Genesis 15:14
And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) That nation.—Had it been expressly revealed that the country that would afflict them was Egypt, the patriarchs might have been unwilling to go thither; but the reference to the plagues in the denunciation of judgment, and to the spoiling of the Egyptians in the promise that they should “come out with great substance” (Exodus 12:36), gave detail sufficient for future guidance, and for their assurance in time to come that the promise had been fulfilled.

Genesis 15:14. That nation whom they shall serve, even the Egyptians, will I judge — This points at the plagues of Egypt, by which God not only constrained the Egyptians to release Israel, but punished them for all the hardships they had put upon them. The punishing of persecutors is the judging of them; it is a righteous thing with God, and a particular act of justice, to “recompense tribulation to those that trouble” his people.

15:12-16 A deep sleep fell upon Abram; with this sleep a horror of great darkness fell upon him: a sudden change. The children of light do not always walk in the light. Several things were then foretold. 1. The suffering state of Abram's seed for a long time. They shall be strangers. The heirs of heaven are strangers on earth. They shall be servants; but Canaanites serve under a curse, the Hebrews under a blessing. They shall be suffers. Those that are blessed and beloved of God, are often sorely afflicted by wicked men. 2. The judgment of the enemies of Abram's seed. Though God may allow persecutors and oppressors to trample upon his people a great while, he will certainly reckon with them at last. 3. That great event, the deliverance of Abram's seed out of Egypt, is here foretold. 4. Their happy settlement in Canaan. They shall come hither again. The measure of sin fills gradually. Some people's measure of sin fills slowly. The knowledge of future events would seldom add to our comfort. In the most favoured families, and most happy lives, there are so many afflictions, that it is merciful in God to conceal what will befall us and ours.Know, know thou. - Know certainly. This responds to Abram's question, Whereby shall I know? Genesis 15:8. Four hundred years are to elapse before the seed of Abram shall actually proceed to take possession of the land. This interval can only commence when the seed is born; that is, at the birth of Isaac, when Abram was a hundred years of age and therefore thirty years after the call. During this interval they are to be, "first, strangers in a land not theirs" for one hundred and ninety years; and then for the remaining two hundred and ten years in Egypt: at first, servants, with considerable privilege and position; and at last, afflicted serfs, under a hard and cruel bondage. At the end of this period Pharaoh and his nation were visited with a succession of tremendous judgments, and Israel went out free from bondage "with great wealth" Exodus 12-14. "Go to thy fathers." This implies that the fathers, though dead, still exist. To go from one place to another implies, not annihilation, but the continuance of existence. The doctrine of the soul's perpetual existence is here intimated. Abram died in peace and happiness, one hundred and fifteen years before the descent into Egypt.9-21. Take me an heifer, &c.—On occasions of great importance, when two or more parties join in a compact, they either observe precisely the same rites as Abram did, or, where they do not, they invoke the lamp as their witness. According to these ideas, which have been from time immemorial engraven on the minds of Eastern people, the Lord Himself condescended to enter into covenant with Abram. The patriarch did not pass between the sacrifice and the reason was that in this transaction he was bound to nothing. He asked a sign, and God was pleased to give him a sign, by which, according to Eastern ideas, He bound Himself. In like manner God has entered into covenant with us; and in the glory of the only-begotten Son, who passed through between God and us, all who believe have, like Abram, a sign or pledge in the gift of the Spirit, whereby they may know that they shall inherit the heavenly Canaan. That nation whom they shall serve, i.e. Egypt, the principal seat of their servitude, and the instrument of their sorest bondage,

will I judge, i.e. punish, as that word is used, Psalm 51:4 Obadiah 1:21, and elsewhere.

With great substance; the accomplishment of this, see Exodus 3:22 11:2 12:35,37.

And also that nation whom they shall serve will I judge,.... It is not said "the land" in which they were strangers, though God did judge, condemn, and punish the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, and drove them out of it, to make way for Israel; but the "nation" they should "serve", meaning the Egyptians, to whom they became servants, and were very hardly and severely used by them; those the Lord threatens to enter into judgment with, and take vengeance upon them, as he did by inflicting the ten plagues on them, which brought them at last to be willing to let Israel go:

and afterward shall they come out with great substance; as they did after the four hundred years were ended, and after the Egyptian nation was judged and punished; then they came out of Egypt, with much gold, silver, jewels, and raiment, which they borrowed of the Egyptians, who were spoiled by them, though very justly; this being but a payment of them for the hard and long service with which they had served them; see the exact fulfilment of prophecy, Exodus 11:2.

And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. will I judge] Referring to the plagues of Egypt.

with great substance] See Exodus 12:35-36; Psalm 105:37.

Verse 14. - And also that nation (the name of which he does not reveal, in case of seeming to interfere with the free volition of his creatures, who, while accomplishing his high designs and secret purposes, are ever conscious of their moral freedom), whom they shall serve, will I judge: - i.e. punish after judging, which prediction was in due course fulfilled (Exodus 6:11) - and afterward shall they come out with great substance - recush (cf. Genesis 13:6; vide Exodus 12:36). Genesis 15:14"And when the sun was just about to go down (on the construction, see Ges. 132), and deep sleep (תּרדּמה, as in Genesis 2:21, a deep sleep produced by God) had fallen upon Abram, behold there fell upon him terror, great darkness." The vision here passes into a prophetic sleep produced by God. In this sleep there fell upon Abram dread and darkness; this is shown by the interchange of the perfect נפלה and the participle נפלת. The reference to the time is intended to show "the supernatural character of the darkness and sleep, and the distinction between the vision and a dream" (O. v. Gerlach). It also possesses a symbolical meaning. The setting of the sun prefigured to Abram the departure of the sun of grace, which shone upon Israel, and the commencement of a dark and dreadful period of suffering for his posterity, the very anticipation of which involved Abram in darkness. For the words which he heard in the darkness were these (Genesis 15:13.): "Know of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them (the lords of the strange land), and they (the foreigners) shall oppress them 400 years." That these words had reference to the sojourn of the children of Israel in Egypt, is placed beyond all doubt by the fulfilment. The 400 years were, according to prophetic language, a round number for the 430 years that Israel spent in Egypt (Exodus 12:40). "Also that nation whom they shall serve will I judge (see the fulfilment, Exodus 6:11); and afterward shall they come out with great substance (the actual fact according to Exodus 12:31-36). And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace, and be buried in a good old age (cf. Genesis 25:7-8); and in the fourth generation they shall come hither again." The calculations are made here on the basis of a hundred years to a generation: not too much for those times, when the average duration of life was above 150 years, and Isaac was born in the hundredth year of Abraham's life. "For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." Amorite, the name of the most powerful tribe of the Canaanites, is used here as the common name of all the inhabitants of Canaan, just as in Joshua 24:15 (cf. Genesis 10:5), Judges 6:10, etc.).

By this revelation Abram had the future history of his seed pointed out to him in general outlines, and was informed at the same time why neither he nor his descendants could obtain immediate possession of the promised land, viz., because the Canaanites were not yet ripe for the sentence of extermination.

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