|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:1-8 Crooked policy will not prosper: it brings ourselves and others into danger. God gives Abimelech notice of his danger of sin, and his danger of death for his sin. Every wilful sinner is a dead man, but Abimelech pleads ignorance. If our consciences witness, that, however we may have been cheated into a snare, we have not knowingly sinned against God, it will be our rejoicing in the day of evil. It is matter of comfort to those who are honest, that God knows their honesty, and will acknowledge it. It is a great mercy to be hindered from committing sin; of this God must have the glory. But if we have ignorantly done wrong, that will not excuse us, if we knowingly persist in it. He that does wrong, whoever he is, prince or peasant, shall certainly receive for the wrong which he has done, unless he repent, and, if possible, make restitution.
Verse 1. - And Abraham journeyed (vide Genesis 12:9) from thence. Mamre (Genesis 18:1). In search of pasture, as on a previous occasion (Keil); or in consequence of the hostility of his neighbors (Calvin); or because he longed to escape from the scene of so terrible a calamity as he had witnessed (Calvin, Wilier, Murphy); or in order to benefit as many places and peoples as possible by his residence among them (A Lapide); or perhaps being impelled by God, who designed thereby to remind him that Canaan was not intended for a permanent habitation, but for a constant pilgrimage (Poole, Kalisch). Toward the south country. Ne-gob, the southern district of Palestine (Genesis 12:9; Genesis 13:1); the central region of Judaea being called Hahor, or the Highlands; the eastern, towards the Dead Sea, Midhbar; and the western Shephelah (Lange). And dwelled between Kadesh and Shur (vide Genesis 16:14 and Genesis 16:7), and sojourned in Gerar (vide Genesis 10:19).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Abraham journeyed from thence towards the south country,.... He returned from the plains or oaks of Mamre, where he had lived fifteen or twenty years, into the more southern parts of the land of Canaan: the reason of this remove is not certain; some think, because he could not bear the stench of the sulphurous lake, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were become; and others, because of the scandal of Lot's incest with his daughters, which prejudiced the idolatrous people in those parts more against the true religion; neither of which are likely, by reason of the distance; but the better reason seems to be, that it was so ordered in Providence that he should remove from place to place, that it might appear that he was but a sojourner in the land:
and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; two wildernesses, as Jerom says (y), one of which joined to Egypt, to which the people of Israel went when they passed over the Red sea, and the other, Kadesh, reached to the desert of the Saracens. Onkelos and Jonathan paraphrase the words between Rekam and Chagra, or Hagra, the same place where the angel of the Lord met with Hagar at the well; see Gill on Genesis 16:7 and See Gill on Genesis 16:14,
and sojourned in Gerar; or Gerara, as Jerom (z) calls it,"from whence he says the Geraritic country in his time beyond Daroma, or the south, had its name, and was twenty five miles distance from Eleutheropolis to the south, and was formerly the southern border of the Canaanites, and the metropolis of Palestine.''According to the Samaritan version, Gerar is the same with Ashkelon, which was afterwards, when aristocracy took place in this country, one of the five lordships of the Philistines; and so says Africanus (a); and that Gerar was in the country of the Philistines, and Abimelech was king of them, is clear from Genesis 21:32. This place was about six miles from Mamre (b), from whence Abraham removed.
(y) De loc. Heb. fol, 91. I.((z) De loc. Heb. fol. 91. I.((a) Apud Syncell. Chronic. p. 100. (b) Bunting's Travels, p. 57.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ge 20:1-18. Abraham's Denial of His Wife.
1. Abraham journeyed from thence … and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur—Leaving the encampment, he migrated to the southern border of Canaan. In the neighborhood of Gerar was a very rich and well-watered pasture land.
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