Genesis 12:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.

King James Bible
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

American Standard Version
And he removed from thence unto the mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Ai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto Jehovah, and called upon the name of Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And passing on from thence to a mountain, that was on the east side of Bethel, he there pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east; he built there also an altar to the Lord, and called upon his name.

English Revised Version
And he removed from thence unto the mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Ai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he removed from thence to a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he erected an altar to the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 12:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The Call. - The word of Jehovah, by which Abram was called, contained a command and a promise. Abram was to leave all - his country, his kindred (see Genesis 43:7), and his father's house - and to follow the Lord into the land which He would show him. Thus he was to trust entirely to the guidance of God, and to follow wherever He might lead him. But as he went in consequence of this divine summons into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:5), we must assume that God gave him at the very first a distinct intimation, if not of the land itself, at least of the direction he was to take. That Canaan was to be his destination, was no doubt made known as a matter of certainty in the revelation which he received after his arrival there (Genesis 12:7). - For thus renouncing and denying all natural ties, the Lord gave him the inconceivably great promise, "I will make of thee a great nation; and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." The four members of this promise are not to be divided into two parallel members, in which case the athnach would stand in the wrong place; but are to be regarded as an ascending climax, expressing four elements of the salvation promised to Abram, the last of which is still further expanded in Genesis 12:3. By placing the athnach under שׁמך the fourth member is marked as a new and independent feature added to the other three. The four distinct elements are - 1. increase into a numerous people; 2. a blessing, that is to say, material and spiritual prosperity; 3. the exaltation of his name, i.e., the elevation of Abram to honour and glory; 4. his appointment to be the possessor and dispenser of the blessing. Abram was not only to receive blessing, but to be a blessing; not only to be blessed by God, but to become a blessing, or the medium of blessing, to others. The blessing, as the more minute definition of the expression "be a blessing" in Genesis 12:3 clearly shows, was henceforth to keep pace as it were with Abram himself, so that (1) the blessing and cursing of men were to depend entirely upon their attitude towards him, and (2) all the families of the earth were to be blessed in him. קלּל, lit., to treat as light or little, to despise, denotes "blasphemous cursing on the part of a man;" ארר "judicial cursing on the part of God." It appears significant, however, "that the plural is used in relation to the blessing, and the singular only in relation to the cursing; grace expects that there will be many to bless, and that only an individual here and there will render not blessing for blessing, but curse for curse." - In Genesis 12:3 b, Abram, the one, is made a blessing for all. In the word בּך the primary meaning of ב, in, is not to be given up, though the instrumental sense, through, is not to be excluded. Abram was not merely to become a mediator, but the source of blessing for all. The expression "all the families of the ground" points to the division of the one family into many (Genesis 10:5, Genesis 10:20, Genesis 10:31), and the word האדמה to the curse pronounced upon the ground (Genesis 3:17). The blessing of Abraham was once more to unite the divided families, and change the curse, pronounced upon the ground on account of sin, into a blessing for the whole human race. This concluding word comprehends all nations and times, and condenses, as Baumgarten has said, the whole fulness of the divine counsel for the salvation of men into the call of Abram. All further promises, therefore, not only to the patriarchs, but also to Israel, were merely expansions and closer definitions of the salvation held out to the whole human race in the first promise. Even the assurance, which Abram received after his entrance into Canaan (Genesis 12:6), was implicitly contained in this first promise; since a great nation could not be conceived of, without a country of its own.

This promise was renewed to Abram on several occasions: first after his separation from Lot (Genesis 13:14-16), on which occasion, however, the "blessing" was not mentioned, because not required by the connection, and the two elements only, viz., the numerous increase of his seed, and the possession of the land of Canaan, were assured to him and to his seed, and that "for ever;" secondly, in Genesis 18:18 somewhat more casually, as a reason for the confidential manner in which Jehovah explained to him the secret of His government; and lastly, at the two principal turning points of his life, where the whole promise was confirmed with the greatest solemnity, viz., in Genesis 17 at the commencement of the establishment of the covenant made with him, where "I will make of thee a great nation" was heightened into "I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee," and his being a blessing was more fully defined as the establishment of a covenant, inasmuch as Jehovah would be God to him and to his posterity (Genesis 11:3.), and in Genesis 22 after the attestation of his faith and obedience, even to the sacrifice of his only son, where the innumerable increase of his seed and the blessing to pass from him to all nations were guaranteed by an oath. The same promise was afterwards renewed to Isaac, with a distinct allusion to the oath (Genesis 26:3-4), and again to Jacob, both on his flight from Canaan for fear of Esau (Genesis 28:13-14), and on his return thither (Genesis 35:11-12). In the case of these renewals, it is only in Genesis 28:14 that the last expression, "all the families of the Adamah," is repeated verbatim, though with the additional clause "and in thy seed;" in the other passages "all the nations of the earth" are mentioned, the family connection being left out of sight, and the national character of the blessing being brought into especial prominence. In two instances also, instead of the Niphal נרכוּ we find the Hithpael התבּרכוּ. This change of conjugation by no means proves that the Niphal is to be taken in its original reflective sense. The Hithpael has no doubt the meaning "to wish one's self blessed" (Deuteronomy 29:19), with ב of the person from whom the blessing is sought (Isaiah 65:16; Jeremiah 4:2), or whose blessing is desired (Genesis 48:20). But the Niphal נברך has only the passive signification "to be blessed." And the promise not only meant that all families of the earth would wish for the blessing which Abram possessed, but that they would really receive this blessing in Abram and his seed. By the explanation "wish themselves blessed" the point of the promise is broken off; and not only is its connection with the prophecy of Noah respecting Japhet's dwelling in the tents of Shem overlooked, and the parallel between the blessing on all the families of the earth, and the curse pronounced upon the earth after the flood, destroyed, but the actual participation of all the nations of the earth in this blessing is rendered doubtful, and the application of this promise by Peter (Acts 3:25) and Paul (Galatians 3:8) to all nations, is left without any firm scriptural basis. At the same time, we must not attribute a passive signification on that account to the Hithpael in Genesis 22:18 and Genesis 24:4. In these passages prominence is given to the subjective attitude of the nations towards the blessing of Abraham-in other words, to the fact that the nations would desire the blessing promised to them in Abraham and his seed.

Genesis 12:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

of Beth-el.

Genesis 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Genesis 35:3,15,16 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress...

Joshua 8:17 And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.

Joshua 18:22 And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel,

Nehemiah 11:31 The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelled at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages.

Hai.

Joshua 7:2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying...

Joshua 8:3 So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valor...

Ai.

Nehemiah 11:31 The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelled at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages.

Aija.

Isaiah 10:28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he has laid up his carriages:

Aiath. called.

Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call on the name of the LORD.

Genesis 13:4 To the place of the altar, which he had make there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

Genesis 21:33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

Psalm 116:4 Then called I on the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech you, deliver my soul.

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered...

Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:12-14 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him...

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints...

Cross References
Hebrews 11:9
By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.

Genesis 4:26
To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 8:20
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

Genesis 13:3
And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,

Genesis 13:4
to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 13:18
So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

Genesis 21:33
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.

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