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Verse 28

God give thee of the dew of heaven - Bp. Newton's view of these predictions is so correct and appropriate, as to leave no wish for any thing farther on the subject.

"It is here foretold, and in Genesis 27:39 , of these two brethren, that as to situation, and other temporal advantages, they should be much alike. It was said to Jacob: God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine; and much the same is said to Esau, Genesis 27:39 ; : Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above. The spiritual blessing, or the promise of the blessed seed, could be given only to One; but temporal good things might be imparted to both. Mount Seir, and the adjacent country, was at first in the possession of the Edomites; they afterwards extended themselves farther into Arabia, and into the southern parts of Judea. But wherever they were situated, we find in fact that the Edomites, in temporal advantages, were little inferior to the Israelites. Esau had cattle and beasts and substance in abundance, and he went to dwell in Seir of his own accord; but he would hardly have removed thither with so many cattle, had it been such a barren and desolate country as some would represent it. The Edomites had dukes and kings reigning over them, while the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. When the Israelites, on their return, desired leave to pass through the territories of Edom, it appears that the country abounded with Fruitful Fields and Vineyards: Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country; we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells; Numbers 20:17 . And the prophecy of Malachi, which is generally alleged as a proof of the barrenness of the country, is rather a proof of the contrary: I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness, Malachi 1:3 ; for this implies that the country was fruitful before, and that its present unfruitfulness was rather an effect of war, than any natural defect in the soil. If the country is unfruitful now, neither is Judea what it was formerly." As there was but little rain in Judea, except what was termed the early rain, which fell about the beginning of spring, and the latter rain, which fell about September, the lack of this was supplied by the copious dews which fell both morning and evening, or rather through the whole of the night. And we may judge, says Calmet, of the abundance of those dews by what fell on Gideon's fleece, Judges 6:38 , which being wrung filled a bowl. And Hushal compares an army ready to fall upon its enemies to a dew falling on the ground, 2 Samuel 17:12 , which gives us the idea that this fluid fell in great profusion, so as to saturate every thing. Travellers in these countries assure us that the dews fall there in an extraordinary abundance.

The fatness of the earth - What Homer calls ουθαρ αρουρης , Ilias ix., 141, and Virgil uber glebae , Aeneid i., 531, both signifying a soil naturally fertile. Under this, therefore, and the former expressions, Isaac wishes his son all the blessings which a plentiful country can produce; for, as Le Clerc rightly observes, if the dews and seasonable rains of heaven fall upon a fruitful soil, nothing but human industry is wanting to the plentiful enjoyment of all temporal good things. Hence they are represented in the Scripture as emblems of prosperity, of plenty, and of the blessing of God, Deuteronomy 33:13 , Deuteronomy 33:28 ; Micah 5:7 ; Zechariah 8:12 ; and, on the other hand, the withholding of these denotes barrenness, distress, and the curse of God; 2 Samuel 1:21 . See Dodd.

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