Neither shall thy name be any more called Abram ,.... Which signifies an "high father", which name he bore for many years before he was the father of anyone:
but thy name shall be Abraham : with all addition of the letter ה inserted into it, and makes the last syllable two, "raham": which word in the Arabic language, as Hottinger F7 observes, signifies "numerous" F8 ; so that with this addition his name Abraham may be interpreted, the father of a numerous offspring; and with this agrees the reason of it, as follows:
for a father of many nations have I made thee ; not that he was so already in fact, but in the purpose and promise of God, Romans 4:17 ; Abraham has not only been the father of many nations, in a literal sense, as before observed, but in a mystical sense, of the whole world; that is, of all in it that believe, whether Jews or Gentiles; and so the Rabbins F9 In Massechet Biccurim, apud Galat. in Arcan. Cathol. Ver. l. 5, 13. & 9, 12. in Maimon. in Misn. ib. c. 1. sect. 4. interpret it: at first, they say, he was the father of Aram, and therefore his name was called Abram, but now he is the father of the whole world, and therefore called Abraham; and so Maimonides F11 Hilchot Biccurim, c. 4. sect. 3. himself says, quoting this passage,"behold he is the father of the whole world, who are gathered under the wings of the Shechinah.'
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