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Author Topic: A Journey Thru Genesis  (Read 4848 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #156 on: May 02, 2019, 07:45:04 am »
● Gen 21:14d . . And she wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

The wilderness of Beer-sheba is about 50 miles south of Hebron.

The Hebrew word for "wandered about" is from ta'ah (taw-aw') which means to vacillate. Webster's defines "vacillate" as: to waver in mind, will, or feeling; viz: to hesitate in choice of opinions or courses. (cf. Jas 1:8)

As often as Hagar traveled up and down the land of Palestine with Abraham over the years, she no doubt knew her way around; so she's not blundering through the woods like a lost hiker.

At this point, Hagar is thoroughly rattled and doesn't really know what to do next or even how she and Ishmael are going to survive in a land where no State programs for unemployed single mothers existed. And to top it off; she's a freed slave who now has to make all her own decisions and fend for her child and for herself on her own rather than simply comply with the demands of a master who provided for all her daily necessities.

Slavery has its pluses and minuses; its upsides and its downsides; and it's not always to a slave's benefit to give them their walking papers. There's a provision in the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God that allows for a slave to remain a slave for life of their own free will. The law applies to anyone living as a citizen in the land of Israel, whether Jew or Gentile. (Ex 21:2-6, Lev 24:22)

Many of the slaves that were liberated after the American Civil War found themselves in the throes of instant poverty: unable to either read or to write, with no place to live, and zero prospects for gainful employment. I'm not saying slavery is a good thing. I'm only saying that, all things considered, it might be the better option for some people.

I met guys in the Army who re-enlisted for the security of a steady paycheck, free meals, free health care, paid vacations, and rent-free/mortgage-free accommodations. They had to relinquish a degree of their freedom for those benefits, but in their minds, it was not a bad trade-off.

● Gen 21:15-16 . .When the water was gone from the skin, she left the child under one of the bushes, and went and sat down at a distance, a bowshot away; for she thought: Let me not look on as the child dies. And sitting thus afar, she burst into tears.

The word "child" is misleading. The Hebrew is yeled (yeh'-led) which can also mean: a lad. Webster's defines a lad as: a male person; of any age between early boyhood and maturity; viz: boys and/or youths.

Ishmael was hardly what modern Americans might call a child. He was near to eighteen years old at this time; if he was circumcised at fourteen and Isaac was weaned at three. (cf. Gen 16:16, Gen 21:5, Gen 21:8)

One can only guess at the grief in Hagar's heart. Her life had come down to this: a lonely, impoverished, homeless death out in the middle of nowhere. In her distress Hagar had forgotten about her friend 'Ataah 'Eel R'iy the god who sees people and knows their troubles. And she had forgotten all the predictions He made back in Gen 16:10-12 concerning Ishmael's future. There is just no way her son can be allowed to die at this time.

When God's people lose confidence in His statements, they usually always get themselves into trouble. If only Hagar had trusted God, she wouldn't have despaired regarding Ishmael's life. He was perfectly safe. Don't you see? He had to live so God could keep His promise to multiply him; and so he could become a wild-burro of a man, and so he could live near the people of Israel like God predicted. So even if Hagar had perished all alone in the wilderness, Ishmael would have gone on to survive without his mother because his divine guardian would have seen to it.

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #157 on: May 03, 2019, 07:50:03 am »
● Gen 21:17a . . God heard the cry of the boy,

I don't think Ishmael, at near eighteen, was bawling his eyes out like a little girl. Rather; his "cry" was a plea for help. Exactly what he said is unknown. But God heard him and responded. I strongly suspect that in those seventeen or so years with Abraham, Ishmael learned how to pray; and very likely he prayed at bed time with his mom Hagar. She knew Abraham's god too-- at first hand.

God had promised Hagar and Abraham that He would multiply Ishmael (Gen 16:10, Gen 17:20). So God cannot allow Ishmael to die before generating a posterity.

● Gen 21:17b-18 . . and an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her: What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heeded the cry of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.

Now we're back on personal terms; and the angel speaks to Hagar by name rather than by her previous status as a slave; which would be inappropriate at this point because she's been emancipated.

This particular angel wasn't an apparition but rather just a voice-- granted a very unusual voice. First it spoke for God, then it spoke as the Yhvh who would make good on the promise that God made to Hagar at Gen 16:10-11 and the one made to Abraham at Gen 21:13.

● Gen 21:19 . .Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and let the boy drink.

I bet the water was right there all the time but Hagar was so exhausted and distraught that she hadn't seen it. Everybody gets that way once in a while. Sometimes the answer to our problem is right under our noses but oftentimes can't see it because we're just too upset at the time.

● Gen 21:20a . . God was with the boy and he grew up;

I don't know why so many Christians and Jews have such a low opinion of Ishmael. How many of his detractors are able to boast that God was with any of them as they grew up?

● Gen 21:20b . . he dwelt in the wilderness and became a bowman.

Archery must have become a traditional skill in Ishmael's family. One of his male progeny, Kedar, produced a clan of bowmen who used their skills not only in hunting, but also in warfare. (Isa 21:16-17)

● Gen 21:21a . . He lived in the wilderness of Paran;

The Wilderness of Paran encompassed a pretty big area. It was south of the Negev, on the Sinai peninsula, roughly between Elat on the east and the Suez canal on the west.

To look at that region today you'd wonder what appealed to Mr. Ishmael; but apparently it was a whole lot more pleasant in his day 3,900 years ago; which wouldn't surprise me since the Sahara itself was at one time verdant, pluvial, and inhabited.

● Gen 21:21b . . and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

A girl from Egypt was apparently a better choice than the girls of Canaan; from among whom Abraham would later not want a wife for his son Isaac (Gen 24:3-4).

I wonder how Hagar traveled to Egypt. Did she go on to become prominent in the caravan business? I bet you one thing. She was very careful that her boy did not get himself hitched to a Sarah-type personality. And no way would Hagar ever have one for a mother-in-law either.

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #158 on: May 04, 2019, 08:07:30 am »
● Gen 21:22a . . At that time

While Hagar and Ishmael were busy re-inventing their lives; a seemingly trivial event occurred in Abraham's life. These kinds of events may seem superfluous, but they're actually pretty handy for giving us some insight into Abraham the man; i.e. his personality.

● Gen 21:22b . . Abimelech

It is very possible that Abimelech is a royal title rather than a personal name, sort of like Pharaoh or Caesar, since in the title of Psalm 34 the name Abimelech is applied to the king of Gath, who is elsewhere known by his personal name Achish. (1Sam 27:2-3)

● Gen 21:22c . . and Phicol, chief of his troops,

Phicol's name sounds funny in Hebrew. It's Piykol (pee-kole') which means: mouth of all. His name, like Abimelech's, could also have been a title; especially since it implies that he was a spokesman. I'm sure you've heard people say: "And I think I speak for all when I say this; yada, yada, yada; etc, etc, etc." Maybe that's what his name "mouth of all" implies. At any rate, he was Abimelech's chief of staff and apparently his right hand man-- a military man, and trusted.

● Gen 21:22d . . said to Abraham: The gods are with you in everything that you do.

Abimelech knew first hand that Abraham could do no wrong. And even when he did, his god was right there to bail him out. That is an extremely envious position. What if you knew that God would protect you no matter how dumb, stupid, and clumsy you were in life-- that in spite of your bad investments, accidents, poor judgment, bad decisions, worthless friends, failed romances, and overspending, you still came out on top? Well . . that is just how it went for Abraham. He was bullet proof.

● Gen 21:23a . .Therefore swear

(chuckle) Ol' Abimelech is nobody's fool. He was burned once by Abraham and wasn't about to be suckered again. From now on he will accept Abraham's word only if he gives his oath on it first. You know; trust is an easy thing to lose, and very difficult to regain.

● Gen 21:23b . . to me here by the gods

The Hebrew word for "gods" is a nondescript label for any number of celestial beings; both real and imagined. But I kind of suspect the one Abimelech referred to was the god who appeared to him in the dream; in other words; Abraham's god: Yhvh.

● Gen 21:23c . . that you will not deal falsely with me or with my kith and kin, but will deal with me and with the land in which you have sojourned as loyally as I have dealt with you.

It's a non aggression pact. But why would Abimelech go to all the trouble? And why would he, a king, travel to Abraham's camp rather than summon him to appear? Did he fear that Abraham, a man befriended by a supreme being, might become so powerful that he would attempt to conquer Abimelech's kingdom? I think so. Abraham's medicine was strong. He had a connection in the spirit world to a god with the power to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and to strike people with serious maladies. It would be perfectly human for Abraham to take advantage of his supernatural affiliation and use it to advantage.

With a man like Abraham, Abimelech probably figured a preemptive strike would be out of the question. It is better to strike a treaty while conditions permit. After all, Abraham owed Abimelech one for letting him off after lying to him about Sarah. Good time to call that in.

● Gen 21:24 . . And Abraham said: I swear it.

NOTE: There are Christians who would soundly condemn Abraham for swearing based upon their understanding of Matt 5:33-37.

I can almost hear Abimelech and Phicol start breathing again. I think both of those men were more than just a little worried about their safety on Abraham's turf.

That settled, Abraham has a matter of his own to discuss; and now's a good time for it, seeing as those men were being very humble; at least for the moment.

NOTE: There are well-meaning folk who feel it's wrong for God's people to be confrontational; and base their reasoning on Matt 5:3, Matt 5:5, Matt 5:9, and Matt 5:39. But other than Isaac, I don't think you could find a more gracious man in the Old Testament than Abraham. He didn't have a hair-trigger temper, a spirit of vengeance, nor did he declare war over every little disagreement.

Abraham picked his battles with care, and conducted them intelligently-- same with Moses, of whom the Old Testament says: was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth (Num 12:3). Jesus was meek too (Matt 11:29 and Matt 21:5) but could be very confrontational when the circumstances called for a heavy hand. (Matt 23:13 36)

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #159 on: May 05, 2019, 08:08:16 am »
● Gen 21:25-26 . .Then Abraham reproached Abimelech for the well of water which the servants of Abimelech had seized. But Abimelech said: I do not know who did this; you did not tell me, nor have I heard of it until today.

Abraham may have previously reported the incident to a bureaucrat, who then tossed the complaint in a file cabinet somewhere and soon forgot about it because this is the very first time Mr. Abimelech has been made aware of the problem. Sometimes you just have to cut through the red tape and go straight to the top.

● Gen 21:27-29 . . Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a pact. Abraham then set seven ewes of the flock by themselves, and Abimelech said to Abraham: What mean these seven ewes which you have set apart?

This was not a local custom; whatever it is, because Abimelech is totally puzzled by it.

● Gen 21:30 . . He replied: You are to accept these seven ewes from me as proof that I dug this well.

A reasonable assumption is that Abraham-- thoroughly disgusted with Gerar's bureaucracy, and having no confidence in Abimelech's oath --shrewdly purchased a water right so the government's thugs would have to step off and leave him be.

● Gen 21:31-32 . . Hence that place was called Beer-sheba [well of seven], for there the two of them swore an oath. When they had concluded the pact at Beer-sheba, Abimelech and Phicol, chief of his troops, departed and returned to the land of the Philistines.

Abraham swore to live peaceably with Abimelech. And he in turn swore to let Abraham keep the well that he dug. Did Abimelech swear by a god or just give his word? Genesis doesn't say. But only Abraham's god is named in this pact. Possibly they both swore by that one.

● Gen 21:33 . . Abraham planted a tamarisk at Beer-sheba, and invoked there the name of The Lord, the Everlasting God.

Actually, that verse is supposed to read like this: "and invoked there the name of Yhvh, the everlasting god."

NOTE: It's commonly assumed that because of Ex 6:2-3, Abraham wasn't supposed to have known the name Yhvh; but obviously he did.

The word for "tamarisk" is 'eshel (ay'-shel) which can mean a tamarisk tree; and it can also mean a grove of trees; of any kind. The grove was probably somewhat like a private garden where Abraham could have some solitude in prayer. Groves were popular as places of religious devotion and worship and of public meetings in both Canaan and Israel. It was in a garden where Jesus prayed his last great prayer in John 17 just before being arrested.

Backyards can serve as "gardens" too. Here in the part of Oregon where I live, row houses have become a common style of residential housing construction; which is really sad. The people living in them don't have any backyard to speak of like my wife and I do in an older home.

When we look out the big windows on the east side of our house, we see trees and shrubs and grass and an old mossy playhouse I built for my son and his friends many years ago; and lots of urban wildlife too: birds, raccoons, skunks, huge banana slugs, and squirrels and such. That backyard gives us a feeling of escape and privacy: it's very soothing; like a week-end getaway except that it's every day.

The planners of New York City's central park had the very same idea in mind. Opponents of the park groused about the valuable real estate that would be lost to public recreation; but many of the residents of Manhattan wouldn't trade their park for all the thousands and thousands of diamonds the De Beers company is hoarding in their vaults.

Not long ago one of Manhattan's abandoned elevated rail lines was converted into a park and it's already immensely popular as an escape. Human beings need their tamarisks; even holy human beings need them. (cf. Mark 6:46 and John 6:15)

● Gen 21:34 . . And Abraham resided in the land of the Philistines a long time.

It wasn't actually the Philistines' land in Abraham's day; but was theirs during the times when one of the authors of Genesis edited this chapter.

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #160 on: May 06, 2019, 08:22:58 am »
● Gen 22:1a . . Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test.

This particular section of scripture deals with an ancient incident known in sacred Jewish literature as The Akedah (the binding of Isaac). The Akedah portrays the very first human sacrifice ever performed in the Bible by someone who is extremely important to the people of Israel.

The test coming up wasn't meant to measure Abraham's loyalty; rather, to ascertain the quality of his trust in the promise that God made to him concerning Isaac's future.

"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 17:19)

● Gen 22:1b-2a . .  He said to him: Abraham. And he answered: Here I am. And He said: Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love,

The Hebrew word for "favored one" is yachiyd (yaw-kheed') which means sole. So then, Isaac wasn't just Abraham's favored son; he was also Abraham's only son because when the old gentleman emancipated Ishmael's mom Hagar, he relinquished legal kinship with her children. Relative to nature; Ishmael is Abraham's son, but relative to the covenant; he's no son at all.

"Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son" (Heb 11:17)

The koiné Greek word for "only begotten" is monogenes (mon-og-en-ace') which never refers to a special child, rather, always to an only child. Examples are located at Luke 7:12, Luke 8:42, Luke 9:38, John 1:14, John 1:18, John 3:16, John 3:18, and 1John 4:9.

Isaac was about three to five years old when Hagar and Ishmael moved out. Some time has gone by; and in this chapter, Isaac is now old enough to shoulder a load of wood, and to ask an intelligent question based on experience and observation; so he wasn't a little kid in this incident.

Why did God say; whom you love? I think it's so we'd know how Abraham felt about Isaac. There can be no doubt that he would sorely miss this boy if ever something should happen to him.

When people truly love their kids, they will die protecting them. They'll quite literally run into a burning building if need be and/or step in front of a bus.

Normal parents are very protective like that when they truly love their kids. People who love their kids don't drown them to please a boy friend, don't leave them unattended in the car and go inside a bar for a drink; don't let them go off with strangers, and don't let them go to the mall or to the playground all by themselves when they're little.

● Gen 22:2b . . and go to the land of Moriah,

There are only two places in the entire Old Testament where the word "Moriah" appears. One is here in Genesis and the other in 2Chrn 3:1.

According to tradition, Genesis' land of Moriah is the same as the mount Moriah in 2nd Chronicles-- the site of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem --which is bordered by the world famous Wailing Wall. Some justification for the tradition is found in verse 14, where Abraham named the location Adonai yireh, from which came the expression; "On the mount of the Lord there is vision".

However, Jerusalem's temple site isn't a three day trek on foot from Beer sheba; nor would it have been necessary for Abraham to pack in his own wood since Jerusalem's locale was well-forested in his day.

In reality; the precise geographic location of the land of Moriah remains to this day a total mystery; which is probably for the best because by now there'd likely be an Islamic mosque constructed on the site were its location known.

● Gen 22:2c . . and offer him there as a burnt offering

The Hebrew word for "burnt offering" is 'olah (o-law') which is a very different kind of offering than those of Cain and Abel. Theirs were minchah (min-khaw') which are usually gifts rather than atonements. They're also voluntary and bloodless.

Some say that Abraham's offering shouldn't be translated "burnt" and others say it should.

No doubt the best translator of 'olah within the context of the Akedah is the prophet Abraham himself. The very fact that he hewed wood, took a source of fire with him up the mountain, constructed an altar, put the wood on the altar, and then bound and positioned Isaac upon the wood and the altar; tells me that Abraham fully understood that when his divine master said 'olah He meant for the man to cremate his son.

The evidence that Isaac also fully understood that 'olah implied incineration is when he asked his dad: "Father; here are the wood and the fire: but where is the sheep?"

There are some who insist that Abraham misunderstood God. They say he was only supposed to take Isaac along with him up on the mountain and they together were to offer a burnt offering. What's the appropriate response to that?

Well; as I stated: Abraham was a prophet (Gen 20:7). Also; Abraham had three days to think about what he was asked to do. Had Abraham the prophet any misgivings about human sacrifice-- any at all --he surely would have objected and/or at the very least requested a clarification. I'm confident that's true because of the example of his rather impudent behavior recorded in the latter part of the 18th chapter of Genesis.

God ordered Abraham to offer his son as a burnt offering. That means he will have to slit Isaac's throat; and then cremate his remains. Why isn't Abraham recoiling and getting in God's face about this with a vehement protest? The inference is quite obvious. Abraham didn't believe human sacrifice wrong. In other words: for Abraham, human sacrifice was a non-issue or he would have surely objected to it.

NOTE: A technical point often overlooked in the "human sacrifice" issue is that in every instance banning the practice in the Old Testament, it is underage children that are condemned as offerings-- innocent children; viz: babes; and in particular, one's own. (e.g. Lev 18:21, Lev 20:2-5, Deut 12:31, Deut 18:10, cf. 2Kgs 16:3, 2Kgs 17:31, 2Kgs 23:10, 2Kgs 21:6, Ps 106:34, Ezk 20:31, Ezk 23:37, Jer 7:31, Jer 19:4, Jer 32:35). I have yet to encounter an instance where God expressed abhorrence at sacrificing a consenting adult.

FYI: There is no record of God banning the practice of sacrificing consenting adults up to the time of Abraham's day. Had God banned it later in Moses' day, the ban wouldn't count because divine law doesn't have ex post facto jurisdiction; i.e. it isn't retroactive.

Also to consider: were all adult sacrificing wrong, then Christ's crucifixion for the sins of the world would be null and void.

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #161 on: May 07, 2019, 10:42:57 am »
● Gen 22:2d . . on one of the heights that I will point out to you.

Precisely where the land of Moriah was, and the specific height God chose, is impossible to tell for sure. Abraham knew where the land was but he wouldn't know the exact spot until he got there.

It's just as well to keep it a secret or otherwise somebody would turn it into a shrine; sort of like the so-called Garden Tomb, where people come from all over the world and make fools of themselves kissing the ground. Some would even take home souvenir jars of dirt too; so that by now, likely so much dirt would be gone that the site of Moriah would look more like a quarry than a high place.

● Gen 22:3a . . So early next morning, Abraham saddled his burro and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac.

The Hebrew word for "saddled" is ambiguous. It doesn't necessarily indicate a device meant for transporting personnel; more likely tackling for cargo.

Whether or not the servants were armed, Genesis doesn't say. And why only two I don't know either. But that was enough to look after the burro while Abraham and Isaac were gone. And it's not wise to leave one man all alone in the outdoors; especially in the wild country of early day Palestine what with no phone service nor radios, nor cars to flag down for help in that day.

● Gen 22:3b . . He split the wood for the burnt offering,

It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that the servants did the actual wood cutting with Abraham supervising.

● Gen 22:3c-4 . . and he set out for the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place from afar.

Apparently everyone hiked on foot. The burro was just used as a pack animal to haul food, water, tents, supplies, and the wood.

Though it's stated Abraham "looked up" it doesn't necessarily mean the site was elevated above him. When Lot surveyed the Jordan valley, he was said to have "lifted up" his eyes. But the valley was about three thousand feet down below his vantage at the time. Lifting up one's eyes just simply means to look around, and survey the scene.

Those three days gave Abraham plenty of time to think about what God expected him to do. Abraham must surely have been giving Isaac's future some serious thought. And he no doubt pondered the promises God made concerning the great nation that was to issue from his boy. It was very likely at this time that Abraham's faith in God's promises sustained his determination to obey and take Isaac's life.

"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said "In Isaac your seed shall be called" concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead," (Heb 11:17-19)

In other words: Abraham was so confident that God was going to somehow make of his son's progeny a great nation that he assumed, quite correctly, that though he slay Isaac and cremate his remains, the lad wouldn't stay dead for very long.

● Gen 22:5 . .Then Abraham said to his servants: You stay here with the burro. The lad and I will go up there. We will worship and we will return to you.

Worship can be defined as respect paid to a better-- like when Abraham ran and bowed to the three men who came to his tent in chapter 18, and up ahead when he will bow to the sons of Heth in chapter 23.

When we let a senior citizen go through a door ahead of us, we are saying we regard that person as better than we are. And when we move aside for a presidential motorcade, we say the same thing. That's a kind of worship. It's not an attitude of equality nor one of parity. True worship is an attitude of humility, inferiority, subordination, submission, and admiration.

The God of the Bible is so superior and respectable that the seraphs in His throne room cover their faces and dare not gaze upon God. True worship recognizes God's supremacy and respects the sanctity of His person. Sinners are never allowed to barge in like drunken sailors, to gape and swagger, unwashed and uninvited. No, they crawl in, recognizing the depravity of Man and the extreme dignity of God. The burnt offering shows that Man not only risks death and incineration in God's presence: he fully deserves it.

There exists adequate proof that Abraham was capable of dishonesty, so it's difficult to tell at this point if he was actually predicting their return, or misleading everyone with a fib so nobody would become alarmed and throw a monkey wrench into the works. It was Abraham's full intention to slay Isaac but I'm sure you can understand why he wouldn't want anyone to know that.

However, Abraham was confident that Isaac wouldn't stay dead; that much is known for certain so I vote to give Abraham the benefit of the doubt and say he really did believe that he and Isaac come back together.

● Gen 22:6a . . Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac.

Were Isaac not quite a bit grown up at this time I don't think Abraham would have made him carry the wood.

But why not let the burro haul the wood to the site? Well; if you have never heard a burro bray up close and personal, I guarantee you would not want one to do it during a solemn church service. They are LOUD!

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #162 on: May 08, 2019, 08:25:27 am »
● Gen 22:6b-7 . . He himself took the firestone and the knife; and the two walked off together. Then Isaac said to his father Abraham: Father! And he answered: Yes, my son. And he said: Here are the firestone and the wood; but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?

Oops! That's kind of like going out to a picnic and forgetting the hot dogs and hamburger buns. The Tanakh's translation of the Hebrew word 'esh (aysh) as firestone was probably an educated guess. 'Esh just simply means fire, with no stone implied.

A convenient way to transport fire in those days was with a portable oven; viz: a fire pot (cf. Gen 15:17). So rather than a stone, which implies striking sparks, they most likely just brought along the camp stove, which held a receptacle for live coals. Fire pots in those days were the equivalent of modern propane-fueled camping equipment.

Since Abraham was the patriarch, it was his prerogative, as well as his responsibility, to actually kill the burnt offering and set it afire; so he quite naturally took custody of the weapon and the coals; as Isaac no doubt fully expected him to.

The word for "sheep" is either she (seh) or sey (say) which means: a member of a flock, which can be either a sheep or a goat. Neither the age nor the gender mattered in this instance because Scripture up to this point in time had not yet specified age or gender for a burnt offering.

Abraham could have used kids and lambs, or ewes, nannies, or rams; it made no difference. Actually, Abraham might have offered birds too. Noah did in chapter 8-- but there was something special about this instance that Isaac somehow knew required something quite a bit more substantial than a bird.

● Gen 22:8a . . And Abraham said: God will see to the sheep for His burnt offering, my son.

Little did Isaac know the sheep of that day was to be him. Ol' Abraham and his half truths are at it again.

● Gen 22:8b . . And the two of them walked on together.

This is now the second time Genesis says they walked together. Neither one led, nor brought up the rear, as in the case of so many husbands who leave their wives dragging along behind at the malls. Incidentally, the dialogue that took place between Isaac and his dad in verses 7 and 8 are the only recorded words they ever spoke to each other in the whole Bible.

Arguments from silence insist that if something isn't clearly stated in the Bible, then it's inferred from the silence that there was nothing to state. In other words: according to the logic of an argument from silence, verses 7 and 8 are the only words that Isaac and Abraham ever spoke to each other their entire lives: which of course is highly unlikely.

● Gen 22:9a . .They arrived at the place of which God had told him.

When did that happen . . God telling him? Genesis doesn't say. Jewish tradition says the site had an aural glow which Abraham and Isaac were enabled to see from a distance.

Anyway it was now time to tell Isaac the real purpose of their pilgrimage.

I can almost hear Isaac ask; "Dad, if I'm dead, then how will God make of me a great nation whose numbers exceed the stars of heaven? You told me He promised you that". Yes; God did promise Abraham that in Gen 15:4-5, and Gen 17:18-21.

It is here where Isaac's great faith is revealed; but not so much his faith in God: rather, faith in his dad. Abraham's influence upon Isaac was astonishing; so much so that no doubt the lad believed right along with his dad that his death would only be temporary. Isaac was convinced that God would surely raise him from the dead in order to make good on His promises to Abraham.

That young man really had fortitude; and incredible trust in his dad too. I'll tell you what: those two men deserve our deepest admiration. What an incredible display of faith and courage; both on the part of Abraham and on the part of his son Isaac.

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #163 on: May 09, 2019, 08:20:36 am »
● Gen 22:9b . . Abraham built an altar there; he laid out the wood;

This was a place where, apparently, Abraham had never worshipped before because he had to build an altar.

● Gen 22:9c . . he bound his son Isaac;

If Isaac was old enough, and strong enough, to shoulder a load of firewood (Gen 22:6) then he was old enough, and strong enough, to get away from Abraham, who, at the time, was past 100 years old.

NOTE: If perchance Gen 23:1 took place immediately following the Akedah, then Abraham would have been 137 at this point in the narrative seeing as how he and Sarah were ten years apart in age. (Gen 17:17)

If they had not already talked it over, then when Abraham pulled out his rope and assayed to bind Isaac; the lad would surely request an explanation; don't you think?

Had Isaac not consented to the ritual, then he could have easily escaped because Abraham was alone; he had no one to assist him to restrain Isaac: the servants having remained behind with the burro. Besides, Isaac had to agree or the whole affair would disintegrate into a ritual murder.

Binding was for Isaac's own good. No doubt he was willing enough to die; but nobody is comfortable with injury. When the knife would begin to make an incision in Isaac's neck to sever his carotid artery, he might reach up and grab his father's hand, the meanwhile twisting and thrashing in a natural response to pain and fear-- similar to what most anybody would do in a dentist's chair without Novocain.

The binding would help keep him still and avoid collateral damage; otherwise, Abraham might accidentally cut off Isaac's nose or poke him in the eye and quite possibly disfigure him horribly instead of succeeding in killing the lad in a humane fashion.

● Gen 22:9d . . he laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

That may seem impossible for a man of Abraham's age, but no specifications for altars existed at that time. They could be two feet high, ten, or just a rudimentary hearth of stones laid right on the ground like a campfire or in a shallow excavation like a wood pit barbecue.

At that moment, even before Isaac was dead, and even before the tiniest spark of a fire was kindled:  Abraham's offering of his son was complete. In other words: had God not wanted Abraham to sacrifice his son, He would have stopped the proceedings before Abraham laid his son on the wood because once that happens the offerer relinquishes control over his offering.

From that point on; the offering belongs to God; and it becomes His prerogative to do with it as He pleases-- to kill Isaac or not to kill him was God's exclusive right and privilege. Bottom line is: it wasn't necessary for Isaac to be dead in order to count as a sacrifice: he only had to be laid on the wood of the altar to count.

"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son (Heb 11:17-18)

"Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?" (Jas 2:21)

It's easily seen from those passages in James and Hebrews that not all human sacrifice is evil. In point of fact, in certain cases; it's the right thing to do. But the point is: James and Hebrews makes it clear that Isaac counted as an offering even though he was not slain.

I just don't know why it is that people think that the 22nd chapter of Genesis teaches God's supposed abhorrence for all manner of human sacrifice when it is so obviously meant to convey the quality of Abraham's confidence in God's promise made at Gen 15:2-6.

In other words: if Abraham was to go on to generate a posterity through his son whose numbers would be too many to count; then God would have to restore Isaac to life in order to make good on the promise; and according to Heb 11:17-19 Abraham was counting on that very thing. In other words: according to Jas 2:21-23, Abraham's willingness to kill his son validates Gen 15:2-6 where it's stated that Abraham believed God.

● Gen 22:10a . . And Abraham picked up the knife

Abraham didn't just pick the knife up and hold it in his hand in some sort of symbolic gesture. No, he picked it up with the full intention of using it on his boy; as these next words of the narrative fully indicate.

● Gen 22:10b . . to slay his son.

Do you think Abraham was messing around? I guarantee you he was NOT. He fully intended to slit Isaac's throat.

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #164 on: May 10, 2019, 07:35:26 am »
● Gen 22:11 . .Then an angel of God called to him from heaven: Abraham! Abraham! And he answered: Here I am.

This particular celestial messenger is not only going to speak about God, and speak for God, but will also speak for itself as God.

● Gen 22:12a . . And he said: Do not raise your hand against the lad, or do anything to him.

There are some who feel that the angel stopped Abraham at this point because he misunderstood the instructions God gave to him back in verse 2; which were: "Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering"

But an interpretation of that nature impugns the quality of Abraham's spiritual acumen as a man whom God said in Gen 20:7 was a prophet. Abraham no doubt understood his Master perfectly and knew just what he was expected to do. He had three days to pray about it and request confirmation.

Abraham was supposed to kill Isaac, and that is exactly what he tried to do, and would have done; had not the angel stopped him in the nick of time. And the angel stopped him not because it was wrong. No. The angel stopped Abraham from killing Isaac because He had seen enough.

● Gen 22:12b . . For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your favored one, from Me.

The angel first speaks about God, and then he speaks for himself. In other words: if the angel isn't God; then he is certainly a very close approximation of God.

Someone usually wants to know how a supposedly omniscient God didn't know till then that Abraham would go through with it. Well; in the Bible; the word "know" isn't limited to academic information. It often refers to experiential knowledge; like the difference between reading about the Atacama Desert in National Geographic and actually walking there, tasting the dust and feeling the sunshine on your arms.

By omniscience, God has seen the future already even before it takes place. It's all laid out before him like an open road map. He can see every avenue and every city all in one glance. However; like a traveler; God hasn't actually been to each place yet.

David, in Psalm 139, said God's spirit is omnipresent, i.e. God is everywhere and every place all at once in the now. However, I have yet to see a scripture clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity attesting that God is everywhere and every place all at once in the past, present, and future, viz: the ability to transcend time, i.e. travel in time.

God no doubt already knew ahead of time every single thing that would take place the day Abraham and Isaac were on that mountain. None of that took God by surprise. He saw it all ahead of time-- but; God had yet to be there and take part when it actually happened. Afterwards; God not only knew in His head that Abraham feared him; but God knew it in His heart too via personal experience; i.e. God's personal participation in the event confirmed in His heart what He already knew in His head.

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #165 on: May 11, 2019, 09:34:48 am »
● Gen 22:13 . .When Abraham looked up, his eye fell upon a ram, caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son.

The covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy a few centuries later would not have allowed Abraham to substitute a ram for Isaac. (Lev 27:28-29)

According to a documentary I recently watched on NetFlix; approximately 2,000 Muslim butchers assemble for Mecca every year and slaughter something like 700,000 to 800,000 sheep to commemorate the ram that Abraham sacrificed in his son's stead. Islam of course believes the son was Ishmael instead of Isaac.

The animals aren't consumed by the hajis. Instead; they're processed, packaged, and shipped to poor people around the world. Well; it would be nice if some of the people of Somalia and North Korea got a number of those sheep because they could sure use them. Ironically, Islamic militants have been thwarting efforts to get aid to the Somalian people. Where's the spirit of Mecca in that?

● Gen 22:14 . . And Abraham named that site Adonai-yireh, whence the present saying: On the mount of God there is vision.

Chabad dot org translates that like this:

"And Abraham named that place, The Lord will see, as it is said to this day: On the mountain, the Lord will be seen."

● Gen 22:15-18 . .The angel of God called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said: By Myself I swear, God declares; because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your favored one, I will bestow My blessing upon you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands on the seashore; and your descendants shall seize the gates of their foes. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your seed, because you have obeyed My command.

Abraham obtained God's oath because "you have obeyed My command". What command was that? The command to offer his son as a burnt offering (Gen 22:2). See? Abraham didn't make a mistake. He understood God perfectly; and would have slit Isaac's throat and burned him to ashes had not God pushed the stop button in the final moments.

Far from being scolded for offering a human sacrifice, Abraham is highly commended for complying; and the promises God made in previous chapters are now reaffirmed. He lost nothing; but the rather, gained a spiffy bonus: the Almighty's oath.

Concerning those promises: the first time around, God merely gave His word (which is normally good enough, and in and of itself quite immutable). Another time He passed between the pieces; thus notarizing the promises (double whammy). But this time, God anchored the promises with an oath (grand slam). That is extremely notable.

Would Abraham have failed to obtain the promises had he refused to offer his son? No. He would still have obtained them because the original promises-- made prior to the oath --are unconditional and guaranteed by the immutability of God's integrity. What Abraham would have failed to obtain was the oath.

So then, God has gone to every possible length to assure Abraham's seed of the certainty of those original promises with: 1) His testimony, 2) His passing between the pieces, and 3) His oath. You won't find God taking oaths very often in the Bible.

This particular oath is part and parcel of the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Deut 29:9-15.

● Gen 22:19 . . Abraham then returned to his servants, and they departed together for Beer-sheba; and Abraham stayed in Beer-sheba.

Isaac isn't specifically named in either the return or the departure, except that the words "departed together" are highly suggestive of the very same togetherness of verses 6 and 8. And back in verse 5, Abraham told the servants that he and Isaac would both return. If Isaac had not been with Abraham on the return trip, the servants would have surely asked where he was.

The Targums have a pretty interesting postscript at this point.

T. And the angels on high took Izhak and brought him into the school (medresha) of Shem the Great; and he was there three years. And in the same day Abraham returned to his young men; and they arose and went together to the Well of the Seven, and Abraham dwelt at Beira-desheva. And it was after these things, after Abraham had bound Izhak, that Satana came and told unto Sarah that Abraham had killed Izhak. And Sarah arose, and cried out, and was strangled, and died from agony. (Targum Jonathan)

● Gen 22:20 . . Some time later, Abraham was informed: Milcah too has borne children to your brother Nahor:

Just exactly how much time had passed after The Akedah until this announcement is uncertain but it was likely at least three days because that's how long it took Abraham's party to get back home. (Gen 22:4)

Nahor was one of Abraham's brothers and Milcah was Abraham's niece through Haran, another brother: who was also Lot's dad. Milcah was Nahor's real wife. He also had a concubine named Reumah.

● Gen 22:21-24 . . Uz the first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram; and Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel”-- Bethuel being the father of Rebecca. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother. And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore children: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

Bethuel and Rebecca are the only two who really stand out in that list. However, Genesis records everybody because God, apparently for reasons of His own, thinks they're all important in some way.

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #166 on: May 12, 2019, 09:12:10 am »
● Gen 23:1-2a . . Sarah's lifetime-- the span of Sarah's life --came to one hundred and twenty-seven years. Sarah died in Kiriath-arba-- now Hebron --in the land of Canaan;

This is the only woman in the entire Old Testament for whom an age is given at the time of her death. Isaac was 37 at this point, having been born when Sarah was 90 (Gen 17:17) and Abraham was 137 since he and Sarah were ten years difference in age (Gen 17:17). She lived in Canaan with her husband for 62 years and they never once owned their own home. They moved there when he was 75 and she was 65 --and Abraham at this point has 38 years on the clock yet to go.

NOTE: If we were to assume Sarah's death immediately followed the Akedah, then Isaac would have been 37 when he and Abraham went to the mountain seeing as how his mom was ninety when the lad was born.

● Gen 23:2b . . and Abraham proceeded to mourn for Sarah and to bewail her.

Some people think it's weak and unspiritual to mourn for the dead. However; it is the very best way to let them go. People shouldn't stifle their heartbreak, nor steel themselves against it. I would rather see people get angry and withdrawn at the loss of their loved ones than to blow it off as just another passing phase of life.

Sarah had quite a life you know. She was a strong pioneer woman-- taken into the palaces of a Pharaoh and a King. And she was selected by Almighty God to be the mother of the people of Israel, and of Messiah: Israel's ultimate monarch. Sarah was also a genetic path to the seed promised Eve back in Gen 3:15. We can't just put her in the ground as if she was a commoner no different than anybody else.

● Gen 23:3a . .Then Abraham rose from beside his dead, and spoke to the Hittites,

Who is the most famous Hittite in the Old Testament? Give up? It's Uriah, Bathsheba's first husband; whose unwarranted death David instigated. (2Sam 11:1-27)

● Gen 23:3b-4 . . saying: I am a resident alien among you; sell me a burial site among you, that I may remove my dead for burial.

Abraham had no ancestral claim upon the land. So he had to appeal to the Hittites' sensibilities; and beg for some property. They, on the other hand, were in a straight because the land was their heritage and selling off some of their holdings would diminish the inheritances to be received by their heirs, and plus, the land would be lost forever; and to an alien yet.

● Gen 23:5b . . And the Hittites replied to Abraham, saying to him: Hear us, my lord: you are the elect of God among us.

The word for "God"-- 'elohiym --is not really in that verse; an editor took the liberty to insert it. And the word for "elect" is from nasiy' (naw-see') which doesn't mean elect at all but means an exalted one; viz: a king or sheik. The Hittites had great respect for Abraham; and in their estimation he earned the right to a potentate's reception.

● Gen 23:5b . . Bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places; none of us will withhold his burial place from you for burying your dead.

By donating a sepulcher, instead of selling the land, the Hittites would retain ownership of the real estate and thus none would be lost to their posterity. In the future, they could pave over it for a mall, or dig up the whole thing with earth-moving machinery for a  residential sub division.

● Gen 23:7 . .Thereupon Abraham bowed low to the people of the land, the Hittites,

How many Jews today would bow to a Hittite, or to any other Gentile for that matter? Abraham was indeed a very humble man who never let his connection to God go to his head nor give him a superiority complex. Pride and Prejudice are two of the Jews' most widely known attributes in modern times; but they didn't get it from their ancestor; that's for sure.

● Gen 23:8 . . and he said to them: If it is your wish that I remove my dead for burial, you must agree to intercede for me with Ephron son of Zohar.

The sons of Heth (who were Hittites themselves) would act as the mediator between Ephron (a fellow Hittite) and Abraham (an Eberite: thus an outsider). It was only a formality, but nonetheless, an important cultural protocol in those days.

● Gen 23:9 . . Let him sell me the cave of Machpelah that he owns, which is at the edge of his land. Let him sell it to me, at the full price, for a burial site in your midst.

The location is favorable for Ephron because it's at the edge of his property line, so Abraham won't need an easement to access the site, nor will it be an eyesore stuck out in the middle.

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #167 on: May 13, 2019, 07:56:47 am »
● Gen 23:10a . . Ephron was present among the Hittites; so Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, all who entered the gate of his town,

Ephron didn't have to answer personally; but chose to of his own volition.

People who actually lived in a town's proper, were the upper crust-- the merchants, bankers, judges, city managers, the mayor, and like that. It was important that those "who entered the gate of his town" be involved in a decision regarding property sales because of the potential impact upon their own interests.

In those days, land owned by a clan like the Hittites defined the boundaries of their territory; and each family within a clan owned parcels of it. So when one of the families, like Ephron's for example, sold some of their parcel to a foreigner, the whole community suffered a permanent loss of territory.

● Gen 23:10b-11 . . saying: No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field and I give you the cave that is in it; I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.

Ephron's generosity was no doubt sincere, but merely one more formality towards closing a deal on the property. Not wanting to appear a greedy beast profiteering on the loss of a man's wife, he first offered it to Abraham for free.

That was actually a very kind show of respect for Abraham's grief. Abraham will pay for the property, and I have no doubt both men fully expected a monetary settlement; but not before Ephron first has an opportunity to make certain everyone in town sees him pay his respects for the dead of one of the most, if not the most, highly respected men in all of Canaan.

● Gen 23:12-15 . .Then Abraham bowed low before the people of the land, and spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying; If only you would hear me out. Let me pay the price of the land; accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there. And Ephron replied to Abraham, saying to him; My lord, do hear me. A piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver-- what is that between you and me? Go and bury your dead.

The shekel of Abraham's day wasn't coinage; but rather, a unit of weight equal to 20 gerahs (Ezk 45:12) which is equivalent to 10 English pennyweights or 1/2 ounce troy. So it would take two of Abraham's shekels to equal one troy ounce of silver. 

The average value of a troy ounce of silver as of May 13, 2019 was around 14.65 US dollars. So 400 full shekels would be worth about 2,930 of today's US dollars (2,608 Euro)

No doubt Ephron had mixed feelings about the property. On the one hand, he, as well as his countrymen, would prefer it not be sold to a non Hittite. Yet they all admired Abraham and didn't want to disappoint him, especially during a time of bereavement.

Ephron didn't actually ask for four hundred shekels. He merely told Abraham what the property was worth, but that its value meant nothing between friends; as if Abraham could have it for free. But it was really a subtle way of naming a price without actually coming right out and naming it; know what I mean?

● Gen 23:16 . . Abraham accepted Ephron's terms. Abraham paid out to Ephron the money that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites-- four hundred shekels of silver at the going merchants' rate.

In those days they used a balance scale to weigh out precious metals for trading purposes. Merchant rates are typically less than consumer rates. So Abraham's 400 shekels would have been weighed out with a lighter set of counterweights than normal in order for him to buy the land at wholesale.

● Gen 23:17-18 . . So Ephron's land in Machpelah, near Mamre-- the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the confines of that field --passed to Abraham as his possession, in the presence of the Hittites, of all who entered the gate of his town.

Abraham's purchase of Hittite territory was done in the presence of a goodly number of blue-blooded Hittite witnesses so there would be no basis for anyone to contest his rightful ownership. Abraham didn't purchase just the cave, but also the wooded grounds around it so that Sarah's gravesite was originally a very nice cemetery.

But if you want to visit her burial site today, be forewarned. The region in and around Hebron is a political strife zone these days. The monumental shrine erected over the cave in which Abraham was buried makes this one of the great sights for visitors with an interest in scriptural history; but since there are frequently violent clashes between Arabs and Israelis in Hebron it is essential before visiting the town to check up on the current situation with the tourist information office in Jerusalem.

Sarah's gravesite today (if indeed anybody knows where it really is) is covered by an Islamic structure called Al-lbrahimi Mosque; in honor of Abraham, Ishmael's dad. It should be pointed out that the Mosque isn't intended to promote Judaism's Yhvh, but rather, Islam's Allah.

● Gen 23:19-20 . . And then Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre-- now Hebron --in the land of Canaan. Thus the field with its cave passed from the Hittites to Abraham, as a burial site.

Not only a burial site, but also as a permanent real estate holding-- the people of Israel's very first piece of their very own country; which gives them legitimate roots there even prior to the Exodus; and way ahead of the Palestinians.

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #168 on: May 14, 2019, 09:09:12 am »
● Gen 24:1a . . Abraham was now old, advanced in years,

Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born (Gen 21:25). The lad was 40 when he married Rebecca (Gen 25:20). So that makes Abraham 140 at this point in the record. But although Abraham was worn; he wasn't worn out. Abraham still had plenty of vigor left in him and would go on to live another 35 years and even father more children. As far as the Scriptural record goes, Abraham enjoyed excellent health at this point in his life and still had his wits about him too.

● Gen 24:1b . . and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.

The "all things" at this point in the narrative would pertain to Abraham's economic prosperity because that's how his steward will represent him at verse 35.

● Gen 24:2a . . And Abraham said to the steward of his household, who had charge of all that he owned,

It is impossible to identify the steward because his name isn't disclosed anywhere throughout chapter 24. It could be the Eliezer of Gen 15; however, many years have gone by since then. Abraham was eighty-six when Ishmael was born in chapter 16, and he is 140 in this chapter; so it has been more than 54 years since the last mention of Eliezer. The steward at this point in Abraham's home may even be Eliezer's son by now, but nobody really knows for sure.

Abraham's steward is going to act as an ambassador-- not for Abraham, but for Isaac. Abraham, for reasons undisclosed, can't leave Canaan to do this himself. So the steward is dispatched as a proxy for Abraham to act in his son Isaac's best interests.

● Gen 24:2b-3a . . Put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear

Some Bible students construe Jesus' words at Matt 5:33-37 to mean that taking an oath is intrinsically a sin. But that's not the tenor of his words at all. What he really said in that passage is that taking an oath sets you up for a fall because for one thing; people are too quick to swear, and for another human beings cannot guarantee that unforeseen circumstances won't prevent them from making good on their oath. In other words: the nature of promises is that they are immune to changing circumstances. So unless you can see the future, then if at all possible, make your promises without sealing them with an oath because if you drag God into your promise; He's going to expect you to make good on it come hell or high water or risk getting called on the carpet to explain why you think so little of His name.

"If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth." (Num 30:2)

Anyway: if taking an oath were intrinsically a sin, then God himself would be a sinner (e.g. Gen 22:15-18, Ps 89:3-4, Ps 89:35-37, Ps 110:4, Isa 14:24, Isa 45:23, Isa 54:9, Heb 4:3, et al). Jesus too would be in contradiction of his own teachings because he testified under oath that he was the Messiah; God's son. (Matt 23:63-65)

● Gen 24:3b . . by Yhvh, the God of heaven and the God of the earth

Exodus 6:3 makes it appear that Abraham wasn't supposed to be aware of the name Yhvh. But here in Gen 24, Abraham made his steward swear by that very appellation; so there can be no doubt he was fully aware of it.

The word for "thigh" is from yarek (yaw-rake') and has a couple of meanings. It can be the actual thigh (e.g. Gen 32:26, Song 7:1) and it can mean a man's privates.  (e.g. Gen 46:26, Num 5:21)

In those days, men didn't always raise their right hands to take an oath with each other-- sometimes they held sacred objects in their hand like we do today when a swearer puts their hand upon a Bible or a Torah Scroll. In this particular case in Genesis, the object held in the hand was a holy patriarch. Only twice in the entire Old Testament is an oath recorded taken in this manner. The first is here, and the other is Gen 47:29.

NOTE: The similarities between the procurement of Isaac's bride, and that of the bride of Christ are remarkable. Neither of the fathers of the grooms go themselves to woo the brides; but rely upon a nameless servant who can be trusted to faithfully look out for the grooms' best interests. Guided by providence, the servants locate candidates, give them some gifts, explain their missions, tell of the wealth of the fathers, tell of the inheritances of the grooms, tell the candidates something of the grooms' genealogies; and are especially careful to explain the circumstances of the grooms' miraculous births.

The candidates never see any photos or pictures of their potential husbands, are given no information disclosing the grooms' personalities, and are permitted to know only certain general details about the grooms and nothing more-- at first. At this point, the servants then press for a response, and proceed no further until the candidates make their decision. However, no one can force the bridal candidates to accept the grooms. The candidates must consent to join him of their own volition.

After the candidates consent to go and be with the grooms, the servants then cull the candidates from their native people, and from their native lands, and safely escort them to the lands and peoples of the grooms. The grooms, upon receipt of the candidates, accept them just as they are, give them a nice home, and love and care for them to the very end.
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June 17, 2021, 10:41:10 pm

Biblical Theology - For Serious Students by patrick jane
June 17, 2021, 10:40:38 pm

THE RAPTURE by Bladerunner
June 17, 2021, 10:33:47 pm

June 17, 2021, 10:29:36 pm

Who is God? by Bladerunner
June 17, 2021, 10:28:36 pm

There were GIANTS in the land by Bladerunner
June 17, 2021, 10:25:33 pm

June 17, 2021, 09:30:03 pm

Your Favorite Music, Images and Memes by truthjourney
June 17, 2021, 07:38:56 pm

June 17, 2021, 06:31:22 pm

Coronavirus hoax to declare martial law (FEMA) by truthjourney
June 17, 2021, 06:28:08 pm

Conspiracy - NWO, NASA and More by truthjourney
June 17, 2021, 06:18:08 pm

June 17, 2021, 02:05:27 pm