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& c. 21.9. Gal. 4. 24.
cc, 20. 19.
with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given COW Sarai, Abram's wife, bare him no children: this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates :
name was Hagar: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the 2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Kadmonites,
LORD Chath restrained me from bearing : I pray 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the thee, dgo in unto my maid ; it may be that I may Rephaims,
*obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and to the voice of Sarai. the Gergashites, and the Jebusites.
3 And Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her
maid, the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten CHAPTER XVI.
years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her Hlagar is the persa body concerned in the story of this chapter an obscure Exp: husband Abram to be his wife. trebt ber at the family of Abram. Probably, she was one of those maid. 4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: Bersants, which the king of Egypt, among other gifts, beawowerlapou Abram, ch. Concerning her , we have four things in this chapter, 1. ler marriage to and when she saw that she had conceived, her mis
tress was despised in her eyes. V.1,6. III. Her tiscourse with an angel that met her in ber flight, v. 7-11, IV. ller delivery of a son, Y. 15, 16.
5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be d c. 30. 3, 9.
• be builded by her. e 1 Sam. 1. 6,8. Prov. 30, 23. II. The covenant repealed and explained, v. 18, In that same may bear it, and improve it, as an affliction of his ordering for day, that day never to be forgotten, the Lord made a covenant wise and holy ends. with Abram, that is, gave a promise to Abram, saying, Unto 3. She used this as an argument with Abram to marry his thy seed have I given this land. Here is, 1. A rehearsal of the maid; and he was prevailed with by this argument to do it. grant: he had said before, To thy seed will I give this land, ch. Note, (1.) When our hearts are too much set upon any crea12. 7.-13. 15. But here he says, I have given it; that is, (1.) ture-comfort, we are easily put upon the use of indirect methods I bave given the promise of it, the charter is sealed and deli- for the obtaining of it: inordinate desires commonly produce vered, and cannoi be disannulled. Note, God's promises are irregular endeavours: if our wishes be not kept in a submission God's guis, and are so to be accounted of. (2.) The possession to God's providence, our pursuits will scarcely be kept under is as sure, in due time, as if it were now actually delivered to the restraints of his precepts. (2.) It is for want of a firm dethem: what God has promised, is as sure as if it were already pendence upon God's promise, and a patient waiting for done ; hence it is said, He that believes halh everlasting life, God's time, that we go out of the way of our duty to catch at John 3. 36, for he shall as surely go to heaven as if he were expected mercy; He that believes does not make haste. there already. 2. A recital of the particulars granted, such as 4. Abram's compliance with Sarai's proposal, we have reais usual in the grants of land. He specifies the boundaries of son to think, was from an earnest desire of the Promised Seed, the land intended hereby to be granted, v. 18. And then, for on whom the covenant should be entailed. God had told him the greater certainty, as is usual in such cases, he mentions in that his heir should be a son of his body, but had not yet told whose tenure and occupation these lands now were. Then him that it should be a son by Sarai; therefore he thought, several nations or tribes are here spoken of, v. 19-21, that " Why not by Hagar: since Sarai herself proposed it ?" Note, must be cast out, to make room for the seed of Abram. They (1.) Foul temptations may have very fair pretences, and be were not possessed of all these countries, when God brought coloured with that which is very plausible. (2.) Fleshly wisthem into Canaan. The bounds are fixed much narrower, dom, as it anticipates God's time of mercy, so it puts us out of Num. 34. 2, 3, &c. But, (1.) In David's time and Solomon's, God's way. (3.). This would be happily prevented, if we their jurisdiction extended to the utmost of these limits, 2 would ask counsel of God by the word and by prayer, before Chr. 9. 26. (2.) It was their own fault that they were not we attempt that which important and suspicious : herein soner and longer in possession of all these territories. They Abram was wanting; he married without God's consent. forfeited their right by their sins, and by their own sloth and This persuasion came not of him that called him. cowardice kept themselves out of possession. 3. The land V. 4–6. We have here the immediate bad consequences granted, is here described in its utmost extent, because it was of Abram's unhappy marriage to Hagar; a deal of mischief it to be a type of the heavenly inheritance, where there is room made quickly: when we do not well, both sin and trouble lie at enough: in our Father's house are many mansions. The pre- the door; and we may thank ourselves for the guilt and grief sent occupants are named, because their number and strength, that follow us, when we go out of the way of our duty. See it and long prescription, should be no hinderance to the accom- | in this story. plishment of this promise in its season, and to magnify God's 1. Sarai is despised, and thereby provoked and put into a love to Abram and his seed, in giving to that one nation the passion, v. 4. Hagar no sooner perceives herself with child by possession of many nations : so precious were they in his sight, her master, than she looks scornfully upon her mistress, upand so honourable, Is. 43. 4.
braids her perhaps with her barrenness, insults over her, to make her to fret, as 1 Sam. 1. 6, and boasts of the prospect
she had of bringing an heir to Abram, to that good land and to V.1-3. We have here the marriage of Abram to Hagar, the promise; now she thinks herself a better woman than who was his secondary wise ; herein, though some excuse may Sarai, more favoured by Heaven, and likely to be better beloved be made for him, he cannot be justified; for from the beginning by Abram; and therefore she will not take it as she has done. il teas nol sn; and when it was so, it seems to have proceeded Note, 1. Mean and servile spirits, when favoured and advanced from an irregular desire to build up their families for the either by God or man, are apt to grow haughty and insolent, speedier peopling of the world and the church: it must not be and to forget their place and original. See Prov. 29. 21.-30.
Christ has reduced this matter to the first institution, 21-23. It is a hard thing to bear honour aright. 2. We and makes the marriage union to be between one man and one justly suffer by those whom we have sinfully indulged, and it woman only. Now,
is a righteous thing with God, to make those instruments of I. The maker of this match (would one think it?) was Sarai our trouble, whom we have made instruments of our sin, and herself: she said to Abram, I pray thee go in unto my maid, to insnare us in our own evil counsels; this stone will return 8. 2. Note, 1. It is the policy of Satan to tempt us by our upon him that rolleth it. nearest and dearest relations, or those friends that we have an II. Abram is clamoured upon, and cannot be easy while opinion of and an affection for. The temptation is most dan-Sarai is out of humour; she accosts him violently, and very gerous, when it is sent by a hand that is least expected: it is unjustly charges him with the injury, (v. 5,) My wrong be our wisdom therefore to consider, not so much who speaks, as upon thee; with a most unreasonable jealousy, suspecting what is spoken. 2. God's commands consult our comfort and that he countenanced Hagar's insolence; and, as honour, much better than our own contrivances do. It had willing to hear what Abram had to say for the rectifying of been much more for Sarai's interest, that Abram should have the mistake, and the clearing of himself, she rashly appeals to kept to the rule of God's law, than that he should have been God in the case, The Lord judge between me and thee; as if guided by her foolish projects; but we often do ill for ourselves. Abram had refused to right her. Thus does Sarai, in her II. The inducement to it was Sarai's barrenness.
passion, speak as one of the foolish women speaketh. Note, 1. 1. $arg bare Abram no children ; she was very fair, ch. 12. It is an absurdity which passionate people are ofien guilty of, !!; she was an agreeable dutiful wife, and a sharer with him to quarrel with others for that which they themselves must bear in his larze sessions; and yet writien childless. Note, (1.) the blame of: Sarai could not but own that she had given her God dispenea kis gifts variously, loading us with benefits, but maid to Abram, and yet she cries out, My wrong be upon thee, not overloading is some cross or other is appointed to be an when she should have said, What a fool was I to do so! That allay to great enjoymenis. (2.) The mercy of children is is never said wisely, which pride and anger have the inditing often given to the poor, and denied to the rich; given to the of; when passion is upon the throne, reason is out of doors, wirked, and denied to good people; though the rich have most and is neither heard nor spoken. 2. Those are not always in to leave them, and good people would take most care of their the right, who are most loud and forward in appealing to God; education: God dves herein as it has pleased him.
rash and bold imprecations are commonly evidences of guilt 2. She owned God's providence in this affliction; the Lord and a bad cause. haoth restrained me from bearing. Note, (1.) As where children III. Hagar is afflicted and driven from the house, v. 6. are, it is God that gives them, ch. 33. 5, so where they are Observe, wanted, it is he that withholds them, ch. 30. 2. This evil is of 1. Abram's meekness resigns the matter of the maid-servant the Lord. (2.) It becomes us to acknowledge this, that we to Sarai, whose proper province it was to rule that part of the
SOTES TO CHAPTER XVI.
upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; 9 And the angel of the Lord said unto ner, Reand when she saw that she had conceived, I was turn to thy inistress, and isubmit thyself under her despised in her eyes : the Lord judge between me hands. and thee.
10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I 6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not is in thy hand; do to her *as it pleaseth thee. be numbered for multitude. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled 11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Befrom her face.
hold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and 7 And the angel of the Lord found her by a shalt call his name Ishmael ;t because the LORD fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain hath heard thy affliction. in the way to Shur.
12 And he will be a wild 'man; his hand will be 8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence against every man, and every man's hand against camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she him: and he shall dwell in the presence of all his said, I fee from the face of my mistress Sarai. brethren. 1.6. 31. 53. 1 Sam. 24. 15. 2 Chr. 24. 22. & 1 Pet. 3. 7. • that which is good in the and her. hc. 25. 18. i 1 Pet. 2. 18. 11. e. God shall bear. c.21. 20. family; Thy maid is in thy hand: though she was his wife, he counsel, v. 9, “ Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under would not countenance or protect her in any thing that was dis- her hand. Go home, and humble thyself for what thou hast respectful to Sarai, for whom he still retained the same affection done amiss, and beg pardon, and resolve for the future, to that ever he had. Note, Those who would keep up peace and behave thyself better." He makes no question but she would love, must return soft answers to hard accusations; husbands be welcome, though it does not appear that Abram sent after and wives particularly should agree, and endeavour not to be her. Note, Those that are gone away from their place and both angry together : yielding pacifics great offences ; see Prov. duty, when they are convinced of their error, must hasten their 15. 1.
return and reformation, how mortifying soever it may be. 2. Sarai's passion will be revenged upon Hagar; she dealt V. 10–14. We may suppose that the angel having given hardly with her, not only confining her to her usual place and Hagar that good counsel, (v. 9,) to return to her mistress, she work, as a servant, but probably making her to serve with immediately promised 10 do so, and was setting her face homerigour. Note, God takes notice of, and is displeased with the ward; and then the angel went on to encourage her with an hardships which harsh masters unreasonably put upon their assurance of the mercy God had in store for her and her seed: servants: they ought to forbear threatening, with Job's thought, for God will meet those with mercy, that are returning to their Did not he that made me, make him? Job 31. 15.
duty : I said, I will confess, and thou forgavest, Ps. 32. 5. 3. Hagar's pride cannot bear it, her high spirit is become Here is, impatient of rebuke; she fled from her face; she not only I. A prediction concerning her posterity, given her for her avoided her wrath for the present, as David did Saul's, but she comfort in her present distress. Notice is taken of her contotally deserted her service, and ran away from the house, dition; Behold, thou art with child; and therefore this is not forgetting, (1.) What wrong she hereby did to her mistress, a fit place for thee to be in. Note, It is a great confort to whose servant she was, and to her master, whose wife she women with child to think that they are under the particular was. Note, Pride will hardly be restrained by any bonds of cognizance and care of the Divine Providence. God graciously duty, no noi by many. (2.) That she herself had first given considers that case, and suits supports to it. the provocation, by despising her mistress. Note, Those that Now, 1. The angel assures her of a safe delivery, and that suffer for their faults, ought to bear it patiently, 1 Pet. 2. 20. of a son, which Abram desired. This fright and ramble of
V. 1-9. Here is the first mention we have in scripture of her's might have destroyed her hope of an offspring; but God an angel's appearance. Hagar was a type of the law, which dealt not with her according to her folly ; Thou shalt bear a was given by the disposition of angels ; but the world to come son: she was saved in childbearing, noi only by providence, is not put in subjection to them, Heb. 2. 5. Observe,
but by promise. 1. How the angel arrested her in her flight, v. 7. It should 2. He names her child, which was an honour both to her and seem, she was making toward her own country; for she was it; call him Ishmael, God will hear ; and the reason is, because in the way to Shur, which lay toward Egypt. It were well the Lord has heard; he has, and therefore he will. Note, The if our afflictions would make us think of our home, the better experience we have had of God's seasonable kindness to us country. But Hagar was now out of her place, and out of in distress, should encourage us to hope for the like help in the the way of her duty, and going further astray, when the angel like exigencies, Ps. 10. 17. He has heard thy affliction. Note, found her. Note, 1. It is a great mercy to be stopped in a (1.) Even there where there is little cry of devotion, the God sinful way, either by conscience or by providence. 2. God of pity sometimes graciously hears the cry of affliction: tears suffers those that are out of the way, to wander a while, that speak as well as prayers. This speaks comfort to the afflicted, when they see their folly, and what a loss they have brought that God not only sees what their afflictions are, but hears themselves to, they may be the better disposed to return. what they say. (2.) That seasonable succours, in the day of Hagar was not stopped till she was in the wilderness, and had affliction, ought always to be remembered with thankfulness to sat down weary enough, and glad of clear water to refresh God. Such a time, in such a strait, the Lord heard the voice herself with : God brings us into a wilderness, and there meets of my affliction, and helped me. See Deut. 26. 7. Ps. 31. 22. us, Hos. 2. 14.
3. He promises her a numerous offspring, v. 10, I will mulII. How he examined her, v. 8. He called her Hagar, tiply thy seed exceedingly, Heb. Multiplying, I will multiply it, Sarai's maid, 1. As a check to her pride : though she was that is, multiply it in every age, so as to perpetuate it. It is Abram's wife, and, as such, was obliged to return, yet he supposed that the Turks at this day descend from Ishmael; calls her Sarai's maill, to humble her. Note, Though civility and they are a great people. This was in pursuance of the teaches us to call others by their highest titles, yet humility promise made to Abram, ch. 13. 16, I will make thy seed as the and wisdom teach us to call ourselves by the lowest. 2. As dust of the earth. Note, Many that are children of godly a rebuke to her flight : Sarai's maid ought to be in Sarai's parents, have, for their sakes, a very large share of outward tent, and not wandering in the wilderness, and sauntering by common blessings, though, like Ishmael, they are not taken into a fountain of water. Noc, It is good for us often to call to covenant: many are multiplied that are noi sanctified. mind what our place and relation are. See Ec, 10. 4.
4. He gives a character of the child she should bear, which, Now, (1.) The questions the angel put to her, were proper however it may seem to us, perhaps was not very disagreeable and very pertinent. [1.] “Whence, camest thou ? Consider to her, v. 12, He will be a wild man; a wild ass of a man, so that thou art running away, both from the duty thou wast the word is; rude and bold, and fearing no man; untamed, bound to, and the privileges thou wast blessed with, in Abram's untractable, living at large, and impatient of service and tent." Note, It is a great advantage to live in a religious restraint. Note, The children of the bondwoman, who are family, which those ought to consider, who have that advan- out of covenant with God, are, as they were born, liko the tago, yet upon every slight inducement are forward to quit it. wild asa's colt; it is grace that reclaims men, civilizes them, (2.) ^ Whither wilt thou go? Thou art running thyself into and makes them wise, and good for something. It is foretold, sin, in Egypt," (if she return to that people, she will return (1.) That he should live in strife, and in a state of war; his to their gods,) "and into danger, in the wilderness" through hand against every man, that is his sin ; and every man's hand which she must travel, Deut. 8. 15. Note, Those who are against him, that is his punishment. Note, Those that have forsaking God and their duty, would do well to remember not turbulent spirits, have commonly troublesome lives; they that only whence they are fallen, but whither they ure falling. See are provoking, vexatious, and injurious to others, must expect Jer. 2. 18. What hast thou 19 do (with Hagar) in the way of to be repaid in their own coin. He that has his hand and Egypt? John 6. 68.
tongue against every man, shall have every man's hand and (2.) Her answer was honest, and a fair confession; I flee tongue against him ; and he has no reason to complain of it. from the face of my mistress. In which, [1.] She acknow- And yet, (2.) That he should live in safety, and hold his own ledges her fault in fleeing from her mistress, and yet, (2.1) against all the world; he shall duell in the presence of all his Excuses it, that it was from the fare, or displeasure of her mis- brethren ; though threatened and insulted by all his neighbours, tress. Notr, Children and servants must be treated with yet he shall keep his ground, and, for Abram's sake, more mildness and gentleness, lest we provoke them to take any ihan his own, shall be able to make his part good with them: irregular courses, and so becomo accessary to their sin, which accordingly we read, ch. 25. 18, that he died, as he lived, in the will condemn us, though it will not justify them.
presence of all his brethren. Note, Many that are much exposed (3.) How he sent her back, with suitable and compassionate by their own imprudence, yet are strangely preserved by the
led And Abram was fourscore and six years old, | A fine the Lord appeared to Abram, and said
13 And she called the naine of the Lord that a covenant, that Abram might have strong consolation. Here is, 1. The circum
stances of the making of this covenant, the time and manner, v. 1, and the posture spake unto her, Thou 'God seest me: for she said, Abram was in, v. 3. II. The covenant itself. In the general scope of it, vl.
And afterward, in the particular instances, 1. Thatte should be the father of Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
many nations, v. 4, 6, and, in token of that, bis name was changed, v.5. 2. That 14 Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi:* God would be a God to him and his need, and would give them the land of Canaan,
v. 7, 8. And the seal of this part of the covenant was circumcision, v. 9-14. 3 behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
That he should have a sou by Sarai, and in token of that, her name was changed, 15 And Hagar bare Abram a son; and Abram v. 15, 16. This promise Abram received, v. 17. And lis request for lehmael (v.
18,) was answered, abundantly to his satisfaction, v. 19–22. III. The circumci. called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. siou of Abram and his family, according to God's appointment, v. 23-27.
ND when when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
unto him, "I am the Almighty God : walk before CHAPTER XVII.
me, and be thou *perfect. This chapter contains articles of agreement covenanted and concluded upon between 2 And I will make my 'covenant between me and
father of the faithial, cu the other part. Abram in therefore called the friend of thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. God, not only because be was the man of his council, but because he was the man 3 And Abram fell on his face : and God talked of his coronant, but these secrets were with bim : mention was made of this
covenant, ch. 15. 18, but here it is particularly drawn up, and put into the form of with him, saying, I Pror. 5. 21. • i. e. the well of him that liveth and seeth me. a c. 18. 14. Ex. b c. 48. 15. 1 Kings 2. 1. 2 Kings 30.3. or, uprighi, or, sincere. 6.6.9. Deut. $. 3. Dan. 4. 35. Eph. 3. 20.
18. 13. Job 1.1. cc. 9.9. Ps. 105.8, 11. Gal. 3. 17, 18. Divine Providence ; so much better is God to them than they Note, 1. Many who can call Abraham father, yet are born after deserve, who not only forfeit their lives by sin, but hazard the flesh, Mati.
3. 9. 2. The carnal seed in the church are them.
sooner brought forth than the spiritual It is an easier thing II. Hagar's pious reflection upon this gracious appearance to persuade men to assume the form of godliness, than to subof God to her, v. 13, 14. Observe in what she said,
mit to the power of godliness. 1. Her awtul adoration of God's omniscience and providence,
NOTES TO CHAPTER XVII. with application of it to herself; she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, that is, thus she made confession of his V. 1–3. Here is, name, this she said to his praise, Thou God seest me: this I. The time when God made Abram this gracious visit; should be with her, his name for ever, and this his memorial, when he was 99 years old, full thirteen years after the birth of by which she will know him and remember him while she lives, Ishmael. 1. So long, it should seem, God's extraordinary apThou God seest me. Note, (1.) The God with whom we have pearances to Abram were intermitted ; and all the communion to do, is a seeing God, an all-seeing God. God is (as the he had with God, was only in the usual way of ordinances and ancients expressed it) all eye. (2.) We ought to acknowledge providences. Note, There are some special comforts which this with application to ourselves. He that sees all, sees me, are not the daily bread, no not of the best saints, but they are as David, Ps. 139. 1, O God, thou hulst searched me anal favoured with them now and then. On this side heaven, they known me. (3.) A believing regard to God, as a God that sees have convenient food, but not a continual feast. 2. So long the us, will be of great use to us in our returns to bim. It is a promise of Isaac was deferred. (1.) Perhaps to correct Abram's proper word for a penitent: (1.) “ Thou seest my sin and over-hasty marrying of Hagar. Note, The comforts we sinFolly:" I have sinned before thee, says the prodigal; in thy fully anticipate, are justly delayed. (2.) That Abram and sight, says David. (2.) “Thou seest my sorrow and afflic- Sarai being so far stricken in age, God's power, in this malter, tion ; that Hagar especially refers to: when we have brought might be the more magnified, and their faith the more tried! ourselves into distress by our own folly, yet God has not for See Deut. 32. 36. John 11. 6, 15. (3.) That a child so long saken us. (3.) “Thou seest the sincerity and seriousness of waited for, might be an Isaac, a son indeed, Is. 54. 1. my return and repentance. Thou seest my secret mournings II. The way in which God made this covenant with him; for sin, and secret motions toward thee." (4) "Thou seest The Lord appeared to Abram, in the Shechinah, some visible me, if in any instance I depart from thee," Ps. 44. 20, 21. display of God's immediate glorious presence with him. Note, This thought should always restrain us from sin, and excite us God first makes himself known to us, and gives us a sight of to duty; Then God seest me.
him by faith, and then takes us into his covenant. 2. Her humble admiration of God's favour to her :
III. The posture Abram put himself into upon this occasion. I here also looker after him that secth me? Have I here seen He fell on his face while God talked with him, v. 3. Either, 1. the bark parts of him that seeth me?" So it might be read, As one overcome by the brightness of the divine glory, and unfor the word is much the same with that, Ex. 33. 23.
able to bear the sight of it, though he had seen it several times not face to face, but as through a glass darkly, I Cor. 13. 12. before: Daniel and John did likewise, though they were also Probably, she knew not who it was that talked with her, till acquainted with the visions of the Almighty, Dan. 8. 17.-10. he was departing, as Judg. 6. 21, 22.-13. 21; and then she 9, 15. Rev. 1. 17. Or, 2. As one ashamed of himself, and looked after him, with a reflection like that of the two disciples, blushing to think of the honours done to one so unworthy: he Luke 24, 31, 32. Or, Have I seen him that sees me? Note, looks upon himself with humility, and upon God with reverence, (1.) The communion which holy souls have with God, consists and, in token of both, falls on his face, putting himself into in their having an eye of faith toward him, as a God that has an a posture of adoration. Note, (1.) God graciously condeeye of farout toward them. The intercourse is kept up by the scends to talk with those whom he takes into his covenant, and eye. (2.) The privilege of our communion with God, is to communion with himself. He talks with them by his word, be looked upon with wonder and admiration, considering what Prov. 6. 22. He talks with them by his Spiril, John 14. 26. we are, who are admitted to this favour. “ Have I? I that ain This honour have all his saints. (2.) Those that are admitted so mean, I that am so vile ?" 2 Sam. 7. 18. This privilege is into fellowship with God, are, and must be, very humble and thus to be looked upon, considering the place where we are very reverent in their approaches to him. If we say we have thus favoured; "here also ? Not only in Abram's tent, and at fellowship with him, and the familiarity breeds contempt, we his altar, but here also, in this wilderness? Here, where I deceive ourselves. (3.) Those that would receive comfort never expected it, where I was out of the way of my duty ? from God, must set themselves to give glory to God, and to Lord, how is it?" John 14. 22. Some make the answer to this worship at his footstool. question to be negative, and so look upon it as a penitent re IV. The general scope and summary of the covenant, laid fection : “ Have I here also, in my distress and affliction looked down as the foundation on which all the rest was built ; it is after God? No, I was as careless and unmindful of him as no other than the covenant of Grace, still made with all believers ever I used to be ; and yet he has thus visited and regarded in Jesus Christ, v.1. Observe here, me:" for God often prevents us with his favours, and is found 1. What we may expect to find God to us; I am the Alof those who seek hinn not, Ig. 65. I.
mighty God; by this name he chose to make himself known III. The name which this gave to the place, v. 14, Beer- to Abram rather than by his name Jehovah, Ex. 6. 3. He used lahni-roi, The rell of him that lives and sees me. It is probable it to Jacob, ch. 35. 11. They called him by this name, ch. 28. that Hagar put this name upon it; and it was retained long 3.–43. 14.-48. 3. It is the name of God that is mostly used after, in perpetuam rei memoriam-u lasting memorial of this throughout the book of Job, at least thirty times in the disevent. This was the place, where the God of glory manifested courses of that book. After Moses, Jehovah is more frequently the special cognizance and care he took of a poor woman in disusod, and this very rarely; I am El-shauldai ; bespeaks the tress. Note, 1. He that is all-seeing, is ever-living; he lives almighty power of God, either, (1.) As an avenger, from 10 and sees s.
2. Those that are graciously admitted into com- he laid waste, so some; and they think God took this title from munion with God, and receive seasonable comforts from him, the destruction of the old world. This is countenanced by should tell others what he has done for their souls, that they Is. 13. 6, and Joel 1.15. Or, (2.) As a benefactor, R for TVA also may be encouraged to seek him, and trust in him. 3. who, and sufficient. He is a God, that is enough; or, as God's gracious manifestations of himself to us are to be had our old English translation reads it here very significantly, I am in everlasting remembrance by us, and should never be for- God oll-sufficient. Note, The God with whom we have to do, gotten.
is a God that is enough. [1.] He is enough in himself; he is V. 15, 16. It is here taken for granted, though not expressly self-sufficient; he has every thing, and he needs not any thing. recorded, that Hagar did as the angel commanded her, returned (2.) He is enough to us, if we be in covenant with him: we lo her mistress, and submitted herself; and then, in the ful- have all in him, and we have enough in him ; enough to satisfy ness of time, she brought forth her son. Note, Those who our most enlarged desires, enough to supply the defect of every ocy divine precepts, shall have the comfort of divine promises. I thing else, and to secure to us a happiness for,our immortal This was the son of the bondwoman that was born after the souls: see Ps. 16. 5, 6.-73. 25. flesh, Gal. 4. 23, representing the unbelieving Jews, v. 25. 2. What God requires that we be to him ; the covenant is
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep beand thou shalt be da father of many * nations. tween me and you and thy seed after thee; Every
5 Neither shall thy name any more be called man-child among you shall be circumcised. Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham ;! for la 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your forefather of many nations have I made thee.
skin ; and it shall be a token kof the covenant be6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I twixt me and you. will make inations of thee, and kings shall come out 12 And she that is eight days old shall be cirot' thee.
cumcised among you, every man-child in your ge7 And I will establish my covenant between me nerations; he that is born in the house, or bought and thee and thy seed after thee in their genera- with money of any stranger, which is not of thy tions, for an everlasting covenant, "to be a God seed. unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is 8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: thee, the land i wherein thou art a stranger, all the and my covenant shail be in your flesh for an everland of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and lasting covenant. I will be their God.
14 And the uncircumcised man-child, whose flesh 9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after cut off m from his people; he hath broken my covethee, in their generations.
4 . 13, 16, 2, 17. • multitude of nations, e Neh. 9.7. fi.e. father of a grea! multitude. Rom. 4. 17. ver, 16. 20. e. 35. 11. hc. 28.13. Lev. 26. 12. Heb. 11. 16.
1 of thy sojournings. i c. 48. 4. Deut. S2. 8. Ex. 6. 7. Jer. 24. 7. Ex. 37. 23. Rev.21. 3.
k Acts 7. 8. Rom. 4. 11. $ a son of eighi days. I Ex. 12. 41. 2. Ex. 1. 24. Josh. 5. 2, &c.
mutual, Walk before me, and be thou perfect, that is, upright it to the seed of believers, and the internal administration of it and sincere; for herein the covenant of grace is well ordered, by the Spirit, to Christ's seed in every age. that sincerity is our gospel perfection. Observe, (1.) That to II. The contents of the covenant ; it is a covenant of probe religious is to walk before God in our integrity ; it is to mises, exceeding great and precious promises. Here are two, set God always before us, and to think, and speak, and act, in which, indeed, are all-sufficient. 1. That God would be their every thing, as those that are always under his eye. It is to God, v. 7, 8. All the privileges of the covenant, all its joys, have a constant regard to his word as our rule, and to his glory and all its hopes, are summed up in this: a man needs desire as our end, in all our actions, and to be continually in his fear. no more than this, to make him happy. What God is himself, It is to be inward with him, in all the duties of religious worship, that he will be to his people ; his wisdom their's, to guide and for in them particularly we walk before God, i Sam. 2. 30, counsel them; his power their's, to protect and support them; and to be entire for him, in all holy conversation. I know no his goodness their's, to supply and comfort them. What faithreligion but sincerity. (2.) That upright walking with God, ful worshippers can expect from the God they serve, believers is the condition of our interest in his all-sufficiency. If we shall find in God as their's. This is enough, yet not all. 2. neglect him, or dissemble with him, we forfeit the benefit and That Canaan should be their everlasting possession, v. 8. comfort of our relation to him. (3.) A continual regard to God had before promised this land to Abraham, and his seed, God's all-sufficiency, will have a great influence upon our up- ch. 15. 18. But here, where it is promised for an everlasting right walking with him.
possession, surely it must be looked upon as a type of heaven's V. 4-6. The promise here is introduced with solemnity : happiness, that everlasting rest which remains for the people of “ As for me," says the great God, “ behold, behold and admire God, Heb. 4. 9. This is that better country to which Abraham it, behold and be assured of it, my covenant is with thee;" as had an eye, and the grant of which was that which answered to before, v. 2, I will make my covenant. Note, The covenant of the vast extent and compass of that promise, that God would be grace is a covenant of God's own making ; this he glories in, to them a God; so that if God had not prepared and designed (as for me,) and so may we. Now here,
this, he would have been ashamed to be called their God, Heb. I. It is promised to Abraham, that he should be a father of 11. 16. As the land of Canaan was secured to the seed of many nations : that is, 1. That his seed after the flesh, should | Abraham, according to the flesh, so heaven is secured to all his be very numerous, both in Isaac and Ishmael, and in the sons spiritual seed, by a covenant, and for a possession truly everof Keturah ; something extraordinary is doubtless included in lasting. The offer of this eternal life is made in the word, and this promise, and we may suppose that the event answered to confirmed by the sacraments, to all that are under the external it, and that there have been, and are, more of the children of administration of the covenant; and the earnest of it is given to men descended from Abraham, than from any one man at an all believers, Eph. 1. 14. Canaan is here said to be the land equal distance with him from Noah, the common root. 2. wherein Abraham was a stranger; and heaven is a land to That all believers, in every age, should be looked upon as his which we are strangers, for it does not yet appear what we spiritual seed, and that he should be called, not only the friend shall be. of God, but the father of the faithful. In this sense, the Apos III. The token of the covenant, and that is, circumcision, for tle directs us to understand this promise, Rom. 4. 16, 17. He the sake of which the covenant is itself called the covenant of is the father of those in every nation, that by faith enter into circumcision, Acts 7. 8. It is here said to be the covenant covenant with God, and (as the Jewish writers express it) are which Abraham and his seed must keep, as a copy or countergathered under the wings of the divine Majesty.
part, v. 9, 10. It is called a sign and seal, Rom. 4. 11, for it II. In token of this, his name was changed from Abram, a was, 1. A confirmation to Abraham and his seed, of those prohigh father, to Abraham, the father of a multitude. This was, mises which were God's part of the covenant, assuring them 1. To put an honour upon him : it is spoken of as the glory that they should be fulfilled; that in due time Canaan should of the church, that she shall be called by a new name, which be their's: and the continuance of this ordinance, afier Canaan the mouth of the Lord shall name, Is. 62. 2. Princes dignified was their's, intimates that that promise looked further, 10 antheir favourites by conferring new titles upon them; thus was
other Canaan, which they must still be in expectation of: sce Abraham dignified by him that is indeed the Fountain of honour: Heb. 4. 8. 2. An obligation upon Abraham and his seed, to all believers have a new name, Rev. 2. 17. Some think it that duty which was their part of the covenant ; not only to the added to the honour of Abraham's new name, that a letter of the duty of accepting the covenant and consenting to it, and the name Jehovah was inserted into it, as it was a disgrace to Je- putting away of the corruption of the flesh, (which were more coniah to have the first syllable of his name cut off, because it immediately and primarily signified by circumcision,) but, in was the same with the first syllable of that sacred name, Jer. general, to the observation of all God's commands, as they 22. 28. Believers are named from Christ, Eph. 3. 15. 2. To should at any time hereafter be intimated and made known to encourage and confirm the faith of Abraham; while he was them; for circumcision made men debtors to do the whole law, childless, perhaps even his own name was sometimes an oc- Gal. 5. 3. They who will have God to be to them a God, must casion of grief to him; why should he be called a high father, consent and resolve to be to him a people. who was not a father at all? But now that God had promised Now, (1.) Circumcision was a bloody ordinance ; for all him a numerous issue, and had given him a name which things by the law were purged with blood, Heb. 9. 22.
See signified so much, that name was his joy. Note, God calls Ex. 24. 8. But the blood of Christ being sheil, all bloody things that are not, as though they were. It is the apostle's ordinances are now abolished; circumcision therefore gives way observation upon this very thing, Rom. 4. 17; he called Abra- to baptism. (2.) It was peculiar to the males; though the ham the father of a multitude, because he should prove to be so women also were included in the covenant, for the man is the in due time, though as yet he had but one child.
head of the woman. In our kingdom, the oath of allegiance is V.7-14. Here is,
required only from men: some think that the blood of the males I. The continuance of the covenant ; intimated in three things. only was shed in circumcision, because respect was had in it 1. It is established; not to be altered or revoked: it is fixed, it to Jesus Christ, and his blood. (3.) It was the flesh of the is ratified, it is made as firm as the divine power and truth can foreskin that was to be cut off, because it is by ordinary genemake it. 2. It is entailed; it is a covenant, not with Abraham ration that sin is propagated, and with an eye to the Promised only, (then it would die with him,) but with his seed after him, Seed, who was to come from the loins of Abraham. Christ not only his seed after the flesh, but his spiritual seed. 3. It having not yet offered himself for us, God would have man to is everlasting in the evangelical sense and meaning of it. The enter into covenant by the offering of some part of his own body, covenant of grace is everlasting ; it is from everlasting in the and no part could be better spared. It is a secret part of the counsels of it, and to everlasting in the consequences of it; and body: for the true circumcision is that of the heart: this honour the external administration of it is transmitted with the seal of God put upon an uncomely pari, 1 Cor. 12. 23, 24. (4.) The
.i. e. Princess.
nc. 18. 10.
t she shall become nations.
15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai 21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time *Sarah shall her name be.
gjn the next year. 16 And I will bless her, "and give thee a son also 22 And he left off talking with him, and God of her; yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a went up from Abraham. mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all
17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and that were born in his house, and all that were laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be bought with his money, every male among the men born unto him that is an hundred years old ? and of Abraham's house, and circumcised the flesh of shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
their foreskin in the self-same day, as God had said 18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael unto him. might live before thee !
24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, 19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee when he was circumcised in the flesh of his forea son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: skin. and I will establish my covenant with him for an 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee; Be 26 In the self-same day was Abraham circumhold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruit- cised, and Ishmael his son ; ful, and will multiply him exceedingly: ptwelve 27 And all the men of his house, born in the princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great house, and bought with money of the stranger, nation.
were circumcised with him.
o c. 18. 12. 21.6. p c. 25. 13, &c. q c. 21.2. ordinance was to be administered to children when they were children, as Job, who offered burnt-offerings, according to the eight days old, and not sooner : that they might gather some number of them all, Job 1. 5. Abraham would not have it strength to be able to undergo the pain of it, and that at least thought, when God promised him a son by Sarah, which he so one sabbath might pass over them. (5.) The children of the much desired, that then his son by Hagar was forgotten; no, stranger, of whom the master of the family was the true do- still he bears him upon his heart, and shows a concern for him. mestic owner, were to be circumcised, v. 12, 13, which looked The prospect of further favours must not make us unmindful of favourably upon the Gentiles, who should, in due time, be former favours. 3. The great thing we should desire of God brought into the family of Abraham by faith : see Gal. 3. 14. for our children, is, that they may live before him, that is, that (6.) The religious observance of this institution was required, they may be kept in covenant with him, and may have grace to under a very severe penalty, v. 14. The contempt of circum
walk before him in their uprightness ; spiritual blessings are the cision was a contempt of the covenant; if the parents did not best blessings, and which we should be most earnest with God circumcise their children, it was at their peril, as in the case of for, both for ourselves, and others. Those live well, that live Moses, Ex. 4. 24, 25, With respect to those that were not before God. circumcised in their infancy, if, when they grew up, they did V. God's answer to his prayer; and it is an answer of peace; not themselves come under this ordinance, God would surely Abraham could not say that he sought God's face in vain. reckon with them. If they cut not off the flesh of their foreskin, 1. Common blessings are secured to Ishmael, v. 20, As for God would cut them off from their people. It is a dangerous Ishmael, whom thou art in so much care about, I have heard thing to make light of divine institutions, and to live in the thee; he shall find favour for thy sake; I have blessed him, that neglect of them.
is, I have many blessings in store for him. (1.) His posterity V. 15—22. Here is,
shall be numerous ; I will multiply him exceedingly, more than I. The promise made to Abraham of a son by Sarai, that son his neighbours: this is the fruit of the blessing, as that, ch. 1. in whom the promise, made to him, should be fulfilled, that he 28. (2.) They shall be considerable ; twelve princes shall he should be the father of many nations ; for she also shall be a mo- beget: we may charitably hope that spiritual blessings also ther of nations, and kings of people shall be of her, v, 16. Note, were bestowed upon him, though the visible church was not 1. God reveals the purposes of his good-will to his people by brought out of his loins, and the covenant was not lodged in his degrees. God had told Abraham, long before, that he should family. Note, Great plenty of outward good things is often have a son, but never till now that he should have a son by Sarai. given to those children of godly parents, who are born after the 2. The blessing of the Lord makes fruitful, and adds no sorrow flesh, for their parents' sake. with it, no such sorrow as was in Hagar's case. "I will bless 2. Covenant blessings are reserved for Isaac, and appropri. her with the blessing of fruitfulness, and then thou shalt have a ated to him, v. 19, 21. If Abraham, in his prayer for Ishmael, son of her." 3. Civil government and order are a great blessing meant that he would have the covenant made with him, and the to the church. It is promised, not only that people, but kings Promised Seed to come from him ; then, God did not answer of people, should be of her; not a headless rout, but a well- him in the letter, but in that sense which was equivalent, nay, modelled, well-governed society.
which was every way better. (1.) God repeats to him the proII. The ratification of this promise was the change of Sarai's mise of a son by Sarah ; she shall bear thee a son indeed. Note, name into Surah, v. 15, the same letier added to her name that (1.) Even true believers need to have God's promises doubled was to Abraham's, and for the same reasons. Sarai signifies and repeated to them, that they may bave strong consolation, my princess, as if her honour were confined to one family only; Heb. 6. 18. [2.] Children of the promise are children indeed. Sarah signifies a princess, namely of multitudes; or, signifying (2.) He names that child, calls him Isaac, Laughter ; because that from her should come the Messiah, the Prince, even the Abraham rejoiced in spirit, when this son was promised him. Prince of the kings of the earth.
Note, If God's promises be our joy, his mercies promised shall III. Abraham's joyful, thankful entertainment of this gracious in due time be our exceeding joy. Christ will be Laughter to promise, t. 17. Upon this occasion, he expressed, i. Great them that look for him; they that now rejoice in hope, shall humility; he fell on his face. Note, The more honours and shortly rejoice in having that which they hope for : this is laughfarours God confers upon us, the lower we should be in our ter that is not mad. (3.) He entails the covenant upon that own eyes, and the more reverent and submissive before God.child; I will establish my covenant with him. Note, God takes 2. Great joy; he laughed; it was a laughter of delight, not of whom he pleases into covenant with himself, according to the distrust. Note, Even the promises of a holy God, as well as his good pleasure of his will : see Rom. 9. 8, 18. Thus was the performances, are the joys of holy souls ; there is the joy of covenant scttled between God and Abraham, with its several faith, as well as the joy of fruition. Now it was that Abraham limitations and remainders, and then the conference ended; God repaired to see Christ's day; now he saw it, and was glad, John left off talking with him, and the vision disappeared, God went 8. 56, for as he saw heaven in the promise of Canaan, so he saw up from Abraham. Note, Our communion with God here is Christ in the promise of Isaac. 3. Great admiration; Shall a broken and interrupted; in heaven it will be a continual and chuld be born to him that is an 100 years olel? He does not here everlasting feast. sprak of it as at all doubeful, (for we are sure that he staggered V. 23-27. We have here Abraham's obedience to the law tool af the promise, Rom. 4. 20,) but as very wonderful, and that of circumcision; he himself, and all his family, were circumwhich could not be effected but by the almighty power of God, cised; so receiving the token of the covenant, and distinguishing and as very kind, and a favour which was the more affecting and themselves from other families that had no part nor lot in the obliging for this, that it was extremely surprising, Ps, 126, 1, 2, matter: 1. It was an implicit obedience; he did as God said
IV. Abraham's prayer for Ishmael, v. 18, Othal Ishmael unto him, and did not ask why or wherefore. God's will was might live before thee! This he speaks, not as desiring that not only 'a law to him, but a reason; he did it, because God Ishmael might be preferred before the son he should have by bid him. 2. It was a speedy obedience; in the self-same day, Sarah ; but, dreading lest he should be abandoned and forsaken v. 23, 26. Sincere obedience is not dilatory, Ps. 119. 60. While of God, he puts up this petition on his behalf. Now that God the command is yet sounding in our ears, and the sense of duty is talking with him, he thinks he has a very fair opportunity to is fresh, it is good to apply ourselves to it immediately, lest we speak a good word for Ishmael, and he will not let it slip. Note, deceive ourselves by putting it off to a more convenient season. 1. Though we ought not to prescribe to God, yet he gives us 3. It was an universal obedience ; he did not circuncise his leave, in prayer, to be humbly free with him, and particular in family, and excuse himself, but set them an example; nor did making known our requests, Phil, 4.6. Whatever is the matter he take the comfort of the seal of the covenant to himself only, of our care and sear, should be spread before God in prayer. 2. but desired that all might share with him in it: this is a good It is the duty of parents to pray for their children, for all their l example to masters of families; they and their houses must Vol. 1-11
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