Genesis 24:6
And Abraham said to him, Beware you that you bring not my son thither again.
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24:1-9 The effect of good example, good teaching, and the worship of God in a family, will generally appear in the piety, faithfulness, prudence, and affection of the servants. To live in such families, or to have such servants, both are blessings from God which should be highly valued, and thankfully acknowledged. But no concern in life is of greater importance to ourselves, to others, or to the church of God, than marriage. It therefore ought always to be undertaken with much care and prudence, especially with reference to the will of God, and with prayer for his direction and blessing. Where good parents are not consulted and regarded, the blessing of God cannot be expected. Parents, in disposing of their children, should carefully consult the welfare of their souls, and their furtherance in the way to heaven. Observe the charge Abraham gave to a good servant, one whose conduct, faithfulness, and affection, to him and his family, he had long known. Observe also, that Abraham remembers that God had wonderfully brought him out of the land of his birth, by the call of his grace; and therefore doubts not but He will prosper his care, not to bring his son thither again. God will cause that to end in our comfort, in which we sincerely aim at his glory.The appeal is to God as "Yahweh, God of heaven and God of the earth." Yahweh is the personal name of God, which is properly used by those who are in fellowship with him. He is the Author of all being, and therefore of heaven and earth; and hence the arbiter of the destiny of the oath-taker, both in spiritual and material things, both in this life and in what is to come. "Not of the daughters of the Kenaanite," a race sinking fast into ungodliness and unrighteousness, doomed to extirpation, to whom the promised seed is to succeed. The kindred of Abraham were Shemites, Hebrews, and still retained some knowledge of the true God, and some reverence for him and his will. The experienced elder of Abraham's house does not wish to bind himself by an oath to what it may be impossible to fulfill. He makes the supposition of the unwillingness of the bride whom he may select, and obtains a quittance from his oath in that ease. The patriarch, however, charges him not to bring his son back to the land of his fathers, and expresses his confidence in the God of promise, that he will direct his servant to the suitable wife for his son. "His angel" Genesis 16:7. This is the Lord in the function of an angel or messenger opening the way for the servant of Abraham. He does not make any appearance to the servant, though a superintending Providence is strikingly displayed in the whole affair. The faithful elder now understands and takes the required oath.3. thou shalt not take a wife, &c.—Among pastoral tribes the matrimonial arrangements are made by the parents, and a youth must marry, not among strangers, but in his own tribe—custom giving him a claim, which is seldom or never resisted, to the hand of his first cousin. But Abraham had a far higher motive—a fear lest, if his son married into a Canaanitish family, he might be gradually led away from the true God. In case she will not come hither, do not thou engage that he shall go thither. Why so?

1. Because there was more danger of infection from his wife and her kindred, because of their friendly, and familiar, and constant converse with him, than from the Canaanites, who were strangers to him, and lived separately from him, and had but little conversation with him.

2. Because the command of God to Abraham to come out of Chaldea, and into Canaan, did extend to his posterity also, whom God would oblige to dwell there as long as they could, that they might live in constant faith and expectation of the performance of God’s promise in giving this land unto them.

Quest. How could he bring Isaac thither again, where he never was?


1. Isaac might be said to be there before virtually, or in the loins of his father, as Levi is said to pay tithes to Melchziedek by Abraham in whose loins he was.

2. This

again may be referred to the servant, that when he returned again he would not carry Isaac along with them.

3. He might reasonably suppose that Isaac must go once thither to fetch his wife; (for her coming so suddenly to him was an unexpected thing); but he would not have him promise, that when he had done so once, he should go thither again to live there with her. And Abraham said unto him,.... Not blaming him for putting such a question, nor charging him with impertinence, but plainly seeing the propriety of it: and in order to clear up this matter to him, gives the following instructions:

beware thou, that thou bring not my son thither again; for the command to come out of the land of Chaldea, never to return more, and to come into the land of Canaan, and there abide, respected both Abraham and his posterity; and besides, it was dangerous for Isaac to go into a family, where, though there was some knowledge of the true God, yet there was much superstition and idolatry in it, as appears by various hints in the sequel of this history, lest he should be corrupted, and degenerate from the true religion.

And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son {d} thither again.

(d) Lest he should love the inheritance promised.

Verses 6-8. - And Abraham said, Beware thou - literally, beware for thyself, the pleonastic pronoun being added by way of emphasis (cf. Genesis 12:1; Genesis 21:16; Genesis 22:5) - that thou bring not my son thither again. Literally, lest thou cause my son to, return thither; Abraham speaking of Isaac s going to Mesopotamia as a return, either because he regarded Isaac, though then unborn, as having come out with him from Mesopotamia, cf. Hebrews 7:10 (Wordsworth), or because he viewed himself and his descendants as a whole, as in Genesis 15:16 (Rosenmüller). The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the house of my kindred, - vide Genesis 12:1. This was the first consideration that prevented the return of either himself or his son. Having emigrated from Mesopotamia in obedience to a call of Heaven, not without a like instruction were they at liberty to return - and who spake unto me, - i.e. honored me with Divine communications (vide supra) - and (in particular) that sware unto me, - vide Genesis 15:17, 18; the covenant transaction therein recorded having all the force of an oath (cf. Genesis 22:16) - saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land. Here was a second consideration that negatived the idea of Isaac's return, - he was the God-appointed heir of the soil, - and from this, in conjunction with the former, he argued that the Divine promise was certain of fulfillment, and that accordingly the mission for a bride would be successful. He shall send his angel before thee, - i.e. to lead and protect, as was afterwards promised to Israel (Exodus 23:20), and to the Christian Church (Hebrews 1:14) - and thou shalt take a wife unto my Ben from thence (meaning, thy mission shall be successful). And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then shalt thou be clear of this my oath (i.e. at liberty to bold thyself as no longer under obligation in the matter; thy responsibility will at that point cease and determine): only bring not my son thither again - or, observing the order of the Hebrew words, only my son bring not again to that place; with almost feverish entreaty harping on the solemn refrain that on no account must Isaac leave the promised land, since in that would be the culmination of unbelief and disobedience. The repetition of the statement, that the field with the cave in it was conveyed to Abraham by the Hittites for a burial-place, which gives the result of the negotiation that has been described with, so to speak, legal accuracy, shows the great importance of the event to the patriarch. The fact that Abraham purchased a burying-place in strictly legal form as an hereditary possession in the promised land, was a proof of his strong faith in the promises of God and their eventual fulfilment. In this grave Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, were buried; there Jacob buried Leah; and there Jacob himself requested that he might be buried, thus declaring his faith in the promises, even in the hour of his death.
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