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he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons 14 and daughters. And Salah lived thirty years, and begat 15 Eber : And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and 16 three years, and begat sons and daughters. And Eber lived 17 four and thirty years, and begat Peleg : And Eber lived after
he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, the longest of
any of the patriarchs after the flood, and begat sons and daugh18 ters. And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu : And 19 Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, 20 and begat sons and daughters. And Reu lived two and thir31 ty years, and begat Serug : And Reu lived after he begat
Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and 22 daughters. And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Na23 hor, the first patriarch who fell into idolatry: And Serug lived
after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and 24 daughters. And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and 25 begat Terah, Abram's father : And Nahor lived after he begat
Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and 26 daughters. And Terah lived seventy years, and between that
time and his hundred and thirtieth year he begat three sons ; the most distinguished of which, though the youngest, was Abram;
the other two were Nahor, and Haran. 27 Now these [are) the generations of Terah ; Terah begat
Abram, Nahor, and Haran, and Haran, the eldest son, begat 28 Lot. And Haran died before the face of his father Terah in
the land of his nativity, in the country afterwards called Ur of 29 the Chaldees. And Abram and Nahor took them wives : the
name of Abram's wife (was] Sarai ; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, their elder brother, de
ceased, who was the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah, 30 otherwise called Sarai. But Sarai was barren ; she (had) no
child. 31 And Terah took Abram his son, who had been warned of
God to leave his native country, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife ; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan ;* and they came unto a place
which they called Haran, after Terah's son who was dead, and 32 dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and
fivet years : and Terah died in Haran, which was about half way to the land of Canaan.
• Here begin the four hundred and thirty years, at the end of which Israel came out of Egypt.
+ The Samaritan Pentateuch reads one hundred and forty five; which, Dr. Kenniccts observes, vindicates the truth of St. Stephen's assertion in Acts vii. 4. Edir.
1. E learn, that men are often imposed upon by their own
ambition, and that God can easily confound their schemes. He takes the wise in their own craftines8 ; no device that is formed against him and his designs shall stand : the fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him. They wanted a name and a defence, and God gave them confusion. It is to be feared we have our Babels, on which we bestow pains and cost, to be talked of : but let us be cautious ; Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
2. Learn the dependence of the human mind and tongue upon God. He made man at first capable of speaking; gave him ideas, and the power of utterance. The wiser heathens ascribe the origin of language to God. What a surprising thing was. it, that all the ideas of such multitudes should be changed,
and a new language impressed on their minds at once ! Some have said, that there was nothing new or strange in this ; but no other than a divine, supernatural cause was ever assigned that was adequate to such an effect. God, who made the tongue, can ea-sily give the proper use of it, and form the mind to the knowledge of a new language. Thus, while the world was peopled by the confusion of tongues, the gospel was propagated by the gift of tongues. See Acts ii. A circumstance equally extraordinary and useful in its place.
3. Since we find in this chapter, that human life was shortened, it becomes us to work in haste. Shem lived six hundred years ; some of his immediate descendants only two hundred years ; and at length the term was reduced to seventy years : therefore let uş redeem the time, begin the great work of religion early, and whatever our hands find 10 do, do it with all our might, since there is neither wisdom,.nor device, nor knowledge in the grave, whither we are going. 4.. Friendship with God is a greater honour than birth can give
Abram is here put before his elder brother, because he was chosen to be a remarkable man. The greatest honour is to be a friend and servant of God : let us seek that honour which cometh from him only.
5. Parents should engage their children to set out with them in the way to the heavenly Canaan, the land of promise ; thus, v. 31, Terah took his children. It is not sufficient to serve God ourselves, but we must do it with all our house : while we walk ourselves in the paths of righteousness and the way to heaven, we should endeavour to lead others with us; pray for them, that they may be inclined to follow us ; tell them what a good land it is, what God hath commanded us and them, and what kind provisions he hath made for our eternal felicity. Let us be steadfast and diligent in all our attempts to persuade and lead them to the heavenly country.
6. Let not good men be surprised if they meet with accidents in the way, to retard them in their progress toward the promised land. Terah died in Haran. His children hoped for his company and instructions for years to come ; but he was cut off in the way. This often happens to good men ; their guides and leaders are taken away.
Let us then be solicitous to fill up their places, to walk in the same paths; and not be slothful, but followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The Old Testament being principally written for the Jews, much is
said of Abram their ancestor. Ancient writers mention him as a great and good man. We now enter upon his story ; and have here, God's call of Abram to leave his native country ; the divine promise to him in Canaan ; his removab into Egypt, on account of the famine, and Sarai's danger and deliverance there. 1 OW the Lord had appeared in Mesopotamia* and said
unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, lest thou be infected with idolatry, and from thy fa
ther's house, unto a land that I will show thee, but with which 2 thou art not at present acquainted : And I will make of thee
a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name 3 great ; and thou shalt be a blessing ;t And I will bless them
that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee ; I will enter into the strictest friendship with thee ; thy friends shall be my friends, and thy enemies my enemies ; then comes the great promise ; and in thee, that is, in thy seed, which is Christ, (as the apostle shows, Gal. iii. 8, 16.) shall all families of the earth, believers of all nations, be blessed.
So Abram departed, first from Ur, and afterwards from Huran, as the LORD had spoken unto him ; and Lot went
with him : and Abram (was] seventy and five years old when 5 he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife,
and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran, proselyted servants as well as children ; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan, a strange and unknown land ; but, trusting in God for their guide, they persevered, and into
the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Si
chem, afterwards called Samaria, unto the plain of Moreh.! And the Canaanite, that accursed and idolatrous people, (was]
See Acise vii. .
A means of conveying blessedness to thy posterity, who shall be blessed for thy sake; to thy friends and servants, who shall be blessed by thy, instruction and example ; to all the world by being the progenitor of Christ, and an entinent pattern of faith and hoti
Situated near the two mountains Gerizzim and Ebal.
then in the land ; so that he could expect little comfort, and 7 found great trials for his faith. And the LORD appeared*
unto Abram, for his encouragement, and said, Unto thy seed, though not to thyself, will I give this land, which they surely shall possess ; and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him, for sacrifice and thanksgiving for this
mercy, and to keep them close to the worship of the true God. 8 And he removed from thence southward, unto a mountain on
the east of Bethel, as it was afterwards called, but then Luz, and pitched his tent, [having] Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east : and there also he builded an altar unto the LORD,
and called upon the name of the LORD ; worshipping God by 9 prayer, preaching to his family, and offering sacrifices. And
Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south ; but found
repeated disappointments, and trials for his faith. 10 And at length there was a famine in the land, whịch obliged
him to leave it for a time : and Abram went down into Egypt to
sojourn there : for the famine (was) grievous in the land of 11 Canaan. And it came to pass, when he was come near to
enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, 12 I know that thou (art) a fair woman to look upon : Therefore
it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This [is] his wife : and they will kill me,t but
they will save thee alive, and some one will take thee as a 13 wife or concubine. 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 ; my life shall be safe, and I shall have
nothing to fear. 14 And according to his expectation, it came to pass that, when
Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woma 15 an that she (was] very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh
saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh ;ll and the
woman was taken into Pharaoh's house, probably in order to 16 his marrying her. And he entreated Abram well for her sake,
to gain his consent : and by Pharaoh's gift he had sheep, and oxen, beside what he had of his own, and he asses, and men servants, and maid servants, and she asses, and camels. But
the God of Abram was highly displeased at the wicked designs 17 of the monarch ; 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]
• By a new revelation, to strengthen his faith, now that he saw all the land before him possessed by the Canaanite. Abram is the first person to whom God is said in scripture to have appeared.
+ This fear of being killed was the more inexcusable in Abram, as the promise of a seed to descend from him was not yet fulfilled, and therefore was a security to his life.
+ Though this was true in some sense, (ch. XX. 12.) yet not as they understood it ; and so he exposed her to danger, contrary to his duty.
# All their kings were called Pharaoh, which signifies the futher of the people. * Probabv with some such distemper as did both chastise him for, and hinder him from executing his designs.
thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that
she (was) thy wife? which he might understand upon 19 further inquiry by Sarai's confession. Why saidst thou, She
[is] my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife : now therefore behold, since she is thy wife, take (her,) and go
thy way. Pharaoh's reproof was mild and just, and his conduct 20 generous. And Pharaoh commanded (his] men concerning
him, that they should not offer him any injury, but show him ali manner of kindness : and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had, believing him to be a peculiar favourite of heaven,
ET us think nothing too dear to leave for God, and
bram, Heb. xi. 8. The gospel commandeth us to forsake houses and land for Christ's sake ; and if we do so, we shall in no wise lose our reward ; for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness there. of. All lands are the good man's country. If we are willing to follow the divine directions, God will lead us in the right way to a city of habitation, and to a happy end.
2. Let us earnestly pray for the divine blessing; that he may bless us, and make us a blessing to others; bless us in temporal, but especially in spiritual things. None can bless like him. Men may curse, but, if the Lord bless us, all shall be well. Good men are a blessing to others : God will make them so to the families and places where they dwell. Imitate Abram's faith and obedience : for they that are of faith are blessed with faithful Abram.
3. Let us be thankful for that seed of Abram, in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed. We and our families share in this blessing. Christ is the greatest blessing in the world, the sum and substance of all other blessings. This blessing of Abram is come upon us Gentiles. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ Jesus.
4. We learn of Abram to acknowledge God wherever we go: he built an altar in every place. Wherever we have a tent, let God have an altar. Let us maintain his worship in our families, and there call on his name. The master of a family should be a priest in his own house, should pray with and for them, and teach them the way of the Lord, and the judgments of their God. Let us serve the Lord with all our house, then he will bless us, and make us a blessing.
5. The best of men have infirmities in those graces for which they are most remarkable. Who would have thought that Abram, the father of the faithful, should distrust God, equivocate, and manifest such unbelief! Let us not expect to live without fears, or believe without infirmities ; but be sensible what reason we have daily to pray, Lord, increase our faith.