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75

Chapter X.

Israel, therefore, avoiding the house of his brother, sent forward his company to Salem, a town of the Shechemites, and there he pitched his tent on a spot which he had purchased. Emor, a Chorræan prince, was the ruler of that town. His son Sychem defiled Dinah, the daughter of Jacob by Leah. Symeon and Levi, the brothers of Dinah, discovering this, cut off by a stratagem all those of the male sex in the town, and thus terribly avenged the injury done to their sister. The town was plundered by the sons of Jacob, and all the spoil carried off. Jacob is said to have been much displeased with these proceedings. Soon after being instructed by God, he went to Bethel, and there erected an altar to God. Then he fixed his tent in a part of the territory belonging to the tower266266    “In parte turris Gadir”: this is a strange rendering of the Hebrew. The LXX has “beyond the tower Gader”; while the Revised English Version has “beyond the tower of Eder.” Gader. Rachel died in childbirth: the boy she bore was called Benjamin. Israel died at the age of one hundred and eighty years. Now, Esau was mighty in wealth, and had taken to himself wives of the nation of the Canaanites. I do not think that, in a work so concise as the present, I am called upon to mention his descendants, and, if any one is curious on the subject, he may turn to the original. After the death of his father, Jacob stayed on in the place where Isaac had lived. His other sons occasionally left him along with the flocks, for the sake of pasturage, but Joseph and the little Benjamin remained at home. Joseph was much beloved by his father, and on that account was hated by his brethren. There was this further cause for their aversion, that by frequent dreams of his it seemed to be indicated that he would be greater than all of them. Accordingly, having been sent by his father to inspect the flocks and pay a visit to his brothers, there seemed to them a fitting opportunity for doing him harm. For, on seeing their brother, they took counsel to slay him. But Reuben, whose mind shuddered at the contemplation of such a crime, opposing their plan, Joseph was let down into a well.267267    “Lacum.” Afterwards, by the persuasions of Judah, they were brought to milder measures, and sold him to merchants, who were on their way to Egypt. And by them he was delivered to Petifra, a governor of Pharaoh.


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