And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Genesis 10:23; Genesis 11:28. Buz may have been the ancestor of Elihu Jeremiah 25:23; Job 32:2. Maakah may have given rise to the tribes and land of Maakah Deuteronomy 3:14; 2 Samuel 10:6. The other names do not again occur. "And his concubine." A concubine was a secondary wife, whose position was not considered disreputable in the East. Nahor, like Ishmael, had twelve sons, - eight by his wife, and four by his concubine.
- The Death of Sarah
2. ארבע קרית qı̂ryat-'arba‛, "Qirjath-arba', city of Arba." ארבע 'arba‛, "Arba', four."
8. עפרון ‛eprôn, "'Ephron, of the dust, or resembling a calf." צחר tshochar, "Tsochar, whiteness."
9. מכפלה makpêlâh, "Makpelah, doubled."Rebekah was afterwards Isaac’s wife, Genesis 24:1-67.
these eight Milcah did bear, to Nahor, Abraham's brother; this is observed, and the exact number given, as well as their names, to distinguish them from other children of Nahor he had by another woman, as follows:And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. Bethuel] See Genesis 24:15.
Rebekah] See chap. 24. No place, or clan, of this name is mentioned in the O.T.Verse 23. - And Bethuel begat Rebekah - Ribkah; captivating, ensnaring (Furst); "a rope with a noose," not unfit as the name of a girl who ensnares men by her beauty (Gesenius). Rebekah was the child of Isaac's cousin, and being the daughter of Nahor's youngest son, was probably about the same age as her future husband. These eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. Genesis 12:2-3). To confirm their unchangeableness, Jehovah swore by Himself (cf. Hebrews 6:13.), a thing which never occurs again in His intercourse with the patriarchs; so that subsequently not only do we find repeated references to this oath (Genesis 24:7; Genesis 26:3; Genesis 50:24; Exodus 13:5, Exodus 13:11; Exodus 33:1, etc.), but, as Luther observes, all that is said in Psalm 89:36; Psalm 132:11; Psalm 110:4 respecting the oath given to David, is founded upon this. Sicut enim promissio seminis Abrahae derivata est in semen Davidis, ita Scriptura S. jusjurandum Abrahae datum in personam Davidis transfert. For in the promise upon which these psalms are based nothing is said about an oath (cf. 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17:1). The declaration on oath is still further confirmed by the addition of יהוה נאם "edict (Ausspruch) of Jehovah," which, frequently as it occurs in the prophets, is met with in the Pentateuch only in Numbers 14:28, and (without Jehovah) in the oracles of Balaam, Numbers 24:3, Numbers 24:15-16. As the promise was intensified in form, so was it also in substance. To express the innumerable multiplication of the seed in the strongest possible way, a comparison with the sand of the sea-shore is added to the previous simile of the stars. And this seed is also promised the possession of the gate of its enemies, i.e., the conquest of the enemy and the capture of his cities (cf. Genesis 24:60).
This glorious result of the test so victoriously stood by Abraham, not only sustains the historical character of the event itself, but shows in the clearest manner that the trial was necessary to the patriarch's life of faith, and of fundamental importance to his position in relation to the history of salvation. The question, whether the true God could demand a human sacrifice, was settled by the fact that God Himself prevented the completion of the sacrifice; and the difficulty, that at any rate God contradicted Himself, if He first of all demanded a sacrifice and then prevented it from being offered, is met by the significant interchange of the names of God, since God, who commanded Abraham to offer up Isaac, is called Ha-Elohim, whilst the actual completion of the sacrifice is prevented by "the angel of Jehovah," who is identical with Jehovah Himself. The sacrifice of the heir, who had been both promised and bestowed, was demanded neither by Jehovah, the God of salvation or covenant God, who had given Abraham this only son as the heir of the promise, nor by Elohim, God as creator, who has the power to give life and take it away, but by He-Elohim, the true God, whom Abraham had acknowledged and adored as his personal God, and with whom he had entered into a personal relation. Coming from the true God whom Abraham served, the demand could have no other object than to purify and sanctify the feelings of the patriarch's heart towards his son and towards his God, in accordance with the great purpose of his call. It was designed to purify his love to the son of his body from all the dross of carnal self-love and natural selfishness which might still adhere to it, and so to transform it into love to God, from whom he had received him, that he should no longer love the beloved son as his flesh and blood, but simply and solely as a gift of grace, as belonging to his God-a trust committed to him, which he should be ready at any moment to give back to God. As he had left his country, kindred, and father's house at the call of God (Genesis 12:1), so was he in his walk with God cheerfully to offer up even his only son, the object of all his longing, the hope of his life, the joy of his old age. And still more than this, not only did he possess and love in Isaac the heir of his possessions (Genesis 15:2), but it was upon him that all the promises of God rested: in Isaac should his seed be called (Genesis 21:12). By the demand that he should sacrifice to God this only son of his wife Sarah, in whom his seed was to grow into a multitude of nations (Genesis 17:4, Genesis 17:6, Genesis 17:16), the divine promise itself seemed to be cancelled, and the fulfilment not only of the desires of his heart, but also of the repeated promises of his God, to be frustrated. And by this demand his faith was to be perfected into unconditional trust in God, into the firm assurance that God could even raise him up from the dead. - But this trial was not only one of significance to Abraham, by perfecting him, through the conquest of flesh and blood, to be the father of the faithful, the progenitor of the Church of God; Isaac also was to be prepared and sanctified by it for his vocation in connection with the history of salvation. In permitting himself to be bound and laid upon the altar without resistance, he gave up his natural life to death, to rise to a new life through the grace of God. On the altar he was sanctified to God, dedicated as the first beginning of the holy Church of God, and thus "the dedication of the first-born, which was afterwards enjoined in the law, was perfectly fulfilled in him." If therefore the divine command exhibits in the most impressive way the earnestness of the demand of God upon His people to sacrifice all to Him, not excepting the dearest of their possessions (cf. Matthew 10:37, and Luke 14:26); the issue of the trial teaches that the true God does not demand a literal human sacrifice from His worshippers, but the spiritual sacrifice of an unconditional denial of the natural life, even to submission to death itself. By the sacrifice of a ram as a burnt-offering in the place of his son, under divine direction, not only was animal sacrifice substituted for human, and sanctioned as an acceptable symbol of spiritual self-sacrifice, but the offering of human sacrifices by the heathen was condemned and rejected as an ungodly ἐθελοθρησεία. And this was done by Jehovah, the God of salvation, who prevented the outward completion of the sacrifice. By this the event acquires prophetic importance for the Church of the Lord, to which the place of sacrifice points with peculiar clearness, viz., Mount Moriah, upon which under the legal economy all the typical sacrifices were offered to Jehovah; upon which also, in the fulness of time, God the Father gave up His only-begotten Son as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, that by this one true sacrifice the shadows of the typical sacrifices might be rendered both real and true. If therefore the appointment of Moriah as the scene of the sacrifice of Isaac, and the offering of a ram in his stead, were primarily only typical in relation to the significance and intent of the Old Testament institution of sacrifice; this type already pointed to the antitype to appear in the future, when the eternal love of the heavenly Father would perform what it had demanded of Abraham; that is to say, when God would not spare His only Son, but give Him up to the real death, which Isaac suffered only in spirit, that we also might die with Christ spiritually, and rise with Him to everlasting life (Romans 8:32; Romans 6:5, etc.).
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