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vagabond on the earth, without a settled habitation. He afterwards takes up his abode in a country which appears to have derived its name from the fact of his banishment. There he becomes the father of Enoch, the ancestor of Lamech the first recorded polygamist; the descendants of whose two wives are particularly distinguished. After mentioning the birth of Seth, and also of a son to Seth, the section concludes with the statement that men then began to worship Jehovah (iv.).

The next chapter contains another genealogical list of Adam's descendants. Among the most remarkable of Adam's descendants, as given in the fifth chapter, is Enoch, distinguished for his exalted piety and its extraordinary reward. The degeneracy of mankind proceeded in proportion to their increase. The song of God or angels, intermarried with the daughters of men, from which union races of giants sprung.

But Jehovah was displeased with such intercourse; and punished it by abridging the duration of human life. On account of their very great wickedness God determined to destroy all the inhabitants

of the earth, with the exception of righteous Noah (v.-vi. 8).

The next portion is introduced by an inscription stating it to be the history of Noah. The general wickedness of man requires that the punishment should extend to the whole human race; and therefore God purposes to destroy all mankind and to lay waste the earth. Noah is commanded to construct an ark in which himself, his family, and the various classes of animals might be preserved. The beginning and cessation of the flood are described. A solemn act of devotion marks the patriarch's gratitude and is accepted. This is followed by the divine blessing on the family of Noah, with an extension of their dominion over the lower animals, the grant of animal food, and the prohibition of capital punishment. The Deity makes a covenant with all living beings that they should not be destroyed by another flood ; and the rainbow is made the sign of its accomplishment. Noah then plants a vineyard, becomes intoxicated, and is indecently exposed. Predicting the future fates of his sons, he denounces the curse of degradation on Ham, through his son Canaan. The posterity of Shem and Japheth are blessed. In concluding this part of the book a brief notice of the age and death of Noah is given (vi. 9-ix.).

The tenth chapter contains a genealogical survey of the principal nations of Western Asia, North Africa, and Europe, at a very remote period. All are derived from Noah's sons. The historian begins with the posterity of Japheth, or the ancient peoples of Europe and North-Western Asia; which are followed by the Hamites, or the old nations of North Africa and in part Southern Asia. The Shemites are last noticed, viz., the ancient peoples of Western Asia dwelling south of the Asiatic Japhethites (x.).

We have next an account of the one language which was employed by all the descendants of Noah being confounded. At the building of the tower of Babel human arrogance was frustrated by the divine interference, so that men were obliged to disperse into different lands (xi. 1-9).

This is followed by a list of Shem's descendants in the line whence Abraham sprang. Properly speaking, it is a continuation of the genealogical table of the Sethites, in the fifth chapter, where the descent of Noah from Adam is given in the line of the first-born; and is intended to shew how Abraham, the father of the covenant people, came from Noah in the line of the first-born. The table contains ten generations, like the Sethite one (xi. 10-26).

The sacred narrative now passes from the universal primitive history of humanity to the particular introductory history of the Israelites, commencing with Abraham the great ancestor of the nation.

Terah, father of Abraham, removes with his family from Ur of the Chaldees towards the land of Canaan. After reaching Haran in the north-western part of Mesopotamia, the emigrants continued there till the death of Terah; when Abraham was summoned to proceed to Canaan, assured that his posterity should become a great nation, and a blessing to all the earth. Accompanied by Lot he entered the land at the north, and gradually advanced towards the south, building altars at two different spots. In consequence of a famine he was obliged to journey into Egypt, where the monarch endeavoured to procure Sarah as a wife or concubine, but was prevented by some divine visitation (xi. 27-xii.).

On returning to Canaan, Abraham and his party separated into two divisions ; Lot choosing the valley of the Jordan, while Abraham fixed his residence in Hebron, having retained for his possession the open country between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean (xii.).

The fourteenth chapter relates how certain Eastern kings undertook a warlike expedition against the old inhabitants of what was afterwards Bashan-Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites, as well as against the Amalekites westward of Edom, and the Amorites. The inhabitants of the valley of Siddim did not escape ; they were routed, and many prisoners carried off by the victors, Lot and his family among the number. But Abraham pursued and routed the retreating foe, recovering both the property and the persons that had been seized. On his return, he was met by the king of Salem, who brought refreshments for himself and his army, and blessed him in the name of the Most High God. The patriarch gave him a tenth of the spoils (xiv.)

In the fifteenth chapter, the Almighty promises anew to Abraham a numerous posterity and possession of the land of Canaan ; while at the same time he enters into a covenant with him, in a very solemn manner. The patriarch is also informed that it would only be after an interruption of four hundred years of servitude in a foreign land, that his posterity should be brought into permanent possession of the country (xv.).

In consequence of the barrenness of Sarah, Abraham is induced by her suggestion to have intercourse with her maid Hagar. Insolence on the part of the servant was the natural result; but Sarah's harsh treatment obliged her to leave, with the view of escaping to Egypt. A divine communication in the wilderness promising a numerous offspring directed her to return. Returning therefore to the patriarch's family, she gave birth to Ishmael (xvi.).

This is followed by another divine appearance to Abraham, in which the promise of a numerous posterity is renewed. In reference to it, his name is changed into Abraham. He is assured of Canaan as a possession ; and a covenant is made with him for all time, according to which the Almighty was to be his God and the God of his descendants. As a sign of the covenant, circumcision is appointed ; with the threat of excision against any who should refuse to obey. A slight change in the name of Abraham's wife precedes an emphatic benediction. The covenant, however, was not meant to embrace the collective posterity of Abraham ; God would continue it only with Isaac, the son whom Sarah was to bear. Accordingly she becomes the mother of the covenant people; on which account her name is altered. Abraham and all the males of his family underwent the painful rite of circumcision, after this divine communication (xvii.).

Another divine communication is made to Abraham. About mid-day Jehovah accompanied by two angels appears to him, accepts of his friendly hospitality, and promises him a son by Sarah, who laughs at the promise. After this he goes towards Sodom, communicates to Abraham who accompanied him, his determination respecting the inhabitants of the plain; condescends to a request from the patriarch, who receives the

promise that if ten righteous men were found in the guilty cities, the latter should be spared. After this, Abraham, and Jehovah separate. The two angels who had gone before Jehovah arrive in the evening at Sodom, where Lot dwelt; and are hospitably entertained ; but threatened with a shameful treatment by the Sodomites. They then communicate to Lot the purpose of God to destroy the place, and direct him to remove his family and relatives. With his wife and two daughters he hastens towards Zoar, which was saved at his request; but the cities of the plain were entirely destroyed by fire and brimstone. The patriarch's wife, curiously looking behind, was turned into a pillar of salt (xviii. xix. 29).

After this, Lot retreats towards the mountains, and takes up his abode in a cave, accompanied by his two daughters. Their incestuous intercourse with him results in the birth of two sons, the heads of two races, the Ammonites and Moabites, who were exceedingly hated by the Hebrews, and with whom they were commanded to have no intercourse (xix. 30-38).

Abraham removes now from the district of Hebron, and settles between Kadesh and Shur in Gerar, where the same thing happens to him by means of Abimelech with Sarah, as had already taken place with Pharaoh in Egypt (xx.).

The twenty-first chapter, after briefly mentioning the birth of Isaac and his circumcision on the eighth day, proceeds to relate the expulsion of Hagar with her son Ishmael from Abraham's house. She and Ishmael take up their residence in Paran; and in due time she procures him a wife from her native land. The chapter concludes with relating a treaty of peace and friendship between Abraham and Abimelech the Philistine king (xxi.).

Some time after, Abraham is commanded to go to the mountainous district of Moriah and sacrifice there the son of his affection. Assisted by two of his servants, he prepares wood, and without delay sets out on his journey. When Isaac is just on the point of perishing by his father's hand, an angel interposes; and a ram presenting itself is offered instead. For his obedience the patriarch receives the promise of numerous descendants and great prosperity; after which he returns to Beersheba. The chapter concludes with an account of intelligence which had reached Abraham respecting the family of his brother Nahor; doubtless with a view to Rebecca, who is soon to appear as Abraham's daughter-in-law (xxii.),

In the twenty-third chapter we have an account of the death of Sarah, and the consequent purchase by Abraham of Machpelah and its precincts for a burying-place. This is followed by the successful negotiations for procuring a suitable wife for Isaac, Abraham's faithful steward Eliezer is sent away to Mesopotamia, where he obtains in Haran, for his master's son, Rebecca the daughter of Bethuel, Abraham's nephew. Her he brings with him to Canaan where she becomes Isaac's wife (xxiii. xxiv.).

The preceding circumstantial account is followed by Abraham's marriage with Keturah, by whom he had several children, But the patriarch did not allow any claims of these children to interfere with the title of Isaac and his line to the undivided territory of Canaan. · At the age of one hundred and seventyfive Abraham died, and was buried by his two eldest sons in the cave he had purchased from the Hittites (xxv. 1-10).

We have now two lists of Arabian tribes which descended partly from Abraham and Keturah; partly from Abraham and Hagar, consequently from Ishmael. These dwelt in Arabia Petrea and Deserta, as well as in the northern half of Arabia Felix (xxv. 11-18).

This part resumes the history of Isaac, which is continued till his death. Twenty years after his marriage, Rebecca became pregnant with twins, Esau and Jacob. The former as he grew up excelled in hunting and out-door exercises ; while the latter was a shepherd and his mother's darling, as Esau was his father's favourite. Esau coming home from the field hungry and fatigued, relinquished the privileges of the first-born to Jacob for a mess of red pottage; so that the progenitor of the Israelites stepped into possession of the rights which belonged by birth to the progenitor of the Edomites (xxv. 19-34).

In consequence of a famine Isaac was compelled to repair to Gerar, where he represented Rebecca as his sister. His prosperity excited the envy of the Philistines, who meanly stopped the wells his father had opened. His increasing greatness was acknowledged by Abimelech, who requested him to depart. Hence he removed from the immediate vicinity.

But on opening certain wells he had to contend with the herdsmen of Gerar. But he relinquished his rights and removed to Beersheba. Here he entered into a covenant with Abimelech. Hence the name of the place, Beersheba. A notice of Esau's marriage with two Hittite women, who made his parents very unhappy, closes the chapter (xxvi.).

The next chapter relates how Jacob, at the instigation of Rebecca his mother, deceived his father, and circumvented his brother Esau by cunningly depriving him of the paternal benediction due to the elder. The result of such treachery was, that by his mother's advice he left home to be beyond reach of his brother's fury, and repaired to Padan-aram, the seat of his mother's family. After Jacob's departure, his brother married into the family of Ishmael. As the traveller pursued his solitary journey he was favoured with a night-vision of the Almighty, who assured him that the country he was leaving should be the inheritance of his numerous posterity; and that he should be protected wherever he was, with safe return to the land of his birth and inheritance. On awakening he erected and anointed a rude monument in commemoration of the event, adding a vow that should the promises to him be kept, he would devote to the Lord a tenth part of his future property (xxvii. xxviii.).

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