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Genesis 13:14-15 - Exposition

And the Lord said —speaking probably with an articulate voice; the third occasion on which the patriarch was directly addressed by God. The narrative, however, does not affirm that there was any actual theophany— unto Abram —who could readily recognize the voice which had twice already spoken to him. After that Lot was separated from him. Thus God approved that separation (Poole), and administered consolation to the troubled heart of the patriarch (Calvin), though Divine revelations are rather wont to be made to minds already quiet and sedate (Lyra). Lift up now thine eyes. Perhaps a studied reference to the act of Lot, which Moses describes in similar language ( Genesis 13:10 ), and possibly designed to suggest the greater satisfaction which would be imparted to the soul of Abram by the survey about to be made. And look from the place where thou art . Between Bethel and Ai, on cue of the mountain peaks (cf. Genesis 12:8 ; Genesis 13:3 ), from which a commanding view of almost the entire country could be obtained. Northward —towards "the hills which divide Judaea from the rich plains of Samaria"— and southward —as far as to the Hebron range— and eastward —in the direction of the dark mountain wall of Moab, down through the rich ravine which leads from the central hills of Palestine to the valley of the Jordan, and across that very "circle" into which Lot has already departed with his flocks— and westward —literally, towards the sea . Cf. on the view from the stony but fertile plateau between Bethel and Ai, Stanley's ' Sinai and Palestine,' ch. 4. p. 218. For all the land which thou seest i.e. the entire country, a part being put for the whole— to thee will I give it. To avoid an apparent conflict between this Divine declaration and the words of Stephen ( Acts 7:5 ), it is proposed by some to read the next clause as epexegetic of the present (Ainsworth, Bush); but the land was really given to Abram as a nomade chief, in the sense that he peacefully lived for many years, grew old, and died within its borders (Clericus, Rosenmüller, 'Speaker's Commentary'), while it was assigned to his descendants only because it had been first donated to him. And to thy seed. Not his bodily posterity alone, to whom the terrestrial Canaan was given, but also and chiefly his spiritual family, to whom was made over that better country, even an heavenly, of which the land of promise was a type. Forever . ' Adh ' olam ( vide on Genesis 9:16 )==in perpetuity; i.e.

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