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Each Volume is intended to provide material for one term’s 
work. The following are some of the chief features of the 
series :— 

i. The Narrative is given for the most part in the words of 
the Authorised Version. 

ii. Brief Historical explanations and general commentary 
are inserted in their proper place. 

iii. The chronological order of events has been followed. 

iv. Each period is illustrated by reference to contemporary 
literature ( e.g . Prophets and Psalms) and monuments. 

v. Footnotes are added, but only where difficulties of thought 
or language seem to demand explanation. 

Crown 8vo. 2 s. each Volume. 











From the Creation to the Crossing of the 
Red Sea. 

From the Crossing of the Red Sea to Ruth. 

From the Birth of Samuel to the Death of 

From the Accession of Solomon to the Fall 
of the Northern Kingdom. 

From Hezekiah to the End of the Canon. 










(second impression) 



' 9'3 



'~p'HE aim of this series may be stated briefly: it is an 
- attempt to combine the advantages of a general 
history with those of the ordinary commentary. The 
former is open to the charge that it does not make the 
reader familiar with the language of the Bible, while the 
latter is too often overloaded with notes and does not 
cover sufficient ground. 

Practical experience has shown that the Old Testament 
may conveniently be divided into five periods, each con¬ 
taining enough matter to occupy one school term. With¬ 
out laying claim to any credit for originality, the editors 
have tried to keep certain definite aims in view: the 
chronological sequence of events, the historical setting of 
the narrative, the use of the words of the Bible wherever 
possible, and, in the later volumes, illustration from the 
Prophets and other portions of the Scriptures. Footnotes 
have been added where it seemed necessary, many of them 
being merely verbal explanations drawn from the Revised 

In the preparation of this volume the first two of the 
Westminster Commentaries, Genesis by Professor Driver, 
and Exodus by Mr. McNeile, have been in constant use, 
and the first duty of the editors is gratefully to acknow- 



ledge their debt to these works. Dr. Hastings’ Dictionary 
of the Bible and Mr. Murray’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary , 
representing as they do two different schools of thought 
have been consulted on numberless details. 

The modern literature of the subject is large, but much 
of it is necessarily of a critical and almost controversial 
nature ; so reference here will be made only to Dr. Geikie’s 
Hours with the Bible, vol. i., which gives an interesting 
survey of the greater part of the period. 

The attention of the reader is drawn to two points : 
geographical information is confined for the most part to 
Index I. ; and it is most essential to use throughout some 
good map : Murray's Handy Classical Maps, Palestine, 
etc., contain everything that is required. But, for imme¬ 
diate reference, a sketch-map has been added at the 
end of the volume; and for the preparation of this the 
editors are indebted to their pupil, S. F. Gooden. 

The student is also urged to avail himself of two com¬ 
monly neglected things, viz. references (which are few), 
and the General Index, by means of which the repetition 
of footnotes is avoided. 

Finally, the editors wish to thank Mr. IT. H. Symonds 
for much help and advice, and the Rev. C. Mayne for most 
kindly reading through the proof-sheets. 




The Bible . xi 

The Old Testament....... xi 

Versions. xii 

Pentateuch .... . xiii 



Genesis : name and contents 

Genesis and modern science . 

Genesis and religion 

Two Stories of the Creation . 

The Creation : First Story (Gen. i. i-ii. 3) 

The Creation : Second Story (Gen. ii. 4—iii. 24) 
Story of Cain and Abel . 

Cain and Abel (Gen. iv. 1-16) . 

Origin of Civilisation (Gen. iv. 17-26) 
From Adam to Noah 
Story of the Flood .... 

Noah and the Flood (Gen. vi.-ix.) 

Sons of Noah ..... 

Babel (Gen. xi. 1-9) 


• 3 




• 13 

. 20 

. 22 

• 23 

. 24 

. 26 

• 34 

• 35 





Abraham . 

Stories of Abraham (Gen. xi. 27-xxiii.) . 
The Four Kings against the Five Kings 


Stories of Isaac (Gen. xxiv.-xxvi.) . 

Tacob . 

Stories of Jacob (Gen. xxvii.-xxxv.) 

Joseph . 

Stories of Joseph (Gen. xxxvii.-l.) 


• 39 

• 41 

• 45 

• 6 7 

• 67 

. 78 

. 80 

. 100 

. 102 



Book of Exodus 





• I 43 






• 143 

Israel in Egypt (Exod. i.-vi.) 





. 144 

Revelation on Horeb 





. 149 

The Plagues . 





• 159 

The Ten Plagues (Exod. vii. 





. 160 

Passover .... 





• r 73 

Institution of the Passover 





xii.-xv. 21) . . . , 





. 174 

Crossing of the Red Sea . 





• i8 3 





I. The Formation of the Old Testament Canon . 191 

II. Some References to Contemporary Mesopo¬ 
tamian and Egyptian History and Traditions 195 

III. References to Bible Illustrations . . . 197 

IV. Some New Testament References . . . 197 

V. The Calendar. 198 





Sketch-map of Canaan and the Surrounding Nations 

At end of volume 


r J^HE BIBLE .—The word Bible has an interesting 
history. The original in Greek ( ra /fySA/a) is plural, 
and means “ the books ” ; adopted as a Latin word, Biblia, 
it was at first plural, but later was treated as singular; 
and hence it is that the English came to regard “ the Bible ” 
as a single book, whereas in reality it is a collection of 
volumes, a “ Divine Library,” written by different hands 
at many different times. For an account of the way in 
which what is called the Old Testament Canon grew up— 
that is to say, how the first of the two great divisions of the 
Bible came to be what it is—the reader is referred to the 
Appendix on the subject. At present we need only dwell 
on the fact that the Bible is not a single work, but represents 
the whole literature of a nation. 

Old Testament .—The larger half of the Bible is called 
the Old Testament—a curious and most misleading name, 
due to mistranslation. The Greek word SiaOrjKrj means 
(i) will, or testament, (2) covenant. The use of the word 
in the first sense is found nowhere in the Greek New Testa¬ 
ment, except possibly in one passage (Heb. ix. 16 seq.), 
and even there a consistent and clear sense is obtained 
only by translating 81a OrjKrj “ covenant ”; but in the 



• • 

Latin Version, the Vulgate, testamentum was chosen to 
translate the Greek word in every instance. 

We ought undoubtedly to speak of the Old and the 
New Covenants, for it is important that we should be 
reminded that the former collection of books contains an 
account of God’s first covenant with His people, while 
the latter, in Gospels and Epistles, is a record of the New 
Covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two parties 
or persons, and in Ex. xxiv. 7 seq. we read : “ And he 
[Moses] took the book of the covenant, and read in the 
audience of the people : and they said, all that the Lord 
hath spoken will we do, and be obedient. And Moses 
took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 
Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath 
made with you concerning all these words.” 

Corresponding to, and doing away with, this old agree¬ 
ment, confirmed by the blood of a sacrificed victim, was 
the New Covenant, confirmed by the sacrifice of Christ 
upon the cross, 1 and revealing to the world a new idea of 
the kinship between God and man. 

Versions of the Old Testament. —1. Hebrew and Aramaic : 
the original languages. 

2. Greek : the Septuagint. 

(For 1 and 2 see Appendix I.) 

3. Latin : the Vulgate, translated from the Septuagint 
between a.d. 383 and 405 by Eusebius Hieronymus [Eng. 
Jerome), at the request of Pope Damasus. 

4. English : (a) the Authorised Version (A.V.), a.d. 1611, 

produced in the reign of James I. as the result of the 
Hampton Court Conference: ( b ) the Revised Version 

(R.V.), a.d. 1885 (N.T., 1881 ; Apocrypha, 1895). 

1 See Heb. ix. 18, 19. 



The Pentateuch .—The first five books of the Old Testa¬ 
ment have been called the Pentateuch [i.e. five books), 
which for long, but without convincing proof, were sup¬ 
posed to be the work of Moses, and were called, by Jews 
and Christians alike, “ The books of the law of Moses.” 
Modern scholars who apply the methods of the Higher 
[i.e. historical) Criticism have added the book of Joshua, 
and speak of the Hexateuch {i.e. six books), a term by 
which they imply that these six books were probably 
edited and revised together as a single volume. 

There is little doubt now that, as was the case with 
many other books of the Old Testament, the Hexateuch 
was not originally written by one man. Judging from 
evidence of language, structure, and contents, scholars 
are for the most part agreed in distinguishing between 
various sources. The book probably grew up into its 
present form in something of the following manner. At 
first stories of the dim past were handed down from genera¬ 
tion to generation, together with such songs as the Song 
of the Sword (Gen. iv. 23). Between 850 and 750 b.c. 
the “ schools of the prophets ” produced two collections of 
these, quite possibly from earlier written sources of which 
we have no knowledge, one in the Southern and one in the 
Northern Kingdom. The earlier, or Jehovistic narrative, 
is so called because in it the name Jehovah (English 
Versions, “ the Lord ”) is prominent, whereas in the later 
collection that name is avoided, and Elohim (or “ God ”) 
is used instead. Each has other very clearly marked 
characteristics of its own. 

In Manasseh’s reign, i.e. about 690 B.C., the two were 
combined into one whole, now known as the Prophetical 




In Josiah’s reign, 621 B.C., the “ Book of the Law ” was 
found in the Temple : this in all probability had been 
written in Manasseh’s reign, and was identical with 
Deuteronomy, with the exception of some chapters at the 
beginning and the end, added later. 

Later still, a further and final work was composed, which 
bears very strongly the impress of a different kind of 
mind : it was due to the influence of the priests and the 
entirely altered aspect which the long years of exile had 
given to J ewish history : this is known as the Priestly 
narrative, and is marked by the frequent occurrence of 
formulae and statistics, and by the great importance it 
attaches to ceremonial law. 

The Hexateuch, as we have it, is a combination of these 
various collections and editions, and dates from the period 
of Ezra and Nehemiah, or perhaps rather later, towards 
the end of the fifth century b.c. 

For a restatement of the older view of the authorship 
and composition of the Pentateuch, the reader is referred 
to Murray's Illustrated Bible Dictionary (1908: art. 
“ The Pentateuch ”) : and for further detail see also 
vol. ii. of this series. 

Inspiration of the Old Testament .—It is impossible to 
discuss at length this important subject ; but it is at least 
advisable to state the position adopted in this volume. It 
is briefly this. It has been the Divine purpose to single 
out a small Eastern people to be the chief, though not the 
only, instrument for the religious education of the world. 
This people is the Israelites, who are unique in character, 
history, and literature, the first two being for the most 
part seen in and expounded by the third. To the study 
of this literature we have to bring all that we possess of 



historical and scientific knowledge, and we must do so 
fearlessly, on the principle that the truth is great and 
will prevail. When we do so, we find that in many respects 
it is similar to the literature of other peoples, and we can 
trace the records of the nation back into the dim ages when 
historical fact cannot be distinguished from legend and 
myth. Starting from a very early period of recorded 
history we can learn what ideas prevailed then about the 
times when no records were kept, times when primitive 
man expressed his beliefs about the great mysteries of 
existence in the form of simple but beautiful stories, some 
of which survived and were written down centuries after¬ 

In the Book of Genesis, then, we start with these early 
notions of the Hebrews, about the origin of the world, 
about life and death, labour and sin, about the beginning 
of social and political life, about the origin of the Hebrews 
themselves. Insensibly as we proceed, we find more and 
more of true history. From religious truth and teaching, 
which we see in the first verse, we pass to historical 
truth, at first sketched in broad outline, but afterwards 
painted in detail. But from end to end of the Canon, 
Genesis to Malachi, the dominant characteristic is religious 
teaching, a progressive revelation leading up to the final 
revelation in Christ. Consequently, as Christians, we 
arrive at our belief in the inspiration of the Old Testament. 
We believe in Christ, who appeared to the Jews, and is 
in Himself the climax and fulfilment of the Old Testament 
Scriptures ; and these Scriptures are the most important 
of the means divinely appointed as the preparation of the 
world for the Gospel. Therefore we speak of them as 
“ inspired.” (For a more detailed statement see vol. ii.) 


Note on The Garden of Eden (Gen. ii. 8-14) 

An inu ing note on this subject conies from Sir W. Will- 
cocks, wiio is engaged in works of irrigation in Mesopotamia. 
He identifies Eden as the land west of Bagdad. According 
to his theory, not only Eden, but all the four rivers, together 
with the land of Havilah and the land of Cush, can be located 
fairly accurately : the whole forms a district subject to annual 
floods, with the exception of a small part of the plain towards 
Bagdad, where the Arabs of to-day take refuge with their 
flocks when the floods are out : this spot Sir William Willcocks 
considers to be the actual Garden, the scene of the story 
of Adam and Eve and the Fall. 

It may be noticed that in Gen. ii. 6 (“ there went up a mist 
from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground”) 
some scholars prefer to translate “ flood ” instead of “ mist,” 
an interpretation which increases the probability of a theory 
already sufficiently attractive. 





ATAME and contents .—The name of the first book of 
the Bible is a Greek word taken from the Septuagint, 
or Greek version, and means “ origin ” (yeVco-is). 

A short analysis of the contents of Genesis will show 
most clearly how suitable the name is: 

(1) Primeval: Genesis i.-xi.—These narratives give us 
the primitive notions of the Hebrews about the beginnings 
of things—life and death, the universe and the earth, sin 
and labour, the making of music and the diversity of 
languages, and so forth. 

(2) Patriarchal: Genesis xii.-l.—In the lives of the 
Patriarchs, from Abraham to Joseph, we have the origin 
of the Hebrew nation, ending with the migration of the 
family of Jacob to Egypt. 

Genesis and modern science .—The whole teaching of 
modern science combines to prove the immense age of the 
planet on which we live, and the great, though lesser, 
antiquity of the race of man. The three sciences which 
bear directly on this subject are astronomy, geology, and 
ethnology. “ A recent work on astronomy places the 
time at which the moon was flung off from the then 
liquid earth at about 57,000,000 years ago ” (Driver). 
Geologists give us no less than twelve periods, during 
which the gradual development of life, both animal and 




vegetable, may be traced, up to the first appearance 
of man. The teaching of ethnology, the science of the 
growth of nations, shows how infinitely slow is the growth 
and development of the different types of the human 
race, with their many and widely scattered branches. 

That the history of civilised man goes back to an earlier 
date than would be implied by the chronology of Genesis 
has been demonstrated by historians and archaeologists, 
mainly in consequence of the success of recent excavations. 
Not only can it be stated now “ that the existence of man 
in the Valley of the Nile may be traced back even to the 
Palaeolithic Period in Egypt,” far back, that is, before the 
dawn of actual Egyptian history, but it is believed that 
the first Egyptian Dynasty may be dated 4483 b.c., i.e 
half-way through the fifth millennium before our era. 
(Budge, History of Egypt.) It is without astonishment, 
therefore, that we hear of terra-cotta “ play-things,” 
exhibited in the Louvre in 1905, of which it is stated 
that they are “ identifiable, without the slightest chance of 
error, as the objects pulled about the streets of the old 
town (Susa) by the Chaldaean children of 5,000 years ago.” 1 

Genesis and religion .—We shall be justified, then, in 
refusing to look for scientific truth in Genesis, and for 
only as much historical truth as the trained observer 
expects to find in the earliest literature of any country. 

It is not necessary to pronounce a verdict against any 
character and say “ he did not exist,” but insensibly, as 

_ ,r^ 

we advance, we are conscious that we are stepping out 
of the mists of legend and myth : Abraham and Joseph, 

1 It follows from what has been said that the figures of Archbishop 
Ussher’s chronology (pub. a.d. 1650), often printed in the margin of 
the A.V. me not to be relied upon as authoritative throughout. 



for example, by their well-defined personalities, impress 
us as being historical characters ; while only a few extreme 
critics dispute the existence of Moses as a single individual. 

What none, however, dispute is the great religious 
value of Genesis. This appeals to us both as students 
of the history of religion and as seekers ourselves after 
religious truth and instruction. 

i. Importance to the student of religions .—Though com¬ 
piled comparatively late, the sources of Genesis go back 
very far into antiquity, and we may notice briefly the 
following points : 

{a) The idea, or revelation, of God is progressive : there 
is a vast difference between the thought of Jehovah as 
He walked in the Garden of Eden, or the Divine Being 
who wrestled with Jacob, and the same Jehovah who 
imposed upon Moses the task of announcing Him to the 
Israelites in Egypt. The former is spoken of as a glorified 
man ; the language used to describe Him is pre-eminently 
anthropomorphic 1 : the latter is a finer conception of Deity; 
there is more of the mysterious and the spiritual about 
Him.—[N.B. All language about God, being written 
by man to suit the understanding of man, must to some 

extent be anthropomorphic.] 

(, b ) When compared with the religions of other countries 
the Hebrew religion is seen at once to be, from the stait, 
immeasurably purer. It is not improbable that the story 
of the Creation in Genesis is to some extent influenced 
by early Babylonian legend ; but whether this is so or 
not (see below, p. 8), the contrast between the two 
is complete : the Babylonian myth tells of a crowd of 

1 From fodpuiros and fxopcpri = representing God as possessing the 
form, or attributes, of man. 



deities, themselves produced out of chaos ; the Hebrew 
narrative begins simply, “ In the beginning God created 
the heaven and the earth.” In spite of some difficulties, 
such as the plural word for God (Elohim), the use of 
the first person plural, and the three men who visited 
Abraham, the religion of Genesis is clearly monotheistic. 
Throughout the Old Testament Hebrew religion is, broadly 
speaking, simple, pure, and moral, entirely free from the 
degrading elements that are found in the polytheistic 
religions of other countries. 

2. Moral importance .—The value of Genesis to Chris¬ 
tians of to-day is so obvious as to require little more 
than the mere statement. At the same time This statement 
should be emphasised at every stage of the narrative, for 
as an elementary moral handbook Genesis is unsurpassed. 
It purposes to represent the thought of the world in its 
infancy, and both the child and the adult can still profit 
by its lessons and illustrations, which are unmistakable 
and striking. 

There are many other points of view which combine 
to make the book perhaps the most fascinating study 
in all literature, for it appeals to the student of folk-lore 
and archaeology, to the philosopher and the lover of 
literature alike. But a complete appreciation of its great¬ 
ness is only possible after the reader has worked through 
it in detail with the aid of a good commentary, and has 
compared with it the primitive beliefs of other peoples. 


The division of the Creation narrative into two distinct 
accounts, of which the former is attributed to the 


“ Priestly” recension, and the latter to the Jehovistic 
or earliest collection, is accepted by scholars of both the 
advanced and the conservative schools. 

I. The Priestly narrative .—Though it is interesting to 
compare the account of Creation with the conclusions of 
modern science, it may be repeated that it is quite un¬ 
necessary to expect to find, in what is really a prose- 
poem with a religious tendency, accurate scientific know¬ 
ledge. The probability is that we have here primitive 
notions, recast and purified at a comparatively late date, 
intended to teach the people what were regarded as great 
truths about the origin of the world. It is a matter 
of indifference whether we regard the six days of Creation 
as six indefinite periods of time, or as meaning to those 
who originally told the story six literal days of twenty- 
four hours each. 

Amongst the moral elements of the story may be men¬ 
tioned the following, (i) It begins with God, who is the 
Author and Master-mind throughout ; He has no rival, 
and He is from eternity ; the creative power is His Spirit, 
(ii) The evidence of the working of the Master-mind 
is the orderliness of His work, (iii) The work itself is 
progressive, leading up to man : for man is the climax 
of creation, he is made in God’s image, and everything 
exists for him. (iv) Everything created is good, according 
to the Divine purpose, (v) The Sabbath “ rest is a 
Divinely appointed institution. 

When we compare the Babylonian epic of Creation, 1 

1 There is a second and quite distinct Babylonian account of 
the Creation, which is to be compared with the “ Prophetic ” Hebrew 
story in Gen. ii. In both of these the creation of man is placed first, 
before that of any other form of life. 


which is earlier in date, we find some obvious parallels 
and many still more obvious differences. 

The Babylonian version traces everything back to 
Apsu (ocean) and Tiamat (“ mother of them all ”). First 
there was “ a time when of the gods none had come forth ” ; 
ages later arose a host of gods ; civil war began, and 
Marduk, “ the God of light and order,” overcomes Tiamat. 
Marduk then carries out the work of creation. Professor 
Whitehouse mentions eight points of similarity with the 
Genesis story ; but they have to be looked for, whereas 
the contrast between the two is apparent. It has been 
supposed that the Babylonian myth reached Palestine 
in the middle of the second millennium b.c., and in course 
of time reached the Israelites, whose religious genius recast 
it entirely. 

2. The Jehovistic narrative .—The second narrative is 
the earlier, and has a “ prophetic ” tendency. God is re¬ 
presented less as a Spirit than as an immortal being such 
as Zeus was to the Greeks; that is to say, he is described 
in language which is more suitable to man (see p. 5, note); 
e.g. iii. 8, “ They heard the voice of the Lord God 
walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” 

The creation of man is given greater importance, and 
the cosmogony ( i.e . account of the origin of the cosmos , 
or universe) is shorter than that of the preceding chapter, 
and cannot be entirely reconciled with it. The other 
features are the story of the Garden of Eden, the creation 
of woman, the Fall, and the consequent doom pronounced 
against Adam and Eve. 

Here again, besides the merely intellectual interest 
aroused in almost every verse, there is a very definite 
religious value in the story. Even though the Fall may 



not be an historical fact, yet the account represents 
vividly great spiritual truths, namely, (i) that man’s 
nature is tainted, contains degrading elements ; (2) man 
is to be purified of these elements (sin) ; (3) hence labour 
and the idea of death as the penalty of sin become the 
means of purification ; (4) the final atonement (at-one- 
ment) is the goal of man and the purpose of God. (See 
Gore’s The New Theology and the Old Religion, pp. 76, 77, 
233 -) 

The Creation : First Story 

Genesis i. 1 —ii. 3 

First Day. Light: Day and Night. —1. In the beginning 
God created the heaven and the earth. 2. And the earth 
was without form, and void ; and darkness was upon 
the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon 

1. According to the narrative, the order of creation was as follows: 

1st day .—Light (day and night). 

2nd day .—The “ firmament ” of heaven, separating the waters 
below ( i.e. the sea) from the waters above ( i.e. the rain). 

3 yd day .—Division of continent and ocean; creation of vegetable 

4th day. —Sun, moon, and stars. 

5th day .—Fish and bird life. 

6th day .—Beasts and reptiles ; man, male and female. Man is 
given authority. The vegetable world is given for food to man 
and beast. 

1. God. Heb. Elohim, a plural word, commonly used with a 
singular verb. 

created. The Hebrew word signifies a Divine act: it is used 
in Is. xl. 25, 26, which is worth quoting (R.V.) : “ To whom then 

will ye liken me, that I should be equal to him ? saith the Holy One. 
Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these, that 
bringeth out their hosts by number : he calleth them all by name ; 
by the greatness of his might, and for that he is strong in power, 
not one is lacking.” 

2. moved. R.V. marg., “was brooding.” Cp. Milton, Paradise 
Lost, I. 19 : 

Thou from the first 

Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread 
Dove-like, sat’st brooding on the vast abyss, 

And mad’st it pregnant. 



the face of the waters. 3. And God said, Let there be 
light: and there was light. 4. And God saw the light, 
that it was good : and God divided the light from the 
darkness. 5. And God called the light Day, and the 
darkness he called Night. And the evening and the 
morning were the first day. 

Second Day: “Heaven.” —6. And God said, Let there 
be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide 
the waters from the waters. 7. And God made the 
firmament, and divided the waters which were under the 
firmament from the waters which were above the firma¬ 
ment : and it was so. 8. And God called the firmament 
Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the 
second day. 

Third Day : Earth and vegetable life. —9. And God said, 
Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together 
unto one place, and let the dry land appear : and it was 
so. 10. And God called the dry land Earth ; and the 
gathering together of the waters called he Seas : and 
God saw that it was good. 11. And God said, Let the 
earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the 
fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in 
itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12. And the 
earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after 
his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in 
itself, after his kind : and God saw that it was good. 

5. day. To be taken either literally, as a period of twenty-four 
hours, or poetically, as an indefinite period of time. 

6. Armament. The earth’s atmosphere, which appears to the 
eye to be limited by the blue sky above, as by a solid vault, was 
imagined by the writer as an actual vault supporting the water 
which supplies us with rain; cp. vii. u, “ the windows of heaven 
were opened,” when the Flood came. 

9- Cp. Ps. civ. 6-8. 

11. whose seed, etc. R.V. ‘‘wherein is the seed thereof ” 



13. And the evening and the morning were the third 

Fourth Day: sun, moon, and stars. —14. And God said, 
Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to 
divide the day from the night ; and let them be for signs, 
and for seasons, and for days, and years : 15. and let 
them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to 
give light upon the earth : and it was so. 16. And God 
made two great lights ; the greater light to rule the day, 
and the lesser light to rule the night : he made the stars 
also. 17. And God set them in the firmament of the 
heaven to give light upon the earth, 18. and to rule 
over the day and over the night, and to divide the light 
from the darkness : and God saw that it was good. 
19. And the evening and the morning were the fourth 

Fifth Day: bird and fish life. —20. And God said, 
Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature 
that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in 
the open firmament of heaven. 21. And God created 
great whales, and every living creature that moveth, 
which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their 
kind, and every winged fowl after his kind : and God 
saw that it was good. 22. And God blessed them, saying, 
Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, 
and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23. And the evening 
and the' morning were the fifth day. 

Sixth Day: beasts and reptiles. —24. And God said, 
Let the earth bring forth the living creature after 
his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the 
earth after his kind : and it was so. 25. And God 
21. whales, means sea-monsters of all kinds. 



made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle 
after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon 
the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was 

Man, male and female. —26. And God said, Let us make 
man in our image, after our likeness : and let them have 
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of 
the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and 
over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 

27. So God created man in his own image, in the image 
of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be 
fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue 
it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over 
the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth 
upon the earth. 

29. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb 
bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and 
every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed ; 
to you it shall be for meat. 30. And to every beast of the 
earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that 
creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given 
every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31. And God 

26. Let us make. There are three theories to account for the 
plural ( cp . xi. 7 ; iii. 22 ; Is. vi. 8.) : (1) it reTers to Jehovah and “ all 
the host of heaven ” ; (2) some see in it an allusion to the doctrine 
of the Trinity ; (3) it is simply the “ royal " plural. 

in our image, etc. “ Both words [image and likeness] refer here 
evidently to spiritual resemblance alone. ... It can be nothing but 
the gift of self-conscious reason, which is possessed by man, but by 
no other animal ” (Driver). 

29, 30. These verses seem to suppose that man and the animal 
world were originally vegetarian, whereas palaeontology, the science 
which deals with fossils, teaches us that before man appeared carni¬ 
vorous animals existed. See ix. 2 seq. and note. 

30. life. Heb. “ a living soul." 



saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was 
very good. And the evening and the morning were the 
sixth day. 

Seventh Day : the Sabbath .—ii. 1. Thus the heavens 
and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 
2. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he 
had made ; and he rested on the seventh day from all his 
work which he had made. 3. And God blessed the seventh 
day, and sanctified it : because that in it he had rested 
from all his work which God created and made. 

The Creation : Second Story 
Genesis ii. 4 —iii. 24 

The earth and man. —4. These are the generations of 
the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in 
the day that the Lord God made the earth and the 
heavens, 5. and every plant of the field before it was 
in the earth, and every herb of the field before it 
grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain 
upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the 
ground. 6. But there went up a mist from the earth, 
and watered the whole face of the ground. 7. And the 

3. rested. The Hebrew word recalls the “ Sabbath," which was 
not instituted till later (Ex. xx. 8 seq.). 

4. These are the generations, a formula which elsewhere comes 
at the beginning of the passage to which it refers ; and so Dr. Driver, 
who places it at the end of the First Creation story, suggests that 
either “ these ” refers back to the work of the Six Days, or the 
formula has been transposed from the beginning of i. 1. 

the LORD. This expression, when printed in capitals, always 
represents the Hebrew name, Jehovah. (See Introd., p. xiii.) 

5. Read with the R.V. (after a full stop) : “ And no plant of the 
field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung 



Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and 
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and man 
became a living soul. 

The Garden of Eden. —8. And the Lord God planted a 
garden eastward in Eden ; and there he put the man whom 
he had formed. 9. And out of the ground made the Lord 
God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and 
good for food ; the tree of life also in the midst of the 
garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10. 
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden ; and 
from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 

11. The name of the first is Pison : that is it which com- 
passeth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold ; 

12. and the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium 
and the onyx stone. 13. And the name of the second river 
is Gihon : the same is it that compasseth the whole land 

7. ground. The Hebrew word here is connected with the form 
Adam, “ man.” 

a living soul, i.e. a living creature, the idea emphasised being 
that of life, not spirituality; cp. 1 Cor. xv. 45 : “ So also it is written, 
‘ The first man Adam became a living soul.’ The last Adam became 
a life-giving spirit.” 

8 . garden eastward in Eden. Greek, 7 rapddticros, park ; English 
Paradise; Eden, the basin of the Tigris and Euphrates. The 
description of the site of the garden contains the most primitive 
notions that the Hebrews possessed of the eastern land from which 
they had sprung, and, like all early maps of the ancients, combines 
geographical fact with imagination. Canals for irrigation existed 
in Babylonia as far back as the time of Hammurabi ( c . 2250 b.c.). 

10. The Rivers of the Garden. Various theories have been in¬ 
vented to explain these. Two of them, viz. Hiddekel (=Tigris) 
and Euphrates, the rivers which enclose Mesopotamia, we know ; 
but of Pishon (R.V.) “ which compasseth Havilah,” and Gihon 
“that compasseth Ethiopia” (R.V. “Cush”), nothing is known. 
Havilah, “ where there is gold,” was perhaps part of Arabia. Bdel¬ 
lium is probably a gum, used for medicine and perfumery ; and 
onyx, in the Hebrew, is a word of doubtful meaning, and has been 
rendered by the names of various precious stones. The garden lay 
in the midst of the wealth and mystery of the dimly remembered 
lands eastward of Palestine. 



of Ethiopia. 14. And the name of the third river is 
Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of 
Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. 15. And the 
Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden 
of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16. And the Lord 
God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the 
garden thou mayest freely eat : 17. but of the tree of 
the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of 
it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt 
surely die. 

Man, and his dominion over the animal world. —18. And 
the Lord God said. It is not good that the man should be 
alone ; I will make him an help meet for him. 19. And 
out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of 
the field, and every fowl of the air ; and brought them 
unto Adam to see what he would call them ; and what¬ 
soever Adam called every living creature, that was the 
name thereof. 20. And Adam gave names to all cattle, 
and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field ; 
but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 

Woman. — 21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep 
to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his 
ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof ; 22. and 
the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made 
he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23. And 
Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh 

17. This prohibition points to the necessity, from the beginning, 
of temptation, a process of testing, whereby man’s moral nature 
is perfected. Though to fall implies sin, and sin degrades, yet the 
innocence of ignorance does not exalt the soul like the innocence of 
conscious and faithful obedience. Thus we see that everything we 
consider evil ( e.g. temptation, sin, suffering) was used by the Creator 
in the working out of His scheme for the education of man. 

18. an help meet for him, i.e. a helper suited for him : the ex¬ 
pression “ help-meet,” taken from this sentence, is therefore incorrect. 



of my flesh ; she shall be called Woman, because she 
was taken out of Man. 24. Therefore shall a man 
leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto 
his wife : and they shall be one flesh. 25. And they 
were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not 

The temptation and the Fall. —iii. 1. Now the serpent was 
more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord 
God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath 
God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden ? 
2. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of 
the fruit of the trees of the garden : 3. but of the fruit of 
the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath 
said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest 
ye die. 4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall 
not surely die : 5. for God doth know that in the day ye 
eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall 
be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6. And when the 
woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it 
was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make 
one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and 
gave also unto her husband with her ; and he did eat. 
7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew 

23. Woman . . . Man, representing in English the play on words 
of which the Hebrews were so fond. The Hebrew here is Isshah and 


1. the serpent, to the primitive mind, was typical of evil and 
craftiness : not till very late times was the serpent of this story 
identified with the devil. 

It is interesting, in this connection, to recall the Gnostic 
heresy of the Ophites. They regarded the temptation by the serpent 
as the act of a beneficent power, who against the will of the Demiurge, 
an inferior deity, the creator of the world, enlightened man and thus 
made him capable of intellectual progress. 

Yea, etc. Ironical : “ has God really said . . . ? '* 

5. as gods, or (R.V.), “ as^ God." 


that they were naked ; and they sewed fig leaves together, 
and made themselves aprons. 8. And they heard the 
voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool 
of the day : and Adam and his wife hid themselves from 
the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the 
garden. 9. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and 
said unto him, Where art thou ? 10. And he said, I heard 

thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was 
naked ; and I hid myself. 11. And he said, Who told 
thee that thou wast naked ? Hast thou eaten of the 
tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest 
not eat ? 12. And the man said, The woman whom 

thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, 
and I did eat. 13. And the Lord God said unto 
the woman, What is this that thou hast done ? 
And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and 
I did eat. 

The sentence . —14. And the Lord God said unto the 
serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed 
above all cattle, and above every beast of the field ; upon 
thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the 
days of thy life : 15. and I will put enmity between thee 
and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed ; it 
shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 
16. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy 

15. This verse has been called the Protevangelium, or First 
Gospel ; and though originally no doubt it expressed no more than 
perpetual enmity between man and the serpent race, yet in course 
of time it was natural for the Hebrews to read more into it, and to 
regard it as a prophecy of the struggle between mankind and the 
Evil One ; and still more naturally did the early Christians see in 
it the first reference to the redemptive work of Christ. Cp. Rom. 
xvi. 20 ; “ The God of peace shall bruise Satan undei your feet 




sorrow and thy conception ; in sorrow thou shalt bring 
forth children ; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, 
and he shall rule over thee. 17. And unto Adam he said, 
Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, 
and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, 
saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground 
for thy sake ; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days 
of thy life ; 18. thorns also and thistles shall it bring 
forth to thee ; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field ; 

19. in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till 
thou return unto the ground ; for out of it wast thou 
taken : for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 

20. And Adam called his wife’s name Eve ; because she 
was the mother of all living. 21. Unto Adam also and 
to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and 
clothed them. 

Man driven from Eden .—22. And the Lord God said, 
Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good 
and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take 
also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever : 23. 
therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden 
of Eden, to til] the ground from whence he was taken. 
24. So he drove out the man ; and he placed at the east 
of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword 

17. Hitherto the fruits of the earth had grown of their own accord 
for man’s use ; now agriculture became necessary. For a similar 
belief amongst Greeks and Romans, cp. Hes., Works and Days, 
117 seq. ] Ovid, Met., i. 103 seq. ; Virg., Georg., i. 127 seq. 

20. Eve. Heb. Hawaii, i.e. Living. 

22. one of us, i.e. like one of the Heavenly Host, amongst which 
were the Cherubim. 

24. Cherubims emblematic figures of the cherubim formed the 
Mercy seat, or covering to the Ark, in the Holy of Holies. A de¬ 
tailed description is to be found in Ezek. i. 5 seq., where they are 
represented as men with wings and four heads: the head of a man, 
a lion, an ox, and an eagle respectively. 


which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of 


The original object of this story was to explain the 
development of sin amongst mankind and the origin of 
homicide, which in this first instance was actual murder. 
There are difficulties in the story which do not admit of 
satisfactory explanation: it may be asked, Why did 
Jehovah not accept Cain's offering? How was His 
displeasure shown ? What was the sign appointed 
for Cain ? Whom did he marry ? The best reply 
to such questions is to admit that we do not know \ 
but we may add that these early stories are only a 
selection which do not necessarily form a consistent 
and complete whole, and that in this very case there 
are signs that the original story has been cut down 
and edited. 

Among the lessons taught are the following : (i) God 
judges man’s motives rather than his acts ; the service 
of the heart is worth more than any ceremonial. (2) It 
is not the sin of murder that is condemned so much as 
the sin of jealousy and malice (cf. Sermon on the Mount 
Matt. v. 21-6). (3) The great doctrine of the Brotherhood 

of Man, that each man i3 his brother’s keeper, and has 
his share of responsibility for the conditions of the lives 
of others. (4) Sin inevitably brings its own punishment. 
(5) God remonstrates with man before the climax of the 
sin is reached. 



The Story of Cain and Abel 

Genesis iv. 1-16 

Birth of Cain and Abel. —iv. i. And Adam knew Eve 
his wife ; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I 
have gotten a man from the Lord. 2. And she again 
bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, 
but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 

The first murder. —3. And in process of time it came to 
pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering 
unto the Lord. 4. And Abel, he also brought of the 
firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the 
Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering : 5. but 
unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And 
Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6. And 
the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth ? and why 
is thy countenance fallen ? 7. If thou doest well, shalt 

thou not be accepted ? and if thou doest not well, sin 
lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and 
thou shalt rule over him. 8. And Cain talked with Abel 

1. gotten. The name Cain is not connected etymologically with 
the Hebrew verb used here, but there is a resemblance between the 
two, and the writer is using the figure of speech called paronomasia, 
a play on words. 

7. R.V. marg.: “ If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up ? and 
if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door: and unto thee is its 
desire, but thou shouldest rule over it” {i.e. “if thou doest well, 
thy countenance will be bright and cheerful : if thou doest wrong, 
be sure that sin is waiting to spring on thee, eager to make thee 
its prey; but it is thy duty to overcome sin”). Cain’s offering 
was merely formal; his life was marred by sin, and he was not 

8. And Cain talked with Abel his brother. R.V. marg.: “ Heb. 
s aid unto. Many ancient authorities have, said unto Abel his 
brother, Let us go into the field." Bishop Ryle supposes that the 
writer, in selecting passages from the original narrative, simpiy 
omitted Cain’s words to his brother, and that the words “ Let us 



his brother : and it came to pass, when they were in the 
field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew 

The punishment of Cain. —9. And the Lord said unto 
Cain, Where is Abel thy brother ? And he said, I know 
not: am I my brother’s keeper ? 10. And he said, What 

hast thou done ? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth 
unto me from the ground. 11. And now art thou cursed 
from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive 
thy brother’s blood from thy hand; 12. when thou 

tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee 
her strength ; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be 
in the earth. 13. And Cain said unto the Lord, My 
punishment is greater than I can bear. 14. Behold, 
thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the 
earth ; and from thy face shall I be hid ; and I shall be 
a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth ; and it shall 
come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay 
me. 15. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore who¬ 
soever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him 
sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any 
finding him should kill him. 

16. And Cain went out from the presence of the 
Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of 

go into'the field” represent an attempt to repaii the omission. 
See above, on the story of Cain and Abel. 

15. set a mark upon. R.V. “ appointed a sign for . . . .’’There 
is nothing to show what this was, but the A.V. “ set a mark 
upon ” is incorrect. The sign, so far from being intended as a 
brand, was to be his protection. 

16. Nod, i.e. Wandering. 

Eden. Cain had been in Eden, though his parents had been 
driven from the Garden. 



The Origin of Civilisation 
Genesis iv. 17-26 

17. And Cain knew his wife ; and she conceived, and 
bare Enoch : and he budded a city, and called the name 
of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 18. And 
unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and 
Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. 

19. And Lamech took unto him two wives : the name 
of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 
20 And Adah bare J abal: he was the father of such as 
dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. 21. And his 
brother’s name was J ubal: he was the father of all 
such as handle the harp and organ. 22. And Zillah, she 
also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in 
brass and iron : and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. 
23. And Lamech said unto his wives, 

Adah and Zillah, hear my voice ; 

Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: 

For I have slain a man for wounding me, 

And a young man for bruising me : 

24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, 

Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold. 

25. And Adam knew his wife again ; and she bare a 

17-26. In these verses is narrated the origin of civilisation 
according to Hebrew tradition : they deal with (i) city life, (2) 
nomad life, (3) music, (4) the use of metals, (5) the beginning of 
war, and (6) the origin of religious worship. 

19. two wives. The first instance, in the Hebrew narrative, 
of polygamy. 

20. father, metaphorical. 

22. an instructer of every artificer in. R.V. “ the forger of every 
cutting instrument of . . ." 

23, 24. Adah, etc. The Song of the Sword (printed from the R.V.) 
celebrates the value and power of the newly found weapon of war. 
The sword would be a greater protection to Lamech than the “ mark " 
was for Cain. (See verse 15.) 



son, and called his name Seth : For God, said she, hath 
appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain 
slew. 26. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son ; 
and he called his name Enos : then began men to call 
upon the name of the Lord. 

Genesis v 

The progress of the human race from Adam to Noah— 
that is, before the Flood—is represented in chap. v. in 
the form of a genealogy, which is introduced thus : 

1. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the 
day that God created man, in the likeness of God made 
he him ; 2. male and female created he them ; and blessed 
them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they 
were created. 

In the genealogy itself we may notice three points : 

1. The great length of life attributed to primitive 
man : Methusaleh is said to have lived for 969 years. 

2. Of Enoch 1 a remarkable statement is made, verse 24: 

2. their name Adam. See, Light from the East, by Rev. C. J. Ball, 
p. 20: “The Sumerian [i.e. pre-Babylonian. — Ed.] Adam is 
literally ‘ side-spouse,’ and seems, therefore, to denote all creatures 
which exist in pairs, or as male and female; so that it may be used of 
the entire animal creation, both brute and human. The meaning 
of the Sumerian term thus explains the story of the origin of woman 
(Gen. ii. 21 seq.), and accounts for the curious expression * called 
their name Adam ’ (Gen. v. 2).’’ 

1 Enoch. All that is told us of Enoch is that he was the son of 
Jared (see Gen. iv. 17 and Driver p. 8o), and that he was “ trans¬ 
lated ” ( cp . Elijah). According to St. Luke he was one of our 
Lord’s ancestors. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews quotes 
him as an example of faith (Heb. xi. 5). In Jude 14 is a quotation 
from the Book of Enoch, written c. 100 b . c ., a work which, though 
not found in O.T. or Apocrypha, had considerable influence on 
New Testament writers. No less than four of the titles of our Lord 
are found in this book applied, for the first time, to the Messiah. 



“ And Enoch walked with God : and he was not; for 
God took him.” 

3. Lamech (verse 29) called his son’s name Noah (i.e. 
Rest), “ saying, This same shall comfort us concerning 
our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground 
which the Lord hath cursed.” Noah was to found a 
new race. 


The story. —Here, again, is to be found a combination of 
two narratives, Priestly and Prophetic, no longer written 
consecutively, as is the case of the two Creation stories, 
but closely interwoven: these two accounts bear the 
usual characteristics (e.g. in respect of the Name of God, 
see p. xiii), and differ in important details, such as the 
numbers of the animals that entered the ark and the 
duration of the Flood. 

Difficulties of the story .—The question which every one 
must face is, Does the story represent an historical fact ? 
The older view is that it does ; that is to say, even though 
there may have been no world-wide deluge, yet there 
must have been a vast local inundation in which the 
waters reached a great height and swept away human 
and animal life over an immense area. (See Murray’s 
Illustrated Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Noah.”) The general 
opinion of the modern critics is that there was neither a 
universal flood nor a local flood on such a scale as is de¬ 
scribed in Genesis, even after allowance is made for natural 
exaggeration. They hold that the evidence of geology 
and ethnology alike is totally opposed to such a theory. 
There is no warrant for believing that so great a mass of 



water could have been produced during the period in 
which man and mammals have existed on the earth; or 
that, once having been produced, it could have disappeared 
so rapidly, or that life once more could have been so 
completely and quickly distributed and increased. In 
other words, the sum of human knowledge tends to show, 
without the possibility of contradiction, that the progress 
of life is infinitely slow and gradual, and the existence of 
the Genesis story and the parallel stories of other peoples 
is not sufficient to overthrow this conclusion. 

Solution .—If the modern view is adopted, a solution 
is to be found in the fact just referred to, that many 
countries have independently their own Flood-stories. 
These are common, but not universal; and it is reason¬ 
able to suppose that they all arose from the memory 
of some specially big flood which in each separate locality 
was attended with great loss of life. The Babylonian 
Flood-story 1 should be read carefully, chiefly because of 
the extraordinary parallels it contains to the story of 
Noah: perhaps the most striking of these are the 
description of the ship, the selection of representative 
animals, and the sending out of the dove and the raven. 

Probably the Babylonian version is older than that of 
Genesis ; but the opposite view is stoutly maintained. 
However this may be—even if the Hebrew story is not 
in any way the descendant of the Babylonian—we may 
reasonably conclude that both are descended from a 
common ancestor, that both reach back to a time when 
the Semitic people in Mesopotamia were afflicted by 
an inundation more destructive than the ordinary floods 
to which their country was liable. 

1 See App. II. 



Value of the story. —As always, the Hebrew narrative 
is religious in tone. Emphasis is laid upon (i) the curse 
of sin, which, once committed, rapidly spreads ; (2) the 
salvation which can be found in righteousness alone ; 
(3) God’s mercy in giving man another chance (cf. 
Rom. vi. 23: “The wages of sin is death; but the free 
gift of God is eternal life ”). 

The Story of Noah and the Flood 
Genesis vi.-ix 

j Che antediluvian giants. — vi. 1. And it came to pass, 
when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and 
daughters were born unto them, 2. that the sons of God 
saw the daughters of men that they were fair ; and they 
took them wives of all which they chose. 3. And the 
Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, 
for that he also is flesh : yet his days shall be an hundred 
and twenty years. 4. There were giants in the earth in 
those days ; and also after that, when the sons of God 
came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children 
to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, 
men of renown. 

Cause of the Flood. —5. And God saw that the wickedness 
of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination 
of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 
6. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on 

2. the sons of God. A much-debated phrase and passage. The 
obvious interpretation is this : angelic beings took human wives 
and from the union there sprang a race of giants, an idea common 
also in Greek mythology. 

3. My spirit, etc. An obscure passage, of which no satisfactory 
explanation has been found : perhaps it means, “ My spirit shall not 
abide in man so long : he is a weak creature, and so his span of life 
shall be shortened.” 

4. There were giants. R.V. “the Nephlllm were.” Cp. Num. xiii. 33. 


2 7 

the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7. And the 
Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from 
the face of the earth ; both man, and beast, and the creeping 
thing, and the fowls of the air ; for it repenteth me that 
I have made them. 8. But Noah found grace in the 
eyes of the Lord. 

9. These are the generations of Noah : Noah was a 
just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked 
with God. 10. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, 
and Japheth. 11. The earth also was corrupt before God, 
and the earth was filled with violence. 12. And God 
looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt ; for 
all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13. And 
God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come 
before me ; for the earth is filled with violence through 
them ; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 

Instructions to Noah. —14. Make thee an ark of gopher 
wood ; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch 
it within and without with pitch. 15. And this is the 
fashion which thou shalt make it of : The length of the 
ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty 
cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16. A window 
shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou 
finish it above ; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in 
the side thereof ; with lower, second, and third stories 
shalt thou make it. 17. And, behold, I, even I, do bring 
a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, 

9. walked witli God. Vide v. 22, 24. 

13. is come before me: i.e. I have determined upon it. 

14. gopher. An unknown tree. 

15. cubits, a cubit was about 18 in. 

16. a window, etc. R.V. “ A light shalt thou make to the ark, 
and to a cubit shalt thou finish it upward.” This perhaps means 
that little windows, 18 in. high, were to be left under the eaves of 
the roof, between the projecting beams. 



wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven ; and 
every thing that is in the earth shall die. 18. But with 
thee will I establish my covenant ; and thou shalt come 
into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy 
sons’ wives with thee. 19. And of every living thing of 
all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, 
to keep them alive with thee ; they shall be male and 
female. 20. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after 
their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his 
kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep 
them alive. 21. And take thou unto thee of all food 
that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee ; and it 
shall be for food for thee, and for them. 22. Thus did 
Noah ; according to all that God commanded him, so 
did he. 

vii. 1. And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and 
all thy house into the ark ; for thee have I seen righteous 
before me in this generation. 2. Of every clean beast 
thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female : 
and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his 
female. 3. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male 
and the female ; to keep seed alive upon the face of all 
the earth. 4. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to 
rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights ; and 
every living substance that I have made will I destroy 
from off the face of the earth. 5. And Noah did according 
unto all that the Lord commanded him. 6. And Noah 
was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was 
upon the earth. 

2. clean. Here we have a distinction drawn between clean and 
unclean animals. See Lev. xi. 

3. by sevens, Cp. vi. 19, where only one pa,ir is required. 



The Flood. —7. And Noah went in, and his sons, and 
his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because 
of the waters of the flood. 8. Of clean beasts, and of 
beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing 
that creepeth upon the earth, 9. there went in two and 
two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, 
as God had commanded Noah. 10. And it came to pass 
after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon 
the earth. 

11. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the 
second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the 
same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken 
up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12. And 
the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 

13. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and 
Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, 
and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark ; 

14. they, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle 
after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth 
upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his 
kind, every bird of every sort. 15. And they went in 
unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein 
is the breath of life. 16. And they that went in, went 
in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded 
him : and the Lord shut him in. 17. And the flood was 
forty days upon the earth ; and the waters increased, 
and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 
18. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly 
upon the earth ; and the ark went upon the face of the 

11. Cp. on i. 6. The waters supposed to lie under the earth, and 
the waters stored above the hrmament, were both let loose upon 
the earth. 



waters. 19. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon 
the earth ; and all the high hills, that were under the 
whole heaven, were covered. 20. Fifteen cubits upward 
did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. 
21. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both 
of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping 
thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man : 22. all 
in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was 
in the dry land, died. 23. And every living substance 
was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, 
both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the 
fowl of the heaven ; and they were destroyed from the 
earth : and Noah only remained alive, and they that 
were with him in the ark. 24. And the waters prevailed 
upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. 

viii. 1. And God remembered Noah, and every living 
thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark : 
and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the 
waters ass waged ; 2. the fountains also of the deep and 
the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from 
heaven was restrained ; 3. and the waters returned from 
off the earth continually : and after the end of the hundred 
and fifty days the waters were abated. 4. And the ark 
rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of 
the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 5. And the 
waters decreased continually until the tenth month : in 
the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the 
tops of the mountains seen. 

6. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that 

20. i.e. above the top of the highest mountain, reaching half-way 
up the side of the ark. 

4. Ararat. A mountain about 17,000 ft. high, in the north of 
Armenia, is now called Ararat ; but here the name is used of the 
whole surrounding country. 



Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 

7. and he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and 
fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 

8. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters 
were abated from off the face of the ground ; 9. but the 
dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned 
unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face 
of the whole earth : then he put forth his hand, and took 
her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. 10. And 
he stayed yet other seven days ; and again he sent forth 
the dove out of the ark ; 11. and the dove came in to 
him in the evening ; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive 
leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated 
from off the earth. 12. And he stayed yet other seven 
days ; and sent forth the dove ; which returned not again 
unto him any more. 

13. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first 
year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the 
waters were dried up from off the earth : and Noah removed 
the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face 
of the ground was dry. 14. And in the second month, 
on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the 
earth dried. 

Jehovah's decrees about the earth and man. —15. And 
God spake unto Noah, saying, 16. Go forth of the ark, 
thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives 
with thee. 17. Bring forth with thee every living thing 
that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, 
and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth ; 
that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be 
fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. 18. And Noah 

11. pluckt off, i.e. fresh. 



went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives 
with him : 19. every beast, every creeping thing, and 
every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, 
after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. 

20. And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord ; and 
took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and 
offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21. And the Lord 
smelled a sweet savour ; and the Lord said in his heart. 
I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s 
sake ; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his 
youth ; neither will I again smite any more every thing 
living, as I have done. 22. While the earth remaineth, 
seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer 
and winter, and day and night shall not cease. 

ix. 1. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said 
unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the 
earth. 2. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall 
be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl 
of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon 
all the fishes of the sea ; into your hand are they delivered. 
3. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you ; 
even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4. But 
flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall 

21. This verse may be interpreted in two ways: (1) I will not 
curse the ground any more as a punishment for man’s innate sinful¬ 
ness ; or, better, (2) I will not curse it any more, for I recognise man’s 
sinfulness, and I will forbear. 

2, 3. See on i. 29, 30. Man, hitherto vegetarian, is now allowed 
to eat flesh. 

4. life . . . blood. Cp. Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, 
p. 40 : “ The unity of the family or clan is viewed as a physical 
unity, for the blood is the life—an idea familiar to us from the O.T.— 
and it is the same blood and therefore the same life that is shared 
by every descendant of the common ancestor.” The belief is a 
fundamental one, on which the whole meaning of the sacrificial system 



ye not eat. 5. And surely your blood of your lives will I 
require ; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at 
the hand of man ; at the hand of every man’s brother will 
I require the life of man. 6. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, 
by man shall his blood be shed : for in the image of God 
made he man. 7. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply ; 
bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. 

The Covenant and the Rainbow. —8. And God spake unto 
Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, 9. And I, behold, 
I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after 
you ; 10. and with every living creature that is with you, 
of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth 
with you ; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast 
of the earth. 11. And I will establish my covenant with 
you ; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the 
waters of a flood ; neither shall there any more be a flood 
to destroy the earth. 12. And God said, This is the token 
of the covenant which I make between me and you and 
every living creature that is with you, for perpetual genera¬ 
tions : 13. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall 
be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 
14. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over 
the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15. and 
I will remember my covenant, which is between me and 
you and every living creature of all flesh ; and the waters 
shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16. And 
the bow shall be in the cloud ; and I will look upon it, 

5, 6, declare the sanctity of human life, the taking of which by 
man or beast will be followed by the punishment of the offender. 

13. bow. Probably the earliest narrator of the story believed 
this to be the explanation of the rainbow as a physical fact. It 
teaches us, at any rate, that even in those times men saw the hand 
of God in the natural world. 




that I may remember the everlasting covenant between 
God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the 
earth. 17. And God said unto Noah, This is the token 
of the covenant, which I have established between me 
and all flesh that is upon the earth. 

Noah : his family, occupation, and death. —18. And the 
sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and 
Ham, and Japheth : and Ham is the father of Canaan. 
19. These are the three sons of Noah : and of them was 
the whole earth overspread. 20. And Noah began to be 
an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard. 

28. And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and 
fifty years. 29. And all the days of Noah were nine 
hundred and fifty years : and he died. 


In ch. x. the descent of the nations of the world, except 
those unknown to the writer and those whose origin is 
explained later, is traced from the three sons of Noah, 
Shem, Ham, and J apheth. The division cannot be shown 
to be in any way scientific : according to Prof. Driver, 
it is mainly geographical. Then, after the multiplication 
of languages has been accounted for in the story of Babel, 
the writer confines himself to the descendants of Shem, 
the Semitic stock, and more particularly the branch from 
which the Israelites sprang. 

A few notes are added on some points in ch. x. which 
are worth special attention. 

6 . Cush, i.e. the land south of Egypt, or Ethiopia. 

Mizraim, i.e. Egypt proper. 

8 . And Cush begat Nimrod : he began to be a mighty one in the 



earth, 9. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord : wherefore it is 
said, Even as Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord. 

10. Shinar, i.e. Babylonia. 

11. Asshur was the name of the original capital of Assyria. In 
this verse Asshur is said to be the founder of Nineveh. 

15. Heth. The Hittites were at one time an important power 
in the country north and north-east of Palestine. Ramses II. 
(c. 1300-1234 b.c.) made a treaty with them. But the expressions 
Canaanites, Amorites, and Hittites are all used to denote generally 
the inhabitants of Canaan occupying the country before the arrival 
of the Hebrews. 

For a full discussion of the whole chapter and its difficulties, see 
Driver, ad loc. 


Genesis xi. 1-9 

xi. 1. And the whole earth was of one language, and 
of one speech. 2. And it came to pass, as they journeyed 
from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar ; 
and they dwelt there. 3. And they said one to another. 
Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And 
they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 
4. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, 
whose top may reach unto heaven ; and let us make us 
a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the 
whole earth. 5. And the Lord came down to see the 
city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 
6. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and 
they have all one language ; and this they begin to do : 
and now nothing will be restrained from them, which 
they h4,ve imagined to do. 7. Go to, let us go down, and 
there confound their language, that they may not under¬ 
stand one another’s speech. 8. So the Lord scattered 

2. Shinar = Babylonia. . 

3. In Babylonia brick cemented with bitumen (A.V. “slime ) 
was the regular material for building. 

7. us. See on i. 26. 



them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth : 
and they left off to build the city. 9. Therefore is the 
name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there con¬ 
found the language of all the earth : and from thence did 
the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the 

9. Babel = Babylon. As so often with Hebrew names, a false 
derivation is given, due to the resemblance of two words. Babel, 
which properly means “ gate of God,” is here connected with a verb 
meaning “ to confound.” 




His life. —The life of Abraham as told in Genesis is 
not complete; particular episodes have been selected 
from different sources. But a short analysis is useful as 
an aid to the memory. 

I. Abram and Sarai. 

(i) Ur of the Chaldees ; Abram marries Sarai. 

(ii) Haran. 

(iii) Palestine; Shechem and Beth-el. 

(iv) Egypt. 

(v) Hebron (after separation from Lot). 

(vi) Rescue of Lot; episode of Melchizedek. 

(vii) Birth of Ishmael. 

II. Abraham and Sarah. 

(i) Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

(ii) Gerar. 

(iii) Birth of Isaac ; expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael. 

(iv) “ Sacrifice ” of Isaac. 

(v) Death of Sarah. 

'(vi) Marriage of Isaac to Rebekah. 

(vii) Death of Abraham. 

It will be seen that the first division is mainly based 
on place-names, and the second on events in Abraham’s 
family history. 




Features of the story. —i. On no less than eight occasions 
was a promise made by God to Abraham: and the Hebrews, 
“ the seed of Abraham,” attached the greatest importance 
to these as the foundation of their hopes as a nation. 
2. The sacrifice of Isaac “ fulfils the twofold object of 
giving the crowning proof of Abraham’s absolute faith 
in Jehovah, and, further, of demonstrating the moral 
superiority of faith in Jehovah over the religious customs 
of other Semitic races.” (Hastings’ Dictionary of the 
Bille, s.v. “Abraham”). 3. Abraham is regarded as the 
ancestor, not only of the Hebrews, but also, through 
Ishmael, of some wandering tribes to the south of 

The character of Abraham .—In spite of obvious difficulties 
in the story of Abraham, such as repetitions or “ duplica¬ 
tions” of episodes, and the probability that some passages 
in his life should be explained as “ tribal ” legends (i.e. 
intended to account for the connection between the 
Hebrews and some other tribe), yet we are convinced that 
he is a real character of history. He is not colourless like 
so many of the Greek heroes ; his personality is striking 
and many-sided. He is the founder of the Hebrew race, 
the “ friend ” of Jehovah, to whom God gave His promise 
and with whom God made His covenant; he has all the 
qualities of a leader of men, and “ he was called the Friend 
of God ” (James ii. 23). The writer of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews emphasises his chief virtue, faith, in a passage 
which should be read at length (Heb. xi. 8-19). A sum¬ 
mary of his life and character may be found in Ecclesiasticus 
(xliv. 19, 20), in words which deserve quotation as a most 
fitting epitaph: “ Abraham was a great father of a 

multitude of nations ; and there was none found like him 



in glory; who kept the law of the Most High, and was 
taken into covenant with him. In his flesh he established 
the covenant ; and when he was proved, he was found 
faithful.” [R.V.] 

Stories of the Life of Abraham 
Genesis xi. 27 —xxiii 

The Family of Abram : migration from Ur of the Chaldees 
to Haran. —xi. 27. Now these are the generations of 
Ter ah : Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran ; and 
Haran begat Lot. 28. And Haran died before his father 
Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. 
29. And Abram and Nahor took them wives : the name 
of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife 
Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and 
the father of Iscah. 30. But Sarai was barren ; she had 
no child. 31. And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot 
the son of Llaran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in 
law, his son Abram’s wife ; and they went forth with them 
from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; 
and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. 32. 
And the days of Terah were two hundred and five 
years : and Terah died in Llaran. 

Second migration : to Canaan. —xii. 1. Now the Lord 
had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and 
from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land 
that I will shew thee: 2. and I will make of thee a great 
nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great ; 
and thou shalt be a blessing : 3. and I will bless them 

29. See genealogical tree, p. 69. 

31. Haran = Carrhae. Here Crassus was defeated and killed 
by the Parthians in 53 b.c. The narrative appears to combine two 
traditions about the origin of Abram’s family. 



that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee : and in 
thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4. So 
Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him ; and 
Lot went with him : and Abram was seventy and five 
years old when he departed out of Haran. 5. And Abram 
took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their 
substance that they had gathered, and the souls that 
they had gotten in Haran ; and they went forth to go 
into the land of Canaan ; and into the land of Canaan 
they came. 

6. And Abram passed through the land unto the place 
of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite 
was then in the land. 7. And the Lord appeared unto 
Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land : and 
there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared 
unto him. 8. And he removed from thence unto a moun¬ 
tain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having 
Beth-el on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he 
builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name 
of the Lord. 9. And Abram journeyed, going on still 
toward the south. 

Abram's visit to Egypt. —xo. And there was a famine 
in the land : and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn 

6. Sichem, etc. R.V. “ Shechem, unto the oak " ; R.V. marg., 
“ terebinth.” The terebinth is the turpentine-tree, and is like the 
oak. A.V. “ plain ” should be “ oak ” in xiii. 18, xiv. 13, xviii. 1. 

the Canaanite. i.e. all the various peoples who occupied Palestine 
before the arrival of the Hebrews. 

7. altar. The whole of Palestine was covered with such sacred 
spots, connected by the Hebrews with the times of the Patriarchs, 
hbt many of them, no doubt, taken over from the earlier inhabitants 
uwom they superseded. (See Index, s.v. “Altar.”) 

8. Hai = Ai. 

10-20. A similar story is told in ch. xx. of Abraham, and in ch. xxvi. 
of Isaac. It is characteristic of oriental duplicity, and is related 
by the writer without comment, but without approval. 



there ; for the famine was grievous in the land. n. And 
it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into 
Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I 
know that thou art a fair woman to look upon : 12. there¬ 
fore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see 
thee, that they shall say, This is his wife : and they will 
kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13. Say, I pray 
thee, thou art my sister : that it may be well with me 
for thy sake ; and my soul shall live because of thee. 
14. And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come 
into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she 
was very fair. 15. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, 
and commended her before Pharaoh ; and the woman 
was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16. And he entreated 
Abram well for her sake : and he had sheep, and oxen, and 
he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she 
asses, and camels. 17. And the Lord plagued Pharaoh 
and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s 
wife. 18. And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is 
this that thou hast done unto me ? why didst thou not 
tell me that she was thy wife ? 19. Why saidst thou, 

She is my sister ? so I might have taken her to me to wife : 
now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 
20. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him : 
and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that 
he had. 

Return to Canaan. —xiii. 1. And Abram went up out of 
Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with 
him, into the south. 2. And Abram was very rich in cattle, 
in silver, and in gold. 3. And he went on his journeys 
from the south even to Beth-el, unto the place where his 
tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hai; 



4. unto the place of the altar, which he had made there 
at the first : and there Abram called on the name of the 

Lot's choice of land. —5. And Lot also, which went with 
Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 6. And the land 
was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together : 
for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell 
together. 7. And there was a strife between the herdmen 
of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle : and 
the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. 
8. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray 
thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and 
thy herdmen ; for we be brethren. 9. Is not the whole 
land before thee ? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me : 
if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right ; 
or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the 
left. 10. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the 
plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, 
before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even 
as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou 
comest unto Zoar. 11. Then Lot chose him all the plain 
of Jordan ; and Lot journeyed east : and they separated 
themselves the one from the other. 12. Abram dwelled 
in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the 
plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13. But the 
men of Sodom Were wicked and sinners before the Lord 

God’s promise to Abram. —14. And the Lord said 

6, 7. Two reasons are given why Abraham and Lot should 

10. plain of Jordan, i.e. the basin containing the lower reaches of 
the Jordan and the Dead Sea. 

the garden of the LORD, i.e. the Garden of Eden. 



unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift 
up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art 
northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward : 
15. for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give 
it, and to thy seed for ever. 16. And I will make thy seed 
as the dust of the earth : so that if a man can number the 
dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 
17. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and 
in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18. Then 
Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain 
of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar 
unto the Lord. 

The War of the Four Kings against the Five 


Chapter xiv. contains the story of the revolt ot five 
“ Kings of the Plain ” against the King of Elam and his 
vassals. Elam, with its capital Susa, lies beyond Babylonia, 
north-east of the Persian gulf. 

There are two points of special interest: one is the 
probable identification of Amraphel, King of Shinar, with 
Hammurabi, sixth king in the first dynasty of Babylon, 
whose reign is placed, roughly speaking, in the last quarter 
of the third millennium b.c. (c. 2250). He conquered Elam 
and was a great king, but his importance for us lies chiefly 
in the fact that the Code of Hammurabi, an elaborate legal 
system indicative of a very advanced civilisation, was 
discovered 1901-2, engraved upon a huge block of stone 
containing, in cuneiform characters, 8,000 words. The 

18. in the plain of Mamre = “ by the oaks of Mamre.’ In xiv. 
13, 24, Mamre is the name of a person; in xxiii. 17 and other 
passages, the name of a place. 



events related in this chapter must refer to an early 
period of his career. 

The second point of interest is the meeting of Abram 
with Melchizedek, the priest-king of Salem. Nothing is 
known from other sources about this man : but Psalm cx. 4 
says : 

The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, 

Thou \i.e. the king] art a priest for ever 
After the manner of Melchizedek: 
and this verse is applied by the writer of the Epistle to 
the Hebrews (v. 6, 10 : vi. 20: vii.) to Christ, of whom the 
mysterious king of the narrative is taken to be a type. 
Further, in the offerings of bread and wine brought forth 
by Melchizedek the Fathers of the early Church saw pre¬ 
figured the Bread and Wine of the Holy Communion. 

The war of the four kings against the five kings. —xiv. 1. 
And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, 
Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and 
Tidal king of nations ; 2. that these made war with Bera 
king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab 
king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the 
king of Bela, which is Zoar. 3. All these were joined 
together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. 
4. Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the 

1. Arioch, a prince who ruled in the south of Babylonia, first the 
vassal of Chedorlaomer of Elam, afterwards overthrown by Ham¬ 
murabi (Amraphel) of Babylon. 

Tidal king; 0 f nations. R.V. “ king of Goiim ” (which means “ na¬ 
tions ”)• Nothing is known of him, or of the sense in which Goiim 
is used here. 

2, 3. The position of the five towns in the vale of Siddim is 
doubtful ; perhaps they occupied the ground now covered by the 
shallow lagoon at the extreme south of the Dead Sea. All were 
destroyed except Zoar. 



thirteenth year they rebelled. 5. And in the fourteenth 
year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with 
him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and 
the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 
6. and the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, 
which is by the wilderness. 7. And they returned, and 
came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the 
country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that 
dwelt in Hazezon-tamar. 8. And there went out the king 
of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of 
Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the 
same is Zoar ;) and they joined battle with them in the 
vale of Siddim ; 9. with Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, 
and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of 
Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar ; four kings with five. 
10. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and 
the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; 
and they that remained fled to the mountain. XI. And 
they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all 
their victuals, and went their way. 

Capture of Lot, and his rescue by Abram. —12. And 
they took Lot, Abram's brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, 
and his goods, and departed. 13. And there came one 
that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew ; for he 
dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of 
Eshcol, and brother of Aner : and these were confederate 
with Abram. 14. And when Abram heard that his 
brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, 
born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and 

10. slimepits = bitumen pits. The Dead Sea is called Lacus 
A sphaltites. 

13. plain = “by the oaks.” 

14. brother, i.e. relation (actually, nephew). 



pursued them unto Dan. 15. And he divided himself 
against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote 
them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the 
left hand of Damascus. 16. And he brought back all 
the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and 
his goods, and the women also, and the people. 

Meeting of Abram and Melchizedek. —17. And the king 
of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the 
slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were 
with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. 

18. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread 
and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 

19. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of 
the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth : 20. 
and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered 
thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes 
of all. 21. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give 
me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 22. And 
Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine 
hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of 
heaven and earth, 23. that I will not take from a thread 
even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing 
that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram 
rich : 24. save only that which the young men have eaten, 
and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, 
Eshcol, and Mamre ; let them take their portion. 

Abram's vision, and the promise. —xv. x. After these 
things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, 

15. left hand, i.e. north, according to Hebrew reckoning, as you 
face the east. 

17. the king’s dale. Here was erected Absalom’s monument 
(2 Sam. xviii. 18). 

18. Salem = Jerusalem ; cp. Ps. lxxvi. 2. 

20. he gave him, i.e. Abram gave Melchizedek tithes of the spoil. 



saying, Fear not, Abram : I am thy shield, and thy exceed¬ 
ing great reward. 2. And Abram said, Lord God, what 
wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward 
of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus ? 3. And Abram 
said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed : and, lo, one 
born in my house is mine heir. 4. And, behold, the word 
of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine 
heir ; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels 
shall be thine heir. 5. And he brought him forth abroad, 
and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, 
if thou be able to number them : and he said unto 
him, So shall thy seed be. 6. And he believed in 
the Lord ; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 
7. And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought 
thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to 
inherit it. 

The token. —8. And he said. Lord God, whereby shall 
I know that I shall inherit it ? 9. And he said unto him, 
Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of 
three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtle¬ 
dove, and a young pigeon. 10. And he took unto him all 
these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one 
against another : but the birds divided he not. 11. And 
when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram 
drove them away. 12. And when the sun was going 
down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram ; and, lo, an horror 
of great darkness fell upon him. 13. And he said unto 

2. and the steward, etc. R.V. “ and he that shall be possessor of 
my house is Dammesek Eliezer ? ” The text is uncertain, and the 
meaning obscure ; clearly, however, Abram’s steward, a servant, 
(verse 3) would be his heir if he died childless. 

5. tell . . . number, the same words in the Hebrew. 

9. This passage describes the ceremonial of a covenant : the 
victims are divided, and the covenanters pass between. 




Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger 
in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them ; and 
they shall afflict them four hundred years ; 14. and also 
that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge : and 
afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 . 
And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace ; thou shalt be 
buried in a good old age. 16 . But in the fourth generation 
they shall come hither again : for the iniquity of the 
Amorites is not yet full. 17. And it came to pass, that, 
when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking 
furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those 

The covenant .— 18 . In the same day the Lord made a 
covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given 
this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, 
the river Euphrates : 19. the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, 
and the Kadmonites, 20. and the Hittites, and the 
Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21. and the Amorites, and 
the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites. 

The story of Hagar ; Abram takes Hagar ; Hagar's -flight . 
xvi. 1. Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: 
and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was 
Hagar. 2. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, 
the Lord hath restrained me from bearing : I pray thee, 
go in unto my maid ; it may be that I may obtain children 
by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 
3. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the 
Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land 
of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be 
his wife. 

13, 14. Refer to Egypt and the Exodus. 

16. Amorites = inhabitants of Canaan. 

17. burning lamp. R.V. “flaming torch.” 



4. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived : and 
when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was 
despised in her eyes. 5. And Sarai said unto Abram, 
My wrong be upon thee : I have given my maid into thy 
bosom ; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was 
despised in her eyes : the Lord judge between me and 
thee. 6. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid 
is in thy hand ; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when 
Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. 

Hagar's vision in the wilderness. —7. And the angel of 
the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, 
by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8. And he said, 
Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence earnest thou ? and whither 
wilt thou go ? And she said, I flee from the face of my 
mistress Sarai. 9. And the angel of the Lord said unto 
her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her 
hands. 10. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, 
I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be 
numbered for multitude, ix. And the angel of the Lord 
said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear 
a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the 
Lord hath heard thy affliction. 12. And he will be a 
wild man ; his hand will be against every man. and every 
man’s hand against him ; and he shall dwell in the presence 
of all his brethren. 13. And she called the name of the 
Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me : for she 
said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me ? 

11. Ishmael, i.e. “God heareth.” Ishmael (verse 12) is a type 
of the wandering Arab tribes, of whom he was thought to be the 

12. a wild man. R.V. “ as a wild ass among men.” 

in the presence, etc., i.e. to the east of Israel. 

13. Thou God seest me. This is the meaning implied in the correct 
R.V., “ Thou art a God that seeth.” 


14. Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, 
it is between Kadesh and Bered. 

Hagar returns ; birth of Ishmael. —15. And Hagar bare 
Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which 
Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16. And Abram was fourscore 
and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram. 

The name Abraham. —xvii. 1. And when Abram was 
ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, 
and said unto him, I am the Almighty God ; walk before 
me, and be thou perfect. 2. And I will make my covenant 
between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 
3. And Abram fell on his face : and God talked with him, 
saying, 4. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, 
and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5. Neither 
shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name 
shall be Abraham ; for a father of many nations have I 
made thee. 6. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, 
and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out 
of thee. 7. And I will establish my covenant between 
me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations 
for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and 
to thy seed after thee. 8. And I will give unto thee, and 
to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, 
all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession ; 
and I will be their God. 

The rite of circumcision. —9. And God said unto Abra¬ 
ham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and 

14. Eeer-lahai-roi. i.e. “ the well of the living one who seeth me.” 

1. the Almighty God. Heb. “ El Shaddai.” This is the name 
of God which is found in the Priestly narrative as the name until 
the revelation of Jehovah to Moses on Mount Horeb. 

5. Abram (= Abiram) means “ the lofty one is father.” Abraham 
is connected by resemblance of sound, but not bv derivation, with 
a word meaning “ multitude.” 



thy seed after thee in their generations, io. This is my 
covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and 
thy seed after thee ; Every man child among you shall 
be circumcised, n. And ye shall circumcise the flesh; 
and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and 
you. 12. And he that is eight days old shall be circum¬ 
cised among you, every man child in your generations, 
he that is born in the house, or bought with money of 
any stranger, which is not of thy seed. 13. He that is 
bom in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, 
must needs be circumcised : and my covenant shall be 
in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14. And the 
uncircumcised man child who is not circumcised, that 
soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my 

The name Sarah. —15. And God said unto Abraham, 
As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, 
but Sarah shall her name be. 16. And I will bless her, 
and give thee a son also of her : yea, I will bless her, and 
she shall be a mother of nations ; kings of people shall 
be of her. 17. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and 
laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto 

Note on the Rite of Circumcision 

The rite of circumcision was not peculiar to the Hebrews : it 
was practised by almost all the Semitic races, and by the Egyptians 
before the time of Abraham. The original purpose of the rite is 
thought to have been an initiation into manhood. The Hebrews 
differed from their neighbours in performing it early, and in regarding 
it as the, sign and seal of a sacred covenant with the God of the 
people whom He had promised to bless. 

The outward sign was seen to possess an inner meaning by Jere¬ 
miah. St. Paul insisted strongly on the purification of the heart; 
and in the history of the early Church it was soon decided that 
circumcision was not to be demanded from Gentile converts to 
Christianity. (See Jer. ix. 25, Rom. ii. 28, Acts xv.) 

15. Sarai: the meaning is unknown. 

Sarah, i.e. “ Princess.” 



him that is an hundred years old ? and shall Sarah, that 
is ninety years old, bear ? 18. And Abraham said unto 

God, O that Ishmael might live before thee ! 19. And 

God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed ; 
and thou shalt call his name Isaac : and I will establish 
my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and 
with his seed after him. 20. And as for Ishmael, I have 
heard thee : Behold, I have blessed him, and will make 
him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly ; twelve 
princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 
21. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which 
Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next 
year. 22. And he left off talking with him, and God 
went up from Abraham. 

The “ Three Men ” at Hebron. — xviii. 1. And the Lord 
appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat 
in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2. and he lift up 
his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him : 
and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the 
tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3. and 
said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, 
pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4. let 
a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, 
and rest yourselves under the tree : 5. and I will fetch 
a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts ; after 
that ye shall pass on : for therefore are ye come to your 
servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. 6. 
And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and 
said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, 
knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. 7. And 

19. Isaac, meaning “ he laughs.” Cp. verse 17. 

5. for therefore. R.V. "forasmuch as.” So too xix. 8. 



Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender 
and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he 
hastened to dress it. 8. And he took butter, and milk, 
and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before 
them ; and he stood by them under the tree, and they 
did eat. 

Promise of a son to Sarah. —9. And they said unto him, 
Where is Sarah thy wife ? And he said, Behold, in the 
tent. 10. And he said, I will certainly return unto thee 
according to the time of life ; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall 
have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which 
was behind him. 11. Now Abraham and Sarah were 
old and well stricken in age ; and it ceased to be with 
Sarah after the manner of women. 12. Therefore Sarah 
laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall 
I have pleasure, my lord being old also ? 13. And the 

Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, 
saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old ? 
14. Is any thing too hard for the Lord ? At the time 
appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time 
of life, and Sarah shall have a son. 15. Then Sarah denied, 
saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said. 
Nay ; but thou didst laugh. 

The doom pronounced on Sodom and Gomorrah. —16. 
And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward 
Sodom : and Abraham went with them to bring them 
on the way. 17. And the Lord said, Shall I hide from 
Abraham that thing which I do ; 18. seeing that Abraham 
shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all 
the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him ? 19. For 

10. according to the time of life. R.V. “ when the season cometh 
round,” i.e. in a year’s time. So also in verse 14. 



I know him, that he will command his children and 
his household after him, and they shall keep the way of 
the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord 
may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken 
of him. 20. And the Lord said, Because the cry of 
Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is 
very grievous ; 21. I will go down now, and see whether 
they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which 
is come unto me ; and if not, I will know. 22. And the 
men turned their faces from thence, and went toward 
Sodom : but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. 

Abraham's intercession. —23. And Abraham drew near, 
and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the 
wicked ? 24. Peradventure there be fifty righteous within 

the city : wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place 
for the fifty righteous that are therein ? 25. That be 

far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous 
with the wicked : and that the righteous should be as 
the wicked, that be far from thee : shall not the J udge 
of all the earth do right ? 26. And the Lord said, If I 

find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will 
spare all the place for their sakes. 27. And Abraham 
answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me 
to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes : 

28. peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous : 
wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five ? And he 
said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. 

29. And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Perad- 

19. I know him, that he will. R.V. " I have known him, to the 
end that he may . . .", i.e. Jehovah singled out Abraham, and after¬ 
wards Israel, for a special purpose. 

22. I.e. one of the three, who had spoken before, stayed behind^ 
Cp. xix. 1, “ and the two angels came " (R.V.). 



venture there shall be forty found there. And he said, 
I will not do it for forty’s sake. 30. And he said unto him, 
Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak : Perad- 
venture there shall thirty be found there. And he said, 
I will not do it, -if I find thirty there. 31. And he said. 
Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the 
Lord : Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. 
And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. 

32. And he said. Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will 
speak yet but this once : Peradventure ten shall be found 
there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. 

33. And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left 
communing with Abraham : and Abraham returned unto 
his place. 

Lot receives the two angels at Sodom. —xix. 1. And there 
came two angels to Sodom at even ; and Lot sat in the 
gate of Sodom : and Lot seeing them rose up to meet 
them ; and he bowed himself with his face toward the 
ground ; 2. and he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, 
I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, 
and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go 
on your ways. And they said, Nay ; but we will abide 
in the street all night. 3. And he pressed upon them 
greatly ; and they turned in unto him, and entered into 
his house ; and he made them a feast, and did bake un¬ 
leavened bread, and they did eat. 

Violence of the men of the city. —4. But before they lay 
down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, com¬ 
passed the house round, both old and young, all the people 
from every quarter : 5 * an( ^ they called unto Lot, and 
said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee 
this night ? bring them out unto us. 6. And Lot went 



out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 

7. and said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 

8. Behold now, unto these men do nothing ; for therefore 
came they under the shadow of my roof. 9. And they 
said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow 
came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge : now 
will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they 
pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to 
break the door. 10. But the men put forth their hand, 
and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the 
door. 11. And they smote the men that were at the 
door of the house with blindness, both small and great: 
so that they wearied themselves to find the door. 

Escape of Lot from Sodom. —12. And the men said unto 
Lot, Hast thou here any besides ? son in law, and thy 
sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the 
city, bring them out of this place: 13. for we will destroy 
this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before 
the face of the Lord ; and the Lord hath sent us to 
destroy it. 14. And Lot went out, and spake unto his 
sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, 
get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this 
city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons 
in law. 

15. And when the morning arose, then the angels 
hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two 
daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the 
iniquity of the city. 16. And while he lingered, the men 
laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, 
and upon the hand of his two daughters ; the Lord being 
merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and 
set him without the city. 



17. And it came to pass, when they had brought them 
forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life ; look not 
behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain ; escape 
to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18. And Lot 
said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord : 19. behold now, 
thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast 
magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me 
in saving my life ; and I cannot escape to the mountain, 
lest some evil take me, and I die : 20. behold now, this 
city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one : Oh, let me 
escape thither, (is it not a little one ?) and my soul shall 
live. 21. And he said unto him, See, I have accepted 
thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow 
this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 22. Haste 
thee, escape thither ; for I cannot do any thing till thou 
be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was 
called Zoar. 

Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. —23. The sun was 
risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 24. 
Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah 
brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven ; 25. and 
he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the 
inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the 

26. But his wife looked back from behind him, and 
she became a pillar of salt. 

22. Zoar, i.e. "Little” (verse 20). See ch. xiv. 8. 

24. brimstone and fire. Brimstone is sulphur, and hot sulphur 
springs are found on the shores of the Dead Sea. The destruction 
of the cities has been explained as caused by an eruption of petroleum 
after an earthquake. There is no reason why the story should not 
represent an historical occurrence. 

26. pillar of salt. " To the south of the Dead Sea are the salt hills 
known as Jebel Usdum, the Mountain of Sodom, the Salt Mountain ” 



27. And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the 
place where he stood before the Lord : 28. and he looked 
toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land 
of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country 
went up as the smoke of a furnace. 

29. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities 
of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent 
Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew 
the cities in the which Lot dwelt. 

The birth of Isaac. — xxi. 1. And the Lord visited Sarah 
as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had 
spoken. 2. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a 
son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken 
to him. 3. And Abraham called the name of his son 
that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 
4. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight 
days old, as God had commanded him. 5. And Abraham 
was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born 
unto him. 

6. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that 
all that hear will laugh with me. 7. And she said, Who 
would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have 
given children suck ? for I have born him a son in his 
old age. 8. And the child grew, and was weaned : and 
Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac 
was weaned. 

The casting out of Hagar and Ishmael. —9. And Sarah 

saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born 

unto Abraham, mocking. 10. Wherefore she said unto 

(Murray’s Illust.Bible Diet.: “ Salt Sea ”). The resemblance to human 
faces and figures is often to be seen where, as here, the outlines of 
rocks are much broken. For an account of the whole district, see 
G. A. Smith, Hist. Geogr. of the Holy Land, ch. xxiii. 

9. mocking: better, “playing.” 



Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son : for 
the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, 
even with Isaac, n. And the thing was very grievous 
in Abraham’s sight because of his son. 12. And God said 
unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because 
of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman ; in all that 
Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice ; for 
in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 13. And also of the son 
of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy 
seed. 14. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, 
and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto 
Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and 
sent her away : and she departed, and wandered in the 
wilderness of Beer-sheba. 15. And the water was spent 
in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the 
shrubs. 16. And she went, and sat her down over 
against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for 
she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she 
sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. 
17. And God heard the voice of the lad ; and the angel 
of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, 
What aileth thee, Hagar ? fear not; for God hath heard 
the voice of the lad where he is. 18. Arise, lift up the 
lad, and hold him in thine hand ; for I will make him a 
great nation. 19. And God opened her eyes, and she 
saw a well of water ; and she went, and filled the bottle 
with water, and gave the lad drink. 20. And God was 
with the lad ; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, 

12. in Isaac shall thy seed be called, i.e. not Ishmael, but Isaac 
and his descendants, should be the true “ seed of Abraham." See 
Rom. ix. 7 seq. 

14. bottle, i.e. a skin, or leather bottle. 

17. God heard. See on xvi. n. 



and became an archer. 21. And he dwelt in the wilderness 
of Paran : and his mother took him a wife out of the 
land of Egypt. 

The Covenant at Beersheba between Abraham and Abime- 
lech the Philistine. —22. And it came to pass at that time, 
that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host 
spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all 
that thou doest: 23. now therefore swear unto me here 
by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with 
my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the 
kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do 
unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. 
24. And Abraham said, I will swear. 25. And Abraham 
reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which 
Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. 26. And 
Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing : 
neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but 
to-day. 27. And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and 
gave them unto Abimelech ; and both of them made a 
covenant. 28. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the 
flock by themselves. 29. And Abimelech said unto 
Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou 
hast set by themselves ? 30. And he said, For these 

seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they 
may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. 
31. Wherefore he called that place Beer-sheba; because 

Note on the Story of Ishmael 

The historical purpose of the story is to show the origin of the 
“ Ishmaelite ” tribes, and their connection with Israel. St. Paul 
gives it a religious interpretation in Gal. iv. 21 seq., which see. 

25. well. For the importance of wells in the Holy Land see 
G. A. Smith, Hist. Geography, p. 76 seq. 

31. Beer-sheba. For another version of the origin of the name, 
see xxvi. 23-33. 



there they sware both of them. 32. Thus they made a 
covenant at Beer-sheba: then Abimelech rose up, and 
Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned 
into the land of the Philistines. 33. And Abraham planted 
a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the 
Lord, the everlasting God. 34. And Abraham sojourned 
in the Philistines’ land many days. 

The sacrifice of Isaac. —xxii. 1. And it came to pass 
after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said 
unto him, Abraham : and he said, Behold, here I am. 
2. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, 
whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah ; 
and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the 
mountains which I will tell thee of. 3. And Abraham 
rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and 
took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, 
and^clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, 
and went unto the place of which God had told him. 
4. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, 
and saw the place afar off. 5. And Abraham said unto 
his young men, Abide ye here with the ass ; and I 
and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again 

32. Philistines. In xxvi. 1 Abimelech is called “ King of the 
Philistines.” But it is probable that the Philistines had not entered 
Canaan yet; and, if so, the writer has committed an anachronism. 

33. grove. R.V. ‘‘tamarisk tree.” See on xii. 7. 

1 seq. Human sacrifice prevailed amongst many of the peoples 
with whom the Israelites came into contact ; but at no period, as 
far as we know, was it considered legal by those Israelites who 
kept to their ancestral faith. The supreme test of the character 
of Abraham was his willingness, in obedience to what he held to be 
a Divine command, to devote to his God not only what he himself 
considered most dear, but the son through whom he was to become 
the father of a great nation. The object of such an offering was 
in future achieved by the sacrifice of an ordinary victim. See also 
vol. ii., App. iv., “ jephthah’s Daughter.” 

1. tempt. R.V. “ prove.” 


to you. 6. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt 
offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son ; and he took 
the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both 
of them together. 7. And Isaac spake unto Abraham 
his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am 
I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: 
but where is the lamb for a burnt offering ? 8. And 

Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb 
for a burnt offering : so they went both of them together. 
9. And they came to the place which God had told him 
of ; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood 
in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the 
altar upon the wood. 10. And Abraham stretched forth 
his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11. And 
the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, 
and said, Abraham, Abraham : and he said, Here am I. 
12. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither 
do thou any thing unto him : for now I know that thou 
fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine 
only son from me. 13. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, 
and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a 
thicket by his horns : and Abraham went and took the 
ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead 
of his son. 14. And Abraham called the name of that 
place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the 
mount of the Lord it shall be seen. 

15. And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham 
out of heaven the second time, 16. and said, By myself 

14. Jeliovali-jireh, i.e. “the Lord will see, or, will provide." The 
episode seems to have given rise to a proverbial saying connected 
with Mount Zion, the meaning of which is made somewhat obscure 
by the change from the active voice “ will see ” to the passive “ he 
shall be seen " (R.V. marg.). 



have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done 
this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son : 
x7. that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying 
I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as 
the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall 
possess the gate of his enemies ; 18. and in thy seed shall 
all the nations of the earth be blessed ; because thou hast 
obeyed my voice. 19. So Abraham returned unto his 
young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer- 
sheba ; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba. 

Death of Sarah. —xxiii. 1. And Sarah was an hundred 
and seven and twenty years old ; these were the years of 
the life of Sarah. 2. And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba ; 
the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan : and Abraham 
came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. 

The purchase of the Cave of Machpelah. —3. And Abraham 
stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of 
Heth, saying, 4. I am a stranger and a sojourner with you : 
give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, +hat I 
may bury my dead out of my sight. 5. And the children 
of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, 6. Hear 
us, my lord : thou art a mighty prince among us : in the 
choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead ; none of us shall 
withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest 
bury thy dead. 7. And Abraham stood up, and bowed 
himself to the people of the land, even to the children of 
Heth. 8. And he communed with them, saying, If it 
be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; 
hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, 
9. that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which 
he hath, which is in the end of his field ; for as much money 
3. sous of He til = Hittites : see Geographical Index. 




as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a burying- 
place amongst you. io. And Ephron dwelt among the 
children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered 
Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even 
of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying, n. Nay, 
my lord, hear me : the field give I thee, and the cave that 
is therein, I give it thee ; in the presence of the sons of my 
people give I it thee : bury thy dead. 12. And Abraham 
bowed down himself before the people of the land. 13. And 
he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people 
of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, 
hear me : I will give thee money for the field ; take it of 
me, and I will bury my dead there. 14. And Ephron 
answered Abraham, saying unto him, 15. My lord, 
hearken unto me : the land is worth four hundred shekels 
of silver ; what is that betwixt me and thee ? bury there¬ 
fore thy dead. 16. And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron ; 
and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had 
named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred 
shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. 

17. And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, 
which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which 
was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that 
were in all the borders round about, were made sure 

18. unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the 
children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his 
city. 19. And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife 
in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre : the 
same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. 20. And the field, 

15. four hundred shekels of silver: not in coined money, but 
weighed out. The value of silver in a silver shekel was 2 s. 9 d., 
but “ the purchasing power was many times greater.” 



and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abra¬ 
ham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth. 


Isaac, unlike Abraham and Jacob, was not a wanderer. 
The most important episodes in his life were those in which 
he himself played a secondary part, e.g. the trial of 
Abraham’s faith at Jehovah-jireh (xxii.) and the blessing 
of Jacob instead of Esau (xxvii). There is nothing 
particularly striking about his personality ; his career was 
an eminently peaceful one. 

Stories of the Life of Isaac 
Genesis xxiv.—xxvi 

The mission of Abraham's servant to Mesopotamia .— 
xxiv. 1. And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age : 
and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2. And 
Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that 
ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand 
under my thigh : 3. and I will make thee swear by the 
Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that 
thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters 
of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4. but thou 
shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take ' 
a wife unto my son Isaac. 5 - And the servant said unto 1 
him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow 
me unto this land : must I needs bring thy son again unto 
the land from whence thou earnest ? 6. And Abraham 
said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son < 

2. Put . . . thy hand under my thigh. Prof. Driver quotes a 
similar form of oath obtaining among the natives of Australia. 



thither again. 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 sware unto 
me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he 
shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a 
wife unto my son from thence. 8. And if the woman 
will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear 
from this my oath : only bring not my son thither again. 
9. And the servant put his hand under the thigh of 
Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that 

He reaches Haran. —10. And the servant took ten 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 Nahor. 11. 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 to draw water. 12. And he said, O 
Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me 
good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master 
Abraham. 13. Behold, I stand here by the well of water ; 
and the daughters of the men of the city come out to 
draw water : 14. 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 thy servant Isaac ; and thereby 
shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my 

10. for all the goods, etc., i.e. he took choice gifts for the bride 
and her parents. 

city of Nahor = Haran. 



His meeting with Rebekah at the well. —15. 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 brother, with her pitcher upon 
her shoulder. 16. And the damsel was very fair to look 
upon, a virgin : 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 done 
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 water, 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 or 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, 

15. Rebekah: the relationship can be clearly shown thus: 

Ter ah 

Abram Nahor Haran 

m. Sarai m . Milcah 

_ 1 I i l 

Bethuel l Q t Milcah Iscah 

Isaac m . Rebekah Laban 

22. earring. R.V. “ring.” So too in vv. 30 and 47. See note on 
verse 47. 

shekel. The present value of a shekel of gold is about £2 ; 
but see on xxiii. 15 - 



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 

His reception by Laban and Bethuel .—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 ? 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. 

He tells his errand. —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, 


7 r 

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. 
37. And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt 
not take a wife 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. 

Rebekah is given into his charge. —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 him¬ 
self 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 

47. earring upon her face. R.V. “ ring upon her nose.” Cp. “the 
nose jewels ” of Is. iii. 21. 

49. turn, etc., i.e. that I may know what to do. 

50. we cannot speak, etc., i.e. it is God’s doing, and it is not for 
us to make any comment. 



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. 

The meeting and marriage of Isaac and Rebekah. —61. 
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 lifted up his eyes, and saw, 
and, behold, the camels were coming. 64. And Rebekah 
lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off 
the camel. 65. For she had said unto the servant, What 
man is this that walketh in the field to meet us ? And 
the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took 
a vail, and covered herself. 66. And the servant told 
Isaac all things that he had done. 67. And Isaac brought 
her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and 
she became his wife ; and he loved her : and Isaac was 
comforted after his mother’s death. 

The death of Abraham. —xxv. 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. 

60. possess t le gate of = be victorious over. 

62. me voil Lahai-roi. R.V. “ Beer-lahai-roi.” The reading of 
the LXX, “ through the wilderness over against the well of the 
vision,” makes better sense. Cp. Gen. xvi. 14. 

8. his people. See xxxvii. 35, and note. 



g. 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 ; io. the field which 
Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was 
Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. u. And it 
came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God 
blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well 

Esau and Jacob ; Esau sells his birthright. —19. And 
these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son : Abra¬ 
ham 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. 

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 

20. Syrian = Aramcean. 

22. enquire of the LORD, i.e. at some holy place, just as the 
ancient Greeks consulted an oracle. 

23. The four sentences of the Divine response form a four-line 
stanza. The two sons of Isaac and Rebekah were to be the ancestors 
of two nations, Esau of Edom, and Jacob of Israel, and Edom 
was to serve Israel. 



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 J acob 
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. 

Isaac goes to Gerar .—xxvi. 1. And 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 

26. Jacob, i . e . “one that takes by the heel or supplants.” 

27. plain, i.e. content with a quiet pastoral life—a contrast to 
Esau, who was a nomad hunter. 

29. sod : past tense of seethe, to boil. 

30. Edom, i . e . Red. As usual, the writer draws attention to a 
similarity-in the Hebrew words. There is always a picturesque 
suggestion in this “ playing upon words,” even if it is not supported 
by etymology. It has been pointed out that the cliffs of Edom 
are red. 

31. birthright. Apparently the right of the first-born to the 
usual double portion ( cp . Deut. xxi. 17, 2 Kings ii. 9) might be sold. 

34. lentiles. The seeds of the lentil are brown ; flour is made ot 
them in Egypt, and they are eaten stewed with other ingredients, 
such as onions. 



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. 

His prosperity there excites envy. —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 ser¬ 
vants 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. 

He leaves Gerar, and moves to Beer-sheba. —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 ours : 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. 22. And he removed from 
thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove 
not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth ; and he 
said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and 
we shall be fruitful in the land. 23. And he went up 
from thence to Beer-sheba. 24. And the Lord ap¬ 
peared unto him the same night, and said, I am the 
God of Abraham thy father : fear not, for I am with 
thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my 
servant Abraham’s sake. 25. And he builded an altar 
there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and 
pitched his tent there : and there Isaac’s servants digged 
a well. 

Covenant at Beer-sheba between Isaac and Abimelech of 
Gerar. —26. Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and 
Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain 
of his army. 27. And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore 
come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away 
from you ? 28. And they said, We saw certainly that 

the Lord was with thee : and we said, Let there be now 
an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let 
us make a covenant with thee ; 29. that thou wilt do 
us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have 
done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away 
in peace: thou art now the blessed of the Lord. 30. 
And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. 
31. And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware 

20. Esek, i.e. “ Contention." 

21. Sitnah, i . e . “Enmity.” 

22. Rehoboth, i.e. “ Broad places,” or, “ Room.” 



one to another : and Isaac sent them away, and they 
departed from him in peace. 32. And it came to pass 
the same day, that Isaac’s servants came, and told him 
concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto 
him, We have found water. 33. And he called it Shebah : 
therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day. 


His life .—The story of Jacob may be analysed thus : 

A. Early years. 

1. Birth. 

2. Shepherd life. 

3. Supplants Esau in birthright and blessing. 

4. Two motives for visit to Mesopotamia. 

(a) Fear of Esau ; (b) to get a wife. 

5. Bethel: vision. 

B. Service under Laban : 20 years. 

x. Wins (a) Leah ; ( b ) Rachel. 

2. Returns rich, the father of a large family (oldest, 
Reuben; youngest, Joseph). 

C. Return to Canaan. 

1. Covenant with Laban in Gilead. 

2. Mahanaim. 

3. Penuel; wrestles for the blessing : “ Israel.” 

4. Meets Esau : reconciliation. 

5. Shechem. 

6. Bethel; sacred pillar. 

33. Shebah. R.V. “ Shibah ” (— swearing): see chap. xxi. 31, 
The two stories appear to be duplicates of one another. 



7. Birth of Benjamin. 

8. Hebron ; death of Isaac. 

D. Migration to Egypt, where he dies. (This division 
practically belongs to the Life of Joseph.) 

1. Story of Joseph and his brethren. 

2. Jacob and his family settle in Egypt, in Goshen. 

3. Jacob blesses (a) Manasseh and Ephraim, ( b ) 

his own sons. 

4. Dies : buried in cave of Machpelah. 

His character. —The character of Jacob is two-sided, 
and corresponds to the two names, Jacob “the sup- 
planter,” and Israel “ the perseverer with God ” (Hast., 
D.B ., s.v. “ J acob ”). His rivalry with Esau (cf . the historical 
hostility between the Israelites and the Edomites) ; the 
underhand way in which he obtained both birthright and 
blessing, which ought to have belonged to his elder brother; 
his cunning, which he showed in many ways in dealing 
with Esau and Laban ; his love of wealth ; and, finally, 
his weakness in dealing with his sons,—all these faults 
are fully emphasised in the narrative, so that we are inclined 
to despise him and depreciate his character unduly. A 
man’s faults are almost always more obvious than his 
virtues, and it was so with Jacob. As “ Israel,” he was 
a perseverer, a striver, with God ; he had a strain of 
moral earnestness in him, which was totally lacking in 
Esau, “ that profane person ” (Heb. xii. 16); this is most 
conspicuous in the scenes at Bethel, Mahanaim, and Penuel; 
but it can be read between the lines of all his later life 
down to the moment of his pathetic words to Pharaoh, 
“ few and evil have been the days of the years of my 
life ” (Gen. xlvii. 9). 



Stories of the Life of Jacob 
Genesis xxvii.—xxxv 

Rebekah's cunning scheme to obtain Isaac's blessing for the 
younger son. —xxvii. i. And it came to pass, that when 
Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not 
see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My 
son : and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. 2. And he 
said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 
3. now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy 
quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me 
some venison ; 4. and make me savoury meat, such as I 
love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul 
may bless thee before I die. 5. And Rebekah heard 
when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to 
the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 

6. And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying. 
Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, 
saying, 7. Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, 
that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before 
my death. 8. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice 
according to that which I command thee. 9. Go now 
to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of 
the goats ; and I will make them savoury meat for thy 
father, such as he loveth : 10. and thou shalt bring it 
to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee 
before his death. 11. And Jacob said to Rebekah his 
mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I 
am a smooth man : 12. my father peradventure will feel 
me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver ; and I shall 
bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. 13. And his 
mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: 



only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. 14. And 
he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother : 
and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father 
loved. 15. And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her 
eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and 
put them upon J acob her younger son: 16. and she put 
the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon 
the smooth of his neck : 17. and she gave the savoury 
meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the 
hand of her son J acob. 

Jacob obtains the blessing. —18. And he came unto his 
father, and said, My father : and he said, Etere am I ; 
who art thou, my son ? 19. And Jacob said unto his 

father, I am Esau thy firstborn ; I have done according 
as thou badest me : arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my 
venison, that thy soul may bless me. 20. And Isaac 
said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so 
quickly, my son ? And he said, Because the Lord thy 
God brought it to me. 21. And Isaac said unto Jacob, 
Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, 
whether thou be my very son Esau or not. 22. And 
Jacob went near unto Isaac his father ; and he felt him, 
and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are 
the hands of Esau. 23. And he discerned him not, because 
his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands : so he 
blessed him. 24. And he said, Art thou my very son 
Esau ? And he said, I am. 25. And he said, Bring it 
near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my 
soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, 
and he did eat : and he brought him wine, and he drank. 
26. And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, 
and kiss me, my son. 27. And he came near, and kissed 



him : and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed 
him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell 
of a field which the Lord hath blessed : 28. therefore 
God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of 
the earth, and plenty of corn and wine : 29. let people 
serve thee, and nations bow down to thee : be lord over 
thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee : 
cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he 
that blesseth thee. 

The grief of Esau , who has been supplanted. —30. And 
it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of 
blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from 
the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother 
came in from his hunting. 31. And he also had made 
savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said 
'unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s 
venison, that thy soul may bless me. 32. And Isaac 
his father said unto him, Who art thou ? And he said, 
I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. 33. And Isaac trembled 
very exceedingly, and said, Who ? where is he that hath 
taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of 
all before thou earnest, and have blessed him ? yea, and 
he shall be blessed. 34. And when Esau heard the words 
of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter 
cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O 
my father. 35. And he said, Thy brother came with 
subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36. And 
he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob ? for he hath 
supplanted me these two times : he took away my birth¬ 
right ; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. 

27. See, etc., Isaac’s blessing of Jacob is in the form of a poem* 

36. Jacob. See chap. xxv. 26, note. 



And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me ? 
37. And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I 
have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given 
to him for servants ; and with corn and wine have I 
sustained him : and what shall I do now unto thee, my 
son ? 38. And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but 


one blessing, my father ? bless me, even me also, O my 
father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. 39. And 
Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, 
thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the 
dew of heaven from above ; 40. and by thy sword shalt 
thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come 
to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou 
shalt break his yoke from off thy neck. 

Reasons for sending Jacob to Mesopotamia. —41. And 
Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his 
father blessed him : and Esau said in his heart, The days 
of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay 
my brother Jacob. 42. And these words of Esau her 
elder son were told to Rebekah : and she sent and called 
Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy 
brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, 
purposing to kill thee. 43. Now therefore, my son, obey 
my voice ; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to 
Haran ; 44. and tarry with him a few days, until thy 
brother’s fury turn away ; 45. until thy brother’s anger 

39. Behold, etc. These words of Isaac form a verse. For “ of 
the fatness ” “of the dew ” the correct rendering of the Hebrew 
may be “ away from : so that the sense of the passage is doubtful. 

40. thou shall break, etc. Cp. 2 Kings viii. 20 : Edom revolted 
from Jehoram of Judah c. 849 b.c. 

43. to Laban. The motive for Jacob’s visit to Haran is, accord¬ 
ing to this chapter, his fear of Esau. In xxviii. he is instructed 
to go there by Isaac, who wishes him to choose a wife from the original 
home of the family. 

8 4 


turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast 
done to him : then I will send, and fetch thee from thence : 
why should I be deprived also of you both in one day ? 
46. And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life 
because of the daughters of Heth : if Jacob take a wife 
of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the 
daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me ? 

Jacob starts for Haran. —xxviii. 1. And Isaac called 
Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto 
him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 
2. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy 
mother’s father ; and take thee a wife from thence of 
the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother. 3. And 
God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and 
multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people ; 
4. and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and 
to thy seed with thee ; that thou mayest inherit the 
land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto 
Abraham. 5. And Isaac sent away Jacob : and he went 
to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, 
the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother. 

Marriage of Esau. —6. When Esau saw that Isaac 
had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padan-aram, 
to take him a wife from thence ; and that as he blessed 
him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a 
wife of the daughters of Canaan ; 7. and that Jacob 
obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padan- 
aram ; 8. and Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan 
pleased not Isaac his father; 9. then went Esau unto 
Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath 

46. daughters of Heth. i.e. Hittites ; see on x. 15. 

3. God Almighty, Heb. El Shaddai; see on xvii. 1. 


the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of 
Nebajoth, to be his wife. 

Jacob's vision at Beth-el. —10. And Jacob went out 
from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. 11. And he 
lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, 
because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of 
that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down 
in that place to sleep. 12. And he dreamed, and behold 
a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached 
to heaven : and behold the angels of God ascending and 
descending on it. 13. And, behold, the Lord stood above 
it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, 
and the God of Isaac : the land whereon thou best, to 
thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14. and thy seed 
shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread 
abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, 
and to the south : and in thee and in thy seed shall all 
the families of the earth be blessed. 15. And, behold, I 
am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither 
thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for 
I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have 
spoken to thee of. 

16. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, 
Surely the Lord is in this place ; and I knew it not. 
17. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this 
place ! this is none other but the house of God, and this is 
the gate of heaven. 18. And Jacob rose up early in the 
morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, 
and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of 
it. 19. And he called the name of that place Beth-el: 

19. Beth-el. i.e. “ the house of God.” The Hebrew word for pillar, 
mazzebah, means a sacred stone in which the deity was thought to 
be present. 



but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. 
20. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with 
me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give 
me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21. so that I 
come again to my father’s house in peace ; then shall 
the Lord be my God : 22. and this stone, which I have 
set for a pillar, shall be God’s house : and of all that 
thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. 

Jacob arrives at Haran. —xxix. 1. Then Jacob went 
on his journey, and came into the land of the people of 
the east. 2. And he looked, and behold a well in the 
field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by 
it ; for out of that well they watered the flocks : and a 
great stone was upon the well’s mouth. 3. And thither 
were all the flocks gathered : and they rolled the stone 
from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the 
stone again upon the well’s mouth in his place. 4. And 
Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye ? 
And they said, Of Haran are we. 5. And he said unto 
them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor ? And they 
said, We know him. 6. And he said unto them, Is he 
well ? And they said, He is well : and, behold, Rachel 
his daughter cometh with the sheep. 7. And he said, 
Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle 
should be gathered together : water ye the sheep, and 
go and feed them. 8. And they said, We cannot, until 
all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the 
stone from the well’s mouth ; then we water the sheep. 

He meets Rachel at the Well. —9. And while he yet spake 

Note the anointing of the stone and the promise of tithes. The 
episode is interesting in its bearing on the religious development of 
Jacob’s character, and also because it shows the primitive nature 
of religious ideas at the time, 


with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep : for 
she kept them. 10. And it came to pass, when Jacob 
saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, 
and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob 
went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, 
and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 
11. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, 
and wept. 12. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her 
father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son : and she 
ran and told her father. 13. And it came to pass, when 
Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that 
he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, 
and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all 
these things. 14. And Laban said to him, Surely thou 
art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the 
space of a month. 

He marries Leah and Rachel. —15. And Laban said unto 
Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou 
therefore serve me for nought ? tell me, what shall thy 
wages be ? 16. And Laban had two daughters: the 

name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger 
was Rachel. 17. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel 
was beautiful and well favoured. 18. And Jacob loved 
Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel 
thy younger daughter. 19. And Laban said, It is better 
that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to 
another, man : abide with me. 20. And Jacob served 
seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but 
a few days, for the love he had to her. 21. And Jacob 
said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are 
fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. 22. And Laban 

17. tender eyed, i.e. weak-eyed. 



gathered together all the men of the place, and made 
a feast. 23. And it came to pass in the evening, that 
he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; 
and he went in unto her. 24. And Laban gave unto his 
daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. 25. And 
it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was 
Leah : and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done 
unto me ? did not I serve with thee for Rachel ? wherefore 
then hast thou beguiled me ? 26. And Laban said, It 

must not be so done in our country, to give the } 7 ounger 
before the firstborn. 27. Fulfil her week, and we will 
give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve 
with me yet seven other years. 28. And Jacob did so, 
and fulfilled her week : and he gave him Rachel his daugh¬ 
ter to wife also. 29. And Laban gave to Rachel his 
daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. 30. And 
he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more 
than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. 

Jacob decides to leave Laban’s service. —xxxi. 1. And he 
heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying Jacob hath taken 
away all that was our father’s ; and of that which was 
our father’s hath he gotten all this glory. 2. And Jacob 
beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not 
toward him as before. 3. And the Lord said unto Jacob, 
Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred ; 
and I will be with thee. 4. And Jacob sent and called 
Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 5. and said 
unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not 
toward me as before ; but the God of mv father hath been 
with me. 6. And ye know that with all my power I have 
served your father. 7. And your father hath deceived 

1 glory, i.e. wealth. 



me, and changed my wages ten times ; but God suffered 
him not to hurt me. 11. And the angel of God spake 
unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob : And I said, Here am I. 
12. And he said, 13. I am the God of Beth-el, where thou 
anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto 
me : now arise, get thee out from this land, and return 
unto the land of thy kindred. 14. And Rachel and Leah 
answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or 
inheritance for us in our father’s house ? 15. Are we not 
counted of him strangers ? for he hath sold us, and hath 
quite devoured also our money. 16. For all the riches 
which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and 
our children’s : now then, whatsoever God hath said 
unto thee, do. 

He makes his escape. —17. Then Jacob rose up, and set 
his sons and his wives upon camels ; 18. and he carried 
away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, 
the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan- 
aram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan. 
19. And Laban went to shear his sheep : and Rachel had 
stolen the images that were her father’s. 20. And Jacob 
stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told 
him not that he fled. 21. So he fled with all that he had ; 
and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face 
toward the mount Gilead. 

Laban pursues and overtakes him in Gilead: the meeting. 
—22. And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob 

19. images. Heb. teraphim; see verses 30, 34, Judg. xvii. 5, 
1 Sam. xix. 13, and Hos. iii. 4. These images were household 
gods, and their use survived among the Israelites long after they had 
passed through the more primitive stages of belief. (See reff. given 

2i. the river. The Euphrates. 



was fled. 23. And he took his brethren with him, and 
pursued after him seven days’ journey ; and they over¬ 
took him in the mount Gilead. 24. And God came to 
Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, 
Take heed that thou speak not to J acob either good or bad. 

25. Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had 
pitched his tent in the mount : and Laban with his 
brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead. 26. And Laban 
said to J acob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen 
away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, 
as captives taken with the sword ? 27. Wherefore didst 

thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me ; and 
didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away 
with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp ? 

28. and hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my 
daughters ? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing. 

29. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the 
God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, 
Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good 
or bad. 30. And now, though thou wouldest needs be 
gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father’s house, 
yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods ? 31. And Jacob 
answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid : for I 
said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy 
daughters from me. 32. With whomsoever thou findest 
thy gods, let him not live : before our brethren discern 
thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For 
Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them. 33. And 
Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and 
into the two maidservants’ tents ; but he found them 

31, 32. Verse 31 answers Laban’s first accusation, verse 32 his 


9 i 

not. Then went he out of Leah’s tent, and entered into 
Rachel’s tent. 34. Now Rachel had taken the images, 
and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. 
And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not. 
35. And she said to her father, Let it not displease my 
lord that I cannot rise up before thee ; for the custom 
of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not 
the images. 

Jacob reproaches Laban. —36. And Jacob was wroth, 
and chode with Laban : and Jacob answered and said 
to Laban, What is my trespass ? what is my sin, that 
thou hast so hotly pursued after me ? 37. Whereas thou 
hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all 
thy household stuff ? set it here before my brethren and 
thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both. 38. 
This twenty years have I been with thee ; thy ewes and 
thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams 
of thy flock have I not eaten. 39. That which was torn 
of beasts I brought not unto thee ; I bare the loss of it; 
of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, 
or stolen by night. 40. Thus I was ; in the day the 
drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my 
sleep departed from mine eyes. 41. Thus have I been 
twenty years in thy house ; I served thee fourteen years 
for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle : and 
thou hast changed my wages ten times. 42. Except 
the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the 
fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst 
sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine 
affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee 

The covenant between Laban and Jacob. —43. And Laban 



answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my 
daughters, and these children are my children, and these 
cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine : and 
what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto 
their children which they have born ? 44. Now therefore 

come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou ; and let 
it be for a witness between me and thee. 45. And Jacob 
took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46. And Jacob 
said unto his brethren, Gather stones ; and they took 
stones, and made an heap : and they did eat there upon 
the heap. 47. And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha: 
but Jacob called it Galeed. 48. And Laban said, This 
heap is a witness between me and thee this day. There¬ 
fore was the name of it called Galeed ; 49. and Mizpah ; 
for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when 
we are absent one from another. 50. If thou shalt afflict 
my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside 
my daughters, no man is with us ; see, God is witness 
betwixt me and thee. 51. And Laban said to Jacob, 
Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast 
betwixt me and thee ; 52. this heap be witness, and 
this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap 
to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this 
pillar unto me, for harm. 53. The God of Abraham, and 
the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt 

43. Laban’s words seem to mean : “ All you have is really mine ; 
if we part, I must at least have a guarantee that you will treat my 
daughters better than you have treated me.” 

47. Jegar-sahadutha . . . Galeed. Both words mean “ the heap 
of witness,” the former in Aramaic, the latter in Hebrew. 

49. Mizpah, i.e. “ the watch-tower.” The word must refer to 
some height in the hill-country, or Mount, of Gilead. The saying 
“ The Lord watch,” etc., expresses the mutual suspicion of two 
enemies, not the regret of two friends at their approaching separation. 

53. the God of their father. R.V. marg.„ “ or, gods.” The altei;- 



us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac. 
54. Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and 
called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, 
and tarried all night in the mount. 55. And early in 
the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his 
daughters, and blessed them : and Laban departed, and 
returned unto his place. 

Jacob at Mahanaim. —xxxii. 1. And Jacob went on his 
way, and the angels of God met him. 2. And when 
Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he 
called the name of that place Mahanaim. 

His scheme to appease Esau. —3. And Jacob sent 
messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land 
of Seir, the country of Edom. 4. And he commanded 
them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau ; 
Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with 
Laban, and stayed there until now : 5. and I have oxen, 
and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants : 
and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find giace in 
thy sight. 6. And the messengers returned to Jacob, 
saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he 
cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. 
7. Then J acob was greatly afraid and distressed : and 
he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, 
and herds, and the camels, into two bands ; 8. and said, 
If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the 
other company which is left shall escape. 9. And 
Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God 
of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, 

native reading “ gods,” together with the use of the plural verb 
“ judge,” may suggest that the God of each branch of the family 
of Terah was distinct—another characteristic of primitive religion. 

2. Mahanaim. i.e. “ two hosts or companies.” 



Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will 
deal well with thee : xo. I am not worthy of the least of 
all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast 
shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed 
over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. 

11. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my 
brother, from the hand of Esau : for I fear him, lest he will 
come and smite me, and the mother with the children. 

12. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make 
thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be 
numbered for multitude. 

13. And he lodged there that same night ; and took 
of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his 
brother: 14. two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, 
two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, 15. thirty milch 
camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty 
she asses, and ten foals. 16. And he delivered them into 
the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves ; and 
said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a 
space betwixt drove and drove. 17. And he commanded 
the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth 
thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou ? and whither 
goest thou ? and whose are these before thee ? 18. then 
thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s ; it is a 
present sent unto my lord Esau : and, behold, also he 
is behind us. 19. And so commanded he the second, 
and the third, and all that followed the droves, 
saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when 
ye find him. 20. And say ye moreover, Behold, thy 
servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease 

10. with my staff, etc., i.e. “ I left Canaan with nothing but my 
staff : I return powerful and wealthy." 



him with the present that goeth before me. and afterward 
I will see his face ; peradventure he will accept of me. 
21. So went the present over before him : and himself 
lodged that night in the company. 

Jacob at Penuel. —22. And he rose up that night, and 
took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his 
eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. 23. And 
he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent 
over that he had. 24. And Jacob was left alone; and 
there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the 
day. 25. And when he saw that he prevailed not against 
him, he touched the hollow of his thigh ; and the hollow 
of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with 
him. 26. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. 
And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 
27. And he said unto him, What is thy name ? And he 
said, Jacob. 28. And he said, Thy name shall be called 
no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou 
power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 

29. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray 
thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou 
dost ask after my name ? And he blessed him there. 

30. And J acob called the name of the place Peniel: 
for I have seen God face to face, and my life is pre¬ 
served. 31. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose 

20. accept of me. R.V. “ accept me." 

24. wrestled. The struggle of Jacob with his Divine adversary 
unmistakably represents the striving of the lower and higher sides 
of man’s nature. 

25. touched, etc., i.e. the opponent of Jacob, to end the struggle, 
crippled him with a touch. 

28. Israel =“ He who striveth with God"; or, “God striveth.' 
See p. 79 for the change of name. 

30. Peniel =“ the face of God.” 

g 6 


upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. 32. Therefore 
the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, 
which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day : 
because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the 
sinew that shrank. 

His meeting with Esau. —xxxiii. 1. And Jacob lifted 
up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with 
him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto 
Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. 
2. And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, 
and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph 
hindermost. 3. And he passed over before them, and 
bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came 
near to his brother. 4. And Esau ran to meet him, and 
embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him : and 
they wept. 5. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the 
women and the children ; and said, Who are those with 
thee ? And he said, The children which God hath graci¬ 
ously given thy servant. 6. Then the handmaidens came 
near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. 
7. And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed 
themselves : and after came Joseph near and Rachel, 
and they bowed themselves. 8. And he said, What mean¬ 
est thou by all this drove which I met ? And he said. 
These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. 9. And 
Esau said, I have enough, my brother ; keep that thou 
hast unto thyself. 10. And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, 
if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my 
present at my hand : for therefore I have seen thy face, 

32. sinew that shrank. R.V. "sinew of the hip," i.e. the sciatic 

10. for therefore = "forasmuch as.” 



as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased 
with me. 11. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is 
brought to thee ; because God hath dealt graciously with 
me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, 
and he took it. 12. And he said, Let us take our journey, 
and let us go, and I will go before thee. 13. And he said 
unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, 
and the flocks and herds with young are with me : and if 
men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. 
14. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: 
and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth 
before me and the children be able to endure, until I come 
unto my lord unto Seir. 15. And Esau said, Let me now 
leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And 
he said, What needeth it ? let me find grace in the sight 
of my lord. 

16. So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. 

He arrives at Shechem. —17. And Jacob journeyed to 

Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for 
his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called 

18. And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, 
which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan- 
aram ; and pitched his tent before the city. 19. And he 
bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, 
at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, 
for an hundred, pieces of money. 20. And he erected 
there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel. 

17. Succoth, i.e. “Booths.” 

18. to Shalem, a city of Shechem, R.V. “in peace to the city of 

19. pieces of money. Heb. kesitah. The value is not known. 

20. El-elohe-Israel, i.e. “God, the God of Israel.” 




Jacob comes to Beth-el. —xxxv. i. And God said unto 
Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there : and 
make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee 
when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. 


2. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that 
were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among 
you, and be clean, and change your garments : 3. and 
let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make 
there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of 
my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 
4. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which 
were in their hand, and all their earrings which w r ere in 
their ears ; and J acob hid them under the oak which was 
by Shechem. 5. And they journeyed : and the terror of 
God was upon the cities that were round about them, 
and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. 

6. So J acob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, 
that is, Beth-el, he and all the people that were with him. 
7. And he built there an altar, and called the place El- 
beth-el: because there God appeared unto him, when he 
fled from the face of his brother. 8. But Deborah Re- 
bekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Beth-el 
under an oak : and the name of it was called Allon-bachuth. 

He is given the name Israel. —9. And God appeared unto 
J acob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed 
him. 10. And God said unto him, Thy name is J acob : 
thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel 
shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel, ix. And 

4. oak. Or terebinth. See on xii. 6. 

7. El-beth-el, i.e. “ the God of Beth-el.” 

8. Allon-bachuth, i.e. “ the oak of weeping.” 

9 seq. gives the Priestly explanation of the name Israel. Notice 
in verse 11 the title El Shaddai : see on xvii. 1, 



God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful 
and multiply ; a nation and a company of nations shall 
be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins ; 12. and 
the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will 
give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. 
13. And God went up from him in the place where he 
talked with him. 14. And Jacob set up a pillar in the 
place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone : 
and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil 
thereon. 15. And Jacob called the name of the place 
where God spake with him, Beth-el. 

Birth of Benjamin and death of Rachel at Bethlehem .— 
16. And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was 
but a little way to come to Ephrath ; and Rachel travailed, 
and she had hard labour. 17. And it came to pass, when 
she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, 
Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. 18. And it 
came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) 
that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called 
him Benjamin. 19. And Rachel died, and was buried 
in the way to Ephrath, which is Beth-lehem. 20. And 
J acob set a pillar upon her grave : that is the pillar of 
Rachel’s grave unto this day. 21. And Israel journeyed, 
and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar. 

Jacob's family. —22. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve : 

23. the sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and 
Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun : 

24. the sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin : 25. and 
the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naph- 
tali : 26. and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid ; Gad, 

18. Ben-oni . . . Benjamin, i.e. “ the son of my sorrow,” and, 

“ the son of the right hand.” The right hand was the lucky one. 


and Asher: these are the sons of J acob, which were born 
to him in Padan-aram. 

The death of Isaac. — 27. And Jacob came unto Isaac 
his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is 
Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. 28. And 
the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. 
29. And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was 
gathered unto his people, being old and full of days : and 
his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. 


Life : 

A. Early years in Palestine. 

1. At Hebron. His father’s favourite; jealousy 

of his elder brothers. 

2. His dreams of future greatness. 

3. Visit to his brothers at Dothan. 

4. Two accounts of their plot against him : 

(i) Saved from death at their hands by Judah, 
he is sold to some Ishmaelites. 

(ii) Saved by Reuben, he is put into a pit, 
whence he is drawn by Midianites. 

5. Taken to Egypt. 

B. In Egypt: promotion to high office. 

1. Given charge of the house of Potiphar. 

2. Resists the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. 

3. Thrown into prison : interprets the dreams of 

the Chief Butler and Baker, and thus is 

4. Brought to the notice of Pharaoh. He interprets 

the king’s dreams, and foretells the famine. 

5. Pharaoh approves of his schemes, and gives 

him power to carry them out. 



C. His administration in Egypt. 

1. Seven years’ plenty ; a fifth of the corn stored 

every year. 

2. Seven years of famine, during which the whole 

of the land, except that of the priescs, becomes 
the property of the king. 

D. The migration to Egypt of Jacob’s family. 

1. Owing to famine in Palestine, the sons of Jacob 

visit Egypt to buy corn. Then follow the 
stories of the meeting of Joseph and his brothers, 
the negotiations, and the final disclosure of 
Joseph’s identity, leading to 

2. The settlement of his brethren as a shepherd 

community in Goshen. After Jacob’s death 
they are finally assured of their forgiveness 
by Joseph. 

E. Death of Joseph. His bones brought out of Egypt 

at the Exodus, and ultimately buried at 

Date .—The administration of Joseph in Egypt has 
been thought to have occurred in the reign of Apepa II., 
one of the Hyksos (or “ shepherd ”) kings. The Hyksos 
were foreign invaders, perhaps either Semitic or Hittite ; 
they ruled Egypt for five hundred years, c. 2098-1587 b.c. 
(Cf. however, Driver, Gen., p. 347.) 

While as yet no confirmation of the story of Joseph 
has been afforded by the monuments, the probability of 
it finds great support in the fact that in many details 
it agrees with what is known of Egyptian life and customs. 
(See Murray’s Illust. Bible Diet., s.v. “Joseph,” p. 430.) 

Character .—The character of Joseph is simple and 



natural, and is unfolded in the ordinary course of the 
story. Though a “ dreamer ” and an interpreter of 
dreams, he was a man of action and a statesman : he 
was unspoilt by prosperity, and bore no grudge even when 
time and circumstances combined to give him the amplest 
opportunity for revenge. 

While faithful to his Egyptian master, he never lost 
his affection for his kinsmen and his country. 

His Egyptian policy may be condemned as unscrupulous ; 
but it must be admitted that it was effective, and it 
may be excused as being consistent with the standard of 
morality prevailing at the time. 

Stories of the Life of Joseph 
Genesis xxxvii.—1 

His youth, and the jealousy of his brothers. —xxxvii. i. 
And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a 
stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2. These are the genera¬ 
tions of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was 
feeding the flock with his brethren ; and the lad was with 
the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s 
wives : and J oseph brought unto his father their evil 
report. 3. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his 
children, because he was the son of his old age : and he 
made him a coat of many colours. 4. And when his 
brethren saw that their father loved him more than all 

2. These . . . Jacob. This formula should begin an account of 
Jacob’s history after Isaac’s death : but the compiler here intro¬ 
duces the story of Joseph from his other (i.e. the Prophetical) 

sons of Bilhah ... of Zilpah, i.e. Dan and Naphtali; Gad and 


3. a coat of many colours, or, 

“ a long garment with sleeves.” 



his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peace¬ 
ably unto him. 

5. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his 
brethren : and they hated him yet the more. 6. And 
he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which 
I have dreamed : 7. for, behold, we were binding sheaves 
in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; 
and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made 
obeisance to my sheaf. 8. And his brethren said to him, 
Shalt thou indeed reign over us ? or shalt thou indeed 
have dominion over us ? And they hated him yet the 
more for his dreams, and for his words. 

Joseph visits his brethren at Dothan. —9. And he dreamed 
yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Be¬ 
hold, I have dreamed a dream more ; and, behold, the 
sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance 
to me. 10. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren : 
and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is 
this dream that thou hast dreamed ? Shall I and thy 
mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down our¬ 
selves to thee to the earth ? 11. And his brethren envied 

him ; but his father observed the saying. 

12. And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock 
in Shechem. 13. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not 
thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem ? come, and I 
will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. 
14. And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it 
be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks ; and 
bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of 
Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 

15. And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was 
wandering in the field : and the man asked him, saying, 



What seekest thou ? 16. And he said, I seek my brethren : 
tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. 17. And 
the man said, They are departed hence ; for I heard them 
say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his 
brethren, and found them in Dothan. 

Their successful plotting against him. —18. And when 
they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto 
them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19. And 
they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 
20. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast 
him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath 
devoured him : and we shall see what will become of his 
dreams. 21. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him 
out of their hands ; and said, Let us not kill him. 22. And 
Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him 
into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand 
upon him ; that he might rid him out of their hands, to 
deliver him to his father again. 23. And it came to 
pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that 
they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many 
colours that was on him : 24. and they took him, and 
cast him into a pit : and the pit was empty, there 
was no water in it. 25. And they sat down to eat 
bread : and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, 

20. some pit. R.V. “ one of the pits,” i.e. one of the cisterns used 
for water or corn. 

21. For Reuben read Judah. There is little doubt that two 
narratives are interwoven, one Jehovistic, the other Elohistic (see 
p. xiii). 

J.: 21, 25 b. ("and they lifted up their eyes”), 26, 27, 28 b. 
(" and sold .... silver ”). 

E.: 22, 23, 24, 25 a. (“ to eat bread ”), 28 a. (" and there passed 
. . . the pit”), 28 c. ("and they brought Joseph into 
Egypt ”,) 29, 30. 

In J. Judah intercedes, and Joseph is sold to Ishmaelites ; in E. 
Reuben intercedes, and Joseph is drawn out by Midianites. 



behold., a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with 
their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going 
to carry it down to Egypt. 26. And Judah said unto his 
brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and 
conceal his blood ? 27. Come, and let us sell him to the 

Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him ; for he 
is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were con¬ 
tent. 28. Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen ; 
and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold 
Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver : and 
they brought Joseph into Egypt. 

Jacob's grief at the loss of Joseph , who is sold as a slave 
in Egypt .—29. And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, 
behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. 
30. And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The 
child is not; and I, whither shall I go ? 31. And they 

took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped 
the coat in the blood : 32. and they sent the coat of many 
colours, and they brought it to their father ; and said, 
This have we found : know now whether it be thy son’s 
coat or no. 33. And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s 
coat; an evil beast hath devoured him ; Joseph is without 
doubt rent in pieces. 34. And Jacob rent his clothes, 
and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his 
son many days. 35. And all his sons and all his 
daughters rose up to comfort him ; but he refused to 
be comforted ; and he said, For I will go down into the 
grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept 
for him. 36. And the Midianites sold him into Egypt 

25. spicery and balm and myrrh, i.e. resinous substances found 
in the country of Gilead. 

35. the grave. Heb. Sheol, the name of the abode of the dead, 
answering to the Greek Hades (Acts ii. 27). 


unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of 
the guard. 

Joseph with Potiphar; he prospers. —xxxix. I. And 
Joseph was brought down to Egypt : and Potiphar, an 
officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, 
bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had 
brought him down thither. 2. And the Lord was with 
Joseph, and he was a prosperous man ; and he was in the 
house of his master the Egyptian. 3. And his master 
saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made 
all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4. And Joseph 
found grace in his sight, and he served him : and he made 
him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put 
into his hand. 5. And it came to pass from the time that 
he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that 
he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for 
Joseph’s sake ; and the blessing of the Lord was upon 
all that he had in the house, and in the field. 6. And he 
left all that he had in Joseph’s hand ; and he knew not 
ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And 
Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. 

Potiphar's wife tempts him in vain : her revenge. —7. And 
it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife 
cast her eyes upon Joseph ; and she said, Lie with me. 
8. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, 
my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and 
he hath committed all that he hath to my hand ; 9. there 

6. he knew not ought he had, i.e. having Joseph as his steward, he 
left everything to him except the food. The Egyptians would not 
eat with a foreigner : cp. xliii. 32. 

7. A similar story is told in “ The Tale of the two Brothers ” 
(Petrie’s Egyptian Tales, ii. p. 36), written in the reign of Seti II., 

C. I2I4-I209 B.C. 



is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept 
back anything from me but thee, because thou art his 
wife : how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin 
against God ? 10. And it came to pass, as she spake to 

Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to 
lie by her, or to be with her. 11. And it came to pass 
about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his 
business ; and there was none of the men of the house 
there within. 12. And she caught him by his garment, 
saying. Lie with me : and he left his garment in her hand, 
and fled, and got him out. 13. And it came to pass, when 
she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and 
was fled forth, 14. that she called unto the men of her 
house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought 
in an Hebrew unto us to mock us ; he came in unto me to 
lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice : 15. and it came 
to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, 
that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. 
16. And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came 
home. 17. And she spake unto him according to these 
words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast 
brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me : 18. and 
it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he 
left his garment with me, and fled out. 19. And it came 
to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which 
she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy 
servant'to me; that his wrath was kindled. 20. And 
Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, 
a place where the king’s prisoners were bound : and he was 
there in the prison. 

Joseph in prison .—21. But the Lord was with Joseph, 
and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight 



of the keeper of the prison. 22. And the keeper of the 
prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that 
were in the prison ; and whatsoever they did there, he was 
the doer of it. 23. The keeper of the prison looked not to any 
thing that was under his hand ; because the Lord was with 
him, and that which he did the Lord made it to prosper 

The imprisonment of the king's butler and baker. —xl. I. 
And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of 
the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord 
the king of Egypt. 2. And Pharaoh was wroth against 
two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and 
against the chief of the bakers. 3. And he put them in 
ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the 
prison, the place where Joseph was bound. 4. And the 
captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he 
served them : and they continued a season in ward. 

Joseph interprets the chief butler's dream. —5. And they 
dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in 
one night, each man according to the interpretation of his 
dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, 
which were bound in the prison. 6. And Joseph came 
in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, 
behold, they were sad. 7. And he asked Pharaoh’s officers 
that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, 
Wherefore look ye so sadly to day ? 8. And they said 

unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no inter¬ 
preter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not inter¬ 
pretations belong to God ? tell me them, I pray you. 9. 
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to 

1. butler = cup-bearer. 

5. each man according, etc., i.e. each dream having its own 
special significance. 



him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me ; 10. and 
in the vine were three branches : and it was as though it 
budded, and her blossoms shot forth ; and the clusters 
thereof brought forth ripe grapes : 11. and Pharaoh’s cup 
was in my hand and I took the grapes, and pressed them 
into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s 
hand. 12. And Joseph said unto him, This is the inter¬ 
pretation of it : The three branches are three days : 13. yet 
within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and 
restore thee unto thy place : and thou shalt deliver 
Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when 
thou wast his butler. 14. But think on me when it shall 
be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto 
me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me 
out of this house : 15. for indeed I was stolen away out 
of the land of the Hebrews : and here also have I done 
nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. 

He interprets the chief baker's dream. —16. When the chief 
baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto 
Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three 
white baskets on my head : 17. and in the uppermost 
basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh ; 
and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my 
head. 18. And Joseph answered and said, This is the 
interpretation thereof : The three baskets are three days : 
19. yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head 
from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree ; and the 
birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee. 

The ftdfUment of the dreams. —20. And it came to pass 
the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he 

13. lift up thine head. Cp. 2 Kings xxv. 27, and note the play 
on words in verse 19. 



made a feast unto all his servants : and he lifted up the 
head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his 
servants. 21. And he restored the chief butler unto his 
butlership again ; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s 
hand : 22. but he hanged the chief baker : as Joseph had 
interpreted to them. 23. Yet did not the chief butler 
remember Joseph, but forgat him. 

The dream of Pharaoh. —xli. 1. And it came to pass at 
the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed : and, 
behold, he stood by the river. 2. And, behold, there came 
up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fat- 
fleshed ; and they fed in a meadow. 3. And, behold, 
seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill 
favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine 
upon the brink of the river. 4. And the ill favoured and 
leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and 
fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 5. And he slept and dreamed 
the second time : and, behold, seven ears of corn came 
up upon one stalk, rank and good. 6. And, behold, seven 
thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after 
them. 7. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven 
rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it 
was a dream. 8. And it came to pass in the morning that 
his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the 
magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof : and 
Pharaoh told them his dream ; but there was none that 
could interpret them unto Pharaoh. 

1. the river, i.e. the Nile. The prosperity of Egypt has always 
depended on the regularity of the inundations of the Nile. The 
cow was a sacred animal. 

2. a meadow. R.V. *' the reed-grass.” 

6 . the east wind, i.e. the Sirocco, a hot wind blowing from the 
south-east: cp. Ex. x. 13, xiv. 21. 

8 . magicians . . wise men, i.e. two of the priestly classes. 



Joseph is summoned , and asked to interpret it .—9. Then 
spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember 
my faults this day: 10. Pharaoh was wroth with his 

servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard’s 
house, both me and the chief baker : 11. and we dreamed 
a dream in one night, I and he ; we dreamed each man 
according to the interpretation of his dream. 12. And 
there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant 
to the captain of the guard ; and we told him, and he 
interpreted to us our dreams ; to each man according to 
his dream he did interpret. 13. And it came to pass, 
as he interpreted to us, so it was ; me he restored unto 
mine office, and him he hanged. 

14. Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they 
brought him hastily out of the dungeon : and he shaved 
himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto 
Pharaoh. 15. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have 
dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret 
it : and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst under¬ 
stand a dream to interpret it. 16. And Joseph answered 
Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me : God shall give Pharaoh 
an answer of peace. 17. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, 
In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river ; 
18. and, behold, there came up out of the river seven 
kine, fatfleshed and well favoured ; and they fed in a 
meadow : 19. and, behold, seven other kine came up 

after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, 
such ak I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness : 
20. and the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the 
first seven fat kine : 21. and when they had eaten them 
up, it could not be known that they had eaten them ; 
but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So 



I awoke. 22. And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven 
ears came up in one stalk, full and good : 23. and, behold, 
seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, 
sprung up after them : 24. and the thin ears devoured the 
seven good ears : and I told this unto the magicians ; but 
there was none that could declare it to me. 

His interpretation of Pharaoh's dream. —25. And Joseph 
said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one : God 
hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26. The 
seven good kine are seven years ; and the seven good 
ears are seven years : the dream is one. 27. And the 
seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them 
are seven years ; and the seven empty ears blasted with 
the east wind shall be seven years of famine. 28. This 
is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh : What 
God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29. Behold, 
there come seven years of great plenty throughout all 
the land of Egypt : 30. and there shall arise after them 
seven years of famine ; and all the plenty shall be forgotten 
in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume 
the land ; 31. and the plenty shall not be known in the 
land by reason of that famine following ; for it shall be very 
grievous. 32. And for that the dream was doubled unto 
Pharaoh twice ; it is because the thing is established 
by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 33. Now 
therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, 
and set him over the land of Egypt. 34. Let Pharaoh 
do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and 
take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven 
plenteous years. 35. And let them gather all the food 
of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the 
34. take up the fifth part, i.e. store up a fifth of the produce. 



hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 
36. And that food shall be for store to the land against 
the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of 
Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. 

Joseph's promotion. —37. And the thing was good in the 
eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 

38. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find 
such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is ? 

39. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God 
hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise 
as thou art : 40. thou shalt be over my house, and accord¬ 
ing unto thy word shall all my people be ruled : only in 
the throne will I be greater than thou. 41. And Pharaoh 
said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land 
of Egypt. 42. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his 
hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him 
in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his 
neck ; 43. and he made him to ride in the second chariot 
which he had ; and they cried before him, Bow the knee : 
and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44. 
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without 
thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land 
of Egypt. 45. And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaph- 
nath-paaneah ; and he gave him to wife Asenath the 
daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went 
out over all the land of Egypt. 

His prosperity , and his measures for dealing with the 
famine. —46. And Joseph was thirty years old when 

43. Bow the knee. “ Abrech,” probably an Egyptian word, similar 
in sound to the Hebrew word meaning to kneel. 

45. Zaphenath-paneah (R.V.) probably means “ the god speaks 
and he lives.”—On = Heliopolis, a town near Cairo, where Ra. 
the sun-god, was worshipped. 



he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph 
went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through¬ 
out all the land of Egypt. 47. And in the seven plenteous 
years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48. And 
he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which 
were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the 
cities : the food of the held, which was round about every 
city, laid he up in the same. 49. And Joseph gathered 
corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left number¬ 
ing ; for it was without number. 50. And unto Joseph 
were born two sons before the years of famine came, which 
Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare 
unto him. 51. And Joseph called the name of the first¬ 
born Manasseh : For God, said he, hath, made me forget 
all my toil, and all my father’s house. 52. And the name 
of the second called he Ephraim : For God hath caused 
me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. 

53. And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in 
the land of Egypt, were ended. 54. And the seven years 
of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said : 
and the dearth was in all lands ; but in all the land of 
Egypt there was bread. 55. And when all the land of 
Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for 
bread : and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto 
Joseph ; what he saith to you, do. 56. And the famine 
was over all the face of the earth : and Joseph opened 
all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians ; and 
the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 57. And 
all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn ; 
because that the famine was so sore in all lands. 

51. Manasseh, i.e. “making to forget.” 

52. Ephraim, i.e. ” fruitful.” 


Ii 5 

The visit of his brethren to Egypt; their rough reception 
by Joseph. —xlii. 1. Now when Jacob saw that there 
was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye 
look one upon another ? 2. And he said, Behold, I have 

heard that there is corn in Egypt : get you down thither, 
and buy for us from thence ; that we may live, and not 
die. 3. And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy 
corn in Egypt. 4. But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob 
sent not with his brethren ; for he said. Lest peradventure 
mischief befall him. 5. And the sons of Israel came to 
buy corn among those that came : for the famine was 
in the land of Canaan. 6. And Joseph was the governor 
over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people 
of the land : and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed 
down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. 
7. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but 
made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto 
them ; and he said unto them, Whence come ye ? And 
they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. 8. And 
Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. 9. 
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed 
of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies ; to see the 
nakedness of the land ye are come. 10. And they said 
unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants 
come. 11. We are all one man’s sons ; we are true men, 
thy servants are no spies. 12. And he said unto them, 
Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. 

Joseph demands the presence of Benjamin. —13. And 
they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons 
of one man in the land of Canaan ; and, behold, the 
youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. 14. 
And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto 



you, saying, Ye are spies : 15. herebj 7 ye shall be proved : 
by the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except 
your youngest brother come hither. 16. Send one of 
you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept 
in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there 
be any truth in you : or else by the life of Pharaoh surely 
ye are spies. 17. And he put them all together into ward 
three days. 18. And Joseph said unto them the third 
day, This do, and live ; for I fear God : 19. if ye be true 
men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of 
your prison : go ye, carry corn lor the famine of your 
houses : 20. but bring your youngest brother unto me ; 
so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And 
they did so. 

They leave Simeon as a hostage , and return conscience- 
stricken. —21. And they said one to another, We are verily 
guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish 
of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear ; 
therefore is this distress come upon us. 22. And Reuben 
answered them, saying, Spake 1 not unto you, saying, 
Do not sin against the child ; and ye would not hear ? 
therefore, behold, also his blood is required. 23. And 
they knew not that Joseph understood them ; for he 
spake unto them by an interpreter. 24. And he turned 
himself about from them, and wept ; and returned to 
them again, and communed with them, and took from 
them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes. 25. Then 
Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and 
to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to 
give them provision for the way : and thus did he unto 

22. his blood is required, i.e. vengeance is demanded for Joseph’s 



them. 26. And they laded their asses with the corn, 
and departed thence. 27. And as one of them opened 
his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied 
his money; for, behold, it was in his sack’s mouth. 
28. And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored ; 
and, lo, it is even in my sack : and their heart failed them, 
and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this 
that God hath done unto us ? 

They return to Canaan ; Jacob's grief. —29. And they 
came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, 
and told him all that befell unto them ; saying, 30. The 
man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughty to us, and 
took us for spies of the country. 31. And we said unto 
him, We are true men ; we are no spies : 32. we be 
twelve brethren, sons of our father ; one is not, and the 
3 7 oungest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. 
33. And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, 
Hereby shall I know that ye are true men ; leave one of 
your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine 
of your households, and be gone : 34. and bring your 
youngest brother unto me : then shall I know that ye 
are no spies, but that ye are true men : so will I deliver 
} 7 ou your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land. 

35. And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, 
that, behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his 
sack : and when both they and their father saw the bundles 
of money, they were afraid. 36. And Jacob their fatner 
said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children : 
Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin 
away : all these things are against me. 37. And Reuben 
spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring 
him not to thee : deliver him into my hand, and I will 



bring him to thee again. 38. And he said, My son shall 
not go down with you ; for his brother is dead, and he is 
left alone : if mischief befall him by the way in the which 
ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow 
to the grave. 

Jacob consents to let Benjamin go. —xliii. 1. And the 
famine was sore in the land. 2. And it came to pass, 
when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought 
out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy 
us a little food. 3. And Judah spake unto him, saying, 
The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall 
not see my face, except your brother be with you. 4. If 
thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and 
buy thee food : 5. but if thou wilt not send him, we will 
not go down : for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see 
my face, except your brother be with you. 6. And Israel 
said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man 
whether ye had yet a brother ? 7. And they said, The 
man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, 
saying, Is your father yet alive ? have ye another brother ? 
and we told him according to the tenor of these words : 
could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your 
brother down ? 8. And Judah said unto Israel his father, 
Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go ; that we 
may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our 
little ones. 9. I will be surety for him ; of my hand 
shalt thou require him : if I bring him not unto thee, and 
set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever : 
10. for except we had lingered, surely now we had returned 
this second time. 11. And their father Israel said unto 
them, If it must be so now, do this ; take of the best fruits 
in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a 



present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, 
nuts, and almonds : 12. and take double money in your 
hand ; and the money that was brought again in the 
mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand ; per- 
adventure it was an oversight : 13. take also your brother, 
and arise, go again unto the man : 14. and God Almighty 
give you mercy before the man, that he may send away 
your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of 
my children, I am bereaved. 

Second visit of the sons of Jacob to Egypt. —15. And the 
men took that present, and they took double money in 
their hand, and Benjamin ; and rose up, and went down 
to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16. And when Joseph 
saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, 
Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready ; for 
these men shall dine with me at noon. 17. And the man 
did as Joseph bade ; and the man brought the men into 
Joseph’s house. 18. And the men were afraid, because 
they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, 
Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at 
the first time are we brought in ; that he may seek occasion 
against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, 
and our asses. 19. And they came near to the steward of 
Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door 
of the house, 20. and said, O sir, we came indeed down 
at the first time to buy food : 21. and it came to pass, 
when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, 
behold, every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, 
our money in full weight: and we have brought it again 
in our hand. 22. And other money have we brought 
down in our hands to buy food : we cannot tell who put 
21. weight The Egyptians weighed out rings of gold. 



our money in our sacks. 23. And he said, Peace be to 
you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath 
given you treasure in your sacks : I had your money. 
And he brought Simeon out unto them. 24. And the 
man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them 
water, and they washed their feet ; and he gave their asses 
provender. 25. And they made ready the present against 
Joseph came at noon : for they heard that they should 
eat bread there. 

Their reception by Joseph. —26. And when Joseph came 
home, they brought him the present which was in their 
hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the 
earth. 27. And he asked them of their welfare, and said, 
Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake ? Is 
he yet alive ? 28. And they answered, Thy servant our 
father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed 
down their heads, and made obeisance. 29. And he 
lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his 
mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of 
whom ye spake unto me ? And he said, God be gracious 
unto thee, my son. 30. And Joseph made haste; for 
his bowels did yearn upon his brother : and he sought 
where to weep ; and he entered into his chamber, and 
wept there. 31. And he washed his face, and went out, 
and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. 32. And 
they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, 
and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by them¬ 
selves : because the Egyptians might not eat bread with 
the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the 
Egyptians. 33. And they sat before him, the firstborn 
according to his birthright, and the youngest according 
to his youth : and the men marvelled one at another. 



34. And he took and sent messes unto them from before 
him : but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any 
of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him. 

His scheme to test them. —xliv. 1. And he commanded 
the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with 
food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s 
money in his sack’s mouth. 2. And put my cup, the 
silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, and his 
corn money. And he did according to the word that 
Joseph had spoken. 3. As soon as the morning was light, 
the men were sent away, they and their asses. 4. And 
when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, 
Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men ; 
and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Where¬ 
fore have ye rewarded evil for good ? 5. Is not this it 
in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he 
divineth ? ye have done evil in so doing. 6. And he over¬ 
took them, and he spake unto them these same words. 
7. And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord 
these words ? God forbid that thy servants should do 
according to this thing: 8. behold, the money, which 
we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto 
thee out of the land of Canaan : how then should we 
steal out of thy lord’s house silver or gold ? 9. With 
whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him 
die, and we also will be my lord’s bondmen. 10. And 
he said, Now also let it be according unto your words : 
he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye 

34. messes, i.e. special helpings. 

5. divineth. The method of divination by a cup was to throw 
precious things into the cup and observe the water. Other means 
of divination in the Old Testament are dreams, Urim, the lot, tera* 
phim—all used by the Israelites to forecast the future. 



shall be blameless, n. Then they speedily took down 
every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man 
his sack. 12. And he searched, and began at the eldest, 
and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in 
Benjamin’s sack. 13. Then they rent their clothes, and 
laded every man his ass, and returned to the city. 

Judah pleads with Joseph. —14. And Judah and his 
brethren came to Joseph’s house ; for he was yet there : 
and they fell before him on the ground. 15. And Joseph 
said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done ? 
wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine ? 
16. And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord ? 
what shall we speak ? or how shall we clear ourselves ? 
God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants : behold, 
we are my lord’s servants, both we, and he also with whom 
the cup is found. 17. And he said, God forbid that I 
should do so : but the man in whose hand the cup is found, 
he shall be my servant ; and as for you, get you up in 
peace unto your father. 18. Then Judah came near 
unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray 
thee, speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not thine 
anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as 
Pharaoh. 19. My lord asked his servants, saying, Have 
ye a father, or a brother ? 20. And we said unto my lord, 
We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, 
a little one ; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left 
of his mother, and his father loveth him. 21. And thou 
saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that 
I may set mine eyes upon him. 22. And we said unto my 
lord, The lad cannot leave his father : for if he should leave 
his father, his father would die. 23. And thou saidst 
unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come 



down with you, ye shall see my face no more. 24. And 
it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my 
father, we told him the words of my lord. 25. And our 
father said, Go again, and buy us a little food. 26. And 
we said, We cannot go down : if our youngest brother be 
with us, then will we go down : for we may not see the man’s 
face, except our youngest brother be with us. 27. And 
thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my 
wife bare me two sons : 28. and the one went out from 
me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces ; and I saw 
him not since : 29. and if ye take this also from me, and 
mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs 
with sorrow to the grave. 30. Now therefore when I 
come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with 
us ; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life ; 31. 
it shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not 
with us, that he will die : and thy servants shall bring 
down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow 
to the grave. 32. For thy servant became surety for the 
lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, 
then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever. 33. 
Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead 
of the lad a bondman to my lord ; and let the lad go up 
with his brethren. 34. For how shall I go up to my 
father, and the lad be not with me ? lest peradventure I 
see the evil that shall come on my father. 

Joseph discovers himself to his brethren. —xlv. 1. Then 
Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood 
by him ; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from 
me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph 

30. his life, etc. R.V. marg., “ his soul is knit with the lad’s 
soul.” See 1 Sam. xviii. 1. 



made himself known unto his brethren. 2. And he wept 
aloud : and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. 
3. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth 
my father yet live ? And his brethren could not answer 
him ; for they were troubled at his presence. 4. And 
Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray 
you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph 
your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 5. Now there¬ 
fore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye 
sold me hither : for God did send me before you to preserve 
life. 6. For these two years hath the famine been in the 
land : and yet there are five years, in the which there 
shall neither be earing nor harvest. 7. And God sent 
me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, 
and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8. So 
now it was not you that sent me hither, but God : and he 
hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, 
and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 9. Haste 
ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith 
thy son J oseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: 
come down unto me, tarry not: 10. and thou shalt dwell 
in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, 
thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy 
flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 11. and 
there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years 
of famine ; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou 
hast, come to poverty. 12. And, behold, your eyes see, 
and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth 
that speaketh unto you. 13. And ye shall tell my father 
of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen ; and 

10. Goshen, a division or nome of lower Egypt, forty miles north¬ 
east of Cairo. 



ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. 14. And 
he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept ; and 
Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15. Moreover he kissed 
all his brethren, and wept upon them : and after that his 
brethren talked with him. 

Pharaoh invites the family of Jacob to settle in Egypt. —16. 
And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, 
Joseph’s brethren are come : and it pleased Pharaoh well, 
and his servants. 17. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, 
Say unto thy brethren, This do ye ; lade your beasts, and 
go, get you unto the land of Canaan ; 18. and take your 
father and your households, and come unto me : and I 
will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall 
eat the fat of the land. 19. Now thou art commanded, 
this do ye ; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt 
for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your 
father, and come. 20. Also regard not your stuff; for 
the good of all the land of Egypt is yours. 21. And the 
children of Israel did so : and Joseph gave them wagons, 
according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave 
them provision for the way. 22. To all of them he gave 
each man changes of raiment ; but to Benjamin he gave 
three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. 
23. And to his father he sent after this manner ; ten asses 
laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses 
laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the 
way. 24. So he sent his brethren away, and they departed : 
and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way. 

Jacob and his house leave Canaan. —25. And they went 
up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto 
Jacob their father. 26. And told him, saying, Joseph is 

22. pieces = shekels. 



yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. 
And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not. 
27. And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he 
had said unto them : and when he saw the wagons which 
Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their 
father revived : 28. and Israel said, It is enough ; Joseph 
my son is yet alive : I will go and see him before I die. 

Renewal of the Promise to Jacob at Beer-sheba. —xlvi. 1. 
And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came 
to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his 
father Isaac. 2. And God spake unto Israel in the visions 
of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said. Here 
am I. 3. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father : 
fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of 
thee a great nation : 4. I will go down with thee into Egypt; 
and I will also surely bring thee up again : and Joseph 
shall put his hand upon thine eyes. 5. And Jacob rose 
up from Beer-sheba : and the sons of Israel carried J acob 
their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the 
wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6. And 
they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had 
gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, J acob, 
and all his seed w T ith him : 7. his sons, and his sons’ sons 
with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and all 
his seed brought he with him into Egypt. 

Meeting of Jacob and Joseph in Goshen. —26. All the 
souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, besides Jacob’s 
sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six ; 27. and 
the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were 
two souls : all the souls of the house of J acob, which came 

1. Isaac, cp. xxvi. 25. 

4. put his hand, etc., i.e. close thine eyes in death. 



into Egypt, were threescore and ten. 28. And he sent 
Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto 
Goshen ; and they came into the land of Goshen. 29. 
And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up 
to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented 
himself unto him ; and he fell on his neck, and wept on 
his neck a good while. 30. And Israel said unto Joseph, 
Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou 
art yet alive. 31. And Joseph said unto his brethren, and 
unto his father’s house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, 
and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house, 
which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me ; 
32. and the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been 
to feed cattle ; and they have brought their flocks, and 
their herds, and all that they have. 33. And it shall come 
to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What 
is your occupation ? 34. that ye shall say, Thy servants’ 

trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until 
now, both we, and also our fathers : that ye may dwell 
in the land of Goshen ; for every shepherd is an abomination 
unto the Egyptians. 

They settle in Goshen. —xlvii. 1. Then Joseph came and 
told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and 
their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are 
come out of the land of Canaan ; and, behold, they are in 
the land of Goshen. 2. And he took some of his brethren, 
even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh. 3. And 
Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occu¬ 
pation ? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are 
shepherds, both we, and also our fathers. 4. They said 

34. sheplierd. Herodotus tells us that the Egyptians also despised 
swine-herds (Herod. II. 47). 



moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we 
come ; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks ; 
for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan : now therefore, 
we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen. 
5. And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father 
and thy brethren are come unto thee : 6. the land of Egypt 
is before thee ; in the best of the land make thy father 
and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them 
dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among 
them, then make them rulers over my cattle. 7. And 
Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before 
Pharaoh : and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8. And Pharaoh 
said unto Jacob, How old art thou ? 9. And Jacob said 

unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are 
an hundred and thirty years : few and evil have the days 
of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto 
the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days 
of their pilgrimage. 10. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 
and went out from before Pharaoh. 11. And Joseph 
placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a 
possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, 
in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 
12. And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, 
and all his father’s household, with bread, according to 
their families. 

Joseph's administration of Egypt. —13. And there was 
no bread in all the land ; for the famine was very sore, so 
that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted 
by reason of the famine. 14. And Joseph gathered up 

11. Rameses. This is an anachronism: Ramses II. was the 
Pharaoh of the Oppression “ which knew not Joseph,” and according 
to Ex. i. 11, it was for him that the Israelites built Pithom and 



all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and 
in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: 
and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 
15. And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in 
the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, 
and said, Give us bread : for why should we die in thy 
presence ? for the money faileth. 16. And Joseph said, 
Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if 
money fail. 17. And they brought their cattle unto 
J oseph : and J oseph gave them bread in exchange for 
horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, 
and for the asses : and he fed them with bread for all 
their cattle for that year. 18. When that year was ended, 
they came unto him the second year, and said unto him. 
We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is 
spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle ; there is 
not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and 
our lands. 19. Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, 
both we and our land ? buy us and our land for bread, 
and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh : and 
give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land 
be not desolate. 20. And Joseph bought all the land of 
Egypt for Pharaoh ; for the Egyptians sold every man 
his field, because the famine prevailed over them : so the 
land became Pharaoh’s. 21. And as for the people, he 
removed them to cities from one end of the borders of 
Egypt even to the other end thereof. 22. Only the land 

21. he removed them. The reading of the Septuagint and the 
Vulgate is, “ he made bondmen of them, from,” etc. The stages in the 
economic change in Egypt were as follows : (1) the people gave all 
their money, (2) their cattle, (3) themselves and their land, for corn ; 
(4) they were allowed to retain the land on payment of one-fifth, or 
20 per cent. This applied to all but the priests. 




of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion 
assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which 
Pharaoh gave them : wherefore they sold not their lands. 
23. Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have 
bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here 
is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. 24. And it 
shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the 
fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, 
for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your 
households, and for food for your little ones. 25. And 
they said, Thou hast saved our lives : let us find grace 
in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants. 
26. And J oseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto 
this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except 
the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh’s. 

Jacob grows old in Egypt. —27. And Israel dwelt in the 
land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen ; and they had 
possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly. 
28. And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years : 
so the whole age of J acob was an hundred forty and seven 
years. 29. And the time drew nigh that Israel must die : 
and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now 
I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand 
under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me ; bury 
me not, I pray thee, in Egypt : 30. but I will lie with my 
fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury 
me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou 
hast said. 31. And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware 
unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head. 

Jacob blesses the house of Joseph. —xlviii. 1. And it came 

29. thigh. See on xxiv. 2. 

30. their buryingplace, i.e. Machpelah. 



to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, 
thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, 
Manasseh and Ephraim. 2. And one told Jacob, and said, 
Behold, thy son J oseph cometh unto thee : and Israel 
strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. 3. And Jacob 
said unto J oseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz 
in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 4. and said unto 
me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, 
and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will 
give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting 
possession. 5. And now thy two sons, Ephraim and 
Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of 
Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine ; as 
Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. 6. And thy 
issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, 
and shall be called after the name of their brethren in 
their inheritance. 7. And as for me, when I came from 
Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the 
way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto 
Ephrath : and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath ; 
the same is Beth-lehem. 8. And Israel beheld Joseph’s 
sons, and said, Who are these ? 9. And Joseph said unto- 
his father. They are my sons, whom God hath given me 
in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, 
unto me, and I will bless them. 10. Now the eyes oi 
Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And 
he brought them near unto him ; and he kissed them, and 
embraced them. 11. And Israel said unto Joseph, I had 
not thought to see thy face : and lo, God hath shewed 

5. are mine, i.e . he adopted them as his own sons. 

6. shall be called, etc., i.e. they shall be looked upon as part of 
Ephraim and Manasseh. 

7. by me. Better, “ to my sorrow.” 



me also thy seed. 12. And Joseph brought them out 
from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his 
face to the earth. 13. And Joseph took them both, 
Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and 
Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and 
brought them near unto him. 14. And Israel stretched 
out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, 
who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s 
head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was 
the firstborn. 

15. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom 
my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which 
fed me all my life long unto this day, 16. the Angel 
which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads ; and let 
my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers 
Abraham and Isaac ; and let them grow into a multitude 
in the midst of the earth. 17. And when Joseph saw that 
his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, 
it displeased him : and he held up his father’s hand, to 
remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. 
18. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father : 
for this is the firstborn ; put thy right hand upon his 
head. 19. And his father refused, and said, I know it, 
my son, I know it : he also shall become a people, and 
he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother 
shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a 
multitude of nations. 30. And he blessed them that day, 

14. guiding 1 , or “ crossing.” 

19. his younger brother. The pre-eminence of the tribe of 
Ephraim was one of the chief obstacles in the way of national 
unity, cp. Judg. viii., xii., and it was the jealousy between Ephraim 
and Judah that caused the disruption of the kingdom after Solomon's 



saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee 
as Ephraim and as Manasseh : and he set Ephraim before 
Manasseh. 21. And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I 
die : but God shall be with you, and bring you again 

unto the land of your fathers. 22. Moreover I have 

given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I 
took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and 
with my bow. 

Jacob blesses his sons. —xlix. r. And Jacob called unto 
his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I 

may tell you that which shall befall you in the last 


2. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of 
Jacob ; and hearken unto Israel your father. 

3. Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the 
beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and 
the excellency of power : 

22. portion. R.V. marg., " mountain slope, Heb. shechem, 
shoulder.” This is a play on the word Shechem, which lay between 
Ebal and Gerizim, thus occupying a commanding position in the 

1. the last days, i.e. in the far future ; the actual reference is 
to a time when the tribes of Israel were settled in Palestine, each 
with its well-defined character. 

2-27. The following are the cl 



5. instruments of cruelty are 
in their habitations 

6. secret 

digged down a wall 
9. old lion- 
10. a lawgiver 

the gathering of the people be 

14. two burdens 

15. that rest was good 

19. overcome 

overcome at the last 
23. hated 

differences of rendering in 


weapons of violence are their 

houghed an ox. 

the ruler’s staff. 

the obedience of the peoples be. 
the sheepfolds. 

a resting-place that it was good. 


press upon. 

press upon their heel. 




4. Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel. 

5. Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of 
cruelty are in their habitations. 

6. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto 
their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united : for in 
their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they 
digged down a wall. 

7. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce ; and their 
wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and 
scatter them in Israel. 

8. Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise : 
thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies ; thy father’s 
children shall bow down before thee. 

9. Judah is a lion’s whelp : from the prey, my 
son, thou art gone up : he stooped down, he couched 
as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse 
him up ? 

10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a 
lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come ; and 
unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 

11. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt 
unto the choice vine ; he washed his garments in wine, 
and his clothes in the blood of grapes : 

12. His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white 
with milk. 

7. divide. Simeon practically disappeared very early : Levi 
was scattered amongst various cities. 

10. Both the text and the meaning of this verse are very doubt¬ 
ful. (1) The A.V. translation interprets Shiloh as a title of the 
future Messiah. This is certainly wrong. (2) The Septuagint 
reads, “ till the things reserved for him come," or “ until he come 
whose it is." (See Driver, p. 385, and Hastings’ D.B. iv. p. 500.) 

11, 12. These two verses are a picture of the peaceful land of 
Judah, a land of vineyards and rich pasturage. 



13. Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea ; and 
he shall be for an haven of ships ; and his border shall be 
unto Zidon. 

14. Issachar is a strong ass couching down between 
two burdens : 

15. And he saw that rest was good, and the land that 
it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and 
became a servant unto tribute. 

16. Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of 

17. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the 
path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall 
fall backward. 

18. I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord. 

19. Gad, a troop shall overcome him : but he shall 
overcome at the last. 

20. Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall 
yield royal dainties. 

21. Naphtali is a hind let loose : he giveth goodly words. 

22. Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough 
by a well; whose branches run over the wall: 

23. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at 
him, and hated him : 

24. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of 
his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty 

13. Zebulun may have touched the sea at one time near Mount 
Carmel, but, as far as we know it, it was entirely surrounded by 
Asher, Manasseh, Issachar, and Naphtali. 

15. Issachar became subject to the Canaanites. 

17. This is not a reproach ; it is a wish. 

adder, or “ horned snake.” The Cerastes cornutus is poisonous, 
and this verse accurately describes its habits. 

19. troop = “ a marauding band.” 

21. goodly words. See Judg. v. 1 ; Barak was of the tribe of 


God of Jacob ; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone 
of Israel :) 

25. Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; 
and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings 
of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, 
blessings of the breasts, and of the womb : 

26. The blessings of thy father have prevailed above 
the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound 
of the everlasting hills : they shall be on the head of 
Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was 
separate from his brethren. 

27. Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf : in the morning he 
shah devour the prey, and at night he shah divide the spoil. 

The death of Jacob. —28. All these are the twelve tribes 
of Israel : and this is it that their father spake unto them, 
and blessed them ; every one according to his blessing 
he blessed them. 29. And he charged them, and said 
unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people : bury 
me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron 

24. from thence . . . Israel, an obscure passage : as it stands it 
seems to mean either (1) " from God comes Joseph, Israel’s shepherd, 
Israel’s rock : ” or (2), omitting brackets, “ his arms were made 
strong from thence, i.e. the heavens, even by the Shepherd, the 
Rock of Israel.” 

26. The blessings . . . hills. Rather, " the blessings of thy father 
[Jacob] exceed the blessings of the ancient mountains, the desirable 
things of the everlasting hills.” This rendering means that the 
inherited blessings of the house of Joseph transcend all earthly 

was separate from. Better, “ is prince among.” 

Notes on Jacob’s blessing upon his Family 

i. The blessing of Jacob upon Ephraim and Manasseh in ch. 
xlviii. is in prose : it predicts the superiority of the descendants 
of Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph, over those of Manasseh, the 
elder. Joseph was to be represented among the tribes by his two sons. 

ii. The blessing upon the sons of Jacob in ch. xlix. is a poem, 
clearly written by one who knew the character of the tribes at a 
later day, and only pictorially ascribed to Jacob. ( Cp . Deut. xxxiii. 



the Hittite, 30. in the cave that is in the field of Mach- 
pelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, 
which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the 
Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. 31. There 
they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife ; there they 
buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife ; and there I buried 
Leah. 32. The purchase of the field and of the cave 
that is therein was from the children of Heth. 33. And 
when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, 
he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the 
ghost, and was gathered unto his people. 

1 . 1. And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept 
upon him, and kissed him. 2. And Joseph commanded 
his servants the physicians to embalm his father : and 
the physicians embalmed Israel. 3. And forty days 
were fulfilled for him ; for so are fulfilled the days of 
those which are embalmed : and the Egyptians mourned 
for him threescore and ten days. 

The burial of Jacob in Canaan. —4. And when the days 
of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house 
of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your 
eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 

and Judg. v.) The following points in this historical characterisa¬ 
tion are to be noted : 

1. Reuben : moral instability. 

2, 3. Simeon and Levi: lawless violence. 

4. Judah : power. 

5. Zebulun : geographical position. 

6. Issachar : slothfulness and lack of spirit. 

7. Dan : cunning (regarded with approval). 

8. Gad : warlike spirit. 

9. Asher : fruitfulness of the land. 

10. Naphtali: vigour, inspiration (?). 

11. Joseph: fruitfulness, prosperity and power (= Ephraim and 


12. Benjamin : warlike spirit. 


5. My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die : in my 
grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, 
there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, 
I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come 
again. 6. And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, 
according as he made thee swear. 7. And Joseph went 
up to bury his father : and with him went up all the 
servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the 
elders of the land of Egypt, 8. and all the house of 
Joseph, and his brethren, and his father’s house : only 
their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they 
left in the land of Goshen. 9. And there went up with 
him both chariots and horsemen : and it was a very 
great company. 10. And they came to the threshingfioor 
of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned 
with a great and very sore lamentation : and he made 
a mourning for his father seven days. 11. And when 
the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the 
mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a 
grievous mourning to the Egyptians : wherefore the 
name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond 
Jordan. 12. And his sons did unto him according as 
he commanded them: 13. for his sons carried him 

into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave 
of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with 
the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron 
the Hittite, before Mamre. 14. And Joseph returned 
into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went 
up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his 

11. mourning, Heb. ebel. Abel-mizraim, contains the usual play 
on words : abel means “ meadow," mizraim “ of Egypt." 



The complete reconciliation oj Joseph and his brethren .— 
15. And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father 
was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, 
and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did 
unto him. 16. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, 
saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 
17. So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee 
now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin ; for they 
did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the 
trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And 
Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18. And his 
brethren also went and fell down before his face ; and 
they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 19. And Joseph 
said unto them, Fear not : for am I in the place of God ? 
20. But as for you, ye thought evil against me ; but God 
meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, 
to save much people alive. 21. Now therefore fear ye 
not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he 
comforted them, and spake kindly unto them. 

The death of Joseph in Egypt. —22. And Joseph dwelt 
in Egypt, he, and his father’s house : and Joseph lived 
an hundred and ten years. 23. And Joseph saw Ephraim’s 
children of the third generation : the children also of 
Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s 
knees. 24. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die : 
and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this 
land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, 
and to Jacob. 25. And Joseph took an oath of the children 
of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall 
carry up my bones from hence. 26. So Joseph died, 
being an hundred and ten years old : and they embalmed 
him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. 





A JAME .—The name of the second book of the Penta¬ 
teuch signifies “ going out ” (Greek, e£oSo?), and 
refers to the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. 

Contents .—It may be analysed briefly as follows : 

I. Israel in Egypt. 

II. The Exodus. 

III. Israel on Sinai. 

(a) The Decalogue and the book of the Covenant. 

(b) The ratifying of the Covenant. 

(c) The Tabernacle. 

Chronology .—The Pharaoh of the Oppression was prob¬ 
ably Ramses II. (c. 1300-1234 b.c., Petrie : cp. Ex. 
i. 8). He was succeeded by Merenptah (or, Menephtah), 
in whose reign the Exodus occurred, about 1214 b.c. 
In Ex. i. 11 it is mentioned that the Israelites built by 
forced labour two store cities, Pithom and Raamses : of 
these the former has been identified with Pi-Tum ; ex¬ 
cavation has shown the existence of store chambers, and 
inscriptions prove that Ramses II. was the founder of the 


Life .—The greater part of the life of Moses belongs to 
the second volume of this series. The following is an 
outline of his life up to the crossing of the Red Sea. 




A. First period : in Egypt. 

1. Birth and exposure. 

2. Rescue by Pharaoh’s daughter, who brings 

him up. 

3. When grown up, slays the Egyptian taskmaster 

and flees to Midian. 

B. Second period : in Midian. 

1. Marries Zipporah, daughter of Jethro. 

2. The revelation on Horeb : Moses has his mission 

imposed on him. 

C. Third period : the Ten Plagues and the Exodus. 

Comments on the narrative .—The sources of the narrative 
are threefold, corresponding to the Jehovistic, Elohistic, 
and Priestly collections to which reference has already been 
made (see p. xiii). The only serious result of a division 
on these lines is to throw some doubt upon Aaron and the 
part he played in the events related. The figure of Moses 
himself is eminently historical. 

In the earlier part of his life with which we are now 
dealing, the three chief features are (1) the revelation on 
Mount Horeb ; (2) the Ten Plagues ; (3) the Passover. 
Separate notes on these three subjects will be found in 
their proper place in the Biblical narrative. 

Israel in Egypt 
Exodus i—vi. 

The family of Jacob. —i. 1. Now these are the names 
of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt ; every 
man and his household came with Jacob. 2. Reuben, 
Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3. Issachar, Zebulun, and Ben¬ 
jamin, 4. Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5. And 



all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were 
seventy souls : for J oseph was in Egypt already. 6. And 
Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 

The oppression of Israel. —7. And the children of Israel 
were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, 
and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled 
with them. 8. Now there arose up a new king over 
Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9. And he said unto 
his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel 
are more and mightier than we : 10. come on, let us deal 
wisely with them ; lest they multiply, and it come to pass 
that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto 
our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up 
out of the land. 11. Therefore they did set over them 
taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And 
they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 
12. But the more they afflicted them, the more they 
multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because 
of the children of Israel. 13. And the Egyptians made 
the children of Israel to serve with rigour : 14. and they 
made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and 
in brick, and in all manner of service in the field : all their 
service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. 

The order to destroy the male children at birth. —15* And 
the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of 
which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name 

of the other Puah : 16. and he said. When ye do the 


8. a new king 1 . Ramses II., c. 1300-1234 b.c. 

11. taskmasters. Forced labour has always been the curse of 
Egypt down to the most modern times: see Modern Egypt, by Lord 
Cromer, ch. 1 . It was the forced labour in Solomon's reign that 
was largely the cause of the disruption of the kingdom. 

treasure cities. R.V. “store cities." See above, p. 143. 



office of a midwife to the Hebrew women ; if it be a son, 
then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she 
shall live. 17. But the midwives feared God, and did 
not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the 
men children alive. 18. And the king of Egypt called for 
the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done 
this thing, and have saved the men children alive ? 19. 

And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew 
women are not as the Egyptian women ; for they are de¬ 
livered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20. There¬ 
fore God dealt well with the midwives : and the people 
multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21. And it came 
to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made 
them houses. 22. And Pharaoh charged all his people, 
saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, 
and every daughter ye shall save alive. 

The birth and saving of Moses. —ii. 1. And there went 
a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter 

21. he made them houses, i.e. God granted that they should 
themselves become mothers and founders of families. 

22. the river, i.e. the Nile. 

1. According to Num. xxvi. 59, the father of Moses was 
Amram, son of Kohath the Levite, and his mother was Jochebed, 
also a Levite. The family consisted of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. 
This may be shown clearly thus : 




Amram m. Jochebed 

Aaron Moses m. Zipporah Miriam 

1 I 


(1) Nadab, (2) Abihu 
(3) Eleazar, (4) Ithamar. 



of Levi. 2. And the woman conceived, and bare a son : 
and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid 
him three months. 3. And when she could not longer 
hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed 
it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein ; 
and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. 4. And 
his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 

5. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash 
herself at the river ; and her maidens walked along by 
the river’s side ; and when she saw the ark among the 
flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 6. And when she had 
opened it, she saw the child : and, behold, the babe wept. 
And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one 
of the Hebrews’ children. 7. Then said his sister to 
Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of 
the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for 
thee ? 8. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the 
maid went and called the child’s mother, 9. and Pharaoh’s 
daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse 
it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman 
took the child, and nursed it. 10. And the child grew, 
and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he 
became her son. And she called his name Moses : and 
she said, Because I drew him out of the water. 

2. a goodly child. Cp. Acts vii. 20, Heb. xi. 23. 

3. ark, The same word in Hebrew is used for Noah’s ark, a 
different word for the Ark carried by the Israelites in their wander- 

bulrushes, i.e. papyrus, a reed used for making paper, boats, cloth, 
and many other things. 

slime, i.e. bitumen, a kind of pitch. 

flags, i.e. reeds. 

10. Moses . . . drew. Heb. mosheh . . . mashah, to draw out. 
There is the usual play on words ; the correct etymological derivation 
is uncertain. 



Moses flies to Midian: he marries Zipporah. —11. And 
it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, 
that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their 
burdens : and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, 
one of his brethren. 12. And he looked this way and 
that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he 
slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13. And 
when he went out the second day, behold, two men of 
the Hebrews strove together : and he said to him that did 
the wrong. Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow ? 14. And 

he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us ? 
intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian ? 
And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. 

15. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to 
slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and 
dwelt in the land of Midian : and he sat down by a well. 

16. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters : and 

they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water 
their father’s flock. 17. And the shepherds came and 
drove them away : but Moses stood up and helped them, 
and watered their flock. 18. And when they came to 
Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come 
so soon to-day ? 19. And they said, An Egyptian de¬ 

livered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew 
water enough for us, and watered the flock. 20. And he 
said unto his daughters, And where is he ? why is it that 
ye have left the man ? call him, that he may eat bread. 
21. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and 
he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. 22. And she bare 

18. Reuel. Probably their grandfather. The father of Zippdrah 
is elsewhere called either Jethro or Hobab : in Num. x. 29 Hobab 
is the son of Reuel (A.V. " Raguel ”) ; probably a mistake has been 
made in the present passage. 



him a son, and he called his name Gershom : for he said, 
I have been a stranger in a strange land. 

God hears the cries of Israel. —23. And it came to pass 
in process of time, that the king of Egypt died : and 
the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, 
and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by 
reason of the bondage. 24. And God heard their groan¬ 
ing, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, 
with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25. And God looked upon 
the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. 

The Revelation on Mount Horeb 

The scene .—The traditional view has been that Mount 
Sinai lay in the south of the Sinaitic peninsula, between 
the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Akaba, and Horeb and 
Sinai have been treated as alternative names for the same 
district. But, according to the latest theory Sinai, was 
a mountain near Kadesh Barnea, about 70 miles north¬ 
west of the Gulf of Akaba; and Mount Horeb, in Midian, 
was in the Arabian peninsula, east of the Red Sea, some¬ 
where south-east of the Gulf of Akaba. There is no doubt, 
however, that the two names are confused in the Biblical 
narrative: the prophecy in Ex. iii. 12, “ Ye shall serve God 
upon this mountain,” which refers to Horeb (verse 1), must 
be fulfilled by the encampment at Mt. Sinai (ch. xix. seq ). 

The revelation .—The purpose of the Divine communica¬ 
tion was twofold: (1) to impose on Moses his mission, viz. 
the deliverance of Israel; (2) to reveal God more fully 
to the understanding of men. Thus the passage about 
“ the Bush ” has a double importance—as a crisis in the 
history both of Israel and the whole world. 

22. Gershom, the first syllable, ger,= a sojourner. 



The name Jehovah, or Yahweh, if not actually new, 
became henceforth quickened with a new significance. 
The actual derivative meaning of the word is obscure, 
but scholars agree in supposing that it suggests future 
development and progressive revelation by God of Himself 
to man: “ I will be what I will be ” 

Moses on Mount Horeb : the Burning Bush—Hi. 1. Now 
Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest 
of Midian : and he led the flock to the backside of the 
desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 
2. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a 
flame of fire out of the midst of a bush : and he looked, 
and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was 
not consumed. 3. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, 
and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4. And 
when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God 
called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, 
Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5. And he said, 
Draw not nigh hither : put off thy shoes from off thy 
feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 
6 . Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God 
of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 
And Moses hid his face ; for he was afraid to look upon 

God reveals His purpose and imposes on Moses his mission . 
—7. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction 
of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their 
cry by reason of their taskmasters ; for I know their 

1. the backside of the desert, i.e. west: see on Gen. xiv. 15. 
This would mean near the coast, east of the Gulf of Akaba, according 
to the view which distinguishes Horeb from Sinai: but see p. 149. 

5. shoes, i.e. sandals. 

6. Cp. Mark xii. 26, Luke xx. 37. 



sorrows ; 8. and I am come down to deliver them out 
of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out 
of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land 
flowing with milk and honey ; unto the place of the 
Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the 
Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9. Now 
therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come 
unto me : and I have also seen the oppression wherewith 
the Egyptians oppress them. 10. Come now therefore, and 
I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring 
forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. 

Revelation of the Name Jehovah. —11. And Moses said 
unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, 
and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out 
of Egypt ? 12. And he said, Certainly I will be with 

thee ; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have 
sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people 
out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. 

13. And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto 
the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God 
of your fathers hath sent me unto you ; and they shall 
say to me, What is his name ? what shall I say unto them ? 

14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM : and 
he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, 
I AM hath sent me unto you. 15. And God said more¬ 
over unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of 
Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, 

12. ye shall serve, etc. See ch. xix seq., and remarks on p. 149. 
Horeb here obviously is equivalent to Sinai. 

14. I am, etc. Best translated, 1 will be that i will be. 

I AM hath sent me. Better, 1 will be : He'b. Ehyeh. 

15. The LORD God. R.V. “the Lord, the God." The Heb. 
Jehovah comes from the same root as Ehyeh. See verses 14, 18. 



the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me 
unto you : this is my name for ever, and this is my memo¬ 
rial unto all generations. 16. Go, and gather the elders 
of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of 
your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, 
appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and 
seen that' which is done to you in Egypt: 17. and I have 
said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt 
unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the 
Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the 
Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. 18. 
And they shall hearken to thy voice : and thou shalt 
come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of 
Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The Lord God of the 
Hebrews hath met with us : and now let us go, we beseech 
thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we 
may sacrifice to the Lord our God. 19. And I am sure 
that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a 
mighty hand. 20. And I will stretch out my hand, and 
smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the 
midst thereof : and after that he will let you go. 21. 
And I will give this people favour in the sight of the 
Egyptians : and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, 
ye shall not go empty : 22. but every woman shall borrow 
of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her 
house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 

18. The Lord, the God of the Hebrews (R.V.). The popular con¬ 
ception of Jehovah at first was as a national God : that He was 
the only and universal God was revealed to the great teachers and 
prophets from Moses onwards, but did not meet with complete 
acceptance till as late as the Captivity. Belief in a national deity 
is known as monolatry, or henotheism, as opposed to monotheism. 

19. not by a mighty hand, seems to mean “in spite of great acts 
which ought to convince him.” 


T 53 

and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your 
daughters ; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians. 

Moses ’ faith strengthened by signs. —iv. i. And Moses 
answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, 
nor hearken unto my voice : for they will say, The Lord 
hath not appeared unto thee. 2. And the Lord said 
unto him, What is that in thine hand ? And he said, A 
rod. 3. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he 
cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses 
fled from before it. 4. And the Lord said unto Moses, 
Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he 
put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in 
his hand : 5. That they may believe that the Lord God 
of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and 
the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. 6. And 
the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand 
into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom : and 
when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as 
snow. 7. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom 
again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and 
plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned 
again as his other flesh. 8. And it shall come to pass, if 
they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of 
the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter 
sign. 9. And it shall come to pass, if they will not be¬ 
lieve also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, 
that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it 
upon the dry land : and the water which thou takest out 
of the river shall become blood upon the dry land. 

Aaron appointed to help him. —10. And Moses said unto 

4. And he put forth, etc. in parenthesis : so too, in verse 7, “ and 
he put forth his hand," etc. 



the Lord. O nw Lord, I am not eloquent, neither hereto¬ 
fore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but 
I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue, n. And the 
Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth ? or 
who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing., or the blind ? 
have not I the Lord ? 12. Now therefore go, and I will 
be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. 
13. And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the 
hand of him whom thou wilt send. 14. And the anger of 
the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not 
Aaron the Levite thy brother ? I know that he can speak 
well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee : 
and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15. 
And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his 
mouth : and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, 
and will teach you what ye shall do. 16. And he shall 
be thy spokesman unto the people : and he shall be, even 
he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be 
to him instead of God. 17. And thou shalt take this rod 
in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs. 

Moses returns to Egypt. —18. And Moses went and 
returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, 
Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which 
are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And 
Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace. 19. And the Lord 
said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all 
the men are dead which sought thy life. 20. And Moses 

10. 0 Lord (R.V.). The names of God used in this volume 
correspond to the following Hebrew words : (1) Elohim, cp. Gen. i. 1 ; 
(2) El Shaddai, God Almighty, cp. Gen. xvii. 1 ; (3) Jehovah, or 
Yahweh (English Versions, the Lord), the national title from the 
time of Moses ; (4) Adhonai (Lord), used also of men (Gen. xliii. 20). 

13. send, I pray thee, etc., i.e. send some other messenger. 



took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and 
he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod 
of God in his hand. 21. And the Lord said unto Moses, 
When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do 
all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine 
hand : but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let 
the people go. 22. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh. 
Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn : 
23. and I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve 
me : and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay 
thy son, even thy firstborn. 

With Aaron he approaches the elders of Israel .—27. And 
the Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet 
Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, 
and kissed him. 28. And Moses told Aaron all the words 
of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he 
had commanded him. 29. And Moses and Aaron went 
and gathered together all the elders of the children of 
Israel: 30. and Aaron spake all the words which the 
Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the 
sight of the people. 31. And the people believed : and 
when they heard that the Lord had visited the children 
of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, 
then they bowed their heads and worshipped. 

He urges Pharaoh in vain to let the people go. —v. 1. And 
afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, 
Thus Saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that 
they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2. And 
Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his 
voice to let Israel go ? I know not the Lord, neither will 
I let Israel go. 3. And they said, The God of the Hebrews 
hath met with us : let us go, we pray thee, three days 1 


journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our 
God : lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the 
sword. 4. And the king of Egypt said unto them, Where¬ 
fore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their 
works ? get you unto your burdens. 5. And Pharaoh 
said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye 
make them rest from their burdens. 6. And Pharaoh 
commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, 
and their officers, saying, 7. Ye shall no more give the 
people straw to make brick, as heretofore : let them go 
and gather straw for themselves. 8. And the tale of the 
bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon 
them ; ye shall not diminish ought thereof : for they be 
idle ; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice 
to our God. 9. Let there more work be laid upon the 
men, that they may labour therein ; and let them not 
regard vain words. 

The oppression of the Israelites becomes more cruel ; their 
murmnrings. —10. And the taskmasters of the people 
went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, 
saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. 
11. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not 
ought of your works shall be diminished. 12. So the 
people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of 
Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 13. And the 
taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your 
daily tasks, as when there was straw. 14. And the officers 
of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters 
had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore 

4. let = hinder, stop. 

7. brick. Unbaked bricks were made of Nile mud, mixed with 
chopped straw to act as a “ binder.” 

8 . tale = full number. 



have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yester¬ 
day and to day, as heretofore ? 15. Then the officers 

of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, 
saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants ? 
16. There is no straw given unto thy servants, and 
they say to us, Make brick : and, behold, thy servants 
are beaten ; but the fault is in thine own people. 17. 
But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle : therefore ye say, 
Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord. 18. Go therefore 
now, and work ; for there shall no straw be given you, 
yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. 19. And the 
officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in 
evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought 
from your bricks of your daily task. 

20. And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the 
way, as they came forth from Pharaoh : 21. and they 
said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge ; 
because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the 
eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a 
sword in their hand to slay us. 22. And Moses returned 
unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so 
evil entreated this people ? why is it that thou hast sent 
me ? 23. For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy 
name, he hath done evil to this people ; neither hast thou 
delivered thy people at all. 

God renews His promise .—vi. 1. Then the Lord said 


unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh : 
for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a 
strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2. And 
God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord : 

1. with a strong hand, i.e. in consequence of the strong hand of 
Jehovah, as seen in the Ten Plagues. 



3. and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto 
Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name 
JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 4. And I have also 
established my covenant with them, to give them the 
land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they 
were strangers. 5. And I have also heard the groaning of 
the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bond¬ 
age ; and I have remembered my covenant. 6. Where¬ 
fore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, 
and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the 
Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and 
I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with 
great judgments : 7. and I will take you to me for a 
people, and I will be to you a God : and ye shall know 
that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out 
from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8. And I will 
bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did 
swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to J acob ; and 
I will give it you for an heritage : I am the Lord. 

9. And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but 
they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and 
for cruel bondage. 10. And the Lord spake unto Moses, 
saying, 11. Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, 
that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. 
12. And Moses spake before the Lord, saying, Behold, 

3. JEHOVAH. Vv. 2-12 are ascribed to the Priestly source. 
This supplies us with a simple explanation of the statement that the 
name Jehovah was not known in patriarchal times, viz. that the 
different narratives woven together in the Pentateuch, as we have 
it, do not agree on all points, because they are derived from different 
and independent sources. 

6. redeem. Cp. xv. 13. The idea of “ redemption ” pervades 
all Biblical thought, from Gen. xlviii. 16, where Jacob speaks of 
* the angel which hath redeemed me from all evil," to Rev. v. 9, 
“ thou hast redeemed us by thy blood." 



the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me ; how 
then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised 
lips ? 13. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, 
and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and 
unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel 
out of the land of Egypt. 


In the account of the Ten Plagues we may observe 
(a) the freedom from plague of the land of Goshen; ( 5 ) the 
impression produced on the minds of the Egyptians, 
who were forced to fear the power of Jehovah because 
Moses proved more than a match for their own magicians; 
(c) the nature of the plagues themselves : in these the 
miraculous element seems to have been the use by God of 
His own laws—the laws of nature—for a special purpose, 
namely, to terrify the Egyptians, and at the same time 
to convince and strengthen the people of Israel. Parallels 
to every plague can be quoted, and they are all closely 
connected with the natural condition of the country, e.g. 
local winds, Nile mud, and so forth. 

1. Changing of the water into blood. The redness of 
the Nile water at certain times is due to the presence of 
minute organisms washed down the river after a great inun¬ 
dation. The Egyptians largely depended on fish for food. 

2. Frogs. This plague can be illustrated by experience 
both in Egypt and in other parts of the world. 

3 and 4. Lice and flies. The word “lice” seems to 
mean stinging fly or gnat. “ Flies ” represents a word of 

12. of uncircumcised lips, i.e. who would be regarded by Pharaoh 
as unclean. 



uncertain meaning ; perhaps it should be simply “ swarms 
of insects/' 

5 and 6. Murrain and boils. “ In view of the recently 
discovered capacity of mosquitos and gnats to carry 
contagion, it is striking to note that disease of man and 
beast so quickly followed the swarms of flies." (Hastings, 
D.B. : “Plagues of Egypt.") 

7. Hail. 

8. Locusts. The plague of locusts is one familiar in 
Africa and other parts of the world to-day ; for a descrip¬ 
tion see Joel i., ii. 

9. Darkness. This was probably caused by a south¬ 
west wind called hamsin, which fills the atmosphere with 
a fine dust, and lasts about three days : see The Wisdom 
of Solomon, xvii. 

10. Death of the firstborn : the coincidence of plague 
and the hamsin has been noticed by man}/ authorities. 

The Ten Plagues 
Exodus vii.—xi 

Preparations for the contest .—vii. 1. And the Lord said 
unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh : and 
Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 2. Thou shalt 
speak all that I command thee : and Aaron thy brother 
shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of 
Israel out of his land. 3. And I will harden Pharaoh’s 
heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land 
of Egypt. 4. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, 
that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine 
armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the 

1. prophet, in the sense of “ spokesman” : so, in ^Esch. Eum. 19, 
Apollo is called the “ prophet,” i.e. interpreter of the will, of Zeus. 



land of Egypt by great judgments. 5. And the Egyptians 
shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine 
hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel 
from among them. 6. And Moses and Aaron did as the 
Lord commanded them, so did they. 7. And Moses was 
fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years 
old, when they spake unto Pharaoh. 8. And the Lord 
spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 9. When 
Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle 
for you : then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, 
and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. 
10. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and 
they did so as the Lord had commanded : and Aaron cast 
down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and 
it became a serpent. 11. Then Pharaoh also called the 
wise men and the sorcerers : now the magicians of Egypt, 
they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 

12. For they cast down every man his rod, and they be¬ 
came serpents : but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. 

13. And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened 
not unto them ; as the Lord had said. 

(1) The river turned into blood. —14. And the Lord said 
unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to 
let the people go. 15. Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morn¬ 
ing ; lo, he goeth out unto the water ; and thou shalt 
stand by the river’s brink against he come ; and the rod 
which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine 
hand. 16. And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God 
of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my 

11. magicians. See Gen. xli. 8 ; cp. 2 Tim. iii. 8. “ The power 

possessed by a man who was skilled in the knowledge and working 
of magic was believed to be almost boundless” (Budge’s Egyptian 
Magic, p. x). 


i 62 


people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness : and, 
behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. 17. Thus saith 
the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord : 
behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon 
the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned 
to blood. 18. And the fish that is in the river shall die, 
and the river shall stink ; and the Egyptians shall lothe 
to drink of the water of the river. 19. And the Lord 
spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and 
stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon 
their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, 
and upon all their pools of water, that they may become 
blood ; and that there may be blood throughout all the 
land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels 
of stone. 20. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord 
commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the 
waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, 
and in the sight of his servants ; and all the waters that 
were in the river were turned to blood. 21. And the fish 
that was in the river died ; and the river stank, and the 
Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and 
there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. 22. And 
the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments : 
and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken 
unto them; as the Lord had said. 23. And Pharaoh 
turned and went into his house, neither did he set his 
heart to this also. 24. And all the Egyptians digged 
round about the river for water to drink ; for they could 

22. And the magicians, etc. This sentence may have been inserted 
from verse 11 ; for, according to the story, there was no water in 
Egypt unpolluted. Possibly the similar statement in viii. 7 may be 
explained in the same way. 

23. set his heart to this = lay this to heart. 



not drink of the water of the river. 25. And seven days 
were fulfilled, after that the Lord had smitten the river. 

(2) The Frogs. —viii. 1. And the Lord spake unto 
Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the 
Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2. And 
if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all 
thy borders with frogs : 3. and the river shall bring forth 
frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine 
house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and 
into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and 
into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs : 4. and 
the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, 
and upon all thy servants. 5. And the Lord spake unto 
Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with 
thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the 
ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of 
Egypt. 6. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the 
waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the 
land of Egypt. 7. And the magicians did so with their 
enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of 
Egypt. 8. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, 
and said, Intreat the Lord, that he may take away the 
frogs from me, and from my people ; and I will let the 
people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord. 
9. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me : when 
shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy 
people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, 
that they may remain in the river only ? 10. And he 

said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy 

3. ovens = jars about 3 feet high, heated inside by burning wood 
or dried grass. (Matt. vi. 30.) 

9. Glory over me seems to mean, Command me to this extent. 


word : that thou mayest know that there is none like 
unto the Lord our God. n. And the frogs shall depart 
from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, 
and from thy people ; they shall remain in the river only. 
12. And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh : and 
Moses cried unto the Lord because of the frogs which 
he had brought against Pharaoh. 13. And the Lord did 
according to the word of Moses ; and the frogs died out 
of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. 
14. And they gathered them together upon heaps : and 
the land stank. 15. But when Pharaoh saw that there 
was a respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not 
unto them ; as the Lord had said. 

(3) The Lice. —16. And the Lord said unto Moses, Say 
unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of 
the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land 
of Egypt. 17. And they did so ; for Aaron stretched out 
his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, 
and it became lice in man, and in beast ; all the dust of 
the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 18. 
And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring 
forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, 
and upon beast. 19. Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, 
This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, 
and he hearkened not unto them ; as the Lord had said. 

(4) The Flies. —20. And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise 
up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh ; lo, 
he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus 
saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve 
me. 21. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, 
I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, 
and upon thy people, and into thy houses : and the houses 



of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also 
the ground whereon they are. 22. And I will sever in 
that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, 
that no swarms of flies shall be there ; to the end thou 
mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. 
23. And I will put a division between my people and thy 
people : to morrow shall this sign be. 24. And the Lord 
did so ; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the 
house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and 
into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by 
reason of the swarm of flies. 

25. And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and 
said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. 26. And 
Moses said, It is not meet so to do ; for we shall sacrifice 
the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: 
lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians 
before their eyes, and will they not stone us ? 27. We 

will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice 
to the Lord our God, as he shall command us. 28. And 
Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to 
the Lord your God in the wilderness ; only ye shall not 
go very far away : intreat for me. 29. And Moses said. 
Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the Lord 
that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from 
his servants, and from his people, to morrow : but let not 
Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people 

go to sacrifice to the Lord. 30. And Moses went out 


from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord. 31. And the Lord 
did according to the word of Moses ; and he removed the 
swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from 

26. we shall, etc. The meaning is: “Our sacrifices to Jehovah, 
requiring as they do the slaughter of animals held sacred in this 
country, will be an abomination to the Egyptians.” 



his people ; there remained not one. 32. And Pharaoh 
hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let 
the people go. 

(5) The murrain on beasts. — ix. 1. Then the Lord said 
unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith 
the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they 
may serve me. 2. For if thou refuse to let them go, and 
wilt hold them still, 3. behold, the hand of the Lord is 
upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, 
upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon 
the sheep : there shall be a very grievous murrain. 4. And 
the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the 
cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that 
is the children’s of Israel. 5. And the Lord appointed 
a set time, saying, To morrow the Lord shall do this 
thing in the land. 6. And the Lord did that thing on the 
morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died : but of the cattle 
of the children of Israel died not one. 7. And Pharaoh 
sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the 
Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, 
and he did not let the people go. 

(6) The Boils. —8. And the Lord said unto Moses and 
unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, 
and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight 
of Pharaoh. 9. And it shall become small dust in all the 
land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with 
blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land 
of Egypt. 10. And they took ashes of the furnace, and 
stood before Pharaoh ; and Moses sprinkled it up toward 
heaven ; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains 
upon man, and upon beast. 11. And the magicians could 
not stand before Moses because of the boils ; for the boil 



was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. 
12. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he 
hearkened not unto them ; as the Lord had spoken unto 
Moses. 13. And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early 
in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto 
him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my 
people go, that they may serve me. 14. For I will at 
this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon 
thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest 
know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15. For 
now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite 
thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt 
be cut off from the earth. 16. And in very deed for 
this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my 
power; and that my name may be declared throughout all 
the earth. 17. As yet exaltest thou thyself against my 
people, that thou wilt not let them go ? 18. Behold, to 

morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very 
grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the 
foundation thereof even until now. 19. Send therefore 
now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the 
field; for upon every man and beast which shall be 
found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the 
hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. 
20. He that feared the word of the Lord among the 
servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee 
into the houses : 21. and he that regarded not the word 
of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field. 

(7) The Hail .— 22. And the Lord said unto Moses, 

16. raised thee up. R.V. “made thee to stand,” i.e. to survive. 
The A.V. corresponds more closely to the form of the words quoted 
in Rom. ix. 17, which see. 


Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may 
be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon 
beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the 
land of Egypt. 23. And Moses stretched forth his rod 
toward heaven : and the Lord sent thunder and hail, 
and the fire ran along upon the ground ; and the Lord 
rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24. So there was 
hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such 
as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since 
it became a nation. 25. And the hail smote throughout 
all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man 
and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, 
and brake every tree of the field. 26. Only in the land of 
Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. 

27. And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, 
and said unto them, I have sinned this time : the Lord 
is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. 28. Intreat 
the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty 
thun derings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall 
stay no longer. 29. And Moses said unto him, As soon 
as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands 
unto the Lord ; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall 
there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how 
that the earth is the Lord’s. 30. But as for thee and 
thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the Lord 
God. 31. And the flax and the barley was smitten : 
for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was boiled. 
32. But the wheat and the rie were not smitten : for they 

24. mingled. R.V. marg., “ flashing continually amidst.” 

31, 32. The time of year would be February—March. 

31. boiled means, had reached the pod stage, “was in bloom.” 

32. rie. R.V. “ spelt.” Described as “ a hard, coarse, bearded 
wheat, much cultivated formerly for fodder.” (Murray’s III. B.D.). 



were not grown tip. 33. And Moses went out of the city 
from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the 
Lord : and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain 
was not poured upon the earth. 34. And when Pharaoh 
saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were 
ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he 
and his servants. 35. And the heart of Pharaoh was 
hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go ; 
as the Lord had spoken by Moses. 

(8) The Locusts. —x. 1. And the Lord said unto Moses, 
Go in unto Pharaoh : for I have hardened his heart, and 
the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my 
signs before him : 2. and that thou mayest tell in the 
ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I 
have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done 
among them ; that ye may know how that I am the Lord. 
3. And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said 
unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How 
long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me ? let 
my people go, that they may serve me. 4. Else, if thou 
refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring 
the locusts into thy coast : 5. and they shall cover the 
face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth : 
and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, 
which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat 
every tree which groweth for you out of the field : 6. and 
they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, 
and the houses of all the Egyptians ; which neither thy 
fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day 
that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he 

2. what . . . Egypt: better, “how I have made a toy of the Egyp¬ 
tians ” (McNeile). 


turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh. 7. And 
Pharaoh’s servants said unto him, How long shall this 
man be a snare unto us ? let the men go, that they may 
serve the Lord their God : knowest thou not yet that 
Egypt is destroyed ? 8. And Moses and Aaron were 

brought again unto Pharaoh : and he said unto them, 
Go, serve the Lord your God : but who are they that 
shall go ? 9. And Moses said, We will go with our young 

and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, 
with our flocks and with our herds will we go ; for we 
must hold a feast unto the Lord. 10. And he said unto 
them, Let the Lord be so with you, as I will let you go, 
and your little ones : look to it; for evil is before you. 

11. Not so : go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord ; 
for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from 
Pharaoh’s presence. 

12. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine 
hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they 
may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every 
herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. 

13. And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of 
Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the 
land all that day, and all that night; and when it was 
morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14. And 
the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and 
rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were 
they; before them there were no such locusts as they, 
neither after them shall be such. 15. For they covered 
the face of the whole earth, so that the land was 
darkened ; and they did eat every herb of the land, and 

10. Paraphrase: “Your purpose is evil; look to your God for 
help, not to me : may He be as willing to help you as I am ! ” 



all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and 
there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the 
herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. 16. Then 
Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste ; and he 
said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and 
against you. 17. Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my 
sin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God, that 
he may take away from me this death only. 18. And 
he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord. 
19. And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, 
which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red 
sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of 
Egypt. 20. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so 
that he would not let the children of Israel go. 

(9) The Darkness. —21. And the Lord said unto Moses, 
Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may 
be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which 
may be felt. 22. And Moses stretched forth his hand 
toward heaven ; and there was a thick darkness in all 
the land of Egypt three days : 23. they saw not one 
another, neither rose any from his place for three days : 
but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. 
24. And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, 
serve the Lord ; only let your flocks and your herds be 
stayed : let your little ones also go with you. 25. And 
Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt 
offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God. 
26. Our cattle also shall go with us ; there shall not an 
hoof be left behind ; for thereof must we take to serve 
the Lord our God ; and we know not with what we must 
serve the Lord, until we come thither. 

27. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he 


would not let them go. 28. And Pharaoh said unto him, 
Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no 
more ; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die. 
29. And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy 
face again no more. 

(10 a) The Death of the Firstborn (see xii. 29, 30, p. 177).— 
xi. 1. And the Lord said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one 
plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards 
he will let you go hence : when he shall let you go, he shall 
surely thrust you out hence altogether. 2. Speak now in the 
ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neigh¬ 
bour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, 
and jewels of gold. 3. And the Lord gave the people 
favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man 
Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of 
Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people. 4. And 
Moses said. Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I 
go out into the midst of Egypt : 5. and all the first¬ 
born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn 
of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the 
firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and 
all the firstborn of beasts. 6. And there shall be a great 
cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was 
none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 7. But against 
any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his 
tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how 
that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians 
and Israel. 8. And all these thy servants shall come 
down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, 
Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee : and 
after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh 
in a great anger. 9. And the Lord said unto Moses, 



Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you ; that my wonders 
may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. 10. And Moses 
and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh : and 
the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not 
let the children of Israel go out of his land. 


Two points in connection with the institution of the 
Passover seem to be clear : first, according to the writers 
of the books of the Old Testament, its historical origin 
was the occasion of the deliverance of Israel out of 
Egypt, when the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain, 
and the angel of death passed over the houses of the 
Israelites in Goshen ; secondly , its celebration took place 
at a time of year which brought it into connection with 
a previously existing festival: thus it came to contain other 
ideas besides the commemoration of the redemption from 
Egypt. Its significance was many-sided, and may be 
summed up thus : 

1. Historical: the Passover, or “ passing over ” of the 

2. Harvest festival: the Feast of Unleavened Bread 
(which was an alternative name of the Passover) was 
marked- by the eating of mazzoth , or unleavened cakes, 
for seven days. These mazzoth recalled the bread made 
with the new corn at the beginning of the harvest. This 
was the earliest harvest festival of the year, and was 
older in origin than the Exodus. 

3. Sacrifice of the firstborn, (cf. Gen. iv. 2-4; Exod. 
xiii. 12.) 

4. Piacular ; i.e. to make atonement. 

I 74 


5. A blood covenant with the Deity, chiefly as a means 
of averting disease. 

The chief details of the Passover are these : 

Time : Abib 14-21 (later called Nisan), i.e. April. 

Abib 14 : eating of the Paschal 1 meal. 

Ritual: Choice of the lamb without blemish. 

Killing of the lamb. 

Smearing the door with hyssop dipped in the blood. 

Eating of the lamb with mazzoth and bitter herbs. 

All to be prepared for a journey. 

No stranger (i.e. uncircumcised person) present. 

Only unleavened bread eaten for seven days. 

To Christians the chief interest of the Passover is its 
connection with the institution of the Lord’s Supper. 
This opens up the difficult question of reconciling the 
different accounts of the Supper contained in the Gospels; 
but here it is sufficient to say that “ in the highest act 
of Christian worship all the main features in the Passover 
are taken up and receive their full and eternal significance ” 
(McNeile, Exodus). 

Institution of the Passover, and the Exodus 

Exodus xii.—xv. 21 

Regulations for the Passover and Feast of Unleavened 
Bread .—xii. 1. And the Lord spake unto Moses and 
Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2. This month shall 
be unto you the beginning of months : it shall be the first 
month of the year to you. 

1 The word Paschal is derived, through the Greek, from the 
Hebrew pasah, to pass over. 

2. month. The month Abib was regarded as the first month, 
because it was the season of the first ripe corn. 



3. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, 
In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them 
every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, 
a lamb for an house : 4. and if the household be too little 
for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his 
house take it according to the number of the souls ; every 
man according to his eating shall make your count for 
the lamb. 5. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a 
male of the first year : ye shall take it out from the sheep, 
or from the goats : 6. and ye shall keep it up until the 
fourteenth day of the same month : and the whole assembly 
of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 
7. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the 
two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, 
wherein they shall eat it. 8. And they shall eat the 
flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread ; 
and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9. Eat not of it 
raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire ; 
his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 

10. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning ; 
and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall 
burn with fire. 

11. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, 
your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand ; 
and ye shall eat it in haste : it is the Lord’s passover. 

12. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, 
and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both 
man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will 
execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13. And the blood 
shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are : 

8 . bitter herbs, e.g. wild lettuce and endive. 

9. sodden, i.e. boiled. 



and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the 
plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I 
smite the land of Egypt. 14. And this day shall be 
unto vou for a memorial; and 5^ shall keep it a feast 


to the Lord throughout your generations ; ye shall keep 
it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 15. Seven days shall 
ye eat unleavened bread ; even the first day ye shall 
put away leaven out of your houses : for whosoever 
eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh 
day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16. And in 
the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in 
the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to 
you ; no manner of work shall be done in them, save 
that which every man must eat, that only may be done 
of you. 17. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened 
bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your 
armies out of the land of Egypt : therefore shall ye observe 
this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. 

18. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the 
month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the 
one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19. Seven 
days shall there be no leaven found in your houses : for 
whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul 
shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether 
he be a stranger, or born in the land. 20. Ye shall eat 
nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat 
unleavened bread. 

21. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and 
said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according 

19. leaven, which causes fermentation, was therefore associated 
with the thought of corruption, of which it is commonly used as a 
symbol. (C/>. Matt. xvi. 6 seq., and contrast Matt. xjii. 33.) 



to your families, and kill the passover. 22. And ye shall 
take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is 
in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts 
with the blood that is in the bason ; and none of you 
shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. 
23. For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians ; 
and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the 
two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will 
not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to 
smite you. 24. And ye shall observe this thing for an 
ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. 25. And it 
shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which 
the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, 
that ye shall keep this service. 26. And it shall come 
to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What 
mean ye by this service ? 27. that ye shall say, It is 

the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over 
the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he 
smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And 
the people bowed the head and worshipped. 28. And 
the children of Israel went away, and did as the Lord 
had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. 

(10 b) Death of the Firstborn (see chap, xi., p. 172).— 
29. And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote 
all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of 
Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the 
captive that was in the dungeon ; and all the firstborn 
of cattle. 30. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and 
all his servants, and all the Egyptians ; and there was 

22. hyssop = marjoram (Origanum syriacum) : "It grows between 
stones of ruined wall, and is sold in bunches for sprinkling purposes.” 
{Murray’s III. B.D.) 




a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where 
there was not one dead. 

Preparations for the Exodus. —31. And he called for 
Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get 
you forth from among my people, both ye and the chil¬ 
dren of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. 
32. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, 
and be gone ; and bless me also. 33. And the Egyptians 
were urgent upon the people, that they might send them 
out of the land in haste ; for they said, We be all dead 
men. 34. And the people took their dough before it 
was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in 
their clothes upon their shoulders. 35. And the children 
of Israel did according to the word of Moses ; and they 
borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels 
of gold, and raiment: 36. and the Lord gave the people 
favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent 
unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled 
the Egyptians. 

The Exodus. —37. And the children of Israel journeyed 
from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand 
on foot that were men, beside children. 38. And a mixed 
multitude went up also with them ; and flocks, and herds, 
even very much cattle. 39. And they baked unleavened 
cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, 
for it was not leavened ; because they were thrust out 

37. Six hundred thousand is an almost impossible number ; in 
xxxviii. 26 the number given is even larger ; and it does not include 
women and children. They are supposed to have descended from 
70 persons (i. 5), who entered Goshen 430 years before. After all, it 
would be unreasonable to expect statistical accuracy in these early 
records, edited and compiled, so long after the events described, 
by men who had a natural tendency to magnify the achievements 
of the past. 



of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared 
for themselves any victual. 

40. Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who 
dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. 41. 
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and 
thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that 
all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 
42. It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for 
bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that 
night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of 
Israel in their generations. 

The Passover and “ strangers —43. And the Lord 
said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the 
passover : There shall no stranger eat thereof : 44. but 
every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou 
hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. 45. A 
foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. 
46. In one house shall it be eaten ; thou shalt not carry 
forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house ; neither 
shall ye break a bone thereof. 47. All the congregation of 
Israel shall keep it. 48. And when a stranger shall so¬ 
journ with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, 
let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come 
near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in 
the land : for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 
49. One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto 
the stranger that sojourneth among you. 50. Thus did 
all the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses 
and Aaron, so did they. 51. And it came to pass the 

46. break a bone. Cp. John xix. 36. 

48. come near. Vv. 43-50 are from the Priestly source: 
and this expression probably means “ come to the Temple.” 



selfsame day, that the Lord did bring the children of 
Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies. 

The importance of the sanctification of the Firstborn .— 
xiii. i. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2. Sanctify 
unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb 
among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast : 
it is mine. 

3. And Moses said unto the people, Remember this 
day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house 
of bondage ; for by strength of hand the Lord brought 
you out from this place : there shall no leavened bread 
be eaten. 4. This day came ye out in the month Abib. 
5. And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into 
the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the 
Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he 
sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with 
milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this 
month. 6. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and 
in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord. 7. Un¬ 
leavened bread shall be eaten seven days ; and there 
shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall 
there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. 

8. And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, 
This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me 
when I came forth out of Egypt. 9. And it shall be 
for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial 
between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy 
mouth : for with a strong hand hath the Lord brought 
thee out of Egypt. 10. Thou shalt therefore keep this 
ordinance in his season from year to year. 11. And it 
shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the 
9. For an explanation of this verse, see on verse 16. 



land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to 
thy fathers, and shall give it thee, 12. that thou shalt 
set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the womb, 
and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; 
the males shall be the Lord’s. 13. And every firstling of 
an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb ; and if thou wilt 
not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck : and all the 
firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. 

14. And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time 
to come, saying, What is this ? that thou shalt say unto 
him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from 
Egypt, from the house of bondage : 15. and it came to 
pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the 
Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both 
the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore 
I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the womb, being 
males ; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. 
16. And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for 
frontlets between thine eyes : for by strength of hand 
the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt. 

The route chosen : and the presence of Jehovah. —17. And 
it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that 
God led them not through the way of the land of the 
Philistines, although that was near ; for God said, Lest 

13. redeem, i.e. buy back (so to speak) from Jehovah by the 
sacrifice of an inferior creature : otherwise it was to be considered 
devoted, and so had to be destroyed. 

16. frontlets. The language here seems to be metaphorical : 
“ it will be a reminder to you ” ; but parallel passages in Deuter¬ 
onomy were taken literally, and the Jews wore phylacteries, or 
frontlets, on the left arm and the forehead : these frontlets were 
leather boxes containing pieces of parchment on which were written 
the special passages, e.g. Ex. xiii. 1-10. 

17. Philistines, i.e. by the quickest route to Palestine, due north¬ 
east, to the land occupied by the Philistines soon after the Exodus. 
See on Gen. xxi, 32. 

i 82 


peradventure the people repent when they see war, and 
they return to Egypt : 18. but God led the people about, 
through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea : and 
the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land 
of Egypt. 19. And Moses took the bones of Joseph 
with him : for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, 
saying, God will surely visit you ; and ye shall carry up 
my bones away hence with you. 

20. And they took their journey from Succoth, and en¬ 
camped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21. And 
the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, 
to lead them the way ; and by night in a pillar of fire, 
to give them light; to go by day and night: 22. he 
took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the 
pillar of fire by night, from before the people. 

The pursuit by Pharaoh .— xiv. 1. And the Lord spake 
unto Moses, saying, 2. Speak unto the children of Israel, 
that they turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between 
Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-zephon : before it 
shall ye encamp by the sea. 3. For Pharaoh will say of 
the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the 
wilderness hath shut them in. 4. And I will harden 
Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them ; and I 
will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host ; 
that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And 
they did so. 

5. And it was told the king of Egypt that the people 
fled : and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was 
turned against the people, and they said, Why have we 
done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us ? 
6. And he made ready his chariot, and took his people 
with him : 7. and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and 



all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of 
them. 8 . And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh 
king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: 
and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. 
9. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses 
and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, 
and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi- 
hahiroth, before Baal-zephon. 

Murmurings of the Israelites .—10. And when Pharaoh 
drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, 
behold, the Egyptians marched after them ; and they 
were sore afraid : and the children of Israel cried out unto 
the Lord. ii. And they said unto Moses, Because there 
were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die 
in the wilderness ? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with 
us, to carry us forth out of Egypt ? 12. Is not this the 
word that we did tell thee in Egypt, sajdng, Let us alone, 
that we may serve the Egyptians ? For it had been better 
for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die 
in the wilderness. 

13. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand 
still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew 
to you to day : for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to 
day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14. The 
Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. 


The sites of the three places, Pi-hahiroth, Migdol, and 
Baal-zephon, are unknown. The Israelites started from 

8 . with an high hand may mean either (1) proudly, or (2) through 
the act of Jehovah. 


Raamses, and reached Succoth, identified with Pithom 
(Pi-Tum ), the position of which we know. The exact spot 
at which the crossing took place is impossible to decide. 
The chief alternatives are the northernmost point of the 
Gulf of Suez, and the southernmost point of the Bitter 
Lakes east of Goshen. The deliverance of Israel was 
effected by the providential occurrence of a wind, de¬ 
scribed in the narrative as east. If the route chosen was 
across the head of the lake it must have been an exception¬ 
ally strong south-east wind, the Sirocco, which would 
drive the waters of the lake towards the north-west, and 
allow the Israelites to march safely across. Then, when 
the wind changed to the north-west, the waters would 
return at a great speed and overwhelm the pursuing army. 

xiv. 15. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest 
thou unto me ? speak unto the children of Israel, that 
they go forward : 16. but lift thou up thy rod, and stretch 
out thine hand over the sea, and divide it : and the children 
of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the 
sea. 17. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the 
Egyptians, and they shall follow them : and I will get 
me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his 
chariots, and upon his horsemen. 18. And the Egyptians 
shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me 
honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his 

The crossing of the Red Sea , and destruction of the Egyptian 
army. —19. And the angel of God, which went before the 
camp of Israel, removed and went behind them ; and the 
pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood 
behind them : 20. and it came between the camp of the 



Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud 
and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these : 
so that the one came not near the other all the night. 
21. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea ; and 
the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind 
all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters 
were divided. 22. And the children of Israel went into 
the midst of the sea upon the dry ground : and the waters 
were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their 
left. 23. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after 
them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, 
his chariots, and his horsemen. 24. And it came to pass, 
that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host 
of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, 
and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25. and took off 
their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily : so 
that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; 
for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians. 
26. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine 
hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon 
the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horse¬ 
men. 27. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the 
sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning 
appeared ; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the 
Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 
28. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, 

20. and it was a cloud... to tiiese. R.V. “ and there was the cloud 
and the darkness, yet gave it light by night.” The A.V. represents 
an attempt to make sense of a difficult passage, of which no certain 
solution has been found. 

24. morning - watch. The night, from sunset to sunrise, was 
divided into three equal watches : the Romans divided it into four. 
Both systems were used by Jews in N.T. times. 

25. took off. R.V. marg., “Some ancient versions read, bound” 
This gives a more natural sense, referring to the heavy ground. 



and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came 
into the sea after them ; there remained not so much as 
one of them. 29. But the children of Israel walked upon 
dry land in the midst of the sea ; and the waters were 
a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 
30. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand 
of the Egyptians ; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon 
the sea shore. 31. And Israel saw that great work which 
the Lord did upon the Egyptians : and the people feared 
the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses. 

The song of Moses. —xv. 1. Then sang Moses and the 
children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, 

I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed 
gloriously : the horse and his rider hath he thrown into 
the sea. 

2. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become 
my salvation : he is my God, and I will prepare him an 
habitation ; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 

3. The Lord is a man of war : the Lord is his name. 

4. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the 
sea : his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 

1. rider, i.e. chanoteer. 

1-18. “ In beauty of style, forceful and nervous language, and 
poetic skill, this song is unsurpassed. It stands as one of the finest 
specimens of Hebrew lyric poetry ” (McNeile, Exodus, p. 88). 

The principal differences in the R 


2. prepare him an habitation. 

14. The people shall hear, and 

be afraid : sorrow shall take 
hold on the inhabitants of 

15. shall be . . . shall take hold 

. . . shall melt. 

16. shall fall . . . shall be. 

V. are as follows : 


praise him. 

The peoples have heard, they 
tremble : pangs have taken hold 
on the inhabitants of Philistia. 

were . . . taketh hold . . . are 

falletli . . . they are. 


5. The depths have covered them : they sank into the 
bottom as a stone. 

6. Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in 
power : thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces 
the enemy. 

7. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast 
overthrown them that rose up against thee : thou sentest 
forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. 

8. And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were 
gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, 
and the depths were congealed in the heart of the 

9. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will 
divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them ; 
I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 

10. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered 
them : they sank as lead in the mighty waters. 

11. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods ? 
who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, 
doing wonders ? 

12. Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth 
swallowed them. 

13. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which 
thou hast redeemed : thou hast guided them in thy strength 
unto thy holy habitation. 

14. The people shall hear, and be afraid : sorrow shall 
take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. 

15. Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed ; the 

13-18. This song is almost certainly of later date than Moses : this 
is shown most clearly in these verses, which imply a knowledge of 
the entrance into Canaan and the centralisation of national worship 
at Jerusalem. 

15. dukes = chieftains. 



mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon 
them ; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. 

16. Fear and dread shall fall upon them ; by the great¬ 
ness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone ; till 
thy people pass over, 0 Lord, till the people pass over, 
which thou hast purchased. 

17. Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them m the 
mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which 
thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O 
Lord, which thy hands have established. 

18. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. 

19. For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots 
and with his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought 
again the waters of the sea upon them ; but the children 
of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. 

The song of Miriam. —20. And Miriam the prophetess, 
the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand ; and all 
the women went out after her with timbrels and with 
dances. 21. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the 
Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and 
his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 

18. The song of Moses ends with this verse : verse 19 is a com¬ 
piler’s “ gloss,” summarising the historical facts. 

19. horse. Read “ horses.” 

Pharaoh. It is not stated, either here or in xiv. 28, that 
Pharaoh himself was drowned. The mummy of Merenptah has 
been identified with practical certainty. However, both here 
and in Psalm cxxxvi. 5, the death of Pharaoh is distinctly implied ; 
and it must be remembered that there is no absolute proof of the 
identification of Merenptah with the Pharaoh of the Exodus. 

20. the prophetess. The title here, as in the case of DebSrah, 
signifies poetic inspiration. Probably the “ song of Miriam ” is 
simply the Elohistic version of the “ Song of Moses,” which belongs 
to the Jehovistic source. 





i. Canon primarily means the “ standard ” to which 
a book, or portion of a book, must attain in respect of its 
historical, moral, and religious value, in order to be ranked 
among the authoritative sacred Scriptures. Hence the 
term, from being used of the standard by which a book 
was judged, has come to be applied to the body of books 
themselves, which have satisfied the requirements of this 
standard. Thus the “ Old Testament Canon ” means 
those sacred books of Hebrew literature which were judged 
by the Hebrews to satisfy these requirements, just as the 
“ New Testament Canon ” means that body of sacred 
books which were judged by the early Christian Church 
to satisfy the requirements of the Christian standard. 
These two bodies of sacred literature, the one translated 
from the original Hebrew and Aramaic, the other translated 
from the original Greek, together form our Bible. 

Besides those books which are included in the Old 
Testament and the New Testament, there existed many, 
and exist some, which, though valuable in their religious 
and moral teaching, were yet not considered sufficiently 
valuable to be admitted respectively into the Old Testa¬ 
ment and New Testament Canons. Such books are called 



Apocryphal ; that is, obscure, unrecognised, or spurious. 
Some of these are comprised in the “ Apocrypha,” which 
is often bound up with our modern Bibles, being placed 
after the end of the Old Testament. Parts of this are read 
in the English Church services, since they afford a good 
“ example of life and instruction of manners.” 

There is, derived from the other two, yet a third meaning 
of the term “ Canon.” Since the sacred writings which 
are admitted into the Bible conform to a given standard, 
so in their turn they form the standard by which religious 
doctrines are judged. A doctrine, or belief, is canonical 
if it can be justified by the authority of the. canonical 
books of the Bible ; it is uncanonical, though not neces¬ 
sarily wrong, if it cannot thus be proved. 

2. How and when was it decided which of the books 
of Hebrew sacred literature were worthy to be accounted 
canonical, and which should be relegated to the lower 
sphere of uncanonical works ? In other words, when 
did the Hebrews decide what was, and what was not, 
part of their “ Bible ” ? The answer is this. The Canon 
was not suddenly fixed by any one body of men, by any 
council, nor at any one time. It was the gradual result 
of criticism, appreciation, use, and experience. If any 
part of their sacred writings was felt by the Jews to be 
valuable and useful and helpful and true, and was there¬ 
fore continuously used by them as a source of their 
knowledge of God, and recognised as being part of His 
message by which He gradually, and more and more clearly 
as time went on, revealed Himself to them and showed 
them what He would have them be, and what His purpose 
was towards them, then this part would be accepted by 
them as authoritative or canonical. Thus part of the 



Canon would have become fixed. Later on, another part 
would, by a similar critical process, be added to their 
Canon ; and eventually, by about the time of our Lord, 
the entire Canon of the Old Testament, as we have it, 
would have been completed. We can, as a matter of 
fact, trace, though not with perfect clearness, this process. 
In quite early days the Decalogue was accepted in this 
way. It had been delivered to the Israelites by Moses, 
of whose personality only the most extreme critics of 
the Bible have ever had any doubt. To this were added 
in course of time the other different and more highly 
developed injunctions of the Hebrew law ; until, after 
the specific promulgation of the Deuteronomic law by 
King Josiah in 621 b.c., and the careful collection of 
all their legislative documents by the scholars of the 
Exile, the first great part of the Canon, the Law (Torah), 
which we call the Pentateiich, was completed (445 b.c.). 

By degrees, and by the same tests—the value, truth, 
and inspiration of the books—there was added to the 
Canon its second great volume, the Prophets (Nebhiim), 
as the Jews called it. This volume consisted of the 
following books : Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets, from 
Hosea to Malachi. This part of the Canon was defined 
before the end of the third century b.c. 

The third volume of the Canon, which was called the 
Sacred Writings (Kethubhim, or in Greek, Hagiographa), 
embraced the Psalms, the Song of Solomon, Lamentations, 
Ruth, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, the prophet 
Daniel, and the Sapiential Literature, i.e. Proverbs, Job, 
and Ecclesiastes. It was probably accepted into the 
Canon by about the Christian era, though the date is not 

194 The canon 

certain. Daniel, which was the last book of the Old 
Testament to be composed (165 b.c.), is quoted by our 
Lord, who refers by name, too, to the other two volumes, 
the Law and the Prophets ; but some books in this last 
volume are not mentioned by our Lord or the apostles, 
and it is therefore argued by some that this volume was 
not entirely complete in their day. But this negative 
argument from silence is not conclusive evidence ; and 
it is certain that the Jewish Bible in our Lord’s time was 
practically, if not completely, identical with the Old 
Testament Canon as we have it. Thus the Old Testament 
Canon rests upon the highest possible authority, no less 
than that of Christ Himself. 1 

3. A word remains to be said upon the earliest version 
of the Hebrew Bible in a foreign language—that called 
the Septuagint, in Greek. This translation was rendered 
necessary owing to the spread of the Greek tongue as a 
familiar vehicle of speech, side by side with the vernacular 
Aramaic, throughout Syria and Palestine in the third 
and second centuries before Christ. Tradition has it that 
the work of translation was begun in the third century b.c., 
at Alexandria, under the auspices of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 
King of Egypt from 285 to 247 b.c. Of this we cannot be 
certain. But it is known with certainty that the work 
was only achieved slowly. The “ Law ” was the first 
part to be translated, and then the work was continued 
at different times and by different hands. Some portions 
of the version are far inferior to others, both in accuracy 
and style. At some date before the end of the pre- 
Christian era the translation of the whole Canon was 

1 See G. Adam Smith, Modern Criticism and the Preaching of the 
Old Testament, Lecture I. 



eventually completed; and the result was, and is, most 
valuable as an assistance to the correction and inter¬ 
pretation of the Hebrew text as it has come down to us. 



To the date of the Crossing of the Red Sea 

References.—“ D. G.” are to pages in Genesis, Driver (Westminster 


,, “ B. L. E.” are to pages in Light from the East, Ball. 

„ “ McN.” ,, ,, Exodus , McNeile (West¬ 

minster Commentaries). 

I. Mesopotamia 

1. Creation Narratives. 

D. G. 26-31 and 51-4. 

For the second Bible narrative, see also B. L. E. 

2. Paradise (“ Edinu,” Sacred Tree and Cherubim) 

D. G. 51-4 ; B. L. E. 28-33. 

3. “ Adam.” 

D. G. note on Gen. ii., verse 20. B. L. E. 20-21. 

4. Flood Narratives. 

D. G. 80, 103-8. 

5. Nimrod (Gen. x. 8-12). 

D. G. 122-3. 

6. Tower of Babel . 

D. G. 136-7. B. L. E. 69. 


7. Ur of the Chaldees. 

D. G. xlviii., xlix., 142 footnote. 

8. Amraphel ( — Hammurabi), etc., Gen. xiv. 

D. G. 156-8, 171-3. B. L. E. 65-70. McN. 
xxxix., xlvii. seq. 

II. Egypt 

XVth—XVIIth Dynasties ( Hyksos Kings). 

D. G. 347. 

McN. 12. 

D, G. 346 (Baba). 

XVIIIth Dyn. ( Thothmes III.). 

D. G. li., lii. (name Yacob-el in Palestine). 
Amenhotep III. and IV. (Tel-el-Amarna Letters). 

D. G. xxix., 125, 167-8. 

B. L. E. 86-94. 

XIXth Dyn. ( Ramses II.). 

McN. Addenda (Raamses). 

McN. xciii., xciv. (Pithom). 

B. L. E. 109-13 (Slave-labour in Egypt). 

D. G. lii. (Mt. of Asher). 


McN. 13 (The Pharaoh of the Exodus). 

McN. cix. and note, andB. L. E. 129 ( <f Israel is 
desolated ”). 

McN. cx. and note (Frontier Policy). 

N.B.—See also Authority and Archeology, ed. by D. G. 
Plogarth, Part First. 




References to Bible Illustrations, Appendix to “Helps to 
the Study of the Bible ” : Oxford University Press, 1896. 

Plate Iv. . . . 

,, lviii. . . . 

,, lix. . . . 

,, Ixvii.-lxix. . 
,, lxx. . . . 

„ lxxi. . . . 

„ lxxii., lxxiii. 

Ra, the Sun-god. 

Embalming in Egypt. 

Ramses II. 

Ramses II. 

Strangers coming into Egypt. 
Egyptian granaries. 
Brick-making in Egypt. 



Gen. i. 27. 
ii. 24. 

ii. 2. The Sabbath rest . 
ii. 7. The first man, Adam 

Summary of history from time 
of Abraham . 

xxii. 18. rThe blessing on the seed of ^ 
xii. 3.1 Abraham J 

The faith of Abraham . 

Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, 
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and 
Moses, as examples of faith, 
xxi. 1-21. Children of promise, as op¬ 
posed to children of bond¬ 
age ..... 

| Creation of man and woman . 

Matt. xix. 3-6. 

Heb. iv. 4. 

1 Cor. xv. 45. 

Acts vii. 

Acts iii. 25. 
Gal. iii. 8. 
Rom. iv. 

Heb. xi. 

Gal. iv. 21-v. 1, 


Ex. iii. 6. 
ix. 16. 

xii. 46. 

xiii. 2. 

The God of the living . . Matt. xxii. 32. 

God’s divine purpose . . Rom. ix. 17. 

“ A bone of him shall not be 
broken . . . . John xix. 36. 

The sanctification of the 
firstborn . Luke ii. 23. 



Order in the 


English Equivalent, 







Nisan or Abib. 




Ziv or Xyyar. 







iv. , 













Tishri or Ethanim. 




Marcheshvan or Bui. 









J anuary. 









* The “ civil ” year is the older Hebrew year, which began in 
autumn. But in early days, before the Exile, the Babylonian 
calendar, by which the year began in spring, was also in use in 
Palestine. This latter calendar was adopted for ritual purposes, 
and the festivals were arranged according to it. Therefore the year 
according to this computation is called the “ sacred ” year. 


Abel-mizvaim (G. 1 . n), some¬ 
where E. of Jordan. 

A dmah (G. xiv. 2), S. of Dead Sea. 

Akaba, Gulf of, right-hand fork 
of Red Sea, E. of Sinaitic 

Allon-bachuth (G. xxxv. 8), near 

Amalekites (G. xiv. 7), dwelt 
round* Kadesh, half-way be¬ 
tween Judah and the G. of 

Amorites (G. xiv. 7, xv. 21 ; 
E. iii. 8), (1) people in N.E. 
Canaan, (2) general name for 

Ararat (G. viii. 4), country S. 
of Caucasus, in Armenia. 

Ashteroth Karnaim (G. xiv. 5), in 
Bashan, E. of Sea of Galilee. 

Assyria (G. ii. 14), capital 
Nineveh, on the Tigris. 

Baal-zephon (E. xiv. 2, 9), 

somewhere near Suez, N. of 
Red Sea. 

Babel (G. xi. 9) = Babylon, on 
the Euphrates. 

Beer-lahai-roi (G. xvi. 14), near 
Kadesh, in desert 50 m. S. 
of Beer-sheba. 

Beer-sheba (G. xxi. 31 seq. t xx ii. 
19, xxvi. 23 seq., xlvi. 1 seq.), 

S. limit of Palestine, 25 m. 
S.W. of Hebron. 

Beer-sheba, Wilderness of (G. 
xxi. 14. See Beer-sheba. 

Bela (G. xiv. 2), somewhere S. 
of Dead Sea. 

Bered (G. xvi. 14), unknown. 

Beth-el (G. xii. 8, xiii. 3, xxviii. 
11 seq., xxxv. 1 seq.), about 
10 m. N. of Jerusalem. 

Bethlehem (G. xxxv. 19), 6 m. 
S. of Jerusalem. 

Canaan {passim ), old name of 

Cush (G. x. 6) = S. Egypt, or 

Damascus (G. xiv. 15), capital 
of Syria, N.E. of Mt. Hermon. 

Dothan (G. xxxvii. 17), N. of 
Samaria, on the plain between 
the plains of Sharon and 

Edar, Tower of (G. xxxv. 21), 
somewhere between Hebron 
and Bethlehem. 

Eden (G. ii. 8 seq.), between 
R. Tigris and R. Euphrates. 

Edom (G. xxxii. 3), S.E. of 

Egypt {passim), N.E. Africa, 
Valley of the Nile. 




Elam (G. xiv. i), N.E. of Persian 

El-bethel (G. xxxv. 7), at Beth-el. 

El-elohe-Israel (G. xxxiii. 20), 
at Shechem. 

Ellasar (G. xiv. i), S.E. of Baby¬ 

El-paran (G. xiv. 6) = Elath, 
at N. point of G. of Akaba. 

Emims (G. xiv. 5), a Moabite 
giant race E. of Dead Sea. 

En-mishpat (G. xiv. 7) =Kadesh. 

Enoch, City of (G. iv. 17), un¬ 

Ephrath (G. xxxv. 16). See 

Etham (E. xiii. 20), E. of Succoth 
in Egypt, N.W. of Suez. 

Ethiopia (G. ii. 13), S. of Egypt. 
See Cush. 

Euphrates (G. ii. 14, xv. 18), 
flows S.E. into Persian Gulf. 

Galeed (G. xxxi. 47). See 

Gerar (G. xx. 1, xxvi. 1 seq.), 
near Kadesh. 

Gihon (G. ii. 13), unknown. 

Gilead (G. xxxi. 21 seq.), country 
E. of Jordan, S.E. of Sea of 

Girgashites (G. xv. 21), un¬ 
known ; a Canaanite people. 

Gomorrah (G. xiii. 10, xiv. 2, 
xviii. 20 seq.), S. of Dead 

Goshen (G. xiv. 10, xlvi. 28 seq., 
xlvii. 27 : E. ix. 26), a district 
whose capital was 40 m. N.E. 
of Cairo. 

Hat (G. xii. 8) == Ai, 2| m. 
S.E. of Beth-el, 

Ham (G. xiv. 5) = Rabbath 
Ammon, N.E. of Dead Sea. 

Haran (G. xi. 31) = Carrhae, in 
N.W. of Mesopotamia. 

Havllah (G. ii. 11), N.E. of 

Hazezon-tamar (G. xiv. 7) = 
Engedi, in the centre of W. 
of Dead Sea. 

Hebron (G. xiii. 18, xxiii. 2, 
xxxv. 27, xxxvii. 14), about 
20 m. S.W. of Jerusalem. 

Hiddekel (G. ii. 14) = R. Tigris : 
flows into Persian Gulf. 

Hittites (G. x. 15, xv. 20 : E. 
iii. 8), a people to the far 
north of Palestine, with off¬ 
shoots in Palestine. 

Hivites (E. iii. 8), a Canaanite 

Hobah (G. xiv. 15), 50 m. N. of 

Horeb (E. iii. 1 seq.). See p. 149. 

Horites (G. xiv. 6), a people 
S.E. of Dead Sea. 

Ishmaelites (G. xxxvii. 25), 
nomad tribes S. of Palestine. 

Jebusites (G. xv. 21, E. iii. 8), 
pre-Israelite inhabitants of 

Jegar-sahadutha (G. xxxi. 47) 
— Gilead. 

Jehovah-jireh (G. xxii. 14), in 
the ‘ land of Moriah,' which 

Jordan (G. xiii. 10), river flowing 
down centre of Palestine. 

Kadesh (G. xiv. 7, xvi. 14, xx. 1), 
in desert between Judah and 
G. of Akaba, half-way be¬ 
tween Beer-sheba and Elath. 



Kadmonites (G. xv. 19), a tribe 
E. of Canaan. 

Kenites (G. xv. 19), a tribe in S. 

Kenizzites (G. xv. 19), a tribe in 
S. Canaan. 

Kirfath-arba (G. xxiii. 2) — 


Lahai-roi (G. xxiv. 62, xxv. 
u) = Beer-lahai-roi. 

Luz (G. xxviii. 19, xxxv. 6) = 

Machpelah, cave of (G. xxiii. 9, 
xxv. 9, 1 . 13), near Hebron. 

Mahanaim (G. xxxii. 2), in 
Gilead, near R. Jordan. 

Mamre (G. xxiii. 1 7) — Hebron. 

Mesopotamia (G. xxiv. 10), 
country between R. Tigris and 
R. Euphrates. 

Midian (E. ii. 15 seq.), S.E. of 
Canaan, E. of G. of Akaba. 

Midianites (G. xxxvii. 28), 
people of Midian. 

Migdol (E. xiv. 2), somewhere 
E. of Delta of R. Nile. 

Mizpah (G. xxxi. 49), a height 
in Gilead. 

Mizraim (G. x. 6) Egypt. 

Moriah, Land of (G. xxii. 2), 

Nineveh (G. x. 11), capital of 
Assyria, on R. Tigris. 

Nod (G. iv. 16), unknown ; 
‘ east of Eden.’ 

On (G. xli. 45) = Heliopolis, 
N.E. of Cairo. 

Pad an-ar am (G. xxv. 20, xxviii. 

2 seq.), district round Haran, 
in Mesopotamia. 

Paran, Wilderness of (G. xxi. 21), 
due N. of G. of Akaba. 

Peniel, Penuel (G. xxxii. 30, 31), 
E. of Jordan, S. of R. Jabbok. 

Perizzites (G. xiii. 7, xv. 20, 
E. iii. 8), a Canaanite tribe. 

Philistines (G. xxi. 32, xxvi. 1), 
S.W. of Palestine, W. of 

Pi-hahiroth (E. xiv. 2, 9), some¬ 
where to N.W. of Suez. 

Pison (G. ii. 11), unknown ?' a 
river of Eden. 

Pithom (E. i. 11), practically 
identical with Succoth ; due 
W. of the Bitter Lakes, N.W. 
of G. of Suez. 

Raamses (E. i. 11), 8 m. S.W. of 
Pithom, E. of the Nile Delta. 

Rameses (E. xii. 37) = Raamses. 

; Rameses, Land of (G. xlvii. 11), 
district E. of Nile Delta. 

Rephaims (G. xiv. 5, xv. 20), a 
giant people of S.W. Canaan. 

Salem (G. xiv. 18) = Jerusalem. 

Seir (G. xiv. 6, xxxii. 3, xxxiii. 
14 seq.), country of the Edom 
ites, S.E. of Palestine. 

Shalem (G. xxxiii. 18), close to 

Shaveh, Valley of (G. xiv. 17), 
near Jerusalem. 

Shaveh Kiviathaim (G. xiv. 5)* 
N. of R. Arnon, E. of Dead 

Shechem (G. xxxiii. 18, xxxv. 4, 
xxxvii. 12-14), centre of hill 
country E. of Plain of Sharon, 



between Mts. Ebal and 

Shinar (G. x. io, xi. 2) = Baby¬ 

Shur (G. xvi. 7, xx. 1, xxv. 18), 
district beyond the E. borders 
of Egypt. 

Sichem (G. xii. 6) = Shechem. 

Siddim, Vale of (G. xiv. 3, 10), 
S. of Dead Sea. 

Sodom (G. xiii. 10 seq., xiv. 2, 
xviii. 20 seq.), S. of Dead 

Succoth (1) (G. xxxiii. 17), E. of 

R. Jordan, near R. Jabbok. 
(2) (E. xii. 37, xiii. 20) = Pi- 
thom, in Egypt. 

Ur of the Chaldees (G. xi. 28), 
half-way between Babylon 
and Persian Gulf. 

Zeboiim (G. xiv. 2), S. of Dead 

Zoav (G. xiii. 10, xix. 22), S. of 
Dead Sea. 

Zuzims (G. xiv. 5), giant'people 
N.E. of Dead Sea. 


Aaron, 154-88 
Abel, 19-21 

Abimelech, 62, 63, 75-8 
Abraham, 39-68, 73, 74 
— family of, 69 
Abram, 41-52 
Adam, 14-18, 23 
Adhonai, 119, 154 
age of earth, 3, 4 
agriculture, 18, 20 
altar of Noah, 32 

-Abraham at Shechem, 42 ; 

at Beth-el, 42 ; at Hebron, 45 ; 

-Isaac at Beer-sheba, 77 

-Jacob at El-elohe-Israel, 

97 ; at El-beth-el, 98 
Amraphel, 45-7 
anachronism, 128 
angel, 57, 68, 93, 132 
anthropomorphism, 5, 8 
antiquity of man, 4 
Apepa II., 101 
ark of Noah, 27-32 

-Moses, 147 

Ark, The, 147 
Asenath, 113 
Asshur, 35 
atonement, 173 

Babel, Tower of, 35, 36 
Babylonian myths, 5, 8, 25 
baker, Pharaoh’s, 108-111 
bdellium, 14 

Benjamin, 99, 115-25, 136 
Ben^oni, 99 
Bible, The, xi 

birthright, 75 
bitter herbs, 175 
blessing: by Isaac, of Jacob, 
80-82 ; of Esau, 83 ; by Jacob, 
of Joseph’s sons, 131-3 ; of 
his own sons, 133-6 
blood = life, 32 
" boiled,” 168 
booths, 97 
bottle, 61 
brick, 156, 157 
brimstone, 59 
brotherhood of man, 19 
Bush, The Burning, 150 
butler, Pharaoh’s, 108-11 

Cain, 19-23 
Canon of O.T., 189-93 
cave of Machpelah, 65, 74, 138 
Chedorlaomer, 46, 47 
Cherubim, 18 
Circumcision, 52, 53 
civilisation, origin of, 22 
” clean ” animals, 28 
coat, Joseph’s, 102 
Covenant, The old, xi, xii 
covenant of God with Noah, 33, 
34 ; with Abraham, 49, 50 ; of 
Abimelech with Abraham, 62 ; 
with Isaac, 77 
“ created,” 9 
Creation, The, 6-16 
crossing of Red Sea, 184-8 
cubit,- 27 

cup, divining, 121, 122 
curse on : man, 18 ; woman, 17, 




18 ; serpent, 17 ; ground, 18, 

Deborah, 98 
Deuteronomy, xiv, 191 
Devil, The, 16 
divination, 121 
dove, 31 

dreams : of Jacob, 85 ; Joseph, 
103 ; Pharaoh’s butler and 
baker, 108-110; Pharaoh, 

earring, 69, 72 

Eden, Garden of, xvi, 8, 14-19 
Egyptian administration, 128-30 
Eliezer, 49, 67-73 
Elohim, xiii., 6, 9 
Elohistic source, xiii, 104, 188 
El Shaddai, 52, 84, 98 
embalming, 139 
Enoch, 22-4 

— Book of, 23 
Ephraim, 114, 131-3 
Ephron, 65, 66 

Esau, 74, ,75, 79-84, 93-7 
Eve, 18 

Exodus, The, 178 

— numbers of, 178 

— route of, 181-4 
Exodus, Book of, 143 

Fall, The, 16-18 
famine in Egypt, 112-30 
festival: see Passover, Un¬ 

leavened Bread 
firmament, 10 

firstborn, death of, 172, 177, 178; 
sacrifice of, 173 ; sanctifica¬ 
tion of, 180 
Flood, The, 24-34 
forced labour, 145, 156 
" fountains of the deep,” 29, 30 
frontlets, 181 

Garden of Eden : see Eden 
Genesis, Book of, 3-6 
geography, primitive, 14, 48, 

Gershom, 149 
giants, 26 

God, in Genesis, 5, 6, 7 
— Name of, xiii, 9, 52, 154 
gods = teraphim, 89, 98 
grave = Sheol, 105 
“ grove,” 63 

Hagar, 50-2, 60-2 
Ham, 27, 34 

Hammurabi, 14. See Am- 
hamsin, 160 
harvest festival, 173 
“ help meet,” 15 
Heth, 35 

Hexateuch, xiii, xiv 
Hobab, 148 

Hyksos (“ Shepherd ”) kings, 101 
hyssop, 177 

I AM, 150, 151 
“ image, in our,” 12 
images, 89-91 
inspiration, xiv, xv 
Isaac, 60, 63, 64, 67-78, 100 
Ishmael, 51, 52, 54, 61, 62 
Ishmaelites, 104, 105 
Israel, 79, 95, 98 

Jabal, 22 

Jacob, 74, 75, 78-100, 102, 105, 
117-19, 126-8, 130-8 
Jacob’s sons, 99, 100, 133-6, 

144 . I 45 
Japheth, 27, 34 
Jehovah, xiii, 150, 151, 158 
Jehovistic source, xiii., 8,104,188 
Jethro, 148 
Joseph, 100-39 


Judah, 104, 105, 118, 122, 123, 

“ Kings of the Plain,” 45-7 

Laban, 70, 87-93 
lamb, the Paschal, 174-7 
Lamech, 22 

languages, origin of, 35 
Leah, 87, 88, 96 
leaven, 176 
left — north, 48 
lentil, 75 
“ life,” 12 

Lord, The, xiii, 13 
Lord’s Supper, The, 174 
Lot, 41, 43-5, 47, 48, 57-9 
Lot’s wife, 59 

man, creation of, 12-14 
magicians, no, 161 • 

Manasseh, 114, 131-3 
Marduk, 8 
“ mark of Cain,” 21 
Melchizedek, 46, 48 
Merenptah, 143, 145-88 
Messianic references, 17, 134 
metal work, origin of, 22 
Methusaleh, 23 
Midianites, 104, 105 
miracles, 159 
Miriam, 146, 147, 188 
money, by weight, 119 : see 

monotheism, 6, 152 
Moses, 143-88 
— family of, 146 
murder, the first, 19, 21 
music, origin of, 22 

Nephilim, 26 
Nimrod, 34, 35 
Noah, 24, 26-35 
nomad life, 22 

oath, 67 

Old Testament, xi 
onyx, 14 
Ophites, 16 
ovens, 163 

papyrus, 147 
Paradise, 14 
paschal, 174 
Passover, 173-9 
pastoral life, 20 
Pentateuch, xiii, xiv, 191 
Pharaoh : see Apepa, Ramses, 

Pharaoh’s daughter, 147 
phylacteries, 181 
pieces of silver = shekels, 125 
pillar of the cloud, 184, 185 

— of salt, 59 

— of witness, 92 

— sacred, 85, 89, 99 

— sepulchral, 99 
plagues of Egypt, 159-178 
plain — oak, 42 

play on words, 14, 20, 36, 52, 
75 , i33> 138, 147 
plural, use of, with reference to 
God, 12, 35 

poetry, Hebrew : see Song 
Potiphar, 106, 107 
“ Priestly ” source, xiii., 7, 24, 

priests in Egypt, 130 
promises of God to : man, 17 ; 
Noah, 32-4 ; Abraham, 41, 
42, 45, 48, 50, 52, 55, 65 ; 
Isaac, 76, 77 ; Jacob, 82, 84, 
85, 99, 126 ; Judah, 134; 
Moses, 152, 158 
prophet, 160 
prophetess, 188 

“ Prophetic ” source, xiii, 8, • 



Protevangelium , 17 
Puah, 145, 146 

Rachel, 87-91, 96, 99 
rainbow, 33 

Ramses (= Rameses) II., 143 
Rebekah, 69-75, 80, 81, 83, 84 
redemption, 17, 158 
Reuben, 104, 105, 116, 117, 133 
Reuel, 148 

revelation, progressive, 5 
revelation on Horeb, 149-54 
rie, 168 

“ river, The,” = Euphrates, 89 ; 

-Nile, no, 146 

rod, 153, 154, 161-4, 184 

Sabbath, 7, 13 
sacrifice, 32, 63 

— of firstborn : see Firstborn 
Sarah, 53, 55, 60, 65, 66 
Sarai, 41, 43, 50, 51 
Septuagint, 3, 192, 193 
serpent, 16 
shekel, 66, 69 
Shem, 27, 34 
shepherds in Egypt, 127 
“ Shiloh,” 134 
Shiphrah, 145, 146 
Simeon, 116, 120, 134 
sin, 15, 19 

“ sinew that shrank,” 96 
Sirocco, 184 
slime, 35, 47, 147 
“ sod,” 75, 175 
Song of the Sword, 22 

Song of Moses, 186-8 
— of Miriam, 188 
“ sons of God,” 26 
Sources of Hexateuch, xiii, xiv, 
I 44 

stone, sacred, 85: see Pillar 
store-cities, 143, 145 
Sumerian “ Adam,” 23 

“ tempt ” = prove, 63 
Terah, family of, 69 
teraphim, 89-91 
Testament: see Covenant 
Three Men, The, 54-6 
“ translation ” of Enoch, 23 
treasure-cities : see Store-cities 
“ tree of knowledge,” 15 
Tubal-cain, 22 

Unleavened Bread, Feast of, 

1 73 > 176 

vegetarianism, 32 
versions of O.T., xii, 192 

watches, night, 185 
well at Beer-sheba, 62, 77 ; Esek, 
77 ; Sitnah, 77 ; Rehoboth, 

whales, 11 

wind, east, 170; west, 171 ; 

see also Hamsin, Sirocco 
“ windows of heaven,” 29, 30 
woman, 15-18 

Zaphnath-paaneah, 113 
Zipporah, 148 

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“The Dictionary contains an astonishing amount of information com¬ 
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attractive to look at as well. I have no doubt it will supply a need and 
it is already ordered for our library here.” 

E. Lyttelton, Head Master of Eton. 

“I am very glad that you have issued it . . . it will prove exceed¬ 
ingly useful and helpful.”— H. A. James, Head Master of Rugby School. 

“ I know not which most to admire—the type and setting, the illustra¬ 
tions, the excellence of the articles, or the reverent and careful spirit of the 
contributors.”—F. W. Bussell, Brasenose College, Oxford. 


By Sir William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D. With Maps and Illus¬ 
trations. Large Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net. 




v. 1