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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 12

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


The History of Abram, just glanced at in the close of the preceding Chapter, the Ho1y Ghost enters upon in this Chapter more particularly. The account of God's first call of Abram; his gracious manifestations unto him; the removal of the Patriarch in consequence thereof, from his native country, to go into Canaan; his going down into Egypt, with the events which followed. These form the subject of the present Chapter

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Reader! Is not this call of God, to Abram, similar to the calls of his grace, in the present hour! Psalms 65:10 ; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 "Into the south:" i.e. the southern part of Canaan which lay north-east of Egypt.

Verse 2

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

How eminently was this fulfilled in Abram's history. First, according to nature in the flesh, in the children of Ishmael. See Gen_16:10; Gen_17:20 . Secondly, according to promise. Here Abram. was greater still in the issue of Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs. Numbers 22:10 . And Thirdly, and above all, in his spiritual seed, in which all the followers of his faith and obedience, are in scripture accounted his children: as well in the Gentile, as the Jewish Church. Galatians 3:8-9 ; Revelation 7:9 .

Verse 3

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Reader! pause over this precious verse; and when you have duly meditated upon it, ask your own heart, whether it is not fully verified? Act 4:12 ; 2 Corinthians 1:20 .--Note, when God eminently blesses any one, it is that he may be a blessing unto others.

Verse 4

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

If my Reader be among the aged, and is fearing that he may have outstayed the day of grace, I do not know a more precious encouragement than what this verse holds forth, to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Forget it not my aged brother, that Abram the great father of the faithful, was 75 years old, when the visions of God began with him.

Verse 5

And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

What an illustrious act of faith was this? How highly it is spoken of by the Holy Ghost? Hebrews 11:8 .

Verse 7

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Nine times (if I mistake not) it is noticed of God's appearing to Abram. The Holy Ghost by the mouth of Stephen explains how: Acts 7:2 See Genesis 22:15; Genesis 22:15 .

Verse 8

And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

Abram not only served God for himself, but erected an altar for his public worship.

Verse 10

And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

Was not this particularly intended for the exercise of Abram's faith? Had he consulted flesh and blood would he not have said, "Is this the land of promise? Is this the end of my pursuits? And have I for this left my Father's house, and my own land, to perish here by famine?" But what saith the Apostle? Romans 4:18-21 . And particularly Romans 4:23-24 ? Reader! what saith your own experience to this, amidst the trials of your faith? Have you left all for Jesus; and are you frequently discouraged on the way? See that sweet scripture: Mark 10:28-30 .

Verse 18

And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

I think it probable, that those plagues were diseases of a particular nature. 1 Samuel 5:6-9 . And it should seem that they were so considered. God's rod has a voice, and speaks as well as corrects. Micah 6:9 .

Reader! it is a melancholy reflection, when the people of God give occasion for the carnal to reprove them.

Verse 19

Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

Observe how God provides for his people's safety. Psalms 105:13-15 .

Verse 20


METHINKS I would not read this call of God to Abram, and observe the Patriarch's ready faith to obey it, without begging grace from God, to attend to the many precious invitations with which I am called upon to follow Jesus in the regeneration; and, like Abram, to arise, leave house and home, and kindred, and relations; and by faith become the follower of them who now through faith and patience inherit the promises. And oh! that He, who endued the patriarch with such holy fortitude, would arm my mind with the like confidence, that, amidst every discouragement, against hope I might believe in hope; and trust God, where I cannot trace him. Dearest Jesus! grant me as thou didst the patriarch, the frequent visits of thy love, and then whatever famine shall arise, or straits surround me, in the midst of all, a wilderness with thee will, to my soul, be far preferable to a land flowing with milk and honey without thee!

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 12". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/genesis-12.html. 1828.
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