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Abram is called
to leave Haran.
Moses wrote. Chesed was the son of Nahor, the son when, and to whom, are comparatively matters of small of Terah, chap. xxii. 22. From Chesed descended importance. It is God's gift ; and his own wisdom the Chasdim, whose language was the same as that of must determine the time, the person, and the place. the Amorites, Dan. i. 4 ; ii. 4. These Chasdim, But if this be the case, have not others cause to comwhence the Xandaloi, Chaldeans, of the Septuagint, plain because not thus favoured ? Not at all, unless Vulgate, and all later versions, afterwards settled on the favouring of the one for a time should necessarily the south of the Euphrates. Those who dwelt in Ur cut off the others for ever. But this is not the case. were either priests or astronomers, Dan. ii. 10, and Abram was first favoured; that time, that country, and also idolaters, Josh. xxiv. 2, 3, 14, 15. And because that person were chosen by infinite wisdom, for there they were much addicted to astronomy, and probably and then God chose to commence these mighty operato judicial astrology, hence all astrologers were, in pro- tions of Divine goodness. Isaac and Jacob also recess of time, called Chaldeans, Dan. ii. 2-5.
ceived the promises, the twelve patriarchs through their The building of Babel, the confusion of tongues, father, and the whole Jewish people through them. and the first call of Abram, are three remarkable par- Afterwards the designs of God's endless mercy were ticulars in this chapter; and these led to the accom- more particularly unfolded; and the word, which seemed plishment of three grand and important designs: 1. to be confined for two thousand years to the descendThe peopling of the whole earth ; 2. The preservation ants of a single family, bursts forth on all hands, salof the true religion by the means of one family ; and vation is preached to the Gentiles, and thus in Abram's 3. The preservation of the line uncorrupted by which seed all the nations of the earth are blessed. Hence the Messiah should come. When God makes a dis- none can find fault, and none can have cause to comcovery of himself-by a particular revelation, it must plain ; as the salvation which for a time appeared to begin in some particular time, and be given to some be restricted to a few, is now on the authority of God, particular person, and in some particular place. Where,' liberally offered to the whole human race !
God calls Abram to leave Haran and go into Canaan, 1 ; promises to bless him, and through him all the families of the earth, 2, 3. Abram, Sarai, Lot, and all their household, depart for Canaan, 4, 5; pass through Sichem, 6. God
appears to him, and renews the promise, 7. His journey described, 8, 9. On account of a famine in the land he is obliged to go into Egypt, 10. Fearing lest, on account of the beauty of his wife, the Egyptians should kill him, he desires her not to acknowledge that she is his wife, but only his sister, 11-13. Sarai, because of her beauty, is taken into the palace of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who is very liberal to Abram on her account, 14-16. God afflicts Pharaoh and his household with grievous plagues on account of Sarai, 17. Pharaoh, on finding that Sarai was Abram's wife, restores her honourably, and dismisses the patriarch with his family and their property, 18–20. 8. 8. 2012. NOW the Lord had said unto father's house, unto a land that I will 6. T. 1993:
Abram, Get thee out of thy show thee : country, and from thy kindred, and from thy 2 b And I will make of thee a great nation,
a Chap. xv. 7; Neh. ix. 7; Isa. xli. 2; Acts vii. 3; Heb. xi. 8.
Chapter xvii. 6; xviii. 18; Deut. xxvi. 5; 1 Kings iü. 8.
NOTES ON CHAP. XII.
into the land (ynv, a land) which I will show thee. Verse 1. Get thee out of thy country] There is Hence it is evident that God had called Abram before great dissension between commentators concerning the he came to Haran or Charran.” The SECOND CALL is call of Abram ; some supposing he had two distinct recorded only in this chapter : “ The Lord said (not calls, others that he had but one. At the conclusion had said) unto Abram, Depart from thy land, and from of the preceding chapter, ver. 31, we find Terah and thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto The all his family leaving Ur of the Chaldees, in order to LAND, 1787-HA-arets, (Septuagint, THN ywv,) which go to Canaan. This was, no doubt, in consequence of I will show thee.” “ The difference of the two calls,” some Divine admonition. While resting at Haran, on says Dr. Hales, “ more carefully translated from the their road to Canaan, Terah died, chap. xi. 32; and originals, is obvious : in the former the land is indefithen God repeats his call to Abram, and orders him to nite, which was designed only for a temporary resiproceed to Canaan, chap. xii. 1.
dence; in the latter it is definite, intimating his abode. Dr. Hales, in his Chronology, contends for two calls : A third condition is also annexed to the latter, that "The first,” says he,“ is omitted in the Old Testament, Abram shall now separate himself from his father's but is particularly recorded in the New, Acts vii. 2-4 : house, or leave his brother Nahor's family behind at The God of glory appeared to dur father Abraham Charran. This call Abram obeyed, still not knowing while he was (at Ur of the Chaldees) in Mesopotamia, whither he was going, but trusting implicitly to the BEFORE HE DWELT IN CHARRAN; and said unto him, Divine guidance." Depart from thy land, and from thy kindred, and come Thy kindred] Nahor and the different branches
A. M. 2083.
B. C. 1921.
Abram and his family
journey towards Canaan. e and I will bless thee, and make they had gathered, and 6 the souls A. M. 2083.
thy name great ; d and thou shalt that they had gotten hin Haran; be a blessing :
and they went forth to go into the land of 3 . And I will bless them that bless thee, and Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they curse him that curseth thee: fand in the came. shall all families of the earth be blessed. 6 And Abram' passed through the land unto
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had the place of Sichem, kunto the plain of Moreh. spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: And the Canaanite was then in the land. and Abram was seventy and five years old ng m And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and when he departed out of Haran.
said, - Unto thy seed will I give this land : 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, his brother's son, and all their substånce that who appeared unto him.
· Chap. xxiv. 35. __ Chap. xxviii. 4; Gal. iii. 14.- Chap. 6 Chap. xiv. 14. -hChap, xi. 31. i Heb. xi.9. Deut. Xxvii. 29; Exod. xxiii. 22 ; Num. xxiv. 9.-- Chap. xviii. 18; xi. 30 ; Judg. vii. 1. Chap. x. 18, 19; xiii. 7. m Chap. xvii. xxii. 18; xxvi. 4; Psa. lxxii, 17; Acts iii. 25; Gal. iii. 8. 1.- Chap. xiii. 15; xvii. 8; Psa. cv.9, 11. Lo Chap. xiu. 4.
of the family of Terah, Abram and Lot excepted. Verse 5. The souls that they had gotten in Haran) That Nahor went with Terah and Abram as far as This may apply either to the persons who were emPadan-Aram, in Mesopotamia, and settled there, so that ployed in the service of Abram, or to the persons he it was afterwards called Nahor's city, is sufficiently had been the instrument of converting to the knowledge evident from the ensuing history, see chap. xxv. 20; of the true God; and in this latter sense the Chaldee xxiv. 10, 15; and that the same land was Haran, see paraphrasts understood the passage, translating it, The chap. xxviii. 2, 10, and there were Abram's kindred souls of those whom they proselyted in Haran. and country here spoken of, chap. xxiv. 4.
They went forth to go into the land of Canaan] A Thy faiher's house] Terah being now dead, it is goodland, possessed by a bad people, who for their very probable that the family were determined to go no iniquities were to be expelled, see Lev. xviii. 25. And farther, but to settle at Charran ; and as Abram might this land was made a type of the kingdom of God.. have felt inclined to stop with them in this place, hence Probably the whole of this transaction may have a farthe ground and necessity of the second call recorded ther meaning than that which appears in the letter. here, and which is introduced in a very remarkable As Abram left his own country, father's house, and manner ; 75 75 lech lecha, GO FOR THYSELF. If none kindred, took at the command of God a journey to this of the family will accompany thee, yet go for thyself promised land, nor ceased till he arrived in it; so should unto THAT LAND which I will show thee. God does we cast aside every weight, come out from among the not tell him what land it is, that he may still cause him workers of iniquity, set out for the kingdom of God, to walk by faith and not by sight. This seems to be nor ever rest till we reach the heavenly country. How particularly alluded to by Isaiah, chap. xli. 2 : Who many set out for the kingdom of heaven, make good raised up the righteous man (Abram) from the east, and progress for a time in their journey, but halt before the called him to his foot; that is, to follow implicitly the race is finished! Not so Abram ; he went forth to go Divine direction. The apostle assures us that in all into the land of Canaan, and into the land of Canaan this Abram had spiritual views; he looked for a better he came. Reader, go thou and do likewise. country, and considered the land of promise only as Verse 6. The plain of Moreh.) 1958 elon should typical of the heavenly inheritance.
be translated oak, not plain ; the Septuagint translate Verse 2. I will make of thee a great nation) i. e., TNV &pvv tnv úvnany, the lofty oak; and it is likely The Jewish people ; and make thy name great, alluding the place was remarkable for a grove of those trees, to the change of his name from Abram, a high father, or for one of a stupendous height and bulk. to Abraham, the father of a multitude.
The Canaanite was then in the land.) This is Verse 3. In thee) In thy posterity, in the Messiah, thought to be an interpolation, because it is supposed who shall spring from thee, shall all families of the that these words must have been written after the Caearth be blessed; for as he shall take on him human na- naanites were expelled from the land by the Israelites ture from the posterity of Abraham, he shall taste death under Joshua ; but this by no means follows. All that for every man, his Gospel shall be preached through- Moses states is simply that, at the time in which Abram out the world, and innumerable blessings be derived on passed through Sichem, the land was inhabited by the all mankind through his death and intercession. descendants of Canaan, which was a perfectly possible
Verse 4. And Abram was seventy and five years old] case, and involves neither a contradiction nor absurdity. As Abram was now seventy-five years old, and his There is no rule of criticism by which these words father Terah had just died, at the age of two hundred can be produced as an evidence of interpolation or and five, consequently Terah must have been one hun incorrectness in the statement of the sacred historian. dred and thirty when Abram was born ; and the seven- See this mentioned again, chap. xii. 7. tieth year of his age mentioned Gen. xi. 26, was the Verse 7. The Lord appeared] In what way this period at which Haran, not Abram, was born. See appearance was made we know not; it was probably on the preceding chapter.
by the great angel of the covenant, Jesus the Christ.
B. C. cir. 1920.
Abram goes to Egypt.
His instruction to Sarar, *A, M. 2083. 8 And he removed from thence 11 And it came to pass, when A. M. cir. 2084
. B. C. 1921.
unto a mountain on the east of he was come near to enter into Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Beon the west, and Hai on the east: and there hold now, I know that thou art ' a fair wohe builded an altar unto the LORD, and P called man to look upon : upon the name of the LORD.
12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the 9 And Abram journeyed, 'going on still Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, toward the south.
This is his wife : and they will kill me, but 10 And there was a famine they will save thee alive. B. C. cir. 1920.
in the land; and Abram went 13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister : down into Egypt to sojourn there, for the that it may be well with me for thy sake ; and famine was "grievous in the land.
my soul shall live because of thee.
A. M. cir. 2084.
p Chap. xiii. 4. -9 Heb. in going and journeying.
xiii. 3.-Chap. xxvi. 1.- Psa. cv. 13.
--Chap. Chap. xliii. 1.- Ver. 14; chap. xxvi. 7.— Chap. xx. 11;
xxvi. 7. Chap. xx. 5, 13; see chap. xxvi. 7.
The appearance, whatsoever it was, perfectly satisfied Went down into Egypt] He felt himself a stranger Abram, and proved itself to be supernatural and Divine. and a pilgrim, and by his unsettled state was kept in It is worthy of remark that Abram is the first man to mind of the city that hath foundations that are permawhom God is said to have shown himself or appeared : nent and stable, whose builder is the living God. See 1. In Ur of the Chaldees, Acts vii. 2 ; and 2. At the Heb. xi. 8, 9. oak of Moreh, as in this verse. As 7710 Moreh sig- Verse 11. Thou art a fair woman to look upon] pifies a teacher, probably this was called the oak of Widely ring in her complexion from the swarthy Moreh or the teacher, because God manifested himself Egyptians, and consequently more likely to be coveted here, and instructed Abram concerning the future by them. It appears that Abram supposed they would possession of that land by his postérity, and the dis- not scruple to take away the life of the husband in pensation of the mercy of God to all the families of order to have the undisturbed possession of the wife. the earth through the promised Messiah. See on The age of Sarai at this time is not well agreed on chap. xv. 7.
by commentators, some making her ninety, while others Verse 8. Beth-el] The place which was afterwards make her only sixty-five. From chap. xvii. 17, we called Beth-el by Jacob, for its first name was Luz. learn that Sarai was ten years younger than Abram, See chap. xxviii. 19. 4x n'a beith El literally signifies for she was but ninety when he was one hundred. the house of God.
And from ver. 4 of chap. xii. we find that Abram was And pitched his tent-and-builded an altar unto seventy-five when he was called to leave Haran and the Lord] Where Abram has a tent, there God must go to Canaan, at which time Sarai could be only sixtyhave an altar, as he well knows there is no safety five ; and if the transactions recorded in the preceding but under the Divine protection. How few who build verses took place in the course of that year, which I houses ever think on the propriety and necessity of think possible, consequently Sarai was but sixty-five ; building an altar to their Maker! The house in which and as in those times people lived much longer, and the worship of God is not established cannot be con disease seems to have had but a very contracted influsidered as under the Divine protection.
ence, women and men would necessarily arrive more And called upon the name of the Lord.) Dr. Shuck- slowly at a state of perfection, and retain their vigour ford strongly contends that DVI NTP kara beshem does and complexion much longer, than in later times. We not signify to call on the name, but to invoke in the may add to these considerations that strangers and
So Abram invoked Jehovah in or by the name foreigners are more coveted by the licentious than of Jehovah, who had appeared to him. He was taught those who are natives. This has been amply illustrated even in these early times to approach God through a in the West Indies and in America, where the jetty, Mediator ; and that Mediator, since manifested in the monkey-faced African women are preferred to the flesh, was known by the name Jehovah. Does not our elegant and beautiful Europeans ! To this subject a Lord allude to such a discovery as this when he says, learned British traveller elegantly applied those words Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and of Virgil, Ecl. ii., ver. 18:was glad ? John viii. 56. Hence it is evident that
Alba ligustra cadunt, vaccinia nigra leguntur. he was informed that the Christ should be born of his seed, that the nations of the world should be blessed
White lilies lie neglected on the plain, through him; and is it then to be wondered at if he
While dusky hyacinths for use remain. DRYDEN invoked God in the name of this great Mediator? Verse 13. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister]
Verse 10. There was a famine in the land] Of Abram did not wish his wife to tell a falsehood, but he Canaan. This is the first famine on record, and it wished her to suppress a part of the truth. From prevailed in the most fertile land then under the sun ; chap. xx. 12, it is evident she was his step-sister, i.e., and why? God made it desolate for the wickedness his sister by his father, but by a different mother. of those who dwelt in it.
Some suppose Sarai was the daughter of Haran, and
Sarai taken by Pharaoh.
She is restored to Abram A. M. cir. 2084. 14 And it came to pass that, his house with great plagues, A. M. cir. 2084. B. C. cir. 1920.
B. C. cir. 1920. when Abram come into because of Sarai, Abram's wife. Egypt, the Egyptians y beheld the woman 18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, that she was very fair.
• What is this that thou hast done unto me? why 15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? and commended her before Pharaoh ; and the 19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister ? so woman was ’ taken into Pharaoh's house. I might have taken her to me to wife : now
16 And he entreated Abram well for her therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he- thy way. asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants, 20 d And Pharaoh commanded his men conand she-asses, and camels.
cerning him: and they sent him away, and 17 And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his wife, and all that he had.
consequently the grand-daughter of Terah : 'this HE-ASSES ; D'on chamorim, from on chamar, to opinion seems to be founded on chap. xi. 29, where be disturbed, muddy ; probably from the dull, stupid Iscah is thought to be the same with Sarai, but the appearance of this animal, as if it were always affected supposition has not a sufficiency of probability to sup- with melancholy. Scheuchzer thinks the sandy-coloured
domestic Asiatic ass is particularly intended. The word Verse 15. The woman was taken into Pharaoh's is applied to asses in general, though most frequently house.] Pharaoh appears to have been the common restrained to those of the male kind. appellative of the Cuthite shepherd kings of Egypt, SHE-asses; nynx athonoth, from inx ethan, strength, who had conquered this land, as is conjectured, about probably the strong animal, as being superior in musseventy-two years before this time. The word is sup- cular force to every other animal of its size. Under posed to signify king in the ancient Egyptian language. this term both the male and female are sometimes unIf the meaning be sought in the Hebrew, the root yng derstood. para signifies to be free or disengaged, a name which Camels ; Diboa gemallim, from Sa gamal, to resuch freebooters as the Cuthite shepherds might natu- compense, return, repay ; so called from its resentment rally assume. All the kings of Egypt bore this name of injuries, and revengeful temper, for which it is protill the commencement of the Grecian monarchy, after verbial in the countries of which it is a native. On which they were called Plolemies.
the animals and natural history in general, of the When a woman was brought into the seraglio or Scriptures, I must refer to the Hierozoicon of BOCHART, haram of the eastern princes, she underwent for a and the Physica Sacra of SCHEUCHZER. The former considerable time certain purifications before she was is the most learned and accurate work, perhaps, ever brought into the king's presence. It was in this inte- produced by one man. rim that God plagued Pharaoh and his house with From this enumeration of the riches of Abram we plagues, so that Sarai was restored before she could may conclude that this patriarch led a pastoral and have been taken to the bed of the Egyptian king. itinerant life; that his meat must have chiefly consist
Verse 16. He had sheep, and oren, &c.] As some ed in the flesh of clean animals, with a sufficiency of of these terms are liable to be confounded, and as they pulse for bread ; that his chief drink was their milk; frequently occur, especially in the Pentateuch, it may his clothing, their skins ; and his beasts of burden, asses be necessary to consider and fix their meaning in this and camels ; (for as yet we read of no horses ;) and the place.
ordinary employment of his servants, to take care of SHEEP; 1x3 tson, from tsaan, to be plentiful or abun- the flocks, and to serve their master. Where the padant ; a proper term for the eastern sheep, which triarchs became resident for any considerable time, they almost constantly bring forth twins, Cant. iv. 2, and undoubtedly cultivated the ground to produce grain. sometimes three and even four at a birth. Hence Verse 17. The Lord plagued Pharaoh] What these their great fruitfulness is often alluded to in the Scrip- plagues were we know not. In the parallel case, chap. ture. See Psa. Ixv. 13; cxliv. 13. But under this xx. 18, all the females in the family of Abimelech, same term, which almost invariably means a flock, both who had taken Sarah in nearly the same way, were sheep and goats are included. So the Romans include made barren ; possibly this might have been the case sheep, goats, and small cattle in general, under the term here; yet much more seems to be signified by the expecus pecoris ; so likewise they do larger cattle under pression great plagues. Whatever these plagues were, that of pecus pecudis.
it is evident they were understood by Pharaoh as proofs bakar, from the root, to examine, look out, of the disapprobation of God; and, consequently, even because of 'the full, broad, steady, unmoved look of at this time in Egypt there was some knowledge of the most animals of the beeve kind; and hence the morning primitive and true religion. is termed boker, because of the light springing out of Verse 20. Commanded his men concerning him] the east, and looking out over the whole of the earth's Gave particular and strict orders to afford Abram and surface.
I his family every accommodation for their journey; for.
Abram and his family
CHAP. XIII. return from Egypt to Canaan. having received a great increase of cattle and ser- | be able to resist. If he appear to be her husband, his vants, it was necessary that he should have the favour death he supposes to be certain ; if she pass for his of the king, and his permission to remove from Egypt sister, he may be well used on her account; he will with so large a property; hence, a particular charge not tell a lie, but he is tempted to prevaricate by supis given to the officers of Pharaoh to treat him with pressing a part of the truth. Here is a weakness respect, and to assist him in his intended departure. which, however we may be inclined to pity and excuse
it, we should never imitate. It is recorded with its The weighty and important contents of this chapter own condemnation. He should have risked all rather demand our most attentive consideration. Abram is a than have prevaricated. But how could he think of second time called to leave his country, kindred, and lightly giving up such a wife ? Surely he who would father's house, and go to a place he knew not. Every not risk his life for the protection and safety of a good thing was apparently against him but the voice of God. wife, is not worthy of one. Here his faith was defiThis to Abram was sufficient ; he could trust his Ma- cient. He still credited the general promise, and acted ker, and knew he could not do wrong in following his on that faith in reference to it; but he did not use his command. He is therefore proposed to us in the Scrip- faith in reference to intervening circumstances, to which tures as a pattern of faith, patience, and loving obedi- it was equally applicable. Many trust God for their
When he received the call of God, he spent no souls and eternity, who do not trust in him for their time in useless reasonings about the call itself, his bodies and for time. To him who follows God fully family circumstances, the difficulties in the way, &c., in simplicity of heart, every thing must ultimately suc&c. He was called, and he departed, and this is all ceed. Had Abram and Sarai simply passed for what we hear on the subject. Implicit faith in the promise they were, they had incurred no danger; for God, who of God, and prompt obedience to his commands, be had obliged them to go to Egypt, had prepared the come us, not only as his creatures, but as sinners way before them. Neither Pharaoh nor his courtiers called to separate from evil workers and wicked ways, would have noticed the woman, had she appeared to and travel, by that faith which worketh by love, in the be the wife of the stranger that came to sojourn in way that leads to the paradise of God.
their land. The issue sufficiently proves this. Every How greatly must the faith of this blessed man have ray of the light of truth is an emanation from the hobeen tried, when, coming to the very land in which he liness of God, and awfully sacred in his eyes. Conis promised so much blessedness, he finds instead of sidering the subject thus, a pious ancient spoke the plenty a grievous famine! Who in his circumstances following words, which refiners in prevarication have would not have gone back to his own country, and deemed by much too strong : “I would not,” said he, kindred ? Still he is not stumbled; prudence directs" tell a lie to save the souls of the whole world." him to turn aside and go to Egypt, till God shall Reader, be on thy guard ; thou mayest fall by comchoose to remove this famine. Is it to be wondered paratively small matters, while resolutely and successat that, in this tried state, he should have serious ap- fully resisting those which require a giant's strength prehensions for the safety of his life? Sarai, his af- to counteract them. In every concern God is necesfectionate wife and faithful companion, he supposes he sary; seek him for the body and for the soul ; and do shall lose ; her beauty, he suspects, will cause her to not think that any thing is too small or insignificant to be desired by men of power, whose will he shall not linterest him that concerns thy present or eternal peace.
Abram and his family return out of Egypt to Canaan, 1, 2. He revisits Beth-el, and there invokes the Lord,
3, 4. In consequence of the great increase in the flocks of Abram and Lot, their herdmen disagree ; which obliges the patriarch and his nephew to separate, 5-9. Lot being permitted to make his choice of the land, chooses the plains of Jordan, 10, 11, and pitches his tent near to Sodom, while Abram abides in Canaan, 12 Bad character of the people of Sodom, 13. The Lord renews his promise to Abram, 14-17. Abram
removes to the plains of Mamre, near Hebron, and builds an altar lo the Lord, 18.
A. M. cir. 2086.
B. C. cir. 1918. Egypt, he, and his wife, and rich in cattle, in silver, and in all that he had, and Lot with him, a into the south. gold.
B. C. cir. 1918.
• Chap. xii. 9.
Chap. xxiv. 35; Psa. cxii. 3; Prov. x. 22.
NOTES ON CHAP. XIII.
Verse 2. Abram was very rich] The property of Verse 1. Abram went up out of Egypt—into the these patriarchal times did not consist in flocks only, south.) Probably the south of Canaan, as in leaving but also in silver and gold; and in all these respects Egypt he is said to come from the south, ver. 3, for Abram was 789 732 cabed meod, exceeding rich. Jothe southern part of the promised land lay north-east sephus says that a part of this property was acquired of Egypt.
1 by teaching the Egyptians arts and sciences. Thus