Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

THOU GOD SEEST ME." [2347-1635 B.C.

NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. famine-scarcity of food, probably submit—to yield meekly and obedifrom long continued drought.

ently, not answering again. plagues—'strokes ;' inflictions of Di. Ishmael'God shall hear;' because vine vengeance on account of sins. God heard Hagar's sighs of grief when

in the wilderness. Pharaoh'the sun;' a name assumed by several of the ancient kings of Egypt. subject to the restraints of a settled

wild-of a roving disposition ; not herdsmen-care-takers of cattle; the community; living by plunder; at patriarchs who followed the pastoral continual war, but never in subjection. life had large possessions of flocks and Such are the descendants of Ishmael, herds. At this early period, the land was the Arabs, at the present day. not enclosed for culture. In summer the shepherds moved northward for the GEOGRAPHICAL NOTES. protection which the hill-country asforded from the heat, and in the winter valley of the river Jordan; this region

PLAIN, &c.—the southern part of the they removed to the plains of the south. was very fertile, part of it was called the

Melchizedek — king of righteousness;' plain of Siddim, where stood Sodom, it is not known whether he had a prede- | Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Zoar. cessor or successor in his kingly and

JORDAN — fast-flowing ;' so called priestly office.

He was probably one from the rapidity and the strength of its of the chief princes of the Canaanites.

current. Notwithstanding the turbid king—the chief magistrate or highest state of the river, yet when its water authority in a country.

is drawn off and allowed to stand, it priestone appointed to offer sacri- speedily, becomes clear and agreeable, fices for others.

and retains its purity for a long time. vision—a supernatural appearance of MAMRE-a plain near Hebron ; it future events, usually shown in dreams is supposed that the name Mamre was at night, or in a trance.

derived from one of the three chieftains bondage — servitude by compulsion, who accompanied Abram in the purnot by mutual agreement; slavery.

suit of Chedorlaomer. Hagar-an Egyptian slave, a descend- SALEM

peace ;' the city of which ant of Ham. Les. 4, 'servants.' Melchizedek was king; it is supposed to

handmaid-a female servant who have been the first name for Jerusalem. waits at hand.

BEER-LA-HAI-R01—'the well despiseit-scorned ; bebaved contemp. Him that seeth me; it is in the wildertuously or disrespectfully.

ness of Shur, on the south of Canaan.

of

THE ALL-SEEING GOD.

" THOU GOD SEEST ME."
Lord thou hast search'd and seen me through,
Thine eye commands with piercing view,
My rising and my resting hours,
My heart and all its inward powers.
My thoughts, before they are my own,
Are to my God distinctly known ;
He knows the words I mean to speak,
Ere from my opening lips they break.

PERIOD II.] THE NAMES OF ABRAM AND SARAI CHANGED.

Within thy circling power I stand ;
On every side I find thy hand :
Awake, asleep, at home, abroad,
I am surrounded still with God.
Amazing knowledge, vast and great !
What large extent; what lofty height!
My soul, with all the powers I boast,
Is in the boundless prospect lost.
O may these thoughts possess my breast,
Where'er I rove, where'er I rest!
Nor let my weaker passions dare
Consent to sin, for God is there.

Watts.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

8. THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM.

Genesis xvii. xix. 29. 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

6

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 grievous—heavy; hard to be borne; only Lord who has all power in heaven, causing a feeling of grief. and in eartb ; the worshippers of idols interceded-prayed for; stood for a supposed their deities to possess attri- time between them and punishment. butes limited to their rank and duties. The true object of worship is, however, their life by the laws of God, so as to

righteous — persons who regulated ALMIGHTY.

walk before—obey me confidently and please him. Those who act justly and cheerfully, as one who walks in the benevolently are righteous. fall light of day. The term implies merciful-compassionate; pitiful. Ps. unceasing obedience.

ciii. 8. 13. covenant—the solemn promise or en- permitted-allowed in answer to his gagement of Jehovah to bestow peculiar prayer. blessings on Abram and his posterity; refuge-shelter ; protection. which promise enjoined npon them the

brimstone.. the inflammable and suffoduty of unswerving obedience to his cating properties of this mineral renwill. When parties who were equal dered it an effective agent in this work made covenants either was at perfect of speedy and complete destruction. liberty to accept or not accept the proposal of the other ; but when God

furnace-metals are melted in furcovenants with any of his creatures he naces, therefore an intense heat is only proposes and man accepts.

required; the quantity of fuel they

consume occasions much smoke. Abraham-father of many nations ;' not only was he the father of the Israel.

GEOGRAPHICAL NOTES. ites, but the Ishmaelites, the Midianites, and other nations traced their origin ZOAR- small;' though threatened alike to him.

with the same destruction as that which Sarah—' princess of a multitude.? fell on the other cities of the plain of Isaac_joy;' because Abraham laugh- Sodom, it was spared at Lot's entreaty; ed with delight when God repeated his its former name was Bela. promise of a son, whose mother should

SODOM AND GOMORRAH-two of the be Sarah.

cities of the plain of Siddim ; the Dead angelsmessengers;' the holy and Sea or Salt Lake which now covers the blessed spirits who are in the pre- site is about fifty miles long and eight sence of the Lord, ever ready to execute miles wide; the Arabs call this lake his will.

the Sea of Lot.

[ocr errors]

PERIOD II.)

ABRAHAM DECEIVES ABIMELECH.

THE DEAD SEA.

“AND HE OVERTHREW THOSE CITIES, AND ALL THE PLAIN, AND ALL THE

INHABITANTS."
The wind blows chill across those gloomy waves-

Oh! how unlike the green and dancing main !
The surge is foul, as if it rollid o'er graves ;-

Stranger,—here lie the cities of the plain.
Yes, on the plain, by wild waves covered now,

Rose palace once, and sparkling pinnacle ;
On pomp and spectacle beam'd morning's glow,

On pomp and festival the twilight fell.
Lovely and splendid all,—but Sodom's soul

Was stain’d with blood, and pride, and perjury ;
Long warn’d, long spare'd, till her whole heart was foul,

And fiery vengeance on its clouds came nigh.
And still she mock'd, and dance'd, and taunting, spoke

Her sportive blasphemies against the Throne ;-
It came! The thunder on her slumber broke :-

God spake the word of wrath! Her dream was done.
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 !
'Twas done !-down pour'd at once the sulphurous shower,

Down stoop'd in flame, the heaven's red canopy,
Oh! for the arm of God in that fierce hour !-

'Twas vain, nor help of God or man was nigh.
They rush, they bound, they howl, the men of sin ;-

Still stoop'd the cloud, still burst the thicker blaze ;
The earthquake heave'd !--then sank the hideous din !
Yon wave of darkness o'er their ashes strays.

CROLY,

9. THE BIRTH OF ISAAC. THE TRIAL OF.

ABRAHAM'S FAITH.

Genesis xx.-xxiii. 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

a

[ocr errors]

ABRAHAM'S FAITH TRIED. SARAH DIES. (2347-1635 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. There he buried Sarah. . Sarah is the only woman whose age is recorded in the Bible.

NOTES AND EXPLANATIONS. destruction complete burning up of dream-God often made known his the inbabitants and the pla:n; the site will to the ancients in dreams. Lesson was then overflowed by the waters of|7, 'vision,' and Job xxxiii. 14-16. the Jordan.

dereit-falsehood in word or act; the southwards—towards the meridian, or fear of man was a spare to Abraham, place of the sun at noon.

sojourned-resided for a time, not presents-gifts; setiled; we are sojourners upon earth amends for his detention of Sarah, or as our fatbers were.

to secure Abraham's friendship now that Abimelech—' father of the king ;' a

he knew he was the “friend of God.' common name of the kings of Gerar, offence--sin; God has always exindicating the hereditary nature of pressed his displeasure against the sin of their royalty.

mocking. Les. 'mocked' & 'servants.'

and caused him to lie.

either

to make

« PreviousContinue »