圣 经 探 险 者 第 十 课

亚伯拉罕 — 多国之父

Reading: Genesis 16-19
10课 阅读 创世纪16-19


Abram has a Son, Ishmael (Genesis 16)

God had told Abram that "he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir" (Genesis 15:4). Abram believed this implicitly as we have seen and this faith was counted to him for righteousness (Gen 15:6). However Sarai was barren and she realised that, humanly speaking, it was now impossible for her to bear a son to Abram. Yet God had promised the land to the seed of Abram. 神对亚伯兰说:“你本身所说的才成为你的后嗣”(创世纪154)。亚伯兰对此坚信不移,这信使他在神前称义(创世纪156)。撒莱无法生育,她也意识到这点。按常理说,她已经无法给亚伯兰生一个孩子。

ishmael.JPG (13647 bytes)The sorrow and disappointment of being barren finally caused her to seek a solution to this problem. She decided to give her Egyptian handmaid Hagar to Abram that she might bear a child for her. This she felt would console her, whilst also providing a seed to Abram "of his own bowels". This scheme, rather than bringing joy to Sarai, brought her bitterness and sorrow, for when Hagar saw that she had conceived she despised Sarai (v5-6). Sarai dealt severely with Hagar and this caused her to flee into the wilderness (v6).然而,神却许了他的后嗣这地。撒莱内疚,失望,最后想了个办法。她把她的埃及使女夏甲给了亚伯兰,想因她得子,同时也使亚伯兰“有自己的孩子”。但是这样做的后果,带给撒莱的痛苦远大欢乐。因为当夏甲怀孕后,就小看她(第5-6节)。撒莱苦待夏甲,她就逃到了旷野中。

In her distressed state the angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar telling her to return to her mistress and submit to her (v9). The angel also told Hagar that God would multiply her seed greatly (v10), and that she would have a son called Ishmael ("God shall hear", see mg), "because the Lord hath heard thy affliction" (v11). In obedience to the angel, Hagar returned to Abram and Sarai and in due time a son was born to her whom Abram called Ishmael (v15).神的使者显现给夏甲,让她回到她主母那里并服从她(第9节)。天使又告诉夏甲,社会使她的后嗣极其繁多(第10节),她要有一个孩子叫以实玛利(就是神听见的意思),“因为神听见了你的苦情”(第11节)。夏甲听从了天使的话,就回到了亚伯兰与撒莱那儿,不久生了一个儿子,亚伯兰给他起名叫以实玛利(第15节)。

God promised Abram that Ishmael would be blessed and that he would become a great nation (17:20), but that the seed spoken of in the promises would come from Abram and Sarai (17:21). Ishmael became the father of the Arabs. His twelve sons, who became the heads of the Arab tribes (Isaiah 60:6-7), are mentioned in Genesis 25:12-16. 神许诺赐福给以实玛利,并使他成为大国(1720)。但是,在立约中提及的嗣却应出于亚伯兰与撒莱(17210。以实玛利成为阿拉伯之父,他的十二个儿子成为阿拉伯部落里的酋长(以赛亚书606-7),这在创世纪2512-16中已经提及。“你要叫亚伯拉罕”(创世纪171-8

"Thy name shall be Abraham" (Genesis 17:1-8)

Another 13 years passed and Abram was now 99 years of age when the Lord appeared to him again. This time He spoke further about the covenant that He had made with Abram (Genesis 15:18). Speaking of the far reaching aspects of this covenant God said: "I will multiply thee exceedingly" (v2), and therefore in accomplishing this, "thou shalt be a father of many nations" (v4). Because the fulfilment of this covenant would incorporate a multitude God said: "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" (v5). The name Abram means "lofty or high father" whereas Abraham means "father of a multitude" of nations (see margin). 又过了十三年,神又显现给亚伯兰,这时他已99岁了。这次神扩展了他与亚伯兰的立约(创世纪1518)。神说:“我必使你的后裔极其繁多”(第2节),又为了达到这点,说:“你要作多国的父”(第4节)。因为这个立约中包含了许多人,神又说:“从此以后,你的名不再叫亚伯兰,要叫作亚伯拉罕,因为我已经立你作多国的父”(第5节)。亚伯兰这名字意味着“高尚与崇高的父”,而亚伯拉罕则意味着“许多人的父”。

The significance of the change of his name has a direct relationship to the promise and covenant that God made with Abraham. We see this explained in the following places in the New Testament:这名字的转换有重大的意义,它关系到神的话诺和神所立的约。在新约中有些地方对此作了解释:

1. In Galatians 3 Paul makes the following points:

Verse 7 7

"Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" Whosoever, (Jew or Gentile) manifests a faith like that of Abraham is a child of Abraham. The family of Abraham is based upon faith and not fleshly descent.“所以,你们要知道,那以信为本的人,就是亚伯拉罕的子孙”,不论是谁,(犹太人或非犹人)只要有着于亚伯拉罕同样的信,就是亚伯拉罕的子孙。这是建于信而非血缘关系的基础上的。

Verse 8 8

"The scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith" Paul says that the blessing of being "justified" or "counted righteous" as Abraham was (Genesis 15:6 - see notes on this section in Lesson 9) is to all who manifest a faith in God as Abraham did. These can share in the promise through Christ by baptism into him. Thus the "heathen" or Gentiles can share in this blessing (Galatians 3:27-29).“并且圣经既然预先看明,神要叫外邦人因信称义”保罗说那些与亚伯拉罕一样有福的义人,是指所有在神前称义的人。这些人可以通过受洗归于基督而得福。所以,这些“外邦人”,或说“非犹太人”,一样可以得福。(加拉太书327-29

"preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed" This sentence includes a quote from Genesis 12:3. The word "gospel" means "good news, glad tidings". The gospel certainly is good news for all mankind, both Jew and Gentile. Thus "all nations" can share this hope of righteousness through faith which is the forgiveness of sins, through baptism into the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore become heirs also of the promises made to Abraham and to his seed (Galatians 3:16, 27-29).“早已传福给亚伯拉罕,说,万国都必因你得福”这句话引用了创世纪123中的意思。“福音”这个词意思是“好的消息”。所以,对所有的人来说,不论是犹太人或非犹太人,福音都是一个好消息。因此所有在神前因信称义的人,由受洗归与基督,他们的罪被赦免,都应照着应许承受产业的了。

2. Romans 4:16-17 Here in this chapter, which we considered when looking at Genesis 15:6, we find Genesis 17:5 quoted by Paul. 罗马书416-17在这一章中,当我们仔细看创世纪156时,我们发现保罗引用了创世纪175中的话。

Verse 16 16

"Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, (Jews), but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham (Jew and Gentile); who is the father of us all (Jew and Gentile)" Paul here shows that the promise to Abraham was not exclusive to the Jews, but inclusive of all people upon the principle of faith.“所以人复员为后嗣是本乎信,因此就属乎恩,叫应许定然归给一切后嗣;不但归给那属乎律法的(犹太人),也归给那效法亚伯拉罕之信的(犹太人和非犹太人)。”保罗指出应该许不仅只归给犹太人,也归给所有因着信的人。

Verse 17 17

"(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations)" By quoting Genesis 17:5 Paul is emphasising the universal nature of the promise. By this change of name from Abram to Abraham, no Jew can claim a superiority before God on the basis of fleshly descent from Abraham. The change of name shows clearly that all people can share in the blessing of the promise in the gospel.“如经上所记,我已立你作多国的父”保罗引用了创世纪175中的话,强调了这应许的特性。由亚伯兰到亚伯拉罕,名字的转变意味着犹太人在神前不在有基于血缘上的特权。所有的人都能分享福音中的承诺。

3. Romans 9:6-9 Here Paul again shows that being of the lineage of Abraham does not of itself commend a person before God. 罗马书96-9在此保罗再此重申了只有把自己归与神,才能成为亚伯拉罕的后裔。

Verse 6 6

"For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" Paul is about to show that faith and not fleshly descent is the basis for one to be counted as part of "the seed of promise".“因为从以色列生的不都是以色列人”,保罗是想说由于信,并非由于血统,人才成为“应许的后裔”。

Verse 7 7

"In Isaac shall thy seed by called" Abraham had a number of sons, Ishmael (Genesis 16), and those listed later in Genesis 25:1-6. However God said specifically to Abraham that "in Isaac shall thy seed by called" (Genesis 21:12). Thus fleshly descent meant nothing in this instance.“从以撒生的才要称为你的后裔”亚伯拉罕有许多儿子,以实玛利(创世纪16),以及在创世纪251-6中所列的。然而神特别指出“从以撒生的才要称为你的后裔”(创世纪2112)。所以在这个例子中,血统并不代表什么。

Verse 88

"These are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed" We can only be identified with the seed of Abraham through faith. This faith is demonstrated by baptism into Christ (Galatians 3:26-29).“这就是说,肉身所生的儿女不是神的儿女,唯独那应许的儿女才算是后裔”我们只有因着信才能成为应许的后裔。这信通过领洗归与基督来体现(加拉太书326-29

Once we appreciate the reason for the change in Abrams name to Abraham we can see how the promise can be shared by "many nations". Turning back to Genesis 17:7-8, we find that God reaffirms that His covenant is an "everlasting covenant". When the eternal God declares that His covenant is an "everlasting covenant", then we can be sure that it will be fulfilled. 一旦我们认识到这名字转换的意义,我们就能见到这许诺是如何让“许多国”分享的。回到创世纪177-8,我们看到神重申了他的约是“永久的约”。当永久的神宣布这是一个永久的立约时,毫无疑问它必会实现。

Circumcision - the Token of the Covenant (Genesis 17:9-14)割礼—立约的记号(创世纪179-14

God, wishing to make a perpetual reminder to the seed of Abraham that this covenant had been made with Abraham, introduced a "token" or "sign" to remind them of this glorious covenant of hope. Circumcision was to be "a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you" (v11). "Every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed," was to be circumcised (v12). Circumcision was a token of the covenant to Abrahams literal seed as well as to those strangers who were joined to his family.神为了让亚伯拉罕的后裔记住这个立约,就给这约作了一个“记号”。“割礼是我与你之间让亚伯拉罕的后裔记住这个立约,就给这约作了一个记号”(第11节)。“你们世世代代的男子,无论是家里生的,是在你后裔之外用银子买的”,都要受割礼(第12节)。割礼是亚伯拉罕的后裔和那些加入到他家系中的外人的记号。

Circumcision - A Sign of Baptism

Paul shows that circumcision pointed forward to baptism into Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:11-13). We recall that through baptism into Christ a person becomes an heir of the promise made to Abraham (Galatians 3:27-29). Baptism now replaces the rite of circumcision. 保罗说割礼是领洗的前兆(歌罗西书211-13)。我们知道领洗归与基督就成为应许的后裔(加拉太书327-29)。所以割礼现已被受洗代替。

Sarais Name is Changed to Sarah (Genesis 17:15-16)

Not only was Abrams name changed to Abraham to incorporate the idea of the great promises that God had made with him, but Sarais name was also changed to Sarah meaning "princess", thus elevating her role, for she was to be the mother of the nations of which Abraham was to be the father. 结合神与亚伯拉罕所立的约,不仅亚伯兰改名为亚伯拉罕,撒莱也改名为撒拉,意思是“公主”,这就提高了她的地位,因为亚伯拉罕要成为多国的父,而她要成为多国的母。

Angels Visit Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18)

This chapter tells of the visit of three messengers from God. It should be observed that whereas "three men" (v2) came to Abraham, it is soon apparent that they were angels (Genesis 19:1; cp 18:17). We note the happy domestic scene as Abraham and Sarah show hospitality to their visitors. There is a lesson here for all who would follow their example (Hebrews 13:2). 这章告诉我们三位天使拜访亚伯拉罕。一开始是“三个人”来到亚伯拉罕这儿,接着很明显这三人是天使(创世纪1911817)。亚伯拉罕和撒拉非常恭敬地迎接天使。从这一幕中效仿亚伯拉罕的人都应以此为榜样(希伯来书132

These angels again told Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son. "Sarah laughed within herself saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also" (v12). To her it seemed impossible, and humanly speaking it was impossible (v 11). 这些天使再次告诉亚伯拉罕和撒拉他们会有一个儿子。“撒拉心里暗笑,说,我既已衰败,我主也已老迈,岂能有这喜事呢?”(第12节)。对她来说这是不可能的,按常理来说也是不可能的(第11节)。

Peter, in referring to this incident notes that Sarah called Abraham her "lord", and makes the point that all true daughters of Sarah will likewise acknowledge their husbands as their lords, being in submission to them (1 Peter 3:5-7). This God-given instruction is ridiculed by the world today (cp Ephesians 5:22-29). 彼得在此指出撒拉称呼她的丈夫为“我主”,我意味着所有撒拉的真正女儿都应视她们的丈夫为主并服从她们的丈夫(彼得前书35-7)。而这一看法却被现今的世人嘲笑(例以弗所书522-29)。

Although, for the moment Sarah doubted, the angel answered her saying: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (v14) In due time, according to the word of God, a son was born to Abraham and Sarah whom Abraham called Isaac (Genesis 21:1-7). Paul comments that "through faith Sarah received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age" (Hebrews 11:11-12). 撒拉怀疑时,那天使就回答她说:“岂有神难成的事?”(第14节)到了时候,就如神所说的,撒拉生了一个儿子,起名叫以撒。(创世纪211-7)。保罗指出“因着信,连撒拉自己,虽然过了生育的岁数,还能怀”(怀希伯来书1111-12)。

The Destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19)

After delivering their message to Abraham and Sarah the angelic messengers continued their journey toward Sodom (v22). Whilst two of them journeyed (19:1), one remained and talked with Abraham, telling him of Gods impending judgement upon Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham, who was concerned for Lot and his family, pleaded that He would not destroy the city, and so kill the righteous with the wicked. He agreed that if there were ten righteous in the city then He would not destroy it (v23-33). 传达了信息亚伯拉罕和撒拉之后,天使就朝所多玛(第22节)。两位天使走后,还有一位留下告诉亚伯拉罕神要审判所多玛和蛾摩拉。亚伯拉罕担心侄子罗得与他的家人,就乞求天使不要毁灭所多玛,将义人与坏人同时杀死。天使答应他只要所多玛有十个义人,他就不毁灭那城。

On their arrival at Sodom, Lot prevailed upon the two angelic visitors to take shelter and rest in his home. As we read through the account of the nights activities we realise the utter wickedness of that city (v4-11), and understand why Gods judgements were to be poured out upon the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. The angels told Lot to take his family from the city immediately. Lot pleaded with his family but they would not listen (v12-14). 到了所多玛,罗得请他们到自己家中休息。那晚发生的事使我们看到了所多玛人的罪恶(第4-11节),也明白了为何神要将惩罚于所多玛与蛾摩拉。天使让罗得快带他的家人逃走。罗得告诉了家人,但他们却不信(第12-14节)。

Finally the angels urged Lot, his wife and two daughters to flee the city and told them not to look back. "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven (v 24). Lots wife looked back as her heart was still in that wicked city and she became a pillar of salt (v26). The destruction of those cities was absolute. It is believed that the geophysical destruction caused the depression of the Dead Sea and its sterile surrounds, and that Sodom and Gomorrah are now beneath the southern end of the Dead Sea. 最后天使催促罗得并他的妻子与两个女儿逃离这城并让他们不准回头看。“接着神就从天上降硫磺与火将所多玛与蛾摩拉毁灭”(第24节)。罗得的妻子仍惦记着那城,向后看了一下,就变成了一根盐柱(第26节)。城市的毁灭是彻底的。现时认为死海及周围环境的形成是由于地壳的变动,所多玛与峨摩拉应在死海南端的底下。

The Lessons of Sodoms Destruction

The lessons from the destruction of that wicked generation have been referred to throughout the Bible. 这个邪恶的城市的毁灭给了我们很深刻的教训。

  • Christ said that one of the signs indicating the nearness of his return would be that the world would sink to base immorality similar to that of Sodom (Luke 17:28-32). How accurately these words are being fulfilled before us today, with many governments legalising such depraved immorality. He warned us to remember Lots wife and not have our hearts and interests in this evil world. 基督说他的重临的一个征兆是世界沉沦于邪恶,就象所多玛的日子(路加福音1728-32)。他的话准确地应验了,现今的许多政府都实施不义的政策。基督警告我们不要象罗得的妻子一样留恋这个世界。
  • Peter used the example of judgement upon Sodom as a guarantee that God will punish such ungodliness (2 Peter 2:6-9; Jude 7).彼得用这一例子来说明神会惩罚那些不敬神的人(彼得后书26-9;犹大书7)。
  • Ezekiel speaks of the state of Sodom, paralleling it with the wicked state that had developed in Israel. He lists the sins of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49-50).以西结说及所多玛,将它与以色列的罪恶状况作比较。他列举了所多玛的罪状(以西结书1649-50

Summary Points

  • Abrams name was changed to Abraham (Genesis 17:1-8). In so doing God said to him: "Thou shalt be a father of many nations". 亚伯兰的名字被改为亚伯拉罕(创世纪171-8),这样以后神对他说:“你要成为多国的父”。

  • Circumcision was given as a token of the covenant that God made with Abraham (Genesis 17:9-14). Paul shows that circumcision pointed forward to baptism (Colossians 2:11-13), through which we become part of the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:26-29).割礼成为立约的记号(创世纪179-14)。保罗指出割礼是洗礼的前兆(哥林多后书211-13)。通过受洗我们成为亚伯拉罕的子孙(加拉太书326-29)。

  • Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah. He was the one through whom the seed should come (Genesis 21:12).亚伯拉罕和撒拉生出以撒。从以撒生的才成为亚伯拉罕的后裔。(创世纪2112)。

  • The account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18-19 carries the sober warning of impending judgement upon this evil age today (Luke 17:28-32).所我玛与蛾摩拉的毁灭(创世纪18-19)带给我们神会审判当今这个邪恶时代的警告。


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