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בס"ד

The Jews and the Mosaic Law

By Isaac Leeser (1843).

Chapter 7

The History of Revelation — Isaac.

Abraham had seen his son Isaac married to his brother's granddaughter, and seen him in possession of all earthly blessings: when he was called hence, to shine in a world more bright than this, to receive the reward for a long life of action and usefulness. When living, even the heathens called him "a prince of God," thus acknowledging his divine mission; and dead — his memory has ever been revered, both by his descendants and those who have joined them. After Abraham's death, Isaac followed his footsteps, and like his father, he walked humbly before the Lord. The first, who was at eight days old joined in the covenant, he lived to an age of a hundred and eighty years, in the same manner, as unostentatious as his father had done before him; and though wealthy and much esteemed, he yet knew that all earthly pomp is vain, and that labor is to man the sweetest of all employments. Thus we find him engaged in agriculture, a careful husbandman and a kind neighbor, even to those who had, without any good cause, offended, envied and even expelled him from their country. And as soon as they came to him as friends, he immediately forgot all animosity, and made the promises they desired of him. Who will not admire so benevolent a being, who forgets an offence, whenever the offender seems to feel contrition?

Isaac also followed his father in other respects, for he also erected altars and taught the worships of God: and to him was repeated the promise made to Abraham, that his descendants should be blessed for Abraham's sake; and thus we have already one reason, why the Jews were chosen to be God's people.

But even on the brightest summer's day, the heavens are often darkened with clouds, and so was it even with Isaac. His two sons, his only children, were at variance; he himself had grown blind; and to add to his calamity, Esau had married two women, who caused him and the meek Rebecca much heart-burning by their wickedness. His misfortunes did not rest here: on account of the blessing, which his younger son Jacob received, he was obliged to part with him, and many a year passed over his head, bereft of his child, who had to dwell among strangers. But at length the sky again brightened, and pleasure revisited the Patriarch's dwelling. Jacob returned from Mesopotamia with a numerous and blooming family, all children of righteousness, to cheer Isaac's declining years, — the brothers had been previously reconciled; and thus, after years of trouble and affliction, the aged father had around him peace and contentment, and he also, like his excellent father Abraham, laid down his head in the grave, honored and respected, happy in having fulfilled his task, and glorying in having proclaimed the wonders of the Creator of the universe.

 
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