Genesis 2023

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On Genesis, Part 53: Surrender and Submission

Genesis 43:1-44:13

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As we have progressed through these later chapters of Genesis and the life of Joseph in Egypt, we have attempted to illustrate the many ways in which events in the life of Joseph had been Figures of the Messiah, where it becomes evident that the account of the life of Joseph serves as a prophetic type for the ministry and purpose of Yahshua Christ. Now here we shall also venture to assert that the very circumstances under which Jacob and his sons had been compelled to submit to Joseph and go to Egypt for salvation from the famine also foreshadow the circumstances by which all of the seed of Israel, in these last times, shall ultimately find their salvation in Christ. So in that manner, Jacob and his sons are a prophetic type for their own future descendants.

First, Israel was found in Angst and Desperation as the seven years of famine pressed on, and even more so when his sons had returned from Egypt and he received word that the governor of the place had demanded to see Benjamin. The anxiety which he apparently must have suffered was on account of the famine, and then the prospect of losing his son, which is manifest where he said “Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away”, in response to Reuben’s pleas. So Jacob steadfastly refused to comply with the Egyptian governor’s demands and vowed to Reuben that “my son shall not go down with you”, referring to Benjamin in the closing verse of Genesis chapter 42. In that same place, he also attested that “his brother is dead”, speaking in reference to Joseph. Where he said “Simeon is not”, it is evident that he would have even preferred to have written Simeon off as dead rather than risk losing the second son born of his beloved wife Rachel.

On Genesis, Part 52: Angst and Desperation

Genesis 42:1-38

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On Genesis, Part 52: Angst and Desperation

As we have illustrated in our discussions of each of the events in the life of Jacob, in only a few years from the time that he had entered Canaan his daughter Dinah had been raped, and Jacob had been angered by the rash manner in which Simeon and Levi had avenged their sister. Then his son Judah had run off and taken residence with a Canaanite woman, where he had stayed in Chezib, a place which is literally named falsehood, while having had his three sons with her. His eldest son Reuben had sinned against him by having slept with one of his wives. His son Joseph was esteemed to have been killed, and he never knew that his other sons had lied to him about what had actually happened. Then in addition to all of these things, his favorite wife, the only one whom he was said to have loved, had died at a relatively young age, shortly after she had given birth to his youngest son, whom he named Benjamin.

So even though Yahweh his God had promised to be with him after he departed from Haran, Jacob had continued to experience both Hope and Despair, as we had titled part 45 of this Genesis commentary, because in spite of the fact that he had inherited the wonderful promises which Yahweh God had made to Abraham, that his seed would inherit the world, and he himself was reassured those promises, as it is recorded in Genesis chapter 35, he nevertheless had to suffer the circumstances of the evil world into which he had been brought. Modern Christians should take note of this, and consider what Jacob had suffered when they themselves suffer, because having the promises of God obviously does not make anyone immune to suffering. None of us are better than Jacob, who continued to trust in God regardless of his suffering.

On Genesis, Part 51: Redemption and Deliverance

Genesis 41:14-57

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On Genesis, Part 51: Redemption and Deliverance

We have already discussed the Figures of the Messiah which are evident in the life of Joseph, the accounts of which certainly contain several prophetic types for Christ, and we shall see further examples of that as we proceed through Genesis. But in one significant aspect the life of Joseph is not only a prophetic type for Christ, but also a type, or perhaps a prototype, for the subsequent history of the children of Israel in Egypt. As Joseph went to Egypt against his own will, became a servant, ended up in prison, and was freed and this elevated to an exalted position, so would Israel enter Egypt under constraint and become a nation enslaved and in a sort of prison. But ultimately, like Joseph, the nation had been liberated by Yahweh, and eventually elevated to an exalted position. So in that respect, the life of Joseph in Egypt serves as a prophetic type for the history of Israel in Egypt. Then, as we shall see in subsequent chapters, it shall also further serve as a type for Christ in ways which are far beyond the parallels which we have already observed. So among other things, Joseph shall ultimately serve as a prophetic type for the absolute mercy and salvation which Christ has promised to all of Israel.

Now, as it is described in Genesis chapter 40, Joseph had dreamed dreams, much like the prophet Daniel, and Joseph could also interpret dreams, just like the prophet Daniel. So his discernment which he had exhibited in the interpretations of dreams while in prison would be his introduction to the pharaoh of Egypt, which is where we are presently in Genesis chapter 41. Having successfully interpreted the pharaoh’s dream, Joseph was elevated to a position in his government. Much later, Daniel had apparently earned a reputation for discernment as a young man in Babylon, which is represented in the story of Susanna, and having already been introduced to Nebuchadnezzar, in Daniel chapter 1, he later found an audience with the king and interpreted his remarkable dream of the metallic image which represented four great kingdoms, as it is described in Daniel chapter 2. For that Daniel was also rewarded and elevated into the government of his captors. So within the life of Joseph are found patterns which are repeated throughout later Scriptures, and that is one of the wonders of this book which we call the Bible, because once all of these patterns are noticed all we can do is marvel in awe at the wisdom of Yahweh our God, who is the Author of all of these things.

On Genesis, Part 50: Joseph, The First Prophet

Genesis 40:1 - 41:13

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On Genesis, Part 50: Joseph, The First Prophet

As we have already seen in Genesis chapter 39 where we had discussed Joseph in Egypt, Sex, Lies and Prison, after an unspecified time as the steward of his master’s house in Egypt, Joseph was put in prison among the prisoners of the pharaoh, on account of his alleged attempt to violate the wife of Potiphar. Evidently Potiphar, an officer in the court of the pharaoh, had apparently had the authority to commit prisoners into the prison of the king. However Yahweh had blessed Joseph, and he became a steward of the prison, a sort of trustee, which is an inmate who is given certain responsibilities within a prison. Even today this is a popular phenomenon in modern jails and prisons, and it is often a significant aspect of their daily operations.

It is very likely that during this time, Joseph still had in mind the dreams which he had communicated to his brethren some years before. As it is recorded in Genesis chapter 37, “6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.” Then he told them again, “9… Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me”, and his brothers despised him for those dreams, precipitating the events by which he had become a slave in Egypt.

While Isaac had told Jacob that he would inherit the promises to Abraham, and he did, Isaac seems to have only been telling Jacob a plain and inevitable truth, and Yahweh God had upheld his words, so that they were not actually a prophecy. But here Joseph shall explicitly attribute his own ability to interpret dreams to God Himself, and that sets him apart as the first prophet, or at least, the first prophet of the children of Israel, since there is the much earlier Enoch to consider.

 

On Genesis, Part 49: Joseph in Egypt, Sex, Lies and Prison

Genesis 39:1-23

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On Genesis, Part 49: Joseph in Egypt, Sex, Lies and Prison

Thus far in these chapters describing the lives of the sons of Jacob, we have observed a notable contrast which is illustrated in the accounts of the circumstances of Joseph and Judah, of which certain aspects continue to be illustrated both here in Genesis and in the words of the later prophets. Here we have seen that in Joseph are Figures of the Messiah, as many aspects of the life of Joseph are certainly types for the ministry Christ Himself. Joseph was cast into a pit and left for dead by his brethren, but he was taken out of it and as a result he had become a temporal savior of his people. But Judah, who was present when Joseph was thrown into the pit, had made choices in his own life which had both been a cause of and had served as a type for the circumstances of the later Kingdom of Judah as well as the Judaea of the time of Christ. Where Judah had sexual relations with the Daughters of Diverse Gods he had sired legitimate sons in Pharez and Zarah, but he had also had illegitimate descendants through Shelah, the only surviving son which he had with the Canaanite woman. Then, quite ironically, Judah did not intend to have children with Tamar, as he thought that he was only sleeping with some random whore, and there are probably further analogies which may have been made with that circumstance. Later in the writings of Moses, the sin of Judah would become apparent in the law, and then in instructions to the children of Israel invading the land of Canaan.

However Judah remained responsible for his remaining Canaanite son, so the descendants of Shelah remained with Judah, subsequently they were listed in the accounts of the families of Israel in the Book of Numbers, and their dwelling places in and around the territory of Judah are described in 1 Chronicles chapter 4. In that chapter, in a context which is perhaps 250 years later, it was described that many of them had dwelt in Chozeba, which is ostensibly the same place as Chezib, the place where Judah’s Canaanite sons had been born. Both towns were in the same area, and each of the names had been translated from similar forms of the same word, which means falsehood. That is a fitting place for them, since having been Canaanites they would indeed be sons of falsehood.

On Genesis, Part 48: Daughters of Diverse Gods

Genesis 38:1-30

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In Genesis chapter 37 Moses had described the plight of Joseph, as he was despised by his brothers and left in a pit to die, but he had instead been taken by Midianites and sold as a slave to the Ishmaelites and then to the Egyptians. However since his brothers did not know with certainty what had happened to him, they created a tale whereby Jacob was convinced that he was dead. Joseph went to Egypt at age seventeen, as the text of that chapter informs us, and Jacob will find him in Egypt when he is about forty years old, as later chapters in Genesis also inform us. But now, here in Genesis chapter 38, Moses will give us an account of the early life and children of Judah, and this account is written in such a way that by it we may know that Judah had illegitimate children, whereby he had sinned to the same degree as Esau, his uncle, had sinned. However in the circumstances which followed, Judah was treated more mercifully than Esau, and his errors resulted in his also having had legitimate children, which he did not plan on having, so that he would have a name in Israel. In the end, Judah had two wives, and each of them were daughters of diverse gods.

But once again we must state that these events are not described in a perfectly chronological order, in spite of the fact that Moses had presented them in an ordered sequence. This is a methodical approach whereby he did not have to jump back and forth from subject to subject. At the point when Joseph is seventeen years old, Judah could have been no older than twenty-five or perhaps twenty-six. He was the fourth son of Leah, whom Jacob had married after he had been in Haran for seven years. So we may assume that unless Leah gave birth to twins, something of which we are not informed, then Judah, her fourth son, was born some time around Jacob’s eleventh or twelfth year in Haran, whereas Joseph was born towards the end of the twenty years during which Jacob would be in Haran. So it is safe to conclude that Judah is about eight or nine years older than Joseph, and if we are a year or so off in either direction, the difference is immaterial so long as we bear in mind the possibility.

On Genesis, Part 47: Figures of the Messiah

Genesis 37:1-36

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In our last presentation of this commentary, Vessels of Destruction, we had discussed Genesis chapter 36, where there was a break in the narrative of the life of Jacob so that Moses could conclude his account of Jacob’s early years. So following the death Isaac he had then described the progeny of his brother Esau. Where Moses had listed the descendants of Esau, in addition to his Hittite wives it was also apparent that at least one family of the Horites were intermingled into his genealogy, and both Esau and his son Eliphaz were described as having taken wives from of that family. Then, comparing the earlier mention of Esau’s first wives in Genesis chapters 26 and 28, it is evident that over the course of time the situations with his wives had changed, and the offspring which are described in Genesis chapter 36 are from wives other than those, so the concise and incomplete account beckons questions for which there will probably never be answers.

But from the beginning, it is evident that the Edomites were mixed with two different branches of the Canaanites, both the Hittites and the Horites. However even this seems to be contradicted much later in Scripture, in Deuteronomy chapter 25 where we read that “12 The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them.” This is repeated again, in part, a little further on in that same chapter. So while it seems to contradict the fact that Esau and his sons had intermarried with the Horites, the circumstances are not mutually exclusive. The Edomites evidently had displaced the Horites, since there is no apparent record of a specifically Horite or Hurrian presence having been prevalent in Mount Seir in later times. But at the same time they took their women as wives to the extent where one family of the Horites had been incorporated into Edom, and since so many Horite men are reckoned along with the genealogy of Esau, it is certainly plausible that they also had taken of the daughters of Esau.

On Genesis, Part 46: Vessels of Destruction

Genesis 36:1-43

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On Genesis, Part 46: Vessels of Destruction

The literary style which Moses had employed in Genesis serves a specific purpose, as it relates a family history from Adam through Noah and his sons, which contains just enough information so that the children of Israel may know from where they had come, so that they may recognize those nations to whom they were related, and so that they may be warned concerning those to whom they were not related, or at least, not fully related. Then, after a space of at least thirteen hundred years concerning which there are only a few vague statements, it continues with an account of the family of one man, Abraham, and over a period of two generations the focus is narrowed to Jacob, whom, at this point in Genesis chapter 35, has now been renamed as Israel, or “he who prevails with God”.

Interwoven in accompaniment with this outline of history are descriptions of primordial events which are presented in a manner that the society of the children of Israel may use them as foundational documents. Writing Genesis, Moses must have already expected the children of Israel to utilize these accounts as the primary elements of their education, a sort of constitution, so that they may form a Godly worldview which is tailored according to a pattern which is presented in the Word of Yahweh their God, who had led them out of Egypt, and govern themselves in a manner which He had deemed appropriate. But Genesis itself is actually only a preamble to that constitution, since the later books of Moses which contain the law along with the early history of Israel as a developing nation are all predicated upon the Genesis account, and they had all been instrumental in the function of Israel as a society, containing the formative document of the nation in Exodus as well as the laws by which they were expected to be governed.

On Genesis, Part 45: Hope and Despair

Genesis 35:1-29

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On Genesis, Part 45: Hope and Despair

One important lesson which we should all find in the story of Jacob Israel is that in spite of his having had the hope of the promises of Yahweh God, he still had to live with the despair of being in this world. So after he had returned to Canaan from Haran, his daughter was raped by his enemies, at least several of his sons had disappointed him in various ways, even having violated his marriage bed, and among other things, as we shall also encounter here in Genesis chapter 35, his most beloved wife had died giving birth to his last child. If Jacob had suffered these things, having inherited the promises of Abraham and having had the direct blessings of his God, and yet he persisted in obedience to God, then Christians should know beforehand that they shall also suffer these things, and that they must also persist in the faith which Jacob had exhibited. No Christian apart from Christ Himself is better than Jacob, a man who was described by Moses as having been perfect or complete, even if in the King James Version the word is mistranslated as “plain” in Genesis chapter 25 (25:27).

For this same reason, Paul of Tarsus had written in Romans chapter 8, speaking of the creation of God found in the children of Adam, “16 That same Spirit bears witness with our Spirit, that we are children of Yahweh. 17 And if children, then heirs: heirs indeed of Yahweh, and joint heirs of Christ; if indeed we suffer together, that also we will be honored together. 18 Therefore I consider that the happenstances of the present time are not of value, looking to the future honor to be revealed to us. 19 Indeed in earnest anticipation the creation awaits the revelation of the sons of Yahweh. 20 To transientness the creation was subjected not willingly, but on account of He who subjected it in expectation 21 that also the creation itself shall be liberated from the bondage of decay into the freedom of the honor of the children of Yahweh. 22 For we know that the whole creation laments together and travails together until then.” Christ Himself expressed this same sentiment in His Revelation, in chapter 21 where John had described his vision of the descent of the City of God and we read: “3 And I heard a great voice from out of the throne, saying: ‘Behold! The tabernacle of Yahweh is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and Yahweh Himself shall be with them, 4 and He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall not be hereafter, nor grief, nor crying, nor toil, it shall be no longer: the former things have departed!’”

On Genesis, Part 44: Wrath, Subsided, Subdued and Imprudent

Genesis 33:1 – Genesis 34:31

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On Genesis, Part 44: Wrath, Subsided, Subdued and Imprudent

Since his departure from Haran and the house of Laban his father-in law, at this point in our Genesis account Jacob has faced two of the three trials which he would have even before he had reached Canaan. First, he was accosted by Laban himself, on account of the missing idols which Rachel had taken from her father. Then, he was compelled to wrestle with a strange man in the middle of the night, who with all certainty was an angel of Yahweh God, but whom Jacob had imagined to have been God Himself. Of these trials, Jacob apparently had no warnings. But he stood up to Laban and his injustices, and Laban could only answer by compelling Jacob to make a covenant with him. Then he stood up to the angel, and he even compelled the angel to bless him, which he did. Now Jacob will have to face his brother Esau, and already he has had much fear and trepidation. It was on account of Esau that twenty years earlier he had fled to Haran, as Esau had threatened to take his life. So his own parents had sent him away, warning Jacob, and now Jacob must remember the threat. In spite of the fact that Jacob was magnified greatly during his time in Haran, initially he went there on account of the wrath of Esau.

Following the meeting with Laban, two encounters with angels which Jacob had along the way since he had left Mount Gilead must have served to help prepare him for his encounter with Esau. The first was when he had seen a double encampment of angels, whereafter having heard that Esau was going to meet him with four hundred men, with trepidation Jacob had split his own party into two camps in preparation for that meeting. The second was after he had wrestled with the angel, and he had imagined that he had seen the face of God. So now, when Jacob meets with Esau, he imagines that same thing of his brother, and he expresses it, even having treated Esau as if he were God. At a much later time, Christ Himself had taught that men should treat one another in the same manner in which they would treat him, for example in the parable of the sheep and the goats.

On Genesis, Part 43: Trial and Trepidation

Genesis 32:1-32

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Before we commence on the next portion of our Genesis commentary, we should have a short digression to illustrate some of the challenges involved in writing a commentary. Discussing Genesis as it is found in the King James Version, it is certainly tedious to explain in detail every reading which differs from other versions, or even from the Septuagint alone. So minor differences in the text of Genesis chapter 31, such as in verses 13 and 24, had been purposely neglected when we discussed that chapter at length. This has probably been the case with many places in Genesis. So while there are others we shall discuss presently, here I will begin with brief examples of these two verses. In verse 13 where Jacob had given his wives the account of how he had gained such a great number of cattle from their father, Yahweh is recorded as having assured him that if he left to return to Beersheba, that “I will be with thee.” Those words are wanting in the Masoretic Text, but the assurance is given in other promises which Yahweh had made to Jacob. In verse 24 where Yahweh had warned Laban not to harm Jacob in a dream, He is recorded as having said to him “Take heed to thyself that thou speak not at any time to Jacob evil things.” In the Masoretic text it is “either good or evil” in that warning. These differences are immaterial in the greater context of the account.

Furthermore, the patterns of the cattle which Jacob had bred are sometimes interpreted differently, or even rather strangely in the Septuagint. For example, where there is a Hebrew word translated as ringstraked in the King James Version, in Brenton’s translation of the Septuagint in verse 35 of Genesis chapter 30 it is white, but it is apparently streaked in verse 39, and speckled in verse 40. Then in chapter 31 it is white again in verse 8, striped in verse 10 and speckled in verse 12. This does not reflect upon Brenton, as there are different Greek words in those places, which were evidently different interpretations of the meaning of the Hebrew word, unless the original manuscripts employed were themselves different – something at which we would not be startled. But since it does not change our interpretation of the meaning of the account, it is not worth the effort which it would require to map out every Hebrew and corresponding Greek word in order to explain in detail every little difference between the ancient texts.

On Genesis, Part 42: A World Without Trust

Genesis 31:19-55

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On Genesis, Part 42: A World Without Trust

Once Jacob had married both Leah and Rachel, and had twelve children born to him in Haran, he had wanted to leave there, but his father-in-law Laban had begged him to stay. So as the account goes in the later half of Genesis chapter 30, after Laban had admitted to Jacob that he himself had profitted greatly on account of his presence he had then asked him to remain. Upon answering him Jacob only agreed to remain under the condition that he could keep to himself certain of the cattle as payment in exchange for his labor. So Laban agreed, and perhaps he was only eager to accept the offer because Jacob’s demand for payment in the speckled, spotted, grisled and striped cattle of the flock must have seemed as if it would be even more profitable to him than to Jacob. However unbeknownst to Laban, Jacob had a dream, where the God of Bethel, the God of his fathers, had appeared to him, and while it is not stated explicitly, in that dream he must have been shown how to increase the ratio of such cattle exponentially among the kids of the flock, a claim which is established by Jacob’s subsequent actions.

Presenting that account, we had long digressions in order to present information from studies in a field called epigenetics. There, we sought to demonstrate how certain substances in the wood which Jacob had placed into the watering-troughs of the cattle could indeed cause certain genes which are otherwise latent to express themselves in the kids of the flock, and that is how Jacob’s dream was fulfilled. Not only would the cattle drink the water in which the wood had been soaked, but they would very likely eat of the bark and of the wood itself, as sheep and goats frequently do eat trees. This may seem like magic, and in earlier ages, before the advent of genetic science, it must have seemed that way, but now there is a simple and natural explanation which stands as a proof that the provenance of our Scriptures certainly is found in Yahweh our God. While it is certain that Jacob did not understand epigenetics, he did know to strip some of the bark from young saplings and place them in the watering troughs, and the knowledge of the operations of nature which is found in God had caused the desired effect.

On Genesis, Part 41: Mutual Exploitation

Genesis 30:25 - Genesis 31:18

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On Genesis, Part 41: Mutual Exploitation

As we have seen in Genesis chapter 29 and the marriage agreement between Jacob and Laban for his daughter Rachel, Laban had exploited Jacob by burdening him with seven years of labor in exchange for her hand, which was a condition to which Jacob had rather eagerly agreed. That alone seems to have been excessive, since ninety years earlier, Laban’s father Bethuel had required nothing from the servant of Abraham in exchange for giving him Rebekah as a wife for Isaac. There in Genesis chapter 24, where the servant had asked for Rebekah and had given Bethuel and Laban an account of his experiences and the visions which he had, we read in part: “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.” Then as we read in the subsequent verses, the servant had given gifts to Rebekah’s mother and brother, this same Laban who had burdened Jacob here, but he had evidently given nothing to Bethuel, Rebekah’s father, and apparently Bethuel required nothing of him.

So even after laying a comparatively excessive burden on Jacob, Laban went even further and had exploited him by burdening him far beyond the seven years to which he had agreed. First, he deceived Jacob by having him marry Leah rather than Rachel, and by that action he then compelled him further, to work seven additional years for Rachel, whom Jacob had evidently already professed to have loved. This we read in Genesis chapter 29: “20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.” So Jacob, who could not deny his love, actually had worked fourteen years for Laban’s daughter Rachel, and none for Leah, whom he obtained by Laban’s choice and not by his own. In contrast, Isaac did not have to lift a finger to marry Rebekah, who only cost Abraham the journey of some servants and a few choice gifts. While we may never know whether or not that was his reason, Isaac had apparently sent Jacob to Haran empty-handed, as he is not recorded as having had any gifts for a prospective bride and her family.

On Genesis, Part 40: The First Stones

Genesis 29:12 - Genesis 30:24

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On Genesis, Part 40: The First Stones

When Abraham had received his promises from God, and the accompanying unconditional covenants, Yahweh God had committed the world of his time to the eventual dominance and ultimate possession of Abraham’s seed. But not all of Abraham’s seed would share the same fate. Ishmael, the oldest son, would become a considerable nation, but he would be entirely pushed out of the inheritance in favor of Isaac. Later, the six sons which Abraham had with Keturah would be pushed out in a similar manner. Then of the sons of Isaac, Esau and Jacob, the one would despise his inheritance and ultimately lose it to his brother, although he declared that he would seek revenge against him, by which he may have even imagined that he could have it back.

Esau was a worldly man who sought to carve out his own destiny apart from his father and his God. But the other son, Jacob, had committed himself into the hands of his father and his God, and apparently it was for that reason that he had never taken any initiative to plan for his own future. Jacob was the obedient son who worked for his father’s estate, rather than worrying about his own, and who waited patiently for any reward that may come, rather than seeking his own profit or adventure. For his patience, he was rewarded, and he was told that if he fulfilled his father’s wishes then it would be he alone who would inherit the blessings and promises of Abraham. This was all within the plan of God from the beginning, as Yahweh had spoken to Rebekah his mother. Then, in Jacob’s vision of the ladder which is recorded in Genesis chapter 28 where he was on his journey to Padanaram, Yahweh God Himself had confirmed those words of Isaac. Perhaps it is symbolic, that Jacob laid his head on stones to sleep, and in his dream he saw a vision of his own descendants ascending to and descending from heaven. Those descendants had already been destined to be the stones in the Kingdom of God.

But Esau would not go away, and neither would Ishmael or any of the others, even if they seem to have eventually disappeared both historically and biologically. Ishmael was only one man, but both his wife and his mother were Egyptians, and his progeny would eventually mingle themselves with the Edomites, the subsequent children of Esau, and also with all of the other Shemites, Hamites and Canaanites of South Arabia, as well as many other races, especially the black races of Africa. The same would eventually be true of the sons of Keturah. Esau himself would settle in Mount Seir with his Canaanite wives, and his Ishmaelite wife, and then join himself to the Horites, or Hurrians, another branch of the Canaanites, to the extent that the Hurrians of Mount Seir were written directly into the genealogy of Esau which was recorded by Moses in Genesis chapter 36. So in truth, hardly a trace of the original character of either Ishmael or Esau could possibly exist in the genes of their descendants. Having continually mixed with the Canaanites, the seed of the Kenites and the Nephilim is far more prevalent in them than the seed of Abraham, and in that manner the enmity of Genesis 3:15 is carried on in the world to this very day.

On Genesis, Part 39: In the Hands of Yahweh

Genesis 28:1 - Genesis 29:11

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On Genesis, Part 39: In the Hands of Yahweh

In Genesis chapter 25, there is a description of a pregnant Rebekah suffering from the struggle of the baby in her womb, where Yahweh God had answered and told her that there were two nations in her womb, representing two distinct peoples, and that the elder would be subordinate to the younger. Much later, in Malachi chapter 1, Yahweh announced that He had loved Jacob, and hated Esau. But from the time they were born, Yahweh had no exchanges with Esau, while Esau evidently had never sought God. Apparently, Yahweh permitted nothing which would cause him harm, but gave him every opportunity which Jacob also had been afforded, and he only harmed himself by his own choices. So it is fully evident that Yahweh’s words to Rebekah were prophetic, but He did not express His hatred for Esau until long after Esau himself had exhibited the behavior and the attitudes for which he was hated, in the words of the prophet Malachi.

In the closing verses of that same chapter, there was an event recorded where Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob for a measly bowl of soup. That act was a vivid demonstration of the fact that Esau had despised his birthright rather than having cherished it, since in a time of discomfort, he was willing to give it away in exchange for so little. Esau, having hungered, had no thought nor care for the God who could feed him. Then in Genesis chapter 27 we had seen the rejection of Esau, and the reasons for his rejection were stated explicitly on two occasions. The first of those is in the description of Esau’s wives by Moses where at the end of chapter 26 he wrote “34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.” So if Esau lost his birthright, it is a direct result of this grief which he had caused his parents, as he had taken wives of the people from whom Abraham had admonished his own servant not to procure a wife for Isaac, for which he had even bound that servant to an oath.

On Genesis, Part 38: The Rejection of Esau

Genesis 26:34 - Genesis 27:46

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On Genesis, Part 38: The Rejection of Esau

Then Isaac had twin sons, Jacob and Esau, but neither would both of these sons share in the inheritance of their father, so the number of heirs was ultimately narrowed to one of them, and out of his eight sons and many more grandsons, only Jacob would inherit the blessings of Abraham. Like Sarah before her, Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau, had also conceived with a promise, where she was told, as it is recorded in Genesis chapter 25, that “23 … 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.” There it is fully evident that Jacob and Esau would have very different destinies, even though they were both in the loins of their father when he was dedicated on the altar to Yahweh. So they both belonged to God, as Paul wrote of them much later, in Romans chapter 9, and asked “21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” From there, he proceeded to explain that from one lump there had been created vessels of destruction, but from the other there had been created vessels of mercy, and these are Esau and Jacob and their respective descendants.

But the path to dishonor and destruction was made by Esau himself. His father Isaac was unmarried until he was forty years old, and had taken a wife only as soon as he had learned that his own father Abraham had procured a wife for him. Then Isaac had evidently remained content with that one wife for his entire life. His brother Jacob would remain unmarried, as we shall see here in this chapter and subsequent chapters of Genesis, until his father Isaac had sent him to Haran with instructions to take a wife from the house of his mother’s kindred. Many people seem to assume without studying, that Jacob was a young man when this happened, but in truth, he was seventy years old, which we shall discuss later. Then once Jacob arrived in Haran, when Rebekah’s brother Laban had laid upon Jacob a heavy burden in exchange for a wife, Jacob complied, choosing obedience to his parents rather than rebelling and returning to Palestine.

But as for Esau, he had evidently taken wives without any counsel from Isaac his father, by which he became the master of his own destiny. So Paul wrote later, describing Esau and making an example for Christians, in Hebrews chapter 12 where he had admonished his readers to be diligent “15 … lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” There Paul indirectly informs us that the rejection of Esau was not only from Rebekah, but from Yahweh God Himself, and for the explicit reason that he was a fornicator. Yahweh God had foreseen Esau’s sin, and for that reason the Word of God informs us in Malachi chapter 1 that “2 … I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, …” a Scripture which Paul had cited in Romans chapter 9. That is also why Yahweh had informed Rebekah that her twin sons would have diverging destinies.

 

On Genesis, Part 37: The Incontinence of Men

Genesis 25:27 - Genesis 26:33

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On Genesis, Part 37: The Incontinence of Men

In our last discussion in Genesis, The Children of the Flesh, we hope to have fully elucidated the meaning of the words of Paul of Tarsus where he wrote in Romans chapter 9, as it is in the Christogenea New Testament, and he said: “8 That is to say, the children of the flesh, these are not children of Yahweh, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.” Saying that, Paul then went on to describe the promise to Sarah, and then to Rebekah, whereby he illustrated the fact that only Jacob was ultimately the heir of Abraham, and out of all of the children of Abraham, the promises of God are given only to Jacob’s descendants. This was also the same illustration which he made in a different manner in Galatians chapter 3, an epistle which he actually wrote about two years prior to his having written Romans. Now from this point on in Genesis, Ishmael and the sons of Keturah are removed from the picture, and all future history, Biblical and otherwise, would revolve around the descendants of Jacob and Esau, as Jacob had merited the birthright which his older brother had despised, although after he lost it, Esau had hated his brother and wanted it back.

So the Edomites became predominant in Judaea in the centuries leading up to the ministry of Christ, and even today the descendants of Esau still think that they can have back the inheritance, in a rather indirect manner. But they never shall attain it, since they are all bastards, and the works of men are vanity in the eyes of God. But this dynamic nevertheless drives world events to this very day, as the Edomite Jews have forever been plotting to dominate and destroy Christians so that they may have the world to themselves, and this observation is true in spite of the fact that both parties are generally oblivious to this truth. In Romans chapter 9, where Paul had continued his discussion of the issue concerning the seed of Abraham, he compared Jacob and Esau, and described the descendants of Jacob as vessels of mercy, but the descendants of Esau as vessels of destruction. Doing all of this, in Paul’s epistles he was not innovating, but rather he was instructing Christians as to how the will of Yahweh God which was expressed in Genesis affects the Christian world, as the Word of God has not and does not change. To this day, the children of Esau and Ishmael and the others are still excluded from the promises of God, and they always shall be excluded, along with any other races who were not of Abraham or even of Adam in the first place.

On Genesis, Part 36: The Children of the Flesh

Genesis 25:1-26

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On Genesis, Part 36: The Children of the Flesh

In Genesis chapter 24 we observed A Proper Marriage and the lengths to which Abraham had gone in order to assure a fitting wife for his son Isaac. But here we must also note the lengths to which Yahweh God had gone in order to demonstrate, both for Abraham himself and as an example to Christians, that Abraham should also have had children born from his own proper wife, from a woman of his own kindred, an heir who was fitting to receive the inheritance and the promises of God. So in spite of the birth of Ishmael by a bondwoman, who was also apparently a descendant of Adam, Isaac was the son of the promise, and in Isaac would Abraham’s seed be called, as Paul of Tarsus had later explained, in Romans chapter 9 and in Galatians chapter 3.

But Abraham, with all of his noble spirit, was also only a man with his own fleshly desires, urges, and needs. So in accordance with those, there was not only the child who was born to him which was of the Spirit, which is, the son born in accordance with the promises of Yahweh God, but also children of the flesh, born after the desires of man. When the promises were made to Abraham it was clear that he would have an heir, but not heirs, and that was the express will of Yahweh found in Genesis chapter 15 where Abraham had tried to appoint a replacement heir, having thus far had no son of his own, and we read: “3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” Abraham could not substitute his servant for an heir from his own bowels, and therefore neither can anyone else make any such substitution.

On Genesis, Part 35: A Proper Marriage

Genesis 24:1 - Genesis 24:67

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On Genesis, Part 35: A Proper Marriage

Discussing Genesis chapter 23 and the cave in Hebron which Abraham had purchased from the Hittites in order to bury his wife, we made an analogy by cross-referencing a statement concerning Abraham, and especially Sarah, which is found in Isaiah chapter 51. Perhaps the analogy was not decent, or appropriate for children, but it is nonetheless true. As it is in Isaiah, we can look at all of our mothers as a figurative pit from which we had emerged, as Sarah was described in that manner. Then we could only pray that our fathers are rocks like Abraham, who seems never to have wavered in his faith, and for that reason alone he was considered righteous by Yahweh God. But that does not mean that a woman is a mere pit, and in the end, as we also continued our analogy of the cave which Abraham had bought, all men also ultimately end up in some sort of pit, or at least, they all return to the dust and ashes from which they were made. However a proper woman is certainly more than a hole, and the grave is also More Than a Hole, at least for the children of Yahweh. So for that reason especially, both our women and our deceased ancestors should be venerated, because Yahweh shall once again raise all of those who have maintained the sanctity of their race out of the pit. It would be appropriate to repeat the analogy when we contrast Jacob and Esau in light of the actions of Rebekah, but perhaps we shall leave it here.

Now, coming to Genesis chapter 24, we have already discussed the first few verses of the chapter, in order to describe what should have been the first example to Esau as well as to all of the future progeny of Isaac. The example made here should have been followed by all of the seed of Abraham and Sarah, if they had indeed venerated and honored their ancestors, since if they seek the righteousness of God they are instructed to “1 … look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. 2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him”, as it is written in that chapter of Isaiah. The only way we can look unto them is to examine these accounts and consider the lessons which they offer, and the only way we can honor them is to imitate them, having learned from those lessons. Sarah knew that the son of a bondwoman should not have any shared inheritance with her son, and Abraham knew that Isaac should marry a woman of his own race, a woman who was much more than a mere hole, because thereby a man would only be committing fornication rather than being engaged in a proper marriage.

On Genesis, Part 34: More Than a Hole

Genesis 23:1 – Genesis 24:4

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On Genesis, Part 34: More Than a Hole

In the last presentation in our commentary on Genesis, which was titled The Dedication of Isaac, we had described the sacrifice of Isaac in that manner because it was not a sacrifice at all. Rather, it was a dedication, and Yahweh God never truly intended to have Isaac sacrificed in the first place, because He had already made promises to Sarah concerning the fate of the son which she had born when she was ninety years of age. Therefore Abraham, confident in the fact that Yahweh would keep his promises, seemed to have been relatively untroubled by the demand that he sacrifice his son, and proceeded to fulfill that demand without any qualms or objections. Doing that, he acted with absolute faith and a degree of obedience which throughout history has only been surpassed in the sacrifice of Christ Himself. The act of sacrifice for the reasons which Abraham was willing to comply with it, and for the reasons for which Christ had submitted to it, is in itself a profession in the eternal existence of the Adamic spirit and the ability of Yahweh God to resurrect that spirit from beyond death.

In the ancient world, fathers had property rights over their wives and their children, and the authority to determine their fates so long as they lived. In ancient Rome, these rights were codified into law as the Patria potestas, or Paternal power, wherein only the family patriarch had any rights in private law, only he had lawfully held all of the family property regardless of who in the family had earned it, and he even had the power of life and death over his children. Furthermore, he had that authority until he died, since there was no concept of an age of majority, or adulthood, as there is in Western society today, and while fathers could grant emancipation to a son, their daughters were typically consigned to the control of another man through marriage. If the daughter remained unmarried, when her father died she fell under the authority of her eldest brother. [1] So Abraham had every right to consign his son to his God, and in accordance with ancient custom, when a man placed something on an altar and dedicated it to a god, the object – or even a person presented at the altar – became the property of that god. When Abraham placed Isaac on the altar and dedicated him to Yahweh, he essentially relinquished to Yahweh his paternal rights over his son. That is also an act of sacrifice, as Isaac was dedicated by Abraham to the service of Yahweh, at the explicit request of Yahweh. A father had a right to do this in the ancient world, just as he had a right to expose an infant, if he so chose to do such a horrible thing, or to place a son or daughter up for adoption, or to sell one into slavery.

On Genesis, Part 33: The Dedication of Isaac

Genesis 22:1-24

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On Genesis, Part 33: The Dedication of Isaac

In Genesis chapter 21 we had last seen Abraham at Beersheba, where he had made an oath with Abimelech. The only details we have of the contents of the oath were expressed in the words of Abimelech, where we read: “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.” That is an oath of mutual respect and general cooperation which would also have been passed down to each man’s descendants. Then, before the oath was sealed, Abraham added the stipulation that Abimelech acknowledge the digging of the well at Beersheba by Abraham, so that Abraham could keep it, and that was ensured by the grant of the seven ewe lambs which Abimelech had accepted. But it becomes evident much later, in Genesis chapter 26, that the Philistines of Gerar had transgressed the terms of the oath. When that happened repeatedly, Isaac returned to Beersheba, where he seems to have found refuge. Although apparently he had never sought any recompense for the transgressions of the Philistines.

Now the events described in this chapter of Genesis, chapter 22, are highly scrutinized and also highly criticized by various parties who are critical of Christianity, because they describe the near-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham at the command of Yahweh his God. However we would describe this event as the dedication of Isaac, rather than as the sacrifice of Isaac, because the sacrifice was never completed, yet it nevertheless resulted in the dedication of Isaac to Yahweh God by his own father, who had the authority to do so. Then, as for the critics, they are generally ignorant of the seeming cruelty of the ancient world which surrounded the Biblical patriarchs, and they wrongly judge this event by modern standards of society, which have themselves developed out of Christian morality, rather than judging the event by the ancient standards of society under which the patriarchs had actually lived.

Yet comparing this event to many similar events which are evident in the ancient past, in the end we must conclude that Abraham’s sacrifice was an act of selflessness, whereas typically, human sacrifice in the ancient world was conducted out of acts of selfishness. For example, the pagan god Odin was said to have hung himself on the tree Yggdrasil for nine days and nights in order to gain knowledge of other worlds and so that he may understand the runes. [1] But the sacrifice of Christ by hanging on a tree, or a cross, was so that He would redeem His people from their sins [2], also receiving nothing for Himself in return, and that was its stated purpose even if the critics of Christianity do not understand how the act could possibly have achieved that objective.

On Genesis, Part 32: Digging Deeper

Genesis 21:21-34

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On Genesis, Part 32: Digging Deeper

In this second half of Genesis chapter 21, Abraham is found digging wells, and he and his servants must have dug at least a few wells before they finally dug one which they would keep. So it is with Christians, that they should be digging wells, but they should not necessarily keep all of them. In other words, Christians should be digging into the scriptures, both Old Testament and New, rather than simply believing some pastor or priest, and as Paul had written in Romans chapter 12, the Christian should be “2 … transformed by the renewing of [his] mind, that [he] may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” If anything conflicts with the Word of God, it should certainly not be kept. Therefore, discussing the first half of Genesis chapter 21, which describes the birth of Isaac and the sending off of Ishmael for the benefit of Isaac, we sought to better understand the Christian Gospel of the New Testament by reviewing the manner in which Paul of Tarsus had explained the fulfillments of those promises to Abraham which are ultimately realized in Yahshua Christ. Doing that, we found that in Paul’s letters he upheld the exclusion of both Ishmael and Esau from The Seed of Inheritance as it is also described in Genesis, and that exclusion would naturally include all of their descendants, something which Paul had also explained in Romans chapter 9 and Galatians chapter 3.

Many modern Christian denominations dismiss the Old Testament as a Jewish book, imagining that it pertains to Jews and not to Christians. However that is not how the apostles of Christ had treated the scriptures which we now know as the Old Testament, and they frequently asserted that it pertained to Christians, but not to those who would remain in Judaism. The differences in these perspectives are resolved only in the understanding that the Old Testament truly pertains to all of the twelve tribes of Israel, not merely to Judaeans, and only small elements of two of those tribes were ever called by the name Judaean, which is the original source word for the modern words Jew and Judaism. Ten of those twelve tribes had long before been scattered abroad, along with a great portion of the remaining two, who were never called Jews. The word Jew is not directly from Judah, but from Judaea, which was a multiracial province of the Roman empire, and as Paul wrote in Romans chapter 9, “6 … For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel”, and therefore he prayed only for his “3 … kinsmen according to the flesh.” Likewise, Christ had told His adversaries “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you”, as it is recorded in John chapter 10.

So the apostle Paul had also asserted in the 26th chapter of the Book of Acts that “6 … I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.” There, it is apparent that Paul did not count the Jews among the twelve tribes. Likewise, the apostle James had written his only surviving epistle “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad,” as it states in its opening salutation. Later, in 2 Corinthians chapter 3, using an event from the life of Moses as an allegory in order to illustrate how only Christians could understand the writings of Moses, Paul would explain that only in Christ was the vail lifted which had covered those writings. So his point is that one must understand the words of Christ first, and then one may gain understanding to the true meanings of the Torah, or Pentateuch, the five books which are attributed to Moses.

On Genesis, Part 31: The Seed of Inheritance

Genesis 21:1-21

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On Genesis, Part 31: The Seed of Inheritance

At the beginning of our last presentation, The Consequences of Covetousness, I had recounted many aspects of my own personal perspective of recent historical events, and then mentioned some of the earlier circumstances which helped to facilitate those events, in order to show that when a society falls, it is typically a long process which has many inducements. There are several old adages which are relevant to this discussion. The first one that comes to mind is the saying that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, as the empire peaked nearly 900 years from the traditional date of the founding of the city, from 752 BC to the time of Trajan at the beginning of the 2nd century AD. Likewise, our modern Christian society also took nearly as many centuries to develop following the spread of the Gospel of Christ. But it is also said that “Rome didn’t fall in a day”, and just as the Roman empire was hundreds of years in the making, its slide into oblivion at the hands of the Huns, Goths and Vandals also took several centuries, and there were many significant earlier events which helped facilitate its fall.

So perhaps an older Roman of the time of Caracalla may have noticed the decay of the empire which was already evident, and lamented the days of Marcus Aurelius or Commodus. But perhaps an older Roman in the days of Aurelius had lamented the time of Hadrian or even of Trajan. Every century had its own peculiar troubles, and in hindsight perhaps it is sometimes easier to look back and see why they had developed. Yet centuries after Rome fell, there were Europeans who upheld its traditions and its values, and clung to them in their everyday lives. While this was especially evident in the Roman Catholic Church, and not always for the better, it is even evident outside of the Church, until the time that Church itself had adopted and perpetuated many of its aspects.

On Genesis, Part 30: The Consequences of Covetousness

Genesis 20:1-18

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On Genesis, Part 30: The Consequences of Covetousness

Most modern White Europeans, whom today are often led to believe that they live in a post-Christian society, still take for granted the Christian values with which they were raised, or at least, with which their grandparents and great-grandparents were raised, without any conception of the degree of depravity which was prevalent throughout much of the pre-Christian or non-Christian worlds. Yet those Christian values, which had been shared by Europeans for well over a thousand years, have become ingrained within us through generations of childhood education and practice and they remain in us and in our laws even if we may no longer consider ourselves to be Christians. Then, with the advent of colonialism from about the 15th century, Europeans brought those values with them, by which they had governed all of their colonies abroad, as well as having transmitted them to the non-White races whom they had also come to govern. The non-White races, however, and especially the negro races, do not maintain them very well in post-colonial modern society, and in fact, they never really submitted to Christian values even when they were governed by them. Today, any Negros in Africa who maintain any semblance of Christian values do so only as long as there is wave after wave of White missionaries or international church officials dispensing rewards for their good behavior.

When I was a child, before 1970, there were no pickup bars because women were not permitted in most bars. Some bars had a back room with dining tables, even if they did not serve food, in which women were permitted if they had a man to escort them. Those rooms had separate entrances, and signs above or near the back door would explicitly label it a “Ladies Entrance”. Otherwise any ladies entering through the bar door or without an escort would never be served. My father could take me, even at five or six years old, through the front door to sit at the bar, but he could not take my mother. Back then, my father had also taught me not to even speak to a girl unless I had been introduced to her by her parents. And I would never think of making a sexual advance towards any girl. At least most, if not all, of the other boys I knew were raised with those same values. But then, of course, we were also instilled with other basic Christian values, such as not to steal or lie or abuse those weaker than ourselves. At least most of the other boys disdained perverts, and especially Sodomites, and if they did not disdain them they dare not make any mention of it or they would also become the targets of the same chastisement which the Sodomites had been.

On Genesis, Part 29: The End of Sodom

Genesis 19:1-38

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On Genesis, Part 29: The End of Sodom

As it is first recorded in Genesis chapter 18, Yahweh God had purposed to destroy Sodom for its sins, and when Abraham learned of that purpose, he plead for the Sodomites, having imagined that at least some of them were righteous, and he petitioned God on that basis, that the righteous not suffer for the sins of the wicked. So Abraham bargained with God, and asked him not to destroy the place for the benefit of fifty righteous men. When Yahweh agreed, he continued to bargain, all the way down to ten men, and Yahweh had nevertheless agreed, where it is recorded that He had said “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” With that the record of the exchange ends, and now here in Genesis chapter 19, we see that Yahweh did indeed destroy Sodom, permitting only Lot and his family any opportunity to escape. So evidently, there were not even ten righteous men among the Sodomites, and for that reason we described the altruism of Abraham as having been merely speculative, because Abraham imagined that a portion of them were righteous, but he had little direct experience to make any judgement in the matter.

The famous geographer of the early 1st century AD, Strabo of Cappadocia, did not work exclusively from first-hand accounts, but relied on the reports of others, especially of sailors and other travelers, since he probably could not have traveled by himself the entire broad world which he had labored to describe in writing, which had stretched from Britain and Ireland in the west to the Indus River in the east. He also frequently cited older writers, verifying or amending their descriptions of diverse places, and he mentioned many of those writers whose works are not lost. So, pertaining to Sodom, in the 16th book of his Geography he confused the Dead Sea with what the Greeks had called Lake Sirbonis, the Serbonian Bog on the Mediterranean coast west of Gaza which appeared to be more of a lake to early travelers. [1] But aside from that misidentification, which is evident where he named places such as Masada, he was clearly speaking of the Dead Sea. So he had described the asphalt produced by the lake, or sea, and the fires below the water which produced it [2], and then he wrote that:

Many other evidences are produced to show that the country is fiery; for near Moasada are to be seen rugged rocks that have been scorched, as also, in many places, fissures and ashy soil, and drops of pitch that emit foul odours to a great distance, and ruined settlements here and there; and therefore people believe the oft-repeated assertions of the local inhabitants, that there were once thirteen inhabited cities in that region of which Sodom was the metropolis, but that a circuit of about sixty stadia of that city escaped unharmed; and that by reason of earthquakes and of eruptions of fire and of hot waters containing asphalt and sulphur, the lake burst its bounds, and rocks were enveloped with fire; and, as for the cities, some were swallowed up and others were abandoned by such as were able to escape. But Eratosthenes says, on the contrary, that the country was a lake, and that most of it was uncovered by outbreaks, as was the case with the sea. [3]

On Genesis, Part 28: Speculative Altruism

Genesis 18:1-33

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On Genesis, Part 28: Speculative Altruism

In our last presentation of this commentary on Genesis, which was titled A Father of Nations, we hope to have illustrated at least some of the cohesion between the promises of Yahweh God to Abraham which Moses had recorded in Genesis, and the interpretation and application of those promises in the ministry of Paul of Tarsus which are recorded in at least several of his epistles. Paul, having professed that his struggle was for the twelve tribes of Israel and the promises which Yahweh God had made to the fathers, which he interpreted “as it is written”, referencing the very promises to Abraham which are found in these chapters of Genesis, had clearly taught that the Gospel messages of the promises of redemption and mercy and eternal life in Christ were pertinent to the children of Israel alone [1]. Then, in relation to the covenants of God, Paul also explained that they too were exclusively for the children of Israel, an Israel which he himself had described as his “kinsmen according to the flesh” [2].

So Paul is certainly a witness to the exclusivity of the New Covenant with the children of Israel, and he had told the Romans, in an epistle which was demonstrably written before his arrest in 58 AD, “that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world”, and later in that epistle, concerning the Gospel of Christ, he asked a rhetorical question and made another profession where we read: “17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” [3] Here are two professions from Paul’s epistle to the Romans, that in his time the Gospel of Christ had already been disseminated throughout what he had perceived was the entire world. Yet at this time, there is absolutely no evidence of any Christians outside of the Roman world, and the other apostles, those who were not with Paul, were still in Antioch or with James in Jerusalem [4].

On Genesis, Part 27: A Father of Nations

Genesis 17:1-27

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On Genesis, Part 27: A Father of Nations

Discussing Genesis chapter 16 we described The Vanity of Ishmael, which shall continue to be manifest as we proceed through these subsequent chapters, and as we hope to discuss later in this commentary on Genesis, it is also manifest in history unto this very day, once his descendants are properly identified in the modern world. In that last presentation, we had postulated that the first aspect of Ishmael’s vanity was that he could never fulfill the role for which Abram and Sarai had believed he would be born, which was to be Abram’s heir, the seed of the promises which Abram had from God. So while the plan for his birth had originally belonged to Sarai, Yahweh God clearly had another plan, as we shall see here in Genesis chapter 17, and here His plan shall finally be fully revealed to Abram and Sarai. This is another example of many in Scripture, that Yahweh provides information to men only on a need-to-know basis, as He sees fit, and in any event, the actions of men fulfill His will whether or not that process can ever be perceived by the men themselves. The prophecies exist only so that men may look back and see that Yahweh is God.

As we proceed here, Ishmael continues to be a subject of Genesis and shall remain in our discussion, and while Hagar had already received a promise of her own, that her seed through the unborn child in her womb would become a great nation, here we shall see that Abraham was destined to be a father of many nations, and Ishmael had no share in that promise or in subsequent related promises. Another aspect of the vanity of Ishmael, the fact that all of his seed would apparently be, or become, bastards, we may not discuss again until later chapters of Genesis, where both his descendants and those of Esau are described in Genesis chapters 25, 28 and 36.

On Genesis, Part 26: The Vanity of Ishmael

Genesis 16:1-16

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On Genesis, Part 26: The Vanity of Ishmael

As we had discussed while having seen The Victories of Abraham in Genesis chapter 15, Abram was given great promises by Yahweh God, who also made many of those promises while binding Himself alone in an unconditional covenant, which is a sure sign that they shall be fulfilled regardless of the deeds of men. Among these is a promise that his seed would ultimately displace the current inhabitants of the land which he had been promised. Those inhabitants were listed as ten tribes of people, five of which were descended from Canaan, at least in part, which are the Hittites, Amorites, Girgashites, Jebusites, and Canaanites, these last whom, for reasons we have already stated, we would venture to identify more specifically as the Sidonians. The other five tribes were not descended from Canaan, and ostensibly, they were not even descended from Adam through Noah. The origins of two of these tribes are known from Scripture, which are the Kenites and the Rephaim. They are the descendants of Cain, and a particular family of the Nephilim. While the other three are unknown, it cannot be assumed that they are of Noah, since the purpose for the genealogies and the writing of this history in this manner was so that the children of Israel in the time of Moses could know the nature of their enemies and be able to identify them as they come to possess the land which Abram was promised, as opposed to the identification of their surrounding kindred nations who are listed in Genesis chapter 10. For that reason, we must account the Kenizzites, Kadmonites and Perizzites as having been aboriginal, and also related to the ancient Nephilim, as the meanings of some of their names also suggest. That same assertion would also be true of the Zuzims, or “roving creatures” who were mentioned in Genesis chapter 14.

So ostensibly, it is for this reason that Yahweh had instructed the children of Israel to completely eradicate or drive out all of these ten tribes, because, as we have also documented in our presentation on The Vanquished where we discussed these tribes, the Canaanites had a proclivity to practise miscegenation, which is race-mixing, with their neighbors, and these tribes were all dwelling together in Canaan for at least six hundred years until this point where Abram is promised their displacement. So in essence, and regardless of what we may think of Canaan himself, considering the circumstances of his birth, the Canaanites were breaking that same law that Adam and Eve and the children of Adam had transgressed in Genesis chapters 3 and 6, which is not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their first fathers were given this law by Yahweh God, and they have no real excuse for not keeping it, except that they had forsaken Him at a much earlier time than this.

On Genesis, Part 25: The Vanquished

Genesis 15:18-21

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On Genesis, Part 25: The Vanquished

In our last presentation in this Genesis commentary we had discussed The Victories of Abraham and how, with Yahweh God as his Shield, as we read in the opening verse of this 15th chapter of Genesis, the patriarch was able to overcome the kings of Elam and Mesopotamia, to rescue his nephew Lot and recover his estate, to gain the blessings of Melchizedek the king of Salem, and also to overcome the king of Sodom and dispense of his goods without having profitted from the Sodomites. That in itself should also be an example to us, as Sodom is once again prevalent in our society today. [I know, it is a pun, but it is an appropriate pun.] All of these things were personal victories for Abram, which were made possible only because he had been granted the mercy and favor of Yahweh God.

Doing that, Yahweh had once again made several additional promises and an unconditional and one-sided covenant with Abram, where Yahweh had placed all the burden of fulfillment on Himself, while requiring nothing of Abram. This is made evident where it is described that His essence had passed through the pieces of dead sacrificial animals in the manner in which ancient covenants had been made. We had established that this was a binding covenant and described its significance from several ancient sources. The first of these was a letter of official business by an official in the government of ancient Mari in what is now Syria. While the letter itself is difficult to date, Mari is generally said to have flourished from about 2900 to 1759 BC, so the letter probably predates the time of Abram. Then we cited an oath given to be made by soldiers of the ancient Hittite empire, which thrived for several centuries beginning shortly after the time of Abram. Then, after citing a recollection of oaths described in Homer’s Iliad, which recounts events from about the beginning of the 12th century BC, we cited a Hittite treaty which is dated to the 14th century BC, and finally, an event from Scripture which is recorded in Jeremiah chapter 34, which described men of Judah who had bound themselves to an oath in the same manner which Yahweh had done here in Genesis chapter 15. All of these witnesses together serve to prove that our interpretation of this chapter is certain: that the covenant which Yahweh gave to Abram, that his seed which would come from his own loins would become a people as numerous as the stars and ultimately inherit the earth, is absolutely unconditional and shall indeed be fulfilled on those same terms, “as it is written.” When Yahweh instructed Abram to do something, Abram had acted only because he believed that Yahweh would do these things for him, and he was successful in all of his endeavors.

On Genesis, Part 24: The Victories of Abraham

Genesis 14:12 – Genesis 15:17

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On Genesis, Part 24: The Victories of Abraham

In our last presentation in this commentary on Genesis, we left Abram in The Wild West as the kings of Elam and Mesopotamia had pillaged Sodom and Gomorrah. Where the supposed defenders of those cities were faced with the prospect of battle, we read that “the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there [in the valley of Siddim]; and they that remained fled to the mountain.” So in their end, the depraved Sodomites proved to be cowards, and could not stand before the formidable invading armies. There it was also evident, that Sodom and its companion cities were not considered a part of the land of Canaan, but had been subjects of the kings of Mesopotamia, who at this time were themselves subject to the king of Elam, according to the account as it is presented here in Genesis chapter 14. That Elam had subjected the kings of Mesopotamia at this time is apparently something that the secular records have not revealed. However as we also explained, the history of this period in the 19th century BC is incompletely represented in surviving records. The only way in which any of the history of distant antiquity can be known is with the discovery and deciphering of ancient inscriptions.

But even without ancient inscriptions to support any particular event described in the Bible, we hope to have exhibited thus far in our Genesis commentary that the Scripture certainly is reliable, once it is properly correlated with what we can know from the historical and ancient records. Wherever there is ancient history which can be known, the knowledge does not conflict with the words of Scripture, and more often than not, supports Scripture. While the churches have never properly made the necessary correlations, all those who claim that the Bible is not historical are liars. Moses was not a fool writing fairy tales. Rather, he was educated as a prince in Egypt, and his books were respected for 2,000 years, as attested to in the words of Manetho, Hecataeus of Abdera, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo of Cappadocia, Flavius Josephus, and there is no reason to disrespect him today. While critics may find fault in each of those men, they were nevertheless serious scholars and historians of their own time, who were in turn respected by Christian scholars in Europe for many centuries. Attempts to discredit this history are only a couple of centuries old, and they all have one source: the Jewish culture of critique through which Jews have sought to subvert and deconstruct everything of value in European Christian society. But the pompous arrogance and abject ignorance of churchmen over those same centuries have failed to defend Christianity from the constant onslaught of Jewish propaganda, and now all of Christendom is in peril. But of course, the words of Moses are also upheld by Yahshua Christ. So even at the precipice of Sodom and Gomorrah, the substance of the unconditional promises of Yahweh God inform us that until the very end Abram shall remain victorious.

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