And Abraham journeyed from thence towards the south country,
&c.] He returned from the plains or oaks of Mamre, where he had lived fifteen or twenty years, into the more southern parts of the land of Canaan: the reason of this remove is not certain; some think, because he could not bear the stench of the sulphurous lake, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were become; and others, because of the scandal of Lot's incest with his daughters, which prejudiced the idolatrous people in those parts more against the true religion; neither of which are likely, by reason of the distance; but the better reason seems to be, that it was so ordered in Providence that he should remove from place to place, that it might appear that he was but a sojourner in the land: and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur;
two wildernesses, as Jerom says F25, one of which joined to Egypt, to which the people of Israel went when they passed over the Red sea, and the other, Kadesh, reached to the desert of the Saracens. Onkelos and Jonathan paraphrase the words between Rekam and Chagra, or Hagra, the same place where the angel of the Lord met with Hagar at the well, (See Gill on Genesis 16:7) and (See Gill on Genesis 16:14): and sojourned in Gerar;
or Gerara, as Jerom F26 calls it,
``from whence he says the Geraritic country in his time beyond Daroma, or the south, had its name, and was twenty five miles distance from Eleutheropolis to the south, and was formerly the southern border of the Canaanites, and the metropolis of Palestine.''According to the Samaritan version, Gerar is the same with Ashkelon, which was afterwards, when aristocracy took place in this country, one of the five lordships of the Philistines; and so says Africanus F1; and that Gerar was in the country of the Philistines, and Abimelech was king of them, is clear from ( Genesis 21:32 ) ( 26:1 ) . This place was about six miles from Mamre F2, from whence Abraham removed.
F25 De loc. Heb. fol, 91. I.
F26 De loc. Heb. fol. 91. I.
F1 Apud Syncell. Chronic. p. 100.
F2 Bunting's Travels, p. 57.