The Scofield Bible Commentary, by Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, , at sacred-texts.com
Now the Lord
The Fourth Dispensation: Promise. For Abraham, and his descendants it is evident that the Abrahamic Covenant (See Scofield) - (Gen 15:18) made a great change. They became distinctively the heirs of promise. That covenant is wholly gracious and unconditional. The descendants of Abraham had but to abide in their own land to inherit every blessing. In Egypt they lost their blessings, but not their covenant. The Dispensation of Promise ended when Israel rashly accepted the law (Exo 19:8). Grace had prepared a deliverer (Moses), provided a sacrifice for the guilty, and by divine power brought them out of bondage (Exo 19:4) but at Sinai they exchanged grace for law. The Dispensation of Promise extends from (Gen 12:1) to (Exo 19:8); and was exclusively Israelitish. The dispensation must be distinguished from the covenant. The former is a mode of testing; the latter is everlasting because unconditional. The law did not abrogate the Abrahamic Covenant (Gal 3:15-18) but was an intermediate disciplinary dealing "till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made"; (Gal 3:19-29); (Gal 4:1-7). Only the dispensation, as a testing of Israel, ended at the giving of the law.
See, for the other six dispensations:
(See Scofield) - (Gen 8:21).
(See Scofield) - (Gen 1:28)
(See Scofield) - (Gen 3:23)
(See Scofield) - (Gen 12:1)
(See Scofield) - (Exo 19:8)
(See Scofield) - (Joh 1:17)
(See Scofield) - (Eph 1:10).
For analysis and summary of the Abrahamic Covenant,
(See Scofield) - (Gen 15:18).
The theophanies. (Gen 17:1); (Gen 12:7); (Rev 1:10).
One of the sacred places of Canaan, meaning, house of God (Gen 28:1-22);
(See Scofield) - (Gen 35:7).
It is characteristic of all apostasy that Jeroboam chose this sacred place in which to erect an idol (Kg1 12:28); (Kg1 12:32).
(compare (Kg1 13:1-5)
and of divine judgment upon apostasy that God should decree the destruction of Bethel, despite its sacred memories; (Kg1 13:1-5); (Kg2 23:15-17); (Amo 3:14); (Amo 3:15).
God never hesitates to cast aside that which no longer serves His purpose (Rev 2:5); (Rev 3:16).
A famine was often a disciplinary testing of God's people in the land. (Cf) (Gen 26:1); (Gen 42:5); (Rut 1:1); (Sa2 24:13); (Psa 105:16).
The resort to Egypt (the world) is typical of the tendency to substitute for lost spiritual power the fleshly resources of the world, instead of seeking, through confession and amendment, the restoration of God's presence and favour.