Obrazy na stronie

16). The Jews say that the name of Darala was given to domed roofs, as at Jernsalein. The main street is traversed Succoth at some subsequent period.

through its whole extent by a stream of clear water--a 13. Jacob cume to Shalem, a city of Shechem.'— It is

rare thing in the East. There are some remains referred

to the time of the first crusaders, but no ruins of more anagreed that our translators have erred in rendering DIY cient date. The population is from 8000 to 10,000, inshalem here as a proper name. The word means ' peace'

cluding 130 Samaritans. Travellers speak with admiraor 'safety; and the text should be read . Jacob came safe tion of the beautiful valley of Shechem. There is nothing to the city Shechem.' Neither our most early nor most in the Holy Land,' says Dr. Clarke, 'finer than the view modern versions render Shalem here as a proper name. of Nablous, from the heights above it. As the traveller - Shechem.'— It is interesting to observe the increase

descends towards it from the hills, it appears luxuriantly of population, and the progressive appropriation of the land embosomed in the most delightful fragrant bowers, half in Palestine, as indicated by the present text. Abraham concealed by rich gardens and stately trees, collected into had pastured his flocks freely in this vale, where no town groves, all around the bold and beautiful valley in which seems to have then existed; but Jacob finds a town there, it stands.' This valley leads into a fine plain, waving with and is obliged to purchase the land in which he forms his corn in the time of spring, and which is conceived to have encampment.

formed or to have contained. The parcel of ground which The town of Shechem is often afterwards mentioned in Jacob gave to his son Joseph.' John iv. 5. See the Travels the Scripture, and was the scene of several remarkable of Clarke, iv. 267; Elliot, ii. 300; Olin, ii. 339, 365; Lord transactions. After the Israelites had conquered the Nugent, Lands, &c., ii. 172, 180. country, they made it a city of refuge (Josh. xx. 7); and, 19. An hundred pieces of money.'-The original is during the lifetime of Joshua, it was a centre of union for prop kesitah, and most ancient translators have rendered the tribes. It afterwards became the capital of the king- it by • lambs, as in our marginal reading. Hence have dom set up by Abimelech, but was at length destroyed by arisen the questions, whether the price was really paid him.(Judg. ix. 1 sq., 11, 34). It was rebuilt, and grew to in lambs, or that it was the value of so many lambs, such importance, that Jeroboam at first made it the capital or pieces of metal separately of the value of a lamb, of his kingdom (1 Kings xii. 25, compare xiv. 17). It and stamped with the figure of that animal to authenticate ceased not to thrive after it lost that honour. It subsisted its value. This last would in reality have been coined during the Captivity, and continued for many ages the chief money, to which it does not appear that the people among seat of the Samaritans, and the centre of their worship, whom Jacob sojourned had as yet attained; although the their sole temple being upon the summit of Mount Gerizim, custom to which it refers may have eventually, and at a at whose foot the city stood (Jer. xli. 5; John iv. 20; later time, prevailed. Besides, the translation • lambs' is Joseph. Antiq. xi. 8, 6). In the New Testament it occurs not supported by etymology or by the kindred dialects, and under the name of Sychar (John iv. 5). Not long after it all the explanations and conjectures founded upon that interreceived the name of Neapolis, which it still retains in the pretation fall to the ground; and the ancient coin bearing modified Arabic form of Nabulus, being one of the very the figure of a lamb, which has been produced in support few names imposed by the Romans which have survived of one of these interpretations, is undoubtedly a coin of to the present day.

Cyprus. That it was a payment in kind, is disproved by Shechem, as we have seen, stood in the narrow valley the fact that, even in the time of Abraham, merchandise between the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim, in N. lat. was no longer usually exchanged, but actual sales were 32° 17' and E. long. 35° 20', thirty-four miles north of made for metal weighed, or for a number of pieces of metal Jerusalem, and seven miles south of Samaria. It is be- of ascertained weight (see the note on xxiii. 16). We lieved that the present town occupies the site of the ancient take the kesitah to have been, therefore, the name of a one, but is probably of more contracted dimensions. The weight. What this weight was must be left uncertain. streets are narrow, the houses high,

and built of stone, with

Gesenius not very conclusively infers, from a comparison,

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of this text with xxiii. 16, that it was heavier than the shekel, and contained, indeed, about four shekels. With at least equal uncertainty, and less probability, others urge that it could not be more than the twentieth part of a shekel; for Rabbi Akiba states that when he was in Arabia he heard the term kesitah still in use as applied to the meah: now the meah, according to Onkelos on Exod. xxx. 13, was equal to the gerah, twenty of which went to a shekel,- therefore the kesitah was the twentieth part of a shekel. But the passing observation of Rabbi Akiba will scarcely bear the weight of this conclusion; for although he may have heard the name applied to the meah, it does not

follow that the same name was 2000 years before his time, and in another country, attached to the same weight. Upon the whole, we prefer the conclusion of Onkelos himself, who derives the word from HP®P, kasat, truth, equity, and regards kesitah as meaning no more than that it was good and just merely, with reference either to the quality of the silver or to the weight; and this is supported by xxiii. 16, where the silver with which Abraham bought the field and cave of Machpelah is described as current money with the merchant.' The kesitah occurs again only in Josh. xxiv. 32; Job xlv. 11.


unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your

eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will 1 Dinah is ravished by Shechem. 4 He sueth to marry her. 13 The sons of Jacob offer the condition of

give. circumcision to the Shechemites. 20 Hamor and

12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, Shechem persuude them to accept it. 25 The sons and I will give according as ye shall say unto of Jacob upon that advantage slay them, 27 and me: but give me the damsel to wife. spoil their city. 30 Jacob reproveth Simeon and 13 | And the sons of Jacob answered Lcvi.

Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she and said, because he had defiled Dinah their bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters sister : of the land.

14 And they said unto them, We cannot 2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor do this thing, to give our sister to one that i the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach he took her, and lay with her, and 'defiled unto us : ber.

15 But in this will we consent unto you: 3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the If ye will be as we be, that every male of you daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, be circumcised ; and spake 'kindly unto the damsel.

16 Then will we give our daughters unto 4 And Shechem spake unto his father you, and we will take your daughters to us, Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. and we will dwell with you, and we will be

5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled come one people. Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with 17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to liis cattle in the field : and Jacob held his be circumcised ; then will we take our daughpeace until they were come.

ter, and we will be gone. 6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went 18 And their words pleased Hamor, and out unto Jacob to commune with him.

Shechem Hamor's son. 7 And the sons of Jacob came out of the 19 And the young man deferred not to do field when they heard it: and the men were the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's grieved, and they were very wroth, because | daughter : and he was more honourable than he bad wrought folly in Israel in lying with all the house of his father. Jacob's daughter ; which thing ought not to 20 | And Hamor and Shechem his son be done.

came unto the gate of their city, and com8 And Hamor communed with them, say- muned with the men of their city, saying, ing, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for 21 These men are peaceable with us ; your daughter: I pray you give her him to therefore let them dwell in the land, and wife.

trade therein ; for the land, behold, it is 9 And make ye marriages with us, and large enough for them ; let us take their give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters to us for wives, and let us give them daughters unto you.

our daughters. 10 And ye shall dwell with us : and the 22 Only herein will the men corsent unto lanıl shall be before you ; dwell and trade ye us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if therein, and get you possessions therein. every male among us be circumcised, as they

11 And Shechem said unto her father and are circumcised.


i lleb, humbled ler.

2 Ileb. to her heart.

23 Shall not their cattle and their sub- and spoiled the city, because they had defiled stance and every beast of their's be our's ? their sister. only let us consent unto them, and they will 28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, dwell with us.

and their asses, and that which was in the 24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem city, and that which was in the field, his son hearkened all that went out of the 29 And all their wealth, and all their little gate of his city; and every male was circum- ones, and their wives took they captive, and cised, all that went out of the gate of his city. spoiled even all that was in the house.

25 And it came to pass on the third day, 30 | And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye when they were sore, that two of the sons of have troubled me to make me to stink among Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaantook each man his sword, and came upon the ites and the Perizzites: and I being few in city boldly, and 'slew all the males.

number, they shall gather themselves together 26 And they slew Hamor and Shechemn his against me, and slay me; and I shall be deson with the edge of the sword, and took stroyed, I and my house. Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out. 31 And they said, Should he deal with our 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, sister as with an harlot?

8 Chap. 49. 6.

4 Heb. mouth,

Verse 5. Jacob held his peace till they (his sons) were come.'—His sons being out with the cattle, Jacob, though greatly distressed, felt that he could do nothing till they returned. This was certainly not from any weakness of character, and must be explained by reference to the customs of the Bedouins, among whom, when a man has children by different wives, the full brothers of a woman are, more than her father, the special guardians of her welfare; her avengers if she has been wronged, and her punishers if she errs. Accordingly we find that the brothers of Dinah took the matter entirely into their hands when they returned, Jacob remaining passive; and that it was Dinah's two brothers, by the same mother as well as father, who wreaked the final vengeance upon Shechem. Another instance of this occurs in Absalom's avengement of his sister Tamar's violation. 2 Sam. xiii. 22.

12. • Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me.'-In some previous notes we have had occasion to allude to the dower and presents required of the bridegroom on his marriage; and bave referred to this place for a more detailed statement. Sabject to the exceptions to which every general position is incident, we think it may be safely stated, that among all savage and barbarous people--and therefore in the early history of every nation which afterwards became civilized

-the father of a girl, in relinquishing her to a husband, conceives he has a right to receive a compensation for losing the benefit of her services, as well as for the trouble and expense of bringing her up and providing for her wants. The principle is still the same, whether, as among the Bedouins, the sum exacted be called the price of the woman, or is merely described as a 'gift' or 'present' to the father. The antiquity of this usage will appear from this and other passages in the book of Genesis. The classical scholar is aware of numerous allusions to this custom. In one passage of the Iliad an accomplished lady is valued at four oxen. In another place, Agamemnon is made to say, that he would give one of his daughters to Achilles without exacting the least present in return. Homer never mentions anything as given to the bride, but always the presents which the bridegroom makes to the lady's father. It is also related by Pausanias, that when Danaus found bimself unable to get his daughters married, he caused it to be made known that he would not demand any presents from those who would espouse them. (See Goguet, Origine des Lois, ii. 60, where these instances are adduced.) It would too much extend this note, to multiply examples from the early history of nations, and from existing prac

tices in the world. It may suffice to state generally, that, under sundry modifications, the principle of paying the father for his daughter is distinctly recognised throughout Asia, even where the father actually receives nothing. We shall confine our instances to the Bedouins. Usages differ considerably in this and other poiuts, among the Arabian tribes; and travellers have too hastily concluded that the customs of one tribe represented those of the entire nation. The principle of payment is indeed known to all the tribes, but its operation varies very considerably. Among some very important tribes it is considered disgraceful for the father to demand 'the daughter's price' (hakk el bint), nor is it thought creditable to receive even voluntary presents; among other tribes the price is received by the parent, but is made over to the daughter, constituting her dower. Among other tribes, however, the price is rigidly exacted. The price is generally paid in cattle; and is sometimes so considerable, as to render it advantageous to have many daughters in a family. Five or six camels are a very ordinary payment for a person in tolerable circumstances, and if the man can afford it, and the bride is much admired or well connected, fifty sheep and a mare or foal are added.

The next stage of this usage is found to prevail among semi-civilized people; and it consists in this, that while the principle of price’ is retained, it is customary for the father to return part of what he receives, to form a dowry for the daughter. In the first instance this dower was, and is still among many tribes and people, a provision considered to proceed from the mere favour of the father, the amount of which depended upon him, and which he was at liberty to withhold altogether. But when it became an established custom, it was found convenient to distinguish in the marriage contract how much of the payment made by the bridegroom should form the dowry of the bride, and how much the 'gift' to the father. To this point the people of Canaan appear, from our text, to have arrived very early ; for we see that the dowry’and the gift'are discriminated. Among the ancient Greeks also, and indeed among the modern Greeks, we find that the father did not at all times engross the price of his daughter; but there is mention of two species of payments, one to the father to engage him to bestow his daughter on the suitor, and the other to the lady whom he demanded in marriage: and to show that the latter was in effect part of the price, it is sometimes mentioned that the father gave the dowry to his daughter; that is, he gave it out of what he had received from the bridegroom. In this case we are able to ascertain the existence of usages precisely analogous to those described in and do exist contemporaneously in the same country; the the Old Testament, not merely in Greece and other remote result being determined by local usage, by private feeling countries, but in a kindred and neighbouring nation to the and disposition, or by the respective condition of the families Jews. The Bedouin romance of Antar, which described contracting alliance. the customs which existed in Arabia before the Moham- 20. And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of medan law had been promulgated, affords very curious their city, and communed with the men of their city: --Here illustrations on this subject.

we see that Hamor, the prince or king of the town of Shechem It is a step beyond the usage last denoted, when the -which appears to have been founded by him, and called father ceases to derive any benefit from the marriage of after the name of his son-could not agree to the propohis daughter. The bridegroom, however, pays just the sitions made by Jacob's sons until he had consulted the same; but what he does pay, goes to increase the dowry of citizens and obtained their consent. From this and other the bride, and not to enrich the father. It is a still nearer such facts we can gather that the power of the petty approximation to the usages of civilized Europe, when the princes of Canaan, so often mentioned in this book, was of parent thinks proper to render the marriage of his daughter a very limited description. By the constitution of these an occasion of expense to himself, by engaging to make an governments the people had an important share in the transaddition more or less considerable, from his own means, to action of affairs, which were canvassed and regulated in the provision offered by the bridegroom. It is not unusual general assemblies of the nation. Traces of the limited for considerable persons in Persia, and, we believe, in nature of the more ancient monarchies may be found in Turkey and Arabia, to agree to double the value of the sufficient abundance. The kings of Egypt were subject to goods supplied by the bridegroom. It should be under- severe and troublesome restrictions. The power of the first stood, that all the usages to which we have adverted—of kings in Greece was not more extensive than their territopayment exclusively to the father-of payment divided ries. One might well compare these ancient kings to the between father and daughter-of the father altogether fore- Caciques and other petty sovereigns of America, who have going his interest in the payments of the bridegroom, or scarcely any authority but in what relates to war, alliances, even of increasing the dowry from his own means--may

and treaties of peace.


7 And he built there an altar, and called

the place "El-beth-el : because there God ap| God sendeth Jacob to Beth-el. 2. He purgeth, his peared unto him, when he fled from the face house of idols. 6 He buildeth an altar at Beth-el.

of his brother. 8 Deborah dieth at Allon-bachuth. 9 God blesseth Jacob at Beth-el. 16 Rachel travaileth of Benjamin,

8 | But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and and dieth in the way to Edar. 22 Reuben lieth with she was buried beneath Beth-el under an oak: Bilhah. 23 The sons of Jacob. 27 Jacob cometh and the name of it was called 'Allon-bachuth. to Isaac at Hebron. 28 The age, death, and burial of Isaac.

9 ? And God appeared unto Jacob again,

when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed AND God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to him. Beth-el, and dwell there : and make there 10 And God said unto him, Thy name is an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more 'when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy Jacob, 'but Israel shall be thy name: and he brother.

called his name Israel. 2 Then Jacob said unto his houshold, and 11 And God said unto him, I am God Alto all that were with him, Put away the strange mighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation gods that are among you, and be clean, and and a company of nations shall be of thee, and change your garments :

kings shall come out of thy loins ; 3 And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el ; 12 And the land which I gave Abraham and I will make there an altar unto God, who and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thyi answered me in the day of my distress, and was seed after thee wiil I give the land. with me in the way which I went.

13 And God went up from him in the place 4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange where he talked with him. gods which were in their hand, and all their 14 9 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he

5 And they journeyed: and the terror of poured oil thereon. God was upon the cities that were round about 15 And Jacob called the name of the place them, and they did not pursue after the sons where God spake with him, Beth-el. of Jacob.

16 9 And they journeyed from Beth-el ; 6 4 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the and there was but a little way. to come to land of Canaan, that is, Beth-el, he and all Ephrath : and Rachel travailed, and she had the people that were with him.

hard labour. 1 Chap. 27. 43. 9 Chap. 28. 19. 3 That is, The God of Beth-el. 4 That is, the oak of weeping. 5 Chap 39.28.

6 Hed. a little piece of ground.


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came to pass, when she was in firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah,
at the midwife said unto her, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
shalt have this son also.

24 The sons of Rachel ; Joseph, and Ben-
ame to pass, as her soul was in jamin :
she died) that she called his 25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's hand-
but his father called him maid ; Dan, and Naphtali :

26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handehel died, and was buried in the maid ; Gad, and Asher : these are the sons h, which is Beth-lehem.

of Jacob, which were born to him in Padancob set a pillar upon her grave: aram. slar of Rachel's grave unto this 27 | And Jacob came unto Isaac his father

unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is srael journeyed, and spread his Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. he tower of Edar.

28 4 And the days of Isaac were an hun22 1 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt dred and fourscore years. in that land, that Reuben went and Play with 29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, Bilhah his father's concubine : and Israel heard and ''was gathered unto his people, being old it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve : and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob 23 The sons of Leah ; Reuben, Jacob's buried him.

7 That is, the son of my sorrow. 8 That is, the son of the right hand. 9 Chap. 49. 4. 10 Chap 25. 8.

Verse 4. · All their earrings.'-Had these ear-rings been simply ornamental, they certainly would not need to have been given up with the strange gods.' It would, therefore, seem that they bore the figures of false gods, or some symbols of their power. Such ear-rings are still to be found in India and other countries of the East, and are regarded as charms or talismans to protect the wearer against enchantments and against enemies. It seems that the Israelites were not in after-times free from this objectionable practice, for Hosea (ii. 13) represents Jerusalem as having decked herself with the ear-rings of Baalim.

8. Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and was buried beneath Beth-el under an oak; and the name of it was called Allon-bachuth' (the oak of weeping).—This nurse accompanied Rebekah when she left her native country to join her destined husband ; she was with her always after, to the day of her death : and how she was honoured in her death the text records. This importance of nurses was

common in ancient times; but is now almost peculiar to 1

the East, especially among the Moslems. They indeed seem to feel that the fact of such a connection creates an almost maternal relation, so as to affect marriages, in nearly the same way in which (in the Roman Catholic church) a godmother has been supposed to become related to the baptised child. A few of the declarations of Mohammed on this subject will open this matter to the reader. Aayeshah (his most favoured wife) says: “The brother of the woman's husband who had nursed me came and asked permission to come to me; but I refused him till asking the prophet: and the prophet came, and I asked him, and

he said, “Verily, he is your uncle, then allow him to come 1 in."' On which Aayeshah remarked : 'O messenger of

God! the woman nursed me, not the man.' The prophet said : · Verily he is your uncle; then tell him to come in ; because the man whose wife has suckled you is your fosterfather, and his brother your uncle. Another circumstance elicited from him the declaration : Verily, God hath made uulawful for a child (to marry) the woman who suckled him, or her daughter, her sister, or her mother-in like manner as he hath forbidden it to near relationship.' On another occasion he obliged a man to divorce his wife, because a woman affirmed that she had given suck to both when they were infants. More on this subject may be found in the Mishat-ul-Masabih (xiii. v. 1). At present, in many parts of India are mosques and mausoleums built by the Mohammedan princes near the sepulchres of their nurses. They are excited by a grateful affection to erect

these structures in memory of those who, with maternal anxiety, watched over their infancy:

18. She called his name Ben-oni ; but his father called him Benjamin.'—Here is a very curious instance of the circumstances under which a name was imposed by the mother, and of a change made by the father to one similar in sound, but of very different signification (see marginal explanation). We have seen that the names of most of Jacob's other children, in like manner, were given from some hope or circumstance connected with their birth. Nothing can be more similar to this than the usages still existing among the Bedouin Arabs. Among them the common Mohammedan uames (except that of Mohammed') are comparatively rare : most of the names—which are imposed at the birth of the child-are derived from some trilling accident, or from some idea that occurred to the mind, or some object that attracted the attention of the mother or the women present at the child's birth. “Thus,' says Burckhardt, “if the dog happened to be near on the occasion, the infant is probably named Kelab (from kelb, a dog). It is very probable that the name of Caleb—the celebrated Israelite who alone (with Joshua) was allowed to enter the Promised Land, of all the multitude that left Egypt (Num. xxxii, 12), and which is identical with thisoriginated in a similar way; and also the name of Hamor, or rather Chamor, in the preceding chapter, which literally means “ an ass.' The application of the latter name to a prince or emir helps to show the comparative respectability of the ass in eastern countries. The same custom exists to some extent in other Asiatic nations, and even in Africa ; for Mungo Park informs us, that the children of the Mandingoes are not always named after their relatives, but frequently in consequence of some remarkable occurrence. Thus my landlord at Kamalia was called Karfa, a word signifying “ to replace;" because he was born shortly after the death of one of his brothers.' With regard to the name Benjamin, explained to mean “son of the right hand,' it more probably means son of days;' that is, 'son of his father's old age' (see ch. xliv. 10). The difference entirely depends on the last letter of the name. The Samaritan reads • Benjamim,” which certainly means “son of days;' and it is conceived that • Benjamin' is of the same signification, only with the Chaldee termination in for im-just as we say cherubim' or cherubin' indifferenily. The question is of interest only because the force of the text turns upon the signification of the name.

19. * Ephrath, which is Beth-lehem.'---Ephrath, or

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