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d Acts 7. 6.
Canaan is promised again, and
CHAP. XV. confirmed by a siyn and a vision. 11 And when the fowls came down
16 But in the fourth generation CHRIST upon
the carcases, Abram drove them they shall come hither again: for the
iniquity of the Amorites is not yet
behold a smoking furnace, and t a + Heba
14 And also that nation, whom they land, from the river of Egypt unto 26.4.
zites, and the Kadmonites,
21 And the Amorites, and the
Deut. 34. 4.
covenanting passing between the parts of the beasts so lived among the Amorites, (chap. xiv. 13,) but under divided. This place however shews it to have been a their name are comprehended all the other nations of very ancient custom: which appears also from Homer, Canaan. There is a certain measure of wickedness, the earliest heathen writer. The rite was as much as to beyond which God will not spare a sinful land. And say, “Thus let me be divided and cut in pieces, if I though the seasons of punishing nations with a general violate the oath which I have now made in the presence ruin be known to God only, yet when a land adds to its of God.” Jos. Mede, Bp. Patrick, Stackhouse.
sins, it both hastens and assures to itself destruction. 11. And when the fowls came down] The birds of prey. Compare Jer. li. 13; Matt. xxiii. 32; 1 Thess. ii. 16;
12. – an horror of great darkness] An horrible dark- with Ezek. xiv. 14. Bps. Kidder and Patrick. ness and dread of spirits. That horrour and dread of spi When neither the mercies nor the judgments of God rits frequently seized on those who saw visions is evident will bring us to repentance, we are then fit for destrucfrom Daniel : “ I was left alone, and saw this great vision, tion : according to the saying of the Apostle in Rom. and there remained no strength in me: for my comeli- ix. 22, “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and ness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no to make his power known, endured with much longstrength,” chap. x. 8. The description of this matter in suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction ? Job is very awful and affecting : “In thoughts from the They who are wrought upon neither by the patience of visions of the night, &c.” chap. iv. 13, &c. Stackhouse. God's mercies, nor by the patience of his judgments,
13. And he said unto Abram, &c.] Three things were seem to be fitted and prepared, to be ripe and ready for to befall Abram's seed : 1st, That they “should be a destruction.” Abp. Tillotson. stranger in a land not their's;" and they sojourned 17.-behold a smoking furnace, &c.] By this symbol partly in Canaan, partly in Egypt: 2dly, That they God designed to represent to Abram, either the future should “serve;" and they did serve the Egyptians : state of his posterity, the “smoking furnace,” signifying 3dly, That they should be “afflicted;" and so the Israel Israel's misery in Egypt, and the burning lamp” their ites were in a great degree, a long time before they came escape and deliverance : or more probably to notify his out of Egypt. The time from the birth of Isaac to the own immediate presence. A symbolical representation deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt was 400 years. of his majesty appeared in great splendour, like a flamBps. Patrick and Kidder.
ing fire, as it afterwards appeared to Moses, (Exod. iij. 15. And thou shalt go to thy fathers] Die, and depart 2, 6,) and “passed between the pieces” of the beasts to the other world. Bp. Patrick.
that were divided, (ver. 10,) in token that He entered It is no small mercy in God, it is no small comfort to into covenant with Abram and his posterity. Slackus, if either He take us away, before his judgments house, Bp. Patrick. come; or keep his judgments away, till we be gone. 18.- from the river of Egypt] “The river of Egypt," When God had told Abram that “his seed should be a which is here mentioned, as one of the boundaries of stranger in a land that was not their's," meaning Egypt, the land promised to the posterity of Abraham, was the where they should be kept under and afflicted 400 years, river Nile, whose eastern or Pelusiac branch was reclest the good Patriarch should have been overwhelmed koned the boundary of Egypt, towards the great desert with grief at it, He comforteth him, as with a promise of Shur, which lies between Egypt and Palestine, and of a glorious deliverance at the last, so with a promise which is about 90 miles in breadth. From a compaalso of prosperity to his own person and for his own rison of 1 Kings viii. 65, and 2 Chron. vii. 8, with time. See also Isaiah xxxix. 8 ; 2 Kings xxii. 20. Bp. 1 Chron. xiii. 5, it appears that “Sihor” and “ the river Sanderson.
of Egypt” are the same. And it appears from Jer. 16. But in the fourth generation] The fourth from ü. 18, that Sihor was the Nile. The Hebrew name the descent into Egypt. Thus Caleb, one of those who “Sihor" signifies “ black;" it is an apt epithet of the came into the promised land, was the fourth from Judah, Nile, bringing down, with its flood, from Abyssinia, a 1 Chron. ii. 4, 5, 9, 18. And Aaron and Moses were rich, black, loamy sand, which fertilizes the lower Egypt. the fourth in descent from Levi, Exod. vi. 16, 18, 20. In the Ethiopian, Egyptian, Greek, and Hindu languages, Bp. Kidder.
the Nile is distinguished by appellations, all of which the iniquity of the Amorites &c.] Abram now I signify " black.”
Sarai giveth Hagar to Abram.
Hagar runneth away. Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and Abram had dwelt ten years in the the Jebusites.
land of Canaan, and gave her to her
husband Abram to be his wife. CHAP. XVI.
4 1 And he went in unto Hagar,
4 Hagar, being afflicted for despising her saw that she had conceived, her mis-
wrong be upon thee: I have given
him no children: and she had she saw that she had conceived, I was an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose despised in her eyes: the Lordjudge name was Hagar.
between me and thee. 2 And Sarai said unto Abram, 6 But Abram said unto Sarai, BeBehold now, the Lord hath re- hold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to strained me from bearing: I pray her + as it pleaseth thee. And when + Heb. that thee, go in unto my maid ; it may be Sarai + dealt hardly with her, she which is
gond in thine that I may + obtain children by her. fled from her face. builded by
And Abram hearkened to the voice 7 1 And the angel of the Lord afficted her. of Sarai.
found her by a fountain of water in 3 And Sarai Abram's wife took the wilderness, by the fountain in the Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after way to Shur.
+ Heb. be
From a solitary passage in the Septuagint version, 4. And he went in &c.] As an excuse, in some mearendering the stream or the river of Egypt” (Isa. sure, for Abram, it may be pleaded, that having lived xxvii. 12), “ by Rhinocorura,” a city of Palestine Syria, many years without giving occasion to suspect his mobuilt on the borders of the desert which separates that desty and continence, he did not in all probability now country from Egypt, it has been supposed to denote a act from a criminal motive, but from a principle of constream or torrent near that city by St. Augustine, and jugal affection to Sarai, in compliance with those soliby some respectable modern geographers, Wells, Cella- citations, made from her desire of thus contributing to rius, Bochart, &c. But none of the old geographers, the accomplishment of God's promises, he took Hagar Strabo, Mela, Pliny, Ptolemy, &c., notice any such to his bed that having no longer any hope of issue by stream or torrent there. Dr. Hales.
Sarai, he had recourse to this, as the only way he could The reader will observe, that, in the maps constructed devise, whereby to have God's promise of "an heir, for the present edition of the Bible, attention has been that should be born of himself,” accomplished ; and paid to the two opinions respecting the “river of Egypt,” that polygamy, though certainly declared criminal by stated above : accordingly, in the “ Map of the stations our Saviour, who has restored matrimony to its primiof the Israelites,” the south border of Canaan is deli- tive institution, may have been at that time, if not alneated so as to agree with the hypothesis of the eastern lowed, yet tolerated by God, for the hardness of men's branch of the Nile being the river here spoken of by hearts. Stackhouse. Moses : and in the “ Map of Canaan,” the same border The instances of polygamy, which Scripture records, is made to correspond with the opinion, which identifies by no means exhibit inducements to the practice : witthat river with the supposed stream near Rhinocorura. ness Sarai and Hagar, Leah and Rachel, Hannah and
Peninnah. As in ancient times, family feuds imbittered Chap. XVI. ver. 1.- an handmaid, an Egyptian,] polygamy, we shall find on enquiry, that in modern Every woman (in Barbary) that is married, has at least times also this irregular practice is far from adding any one female slave, who is usually a black, to attend her; thing to domestick happiness. In Mahometan counwhilst others have two or more, according to their rank tries, where polygamy is allowed, what we are able to and quality. In like manner we find that Hagar was learn of the domestick life of the husbands, who have Sarai's “handmaid;" that Rebekah, when she was be- several wives, is calculated neither to make their lot entrothed to Isaac, was attended by her nurse and her viable, nor to give a favourable opinion of Mahomet's damsels;" that Laban gave to his daughter Leah, when legislation: their house is a perpetual scene of tumult she was married to Jacob, Zilpah “his maid for an hand and contention. Nothing is to be heard but quarrels maid;" and to Rachel, on the like occasion, Bilhah “his among the different wives, and complaints made to the handmaid to be her maid.” Dr. Shaw.
husband. The four legal married wives complain, that 3. -- gare her to her husband &c.], In concubinage, their slaves are preferred to them; and their slaves, that these secondary wives were accounted lawful and true they are abandoned to the jealousy of their mistresses. wives, and their issue was reputed legitimate ; but they Fragments to Calmet, Volney's Travels. were inferiour to the chief wife, having no authority in her mistress was despised in her eyes.] Fruitfulthe family, nor any share in household government: so, ness was accounted a great blessing and honour in those if they had been servants in the family, before they be- days. Bp. Patrick. came concubines, they continued to be such afterwards, 7. And the angel of the Lord] This is the first time and in the same subjection to their mistresses as before. that we read of the appearance of an angel: by which Stackhouse,
some Christians understand the ETERNAL WORD or Hagar being Sarai’s bond-slave, her children would Son of God. It is probable, that it was one of the be Sarai's children, according to the custom of those heavenly ministers. Bp. Patrick. times, chap. xxx. 3; Exod. xxi. 4. Bp. Patrick.
in the way to Shur.] She was fleeing into Egypt,
God shall hear.
to multiply her secd. 8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's 11 And the angel of the Lord maid, whence camest thou ? and whi- said unto her, Behold, thou art with ther wilt thou go? And she said, I child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt flee from the face of my mistress call his name || Ishmael ; because the That is, Sarai.
Lord hath heard thy affliction.
10 And the angel of the Lord he shall dwell in the presence of all
Lord that spake unto her, Thou
her own country, on which the wilderness of Shur bor- for plundering strangers only, and attacking almost dered. Bp. Patrick.
every person whom they find unarmed and defenceless; 8. — Hagar, Sarai's maid,] He addresses her as but for those many implacable and hereditary animosiSarai's maid, to put Hagar in mind of her relation and ties, which continually subsist among them; literally duty. Bp. Wilson.
fulfilling to this day the prophecy to Hagar, that 10.— I will multiply &c.] The angel delivers this “ Ishmael should be a wild man; his hand should be message in the name of God who sent him. Bp. Patrick. against every man, and every man's hand against him." He speaks in the person of God, and by Hagar is ac- Dr. Shaw. knowledged as God, ver. 13, which seems to some to and he shall dwell in the presence of all his breintimate, that it was the Son of God who appeared.thren.] Shall tabernacle; for many of the Arabs dwell Bp. Kidder.
in tents, and are therefore called Scenites, from a Greek multiply thy seed exceedingly,] In a few years word, signifying a tent. They dwelt in tents in the the family of her son Ishmael was so increased, that in wilderness as long ago as Isaiah's and Jeremiah's time, the 37th chapter we read of Ishmaelites trading into Is. xiii. 20; Jer. iii. 2; and they do the same at this Egypt. Afterwards his seed was multiplied exceedingly day. This is very extraordinary, that “his hand should in the Hagarenes, probably so called from his mother be against every man, and every man's hand against Hagar; and in the Nabatheans, who had their name him;" and yet that he should be able to “dwell in the from his son Nebaioth; and in the Itureans, so called presence of all his brethren :" but extraordinary as it from his son Jetur or Itur; and in the Arabs, especially was, this also hath been accomplished both in the perthe Scenites, and the Saracens, who overran a great part son of Ishmael, and in his posterity. As for Ishmael of the world : and his descendants, the Arabs, are a very himself, the sacred historian afterwards relates, chap. numerous people at this day. Bp. Newton.
xxv. 17, 18, that “the years of the life of Ishmael were 12. And he will be a wild man ;]. Live in a rambling an hundred and thirty and seven years, and he died in unsettled state. Dr. Wells. It is in the original a wild the presence of all his brethren.' As for his posterity, ess-man; meaning as wild as a wild ass : so that that they dwelt likewise in the presence of all their brethren ; should be eminently true of him, which is affirmed of Abraham's sons by Keturah; the Moabites and Ammankind in general, Man is born like a wild ass's monites, descendants of Lot; the Israelites, descendcolt,” Job xi. 12. The nature of the creature, to which ants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and the Edomites, Ishmael is compared, cannot be described better than in descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Esau. They still the same book, (chap. xxxix. 5, &c. :) according to which subsist a distinct people, and inhabit the country of Ishmael and his posterity were to be wild, fierce, savage, their progenitors : they have from first to last mainranging in the deserts, and not easily softened and tamed tained their independency; and notwithstanding the to society. And whoever hath read or known any thing most powerful efforts for their destruction, still dwell in of this people, knoweth this to be their true and genuine the presence of all their brethren, and in the presence character. Bp. Newton.
of all their enemies. Bp. Newton. his hand will be against every man, &c.] The The region inhabited by the Arabs is not remote or one is the natural and almost necessary consequence of insulated, separated from social life, and therefore exthe other. Ishmael lived by prey and rapine in the empt from the influence, which naturally results from wilderness; and his posterity have all along infested intercourse with other countries. It is situated in that Arabia and the neighbouring countries with their portion of the globe, in which society originated, and robberies and incursions. They live in a state of con- the first kingdoms were formed. The greatest empires of tinual war with the rest of the world ; and are both the world arose and fell around them. They have not robbers by land, and pirates by sea. As they have been been secluded from correspondence with foreign nations ; such enemies to mankind, it is no wonder that mankind and thus attached through ignorance and prejudice to have been enemies to them again : that several attempts simple and primitive manners. In the early periods of have been made to extirpate them; and even now, as history they were united as allies to the most powerful well as formerly, travellers are forced to go with arms monarchs of the East: under their victorious prophet and in caravans or large companies, and to march and they once carried their arms over the most considerable keep watch and guard like a little army, to defend kingdoms of the earth : through many succeeding ages themselves from the assaults of these freebooters. the caravans of the merchant, and the companies of Bp. Newton.
Mahometan pilgrims, passed regularly over the deserts : The Arabs are naturally thievish and treacherous : even their religion has undergone a total change. Yet and it sometimes happens that those very persons are all these circumstances, which, it might be supposed, overtaken and pillaged in the morning, who were enter- would have subdued the most stubborn prejudices, and tained the night before with all the instances of friend- altered the most inveterate habits, have produced no ship and hospitality. Neither are they to be accused ! effect upon the Arabs : and they still preserve unim
b Chap. 24. 62.
God reneweth the covenant. God seest me: for she said, Have I 4 As for me, behold, my covenant also here looked after him that seeth is with thee, and thou shalt be a fa
ther of + many nations. 14 Wherefore the well was called 5 Neither shall thy name any more multitude of
b || Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is be- be called Abram, but thy name shall || That is, the tween Kadesh and Bered.
be Abraham ; b for a father of many b Rom. 4. 17. well of him
15 And Hagar bare Abram a nations have I made thee.
ing fruitful, and I will make nations
7 And I will establish my cove
nant between me and thee and thy CH AP. XVII.
seed after thee in their generations
for an everlasting covenant, to be a
name is changed in token of a greater bless- God unto thee, and to thy seed after
thou art a stranger, all the land of
years old the be their God.
appeared to Abram, and said unto 9 And God said unto Abraham, a Chap. 5.22. him, I am the Almighty God; a walk Thou shalt keep my covenant thereright, AI SIN
before me, and be thou || perfect. fore, thou, and thy seed after thee in
shall keep, between me and you and
| Or, up
paired a most exact resemblance to the first descendants own imaginations, He prescribed them a body of laws, of Ishmael. Richards.
as their proper head and governour; and, by a con13. — for she said, Have I also here &c.] That is, tinued series of typical prefigurations, prepared them Have I not here also, even in the waste desert, and not for the acknowledgment and reception of that great only in the house of Abram, seen that good God of Deliverer, who had been promised from the beginning. mine, which hath first graciously looked upon me and Dr. Berriman. mine affliction? Bp. Hall.
This is the first place in all the Scriptures, wherein
God promises in express terms to be a God to any peoChap. XVII. ver. 1.- I am the Almighty God;] Or ple. Afterwards indeed He often repeated the same All-suficient. This is the first time we meet with this thing by his prophets, saying, “I will be to them a
And God plainly uses it here, to confirm his God, and they shall be to me a people.” But these covenant; that Abram might more firmly believe, that words were only as the transcripts of this covenant : He was able to perform what He promised, seeing He this was the original copy; the first grant here made to was “God Almighty.” Bp. Beveridge.
Abraham and to his seed. Bp. Beveridge. perfect.] See note on chap. vi. 9.
8.-for an everlasting possession ;] The word “ever2.- I will make my covenant] Establish, and con- lasting is to be understood according to the capacity firm, and give a token of it: it was made before. See of the subject; sometimes for a perpetual duration ; ch. xii. 2. Bp. Patrick.
sometimes for as long as the world shall last : accord4. — thou shalt be a father of many nations.] Not only ing to God's appointment or purpose. Bp. Wilson. of Jews, and Ishmaelites, and others; but in the Abraham's seed were to "possess” the land, if they spiritual sense, of all the Gentile world. Bp. Patrick. did not forfeit it by their disobedience to God. Bp.
5. Neither shall thy name &c.] Abram means, a high Palrick. father; Abraham, a father of a great multitude. Bp. 10. This is my covenant,] That is, this which I am Patrick, Calmet.
about to mention, is a sign or token of the covenant, as 6.— kings shall come out of thee.] Many kings sprang the Paschal Lamb is called the “Passover of the Lord,” from Abraham ; of the Jews, Ishmaelites, Idumeans, Exod. xii. 11, that is, the memorial of the angel's passing Midianites, and our great King the Messiah. Bp. them by, when he smote the Egyptian children. But Kidder.
circumcision was such a sign, that they entered thereby 7. — to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.] into a covenant with God to be his people. For it was The family of Abraham was to be disciplined as a select not a mere mark, whereby they should be known to be people, and God in a peculiar sense engaged to be a Abraham's seed, and distinguished from other nations ; God unto him and to his seed after him. Whilst other but they were made by this the children of the covenations seemed to be neglected, and left to follow their nant, and entitled to the blessings of it. This mark
+ Heb. she
d Acts 7. 8.
Luke 2. 21.
Isaac is promised.
tions; kings of people shall be of her, shall become 12 And the that is eight days old
17' Then Abraham fell upon his Leight days shall be circumcised among you, face, and laughed, and said in his John 7. 22.
every man child in your generations, heart, Shall a child be born unto him
thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I
heard thee: Behold, I have blessed
will make him a great nation.
& 21. 2.
was very fitly chosen, because it was such a token, as of his great joy and admiration. He is therefore not no man would have set upon himself, and upon his censured for it, as Sarah is, chap. xviii. A reference children, unless it were for faith and religion's sake. seems to be made to this by our Saviour, John viii. 56.
Covenants were anciently made in the East by means God had promised, that the Seed of the woman should of blood. Thus God's covenant with Abraham was bruise the serpent's head. This covenant is renewed to solemnized on Abraham's part by his own and his son Abraham, ver. 3, 4 of this chapter; and here limited to Isaac's blood, and so continued through all generations : Isaac. Good reason therefore had he to rejoice exand as they were thus made the select people of God, so ceedingly, believing that so great a blessing should proGod in conclusion sent his own Son, who by this very ceed out of his loins : a blessing, which should abolish covenant of circumcision was consecrated to be their the curse, brought upon all nations by Adam's transGod and their Redeemer. Bp. Patrick.
gression. Bps. Patrick, Kidder, and Wilson. One great end of circumcision was, not only to dis 18.-0 that Ishmael might live before thee !] I betinguish them from all others, but chiefly to keep them lieve, O Lord, as Thou sayest, that my old age shall be from idolatry, into which all other nations had fallen; blessed with farther issue, for which also Thou wilt in and to put them in mind of the covenant made with all likelihood reserve thy special and highest favour : Abraham, and with every one that was circumcised, but let not the son Thou hast given me already, even that he would worship no other God but the true God, Ishmael, be cast out and neglected by Thee: let it the God of his father Abraham ; nor own any other please Thee to continue him also to me, with much prosMediator, but Him promised to Abraham: all other perity. Bp. Hall. nations worshipping the sun, &c. as mediators. Bp. 19. — Isaac :] Which signifies in Hebrew he has, Wilson.
or shall laugh. He was so called, not from Sarah's The Egyptians borrowed circumcision either from laughter, ch. xviii. 12, but from Abraham's joy. His the Hebrews, or the Ishmaelites, or some other people name was a memorial of his father's faith, not of his descended from Abraham. Bp. Patrick.
mother's unbelief. Stackhouse, Bp. Kidder. 12. And he that is eight days old] The eighth day is 20. — and will multiply him &c.] See the note from Bp. the time of circumcision among the Jews, that is, the Newton, on the tenth verse of the preceding chapter. descendants of Abraham and Sarah; but because Ish - twelve princes shall he beget,] This circumstance mael, the son of Abraham and Hagar, was thirteen is very particular, but it was punctually fulfilled. Moses years old when he was circumcised, the descendants of hath given us the names of these twelve princes, chap. Ishmael are not circumcised till that age. Circumcision xxv. 13–16: by which we are to understand, not that was a type of baptism. Abraham was the first person they were so many distinct sovereign princes, but heads circumcised: and he is also the first person called a of clans or tribes. Heathen writers speak of the AraProphet in Scripture. Bp. Tomline
bian phylarchs, or rulers of tribes; and of that people 14. -- that soul shall be cut off ] The meaning of this having twelve kings over them. The people have ever phrase is much disputed. The simplest sense seems to since lived in tribes ; and still continue to do so, as be, he shall not be accounted one of God's people. Thevenot and other modern travellers testify. Bp. Bp. Patrick,
Newton. 15. — Sarai] Sarai means my princess, Sarah a prin. and I will make him a great nation.] This is recess, or the princess ; a princess indefinitely: not of one peated twice or thrice; and it was accomplished as soon farnily, but of many nations. Bp. Wilson, Calmet. as in the regular course of nature it could be. His
17. – laughed,] Not doubting of the promise, for seed in process of time grew up into a great nation ; the Apostle tells us the contrary, Rom. iv. 19, but out and such they continued for several ages, and such they Vol. I.