have been dear to Rachel and Leah on many accounts, having lived in their father's family, she was no doubt much res peeted and beloved by them. They were able to repay her services by their kindness and attention to her in her old age. There is nothing recorded concerning her from the time she left Padan-aram with Rebekah till she died. She seems to have been a worthy character, or else there would not have been so much we ping at her death as to give a name to the place where she was buried.
II. Her OFFICE.
This seems to have been that of at tending on Rebekah in the capacity of a friend and companion. It is said "That when circumstances compel the Egyptian women to take a nurse, she is not looked upon as a stranger. She becomes part of the family, and passes the rest of her life in the midst of the children she has suckled.
She is honoured and cherished like a second mother."*
A nurse in an Eastern family is a person of the greatest importance. It is scarcely possible where there are children to do with but one. Sometimes three or four are kept in the same family. They are of two kinds or classes. Wet nurses who are called Dai's, and Nurses for children that are past infancy who are weaned from the breast, these are called Ayahs. Their wages are from 6 to 8 or 10 rupees per month. A Dai receives her food and clothes and jewels to the
amount of 50 or 100 rupees. vellers inform us that in Syria they are con sidered as a kind of second parent. That the nurse accompanies the Bride to the house of her husband, and remains there ever afterwards as a useful and honoured person. They are held in the highest estimation and considered as entitled to a constant and lasting regard. There are various kinds of nurses in England. Some attend on persons who are sick.
Harmer's Observations, 4th vol. p. 287.
sick. Others have the care of young children, infants who stand in need of milk and are not able to bear strong meat. There are others who are called Nurse maids, who have the charge of the nursery, which sometimes contain two or three or four children. To each of these I shall say a few words at the end of this Lecture.
III, Her DEATH,
She died in a good old age, she must have been far advanced in years, since it is supposed that her death happened about 125 years after the marriage of Rebekah, She died in a family, who had reaped but little, perhaps no advantage what, ever from her services, Deborah must have been so old when she entered Jacob's family, as not to be capable of any active service, We should rather suppose that she occasioned Rachel and Leah and those about her some trouble, but she who had spent her best days in the service of their aunt Rebekah, deserved to be treated with every possible kindness and attention by her two nieces. If they had any regard for the memory of their aunt, they
they would be kind to Deborah for her sake. There is doubt but Jacob had the greatest regard for his mother. He was her darling son. She loved him much and he would be kind to Deborah, on her account. So that no doubt she was beloved by all both parents and children. The children in India are often so attached to their nurses as to give them part of their fruits or sweetmeats that are given them, they sometimes ask their parents to give their nurse a present.
IV. Her BURIAL PLACE.
While they were at Bethel, Deborah died, and died lamented by all the family, so much so that the oak under which she was buried was called the oak of weeping. Jacob's family honoured Deborah at her death, though she was old and useless, though she was a stranger and not related to the family. How many Nurses there are not so much respected as Deborah while they live, and when they die there is no lamentation made by those whom they have nursed, or the family in which they have lived. The sorrow expressed at her funeral was not on account of her character merely,
merely, but her office, she was Rebekah's Nurse. She had behaved well during the life of Rebekah, and continued in the family after her death, therefore while Jacob wept over the grave of Deborah, he no doubt let fall not a few tears in remembrance of his beloved mother. Whether he knew of her death before he visited his Father, we are not told, but perhaps he did. If so, when her nurse died, his sorrows were renewed. This was only a prelude to a more sorrowful event:-the death of his beloved Rachel which happened soon afterwards. Had Deborah been alive she would have been a great comfort to Rachel at that painful and sorrowful period.
V. CATECHETICAL QUESTIONS.
1. What are the words of the Text? "But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak."
2. What was that oak called? Allon-bachuth, or the oak of weeping.
3. What does Deborah's name mean? A word, or a Bee.
4. How old was Deborah when she died? Her age is not known, but it is said she died