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+ Heb. men brethren.
Abram and Lot return out of Egypt, GENESIS.
and part asunder. 3 And he went on his journeys the herdmen of Abram's cattle and about 1918. from the south, even to Beth-el, unto the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the about 1918.
the place where his tent had been at Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled
8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let a Chap. 12. 7. 4 Unto the a place of the altar, there be no strife, I pray thee, be
which he had made there at the first: tween me and thee, and between my
be + brethren.
from me: if thou' wilt take the left
7 And there was a strife between beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it quisitions might be made. Dr. Russell tells us, that the indifferent or even averse to us, who might rejoice at people of Aleppo are supplied with the greater part of our quarrel, and take advantage of it to our common their butter, their cheese, and their cattle for slaughter, mischief: " for the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled” by the Arabs, Rushwans, or Turcomans, who travel even “ then in the land.” Another reason may be given about the country with their focks and their herds, as why Moses noticed the circumstance of the Canaanite the Patriarchs did of old. The patriarchs doubtless sup- and the Perizzite having been then in the land, which he, plied the ancient cities of Canaan in like manner with immediately after the first notice of it, declares, that God these things. Hamor expressly speaks of their trading promised to the seed of Abram. The Israelites might with his people, Gen. xxxiv. 21.
thus be most clearly satisfied, that no change had taken At the same time that the Arabs receive money for place in the purpose of God to give them this land; their commodities, their expenses are very small, so that when they were reminded, that at the very time this their princes are rich in silver and gold as well as in cat- purpose was declared, the very same nation possessed tle, and amass large quantities of these precious metals. the country, who now occupied it. Dr. Graves. Abram's expenses, like those of the Arabs, by no means 8. And Abram said unto Lot] The best, the wisest equalled his profits : he was therefore continually mak- men, and those of greatest experience in the world, ing acquisitions of “ money current with the merchant," are most inclined to peace, and most yielding in order Gen. xxiii. 16, or of such precious commodities as were to it. Bp. Patrick. easy of carriage, and suited to his way of life. And we be brethren.] Near kinsmen, whom the Hemore especially might he do this in Egypt, where, as brews call brethren. He was uncle to Lot. He was being a rich country, his exchanging his cattle might also Lot's brother, having married Sarai, sister to Lot. be more advantageous to him than usual. For which Bp. Kidder. reason perhaps, his being rich in silver and gold is 9. Is not the whole land before thee?] The settlementioned immediately after his return from thence. ments of the primitive families at first seem to have Harmer.
been scattered and detached from each other, according 6. — the land was not able to bear them,] There was to local convenience : and in Abram's days there were not sufficient pasturage for them both in that part of the considerable tracts of unappropriated land in Canaan, country. Bp. Patrick.
on which he and Lot freely grazed their cattle, without 7. - and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then hindrance or molestation. That country was not fully in the lund.] This part of the country was inhabited by peopled till the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. the people peculiarly called Canaanites, and by the Pe- Dr. Hales. rizzites, perhaps a branch of the family of the Canaanites, 10. — beheld all the plain of Jordan,] A fruitful and a very rugged and barbarous nation, (chap. xv. 20,) pleasant country, well watered by the streams of Joramong whom contention would have been dangerous, dan; which in many windings and turnings ran at least very scandalous. Bp. Patrick.
through it, and at some times overflowed it, and so The same observation concerning the Canaanite oc- rendered it very rich. Therefore Moses compares this curs in chap. xii. 6. It does not follow, that the Canaan- plain to the garden of Eden, as most understand the ites had been expelled when this clause was written : it words, “the garden of the Lord,” which was well may mean no more, than that the Canaanites were even watered by a river running through it; and to the land at that time in the land, which God had promised to of Egypt, which is enriched by the overflowing of the give to the seed of Abram. This observation in the Nile, as this was by the overflowing of Jordan. Bp. former place, may have been intended to illustrate the Patrick. The description that is given us of some faith of Abram, who did not hesitate to obey the com well-watered places in the east of late times, may serve ma
of God, by sojourning in this strange land, though to enliven our apprehensions of the fruitfulness and the even then inhabited by a powerful nation, totally uncon- beauty of the plain, where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, nected with, if not averse to, him; a circumstance in- before God destroyed those cities. Harmer. timated by Abram's remonstrance to Lot, to avoid any Jordan,] This river is of great note in the enmity between them, “because they were brethren:, Sacred Writings. It is said to derive its name from as if he had said, It would be extreme imprudence in Jor, a spring, and Dan a small town near its' source; or us, who are brethren, who have no connexion or friend from the two rivulets, Jor and Dan : perhaps it was so ship but with each other, to allow any dissension to called from Jarad, to descend, by reason of the fall and arise between us, surrounded as we are by strangers, / rapid course of the river.
& 26. 4. Deut. 34, 4.
Lot goeth to Sodom.
CHAP. XIII. God's promise to Abram renewed. was well watered every where, before Lift up now thine eyes, and look from about 1918. the LORD destroyed Sodom and Go- the place where thou art northward, about 1917.
morrah, even as the garden of the and southward, and eastward, and
15 For all the land which thou
the dust of the earth : so that if a 12 Abram dwelled in the land of man can number the dust of the earth, Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities then shall thy seed also be numbered. of the plain, and pitched his tent to 17 Arise, walk through the land in ward Sodom.
the length of it and in the breadth of 13 But the men of Sodom were it; for I will give it unto thee. wicked, and sinners before the LORD 18 Then Abram removed his tent, exceedingly;
and came and dwelt in the + plain of + Heb.plains. 14 And the LORD said unto Abram, Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built after that Lot was separated from him, there an altar unto the Lord.
From its source, near Cesarea Philippi, it runs with God for his deliverance. This choice was made through a space of about fifty leagues, till it discharges about twenty years before Sodom was destroyed. Bp. itself into the Dead sea or the lake Asphaltites, where it Wilson. is lost. Five or six leagues from its spring, it forms the 15. --for ever.] It doth not here signify strictly time lake Semechon. Thence it enters, and passes through, without end, but till the end of the world. Bp. Patrick. the lake of Tiberias. It overflows its banks about the The promise however was made on condition of their time of barley-harvest, or the feast of the Passover. obedience. Compare Deut. iv. 25, 26; Judg. ii. 20,
We know from Scripture what miracles were per- 21. Bp. Kidder. formed in the river Jordan: how it was divided to 18. Then Abram removed his tent,] See chap. xii. 8; leave a free passage for the Hebrews under the conduct xii. 3, 12. Abram dwelt in tents through the whole of Joshua ; how Elijah and Elisha walked over its year: Isaac and Jacob followed his example: and the waters; how Elisha made the axe-head of iron, which Rechabites lived in the same manner in Jeremiah's time, fell into it, swim; how when the Saviour of the world and for several ages before. Many inhabitants of that was baptized in the same river, the heavens opened and country do the same at this day. Mons. d'Arvieux, who the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Calmet. visited the Arabs of Mount Carmel by order of Louis
- as thou comest unto Zoar.] These words are not XIV., informs us, that they have no other places to to be referred to the land of Egypt,” immediately dwell in but tents; which are set up in such a manner, foregoing, from which Zoar was at a great distance; as that the rain slides off without penetrating them. but to those words in the beginning, a plain well | Sandys goes further, and says of these Arabs, that they watered every where;" even to the utmost skirts of it, lived in tents, according to the ancient custom of that which was Zoar. Such transpositions are not uncom- nation, even during the winter, although possessed of mon in Scripture : see Josh. xxiv. 26; Mark xi. 13, 14; sundry convenient houses. The true way of accounting xiv. 3, 4; Zoar was so called afterwards, chap. xix. for this fact is, that that discipline might appear severe 22. Before that it was called Bela, chap. xiv. 2. Bps. and dangerous to Englishmen, which was safe to the Patrick and Kidder.
Patriarchs and Rechabites, who were used to this way 12.- in the land of Canaan,] In the part more of life; and which is accordingly practised by many strictly so called: if "the land of Canaan” be taken at this day, even in the northern parts of Palestine. largely, the plain of Jordan was a part of it. Bp. Harmer. Patrick.
in the plain of Mamre,] Or, by the oak of in the cities] In one of the cities. See chap. Mamre. So called from Mamre, the brother of Eshcol viii. 4.
and Aner, who were confederate with Abram, chap. xiv. toward Sodom.] That is, he removed his tent from 24. From him Hebron was called Mamre, chap. xxiii. 19. place to place, till he came to Sodom, where he fixed. Bps. Patrick and Kidder. See chap. xiv. 12. Bp. Kidder.
in Hebron,) · Or rather, by or near Hebron: 13. the men of Sodom were wicked, &c.] Their sins which was one of the most ancient cities in the world. were grown ripe for punishment; having been brought, It was situated upon an eminence, about 20 miles as it were, “before the Lord," and sentenced at his south of Jerusalem, and about 20 miles north of Beertribunal to the judgment which shortly after befel them. sheba. Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac were buried near Bp. Patrick. Or, they were very great sinners : see Hebron, in the cave of Machpelah. Calmet. chap. x. 9.
and built there an altar unto the Lord.] This is We may here take notice of what is but too common the first thing, which we always find him doing, after he in the world; the folly and danger of consulting our had pitched his tent. Biblioth. Bibl. senses only in the choice of a way of life. Lot made A leading reason, we may presume, which influenced choice of the fruitful plain of Jordan; not considering Abram to settle at Hebron, was its vicinity to Salem, the danger of being in the neighbourhood of a most and to the publick worship of the true God there. For wicked people. The consequence of this unadvised the religion of Abram and Melchizedek was evidently choice was, he lost all he had; he lost his wife; and he the same, from their joint use of the same epithets had like to have lost his life, had not Abraham prevailed or attributes of the Deity, which were introduced or
Before CHRIST about 1917.
Before CHRIST about 1913.
A Pitcame to pass in the days with them in the vale of Siddim;
The battle of four kings against five. GENESIS.
Lot is taken prisoner. CHAP. XIV.
kites, and also the Amorites, that
dwelt in Hazezon-tamar.
8 And there went out the king of
same is Zoar;) and they joined battle
Arioch king of Ellasar ; four kings
3 All these were joined together in the mountain.
Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their
brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom,
col, and brother of Aner: and these
his brother was taken captive, he
|| Or, the plain of Kiriathaim. || Or, the plain of Paran.
designed to counteract the Sabian idolatry, which had 5—7. For the probable situation of these people, the crept from Chaldea, before Abram's days, into the reader is referred to the map, adapted to the history of northern parts of Palestine. Dr. Hales.
10. -fled to the mountain.] This flying to hills and Chap. XIV. ver. 1. Amraphel king of Shinar,] mountains for safety is frequently alluded to in ScripCommonly understood to be king of Babylon. But it ture. Harmer. is probable, either that he was some small prince in the 14. — his brother] His brother's son, or nephew. country of Shinar, that is, Assyria; or that, if he was See chap. xiii. 8. king of Babylon, that monarchy was not very great in three hundred and eighteen,] If we look to the Abram's days. The other names probably belong to some strength of an Arab emir, or prince, or the number of particular places, like Sodom and Gomorrah, over which men he commands, we shall find, that were Abram now Arioch and Chedorlaomer reigned, who were such kings alive, he would still be considered as a prince among as those in Canaan when Joshua conquered it; or else them, he having “three hundred and eighteen servants" commanders of colonies, which they had led out of trained to bear arms: for this is much like the strength Assyria and Persia; and settling thereabouts, endea of those Arab emirs of Palestine, whom d'Arvieux voured to enlarge their plantations : as the manner was visited. in those and in succeeding times, when the captains of Dr. Shaw says, several Arabian tribes can bring no a troop, and leaders of small bodies of men, were called more than 300 or 400 horses into the field; so that it princes or kings. Bp. Patrick.
is no wonder that Abram was considered in ancient king of nations ;] That is, of a place, the in- days as a considerable prince, at the head of a powerful habitants of which were of several nations and people clan; had his alliance courted, Gen. xxi. 22; and made met together. Bp. Kidder.
war in his own name. Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, his Part of Galilee, being inhabited by mixed people of confederates, were probably neighbouring emirs at the divers countries, was thence called “ Galilee of the head of considerable clans also, with whom Abram was nations," or " Gentiles,” Matt. iv. 15. Bp. Patrick. leagued, and who made up together a formidable power
3.- in the vale of Siddim,] A fruitful valley, changed for those times. Harmer. into the salt sea or lake, since the overthrow of the five - pursued them unto Dan.] As far as the place cities by fire and brimstone from heaven. Bp. Patrick. where one of the springs of Jordan breaks forth, called
c Hebr. 7. 4.
Abram rescueth him.
Melchizedek blesseth Abram. 15 And he divided himself against Blessed be Abram of the most high c Before about 1913. them, he and his servants, by night, God, possessor of heaven and earth:
and smote them, and pursued them 20 And blessed be the most high
mies into thy hand. And he gave
and take the goods to thyself.
the valley of Shaveh, which is the 23 That I will not take from a a 2 Sam. 18. a king's dale.
thread even to a shoe-latchet, and 18 And Melchizedek king of Sa- that I will not take any thing that is lem brought forth bread and wine: thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have and he was the priest of the most made Abram rich :
24 Save only that which the young 19 And he blessed him, and said, men have eaten, and the portion of
b Hebr. 7. 1.
Dan, as Josephus relates, where he speaks of this his- benefits upon him, Deut. xxviii. 1, 2. Man blesseth tory. Bp. Patrick.
God, when he praiseth Him for his benefits. Comi5.- he and his servants, by night, &c.] The man- pare Matt. xxyi. 26; with Luke xxii. 19. Bp. Patrick. ner in which the Arabs make war and pillage the cara And he gave him tilhes of all.] It was a very vans, is by keeping at the side of them, or following ancient custom to offer to God, whose priest Melchithem in the rear, at a greater or smaller distance ac- zedek was, the tenth part of what they took in war. cording to their forces, which may be easily done in The custom prevailed among the Greeks and Romans, Arabia, on account of its being one great plain : and in and other nations, most distant from and unknown to the night they fall silently upon the camp, and carry off each other. What is recorded here, was long before one part, before the rest are under arms. Abram pro- the law of tithes was given to the Israelites, and therebably fell upon the camp of the four kings, that had fore could not be from them. Jacob vowed after this carried away Lot, in the same Arab manner; and thus, the tithes to God. And that narrative, together with with unequal forces, accomplished his design, and this of Abram, shews plainly, that the custom of payrescued Lot. It is to be remembered that the combats ing tithes was of very high antiquity; and that not only of those days more resembled a fight among the mob, of the spoils of war, but of their tlock, corn, and other than the bloody and destructive wars of Europe. Sir fruit, which Jacob vowed unto God, chap. xxviii. 22. J. Chardin.
Bps. Patrick and Wilson. 18. - Melchizedek] He was a king and priest (for 21. And the king of Sodom said] The defeat and the these two offices were in ancient times united in the great deliverance of the king of Sodom and his people same person) in that country; where men were not yet should have been a warning to them, as it was in the wholly fallen from the true religion. Bp. Patrick. The intention of Providence, to leave off their wicked way of word Melchizedek signifies king of righteousness, Heb. living : but it was not, and they are reserved for a much vii. 2, or a just and righteous king. Pyle.
greater punishment. What we should be convinced of Salem] The most ancient quarter of Jerusalem. by this is, that the abuse of God's mercies and forbearDr. Hales.
ance is visited upon particular persons, as well as upon brought forth bread and wine:] For the refresh- nations and cities. Bp. Wilson. ment of Abram and his followers after the fight. This 22. - I have lift up mine hand &c.] That is, sworn ; he did as a king, not as a priest : it was an act, not of as the phrase is used in many places, Exod. vi. 8; religion, but of hospitality. In the character of a priest, Numb. xiv. 30, &c. Bp. Patrick. See the note on “he blessed him," as is added in the following verse. Deut. xxxii. 40. Bp. Patrick. For this was the office of a priest, Numb. 23.— I will not take from a thread &c.] That is, the vi. 23; and in this he was a type of Jesus Christ, Acts meanest thing. Bp. Patrick. iii. 26. Bp. Kidder.
Abram had learned the lesson of the Apostle, “ to be This Canaanitish prince was early considered as a contented with his own.” He was so far from the base type of Christ in the Jewish Church; “Thou art a desire of enriching himself with the king of Sodom's priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek :” Ps. cx. goods, that he utterly refused them, when he might have 4; who resembled Christ in the following particulars. taken them, and held the without any injustice at all. 1, In his name, Melchi-zedek, “king of righteousness." He had, or might have had, a double title to them. They 2, In his city, Salem, peace.” 3, In his offices of were his by the law of arms and nations ; having won king and priest of the most high God. And, 4, In the them in the field, and in a just war: and they might omission of the names of his parents and genealogy, the have been his by the king's free donation, if he had been time of his birth, and length of life; exhibiting an in- minded to accept the offer : "give me the persons, take definite reign and priesthood, according to the Apostle's the goods to thyself.” But Ahram would not take exposition, Heb. vii. 3. Dr. Hales.
them: contenting himself with what the Lord had 20. And blessed be the most high God,] That is, blessed him with, he did not desire, neither would he praised be, &c. When God blesseth man, He bestows | take from a thread even to a shoe-latchet,” of any
God encourageth Abram,
and promiseth him a son. the men which went with me, Aner, shall come forth out of thine own about 1913. Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take bowels shall be thine heir. their portion.
5 And he brought him forth abroad,
and said, Look now toward heaven, CHAP. XV.
and tell the stars, if thou be able to
number them: and he said unto him,
• So shall thy seed be.
6 And he believed in the LORD; seed. 6 Abram is justified by faith. 7 Ca- and he counted it to him for right- Jam. 2.23. naan is promised again, and confirmed by a
eousness. sign, 12 and a vision.
7 And he said unto him, I am the
4 God pro
b Rom. 4. 18.
c Rom. 4. 3. Gal. 3. 6.
a Ps. 16. 5.
the Lord came unto Abram in the Chaldees, to give thee this land
by shall I know that I shall inherit
9 And he said unto him, Take me
she-goat of three years old, and a
10 And he took unto him all these,
thing that appertained to the king of Sodom. Bp. - Eliezer of Damascus ?] His ancestors were of Sanderson.
Damascus, in Syria, though he was born in Abram's
house. Bp. Kidder. Chap. XV. ver. 1.--the word of the Lord came unto 3. — one born in my house is mine heir.] If they have Abram). God revealed Himself to him more clearly; no children at all, the rich people of Barbary purchase For this is the first time we read of the Word of the Lord young slaves, educate them in their own faith, and coming to him, and of his having a vision, that is, being sometimes adopt them for their own children. Relamade a Prophet, and that in an high degree, God re- tions among us would think this a cruel hardship; vealing his mind to him not in a dream, but in a vision; would often pronounce it unjust: but the people of the when he was awake, but having his senses bound up East seem always to have had these ideas. “One born from their ordinary functions, whilst the heavenly in- in my house is mine heir," says Abram, speaking of a fluence came upon his mind. Bp. Patrick.
slave that he had, born of some female slave; though A signal manifestation of Himself was now made to he had brother's children and grandchildren, if not a Abram by the personal WORD OF THE LORD, who an- brother, in Mesopotamia, Gen. xxii. 20—24. Harmer. nounced Himself as the same God, who had brought 6. And he believed in the Lord;] He trusted in God, him out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give him the inhe- believing that He would make his promises good, how ritance of the land of Canaan. Dr. Hales. See note unlikely soever they seemed. “He against hope beon Jer. i. 4.
lieved in God.” Bp. Kidder. Fear not, Abram:] He might be tempted to
and he counted it to him for righteousness.] The fear: he was a sojourner in a strange land, separated Lord esteemed it a most noble act and high expression from Lot, who with the confederates was assaulted, and of a pious confidence in Him; and thereon graciously but lately rescued from captivity. God assures him owned him for a righteous" person, though he was therefore both of protection, and of great blessings be- not free from all sin; but was guilty of some actions sides. Bp. Kidder.
that were not consistent with perfect “righteousness.” 2.- Lord God, what wilt thou give me,] What good Bp. Patrick. This is that faith of Abram, which is so will all the riches in the world do me, if I have not a highly celebrated in the New Testament, Rom. iv. 3 ; child to inherit my estate? Bp. Patrick.
Gal. iii. 6; Jam. ii. 23; and which consisted in a firm We commonly have our eye upon those things which belief or persuasion, that the Divine promises, both we desire, and set so great a price upon them, that the temporal and spiritual, would be fulfilled in their seaovervaluing of what we have in pursuit and expectation, son; and in a conduct suitable to that persuasion. Dr. makes us undervalue what we have in possession. An Hales. infirmity, to which the best of the faithful, “the Father 8. — whereby shall I know &c.] He desires to know of the faithful" not excepted, are subject. It was the more particularly the manner of God's performing this speech of no worse a man than Abram, "Lord God, last promise of his inheriting that land. He questions what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless ?” As if not God's veracity, but desires a more distinct knowhe had said, “All this great increase of cattle and ledge of the matter. Bp. Kidder. abundance of treasure, which thou hast given me, avail 10.- divided them in the midst,] The only trace of me nothing, so long as I have never a child to leave it this rite in Scripture is in Jer. xxxiv. 18, 19, where a to.” Bp. Sanderson.
covenant is made by dividing a beast, and the parties