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Verse 17

17.Then Jacob rose up. The departure of Jacob Moses afterwards more fully relates, he now only briefly says that “he rose up;” by which he means, that as soon as he could obtain the consent of his wives to go with him, he yielded to no other obstacles. Herein appears the manly strength and constancy of his mind. For Moses leaves many things to be reflected upon by his readers; and especially that intermediate period, during which the holy man was doubtless agitated with a multiplicity of cares. He had believed that his exile from home would be only for a short time: but, deprived of the sight of his parents and of his native soil during twenty years, he suffered many things so severe and bitter, that the endurance of them might have rendered him callous, or, at least, might have so oppressed him as to have consumed the remnant of his life. He was now verging towards old age, and the coldness of old age produces tardiness. Yet the flight for which he was preparing was not free from danger. Therefore it was necessary that he should be armed with the spirit of fortitude, in order that the vigor and alacrity of which Moses speaks, might cause him to hasten his steps. And since we read that the departure of the holy man was effected by stealth, and was attended with discredit; let us learn, whenever God abases us, to turn our minds to such examples as this.

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