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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Genesis 15:12-16

We have here a full and particular discovery made to Abram of God's purposes concerning his seed. Observe, I. The time when God came to him with this discovery: When the sun was going down, or declining, about the time of the evening oblation, 1 Kgs. 18:36; Dan. 9:21. Early in the morning, before day, while the stars were yet to be seen, God had given him orders concerning the sacrifices (Gen. 15:5), and we may suppose it was, at least, his morning's work to prepare them and set them in order;... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Genesis 15:13

And he said unto Abram ,.... While he was in a deep sleep; this he said to him in a vision of prophecy: know of a surety , or "in knowing thou shall or mayest know" F14 ידע תדע "cognoscendo cognosces", Pagninus, Montanus; so Schmidt. ; and be assured of it, being now told it by the Lord himself, who foreknows all things that ever come to pass; many of which he acquaints his people with beforehand, nor would he hide from Abram his friend what should befall his posterity, as... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Genesis 15:13

Four hundred years - "Which began," says Mr. Ainsworth, "when Ishmael, son of Hagar, mocked and persecuted Isaac, Genesis 21:9 ; Galatians 4:29 ; which fell out thirty years after the promise, Genesis 12:3 ; which promise was four hundred and thirty years before the law, Galatians 3:17 ; and four hundred and thirty years after that promise came Israel out of Egypt, Exodus 12:41 ." read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 15:1-21

Faith. The substance of this chapter is the special intercourse between Jehovah and Abram. On that foundation faith rests. It is not feeling after God, if haply he be found; it is a living confidence and obedience, based upon revelation, promise, covenant, solemn ratification by signs, detailed prediction of the future. God said, " I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward"— i.e. I am with thee day by day as the God of providence; I will abundantly bless thee hereafter. The... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 15:12-17

Abraham's watch and vision. "And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep," &c.; The great blessings promised are still afar off. As yet Abraham has no son to hand down his name to posterity. By means of a vision God strengthened his faith. Weird is the picture in this fifteenth chapter. See the solitary sheik in the desert offering his varied sacrifice, then watching until the sun goes down to drive off the vultures from the slain offerings. His arms become weary with waving and his... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 15:13

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety —literally, knowing know — that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land which is not there , and shall serve them ( i.e. the inhabitants of that alien country); and they ( i.e. these foreigners) shall afflict them —three different stages of adverse fortune are described:— or the two last clauses depict the contents of the first (Kalisch)— four hundred years . The duration not of their affliction merely, but either of their bondage and... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Genesis 15:1-21

- The Faith of Abram1. דבר dābār, “a word, a thing;” the word being the sign of the thing.2. אדני 'ǎdonāy, “Adonai, the Lord;” related: “bring down, lay down.” This is the name usually read in place of Yahweh; but when, as in the present case, יהוה yehovâh and אדני 'ǎdonāy are in apposition, אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym is read instead of the former. The Jews from a feeling of reverence avoided the utterance of this sacred name except on the most solemn occasions. This is said to have arisen from a... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Genesis 15:13

Genesis 15:13. Thy seed shall be strangers So they were in Canaan first, Psalms 105:12, and afterward in Egypt: before they were lords of their own land, they were strangers in a strange land. The inconveniences of an unsettled state make a happy settlement the more welcome. Thus the heirs of heaven are first strangers on earth. And they shall serve them So they did the Egyptians, Exodus 1:13. See how that which was the doom of the Canaanites, Genesis 9:25, proves the distress of Abram’s... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Genesis 15:1-21

Click image for full-size versionGod’s covenant with Abram (15:1-21)Earlier God had promised Abram a people and a land (see 12:2; 13:15). Abram’s faith concerning the promised land had been tested through drought and conflict, and his faith concerning the promised people was constantly being tested through his wife’s inability to have children. According to a custom of the time, a childless couple could adopt a person and make him heir to the family property. Abram therefore decided to adopt... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - Genesis 15:13

Know of a surety. Hebrew. knowing thou shalt know. Figure of speech Polyptoton , and note on Genesis 26:28 . thy seed , i.e. Isaac. See note on Genesis 21:12 . The 400 years date from Isaac's birth (Acts 7:6 ). The 430 from the "promise" or Covenant here made (compare Galatians 1:3 , Galatians 1:17 ), and include the whole "sojourning" (Exodus 12:40 ). and shall serve, &c. Figure of speech Epitrechon. See App-6 . This is shown by the Structure ( Introversion ). a | Thy seed shall be a... read more

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