II. The condition and treatment of servants make the doctrine that they were mere commodities, an absurdity. St. Paul's testimony in Gal. iv. 1, shows the condition of servants: "Now I say unto you, that the heir, so long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all." That Abraham's servants were voluntary, that their interests were identified with those of their master's family, and that the utmost confidence was reposed in them, is shown in their being armed.—Gen. xiv. 14, 15. When Abraham's servant went to Padanaram, the young Princess Rebecca did not disdain to say to him, "Drink, my Lord," as "she hasted and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink." Laban, the brother of Rebecca, "ungirded his camels, and brought him water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him!" In 1 Sam. ix. is an account of a festival in the city of Zuph, at which Samuel presided. None but those bidden, sat down at the feast, and only "about thirty persons" were invited. Quite a select party!—the elite of the city. Saul and his servant had just arrived at Zuph, and both of them, at Samuel's solicitation, accompany him as invited guests. "And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlor(!) and made them sit in the chiefest seats among those that were bidden." A servant invited by the chief judge, ruler, and prophet in
Targum of Jerusalem, "The souls proselyted in Haran." Jarchi, the prince of Jewish commentators, "The souls whom they had brought under the Divine wings." Jerome, one of the most learned of the Christian fathers, "The persons whom they had proselyted." The Persian version, the Vulgate, the Syriac, the Arabic, and the Samaritan all render it, "All the wealth which they had gathered, and the souls which they had made in Haran." Menochius, a commentator who wrote before our present translation of the Bible, renders it, "Quas de idolatraria converterant." "Those whom they had converted from idolatry"—Paulus Fagius. "Quas instituerant in religione." "Those whom they had established in religion." Luke Francke, a German commentator who lived two centuries ago. "Quas legi subjicerant."—"Those whom they had brought to obey the law."
- This eminent Hebrew scholar was invited to England to superintend the translation of the Bible into English, under the patronage of Henry the Eighth. He had hardly commenced the work when he died. This was nearly a century before the date of our present translation.