Genesis 22:18
And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
22:15-19 There are high declarations of God's favour to Abraham in this confirmation of the covenant with him, exceeding any he had yet been blessed with. Those that are willing to part with any thing for God, shall have it made up to them with unspeakable advantage. The promise, ver. 18, doubtless points at the Messiah, and the grace of the gospel. Hereby we know the loving-kindness of God our Saviour towards sinful man, in that he hath not withheld his Son, his only Son, from us. Hereby we perceive the love of Christ, in that he gave himself a sacrifice for our sins. Yet he lives, and calls to sinners to come to him, and partake of his blood-bought salvation. He calls to his redeemed people to rejoice in him, and to glorify him. What then shall we render for all his benefits? Let his love constrain us to live not to ourselves, but to Him who died for us, and rose again. Admiring and adoring His grace, let us devote our all to his service, who laid down his life for our salvation. Whatever is dearest to us upon earth is our Isaac. And the only way for us to find comfort in an earthly thing, is to give it by faith into the hands of God. Yet remember that Abraham was not justified by his readiness to obey, but by the infinitely more noble obedience of Jesus Christ; his faith receiving this, relying on this, rejoicing in this, disposed and made him able for such wonderful self-denial and duty.Abraham has arrived at the moral elevation of self-denial and resignation to the will of God, and that in its highest form. The angel of the Lord now confirms all his special promises to him with an oath, in their amplest terms. An oath with God is a solemn pledging of himself in all the unchangeableness of his faithfulness and truth, to the fulfillment of his promise. The multitude of his seed has a double parallel in the stars of heaven and the sands of the ocean. They are to possess the gate of their enemies; that is, to be masters and rulers of their cities and territories. The great promise, "and blessed in thy seed shall be all the nations of the earth," was first given absolutely without reference to his character. Now it is confirmed to him as the man of proof, who is not only accepted as righteous, but proved to be actually righteous after the inward man; "because thou hast obeyed my voice" Genesis 26:5. The reflexive form of the verb signifying to bless is here employed, not to denote emphasis, but to intimate that the nations, in being blessed of God, are made willing to be so, and therefore bless themselves in Abraham's seed. In hearing this transcendent blessing repeated on this momentous occasion, Abraham truly saw the day of the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the Son of man. We contemplate him now with wonder as the man of God, manifested by the self-denying obedience of a regenerate nature, intrusted with the dignity of the patriarchate over a holy seed, and competent to the worthy discharge of all its spiritual functions.

With the nineteenth verse of this chapter may be said to close the main revelation of the third Bible given to mankind, to which the remainder of this book is only a needful appendix. It includes the two former Bibles or revelations - that of Adam and that of Noah; and it adds the special revelation of Abraham. The two former applied directly to the whole race; the latter directly to Abraham and his seed as the medium of an ultimate blessing to the whole race. The former revealed the mercy of God offered to all, which was the truth immediately necessary to be known; the latter reveals more definitely the seed through whom the blessings of mercy are to be conveyed to all, and delineates the leading stage in the spiritual life of a man of God. In the person of Abraham is unfolded that spiritual process by which the soul is drawn to God. He hears the call of God and comes to the decisive act of trusting in the revealed God of mercy and truth; on the ground of which act he is accounted as righteous. He then rises to the successive acts of walking with God, covenanting with him, communing and interceding with him, and at length withholding nothing that he has or holds dear from him. In all this we discern certain primary and essential characteristics of the man who is saved through acceptance of the mercy of God proclaimed to him in a primeval gospel. Faith in God Genesis 15, repentance toward him Genesis 16, and fellowship with him Genesis 18, are the three great turning-points of the soul's returning life. They are built upon the effectual call of God Genesis 12, and culminate in unreserved resignation to him Genesis 22. With wonderful facility has the sacred record descended in this pattern of spiritual biography from the rational and accountable race to the individual and immortal soul, and traced the footsteps of its path to God.

The seed that was threatened to bruise the serpent's head is here the seed that is promised to bless all the families of the earth. The threefold individuality in the essence of the one eternal Spirit, is adumbrated in the three men who visited the patriarch, and their personal and practical interest in the salvation of man is manifested, though the part appropriated to each in the work of grace be not yet apparent.

Meanwhile, contemporaneous with Abraham are to be seen men (Melkizedec, Abimelek) who live under the covenant of Noah, which was not abrogated by that of Abraham, but only helped forward by the specialities of the latter over the legal and moral difficulties in the way to its final and full accomplishment. That covenant, which was simply the expansion and continuation of the Adamic covenant, is still in force, and contains within its bosom the Abrahamic covenant in its culminating grandeur, as the soul that gives life and motion to its otherwise inanimate body.

13-19. Abraham lifted up his eyes … and behold … a ram, &c.—No method was more admirably calculated to give the patriarch a distinct idea of the purpose of grace than this scenic representation: and hence our Lord's allusion to it (Joh 8:56). No text from Poole on this verse. And in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed,.... That is, in his one and principal seed, the Messiah, that should spring from him, Galatians 3:16, in whom all the elect of God, of all nations under the heavens, are blessed with all spiritual blessings, with peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, with grace here and glory hereafter; See Gill on Genesis 12:3; or, "shall bless themselves" (o) in him; or, "account themselves blessed"; apply to him for blessings, claim their interest in them, and glory in them, and make their boast of them:

because thou hast obeyed my voice; in taking his son and offering him up unto him, as much as he was permitted to do; and thus honouring God by his obedience to him, he of his grace and goodness honours him with the promise of being the father of multitudes, both in a literal and spiritual sense, and with being the ancestor of the Messiah, in whom all the blessings of grace and goodness meet.

(o) "benedicent se", Munster; to the same purpose Vatablus, Tigurine version, Piscator.

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. in thy seed] See note on Genesis 12:3. The words might be also rendered “by thy seed.”

be blessed] Better, as R.V. marg., bless themselves. See notes on Genesis 12:3, Genesis 18:18, Genesis 26:4.

because thou hast obeyed] Lit. “because thou hast heard,” or “listened to.” God’s word may be a sound which is not heard; or it may be a sound which is heard, but not listened to; or it may be a sound which is heard, listened to, and obeyed.In this eventful moment, when Isaac lay bound like a lamb upon the altar, about to receive the fatal stroke, the angel of the Lord called down from heaven to Abraham to stop, and do his son no harm. For the Lord now knew that Abraham was אלהים ירא God-fearing, and that his obedience of faith did extend even to the sacrifice of his own beloved son. The sacrifice was already accomplished in his heart, and he had fully satisfied the requirements of God. He was not to slay his son: therefore God prevented the outward fulfilment of the sacrifice by an immediate interposition, and showed him a ram, which he saw, probably being led to look round through a rustling behind him, with its horns fast in a thicket (אחר adv. behind, in the background); and as an offering provided by God Himself, he sacrificed it instead of his son.
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