Genesis 21:32
After they had made the covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army got up and returned to the land of the Philistines.
A Covenant Between the Patriarch and the Philistine KingR.A. Redford Genesis 21:22-34
Abraham and AbimelechA. Fuller.Genesis 21:23-32
Abraham the Friend of ManT. H. Leale.Genesis 21:23-32

Abraham a sojourner in that land, afterwards the troubler of Israel; for his sake as discipline, for their sakes as opportunity.

1. God's care for those beyond the covenant. A Beersheba in a heathen land.

2. The things of this world made a channel of higher blessings. The covenant arising out of bodily wants a civil agreement. The oath a testimony to God where reverently made.

3. He is not far from every one of us. The neighborhood of Beersheba, the revelation of Jehovah, the little company of believers.

4. The blessing made manifest. The days spent in Philistia left behind them some enlightenment.

5. Adaptation of Divine truth to those to whom it is sent. Abraham's name of God, Jehovah El Olam; the two revelations, the God of nature and the God of grace. The name of the Lord itself an invitation to believe and live. Paul at Athens adapted himself in preaching to the people's knowledge while leading them to faith. - R.

Swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me.
I. ABRAHAM YIELDS READILY TO THE REQUEST FOR HIS FRIENDSHIP. Abimelech's motives in seeking the friendship of Abraham were probably mixed, and included.

1. Expediency.

2. The worship of success.

3. The admiration of goodness.

II. ABRAHAM UNDERTAKES THE DUTIES OF FRIENDSHIP. He freely accepts Abimelech's conditions.

1. True and righteous dealing.

2. Gratitude for favours shown.

3. Faithfulness to the faults of a friend.


(T. H. Leale.)

Observe —(1) The motive that induces this friendly request; "he saw that God was with him." Probably the news of the extraordinary birth of Isaac had reached the court of Abimelech, and became a topic of conversation. "This," said he, "is a great man, and a great family, and will become a great nation; the blessing of heaven attends him. It is our wisdom. therefore, to take the earliest opportunity to be on good terms with him!" Had Abimelech's successors always acted on this principle towards Israel, it had been better for them; for whether they knew it or not, God, in blessing Abraham, had promised to "bless them that blessed him, and to curse them that cursed him."(2) The solemnity with which he wished the friendship to be confirmed: "swear unto me by God." ... It is a dictate of prudence very common among magistrates to require men to swear by a name which the party holds sacred. In this view Abimelech certainly acted a wise part; for whoever made light of God's name, the party here concerned would not. Abraham's cheerful and ready compliance. I hope he did not need to be sworn not to deal falsely; but as posterity was concerned the mere solemn the engagement the better. The friend of God has no desire but to be the friend of man.

(A. Fuller.)

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