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Abimelech's covenant with
Abraham at Beer-sheba. she saw a well of water; and she went, lech because of a well of water, which about 1892. and filled the bottle with water, and Abimelech's servants had violently about 1892.
gave the lad drink.
20 And God was with the lad; and 26 And Abimelech said, I wot not
didst thou tell me, neither yet heard
22 q And it came to pass at that and both of them made a covenant.
ham, What mean these seven
falsely with me, nor with my son, 30 And he said, For these seven
|| Beer-sheba; because they there That is,
thou shalt lie unto me.
The tell of the oath.
their descent from the concubine, and challenging it minutes long, by which they declared themselves and from the wife, of Abraham ; till at last they became their children accursed, if ever they lifted their hands noticed under that appellation by Dioscorides, by Pto- against me in the tell
, or field, in the desert, or on the lemy, and the Jerusalem Targum itself. Whitaker. river: or, in case that I or mine should fly to them for
20. -- and became an archer.] A skilful hunter and refuge, if they did not protect us at the risk of their warriour also with bow and arrow. The Saracens, lives, their families, and their fortunes; or, as they emwho were of the posterity of Ishmael, never set their phatically expressed it, to the death of the last male hands to the plough, but got their living for the most child among them.” Bruce. part by their bow: supporting themselves on wild flesh 25. And Abraham reproved Abimelech] Before he and venison, and such wild fowl as the wilderness af- sware, he thought it necessary to settle a right underforded, with herbs and milk. Bp. Patrick.
standing between them: and therefore argued with It is from our inattention to the customs of the times, Abimelech, as it may be rendered, about a well of water if we imagine that Hagar and Ishmael had any hard digged by Abraham's servants, which Abimelech's had usage in their ejectment. Whatever the nature of their injuriously taken from him. This was wisdom, to offence may have been, there is no reason to accuse complain of wrongs now, before they entered into coveAbraham's conduct; since it was pursuant to a Divine nant; that these being redressed, there might be no direction, was agreeable to the practice of the times, and occasion of future quarrels. Bp. Patrick. no more than what other fathers in those days imposed 27. And Abraham took &c. and gave them &c.] In upon their younger sons : since the hardships, which token of amity, or as an expression of gratitude. Bp. Hagar and Ishmael suffered, were accidental; but the Kidder. benefits, which accrued, were designed :-since Abra Presents are considered in the East to be essential to ham by this means rescued them from a state of servi- humane and civil intercourse : whether they be dates, or tude for ever; and, according to the Divine prediction, whether they be diamonds, they are so much a part of was persuaded, that this would be the only expedient to Eastern manners, that without them an inferiour will make of Ishmael a flourishing nation. Stackhouse. never be at peace in his own mind, or think that he has
23. swear unto me by God] This is the first men a hold of his superiour for his favour or protection. tion of an oath given or taken. Bp. Wilson.
Bruce. Bruce, with reference to this passage, observes that Medicines and advice being given on my part, faith a “kind of oath,” which he specifies as now prevailing and protection pledged on their's (some Arabs near the in those parts, was in use among the Arabs, or shep- Nile), two bushels of wheat and seven sheep were carherds, as early as the time of Abraham.”
ried down to the boat; nor could we refuse their kind“Cursed be those men of my people, or others, that ness, as refusing a present in that country (however it ever shall lift up their hand against you, either in the is understood in our's) is just as great an affront, as deserl, or the tell (the part of Egypt which is culti-coming into the presence of a superiour without a prevated). As long as you are in this country, or between sent at all. Bruce. this and Cosseir, my son shall serve you with heart and 30. And he said, For these seven &c.] That is, thy hand: one night of pain, that your medicines freed me acceptance of these seven lambs shall be an acknowfrom, would not be repaid, if I was to follow you on foot ledgment, that this well, which I have digged, belongs to Messir, that is, Cairo."
Bp. Kidder. “The great people among them came, and, after join 31. Beer-sheba ;] The well of the oath. In process ing hands, repeated a kind of prayer of about two of time there was a considerable town built there, which
a Hebr. 11.
1 Or, tree.
Abraham worshippeth God there. CHAP. XXI. XXII. He is tempted to offer Isaac.
Beerup, about 1819 and Phichol the chief captainoof hes A Dinit came to pass after these
things, that God did tempt host, and they returned into the land Abraham, and said unto him, Abraof the Philistines.
ham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 17. 33 9 And Abraham planted a
2 And he said, Take now thy son, Behold me. || grove in Beer-sheba, and called thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovthere on the name of the Lord, the est, and get thee into the land of everlasting God.
Moriah : and offer him there for a 34 And Abraham sojourned in the burnt-offering upon one of the mounPhilistines' land many days.
tains which I will tell thee of.
3 9 And Abraham rose up early in CHAP. XXII.
the morning, and saddled his ass, and
giveth proof of his faith and obedience. 11 and Isaac his son, and cla the wood
is noticed by heathen writers under the name of Ber- share of the burden of his own anguish ; without exzimma, or Bersabe. The greatest length of the land of posing himself to the tender solicitations of Sarah; withIsrael is denoted in Scripture by the distance from out acquainting Isaac what was intended, before it beBeer-sheba, in the South, to Dan in the North. Dr. came absolutely needful. How astonishing great, how Heylin tells us, it was well fortified by the Western composed, how considerate a self-denial was this ! Abp. Christians, when they were masters of the Holy Land, Secker. as being a border town of importance. Dr. Wells.
the land of Moriah :] “ The high land," as the 33. And Abraham planted a grove] For a solemn Greek renders it; it being a mountainous place. The and retired place wherein to worship God. Hence, Latin Vulgate renders it " a land of vision;" the reason some think, the custom of planting groves was derived of which may be found in ver. 14. And the Chaldee, into all the Gentile world : who so profaned them by by a prolepsis, calls it “ the land of worship :” for there images, and filthiness, and sacrifices to demons, that Abraham worshipped, ver. 5. and 13; and there was God commanded them, by the law of Moses, to be cut afterwards built a temple for the worship of God, 2 down. Bp. Patrick.
Chron. iii. 1. Bp. Kidder.
- upon one of the mountains] In ancient times Chap. XXII, ver. 1.—God did tempt Abraham,] Or they chose mountains or high places, on which to worprove and try him, as the word here used signifies in ship God and offer sacrifices, chap. xii. 8. God apDeut. viii. 2, and xiii. 3, “that it might be known to proved of this, till they were profaned, as the groves others what Abraham was." See ver. 12. Bp. Kidder. were; see note on chap. xxi. 33; and then He comSee the note on Deut. viii. 2.
manded Abraham's posterity, not to worship in high - here I am.] A phrase, expressing readiness to places, but only in one certain mountain, where He hearken and to answer. Bp. Patrick.
ordered his temple to be seated. These mountains 2. And he said,] The command proceeded immedi- were well shaded with trees, so that commonly groves ately from God Himself: but how, and in what manner, and mountains are mentioned together, as places for reit was conveyed to Abraham, we are no where told. This ligious worship. Bp. Patrick. only can be affirmed, that God may, if He pleases, com 3. And Abraham rose up &c.] There have been semunicate his will to his creatures; and whenever He veral examples, especially of persons of a publick chavouchsafes to do so, He will, no doubt, give sufficient racter, who have sacrificed themselves, or their nearest evidence of the revelation. And therefore we can make relations. But to what?—Even to desperation, or the no question but Abraham had sufficient proof (whatever apprehension of human force and power; to a wicked that proof was) that the several revelations, respecting and superstitious custom; to pride and vain-glory; or both God's former promises, and the present severe com- to the hopes of preventing or stopping some dreadful mand, did really proceed from God. Bp. Conybeare. and publick calamity. But the case of Abraham is so
Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac,] A hard singularly circumstanced, that none of all these can be thing, even had it been Ishmael : but this was his only imputed to it. The only motive we can possibly imason by Sarah, and the child of promise. Bp. Patrick. gine, must have been his earnest desire to testify his
This command was a noble manifestation of Abra- obedience to God, in all, even his most arduous comham's faith and obedience. The hardest of those orders, mands. Stackhouse. which he had received before, were very supportable : went unto the place of which God had told him.] and they were accompanied with great promises of ad- Isaac was the very person to whom God had solemnly vantages; in particular of worldly advantage. This on promised signal blessings, and a numerous posterity : so the other hand was severe beyond expression; and had that the former promises and the last command seemed no promise or consolation at all annexed to it: but, in- directly to contradict each other, and consequently might stead of that, it enumerated to him the most cutting cir- have staggered a less confirmed piety than that of Abracumstances, and placed them before him in the fullest ham; and have made another parent, if he had been so light. “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom tried, unwilling to obey, and inclined to suppose either thou lovest, and offer him up." Yet pierced to the that there was some delusion in the revelation, or that heart, as he must be, by these expressions, he dutifully he did not rightly understand it. He would have submitted : without seeking excuses from any dissua- chosen to save his son, and to sacrifice his faith. Yet sive reasonings ; without throwing on any one the least Abraham's faith was as reasonable as it was eminent,
Abraham giveth proof
of his faith and obedience. 4 Then on the third day Abraham | burnt-offering : so they went both of
his eyes, and saw the place them together. afar off.
9 And they came to the place which
6 And Abraham took the wood of 10 And Abraham stretched forth
called unto him out of heaven, and
he said, Behold the fire and the wood : hand upon the lad, neither do thou || Or, kid. but where is the || lamb for a burnt- any thing unto him : for now I know offering ?
that thou fearest God, seeing thou 8 And Abraham said, My son, hast not withheld thy son, thine only God will provide himself a lamb for a son from me,
+ Heb. Behold me.
For, first, he had had a long and familiar intercourse whose conversation would be in a thousand instances with God, and frequent experience of the nature of re- the more moving, as he went along with him unsusvelations, and so knew, beyond a possibility of doubt- picious of what was to follow; and whose innocent ing, that the command came from God.
question at last, "My father, behold the fire and the He was ordered to go with his son to the land of wood : but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering ?” Moriah, a land where there were many mountains, and must, one should think, have completed the melting to offer up his son upon one particular mountain, which down of all human resolution.
But “wisdom preGod would shew him. On the third day he came within served him," as the Book of Wisdom expresses it, sight of it, and distinguished it from the rest, which must " blameless unto God, and kept him strong against his have been by some Divine indication. So this was a new tender compassion towards his son," chap. x. 5. Abp. revelation to him, that God required of him this act of Secker. obedience.
9. — And bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the He therefore concluded that God would provide some altar] The love of God the Father cannot be better exmethod to reconcile this cruel command with his good pressed than by this instance. Abraham readily gives ness and with his promises. And this method could his only, his beloved son, to be sacrificed : so God gave be no other than to raise up Isaac, and to restore him to his only Son. Bp. Wilson. a second life. Upon this supposition, the immorality Abraham bound Isaac, that he might not afterwards, and the cruelty of killing a son would be removed, and through fear or pain, disturb or defeat the work. No the death of Isaac would be only a short sleep followed doubt he had made him acquainted with the will of by a resurrection. Abraham," says the author of the God, and persuaded him willingly to submit to it: in Epistle to the Hebrews, "offered up his son, account which he prefigured Christ the more exactly, who “ laid ing," or reas
easoning with himself, “ that God was able to down his life of Himself, and no man" (without his raise him from the dead : from whence also he received consent) “ could take it from Him." Isaac, being him in a figure.” That is, Abraham was persuaded, that younger and stronger, could have made resistance, had God could raise his son from the dead : and according he chosen. Josephus says he was twenty-five years old. to his faith it was done unto him : he did receive him Bps. Kidder and Patrick. raised up from the dead, raised in a figurative sense, 10. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, &c.] Now, when the sentence of his death was recalled, and when when the sacrifice of the mind was made to the utmost, he brought him away from the altar. This was a plain and only the outward act was wanting, the hand being and striking image and representation of a real death stretched forth even for that; the goodness of the Aland of a real resurrection. Dr. Jortin.
mighty broke forth on a sudden, like the sun from be4. - on the third day) The piteous deed was not to hind a black cloud concealing it," and the angel of the be done immediately, whilst the impression of the Divine Lord called unto him out of heaven, &c.” The transVoice was still sounding in Abraham's ears, and ex- port of hearing these words must have made in a mocluded every other sentiment; but at the distance of ment large amends for the preceding pangs. Isaac was three whole days : during which every feeling of paternal restored to him without going through the bitterness affection would return in full force; and even the in- of death :" reproach and misconstruction was avoided : feriour consideration of what his family and the world the dreadful deed dispensed with : the willing mind acwould think and say to so unnatural an action, if Isaac cepted : and a solemn approbation pronounced over him did not rise again instantly, as there was no proof he from above, anticipating the final sentence, “ Well done, would, must singly have a weight very hard to be sup- good and faithful servant.” Abp. Secker. ported. Abp. Secker.
for now I know that thou fearest God,] Indeed, - so they went both of them together.] These days before this, God had declared, “I know Abraham," were not to be spent in retirement, in meditation and chap. xviii. 19. But now He “knew him” by a new prayer, to fortify his resolution ; but altogether in the proof : and which is the constant scripture-sense of his company of the dear object, whom he was to slay ; trying any one, He manifested him by the trial to angels,
He is blessed again.
CHAP. XXII, The generation of Nahor unto Rebekah. 13 And Abraham lifted up his 17 That in blessing I will bless eyes, and looked, and behold behind thee, and in multiplying I will multihim a ram caught in a thicket by his ply thy seed as the stars of the heahorns: and Abraham went and took ven, and as the sand which is upon the ram, and offered him up for a the sea + shore; and thy seed shall + Heb. lip. burnt-offering in the stead of his possess the gate of his enemies;
18 d And in thy seed shall all the a Chap. 12. 3. 14 And Abraham called the name nations of the earth be blessed; be- &c. 18 1 That is, of that place || Jehovah-jireh : as it is cause thou hast obeyed my voice. The LORD
said to this day, In the mount of the 19 So Abraham returned unto his Gal. 3. 8.
young men, and they rose up and
20 | And it came to pass after
sworn, saith the Lord, for because ham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she Hiebe . b.7.. thou hast done this thing, and hast hath also born children unto thy bro
not withheld thy son, thine only son : ther Nahor;
Ecclus. 44. 22. Acts 3. 25.
roill see, or, provide.
c Ps. 105. 9. Ecclus. 44. 21.
to men, to himself: and experience wrought in him should be viewed in the resemblance which it hath to sure hope not to be ashamed” upon any future occa- that of Christ. No wonder it was so extraordinary a sion, “because the love of God was thus shed abroad in transaction in itself, if it was intended to prefigure the his heart.” A further discovery was, and a very de- most extraordinary and mysterious one that the world lightful one it must be, that, by so decisive an experi- ever saw : as the agreeing circumstances prove it must. ment of Isaac's piety, his father knew him to be worthy In both cases we see a good and kind Father causing of his utmost affection; and worthy of the choice, which his beloved, only, and innocent Son to suffer death. God had made of him, to support religion, and be the Isaac was heir to the promises of the temporal Canaan : progenitor of the promised Seed. Abp. Secker. through Christ we claim the inheritance of the heavenly.
14.,- Jehovah-jireh :) That is, the Lord will see, or, Isaac carried the wood, on whịch he was bound, in order provide, God having there provided a ram for a sacrifice, to be offered up: Christ carried the cross, on which He instead of Isaac. Bp. Kidder. The word “provide’s was afterwards nailed, and put to death. The place, having been used before, ver. 8, it would have been where God appointed the former should die, and where better to retain the same word instead of “ It shall be the latter died actually, was the very same ; “ the land seen," in this verse. Dr. Wall.
of Moriah," that is, of God manifested : on one of the 16. - By myself have I sworn,] God enlarged his mountains of which, the Temple stood ; on another, mercies to Abraham proportionally to his obedience. our Saviour's cross. The term of three days too is reThis is apparent, as on other occasions, so in this the markably specified in each history. The lamb, which, great and last trial of all, the offering of his son ; which Abraham said, "God would provide,” naturally turns was rewarded by the ratification of God's former pro- our thoughts to Him, whom the Baptist calls the Lamb mise or covenant, by a most solemn oath. Bp. Patrick. of God; and the ram, substituted for Isaac, to the " Because he could swear by no greater, He sware by temple-sacrifices of animals, types of the atonement of Himself," Heb. vi. 13.
Christ. Then lastly, the mountain, where provision 17. – the gate of his enemies ;] _That is, the cities; was made for Abraham's distress, deserved its name and consequently their country. For the gates being infinitely better, on account of God's providing there taken, they entered into their cities; and their cities for the redemption of mankind, being surrendered, the country was conquered. Bp. These things indeed the Patriarch could not underPatrick.
stand, unless they were revealed to him ; for the likeness 18. in thy seed] That is, in Christ, Gal. ii, 16. of two objects cannot be discerned, till both appear.
because thou hast obeyed my voice.] As a reward Perhaps he was told the intent; and thus "saw the day" (the Hebrew word signifies) for obeying my voice. Bp. of Christ, and “was glad.” How gracious an ending Patrick,
of so terrifying a dispensation! But however that were, We read that Abraham's “faith was accounted unto we now may justly conclude, that what He then requirhim for righteousness ;” but then St. James tells us, ed Abraham to do for Him, He had purposed from eterthat “ faith wrought with his works ;” and, “ by works nity, in the counsel of unsearchable wisdom, to do for was his faith made perfect.” Let us not pretend to his lost creatures. And let the comforting reflection rest in a naked contemplation of the great truths of the dwell with us, “ He that spared not his own Son, but Gospel : they are revealed for nobler purposes, and in- delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him tended to enforce the duty of obedience. It is to no also freely give us all things?” Abp. Secker. purpose that we maintain the orthodoxy of our faith, as 20. — it was told Abraham, &c.] The chief intention of to the deep points of our religion, if we still promote this genealogy seems to be, to give us an account of the heresy in our practice, and by our actions disgrace our family of Rebekah, whom Isaac married : it connects belief. These are both jointly necessary to salvation : with the beginning of ch. xxiv. And it was in conseand what God hath joined together, let not man put quence of the information here given to Abraham, that asunder.“ Wilt thou know,” saith St. James, chap. ii., he thought of seeking a wife for his son from this fa" that faith without works is dead? As the body with mily.. Huz, or Uz, here mentioned, is supposed to have out the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead given its name to Job's country, (see Job i. 1 ;) and also." Bp. Conybeare.
from Buz it is thought came Elihu, the Buzite. See 19. So Abraham returned] The sacrifice of Isaac Job xxxii, 2. Locke.
The purchase of Machpelah. 21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his burying-place with you,
5 And the children of Heth an-
23 And Bethuel begat e Rebekah: mighty prince among us : in the contence of Roveca. 10. these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, choice of our sepulchres bury thy Abraham's brother.
dead ; none of us shall withhold from
bowed himself to the people of the
land, even to the children of Heth. CHAP. XXIII.
8 And he communed with them,
chase of Machpelah, 19 where Sarah was should bury my dead out of my sight;
hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron
9 That he may give me the cave these were the years of the life of of Machpelah, which he hath, which Sarah.
is in the end of his field; for t as much + Heb. 2 And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; money as it is worth he shall give it full money. the same is Hebron in the land of me for a possession of a burying-place Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn amongst you. for Sarah, and to weep for her.
10 And Ephron dwelt among the 3 And Abraham stood up from children of Heth: and Ephron the before his dead, and spake unto the Hittite answered Abraham in the sons of Heth, saying,
+ audience of the children of Heth, + Heb. ears. 4 I am a stranger and a sojourner even of all that went in at the gate of with you: give me possession of a his city, saying,
Chap. XXIII. ver. 2. — Kirjath-arba ;] “ The city of less in their temples ; but in the fields, in caves or vaults, Arba,” who was a famous man among the Anakims, made to hold a large number of bodies. So they conJosh. xiv. 15. It does not appear when Abraham left tinued among the Jews in our Saviour's time, as appears Beer-sheba, and removed to this place. Bp. Patrick. by Lazarus's monument, John xi. 30, 31; and by the
Abraham came to mourn] He came from his own burying-places for strangers, Matt. xxvii. 7; and by their tent, which was separate from his wife's; see chap. carrying the widow's son out of the city, Luke vii. 12, xxiv. 67. Having performed the offices of private sor- &c. This seems to have been in the corner of the field,
he appears to have now prepared for the publick which perhaps was near the highway: for there they funeral solemnities. Bp. Patrick.
sometimes chose to bury their dead, Gen. xxxv. 8, 19; 3. — from before his dead,] That is, from the place Josh. xxiv. 30. Bp. Patrick. where he sat mourning over his dead. Isai. xlvii. 1; Job 10. — of all that went in at the gate of his city,] That ii. 13. Bp. Kidder.
is, of all the citizens or inhabitants. Bp. Kidder. the sons of Heth,] That is, the Hittites. Heth The gates of cities in these days, and many ages after, was the son of Canaan, and grandson of Ham. By “the were the places of judicature and common resort. Here sons” are meant the principal persons of the nation. the governours and elders of the city met to hear comBp. Patrick
plaints, administer justice, make conveyances of titles 4. I am a stranger and a sojourner with you :] Abra- and estates, and in short to transact all the affairs of the ham's declaration that he was only a stranger and so- place. Hence that passage in the Psalmist, “ They shall journer in the land, and his purchase of a burying-place not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in for his deceased wife and his family from the Hittites or the gate ;” that is, when they are accused by them be
sons of Heth,” is finely introduced by St. Paul, to fore the court of magistrates. It is probable that the prove how well he and the Patriarchs understood that room or hall, where these magistrates sat, was over the the grant of the land of promise gave them no present gate, because Boaz is said to “ go up to the gate ;” and title, or immediate possession of it; that it was only de- the reason of having it built there seems to have been signed for a future inheritance. “By faith Abraham so- for the convenience of the inhabitants; who, being all journed in the land of promise, as in a strange country, husbandmen, and forced to pass and repass every morndwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs ing and evening, as they went and came from their lawith him of the same promise : for he looked for a city bour, might be more easily called as they went by, whenwhich hath foundations, whose builder and maker is ever they were wanted to appear in any business. So God,” Heb. xi. 9, 10. Dr. Hales.
that from the whole it appears, that Abraham could not 9. - the cave of Machpelah,-in the end of his field ;] have made his purchase from Ephron, without his having By a cave is properly meant a vault, arched over with recourse to the city gates. Stackhouse. stones or wood, such as the ancient Greeks called Crypte. All affairs of moment among the Algerines are laid beBurying-places were not anciently in the cities, much fore the Dey or the principal officers, who sit constantly