|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:2-6 Though we must never complain of God, yet we have leave to complain to him; and to state all our grievances. It is ease to a burdened spirit, to open its case to a faithful and compassionate friend. Abram's complaint is, that he had no child; that he was never likely to have any; that the want of a son was so great a trouble to him, that it took away all his comfort. If we suppose that Abram looked no further than outward comfort, this complaint was to be blamed. But if we suppose that Abram herein had reference to the promised Seed, his desire was very commendable. Till we have evidence of our interest in Christ, we should not rest satisfied; what will all avail me, if I go Christless? If we continue instant in prayer, yet pray with humble submission to the Divine will, we shall not seek in vain. God gave Abram an express promise of a son. Christians may believe in God with respect to the common concerns of this life; but the faith by which they are justified, always has respect to the person and work of Christ. Abram believed in God as promising Christ; they believe in him as having raised him from the dead, Ro 4:24. Through faith in his blood they obtain forgiveness of sins.
Verse 6. - And he believed in the Lord. The hiphil of the verb aman, to prop or stay, signifies to build upon, hence to rest one's faith upon; and this describes exactly the mental act of the patriarch, who reposed his confidence in the Divine character, and based his hope of a future seed on the Divine word. And he counted it to him. Ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ (LXX.), which is followed by nearly all the ancient versions, and by Paul in Romans 4:3; but the suffix ך (a feminine for a neuter, as in Job 5:9; Psalm 12:4; Psalm 27:4; vide Glass, ' Phil,' lib. 3. cp. 1:19), clearly indicates the object of the action expressed by the verb הָשַׁב, to think, to meditate, and then to impute (λογίζομαι), followed by לְ of pers. and acc. of the thing (cf. 2 Samuel 19:20; Psalm 32:2). The thing in this case was his faith in the Divine promise. For righteousness. צְדְקְהְ - εἰς δίκαιοσύνην (LXX.); neither for merit and justice (Rabbi Solomon, Jarchi, Ealiseh), nor as a proof of his probity (Gesenius, Rosenmüller); but unto and with a view to justification (Romans 4:3), so that God treated him as a righteous person (A Lapide), not, however, in the sense that he was now "correspondent to the will of God both in character and conduct" (Keil), but in the sense that he was now before God accepted and forgiven' (Luther, Calvin, Murphy, Candlish), which "passive righteousness, however, ultimately wrought in him an "active righteousness of complete conformity to the Divine will" ('Speaker's Commentary').
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he believed in the Lord,.... The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan are,"in the Word of the Lord;''in the essential Word of the Lord, in Christ the Lord his righteousness; he believed in the promise of God, that he should have a seed, and a very numerous one; he believed that the Messiah would spring from his seed; he believed in him as his Saviour and Redeemer; he believed in him for righteousness, and he believed in his righteousness as justifying him before God:
and he counted it to him for righteousness; not the act of his faith, but the object of it; and not the promise he believed, but what was promised, and his faith received, even Christ and his righteousness this was imputed to him without works, and while he was an uncircumcised person, for the proof of which the apostle produces this passage, Romans 4:3; wherefore this is not to be understood of any action of his being esteemed and accounted a righteous one, and he pronounced and acknowledged a righteous person on account of it; for Abram was not justified before God by his own works, but by the righteousness of faith, as all that believe are, that is, by the righteousness of Christ revealed to faith, and received by it: what is imputed is without a man, and the imputation of it depends upon the will of another; such the righteousness of Christ without works imputed by God the Father. This is the first time we read of believing, and as early do we hear of imputed righteousness.
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