Genesis 21:23
Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
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(23) Nor with my son, nor with my son’s son.—The words are not those commonly used for son and grandson, but a Hebrew phrase signifying my kith and kin. They might be translated, “nor with mine offshoot nor mine offspring.” The words occur again in the same proverbial way in Job 18:19; Isaiah 14:22.

21:22-34 Abimelech felt sure that the promises of God would be fulfilled to Abraham. It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed of God; and we ought to requite kindness to those who have been kind to us. Wells of water are scarce and valuable in eastern countries. Abraham took care to have his title to the well allowed, to prevent disputes in future. No more can be expected from an honest man than that he be ready to do right, as soon as he knows he has done wrong. Abraham, being now in a good neighbourhood, stayed a great while there. There he made, not only a constant practice, but an open profession of his religion. There he called on the name of the Lord, as the everlasting God; probably in the grove he planted, which was his place of prayer. Abraham kept up public worship, in which his neighbours might join. Good men should do all they can to make others so. Wherever we sojourn, we must neither neglect nor be ashamed of the worship of Jehovah.According to the common law of Hebrew narrative, this event took place before some of the circumstances recorded in the previous passage; probably not long after the birth of Isaac. Abimelek, accompanied by Phikol, his commander-in-chief, proposes to form a league with Abraham. The reason assigned for this is that God was with him in all that he did. Various circumstances concurred to produce this conviction in Abimelek. The never-to-be-forgotten appearance of God to himself in a dream interposing on behalf of Abraham, the birth of Isaac, and the consequent certainty of his having an heir, and the growing retinue and affluence of one who, some ten years before, could lead out a trained band of three hundred and eighteen men-at-arms, were amply sufficient to prove that God was the source of his strength. Such a man is formidable as a foe, but serviceable as an ally. It is the part of sound policy, therefore, to approach him and endeavor to prevail upon him to swear by God not to deal falsely with him or his. "Kin and kith." We have adopted these words to represent the conversational alliterative phrase of the original. They correspond tolerably well with the σπέρμα sperma and ὄνομα onoma, "seed" and "name," of the Septuagint. Abraham frankly consents to this oath. This is evidently a personal covenant, referring to existing circumstances. A similar confederacy had been already formed with Aner, Eshkol, and Mamre. Abraham was disposed to such alliances, as they contributed to peaceful neighborhood. He was not in a condition to make a national covenant, though it is a fact that the Philistines were scarcely ever wholly subjugated by his descendants.Ge 21:22-34. Covenant.

22. Abimelech and Phichol—Here a proof of the promise (Ge 12:2) being fulfilled, in a native prince wishing to form a solemn league with Abraham. The proposal was reasonable, and agreed to [Ge 21:24].

That thou wilt not deal falsely with me; that thou wilt not do me any hurt or injury; Heb. That thou wilt not lie unto me; i.e. as thou hast formerly professed kindness and friendship to me, give me thy oath to assure me that thou wilt be true and constant to thy own professions.

Now therefore swear unto me here by God,.... By the true and living God, by whom only an oath is to be taken, who was Abraham's God, and whom Abimelech seems to have known and to have been a worshipper of; and therefore moves for an oath to be taken by him, which he knew would be sacred and binding to Abraham, could he prevail upon him to swear:

that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son; perhaps he had heard that God had promised to give the whole land of Canaan to him and his posterity, and among the rest his kingdom, which was a part of it; and, seeing him grow great and powerful, he could not tell how soon it might be ere he was put in the possession of it, whether in his own time, or his son's, or his grandson's; and therefore desires Abraham that he would swear to do no hurt to them whenever it should be:

but according to the kindness I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned; that, as he had given him full liberty to sojourn in any part of his kingdom where he pleased, so, when the whole country should come into his possession, that he, or his son, or his grandson, in whatsoever time it should be, might quietly enjoy their own land, and all the inhabitants of it; at least that they might not be driven out of it, but sojourn in it as he had done.

Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
23. here] The reference is to the name of Beer-sheba and its popular etymology from the Hebrew word “to swear.” Abraham’s departure from Gerar is not recorded, but was doubtless included in the E narrative which is only fragmentarily preserved.

my son, &c.] R.V. marg. my offspring, nor with my posterity. The words which are not usual are found together in Job 18:19; Isaiah 14:22; LXX μηδὲ τὸ σπέρμα μου μηδέ τὸ ὄνομά μου, Lat. posteris stirpique meae. The original phrase is alliterative, like our “neither kith nor kin.”

the kindness] Referring to the gifts to Abraham in Genesis 20:14, and the free welcome extended to Abraham in Genesis 20:15. Abimelech is desirous to seal these friendly relations by a definite compact. There is an abrupt transition, in Genesis 21:25-26, to occasions of friction.

Verse 23. - Now therefore swear unto me here by God - the verb to swear is derived from the Hebrew numeral seven, inasmuch as the septennary number was sacred, and oaths were confirmed either by seven sacrifices (Genesis 21:28) or by seven witnesses and pledges - that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, - literally, if thou shalt lie unto me; a common form of oath in Hebrew, in which the other member of the sentence is for emphasis left unexpressed (cf. Ruth 1:17, and vide Genesis 14:23). As a prince, Abimelech was afraid of Abraham's growing power; as a good man, he insures the safety of himself and his dominions not by resorting to war, but by forming an amicable treaty with his neighbor - nor with my son, nor with my son's son: - σπέρμα καὶ ὅνομα (LXX.); posteri et stirps (Vulgate); offspring and progeny (Kalisch); kith and kin (Murphy) - but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee (vide Genesis 20:15), thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned - the land being put for the people (cf. Numbers 14:13). Genesis 21:23Abimelech's Treaty with Abraham. - Through the divine blessing which visibly attended Abraham, the Philistine king Abimelech was induced to secure for himself and his descendants the friendship of a man so blessed; and for that purpose he went to Beersheba, with his captain Phicol, to conclude a treaty with him. Abraham was perfectly ready to agree to this; but first of all he complained to him about a well which Abimelech's men had stolen, i.e., had unjustly appropriated to themselves. Abimelech replied that this act of violence had never been made known to him till that day, and as a matter of course commanded the well to be returned. After the settlement of this dispute the treaty was concluded, and Abraham presented the king with sheep and oxen, as a material pledge that he would reciprocate the kindness shown, and live in friendship with the king and his descendants. Out of this present he selected seven lambs and set them by themselves; and when Abimelech inquired what they were, he told him to take them from his hand, that they might be to him (Abraham) for a witness that he had digged the well. It was not to redeem the well, but to secure the well as his property against any fresh claims on the part of the Philistines, that the present was given; and by the acceptance of it, Abraham's right of possession was practically and solemnly acknowledged.
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