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of the two words in the original it is yea for the king is it prepared ; he hath clear that they are not literally applied made it deep and large: the pile thereof to designate the same things, nor is is fire and much wood; the wrath of the present phrase "smoking furnace' the Lord, like a stream of brimstone intended to convey precisely the same doth kindle it.' Again, Is. 33. 10--14, idea with the phrase “furnace of iron' when his own degenerate people aro in Deuteronomy. The latter undoubt- more particularly the subject of the edly refers to Egypt as a scene of afflic-threatening, 'Now will I rise, saith the tion and bondage ; but that the former Lord; now will I be exalted ; now will has any such allusion is not to be gath- I lift up myself. Ye shall conceive ered from the import of the term itself, chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your nor is it in fact consistent with the de- breath as fire, shall devour you. And corum of the imagery. The smoking the people shall be as the burnings of furnace is described as passing between lime: as thorns cut up shall they be the parts of the slaughtered animals; burned in the fire :—The sinners in Zion but this was an action appropriate to are afraid ; fearfulness hath surprised one of the covenanting parties, and to the hypocrites. Who among us shall him alone, or to his representative sym- dwell with the devouring fire? who bol: and with what propriety such an among us shall dwell with everlasting act could be attributed to the symbol burnings ?' In the great scarcity of of persecuting Egypt, which was no wood for fuel throughout the East, the party in the transaction, we are utterly tannoor or oven is usually heated with at a lost to conceive. Yet that the ob- stubble or chaff, and the rebellious Isject seen in the vision had a mystical raelites are here represented as alarmimport of some kind is beyond ques- ed at the idea of being cast into the tion, and this we know no other mode oven of divine wrath which their own of determining than by comparing the sins have furnished the fuel, the chaff figurative use of the term in other pla- and the stubble, for heating. John
But here our resources are scan. the Baptist utters a clearly parallel inty, for there are not more than two or timation, Matt. 3. 12, 'He will thorthree passages in which any thing be- oughly purge his floor, and gather his yond the literal sense of the term, can wheat into his garner : but he will burn be detected. Of these the principal are up the chaff with unquenchable fire.' the following ; Is. 31. 9, 'And he (the The 'unquenchable fire' in this passage Assyrian) shall pass over to his strong answers plainly to the everlasting hold for fear, and his princes shall be burnings' in that of the Old Testament afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, prophet, and has moreover a direct refwhose fire is in Zion and his furnace erence to the words of Malachi, ch. 4.1, (772n tannoor) in Jerusalem. As this where the coming of John the Baptist is a denunciation of wrath to the ene- is announced as the forerunner of the mies of Israel, the natural purport of great Messenger of the Covenant;' For the passage seems to be, that as the behold the day cometh that shall burn divine presence dwelt in Jerusalem, this as an oven (9700 tannoor); and all the was the seat and source from whence proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, the judgments of Jehovah should issue shall be stubble : and the day that against his adversaries. With this it cometh shall burn them up, saith the may be well to compare the following Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them equivalent passages, ls. 30. 33, speak- neither root nor branch.' So also Pe. ing of the same hostile power, the As- 21. 8, 9, 'Thine hand shall find out all syrians, 'For Tophet is ordained of old; I thine enemies, thy right hand shall
find out those that hate thee. Thou the covenant and avenging God of his shalt make them as a fiery oven (7:6 seed, and that he now appeared in this tannoor) in the time of thine anger : the symbol in order to convey to him a preLord shall swallow them up in the time iniimation of the peculiar manner in of his wrath, and the fire shall devour which his indwelling in the midst of his them.' From all this we cannot avoid posterity should be manifested. The the conclusion that the 'smoking oven' | 'burning lamp' is probably to be conis a designed symbol of the divine pres- sidered merely as an equivalent symbol, ence viewed more especially in its vin- introduced in order more vividly to dediclive aspect; and in the passage be- pict to the mind's eye of the patriarch the fore us, instead of regarding it as point- character of that visible manifestation ing to the afflictions endured by Abra- by which the divine glory and majesty hain's seed in Egypt, we rather look was to be displayed under the economy upon it as mystically shadowing forth afterwards to be established among the divine judginents visited upon the chosen people. This is confirmed Egypt. As far as it has relation to that by a reference to the solemn rites witpersecuting power, it represents it rath- nessed at Sinai, where among other cirer as the subject than the agent of suf- cumstances of the sublime and awful fering. Nothing is more common with scene it is said Ex. 20, 18, that 'all the the sacred writers than to represent the people saw the thunderings, and the Deity in his avenging dispensations un- lightnings (Heb. 09703 lappidim, der the emblem of a consuming fire, lamps), and the noise of the trumpet, and in this connection it will be proper and the mountain smoking.' The to bear in mind that in Sinai he appear- mention of 'lamps' in connection with ed in mingled fire and smoke, in cir- the divine appearances is by no means cumstances of grandeur and terror, of infrequent, as may be seen by turning which the object seen in the vision of to Ezek. 1. 13. Dan. 10. 6. Rev. 1. 14. the patriarch was perhaps but a min-It has indeed been usual with commeniature adumbration; Ex. 19. 18, 'And tators, especially on the ground of Is. mount Sinai was altogether in a smoke, 62. 1, to consider the burning lamp' because the Lord descended upon it in in this place as an emblem of deliver fire: and the smoke thereof ascended ance, but as it is represented as passing as the smoke of a furnace.' SJ also between the parts of the victim, which when he manifested his wrath at the was the act of a covenanter, this sense destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, seems to be somewhat remote from the it is said ch. 19. 28, that Abraham in main scope of the vision, and therefore looking toward the burning cities ‘be- improbable. On the whole, we conheld, and lo, the smoke of the country ceive the grand drift of this symbolical went up as the smoke of a furnace.' | transaction to be, to disclose to AbraAdd to this, that the standing symbol ham the leading fortunes of his seed of Jehovah's presence in the wilder- through a long lapse of ages not only ness was the pillar of cloud (or smoke) their bondage and afflictions in Egypt, by day and of fire by night, and that but their subsequent establishment in on several occasions the temple is said the land of Canaan, the scene of the to have been filled with the smoke of vision, as a nation of sacrificers, among his glory, 1 Kings, 8. 10, 11. Is. 6. 4. whom the distinguishing symbols of Rev. 15. 8, and we can searcely fail to the divine presence were to be fixed as perceive that the object here exhibited their glory and their defence. Thus to Abraham was a designed and appro- viewed the incidents here recorded aspriate symbol of the Most High, as sume a significancy and an interest of
18 In that same day the LORD given this land, from the river of & made a covenant with Abram, Egypt unto the great river, the saying, “ Unto thy seed have 1 river Euphrates :
19 The Kenites, and the KenDeut. 1. 7. & l. 24. & izzites, and the Kadmonites,
g ch. 24. 7. b ch. 12. 7. & 13. 15. & 26. 4. Ex. 23. 31. Nunub. 34. 3. 34. 4. Josh. 1. 4. I Kings, 4. 21. 2 Chron. 9. 26. Neh. 9. 8. Ps. 105. 11. Isai. 27. 12.
which they are effectually deprived by At the same time, it is probably to be the common more limited application understood, though not expressly afof them.
firmed, that Abraham becaine so far a 18. In the same day the Lord made a party to the covenant as to promise covenant with Abram, saying, &c. Heb. under the most solemn sanctions a 0172 093 cut a covenant; in allu- general course of obedience to all the sion to the ceremonies above described. divine requirements. - Unto thy seed From what follows it would seem that have I given. Gr. dwow I will give, these words contain more than a mere on which the Jewish doctors very perexposition of the drift of the preceding tinently remark, 'He saith not ‘I will rites. Those rites indeed had refer- give,' but 'I have given ;' and yet Abraence to a covenant; they were design- ham had now begotten no children. edly subservient to one; yet of the ver- But because the word of the holy blesbal stipulations of that covenant noth- sed God is a deed, therefore he thus ing thus far has been said. That part speaketh.”- - From the river of of the transaction is now related. It Egypt. Heb. On30 mana. Comis spoken of apart from the foregoing, mentators are in great doubt as to the probably because it took place subse- identity of this river. At first view it quent to the incidents there mentioned. would unquestionably seem that the The action of the furnace and lamp in Nile is intended, as that river is clearly passing between the pieces was per- in several places indicated by this formed as it were in pantomime or phrase But as it does not appear that dumb show, while Abraham was en- the jurisdiction of the Israelites ever tranced in a vision. But the actual en- actually extended to the Nile, Wells, gagement into which God was pleased Clark, and others incline to the opinion to come with his servant was of 100 that it denotes an inconsiderable river much moment, of too high an import, or brook falling into the Mediterranean to be made with him in any other than at a small distance south of Gaza. a waking state. Abraham accordingly This is supposed to be the same stream is released from his state of vision, and which is called by Joshua, ch. 15. 47, God thus proceeds to bind himself by the 'Sihor,' corresponding to the supcovenant to make over, as by a sol- posed situation of which Dr. Richardenin deed of gift, the whole land in son crossed the dry bed of a river, which he then was, the boundaries and thirty yards wide, called the Wadi the present occupants of which are Gaza. But we still think the former specified with great accuracy and mi- is the true interpretation. For (1.) a nuteness. Though called a 'covenant,' brook or small stream is never called yet it was mainly a stipulation on the in Hebrew, as here, nahar, but part of God only; for which reason it | 377) nahhal. (2.) In Josh. 13. 3, the probably was, that in the previous destined boundary of the land of Israel vision his symbol only passed between on the south is said indeed to be the the parts of the animals, while nothing' Sihor, which is before Egypt, but in Is. of this kind is affirmed of Abraham. 23. 3. and Jer. 2. 18, mention is made
20 And the Hittites, and the CHAPTER XVI. Perizzites, and the Rephaims, NOW Sarai, Abram's wise,
21 And the Amuriles, and the A bare him no children: and Canaanites, and the Girgashites, she had an handmaid, ban Egypand the Jebusites.
tian, whose name was · Hagar.
a ch. 15. 2, 3.b ch. 21. 9. c Gal. 4. 24.
of the same stream under the denomi- in their situation aud history. Out of nation of 770 yeor, river, which is the ten here mentioned only seven were the appropriated name of the Nile, as is actually subjugated, Deut. 7. 1. It is known to every reader of the Hebrew hence, with great probability inferred Scriptures, it being but in a single in that the redundant three had, by the stance (Dan. 12. 5–7) applied to anoth- time of the actual conquest, become er stream. Indeed Wilkinson remarks either extinct or blended with other that 789 yeor, river, is merely the He tribes, or had changed their names. brew form of the Egyptian word JARO river, applied to the Nile. (Dom. Man.
CHAPTER XVI. of Anc. Egypt. vol. I. p. 12, note.) It 1. Sarai, Abram's wife, bare him no is no valid objection to this that the Is- children. Abraham had now dwelt ten raelites never extended their borders years in the land of Canaan, and not quite to the banks of the Nile ; for (3.) withstanding his advanced age appears It is doubtless the object of the divine to have discovered no impatience for speaker merely to designate in a loose the fulfilment of the prornise. It was and general way the two great rivers now put beyond a doubt that he should as the extreme limits within which the become a father; but it had not yet been territory of the Israelites was to be in- explicitly declared that Sarah should cluded, though it might fall somewhat become a mother. We may suppose short of these limits on either side. In therefore that her feelings as a wife like manner in Is. 27. 12 and Jer. 2. 18, gave force to her concern about her the Euphrates and the Nile are un- husband's glory and happiness, and doubtedly opposed to each other as the prompted the weak and carnal expediextreme boundaries of the possessions ent which is here described, and to of the Hebrews. Moreover (4) in the which Abraham himself undoubtedly time of David and Solomon all, or lent too ready an ear. Seeing at her time nearly all, the kings between these riv- of life but little hope of seed in the ordiers were tributaries of the Israelitish nary way, she seems deliberately to have kinys. 2 Chron. 9. 26. 2 Sam. 8. 3. concluded, that if the promise were to From the combined weight of the above be fulfilled it must be in the person of reasons we feel little hesitation in ab- another. Accordingly, as unbelief is siyning the Nile as the stream here in- very prolific of schemes, she here pro. tended by the river of Egypt.' As to poses a measure evidently fraught with thie fulfilment of the promise respect the most pernicious consequences. It ing the actual occupancy of this ex- implied a culpable distrust of God who tended region, see Note on Josh. 1. 4. had promised, and went to introduce a
19-21. Kenites~Kenizzites-Kad-foreign, perhaps an idolatrous mother monites, &c. So little is known of into the family of Abraham. It was most of these nations or clans, that it a most unwise and inconsiderate tamwill be sufńcient to refer to the maps pering with her husband's affections, and Marg. Ref. for all that is important and it laid a foundation of probable, it 2 d And Sarai said unto Abiam, ibee go in unto my maid; it Behold now, the LORD e hath re- may be that I may obtain chilstrained me frorn bearing: I pray dreu by her. And Ábrary & heark
ened to the voice of Sarai.
đ ch. 30. 3, e ch. 20. 18. & 30, 2. 1 Sam. 1. 5, 6.
f ch. 30. 3, 9. g ch. 3. 17.
not of certain domestic jealousies and in the same relation to Sarah, that Eliquarrels. In a word, it was a direct ezer did to Abraham. Thus likewise doing of evil in the vain expectation Rachel and Leah, the daughters of Lathat good might come. But let us con-ban, had their respective handmaids, sider the particulars. - She had an or female head-servants, Gen. 30. 3. handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name In such cases the relation between the was Hagar. A bond-woman, a female mistress and her servant was so intimslave, in opposition to a free woman, ate, that the children of the latter by Jer. 34. 10, 11. Gal. 4. 22, who accord- the master were reckoned as those of ing to the usages of those times might the mistress, as appears not only from be disposed of by her mistress Sarah | the present instance, but also in the as she chose, v. 6. She probably came parallel case of Rachel, Gen. 30. 3, 6, 8. in to Abraham's family during his so- So afterwards under the law, the chiljourn in Egypt, and may have been one dren of the bond-servant were accountof the maid-servants' presented by ed the children of the master, Ex. 21. 4. Pharaoh to the patriarch, Gen. 12. 20. 2. Behold now, the Lord hath re. Her name 'Hagar flight, or a fugi- strained me from bearing. The active, we think with Mchaelis was not knowledgment conveyed in these words bestowed by her parents--for why should is almost the only redeeming feature of an Egyptian child be called by a He- Sarah's conduct on this occasion. She brew name ?-but was one that accrued owns God's providence in her childless to her in process of time from the lead-condition, Ps. 127, 3, and yet well nigh ing event in her history here recorded. destroys the virtue of this confession Multitudes of similar instances, as we by making the fact a plea for contriving have before remarked, occur in the sa- some other means for the fulfilment of cred narrative. Her descendants were the promise! What a lively pattern called 'Hagarites' or 'Hagarenes,'| do I see in Abraham and Sarah, of a 1 Chron. 5. 10, rendered by the Gr. strong faith and weak; of strong in παροικους strangers. . From her, by Abraham, and weak in Sarah!
She, Ishmael, the Saracens and Arabs were to make God good of his word to descended, and the word 'Hegira' ap- Abraham, knowing her own barrenplied to the flight of Mohammed from ness, substitutes a Hagar; and, in an Mecca to Medina, comes from the ambition of seed, persuades 10 polysame root, as does also 'Mohagerin' gamy. Abraham had never looked to or ' Mohajerin,' fellow-flyers, the name obtain the promise by any other than given by the false prophet to the com- a barren womb, if his own wife had panions of his flight. She is said to not importuned him to take another. have been handmaid or servant to Sa- When our own apparent means fail, rah, and not to Abraham, from its being wcak faith is put to the shifts, and procustomary in those patriarchal times, jects strange devices of her own, to atfor the male and female departments tain her end : she will rather conceive of a family to be kept in a great meas- by another womb, than be childless : ure distinct; and Hagar probably stood when she hears of an impossibility to