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this; Esau for caring so little for his birthright, and Jacob for covetousness.
Harry.—What was pottage, Grandmama ?
Grandm.-It was made of a kind of pea; they are still used in Egypt. They were boiled with oil and garlic, and made a mess of a reddish color. A year after this, we find that there was a famine again, and Isaac went to Gerar, the capital of Philistia, and God appeared to him there, and told him not to go to Egypt, saying, “Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land that I shall tell thee of; 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; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." Gen. xxvi. 2-5. This is the first time we read of God appearing to Isaac! Isaac committed the same fault here, that his father had twice done before, that of denying his wife, and he was severely reproved by Abimelech for doing so, but the king forbade any of his people to touch either him or his wife. And Isaac dwelt at Gerar, and the Lord increased his flocks and herds so much, and he became so rich, that Abimelech sent him away, and Isaac went to the valley of Gerar, and again opened the same well that Abraham had digged when he lived there; and the men of Gerar fought with Isaac's men for the well, saying, “The well is our's.” So he called the name of it Esek !
Harry. – What did he call it Esek for, Grandmama?
Grandm.-Esek signifies “Contention," or strife, because they fought for it. Isaac then opened another well, which he called "Sitnah," that is “Hatred,” because the people strove for that also; then Isaac removed from there, and made another well, which they allowed him to keep, so he called it “Rehoboth," or “Room,” as he said, “for now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” Gen. xxvi. 22. Soon afterwards he went to live at Beersheba, and the Lord appeared to him the first night, and renewed his former promise to bless him and his descendants. Isaac built an altar there, and worshipped God. Abimelech and some of his friends went to visit Isaac, who asked them what they had come for, as he knew that they hated him. And they answered that as they.
saw that God was with him, they wished to make an agreement or oath that they should not interfere with each other. Isaac agreed to this, and made them a feast, and the next morning they sware to each other, and Isaac sent them away in peace. The next trouble we hear of Isaac having, was from his favorite son Esau marrying among the Canaanites, which made both Isaac and Rebekah very unhappy, but still his father appears to have liked him best. Isaac was now an old man, and nearly blind, and he called Esau to him, and told him to go and get him some of his favorite venison, “such as I love,” (Gen. xxvïi. 4.) that he might bless him before he died. Rebekah heard him telling Esau, and she went to Jacob directly, and desired him to bring her a kid, and that she would dress it as his father liked it, and that he should take it to Isaac, and obtain his blessing before he died, At first Jacob seems to have hesitated at deceiving his blind father, but his mother persuaded him, and he did as she wished; and when she had prepared the kid, Jacob carried it to his father, Rebekah having first dressed him in some of Esau's clothes, and covered his hands with the skin of the kid to make them feel like his brother's. When he went to his father, the first question Isaac asked, was, “Who art thou, my son ?” (Gen. xxvii. 18.) How very guilty Jacob must have felt when he had to answer that question; he must have trembled for fear his deceit should be found out, we should think; but he tells a direct falsehood notwithstanding. “I am Esau thy first-born.” (Gen. xxvii. 19.) Isaac seems to have been very doubtful that it was really his eldest son, and makes him come nearer to him, that he might feel him, and says, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau ;" (verse 22.) and he again asks if it is really Esau. Jacob again answers, “I am.” (verse 24.) Isaac then ate the venison, and gave Jacob his blessing, and Jacob had scarcely left his presence, when Esau carried his venison also to his father, who then discovered that he had been deceived. We read, (verse 33, “Isaac trembled very exceedingly;" but he knew he could not recall his words, and therefore says, “Yea, and he shall be blessed.” (verse 33.) Esau was deeply grieved, and cried in bitterness, “Bless me, even me also, O my father.” (verse 34.) Esau gave away his birthright without caring about it, but he suffers greatly at the thoughts of losing his father's blessing, and feels how great his loss is ;-had he not given away his birthright, he might have had his father's blessing also. Isaac did give him a blessing, but a
very different one from the one he had given to Jacob. But Rebekah was punished for the part she had taken in deceiving her husband, as she had to part from her beloved son, for fear that Esau would kill him, as he threatened to do so as soon as Isaac died. Jacob is therefore sent from his home; do you know where he went to, Harry ?
Harry.--He went to Rebekah's brother, Laban, at Haran, and married his two daugh. ters
Grandm.-You are right, my love, he did so, but we will not follow him there at present, as we must finish the history of Isaac first. After Jacob left, Esau married one of the daughters of Ishmael, and we hear no more of him until the return of Jacob, when he met him, and they were reconciled to each other. . Isaac lived to see Jacob on his return from Haran, and was one hundred and eighty years old when he died, and his two sons buried him.
Harry.-Was Isaac buried in the cave of Machpelah, Grandmama ?
Grandm.--Yes, my love, he was, if you look to chapter xlix. 31, you will see it mentioned that both Isaac and Rebekah were buried there. We must now put away our Bibles for this evening, Harry, as I have already kept you much longer than I intended to do.