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\re Jove him, we shall call the »abbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honourable, and it will be honoured by us ; nor shall •we scruple to break through difficulties to serve and obey him. As he is the most worthy object of our love and desire, if our affections are suitably raised, we shall be glad of any method to show our love and respect. In like manner should we cherish a kind and benevolent affection to our fellow creatures, as the onljr foundation for kind and benevolent words and actions. If devotion and charity freeze at the heart, the life will be destitute of the fruits of them. Earnest longings after the enjoyment of God's favour and friendship, and the prospect of likeness to him in a better world, will make us steady and constant in his service. This will be the best remedy against the evils of life; none of these things will then morve tu, neither shall ive count our lives dear unto us, so that we may finish our course with joy. If the love of God be shed abroad in our hearts, through the holy Spirit given unto us, we shall esteem the afflictions of the present life light, and not werthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. The Lord direct our heart», therefore, into the love of God, and into the patient tvaitingfor of Christ Jesus; for eye hath not teen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, those things which God hath prepared for ihent that love him.
Gives an account of the increase of Jacob's family and »ubatance.
1 AND when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children,' ./JL. Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give
2 me children, or else I die -with grief and vexation. And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel his beloved ivife, and he made a very grave and pious reply, and said, [Am] I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? It is his prerogative to give ctdldren. But so desirous
3 ivas Rachel to have children of her ОЧУП, And so impatient, that she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her ; and she shall bear upon my knees, or lap, that I may also have children by her, that may be brought up and nursed by me as my
4 own. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife, or as a concubine: and Jacobs overcome by her constant importunity, complied, and went in unto her.
5 6 Ami Bilhah conceived and bare Jacob a son. And Rachel
said, God hath judged me, given sentence on my side against
Leah, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a
son: therefore called she his name Dan, that is judging.
7 And Bilhab Rachel's maid conceived again, 'and bare Jacob a
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8 second son. And Rachel said, With great wrestlings hare Î wrestled with ray sister, and I have prevailed; / and my sitter have striven for children, and I have gotten my with at length beyond my sister's expectation : and she called his name Naphtali, that is, my wrestling.
9 When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah ÍO her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. And Zilpah Leah's 11 maid bare Jacob a son. And Leah said, A troop cometh,
I shall have more children still: and she called his name Gad, IS that is, a troop, or company. And Zilpah Leah's maid bare 13 Jacob a second son. And Leah said, Happy am I, for the
daughters will call me blessed t and she called his name
Asher, that is, liappy. I* And Reuben, Leah's eldest eon, went in the days of wheat
harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, probably lilies of a
beautiful colour, and brought them unto his mother Leah.
Then Rachel said ta Leah, Give rne, I pray thee, of thy son's
15 mandrakes. And she said unto her, [Is if] a small matter that thoii hast taken my husband ? that is, drawn his affection
from me, so that he estrangeth himself from my bed through thy •means, and wouldst thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall De with thee to night
16 for thy son's mandrakes. And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in nnto me ; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.*
17 And God hearkened unto Leah, to her earnest prayers, and
18 she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son. And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar, that is,
19 en hire, or wages. And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob
20 the sixth son. And Leah said, God hath endued me [with] a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him she sons: and she called his name Zebulun,
21 i/in' is, dwelling. And afterward she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah, that is, judgment, as if sie had now got the better of Kachel.
S3 And God would not suffer Leah to triumph, therefore remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her
23 womb. And she conceived, and bare a son ; and said, God
24 hath taken away my reproach, that is, my barrenness: And ehe called his name Joseph, that is, adding ¡ and said, the Lord shall add to me another son.
25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, and 1iu ««wirf »even ytar»' service was fulfilled, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own 36 place, and to my country. Give [me] my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou
* The reason of this contention between Jacol/i wives for hii company, was the rarnesr deVirc they hadtorolfil the promise made to Abraham, that his ¡fed iheuld be ai Hit itars vf htavcnfor multitude, and that in cru ¡etd cf hii, that is, the Messiah» ail the »wfiVUi of" the earth ihwtdbf btetxd. It would have brrn below the dignity of such a sacred history as this to relate such things if there had not been ¿omet hing ot great coiisidvruuw 111 them i and that it wai on a rcligieyi iCMiuat^ «cms ¡>l*in from v.tj.
27 knowest my service which I have done thee. And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, [tarry: for] I have learned by experience that the
28 Lorb hath blessed me for thy sake. And he said, Appoint
29 me thy wages, and I will give [it.] .And he said unto him, Thou knowest hew I have served thee, and how thy cattle
50 was with me. For [it was] little which thou hadst before I [came,] and it is [row] increased unto a multitude; and the Lord hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when
21 shall I provide for mine own house also' And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shall not give me any thing, no certain wages, or stinted /are, out only what God's providence »hall allot me; if thon wik do this thing
32 for me, I will again feed [and] keep thy flock: I will pass through all thy flock today, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; all these »hall be removed and sent to a distance; and from thia time all [of such] colour* or marke as I bave described, that ehalt
33 be born of the white dame under my care, shall be my hire. So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, my just dealing shall be made evident by the very colour of the cattle, and when it shall соще for my hire before thy face: every one that [is] not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep,that shall be accounted stolen with me,
24 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word; knowing that cattle naturally bring forth young ant»
35 like themselves. And he, that is, Laban, removed that day the he goats that were ring streaked, had rings of different colours round their lega or bodies, and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, [and] every one that had [some] white in it, and all the brown among the sheep»
56 and gave [them] into the hand of his sons. And he set threç days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob : and Jacob led the rest of Laban's flocks.
3T And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hasel and chesnut tree; and pilled white streaks in them, and
38 made the white appear which [was] in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pillai before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that
39 they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle
40 ring streaked, speckled, and spotted.* And Jacob did sepa« rate all the lambs, which were thus brought forth spotted', and set the faces of the flocks of Laban, which were white or brown, toward the ring streaked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban, that by looking on the party coloured at the time when they coupled, they might bring forth the like: and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle, lest by looking on them they should bring forth single colour
* Though the itrenyth of imagination in time of conception mty be very grea Cure was д ipecul providence ш üus, u a recompcue Set Ui юге Ымш.
41 cd. And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods, and
42 be ring streaked. But when the cattle were feeble, as in the autumn, (for the cattle bred twice a year) he put [them] not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
43 And by these three stratagems, or contrivances, and the bless., ing of God upon him, the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maid servants, and men servants, and camels, and asses.
I J docs Rachel here make! She was grieved and vexed at the prosperity of her sister, till she almost fretted herself to death. Envy is the rottenness of the bones', destroys all health and self enjoyment; and often occasions great differences between near relations. It is also a sin against God, who makes men to differ. ' Let us check the first beginning of so baleful a passion. To envy the prosperity of others is foolish and wicked, and makes us our Own tormentors. Envy not sinners, therefore, but be in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
2. Let us regard God as the author of all the pleasing and calamitous events of life. Children are an heritage of the Lord; his hand is to be owned in all our mercies ; it is he also who withholds any mercy from us, and he has a right to do it, for we have forfeited all. He may do what he will with his own ; on his blessing we constantly depend for the most common enjoyments: Shall we receive good from the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil and affliction also £ When he withholds or takes away children, as well as when he gives them, it becomes us to say, The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
3. See the fatal and natural consequence of polygamy. Into how many snares and vexations was Jacob led by the scandalous disputes of his wives, the debates of his father in law, and his own imprudent conduct! and what a wretched life must that man have, who is perpetually vexed with such competitors! This is designed to show us what an evil thing polygamy is, and the wisdom of that divine institution? which enjoins that one man ai\d wie,
woman only should be joined together. And to prevent all those jealousies, vexations, and quarrels, things of such ill report, the apostle commands, 1 Cor. vii. 2. Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
4. It is desirable to be such in our respective stations, as that Cod may bless others for our sakes. Laban owns he was blessed, not for his own sake, but for Jacob's. Good men are a blessing to families where their lot is cast. Such should all servants be, and such servants should be highly esteemed and prized: the wicked may sometimes be blessed, for the sake of their pious relations. In whatever stations of life Providence fixes us, let us behave well in them, and fill them up with honour and integrity; that we may, in this way, be a blessing to all who are related tq us, and have the comfort of being serviceable to them as well as others. To obtain the blessing of God on others, is the best service we can do them; and to be instrumental in this will be a foundation for the greatest satisfaction. Jacob, for whose sake Laban was blessed, was remarkably blessed himself; he had been just and industrious in Laban's service, and God made his own affairs prosperous. It is the blessing of God alone that maketh rich, and addeth no sorrow with it.
Jacob having spent several years in Laban's service, begins to be weary, and to think of returning home. We have in this chapter his intention to depart, and the reason of it. He begins his journey; Laban pursues him, and expostulates with him on his Jlight; Jacob's wise and admirable reply; and their happy agreement and friendly parting: in all of which we see much of the hand and providence of God.
1 A ND he, that is, Jacob, heard the words of Laban's
sons, who began to quarrel with and represent him as a thief, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that [was] our father's: and of [that] which [was] our father's hath he gotten 2 all this glory, or wealth. And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it [was] not toward him as before; he could not conceal his hatred. T/iis made Jacob's situation very uneasy; but he could not determine to leave it till God commanded him.
9 And the Lord said unto Jacob, perhaps in a dream, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be
4 with thee, and deal well with thee. And Jacob sent and called
5 Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, And said unto
them, I see your father's countenance, that it [is] not toward