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to sojourn there; for the famine was griev-raoh: and the woman was taken into ous in the land. Pharaoh's house.

11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now I know that thou art a fair woman to look

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V. 10. Abram, when pressed by famine, did not return to Mesopotamia, as weary of his pilgrimage, or as despising the promised land; but he retired for a season into Egypt.

V. 11-16. It is supposed that Sarai's complexion, being fair, (as the Egyptians were sallow,) might render her more beautiful in the eyes of Pharaoh; though she was at this time sixty-five years of age. The impartiality of the historian is here worthy of admiration: but the conduct of Abram was exceedingly culpable, and inconsistent with the character of the 'father of the faithful," and "the friend of God." || His counsel to Sarai could arise from nothing but distrust and unbelief: for a numerous posterity had been just before promised him; and would the Lord suffer him to be slain when childless? The words which he suggested to Sarai were at best an equivocation, intended for the purpose of deceiving. He tempted her to join in his sin, and thus to expose her own chastity to imminent danger! And his language implied a strong dependence on the success of his carnal policy; and a disposition, if it succeeded, to give Sarai the credit of preserving his life, instead of ascribing his safety to the Lord. The temptation also, thrown in the way of Pharaoh and his princes, was suited to ensnare them in guilt, and even to prejudice them against Abram's religion.-Pharaoh, (whose name was for many ages common to the kings of Egypt,) was disposed to add to the number of his wives, (for probably he had some before;) and his courtiers were willing to assist him: but they did not shew any tokens of so atrocious wickedness, as to take Abram's wife from him, or to murder him on her account.

V. 17. God inflicted on Pharaoh and his family some grievous disorders, which made them sensible for what cause they were plagued: and thus he preserved Sarah. And probably she, being further questioned, declared the real state of the case.

V. 18-20. Pharaoh's conduct on this occasion was equitable and honorable; and his

16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels.

17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues, because of Sarai, Abram's wife.

18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

19 Why saidst thou she is my sister! so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore, behold thy wife, take her and go thy way.

20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had. 20:2.

13:2. 20:14.

h 24:35. 26:14. 32:5,13-15. Job

1:3. 42:12.

i 20:18. Job 34:19. Ps. 105:14,

15. Heb. 13:4.

k 20:9,10. 26:9-11. Ex. 32:21 Prov. 21:1.

11 Sam. 29:6-11.

rebuke and expostulation could admit of no answer.-To tempt others to sin is the greatest of injuries.

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

V. 1-9.

In the call of Abram, the chosen repository of the promises, and the exemplar of believers through all future ages, we have a representa tion of the life of faith, and the walk with God. This commences when the Lord graciously makes himself known to a sinner, by his word and Spirit; thus calling him to forsake his sinful and worldly pursuits and connexions, to deny himself, and to become his spiritual worshipper and devoted servant: while allured by "exceedingly great and precious promises," drawn by strong desires and expectations, and convinced of the ruin which attends disobedience, the sinner through grace obeys the calling.'-He who indeed believes the word of God, and values duly the promised blessings, will yield a prompt and unreserved obedience to the command, however nature may revolt at it, or shrink from it: and nothing but true faith will produce this self-denying obedience. Believers, "being justified by faith, have peace with God:" they are blessed themselves, and blessings to others, to relatives, to friends, to neighbors, to their country, to the church of God, and to posterity; by their example, influence, and prayers, living and dying: and their words and actions are often long after remembered with great profit, by many. As their friends will be rewarded, so their enemies will be punished: though their name may not be great on earth, it shall be great in heaven; and some, who have lived long in sin, have become afterwards very eminent in faith and holiness. -We must not neglect the call of God, to oblige our nearest relations; but we should endeavor to prevail on them to associate with us in his service; and we shall not in general be altogether unsuccessful. Wherever we go, "the LORD is there;" and, professing his truth,

CHAP. XIII.

Abram and Lot return with great riches from Egypt, 15. Strife arises between Abram's herdsmen and those of Lot, 6, 7. Abram meekly refers it to Lot, to choose his part in the country, 8, 9; and he goes to Sodom, 10-13. God renews his promises to Abram, 14-17; who goes to Hebron and builds an altar, 18.

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ND Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.

2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

3 And he went on his journeys from the south, even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hai;

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4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. 5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herd

a 12:9. Josh. 10:40. 18:5. 1 Sam. | d Ps. 116:2,17. Jer. 29:12. Zeph. 27:10. 2 Sam. 24:7. 3:9. 1 Cor. 1:2.

b 24:35. 26:12,13. Deut. 8:18. 1 Sam. 2:7. Job 1:10. Ps. 112: 1-3. Prov. 3:9,10. 10:22.

Matt. 6:33. e 18. 12:7,8, 35:1-3. Ps. 26:8. 42:2. 84:1,2,10.

e 4:20. 25:27. Jer. 49:29.

f 36:6,7. Ec. 5:10,11. Luke 12: 17.18.

g 26:20. Ex. 2:17. 1 Cor. 3:3. Gal. 5:20.

attending on his worship, and enjoying communion with him, we cannot but be safe, respectable, and happy. Whatever difficulties and dangers we meet with, we must never think of turning back; but must press forward, aiming at still more intimate communion with God, and more entire conformity to him.

V. 10-20.

No state on earth is free from trials; no character from blemishes: famine was known in Canaan, the glory of all lands; and unbelief, with its consequent evils, was clearly discernible in Abram "the father of the faithful!" In heaven alone can perfect felicity and purity be found. Those external accomplishments which

are

most coveted and admired, frequently prove sources of danger and temptation to the possessor, and to others.-"The fear of man bringeth a snare;" and nothing but lively and vigorous faith can keep us stedfast in obedience, amidst perils and temptations.—Our attachments to endeared relatives, and our expectations from them, are frequently idolatrous, and inconsistent with simplicity of dependence on the Lord.-Strict sincerity, remote from the least appearance of evasion or dupli-|| city, is not only most honorable, but in the event safest and most advantageous: for "a lying lip is but for a moment,” and disgrace is sure to follow.-Magistrates are exalted in Providence to be "a terror to evil doers, and a praise to them that do well;" but too often they are slaves to their own lusts, and sacrifice every nobler consideration to "make provision for the flesh:" but they must give an account of their conduct to God. And when courtiers degrade themselves, by becoming caterers of the lusts of their superiors, they forfeit the honorable ap

men of Lot's cattle: and the h Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled there in the land.

8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen: for we be brethren.

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9 Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto P Zoar.

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11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and a they separated themselves the one from the other.

h12:6. 34:30. Neh. 5:9. Phil. k 20:15. 34:10.

2:14,15. Col. 4:5. 1 Thes. 4:1 Rom. 12:18. Jam. 3:13-18. 12. 1 Pet. 2:12. 1 Pet. 3:10,11.

i Prov. 15:1. Matt. 5:9. 1 Cor. m 3:6. 62. Num. 32:1,&c. 1 6:6,7. Heb. 12:14. John 2:15,16.

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pellation of princes, and merit the most opprobrious epithets. Yet, even in the worst of times and places, we meet with more honor and conscience, than we perhaps expected, and find our unbelieving fears were groundless.-God protects his people notwithstanding their infirmities; takes better care of them than they do of themselves; and over-rules all things for their good: yet they shall not escape rebuke, even from those who are in other respects their inferiors, when they act inconsistently with their character and profession.

NOTES.

CHAP. XIII. V. 1. South.] The southern part of Canaan, lay north-east of Egypt.

V. 2. Abram's riches had been increased by his journey to Egypt, nay, by means of his misconduct! God so over-ruling it, entirely beside Abram's intention.

V. 4. Place of the altar.] In preference to any other place, as remembering with pleasure, the worship which he had there performed.

V. 6. The former inhabitants doubtless occupied much of the best land; and the unoccupied part could not, in one district, support so large flocks and herds.

V. 7. The Canaanite and Perizzite, being estranged from true religion, would strictly scrutinize, and severely animadvert upon, the conduct of those, who openly professed themselves the servants and worshippers of JEHOVAH.-The Canaanite, &c.] Note, 12:6,7.

V. 8, 9. Abram was the elder man, the superior relation, and the more eminent servant of God: yet, for the sake of peare, and for the credit of religion, he gave up every persona' consideration, and with great temper and pru

to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

a

12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward 16 And I will make thy seed as the Sodom. dust of the earth: so that if a man can 13 But the men of Sodom were wick-number the dust of the earth, then shall ed, and sinners before the LORD exceed thy seed also be numbered. ingly.

14 T And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, north-ward, and south-ward, and east-ward, and westward.

17 Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it: for I will give it unto thee.

18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

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15 For all the land which thou seest, z 12:7. 15:18. 17:8. 18:18. 24:7.

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dence supplicated his nephew, and allowed him his choice. The best, the wisest, and men of the greatest experience in the world, are most inclined to peace, and most yielding in order 'to it.' Bp. Patrick.

26:3. 28:13. Num. 34-2,&c.
Deut. 26:2-4. 2 Chr. 20:7.
Neh. 9:7,3. Ps. 105:9-12. 112:
1,2. Acts 7:5.

a 15:5.22:17. 26:4. 28:3,14, 32: 12.
Ex. 32:13. Num. 23:10. Deut.

d

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predictions had, in some measure, been fulfilled: but what proportion did the increase of Abram's seed at that time bear, to the incalculable multitudes which have since sprung from him? Besides the nations of Judah and Israel, his descendants by Esau, and Ishmael, and the sons of Keturah have been astonishingly numerous. What human foresight could have perceived, that the nations descended from Abram would be preserved so distinct, during such a lapse of ages, as to afford mankind any satisfaction in inquiring into the number of his de

V. 10-12. Lot seems to have expressed no great reluctance at leaving Abram's family, and losing the benefit of his conversation, counsel, example, worship, and instructions; nor so much as to have remitted to him the privilege of the first choice! But if this was faulty, it was still worse to choose, merely from "the lust of the eye," a well-watered, fruitful land, with-scendants? out any higher motive, than the hope that his substance, already too large, would there become much greater.-Before the destruction of Sodom, this region appeared to those who approached it by the way of Zoar, which lay on its borders, like a most beautiful garden. The garden of Eden seems referred to. (Marg. Ref. o.) The flat country, watered abundantly by the streams of Jordan, resembled Egypt in appearance and fertility. Thither Lot resorted: and Abram continued to dwell in a part of that country, which was afterwards inherited by his posterity.-It is not said that Lot built an altar to the LORD.

V. 13. Sinners, &c.] The men of Sodom were notorious and daring transgressors; despising God, and openly defving him; and they were especially marked by him for vengeance. V. 14. "Lot lifted up his eyes, &c." (10);and God saith to Abram, "Lift up thine eyes, &c." Thus he who sought this world lost it; and he who was willing to give up any thing for the honor of God and religion, found it.' Fuller.

V. 15. For ever.] This expression, in some instances, means, for ages to come. (Note, 17: 7,8.)

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V. 16. As the dust.] This promise must have put Abram's faith to a sharp trial: for as yet he had no child; though he was far advanced in life, and had been long married.-Had an innumerable posterity been promised to one of Noah's sons, or grandsons, it would not have been extraordinary; but about four hundred and thirty years had now elapsed since the deluge; the earth was greatly replenished, and considerable nations were already founded: yet Abram's descendants have been so numerous, as almost to rank with those of some of Noah's grandsons; and none of his contemporaries can, in this respect, be at all put in competition with When Moses wrote the history, these ||

bim

What other nations have been

kept separate from the people, in the midst of whom they lived, as the Israelites, Ishmaelites, and Arabians have been? What other people can trace back their origin to one illustrious progenitor, without involving the whole in fable and uncertainty?-Even should any one doubt, against the express testimony of Christ and his apostles, whether Moses wrote these books; it is unquestionable that they are very ancient; and that these prophecies have received their most illustrious accomplishment, since the time when we may certainly know that they were extant.

V. 17. Arise, &c.] Go and survey the inheritance allotted to thy posterity.'

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. We may sometimes be driven into places of temptation, but we must not continue in them when the necessity ceases.-The possession of riches, though dangerous, is not absolutely incompatible with the life of faith and walk with God. When they are neither anxiously coveted, nor eagerly pursued, nor improperly confided in, nor inordinately loved;-when they come by the blessing of God, are thankfully received, moderately enjoyed, and carefully improved;-they may then be ornaments of god. liness, and means of usefulness. Yet they are generally encumbrances to the possessor, and sources of contention or separation between brethren; and frequently they exclude men from comfortable society, and many spiritual advantages. When they "are increased, those are increased that eat them;" which commonly creates uneasiness, and renders the possession of the blessing of peace more precarious. Let the poor then learn contentment, and the wealthy caution and moderation, from the example of Abram and Lot.-As we, who profess to be brethren in Christ, are surrounded with enemies and spies, we should be careful to pre

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2 That these made war with Bera king of a Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt-sea.

4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in *Ashteroth-Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim,

*

6 And then Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness.

a 10:10. 11:2. Is. 11:11. Dan. 1: i 15:20. 2 Sam. 5:18. 23:13. 1 2. Zech. 5:11.

b Is. 37:12.

Chr. 11:15. 14:9. Is. 17:5.

k Josh. 12:4. 13:12.

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8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;

9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar: four kings with five.

10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slime-pits: and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there: and they that remained fled to the mountain.

11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.

12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, (who dwelt in Sodom,) and his goods, and departed.

13 And there came X one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother

o Num. 20:1. Deut. 1:19,46.

p 36:16. Ex. 17:8-16. Num. 14:
43,45. 24:20. 1 Sam. 15: 30:

q 2 Chr. 20:2,

r 11:3.

s 19:17,30.

t 11:27. 12:5.

a

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y 39:14. 40:15. 41:12. 43:32. Ex.
2:6,11. 2 Cor. 11:22. Phil. 3:5.
z 13:18.
a 24.

u 13:12,13. Num. 16:26. Job 9: b 10:16. Num. 21:21.

silence and buried in oblivion, had not Abram and Lot been concerned in it: edification, not the gratifying of curiosity, being the object of the inspired historians.-The fruitful valley of Siddim, by the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, became a large lake, called the Salt Sea, or the Dead Sea.-Some of these assailants came from Mesopotamia, and others from beyond the Tigris. Amraphel was king of the country in which Babel stood. (Marg. Ref. || a.).

V. 4. After having submitted for twelve years, these kings formed an alliance to shake off the yoke of this foreign prince.

serve union, and to "avoid all appearance of evil," lest we should prejudice their minds, or open their mouths against us: and we ought to renounce every personal interest, and to make every concession, for the sake of peace. If the real servants of God so lose themselves, as to leave, for temporal advantages, the society of the faithful, and to estrange themselves from sacred ordinances, by removing to dark and wicked places, they will be severely corrected: while the Lord will compensate, perhaps in outward blessings, certainly in spiritual consolations, pledges of his love, and earnests of glory, those who give up secular advantages for his sake, and for the cause and honor of the Gos- V. 5-7. This ancient conqueror, having pel.-In outward difficulties it is very profitable subdued all the neighboring petty princes, and for the believer to meditate, frequently and in-ravaged their territories, came with his victotensely, on the glorious inheritance which the Lord hath in reserve for him at the last. And as it is impossible to conceive, that the promises and predictions of this ancient book could have been so minutely and circumstantially fulfilled, during a course of so many centuries, unless they had been written "by inspiration of God;" let every reader remember our Lord's words: "If they believe not Moses and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded though one rose from the dead."

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rious army to subjugate the king of Sodom and his allies.-The word Rephaim is often translated giants. (Marg. Ref. i.) For, "all the country of the Amalekites," the Septuagint read, All the rulers of Amalek.' (Note, 36:12.)

V. 12. From avaricious motives, Lot had chosen the fruitful plain of Sodom, and at length had gone to dwell in that wicked city, the inhabitants of which were ripe for vengeance, but their wealth soon tempted plunderers, and he was stript of all his property and carried captive. Had not Lot been taken, the conquerors might have gone off with their booty; but he was the servant of God, though he had offended: he needed a rebuke, but he must not be reduced to slavery; especially as he was

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of Aner: and these were confederate with [[ out to meet him (after his return from Abram. the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of 14 And when Abram heard that his the kings that were with him,) at the brother was taken captive, he armed valley of Shaveh, which is the king's his trained servants, born in his own dale. house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

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15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of & Da

mascus.

16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

[Practical Observations.]

n

m

18 And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

19 And he P blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

20 And blessed be the most high God, " which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

X

21 And the king of Sodom said unto

il Sam. 18:6. Prov. 14:20. 19:4.
k Heb. 7:1.

17 ¶ And the king of Sodom went 12 Sam. 18:13.

c 13:8. Prov. 17:17. 24:11,12. | e Deut. 34:1. Judg. 18:29. 20:1.

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brother's son to Abram the blessed, who was "a blessing" to all related to him.

V. 13. Abram is called the Hebrew, probably from the name of Eber his ancestor, and not, as some think, from his having passed the Euphrates, the word signifying a passage. (Note, 11:6-9.)-He had prudently formed an alliance with these chiefs for mutual defence, amidst all this violence and depredation. Perhaps they were proselyted to his religion.-Mamre is the name of a man, from whom the plain was called.

m Ps. 76:2. Heb. 7:1,2.

n Matt. 26:26-29.

o Ps. 110:4. Heb. 5:6,10. 6:20.
7:10-22.

p27:4,25-29. 47:7,10. 48.9-16.
49:23. Num. 6:23-27. Mark

10:16. Heb. 7:6,7.

q Ruth 3:10. 2 Sam. 2:5.

r Mic. 6:6. Acts 16:17.

s Ps. 115:16. Matt. 11:25. Luke 10:21.

t 24:27. Ps. 72:17-19. Eph. 1: 3. 1 Pet. 1:3,4.

u Josh. 10:42.

x Lev. 27:30-32. Heb. 7.5-10.

ble with the apostle's reasoning on the subject. (Notes, Heb. 7:1-10.)-Others therefore have thought that it was the Son of God himself; being unwilling to allow that any mere man was superior to Abram. But surely the apostle in this case would never have said, that Melchizedek was "made like to the Son of God:" or that Christ was constituted "a Priest after the order of Melchizedek;" or that he was a type of himself! Melchizedek is stated to have been the king of Salem; (probably the city afterwards called Jerusalem, and distinguished in V. 14-16. Abram might have found many Pagan writers by the name Solyma;) but we plausible reasons, to excuse himself from this may be sure that Christ did not then reign over dangerous enterprise; and especially he might any particular city as a temporal prince. It is have pleaded the impropriety of Lot's conduct. indeed very evident that Melchizedek was a But he forgat all; he disregarded difficulty and mere man: but the Lord has not seen good to danger; he feared not the numerous and victo-inform us from which of Noah's sons he sprang; rious forces of the combined kings: and having or who were his immediate parents, predeces so good a cause as the relief of a brother in dis- sors, or successors: indeed, he seems intentiontress, depending on God, he boldly pursued ally to have concealed them. We may, howthem with his small company.-Though averse ever, reasonably determine, that he was an aged from war, in which we do not find he ever en- person, venerable for sanctity, who ruled over gaged before or after; he had yet trained his his subjects in righteousness, while they lived domestics for it, and put himself in a posture of under him in peace; which, when oppression defence. Some indeed understand it, that he and violence prevailed among their neighbors, trained up his servants in the faith and fear of perhaps gave the name both to him and to his God, which would render them the best soldiers city. He also kept up the worship of the true for such an expedition. In company, however, God; and, though a king, he officiated as his with his confederates, Abram followed the vic-priest.-In these things, and many others, he tors to the northern borders of Canaan. He, was a remarkable type of Christ; (Notes, Ps. employing both courage and policy, attacked 110:4. Heb. 7:) and, in reverence to his age, the enemy in the night by surprise; and, God rank, piety, and priestly character, Abram so ordering it, he totally intimidated and sub-shewed him great honor, received his benedicdued them, slaying some, and dispersing the tion, and gave him tithes of all his spoils: being rest. Thus he recovered all, and took a great influenced to this by some secret divine monibooty. Some think that the place called Dan, tion; perhaps being led to see in this typical was so named from its situation near the springs character his future Lord and Savior. At least of the river Jordan: others that this name, be- the Spirit of God intended to instruct Abram's ing given to a city built long after by the Dan- descendants by this action, "that a better priest ites, was inserted by Ezra, instead of Laish, the should arise," than those of the family of Aaron. ancient name, to render the passage more in--We cannot determine from the silence of telligible. (Marg. Ref. e.)

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the sacred historian, that this was the only interview between Melchizedek and Abram: for, as Shem lived almost as long as Abram, it is probable they met together, though we are not informed that they did.-Bread and wine constituted a suitable refreshment of Abram's weary followers: and it is remarkable that Christ hath appointed the same, as the memo

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