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And when the morning arose, the angels hastened Lot. And while he lingered, they laid hold of him, and his wife, and his two daughters, by the hand, and they brought them forth out of the city. Then said the angel of the Lord, “ Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain.” And the sun was risen when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the Lord rained


brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and destroyed the whole country.a And the place where that beautiful valley was, is now the Dead Sea. To this day that whole region, by the melancholy spectacle which it presents, gives an awful warning how terribly God punishes ungodliness. But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. b

a Gen, xix 12-24.

b Gen. xix. 26.

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ABRAHAM had a son by Hagar, named Ishmael, who was born when Abraham was eighty-six

years old.

And now the Lord visited Sarah, and she bare Abraham a son when he was an hundred years old, and he called his name Isaac. And Sarah saw that Ishmael was a mocker; and she said to Abraham, “ Cast out this bondwoman and her son.” This request was very grievous to Abraham. But God said to him, “Let it not be grievous in thy sight, because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman: in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice ; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.” And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.a The water was spent in the bottle, and there was no well to be found.

Hagar laid her child, perishing with thirst, under a tree, and sat down over against him a good way off ; for she said, “ Let me not see the death of the child.” And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of the Lord called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, “What aileth thee, Hagar ? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.” And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled

a Gen. xxi. 9-13.

the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.b

This is the Ishmael who begat twelve princes, and from whom the Ishmaelitish tribes, the Arabs, and some of the Turks, have descended down to

this day.

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AFTER these things God tried Abraham, and said unto him, “ Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah ; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. On the third day, when they saw the place afar off, he told his servants to stay behind with the ass; and he took the wood for a burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son. And he took the fire in his hand and a knife, and they went both together. And Isaac said, “My father, behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering ?" And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide himself with a lamb for a burnt offering.” And so they went on both of them together.

b Gen. xxi. 16--20.

When they were come to the place which God had told him of, Abraham built there an altar, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham, lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from

And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said, “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord ; for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore ; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies : and in thy seed shall all the nations


my voice.” a

of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed

This was a more particular revelation of the Saviour who was to come than bad been given before. It was now revealed, not only that Christ should come, but that he should be Abraham's seed, and that all the nations of the earth should be blessed in him.


WHEN Abraham was one hundred and thirtyseven years old, Sarah died in Hebron. Abraham had lived sixty years in the land of Canaan; but, up to this time, he had not possessed a foot of ground in the country; he had only pastured his numerous flocks

upon the open plains, and lived as a stranger among the Canaanites. Now he was desirous of purchasing a piece of land for his own, in order that he might be able to bury his dead in his own inheritance. In the most respectful way he addressed himself to the chief men of the Hittites, and they answered him in the same manner. He requested them to allow him to purchase a piece of land. They begged him to accept of it from them as a present. At last Ephron, one of the chiefs of the Hittites, consented to receive for it four hundred shekels of silver. And Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah at Hebron, over against the grove of Mamre. b

a Gen. xxii. 1-18.

6 Gen. xxiii.

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