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pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister : that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very
fair. 15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh : and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, 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. Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him : and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
Sarai was now 65 years old (as Abram Abram's fear of being killed was the was 75); and, though at this age the more inexcusable, as the promise of a beauty of women is seldom very tempt- seed to descend from him was not yet ing, yet as in those days they were fulfilled, and therefore was a security longer lived, so their beauty was more to his life.- Orton. durable, and Sarai's vigour and grace It is remarkable that there is only were not impaired by bearing and suck- one faultless character on record; and ling children.-Locke.
more so that, in several instances of Here, alas! the father of the faith- persons who have been distinguished ful' falls into the sin of equivocation, for some one excellence, their princiand denies his wife. His denial was pal failure has been in that particular. what the world calls 'a white lie,' Thus Peter, the bold, sins through which is about the worst of the class. fear; Solomon, the wise, by folly; In such a case truth is spoken, but it Moses, the meek, by speaking unadis falsely coloured. Abram here spoke visedly with his lips; and Abram, the the truth, but not as his hearers un- faithful, by dissimulation arising from derstood it.-L.
timid distrust. Such things would alA lie always needs a truth for a han- most seem designed of God to stain dle to it; else the hand would cut itself the pride of all flesh, and to check all which sought to drive it home upon dependence upon the most eminent or another. The worst lies, therefore, confirmed habits of godliness. A. are those whose blade is false but Fuller. whose handle is true.-H. W. Beecher.
CHAP. XIII. ND Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that
2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
The cattle of the eastern shepherds goats; for they were not so much comprised their greatest treasure, par- concerned about camels, horses, asses, ticularly their flocks of sheep and and oxen, though they had them
Abraham heard the news brought that He who could know of her inward by the angel and laughed; Sarah laughter, could know of her concepheard it and laughed. They did not tion! And now she that laughed and more agree in their desire than differ believed not, believeth and feareth.in their affection. Abraham laughed
Bp. Hall. for joy, Sarah for distrust. Abraham We may imagine that what merely laughed because he believed it would passes in our own minds has in a manbe so; Sarah, because she believed it no existence, and may almost could not be. The same act varies
persuade ourselves to think we are inin the manner of doing and the inten- nocent; but in the presence of God tion of the doer. Yet Sarah laughed all such subterfuges are no better than but within herself, and is betrayed. the fig-leaves of our first parents. How God can find us out in secret When He judges He will overcome.sins! How easily did she now think, A. Fuller.
16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom : and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do ; 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him ? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
V.19. A master of a family is culpa- by due discipline and a proper interble if he permit any vices among his ference.—Paley. domestics, which he might restrain
20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous ; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
Men are apt to suggest that God's ishes upon report, or common fame, way is not equal; but let them know or the information of others, but upon that His judgments are the result of His own certain and infallible knowan eternal counsel, and are never rash ledge.-M. Henry. or sudden resolves. He never pun
22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went towards Sodom : but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. 23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou destroy the righteous with the wicked ? 24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein ? 25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked : and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee : Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
V.25. On the truth and justice of God judgment of common sense concerning the universe is built, as a house upon this subject : 'Let justice be done, ala rock.
• Fiat justitia, ruat cælum,' is though heaven itself should tumble an adage proverbially expressing the into ruin.'--Dwight.
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. '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.
We are brethren,'—Heb., men bre- cially as he was the principal, and Lot thren. Here is a double argument for only accompanied him; he might have maintaining peace. 1st. We are men, told him that, if he was not contented and as such we are mortal creatures; to live with him, he might go whither we may die to-morrow, and are con- he would; but thus did not Abram. cerned to be found in peace. We are No; he would rather forego his civic rational creatures, and should be ruled rights than invade religious peace. by reason. 2nd. We are brethren, What a number of bitter animosities men of the same nature and kindred, in families, in churches, and I may of the same family and the same re- say in nations, might be prevented if ligion. Let us therefore · love as bre- the parties could be brought to act tothren.'-M. Henry.
wards one another in this open, pacific, As the elder man, Abram might have disinterested, and generous manner! insisted upon the right of choosing his A. Fuller. part of the country first, and espe
10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it 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 Žoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
Reader, do your best to settle your- there is the best trading for the soul; self where there are the greatest helps you may get more by God's ordinary and the smallest hindrances with re- blessing in one year in a godly family, ference to your soul's affairs. Labour or in fruitful company, and under an more to accommodate your habitation, able, godly minister, than in many condition, and employment, to the great years in a barren soil, among the igends of your life, than to your worldly norant, dead-hearted, or profane. honour, ease, or wealth. Live where Baxter.
13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
The Sodomites seem to have sur- it were new, so there are ever some passed in wickedness all that had gone infamous in their generation, that before them, and to have revelled as it make old sins new, by superadding to were in this their unenviable pre-emi- the wickedness of others. Uncleannence. They answer to those whom nessis an old sin from the beginning, but Paul calls (Rom. i. 30) "inventors of the Sodomites will be filthy in a new evil things. Indeed, sin is an old way; and therefore their sin carries trade, found out to our hand; but as in their name to this day. Some invent other trades and arts some famous new errors, others new oaths, such as men arise, who add to the inventions of are of their own coining; they scorn others, and make trades and arts as to swear after the old fashion; others
new devices of persecuting, as Julian world were but children and bunglers had a way by himself, different from to the scoffers and cruel mockers of all before him. And to the end of the the last time. Well, take heed of world, every age bids fair to exceed showing thy wit in inventing new sins, another in the degrees of sinning: lest thou stir up God to invent new Ishmael and the mockers of the old punishments. (Job xxxi. 3.)-Gurnall.
14 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 northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward : 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it , and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 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.
We see here that he who sought this to give up anything for the honour of world, lost it; and he who was willing God and religion, found it.--A. Fuller.
CHAP. XIV. AND it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar,
Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. • All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the
* 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 Áshteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness. And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar. 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 : 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 slimepits; 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 one that escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. 14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 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 Damascus. 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.
A celebrated traveller informs us ried away Lot, in the same Arab manthat the manner in which the Arabs ner, and thus, with unequal forces, make war upon the travelling mer- accomplished his design and rescued chants is, by keeping at the side of Lot. It is to be remembered that the them, or following them in the rear, combats of those days more resembled at a greater or smaller distance, accord- a fight among a mob, than the bloody ing to their forces; which may be easi- and destructive wars of Europe.-Anon. ly done in Arabia, on account of its be- Those that venture in a good cause, ing one great plain; and in the night they with a good heart, are under the special fall silently upon the camp, and carry protection of a good God, and have off one part before the rest are under reason to hope for a good issue.-M.
Abram probably fell upon the Henry. camp of the four kings that had car
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he 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. 21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up my hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, 23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldst say, I have made Abram rich : 24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.
The regal and sacerdotal offices an- tribes. In Melchizedek they met tociently belonged to the same person, gether, and he was both king and though afterwards they were distin- priest. Who this Melchizedek was, guished, and belonged to different has been matter of much debate. Some