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14 | And tne LORD said unto see t, *to thee will I give it, Abram, after that Lot " was sep- and ý to thy seed for ever. arated from him, Lift up now 16 And ? I will make thy seed thine eyes,
and look from the as the dust of the earth : so that place where thou art, w north- if a man can number the dust of ward, and southward, and east- the earth, then shall thy seed also ward, and westward :
be numbered. 15 For all the land which thou
x ch. 12. 7. & 15. 18. & 17. 8. & 24. 7. & 26. 4. Num. 34. 12. Deut. 34. 4. Acts 7. 5. y 2 Chron. 20. 7. Ps. 37. 22, 29. & 112. 2. 2 ch. 15. 5. & 22.17. & 26. 4. & 28. 14. & 32. 12. Ex. 32. 13. Num. 23. 10. Deut. 1. 10. 1 Kings 4. 20. 1 Chron. 27. 23. Is. 48. 19. Jer. 33. 22. Rom. 4. 16, 17, 18 Heb. 11. 12.
u ver. 11. W ch. 28. 14.
the measure of its crimes and was al- and the west, and then confirms to him ready ripe for destruction. How Lot and his posterity the gift of the whole was affected by the manners of the as far as the eye could reach. How striabandoned society in which he finally king an instance this of the considerate took up his abode, we learn from the kindness, of the recompensing mercy, words of the apostle, 2 Pet. 2. 8, 'For of Him with whom we have to do! At that righteous man dwelling among the moment when Abraham had been them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his making the greatest sacrifices for peace, righteous soul from day to day with and demonstrating how loosely he sat by their unlawful deeds'-_a passage on the richest earthly abundance, comparwhich Bp. Hall shrewdly remarks, 'He ed with the desire of securing the divine vexed his own soul, for who bade him favour, the Most High visits him with
a fresh manifestation of his favour, and 14. And the Lord said unto Abram, comforts him with renewed assurances &c. Leaving Lot for the present, not of his future inheritance. Thus he to enjoy, but to endure as best he may, who sought this world lost it; and he the society of the wretched Sodom- who was willing to give up any thing ites, our attention is again turned to for the honour of God and religion, the venerable patriarch, who was not found it.' Fuller. so easily ensnared by the sight of his
15. To thee will I give it, and to the eyes. We have already noticed his gen- seed for ever. By comparing Acts, *. erous proposal to Lot. We have seen 5, it would appear that this promise was him willing for the sake of preserving not fulfilled to Abraham personally; a peace, to waive his right and for go his more correci rendering, therefore, may temporal advantage.
Here we are be, ' To thee will I give it, even to thy taught how richly his disinterestedness seed.' By the Heb. and Gr. usage in was rewarded; and in his example we the Scriptures, the particle and is very cannot fail to read the certainty, that a often synonymous with 'even,' and similar self-sacrificing conduct will al- should be so rendered. As for example, ways redound to the ultimate gain of 1 Chron. 21. 12, "The Lord's sword, him who practises it. Upon his with and the pestilence;' i. e. even the pesdrawment from Lot, the Lord again tilence. Num. 31. 6, “The holy insirumeets him in mercy and renews to him ments, and the trumpets;' i. e. even the his gracious covenant promise. He trumpets. Eph. 4. 11, 'And some pagbids him lift up his eyes and look around tors and teachers ;' i. e. even teachers. the whole horizon, surveying the land Mat. 21. 5, · Behold, thy king cometh on the north and the south, on the east l unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an
17 Arise, walk through the land | tent, and came and a dwelt in the in the leng h of it and in the plain of Mamre, which is in breadth of it; for I will give it Hebron, and built there an altai unto thee.
unto the LORD. 18 Then Abram removed his
a ch. 14. 13. b ch. 35. 27. & 37. 14.
ass and a colt the foal of an ass;' i. e. word in the original is not the same even a colt, &c. Thus probably, Rev. with that usually rendered remote 19. 19, “And I saw the beast, and the (302) in reference to tents, but the kings of the earth ;' i. e. eren the kings same as that used v. 12, of Lor's fixing of the earth ; intimating that the sym- bis habitation towards Sodom, and bolical beast is but another name for probably kindred to the term occurring the aggregate body of despotic rulers, Is. 13. 20, 'Neither shall the Arabian within the limits of the apocalyptic pitch tent (3779 yahel) there. It is a earth.
- For ever. Heb 5709 73 general expression, implying that Abraunto eternity; a period of very long, but ham. still following his nomadic mode indefinite duration. Subsequent facts
of life, and in virtue of the permission in the history of the chosen people above mentioned, selected a station, show that this promise was to be
now here and now there, where he understood conditionally, as they might spread his tent and abode for a time, by transgression forfeit the possession and so continued journeying at interof this covenanted region, as was actu vals, till at length he came and pitchea ally the case, Lev. 26. 33. Is. 63. 18. his tent more permanently in the plain If, however, the Jews are to be hereaf
of Mamre. -! And came and dwelt ter restored to the land of their fathers, in the plain of Mamre. It is probable as many interpret the prophecies re- that a somewhat extended period of specting them, these words will receive time, perhaps the lapse of one or two a still more exact accomplishment than
or more years, is embraced in the first they have hitherto done. Even now,
two clauses of this verse. It seems to it is common to speak of the Jews ob- be implied that after making the cirtaining possession of their own land, cuit of the country, agreeably to the as though their title had never been divine monition above mentioned, he extinguished. See Note on ch. 17. 18.
finally selected a location in the neigh17. Arise, walk through the land, &c. bourhood of Hebron, which is not more Heb. 7305 make thyself to walk, than eighteen hours' journey from the traverse the land to and fra. The form site of Beth-el, his former station. The of the original conveys the idea of what remark made in the note on ch. 12. 6, Ewald terms zealous spontaneity,' and on the original of the word plain (728 has an emphasis which cannot well be alon) is applicable here also, as ihs transferred into English. It was a Hebrew term is the same.
It incommand or permission to Abraham, doubtedly denotes a trec, or grove, or not as a lonely individual, but with all plantation of trees of some kind, but his establishment to travel over and whether of oaks or terebinths cannot sojourn in any portion of the country be determined. Mamre is the name of that he pleased, and that too as a pledge the person described ch. 14. 13, as an of its finally becoming the perpetual Amorite, one of three brothers who inheritance of his seed.
were friends of Abrahain and confeder18. Then Abram removed his tent. ates with him in the expedition against Heb. 3978 and pitched tent, The the four kings, and the plain was prob.
ably so called from him as its first jarring of interests; but when their opowner or occupant.- -4. Which is in ulence increased, occasions of jealousy Hebron. That is, by or near Hebron; arose; their servants quarrelled, and in the region in which Hebron is situa- the masters could no longer remain toted. This place did not obtain the 'gether. They that will be rich fall name of Hebron till it came into the into temptation and a snare.' Through possession of Caleb, several years after covetousness thousands have erred the death of Moses. Josh. 15. 14. Its from the faith, and pierced themselves former name was Kirjath-arba. It is through with many sorrows.' to be presumed, therefore, that the (2.) The children of Abraham should name in the present passage was in- cultivate peace, especially by cutting serted by Ezra or some other person off the occasions of strife.
The beginwho revised the sacred canon in after ning of strife is as when one letteth out ages. For an account of Hebron, see water;' the breach however small at Note on Gen. 23. 2. — -Fi And built first, being quickly widened by the there an altar unto the Lord.
See stream that rushes through it, will Note on Gen. 12. 7.
speedily defy all the efforts of man to REMARKS.-(1.) We learn from the prevent an inundation. Let us thereincidents here recorded the disadvan- fore learn the important lesson to tages, if not the dangers, of wealth. leave off contention before it be medWealth is almost universally consider- dled with.' When it is once begun, no ed as a source of happiness, and in that man can tell when or how it shall terview is most eagerly sought. That it minate. may conduce to our happiness in some (3.) External advantages of place or respects, especially when improved for situation are no sure criterion of the the relief of our fellow-creatures, we ad- favour of God. The sinners of Sodom mit; but it is much oftener a source of dwelt in a fertile and delightful region; trouble and vexation than of satisfac- Abraham and his family among the tion and comfort. 'If goods increase,' mountains. But this paradisu was says Solomon, they are increased that turned into the likeness of hell by the eat them.'
A multitude of servants sinners that dwelt there. How much augments our care.
Their disagree- happier was Abraham and his pious ments among themselves, or disputes household in the mountains ! with the servants of others, frequently (4.) Let us often turn our thoughts become an occasion of disquiet to our- to the promised blessings of Heaven in selves. The envy also and jealousy order to strengthen our faith and hope. that are excited in the breasts of others, Let us dwell much upon the prospect operate yet farther to the disturbance of of our glorious inheritance. our own peace. In how many families survey the heavenly Canaan in the have contentions arisen from this length of it, and the breadth of it.' source! How many who have spent Such a believing anticipation will cheer years together in love and harmony, and refresh us when those whom we have been distracted by feuds and an- have loved and cherished here, and in imosities as soon as ever a large estate whose society we have delighted, are came to be divided between them! separated from us by distance or death. Even piety itself cannot always prevent in the darkest hour of this world's vithe discord that arises from this source. cissitudes, let us listen to the soothing Abraham and Lot had lived together voice of the Spirit saying to us as he in perfect amity, while their circum- did of old to Abraham, 'Lift up now stances were such as to preclude any I thine eyes, and look from the place
CHAPTER XIV. Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, AND it came to pass in the Chedorlaomer king of no. Elam,
a ch. 10. 10. & 11. 2.
b Is. 11. 11.
where thou art ;' cease to dwell upon he made of it was to restore whatever your present privations, disquietudes, had been taken to its rightful owners. and losses; sorrow not as men without 1. And it came to pass in the days hope ; ' look from the place where sin of Amraphel, king of Shinar. Gr. by has tainted every comfort and blighted in Bacideix in the reign or reigningevery prospect, and let the eye of faith time. From the extreme antiquity cast its glances of hope and joy to the of the event here recorded, and the inheritance prepared for us. For all little light which is elsewhere thrown, the land which thou seest 10 thee will either by sacred or profane history, upI give it.'
on the persons and places designated,
great obscurity necessarily attaches to CHAPTER XIV.
several parts of the narrative. It is The next important incident detailed clear that Chedorlaomer was the chief in the life of Abraham, differs remark- personage concerned in this expedition, ably from all that have preceded it. but whether he or Amraphel was at The patriarch was pre-eminently a man this time the supreme potentate of the of peace, who, as we have seen, was East, or in other words, whether Perwilling to sacrifice every worldly advan- sia (Elam) or Assyria (Shinar) had the tage rather than interrupt that harmo- ascendancy, is very difficult to be deny which he knew to be so essential termined. As it is a matter of mere to the honour of his religious profession, historical interest, but slightly affecting and so entirely in accordance with the the practical lessons which we are more will of God. Ou the present occasion, anxious to deduce from the record, we however, we find him assuming the shall glance but briefly at this view of character of the warrior, placing him- the subject.-As the countries about self at the head of a numerous body of the Euphrates and Tigris were that his servants, and waging a short but part of the world where the sons of successful conflict with the confederate Noah began to settle after leaving the princes who had invaded Canaan from ark, it was there that population and the East. Much as the pious heart power would first naturally accumulate, must dislike the very name of war, and and lead to the establishment of desutterly unchristian and unjustifiable as potic governments. The families and it will consider every species of offen- ribes emigrating from these regions sive warfare, yet we cannot withhold our would be considered in the light of colapprobation from this truly heroic and onies, which ought to be subject to the disinterested action of the patriarch. To parent state. Such it appears probao succour the weak, to relieve the distres- ble were the ideas of the four Eastern sed, to liberate the captive, were his kings here mentioned, and we may suponly motives, and the comfort of an pose that it was with a view of enfor. approving conscience his only reward ; cing this subjection, which after having for we find that after having been fa- been twelve years acknowledged, was voured with the most signal success at length thrown off, that the present instead of turning the fruits of his vic- invasion was planned. In what relatory to his own advantage, all the use tion the four kings had previously stood 2 That these made war with king of · Admah, and Shemeber Bera king of Sodom, and with king of Zehoiim, and the king of Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab Bela, which is a Zoar.
Deut. 29. 33. d ch. 19. 22.
to each other, is uncertain ; but they different tribes, and put themselves unnow combined as allies, and marched der the conduct of one who would gratwith their forces, which we have no ify their love of adventure or hope of reason to think were very large, to the spoil. land of Canaan. Indeed, it is very im- 2. That these made war, &c. This portant to bear in mind that the term is the first war expressly recorded in
king,' in this and other early applica- the annals of the human race, and it is tions, is far from carrying with it the evident that it sprung from the same import which our modern ideas of roy- causes that have given rise to the thou-" alty are apt to connect with the title. sands of wars, which, from that day to The kings of those primitive times were this, have wasted the family of man mere petty chieftains, answering to the and drenched the earth in blood-vainArab sheikhs of latter days, ruling over glorious pride and grasping ambition. a single town and the surrounding dis- Nor can we hope for a cessation of the trict, or acting as the heads of tribes barbarous practice till the general prevmore or less numerous, and totally un- alence of Christianity, in the power of like the potent sovereigns of modern of its peaceful spirit, shall have extintimes. This will be evident from the fact guished the flames of these unhallowed that each of the little cities of the plain, passions, and taught men to regard which lay within a few miles of each each other as brethren, who cannot, if other, is said to have had its distinct they conceived aright of their mutual king, all of whom united on this occa- interests, have any conflicting objects sion in opposing their common inva- that should drive them to deeds of vioders. The whole narrative is to be con- lence. This earliest account of an sidered as entirely subordinate to the act of warfare is very remarkable, and history of Abraham, and introduced its difficulties will be best elucidated by here mainly for the purpose of illustra- a reference to existing practices among ting a new and interesting feature of the Arab tribes. It is indeed by no his character, and of displaying new means unlikely, that although we have aspects of that kind Providence which supposed the invading kinge such monwatches with such constant vigilance archs as the kings of the plain are asover the welfare of his servants. -91 certained to have been, they were in Tidal king of nations. Heb. 737 fact nomade chiefs or sheikhs, inhabit0797. The Heb. 0770 goyim is usu- ing the country between Canaan and ally rendered Gentiles, and though the the Euphrates, and some of them permajority of commentators are of opin- haps beyond that river. The expediion that Tidal's dominions lay in Upper tion has the whole appearauce of an Galilee, which was in aftertimes called Arab incursion. Their apparently rapGalilee of the Gentiles,' (or Galilee of id sweep, like a whirlwind, over the the nations), Is. 9. 1. Mat. 4. 15, yet countries indicated—their return with we think it more probable that the title captives and spoil—and the ultimate denotes the head of a mixed multitude night-surprisc and easy overthrow by of people, who had flocked together to Abraham and his friends are all cir. his standard from different regions and I cumstances strikingly analogous lo