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"THOU GOD SEEST ME."
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS.
famine-scarcity of food, probably from long continued drought.
plagues-strokes ;' inflictions of Divine vengeance on account of sins.
Pharaoh the sun;' a name assumed by several of the ancient kings of Egypt. herdsmen-care-takers of cattle; the patriarchs who followed the pastoral life had large possessions of flocks and herds. At this early period, the land was not enclosed for culture. In summer the shepherds moved northward for the protection which the hill-country afforded from the heat, and in the winter they removed to the plains of the south. Melchizedek-'king of righteousness;' it is not known whether he had a predecessor or successor in his kingly and priestly office. He was probably one of the chief princes of the Canaanites. king-the chief magistrate or highest authority in a country.
priest-one appointed to offer sacri
fices for others.
vision-a supernatural appearance of future events, usually shown in dreams at night, or in a trance.
bondage-servitude by compulsion, not by mutual agreement; slavery. Hagar-an Egyptian slave, a descendant of Ham. Les. 4, 'servants.' handmaid-a female servant who waits at hand.
submit-to yield meekly and obediently, not answering again.
Ishmael 'God shall hear;' because God heard Hagar's sighs of grief when in the wilderness.
wild-of a roving disposition; not subject to the restraints of a settled community; living by plunder; at continual war, but never in subjection. Such are the descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, at the present day.
PLAIN, &c.-the southern part of the valley of the river Jordan; this region was very fertile, part of it was called the plain of Siddim, where stood Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Zoar.
JORDAN -fast-flowing;' so called from the rapidity and the strength of its current. Notwithstanding the turbid state of the river, yet when its water is drawn off and allowed to stand, it speedily becomes clear and agreeable, and retains its purity for a long time.
MAMRE-a plain near Hebron ; it is supposed that the name Mamre was derived from one of the three chieftains
who accompanied Abram in the pur
suit of Chedorlaomer.
SALEM peace; the city of which Melchizedek was king; it is supposed to have been the first name for Jerusalem. BEER-LA-HAI-ROI-'the well
despised scorned; behaved contemp- Him that seeth me;' it is in the wildertuously or disrespectfully.
ness of Shur, on the south of Canaan.
THE ALL-SEEING GOD.
"THOU GOD SEEST ME."
Lord thou hast search'd and seen me through,
PERIOD II.] THE NAMES OF ABRAM AND SARAI CHANGED.
Within thy circling power I stand;
O may these thoughts possess my breast,
8. THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM.
When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to him, and said unto him, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly." God then said to Abram, " And thou shalt be a father of many nations; neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham, for a father of many nations have I made thee." God also changed the name of Sarai to Sarah; and said she should be a mother of nations. Sarah was then nearly ninety years old. God said the name of Abraham's son should be Isaac.
Three angels visited Abraham, and were entertained by him. The promise of a son was repeated, and the coming destruction of the cities and people of Sodom was made known to him. God said their sins were very grievous. Abraham interceded for Sodom, saying, "Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked ?" The Lord answered that he would not destroy the city if there were ten righteous men in it.
Two angels went to Lot, and he entertained them in his house. The men of Sodom wanted to do wickedly. The
SODOM AND GOMORRAH OVERTHROWN. [2347-1635 B.C.
angels struck the men of Sodom with blindness. They hastened Lot and his family from the city, the Lord being 'merciful to him. God permitted Lot to take refuge with his daughters in Zoar. God then rained upon Sodom and
Gomorrah brimstone and fire from heaven. He overthrew the cities of the Plain of Jordan, and all the inhabitants. Lot's wife disobeyed the divine command, not to look back as they fled from the city; she looked behind her, and became a pillar of salt. Abraham arose early the next morning and looked toward Sodom; he saw that the smoke of the country went up like the smoke of a furnace.
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS.
Almighty God-the True God, the only Lord who has all power in heaven, and in earth; the worshippers of idols supposed their deities to possess attributes limited to their rank and duties. The true object of worship is, however,
walk before—obey me confidently and cheerfully, as one who walks in the full light of day. The term implies unceasing obedience.
covenant-the solemn promise or engagement of Jehovah to bestow peculiar blessings on Abram and his posterity; which promise enjoined upon them the duty of unswerving obedience to his will. When parties who were equal made covenants either was at perfect liberty to accept or not accept the proposal of the other; but when God covenants with any of his creatures he only proposes and man accepts.
Abraham- father of many nations;' not only was he the father of the Israelites, but the Ishmaelites, the Midianites, and other nations traced their origin alike to him.
Sarah- princess of a multitude.' Isaac joy;' because Abraham laughed with delight when God repeated his promise of a son, whose mother should be Sarah.
angels-messengers;' the holy and blessed spirits who are in the presence of the Lord, ever ready to execute his will.
PERIOD II.] ABRAHAM DECEIVES ABIMELECH.
THE DEAD SEA.
"AND HE OVERTHREW THOSE CITIES, AND ALL THE PLAIN, AND ALL THE
THE wind blows chill across those gloomy waves-
Yes, on the plain, by wild waves covered now,
Lovely and splendid all, but Sodom's soul
Was stain'd with blood, and pride, and perjury;
And still she mock'd, and dance'd, and taunting, spoke
It came ! The thunder on her slumber broke :-
Yet, in her final night, amid her stood
Immortal messenger, and pausing Heaven
Pleaded with man, but she was quite imbued,
Her last hour wane'd, she scorn'd to be forgiven !
They rush, they bound, they howl, the men of sin;—
9. THE BIRTH OF ISAAC. THE TRIAL OF
After the destruction of the cities of the plain Abraham went southwards and sojourned in Gerar. He deceived Abimelech, the king, by saying Sarah was his sister. God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him to restore Sarah
ABRAHAM'S FAITH TRIED.
SARAH DIES. 12347-1635 B.C.
to Abraham. Abimelech reproved Abraham for his deceit, but afterwards made him 'presents.
The son which God promised to Abraham was born. Abraham called the child's name Isaac. Abraham was then a hundred years old. He and his family lived at Beersheba. Ishmael mocked Isaac ; and for this offence he and his mother were cast out of Abraham's house. Hagar went with her son into the Wilderness of Beersheba. Hagar thought Ishmael would die of thirst, but God provided water for them both. God promised Hagar that he would make of Ishmael a great nation. Ishmael grew up in the wilderness, and became an archer. His mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt. God commanded Abraham to offer up his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham prepared to obey God. He went to a mountain which God told him of in the land of Moriah. There he built an altar, upon which he laid his son ; but as he was about to slay him the angel of the Lord said, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." Abraham then offered up a ram which God had provided instead of Isaac. Thus was Abraham's faith tried, and the sacrifice of Isaac prevented. God again blessed Abraham for his obedience. Sarah died at the age of one-hundred-and-twenty-seven years. Abraham bought of Ephron, the Hittite, the field and ·cave of Machpelah for a burying-place. burying-place. There he buried Sarah. Sarah is the only woman whose age is recorded in the Bible.
NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS.
destruction-complete burning up of the inhabitants and the plain; the site was then overflowed by the waters of the Jordan.
southwards-towards the meridian, or place of the sun at noon.
sojourned-resided for a time, not settled; we are sojourners upon earth as our fathers were.
Abimelech father of the king;' a common name of the kings of Gerar, indicating the hereditary nature of their royalty.
dream-God often made known his will to the ancients in dreams. Lesson 7, vision,' and Job xxxiii. 14-16.
deceit falsehood in word or act; the fear of man was a snare to Abraham, and caused him to lie.
presents-gifts;' either to make amends for his detention of Sarah, or to secure Abraham's friendship now that he knew he was the 'friend of God.'
offence-sin; God has always expressed his displeasure against the sin of mocking. Les. 4, 'mocked' & 'servants.'