1 ¶ And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. 5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? 6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. 7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. 8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. 9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.
Abraham was well-acquainted with the religious practices and the character of the Canaanites. Ham’s grandson’s descendants were very carnal and impulsive, prone to the most awful religious practices like temple prostitution with both female prostitutes called whores and male prostitutes called sodomites, a reference to Sodom once under control of Babylon, and the source of that early God-defying religion. The slang dog is also used as a derogatory term for them.
Deuteronomy 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
There was also child sacrifice to Baal where, with trumpets blowing and drums beating, the infant was thrown into the super-heated arms of a statue of this devil. The noise was so that the screams of the infant could be muted because it was not pleasing to this devil for parents to mourn. In this way, on one occasion, 300 babies were slaughtered in the city of Carthage, a colony of Phoenicia, much later in history when Rome besieged it, to appease Baal’s wrath.
Sex with animals as evidenced even today on an Indian temple in carvings and other sexual practices under the guise of religion and for any reason as banned by the Law given to Moses was also common. It was a wicked world without even the superficial layer of pretended morality we have today.
Abraham wanted nothing of this world to have polluted the wife he desired for his son. Unfortunately for Solomon, later king of Israel, he did not feel that way much to his shame.
1Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
Nehemiah 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
The Christian is warned not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever.
2Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
Many marriages made by Christians with cynical unbelief have either turned out unhappy or, even if physically happy, have borne no faith and a lack of regard for God in both parents and children is the result. It is a terrible mistake to encourage a son or daughter who has been a faithful Bible-believing young person to marry someone who does not believe or trust in Christ, someone whom they met in the public school you sent them to or the university you thought they must attend.
There are two things, two trends, in American history that have killed faith in later generations. One of them is the hyper-Christianity, the self-righteousness of conservatives and liberals who believed they were bringing in the kingdom of Christ on earth without Him. The other is Christian youth marrying unbelievers and creating confusion and then unbelief in their families.
Here we see an odd custom of putting one’s hand under the upper leg of a person superior in rank to swear an oath. The thigh in the Bible refers to the leg down to the knee as in this description of breeches, the underwear of the Hebrew priests.
Exodus 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
This steward the eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had is identified by name as Eliezer of Damascus in 15:2. It has been said that if Abraham is a type of God the Father, then Eliezer is a type of the Holy Ghost going into the world to gather the church of believers only, the Bride of Christ, for Isaac, who is a type of Christ. Verse 8 underscores the free will nature of this church as God forces no one to follow Him.