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daniel1212av
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« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2007, 11:02:04 AM »

[3-13-07] (Gen 20)  And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. 4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? 5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. 6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. 7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine. 8 Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. 10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? 11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake. 12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt show unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother. 14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. 15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. 16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved. 17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. 18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
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« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2007, 11:23:08 AM »

V. 1 Perhaps to find more pasture, Abraham journeys to the southern border of Canaan. 

V. 2 “Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister.: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah” If this seems like a “modus operandi” of Abraham to us, then it is because verse 13 states that Abraham had made an agreement with Sarah that this would be their stratagem. And indeed she was his sister; being the daughter of his  father, but not the daughter of his mother (v. 12). Yet “he that worketh deceit shall not dwell within My house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in My sight” (Psa 101:7). Though there are times in Scripture when an utterly selfless lie, done in order to save life and not destroy it (in accordance with the intent of the law) seems to have been virtuous (Ex. 1:15-21), in Abraham's case it was to save his own life, and certainly left a bad testimony.   

V. 3 “ But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man.” God communicates in different ways, to both believer and unbeliever. Though the believer under the New covenant has completed Scriptures and the promised Holy Spirit, and is assured of God's guidance, the Lord can speak to unbelievers in a way they recognize, are rare as that may be. In the first instance of Abraham's ploy (Gn. 12), “the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife” (v. 17). Pharaoh rightly perceived the hand of the Lord in this, and called Abraham on the carpet. Here God warns  Abimelech in a dream, and we do well to notice the solemn consequences of sexually touching Abraham's wife. Not only is the Lord's protection of Abraham evident here, but also the penalty of adultery, which shall lead to the second death after the first if not wholly repented of in surrender to Christ. In both cases these men, whom we would assume to be pagans, fear the living and true and manifest an uprightness that shames Abraham in his instances of declension. Such is the grace of God, and this surely was an invitation for both men to “Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning” (Amos 5:8 ), who graciously protected His elect Abraham and in so doing saved these men from death.

Vs. 10, 11 “And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? 11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.” Here Abraham confesses that, like that of his previous employment of this deception, it was out of fear for his own life that he made Sarah out be simply his sister. Herein is the paradox of a man who is called the “our father in faith,” and who believed God's promise despite his own inability, and would later reckon that God could raise the dead, but yet manifests so little faith when he perceives danger to his life here. This too often is like us.  We also can be easily tempted by fear to lie, or otherwise deceive, but nothing is hid from God, who is the only One we really ought to fear.

This revelation also is another example of the Divine integrity of the Bible, which soberly reports both the virtues and iniquities of even the men most used of God,  in a way unlike as is typical of ancient fables.

V. 14 Abimelech gives Abraham took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and restores to him Sarah his wife. And also invites him to dwell wherever he wants in his land. Abimelech may have been somewhat angry with  Abraham initially, but he feared God and likely had compassion upon pious Abraham, upon whom the hand God continued to be evident, and who blesses him here in accordance with his covenant.

16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other..  How could Abraham and Sarah both allow her to be taken to possibly become part of the kings concubine, is perhaps what  Abimelech rightly asked. Here he states Abraham is to be a type of veil, one that was to be a protection for her, rather than one who would leave her vulnerable. “Thus she was reproved.” Their is an intimation of guilt here on her part in allowing this to go as far as it did, and now she is publicly chastened.

Vs. 17 “Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.” God had closed up the wombs of Abimelech's house as a warning judgment against him (v. 18), and it is God's anointed that must pray for them, who were in that position due to Abraham in the first place. This chapter offers more than simply a lesson about lying, as we also see the consequences of unintentional sin, and of God's warning and mercy in such a case. Also that of believers seeking to undo hurt done to others due to their failures. We also see how God fearing men discern a judgment against them by God, versus infirmity or afflictions due to a need to come to or grow in faith and conformity to Christ.

If Abimelech was disturbed by Abraham and Sarah's strategy, how much more amazed might we be, that they, to whom innumerable decedents were promised through Sarah, would risk losing her to a concubine! How Abraham expected to retrieve her by his own means we not know.  Perhaps Abraham had faith that, in the light of such a promise, God would not allow her to be taken to wife by another, but this would not be so much faith as tempting God. In any case, we are to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pt. 4:10), and not risk losing that which is entrusted to us, whether it be out of fear or foolishness, and by faith overcome the world. 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 09:14:36 AM by daniel1212av » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2007, 11:32:54 AM »

[3-14-07] (Gen 21)  And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. 6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. 8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. 9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. 11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. 14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. 19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. 20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: 23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. 24 And Abraham said, I will swear. 25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away. 26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day. 27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. 28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? 30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. 31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. 32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. 33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.
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« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2007, 11:42:06 AM »

V. 2 “ bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.”  “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Heb 10:36). Some failures occurred in their lack of patience, and patience worketh faith, but in the Lord's perfect time, then as with Mary, there was “a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Lk. 1:45).

V. 6  “And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.” True “holy laughter.” And so the name Isaac name means laughter. Also, we are to “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep”  (Rom 12:15)  ..

V. 8b “Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.” Day can mean time here. Weaned = (likely) freed of dependence on his mother's milk. . Evidently seen here as a sign to health, and a cause of celebration.

V. 9  “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.”  Ishmael need not have very old to manifest this scorn, which had it's beginning between Hagar and Sarai, and now is manifest between their respective offspring. And which continues to this day.

V. 10 “Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.”  What Sarah joined, now she separates – the  2nd and additional wife, not the one to whom God joined him to (Gn. 2:24). Polygamy may have been allowed, but it was never God's revealed original and perfect will. This also shows the Sarah understood and believed the covenantal promise by God to Abraham of land and decedents through Isaac.

Ishmael is clearly excluded from the Abrahamic covenant. This verse and the many confirmations of it are a cause of much discomfort to Islamic apologists, who resort to great wresting of Scriptures and it's grammar in seeking to make Ishmael the son of the promise. Indeed, they overall must contend that the Bible was altered in  every place wherein the Bible contradicts the Quran! Beside the fact that such massive changes would require not simply alteration, but a rewriting of the Bible,  not exist even one Biblical manuscript exists that agrees with the contradictory Quranic versions and Islamic assertions, even among the multitudes of manuscripts that greatly antedate the Quran.   

 “..for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman” (Gal. 4:30). As understood  under the New covenant, a gospel of salvation by works cannot effect the New Birth of regeneration by the Holy Ghost, and thus they that are yet dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) cannot inherit the kingdom of God. And like the historic conflict between the physical decedents representing the two births, the scorn and persecution of believers in Christ by those who know only the natural birth is trans-historical.  “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now” (Gal. 4:29).

V. 12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman;..” Here we see Abraham's love for both Hagar and her offspring, but as the promise was to Issac –  “for in Isaac shall thy seed be called” – and the two gospels cannot co-exist with each other (and attempts to bring both children up together would have resulted in unresolved conflicts), it must be so even as Sarah wished.

V.13  “And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.” But true to His promise regarding Ishmael, Abraham's seed through Hagar shall not be left destitute, but he himself shall become a great nation. But distinctly not as that of Issac, whose progeny is to inherit all the land promised to Abraham, and “of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen” (Rm. 9:5).

V.14 “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar,..”  Abraham's last act is a touching one toward his second wife and child as he sends her away with some provision. She who became his wife and mother of his child through a seemingly faithless acquiescence to his wife Sarai, must now be commended in faith to God's keeping.

V. 14b “and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.” The southern border of Palestine, which she may have lost her way, and ran out of strength.

V. 15a, 16b “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.”  “....for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.” Not that the child was too young to walk, but likely too faint to do so. And as they both were close to death, and despairing that they would survive the desert, she placed the boy in some shade and turned her back, lest she see him die. 

Vs. 17a, 18a, 19a, 20  “And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven,... “  “Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.” “And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.”  “And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.”
   
“He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment” (Dt. 10:18). This was essentially the case with Hagar and her son, and the Holy Spirit records for us the faithfulness and mercy of God towards them. And who, now separated from Issac, Ishmael will himself became a great nation, though in lesser respect to that of his step brother, in fulfillment of the Divine promises.

v. 21 “And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.” Paran =  a desert of Arabia. “A city in Arabia Petraea; it reached from the wilderness of Shur to Mount Sinai:” – Gill.  Herein is another manifestation of the differences between the two decedents, as Egypt, from whence came Hagar, typically represents the world. Notice also it is the parent who chooses a wife for her child. With this the historical narrative of Ishmael is almost ended.
 
V. 22 – 24  “And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham.. “ (v. 22). Phichol = mouth or spokesman of all. The narrative now returns to Abraham, and his dealing with Abimelech,  who, knowing the Lord is with Abraham in all that that he does, requests a promise that that he will act in accordance with the kindness showed him while in Abimelech's land.  “And Abraham said, I will swear.(v. 24).

V. 24  “Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.” Outside of his going to  war to rescue his nephew Lot,  this is the only outside social conflict we see of Abraham, in which he reproved Abimelech for the violent theft of a well, which back in those days was a most critical necessity, especially considering the agrarian type economy he was part of. Nor would this be the last occasion of conflict regarding a well. But  Abimelech protests  that he himself was innocent of this matter.  Abraham then took “sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant”  (v.. 27). He also takes seven female sheep for Abimelech to take as a living sign of confirmation that he digged that well, in order to avoid further conflict. It appears Abraham  might have been too hasty in this matter if he assumed Abimelech knew of the theft, but his desire is not in any way for selfish gain, but  to secure a most necessary resource and to prevent any future strife. And it is Abraham that wisely gives of his livestock to Abimelech in securing this covenant

 V. 32 “..and they returned into the land of the Philistines.”   Abimelech Phichol are evidently quite younger than 100 years old Abraham, and this is not that last time we will hear of them.

v. 33 “And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.” Abraham goes to the church in the wilderness. It is interesting that he planted a grove, as that was one of the things that God forbade the Israelites to do in respect to worshiping the living and true God, as groves and high places were often concomitant with idolatry (Dt. 16:21; Jdg. 6:25-30; 1 Kng. 15:13; 16:33; 2 Kng. 13:13:6; 17:21; 21:3; 23:4-7, 15). However, there is no guilt imputed to Abraham here. And if a sincere believer does initially use means of religion that are not fully consistent with the word of God, as (and if) our consecration keeps pace with revelation God gives, then we will “grow up into Christ into all things” (Eph. 3:15).

V. 34 “And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.” Some Jewish writers say he sojourned there twenty six years.  We do not know where the conflict over the well took place, but there is no conflict with verse 32, as Abraham could easily be be nomadizing in the land of the Philistines while dwelling in Beersheba, if there was a precise difference i those days.  We too, have our real dwelling in Heavenly places (Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:21), and yet are “strangers and  pilgrims” in this present world (1 Pt. 2:11), to whom we are not to be conformed to, but in surrender and consecration to Christ, we are to be transformed in mind and conformed to Him (Rm. 8:29). To the glory of the everlasting God.
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« Reply #49 on: March 15, 2007, 10:51:43 AM »

[3-15-07] (Gen 22)  And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. 15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. 19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. 20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor; 21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. 24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.
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« Reply #50 on: March 15, 2007, 11:00:45 AM »

V. 1  “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham..” Some suppose a contradiction with James 1:3 which states, "...God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man", but this is clearly speaking about being being tempted to sin, and tempting in order to bring someone to sin, as the devil does. Here God will prove Abraham, that he is not such a one as will sin in this matter.

V. 1b, 2a “...and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son,  Isaac, whom thou lovest, God calls Issac his only son, not simply because Ishmael was forever gone, but because Issac was the only Son promised by God, the miraculous one thru whom the decedental promise would be realized. God also adds" "whom thou lovest," which reveals to us how great a sacrifice this will be. It may also intimate that Issac was becoming so great an object of Abraham's affections that he had to make a choice between the two, but in any case this test will make it clear that Abraham obeyed the first and greatest comandment before the second, as that must always be the case.

V. 2b “and get thee into the land of Moriah and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Some suppose this to be Mount Calvary, which is the highest ground to the west, but it seems that this would have made clearer if such were the case.

V. 3 “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.” The suspense builds with every verse.

 V. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.” It is not coincidental that this was the third day. 32  And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

V. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Here is the first explicit verse in this narrative that indicates the faith of Abraham, that God would bring them both back together].

V. 6  “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering,..” A burnt offerng signifies total dedication
V. 7  “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son.  And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” One can only see tender love in Abraham for his son, and one that brought about an implicit trust by Issac in his father. And beyond that is  the implicit trust that Abraham displays in God His Maker. Though Abraham had failed in faith when he own life was threatened, and by which events his faith was strengthened, Abraham trusted God for the life of his sons. Yes, Abraham's first “sacrifice,” though not nearly as full  as a burnt offering nor as heart wrenching, could have been commending the excluded and departing Ishmael to God's care. Abraham could be sure that it would be well with that son in the light of God's promise in regard to him, and even more so it is the promise made regarding Issac that enables Abraham to trust Almighty God now, in his greatest of all his tests of faith.

V. 8  “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” Indeed He would, not simply one to replace Issac here, but One for both of them and all mankind, even of Christ  "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn. 1:29).  Praise ye the Lord.

V. 9, 10  “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.  And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.” Freeze frame. Unlike us, Abraham had no Bible that would prepare him for this, except the "living Bible" of the living God that was being written through men like Abraham who heard the voice of God and kept it, and saw His faithfulness.  We do not exactly know what Abraham was thinking at this moment in time, but in the further revelation of God we understand how that he which "had received the promises offered up his only begotten son."  "Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure" (Heb. 11:17b, 19). So great was Abraham's faith, which is first declared in Gn. 15:6 and is now proven and manifest to be true, that he reckoned that even if he did slay his dearly beloved son, God could raise him up from the dead. And in a sense he did, as Issac, who prefigured Issac Christ, was as good as dead if God did not intervene, and as such this is a figure of the resurrection.

V. 11 “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.” Abraham was responsive to the call of his son in verse 7, and he will most certainly respond to the angel from Heaven, which is evidently Christ manifested as an angel (vs. 15, 16; Ex. 23:23; 32:24; 1 Cor. 10:4). The parallel between the Isaac and the Son of God are obvious, with both Abraham and God the father offering supreme sacrifices of their dearly beloved and only begotten (one of a kind; unique) sons, as Abraham could not create another Issac, while God the Father offered that which was never created. But the miraculous birth of Jesus did not signify the beginning of His existence, and Issac was not sinless, and Christ would actually die by the hands of wicked men, and literally rise again. To the salvation of men and  the glory of God.

V.12  “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me.”  Though, like in other “investigations” by  God, He certainly knew both the heart and actions of Abraham beforehand, yet by such a test Abraham's true salvific faith (= obedience) is made manifest, not only to Abraham and Issac, but to all who read the sacred account.

V.13 “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”  How Issac must have marveled at this, at his father's faith and at God's faithfulness! And note that though Issac was spared, a burnt offering was required, and as a result of Abraham's obedience Issac and many would be blessed. Likewise and even more so, are many blessed thru which Christ wrought in being “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:Cool. Praise ye the Lord.

V. 14a “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh:” [= “Jehovah sees”]

Vs. 15 “And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: In previous declarations of the promise this aspect was missing.  "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, (Heb. 6:13). Notice also that the  the angel of the LORD is evidently the LORD. Not that the LORD is an angel, but just as He could take upon the  of the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:16), He could be like an angel.

V. 17a, 18 "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; ....."    And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”  “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (Heb. 6:15). The LORD had beforehand promised Abraham innumerable decendants, and that he would be a "father of many nations" (Gen. 13:16; 15:5; 17:5, Gen_17:6; 18:18), but the covenant seems to be  conditional upon Abraham's faith.  Now, his initial faith, by which he was accounted righteous, has been proven and found faithful, and thus he received the promise. So likewise true  believers on the Lord Jesus rejoice in Him, "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls" (1 Pt. 1:9). "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Heb. 10:39; cf. Gal. 5:1-4).

V. 17b "and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;" This specific related aspect is not given in the previous utterances of the promise of decedents, but is an expansion of it. The promise to Abraham of innumerable decedents and land often reiterated.  (Gen_24:7; Gen_26:3; Gen_50:24; Exo_13:5, Exo_13:11; Exo_33:1,  etc.).

V. 19 “So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.” The young men evidently were unaware of what really went on, and of the implications of such a test, though some may have lived to see some of the early manifestations of it. Likewise the world is clueless as to what is really going on the Christians life of faith, and it's implications, though some see the present effects, and eternity will declare the fulness of it.

To be continued..
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« Reply #51 on: March 15, 2007, 11:02:04 AM »

Vs. 20 – 24 “And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;...”

Nahor was named after his grandfather, who begat Terah, their father, at age 29 (Gn. 11:22-29). And  like Ishmael, Nahor had twelve sons, - eight by his wife, and four by his concubine.

May we who have been the recipients of “so great salvation” which men like Abraham looked forward to, not draw back in unbelief, but “seeing we “are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1, 2).
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« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2007, 12:40:06 PM »

[3-15-2007] (Gen 23)  And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. 3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, 4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. 5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, 6 Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead. 7 And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth. 8 And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, 9 That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you. 10 And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying, 11 Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead. 12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land. 13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there. 14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, 15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead. 16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. 17 And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure 18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. 19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. 20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.
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« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2007, 12:41:27 PM »

V. 1, 2a  “And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: .. And Sarah died..”   at the age of 127.
 “Gen 23:1-2 - Sarah is the only woman whose age is mentioned in the Scriptures, because as the mother of the promised seed she became the mother of all believers (1Pe_3:6). She died at the age of 127, thirty-seven years after the birth of Isaac, at Hebron, or rather in the grove of Mamre near that city (Gen_13:18), whither Abraham had once more returned after a lengthened stay at Beersheba (Gen_22:19).” – K+D

Not only is Sarah's age mentioned, but also her death and burial, as is fitting seeing she was the mother through whom the Abrahamic promise would be first finds it's fulfillment. And also, the apostle Paul alludes to her as a type of the church, a freewomen  (Gal. 4:22-23). The death of very few women are mentioned in Scripture, among them Deborah, Rebekah's nurse (Gn. 35:8 ),  Rachel (Gn,. 48:7)  Sapphira (Acts 5:10). 

V. 2 ... in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan..  Arba is liasted as part of Hebron.  “Arba is called the father of Anak Jos_15:13; Jos_21:11; that is, of the Anakim or Bene Anak, a tall or gigantic tribe Num_13:22; 28; 33, who were subsequently dispossessed by Kaleb. The Anakim were probably Hittites. Abraham had been absent from Hebron, which is also called Mamre in this very chapter Gen_23:17, Gen_23:19..” – Barnes

V. 7-9a  “And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth..... entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar.....That he may give me the cave of Machpelah...”
Abraham courteously and respectfully approaches and dialogues with “the people of the land,” for a burying place for his family. “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ...” (2 Cor. 10:1). Though we associate Abraham with faith, from the beginning of his recorded sojourning  to the end, we see details that reveal a meek (power under control), humble and gracious man, a loving father and (despite his fear driven stratagems with Sarah), a dutiful and faithful husband, one of eager hospitality; A willing and able protector of his own, and a wise and honorable and respected fellow tribesman and businessman, a man who loved God above all and  then his neighbor, and which make his few failures stand out starkly in contrast (Is that the way it is with us?) And here, despite being the recipient of Divine favour, he does not look down on the “people of the land,” but seems to soberly esteem them as equal or better than himself (Phil. 2:3). How this speaks to me, and how it ought to speak to the church in America, as our attitude can so often and easily be one that a light familiarity which does not convey deep and sincere respect, or is one of arrogance, or prideful condescension. We are sojourners in a foreign land for only a short time, and God helping, we to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pt. 3:15). “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed” (2 Cor. 6:3). But not that a healthy rebuke by the Spirit to arrogant scoffers cannot be holy.

V. 9b “ for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you.” Abraham is not looking for a gift, but seeks to pay the full an fair price for the land.

V. 11 Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.

V. 13-16  “And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.   And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,   My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.  And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver,...”

“Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles” (3 John 1:7). Though Ephron seems to have offered the land for nothing, Abraham was not looking nor would he take a gift, but he determined to pay the full price. “If the Eastern giver was liberal, the receiver was penetrated with an equal sense of the obligation conferred, and a like determination to make an equivalent return. 'The land is four hundred shekels. 'This is the familiar style for 'the land is worth so much.' The shekel is here mentioned for the first time. It was originally a weight, not a coin. The weight at least was in common use before Abraham. If the shekel be nine pennyweights and three grains, the price of the field was about forty-five pounds sterling.” – Barnes  “..the price of the piece of land was £52, 10s.; a very considerable amount for that time.” – K+D

The church, and in particular those in ministry, need to be careful about receiving gifts from the lost, and we should never be seeking or soliciting such, unless perhaps it is offering to take surplus stock off their hands (like foodstuffs) for  distribution for the lost. If a gift is offered, it is my basic opinion, as one who left all to ultimately serve in a faith tract ministry, that we should typically refuse, though perhaps in instances of small things when it is urged upon us out of sincere good will, or of surplus that might be thrown away, or instances of common hospitality (Acts 28:2), we might possibly accept, but not as one dependent upon them, nor in any regular basis. Instead we should be looking to minister to them. The church is not to be dependent upon the lost or the government for it's support, and dependence upon such will usually force compromise, as well as send a message that our God cannot take care of it's own.  Instead, the church is to take care of it's own, and even then it is my opinion that no solicitation should take place for our ministry needs unless it is to occasionally and prayerfully ask certain believers who are one with you in this work, or, like in 2 Cor., 8, +9, it is purely to help others in a needful situation. If we are diligently seeking to obey Mt. 6:33, so that everything is simply a means to the legitimate work of His kingdom and conformity in heart and life to Christ, we can be sure that Jehovah-jireh will bring in what we need to do so. To the glory of God.   
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« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2007, 12:14:14 PM »

[3-16-07] (Gen 24)  And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. 5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? 6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. 7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. 8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. 9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. 10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. 11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master. 15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not. 22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; 23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in? 24 And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. 25 She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in. 26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. 27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren. 28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things. 29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. 31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. 32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him. 33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
To be continued
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« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2007, 12:20:21 PM »

V. 1 Issac's mother has died, and it is time for Abraham to marry Issac, through whom the promise of the LORD will continue to be fulfilled. The man Abraham entrusts for this mission is his eldest servant and steward of his house and all Abraham's possessions, who may be considered a precursor the N.T, pastor, “that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season (Lk. 12:42).  “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (! Cor. 4:2).

V. 2b, 3a Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD...” The ritual in which he commissions him to this task is this rite “was used in swearing, and is still used in India” – Gill.  “This custom, which is only mentioned here and in Gen_47:29, the so-called bodily oath, was no doubt connected with the significance of the hip as the part from which the posterity issued (Gen_46:26), and the seat of vital power; but the early Jewish commentators supposed it to be especially connected with the rite of circumcision.. -K+D

V. 3b “thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:” Though Abraham dwelt in Canaan, and though Issac might had some female acquaintance therein, there must be no unholy mixture in marriage, and thus Abraham's cannot be married to a Canaanite. Neither can the church be married to the world, nor should it's members take a spouse who is not of the “household of [born again] faith” (2 Cor. 6:14).

V. 5 The servant inquires about a contingency “plan B,” but  there really is none, as Abraham, in faith, knows as the Lord has promised “Unto thy seed will I give this land” (v. 7) and his decedents, so the angel of the LORD will go before his servant superintend the circumstances whereby Issac will find a wife. Just as the Lord  miraculously brought Issac into the world and preserved him, so he will keep the rest of His promise to it's complete  fulfillment, no matter how many wicked Hamans seek to thwart it.

V. 10 “And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master...” Such a journey back in those days required far more equipage than today, but this also was indicative of Abraham's wealth and honor, and included the bride's dowry, and that which was conducive for her comfort. And so ''he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.”  “Mesopotamia; or Aram Naharaim, Syria of the rivers, which lay between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates, called therefore by the Greeks Mesopotamia....”Nahor; this was the brother of Abraham, and his city was Haran, whither he came, either with his father, or with Abraham, out of Ur of the Chaldees” - Gill

V. 12 And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee,..” This is not some ancient version of e-harmony, as the person that the choice of a wife will be determined by a sign given by the Lord, but the sign does somewhat reveal of what manner of person she is.  At evening time, when the women go out draw water, the servant had made his camels knell down outside the city by a well of water (v. 11). He then reverently beseeches the LORD God of his master Abraham that the damsel who is decreed by God to be Isaac's wife is the one who responds to his request,  “Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink;” with “Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also.” Such a humble, God fearing request as this is not indicative of a lack of faith, neither is it to be abused, but it can be led of the Spirit in in times of doubt as to which way one should choose. And the context here was that this was clearly a God – ordained mission, one in which obtaining a wife was assured, but which one the servant knew not.   

Vs. 15b, 16a “Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her:” She is twice affirmed to be virgin, both by the word “bethu^la^h “ which is the precise word for virgin, and by the additional statement. She comes with her pitcher upon her shoulder to draw water.

Vs. 17—20 The servant , whose heart is obviously in his works, runs to meet her and asks of her according to his prayer, and she eagerly responds as requested in confirmation that she is the one ordained to be the wife of Issac. However, the servant is not yet fully sure if this is the case.

V. 22 “...the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight..” Possibly “this was a jewel that hung from the forehead upon a lace or ribbon between the eyes down upon the nose; and such the daughters of Sion wore in later times, Is. 3:21; see Eze.16:12 – Gill

Vs. 23 – 28 “Whose daughter art thou?...”  After hearing that Rebbecca is the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor” (v. 24), the servant worshipped “the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren” (v. 26, 27). So should we seek the Lord, in devotion, doctrine and direction, and bless the Lord for answered prayer and His blessings toward us, the lest of which we are not worthy of (Gn. 32:10)

V. 28, 29ff “And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things. And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban:.”  Rebekah eagerly goes to her home and share the good news, and evangelism starts in our own “Jerusalem. They graciously receive the servant, hut he wil not eat or celebrate until his duty has been discharged and Rebekah secured (v. 33) He reiterates his commission and supplication, and it's fulfillment and asks for their assent (vs. 34-49). They perceive this things is from the Lord, and the servant again worships the Lord, and provides dowry, and they eat in communal agreement and confirmation (vs. 50-54). However, Laban and the mother request at least a 10 day stay before Rebekah leaves (v. 55), but the when the servant would not assent to the Labanic desire to delay, and presses upon them his desire to go, they ask the damsel, who responds, “I will go” (v. 58). So obedience to the call of Christ is not to be delayed, and from which there is to be no looking back (Lk. 9:59-62).

To be continued..
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« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2007, 12:23:32 PM »

34 And he said, I am Abraham's servant. 35 And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. 36 And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. 37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: 38 But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. 39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. 40 And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house: 41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath. 42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: 43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; 44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master's son. 45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee. 46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also. 47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands. 48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son. 49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. 50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken. 52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. 53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. 54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. 55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. 56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. 57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. 58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. 59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. 61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
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« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2007, 12:25:23 PM »

Vs. 62-65 Isaac has been waiting for his bride, and Rebekah is eager to meet him, but first covers herself with a veil. It is my feeling that this is so Isaac may over her beauty, and which in it's fullness, is only for the husband who has entered into the life long commitment called marriage to behold.

V. 67 “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife;..” The   tent in which Issac himself was likely conceived can now became the ground of the next decedents. There is no set wedding ceremony in Scripture, and the institution of marriage, nor a divorce of it (for which there is only two provisions for at best) need not necessarily be a ecclesiastical ceremony to be recognize by the Lord, though for believers that certainly is the way it should be. But we see here and other places in Scripture that marriage was a type of social contract, in which it was understood that when a man contracted with the parents or guardian of a virgin then she was his wife which marriage must be consummated. And the man who caused an unbetrothed women to lose her virginity outside of marriage was compelled to marry her (Dt. 22:28, 29).   that Later we see more fully that there was a betrothal period (which would be the period between Rebbecca being contract to Isaac and it's consummation) which was recognized basically as an unconsummated marriage (Ex. 21:9; Lv. 20:7). In the case of consensual sex between man and a betrothed  (or married) women then they both were to die (Dt. 22:23, 24). In the case of rape only the man would die.    .A tradition developed the betrothal period the groom would prepare a room in his fathers house, and at an unannounced time he would arrive for his bride, who is to be ready (Mt. 25:1-13). Presently the church is in an unconsummated marriage with the Lord Jesus, who went to prepare a place for us (Jn. 14:2). But are we ready and waiting? “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Ja. 4:4). ”Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Pt. 2:3).

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« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2007, 09:41:46 AM »

[3-19-07]
(Gen 25)  Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. 5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. 7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. 8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. 11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi. 12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. 18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren. 19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac: 20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. 21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. 24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. 27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
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« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2007, 09:45:03 AM »

(v. 1 “Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah...”  Age need not prevent marriage if it be in God's will. The language here indicates that Keturah was taken to wife after the death of Sarah, but in v. 6 1 Chrn. 1:32  she is referred to as a concubine. Unless this account is not strictly chronological (the word “again” can mean “added)” it is possible that Keturah was considered a concubine due to the preeminence of Sarah as being the wife God joined Abraham to, like as  her Isaac is called his “only son.   

V. 2  “And she bare him...” six more sons. How could a man who at one time was as good as dead in regard to child bearing (Rm. 4:19), be virile enough to father 6 more children? I believe it is simply because God did not miraculously enable Abraham in just one instance to be able to procreate, but the reinvigoration that enabled him (and Sarah) to father Issac stayed with him, so that he might have even more. (In any case it was not 2_444444.)

V. 5, 6  Abraham essentially gave all that he had unto Isaac, but not all inclusively, as he also gave gifts unto the sons of the concubines and sent them away into the east country (Arabia) to separately them from Issac.  Ishmael, who left years before, will return to help bury Abraham.

V. 7 “ And these are the days of the years of Abraham, 175 years.  “He survived Sarah thirty-eight years, and Isaac’s marriage thirty-five. His grandfather lived a hundred and forty-eight years, his father two hundred and five, his son Isaac a hundred and eighty, and his grandson Jacob a hundred and forty-seven; so that his years were the full average of that period.” – Barnes

V. 8a “Then Abraham gave up the ghost,..”  “Ghost = gaw-vah' A primitive root; to breathe out, that is, (by implication) expire:...”  – Strongs  Said of Jesus in John 19:30.

V. 8b “and was gathered to his people.” “This expression, which is synonymous with 'going to his fathers' (Gen_15:15), or 'being gathered to his fathers' (Jdg_2:10), but is constantly distinguished from departing this life and being buried, denotes the reunion in Sheol with friends who have gone before, and therefore presupposes faith in the personal continuance of a man after death, as a presentiment which the promises of God had exalted in the case of the patriarchs into a firm assurance of faith (Heb_11:13).” – K+D

V. 9  “And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah..”  Abraham had prepared for his departure from this life, as we are to do as well, especially spiritually. That Isaac and Ishmael are once again reconciled in the burial of their father is notable, and that is the last we see of this Ishmael (versus the one in Jer. 40, 41) as far as a narrative of his life in concerned (and which i was wrong in stating in Gn. 21:21). Only a few references to his decedents or past history are forthcoming (Gn. 25:12; Jdg. 8:24 1 Chrn. 1:29; Ps. 83:4; of which the last seems the most pertinent to today).

V. 11a “..after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac..” Again the preeminent subject of Abrahamic blessing is Isaac.

 V. 12 As the lesser object of blessing, yet in fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham regarding Ishmael, the latter's decedents are listed.  “According to custom, before the history of the principal line is taken up, that of the collateral branch is briefly given. Thus, Cain’s history is closed before Sheth’s is commenced; Japheth and Ham are before Shem; Haran and Nahor before Abram. And so the sons of Keturah are first dismissed from the pages of history, and then Ishmael.” – Barnes. K+D provides some evidence on what peoples these decedents became and their dwellings.

V. “And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years..”

V.  “And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife”, who possibly was quite younger.

V.   “And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren..” Like Sarah, Rebekah apparently was infertile, and the Lord answers his prayer and she conceived. Husbands should pray for their wives. You do not know what the lasting results could be.

Vs. 22-26  “And the children struggled together within her.. “ Sarah herself is now the one who prays, and the Lord answers that two nations are in her and “two manner of people” shall be separated from her womb, one stronger than the other, and that the elder shall serve the younger.  When they were being delivered, “the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment;” and they called his name Esau” (v. 25), which name means like “rough”, likely to do with being red-hairy.  When he that would be called Jacob came out, “his hand took hold on Esau's heel” (v. 26). Gill comments  “to pluck him back and get out first; and this was not casual, but was so ordered in Providence, and had a meaning and mystery in it.”

V. 27 “..Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.” The  “two manner of people” phrase is important, as they represent two kinds of souls. Esau represents the carnally – minded soul, who being “after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh”, while Jacob, despite his initial means,  will come to represent those who value “the things of the Spirit” (Rm. 8:5).

V. 28  “And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.” We tend to value the worker who provides that which is material over him that labors more in the spiritual.

Vs. 29-34  “..Esau came from the field, and he was faint..” Jacob has lentils (v. 34) cooking, and Esau comes in famished after hunting. His immediate priority is food, but Jacob is looking for something more eternal, and takes advantage of Esau's request for food to offer a transaction, Jacob's pottage for Esau's first – born blessing. It was wrong for Jacob to take advantage of Esau, but at least he valued “gold” more than “paper,” and if someone does not value much that which is valuable, then the one that does can the more easily  transact a bargain. That Esau placed little value on the blessing in comparison with his temporal need is evidenced by his reaction, “ Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” (v. 32). This shows he knew what he was trading. One can hardly suppose that this was the first time Esau was hungry, and he certainly would not die from hunger for many many more days, but  he quickly exchanged that which was spiritual and eternal for that which was carnal and immediate. Like all transgression on the “sin exchange,” this was short term gain for long term loss. And who here has not done likewise in some way? And who knows where we would be and do if we had always gone straight on the way of the Lord? Big things are often determined by our responses in many little choices as well as major ones, both in yielding to sin in things we do not truly need, or in compromising in order to get things we do need but could wait for, as was the case here. It is the soul that places a priority of his soul over sin, and of light over darkness in receiving (with a faith that follows) the Lord Jesus, that has eternal life. And it is the soul and ministry that prioritizes talking to God first over temporal duties, and the Bible over bread, and pleasing God over worldly prestige that is a mark of a faithful believer and that will be most used by God and blesses by Him (Mt. 6:33). Conversely, all sin is costly, and the momentary pleasure of sin will cost in little ways or big, at best keeping man out of God's best (Jer. 5:25) and hindering or preventing others from the same (Lk. 11:52; Ezek. 22:30), and can incur other consequences in chastisement and punishment . Even a quick act of sin take a man right out of the ministry, and or His grace (Gal. 5:1-4), and reap terrible consequences and negatively affect all he influences (2 Sam. 12), and even generations to come (Gn. 9). We should always tell sin that it is not worth it (that is not what we or i, always do, and thus we sadly sin), even if it comes from one we love (Gn. 3:6).

Notice the contrast between the Lord's priority when hungry and tempted, in contrast to Eve's and Esau's (Mt. 4; cf. 1 Jn. 2:16). Whatever is our our ultimate object of affections or chief source of security is our “god” at that time, and our consistent choices reveal what our “god” is overall. Here, Esau's god was his flesh in choosing the satisfaction of that which is temporal OVER the eternal! And his ensuing history reveals that this was not a momentary failure, but one which was truly indicative of his heart and life as a whole.

V. 34 “Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way:” Souls that are insensitive to God, that does not “fear the Lord”, will be ignorant of the eternal cost of their decisions, and will often blithely go on their way after rejecting the call of God and of conscience to seek and obey Him, and sin away their day of grace - to their own eternal horror! May we never let our heart be over taken in earthly pursuits, nor harden our heart when we do know the right ways and sin willfully, which has dire consequences  Lk. 21:34; (Heb. 10:26).

V. 34b “... thus Esau despised his birthright.” Will-fully choosing sin over the Lord Jesus reveals what a  soul really loves, and is essentially despising both Him and their own eternal soul. As Heb. 10:29 soberly warns, “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
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