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Melchizedek blesses Abram, who CHAP. XIV. refuses to take any of the booty, A. M. cir. 2091. 19 And he blessed him, and I have lift up mine hand unto A. M. cir. 2091. B. C. cir. 1913.
B. C. cir. 1913. said, Blessed be Abram of the the LORD, the most high God, most high God, possessor of heaven and P the possessor of heaven and earth, earth.
23 That ? I will not take from a thread even 20. And blessed be the most high God, to a shoe-latchet, and that I will not take any which hath delivered thine enemies into thy thing that is thiné, lest thou shouldest say, I hand. And he gave him tithes of all
. have made Abram rich : 21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, 24 Save only that which the young men Give me the persons, and take the goods to have eaten, and the portion of the men' which thyself.
went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let 22 And Abram said 10 the king of Sodom, them take their portion.
* Ver. 22; Matt. xi. 25.- Chap. xxiv. 27.-m Heb. vii. 4. • Exod. vi. 8; Dan. xii. 7; Rev. x. 5, 6. - Ver. 19; chap. a Heb. souls.
xxi. 33. - So Esther ix. 15, 16.- Ver. 13. Lord, a character which can be applied to him only, kings. These Abram gave as a tribute to the most as he alone is essentially righteous, and the only Po- high God, who, being the possessor of heaven and earth, tentate; but a holy man, such as Melchizedek, might dispenses all spiritual and temporal favours, and debear this name as his type or representative. 3. Office; mands the gratitude, and submissive, loving obedience, he was a priest of the most high God. The word of all. his subjects. Almost all nations of the earth 1923 cohen, which signifies both prince and priest, be- have agreed in giving a tenth part of their property cause the patriarchs sustained this double office, has to be employed in religious uses. The tithes were both its root and proper signification in the Arabic; afterwards granted to the Levites for the use of the U S kahana signifies to approach, .draw near, have sanctuary, and the maintenance of themselves and their intimate access to ; and from hence to officiate as priest families, as they had no other inheritance in Israel. bfeore God, and thus have intimate access to the Di- Verse 22. I have lift up mine hand] The primitive vine presence; and by means of the sacrifices which mode of appealing to God, and calling him to witness he offered he received counsel and information relative a particular transaction ; this no doubt generally obto what was yet to take place, and hence another ac- tained among the faithful till circumcision, the sign of ceptation of the word, to foretell, predict future events, the covenant, was established. After this, in swearunfold hidden things or mysteries ; so the lips of the fing, the hand was often placed on the circumcised priests preserved knowledge, and they were often the part ; see chap. xxiv. 2 and 9. interpreters of the will of God to the people. Thus Verse 23. From a thread even to a shoe-latchet] we find that Melchizedek, being a priest of the most This was certainly a proverbial mode of expression, high God, represented Christ in his sacerdotal charac- the full meaning of which is perhaps not known. ter, the word priest being understood as before ex- Among the rabbinical writers oin chut, or in chuti, plained. 4. His residence ; he was king of Salem. signifies a fillet worn by young women to tie up their dy shalam signifies to make whole, complete, or per- hair ; taken in this sense it will give a good meaning fect; and hence it means peace, which implies the here. As Abram had rescued both the men and women making whole the breaches made in the political and carried off by the confederate kings, and the king of domestic union of kingdoms, states, families, &c., Sodom ḥad offered him all the goods, claiming only the making an end of discord, and establishing friendship. persons, he answers by protesting against the acceptChrist is called the Prince of peace, because, by hising any of their property : “I have vowed unto the incarnation, sacrifice, and mediation, he procures and Lord, the proprietor of heaven and earth, that I will establishes peace between God and man; heals the not receive the smallest portion of the property either breaches and dissensions between heaven and earth, of the women or men, from a girl's fillet to a man's reconciling both ; and produces glory. to God in the shoe-tie.” highest, and on earth peace and good will among men. Verse 24. Save only that which the young men have His residence is peace and quietness and assurance for eaten] His own servants had partaken of the victuals ever, in every believing upright heart. He governs which the confederate kings had carried away ; see as the Prince and Priest of the most high God, ruling ver. 11. This was unavoidable, and this is all he in righteousness, mighty to save; and he ever lives to claims; but as he had no right to prescribe the same make intercession for, and save to the uttermost all liberal conduct to his assistants, Aner, Eshcol, and who come unto the Father by him. See the notes on Mamre, he left them to claim the share that by right: Heb. vii.
of est belonged to them of the recaptured booty, Verse 19. And he blessed him] This was a part Whether they were as generous as Abram we of the priest's office, to bless in the name of the Lord, not told. for ever. See the form of this blessing, Num. vi. 23–26 ; and for the meaning of the word to bless, see The great variety of striking incidents in this chapGen. . 3.
ter the attentive reader has already carefully noted. Verse 20. And he gave him tilhes] A tenth part To read and not understand is the property of the of all the spoils he had taken from the confederate foolish and the inconsiderate. 1. We have already
God appears again unto Abram, GENESIS.
and renews his promise seen the danger to which Lot exposed himself in pre-, hands of God. 6. Here is a war undertaken by Abram ferring a fertile region, though peopled with the work on motives the most honourable and conscientious; it ers of iniquity. His sorrows commence in the cap- was to repel aggression, and to rescue the innocent tivity of himself and family, and the loss of all his from the heaviest of sufferings and the worst of slavery, property, though by the good providence of God he not for the purpose of plunder nor the extension of his and they were rescued. 2. Long observation has territories; therefore he takes no spoils, and returns proved that the company a man keeps is not an indif- peaceably to his own possessions. How happy would ferer t thing; it will either be the means of his salva- the world be were every sovereign actuated by the tion or destruction. 3. A generous man cannot be same spirit! 7. We have already noticed the appearcontented with mere personal safety while others are ance, person, office, &c., of Melchizedek; and, within danger, nor with his own prosperity while others out indulging in the wild theories of either ancient or are in distress. Abram, hearing of the captivity of modern visionaries, have considered him as the Scriphis nephew, determines to attempt his rescue; he puts tures do, a type of Christ. All that has been already himself at the head of his own servants, three hundred spoken on this head may be recapitulated in a few and eighteen in number, and the few assistants with words. 1. The Redeemer of the world is the King which his neighbours, Mamre, Aner, and Eshcol, could of righteousness; he creates it, maintains it, and rules furnish him; and, trusting in God and the goodness by it. 2. His empire is the empire of peace ; this he of his cause, marches off to attack four confederate proclaims to them who are afar off, and to them that kings ! 4. Though it is not very likely that the armies are nigh; to the Jew and to the Gentile. 3. He is of those petty kings could have amounted to many Priest of the most high God, and has laid down his thousands, yet they were numerous enough to subdue life for the sin of the world; and through this sacrialmost the whole land of Canaan; and consequently, fice the blessing of God is derived on them that behumanly speaking, Abram must know that by numbers lieve, Reader, take him for thy King as well as thy he could not prevail, and that in this case particularly Priest; he saves those only who submit to his authe battle was the Lord's. 5. While depending on the thority, and take his Spirit for the regulator of their Divine blessing and succour he knew he must use the heart, and his word for the director of their conduct. means he had in his power; he therefore divided his How many do we find, among those who would be troops skilfully that he might attack the enemy at sorry to be rated so low as to rank only with nominal different points at the same time, and he chooses the Christians, talking of Christ as their Prophet, Priest, night season to commence his attack, that the small- and King, who are not taught by his word and Spirit, ness of his force might not be discovered. God re- who apply, not for redemption in his blood, and who quires a man to use all the faculties he has given him submit not to his authority ! Reader, learn this deep in every lawful enterprise, and only in the conscientious and important truth: “Where I am there also shall - use of them can he expect the Divine blessing; when my servant be; and he that serveth me, him shall my this is done the event may be safely trusted in the Father honour.”
God appears to Abram in a vision, and gives him great encouragement, 1. Abram's request and complaint,
2, 3. God promises him a son, 4 ; and an exceedingly numerous posterity, 5. Abram credits the promise, and his faith is counted unto him for righteousness, 6. Jehovah proclaims himself, and renews the promise of Canaan to his posterity, 7. . Abram requires a - sign of its fulfilment, 8. Jehovah directs him to offer a sacrifice of five different animals, 9; which he accordingly does, 10, 11. God reveals to him the affliction of his posterity in Egypt; and the duration of that affliction, 12, 13. Promises to bring them back to the land of Canaan with great affluence, 14-16. Renews the covenant with Abram, and mentions the pos
sessions which should be given to his posterity, 18–21. A. M. cir. 2093. AF FTER these things the word | I am thyeshield, and thy A. M. cir. 2093 B. C. cir. 1911.
B. C. cir. 1911. of the LORD came unto exceeding great reward. Abram a in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram; 2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt
- Dan. x. 1; Acts x, 10, 11. 5 Chap. xxvi. 24; Dan. x. 12; Psa. jii. 3 ; v. 12 ; lxxxiv. 11; xci. 4 ; cxix. 114.—Psa. xvi. Luke i. 13, 30.
5; lviu. 11 ; Prov. xi. 18.
paraphrases in the next clause, called 'y's meimeri, Verse 1. The word of the Lord came unto Abram) |“ my word,” and in other places "* *7'n meimera This is the first place where God is represented as daiya, the word of Yeya, a contraction for Jehovah, revealing himself by his word. Some learned men which they appear always to consider as a person ; suppose that the 07177' 727 debar Yehovah, translated and which they distinguish from xging piihgama, here word of the Lord, means the same with the hoyos which signifies merely a word spoken, or any part of FOV Oegu of St. John, chap. i. 1, and, by the Chaldee speech. There have been various conjectures concern,
NOTES ON CHAP. XV.
BC. cir. 1911.
B. C. cir. 1911.
Isaac is promised, A. M. cit. 2093. thou give me, we seeing I go
child- 4 And behold, the word of the A. M. cir. 2093. less, and the steward of my LORD came unto him, saying, house is this Eliezer of Damascus ?
This shall not be thine heir; but he that & shall 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast come forth out of thine own bowels shall be given no seed : and lo, one born in my house thine heir. is mine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and
e Acts vii. 5. Chap. xiv. 14.
62 Sam. vii. 12; xvi. 11 ; 2 Chron. xxxii. 21.
ing the manner in which God revealed his will, not with their history will, without hesitation, say, No. only to the patriarchs, but also to the prophets, evan- What then is intended ? Just what the words state. gelists, and apostles. It seems to have been done in God was Abram's portion, and he is the portion of different ways.
1. By a personal appearance of him every righteous soul ; for to Abram, and the children who was afterwards incarnated for the salvation of of his faith, he gives not a portion in this life. Nomankind. 2. By an audible voice, sometimes accom- thing, says Father Calmet, proves more invincibly the panied with emblematical appearances. - 3. By visions immortality of the soul, the truth of religion, and the which took place either in the night in ordinary sleep, eternity of another life, than to see that in this life the or when the persons were cast into a temporary trance righteous seldom receive the reward of their virtue, by daylight, or when about their ordinary business, and that in temporal things they are often less happy 4. By the ministry of angels appearing in human bo- than the workers of iniquity. dies, and performing certain miracles to accredit their I am, says the Almighty, thy shield-thy constant mission. 5. By the powerful agency of the Spirit of covering and protector, and thy exceeding great reward, God upon the mind, giving it a strong conception and 782 77977 700 sekarcha harbeh meod, “That supersupernatural persuasion of the truth of the things latively multiplied reward of thine.” It is not the perceived by the understanding. We shall see all Canaan I promise, but the salvation that is to como these exemplified in the course of the work. It was through the promised seed. Hence it was that Abram probably in the third sense that the revelation in the rejoiced to see his day. And hence the Chaldee text was given ; for it is said, God appeared to Abram Targum translates- this place, My Word shall be thy in a vision, mind machazeh, from min chazah, to see, strength, fc. or according to others, to fix, fasten, seltle ; hence Verse 2. What wilt thou give me, seeing I go child chozeh, a seer, the person who sees Divine things, to less] The anxiety of the Asiatics to have offspring is whom alone they are revealed, on whose mind they intense and universal. Among the Hindoos the want are fastened, and in whose memory and judgment they of children renders all other blessings of no esteem. are fused and settled. Hence the vision which was See Ward. mentally perceived, and, by-the evidence to the soul And the steward of my house) Abram, understand, of its Divine origin, fixed and settled in the mind. ing the promise as relating to that person who was to
Fear not] The late Dr. Dodd has a good thought spring from his family, in whom all the nations of the on this passage ; " I would read," says he, “ the se- earth should be blessed, expresses his surprise that cond verse in a parenthesis, thus : For Abram Had there should be such a promise, and yet he is about said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go to die childless! How then can the promise be fulchildless, $c. Abram had said this in the fear of his filled, when, far from a spiritual seed, he has not even heart, upon which the Lord vouchsafed to him this a person in his family that has a natural right to his prophetical view, and this strong renovation of the property, and that a stranger is likely to be his heir ? corenant. In this light all follows very properly. This seems to be the general sense of the passage ; Abram had said so and so in ver. 2, upon which God but who this steward of his house, this Eliezer of Daappears and says, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding mascus, was, commentators are not agreed. The transgreat reward. The patriarch then, ver. 3, freely openslation of the Septuagint is at least curious : 'Ode vios the anxious apprehension of his heart, Behold, to me Μασεκ' της οικογενους μου, ούτος Δαμασκος Ελιεζερ: thou hast given no seed, dc., upon which God proceeds The son of Masek my home-born maid, this Eliezer to assure him of posterity.”
of Damascus, is my heir; which intimates that they I am thy shield, fc.) Can it be supposed that Abram supposed pon meshek, which we translate steward, to understood these words as promising him temporal ad- have been the name of a female slave, born in the favantages at all corresponding to the magnificence of mily of Abram, of whom was born this Eliezer, who on these promises ? If he did he was disappointed through account of the country either of his father or mother, the whole course of his life, for he never enjoyed such was called a Damascene or one of Damascus. It is a state of worldly prosperity as could justify the strong extremely probable that our Lord has this passage in language in the text. Shall we lose sight of Abram, view in his parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke and say that his posterity was intended, and Abram xvi. 19. From the name Eliezer, by leaving out the understood the promises as relating to them, and not first letter, Liezer is formed, which makes Lazarus in to himself or immediately to his own family? Then the New Testament, the person who, from an abject the question recors, Did the Israelites ever enjoy such and distressed state, was raised to lie in the bosom of a state of temporal affluence as seems to be intended Abraham in paradise. by the above promise ? To this every man acquainted
Verse 5. Look now toward heaven] It appears that
B. C. cir. 1911.
Abram's sacrifice, and
the manner of offering it. A. M. cir. 2093. said, Look now toward heaven, 8. And he said, Lord God, A. M. cir. 2093.
B. C. cir. 191). and h tell the i stars, if thou be whereby shall I know that I able to number them: and he said unto him, shall inherit it? So shall thy seed be.
9 And he said unto him, 'Take me a heifer 6 And he ? believed in the Lord; and he of three years old, and a she-goat of three m counted it to him for righteousness. years old, and a ram of three years old, and
7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD a turtle dove, and a young pigeon.
h Psa. cxlvii. 4. -i Jer. xxxiii. 22.-- Chap. xxii. 17; • Chap. xi. 28, 31. —P Psa. cv. 42, 44; Rom. iv. 13.—_ See Exod. xxxii. 13; Deut. i. 10; x. 22 ; 1 Chron. xxvi. 23; Rom. chap. xxiv. 13, 14; Judg. vi. 17,37; 1 Sam. xiv. 9, 10; 2 Kings iv. 18; Heb. xi. 12 ; see chap. xiii. 16. 1 Rom. iv. 3, 9, 22 ; xx. 8; Luke i. 18.- Lev. i. 3, 10, 14; xi. 8; xiv. 22, 30 ; Gal. ii. 6; James ii. 23.-m Psa. cvi. 31.
Chap. xii. 1. Luke xi. 24 ; Isa. xv. 5. Jer. xxxiv. 18, 19.
this whole transaction took place in the evening; see which otherwise must necessarily fall. This word
calf; a she-goat, iy ez,' a goat, male or female, but
On the several animals which God ordered Abram any merit of works ; for in this case there could be to take, Jarchi remarks : “ The idolatrous nations are none—no works of Abram which could merit the sal- compared in the Scriptures to bulls, rams, and goats ; vation of the whole human race. It was the promise for it is written, Psa. xxii. 13.: Many bulls have comof God which he credited, and in the blessedness of passed me about. Dan. viii. 20 : The ram which thou which he became a partaker through faith. See at hast seen is the king of Persia. Ver. 21 : The rough the close of the chapter; see also on Rom. iv. goat is the king of Greece. But the Israelites are
Verse 7. Ur of the Chaldees) See on chap. xi. compared to doves, fc.;. Cant. ii. 14: O my dove,
Verse 8. And he said, Lord God] 77177' 37, Ado- that art in the cleft of the rock. The division of the nai Yehovah, my Lord Jehovah. Adonai is the word above carcasses denotes the division and extermination which the Jews in reading always substitute for Jeho- of the idolatrous nations; but the birds not being divah, as they count it impious to pronounce this name. vided, shows that the Israelites are to abide for ever." Adonai signifies my director, basis, supporter, prop, or See Jarchi on the place. stay ; and scarcely a more appropriate name can be Verse 10. Divided them in the midst] The ancient given to that God who is the framer and director of method of making covenants, as well as the original every righteous word and action ; the basis or founda- word, have been already alluded to, and in a general tion on which every rational hope rests; the supporter way explained. See chap. vi. 18.
The word coveof the souls and bodies of men, as well as of the uni- nant, from con, together, and venio, I come, signifies verse in general; the prop and stay of the weak and an agreement, association, or meeting between two or fainting, and the buttress that shores up the building, more parties; for it is impossible that a covenant can
God reveals to Abram
the bondage of his posterity. A. M. cir. 2093. piece one against another : but | horror of great darkness fell A. M..cir. 2093. B. C. cir. 1911.
B. C. cir. 1911. t the birds divided he not. 11 And when the fowls came down
upon 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a the carcasses, Abram drove them away. surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a
12 And when the sun was going down, land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and u a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a they shall afflict them four hundred years ;
· Lev. i. 17.-" Chap. ii. 21 ; Job. iv. 13.-—Exod. xii. 40; Psa. cv. 23; Acts vii. 6.—Exodus i. Il; Psalm cv. 25.
be made between an individụal and himself, whether But this place may be differently understood. God or man. This is a theological absurdity into St. Cyril, in his work against Julian, shows that which
many have run; there must be at least two par- passing between the divided parts of a victim was ties to contract with each other.' And often there was used also among the Chaldeans and other people. As a third party to mediate the agreement, and to witness the sacrifice was required to make an atonement to it when made. Rabbi Solomon Jarchi says, " It was. God, so the death of the animal was necessary to siga custom with those who entered into covenant with nify to the contracting parties the punishment to which each other to take a heifer and cut it in two, and then they exposed themselves, should they prove unfaithful. the contracting parties passed between the pieces." Livy preserves the form of the imprecation used on See this and the scriptures to which it refers particu- such occasions, in the account he gives of the league larly, explained, chap. vi. 18. A covenant always made between the Romans and Albans. When the supposed one of these four things: 1.:That the con- Romans were about to enter into some solemn league tracting parties had been hitherto unknown to each or covenant, they saerificed a hog; and, on the above other, and were brought by the covenant into a state occasion, the priest, or pater patratus, before he slew of acquaintance. 2. That they had been previously the animal, stood, and thus invoked. Jupiter: Audi, Juin a state of hostility or enmity, and were brought by piler! Si prior defecerit publico consilio dolo malo, lum the covenant into a state of pacification and friendship. illo die, Diespiter, Populum Romanum sic ferito, ut 3. Or that, being known to each other, they now'agree ego hunc, porcum hic hodie feriam ; tantoque magis to unite their counsels, strength, property, &c., for the ferito, quanto magis poles pollesque ! Livu Hist., lib. accomplishment of a particular purpose, mutually sub- i., chap. 24:- “ Hear, 0 Jupiter! Should the Romans servient to the interests of both. Or, 4. It implies an in public counsel, through any evil device, first transagreement to succour and defend a third party in cases gress these laws, in that same day, 0 Jupiter, thus of oppression and distress. For whatever purpose a smite the Roman people, as I shall at this time smite covenant was made, it was ever' ratified by a sacrifice this hog; and smite them with a severity proportioned offered to God; and the passing between the divided to the greatness of thy power and might !" parts of the victim appears to have signified that each But the birds divided he not.] According to the agreed, if they broke their engagements, to submit to law, Lev. i. 17, fowls were not to be divided asunder, the punishment of being cut asunder; which we find but only cloven for.the purpose of taking out the infrom Matt. xxiv. 51; Luke xii. 46, was an ancient testines. mode of punishment. This is farther confirmed by Verse 11. And when the fowls] o'yn haayit, birds Herodotus, who says that Sabacus, king of Ethiopia, of prey, came down upon the carcasses to devour them, had a vision, in which he was ordered pegous dlateplev, Abram, who stood by his sacrifice waiting for the to cut in two, all the Egyptian priests ; lib. ii.. We manifestation of God, who had ordered him to prepare find also from the same author, lib. vii., that Xerxes for the ratification of the covenant, drove them away, ordered one of the sons of Pythius jegov DLATELLELV, to that they might neither pollute nor devour what had be cut in two, and one half to be placed on each side been thus consecrated to God. of the way, that his army might pass through between Verse · 12. A deep sleep) 177277 tardemah, the them. That this kind of punishment was used among same word which is used to express the sleep into the Persians we have proof from Dan. ii. 5; Ü.:29. which Adam was cast, previous to the formation of Story of Susanna, verses 55, 59. See farther, 2 Eve; chap. ii. 21. Sam. xii. 31, and i Chron. xx. 3. These authorities A horror of great darkness] Which God designed may be sufficient to show that the passing between the to-be expressive of the affliction and misery into which parts of the divided victims signified the punishment his posterity.should be brought during the four hundred to which those exposed themselves who broke their years of their bondage in Egypt; as the next verse covenant engagements. And that covenant sacrifices particularly states. were thus divided, even from the remotest antiquity, Verse 13. Four hundred years]
“ Which began," we learn from Homer, II. A., v. 460.
says Mr. Ainsworth, “ when Ishmael, son of Hagar, Μηρους τ' εξεταμον κατα τε κνισση εκαλυψαν,
mocked and persecuted Isaac, Gen. xxi. 9; Gal. iv.
, Διπτυχα ποιησαντες, επ' αυτων δ' ωμοθετησαν.
29 ; which fell out thirty years after the promise, Gen.
xii. 3 ; which promise was four hundred and thirty “ They cut the quarters, and cover them with the years before the law, Gal. iii. 17; and four hundred fat; dividing them into two, they place the raw flesh and thirty years after that promise came Israel out of upon them."
Egypt, Exod. xii. 41."