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That our great Creator, as appears, from the second chaptet of Genesis, in order to fit the first woman for being a wifi to Adam, formed her not out of the earth, but out of Adam's own flesh, so that she was truly a part of his flesh before the became his wife; and when the Almighty presented her to him, Adam said, this is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh, a phrase used for kindred, as is evident from Genesis xxix. 14. Judges ix. 2. 2d Samuel v. 1. and xix. 12, 13. ift Chron. xi. í.
That God, by making at first but one pair, from whom all mankind was to descend, declared that it was his sovereign will, and righteous appointment, that the next marriage should be be between brother and sister.—Had there been any impurity in such marriages, we may be very certain, that infinite power, directed by unerring wisdom and goodness, would never have institụted marriage at first between persons of the same felh, and, by the original constitution of the human race, made marriage betwixt brother and sister necessary, when he could as easily have made two or more pairs, at firit, as one; which would have prevented the necessity for marriage
between brother and sister, and between persons of the fame flesh.
That till the time of Abraham, which was about two thousand years
after the creation, the Scripture gives us no particular account of intermarriages, only, in general, Gen. vi. 2, &c. that the fons of God took wives of the daughters of men ; that is, as it is generally understood, the offspring of Seth took wives of the apostate race of Cain, which was so displeasing to God, that it seems to be represented as one reason of his bringing the flood upon them.
That the first marriages after the deluge, of which we have any particular account, are those of Abraham, who married Sarah his sister, . his own father's daughter, Genesis xx. 12. of Nahor, the brother of Abraham, who married Milcah, his brother Haran's daughter, Genesis xi. 29; of Isaac, Abraham's son, who married Rebecca, the grand-daughter of Milcah, Genesis xxiv. 15, &c.; of Esau, Isaac's son, who having, to the great grief of his pious parents, taken two wives of the descendants of Canaan, Genefis xxvi. 34, 35. married afterwards, in order to please his grieved parents, Mahalath, the daughter of his uncle Ishmael, Genesis xxviii. 8, 9; of Jacob, Efau's brother, who married Leah and Rachel, the daughters of Laban, his uncle by the mother's side, and in this fulfilled the command of his father, Genesis xxix. 10, &c.; of Judah, the son of Jacob, who married a Ca5
naanite, haanite, Genesis xxxviii. 1, 2. and in whose time it was cuftomary for a man to marry his brother's widow, if the brother had died without children, Genesis xxxviii. 7--II; of Joseph, the brother of Judah, who, by the King of Egypt's order, married Asenah, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, Genesis xli. 45; of Amram, the son of Kohath, 'who married Jochebed, his father's sister, Exod. vi. 20. and Numba xxvi. 58, 59; and of Mofes, the son of Amram, who married Zipporah, the daughter of Reual; or Jethro, priest of Midian, Exod. ii. 15; 21; but this marriage with a woman not of his kindred, produced trouble afterwards, Numb. xii. 1, and Exod. iv. 255 26. And, on the whole, it is plain, he observes that fome of the best of God's people, not only married their kindred, but recommended the same practice to their children and that those who married their near kindred, had the bleflings of God more conspicuously on their offspring, than those who married remotely.
Inquiring into the state of the case under the Mofaic Difpensation, our Author intimates, that the laws which have for some agės been taken for prohibitions of marriages between near kindred, are contained in the first twenty verses of the eighteenth chapter of Leviticus ; and that the punishments; which were to be inflicted on the gross and notorious breakers of those laws, are, in the twentieth chapter of the fame book, from the tenth to the twenty second verse, annexed to each particular precept...
In order to fix the true meaning of these laws, he enters upon the explanation of the Hebrew words, rendered in our yersion near of kin, uncover the nakednessyj and wife.
He begins with the phrase uncover the nakednefs, and finds the word on, nakedness, put in many places for the secret parts, as in Genesis ix. 20-23; and xxviii. 42; and used for the weak or unguarded parts of a country, as in Genesis xlii. 9; and for uncleanness, filthiness, sindecency, as in Deut. xxiii. 14, and xxiv. 1 ; for whoredom and adultery, Ezek. xvi. 35-38; for disgrace, Isaiah xlvii. 1, 3; Hab. ii. 49: 5. Lam, i, 8, 9.,
And having examined the holy Scriptures with all the care and impartiality he was capable of, he ventures to affirm, that - the phrase uncover the nakedness, is never : once used in Scrip
ture for marriage, nor yet for the lawful use of the marriagebed: but that a phrase, quite contrary to it, is there used in that senfe, namely, spreading a skirt or garment over a woman, and covering her nakedness, as in Ruth iii. 9; Jer. iii. 14. compared with Ezek. xvi. 8; whence he concludes, that the Rev. Aug. 1756.
expression, expression, uncover the nakedness, as introduced in the above Mofaic laws, can only be understood to be a prohibition of the act of uncleanness, and of every thing incentive of it.
As to what is meant by 702 Re, translated near of kin. The word 781', translated kindred, faith Dr. Willet on this text, fignifieth properly a remainder, because the kindred is, tanquam aliquid carnis, as a part or remnant of one's flesh; but Mr. Ainsworth, in his note on it, affirms it fignifieth flesh, and for proof of it cites Psal. lxxiii. 26. Prov. v. 11. and xi. 17. 7wa fignifies also flesh, and is used for kindred, Genesis xxix. 14. On the whole, fays our Author, it is plain, that the phrase must mean, one who is Aesh of the lame Aeth. And hence he thus paraphrases Lev. xviii. 6. None of you, namely, no man, Thall come near any wo
man descended from the same ftesh, to do any action, or • use any freedom, fuch as may be a temptation to him to
commit adultery or fornication with her. And insinuates, that this may be extended to any woman whatsoever, all the offspring of our first parents being the fame flesh and blood.
As to the word 7ex, wife; it fignifies in Hebrew, a woman, whether married or unmarried, and it is from the context and connection, that we must judge when it is used for a man's wife, and when for a single woman. Our Author, therefore, views and compares Lev. xviii. 8, 14, 15, 16, 20, and Lev. xx. 10, IT, 20, 21. in order to determine how this word is to be understood in these verses. He, in the first place, collates the twentieth verse of the eighteenth chapter, with the tenth verse of the twentieth, and supposes that it will be admitted, even by those who differ from him in the main point, that the word wife, in these places, denotes a woman whose husband is alive; otherwise this must be a prohibition. of marrying a widow-woman, plainly contrary to the doctrine of St. Paul, as well as to the opinion and practice of Christians in general: and next he collates verses 8, 14, 15, 16. of chapter xviii, with verses 11, 20, and 21, of chapter XX. observing, upon verse 14, that the words translated, she is thy aunt, might as well have been rendered, he is thy father's brother's wife, as noted in the margin of some of our old Bibles, tho' it is omitted in the translation now in use ģ and remarking farther, on all the above verses of the eigh teenth chapter, compared with the eleventh and twentieth verses of chapter xx. that the Verb, joined with wife, or nakedness, being placed in the Present Tense, it is thy father's nakedness, she is thy father's brother's wife, &c. thews, that the meaning is, that the wives, there spaken of, were such as
had their husbands, there mentioned, then alive, when the crime is supposed to be committed upon them; for after theit deaths, it cannot be properly said, it is; but only it was their nakedness, as the Apostle argues, 1 Cor. vii. 4) 29. On the twenty-first verfe of chapter xx. he adds, that the word there tranflated an unclean thing, signifies; as the margin of
Bible observes, a separation; and that therefore the whole verse may be thus exprefled, "If a mani take his brother's
wife, to commit lewdness with her, he hath thereby made a separation betwixt her and her husband, and done that i wicked thing, which the law I gave you, chap. xviii. 16,
was principally intended to prevent; they shall therefore, < for such their wickedness, be put to death, and not suffered
to have a child, by such an unlawful and detestable act." Bo that, hence it is plain, the word wife myst, in propriety, be taken here for a woman whose husband is living; for how else could it be a separation betwixt her and her husband's or how could the man thereby uncover his brother's naked ness, since the woman's nakedness was his brother's no longer than whilft he lived ? and if it is unreasonable to understand the word wife, in the twentieth verse of chapter *x. for a widow woman, as is above shewn, and is in itself very evidents it is also unreasonable to take it, in that sense, in any of those other texts here examined. And hence arises another good argument to prove, that the phrase uncover the nakedness, in these laws, when used for carnal knowlege, muft mean adultery or fornication with near kindred, and not marriages withi them.
In considering the import of verses feventeen and eighteen; of Genefis chap. xviii. our Author admits; that it is probable those texts, Genesis xviii. 17. and Genesis xx. 14. do both telate to the same thing, not only because all the difference betwixt them is, that the one mentions the mother first, and adds the grand-daughter, whilst the other mentions the daugh ter first, and omits the grand-daughter ; but also because the heinous nature of the crime is prohibited, in both places, by the same word 707 which is translated it is wickedness, a word which no where occurs, either in the said eighteenth or twentieth chapters, but only in these two places, the word 10, in the seventeenth verse of the twentieth chapter, rendered it is a wicked things being of a much milder signification. But then, adds he, it is very evident, that the marrying a mother and her daughter, or grand-daughter; of a daughter and her mother succesively, one after the death of the other, which is generally understood to be meant, cannot be the
thing here prohibited. For it cannot be a greater crime for a man to marry his mother in law, or daughter in law, than it would be to marry his own mother. But it is plain, the crime here prohibited is a greater one, it being set forth by a more emphatical word, as a high and extraordinary wickedness; and the punishment to be inflicted for the breach of it, is the most severe of any mentioned in the Levitical law, viz. burning with fire; and that not only the man and woman, whọ might be supposed to be guilty of this fin after the mother or daughter's death, but he and they, that is the man, together with the mother and her daughter, or grand-daughter: which demonstrates, that the punishment was to be inflicted for something done by them whilst they were all living. And having remarked, concerning the fourteenth verse of the twentieth chapter, that the word there rendered wife, is the very fame wih what is rendered woman in the 17th, 18th, and 19th verses of the 18th chapter, and in the 18th verse of the 20th chapter; adds, that there is as good reason to translate it woman also in this 14th verse, and therefore thinks this 14th verse should be read thus, if a man take a woman and her mother, & c. viz. o uncover their nakedness, that is, to debauch them. For the words, to take a woman, may as well fignify to take her to debauch her, as to take her to wife ; see Genesis xxxiv. 2. Upon the whole, be observes, as to the 17th verse of the 18th chapter, and the 14th verse of the 20th chapter, when collated together, that they allude to, and prohibit the Israelites from complying with a custom prevailing among some heathen nations, and, probably, at that time even amongst the Canaanites, with whom the Jews dwelt, of qualifying themselves for the priesthood, by lying with their mothers, daugh'ters, and sisters. See Bishop Jer. Taylor, Duct. Dubit. b. ii. chap. 2. fect. 23. p. 224. and Mr. Jurieu, General Hift. p.
For he who debauches his mother and sister, debauches a woman and her daughter; and he who debauches his mother and his daughter, debauches a woman and her grand-daughter. And since to be a prielt, was to be a man of great dignity, for the priests were nobles and privy-counsellors in those countries; (see Mr. Chandler's Defence of the prime-ministry and character of Joseph, p. 403, 419, 421, 422, and 424;) it is no unreasonable conjecture to suppose, that people aspired after grandeur then, as well as in latter times; and that, therefore, not only the man himself might desire it, but his mother, filter, and daughter, might permit that to be done, which not only qualified him for preferment, but was a cause of their own advancement also, The temptation, therefore,