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Featured Kicking Off With Genesis

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Webers_Home, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 15:7-10

    Gen 15:7a . .Then He said to him: I am The Lord who brought you
    out from Ur of the Chaldeans


    God here identifies Himself as Yhvh. That may seem unimportant but there
    are those who claim Abram was unaware of that name because of Ex 6:3.
    But it just goes to show you that sometimes the Bible is not all that easy to
    understand.

    One thing we should never overlook about Abram is that, although he was a
    Hebrew, he was never a Jew. He and his wife Sarai were both Gentiles whom
    God selected to engender the people of Israel. There was nothing
    particularly special about Abram. In fact he came from a city, and a family,
    of idolaters. (Josh 24:2)

    So God began by reminding Abram of his roots. Abram was a Babylonian;
    and it was God who took an interest in him, and the one who got him out of
    there and gave him a future. It wasn't Abram's idea to re-invent himself;
    nor was it Abram's idea to pack up and leave his native country. Actually, if
    not for God's interference, Abram would've still been back at Ur, living like a
    pagan.

    Gen 15:7b . . to assign this land to you as a possession.

    God gave this man a future. Abram was a nobody, going nowhere in Ur. Of
    His own sovereign volition, God moved into Abram's life and made a
    difference. He'll do the very same thing again later on with Jacob.

    Some Gentile Christians are way too puffed up with religious pride. It
    wouldn't hurt a few of them to consider their own roots once in a while too
    because they have absolutely nothing to brag about.

    "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you
    used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the
    kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are
    disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the
    cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the
    rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

    . . . But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us
    alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it is by grace
    you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with
    him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages
    he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his
    kindness to us in Christ Jesus." (Eph 2:1-7)

    "Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called
    "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done
    in the body by the hands of men)-- remember that at that time you were
    separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to
    the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
    But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought
    near through the blood of Christ." (Eph 2:11-13)

    Gen 15:8 . . And he said: O Lord God, how shall I know that I am to
    possess it?


    When men struck deals in those days, they gave each other a token of their
    word. What Abram requested was sort of akin to a notarized signature.
    That's interesting because though Abram believed God's promise of a
    biological heir; he didn't really have all that much confidence in God's
    promise of the heir possessing Canaan. In other words: Abram wanted a
    token of God's good faith.

    During this dialogue, Abram has been calling God by the title 'Adonay (ad-o
    noy') which means Lord, Sovereign, and/or Master (as a proper name for
    only God) This is, in point of fact, the very first instance in the Bible of
    somebody addressing God by that title. It is precisely what everyone should
    call God only when they are serious about living in compliance with His will.

    So please don't ever address your maker as Lord, Sovereign, and/or Master
    unless you mean it. It is very insulting, and quite meaningless, to refer to
    someone as your commander when you have no intention of doing what
    they say or if you're going about it in a half-hearted manner.

    "And why do you call me Lord and Master and do not what I say?" (Luke
    6:46)

    "A son honors his father, and a servant his lord. If I am a father, where is
    the honor due me? If I am a lord, where is the respect due me?-- protests
    the Lord of Hosts." (Mal 1:6)

    Gen 15:9-10 . . He answered: Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a
    three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a
    young bird. He brought Him all these and cut them in two, placing
    each half opposite the other; but he did not divide the [young] bird.


    A full grown "turtledove" is a towr (tore). Young birds are a gowzal (go
    zawl'); a nestling, quite possibly still covered in chick down. Of all the
    animals that God specified, the gowzal is the only one that wasn't mature.
    How Abram knew to cut the mature ones in two pieces is not stated.

    The ritual that is about to take place amounted to a notary public. Abram
    wanted God's name on the dotted line and this is the way God chose to do
    it. This ritual may look silly and barbarous to modern Man, but it was serious
    business and may very well have been a common custom for sealing pacts in
    the Canaan of that day.

    /
     
  2. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 15:11-14

    Gen 15:11 . . Birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and
    Abram drove them away.


    The only responsibility that Abram had in this ritual was to set it up. So it
    was his job to protect the carcasses from damage and keep the scene clear
    of interference from people and critters who had no business there.

    Gen 15:12 . . As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon
    Abram, and a great dark dread descended upon him.


    At this point, Abram is placed in a condition that is much more powerful than
    a trance. It's the sleep of anesthesia-- the very same kind of sleep that God
    put Adam into when he amputated organic tissue from his side to make the
    woman at Gen 2:21-22.

    In this condition, Abram is totally powerless to either participate or to
    interfere; nor would he want to anyway. It's God who's putting His name on
    the dotted line; not Abram. This entire ritual is for Abram's benefit; and his
    alone, because Abram didn't have to reciprocate and promise God one single
    thing in return. God is the one who voluntarily obligated Himself, and now
    He is going to notarize his word per Abram's request; to set Abram's mind at
    ease regarding a biological heir, and the heir's possession of Canaan.

    This pact, that God made with Abram, is totally unconditional. No matter
    what Abram did from now on, nothing would place himself in breach of
    contract because God alone is in obligation. There is nothing in the pact for
    Abram to live up to; therefore it was impossible for Abram to endanger
    either his own, or his posterity's, permanent possession of the land of
    Palestine. They may lose their occupation of it from time to time, but never
    their possession. And best of all, the contract that Yhvh's people agreed
    upon with God as per Deut 29:9-5 cannot endanger the security of this
    covenant because theirs was introduced too late to make a difference.

    "And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later,
    cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that
    it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it
    is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham as a promise." (Gal
    3:17-18)

    Law grants blessings on condition, but promises grant blessings with no
    strings attached and nothing asked in return.

    "As far as the gospel is concerned, [God's people] are enemies on your
    account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of
    the patriarchs, for God's gifts and His call are irrevocable." (Rom 11:28-29)

    Gen 15:13 . . And He said to Abram: Know well that your offspring
    shall be strangers in a land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved
    and oppressed four hundred years;


    God predicted three things concerning Abram's offspring (not Abram
    himself) that would occur over a 400 year period:

    (1) They would be resident aliens, (2) They would be oppressed, and (3)
    They would be slaves.

    From the time Jacob moved his family down to Egypt, until the day Yhvh's
    people left under Moses' leadership, was only about 210 years. But
    according to Ex 12:40-41 the people of Israel were supposed to have
    dwelled in Egypt 430 years.

    Paul said that Israel's covenanted law, (enacted about a month after the
    people of Israel were liberated from Egypt) came 430 years after Abram's
    covenant. (Gal 3:16-18)

    The data is somewhat sketchy, but from what exists, it appears that an all
    inclusive 430-year period began with Abram's covenant scene in Gen 15. But
    God didn't say Abram himself would be effected by the prediction. He said
    Abram's progeny would be. Ishmael doesn't count as Abram's progeny in
    respect to the land. So the holy progeny began with the birth of Isaac; which
    occurred about 30 years after Abram's covenant was ratified. So the 400
    year period of Gen 15:13 apparently began with Isaac. Even though he
    himself was never a slave in Egypt, Isaac was nevertheless an alien in lands
    not belonging to him; and later, his son Jacob would be too.

    Abram's holy progeny were resident aliens in at least three places-- Canaan,
    Egypt, and Babylonia. Jacob lived, not only in Canaan and Egypt, but also on
    his uncle Laban's ranch in Haran; which is up in Turkey.

    Precisely why the entire 430 year period is reckoned in Ex 12:40-41 as "the
    length of time that the Israelites lived in Egypt" is totally unknown; except
    that it reflects the Septuagint's version; which is a Greek derivative of
    ancient Hebrew texts no longer available.

    Gen 15:14a . . but I will execute judgment on the nation they shall
    serve,


    That of course refers to the famous plagues that occurred in Egypt during
    Moses' confrontation with one of its Pharaohs; culminating in the death of
    the firstborn of man and beast during the Passover.

    Gen 15:14b . . and in the end they shall go free.

    Actually they didn't "go" free like the English text suggests; but rather, were
    set free-- viz: liberated --because on their own, they would never have been
    able to do it. It was at that time that the people of Israel learned the true
    connotation of the name Yhvh. It's not just another divine moniker. It
    identifies God as a savior; which Webster's defines as a rescuer.

    "God also said to Moses: I am Yhvh. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to
    Jacob as 'El Shadday, but by my name Yhvh I did not make myself known to
    them." (Ex 6:2-3)

    Those three men knew the moniker; but their association with 'El Shadday
    was not on the basis of a savior. Their association was on the basis of a
    provider; viz: providence; which can be defined (in their case) as God's
    kindly patronage.

    Gen 15:14c . . with great wealth.

    The "great wealth" was in the form of voluntary plunder. (Ex 11:1-3, Ex
    12:33-36)

    /
     
  3. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 15:15-17

    Gen 15:15a . . As for you,

    Abram must have begun to wonder if maybe he too was in danger of
    oppression and slavery.

    Gen 15:15b . .You shall go to your fathers in peace;

    Have you ever wondered how you'll die-- by accident, poison, in a violent
    mugging, disease, cancer, car wreck, a fall, hit in the head by a tree limb, or
    from a random bullet in a drive-by shooting? People often die suddenly and
    totally unexpected. Many people die a very unhappy death-- miserable,
    alone, unloved, and unfulfilled.

    God promised Abram that he would not die like that. His death would be
    tranquil and calm and actually quite satisfactory. He would experience no
    fears, no anxiety, and no regrets.

    Gen 15:15c . .You shall be buried at a ripe old age.

    Death stalks each and every one of us like a hungry predator, waiting for its
    chance to do us in. We just never know.

    "Jesus told them: The right time for me has not yet come; but for you any
    time is right." (John 7:6)

    Abram had the envious advantage of knowing he would live a full life before
    he died. Everyone should be so lucky!

    Gen 15:16 . . And they shall return here in the fourth generation,
    for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.


    God mentioned only one of the nations living in Canaan. Why was He going
    to delay transferring possession of the land until the iniquity of the
    "Amorites" was brimming-- why them and not the others? Probably because
    God promised Abram that He would bless those who blessed him.

    Well . . the Amorite men-- Mamre, Eshkol, and Aner --were Abram's friends
    and allies during the recent military campaign to rescue Lot; so that the
    ultimate destiny of Canaan hinged upon the decadence of just one tribe: the
    Amorites. Sometimes it really pays to have God-fearing friends in this world;
    for example:

    Jacob:

    "And Laban said to him: Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I
    have learned by experience that Yhvh has blessed me for your sake". (Gen
    30:27)

    "The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and Yhvh has
    blessed you wherever I have been". (Gen 30:30)

    and Joseph:

    "When Joseph's master saw that Yhvh was with him and that Yhvh gave him
    success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his
    attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to
    his care everything he owned.

    . . . From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he
    owned, Yhvh blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The
    blessing of Yhvh was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in
    the field". (Gen 39:3-5)

    Gen 15:17 . .When the sun set and it was very dark, there
    appeared a smoking oven, and a flaming torch which passed
    between those pieces.


    The Hebrew word for "oven" is tannuwr (tan-noor') which means: a fire pot.
    But it's not just a simple bucket of coals. It was actually portable kitchen
    equipment, especially for baking fresh bread. There are several passages in
    the Bible where ovens are connected with Divine judgment. (e.g. Ps 21:9
    10, Mal 3:19-21, Matt 13:40-43)

    /
     
  4. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 15:18-21

    Gen 15:18a . . On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram,

    This is now the second covenant that God made with His creation. The first
    one was with every living creature back in chapter nine. That one is often
    called Noah's Covenant. But this covenant, well known as Abraham's
    Covenant, is somewhat different. It's not made between God and every
    living creature, but between God and one specific human being and his
    progeny.

    Gen 15:18b . . saying: To your offspring I assign this land,

    The word for "offspring" is zera' (zeh'-rah) which means: seed; figuratively,
    fruit, plant, sowing-time, and progeny. Zera' is one of those words that is
    both plural and singular-- like the words sheep and fish. One sheep is a
    sheep, and a flock of them are called sheep too. So the context has to be
    taken into consideration; and even then there can still be ambiguity

    Here's an instance where the meaning of zera' is obviously one child.

    "Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth,
    meaning: God has provided me with another offspring in place of Abel. For
    Cain had killed him". (Gen 4:25)

    Here's an instance where the meaning is clearly more than one child.

    "And He said to Abram: Know well that your offspring shall be strangers in a
    land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved and oppressed four hundred
    years" (Gen 15:13)

    Sometimes the context contains both the singular and the plural.

    "Abram said further: Since You have granted me no offspring, my steward
    will be my heir. The word of the Lord came to him in reply: That one shall
    not be your heir; none but your very own issue shall be your heir. Yhvh took
    him outside and said: Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are
    able to count them. And He added: So shall your progeny be". (Gen 15:3-5)

    Gen 15:18c-21 . . from the river of Egypt to the great river, the
    river Euphrates: the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the
    Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites,
    the Girgasites, and the Jebusites.


    If you have a map handy, it's instantly apparent just how huge a piece of
    real estate that God assigned to Abram and his offspring. It's very difficult to
    precisely outline the whole area but it seems to encompass a chunk of Africa
    east of the Nile, (including the delta), the Sinai Peninsula, Saudi Arabia,
    Yemen, Onan, UAE, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

    The "river of Egypt" is very likely the Nile since there was no Suez Canal in
    that day. The Euphrates is Iraq's eastern border. The distance from Cairo
    Egypt to Al Basrah Iraq is about 983 miles as the crow flies.

    That's roughly the distance from San Diego to Abilene Tx. The distance from
    Aden Yemen to Hilab Syria is about 1,698 miles as the crow flies; which is
    just a tad under the crow-distance from Los Angeles to Chicago.

    I'm talking about some serious square mileage-- roughly 1,538,370 of
    them; which is more than Ireland, United Kingdom, Scotland, Spain, France,
    Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Finland combined! Currently, Israel, at its
    widest east to west dimension, across the Negev, is less than 70 miles; and
    south to north from the Gulf Of Aqaba to Shemona, about 260; comprising a
    square mileage of only 8,473: a mere half of 1% of the original land
    covenanted to Abram.

    God has yet to give Abram's seed complete control over all of his
    covenanted land. In point of fact, the boundaries were very early on
    temporarily reduced for the time being. (Num 34:1-12)

    The temporary boundaries run from the Mediterranean Sea eastward to the
    Jordan River; and from the southern tip of the Dead Sea northward to a
    geographic location which has not yet really been quite accurately identified.
    Ezk 47:15 says the northern border passes along "the way of Hethlon" which
    some feel is very likely the valley of the Nahr al Kubbir river which roughly
    parallels the northern border of modern day Lebanon, and through which a
    railroad track lies between An Naqib on the Mediterranean coast to Hims
    Syria.

    The next event in Abram's life has repercussions all the way to the World
    Trade Center-- September 11, 2001. The son produced by his union with
    Hagar went on to become the father of the Arab world; and ultimately,
    Muhammad: the inventor of Islam.

    /
     
  5. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 15 contains within it a sign covenant, that when your descendants realise that they have been given possession of the described land in this deliberately enacted covenant, they will know that they will in the future inherit the whole earth. The deliberately enacted covenant by God was undertaken by God to reassure Abraham that he could believe the covenantal undertaking found in: -

    Gen 15:7-10: - And he said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land/earth to possess." But he said, "O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?" He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.

    This was covenantal promise was possibly fulfilled during the time of King Solomon.
     
  6. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 16:1-3

    Gen 16:1 . . Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She
    had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.


    It's entirely possible that Abram purchased Ms. Hagar while they were all
    down in Egypt during the famine back in chapter 12.

    The word for "maidservant" is shiphchah (shif-khaw') which is a female slave
    (as a member of the household). So, Hagar wasn't just another skull in the
    slave pool. As a member of the household staff, she merited a measure of
    respect. Hagar probably seemed like a daughter to ol' Abram in spite of her
    slave status.

    It's my guess that Hagar was Sarai's personal assistant similar in status to
    that of Anna: lady Mary's maid in the popular television series "Downton
    Abbey".

    The duties of a lady's maid typically include helping her mistress with make
    up, hairdressing, clothing, jewelry, shoes, and wardrobe maintenance. I
    think all-in-all; Hagar had it pretty good; that is, until this fertility issue
    came along to spoil everything.

    Gen 16:2a . . And Sarai said to Abram: Look, the Lord has kept me
    from bearing.


    Sarai's logic, at least from a certain point of view, was reasonable. She was
    likely familiar with Gen 1:22 and 1:28, where fertility was stated to be a
    blessing; therefore, in her mind at least, infertility was an evidence of God's
    disfavor.

    There's a rare defect in women that is just astounding. I read about it in the
    Vital Signs column of Discover magazine. The defect, though rare, is most
    common in otherwise perfectly gorgeous women-- girls like Sarai --and
    seems to be somewhat hereditary. Their birth canal is a cul-de-sac; viz: a
    blank pouch. There's no ovaries, no fallopian tubes, no uterus, and no
    cervix. One of the first clues to the presence of the defect is when girls are
    supposed to start menstruating, but don't.

    The story I saw was of a young Mexican girl (I'll call her Lupé). Young,
    beautiful, and filled out in all the right places; Lupé came to a clinic for an
    examination to find out why she wasn't having periods and that's when they
    discovered she didn't have any generative plumbing.

    Lupé was devastated, not only with the news that she would never have any
    children of her own, but to make matters worse; in her home town's culture,
    fertile girls are highly valued and respected, while the sterile ones are
    treated like expendable grunts-- char-girls and slave labor. Lupé left the
    clinic with the full weight upon her heart that in spite of being a ten, and in
    spite of her feelings to the contrary, she would have to spend the rest of her
    youth solo because no man in her community would want her; and even
    among her own kin Lupé would be looked upon as cursed and untouchable.

    I'm not insisting Sarai had the same problem as Lupé. It's only one
    possibility from any number of fertility problems; e.g. hostile womb,
    anovulation, tubal blockage, uterine issues, etc. But unbeknownst to Sarai,
    God wanted her biological progeny to be a miracle baby rather than a
    natural baby; and why God didn't keep Abram informed about that I can
    only speculate: but won't.

    Gen 16:2b . . Consort with my maid; perhaps I shall have a son
    through her.


    This is the very first instance in the Bible of the principle of adoption.
    According to the customs of that day, a Lady had the right, and the option,
    to keep a female slave's children as her own if the Lady's husband sired
    them. No one bothered to ask Ms. Hagar how she might feel about it
    because slaves had no say in such arrangements.

    Gen 16:2c . . And Abram heeded Sarai's request.

    Sarai wasn't specifically named in God's original promise of offspring; so
    Abram may have figured that any son he produced could qualify as the
    promised seed. This is one time he really should have gone to one of his
    altar and inquired of The Lord what to do. But it was an innocent mistake,
    and totally blindsided Abram because what he and Sarai did wasn't out of
    the ordinary in their own day.

    Gen 16:3 . . So Sarai, Abram's wife, took her maid, Hagar the
    Egyptian-- after Abram had dwelt in the land of Canaan ten years
    --and gave her to her husband Abram as concubine.


    Hagar no doubt was attracted to any one of a number of fine unattached
    young men in Abram's community; but due to circumstances beyond her
    control, she was doomed to a lonely limbo of unrequited love. Her lot in life,
    though no doubt very comfortable and secure, was, nonetheless, probably
    tainted with an unfulfilled longing that robbed her of true peace and
    contentment.

    Abram was ten years older than Sarai; so he was 85 at this point in time;
    which is equivalent to about 43 of our own years of age.

    The word translated "concubine" is 'ishshah (ish-shaw') --a nondescript word
    for women (cf. Gen 2:22-23) which just simply indicates the opposite side of
    Adam's coin.

    Concubines in those days weren't adulteresses. They had a much higher
    status than that. Webster's defines a concubine as: a woman having a
    recognized social status in a household below that of a wife. So they weren't
    quite as low on the food chain as a mistress or a girl toy. They at least had
    some measure of respectability and social acceptance; and they had a
    legitimate place in their man's home too. But, at the same time, they were
    not a real wife. They were, in fact, quite expendable. When a man was tired
    of a concubine, he could send her away with nothing. They shared no
    community property, nor had rights of inheritance.

    If Hagar had truly been Abram's wife, then she would have enjoyed equality
    with Sarai as a sister-wife. But she didn't. Hagar continued to be a slave,
    and there is no record that she and Abram slept together more than the
    once. She didn't take up a new life married to Abram; and Abram never once
    referred to her as his spouse. He always referred to Hagar as Sarai's slave.
    The tenor of the story is that Sarai gave her maidservant to Abram as a
    wife, but not to actually marry him. Sarai's intention was that Hagar be a
    baby mill; nothing more.

    /
     
  7. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 16:4-8

    Gen 16:4 . . He cohabited with Hagar and she conceived; and when
    she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became lower in her
    esteem.


    Before this incident, Hagar knew her place and was humble and self effacing
    around Sarai, but afterwards she regarded her mistress as somewhat less of
    a woman than herself. There's no record of Hagar gloating over Sarai, but
    sometimes women communicate just as effectively with "looks" as they do
    with words.

    Gen 16:5 . . And Sarai said to Abram: The wrong done me is your
    fault! I myself put my maid in your bosom; and now that she sees
    that she is expecting, I am lowered in her esteem. The Lord decide
    between you and me!


    Sarai attempted to take the high moral ground by insinuating that had
    Abram been a real man, he would've seen that sleeping with Hagar was a
    bad idea and refused. Therefore it was his fault for not putting a stop to her
    idea before things got out of hand.

    People accuse God of the very same thing all the time. In their mind's eye, if
    God were really as wise, loving, omniscient, and all-powerful as He's alleged
    to be, then He would never have put the tree of the knowledge of good and
    evil in the garden to begin with; and when the Serpent tempted Eve, He
    would have stepped in and put a stop to it before things got out of hand.
    Therefore, they conclude, it's not the human race's fault for being what it is:
    it's God's fault for not protecting us from our own stupidity.

    Gen 16:6a . . Abram said to Sarai: Your maid is in your hands. Deal
    with her as you think right.


    Abram should never have given Sarai carte blanche to do as she pleased
    with Hagar. In her mood, it would surely get out of hand and go too far. But
    he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Abram had to live with Sarai.
    He could get by without Hagar's good will; so hers was sacrificed to keep
    peace in the home.

    Most men would do the very same thing in his place because it isn't easy for
    a man to live with an indignant woman. In point of fact, I would put an
    indignant woman even higher on the graph of difficulty than a weeping
    woman.

    Note that Abram didn't refer to Hagar as "my wife"; nor even as "my
    concubine". He referred to her as "your maid". It's sad, but obvious that
    Abram was ashamed of himself for sleeping with Hagar just to make his wife
    happy; and took care to distance himself from Sarai's maid so she wouldn't
    get any ideas that Abram had an attachment for her.

    Gen 16:6b-7 . .Then Sarai treated her harshly, and she [Hagar] ran
    away from her. An angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water
    in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur,


    Old Testament angels aren't necessarily celestial beings; seeing as how the
    Hebrew word simply indicates a deputy and/or a messenger.

    The road to Shur went south from Abram's camp; so possibly Hagar's intent
    was to return home to Egypt. At this point, she was a runaway slave and
    must have been feeling very lonely, very unimportant, and very unsure of
    her future. No one cared for her soul, whether she lived or died-- and, where
    was she to go? Maybe her parents would take her back in when she got
    home. But how was she to explain the baby?

    Genesis doesn't say, but Hagar could have hitch-hiked a ride with a caravan.
    It's hard to believe a woman in that day would dare attempt a journey that
    far on foot, and all by herself.

    Shur is the name of a desert region east of the Suez Canal and extending
    down along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez. Shur means "wall" and
    may refer to the mountain wall of the Tih plateau as visible from the shore
    plains. The position of Shur is defined as being "opposite Egypt on the way
    to Assyria" (Gen 25:18). After crossing the Red Sea, the people of Israel
    entered the desert of Shur (Ex 15:22) which extended southward a distance
    of three days' journey. The region is referred as being close, or adjacent, to
    Egypt. (1Sam 15:7 and 1Sam 27:8)

    Gen 16:8a . . the angel said: Hagar, slave of Sarai,

    It should be pointed out that the angel didn't refer to Hagar as Abram's wife;
    but as Sarai's slave-- additional clues that Hagar and Abram were never
    married otherwise her status would be that of Abram's spouse rather than
    Sarai's slave.

    This is the very first instance in the Bible record where somebody addressed
    Ms. Hagar by name. What I like best is that although her human masters
    aren't recorded calling her by name, a messenger of God-- higher in dignity
    and rank than either Abram and Sarai --did call out to her by her own name.

    Gen 16:8b . . where have you come from, and where are you
    going?


    At first the angel probably impressed Hagar as just another friendly traveler.
    But there was something very unusual about this mysterious stranger. He
    knew Hagar's name, and he knew she was a slave; and he knew her
    mistress' name too. And he also knew Ms. Hagar was preggers. That had to
    break the ice quite nicely don't you think?

    Gen 16:8c . . And she said: I am running away from my mistress
    Sarai.


    Somehow the angel won Ms. Hagar's confidence, and she was comfortable
    talking about herself. There's a very real possibility that the angel was the
    first person to take a genuine interest in Hagar's feelings for a long, long
    time.

    In my 73+ years journeying through this life, I've discovered there are lots
    of people out there aching for someone to take them seriously. They don't
    like being marginalized; they don't like being made to feel unimportant,
    inferior, unnecessary, expendable, mediocre, and stupid-- they want to
    count; they want to matter, they want to be noticed and they want to be
    heard. I've no doubt that is the very reason behind the success of social
    networking; e.g. blogs, twittering, online forums, FaceBook, MySpace, and
    Instagram, et al.

    One of the four common characteristics of seemingly level-headed Muslim
    men who become suicide bombers is the wish to devote themselves to a
    cause higher than themselves; viz: they desire to make their lives count for
    something. Those kinds of personalities are good candidates for martyrdom.


    NOTE: An extreme case of what we're talking about here is Ted Kaczynski,
    a.k.a. the Unabomber. Ted isn't an especially violent man. He has some
    ideas and the only way the friendless, isolated loner could think of to get the
    world to listen was blast people to pieces at random.

    Ted's frustration kind of reminds me of a friend who, when he was in
    grammar school, had a crush on the little girl sitting in front of him. My
    friend couldn't think of a way to talk to the girl, so he spit on her hair. It
    sure got her attention, and that right quick.

    /
     
  8. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 16:9-12

    Gen 16:9 . . And the angel of the Lord said to her: Go back to your
    mistress, and submit to her harsh treatment.


    That was no doubt the last thing Ms. Hagar would consider doing; even in a
    pinch. But the Lord had plans for Hagar's baby about which she was
    unaware up to this point.

    Gen 16:10-11 . . And the angel of The Lord said to her: I will
    greatly increase your offspring, and they shall be too many to count.
    The angel of Yhvh said to her further: Behold, you are with child and
    shall bear a son; you shall call him Ishmael, for Yhvh has paid heed
    to your suffering.


    I don't think any of us can possibly imagine just how incredulous Hagar must
    have been at the stranger's words. He as much as assured her that the
    pregnancy would go well and she would deliver safely. He even suggested a
    name for her baby; which the angel predicted would be a boy. His name, by
    the way, would be Yishma' e'l (yish-maw-ale') which means: God will hear;
    or just simply: God hears; or: God is aware. In other words: God had a
    sympathetic awareness of Hagar's distress; together with a desire to
    alleviate it; which is pretty much the definition of compassion.

    What a great day for Hagar! She actually met a divine being who cared
    about her state of affairs and was favorably inclined to do something about
    it. And every time she called out little Ishmael's name, it would remind her
    to pray and share her feelings with the god she met on the road to Shur.
    The angel would make it possible for her to endure Sarai's harsh treatment;
    so He sent her straight back to it. (cf. Gen 24:40, Gen 48:16, 2Cor 12:7-9)

    And besides; though the circumstances weren't perfect, little Ishmael would
    fare better under his father Abram's kindly patronage and mentoring than
    among the irreverent polytheists down in Egypt. Abram was also very
    wealthy, so that Ishmael lacked nothing during the approximately 17 years
    of his life in Abram's home.

    Gen 16:12a . . He shall be an untamed-burro of a man;

    Some people just can't be domesticated-- right fresh out of the womb,
    they're mustang-defiant to the bone. Poor Hagar. Her boy was going to be
    difficult.

    My wife is a kindergarten teacher and every so often she gets kids in her
    class-- just little five year olds, and almost always boys --that cannot be
    controlled. Their parents fear them, and they frighten the other kids. They're
    demon seeds-- stubborn, strong willed, totally self centered, self absorbed
    little Czars who see no sense in either doing as they're told or concern for
    the feelings of others. They are dangerous, and thank God my wife gets
    them while they're small. Heaven help the teachers who cope with them in
    the upper grades.

    Gen 16:12b . . his hand against everyone, and everyone's hand
    against him;


    T.E. Laurence (Laurence of Arabia) discovered for himself the truth of that
    prediction. After all of Laurence's work to unite the Arabs and lead them in
    combat to drive the Turks out of Damascus, the various tribes simply could
    not come to terms upon a central government for managing the city. So the
    task defaulted to the British; viz: the Arabs won the conflict, but England
    won the city.

    Anyway, Mr. Ishmael was definitely not a team player by nature. This is the
    kind of guy that supervisors dread. They're defensive, assertive,
    confrontational; and don't do well in groups-- always generating friction and
    discontent. It's either their own way, or the highway; and they do not like to
    be told what to do.

    That's not always a bad thing if people like that are channeled into
    occupations that require rugged individualism. Nowadays these people can
    be enrolled in sensitivity classes and taught how to be civil. And there are
    seminars available for those who have to work with difficult people.
    Unfortunately, most of the problem is hereditary so it's not an easy thing to
    make go away. However, it's not impossible for these strong-willed, toxic
    types to learn a measure of civility and self discipline when they put their
    minds to it.

    Ishmael's personality-- which was engendered by one of the most holy men
    who ever lived; not by some evil minded career criminal --must have passed
    along to his progeny because the Arab world has never been famous for
    uniting and getting along amongst themselves. No one would ever dream of
    criticizing Abram's parenting skills, but here is a difficult child that came
    from the old boy's own genes; thus demonstrating again that otherwise
    good parents can produce a demon seed and shouldn't be blamed for the
    way the seed ultimately turns out.

    Ishmael is well known as the father of the Arab world. But does that mean
    each individual Arab is a wild burro? No, of course not. Stereotyping and/or
    profiling, is a very bad thing because it's an oversimplified opinion, and fails
    to take into account individual qualities. The Arab people as a whole could
    safely be characterized as Ishmael-ish, but certainly not each and every one.

    Gen 16:12c . . He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen.

    Ishmael would dwell "alongside" his brethren, but not necessarily amongst
    them. This was no doubt a portent of the difficulty of uniting Arabs; which
    has been attempted a number of times with The United Arab Republic, The
    Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan, the Federation of Arab Republics, the
    Arab Islamic Republic, and the United Arab Emirates.

    Probably the religion of Islam has done more to unite Arabs than any
    political arrangement of the past has managed to do. Unfortunately, Muslims
    themselves can't even get along all that well and their regional differences
    have become a major impediment to peace in the Mid East.

    I can't lay all the blame for the Mid East's troubles at the door of Arabs; but
    of one thing I am totally convinced: there is never going to be peace in that
    part of the world until (1) the religion of Islam is eradicated; and (2) the
    Arabs' wild-burro personality is neutralized.

    "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall
    be full of the knowledge of Yhvh, as the waters cover the sea." (Isa 11:9)

    /
     
  9. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 16:13-16

    Gen 16:13a . . And she called Yhvh who spoke to her: You Are El-roi

    The author of Genesis was privy to the identity of the mysterious person
    speaking with Hagar but she wasn't, and that's why she gave him a name of
    her own. But I cannot be certain what it is because there seems no
    consensus among translators how best say it in English; neither in Jewish
    bibles nor in Christian bibles. In Hebrew; the words are: 'Ataah 'Eel R'iy

    The 1985 JPS Tanakh translates it: You are El-roi

    The Stone Tanach translates it: You are the God of Vision

    Chabad.org translates it: You are the God of seeing

    The KJV translates it: Thou God seest me

    The NIV Translates it: You are the God who sees me

    The 2011 Catholic Bible translates it: You are God who sees me.

    Hagar, familiar with many gods in the Egyptian world, was unsure of the
    identity of this particular divine being speaking with her so she gave it a pet
    name of her own. I like it because her god is a personal god, one that meant
    something just to her-- rather than some scary alien way out in space who
    doesn't care one whit about individuals. Hagar's god knew about the baby
    and gave the little guy a name. That is a very personal thing to do and must
    have been very comforting to a girl at the end of her rope.

    What took place between these two travelers is very precious. They met as
    strangers, but before they parted, one named the other's baby and became
    godfather to a runaway slave's child. The other gave her new god a pet
    name to remember him by. Hagar's experience was very wonderful.

    Gen 16:13b . . by which she meant: Have I not gone on seeing after He
    saw me!


    The rendering of 16:13b is more or less an educated guess because the
    Hebrew in that verse is very difficult. She could have said: Have I here seen
    him here who sees me? In other words: The god who knows me is in this
    place? I can appreciate her surprise. You might expect to find God in a grand
    Italian cathedral, but certainly not along a dusty road in the middle of
    nowhere. And you might also expect a divine being to speak with a President
    Barak Obama or a Pope Benedict, but certainly not to an insignificant nobody
    who meant very little to anybody.

    Gen 16:14 . .Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it is between
    Kadesh and Bered.


    Heretofore, this particular source of water had no specific name. Beer-lahai
    Roi
    is another Hebraic toughie. It could mean: The well of him who knows
    me.

    Kadesh is located nearby El Quseima Egypt about 15 miles south of the
    border town of Nizzana. Just northeast of there is the wilderness of Shur; a
    region adjoining the Mediterranean to the north and the Suez canal to the
    west. Shur extends somewhat south along the eastern shore of the Gulf of
    Suez.

    But the well wasn't there. It was between Kadesh and Bered. The Onkelos
    Targum renders Bered as Chaghra', which is the usual equivalent of Shur,
    while the Jerusalem Targum renders it Chalutsah, which is also Shur (Ex
    15:22). So precisely where Hagar's well was located is totally unknown so
    far. It was just somewhere between Kadesh and Shur.


    FYI: I don't think those of us living in modern industrialized countries like
    the U.S.A. appreciate the importance of water in Hagar's part of the world.
    Those of us in the Pacific Northwest and/or Hawaii sure don't. But without
    water; people die, plants wither, birds fall out of the sky, and livestock
    eventually drops dead.

    Water, in the form of humidity, fog, and/or liquid is literally life itself in some
    parts of the world; ergo: to have that celestial being meet with Hagar at a
    source of water in the Mideast is very significant; and only one of many such
    meetings people in the Bible experienced with God and/or His designated
    messengers.

    Gen 16:15 . . Hagar bore a son to Abram, and Abram gave the son that
    Hagar bore him the name Ishmael.


    Hagar must have told her master about the experience and darned if the old
    man didn't believe her story and comply with God's choice of name for the
    boy. Taking part in naming a boy was serious business in those days. In
    doing so, Abram officially and publicly accepted Ishmael as his legal son. The
    boy was supposed to be Sarai's son too, but there's no record she ever
    really accepted the lad.

    Gen 16:16 . . Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to
    Abram.


    That was about eleven years after Abram entered Canaan (Gen 12:4) and 14
    years before Isaac's birth (Gen 21:5). Both of Ishmael's parents were
    Gentiles. Hagar was an Egyptian and Abram was a Babylonian.

    According to ancient Judaism, the angel who spoke with Hagar was God's
    word-- The Memra' of sacred Jewish literature.

    T. And she gave thanks before the Lord whose Word spake to her, and thus
    said, Thou art He who livest and art eternal; who seest, but art not seen!
    (Targum Jonathan)

    T. And Hagar gave thanks, and prayed in the Name of the Word of the Lord,
    who had been manifested to her, saying; "Blessed be You, Eloha, the Living
    One of all Ages, who has looked upon my affliction." For she said; "Behold,
    You are manifested also to me, even as You were manifested to Sara my
    mistress." Wherefore she called the well: The Well at which the Living and
    Eternal One was revealed. And, behold, it is situate between Rekam and
    Chalutsa. (Jerusalem Targum)

    So then, it's pretty well established in the Old Testament book of Genesis, in
    the New Testament book of John, and in the Targums, that God's mysterious
    Word is actually the Yhvh of the Old Testament.

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
    was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were
    made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:1-3)

    /
     
  10. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 17:1

    Thirteen years go by since Ishmael's birth; enough time for Abram to easily
    forget God's covenanted promises. Abram was prospering materially,
    Ishmael was growing into young manhood, the land was at peace, and quite
    possibly Abram and Sarai had by now given up all hope of ever having any
    children of their own because Sarai, at 89, is past the age of bearing
    children.

    Abram had no way of knowing, but God was just insuring that Sarai couldn't
    possibly have children of her own except by a miracle, rather than via
    natural reproduction. In other words; it appears to me that it was God's wish
    that He be the paterfamilias of Sarai's one and only son; and therefore the
    paterfamilias of the special line that descends from the son; viz: Jacob.

    Till now, God spoke of a covenant with Abram only one time (Gen 15:18). In
    this chapter God will use that word no less than thirteen-- nine times it will
    be called "My" covenant, three times it will be called an "everlasting"
    covenant and once it will be called the covenant "between Me and you"

    Gen 17:1a . .When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord
    appeared to Abram and said to him: I am El Shaddai.


    "Shaddai" is from Shadday (shad-dah'-ee) which means: almighty. The word
    "El" is not actually in the original Hebrew text but was penciled in by
    translators. God's declaration could just as well be worded: I am all-mighty.

    Webster's defines almighty as: having absolute control over everything;
    which of course includes power over not just money and politics; but also
    power over all that there is; e.g. magnetism, electricity, gravity, inertia,
    wind, thermodynamics, pressure, fusion, radiation, light, and of course the
    power of life; which is a power that nobody yet as of this date has been able
    to figure out. Humanity knows even less about the power of life than it
    knows about the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

    Anyway; this is the very first occurrence of the word Shadday in the Bible;
    and from here on in, from Genesis to Malachi, without exception, it will
    always refer to the supreme being; and used to identify no other person.
    Almighty became a name of God (cf. Rev 1:8) and was God's special
    revelation of Himself to Abram.

    Although Abram was aware of God's other name Yhvh it was not by that
    name that Abram became familiar with his divine benefactor. Abram's
    progeny would get to know God better by the name Yhvh because it's a
    name of God with special emphasis upon the aspect of rescue; whereas
    Shadday has special emphasis upon providence.

    Gen 17:1b . .Walk in My ways and be blameless.

    Walking with God was introduced back at Gen 5:22-24. Enoch had it down
    pat; but apparently Abram had a ways to go. Very few qualify as the kind of
    people with whom God prefers to associate. He's picky that way.

    A principle woven throughout both the Old Testament and the New is that
    worship is meaningless when it's unaccompanied by pious conduct. Take for
    example the first 23 verses in the first chapter of the book Isaiah.

    Yhvh's people were attending Temple services on a regular basis. They were
    bringing sacrifices and offering. They observed all the feasts, and all the holy
    days of obligation. They prayed up a storm; and they kept the Sabbath. But
    Yhvh rejected every bit of their covenanted worship because their personal
    conduct was unbecoming. In other words: their conduct didn't compliment
    their worship. Yhvh was disgusted with their hypocrisy: they made Him
    angry and gave Him a headache; so to speak.

    /
     
  11. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 17:2-5

    Gen 17:2-3a . . I will establish My covenant between Me and you,
    and I will make you exceedingly numerous. Abram threw himself on
    is face;


    The Hebrew word for "threw" is naphal (naw-fal') and first appeared in Gen
    4:10. It doesn't mean Abram dropped like a sack of ready-mix concrete. It
    just means he lowered himself face down into a prone position.

    This is the very first time it's recorded that Abram (or anyone else) got into
    a face-down prone position in the presence of God. But why would Abram do
    that? In what way did God appear to him that motivated that reaction? The
    institution of the covenant of circumcision is, in point of fact, the only other
    instance where it's recorded that Abram met with God in the (deliberate)
    prone.

    When Moses met God at the burning bush (Ex 3:2) he only turned away so
    he wouldn't look at God; but didn't lie down. He stayed on his feet; but was
    told to remove his sandals: a requirement which is seen only twice in the
    entire Old Testament: once at Ex 3:5 and the other at Josh 5:15; the reason
    being that Moses and Joshua met with God on holy ground.

    The Hebrew word for "holy" is qodesh (ko'-desh) and it has no reference
    whatsoever to sanitation. It simply means consecrated; viz: a sacred place
    or thing dedicated to God for His own personal uses.

    In many homes in the Orient; it's the custom to remove your shoes before
    entering people's domiciles because shoes track in filth from the outside that
    hosts want neither in their homes nor on their floors and rugs. True, holy
    ground is dirt; but it's God's dirt, and apparently He doesn't want somebody
    else's dirt soiling His: thank you very much.

    Abram may have ordinarily met with God via voice only; but this instance
    may have been a close encounter of a third kind. Some have suggested God
    appeared to Abram as the Shekinah of 1Kgs 8:10-11; which, even that can
    be quite disturbing for some.

    I don't think Abram learned the prone posture in church, Sunday school,
    yeshiva, or synagogue. It was a spontaneous, voluntary reaction on his part.
    Apparently God was okay with it because He didn't scold Abram nor order
    him back up on his feet.

    People react differently to the Bible's God. Some, like Abram, Daniel, and
    Jesus sometimes get down prone on their faces. We needn't worry too much
    about it though. Most of us will never have a close encounter with The
    Almighty. But if it ever happens, I don't think you'll need someone to tell
    you what to do. Unfortunately though, there are people inclined to stare at
    God like a curiosity. That is not wise.

    "Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke, for the Lord had come down upon it in
    fire; the smoke rose like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain
    trembled violently. The blare of the horn grew louder and louder. As Moses
    spoke, God answered him in thunder. The Lord came down upon Mount
    Sinai, on the top of the mountain, and the Lord called Moses to the top of
    the mountain and Moses went up. The Lord said to Moses: Go down, warn
    the people not to break through to the Lord to gaze, lest many of them
    perish." (Ex 19:18-21)

    Word to the wise: If God appears? Don't look . . . unless invited to.

    Gen 17:3b-4 . . and God spoke to him further: As for Me, this is My
    covenant with you: You shall be the father of a multitude of nations.


    That announcement regards nations rather than individuals. Abram is well
    known as the father of the Jews, but he is also father of more than just
    them. The majority of Abram's progeny is Gentile and a very large number
    of those are Arabs.

    Besides Ishmael and Isaac, Abraham also engendered Zimran, Jokshan,
    Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Over the years millions of people have
    descended from those eight men who are all Abram's blood kin; both Jew
    and Gentile.

    Gen 17:5 . . And you shall no longer be called Abram, but your
    name shall be Abraham, for I make you the father of a multitude of
    nations.


    Abraham's original name was 'Abram (ab-rawm') which means: high, or
    exalted father. In other words: a daddy; as the respectable head of a single
    family unit. Abram's new name 'Abraham (ab-raw-hawm') means: father of
    a multitude of family units. In other words: not just the paterfamilias of a
    single family unit; but the rootstock of entire communities.

    Abraham is a father on two fronts. He's a biological father to the people of
    Israel due to their natural association with Jacob; and he's a non-biological
    father to Christians due to their supernatural association with Christ.

    "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according
    to the promise." (Gal 3:29)

    Some people try to construe Gal 3:29 to mean that Gentile Christians are
    somehow spiritual Jews. But according to Eph 2:11-22 and Gal 3:26-28 that
    just isn't true. And besides: Abraham was a Gentile.

    /
     
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  12. Miss Hepburn

    Miss Hepburn Well-Known Member

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    Just found this thread.
    What an amazing endeavor !
     
  13. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Indeed it is. Even with clear sailing it takes me in the neighborhood of
    seven months to post daily comments for all fifty chapters.

    /
     
  14. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 17:6-9a

    Gen 17:6 . . I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and make nations of you;
    and kings shall come forth from you.


    The only king who really matters is Messiah.

    "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of
    Abraham." (Matt 1:1)

    Gen 17:7a . . I will maintain My covenant between me and you, and your
    offspring to come,


    The word for "maintain" is quwm (koom) which means: to rise (in various
    applications, literal, figurative, intensive and causative). The very first
    instance of that word is Gen 4:8.

    "Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him."

    That's kind of negative. Here's a passage that really says what God meant.

    "Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water,
    and filled the troughs to water their father's flock; but shepherds came and
    drove them off. Moses rose to their defense, and he watered their flock.
    When they returned to their father Reuel, he said: How is it that you have
    come back so soon today? They answered: An Egyptian protected us from
    the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock." (Ex 2:16
    19)

    The "offspring to come" was Isaac's and Jacob's rather than every last one
    of Abraham's posterity.

    Gen 17:7b . . as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages,

    Abraham's covenant is permanent; has never been annulled, deleted, made
    obsolete, abrogated, set aside, given to another people, nor replaced by
    another covenant. In point of fact, even Christians benefit from Abraham's
    covenant. (Eph 2:11-22 and Gal 3:26-28)

    God promised Abraham He would guard the safety of this particular
    covenant Himself personally. The covenant God made with Yhvh's people as
    per Deut 29:9-15 neither supersedes, amends, nor replaces the covenant
    God made with Abraham in this chapter (Gal 3:17). Attempts been made to
    package all the covenants into a single security like a Wall Street derivative
    similar to a collateralized debt obligation (CDO). But that just creates a
    bubble and is really asking for trouble.

    Gen 17:7c . . to be a god to you and to your offspring to come.

    This part of the covenant is somewhat conditional. It will only include those
    among male Hebrews that undergo the circumcision coming up in the next
    few passages.

    Gen 17:8a . . I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to
    come,


    Ownership of the land is realized not only in Abraham's progeny alone. God
    said He assigned the land not only to his offspring, but to "you" too.
    Abraham didn't get to take possession of his promised holdings while he was
    here, but in the future, he will.

    "You will keep faith with Jacob, loyalty to Abraham, as You promised on oath
    to our fathers in days gone by." (Mic 7:20)

    "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and
    shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of
    heaven." (Matt 8:11)

    "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his
    inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was
    going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a
    foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs
    with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with
    foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Heb 11:8-10)

    Gen 17:8b . . all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding.

    Abraham's progeny may not always occupy the land, and they may not
    always be in control of it; but it remains deeded to them forever.

    Gen 17:8c . . I will be their god.

    The wording of the covenant thus far hasn't been specific regarding the
    identity of Abraham's offspring for whom El Shaddai will be their god. Later
    on it will become clear that only the line through Isaac is effected. Neither
    Ishmael nor any of the other brothers were granted rights to the land.

    Gen 17:9a . . God further said to Abraham: As for you,

    The next covenant is totally a guy thing; and incorporated into Israel's
    covenanted law (Lev 12:2-3, John 7:22). The ladies are not a part of this
    one because Abraham's progeny isn't engendered by the ladies; it's
    engendered by the guys. The ladies are just baby mills. In the Bible, children
    inherit their tribal affiliation and their family names from the fathers rather
    than the mothers.

    This creates an interesting legality in Christ's case since there was no
    immediate male involved in his conception. So then, the closest male in his
    biological family tree defaults to Eli, his mother's father; which is how the
    Lord obtained his biological position in the line of David and the tribe of
    Judah. (The Lord's connection to the line of Solomon was via adoption rather
    than genetics. I'll elaborate that issue when we get to Jacob's precedent in
    chapter 48)

    All other considerations aside, the men of Abraham's line don't even have to
    mate with women who are biologically related to Abraham because the
    ladies don't perpetuate Abraham's line; the guys do. A Hebrew woman who
    bears the children of a Gentile perpetuates Gentiles. Kids born in that
    situation are not Abraham's offspring. Those are a Gentile man's offspring.

    "That when an idolater or a slave cohabits with an Israelitish woman; their
    child is illegitimate." (Yevamoth 99a, v36)

    In other words, the child of a foreign man is not Abraham's biological
    progeny. That fact alone should be very sobering for any Hebrew woman
    intent upon marrying a Gentile. Her children won't be identified with
    Abraham. They will be non Hebrews with no Divine connection to either
    Abraham, or to Abraham's covenant. Her grandchildren will be Gentiles too;
    and on and on.

    Every Hebrew woman who willingly, and willfully, bears the children of a
    Gentile is nothing in the world but a traitor to Abraham's community, and
    spits upon the sacred covenant that God made with her ancestor. She is no
    better than Esau who valued his birthright on a par with a lousy bowl of
    soup.

    /
     
  15. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 17:9b-14

    Gen 17:9b . . you and your offspring to come throughout the ages
    shall keep My covenant.


    The word "keep" is from shamar (shaw-mar') which means, properly: to
    hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard, to protect, attend to. The general
    meaning in this particular instance is: to preserve.

    Gen 17:10 . . Such shall be the covenant between Me and you and
    your offspring to follow which you shall keep: every male among you
    shall be circumcised.


    Circumcision didn't begin with Abraham. It was practiced in Egypt as early
    as 2400 BC.

    Circumcision doesn't serve to improve a man's physical appearance. Men
    were created whole; and after God finished the six days of creation, He
    inspected everything and graded it all very good. So circumcision doesn't
    correct design errors; but actually mars a man's natural appearance. It
    renders him somewhat disfigured so that he no longer bears a precise
    resemblance to his ancestor Adam-- nor will he ever again. A circumcised
    man is still a human being; just altered somewhat.

    The surgery doesn't impair sexual function so we can rule out the possibility
    that God imposed circumcision on Abraham and his male progeny for the
    purpose of discouraging romance. After all if a man's genital nerves were to
    be disabled, it would be very difficult for men to procreate-- and that would
    conflict with God's promise to Abraham that he would be fruitful and become
    very numerous.

    Gen 17:11 . .You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and
    that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.


    The word for "sign" is from 'owth (oth). It's the very same word for the mark
    upon Cain, and the rainbow of Noah's covenant. An 'owth not only labels
    things, but also serves as a memory preserver; like the Viet Nam war
    memorial. Abraham's circumcision, like rainbows and war memorials, is one
    of those "lest we forget" reminders of important events.

    Gen 17:12-13a . . And throughout the generations, every male
    among you shall be circumcised at the age of eight days. As for the
    home-born slave and the one bought from an outsider who is not of
    your offspring, they must be circumcised, home-born, and purchased
    alike.


    Home-born slaves were those born while Abraham owned its parents. The
    classification was reckoned Abraham's offspring; viz: his sons; thus
    indicating that the Hebrew word zera' is ambiguous and doesn't always
    identify one's biological progeny.

    The Bible doesn't call ritual circumcision a baptism but it sure looks like a
    species of baptism to me. Take for example the crossing of the Red Sea. The
    New Testament calls it a baptism (1Cor 10:2) yet none of the people under
    Moses' command got wet; they never even got damp. So baptisms come in
    a variety of modes, and for a variety of purposes.

    The implication is obvious: all males in Abraham's community (viz: his
    kingdom) have to resemble Abraham in order to be bona fide registered
    members; which means that a male Jew's genetics alone are not an eo ipso
    connection to Abraham. He has to undergo the surgery too.

    Gen 17:13b-14 . .Thus shall My covenant be marked in your flesh
    as an everlasting pact. And if any male who is uncircumcised fails to
    circumcise the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from
    his kin; he has broken My covenant.


    The "kin" in this regard is primarily Abraham but in later years came to
    include one's tribal identity. Say a man's biological father was a biological
    member of the tribe of Issachar, and for one reason or another never got
    around to circumcising his son.

    Well; until the son submits to the ritual, he cannot be counted among
    Issachar's progeny. In point of fact, he cannot be counted as anybody's
    progeny; not even Abraham's though Abraham is his biological ancestor.

    This may seem a petty issue but in matters of inheritance, can have very
    serious repercussions for the un-circumcised man. He's not only cut off from
    his kin, but also from Abraham's covenant guaranteeing his posterity
    ownership of Palestine and points beyond to the north, the south, the east,
    and the west. The little piece of turf now occupied by the State of Israel is
    but a parking lot in comparison to what God promised Abraham back in Gen
    13:14-15.

    To give an idea of just how serious God is about this ritual: After Moses was
    commissioned to represent God in the Exodus; Yhvh rendezvoused with him
    and came within an inch of taking his life over this very issue.

    "Now it came about at an inn on the way that Yhvh met him and sought to
    put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin
    and threw it at Moses' feet, and she said: You are indeed a bloody
    bridegroom to me. So He let him alone." (Ex 4:24-26)

    That should be a sobering warning that anyone representing God is
    supposed to set the example in all things. It's not do as I say, nor even do
    as I do; but do as I have done.

    Anyway, non-circumcised Jewish males aren't counted among Abraham's
    community; and that was a law way before it was incorporated into Israel's
    covenanted law as per Ex 12:48-49 and Lev 12:2-3.

    /
     
  16. Miss Hepburn

    Miss Hepburn Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the biggest thing that impressed me is someone using the term eo ipso.
     
  17. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 17:15-16

    Gen 17:15 . . And God said to Abraham: As for your wife Sarai, you
    shall not call her Sarai, but her name shall be Sarah.


    Sarah's original name was Saray (saw-rah'-ee) which means: dominative.

    Webster's defines "dominative" as: to exert the supreme determining or
    guiding influence on-- in other words: bossy. Dominative isn't a desirable
    female personality. Being assertive and confrontational is nothing to be
    proud of.

    Sarah (saw-raw') means: a female noble; such as a Lady, a Princess, or a
    Queen. It's much preferable for a woman to be known as a lady or a
    princess than as a dominatrix.

    Changing Sarai's name didn't actually change her personality; but it
    certainly reflected her new God-given purpose. It was like a promotion to
    knighthood. The child she would produce for Abraham became a very
    important, world-renowned human being out of whom came kings and
    statesmen; and ultimately the savior of the world.

    If I were required to pick just one woman in the Bible to venerate, it
    wouldn't be Christ's mom; no, it would be Isaac's mom. Sarah is the
    supreme matriarch over every one of the Messianic mothers who came after
    her.

    Gen 17:16 . . I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. I
    will bless her so that she shall give rise to nations; rulers of peoples
    shall issue from her.


    Sarah now had a calling from God just like her slavette Hagar; who herself
    was given a calling from God on the road to Shur. Sarah's calling was not
    much of a calling. She wasn't called to go off to some foreign country as a
    missionary, nor to open and operate hostels and orphanages in
    impoverished lands, nor head up a local chapter of the March Of Dimes, nor
    muster an army like a Joan of Arc. All in the world Sarah had to do for God
    was just be Isaac's mom.

    I once heard a story about a lady who summarily announced to her pastor
    that God called her to preach. The pastor thought for a second and then
    inquired: Do you have any children? She answered: Yes. So he said: My;
    isn't that wonderful? God called you to preach and already gave you a
    congregation.

    Motherhood isn't a marginal calling. It is a serious calling that carries
    tremendous responsibility, because the hands that rock the cradles quite
    literally do rule the world. A mother can either ruin a child's potential or
    enhance it; she can raise a decent human being, or raise a sociopathic
    monster.

    The media typically focuses on physical child abuse while usually overlooking
    the kind caused by mental cruelty. There are children out there whose self
    esteem and sense of worth are in the toilet just by being in the home of a
    thoughtless mother.

    One child can enrich the lives of millions of people, and it's the moms who
    bring them into the world, pick their boogers, change their dydees, teach
    them how to brush their teeth and say their prayers, stay up late with their
    fevers, get them in for their shots, pack them off to school, take them to the
    park, drive them to ToysRus a thousand times, and cry at their weddings.

    The dads have it easy. It's the moms who really pay the price for a child's
    future. But a mom can just as easily destroy her child's future by abuse and
    neglect. There are moms who have about as much love for their children as
    a dirty sock or a broken dish; and regard them just as expendable.

    But Sarah won't be like that. When she gets done with Isaac, he will be a
    well adjusted grown-up having a genuine bond of love and trust with his
    mom and zero gender issues with women. Isaac will see in Sarah the very
    kind of girl he would like to marry; and when that one does come along, he
    won't let her get away.

    /
     
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  18. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 17:17

    Gen 17:17 . . Abraham threw himself on his face and laughed, as
    he said to himself: Can a child be born to a man a hundred years old,
    or can Sarah bear a child at ninety?


    God had previously promised Abraham an heir but this is the first time He
    actually specified who the biological mother would be. Was Abraham
    skeptical? No; he just thought it was hilarious for two old sag-bottomed,
    bloated cod-fish gasbags like he and Sarah to have children. In other words:
    You've gotta be kidding!

    "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good
    as dead-- since he was about a hundred years old --and that Sarah's womb
    was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise
    of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully
    persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." (Rom 4:19-21)

    Mark Twain once commented that faith is believin' what you know ain't so.
    Well; that probably doesn't apply to Abraham because the Bible says he was
    "persuaded" which is quite a bit different than faith in something for which
    you have no good reason to believe is true.

    /
     
  19. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 17:18-27

    Gen 17:18 . . And Abraham said to God: O that Ishmael might live
    by Your favor!


    Ishmael is sometimes thought of as a sort of red-headed step child, but I
    tend to think that Abraham really did love the boy. I can see that love at
    work here when Abraham requested God's providence for him lest he
    become marginalized and forgotten.

    Gen 17:19a . . God said: Nevertheless, Sarah your wife shall bear
    you a son,


    God had nothing personal against Ishmael; but he was not quite what The
    Lord had in mind for the covenant's future. The one to perpetuate it had to
    be special; viz: he couldn't be a "wild-burro of a man" nor "his hand against
    every man's hand". In other words: God much preferred a peaceable man.

    Gen 17:19b . . and you shall name him Isaac;

    Isaac's name is Yitschaq (yits-khawk') which means: laughter or mirth;
    sometimes in a bad way such as mockery. In other places in the Old
    Testament, Isaac's name is Yischaq (yis-khawk') which means: he will laugh,
    or, he thinks it's funny. (perhaps as a memorial to Abraham's mirth at
    hearing the news of Sarah's imminent pregnancy.)

    Gen 17:19c . . and I will maintain My covenant with him as an
    everlasting covenant for his offspring to come.


    Much of the covenant is of little interest to the average Gentile; but one
    portion of it is very significant. It's this:

    "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen 22:18)

    The blessing is generally related to the people of Israel.

    "Salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:22)

    And specifically related to Christ.

    "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for
    the sins of the whole world." (1John 2:2)

    Gen 17:20 . . As for Ishmael, I have heeded you. I hereby bless
    him. I will make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous. He shall be
    the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.


    That quite literally came true. Ishmael really did engender twelve chieftains.
    (Gen 25:12-16)

    I don't know why so many people seem to think that Ishmael was only so
    much trash to throw out and discard, like as if he were second-hand dish
    water or something. No one should ever forget that he was Abraham's flesh
    and blood; his first son and Abraham really loved that boy. God blessed him
    too; and took care of him. He was circumcised in Abraham's home, which
    made him a permanent member of Abraham's community; so modern Arabs
    do have a legitimate claim to Abraham as their patriarch; but of course they
    have no such claim upon Isaac, or upon Isaac's blessings.

    Gen 17:21a . . But My covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom
    Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.


    Looks like the Abrahams will be going shopping for a crib, a stroller, and a
    car seat. Nothing like news of a baby to make the daddies start looking at
    their budgets.

    Gen 17:22 . . And when He was done speaking with him, God was
    gone from Abraham.


    Don't you just hate it when a supervisor lays down the law and then turns
    on their heel and leaves the room? It immediately tells everyone that their
    boss's agenda is not open to discussion.

    Gen 17:23 . .Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, and all his home
    born slaves and all those he had bought, every male in Abraham's
    household, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins on that
    very day, as God had spoken to him.


    That was well over 300 grown men; not counting boys (Gen 14:14).

    Gen 17:24-27 . . Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he
    circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and his son Ishmael was
    thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his
    foreskin. Thus Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on
    that very day; and all his household, his home-born slaves and those
    that had been bought from outsiders, were circumcised with him.


    Abraham was typically very prompt and did things in a timely manner.
    Trouble is; every male in camp was disabled all at once. Thank goodness
    nobody attacked right then or the PowerPuff Girls would have been forced to
    man the guns.


    NOTE: Ishmael was thirteen when he was circumcised. It would be another
    year before Isaac was born, and possibly three after that before Isaac was
    weaned; making Ishmael at least seventeen or eighteen when Abraham
    emancipated his mom.

    /
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  20. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 18:1-5a

    Gen 18:1a . .The Lord appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre;

    The Hebrew word for "appeared" is ra'ah (raw-aw') which doesn't necessarily
    indicate a visible apparition. The word is really ambiguous. It has several
    meanings; one of which simply indicates a meeting. That the Lord was
    present during this meeting is certain but whether He is physically present is
    uncertain; though not impossible. (cf. Ex 24:9-11)

    The three men upon whom we are about to eavesdrop are said by some to
    be angels; but the Hebrew word for angel is nowhere in the entire narrative.

    This visit occurred very shortly after the last one because Isaac wasn't born
    yet and his birth had been predicted in 17:21 to be little more than a year
    away.

    Mamre's terebinths were a grove of oak trees situated near modern day
    Hebron about 20 miles south of Jerusalem at an elevation of 3,050 feet
    above sea level.

    Gen 18:1b-2a . . he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the
    day grew hot. Looking up, he saw three men standing near him.

    It wouldn't be accurate to think of Abraham's tent as something akin to a
    hiker/camper's basic portable shelter. Bedouin sheiks lived in pavilions, since
    they served as the family's home.

    The entrance of the tent likely had a large canopy over it like a roofed porch
    so that Abraham wasn't sitting out in the sun, but rather in the shade. Poor
    guy's heart must have stopped when he looked up at these three guys just
    standing there saying nothing. I'm not sure if Abraham was aware at this
    point that one of those men was Yhvh. So his next reactions are very
    interesting. They reveal just how hospitable this rich and famous sheik was
    to total strangers.

    Gen 18:2b-3a . . As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance
    of the tent to greet them and, bowing to the ground, he said: My
    lords,

    Abraham was 99 so I don't think he actually sprinted. The word ruwts
    (roots) can mean either to run or just simply to hurry.

    The word for "lords" is from 'adown (aw-done') and/or the shortened 'adon
    (aw-done') which mean: sovereign (human or divine. 'Adown is a versatile
    word often used as a courteous title of respect for elders and or superiors;
    for example Sarah spoke the very same word of her husband at Gen 18:12,
    Rachel addressed her dad by it at Gen 31:5, and Jacob addressed his
    brother Esau by 'adown at Gen 33:8.

    Gen 18:3b-5a . . if it please you, do not go on past your servant.
    Let a little water be brought; bathe your feet and recline under the
    tree. And let me fetch a morsel of bread that you may refresh
    yourselves; then go on-- seeing that you have come your servant's
    way.

    There was a custom in the Olde American West that when travelers came by
    your spread, it was considered neighborly to offer them a meal and some
    tobacco, along with water and provender for their horses. This sometimes
    was the only means of support for off-season, unemployed cowboys known
    as drifters and saddle bums; but what the hey, you took the good with the
    bad; no questions asked. Traveling was neither a tourist's vacation nor a
    Sunday drive in Abraham's day. No cushy motels, no gas stations or
    convenience stores. It was very far in between communities and few people
    along the way so a camp like Abraham's was a welcome sight in that day.

    You can imagine how refreshing it would be on a hot day to soak your feet in
    a tub of cool water and recline in the shade of a big oak tree. In an era
    without refrigeration, electric fans, and/or air conditioning, that was just
    about the best there was to offer. Anyway it all just goes to show that
    Abraham was a very hospitable man, and really knew how to make people
    feel at home.

    /
     
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