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the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.b

This is the Ishmael who begat twelve princes, and from whom the Ishmaelitish tribes, the Arabs, and some of the Turks, have descended down to this day.




AFTER these things God tried Abraham, and said unto him, "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." 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. On the third day, when they saw the place afar off, he

b Gen. xxi. 16--20.


told his servants to stay behind with the ass; and he took the wood for a burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son. And he took the fire in his hand and a knife, and they went both together. And Isaac said, "My father, behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide himself with a lamb for a burnt offering." And so they went on both of them together.

When they were come to the place which God had told him of, Abraham built there an altar, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham, 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." And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the 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. And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said, "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; 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 and in thy seed shall all the nations

of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." a This was a more particular revelation of the Saviour who was to come than had been given before. It was now revealed, not only that Christ should come, but that he should be Abraham's seed, and that all the nations of the earth should be blessed in him.


WHEN Abraham was one hundred and thirtyseven years old, Sarah died in Hebron. Abraham had lived sixty years in the land of Canaan; but, up to this time, he had not possessed a foot of ground in the country; he had only pastured his numerous flocks upon the open plains, and lived as a stranger among the Canaanites. Now he was desirous of purchasing a piece of land for his own, in order that he might be able to bury his dead in his own inheritance. In the most respectful way he addressed himself to the chief men of the Hittites, and they answered him in the same manner. He requested them to allow him to purchase a piece of land. They begged him to accept of it from them as a present. At last Ephron, one of the chiefs of the Hittites, consented to receive for it four hundred shekels of silver. And Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah at Hebron, over against the grove of Mamre, b

a Gen. xxii. 1-18.

b Gen. xxiii.



WHEN Abraham was very old, he sent the eldest servant of his house to Mesopotamia, the country where his own kindred dwelt, to bring from thence a wife for his son Isaac. And the servant took with him ten camels laden with articles of all kinds, as bridal presents for her whom the Lord had appointed for Isaac. And he came to the city of Nahor, and he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water in the evening, at the time when the women go out to draw water. And he prayed, and said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 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.”


Scarcely had he done speaking, when Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel, came with her pitcher upon her shoulder; and she went to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.' And she said, "Drink, my lord; and I will draw water for thy camels also." And she went and drew water for all his camels. And the man wondered at her while he saw her. And he took a golden earring and two golden bracelets, and put them upon her. And he asked her, "Whose daughter art thou?"


And she answered, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor" (who was Abraham's cousin). Then the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not forsaken his mercy and his truth to my master, and who hath led me in the way to the house of my master's brother.

On the next morning, he said, "Let me go to my master, and hinder me not." Then they asked Rebekah, "Wilt thou go with this man?" And she said, "I will go." And they blessed her, and said, “Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions." And so Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.a


ISAAC was forty years old when he married Rebekah. And when he was sixty years old there were twins born to him. The two brothers were very much unlike one another: the firstborn was rough both in his appearance and in his manners; the second was smooth and fair. The former was named Esau, and the other Jacob. When they grew up, Esau became a hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob followed his father's manner of life, and was a shepherd dwelling in tents. Isaac, however, loved the wild Esau; but Rebekah loved the quiet Jacob best.

It happened one day that Jacob had made a mess of pottage of lentiles, and Esau came home faint with hunting. "Feed me with that same red

a Gen. xxiv. 10-67.

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