Brooke, S. A., The Old Testament and Modern Life (1896), 23, 39, 55, 71, 87.
Cumming, J. E., Scripture Photographs, 32.
Davidson, A. B., The Called of God (1902), 61.
Dods, M., The Book of Genesis (Expositor's Bible) (1888), 81.
Dykes, J. O., Abraham, the Friend of God (1883).
Funcke, O., The World of Faith and the Everyday World (1891), 1.
Hilprecht, H. V., Recent Research in Bible Lands (1896), 21, 116, 163.
Lightfoot, J. B., Sermons on Special Occasions (1891), 38.
Meyer, F. B., Abraham, or the Obedience of Faith.
Ottley, R. L., Aspects of the Old Testament (1897), 109.
Palmer, A. Smythe, Jacob at Bethel (1899), 114.
Parker, J., Adam, Noah, and Abraham (1880), 91.
Peters, J. P., Early Hebrew Story (1904), 81.
Stanley, A. P., Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church, i. (1889) 1.
Strachan, J., Hebrew Ideals (1902), Pt. i. 25.
Townsend, W. J., in Men of the Old Testament (1904), 31.
Westphal and Du Pontet, The Law and the Prophets (1910), 62, 83.
Williams, I., The Characters of the Old Testament (1870), 34.
American Journal of Theology, viii. (1904) 658 (L. B. Paton).
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Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. So Abram went, 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.- Gen_12:1-4.
If doubt rests on the moving cause of the migration from Ur, none rests on that which prompted Abraham to leave Haran and journey towards Canaan. He did so in obedience to what he believed to be a Divine command, and in faith on what he understood to be a Divine promise.
1. In every crisis of history these two elements in their measure may be perceived, the one secular, the other religious; the one belonging merely to the past, the other reaching forward into the remotest future. In this instance, both are set distinctly before us in the Biblical narrative, side by side, as if in almost unconscious independence of each other. “And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them [LXX. ‘he led them'] from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.” “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 [‘the slaves that they had bought'] in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.”
No one who sits at home can possibly realize what the great world-movements are. They must be seen, heard, and sensed. To understand them we have to enter into their rhythmic action. It is not enough to read about them. All primitive national movements are symbolical. They symbolize a greater and vaster future, and every act has a special significance.1 [Note: F. Grierson, The Invincible Alliance (1913), 16.]
2. This is the external aspect of the migration. A family, a tribe of the great Semitic race, moves westward from the cradle of its earliest civilization. There was nothing outwardly to distinguish them from those who had descended from the Caucasian range into the plains of the south in former times, or who would do so in times yet to come. There was, however, another aspect, which the surrounding tribes saw not, but which is the only point that we now see distinctly. “The Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
Interpret these words as we will; give them a meaning more or less literal, more or less restricted; yet with what force do they break in upon the homeliness of the rest of the narrative; what an impulse do they disclose in the innermost heart of the movement; what a long vista do they open even to the very close of the history of which this was the first beginning!