“Go out 3 from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household
to the land that I will show you. 4
12:7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants 5 I will give this land.” So Abram 6 built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
13:15 I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants 7 forever.
15:16 In the fourth generation 11 your descendants 12 will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.” 13
15:18 That day the Lord made a covenant 14 with Abram: “To your descendants I give 15 this land, from the river of Egypt 16 to the great river, the Euphrates River –
17:8 I will give the whole land of Canaan – the land where you are now residing 17 – to you and your descendants after you as a permanent 18 possession. I will be their God.”
26:3 Stay 19 in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you, 20 for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, 21 and I will fulfill 22 the solemn promise I made 23 to your father Abraham.
1 sn The
2 tn The call of Abram begins with an imperative לֶךְ־לְךָ (lekh-lÿkha, “go out”) followed by three cohortatives (v. 2a) indicating purpose or consequence (“that I may” or “then I will”). If Abram leaves, then God will do these three things. The second imperative (v. 2b, literally “and be a blessing”) is subordinated to the preceding cohortatives and indicates God’s ultimate purpose in calling and blessing Abram. On the syntactical structure of vv. 1-2 see R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 37. For a similar sequence of volitive forms see Gen 45:18.
sn It would be hard to overestimate the value of this call and this divine plan for the theology of the Bible. Here begins God’s plan to bring redemption to the world. The promises to Abram will be turned into a covenant in Gen 15 and 22 (here it is a call with conditional promises) and will then lead through the Bible to the work of the Messiah.
3 tn The initial command is the direct imperative (לֶךְ, lekh) from the verb הָלַךְ (halakh). It is followed by the lamed preposition with a pronominal suffix (לְךָ, lÿkha) emphasizing the subject of the imperative: “you leave.”
4 sn To the land that I will show you. The call of Abram illustrates the leading of the
5 tn The same Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.
6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abram) has been supplied in the translation for clarification.
7 tn Heb “for all the land which you see to you I will give it and to your descendants.”
8 tn Heb “And he said.”
9 sn I am the
10 sn The phrase of the Chaldeans is a later editorial clarification for the readers, designating the location of Ur. From all evidence there would have been no Chaldeans in existence at this early date; they are known in the time of the neo-Babylonian empire in the first millennium
11 sn The term generation is being used here in its widest sense to refer to a full life span. When the chronological factors are considered and the genealogies tabulated, there are four hundred years of bondage. This suggests that in this context a generation is equivalent to one hundred years.
12 tn Heb “they”; the referent (“your descendants”) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
13 tn Heb “is not yet complete.”
sn The sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit. The justice of God is apparent. He will wait until the Amorites are fully deserving of judgment before he annihilates them and gives the land to Israel.
14 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”
15 tn The perfect verbal form is understood as instantaneous (“I here and now give”). Another option is to understand it as rhetorical, indicating certitude (“I have given” meaning it is as good as done, i.e., “I will surely give”).
sn To your descendants I give this land. The
16 sn The river of Egypt is a wadi (a seasonal stream) on the northeastern border of Egypt, not to the River Nile.
17 tn The verbal root is גּוּר (gur, “to sojourn, to reside temporarily,” i.e., as a resident alien). It is the land in which Abram resides, but does not yet possess as his very own.
18 tn Or “as an eternal.”
19 tn The Hebrew verb גּוּר (gur) means “to live temporarily without ownership of land.” Abraham’s family will not actually possess the land of Canaan until the Israelite conquest hundreds of years later.
20 tn After the imperative “stay” the two prefixed verb forms with prefixed conjunction here indicate consequence.
sn I will be with you and I will bless you. The promise of divine presence is a promise to intervene to protect and to bless.
21 tn The Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) occurring here and in v. 18 may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.
sn To you and to your descendants. The Abrahamic blessing will pass to Isaac. Everything included in that blessing will now belong to the son, and in turn will be passed on to his sons. But there is a contingency involved: If they are to enjoy the full blessings, they will have to obey the word of the
22 tn The Hiphil stem of the verb קוּם (qum) here means “to fulfill, to bring to realization.” For other examples of this use of this verb form, see Lev 26:9; Num 23:19; Deut 8:18; 9:5; 1 Sam 1:23; 1 Kgs 6:12; Jer 11:5.
23 tn Heb “the oath which I swore.”
sn The solemn promise I made. See Gen 15:18-20; 22:16-18.