Genesis 13:14
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
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(14) The Lord said unto Abram.—The departure of Lot was certainly a great grief to Abram; for he lost thereby the companionship of the relative who had shared his abandonment of his country, and whom, probably, in his childless state, he had regarded as his heir. Jehovah, therefore, consoles him by a more definite promise of the possession of the whole land of which he had so generously given Lot the choice, and by the assurance that his own seed should be numerous as the dust of the earth. We may also feel sure that as Lot was deteriorating, so Abram was drawing nearer to God, and walking more closely with Him; and hence the fuller assurance of the Divine blessing.

13:14-18 Those are best prepared for the visits of Divine grace, whose spirits are calm, and not ruffled with passion. God will abundantly make up in spiritual peace, what we lose for preserving neighbourly peace. When our relations are separated from us, yet God is not. Observe also the promises with which God now comforted and enriched Abram. Of two things he assures him; a good land, and a numerous issue to enjoy it. The prospects seen by faith are more rich and beautiful than those we see around us. God bade him walk through the land, not to think of fixing in it, but expect to be always unsettled, and walking through it to a better Canaan. He built an altar, in token of his thankfulness to God. When God meets us with gracious promises, he expects that we should attend him with humble praises. In outward difficulties, it is very profitable for the true believer to mediate on the glorious inheritance which the Lord has for him at the last.The man chosen of God now stands alone. He has evinced an humble and self-renouncing spirit. This presents a suitable occasion for the Lord to draw near and speak to His servant. His works are re-assuring. The Lord was not yet done with showing him the land. He therefore calls upon him to look northward and southward and eastward and westward. He then promises again to give all the land which he saw, as far as his eye could reach, to him and to his seed forever. Abram is here regarded as the head of a chosen seed, and hence, the bestowment of this fair territory on the race is an actual grant of it to the head of the race. The term "forever," for a perpetual possession, means as long as the order of things to which it belongs lasts. The holder of a promise has his duties to perform, and the neglect of these really cancels the obligation to perpetuate the covenant. This is a plain point of equity between parties to a covenant, and regulates all that depends on the personal acts of the covenanter. Thirdly, He announces that He will make his seed "as the dust of the earth." This multitude of seed, even when we take the ordinary sense which the form of expression bears in popular use, far transcends the productive powers of the promised land in its utmost extent. Yet to Abram, who was accustomed to the petty tribes that then roved over the pastures of Mesopotamia and Palestine, this disproportion would not be apparent. A people who should fill the land of Canaan, would seem to him innumerable. But we see that the promise begins already to enlarge itself beyond the bounds of the natural seed of Abram. He is again enjoined to walk over his inheritance, and contemplate it in all its length and breadth, with the reiterated assurance that it will be his.14, 15. Lift up now thine eyes … all the land which thou seest—So extensive a survey of the country, in all directions, can be obtained from no other point in the neighborhood; and those plains and hills, then lying desolate before the eyes of the solitary patriarch, were to be peopled with a mighty nation "like the dust of the earth in number," as they were in Solomon's time (1Ki 4:20). The Lord said this

unto Abram, to comfort him now when he was alone, and in a worse soil than Lot had chosen.

And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him,.... The Lord appeared unto him as he had before, and with an articulate voice spoke unto him, to comfort him upon the separation of his kinsman from him, and to renew the grant of the land of Canaan to him and his seed, and to assure him, that though Lot had chosen the most delightful and fruitful part of the country, yet it should not be an inheritance to him and his posterity, but the whole land should be Abraham's and his seed's.

Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art; being upon Mount Ephraim, between Bethel and Hai, see Genesis 12:8; from whence his view of the land might be extended very far:

northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; the north of the land of Canaan was Mount Lebanon, the south of it Edom or Idumea, the east the plain and river of Jordan, the west the Mediterranean sea; and the word for "westward" here is "to the sea" (c); northward of it was Babylon, southward Egypt, eastward Arabia, and westward the Mediterranean sea.

(c) "et ad mare", Montanus, Schmidt.

And the LORD said unto {k} Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

(k) The Lord comforted him, lest he should have taken thought for the departure of his nephew.

14. northward and southward, &c.] The promise here includes, in the future possession of Israel, the land which Lot had chosen for himself.

Verses 14, 15. - And the Lord said - speaking probably with an articulate voice; the third occasion on which the patriarch was directly addressed by God. The narrative, however, does not affirm that there was any actual theophany - unto Abram - who could readily recognize the voice which had twice already spoken to him. After that Lot was separated from him. Thus God approved that separation (Peele), and administered consolation to the troubled heart of the patriarch (Calvin), though Divine revelations are rather wont to be made to minds already quiet and sedate (Lyra). Lift up now thine eyes. Perhaps a studied reference to the act of Lot, which Moses describes in similar language (ver. 10), and possibly designed to suggest the greater satisfaction which would be imparted to the soul of Abram by the survey about to be made. And look from the place where thou art. Between Bethel and Ai, on cue of the mountain peaks (cf. Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3), from which a commanding view of almost the entire country could be obtained. Northward - towards "the hills which divide Judaea from the rich plains of Samaria" - and southward - as far as to the Hebron range - and eastward - in the direction of the dark mountain wall of Moab, down through the rich ravine which leads from the central hills of Palestine to the valley of the Jordan, and across that very "circle" into which Lot has already departed with his flocks - and westward - literally, towards the sea. Cf. on the view from the stony but fertile plateau between Bethel and Ai, Stanley's ' Sinai and Palestine,' Genesis 4. p. 218. For all the land which thou seest - i.e. the entire country, a part being put for the whole - to thee will I give it. To avoid an apparent conflict between this Divine declaration and the words of Stephen (Acts 7:5), it is proposed by some to read the next clause as epexegetic of the present (Ainsworth, Bush); but the land was really given to Abram as a nomade chief, in the sense that he peacefully lived for many years, grew old, and died within its borders (Clericus, Rosenmüller, 'Speaker's Commentary'), while it was assigned to his descendants only because it had been first donated to him. And to thy seed. Not his bodily posterity alone, to whom the terrestrial Canaan was given, but also and chiefly his spiritual family, to whom was made over that better country, even an heavenly, of which the land of promise was a type. Forever. 'Adh 'olam (vide on Genesis 9:16) = = in perpetuity; i.e.

(1) to the close of that clam or period which was already measured out in the secret counsels of Jehovah for the duration of the seed of Abraham as a people, "quum terra in seculum promittitur, non simpliciter notatur. perpetuitas, sed quae finem accepit in Christo" (Calvin); and

(2) unto eternity, in so far as it was a promise of a spiritual inheritance to Abraham's believing children. Thus as the promise did not preclude the expulsion of unbelieving Israel from the land, so neither does it guarantee to existing Jews a return to the earthly Paradise (Keil). Genesis 13:14After Lot's departure, Jehovah repeated to Abram (by a mental, inward assurance, as we may infer from the fact that אמר "said" is not accompanied by ויּרא "he appeared") His promise that He would give the land to him and to his seed in its whole extent, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward, and would make his seed innumerable like the dust of the earth. From this we may see that the separation of Lot was in accordance with the will of God, as Lot had no share in the promise of God; though God afterwards saved him from destruction for Abram's sake. The possession of the land is promised עולם עד "for ever." The promise of God is unchangeable. As the seed of Abraham was to exist before God for ever, so Canaan was to be its everlasting possession. But this applied not to the lineal posterity of Abram, to his seed according to the flesh, but to the true spiritual seed, which embraced the promise in faith, and held it in a pure believing heart. The promise, therefore, neither precluded the expulsion of the unbelieving seed from the land of Canaan, nor guarantees to existing Jews a return to the earthly Palestine after their conversion to Christ. For as Calvin justly says, "quam terra in saeculum promittitur, non simpliciter notatur perpetuitas; sed quae finem accepit in Christo." Through Christ the promise has been exalted from its temporal form to its true essence; through Him the whole earth becomes Canaan (vid., Genesis 17:8). That Abram might appropriate this renewed and now more fully expanded promise, Jehovah directed him to walk through the land in the length of it and the breadth of it. In doing this he came in his "tenting," i.e., his wandering through the land, to Hebron, where he settled by the terebinth of the Amorite Mamre (Genesis 14:13), and built an altar to Jehovah. The term ישׁב (set himself, settled down, sat, dwelt) denotes that Abram made this place the central point of his subsequent stay in Canaan (cf. Genesis 14:13; Genesis 18:1, and Genesis 23). On Hebron, see Genesis 23:2.
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