You are the LORD the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Nehemiah 9:7. Thou art the Lord who didst choose Abraham — Here follows a compendious history of the affairs of the Hebrew nation, which, it is likely was composed by Ezra or Nehemiah in the form of a prayer, and delivered to the Levites, that they might pronounce it distinctly before the whole congregation, from their several scaffolds, which were conveniently placed, in several parts of the assembly, for that purpose.1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 103:21. Didst choose Abram out of the midst of all his nation and family. When thou didst pass by and neglect the rest of them, suffering them to walk on in their idolatrous and destructive courses; thou didst choose and single out him to serve and glorify thee, to be father of all the faithful, the progenitor of the Messias, and the person in whom, not we only, but all nations, should be blessed, and to enjoy thee to all eternity.
and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees; by calling him from thence, of which see Genesis 11:28, to which may be added what Amama (x) on that place observes; that some think that the sacred fire, which the Chaldeans worshipped, was kept in this city, from whence it was called Ur, that being worshipped by them and by the Assyrians under the name of Ur (y):
and gavest him the name of Abraham; which was changed when the covenant of circumcision was given him, Genesis 17:5.
(x) Anti-barbar. Biblic. l. 3. p. 652. (y) Fortunati Schaech. Elaeochrism. Myrothec. l. 1. c. 9. Colossians 44.Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7, 8. The Patriarch Abraham; the choice, the call, the name, and the character of the man, and the covenant made with him
Thou art the Lord the God] R.V. marg. ‘Or, O Lord’, i.e. Thou, O Jahveh (Jehovah), art the God, as in 1 Kings 18:37.
didst choose Abram] The Divine ‘choice’ is only mentioned here in reference to the calling of Abraham. The selection of the ‘chosen people’ was the free act of God’s love. This thought lay at the root of the covenant relation between Him and Israel; cf. Deuteronomy 4:37, ‘and because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them,’ Nehemiah 7:7, Nehemiah 9:4-6.
and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees] Ur of the Chaldees is only mentioned here and Genesis 11:28; Genesis 11:31; Genesis 15:7, and from these passages the present allusion is almost certainly drawn. According to some scholars, ‘Ur of the Chaldees’ is to be found in S. Babylonia, on the right bank of the Euphrates, and to be identified either with Warka (= Erech, Genesis 10:10) or Mugheir = Uru, one of the oldest Babylonian cities. According to others, it was situate in Northern Assyria, with which would agree the descent of Terah from Aram (Genesis 10:23) and the home of Abraham’s kinsfolk being Padan-Aram (Genesis 25:20). The latter view is perhaps most favoured by Israelite tradition, cf. Deuteronomy 26:5; Isaiah 41:9. It was Terah who moved from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran; but Jewish tradition always regarded this as the expression of a Divine call to Abraham. Compare Acts 7:4 with Genesis 11:31. The Vulgate ‘de igne Chaldaeorum’ treats ‘Ur’ as if it were the Hebrew word (spelt with the same consonants) meaning ‘light.’
the name of Abraham] The change of the patriarch’s name from Abram to Abraham is recorded in Genesis 17:5, to which the reference is probably made. That Abram means ‘lofty father’ and Abraham ‘the father of a multitude’ is probably only an instance of popular Israelite etymology. ‘Abu-ra-mu’ is found as the proper name of a man in Assyrian inscriptions; and the change from the shorter to the longer form, is perhaps a return to an older and more venerated form of the name. The precise meaning of the name is of slight moment. The important point to notice is, that the change of name corresponds with the institution of the covenant sign of circumcision. The change of the name was a pledge of the new relation, into which Abraham and his seed passed; cf. ‘Jacob’ and ‘Israel’ (Genesis 35:10).Verses 7-31. - Compare with this long historical resume the still longer ones in Psalm 78:5-72 and Acts 7:2-47. God's dealings with his people furnished a moral lesson of extraordinary force, and moral teachers, naturally, made frequent reference to them. But it is not often that we have so complete and elaborate a recapitulation as the present, which, beginning with the call of Abraham, brings the history down to the time of the Persian servitude. God's goodness and his people's ingratitude form the burthen of the whole. Joel 1:8) and earth upon them," i.e., spread upon their heads (1 Samuel 4:12; 2 Samuel 1:2; Job 2:12), - the external marks of deep mourning and heaviness of heart.
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