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Wednesday, December 14 2011

Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates

Abraham (earlier known as Abram; see Abram and Sarai) was born in what is today Iraq, in the region of the Euphrates River. It was there that the LORD told Abraham to leave, not create an inheritance for his righteous purpose (see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees and Don't Look Back).

"12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram [see Abraham The Christian], Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:

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: 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.

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. 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 [see also What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?] 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." (Genesis 12:1-5 KJV)

Upon Abraham's arrival, from the land of the Euphrates that the LORD told him to leave, to the land of Canaan where the LORD told him to go and make his homeland, the LORD made a covenant with Abraham, while he was yet childless - that included a vast number of descendants, as stated in the verses below, "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 Middle East

"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.

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? 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

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. 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. 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." (Genesis 15:1-6 KJV)

The LORD also included the Nile River in that prophecy of blessing Abraham's "seed." Abraham was told of the future Exodus, whereby, just as Abraham came out of the land of the Euphrates River to go to the land promised to Abraham's Messianic line, so too the people of the Messianic line would come out of the land of the Nile River to go to their promised land. The people of the Messianic line were commanded by the LORD to leave their native, but thereafter to be foreign, lands of the Euphrates and the Nile and make a new country of their own (as later commanded by the LORD to Joshua, the borders of the Promised Land were far away from the Nile River in Egypt and the Euphrates River in Iraq).

"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; 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance." (Genesis 15:13-14 KJV)

Then, the LORD added to the Messianic line's promise ("In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram"), a promise to all of Abraham's "seed" i.e. all of his descendants, that "Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates."

"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." (Genesis 15:18 KJV)

Question: How could the descendants of Abraham be given the lands from the Nile to the Euphrates, when at the same time the LORD told the Messianic line descendants of Abraham to come out of the lands from the Nile to the Euphrates, to make their home specifically in the land of Canaan?

"Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates"

The Messianic line of Abraham was through his son Isaac, born to Sarah. The other children of Abraham were driven out of what became known as the land of Israel, toward Egypt and toward Iraq, because the land of Israel alone belonged to the people of the Messianic line alone.


"21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken [see The LORD And The Two Angels]. 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. 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him." (Genesis 21:1-5 KJV)

Abraham's actual firstborn son was Ishmael, born of Hagar the Egyptian. Ishmael was sent away to live in the lands south and west of the land of Israel - toward the Nile River in Egypt. It was in that land that the LORD promised to bless Ishmael in that land as his own, as the LORD stated to both Hagar ("the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly") and Abraham ("also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed"). Notice carefully that the LORD also called Ishmael, the one sent to create a nation to possess in the area of the land of the Nile River ("they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt," Genesis 25:18, shown below), Abraham's "seed".

"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. 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." (Genesis 16:3-4 KJV)

"16:15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16:16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram." (Genesis 16:15-16 KJV)

"21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 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.

"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.

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. 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.

16:9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 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.

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. 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." (Genesis 16:6-12 KJV)

Abraham was grieved that his "seed" was being sent away, but the LORD promised Abraham that "also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed."

The Sinai Peninsula

"21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 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. 21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

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 Beersheba.

21:15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 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.

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. 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

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.

21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer." (Genesis 21:8-20 KJV)

"25:12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham:

25:13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 25:14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 25:15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 25:17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. 25:18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren." (Genesis 25:12-18 KJV)

So too, the other "seed" of Abraham, the sons of his later wife Keturah, were sent away from the land of Israel, that belonged to Isaac, to the lands of the east, toward the Euphrates River, to possess as their own homelands: Abraham "sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." They possessed the land to the Euphrates River, according to the promise by the LORD.

"25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 25:2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 25:3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 25:4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 25:6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." (Genesis 25:1-6 KJV)

Fact Finder: Where is Arabia?
See Paul's Geography Lesson and What Does The Bible Say About Arabs?

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This Day In History, December 14

1287: A Zuider Zee (i.e. sea in Dutch) seawall failure in the Netherlands caused the drowning of over 50,000 people.

1799: George Washington, former British army officer (a colonel in the Royal Virginia Regiment that was established by Britain in 1754) and the first U.S. President after the revolution of 1776, died at age 67.

1822: The Congress of Verona, a last meeting of the powers of the Holy Alliance and Britain, ended with Britain preventing a possible intervention in revolutionary Spain.

1860: George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, died at age 76. The British statesman and Prime Minister (1852-1855) led a government that involved Britain in the Crimean War against Russia. His government settled disputes over boundaries between Canada the U.S. by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842.

1861: Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha died of typhoid at age 42. The German-born husband and first cousin of Queen Victoria (Albert and Victoria were the nephew and niece of King Leopold of Belgium, who promoted their marriage) was the father of King Edward VII. Throughout her almost 40 years of widowhood, Queen Victoria decided important questions on the basis of what she thought "Albert would have done."

1900: Max Planck presented his quantum theory at the Physics Society in Berlin.

1911: Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and three others became the first known humans to reach the South Pole.

1920: The first fatalities on a scheduled passenger flight occurred when an aircraft crashed into a house, killing the two-person crew and two passengers at Cricklewood, London.

1927: Britain signed a treaty allowing for Iraqi independence. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War, numerous Middle East nations, including Israel, regained their independence by means of the British (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire, The European World Wars and The Balfour Declaration).

1946: Primarily because Europe was still then in ruins at the end of the Second World War, the United Nations voted to make its headquarters in New York.

1977: Representatives from Israel and Egypt met in Cairo for the first peace conference between the two nations.

1981: Israel annexed the Golan Heights. It had been captured from Syria during the 1967 War.


Copyright © Wayne Blank