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Tuesday, August 6 2013

Genesis 17: From Abram To Abraham

"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"

Abram lived at a time when there were no Israelites, Jews, Muslims or "Christians." If he were to answer a question about his religion, it would nevertheless be something like "a true follower of the LORD." The LORD Himself described Abram that way (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham?; see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).

"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. 17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly." (Genesis 17:1-2 KJV)

The LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) renamed Abram as Abraham when he was "ninety years old and nine." The reason would have been evident to anyone at the time who understood the language. "Abram" meant a father of high moral character, while "Abraham," along with a father of high moral character, meant father of many. Abraham was to be a man of great righteous character who would be the father of many nations (see also A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions).

Abraham Altar

"17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 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.

17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

17:7 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.

17:8 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." (Genesis 17:3-8 KJV)

Circumcision didn't begin with Israelites or Jews - none existed yet (Israelites were the children of Abraham's grandson Jacob; see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria, A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel and Who Were The First Jews?). The first to be circumcised were Abraham (an immigrant from Iraq), his son Ishmael (the son of an Egyptian woman), and the servants of Abraham's household (who could only have been Egyptians and Canaanites).

"17:9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 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. 17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. 17:12 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. 17:13 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. 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." (Genesis 17:9-14 KJV)

Sarai too was given a new name by the LORD. It signified that the Messianic line from Abraham would happen through Sarah's only son.

"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. 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.

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? 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!" (Genesis 17:15-18 KJV)

Just as the LORD had commanded Hagar what her son Ishmael was to be named (see Genesis 16: The LORD's Seed Promise To Hagar), so too the LORD declared the name for Isaac - who would be born a year later (see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac; also Isaac: Rising From The Ashes).

"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. 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. 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. 17:22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham." (Genesis 17:19-22 KJV)

So it was then that the custom of circumcision began with men of Iraq, Egypt and Canaan.

"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.

17:24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 17:25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 17:26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 17:27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him." (Genesis 17:23-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) The apostle Paul brought far more people into Christianity because, unlike Peter and the other original apostles who were sent only to Israelites, Paul was sent to all nations. What did Paul say to those who claimed that circumcision was necessary for salvation (e.g. "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved" Acts 15:1 KJV)? (b) What is the vast difference between what the LORD actually commanded the Israelites to do, on one hand, and what became the religion known as "Judaism," on the other?
(a) See The Circumcision Council
(b) See Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism; also Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism

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This Day In History, August 6

1195: Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, died at age 66.

1284: The Republic of Genoa defeated the Republic of Pisa at the Battle of Meloria.

1415: Jan Hus, a Czech who spoke out against Roman Catholic Church corruption, was burned at the stake as a "heretic."

1538: Bogota, Colombia, was founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.

1497: John Cabot returned to England after his first successful journey to the Labrador coast.

1806: A premature historical account: "The Holy Roman Empire came to an end when Francis II formally resigned his titles in deference to Napoleon's victories. Founded in 962 by Otto I of Germany, the Holy Roman Empire was a political entity in parts of Europe, primarily German states, over which the pope had spiritual control. The map of "The Holy Roman Empire of The German Nation" is shown below (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

German Empire
1661: The Treaty of The Hague was signed by Portugal and the Dutch Republic.

1825: Bolivia declared its independence from Peru.

1845: The Russian Geographical Society was founded in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

1861: The United Kingdom annexed Lagos, Nigeria.

1890: Convicted murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed in the electric chair when he was put to death at Auburn State Prison in New York.

1914: The British light cruiser Amphion struck a German mine and sunk immediately; 150 men drowned, including the German prisoners on board that had been captured from the minelayer that had laid the fatal mine.

1945: During the Second World War, the U.S. B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 140,000 people, and horribly burning tens of thousands more, in the first use of a nuclear "weapon of mass destruction" in warfare. The second came a few days later when another U.S. bomber dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.

1986: William Schroeder died after living 620 days with the "Jarvik Seven" artificial heart.

1996: Scientists from NASA and a number of universities reported that a meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984, and later identified as having originated from Mars, provided "unequivocal" biological evidence that life once existed on Mars. The findings were later disputed.

2012: The Curiosity mobile science probe landed on the surface of Mars.


Copyright © Wayne Blank