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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Genesis 15:13

God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Four hundred years - "Which began," says Mr. Ainsworth, "when Ishmael, son of Hagar, mocked and persecuted Isaac, Genesis 21:9; Galatians 4:29; which fell out thirty years after the promise, Genesis 12:3; which promise was four hundred and thirty years before the law, Galatians 3:17; and four hundred and thirty years after that promise came Israel out of Egypt, Exodus 12:41."


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/genesis-15.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he said unto Abram,.... While he was in a deep sleep; this he said to him in a vision of prophecy:

know of a surety, or "in knowing thou shall or mayest know"F14ידע תדע "cognoscendo cognosces", Pagninus, Montanus; so Schmidt. ; and be assured of it, being now told it by the Lord himself, who foreknows all things that ever come to pass; many of which he acquaints his people with beforehand, nor would he hide from Abram his friend what should befall his posterity, as follows:

that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs; this prophecy could not take place at this time, since Abram had then no seed; but at the birth of Isaac, in whom his seed was called, who sojourned, or was a stranger in Gerar, a part of the land of Canaan, as Jacob also in the same land, Genesis 36:3; as well as he and his posterity sojourned or lived as strangers in the land of Ham, in Egypt, Psalm 105:23; and neither of these countries were theirs; for though there was a grant of Canaan to Abram and his seed, yet it was not in possession; though a land of promise, it was a strange land, a land of their pilgrimage, and where all the patriarchs lived in it as such, see Exodus 6:4,

and shall serve them; the inhabitants of the land not theirs, that is, the Canaanites and the Egyptians, especially the latter; and these they served after the death of Joseph, by whom their lives were made bitter with hard bondage:

and they shall afflict them four hundred years; this term "four hundred years" is not to be joined either with the word "afflict" or "serve"; for their hard servitude and severe affliction did not last long, but a few years at most; but with the phrase, "a stranger in a land not theirs"; and the rest is to be included in a parenthesis thus, and "thy seed shall be a stranger in the land not theirs (and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them) four hundred years"; so long they should be strangers and sojourners, as they were partly in the land of Canaan, and partly in the land of Egypt, neither of which were in their own land, however not in possession; within which space of time they would be in a state of subjection and servitude, and be greatly afflicted and oppressed, as they were particularly by the Egyptians before their deliverance from them, see Exodus 1:11. These four hundred years, as before observed, are to be reckoned from the birth of Isaac to the Israelites going out of Egypt, and are counted by Jarchi thus; Isaac was sixty years of age when Jacob was born, and Jacob when he went down into Egypt was one hundred and thirty, which make one hundred and ninety; and the Israelites were in Egypt two hundred and ten years, which complete the sum of four hundred: according to Eusebius, there were four hundred and five years from the birth of Isaac to the Exodus of Israel; but the round number is only given, as is very usual; and though the sojourning of the Israelites is said to be four hundred and thirty years, Exodus 12:40, this takes in the sojourning of Abram in that land, who entered into it sixty five years before the birth of Isaac, which added to four hundred and five, the sum total is four hundred and thirty; for Abram was seventy five years of age when he left Haran and went to Canaan, and Isaac was born when he was an hundred years old, see Genesis 12:4.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/genesis-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them d four hundred years;

(d) Counting from the birth of Isaac to their departure of Egypt: Which declares that God will allow his to be afflicted in this world.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/genesis-15.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Thy seed shall be strangers β€” So they were in Canaan first, Psalm 105:11,12, and afterwards in Egypt: before they were lords of their own land, they were strangers in a strange land. The inconveniences of an unsettled state make a happy settlement the more welcome. Thus the heirs of heaven are first strangers on earth.

And them they shall serve β€” So they did the Egyptians, Exodus 1:13. See how that which was the doom of the Canaanites, Genesis 9:25, proves the distress of Abram's seed: they are made to serve; but with this difference, the Canaanites serve under a curse, the Hebrews under a blessing.

And they shall afflict them β€” See Exodus 1:11. Those that are blessed and beloved of God are often afflicted by wicked men. This persecution began with mocking, when Ishmael the son of an Egyptian, persecuted Isaac, Genesis 21:9, and it came at last to murder, the basest of murders, that of their new born children; so that more or less it continued400 years.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/genesis-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Genesis 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Ver. 13. Know of a surety, that thy seed.] Must first suffer, before they can enter; and so be conformed to Christ their Captain, who was "perfected by sufferings," [Hebrews 2:10] and came not to the Crown but by the Cross. Difficile est ut praesentibus bonis quis fruatur et futuris; ut hic ventrem, illic mentem reficiat, ut de deliciis ad delicias transeat; ut in coelo et in terra gloriosus appareat , saith St Jerome. Through many tribulations we must enter into heaven. He that will go any other way, let him (as the emperor said to the heretic) erect a ladder, and go up alone (a)


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/genesis-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Genesis 15:13. Afflict them four hundred years That is, from the birth of Isaac, the seed to whom the promise was given: and from that birth to the coming out of AEgypt, were just four hundred years. It cannot fail to strike the attentive reader how exactly this prophecy, respecting Abram's seed, was fulfilled.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/genesis-15.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In a land that is not theirs, i.e. in Canaan and Egypt; for though Canaan was theirs by promise, to be fulfilled in after-times, yet it was not theirs by actual donation and possession; but they were strangers in it, Genesis 17:8 Psalms 105:11,12.

Four hundred years, exactly four hundred and five years; but a small sum is commonly neglected in a great number, both in sacred and profane writers. There were four hundred and thirty years between the first promise, or between the renewing and confirming of the promise by the gift of Isaac, and Israel’s going out of Egypt, or God’s giving of the law, Exodus 12:40 Galatians 3:17; but part of this time Abraham with his son Isaac lived in much honour and comfort; but after Isaac grew up, the affliction here mentioned began with Isaac in Canaan, and continued to him and his posterity in Egypt till this time was expired.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/genesis-15.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13. Thy seed shall be a stranger — The Egyptian bondage is here foretold. That oppressive, but important, period in the history of the chosen seed, and its duration, is stated in round numbers as four hundred years. In Exodus 12:40, it is said that “the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.” There we have the exact statement of history; here the more general one of prophecy. For the question of chronology here involved, see note on Exodus 12:40.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/genesis-15.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Genesis 15:13. Thy seed shall be strangers — So they were in Canaan first, Psalms 105:12, and afterward in Egypt: before they were lords of their own land, they were strangers in a strange land. The inconveniences of an unsettled state make a happy settlement the more welcome. Thus the heirs of heaven are first strangers on earth. And they shall serve them — So they did the Egyptians, Exodus 1:13. See how that which was the doom of the Canaanites, Genesis 9:25, proves the distress of Abram’s seed: they are made to serve; but with this difference, the Canaanites serve under a curse, the Hebrews under a blessing. And they shall afflict them — See Exodus 1:11. Those that are blessed and beloved of God are often afflicted by wicked men. This persecution began with mocking, when Ishmael, the son of an Egyptian, persecuted Isaac, (Genesis 21:9,) and it came at last to murder, the basest of murders, that of their new-born children; so that, more or less, it continued four hundred years.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/genesis-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Strangers, and under bondage, &c. This prediction may be dated from the persecution of Isaac by Ismael, in the year 2112, till the Jews left Egypt, 2513. In Exodus xii., and St. Paul, 430 years are mentioned; but they probably began when Abram went first into Egypt, 2084. Nicholas Abram and Tournemine say, the Hebrews remained in Egypt full 430 years. from the captivity of Joseph; and reject the addition of the Septuagint which adds, "they and their fathers dwelt in Egypt, and in Chanaan." On these points, we may expect to find chronologists at variance.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/genesis-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Know of a surety. Hebrew. knowing thou shalt know. Figure of speech Polyptoton, and note on Genesis 26:28.

thy seed, i.e. Isaac. See note on Genesis 21:12. The 400 years date from Isaac"s birth (Acts 7:6). The 430 from the "promise" or Covenant here made (compare Galatians 1:3, Galatians 1:17), and include the whole "sojourning" (Exodus 12:40). and shall serve, &c. Figure of speech Epitrechon. See App-6. This is shown by the Structure (Introversion). a | Thy seed shall be a stranger, &c. b | and shall serve them b | and they shall afflict them a | four hundred years. In a and a we have the whole sojourning and duration. In b and b the servitude in Egypt (215 years).


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/genesis-15.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger, ... It will be seen by inspecting the Hebrew text that the words, 'they shall serve them, and they shall afflict them,' are, from the accentuation, to be regarded as parenthetical; so that the passage, these words being omitted, would stand thus: 'Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs four hundred years.' The actual duration, however, neither of their servitude, nor of their sojourn extended over the whole of this period (see the note at Genesis 15:16). "A stranger " [Hebrew, geer (Hebrew #1616)] is usually derived from [ guwr (Hebrew #1481)] to dwell, so that it signifies a sojourner-one living out of his own country. But Aben Ezra maintains that it is rather connected with gaarar (Hebrew #1641), to shake off fruit from a tree; so that in this sense it will denote a person or thing forcibly detached from the native soil. "Four hundred years." The statement is made here in round numbers, as also in Acts 7:6; but more exactly 430 years in Exodus 12:40; Galatians 3:17. Josephus also mentions the former number ('Jew. War,' B. 5: 9, sec. 4; 'Antiquities,' 2: 9, section 1); and the latter ('Antiquities,' 2: 15, section 2).


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/genesis-15.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) Four hundred years.β€”The exact duration of the sojourn in Egypt was 430 years (Exodus 12:40-41), and with this agrees the genealogy of Jehoshua (1 Chronicles 7:23-27).


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/genesis-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
thy
17:8; Exodus 1:1-2; 5:1-23; 22:21; 23:9; Leviticus 19:34; Deuteronomy 10:19; Psalms 105:11; Psalms 105:12,23-25; Acts 7:6,7; Hebrews 11:8-13
four
Exodus 12:40,41; Galatians 3:17

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 15:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/genesis-15.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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