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52 GENESIS XIII. 16.

by Manasseh Ben Israel
52 GENESIS XIII. 16. repudiate it. Sampson fell into it with his wife Dalilah, until the truth cost him his life. But the benignant, which affects none, and is of advantage to some one, is permitted in cases of necessity: like that of Abraham to Abimelech, Pharaoh, his young men, the patriarchs Isaac and Jacob— the midwives to Pharaoh — David— Hushai— Elisha, & c, who, by means of it, avoided danger without injuring any one or giving offence. The cause then of Abram thus acting is clear, as R. Nissim, R. Joel ben Soeb, and Don Isaac Abarbanel argued, considering the certain evil that awaited him by saying Sarah was his wife; for being extremely beautiful, there would not be wanting those who would attempt his death to obtain her; and by saying she was his sister, he incurred no danger, but would acquire great favour from princes, who, in the hope of his conceding her to them for wife, might bestow their friendship upon him, and so by amusing them with false hopes, he might eventually free himself and quit the city. But it happened differently to what he thought would be the case ; for the princes who saw her, conceived themselves unworthy of a jewel possessing such singular beauty; and all concluded she was worthy only of a throne and royal sceptre, and she was so extolled to Pharaoh. To conclude, it is said that with truth God created the world, which is depicted in the begin-ning and end of the detail of the creation in Genesis : i. e., ברא אלהים את  God created the. The last letters of the three words form אמת  truth, as do the last letters of the three last words ברא אלהים לעשות  God created and made. It is therefore one of  the Divine attributes, as Jeremiah says,  and the Lord God of truth. 1 3  And they say, that these letters being the beginning, middle, and end of  the alphabet, are the seal of the First Cause who is the beginning, middle, and end, as knowing the past, present, and future; he him-self is therefore Truth, for his Being is alone true, and not dependent on any other cause: for this reason, it is a moral virtue that ought to be esteemed; since, as Don Isaac Abarbanel observes on Zechariah iii, it includes every active precept and theological virtue ; but when unavoidable, and no one is injured thereby, the benignant may be used in the way stated. QUESTION 41. Gen. 13: 16. And I will make thy seed as Gen. 15: 5. And said, Look now toward the dust of the earth. heaven, and tell the stars if thou be able to 28: 14. The same promise to Jacob. number them, and he said unto him, So Hosea. J: 10. Yet the number of the children shall thy seed be. of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered. The Lord promised in the Law that Israel should be as the dust of the earth for multitude, and by the prophet, as the sand of the sea: how then does he tell Abraham that they would be like the stars, whose number are ( apparently) so much smaller. RECONCILIATION. Israel is compared by the verses cited to three things: namely; to the dust of the earth, to the sand of the sea, and to the stars, from different considera- 13 Jer. 10: 10. Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index t

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52 GENESIS XIII. 16. repudiate it. Sampson fell into it with his wife Dalilah, until the truth cost him his life. But the benignant, which affects none, and is of advantage to some one, is permitted in cases of necessity: like that of Abraham to Abimelech, Pharaoh, his young men, the patriarchs Isaac and Jacob— the midwives to Pharaoh — David— Hushai— Elisha, & c, who, by means of it, avoided danger without injuring any one or giving offence. The cause then of Abram thus acting is clear, as R. Nissim, R. Joel ben Soeb, and Don Isaac Abarbanel argued, considering the certain evil that awaited him by saying Sarah was his wife; for being extremely beautiful, there would not be wanting those who would attempt his death to obtain her; and by saying she was his sister, he incurred no danger, but would acquire great favour from princes, who, in the hope of his conceding her to them for wife, might bestow their friendship upon him, and so by amusing them with false hopes, he might eventually free himself and quit the city. But it happened differently to what he thought would be the case ; for the princes who saw her, conceived themselves unworthy of a jewel possessing such singular beauty; and all concluded she was worthy only of a throne and royal sceptre, and she was so extolled to Pharaoh. To conclude, it is said that with truth God created the world, which is depicted in the begin-ning and end of the detail of the creation in Genesis : i. e., ברא אלהים את \\" God created the.\\" The last letters of the three words form אמת \\" truth,\\" as do the last letters of the three last words ברא אלהים לעשות \\" God created and made.\\" It is therefore one of the Divine attributes, as Jeremiah says, \\" and the Lord God of truth.\\" 1 3 And they say, that these letters being the beginning, middle, and end of the alphabet, are the seal of the First Cause who is the beginning, middle, and end, as knowing the past, present, and future; he him-self is therefore Truth, for his Being is alone true, and not dependent on any other cause: for this reason, it is a moral virtue that ought to be esteemed; since, as Don Isaac Abarbanel observes on Zechariah iii, it includes every active precept and theological virtue ; but when unavoidable, and no one is injured thereby, the benignant may be used in the way stated. QUESTION 41. Gen. 13: 16. And I will make thy seed as Gen. 15: 5. And said, Look now toward the dust of the earth. heaven, and tell the stars if thou be able to 28: 14. The same promise to Jacob. number them, and he said unto him, So Hosea. J: 10. Yet the number of the children shall thy seed be. of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered. The Lord promised in the Law that Israel should be as the dust of the earth for multitude, and by the prophet, as the sand of the sea: how then does he tell Abraham that they would be like the stars, whose number are ( apparently) so much smaller. RECONCILIATION. Israel is compared by the verses cited to three things: namely; to the dust of the earth, to the sand of the sea, and to the stars, from different considera- 13 Jer. 10: 10. << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index t
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