by Ken Cayce

© Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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Genesis Explained

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Genesis is the book of beginnings. It records the beginning of time, life, sin, salvation, the human race, and the Hebrew nation. It begins with primeval history centered in four major events: the Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and the dispersion of the nations. Genesis then narrates the history of four great patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.

Title: The English title, Genesis, comes from the Greek translation (Septuagint, LXX) meaning "origins"; whereas, the Hebrew title is derived from the Bible's very first word, translated "in the beginning." Genesis serves to introduce the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Old Testament), and the entire bible.

The influence of Genesis in Scripture is demonstrated by its being quoted over 35 times in the New Testament and hundreds of allusions appearing in both Testaments. The story line of salvation which begins in Genesis 3 is not completed until Revelation chapters 21 and 22, where the eternal kingdom of redeemed believers is gloriously pictured.

The title, Genesis (Greek, "Beginning"), was applied to this book by the Septuagint. The Hebrew title (bereshit) comes from the first word of the book in Hebrew ("In the beginning"). The book is divided by 10 units (toledot) under the rubric: "These are the generations of." Thus, some have suggested that Moses had access to the patriarchal records.

Authorship - Date: With very few exceptions, Jewish and Christian scholars alike believed that Moses wrote Genesis. His authorship is supported by the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Palestinian Talmud, the Apocrypha (Ecclus. 45:4; 2 Macc. 7:30), the writings of Philo (Life of Moses 3:39), and Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews 4:8:45; Contra Apion I.8.

Moses life extended 120 years (Deut. 34:7). The first 40 years (1525-1485 B.C.) he spent as Pharaoh's son, learning the wisdom of the Egyptians (Acts 7:22). He spent the next 40 years (1485-1445 B.C.) in the desert of Midian as a shepherd (Exodus 2:15; Acts 7:30). The final 40 years (1445-1405 B.C.), he spent wandering in the Sinai wilderness with the children of Israel (Deut. 8:2). He very likely wrote all of the books of the Pentateuch after his call to lead the people out of Egypt, as recounted in Exodus 3. This would have been in his last 40 years of life, during the wilderness wanderings.

Background - Setting: The initial setting for Genesis is eternity past. God then, by willful act and divine Word, spoke all creation into existence, furnished it, and finally breathed life into a lump of dirt which He fashioned in His image to become Adam. God made mankind the crowning point of His creation, i.e., His companions who would enjoy fellowship with Him and bring glory to His name.

The historical background for the early events in Genesis is clearly Mesopotamian. While it is difficult to pinpoint precisely the historical moment for which this book was written, Israel first heard Genesis sometime prior to crossing the Jordan River and entering the Promised Land (ca. 1405 B.C.). Genesis has 3 distinct, sequential geographical settings:

(1) Mesopotamia (chapters 1-22);

(2) The Promised Land (chapters 12-36); and

(3) Egypt (chapters 37-50).

The time frames of these 3 segments are:

(1) Creation to ca 2090 B.C.;

(2) 2090-1897 B.C.; and

(3) 1897-1804 B.C.

Genesis covers more time than the remaining books of the Bible combined.

Historical - Theological Themes: In this book of beginnings, God revealed Himself and a worldview to Israel which contrasted, at times sharply, with the worldview of Israel's neighbors. The author made no attempt to defend the existence of God or to present a systematic discussion of His person and works. Rather, Israel's God distinguished Himself clearly from the alleged gods of her neighbors. Theological foundations are revealed which include God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, man, sin, redemption, covenant, promise, Satan and angels, kingdom, revelation, Israel, judgment and blessing.

Genesis 1-11 (primeval history) reveals the origins of the universe, i.e., the beginnings of time and space and many of the firsts in human experience, such as marriage, family, the Fall, sin, redemption, judgment, and nations. Genesis 12-50 (patriarchal history), explained to Israel how they came into existence as a family whose ancestry could be traced to Eber (hence the "Hebrews"; Gen. 10:24-25), and even more remotely to Shem, the son of Noah (hence the "Semites"; Gen. 10:21). God's people came to understand not only their ancestry and family history, but also the origins of their institutions, customs, languages, and different cultures, especially basic human experiences such as sin and death.

Because they were preparing to enter Canaan and dispossess the Canaanite inhabitants of their homes and properties, God revealed their enemies' background. In addition, they needed to understand the actual basis of the war they were about to declare in light of the immorality of killing, consistent with the other 4 books that Moses was writing (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Ultimately, the Jewish nation would understand a selected portion of preceding world history and the inaugural background of Israel as a basis by which they would live in their new beginnings under Joshua's leadership in the land which had previously been promised to their original patriarchal forefather, Abraham.

Genesis 12:1-3 established a primary focus on God's promises to Abraham. This narrowed their view from the entire world of peoples in Genesis 1-11 to one small nation, Israel, through whom God would progressively accomplish His redemptive plan. This underscored Israel's mission to be "a light to the nations" (Isa. 42:6). God promised land, descendants (seed), and blessing. The 3-fold promise became, in turn, the basis of the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:1-20). The rest of Scripture bears out the fulfillment of these promises.

On a larger scale, Genesis 1-11 set forth a singular message about the character and works of God. In the sequence of accounts which make up these chapters of Scripture, a pattern emerges which reveals God's abundant grace as He responded to the willful disobedience of mankind. Without exception, man responded in greater sinful rebellion. In biblical words, the more sin abounded the more did God's grace abound (Romans 5:20).

One final theme of both theological and historical significance sets Genesis apart from other books of Scripture, in that the first book of Scripture corresponds closely with the final book. In the book of Revelation, the paradise which was lost in Genesis will be regained. The apostle John clearly presented the events recorded in his book as future resolutions to the problems which began as a result of the curse in Genesis 3. His focus is upon the effects of the Fall in the undoing of creation and the manner in which God rids His creation of the curse effect. In John's own words, "There will no longer be any curse" (Rev. 22:3). Not surprisingly, in the final chapter of God's Word, believers will find themselves back in the Garden of Eden, the eternal paradise of God, eating from the tree of life (Rev. 22:1-14). At that time, they will partake, wearing robes washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 22:14).

Genesis is the foundational book to the rest of the Bible. Its important theological themes include the doctrines of God, Creation, man, sin and salvation. It teaches the importance of substitutionary atonement and of faith in God's revelation of Himself to mankind. It also records the first messianic prophecies of the Bible predicting that the Redeemer would be born of the seed of a woman (3:15); through the line of Seth (4:25); a son of Shem (9:27); the offspring of Abraham (12:3); Isaac (21:12); and Jacob (25:23); and from the tribe of Judah (49:10).

Genesis covers more time than any other book in the Bible. It opens with the words: "In the beginning God created" (1:1), and it ends with "in a coffin in Egypt (50:26). Thus, it covers the whole plight of man, who was created in God's image to live forever, but because of sin became destined for the grave. The book leaves the reader anxiously anticipating the redemptive intervention of God.


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Genesis 1 Genesis 14 Genesis 27 Genesis 40
Genesis 2 Genesis 15 Genesis 28 Genesis 41
Genesis 3 Genesis 16 Genesis 29 Genesis 42
Genesis 4 Genesis 17 Genesis 30 Genesis 43
Genesis 5 Genesis 18 Genesis 31 Genesis 44
Genesis 6 Genesis 19 Genesis 32 Genesis 45
Genesis 7 Genesis 20 Genesis 33 Genesis 46
Genesis 8 Genesis 21 Genesis 34 Genesis 47
Genesis 9 Genesis 22 Genesis 35 Genesis 48
Genesis 10 Genesis 23 Genesis 36 Genesis 49
Genesis 11 Genesis 24 Genesis 37 Genesis 50
Genesis 12 Genesis 25 Genesis 38
Genesis 13 Genesis 26 Genesis 39

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Genesis 1

Genesis Chapter 1

Verses 1:1 - 2:3: This description of God creating heaven and earth is understood to be: (1) recent, i.e., thousands not millions of years ago; (2) ex nihilo, i.e., out of nothing; and (3) special, i.e., in 6 consecutive 24 hour periods called "days" and further distinguished as such by this phrase, "the evening and the morning."

"In the beginning": While God exists eternally (Psalm 90:2); this marked the beginning of the universe in time and space. In explaining Israel's identity and purpose to her on the plains of Moab, God wanted His people to know about the origin of the world in which they found themselves.

"God": Elohim is a general term for deity and a name for the True God, though used also at times for pagan gods (31:30), angels (Psalm 8:5), men (Psalm 82:6), and judges (Exodus 21:6). Moses made no attempt to defend the existence of God, which is assumed, or explain what He was like in person and works which is treated elsewhere (Isa. 43:10, 13). Both are to be believed by faith (Heb. 11:3, 6).

"Created": This word is used here of God's creative activity alone, although it occasionally is used elsewhere of matter which already existed (Isa. 65:18). Context demands in no uncertain terms that this was a creation without preexisting material (as does other Scripture: Isa. 40:28; 45:8, 12, 18; 48:13; Jer. 10:16; Acts 17:24).

"The heavens and the earth": All of God's creation is incorporated into this summary statement which includes all 6, consecutive days of creation.

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

"In the beginning": Creation marks the absolute beginning of the temporal and material world. The traditional Jewish and Christian belief is that Geneses 1:1 declares that God created the original heaven and earth from nothing (Lat. "ex nihilo") and that verse 2 clarifies that when it came from the Creator's hand, the mass was "without form, and void," unformed and without any life. The rest of the chapter then explains the process of Creation in detail.

There is no evidence in the Hebrew text for long ages of evolutionary development or a gap of time between verse 1 and verse 2.

"God": (Hebrew Elohim): This form of the divine name occurs 2,570 times in the Old Testament. The plural ending "im" indicates a plural of majesty and takes a singular verb.

"Created": (Hebrew bara): Meaning to create, shape or form. This verb is used exclusively with God as its subject. It refers to the instantaneous and miraculous act of God by which He brought the universe into existence. Thus, the Genesis account of Creation refutes atheism, pantheism, polytheism, and evolution.

This leaves no doubt that God is an eternal being. It also leaves no doubt that God himself created the earth. God, mentioned in Genesis 1:1 is actually Elohim (a plural word). Another Meaning of Elohim is, the highest being to be feared, Elohim indicates more than one involved in the act of creation. "Elohim", (high and mighty).

This high and mighty Eternal One is actually God the Father, God the Word, and God the Holy Spirit. All who is in fact God, a singular verb is used often with the plural word Elohim indicating that there not only is a trinity of beings, but they are one in Spirit.

The three words used in the creation are different, but all translated created (Bara, Yatzar, and Asah). Bara means to create from nothing and is used in Genesis 1:1.

Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

"Without form, and void": This means "not finished in its shape and as yet uninhabited by creatures" (Isa. 45:18-19; Jer. 4:23). God would quickly (in 6 days) decorate His initial creation (1:2 - 2:3).

(Hebrew, Tohu wabohu, "unformed and unfilled") describes the condition of earth after the initial act of Creation. It does not describe a chaotic condition as a result of judgment. Thus was (Hebrew "hayetah") is correct and should not be translated "became". How the earth became formed and filled is described (in verses 3-31).

"Darkness" is not always a symbol of evil (Psalm 104:19-24. Here it simply refers to the absence of light.

"Deep" refers to the waters covering the earth, not some primitive evolution. Sometimes referred to as existing waters, this is the term used to describe the earth's water-covered surface before the dry land emerged (1:9-10). Jonah used this word to describe the watery abyss in which he found himself submerged (Jonah 2:5).

"The Spirit of God" Not only did God the Holy Spirit participate in creation, but so did God the Son (1 John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2). Here is a clear reference to the creative activity of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:3 indicates that Christ actually created all things for the Father. Thus, all three persons of the Trinity are active in the Creation. This undoubtedly accounts for the plural pronouns "us" and "our" (in verse 26), which take singular verbs in expressing the tri-unity of God.

The first emblem of the Holy Spirit in Scripture is that of the Spirit "moving" or literally "brooding" over the waters, much as a bird broods over her eggs to hatch them. The Scriptures assign to the Holy Spirit the works of creating the world (Psalm 33:6), of brooding over the waters (verse 2), of garnishing the heavens (Job 26:13), of renewing the earth (Psalm 104:30), and of sustaining life (Psalm 104:29).

"The heavens and the earth": All of God's creation is incorporated into this summary statement which includes all 6, consecutive days of creation.

The Holy Spirit's work in Creation results in order (Isa. 40:12, 14; Gen. 1:2); life (Job 33:4); beauty (Job 26:13); and renewal (Psalm 104:30).

The work of the Holy Spirit in Creation is one of the biblical proofs of His deity. The Scriptures also describe the physical body of the Christian as the temple of the Holy Spirit, and suggest He is in the process of recreating us into Christ's image (Phil. 1:6; Gen. 1:2; Luke 4:18).

Genesis 1:3 "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

"And God said": God effortlessly spoke light into existence (Psalm 33:6; 148:5). This dispelled the darkness of verse 2.

This is the first of a highly-structured series of succinct and formulaic sentences expressing the creative commands of God. Thus, Creation is accomplished by His word. Each command consists of:

(1) An announcement, "God said";

(2) A creative command, "Let there be";

(3) A summary word of accomplishment, "And it was so";

(4) A descriptive word of accomplishment, "The earth brought forth";

(5) A descriptive blessing, "God blessed";

(6) An evaluative approval, "It was good"; and

(7) A concluding temporal framework, numbering each day.

"Light": The greater and lesser lights (the sun and moon) were created later (1:14-19), on the fourth day. Here, God was the provider of light (2 Cor. 4:6), and will in eternity future be the source of light (Rev. 21:23).

"Verses 1:4-5 "Divided ... called": After the initial creation, God continued to complete His universe. Once God separated certain things, He then named them. Separating and naming were acts of dominion and served as a pattern for man, who would also name a portion of God's creation over which God gave him dominion (2:19-20).

Genesis 1:4 "And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

"Good": Good for the purposes it was intended to serve (1:31). The word contains less an aesthetic judgment than a designation of purpose and correspondence to God's will, indicating the moral goodness of the Creation.

"Light": Not the sun which was created on the fourth day (verse 16), but some fixed light source outside of the earth. The earth passed through a day-and-night cycle in reference to this light.

Genesis 1:5 "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."

"God called": This act demonstrates His sovereign dominion over His creation. In the Semitic world, the naming of something or someone was the token of lordship. Reuben changed the names of the cities of the Amorites after he had conquered them (Num. 32:38). Likewise, Pharaoh Necho changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim after he defeated the Judean king (2 Kings 23:34).

"First day": God established the pattern of creation in 7 days which constituted a completed week. "Day" can refer to: (1) the light portion of a 24-hour period (1:5, 14); (2) an extended period of time (2:4); or (3) the 24 hour period which basically refers to a full rotation of the earth on its axis, called evening and morning.

This cannot mean an age, but only a day, reckoned by the Jews from sunset to sunset (verses 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). "Day" with numerical adjectives in Hebrew always refers to a 24-hour period.

Comparing the order of the week in Exodus 20:8-11 with the creation week; confirms this understanding of the time element. Such cycle of light and dark means that the earth was rotating on its axis so that there was a source of light on one side of the earth, though the sun was not yet created (verse 16).

"Day" (Hebrew yom): Apart from the use of the word day in verses 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, and 31, where it describes the days of Creation, it is used in at least four ways in the first two chapters of Genesis:

(1) The 12-hour period of daylight as opposed to night (verses 14, 16, and 18);

(2) A solar day of 24 hours (verse 14);

(3) The period of light that began with the creation of light on the first day (verse 5); and

(4) The entire, six-day creative period (2:4).

Everywhere in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Hebrew bible), the word "day" when used (as here) with a definite article or numerical adjective means a solar day or a normally calibrated, 24-hour day. Thus, the biblical account of Creation clearly indicates that God created the world in six literal days (Exodus 20:11).

In verse one, the only indication we have when heaven and earth were created is that it happened in the beginning. We must dwell on Genesis because a true and firm revelation of faith and God's grace begins right here at the beginning.

God's grace in that he wanted fellowship with mankind so much that He would go to the trouble to create the world and everything in it for man's use. Then the faith comes in on our part. We must believe that God's Words are true and that the world was created by Elohim God.

Thus, brings the end of the first day.

Genesis Chapter 1 Questions

1. Who are the three indicated in this word?

2. What is the word translated "God" in Genesis 1:1?

3. What does the word Bara mean?

4. How was the earth described when it was first formed?

5. Who moved on the face of the waters?

6. Is darkness always a symbol of evil?

7. What does "deep" refer to?

8. What is one of the biblical proofs of the deity of the Holy spirit?

9. Where did the light come from in verse 3?

10. What did each command start with when God started His Creation?

11. What was God's evaluative approval (3 words)?

12. What was the purpose of the light in verse 4?

13. What was the light called in verse five?

14. What was the darkness called?

15. Name 2 others mentioned in this lesson, showing their "lordship" by naming or renaming something?

16. How long in hours was the first day?

17. Was this light the sun?

18. How many biblical days did it take God to create the world?

19. What is our part in all of this?

20. In verse 5, which day comes to an end?

Genesis Chapter 1 Continued

Genesis 1:6 "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."

Firmament or expanse is the portion of God's creation named "heavens," that which man saw when he looked up, i.e., the atmospheric and stellar heaven.

"Firmament" is an "expanse" between the waters suspended by God in vapor form over the earth. Most likely, approximately half of the waters upon the earth were supernaturally elevated above the atmosphere, perhaps in the form of an invisible vapor canopy.

This would have trapped the earth's heat with a "greenhouse effect" and would have provided a uniformly tropical climate everywhere, until it collapsed upon the earth during the universal rainfall at the time of the great Flood (7:11). This might explain the longer life described in Genesis 5, in addition to providing a water source for the Flood of chapters 6 to 9.

I do not believe that God expects us to scientifically figure out how this all came about. He just expects us to have faith that He did it.

Genesis 1:7 "And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so."

"Firmament ... under the firmament": This refers to subterranean reservoirs (7:11).

"Above the firmament": This could possibly have been a canopy of water vapor which acted to make the earth like a hothouse, provided uniform temperature, inhibited mass air movements, caused mist to fall, and filtered out ultraviolet rays, thus extending life.

Genesis 1:8 "And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

"And God called the firmament heaven": Including the starry and airy heavens: it has its name from its height in the Arabic language, it being above the earth, and reaching to the third heaven; though others take the word "shamaim" to be a compound of two words, "sham" and "maim", that is, there are waters, namely, in the clouds of heaven.

At the end of the second day there is no phrase "and God saw that it was good" (verse 10). Anything we might say about this would be just supposition.

Thus, here was the second day.

Verses 9-10 "Dry land": This was caused by a tremendous, cataclysmic upheaval of the earth's surface, and the rising and sinking of the land, which caused the waters to plunge into the low places, forming the seas, the continents, islands, rivers and lakes (Job 38:4-11; Psalm 104:6-9).

Genesis 1:9 "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so."

Verse 9 - Day three. The distribution of land and water and the production of vegetation on this day engaged the formative energy of the word of Elohim. And God said, Let the waters under heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.

To explain the second part of this phenomenon as a consequence of the first, the disclosure of the solid ground by the retirement of the waters from its surface, and not rather vice versa, is to reverse the ordinary processes of nature.

Modern analogy suggests that the breaking up of the hitherto universal ocean into seas, lakes, and rivers was effected by the upheaval of the land through the action of subterranean fires, or the subsidence of the earth's crust in consequence of the cooling and shrinking of the interior mass.

Psalm 104 hints at electric agency in connection with the elevation of the mountains and the sinking of the ocean beds (comments added by author).

Psalm 104:7-8 "At thy rebuke they (the waters) fled: at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away (were scattered). They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them".

The gathering of the waters into one place implies no more than that they were, from this day forward, to be collected into one vast body, and restrained within bounds in a place by themselves, so as to admit of the exposure of the earth's soil.

The "place founded for them" was, of course, the depths and hollows in the earth's crust, into which they were immediately withdrawn, not through direct supernatural agency, but by their own natural gravitation. The configuration of the dry land is not described; but there is reason to believe that the original distribution of land and water was the same, or nearly the same, as it is at present.

Genesis 1:10 "And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good."

"And God called the dry land earth": The whole chaos that was a muddy fluid, a mixture of earth and water, a rude unformed mass of matter. But now that part consisting of, or formed of, land and was separated from the waters, and they from it, is called "earth":

Which has its name in the Arabic language from its being low and depressed; the lighter parts having been elevated, and moved upwards, and formed the atmosphere; the grosser parts subsiding and falling downwards, made the earth, which is low with respect to the firmament, which has its name in the same language from its height, as before observed.

"And the gathering together of the waters called he seas": for though there was but one place into which they were collected, and which is the main ocean, with which all other waters have a communication, and so are one; yet there are different seas, as the Red sea, the Mediterranean, Caspian, Baltic, etc.

Or which are denominated from the shores they wash, as the German, British, etc., and even lakes and pools of water are called seas, as the sea of Galilee and Tiberias, which was no other than the lake of Gennesaret.

"And God saw that it was good": That these two should be separate, that the waters should be in one place, and the dry land appear, and both have the names he gave them. And this is here mentioned, because now the affair of the waters, the division and separation of them, were brought to an end, and to perfection.

Verses 11-12: "After his kind": God set in motion a providential process whereby the vegetable kingdom could reproduce through seeds which would maintain each one's unique characteristics.

The same phrase is used to describe the perpetuating reproduction of animals within their created species (verses 21, 24-25), and indicates that evolution, which proposes reproduction across species lines, is a false explanation of origins.

Genesis 1:11 "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so."

"Whose seed is in itself": The principle of reproduction that marks all life (verses 22, 24, 28).

Contrary to the modern evolutionists (who insist that all plants and animals developed over hundreds of millions of years from a single speck of life in the ocean) and theistic evolutionists (who claim the Bible allows for such processes by the use of such phrases as "Let the earth bring forth)".

Genesis not only dates the creation of marine life (verse 20), as being after the creation of plants and fruit trees, but also reveals that fruit trees were created already bearing fruit "whose seed is in itself."

God produced a functioning and mature Creation. Plants were created full-grown, as mature and adult organisms, with a superficial appearance of age. Similarly, Adam and Eve were created as adults. The phrase "after his' [or their] "kind" is repeated 10 times in this chapter, and demands that adults of each "kind" would have to be created supernaturally to begin the life cycle.

Moses uses the word "kind" 30 out of the 31 times it appears in the Old Testament. The word may not require the separate creation of each species by God, but it does require at least the separate creation of families within orders.

You see God not only created the first plant life, grass, fruit, trees etc., but He also provided the way for it to perpetuate itself. Plant life could not exist without the light acting on the chlorophyll in the plant leaves and causing it to grow.

Notice, the first three words "And God said", and the last four words say it all "and it was so".

Genesis 1:12 "And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.

"And the earth brought forth grass": In great abundance at once; the hills and vales were clothed with it, and so a rich provision was made the beasts and cattle of the earth a few days before they were created:

And herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself after his kind": wholesome and healthful herbs and plants, and delicious fruit to be meat and food for man, ready prepared for him when created (see Gen. 1:29); on this day, though after related, were made the garden of Eden, and all the trees in it, pleasant for sight, and good for food.

Particularly the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil,

"And God saw that it was good": Which he had now caused to spring forth, grass, herbs, and fruit trees, which were good for men and beast, and this he foresaw would be so.

Genesis 1:13 "And the evening and the morning were the third day."

And here was the third day.

Genesis 1:14 "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:"

"Lights": Verse 16. For 3 days, there had been light (verse 4), in the day as though there was a sun, and lesser light at night as though there were the moon and stars. God could have left it that way, but did not.

He created the "lights, sun, moon, and stars," not for light, but to serve as markers for signs, seasons, days, and years.

"Signs": Certainly to include:

(1) Weather (Matt. 16:2-3);

(2) Testimony to God (Psalms 8, 19; Rom. 1:14-20);

(3) Divine judgment (Joel 2:30-31; Matt. 24:29);

(4) Navigation (Matt. 2:1-2).

"Seasons": It is the earth's movement in relation to the sun and moon that determines the seasons and the calendar.

The Scripture says they were also to be for telling the seasons, and the days, and the years. In the Jewish calendar a month occurs at every new moon.

"Verses 15-18": "Two great lights ... to divide the light from the darkness": It was God (not some other deity) who created the lights. Israel had originally come from Mesopotamia, where the celestial bodies were worshiped, and more recently from Egypt, where the sun was worshiped as a primary deity.

God was revealing to them that the very stars, moons, and planets which Israel's neighbors had worshiped were the products of His creation. Later, they became worshipers of the "host of heaven", which led to their being taken captive out of the Promised Land.

Genesis 1:15 "And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so."

"Lights in the firmament ... give light upon the earth": To continue there as luminous bodies; as enlighteners, as the word signifies. Causing light, or as being the instruments of conveying it, particularly to the earth, as follows: "to give light upon the earth"; and the inhabitants of it, when formed: "and it was so".

These lights were formed and placed in the firmament of the heaven for such uses, and served such purposes as God willed and ordered they should.

Genesis 1:16 "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also."

"And God made two great lights" refers to the sun and moon. They did not appear (a different verb and stem), as the dry land did in verse 9, but were actually made (`asah, synonymous with bara'), at this time. God makes it clear that He, not the sun, is the earth's Creator, and that God is not dependent upon the sun either for the earth's material substance or for the sustaining of life.

From the standpoint of astronomy, the sun and the moon are obviously not "the two great lights" of the universe. This is the language of appearance, as seen from man's viewpoint. Genesis is written in geocentric (rather than heliocentric), terms.

"Signs" in verse 14 might refer to unusual sights in the heavens, such as eclipses of the sun, rather than suggest that God designed the celestial bodies to determine the destinies of individual men as modern astrologers proclaim (2 Kings 23:12; Jer. 19:13; Zeph. 1:5), where God condemns such practice.

Genesis 1:17 "And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,"

In the fourth day's work, the creation of the sun, moon, and stars is accounted for. All these are the works of God. The stars are spoken of as they appear to our eyes, without telling their number, nature, place, size, or motions; for the Scriptures were written, not to gratify curiosity, or make us astronomers, but to lead us to God, and make us saints.

The lights of heaven are made to serve him; they do it faithfully, and shine in their season without fail. We are set as lights in this world to serve God; but do we in like manner answer the end of our creation? We do not: our light does not shine before God, as his lights shine before us. We burn our Master's candles, but do not mind our Master's work.

Genesis 1:18 "And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good."

And God set (literally, gave), them (i.e. sun, moon, and stars), in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and even the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. An intimation that on this day the astronomical arrangements for the illumination of the globe and the measurement of time were permanently settled. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:19 "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."

This was the conclusion of the creation of the sun and moon as fixtures that we might see the light in, thus ending the 4th day.

Genesis Chapter 1 Continued Questions

1. That which man saw when he looked up was called what?

2. The third heaven is where God is, what are the other 2 heavens called?

3. Where were approximately half the waters upon the earth located?

4. What type of an effect would this have on the earth?

5. What might explain the longevity described in Genesis 5?

6. What does under the firmament refer to?

7. What caused the dry land?

8. What day did this happen?

9. What happened on day three?

10. What was the dry land called?

11. What was the one main place where all the water collected?

12. What was unusual about the fruit trees when they were created?

13. What happened on day four?

14. What were some of the signs for in verse 14?

15. What were the 2 great lights?

16. What was their purpose?

Genesis Chapter 1 Second Continued

Genesis 1:20 "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven."

"Moving creature": These creatures, including the extraordinarily large ones, included all sorts of fish and mammals, even dinosaurs (see notes on Job 40:15 - 41:1).

"Let the waters bring forth": is better translated and understood as, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures," so as not to misleadingly suggest that the waters themselves produced marine life. This text also implies that aquatic life and fowl appeared simultaneously, denying the evolutionary sequence of reptiles before birds.

God had now provided the habitation for the fish and the atmosphere and dry land for the fowl, so the logical step would be to populate the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and all bodies of waters with fish and all sea life. The dry land had appeared and God had populated the air above and the ground below with fowl.

You see, God was doing all of this in preparation for his greatest creation (man). He needed to prepare food for the man before the creation of man. This whole creative act was God building a home for mankind.

We are told in John chapter 14 that Jesus is in heaven now preparing our eternal home.

John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." "In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also."

You see God's plan from the beginning was to build man a home.

Genesis 1:21 "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good."

"Great whales" is not the best translation; better is the term "great sea creatures" to include the great fish as well as whale. Taninim is used elsewhere to describe the serpent (Exodus 7:9-10, 12), and the dragon (Psalm 148:7: Isa. 51:9; Ezek. 29:3). There is no evidence whatever, either from paleontology or genetics that whales or great sea monsters could have developed from land animals.

The theory of evolution claims that the first animals in the oceans were microscopic, single celled creatures, and that whales (sea cows), had to evolve from four-legged land mammals, which in turn evolved from cold-blooded marine creatures. Thus, they would have devolved!

Just the vastness of the thousands of varieties of fish and birds of all kinds is mind boggling. To think that God in a moment of time (no matter how long), could figure out, all the varieties, and have each one have a useful job to do in God's scheme of things is just beyond comprehension.

God is not only love, but the greatest planner. You see, He figured out the needs of each one and fulfilled it here on day five.

Genesis 1:22 "And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."

"Blessed": this is the first occurrence of the word "bless" in Scripture. God's admonition to "be fruitful and multiply" was the substance of the blessing.

Genesis 1:23 "And the evening and the morning were the fifth day."

Here is the end of the fifth day.

Verses 24-25: "Cattle ... beasts": This probably represents all kinds of large, four-legged animals.

Genesis 1:24 "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so."

"Beast of the earth": Different from and larger than the clan of cattle, this would include dinosaurs like Behemoth (Job 40:15).

"Living creature" is the same Hebrew expression used for man in 2:7, translated "living soul."

Genesis 1:25 "And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good."

The Creator's wisdom and power are to be admired as much in an ant as in an elephant. The power of God's providence preserves all things, and fruitfulness is the effect of his blessing.

The creation of the higher animals completed the earth's preparation for the advent of man; to which, doubtless, the Creator's commendation of his finished work had a special reference. Everything was in readiness for the "magnum opus" (the most important work), which was to close his creative labor and crown his completed cosmos.

This most clearly shows and proves that the above creatures were not produced by the mere force of nature, or the powers the earth were possessed of, however the matter of it might be disposed and prepared, but by the omnipotent hand of God.

You see, as I said before, God was preparing this planet for His greatest creation, mankind. All through these Scriptures, please take note that God said, "everything after its own kind".

Verse 26 is the reason all the things were created. Notice the plurality of the Creator as well.

Genesis 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

In contrast to animals in verses 20 and 24 where God said, "Let the waters bring forth" and "Let the earth bring forth," He now says, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." All others reproduce after their kind," but man is the only one made in the image of God and reproducing in that image (5:3).

The terms "image" and "likeness" are used synonymously, and refer primarily to man's spiritual resemblance (rationally and morally) to his Maker. God placed a chasm between man and the beast, for only man has the capacity for eternal life, fellowship, moral discernment, self-consciousness, speech, and worship.

"Us ... our": The first clear indication of the triunity of God (3:22; 11:7). The very name of God, Elohim (1:1), is a plural form of El.

"Man": The crowning point of creation, a living human, was made in God's image to rule creation. Even after the Fall, man retains this image of God (9:6; James 3:9), though it has been marred. The plural pronoun "us" is most likely a majestic plural from the standpoint of Hebrew grammar and syntax.

"Our image": This defined man's unique relation to God. Man is a living being capable of embodying God's communicable attributes (9:6; Rom. 8:29; Col. 3:10; James 3:9). In his rational life, he was like God in that he could reason and had intellect, will, and emotion. In the moral sense, he was like God because he was good and sinless.

"Image and likeness of God": Man was created in both the image and likeness of God. An image is a representation or replica of one person or thing by another. An image may be similar but not necessarily identical to its original. The term "likeness" is used as a gauge of comparison, or analogy. When man fell, he retained an impaired image of God (9:6).

Regaining a likeness of God is one of the accomplishments of salvation. Our spiritual likeness is restored in justification. Our character likeness is being continuously developed in the process of sanctification. We will be like Christ physically when we are glorified. God's purpose in our lives today is to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; Gen. 1:26-27; Heb. 4:12).

Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

"Man" is used in a generic sense which is amplified by the phrase "male and female" even though Eve's physical formation is not detailed until 2:18-24.

These words are not the usual Hebrew words for "man" (ish). and "woman" (ishah). The words used here specifically distinguish the sexes, male and female. Sexes are only implied with regard to animals, but not here. The reason is that a completely unique relationship was to develop, namely, holy marriage (2:22-24).

Man was created by God on the sixth day of Creation and is the grand climax of all that God had accomplished in the Creation week of miracles. The final act of Creation was that God joined the material and immaterial parts of man. Man's body was shaped from the dust, but then became a living soul only after God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils (2:7).

Our formation; by natural birth is no less noteworthy than Adam's formation from the dust. With David, we need to say, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14; also Genesis 2:7).

The image and likeness of God is SPIRIT. God is SPIRIT. We are a spirit. We are housed in a body and possess a soul. If God is Spirit as the Word says He is, then the image and likeness of us, are spirit as well. As we read in verse 27, both man and woman are spirit.

We will find as we continue this study that woman is just as responsible for the care and nurture of her spirit as man is. This is directly opposite of what some religions teach today. We are individual spirits, but our flesh is one with our spouse.

Between verses 25 and 26 there is a separation. If you will notice after verse 25, God closed that creation with His statement, "And God said that it was good". Man has a preeminence that no other creation has. Mankind, male and female, are made in the image of God. God created all the rest for mankind to rule over.

Man, unlike all of the other creations, was created with a mind and will. Even to the point that God allows man's will to choose God or Satan. Man alone was created with power to make decisions. Man alone was made to commune or fellowship with God.

God is Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. He made man ruler of the earth.

Because of man's fallen state from his magnificent beginning (image of God), God the word, Jesus, took on a body and redeemed mankind and restored them to their original state of standing with God. The Bible says that when we get to heaven, we will recognize Jesus because we will be like Him.

We will be restored to the image and likeness of God. We will not be God. We will be a shadow or image of the real thing. Our spirit will be in accord with His Spirit. We will be His servants or subordinates.

You see God gave mankind dominion over this earth. Mankind, through an act of his will, turned this dominion over to Satan, as we will see in a later lesson.

You know our whole country is under a president, and then smaller areas or states are under dominion of a governor, and then even smaller areas under a mayor. However, the mayor is under the governor on important matters; and all are under the president on the most important matters.

You see, God is over all. We are His subordinates. Even though we shall rule and reign with Him, we will not be His equal.

Genesis 1:28 "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

"Dominion over": This defined man's unique relation to creation. Man was God's representative in ruling over the creation. The command to rule separated him from the rest of living creation and defined his relationship as above the rest of creation (Psalm 8:6-8).

Dominion is not the content by the consequence of the divine image (1 Cor. 6:3; 15:27-28; Heb. 2:7-10); James 3:7-8).

"And God blessed them:" To "bless" is not only to bestow a gift, but also to assign a function.

"Replenish" is better translated "fill the earth," indicating the first time. It cannot be used in support of the refashioning of an already judged earth, for it always means to fill something the first time.

"Blessed": This second blessing (1:22), involved reproduction and dominion.

"Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth": God, having just created the universe, created His representative (rule over) and representation (image and likeness). Man would fill the earth and oversee its operation. "Subdue" does not suggest a wild and unruly condition for the creation because God Himself pronounced it "good."

Rather, it speaks of a productive ordering of the earth and its inhabitants to yield its riches and accomplish God's purposes.

In this verse, we see that mankind did not have to take dominion. The dominion was given to him by God.

So many people associate sex of any kind (even the marriage bed), as the sin that caused the fall of man. This verse above proves this is not so. Mankind was commanded of God to be fruitful and multiply long before the sin in the Garden of Eden. The sin in the garden was disobedience to God.

Verses 29-30: "I have given ... for meat": Prior to the curse (3:14-19), both mankind and beasts were vegetarians.

Genesis 1:29 "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."

"Meat" meant "food" in the early seventeenth century, when the KJV was translated. No actual animal flesh was condoned until after the Flood in Genesis 9:3.

God provided the means for mankind's needs from the very beginning. Everything that God created here on the earth was directly or indirectly for the use of man. Even the food for the animals would ultimately be of use to man as we read in verse 30.

Genesis 1:30 "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so."

"God saw" is an expression in anthropomorphic terms (human characteristics or behavior), relating His evaluation of His Creation (6:5; 11:5). Now at the end of His Creation work, He says "it was very good," "exceedingly good" and not simply "good" as before in the chapter.

Genesis 1:31 "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

There are several things the spirit must understand in the Scripture above. The number six means man. The verse reiterates again that God made all of it, and that everything was good. It also establishes the six days of work that we will see all through the Bible.

Genesis Chapter 1 Second Continued Questions

1. Why did God create the heavens, the earth, the seas, and populate them?

2. What does the fourteenth chapter of John tell us that Jesus is doing now, in heaven?

3. What was God's plan from the beginning?

4. What did God tell the fowl and fish to do after He blessed them?

5. What was created on day five?

6. Which was made first man or beast?

7. Why?

8. What particular thing should we note in the creation of animals?

9. What one word in verse 26 indicates plural?

10. What things was man to have dominion over? Name five.

11. The image and likeness of God is what?

12. Why?

13. Are women a spirit, or just men?

14. What is directly opposite of what some religions teach about women today?

15. What separates mankind from all other creations?

16. Who was made with power to choose?

17. What was the magnificent beginning of man?

18. Who took on a body and redeemed mankind?

19. Is the teaching that man will become a god correct?

20. What will mankind actually be to God?

21. Who is over all?

22. Did mankind have to take dominion?

23. Was a sex act the sin in the garden?

24. What was the sin in the garden?

25. Everything made was directly or indirectly for what?

26. What did God say about everything that He had created?

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Genesis 2

Genesis Chapter 2

Verses 1-3: These words affirm that God had completed His work. Four times it is said that He finished His work, and 3 times it is said that this included all His work. Present processes in the universe reflect God sustaining that completed creation, not more creation (Heb. 1:3).

Genesis 2:1 "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."

The process of "filling" and "forming" is now "finished" (1:1).

"Host of them" refers to all the things that God created, as opposed to stars in Nehemiah 9:6 and angels in 1 Kings 22:19.

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished": Perfected and completed in the space of six days, gradually, successively, in the manner before related; by the word and power of God they were on the first day created out of nothing, but they were not perfected, beautified, and adorned, and filled, until all the creatures in them were made.

"And all the host of them", (of the heavens and the earth), the host of heavens are the sun, moon, and stars, often so called in Scripture. And the host of the earth are the plants, herbs, and trees, the fowls, fishes, animals, and man, were finished, brought to completion.

No permanent change has ever since been made in the course of the world. No new species of animals been formed, no law of nature repealed or added to. They could have been finished in a moment as well as in six days, but the work of creation was gradual for the instruction of man, as well, perhaps, as of higher creatures (Job 38:7).

And these are like hosts or armies, very numerous, and at the command of God, and are marshaled and kept in order by him; even some of the smallest of creatures are his army, which are at his beck and call, and he can make use of to the annoyance of others, as particularly the locusts are called, Joel 2:11.

Verse 1 of chapter 2 tells us a lot. Heavens is plural meaning more than one. There are three:

(1) Earth's Atmosphere, which is the immediate sky (Genesis 2:19; 7:3, 23; Psalms 8:8, etc.);

(2) Outer Space, the starry heavens (Deuteronomy 17:3; Jeremiah 8:2; Matthew 24:29);

(3) Where God and the holy angels (and creatures), and spirits of just men dwell. It's called "The heaven of heavens, or the third heaven" (Deut. 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalms 115:16; 148:4).

Finished means nothing else remains to be done. Just as Jesus said on the cross "It is finished" the work was and is completed.

Genesis 2:2 "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made."

"He rested" employs the root for "sabbath" that later relates to Israel (in Exodus 16:29; 20:10-11; and Deut. 5:15). It implies He stopped or desisted from His creating work. No weariness is suggested. John 5:17 indicates the Father is always at work.

"Ended ... rested": God certainly did not rest due to weariness; rather, establishing the pattern for man's work cycle, He only modeled the need for rest. Later, the Sabbath ordinance of Moses found its basis in the creation week (Exodus 20:8-11).

The Sabbath was God's sacred ordained day in the weekly cycle. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man" (Mark 2:27), and Genesis 2:3 stated that God "sanctified" or set apart the Sabbath day because He rested in it. Later, it was set aside for a day of worship in the Mosaic Law (see note on Exodus 20:8).

Hebrews 4:4 distinguishes between physical rest and the redemptive rest to which it pointed. Colossians 2:16 makes it clear that the Mosaic "Sabbath" has no symbolic or ritual place in the New Covenant. The church began worshiping on the first day of the week to commemorate the resurrection of Christ (Acts 20:7).

In verses 1 and 2, God is Elohim. Remember Elohim is a plural word.

This is also the rest that God speaks of for the Christian. Total cessation from the struggles of life.

Genesis 2:3 "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."

"Sanctified": that is, He set it apart from the other days (Exodus 20:11).

God blessed that seventh day for mankind, to give mankind rest. Jesus said "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath" (in Mark 2:27). You see, even in the day of rest that God set up; He still had the needs of mankind at heart. He knew our bodies would wear out, if we did not have 1 day in 7 for rest.

"Seven", as we have mentioned over and over again, means spiritually complete.

Sanctified means that God Himself made it holy. He set the seventh day aside and declared it holy. When we are sanctified, it means we have been set aside by God and made holy by Him. We are not made holy by what we have done, but by what He has done.

When we see the example that God did not rest until His work was finished, we see what He expects from us, when He returns. He expects to find us working, trying to get one more saved before the trumpet blows.

In verses 2:4 - 4:26, we see the history of the heavens and the earth (verse 4).

"Verses 4-25": This section fills in the details of man's creation on day six. How did Moses obtain this account, so different from the absurd fictions of the pagans? Not from any human source, for man was not in existence to witness it. Not from the light of reason, for though intellect can know the eternal power of the Godhead (Rom. 1:18-20), and that God made all things, it cannot know how.

None but the Creator Himself could give this data and, therefore, it is through faith that one understands that the worlds were formed by the Word of God (Heb. 11:3). Genesis 5:1 indicates there may have been a "book" (or table) of the histories relating to Adam, to which Moses had access under inspiration.

Verses 4-7 "Generations" is the first of 10 section-headings in Genesis (5:2; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1; 37:2), which may be better understood as narrating the "histories" or "stories" of various people or events. Nowhere in Genesis does the word include the birth of the individual of various people or events. Nowhere in Genesis does the word include the birth of the individual (except in 25:19, where Isaac is mentioned as the son of Abraham).

Genesis 2:4 "These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,"

"In the day" is an expression conveying the idea "when the Lord God made." "Made" is asah, used synonymously with bara (1:1).

"Lord" is likely pronounced "Yahweh." It is the most significant name for God in the Old Testament, appearing 6,823 times. The name refers to God as the self-existent active One, as it is related to the verb "to be" (in Exodus 3:14).

It also indicates Israel's Redeemer (in Exodus 6:6). This name is associated with God's holiness (in Leviticus 11:44-45), His hatred of sin (in Genesis 6:3-7), and His graciousness in providing redemption for all (in Isaiah 53:1, 5-6, and 10).

"God" (Elohim), which is used to the exclusion of other names for God (in chapter 1), indicates His omnipotence (all powerful), whereas this name emphasizes His care and personal concern for His Creation and His intimate and close relationship to it. Beginning with verse 4, there is a change in the narrative's flow as it centers on the garden just before the arrival of "man".

Jehovah Elohim (Lord God), was first used here.

Genesis 2:5 "And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground."

"And every plant of the field, before it was in the earth": That is, God made it, even he who made the heavens and the earth; for these words depend upon the preceding, and are in close connection with them; signifying that the plants of the field, which were made out of the earth on the third day.

These were made before any were planted in it, or any seed was sown therein from whence they could proceed, and therefore must be the immediate production of divine power: and every herb of the field before it grew: those at once sprung up in perfection out of the earth, before there were any that budded forth, and grew up by degrees to perfection, as herbs do now.

"For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth": so that the production of plants and herbs in their first formation could not be owing to that, since on the third day when they were made; there was no sun to exhale and draw up the waters into the clouds, in order to be let down again in showers of rain.

"And there was not a man to till the ground": Man was not created till the sixth day, and therefore could have no concern in the cultivation of the earth, and of the plants and herbs in it; but these were the produce of almighty power, without the use of any means.

Can't you see this is an unfolding of the short statement said about the creation in verse 1?

Genesis 2:6 "But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground."

"A mist from the earth": "Mist" should be translated "flow." It indicates that water came up from beneath the ground as springs and spread over the whole earth in an uninterrupted cycle of water.

After the fall, rain became the primary means of watering the earth and allowed for floods and droughts that did not exist originally. Rains also allowed for God to judge through floods and droughts.

Some relate this word to an Akkadian root meaning "canals," "subterranean waterways," or "floodways," and not "mist," which is mere conjecture. The root verb of verse sixth, "watered" is used in verse 10 for a find of irrigation relating to the four rivers.

The verb "rise up" is used of the Nile River in Amos 8:8 and 9:5. As described in verse 15, keeping the garden well-irrigated and watered for the special types of plants was part of Adam's work.

Genesis 2:7 "And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

"Formed man": Many of the words used in this account of the creation of man picture a master craftsman at work shaping a work of art to which he gives life (1 Cor. 15:45). This adds detail to the statement of fact in 1:27 (1 Tim. 2:13). Psalm 139:14. Made from dirt, a man's value is not in the physical components that form his body, but in the quality of life which forms his soul (see Job 33:4).

The verb is used on occasion for the "potter" (Jer. 18:2). It expresses the relation of a craftsman to his material, connoting skill (Psalm 94:9), and a sovereignty which man forgets at his peril (Isa. 29:16; Jer. 18:4). Here is the "potter" par excellence, setting the design and pattern.

The corporeal part (physical human body), was "the dust of the ground" (which is not a symbol of the animal kingdom from which Adam evolved; note its use in 3:19), and the non-corporeal part was "the breathe of life. The word "breath" (Hebrew ruach), is "spirit." "Life" is a plural, but Hebrew frequently uses the plural without meaning a numerical plural.

"Living soul" (Hebrew nepesh chayah) should be translated "living creature" as the same phrase appears in 1:21-24 applied to animals. Here the reference stands for the entire person, and is not used in just the metaphysical, theological sense in which we tend to use the term "soul" today.

In the Old Testament, the word "soul", among other uses, refers to the whole person. It identifies something that cannot be defined materially and that is therefore distinct from the body (Isaiah 10:18). The soul is that part of us that is life. It is incorporeal existence.

At the creation of Adam, man did not have a soul but he became a soul, and the life-principle was the breath or Spirit of God (verse 7). Death is described as the soul's departing from the body (35:18). The fundamental desire of a Christian's soul should be for a deeper fellowship and communion with God (Psalm 25:1) (Gen. 2:7; Gen. 1:26).

So many religious people of our day are confused about this one verse. Somehow they seem to overlook the break between the words "breath of life" and "man became a living soul". You see if that statement had ended at life, man would be alive.

Man, is in fact, that breath of life that God breathed into Him. This breath of life that God breathed into the body is what man is. It is the spirit. The body is the house that the spirit lives in.

Right now, you are probably thinking, "well, where does the sentence (man became a living soul), come in?" If the spirit of man lived in this house called a body and had no soul, there would be no conflict; but you see, there is a conflict. The spirit wants to be in control, and the body wants to be in control. Control of what? The soul which is the will of man.

The Bible says there is a war going on constantly between the flesh and the spirit. Why would that be, unless they were trying to take control of something? That something is the soul or will of mankind. We are a spirit, housed in a body and either the spirit or the flesh (body), controls the soul (will).

Mankind did not just slither into existence by evolution, but was rather created by a loving God in His own likeness. The difference between man and beast is the power to reason and have a will.

Genesis 2:8 "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."

"Garden eastward in Eden": The Babylonians called the lush green land from which water flowed edenu; today, the term "oasis" describes such a place. This was a magnificent garden paradise, unlike any the world has seen since, where God fellowshipped with those He created in His image.

The exact location of Eden is unknown; if "toward the east" was used in relationship to where Moses was when he wrote, then it could have been in the area of Babylon, the Mesopotamian Valley.

The Septuagint has paradeisos, "parkland," hence paradise for garden. It was only a part of Eden (verses 10-14). It was literally "off east," most likely in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), since two of the four rivers are the well-known Tigris and the Euphrates (verse 14).

The word for Eden means "delight enjoyment" and is associated with paradise (in Revelation 2:7). Eden is a symbol of great fertility (in Isaiah 51:3, Ezekiel 36:35; and Joel 2:3). So here it may indicate a state of unbroken fellowship between God and man. The expulsion from the garden was more than a physical move (3:24).

We see again; Jehovah Elohim here planted a garden. He is always concerned about the needs of man. This garden was a protected place where God could fellowship with man, and where the needs of man would be met, (a heaven on earth).

Some believe this garden was in the Holy Land we know today. It really doesn't matter where it was. Just know it existed and was made by God for man. God has always prepared a special place for mankind so that He might fellowship with his people.

Genesis 2:9 "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

"Pleasant" is the same root as covet in the Ten Commandments (in Exodus 20:17; compare 3:6), where it is "a tree to be desired to make one wise." We tend to covet things that are pleasant to the sight (Joshua 7:21 and Achan's sin).

"Tree of life": A real tree, with special properties to sustain eternal life. It was placed in the center of the garden, where it must have been observed by Adam, and its fruit had it been eaten by him, thus would have sustained his life. Such a tree, symbolic of eternal life, will be in the new heavens and new earth (see note on Rev. 22:2).

"Tree of knowledge" (2:16-17; 3:1-6, 11, 22). It was perhaps given that title because it was a test of obedience by which our first parents were tried, whether they would be good or bad, obey God or disobey His command.

"Tree of life ... and the tree of knowledge of good and evil": These were two literal trees to which God gave some special significance. The tree of life seems to symbolize the fixed moral state (3:22). Thus, partaking of this tree would be a blessing only for those already glorified (Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14).

There are 3 steps for a Christian to take. First when they are initially saved after turning their life over to Christ, they are justified (just as they had never sinned). Second, they are sanctified which means they are set apart by God for His use and; Third, the glorification takes place after a Christian dies as they become perfect like Christ was perfect as they enter God's presence.

­­­­­­Good and evil sometimes serves as an idiom of universality (Num. 24:13; 2 Sam. 13:22), but in this context, it has a moral significance.

God, not only thought of physical needs of mankind, but wanted him to be happy as well. The trees were beautiful as well as functional. Nothing is more beautiful than a peach or apple tree in full bloom. The Garden of Eden became the highest form of heaven on earth. It was beautiful to the eye and took care of all man's needs.

Just as the center of our life must be God for us to have a fulfilling life, the central figure in the garden was the Tree of Life (symbolic of Jesus). The forbidden tree in the garden was the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Even in this beautiful, wonderful garden, man's will was to be perfectly active. As we said before, the thing that separates mankind from the animals is the fact of his will. He can choose to do good, or choose to do evil.

We read in our Bible, that we cannot break the law until there is a law to break. It seems Adam was in a blissful state of no temptation at this point. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil perhaps had something to do with opening our eyes to the law of God, (it made us aware of Him).

It is interesting as we move on down in chapter 2, that Adam had never eaten of the Tree of Life, even though it was in the garden for him. It might be symbolic to make us see that we must partake of Jesus Christ's salvation and eternal life for ourselves. It can be available, but if we do not partake of it for ourselves, we will lose out, too, the same as Adam did.

He was partaking of the fruit on the outer edge, but never partook of the Tree in the center (Jesus), which would give him eternal life. We Christians must be careful not to just nibble around the edges of Christianity. We must get to the center and eat of this Tree of Life to be pleasing to God. Part time religion will not get us into heaven. We must have Jesus as the very center of our lives.

Genesis Chapter 2 Questions

1. What did Jesus say about the Sabbath?

2. What does "sanctified" mean?

3. In what condition does God want to find us when He returns?

4. Where is Jehovah Elohim (Lord God) used first?

5. Where did the earth get the moisture it needed to grow plants?

6. What was man's body formed from?

7. Where did man get his breath of life?

8. And man became what?

9. What is the breath of life?

10. Why do we have a body?

11. What are the spirit and the body fighting for?

12. What is the difference between man and beast?

13. Where was the garden located?

14. The exact location of the garden is not important. What two things are?

15. Where was the Tree of Life located in the garden?

16. What must happen for us to have a fulfilling life?

17. Where do we see Jesus (symbolically) in the garden?

18. What tree had Adam not eaten from, besides the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

Genesis Chapter 2 Continued

Genesis 2:10 "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads."

"Out of": That is to say "the source." And likely refers to some great spring gushing up inside the garden from some subterranean reservoir. There was no rain at that time.

This river spoken of here is in Revelation as well.

Revelation 22:1 "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."

You see, there is a physical river, and there is a spiritual river.

Genesis 2:11 "The name of the first [is] Pison: that [is] it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where [there is] gold;"

"Pison ... Havilah": Locations are uncertain. This represents pre-Flood geography, now dramatically altered.

Genesis 2:12 "And the gold of that land [is] good: there [is] bdellium and the onyx stone."

"Bdellium": A gum resin. This refers more to appearance than color, i.e., it had the appearance of a pale resin.

Genesis 2:13 "And the name of the second river [is] Gihon: the same [is] it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia."

"Gihon ... Ethiopia": The river location is uncertain. Compared to older days Cush would be modern-day Ethiopia.

Genesis 2:14 "And the name of the third river [is] Hiddekel: that [is] it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] Euphrates."

"Hiddelkel ... Assyria": The post-Flood Tigris River runs northwest to southeast east of the city of Babylon through the Mesopotamian Valley.

"Euphrates": A river that runs parallel (northwest to southeast), to the Tigris and empties into the Persian Gulf after joining the Tigris.

The Euphrates is a river still known today, and many people try to locate the Garden of Eden by these few locations mentioned above.

No one has ever decided for sure where Eden was located. Of course, this happened before the continents broke apart in the days of Peleg, so the locations have probably moved somewhat. It really doesn't matter where the garden was, or even is today. The garden that should concern us is in heaven.

Genesis 2:15 "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."

"Dress it and to keep it": Work was an important and dignified part of representing the image of God and serving Him, even before the Fall (Rev. 22:3).

"Dress" is from the root meaning "to serve, work," translated "till" in verse 5 (Deut. 15:19; Isa. 19:9; Ezek. 48:18).

"Keep" The verb means "take care of, guard," involving tending to or keeping things such as a garden (verse 15), a flock (30:31), or a house (2 Sam. 15:16). In this context, it does not imply to guard from Satan.

The literal translation of "took the man" in the Scripture above, is made him to rest in the garden. We are led into a life of happiness through the liberty we receive through Jesus. Not liberty to do evil, but liberty to do good.

Genesis 2:16 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:"

God's command was "thou mayest freely eat," and this included "every tree" except the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil" in the next verse. The Hebrew conveys very emphatically "you may freely eat [strengthened permission construction] to your heart's content," emphasizing the freedom and permission of a loving, gracious God.

Note Satan's subtle assertion in 3:1 as he focused on the "one" tree they could not eat from. In so doing, he excluded the abundance in this verse.

Genesis 2:17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

To "die" has the basic idea of separation. It can mean spiritual separation, physical separation, and/or eternal separation. At the moment of their sin, Adam and Eve died spiritually, but because God was merciful they did not die physically until later (5:5). There is no reason given for this prohibition, other than it was a test (see note on verse 9).

There was nothing magical about that tree, but eating from it after it had been forbidden by God would indeed give man the knowledge of evil, since evil can be defined as disobeying God. Man already had the knowledge of good.

"Thou shalt not eat" is in strongest Hebrew form of prohibition.

"Surely die": The construction emphasizes in the strongest way the certainty of death upon eating. (Note 3:4 and Satan's "Ye shall not surely die.")

In the Bible there are three deaths:

(1) Physical death, separation of body and spirit;

(2) Spiritual death, separation of the individual from God; and

(3) Eternal death, the final estate of the lost person in the "lake of fire" (Rev. 20:10, 14; termed the "second death," separation from God forever).

So many false religions base their belief on the few words above. Adam truly brought physical death upon all of mankind when he ate of this Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam's peace died, Adam's hopes died, and Adam's innocence died. His mind was troubled because he now knew that his body would return to the dust.

The error is in believing that the spirit of Adam died. The spirit never died. The spirit never dies. It is eternal. It will live either in heaven or hell. It is eternal. It did not mean that our bodies in their present condition will live forever. It meant Jesus had purchased our eternity for us.

This day, then, that you shall surely die just means that Adam brought physical death to all mankind, and Jesus brought life eternal. The wages of sin is death. Jesus paid the wages and bought everlasting life for each of us if we believe.

Read 1 Corinthians chapter 15 from verse 44 on.

Some people do not believe that God ever threatens punishment, but that is exactly what He did in the Scripture above.

Genesis 2:18 "And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him."

"Not good": When God saw His creation as very good (1:31), He viewed it as being to that point the perfect outcome to His creative plan. However, in observing man's state as not good, He was commenting on his incompleteness before the end of the sixth day because the woman, Adam's counterpart, had not yet been created.

The words of this verse emphasize man's need for a companion, a helper and an equal. He was incomplete without someone to complement him in fulfilling the task of filling, multiplying and taking dominion over the earth. This points to Adam's inadequacy, not Eve's insufficiency (1 Cor. 11:9). Woman was made by God to meet man's deficiency (1 Tim. 2:14).

The negative is extremely emphatic. It is not the construction for expressing a mere negative preference. In the context of chapters 1 and 2, it is the only thing "not good." After man and woman are completed, God says (in 1:31), it was "very [exceedingly] good." God's plan for man was less than ideal and not complete without woman, the emphasis being on "alone".

"Help" is a word frequently used in reference to the Lord in the Psalms (10:14; 22:11; 28:7; 46:1; 54:4; 72:12; 86:17; 119:173, 175; 121:1-2). Thus, it is not a degrading position for the woman. The verb form basically means to aid or supply that which the individual cannot provide for himself.

The Septuagint translates it "boethos", a word the New Testament uses in the sense of "physician" (Matt. 15:25; Mark 9:22, 24; Acts 16:9; Rev. 12:16). It conveys the idea of aiding someone in need, such as the oppressed. Certainly, a godly woman meets this need of man.

"Meet" Comes from the Hebrew word meaning "opposite." Literally it is "according to the opposite of him," meaning that she will compliment and correspond to him. The Septuagint has kat auton ("according to him"). This relates to a "norm" or "standard." She is to be equal to and adequate for man and not on the animal level of being.

Notice why God made the woman as a help mate for the man. The wedding vows say, they two shall become one flesh.

You see, they (husband and wife) are one. They are to be in one accord. Notice they are not one spirit; they are one flesh. This order of man and woman is pertaining to the flesh. Woman's flesh was flesh made for man; her spirit is for God, if she wills it.

Genesis 2:19 " And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof."

This was not a new creation of animals. They were created before man on the fifth and sixth days (1:20-25). Here the Lord God was calling attention to the fact that He created them "out of the ground" as He did man. But man, who was a living soul in the image of God was to name them, signifying his rule over them.

"Call": God delegated authority to man, since the act of naming the animals shows lordship or dominion (used of God in chapters 1 and in Psalm 8:4-6). It was also a spiritual exercise to prepare Adam and to make him aware of his aloneness as verse 20 indicates. None of the animals "corresponded to" him.

"Adam" was the first man and the forefather of the entire human race. He lived a total of 930 years (Gen. 5:5). He was created in a state of innocence and in the image of God. He was also created with the appearance of age, with a high level of intelligence, and with the ability to communicate with God.

When he and his wife, Eve, fell into sin (chapter 3), they brought the curse of sin on the entire human race. Adam also appears in nine references in the New Testament in regard to his headship over the human race. (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 5:12-21).

You see, Adam was to rule over all the animals, and he named them for what their usefulness to him would be.

Genesis 2:20 "And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him."

"Adam" (related to Hebrew adamah, "ground"), literally means "earth man." It is applied to mankind in general, and to the first created man specifically. Adam was a historical person and was the Father of mankind.

"Gave names to": Naming is an act of discerning something about the creature so as to appropriately identify it and also an act of leadership or authority over that which was named. There is no kinship with any animal since none was a fitting companion for Adam.

Man cannot communicate with animals. Animals are not on the same level as man. They do not have souls or reasoning power as man does. The man was lonesome.

Genesis 2:21 "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;"

"One of his ribs": This could also be "sides," including surrounding flesh ("flesh of my flesh," verse 23). Divine surgery by the Creator presented no problems. This would also imply the first act of healing in Scripture.

"Ribs": It may mean "rib" or "side" (of the ark, a building, or of leaves of a door). Here it would mean from "his side" or "from his ribs" to convey the plural number. Verse 23 indicates it probably involves flesh and bone.

God operated on Adam under God's anesthetic and removed one of his ribs.

Genesis 2:22 "And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man."

"Brought her unto the man": Here a loving Father presents the bride to the man.

Genesis 2:23 "And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

"Bone of my bones": Adam's poem focuses on naming the delight of his heart in this newly found companion. The man (ish) names her "woman" (ishah) because she had her source in him (the root of the word "woman" is "soft"). She truly was made of bone from his bones and flesh from his flesh (1 Cor. 11:8).

The English words man/woman sustain the same relationship as the Hebrew words, hinting at that original creation.

After noticing all of the animals, Adam now at long last (This is now, or "this time"), finds that which "corresponds to" him. The close association of the man and woman is conveyed by their names, since she is "called Woman" [ishah] "because she was taken out of Man" (ish). Adams's act of naming his wife reinforces his leadership and authority over her (God's naming in chapter 1 and 2:19-20).

You see, again the flesh and bones of woman are of man, not the spirit. God took the woman from man's side next to his heart, not from his heel bone for him to walk on, not from his head to rule over, but from his side to walk with him.

A man and woman should walk together side by side, not divided; they two against the whole world, if necessary. Her name was woman (taken from man).

Genesis 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

"Leave ... cleave unto his wife": The marital relationship was established as the first human institution. The responsibility to honor one's parents (Exodus 20:12), does not cease with leaving and the union of husband with wife (Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:7-8; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31), but does represent the inauguration of a new and primary responsibility.

"One flesh" carries the sense of a permanent or indissoluble union, so that divorcee was not considered (2:16). "One flesh" speaks of a complete unity of parts making a whole, e.g., one cluster, many grapes (Num. 13:23), or one God in 3 persons (Deut. 6:4); thus, this marital union was complete and whole with two people.

This also implies their sexual completeness. One man and one woman constitute the pair to reproduce. The "one flesh" is primarily seen in the child born of that union, the one perfect result of the union of two. Use of this (in Matt. 19:5-6; Mark 10:8; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31). Permanent monogamy (married to one person), was and continues to be God's design and law for marriage.

"Therefore" indicates a reasoned conclusion in light of Adam's joy at finding a mate.

"Leave": Here the man leaves, but note (Psalm 45:10-15).

"Cleave" is a strong verb, meaning "join, stick to." The two verbs "leave" and "cleave," may be subordinated in the following way: "Let a man forsake, or abandon, his farther and his mother in order that he may cleave unto his wife and in order that they might become one flesh." If he does not leave, he cannot cleave, nor can he become or "be one flesh."

God's ideal plan for marriage is one man for one woman for one lifetime. God's pattern for marital happiness is evident when a man loves and leads his family, with children who obey and reverence their parents (Eph. 6:1-4), with a wife who respects and supports her husband's leadership (Eph. 5:32-33).

A mutually supportive attitude must characterize both husband and wife if they are to succeed in building a harmonious home.

Marriage is so important in the mind of God that it was the first of three divine institutions and was patterned to illustrate Christ's love for the church. Christians should therefore do their part in contributing to the success of the family. (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:22 - 6:4; Matt. 19:3).

Genesis 2:25 "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."

"Both naked ... not ashamed": With no knowledge of evil before the Fall, even nakedness was shameless and innocent. They found their complete gratification in the joy of their one union and their service to God. With no inward principle of evil to work on, the solicitation to sin had to come from without, and it did.

Their outward nakedness was a sign of their integrity. They lived and moved without guilt, shame, or fear of exploitation or threat. Naked in the Hebrew sounds like the word subtile (in 3:1), thus tying the two chapters together. Satan will concentrate his shrewdness on their integrity.

So many problems in young marriages today are caused by interference from parents who are not willing to cut the apron strings and let their children form families of their own. I believe this happened a lot because the parents are disappointed in the lives they have made for themselves, and are trying to live again in their children.

The order we should put our lives in is: God first, husband or wife next, and then other members of the family.

This "nakedness" spoken of here was probably literal and figurative. Adam and Eve were bathed in innocence. They were not aware that they were naked, because they had not eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Husbands and wives even today should be so close that there will be no secrets. We should truly try to walk without deceit.

Genesis Chapter 2 Continued Questions

1. The river that went out of Eden turned into how many heads?

2. What is meant by "became into four heads"?

3. Name the four rivers?

4. Where is the first mention of gold?

5. What was said of the gold?

6. When did the continents break apart?

7. Where is the garden we should be interested in locating?

8. What is our liberty that we have in Jesus?

9. What would happen to man if he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

10. What kind of death did Adam bring?

11. Does the spirit ever die?

12. What 3 types of death are mentioned in the bible?

13. For what purpose did God make woman?

14. Woman's flesh was made for man. Is her spirit the man's also?

15. Who named the animals?

16. What does the name Adam mean?

17. Why were the animals not enough company for man?

18. What was the state of man when God removed his rib?

19. What was the woman made of?

20. Why was she called woman?

21. How were the woman and man dressed at the beginning?

22. What order should be in our lives?

23. Man should __________ his family and __________ to his wife.

24. What is God's plan for an ideal marriage?

25. What was their nakedness a sign of?

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Genesis 3

Genesis Chapter 3

Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

"The serpent": The word means "snake." The apostle John identified this creature as Satan (Rev. 12:9; 20:2), as did Paul (2 Cor. 11:3). The serpent, a manifestation of Satan, appears for the first time before the fall of man.

The rebellion of Satan, therefore, had occurred sometime after 1:31 (when everything in creation was good), but before 3:1.

See (Ezek. 28:11-15) for a possible description of Satan's dazzling beauty and (Isaiah 14:13-14), for Satan's motivation to challenge God's authority (1 John 3:8). Satan, being a fallen angel and, thus, a supernatural spirit, had possessed the body of a snake in its pre-Fall form (3:14 for post-Fall form).

The serpent was a creature made by God but used by Satan (John 8:44); 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:9; 20:2).

"More subtle" (so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe): Subtlety is a positive virtue when rendered "prudent" (Prov. 12:16, 23; 14:8, 15, 18; 22:3). It is negative when rendered "crafty" (2:25; Job 5:12; 15:5). In the prologue of Proverbs (1:4), one of the goals of the book is to "give subtilty [subtlety] to the simple" (Matthew 10:16).

"Unto the woman": She was the object of his attack, being the weaker one and needing the protection of her husband. He found her alone and unprotected by Adam's experience and counsel. 2 Tim. 3:6. Though sinless, she was temptable and seducible.

"Yea, hath God said": In effect Satan said, "is it true that He has restricted you from the delights of this place? This is not like one who is truly good and kind. There must be some mistake." He insinuated doubt as to her understanding of God's will, appearing as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), to lead her to the supposed true interpretation.

She received him without fear or surprise, but as some credible messenger from heaven with the true understanding, because of his cunning.

More contemporarily: "Has God indeed said?" It emphasizes his amazement that God would restrict man's freedom of choice in the garden. Satan centers on a restriction, casting doubt on God's Word, and not emphasizing the fact that God said in 2:16 they might "freely eat" of all the trees.

This temptation, that Eve had, was like many temptations today. You will notice that the serpent did not just come right out and say that God didn't say, or that He did. He just put a question in her mind. You see, God really did not tell Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He told Adam not to eat of the tree.

Eve's information was second hand from Adam, nevertheless, she was aware that they were not to eat of this tree. Most temptation comes in a very tricky way, as Eve's did.

There are some writers that do not believe this was an actual serpent, but the punishment God puts on the serpent would be of no effect if he were not truly a snake.

People who try to do sneaky underhanded things are commonly known as a "snake in the grass", reaching right back to this Scripture where the serpent first got Eve to questioning this statement of God. (Beware of those who are encouraging you to question your relationship with God, or with your church). That is just a clever way to plant doubt.

Verse 2 tells us for sure that the woman knew the restrictions in the garden, even though she did not have firsthand Knowledge.

Verses 2-3: In her answer, Eve extolled the great liberty that they had; with only one exception, they could eat all the fruit.

Genesis 3:2 "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:"

Eve's reply reveals her carelessness with the wording of 2:16, as she belittles the privileges of God by leaving out the word that conveys the sense of "freely eat" and leaves out the word "all".

Genesis 3:3 "But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

"Not ... touch it": An addition to the original prohibition as recorded (Gen. 2:17). Adam may have so instructed her for her protection.

"Neither shall ye touch it": By adding to His command, Eve exaggerates the limitations God had set forth. Or it may just express the idea of consumption, with a parallel phrase used euphemistically of "touching a woman" (in Genesis 20:6; 26:29; Ruth 2:9 and proverbs 6:29).

The "lest ye die" reveals Eve's third error, toning down the penalty and certainty of death for eating. "Lest" expresses a fear of possibly dying when God had already expressed the certainty of it in 2:17 (thou shalt surely die)!

From the above words, we know that Eve knew the location of the tree. She changed (added to), the caution of God (neither shall ye touch it). Her first mistake was listening, and then entering into conversation with him (the serpent).

So many of our problems in our church could be stopped, if we did not enter into conversation with those who are opposed to the church.

The devil has always been sneaky, and his tactics have not changed. The best thing we can do is recognize the enemy and stay away. DO NOT enter into conversation. We have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

Verses 4-5: "Not surly die": Satan, emboldened by her openness to him, spoke this direct lie. This lie actually led her and Adam to spiritual death (separation from God). So Satan, is called a liar and murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).

His lies always promise great benefits (as in verse 5). Eve experienced this result, she and Adam did know good and evil; but by personal corruption, they did not know as God knows in perfect holiness.

Genesis 3:4 "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:"

Here Satan blatantly denies God with the same strong Hebrew expression God used (in 2:17).

Once the serpent had her listening, then he called God a liar (indirectly of course). The devil is the liar, and always has been. God is truth.

Genesis 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

It was technically true that their "eyes" would be "opened" (verses 7 and 22). But the problem was that their eyes were opened to behold all things in the light of their own sinfulness.

"As gods" is better translated "as God," which was true in that they would have a fixed moral nature like they knew evil, but were unable to resist it. There has always been the temptation to be like God. Here it suggests God is holding something back from Adam and Eve.

Again, he came to Eve with a half-truth. Surely her eyes would will be opened, but how horrible an opening. He was thrown out of heaven himself for wanting to be God. The flesh desires power and authority; the flesh must be controlled by the spirit, so as not to sin. Many false teachers today again are saying that man will become God. This has never been true. God alone is God.

Secular humanism in our schools is teaching our children that they are their own god. Satan is bringing a half-truth through our schools and many of our churches today, and we, like Eve, are falling for it. She looked, she saw, she desired. She had lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and worst of all, a desire to be as God.

Genesis 3:6 "And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

"Good ... pleasant ... desired": She decided that Satan was telling the truth and she had misunderstood God, but she didn't know what she was doing. It was not overt rebellion against God, but seduction and deception to make her believe her act was the right thing to do (verse 13). The New Testament confirms that Eve was deceived (2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:14; Rev. 12:9).

"Did eat": A direct transgression with deception (see notes on 1 Tim. 2:13-14).

"When the woman saw": This was an evaluation process of the mind, for the tree "was good for food" (an appeal to appetite, or "lust of the flesh"); it was "pleasant to the eyes" (the same root word used in Exodus 20 in the law against coveting, as "lust of the eyes"); and it was "to be desired to make one wise" (the verb for desired is used in the law in Deut. 5 for coveting, and appeals to "pride of life," 1 John 2:16).

"With her" may imply that the man was near all the time.

You see the lust of her eyes when she looked, the lust of appetite, (she ate), the lust for worldly wisdom (make one wise). She was not satisfied to just ruin her standing with God; she included her husband as well.

Isn't that just the way of the sinner today, not satisfied to fall themselves, trying to drag someone else down with them.

Adam had the choice (he did not have to eat the fruit just because his wife did). He knew the prohibition God had made; he ate the fruit anyway.

Genesis 3:7 "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

"Opened ... knew ...sewed": The innocence noted in 2:25 had been replaced by guilt and shame (verses 8-10), and from then on, they had to rely on their conscience to distinguish between good and their newly acquired capacity to see and know evil.

The sense of guilt is immediate (2:25), and they attempt to make themselves presentable, to cover up their nakedness (verse 21).

As I said before, (part of what the serpent said was true) their eyes were opened to realize the terrible sin they had committed. They suddenly were not innocent (they had sinned). The first awful thing that they discovered, was that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness, as we are about to see.

Genesis 3:8 "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden."

"Voice": Better translated "sound" as it appears in theophanies (a visible manifestation to humankind of God), in the Old Testament (Psalm 18:13; 29:3-9; Jeremiah 25:30; Ezekiel 1:24; Joel 3:16).

God appeared, as before, in tones of goodness and kindness, walking in some visible form (perhaps Shekinah light as He later appeared in Exodus 33:18-23; 34:5-8, 29; 40:34-38). He came not in fury, but in the same condescending way He had walked with Adam and Eve before.

"Cool of the day" may be understood as the "spirit of the day," as the Hebrew word for cool is the same for spirit. The day is a judgment day in the context. No small wonder that as the sound of the Lord God was traversing back and forth in the garden seeking out Adam and Eve, they actively "hid themselves" from His "presence," acknowledging that their intimate fellowship was broken (4:14; Psalm 139:7).

This is the first specific time it is mentioned that Eve heard God's voice. God had come for fellowship. Guilt and shame entered, and man and woman hid from God. Just as it is today, there is no place to hide from God. Be sure, your sin will find you out.

Genesis 3:9 "And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?"

"Where art thou": The question was God's way of bringing man to explain why he was hiding, rather than expressing ignorance about man's location. Shame, remorse, confusion, guilt, and fear all led to their clandestine behavior. There was no place to hide; there never is (see Psalm 139:1-12).

God always seeks out man, in the sense that He solicits a response from His Creation now separated from Him by sin. Thus, God comes asking questions, not making accusations.

Genesis 3:10 "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself."

"Heard thy voice": The sound of 3:8, which probably was God calling for Adam and Eve. Adam responded with the language of fear and sorrow, but not confession.

Adam heard the "sound" of the Lord God and "was afraid" (as most men are afraid of God today), and began the age long process of "hiding himself" from his Maker.

So many times, guilt of sins causes us not to come to God. We feel we have done something so bad, that God will not listen and forgive.

You see, in verse 10, Adam's guilt and sin had caused a separation from God.

Genesis 3:11 "And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"

Adam's sin was evidenced by his new knowledge of the evil of nakedness, but God still waited for Adam to confess to what God knew they had done. The basic reluctance of sinful people to admit their iniquity is here established. Repentance is still the issue. When sinners refuse to repent, they suffer judgment; when they do repent, they receive forgiveness.

Without knowledge of sin there is no guilt association. Here God reminded Adam that his commandment was not just a request, but if disobeyed would be sin.

Genesis 3:12 "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."

Adam blamed the "woman" and God, since God was the one who brought her to Adam (in 2:22).

"The woman whom thou gavest": Adam pitifully put the responsibility on God for giving him Eve. That only magnified the tragedy in that Adam had knowingly transgressed God's prohibition, but still would not be open and confess his sin, taking full responsibility for his action, which was not made under deception (1 Tim. 2:14).

Adam is half accusing God. He is saying if you hadn't given me this woman, I wouldn't have sinned. He was trying to shift the blame to someone else. He was trying to say he really wasn't to blame himself.

Genesis 3:13 "And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."

"The serpent beguiled me": The woman's desperate effort to pass the blame to the serpent, which was partially true (1 Tim. 2:14), did not absolve her of the responsibility for her distrust and disobedience toward God.

Eve was "beguiled" (as 1 Timothy 2:14 confirms; 2 Cor. 11:3). But she did not take responsibility for eating, either. Blame-shifting is another evasive tactic employed by fallen man.

Now that it is too late, the woman realized the serpent had tricked her. She too, did not want to take the blame and tried to push her guilt to the serpent. The difference between her and the man was that she was tricked; the man sinned with full knowledge.

There was a certain comedian, as part of his act, would say the devil made me do it. Excuses never change. We still try to look for a scapegoat, someone else to take the blame for our sins. It just won't work. Each person is responsible for his or her own acts.

We will see in the following verses that, just as sin is individual and each responsible for his own, so is the punishment for sin.

Genesis 3:14 "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:"

"Unto the serpent": The cattle and all the rest of creation were cursed (see Rom. 8:20-23; Jer. 12:4), as a result of Adam and Eve's eating. But the serpent was uniquely cursed by being made to slither on its belly.

It probably had legs before this curse. Now snakes represent all that is odious, disgusting, and low. They are branded with infamy and avoided with fear (Isa. 65:25; Mica 7:17).

(Jeremiah 12:4 and Romans 8:20), indicate that the whole animal kingdom was affected by the Fall and the Edenic curse. The serpent's mobilization may have been changed, and figuratively he was to eat "dust," (idiomatic for subservience), which conveys the idea of being cursed. Isaiah 65:25 indicates the effects will remain in the Millennium.

You see, God did not give the serpent a chance to explain. The serpent, the spirit of Lucifer, had already fallen and been cursed. There was an additional curse pronounced here. (Many believe the serpent went upright before this curse was pronounced). He would now crawl on his belly and eat dirt all the days of his life, (lower than all the others in the animal kingdom). Satan as well as the serpent, was to be bound earthly.

Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

After cursing the physical serpent, God turned to the spiritual serpent, the lying seducer, Satan and cursed him.

"Shall bruise thy head ... shall bruise his heal": This "first gospel" is prophetic of the struggle and its outcome between "your seed" (Satan and unbelievers, who are called the Devil's children in John 8:44), and her seed (Christ, a descendant of Eve, and those in Him), which began in the garden.

In the midst of the curse passage, a message of hope shone forth, the woman's offspring "seed" called "it", is Christ, who will one day defeat the Serpent. Satan could only "bruise" Christ's heel (cause Him to suffer), while Christ will bruise Satan's head (destroy him with a fatal blow).

"It" [or He,"] "shall bruise" [literally "crush'] "thy head, but thou shalt bruise his heal" refers to Christ's bruising on the cross, which led to the eventual crushing of Satan and his kingdom.

Paul, in a passage strongly reminiscent of Genesis 3, encouraged the believers in Rome, "And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Rom. 16:20). Believers should recognize that they participate in the crushing of Satan because, along with their Savior and because of His finished work on the cross, they also are of the woman's seed.

For more on the destruction of Satan (see Heb. 2:14-15; Rev. 20:10).

This verse has long been recognized as the first messianic prophecy of the Bible. Thus, it also contains the first glimpse of the gospel (protoevangelium). It reveals three essential truths:

(1) That Satan is the enemy of the human race, explaining why God put "enmity" [related to the word enemy] "between thee" [Satan] and "the woman";

(2) That He would place a spiritual barrier between "thy seed" (Satan's people), and "her seed" (God's people); and

(3) That the representative seed of the woman (i.e., a human being: Christ), would deliver the deathblow to Satan, but in so doing would be bruised Himself.

Adamic Covenant: The dispensation of conscience was based on Adam's limited experience with good and evil. He should have remembered the positive results of obedience and the disastrous consequences of disobedience. The Adamic covenant was introduced at the beginning of this period.

Under the covenant, the serpent was cursed (verse 14); God promised redemption through the seed of the woman (verse 15); the woman experienced multiplied sorrow and pain in childbearing (verse 16); the earth was cursed (verses 17-18); sorrow, pain, and physical death became part of the experience of life, and labor became burdensome (verse 19).

Man failed under this covenant, degenerating to the point where people did only evil continually (6:5), until God judged them with the Flood (9:12).

This is one of the most important verses in the Bible. This is the promise of Jesus Christ as destroyer of the devil. The very first verse said that the serpent, or Satan, would be the natural enemy of mankind.

This statement truly means Satan is our enemy, but also that the snake is the natural enemy as well. The statement, "between thy seed and her seed" indicated that the enemy of Satan (Jesus), will be of the woman and not of the man. The devil, Satan, or his demons truly do nip at the heels of the Christian, but through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can stomp on his head.

Genesis Chapter 3 Questions

1. How did the serpent approach Eve?

2. Is there a Scripture where God told Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge?

3. Did Eve know not to eat of the tree?

4. What is a common statement called of people who deal trickery or underhanded?

5. What clever way do people get us to doubt our belief in God or our church today?

6. What statement did Eve add to thou shalt not eat?

7. What was Eve's first mistake?

8. What word describes the tactics of Satan?

9. In verse 4 what lie did the serpent tell Eve?

10. The devil is a liar and God is what?

11. What did the serpent say she would be like when she ate of the tree?

12. Why was Lucifer thrown out of heaven?

13. What two things does the flesh desire?

14. What are many false teachers telling the people today?

15. What is secular humanism teaching our children?

16. What 3 things caused Eve to sin?

17. Who did Eve include in her sin?

18. Did Adam have a choice?

19. Why did they sew fig leaves?

20. What part of what the serpent said was true?

21. Where did they hide?

22. When was the first time specifically mentioned that Eve heard God's voice?

23. Where can you hide from God?

24. What 2 things separated Adam from God?

25. Who was Adam trying to blame?

26. Who did Eve blame?

27. Why did God not let the serpent explain?

28. What was the serpent's position in regard to other animals now?

29. Why is chapter 3 verse 15 so important?

30. Who will be the enemy of the serpent?

31. What indicates the virgin birth of Jesus?

Genesis Chapter 3 Continued

Genesis 3:16 "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

"Pain in childbirth": This is a constant reminder that a woman gave birth to sin in the human race and passes it on to all her children. She can be delivered from this curse by raising godly children, as indicated (in 1 Tim. 2:15; see note there).

"Thy sorrow and thy conception": The word for sorrow means "birth pangs" and sounds like the Hebrew word for tree, which is a reminder of the source of this pain in the sin involving the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It also looks forward to the Crucifixion when the curse ultimately will be hung on a tree.

"Thy desire" has been variously interpreted:

(1) A physical desire strong enough to compensate for the pain of childbirth;

(2) Her natural desire to submit to her husband's leadership; or

(3) Perhaps a desire "against" her husband in not being willing to submit to him because of her fallen sinful nature (Eph. 5:22; 1 Tim. 3:4, 11).

"Thy desire ... he shall rule": Just as the woman and her seed will engage in a war with the serpent, i.e., Satan and his seed (verse 15), because of sin and the curse, the man and the woman will face struggles in their own relationship. Sin has turned the harmonious system of God-ordained roles into distasteful struggles of self-will.

Lifelong companions, husbands and wives, will need God's help in getting along as a result. The woman's desire will be to lord it over her husband, but the husband will rule by divine design (Eph. 5:22-25).

This interpretation of the curse is based upon the identical Hebrew words and grammar being used in 4:7 (see note there), to show the conflict man will have with sin as it seeks to rule him.

As we said before, the sin of each one was an individual act, and the punishment also is individual. We too, will be judged individually. We shall stand before Jesus, one at a time. We will stand or fall on our own belief in Him. Not what our parents believe, or not what our husband or wife believe, but on what we believe. God has no grandchildren, just children.

In verse 16, God established the order in the family here on earth. A husband should rule over his wife in the flesh. As I said before, we are all responsible to God for our spirits. this Scripture, (that woman shall suffer in childbirth as her punishment for leading her husband into sin), has to do with the flesh, not the spirit.

God did not curse the woman or the man in the judgment that He spoke on them. He would provide restoration for them through the Savior, Jesus Christ. They would each be allowed to accept that salvation.

Christianity places woman on the same level with man as regarding the gospels.

Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Also, we read the wife is in subjection to the husband in the flesh.

Ephesians 5:22-23 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body."

These Scriptures are trying to help us understand how Jesus is the husband of the church. He is the groom; we are the bride of Christ, if we are believers in him, both male and female.

Genesis 3:17 "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;"

"Because thou hast hearkened": The reason given for the curse on the ground and human death is that man turned his back on the voice of God, to follow his wife in eating that from which God had ordered him to abstain.

The woman sinned because she acted independently of her husband, disdaining his leadership, counsel and protection. The man sinned because he abandoned his leadership and followed the wishes of his wife. In both cases, God's intended roles were reversed.

Adam "obeyed" the voice of Eve and not God (2:17), which was the first marital role reversal.

"Sorrow" is the same word applied to the woman in verse 16. Thus, they shared equally in their punishment.

God was displeased with Adam because he listened to Eve, instead of Him.

God will not allow us to put anything, or anyone, ahead of His commands to us. The favorite excuse of many women for not coming to church is, "My husband wouldn't bring me". Come without him, if you must. He may soon come, too.

In His punishment for Adam, He cursed the ground (not Adam). The ground even today produces only what man works and gets from it. Before, it voluntarily grew. It produces the amount man puts out in effort to make it produce now.

Genesis 3:18 "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;"

In verse 17 God said" "Cursed is the ground for thy sake": God cursed the object of man's labor and made it reluctantly, yet richly, yield his food through hard work.

Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return."

"Return unto the ground": I.e. to die (2:7). Man, by sin, became mortal. Although he did not die the moment he ate (by God's mercy), he was changed immediately and became liable to all the sufferings and miseries of life, to death, and to the pains of hell forever.

Adam lived 930 years (Gen. 5:5).

In these verses above, God told man, that through much opposition from the earthly things, shall he earn a living. I believe it also means that the devil will oppose him on every side, trying to alienate him from God.

The story of the thorns and thistles growing together with the wheat until the end showed that a man will be surrounded in this world by people controlled by Satan. We will have to grow with the Lord in spite of their trying to choke off Christianity.

Man's body truly will return to the earth, because it is of the earth. The spirit of man will not return to the earth, but will be with Jesus in heaven (if we choose to believe in Jesus). God has reminded man of his humble beginning. Just through belief in the Lord Jesus Christ can mankind rise above this humble beginning.

Genesis 3:20 "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living."

"Eve comes from the verb to live. Here is Adam's act of faith, looking to the future with hope. This word sounds like the word used in this verse, "living." Adam seems not only to believe that God spoke the truth, but also to have faith in the salvation God had promised in verses 15 and 16.

This verse above indicated that there were no other people living (except Adam's family), because Adam said his wife was the mother of all living.

Genesis 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."

"Coats of skins": The first physical deaths should have been the man and his wife, but it was an animal, a shadow of the reality that God would someday kill a substitute to redeem sinners.

This is how Yahweh provides clothing for Adam and Eve, after their feeble attempt to cover their nakedness and shame. It is His way of demonstrating that He acknowledges their act of faith in verse 20. The word for skins presupposes the death of an animal and therefore the idea of blood sacrifice is clearly implied.

God loved Adam and Eve. The above Scripture indicates the first animal was sacrificed for man. God, Himself, provided the sacrifice, as He did with Abraham when he was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac. God provided the sacrifice, as God's concern was still the needs of mankind.

Verses 22-23: "And live for ever" (see note on 2:9). God told man that he would surely die if he ate of the forbidden tree. But God's concern may also have been that man not live forever in his pitifully cursed condition.

Taken in the broader context of Scripture, driving the man and his wife out of the garden was an act of merciful grace to prevent them from being sustained forever by the tree of life.

Genesis 3:22 "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:"

"Man is become as one of us" (see note on 1:26). This was spoken out of compassion for the man and woman, who only in limited ways were like the Trinity, knowing good and evil, not by holy omniscience, but by personal experience (Isa. 6:3; Hab. 1:13; Rev. 4:8).

Satan's promise in 3:5 was technically true (see the discussion there).

Genesis 3:23 "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken."

"God sent him forth" as an act of grace as well as judgment.

Genesis 3:24 "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

"Cherubims": Later in Israel's history, two cherubim or angelic figures guarded the ark of the covenant and the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:18-22), where God communed with His people.

"Flaming sword": An unexplainable phenomenon perhaps associated directly with the cherubim or the flaming, fiery Shekinah presence of God Himself.

"To keep" was used in 2:15 for the activities of man. The account relates privileges and responsibilities lost. And the way to the tree of life is guarded. Man's way back to life is not easy; it will be by divine intervention.

In verse 22, the word "us" indicated more than one. (Verses 22-24), were not really intended as a punishment for man, but really so that he would not eat of the tree of life, and live forever in his body that suffered and aged.

Jesus is the Tree of Life, and when we eat of that Tree, being pardoned, our spirits will live forever with Him. Our earthly body will be changed into a heavenly body to house our spirits. This heavenly body will be free of pain, and free from the aging process.

Adam and Eve were doomed to a life of toil and pain; yet, they were looking for a better life beyond the grave where they would be restored to a better place than Eden.

The divine presence in the Cherubims and the flaming swords showed the majesty and authority of God. He could exclude whomever He would. Through Jesus Christ, mankind will be able to re-establish his right to the Tree of Life in heaven.

It is interesting to note the symbolism of the swords. The Bible is spoken of as a two-edged sword. God is also spoken of as a consuming fire. The flaming swords, and the Bible, are the only entrance into the Tree of Life. Through the Bible, we learn that Jesus is the Tree of Life, and only belief in Him can purchase our eternal life with Him.

Genesis Chapter 3 Continued Questions

1. Will husbands and wives be judged together?

2. In verse 16 God established the order of what?

3. Who is head of the home?

4. What was woman's punishment for leading her husband into sin?

5. God did not speak a curse, just a punishment on man and woman, why?

6. We read in Gal. 3:28 as pertaining to the gospel there is neither _____ nor _________ in Christ Jesus pertaining to man and woman.

7. Ephesians tells us that in the flesh wives are subject to whom?

8. What are the Scriptures in Galatians, and Ephesians trying to show us?

9. In verse 17 God did not curse Adam, what did He curse?

10. What is the favorite excuse of woman for not coming to church?

11. Is that a legitimate excuse?

12. In the Scripture "dust thou are and unto dust thou shalt return", what will turn to dust?

13. Man will be surrounded by whom in this world?

14. How is the only way man can rise above his humble beginnings?

15. Why did Adam name his wife Eve?

16. When God made coats of skins for Adam and Eve, what religious significance was this?

17. What word in verse 22 indicated more than one?

18. What two things did God place at the east of the garden of Eden?

19. Was this for punishment?

20. Why did God not want mankind to be able to eat of the tree of life at that time?

21. Our earthly bodies will be changed into what to house our spirits in heaven?

22. The divine presence of the Cherubims and the flaming swords showed what two things of God?

23. How can mankind re-establish his right to the Tree of Life in heaven?

24. What is spoken of as a two edged sword?

25. God is spoken of as________________ ______.

26. What teaches us that Jesus is the Tree of Life?

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Genesis 4

Genesis Chapter 4

Genesis 4:1 "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD."

"Knew Eve his wife": the act of sexual intercourse was considered the only means by which God Himself gave children. He was acknowledged as the sovereign giver of all life.

"Knew" in this context refers to sexual relations. It is also the connecting link to the whole chapter; note the appearance of the word in connection with the tree of knowledge (in verse 1, 17, and 25). The replacing of a son by "knowing" is antithetical to the murder, which is denied in verse 9 by, "I know not."

Some take "from the Lord" as an accusative: "I have gotten a man from the Lord." But the preposition is better, "I have created, acquired, a man with [the help of] Yahweh!" thus Eve sees her generative power as part of the sharing of divine power: "Yahweh formed man; I have formed the second man."

Genesis 4:2 "And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground."

"She again bare his brother": Some think the boys may have been twins, since no time element intervenes between verses 1 and 2.

"Keeper of sheep ... tiller of the ground": both occupations were respectable; in fact, most people subsisted through a combination of both. God's focus was not on their vocation, but on the nature of their respective offerings.

"Brother": This word appears seven times in this passage. The name "Abel" appears seven times and "Cain" 14 times, which heightens the contrast between the two men. "Abel" means "Keeper" and refers to his occupation as a keeper of sheep.

Tilling the ground and keeping the sheep were both honorable trades. It seems both sons worked.

Genesis 4:3 "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD."

"Fruit of the ground": Produce in general.

Verses 4-5: Abel's offering was acceptable (Heb. 11:4), not just because it was an animal, nor just because it was the very best of what he had, nor even that it was the culmination of a zealous heart for God; but, because it was in every way obediently given according to what God must have revealed (though not recorded in Genesis).

Cain, disdaining the divine instruction, just brought what he wanted to bring: some of his crop.

Genesis 4:4 "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:"

"Firstlings ... fat": The best animals.

"Firstling of his flock" refers to the fact that Abel's offering was accepted because it was a blood sacrifice based upon previous knowledge (3:21). Thus, he acknowledged that his sin deserved death and could be covered only by the death of a guiltless sacrifice (Heb. 9:22).

That his lamb was a "firstling" and "fat" may also imply that he gave the best that he had in contrast to Cain's offering. However, it is obvious from the entire account that Abel's offering was "more excellent" (Heb. 11:4) because it was the right kind of offering as well as being made with the right heart attitude.

God would require a firstling of the flock (lamb), sacrifice connected with forgiveness of sins. God required the blood of a lamb for sacrifice. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.

Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

We do not fully understand why this is necessary, but we do understand that from the beginning this was so. God Himself killed an animal and made aprons for Adam and Eve (sacrificing for them). When the law was given, much detail was given about the necessity of a Lamb sacrifice. Cain's offering was earthly as it had no blood sacrifice.

Genesis 4:5 "But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell."

Rather than being repentant for his sinful disobedience, he was hostile toward God, whom he could not kill, and jealous of his brother, whom he could kill (1 John 3:12; Jude 11).

It is a very dangerous thing to get angry with God. God does not have to explain the reason for the things He does. We just have to comply with His wishes. He (Cain), was not just angry with God. He was jealous of his brother. His jealousy drove him to commit another more serious sin. It is dangerous to harbor jealousy. It generally leads to additional sin, even now.

Genesis 4:6 "And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?"

God approached Cain in love and offered him a chance to correct his mistake. Again, God asked convicting questions. He made no accusations.

Genesis 4:7 "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."

God gave Cain the opportunity to do "well" that is, to make the right kind of sacrifice with the right heart attitude. He then warned Cain that an offering of good works would not be accepted.

God reminded Cain that if he had obeyed God and offered the animal sacrifices God had required, his sacrifices would have been acceptable. It wasn't personal preference on God's part, or disdain for Cain's vocation, or the quality of his produce that caused God to reject his sacrifice.

"Sin lieth at the door": God told Cain that if he chose not to obey His commands, ever-present sin, crouched and waiting to pounce like a lion, would fulfill its desire to overpower him (3:16).

God judges the heart. He saw that Cain's heart was full of sin, jealousy, and even murder. God would not require something that was impossible to do. Cain was trying to take a short cut.

He offered what was easy to acquire and would cost him very little. Cain brought an offering of his choice, rather than an offering that would please God. So many times, we choose to do what we want to do, and not what God has called us to do.

When we fall on our faces in failure, we want to blame anyone, or anything, except ourselves for our failure. God has a perfect plan. We are not happy until we fit into that plan.

God even mentions to Cain, that Cain was the firstborn and would actually rule over his brother, if Cain would straighten up and do what was right. God reminded him that, even then, he was plotting in his heart a terrible sin.

Genesis 4:8 "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."

The first murder in Scripture (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51; Heb. 12:24). Cain rejected the wisdom spoken to him by God Himself, rejected doing well, refused to repent, and thus crouching sin pounced and turned him into a killer. (1 John 3:10-12).

"Cain's anger had already been noted in verses 5 and 6. Now, in a fit of anger, he murders Abel. Thus, begins the long history of human violence and man's inhumanity to his fellowman. This murder also had to be a heartbreaking reminder to Adam and Eve that the consequence of sin is death (2:17; Rom. 6:23).

Cain's jealousy had now come to produce a terrible sin. When they were alone (no arbitrator), Cain killed Abel. This terrible sin is prominent in families even today. Statistics tell us that 25% of the murders or 1 out of 4 murders are committed by members of the family, in fact the immediate family.

Brothers are very seldom alike and jealousy springs up many times when parents show a special love for one over the other. There is never a reason to murder. Killing in war, or to defend yourself, is not murder. Jesus said that when you hate your brother that you have committed murder already in your heart.

Genesis 4:9 "And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper?

Cain's insolence and arrogance are evident in his curt response to God's question, "Where is Abel thy brother?" First he lied and then used a play on words to avoid answering the question. "Am I my brother's keeper"; plays on the name Abel, "Keeper."

Cain's sarcasm was a play on words, based on the fact that Abel was the "keeper" of sheep. Lying was the third sin resulting from Cain's attitude of indifference to God's commands. Sin was ruling over him (verse 7).

Cain's answer to God was an angry response. Cain probably thought, if he could get rid of this brother, it would put him in better standing with God (No competition).

How many times today do we hear this cry, "Am I my brother's keeper?" In God's sight, yes, we are our brother's keeper. If we see a brother in need and turn our backs, God will count it against us. The same in reverse is true. If we help others, we will be blessed of God for it. "In as much as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me." (Part of Matt. 25-40)

In Matthew 10, we read in Jesus' own words.

Matthew 10:42 "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."

Yes, we are our brother's and sister's keepers. Some people have the wrong impression about wealthy people. Most of them that I know are very generous people, willing to help when they see a need. It is not their wealth that sends them to hell. It is the worship of their money.

I love the Scripture in 1st Timothy 6:17-19, that explains how a person with wealth should handle what God has entrusted to them.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;" "That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;" "Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

You see, there is not anything wrong with having money. The sin occurs when we put that money ahead of the things of God through greed.

The U.S., as a whole, has one really good thing going for it. It is a charitable nation. We help the suffering of the world. In 1 Peter, it tells it all:

1 Peter 4:8 "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."

Genesis 4:10 "And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."

"Voice ... blood": A figure of speech to indicate that Abel's death was well known to God.

"Thy brother's blood" is plural in Hebrew and may refer to his "seeds" who have been cut off and will never be born. Thus, God's judgment is on those who, by whatever means, abort human life. "Crieth" means crying out for vengeance.

This is the first murder in the Bible. Not only had Adam and Eve lost Abel in physical death, but they had lost Cain (he was a murderer).

This is a strange statement that God made here. (Abel's blood cried out to God from the ground).

Our lives are dependent wholly on the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Then life, in this sense, is in the throne of God to purchase our salvation for us. Without the shedding of blood there is no life, as we already mentioned from Hebrews 9:22.

Genesis 4:11 "And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;"

"Cursed from the earth": A second curse came from God affecting just the productivity of the soil Cain would till. To a farmer like Cain, this curse was severe, and meant that Cain would all his life be a wanderer, "a vagrant and a wanderer" (verses 12, 14).

Cain was now to be "cursed" (the serpent and the ground, 3:24, 17). This was a special curse making it impossible for Cain to be a farmer, his occupation in verse 2.

Genesis 4:12 "When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth."

He would be a "fugitive" (the root meaning to "wander" or "move"), and "vagabond" (denoting a "going back and forth"), conveying the idea of wandering aimlessly. He dwells in the land of Nod ("Wandering"), a word with the same root as vagabond in Hebrew.

There is a little bit of difference in the curse here for Cain, and the one for Adam. Adam, himself, was not cursed, just the earth. But in this instance of Cain, God had spoken the curse on Cain, as well as the ground. This made it doubly hard for the earth to produce for Cain. Cain would move from place to place looking for a more productive field to plant on, but he would not find one.

His crops would fail wherever he was. The blessings of God had been revoked and now there was a curse instead. Man's sin is the greatest curse of life. It makes him a wanderer (running from sin), and there is no place to hide. (In verse 13), we hear Cain cry out for mercy.

Genesis 4:13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.

He has just killed his brother and now blames God for being too harsh!

"Punishment" may refer to either (1) the actual punishment for sin; or (2) his "iniquity" or "guilt". It reflects his feeling that either the punishment, or his burden of guilt which he now recognized, was too harsh.

Genesis 4:14 "Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, [that] every one that findeth me shall slay me."

"Every one ... slay me": This shows that the population of the earth was, by then, greatly increased. As a wanderer and scavenger in an agricultural world, Cain would be easy prey for those who wanted his life.

Adam hid from Yahweh in shame and guilt (3:8); now Cain must hide himself.

"From thy face shall I be hid" is a passive verb form ("I must hide myself from your face"), and is part of his curse.

"Every one" is "anyone finding me"; it looks to the idea of blood revenge for this death and anticipates other murders.

Anthropomorphisms: Occasionally the Scriptures use expressions that seem to attribute human, physical features to God (such as fingers, hands, arms, and face). Theologians refer to these as "anthropomorphisms."

Because God is spirit and not a body (John 4:24), we know these expressions do not describe Him physically but are used to help man understand truths concerning God.

Paul used a similar type of expression when he urged Christians to "run with patience the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1). He did not mean Christians should devote time to jogging as they would to prayer and bible study. He used this figure of speech to reemphasize the truth of continuing to live the Christian life. (Gen. 3:8; Gen. 4:14; 1 John 1:5).

No one wants to face his punishment. Everyone looks for a scapegoat, or a way out. Self-pity had entered Cain. No where do we see remorse for what he had done. Instead of improving his position with God, he had caused a terrible rift. His fears of having someone do the same thing to him were overwhelming.

He knew he would be looking out over his shoulder constantly. Never would he be able to find a place of peace and rest. It is as if he blamed God for what had happened to him, instead of realizing his sin and repenting.

Genesis 4:15 "And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."

"The Lord set a mark" While not described here, it involved some sort of identifiable mark that he was under divine protection which was mercifully given to Cain by God. At the same time, the mark that saved him was the lifelong sign of his shame.

"Mark": As another act of His grace and goodness toward Cain. It is best to take it as a personal sign for Cain, like that for Gideon in Judges 6:36-40 and Elisha in 2 Kings 2:9-12. The idea of "vengeance" appears in verse 24 with the taunt song of Lamech.

We see the awful cost of vengeance (7 fold). "Vengeance is mine saith the Lord."

Genesis Chapter 4 Questions

1. What was the name of Eve's first son?

2. What was her second son's name?

3. What were their occupations?

4. What did Cain bring as an offering to God?

5. What did Abel bring as an offering to God?

6. What caused God to accept Abel's sacrifice and reject Cain's?

7. Without the shedding of blood there is no what?

8. When Cain realized that God did not accept his offering, what did Cain do?

9. What drove Cain to commit a more serious crime?

10. In verse 7 God said, "if thou doest not well, _________lieth at the door?"

11. Where did Cain attack Abel?

12. What did Cain do to Abel?

13. What percent of murders are committed by close family members today?

14. When God asked Cain where Abel was, what two replies did Cain make?

15. In Matthew 10:42, what small item does God say He would reward if it is given in the name of a prophet?

16. What wrong impression do we have about rich people?

17. In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, what should we be quick to do if God has blessed us with money?

18. What one really good thing does the U.S. have going for it?

19. What does 1st Peter 4:8, tell us that charity will do?

20. What cried to God from the ground?

21. What purchased our salvation?

22. What three judgments did God speak to Cain?

23. What was the difference in the curse for Adam and Cain's curse?

24. What is the greatest curse in life?

25. What was the mark that was placed on Cain?

Genesis Chapter 4 Continued

Genesis 4:16 "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."

"Nod", an unknown location.

This portrays the direction of fallen and unsaved humanity into exile from God, without hope in the world, "wandering aimlessly" about.

This was the only mention of Nod in the Bible. The Bible is not very informative about Nod. I do know that to be in the presence of God, and be sent forth away from Him would have to be very close to hell. The only physical description we have of this place is that it was on the east of Eden.

Genesis 4:17 "And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch."

"Cain knew his wife": Cain's wife obviously was one of Adam's later daughters (5:4). By Moses' time, this kind of close marriage was forbidden (Lev. 18:7-17), because of genetic decay.

"Enoch": His name means "initiation," and was symbolic of the new city where Cain would try to mitigate his curse.

You could relate Cain's being sent away from the presence of God with someone who has been removed from the church; sent out into the world. God had banished Cain to a life of wandering. Cain decides not to wander, but to settle down and build a city.

Cain's wife was there to comfort him. She bore him a son in exile. It seems Cain was interested in making a name for himself here on the earth, since in all probability, he assumed he would have no future in heaven.

There are some very strange similarities in the names of the sons of Cain and the sons of Seth. If you will look with me at the line of names in chapter 4, the genealogy reads thus: Adam, Cain, Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Mathusael, and Lamech.

In chapter 5, the genealogy of Seth is: Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech. These names are so similar, if we are not careful we will confuse the two. The only explanation, that I can find, is that they named their children similar names.

As we look at Cain's children in the verses that follow, it seems none of his ancestors walked closely with God.

Genesis 4:18 "And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech."

This was undoubtedly not the Enoch who was the 7th from Adam through Seth. This Enoch here seemed to be the ancestor of some earthly controlled people, as we will see in the following verses.

Genesis 4:19 "And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one [was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah."

"Two wives": No reason is given on Lamech's part for the first recorded instance of bigamy. He led the Cainites in open rebellion against God (2:24), by his violation of marriage law.

Genesis 4:20 "And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and [of such as have] cattle."

"Jabal": He invented tents and the nomadic life of herdsmen so common in the Middle East and elsewhere.

You can see here the wanderer that God told Cain he would be.

Genesis 4:21 "And his brother's name [was] Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ."

"Jubal": He invented both stringed and wind instruments.

Many Christians say music should not be played in the church because Jubal was not a good man. We must look to David (who was the beloved of God) to know that music is not only permissible, but desirable in church.

Genesis 4:22 "And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain [was] Naamah."

"Tubal-cain": He invented metallurgy.

As I said before, this family of Cain was turned toward things of the world, and Tubal-cain was no exception. This family, feeling estranged from God, was really caught up in fulfilling life in this world, without looking for an everlasting life in heaven.

The spirit of Cain was a spirit of rebellion against God (worldliness). He was leaving out the spiritual and the divine to please the carnal.

Verses 23-24: Lamech killed someone in self-defense. He told his wives that they need not fear any harm coming to them for the killing because if anyone tried to retaliate, he would retaliate and kill them. He thought that if God promised 7-fold vengeance on anyone killing Cain, He would give 77-fold vengeance on anyone attacking Lamech.

Genesis 4:23 "And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt."

"Lamech said": These verses express the culmination of centuries of ungodly living among the descendants of Cain. Cain had desired to establish a name for himself (6:4; 10:9; 11:4); he built a city and named it after his son. His descendants were involved in polygamy, as well as purely humanitarian pursuits.

Now Lamech had taken the law into his own hands and had killed someone in revenge. The judicial office had degenerated into a vengeful tyranny in this heir of the dynasty's murderous founder.

The song expresses Lamech's overweening pride and his refusal and disdain for customary retribution is skillfully reinforced by the poet through a clever manipulation of poetic convention by which a smaller is placed before a large one in parallel structure for distinct emphasis.

This sets the background for why God sends the flood in chapters 6 to 9, where He says "violence" fills the earth (6:13).

You see. Lamech was following in the footsteps of his ancestor Cain. Selfishness, greed, and worldliness cause a person to commit all types of sin.

Dual marriages, and even murder, as we see here from Lamech, occur when a person is interested in fulfilling lust of the flesh. Not regarding God or the future life, living only for the here and now, could be the basic cause of murder.

Genesis 4:24 "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold."

Lamech was calling his own protection here, not the protection of God.

In all of Cain's descendants, Moses did not go into detail about their lives. It is as if their lives were so selfish and hideous that he wanted to forget them as quickly as possible. In the next chapter, we will read about men with the very same names, who are godly descendants of Adam through Seth.

We will also see in their genealogy that Moses told of their length of days, as well as their pleasing God. A good tree produces good fruit, but an evil tree produces evil fruit, Cain was evil; Seth pleased God.

Genesis 4:25 "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, [said she], hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."

"Seth": With Cain removed as the older brother and heir of the family blessing, and with Abel dead, God graciously gave Adam and Eve a godly son through whom the seed of redemption (3:15), would be passed all the way to Jesus Christ (Luke 3:38).

Against this dark picture of man apart from God, there is a brief testimony that God has a remnant of people who are trusting Him.

"Knew": Compare the use of this word in verse 1 with the meaning of "Appointed." Seth's name in Hebrew is pronounced "shet"; for God "appointed ("shat") him, a play on words. Eve is acknowledging that God has provided a son in the place of the slain Abel.

The name "Seth" means set, placed, or appointed. God had appointed a gift of love to Adam and Eve to soften the hurt of the loss of Abel. Eve recognized God's work in replacing Abel with Seth. Through this son, the promise of the deliver would come. She would believe this was the appointed one given to her from God to comfort her.

Genesis 4:26 "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD."

"Enos": The word comes from the word for man which means "weak" or "sickly," denoting man's frailty. It is translated "desperately wicked" in reference to the heart of man (Jer. 17:19).

"Call upon the name of the LORD": As men realized their inherent sinfulness with no human means to appease God's righteous indignation and wrath over their multiplied iniquities, they turned to God for mercy and grace in hopes of a restored personal relationship.

This is a testimony that the religious worship of the community of faith was organized from their public worship of God, together (verses 2-4, indicating individual worship too).

And it is significant that they know the name of Yahweh (Lord), before the events of (Exodus 6:3). The liberal interpretation says they learned the name for the first time during the Exodus period.

The nature of mankind is to worship. The nature of mankind tells us there is a supreme being to worship.

Prayer is talking to God. It is natural to look up and try to communicate with the Supreme Being. Everyone has void in their lives until they can fill that void with God. Men try to attain great wealth and power, thinking this will fill their need, but they are just as empty after they have attained wealth or power as they were before.

Mankind has an inner need to worship. You may go to the jungle where the cannibals live, and you will find, that in their own primitive way, they are trying to find God to worship. Even presidents and kings, that seem to have everything anyone could want, are still empty within, until they come to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

In our society today, our young people are searching for something real. Most of them that fall into the trap of false religion are truly searching for God. They are just looking in the wrong places.

Most of these false religions require great sacrifice (which the young are willing to do in search for the supreme being). If we can just introduce them to Jesus quick enough, they can fill the void in their lives with Jesus Christ. Nothing else will satisfy.

This third generation from Adam was an early beginning for man's search for God and eternal life. God searched for man in Adam's time. This is the first instance of man seeking God.

Genesis Chapter 4 Continued Questions

1. When Cain left the presence of the Lord, where did he dwell?

2. In relation to Eden, where was it?

3. To be out of the presence of God is to be close to where?

4. What was Cain's son's name?

5. What was the name of the city Cain built?

6. In verse 18, who was Enoch's son?

7. Adah bare whom?

8. Jubal did what for a living?

9. Who was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ?

10. Who was the mother of Tubal-cain?

11. The spirit of Cain was a spirit of what?

12. What were the names of Lamech's wives?

13. What sin did Lamech commit that his ancestor Cain committed?

14. What three things cause a person to commit all types of sin?

15. In verse 24, if Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech how many?

16. The wicked descendants started with whom?

17. What was the name of the son, God gave Eve to replace Abel?

18. What was the name of his son?

19. The nature of mankind is to what?

20. Prayer is what?

21. When did man begin to call on the name of the Lord?

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Genesis 5

Genesis Chapter 5

In chapter 5, we begin with the genealogy of the patriarchs. In the last lesson, we were looking at the evil ancestors of Adam's family. Now with Seth, we are looking at the Godly line through which the Savior would come.

In the third chapter of Luke, you can follow right back to Adam through his son Seth. Luke 3:38 "Which was [the son] of Enos, which was [the son] of Seth, which was [the son] of Adam, which was [the son] of God."

Verses 1-2: "Called their name Adam": This is the generic use of "Adam", which contrasts with Adam as a proper name in this same context (verse 3)

Genesis 5:1 "This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;"

"The likeness of God" (see notes on 1:26).

Genesis 5:2 "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created."

"Called their name Adam": In naming man, God declared His own dominion over all creation (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6).

We are taken back to creation day in the verses above. This line would be carried on until the blessed Savior would become the end to this beginning. We are reminded here that mankind was made in the image of God. In verse 2, it explicitly said that this was not just man, but man and woman.

Adam is a plural name and is here denoted as meaning both Adam and Eve. We touched on this Scripture in a previous lesson.

Verses 5:3-20: "Adam ... begat a son in his own likeness": Man, too, reproduces after his kind (1:11-12, 21, 24-25). This likeness is now sinful, in contrast to 1:26. It is helpful to note that Cain and Abel are not included. Therefore, the list does not include all descendants.

There are 10 patriarchs mentioned in this chapter. The last one, Noah, has three sons listed. This symmetry is the same in chapter 11. In Matthew 1, there are three sets with 14 names to a set, plus obvious omissions. Certainly, no strict chronology can be determined from any of the lists.

"Nine hundred and thirty years": Seven patriarchs lived more than nine hundred years; contrast this fact with the much shorter life span in 11:10-32, an average span of about two hundred years. The purpose of this chapter, and the source of its historical importance, is its testimony to the development of the human race from Adam to Noah, citing the godly line.

It appears to be God's answer to Satan's blasphemous lie: "Ye shall not surely die" (3:4). Death reigned, and God's word was fully vindicated.

Genesis 5:3 "And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:"

"In his own likeness, after his image": The human image and likeness in which God created mankind was procreatively passed to the second generation and to all generations which follow.

We must take note that this was not Adam's first son. Adam had Cain and Abel before Seth, but the lineage that would be followed throughout the Bible would be Seth.

Genesis 5:4 "And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:"

You see, in none of these Scriptures did Moses go into detail about how many sons and daughters. My own opinion of the longevity of life for this early humanity was so they could populate the earth.

Genesis 5:5 "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."

"Nine hundred and thirty years": These are literal years marking unusual length of life which are accounted for by the pre-Flood environment provided by the earth being under a canopy of water, filtering out the ultraviolet rays of the sun and producing a much more moderate and healthful condition (see notes on 1:7; 2:6).

"And he died": God told Adam that if he ate of the tree he would surely die (2:17). It included spiritual death immediately and then physical death later.

Genesis 5:6 "And Seth lived a hundred and five years, and begat Enos:"

And Seth lived a hundred and five years, and begat Enos. Not that this was his firstborn, no doubt but he had other children before this time; but this is only mentioned, because it carried the lineage and descent directly from Adam to Noah, the father of the new world, and from whom the Messiah was to spring; whose genealogy to give is a principal view of this book, or account of generations from Adam to Noah.

He proves Adam's generation by those who came from Seth, to show the true Church, and also what care God had over the same from the beginning, in that he continued his graces toward it by a continual succession.

Genesis 5:7-8 "And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:" "And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died."

And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died", as did his father Adam before him. Seth, according to Josephus, was a very good man, and brought up his children well, who trod in his steps, and who studied the nature of the heavenly bodies; so that the knowledge of these things they had acquired might not be lost.

Remembering a prophecy of Adam, that the world should be destroyed both by fire and by water, they erected two pillars, called Seth's pillars; the one was made of brick, and the other of stone, on which they inscribed their observations, that so if that of brick was destroyed by a flood, that the one of stone might remain; and which the writer says continued in his time in the land of Siriad.

Genesis 5:9-11″And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:" "And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:" "And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died."

We have here all that the Holy Ghost thought fit to leave upon record concerning five of the patriarchs before the flood, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared. There is nothing observable concerning any of those particularly, though we have reason to think they were men of eminency, both for prudence and piety:

But in general, observe how largely and expressly their generations are recorded. We are told how long they lived, that lived in God's fear, and when they died, that died in his favor; but as for others it is no matter. The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot.

Genesis 5:12-14 "And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:" "And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:" "And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died."

Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared. That which is especially observable, is, that they all lived very long; not one of them died 'till he had seen almost eight hundred years. And some much longer; a great while for an immortal soul to be imprisoned in a house of clay.

The present life surely was not to them such a burden as commonly it is now, else they would have been weary of it; nor was the future life so clearly revealed then, as it is now under the gospel, else they would have been impatient to remove it.

Some natural causes may be assigned for their long life in those first ages. It is very probable that the earth was more fruitful, the products of it more strengthening, the air more healthful, and the influences of the heavenly bodies more benign before the flood than they were after.

Genesis 5:15-17 "And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:" "And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:" "And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died."

It seems that these genealogies go on and on. We see that these men were men of God and lived long lives. In verse 18 below, we will see the righteous Enoch, not the son of Cain, but rather the seventh from Adam through the line of Seth. Keep in mind "seven" means spiritually complete.

Genesis 5:18-20 "And Jared lived a hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:" "And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:" "And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died."

We have here all that the Holy Ghost thought fit to leave upon record concerning five of the patriarchs before the flood, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared.

Though man was driven out of paradise, yet the earth itself was then paradisiacal; a garden in comparison with its present state: and some think, that their knowledge of the creatures and their usefulness both, for their food and medicine, together with their sobriety and temperance, contributed much to it.

Yet we do not find that those who were intemperate, as many were (Luke 17:27), as short - lived as temperate men generally are now.

Verses 21-24: "Enoch walked with God": The verb employed signifies "to walk about" or "to live," and the preposition denotes intimacy, fellowship (Jude 14-15 reveal his ministry and evidently powerful preaching).

Genesis 5:21-23 "And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:" "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:" "And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:"

Enoch was the seventh from Adam. Godliness is walking with God: which shows reconciliation to God, for two cannot walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3). It includes all the parts of a godly, righteous, and sober life. To walk with God, is to set God always before us, to act as always under his eye.

It is constantly to care, in all things to please God, and in nothing to offend him. It is to be followers of him as dear children. The Holy Spirit, instead of saying, Enoch lived, says, Enoch walked with God. This was his constant care and work; while others lived to themselves and the world, he lived to God. It was the joy of his life. Enoch was removed to a better world.

As he did not live like the rest of mankind, so he did not leave the world by death as they did. He was not found, because God had translated him (Heb. 11:5). He had lived but 365 years, which, as men's ages were then, was but the midst of a man's days. God often takes those soonest whom he loves best; the time they lose on earth, is gained in heaven, to their unspeakable advantage.

Genesis 5:24 "And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him."

"Walked with God ... was not; for God took him": Enoch is the only break in the chapter from the incessant comment, "and he died" (4:17-18; 1 Chron. 1:3; Luke 3:37; Heb. 11:5; Jude 14). Only one other man is said to have enjoyed this intimacy of relationship in walking with God, Noah (6:9).

Enoch experienced being taken to heaven alive by God, as did Elijah later (2 Kings 2:1-12).

Enoch's translation stands about half way between Adam and the flood, in the 987th year after the creation of Adam. Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared were still alive. His son, Methuselah and his grandson Lamech were also living; the latter being 113 years old. Noah was not yet born, and Adam was dead.

His translation, in consequence of his walking with God, was "an example of repentance to all generations,"

Hebrew 11:5: The same Hebrew word is used for the "translation" of Elijah in (2 Kings 2:3-5). He went to heaven without dying. His bodily translation during the long antediluvian time before the Flood (sway of the curse), was a sign that, ultimately, reconciliation with God includes victory over death.

See how Enoch's removal is expressed: "he was not, for God took him". He was not any longer in this world; he was changed, as the saints shall be, who are alive at Christ's second coming. Those who begin to walk with God when young may expect to walk with him long, comfortably, and usefully.

The true Christian's steady walk in holiness, through many a year, till God takes him, will best recommend that religion which many oppose and many abuse. And walking with God well agrees with the cares, comforts, and duties of life.

In (Jude verse 14), the Scripture says that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied. You see, we find in these Scriptures that God not only walked and communed with Enoch, but he showed him into the future.

Verses 14-15-16 of Jude look right into the future to the end times.

Jude 1:14-16 "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints," "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men's persons in admiration because of advantage."

Hebrews tells us how we can be translated to be with God. Enoch was the recipient of this gift.

Hebrews 11:5 "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

I like the story that says, one day when Enoch was walking with God, that God invited Enoch to go home with him, and he did. (This exact statement is not in the Bible, but in all essence, was what really happened).

Do not confuse this Enoch with Enoch who was the son of Cain. They were total opposites.

I won't write it down here, but you may read in Luke the 3 rd chapter, beginning with verse 37, the genealogy of Seth to Enoch.

We could go on and on about this being firstfruits of the rapture of the church.

Verse 23 of Genesis says all the days of Enoch were 365. That is an interesting statement. For Enoch is still alive. It means his time on earth was 365 years. Even the number of his years is a peculiarity for there are 365 days in a year.

What a beautiful picture of the rapture of the church. When the trumpet blows in the sky, there will be a large number of people who will walk with God.

Verses 25-27: "Methuselah": The man who lived the longest life on record. He died the year of the flood judgment (7:6).

Genesis 5:25-27 "And Methuselah lived a hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech: " "And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:" "And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died."

The shortest life was followed by the longest, Methuselah begetting, at the advanced age of 187, Lamech, "strong or young man or the powerful", continuing after his son's birth 782 years.

And at last succumbing to the stroke of death in the 969th year of his age, the year of the Flood.

Methuselah signifies, 'he dies, there is a dart,' 'a sending forth,' namely, of the deluge, which came the year that Methuselah died. He lived 969 years, the longest that any man ever lived on earth; but even the longest living person must die at last.

This is a very interesting Scripture, as well. This Methuselah (descendent of Seth), lived longer than anyone else upon the earth.

Some writers believe that Methuselah died the day before the flood. This is pure conjecture taken from some writings other than the Bible. It could easily have happened, but as far as I know, the Bible does not substantiate this statement. We do know that it is a popular saying about someone who is very old, that they are as old as Methuselah.

It is commonly supposed, that Methuselah died a little before the flood; the Jewish writers say, seven days before, referring to (Gen. 7:10), and that he was taken away from the evil to come.

Genesis 5:28-29 "And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:" "And he called his name Noah, saying, This [same] shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed."

The oracle of the birth of the son of Lamech involves a wordplay, passing over the obvious etymology (origin of words and their meaning), of the name Noah, meaning "Rest." There is a somewhat similar verb, "nacham", meaning "comfort." The allusion (to 3:17), may be a sign that he treasured the promise (of 3:15).

That the patriarchs of the old world felt the ills of this earthly life in all their severity, was attested by Lamech (Genesis 5:28-29), when he gave his son, who was born 69 years after Enoch's translation, the name of Noah, saying, "This same shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed."

Noah, meaning "rest" or "to bring rest", or "to comfort", in the sense of helpful and remedial consolation. Lamech, by whom the line was carried forward, was similarly far advanced when he begat a son, at the age of 182, (777 years total) and called his name Noah.

"This same shall comfort us": Comfort and rest would come through the godly life of Noah, who is an "heir of the righteousness which is according to faith" (Heb. 11:7).

"Lamech" means the powerful. It seems as if Lamech looked around him and saw a world with people not following God, but rather living for the here and now. The people around him had so discouraged him that he felt all was lost. Then God gave him this son Noah. Lamech realized that Noah was going to break the chain of endless toil and sin here on the earth. At last, there was hope.

Genesis 5:30-31 "And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:" "And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died."

In Enoch, the seventh from Adam through Seth, godliness attained its highest point; whilst ungodliness culminated in Lamech, the seventh from Adam through Cain, who made his sword his god.

Lamech not only felt the burden of his work upon the ground which God had cursed, but looked forward with a prophetic foreboding to the time when the existing misery and corruption would terminate, and a change for the better, a redemption from the curse, would come.

This foreboding assumed the form of hope when his son was born; he therefore gave expression to it in his name. But his hope was not realized, at least not in the way that he desired. A change did indeed take place in the lifetime of Noah.

By the judgment of the flood the corrupt race was exterminated, and in Noah, who was preserved because of his blameless walk with God, the restoration of the human race was secured.

But the effects of the curse, though mitigated, were not removed, whilst a covenant sign guaranteed the preservation of the human race, and therewith, by implication, his hope of the eventual removal of the curse (Genesis 9:8-17).

You know looking at these two verses really saddens me. Noah had sisters and brothers who did not believe and did not board the ark. Probably Noah's father, Lamech, had died, but what about Noah's sisters and brothers? If I truly understand the Scripture above, then they must have gone the way of the wicked world and been lost with all the others in the flood.

Genesis 5:32 "And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth."

"Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth": Japheth was the oldest (10:21), Ham the youngest (9:24). Shem is mentioned first because it was through him that God's Messiah would come. This chapter serves at least three purposes in the scheme of Genesis:

(1) It bears witness to man's value to God; by naming individuals and stages in this early human phase, each is known and remembered.

(2) It shows how the line of Seth, "the Appointed," led to Noah, "the Deliverer." And;

(3) It demonstrates both the reign of death by the refrain "and he died," and the standing pledge of death's defeat by the "taking" of Enoch.

This Scripture above does not tell us whether these boys were triplets, or whether it meant around the time Noah was 500 years old, or whether it means shortly after he was 500. It really doesn't matter for our study here.

"Noah" means rest. Certainly, there is a Sabbath of rest for those who enter the ark of safety through belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Shem" means shame. "Ham" means hot (from a tropical habitat). "Japheth" means expansion. From these three young men, will spring the three types of people in the world, the Caucasian, the Oriental and the Negroid.

Genesis Chapter 5 Questions

. Chapter 5 is a genealogy of whom?

2. Did Jesus come from Seth's line or Cain's line?

3. In the day Adam and Eve were created, what did God call them?

4. When Adam was 130, what son was born to him?

5. How long did Adam live?

6. Enoch was seventh from whom?

7. Which of Enoch's sons was born when he was 65?

8. How old was Enoch when he went home with God?

9. Who lived the longest on the earth?

10. How long did he live?

11. What testimony did Enoch have?

12. What is a popular statement about someone who is old?

13. What does "Lamech" mean?

14. What probably happened to Noah's sisters and brothers?

15. What age was Noah when it is mentioned that he begat three sons?

16. Name the three sons.

17. What does "Noah" mean?

18. What does "Shem" mean?

19. What does "Ham" mean?

20. What does "Japheth" Mean?

21. Name three types of people that came from these three sons.

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Genesis 6

Genesis Chapter 6

Verses 6:1-4: The account that follows records an act of degrading that reveals the end-point of God's patience.

Genesis 6:1 "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,"

Such long lifespans as indicated in the record of chapter 5 caused a massive increase in earth's population.

Genesis 6:2 "That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose."

Some have argued that the sons of God were the sons of Seth who cohabited with the daughters of Cain; others suggest they were perhaps human kings wanting to build harems.

The New Testament places this account in sequence with other Genesis events and identifies it as involving fallen angels who in-dwelt men (see notes on 2 Pet. 2:4-5; Jude 6). To procreate physically, they had to possess human, male bodies.

"Sons of God": (Hebrew bene Elohim) refers to the godly line of Seth, which intermarried with the daughters of men, the ungodly line of Cain. The result of these spiritually mixed marriages brought the judgment of God upon the primeval world.

While the term "sons of god" refers to angels in some passages (e.g. Job 1:6), this is certainly not the case here. Jesus clearly taught that angels do not "marry or give in marriage" (Matt. 22:30).

It is unimportant where they came from. I will give my opinion, and then go on. The most logical explanation to me is that Seth's descendants (sons of God) married Cain's descendants (daughters of men) and bare children. We had already mentioned that Seth's line was Godly and Cain's worldly.

These people probably had 20 or 30 children each. It wouldn't take long at that rate to multiply into a vast number. We will see 70 go into Egypt and become approximately three million. All we need to know here was that they didn't marry their sisters.

Anytime you see worldly people marry into a family of believers, it is difficult for the believing spouses to stay faithful to God. Evil destroys good.

Genesis 6:3 "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."

"My spirit shall not always strive with man" is a reference to the Holy Spirit striving with, in the sense of judging or convicting, mankind for its sinfulness. Man was given 120 years after this warning, before the judgment of the Flood actually came.

God set a specific time limit before any penalty would occur in order to give humans a chance to repent. This principle is used repeatedly, such as when Nineveh was given a period to repent before any judgment was rendered (Jonah 3:9-10). This time span allowed the ways of righteousness to be preached (2 Peter 2:5), to the people while work was ongoing.

The Holy Spirit played a most active role in the Old Testament. The Spirit had been striving to call men to repentance and righteousness, especially as Scripture notes, through the preaching of Enoch and Noah (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5; Jude 14).

"Hundred and twenty years": The span of time until the Flood (1 Peter 3:20), in which man was given opportunity to respond to the warning that God's Spirit would not always be patient.

Genesis 6:4 "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown."

"Giants" or Nephilim": This word is from a root meaning "to fall," indicating that they were strong men who "fell" on others in the sense of over-powering them (the only other use of this term is in Numbers 13:33). They were already in the earth when the "mighty men" and "men of renown" were born. The fallen ones are not the offspring from the union in 6:1-2.

"Giants" (Hebrew Nephilim, perhaps "fallen ones" or "princes"). When the Israelites saw the Anakim they concluded they had seen "the Nephilim" (Num. 13:33).

"Mighty men (giborim, "warriors"): Note (in verse 11), that the earth was filled with violence.

"Men of renown" were literally "men of a name." In 11:4 the "reputation" or "name" is used in a derogatory sense, contrasted with God's giving Abram a good "name" (in 12:2). "Mighty one" is used of Nimrod in a negative sense (in 10:8-10). These giants already existed on earth and were not the offspring of the marriages mentioned.

I am not certain whether these "giants" meant physical stature, or whether it meant men like Enoch and Noah who were giants of faith. Perhaps these people were larger of stature than we are. We do know that years later Saul, who became the first king of Israel, was tall. An even taller man was Goliath.

Looking at the standpoint of giants in character, we do see in the descendants of Seth a group of people whose morals were above others of their day. I really tend to believe, because of the statement "mighty men, which were of old, men of renown", that it was speaking more of character than size.

Genesis 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually."

"Every imagination": The "formations" (2:7 where God "formed" man), is the same word as imagination (yetser).

"His heart was only evil continually": This is one of the strongest and clearest statements about man's sinful nature. Sin begins in the thought-life (see notes on James 1:13-15). The people of Noah's day were exceedingly wicked, from the inside out (Jer. 17:9-10; Matt. 12:34-35; 15:18-19; Mark 7:21; Luke 6:45).

Man's design or purpose was "nothing but evil all the day."

Beautiful women can easily turn the head of a good man and corrupt him, as Solomon was corrupted by his many wives. One sin leads to another. Soon, sin will grow so that it will become a habit, and cause a depraved mind. God judges the heart, and in the Scripture above, more than the deeds, God saw that their heart was stayed upon sin.

Genesis 6:6 "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."

"Repented ... grieved": Sin sorrowed God who is holy and without blemish (Eph. 4:30; Exodus 32:14; 1 Sam. 15:11; Jer. 26:3).

This does not imply that God made a mistake in His dealings with man, but rather indicates a change in divine direction resulting from the actions of man. It is "an anthropopathism" (a human emotion applied to God), describing the pain that is caused God by the destructiveness of His creatures.

It is used 30 times with God as its subject, each time speaking of a change of mind or intention that accords with His righteous purposes, and results in action commensurate with those purposes.

So many parents today are so saddened by the lives of their children that they wish they had never had children. They can bring so much joy when things are right, but so much sorrow when they go bad.

God made man so He might fellowship with them. What a heartbreaking thing for them to turn away from their Creator and desire things of this world over God. I hurt with God in this.

Genesis 6:7 "And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."

God promised total destruction when His patience ran out (Eccl. 8:11).

Here God's hurt and disappointment in mankind overflowed. He said He would destroy them. You see the animals, fowls, etc., were made for the use of man. There would be no need for them if Man was destroyed.

Not only had mankind gotten into every type of sin, but also which was worse, man stopped fellowshipping with God. Seth's descendants were now fellowshipping with Cain's descendants. God was about to reverse this whole situation and do away with His creation.

Genesis 6:8 "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."

"But Noah found grace": Lest one believe that Noah was spared because of his good works alone (Heb. 11:7), God makes it clear that Noah was a man who believed in God as Creator, Sovereign, and the only Savior from sin.

He found grace for himself, because he humbled himself and sought it (4:26; see notes on Isaiah 55:6-7). He was obedient, as well (6:22; 7:5; James 4:6-10).

This is the first occurrence of the word grace in Scripture. Its root meaning is "to bend or stoop," implying the condescending or unmerited favor of a superior person to an inferior one. It is often used redemptively (Jer. 31; Zech. 12:10). Mankind, the beasts of the field, and the fowl of the air would be destroyed; but God would call out a remnant for Himself.

"Noah" was the last of the pre-Flood patriarchs and the builder of the ark that survived the great Flood. He was 600 years old when the Flood began and lived to be 950 years of age. He is described in the Bible as a righteous man (verse 9), and a man of obedience (verse 22), and faith (Heb. 11:7).

The New Testament writers refer to him as an actual person (Matt. 24:37-38; Luke 17-26-27), and one who preached righteousness to his generation (2 Peter 2:5). God sealed His covenant with him by the sign of a rainbow (9:9-17). From his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the present world was populated (Gen. 6:8 - 10:1).

God loved Noah and God would take care of Noah. "Where sin doth abound, the grace of God doth much more abound". In the next few verses, we will see that Noah loved and respected God. Noah tried to live as nearly right as he could and still be in the flesh.

So many people do not understand grace, they believe "saved by grace" gives them the license to do anything they want to, and still be saved. Grace has even more requirements than the law.

God not only wants us to have the form of religion, as they did with the law, keeping the ordinances, but God wants us to have pure thoughts coming from a pure heart. He wants us to desire fellowship with Him so much that it is the most important thing in our lives.

Verses 6:9 - 9:29: The generations of Noah.

Genesis 6:9 "These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God."

"Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations ... walked" (Ezek. 14:14, 20; 2 Pet. 2:5). The order is one of increasing spiritual quality before God: "righteous" is to live by God's righteous standards; "blameless" sets him apart by a comparison with those of his day; and that he "walked with God" puts him in a class with Enoch (5:24).

The root for "just", basically means conformity to an ethical or moral standard (it is used of Noah, Daniel, and Job in Ezekiel 14:14, 20).

"Perfect" has the idea of "completeness"; or "that which is entirely in accord with truth and fact." Noah, like his godly ancestor Enoch (5:22, 24) "walked with God." He separated himself from the wickedness of his contemporaries and followed the Lord.

Genesis 6:10 "And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth."

Noah was a just man seeking to please God and was blessed by Him with three sons.

Genesis 6:11 "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence."

"Corrupt ... filled with violence" (6:3, 5). The seed of Satan, the fallen rejecters of God, deceitful and destructive, had dominated the world.

It seems that masses of people were involved in every type of sin. Brother was killing brother. It seemed this Cain group had polluted the Seth descendants and violence and crime was rampant. Except for Noah, it seemed everyone was involved. Verse 12 tells how universal it was.

Genesis 6:12 "And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."

We might say that about the earth now. There is crime on every hand. So many abominable things to God, prevail today such as rape, incest, homosexuality, murder, stealing, lying, cheating, adultery, disobeying parents, drugs, alcohol, filthy movies and television are common.

About the only way you can raise children to be Christians in this society today would be to totally isolate them from this evil and corrupt generation. The rock music alone can pervert a child's mind so badly, that he or she may never be able to function as a Christian.

Most who listen to the subliminal messages of this music cannot face reality of any kind, much less make firm decisions as a Christian. Our society has gone mad and God will not tolerate it.

We must realize that God is angry, and unless we repent as a nation, we will see something much worse than the flood, because our sins are more perverted than theirs. It seems there are no modern day Noahs', who have walked uprightly before God.

Genesis 6:13 "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."

"I will destroy them with the earth": Destroy did not mean annihilation, but rather referred to the flood judgment, both of the earth and its inhabitants.

The forces of nature are subject to God. If you will notice here, God was going to destroy them with the very thing that meant more to them than He did. You see, they had their eyes and their hearts caught up in the things of this earth; so, God would destroy them with the earth.

He was telling Noah, I am going to wipe them off the face of the earth. We will see (in verse 14), God provided a way out for all who earnestly seek to please Him.

Genesis 6:14 "Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch."

"Ark": A hollow chest, a box designed to float on water (Exodus 2:3).

"Gopher wood": This may be a reference to cedar or cypress trees, abundant in the mountains of Armenia.

The dimensions of the "ark" given in verse 15 indicate it was more like a barge than a ship. It was about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. It had about 95,700 square feet on three decks, 1,400,000 cubic feet, and a gross tonnage of 13,960.

It was fully large enough to carry its prescribed cargo. Its carrying capacity equaled that of 522 standard railroad stockcars, which can carry 125,000 sheep. Thus, the ark was about the size of an oil tanker and was of proper seagoing dimensions for an ocean voyage.

"Pitch" refers to tar, which like oil is plentiful in the Near East. This was a resin substance to seal the seams and cracks in the wood.

We have heard so many preachers talk about this ark of safety. I think we should look at the physical and the spiritual implications this ark holds for all of us today.

If we are right with God, there is a way out of every problem that we face. Our ark of safety is belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. As this ark saved Noah and his family, Jesus Christ will save us and our families. One thing that really concerns me today is that we are not building our ark as God commanded Noah to do.

Some are being saved, but very few are shoring up the sides and thoroughly preparing for the disaster. Noah was not saved from the flood, he was saved in it. We have a Brill Cream religion, a little dab will do you!

Noah worked continuously preparing. He never questioned whether God had told him the truth or not. He went diligently to work. God had a perfect plan for the ark. He has a perfect plan for us, too. Noah had an attribute that many could take a lesson from today. He took instruction well. When God spoke, he listened.

So many of us will not slow down enough for God to speak, and even if He does, we seldom listen; we are a generation that does not like to be instructed. Our hearing apparatus in the heart is coated over with cares of this world. How many people even bother to read God's word: to fellowship with God, we must get into His Word.

I hear people say "I don't understand the Bible". Get some help, get in a good Bible study and start digging. The best treasures are not on the surface. All is not lost, if we will just heed the Scripture in 2 Chronicles:

7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

We, Christians, are God's people who are called by Christ's name. As such an arrogant generation, how can we humble ourselves? Not many people will even admit to praying at home, and even fewer pray in public. We won't find God's face out playing golf, at football and baseball games, hunting, and all the other places that we put ahead of God.

If our people would read the Bible and pray even half the time that they watch television, it would really get God's attention. It is very plain what God would have us do. Become new creatures in the Lord Jesus Christ, put God ahead of everything else and then, He will hear us, forgive us, and save us and our land.

Genesis Chapter 6 Questions

1. In verse 2, when men began to multiply upon the earth, what happened?

2. The most logical explanation of the sons of God and daughters of men, in my opinion, is what?

3. If Seth's line was Godly, what was Cain's?

4. Seventy people went into Egypt and approximately how many came out?

5. What are two opinions of the giants mentioned?

6. Who was the first king of Israel?

7. What causes a depraved mind?

8. In verse 7, name four things God said He would destroy.

9. What was even worse than man sinning?

10. In verse 8, what did Noah find in the eyes of the Lord?

11. Which has more requirements in God's sight, the law or grace?

12. What two descriptions of Noah were in verse 9?

13. What did Noah and Enoch have in common?

14. Name Noah's three sons.

15. What two things were rampant when God decided to destroy the earth?

16. Name ten or more things that are an abomination to God.

17. How could you raise children free of all this?

18. What are the forces of nature subject to?

19. What would God use to destroy them?

20. What kind of wood was used to make the ark?

21. What is our ark of safety?

22. What is a Brill Cream religion?

23. To fellowship with God, we must do what?

24. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us what?

Genesis Chapter 6 Continued

Genesis 6:15 "And this [is the fashion] which thou shalt make it [of]: The length of the ark [shall be] three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits."

While the ark was not designed for beauty or speed, these dimensions provided extraordinary stability in the tumultuous floodwaters. A cubit was about 18 inches long, making the ark 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. A gigantic box of that size would be very stable in the water, impossible to capsize.

The volume of space in the ark was 1.4 million cubic feet, equal to the capacity of 522 standard railroad box cars, which could carry 125,000 sheep. It had 3 stories, each 15 feet high; each deck was equipped with various rooms (literally "nests").

This ark was to be made by specific directions of God so that it could hold up to the terrible strain of the high water. This boat was to house approximately 45,000 animals, which would cover several of all the species known on the earth today.

God also had specific places for Noah to place the animals, the foodstuff, and for the family of Noah. Noah had to follow every detail of instruction for this ark to be functional for the use God had intended it. The exact number of animals is just an estimate. No one knows for sure how many were aboard.

Genesis 6:16 "A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; [with] lower, second, and third [stories] shalt thou make it."

"A window" may have actually been a low wall around the flat roof to catch water for all on the ark.

This window was cut all the way around the ark under the roofline for light and ventilation. The "door" allowed an entrance for embarkation and debarkation. The three "stories" were to separate animals for safety and cooperation during the voyage.

This was a very precise and complicated ship to build. I assume that this window went the full length of the ship, and was 18 to 21 inches tall. This would give light and air to all inside. This door had to be a tall one to let in animals like giraffes.

The three stories were to separate the different types of animals, and for Noah's family to have separate quarters, as well.

Genesis 6:17 "And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die."

"Flood of waters": Other notable Scriptures on the worldwide flood brought by God include (Job 12:15; 22:16; Psalm 29:10; Isa. 54:9; Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27; Hebrews 11:7 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:5-6).

God was very specific that this judgment was from Him. This was not something Satan did. It is terrible to fall under Satan's attacks, but we can withstand him with the blood of Jesus. The worst is to fall under the judgment of God. There is no hiding or protection from this.

This judgment was on all except Noah's family, and the few animals chosen to reproduce on the earth. God was angry and would, without repentance, bring judgment.

Genesis 6:18 "But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee."

"But with thee will I establish my covenant": In contrast with the rest of the created order which God was to destroy, Noah and his family were not only to be preserved, but they were to enjoy the provision and protection of a covenant relationship with God.

This is the first mention of "covenant" in Scripture. This pledged covenant is actually made and explained (in 9:9-17; see notes there).

God not only saves Noah because of his fellowship with God, but saves his family as well. God establishes His agreement (covenant), with Noah and his family, they alone would be saved. "Eight" means new beginnings, God would begin with Noah's family.

God invites us today to come into His ark of safety. Jesus Christ is the door we enter in by. Again, God was angry with a perverse generation. The Day of Judgment was here. God would not tolerate open and perverted sin.

Genesis 6:19 "And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every [sort] shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep [them] alive with thee; they shall be male and female."

There are less than 18,000 species living on earth today. This number may have been doubled to allow for now extinct creatures. With two of each, a total of 72,000 creatures is reasonable as indicated in the note of 6:15-16; the cubic space could hold 125,000 sheep, and since the average size of land animals is less than a sheep, perhaps less than 60 percent of the space was used.

The very large animals were surely represented by young.

Genesis 6:20 "Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every [sort] shall come unto thee, to keep [them] alive."

There was ample room also for the one million species of insects, as well as food for a year for everyone (verse 21).

God planned to repopulate the whole earth with these couples. The birds would not even have a place to rest, so even they had to be repopulated. There was no specific mention of fish. They would not die in the flood.

If you will notice in the Scriptures above, Noah did not go out to find these pairs of animals. The animals came to Noah ("shall come unto thee"). This was the only way to stay alive.

Genesis 6:21 "And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather [it] to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them."

The one thing that stands out so clearly in all of this is that God did not put the food in the ark for Noah. God told Noah to put it in the ark. Noah had to do the work himself. Truly he was directed by God, but Noah had to prepare.

It reminds me very much of the famine in Egypt in Joseph's time. God revealed the disaster to Joseph, and Joseph had to do the legwork to prepare for the famine. God never changes. He will reveal a problem to us before it happens so we can prepare for it. God will help us, but He will not do it for us.

Genesis 6:22 "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."

Noah recognized the instructions of God. Noah not only said yes sir, but he did something about it. Noah had to be a man of extra-ordinary faith. All this time, it had never rained upon the earth. People had to be laughing at Noah. He never once stopped working on the ark. He never once stopped warning of the impending doom.

The Bible is not very explanatory whether the sons worked to help Noah, or not.

As a quick over-all look again at chapter 6, let us remember that sin covered the earth. God judged everyone lost except Noah's family. Noah's moral life and great faith in God won God's favor, and God showed Noah a way out. Jesus Christ is our ark of safety (our way out). In Chapter 7, we will go into more detail about the flood and Noah's preparation for it.

Genesis Chapter 6 Continued Questions

1. What was the gopher wood probably?

2. How many cubits long was the ark?

3. How many cubits wide was the ark?

4. How many cubits high was the ark?

5. How many stories high was the ark?

6. What is it safe to assume about the windows?

7. What two things would the window furnish?

8. Why were there three stories?

9. Who brought the flood?

10. What was the purpose of the flood?

11. What is worse than an attack from Satan?

12. Who would God establish His covenant with?

13. How many people were saved?

14. What does that number mean?

15. What, or who, is our entrance to our ark of safety?

16. Why were male and female of each put in the ark?

17. Name three types brought into the ark?

18. Why was there no specific mention of fish?

19. Did Noah have to go out and catch the animals?

20. Did God provide food?

21. Who did the work?

22. What, in Joseph's time, reminds us of this?

23. Why does God reveal problems ahead to Christians?

24. Give two words describing Noah's faith.

25. How old was Noah when the flood waters were on the earth?

26. What two things must we remember in this Bible study?

27. In our quick look back at chapter 6, what covered the earth?

28. What two things saved Noah?

29. Who is our way out?

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Genesis 7

Genesis Chapter 7

Genesis 7:1 "And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation."

"Righteous (6:9; Job 1:1).

In this we see Noah's very difficult task finished. A righteous man or woman should be about winning their entire family to Christ and generally will be able to. The best way to win them is by living a separated life every day. God mentioned again that He was pleased with Noah.

Verses 7:2-3: "Sevens ... sevens": The extra 6 pairs of clean animals and birds would be used for sacrifice (8:20), and food (9:3).

Genesis 7:2 "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that [are] not clean by two, the male and his female."

"Clean ... not clean": The distinction relates to sacrifice (in 8:20). Later, it has to do with eating (in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14).

"By sevens ... by two": Literally, "seven sevens" of every clean beast, which may mean seven pairs or three pairs, plus one, with the extra one being used for sacrifice later on.

Genesis 7:3 "Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth."

"Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and his female". That is, of such as were clean; seven couple of these were to be brought into the ark, for the like use as of the clean beasts, and those under the law; and so at this time, and here meant were turtledoves, and young pigeons that were for sacrifice; and the rest were for food.

The design of bringing both into the ark was to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth; that the species of creatures might be continued, both of beasts and birds, clean and unclean.

Whether of beasts or birds; and the reason was that their rapid multiplication was a matter of the highest importance, when the earth should be renovated, for their utility either as articles of food or as employed in the service of man.

In verse 2 the first separation of clean and unclean animals was made. Clean animals would have to be more abundant to be used as food for Noah's family, and for sacrifice to God. This just goes into more detail. In verse 1, the call came. It is still our call to safety today.

Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."

Noah obeyed God's voice and came into the ark. Just as Noah went into his ark of safety by the door, we must enter into safety through Jesus Christ our Lord. Noah had lived in a very evil time, but stayed in right standing with God. We must live pure lives in this evil generation as well.

Verse 3 tells exactly why God brought the animals into the ark. It was to preserve the seed of every variety. The fowls were in sevens for the same reason. The animals were for food and for sacrifice.

Genesis 7:4 "For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth."

God allowed one more week for sinners to repent.

"Rain ... forty days and forty nights": A worldwide rain for this length of time is impossible in post-Flood atmospheric conditions, but not then. The canopy that covered the whole earth (see note on 1:7), a thermal water blanket encircling the earth, was to be condensed and dumped all over the globe (verse 10).

These threatenings were from God; Divine in nature to purify the earth. Forty had always been a time of testing and trial, thus it rained forty days and forty nights. This seven days was an exacting time, again, seven means spiritually complete. The work was over. Divine judgment was here. God would destroy his creation.

In verse 5, we see the unquestioning obedience of Noah when God spoke.

Genesis 7:5 "And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him."

He prepared for his entrance into the ark, and all the creatures with him; got everything ready for them, the rooms for their habitation, and food for their sustenance.

Genesis 7:6 "And Noah [was] six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth."

When it began; he was in his six hundred and first year when it ended (Gen. 8:13).

His eldest son was now a hundred years old, since when Noah was five hundred years old he begat children (Gen. 5:32).

Noah was 500, he had Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and when the floods came he was 600. It seems approximately 100 years of obedience to God was necessary for Noah to be prepared.

Today the world ridicules the believers, just as they did in the days of Noah. We too, must keep the faith against all odds.

Genesis 7:7 "And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood."

The call to Noah is very kind, like that of a tender father to his children to come in-doors when he sees night or a storm coming. Noah did not go into the ark till God bade him, though he knew it was to be his place of refuge. It is very comfortable to see God going before us in every step we take.

Noah had taken a great deal of pains to build the ark, and now he was himself kept alive in it. What we do in obedience to the command of God, and in faith, we ourselves shall certainly have the comfort of, first or last. This call to Noah reminds us of the call the gospel gives to poor sinners. Christ is an ark, in whom alone we can be safe, when death and judgment approach.

The word says, Come; ministers say, Come; the Spirit says, Come, come into the Ark. Noah was accounted righteous, not for his own righteousness, but as an heir of the righteousness which is by faith (Heb. 11:7).

A very popular reason to come to God is to avoid destruction.

Genesis 7:8 "Of clean beasts, and of beasts that [are] not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,"

In obedience to a Divine impulse. Nothing short of Divine power could have effected such a timely and orderly entrance of the creatures into the huge vessel.

Genesis 7:9 "There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah."

"Went in two and two unto Noah": God compelled them to present themselves to Noah, as they did before to Adam, when he gave them names (Gen. 2:19).

In (Genesis 7:9 and Genesis 7:15), it is stated that "they came two and two," and (in Genesis 7:16), that "the coming ones came male and female of all flesh." In this expression "they came", it is clearly intimated, that the animals collected about Noah and were taken into the ark, without his having to exert himself to collect them.

It seemed as if there were invisible chains pulling the lion and lioness, the tigers, serpents, crocodiles, birds, and every creature. Don't you know it caused quite a stir for these animals and birds to congregate at the ark?

Genesis 7:10 "And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth."

For yet seven days, God spoke these words probably on the seventh or Sabbath day, and the days of the ensuing week were employed in entering the ark, in embarking the mighty troop, for whose reception ample provision had been already made.

As Noah prepared the ark by faith in the warning given that the flood would come, so he went into it, by faith in this warning that it would come quickly. And on the day Noah was securely fixed in the ark, the fountains of the great deep were broken up.

The windows of heaven were opened, and the waters which were above the firmament, that is, in the air, were poured out upon the earth. The rain comes down in drops; but such rains fell then, as were never known before or since.

If I understand the above, it seems that Noah was in the ark seven days before the flood began. This would be one really good argument for the Christians being in heaven seven years before the horrors begin. I personally believe the problems will begin while we are still here, as the rain began while Noah was on the earth.

But the above seven days of safety in the ark before the flood came, could possibly be symbolic of the seven years we will be in heaven before the holocaust begins. It really does not say exactly when it started raining, or exactly at what point Noah entered the ark.

Genesis 7:11 "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."

"Month ... day": The calendar system of Noah's day is unknown, although it appears that one month equaled 30 days. If calculated by the Jewish calendar of Moses' day, it would be about May. This period of God's grace was ended (6:3, 8; 7:4).

"All the fountains of the great deep broken up": The subterranean waters sprang up from inside the earth to form the seas and rivers (1:10; 2:10-14), which were not produced by rainfall (since there was none), but by deep fountains in the earth.

"The windows of heaven were opened": The celestial waters in the canopy encircling the globe were dumped on the earth and joined with the terrestrial and the subterranean waters (1:7). This ended the water canopy surrounding the earth and unleashed the water in the earth; together these phenomena began the new system of hydrology that has since characterized the earth (see Job 26:8; Eccl. 1:7; Isa. 55:10; Amos 9:6).

The sequence in this verse, indicating that the earth's crust breaks up first, then the heavens drop their water, is interesting because the volcanic explosions that would have occurred when the earth fractured would have sent magma and dust into the atmosphere, along with gigantic sprays of water, gas, and air, all penetrating the canopy triggering its downpour.

This rain did not just fall from the sky, but it came from springs and openings in the earth as well. Water came from everywhere. It started on May 17 as we think of time.

Genesis 7:12 "And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights."

The windows of heaven were opened, and the waters which were above the firmament, that is, in the air, were poured out upon the earth. The rain comes down in drops; but such rains fell then, as were never known before or since. It rained without stop or abatement, forty days and forty nights, upon the whole earth at once.

Genesis 7:13 "In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;"

"Entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah": Not inconsistent with verses 4 and 5, which do not necessarily imply that the actual entry was made seven days before the Flood; but merely that Noah then began to carry out the Divine instructions.

The threefold recital of the entry: first in connection with the invitation or command (verse 5), and again in the actual process during the seven days (verse 7), and finally on the day when the Flood began (verse 15).

For sure we know that Noah was in the ark before the forty days and nights of rain, the other exact time that they entered the ark is speculation. I really believe verse 13 just means that the family all went in the same day. This warning God had given Noah in verse 4, that in seven days He would start the flood, was probably to give Noah a little more time to get his family into the ark.

Genesis 7:14-15 "They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort." "And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life."

There is a simple grandeur in the threefold description of the entrance of Noah and his retinue into the ark, first in the command, next in the actual process during the seven days, and lastly, in the completed act on the seventh day.

"Every living thing after its kind" is here unaccompanied with the epithet, evil or the qualifying term of the land or of the field, and therefore may, we conceive, be taken in the extent of Gen. 6:20; 7:2-3; 7:6.

At all events the whole of the wild animals did not need to be included in the ark, as their range was greater than that of antediluvian (before the flood), man or of the flood. "And the Lord shut him in." This is a fitting close to the scene. The whole work was manifestly the Lord's doing, from first to last.

Genesis 7:16 "And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in."

"And the Lord shut him in": No small event is spared in the telling of this episode, although the details are sparse.

God preserved Noah and his family.

This verse tells us that safety comes from the Lord. The seal was set by the Lord. He puts his seal of safety on us as well when we decide to follow Him.

Genesis 7:17 "And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth."

The flood of waters is described as a global flood. Universal terms ("all flesh," "everything"), are used 30 times in describing this Flood. The double superlatives ("every living thing of all flesh," and "all the high hills under the whole heaven"), clearly indicate that the author intended to state his case unmistakably.

The Hebrew word mabul ("deluge"), describes only this Flood, as does the New Testament Greek work kataklysmos, "cataclysm" (2 Pet. 3:3-7). The depth of the Flood and its duration indicate that it was no mere local flood. The size of the ark (95,700 square feet of deck space) and its gross tonnage indicate the magnitude of this Flood.

God's promise (9:11), that He would never again send such a flood upon the earth also confirms its uniqueness. Our Lord Jesus referred to both the historicity and universality of this Flood as an example of the worldwide judgment to accompany His second coming (Matt. 24:37-44). The conclusion is inescapable: the universal Flood is presented as a fact of history in the Bible.

As the rain came, the water rose and floated the ark upward. It seems it rained forty days and nights. In the next few verses, we will see that the water did not immediately go down.

Genesis 7:18 "And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters."

"And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth": Still they became greater and more powerful, as to bear up the ark, so to cast down houses, trees, etc. by the continual rains that fell, though perhaps they were not so violent as before, and by the constant eruptions of water out of the earth.

"And the ark went upon the face of the waters": it floated about upon them, in an easy gentle manner; for there were no storms of wind or tempests raised, which might endanger it. (If much of the water came from volcanic activity, and if earthquakes accompanied the breaking forth of the fountains of the deep, many tidal waves would result).

This would completely destroy any remains of the old civilization and as well give the ark a rough sea to drift in. The ark's dimensions would make it almost impossible to upset.

Genesis 7:19 "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that [were] under the whole heaven, were covered."

"All the high hills": This describes the extent of the Flood as global. Lest there be any doubt, Moses adds "under the heavens" (2 Pet. 3:5-7). There are over 270 flood stories told in cultures all over the earth, which owe their origin to this one global event.

We understand by this that the mountain tops were covered and the ark floated above it all.

Genesis 7:20 "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered."

"Fifteen cubits upward": The water level was 15 cubits (or about 22.5 feet) higher than the highest mountain, so that the ark floated freely above the peaks. This would include the highest peak in that area (8:4), which is approximately 17,000 feet high. That depth further proves it was not a local flood, but a global one.

In our studies, we know this would have not meant from the ground. These 15 cubits had to be above the highest mountain. Just as the plagues in Revelation get worse as each vial is poured out, this water and punishment was greater and greater.

Genesis 7:21 "And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:"

All the men, women, and children, that were in the world, excepting those in the ark, died. The resulting death of all by drowning is here recounted.

Genesis 7:22 "All in whose nostrils [was] the breath of life, of all that [was] in the dry [land], died."

"All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life ... died" This statement refers solely to man, whose higher life is exclusively expressed by the phrase "breath of life" (Gen. 2:7). It affirms the death of the whole of mankind.

Genesis 7:23 "And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained [alive], and they that [were] with him in the ark."

The sum total of animal and vegetable life, with the exception of those in the ark, is here declared to be extinguished.

Here again, over and over, we see God making a difference between the lost sinners and those saved by Him.

Genesis 7:24 "And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days."

"Hundred and fifty days": These days included the 40 day and night period of rain (7:12, 17). The Flood rose to its peak at that point (8:3). It then took over 2-1/2 months before the water receded to reveal other mountain peaks (8:4-5), over 4-1/2 months before the dove could find dry land (8:8-12), and almost 8 months before the occupants could leave the ark (8:14).

This time was a time of security for Noah and his family. When we look back at Noah and the flood, we can see symbolisms of our day. First, sin prevailed as it does now in our land. Second, Noah found favor in God's sight as true Christians have found favor with God. Third, God provided a way out for Noah, Fourth, we are saved in tribulation. Fifth, God called Noah into the ark.

Jesus will blow a trumpet to call us to meet Him in the sky. Sixth, Noah knows rest and security in the ark. We will know peace and rest with Jesus. Seventh, we see Noah return to the earth. Christians will return with Jesus to earth.

Genesis Chapter 7 Questions

1. When God called Noah into the ark, He said because He had found Noah what?

2. What should a Christian man or woman be doing?

3. How many clean beasts should Noah bring into the ark?

4. Name two reasons for more clean than unclean animals.

5. God told Noah how many days ahead the rain would start?

6. How many days and nights was it to rain?

7. This number means what?

8. How old was Noah when the flood was on the earth?

9. What is a very popular reason to come to God?

10. What is one really good argument for seven years being spent in heaven by Christians?

11. What month of the year did the rain begin?

12. What day?

13. In verse 15 he describes what separates these from fish, what is it?

14. Who shut the door?

15. What was covered with the water?

16. How high did the waters prevail?

17. What comparison could be made with the flood and plagues?

18. How many days did the water prevail?

19. What was the first comparison to our day?

20. What was the second comparison to our day?

21. What was the third comparison to our day?

22. What was the fourth comparison to our day?

23. What was the fifth comparison to our day?

24. What was the sixth comparison to our day?

25. What was the seventh comparison to our day?

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Genesis 8

Genesis Chapter 8

Genesis 8:1 "And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that [was] with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;"

"God remembered Noah": This is not to intimate that during the days of the Flood, God had forgotten His righteous servant; the verb "remembered" refers to the special attention or personal care that God gives to His own.

God's covenant with Noah brought provision and protection in the midst of severe judgment. The remnant was preserved and God initiated steps toward reestablishing the created order on earth.

"The waters assuaged" (lessen or abate): God used the wind to dry the ground; evaporation returned water to the atmosphere.

The verb is used the same way concerning Samson (Judges 16:28); Hannah (1 Sam. 1:11); Abraham, for Lot's benefit (Gen. 19:29); on behalf of Israel (Exodus 2:24); and for the repentant thief on the cross (Luke 23:42).

As we have said many times before, the elements are subject to God's command. When God told the wind to blow, it blew. This word assuaged means the water was made to cease, or was trapped. I believe this water was congregated in lakes and rivers, etc.

Genesis 8:2 "The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;"

The whole race of mankind, except Noah and his family were now dead, so that God's remembering Noah, was the return of his mercy to mankind, of whom he would not make a full end. The demands of Divine justice had been answered by the ruin of sinners.

Genesis 8:3 "And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated."

God sent his wind to dry the earth, and seal up his waters. The same hand that brings the desolation must bring the deliverance; and to that hand, we must ever look. When afflictions have done the work for which they are sent, whether killing work or curing work, they will be taken away.

As the earth was not drowned in a day, so it was not dried in a day. God usually works deliverance for his people gradually, that the day of small things may not be despised, nor the day of great things despaired of.

Genesis 8:4 "And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat."

The ark rested. It is stranded on some hill in Ararat. This country forms part of Armenia. As the drying wind most probably came from the east or north, it is likely that the ark was drifted toward Asia Minor, and caught land on some hill in the reaches of the Euphrates.

"Mountains of Ararat": The text says mountains, which indicates a range of mountains and not necessarily one peak. Today, Ararat rises about 17,000 feet above sea level. The ark rested on land 74 days after the end of the 150 days while the water abated.

It cannot be supposed that it rested on either of the peaks now called Ararat, as Ararat was a country, not a mountain, and these peaks do not seem suitable for the purpose. These were in the region of the Caucasus, also known as ancient Urartu, where the elevation exceeded 17,000 feet.

Oct. 17th was the end of the water prevailing; and, at that point, the water began to subside. There are many people who do not believe this flood was universal because it was just for the world of the Bible. It really doesn't matter. We know that it was a judgment of God on a wicked and perverse generation. For our study here, that is all that is necessary.

Many expeditions have been made to find the ark. A number of people have proclaimed seeing the ark. There are bad storms on this mountain and many have lost their lives searching for the ark. God does not want us to believe in the ark because we can see it, but because we know in our hearts the account of the ark was true.

Genesis 8:5 "And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth [month], on the first [day] of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen."

"And the waters decreased continually", literally, were going and decreasing, until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month. The decrease of the waters was for wise reasons exceedingly slow and gradual.

"Were the tops of the mountains seen": "Became distinctly visible" The waters had now been subsiding ten weeks, and as the height of the water above the highest hills was probably determined by the draught of the ark."

The tenth month": The waters ceased to prevail on the first of the ninth month. The ark, though grounded six weeks before, was still deep in the waters. The tops of the hills began to appear a month after. The subsiding of the waters seems to have been very slow.

Their 10th month would be January on our calendar, in fact, January 1st.

Genesis 8:6 "And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:"

Forty days after the appearance of the mountain tops, Noah opened the window of the ark and let a raven fly out (lit., the raven, i.e., the particular raven known from that circumstance), for the purpose of ascertaining the drying up of the waters.

"The window." He seems to have been unable to take any definite observations through the aperture here called a window.

Verses 8:7-12: "A raven ... a dove": Ravens survive on a broad range of food types. If any food was available outside the ark, the raven could survive. In contrast, a dove is much more selective in its food choices. The dove's choice of food would indicate that new life had begun to grow; thus, Noah and his family could also survive outside the ark.

Genesis 8:7 "And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth."

"And he sent forth a raven": That by it he might make his observation, how high or low the waters were upon the earth; so he sent out the raven, a bird of prey, which feeds on carrion, that if the earth had been dry, the smell of the dead carcasses would have invited it to go far off from the ark, and not return; but if not, he would see it again.

"Which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from the earth": Or, "and it went forth, going forth and returning" It went forth out of the ark, and returned, but might not go into it, but went forth again, and then returned; and thus it continued going backwards and forwards, until the waters were dried up, when it returned no more.

Take note of the difference in the raven and the dove. The raven was a dark bird, not trustworthy to do the job. So, Noah sent the dove, symbolic of the Holy Spirit of God.

Genesis 8:8 "Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;"

Noah then sent forth a dove, which returned the first time without good news; but the second time, she brought an olive leaf in her bill, plucked off, plainly showing that trees, fruit trees, began to appear above water.

Genesis 8:9-10 "But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters [were] on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark." "And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;"

Noah sent forth the dove the second time, seven days after the first.

The dove has always been a help to mankind. The symbolic meaning of the dove is throughout the Bible. One of the most prominent was the lighting of the dove on Jesus at His baptism. The dove throughout the Bible means the Holy Spirit of God. (Our teacher and guide).

Genesis 8:11-12 "And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth [was] an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth." "And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more."

And the third time was after seven days also; probably on the Sabbath day.

Having kept the Sabbath with his little church, he expected especial blessings from Heaven, and inquired concerning them. The dove is an emblem of a gracious soul, that, finding no solid peace of satisfaction in this deluged, defiling world, returns to Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest.

The carnal heart, like the raven, takes up with the world, and feeds on the carrion it finds there; but return thou to my rest, O my soul; to thy Noah, so the word is (Psalm 116:7). And as Noah put forth his hand, and took the dove, and pulled her to him, into the ark, so Christ will save, and help, and welcome those that flee to him for rest.

The olive oil is also, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Isn't it strange that this leaf was an olive leaf? The Holy Spirit is a promise of help to mankind.

There are all kinds of symbolisms here, as well. (The helper had done his work). Noah could take it from there. I could stay on this verse a week, but we are not studying symbols. We are studying from a spiritual standpoint.

Genesis 8:13 "And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], the first [day] of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry."

As the flood commenced on the 17th of the second month of the 600th year of Noah's life, and ended on the 27th of the second month of the 601st year, it lasted a year and ten days; but whether a solar year of 360 of 365 days, or a lunar year of 352, is doubtful.

The former is the more probable, as the first five months are said to have consisted of 150 days, which suits the solar year better than the lunar.

The question cannot be decided with certainty, because we neither know the number of days between the 17th of the seventh month and the 1st of the tenth month, nor the interval between the sending out of the dove and the 1st day of the first month of the 601st year.

This occurred on April 1st, almost one year after the flood began. Whether he knocked a hole in the roof, or whether there had already been an observation opening, or not, we are not sure. It really appears, to me, that he removed roofing and went on top from the Scripture above. Again, this is supposition, no one knows for sure.

At first glance, Noah could not see water on the ground, but land that had been soaked with water that long, needed to dry thoroughly before Noah could walk on it without bogging down. God had called Noah into the ark. God would call him out.

I cannot overlook this symbolic message. When God calls us to a place to work, we had better stay there, until God tells us it is okay to leave.

Genesis 8:14 "And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried."

"And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day": From this it appears that Noah was in the ark a complete solar year, or three hundred and sixty-five days; for he entered the ark the 17th day of the second month, in the six hundredth year of his life (Gen. 7:11; 7:13), and continued till the 27th day of the second month, in the six hundredth and first year of his life.

And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

It was over a year since the flood began; a year and ten days to be exact. It began on May 17th and ended on May 27th, one year later. It did not rain a year, but the water was on the earth a year.

Genesis 8:15 "And God spake unto Noah, saying,"

"And God spake unto Noah, saying": Whether in a dream or vision, or by an articulate voice, appearing in a human form, or by an impulse on his mind, is not certain; however, the Lord spoke so to him, that he heard him and understood him: it was, no doubt, very rejoicing to him, since he had not heard his voice for a year or more.

Genesis 8:16 "Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee."

Noah declares his obedience, in that he would not leave the ark without God's express commandment, as he did not enter in without the same: the ark being a figure of the Church, in which nothing must be done outside the word of God.

Verses 17-19: "Be fruitful and multiply": In the process of replenishing the created order that He had judged with destruction, God repeated the words of the blessing which He had put upon non-human creatures (1:22).

Noah faced a new world where longevity of life began to decline immediately; the earth was subject to storms and severe weather, blazing heat, freezing cold, seismic action, and natural disasters.

Genesis 8:17 "Bring forth with thee every living thing that [is]with thee, of all flesh, [both] of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth."

"Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee": There is a various reading of the word for "bring forth"; according to the margin, as Jarchi observes, the sense is, order them to come forth; and according to the Scripture, if they will not, oblige them to come.

"Of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth": For of each of these there were some that went with him into the ark, and continued there. "That they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth": for which end they were preserved in the ark

In other words, turn them loose and let them go to make a home for themselves. These few would repopulate the world.

Genesis 8:18 "And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:"

"And Noah went forth": Being obedient to the divine command, and no doubt with great pleasure in his countenance, and with a heart full of thankfulness for so great a deliverance: and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him: in all eight persons, and no more were saved in the ark.

As Peter observes (1 Peter 3:20), and the Arabic writers say: Noah and his sons built a city near the place where they came out of the ark, and called it Themanin, giving this as a reason of the name, we are eight, that is, who have escaped. So Berosus says that the earth being dried of the waters, there were then only eight in Armenia, from whence all mankind sprung.

Genesis 8:19 "Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, [and] whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark."

The command to leave the ark is given and obeyed. "The fowl, the cattle, and the creeper." Here, again, these three classes are specified. They are again to multiply on the earth. "Every living thing" evidently takes the place of the cattle mentioned before. "After their families" this word denotes their tribes. It is usually applied to families or clans.

"Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth": All went out, not one was left, and they went out after their kind; not in a confused disorderly manner, mixing with one another; but as they went in by pairs, male and female of every sort, so they came forth in like manner, or, "according to their families"

"After their kinds" literally, "according to their families," implying that there had been an increase in the ark.

Noah just opened the big door, and out they came. The same way they went in. Noah did not drive them out. It was as if some power, far beyond Noah's, was calling them out. This particular area is rugged and has much bad weather, so they most probably left the area, except for those for Noah's own personal use.

Genesis 8:20 "And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar."

"Noah builded an altar" This was done as an act of worship in response to God's covenant faithfulness in sparing him and his family.

Illustrating his walk with God, the Lord regarded this sacrifice as a "sweet savor," or more literally, "a smell of satisfaction" (Lev. 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9; 3:5, 16, all for the voluntary offering of consecration).

Noah's first thought was not of self, but God. Can you imagine the thanksgiving Noah was bringing to God for saving his family? This is firstfruits worship. It really did not matter what day of the week it was. It was Noah's first thought to please God.

God had not yet told His people what was clean and unclean, but Noah was so tuned to God, that he knew what was pleasing to Him. These altars were stones piled upon each other. Noah took no thought of the cost of the loss of animals; he was more interested in pleasing God.

Genesis 8:21 "And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done."

"Smelled a sweet savor": God accepted Noah's sacrifice.

"Curse ... smite": Regardless of how sinful mankind would become in the future, God promised not to engage in global catastrophe by flood again (9:11). See notes on (2 Pet. 3:3-10), for how God will destroy the earth in the future.

He promised never again to curse the ground, that is, to destroy the earth by a flood, and not a reversal of (3:17 or 5:29). Not (9:9-17), in this regard. If the Flood of Noah's day had been merely a local one, the Lord has violated His promise many times over.

This greatly pleased God. Noah had not only won blessings for himself, but for all mankind. The Lord's heart was touched by this unselfish act. God knows that man has an evil heart, until he completely turns to God. This sacrifice that Noah made, reconciled God to man.

The ground would no longer be cursed, but would grow. God said He would never again smite all mankind. A great promise for all mankind was made by God (in verse 22).

Genesis 8:22 "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

"While the earth remaineth": With many alterations from the global flood, God reestablished the cycle of seasons after the catastrophic interruption.

"Shall not cease": This may be considered the basis text for the doctrine of "limited uniformitarianism." The theory of "total uniformitarianism" is refuted (in 2 Peter 3:1-6), for such a theory denies the possibility of a universal flood and a final supernatural judgment for the world.

Genesis 8:22 guarantees that after the Flood, the seasonal cycle will continue uninterrupted "while the earth remaineth", until the end of the Millennium. Thus, the doctrine of "limited uniformitarianism" assures us the world cannot be destroyed by water during our lifetime.

Uniformitarianism: Definition: The concept that the earth's surface was shaped in the past by gradual processes, such as erosion, and by small sudden changes, such as earthquakes. Of the type acting today rather than by the sudden divine acts, such as the flood survived by Noah (Genesis 6-8), demanded by the doctrine of catastrophism.

I cannot let this pass without taking note that this is while the earth remains. There will be a time (after the 1000 year reign of Christ upon the earth), when there will be a new heaven and new earth for this one will have passed away.

In verse 22, not only a literal seedtime and harvest was meant. The Bible said one will plant; another water, but God will get the increase. I believe the planting days are about over. Harvest time is here. The fields are white unto the harvest.

God is about to gather us into His barn, and there will be no night there, for we will be in the presence of the Light. Night shall cease then. There will be one eternal day. Not until we are carried home to be with God, will this be so.

Genesis Chapter 8 Questions

1. What did God cause to come over the earth to begin the drying process?

2. Are the elements under God, or Satan?

3. What does assuaged mean?

4. In verse 2, two things were stopped, what were they?

5. After how many days were the waters abated?

6. What mountain did the ark settle on?

7. When?

8. By our time, what month and day is this?

9. Why do many people believe this flood was not universal?

10. What was this flood?

11. What Country is the Mount Ararat located in?

12. Why has it been so difficult to physically prove the ark's existence?

13. The tenth month was actually what month to us?

14. What was the first bird sent out by Noah?

15. Why was it called by that name?

16. What second bird did Noah send out?

17. What is it symbolic of?

18. How many times did Noah send the second bird out?

19. On the second trip out, what did it bring back?

20. Why is the Holy Spirit a promise to mankind?

21. What month of our calendar did Noah remove the covering from the ark and look out?

22. What message for our day do we get from Noah waiting until God called him out of the ark?

23. How long had Noah been in the ark when he came out on dry land?

24. What was the first thing Noah did when he got on dry land?

25. How did Noah know what was clean and unclean?

26. In verse 21, how did this offering effect God?

27. What promises did God make at this time?

28. What are two ways to look at seedtime and harvest?

29. Is there a message for our day in all of this?

30. What is it?

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Genesis 9

Genesis Chapter 9

Genesis 9:1 "And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

"Blessed Noah ... Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth": God blessed Noah and re-commissioned him to fill the earth (1:28).

Not only did God bless Noah by saving him and his family during the flood, but this was another blessing that God spoke on Noah and his family. God's request was that they produce children and repopulate the earth.

Verses 2-3: "The fear of you": Man's relationship to the animals appears to have changed, in that man is free to eat animals for sustenance (verse 3).

Genesis 9:2 "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth [upon] the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered."

"Fear ... dread" take the place of the previous harmony between man and animals. God now sanctions man to eat animals. However, further revelation (in Leviticus 17:10), prohibits eating blood.

We see by this that man is higher than animal form. You can, also, see how ridiculous it would be to believe that man evolved from a monkey (animal). All animals have a natural (God given), fear of mankind. God made them all for the use of mankind.

Genesis 9:3 "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things."

This statement discounts being a vegetarian. The counterpart of this verse in the New Testament is (1 Timothy 4):

1 Timothy 4:1-3 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" "Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" "Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

You see, God wants us to enjoy the things He has provided for us.

In Luke, we read the account of Jesus telling the parents of the little girl He raised from the dead, to feed her some meat.

Luke 8:55 "And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat."

Genesis 9:4 "But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat."

"Blood": Raw blood was not to be consumed as food. It symbolically represented life. To shed blood symbolically represented death (Lev. 17:11). The blood of animals, representing their life, was not to be eaten. It was, in fact, that blood that God designed to be a covering for sin (Lev. 17:11).

At first glance, you would think that this Scripture contradicts the above Scriptures, but it does not. The word that was translated flesh, above, means the flesh of mankind. What it was saying, is do not eat human flesh. Basar is the word translated "flesh", and it means person, mankind, or man body. You see, God does not make mistakes. Our interpretation sometimes confuses us.

Genesis 9:5 "And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man."

"And surely your blood of your lives will I require": The God-given right of executing murderers involves the establishment of human government following the Flood. This right of capital punishment has not been rescinded during the Christian era (Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4).

The really terrible thing about murder is that it strikes at the very image of God in man, which makes man of vital importance to God.

"Beast ... man": Capital punishment was invoked upon every animal (Exodus 21:28), or man who took human life unlawfully. See (19:11; Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4), for clear New Testament support for this punishment.

Genesis 9:6 "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

"For in the image of God": The reason man could kill animals, but neither animals nor man could kill man, is because man alone was created in God's image.

Man is a special creation of God, and made in God's image and He will not allow the murder of mankind.

Genesis 9:7 "And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein."

"And you, be ye fruitful and multiply": Instead of taking away the lives of men, the great concern should be to multiply them; and this indeed is one reason of the above law, to prevent the decrease and ruin of mankind; and which was peculiarly needful, when there were so few men in the world as only four, and therefore it is repeated in stronger terms:

"Bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein": that the whole earth might be overspread with men, and re-peopled sufficiently, as it was by the sons of Noah.

Verses 9-17: This is the first covenant God made with man, afterwards called the Noahic Covenant.

Genesis 9:8-10 "And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying," "And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;" "And with every living creature that [is] with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth."

The covenant made with Noah (Genesis 6:18), is now formally confirmed. The purpose conceived in the heart (Genesis 8:21), now receives significant expression. Not only a new blessing is bestowed, but also a new covenant is formed with Noah. For he that has offered an acceptable sacrifice is not only at peace with God, but renewed in mind after the image of God.

To give Noah and his sons a firm assurance of the prosperous continuance of the human race, God condescended to establish a covenant with them and their descendants, and to confirm this covenant by a visible sign for all generations. In summing up the animals (in Genesis 9:10), the prepositions are accumulated.

First embracing the whole, then to those which went out of the ark, and lastly "with regard to," extending it again to every individual. "With you ... with your seed ... with every living creature": The covenant with Noah included living creatures as was first promised (in 6:18).

Genesis 9:11 "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."

"By the waters": The specific promise of this covenant, never to destroy the world again by water, was qualified by the means, for God has since promised to destroy the earth with fire one day (2 Peter 3:10-11; Rev. 20:9; 21:1).

We see here, that God had reconciled Himself to man. God Himself established the covenant. Covenant was translated from the word "beright". It means (in the sense of cutting), compact (made by passing between pieces of flesh), or it could mean confederacy or league.

Many serious covenants were made by killing an animal and passing between the two halves of the animal. At any rate, we know that this promise of God to mankind was a very serious promise. It probably was sealed by blood.

Genesis 9:12 "And God said, This [is] the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that [is] with you, for perpetual generations;"

"The token of the covenant": The rainbow is the perpetual, symbolic reminder of this covenant promise, just as circumcision of all males would be for the Abrahamic Covenant (17:10-11).

This covenant involved the dispensation of human government, with humanity governing itself. Man was responsible to govern the world for God. The governing covenant of this era was the Noahic covenant (verse 11).

Under it, man's relationship to the earth and to the order of nature was confirmed (verses 2-11), human government was established, and God promised never again to use a universal flood to judge the world (verses 11-17).

The failure of man under his dispensation culminated in the building of the tower of Babel and resulted in the judgment of the confusion of tongues (11:1-3, 7).

Notice here, that just like salvation, this covenant of God was made by Him alone. Mankind has nothing to offer God as surety. Salvation is a free gift; we have nothing good enough to trade for it. Please also note that this covenant was not just for Noah and his sons, but for all of us, as well. This word that is translated perpetual could mean a number of things.

"Olam" means: Vanishing point, time out of mind, always, eternity, or without end. You see, this promise is still good today.

Genesis 9:13-15 "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth." "And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:" "And I will remember my covenant, which [is] between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh."

The seal of this covenant was the rainbow, which it is likely, was seen in the clouds before, but was never a seal of the covenant till now it was made so. The rainbow appears when we have most reason to fear the rain prevailing; God then shows this seal of the promise that it shall not prevail. The thicker the cloud, the brighter the bow in the cloud.

Thus, as threatening afflictions abound, encouraging consolations much more abound. The rainbow is the reflection of the beams of the sun shining upon or through the drops of rain: all the glories of the seals of the covenant are derived from Christ, the Sun of righteousness. And he will shed a glory on the tears of his saints.

A bow speaks terror, but this has neither string nor arrow; and a bow alone will do little hurt. It is a bow, but it is directed upward, not toward the earth; for the seals of the covenant were intended to comfort, not to terrify. As God looks upon the bow, that he may remember the covenant, so should we, that we may be mindful of the covenant with faith and thankfulness.

"I will remember": Not simple recognition, but God's commitment to keep the promise.

Genesis 9:16 "And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that [is] upon the earth."

"The everlasting covenant": This covenant with Noah is the first of 5 divinely originated covenants in Scripture explicitly described as "everlasting." The other 4 include;

(1) Abrahamic (Gen. 17:7);

(2) Priestly (Num. 25:10-13);

(3) Davidic (2 Sam. 23:5); and

(4) New (Jer. 32:40).

The term "everlasting" can mean either

(1) To the end of time and/or;

(2) Through eternity future. It never looks back to eternity past.

Of the 6 explicitly mentioned covenants of this kind in Scripture, only the Mosaic or Old Covenant was nullified.

Genesis 9:17 "And God said unto Noah, This [is] the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that [is] upon the earth."

"And God said to Noah, this is the token of the covenant": Which is repeated for the greater confirmation and certainty of it, since the fears of men would be apt to run very high, especially while the flood was fresh in memory.

An "everlasting covenant" is a covenant "for perpetual generations," one which shall extend to all ages, even to the end of the world.

The fact that God Himself would look at the bow and remember His covenant, was "a glorious and living expression of the great truth, that God's covenant signs, in which He has put His promises, are real vehicles of His grace, that they have power and essential worth not only with men, but also before God".

We need to realize in all of this that the rainbow has a twofold message in it. When we look at the rainbow, we are assured that God will not destroy the earth and all in it again by a flood. The other promise and the covenant He made with mankind through Noah.

Sometimes, I am sure, God despairs of mankind and their evil ways. God cannot, and will not lie. His covenant with man is good even now.

Genesis 9:18 "And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham [is] the father of Canaan."

"Shem" was thought to be the oldest, and he was in the messianic line (note the order in 5:32; 6:10; 7:13; and 10:1).

"Ham Is the father of Canaan": Canaan's offspring, the idolatrous enemies of Israel whose land Abraham's descendants would later take (15:13-16), became a primary focus in chapter 10. This notation is important since Moses was writing the Pentateuch just before the Israelites took Canaan.

This circumstantial clause actually traces the beginnings of the family of Canaanites and shows that Ham, acting as he did, revealed himself as the true "father" of Canaan, which would recall to the Israelite mind many unfavorable images because of their corrupting influence (12:6; 13:7; 15:16; 18:20-22; 19:38; Lev. 18:2-6).

The word "Canaan" means humiliated. This Canaan, here mentioned, was not a country; it is a man's name.

Genesis 9:19 "These [are] the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread."

"Of them was the whole earth": All men who have ever lived since the Flood came from these 3 sons of Noah (10:32). The "one man" (Acts 17:26), from whom all nations came is Adam through Noah. All physical characteristics of the whole race were present in the genetics of Noah, his sons and their wives.

The word translated earth here, is a very versatile word. It could mean a country, a nation, or in fact, the entire world. If you believe the translation means the entire world, then you must also believe that there were no other living beings except Noah and his family, and that all the nationalities of the world sprang from these few of Noah's family.

Because of the words "whole earth", I believe the above means the entire earth (the whole globe).

Genesis 9:20 "And Noah began [to be] an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:"

"Noah began": The word began brings an ominous note to the early stories in Genesis (10:8; 11:6).

"Husbandman" literally means "man of the soil," perhaps indicating "master of the earth," or "lord of the earth."

The indication of the word "husbandman" is that Noah took on the responsibility of his family, and began to cultivate the earth. His mistake was in growing grapes to make wine. These next few verses we are about to study, just prove that even though a person has walked with God and pleased God in the past, he still can fall back into sin, if he gets careless in his fellowship with God.

Genesis 9:21 "And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent."

"Was drunken": Fermentation, which leads to drunkenness, may have been caused by changed ecological conditions as a result of the Flood. Noah may have taken off his clothes because of the heat or been involuntarily exposed due to his drunkenness.

"And he drank of the wine, and was drunken, and he was uncovered" ["uncovered himself"] "within his tent": Noah had been so faithful to God that it is unlikely that he did this deliberately. His drunken condition may have been a totally unexpected result of the changed environment after the Flood.

When a person drinks enough to get drunk, he is not aware of things like being covered up. Drunkenness brings on a lapse of your will. Nothing good can come from this type behavior.

Genesis 9:22 "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without."

"Ham ... saw the nakedness of his father": There is no reasonable support for the notion that some perverse activity in addition to seeing nakedness, occurred. But clearly, the implication is that Ham looked with some sinful thought, if only for a while until he left to inform his brothers.

Perhaps he was glad to see his father's dignity and authority reduced to such weakness. He thought his brothers might share his feelings so he eagerly told them. They did not however, share his attitude (verse 23).

While many explanations have been suggested for this phrase, it is best to take it to mean merely what it says. There is no indication of any gross violation. The phrase is not the same as (in Leviticus 20:17), where it is parallel to another term used exclusively for sexual violations.

The phrase indicates that this violation of privacy was merely the beginning of eventual sexual degradation.

Genesis 9:23 "And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid [it] upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces [were] backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness."

The conduct of Shem and Japheth was such as became pious and affectionate children, who appear to have been in the habit of treating their father with decency, reverence, and obedient respect.

On the one the spirit of prophecy (not the incensed father), pronounces a curse: on the others the same spirit (not parental tenderness), pronounces a blessing. These things had been just as they afterwards occurred had Noah never spoken. God had wise and powerful reasons to induce him to sentence the one to perpetual servitude, and to allot to the others prosperity and dominion.

Besides, the curse pronounced on Canaan neither fell immediately upon himself nor on his worthless father, but upon the Canaanites; and from the history we have of this people (in Lev. 18:6-7; 18:24; 18:29-30; 20:9; 20:22-24; 20:26; Deut. 9:4; 12:31). We may ask, could the curse of God fall more deservedly on any people than on these?

Their profligacy was great, but it was not the effect of the curse; but, being foreseen by the Lord, the curse was the effect of their conduct. But even this curse does not exclude them from the possibility of obtaining salvation; it extends not to the soul and to eternity, but merely to their bodies and to time.

Though, if they continued to abuse their liberty, resist the Holy Ghost, and refuse to be saved on God's terms, then the wrath of Divine justice must come upon them to the uttermost. How many, even of these repented, we cannot tell.

There are several things we need to notice here. Canaan was born before Ham sinned. By revealing his father's nakedness, Ham did the very opposite of honoring his father. He really was making fun of his father in his drunken condition.

Yet Shem and Japheth acted with respect. I believe moral character gets involved here. Ham had poor morals. We have discussed the names of these sons in a previous lesson. We learn through this incident, the three types of people will spring from these three sons, (the Negroid, Caucasian, and Oriental).

Genesis 9:24 "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him."

The writer does not mean to affirm that Noah resumed his agricultural operations after the flood, but that as a husbandman he began to cultivate the vine; because it was this which furnished the occasion for the manifestation of that diversity in the character of his sons, which was so eventful in its consequences in relation to the future history of their descendants.

In ignorance of the fiery nature of wine, Noah drank and was drunken, and uncovered himself in his tent (Genesis 9:21). Although excuse may be made for this drunkenness, the words of Luther are still true: "This trifling fall served to display the hearts of his sons. Ham saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

Not content with finding pleasure himself in his father's shame, he just proclaimed his disgraceful pleasure to his brethren, and thus exhibited his shameless sensuality.

The brothers, on the contrary, with reverential modesty covered their father with a garment which was at hand), walking backwards that they might not see his nakedness (Genesis 9:23), and thus manifesting their childlike reverence as truly as their refined purity and modesty.

For this they receive their father's blessing, whereas Ham reaped for his son Canaan the patriarch's curse. In Genesis 9:24 Ham is called "his (Noah's), little son," and it is questionable whether the adjective is to be taken as comparative in the sense of "the younger," or as superlative, meaning "the youngest."

There is an awakening always. What sorrow was brought on this family through this one act!

Verses 25-27: "Cursed be Canaan": The shift from Ham to his son Canaan established the historic legitimacy of Israel's later conquest of the Canaanites. These were the people with whom Israel had to do battle shortly after they first heard Moses' reading of this passage. Here, God gave Israel the theological basis for the conquest of Canaan.

The descendants of Ham had received a sentence of judgment for the sins of their progenitor. (In 10:15-20), the descendants of Canaan are seen to be the earlier inhabitants of the land later promised to Abraham.

Genesis 9:25 "And he said, Cursed [be] Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren."

"Cursed be Canaan": The essence of this prophetic curse is that only the Canaanites are cursed, not all of Ham's descendants.

"Servant of servants": literally denotes the most abject slavery. Even when the blessings are declared for the brothers, the theme of Canaan's servitude is repeated both times.

The Canaanites were white. In no way is this to be interpreted as a curse on the black race. The Canaanites inhabited Palestine and were first subjugated by Joshua and later by Solomon (such as Carthage), were finally conquered by the Japhetic Romans.

They practiced ritual prostitution, homosexuality, and various orgiastic rites, and were the center of God's prophecy of judgment (in Genesis 15:16), to be carried out by Israel after their sojourn in Egypt. But the curse did not preclude individual salvation, for Rahab joined Israel and Hiram, king of Tyre, gave materials for the temple.

Genesis 9:26 "And he said, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant."

"Blessed be the Lord God of Shem": Shem's blessing is a spiritual one, by virtue of his knowing Yahweh. It looks to his descendants, Israel, who would enter a covenant relationship with Him (in Exodus 19 and 20). By blessing one's God, the man himself is blessed. The Jews are of Semitic origin, from Shem (Semitic are people who speak Hebrew and Arabic).

"And Canaan shall be his servant": Conquered peoples were called servants, even if they were not household or private slaves. Shem, the ancestor of Israel, and the other "Semites" were to be the masters of Ham's descendants, the Canaanites. The latter would give their land to the former.

Genesis 9:27 "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant."

"Japheth" is the verb meaning "to enlarge," and Japheth's descendants would receive the temporal blessings along with the prospect of participation with Shem ("dwell in the tents of Shem"). They dominated the great northern frontier from the Aegean Sea to the highlands of Iran and northward to the steppes beyond the shores of the Black Sea.

"Dwell in the tents": This means that spiritual blessings would come to the Japhethites through the God of Shem (verse 26), and the line of Shem from which Messiah would come.

Here, we see the contrast of blessing for respect of the father, through Shem and Japheth, and cursing for disrespect of the father through descendants of Ham. Notice the blessing (in verse 26), "Blessed be the LORD God of Shem". You see, it is the God of Shem who was blessed.

Genesis 9:28-29 "And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years." "And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died."

"And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years": So, that he not only saw the old world and the wickedness of that, and the destruction of it for it, but an increase of wickedness again, the building of the tower of Babel, the confusion of languages, the dispersion of his offspring, and the wars among them in the times of Nimrod, and others.

However, it was a blessing to mankind that he lived so long after the flood in the new world, to transmit to posterity, by tradition, the affairs of the old world; and to give a particular account of the destruction of it, and to instruct them in the doctrines and duties of religion.

The Jews conclude from hence, that he lived to the fifty eighth year of Abraham's life: it may be remarked, that it is not added here as usual to the account of the years of the patriarchs, "and he begat sons and daughters".

From whence it may be concluded, that he had no more children than the three before mentioned, as well as from the silence of the Scriptures elsewhere, and from the old age of himself and his wife, and especially from what is said.

From (9:24-29), Noah declares a curse on Canaan, the son of Ham; perhaps this grandson of his was guiltier than the rest. A servant of servants, that is, the meanest and most despicable servant, shall he be, even to his brethren. This certainly points at the victories in after-times obtained by Israel over the Canaanites, by which they were put to the sword, or brought to pay tribute.

The whole continent of Africa was peopled mostly by the descendants of Ham. And for how many ages have the better parts of that country lain under the dominion of the Romans, then of the Saracens, and now of the Turks! In what wickedness, ignorance, barbarity, slavery, and misery most of the inhabitants live!

And of the poor negroes, how many every year are sold and bought, like beasts in the market, and conveyed from one quarter of the world to do the work of beasts in another!

But this in no way excuses the covetousness and barbarity of those who enrich themselves with the product of their sweat and blood. God has not commanded us to enslave Negroes; and, without doubt, he will severely punish all such cruel wrongs.

Genesis Chapter 9 Questions

1. In verse 1, God told Noah and his sons to do what two things?

2. Into whose hands were the animals delivered?

3. What did verse 2 tell us about man evolving as a monkey?

4. What shall be meat for mankind?

5. In Genesis 9 and in 1 Timothy 4, it speaks against being what?

6. In Luke, what did Jesus tell the parents to give the little girl?

7. In verse 4, what did the word that was translated flesh mean?

8. Was this a contradiction?

9. What will God require for the life of a man?

10. Why?

11. Who did God covenant with?

12. For how long?

13. What does the rainbow tell us?

14. For whom is the rainbow shown? Name two.

15. Who was the father of Canaan?

16. What does Canaan mean?

17. By whom was the whole earth overspread?

18. What did husbandman indicate here?

19. Is it possible to fall back into sin after salvation?

20. What happened to Noah, when he got drunk?

21. Which of the three sons did not show respect to Noah?

22. What happened to him?

23. What are the three basic types of people in the world?

24. How many years after the flood did Noah live?

25. How old was he, when he died?

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Genesis 10

Genesis Chapter 10

Verses 10:1 - 11:9: The genealogy of Shem, Ham and Japheth (verse 1).

Genesis 10:1 "Now these [are] the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood."

"Sons of Noah": All the people of the world since the Flood have descended from the three sons of Noah (Acts 17:26).

This Scripture, above, was telling us about the descendants of Noah and his sons, who were born after the flood. There is no record of a birth while they were on the ark.

Genesis 10:2 "The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras."

The historian has not arranged this catalogue according to seniority of birth; for the account begins with the descendants of Japheth, and the line of Ham is given before that of Shem though he is expressly said to be the youngest or younger son of Noah.

"The sons of Japheth": Who though mentioned last, the genealogy begins with him, by a figure which experts in formal rhetoric call a "chiasm". The posterity of Japheth are those whom Hesiod often calls "Iapetionides", and him "Iapetus".

According to Josephus, the sons of Japheth inhabited the earth, beginning from the mountains Taurus and Amanas, and then went on in Asia unto the river Tanis, and in Europe unto Amanas.

Seven of his sons are mentioned, and the first is Gomer; from whom, according to the same writer, came the Gomareans or Gomerites, in his time called by the Greeks Galatians, that is, the Gauls of Asia minor, who inhabited Phrygia.

It is plain from (Ezekiel 38:6), that Gomer and his people lay to the north of Judea, and the posterity of Japheth went first into the northern parts of Asia, and then spread themselves into Europe: six more of his sons follow, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

The first of these, Magog, was the father of a northern people which bore his name (see Ezekiel 38:2), and according to Josephus, who is generally followed, are the same that were called Scythians; from Madai came the Medes, often spoken of in Scripture, along with the Persians.

So Josephus says, from him came the nation of Mandaeans, whom the Greeks call Medes; and very frequently in Scripture the Medes go by the name of Madai, their original ancestor.

The word "Japheth" means expansion, which is a very good example of just what happened. These sons, like Gomer, became the name of a tribe of people. Each son started a tribe with the family name as the name of the tribe. Magog is a name we see throughout the Bible as a tribe of people.

Some believe this to be Libya, others believe that Gog in the land of Magog is referring to Russia. Besides this reference in Genesis, Magog was mentioned strongly in Ezekiel as an enemy of Israel (Ezekiel 38:2 and 39:6).

The Medes sprang from Madai, the third son of Japheth. These sons spread and populated different countries, as God had instructed them to do.

Javan, many believe, was the descendant of Greeks. In (Isaiah 66:19), where this name was mentioned, it is associated with Tarshish, Pul. Lud and "the isles afar off" are probably, the Gentiles of many nations.

For our study here, I believe all of these sons populated a different area and started tribes of people by that name. Tubal, many believe, founded Tibernia near the Black Sea. Meshech was often mentioned together with Tubal, and probably, populated the area of Northern Assyria.

Genesis 10:3 "And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah."

"And the sons of Gomer": Who was the first of the sons of Japheth, three who are mentioned: the first of these seated himself in the lesser Asia, in Pontus and Bithynia; there were some traces of his name in the river Ascanius, and in the Ascanian lake or bay.

And also in the lesser Phrygia or Troas, where was a city called Ascania, and where were the Ascanian isles, and the Euxine Pontus, or Axeine, as it was first called, which is the sea that separates Asia and Europe, and is no other than a corruption of the sea of Ashkenaz.

Ashkenaz, probably, was Assyrian. They were, also, known as the Scythians. The name was associated with barbarians. Riphath was an obscure tribe that seemed to not be mentioned again. The descendants of Togarmah were mentioned (in 1 Chronicles 1:6).

They are mentioned as being traders who trafficked with Tyre in horses, horsemen, and mules (in Ezekiel 27:14).

In (Ezekiel 38), they were named along with Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya as followers of Gog.

Genesis 10:4 "And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim."

As Javan peopled a considerable part of Greece, it is in that region that we must seek for the settlements of his descendants; Elishah probably was the first who settled at Elis, in Peloponnesus.

We know very little about Elishah, except that his descendants were island people who sold purple and scarlet fabric to Tyre. Many people believe these were Cyprus, or Kittim. The Aegean Coast was rich in purple shells. Whether this has a connection, I cannot say.

"Tarshish" is a Phoenician word meaning smelting plant, or refinery. Nearly every time the word Tarshish was mentioned in the Old Testament, it was associated with ships, merchants, and trade. Whatever the area, we do get an indication, here, that these people shipped metals to various places.

Tarshish first inhabited Cilicia, whose capital anciently was the city of Tarsus, where the Apostle Paul was born.

Kittim had no certain area that can be proved by the Bible. It could have been used loosely for the islands of the coast, maybe Cyprus.

Dodanim, the Bible does not explain. Some scholars believe this was Troy. Really, unless the Bible carries the name through the Scriptures, it probably means it is irrelevant to the spiritual teachings.

The Bible leaves no questions about these sons of Javan, because verse 5 told us exactly what happened to them.

Genesis 10:5 "By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations."

"Divided ... after his tongue": This act describes the situation after the Tower of Babel account (in chapter 11).

In (verse 5), I do want us to take note that the descendants of Japheth did as God instructed, and scattered, and populated the area God has given them. Take note also, that these people spoke different languages. This will be very important to remember as we go on.

We also need to take note, at this point, that all of these people that we have studied in the first part of this lesson today were descendants of Noah through his son Japheth, probably Caucasians.

In verse 6 there was a break from the first five verses. We will now take up the descendants of Noah through Ham.

Verses 10:6-20: The sons of Ham": Many of whom were Israel's enemies.

Genesis 10:6 "And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan."

"And the sons of Ham": Next to the sons of Japheth, the sons of Ham are reckoned. Their territory generally embraced the southern portions of the globe. The most usual ancient name of the country was Kern, the black land.

Scripture speaks of Egypt as the land of Ham (Psalm 78:51; Psalm 105:23; Psalm 106:22), Cush, Ethiopia, including Arabia, and Abyssinia. The original settlement of Cush, however, is believed to have been on the Upper Nile, whence he afterwards spread to Arabia, Babylonia, and India.

We learned in a previous lesson that the name "Ham" means hot. Most people believe that Ham was the father of the Negroid nations. It is impossible to prove this either way, except to note that some of Ham's descendants settled Africa, and Ethiopia, and other black nations.

Cush probably settled Ethiopia too, (this is commonly accepted). Mizraim was commonly accepted as Egypt. "Mizraim" was translated Egypt eighty-seven times in the Bible. Phut was an African country or peoples, probably joining Egypt.

Canaan was, probably, ancient evil Palestine before Joshua, through the help of God, overthrew them and took the land for the children of Israel. We will see (in verse 15), of this chapter, that many races of people were started from Canaan. Jebusite, Amorite, Girgasite, Hivite, Arkite, Sinite, Arvadite, Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Ham's descendants worshipped false gods.

Genesis 10:7 "And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan."

Cush had five sons and two grandsons, who were reckoned among the founders of nations.

Seba, probably, means the Sabeans. Seba was mentioned in Isaiah and Psalms, as well as in Genesis. (The Sabeans, South west Arabia, and Yemen). The Queen of Sheba was, probably, from this area. Seba, Saba, and Sheba probably are the same word.

Havilah became the Ishmaelites, located somewhere in Arabia. These people were nomads (travelling people). Their name meant sand. They probably roamed the desert. Sabtah has no other mention that I can find.

Raamah's descendants were traders and probably lived in South West Arabia. Sabtechah seems to disappear with this son. Sheba (this particular Sheba), seems to have settled the shores of the Persian Gulf. Dedan seems to be just mentioned once more (in Chronicles), and I could not trace him.

Genesis 10:8 "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth."

"Nimrod": This powerful leader was evidently the force behind the building of Babel (see Genesis 11:1-4).

Nimrod was a great man in his day; he began to be mighty in the earth. Those before him were content to be upon the same level with their neighbors, and though every man bare rule in his own house, yet no man pretended any further. Nimrod was resolved to lord it over his neighbors.

The spirit of the giants before the flood, who became mighty men, and men of renown (Gen. 6:4), revived in him. Nimrod was a great hunter. Hunting then was the method of preventing the hurtful increase of wild beasts. This required great courage and address, and thus gave an opportunity for Nimrod to command others, and gradually attached a number of men to one leader.

From such a beginning, it is likely, that Nimrod began to rule, and to force others to submit. He invaded his neighbor's rights and properties, and persecuted innocent men; endeavoring to make all his own by force and violence. He carried on his oppressions and violence in defiance of God himself.

Genesis 10:9 "He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD."

"Nimrod the mighty hunter" The name of this man means "Let Us Revolt." Arab traditions record ruins named after him at Birs-Nimrud, which is Borsippa, and at the Nimrud of Calah.

His activities centered first in "Shinar" (Babylonia) and included building the Tower of "Babel" (11:1-9).

Then he went to Assyria (Micah 5:6). Some believe that since the context deals with man and not animals, his prowess in hunting deals with man and that his exploits are of a moral and spiritual nature. "Mighty hunter" is from 6:4, and his name relates to the word "marad," meaning "rebel."

Thus, he established a thoroughly autocratic, imperialistic, despotic system of government (of a kind described in Isa. 13, 14), back of which stands Satan in all his rage against God.

He did all of this "before the Lord." What he did was very significant and was a matter of concern to God Himself. God certainly knows what everybody does; but this made a strong impression (just as the "sons of God" did in 6:2).

"Nimrod" means rebel. Nimrod was a powerful worldly man. If you will notice, it was of the earth, not heaven. Hitler was a powerful earthly man, as well. You can easily see that having power on the earth is not necessarily good. He was a direct contrast to Jesus (Shepherd).

A hunter is trying to satisfy his own flesh, and a shepherd is concerned about saving others. At any rate, we will see that Nimrod was of a very earthly nature, not a spiritual nature. There is no doubt about where he settled. Verse 10 tells us that.

Genesis 10:10 "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."

"Babel": The beginning of what later would prove to be Babylon, the destroyer of God's people and His city Jerusalem (605-539 B.C.).

Nimrod had a rebellious spirit. He did not want to heed God's instruction to scatter and populate the earth. He thought that by his own power and might, that he would be able to make his own entrance to heaven without the help of God. He and his ancestors rebelled against God. Even now, we associate the name Babel with evil or evil city.

Babylon the great in Revelation was a very good example of this. Nimrod would take his glory right here on the earth; he would not have any glory in heaven. Erech was near the Euphrates River in southern Babylonia. Accad was thought to be the same area as modern Baghdad. There was very little known of Calneh, except the evil influence of Nimrod.

Shinar was probably southern Babylonia; Assyria as we know it today. (In Isaiah 1:11), we saw Shinar mentioned as one of the places the Jews will be gathered from and brought to the Holy Land in the end days.

In (Zechariah 5:11), the land Shinar was mentioned as a land of godless commercialism. Nebuchadnezzar carried away temple treasures from Jerusalem to Shinar (in Daniel 1:2).

Genesis 10:11 "Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,"

"Out of that land ... builded Nineveh": This was Israel's primary enemy from the East. Nimrod was Israel's prototypical ancient enemy warrior, whose name in Hebrew means "rebel" (Micah 5:6).

This above Scripture was speaking of Assyria. Nineveh was a wicked city, even down to the time of Jonah. This was the city that Jonah thought was too evil for God to save. Jonah went the other way when God told him to warn Nineveh. Nineveh repented in sackcloth, and ashes, and called a fast. God let them live, but you can see that Nineveh was truly an evil city.

Rehoboth was, probably, a suburb of Nineveh to Calah, including Resen, all made up Nineveh proper.

Genesis 10:12 "And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same [is] a great city."

"And Resen, between Nineveh and Calah": This was another city built by Ashur, situated between those two cities mentioned: the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call it Talsar, or Telassar (see Isaiah 37:12).

The conjecture of Bochart (is more probable), that it is the Larissa of Xenophon, situated on the Tigris; though Junius thinks it is either Bassora, or Belcina, which Ptolemy places on the Tigris, near Nineveh.

As we can easily see, all the cities and areas that Ham's descendants inhabited were rebellious toward God. They worshipped the god of fertility, and worshipped in high places, which, as we will come to find, is an abomination to God.

Genesis Chapter 10 Questions

1. Did Shem, Ham, and Japheth have sons on the ark?

2. What does "Japheth" mean?

3. What two opinions are presently expressed about Magog?

4. Who did the Medes spring from?

5. Many believe Javan was the father of what country?

6. Why did God want them to scatter?

7. These various grandsons became leaders of what?

8. Why did God want them to scatter?

9. Name seven sons of Japheth.

10. The man often mentioned with Tubal was whom?

11. Togarmah trafficked with Tyre in what?

12. In Ezekiel 38, they were mentioned with what three countries following Gog?

13. Where did the sons of Javan populate?

14. What does "Tarshish" mean?

15. What area do scholars believe was Troy?

16. What did I ask that we take note of about Japheth and his descendants?

17. Were Japheth's descendants, Caucasians, Negroids, or Orientals?

18. List four sons of Ham.

19. What does "Ham" mean?

20. Most people believe Ham was which of the three types of people?

21. Cush settled where?

22. Mizraim was, probably, where?

23. Phut was where?

24. Canaan was where?

25. Name nine races of people started through Canaan.

26. Seba was, probably, whom?

27. Where was it located?

28. Havilah became whom?

29. What was another word for travelling people?

30. What did the word mean?

31. Where can we assume they wandered?

32. Who was the father of Nimrod?

33. What was Nimrod before the Lord?

34. How did this differ from Jesus?

35. Nimrod had what kind of nature?

36. Where was the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom?

37. What did Babel and Erech have in common?

38. What kind of spirit did Nimrod have?

39. Nimrod and his ancestors did what to God?

40. What is the modern city that Accad was thought to be?

41. In Isaiah 11:11 what was one place the Jews will be gathered from?

42. Nebuchadnezzar carried temple treasures where?

43. Who built Nineveh?

44. What did Nineveh, Rehoboth, and Calah have in common?

45. What three things did the people of Nineveh do to keep God from destroying them?

46. What two things did Ham's descendants do that displeased God?

Genesis Chapter 10 Continued

Genesis 10:13-14 "And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim," "And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim."

Mizraim has seven sons, from who are derived eight nations.

"And Mizraim begat Ludim": Mizraim was the second son of Ham. Ludim he is said to beget, the word being plural, is not the name of a man, but of his posterity; and the sense is, that Mizraim begat the father of the Ludim, whose name very probably was Lud, which name is preserved (in Isaiah 66:19).

These Ludim are the same with the Lydians (Jeremiah 46:9), and whose country is called Lydia, (Ezekiel 30:5), but to be distinguished from Lydia in Asia Minor, and the Lydians there who sprung from Lud, a son of Shem (Genesis 10:22), for, as these sprung from Mizraim, the founder of Egypt, they must be somewhere thereabout.

Bochart has proved, by various arguments, that they are the Ethiopians in Africa, now called Abyssines, whose country lies to the south of Egypt. A people formerly famous for archery, as Lud and the Lydians are said to be (Isaiah 66:19).

And whoever reads the accounts Diodorus Siculus gives of the Egyptians and Ethiopians, will easily discern a likeness between them, and that the one sprung from the other; both deifying their kings. Showing a like carefulness about their funerals. Both using hieroglyphics; having the like order of priests, who used shaving; and circumcision was common to them both, as Herodotus observes.

We must remember here, that these were the descendants of Ham. We remember Mizraim was Egypt. Whether all, or a portion, I do not know. Ludim was mentioned in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and several other prophetic books, and seemed to be always at odds with God. Egypt, or one of the African nations, seemed to be home for Ludim.

All that is known for sure about Anamin was right here. There were no other Scriptures that directly connect him. He was probably Egyptian.

The tribe of Lehabim was believed to be the fair-haired, blue-eyed Libyans of Midianite stock. The family of Naphtuhim, just as Lehabim, seemed to just drop out of Bible history. As we have said before, this happened very often in the Bible, when it was not important to the lesson to be learned, or when they were not in the lineage of Jesus.

The only thing known about the Pathrusim name was that the city Pathros, Egypt, probably originated from these people. Nothing is known about Calsuhim and Philistim, unless, Philistim became Philistia. It is too difficult to trace to any degree of accuracy. The names were just similar, and from the same area.

Caphtorim were the inhabitants of Caphtor, or Crete. In Jeremiah, Caphtor was said to be the area the Philistines came from. This, too, makes you believe that Philistia and the Philistines were, probably, the same.

Genesis 10:15-18 "And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth," "And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite," "And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite," "And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad."

A notable shift occurs in this section away from place names to the inhabitants themselves (note the "ite" endings). These are not only the cursed people of Canaan's curse for the scene at Noah's drunkenness, but also they are those who possess the Promised Land which Israel as a nation needed to conquer.

But the Noahic curse alone did not determine their guilt, for God said to Abram that the iniquity of the Amorites must first be complete before his descendants could occupy the Promised Land (15:16).

The verses above were not only telling us the names of the sons of Canaan, but also, the tribes that were started through them. Sidon was also Zidon; the town associated with this was sometimes called Saida located in present day Lebanon. These people were Phoenicians, seafaring people. These people became known as the Sidonians.

1 Kings 11:5 "For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites" (who are the same people).

These Sidonians followed after false Gods and goddesses. It seemed to have been a family trait. Heth was the father of the Hittites. It seems, Heth settled near evil Canaan. In later years, Abraham bought a burial place near Hebron from the Hittites. The Hittites worshipped a large group of Egyptian and Babylonian deities and were in opposition to the Israelites.

One interesting thing to know about the word Heth, it is the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The Jebusites, as their relatives above, were one of the tribes that Joshua ran out of Canaan, but not out of Jerusalem. They lived together there. They, too, had a bad background of false Gods.

"Amorite" means (the high one). The Amorites were one of the seven tribes whose land was given to Israel. They were very prominent in the Bible in opposition to Israel. Sometimes, Amorite and Canaanite are interchangeable. They settled where present day Israel is.

The Girgasite and the Girgashites were the same people. They also, were one of the 7 tribes in Canaan that Joshua took over for Israel. They probably settled west of the Jordan River.

The Hivite, also, was one of the 7 tribes destroyed by Israel. They seemed to be settlers around Lebanon.

The Arkite group settled Lebanon, as well. They were, probably, the same as the Arvad group mentioned (in Ezekiel 27:8-11). It seemed as though they were a maritime group. Very little else is known. This Sinite is the only time this group was mentioned in the Bible.

The Zemarite tribe and the Hamathite tribe were just 2 more of these settlers of Canaan, who were overthrown by the Israelites, and seemed to just drop out of view. This last sentence in verse 18 said it all, when it said the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

Genesis 10:19 "And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha."

"And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon": This is to be understood, not of the Canaanites, properly so called, but of them in general; and is a description of the bounds of the land of Canaan, as possessed by the people of Israel.

The northern or north west border of it was Sidon (see Genesis 10:15), and is to be understood of the country which reached from that city towards the east almost as far as Jordan.

"As thou comest from Gerar unto Gaza": Two cities of the Philistines, well known in Scripture. The former for being the place where Abraham and Isaac sometimes sojourned, and the latter for Samson's exploits in it. These were the southern or south west border of the land of Canaan.

"As thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboim": Four cities destroyed by fire from heaven, as is after related in this book; these lay to the south or south east part of the land.

The Samaritan version of this verse is very different from the Hebrew, and is this, "and the border of the Canaanites was from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates, and unto the hinder sea: i.e. the western or Mediterranean.

Genesis 10:20 "These [are] the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, [and] in their nations."

The list of the Hamites is summed up (Genesis 10:20), in the usual form. It appears that Ham occupied Africa and a certain portion of Asia along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, in the south of Arabia, about the lower valley of the Frat and Diljah, and perhaps along the south of Asia.

In extent of territory, Japheth ultimately far exceeded, as he occupied most of Asia and almost all of Europe and the New World. Ham is next to him, as he inherited Africa and a portion of Asia.

Some of his descendants have also been forcibly transplanted to the New Hemisphere. But in point of political contact with Shem, Japheth, in early times, sinks comparatively into the shade, and Ham assumes the prominent place.

Babylon, Kush, Egypt, and Kenaan are the powers which come into contact with Shem, in that central line of human history which is traced in the Bible. Hence, it is that in the table of nations special attention is directed to Kush, Nimrod, Mizraim, and to the tribes and borders of Kenaan.

"These are the sons of Ham after their families": No doubt all these were well known in the days of Moses, and for a long time after.

But at this distance, when it is considered that the political state of the world has been undergoing almost incessant revolutions through all the intermediate portions of time, the impossibility of fixing their residences or marking their descendants must be evident, as both the names of the people and the places of their residences have been changed beyond the possibility of being recognized.

We have already discussed Sidon. It seemed all of these people of Canaan settled around the old evil Canaan that was to be overthrown by the Israelites.

This Gerar mentioned here, was the same as the one mentioned in connection with Abraham and Isaac telling a story about their wives to Abimelech. Abimelech lived in Gerar. Gaza which means stronghold was a border city of Canaan.

The Hebrew name for Gaza is Azzah (mentioned in Deuteronomy, Kings, and Jeremiah). It was the capital of the Philistines. Samson lived there. This was one of the cities Phillip ministered in. Today, this is the center of the Gaza Strip.

Sodom and Gomorrah were near the Dead Sea, out in the desert. They were both well known for being evil cities that God destroyed except for lot's family.

You see, the original people of Canaan were evil, and disobedient to God. It seemed that time only worsened the morals of Sodom and Gomorrah. It seemed Admah was destroyed with Sodom (probably a suburb). Nothing else is known of Admah. Zeboim, also, was destroyed for evil. Lasha has no other mention, but was believed to be near the Dead Sea.

There is a break here between verse 20, the evil sons of Ham, and verse 21, the sons of Shem.

Verses 10:21-31: The sons of Shem, i.e. the; Semitic people.

Genesis 10:21 "Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were [children] born."

"Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber": And for the sake of those Shem is particularly said to be the father of, is this genealogy given, and indeed the whole book of Genesis wrote: Eber was the great-grandson of Shem, and is here spoken of by anticipation, and Shem is called not the father of either of his immediate sons, but of the posterity of this man.

Because the Hebrews sprung from him in his line, among whom the church of God and the true religion were preserved, and from whom the Messiah was to come, as he did: the word Eber, Jarchi interprets, "beyond the river, Euphrates" or "Tigris", or both, as describing the seat of the posterity of Shem.

But as this too much narrows them, since they inhabited on both sides, Dr. Hyde has shown that the word used may refer to both, to those beyond these rivers, and to those on this side (see Numbers 24:24).

We must take a very good look at these people (the descendants of Shem), because this was the line Jesus would come from. Eber seems to be Heber (in Luke 3:35). It very well may be that Hebrew came from this Eber, as well.

(I really believe what it was trying to say is that Shem was the father of the Hebrew nation).

The Bible does not always mean child, when it says children. It sometimes means grandchild, or great-grandchild, as is obviously the case with Eber in the above Scripture. Eber, the man, is actually the grandson of Arphaxad, as we will see in the next few verses.

Genesis 10:22 "The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram."

"The children of Shem": Whose names are Elam and Ashur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram; and who, as Josephus says, inhabited Asia, from Euphrates to the Indian Ocean.

His first born, Elam, was the father of the Elymaeans, from who sprung the Persians, as the same writer observes, and his posterity is called Elamites. Their country Elam, and is sometimes mentioned with Media, when the Persians and Medes are intended, Isa. 21:2 (see also Isa. 22:6).

Ashur, the second son of Shem, gives name to Assyria; a country frequently mentioned in Scripture; and which, according to Ptolemy was bounded on the north by part of Armenia the great, and the mountain Niphates, on the west by Mesopotamia and the river Tigris, on the south by Susiane, and on the east by part of Media.

Strabo says they call Babylonia, and great part of the country about it, Assyria, in which was Ninus or Nineveh, the chief city of the Assyrian empire; and which was built by Ashur, as Josephus affirms, and says he gave the name of Assyrians to his subjects.

Arphaxad, the third son of Shem, from him that part of Assyria, which lay northward next to Armenia, Josephus says he gave name to the Arphaxadaeans, whom he ruled over, now called Chaldeans; and indeed, the name of the Chaldeans may as well be derived from the latter part of Arphaxad's name, "Chashad".

As from Chesed, the son of Nahor, and brother of Abraham, as it more commonly is; since the Chaldeans were called Chasdim before Chesed was born, and were a nation when Abraham came out of Ur.

Before Chesed could be old or considerable enough to build towns and found a nation (see Genesis 11:31). Though Bochart treats this as a mere dream, yet he is obliged to have recourse to the usual refuge.

The fourth son of Shem was Lud, from whom sprung the Lydians, a people of Asia minor, and whose country is called Lydia, including Mysia and Caria, which all lay by the river Maeander; and Lud, in the Phoenician language, signifies bending and crooked, as that river was, being full of windings and turnings.

From Aram, the last son of Shem, sprung the Aramaeans, and this is the name they give to themselves to this day.

The country inhabited by them included Mesopotamia and Syria, and particularly all those places that have the name of Aram added to them, as Padan Aram, and Aram Naharaim (which is Mesopotamia), Aram of Damascus, Aram Zobah, Aram Maacha, and Aram Beth Rehob.

Arphaxad, along with Shem, was mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Elam probably settled Persia (the part that became known as Elam).

"Asshur" means that these people of Asshur went to Assyria. Arphaxad settled in the mountains near Nineveh. This Lud was not the same one mentioned in the line of Ham, but nevertheless, probably settled in Asia. Aram, probably, settled in Armenia. On the mother's side, Jacob's children were, probably, Armenian from this connection.

Genesis 10:23 "And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash."

Uz, the chief of a people having their seat in the north of Arabia Desert, between Palestine and the Euphrates. From this Uz it is possible that the sons of Nahor and of Seir (Genesis 22:21; Genesis 36:28), obtained their name. Job dwelt in this land.

Hul is supposed to have his settlement about the sources of the Jordan in Huleh. Others trace this nation in the Hylatae near Emesa.

Gether is of uncertain position, probably in Arabia.

Mash may have left a trace of his name in Mons Masius, Karajah Dagh, south of Diarbekir, and perhaps also in the Mysians and Moesians, who may have wandered westward from under this mountain.

Uz was mentioned later as the Land that Job lived in somewhere in the Arabian Desert. Probably, Uz and Hul settled in the same area. At any rate, these people were all Hebrews. Gether and Mash did not seem to be prominent in the line of Jesus, and fade away with this mention of them. Mash is called Meshach (in 1 Chronicles).

Genesis 10:24 "And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber."

"And Arphaxad begat Salah": Which signifies "a sending forth"; that is, of waters. It is part of the name of Methuselah, given him by his father, as prophetic of the flood (see Genesis 5:21); and Arphaxad, who was born two years after the flood, gives this name to his first born, as commemorative of it.

And Salah begat Eber; from whom, Josephus says, the Jews were called Hebrews from the beginning; and which, perhaps, is as good a derivation of their name as can be given, and seems to be confirmed by (Numbers 24:24), though some derive it from Abraham's passing over the rivers in his way from Chaldea into Syria.

But be it so, why might not this name be given to Eber, as prophetic of that passage, or of the passage of his posterity over the Euphrates into Canaan, as well as Eber gave to his son Peleg his name, as a prediction of the division of the earth in his time.

Salah is mentioned in one other place, but called Shalah in 1 Chronicles. He is mentioned in the lineage of Jesus, as is Eber, which we have already touched on. This mention here of Eber is the man, and not the Hebrew nation.

Genesis 10:25 "And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one [was] Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name [was] Joktan."

"Earth divided": This looks ahead to the dispersion of nations at Babel (11:1-9).

The division of the earth (in verses 25 and 32), does not refer to the splitting apart of the continents, but to the dispersion of peoples at the Tower of Babel. The fact that Peleg's ancestors are not mentioned as being alive at this time (Noah, Shem, etc.), implies that they had long since died.

This is another indication that there are gaps in the genealogy (of chapter 11). In (11:16-19), there is a considerable shortening of the life span from Eber to Peleg (from 464 to 239 years), which also suggests a time gap and that Eber may have been a distant ancestor of Peleg.

The word Peleg means division. What an appropriate name this is. The statement, the earth divided, I believe is accurate. The continents did divide (the scientists tell us that they are still moving apart a few inches a year). Peleg also is in the genealogy of Jesus. It should not be so hard for us to believe that the land mass was altogether one time.

In the new heaven and the new earth there will be no sea. Very little is known of Joktan, except that he was the brother of Peleg. You see the Bible does not go into detail on a person, unless it is important later on in the bible.

Genesis 10:26-29 "And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah," "And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah," "And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba," "And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these [were] the sons of Joktan."

The thirteen tribes of the Joctanites or primitive Arabs are enumerated here in Genesis 10:26-29.

The posterity of Canaan were numerous, rich, and pleasantly seated; yet Canaan was under a Divine curse, and not a curse without cause. Those that are under the curse of God, may, perhaps, thrive and prosper in this world; for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us.

The curse of God always works really, and always terribly. Perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work so that others can see it; or a slow curse, and does not work soon; but sinners are reserved by it for a day of wrath. Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth.

Yet they have a better lot, for they inherited the blessing. Abram and his seed, God's covenant people, descended from Eber and from him were called Hebrews. How much better it is to be like Eber, the father of a family of saints and honest men, than the father of a family of hunters after power, worldly wealth, or vanities. Goodness is true greatness.

All of these sons of Joktan seemed to settle parts of Arabia, and they, as their father, seem to just drop into obscurity. Two of these names with interesting meanings are Hazer-maveth which means (village of death) and Jobab which means (howler or one who calls shrilly). There were 13 of these sons who just disappear in Bible history.

Genesis 10:30 "And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east."

This seems to be in the desert of Arabia.

Genesis 10:31 "These [are] the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations."

From a review of these lands it is evident that Shem occupied a much smaller extent of territory than either of his brothers. The mountains beyond the Tigris, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Levant, the Archipelago, and the Black Sea, bound the countries that were in part peopled by Shem.

Arabia, Syria, and Assyria contained the great bulk of the Shemites, intermingled with some of the Hamites. The Kushites, Kenaanites, and Philistines trench upon their ground. The rest of the Hamites peopled Africa, and such countries as were supplied from it. The Japhethites spread over all the rest of the world.

There are 70 names, exclusive of Nimrod, of heads of families, tribes, or nations descended from the 3 sons of Noah, 14 from Japheth, 30 from Ham, and 26 from Shem. Among the heads of tribes descended from Japheth are 7 grandsons. Among those from Ham are 23 grandsons and 3-great-grandsons.

Among those of Shem are 5 grandsons, one great-grandson, 2 of the fourth generation, and 13 of the fifth. Whence, it appears that the subdivisions are traced further in Ham and much further in Shem than in Japheth, and that they are pursued only in those lines which are of importance for the coming events in the history of Shem.

It is to be observed also, that though the different races are distinguished by the diversity of tongues, yet the different languages are much less numerous than the tribes. The eleven tribes of Kenaanites and the thirteen tribes of Joctanites, making allowance for some tribal peculiarities.

Most probably spoke at first only two dialects of one family of languages, which we have designated the Hebrew, itself a branch of, if not identical with, what is commonly called the Shemitic. Hence, some Hamites spoke the language of Shem. A similar community of language may have occurred in some other instances of diversity of descent.

Genesis 10:32 "These [are] the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood."

God is just explaining again that through Noah's three sons the whole world was populated. The flood left 8 people to begin again. Eight, you remember, means new beginnings.

Genesis Chapter 10 Continued Questions

1. What group seems always to be at odds with God?

2. Where is probably the home of Ludim?

3. Which tribe is believed to be the fair haired, blue eyed Libyans?

4. What 2 things are not present for a family to drop into obscurity?

5. Who are believed to be the Crete?

6. What is another name for Sidon?

7. Where is Saida?

8. Name one of the false gods of the Sidonians.

9. Heth was the father of whom?

10. What tribe did Abraham buy a burial site from?

11. What is the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet?

12. Name 7 tribes who were later overthrown by Israel.

13. Where did the Arkites settle?

14. What 2 patriarchs were later mentioned in connection with Gerar?

15. What was the capital of the Philistines?

16. What area is it the center of today?

17. What are Sodom and Gomorrah well known for?

18. What other city was destroyed?

19. The word Eber probably means the father of all what?

20. When the Bible says children, what does it mean?

21. Who is the man Eber actually?

22. In the days of what man did the earth separate?

23. What does Hazer-maveth mean?

24. What name means one who calls shrilly?

25. What does 8 Mean?

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Genesis 11

Genesis Chapter 11

Genesis 11:1 "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech."

"One language, and of one speech": God, who made man as the one creature with whom He could speak (1:28), was to take the gift of language and use it to divide the race, for the apostate worship at Babel indicated that man had turned against God in pride (11:8-9).

"One language": is literally "one lip," meaning language or dialect. There is a single family in one place speaking one language.

We know that when Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth were on the ark, all the people of the earth, eight, truly did speak the same language. As we have said before, the Bible was not written in chronological order.

At what point in history (Chapter 11:1) occurred, is hard to say. This was, probably, an explanation of some of the things we have read in the previous chapter. Details very often overlap in the Bible.

Genesis 11:2 "And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there."

"As they journeyed from the east": God had restated His commission for man to "be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth" (9:7). It was in the course of spreading out that the events of this account occurred.

"From the east": An idiom for "off east," indicating direction.

"Shinar" was in the region of Babylon.

This "they" that was spoken of above means the descendants of Ham that we read about in the last lesson. We learned in our last lesson that the descendants of Nimrod settled in Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh, which was in the area of the tower of Babel. This area was in the land of Shinar.

Japheth's children scattered and even went to the islands, we learned in a previous lesson. It seemed the group that did not want to scatter was Ham's descendants. That was the group that built the tower of Babel.

Verses 3-4: "Let us make brick ... let us build us a city and a tower": While dispersing, a portion of the post-Flood group, under the leading of the powerful Nimrod (10:8-10), they decided to stop and establish a city as a monument to their pride and for their reputation. The tower, even though it was a part of the plan, was not the singular act of rebellion.

Human pride was which led these people to defy God. They were refusing to move on, i.e., scattering to fill the earth as they had been instructed. In fact, this was Nimrod's and the people's effort to disobey the command of God (in 9:1), and thus defeat the counsel of heaven. They had to make bricks, since there were few stones on the plain.

Genesis 11:3 "And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar."

"Brick": The irony of the passage is that they did not have the stone or mortar for building and had to use makeshift materials.

Verse 3 was, probably, the first mention in the Bible about people making brick for building. It must have been very similar to the brick we use today. They even baked them, as we do.

Genesis 11:4 "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

"Let us build us a city and a tower": Their ambition is expressed. They wish to bind their strength with the city and tower. The tower may mean a fortress (Deut. 1:28; 9:1 speaks of cities fortified up to heaven).

"Whose top may reach unto heaven": Not that the tower would actually reach to the abode of God and not that the top would represent the heavens. They wanted it to be a high tower as a monument to their abilities, one that would enhance their fame. In this endeavor, they disobeyed God and attempted to steal His glory.

"Us a name" (goes back to 4:17; 22:24; 6:4; 10:9); all of which are focal points of rebellion against God. Here they do not want to fulfill God's command to Noah and his family after the Flood (9:1).

These people were not interested in following what God told them to do (scatter). They were defiant, doing exactly the opposite. They were seeking worldly fame. Probably, the heaven that they were speaking of was the immediate heaven that they could see with their natural eyes.

Many teachers and historians believe they built a ziggurat (a rectangular stepped tower), like similar structures which were built in adjoining towns. The Bible was not clear on this. It just spoke of a very tall tower.

Jesus is the way to heaven, anyone who tries to get to heaven any other way, but through Jesus, is a thief and a robber.

Genesis 11:5 "And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded."

"And the Lord came down": The "coming down" is significant (18:2, 21; 19:1). God was already aware of the program, but being the righteous judge, He wished to examine it closely. No matter how high their tower, He still comes down.

You notice in the Scripture above, that God called them children of men. They were followers of the flesh, and not the spirit. Whatever felt good, they did, following their fleshly lust.

Genesis 11:6 "And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."

"Nothing will be restrained": They were so united that they would do all they desired to do.

"They begin to do": This would be only the start!

"Imagined to do": means "they purposed."

These people remind me of little children. One child will not get into much trouble, but when you add the second child, they get into ten times as much.

These people had evil hearts with every evil imagination. The fact that they spoke the same language, made it much easier for them to work together. Working together, people can accomplish more than working as individuals.

Even today, if those of other countries and American common people could sit down and talk together in the same language, we would find that we have many things in common. They love their families, just as we do; they want a peaceful world, just as we do. You see, the heads of government are the ones who have many problems, seeking power.

These people working together were not good, because Nimrod's descendants followed false gods. Whatever they did would be bad, because their hearts were evil.

Genesis 11:7 "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

"Let us go down": Again, the plural does not refer to angels, but is a plural of majesty (1:26; 3:22).

God the Father was speaking to Jesus, probably. Jesus is the doer of the God Head. They were going to make it impossible for the people to understand each other.

Genesis 11:8 "So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city."

"So the Lord scattered them": God addressed their prideful rebellion at the first act. They had chosen to settle; He forced them to scatter. This account tells how it was that the families of the earth "were separated ... every one according to his language" (10:5), and "were separated on the earth after the flood" (10:32).

What men will not do willingly, God forces them to do as a result of judgment, and today there are more than three thousand languages and dialects. The result of this confusion (verse 9), was the scattering of mankind. The name Babel is linked with the Hebrew verb "balal" (to confuse).

But the ancient Babylonians called the city Bab-ilu, meaning "Gate of God." At any rate, there is a pun in the construction of Babel-balal. In the Bible, this city increasingly came to symbolize the godless society, with its pretensions (chapter 11), persecutions (Daniel 3), pleasures, sins and superstitions (Isaiah 47:8-13), as well as its riches and eventual doom (Revelation chapters 17 and 18).

Certain lessons appear:

(1) Boastful pride in material power is sinful in God's sight. This is the theme behind all sin: pride;

(2) Yahweh's purpose endures forever. Every plan He formulates is inevitably implemented in spite of all efforts and devices of man. The peoples will settle in all the earth;

(3) Unity and peace are not ultimate goals in a sinful world: better division than collective apostasy.

God scattered this wicked group to many countries and changed their language, so they would not be able to cooperate in their evil adventures. What a contrast to the day of Pentecost, when every man heard in his own language the message of God.

Genesis 11:9 "Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."

"The name of it called Babel": This is linked to a Hebrew word meaning "to confuse". From this account, Israel first understood not only how so many nations, peoples and languages came about, but also the rebellious origins of their consummate enemy, Babylon (10:5, 20, 31).

"Scattered them": Because they would not fill the earth as God had commanded them, God confused their language so that they had to separate and collect in regions where their own language was spoken.

The word Babel is used today to mean something spoken unintelligibly, something difficult to understand. If they would not scatter on their own, then God would do it for them.

There is a definite break here. We will take up the ancestry of Shem which was another group entirely.

Verses 10-26: "Shem ... Abram": The genealogy of Shem (verse 10). Israel, upon hearing this section read, learned how the generation who survived the Flood related to their own father, Abram (verse 26), later known as Abraham (17:5). The shortening of lifespans was in effect.

Genesis 11:10-11 "These [are] the generations of Shem: Shem [was] a hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:" "And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters."

"These are the generations of Shem": Or a genealogy of the posterity of Shem; not of all of them, only of those of the line which led to Abraham, by which might appear the true line in which the Messiah from Adam through Abraham sprung.

Shem was one hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood; by which it is pretty plain that he was younger than Japheth (see Genesis 10:21).

The new section, opening with the usual formula (compare Gen. 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1), reverts to the main purpose of the inspired narrative, which is to trace the onward development of the line of promise. And this it does by carrying forward the genealogical history of the holy seed through ten generations till it reaches Abram.

Whilst Noah with his 950 years belonged entirely to the old world. Now we see Shem, born before the flood; reached the age of 600, as we see that he "begat Arphaxad two years after the flood", when he was 100 years old.

Here then, we see that the two catastrophes, the flood and the separation of the human race into nations, exerted a powerful influence in shortening the duration of life; the former by altering the climate of the earth, the latter by changing the habits of men. But while the length of life diminished, the children were born proportionally earlier.

The usual phrase, "These are the generations," marks the beginning of the fifth document. Accordingly, we now enter upon a new phase of human development. The nations have gradually departed from the living God. They have not, however, stopped at this negative stage of ungodliness.

They have fallen into polytheism and idolatry. And the knowledge of the one true God, the Maker, Possessor, and Upholder of heaven and earth, is on the verge of being entirely lost.

Nevertheless, the promises, first to the race of Adam, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. And next to the family of Noah, that the Lord should be the God of Shem, were still in force. It is obvious, from the latter promise, that the seed of the woman is to be expected in the line of Shem.

Verse 10 lets us know that Shem was 98 years old, when the flood was over. This too, makes you wonder about the belief that Noah was 120 years building the ark.

Notice here (in verse 11), the apparent dropping of the names of the other children who were not in the lineage of Jesus. Here again, you see the Bible is not written in chronological order. These few verses were going more into detail about those who were mentioned in Jesus' lineage.

Genesis 11:12-13 "And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:" "And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters."

And Arphaxad lived thirty five years, and begat Salah. Arphaxad is the first on record that had a son born to him so early; of Salah (see Genesis 10:24).

Genesis 11:14 "And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:"

"Eber": Progenitor of the Hebrews (i.e., Eber's descendants).

Genesis 11:15-19 "And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters." "And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:" "And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters." "And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:" "And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters."

Have you noticed something here? These years were like our years, because these people were having their first children around the age of thirty. Something else interesting, the life spans were decreasing just a little bit.

Genesis 11:20-22 "And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:" "And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters." "And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:"

I guess it is time to stop and look at a few of these names. "Reu" means friend. In Luke, Reu was called Ragau. Being in the ancestry of Abraham, it is very important to remember these people. Reu's son, Serug, is the great grandfather of Abraham. Serug was the father of Nahor. In Luke, his name was translated in Greek and came out Saruch.

There was a city in Mesopotamia near Haran, which tells us these Hebrews really did come to Haran to live. "Nahor" means snoring. Nahor was the son of Serug, and father of Terah. Nahor would be the grand-father of Abraham.

Later in this lesson, we will realize that one of Abraham's brothers was named Nahor, as well. In Luke, many of these names sound a little different, because they have been translated into Greek.

Genesis 11:23-25 "And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters." "And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:" "And Nahor lived after he begat Terah a hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters."

Whilst Noah with his 950 years belonged entirely to the old world, and Shem, who was born before the flood, reached the age of 600, Arphaxad lived only 438 years, Salah 433, and Eber 464; and again, with Peleg the duration of life fell to 239 years, Reu also lived only 239 years, Serug 230, and Nahor not more than 148.

Genesis 11:26 "And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran."

"Seventy years": The age that Terah began to father children. Abram was born later when Terah was 130 (2165 B.C.; 11:32 with 12:4).

"Begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran": Abram was not the oldest, but is mentioned first since God chose him for the messianic line (5:32 for the same pattern). According to 12:4, Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran; and according to verse 32, Terah died when he was 205, which means that Abram was born when his father was 130.

Abram means "Exalted Father." This signified his honored status as progenitor of God's chosen people. Later, in 17:5, his name would be changed to Abraham, which means "Father of a Great Multitude." He was born in approximately 2165 B.C.

In Genesis 11:26 the genealogy closes, like that in Genesis 5:32, with the names of three sons of Terah, all of whom sustained an important relation to the subsequent history. In other words, Abram as the father of the chosen family, Nahor as the ancestor of Rebekah (compare Genesis 11:29 with Genesis 22:20-23), and Haran as the father of Lot (Genesis 11:27).

Now the reason three sons were mentioned here, specifically, was because all three would enter into the movement of the history of Abraham.

Terah, the father of Abram (Abraham), was an idolater, as we read in Joshua.

Joshua 24:2 "And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, [even] Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods."

We will find later on that they settled in Ur of the Chaldees. The word Abram means high father. We will see the name Abram changed to Abraham in future lessons. The name Haran means road, caravan, or route.

Verses 11:27 - 25:11: The genealogy of Terah (verse 27).

Genesis 11:27-28 "Now these [are] the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot."

"Abram": The name means "exalted father" (17:5).

Genesis 11:28 "And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees."

"Ur of the Chaldees": A prosperous, populous city in Mesopotamia.

Most locate "Ur of the Chaldees" in Sumer, in southern Mesopotamia, while others locate it in northern Mesopotamia, at Urfa, Haran. The Sumerian Ur was one of the most spectacular cities of the ancient world. If indeed Abraham migrated from this city to Haran, he left behind an advanced culture, to put his faith in the promises of God.

"Ur" was one of the most significant and prosperous cities of its time. It was located about 10 miles west of the Euphrates River near the Persian Gulf, some two hundred miles southeast of Baghdad.

It is significant in Scripture as the city from which Abraham departed on his pilgrimage to the Promised Land (verse 31). Archaeological excavations were begun there as early as 1854, but the most significant work was done by Sir Charles L. Woolley (1922-34).

Discoveries included a golden helmet, golden daggers and drinking cups, a royal cemetery where kings were buried with an entire retinue of servants, numerous clay tablets, cylinder seals, statues, musical instruments, the elaborate headdress and jewelry of Queen Shubad, and a 70-foot-high ziggurat (a brick, pyramid tower rising in step-like stages).

This Sumerian city had one of the most advanced cultures in all the ancient world.

We see here, that Abram's brother, Haran, died and left Abram with Lot (Abraham's nephew). It seemed that the whole family lived in Ur of the Chaldees at this time.

Genesis 11:29 "And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife [was] Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah."

Milcah was mentioned prominently, here, because she was the grandmother of Rebekah, who later on married Isaac.

Genesis 11:30 "But Sarai was barren; she [had] no child."

"Sarai", probably, means contentious. Later on, God changed her name to "Sarah", which means princess. Later in the Scriptures, Abraham would call Sarah his sister.

Genesis 20:12 "And yet indeed [she is] my sister; she [is] the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife." It seems, she was his half-sister. The Scriptures did not go into detail on this. At any rate Sarai had not had children at this point.

Genesis 11:31 "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there."

"Haran": was a commercial center on the main highway linking the Mediterranean coast to the Euphrates River. The city was a center of the Babylonian moon cult and was probably founded by Sumerians from Ur. Haran is identified in Scripture as the city Terah settled in after leaving Ur (verse 31) and the place Abraham departed from to go south into Canaan (12:1).

Later, Abraham's servant went to Haran seeking a bride for Isaac (24:4), and Jacob fled to Haran from Esau. There also Jacob married Leah and Rachel (chapter 29). Excavations were concluded there by D.J. Rice (1951-56), revealing the early culture of the Sumerian city and its later Assyrian influence.

By 1300 B.C. it was fortified by the Assyrian King Adad-nirari I, and thereafter served as an Assyrian provincial capital. Josiah lost his life in battle to keep the Egyptians from going to the aid of the Assyrians in the crucial Battle of Haran (609 B.C.).

"From Ur ... came into Haran" (7:2-4; Heb. 11:8-10). Abram traveled along the Euphrates to Haran, a crossroads trading town in northern Mesopotamia or Syria, the best route from which to come down into Canaan and avoid crossing the great desert with all his people and animals (see 12:4).

The city Haran was named for the man Haran. Abram, at this time, seemed to have already taken the responsibility for Lot, his nephew.

Genesis 11:32 "And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

Now, with the death of Abram's father, Terah, this left Abram kind of in charge of the entire family. At any rate from this point on, Abram felt responsible for Lot. Note again here, that the life spans were getting a little shorter.

One thing that I forgot to mention before is that if you begin with Adam and add up all of years to Abram, you will discover that Abram was born 1948 years after Adam. Abram is the promise to the believers. Israel, the promise to the Jews, was born in 1948 our time.

Genesis Chapter 11 Questions

1. We know for sure the language was one at what time?

2. We learned in a previous lesson that what tribe, or descendants settled there in Shinar?

3. What four cities were located in Shinar?

4. Was this the type brick that we know today? Why?

5. Where was the tower to reach?

6. What were they doing in defiance to God?

7. What were they seeking?

8. What is the only way to heaven?

9. Why did God call them children of men?

10. Why was it not good for these people to work together?

11. Did they finish their city and tower?

12. Why did I say there was a break at verse 10?

13. How old was Shem when the flood was over?

14. What makes me think that these are regular years like ours?

15. Why was Reu translated Ragau in Luke?

16. Who was the father of Abram?

17. Why were 2 of Abram's brothers named specifically?

18. Who in Abram's brothers named specifically?

19. Where did they settle?

20. What does the word Abram mean?

21. Name Abram's brothers.

22. Who was Abram's wife?

23. Who was Nahor's wife?

24. What relation was Lot to Abram?

25. Where did Terah die?

26. How many years after Adam was Abram born

27. What relation, besides wife, was Sarai to Abram?

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Genesis 12

Genesis Chapter 12

Verses 12:1-10: Genesis 12:1-9 records the call of Abram and his obedience. The first three verses recorded the call and the promises; the rest of the section describes the obedience of Abram. The passage is constructed on two imperatives. The first is the basic call for Abram to leave the land in verse 1:

Verses 12:1-3, 7: When God established a covenant with Abraham; it was another dramatic turning point in human history. Abraham and his heirs (the nation of Israel) received an unconditional promise.

Under this covenant, God promised to make Israel a great nation, to bless the seed of Abraham, to give him a great name, to make him a blessing, to bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him, to give him the Promised Land, and through his descendants to bless all the families of the earth with a Redeemer.

Israel's failure in this dispensation was illustrated by their leaving the land to settle in Egypt, and resulted in bondage there. Israel's final testing under this dispensation occurred when God attempted to draw them back to the land. But they refused Him in unbelief at Kadesh-barnea (Exodus 19:5).

Genesis 12:1 "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:"

"The Lord ... unto Abram": This passage is the promise whose fulfillment extends all through Scripture (either in fact or in expectation), to Rev. 20. The actual Abrahamic Covenant is introduced (in 12:1-3), actually made (in 15:18-21), reaffirmed (in 17:1-21), then renewed also with Isaac (26:2-5), and Jacob (28:10-17). It is an everlasting covenant (17:7-8; 1 Chron. 16:17; Psalm 105:7-12; Isa. 24:5), which contains 4 elements:

(1) Seed (17:2-7; Gal. 3:8, 16; where it referred to Christ);

(2) Land (15:18-21; 17:8);

(3) A nation (12:2; 17:4); plus

(4) Divine blessing and protection (12:3).

"Get thee out": These elements to Abram are mentioned:

(1) Out of his "country";

(2) Away from his "kindred"; and

(3) Away from his "father's house".

Joshua 24:2 states that his family practiced idolatry. He is not told where he is to go, on "unto a land that I will show thee," which requires faith on his part.

This covenant is unconditional in the sense of its ultimate fulfillment of a kingdom and salvation for Israel (see notes on Rom. 11:1-27), but conditional in terms of immediate fulfillment (17:4). Its national importance to Israel is magnified by its repeated references and point of appeal throughout the Old Testament (2 Kings 13:23; 1 Chron. 16:15-22; Neh. 9:7-8).

Its importance spiritually to all believers is expounded by Paul (see notes on Gal. 3-4; Stephen quoted in Acts 7:3).

When God established a covenant with Abraham, it was another dramatic turning point in human history. Abraham and his heirs (the nation of Israel) received an unconditional promise.

"Into a land": Abram was still in Haran (11:31), when the call was repeated (Acts 7:2), to go to Canaan.

In this first line here we see that this was something that God had said in the past to Abram. God had chosen Abram. He first send him away from the sin ridden city of Ur of the Chaldees. He is telling Abram not to be held back by his family. He told Abram to leave this big, fine, beautiful home in Ur of the Chaldees and go into a strange land.

His father and the family went as far as Haran with him. Many of the people in the ministry face this same thing. They were uprooted from family and friends, and sent away from the security of homes. God will not let any of us look back with longing at things as they were. We must ever be looking for the land to which God has sent us.

Genesis 12:2 "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:"

If he leaves, there are three promises that Yahweh makes to him. They might even be translated in each case as a cohortative, "Let me":

(1) "Let me "make of thee a great nation", and

(2) "Let me "bless thee," and

(3) "Let me make thy name great."

The last promise certainly contains some irony. The quest for a name had been the driving ambition of the "sons of God (in Genesis 6:1-4), and of the architects of the Tower of Babel (in 11:1-9).

"Name great": Abram's magnificent reputation and legacy was fulfilled materially (13:2; 24:35), spiritually (21:22), and socially (23:6).

Now God will do for Abram what others had so selfishly sought but failed to attain. The last words in verse 2 may be translated so that you shall "be a blessing." Abraham is to be a great nation, be personally blessed, and receive a great name, so that he may be a blessing. Certainly, this is true for us today (Gal. 3:29).

Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

"Curse him that curseth thee": Those who "curse" Abram and his descendants are those who treat him lightly, despise him, or treat him with contempt. God's curse for such lack of respect and disdain was to involve the harshest of divine judgments. The opposite was to be true for those who bless him and his people.

"In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed": Paul identified these words as "the gospel beforehand to Abraham" (Gal. 3:8).

To whom and how he was to be a blessing are both answered (in verse 3). It may be translated "and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that cursed thee" in order that in you "all families of the earth be blessed".

The promises of blessings were for Abram, if he left family and home, and went where God sent him. The blessing was not just for Abram, but for all the families of the earth who are faithful like Abram (Christians). God promised Abram that he would be a great nation, and his name would be made great, and through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

There is an offering of blessing to those who bless Abram. The other side of the coin is a curse, if we curse Abram. Abram is really the father of the Israelites and the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. He truly is a great nation.

Genesis 12:4 "So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram [was] seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran."

Abram's first act of obedience is recorded in verse 4 as he "departed out of Haran".

"Haran" (see note on 11:31). They must have been there for some time because they accumulated a group of people (probably servants).

Genesis 12:5 "And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came."

"The land of Canaan they came" (ca. 2090 B.C).

The second is (in verses 5 and 8), as they came "into the land of Canaan "and "builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord" (4:26):

The Book of Genesis is divided into two main sections. The first 11 chapters deal with the history of the human race, and the last 39 with the family of Abraham. Thus, in the twelfth chapter, God turns our attention from a rebellious humanity recently scattered by the judgment of Babel, to this one family through which the Savior of the world would ultimately come.

You see, Abram left Ur with his father, but his father Terah died and was buried in Haran. Abram continued on to the land of Canaan, as God had instructed him to do. Abram and Sarai had no children, but carried a large company of servants and relatives with them.

Lot was the nearest thing to a son that Abram had, and Abram took Lot with him. Abram was 75 years old when they left Haran.

Genesis 12:6 "And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite [was] then in the land."

"Sichem": A Canaanite town located in the valley between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim (Deut. 27:4, 12). West of the Jordan about 15 miles and North of Jerusalem about 30 miles. Moreh was most likely a resident of the area for whom the tree was named.

"The Canaanite was then in the land": Moses was writing approximately 700 years after Abram entered the land (ca. 1405 B.C.). The Canaanites, of whom he wrote, were soon to be the opponents of Israel as they entered Canaan.

These were wicked people, and (in Genesis 15:16 and Deuteronomy 7:1-5), they were later to be destroyed because of the abominations they practiced. Right in the locality of God's call for Abram were wicked sinners! It would be hard for him to live for God and be pure.

Sichem was Shechem in other places in the Bible, and was just another spelling of the same word. We will find this city mentioned in the time of Jesus. Jesus fled from the Jews and went to this city. This city was, probably, located on a mountain, since that is what the word means. Some other names for the same place were Sychar and Sychem.

This was located in Palestine. These Canaanites, you remember, were worshipping false gods. God would overthrow them and give this land to Abram's descendants. So many times, promises that God makes are not for the immediate time, but for the future. They will be fulfilled nonetheless. God is true, He keeps His promises.

Genesis 12:7 "And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him."

"I will give this land" (13:15; 15:18; 17:7-8; Gal. 3:16). God was dealing with Abram, not in a private promise, but with a view toward high and sacred interests long into the future, i.e., the land which his posterity was to inhabit as a peculiar people.

The seeds of divine truth were to be sown there for the benefit of all mankind. It was chosen as the most appropriate land for the coming of divine revelation and salvation for the world.

"Altar ... unto the Lord": By this act, Abram made an open confession of his religion, established worship of the true God, and declared his faith in God's promise. This was the first true place of worship ever erected in the Promised Land. Isaac would later build an altar also to commemorate the Lord's appearance to him 26:24-25), and Jacob also built one in Shechem (33:18-20).

Not many people have had the Lord to appear to them. When He does, they will build an altar, as well. God promised the land of Canaan to Abram's descendants. Abram did not question how, or when, God would do this, Abram showed his belief, and sincerity, and humbleness by building an altar and worshipping.

Genesis 12:8 "And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, [having] Beth-el on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD."

"Beth-el ... Hai": Beth-el, 7 miles North of Jerusalem, was named later by Abraham (28:19). Hai (also known as Ai), was 2 miles East of Beth-el, where Joshua later fought (Joshua chapters 7 and 8).

The word "Beth-el" means house of God. "Hai" was another name for Ai, which means ruins; we will read about this area a number of times in this study.

Everywhere that Abram went, his first action was to build an altar to the Lord, and this was no exception. He prayed to God here (called upon the name of the Lord). Abram knew that he had to depend on God entirely.

Genesis 12:9 "And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south."

"Toward the south": Abram moved toward the Negev into a less desirable area for raising crops but better for his vocation as a herdsman, perhaps engaging also in merchant activity.

Genesis 12:10 "And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine [was] grievous in the land."

"And there was a famine in the land": Famine was not an unusual phenomenon in Canaan; two other major food shortages also occurred during the patriarchal period (26:1; 41:56). The severity and timing of this one forced Abram, soon after his arrival and travel in the Promised Land (verses 5-9), to immigrate to Egypt, where food was usually in abundant supply.

Still holding to God's promise, he did not return to Ur, though matters were extremely difficult (Heb. 11:15).

In addition to the wicked Canaanites, now he was tested by a famine (James 1:2-8 and those in Gen. 26:1; and 41:56).

"Egypt" is the great civilization of northeastern Africa which, when united, included both the upper (southern) and lower (northern) kingdoms. It is identified as Mizraim in Hebrew.

By the time Abraham arrived in Egypt during the First Intermediate Period, the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom Period (2700-2200 B.C.) had already been standing for some five hundred years! The subsequent rise of the Middle Kingdom Period (2040-1786 B.C.) parallels the arrival of Jacob and Joseph.

Extensive archaeological excavations at various sites throughout Egypt reveal an advanced culture expressed in architecture, agriculture, literature, music, military prowess, and religion. The Pharaoh was considered to be a god incarnate whose word was law.

This probably accounts for the complete absence of any law codes in ancient Egypt and supports the uniqueness of the Mosaic Law. Egypt continued to be an important factor to Israel throughout the Old Testament record.

Abram, as many who would follow him, found refuge in Egypt. Later on Joseph (coat of many colors) would find refuge there. Even Jesus, when Herod sought to kill him, was carried to refuge there by Joseph and Mary. Famines often drive people to a strange area to find food. God will use whatever it takes to get His people where He would have them go at a given time.

Genesis 12:11 "And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou [art] a fair woman to look upon:"

"Sarah" was the wife of Abraham and was also his half-sister. She was originally called Sarai and came with Abraham from Ur. Her inability to produce an heir was the major factor in her convincing Abraham to have a child by Hagar, her handmaid. At age 90 Sarah conceived and bore Isaac. Later, at her insistence, Hagar and Ishmael were expelled by Abraham.

"Fair woman": At 65, Sarai was still young and exceptionally attractive, being only half the age she was to be when she died (127). The patriarchs lived long; Abram was 175 when he died.

Sarah lived to be 127 years old. She died at Kirjath-arba (Hebron) and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (23:1-20). The New Testament refers to Sarah as the mother of the children of promise (Rom. 9:9). She is included in the list of the faithful (Heb. 11:11) and is cited as an example of obedience to her husband (1 Pet. 3:6; Gen. 11:29; 17:15-19).

Genesis 12:12-13 "Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This [is] his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive." "Say, I pray thee, thou [art] my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee."

Abram's fear of Sarai's being taken to Pharaoh's harem and his being killed led him to disguise his true relationship to her (20:13). Abram sought on his own initiative to take care of his future, thinking to assist God in fulfilling His promises.

"Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake": According to 20:13, Abram lied about Sarai everywhere he went to save his life, even after he had been saved and called by God. But God's sovereignty overcame Abram's sin.

"Sister": This was a lying half-truth, since Sarai was Abram's half-sister (20:12).

It seemed that Sarai was very beautiful, Abram was afraid that someone would want her for his wife enough, that he would kill Abram to get her. Fear will cause us to do some very foolish things. Abram was so afraid for his life, that he was willing to pass his wife off as his sister. He even asked Sarai to help him with his deception.

Genesis 12:14 "And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she [was] very fair."

The inadequacy of Abram's expedient appears in the issue, which is different from what he expected. Sarai is admired for her beauty, and, being professedly single, is selected as a wife for Pharaoh; while Abram, as her brother, is munificently entertained and rewarded.

Genesis 12:15 "The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house."

"Taken into Pharaoh's house": Egyptian officials did take notice of Sarai and informed their monarch of her beauty. The result was not unexpected; she ended up in Pharaoh's harem!

Genesis 12:16 "And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels."

Abram had now become involved in perplexities, from which he had neither the wisdom nor the power to extricate himself. With what bitterness of spirit he must have kept silence, received these accessions to his wealth which he dared not to refuse, and allowed Sarai to be removed from his temporary abode!

His cunning device had saved his own person for the time; but his beautiful and beloved wife is torn from his bosom.

There is no state on earth free from trials, nor any character free from blemishes. There was famine in Canaan, the glory of all lands, and unbelief, with the evils it ever brings, in Abram the father of the faithful. Perfect happiness and perfect purity dwell only in heaven.

Nothing was too good for Abram (if he was brother to Sarai). Pharaoh showered him with gifts for her sake. She was taken into the home of Pharaoh. God did not like this kind of carrying on. We will see in the next verse, just how displeased He was.

Genesis 12:17 "And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife."

"Plagued Pharaoh and his house": The separation of Abram and Sarai was critical enough to evoke the Lord's personal and dramatic intervention. Abram engineered the ruse to protect himself (verse 13, "that I may live") apparently without too much thought being given to Sarai; but God's reaction focused upon the protection of Sarai ("because of Sarai").

Abram was rebuked by Pharaoh. Sarai was his half-sister (20:12), but his statement was a lie. There Abram dissembled his relation to Sarai, equivocated, and taught his wife and his attendants to do so too. He concealed a truth, so as in effect to deny it, and exposed thereby both his wife and the Egyptians to sin.

God did not tolerate this type of behavior then, and will not tolerate it even today. These plagues descended when Sarai moved in. Pharaoh quickly realized the problem. Truly he laid the problem where it belonged, at Abram's feet. He realized she was Abram's wife, and God was displeased.

Some of the plagues in our society today, I believe, are because of God's displeasure at the sex sins of all kinds present in our land.

Genesis 12:18-19 "And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What [is] this [that] thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she [was] thy wife?" "Why saidst thou, She [is] my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take [her], and go thy way."

Pharaoh's reproof of Abram was very just: What is this that thou hast done? How unbecoming a wise and good man! If those who profess religion do that which is unfair and deceptive, especially if they say that which borders upon a lie, they must expect to hear of it; and they have reason to thank those who will tell them of it. The sending away was kind.

Somehow, and it remains unexplained, the plagues uncovered the deceit of Abram for Pharaoh. The monarch of Egypt humiliated Abram with his questions, showing more character than Abram gave him credit for and sending Abram out of his country.

Pharaoh asked Abram "why did you lie to me? You got me into trouble. Hurry up and get out of here, so God will stop this plague."

Genesis 12:20 "And Pharaoh commanded [his] men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had."

"Sent him away": Abram's lie brought him and his extended family to a disgraceful exit from Egypt, one which the servants must have talked about among themselves, with some loss to Abram's integrity and reputation in their eyes (see note on 13:9).

Pharaoh was so far from any design to kill Abram, as he feared, that he took particular care of him. We often perplex ourselves with fears which are altogether groundless. Many a time we fear where no fear is. Pharaoh charged his men not to hurt Abram in anything.

It is not enough for those in authority, that they do not hurt themselves; they must keep their servants and those about them from doing hurt.

Pharaoh realized this man was protected by God, so he did not punish him. He was in such a hurry for him to leave, that Pharaoh sent his men to make sure he left. Pharaoh did not take the gifts back. He sent them with Abram.

Our lesson to be learned in all of this is two-fold.

(1) We should not lie to protect ourselves; and

(2) God will be with us to help us out of whatever mess we get ourselves into, if we are His.

Genesis Chapter 12 Questions

1. Where was the first city God sent Abram out from?

2. What was the city's name where God told Abram to leave his kindred?

3. What three promises did God make to Abram?

4. The promises were not just for Abram, but for whom?

5. What was the name of Abram's nephew who went with him?

6. How old was Abram, when he departed from Haran?

7. Where were they going?

8. Where did Abram go near the plain of Moreh?

9. Who inhabited the land there?

10. Sichem was located in what land?

11. What was the first thing that Abram did?

12. When he left the plain of Moreh, where did he go?

13. What does the city's name mean?

14. This city was 12 miles from?

15. Hai means what?

16. Why did Abram go to Egypt?

17. What was Egypt a land of?

18. Why did Abram tell Sarai to tell them she was his sister?

19. What drives us to do things we would not ordinarily do?

20. What were some of the gifts Pharaoh gave Abram?

21. What did God do to straighten out this mess?

22. Where should the blame be placed?

23. Did Pharaoh take her to wife?

24. What did Pharaoh do to make it right?

25. What two things should we learn in all this?

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Genesis 13

Genesis Chapter 13

Verses 1-4: Significantly, after the disastrous situation in Egypt, Abram journeyed back to where he had erected an altar and there he again worshiped (see 12:8).

Genesis 13:1 "And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south."

"And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife": A special mercy that either of them returned, considering the sin they had committed and the peril in which they had been placed.

"And all that he had": Referring principally to the souls acquired in Haran (Genesis 12:5, 16), his material wealth being mentioned afterwards.

"And Lot with him": Lot accompanied him into Egypt, because he comes with him out of it. (Lot who does not appear in the preceding paragraph, no part of which relates to him, but is now reintroduced into the narrative, the present portion of the story being connected with his fortunes) with him into the south.

"Into the south": is so called in respect, not to Egypt, but to the land of promise. It acquired this title before the times of the patriarch, among the Hebrew-speaking tribes inhabiting it. The great riches of Abram consist of cattle and precious metals. The cattle are the chief form of wealth in the East.

Abram's flocks are mentioned in preparation for the following occurrence. He advances north to the place between Beth-el and Ai, and perhaps still further, according to (Genesis 13:4), to the place of Sichem, where he built the first altar in the land.

Last lesson, we learned that Pharaoh had sent Abram out of Egypt, when he discovered that God had plagued him because of Sarai, Abram's wife. We notice, here, that Abram left nothing behind but took even the gifts that Pharaoh had given him.

Genesis 13:2 "And Abram [was] very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold."

"And Abram was very rich": He was rich in spiritual things, in faith, and in all other graces, and was an heir of the kingdom of heaven. Also in temporal things, as it sometimes is the lot of good men to be, though but rarely, at least to be exceeding rich, as Abram was. Or "very heavy" as the word signifies, he was loaded with wealth and riches.

Abram's riches lay in cattle, in silver, and in gold. Cattle are mentioned first, as being the principal part of the riches of men in those days, such as sheep and oxen, he and she asses and camels (see Genesis 12:16). Besides these he had great quantities of silver and gold.

The Jews say he coined money in his own name, and that his coin had on one side an old man and an old woman, and on the other side a young man and a young woman. His riches no doubt was greatly increased by the gifts and presents he received from the king of Egypt during his stay there.

I really believe that cattle were symbolic for all food. It is interesting that God did not include land, or jewels as wealth. God's people, many times, are wealthy. It is not the riches that are sin. It is the love of riches.

Genesis 13:3 "And he went on his journeys from the south even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hai;"

Abram advances north to the place between Beth-el and Hai, and perhaps still further, according to (Genesis 13:4), to the place of Sichem, where he built the first altar in the land.

The sense of acceptance with God, which he had before experienced in these places of meeting with God, he has now recovered. The spirit of adoption, therefore, speaks within him.

Genesis 13:4 "Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD."

"Called on the name of the Lord": (12:8). The process of contrition in a new heart has come to its right issue in confession and supplication.

In this, I believe Abram saw that he had sinned, and went back to find God, to get forgiveness, and begin again. That is where so many people fail. When a Christian realizes he has sinned, he should repent, and go back to his first love of God, and begin again.

Genesis 13:5-6 "And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents." "And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together."

Not unexpectedly, conflict occurred because of crowded conditions and limited grazing space. Both uncle and nephew had accrued much on the slow trip from Ur via Haran and Egypt to the Beth-el/Ai region.

"Flocks and herds": Wealth in the ancient world was measured, not by land owned, but by the size of one's herds and the possession of silver, gold and jewels (verse 2; Job 1:1-3).

When a man has great wealth, as Abram did, his family as well usually has wealth. Abram loved Lot as a son (which he did not have), and probably helped Lot get these things to help him get started.

Lot was now grown. It was time for him to go out on his own. He had acquired great wealth along with Abram. They had so many animals; there was not enough grazing for them all.

Genesis 13:7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

"Perizzite": A Canaanite tribe (34:30; Deut. 7:1; Judges 1:4; 3:5-6; 1 Kings 9:20-21; Ezra 9:1).

It was safer to dwell together, in case someone attacked them, but the land was not able to sustain both large herds, and their servants were fighting over the best grazing spots. So many times, large groups of people cannot dwell together without strife. It is even difficult for two families to live in the same house without fighting, and these were large groups of people.

Genesis 13:8 "And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we [be] brethren."

"We be brethren": Abram's whole reaction in resolving the strife between the two households and their personnel portrayed a different Abram than that seen in Egypt; one whose attitude was not self-centered. Waving his right to seniority, he gave the choice to his nephew, Lot.

Abram did not want to fight with Lot. So many times, when a young man becomes of age, there is strife in the home. Both the father and his son, who is of age, want to be the authority. Neither wants to be under the other, and conflict arises. The only way to solve the problem is for this adult son to move out and establish his own home. Such was the case of Abram and Lot.

Genesis 13:9 "[Is] not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if [thou wilt take] the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if [thou depart] to the right hand, then I will go to the left."

"Is not the whole land before thee": Abram gladly called on Lot to select for himself (verses 10-11), what he desired for his household and flocks. After Lot's choice had been exercised, then Abram would accept what was left from him. Perhaps this did much to restore, in the eyes of the servants, Abram's integrity and reputation (see note on 12:20).

The material wealth occasioned a shortage of available grazing land and caused strife between Lot's shepherds and Abram's. Abram condescended to the younger man, Lot, and gave him the first choice of all the land.

Abram was telling Lot to choose first, and he would take the land Lot did not want.

Genesis 13:10 "And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it [was] well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, [even] as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar."

"Before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah": When Moses was writing (700 years after Abram came to Canaan), the devastation of that region had long before occurred by divinely initiated catastrophe (19:23-29), totally obliterating any evidence of its agricultural richness.

"As the garden of the Lord, like ... Egypt": This 2-fold appraisal of the Jordan Valley, with its meadows on either side of the river to which Lot was so strongly attracted, highlighted its lush and fertile nature. Moses, reading this to the Jews about to enter Canaan and likening it to the Garden of Eden, referred hearer and reader to God's revelatory description of it (Gen. 2:8-15).

Liking it to an obviously well-known and well irrigated region of Egypt referred them to a place the Jews had likely known well in their sojourn in Egypt.

"Zoar": 4:2. A town located at the South end of the Dead Sea, whose name means "small place" (see 19:22).

"Sodom" is identified in Scripture with Gomorrah and the cities of the plain (13:10-14:12). Sodom was known for its moral wickedness. The ancient site has not yet been clearly identified but is thought to be possibly submerged under the waters of the Dead Sea south of the El-Lisan peninsula, in what was originally the vale of Siddim (14:3).

Jebel Usdum ("Mount of Sodom"), a salt mountain at the southwestern end of the Dead Sea, seems to preserve the ancient name. Excavations at nearby Bab edh-Dhra were begun by William F. Albright in 1924, and were completed by Paul Lapp for the American Schools of Oriental Research (1965-1967).

They revealed an enormous cemetery with over 20,000 tombs and several hundred thousand burials. Evidence of an extensive population in this area totally ceased after the twenty-first century B.C. (about the time of Abraham). Historical references to Sodom have been cited among the clay tablets from Ebla found at Tell Mardikh in Syria.

There can be no doubt that a flourishing civilization once existed in the area and came to an abrupt halt at the end of the Middle Bronze Age.

Verses 11-12: An excellent yet selfish choice, from a worldly point of view, but disastrous spiritually because it drew him into the wickedness of Sodom (verse 13).

Genesis 13:11 "Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other."

Then Lot chose him all the plain: A little civility or good breeding is of great importance in the concerns of life. Lot either had none, or did not profit by it. He certainly should have left the choice to the patriarch, and should have been guided by his counsel. But he took his own way, trusting to his own judgment, and guided only by the sight of his eyes.

Lot accepts the offer of his noble-hearted kinsman. He cannot do otherwise, as he is the companion, while his uncle is the principal. He willingly concedes to Abram his present position, and, after a lingering attendance on his kinsman, retires to take the ground of self-dependence. Outward and earthly motives prevail with him in the selection of his new abode.

He beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered, etc.; so, he chose the land, without considering the character of the inhabitants, or what advantages or disadvantages it might afford him in spiritual things. This choice, as we shall see in the sequel, had nearly proved the ruin of his body, soul, and family.

He is charmed by the well-watered lowlands bordering on the Jordan and its effluents. He is here less liable to a periodical famine, and he roams with his serfs and herds in the direction of Sodom. This town and Amorah (Gomorrah), were still flourishing at the time of Lot's arrival. The country in which they stood was of extraordinary beauty and fertility.

Lot chose what he thought was the best for himself. This land had plenty of water and was very fertile land. Lot was looking at the physical, and not the spiritual. He had not taken into consideration the evil lifestyle of the people. Abram was satisfied with the land Lot did not choose. Abram's unselfishness would be rewarded.

Genesis 13:12 "Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched [his] tent toward Sodom."

Lot dwelled "in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom": Later he dwelt there (14:12), and subsequently served on the town council (19:1).

Genesis 13:13 "But the men of Sodom [were] wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly."

"The men of Sodom were wicked and sinners": Lot's decisions put him in dangerous proximity to those cities whose names would become a byword for perversion and unbridled wickedness. Their evil is the theme of chapter 19.

Whether Lot knew that the men of Sodom were evil or not at this time, was not mentioned in the Bible. Lot should have checked this out before moving in with them. Notice the Scripture above, it was not enough to just say they were wicked and sinners. God considers homosexuality a terrible sin (exceedingly).

Verses 14-17: With Lot gone, the Lord reaffirmed His covenant promise with Abram (Genesis 12:1-3). Strikingly and unmistakably, the Lord deeded the Land (verse 14, look in all directions; and verse 17, walk in all directions), in perpetuity to Abram and his descendants. Whom He declared would be innumerable (verse 16), as the dust.

Genesis 13:14 "And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:"

"And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him": indicates that God gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him, for He reaffirmed His promise to give the land of Canaan to Abram and his "seed" [descendants]" "forever" (verse 15).

Genesis 13:15 "For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever."

"To thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever": This land was given to Abram, that it might be given legally by an unbroken line of descent to his posterity. And though Abram himself cannot be said to have possessed it (Acts 7:5), yet it was the gift of God to him in behalf of his seed.

This was always the design of God, not that Abram himself should possess it, but that his posterity should, till the manifestation of Christ in the flesh.

God showed Abram the Promised Land, which his descendants will receive as part of God's promise to Abram. This was not for Lot's descendants, only Abram's.

Genesis 13:16 "And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, [then] shall thy seed also be numbered."

God announces that He will make his seed "as the dust of the earth." This multitude of seed, even when we take the ordinary sense which the form of expression bears in popular use, far transcends the productive powers of the Promised Land in its utmost extent.

Yet to Abram, who was accustomed to the petty tribes that then roved over the pastures of Mesopotamia and Palestine, this disproportion would not be apparent.

A people who should fill the land of Canaan, would seem to him innumerable. But we see that the promise begins already to enlarge itself beyond the bounds of the natural seed of Abram. He is again enjoined to walk over his inheritance, and contemplate it in all its length and breadth, with the reiterated assurance that it will be his.

Here again, God told Abram (even though he was very old), I will make so many descendants of you, that they will be impossible to number. God felt He needed to reassure Abram that he would have children and grandchildren. Abram, by this time thought, that the only descendants he would have would be through his nephew Lot.

Genesis 13:17 "Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee."

God set the boundaries of Israel right there that day. The Israelites still claim this territory today.

Genesis 13:18 "Then Abram removed [his] tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which [is] in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD."

"The plain of Mamre": A distinctively large grove of trees owned by Mamre the Amorite (14:13), located 19 miles southwest of Jerusalem at Hebron whose elevation exceeds 3,000 feet.

"Built there an altar": 12:7-8; 13:4. Again it is noted he "built there an altar unto the Lord." He was devoted to the worship of God.

Wherever Abram was, he built an altar. Hebron is an area still with the same name. "Hebron" means community and alliance.

Genesis Chapter 13 Questions

1. What three things did God classify as wealth?

2. What two things that we classify as wealth, does God not count as wealth?

3. What pertaining to wealth is sin?

4. We read that Beth-el is the place of what?

5. Why do you think Abram went back to Beth-el?

6. What should Christians do when they discover they have sinned?

7. What three things did Lot have with Him?

8. Where do you suppose Lot acquired them?

9. Why was the land unable to sustain them?

10. Who was the strife between?

11. What makes us realize that Abram was a peacemaker?

12. What plan did Abram offer Lot?

13. What area did Lot choose?

14. Why?

15. What town was Lot's tent near?

16. How should Lot have judged which area he should take?

17. What was the sin in this area?

18. What area did this land compare with physically?

19. How long did God promise to give the Promised Land to Abram?

20. How many descendants would Abram have?

21. Why had Abram just about given up having natural children?

22. Where did Abram come to in this land?

23. What was the first thing Abram did here?

24. What does Hebron mean?

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Genesis 14

Genesis Chapter 14

Verses 1-12: Raiding, conquering, and making other kings and city-states subservient vassals were all part of the world of the Fertile Crescent in Abraham's day. These locations mentioned range from Shinar in the east (the region south of the Salt Sea; Dead Sea), to the Jordan Valley, to the land of Moab, Southwest of the Dead Sea to Mt. Seir (later Edom).

Amalekites (see note on Exodus 17:8), did not yet exist in Abram's time (36:12), but they did when Moses wrote. Amorites scattered throughout Palestine became Canaanites. Vassal states, when they thought they could throw off the yoke of their suzerain with impunity, rebelled by not paying the assessed tribute and waited for any military response.

This time rebellion evoked a major military excursion by the offended suzerain Chedorlaomer and his allies (verses 5-7). In the ensuing confrontation with Sodom and Gomorrah and their allies (verses 8-10), the vassals miscalculated and they lost. Lot, by then a resident of Sodom, was taken captive.

Genesis 14:1 "And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;"

Fourteen years previous to the time of the incident narrated here (verse 5), "Chedorlaomer" (not Hammurabi), had control of the plain of Jordan. At this time, Abram was possibly still in Haran. Five cities of the plain revolted; and Chedorlaomer, with three allies, marched against them.

The reason for the allies' presence is only a guess, but they certainly came a long distance to control this area. So, they may have come to control the copper mines south and southwest of the Dead Sea. The Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions reveal that the mines were worked for centuries. Later, Solomon worked them.

Genesis 14:2 "[That these] made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar."

The spirit of despotism had descended from Nimrod to the present potentates of the East, and prompted them to aim at universal empire. The five kings are the petty sovereigns, each of a single town and its neighborhood. The area in which these towns lay was very circumscribed.

With the exception of the territory of Bela it was afterward submerged and formed part of the basin of the Salt Sea. Hence, Siddim is said to be the Salt Sea. The dale is the deep valley or glen in which these kings dwelt on the banks of the Jordan, or the Salt Lake into which it flowed.

Of the five cities, Sodom was the chief in power, luxury, and wickedness; whence it is mentioned first. Bela is also called Zoar, "the little," and, hence, is placed last; even the name of its king is not given. "All these joined together."

Genesis 14:3 "All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea."

Those mentioned in verse 1 formed a league in self-defense, and marched out to meet the enemy in the dale of Siddim. These made war with Bera, etc.

There are just a few things in this to note.

(1) Elam is modern Iran;

(2) Vale of Siddim and Salt Sea are the same as the Dead Sea; and

(3) Remember that Lot had settled at, or near, Sodom.

Genesis 14:4 "Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled."

It appears that these five Canaanitish kings had been subdued by Chedorlaomer, and were obliged to pay him tribute; and that, having been enslaved by him twelve years, wishing to recover their liberty, they revolted in the thirteenth.

In consequence of which Chedorlaomer, the following year, summoned to his assistance three of his vassals, invaded Canaan, fought with and discomfited the kings of the Pentapolis or five cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Zeboiim, Zoar, and Admab, which were situated in the fruitful plain of Siddim, having previously overrun the whole land.

Genesis 14:5 "And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that [were] with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim,"

The narrative here reverts to the previous circumstances which gave occasion to the present raid. "Twelve years had they served Chedorlaomer." These years' date probably from the commencement of his reign. They may have been previously dependent on the dominant power in Shinar, and connected with it by national descent.

If Chedorlaomer had wrested the supremacy from the king of Shinar, and so was regarded as an alien by the princes of Siddim, their coolness might gradually ripen into disaffection. In the thirteenth year, they rebelled, and in the fourteenth Chedorlaomer came to quell the revolt. This military expedition embraced far loftier objects than the mere control of the Pentapolis in the dale of Siddim.

Genesis 14:6 "And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which [is] by the wilderness."

"And the Horites in their Mount Seir": Or the Horim who dwelt in Mount Seir, so called from Seir the Horite, who continued here till they were drove out by the sons of Esau or Edom, from whom their country was afterwards called Edom or Idumea (see Genesis 36:20; Deuteronomy 2:12), unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness.

So far, these Horites inhabited, and the four kings smote all they met with unto this place. Which was either the plain or oak of Paran, near a wilderness of the same name. The wilderness of Arabia, through which the Israelites travelled forty years, in their way to Canaan.

The Horites were perhaps a Shemite tribe, the aboriginal inhabitants of Mount Seir, where they dwelt in caves; such as are still to be seen in Petra and other places around. They were afterward absorbed into the Edomites. Mount Seir stretches between the Salt Sea and the Elanitic Gulf.

The Horites: A people that dwelt in Mount Seir, till Esau and his sons drove them from there (Deuteronomy 2:22).

El-paran: The plain or oak of Paran, which was a city in the wilderness of Paran (Genesis 21:21).

Genesis 14:7 "And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which [is] Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar."

"And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh": Pursuing their victories as far as Elparan by the wilderness, they had passed by the country of the Amalekites; wherefore they "returned", or came back to fall upon them, and they came to a place called En-mishpat, or the "fountain of judgment"; which was not its future name.

It was there Moses and Aaron were to be judged concerning the business of that fountain, even the waters of Meribah, with which agrees the "Targum of Jonathan;" and they returned and came to the place where the judgment of Moses the prophet was determined by the fountain of the waters of contention.

It seems to have been the ancient name of the place, and by which it was called at this time, as Kadesh was the name of it at the time of Moses writing this; and therefore he adds: which is now called Kadesh, because there the Lord was sanctified, when the rock at that place was smitten, and waters gushed out.

"And smote all the country of the Amalekites": Which, according to Josephus reached from Pelusium in Egypt to the Red sea.

They inhabited Arabia Petraea, for he says, the inhabitants of Gobolitis and Petra are called Amalekites; which name is generally supposed to have been given them here by way of anticipation, since the commonly received opinion is, that they were the descendants of Amalek, a grandson of Esau, who was not born when this war was waged (see Genesis 36:12).

It seems more probable that the Amalekites were of the posterity of Ham, since Chedorlaomer, a descendant of Shem, falls upon them, and kills them. They being confederate with the Canaanites, and Amorites, Philistines, and other Canaanitish nations, always mentioned, seem a more ancient nation than what could proceed from Amalek the son of Eliphaz.

Since Amalek is said to be the first of the nations (Numbers 24:20); nor does there ever appear to be any harmony and friendship between them and the Edomites, as it might be thought there would, if they were a branch of Esau's family. Nor did they give them any assistance, when destroyed by Saul, so that they seem rather to be a tribe of the Canaanitish nations. And they are, by Philo the Jew, expressly called Phoenicians.

Genesis 14:8 "And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same [is] Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;"

We have now arrived again at the point we had reached (in Genesis 14:3). The five kings came out and joined battle with the four in the dale of Siddim. This dale abounded in pits of mineral pitch, or asphalt.

"And there went out the king of Sodom": With his armed men to meet the four kings, and give them battle, being so near him, and in so much danger from them, that if they could not stand their ground, they might flee to the mountains, and not perish in the city.

And the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the King of Zeboiim; whose names are before given (Genesis 14:2), and the king of Bela, the same is Zoar (as in Genesis 14:2). And they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim.

The invaders were from Chaldea and Persia, then only small kingdoms. They took Lot among the rest, and his goods. Though he was righteous, and Abram's brother's son, yet he was with the rest in this trouble.

Neither our own reverence, nor relation to the favorites of Heaven, will be our security when God's judgments are abroad. Many an honest man fares the worse for his wicked neighbors. It is our wisdom to separate, or at least to distinguish ourselves from them (2 Cor. 6:17).

Genesis 14:9 "With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five."

And it came to pass. This chapter presents Abram in the unexpected character of a warrior. The occasion was this: The king of Sodom and the kings of the adjoining cities, after having been tributaries for twelve years to the king of Elam, combined to throw off his yoke.

To punish their rebellion, as he deemed it, Chedorlaomer, with the aid of three allies, invaded the territories of the refractory princes, and defeated them in a pitched battle where the nature of the ground favored his army (Gen. 14:10). And hastened in triumph on his homeward march, with many captives and booty, though merely a stranger.

I think that what we must see in all of this is that there was unrest in the land for over 14 years. This land was broken into small areas and each one had a king. Any time a group of people start a fight with someone else, it is the desire for power and wealth that makes them do it. I am just sure that such was the case here, as well. All these kings wanted to be the top king.

Genesis 14:10 "And the vale of Siddim [was full of] slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain."

The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled toward these pits, and seem to have fallen into them and perished. The others betook themselves to the mountain, probably the heights on the cast of the dale.

Perhaps this was the large peninsula that comes out into the Dead Sea from the eastern shore. In Abram's time, it may have come all the way across to the western shore (near Masada), so the bottom third of the current Dead Sea formed this dry valley.

"Slimepits": These pits provided sealants for all sorts of uses.

This area of the slimepits was an area where oil deposits had come to the surface. Some of the modern Bibles call the slimepits (asphalt). At any rate, this would be of great use to them.

Genesis 14:11 "And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way."

The provisions and other movable property of the vanquished are carried away from Sodom and Gomorrah. Among the prisoners is Lot, the son of Abram's brother. This designation prepares us for what is to follow. It is added that he was "dwelling in Sodom," to explain why he was among the captives.

"Went their way": The invaders were now laden with booty. Their first concern was to transfer this to their native country, and deposit it in a place of safety. It was not prudent to delay while they were encumbered with so much valuable property. The terms on which the conquered tribes were to "serve" them could be settled by negotiation.

If these terms were not accepted, they would be quite ready for another predatory incursion.

Genesis 14:12 "And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed."

"They took Lot ... and his goods, and departed": How would the conscience of that young man now upbraid him for his selfish folly and ingratitude in withdrawing from his kind and pious relative? Whenever we go out of the path of duty, we put ourselves away from God's protection, and cannot expect that the choice we make will be for our lasting good (see Genesis 13:12.

So being a neighbor of the men of Sodom, and a sojourner among them, he partakes of their punishment.

The people, being exceedingly wicked, had provoked God to afflict them by means of those marauding kings; and Lot also suffered, being found in company with the workers of iniquity.

This was a just correction of him for choosing to dwell among such a people. And they took his goods, and departed; as him and his family, so all his substance, his cattle, wealth, and riches of every sort, and went off with it.

This is where they got into trouble. Abram would not have joined into this confusion, if they had left Lot alone. Why they did not just take Lot's possessions was not clear. Possibly, he and his family would have become slaves to these barbaric people.

The people who are modern Iran are the same people who took Lot. They have not changed their tactics. They are still kidnapping people.

Genesis 14:13 "And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these [were] confederate with Abram."

"There came one": One of the survivors who had fled from the invaders to the mountains (verse 10), went further and located Lot's uncle (the people knew who was related to whom). One as wealthy as Abram would not be hard to find, and was obviously thought to be one who could do something about the crisis which had affected his own close relatives.

"The Hebrew": For the first time in the biblical record, this ethnic appellation, "descended from Eber" (11:15-17), is accorded to Abram. Foreigners used it of Israelites and Israelites used it of themselves in the presence of foreigners (34:14; 40:15; 43:32).

"Plain of Mamre" (see note on 13:18).

Genesis 14:14 "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained [servants], born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued [them] unto Dan."

"Trained servants": Abram's private militia, members of his extended family ("born in his house"), totaling 318, were highly skilled bodyguards and the protective force for his possessions.

These, together with the trained men of his allies (verses 13, 24), were mustered and set off in pursuit of the military kidnappers, lest their captives be taken away to the east, to Shinar (the early name for Mesopotamia), or further east, to Elam.

"Trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen": The term indicates the might of Abram, especially the size and strength of his entourage. He actually had combat troops at his disposal.

The Ebla Tablets refer to an Ebrum, which was a dynastic title a few centuries before Abram. He is called a "mighty prince" (in 23:6), and thus is recognized by the inhabitants of the land as an influential person, possibly a ruler of a section of the land.

Our leaders could take instruction from Abram. He took immediate action. He gathered a few allies who had relatives captured. He took well trained (very loyal), servants to catch these kidnappers, who had run off with his nephew, Lot.

The word "brother", above, was a loose use of the word. A better translation would have been relative, just as people might call Dr. Pepper, a Coke. When you say you want a Coke now, people ask what kind? They use the word Coke to mean all soda pops. So it is, with the use of "brother". It could mean any relative.

Genesis 14:15-16 "And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which [is] on the left hand of Damascus." "And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people."

"Divided ... smote them ... pursued ... brought back": Abram and his confederates found the enemy secure and at their ease, not expecting pursuit. They attack them on two quarters; Abram, probably, on the one, and his allies on the other; by night, defeat and pursue them unto "Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus."

A battle-wise Abram, no stranger to military strategy, had pursued the enemy for over 150 miles (north of Damascus), and defeated the marauding consortium, being totally successful in his objective. Abram seems to have understood the art of war, and the use of maneuvers; and, as it might be night before he could come up to them.

He took the advantage of that, and fell upon them unawares, when some were asleep in their beds, and others drunk, as Josephus relates; and who also says, it was on the fifth night after Abram had knowledge of what had happened at Sodom.

And he divided himself against them. It required both considerable courage in Abram to lead him to attack the victorious armies of these four kings with so small a number of troops, and on this occasion both his skill and his courage are exercised.

His affection for Lot appears to have been his chief motive; he readily risks his life for that nephew who had lately chosen the best part of the land, and left his uncle to live as he might, on what he did not think worthy his own acceptance.

You have heard the slogan (don't mess with Texas). You certainly do not mess with the anointed of God. Abram was chosen of God. Lot did get an overflow of blessings through Abram.

It seemed that Abram and his servants had no trouble at all rescuing Lot, and all Lot's earthly possessions. Not only did Abram bring Lot's possessions back, but Abram took all their possessions.

Genesis 14:17 "And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that [were] with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which [is] the king's dale."

"The valley of Shaveh" (see note on 2 Sam. 18:18). The liberated king of Sodom went to meet Abram near Jerusalem.

"And the king of Sodom went out to meet him": While Abram was in pursuit of the four kings, the king of Sodom came down from the mountain whither he and those that escaped with him fled, and came to Sodom.

From there he went out, not alone, but accompanied with his retinue, to meet Abram: after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him; to congratulate him upon the victory he had obtained over them.

This meeting was at the valley of Shaveh; a most plain and even valley, as the word signifies, clear of trees and everything that obstructs sight or passage, as Jarchi observes. And so, a proper place to have an interview in, which is the king's dale.

It seemed this king's dale, or Shaveh, was actually the Kidron valley right out of Jerusalem.

I am sure the king of Sodom was happy to see that someone could whip this evil group and return with what was taken.

Genesis 14:18 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God."

"And he was priest to the most high God": From this we are assured that the bread and wine refreshed not only the body, but the soul of Abram. In close connection with the preceding sentence, it seems to intimate that the bringing forth of bread and wine was a priestly act, and, accordingly, the crowning part of a sacred feast.

The priest, who is here mentioned for the first time in Scripture, was one who acted in sacred things on the part of others. He was a mediator between God and man, representing God holding out the hand of mercy, and man reaching forth the hand of faith.

The necessity of such an orifice grew out of the distance between God and man produced by sin. The business of the priest was to offer sacrifice and to intercede; in the former making amends to the law, in the latter appealing to the mercy of God.

In (verses 14:17-20), Melchizedek is spoken of as a king of Salem, supposed to be the place afterwards called Jerusalem, and it is generally thought that he was only a man.

The words of (Heb. 7:3), state only, that the sacred history has said nothing of his ancestors. The silence of the Scriptures on this is to raise our thoughts to Him, whose generation cannot be declared. Let us read on, in chapter 7 of Hebrews we see the resemblance of Melchizedec and Jesus, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bread and wine were suitable refreshment for the weary followers of Abram; and it is remarkable that Christ appointed the same as the memorials of his body and blood, which are meat and drink indeed to the soul. Melchizedek blessed Abram from God. He blessed God from Abram.

"Melchizedek king of Salem" The lack of biographical and genealogical particulars for this ruler, whose name meant righteous king" and who was a king-priest over ancient Jerusalem, allowed for later revelation to use him as a type of Christ (Psalm 110:4; Heb. 7:17, 21). His superior status in Abram's day is witnessed.

(1) By the king of Sodom, the first to meet Abram returning in victory, deferring to Melchizedek before continuing with his request (verses 17, 21); and

(2) By Abram, without demur, both accepting a blessing from and also giving a tithe to this priest-king (verses 19-20; Hebrews 7:1-2).

This was probably not a theophany, but an actual king of Jerusalem or Salem (Psalm 76:2). He typifies Christ and His priesthood according to (Psalm 110:4 and Hebrews 7).

He is a "Priest of the most high God": The use of El Elyon (Sovereign Lord), for God's name indicated that Melchizedek, who used this title two times (verses 18-19), worshiped, served and represented no Canaanite deity, but the same one whom Abram also called Yahweh El Elyon (verse 22).

That this was so confirmed by the added description, "Possessor of heaven and earth," being used by both Abram and Melchizedek (verses 19, 22).

It is interesting to note believers besides Abram and his descendants in this limited account (chapters 12-50).

"Salem": is generally thought to refer to the ancient Canaanite site of Jerusalem on the hill of Ophel. There is ample archaeological evidence of a Canaanite and Jebusite settlement during the Early and Middle Bronze Age periods, during which the first water shaft was dug to ensure an ample supply of water for the city.

Ancient evidence for the name of the city can be found in the Ebla Tablets (U-ru-sa-li-ma), the later Egyptian Execration Texts (Urushalimma), and the Amarna Letters ( Urusalim or Beth-Shalem). Some scholars argue that Salem refers, not to Jerusalem, but to the fertile region of Salim near the Dead Sea.

This argument rests on the proximity of 'Salim to Sodom and the reference to Abraham meeting the king of Sodom in the valley of Shaveh, rather than in the central hill country (verse 17).

Very few ministers will even touch this Scripture above, but being brave, we will give it a try. Who is this Melchizedek? Let's look up the other Scriptures in the Bible that pertain to Him.

Psalms 110:4 "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."

This Scripture in Psalms was talking about Jesus being a high priest forever. It indicated that Melchizedek was also, a priest forever. It is a prophetic Scripture saying, Jesus would also be a priest forever.

Hebrews 5:6 "As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec."

This Scripture was saying that Jesus was not like Aaron and the earthly priests, who received priesthood, because of the tribe they were born into. It was saying that Jesus (like Melchizedec), was always high priest.

Hebrews 5:10 "Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedec."

Then, again, in Hebrews:

6:20 "Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec."

You see, God showed the Israelites back in the Old Testament a high priest of His making. Then, He said here is your example of one to come. Jesus did not come through the Levitical tribe. He was ordained of God himself. He came from the tribe of Judah, but really was from God Himself.

Genesis 14:19 "And he blessed him, and said, Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:"

"And he blessed him": Here it comes out clearly that Melchizedec acts not only in a civil but in a sacred capacity. He blesses Abram. In the form of benediction employed we have two parts: the former of which is strictly a blessing or asking of good things for the person in question.

"Blessed be Abram": It is the part of the father to bless the child, of the patriarch or superior to bless the subject or inferior, and of the priest to bless the people (Hebrews 7:7). Here, accordingly, Melchizedec assumes and Abram concedes to him the superiority.

"The Most High God" is here further designated as the Founder of heaven and earth, the great Architect or Builder, and, therefore, Possessor of all things. There is here no indistinct allusion to the creation of "heaven and earth," mentioned in the opening of the Book of God.

This is a manifest identification of the God of Melchizedec with the one Creator and Upholder of all things. We have here no mere local or national deity, with limited power and province, but the sole and supreme God of the universe and of man.

We ought to give thanks for other's mercies as for our own. Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, is the Mediator both of our prayers and praises, and not only offers up ours, but his own for us.

Genesis 14:20 "And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."

"Which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand": Credit for victory over a superior military coalition correctly went to the sovereign Lord (El Elyon), and not to Abram's prowess (see note at verses 15-16). To Melchizedek and to Abram too, this amounted to true worship of a true God.

"He gave him tithes of all": Abram paid tithes to Melchizedek, indicating Melchizedek's superior priesthood, since Levi was considered to be in the body (seminally), of Abram when he paid tithes to Melchizedek (Heb. 7:9-10).

Abram gave him the tenth of the spoils. When we have received some great mercy from God, it is very fit we should express our thankfulness by some special act of pious charity. Jesus Christ, our great Melchizedec, is to have homage done him, and to be humbly acknowledged as our King and Priest; not only the tithe of all, but all we have, must be given up to him.

Hebrews 7:4 "Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils."

Note: The King James Bible does not say a tenth as do most of the other bible versions. However, in the book of Hebrews shown above, it does confirm that Abram gave Melchizedec a tenth of the spoils (even in the KJV).

Hebrews 7:1-6, "For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;" "To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;" "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." "Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils." "And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:" "But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises."

Let's stop here from the Scriptures for just a moment, and discuss a few revelations. Who is the King of righteousness? Who is the King of peace? Who is the One who has no beginning and no end? Who was made Son of God? Who is a priest forever?

We know Him as Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. We call Him Lord. We will call Him King, when he comes to reign. In heaven, one of His names is the Word of God.

Are you seeing what this is?

Melchizedek in the Hebrew and Melchizedec in the Greek could easily be another time when the Word of God took on the form of flesh and visited the earth.

Another point to ponder is that this Priest of God made His appearance here about 2000 years after Adam was born. The baby Jesus was born approximately 2000 years after Melchizedek appeared on the earth. Jesus, the King, will return about 2000 years after his manifestation as our Savior.

I do not believe this is coincidence. Abraham, the father of all believers, was the only one who saw Him. For Abraham to be the father of all the believers through our faith, he had to believe in the One we call Jesus. God has revealed something to us here.

The reason the Word of God took on the name, Jesus, was to show us He was our Savior. He took the name, Christ, so that we would know that He was the Anointed One. He had many names; Messiah, Jehovah, Mighty God, Immanuel, Bright and morning Star, and so many others.

I believe this Melchizedek was the Word of God (Jesus as we know Him).

Hebrews 7:7-24, "And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better." "And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth." "And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham." "For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedec met him." "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need [was there] that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?" "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." "For he of whom these things are spoken pertained to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar." "For [it is] evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood." "And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedec there ariseth another priest," "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." "For he testifieth, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec." "For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof." "For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope [did]; by the which we draw nigh unto God." "And inasmuch as not without an oath [he was made priest]:" "(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec:)" "By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament." "And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:" "But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood."

You see, what this is saying is that Jesus and Melchizedec are not at all like the other priests, who just serve for a short time during their lives, but are a Priest forever; on earth and in heaven. No one could truly be forgiven forever through the work of the priest here on the earth, but Jesus fulfilled the law and purchased our salvation. His power was shown in the endless life.

Hebrews 7:25-28, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." "For such a high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;" "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself." "For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, [maketh] the Son, who is consecrated for evermore."

Just as Jesus fed the disciples bread and wine (the Passover), we see Melchizedek fed Abram bread and wine. He blessed Abram. Only God can bless, really. All these things show me Jesus.

Genesis 14:21-24 "And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself." "And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth," "That I will not [take] from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that [is] thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:" "Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion."

If Abram acceded to the king of Sodom's request, he would have allowed that wicked king to attribute Abram's wealth to the king's generosity, thus destroying the clear testimony of the Lord's blessings on his life. To accept such payment would belie his trust in God! Such a personal commitment would not be foisted upon his allies, who could make their own decisions.

As for his own servants, their meals taken from the spoils were sufficient compensation. Undoubtedly, the servants remembered their master's reaction and testimony; it overcame much of the negative aspects in the memory of the earlier exit from Egypt (see 12:20).

"Lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich": Abram refused to take anything, so as not to be obligated to the king of Sodom, and also to demonstrate his total allegiance to the Lord. He took only food for his men and gave his allies the liberty to accept the spoils that were due them.

Abram did not want to be obligated to this king of Sodom. His intent was to rescue his nephew, Lot. He knew that God had won the battle for him. The only payment was wages for the men that went with him.

Genesis Chapter 14 Questions

1. What are two other names for the Salt Sea?

2. What country is Elam today?

3. How many years of unrest was in the land?

4. What two things caused the war?

5. What were the slimepits?

6. In Genesis 14:13, what is Abram called?

7. What did he do, when he found Lot was taken?

8. What did Abram bring back?

9. Where was the king's dale?

10. When Abram met Melchizedec, what did Melchizedek bring forth?

11. What was different about Jesus and Melchizedec from Aaron?

12. Did Jesus or Melchizedec come through the Levitical tribe?

13. How long did Melchizedek live?

14. Who were his father and mother?

15. What does Salem mean?

16. What did Abram give Melchizedek?

17. Who is the King of Righteousness?

18. Who is the King of Peace?

19. Who has no beginning and no end?

20. Who is the Son of God?

21. What is Jesus' most used name in heaven?

22. When did He acquire the name Jesus?

23. What does "Jesus" mean?

24. Give at least six more names of Jesus?

25. Who is made in the power of an endless life?

26. What did the law make perfect?

27. How many offerings of sacrifice did Jesus make?

28. What did the king of Sodom ask for?

29. What did he get?

30. What do you personally think about Melchizedek?

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Genesis 15

Genesis Chapter 15

Genesis 15:1 "After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward."

"After these things": The battle of the kings, the captivity of Lot, the rescue of him and his goods, and of those of Sodom and Gomorrah by Abram, and the conversation that passed between him, and the kings of Sodom and Salem.

"The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision": Christ, the essential Word, appeared to Abram in a human form, visible to him, and with an articulate voice spoke unto him: saying, "fear not, Abram", calling him by his name.

Not only to encourage him, but to dissipate his fears to which might be, the nations that belonged to the four kings he had conquered and slain should recruit their armies, and come against him with greater force; and the brethren and relations of those he had slain should avenge themselves on him.

"I am thy shield" to protect him against all his enemies, be they ever so strong and numerous; as Christ is the shield of his people against all their spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, and the world. Which being held up in the hand of faith, called therefore the shield of faith, is a security against them. "I am thy shield": God served Abram as his divine protector (Psalms 7:10; 84:9).

"And thy exceeding great reward"; though he had generously refused taking any reward for the service he had done in pursuing the kings, and slaughtering them, and bringing back the persons and goods they had took away. Yet he should be no loser by it, the Lord would reward him in a way of grace with greater and better things.

God himself would be his reward, and which must be a great one, an exceeding great one; as Christ is to his people in his person, offices, and grace.

God came and spoke to Abram in this vision, because Abram had about given up on having a family and the promises of God coming true. God's first statement to Abram, as it is to us today, is "fear not." Fear is not faith. It is the opposite of faith.

He told Abram, here, (I didn't say that you could do this by yourself). God said, I am your protector, and this thing that I will give you is not of your own doing. It is a reward to you, because you believe me, for no other reason.

Genesis 15:2 "And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house [is] this Eliezer of Damascus?"

"I go Childless": In response to God's encouragement and admonition (verse 1), Abram showed what nagged at him. How could God's promise of many descendants (13:16), and of being a great nation (12:2), come about when he had no children?

"Eliezer of Damascus": To Abram, God's promise had stalled; so adoption of a servant as the male heir, a well-known contemporary Mesopotamian custom, was the best officially recognizable arrangement to make it come to pass, humanly speaking.

Ten years have passed and Abram is still without an heir. Following the custom of the day, he suggests that perhaps he ought to adopt his "Steward ... Eliezer of Damascus" as his legal "heir."

However, God refuses this offer and clearly promises that Abram will have a child "out of thine own bowels" (i.e., physically procreated).

Verses 3-5: The question, "What will You give me?" (Verse 2) became an accusation, "You have given no offspring to me!" (verse 3). The Lord's rejection of Abram's solution (verse 4), preceded God's reiterated promise of innumerable descendants (verse 5; Romans 4:18).

Genesis 15:3 "And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir."

Notwithstanding the unbounded grandeur and preciousness of the promise, or rather assurance, now given, Abram is still childless and landless; and the Lord has made as yet no sign of action in regard to these objects of special promise.

"To me thou hast given no seed." This was the present shield mentioned also in former words of promise. There is something strikingly human in all this. Abram is no enthusiast or fanatic. He fastens on the substantive blessings which the Lord had expressly named.

Abram was telling God: I don't have any children for these promises to be carried out through, what good will it do to give me anything? It will die with me, and this servant will inherit my goods for lack of a son to leave it to. Abram was really feeling sorry for himself.

Genesis 15:4 "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."

Though we must never complain of God, yet we have leave to complain to him; and to state all our grievances. It is ease to a burdened spirit, to open its case to a faithful and compassionate friend. Abram's complaint is that he had no child; that he was never likely to have any; that the want of a son was so great a trouble to him, that it took away all his comfort.

If we suppose that Abram looked no further than outward comfort, this complaint was to be blamed. But if we suppose that Abram herein had reference to the promised Seed, his desire was very commendable.

Till we have evidence of our interest in Christ, we should not rest satisfied; what will all avail me, if I go Christless? If we continue instant in prayer, yet pray with humble submission to the Divine will, we shall not seek in vain. God gave Abram an express promise of a son.

God sees our broken hearts and encourages us. He corrected this gloominess in Abram. He re-issued His promises to Abram.

Genesis 15:5 "And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be."

The Lord reiterates the promise concerning the seed. As he had commanded him to view the land, and see in its dust the emblem of the multitude that would spring from him, so now, with a sublime simplicity of practical illustration, he brings him forth to contemplate the stars, and challenges him to tell their number, if he can; adding, "So shall thy seed be."

He that made all these out of nothing, by the word of his power, is able to fulfill his promise, and multiply the seed of Abram and Sarai. Here, we perceive, the vision does not interfere with the notice of the sensible world, so far as is necessary (Daniel 10:7; John 12:29).

"Tell" means "count."

He had already promised Abram about the numerous seed, but now He showed him visually the promise. Abram spiritually saw all the stars of heaven, and truly they are innumerable.

Genesis 15:6 "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness."

"Believed ... counted ... for righteousness": The Apostle Paul quoted these words as an illustration of faith over and against works (Rom. 4:3, 9, 22; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23). Abram was justified by faith! (see notes on Rom. 4 and Gal. 3), for a fuller discussion of justification by faith.

"He believed in the Lord": This was not his original act of faith, but a further evidence of his confidence in God. In light of (Hebrews 11:8-10), clearly Abram had already experienced saving faith at the time of his original call.

(Romans 4:6 and 22), cite instances of God imputing righteousness to the account of those who were already believers. (Romans 4:18), refers to Abram's believing God's promise that he would have a posterity. Thus, the doctrine of imputation is based upon man's faith.

The fact that Abram was justified by God 14 years before he was circumcised is the basis for Paul's argument (in Romans 4:9-12), that faith, not works (e.g., circumcision), is the means of our justification. Therefore, the Old Testament as well as the New Testament teaches salvation by faith, not works.

Isn't this an interesting statement? The Scripture above did not say that Abram believed what God said, it says Abram believed in the LORD. LORD is capitalized meaning Lord Jesus Christ.

To be the father of the believers in Christ, Abraham had to believe also. I believe the encounter of Abram with Melchizedec was recognition of the Lord Jesus Christ. His belief in the Lord made him righteous.

Genesis 15:7 "And he said unto him, I [am] the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it."

"To give thee this land to inherit it": That a specifically identifiable land (see verses 18-21), was intimately linked with Abram's having many descendants in God's purpose and in the Abrahamic Covenant was clearly revealed and, in a formal ceremony (verses 9-21), would be placed irrevocably beyond dispute.

He said to Abram here, you didn't leave Ur just to find a better place to make a living. I brought you out so that I might give you this land as an inheritance.

Genesis 15:8 "And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?"

Whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?" A question, not of veiled accusation at the delayed fulfillment, but of genuine request for information and assurance. In response, God affirmed His covenant with Abram in a remarkable ceremony (verses 9-21).

Just like so many in our day, which hear God's voice and want to know for sure that this is God, so did Abram.

Genesis 15:9-10 "And he said unto him, Take me a heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon." "And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not."

"Divided them in the midst": The sign of ancient covenants often involved the cutting in half of animals, so that the pledging parties could walk between them, affirming that the same should happen to them if they broke the covenant (see Jer. 34:18-19).

"Cutting" Ancient covenants were sometimes confirmed by the halving of the sacrificial victims and the two parties to the covenant passing between them (Mari Tablets and Jer. 34:18-19).

In this case, however, God alone passes between the animal pieces, in the form of a smoking furnace from which torch-like flames shoot out (Exodus19:18), because this covenant with Abram is unconditional, and can be carried out only by God Himself.

In other words, I will make a covenant with you. The animals being 3 years old could be symbolic of the three years of Jesus' ministry here on the earth, or it could mean that these animals had grown to maturity and were something of value to sacrifice.

The fact that the pigeon and turtledove were not separated could, possibly, mean the unity that the Holy Ghost (dove), brings to believers. Most of these animals and birds would become sacrifice for sins in later ceremonies. A covenant of lasting value includes shed blood. It seals the covenant.

Genesis 15:11 "And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away."

And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses": (birds of prey), to devour them, Abram, who stood by his sacrifice waiting for the manifestation of God, who had ordered him to prepare for the ratification of the covenant, drove them away. That they might neither pollute nor devour what had been thus consecrated to God.

Upon the birds, as Aben Ezra and Ben Melech interpret it, whose carcasses were whole or rather upon the divided carcasses of the animals, and indeed on both. This is to be understood of birds of prey, as eagles, vultures, kites, crows, etc.

Who are an emblem of the Egyptians chiefly, and other enemies of Israel, who came upon them to devour them; so, the Targum of Jonathan,"and the idolatrous nations descended, who were like to an unclean fowl, to spoil the goods of the Israelites;" and likewise the Targum of Jerusalem, "this unclean fowl are the idolatrous kingdoms of the earth."

Here, the symbolism really takes over; vultures were descending on these offerings to God. The devil descends on the Jews and on believers in Christ today, but the covenant with Abram still wards off the enemy. Our faith, as Abram's faith, puts the old devil to flight even now.

Genesis 15:12 "And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him."

"Sleep": God put him to sleep, because the covenant did not involve any promise on his part. He would not walk through the pieces as a pledge (see verse 17).

Darkness is an absence of the light. This darkness that fell meant that there would be a falling away of the descendants of Abram, and a curse would fall. Similar to what happened in the dark ages. Faith in God was very weak at this time.

Verses 13-14: The words of God in the covenant ceremony assured Abram that his descendants would definitely be in the land, although a painful detour into Egypt would delay fulfillment until long after his demise (Acts 7:6-7).

Genesis 15:13 "And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;"

"Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs": This is a prophecy of Israel's sojourn in Egypt, predicted to take place some three hundred years later and lasting about "four hundred years" (Exodus 12:40; and 430 to be exact).

Genesis 15:14 "And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance."

Then God would judge "that nation" (Egypt in Exodus 15), and bring Israel out "with great substance" (Exodus 12:34-36), and use them as a means of judgment upon the inhabitants of Canaan, when "the iniquity of the Amorites" would be "full".

God was telling Abram, here, what God's foreknowledge told Him about the descendants of Abram in Egypt. They would be servants of the Pharaoh for 400 years.

God told Abram, but there would come a day when He would punish Egypt for mistreating His people, and they would spoil the Egyptians, and bring out great wealth. We will learn in a later lesson that 70 go into Egypt, and nearly 3 million came out of Egypt.

Genesis 15:15 "And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age."

"Thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace": This verse strongly implies the immortality of the soul, and a state of separate existence. He was gathered to his fathers, introduced into the place where separate spirits are kept, waiting for the general resurrection. Two things seem to be distinctly marked here:

(1) The soul of Abram should be introduced among the assembly of the first-born; Thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace;

(2) His body should be buried after a long life, one hundred and seventy-five years (Genesis 25:7). The body was buried; the soul went to the spiritual world, to dwell among the fathers, the patriarchs, who had lived and died in the Lord (see note on Genesis 25:8).

This Scripture, above, pretty well defines what happens when we die. There is a separation between the spirit and the body, here. He first said you will be at peace with your ancestors. The spirit leaves the body and goes to heaven, if you are a Christian. God told him that his body would rest in the grave, until it is resurrected and reunited with the spirit.

Genesis 15:16 "But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet full."

"The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full": A delay in judgment occasioned the delay in covenant fulfillment. Judgment on Egypt (verse 14), would mark the departure of Abram's descendants for their Land, and judgment on the Canaanites (broadly defined ethnically as Amorites), would mark their entrance to the Land.

God gave these Amorites an opportunity to repent (they did not). A generation here, was 100 years.

Genesis 15:17 "And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces."

"Smoking furnace ... burning lamp" (Exodus 13:21). These items symbolized the presence of God, who solemnly promised by divine oath to fulfill His promises to Abram by alone passing through the animal pieces (verses 9-11).

Genesis 15:18 "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:"

"River of Egypt unto ... Euphrates": Scripture records both general (Exodus 23:31; Num. 13:21; Deut. 11:24; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 14:25; Isa. 27:12), and specific (Num. 34:1-12; Jos. 15:1-2; Ezek. 47:15-20; 48:1, 28), descriptions of the Promised Land. Centering on the ancient land of Canaan.

Such precise geographic demarcation will not allow for any redefinitions which would emasculate God's promise of its specificity. The river of Egypt was most probably what became known as the Wadi El Arish, the southern border of Judah.

The Bible says that God is a consuming fire. This presence of the smoke and fire here, was some form of a Godly appearance to make covenant with Abram. There had to be shed blood to seal the covenant. Abram's part of the covenant was to believe that God would truly keep covenant with him.

Even though this land did not belong to Abram's descendants until much later, God drew off the lines right then what would belong to Abram's descendants. They are still fighting about this very thing even today in Israel.

Verses 19-21: Kenites ... Jebusites": The various peoples who inhabited the land are named. Such precise detailing of the nations in the land of Canaan attests again to the specificity of the Promised Land in God's promises.

Genesis 15:19 "The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,"

"The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites": In this and the following verses ten nations are reckoned as occupying the land of Canaan at this time, whereas only seven are mentioned in the times of Moses and Joshua; and these three are not among them.

Aben Ezra thinks these people had two names, and Jarchi interprets them of the Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites, who shall be the inheritance of the children of Israel in future times, according to (Isaiah 11:14).

Some are of opinion that the Midianites are meant by the Kenites, since Jethro, Moses's father in law, who was of Midian, is called the Kenite, as was also Heber, who was of the same race (Judges 1:16).

There were Kenites near to the Amalekites in the times of Balaam, and who dwelt among them in the times of Saul (Numbers 24:20).

Genesis 15:20 "And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,"

"And the Hittites": Who had their name from Heth, a son of Canaan (see Genesis 10:15); they dwelt about Hebron, in the south of the land of Canaan.

"And the Perizzites": these dwelt in the wood country of the land (Joshua 17:15); and seem to have their name from dwelling in villages, and at a distance from towns and cities, and were a boorish and uncivilized people (see Genesis 13:7).

"And the Rephaims": or "giants", as the Targums of Onkelos, and Jonathan; they dwelt near the Perizzites (Joshua 17:15); of these see (Genesis 14:5).

Genesis 15:21 "And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

"And the Amorites": The same with the Amorite (Genesis 10:16); they inhabited both on this and the other side Jordan.

"And the Canaanites": Which were a particular tribe or nation that bore the name of their great ancestor Canaan (see Genesis 13:7).

"And the Girgashites": The same with the Gergesenes (in Matthew 8:28); of these (see Genesis 10:16).

"And the Jebusites": Who inhabited Jerusalem and about it, which was first called Jebus, from the founder of this nation (see Genesis 10:16).

There were 10 peoples mentioned here. This was God dealing against world government. These people did not follow after God. Their land would be taken from them, and given to the descendants of Abram, when Moses led them to the Promised Land.

Genesis Chapter 15 Questions

1. What was God's first statement to Abram?

2. What was Abram complaining about?

3. What was the name of Abram's steward?

4. What did God show Abram to show him the number of descendants he would have?

5. In verse 6, what was counted as righteousness?

6. Why did God bring Abram out of Ur?

7. Just as we do, Abram asked God for what?

8. What 3 things did Abram bring for sacrifice that was 3 years old?

9. What 2 other things did he bring?

10. What did Abram do with them?

11. What 2 things could the 3 years old mean?

12. Why were the turtledove and pigeon not separated?

13. A lasting covenant involves what?

14. What were the vultures symbolic of?

15. What warded off the vultures?

16. What was the darkness in verse 12 symbolic of?

17. How long would Abram's descendants be afflicted?

18. What does 430 mean?

19. What would happen to the nation that persecuted them?

20. Would God's people come out empty handed?

21. What 2 things does verse 15 tell us about death?

22. In verse 16, how long is a generation?

23. What 2 things, in verse 17, symbolized God?

24. Where were the boundaries set for Israel that day?

25. What did the Bible call God that we see here, and in the burning bush?

26. What did the fact that there were 10 peoples that would be overthrown mean?

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Genesis 16

Genesis Chapter 16

Genesis 16:1 "Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name [was] Hagar."

"Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bare him no children": She is before said to be barren, and he to be childless (Genesis 11:30); God had promised him a seed, but as yet he had none, which was a trial of his faith.

Abram had been married many years to Sarai his wife, who was his wife when they came out of Ur of the Chaldees, and how long before is unknown. They stayed and dwelt some time at Haran, the Jews say five years, and they had been now ten years in the land of Canaan (Gen. 16:3).

Sarai had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar; no doubt but she had many, but this was a principal one, that might be over others, and was chiefly entrusted with the care and management of family affairs under her mistress.

She might be the daughter of an Egyptian, born in Abram's house, as Eliezer was the son of a Syrian of Damascus, born there also. Or she might be one of the maidservants Pharaoh, king of Egypt, gave to Abram.

See (Galatians 4:21-31), where Paul uses Hagar as an illustration.

Genesis 16:2 "And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai."

Sarai, no longer expecting to have children herself, proposed to Abram to take another wife, her slave Hagar, whose children would be her property. This was done without asking counsel of the Lord. Unbelief worked, God's almighty power was forgotten. It was a bad example, and a source of manifold uneasiness.

"Go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her": This was according to legal customs as witnessed in legal codes and marriage contracts of the time.

Ten years had elapsed since God's original promise of an heir (16:3), and Abram and Sarai took matters into their own hands (see note on Gen. 30:3). The negative commentary concerning this episode is written by Paul in Galatians 4 and contrasts the "work of the flesh" and the product of the "Spirit of God" in verse 29.

This scheme that Sarai came up with caused nothing but trouble. First of all, this would not be Sarai's child. Sarai had lost faith that she would ever have a child, and decided to help God out. Anytime you get ahead of God and start figuring out the details yourself, you wind up with a mess. This was no exception.

Even mixing the blood of Abram with an Egyptian, was not pleasing to God. Egypt is a type of the world. This union between Hagar and Abram could be nothing but worldly (opposed to God's plan). Any child from this union would have to be of the flesh.

The poor maid was caught in a trap not of her making. Abram could have said no. He did not have to obey Sarai. In doing what she said, he got all of them in a mess.

Genesis 16:3 "And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife."

"Gave her to her husband": After 10 childless years (12:4), Sarai resorted to the custom of the day by which a barren wife could get a child through one of her own maidservants (verse 2, "I will obtain children through her").

Abram ignoring divine reaction and assurance in response to his earlier attempt to appoint a heir (15:2-5), sinfully yielded to Sarai's insistence, and Ismael was born (verse 15).

The only thing to add here is we should look at the worldly aspect of this, even the 10 in the number of years. Abram was allowing his flesh to rule him.

Genesis 16:4 "And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes."

"And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived": The formality of the marriage being over, he enjoyed her as his wife, and she immediately conceived by him. And when she saw that she had conceived; when she perceived that she was with child: her mistress was despised in her eyes.

She thought herself above her, and treated her as her inferior, with contempt, and reproached her for her barrenness, as Peninnah did Hannah, (1 Sam. 1:6) and it was the more ungrateful, as it was at the motion of her mistress that she was given to Abram for wife.

She (Hagar) suddenly felt her importance. Her affair with Abram had resulted in pregnancy. She was angry and jealous of Sarai. Two women cannot share one man. In Genesis, when God made Adam and Eve, He said they two shall become one flesh.

Marriage where more than two people are involved cannot work. It is not compatible with the plan God made from the beginning. Jealousy between these two women reigned in this household.

Genesis 16:5 "And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong [be] upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee."

"Wrong be upon thee ... I was despised": Sarai, not anticipating contemptuous disregard by Hagar (verse 4), as the result of her solution for barrenness, blamed Abram for her trouble and demanded judgment to rectify the broken mistress-servant relationship.

Sarai had given her maid to Abram, yet she cries out, "my wrong be upon thee". That is never said wisely, which pride and anger put into our mouths. Those are not always in the right, who are most loud and forward in appealing to God: such rash and bold imprecations commonly speak guilt and a bad cause.

Abram transferred his responsibility to Sarai, giving her freedom to react as she wished (verse 6), "your maid is in your power".

At least in this verse, Sarai was admitting that she was wrong. Just like so many people who do wrong, Sarai did not want to take the blame. She tried to shift her blame to Abram. With Hebrew women, it was a disgrace, not to have children, and they were looked down on. Children were considered a blessing from God. Not having children was considered a curse.

Whether this was what Hagar was feeling for Sarai, or not, was not evident. Perhaps, Hagar had in her mind to take the place of Sarai with Abram. Sarai, in the last sentence, was asking God to decide whether she was at blame, or whether it was Abram's fault that all of this happened.

Genesis 16:6 "But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid [is] in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face."

Abram's unhappy marriage to Hagar very soon made a great deal of mischief. We may thank ourselves for the guilt and grief that follow us, when we go out of the way of our duty. See it in this case, Passionate people often quarrel with others, for things of which they themselves must bear the blame.

Hagar forgot that she herself had first given the provocation, by despising her mistress. Those that suffer for their faults, ought to bear it patiently (1 Pet. 2:20).

"But Abram said unto Sarai": In a meek, mild and gentle manner: behold, thy maid is in thine hand; though Hagar was Abram's secondary wife he still considers her as Sarai's maid, and as subject to her, allows her to exercise authority over her; for he still retained the same love and affection for Sarai, his first and lawful wife.

He showed the same respect he ever did, and supported her in her honor and dignity.

"Do to her as it pleaseth thee": not giving her liberty to take away her life, nor even to use her cruelly, but to deal with her as a mistress might lawfully do with a servant, or however exercise that power which a first wife had over a second. Perhaps Abram, in complaisance to Sarai, gave her too large a commission, and left it too much in her power to distress Hagar.

It might have been more correct to have heard both sides, and judged between them, and used his own authority, by reproving and correcting as he saw fit. Had she been only Sarai's maid and not his wife, it would have been less exceptionable; however, for peace sake, he gave leave to Sarai to do as she would.

Abram just backed away here. This is Sarai's maid. Sarai punished Hagar some way for her attitude. Whatever the punishment, it was severe enough that Hagar fled in fear.

Genesis 16:7 "And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur."

"The angel of the Lord": This special individual spoke as though He were distinct from Yahweh, yet also spoke in the first person as though He were indeed to be identified as Yahweh Himself, with Hagar recognizing that in seeing this Angel, she had seen God (verse 13).

Others had the same experience and came to the same conclusion (22:11-18; 31:11-13; Exodus 3:2-5; Num. 22:22-35; Judges 6:11-23; 13:2-5; 1 King 19:5-7). The Angel of the Lord, who does not appear after the birth of Christ, is often identified as the pre-incarnate Christ (see note on Exodus 3:2).

This was likely the preincarnate appearance of the Second Person of the Trinity as the angel's character, deeds, and power confirm this interpretation (17:1-22; 22:11-18; 31:11, 13; Judges 2:1-4; 5:23; 6:11-24; 13:3-22; 2 Sam. 24:16; Zech. 1:12; 3:1; 12:8).

"Shur": south of Palestine and east of Egypt, which meant that Hagar attempted to return home to Egypt.

In the Old Testament, an angel identified as the "angel of the Lord", the "angel of God" (21:17), the "angel of his presence" (Isa. 63:9), and the "messenger of the covenant" (Mal. 3:1), appeared to individuals.

A closer look at the context of His appearances reveals that He is more than another angel, He is God. The expression usually signifies a preincarnate appearance of Christ, and is sometimes called a "Christophany," meaning the visible and bodily manifestation of God the Son before His incarnation.

That He is not merely another angel is evident in those appearances where He is called God. This was recognized by Hagar (verse 13), Abraham (22:14), Moses (Exodus 3:14), Gideon (Judges 6:22), and Manoah (Judges 13:18, 22). The expression is also used of men, but on such occasions, is translated "the Lord's messenger" (Hag. 1:13).

The Angel of the Lord no longer appears to men today, since God has commissioned Christians to be His messengers to the world.

Genesis 16:8 "And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai."

"And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid": He calls her by her name, which might surprise her, and describes her by her character and condition, in order to check her pride, and put her in mind of her duty to her mistress; and to suggest to her, that she ought to have been not where she was, but in the house of her mistress, and doing her service.

It seems that Hagar had fled out in a deserted place. She probably, knew there was water there, and came to get a drink. She had run from the only home she had known. She was pregnant, and nowhere to go. The father of the child had turned his irate wife on her. The nearest thing she had as a benefactor was Sarai, and she had misbehaved toward her mistress and had been punished.

What would she do? Where could she go? She was out here all alone feeling sorry for herself. And then, who appeared but the angel (ministering Spirit of God). This word that was here translated angel, in other places it is translated prophet, priest, teacher, ambassador, king or messenger. This did not say an angel. It said the angel.

It seems that God had seen her predicament and sent help. As if he did not know, he asked where did you come from, and where are you going? Here was the first time, since she conceived, that she admitted who Sarai was (her mistress).

Genesis 16:9 "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands."

The angel of the Lord found her by a fountain (verse 8). This well, pointed out by tradition, lay on the side of the caravan road, in the midst of Shur, a sandy desert on the west of Arabia, to the extent of a hundred fifty miles, between Palestine and Egypt.

By going that direction, she seems to have intended to return to her relatives in that country. Nothing but pride, passion, and sullen obstinacy, could have driven any solitary person to brave the dangers of such an inhospitable wild; and she would have died, had not the timely appearance and words of the angel recalled her to reflection and duty.

"Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself": The verb here employed is the same as that, which the historian uses to describe Sarah's conduct towards her (verse 6); its meaning obviously is that she should meekly resign herself to the ungracious and oppressive treatment of her mistress - under her hands.

Both the salutation and the instruction given by the Angel and the response by Hagar treated the mistress-servant relationship as if it were still intact. Rebelling and leaving was not the solution.

In short, he said, go back and apologize for your behavior.

Genesis 16:10 "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude."

"I will multiply thy seed exceedingly": A servant she might have been, but mother of many she would also become thus making Abram the father of two groups of innumerable descendants (see 13:16; 15:5).

Genesis 16:11 "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou [art] with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction."

Ishmael": The name means "God Hears" and was intended to remind Hagar of God's special intervention on her behalf. This is the first time that the Angel of the Lord appears in the Old Testament.

Ishmael was the eldest son of Abram by Hagar; Sarah's Egyptian handmaid (verses 15-16). He was later guilty of taunting his half-brother Isaac (21:9), and he and his mother were expelled by Abraham at Sarah's insistence.

God promised that Ishmael would be "a wild man" (verse 12). His life was spared by God. He married an Egyptian and became the father of 12 princes; he was the forefather of the Arabs (Gen. 16:15-16; 17:20-27; 21:9-21).

God promised Hagar that she also, would have a multitude of descendants. She now knew that she was to have a boy child. She was to name him Ishmael, which means (God hears). His name was this because God heard Hagar's cries, not Ishmael's. In a way, she was innocent in this mess.

Genesis 16:12 "And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

Hagar's son will be a "wild man" and "shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren". The Hebrew actually means "in defiance/disregard of" as shown in Genesis 25:18; and Deut. 21:16. The language and context denote a hostility on the part of Ishmael (and his descendants), toward his brethren (Isaac and his descendants), and even among Ishmael's own people.

The untamable desert onager (wild donkey), best described the fiercely aggressive and independent nature Ishmael would exhibit, along with his Arabic descendants.

Thus, began the Jewish and Arab conflict, due to an act of the flesh on the part of Abram. When Hagar gave birth, Abram was 86 years old. Eleven years had passed since God first promised an heir, and His promise was still unfulfilled.

This wild man's descendants live in the midst of their Israelite brethren even today, and truly they do hate each other. They battle continuously, and it has been going on ever since Genesis in the Bible.

Genesis 16:13 "And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?"

"Thou God seeth me": Recognizing the angel as God and ascribing this new name to Him arose from Hagar's astonishment at having been the object of God's gracious attention. The theophany and revelation led her to call Him also "The One Who Lives and Sees me".

Genesis 16:14 "Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, [it is] between Kadesh and Bered."

Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi. It appears, from (Genesis 16:7), that Hagar had sat down by a fountain or well of water in the wilderness of Shur, at which the Angel of the Lord found her; and, to commemorate the wonderful discovery which God had made of himself, she called the name of the well Beer-lahai-roi "A well to the Living One who seeth me."

Two things seem implied here:

(1) A dedication of the well to Him who had appeared to her; and

(2) Faith in the promise: for He who is the Living One, existing in all generations, must have it ever in his power to accomplish promises which are to be fulfilled through the whole lapse of time.

Hagar realized that God provided the well, and that this was God (El), who was instructing her to go back to Sarai. I believe this means she was aware that she did not get God's permission to leave. The name that was given the well means (well of the living One). Wells are very valuable in this area and Jewish people of today use the Bible to find these old wells.

Genesis 16:15 "And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael."

"And Hagar bare Abram a son": It appears, therefore, that Hagar returned at the command of the angel, believing the promise that God had made to her. Being returned to his house, and received by him, and reconciled to Sarai, she brought forth a son to Abram, according to the prediction of the angel.

"Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael": And this name Jarchi suggests he gave by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that dwelt in him: but it is highly reasonable to suppose, that Hagar upon her return reported to Abram the whole of the conversation she had with the angel; wherefore Abram believing what she said, in obedience to the order and command of the angel, gave him this name.

"His Son ... Ishmael" (2079 B.C).

Remember, Ishmael means (God will hear). This son is of the flesh, not of the promise.

Genesis 16:16 "And Abram [was] fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram."

"And Abram was eighty years old when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram": Which is easily reckoned, for he was seventy five years of age when he left Haran (Genesis 12:4). And he had been ten years in Canaan when Hagar was given him by Sarai for his wife (Genesis 16:3). And so must be then eighty five years of age, and of course must be eighty six when Ishmael was born.

Genesis Chapter 16 Questions

1. What was the name of Sarai's servant girl?

2. What nationality was she?

3. Why did Sarai send Abram to Hagar?

4. What happens when we run ahead of God and start figuring things out for ourselves?

5. What is Egypt a type of?

6. When Abram did what Sarai suggested, what were the results?

7. How many years had Abram dwelt in Canaan when this happened?

8. The minute Hagar discovered she was expecting. how did she feel about her mistress?

9. What sentence in Genesis lets you know one man cannot peacefully live with 2 women?

10. With what women was it a disgrace not to bare children?

11. Did Abram take up for Hagar?

12. When Sarai punished Hagar, what happened?

13. Who found Hagar at the well?

14. This well was on the way to where?

15. What 2 questions did he ask Hagar?

16. Who was the nearest thing to a benefactor?

17. What did the angel of the LORD speak to Hagar?

18. What blessing did the angel of the LORD speak to Hagar?

19. What was Hagar to name her son?

20. What does his name mean?

21. What kind of a man would this son be?

22. Where will he live?

23. What did Hagar call the Angel of the LORD?

24. What was the name of the well?

25. What does it mean?

26. Where was it located?

27. Who named the child?

28. How old was Abram, when the child was born?

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Genesis 17

Genesis Chapter 17

Genesis 17:1 "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I [am] the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."

"Almighty God": (Hebrew El Shaday): El denotes "power" and "shaddai" may be derived from the Akkadian shadadu, to "overpower," portraying God as the overpowering, almighty One who will supernaturally provide descendants for Abram when all other means fail.

This statement, above, did not say that an angel appeared. It said the LORD appeared to Abram.

When this personality met Abram, He explained to Abram how He is Almighty God. This is a plural word meaning most majestic supreme God. This all powerful God gave Abram a charge to live a holy life. We cannot be perfect in our flesh, but God wants us to try to be perfect.

Genesis 17:2 "And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly."

"My covenant between me and thee": Another reaffirmation of His unilateral covenant with Abram, which did not mean that there would be no responsibilities falling upon its recipients (See notes on verses 7-9 below and on 12:1-3; 15:13-21).

God again, was renewing His covenant with Abram. This time it was a blood covenant. He, again, promised to multiply Abram's seed.

Genesis 17:3 "And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,"

"And Abram fell on his face": At the sight of so glorious a Person that appeared to him, and in reverence of his majesty, and as sensible of his unworthiness of such a visit, and of having such favors bestowed upon him.

This is the lowliest form of reverence, in which the worshipper leans on his knees and elbows, and his forehead approaches the ground. Prostration is still customary in the East. Abram has attained to loftier notions of God.

"God talked with him." Yahweh, El Shaddai, is here called God. The Supreme appears as the Author of existence, the Irresistible and Everlasting, in this stage of the covenant relation.

After he was raised up, and was strengthened and encouraged to stand up before God, and hear what he had to say to him; for after this we read of his falling on his face again (Genesis 17:17); which shows that he had been erect, after he first fell on his face

Genesis 17:4 "As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations."

"Father of many nations": The 3-fold reaffirmation of the divine promise of many descendants, perhaps including Isaac's and Ishmael's, brackets the change of name (verses 4-6), giving it significant emphasis.

The only place any person can be in the presence of God is on his face, in total reverence to God. This voice of God is unmistakable; there is no question who this is, when you hear this voice. You see, Abram did not decide to make a covenant with God. God chose to make a covenant with Abram. He promised one more time that Abram would be a father of many nations.

Genesis 17:5 "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee."

"Thy name shall be Abraham" (11:27). The name meaning "father of many nations" reflected Abraham's new relationship to God as well as his new identity based on God's promise of seed (Rom. 4:17).

Abram means "High Father," but he is now to be called Abraham, suggesting he will become the father of a multitude.

His name was now being changed from Abram (high father), to Abraham (father of a multitude). Notice that this statement above, is past tense. God had decided long ago to make Abraham father of many nations.

Genesis 17:6 "And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee."

"Kings shall come out of thee": This promise highlights the reality of more than one people group, or nation in its own right, coming from Abraham.

Here, God was just reassuring Abraham that he would have many descendants, even though he was now 99 years old.

Genesis 17:7-8 "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

"I will establish my covenant": This relationship was set up at God's initiative and also designated as an "everlasting covenant" (verse 7), thus applying to Abraham's posterity with equal force and bringing forth the declaration "I will be their God" (verse 8). This pledge became the dictum of the covenant relationship between Yahweh, i.e., Jehovah and Israel.

"Everlasting covenant ... I will give ... the land": Since the covenant is "everlasting" and includes possession of "Canaan," it guarantees Israel the right of possession as an earthly inheritance forever. God is the Landlord who gives the title deed to Israel, His son. Thus, the Jews have a rightful claim to this land as long as the earth shall stand.

"All the land of Canaan": God's reaffirmation of His covenant promises to Abraham did not occur without mention of the land being deeded by divine right to him and his descendants as "an everlasting possession" (Acts 7:5).

This was an everlasting blood covenant that God, Himself, established. He told Abraham that this covenant was not just with him, but this covenant would extend to all of his ancestors for all of eternity. When Abraham lived here in Canaan, this land was occupied by evil Canaanite men. The only provision was that God be worshipped by Abraham and his descendants.

Verses 9-14: Abraham's part in the covenant-making process was circumcision, which God established as a sign of the covenant to indicate that this offspring were uniquely dedicated to God (Exodus 4:24-26; Rom. 4:11).

A Hebrew who failed to observe this rite would be cut off from the covenant community. Circumcision was to serve as an outward sign of inward dedication to God. In itself, it was neither effective nor unique to Israel.

Genesis 17:9 "And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations."

"Thou shalt keep my covenant": Despite repeated disobedience by the patriarchs and the nation, God's faithfulness to His covenant commitment never wavered (e.g., Deut. 4:25-31; 30:1-9; 1 Chron. 16:15-18; Jer. 30:11; 46:27-28; Amos 9:8; Luke 1:67-75; Heb. 6:13-18).

Divine witnesses of Abraham's obedience (22:16-18; 26:3-5) were pronounced years after the formal establishment of His covenant (12:1-3; 15:12-18). Though the nation was apostate, there was always an obedient remnant of faithful Israelites (see Zeph. 3:12-13).

Genesis 17:10 "This [is] my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised."

"This is my covenant": The other party to the covenant now learns his obligation. "Every male of you shall be circumcised."

Circumcision, as the rainbow covenant, might have been in existence before it was adopted as the token of a covenant. The sign of the covenant with Noah was a purely natural phenomenon, and therefore entirely independent of man. That of the Abrahamic covenant was an artificial process, and therefore, though prescribed by God, was dependent on the voluntary agency of man.

The former marked the sovereignty of God in ratifying the covenant and insuring its fulfillment, notwithstanding the mutability of man; the latter indicates the responsibility of man, the trust he places in the word of promise, and the agreement he gives to the terms of the divine mercy.

As the former covenant conveys a common natural blessing to all mankind and contemplates a common spiritual blessing, so the latter conveys a special spiritual blessing and contemplates its universal acceptance.

The rainbow was the appropriate natural emblem of preservation from a flood; and the removal of the foreskin was the fit symbol of that removal of the old man and renewal of nature, which qualified Abraham to be the parent of a holy seed.

And as the former sign foreshadows an incorruptible inheritance, so the latter prepares the way for a holy seed, by which the holiness and the heritage will at length be universally extended.

Not only Abraham and Isaac, and his posterity by Isaac, were to be circumcised, but also Ishmael and the bond-servants.

Genesis 17:11 "And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you."

"Token of the covenant": Circumcision (cutting away the male foreskin), was not entirely new in this period of history, but the special religious and theocratic significance then applied to it was entirely new, thus identifying the circumcised as belonging to the physical and ethnical lineage of Abraham (Acts 7:8; Rom. 4:11).

Every man child among you shall be circumcised": This was the sign in the Old Testament Church as baptism is in the New, and hence the covenant is called "covenant of circumcision" (Acts 7:8; Rom. 4:11).

The terms of the covenant were these: on the one hand Abraham and his seed were to observe the right of circumcision. On the other, God promised, in the event of such observance, to give them Canaan for a perpetual possession. To be a God to him and his posterity, and that in him and his seed all nations should be blessed.

The covenant of grace is from everlasting in the counsels of it, and to everlasting in the consequences of it. The token of the covenant was circumcision. It is here said to be the covenant which Abraham and his seed must keep. Those who will have the Lord to be to them a God, must resolve to be to him a people.

It sealed not only the covenant of the land of Canaan to Isaac's posterity, but of heaven, through Christ, to the whole church of God. The outward sign is for the visible church; the inward seal of the Spirit is peculiar to those whom God knows to be believers, and he alone can know them.

The religious observance of this institution was required, under a very severe penalty. It is dangerous to make light of Divine institutions, and to live in the neglect of them. The covenant in question was one that involved great blessings for the world in all future ages.

Even the blessedness of Abraham himself, and all the rewards conferred upon him, were for Christ's sake. Abraham was justified, as we have seen, not by his own righteousness, but by faith in the promised Messiah.

Genesis 17:12-13 "And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which [is] not of thy seed." "He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant."

The time of circumcision is the eighth day. At this stage, accordingly, the sign of sanctification is made on the child, betokening the consecration of the heart to God, when its rational powers have come into noticeable activity.

To be "cut off from his people" is to be excluded from any part in the covenant, and treated simply as a Gentile or alien, some of whom seem to have dwelt among the Israelites

"Eight days old": This same time frame was repeated (in Lev. 12:3).

He that is born in thine house, and he that is bought with thy money, "must needs be circumcised": this is repeated to denote the necessity of it, and what care should be taken that this be done, because there was to be no uncircumcised male among them (Genesis 17:10); nor any conversation and communion to be had among them, especially in a religious way.

"And my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant": Circumcision was to be seen in their flesh, and no methods were to be taken to draw over the foreskin again, but it was to continue as long as they lived; and so in their posterity, in all succeeding ages, as a sign of the covenant and promise which should remain until the Messiah's coming.

This seems like a strange request from God, but these were the physical descendants of Abraham that were mentioned here. This separated the Hebrew men from the men of the world. This sealed the blood covenant. Remember, Abraham was 99 and his son Ishmael 13 when they were circumcised, so this was no small sacrifice they made to seal the covenant.

Genesis 17:14 "And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant."

"Shall be cut off from his people": Being cut off from the covenant community meant loss of temporal benefits stemming from being part of the special, chosen and theocratic (a country ruled by religious leaders), nation, even to the point of death by divine judgment.

In verse 14, we see covenant breakers would not receive blessings from God.

Genesis 17:15 "And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah [shall] her name [be]."

"Sarai ... Sarah": Fittingly, since Sarai ("my princess"), would be the ancestress of the promised nations and kings. God changed her name to Sarah, taking away the limiting personal pronoun "my," and calling her "princess" (verse 16).

God really did not regard Hagar as Abraham's wife. The wife that God recognized was Sarah. God's promises would come through her.

Genesis 17:16 "And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be [a mother] of nations; kings of people shall be of her."

"And I will bless her": The Targum of Jonathan adds, "in her body", with fruitfulness, who before was barren, and in her soul with spiritual blessings, and in both with the blessing of eternal life.

"And give thee a son also of her" as he had given him one of Hagar. God had before promised Abraham a son that should be his heir, but he had not until now told him that he should be born of Sarah his wife.

"Yea, I will bless her" which is repeated for the confirmation of it, "and for the greater strengthening Abraham's faith in it". And she shall be a "mother of nations" of the twelve tribes of Israel; of the two nations of Israel and Judah. Kings of people shall be of her; as David, Solomon, and others, and especially the King Messiah. "Mother of nations" (17:5).

He told Abraham, again, you will have a son by Sarah, and I will bless you through this wife. These descendants through the spirit would be a more noble heritage.

Genesis 17:17 "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?"

"Fell upon his face and laughed, and said in his heart": A proper reaction of adoration over God's promises was marred by the incredulity of Abraham. He knew he was to be a father (12:2; 15:4), but this was the first mention that his barren, old wife was to be the mother.

"Then Abraham ... laughed": It seems strange that Abraham laughs at the idea of a hundred-year-old man begetting a son, when his own father was 130 at the time of his birth.

Sarah would die when he was 137, but he was able to beget sons long after that (25:1-6). Paul states that when he was 100, "He considered not his own body now dead" (Rom. 4:19). This laughter is one of doubt as verse 18 reveals.

Abraham could not believe that it was possible for him and Sarah to have a child, as old as they were. In the flesh, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. As I said before, the Hebrews thought it a great blessing to have children, and if they didn't, they felt God was angry with them for some reason.

Genesis 17:18 "And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!"

Abraham's pleas, "O that Ishmael might live before thee!" indicates his wish to adopt him as his heir (15:2-3; Psalm 2:7). And the law code of Hammurabi for the legal statement of adoption expressed by "thou art my child," and when God declared officially that Jesus was His Son, at the Resurrection (Rom. 1:4).

Quite a bit of time had lapsed from the birth of Ishmael to now, thirteen years, Ishmael was now a teenager.

Abraham's plea for a living son to be the designated beneficiary of God's promises betrayed just how impossible it was for him and Sarah to have children (Rom. 4:17).

Abraham still just could not believe that he and Sarah could have a son, and he was saying to God, bless me through Ishmael. However, God had other plans.

Verses 19-21: Again, patiently but firmly rejecting Abraham's alternative solution, God emphatically settled the matter by bracketing His gracious bestowal of much posterity to Ishmael (see 25:12-18). With affirmations that indeed Sarah's son would be the heir of the "everlasting covenant." For the first time, God named the son.

Genesis 17:19 "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him."

"Thou shalt call his name Isaac": The name means He Laughs" and was to serve as a reminder to Abraham of the unlikely means by which he was brought into the world. And his response in (17:17), and Sarah's reaction (in 18:12).

Genesis 17:20 "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation."

Abraham seems up to this time to have regarded Ishmael as the promised seed. Hence, a feeling of anxiety instantly penetrates his breast. It finds utterance in the prayer, "Oh that Ishmael might live before thee" (verse 18).

He asks "life" for his beloved son, that is, a share in the divine favor. And that "before God" that is, a life of holiness and communion with God. But God declares positively his purpose of giving him a son by Sarah. This son is to be called Isaac, he that laughs or he shall laugh, in reference to the various emotions of surprise and delight with which his parents regarded his birth.

Abram's prayer for Ishmael, however, is not unanswered. He is to be fruitful, beget twelve princes, and become a great nation. But Isaac is to be the heir of promise. At the present season next year, he is to be born. The communication being completed, "God went" up from Abram.

The blessings of the covenant are reserved for Isaac, but common blessings were abundantly promised to Ishmael. And though the visible Church did not descend from his family, yet personally he might, and it is to be hoped did, enjoy its benefits.

Genesis 17:21 "But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year."

"My covenant will I establish with Isaac": All temporal good things are promised to Ishmael and his posterity, but the establishment of the Lord's covenant is to be with Isaac. Hence it is fully evident that this covenant referred chiefly to spiritual things. To the Messiah, and the salvation which should be brought to both Jews and Gentiles by his incarnation, death, and glorification.

But the covenant, God repeated, should be established with Isaac, whom Sarah was to bear to him at that very time in the following year.

Since Ishmael therefore was excluded from participating in the covenant grace, which was ensured to Isaac alone; and yet Abraham was to become a multitude of nations, and that through Sarah, who was to become "nations" through the son she was to bear (Gen. 17:16).

The "multitude of nations" could not include either the Ishmaelites or the tribes descended from the sons of Keturah (Genesis 25:2.), but the descendants of Isaac alone.

And as one of Isaac's two sons received no part of the covenant promise, but the descendants of Jacob alone. But the whole of the twelve sons of Jacob founded only the one nation of Israel, with which Jehovah established the covenant made with Abraham (Exodus 6 and 20-24). So that Abraham became through Israel the lineal father of one nation only.

Abraham, being a loving father, wanted God to bless his son, Ishmael. God heard and blessed him, but it was a physical earthly blessing. The things God promised Ishmael were not spiritual blessings. These two sons represented the flesh and the spirit. "Isaac" means laughs.

Genesis 17:22 "And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham."

"God went up from Abraham": Ascended evidently before him, so that he had the fullest proof that it was no human being, no earthly angel or messenger, that talked with him.

And the promise of a son in the course of a single year, at this set time in the next year (Gen. 17:21). Which had every human probability against it, was to be the sure token of the truth of all that had hitherto taken place, and the proof that all that was farther promised should be fulfilled in its due time.

Was it not in nearly the same way in which the Lord went up from Abraham, that Jesus Christ ascended to heaven in the presence of his disciples? (Luke 24:51).

Verses 23-27: "The selfsame day": Without delay, Abraham fully carried out God's command on himself, on "every male," and on "all the men of this household".

Genesis 17:23 "And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him."

"And Abraham took Ishmael his son": To circumcise him; he took his son first, to set an example to his servants, and that they might the more readily comply when they saw that Abraham's son, and at that time his only son, was circumcised before their eyes.

"Then all that were born in his house" which were three hundred and eighteen when he rescued Lot from the kings (Gen. 14:14); and perhaps they might be now increased.

"And all that were bought with his money": how many those were, it is not easy to say, no doubt they were many.

"Every male among the men of Abraham's house": whether children or servants, and those little or grown up.

"And circumcised the flesh of their foreskin, in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him": he performed this operation in the manner God directed him, the same day he spoke to him of it. He was not disobedient, nor slow to obey the command of God, but at once complied with it, not consulting flesh and blood, not regarding the pain he and his should endure.

Or considered the shame or danger they should be exposed unto through the Heathens about them; but trusting in God, and committing himself to him, and having his fear before his eyes, he hesitated not, but cheerfully did the will of God.

Genesis 17:24 "And Abraham [was] ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin."

"And Abraham was ninety years old and nine" (see Gen. 17:1). This circumstance of his age is observed the more to commend his faith and obedience, that though he was an old man, he did not consider his age, or make that an objection. That he was unable to bear the pain, or it would be shameful for a man of his years to be uncovered before his servants.

He did it because God bade him. It was a speedy obedience; in the self-same day. Sincere obedience makes no delay. Not only the doctrines of Revelation, but the seals of God's covenant, remind us that we are guilty, polluted sinners. They show us our need of the blood of atonement; they point to the promised Savior, and teach us to exercise faith in him.

They show us that without regeneration, and sanctification by his Spirit, and the mortification of our corrupt and carnal inclinations, we cannot be in covenant with God. But let us remember that the true circumcision is that of the heart, by the Spirit (Rom. 2:28-29).

Both under the old and new dispensation, many have had the outward profession, and the outward seal, who were never sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

Genesis 17:25 "And Ishmael his son [was] thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin."

In the same day. In this passage, we have the prompt and punctual fulfillment of the command concerning circumcision detailed with all the minuteness due to its importance. Ishmael was thirteen years of age when he was circumcised.

Genesis 17:26 "In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son."

"In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son": This is repeated, that it might be taken notice of that both were circumcised according to the command of God.

And on the very day in which it was given. Jarchi observes, it was in the day, and not in the night; showing, says he, Abraham was not afraid of the Heathen, or of mockers. And that his enemies and the men of that generation, might not say; if we had seen him, we would not have suffered him to be circumcised, and keep the commandment of God.

Genesis 17:27 "And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him."

"And all the men of his house": All the males, whether children or adult: born in the house, or bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him; by their will, and with their consent.

They were not forced into it, as Aben Ezra rightly observes. And these being before trained up by him in religious exercises, were more easily prevailed upon by him to follow his example. This also is repeated, that it might be served, and be an example to follow in after generations.

One thing we must take note of here, Abraham carried out his covenant with God to the utmost.

Genesis Chapter 17 Questions

1. Whom did God call Himself to Abraham?

2. How old was Ishmael, when God visited Abraham here?

3. What does Almighty God mean?

4. What effect did God's presence have on Abraham?

5. What does "Abraham" mean?

6. In verse 6, what 3 things did God promise?

7. What land did God promise to give Abraham's descendants?

8. What was the sign of the covenant?

9. How old was a baby boy to be when this happened to him?

10. Who, besides the immediate family, did this involve?

11. What separated Hebrew men from other men?

12. Any Hebrew man refusing to be circumcised hath done what?

13. What was Sarai's name changed to?

14. What does it mean?

15. What kind of blessing did God speak on Sarah?

16. When Abraham was told by God that he would have a son by Sarah, what did he do?

17. In verse 18, what was Abraham asking God for?

18. What was Abraham's and Sarah's son to be named?

19. What does it mean?

20. To what extent did Abraham keep the covenant?

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Genesis 18

Genesis Chapter 18

Genesis 18:1 "And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;"

"The LORD appeared": Another instance of a theophany (a visible manifestation of God). Although Abraham perhaps did not recognize at first that one of his visitors, whom he humbly greeted and entertained (verses 2-8), and properly sent on their way.

"Plains of Mamre" (See note on 13:18).

Genesis 18:2 "And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw [them], he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,"

The "three men" who appeared to Abraham were the preincarnate Christ and two angels (verse 22; 19:1). Here we find an example, not only of "entertaining angels unawares" (Heb. 13:2), but also of God becoming the guest of one of His saints (John 14:23; Rev. 3:20).

This him was Abraham. These three were in the form of men. These were messengers from God. These three were associated with the Spirit of God. The statement "the Lord appeared", lets you know that at least one of these beings was the Spirit of the Lord.

I believe the reason three appeared was to show that God the Father, God the Word, and God the Holy Ghost were in agreement with the message that was brought. Abraham realized who this was, even from a distance, and he ran out, and kneeled, and worshipped. Abraham humbled himself before these three.

Genesis 18:3 "And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:"

"My Lord": Although perhaps first used as the customary respectful address of a host to a visit, later in their interchange it was used knowingly by Abraham of his true and sovereign Lord, whom he addressed as "Master" (verses 22:30-32), and whom he must have recognized when the visitor spoke of Himself as "LORD" (verse 14).

Here again, Abraham called him Lord. He said, if you have judged and found me okay, don't leave. Abraham realized he was God's servant.

Genesis 18:4 "Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:"

"Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet": Which was very refreshing to travelers in hot countries, who walked barefoot or in sandals; and this he proposes to be done by one of his servants, whose business it was, only desires they would give him leave to order it (1 Samuel 25:41).

In these verses, we find a delightful picture of primitive hospitality. In those ancient times shoes, such as ours were not in use; and the foot was protected only by sandals or soles, which fastened round the foot with straps. It was therefore a great refreshment in so hot a country to get the feet washed at the end of a day's journey. And this is the first thing that Abraham proposes.

Genesis 18:5 "And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said."

The narrative affords a pleasing instance of the primitive manners of the East. The hospitality of the pastoral tribes was spontaneous and unreserved. The washing of the feet, which were partly at least uncovered in walking, the reclining under the tree, and the offer of refreshment, are indicative of an unchanging rural simplicity.

"For therefore are ye come to your servant": not that he thought they came this way on purpose to take some refreshment with him, but so it was ordered by the providence of God; and since it was, he desires that they would accept of his invitation: and they said, "so do as thou hast said." They agreed to it, that water should be fetched to wash their feet, and food for them to eat.

Abraham wanted to serve these. He humbled himself and washed their feet. He was offering food and whatever they needed. Then he asked is there something I am doing wrong?

Genesis 18:6 "And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead [it], and make cakes upon the hearth."

"And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah": In order to acquaint her with his guests, and to give proper instructions for providing food for them; and this he hastened to do, being hearty in the entertainment of them, and that he might not keep them too long from their journey.

"Make cakes upon the hearth": Bread is baked daily, no more than is required for family use, and always by the women, commonly the wife. It is a short process.

Flour mixed with water is made into dough, and being rolled out into cakes, it is placed on the earthen floor, previously heated by a fire. The fire being removed, the cakes are laid on the ground, and being covered over with hot embers, are soon baked, and eaten the moment they are taken off.

Genesis 18:7 "And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave [it] unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

"And Abraham ran unto the herd": While Sarah and her maids were kneading the dough, and making the cakes, Abraham fetched a calf; a fine fat calf which was reckoned very delicious food. Much in use with the ancients and generally made a part in any grand entertainment, and was accounted fit for a king (see 1 Sam. 28:24).

"Gave it unto a young man": One of his servants, to kill and dress as soon as possible. Jarchi says this was Ishmael, whom he trained up to such service, "and he hasted to dress it". The young man made all the haste he could to get it ready, according to the orders of Abraham.

Genesis 18:8 "And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set [it] before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat."

Abraham had a numerous household, and plentifulness was the character of primitive hospitality. "Hearth cakes," baked among the coals. "Butter": Seemingly any preparation of milk, cream, curds, or butter, all of which are used in the East.

"And the calf which he had dressed": Either the whole of it, or some principal parts of it, reckoned the finest and choicest. Though by what follows it seems to be Abraham himself, who may be said to dress the calf, or it being done by his orders.

"And set it before them": A table being placed under the tree. He set, or ordered to be set, all those provisions before the three men, to feed upon. The cakes and butter, the milk and fatted calf.

"And he stood by them under the tree": Not only to bid them welcome, but to minister to them.

Abraham was like an excited school boy. He gave them the very best he had (like a sacrifice).

Verses 9-13: Despite a promise clearly reminiscent of God's words to Abraham, Sarah reacted with similar unwillingness to believe as her husband had done (17:17). She was not thinking of divine miracle but of divine providence working only within the normal course of life, being convinced that, at their age, bearing children was just not naturally possible.

Genesis 18:9 "And they said unto him, Where [is] Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent."

The men now enter upon the business of their visit. "Where is Sarah thy wife?" The jealousy and seclusion of later times had not yet rendered such an inquiry uncourteous. Sarah is within hearing of the conversation (verse 10, 14: Romans 9:9).

Genesis 18:10 "And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard [it] in the tent door, which [was] behind him."

"I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life;" Literally the living time, seemingly the time of birth, when the child comes to manifest life.

"Sarah thy wife shall have a son." Sarah hears this with unbelieving surprise, and laughs with mingled doubt and delight. She knows that in the nature of things she is past child-bearing. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Sarah laughed within herself, within the tent and behind the speaker; yet to her surprise her internal feelings are known to him.

Genesis 18:11 "Now Abraham and Sarah [were] old [and] well stricken in age; [and] it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women."

"Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age": The one being ninety nine years of age, and the other eighty nine; and which is observed to make it the more surprising that they should have a son at such an age; and what follows still makes it more so.

"And it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women": Her monthly visitors (periods), had left her, so that she was unfit for conception, and there could be no hope of it in a natural way.

Genesis 18:12 "Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"

"Sarah laughed within herself" either because she did not know of the promise of (17:19), or because she was unconvinced it would be fulfilled. In either case, one of the three men was now clearly identified as Yahweh, who knew Sarah's thoughts.

These three brought unusual blessing to Abraham. Now, that Abraham was old and Sarah had already gone through the change of life she was to have a son. Sarah was very well aware that changes in her body had made it impossible in the natural to have a child. She laughed, because it was so unbelievable.

With man, it was impossible. But through God, all things are possible. Take note that Sarah called Abraham, lord, but it was not capitalized. He was ruler over her body, not her spirit.

Genesis 18:13 "And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?"

She finds there is One present who rises above the sphere of nature. In her confusion and terror, she denies that she laughed. But He, who sees what is within, insists that she did laugh; at least in the thoughts of her heart. There is a beautiful simplicity in the whole scene. Sarah now doubtless received faith and strength to conceive.

Verses 14-15: A rhetorical question ("Is any thing too hard?) A divine declaration ("At the time appointed"), coupled with obvious knowledge of her thoughts ("laughed to herself"), made Sarah fearfully perceive her total misperception of God's working.

Genesis 18:14 "Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Whose power is infinite; or "too wonderful"? So wonderful and beyond all belief, that it can never be thought it will be done by him; and why then should it be thought incredible or impossible that Sarah should have a child? Can anything be too great a miracle for him to effect?

God has full sway, and by his own power works all things after the counsel of his own will. Is there an effect to be produced? God can produce it as well with or without means. He produced nature, the whole system of causes and effects, when in the whole compass of his own eternity there was neither means nor being. He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

How great and wonderful is God!

"At the time appointed will I return to thee": According to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son; which words are repeated not merely for the confirmation of Abraham's faith, which staggered not, but to remove Sarah's unbelief, and to encourage her faith in the divine promise.

Genesis 18:15 "Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh."

"For she was afraid": Then Sarah (who had overheard the conversation, and the charge preferred against her, and who probably now appeared before the stranger denied), saying "I laughed not". Sarah's conduct will admit of no other explanation than that which the sacred narrative itself gives.

The knowledge that her secret thoughts had been deciphered must have kindled in her breast the suspicion that her visitor was none other than Jehovah. With this a sense of guilt would immediately assail her conscience for having cherished even a moment, any doubt of the Divine word.

In the consequent confusion of soul, she tries whatever seems to be the first impulse of detected transgressions, deception (Gen. 3:12-13).

And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh. With a directness similar to that which he employed in dealing with the first culprits in the garden, not contending in a multiplicity of words, but solemnly announcing that what she said was false. The silence of Sarah was an evidence of her conviction; her subsequent conception was a proof of her repentance and forgiveness.

The LORD wanted to know why Sarah laughed. He made her body, and He could restore her youth long enough for her to have a child. He was disappointed in her doubt. Then Sarah became afraid when she realized that this was the LORD of heaven. She denied laughing, but she (as we), could not hide anything from the LORD (He knows everything).

Verses 16-33: This section gives the basis for Abraham's being called the friend of God (2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8; James 2:23). Because he was the friend of God and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him, he was allowed the high privilege of learning something about God's principles of dealing with those nations.

Genesis 18:16 "And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way."

"And the men rose up from thence": From their seats at Abraham's table under the tree, all three of them.

"And looked toward Sodom": set their faces and steered their course that way, by which it appeared they intended to go thither.

"And Abraham went with them, to bring them on the way; which was another piece of civility to strangers used in those early times, as well as in later ones (Acts 20:38).

Genesis 18:17-18 "And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;" "Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?"

"Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do": The Lord's reason for permitting Abraham to know of judgment in advance underscored his special role in the plan of God and the certain outcome of His covenant with Abraham, many offspring and great blessing.

Genesis 18:19 "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."

"For I know him, that he will command his children": An expression of divine confidence, i.e., a tribute to faithfulness, obedience, and consistency.

Here, the LORD decided to tell Abraham what He was about to do to Sodom. He spoke the blessing again, that Abraham would be a mighty nation. He knew that Abraham would teach his children and grandchildren the ways of the LORD. He knew, because of the blood covenant Abraham had already kept (The circumcision of the men).

Genesis 18:20 "And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;"

"The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great": The iniquity of the two cities, by then complete (15:16), had reached the point of no return before the Lord, who demonstrated before Abraham how justly He assessed the time for judgment (verse 21).

Their sins cried out for punishment (4:10; Hosea 7:2; Jonah 1:2).

Genesis 18:21 "I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know."

"I will go down" (11:7), indicates that God's justice moved Him to demonstrate that He had full possession of the facts. Actually, the two angels went to Sodom and the Angel of the Lord stayed with Abraham. Abraham expressed concern for the people (13:8-9).

The LORD was going to investigate this terrible situation which was going on. We will find out a little later that this city's iniquity was homosexuality. The LORD was explaining to Abraham about the sin and its consequences.

Genesis 18:22 "And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD."

"And the men turned their faces": That is, the two angels who accompanied Jehovah were now sent towards Sodom; while the third, who is called the Lord, remained with Abraham for the purpose of teaching him the great usefulness and importance of faith and prayer.

I guess it is time to deal with the two that were with the LORD when He first came to Abraham. My own personal opinion (I have no Scripture to back this up), is that the two with the LORD were two very important angels (ministering spirits carrying out their orders from the throne).

These could even have been Gabriel, and some other angel of great importance. The word men was loosely used, because they were in that form. The LORD remained with Abraham to discuss the problem, and sent the two angel men on to Sodom.

Genesis 18:23 "And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?"

"Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" The intercession for the two wicked cities began with a question that portrayed Abraham's acute awareness of God's mercy toward the righteous and the distinction He made between the good and the bad (verse 25).

Genesis 18:24 "Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that [are] therein?"

Here is the first solemn prayer upon record in the Bible; and it is a prayer for the sparing of Sodom. Abraham prayed earnestly that Sodom might be spared, if but a few righteous persons should be found in it. Learn from Abraham what compassion we should feel for sinners, and how earnestly we should pray for them.

We see here that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Abraham, indeed, failed in his request for the whole place, but Lot was miraculously delivered. Be encouraged then to expect, by earnest prayer, the blessing of God upon your families, your friends, your neighborhood. To this end, you must not only pray, but you must live like Abraham.

He knew the Judge of all the earth would do right. He does not plead that the wicked may be spared for their own sake, or because it would be severe to destroy them, but for the sake of the righteous who might be found among them. And righteousness only can be made a plea before God.

How then did Christ make intercession for transgressors? Not by blaming the Divine law, nor by alleging aught in extenuation or excuse of human guilt; but by pleading HIS OWN obedience unto death.

This was very presumptuous of Abraham to question the LORD. The number 50 pertains to jubilee. This number indicates setting the captives free. Abraham was pleading for this city. This LORD, spoken of here in the next verse, is the Judge of all the earth. This indicated that this was the same Spirit as the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the LORD of all the earth.

Genesis 18:25 "That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Abraham's clear understanding of God's character being able only to do what is good and totally above reproach was affirmed with this rhetorical question.

Abraham was saying, LORD, You are righteous; this is not like You as You are a perfect Judge. Notice, in the Scripture above, that Judge was capitalized. This also tells us that this was the LORD, not an angel. I would be absolutely scared to death to speak to the LORD like this. Abraham was almost scolding the LORD.

Genesis 18:26 "And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes."

"If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city": Sodom is particularly mentioned because Lot dwelt there, and being the metropolis, and the city of greatest note, as Jarchi observes, it is put for the rest; and the sense is, if fifty righteous persons could be found in all the five cities, mercy should be shown them.

Then will I spare all the place for their sakes; not Sodom only, but the whole country, of which Sodom was the chief; the LORD takes up and agrees to the number Abraham pitched upon, and grants the request he makes.

You see, just a very few righteous people can be a blessing to the masses.

Genesis 18:27 "And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which [am but] dust and ashes:"

"Which am but dust and ashes": Abraham's negotiation, far from being crassly or selfishly manipulative, humbly and compassionately expressed his concern for people (13:8-9), and particularly interceded for the place where his nephew Lot and his family lived. Neither did he intend to anger the Lord by his repeated requests (verses 28, 30, 32).

Genesis 18:28-32 "Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for [lack of] five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy [it]." "And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do [it] for forty's sake." "And he said [unto him], Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do [it], if I find thirty there." "And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for twenty's sake." "And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for ten's sake."

Abraham intercedes for Sodom. His spiritual character is unfolded and exalted more and more. He employs the language of a free-born son with his heavenly Father. He puts forward the plea of justice to the righteous in behalf of the city.

He ventures to repeat his intervention six times, every time diminishing the number of the righteous whom he supposes to be in it. The patience of the Lord is no less remarkable than the perseverance of Abraham. In every case, he grants his petition.

"For ten's sake": That the number of righteous people necessary to forestall judgment had been reduced from 50 to 10 may have reflected Abraham's awareness both of the intense wickedness of the cities as well as Lot's ineffective witness there. Abraham probably had the whole of Lot's family in mind.

Genesis 18:33 "And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place."

"The LORD went his way ... Abraham return unto his place": Nothing more could be done; the judgment was inevitable!

This was an interesting conversation between Abraham and the LORD. One thing that really stood out in this was the patience of the LORD. At least, Abraham humbled himself, and admitted he was but dust and ashes.

Another thing so notable to me, God was so gracious that if even ten (represents world government) were righteous, He would spare the thousands who lived there. The terrible thing in our society today, is that in our large cities, God would be hard pressed to find even 10 (by His standard), righteous people.

The idea of ten satisfied Abraham, because Abraham's nephew, Lot, and his family were there, and Abraham figured God would spare the city from destruction for them. Then the LORD and Abraham went back to their respective homes. We will see in the next lesson, that not even all of Lot's family was righteous. God would destroy the city.

Genesis Chapter 18 Questions

  1. Where did the LORD appear to Abraham?
  2. Whom did Abraham see coming to him?
  3. What did Abraham do?
  4. Who were these three?
  5. Why did Abraham bow down to them?
  6. What did Abraham call one of them?
  7. What two things did Abraham do for them as they entered his tent.
  8. What question did Abraham ask them about himself?
  9. What three foods did Abraham set before them?
  10. What does the time of life mean?
  11. What was Sarah's reaction when the LORD told Abraham that Sarah would have a son?
  12. Why did she think she could not have a child?
  13. With men it is impossible, but with God ____ _________ _____ ____________.
  14. Was Sarah's denying that she laughed accepted by the LORD? Why?
  15. What city did the men look toward?
  16. Would God conceal His plan from Abraham? Why?
  17. Sodom and Gomorrah's sin was _______ _______before God.
  18. What was this city's iniquity?
  19. Who stayed to talk to Abraham?
  20. In Abraham's first remark, how many did he ask the LORD to save it for?
  21. What does this number pertain to?
  22. What else, was the LORD called here?
  23. Whom do the penman believe the other two men were?
  24. How low a number of righteous did Abraham and the LORD finally settle on?
  25. Why was Abraham satisfied with that number?
  26. What message stood out in this conversation of Abraham and the LORD?
  27. What is the number ten representative of?
  28. In the next lesson, what will we learn about Lot's family?

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Genesis 19

Genesis Chapter 19

Genesis 19:1 "And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing [them] rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;"

"Two angels": These were the angels who, with God, had visited Abraham (18:22). They had taken human form (verse 10); called "men".

"Lot sat in the gate": Since city officials and other prominent citizens conducted the community's affairs at the gate, Lot was a leader in the city, possibly a judge (verse 9; 34:20).

Genesis 19:2 "And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night."

"Turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house": Lot's invitation to the two angels (verses 1-3), to partake themselves of his hospitality was most likely not just courtesy, but an effort to protect them from the known perversity of the Sodomites.

One thing we need to note right here, is that even today, perverted sex of any kind is called sodomy (taken from Sodom). In this passage above, they were spoken of as angels. I believe these were heavenly messengers sent of God. Lot must have realized they were messengers.

Lot wanted to get them safely in his home and out of town, before evil came their way. When lot called them lords, it was not capitalized meaning they were not the Lord. They were sent to see if the evil was as bad as had been reported, so they wanted to stay out in the street.

Genesis 19:3 "And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat."

"Pressed upon them greatly": Such was Lot's concern for these strangers that their stated preference to pass the night in the town square could not be permitted. Lot knew what might happen to them if they did not stay with him.

I believe in this unleavened bread that Lot fed them, he was saying, I am free of sin. "Leaven" means sin.

Genesis 19:4 "But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:"

"The men of the city ... all the people": Both the size of the lustful mob of men boisterously milling around Lot's house and the widespread nature of Sodom's moral perversion received emphasis both from the additional qualifiers used ("all the people from ever quarter"; and both old and young"), and the request made (verse 5), "that we may know them".

Even acknowledging legitimate exaggeration in this use of "all", would not detract from this emphasis, this was indeed a wicked city!

Genesis 19:5 "And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them."

"That we may know them": The word "know" is to be interpreted in the light of (Genesis 4:1), as carnal or sexual knowledge, here referring to homosexuality. We are given a glimpse of the unspeakable possibilities of human depravity.

They sought homosexual relations with the visitors. God's attitude toward this vile behavior became clear when He destroyed the city (see verses 23-29).

See (Lev. 18:22, 29; 20:13; Romans 1:26; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10), where all homosexual behavior is prohibited and condemned by God.

The Scripture clearly denounces homosexuality as an abomination, "sin". Later, the law would make homosexuality a capital offense, grouped with incest and bestiality.

You see, this city was so evil and perverted that they participated in group sex. God was showing these two angels that all of this city was involved in this lasciviousness, except perhaps Lot's immediate family. This "know", in the verse above, means to participate in an abominable act with them. Male rape, if you will believe it.

Lot's response betrayed tension in his ethics; his offer to gratify their sexual lust contradicted his plea not to act "wickedly." Such contradiction made clear also the vexation of spirit under which he lived in wicked Sodom (2 Pet. 2:6-7).

Genesis 19:6 "And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,"

"And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him": The door of the passage to his house, the courtyard door, for another word is here used; unless the one was properly the door, and the other a hatch.

However, this precaution of shutting it was used to prevent the men of Sodom rushing in, and taking away the men by violence; and that Lot might have some opportunity of trying what he could do by arguments, to prevail upon them to desist from their attempt.

Genesis 19:7 "And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly."

The wicked violence of the citizens displays itself. They compass the house, and demand the men for the vilest ends. How familiar Lot had become with vice, when any necessity whatever could induce him to offer his daughters to the lust of these Sodomites (in Gen. 19:8)!

We may suppose it was spoken rashly, in the heat of the moment, and with the expectation that he would not be taken at his word. So it turned out. "Stand back." This seems to be a menace to frighten Lot out of the way of their perverse will.

This account justifies the character given of this depraved people in the preceding chapter (Gen. 18:20, and Gen. 23:13). As their crime was the deepest disgrace to human nature, so it is too bad to be described; in the sacred text, it is sufficiently marked; and the iniquity which, from these most abominable wretches, has been called Sodomy.

Lot hoped to win his neighbors, and to persuade them from pursuing their unlawful measures, for which purpose and that alone he used it, saying to them: do not so wickedly; as to use ill a man's guests, to abuse strangers, to break the laws and rules of hospitality, and especially to commit that unnatural sin they were bent upon.

Genesis 19:8 "Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof."

"I have two daughters" was an absolutely amazing alternative to be offered by a believer.

"Do ye to them as is good in your eyes": The constraints of Eastern hospitality and the very purpose for which Lot had invited the visitors in verses 2-3, compelled Lot of offer his daughters for a less deviant (see notes on Rom. 1:24-27), kind of wickedness, so as to protect his guests.

This foolish effort shows that while Lot was right with God (2 Pet. 7-8), he had contented himself with some sins and weak faith, rather than leaving Sodom. But God was gracious to him because he was righteous, by faith, before God.

Why Lot had not moved out of this evil city before now baffles me. He knew how perverted they were. I really believe the reason Lot offered his daughters to these men in this Scripture was to show that sex sin between a man and woman (even though it is very bad), is not as bad as it is between two men.

God calls it an abomination. I believe that is very mild word for what it is truly. Just the fact that these girls were still virgins, showed just how perverted this city really was. Lot called these evil men brethren, which means a pretty bad thing.

He was either overlooking their sins and fellowshipping with them or he was involved himself. Either way, it was terrible. For a dad to offer his daughters to this evil bunch didn't speak too highly of Lot.

Genesis 19:9 "And they said, Stand back. And they said [again], This one [fellow] came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, [even] Lot, and came near to break the door."

"Be a judge": Their accusation suggests Lot had made moral pronouncements before, but his evaluation was no longer tolerable.

"Pressed sore": Homosexual deviation carries an uncontrollable lust that defies restraint. Even when blinded, they tried to fulfill their lust (verse 11).

These men filled with lust would not listen to Lot. They even called him an outsider. One sin leads to another. They were about to break and enter Lot's home to get the men.

Verses 10-11: Lot was now being protected by those whom he had earlier sought to protect!

Genesis 19:10 "But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door."

"But the men put forth their hand": They came to the door, and opened it, and put out their hands, one on one side the door, and the other on the other.

"And pulled Lot into the house to them and shut to the door": and thus, they rescued Lot from the fury and rage of the men of Sodom, and prevented his daughters being exposed unto them, as he had offered.

This action showed them to be more than men, that they should open the door, take in Lot, and shut it so suddenly, that the men of Sodom could take no advantage of it, could neither retain Lot, nor enter the door when opened, and especially what follows.

Genesis 19:11 "And they smote the men that [were] at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door."

"And they smote the men ... with blindness": This has been understood two ways.

(1) The angels, by the power which God had given them, deprived these wicked men of a proper and regular use of their sight, so as either totally to deprive them of it, or render it so confused that they could no longer distinguish objects; or

(2) They caused such a deep darkness to take place, that they could not find Lot's door. The author of the book of The Wisdom of Solomon was evidently of this latter opinion, for he says they were compassed about with horrible great darkness (Genesis 19:17). See a similar case of Elisha and the Syrians (2 Kings 6:18).

The men, spoken of here, were the angels who pulled Lot into the house. Just as punishment has fallen today on people who commit this terrible sin, God punished these with blindness.

Just as people today involved in this sin are not turning from their sins, neither did these men of Sodom. Lot's big mistake was in staying in this evil place. Separate yourself from people who are involved in this evil.

Genesis 19:12 "And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring [them] out of this place:"

The visitors now take steps for the deliverance of Lot and his kindred before the destruction of the cities. All that are related to him are included in the offer of deliverance. There is a blessing in being connected with the righteous, if men will but avail themselves of it. The mercy of the Lord prevails. The angels use a little violence to hasten their escape.

"And the men said unto Lot": When they had got him into the house again, they began to make themselves known unto him, and to acquaint him with the business they came to do. "Hast thou here any besides?" Which they ask not as being ignorant, though angels don't know everything relative to men, but to show their great regard to Lot.

"Son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters": It should be rendered either "son-in-law, or thy sons, or thy daughters". If thou hast any son-in-law that has married a daughter of thine, or any sons of thine own that live from thee; or grandsons, the sons of thy married daughters, as Jarchi interprets it; or any other daughters besides those two we here see.

And whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place. That is, whatsoever relations he had, whether more near or remote. For as for his goods, whether in his own house, or in any other part of the city, there was no time for saving them.

Genesis 19:13 "For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it."

"The Lord hath sent us to destroy it": With the wickedness of the city so graphically confirmed (verses 4-11), divine judgment was the only outcome, but Lot's family could escape it (verses 12-13. Jude 7).

Sudden destruction was to fall on this city. God would not put up with this sin. These angels had orders from God to call down fire from heaven. These angels were warning Lot and his family to get out.

Genesis 19:14 "And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law."

"Seemed as one that mocked": Lot's warning of imminent judgment fell within the category of jesting, so concluded his sons-in-law (or perhaps his daughters' fiancés).

Evidently Lot's testimony had degenerated to the point where even his family did not believe he was serious.

His sons-in-law had reprobate minds. They were so caught up in these sins themselves that they had never slept with their wives. (They were virgins). They did not know God, so why would they believe a warning from God? When this city of men was struck blind, it was not only physical blindness, but spiritual, too.

Genesis 19:15 "And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city."

"And when the morning arose": When it was break of day, for as yet the sun was not yet risen, nor did it rise until Lot got to Zoar (Genesis 19:23). He had now returned from his sons-in-law, and by this time it began to be light.

"Then the angels hastened Lot": urged him to get out of his house as fast as he could.

"Saying, arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here": Aben Ezra, and others, have concluded, it has been observed, that he had other daughters elsewhere, which they suppose were married to men of Sodom. But the phrase, "which are here", or "are found", or "are present" relates to his wife, as well as his daughters, and only signifies, that he should take all his relations that were present.

Genesis 19:16 "And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city."

"The Lord being merciful unto him": This reason, elsewhere described as God having remembered Abraham (verse 29), is why, in the face of Lot's seeming reluctance to leave ("hesitated"), the angels personally and forcefully escorted him and his family beyond the city's precincts.

I cannot believe that Lot and his family were slow to leave, and had to be led away from this evil city by these two angels. The girls went without their husbands. They were better off without them, if they were caught up in homosexuality.

I do not find where Lot had made a stand for God in this city; the Lord showed mercy to him probably because of Abraham, and also, because he befriended the angels.

Verses 17-21: An urbanized lifestyle was apparently superior to a lonely one in the mountains and might be why Lot, playing upon the mercy already shown him, negotiated for an alternative escape destination, another city! The angels rely (verse 21), indicated that this city was included in the original judgment plan, but would be spared for Lot's sake.

Genesis 19:17 "And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed."

When they had brought them forth, etc. Every word here is emphatic, "Escape for thy Life"; thou art in the most imminent danger of perishing; thy life and thy soul are both at stake. "Look not behind thee". Thou hast but barely time enough to escape from the judgment that is now descending; no lingering, or thou art lost! One look back may prove fatal to thee, and God commands thee to avoid it.

"Neither stay thou in all the plain", because God will destroy that as well as the city. "Escape to the mountain", on which these judgments shall not light, and which God has appointed thee for a place of refuge; "lest thou be consumed".

It is not an ordinary judgment that is coming; a fire from heaven shall burn up the cities, the plain, and all that remain in the cities and in the plain. Both the beginning and end of this exhortation are addressed to his personal feelings. "Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life;" and self-preservation is the first law of nature, to which every other consideration is minor and unimportant.

Lot and his family had to leave their home and their belongings, but they should have been very thankful to get out with their lives. In fact, the destruction was to be so widespread, that they were to run to the mountain for safety. The angel warned them not to look back.

Genesis 19:18 "And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:"

"Lot said ... Oh, not so, my Lord": I cannot escape to the mountain. What a strange want of faith and fortitude, as if He who had interfered for his rescue would not have protected Lot in the mountain solitude.

Supposing three present, not observing that the two angels had left him that had brought him thither; though it is but to one of them he addresses himself, even to him who had bid him make the best of his way to the mountain, as appears by what follows: let me not be obliged to go so far as to the mountain.

Genesis 19:19 "Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:"

"Behold, now thy servant hath found grace in thy sight": In sending two of his angels to him, to inform him of the approaching destruction of Sodom. To pluck him out of it as a coal out of the burning and then to place him outside the city. And in directing and encouraging him to escape for his life.

"And thou hast magnified thy mercy which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life": He owns it was owing to the mercy of this illustrious Person, whom he knew and acknowledges, by what he says, to be a divine one, that his life was saved.

And that this appeared exceeding great in it, that he should spare him and his family, when such multitudes of souls would perish; and he might have perished with the rest, if he had not had timely notice in such a gracious manner.

"And I cannot": Or, "but now, I cannot"

"Escape to the mountain": It is too far for me; he signifies that his strength would not hold out through the fatigues of the night past, and want of sleep and rest. But this was owing more to the infirmity of his mind than of his body, for he could go to this same mountain afterwards.

"Lest some evil take me, and I die": Or "that evil", the burning of Sodom, and the cities of the plain, lest that should overtake him before he got to the mountain. Thus, he began to distrust the power of God to strengthen him to go thither, who had appeared so wonderfully for him in his present deliverance.

And he might have assured himself, that he that brought him out of Sodom would never suffer him to perish in the destruction of it.

Genesis 19:20 "Behold now, this city [is] near to flee unto, and it [is] a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, ([is] it not a little one?) and my soul shall live."

The mountain was preserved by its elevation from the flood of rain, sulfur, and fire which descended on the low ground on which the cities were built. Lot begs for a small town to which he may retreat, as he shrinks from the perils of a mountain dwelling, and his request is mercifully granted.

This was a prayer of Lot to the Lord. Can you even believe that Lot would question God on this? He realized God had been merciful, but still wanted to alter the plans that God had made for his safety. It seemed, Lot did not want to live in the country where you have to work with your hands, he was a city dweller. Let's read on, and see if the Lord answered his prayer.

Genesis 19:21 "And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken."

"I will not overthrow this city ": That God not only spared Sodom until Lot was safe, but also spared another city (Bela), permanently because of his prayer, is one of the strongest Old Testament illustrations of eternal security of backslidden believers.

In spite of Lot's deep apostasy, the New Testament assures us that he was a "righteous man" (redeemed), and that his "righteous soul" was daily vexed with the unlawful deeds of his sodomite neighbors (2 Pet. 2:8). Doubtless, Lot will be among those who "shall suffer loss" but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Cor. 3:15).

Genesis 19:22 "Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar."

"Haste thee, escape thither": Seeing he had granted him his request, he is urgent upon him to be gone, and not to delay upon any account, or make other excuses.

"I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither". So, these heavenly messengers had the strictest commission to take care of Lot and his family. And even the purposes of Divine justice could not be accomplished on the rebellious, till this righteous man and his family had escaped from the place.

Consistent with the decree of God, that Lot and his family should be delivered and preserved, and with his promise made to him, that he would not overthrow that city; and therefore, the catastrophe which would befall all the cities at once could not begin until he was safely arrived there.

Therefore, the name of the city was called Zoar. In later times, and probably first by Lot, from his use of the word "little", which was his request, which Zoar signifies; it before was called Bela (see Genesis 14:2).

God answered Lot's prayer. It seemed this city, as well, had been set for destruction, but the Lord spared it for lot to dwell in. The name "Zoar" means little. The angel told him to hurry, so that he could carry out the destruction.

Genesis 19:23 "The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar."

"And the sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar": Which is observed partly to point at the time of his entrance into the city, and of the burning of Sodom, which began at the same time; and partly to show what a fine morning it was, and what little appearance there was of such a tempest rising as quickly did.

So that the inhabitants of Sodom, who were up so early, little thought of so sudden a catastrophe, and those that were in their beds were at once surprised with it: it was a morning of light and joy to Lot, who was so wonderfully delivered, but a dreadful one to the men of Sodom and the rest of the cities of the plain, with whom the scene was soon altered.

Lot, instead of cheerfully obeying the commandment of the Lord, appealed to the great mercy shown to him in the preservation of his life, and to the impossibility of his escaping to the mountains, without the evil overtaking him, and entreated therefore that he might be allowed to take refuge in the small and neighboring city, Bela, which received the name of Zoar (Gen. 14:2).

Genesis 19:24 "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;"

Here the Lord is represented as present in the skies, whence the storm of desolation comes, and on the earth where it falls.

"Brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven": When morning came (verse 23), judgment fell. Any natural explanation, about how the Lord used combustible sulfur deposits to destroy that locale, falters on the emphatic indication of miraculous judgment.

"Brimstone" could refer to any inflammable substance; perhaps a volcanic eruption and an earthquake with a violent electrical storm "overthrew" (verse 25), the area. That area is now believed to be under the south end of the Dead Sea. Burning gases, sulfur and magma blown into the air all fell to bury the region.

It may even refer to a meteorite shower that literally burned up the whole area or a combination of actions simultaneously.

G enesis 19:25 "And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground."

"And he overthrew those cities": The Lord rained brimstone and fire down from the skies."

You see, this was like an atomic blast, but it came from the LORD Himself. This was judgment. Sometimes, God uses people and nations to bring judgment, but in this case, He took care of it Himself. He explained that not only the cities were destroyed, but the people, and the trees, and all living things.

Genesis 19:26 "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."

"His wife looked back": Lot's wife paid the price of disregarding the angelic warning to flee without a backward glance (verse 17).

In doing so, she became not only encased in salt, but a poignant example of disobedience producing unwanted reaction at judgment day (Luke 17:29-32), even as her home cities became by-words of God's judgment on sin (Isa. 1:9; Rom. 9:29; 2 Pet. 2:5-6).

"She became a pillar of salt": Jesus used this incident as a warning to others not to look back (Luke 17:21-33). Lot's wife apparently lingered behind, continually and longingly looking back on her beloved possessions, and was buried by the explosion that resulted from the destruction of the city.

Disobedience to God can bring instant, sudden destruction, as it did to Lot's wife, The Bible says, even now when you put your hand to the plow, do not look back.

Genesis 19:27 "And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:"

"And Abraham got up early in the morning": Perhaps he had had but little sleep the whole night, his thoughts being taken up with what was to befall the cities of the plain; and especially being in great concern for Lot and his family.

"To the place where he stood before the Lord": Genesis 18:22; to the very spot of ground where he had stood the day before in the presence of the Lord, and had conversed with him, and prayed unto him.

Here he came and stood waiting for an answer to his prayers; and perhaps this place was an eminence, from whence he could have a view of the plain of Jordan and the cities on it; and so it appears from (Genesis 19:28).

Genesis 19:28 "And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace."

"And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain": To see how it fared with them. Very probably the Lord had hinted it to him, that the destruction would be that morning, and therefore he rose early, got to the place early, and being on an eminence, looked to see if he could observe any sign of it.

"And beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace": After the fiery shower was over, and the cities burnt down, the smoke ascended toward heaven, as the smoke of mystical Babylon will do (Rev. 19:3). Like the reek of a boiling cauldron; or, as Jarchi stated, like the smoke of a lime kiln always burning.

Genesis 19:29 "And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt."

"The cities of the plain": The best archeological evidence locates Sodom and Gomorrah at the south of the Dead Sea region, i.e., in the area south of the Lisan Peninsula that juts out on the east (see note on 14:10).

"God remembered Abraham": 18:23-33.

You can see in all of this, that God remembered Abraham and saved Lot, his nephew. I do not see, in any of this, that it was from righteous living of Lot that saved him. It was by grace, and in remembrance of Abraham. The description of this great destruction would be very similar to hell. The only difference is this happened and was over. Hell is continuous.

Genesis Chapter 19 Questions

1. Who went to Sodom and saw Lot at the gate?

2. What did Lot invite them to do?

3. What is a word used today for perverted sex?

4. Why did they want to stay in the street?

5. What did Lot serve them?

6. What does "unleavened" stand for?

7. Who surrounded Lot's house that night?

8. Why?

9. What did Lot offer them, instead of the angels?

10. What did "know" mean in verse 5?

11. Where did Lot talk to the men of the city?

12. What word did Lot call them, that indicated he fellowshipped with them?

13. What does God call homosexuality?

14. Why would the men not listen to Lot?

15. The angels saved Lot how?

16. What happened to the men trying to break into the house?

17. Did Lot have other members of his family, besides his wife and two daughters?

18. When Lot tried to get them to leave, how did they react?

19. What two kinds of blindness are meant?

20. When did the men tell Lot to leave?

21. Did he leave immediately? Explain.

22. What 2 reasons were probably why God saved Lot?

23. Did Lot go where God sent him?

24. Where did he go?

25. What was the name of the place where Lot went?

26. What does the name mean?

27. How did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?

28. This was like what?

29. What 3 ways does God bring judgment?

30. What, besides the cities, were destroyed?

31. What did Lot's wife do wrong?

32. What happened to her?

33. Disobedience brings what?

34. When Abraham looked, what did it look like toward Sodom?

35. Who did God remember in all of this?

36. This destruction reminds us of what?

Genesis Chapter 19 Continued

Genesis 19:30 "And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters."

"Feared to dwell in Zoar": Perhaps because the people there felt he was responsible for all the devastation, or he feared more judgment on the region might hit the city (verses 17-23).

There are several things we must be reminded of here. The angels of God had told Lot, from the beginning, to go up to the mountains, but Lot wanted to go to this town. Lot had a stubborn nature wanting to do his own thing, rather than obey God's command.

In verse 29 of the last lesson, we saw that God remembered Abraham and saved Lot. It was not Lot's doing that he was saved, but rather because he was Abraham's nephew. "Zoar" means littleness or smallness, and was one of the five cities which were in the Jordan valley. Zoar was a very close distance to Sodom and Gomorrah.

Verses 31-36: the immoral philosophy of Sodom and Gomorrah had so corrupted the thinking of Lot's daughters that they unhesitatingly contrived to be impregnated by their own father! They were virgins (verse 8), the married daughters were dead (verse 14), and there were no men left for husbands (verse 25). In fearing they would have not children, they conceived the gross iniquity.

Genesis 19:31 "And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father [is] old, and [there is] not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:"

No excuse can be made for the daughters, or for Lot. Scarcely any account can be given of the affair but this; the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? From the silence of the Scripture concerning Lot henceforward, we learn that drunkenness, as it makes men forgetful, so it makes them to be forgotten.

"And there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth": to marry them, cohabit with them, and procreate children of them. Which was the common way of the propagation of mankind in the earth; they thought the whole world was destroyed by fire, as it had been by a flood.

They understood it would be no more consumed by water, but they had been told it would be by fire, and they imagined the time was now come, and this was the case. That not only Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire, and that by this time the fire had reached to Zoar, and had consumed that, but that the whole earth was destroyed, and not a man left but their father.

And therefore, thought it could be excusable in them, and lawful for them to take the following method to repopulate the world; or else they supposed there were none in the land, the land of Canaan, not of any of their kindred and relations, for they might be ignorant of Abraham and his family, or however of any good man that they knew of, that they could be joined to in marriage.

For as for the inhabitants of Zoar, they had just left, they were as wicked as any, and therefore could not think of living with them in such a near relation. But all this is not a sufficient excuse for contriving and executing what is after related; for they should have inquired of their father, who could have informed them better.

Genesis 19:32 "Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father."

Bewildered by the narrowness of his escape, and the awful death of his wife, Lot seems to have left Zoar, and taken to the mountain west of the Salt Sea, in terror of impending ruin. It is not improbable that all the inhabitants of Zoar, panic-struck, may have fled from the region of danger, and dispersed themselves for a time through the adjacent mountains.

"Come, let us make our father drink wine": On their flight from Zoar it is probable they had brought with them certain provisions to serve them for the time being, and the wine here mentioned among the rest.

After considering all that has been said to criminate both Lot and his daughters in this business, I cannot help thinking that the transaction itself will bear a more favorable construction than that which has been generally put on it.

(1) It does not appear that it was through any base or sensual desires that the daughters of Lot wished to deceive their father. Lot's daughters might seem to have been led to this unnatural project, because they thought the human race extinct with the exception of themselves, in which case their conduct may have seemed a work of justifiable necessity.

(2) They might have thought that it would have been criminal to have married into any other family, and they knew that their husbands elect, who were probably of the same kindred, had perished in the overthrow of Sodom.

(3) They might have supposed that there was no other way left to preserve the family, and consequently that righteousness for which it had been remarkable, but the way which they now took.

(4) They appear to have supposed that their father would not come into the measure, because he would have considered it as profane; yet, judging the measure to be expedient and necessary, they endeavored to sanctify the improper means used, by the goodness of the end at which they aimed. A doctrine which, though resorted to by many, should be reprobated by all.

Acting on this bad principle they caused their father to drink wine (see note on Genesis 19:38).

This plan these girls had figured out to do was a very evil sin in the sight of God. Incest, such as this, is prevalent in our society today. Most incest is started by the father. This was even worse, because it was initiated by the girls. At any rate, this was a very evil plot.

Genesis 19:33 "And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose."

"And they made their father drink wine that night": They persuaded him to drink liberally, urged him to it again, in order to make him drunk, and so complete their design; and Lot might be the more prevailed upon to drink freely, in order to remove his sorrow, and refresh his spirits over the loss of his wife.

And also, his daughters, if he had any married in Sodom, as some suppose. Including his sons-in-law. And of all his goods and substance; though this will not excuse his drinking to excess, nor can ignorance of the strength of wine be pleaded. Since he must know it as well as his daughters, who, it is plain, did, and therefore plied him with it.

"And the firstborn went in and lay with her father": Went to his bed, and lay down by him, which she would not have dared to have done, but that she knew he was drunk and insensible.

"And he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose": Never heard her come to bed nor get up, so dead drunk and fast asleep was he; but finding a woman in bed with him, lay with her, taking her to be his wife, forgetting, through the force of liquor, that she was dead.

Genesis 19:34 "And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, [and] lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father."

"And it came to pass on the morrow": The day following the night, in which the above was transacted.

"That the firstborn said to the younger, behold, I lay yesternight with my father" informed her, that what they had contrived succeeded according to their wish, and therefore, for her encouragement to go on, proposes to take the same method again. And again, he perceived not when she lay down, or when, or know who it was that had lain with him.

"let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father": May have children by him, and so our family be kept up, from whence it may be hoped the Messiah will spring.

In this transaction, Lot appears to me to be in many respects excusable. A small portion would be sufficient to overcome him; sound sleep would soon, at his time of life, be the effect of taking the liquor to which he was unaccustomed, and cause him to forget the effects of his intoxication.

The one thing that is so evident, here, is that their dad got drunk. He had to be willing to drink this wine. Drunkenness is the cause of so many other sins; a person who is drunk (whether on drugs, or alcohol) is not in control of his own will. Alcohol causes many child abuse cases, wife beatings, and even unintended homicide.

A person needs to stay in control of his own will at all times. God does not excuse drunkenness as an excuse to sin.

Genesis 19:35 "And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose."

"And they made their father drink wine that night also": Until he was drunk; which is an aggravation of his sin, that he should be overtaken a second time, and that so soon as the next night, when he ought to have been upon his guard, knowing how he had fallen into it the night before. And again "he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose".

Genesis 19:36 "Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father."

"Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father": We learn from hence what the best of men are when left to themselves; a good man, a righteous Lot, is guilty of crimes the most shocking; he exposed the chastity of his daughters to the men of Sodom, and now his daughters attacked him, and succeeded, being both with child by him.

And this brought about by excessive drinking, a sin which often leads on to the foulest crimes, and therefore to be carefully avoided. These sins Lot fell into when as it were alone, on a mountain, in a cave, none but his family with him, and these only his two daughters.

He that had stood his ground in the midst of Sodom, notwithstanding all the excesses of that place, the impurities in it, and the temptations that every day offered, now falls when seemingly out of the way of all.

These sins and failings of good men are recorded for our admonition and caution, that we may shun all appearance of evil, and be careful lest we fall, and neither be presumptuous not self-confident (see 1 Corinthians 10:12).

These daughters had committed a terrible sin. Not only is this sin such a spiritual disgrace, but close relatives having children can cause birth defects when they're born. Many times, children of this type relation can be born with other problems as well. God considers this type of behavior as an abomination. Nothing good could come of this.

The word "Lot" means pebble. Surely, he was an earthly man. This type of sin goes along with the sin prevalent in Sodom and Gomorrah. All those sins are spoken of as an abomination to God.

Verses 37-38: The two sons born of incest became the progenitors of Moab and Ammon, Israel's longstanding enemies.

Genesis 19:37 "And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same [is] the father of the Moabites unto this day."

"And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab": As if it was "Meab", (from the father, alluding to his incestuous origin), as Aben Ezra, and so Josephus, that is, which she had by her father. And she was so far from being ashamed that it might be known in time to come, she gave him this name.

Hillerus makes it to be a compound of "and" to signify "going into", or "lying with a father", which still more notoriously points to her own action. Drusius has another derivation of the word, at least proposes it, and renders it "aqua patris". "Mo" in the Egyptian language signifying "water", which is sometimes used for seed (see Isaiah 48:1).

"The same is the father of the Moabites unto this day": A people that lived on the borders of the land of Canaan, often troublesome to the Israelites, and frequently spoken of in the Old Testament. This phrase, indicating a variable period from a few years to a few centuries.

Who originally inhabited the country northeast of the Dead Sea, between the Jabbok and the Arnon (Deuteronomy 2:20), but were afterwards driven by the Amorites south of the Arnon.

The word "Moab" means from father. Of course, he would be looked down on, because of his manner of birth. He became the father of the Moabites. The Moabites ancestry goes back to Terah, Father of Abraham, but it seemed they fell from grace and actually warred against their Hebrew relatives from time to time.

They got into idolatry and worshipped the false god Chemosh. The Moabites became known as children of Chemosh. They actually sacrificed their children to this false god. You see just how far perversion and evil sex sin can carry a person who is caught up in it. This sin carried on for generations, and just got worse and worse.

In Deuteronomy, these Moabites were excluded from the congregation for ten generations, because of their sins. We will see much more of the Moabites. One good thing happened in Ruth. She was a Moabite. She was, also, in the physical ancestry of Jesus.

Genesis 19:38 "And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same [is] the father of the children of Ammon unto this day."

"And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi": That is, "the son of my people", being the son of her father; which though it does not so manifestly appear in this name, as in the other, yet there is some trace of it; and she would have it be known by this, that he was not the son of a stranger, but of a relation of her own.

Some attribute this to her being more modest than her elder sister; but it looks as if neither of them were sensible of any crime they had been guilty of, but rather thought it a commendable action, at least that it was excusable.

"The same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day": A people that lived near their brethren the Moabites, and were both enemies to the people of God; they quickly falling into idolatry, and whose names we often meet with in the sacred writings; and of these two sons, Josephus says the one begat the Moabites, being still a great nation, and the other the Ammonites, and both inhabit Coelesyria.

They are both called the children of Lot (Psalm 83:8). After this we hear no more of Lot in this history. It is remarkable, that there never was, as we know of, any town or city that had in it any, trace of his name; but we are not from hence to conclude that he was a wicked man, whose memory perished with him; for mention is made of him in the New Testament, where he has a very honorable character, and is called "just Lot" (2 Peter 2:7).

Here again, this son named Ben-ammi, had very little to be proud of. His mother had conceived him of his grandfather. The Hebrews, as Christians today, considered this a grave sin. "Ben-ammi" means son of my kindred. This Ben-ammi was the beginning of the Ammonites.

These people were nomads. They were so intertwined with the Moabites that they were both called by both names from time to time. The Israelites were forbidden to molest these Ammonites, even though the Ammonites sometimes sided against Israel. Their false god was Molech. They made their children walk through the fire.

Cruelty was very much of their worship. God completely destroyed these people, and there is no known connection with them today. None of their cities exist today.

Genesis Chapter 19 Continued Questions

1. What city did Lot leave to go to the mountains?

2. Why did he leave there?

3. What had Lot's rebellious spirit caused him to do?

4. Who did God remember when he saved Lot?

5. What does "Zoar" mean?

6. What evil scheme did Lot's daughters come up with?

7. What is the name of the sin they committed?

8. What does the Bible call this?

9. What did they make their father do, so that he would not know what he was doing?

10. What reason did they give for committing this awful sin?

11. What was the father guilty of knowingly?

12. What do we lose control of when we are drunk?

13. Name three things alcohol causes in homes today?

14. What was produced by the sins of these two daughters?

15. Besides being a disgrace, what in the physical can be caused by this sin?

16. What does "Lot" mean?

17. What was the name of the son of the 1st born daughter?

18. What race started from him?

19. What does his name mean?

20. What type relation did they have to their Israelite brothers?

21. What was the name of their false god?

22. What did they practice?

23. How many generations were the Moabites not able to worship in the temple?

24. Who was the Moabite woman in the ancestry of Jesus?

25. What was the name of the 2nd daughter's son?

26. What were his ancestors called?

27. What does "Ben-ammi" mean?

28. What lifestyle did they have?

29. What was the name of their false god?

30. What did they cause their children to do for this false god?

31. Who visited Lot to warn him?

32. What happened to the men of the city who attacked them?

33. Who escaped the city?

34. Who were left behind?

35. What was Lot's sin?

36. What was Lot's wife's sin?

37. Whose pleading saved Lot?

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Genesis 20

Genesis Chapter 20

Genesis 20:1 "And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar."

"Gerar" was an ancient trading post located halfway between Beer-Sheba and Gaza on the Mediterranean coast. A Philistine city on the border between Palestine and Egypt, about 10 miles south of Gaza.

Its exact location has been debated. W.J. Phythian-Adams (1922). and W.F. Flinders Petrie (1927). suggested Tell Jemmeh as the original site, but the excavations of D. Alon at Tell Abu Hureirah, revealed the latter site as more likely to be ancient Gerar.

A flourishing Middle Bronze Age community was discovered there which parallels the time of the patriarchs. Here Mycenaean (proto-Philistine), traders like Abimelech made contact with wealthy desert sheiks like Abraham.

Genesis 20:2 "And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She [is] my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah."

"She is my sister": The same thing had happened in Egypt with Pharaoh (chapter 12). Now it occurred again in Gerar with Abimelech. God appeared to Abimelech in a dream, revealing Abraham's deception, and expressed His sovereignty in withholding "thee from sinning against me".

"Abimelech": This king who took Sarah into his harem was most likely the father or grandfather of the Abimelech encountered by Isaac (see note on 26:1).

He preached to Abraham in the morning and asked him why he had done such a thing. Abraham had forgotten that God was his shield (15:1).

As terrible as this story is, this was the second time Abraham had told a ruler that Sarah was his sister. Abraham left out the very important statement that Sarah was his wife. The last time the deception was to Pharaoh of Egypt. This time it happened to Abimelech, King of Gerar, in the land we know as the Holy Land.

Genesis 20:3 "But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou [art but] a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she [is] a man's wife."

"God came a dream": Again, Abraham's Lord intervened to protect Sarah, who had joined in the lie of her husband (verse 5), deceiving a king who earnestly protested his innocence and integrity before God (verses 4-6), and who, together with his aides, demonstrated proper submission to the warning of God (verse 8).

God warned Abimelech, before he committed a sin that was worthy of death. Adultery was a terrible sin, and in God's sight, it still is. Abimelech had been deceived, he had not been aware that she was married. God kept him from sinning, until He could warn him.

Genesis 20:4 "But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?"

"But Abimelech had not come near her": Sarah had been put into an apartment in his palace, and she had not yet been admitted into his company, and not at least to his bed. He had not lain with her, which is the purpose of the expression. The Septuagint version is, "had not touched her", as (in Genesis 20:6); which is another phrase expressive of the same thing.

Abimelech said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Meaning either his family, the greater part of which were not accessory to this affair; or rather his kingdom (Gen. 20:9); which though not a nation of righteous men, in a strict sense (see Gen. 20:11).

Yet with regard to this business of Sarah was in no way criminal: Either God had threatened to destroy his people, as well as Abimelech, if he did not return Sarah to her husband, or committed iniquity with her. Or he knew that this had been usual for people to suffer for the crimes of their governors.

And like a true father of his country shows an affectionate concern for their welfare in the first place; for this may be the sense of the word "also", on which an emphasis is put; wilt thou not only slay me, but also a whole nation for my sake, a nation free from all fault and blame in this matter?

God is just. He would not destroy a people who were innocent. It is amazing to me, at her age, that she was still desirable to men. When God restored her reproductive ability, He restored her youth, as well.

Genesis 20:5 "Said he not unto me, She [is] my sister? and she, even she herself said, He [is] my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this."

"Said he not unto me, she is my sister?" By this it appears that Abimelech had a personal conversation with Abraham, and inquired of him about Sarah, who she was, and what relation she was to him. Who told him that she was his sister; and for the truth of this he appeals to the omniscient God, who knew that Abraham had told him this.

"And she, even she herself said, he is my brother": When Sarah was asked what relation she was to Abraham, and what he was to her, she declared he was her brother; so that Abimelech had reason to conclude, from what both of them had said, that this was the truth of the matter.

And especially from what Sarah said, who he thought might be depended on, and would speak out the whole truth on such an occasion.

"In the integrity of my heart, and innocency of my hands, have I done this": Hereby declaring, that his design was not to defile the woman, and to gratify his lust, but to take her to be his wife.

This he thought to be no evil, though he had a wife (Genesis 20:17); polygamy not being reckoned a sin in those times. And that he had used no violence in taking her, they both seemingly agreeing to it.

Abimelech had been deceived by Abraham and Sarah. He was saying I am innocent, and that was a true statement.

Genesis 20:6 "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her."

"And God said unto him in a dream" God communicates with Abimelech in a dream saying:

"I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart": not only thou knowest, but I, who know all things, know and acknowledge that this was so done by thee. Abimelech's plea is admitted, and a very great testimony borne to his integrity in this matter. Throughout the whole account, he appears to be a man of great honor and uprightness, especially in this affair, if not a good man.

"for I also withheld thee from sinning against me": for had he committed adultery with her, it had been not only a sin against her, and against her husband, but against God being contrary to his will revealed in the minds of men by the law and light of nature. Before the law of Moses was given and indeed all sin against the neighbor is ultimately against God (see Psalm 51:4).

And now from the commission of this sin God restrained Abimelech, either by some impulse upon his mind not to take her to be his wife as yet, or by throwing some thing or other in the way of it, in his providence. Or by inflicting some disease upon him, which rendered him incapable of it (Gen. 20:17).

"Therefore suffered I thee not to touch her": That is, to have carnal knowledge of her (see 1 Cor. 7:1). As there is nothing done but what is done by divine permission, so many more evils would be committed than there are, were it not that men are restrained from them by the power and providence of God, not suffering them to do them.

And in particular, this sin was prevented, that it might not in any respect be a doubtful point whether Isaac, whom Sarah had now conceived, was a legitimate son of Abraham. And these expressions of Abimelech not coming near her (Gen. 20:4); and not touching her as here, are used for that purpose.

"Withheld thee from sinning": Notwithstanding God's restraint of Abimelech, he was still required to restore Sarah to forestall judgment.

God kept Abimelech from sinning. God realized that it was not Abimelech's fault. He did not know she was married.

Genesis 20:7 "Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine."

"He is a prophet": Abraham, in spite of his lie, still served as God's intermediary and intercessor for Abimelech (verses 17 and 18). This is the first time the Hebrew term for "prophet" is used in Scripture.

Here it identified Abraham as recognized by God to speak to Him on behalf of Abimelech. Usually it is used to describe, not one who speaks to God on behalf of someone, but one who speaks to someone on behalf of God.

God was giving Abimelech a chance to make this right, because of his innocence. The same way He gives us a chance to repent, and we must, before His anger is kindled and punishment begins.

You see here, that it is not wrong for some ministers to pray for you. He told him to let the prophet pray for him, also. Notice, that if Abimelech continued in the sin and did not heed the warning, he would die.

Genesis 20:8 "Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid."

"Abimelech rose early in the morning": etc. God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and we find as the day broke he arose, assembled his servants, (what we would call his courtiers), and communicated to them what he had received from God. They were all struck with astonishment, and discerned the hand of God in this business.

Abimelech shared with his servants the terrible thing that almost happened, and the warnings, and they rightly feared God.

Genesis 20:9 "Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done."

Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said ... What hast thou done onto us"? In what a humiliating plight does the patriarch now appear, he, a servant of the true God, rebuked by a heathen prince. Who would not rather be in the place of Abimelech than of the honored but sadly offending patriarch!

In a most respectful and pious manner the king expresses strong disapproval with him for bringing him and his people under the Divine displeasure, by withholding from him the information that Sarah was his wife; when, by taking her, he sought only an honorable alliance with his family.

"Deeds unto me that ought not to be done": The confrontation between prophet and king attested the grievous nature of Abraham's actions. How humiliating for the prophet of God to be so rebuked by a heathen king.

Genesis 20:10 "And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?"

What a dignified attitude is that of the king, calmly and justly reproving the sin of the patriarch, but respecting his person and heaping coals of fire on his head by the liberal presentation made to him.

It is about time that someone placed the blame where it belonged, at Abraham's feet. Abraham could have caused this King and his people great problems. He demanded Abraham to tell him why he did this.

Verses 11-13: Abraham offered 3 reasons for his lie:

(1) His perception from the horrible vices in Sodom that all other cities had no fear of God, including Gerar;

(2) His fear of death as a mitigating factor for what he had done; and

(3) His wife actually being his half-sister as justification for lying and hiding their marital status.

Abraham didn't need fraud to protect himself. God was able to provide safety for him.

Genesis 20:11 "And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God [is] not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake."

"And Abraham said": Abraham now replies with great simplicity and honesty. He had said within himself, that there was no true religion or godliness in Gerar: that the inhabitants of it were without any fear of God before their eyes, or in their hearts; and he knew, where this is the case, there is nothing to restrain from the commission of the grossest sins.

"The fear of God is not in this place." This is another indication that polytheism (worship of many gods), was setting in. He concluded that his life would be in danger on account of his wife, and resorted to this hope for safety.

He had learned to trust in the Lord in all things; but he did not think this inconsistent with using all lawful means for personal security, and he was not yet fully alive to the unlawfulness of his usual pretense. He pleads an attempt using a less serious offense, that she is in reality his sister (see Gen. 12:19-20).

"And they will slay me for my wife's sake": that they might marry her (see Genesis 12:12).

This was just a very limp excuse. Abraham, first of all, had no right to judge them. Judgment belongs to God.

Genesis 20:12 "And yet indeed [she is] my sister; she [is] the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."

"She is my sister": I have not told a lie; I have suppressed only a part of the truth. In this place, it may be proper to ask, what is a lie? It is any action done or word spoken, whether true or false in itself, which the doer or speaker wishes the observer or hearer to take in a contrary sense to that which he knows to be true.

It is, in a word, any action done or speech delivered with the intention to deceive, though both may be absolutely true and right in themselves (see note on Genesis 12:13).

"The daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother": Ebn Batrick in his annals, among other ancient traditions has preserved the following: "Terah first married Yona, by whom he had Abraham; afterwards he married Tehevita, by whom he had Sarah." Thus, she was the sister of Abraham, being the daughter of the same father by a different mother.

He was trying to say he did not lie. Well, maybe he didn't technically, but he did bring a deception to Abimelech. She actually was his half-sister and his wife.

Genesis 20:13 "And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This [is] thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He [is] my brother."

"And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house": In Ur of the Chaldees, from whence God called him to go forth; which laid him under an obligation to depart from there, and move from place to place, and go he knew not where (as in Hebrews 11:8).

Or "the Gods", as it is in the plural number, and so the verb in construction with it; not the idol gods, but the Gods of the Gentiles.

As the Targum of Jonathan, who interprets the words thus, "and it was when the worshippers of idols sought to cause men to err, and I went from my father's house." But the true God, as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Ben Melech acknowledge, and is by many Christian interpreters understood of the three Persons in the Godhead.

"That I said unto her": this is thy kindness which thou shalt show unto me; this I shall take as a favor done me, as an instance of tender affection unto me: at every place, whither we shall come, say of me; or for the sake of me. In order to save me from the hands of wicked men, whom he feared would slay him for her sake.

"He is my brother": And so he hoped, instead of being ill-used, he should meet with favor and friendship on her account, being thus nearly related to her. This he observes to Abimelech, to show that this was an old agreement, near thirty years ago, when they first set out on their travels.

And was no new device and scheme which they pursued on account of him and his people in particular; but what they had formerly agreed upon should be said in all places wherever they came. Therefore, there was no intention to affront Abimelech; only it supposed they might come into places where wicked men dwelt.

Abraham's wife, Sarah, was very beautiful, and he was afraid that someone would want her badly enough to kill him. Abraham made up this little scheme to save his life, and Sarah obeyed her husband.

Genesis 20:14 "And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and women servants, and gave [them] unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife."

"And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and women servants, and gave them unto Abraham": In a good measure satisfied with what Abraham had said to excuse himself; and these gifts he gave unto him, that he might, as Jarchi observes, pray and intercede for him, that he and his family might be healed.

Having understood by the divine oracle that he was a prophet, and if he prayed for him he would be restored to health: and these were not given to bribe him to give his consent that Sarah might be continued with him.

"Restored him Sarah his wife": Untouched by him, as he was directed by God to do.

Abimelech was doing everything within his power to make this thing right. He did not want the wrath of God to be upon him.

Genesis 20:15 "And Abimelech said, Behold, my land [is] before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee."

"And Abimelech said, behold, my whole land is before thee": Instead of bidding him be gone, and sending him away in haste out of his country, as the king of Egypt did in a like case, he solicits his stay in it. And to encourage him to it, makes an offer of his whole kingdom to him, to choose which part of it he would to dwell in.

"Dwell where it pleaseth thee": if there was anyone part of it better than another, or more convenient for him, his family and his flocks, he was welcome to it.

He not only gave Abraham gifts, but offered him land to dwell on. I am sure that he thought God would bless Abraham; and in the overflow, he would be blessed, also.

Genesis 20:16 "And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand [pieces] of silver: behold, he [is] to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that [are] with thee, and with all [other]: thus she was reproved."

"Behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes": Literally, "It is a covering for the eyes," apparently a method for diverting or forestalling suspicion. The phrase "thus she was reproved" conveys the idea that she was vindicated. Several passages convey the idea of a similar legal or disciplinary connotation (21:25; 31:42).

"Reproved": This is better translated "justified."

Abimelech's large gift of a "thousand pieces of silver" (since no coins existed at this time, pieces is not accurate; everything was weighed) was proof of his high esteem for Abraham and Sarah, and would serve to stop any scoffing on the part of her household. God referred to Abraham as a "prophet" (in verse 7).

"Silver" means redemption. I am sure that had to do with this gift of silver given. This was the custom of countries in the east to cover their wives' heads with veils. This sin was her husbands, more than hers.

Genesis 20:17 "So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare [children]."

Abraham said he would pray for Abimelech (an absolutely amazing statement under the circumstances), and when he did so, "God healed Abimelech":

Abraham's intercession (18:23-33), saved Abimelech's life and removed the barrenness of his household. "For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech" (12:17).

Genesis 20:18 "For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife."

With large tumors probably, so that they could not cohabit with their husbands and conceive. Nor could those that had conceived bring forth: and this disorder they were smitten with.

"Because of Sarah Abraham's wife": Who was taken into the house of Abimelech, in order to be his; to rebuke and punish for which, and to convince of the evil of it, and cause to abstain from it, this disorder was inflicted on them.

God left nothing to chance. He had stricken all the women barren who were in Abimelech's house. When Abraham (the man of God), prayed for Abimelech, God healed everyone. The women were able to conceive again. In this area of the country, it was a curse when you could not have children.

Genesis Chapter 20 Questions

1. Where did Abraham sojourn?

2. What was the name of the king who took Sarah?

3. What had Abraham told that made it seem alright for the king to have Sarah?

4. Who was the ruler Abraham told this to the first time?

5. What present day country did this king live in?

6. How did God contact Abimelech?

7. What message did God bring?

8. What was the sin God was warning about?

9. What was Abimelech's statement to God?

10. When God made it possible for Sarah to bear children in her old age, what else did He restore to her?

11. What would happen to Abimelech, if he did not heed the warning?

12. Who did Abimelech confess to?

13. Who was really to blame in all of this?

14. What excuse did Abraham give Abimelech?

15. Who is Judge of all?

16. What relation, besides wife, was Sarah to Abraham?

17. What had Abraham asked Sarah to say wherever they went?

18. Why did Abraham do this?

19. What four gifts did Abimelech give Abraham, when he restored Sarah?

20. What was Abraham to Sarah?

21. What happened, when Abraham prayed for Abimelech?

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Genesis 21

Genesis Chapter 21

Verses 1-8: "Abraham circumcised his son Isaac" as a sign of the covenant (17:9-14).

Genesis 21:1 "And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken."

The Lord visited Sarah" To the aged couple (verses 2, 5, 7), exactly as promised, a son was born and the 25 year suspense was finally over with the laughter of derision turning to rejoicing (verse 6). The barrenness of Sarah (11:26), had ended.

Genesis 21:2 "For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."

The Lord had been faithful to his gracious promise to Sarah. "He did as he had spoken." The object of the visit was accomplished. In due time, she bears a son, whom Abraham; in accordance with the divine command, calls Isaac.

God's word is true. He never fails to do what He has promised to do. He had promised Sarah and Abraham a son.

Genesis 21:3 "And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac."

"Isaac" was the miraculously born son of Abraham and Sarah and was the forefather of the Jews. Both Abraham (17:17), and Sarah (18:12), laughed at the promise of a son in their old age, but later laughed for joy at his birth (verses 1-8). He represented the ancestral line of the promised Messiah. God tested Abraham's faith by His command to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah.

Isaac's obedience also anticipates Christ as the only begotten Son willing to be bound on the altar of sacrifice by His Father. In Isaac's marriage to Rebekah the faith of Abraham was again tested for 20 years as he awaited a son. Isaac lived 180 years and fathered both Esau and Jacob. (Gen 17:19; 26:1-5)

This son, Isaac, was the son of promise, the son of the spirit, not the son of flesh, like his half-brother, Ishmael. "Isaac" means laughter. This was the son through whom the promises to Abraham would be fulfilled.

Genesis 21:4 "And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him."

"God had commanded him" (Genesis 17:12), and was the first that we read of that was circumcised on that day, according to the divine precept, which Abraham strictly observed. For though this was the son of the promise, and of his old age for whom he had the most affectionate regard; yet he administered this bloody ordinance on him (see note on 17:11).

Nor did he defer it beyond the time, and was himself the operator, as it seems. All which shows his strict regard, and ready and cheerful obedience to the command of God.

The blood covenant that Abraham made with God, he fulfilled in his son, Isaac, as God had commanded, when the child was eight days old. "Eight" means new beginnings.

Genesis 21:5 "And Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him."

"Isaac ... born unto him" (2065 B.C.). God fulfilled His promise to Abraham (12:2; 15:4-5; 17:7).

In the flesh, a hundred year old man could not father a child; but in the spirit, anything is possible.

Genesis 21:6 "And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, [so that] all that hear will laugh with me."

When Sarah received the promise, she laughed with distrust and doubt.

Sarah expressed her grateful wonder in two somewhat poetic strains.

The first, consisting of two sentences, turns on the word laugh. This is no longer the laugh of delight mingled with doubt, but that of wonder and joy at the power of the Lord overcoming the impotence of the aged mother. The second strain of three sentences turns upon the object of this admiring joy.

As I said, Isaac means laughter. His mother was rejoicing, because she had been blessed by God, and had this baby in her old age. This had taken her reproach away. Hebrew women were looked down upon, if they didn't have children. Her friends were rejoicing with her.

Genesis 21:7 "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."

The event that nobody ever expected to hear announced to Abraham, has nevertheless taken place; "for I have born him a son in his old age." The time of weaning, the second step of the child to individual existence, at length arrives, and the household of Abraham make merry, as was the custom on the festive occasion.

Abraham had undoubtedly been embarrassed in front of his friends that he and Sarah had no children. No one believed he would ever have a child by Sarah. In fact, they did not believe themselves, until God sent them hope and a promise. She could hardly believe it herself, that she had given Abraham a son.

Genesis 21:8 "And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the [same] day that Isaac was weaned."

"And the child grew, and was weaned": He thrived under the nursing of his mother, and through the blessing of God upon him; and being healthy and robust, and capable of digesting stronger food, and living upon it, he was weaned from the breast.

What age Isaac was when weaned is not certain, there being no fixed time for such an affair, but it was at the discretion of parents, and as they liked it.

"Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned": Because he had now escaped the dangers of infancy, and had gone through or got over those disorders infants are exposed to, and had his health confirmed, there was great likelihood of his living and becoming a man.

Since now he could eat and digest solid and substantial food, this was great joy to Abraham.

A little boy cannot get too far away from mother, until he is weaned. Now, Abraham would be able to be with his son. This was a very special time in this very special little boy's life. This was reason for celebration with Abraham. For a man of this age to have a child would make the child everything in the father's eyes.

Genesis 21:9 "And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking."

"Son of Hagar ... mocking": The celebration of Isaac's passage from infancy to childhood witnessed the laughter of ridicule (an intensive form of the Hebrew for laughing), and offended Sarah, causing her to demand the expulsion of Ishmael and his mother from the encampment (verse 10).

"Mocking" is an intensive form of the verb for Isaac's name, "He Laughs." It was used (in 19:14 and again in 39:14-17).

In Isaac, Ishmael saw all his hopes for an inheritance shattered. The discord may have seemed trivial at first glance, but with time it became a fundamental rift, on the background of which the New Testament would expound the incompatibility of the natural man and the spiritual man (Gal. 4:29).

Genesis 21:10 "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."

"Cast out ... not be heir": Legal codes of Abraham's day, e.g., of Nuzi and of Hammurabi, forbade the putting out of a handmaiden's son if a rightful, natural heir was born. Sarah's request, thus, offended social law, Abraham's sensibilities, and his love for Ishmael (verse 11).

Abraham, however, was given divine approval and assurances to overcome his scruples before sending Hagar and Ishmael out into the wilderness (verses 12-15; Gal 4:22-31).

"Cast out this bondwoman and her son" is cited (in Galatians 4:30), as an inspired demand.

Sarah did not care for this teenage son of the slave girl (and especially his making fun of her beloved Isaac). Jealousy arose. Ishmael was surely jealous, because Abraham was giving too much attention to Isaac. He had all of Abraham's attention for so long.

This new baby had taken his place with his father. Sarah was jealous, as well. She wanted to make sure that her son inherited everything Abraham had. Her request to Abraham was to throw them out.

Genesis 21:11 "And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son."

"And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight": The motion that Sarah made to turn out of his house Hagar and Ishmael was not agreeable to him, but the reverse; it seemed an ill thing to him. It was greatly displeasing to him, and he was unwilling to come into it.

Sarah cannot stand the insolence of Ishmael, and demands his dismissal. This was painful to Abraham. Nevertheless, God encourages it as reasonable, on the ground that in Isaac was his seed to be called. This means not only that Isaac was to be called his seed, but in Isaac as the progenitor was included the seed of Abraham in the highest and utmost sense of the phrase.

Abraham proceeds with all singleness of heart and denial of self to dismiss the mother and the son. This separation from the family of Abraham was, no doubt, distressing to the feelings of the parties concerned.

Abraham loved Ishmael. Ishmael was the only son Abraham had for all these years. To just turn his own flesh and blood out was very hurtful to him.

Genesis 21:12 "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."

"And God said unto Abraham": Either by an articulate voice, or by an impulse on his mind, suggesting to him what he should do, being no doubt in great perplexity how to conduct between his wife and his son, but God determines the case for him, and makes him easy.

"Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of the bondwoman": That is, let not the suggestion displease thee, which Sarah has made, to turn out the bondwoman and her son; let not thine affection to the one and to the other hinder compliance with it.

Do not look upon it as an ill thing, or as a hard thing; it is but what is right and proper to be done, and leave the bondwoman and her son to me. I will take care of them, be under no concern for them and their welfare.

"For in Isaac shall thy seed be called": See Abraham's previous wish (17:18). Here is a case where the chronologically firstborn son did not receive the firstborn status (Romans 9:7; Hebrews 11:18).

Genesis 21:13 "And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he [is] thy seed."

"And also of the son of the bond-woman will I make a nation": (Hagar). A promise already given (Genesis 17:20), but here repeated to render Ishmael's dismissal easier, "Because he is thy seed". Thy son according to the flesh, though not after the promise; as Isaac was (see Genesis 4:25).

(Verse 18; see notes on 16:11-12). Ishmael was about 17 years old, a customary time for sons to go out to set up their own lives.

God, in essence, was saying to Abraham, you and Sarah schemed and created a problem with this boy that was not part of my plan for you. The blessings that I (God), promised you are through the spirit, not through the flesh.

God would bless Ishmael, just because he belonged to Abraham, but the real blessing was to come through Isaac and his ancestors. Isaac would be known as the son of promise. Through him shall all the nations be blessed. God told Abraham to do what your wife asked; He would take care of Ishmael, wherever he was.

Genesis 21:14 "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 Beer-sheba."

Wilderness of Beer-sheba": A wide, extensive desert on the southern border of Palestine.

"Beer-sheba" is located 48 miles southwest of Jerusalem and midway between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It was the gateway to the Negev desert to the south. Abraham and Isaac both settled there (verses 31-34; 26:23-33). Archaeological excavations were begun in 1969 by Yohanan Aharoni for the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University.

The Early Bronze Age site was quite small, but several wells from the period have been found. Permanent settlement of the site began in the twelfth century B.C., and it was fortified in the tenth century B.C. The city suffered massive destruction during the Assyrian invasion under Sennacherib in the eight century B.C.

The site was reoccupied in the Persian period and is mentioned among the villages of Judah (Neh. 11:27). The present thriving metropolis is located about one mile west of the mound (tell), which marks the ancient location of the city.

This had to be hard for Abraham to do, but he had the promise of God that He would take care of the child. Hagar was responsible for Ishmael now (he was on her shoulder as he was her responsibility).

Genesis 21:15 "And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs."

"And the water was spent in the bottle": It was all drank up by them, being thirsty, having wandered about some time in a wilderness, where they could not replenish their bottle.

"And she cast the child under one of the shrubs": Not from off her shoulder, but out of her hand or bosom. Being faint through thirst, he was not able to walk, and she, being weary in dragging him along in her hand, perhaps sat down and held him in her lap, and laid him in her bosom.

But, imagining he was near his end, she laid him under one of the shrubs in the wilderness, to screen him from the scorching sun, and there left him. Some make this to be Ishmael's own act, and say, that, being fatigued with thirst; he went and threw himself under the nettles of the wilderness.

Ishmael was now, no doubt, thoroughly humbled as well as wearied, and therefore passive under his mother's guidance. She led him to a sheltering bush, and caused him to lie down in its shade, resigning herself to despair.

Genesis 21:16 "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."

"And she went and sat her down over against him, a good way off": Not being able to bear the sight of her child in his agonies, and, she apprehended, was ready to die. She went from the place where she had laid him, and sat down under one of the shrubs or trees to shade herself, right over against that where her child was, though at some distance.

"As it were a bowshot": About as far off from him as an arrow can be shot, or is usually shot out of a bow; according to the Jews this was about half a mile, for they say two bowshots make a mile.

Here she sat waiting for what would be the issue, whether life or death, which the last she expected. For she said, "let me not see the death of the child" as she could not bear to hear his dying groans, and see him in his dying agonies.

"And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice and wept": On account of her desolate and forlorn condition, being in a wilderness, where she could get no water, and her child, as she thought, dying with thirst.

Any mother would be disturbed to be cast out with no provisions, and to watch her only child die. She could not bear to watch him starve for water and food. She moved away from him, but not so far that she could not run to him, if he cried out. She cried for help, not for herself, but for her son.

Genesis 21:17 "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]."

"God hear the voice of the lad": When desperation turned the lad's voice of scoffing into a cry of anguish at probable death from thirst (verses 15-16), God heard him whose name had been given years before when God had heard Hagar's cries (16:11). It reminded the mother of the promise made to Abraham about her son (17:20).

This is saying, we never wander so far away from God that He will not hear our cry for help. He, too, heard the lad. The angel (ministering spirit), called to Hagar in her distress, and told her not to fear. God had sent help.

Genesis 21:18 "Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation."

"For I will make him a great nation": The promise assured Hagar that God would take care of Ishmael (see note on verse 13).

Genesis 21:19 "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."

"God also opened her eyes that she saw a well of water": from which the bottle was replenished, and she and the lad are ready for their further journey. It is unnecessary to determine how far this well of water was, the opening of the eyes was miraculous. It may refer to the clearing of her mind and the sharpening of her attention.

These words appear to me to mean no more than that God directed her to a well, which probably was at no great distance from the place where she sat; and therefore, she is commanded to support the lad, literally, to make her hand strong in his behalf. In other words, that he might reach the well and quench his thirst.

God encouraged Hagar that He would take care of her and Ishmael. He repeated the blessing on Ishmael. The difference in Ishmael's blessing was that his was a fleshly, worldly, blessing. Isaac's was a spiritual blessing. She immediately saw a well of water.

Genesis 21:20 "And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer."

"And God was with the lad": To confirm his health, to provide for him the necessaries of life, to protect him from danger in the wilderness where he was, and to prosper and succeed him in worldly things; all which is owing to the providential goodness of God.

"And he grew": He increased in bodily stature, and arrived to manhood; or, "he became great", in riches and in substance, as Ben Melech interprets it.

"And dwelt in the wilderness": Of Beer-sheba, where he now was, or of Paran after mentioned, a fit place for a wild man to dwell in, as it was said he should be; and by this means the prophecy was fulfilled (Genesis 16:12).

"And became an archer": Skillful in the use of the bow and arrow, both for hunting and slaying of wild beasts, on whose flesh he lived, and for fighting with men, against whom his hand would be.

Ishmael was a teenager, when he first came to the wilderness. God blessed him and provided for his needs. He, probably, hunted for a living.

Genesis 21:21 "And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt."

"And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran": So called from Paran, a city in Arabia Petraea; it reached from the wilderness of Shur to Mount Sinai. This land was very large, desolate, impassable and without water. From Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea it is a journey of eleven days. Located in the northeast section of the Sinai Peninsula, the area called Arabia.

"And his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt": her own country, for she was an Egyptian (Genesis 16:1); and where they dwelt was not far from it. According to the Jewish writers, he had two wives; the first he divorced, and then married the Egyptian.

Egypt has been worldly throughout the Bible. So he took a worldly wife. His ancestors were the modern Arabs.

Verses 22-34: A parity treaty formally struck between Abimelech and Abraham guaranteed the proper control and sharing of the region's limited water resources and also assured the king of the patriarch's fair and equitable treatment for years to come.

Genesis 21:22 "And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God [is] with thee in all that thou doest:"

"God is with thee": Others saw God's hand of blessing upon Abraham and they desired to make a covenant with him (in verse 24).

Genesis 21:23 "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."

"Now therefore swear unto me here by God": By the true and living God, by whom only an oath is to be taken, who was Abraham's God, and whom Abimelech seems to have known and to have been a worshipper of. Therefore, moves for an oath to be taken by him, which he knew would be sacred and binding to Abraham, could he prevail upon him to swear.

"That thou wilt not deal falsely with me, or with my son, or with my son's son": Perhaps he had heard that God had promised to give the whole land of Canaan to him and his posterity and among the rest his kingdom, which was a part of it.

Seeing him grow great and powerful, he could not tell how soon it might be or else he would be put in the possession of it, whether in his own time, or his son's, or his grandson's. Therefore, he desires Abraham that he would swear to do no hurt to them whenever it should be.

"But according to the kindness I have done unto thee": Thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned; that, as he had given him full liberty to sojourn in any part of his kingdom where he pleased.

So when the whole country should come into his possession that he, or his son, or his grandson, in whatsoever time it should be, might quietly enjoy their own land, and all the inhabitants of it. At least that they might not be driven out of it, but live in it as he had done.

Abimelech had lived near Abraham, and had observed that God had abundantly blessed him. Abimelech wanted to make a treaty of peace with Abraham reaching three generations. Abimelech reminded Abraham that he had been good to him.

Genesis 21:24 "And Abraham said, I will swear."

Sensible of the many favors he had received from Abimelech in times past, and was still indulged with, he very readily agreed to his proposal; and the rather, as he knew by the vision between the pieces, that it would be four hundred years before his posterity should be put into the possession of the land of Canaan.

And therefore, could take an oath that neither he, nor his son, nor his grandson, should be injured or dispossessed.

Genesis 21:25 "And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away."

"And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water": Before he swore and entered into covenant with him, he thought it advisable to inform him of an affair that had happened concerning a well of water, which in those hot and dry countries, as the southern parts of the land of Canaan were, was an affair of great importance.

And to make complaint of the ill usage of Abimelech's servants with respect to it, and to reason with him about it, that the thing might be adjusted to mutual satisfaction, and so a firm basis and foundation be laid for the continuance of friendship for the future. Which was wisely done before their alliance and covenant was ratified.

"Which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away": (Abimelech who was, until informed, entirely unacquainted with the action of his servants). That is, had by force taken the use of it to themselves for their cattle, and had deprived Abraham of it, though it was of his own digging (See Genesis 26:15).

Genesis 21:26 "And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I [of it], but to day."

"And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing": He pleads ignorance; he knew nothing of it before, nor now which of his servants had done it. Intimating that if he could know who it was, he should severely reprimand him for it.

"Neither didst thou tell me": Signifying that he was to blame as he did not complain of it sooner. Or at least he had no reason to blame him, since he had never informed him before of it, and therefore could not expect to be redressed.

"Neither yet heard of it but today": He had not heard of it from others, as the Targum of Jonathan rightly adds, by way of explanation. But that very day, and very probably not till the moment he heard it from Abraham himself.

Abraham agreed to make the peace treaty with Abimelech. Abraham brought up a very sore subject about a well that Abimelech's men had taken violently. Abimelech said I only found out about this today; I didn't know about this. He was trying hard to agree with Abraham.

Genesis 21:27 "And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant."

"And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech": In gratitude for former favors he had received from him, in token of the friendship that subsisted between them, and for the confirmation of it.

And to show that he was fully satisfied with Abimelech's answer to his complaint, as well as willing to enter into covenant by sacrifice, when such creatures were divided, and the covenanters passed between the pieces, for so it follows.

"And both of them made a covenant": Or, "cut or struck a covenant". Cut the sacrifice in pieces and passed between them, in token of the compact and agreement they entered into with each other; signifying that whoever broke it deserved to be cut in pieces as those creatures were.

Genesis 21:28 "And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves."

After the settlement of this dispute the treaty was concluded, and Abraham presented the king with sheep and oxen, as a material pledge that he would reciprocate the kindness shown, and live in friendship with the king and his descendants.

Out of this present he selected seven lambs and set them by themselves.

Genesis 21:29 "And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What [mean] these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?"

When Abimelech inquired what they were, he told him to take them from his hand that they might be to him (Abraham), for a witness that he had digged the well.

Genesis 21:30 "And he said, For [these] seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well."

It was not to redeem the well, but to secure the well as his property against any fresh claims on the part of the Philistines, that the present was given; and by the acceptance of it, Abraham's right of possession was practically and solemnly acknowledged.

A well was very valuable in this dry land. God had shown His people where to dig wells. This particular well was in dispute. Abraham gave the seven ewe lambs to prove the well belonged to him. They sealed the agreement between them with the gift of animals.

Genesis 21:31 "Wherefore he called that place Beer-sheba; because there they sware both of them."

"Wherefore he called that place Beer-sheba": Either Abraham or Abimelech, or both, called it so; or it may be read impersonally, "therefore the place was called Beer-sheba", for two reasons, one implied, the other expressed.

One was, because of the seven lambs before mentioned; so the Targum of Jonathan,"and therefore he called the well the well of seven lambs.

"Beer" signifying a well, and "sheba" seven.

The other, and which is more certain, being expressed, is as follows:

"Because there they sware both of them": By the living God, to keep the covenant inviolably they had made between them.

"Beer-sheba": Was a city, famous in the book of Genesis as the residence of the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 22:19; 28:10; 46:1).

Genesis 21:32 "Thus they made a covenant at Beer-sheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines."

"The land of the Philistines" Abraham had contact with early migrations of Aegean traders who settled along the southwest coastal regions of Canaan and who were the predecessors of the 12th century B.C. influx of Philistines, the future oppressors of Israel.

Referring to the coastal plain which was later occupied by the Philistines from 1200 B.C. onward. The reference here clearly identifies Abimelech with the Philistines ("Sea Peoples").

There is ample evidence of Aegean contact with the coast of Canaan during the time of Abraham. While the term "Philistine" may be used in anticipation, it is not to be taken as a thing belonging to a period other than that in which it exists. Mycenaean and Minoan traders from the Greek islands have left pottery remains in this area.

Thus, primitive Philistines, like Abimelech, are correctly identified as belonging to this people grouping. It would also stand to reason that Abraham, being a foreigner himself, would seek a trading alliance with these outsiders who would later come in great enough numbers to threaten Israel's security.

They both agreed to the treaty at Beer-sheba. Abimelech and his chief captain, Phichol, returned home confident in the treaty. "Beer-sheba" means well of the oath.

Genesis 21:33 "And [Abraham] planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God."

"Planted a grove": A tamarisk tree which functioned as a reminder of the treaty concluded between two well know contemporaries, and also as a marker of one of Abraham's worship sites.

"The everlasting God": A divine name appropriately signifying to Abraham the unbreakable and everlasting nature of the covenant God had made with him, notwithstanding his being only a resident alien and a sojourner in the Land (23:4).

"The everlasting God" would be a logical epithet of a deity called upon to support a formal treaty expected to be valid for all time. The name is one of a series, including El Elyon (14:18), El Roi (16:13), El Shaddai (17:1), El-elohe-Israel (33:20), El-beth-el (35:7). Each one expresses an aspect of God's self-disclosure.

Genesis 21:34 "And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days."

"And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days": Even many years, days being sometimes put for years; having entered into covenant with Abimelech, the king of the country.

And having settled a good correspondence with him, and having his friendship and good will, which commanded respect from his subjects; Abraham sojourned very quietly and comfortably for many years, chiefly at Beer-sheba. The Jewish writers say he sojourned here twenty six years.

This land had not yet been received by Abraham as the land of promise. It would be the Holy Land of promise, when Moses led the ancestors of Abraham from Egypt, and God fulfilled His promise.

Abraham was a man after God's own heart. He prayed to God, very often.

Genesis Chapter 21 Questions

1. Sarah bare Abraham a son in his ________ _________.

2. Sarah and Abraham named their son what?

3. What does the name mean?

4. Which son would the spiritual promises come through?

5. How old was Isaac, when he was circumcised?

6. "Eight" means what?

7. How old was Abraham, when Isaac was born?

8. Why did Sarah laugh?

9. Why was Abraham embarrassed?

10. When Isaac was weaned, what did Abraham do?

11. What did Sarah see Ishmael doing?

12. What did Sarah ask Abraham to do with Hagar and Ishmael?

13. Whose side did God take?

14. Why would God make a nation of Ishmael?

15. What did Abraham give Hagar, when he sent her away?

16. Why did Hagar sit a good way away from Ishmael?

17. Whose cries did God hear?

18. Who came to Hagar?

19. When Hagar's eyes were opened, what did she see?

20. What was the difference in Isaac's blessing and Ishmael's blessing?

21. What trade did Ishmael take up?

22. What was the name of the place where he lived?

23. The peace treaty from Abraham to Abimelech was to be good for how many generations?

24. Why did Abimelech want a treaty?

25. What was the controversy over the well?

26. How was it settled?

27. What was the name of Abimelech's captain?

28. What does "Beer-sheba" mean?

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Genesis 22

Genesis Chapter 22

Genesis 22:1 "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, [here] I [am]."

"God did tempt Abraham": the verb "tempt" is better rendered as "proved" or "tested." God does not tempt anyone with evil (James 1:13); but in certain instances, he does test, try, or prove us (James 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). Therefore, we must assume that the command to sacrifice Isaac was not evil. God knew what He would do in the end. He had no intention to permit the murder of Isaac.

The reason God prohibited the Israelites from following the example of Gentiles who offered their own children as sacrifices to their gods (Deut. 12:31), was that such monstrous deeds were in contradiction to the character of the true God. Abraham's faith was being tried. This was the entire purpose of the episode.

One thing about Abraham, he knew God's voice and was always willing to obey God.

Genesis 22:2 "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."

"Take ... thy son ... and offer him": These startling commands activated a special testing ordeal for Abraham, i.e., to sacrifice his "only son" (repeated 3 times by God, verses 2, 12, 16). This would mean killing the son (over 20 years old), and with that, ending the promise of the Abrahamic Covenant. Such action would seem irrational, yet Abraham obeyed (verse 3).

"Moriah" was in the general area that included the hills on which Solomon later built his temple in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 3:1), the journey was about 50 miles.

You must remember what this son meant to Abraham. There was a very close to worship situation. Abraham had lost his son of the flesh. Notice here, that in God's sight, Isaac was his only son. God knew how much Abraham loved this son. That was the very reason this son was what he had to give up.

Whatever, or whomever, we put ahead of God has to be sacrificed (given up), if we are to truly be in right fellowship with God.

This spot, Moriah, is in Jerusalem today. The custom of the false gods in the area was to do human sacrifice on the mountains. God would allow this greatest of all temptations to Abraham to see, if in the face of the worst odds possible, Abraham would still worship Him. This is almost beyond comprehension to us.

Genesis 22:3 "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him."

There are a number of symbolisms we need to see in this Scripture above.

God sacrificing His only son. Abraham sacrificing his son.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an ass. The provisions for this sacrifice were carried on an ass.

Jesus died between two men on the cross. Abraham took two men with them.

Jesus carried a wooden cross. Isaac carried wood for the sacrifice (wood means worldliness).

Jesus went to Golgotha on orders from God. Abraham and Isaac went to Moriah in Jerusalem on orders from God.

Jesus obeyed His Father and said "nevertheless not my will, but thine." Isaac obeyed Abraham without question.

Genesis 22:4 "Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off."

"Third day": With no appearance of reluctance or delay, Abraham rose early (verse 3), for the two day trip from Beer-sheba to Moriah, one of the hills around Jerusalem.

There are all kinds of implications, here. Isaac was as good as dead these three days. His dad, Abraham, grieved for him as the disciples grieved for Jesus three days. Jesus' body, of course, was in the grave three days. Resurrection was on its way.

Genesis 22:5 "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."

"I and the lad will go ... and worship ... and come again": The 3-day journey (verse 4), afforded much time of reflection upon God's commands but, without wavering or questioning the morality of human sacrifice or the purposes of God, Abraham confidently assured his servants of his and Isaac's return and went ahead with arrangements for the sacrifice (verse 6).

(Hebrews 11:17-19), reveals that he was so confident in the permanence of God's promise, that he believed if Isaac were to be killed, God would raise him from the dead (see notes there), or God would provide a substitute for Isaac (verse 8).

"Come again to you": This was no empty phrase; it was his full conviction based on "in Isaac shall thy seed by called" (21:12). (Hebrews 11:17-19), reveals he was expecting Isaac to be resurrected; thus he would regard him as given back from the dead.

Jesus said I will come again, just as this Scripture says the same thing. All of this is a parallel to the cross. At one point, Jesus left the two on the cross, just as Abraham left these two behind. At some point, Isaac had to realize something strange was going on. Where was the sacrifice?

Genesis 22:6 "And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid [it] upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together."

"And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering": Which Josephus says was laid upon the ass, and carried by that. And if so, he took it from thence. But it is probable it was carried by his two servants, since it was not more than Isaac himself afterwards who carried it.

"And laid it upon Isaac his son": who was a grown man, and able to carry it. In this also he was a type of Christ, on whom the wood of his cross was laid, and which he bore when he went to be crucified (John 19:17).

And this wood may be also a figure of our sins laid on him by his Father, and which he bore in his body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). And which were like wood to fire, fuel for the wrath of God, which came down upon him for them.

"And he took the fire in his hand, and a knife": A vessel in one hand, in which fire was to kindle the wood with, and a knife in the other hand to slay the sacrifice with. The one to slay his son with, and the other to burn him with. To carry these for such purposes must be very trying. This is the first time we read in Scripture of fire for use, or of a knife.

"And they went both of them together": from the place where they left the young men, to the place where the sacrifice was to be offered.

Genesis 22:7 "And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here [am] I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where [is] the lamb for a burnt offering?"

"And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father": As they were walking together and said, "My father": A cutting word to Abraham, who knew what he was going to do with him which was so contrary to the relation and affection of a parent.

"And he said, here am I, my son": What hast thou to say to me? I am ready to answer thee. He owns the situation that stood in front of him, a sense of which he had not put off. And holds his emotions, which must be inwardly moving towards him. And he showed great strength of faith to grapple with such a trying exercise.

"And he said, behold the fire and the wood": The fire which his father had in his hand, and the wood which was upon his own shoulders.

"But where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" he perceived by the preparation made, by the fire and the wood, that it was to be a burnt offering which they were going to offer. But there being no creature provided for the sacrifice, so he puts this question.

It appears that as yet he was quite ignorant of the true design of this journey, and little thought that he was to be the sacrifice: however, from what he said, it's plain he had been used to sacrifices. That he had been trained up in them, and had seen them performed, and knew the nature of them, and what were requisite unto them.

Here, it appears that Isaac had become aware, as Jesus did at Gethsemane. Both were a little reluctant to go through with this, but still obedient. The lamb, as always, stood for the innocence.

Genesis 22:8 "And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."

Then Abraham, where he meant not, prophesies: "My son, God will provide himself a lamb": The Holy Spirit, by his mouth, seems to predict the Lamb of God, which he has provided, and which taketh away the sin of the world.

Verses 9-10: Abraham's preparations to kill his only son could not have placed his trust in God in sharper focus (Heb. 11:17-19.

Genesis 22:9 "And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood."

Abraham lays the wood in order for his Isaac's funeral pile, and now tells him the amazing news. Isaac, thou art the lamb which God has provided! Abraham, no doubt, comforting him with the same hopes with which he himself by faith was comforted. The great Sacrifice, which, in the fullness of time, was to be offered up, must be bound, and so must Isaac.

After Jesus had carried the cross to the hill, they laid it down, and Jesus was nailed to the cross. Jesus was on the altar of sacrifice for us. Isaac, also, was bound to this wood and laid on the altar.

Genesis 22:10 "And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son."

This being done, Abraham takes the knife, and stretches out his hand to give the fatal blow.

Here is an act of faith and obedience, which deserves to be a spectacle to God, angels, and men. God, by his providence, calls us to part with an Isaac sometimes, and we must do it with cheerful submission to his holy will (1 Sam. 3:18). "God will provide" is a phrase that would be immortalized in the name of the place (in verse 14).

Genesis 22:11 "And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here [am] I."

"And the Angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven": Not a created angel, but the eternal one, the Son of God, who perhaps appeared in a human form, and spoke with an articulate voice.

"And said, Abraham, Abraham": the repeating his name denotes haste to prevent the slaughter of his son, which was just to the point of doing, and in which Abraham was not slow in doing, but ready to make quick dispatch. Therefore, with the greater eagerness and vehemence the angel calls him by name, and doubles it, to raise a quick and immediate attention to him, which it did.

"Angel of the Lord" (see note on Exodus 3:2).

This is where all similarity ends. When Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, there was Someone higher to say don't do this. He had passed the test. He was willing to sacrifice the one thing (his son), that meant everything here on this earth to him. He had withheld nothing from God. God was satisfied. When Jesus was sacrificed, there was no higher power than His Father.

Genesis 22:12 "And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me."

"Now I know that thou fearest God": Abraham passed the test (verse 1). He demonstrated faith that God responds to with justification (see note on James 2:21).

This verse indicates that God was certain that Abraham feared (reverenced), Him more than anyone else, since he was willing to offer Him his son. So, God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac (John 1:29).

This was a grievous test that Abraham went through. We can understand better the grief that Father God went through at the sacrifice of His Son. The sun darkened and the earth quaked in sorrow.

Genesis 22:13 "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind [him] a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son."

"In the stead of his son": The idea of substitutionary atonement is introduced, which would find its fulfillment in the death of Christ (Isa. 53:4-6; John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:21).

This is the greatest symbolism of Jesus' sacrifice of all. Jesus is our substitute. We should have suffered and died on that cross, but Jesus, God's Son, took our place. God has always provided a substitute.

Genesis 22:14 "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said [to] this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen."

"Jehovah-jireh", the Lord will provide, is a deeply significant name. He who provided the ram caught in the thicket will later provide the atoning victim, Christ Jesus, of which the ram was the type. In this event, we can imagine Abraham seeing the day of that pre-eminent seed who should in the fullness of time actually take away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

"In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen": This proverb remained as a monument of this transaction in the time of the sacred writer. The mount of the Lord here means the very height of the trial into which he brings his saints. There he will certainly appear in due time for their deliverance.

Verses 15-18: In this formal reaffirmation of His Abrahamic Covenant, the Lord mentioned the 3 elements of land, seed, and blessing, but with attention directed graphically to the conquest of the Land promised (verse 17), "shall possess the gate of their enemies".

Genesis 22:15 "And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,"

"And the Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time": The Angel having restrained him from slaying his son, and having provided another sacrifice, which he offered, calls to him again; having something more to say to him, which was to renew the covenant he had made with him, and confirm it by an oath (verses 16-17: 12:1-3; 15:13-18; 17:2, 7-9; Heb. 6:13-14).

Genesis 22:16 "And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son]:"

"And said, by myself have I sworn, saith the Lord": Which Aben Ezra observes is a great oath, and abides forever; because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself, his own nature, perfections, and life (Heb. 6:13). Hence it appears that the Angel that called to Abraham was a divine Person, the true Jehovah.

"For because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son": Thine only son; that is, from the Lord (as in Genesis 22:12). And is here repeated as being a most marvelous thing; a wonderful instance of faith in God, and fear of him, and of love and obedience to him.

For, with respect to the will of Abraham, and as far as he was suffered to go, it was as much done as it was possible for him to do, and was looked upon as if it was actually done.

Yet this is not observed as meritorious of what follows: The promise of which had been made before, but is now repeated to show what notice God took of, and how well pleased he was with what had been done.

And therefore renews the promise, which of his own grace and good will he had made, for the strengthening of Abraham's faith, and to encourage others to obey the Lord in whatsoever he commands them.

Genesis 22:17 "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;"

"That in blessing I will bless thee": With temporal and spiritual blessings; with the Spirit and all his graces; with Christ and redemption, justification, and salvation by him. And with eternal life, as the gift of God, through him.

"And in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore": Both his natural seed, descending from him in the line of Isaac, and his spiritual seed, both among Jews and Gentiles, that tread in his steps (see Genesis 13:15).

"And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies": "Gate" for "gates", where courts of justice were held, and which are the security of cities and put for them, and which also include the whole country round about.

So that this phrase is expressive of an entire jurisdiction and dominion over them. And was literally fulfilled in the times of Joshua, David, and Solomon; and spiritually in Christ, Abraham's principal seed, when he destroyed Satan and his principalities and powers.

Who overcame the world; made an end of sin and abolished death. And delivered his people out the hands of all their enemies; and in all Abraham's spiritual seed, who are made more than conquerors over them, through Christ that has loved them.

Genesis 22:18 "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

"And in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed": That is, in his one and principal seed, the Messiah, that should spring from him (Galatians 3:16), in whom all the elect of God, of all nations under the heavens, are blessed with all spiritual blessings, with peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, with grace here and glory hereafter (see Acts 3:25).

"Because thou hast obeyed my voice": in taking his son and offering him up unto Him, as much as he was permitted to do. And thus, honoring God by his obedience to Him, he of his grace and goodness honors him with the promise of being the father of multitudes, both in a literal and spiritual sense. And with being the ancestor of the Messiah, in whom all the blessings of grace and goodness meet.

The ministering spirit of the Lord, Himself, spoke to Abraham. And the Lord swore by Himself, because there was no greater. He reiterated the blessing again on Abraham. Abraham had passed the test. All believers, throughout the ages, would be blessed, because of the faithfulness of Abraham.

Genesis 22:19 "So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba."

"So Abraham returned to his young men": He had left at a certain place with the ass, while he and Isaac went to the mount to worship; and who stayed there till he came to them, according to his order (Genesis 22:5). No mention is made of Isaac, but there is no doubt that he returned with Abraham, since we hear of him afterwards in his house.

"And they rose up, and went together to Beer-sheba": that is, when Abraham and Isaac came to the place where the young men were, they got up and proceeded on in their journey along with them to Beer-sheba, from where Abraham came, and where he had for some time lived.

"And Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba": There he continued for some time afterwards, and but for a time, for in the next chapter we hear of him at Hebron (Genesis 23:2).

Verses 20-24: "It was told". This is clear indication that, despite geographical separation, information about family genealogies flowed back and forth in the Fertile Crescent region. This update advised most notably of a daughter, Rebekah, born to Isaac's cousin, Bethuel (verse 23).

It also reminds the readers that Abraham and Sarah had not lost all ties with their original home. Abraham's brother, Nahor, still lived back in Mesopotamia, though he had not seen him for about 60 years.

Genesis 22:20 "And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;"

"And it came to pass, after these things": Abraham's taking his son Isaac to the land of Moriah, building an altar on one of the mountains there, and laying him on it with an intention to sacrifice him. And the offering of a ram in his stead, and the return of them both to Beer-sheba.

"That it was told Abraham": by some person very probably who was lately come from those parts where the following persons lived. Though Jarchi suggests this was told him by the Lord himself and while he was thinking of taking a wife for Isaac of the daughters at Aner, or Eshcol, or Mamre. And to prevent which the following narration was given him.

"Behold Milcah, she hath also borne children unto thy brother Nahor": As Sarah, supposed to be the same with Iscah, a daughter of Haran, had borne a son to him, and whom he had received again as from the dead.

So Milcah, another daughter of Harsh, had borne children to his brother Nahor, whom he had left in Ur of the Chaldees, when he departed from thence. And who afterwards came and dwelt in Haran of Mesopotamia (see Genesis 11:27).

Genesis 22:21 "Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,"

The first of these gave name to the land of Uz, where Job dwelt, and who seems to be a descendant of this man (Job 1:1). And from whom sprung the Ausitae of Ptolemy, who dwelt near Babylon and by the Euphrates. The latter, was the father of the Buzites, of which family Elihu was, that interposed between Job and his friends (Job 32:2).

"And Kemuel the father of Aram": Not that Aram from whom the Syrians are denominated Arameans, he was the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22). But one who perhaps was so called from dwelling among them, as Jacob is, called a Syrian (Deut. 26:5). Or he had this name given him in memory and honor of the more ancient Aram. From this Kemuel might come the Camelites, of which there were two sorts mentioned by Strabo, and who dwelt to the right of the river Euphrates, about three days' journey from it.

Genesis 22:22 "And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel."

"And Chesed": From whom it is generally thought sprung the Chaldees, who are commonly called Chasdim; but mention is made of the Chaldees before this man was born, unless they are called so by anticipation.

"And Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel": of these men and their posterity we hear no more, excepting: the last, for whose sake the rest are mentioned. Hazo or Chazo settled in Elymais, a country belonging to Persia, where is now a city called Chuz after his name, and from whence the whole country is called Chuzistan.

And the inhabitants of it are by the Assyrians called Huzoye or Huzaeans, the same which Strabo makes mention of under the name of Cossaeans, who are described as a warlike people, inhabiting a barren and mountainous country, and given to spoil and robbery.

Genesis 22:23 "And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother."

"And Bethuel begat Rebekah": Who was to be and was the wife of Isaac; and, for the sake of her genealogy, the above account is given, as Aben Ezra observes, and so Jarchi; and this is observed to pave the way for the history of the chapter; for no notice is taken of any other of Bethuel's children but her, not even of Laban her brother:

"These eight Milcah did bear, to Nahor, Abraham's brother": this is observed, and the exact number given, as well as their names, to distinguish them from other children of Nahor he had by another woman.

Genesis 22:24 "And his concubine, whose name [was] Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah."

"And his concubine, whose name was Reumah": Not a harlot, but a secondary wife, who was under the proper and lawful wife, and a sort of a head servant in the family, and chiefly kept for the procreation of children; which was not thought either unlawful or dishonorable in those times such as was Hagar in Abraham's family.

"She bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah": of whom we have no account elsewhere; only it may be observed, that here Maachah is the name of a man, which sometimes is given to a woman (1 Kings 15:13).

"Kemuel" means assembly of God. "Bethuel" means the abode of God. Rebekah was actually what all the above was about, because she would become the wife of Isaac. She was a cousin actually, but in those days (as now), it was very important not to marry a heathen.

Genesis Chapter 22 Questions

1. Who tempted Abraham?

2. When God called, what did Abraham say?

3. Who did God ask Abraham to sacrifice?

4. Where?

5. Did God count Ishmael as Abraham's son?

6. What kind of an offering was Isaac to be?

7. What do we have to give up to follow Jesus?

8. What type of worship service did the false gods require in this area?

9. Where were their services held?

10. Who went with Abraham and Isaac?

11. What did they carry to use on the altar?

12. How does this symbolize the cross?

13. Moriah is where?

14. What stands out clearly in both Jesus and Isaac toward God and Abraham?

15. How many days were they on the trip?

16. What was Isaac for these days?

17. What is all of this paralleled to?

18. Isaac carrying the wood to Mt. Moriah symbolized what?

19. What has the lamb always stood for?

20. What symbolized Jesus being nailed to the cross?

21. When did all similarity end?

22. What is the greatest symbolism of all in this?

23. What does "Jehovah-jireh" mean?

24. Why did the Lord swear by himself?

25. Through whose seed shall all the earth be blessed?

26. What does "Kemuel" mean?

27. What does "Bethuel" mean?

28. Why was Rebekah so important in this?

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Genesis 23

Genesis Chapter 23

Verses 1-2: Although Sarah's age, the only woman's age at death recorded in Scripture, might suggest her importance in God's plan. It more importantly reminds of the birth of her only son well beyond childbearing age (at 90 years of age, 17:17), and of God's intervention to bring about the fulfillment of His word to her and Abraham. Sarah's death occurred 2028 B.C.

Genesis 23:1 "And Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years old: [these were] the years of the life of Sarah."

"And Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years old": This following immediately upon the account of the offering up of Isaac, led many of the Jewish writers to conclude, that Isaac was then thirty seven years of age, as he must be when Sarah his mother was one hundred and twenty seven, for he was born when she was ninety years of age.

But this seems not to be observed on that account, but to give the sum of her age at her death, since it follows: these were the years of the life of Sarah. Who, as it is remarked by many interpreters, is the only woman the years of whose life are reckoned up in Scripture.

After the flood, God reduced the time of life to 120 years, and so Sarah, Abraham's wife, lived a few more years.

Genesis 23:2 "And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same [is] Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her."

"Kirjath-arba": This older name for Hebron (Josh. 14:15; Judges 1:10), means "City of Four." Actually, it commemorates a hero of the Anakim (see note on 13:18).

It is a very natural thing to weep at the loss of a loved one. It is even more stressful to lose your spouse. It is as if some of you have been torn away, and truly it has, because they two are one flesh. Hebron is approximately 20 miles out of Jerusalem.

Genesis 23:3 "And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,"

"The sons of Heth": A settlement of Hittites whose original home was in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), who had already been established in Canaan far from their homeland.

It is debatable whether the "Sons of Heth" were real Hittites or simply those who spoke their language. But such an encounter is illuminated by a knowledge of Hittite customs illustrated by their laws. Hittite law required that the owner of a complete unit of land continue performing the king's ilku (feudal services).

Genesis 23:4 "I [am] a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight."

"Give me a possession of a burying place": Negotiations for the purchase ("give" signifies here "sell") of Hittite property was properly conducted in accordance with contemporary Hittite custom, with Abraham wanting to pay the market value for it (verse 9).

Even though this was the land that God had promised to Abraham, he did not own even one acre of this land at that time. He really was saying to them (allow me to buy a burying place from you for my dead wife). This land someday would all belong to the descendants of Abraham, and Abraham wanted his wife buried there in the Promised Land.

Genesis 23:5-6 "And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him," "Hear us, my lord: thou [art] a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchers bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulcher, but that thou mayest bury thy dead."

"And the children of Heth answered Abraham": In a very civil and respectful manner: "saying unto him", as follows:

"Hear us, my lord": One of them spake in the name of the rest, who calls Abraham not "our lord", but "my lord"; addressing him very honorably, and desires he would hear what he had to say on the behalf of others with himself.

"A mighty prince among us": Rank and reputation accorded Abraham a place of leadership and respect, leading his neighbors (the Hittites), to freely offer their best sepulchers to him. They went on and arranged for Abraham to purchase a cave that belonged to a wealthy neighbor called Ephron (verses 7-9), unknown to Abraham.

"Mighty prince" as it appears (in verse 6), is a term generally translated "prince of God;" or "mighty prince." The term "nasi" (17:20) designates an official who has been elevated in or by the assembly, hence elected. Here, it is an honorific epithet. The Hittites were acknowledging that God (Elohim), had played a mighty part in Abraham's life.

This was after Abraham had lived in the area for 62 years (12:4; 17:17; 23:1). This term is similarly used in early texts of the chiefs of the Midianites (Josh. 13:21; Num. 25:18), and Shechem (Gen. 34:2). The title is later applied to David and Solomon (1 Kings 11:34).

These children of Heth were aware that the blessings of God were upon Abraham. They were excited to think that some of that blessing might be theirs, if they were cooperative with Abraham. These sons of Heth were Hittites and descendants of Ham. Any one of them would gladly have given a place of burying to this man of God.

Genesis 23:7 "And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, [even] to the children of Heth."

"And Abraham stood up": For, having made his speech to the children of Heth, he sat down waiting for an answer; or rather perhaps they obliged him to sit down, out of reverence to so great a personage; and when they had done speaking, he rose up.

"And bowed himself to the people of the land": The principal of them, in token of the grateful sense he had of the honor they had done him, and of the great civility with which they had used him.

"Even to the children of Heth": This seems to be added to distinguish them from the common people, and as an explanation of the preceding clause (see Genesis 23:3).

Genesis 23:8 "And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar"

"And he communed with them": Entered into a discourse and conversation with them upon the following subject.

"Saying, if it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight": That is, in some place belonging to them; otherwise they could have no objection to the burying of his wife anywhere else. If now what they had said were not spoken in a satisfactory way, but it was their real mind and will, and they were sincere and hearty in it, and very desirous of obliging him with a place among them for the interment of his dead. Then he had this favor to ask of them.

"Hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar": A principal man among the Hittites, who had a field with a cave in it, near where Abraham dwelt, and very convenient for him, and for this purpose of his now under consideration. This man seems to be present at this time, as appears from (Genesis 23:10); but Abraham did not think fit to address him directly himself, lest he should not so well and so easily succeed.

And therefore, entreats the princes of Heth to unite in a request to Ephron for the favor after mentioned, which he supposed they would not be opposed to, if they were hearty in this affair. And, if Ephron was present, as he seems to be, it was a very handsome, honorable, and modest address to him through his brethren, which he could not with any politeness well withstand.

Abraham was humbled by their generosity and thus bowed. Then he said, if it is your wish that I bury my dead here, please talk to Ephron for me. "Ephron" means fawn-like, so he had to be a very congenial man. His father, "Zohar", means whiteness. Abraham had chosen the cave he wanted.

Genesis 23:9 "That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which [is] in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you."

"The cave of the field of Machpelah" became the burial spot for Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah, and Jacob. Rachel is a notable exception (35:19).

Abraham would avoid transfer of these obligations to himself by purchasing only the cave "which is in the end of his field."

You see, Abraham intended all along to pay for the burying place.

Genesis 23:10 "And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, [even] of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,"

"Dwelt": Ephron was probably sitting at the city gate where business was usually transacted.

Genesis 23:11 "Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that [is] therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead."

"The field give I thee": This suggests not that Ephron felt generous, but that he was constrained by Hittite feudal policy, which tied ownership of land with service to the ruler. Passing the land to Abraham would pass also dual responsibilities to Abraham, making him liable for all taxes and duties. This Ephron was apparently anxious to do, thus the offer to give the land.

Ephron wanted to give this area to Abraham. He offered to give it to Abraham in front of witnesses. Abraham wanted to pay. This was a running struggle to see who would weaken.

Genesis 23:12 "And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land."

"And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land": Showing hereby great respect, and giving much honor both to them and Ephron; and signifying that he had something to say, and desired audience of them, and humbly submitted to them what he should say.

Genesis 23:13 "And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou [wilt give it], I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take [it] of me, and I will bury my dead there."

"And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land": He addressed himself to Ephron who spoke last, with an audible voice, so that all could hear him: saying:

"But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me": The words are very concise, and in the original text are only "if thou", and differently supplied; by some, "if thou art he".

Ephron, whom it is supposed Abraham knew not by face, or that he was present; which is not likely, since Abraham had lived in those parts now so as to be well known himself, and must know his neighbors; and had lived formerly here, and could not but know so great a prince as Ephron, whose city he dwelt in.

The Targum of Jonathan says, "If thou art willing to do me a kindness, hear me;" it will be taken as a favor to admit me to speak once more, and to grant what shall be desired.

"I will give thee the money for the field": Abraham did not choose to receive it as a free gift, but to make a purchase of it, that it might be sure to him and his posterity; for though Ephron was now in this generous mood, he might change his mind, or hereafter reprimand Abraham with it, should he fall out with him, or his posterity might claim it again, and dispute his right to it.

"Take it of me": the purchase money, the full worth of the field.

"And I will bury my dead there": or "then will I bury", and not before.

Abraham wanted the piece of land, but he wanted to pay for it, so that he would not be obligated to this people.

Genesis 23:14 "And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,"

"And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him": The following words:

Genesis 23:15 "My lord, hearken unto me: the land [is worth] four hundred shekels of silver; what [is] that betwixt me and thee? Bury therefore thy dead."

"My lord, hearken unto me": Since it is your mind to buy the field, and not receive it as a gift, then hear what I have to say as to the value of it.

"The land is worth four hundred shekels of silver": which, reckoning a shekel at two shillings and sixpence, comes to fifty pounds.

"What is that betwixt thee and me?" Between two persons so rich, the sum was trifling and inconsiderable, whether the one paid it, and the other received it, or not; or between two such friends it was not worth speaking of, it was no matter whether it was paid or not.

Or else the sense is, between us both it is honestly worth so much; it is a good bargain, and must be owned to be so, what is it? The sum is so small, and it is so clearly the worth of it, that there needs no more to be said about it.

"Bury therefore thy dead": In it, and give thyself no more trouble and concern about it.

They had finally come to a price, 400 shekels of silver. The symbolism is great. Again, silver means redemption. He tried once more to tell Abraham that this small amount of money was unimportant, but Abraham wanted to pay.

Genesis 23:16 "And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current [money] with the merchant."

"Shekels of silver, current money": Precious metals were not made into coins for exchange until centuries later. Merchants maintained the shekel as the standard weight of value for business transactions. A shekel weighed less than one half ounce.

The deal was finally settled. Abraham paid in front of witnesses. He would not be obligated.

With the words of the transaction, the careful description of the property, and the payment of the stated price all done before witnesses and at the proper place of business, ownership of the land officially passed to Abraham. It was still binding years later in the time of Jacob (49:29-32, 50, 12-13).

Genesis 23:17 "And the field of Ephron, which [was] in Machpelah, which [was] before Mamre, the field, and the cave which [was] therein, and all the trees that [were] in the field, that [were] in all the borders round about, were made sure"

However, Ephron insisted on selling the entire unit, "the field, and the cave", as the conclusion repeatedly notes (verses 17, 19-20; 49:29-32, especially note verse 32). The prominent mention of trees in the final agreement was another characteristic of the Hittite business documents (verse 17).

Since the Hittites were destroyed about 1200 B.C., the liberal critics' assertion of a late date for the composition of Genesis is rejected at this point.

Genesis 23:18 "Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city."

"Unto Abraham for a possession": To be enjoyed by him and his forever, as his own property, being purchased by his money.

"In the presence of the children of Heth": they being witnesses of the bargain, and of the payment of the money by Abraham, and of the surrender of the field unto him, for his own use.

"Before all that went in at the gates of his city": Not of Abraham's city, for he had none, but of Ephron's city, which was Hebron (see Genesis 23:10). These are either the same with the children of Heth, and so the clause is added by way of explanation, and including all the inhabitants of the place.

Or else different from them, they intending the princes of the people that composed the assembly Abraham addressed, and these are the common people, the inhabitants of the place.

Aben Ezra takes them to be the travelers that passed and re-passed through the gates of the city. However, the design of the expression is to show in what a public manner this affair was transacted, and that the field was made as firm and as sure to Abraham as it could well be, no writings on such occasion being used so early.

This was very similar to us putting a fence around our property to secure it from the world around us. This was showing Abraham's possession in the midst of a strange land.

Genesis 23:19 "And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same [is] Hebron in the land of Canaan."

"After this": Once the purchase had been made, Abraham buried Sarah. Moses notes the place is Hebron in Canaan, to which his initial readers were soon headed.

Many of the prominent Old Testament people were buried in this area. Hebron is still in existence today in the Holy Land.

Genesis 23:20 "And the field, and the cave that [is] therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying place by the sons of Heth."

"And the field, and the cave that is therein, was made sure to Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace, by the sons of Heth": Who were witnesses of the transaction between Abraham and Ephron; and this was further made sure by Sarah's being buried in it, which was taking possession of it, for the use for which it was bought.

"And was a pledge and earnest of the future possession of the land of Canaan by the seed of Abraham. This was the first piece of ground in it possessed by Abraham and his seed; and it being called the possession of a buryingplace, shows that there is no contradiction between this and what Stephen says (Acts 7:5).

He had a possession to bury in, but not to live upon; not any ground of his own to till and sow, or build upon.

This is the last credit given to the sons of Heth for being willing to sell this burying place to Abraham.

Genesis Chapter 23 Questions

1. How old was Sarah, when she died?

2. Where did she die?

3. When you lose a loved one, it is natural to _________.

4. Where was Hebron located?

5. Who did Abraham speak to about a burial place?

6. What did Abraham call himself?

7. How much of this land, that God had promised Abraham, belonged to him at that time?

8. What was Abraham trying to do?

9. What did these sons call Abraham?

10. Which of the sepulchers did they offer?

11. For what price?

12. Why did they like the idea of burying Sarah in their sepulchers?

13. Why did Abraham bow to them?

14. What does "Ephron" mean?

15. Whose cave did Abraham want?

16. What tribe was Ephron from?

17. Why did Abraham not want the land free?

18. What price did they agree upon?

19. This field was before where?

20. What is Hebron also called?

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Genesis 24

Genesis Chapter 24

Genesis 24:1 "And Abraham was old, [and] well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things."

"And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age": Being now one hundred and forty years of age, for as he was a hundred years old when Isaac was born, and Isaac was forty years of age when he married Rebekah, which was at this time, Abraham must be of the age mentioned( see Genesis 21:5),

"And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things": With all kind of blessings, with temporal and spiritual blessings; the former seems chiefly designed here, because of what follows. God had blessed him, as Aben Ezra observes, with long life, and riches, and honor, and children, things desirable by men.

Verses 2-4: "Put ... thy hand under my thigh ... swear" (see note on verse 9). A solemn pledge mentioning the Lord's name and formalized by an acceptable customary gesture indicated just how serious an undertaking this was in Abraham's eyes.

At his age (verse 1), Abraham was concerned to perpetuate his people and God's promise through the next generation, so he covenanted with his servant to return to Mesopotamia and bring back a wife for Isaac.

Genesis 24:2 "And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:"

"Eldest servant" may have been Eliezer (of 15:2-3). He worshiped God (verses 26-27, 52); he was devoted to Abraham (verses 12b, 14b, 27); and dedicated to finishing the task (verses 33, 56). If he was this Eliezer, then his loyalty in serving the heir who had displaced him is all the greater.

Eliezer, at 85 years of age, had risen to steward, or "chief of staff," a position of substantial authority (indicated in verse 10). He would have received all Abraham's wealth if he had no son (see 15:1-2), yet when Isaac was born the inheritance became Isaac's.

So, not only had he loyally served his master despite having been displaced by another heir (15:2-4), but he also faithfully served that heir (verse 67).

Verses 3-4: Matrimonial arrangements were made by parents, and chosen partners were to come from one's own tribe. It was apparently customary to marry one's first cousin. But Abraham's higher motive was to prevent Isaac from marrying a Canaanite pagan after Abraham's death, thus possibly leading the people away from the true God.

Genesis 24:3 "And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:"

"Daughters of the Canaanites": The command to marry only within God's redeemed community was given latter through Moses, but here is an example of the godly Abraham desiring to be separate from the pagans surrounding him (Deut. 7:3-4; 1 Kings 11:4; Ezra 9); and Paul's "only in the Lord" (1 Cor. 7:39).

Abraham realized that he was growing old. His son, Isaac, was at the age where young men seek a wife. This servant that Abraham had entrusted all to, has certainly been a man of integrity who loved and feared God, or else Abraham would not have had the servant to swear by Him.

Abraham realized that the people around him were a heathen people; he did not want his son, Isaac, unequally yoked to these women of the world. Canaan, at this time, was not living for God. Abraham recognized God for being God of earth and heaven, when he made the servant take the oath.

Genesis 24:4 "But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac."

"But thou shalt go unto my country": Not Canaan, which though his by promise, yet not in possession, but Mesopotamia, as appears from (Genesis 24:10); which taken largely included the Chaldea (see Acts 7:2), the country where Abraham was born, and from whence he came.

"And to my kindred": the family of Nahor his brother, which now dwelt at Haran in Mesopotamia, called the city of Nahor (Genesis 24:10; see Genesis 29:4); of the increase of whose family Abraham had heard a few years ago (Genesis 22:20).

"And take a wife to my son Isaac": He did not want his son to marry out of the godly family: for the problems that come from marrying the ungodly are set forth in various places throughout the scriptures.

And the reason this family was chosen, not only because related to Abraham, but because it had sprung from Shem, who was blessed of God, and whose God the Lord was; nearness of kin was no objection and hindrance to such a marriage, the laws relating to marriage not being given till the time of Moses.

Even today children would be much better off, if they would seek someone of their own faith to marry. We should not even consider people of the world for a lifetime mate. Abraham was sure this family was believers.

Genesis 24:5 "And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?"

"And the servant said unto him": Before he would take the oath, being cautious of it, and desirous of knowing how far it reached, and what it would or would not oblige him to, which was prudently done said:

"Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me into this land": Supposing this should be the case, as it is not unlikely that the woman would object to coming along with him to the land of Canaan, and insist upon Isaac's coming into her country, and dwelling there, what must then be done?

"Must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?" that is, must I agree with the woman on these terms, and promise that Isaac shall come and dwell with her in Mesopotamia? Now there was good reason for the servant's putting this question, since he was neither ignorant of the call of Abraham out of that land, no more to return to it, nor of the promise of the land of Canaan to him and his posterity.

As for bringing Isaac "again", where he never had been in person, this may be accounted for by his being in the loins of Abraham when he was there, and came from thence, as Levi is said to be in his loins when he paid tithes to Melchizedek, and to pay them in him (Hebrews 7:9).

This servant was not as sure as Abraham that he would be able to find the right wife for Isaac. Even if he found her, he was not confident that she would believe, and follow him into a strange land. His question was a reasonable one, if you were not taking in to account Abraham's standing with God.

Verses 6-7: "That thou bring not my son thither again": Should the expected scenario not materialize (verse 5), then the dictates of the oath were lifted (verse 8), but the option of Isaac going was summarily rejected because it suggested a nullification of God's promise and calling for the land of promise (verse 7).

Genesis 24:6 "And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again."

"And Abraham said unto him": Not blaming him for putting such a question, nor charging him with impertinence, but plainly seeing the propriety of it: and in order to clear up this matter to him, gives the following instructions.

"Beware thou, that thou bring not my son thither again": for the command to come out of the land of Chaldea, never to return more, and to come into the land of Canaan, and there abide, respected both Abraham and his posterity.

Besides, it was dangerous for Isaac to go into a family, where, though there was some knowledge of the true God. Yet there was much superstition and idolatry in it, as appears by various hints in the sequel of this history, lest he should be corrupted, and degenerate from the true religion.

Genesis 24:7 "The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence."

"He shall send his angel before thee": A statement of Abraham's faith that the 450 mile expedition to Mesopotamia was clearly under divine oversight.

You see, God had spoken to Abraham and he was sure that the girl, that God Himself had chosen for Isaac a wife, would gladly come with the servant. He felt that she would be such a lady that the Lord would already have prepared her for just this. Abraham's confidence in God was so strong; there was no chance for failure.

Genesis 24:8 "And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again."

"And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee": Or, "but" if, which is said by Abraham, not as doubting she would be willing, of which he was satisfied, being persuaded that God who had made him willing to leave his own country, and his father's house, would make her willing to do the same, and come and settle with his son in the land that God had given him.

But this, and what follows, he said to make the mind of his servant easy, who had some doubt about it, or however was desirous of knowing how he must act should that be the case; and what it was he was to take an oath to do, and how far, and how far not, that would oblige him.

"Then thou shalt be clear from this my oath": Which he enjoined his servant to take; the sense is, when he had done all he could to get the consent of the damsel, and her friends, to go with him and marry his master's son. After all, if she could not be prevailed upon to come with him, then he was free from his oath, having done all that he had obliged him to.

"Only bring not my son thither again": Neither agree with the damsel and her parents, that he shall come to them, nor persuade him to comply with such terms.

Again, there was no question in Abraham's mind. If God tells you to go, then there can be no results except good results. Then he told the servant, but if by some unusual circumstance this did not happen, I would not hold you to the oath.

Genesis 24:9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

"Thy hand under my thigh": Thigh is a euphemism for the procreative organ. This act either symbolized that the yet-unborn children would avenge any violation of the oath, or solemnized the oath in the name of the God who gave circumcision as the sign of the covenant (47:29 for the only other instance).

An ancient Near Eastern custom by which an intimate touch affirmed an oath (47:29).

After the servant realized that things beyond his control would not be charged to his account, then he swore as Abraham had asked him.

Genesis 24:10 "And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master [were] in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor."

"And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master, and departed": To bear the presents for the bride, to enhance the dignity of his mission, and to serve as a means of transport for the bride and her companions on the return journey.

"For all the goods of his master were in his hand": which agrees with what is before said, that he was the steward of his house, and ruled over all that he had; this in our version, and others, is put in a parenthesis, and given as a reason why the servant took, as it may seem of himself, so many camels as he did, and then set forward on his journey.

"And he arose, and went to Mesopotamia; or Aram Naharaim, Syria of the rivers, which lay between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates, called therefore by the Greeks Mesopotamia. The three Targums render it Aram or Syria, which is by the Euphrates.

"Unto the city of Nahor": This was the brother of Abraham, and his city was Haran, whither he came, either with his father, or with Abraham, out of Ur of the Chaldees, or followed them there, and where he and his family stayed and settled.

This servant had to be a very trusted servant, because all of Abraham's goods were in his care. In these times, until the son became of age, the father would trust an old faithful servant over the child. This was an obedient servant, going where his master sent him to bring a wife for Isaac.

Note the ten camels. We have learned before that the number ten has to do with the world. This was a close relative where the servant was going.

Genesis 24:11 "And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, [even] the time that women go out to draw [water]."

"And he made his camels to kneel down": Which these creatures are used to doing when they are loaded and unloaded, also when they take rest, and it was for the sake of the latter they were now made to kneel. It seems that this is what is not natural to them, but what they are learned to do.

"Without the city": the city of Nahor, Haran, near to which the servant was now come.

"And it was by a well of water": Which place was chosen for the refreshment of his camels, as well as of himself and his men.

"At the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water": which was the custom for women to do, for the necessary uses for their families; as it was especially in the eastern countries: and the Arabian women to this time, after they have been hard at work all day.

Weaving, or grinding, or making bread, at evening they set out with a pitcher or a goat's skin, and, tying their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water.

Verses 12-14: The steward's prayer manifest not only his trust in God to direct affairs but also the selflessness with which he served Abraham. His patience after prayer (verse 21), his worship at answered prayer (verse 26), and his acknowledgment of divine guidance (verse 27), also portrayed his faith.

Genesis 24:12 "And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham."

"Kindness unto my master Abraham": The word kindness is "chesed" (20:13): he is earnestly asking God to be faithful to His servant Abraham. God had promised Abraham a seed, and He had given him one; now Abraham wants to get a bride for the promised "seed" in accordance with God's standards of separation.

He asks God to be faithful to His servant Abraham and provide for him. Then (in verses 14, 27 and 49), he testifies that God did show chesed, covenant-faithfulness.

Genesis 24:13 "Behold, I stand [here] by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:"

"Behold, I stand here by the well of water": Wishing, hoping, and expecting that something would turn out that would direct and instruct what further to do, and that would lead on to the business he came about.

"And the daughters of the men of the city came out to draw water": which was the usual custom in those parts about that time. And this was a principal reason why Abraham's servant stopped at the well, not only to refresh himself, his men, and his animals, but in hopes he should meet with the damsel there he was come for.

Or at least should hear of her, or meet with some one or another that would direct him to her. Or something would fall out there that would be a means in God's spiritual power of bringing about what he was sent to do.

Genesis 24:14 "And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: [let the same be] she [that] thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master."

"I will give thy camels drink also": Hospitality required giving water to a thirsty stranger, but not to animals. A woman who would do that was unusually kind and served beyond the call of duty. Rebekah's servant attitude was revealed (verses 15-20), as was her beauty and purity (verse 16).

This servant, like so many of us today, was entering very strange territory. He had no idea, on his own, how to seek Isaac a wife. He asked God for His help. His plan was a good one, because all the women of the city came to this well for water.

Camels drink tremendous amounts of water, so the girl who offered to draw water for them would, first of all, be very industrious, and also have a great concern for people and animals in need. This humble spirit in this girl would be just right for Isaac's wife.

Notice that this servant spoke of God as Abraham's God. This servant was intelligent to be able to figure this little plan out and lay it before God.

Genesis 24:15 "And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder."

"And it came to pass, before he had done speaking": In his heart (Genesis 24:45); for his prayer was mental; while the last words were dropping from him, that very moment, as the Targum of Jonathan; so soon were his prayers heard and answered (Isaiah 65:24).

"That behold Rebekah came out": Out of Haran, the city of Nahor Who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother. A daughter of Bethuel, which Bethuel was the eighth and last son of Milcah, and who was the daughter of Haran and the wife of Nahor, both brothers to Abraham.

This is the genealogy of Rebekah, and for the sake of her is the account of Nahor's family given (Genesis 22:20),

"With her pitcher upon her shoulder": To fetch water from the well for the use of the family; which, though the daughter of a wealthy person, she did not disdain to do; an instance of diligence and humility.

Genesis 24:16 "And the damsel [was] very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up."

"And the damsel was very fair to look upon": Of a good countenance and beautiful aspect.

"A virgin: neither had any man known her": Not only was reckoned a virgin, but was really one, pure and incorrupt.

"And she went down to the well and filled her pitcher, and came up": By which it appears the well lay low, there was a descent unto it, and an ascent from it. Rebekah was very diligent and speedy in doing her work, she did not stay to look at strangers, or hold an idle conversation with other damsels that came there on the same account.

This beautiful young maiden was not only beautiful on the exterior, but was a virgin, as well, pure in every way. She was Isaac's 2nd cousin. She was at the very well where Abraham's servant waited.

Genesis 24:17 "And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher."

"And the servant ran to meet her": He did not stop her as she went to the well, but stayed till she had been there and filled her pitcher, and then he made all the haste he could to meet her, in order to have the sign and token answered he had requested, which could not be done until she returned.

"And said, let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher": Or taste a little of it, (as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan states); or suffer me to swallow a little of it. For it was not so much to quench his thirst that he asked for this, for he could have got, and perhaps had water out of the well before this time, or however could easily have supplied himself.

Genesis 24:18 "And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink."

"And she said, drink, my lord": Signifying at once that he was welcome to drink what he would, giving him a very honorable title, observing that he had a pretty large retinue with him of men and camels; so that she took him for some considerable personage.

"And she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand": from off her shoulder, and let it rest upon her hand or arm, and gave him drink; let him drink what he would of it.

Genesis 24:19 "And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw [water] for thy camels also, until they have done drinking."

"And when she had done giving him drink": Whatever he pleased to have.

"She said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking": She proposed to go back to the well, and did, and fill her pitcher, and repeat it as often as was necessary, until the camels had enough; and this now was the sign or token the servant had desired might be, by which he would know who was the person intended for the wife of his master's son.

And this was granted him, which shows that it was not a rash and ill thing which he asked, but what was agreeable to the will of God, and to which he was directed by an impulse of his.

As we can easily see, the Lord quickly answered his prayer; this maiden was beautiful, courteous, tender-hearted, and not lazy. The servant's search was over, but now, there was the task of convincing her and her family.

Genesis 24:20 "And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw [water], and drew for all his camels."

"All his camels": A single camel can hold up to 25 gallons and he had 10 of them. Serving them was a great task as she filled them all (verse 22).

Genesis 24:21 "And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not."

"And the man wondering at her": At her friendliness and courteousness to a stranger and at her humility and condescension to take upon her such a service; at her readiness, diligence, and the extended effort in it; and the quick dispatch she made; and at her expressions and conduct being so exactly agreeable to the sign he desired to have.

And at the spiritual power of God in bringing him to this place so timely; and at the damsel, that she should come just at this time, and every way answer his expectations and desires.

"Held his peace, to wit": or to know, to think and consider further with himself: whether, or "if":

"The Lord had made his journey prosperous or not": or if not; he was reflecting and saying within himself, surely God had made his journey prosperous; or if not, how was it that such strange surprising circumstances should occur? Or what else must be done by him? Or what methods must be taken for the future.

Isn't that just like we do? She did everything he had prayed about, and yet, it seemed so easy to him, that he started doubting. God gives us a sign, and we are too blind to see it.

Genesis 24:22 "And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten [shekels] weight of gold;"

"And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking": Having had enough to quince their thirst and satisfy them, by means of Rebekah's drawing water for them.

"Then the man took a golden earring": Out of his pocket or out of a box or parcel that was upon the camels.

"Of half a shekel weight": Which were eighty barley corns, for a whole shekel weighed one hundred and sixty. The Targum of Jonathan says, "the weight of a drachma", which was the half of a didrachma or common shekel.

"And two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels' weight of gold": A handsome present this was, and suitable to a virgin.

"Shekels" (see note on 23:14, 16).

Genesis 24:23 "And said, Whose daughter [art] thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room [in] thy father's house for us to lodge in?"

"And said": After he had given her the earring and the bracelets, he put the following question, as it is related (in Genesis 24:47); the question was put before those were given.

"Whose daughter art thou?" The reason of this question is, because by her answer to it he would know whether she was of the family related to Abraham or not; from whom only, according to his oath, he was to take a wife for Isaac, and which would in a good measure satisfy him as to what he had been thinking about, whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.

"Tell me, I pray thee, is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?" By her answer to this he would know whether her family was wealthy, and so fit to be in connection with his master's; and besides, if she appeared to be the person he hoped she was, he desired lodging in her father's house, that he might have better opportunity of managing the affair he came about.

Genesis 24:24 "And she said unto him, I [am] the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor."

"I am the daughter of": In formal introductions, an abbreviated genealogy provided for specific identification (22-23). She was Isaac's cousin.

Genesis 24:25 "She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in."

"She said moreover unto him": In answer to the second question.

"We have both straw and provender enough": For the camels, straw for their litter, and provender for their food, as hay, barley, etc.

"And room to lodge in": For him and his men; this she could venture to say, and invite him to come and take up his quarters in her father's house, without going home to relate the question put to her, and to have leave to give the invitation, knowing full well the generosity, liberality, and hospitable spirit of her father.

This surely would convince the servant. God had sent him to this family where he would find Isaac's wife. These gifts that he gave Rebekah were very valuable. They were made of pure gold. Since the gifts were made of gold, we can be assured of his intentions. More than looking for a place to rest, he was looking for a way to meet and talk to her parents.

Genesis 24:26 "And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD."

"And the man bowed down his head": To show what a deep sense he had of the divine goodness, and in humble acknowledgment of the favors he received in being thus providentially directed.

"And worshipped the Lord": Gave thanks unto him, that he had thus far prospered him, hoping and believing that things were in good forwardness, according to his master's mind and will.

Genesis 24:27 "And he said, Blessed [be] the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I [being] in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren."

"And he said, blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham" (see Genesis 24:12).

"Who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and truth": Or hath not withdrawn his mercy, grace and goodness, truth and faithfulness; for his loving kindness, he does not take away from his people, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail. His mercy and grace in making kind and gracious promises continue, and his truth in performing them sooner or later appear, and both in this case.

As Abraham believed in the grace and goodness of God, that he would send his angel and direct his servant, and make his way prosperous, here was now an appearance of his truth and faithfulness, in making good the promise or prophecy on which Abraham's faith was built (see Genesis 24:7).

"I being in the way": By the way of the well; in the right way (as Jarchi), in which he was directed; in the way of his duty, following the steps of divine Providence, and observing them. It is good to be in the way which God directs to and prescribes, especially in religious things, where the blessing and presence of God may be expected.

"The Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren": Nahor, whose granddaughter Rebekah was, was Abraham's brother, and Bethuel her father might be called so, as Lot was, who stood in the same relation to Abraham as he did (Genesis 14:16). Though the servant was not as yet come to the house where they lived, he had met with one of the family, and had got an invitation to it, and was on his way there and near it.

This servant suddenly had realized that God was able to do mighty things to work things out according to His plans. Even though he had spoken of God as Abraham's God, he, too, bows and worships God himself. He knew that it was not by accident that he was led to this well and met this Rebekah.

Genesis 24:28 "And the damsel ran, and told [them of] her mother's house these things."

"And the damsel ran": Having invited him to come and lodge at her father's house, that he might not be brought in abruptly, she ran before to acquaint the family of what had passed.

"And told them of her mother's house these things": She did not go to her father to inform him of it; rather the reason was, because her mother had a house, tent, or an apartment to herself, as women in those times and places used to have (see Genesis 24:67).

Possibly because daughters are generally more free to converse with their mothers and impart things to them than to their fathers, which may be the true reason of Rebekah's conduct.

Verses 29-31: "Laban": From what is revealed about his character (chapter 29), there is reason to believe that his sight of all the presents and the camels generated the welcome.

Genesis 24:29 "And Rebekah had a brother, and his name [was] Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well."

"And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban": Perhaps he was her only brother, or however the elder brother, the principal in the family, her father Bethuel being old:

And Laban ran out: out of his house, and out of the city of Haran.

"Unto the man unto the well": This was after Rebekah had got home, and had related to the family whom she had met with at the well, and what had passed between them.

Just like any little young girl would do, she ran home to tell all. Rebekah's brother seemed to be the nearest thing to a man in the home. Laban rushed out to meet this man that his sister was telling about. "Laban" means white. So this was a fair skinned tribe.

Genesis 24:30 "And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well."

"And it came to pass, when he saw the earring, and bracelets upon his sister's hands": From whence he concluded that he was a rich and generous man she had met with, and might hope to receive a gift also upon giving him an invitation to his house; and ran to him to bring him in; for that Laban was of a covetous disposition, appears from the whole story of him.

"And when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, thus spake the man unto me": inquiring whose daughter she was, and whether there was any room in her father's house for him and those that were with him to lodge in.

"That he came unto the man": Made haste and ran till he came to him.

"And, behold, he stood by the camels at the well": he did not follow Rebekah, but kept still at the well, expecting somebody would come out of the house and give him an invitation into it, upon Rebekah's representation of him.

Rebekah told her brother about the gifts, and about what the man said unto her. Laban went to check it out, and make sure his sister was telling him the way it really was. The servant was still waiting at the well, now knowing that his mission was about to be accomplished.

Genesis 24:31 "And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels."

"And he said, come in, thou blessed of the Lord": Both with temporal and spiritual blessings; he concluded he was blessed with the former by the presents he had made to his sister, and by the men that attended him, and the number of camels that were with him. His worshipping of God and thankfulness to him which Rebekah had observed and related.

"Wherefore standest thou without?" this he said either as rebuking him that he did not follow his sister upon her invitation, or rather as pressing him to make no more delay.

"For I have prepared the house": Swept it clean, or ordered it to be so and had fitted and furnished it with everything convenient for him and those with him.

"And room for the camels": He had ordered the stable to be cleansed also, and everything provided there fit for the camels; so that some time elapsed between Rebekah's return home and Laban's coming to the well, though no doubt everything was done with as much haste as possible.

Laban invited the servant in. He even called him blessed. Laban could obviously see the ten camels laden with goods, and he knew this was a man of means, else why would he give Rebekah these expensive gifts? Laban had undoubtedly had his servants to prepare a place for this guest and put out provender for his camels, as we see (in verse 32).

Genesis 24:32 "And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that [were] with him."

"And the man came into the house": Upon the pressing instance made unto him; for so it may be rendered, "wherefore the man came".

"And he ungirded his camels": took off their bridles, which hindered them from eating, or as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi state; or loosed their girts and took off their burdens, that they might have rest.

This may be interpreted either of the servant and of his men by his order doing this, it being the first thing that travelers do when they come to an inn to take care of their cattle; or rather of Laban, as what follows must be interpreted of him.

"And gave straw and provender for the camels": Straw for their litter, and provender to eat; this Laban did, or ordered to be done. The Targum of Jonathan expresses his name, and no doubt he is intended, for who should give these but he?

"And water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him": Which was usually done to strangers and travelers in those hot countries (see Genesis 18:4).

Genesis 24:33 "And there was set [meat] before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on."

"I will not eat until": The first order of business was to identify his master and to explain his assignment, but not without stressing the blessings of God upon his master and upon his trip (verses 34-48), and also not without immediately seeking to conclude his task and return home (verses 49:54-56). This is the portrait of a committed, faithful, and selfless servant!

Genesis 24:34 "And he said, I [am] Abraham's servant."

"And he said, I am Abraham's servant": Not Abraham himself, as this put Laban at ease, if he so thought, but a servant of his; which was enough to introduce his purpose. His master being a near relation of theirs, and well known to them by name, if not in person.

Genesis 24:35 "And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses."

"And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly": With temporal blessings, after specifying, which are of God, and are here ascribed to him, the Father, fountain, author, and giver of all such mercies.

"And he is become great": In the world, and highly honored and esteemed among men.

"And he hath given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and menservants and maidservants, and camels and asses": Though many of them were obtained in the diligent use of means, yet with the blessing of God.

Others were the gifts of princes to him, as of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and Abimelech king of Gerar. Yet, as it was the Lord that put it into their hearts to be so liberal to him, they are here called his gifts (see Genesis 12:16).

Genesis 24:36 "And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath."

"And Sarah, my master's wife": Who must be well known to this family, by name at least, being, as is generally supposed, the sister of Milcah, Nahor's wife, and Bethuel's mother.

"Bare a son to my master when she was old": even when ninety years of age, (Genesis 17:17). This is mentioned because it was an extraordinary thing, and an instance of divine power and of the favor of God. And this son of their old age must be very dear unto Abraham, as it follows.

"And unto him hath he given all that he hath": By his will.

There was great hospitality being shown Abraham's servant and those that were with them. The desert was dry and dusty. It was a very pleasant custom to wash o