|New International Version (©2011)|
He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh.
New Living Translation (©2007)
One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, "Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh.
English Standard Version (©2001)
And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh,
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, "Please place your hand under my thigh,
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who managed all he owned, "Place your hand under my thigh,
International Standard Version (©2012)
So Abraham instructed his servant, who was the oldest member of his household and in charge of everything he owned, "Make this solemn oath to me
NET Bible (©2006)
Abraham said to his servant, the senior one in his household who was in charge of everything he had, "Put your hand under my thigh
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
So Abraham said to the senior servant of his household who was in charge of all that he owned, "Take a solemn oath.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh:
American King James Version
And Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh:
American Standard Version
And Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh.
And he said to the elder servant of his house, who was ruler over all he had: Put thy hand under my thigh,
Darby Bible Translation
And Abraham said to his servant, the eldest of his house, who ruled over all that he had, Put thy hand, I pray thee, under my thigh,
English Revised Version
And Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
Webster's Bible Translation
And Abraham said to his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
World English Bible
Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please put your hand under my thigh.
Young's Literal Translation
and Abraham saith unto his servant, the eldest of his house, who is ruling over all that he hath, 'Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:1-9 The effect of good example, good teaching, and the worship of God in a family, will generally appear in the piety, faithfulness, prudence, and affection of the servants. To live in such families, or to have such servants, both are blessings from God which should be highly valued, and thankfully acknowledged. But no concern in life is of greater importance to ourselves, to others, or to the church of God, than marriage. It therefore ought always to be undertaken with much care and prudence, especially with reference to the will of God, and with prayer for his direction and blessing. Where good parents are not consulted and regarded, the blessing of God cannot be expected. Parents, in disposing of their children, should carefully consult the welfare of their souls, and their furtherance in the way to heaven. Observe the charge Abraham gave to a good servant, one whose conduct, faithfulness, and affection, to him and his family, he had long known. Observe also, that Abraham remembers that God had wonderfully brought him out of the land of his birth, by the call of his grace; and therefore doubts not but He will prosper his care, not to bring his son thither again. God will cause that to end in our comfort, in which we sincerely aim at his glory.
Verses 2-4. - And Abraham said auto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, - literally, to his servant, the old man, ancient or elder, of his house, the ruler over all which (sc. belonged) to him. The term זָקֵן (an old man) is in most languages employed as a title of honor, - cf. sheikh, senatus, γέρων, presbyter, signor, seigneur, senor, sir (Gesenius, p. 252), - and is probably to be so understood here. Eliezer of Damascus, upwards of half a century previous regarded as heir presumptive to Abraham's house (Genesis 15:2), is commonly considered the official meant, though the point is of no importance - Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear. This ancient form of adjuration, which is mentioned again only in chap. 47:29, and to which nothing analogous can elsewhere be discovered, - the practice alleged to exist among the modern Egyptian Bedouins of placing the hand upon the membrum virile in solemn forms of asseveration not forming an exact parallel, was probably originated by the patriarch. The thigh, as the source of posterity (cf. Genesis 35:11; Genesis 46:26; Exodus 1:5), has been regarded as pointing to Abraham's future descendants (Keil, Kalisch, Lange), and in particular to Christ, the promised seed (Theodoret, Jerome, Augustine, Luther, Ainsworth, Bush, Wordsworth), and the oath to be equivalent to a swearing by him that was to come. By others the thigh has been viewed as euphemistically put for the generative organ, upon which the sign of circumcision was placed, and the oath as an adjuration by the sign of the covenant (Jonathan, Jarchi, Tuch). A third interpretation considers the thigh as symbolizing lordship or authority, and the placing of the hand under it as tantamount to an oath of fealty and allegiance to a superior (Aben Ezra, Rosenmüller, Calvin, Murphy). Other explanations are modifications of the above. By the Lord (Jehovah; since the marriage to which this solemn adjuration was preliminary was not an ordinary alliance, such as might have taken place under the providence of Elohim, but the wedding of the heir of the promise), the God of heaven, and the God of the earth (a clause defining Jehovah as the supreme Lord of the universe, and therefore as the sole Arbiter of human destiny), that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son - not investing him with authority to provide a wife for Isaac in the event of death carrying him (Abraham) off before his son's marriage, but simply explaining the negative side of the commission with which he was about to be entrusted. If it evinced Isaac's gentle disposition and submissive piety, that though forty years of age he neither thought of marriage, but mourned in devout contemplation for his mother (,Lange), nor offered resistance to his father s proposal, but suffered himself to be governed by a servant (Calvin), it was also quite in accordance with ancient practice that parents should dispose of their children in marriage (cf. Genesis 28:2) - of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell. Being prompted to this partly by that jealousy with which all pastoral tribes of Shemitie origin have been accustomed to guard the purity of their race by intermarriage (Dykes; cf. Thomson, 'Land and Book,' p. 591), and partly no doubt by his perception of the growing licentiousness of the Canaanites, as well as his knowledge of their predicted doom, though chiefly, it is probable, by a desire to preserve the purity of the promised seed. Intermarriage with the Canaanites was afterwards forbidden by the Mosaic legislation (Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3). But (literally, for, i.e. the former thing must not be done because this must be done) thou shalt go unto my country (not Ur of the Chaldees, but the region beyond the Euphrates generally), and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. Though enforced by religious considerations, this injunction to bring none but a relative for Isaac's bride "was in no sense a departure from established usages and social laws in regard to marriage" ('Land and Book,' p. 591).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house,.... To Eliezer his servant, according to the Targum of Jonathan, and as is generally thought; and who may well be called an old servant, and his oldest servant, since he must have lived with him fifty years and upwards; one may trace him near sixty years in Abraham's family, and it is highly probable he lived much longer; he was his servant when he had the vision between the pieces, Genesis 15:2; and then he was the steward of his house, and bid fair to be his heir; which was some time before Hagar was given to Abraham; and Ishmael his son by Hagar was fourteen years of age when Isaac was born, and he was now forty years old, which make fifty five years, or thereabout. Bishop Usher places the vision of the pieces in A. M. 2092, and the marriage of Isaac in 2148, some fifty six years from each other; and so long Eliezer, if he is the servant here meant, must have been in Abraham's family, and how much longer cannot with certainty be said:
that ruled over all that he had; had the care and management of his house, and the affairs of it under him; this agrees with the character of Eliezer in Genesis 15:2,
put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: as a token of his subjection to him as a servant, and of his readiness, willingness, and fidelity to execute any commands he should lay upon him, and in order to take an oath, as appears by what follows; for it seems this rite was used in swearing, and is still used in India, as Aben Ezra affirms; and some say among the Ethiopians. The Jewish writers are pretty much of opinion that respect is had to the covenant of circumcision, by which Abraham made his servant to swear, which is not likely: rather respect is had to his seed, the promised Messiah, that should spring from his thigh, by whom the adjuration was made, as follows: though Dr. Clayton (k) thinks this is no other than an equivalent term for approaching in an humble servile manner, and means no more than "come near me", and I will make thee swear; and that, as a respectable method of approach with the Egyptian, as Herodotus (l) relates, was by bowing the body reciprocally when they met, and saluted one another, and by carrying their hands to each other's knee; so some such like ceremony as embracing the knee, and putting the hand under or round the thigh, might be used by servants when they approached their masters; but it should be observed, that this same rite or ceremony was required of Joseph, governor of Egypt, by his father Jacob; see Genesis 47:29.
(k) Chronology of the Hebrew Bible, p. 130, 131. (l) Euterpe sive, l. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. said unto his eldest servant—Abraham being too old, and as the heir of the promise not being at liberty to make even a temporary visit to his native land, was obliged to intrust this delicate mission to Eliezer, whom, although putting entire confidence in him, he on this occasion bound by a solemn oath. A pastoral chief in the present day would follow the same course if he could not go himself.
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