The Bible Timeline

Discussion in 'Bible Prophecy' started by Joshuastone7, Oct 28, 2021.

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    Joshuastone7

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    The Bible Timeline


    Greetings friends,

    Let me start by saying once again how appreciative I am when our Lord allows me the opportunity to understand His Word. All things glory to Jehovah through Christ Jesus...

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    To begin: Absolutely nothing is needed extra-biblical to understand the timeline between Abram and King David. Everything is in the inspired texts to help us understand the exact year of each event within. I am about to show you the answers to questions humanity has been asking for thousands of years.

    Let’s start with our anchor point in history. Through my work on the creation days, the temple period begins at the start of the fourth creation day and the year Solomon began construction on the first temple. This was the year 964 BCE. However, this is also the secularly excepted date for the beginning of the first temple’s construction.

    Now, let’s read about our next anchor point,

    “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD.” 1Kin 6:1

    This is pretty self-explanatory.

    [​IMG]
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    Now, let’s look at Paul’s words,

    “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.” Gal 3:16-18

    Here Paul tells us the Law was given to Moses 430 years after the promise to Abraham. Now there are a few places within Genesis God gives promises to Abraham concerning his seed.

    “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” Gen 12:2

    “And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Gen 15:5

    “When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Gen 17:1,2

    “I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.” Gen 22:17

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    So the question is: When did the 430 years begin that Paul speaks of In Galatians chapter three?

    Paul is speaking of a particular promise made to Abramham that doesn’t include seeds as in plural, but seed as singular, meaning the Christ.

    So when did God make a promise to Abraham explicitly about the Christ? That was Genesis 22.

    “And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” Gen 22:17,18

    The entire narrative of the sacrifice of Isaac is the shadow of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice. From Isaac carrying the wood on his back, as our Lord carried His stauros, to Abraham offering his son just as God has. To the ram provided for proprietary sacrifice in place of Isaac, to our Lord’s sacrifice. To the very spot they stood on Mount Mariah, where the temple of God would be built years later.

    And now we know precisely when the sacrifice of Isaac’s narrative occurred.

    [​IMG]
    So now we know, thanks to Paul, that God gave the promise to Abraham about the Messiah in 1874 BCE.

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    Now let’s look at God’s words to Abraham regarding a promise made to him specifically regarding his seed as in plural.

    “Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.” Gen 15:13

    So, God tells Abram that his offspring would sojourn in a land that is not theirs, become servants, and opressed in a span of four hundred years. What is this timetable? It’s all in the narrative...

    First off, God tells Abram that these four hundred years end when Abram’s seed enters the promised land.

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

    God answers this way because that is precisely what Abram was asking; how he would know he would possess the land.

    “And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” Gen 15:7,8

    Here Abram is asking how he was to know he was to possess the land, and God tells him after 400 years, the fourth generation would enter the land he currently stood on. Meaning they would enter the promised land at the end of the 400 years.

    Now when do these 400 years begin? The narrative tells us.

    “As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.” Gen 15:15

    The 400 years begin at Abraham’s death. And that is exactly what this whole narrative is about.

    “As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him.” Gen 15:12

    Here the sun sets on Abram, and dreadful darkness comes upon him as he falls into a deep sleep, as if dead. (A common depiction in scripture)

    Just before this, God tells him to bring some of his animals, and he splits them in two. Abram splits his possessions in two before the Lord.

    “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half.” Gen 15:9,10

    Here Abram splits them in two, as he also would do just before his death in Genesis 25 as he separated his possessions between his children, new wife, and concubines before sending them off.

    This also can be a narrative of Jacob and Esau being the two nations coming from Rebekah, for Abraham died when these two were fifteen years old. So Abram’s family was split through Jacob and Esau.

    In any account, God tells Abram that as part of these 400 years, he would die, and his offspring would sojourn in the land as foreigners before eventually becoming servants and oppressed. Therefore the 400 years began at Abraham’s death, and carried on till the fourth generation would return to that land once again, to posses it as their own.

    [​IMG]
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    So, now the questions debated for thousands of years surrounding the 400 years given to Abram and the 430 years Paul spoke of are answered.

    We know how old Terah was when Abram was born. We know how old Isaac was at the sacrifice narrative. We know what year Abraham died. We can now prove when the Exodus was and confirm the exact year Jericho fell.

    Everything is in God’s Word. How utterly astonishing and beautiful it is!

    Terah was born in 2126 BCE and died at 205 yo.
    Terah was 147 When Abram was born.
    Abram was born in the year 1979 BCE.
    Abram was 58 when Terah died.
    Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born.
    Isaac was 5 at the sacrifice narrative in 1874 BCE.
    Abraham died in 1804 BCE at 175 yo.
    Jacob and Esau were 15 when Abraham died.
    There are 430 years between the sacrifice narrative of Isaac and the Exodus.
    There are 400 years between Abraham’s death and his seed entering the promised land.

    [​IMG]
    All love, dear friends...

    Our Lord’s Spirit be with you.

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7

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    Greetings,

    This is a follow-up for a brother that had a question on details...

    Now, it doesn't matter what years we use; all that matters is the number of years in between each event. In other words, you can have the start of Solomon's temple being built any year you want, and you will still come to understand Isaac was 5 yo at the sacrifice narrative.

    We understand there are 480 years between the Exodus and the start of the temple. (1Kin 6:1)
    [​IMG]
    Now, when we understand Paul speaks of a promise made to Abraham about a singular seed, the messiah 430 years before the Exodus, then we count those years back to get to that promise made to Abraham. (Gal 3:16-18) The only time Abraham gets a promise relating to the Christ is in Gen 22 and Isaac's sacrifice narrative. (Gen 12:2) Which makes sense; that's what that whole narrative is about.
    [​IMG]
    Now, this doesn't give us anyone's age at this point; this just sets these three time periods in place for us—the building of the temple, the Exodus, and the sacrifice narrative.

    Now here is the crucial bit: In Gen 15, Abram asks how he was to know he would possess the land, and the way God answers tell's us what the 400 years represent in that chapter. God says his seed would sojourn, be servants, and then possess the land, but Abram would die. God says in the fourth generation, after 400 years, Abram's seed would possess the land; meaning, that's when they would enter it. God answers Abram's question about him possessing the land, through his seed, after a period of 400 years.

    Then, that whole chapter of Gen 15 is about the death of Abram in the future. The darkness and deep sleep and dread, the cutting of his animals in half, etc... God tells Abram that he would die, and his seed would enter Cannan, all in these 400 years that God answers Abram with.

    Now if we take our date for the Exodus and add 40 years, we get the end of these 400 years and the year they entered the promised land. Then we count back to the start of these 400 years, and we get to the year of Abraham's death.

    And since we know Abraham was 175 when he died, all we have to do is go back to our sacrifice narrative date, and we discover that Isaac is 5. At this point, we understand all the dates and ages for everyone. And everything lines up perfectly. We know that Isaac was 75 when Abraham died, so that means at the start of the 430 years that Paul tells us about, Isaac was 5. The math and the ages for everyone work out perfectly, with no paradoxes.
    [​IMG]
    And just as a side note; this means Abram left Harran at 75 years old, 17 years after Terah died. Abram left Harran after his father's death just as Paul tells us in Acts 7:4. Again, there are no paradoxes.

    All love...

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline New Member

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    Thank you for putting things into this perspective for us, brother. It took time, it took effort, and the calling to mind— which comes by means of holy spirit— those things you’re considering with these passages.

    Now, when we understand Paul speaks of a promise made to Abraham about a singular seed, the messiah 430 years before the Exodus, then we count those years back to get to that promise made to Abraham. (Gal 3:16-18) The only time Abraham gets a promise relating to the Christ is in Gen 22 and Isaac's sacrifice narrative. (Gen 12:2) Which makes sense; that's what that whole narrative is about.
    In your chart, you start the clock for the 430 years at the time of Isaac’s sacrifice— except that according to the apostle Paul, the clock started with Abram’s first step away from Haran:

    What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, has discovered? If Abraham was indeed justified by works, he had something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Is this blessing only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. In what context was it credited? Was it after his circumcision, or before? It was not after, but before.

    And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but are not circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. —Romans 4:1-3, 9-12​

    I’m not trying to diminish the significance of what went down on that journey to sacrifice Isaac— Jesus himself noted the significance:

    Abraham YOUR father rejoiced greatly in the prospect of seeing my day, and he saw it and rejoiced.” — John 8:56 NWT​

    I’m inclined to believe that Jesus is referring to this:

    After that Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and put it upon Isaac his son and took in his hands the fire and the slaughtering knife, and both of them went on together. And Isaac began to say to Abraham his father: “My father!” In turn he said: “Here I am, my son!” So he continued: “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” To this Abraham said: “God will provide himself the sheep for the burnt offering, my son.” And both of them walked on together. — Genesis 22:6-8 NWT​

    Abraham, although he would go to his rest in death, was blessed to see what Jehovah had in the unfolding, what it would cost the Father when Jesus surrendered his life upon a stauros just as Isaac did that day when he surrendered to the will of his father, Abraham— that the Father might become all things to all men and women, restoring what had been lost since Adam and Eve. And we have that relationship today without the need to offer up an animal sacrifice.

    Abraham arguably understood that the only way God’s promise would be would be when Abram had a son.

    And it had already been established by the time Jehovah made this promise to Abram, that Sarai was incapable of bearing children:

    And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai. And the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

    And Sarai was barren; there was no child to her…

    And Jehovah had said to Abram, Go out from your land and from your kindred, and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and curse the one despising you. And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed. —Genesis 11:29-30, 12:3 LITV​

    This is a Messianic reference, wouldn’t you agree? And it builds on the earliest reference to this “seed” which was provided by God to Eve, concerning her seed. (Genesis 3:15) It’s—at least for me— a compelling passage for marking the start of the 430 years here, a conclusion which the apostle Paul seems to support (cited above).

    In time, Jesus was born, son of Abraham— just as God promised Abraham when he dwelled at Haran:

    The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. —Matthew 1:1 ASV​

    And not to be forgotten is how great that seed was to become in number, following Jesus:

    The LORD brought him outside, and said, "Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." He said to Avram, "So shall your seed be." — Genesis 15:5 HNV​

    Which calls to my mind:

    After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” —The Revelation 7:9-10 ESV​

    “So shall your seed be,” Jehovah had promised Abram— even though Abram had no son at this point in his life, and the likelihood continued to diminish with the passing of the years as Abram and Sarai continued to age.

    “And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed,” is what the scripture records.

    The apostle Paul writes this, concerning Abraham:

    For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world was not given through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by the law are heirs, faith is useless and the promise is worthless, because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.

    Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may rest on grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”He is our father in the presence of God, in whom he believed, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not yet exist.

    Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he acknowledged the decrepitness of his body (since he was about a hundred years old) and the lifelessness of Sarah’s womb. Yet he did not waver through disbelief in the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God was able to do what He had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.

    Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for Abraham, but also for us, to whom righteousness will be credited—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and was raised to life for our justification. —Romans 4:13-25​

    I need to wrap this post up, but I don’t see where you’ve made a persuasive or convincing case for the promise God gave Abram at Haran concerning the promised seed (Messianic promise) to be instead moved to when Abraham offered up Isaac many years later, in light of the scriptural and apostolic position available from the Bible.

    Submitted for your perusal and consideration,
    A fellow believer,
    Timothy
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings Timothy,

    Do me a favor: Can you quote me a scripture where God discusses Abraham’s seed with him that did not include anyone other than the Messiah? Meaning, somewhere God speaks to Abraham about his seed that would have nothing to do with anyone born in his line other than the Christ? So, no descendants other than the singular Messiah?

    “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. Gal 3:16

    Is Paul here speaking about a promise to Abraham that could include any of his descendants, or is Paul speaking of a particular promise to Abraham that was specifically only about the Christ? If a promise to Abraham could include his son and descendants and the Christ as well, can that be what Paul is referring to here? Or is Paul referring to a specific promise made to Abraham that pertained only to the Christ?

    Joshua
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2021
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    Joshuastone7

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    Here brother, let me offer a more accurate translation to assist your discovery.

    “The promise was spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It did not say, “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.” Gal 3:16

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline New Member

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    You wrote:
    Do me a favor: Can you quote me a scripture where God discusses Abraham’s seed with him that did not include anyone other than the Messiah? Meaning, somewhere God speaks to Abraham about his seed that would have nothing to do with anyone born in his line other than the Christ? So, no descendants other than the singular Messiah?

    Are you asking about the conversation Abraham and Jehovah God had when the command of circumcision of the foreskin was given to Abraham?

    But God replied, “Your wife Sarah will indeed bear you a son, and you are to name him Isaac. I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you, and I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He will become the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.” —Genesis 17:19-21 BSB​

    Even on this occasion, progressive revelation unveiled that Jehovah was speaking as much of the coming Messiah as He was about Isaac.

    But then Jehovah was doing this when He spoke to Adam and Eve about their seed. (Cf Genesis 4:1)

    At the same time, I’m not willing to do the apostle Paul a disservice by taking a single statement made by Paul to the exclusion of his surrounding and related statements on the same subject matter— which is why I cited the passages I did in my reply, and would even include the following from the apostle:

    And if you are of The Messiah, you are therefore the seed of Abraham and heirs by The Promise. —Galatians 3:29 Aramaic Bible in Plain English​

    The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him. —Romans 8:16-17 BSB​

    Does the apostle Paul state that “the seed” Jehovah was ultimately speaking to when conversing with Abraham was, in fact, Jesus? Undebatable— but… just as undebatable is that the apostle Paul includes believers in that “seed” only a few verses later in the same chapter. (Galatians 3:29)

    You wrote:

    Is Paul here speaking about a promise to Abraham that could include any of his descendants, or is Paul speaking of a particular promise to Abraham that was specifically only about the Christ? If a promise to Abraham could include his son and descendants and the Christ as well, can that be what Paul is referring to here? Or is Paul referring to a specific promise made to Abraham that pertained only to the Christ?

    I think I addressed this above, but if not then I would refer you to scripture, and the apostle Paul’s own statements:

    But The Promise was promised to Abraham and to his seed, and he did not say to him, “To your seeds”, as to many, but, “To your seed”, as of one, who is The Messiah. . . And if you are of The Messiah, you are therefore the seed of Abraham and heirs by The Promise. —Galatians 3:16, 29 Aramaic Bible in Plain English​

    Submitted for your perusal and consideration,

    A fellow believer,

    Timothy
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings Timothy,

    Paul is referring to a promise made directly about the Messiah that did not pertain to us.

    "And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies." Gen 22:17

    That offspring was the seed Paul is referring to that was singular. This was the promise made about the Messiah that did not pertain to the "many." This prophecy pertained only to the Messiah.

    Paul is saying that there would be 430 years from the promise specifically about the Messiah that didn't include the many (us) to the Exodus. That doesn't change the fact that we are the seed of Abraham through the promise made to Abram in Gen 12, the first promise. It only means the 430 years are from the promise that didn't pertain to us.

    The law did not overshadow the promise given to Abram earlier when leaving Haran. The previous promise wasn't in the garden, but that which God gave to Abram in Gen 12. The woman in Gen 3:15 wasn't Eve; it was the woman in Rev 12. (But no reason to go down that road)

    The promise Paul was referring to that started the 430 years was the promise that solely dealt with the Messiah and did not pertain to all of Abraham's seed. The promise made to Abram in Gen 15 was the first that pertained to us. We are that seed through the promise given to Abram when leaving Haran.

    All Love

    Joshua
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
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    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    PS: I forgot to include that the Messiah isn't even mentioned to Abram until Gen 22. Every place before that God speaks to Abram, the discussion is about Abram and his children. Are there hints or shadows of Messiah features in Abram, and God's Words? Of course, so was there in Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, etc... But the Messiah isn't specifically mentioned until Gen 22. (To Abraham, as Paul is speaking too)

    Paul is speaking about a conversation with Abraham pertaining specifically about the Messiah, and not us, and Gen 22 is the only location that takes place, does it not?

    That doesn't change the fact we are part of Abraham's seed through the promise in Gen 12. Those are two separate things.

    I know one would like to apply that into God's words; however, the truth is that God clearly only said Isaac and never brought up the Messiah, just like God never brought up the Messiah to Abram in Gen 12. God saved mankind through Noah too, so why don't we say we are the seed of Noah through the promise in him? If you apply a rule, it applies everywhere.

    Paul clearly tells us he's speaking of a conversation pertaining directly to the Christ. In fact the promise made to Abram in Gen 15 only pertained to the Isrealites returning to Cannon after the Exodus. It doesn't even have anything to do with salvation through the Messiah.

    Implying something into scripture that is more than what is there is self interpretation. We always want to recegnize it. Just because God promised Abram his seed would possess the land forever does not automatically imply God spoke to Abram about the Messiah as Paul is speaking of in Galatians 3.

    One has to admit God does not mention the Christ to Abram before Gen 22. Isn't that specifically what Paul is talking about? Think critically here brother... Abram is given the promise because of his faith, not because God was going to have the Messiah through his seed no matter what.

    Abram's faith was counted to him as righteousness, and that is why he would be the Father of nations. If he wasn't faithful he wouldn't have been. We can't just apply our own interpretation that the Messiah is included in a conversation if it isn't stated. God could have chosen another man.

    We've had this conversation about interpretation rules before...lol ;)

    Anywho, now you see how indepth those 30 hours were. Paul leads us down the path to the correct answer if we allow God's Word to define itself and take ourselves out of the loop.

    So then, last sentence: I offer a challenge to you Brother :). Show me one scripture before Gen 22 speaking about the Messiah to Abram. No interpretative assumptions, just straight talk from God.

    All love

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother,

    Just a heads up: I edited post #7 to show the first promise to Abram was chapter 12, not 15 of course.

    All love...

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline New Member

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    You wrote:
    Paul is referring to a promise made directly about the Messiah that did not pertain to us.

    "And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies." Gen 22:17

    That offspring was the seed Paul is referring to that was singular. This was the promise made about the Messiah that did not pertain to the "many." This prophecy pertained only to the Messiah.​

    Should it read “his” here rather than “they”? I’ll have to leave that to others to debate and bother about. (2 Timothy 2:14)

    Note your Bible translation’s handling of the original language reads thus in other translations:

    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; —Genesis 22:17 KJV

    ...indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. —Genesis 22:17 NASB

    I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the strongholds of their enemies. —Genesis 22:17 NET

    I shall surely bless you and I shall surely multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand that are on the seashore; and your seed will take possession of the gate of his enemies. —Genesis 22:17 NWT

    ...that I shall certainly bless you, and I shall certainly increase your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore, and let your seed possess the gate of their enemies. —Genesis 22:17 The Scriptures ‘98​

    All I do know is that the word translated “seed” is the same in both places of this verse.

    The Bible’s use of a singular pronoun for a plurality is common. How often is Israel referred to as “he/him” in the scriptures and Jerusalem referred to as “she/her”? (Examples: Jeremiah 31:10, 11; Psalm 149:2; Lamentations 1:1-7 et al)

    For those Bible students who use a Bible translation that uses “his” at this place in the Bible, I can see how one could read into the text a division into seeds (the “seed” that is Christ and the “seed” that is his body of believers) over the word “his” vs “their” —but all I can do is refer back to the apostle Paul’s commentary, and he speaks in both singular and plurality as one, declaring that we are members (plural) in Jesus’ body (singular). In his Romans epistle, he declares believers “co-heirs” (Romans 8:17).

    And since the apostle Paul says that the “seed of Abraham” is both the Messiah and those who are “of the Messiah” and thus “heirs by The Promise,” who am I to say otherwise?

    But The Promise was promised to Abraham and to his seed, and he did not say to him, “To your seeds”, as to many, but, “To your seed”, as of one, who is The Messiah. . . And if you are of The Messiah, you are therefore the seed of Abraham and heirs by The Promise. —Galatians 3:16, 29 Aramaic Bible in Plain English​

    Your contention continues to be, if I’m understanding you rightly: the Promise Paul’s speaking about is established in your preferred interpretation of Bible’s handling of Genesis 22:17, when it uses “the gate of his enemies”— where other translations use “the gate of their enemies”; and, since your Bible translation uses “his,” here, this passage can only be speaking of Jesus possessing “the gate of his enemies” as the “seed of Abraham.”

    But for those whose Bible renders here “the gate of their enemies,” then consider a passage like this:

    And I also say to thee, that thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever thou mayest loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens.” —Matthew 16:18-19 Young’s Literal Translation​

    The “gates of Hades” certainly stood as an enemy of Man. (Cf 1 Corinthians 15:26) And the “assembly” Jesus spoke to, the “gates of Hades” would not prevail against, even as those gates could not prevail against Jesus, firstborn from the dead.

    Going back to the apostle Paul again as far as other “gates”:

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

    For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:35-39 BSB​

    Because of our faith, there is no gate of any enemy that can separate us from our Father (See also Matthew 23:1):

    ...because to us the wrestling is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. —Ephesians 6:12 Berean Literal Bible

    You continue to contend that the Promise the apostle Paul is referring to at Galatians 3:16 is speaking to what Jehovah told Abraham at the time of the sacrifice of Isaac [I would argue that occasion was for the purpose of progressive revelation] — and in spite of Paul declaring that the Promise was given at the very start of Abraham’s walk with God (before even the rite of circumcision enters the picture) with his act of faith.

    Again, noting scripture, the Promise was given from the very start of Abraham’s walk of faith:

    Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. —Genesis 12:1-4 ESV​

    Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. —Galatians 3:7-9 ESV (cf Hebrews 11:8, 13)​

    As I read these passages, I can’t help but conclude that this is the Promise Paul is referring to. To be a recipient requires faith like Abraham had. Obedience to the Will of God.

    “Come, follow me,” Jehovah said to Abraham, “and in you shall all the families / nations of the earth be blessed.”

    Sound similar to when Jesus gathered his disciples?

    It was a Promise that required a son, and at this point in Abram and Sarai’s life it was already established that she was barren. But Abraham believed what Jehovah God said He would do.

    Similarly, the disciples, as they were invited by Christ, went.

    In any event, I find myself still disagreeing with you l— first, because you appear to be imposing a theological distinction where the apostle Paul did not (he aligns the plurality “seed” (the body of Christ) with the singular “seed” (Jesus)) in the same passage (BOTH are the “seed of Abraham”), with you appearing to be saying “that’s true, but here’s what it means” and proceeding on with your current contention, setting aside the apostle Paul’s position on this matter to instead take the position that Abraham didn’t really demonstrate faith until he offered up Isaac, and then became the father of all those of faith. That that is when the clock begins for the 400/430 year prophecy.

    How you can dismiss the apostle Paul, I do not know or understand.

    As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the presence of God, in whom he believed, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not yet exist. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he acknowledged the decrepitness of his body (since he was about a hundred years old) and the lifelessness of Sarah’s womb. Yet he did not waver through disbelief in the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God was able to do what He had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for Abraham, but also for us, to whom righteousness will be credited—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and was raised to life for our justification. —Romans 4:17-25 BSB​

    The apostle Paul is here referring to the time when circumcision was commanded, quite some time before Isaac was born— much less, offered up for sacrifice to God:

    ...and God said to him, “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. —Genesis 17:3-7 BSB​

    The Promise is likewise identified by the writer of Hebrews:

    When God made His promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply your descendants.” And so Abraham, after waiting patiently, obtained the promise. Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and their oath serves as a confirmation to end all argument. So when God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath. Thus by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strongly encouraged. —Hebrews 6:13-18 BSB​

    I cannot say whether building a dogma upon a matter of translation bias is the wisest course, given your preferred Bible’s handling of a pronoun at Genesis 22:17 in comparison with other Bible translations and their own translation bias in using “their.” In other words, it seems to be your contention that only a Bible student using your preferred Bible translation (or, a translation that chooses to go with “his”) can arrive at your preferred (right) interpretation— everyone else will be mistaken.

    In closing, I don’t see where I can bring anything more to the discussion beyond what I’ve already tried to provide insofar as the scriptures record, and even if I did bring additional scriptures into the discussion it would likely result in us talking past each other since I presently see no path to you convincing me that Genesis 22:17 MUST have “his” rather than “they” in order to support your conclusion and timeline insofar as when the 400/430 years began (at the offering up of Isaac)— just as I see no path to convincing you with the apostle Paul’s inspired insight on the subject (including citations from Genesis, Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews).

    Respectfully,
    Timothy, a fellow believer.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yea, you’ve failed to grasp what I’ve presented.

    Let me at least just point out a few things for you to consider.

    Firstly, it doesn’t matter if a translation uses they or his because neither of those words occurs in the original Hebrew. I quote the most accurate translation that presents the intention of the text. I just assume one would identify the context spoken of in the entire scripture; and that one would look into why this translation used the word his.

    My premises are never based nor built around any translation, but rather the original languages. I only quote the certain translation that best defines the intent of the original text as a whole.

    You have to grasp the context of the entire text brother; you can’t just take the one scripture I quoted and run with it; read the second half of the sentence that quote was taken from. (I just assumed you would have done that)

    “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:17

    The context is what matters, not the words their or his. Those are implanted by translators attempting to understand the context. Unless one understands the context of the offspring that would bring blessings to all nations, one can’t determine singular or plural for the offspring spoken of.

    This is the first time Abraham is told the nations would be blessed through his seed and not through him. Before this, who did God tell Abram the nations would be blessed through?

    I’m sorry, but God never discusses the blessings to the nations through Abram’s seed before this. You keep saying God does discuss the Messiah with Abram before Genesis 22, but I keep telling you that’s not true.

    God promises Abram in Gen 12 that he would be the father of nations and bring blessings to the nations, not his seed. And then God tells Abram his seed would bring blessings to the nations only first in Gen 22.

    This is where we are in complete disagreement. You see Genesis 22 as only a progressive revelation of the Messiah promised years before Abram left Haran, where I see Genesis 22 as the first time Abram was told the nations would be blessed through his seed. Before this, God only promised Abram would bring blessings to the nations, by being the father of many by faith. There is a clear distinction between Abram bringing blessings to the nations through faith or Isaac bringing blessings to the nations through faith, and their seed (the Christ) bringing blessings to the nations by obtaining the gates of death.

    God never gives Abram a Messianic promise before Gen 22, you are assuming. If God says Abram will bring blessings to the nations, then that’s what God means. If God says Isaac would bring blessings to the nations, that’s what He means. If God says their seed would bring blessings to the nations in Gen 22, that’s what he means, and that was only one seed, singular. We don’t bring blessings to the nations.

    We are the seed of Abraham through the promise, so do we bring blessings to the world?

    and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,” Gen 22:17

    If the seeds are all the same, apparently all nations will be blessed through us? How can the offspring in this scripture be anything other than singular? That’s why the translation I quoted used the word his enemies gates.

    All I see above are promises that pertain to Abram. All I see is God saying that the families of the earth would be blessed through Abram. Nowhere there does it say the families of the earth would be blessed through Abram’s seed. The nations aren’t blessed through us, but only one, the Christ. That’s why God only discusses the singular seed with Abram in Gen 22 because that’s the only place it says the nations would be blessed through his seed and not through him. Because we are the seed of Abram in Gen 12, but there is only one seed that brings blessing to the nations by obtaining the gates of the enemy.

    You read into Gen 12 that God’s words to Abram must be referring to the Messiah when He said Abram would bring blessings to the nations, and I read it literally as God is speaking about Abram.

    I understand where you’re coming from; I just know you haven’t grasped where I’m coming from yet because you are unable to repeat it back to me correctly.

    Again, you read God is speaking about the Messiah, and I read that God is referring to Abram. I mean, that is what it says, isn’t it?

    We disagree here as well. Where you believe Paul is not making a distinction between a plural seed and the singular one of Christ, I believe he most definitely is.

    “Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.” Gal 3:16

    Paul is clearly speaking of the singular seed here that was promised to Abram in Gen 22, and then Paul goes on to discuss the seed that includes everyone later in the passage; those of Abram’s seed he became a father too in Gen 12 through faith.

    “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal 3:29

    I clearly see a distinction between the seed that is Christ that would bring blessings to the nations and the seed that is us. We don’t bring blessings to the nations. And I see a clear distinction where Abram becomes the father of nations through his seed (us), and the seed that would bring blessings to the nations when capturing the enemies gates (Christ). Abram is the father of the nation of faith, and the Christ is the conqueror of death. This is why Paul speaks of the separate seeds....

    You just haven’t been able to grasp what I’ve been saying, brother. And that’s okay; we don’t have to understand where each other are coming from.

    But let me say, what I have presented entirely agrees with Paul. Abram’s faith was counted to him as righteousness in Gen 12. We are the seed of Abram through that promise given to him in Gen 12. He is the father of the nations of faith. You just haven’t grasped that I’m saying the Christ was not included in that first promise in Gen 12. It only discusses Abram. The seed that brings blessings to the nations isn’t discussed with Abram until Gen 22.

    I know you haven’t understood yet. Abram isn’t the Christ, they are separate people. We are a separate seed from the seed of the Christ. So when God promises Abram would bring blessings to the nations, he isn’t talking about the Christ. You imply that. Now, I know that’s harsh to say, but that is the truth. The scriptures in Gen 12 only speak about Abram bringing blessings to the nations, not the Christ. And you keep assuming that’s what God is saying. And I keep telling you, you are assuming..... There is no messianic promise in Gen 12; it only says Abram would be the father of nations.

    We were made a nation through Abram, and the Christ gained the gates of the enemy, death. We weren’t made a nation through the Christ, but through Abram by faith. Christ was the seed that conquered death and its gates, not the seed of us. Abram became the father of the seed of us, and the Christ the seed that conquered death.

    The seeds are separate according to Paul and God, brother.

    You keep pointing out scriptures where God promises Abram and Isaac they would become fathers of nations and the nations would be blessed through them, and you keep saying this is proof of a promise of the Christ, and I keep telling you, you are reading that into the text. It doesn’t say that; it says through them. You are assuming and making a mistake. I know this because just a couple of weeks ago, I believed just as you do.

    We become seeds through Abram and Isaac by our faith, just as they showed faith. Only one seed conquered the gates of the enemy to bring blessing to the nations, the Christ. That is what Paul is saying..... And the only place God speaks of the singular seed that would bring blessings to the nations is Gen 22.

    The texts before Gen 22 say that Abram and Isaac would bring blessing to the nations through THEM. Now if I were to say God really means the Christ, I would be implying more than is there. That is the very definition of personal interpretation. I’m taking these scriptures literally.

    If you would allow me to be a little more forward for a moment, and please don’t take offense; You are the one contradicting Paul’s words. Paul clearly says the Messiah is a separate seed from us.

    “Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.” Gal 3:16

    All love...

    AJ
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    After reading your post again, maybe this will help you; but probably not; we are just too far apart on this one.

    There are two different promises Paul is talking about. The first one is when the singular seed of Christ is discussed in Gen 22, and then the second promise is the previous one made to Abram before leaving Haran in Gen 12 when he showed faith and was told he’d be the Father of nations. And that’s the promise that makes us the seed of Abraham.

    More than one promise,

    “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring.” 3:16

    The first that starts the 430 years starts when the scriptures discuss the singular seed,

    “It does not say, “And to offsprings,” 3:17b

    And then Paul discusses the previous promise made in Gen 12 before Abram left Haran when he showed faith,

    “This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.” 3:17

    We are just not going to come together on this, and that’s fine. It’s given me a chance to look through the material again many times and completely confirm all things once again.

    All love... let’s move on to another subject.

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline New Member

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    Christian greetings, Joshua, my friend and brother in faith.

    May this missive help elucidate what I was trying to explain earlier— which was itself written over such a broken series of sit-downs that made it a challenge to return to any given train-of-thought I was on over the time I was trying to write it to you. Still, I have to say upfront that I’m not sure where or if I’m going anywhere with what follows, so please bear with me as I probably do more thinking aloud in writing this than probably helps advance the discussion, heh heh.

    In any case, let’s go ahead and narrow the discussion —at least for the moment— to what you texted:

    How's your study of God's words to Abram coming? Have you found a promise yet to Abram before Gen 22 pertaining to the Messiah?

    I'm in the line of people who freely admit that we don’t expect to ever fully fathom the depths of the record we have of Abraham.

    Here was a man who left the life he’d always known (in Ur, in the land of the Chaldeans, no less!), married to a woman who, it had already been established when he sets forth into the Wilderness, could bear him no child, no heir to his estate as far as lineage. God told him to go and Abram went— and others followed him, including Sarai. He dragged no one, and didn’t need to. They had deep respect for Abram, I suspect, for his tribe to have grown in numbers such as we can establish from the Bible’s account.

    In any case, you asked if I had found a promise yet to Abram before Genesis 22, pertaining to the Messiah, so it’s here we’ll focus for now…

    The Douay-Rheims translation provides a point of consideration:

    And God said to him: Let it not seem grievous to thee for the boy, and for thy bondwoman: in all that Sara hath said to thee, hearken to her voice: for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. —Genesis 12:12​

    “...for in Isaac shall thy seed be called,” is unmistakable as a reference to the Messianic promise— evidenced in Jesus, who is recorded thusly in the Matthean genealogy:

    The Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the Son of David, the son of Abraham—Matthew 1:1 LITV

    In fact, the very next verse begins to explain how we arrived at this moment, with Abraham having Isaac, and Isaac, Jacob as his son, and on to David, continuing to Jesus, “the One called Christ.”

    This moment in Chapter 12 of Genesis is taking place during the celebration of Isaac’s weaning, sometime between ages 3 and 5 (typical age in that day and culture), quite some time before the events captured in Chapter 22, with its offering up of Isaac [Aside: Mind you, Isaac could have resisted his father’s offering him up as a burnt offering, Abraham being, what? 100-plus years old, and needing a staff for support when he walked. Jewish tradition has Isaac around 30-35 years in age at this time, and a large number of scholars are inclined to agree— Even at 7, he would have been old enough, big enough, and strong enough to resist his father to the very end. What a tremendous example of submissiveness on the part of Isaac as the foreshadowing of Jesus yielding to the Will of the Heavenly Father, and becoming the Sacrifice, the Lamb of God that Abraham spoke to as he and his only-begotten son went for a walk]:

    And Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. —Genesis 22:6-8 NASB

    Based on what I’m reading here, [and what came to be revealed in Jesus as the Lamb of God,] this is another Messianic reference and it avouches for Abraham’s reasoning during this third and final request of the God Who brought him out in the wilderness:

    Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and in a sense, he did receive Isaac back from death. —Hebrews 11:19 BSB​

    And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. —Genesis 22:13 ESV​

    God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering. (See Leviticus 8:18-21)

    It calls to my mind what John the baptizer said at Bethany:

    The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! —John 1:29 NIV​

    I’m also reminded of when Jesus said:

    Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see My day; he saw it and rejoiced.” —John 8:56 HCSB​

    And not to be left out, what Isaiah was inspired to write:

    He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. —John 1:29 BSB

    All of which seems to establish that the events that day, on that mountain, pointed to Jesus.

    Finally, we have the fulfillment of Abraham’s saying that God would choose for Himself a Lamb, preserved in the account of the transfiguration of Jesus, when Jehovah tells Peter and John and James:

    And a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen. Listen to Him!” —Luke 9:35​

    And a bevy of other confirmations to what Abraham said that day: Isaiah 42:1; Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; also John 12:27.

    Picking back up with what God told Abraham when He said: “...for in Isaac shall thy seed be called…” this certainly appears to be a Messianic reference, as I understand it, yet also well before Abraham offered up Isaac. This conversation took place at the time Jehovah gave the command of circumcision upon the entire company of Abraham. The “seed” was revealed in Jesus coming as the Lamb of God, but Abraham’s told of this seed at the time of the circumcision, which preceded the birth of Isaac.

    Later, when Jehovah judged Sodom and Gomorrah to need inspection and potential destruction, we read:

    The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” —Genesis 18:17-19 ESV​

    The relationship Jehovah had with Abraham was far more intimate than we see in the Noahic account. In that age, God interacts with Noah at the start—commanding first that Noah build an ark and then gather various of the animal life to preserve them through what was to come upon the Earth because of the wickedness of Man... and then at the end, when the rainbow came to represent Jehovah’s promise not to cause all non-human life to cease on Earth because of the badness of Man when the next judgment came.

    There was no such man when Jehovah inspected the tower at Babel and carried out divine judgment, dividing Man into Men.

    In the same vein, we can follow the Messianic prophecy from the Garden of Eden to the ark— and then nothing until Abram, when Jehovah tells him:

    After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. —Genesis 15:1-5 ESV​

    I notice two things here:

    First, Jehovah assures Abram that he will have a son, an heir of his own loins. A reference to what would become the Jewish people of that age, of course (Cf Romans 1:16), but ultimately the Messiah— that is, Jesus, son of Abraham.

    Second, Jehovah brings Abram out to look up at the night sky, because that would be the number of Abram’s offspring. This is a Messianic reference to the Gentile believers, as attested to by The Revelation:

    After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

    And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and whence came they? And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat: for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. —Revelation 7:9-17 ESV​

    Every believer is a son of Abraham (or, daughter).

    Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may rest on grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring— not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the presence of God, in whom he believed, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not yet exist.…—Romans 4:16-17​

    The apostle Paul’s referring to when Jehovah told Abram:

    No longer will you be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. —Genesis 17:5​

    Another earlier Messianic reference, and fulfillment has come because there is no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile, for both have been adopted as sons and daughters through God providing Himself with a Lamb for the burnt offering, as fulfilled in Jesus, the son of Abraham.

    Brothers, children of Abraham, and you Gentiles who fear God, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. —Acts 13:26​

    Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. But since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. —Acts 13:46​

    Now having arrived and having gathered together the church, they began declaring all that God had done with them, and that He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. —Acts 14:27 BLB​

    To this point, I’ve considered three Messianic references previous to the events of Abraham offering his only-begotten son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to Jehovah God: 1) Abram being named Abraham; 2) Isaac’s weaning; and 3) the beginning of the Jewish circumcision.

    Please don’t misunderstand me here, because I’m in no way diminishing the significance of the events that day on the mountain when Abraham laid his knife against the throat of the only-begotten son and heir to come through Sarah, his wife, because God commanded him to. And Abraham knew God could raise his son back to life, the writer of Hebrews imparts to his audience.

    It just wasn’t the first Messianic reference, nor the last at this point in the stream of prophetic time, during Abraham’s lifetime...

    Some time later, Jehovah comes to Isaac, who is now fully grown and married, telling Isaac:

    ...I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” —Genesis 26:3b-5 ESV​

    This is confirmation of the Messianic promise that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, really.

    Abraham was blessed to have as intimate a relationship with God as he so evidently did, a friendship, even! And in his lifetime he experienced the joy of fatherhood, against all logic or common sense— his wife was barren!— and the pain of laying that knife to his son’s throat because Abraham was obedient to the commands of his God. . . whom he never presumed to call “Father,” such as we who believe have been able to since the first century, when God provided Himself a Lamb for the burnt offering, once and for all time, that the Creator might then be reconciled with those who are adopted as sons and daughters.

    In closing, the earliest Messianic reference during Abraham’s lifetime that I’m aware of is at Genesis 12:

    Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” —Genesis 12:1-3 ESV​

    The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Galatian believers, weighs in on this Messianic promise:

    So also, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Understand, then, that those who have faith are sons of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and foretold the gospel to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. —Galatians 3:6-9 ESV​

    “The Scripture… foretold the gospel to Abraham,” is especially confirming here, in my estimation. Or, “good news,” as the translation may be.

    Paul elsewhere speaks to this when he wrote in his epistle to the Roman believers:

    I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, then to the Greek. For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”… —Romans 1:16-17 BSB​

    So, I guess that’s where I’m at on Messianic references before the events of Genesis 22 took place. At least presently. ;)

    I should also note that there is not a single instance in any of the above Messianic references in Abraham’s biblical record where “all nations” or the variations thereof would happen without the seed promised to Abram/Abraham— said seed finally being revealed as the chosen Lamb appeared on the world scene.

    The apostle Paul says it better, of course:

    But the Scripture pronounces all things confined by sin, so that by faith in Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe. . . You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. —Galatians 3:22, 26-29 BSB​

    This seems to be confirmed in what Jesus himself prays for, when we read:

    I am not asking on behalf of them alone, but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one— I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me. Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, that they may see the glory You gave Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, although the world has not known You, I know You, and they know that You sent Me. And I have made Your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love You have for Me may be in them, and I in them.” —John 17:20-26 BSB​

    Your fellow believer,

    Timothy
    ---===---===---===---===---

    Post-thought:

    He is our father in the presence of God, in whom he believed, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not yet exist.… —Romans 4:17​

    It struck me this time through the Abrahamic record that "calls into being what does not yet exist," for Abraham and Sarah, may very well have been speaking to Sarah's barrenness. She could not bear children. This is established from the start, with Abram's marriage with Sarai. Hence, no heir of Abraham would ever exist, except by the intervention of Jehovah God. Only the Creator "calls into being what does not yet exist...," the apostle Paul explains. We live in a universe that stands as a lasting testimony to that reality.

    Abraham would not only have an heir, but be the father of the Messiah and an untold number of sons and daughters given life from the dead, and adopted as sons and daughters because of their faith in Jesus as the promised Messiah, chosen Lamb of God. [Ephesians 4:18, et al]
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings dear brother,

    I'm not sure you've yet understood what I've presented. You're looking for a singular seed, not a discussion pertaining to multiple seeds.

    "Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed, meaning one person, who is Christ." Gen 3:16

    Unless I'm mistaken, the scripture you quoted in Gen 21 is still discussing Abraham's seed as plural. It's saying through Isaac Abraham's seed (plural) would be reckoned.

    "Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."

    From what I understand, Paul is talking about a promise of the Messiah that discusses seed as singular. Paul is saying seed was discussed in the singular form, where the seed can only apply to one person, the Christ.

    Do you understand now?

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    I just realized you are saying Gen 21:12 is speaking of a singular seed. Let me look into that further.

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Okay, Brother,

    Does Genesis 21:12 speak of a singular seed rather than a plural seed? This scripture is quoted twice in the NT, and in each case, "offspring" is discussed as plural.

    "Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.'" Rom 9:7

    "By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Heb 11:17,18

    Secular commentary on genesis 21:12:

    Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

    "In Isaac shall thy seed be called] Lit. “in Isaac shall seed be called to thee.” LXX ἐν Ἰσαὰκ κληθήσεταί σοι σπέρμα, which is quoted in Romans 9:7 and Hebrews 11:18. The meaning is that in Isaac and in his descendants Abraham will have those who will be called by his name."

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    "In Isaac shall thy seed be called—Heb., in Isaac there shall be called to thee a seed: that is, the seed that shall especially be accounted thine, and which, as such, shall inherit the promises, will be that sprung from Isaac."

    Barnes' Notes


    "For in Isaac shall thy seed be called; he, and those that descended from him, should be called and reckoned the seed of Abraham more especially; and Abraham's seed in his life should inherit the land of Canaan, given to him and his seed for an inheritance: and this is a good reason why the bondwoman and her son should be cast out, that they or their offspring might not inherit the land with Isaac, or his descendants; and particularly from Abraham in his line, and not in the line of Ishmael.'

    -------

    The context of Genesis 21 is Abraham's offspring being redeemed through Isaac. This still, like Genesis 12, discusses Abraham's seed as plural and does not qualify for Paul's words of a promise to Abraham that discussed a singular seed/offspring.

    In my opinion, of course, brother...

    Joshua
     

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