Class Notes on Sacred History
Volume I: The Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Ruth and Job.
J. W. McGarvey (1893)
Table of Contents
AN ACCOUNT OF ABRAHAM
xi. 10-xv. 18.
§ I. HIS FAMILY AND HIS GREAT JOURNEYS. xi. 10-xiii. 4.
1. "The Generations of Shem." xi. 10-26.
- How many generations from Shem to Abram? 9.
- Their average length?
- Why so much shorter than those before the flood?
- Whose family register is this, and when made out? 26.
- What was the age of Noah when Shem was born? 10, cf. vii. 6. [600 - 98 = 502 years.]
- Meaning, then, of v. 32?
2. "The Generations of Terah." 27-32.
- How is the word generations used here? Cf. vi. 9-11.
- Where was Ur of the Chaldees? 28.
- Relationship of Abram and Nahor to their wives? 29; xx. 12.
- Where was Haran, and what  its distance from Ur?
- Cause of starting for Canaan? 31, cf. Acts vii. 2-4.
3. Abram's Migration into Canaan. xii. 1-9.
- Distance and direction from Haran to Beth-el?
- Distinguish the items of the promise. 1-3.
- What was Terah's age at the birth of Abram? 4, cf. xi. 32; Acts vii. 4.
- What the meaning, then, of xi. 26?
- Age of the race when Abram was born?
- Who "the souls that had gotten in Haran"? 5, cf. xiv. 14.
- Where were Shechem and Beth-el? 6, 8.
- Meaning of "oak of Moreh"? 6.
- Why say "the Canaanite was then in the land"? 6, cf. x. 19.
- Does it imply that at the time of writing they had been driven out?
- When did Abram learn to what country he was called? 1, 6, 7, cf. Heb. xi. 8.
4. Abram Visits Egypt. xii. 10-xiii. 4.
- How could there be a sore famine in Canaan, and none in Egypt? 10.
- Who were the Egyptians, and why Abram's fear? xii. 12. [Ans. The Hebrew word translated Egypt is Mizraim, and means the land of Mizraim, son of Ham. x. 13.]
- How justify the deception concerning Sarai? xii. 12, 13.
- How the cause of the plague discovered? xii. 17, 18.
- What and where "the South"? xiii. 3.
- Length of this journey?
§ II. ABRAM'S TROUBLES ON ACCOUNT OF LOT. xiii. 5-xiv. 24.
1. Separation from Lot. xiii. 5-13.
- What kind of soil and surface about Beth-el? Lands of the  Bible, 239.
- Point in the remark about the Canaanite and the Perizzite? 7, cf. 6.
- For what three reasons, then, was the land "not able to bear" Abram and Lot? 6.
- What characteristics here displayed by the two men? 8-11, 13.
- Where was Sodom? 10, 12.
2. The Promise Renewed and a Home Selected. 14-18.
- What privilege now given to Abram? 17.
- Why settle near Hebron? 18.
- Why by "the oaks of Mamre"?
3. Lot Captured and Rescued. xiv. 1-16.
- What the present names of the countries ruled by the four kings? 1.
- Cause of the war? 4, 5.
- What prediction being fulfilled? See ix. 26.
- Where were the countries first subdued in this war? 5-7.
- In what direction, then, was Chedorlaomer moving, when he drew near to Sodom?
- In the name "vale of Siddim," what was Siddim? 3.
- What are slime pits? See margin.
- Whence the name Hebrew? 13, cf. x. 21.
4. An Interview with Melchizedek and the King of Sodom. 17-24.
- How did the king of Sodom escape? 17, cf. 10.
- What city was Salem? See Josephus, Ant. B. I. ch. vii. 3.
- Why did Melchizedek favor Abram? 18-20.
- Why give a tenth? 20.
- What does Paul say of Melchizedek? Heb. vii. 1-4, 15-18.
- Why object to being made rich? 23.
- What impression made on the people of the land by this expedition? 
§ III. OFFSPRING AND CIRCUMCISION. xv. 1-xvii. 27.
1. Definite Promise of a Son. xv. 1-6.
- Why say, "Fear not"? 1, cf. xiv. 15.
- Why would Eliezer be his heir? 3.
- Meaning of "tell"? 5.
- Meaning of "counted it to him for righteousness"? 6.
2. The Promise of Canaan Renewed. 7-21.
- Why did Abram want stronger assurance? 8.
- What new items of information here given? 13, 14, 15, 16, 18.
- Point in the remark about the Amorite? 16.
- Significance of the carcases? 17.
- Of the furnace and the torch? 17.
- Why the "horror of great darkness"? 12, cf. 13.
- Where the two rivers? 18.
- Why not the eastern and western boundaries given?
3. The Birth of Ishmael. xvi. 1-16.
- What moved Sarai to sacrifice her natural feelings for the sake of a son? 2.
- Why had not Abram taken another wife before?
- Why was Hagar sent back to her mistress? 9.
- Why name the child as the angel did? 11.
- Why name the well? 7, 14.
- How long had Abram now been in Canaan? 16, cf. xii. 4.
4. Circumcision Appointed. xvii. 1-14.
- Why say, "I am God Almighty"? 1.
- Was this title used before?
- Meaning of the names? and why the change? 5.
- Perpetuity of circumcision? 13.
- Penalty of neglect? and its meaning? 14.
5. Promise of a Son by Sarai. 15-27. 
- Why the change of Sarai's name? 15, cf. 16.
- Why the laugh? 17.
- Why the request about Ishmael? 18.
- Were many circumcised that day? 23, cf. xiv. 14.
§ IV. THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH. xviii. 1-xix. 38.
1. Abraham Entertains Three Angels. xviii. 1-15.
- Why wash their feet? 4.
- Under what tree? 4, cf. 1.
- Why so much food? 6-8.
- Paul's allusion to this entertainment. Heb. xiii. 2.
- Why did Sarah deny laughing? 15.
2. Abraham Pleads for Sodom. 16-33.
- In what direction did they start? 16.
- Force of the reason for telling Abraham? 18, 19.
- Why say, "I will go down now, and see," etc.? 21.
- How did Abraham know that destruction was contemplated? 23, cf. 21.
- Why say, "for lack of five"? 28.
- Why not bring the number below ten? 32, cf. 25.
- What character and what mental power does this prayer exhibit?
- How had Abraham learned that prayer would be answered?
- What saying of Jesus is illustrated by the answers? Matt. v. 13.
3. The Two Angels Entertained by Lot. xix. 1-11.
- Why sitting in the gate? 1.
- Why propose to abide in the street? 1.
- Why was Lot so urgent? 3.
- Why unleavened bread?
- Is the expression, "all the people," to be taken absolutely?
- Why Lot's proposal concerning his daughters? 8.
4. Lot Rescued and the Cities Destroyed. 12-29. 
- What became of the mob?
- Who were his sons in law? 14.
- Why did Lot linger? 16.
- Why not look behind? 17.
- What evil feared in the mountain? and what mountain?
- Show the severity of Lot's trial. 17, 26.
- What lesson taught by the fate of his wife? 26, cf. Luke xvii. 32.
- What could Abraham see from where he stood? 27, 28.
- Why say, "God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out"? 29.
5. Lot's Daughters Commit Incest. 30-38.
- Why fear to remain in Zoar? 30.
- Why say, "there is not a man," etc.? 31.
- How is their business accounted for?
- What was the character of their descendants? 37, 38, cf. Num. xxv. 1-9; I. Ki. xi. 7.
- Trace all the evil consequences of Lot's choice of a home.
- Why was this last paragraph inserted in the Bible?
§ V. INCIDENTS OF ABRAHAM'S SOJOURN IN THE SOUTH. xx. 1-xxii. 24.
1. Sarah Is Taken by Abimelech. xx. 1-8.
- In what direction from Hebron was Gerar? 1.
- Why say, "thou art but a dead man"? 3.
- The Lord's purpose in this?
2. Abraham Rebuked for Deceiving Abimelech. 9-18.
- Did Abimelech speak from former convictions? or in consequence of his vision? 9, cf. 3-5.
- Was Abraham's excuse a good one? 12, 13.
- Why the presents to Abraham? 14.
- Were the pieces of silver included? or were they a separate gift?  16.
- How long was Sarah in Abimelech's house? 17, 18.
3. The Birth of Isaac. xxi. 1-7.
- Was the conception of Isaac miraculous?
- Give Paul's comments. Heb. xi. 11, 12; Rom. iv. 18-22.
4. The Expulsion of Ishmael. 8-21.
- Cause of the mocking? 9.
- Why did God approve Sarah's demand? 12, 13.
- What kind of "bottle"? 14. See margin.
- Why not see the well sooner? 19.
- Where was the wilderness of Paran? 21.
- Why a wife from Egypt? 21.
- Ishmael's age at the time of expulsion? 5, 8; xvi. 16.
5. A Covenant Made with Abimelech. 22-34.
- Abimelech's motive? 22, cf. xx. 6, 7.
- How would the ewe lambs be witness, and how long? 25, 29, 30.
- Why this device instead of a written contract?
- Of what ancestry were Abimelech and his people? 32, 34, cf. x. 6, 13, 14.
- Why plant a tamarisk tree by the well?
- Why the name of the well? 31.
- Present condition of the well? Lands of the Bible, 257.
- A new title for God. 33.
6. Abraham's Great Trial. xxii. 1-19.
- How was Isaac his "only" son? 2, cf. xxi. 10.
- Where was Moriah? 2, cf. II. Chron. iii. 1.
- Distance from Beer-sheba? Cf. 4.
- Why rise early, and why take wood? 3.
- Why leave the servants behind? 5.
- What considerations made this a severe trial?
- How did it demonstrate Abraham's faith in God? 12. 
- How did he reconcile the command with God's promise? See Heb. xi. 17-19.
- How, with his goodness?
- What good results?
- What addition to the promise? 16, cf. Heb. vi. 13-18.
- Why the name of the place? 14, cf. 8.
7. Abraham Hears from Nahor. 20-24.
- What contrast between Nahor's family and his own?
- Why mention the granddaughter? 23.
- How long since he had seen Nahor?
§ VI. DEATHS AND MARRIAGES. xxiii. 1-xxv. 18.
1. Death and Burial of Sarah. xxiii. 1-20.
- What change of residence? 2, cf. xxii. 19.
- Mode of burial in use in Canaan? 6.
- Why not accept the offers? 6, 11.
- Why weigh the silver, and what its value? 16.
- How was the title conveyed? 17-19.
- What difference from our method?
- Present condition of the caves? Lands of the Bible, 248.
2. Abraham Seeks a Wife for Isaac. xxiv. 1-9.
- Why require an oath? 3.
- Why the hand under the thigh? 2, cf. xiv. 22.
- Why not take a woman of Canaan? 3.
- How know that one could be found among his kindred? 4, cf. xxii. 23.
- Why think God would send his angel? 7.
- Why insist that Isaac shall not go? 8.
3. The Servant's Journey and Prayer. 10-28.
- Why say, "Mesopotamia"? 10. See margin.
- Whose business to draw water? 11.
- Why fix on Rebekah? 16, 17.
- Had  she refused, what would he have done?
- How long to water the camels? 20, cf. 10.
- Why the ring and the bracelets? 22.
- How did he know his prayer was answered? 27.
4. The Servant Received and Entertained. 29-33.
- Why was Laban so eager to welcome the man? 29-31.
- What men were with the servant? 32.
- Why not eat till the errand was told? 33.
5. The Errand Is Told. 34-49.
- Why speak of Isaac's wealth? 35, 36.
- Why, of the oath? 37, 38.
- Why, of his prayer and its answer?
- Did he pray aloud? 45.
- Why the ring on her nose? 47.
- Did he think the angel had come with him? 40, 48.
6. The Marriage Contract. 50-60.
- Why the prompt consent? 50, 51.
- Why the additional presents? 53.
- Why unwilling to delay? 54-56.
- Why Rebekah so willing to go? 58.
- Meaning of the blessing? 60.
7. Rebekah Presented to Her Husband. 61-67.
- What damsels? 61.
- What was Beer-lahai-roi? 62, cf. xvi. 14.
- Why alight and veil herself? 64, 65.
- Why say, Isaac "loved her"? 67.
- Why into Sarah's tent? 67.
8. Second Marriage and Death of Abraham. xxv. 1-11.
- Abraham's age at this marriage? 1, 6; xxiii. 1; xvii. 17.
- How many sons by Keturah? 2.
- What the east country? 6.
- How long was he a sojourner? 7, cf. xii. 4.
- Paul's comment?  Heb. xi. 9, 10, 13-16.
- Meaning of "gathered to his people"? 8.
- Why Ishmael present? 9.
9. "The Generations of Ishmael." 12-18.
- How many sons? 16, cf. 20.
- Why say, "by their villages, and by their encampments"? 16.
- His country? 18.
- Meaning of "before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria"? 18.
- What indication here, as to the place of writing?
HISTORY OF ISAAC AND JACOB.
xxv. 19-xxxvi. 43.
§ I. ISAAC'S FAMILY AND SOME TROUBLES. xxv. 19-xxvi. 35.
1. Births of Jacob and Esau. xxv. 19-26.
- Why the delay in obtaining a wife for Isaac? 20, cf. xxii. 20, 23; xxiv. 3, 4.
- Why the name Jacob? 26.
- How long was Rebekah barren? 26, cf. 20.
2. Esau Sells His Birthright. 27-34.
- What the birthright? Cf. xxv. 5, 6.
- Meaning of Edom? 30. (See Margin.)
- What characteristic of the two indicated? Cf. Heb. xii. 17.
- What is "pottage of lentils"? 34.
- Meaning of "plain" man? (See Margin.) 
3. The Promises Extended to Isaac. xxvi. 1-5.
- What was his intention in going to Gerar? 1, 2.
- Reason for extending the promise? 5.
- What commandments, statutes and laws? 5.
4. Trouble about Rebekah. 6-11.
- Why repeat his father's sin? 9.
- Was this before or after the birth of Jacob and Esau? 1, cf. xxv. 7; xxi. 5; xxv. 22, 26.
- How long since Abraham's affair with Abimelech? xx. 17-xxi. 5; xxv. 26; xxvi. 1.
- How could Abimelech and Phichol still be living?
5. Trouble about Wells. 12-33.
- How reap "in the same year"? and how a hundredfold? 12.
- Why fill the wells? 15.
- Meaning of the names? 20, 21, 22. See margin.
- Was the well of Beer-sheba a new one, or an old one? 33, cf. 18; xxi. 30, 31.
6. Trouble about Esau's Wives. 34, 35.
- Who were the Hittites? 34, cf. xiv. 13; xxiii. 3, 10.
- Why these wives "a grief of mind" to Isaac and Rebekah?
§ II. JACOB'S FRAUD AND FLIGHT. xxvii. 1-xxviii. 22.
1. Isaac's Command and Rebekah's Plot. xxvii. 1-17.
- Motives of the parents? Cf. xxv. 23, 28.
- Why the prophecy (xxv. 23) and the sale of the birthright (xxv. 33) disregarded by Isaac?
2. Jacob Obtains the Blessing. 18-29. 
- Why so many falsehoods? 19, 20, 24.
- What was the blessing? 28, 29.
3. Esau's Disappointment. 30-40.
- Why did Isaac tremble so? 33.
- What difference made between the two sons? 39, 40.
- Paul's comment on Esau? Heb. xii. 17.
- When did Esau actually serve Jacob, and when was the yoke broken? 40, cf. II. Sam. viii. 14; II. Ki. viii. 20-22.
- Honesty of the historian here indicated?
- How did God accomplish his purpose in the case?
4. Esau's Threat and Jacob's Flight. xxvii. 41-xxviii. 5.
- Why wait for the days of mourning? xxvii. 41.
- How did the threat reach Rebekah? 42.
- What her expectation as to Jacob's absence? 44, 45.
- Why give Isaac a different reason for sending him away? 46.
- Where was Paddan-aram? xxviii. 2, cf. xxiv. 10.
- How know that Laban had any daughters? 2.
- What meant by "the blessing of Abraham"? 4.
- How old were Esau and Jacob now? Cf. xxvi. 34, 35.
5. Esau Takes Another Wife. xxviii. 6-9.
- Why not pursue Jacob? 6.
- Did he better his condition?
6. Jacob's Vision of the Ladder. 10-22.
- Why a stone under his head? 11.
- Why not lodge in Luz? 19.
- What promises made to him? 13-15.
- Why such promises to such a man?
- Why not know God was there? 16.
- Why the place dreadful? 17.
- What change in him for the better?
- Cause  of it?
- What defect in the vow? 20-22.
- Why set up the stone? 18.
- Why this place called Beth-el in previous chapters? 1, 9; xii. 8; xiii. 3.
§ III. JACOB'S RESIDENCE IN PADANARAM. xxix. 1-xxx. 43.
1. He Reaches Laban's House. xxix. 1-14.
- Why a stone on the well's mouth? 2, 3.
- Why Laban called son of Nahor? 5, cf. xxii. 23; xxiv. 29.
- Why wait for all the flocks? 8.
- Why did Jacob move the stone? 10.
- Why did he weep? 11.
- How was he her father's brother? 12.
2. He Obtains Leah and Rachel for Wives. 15-30.
- Why service for his wives demanded? 18, 27.
- How could he be deceived? 23.
- Interval between the marriages? 27, 28.
3. Leah Bears Four Sons and Quits Bearing. 31-35.
- The least probable time of these births?
4. Four Sons by the Handmaids. xxx. 1-13.
- Why so anxious for children? 1; xxix. 32, 34.
5. Leah Bears Two More Sons and a Daughter. 14-21.
- What are mandrakes? 14. See Josephus, War, VII. vi, 3; McClintock and Strong.
- How long was she barren? 9, 10, 12.
- Least age of Reuben at birth of Dinah?
6. A Son Born to Rachel. 22-24.
- What reproach? 23.
- Was there any effect from the mandrakes? 22, cf. 14.
7. A New Contract with Laban. 25-43. 
- Why had Jacob made no provision for his own house? 30.
- With what expectations was the new contract made?
- Why was Jacob's device so successful? Cf. xxxi. 9.
- Was he unfair in employing it?
§ IV. JACOB'S RETURN TO CANAAN. xxxi. 1-xxxiii. 17.
1. His Departure from Paddan-aram. xxxi. 1-21.
- What sons had Laban? 1.
- What were the ten changes of wages? 7, 8.
- Why say, "I am the God of Beth-el"? 13.
- In what sense had Laban sold his daughters, and devoured their money? 15.
- What the teraphim, and why stolen? 19.
- What was "the River"? 21.
2. Laban Pursues Jacob. 22-35.
- Who his brethren? 23, cf. 1, 37.
- Where the mountain of Gilead? 23.
- Why not obey the command of God? 24, 29.
- Was Laban sincere in his professions? 27, 28, 31.
- Of what size were the teraphim? 34.
3. Jacob Rebukes Laban. 36-42.
- Were the statements about eating of Laban's rams, and restoring lost animals, true of the first fourteen years? 38, 39, cf. 41, 42.
- When did the six years for his flock come in? 41, cf. xxx. 25, 32-34.
- What the whole time, then, and how distributed?
- How long with Laban till the birth of Joseph, and what accumulated? 41, cf. xxx. 25-32.
4. A Covenant Made and a Monument Erected. xxxi. 43-xxxii. 2. 
- In what sense were all Laban's? 43.
- Meaning of the names? 46, 47, 49.
- How would the pillar and the heap be a witness? 48, 52.
- Items of the covenant? 50, 52.
- Why the sacrifice and the eating? 54.
- Purpose of the vision of angels? xxxii. 1, 2.
5. A Friendly Message to Esau. xxxii. 3-6.
- Where the "land of Seir," and why was Esau there? 3.
- What the purpose of the message? 5.
- Why so greatly alarmed? 7.
6. Jacob Prepares To Meet Esau. 7-12.
- How could the other company escape? 8.
- Show the fitness of his prayer. 9-12.
- What change does it indicate in Jacob? Cf. xxviii. 16.
7. He Sends a Present to Esau. 13-21.
- What the purpose of it? 20.
- What change indicated by the value of the present?
8. Jacob Receives a New Name. 22-32.
- Why say, "his eleven children"? 22.
- How did he learn that the man was a supernatural being? 24-26.
- What did the wrestling signify? 28.
- How had he prevailed with God, and how with men? 28, cf. 11.
- In what sense was he "called no more Jacob"? 28.
- From which of the two names are his posterity called?
- Describe the river Jabbok. 22.
9. The Meeting with Esau. xxxiii. 1-17.
- Why this arrangement of the family? 1-3.
- What overcame the animosity of Esau? 4.
- Why promise to go to Seir? 14. 
- Where was Succoth, and why the booths? Josh. xiii. 27; Lands of the Bible, 352, 471.
§ V. JACOB'S RESIDENCE AT SHECHEM, BETH-EL AND HEBRON. xxxiii. 18-xxxvi. 43.
1. He Settles at Shechem. xxxiii. 18-20.
- Who had lived there before? xii. 6.
- How much land, and why the purchase? 19.
- Why the name of the altar? 20, cf. 28.
- When had he offered sacrifice before? xxxi. 54.
2. His Daughter Is Defiled by Shechem. xxxiv. 1-31.
- Different conceptions of the crime, and why? 7, 8, 31.
- Why did the Shechemites comply? 19-24.
- Were Simeon and Levi alone? 25.
- What common results of fornication are here seen?
- Had Jacob lived with Laban only twenty years, what would have been the present ages of Simeon, Levi and Dinah?
3. Jacob Returns to Beth-el. xxxv. 1-8.
- Why wait for a command to go? 1.
- The distance and direction?
- Why the strange gods not put away sooner? and why now? 2.
- Why the earrings included? 4.
- Why bury them instead of converting them into money? 4.
- Why the "great terror"? 5.
- Meaning of "Rebekah's nurse," and why was she there? 8.
4. The Promises Renewed and a Pillar Set Up. 9-15.
- Why erect another pillar? 14.
- What the drink offering, and  why offered? 14.
- Why give the name a second time? 15, cf. xxviii. 19.
5. The Death of Rachel and the Sin of Reuben. 16-22.
- Distinction between the names Ephrath and Beth-lehem? 16, 19.
- What marks the grave at present? Lands of the Bible, 216.
- Why was Reuben not punished? 22.
- Whither was Jacob journeying? 16, cf. 27.
- Where was Eder? 21, cf. Josh. xv. 21.
6. Jacob's Sons and the Death of Isaac. 23-29.
- Why say, "which were born to him in Paddan-aram"? 26.
- What difference in the two names of Hebron? 27.
- Why was Esau present at the burial? 29.
7. The Generations of Esau. xxxvi. 1-43.
- How is the word generations here used? 1.
- What discrepancies here in the names of Esau's wives? 2, 3, cf. xxvi. 34; xxviii. 9.
- Were they mistakes of the author? or of the transcribers?
- How many sons had he born in Canaan? 4, 5.
- Cause of his removal from Canaan to Seir? 6-8.
- How could this be when he removed before Jacob's return? xxxii. 3.
- Meaning of duke in this passage? 15-19, 29, 30.
- Why name the sons of Seir the Horite? 20.
- How many successive kings are named? 31-39.
- What suggested the remark that these eight reigned in Edom before any king reigned over Israel? 31, cf. xxxv. 10, 11.
- Did they reign before the time of Moses?
- Does the remark imply that there had been kings in Israel?
- If this passage had been  written after there were kings in Israel, would so few Kings of Edom have been mentioned?