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11 And Abraham said, Be- of God is not in this place; and cause I thought, Surely the fear they will slay me for my wife's
sch. 42. 18. Ps. 36. 1. Prov. 16. 6.
t cb. 12. 12. & 28. 7.
a heathen; but when we reflect how to bring sin upon me; which tended to much occasion he had given for the re- it; which exposed me and my kingproof, it was dishonourable in the ex- | dom to the commission of a heinous treme. How unworthy of birn was crime. See Noie ou Gen. 27. 21, Ex. the manner in which his wife was re- 7. 12, where this usage is fully illusstored to his hands! How must he trated. blush to be told that he who should 11. Because I thought, Surely the have been her protector, had been her fear of God is not in this placc. Heb. templer ; that, in fact, he had put a 5x amarti, I said. The original price upon her virtue; and that in- word is used frequently not only for stead of being willing, as he ought to speaking vocally, but also for speaking have been, to die in her defence, he had in the mind, or thinking. Thus Ex. 2. in effect sacrificed her honour to his 14, 'Intendest thou to kill me as thou own groundless fears. It must not be killedst the Egyptian ? Heb. Sayest forgotten thai Sarah was actually given thou to kill me ? 1 Kings, 5. 5, 'I purup to Abimelech, and that Abraham pose to build.' Heb. I say to build. had forborne to claim her; so that he Ps. 14. 1, 'The fool hath said in his was answerable, not only for the con- heart, There is no God ;' i.e. hath come sequences that did ensue, but for those to the conclusion that there is no God; also which, according to the common or it may imply that he hath enterlaincourse of things, were to be expected. ed the wish that there were pone. Moreover in what a light inust he have Most ancient languages use terms appeared to himself and all around which literally refer to oral communihim, when he was informed that he cation, to indicate the act of thinking had brought on Abimelech and all his though no words are uttered. So Hohousehold the severe chastisements mer frequently employs the phrase, which they had experienced, and had 'He spake to his mighty heart,' i. e. he actually exposed them all to instanta- thought within himself. For the unneous death! What Abimelech had favourable opinion which Abraham done, he had done 'in the integrity of here confesses that he entertained of his heart;' and if he and all his family the king and people of Gerar, he had had died for it, would not Abraham no other grounds than mere surmise. have been obliged to look upon him. He had indeed just heard of the horriself as the legitimate author of their ble impiety of Sodom; and he conruin? We need add no more to the cluded perhaps that if a whole city so degrading picture that has been exhib- violently assaulted Lot for the purpose ited. Methinks we see him standing of gratifying their brutal inclinations overwhelmed with confusion, ashamed with the men that were his guests, to lift up his head, and in deep abase- much more would some individuals be ment of spirit inwardly acknowledging found in Gerar ready to destroy him the justice of the reproof. - That for the sake of gaining access to a fethou hast brought on me and on my male so renowned for her beauty. But kingdom a great sin. That is, accord supposing him to have been actuated ing to a Hebrew idiom, that thou by such reflections, what right had he shouldest do that which was calculatcd 10 judge so harshly of a people whom
12 And yet indeed she is my come, y say of me, He is my sister; she is the daughter of my brother. father, but not the daughter of 14 And Abimelech : took sheep, my mother : and she became my and oxen, and men-servants, and wife.
women-servants, and gave them 13 And it came to pass, when unto Abraham, and restored him * God caused me to wander from Sarah bis wife. my father's house, that I said 15 And Abimelech said, Beunto her, This is thy kindness hold,
land is before thee : which thou shalt show unto me; dwell where it pleaseth thee. at every place whither we shall
y ch. 12. 13.
uch. 11. 29. X ch. 12. 1, 9. 11, &c. Heb. 11. 8.
he did not know ? Could not that God ly accordant with scriptural usage to who had brought him out from an idol- denominate such a relative a sister. atrous country, and preserved Lot and Marriages of this kind, with persons Melchizedek in the midst of the most thus nearly related, were not at this abandoned people, have some "hidden time prohibited by an express law, ones' in Gerar also ? Or, supposing though they afterwards were. that there were none who truly feared cuse does indeed vindicate him from God, must they therefore be so impious the charge of falsehood, but it still leaves as to murder him in order to possess him exposed to that of gross practical his wife? There can be no doubt that unbelief and of a quibbling equivocamany who are not truly religious, have tion altogether unworthy of a good well nigh as high a sense of honour, man and a pattern of faith. See Note and as great an abhorrence of atrocious on Gen. 12. 13. crimes as any converted man can feel;
13. When God caused me to wander, and therefore the reproach which he so &c. Heb. 1x 16 7957 when unjustifiably cast on them returned de- they, (even) God, caused me to wander. servedly on his own head.
The phraseology is peculiar, the origi12. Yet indeed she is my sister, &c. nal word 097734 Elohim, which is alIn what sense this was true is not per- most invariably joined with a verb sin. fectly apparent from the scriptures. gular, as remarked Gen 1. 1, being here The prevailing opinion of the Jews, used as the nominative to a verb plural. which seems as probable as any, is, Some have proposed for this reason to that the term sister' here is to be un render the term by 'angels,' a sense derstood in the same latitude as 'broth-preferred by Calvin, implying that in er in other connections, viz. to denote all his wanderings he was under the a niece, and that Sarah was the grand- tutelary care and conduct of angels ; danghter of Terah, the daughter of but we meet with modes of expression Haran, and consequently the sister of so very similar elsewhere, that there is Lot, being in fact no other than the perhaps no sufficient reason for departIscah mentioned Gen. 11. 29. Terah, ing from the usual signification, 'God.' it seems, had two wives, by one of Thus Gen 35. 7, 'There God appeared whom he had Haran, the father of Lot |(8973807 7323) unto him.' Heb. and Sarah, and by the other Abraham, There they, (even) Gud, appeared into so that he might truly say of his wife him.' So likewise 2 Sam.-7. 23, comp. that she was the daughter (i. e. descend with 1 Chron. 17. 21, from which comant or grand-daughter) of his father parison it will be evident that a pluralbut not of his mother; and it is entire-lity of beings cannot be meant. The
16 And unto Sarah he said, behold, he is to thee d a cover. Behold, I have given thy broth-ing of the eyes unto all that ure er a thousand pieces of silver: with thee, and with all other:
thus she was reproved.
Gr. translates in the singular ; 'When
aught I know, be suggested, tha God God (Ok is) bronght me out from my denied Abraham and Sarah the blesfather's house. The Chal. is in the sing of children so long, to punish letter quite wide from the sense given them for this sinful compact which in our own and most other versions; they had made, to deny one another; * And it came to pass when the peoples if they will not own their marriage, wandered after the works of their own why should God own it?' hands (1. e. fell into idolatry), the Lord
16. Behold, I hare given thy brother a applied me unto his fear, out of my thousand pieces of silver. Heb. 934 father's house.' This has doublless arisen from some misconstruction of sand silverlings. The word 'pieces' does
903 a thousand (of) silver, or a thouthe original. The Heb. term 7907 not occur in the original, though it or caused to wander, is probably here em shekels' is undoubtedly to be supplied, ployed from the circumstance of God's
as is done by the Chal. Targum. The not directing him in the outset to go to Gr. also has xudeu didpa xua a thousand any certain place. On the contrary he
didrachmas or double drachms, i. e. a was sent forth to go he knew not whither, and in allusion to this he is thousand shekels, as the Heb. 320 said to have wandered.' But what is shekel is often rendered in the Sept.
wandering' to us, when led by divine The original word comes from 330 guidance, is a definite course of jour- shukal, to weigh, for which is derived neying to the omniscient eye that by transposition of letters, the English watches over and orders our steps.- 'scale,' an instrument of weighing. It The fact which Abraham here men- is so called from the fact that the value tions of an early precautionary ar- of money was anciently reckoned by rangement between him and Sarah, weight; for which reason the word would go far to set him right in Abim- shekel is at once the name of a weight elech's esteem, as it would prove that and of a coin. The Chal. terms a sheke he did not resort to the expedient be- 79000 salin or selang, the origin percause he thought worse of him and haps of our word shilling,' and the his people than of the other nations value of the common shekel differed not among whom he expected to sojourn. much from the English shilling, as the Neither the king nor people of Gerar shekcl of the sanctuary was equivalent were at all in his view when he pro- to about two shillings, or fifty cents, posed to adopt the artifice in question, American money. Which is intended Yet we can by no means commend here, whether the common or sanctuthis concerted plan of prevarication. ary shekel, it is not possible to deterIt was a policy that savoured too mine, but probably the former which strongly of the wisdom of the flesh, would make the sum about $ 250 of our and implied a distrust in the overruling currency.- fi Thy brother. In calprovidence of God altogether unwor- ling Abraham her brother he makes use ihy of their character. Indeed the re- of her own language in a sarcastic mark of Henry on this subject carries way, and thus administers in a very with it great plausibility ; 'It may, for skilful and yet delicate manner a word
of fitting rebuke for the deception in / would have every defence which sho which she had participated. He needed for the honour of her person, is to thee a covering of the cyes, &c. without resorting to any kind of stratHeb. 97 0903 73-17. Chal. agent for the pursose. The following * Behold, it is to thee a covering of hon- remarks of the Editor of the Pict. Bible our, for that I did send to take thee, are not inconsistent with the above inand have seen thee and all that are terpretation. We are not satisfied with thee.' Gr. 'These (i. e. the thou- with any of the illustrations of this text sand shekels) shall be to thee for an
that have fallen under our notice; and honour of thy face, and to all (the wo
a reference to existing usages seems all men) that are with thee.' The passage that is necessary to render it quite inis very variously explained by com- telligible. Without at present noticing mentators according as the original the different sorts of veils, we may 477 hoo, which in itself is ambiguous, mention that it is customary for all the is rendered by he or it. According to women inhabiting towns to go about the latter mode, which is favoured by closely veiled; while all the women of Chaldee, the meaning is, 'I have given the different pastoral people who live thy brother that sum of money to pur- in tents do not commonly wear veils, chase veils for thee and thine attend-or at inust only sv far as to cover their ants that are married, that all who foreheads and lower parts of the face, converse with thee here or elsewhere leaving the countenance exposed from may know that thou art a married the eyebrows to below the nose. It is woman.' Veils were anciently worn in evident, that although the use of comtoken of subjection to a husband, 10 plete coverings was known, the women which the Apostle, doubtless with this of the pastoral patriarchis did not conpassage in view, thus distinctly al- ceal their faces completely, except on ludes, 1 Cor. 11. 10, For this cause extraordinary occasions; and if we as. ought the woman to have power (ekov- sume that the same distinction existed ourav authority) on her head;' i. e. à veil between them and women of towns, as or covering as a token of her husband's
we find at present, we have the elucipower or authority over her. Abimelech's dation required. Abimelech, according thus giving money for the purehase of to this view, intended to give the very veils was a reproof to Abraham for per her women were in or near towns, they
sensible advice, that while Sarah and mitling his wife to go without one; implying that if she had worn one, it had better conform with the customs would have prevented the unpleasant of towns, and wear the complete veil consequences that actually ensued. If
instead of that partial covering which with others we understand the pronoun
left the eyes and so much of the face of Abraham himself, it will still leave exposed. This will certainly seem the the sense substantially the same ; for most obvious illustration to one who, in the phrase "He is io thee a cover in the towns which border on Arabia, ing of the eyes,' we still recognise an
has at the same time seen the towngallusion to a veil, and take the purport
women glide along the streets comto be, that he was the person in refer pletely muffled up, while the Arab feence to whom she was to cover her males go about with their eyes and eyes and face with a veil as a badge of great part of their faces exposed to his exclusive right to her subjection and
- Thus she was reprored. wedded fealty. As a matter of squrse, Heb, 05:7, A clause of extreme she would then have a right to his pro- ambiguity, on which, if we were writection, to his guardian care, and thus ting merely for the learned, it would be 17 | So Abraham prayed ot' Abimelech, because of Sarah, unto God: and God healed Abion- Abraham's wire. elech, and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they bare CHAPTER XXI. children.
ND the LORD a visited Sarah 18 For the LORD 'had fast clo- a he bad said, and the LORD sed up all the wombs of the house did unto Sarah -as he had spoken.
e Job 42. 9, 10, 1 ch. 12. 17.
a 1 Sam. 2. 21. bch. 17. 19. & 18. 10, 14. Gal. 4. 23, 28.
easy to heap up a vast diversity of con- the blessings of salvation, which will flicting interpretations. But as we aim infinitely overbalance any evils that especially at the benefit of common they may have suffered through our readers, we shall, instead of encumber- means. ing our pages with an array of critical authorities, barely remark that we agree
CHAPTER XXI. with Buxtorf in considering the original 1. And the Lord visited Sarah. Heb. word a substantive instead of a verb, | 700 pakad ; bestowed upon her the and that it is connected by the copula- promised mercy. Chal. “The Lord retive 7 and with 5703 covering, so as membered Sarah.' 'Visiting' is atiribto make the purport of Abimelech's uted to God in a two-fold sense : (1.) language to be that he had given the That of showing mercy, especially in money as the price of a veil and also the fulfilment of promises ; as, Gen. as a nieans of reproof.
50. 24, God will surely risit yon, and 17. So Abraham prayed unto God, bring you out of this land.' Ruth 1. 6, and God healed Abimelech, &c. Abra- That the Lord had visited his people ham by his prevarication had brought in giving them bread.' Luke 1. 68, distress on Abimelech and all his house- Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, hold. Being now humbled by the re- for he hath visited and redeemed his buke he had received, he prayed to God people.' (2.) That of inflicting judg. for the removal of the judgments which ments or executing threalenings ; as, he had been instrumental in procuring. Ex. 28. 5, 'A jealous God, disiting the By this means, as far as in him lay, he iniquity of the fathers upon the chilcounteracted and reversed the mischief dren. Ps. 89. 33, “Then will I visit that he had done. It is but seldom their transgressions with a rod. Num. that we can cancel in any degree the 16. 29, 'If these die the common death evil we have committed ; but if any of all men, or if they be visited after the way whatever present itself, we should visitation of all men ; then the Lord embrace it gladly and pui forth our ut- hath not sent me. As the Psalmist most endeavours to undo the injury we assures us that children are an herimay have wrought. At all events, the tage of the Lord, and the fruit of the course adopted by Abraham is open to womb is his reward,' i. e. an heritage us all. We may pray for those whom from him and a reward given by him, we have injured. We may beg of God it is the diotate of a pious mind always to obliterate from their minds any bad to refer such an event to the special impressi ins which either by word or visitation of heaven, notwithstanding it deed we may have made on them. And takes place in accordance with the opif we find in them a kind forgiving spir- eration of eatablished physical laws, it, we should so much the more re- But in the present case there was an double our exertions to obtain for them I gdditional reason for recognising such