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the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 10 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 her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19 And when she had dome giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw acater, and drew for all his camels. 21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LoRD had made his journey prosperous on not. 22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden * earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; 23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in 24 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 provender enough, and room to lodge in. 26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LoRD. 27 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren.

28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things. 29 || And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 30 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 camels at the well. 31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord ; wherefore standest thou without 2 for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. 32 *| 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. 33 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. 34 And he said, I am Abraham's servant. 35 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 menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. 36 And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. 87 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: 38 But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. 39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. 40 And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house: 41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath. 42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go : 43 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 pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; 44 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 appointed out for my master's son. 45 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 drink, I pray thee. 46 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 thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands. 48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LoRD, and blessed the LoRD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son. 49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. 50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LoRD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LoRD hath spoken. 52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LoRD, bowing himself to the earth. 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. 54 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 master. 55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us 'a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. 56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LoRD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. 57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. 58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. 59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. 61 “s And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country. 63 And Isaac went out "to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he listed up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.

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THIS is a very remarkable chapter. It contains an account of the marriage of Isaae. The Spirit of God has sharked the interesting occasion with such a particular narration of circumstances, that we are bound to consider it in its practical bearings, and turn the whole to our own improvement. Observe the blessedness of Abraham. He is a striking instance of the truth of the proverb, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Prov. xvi. 31.) But how few such can we behold ! There is something venerable in an aged saint; though we are but too seldom greeted with such a sight. Most people die as they live, without Christ, without hope, and without God in the world. Oh, wretched life " Oh, miserable death and etermity beyond the grave! Abraham was a happy and a blessed old man. Three things are here named: he was old; he was well stricken in age ; and the Lord had blessed him in all things. Of how few can this, too, be said How few have the blessing of God in all things! Yet, is not godliness “profitable unto all things f" Hath it not the “promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come f" (1 Tim. iv. 8.) Be not satisfied with the blessing of God in some things; Abraham was blessed in all things. And all believers are “blessed with all spiritual blessings” in Christ, as God hath chosen them to partake of those blessings in the Son of his love. (See Eph. i. 3–-4.) Next, remark Abraham's care for the welfare of his son. What a pattern is here for all Christian parents to imitate | None of the daughters of the land would he allow for a wife to his son. No connexion would he form with the lords and princes of the country where he dwelt. He knew that either would be a snare to his son; and he charged the ruler of his household to preserve him from such a step. Is not the Word of God clear on this point? Can there be any prospect of usefulness, happiness, or peace, if you be “unequally yoked with unbelievers ?” (2 Cor. vi. 14.) Ought you not always to remember the divine sanction, “only in the Lord” (1 Cor. vii. 39), in all such cases Who has ever departed from that rule without suffering for it, in body or mind, in this world of the next

But, further, note the overruling providence of God. Nothing is more sure than that when God is about to accomplish his own will, all things concur to bring it to pass; and one of the most delightful exercises of the Christian mind is to be able to trace the divine hand amidst a variety of events, which otherwise would be inexplicable; but which, in answer to prayer, are all made plain before him. The charge of Abraham, the mission of his servant, his journey, prayer, and success, all clearly proved the hand of God throughout the whole.

How the Lord disposes all hearts to fulfil his fixed designs ! The man delivers his message; Laban's heart is moved; Rebecca is willing to go; Bethuel is ready to part with her; and all this took place at the word of one whom they had never seen nor heard of before ; but who merely spoke in his master's name, and delivered his master's message' Thus, too, it is, that the Lord makes all his people willing in the day of his power. (Ps. cx. 3.) The message of the gospel is delivered; the sinner's heart is touched; he is secretly drawn to the Saviour, and so receives the life of his soul; he leaves all for the sake of Jesus and the blessings of his great salvation.

CHAPTER XXV. I The sons of Abraham by Keturah. 5 The division of his goods. 7. His age, and death. 0 His burial. 12 The generations of Ishmael. 17. His age, and death. 19 Isaac prayeth for Rebekah, being barren. 22 The children strir" in her womb. 24. The birth of Esau and Jacob. 27 Their difference. 20 Esau selleth his birthright.

TVHEN again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. 5 *| And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. 7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. 8. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. 11 *| And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac ; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi. 12 || Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham : 13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth ; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 15 'Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. 18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he “died in the presence of all his brethren. 19 || And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac : 20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.

21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus And she went to enquire of the LoRD. o 23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. 24 || And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. 27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau, because *he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 || And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, “with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called * Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am "at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (1) Or, Hadad. (4) Heb, with that red, with that (2) Heb, fell.

red pottage. (3) Heb. venison was in his mouth. I (5) That is, #. (6) Heb, going to die.

THE history of Abraham develops the glorious truth, that nothing is impossible with God. That he should be the father of Isaac in his old age; that after Isaac was grown and settled, by his marriage with Rebecca, he should yet become the father of several other children, as is recorded in this chapter,

are facts utterly beyond the expectations of nature. It is clear that nothing but the power and blessing of God could have brought them to pass. And cannot the Lord, with as much ease and certainty, raise up a spiritual seed to shew forth his glory in the faith of Jesus Christ, as he raised up this fruitful race to Abraham : If he “called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him " (Is. li. 2), in this astonishing manner, can he not raise up others one after another, and bless and increase them with all the mercies of his salvation ? Doubtless he can. (See Is. xl. 1–5.) Let us never despond. The church may be at a low ebb ; the mumber of believers may be small; but he can “build the old waste places” (Is. lviii. 12), and make the “feeble to become as David" (Zech. xii. 8), and the “little one a thousand.” (Is. lx. 22.) May he hasten it in its time, that our eyes may behold it ! But here again we are reminded of death. Abraham must die, as well as Sarah. The time is come, and he departs in peace, in a good old age, and was gathered to his people. So died the father of the faithful. All his wanderings were now over; his pilgrimage was ended; he entered the joy of his Lord, full of blessings as he was full of years! Long had he foreseen the day of Christ; largely had his soul rejoiced in him ; and now he stands in his presence, and tastes of the joys above. Happy Abraham 1 May we be followers of him, and of all others, “who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb. vi. 12.) How pleasing is it to witness the filial affection of his two sons! Isaac and Ishmael buried him. The very spot is named where, with his beloved Sarah, his mortal remains rest till “the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised.” (1 Cor. xv. 52.) Thus we see how, one after another, we all come down to the grave. Sarah was buried by Abraham; he by his sons Isaac and Ishmael; they in their turn by others; and we in due time shall follow. Oh! that we may be wise. Oh that we may possess Abraham's faith, die as he died, and rest with him in the kingdom above! But there are some other points demanding our notice. First, the birth of Rebekah's children; secondly, the spirit and manner of their

youth. The birth of these twins is remarkable, The mother was distressed; she consults the Lord. The answer to her prayer shews how the Lord Jehovah knows and appoints all events as seemeth best to his godly wisdom (v. 23). From this very circumstance the apostle illustrates the glorious sovereignty of divine grace, and proves the truth of that blessed assertion, “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy; and I will have compassion upon whom I will have compassion.” (Rom. ix. 11–15.) Of this truth every child of God is a living witness on earth; and will be a glorious and eternal monument of its reality in heaven. We must not overlook the spirit and conduct of these children as they grew up. Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. But this man of the field despised his birthright; and this plain man obtained the blessing. Is it not so still Esau is the man of the world. What do the people of the world care for the gospel birthright? Who among them prizes the gospel blessing For the sake of any mess of pottage, any momentary indulgence, any fleshly gratification, they are ready to barter their souls; and too often they continue thus infatuated with worldly pleasure, till the blessing is irrecoverably gone, and the tears of an unavailing repentance are shed too late 1 (See Heb. xii. 15–17.)

CHAPTER XXVI.

1 Isaac because of famine went to Gerar. 2 God instructeth, and blesseth him. 7 He is reproved by Abimelech for denying his wife. 12 He groweth rich. 18. He diggeth Esek, Sitnah, and Rehoboth. 26 Abimelech maketh a covenant with him at Beer-sheba.

34 Esau's wives. ND there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2 And the LoRD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 3 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; 4 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; 5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. 6 *| And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: 7 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife ; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah ; because she was fair to look upon. 8 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife. 9 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her. 10 And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us. 11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death. 12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and * went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of "servants: and the Philistines envied him. 15 For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. 16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. 17"| And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. 19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of “springing water. 20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is our's; and he called the name of the well * Esek; because they strove with him. 21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it "Sitnah.

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