Imatges de pÓgina

succinct account of his life, travels, and various trials, as well as of the wonderful means,by which the divine wisdom and goodness led him through them to the promised bleffing, which was to crown them all. Neither was, in all probability, this surprising history thus circumftantiatedly penned without a view of exciting the too unbelieving Ifraelites, then in the fame wandering condition, but deligned for a more happy lot, to rely on the same infallible guide, which was fpeediby to conduct them to it, if their murmurings and disobedience did not put some obstruction

to their promised happiness. Year of ABRAHAM the son of Terah, and the tenth in a lineal the flood descent from the son and fucceffor of Noabb, was born in 427

Ur of the Chaldees c; and about seventy-four years Bef. Chr.


when his father and he came from thence into Ha1921. rand, where they had not been feated long, before Terah died in the two hundredth and fifth year of his age (B). His



c Gen. b Gen. X. 25, & feqq. See vol. i. p. 299, & seqq. xi. 28, & feqq.

Vide vol. i. p. 257, & feqq.

(B) There seems to be an grandfather, according to the infurmountable difficulty in this Arabian history of that patriaccount of Terab's age, of arch; and to fill up

the chafm, which we have taken notice fuppose that Adar begot Abrain a former volume (3), and bam in the fixtieth year of his which chronologers have va- age (5) ; but besides the small riously endeavoured to remove. reliance we can have on that Willet and Tremellius think, history, the thing seems quite that though Terah was but opposite to the text. Others seventy years old when he be- more reasonably suppose, with gan to have children, yet he Sir Norton Knatchbull (6), that

an hundred and there is an error crept into the thirty when he begat Abraham, original ; and that Terah was and that those that were born either an hundred and thirty before him, are purposedly years old when he begat Abraomitted by Moses, that Abra- ham, or that if he was then ban might have the honour of but seventy years old, he died primogeniture for the excellency in the hundredth and fifty-fifth, of his faith (4). Others with and not in the two hundredth Calmet, choose rather to give and fifth year of his age: for the him Adar, or Azar, for his text says, that Abraham was father, and Terah for his seventy-five years old when he

was near

(3) Vol.i.fp. 1256, & feqq. |(4) Idem in loc. Villet. cb.ii. quæft. 19. (5) Calm. bift. Vid. Herbelot. biblicto orient. p. 12, 13. (6) Vid. ef ay IR A Cen'vers.


funeral was scarce over when Abraham was commanded Abraby God to depart thence, into a land which he should shew ham'scall. to him; and God assured him, that he would bless, protect, and multiply him in an extraordinary manner ; and that in his feed all the nations of the earth should be blessed e; he readily obeyed, being doubtless well acquaint

ed with the call, and taking Sarah his wife, and Lot his į brother's son, with all his servants and cattle, went into

the land of Cannan, and pitchled his tents near the city of Sichemf (C) then inhabited by the Canaanites, where he built an altar unto the LORD. Here God was pleased to appear again unto him, to confirm all his former promises, and to assure him, that he would one day give that land to his posterity. Soon after, a great famine, Year of which happened in those parts, forced him to remove into the flood Egypt, which was then the only place where he might 428. hope to find provision for his numerous family, and great

Bef. Chr. multitude of cattle. However, the fear he was in upon

1920. the account of Sarah his wife, who, tho’ she was past the

Goes into fixty-fifth year of her age, retained yet beauty

enough to Egypt. endanger the man's life who should pass for her husband, made him resolve, after some hesitation, that the Thould pass for his sister, in every place they came to. And from

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Till tongue.

left Haran, and that his father Greek X, and might be more
died but a little while before. properly spelt Charan; where-
But we choose to refer our as Terab's son's name begins
reader for a more satisfactory only with a 17 he, which an-
folation to the learned Capzo- swers to our h.
vius, especially with the notes (C) If we may credit Ni-
of Marcus Mofes in our Eng- cholas of Damascus, Abraham

came with an army from ChalIt may not be improper to dea, stopt, and reigned fome take notice here, that though time in the country of DaHaran, the land so called, and mascus, before he went to $;Haran, the son of Terah, be chem (7), and his name was spelt with the same letters in ftill famous there. Josephus ours, and other versions, from seems to have quoted his very which fome have concluded, words, adding, that Abraham's that the latter gave his name

to that day in to the country'; yet in the great veneration in that counoriginal they are differently try, and that there was fill a writ ; viz. the former with a village which bore the name of n cherh, equivalent to the Abraham's habitation.

name was

47) Ap. Fofeph ani, li. 6. 8. Euseb. præp. h ix. 6. 26.

B. I. this descent into Egypt the generality of chronologers compute the space of four hundred and thirty years mentioned by St. Paul", agreeably to what Moses says in an-' other place i, that Ifrael dwelt in Egypt four hundred and thirty years ; that is, as the LXX interpret it, that from the first coming of Abraham thither to the exodus should

be four hundred and thirty years. We shall have occasion Year of to resume this point in its proper place. Abraham had not flood 429. been long in Egypt before Sarab charmed the Egyptians, Bef. Chr. and in the end captivated Pharaoh bimself; who, for her

1919. fake, shewed extraordinary favours to her pretended browther (E). In a short time Abraham saw himself pofleffed of

vaft numbers of sheep, oxen, camels, afles, men and maidservants, besides gold, silver, and other precious things, which Pharoah heaped upon him, though all too mean to recompense him for the loss of his wife : at length God was pleased to interpose on his behalf, and to deliver Sarah from the imminent danger she was in. Pharaoh and his house were infested with such plagues, as plainly convinced them on whose account they suffered. The king then sent for Abraham, and having sharply rebuked him for deceiving him in a matter of such consequence, delivered up his wife to him as free from any stain of difloyalty as he had received her ; and gave orders, that they might safely depart his dominions with all the wealth they had.

ABRAHAM made no stay in Egypt after this ; the faReturns to mine being ceased in the place which he had left, he: Bethel. returned thither by the same way ; and, on the altar he

had built before, offered a sacrifice of thanks for his happy
escape, and safe return m. In the mean time, the herds of

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h Galat. iii. 17.

i Exod. xii. 40.

m Gen. xii. part.

& xiii.

(E) Perhaps it may not be impossible to determine, not unacceptable to observe here, only because his particular that Pharaoh was not the name name is not mentioned by of this particular king, but an Mofes, but likewise by reason appellation common to all the of the great confusion we have kings of Egypt. They had observed in their chronology, also other particular names, as and succession of their kings So, Necho, Shishac, &c. but (8); however, abp. Usher venunder which of the kings of tures to call him Apophis (9). Egypt this event happened, is

(8) See vol. ii. P: 38.

(9) Sub A. M. 2084.


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Lot, as well as his own, being grown too numerous for
the land they lived in, such contentions arose between
their shepherds, that Abraham resolved in a friendly man- Separates
ner to separate from Lot; and, having given him his from Lot.
choice of the whole country that lay before him, Lot
chose the fertile plains of Sodom and Gomorrah, which he
faw watered by the river fordan, and parted from his
uncle", Abraham was no sooner separated from him, but
Gop, who seems to have been the sole conductor of this
scene, that the promised blessings might fall on him alone,
bid him cast his eye round the horizon, and promised to
give all that land he beheld, to him and his posterity.
Abraham soon after left Bethel, and went to dwell in the
land of Moreh, which is in Hebron, where he built an
altar unto God, and soon after contracted a friendship
with three of the greatest men of the place; viz. Mamre,
Aner, and Eshcol; the first of whom communicated his
name to all the country to This alliance proved very
serviceable to Abraham in process of time, and was the
cause of his living peaceably near ten years among them :
but a misfortune which befel Lot about this time, who was
taken captive by Chedorlaomer and his allies • *, forced Lot taken
him to mufter up all his forces and courage to rescue prisoner ;
him out of their hands. This disaster no sooner reached Year of
Abraham's ears than he communicated the news of it to flood 436.
his three friends, Mamre, Aner and Ecol. . He readily Bef.Chr.
obtained their assistance, and joining three hundred of his 1912.
men to it, they marched in pursuit of the conquerors,
surprised them at Dan in the night, pursued them as
far as Hoba, on the left of Damascus, and having re-andrescued
fcued Lot with all his family, servants, and cattle, brought by Abra-
him back to his old habitation. The king of Sodom, ham,
who was probably the son of him who had perished in the
Nime-pits, came out to congratulate Abraham upon his
success, and even offered him

all the booty which he had
retaken, the men and women excepted, but the patriarch
nobly refused to accept the least share of it. Here Mel-
chisedek met and blessed him, and he presented that high-
priest with the tythes of all the spoil P.

AFTER this Abraham removed to Mamre, or Hebron, Removes where God was pleased to appear to him a fifth time in to Hebron.

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+ See

n Ibid. ver. 7, & feqq. Vid, sup. vol. ii. p. 120. before, vol. ii. p. 412, & (K).

o Genef. c. xiv. pass,
* Vid. fup. vol. ii. p. 129.

P Genes. c. xiv. ver. 18.
Sup, ibid. p. 196,

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a vifion, and to give him fresh assurances of his special fa. vour, adding, that he would be his exceeding great reward. Abraham, who had hitherto hearkened to God's promises without any expreffion of diftruft, ventured now, for the first time, to expoftulate with him, not comprehending how they could poffibly be fulfilled whilst himself continued childless, and to all appearance must leave all his substance to Eliezer of Damascus, overseer of his houshold. This was indeed a modest way to try whether God designed to bless him with a child ; and God did not leave him long in fuspense, but assured him, that not Eliezer, but a son of his own should be his heir ; then commanding him to lift up his eyes to heaven, promised to make his posterity more numerous than the stars thereof. Abraham was now eighty-five years old, and Sarah, turned of seventy-four, was thought barren. All thefe had been sufficient to stagger a faith less firm than his ; but the Scripture says, that he believed in God, and that it was imputed unto him for righteousnesst. God was pleased moreover, to repeat his former promises, that he would infallibly give that land to his posterity, assuring him, that it was for that very end that he had brought him thither out of Chaldea. "Here Abraham could not forbear desiring of God to give him some certain token, whereby he might be assured that his feed should poslefs that land, and God was pleased to comply with his request. He bid him take an heifer of three years, a goat of three years, and a ram of three years (í), with

r Gen, xv. 1-6, & feqq. (I) The word which we

that Abraham was then repretranslate three years old, in the senting the three future facrioriginal is, nwswa mefhule. fices ; namely, burnt-offerings, Theth,which rather fignifies tri- facrifice for fin, and peaceplicated, or thrice cold, be- offering. However that be, ing the paul, in the conjuga- it is from this action of dition piel, as the grammarians viding the victims, and pafling speak. Accordingly Onkelos thro' the midst to them, that (32) translates it three heifers, the Israelites introduced the three goats, and three rams ; like ceremony in the ratifying wherein he is followed by o- their covenants either with ther Jewish commentators.

God or men. One of them tells us (33),

P32) Vid. Mercer. Villet. Reb. Sal. & al, in loc. Gorund. ap. Munft, in Gox. xix. sub not. d.

(33) MOC

a pigeon

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