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Wednesday, August 17 2016

Galatians 4: The Prophecy Of Mount Sinai In Arabia

"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 ... For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children"

The present-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the largest countries in Arabia. It is bordered by some of the other nations in Arabia: Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen. The Red Sea is located to its west, and the Persian Gulf to the northeast. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia got its name from Abdul-Aziz bin Saud in 1932 i.e. that part of Arabia was named after the Saud royal family.

Many people who regard present-day Saudi Arabia as being "Arabia" assume that the apostle Paul was referring to Saudi Arabia (that didn't even exist a century ago, let alone 20 centuries ago when Paul lived) when he wrote "For this Agar [Hagar] is mount Sinai in Arabia" (verse 25, below). But Hagar was an Egyptian (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" Genesis 16:3 KJV), not a native of Saudi Arabia. Paul said what he did because that entire region has always been known as Arabia.

Arabia extends over 1,200,000 square miles of the Middle East, of which only 830,000 square miles is Saudi Arabia. Arabia is generally considered to be the area bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the east by the Persian Gulf and the Euphrates River, on the west by the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, and on the north Syria and Mesopotamia. The Sinai Peninsula, where Mount Sinai is located, is within those parameters.

Mount Sinai is shown in the top-left area of the map, at the near-edge of the yellow section "Arabia Petraea" - notice how vast Arabia extends from it, eastward.


As plainly shown on the map, "Arabia" was, and still is, composed of three sections. The Sinai Peninsula was within those parameters:

  • Arabia Felix, a large area between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

  • Arabia Deserta, the el-Badieh or "Great Wilderness," from which the nomadic tribes of this region derive their name, the "Bedaween," or "Bedouin."

  • Arabia Petraea, the Rocky Arabia, named for its rocky mountains and stony plains.

In modern times, Arabia is composed of 3 general territorial designations. The Sinai Peninsula is within those parameters:

  • Arabia Proper, or the Arabian Peninsula.

  • Northern Arabia, or the Arabian Desert.

  • Western Arabia, including the Sinai Peninsula and the Desert of Petra.

So why did Paul say what he did? And why (the part that is very often overlooked) did Paul include the "laws" of Judaism in his statement?

First, in the full context of what he was teaching (keeping in mind that the original Scriptures had no chapter breaks), Paul was referring to the man-made traditions of Judaism (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism) as "bondage" (he was not talking about actual obedience to the Law of the LORD; see Faith Is The Law) while the actual Gospel that the LORD gave to the Israelites (as portrayed and prophesied by the LORD's true Holy Days - see the Fact Finder question below) as the way, the journey, to become children of God. That is what the Gospel is all about (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach? and The Only Political Party That's Going To Survive).

Hagar and Ishmael

"4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

4:12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. 4:13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 4:15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

4:17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. 4:18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 4:20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you." (Galatians 4:1-20 KJV)

When Paul spoke of "Hagar" (see The Birth of Isaac and The Expulsion Of Hagar) in type (i.e. the uncalled people, not only of Abraham's other lines, but of all nations that are awaiting their conversion), he was speaking as much about Judaism (and about the Christian professing world who also worship their own traditions) because none have yet (as they will when the Holy Spirit makes it possible for them, as it has, or will do, for everyone - as the fulfillment of Pentecost; see Pentecost: Power From On High) to be conceived on the way to becoming "born again" (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).

"4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 4:27 For it is written,

Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free." (Galatians 4:21-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: While many today regard the Biblical Holy Days as "Jewish," they have in fact always been Christian. The Biblical Holy Days are about salvation. See the studies below.
The Days Of Passover: Why Observe The True Christian Holy Days?
Pentecost: The Christian Feast Of Weeks
Why Christians Observe The Messiah's Feast Of Tabernacles
Why Do Christians Observe The Messiah's Day Of Atonement?
Why Christians Observe The Messiah's Feast Of Tabernacles
The Eighth Day: When Life Will Begin Again

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This Day In History, August 17

986: A Byzantine army was destroyed in the pass of Trajan's Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron. The Byzantine emperor Basil II narrowly escaped.

1424: The English fought the Scots and French at the Battle of Verneuil during the Hundred Years War.


1585: Spanish forces, led by Duke of Parma, took Antwerp after a 14-month siege in the Dutch War of Liberation.

1590: John White, the leader of 117 colonists sent in 1587 to Roanoke Island (North Carolina) to establish a colony, returned from a trip to England to find the settlement deserted. No trace of the settlers is ever found (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1743: The Peace of Abo was signed, ending the Russo-Swedish War of 1741-43.

1812: Napoleon Bonaparte's army defeated the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk during the Russian retreat to Moscow.


1833: The first steam ship to cross the Atlantic entirely on its own power, the Canadian ship Royal William, began its journey from Nova Scotia to The Isle of Wight.

1915: A Category 4 hurricane hit Galveston, Texas with winds at 217 km/hr (135 mph).

1915: Leo Frank, a Texas-born U.S. Jew, was lynched for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia after the State Governor, believing that Frank's conviction was based more on racist anti-Semitism than factual evidence, commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment. Leading the frenzied lynch mob (the girl's actual murderer was very likely among those doing the lynching) were prominent "White Christian" citizens of the town, including a former Governor, the son of a Senator, a Methodist Minister, a State Legislator, and a former State Superior Court Judge. Frank was posthumously pardoned in 1986.

The Lynching Of Leo Frank

1918: Russian Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky was assassinated.

1943: During the Second World War (1939-1945), the U.S. Eighth Air Force lost 60 bombers on the Schweinfurt-Regensburg bombing mission.

1945: Indonesia claimed independence from the Netherlands with the setting up the Provisional Indonesian Republican Government.

1962: Peter Fechter, 18, was shot by East German guards as he attempted to flee across the Berlin Wall. Left to bleed to death, his case was the most notorious in the history of the Wall. In July 1996, two former guards were charged with manslaughter.

1969: A Category 5 Hurricane, named Camille, struck the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage.

1969: Dr. Philip Blaiberg died in South Africa, 19 months and 15 days after receiving a heart transplant, a survival record at the time.

1970: The Russian Venera 7 was launched. It become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet - Venus.

1977: The Soviet icebreaker Arktika became the first ship to reach the North Pole.

1987: Nazi war criminal Rudolph Hess committed suicide by hanging with a lamp cord, at age 93, after 46 years in Spandau Prison. He had been the only inmate of the prison for the last 20 years of his life.

1998: U.S. President Bill Clinton testified before Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's grand jury regarding Clinton's sexual adventures with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. Clinton thereby became the first U.S. President to testify under oath (he had previously denied any adultery and fornication with the young assistant) before a grand jury.

1999: A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Izmit, Turkey; over 17,000 people were killed and 44,000 were injured.

2005: Over 500 terrorist bombs were detonated 300 locations across Bangladesh.


Copyright © Wayne Blank