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a fountain of water in the wilderness, a by the 11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, fountain in the way to Shur.
Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a 8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence son, and shalt call his name '' Ishmael ; because camest thou ? and whither wilt thou go? And the Lord hath heard thy atHiction. she said, I flee from the face of my mistress 12 & And he will be a wild man; his hand will Sarai.
be against every man, and every man's hand 9 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, against him; " and he shall dwell in the presence Return to thy mistress, and o submit thyself of all his brethren. under her hands.
13 And she called the name of the Lord that 10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she d I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it said, Have I also here, looked after him i that shall not be numbered for multitude.
n Ch. 25. 18. - Exod. 15. 22. Til 29. 1 Pet. 2 18.- Ch. 17. 20. & 2. 18.
& 23. 12
e Ch. 17. 19. Matt. 1.2. Luke 1, 13, 31,- That is, God shall hear.-g Ch. 21. 20.
h Ch. 25. 18-i Ch 31. 12
by Sarai, he restores, to prevent her jealousy and un tion that can be given of the Ishmaelites, Bedouins, and easiness.
wandering Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael.
" Who Verse 6. She dealt hardly with her) nayn teâneah, she hath sent out the wild ass (~70 phera) free? or who hath afflicted her-the term implying stripes and hard usage, loosed the bands (7179 ûrod,) of the brayer ? Whose house to bring down the body and humble the mind. If the I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellslave was to blame in this business, the mistress is not less ings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither reliable to censure. She alone had brought her into those gardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the circumstances, in which it was natural for her to value mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every herself beyond her mistress.
green thing." Nothing can be more descriptive of the Verse 7. The angel of the Lord] That Jesus Christ, wandering, lawless, freebooting life of the Arabs than this. in a body suited to the dignity of his nature, frequently God himself has sent them out free; he has loosed appeared to the patriarchs, has been already intimated. them from all political restraint. The wilderness is their That the person mentioned here was greater than any habitation, and in the parched land, where no other created being, is sufficiently evident froin the following human beings could live, they have their dwellings. They particulars :
scorn the city, and therefore have no fixod habitations ; for 1. From his promising to perform what God alone their multitude, they are not afraid ; for when they make could do, and foretelling what God alone could know. depredations on cities and towns, they retire into the desert "I
will multiply thy seed erceedingly," &c. ver. 10. with so much precipitancy, that all pursuit is eluded: in " Thou art with child, and shalt bear a son,” &c. ver. 11. this respect the crying of the driver is disregarded.
He shall be a wild man," &c. ver. 12. All this shows They may be said to have no lands; and yet the range of a prescience which is proper to God alone.
the mountains is their pasture, they pitch their tents and 2. Hagar considers the person who spoke to her as feed their flocks wherever they please ; and they search God; calls him bu eh, and addresses him in the way of after every green thing, are continually looking after prey, worship, which, had he been a created angel, he would and seize on every kind of property that comes in their have refused; see Rev. xix. 10. xxii. 9.
3. Moses, who relates the transaction, calls this angel It is farther said, his hand shall be against every man, expressly JEHOVAH; for, says he, she called .77 Dv shem and every man's hand against him-Many potentates ychovah, the name of the Lord that spake to her, ver. 13. among the Abyssinians, Persians, Egyptians and Turks, Now this is a name never given to any created being. have endeavoured to subjugate the wandering or wild
4. This person who is here called in the maleak Arabs ; but though they have had temporary triumphs, yehovah, the Angel of the Lord, is the same who is called they have been ultimately unsuccessful. Sesostris, Cyrus, SMUO 75oo hammaleak hagoel, the redeeming Angel, Pompey, and Trajan, all endeavoured to conquer Arabia, or, the, Angel, the Redeemer, Gen, xlviii. 16. WD. but in vain. From the beginning to the present day they maleak panaid, the Angel of God's presence, Isai. Ixiii
. have maintained their independency; and God preserves 9. and ning No maleak ha-berith, the Angel of the them as a lasting monument of his providential care, and Covenant, Mal. iii. 1. And is the same person which the an incontestible argument of the truth of Dirine ReveSeptuagint, Isai. ix. 6. term Migueres Bouans Aggrues, the lation. Had the Pentateuch no other argument to evince Angel of the great Counsel or Design, viz. of redeeming its divine origin, the account of Ishmael, and the prophecy man and filling the earth with righteousness.
concerning his descendants, collated with their history 5. These things cannot be spoken of any human or and manner of life, during a period of nearly four thoucreated being; for the knowledge, works, &c. attributed sand years, would be sufficient. Indeed the argument is to this person, are such as belong to God; and, as in all so absolutely demonstrative, that the man who would these cases, there is a most evident personal appearance, attempt its refutation, in the sight of reason and common Jesus Christ alone can be meant, for of God the Father, sense, would stand convicted of the most ridiculous preit has been ever true, that no man hath at any time seen sumption and excessive folly. his shape, nor has he ever limited himself to any definable The country which these free descendants of Ishmael personal appearance.
may be properly said to possess, stretches from Aleppo to In the way to Shur) As this was the road from Hebron the Arabian sea; and from Egypt to the Persian gulf. A to Egypt, it is probable, she was now returning to her own tract of land not less than 1800 miles in length, by 900 in country.
breadth ; see chap. xvii. 20, Verse 8. Hagar, Sarai's maid] This mode of address Verse 13. And she called the name of the Lord] She is used to show her that she was known ; and to remind invoked, nepni va-likra, the name of Jehovah who spake her that she was the property of another.
unto her, thus, Thou God seest me! She found thai the Verse 10. I will multiply thy seed exceedingly) Who eye of a merciful God had been upon her in all her wansays this? The person who is called the Angel of the derings and aftlictions; and her words seem to intimate Lord; and he certainly speaks with all that authority that she had been seeking the divine help and protection, which is proper to God.
for she says, Have I also, or have I not also looked after Verse 11. And shalt call his name Ishmael] buyon him that sceth me? yishmâel, from you shamâ, he heard, and 5x El, God; This last clause of the verse is very obscure; and is for, says the angel, THE LORD HATH HEARD thy affliction. rendered differently by all the versions. The general Thus the name of the child must ever keep the mother in sense taken out of it is this: that Hagar was now conremembrance of God's merciful interposition in her behalf; vinced that God himself had appeared unto her, and was and remind the child and the man, that he was an object surprised to find that, notwithstanding this, she was still of God's gracious and providential goodness. Amictions permitted to live; for it was generally supposed, that if and distresses have a voice in the ears of God, even when God appeared to any, they must be consumed by his glories. prayer is restrained--but how much more powerfully do This is frequently alluded to in the Sacred Writings. As they speak when endured in meekness of spirit, with con the word 1978 acharey, which we render simply after, in fidence in, and supplication to the Lord!
other places signifies the last days, or aftertimes ; see on Verse 12. He will be a wild man] DIND pheré adam. Exod. xxxiii. 23. it may probably have a similar meaning, As the root of this word does not appear in the Hebrew here, and indeed this makes a consistent sense; Have Y Bible, it is probably found in the Arabic Nifarra, to run here also seen the LATTER PURPOSES or DESIGNS of him away, to run wild, and hence the wild ass, from its fleet- who seeth me? An exclamation which may be at once ness, and its untameable nature. What is said of the referred to that discovery which God made, in the prewild ass, Job xxxix. 5–8. affords the very best descrip-Iceding verse, of the future state of her descendants.
14 Wherefore the well was called - Beer- I to Abram, and said unto him, 6 I am the Allahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and mighty God, walk before me, and be thou Bered.
i perfect. 15 | And Hagar bare Abram a son: and 2 And I will make my covenant between me Abram called his son's name, which Hagar and thee, and I will multiply thee exceedingly. bare, • Ishmael.
3 And Abram m fell on his face: and God 16' And Abram was fourscore and six years talked with him, saying, old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram. 4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with
thee, and thou shalt be sa father of
many naCHAPTER XVII.
tions. la the ninety-ninth year of Abram's life, Gol again appears to him, announces his 5 | Neither shall thy name any more be called name as God Almighty, and commands him to walk perfectly before him, I. Proposes to renew the conenadi, ? Abrar's prostration, 3. The covenant speci Abram, but Pihy name shall be 9 Abraham; hed, 1.
Atrum's name changei 19 Abraham, and the reason given, 5. The for, a father of many nations have I made served, not only by Abrahan, but all his posterity, 9. Circumcision appointed thee. As the sign or token of the covenant, 10, 11. The age at which, and the persons ou wborn, this was to be perforinel, 12, 13. The danger of neglecting this rile, 14.
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and Sarvi ugne changed to Sarah and a particular promise mute o her, 15, 16. I will make nations of thee, and kings shall of uacure, was imposmble, 17. His repuest for the preservation and prosperity of come out of thee. Ishmael, 18 The birth and blessedness of leaac foretold, 19. Great prosperity promised to demas, 2 Bathshawenant to be enablished, not
in his, bunin.
7 And I will "establish my covenant between Isue's, posterity, 21. Abraham, Ishmael, and all the males in the family, circum me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their cised, 237.
generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be A. M. 2107 B. C. 1897. ND when Abram was ninety years a God unto thee, and to wthy seed after thee.
8 And * I will give unto thee, and to thy seed a Ch 24. 62 & 11- That is, the shell of him that liveth and seeth me. & 13. 16. & 22 17.-m Ver. 17.-n Rom. 4. 11, 12, 16. Gal. 3. 29.-o Heb. multitude c Nomb. 13. 3.- Gal. 1. 22.- Ver. 11.- Ch. 121- Ch. 28. 3. & 35. 11. Exod. of nations.-p Neh. 9. 7.-9 That is, Father of a great multitude - Rom. 4. 17. & 3. Deat. 19.17. --- Ch 5.72 & 48 15 1 Kings 2 4 & 8 25 2 Kings 20. 3.-i Or, & Ch. 35. 11.- Ver. 16. Ch 35. 11. Matt. 1. 6, &c.-u Gal. 3. 17.-v Ch. 28. 24. & uprighe, or, sincere- Ch. 6.9. Deut. 19. 13. Job 1. 1. Matt. 5. 48.- Ch. 12. 2 28. 13. Heb. 11. 16.--Rom. 9.8. - Ch. 12. 7. & 13. 15. Psa. 105. 9, 11.
Verse 14. Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai- explicitly credited, because he cannot lie; and let not hasty toi] It appears from ver. 7. that Hagar had sat down by nature intermeddle with his work. a fountain or well of water in the wilderness of Shur, at The omniscience of God is a subject on which we should which the angel of the Lord found her; and, to commem often reflect ; and we can never do it unfruitfully, while orate the wonderful discovery which God had made of we connect it, as we ever should, with infinite goodness himself, she called the name of the well wis nga Beer- and mercy. Every thing, person, and circumstance, is la-chay-roce, " A well to the Living One who seeth me.' under its notice ; and doth not the eye of God affect his Two things seem implied here, 1. A dedication of the well to heart? The poor slave, the stranger, the Egyptian, sufHim who had appeared to her; and, 2. Faith in the promise: fering under the severity of her hasty, unbelieving mistress, for he who is the Living One, existing in all generations, is seen by the all-wise and merciful God. He permits her must have it ever in his power to accomplish promises to go to the desert, provides the spring to quench her thirst, which are to be fulfilled through the whole lapse of time. and sends the Angel of the Covenant to instruct and com
Verse 15. And Hagar bare Abram a son, &c.] It ap- fort her. How gracious is God! He permits us to get pears, therefore, that Hagar returned at the command of into distressing circumstances, that he may give us effecthe angel, believing the promise that God had made to tual relief, and in such a way too, that the excellence of her.
the power may appear to be of him, and that we may Called his son's name Ishmael] Finding by the account learn to trust in him in all our distresses. God delights of Hagar, that God had designed that he should be so to do his creatures good. called. "Ishmael," says Ainsworth, “is the first man in In all transactions between God and man, mentioned in the world whose name was given him of God before he the Sacred Writings, we see one uniform agency. The was born."
great Mediator in all, and through all; God ever coming In the preceding chapter we have a very detailed account to man by him; and man having access to God through of the covenant which God made with Abram, which him. This was, is, and ever will be the economy
grace. stated that his seed should possess Canaan: and this "The Father hath sent me:-and no man cometh unto promise, on the Divine authority, he steadfastly believed ; the Father but by me.” God forbid that he should have and in simplicity of heart waited for its accomplishment. cause to complain of us: " YE will not come unto me, Sarai was not like-minded; as she had no child herself, that ye might have life.” and was now getting old, she thought it necessary to secure
NOTES ON CHAPTER XVII. the inheritance by such means as were in her power ; she, Verse 1. The Lord appeared to Abram] See on ch. therefore, as we have seen, gave her slave to Abram, that xv, 1. she might have children by her. We do not find Abram I am the Almighty God] 172 SX 998 Ani El shaday, I remonstrating on the subject-and why is he blamed ? am God all-sufficient ; from 190 shadah, to shed, to pour God had not as yet told him how he was to have an heir : out. I am that God who pours out blessings, who gives the
promise simply stated, he that shall come forth out of them richly, abundantly, continually. thine oun bowels shall be thine heir, chap. xv. 4. Con Walk before me] DS 7ann hilh-halek lepanai, set cubinage, under that dispensation, was perfectly lawful; thyself to walk-be firmly purposed, thoroughly detertherefore he could, with equal justice and innocence, when mined to obey-before me-for my eye is ever on thee, it was lawful in itself, and now urged by the express therefore ever consider that God seeth thee. Who can desire of Sarai, take Hagar to wife. And it is very likely imagine a stronger incitement to conscientious persevering that he might think that his posterity, whether by wife or obedience? concubine, as both were lawful, might be that intended by Be thou perfect) Dion rm veheyeh tamim, And thou the promise. It is very difficult to believe that a promise, shalt be perfections, i. e. altogether perfect; be just such which refers to some natural event, can possibly be ful as the holy God would have thee to be, as the almighty filled but through some natural means. And yet, what God can make thee, and live as the all-sufficient God shall is nature but an instrument in God's hands? What we support thee: for he alone who makes the soul holy, can call natural effects, are all performed by supernatural preserve it in holiness. Our blessed Lord appears to have agency: for nature, that is, the whole system of inanimate had these words pointedly in view, Matt. v. 48. sososo ursos things, is as inert as any of the particles of matter of the | τελειοι, ώσπερ ο πατηρ υμων ο εν τοις ουρανoις τελειος εστι, Ye aggregate of which it is composed, and can be a cause to SHALL BE perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is no effect, but as it is excited by sovereign power. This is perfect. But what does this imply? Why, to be saved a doctrine of sound philosophy; and should be carefully from all the power
, the guilt, and the contamination of sin. considered by all, that men may see that, without an over This is only the negatire part of salvation; but it has also ruling and universally energetic Providence, no effect a positive part-to be made perfect-to be perfect as our whatever can be brought about. But, besides these general Father who is in heaven is perfect--to be filled with the influences of Gud in nature, which are all exhibited by fulness of God—to have Christ dwelling continually in the what men call general lavos, he chooses often to act heart by faith, and to be rooted and grounded in love. supernaturally, i. e. independently of, or against, these This is the state in which man was created; for he was general laws, that we may see that there is a God, who made in the image and likeness of God. This is the state does not confine himself to one way of working, but with from which man fell: for he broke the command of God. means, without means, and even against natural meang, And this is the state into which every human soul must be accomplishes the gracious purposes of his mercy in the rajsed, who would dwell with God in glory; for Christ was behalf of man. Where God has promised, let him be incarnated, and died to put away sin by the sacrifice of
after thee, the land wherein thou art a between me and thee, and thy seed after thee; stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an ever • Every man child among you shall be circumlasting possession: and · I will be their God. cised.
9.1 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed foreskin; and it shall be • a token of the covenant after thee, in their generations.
betwixt me and you. 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, 12 And he that is eight days old & shall be
a Heb. of thy sojournings:---- Ch.23. 4. & 28. 4.--- Exod. 6. 7. Lev. 26. 12. Deut.
137. & 14. 2 & 25. 18. & 29. 13.
d Acts 7.8.-e Acts 7. 8. Rom. 4. 11.- Heb. q son of
himself. What a glorious privilege! And who can doubt well with the context. Either this etymology, or that the possibility of its attainment, who believes in the omnip- which supposes the inserted n hé to be an abbreviation of otent love of God, the infinite merit of the blood of atone the word van hamon multitude, is the most likely to be ment, and the all-pervading and all-purifying energy of the true one. But this last would require the word to be the Holy Ghost? How many miserable souls employ that written, when full, pononan Ab-ram-hamon. time to dispute and cavil against the possibility of being The same difficulty occurs verse 15. on the word Sarai, saved from their sins, which they should devote to pray W which signifies my prince, or princess ; and Sarah ing and believing that they might be saved out of the int where the whole change is made by the substitution of hands of their enemies! But some may say, "You over nhé for a 'yod. This latter might be translated prineces strain the meaning of the term; it signifies only, be sincere; in general; and while the former seems to point out her for as perfect obedience is impossible, God accepts of sincere government in her own family alone, the latter appears to obedience." If by sincerity the objection means good indicate her government over the nations of which her desires, and generally good purposes, with an impure husband is termed the father or lord; and hence the heart and spotted life, then I assert, that no such thing is promise states, that she shall be a mother of nations, and implied in the text, nor in the original word: but if the ihat kings of people should spring from her.-See ver. word sincerity be taken in its proper and literal sense, 115, 16. have no objection to it. Sincere is compounded of sine-cerâ, Now, as the only change on each name is made by the "without wax;' and, applied to moral subjects, is a meta- insertion of a single letter, and that letter the same in both phor taken from clarified honey, from which every atom names, I cannot help concluding, that some mystery was of the comb or wax is separated.' Then let it be proclaimed designed by its insertion ; and therefore the opinion of from heaven-Walk before me, and be sinceRE! purge Clarius and some others, is not to be disregarded, which out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump unto God, supposes that God shows he had conferred a peculiar and thus ye shall be perfect, as your Father who is in dignity on both, by adding to their names one of the letters heaven is perfect. This is sincerity!-Reader, remember of his own; a name by which his eternal power and godthat the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin. Ten head are peculiarly pointed out. ihousand quibbles on insulated texts, can never lessen, From the difficulty of settling the etymology of these inuch less destroy, the merit and efficacy of the Great two names, on which so much stress seems to be laid in Atonement.
the text, the reader will see with what caution he should Verse 3. And Abram fell on his face] The eastern receive the lists of explanations of the proper names in method of prostration was thus; the person first went the Old and New Testaments, which he so frequently down on his knees, and then lowered his head to his knees, meets with, and which, from close examination, I can and touched the earth with his forehead. A very painful pronounce to be, in general, false or absurd. posture, but significative of great humiliation and rever Verse 7. An everlasting covenant] obynia berith
ôlam. See on ch. xiii. 15. Here the word olam is taken Verse 5. Thy name shall be called Abraham] Ab-ram in its own proper meaning, as the words immediately folOn an literally means a high or exalted father. Ab-ra-ham lowing prove to be a God unto thee, and thy sced after OAN differs from the preceding only in one letter: it has thee; for as the soul is to endure for ever, so it shall eterThé before the last radical. Though this may appear very nally stand in need of the supporting power and energy of simple and easy, yet the true etymology and meaning of God; and as the reign of the Gospel dispensation shall be the word are very difficult to be assigned. The reason as long as sun and moon endure, and its consequences given by God for the change made in the patriarch's name eternal, so must the covenant be on which these are is this, for a father of many nations have I made thee-founded. Onon an Ab-hamon-goyim, “a father of a multitude of Verse 8. Everlasting possession) Here Suy ôlam nations." This has led some to suppose, that on an appears to be used in its accommodated meaning, and Abraham is a contraction for pon an 36 Ab-rab-hamon, signifies the completion of the divine counsel in reference “the father of a great multitude."
to a particular period or dispensation. And it is literally Aben Esra says, the name is derived from 1907 YIN true, that the Israelites possessed the land of Canaan, till Abir-hamon, a powerful multitude."
the Mosaic dispensation was terminated in the complete Rabbi Solomon Jarchi defines the name cabalistically, introduction of that of the Gospel. But as the spiritual and says that its numeral letters amount to two hundred and temporal covenants are both blended together, and and forty-eight; which, says he, is the exact number of the the former was pointed out and typified by the latter, bones in the human body! but before the n he was added, hence the word, even here, may be taken in its own proper which stands for five, it was five short of this perfection! meaning, that of ever-during, or eternal; because the
Rabbi Lipman says, the inhé being added as the fourth spiritual blessings pointed out by the temporal covenant letter, signifies that the Messiah should come in the fourth shall have no end. 'And hence it is immediately added, ! millenary of the world!
will be their God, not for a time certainly, but for ever and Clarius and others think, that the nhé, which is one of eder.-See the notes on chap. xxi. 33. the letters of the 'Tetragrammaton, (or word of four letters Verse 10. Every male child-shall be circumcised] MIT" Yehovah) was added for the sake of dignity, God | Those who wish to invalidate the evidence of the divine associating the patriarch more nearly to himself, by thus origin of the Mosaic law, roundly assert, that the Israelites imparting to him a portion of his own name.
received the rite of circumcision from the Egyptians. Having enumerated so many opinions, that of William Their apostle in this business is Herodotus, who, lib. ii. p. Alabaster, in his Apparatus to the Revelation, should 116. edit. Steph. 1592, says, “The Colchians, Egyptians, not be passed by. He most wisely says, that Ab-ram, or and Ethiopians, are the only nations in the world who have rom, signifies father of the Romans, and consequently the used circumcision at'spans, from the remotest period : and pope; therefore Abraham was pope the first! This is just the Phænicians and Syrians who inhabit Palestine, acas likely as some of the preceding etymologies.
knowledge they received this from the Egyptians." HeroFrom all these learned, as well as puerile conjectures, dotus cannot mean Jews by Phænicians and Syrians; if we may see the extreme difficulty of ascertaining the true he does, he convicts himself of falsity; for no Jew ever meaning of the word, though the concordance-makers, did, or ever could, acknowledge this, with the history of and proper name explainers, find no difficulty at all in Abraham in his hand. If Herodotus had written before the case; and pronounce on it as readily and authoritatively the days of Abraham, or at least before the sojourning of as if they had been in the Divine council when it was first the children of Israel'in Egyp, and informed us that cir. imposed.
cumcision had been practised among them «* -pX"6. from Hottinger, in his Smegma Orientale, supposes the the beginning, there would then exist a possibility that the word to be derived from the Arabic root, rahama, Israelites, while sojourning among them, had learned and which signifies to be very numerous. Henceyi ab adopted this rite. But when we know that Herodotus raham would signify a copious father, or father of a fourished only four hundred and eighty-four years before multitude. This makes a very good sense, and agrees I the Christian æra, and that Jacob and his family sojourned
circumcised among you, every man child in your 17. Then Abraham fell upon his face, ' and generations, he that is born in the house, or laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be hought with money of any stranger, which is not born unto him that is an hundred years old ? of thy seed.
and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear ? 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that 18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishis bought with thy money, must needs be cir- mael might live before thee! cumcised: and my covenant shall be in your 19 And God said, & Sarah thy wife shall bear flesh for an everlasting covenant.
thee a son indeed ; and thou shalt call his name 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul him for an everlasting covenant, and with his
shall be cut off from his people; he hath seed after him. broken my covenant.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: 15 | And God said unto Abraham, As for Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
i twelve princes shall he beget, kand I will make 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son him a great nation. also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall 21 But my covenant will I establish with be a mother'e of nations : kings of people shall Isaac, I which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this be of her.
set time in the next year.
a Exod. 4. 21.- That is, Print 638.-- Ch. 18. 10,- Heb. ehe shall become
nativas. Ch. 35. Il. Gal. 1. 31. 1 Pet. 3. 6.
i Ch. 18. 12. & 21.6.-g Ch. 18. 10. & 21. 2. Gal. 4. - Ch. 16. 10.-i Ch. 35.
12, 16.-k Cb. 21. 18.- Ch. 21. 2.
in Egypt more than eighteen hundred years before Christ, Verse 17. Then Abraham-laughed]I am astonished to and that all the descendants of Abraham most conscien find learned and pious men considering this as a token of tiously observed circumcision, and do to this day; then the Abraham's weakness of faith, or unbelief, when they presumption is, that the Egyptians received it from the have the most positive assurance from the Spirit of God Israelites, but that it was impossible the latter could have himself, that Abraham was not weak, but strong, in the received it from the former, as they had practised it so long faith--that he staggered not at the promise through unbefore their ancestors had sojourned in Egypt.
belief, but gare glory to God, Rom. iv. 19, 20. It is true, Verse 11. And it shall be a token) S teoth, for a sign the same word is used ch. xviii. 12. concerning Sarah, in of spiritual things: for the circumcision made in the flesh whom it was certainly a sign of doubtfulness, though was designed to signify the purification of the heart from mixed with pleasure at the thought of the possibility of all unrighteousness, as God particularly showed in the her becoming a mother; but we know how possible it is law iiselt. See Deut. x. 16. “See also "Rom. ii. 25—29. to express both faith and unbelief in the same way; and Coloss. ii. 11. And it was a seal of that righteousness, even pleasure and disdain have been expressed by a smile or justification, that comes by faith, Rom. iv. 11. That or laugh. By laughing, Abraham undoubtedly expressed some of the Jews had a just notion of its spiritual inten- his joy at the prospect of the fulfilment of so glorious a tion, is plain from many passages in the Chaldee para- promise: and from this very circumstance Isaac had his phrases, and in the Jewish writers.
I borrow one passage
pasy Yitschak, which we change into Isaac, sig. from the book Zohar, quoted by Ainsworth ; "Åt what nifies laughter; and it is the same word which is used in time a man is sealed with this holy seal (of circumcision) the verse before us-Abraham fell on his face-par va thenceforth he seeth the holy blessed God properly, and yitschak, and he laughed—and to the joy which he felt the holy soul is united to him. If he be not worthy, and on this occasion, our Lord evidently alludes, John viii. 56. keepeth not this sign, what is written? By the breath of Your father Abraham REJOICED to sce my day; and he God they perish, (Job iv. 9.) because this seal of the holy saw it, and was GLAD. And to commemorate this joy, blessed God was not kept. But if he be worthy, and keep which he felt when God gave him the promise, he called it, the Holy Ghost is not separated from Him.'
his son's name Isaac.-See the note on chap. xxi. 6. Verse 12. He that is eight days old] Because, previous Verse 18. O that Ishmael might lire before thee! Abrato this, they were considered unclean, and mighi not be ham finding that the covenant was to be established in offered to God, Lev. xii. 2, 3. and circumcision was ever another branch of his family, he felt solicitous for his son understood as a consecration of the person to God. Ishmael, whom he considered as necessarily excluded; on Neither calf, lamb, nor kid, was offered to God till it was which God delivers that most remarkable prophecy, which eight days old, for the same reason, Lev. xxii. 27. follows in the 20th verse, and which contains an answer
Verse 13. He that is born in thy house] The son of a to the prayer and wish of Abraham-And as for Ishmael, servant-he that is bought with money-a slave, on his I have heard thee; so that the object of Abraham's prayer coming into the family. According to the Jewish writers, was, that his son Ishmael might be the head of a prosperthe father was to circumcise his son, and the master the ous and potent people. servant born in his house, or the slave bought with money. Verse 20. Twelve princes shall he beget, &c.] See the If the father or master neglected to do this, then the names of these twelve princes, chap. xxv. 12–16. From magistrates were obliged to see it performed: if the ne Ishmael proceeded the various tribes of the Arabs, called glect of this ordinance was unknown to the magistrates, also Saracens, by Christian writers. They were anciently, then the person himself, when he came of age to discern and still continue to be, a very numerous and powerful the command of God, was obliged to do it.
people. “It was somewhat wonderful, and not to be foreseen Verse 14. The uncircumcised-shall be cut off from by human sagacity," says Bishop Newton, " that a man's his people] By being cut off, some have imagined that a whole posterity should so nearly resemble him, and retain sudden temporal death was implied, but the simple mean the same inclinations, the same habits, and the same cusing seems to be, that such should have no right to, nor toms, throughout all ages! These are the only people, share in, the blessings of the covenant, which we have besides the Jews, who have subsisted as a distinct people already seen were both of a temporal and spiritual kind; from the beginning; and in some respects they very much and if so, then cternal death was implied; for it was im- resemble each other. 1. The Arabs, as well as the Jews, possible for a person who had not received the spiritual are descended from Abraham, and both boast of their purification, io enter into eternal glory. The spirit of descent from the father of the faithful. 2. The Arabs, as this law extends to all ages, dispensations, and people-he well as the Jews, are circumcised, and both profess to have whose heart is not purified from sin, cannot enter into the derived this ceremony from Abraham. 3. The Arabs, as kingdom of God. Reader, on what is thy hope of heaven well as the Jews, had originally tuelve patriarchs, who founded ?
were their princes or governors. 4. The Arabs, as well Verse 15. Thori shalt not call her name Sarai but as the Jews, marry among themselves, and in their own Sarah)-See on verse 5.
tribes. 5. The Arabs, as well as the Jews, are singular Verse 16. I will bless her, &c.] Sarah certainly stands in several of their customs, and are standing monuments at the head of all the women of the Old Testament, on to all ages, of the exactness of the divine predictions, and account of her extraordinary privileger. I am quite of of the veracity of Scripture history. We may, with more Calmet's opinion, though I cannot push the parallel so far confidence, believe the particulars related of Abraham and as he does, that Sarah was a type of the blessed Virgin. Ishmael, when we see them verified in their posterity at St. Paul considers her a type of the New Testament, and this day. This is having, as it were, ocular demonstration heavenly Jerusalem; and as all true belierers are con for our faith."-See Bp. Newton's Second Dissertation sidered as the children of Abraham, so all faithful, holy on the Prophecies, and see the notes on ch. xvi. 12. Doinen, are considered the daughters of Sarah, Cal. iv. Verse 21. My covenant will I establish with Isaac] All 22, 24, 26. See also I Pet. iii. 6.
temporal good things are promised to Ishmael and his posVOL. 1.-11
22 And he left off talking with him, and God
CHAPTER XVIII. went up from Abraham.
The Lord appean anto Abraham in Mamre, 1. Three angels in human appearance 23 TAnd Abraham took Ishmael his son, and come towartis his tépt, 2: he invites them in to wash and refresh themselves, 25:
prepares a calf, bread, butter, and milk, for their entertainment, and himself serVES all that were born in his house, and all that were
them, 6–8: they promise that within a year Sarah shall have a son, 9, 10. Sarah, bought with his money, every male among the
knowing herself and husband to be superannnated, smiles at the promise, 11, 12
one of the three, who is called the Lord, or Jehovah, chides her, and asserte the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the mufficiency of the Divine Power to accomplish the promise, 13, 14. Sarah, through
fear, denies that she had laughed or showed signs of unbelief, 15. Abraham accomflesh of their foreskin in the self-same day, as panies these divine persons on their way to Sodom, 16: and that one who is caller God had said unto him.
Jehovah, informa him of his purpose to destroy Sodom and Gemorrah, because of
their great wickedness, 17-21. The two former proceed towards Sodom, whde the 24 And Abraham was ninety years old and latter (Jehovah) remains with Abraham, 22 Abraham intercedes for the inhabt
tants of those cities, entreating the Lord to spare then provided fifty righteous nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of persons should be found in them, 23-25. The Lord grants this request, 6: he his foreskin.
pleads for the same merey should only forty-five be found there, which is also granted, 27, 28: he pleads the same for forty,
which is also granted, 29; for thirty, 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years with the same success, 30: for twenty, and receives the mme gracions answer, 31;
for ten, and the Lord aneres him that should ten righteous persona be found there, old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his
he will not destroy the place, 32 Jehovah then departs, and Abrahamn retarns to foreskin.
his tept, 33.
ND the cised, and Ishmael his son.
27 And all the men of his house, born in the door in the heat of the day: house, and bought with money of the stranger, 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, were circumcised with him.
three men stood by him: < and when he saw
Ch 18. 33. & 35. 13.- Ch 31. 24. Josh. 5. 2-9. Acts 16. 3. Rom. 225-29. & 4.
9-12. Gal. 5. 6. & 6. 15.
c See Va1 & 17. Rom. 4. 19.- Ch. 18. 19.- Ch. 13. 18. & 14. 13.– Heb. 13 2
g Ch. 19. 1. 1 Pet. 4. 9.
terity, but the establishment of the Lord's covenant is to be this was to be a permanent sign of that covenant which with Isaac. Hence it is fully evident, that this covenant was to endure for ever,, Though the sign is now changed referred chiefly to spiritual things—to the Messiah and the from circumcision to baptism, each of them equally sigsalvation which should be brought to both Jews and Gen- nificat, yet the covenant is not changed in any part of its tiles by his incarnation, death, and glorification.
essential meaning. Faith in God, through the great Verse 22. God went up from Abraham) Ascended evi- Sacrifice, remission of sins, and sanctification of the heart, dently before him, so that he had the fullest proof that it are required by the new covenant as well as by the old. was no human being, no earthly angel, or messenger, that 3. The rite of circumcision was painful and humilitalked with him: and the promise of a son in the course ating, to denote that repentance, self-denial, &c. are of a single year, at this set time in the next year, ver. 21. absolutely necessary to all who wish for redemption in the which had every human probability against it, was to be blood of the covenant—and the putting away this filth of the sure token of the truth of all that had hitherto taken the flesh, showed the necessity of a pure heart and a place; and the proof that all that was farther promised holy life. should be fulfilled in its due time. Was it not in nearly 4. As eternal life is the free gift of God, he has a right the same way that the Lord went ap from Abraham, that to give it in what way he pleases, and on what terms. He Jesus Christ ascended to heaven in the presence of his says to Abram and his seed- Ye shall circumcise the flesh disciples ? Luke xxiv. 51.
of your foreskin, and he that doth not so shall be cut off Verse 23. And Abraham took Ishmael, &c.] Had not from his people. He says also to sinners in general-Let Abraham, his son, who was of age to judge for himself, the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his and all the family, been fully convinced that this thing thoughts-Repent, and believe the Gospel-and Except ye was of God, they could not have submitted to it. A rite repent, ye shall perish. These are the terms on which he so painful, so repugnant to every feeling of delicacy, and chooses to bestow the blessings of the old and new coveevery way revolting to nature, could never have sprung up nants. And let it be remembered, that stretching out the in the imagination of man. To this day, the Jews practise it hand to receive an alms can never be considered as meriting as a divine ordinance: and all the Arabians do the same. the bounty received; neither can repentance or faith merit As a distinction between them and other people, it never salvation, although they are the conditions on which it is could have been designed, because it was a sign that was bestowed. never to appear. The individual alone, knew that he 5. The precepts given under both covenants were accombore in his flesh this sign of the covenant; and he bore it panied with a promise of the Messiah. God well knows, by the order of God; and he knew it was a sign and scal that no religious rite can be properly observed, and no of spiritual blessings, and not the blessings themselves, precept obeyed, unless he impart sirength from on high : though a proof that these blessings were promised, and and he teaches us, that that strength must ever come through that he had a right to them. Those who did not consider the promised Seed. Hence, with the utmost propriety, we it in this spiritual reference, are by the apostle denominated ask every blessing through him, in whom God is well the concision. Phil. iii. 2. i. e. persons whose flesh was pleased. cut, but whose hearts were not purified.
6. The precept, the promise, and the site, were prefaced The contents of this chapter may be summed up in a with-I am God all-sufficient, walk before me, and be few propositions :
thou perfect. God, who is the sole object of religious 1. 'God, in renewing his covenant with Abram, makes an worship, has the sole authority to prescribe that worship, important change in his and Sarai's name; a change which and the rites and ceremonies which shall be used in it; should ever act as a help to their faith, that the promises hence he prescribed circumcision and sacrifices under the by which God had bound himself should be punctually old law, and baptism and the eucharist under the Gospel; fulfilled. However difficult it may be for us to ascertain and to render both effectual to the end of their institution, the precise import of the change then made, we may rest faith in God was indispensably necessary. assured that it was perfectly understood by both; and that, 7. Those who profess to believe in him, must not live as as they had received this name from God, they considered they list, but as he pleases. Though redeemed from the it as placing them in a new relation both to their Maker curse of the law, and from the rites and ceremonies of the and to their posterity. From what we have already seen, Jewish church, they are under the law to Christ, and must the change made in Abram's name is inscrutable to us : walk before him—be in all things obedient to that moral there is something like this Rev. ii. 17. To him that law, which is an emanation from the righteousness of God, overcometh will I give a white stone, and a NEW NAME and of eternal obligation; and let it ever be remembered, which no man knoweth, saring he that receiveth it. The that Christ is the author of eternal salvation to all that full import of the change made in a soul that enters into obey him. Without faith and obedience there can be no covenant with God through Christ, is only known to itself: holiness; and without holiness, none can see the Lord. Be a stranger intermeddleth not with its joy. Hence, even all that God would have thee to be, and God will be to thee men of learning, and the world at large, have considered all that thou canst possibly require. He never gives a experimental religion as enthusiasm, merely because they precept, but he offers sufficient grace to enable thee to have not understood its nature, and have permitted them- perform it. Believe as he would have thee, and act as selves to be carried away by prejudices, which they have he shall strengthen thee; and thou wilt then believe all imbibed first through the means of ignorant or hypocritical things saringly, and do all things well. pretenders to deep piety: but while they have the Sacred
NOTES ON CHAPTER XVIII. Writings before them, their prejudices and opposition to Verse 1. And the Lord appeared] See on ch. xv. i. that, without which they cannot be saved, are as unprinci Sat in the tent-door] For the purpose of enjoying the pled as they are absurd.
refreshing air; in the heat of the day, when the sun had 2. God gives Abraliam a precept, which should be most power. observed not only by himself, but by all his posterity; for Verse 2. Three men slood by him] by Diana Nitsa