Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

cave

have it for a burial place. And Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the

which he had bought.

Abraham had now grown old, and he wished that Isaac should have a wife. But he did not like that his son should take a wife from among the people of the land of Canaan, where he now dwelt.

So Abraham commanded the eldest servant of his house to go to his own country, and bring a wife for Isaac from among his own kindred. And Abraham told his servant, that God would guide him to choose a good wife for his son.

Faithful Abraham trusted that God, who had promised to bless him, would do this.

So the servant went to the land of the Chaldees, from which Abraham had come, to seek a wife for Isaac. And God was with the servant for Abraham's sake; and Rebekah, one of Abraham's kindred, said that she would go with the servant to be the wife of Isaac, Abraham's son. When Isaac saw Rebekah he loved her, and she became his wife, and he took her to dwell with him in his

tent. “ So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.”

After this, Abraham died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years. And they buried him with Sarah his wife, in the cave which he had bought.

Abraham was one hundred and seventy years old when he died.

After Abraham was dead, Isaac still lived in the land of Canaan. And the Lord appeared unto Isaac and said, “ Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee: unto thee and to thy seed I will give all these countries. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed ; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my commandments."

To sojourn, means to stay as a stranger in a place. Abraham and Isaac sojourned in the land of Canaan. They dwelt as strangers among the people of that land.

Chapter XXXXX.

BIRTH AND EARLY HISTORY OF ESAU AND JACOB.

ISAAC dwelt in the land of Canaan with Rebekah his wife. And he served God as Abraham his father had done. And God was with him, and blessed him. And Isaac became a great prince, and had many flocks and herds, and very many servants.

Isaac and Rebekah lived many years together, before they had any children. At last they had two sons; the name of the eldest was Esau, and the name of the youngest was Jacob.

Before they were born God had said that the elder should serve the younger.

Isaac was sixty years old when his sons Esau and Jacob were born.

And the boys grew, and Esau was a hunter, and Jacob was a plain man, living in tents. Esau was the eldest, therefore he was his father's heir : this was his birthright.

The eldest born in those countries, when his father died, had all that had belonged to his father, and was in his father's place: this was to be his father's heir. It was Esau's birthright to be his father's heir, because he was the first-born son.

Now, one day, when Esau had been hunting, he came in tired, and faint for want of food. Jacob had remained at home, and had made for himself some pottage, and when Esau saw it, he asked Jacob to give him of the pottage. Then Jacob said, “Sell me then thy birthright.”

Jacob meant, that he would give Esau his pottage, if Esau would let him be his father's heir instead of himself.

Then Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the mess of food, and swore that Jacob should be his father's heir instead of himself. So he took the pottage, and ate and drank, and rose up, and went

his way.

“ Thus Esau despised his birthright.”

It was very wicked in Esau thus to sell his birthright, which was a great gift from God; for while he was his father's heir, he was heir of the promises God had given to Abraham; and which

[ocr errors]

Isaac, Abraham's heir, had after his death. These promises were a great blessing; and if Esau had had faith in God, he would have cared for them more than any earthly thing, and not have sold them for a mess of pottage.

Jacob knew the worth of the birthright, though Esau did not: he had faith to think of it. He thought much of God's promised blessing, and by his faith he got before his brother Esau, and won the birthright from him.

Chapter XXIV.

THE BLESSING OF ISAAC'S HEIR.

AFTER Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob, his brother, they lived many years with their father Isaac.

And when Esau was forty years old, he took for a wife one of the daughters of the people of the land of Canaan, in which they lived. This was a great grief to Isaac and Rebekah, for the people

« PoprzedniaDalej »