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13 - Say, I pray thee, thou artı 14 | And it came to pass, that my sister: that it may be well when Abram was into with me for thy sake; and my Egypt, the Egyptians y bebeld the soul shall live because of thee. woman that she was very fair.
X ch. 20. 5, 13. ch. 26. 7.
y ch. 39. 7. Matt. 5. 28.
credit for being less scrupulous about stand that he wished to go with the murder than adultery; which shews children of Israel but three days' jourtheir distorted views of right and ney into the wilderness to sacrifice, Ex. wrong, and the fearful influence that 3. 18, and David certainly misled Achish unhallowed passions exert upon our as to the real molives with which he moral judgments.
entered into his service, 1 Sam. 29. l13. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sis-17. In like manner Paul told but a part ter. Heb. x3 2x say, now; where of the truth, Acts, 23. 6, when he cried the original term for ‘now has the im- out in the assembly, ' Men and brethport, not of time, but of request and en- ren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a treaty, as rightly rendered in our ver- Pharisee; of the hope and resurrection sion. It is often used in English in an of the dead I am called in question.' equivalent sense Here was obviously Yet no fault is found with him for adopta failure, on the part of Abraham, in ing this stroke of policy. In the case of the very point in which he might have Abraham it should be considered also been supposed, a priori, most likely to that he looked upon himself as the dehave remained steadfast. She was in positary of a future seed in which all deed his step-sister, the daughter of his the families of the earth should be father, but not the daughter of his blessed. The preservation of his life mother, Gen. 20. 12. This, therefore, would of course seem to him essential though a truth in terms, has generally to the performance of the promise, and been considered as a moral untruth; we can easily see that a peculiar solicibecause it was intended to convey the tude in regard to it would in such circumimpression that Sarah was nothing stances be natural, and one to which more than a sister to him ; and if the his faith itself would give rise. Some essence of a falsehood consists in the allowance may doubtless be made for purpose to deceire, it is contended that him on this score. Still his his affirming her to be his sister was duct is not to be approved, and when virtually denying her to be his wife, he adopts an expedient which went and so was tantamount to a direct directly to rob the honour of his wife falsehood. But it must be admitted of the protection which her relation that there is an important difference be- to a husband threw around it, we tween uttering a lie and concealing a behold a faltering in the faith of a truth, or a part of the truth, and as strong believer and an affecting instance Abraham himself rested the defence of of human infirmity. He would have his conduct on this distinction, Gen. 20. acted far more wisely, as well as more 11–13, it is right that he should have worthily of his character, had he the benefit of whatever validity may told the whole truth without disguise, belong to the plea. That modes of committing the disposal of the affair speech giving but a partial view of the entirely to the providence of God, relytruth were often blamelessly adopted ing on his promises, and confident of by good men in the Scriptures is indu- his protection. He was authorized to bitable. Moses led Pharaoh to under- I believe that he would in some way in.
15 The princes also of Pharaoh, fore Pharaoh : and the woman saw her and commended her be- was 'taken into Pharaoh's house,
2 ch. 20. 2.
terpose for his deliverance from the ous for ministering to the unhallowed threatened peril, but failing in this, he passions of their royal masters. Parahad recourse to a carnal policy which site and pander are nearly equivalent taught him, as similar conduct always terms, and to what an extent corrupwill those who practise it, that there is a tion in this respect has reigned in the 'fear of man which bringeth a snare.' courts of kings from the most ancient The simple, straight-forward, honest times to the present, the day of final, course of truth, candour, and pious de- disclosure can alone reveal.- -9. And pendence on God is always safest and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's best. However strongly tempted to re- house. The intention of the Egyptian sort to the stratagems of fleshly wisdom king in this step is too obvious to be to extricate ourselves from difficulty, it mistaken; but whether it was at once is better to hold fast our integrity, and carried into execution may admit of taking 'Jehovah-jireh' (the Lord will doubt. Judging solely from the purprovide) for our motto, cast ourselves port of the narrative, we should perimplicitly upon his guidance for direc-haps infer that it was. But as he seems tion.
- My soul shall li because of to have designed, in a formal way, to thee. Heb. Di naphshi. As the make Sarah his wife, and as eastern original term for soul is often used usage prescribed certain ceremonies for the person, the phrase is evidently and purifications preparatory to such an cquivalent to, 'I shall live, or my life event, which required considerable time, shall be spared, because of thee.' In it is not unlikely that it was in this inlike manner the soul is said to die (see terval that 'the Lord plagued Pharaon note on Judg 16. 30) when a person ex- and his house with great plagues ;' so pires.
that she might have been restored be15. The princes also of Pharaoh saw fore being fully received as an inmate her. The leading men about his court; of the harem. This opinion is confirmofficers and dignitaries attending upon ed by a comparison of the present with his person and occasionally despatch the incident recorded in a subsequent ed upon business over the provinces. chapter. When a similar train of cir'Pharaoh' is not a proper name, but cumstances, Gen. 20. 2—18, had put a title applied, like Cæsar among the her in the power of Abimelech, king of Romans, or Czar among the mod- Gerar, we are expressly informed that ern Russians, to the kings of Egypt. God interposed for the protection of her Indeed if we may believe Josephus its person, and restored her intact to her true import is that of king. It is ap- | husband. But why should a first inplied in the Scriptures to at least eight dignity have been permitted when a different individuals who filled the second was prevented? Were not the throne of Egypt. Gen. 12. 15.-28. 36. views of Pharaoh as honorable as those Ex. I. 8, 19. 1 Kings, 11. 19–21.-16. of Abimelech? And was not Abra24. 2 Kings, 23. 29, 30. Jer. 44. 30. ham's dissimulation deserving of as se
- And commended her before Pha- vere a punishment on his second offenco raoh. Shewing in this the spirit of true as on the first ? On the whole we cancourtiers and sycophants, a class of not but conclude, that though Sarah men who in all ages have been notori- seems to have remained some time in
16 And he 'entreated Abram 17 And the LORD plagued well for her sake: and he had Pharaoh and his house with great sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, plagues because of Sarai, Abram's and men-servants, and maid-ser- wife. vants, and she-asses, and camels.
b ch. 20. 18. 1 Chron. 16. 21. Ps. 106, 14 Heb. 13. 4.
a ch. 20. 14.
the house of Pharaoh, yet she was riched him with gifte. These marks of kindly make the object of a watchful his kindness are more particularly exProvidence, and that Abraham was re- pressed in what follows, where the adbuked by no other cause of grief than a ditions made to his possessions are temporary separation from the partner severally specified. The words doubtof his bosom.--The following remarks less convey the idea of a somewhat proas to Eastern usage in respect to simi- tracted residence and a gradual acceslar cases of abduction are worthy of sion to his property and his household notice. Of course Abraham could not establishment. But whatever acts of have been a consenting party in this munificence were exhibited towards transaction; and yet it does not appear Abraham, they could not compensate that the king intended to act, or was him for the privation he suffered, nor considered to act, oppressively in taking prevent the interval from seeming to away a man's sister without thinking him long, dreary, and afflictive. The his consent necessary. The passage companion of his youth and of his age, is illustrated by the privilege which of his journeyings and his perils, was royal personages still exercise in Per-torn from his arms, and how worthless sia and other countries of the East, of in his sight must have been all the claining for their harem the unmarried favours which were heaped upon him sister or danghter of any of their sub- with a view to reconcile him to his loss, jects. This exercise of authority is or win his consent to parting with her rarely, if ever, questioned or resisted, for ever? Shall we not suppose that however repugnant it may be to the in this trying period he was brought father or brother : he may regret, as an seriously and penitently to reflect upon inevitable misfortune, that his relative his prevarication, and that in answer ever attracted the royal notice, but to his prayers a door was opened for since it has happened, he does not hes the deliverance unharmed of his belovitate to admit the right which royalty ed wife? possesses. When Abimelech, king of
17. And the Lord plagued Pharaoh Gerar, acted in a similar manner to and his house with great plagues. Heb. wards Sarah, taking her away from 377 Bryaj great strokes or blows. her supposed brother, Gen. 20. 2, it is What these plagues were, or how Phaadmitted that he did so 'in the integrity raoh learned that they were sent in conof his heart and innocency of his hands,' sequence of his intended conduct in relawhich allows his right to act as he did, tion to Sarah, we are not informed. The if Sarah had been no more than Abra- Egyptians, it appears, thought highly of ham's sister.' Pictorial Bible.
the sanctity of the marriage connection, 16. Entreated Abram well for her for as soon as he ascertained who Sasake. Heb. non x3 did good rah was, he restored her to her husband to Abram. Gr. Ev exoncato used well. and dismissed them both with kindShowed him many tokens of respect, ness. Indeed according to the standconferred many favours upon him, en- | ard then acknowledged his conduct
18 And Pharaoh called Abram, her to me to wife : now therefore and said, • What is this that behold thy wife, take her, and go thou hast done unto me? why thy way. didst thou not tell me that she was 20 d And Pharaoh commanded thy wife?
his men concerning him: and 19 Why saidst thou, She is they sent him away, and his wife, my sister ? so I might have taken and all that he had.
c ch. 20. 9. % 2, 10,
d Prov. 21. 1.
throughout was just and honourable. words were calculated to lead me to We may therefore perhaps conclude take her. The original niper is renthat the plagues inflicted were not any dered by Onkelos and the Syriac, in severe visitations intended as a punish- the absolute form, 'and I have taken,' ment, but something merely designed but upon weighing more exactly the to touch him, as the Hebrew indicates, force of the particle 7, and the purport and thus restrain him from the wrong of the connected future tense, in which which he was unknowingly about to the verb is here found, the potential or commit. But whatever else is to be contingent sense appears the most inferred from it, the incident teaches us probable. This sense is accordingly how solicitously the Lord watches over adopted by the Vulgate, and from' the welfare of his people, and that how. thence has passed into most modern ever poor, mean, weak, or contempti- versions, which are very nearly unanible in the eyes of the world, — they mous in conveying the impression that are still precious in his eyes, and that Pharaoh did not actually consummate in their defence he will array himself his intended nuptials with Sarah. as an enemy against kings and princes. 20. And Pharaoh commanded his The words of the Psalmist, Ps. 105. 12 men concerning him.
. -14, in allusion to this very period of 2.8 commanded men ; i. e. certain the sacred history, seal the truth of this men; some portion of his subjects. remark : “When there were but a few The ensuing clause, and they sent men in number ; when they went from him away,' may also be rendered as it one nation to another, from one king- is in the Greek, 'that they should send dom to another people; he suffered no him away,' though the former is rathman to do them wrong, yea, he reprover more consonant with the sense indied kings for their sake; saying, Touch cated by the Hebrew accents. The orinot mine anointed, and do my proph-ginal term (177309 yeshallehu) is often ets no harm.'
used for that kind of sending or con18. And Pharaoh called Abram, and veying away which is marked by pecusaid, What is this that thou hast done liar tokens of honour and respect, as unto me? 'God had reproved Pha- when a guest is accompanied at his raoh, and now Pharaoh reproves Abra- departure to some distance by his host ham. It is a sad thing that saints and a party of friends. The corresshould do that, for which they should ponding Greek term OUTPOTTEuropar has justly fall under the reproof of the distinctly this sense, and so also has wicked.' Trapp.
the Chaldee word employed by Onke19. Why saidst thou, She is my sis- los in this passage. In the N. T. the ter ? so I might have taken her to me equivalent term (TPOTEUTW) is usually to wife. That is, so as to render her rendered to bring forward on a jourliable to be taken by me to wife. Your I ney, which was considered a token of
Christian hospitality and kindness, , divert us from our path. We are to be Acts, 15. 3. 3 John, 6. et al.
looking forward to our journey's end, REMARKS.-The call of Abraham and to be proceeding towards it, whatand his subsequent history in the fore- ever be the weather, or whatever the going chapter is susceptible of still far-road. Thus are we to fulfil our pilther admonition to us than we have grimage to the heavenly Canaan in yet deduced from it. Doubtless we the same spirit as did Abraham to the must exercise a sober judgment in de- earthly. termining how far we are to follow the (2.) Similar inducements also are of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, for fered to us. Abraham was to be a blesthere were many things in their con- sing to himself and a blessing to othduct which were peculiar to their sitna-ers. In respect to temporal things he tion and circumstances. But we can was blessed in a very signal manner to never materially err if we artend to the the latest hour of his life. He was spirit of their actions, as herein they loaded also with spiritual and eternal were patterns to us, and as far as re- benefits, being justified and accounted lates to this, we are to be 'followers of righteous before God, and being exaltthem who through faith and patience ed after death to the highest seat in his now inherit the promises. We are bid- Father's house. He was also a blesden particularly to 'walk in the steps sing to many; for his children and of our father Abraham, one of the household were governed by him in a most remarkable of which is that above way most conducive to their best inconsidered, and in respect to which we terests. The people among whom he may observe,
sojourned could not but be edified by (1.) That a similar command is vir- his instructions and conduct. And to tually given to us. We are not indeed this day the whole of his life affords a called to leave our country ana connex. stimulus to the church to serve God ions; but to withdraw our affections after his example. In like manner evfrom earthly things and fix them upon ery one who, for Christ's sake, will things above, we are called. The world renounce the world, shall be blesscd. around us lies in wickedness, and we He-may not possess opulence and are forbidden to be of the world, any honour; but 'the little he may possess more than Christ himself was of the shall be better to him than all the richworld. We are not to love it, or the es of the ungodly.' In his soul he things that are in it. We are not to be shall be truly blessed. View him in the conformed to it, or to seek its friend-state least enviable according to human ship. We are rather to come out from apprehension ; see him weeping and it, and to be crucified to it. We are to mourning for his sins; yet then is he regard it as a wilderness through which truly blessed. He shall have pardon we are passing to our Father's house, and acceptance with his God. and in our passage through it to con- shall experience the renewing and sancsider ourselves as strangers and pil- tifying influences of the Holy Spirit. grims. If we meet with good accom- He shall have joys and consolations modation and kind treatment we are which the stranger intermeddleth not to be thankful. If we meet with briars with.' But this is not all. He shall and thorns in our way, we must con- be a blessing too to all around him. sole ourselves with the thought that it View him in his family connexions; is the appointed way, and that every step view him as a husband, a parent, a still brings us nearer home. Nothing master, a friend. Who so kind, so be good is to detain us; nothing evil to nevolent, so anxious to promote the