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have supposed he was Shem, who was yet living. Others have conjectured that he was the Son of God, from what the apostle says of him (Heb. vii. 3), that he was without father or mother, &c. But the meaning of this very plainly is, that his father and mother are not mentioned in Scripture. Several ancient heathen writers use the same language of persons whose ancestors were unknown. His being without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, is to be understood in the same manner with reference to his priestly office. This one circumstance is sufficient to prove that he was not Jesus Christ; viz., his being mentioned as an illustrious type of him. Compare Psalm cx. 4 with Heb. yii. 17.-Orton.
Let us remember our King of Righteousness and King of Peace, our Priest upon His throne;' let us rejoice in His equitable and peaceful administration, and declare war against His and our enemies-sin, the world, and Satan. Invisibly He will assist us in every conflict, and manifest Himself to us after every victory, refresh us with His gracious provisions, and bless us with the earnest of His love. And shortly, when the final victory is won, and He hath made us more than conquerors, He will applaud our achievements, accept and reward our poor services, and place us with Himself upon His throne, while we rejoice in His love and give Him the glory.Scott.
CHAP. XV. AFTER these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a
vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2 And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus ? 8 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
Till we have some comfortable evi- the other I have; but what will all dence of our interest in Christ and the this avail me if I go Christless ??New Covenant, we should not rest sa- M. Henry. tisfied with anything else: “this and And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir: but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 6 And he brought him forth abroad and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. * And he believed in the LORD: and he counted it to him for right
V.6. It is no uncommon thing in Scripture to put the act for the object, especially with regard to faith and hope. Thus hope signifies the object of hope (Jer. xiv. 8, 1 Tim. i. 1, Heb. vi. 18); and faith is often put for
or doctrine of faith, or that which is believed in (Gal. i. 23). Thus, when Abraham is said to bélieve in the Lord, the meaning is, he believed in the promise of God, that
he should have a seed, and a numerous one; he believed that the Messiah would spring from his seed, he believed in Him as his Saviour; he believed in Him for righteousness, and he believed in His righteousness as justifying him before God. It was not the act of his faith, but the object of it; not the promise he believed, but what was promised; and his faith received even Christ and His righteousness. Reader,
mark well how Abraham was justified faith all the Old Testament saints before God, not by faith as a work, but were justified, as well as the New. as apprehending Christ; and follow This distinguishes the Christian rethis example of the father of the faith- ligion from all systems of morality ; ful. It is by faith in Christ alone that and to err in this is to err in the funwe can be justified before God; by damentals of Christianity.—Bogatzky.
? And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. 11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.
V. 11. Great care should be taken fer them to lodge within us, so that we by us in reference to our spiritual sac- may attend upon God without distracrifices, that nothing be suffered to tion.-M. Henry. prey upon them and render them unfit I have read of some place, where for God's acceptance. In Persia, the such multitudes of locusts are seen, priest, whilst conducting the service of that they almost darken the air as they the temple, stands before the altar on fly, and devour every green thing where which the sacred fire is kept perpetu- they alight. The inhabitants, thereally burning, dressed in a white habit fore, when they perceive this army and a mitre, with a gauze or cloth hovering over them, by making fires in passing before his mouth, to prevent their fields, keep them from alighting his breathing on the sacred element.- by the smoke. Thou canst not hinder Universal History.
thy roving thoughts from flying now When vain thoughts then, like these and then over thy head; but surely fowls, come down upon our sacrifices, thou mightest do something to prevent we must drive them away, and not suf- their settling.–Gurnall.
12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
* Four hundred years;' • that is,' says the 430 years—the time that had Mr. Locke, 'from the birth of Isaac, elapsed since the promise was made to the seed to whom the promise was Abram-were expired that night; and given; and from that birth to the when the time was out, though it were Exodus of the children of Israel from night, God would not stay till morning Egypt were just 400 years.'
or break of day; but His word must be God is very exact to His own num- fulfilled in its perfect season.
We bers, as the fulfilment of this prophecy have a saying, "A day breaks no shows. (Exod. xii. 41.) God did not square;' but it is not so with God; only not fail them a day, but He did He keeps time with us to an hour.not fail them a piece of a day; for Caryl. they came out in the night, because
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
If a man would hope to enjoy a bear with his infirmities, relieve him good old age,' the foundation for it of his labours, and cheer him with must be laid beforehand. A certain their society. 3. The acquisition of preparation is requisite; and that pre- virtue and religion. A good conscience, paration consists chiefly in three par- peace with God, and the hope of heaticulars: 1. The acquisition of know- ven will be found to be the most effecledge. If he bring into the solitary tual consolations he can possess when retreat of age a vacant, uninformed the evil days come, when otherwise mind, where no knowledge dawns, he is likely to find little pleasure.— where no ideas rise, which has nothing Rev. Dr. H. Blair. to feed upon within itself, many a When a man passes 60, the ten heavy and comfortless day he must years remaining to complete the threenecessarily pass. 2. The acquisition score and ten of the psalmist should of friends. When a man declines be spent as the Sabbath of life; not, into the vale of years, he depends of course, by going into anything like more on the aid of his friends than in conventual existence, but retiring from any other period of his life. Then is the bustle and strife that sit well upon the time when he would especially wish manhood, and devoting the time to to find himself surrounded by some quieter works of usefulness. -- Dr. who love and respect him; who will Chalmers.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
There is a certain measure that der that God lets them alone. But God has set to the sin of every wick- sometimes the reason why God lets ed man.
God says concerning the them alone is, because they have not sin of man, as He says to the raging filled up the measure of their sins. waves of the sea, • Hitherto shalt thou When they live in dreadful wickedcome, and no further. The measure ness, they are but filling up the meaof some is much greater than of others. sure which God hath limited for them. Some commit but a little sin in com- This is sometimes the reason why God parison of others, and so will endure suffers very wicked men to live so long, proportionally a smaller punishment. because their iniquity is not full. Sometimes, when we see men go to Such a grant of life, though for a dreadful lengths, and become very thousand years, is worse than a thouheinously wicked, we are ready to won- sand deaths.—President Edwards.
17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
When God solemnly renewed His to let him know that there was a furcovenant with Abram, and he had pre- nace of affliction attending the covepared the sacrifice whereby it was to nant of grace and peace. And so He be ratified and confirmed, God made tells Zion that He chose her in the a smoking furnace to pass between furnace of affliction' (Isa. xlviii. 10), the pieces of the sacrifice. This was that is, in Egyptian ailliction; burning, flaming afflictions; 'fiery trials,' as Peter calls them. (1 Pet. iv. 12.) There can, then, no argument be drawn from affliction, from any kind of it, from any aggravating circum
stances attending it, that should any way discourage the soul in the comforting, supporting persuasion of an interest in the love of God, and forgiveness thereby.—Dr. Owen.
had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I
may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. 4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.
By these quarrels in the family, God Loud and passionate appeals to God, was pleased to correct both Abram instead of indicating a good cause, are and Sarai for seeking children in such commonly the marks of a bad one.- A. an unwarrantable way.-Orton.
Fuller. 6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand: do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. ? And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the
8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou ? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
V.12. The word rendered 'wild’de- This is one of the most remarkable notes also the wild ass;' the admira- prophecies in the whole Scriptures. ble description of which animal in Job The Hagarenes, Saracens, and Araxxxix. 5–8 affords the best possible bians all descended from Ishmael. representation of the wandering, law- They called themselves Hagarenes, as less, freebooting life of the Bedouin coming from Hagar; but, being reand other Arabs, the descendants of proached for this, they changed their Ishmael.--Comp. Bible.
names to Saracens, as coming from solicited her she could never yield to rounds the citadel, sleeps at his post, the motion, till he could find a place is a faithful watchman.-Dwight. where God should not see.-Flavel.
way to Shur.
Sarai. They were the fiercest race of years, and all attempts to conquer men ever known on earth, and conti- them have been in vain.
What a nue of the same spirit to this day; have proof is this of the Divine authority lived by rapine and plunder, in the of Moses ! Who but a prophet of very same place, for more than 4,000 God could have foretold this?-Orton.
And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 14 Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. 15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
• Thou God seest me!'- No consi- Walk, then, Christian, continually deration is so solemn, so affecting, so in the view of God's omniscience. Say useful as this. None possesses the to thy soul, Cave, videt Deus; • Take same influence to restrain the hands heed, God seeth. It is under the or the heart from sin; to produce, rose, as the common phrase is, that preserve, or quicken obedience; or treason is spoken, when subjects think to awaken unceasingly the most pro- they are far enough from the king's fitable attention of the soul to its ever- hearing; but did such know the prince lasting welfare, or its remembrance to be under the window or behind the of that awful judgment where all its hangings, their discourse would be thoughts, words, and actions will be more loyal. This made David so updisplayed in the light of God's coun- right in his walking (Ps. cxix. 168). tenance, and become the measure If Alexander's empty chair, which his of its final reward. On the contrary, captains set before them when they how imprudent, how sottish, how deli- met in council, did awe them so much rious is the conduct of him who habi- as to keep them in good order, how it tually forgets the presence of God; of would do so if we were to set God whom it is truly said that. God is not always in our eye! The Jews covered in all his thoughts ;' and who, settled Christ's face, and then buffeted him upon his lees, quietly persuades him- (Mark xiv. 65); so does the hypocrite; self that the Lord will not do good, he first says in his heart, God sees neither will the Lord do evil !' This not;' or, at least, he forgets that He man has either negligently or inten- sees, and then makes bold to sin tionally removed from his mind the against Him.-Gurnall. chief source of virtuous conduct, the 'Twas a saying of Pythagoras, “Let well-spring of hope, the great security a man use great reverence and managainst temptation, the prime preven- ners to himself. Be ashamed, friend, tive of sin. He is left unguarded, to do any vile or dishonourable action therefore, in circumstances infinitely before thyself.' For a heathen this is dangerous, and voluntarily exposes good; but how much more powerful himself to evils of infinite magnitude. is the reflection, Thou God seest Compared with this man, the prodigal me!'- Anon. who causelessly squanders a throne A chaste woman, being once soliand an empire is a miser; and the cited to commit folly, told him who soldier who, when the enemy sur