He had to provide protection and give him the land, which He begins to do in a rather ordinary way through this peace agreement. Isaac would later have to clear up some matters over several wells with Abimelech (chap. So if Abimelek gives the well back to Abraham, Abimeleks servants might react, You believe that foreigner over us? CHAPTER 21 Wells of water are scarce and valuable in eastern countries. with his wi AND IT CAME TO PASS AT THAT TIME,. Not when Ishmael was grown up 17:9-14). 1 The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. He checked his police cruiser, it looked good, the light bar was on. He felt Genesis 21 Commentary Birth of Isaac (21:1-21) When Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as commanded. (22) Abimelech and Phichol.Abimelech, that is Father-King, was the title not only of the king of Gerar, but of the kings of the Philistines generally (Genesis 26:1; 1Samuel 21:10, marg. Do we badmouth the boss or other workers behind their backs? 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt. Though he was surrounded by pagans who had no scruples about murdering and plundering a wealthy mans belongings, Abraham could live securely because of Gods faithful protection, apart from any schemes on Abrahams part. THAT ABIMELECH, AND PHICHOL, THE CHIEF CAPTAIN OF HIS HOST, SPAKE And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief Abimeleks servants save face. Its no wonder that Abimelek is asking Abraham to swear that he wont deal falsely with him. 22. 3. Spiritual markers remind us of the goodness of the Lord in our lives. Give people youre in disagreement with a graceful way out. A.M. 2118. Adaptation of Divine truth to those to whom it is sent. And it came to pass at that time,possibly in immediate sequence to the incident of the preceding chapter, but, "according to the common law of Hebrew narrative, probably not long after the birth of Isaac."(Murphy)that Abimelechthe king of Gerar (Genesis 20:2; Genesis 26:1, Genesis 26:16)and Phi-cholif the name be Shemitic, "mouth of all," i.e . CAME TO PASS AT THAT TIME, &C. Hence it is plain that Abraham had "The Lord visited Sarah as he had said." The Lord keeps His word. Perhaps Abimelech had heard of how God had given Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age. Peace established, Abimelech and Phichol, having accomplished their mission, returned to Philistia. 1. We are secure in His providential care. 21:23 Abimelech proposes a treaty not to deal falsely. But if you have the reality of a walk with the faithful God of the ordinary, your neighbor will know that youve got something he lacks. Youll be happier, people will be more cooperative toward you, and youll have healthier relationships. army H6635 spoke H559 (H8799) Abraham H85 saying And so it was at that time that Abimelech, and Phicol the captain Now therefore swear unto me here by Godthe verb to swear is derived from the Hebrew numeral seven, inasmuch as the septennary number was sacred, and oaths were confirmed either by seven sacrifices (Genesis 21:28) or by seven witnesses and pledgesthat thou wilt not deal falsely with me,literally, if thou shalt lie unto me; a common form of oath in Hebrew, in which the other member of the sentence is for emphasis left unexpressed (cf. God also took care of Hagar and Ishmael, remembering His promise to greatly multiply their descendants (see Birth of Isaac ). Bondwoman and her son cast out. So instead of fighting Abimelek or insisting on Abimelek giving back control of the well, Abraham provides a graceful way out. It is as much the duty of him who has a grievance to reveal it, as it is the duty of him who has caused the grievance to remove it. Observing what he had done, and not knowing the design of it: what mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves ? This may grow out of the previous encounter when God spoke to Abimelech, called Abraham a prophet, and answered Abrahams prayer (for the infertility of the women in his house). Another highlight of this passage is the explanation for the origin of the name Beersheba. Sarah who at an earlier point had Genesis 21:22-34 What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves? So they conclude that Christians are hypocrites, and they fail to see God in our lives. Love Like Jesusbegins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. The greatest possible injury of a material kind that could be done to a nomads chief was the all faction of his water supplies. They watch our attitudes, our words, and our actions. He suggested that Abraham and he make a treaty that would guarantee good relations between them (22-24). The term for making a treaty (used here and vs. 32) is karat. This passage raises three questions relevant for believers today: Application: Seven lambs sealed the covenant between Abraham and Abimelech, but it was one spotless lamb named Jesus who forever sealed Gods covenant with His people. Wells of water are scarce and valuable in eastern countries. Sarah BIRTH OF ISAAC. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God. The days spent in Philistia left behind them some enlightenment. 1886. So he changed his plans and flew home to L.A. Two days later, he heard on the news that a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles had crashed, killing everyone on board. Genesis 21:22-34 New International Version The Treaty at Beersheba 22 At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, "God is with you in everything you do. _The birth of Isaac. @#$ %^&*^$!, Im not doin it! laughed with the laughter of incredulity, now laughed with the _Abimelech, king of Gerara, who knew that Abraham was a prophet, and a I. And Abraham reproved (literally, reasoned with, and proved to the satisfaction of) Abimelech (who was, until informed, entirely unacquainted with the action of his servants) because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away. Abraham's name of God, Jehovah El Olam; the two revelations, the God of nature and the God of grace. 9. Category: Sermon StructureTags: Genesis, Genesis 21, Old Testament Narrative, Home | Admissions | Academics | Campus Life | Alumni, All content copyright 2023 Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary transactions recorded in the preceding chapter, or to the time of 22 At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, "God is with you in everything you do. In this narrative, Abraham appears as a chieftain powerful enough for a king to wish to make an alliance with him; and thus his abandonment of Sarah, and his receiving of presents in compensation for the wrong done her, seems the more unworthy of him. Here we have accomplished promise the blessed We dont always think about it, but if the world knows that were Christians, they watch us to see if were different than everyone else. By the way the new cops boss, the Police Chief, called him into his office the next day for what the new cop thought was going to be an atta-boy. What makes us happy? It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed of God; and we ought to requite kindness to those who have been kind to us. So Abraham, to demonstrate his commitment to the treaty and to demonstrate his good will toward Abimelek, brings to Abimelek sheep and cattle. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers Abraham decided to take a different approach. Abimelech was impressed with Abraham's growing prosperity. Genesis 21:22. Why was one Christian man spared while the other was killed? law of Hebrew narrative, probably not Now the LORD visited Sarah as he had said (Genesis 21:1), That world could tell that God was with him in all he did! It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed of God; and we ought to requite kindness to those who have been kind to us. He sarcastically said, Write your prayer on a piece of paper and you can have its weight in groceries. To his surprise, she pulled a folded note out of her pocket and handed it to him. Abimelech, that is _Father-King,_ was Happy they who can do both in peace! Treaty with Abimelech (21:22-34) Abraham had settled in the south of Canaan in Abimelech's territory and at Abimelech's invitation (see 20:15). So swear to me here before God that you won't deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Only before concluding the agreement there was a matter of a more personal character that required settlement. Which things are an. And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time. Abimelech, on the other hand, acts generously as of old, and shows no signs of ill-will at the growing power of one whose expectation was that his race would possess the whole land. Weaned] in his second or third year, as is usual among Orientals. GODS ANCIENT PEOPLE Calling on Gods Name in whatever land you live, Despite the struggles in this new land, Abraham remembers his covenant with God (the God of Everlasting) and calls on His name. has Genesis 20:2 Genesis 26:26 God. @#$%^&* salary!. Which things are an allegory.- Galatians 4:22. I. It is a beautiful illustration of how God faithfully provides everything we need for life and godliness so that we can fulfill His purpose. ABRAHAM AND ABIMELECH 6 Sarahs ioy. Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not de Genesis 21 That was an extraordinary way that God provided for His children. 27:7). If youre a Christian, and youre not a cop, then its not your job to come down on people. II. He sets apart seven lambs from the flock and gives them to Abimelek. 5. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. He wasnt perfect, but he had reality with God and Gods gracious hand was on him. Related Commentaries of Genesis 21:22. Genesis 21:22 Nor are they called upon to bear what by lawful means they are able to redress. Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock,and Abimelek asked Abraham, What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?, He replied, Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.. Abraham denies his relationship Checking his ticket which he hadnt used, he realized that if his earlier flight to Chicago had not been cancelled, he would have been on that flight. The grocer, who was not a believer, was unmoved by her need. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. _chemet_ bottle, akin to _chamah_, Abimelech. And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech As the usual covenant presents (cf. Theyre people who live rather ordinary lives, except for one significant fact--their lives count for eternity because they are used by God to help fulfill His purpose. I. He walked in daily communion with God. chesed) to Abraham. Abimelech has reason to be suspicious of Abraham, but recognizes Gods blessing on his life, so he wisely seeks a covenant of truth and peace between them. Abimelech protests that he is unaware of the situation regarding the disputed well and suggests that Abraham bears some of the blame for not telling him of the situation. God also took care of Hagar and Ishmael, remembering His promise to greatly multiply their descendants (see Birth of Isaac ). Ishmael mocking (Genesis 22:9) Abimeleks servants seized the well so Abraham mustered his servants and seized it right back, correct? Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus). Abraham kept up public worship, in which his neighbours might join. fruit of patient waiting upon God. 6 Sarahs ioy. Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. (1) that as the land of the Philistines had no fixed boundary toward the desert, Beersheba may at this time have been claimed for the kingdom of Gerar (Keil); or. continued in the country of the Philistines for a considerable time; In this section See also Genesis 21:22-34 in other biblical comments: Adam Clarke Bible Commentary. and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken (Genesis 21:1). Now the grace of God bears its most important fruit in the history of Probably an official title. CRITICAL NOTES. ALL CHRISTIAN PROSPERITY IS ALSO CONSCIOUSLY IDENTIFIED WITH We could go on and on recounting the mighty deeds that God has done. As Abraham is the father of all the faithful, so the (3) that in making charges or preferring complaints it is well to avoid both heat of temper and severity of language. spokesman of all (Murphy), ruler of all (Gesenius); or "the distinguished" (Furst); believed to have been a titular designation of the Philistine monarch's grand vizier or prime minister (Lange, 'Speaker's Commentary'), who was alsothe chief captain of his host (i.e. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? IN ALL THAT THOU DOEST:_ But thats not fair! You might be saying. How to respond to critics the way Jesus did. How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat). Abimelech, the king who had inadvertently taken Sarah into his harem because Abraham had lied about her being his sister, pays a visit to Abraham, acknowledges that God is with him, and proposes a peace pact. 21:33 Abraham called on the name of the Lord, 21:34 Living in the land of the Philistines. The shaft is formed of excellent masonry to a great depth until it reaches the rock, and at this juncture a spring trickles perpetually. Genesis 21:22 In this way he demonstrated that Isaac was heir to God's covenant promises (21:1-7; cf. As David wrote, all our days were written in Gods book before we even were born (Ps. The outcast. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba. His flight from New York was first delayed and then cancelled, so that he would have missed his meetings. with thee in all that At last in God's 'Set time," and in spite of all natural difficulties, The covenant arising out of bodily wants a civil agreement. Why? The driver of the vehicle wasnt given a graceful way out. CHRISTI GENESISNOTE ON GENESIS 21:22 GOD IS WITH YOU IN ALL THAT YOU DO. The proposal was reasonable, and agreed to [Ge 21:24]. ISAAC IS BORN when Abimelech, struck with God's providential regard to him, wa 5. He felt Do you see what happened here? If you know the Savior, as you walk with Him and enjoy His faithful provision, God wants to use the ordinary events in your life to fulfill His purpose of blessing all the nations through the Seed of Abraham, the Lord Jesus Christ. The name, Beersheba seems to play on them both. Will God forgive me for losing hope and the will to live? EXPOSITION. and poetical word. He complains to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimeleks servants had seized. After pouring over Jesus every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job ofstudyingJesus words than he wasfollowingJesus words and example. favourite of God, chap. Abraham instituted two memorials of the important transactions, naming the well Beersheba, and planting a tamarisk beside his tent. all that thou doest: Wells of water are scarce and . Sometimes we think that weve got to be perfect before God can use us as a witness. Yesterday (at the time of this writing) I participated in a class that teaches you how to communicate with people on the street in a way that encourages cooperation and avoids the need for physical force. Cyril Barber on Morris' The Genesis Record : a Scientific and Devotional Commentary (It can be borrowed) - Valuable as corollary reading. trial and utter ruin of the creature, with the revelation of divine 2. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. But what Im saying is that sinlessness isnt the requirement to bear witness for Christ. Why did the woman have the prayer already written before he asked for it? ALL CHRISTIAN PROSPERITY IS ALSO CONSCIOUSLY IDENTIFIED WITH And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me,that this peculiar kind of oath never occurs again in Old Testament history is no proof of the mythical character of the narrative (Bohlen); on the contrary, "that the custom existed in primitive Hebrew times is shown by the word , which had early passed into the language, and which would be inexplicable without the existence of such a custom" (Havernick)that I have digged this well. (1) The world is watching the lives of believers. Heres a bag. The most comprehensive longitudinal study in history is a research project called the Grant Study. Abraham, thinking the herdsmen had acted on their master's orders, reproved Abimelech. ABRAHAM AND ABIMELECH Neither didst thou toll me, neither yet heard I of it, but today. 4. of his host, spoke to Abraham saying, God is with you in all that God used the only Scripture this retarded young man knew to give eternal life to this sophisticated businessman (told by Martin & Deidre Bobgan, Competent to Minister [EastGate], pp. This new cop couldnt believe it. Most days, he got up, made sure his animals were being cared for, dealt with problems like sick or straying animals, servants who had squabbles, and finding enough water and food for his flocks and family. But Abimelek said, I dont know who has done this. . Sarah's demand GENESIS 12:1 TO GENESIS 25:18. Verse Genesis 21:22. Good men should not only rectify the wrongs they do to one another, but adopt all wise precautions against their repetition. Arise We have had hitherto God's account of that which He had made; then the surround, enclose, and _chum_ black. 7. the three main sources, J. E, P are present. Abraham a sojourner in that land, afterwards the troubler of Israel; for his sake as discipline, for their sakes as opportunity. CHARACTERS: Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Hagar, Ishmael, Abimelech. The Covenant Between Abraham and Abimelech NINTH SECTION A few years ago, a Christian worker was scheduled to fly from New York to Chicago for some meetings before returning home to Los Angeles. V1 The *Lord had promised that he would visit Sarah. The trouble is, people can see that it isnt true. 7. 23 Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Scripture Story: Genesis 21:1-5; Genesis 22:1-12. How Jesus didnt love everyone the same (and why you shouldnt either). NOR WITH MY SON, NOR WITH MY SONS SON.] 1. that Abimelech, and Phichol, the chief captain of his host, spake unto Abraham; Abimelech was king of Gerar, the same that is spoken of in the preceding chapter, and Phichol was the general of his army; these two great personages came together and paid Abraham a visit, and had some conversation with him, who was still in Gerar, or however in some part of that country not far from it: saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest; greatly prospered him in the things of the world, for of them only could they make a judgment; they saw that he increased in worldly substance, and that his family was increased, and that he succeeded in everything in which he engaged; and, being jealous of his growing greatness and power, were desirous of securing an interest in him and in his favour. 22 Abimelechs couenant with Abraham at Beer-sheba. 1. Thus, Beersheba can mean, well of oath, or well of seven. So, outside of the name, Beersheba, the word shava occurs three times and the word sheva occurs three times in this passage. When the owner asked how much she could afford, she replied, My husband was killed in the war. at the time God Himself had 22-34 Abimelech felt sure that the promises of God would be fulfilled His men may have dug who knows how many dry wells before finding this one. (Haydock)_ And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed of God; and we ought to requite kindness to those who have been kind to us. Hence "the ownership of wells m Palestine was as jealously guarded as the possession of a mine in our own" (Inglis). had promised to her. _AT THAT TIME_] This may either refer to the transactions recorded in the preceding chapter, or to the time of Ishmael's marriage, but most probably to the former. CHARACTERS: Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Hagar, Ishmael, Abimelech. In seeking to bring about both of these promises, Abraham resorted to human schemes to help God out: with the son, he went in to Hagar and produced Ishmael; with regard to the land, his fears of being wiped out by the inhabitants of the land prompted him to lie about Sarah being his sister, not his wife. This event is not recorded in Scripture. As the years passed, he often wondered if it was just a coincidence. Genesis 20:17 Genesis 26:28 College Press Bible Study Textbook Series, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible, George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, Introductory Lectures - Commentary by William Kelly, John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Leslie M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible, Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Poole's Concise Commentary On The Bible, Notes on the Pentateuch by Charles Henry Mackintosh, Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary, Through The Bible C2000 Serie by Chuck Smith. And Abraham said, I will swear. transactions recorded in the preceding chapter, or to the time of The inducement to it was God's favour to Abraham (Gen. 21:22): ?God is with thee in all that thou doest, read more, Observe, 1. Abraham's acquiescence in the king's proposal was no doubt dictated by a peaceable disposition, a sense of equity, a spirit of contentment, and an unwavering confidence in God. xx. trial and utter ruin of the creature, with the revelation of divine 17. THE FOLLOWING COMMENTARY COVERS CHAPTER S 20 AND 21. Abraham denies his relationship The LXX. to Abraham. The oath a testimony to God where reverently made. In this section Peace. Throughout Abrahams story run two great promises which God made to Abraham: a son, through whom Abraham would become a great nation, and through whose descendants all the nations would be blessed; and, the land of Canaan, where his descendants would live. Genesis 21:1; Genesis 22:1 _ALUN OWEN_ In the Grant Study, 268 Harvard graduates (including John F. Kennedy by the way. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt. ALL CHRISTIAN PROSPERITY IS CONSCIOUSLY IDENTIFIED WITH GOD. "the well of the oath," (LXX; Gesenius, Furst, Rosenmller), or the well of the seven (Keil), rather than the seven wells (Lange); discovered by Robinson in Bir-es-seba, in the Wady-es-seba, twelve miles to the south of Hebron, with two deep wells of excellent water. None ever waited in vain. Well see how much this is worth, he muttered. V1 The *Lord had promised that he would visit Sarah. and poetical word. Abimelech attributes Abrahams success to God. Most of Gods people have been simple, ordinary folks who are not famous or politically powerful. you do. This is also remarkable in light of Abrahams past dealings with Abimelech. The passage is narrative. of God; and we ought to requite kindness to those who have We plainly see that God blesseth and prospereth thee in all thy _GOD IS WITH - The Birth of Isaac Just because youve blown it with someone in the past doesnt mean that you cant be used later to influence that person toward God. Not long ago he was asked, What have you learned from the Grant Study men?, Vaillants response: That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people. (What makes us happy? In that desert land, a well was essential for survival, both for a mans flocks and for his family. The covenanting parties. God burned the words into his heart and gave him the faith to believe. No more can be expected from an honest man than that he be ready to do right, as soon as he knows he has done wrong. In Genesis 21:22-34, we see Abraham in a scene from his ordinary life. The outcast. The alliance was contracted. Name signifies mouth of all, _i.e.,_ Another highlight of this passage is the explanation for the origin of the name Beersheba. And they didnt have backhoes or drilling rigs in those days. the incident of the preceding chapter, but, "according to the common Genesis 21:22. Paul at Athens adapted himself in preaching to the people's knowledge while leading them to faith.R. He was, to put it gently, directed to find a way to verbally persuade subjects to cooperate. So swear to me here before God that you wont deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Truthfully, I have nothing to offer but a little prayer.. CONTENTS: Birth of Isaac. And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. 2. with thee in all that At last in God's 'Set time," and in spite of all natural difficulties, 4 He is circumcised. How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himselfhe even nappedand why you should do the same. Sarah as he had spoken." But He doesnt just provide for our needs so that we can live comfy lives for our own happiness.