Distinctions in Gen 15:1

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Puritan Board Freshman
I was reading Vos’ Biblical Theology and he makes a point which hinges on a certain rendering of Gen 15:1.
In the KJV (see also NIV and ASV) the reward is God himself “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” whereas the ESV (and others) have the reward as distinct from God. The ESV (see also NASB) renders it “I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
What are the grounds for such a distinction? Looking at the Hebrew, I seem to intuitively read it as the KJV translates.
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Here's what I wrote in my forthcoming commentary:
“I am your shield; your reward shall be very great” (15:1); [Footnote: The Hebrew could also be translated, “[I am] your very great reward” (KJV; NIV). This would make the Lord himself Abram’s reward, which is certainly a Biblical concept (e.g., Ps. 73:25); however, the precise terminology of “reward” (or “wages”; sakar) is more often used with God as the giver (e.g., Ruth 2:12; Ps. 55:11), and can be used of the gift of offspring, which becomes the focus as this passage unfolds (Ps. 127:3).]
Calvin writes, “God did not forbid him to fear due to him being presently afraid; but that he might learn courageously to despise, and to account as nothing, all the favor of the world, and all earthly wealth; as if he had said, ‘If only I am propitious to thee, there is no reason why thou shouldst fear; contented with me alone in the world, pursue, as thou hast begun, thy pilgrimage; and rather depend on heaven, than attach thyself to earth.’”​

The Lord, v1, says to Abram: “Do not now have confidence in yourself. Consider as nothing your new found status in the eyes of believers and unbelievers alike and your recent courage (Gen.14). Count it cowardice, and realize even now your complete dependence on me! And I will be your protector. Preferring, as you did, my witness to the rewards of Sodom’s spoils, be assured that by me you shall have greater rewards than those.”

Then, O the subtlety of the devil; of course Abram does not stand perfectly at this instant unaffected by the adoration of those he delivered, and of the kings of the earth. While Jehovah’s faithful promises still echo, emptiness steals over Abram’s soul, v2. All he can think about is the one thing he desires above all. Great reward? “What will you give me, which will fill this void, this childlessness? One of my servants is in line to assume my “throne,” such as it is.” Reproach is in his mouth: “Behold! You have not given me a seed.” Weakness steals his confidence.

But God replies to him in grace, not by rebuke. He very explicitly tells him he will father a son, “Your very own son shall be your heir”(ESV, v4b). Paul tells us Abram knew that bodily he was already as good as dead, time had passed him by when this promise of the Lord came to him! Then to underscore the essence of the promise just made, God brought Abram out under the night sky, and invited him, yea dared him to count the stars of glory. “So shall your seed be.”

God does not break the bruised reed, or quench the weakly smoldering flax (Is.42:3). He gave strength to his elect man’s faith, and he gives the same to you, O seed of Abram. Regarding the false son, God will rebuke his unbelief; but to his true son he gives grace. Therefore, he did not “waver concerning the promise of God, but grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,” Rom.4:20.
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