Challoner commentary

Genesis 22 : 1

God tempted

God tempteth no man to evil, James 1. 13; but by trial and experiment maketh known to the world, and to ourselves, what we are, as here by this trial the singular faith and obedience of Abraham was made manifest.

Genesis 23 : 7

Bowed down to the people

Adoravit, literally adored. But this word here, as well as in many other places in the Latin scriptures, is used to signify only an inferior honour and reverence paid to men, expressed by a bowing down of the body.

Genesis 24 : 7

He will send his angel before thee

This shews that the Hebrews believed that God gave them guardian angels for their protection.

Genesis 24 : 57

Let us call the maid, and ask her will

Not as to her marriage, as she had already consented, but of her quitting her parents and going to her husband.

Genesis 25 : 6


Agar and Cetura are here called concubines, (though they were lawful wives, and in other places are so called,) because they were of an inferior degree, and such in scripture are usually called concubines.

Genesis 26 : 19


That is, a channel where sometimes a torrent or violent stream had run.

Genesis 26 : 22


That is, wideness, or room.

Genesis 27 : 19

I am Esau thy firstborn

St. Augustine (L. Contra mendacium, c. 10), treating at large upon this place, excuseth Jacob from a lie, because this whole passage was mysterious, as relating to the preference which was afterwards to be given to the Gentiles before the carnal Jews, which Jacob by prophetic light might understand. So far is certain, that the first birthright, both by divine election and by Esau's free cession belonged to Jacobso that if there were any lie in the case, it could be no more than an officious and venial one.

Genesis 27 : 36


That is, a supplanter.

Genesis 28 : 19


This name signifies the house of God.

Genesis 31 : 19

Her father's idols

By this it appears that Laban was an idolater; and some of the fathers are of opinion that Rachel stole away these idols to withdraw him from idolatry, removing the occasion of his sin.

Genesis 32 : 24

A man

This was an angel in human shape, as we learn from Osee 12. 4. He is called God, ver. 28 and 30, because he represented the person of the Son of God. This wrestling, in which Jacob, assisted by God, was a match for an angel, was so ordered (ver. 28,) that he might learn by this experiment of the divine assistance, that neither Esau, nor any other man, should have power to hurt him.-- It was also spiritual, as appeareth by his earnest prayer, urging and at last obtaining the angel's blessing.

Genesis 32 : 30


This word signifies the face of God, or the sight, or seeing of God.

Genesis 34 : 13


The sons of Jacob, on this occasion, were guilty of a grievous sin, as well by falsely pretending religion, as by excess of revengethough otherwise their zeal against so foul a crime was commendable.

Genesis 35 : 10


This name signifieth one that prevaileth with God.

Genesis 35 : 22

The concubine

She was his lawful wife; but, according to the style of the Hebrews, is called concubine, because of her servile extraction.

Genesis 36 : 2


These wives of Esau are called by other names, Gen. 26. But it was very common amongst the ancients for the same persons to have two names, as Esau himself was also called Edom.

Genesis 37 : 5

A dream

These dreams of Joseph were prophetical, and sent from God; as were also those which he interpreted, Gen. 40. and 41.; otherwise generally speaking, the observing of dreams is condemned in the Scripture, as superstitious and sinful. See Deut. 18. 10; Eccli. 34. 2, 3.

Genesis 37 : 10


This word is not used here to signify divine worship, but an inferior veneration, expressed by the bowing of the body, and that, according to the manner of the eastern nations, down to the ground.

Genesis 37 : 35

Into hell

That is, into limbo, the place where the souls of the just were received before the death of our Redeemer. For allowing that the word hell sometimes is taken for the grave, it cannot be so taken in this place; since Jacob did not believe his son to be in the grave, (whom he supposed to be devoured by a wild beast,) and therefore could not mean to go down to him thitherbut certainly meant the place of rest where he believed his soul to be.