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15 And Canaan begat *Sidon his first-born, and 22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, Heth,
and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. 16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the 23 And the children of Aram ; Uz, and Hul, and Girgasite,
Gether, and Mash. 17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the 24 And Arphaxad begat SSalah; and Salah beSinite,
18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and 25 And unto Eber were born two sons; the the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of name of one was "Peleg; for in his days was the the Canaanites spread abroad.
earth divided; and his brother's name was Jok19 And the border fof the Canaanites was from tan. Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza;t as 26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Ad- and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, mah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, 20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, 28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their 29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all nations.
these were the sons of Joktan. 21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children 30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to goest unto Sephar, a mount of the east. him were children born.
31 These are the sons of Shem, after their * Tzidon, s c. 15. 18, 21, Num, 31. 2, 12. Josh. 12. 7, 8. | Azzah.
1 Arpachshad. $ Shelal. gi Chr. 1. 19. li.e. division. own by force and violence. He thought himself a mighty has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they prince, but before the Lord, that is, in God's account, he was have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing. but a mighty hunter. Note, Great conquerors are but great
21-32. Two things especially are observable in this achunters. Alexander and Cæsar would not make such a figure count of the posterity of Shem. in scripture history as they do in common history; the former 1. The description of Shem, v. 21. We have not only his is represented in prophecy but as a he-goat, pushing, Dan. 8.5. name, Shem, which signifies a name, but two titles to distinNimrod was a mighty hunter against the Lord, so the LXX; guish him by. that is, (1.) He set up idolatry, as Jeroboam did, for the con 1. He was the father of all the children of Eber: Eber was firming of his usurped dominion: that he might set up a new his great-grandson; but why should he be called the father of all government, he set up a new religion upon the ruin of the his children, rather than of all Arphaxad's, or Salah's, doc.? primitive constitution of both : Babel was the mother of harlots. Probably, because Abraham and his seed, God's covenantOr, (2.) He carried on his oppression and violence, in defiance people, not only descended from Heber, but from him were of God' himself; daring Heaven with his impieties, as if he called Hebreus, ch. 14. 13, Abram the Hebrew. St. Paul looked and his huntsmen could outbrave the Almighty, and were a upon it as his privilege, that he was a Hebrew of the Hebreus, match for the Lord of Hosts and all his armies : As if it were Phil. 3. 5. Eber himself, we may suppose, was a man eminent a small thing to weary men, he thinks to weary my God also, for religion in a time of general aposiacy, and a great example Is. 7. 13.
of piety to his family ; and the holy tongue being commonly II. Nimrod was a great ruler, v. 10, The beginning of his called from him the Hebrew, it is probable that he retained it in kingdom was Babel. Some way or other, by arts or arms, he his family, in the confusion of Babel, as a special token of got into power, either chosen to it, or forcing his way to it; and God's favour to him; and from him the professors of religion so laid the foundations of a monarchy, which was afterward a were called the children of Eber; now, when the inspired head of gold, and the terror of the mighty, and bid fair to be penman would give them an honourable title, he calls him the universal. It does not appear that he had any right to rule by father of the Hebrews; though, when Moses wrote this, they birth ; but either his fitness for government recommended hiin, were a poor despised people, bondslaves in Egypt, yei, as some think, to an election ; or, by power and policy, he being God's people, it was an honour to a man to be akin to advanced gradually, and perhaps insensibly, into the throne. them. As Ham, though he had many sons, is disowned by See the antiquity of civil government, and particularly that being called the father of Canaan, on whose sced the curse was form of it, which lodges the sovereignty in a single person.
If entailed, ch. 9. 22, so Shem, though he had many sons, is Nimrod and his neighbours began, other nations soon learned, dignified with the title of the father of Eber, on whose seed the to incorporate under one head for their common safety and blessing was entailed. Note, A family of saints is more truly welfare, which, however it began, proved so great a blessing to honourable than a family of nobles; Shem's holy seed than the world, that things were reckoned to go ill indeed when Ham's royal seed, Jacob's twelve patriarchs than Ishmael's there was no king in Israel.
twelve princes, ch. 17. 20. Goodness is true greatness. III. Nimrod was a great builder ; probably he was architect 2. He was the brother of Japheth the elder, by which it in the building of Babel, and there he began his kingdom; but appears that though Shem is commonly put first, yet he was when his project to rule all the sons of Noah was baffled by the noi Noah's first-born, but Japheth was older. But why should confusion of tongues, out of that land he went forth into Assyria, this also be put as part of Shem's title and description, that he (so the margin reads it, v. 11,) and built Nineveh, &c. that was the brother of Japheth, since that had been, in effect, said having built these cities, he might command them, and rule often before? And was he not as much brother to Ham? over them. Observe in Niinrod the nature of ambition : 1. It Probably, this was intended to signify the union of the Gentiles is boundless ; much would have more, and still cries, Give, give. with the Jews in the church. He had mentioned it as Shem's 2. It is restless ; Nimrod, when he had four cities under his honour, that he was the father of the Hebrews; but lest command, could not be content till he had four more. 3. It is Japheth's seed should therefore be looked upon as for ever shut expensive ; Nimrod will rather be at the charge of rearing cities out from the church, he here reminds us that he was the brother than not have the honour of ruling them. The spirit of of Japheth, not in birth only, but in blessing, for Japheth was building is the common effect of a spirit of pride. 4. It is to dwell in the tents of Shem. Note, (1.) Those are brethren daring, and will stick at nothing ; Nimrod's name signifies in the best manner, ihat are so by grace, and that meet in the rebellion, which (if indeed he did abuse his power to the covenant of God, and in the communion of saints. (2.) God, oppression of his neighbours) teaches us that tyrants to men in dispensing his grace, does not go by seniorily, but the younger are rebels to God, and their rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. sometimes gets the start of the elder in coming into the church;
V. 15—20. Observe here, 1. That the account of the pos- so the last shall be first, and the first last. terity of Canaan, of the families and nations that descended II. The reason of the name of Peleg, v. 25, because in his from him, and of the land they possessed, is more particular days, (that is about the time of his birth, when his name was than of any other in this chapter; because these were the given him,) was the earth divided among the children of men nations that were to be subdued before Israel, and their land that were to inhabit it; either, when Noah divided it by an was, in process of time, to become the holy land, Immanuel's orderly distribution of it, as Joshua divided the land of Canaan land; and this God had an eye to, when, in the mean time he by lot, or when, upon their refusal to comply with that division, cast ihe lot of that accursed devoted race in that spot of ground God, in justice, divided them by the confusion of tongues ; which he had spied out for his own people ; this Moses takes whichsoever of these was the occasion, pious Heber saw cause notice of, Deut. 32. 8; When the most high divided to the to perpetuate the remembrance of it in the name of his son ; nations their inheritance, he set the bounds of the people according and justly may our sons be called by the same name, for in our to the number of the children of Israel. 2. That by this account days, in another sense, is the earth, the church, most wretchedly it appears that the posterity of Canaan were both numerous divided. and rich, and very pleasantly seated ; and yet Canaan was under a curse, a divine curse, and not a curse causcless. Note, Those that are under the curse of God, may yet perhaps
V.1-4. The close of the foregoing chapter tells us, that thrive and prosper greatly in this world ; for we cannot know by the sons of Noah, or, among the sons of Noah, the nations love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, were divided in the earth after the flood, that is, were disbut by what is within us, Ec. 9. 1. The curse of God always tinguished into several tribes or colonies; and the places works really, and always terribly: but perhaps it is a secret they had hitherto lived in together being grown too strait for curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work visibly ; or a slow them, it was either appointed by Noah, or agreed upon among curse, and does not work immediately ; but sinners are by it his sons, which way each several tribe or colony should steer reserved for, and bound over to, a day of wrath. Canaan here l its course, beginning with the countries that were next them,
NOTES TO CHAPTER XI.
The old distinction between the sons of God, and the sons of men, (professors and
families, after their tongues, in their lands, after 3 And Sthey said one to another, Go to, let us their nations.
make brick, and "burn them thoroughly. And they 32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. after their generations, in their nations : and by 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city these were the nations divided in the earth after and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven the flood.
and let us make us name, lest we be scattered CHAPTER XI.
Cabroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5 And the Lord came down dto see the city and prisade survival the toul, and now apparel again, wtien meningan to multi the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, The Ais of men at Bali, v.1-9, where we have, 1. Their presuinptuous pro
Ringkas, Shich was, to build a city and a tower, v. 1. 2. The righteous and they have all one language, and this they belanguage, aurt so scattering them, v. 29. ll. The peligree of the sous uf God gin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from down to Atiralanı, *.10–3, with a general account of his family, and reinoval them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound of one 'speech.
another's speech 2 And it cane to pass, as they journeyed from 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from *the east, that they found a plain in the land of thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left Shinar; and they dwelt there.
off to build the city.
s Acts 2. 6. Ps. 56, 9.
out of this pa live country, v.27-32.
or, easitoard. & Dent. 1. 23.
$a man said to his neighbour. I burn Ps. 49, 11-13. Prov. 10. 7. Dan. 4. 30.
c ver. 9. Ps. 92.9 Luke 1. 51. dc. 18. A.
e P. 2. I.
and designing to proceed further and further, and to remove to they will be like the Most High ; or come as near him as they
I. The advantages which befriended their design of keeping men, inspires with a strange ardour for great and difficult under-
they engage themselves, and one another, in this vast underII. The method they look to bind themselves to one another, taking. That they might unite in one glorious empire, they and to seule logether in one body. Instead of coveting to resolve to build this city and tower, to be the metropolis of enlarge their borders by a peaceable departure under the divine their kingdom, and the centre of their unity. It is probable protection, they contrived to fortify them, and as those that that the hand of ambitious Nimrod was in all this : he could were resolved to wage war with heaven, they put themselves not content himself with the command of a particular colony, into a posture of defence. Their unanimous resolution is, Let but aimed at universal monarchy; in order to which, under preus build a city and a tower. It is observable, that the first build tence of uniting for their common safety, he contrives to keep ers of citirs, both in the old world, ch. 4. 17, and in the new them in one body, that, having them all under his eye, he might world here, were not men of the best character and reputation: not fail to have them under his power. See the daring pretenis served God's subjects to dwell in ; cities were first built sumption of these sinners: here is, (1.) A bold opposition to by those that were rebels against him, and revolters from himn. God;" You shall be scattered," says God;" But we will not,” Observe here,
say they; Wo unto him that thus strives with his Maker.  1. How thry excited and encouraged one another to set about A bold competition with God. It is God's prerogative to be this work. They sand, Go to, let us make brick, v. 3, and again universal Monarch, Lord of all, and King of kings; the man v, i, Go to, let us build 18 a city ; by mutual excitements they that aims at it, offers to step into the ihrone of God, who will made one another more daring and resolute, Note, Great not give his glory to another. things may be brought to pass, when the undertakers are nu V. 5—9. We have here the quashing of the project of the nerous ani unanimous, and stir up one another to it. Let us Babel-builders, and the turning of the counsel of those froward learn to provoke one another to love and to good works, as sin- men headlong, that God's counsel might stand in spite of them. ness stir up and encourage one another to wicked works. See Here is, Ps. 122. 1. 1. 2. 3, 5. Jer. 50. 5.
I. The cognizance that God took of the design that was on 2. What materials they used in their building. The country foot, v. 5, The Lord came down to see the city : it is an expresbeing plain, yielded neither stone nor mortar, yet that did not sion after the manner of men; he knew it as clearly and fully discourage them from their underiaking, but they made brick to as men know that which they come to the place to view. Ob serve instead of sione, and slime or pitch instead of mortar. serve, 1. Before he gave judgment upon their cause, he inquired See here, (1.) What shift those will make, that are resolute in into it; for God is incontestably just and fair in all his proceedtheir purposes : were we but thus zealously affected in a good ings against sin and sinners, and condemns none unheard. 2. It thing, we should not stop our work so often as we do, under is spoken of as an act of condescension in God, to take notice pretence that we want conveniences for carrying it on. (2.) even of this building, which the undertakers were so proud of; What a difference there is between men's building and God's; for he humbles himself to behold the transactions, even the most when men build their Babel, brick and slime are their best ma- considerable ones, of this lower world, Ps. 113. 6. 3. It is said torials; but when God builds his Jerusalem, he lays even the to be the lower which the children of men built ; which intimates, foundations of it with sapphires, and all its borders with pleasant (1.) Their weakness and frailty as men: it was e very foolish ston, 1, 51. 11, 12. Rev, 21. 19.
thing for the children of men, worms of the earth, to defy 3. For what ends they built. Some think they intended Heaven, and to provoke the Lord 10 jealousy : Are they stronher by to see themselves against the waters of another ger than he ? (2.) Their sinfulness and obnoxiousness: they Av. Gal had told them indeed he would not again drown the were the sons of Alam, so it is in the Hebrew ; nay, of that worked; but they would trust to a tower of their own making, Adam, that sinful disobedient Adam, whose children are hy rather than to a promise of God's making, or an ark of his ap nature children of disobedience, children that are corrupters. pointing : if, however, they had had this in their eye, they would (3.) Their distinction from the children of God, the professors have chosen to build their tower upon a mountain, rather than of religion, from whom these daring builders had separated urin a plain ; but three things, it seems, they aimed at in buil- themselves, and built this tower to support and perpetuate the ding this tower.
separation. Pious Eber is not found among this ungodly crew; (1.) It seems designed for an affront 10 God himself; for for he and his are called the children of God, and therefore their they would build a lower, whose top might reach to heaven, which souls come not into the secrel, nor unite themselves to the assembly be peaks a defiance of God, or at least a rivalship with him; of these children of men.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel;* be 12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, cause the Lord did there confound the language of and begat Salah: all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scat 13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four ter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. hundred and three years, and begat sons and
10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem daughters. was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two 14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: years after the flood.
15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four 11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred and three years, and begat sons and hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. daughters.
II. The counsels and resolves of the Eternal God concerning and defeating of the counsels of men, v. 8, 9. God made them this matter; he did not come down merely as a spectator, but know whose word should stand, his or their's, as the expression as a Judge, as a Prince, to look upon these proud men, and abase is, Jer. 44. 28. Notwithstanding their oneness and obstinacy, them, Job 40. 11-14.
God was too hard for them, and wherein they dealt proudly, he Observe, 1. He suffered them to proceed a good way in their was above them; for who ever hardened his heart against him enterprise, before he put a stop to it; that they might have space and prospered? Three things were done ; to repent, and, if they had so much consideration left, might be 1. Their language was confounded. God, who, when he ashamed of it, and weary of it, themselves ; and if not, that made man, taught him to speak, and put words into his mouth their disappointment might be the more shameful, and every ft to express the conceptions of his mind by, now made those one that passed by, might laugh at them, saying, These men builders to forget their former language, and to speak and began to build, and were not able to finish ; that so the works of understand a new one, which yet was the same to those of the their hands, from which they promised themselves immortal samo tribe or family, but not to others; those of one colony honour, might turn to their perpetual reproach. Note, God has could converse together, but not with those of another. Now, wise and holy ends in permitting the enemies of his glory to (1.) This was a great miracle, and a proof of the power which carry on their impious projects a great way, and to prosper God has upon the minds and tongues of men, which he turns as long in their enterprises.
the rivers of water. (2.) This was a great judgment upon 2. When they had, with much care and toil, made some con- those builders; for being thus deprived of the knowledge of the siderable
progress in their building, then God determined to ancient and holy tongue, they were become incapable of combreak their measures, and disperse thein.
municating with the true church, in which it was retained; Observe, (1.) The righteousness of God, which appears in and, probably, it contributed much to their loss of the knowthe considerations upon which he proceeded in this resolution, ledge of the true God. (3.) We all suffer by it, to this day : v. 6. Two things he considered, (1.) Their oneness, as a rea in all the inconveniences we sustain by the diversity of lanson why they must be scattered : * Behold, the people is one, guages, and all the pains and trouble we are at to learn the and they have all one language; if they continue one, much of languages we have occasion for, we smart for the rebellion of the earth will be left uninhabited; the power of their prince our ancestors at Babel. Nay, and those unhappy controverwill soon be exorbitant; wickedness and profaneness will be in- sies, which are strifes of words, and arise from our misundersufferably rampant, for they will strengthen one another's hands standing of one another's language, for aught I know, are in it; and, which is worst of all, they will be an overbalance owing to this confusion of tongues. (4.) The project of some to the church, and these children of men, if thus incorporated, to frame an universal character, in order to an universal lanwill swallow up the little remnant of God's children." There- guage, how desirable soever it may seem, is yet, I think, but a fore it is decreed that they must not be one. Note, Unity is vain attempt; for it is to strive against a divine sentence, by policy, but it is not the infallible mark of a true church ; yet, which the languages of the nations will be divided while the while the builders of Babel, though of different families, dispo- world stands. (5.) We may here lament the loss of the unisitions, and interests, were thus unanimous in opposing God, versal use of the Hebrew tongue, which from this time, was what a piły it is, and what a shame, that the builders of Zion, the vulgar language of the Hebrews only, and continued so uill though united in one common Head and Spirit, should be divid- the captivity in Babylon, where, even among them, it was ed, as they are, in serving God! But marvel not at the mat- exchanged for the Syriac. (6.) As the confounding of tongues ter; Christ came not to send peace. [2.] Their obstinacy ; divided the children of men, and scattered them abroad, so the now nothing will be restrained from them; and this is a reason gift of tongues, bestowed upon the apostles, (Acts 2.)contributed why they must be crossed and thwarted in their design : God greatly to the gathering together of the children of God, which had tried, by his commands and admonitions, to bring them off were scattered abroad, and the uniting of them in Christ, that from this project, but in vain; therefore he must take another with one mind and mouth they might glorify God, Rom. 15. 6. course with them. See here, First, The sinfulness of sin, and 2. Their building was stopped ; they left off to build the ci ty. the wilfulness of sinners ; ever since Adam would not be re This was the effect of the confusion of their tongues; for it mo strained from the forbidden tree, his unsanctified seed have only incapacitated them for helping one another, but, probably been impatient of restraint, and ready to rebel against it. struck such a damp upon their spirits, that they could not proSecondly, See the necessity of God's judgments upon earth, to ceed, since they saw, in this, the hand of the Lord gone out keep the world in some order, and to tie the hands of those that against them. Note, (1.) It is wisdom to leave off that which will not be checked by law.
we see God fights against. (2.) God is able to blast and bring (2.) The wisdom and mercy of God in the methods that were to naught all the devices and designs of Babel-builders. He taken for the defeating of this enterprise, (v. 7.;) Go to, let us go sits in heaven, and laughs at the counsels of the kings of the down, and there con found their language : this was not spoken earth against Him and his Anointed; and will force them to to the angels, as if God needed either their advice, or their confess that there is no wisdom nor counsel against the Lord, assistance, but God speaks it to himself, or the Father to the Prov. 21. 30. Is. 8. 9, 10. Son and Holy Ghost; they said, Go to, let us make brick ; and 3. The builders were scattered abroad from thence upon the Go to, let us build us a tower ; animating one another to the face of the whole earth, v.8, 9. They departed in companies, attempt; and now God says, Go to, let us confound their lan- after their families, and after their tongues; (ch. 10.5, 20, 31,) guage ; for if men stir up emselves to sin, God will stir up to the several countries and places allotted to them in the divihimself to take vengeance, Is. 59. 17, 18. Now observe here, sion that had been made, which they knew before, but would (1.) The mercy of God, in moderating the penalty, and not not go to take the possession of till now that they were forced making that proportionable to the offence; for he deals not with to it. Observe here, (1.) That the very thing which they us according to our sins; he does not say, “Let us go down feared, came upon them; they feared dispersion, they sought now in thunder and lightning, and consume those rebels in a to evade it by an act of rebellion, and by that act they brought moment ;" or, "Let the earth open and swallow up them and upon themselves the evil with all its horrors; for we are most their building, and let them go down quick into hell, who are likely to fall into that trouble which we seek to evade by indiclimbing to heaven the wrong way;" no, only, “ Let us go down, rect and sinful methods. (2.) That it was God's work; The and scatter them :" they deserved death, but are only banished Lord scattered them. God's hand is to be acknowledged in all or transported; for the patience of God is very great towards scattering providences; if the family be scattered, relations a provoking world. Punishments are chiefly reserved for the scattered, churches scattered, it is the Lord's doing. (3.) future state ; God's judgments on sinners in ihis life, compared That though they were as firmly in league with one another as with those, are little more than restraints. (2.) The wisdom of could be, yet the Lord scattered them; for no man can keep God, in pitching upon an effectual expedient io stay proceedings, together what God will put asunder. (4.) That thus God justly which was the confounding of their language, that they might took vengeance on them for their oneness in that presumptuous not understand one another's speech, nor could they well join attempt to build their tower; shameful dispersions are the just hands when their longues were divided; so that this would be a punishment of sinful unions; Simeon and Levi, who had been very proper method, both for taking them off from their building, brethren in iniquity, were divided in Jacob, ch. 49. 5, 7. Ps. (for if they could not understand one another, they could not help 83. 3—13. (5.) That they left behind them a perpetual memon one another,) as also for disposing them to scatter; for when randum of their reproach, in the name given to the place; it they could not understand one another, they could not employ was called Babel, confusion. They that aim at a great name, one another. Note, God has various means, and effectual ones, commonly come off with a bad name. (6.) The children of to battle and defeat the projects of proud men that set them- men were now finally scattered, and never did, nor ever will, selves against him, and particularly to divide them among come all together again, till the great day, when the Son of themselves, either by dividing their spirits, (Judg. 9. 23,) or man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, and all nations shall by dividing their tongues, as David prays, Ps. 55. 9.,
be gathered before him, Matt. 25. 31, 32. III. The execution of these counsels of God, to tho blasting V. 10—26. We have here a genealogy, not an endless gene
m e. 12. 1.
16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and 28 And Haran died before his father Terah, in begat *Peleg:
the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. 17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four 29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives : the hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and name of Abram's wile was Sarai; and the name of daughters.
Nahor's wife Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the 18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: father of Milcah, and the father of' Iscah.
19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hun 30 But Sarai was barren;' she had no child. dred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters. 31 And Terah took Abram his son and Lot the
20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and be- son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughtergat Serug:
in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth 21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hun- with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the dred and seven years, and begat sons and daugh- land of Canaan: and they came unto Haran, and ters.
dwelt there. 22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat 32 And the days of Terah were two hundred Nahor:
and five years : and Terah died in Haran. 23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
CHAPTER XII. 24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and
The pedigree and family of Abram we had an account of in the foregoing chapter ; begat Terah:
here, the Holy Ghuwt enters upon his story, henceforward, Aluram and his seed 25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an are almost the only subject of the sacred history in this chapter we have, 1:
of land . IIto hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and this call, v. 4, 5. III. His welcome to the Innd of Canaan, v. 6, 7. IV. His daughters.
Journey to Egypt, with an account of what happened to him there. Abram's
ilight and fault, v. 10-13. Sarai's danger, and deliverance, v. 14–20. 26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 27 Now these are the generations of Terah: NOW the Lord had said "unto Abram, Get thee
out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Ha- from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show ran begat Lot.
thee : • LA 3. 35. Piglec. † Luke 3. 35. Saruch. ! Luke 3. 34. Thara.
le. 16. 1. 18. 11. 21. 1. 2. Ps. 113. 9. Luke 1. 36.
e c. 11. 31. 15. 7. 9.2. i Chr. 1.26. i c. 15. 7. y c. 17. 15. & c. 22. 23. 24. 15.
Neh, 9. 7. Is. 11. 2. Acis 7. 3. Heb. 11. 8. alogy; for here it ends in Abram, the friend of God, and leads Haran, the father of Lot, of whom it is here said, v. 28, that further to Christ, the promised Seed, who was the Son of he died before his father Terah. Note, Children cannot be sure Abram, and from Abram the genealogy of Christ is reckoned, that they shall survive their parents : for death does not go by (Mal. 1. 1, &c.) so that put ch, 5. ch. 11. and Matt. 1. toge- seniority, taking the eldest first: the shadow of death is uithout ther, and you have such an entire genealogy of Jesus Christ as any order, Job 10. 22. It is likewise said that he died in Ur of cannot be produced, for aught I know, concerning any person the Chaldees, before the happy removal of the family out of that in the world, out of his line, and at such a distance from the idolatrous country. Note, It concerns us to hasten out of our fountain-head. And laying these three genealogies together, natural state, lest death surprise us in it. 3. His wife was we shall find that iwice ten, and thrice fourteen, generations or Sarai, who, some think, was the same with Iscah, the daughter descents, passed between the first and second Adam, mak- of Haran. Abram himself says of her, that she was the ing it clear concerning Christ, not only that he was the Son of daughter of his father, but not the daughter of his mother, ch. Abraham, but the Son of man, and the Seed of the woman. | 20, 12. She was ten years younger than Abram. Observe here, 1. That nothing is left upon record concerning III. His departure out of Ur of the Chaldees, with his father those of this line, but their names and ages; the Holy Ghost Terah, his nephew Lot, and the rest of his family, in obedience seeming to hasten through them to the story of Abram. How to the call of God, of which we shall read more, ch. 12. 1, &c. little do we know of those that are gone before us in this world, This chapter leaves them in Haran, or Charran, a place about even those that lived in the same places where we live, as we the midway between Ur and Canaan, where they dwelt till likewise know little of those that are our contemporaries, in dis. Terah's head was laid, probably because the old man was untant places; we have enough to do, to mind the work of our able, through the infirmities of age, to proceed in his journey. own day, and let God alone to require that which is past, Ec. 3. Many reach to Charran, and yet fall short of Canaan ; they 15. 2. That there was an observable gradual decrease in the are not far from the kingdom of God, and yet never como years of their lives; Shem reached to 600 years, which yet fell thither. short of the age of the patriarchs before the flood ; the three Dext came short of 500; the three next did not reach to 300; after them, we read not of any that attained to 200, but Terah; V.1-3. We have here the call by which Abram was and, not many ages after this, Moses reckoned 70 or 80 to be removed out of the land of his nativity into the land of prothe utmost men ordinarily arrive at: when the earth began to mise ; which was designed both to try his faith and obebe replenished, men's lives began to shorten; so that the dience, and also to separate him, and set him apart, for decrease is to be imputed to the wise disposal of providence, God and for special services and favours which were further rather than to any decay of nature; for the elect's sake, men's designed. The circumstances of this call we may be somedays are shortened; and being evil, it is well they are few, and what helped to the knowledge of, from Stephen's speech, Acts attnin not to the years of the lives of our fathers, ch. 47. 9. 3. 7. 2, where we are told, 1. That the God of glory appeared to That Eber, from whom the Hebrews were denominated, was him, to give him this call; appeared in such displays of his the longest lived of any that were born after the flood; which glory, as left Abram no room to doubt the divine authority of perhaps was the reward of his singular piety, and strict adhe- this call. God spake to him afterward in divers manners; but rence to the ways of God.
this first time, when the correspondence was to be settled, ho V. 27–32. Here begins the story of Abram, whose name appeared to him as the God of glory, and spake to him. 2. is famous, henceforward, in both Testaments; we have here, That this call was given him in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in
I. His country; Ur of the Chaldees, that was the land of his Charran ; therefore we rightly read it, The Lord had said unto nativity, an idolatrons country, where even the children of Abram, namely, in Ur of the Chaldees; and, in obedience to Eber themselves were degenerated. Note, Those who are, this call, as Stephen further relates the story, v. 4, he came out through grace, heirs of the land of promise, ought to remember of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran, or Haran, what was the land of their nativity; what was their corrupt about five years, and from thence, when his father was dead, by and sinful state by nature ; the rock out of which they were a fresh command, pursuant to the former, God removed him hewn.
into the land of Canaan. Some think that Haran was in ChalII. His relations; mentioned for his sake, and because of dea, and so was still a part of Abram's country; or that he, their interest in the following story. 1. His father was Terah, having stayed there five years, began to call it his country, and of win it is said, Josh. 24. 2, ihat he served other gods, on to take root there, till God let him know that this was not the the other side of the food; so early did idolatry gain footing place he was intended for. Note, If God loves us, and has in the work, and so hard is it even for those that have some mercy in store for us, he will not suffer us to take up our rest good principles, to swim against the stream. Though it is said, any where short of Canaan, but will graciously repeat his v.. 26, that when Terah was seventy years old, he begat calls, till the good work begun, be performed, and our souls Abram, Nahor, and Haran, (which seems to tell us that repose in God only. Abram was the cldest son of Terah, and born in his 70th year,) In the call itsell, we have a precept and a promise, yet, by comparing v. 32, which makes Terah to die in his 205th I. A trying precept, v. 1, Get thee out of thy country. Now, year, with Acts 7. 4, (where it is said that Abram removed 1. By this precept he was tried whether he loved God better from Haran, when his father was dead,) and with ch. 12. 4, than he loved his native soil and dearest friends, and whether (where it is said that he was but 75 years old when he re he could willingly leave all, to go along with God. His country moved from Haran,) it appears that he was born in the 130th was become idolatrous, his kindred and his father's house were year of Terab, and, probably, was his youngest son; for, in God's choices, the last are often first, and the first lasi.
a constant temptation to him, and he could not continue with
We them without danger of being infected by them ; therefore, have, 2. Some account of his brethren. (1) Nahor, out of Get thee oul, 75 75 Vode libi-Got thee gome, with all speed, whose family both Isaac and Jacob had iheir wives. (2.) | escape for thy life, look noe behind thee, ch. 19. 7. Note, Those VOL, 1.-9
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NOTES TO CHAPTER XII.
2 And I will make of thee a great bnation, and I 4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken will bless thee, and make thy name great; cand unto him; and Lot went with him : and Abram thou shalt be a blessing:
was seventy and five years old when he departed 3 And I will bless them dthat bless thee, and out of Haran. curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his families of the earth be blessed.
brother's son, and all their substance that they had b c. 17. 6. 24. 35. cc. 18. 18. 23. 4. d Num. 24. 9.
e Ps. 72. 17. Acta 3. 25. Gal. 3.8. that are in a sinful state are concerned to make all haste possible Abram;" as Ruth 4. 11. Note, God's dealings with obedient out of it. Get out for thyself, (so some read it,) that is, for thine believers are so kind and gracious, that we need not desire for own good. Note, Those who leave their sins and turn to God, ourselves or our friends to be any better dealt with ; that is will themselves be unspeakable gainers by the change, Prov. blessedness enough. (2.) " Thy life shall be a blessing to the 9. 12. This command which God gave to Abram, is much the places where thou shalt sojourn.”. Note, Good men are the same with the Gospel-call by which all the spiritual seed of blessings of their country, and it is their unspeakable honour faithful Abram are brought into covenant with God. For, and happiness to be made so. (1.) Natural affection must give way to divine grace : our 5. I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth country is dear to us, our kindred dearer, and our father's thee; this made it a kind of a league offensive and defensive, house dearest of all; and yet they must all be hated, Luke between God and Abram. Abram heartily espoused God's 14. 26, that is, we must love them less than Christ, hate them cause, and here God promises to interest himself in his ; (1.) in comparison with him, and, whenever any of these come in He promises to be a Friend to his friends, to take kindnesses competition with him, they must be postponed, and the prefer- shown to him as done to himself, and to recompense them ence given to the will and honour of the Lord Jesus. (2.) Sin accordingly. God will take care that none be losers, in the and all the occasions of it, must be forsaken, and, particularly, long run, by any service done for his people ; even a cup of bad company ; we must abandon all the idols of iniquity which cold water shall be rewarded. (2.) He promises to appear have been set up in our hearts, and get out of the way of against his enemies; there were those that baled and cursed temptation, plucking out even a right eye that leads us to sin, even Abram himself; but while their causeless curses could Mait. 5. 29, willingly parting with that which is dearest to us, not hurt Abram, God's righteous curse would certainly overwhen we cannot keep it without hazard of our integrity. take and ruin them, Num. 24. 9. This is a good reason why Those that resolve to keep the commandments of God, must we should bless them that curse us, because it is enough that quit the society of evildoers, Ps. 119. 115. Acts 2. 40. (3.) God will curse them, Ps. 38. 13—15. T'he world, and all our enjoyments in it, inust be looked upon 6. In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed ; this was with a holy indifference and contempt; we must no longer the promise that crowned all the rest ; for it points at the look upon it as our country, or home, but as our inn, and must, Messiah, in whom all the promises are yea and amen. Note, accordingly, sit loose to it, and live above it, get out of it in (1.) Jesus Christ is the great Blessing of the world, the greatest affection.
thaí ever the world was blessed with ; he is a family-blessing, 2. By this precept he was tried, whether he could trust God by him salvation is brought to the house, Luke 19. 9. When further than he saw him ; for he must leave his own country, we reckon up our family blessings, let us put Christ in the to go to a land that God would show him; he does not say, “It imprimis-the first place, as the Blessing of blessings. But is a land that I will give thee,” but merely, “ a land that I will how are all the families of the earth blessed in Christ, when so show thee.” Nor does he tell him what land it was, or what many are strangers to him? Answer, (1.) All that are blessed, kind of land ; but he must follow God with an implicit faith, are blessed in him, Acts 4. 12. (2.) All that believe, of what and take God's word for it, in the general, though he had no family soever they are, shall be blessed in him. (3.) Some of particular securities given him, that he should be no loser by all the families of the earth are blessed in him." [4.] There leaving his country, to follow God. Note, Those that will deal are some blessings which all the families of the carih are bleswith God, must deal upon trust ; we must quit the things that sed with in Christ ; for the Gospel-salvation is a common salvaare seen, for things that are not seen, and submit to the suffer- tion, Jude 3. (2.) It is a great honour to be related to Christ; ings of this present time, in hopes of a glory that is yet to be this made Abram's name great, that the Messiah was to derevealed, Rom. 8. 18; for it doth not yet appear, what we shall scend from his loins, much more than that he should be the be, 1 John 3.2, any more than it did to Abram, when God called father of many nations. It was Abram's honour to be his hiin to a land he would show him, so teaching him to live in a father by nature ; it will be our's to be his brethren by grace, continual dependence upon his direction, and with his eye ever Matt, 12, 50. toward him.
V, 4, 5. Here is, II. Here is an encouraging promise, nay, it is a complica I. Abram's removal out of his country; out of Ur first, and tion of promises, many, and exceeding great and precious. afterward out of Haran, in compliance with the call of God; Note, All God's precepts are attended with promises to the obe 80 Abram departed; he was not disobedient to the heavenly dient'; when he makes himself known to us as a Commander, vision, but did as he was bidden, not conferring with flesh and he makes himself known also as a Rewarder; if we obey the blood, Gal. 1. 15, 16. His obedience was speedy and without command, God will not fail to perform the promise. Here are delay, subrnissive and without dispute ; for he went out, not six promises.
knowing whither he went, Heb. 11. 8, but knowing whom he
2. I will bless thee ; either particularly, with the blessing of haps his guardian after the death of his father, and he was
and moveable goods, that they had gathered. For, (1.) With 3. I will make thy name great; by deserting his country, he themselves they would give up their all, to be at God's dispolost his name there : "Care not for that,” says God, “but trust sal, would keep back no part of the price, but venture all in one me, and I will make thee a greater name than ever thou bottom, knowing it was a good bottom. (2.) They would furnish couldest have had there." Having no child, he feared he themselves with that which was requisite, both for the service of should have no name; but God will make him a great nation, God, and the supply of their family, in the country whither they and so make bim a great name. Note, (1.) God is the foun- were going. To have thrown away his substance, because God tain of honour, and from him promotion comes, 1 Sam. 2.8. had promised to bless him, had been to tempt God, not to trust (2.) The name of obedient believers shall certainly be cele- him. (3.) They would not be under any temptation to return, brated, and made great : the best report is that which the elders therefore they leave not a hoof behind, lest that should make obtained by faith, Heb. 11. 2.
them mindful of the country from which they came out. 4. Thou shalt be a blessing ; that is, (1.) “ Thy happiness 3. They took with them the souls that they had gotten, that shall be a sample of happiness, so that those who would bless is, (1.) The servants they had bought, which were part of their their friends, shall only pray that God would make them like substance, but are called souls, lo remind masters that their