Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall do to me, and to the land wherein you have sojourned.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Nor with my son, nor with my son’s son.—The words are not those commonly used for son and grandson, but a Hebrew phrase signifying my kith and kin. They might be translated, “nor with mine offshoot nor mine offspring.” The words occur again in the same proverbial way in Job 18:19; Isaiah 14:22.
22. Abimelech and Phichol—Here a proof of the promise (Ge 12:2) being fulfilled, in a native prince wishing to form a solemn league with Abraham. The proposal was reasonable, and agreed to [Ge 21:24].That thou wilt not deal falsely with me; that thou wilt not do me any hurt or injury; Heb. That thou wilt not lie unto me; i.e. as thou hast formerly professed kindness and friendship to me, give me thy oath to assure me that thou wilt be true and constant to thy own professions.
that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son; perhaps he had heard that God had promised to give the whole land of Canaan to him and his posterity, and among the rest his kingdom, which was a part of it; and, seeing him grow great and powerful, he could not tell how soon it might be ere he was put in the possession of it, whether in his own time, or his son's, or his grandson's; and therefore desires Abraham that he would swear to do no hurt to them whenever it should be:
but according to the kindness I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned; that, as he had given him full liberty to sojourn in any part of his kingdom where he pleased, so, when the whole country should come into his possession, that he, or his son, or his grandson, in whatsoever time it should be, might quietly enjoy their own land, and all the inhabitants of it; at least that they might not be driven out of it, but sojourn in it as he had done.Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. here] The reference is to the name of Beer-sheba and its popular etymology from the Hebrew word “to swear.” Abraham’s departure from Gerar is not recorded, but was doubtless included in the E narrative which is only fragmentarily preserved.
my son, &c.] R.V. marg. my offspring, nor with my posterity. The words which are not usual are found together in Job 18:19; Isaiah 14:22; LXX μηδὲ τὸ σπέρμα μου μηδέ τὸ ὄνομά μου, Lat. posteris stirpique meae. The original phrase is alliterative, like our “neither kith nor kin.”
the kindness] Referring to the gifts to Abraham in Genesis 20:14, and the free welcome extended to Abraham in Genesis 20:15. Abimelech is desirous to seal these friendly relations by a definite compact. There is an abrupt transition, in Genesis 21:25-26, to occasions of friction.Verse 23. - Now therefore swear unto me here by God - the 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 pledges - that 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. Ruth 1:17, and vide Genesis 14:23). As a prince, Abimelech was afraid of Abraham's growing power; as a good man, he insures the safety of himself and his dominions not by resorting to war, but by forming an amicable treaty with his neighbor - nor with my son, nor with my son's son: - σπέρμα καὶ ὅνομα (LXX.); posteri et stirps (Vulgate); offspring and progeny (Kalisch); kith and kin (Murphy) - but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee (vide Genesis 20:15), thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned - the land being put for the people (cf. Numbers 14:13). 2 Samuel 15:21), i.e., in his helpless condition: "arise, lift up the lad," etc. It was Elohim, not Jehovah, who heard the voice of the boy, and appeared as the angel of Elohim, not of Jehovah (as in Genesis 16:7), because, when Ishmael and Hagar had been dismissed from Abraham's house, they were removed from the superintendence and care of the covenant God to the guidance and providence of God the ruler of all nations. God then opened her eyes, and she saw what she had not seen before, a well of water, from which she filled the bottle and gave her son to drink.
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