On Genesis, Part 31: The Seed of Inheritance

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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.

So just as Roman law, customs and practices were maintained by men for centuries after Rome had fallen, and some of them are still extant today, so it is today in this supposed “post-Christian” era which is heralded especially by the enemies of Christ. While many Christian ethics are attacked as being antiquated and therefore no longer fashionable, many White Christians cling to them in spite of those attacks. But furthermore, just as many White men and women who are detached from the pop-culture churches and Christianity in general, nevertheless continue, knowingly or not, to practice values and morals which have only been ingrained in at least most Europeans since the acceptance of Christianity. For example, Sodomy was not condemned in pagan literature, and at times it was even celebrated.

So within our so-called “post-Christian” world, women routinely walk around half naked, but they are only very rarely molested or raped by White men, whether or not those men consider themselves to be Christian, because knowingly or not, they were raised with Christian values and they are governed by laws which had been written by Christians. However such women, and even children, are often raped by Negros, Latinos or Arabs, whose own nature has always been contrary to those same laws. So the “liberated” White woman only became comfortable walking around in her underwear because she could get away with it in a White and Christian society, but the time may soon come that if she doesn’t enjoy being raped, she may be walking around in sackcloth. This is just one example of the decline of society in a world without Christ, because the presence of beasts among us is only on account of our own sin, and it certainly is a punishment for that sin.

So it must also have been in the days before Abraham, that the children of Noah had all heard of the flood, and mostly like they also heard of the causes for the flood, and they must have also heard of the God who had saved them through that flood, from their own fathers, from Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Those stories would have naturally been passed down for at least many generations. Later, various elements of them appeared in many of the ancient pagan myths. It is natural for men to relate their experiences, their crises, their victories and their failures to their children so that they may learn from them. Therefore, in spite of the fact that his own fathers had also become pagans, as we learn from Scripture in Joshua chapter 24 and also from the accounts of the lives of the children of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, Abraham had believed the Almighty God who had called him, and he demonstrated his belief in displays of obedience to that God.

Then again, Abraham also displayed a noble and God-fearing character in his exchanges with the people of Canaan and the king of Sodom and others such as the Egyptians and the Philistines with whom he had come into contact. All of this must have also emanated from the values which had been instilled into Abraham in his early education, reflecting a morality which had been taught to him by previous generations of his own ancestors. Surely Abraham would not have raped some beach tramp walking around in the public streets in little but a thong, or some mall crawler wearing tighter-than-skin yoga pants, but the men of Sodom had only neglected the daughters of Lot because they had even more perverted desires.

So in the ancient world, which was already on the slow slide to Sodom, there was apparently a continuity of belief in a God in spite of its evident decadence. It is somewhat apparent in the presence of Melchizedek king of Salem after the battle of the kings, and in the response of pharaoh to his household’s having been stricken with disease, and also in the exchanges which had occurred between Abimelech and Abraham, but also, of course, in Abraham’s noble character and fear of God. All of these interactions display a continuity of beliefs in a God who was also a God of judgement, which must have been passed down throughout the generations of various descendants of the sons of Noah. However, while it is not evident that Abraham was chosen for his own particular merit or piety, he was chosen for his fidelity, as Paul had also explained in Romans chapter 4, “3 … That Abraham trusted Yahweh, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Perhaps in the days of Abraham, none but God Himself had even noticed the degeneration of Society, as it had crept very slowly and in diverse places, just as we may observe in our modern world. Today perhaps many people are aware of it, even if their knowledge is not complete, but in Abraham’s time there was a different perspective, because as Paul of Tarsus had written, in Romans chapter 7, “7 … Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” While men had a sense of good and evil, they were governed by their own righteousness, or the righteousness of their kings, but until the law was given at Sinai, the righteousness of God was not known in the world. But even with that, the law came after the promises to Abraham, so the law cannot supersede the promises. The revelation of the law in connection with the promises to Abraham is why Solomon had written concerning the giving of the law, in Wisdom chapter 19, as we would translate it: “6 For the whole creation within its own race was again perfectly formed from above, serving Your commandments in order that Your sons may be kept unharmed.” So the formation of Israel into a kingdom under Yahweh’s law was a reconstitution of the Adamic race which had gone off into sin.

For this alone it is apparent that Abraham was chosen, and that out of the wider Adamic world, his descendants would inherit the earth, molded into a new Society, or “world”, under laws which are from God, but the laws do not supplant the promises, promises in which Abraham had faith. So Paul had also written in Romans chapter 4 that “16 Therefore from of the faith, that in accordance with favor, then the promise is to be certain to all of the offspring, not to that of the law only, but also to that of the faith of Abraham, who is father of us all; 17 (just as it is written, ‘That a father of many nations I have made you,’) before Yahweh whom he trusted, who raises the dead to life, and calls things not existing as existing; 18 who contrary to expectation, in expectation believed, for which he would become a father of many nations according to the declaration, ‘Thus your offspring will be.’” There Paul also defined the faith as the faith of Abraham, as being what Abraham had believed, and Christians should have that same belief or they are not truly Christians, because Paul had written a little earlier in that same place: “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” The faith of Abraham is not faith like Abraham, or faith as much as Abraham, but rather, it is what Abraham had believed.

So if those calling themselves Christians are truly Christians, they must believe what Abraham had believed, that his literal, genetic descendants would become many nations and ultimately inherit the world. Of course, that also includes the qualification that they are one of those descendants, or their profession is in vain. That is because all of the promises of Christ are explicitly and exclusively meant for the nations which had descended from that seed, which is the seed of inheritance that sprung from his own loins according to the promises which Yahweh God had made to Abraham, “just as it is written”. That is the way in which those promises are made here in Genesis, and that is the way in which their fulfillment is explained in the New Testament, both by Christ and His apostles. So wherever there are terms such as all men or all nations, the Christian understanding of the breadth of those terms must be limited to the context of the scope of the promises, because the promises themselves do not change. As Paul wrote in chapter 13 of his epistle to the Hebrews, “8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

Now as we commence with Genesis chapter 21, we shall witness and present further proofs of these assertions, and further examine what Paul had meant in chapter 4 of his epistle to the Romans, where he explained that the promises would be fulfilled “just as it is written”. This endeavor will be ongoing throughout our commentary on Genesis, at least as far as the reassertion of the promises as they fall to Jacob in Genesis chapter 35. Ultimately, the children of Jacob represent the Seed of Inheritance, to the exclusion of all others, and Paul substantiates this in his epistles, as do the other apostles of Christ in the Gospels and in some of their own epistles, for example, where Peter addressed his readers in 1 Peter chapter 2 as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession,” as it was correctly translated in the New American Standard Bible as recently as 1995. [1]

[1 1 Peter 2:9, Bible Hub, https://biblehub.com/1_peter/2-9.htm accessed September 29th, 2023.]

1 And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

It is this very event which Paul of Tarsus had referenced in Romans chapter 9, where he wrote: “7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.” The modern Judaized so-called Christians believe that Paul had changed or even discarded the promises to Abraham, or that Christ Himself had changed them, and therefore he had professed that anyone who believes in Jesus shall be saved. But that is not what Paul had explained in that passage. Rather, Paul reinforced the fact that the true children of Abraham are only those who came from this promise which Yahweh had made to Sarah, and that Abraham’s sons by other women would not be accounted as his children in that same manner. Therefore, once again, where we see terms such as whosoever, all nations or all men in Scripture, knowing that the children of Israel had already become many nations, according to the prophecy, properly those terms can only be interpreted within the bounds of this promise. So all nations are all of the nations of Israel, all men are all the men and women of Israel, and whosoever is whosoever of Israel.

As a digression, in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, omitting a parenthetical statement which does not alter the context, Paul wrote: “18 Behold Israel down through the flesh: are not those who are eating the sacrifices partners of the altar? … 20 Rather, that whatever the Nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to Yahweh.” Paul certainly knew that the nations to which he had brought the Gospel were the twelve tribes of Israel for whom he professed having labored “for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers”, in Acts chapter 26 (26:6-7).

When Paul had written that 9th chapter of Romans, he was speaking concerning Judaeans in general and he wrote “3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. 6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Saying this, Paul explained in another way that only the children of Isaac would be accounted as Abraham’s seed, and he excludes from the promises of God the children of Hagar as well as the later children of Keturah, which we also see later here in Genesis.

So Paul prayed only for his “kinsmen according to the flesh”, and they were not all Israel which were of Israel, so not all of the Judaeans were his kinsmen. This is because Roman Judaea had a very large population of Edomites and others who were converted to Judaism, a process which occurred in the 2nd and early 1st centuries before Christ, of which the details were described by Flavius Josephus in Book 13 of his Antiquities of the Judaeans (13:257 ff., 13:393 ff.). We shall not recall those details here, but perhaps we shall when we discuss the descendants of the Esau later in this commentary on Genesis, because its understanding clarifies all of the divisions among the Judaeans of the New Testament Scriptures, and explains the reasons for the perfidy of the Jews of today as well as their eternal hatred for Christ. For that reason, in this chapter of Romans Paul was compelled to state these things, and to go on to compare Jacob and Esau.

Therefore, once it is realized that not all of those in Israel were of Israel, as Paul had stated, in that same place where he mentioned the promise to Sarah, Paul continued to speak of the promises and wrote: “10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Later in the chapter, Paul described the Edomites as vessels of destruction, and the Israelites as vessels of mercy. When we progress as far as Genesis chapter 28 in this commentary, by then it shall become fully apparent why Yahweh God had hated Esau, which is a citation that was made by Paul here from the words of the prophet Malachi.

Now returning to Genesis chapter 21, once Isaac had been born:

4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

According to our Genesis chronology, which we have based on the Septuagint texts and which we had discussed in detail up to the time of the call of Abraham in Genesis chapter 12, it is now 1855 BC, and approximately 3,569 years from the creation of Adam. Sarah now responds to the birth of her son, and she seems to have remained in astonishment:

6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.

Brenton’s translation of this verse in the Septuagint concords with that of the Greek where it reads “6 And Sarrha said, The Lord has made laughter for me, for whoever shall hear shall rejoice with me.” The New American Standard Bible also interprets the verse in that manner. But the Hebrew word meaning to laugh or laughter, צחק or tsachaq, is spelled the same either as a noun or a verb, except for the Masoretic vowel points which are not found in the original form of the language (Strong’s #’s 6711, 6712). Therefore since Sarah’s remarks in this verse refer back to her actions as they are recorded in Genesis 18:12, where we read that “Sarah laughed within herself”, and because Abraham had laughed earlier, we must agree with the King James translation here, where tsachaq is rendered as a verb rather than as a noun.

In Genesis chapter 17, where Abraham was told that Sarah would have a son at the age of 90, we read “17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?” So because Abraham had laughed first, a little further on in verse 19 Yahweh had told him to name the child Isaac or יצחק or itschaq (# 3327), which is this same form of this word for laughter accompanied with a י or yodh as prefix meaning he. So the Hebrew name for Isaac literally means he laughs, and it cannot refer to Sarah’s having laughed within herself. Therefore here in Genesis chapter 21, once Isaac is born, Sarah has made a statement about the name of Isaac, which would certainly have been true, rather than giving the explanation for why Isaac received such a name, as that had already been decided by Yahweh once Abraham had laughed. The name Isaac in Hebrew clearly means he laughs, and not she laughs.

7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

Paul recounted this in Romans chapter 4, where he underscored the wonder of the fulfillment of this promise and wrote, in reference to Abraham: “18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” Isaac, having been born of a dead womb, or from death, stands as a type for the Resurrection. The lesson in that chapter is that against all logical odds, contrary to everything which men perceive in the world, Yahweh God is able to fulfill His promises “just as it is written”, as Paul had attested, and going to such extreme lengths to do so as an example for the instruction of His children, he did not simply dispose of those promises in the New Testament, and it is absurd to think that he did, in the face of this wonderful example of His Will and His ability to deliver on what has been written. As Paul wrote in Romans chapter 15: “8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” So the nations descended from Abraham would glorify His Name.

8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

It is a frequently debated subject, as to what age a child was weaned in ancient times, and evidently it varied widely among the nations and cultures. Many sources which discuss the subject repeat a statement which is attributed to the 4th century BC Greek philosopher Aristotle, that children should be breastfed for twelve to eighteen months, but I have not seen one which actually supplies a proper citation for that statement, so I cannot examine its context. But there is a seemingly informed article from a seemingly unlikely source, a United Nations health paper, which states the following:

It is interesting that although most Egyptians, Babylonians and Hebrews traditionally breastfed their children for about 3 years, the wealthier Greeks and Romans hired slaves as wet−nurses to take over this duty. In Plato’s Republic, he advocates the rearing of all children in creches [communal nurseries] by wet nurses, “while taking every precaution that no mother shall know her own child”. The bonding effect of breastfeeding was evidenced by the lifelong attachments that were often formed between children and their wet nurses, sometimes at the expense of the child’s relationship with its natural mother(4); this was the reason why many Roman philosophers and moralists such as Pliny, Plutarch and Tacitus spoke out so strongly against wet nursing. [2]

The Egyptian princess who retrieved Moses from the water also hired a wet-nurse for him. However where weaning, suckling or nursing are actually mentioned in Scripture, I cannot find an occurrence which explicitly supports the assertion that Hebrew children were breastfed for three years. That assertion was evidently only inferred from circumstances in 1 Samuel chapter 1 where it describes the early life of the prophet Samuel, and in 2 Chronicles chapter 31 where it states that males as young as three years of age “entereth into the house of Yahweh”, suggesting that they had been weaned by that age. What is also interesting about that statement, however, is the revelation that Plato leaned towards a communist model for wet-nursing, eschewing the development of a special relationship between a natural mother and her child, while Pliny, Plutarch and Tacitus evidently supported the traditional and natural mother-child relationship.

[2 Nutrition and Population Links − Breastfeeding, Family Planning and Child Health − Nutrition Policy Discussion Paper No. 11, United Nations − Administrative Committee on Coordination − Subcommittee on Nutrition (ACC/SCN), United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition May 1992, https://www.unscn.org/layout/modules/resources/files/Policy_paper_No_11.pdf, accessed September 28th, 2023.]

Now the jealousy caused by the birth of Isaac is revealed in Ishmael:

9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

Here the word translated as mocking is the same Hebrew word צחק or tsachaq translated as laughter or to laugh, where Abraham and Sarah were each described as having laughed at the news that Sarah would have a child. But the original Strong’s Concordance also offers another definition, which is: “by implication, to sport”, and it is translated in that manner in the King James Version on several other occasions. Here in the Septuagint, it was represented with the Greek verb παίζω, which is primarily to play like a child, sport, where Brenton has sporting in his translation. But the Septuagint has an additional clause which is wanting here, so rather than just “mocking” at the end of this verse, Brenton has “sporting with Isaac her son”. The resulting response by Sarah is severe, so it is plausible that perhaps she saw that Ishmael’s sporting had threatened the safety of her much younger son. If Isaac was weaned after three years, Ishmael would be sixteen or seventeen years old at that time. In any event, this sight offended Sarah, so she responds:

10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

Since the ancient Greeks considered the children which free men had with women who were slaves to have been bastards, as well as children of mixed races, a line which we often cite from Euripides; in a play titled Hippolytus, is also appropriate here: "...the bastard is always regarded as an enemy to the true-born". [3]

In his epistle to the Galatians, in chapter 4, Paul of Tarsus had used this event in an analogy which compared those who sought to justify themselves by the law to Hagar and her children, while those who had been freed from the condemnation of the law were the children of the promise. So he wrote, in part: “28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” This also reveals that Paul understood Ishmael’s having sported with the young Isaac to have been a form of persecution. Ishmael would have naturally despised Isaac, since up to the point of the birth of Isaac he was Abraham’s only son, and most likely he would have expected to have been his heir. However Yahweh rejected Ishmael as the seed of inheritance, and for that reason Sarah had suffered the trial of giving birth to a son at the age of 90 years.

The Judaized denominational churches imagine Paul’s words in that passage to mean that the law was done away with, however that is not true. Christ Himself had professed in John chapter 14 that “21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Then in John chapter 15 He told His disciples that “10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” This Paul had also attested in Romans chapter 3 where he wrote “31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

So instead, Paul’s analogy in Galatians chapter 4 was only meant to distinguish the Judaizers, who had been attempting to keep Christians bound to the rituals of the law, as he explained earlier in that epistle. So he professed that the children of Isaac, who were the true seed of inheritance, were free from those rituals. It was the rituals of the law to which Paul had referred where the common translations have “works of the law” in Galatians chapter 3, and that is evident in both the Septuagint and the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls which refer to the temple rituals as the “works of the law”. Then where Paul said that “he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now”, he informs us that the Judaizers were primarily the Edomites among the Judaeans, many of whom were also partly descended from Hagar, which is evident in Genesis 28:9, and that they were persecuting Christians, just as Ishmael had evidently persecuted Isaac here. The Judaeans who killed Christ were Edomites, the ancestors of today’s Jews, they also persecuted Paul, and then according to the 3rd century AD Christian bishop Tertullian and others, they were responsible for the Roman persecutions of Christians, and they continue to persecute Christians to this very day, especially Christians whom they cannot control with their false, zionist so-called “Judeo-Christianity”, which is actually an antichrist religion.

The fact that Paul did believe and teach that the Galatians were children of Isaac through Jacob is also revealed in an explanation earlier in chapter 4 of his epistle to them, where he had told them that “1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” So these Galatians, according to the words of Paul here, must have at one time been under the law, and that may also be established through the inscriptions and classical histories which identify the Kimmerians and Scythians with the ancient Bit Khumri, or the House of Omri, the Israelites who had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians as many as eight hundred years before Paul had written. [4]

As Yahweh God had proclaimed in Isaiah chapter 41, “8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. 9 … Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.” This terminology concerning Jacob is repeated in Isaiah chapter 44, and then later, in chapter 48, we read in part that “20 … The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob” although they had been spread abroad in their captivity. Therefore, since the Galatians whom Paul had addressed were described by him as having at one time been servants of Yahweh God, and since he also described them as having already been sons who had been under the law, then they were also already of the seed of inheritance which is found in Isaac, and for that reason, they were also redeemed in Christ as it is promised in Isaiah. As Paul had written in Romans chapter 9, the so-called “adoption” is for those who are Israelites, his “kinsmen according to the flesh”. Then finally, in Paul’s analogy he upholds the fact that the children of Hagar continue to be excluded. So that is how it must be to this very day and forever.

[3 Hippolytus, Euripides, lines 962-963, see https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0106%3Acard%3D936, accessed September 28th, 2023; 4 See, for example, Classical Records and German Origins, in six parts, William Finck, 2007, https://christogenea.org/essays/german-origins, accessed September 28th, 2023.]

Yet even though Ishmael could not share in the inheritance along with Isaac, Abraham was nevertheless grieved for his son:

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

With this, Abraham had no choice but to comply, as he had already told Sarah many years earlier, in Genesis chapter 16, “6 … Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee…”, giving Sarah full control over the fate of Hagar her handmaid. So even while Abraham had obviously loved his son, and while this caused him grief, it was also a consequence of covetousness on the part of Ishmael. Having been the son of a slave woman, he had no right to expect any inheritance, except for Sarah’s misfortune of having been barren. So being the only son, Ishmael must have hoped to attain the birthright and the inheritance as long as Sarah was childless and as long as Abraham took no other wife. But once Ishmael saw that she gave birth to a son, his hope vanished, and all he could do was hope that some harm would come to the child. Therefore if he had stayed, so long as he coveted the inheritance, his presence would have been a threat to Isaac, and for that reason he had to go.

Here it is also evident that even if one is the apparent heir, as before Isaac there was no other heir, if one was not born in accordance with the specific promises which Yahweh had made to Abraham, then one will not share in the inheritance of Abraham. Ishmael had even come from Abraham’s loins, but he was not born in accordance with the promise. For that reason, explicitly referring to the promise made to Sarah, Paul had written in Romans chapter 9 that “8 … They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” The seed of inheritance is through Isaac exclusively, both here in Genesis, and in Paul’s epistles to the Galatians and the Romans.

That is also why, in Galatians chapter 3, according to our own translation Paul had written that: “15 Brethren, (I speak as befits a man,) even a validated covenant of man no one sets aside, or makes additions to for himself. 16 Now to Abraham the promises have been spoken, and to his offspring. It does not say “and to offsprings”, as of many; but as of one: “and to your offspring,” which are anointed. 17 Now this I say, a covenant validated beforehand by Yahweh, the law which arrived after four hundred and thirty years does not invalidate, by which the promise is left idle. 18 For if from law, the inheritance is no longer from promise, but to Abraham through a promise Yahweh has given it freely.”

Here we cited the Christogenea New Testament, our own translation, because in verse 16 the popular translations have Christ rather than anointed. The denominational churches insist that Christ alone is the “one seed”, which is not true. Paul had written in Romans chapter 9 that “the children of the promise are counted for the seed”, referring to all of the children of Isaac, where he also cited this very chapter of Genesis and said “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” So Paul himself, identifying the seed with a plurality of children, understood that a seed represents a collective plural and not a single individual. The fact that the word χριστός appears without a definite article here, where it may be interpreted as a common adjective, also supports our translation. The word seed in Scripture, even when it is used in reference to a single individual, is inclusive of any further children which that individual may have. Furthermore, Paul uses the word χριστός to refer to the children of Israel collectively in 1 Corinthians 1:13, speaking of divisions within the assembly in Corinth, in Hebrews 11:26, speaking of the reproach of the anointed, or Israel, in Egypt, and again in 1 Timothy 5:11, speaking of young women who were widows accepted into the service of the Gospel, and because of their youth they were liable to “wax wanton” against the assembly by abandoning their obligations to it in order to marry. But in all three examples, and others, the translators assumed that χριστός described only Christ Himself, and with that the sense of each of those passages is destroyed in the assumption. Paul had no fear of Christ Himself being divided in Corinth, and no claim that Christ had suffered under the slavery of the Egyptians in Egypt, nor did he believe that loose young women may seduce Christ Himself in 1 Timothy. So the apostle John, in his first epistle, mentioned an unction, or anointing, which his intended readers had from the Holy One [5] and the anointing which they had received [6].

Rather, in that passage of Galatians chapter 3, Paul had explained that nobody can add himself to the covenants which Yahweh God had made with Abraham alone, and then, of the descendants of Abraham, while they had represented many seeds, which is a reference to the various groups of tribes that had descended from Abraham, such as the Ishmaelites, the Edomites, the Midianites and others, only one group of those descendants had actually inherited the promises, through Isaac, which are the Israelites, and all of the others are excluded. So Israel was given the law, but the law does not supersede the promises which had been made 430 years before Israel had received the law at Sinai, as Abraham was given those promises without condition. Just as he had done in Romans chapter 9, Paul explained in Galatians chapter 3 in another way that the Edomites, Ishmaelites, and other groups which may claim to be Abraham’s seed were excluded from the covenants of God, including the New Covenant.

This accords with the words of Christ to His adversaries in John chapter 8, where He told them “37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.” Nearly two hundred years before that time, the Judaeans had conquered all of the Edomites and others in Judaea and forced them to convert to their own religion, which had begun to be called Judaism in Greek. Some decades later, Herod, the son of a wealthy and influential Edomite, who was in the employ of the high priests of Judaea, allied himself with the Romans and raised up armies from Idumea to help them conquer Judaea, and for that, he was later awarded with the position of King of Judaea, and Judaea became of client kingdom of Rome. When Herod became king, around 36 BC, he had all the family of the Hasmonaeans, who were the high priests, killed and he replaced them and the nobles of Jerusalem with his own people. Having been Edomites, since Esau himself had taken wives of the Canaanites, they were children of fornication. So when Christ told them that they had a father other than God, they protested and claimed not to have been born of fornication. But they were indeed born of fornication, for which reason Christ replied that they were not truly of Abraham’s seed, and that their true father was the Devil, and not God. [7]

[5 1 John 2:20; 6 ibid., 2:27; 7 for further historic details and citations see Exactly Why Jesus Christ is NOT a Jew, William Finck, https://christogenea.org/podcasts/exactly-why-jesus-christ-not-jew, accessed September 29th, 2023.]

This also accords with the words of Christ where He had told His adversaries that they would be put out of the kingdom, in spite of their claims to keep the law. So we read in Matthew chapter 7: “21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” The only reason why these men, who professed to “believe in Jesus”, could possibly be excluded is this: they were not of the seed of inheritance. Otherwise, their iniquities would have been forgiven. When Paul wrote in Romans chapter 11 that “all Israel shall be saved” he did not refer to all believers, but rather, there also he added the admonition “as it is written”, and the passage in Isaiah which he cited was written in reference to the ancient, genetic children of Israel, not to some mystical, mythical body of believers.

The denominational churches, including the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, have never themselves believed in Jesus, so they twist His words in order to rule over men for themselves, with their own laws and their own pagan philosophies.

Now Yahweh God consoles Abraham in his grief over Ishmael:

12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

So Ishmael would have no share in the inheritance, and where Paul of Tarsus cites this passage in Romans chapter 9, he affirms that in relation to the New Covenant. Then in Galatians chapter 4, he affirms it once again, as we have already illustrated here. Yet Ishmael would nevertheless prosper on account of Abraham his father:

13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

Here Yahweh is promising Abraham something that He had already promised to Hagar, as she fled from Sarah into the wilderness, where it is recorded in Genesis chapter 16 that: “10 … the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude”, where she was also told to return to Sarah at that time. However this time she would be sent away for good:

14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

The name Beersheba is slightly anachronistic here, as Abraham is recorded later in this very chapter, but some time after this event, to have named Beersheba as he made an agreement with Abimelech. But we have already seen plentiful evidence that Moses often used terms which the children of Israel for whom he recorded these accounts would understand, even if the terms did not yet exist in the time which he was describing.

Here it is also evident that neither Hagar nor Ishmael had received any gifts from Abraham, ostensibly because it was not meet to deprive Isaac for the benefit of a slave and her son. Later, Abraham would have sons with Keturah, who was ostensibly a free woman, and when he sent those sons off, he did give them gifts, as it is recorded in Genesis chapter 25. So after an apparently short journey, Hagar rather quickly became destitute:

15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

As we have seen, Ishmael is somewhat older than what we may consider to be a child today. He was as many as fourteen years older than Isaac, since Abraham was 86 years old when he was born [6]. So even if Isaac was weaned after only one year, Ishmael is as old as fifteen years. We may find it unlikely because if Ishmael had sported with Isaac, an act which Paul of Tarsus looked upon as persecution, it seems that Isaac must have at least been a toddler for such a situation to have been possible, although it may be possible that Ishmael had taunted a younger Isaac in some manner. So if Isaac was weaned at age three, then Ishmael is as old as seventeen years here, but it is possible for him to have been a little younger, and as young as fifteen years.

In any event, Hagar had not actually cast an infant under a shrub. While the Hebrew word translated as cast here in verse 15, which is שלך or shalak (# 7993), is literally to throw, the Brown, Driver and Briggs lexicon describe a wider usage including to cast down [7], so perhaps in her desperation, Hagar became frustrated and shoved her son and he fell down under a bush. The bush would have at least provided him shade from the sun, as the climate was typically hot and they had no water. As for the bowshot, even in those days it may represent a distance of a hundred and fifty yards, but today and throughout history there have been specialized bows which can shoot much further. Here we would expect the reference to be to an average bow and a distance of a hundred and fifty or so yards.

[6 Genesis 16:16; 7 The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, F. Brown, S. Driver and C. Briggs, Hendrickson Publishers, 2021, pp. 1012-1021.]

17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

Hagar could not have been expected to either carry nor pick up a teen-aged boy. The New American Standard Bible has the first clause of this verse to read “Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand”, and Ishmael would have been expected to stand if his mother had taken his hand while he was lying down.

The promise that Yahweh God will make of Ishmael a great nation only implies that his seed would be numerous, as Hagar was promised in Genesis chapter 16 where the angel of Yahweh told her that “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.” But that does not change the fact that he is excluded from any inheritance with Isaac and from the covenants of God which were made with Abraham and passed down to Isaac alone.

19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. 20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

The text of Genesis has a way of providing hints of coming events with the language that it uses, where the reference to a bowshot in an earlier context seems to be symbolic of the fact that Ishmael would later become an archer. The wilderness of Paran, a word which seems to mean ornamental, as it is defined in the original Strong’s Concordance (# 6290), is evidently to the east of Sinai and the Gulf of Aqaba, and was occupied for some time by the children of Israel after the exodus from Egypt, in Numbers chapters 10 through 12. The traditional land of Edom was immediately to its north.

Note that Hagar, an Egyptian, took for Ishmael a wife out of Egypt, but later in Genesis and in history it becomes evident that the descendants of Ishmael had mingled themselves with the Edomites and Canaanites, just as Esau had done.

Yahweh willing, we shall return to our commentary on Genesis chapter 21 in the near future.

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