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Seed of Isaac

Genesis 17:19

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Gen 17:21; Gen 18:10-14; Gen 21:2,3,6; 2Ki 4:16,17; Luk 1:13-20; Rom 9:6-9; Gal 4:28-31


II. The ratification of this promise was the change of Sarai’s name into Sarah (v. 15), the same letter being added to her name that was to Abraham’s, and for the same reasons. Sarai signifies my princess, as if her honour were confined to one family only. Sarah signifies a princess—namely, of multitudes, or signifying that from her should come the Messiah the prince, even the prince of the kings of the earth.
III. Abraham’s joyful, thankful, entertainment of this gracious promise, v. 17. Upon this occasion he expressed, 1. Great humility: He fell on his face. Note, The more honours and favours God confers upon us the lower we should be in our own eyes, and the more reverent and submissive before God. 2. Great joy: He laughed. It was a laughter of delight, not of distrust. Note, Even the promises of a holy God, as well as his performances, are the joys of holy souls; there is the joy of faith as well as the joy of fruition. Now it was that Abraham rejoiced to see Christ’s day. Now he saw it and was glad (Jn. 8:56); for, as he saw heaven in the promise of Canaan, so he saw Christ in the promise of Isaac. 3. Great admiration: Shall a child be born to him that is a hundred years old? He does not here speak of it as at all doubtful (for we are sure that he staggered not at the promise, Rom. 4:20), but as very wonderful and that which could not be effected but by the almighty power of God, and as very kind, and a favour which was the more affecting and obliging for this, that it was extremely surprising, Ps. 126:1, 2.

Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible