|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:22-34 Abimelech felt sure that the promises of God would be fulfilled to Abraham. It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed of God; and we ought to requite kindness to those who have been kind to us. Wells of water are scarce and valuable in eastern countries. Abraham took care to have his title to the well allowed, to prevent disputes in future. No more can be expected from an honest man than that he be ready to do right, as soon as he knows he has done wrong. Abraham, being now in a good neighbourhood, stayed a great while there. There he made, not only a constant practice, but an open profession of his religion. There he called on the name of the Lord, as the everlasting God; probably in the grove he planted, which was his place of prayer. Abraham kept up public worship, in which his neighbours might join. Good men should do all they can to make others so. Wherever we sojourn, we must neither neglect nor be ashamed of the worship of Jehovah.
Verse 33. - And Abraham planted - as a sign of his peaceful occupation of the soil (Calvin); as a memorial of the transaction about the well ('Speaker's Commentary'); or simply as a shade for his tent (Rosenmüller); scarcely as an oratory (Bush, Kalisch) - a grove - the אֵשֶׁל - wood, plantation (Targum, Vulgate, Samaritan, Kimchi); a field, ἄρουραν (LXX.) - was probably the Tamarix Africanae (Gesenius, Furst, Delitzsch, Rosenmüller, Kalisch), which, besides being common in Egypt and Petraea, is mid to have been found growing near the ancient Beersheba - in Beersheba, and called there (not beneath the tree or in the grove, but in the place) on the name of the Lord, - Jehovah (vide Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:4) - the everlasting God - literally, the God of eternity (LXX., Vulgate, Onkelos); not in contrast to heathen deities, who are born and die (Clericus), but "as the everlasting Vindicator of the faith of treaties, and as the infallible Source of the believer's rest and peace" (Murphy).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba,.... The Jewish writers (w) are divided about the use of this grove, as Jarchi relates; one says it was for a paradise or orchard, to produce fruits out of it for travellers and for entertainment; another says it was for an inn to entertain strangers in; it rather was for a shade, to shelter from the sun in those sultry and hot countries; and perhaps for a religious use, and to be an oratory, as the following words seem to suggest: in the midst of it very likely Abraham built an altar, and sacrificed to the Lord; hence might come the superstitious use of groves among the Heathens; and, when they came to be abused to idolatrous purposes, they were forbidden by the law of Moses, which before were lawful. And, though the name of Abraham is not in the text, there is no doubt but he is designed, and was the planter of the grove, and which is expressed in the Septuagint version, as it is supplied by us. What sort of trees this grove consisted of cannot with certainty be said, very probably the oak. R. Jonah (x) thinks it may be the tree which in Arabic they call "ethel", and is a tree like that which is called tamarisk in general it signifies any tree, and especially large trees (y):
and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God; who, is from everlasting to everlasting, or "the God of the world" (z), the Creator and upholder of it, and the preserver of all creatures in it; him Abraham invoked in this place, prayed unto him, and gave him thanks for all the mercies he had received from him.
(w) In T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 10. 1.((x) Apud Kimchi, Sepher Shorash. rad. (y) Vid. R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 72. 1.((z) "Dei seculi", Pagninus, Hontanus, Calvin; so Ainsworth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
33. Abraham planted a grove—Hebrew, "of tamarisks," in which sacrificial worship was offered, as in a roofless temple.
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