And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Genesis 25:19 to Genesis 35:29).
THE BIRTH OF ISAAC’S SONS. Abraham begat Isaac
Abraham begat Isaac—The Tôldôth in its original form gave probably a complete genealogy of Isaac, tracing up his descent to Shem, and showing thereby that the right of primogeniture belonged to him; but the inspired historian uses only so much of this as is necessary for tracing the development of the Divine plan of human redemption.
The Syrian.—Really, the Aramean, or descendant of Aram. (See Genesis 10:22-23.) The name of the district also correctly is “Paddan-Ararn,” and so far from being identical with Aram-Naharaim, in Genesis 24:10, it is strictly the designation of the region immediately in the neighbourhood of Charran. The assertion of Gesenius that it meant “Mesopotamia, with the desert to the west of the Euphrates, in opposition to the mountainous district towards the Mediterranean,” is devoid of proof. (See Chwolsohn, Die Ssabier, 1, p. 304.) In Syriac, the language of Charran, padana means a plough (1Samuel 13:20), or a yoke of oxen ( 1Samuel 11:7); and this also suggests that it was the cultivated district close to the town. In Hosea 12:12 it is said that “Jacob fled to the field of Aram;” but this is a very general description of the country in which he found refuge, and affords no basis for the assertion that Padan-aram was the level region. Finally, the assertion that it is an ancient name used by the Jehovist is an assertion only. It is the name of a special district, and the knowledge of it was the result of Jacob’s long-continued stay there. Chwolsohn says that traces of the name still remain in Faddân and Tel Faddân, two places close to Charran, mentioned by Yacut, the Arabian geographer, who flourished in the thirteenth century.
Isaac intreated the Lord.—This barrenness lasted twenty years (Genesis 25:26), and must have greatly troubled Isaac; but it would also compel him to dwell much in thought upon the purpose for which he had been given to Abraham, and afterwards rescued from death upon the mount Jehovah-Jireh. And when offspring came, in answer to his earnest pleading of the promise, the delay would serve to impress upon both parents the religious significance of their existence as a separate race and family, and the necessity of training their children worthily. The derivation of the verb to intreat, from a noun signifying incense, is uncertain, but rendered probable by the natural connection of the idea of the ascending fragrance, and that of the prayer mounting heavenward (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:4).
The children struggled together.—Two dissimilar nations sprang from Abraham, but from mothers totally unlike; so, too, from the peaceful Isaac two distinct races of men were to take their origin, but from the same mother, and the contest began while they were yet unborn. And Rebekah, apparently unaware that she was pregnant with twins, but harassed with the pain of strange jostlings and thrusts, grew despondent, and exclaimed—
If it be so, why am I thus?—Literally, If so, why am I this? Some explain this as meaning “Why do I still live?” but more probably she meant, If I have thus conceived, in answer to my husband’s prayers, why do I suffer in this strange manner? It thus prepares for what follows, namely, that Rebekah wished to have her condition explained to her, and therefore went to inquire of Jehovah.
She went to enquire of the Lord.—Not to Shem, nor Melchizedek, as many think, nor even to Abraham, who was still alive, but, as Theodoret suggests, to the family altar. Isaac had several homes, but probably the altar at Bethel, erected when Abraham first took possession of the Promised Land (Genesis 12:7), and therefore especially holy, was the place signified; and if Abraham were there, he would doubtless join his prayers to those of Rebekah.
20. פדן padān, Paddan, "plowed field;" related: "cut, plow."
25. עשׂי ‛êśâv, 'Esaw, "hairy, or made."
26. יעקב ya‛ăqôb, Ja'aqob, "he shall take the heel."
27. תם tām, "perfect, peaceful, plain." The epithet refers to disposition, and contrasts the comparatively civilized character of Jacob with the rude temper of Esau.
30. אדים 'ědôm, Edom, "red."
The ninth document here begins with the usual phrase, and continues to the end of the thirty-fifth chapter. It contains the history of the second of the three patriarchs, or rather, indeed, as the opening phrase intimates, of the generations of Isaac; that is, of his son Jacob. Isaac himself makes little figure in the sacred history. Born when his mother was ninety, and his father a hundred years of age, he is of a sedate, contemplative, and yielding disposition. Consenting to be laid on the altar as a sacrifice to God, he had the stamp of submission early and deeply impressed on his soul. His life corresponds with these antecedents. Hence, in the spiritual aspect of his character he was the man of patience, of acquiescence, of susceptibility, of obedience. His qualities were those of the son, as Abraham's were those of the father. He carried out, but did not initiate; he followed, but did not lead; he continued, but did not commence. Accordingly, the docile and patient side of the saintly character is now to be presented to our view.
The birth of Esau and Jacob. "The son of forty years." Hence, we learn that Isaac was married the third year after his mother's death, when Abraham was in his hundred and fortieth year. "Bethuel the Aramaean." As Bethuel was a descendant of Arpakshad, not of Aram, he is here designated, not by his descent, but by his adopted country Aram. By descent he was a Kasdi or Kaldee. Sarah was barren for at least thirty years; Rebekah for nineteen years. This drew forth the prayer of Isaac in regard to his wife. The heir of promise was to be a child of prayer, and accordingly when the prayer ascended the fruit of the womb was given. Rebekah had unwonted sensations connected with her pregnancy. She said to herself, "If it be so," if I have conceived seed, "why am I thus," why this strange struggle within me? In the artlessness of her faith she goes to the Lord for an explanation. We are not informed in what way she consulted God, or how he replied. The expression, "she went to inquire of the Lord," implies that there was some place of worship and communion with God by prayer. We are not to suppose that she went to Abraham, or any other prophet, if such were then at hand, when we have no intimation of this in the text. Her communication with the Lord seems to have been direct. This passage conveys to us the intimation that there was now a fixed mode and perhaps place of inquiring at the Lord. The Lord answers the mother of the promised seed. Two children are in her womb, the parents of two nations, differing in their dispositions and destinies. The one is to be stronger than the other. The order of nature is to be reversed in them; for the older will serve the younger. Their struggles in the womb are a prelude to their future history.
19. these are the generations—account of the leading events in his life.And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Genesis 25:25-34)
19–34 (P and J). Esau and Jacob. Esau sells his Birthright
Genesis 25:19-20 are from P, Genesis 25:21-34 from J.
19. And these are the generations] See Genesis 25:12. With this familiar formula (cf. Genesis 2:4) commences the next section from P, which deals with the story of Isaac and his two sons, Esau and Jacob.Verse 19. - And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son. The usual formula for the opening of a new section (cf. Genesis 2:4). Abraham begat Isaac. A reiteration in perfect harmony not only with the style of the present narrative, but of ancient historiography in general; in this instance specially designed to connect the subsequent streams of Isaac's posterity with their original fountain-head in Abraham. Genesis 25:1 Chronicles 1:28-31)
To show that the promises of God, which had been made to Ishmael (Genesis 16:10. and Genesis 17:20), were fulfilled, a short account is given of his descendants; and according to the settled plan of Genesis, this account precedes the history of Isaac. This is evidently the intention of the list which follows of the twelve sons of Ishmael, who are given as princes of the tribes which sprang from them. Nebajoth and Kedar are mentioned in Isaiah 60:7 as rich possessors of flocks, and, according to the current opinion which Wetzstein disputes, are the Nabataei et Cedrei of Pliny (h. n. 5, 12). The Nabataeans held possession of Arabia Petraea, with Petra as their capital, and subsequently extended toward the south and north-east, probably as far as Babylon; so that the name was afterwards transferred to all the tribes to the east of the Jordan, and in the Nabataean writings became a common name for Chaldeans (ancient Babylonians), Syrians, Canaanites, and others. The Kedarenes are mentioned in Isaiah 21:17 as good bowmen. They dwelt in the desert between Arabia Petraea and Babylon (Isaiah 42:11; Psalm 120:5). According to Wetzstein, they are to be found in the nomad tribes of Arabia Petraea up to Harra. The name Dumah, Δούμεθα Αουμαίθα (Ptol. v. 19, 7, Steph. Byz.), Domata (Plin. 6, 32), has been retained in the modern Dumat el Jendel in Nejd, the Arabian highland, four days' journey to the north of Taima. - Tema: a trading people (Job 6:19; Isaiah 21:14; mentioned in Jeremiah 25:23, between Dedan and Bus) in the land of Taima, on the border of Nejd and the Syrian desert. According to Wetzstein, Dma and Tma are still two important places in Eastern Hauran, three-quarters of an hour apart. Jetur and Naphish were neighbours of the tribes of Israel to the east of the Jordan (1 Chronicles 5:19), who made war upon them along with the Hagrites, the Αγραῖοι of Ptol. and Strabo. From Jetur sprang the Ituraeans, who lived, according to Strabo, near the Trachonians in an almost inaccessible, mountainous, and cavernous country; according to Wetzstein, in the mountains of the Druses in the centre of the Hauran, possibly the forefathers of the modern Druses. The other names are not yet satisfactorily determined. For Adbeel, Mibsam, and Kedma, the Arabian legends give no corresponding names. Mishma is associated by Knobel with the Μαισαιμανείς of Ptol. vi. 7, 21, to the N.E. of Medina; Massa with the Μασανοί on the N.E. of Duma; Hadad (the proper reading for Hadar, according to 1 Chronicles 1:30, the lxx, Sam., Masor., and most MSS) with the Arabian coast land, Chathth, between Oman and Bahrein, a district renowned for its lancers (Χαττηνία, Polyb.; Attene, Plin.).
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