« PreviousContinue »
feearen, and the God of the earth, that thou shah not take a wife unto my son, not persuade him to take a wife, of the daughters of the Canaamtes, among whom I dwell, because they are a curse d race, (_ch.Ui. 25.) anil devoted to destruction:
4 But thou shak go wnto my country, Mesopotamia, and to my kindred, to my brother ЛаЛог> who Itas many children, and, though among idolaters, they worship the true God ¡ (eh. xxxi.
5 53.) and take a wife unto my son Isaac/ro^ thence. And Uje servant, who -was a pious, prudent man, and desirous ty know the obligation of His oath, said unto him, Peradventure the woman v, ill not be willing to follow me unto this, land: must I there/are needs bring thy son again unto the land from
6 whence thou earnest? must Isaac go and dwell there? And Abraham, warmly protesting against that, said unto him, Be« ware thou that thou bring not my son thither again; he mutt by no means »eitle there. Hdivever, I have authority to aayt
7 The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that swarf unto me, saying, .Untâ thy seed will I
. give this land ; he shall send his angel before thee> and thou shalt take a wife unto i»y son from thence; /Ay journey tAall
8 be prosperous, and thou shalt succeed in the business. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from the obligation of this my oath : only bring not
9 my son thither again. And the servant put hie hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and eware tu him concern« ing that matter.
10 And the servant took tea camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master [were] in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of-Nahm*, that is, liaran, where Nahor lived, (ch. xxviii.
i 1 10. xxix. 40 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, [even] the time that women go out lo draw [water.]
13 And he eaid, О Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham, in providing a wife for Isaac, and mak
13 ing thy choice filain to me; and in order to tkix. Behold, I stand [here] by the well of water; and the daughters of the men
14 of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher« I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also : [let the same be] she [that] thou hast appointed for tby servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master. Thie ke desired, not out of firesumfition or distrust, out by a secret instinct of God's Spirit; justly concluding, that one who via» diligent and industrious in drawing water, and affable and kind to strangers, would make Isaac a good wife.
15 And God heard Ms prayer i And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's
16 brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel [was] very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled
17 her pitcher, and came up. And the sertant Ebezer ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of
18 thy pitcher. And she, seeing by his attendants and camels that he was a person of eminence, addressed him with respect, and said, Drink, my lord t and she hasted, and let down her
19 pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she, had done giving him drink, she said, in the most obliging manner, I will draw [water] for thy camels also, until they have done
20 drinking. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into tlie '' trough, and ran again unto the well to draw [water,] and drew
SI for all his camels. And the man wondering at her, to see how t. > all things succeeded according to his desire, held his peace, to wit, to mark every circumstance, and consider closely, whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not. 33 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that ."" the man took a golden earring, or jewel for the forehead, of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten [she.'' kels] weight of gold, in .value about eighteen pounds five shil23 lings of our money; And said, Whose daughter [art] thou?
tell me, I pray thee: is there room [in] thy father's house 2.1 for us to lodge in? And she said unto him, I [am] the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor.
25 She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and prov.
26 ender enough, and room to lodge in. And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord ; seeing that slie was all he could wish for, fair and healthy, humble and diligent, courteous and obliging, he concluded that his prayer was heard.
27 And he said, Blessed [be] the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and
I "his truth : I [being] in the way, the Lord led me to the 88 house of my master's brethren. And the damsel ran, and. told , [them of] her mother's house these things.
l. • T T is a great part of parental kindness and duty, to setJ. tie their children with suitable companions in life. This •Was a very important affair, and lay much upon Abraham's thoughts. He recommended the care of it to a faithful servant, in a very solemn manner. He chose to match his son in a family which had the fear of God. So great a man as Abraham might, no doubt, have had a rich wife for his son among some noble family of the Canaanites ; but he knew that they mere sinners before the Lord, and doomed to destruction, and was fearful lest they should be a snare to the soul of his child. Is it not strange that so many parents in these days should make the welfare of the soul the least concern to be regarded, in disposing of their children? that they should mind every thing but the one thing needful? The only inquiry with many, is, whether a man Or woman be rich ? not whether they fear God and work righteousness; not whether they have the amiable virtues which Rebekah discovered? When we hear persons speaking of the marriage of their neighbours, the only thing said is, that they have such and such fortunes, and are in silch circumstances. Ah! •when will parents be wise for the souls of their children, and seek alliances for them with those who will help and forward them in the way to heaven? If parents would lay it down as a maxim, to consent to no proposal for their children, but in behalf of those who, as far as they can judge, are truly serious and holy, the •world would soon be mended, and the rising generation, in most families, would be a seed to serve the Lord. An alliance with those of our own sentiments in religious matters, is most likely to be comfortable and agreeable ; but I do not see how it is possi-v ble those alliances should be so, where one party is going to heaven, and the other to hell.
2. Let us learn in all our ways to acknowledge God, and submit to his guidance and direction: so Abraham and his servant did. May we set the Lord always before us, and seek wisdom from him; especially let us do it when entering upon new relations, and the most important concerns of life ; then we shall be likely to have God's blessing; and he will send his angel before Ms, and make our way prosperous. We, like Abraham, should learn from former experience, to trust in him ; we should plead his promises as a ground of that trust ; and have our eye» ever toviard the Lord, who hath the hearts of all men in his hand, and knows who and what is best for us. We learn also that his providence extends to the most minute events, and it will b« our wisdom in all our affairs to follow it. So Rebekah did. Her's was far from being a rash and hasty resolution. How long she staid with her parents after she had agreed to the proposal, is uncertain ¡ but Providence so remarkably pointed out her way, that it would have been impiety to have delayed. If we desire to follow God fully, and do his mill, we may hope that he will make the/lath of duty plain before our face, and lead its in the way in which we should go.
3. Let us accustom ourselves to ejaculatory prayer, and lifting up our hearts to God: Abraham's servant did so several times. It is a good thing to keep God always in our thoughts ; and in every instance in which we receive mercy from his hand, to dart forth a grateful ascription of praise to him, who deals bountifully with us. This will prepare us to receive further mercy ; and we may hope that God will make our journey through life prosperous. Thus are we to pray without ceasing, and in every thing to give thanks.
CHAP. XXIV. 29, to the end.
AND Rebekah had a brother, and his name [was] La« J[\. ban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. ÎO And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the
31 camels at the well. And he said, Come in, thou blessed ot the Lord, чи/ют God hath во eminently favoured and blessed: wherefore standest thou without Ï for I have prepared the
32 house, and room for the camels. And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the men's feet that [were] with him ; for in those hot countries
S3 they vient either barefoot, or with »ándala on/y. And there was set [meat] before him to eat ; but he said, I will not eat until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
24 35 And he said, I [am] Abraham's servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly ; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and
36 men servants, and maid servants, and camels, and asses. And . Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when, she
was old, by a supernatural work of God; and therefore some* thing extraordinary may be exfiecledfrom him; and unto him
37 hath he given, by fir omise, all that he hath. And my master made me. swear, saying, Thou shall not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
33 But thou shall go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, 39 and take a wife unto my son. And I said unto my master, •40 Peradventure the woman will not follow me. And he said
¿mto me, the Lord, before whom I walk; will send his angel
with thee, and prosper thy way ; and thou shall take a wife 41 for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house: Then shall thou be clear from [this] my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee [one,] thou shall be clear from my oath, and-whatever might be the consequence 412 of the violation thereof. And I came this day unto the well, and said, О Lord God of my master Abraham, if now thou
43 do prosper my way which I go: Behold, I stand by the well of water ; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw [water,] and I say to her, Give me, I
44 pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: [let] the same [be] the woman whom the Lord hath ap
45 pointed out for my master's son. And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew [water :] and I said unto her, Let me dfmk, I pray
46 thee. And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her [shoulder,] and said, Drink, and I will give tHy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter [art] Ihou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and
48 the bracelets upon her hands. And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of mf master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take
49 my master's brother's daughter unto his son. And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, show true kindnest and real friendship in giving your daughter to his son, tell me: and if not, tell me; thai I may turn to the right hand, or to the left, and seek a wife for him elsewhere.
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the Lord : we cannot speak unto thee bad or good, any tfting which may hinder thy design; tut do fully
. 51 acquiesce in this strange providence. Behold, Rebekah [is] before thee, take [her,] and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the Lord hath spoken, directed by his jirovi
52 dence, ав чие plainly perceive by the whole of this business. And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, [bowing himself] to the earth, and /¡raising him for having thus inclined their hearts.
53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave [them] to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things, as a frroofofhi* master'» wealth and generosity, and in return fir
JSl their civility to him. And they did eat and drink, he and the men that [were] with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my