And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she has also born children to your brother Nahor;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Thy brother Nahor.—Dwelling so far apart, news would seldom reach Abraham of those whom he had left at Haran. But besides the domestic interest, the knowledge thus conveyed to him was the cause “probably of Abraham’s determination to seek a wife for his son from among his own kindred. It has been noticed that Nahor has twelve sons, eight by his lawful wife, and four by his concubine. So Jacob has twelve sons, eight by two lawful wives, and four by two concubines. Lastly, Ishmael has twelve sons. These coincidences are curious, but afford no ground for the assertion that therefore these narratives are mythical. For coincidences quite as strange are to be found in every history, and in daily life.Genesis 22:20. This is recorded here, 1st, To show that though Abraham saw his own family highly dignified with peculiar privileges, yet he did not look with contempt upon his relations, but was glad to hear of the increase and prosperity of their families. 2d, To make way for the following story of the marriage of Isaac to Rebekah, a daughter of this family.Genesis 10:23; Genesis 11:28. Buz may have been the ancestor of Elihu Jeremiah 25:23; Job 32:2. Maakah may have given rise to the tribes and land of Maakah Deuteronomy 3:14; 2 Samuel 10:6. The other names do not again occur. "And his concubine." A concubine was a secondary wife, whose position was not considered disreputable in the East. Nahor, like Ishmael, had twelve sons, - eight by his wife, and four by his concubine.
- The Death of Sarah
2. ארבע קרית qı̂ryat-'arba‛, "Qirjath-arba', city of Arba." ארבע 'arba‛, "Arba', four."
8. עפרון ‛eprôn, "'Ephron, of the dust, or resembling a calf." צחר tshochar, "Tsochar, whiteness."
9. מכפלה makpêlâh, "Makpelah, doubled."
that it was told Abraham; by some person very probably who was lately come from those parts where the following persons lived; though Jarchi suggests this was told him by the Lord himself, and while he was thinking of taking a wife for Isaac of the daughters at Aner, or Eshcol, or Mamre; and to prevent which the following narration was given him:
saying, behold Milcah, she hath also borne children unto thy brother Nahor; as Sarah, supposed to be the same with Iscah, a daughter of Haran, had borne a son to him, and whom he had received again as from the dead; so Milcah, another daughter of Harsh, had borne children to his brother Nahor, whom he had left in Ur of the Chaldees, when he departed from thence, and who afterwards came and dwelt in Haran of Mesopotamia; see Genesis 11:27.And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. after these things] Cf. Genesis 22:1.
Milcah] See Genesis 11:27; Genesis 11:29. Nahor’s marriage with his niece probably represents the fusion of two tribes.
20–24. The Genealogy of Nahor (J)
In this genealogy it is to be noted, (1) that the home of Nahor and his sons is not Ur, but Aram Naharaim, as in Genesis 24:10; (2) that the sons of Nahor, like those of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13-16), Esau (Genesis 36:15-19), and Jacob, are twelve in number, of whom eight are born to his legitimate wife Milcah, and four to his concubine Reumah; (3) that the names of the sons represent tribes, or tribal dwelling-places, in the Aramaean, or Syrian, region on the N.E. of Palestine. The genealogy seems to represent a recollection of the traditional names of the prehistoric ancestors of the Hebrew immigrants. Probably the introduction of the genealogy at this point is due to the mention of Rebekah in Genesis 22:23, which prepares the way for the story in 24 (J).Verse 20. - And it came to pass after these things (probably not long after his return to Beersheba), that it was told (by some unknown messenger or accidental traveler from Mesopotamia) Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah (vide Genesis 11:29), she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor - as Sarah has born a son to thee. From this it would almost seem as if Milcah had not begun to have her family at the time Abram left Ur of the Chaldees; but vide Genesis 11:30. The present brief table of Nahor's descendants is introduced for the sake of showing the descent of Rebekah, who is soon to become Isaac's wife. Genesis 22:8, provides, providet; so that (אשׁר, as in Genesis 13:16, is equivalent to כּן על, Genesis 10:9) men are still accustomed to say, "On the mountain where Jehovah appears" (יראה), from which the name Moriah arose. The rendering "on the mount of Jehovah it is provided" is not allowable, for the Niphal of the verb does not mean provideri, but "appear." Moreover, in this case the medium of God's seeing or interposition was His appearing.
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