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A. M. cir. 2107.
A. M. cir. 2109.
Strange conduct of Lot's daughters, GENESIS.
Moab and Ammon are born. 33 w And they made their father lay with him; and he perceived A. M. cir. 2107.
B. C. cir. 1897. drink wine that night: and the not when she lay down, nor when first-born went in, and lay with her father ; she arose. and he perceived not when she lay down, nor 36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot when she arose.
with child by their father, 34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that 37 And the first-born bare ,a
B. C. cir. 1896. the first-born said unto the younger, Behold, son, and called his name Moab: I lay yesternight with my father : let us make the same is the father of the Moabites unto him drink wine this night also; and go thou this day. in, and lie with him, that we may preserve 38 And the younger, she also bare a son, seed of our father.
and called his name Ben-ammi : y the same 35 And they made their. father drink wine is the father of the children of Ammon unto that night also : and the younger arose, and this day.
*Lev.xviii. 6,7; Hab. ii. 15, 16. -Num. xxii.36; Deut. ii. 9; 2 Sam, viii. 2; 2 Kings iii. 4-27.-- Deut. ii. 19; Judg. x. 6-18.
generally put on it. 1. It does not appear that it was case, his moral conduct stands unblemished in the sathrough any base or sensual desires that the daughters créd writings; and as the whole transaction, especially of Lot wished to deceive their father. 2. They might as it relates to him, is capable of an interpretation not have thought that it would have been criminal to have wholly injurious to his piety, both reason and religion married into any other family, and they knew that their conjoin to recommend that explanation. As to his husbands elect, who were probably of the same kin- daughters, let their ignorance of the real state of the dred, had perished in the overthrow of Sodom. 3. case plead for them, as far as that can go; and let it They might have supposed that there was no other be remembered that their sin was of that very peculiar way left to preserve the family, and consequently that nature as never to be capable of becoming a precedent. righteousness for which it had been remarkable, but For it is scarcely possible that any should ever be able the way which they now look. 4. They appear to to plead similar circumstances in vindication of a simjhave supposed that their father would not come into lar line of conduct. the measure, because he would have considered it as Verse 37. Called his name Moab] This name is profane ; yet, judging the measure to be expedient and generally interpreted of the father, or, according to necessary, they endeavoured to sanctify the improper Calmet, 2812 Moab, the waters of the father. means used, by the goodness of the end at which they Verse 38. Ben-ammi] 'Wija Ben-ammi, the son of aimed ; a doctrine which, though resorted to by many, my people. Both these names seem to justify the view should be reprobated by all. Acting on this bad prin- taken of this subject above, viz., that it was merely ciple they caused their father to drink wine. See on to preserve the family that the daughters of Lot made ver. 38.
use of the above expedient; and hence we do not find Verse 33. And he perceived not when she lay down, that they ever attempted to repeat it, which, had it nor when, $c.) That is, he did not perceive the time been done for any other purpose, they certainly would she came to his bed, nor the time she quitted it ; con- not have failed to do. On this subject Origen, in his sequently did not know who it was that had laiu with fifth homily on Genesis, has these remarkable words : him. In this transaction Lot appears to me to be in Ubi hic libidinis culpa, ubi incesti criminis arguilur? many respects excusable. 1. He had no accurate Quomodo dabitur in vitiO QUOD NON ITERATUR IN FACTO! knowledge of what took place either on the first or Vereor proloqui quod sentió, vereor, inquam, ne castior second night, therefore he cannot be supposed to have fuerit harum incestus, quam pudicitia multarum. been drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. That “Where, in all this transaction, can the crime of lust he must have been sensible that some person had been or of incest be proved? How can this be proved to in his bed, it would be ridiculous to deny ; but he might be a vice when the fact was never repeated ? I am have judged it to have been some of his female do- afraid to speak my whole mind on the subject, lest the mestics, which it is reasonable to suppose he might incest of these should appear more laudable than the haye brought from Zoar. 2, It is very likely that he chastity of multitudes." There is a distinction made was deceived in the wine, as well as in the conse- here by Origen which is worthy of notice; a single quences; either he knew not the strength of the wine, bad act, though a sin, does not necessarily argue a or wine of a superior power had been given to him on vicious heart, as in order to be vicious a man must be this occasion. As he had in general followed the habituated to sinful acts. simple pastoral life, it is not to be wondered at if 'he The generation which proceeded from this incesdid not know the intoxicating power of wine, and being tuous connection, whatever may be said in extenuation an old man, and unused to it, a small portion would be of the transaction, (its peculiar circumstances being sufficient to overcome him ; sound sleep would soon, considered,) was certainly a bad one. The Moabiles at his time of life, be the effect of taking the liquor soon fell from the faith of God, and became idolaters, to which he was unaccustomed, and cause him to for- the people of Chemosh, and of Baal-peor, Num. xxi get the effects of his intoxication. Except in this | 29; XXV. 1-3; and were enemies to the children of Abraham sojourns in Gerar.
Sarah taken by Abimelech. Abraham. See Num. xxii. ; Judg. iii. 14, &c. And | Judge of quick and dead! It was the sentiment of a the Ammonites, who dwelt near to the Moabites, united great man, that should the worst of times arrive, and with them in idolatry, and were also enemies to Israel. magistracy and ministry were both to fail, yet, if paSee Judg. xi. 4, 24; Deut. xxiii. 3, 4. · As both these rents would but be faithful to their trust, pure religion people made afterwards a considerable figure in the would be handed down to posterity, both in its form sacred history, the impartial inspired writer takes care and in its power. to introduce at this early period an account of their 2. We have already heard of the wickedness of the origin See what has been said on the case of Noah's inhabitants of the cities of the plain ; the cup of their drunkenness, Gen. ix. 20, &c.
iniquity was full ; their sin was of no common magni
tude, and what a terrible judgment fell upon them ! This is an awful history, and the circumstances de Brimstone and fire are rained down from heaven upon tailed in it are as distressing to piety as to humanity. these traders in iniquity; and what a correspondence It may, however, be profitable to review the particulars., between the crime and the punishment ? They burned
1. From the commencement of the chapter we find in. Just towards each other, and God burned them up that the example and precepts of Abraham had not with fire and brimstone. Their sin was unnatural, been lost on his nephew Lot. He also, like his uncle, and God punished it by supernatural means. Divino watches for opportunities to call in the weary traveller. justice not only observes a proportion between the This Abraham had taught his household, and we see crime and the degree of punishment, but also between the effect of his blessed teaching. Lot was both hos- the species of crime and the kind of punishment inpitable and pious, though living in the midst of a flicted. crooked and perverse race. It must be granted that 3. Disobedience to the command of God must ever from several circumstances in his history he appears meet with severe reprehension, especially in those who to have been a weak man, but his weakness was such have already partaken of his grace, because these as was not inconsistent with general uprightness and know his salvation, and are justly, supposed to possess, sincerity. He and his family were not forgetful to by his grace, the power of resisting all solicitations to entertain strangers, and they alone were free from the sin. The servant who knew his lord's will and did it pollutions of this accursed people. How powerful are not, was to be beaten with many stripes ; see Luke the effects of a religious education, enforced by pious xii. 47. Lot's wife stands as an everlasting monuexample! It is one of God's especial means of grace. ment of admonition and caution to all backsliders. She Let a man only do justice to his family, by bringing ran well, she permitted Satan to hinder, and she died them up in the fear of God, and he will crown it with in her provocation! While we lament' her fate, we his blessing. How many excuse the profligacy of should profit by her example. To begin in the good their family, which is often entirely owing to their own way is well ; to continue in the path is better ; and to neglect, by saying, " 0, we cannot give them grace!" | persevere unto the end, best of all. The exhortation No, you cannot ; but you can afford them the means of our blessed Lord on this subject should awaken our of grace. This is your work, that is the Lord's. If, caution, and strongly excite our diligence : Remember through neglect of precept and example, they Lot's wife! On the conduct of Lot and his daughters, perish, what an awful account must you give to the I see the notes on ver. 31.
Abraham leaves Mamre, and, after having sojourned at Kadesh and Shur, settles in Gerar, 1. Abimelech
lakes Sarah, Abraham having acknowledged her only as his sister, 2. Abimelech is warned by God in a dream to reslore Sarah, 3. He asserts his innocence, 4, 5. He is farther warned, 6, 7. Expostulates with Abraham, 8-10. Abraham vindicates his conduct, 11-13. Abimelech restores Sarah, makes Abraham a present of sheep, oren, and male and female slaves, 14; offers him a residence in any part of the land, 15; and reproves Sarah, 16. At the intercession of Abraham, the curse of barrenness is removed from Abimelech and his household, 17, 18. Bu cir: 2897. AND Abraham journeyed from, 2 And Abraham said of Sarah 6. M. cir: 2007: C.
a thence toward the south his wife, She is my sister : country, and dwelled between 6 Kadesh and and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Shur, and sojourned-in Gerar.
*Chap. xviii. 1. - Chap. xvi. 7. Chap. xxvi. 6.
Chap. xii. 13; xxvi. 7.-e Chap. xii. 15.
family, that he could no longer bear to dwell within Verse 1. And Abraham journeyed] It is very sight of the place. · Having, therefore, struck his likely that this holy man was so deeply affected with tents, and sojourned for a short time at Kadesh and the melancholy prospect of the ruined cities, and not Shur, he fixed his habitation in Gerar, which was a knowing what was become of his nephew Lot and his city of Arabia Petræa, under a king of the Philistines
NOTES ON CHAP. XX.
ch Ver. 7.
Abimelech is warned of God
to restore Sarah. A. M. cir. 2107. 3 But #God came to Abimelech | brother: 'in the mintegrity of A. M. cir. 2107. B. C. cir. 1897.
B. C. cir. 1897. 8 in a dream by night, and said my heart and innocency of my to him, h Behold, thou art but a dead man, hands have I done this. for the woman which thou hast taken; for she 6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, is ia man's wife.
I know that thou didst this in the integrity 4 But Abimelech had not come near her: of thy heart; for n'I also withheld thee from and he said, LORD, « wilt thou slay also a sinping against me: therefore suffered I thee righteous nation ?
not to touch her. 5 Said he not unto me, She is my
sister? 7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; and she, even she herself said, He is my P for he is a prophet, and he shall pray
for i Psa. cv. 14.-- 5 Job xxxiii. 15.
-i Heb. xxxi. 7; xxxv. 5; Exod. xxxiv. 24; 1 Sam. Ixv. 26, 34. married to a husband. * Chap. xviii. 23; ver. 18.- -12 Kings Chap. xxxix. 9; Lev. vi. 2; Psa. li. 4.pl Sam. vii. 5; xx. 3; 2 Cor. i. 12. Or, simplicity'; or, sincerity. Chap. 2 Kings v. 11; Job xlii. 8; James v. 14, 15; 1 John v. 16. called Abimelech, my father king, who appears to pray, entreat, make supplication, $c., and this meanhave been not only the father of his people, but also ing of it I have justified at large both from its applia righteous man.
cation in this place, and from its pointed use in the Verse 2. She is my sister] See the parallel ac- case of Saul, mentioned i Sam. x., and from the case count, chap. xii., and the notes there. Sarah was of the priests of Baal, 1 Kings xviii., where prophesynow about ninety years of age, and probably pregnant ing most undoubtedly means making prayer and supwith Isaac. Her beauty, therefore, must have been plication. As those who were in habits of intimacy considerably impaired since the time she was taken in with God by prayer and faith were found the most a similar manner by Pharaoh, king of Egypt; but she proper, persons to communicate his mind to man,
both was probably now chosen by Abimelech more on the with respect to the present and the future, hence, s'do account of forming an alliance with Abraham, who was nabi, the intercessor, became in process of time the very rich, than on account of any personal accom- public instructer or preacher, and also the predicter plishments. A petty king, such as Abimelech, would of future events, because to such faithful praying men naturally be glad to form an alliance with such a power. God revealed the secret of his will. Hence St. Paul, ful chief as Abraham was: we cannot but recollect his 1 Cor. xiv. 3, seems to restrain the word wholly to late defeat of the four confederate Canaanitish kings. the interpreting the mind of God to the people, and See on chap. xiv. 14, &c. This circumstance was their instruction in Divine things, for, says he, he that sufficient to establish his credit, and cause his friend- prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and ership to be courted ; and what more effectual means hortation and comfort. See the discourse on this could Abimelech use in reference to this than the text referred to above. . The title was also given to taking of Sarah, who he understood was Abraham's men eminent for eloquence and for literary abilities; sister, to be his concubine or second wife, which in hence Aaron, because he was the spokesman of Moses those times had no kind of disgrace attached to it? to the Egyptian king, was termed x']] nabi, prophet;
Verse 3. But God came to Abimelech) Thus we Exod. iv.r16; vii. 1. And Epimenides, a heathen find that persons who were not of the family of Abra- poet, is expressly styled mpoonins, a prophet, by St. ham had ihe knowledge of the true God. Indeed, all Paul, Tit. i. 12, just as poets in general were termed the Gerarites are termed pory ni goi tsaddik, a right- vates among the Romans, which properly signifies the eous nation, ver. 4.
persons who professed to interpret the will of the gods Verse 5. In the integrity of my heart, fc.] Had to their votaries, after prayers and sacrifices duly perAbimelech any other than honourable views in taking formed. In Arabic the word V naba has nearly the Sarah, he could not have justified himself thus to his same meaning as in Hebrew, but in the first conjugaMaker; and that these views were of the most honour- tion it has a meaning which may cast light upon the able kind, God himself, to whom the appeal was made, subject in general. It signifies to itinerate, move from asserts in the most direct manner, Yea, I know that one place or country to another, compelled thereto thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart.
either by persecution or the command of God; exivit Verse 7. He is a prophet, and he shall pray for de una regione in aliam.— migrans de loco in lothee) The word prophet, which we have from the
cum.-Golius. Hence Mohammed was called Greek προφητης, and which is compounded of προ, before, and onlul, I speak, means, in its general accep- Medina, when, pretending to a Divine commission, his
an nabi, because of his sudden removal from Meccà 10 tation, one who speaks of things before they happen, townsmen sought to take away his life : e Mecca eriens i. e., one who foretells future events. was not the original notion of the
word, its use in this Medinam, unde Muhammed suis tells o Nabi Allah place sufficiently proves. Abraham certainly was not dictus fuit.-Golius. If this meaning belonged oria prophet in the present general acceptation of the ginally to the Hebrew word, it will apply with great term, and for the Hebrew X3 nabi, we must seek force to the case of Abraham, whose migratory, some other meaning. I have, in a discourse entitled itinerant kind of life, generally under the immediate “ The Christian Prophet and his Work,” proved that direction of God, might have given him the title nabi. he proper ideal meaning of the original word is to. However this may be, the term was a title of the high
A. M. cir. 2107.
B C. cir. 1897.
Abimelech reproves Abraham,
and restores Sarah, A. M. cir. 9107. thee; and thou shalt live : and 12 And yet indeed " she is
B. C. çir. 1897 if thou restore her not, know sister; she is the daughter of thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, * and all my father, but not the daughter of my mother; that are thine.
and she became my wife. 8 Therefore Abimelech rose early in the 13 And it came to pass, when * God caused morning, and called all his servants, and told me to wander from my father's house, that I all these things in their ears: and the men said unto her, This is thy kindness which were sore afraid.':
thou shalt show. imto me; at every place 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and whither we shall come, y say of me, He is said unto him; What hast thou done unto us? my brother. and what have I offended thee, that thou 14 And Abimelech ? took sheep, and oxen, hast brought on me and an my kingdom a l'and men-servants, and women-servánts, - and great sin? thou hast done deeds, unto me gave them unto Abraham, and restored him that ought not to be done.
Sarah his wife. 10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, 15 And Abimelech said, Behold, a my land What sawest thou, that thou hast done this is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. thing?
16 And unto. Sarah he said, Behold, I have 11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver. Surely, a the fear of God is not in this a behold, he is to thee. ° a covering of the eyes, place; and they will slay me for my wife's unto all that are with theo, and with all other: sake.
thus she was reproved,
Chap ii. 17. - Num. xvi. 32, 33. - Chap. xxvi: 10; * Chap. xii. 1, 9, 11, &c.; Heb, xi. 8.45 Chap. xii. 13. Exod. xi. 21; Josh, vii. 25.- - Chap. xxxiv. 7. -_ Chap. 1 - Chap. xii. 16. — Chap: xiii. 9.-_Heb. as is good in thine xlu. 18; Psa. xxxvi.1 ; Prov, xvi. 6.- Chap. xii. 12 ; xxyi. 7. eyes. -_ Ver. 5. Chapxxvi. 11.-- Chaptor xxiv. 65. * See chap. xi. 29.
Prov. ix. 8,9; xxy. 12; xxvii. 5 ;. Matt. vii. 7.
est respectability and honour, both among the Hebrews tions has preserved the following: " Terah first marand Arabs, and continues so to this day. And from ried Yona, by whom he had Abraham; afterwards. he the Hebrews the word, in all the importance and dig- married Tchevila, by whom he had Sarah.". Thus nity of its meaning, was introdueed among the heathens she was the sister of Abraham, being the daughter of in the spoonins and vates of the Greeks and Romans. the same father by a different mother. See on the word seer, Gen. xv. l.
Verse 13: When God caused me to wander] Here Verse 8. Abimelech rose early, sc.] God came to the word dinks Elohim is used with a plural verb, Abimelech in a dream by night, and we find as the day (wn hithu, caused me to wander,) which is not very broke he arose, assembled his servants, (what we would usual in the Hebrew language, as this plural noun is call his courtiers,) and communicated to them what he generally joined with verbs in the singular number. had received from God. They were all struck with Because there is a departure from the general mode astonishment, and discerned the band of God in this in this instance, some have contended that the word business. . Abraham is then called, and in a most re- Elohim signifies princes in this place, and suppose it spectful and pious manner the king expostulates with to refer to those in 'Chaldea, who expelled Abraham him for bringing him and his people under the Divine because he would not worship the fire; but the best displeasure, by withholding from him the information critics, and with them the Jews, allow that Elohim that Sarah was his wife ; when, by taking her, he here signifies the true God. Abraham probably refers sought only an honourable alliance with his family. to his first call.
Verse 11. And Abraham said] The best excase Verse 16. And unto Sarah he said] - But what did he could make for his conduct, which in this instance he say? » Hore there is scarcely any agreement among is far from defensible.
interpreters; the Hebrew is exceedingly obscure, and Verse 12. She is my sister] I have not told a lie; every interpreter takes it in his own sense. I have suppressed only a part of the truth. In this A thousand pieces of silver) · Shekels are very place it may be proper to ask, What is a lie? It is probably meant here, and so the Targum understands any action done or word spoken, whether true or false it. The Septuagint has reāca dudpaxja, a thousand in itself, which the doer or speaker wishes the ob- didrachma, no doubt meaning shekels ; for in chap. server or hearer to take in a contrary sense to that xxiii. 15, 16, this translation uses didpaxua for the which he knows to be true. It is, in a word, any Hebrew Spo shekel. As shakal signifies literally to action done or speech delivered with the intention to weigh, and the shekel was a coin of such a weight, deceive, though both may be absolutely true and right Mr. Ainsworth and others think this to be the origin in themselves. See the note on chap, xii. 13. of our word scale, the instrument to weigh with.
The daughter of my father, but not--of my mother) The shekel of the sanctuary weighed twenty gerahs, Ebn Batrick, in his annals, among other ancient tradi- Exod. xxx. 13. And according to the Jews, the VOL. I. ( 10 )
Abraham prays for Abimelech,
and God heals his family. A. M. cir. 2107. - 17 So Abraham 8 prayed unto 18 For the LORD h had fast A. M. cir. 2107
B. C. cir. 1897. God: and God healed Abimelech, closed up all the wombs of the and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, bare children.
Abraham's wife. :
B. C. cir. 1897.
5 Chap. xxix. 31; 1 Sam. v. 1ì, 12; Job xlii. 8, 9, 10.
Chap. xii. 17 ; xvi. 2.
gerah weighed sixteen grains of barley. R. Maimon children till it was removed. And possibly this disobserves, that after the captivity the shekel was in- ease, as Dr. Dodd conjectures, had afflicted Abimelech, creased to three hundred and eighty-four grains or bar- and by this he was withheld, ver. 6, from defiling ley-corns. On the subject of ancient weights and mea- Abraham's bed. sures, very little that is satisfactory is křown.
Behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes] It- 1. On the prevarication of Abraham and Sarah, see the one thousand shekels, (not he--Abraham,) is to thee the notes and concluding observations on chap. xii.; and for a covering—to procure thee a veil to conceal thy while we pity this weakness, let us take it as a warning. beauty (unto all that are with thee, and with all other) 2. The cause why the patriarch did not acknowfrom all thy own kindred and acquaintance, and from ledge Sarah as his wife, was a fear lest he should lose all strangers, that none, seeing thou art another man's his life on her account, for he said, Surely the fear, wife, may covet thee on account of thy comeliness." i. e., the true worship, of the true God is not in this
Thus she was reproved] The original is nndi ve- place. Such is the natural bigotry and narrowness of nochachath, but the word is probably the second person the human heart, that we can scarcely allow that any preterite, used for the imperative mood, from the root besides ourselves possess the true religion. To indulge noi nachach, to make straight, direct, right; or to speak a disposition of this kind is highly blamable. The rightly, correctly; and may, in connection with the true religion is neither confined to one spot nor to one rest of the text, be thus paraphrased: Behold, I have people; it is spread in various forms over the whole given thy BROTHER (Abraham, gently alluding to the earth. He who fills immensity has left a record of equivocation, ver. 2, 5) a thousand shekels of silver ; himself in every nation and among every people under behold, it is (that is, the silver is, or may be, or let it heaven. Beware of the spirit or intolerance ! for be) to thee a covering of the eyes (to procure a veil; bigotry produces uncharitableness ; and uncharitablesee-above) with regard to all those who are with thee, ness, harsh judging; and in such a spirit a man may and to all (or and in all). speak thou the truth. Çor- think he does God service when he tortures, or makes rectly.translated by the Septuagint, kai gavra ałndev- a burnt-offering of the person whom his narrow mind oov, and in all things speak the truth--not only tell a and hard heart have dishonoured with the name of part of the truth, but tell the whole ; say not merely heretic. Such a spirit is not confined to any one comhe is my brother, but say also, he is my husband too. munity, though it has predominated in some more than Thus in all things speak the truth. I believe the above in others. But these things are highly displeasing in to be the sense of this difficult passage, and shall not the sight of God, · HE, as the Father of the spirits puzzle my readers with criticisms. See Kennicott. of all flesh, loves every branch of his vastly extended
Verse 17. SQ Abraham prayed). This was the family; and as far as we love one another, no matter prime office of the x']] nabi; see ver: 7.
of what sect or party, so far we resemble wim. Had Verse 19. For the Lord had fast closed up all the + Abraham possessed more charity for man and confiwombs] Probably by means of some disease with dence in God at this time, he had not fallen into that which he had smitten them, hence it is said they were snare from which he barely escaped. A basty judgbealed at Abraham's intercession; and this seems ne- ment is generally both erroneous and harsh; and those cessarily to imply that they had been afflicted by some who are the most apt to form it are generally the most disease that rendered it impossible for them to have difficult to be convinced of the truth:
Isaac is born according to the promise, 1-3 ; and is circumcised when eight days old, 4.
Abraham's age, and Sarah's exultation at the birth of their son, 5–7. Isaac is weaned, 8. Ishmael mocking on the occasion, Sarah requires that both he and his mother Hagar shall be dismissed, 9, 10... Abraham, distressed on the account, is ordered by the Lord to comply, 11, 12. The promise Tenewed to. Ishmael, 13. Abraham dismisses Hagar and her son, who go to the wilderness of Beer-sheba, 14. They are greatly distressed for vant of water, 15, 16. An angel of God appears to and relieves them, 17-19. Ishmael prospers and is married, 20, 21. Abimelech, and Phichol his chief captain, make a covenant with Abraham, and surrender the well of Beer-sheba for seven ewe lambs, 22–32. Abraham plants a grove, and invokes the name of the everlasting God, 33. 130
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