Genesis 13:17
Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to you.
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(17) Walk through the land.—Repeated change of scene is not merely one of the pleasures of the nomad life, but also a necessity; for the uplands, covered with rich herbage in the spring, are usually burnt up in summer, and in the winter are exposed to driving winds and rain-storms. In these journeyings Abram is now to have the tranquil pleasure of feeling that his seed will inherit each beautiful spot that he visits, and that he is taking possession of it, and hallowing it for them.

Genesis 13:17-18. Arise, walk through the land — Enter and take possession, for thy posterity; survey the parcels, and it will appear better than upon a distant prospect. Abram himself, however, was not to think of fixing in it, but expect to be always unsettled, and walking through it to a better Canaan: and in compliance with God’s will herein, “he removed his tent,”

conforming to the condition of a pilgrim. And he built there an altar — In token of his thankfulness to God for the kind visit he had made him.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). No text from Poole on this verse. Arise, walk through the land,.... And take a survey of it, and see what a land it is, how good and how large, and take possession of it for himself and his, though he was only to be a sojourner in it; and so the Targum of Jonathan adds, and making in it a possession, which in civil law was done by walking:

in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; the extent of it is variously settled by geographers; some giving it no more than about one hundred and seventy or eighty miles in length, from north to south, and about one hundred and forty in breadth from east to west, where broadest, as it is towards the south, and but about seventy where narrowest, as it is towards the north: but it is observed (d) from the latest and most accurate maps, that it appears to extend near two hundred miles in length, and about eighty in breadth about the middle, and ten or fifteen more or less where it widens or shrinks:

for I will give it unto thee; that is, to his seed, the whole of it, in its utmost extent, as to length and breadth; which if he pleased for his own satisfaction he might take a tour through, whereby he would be a judge what was bestowed on him and his(d) Vid. Universal History, vol. 2. p. 385.

Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
17. Arise, walk] Abram is told to go up and down in the land of promise, and thus to view by faith the possession which his descendants will connect with the promise made to him.Verse 17. - Arise. According to a common mode of Oriental speech, pleonastically affixed to verbs of going, going forward, and of setting about anything with impulse (Gesenius, p. 727; cf. Genesis 22:3; Job 1:20). Walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it. To be understood not as a literal direction, but as an intimation that he might leisurely survey his inheritance with the calm assurance that it was his. For I will give it unto thee. Lot chose what was apparently the best portion of the land, the whole district of the Jordan, or the valley on both sides of the Jordan from the Lake of Gennesareth to what was then the vale of Siddim. For previous to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, this whole country was well watered, "as the garden of Jehovah," the garden planted by Jehovah in paradise, and "as Egypt," the land rendered so fertile by the overflowing of the Nile, "in the direction of Zoar." Abram therefore remained in the land of Canaan, whilst Lot settled in the cities of the plain of the Jordan, and tented (pitched his tents) as far as Sodom. In anticipation of the succeeding history (Genesis 19), it is mentioned here (Genesis 13:13), that the inhabitants of Sodom were very wicked, and sinful before Jehovah.
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