and to Abram he hath done good because of her, and he hath sheep and oxen, and he-asses, and men-servants, and handmaids, and she-asses, and camels.
Genesis 12:16 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
He had sheep, and oxen, etc. - As some of these terms are liable to be confounded, and as they frequently occur, especially in the Pentateuch, it may be necessary to consider and fix their meaning in this place.
Sheep; צאן tson, from tsaan, to be plentiful or abundant; a proper term for the eastern sheep, which almost constantly bring forth twins, Sol 4:2, and sometimes three and even four at a birth. Hence their great fruitfulness is often alluded to in the Scripture. See Psalm 65:13; Psalm 144:13. But under this same term, which almost invariably means a flock, both sheep and goats are included. So the Romans include sheep, goats, and small cattle in general, under the term Pecus pecoris; so likewise they do larger cattle under that of Pecus pecudis.
Oxen; בקר bakar, from the root, to examine, look out, because of the full, broad, steady, unmoved look of most animals of the beeve kind; and hence the morning is termed boker, because of the light springing out of the east, and looking out over the whole of the earth's surface.
He-Asses; חמרים chamorim, from חמר chamar, to be disturbed, muddy; probably from the dull, stupid appearance of this animal, as if it were always affected with melancholy. Scheuchzer thinks the sandy-coloured domestic Asiatic ass is particularly intended. The word is applied to asses in general, though most frequently restrained to those of the male kind.
She-Asses; אתנת athonoth, from אתן ethan, strength, probably the strong animal, as being superior in muscular force to every other animal of its size. Under this term both the male and female are sometimes understood.
Camels; גמלים gemallim, from גמל gamal, to recompense, return, repay; so called from its resentment of injuries, and revengeful temper, for which it is proverbial in the countries of which it is a native. On the animals and natural history in general, of the Scriptures, I must refer to the Hicrozoicon of Bochart, and the Physica Sacra of Scheuchzer. The former is the most learned and accurate work perhaps, ever produced by one man.
From this enumeration of the riches of Abram we may conclude that this patriarch led a pastoral and itinerant life; that his meat must have chiefly consisted in the flesh of clean animals, with a sufficiency of pulse for bread; that his chief drink was their milk; his clothing, their skins; and his beasts of burden, asses and camels; (for as yet we read of no horses); and the ordinary employment of his servants, to take care of the flocks, and to serve their master. Where the patriarchs became resident for any considerable time, they undoubtedly cultivated the ground to produce grain.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Genesis 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
Genesis 20:14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
Genesis 24:35 And the LORD has blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he has given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold...
Genesis 26:14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
Genesis 32:5,13-15 And I have oxen, and donkeys, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord...
Job 1:3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she donkeys...
Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels...
Psalm 144:13,14 That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets...
Genesis 12:16 Parallel CommentariesAbram Account Asses Bondmen Bondwomen Camels Cattle Dealt Donkeys Entreated Female Good Handmaids He-Asses Maidservants Maid-Servants Male Menservants Men-Servants Oxen Sake Servants She-Asses Sheep TreatedAbram Account Asses Bondmen Bondwomen Camels Cattle Dealt Donkeys Entreated Female Good Handmaids He-Asses Maidservants Maid-Servants Male Menservants Men-Servants Oxen Sake Servants She-Asses Sheep TreatedTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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