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Wednesday, August 22 2018
A Bible Journey, 17: A Father Of Many Nations
"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." Israelites and Jews were Abraham's descendants. Jesus Christ and the "New Testament" era came centuries after Abraham lived his life. The Muslim religion did not begin until centuries after Jesus Christ was sacrificed.
If Abraham 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 The Real Jesus: The Word 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).
"17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
The ritual of circumcision did not begin with Israelites or Jews - none existed yet. The first to be circumcised were Abraham (an immigrant from Iraq), his son Ishmael (the son of Hagar, an Egyptian woman; see A Bible Journey, 16: Hagar's Journey), and the servants of Abraham's household (who could only have been Egyptians and Canaanites). Isaac was born years later.
"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 was also given a new name by the LORD. As declared by the LORD, 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.
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.
Fact Finder: How did Abraham find a wife for Isaac?
This Day In History, August 22
392: Flavius Arbogastes (popularly known as Arbogast), a Frankish general in the Roman Empire, had Eugenius elected Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (see also The Messiah And The Caesars and The Founding Of Rome: The Curious Tale Of Romulus and Remus).
476: The barbarian Odoacer was proclaimed Rex Italiae ("the king of Italy") by his troops.
565: Columba, a prominent Irish monk of the Church of Rome, reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness - one of the earliest of such recorded sightings.
1138: The English battled the Scots at Cowton Moor. Banners of various supposed "saints" were carried into battle, which led to its being called the Battle of the Standard.
1350: John II, also known as John the Good, succeeded Philip VI as king of France.
1485: Richard III of England was defeated and killed at The Battle of Bosworth Field, the last of the Wars of the Roses between the Houses of Lancaster and York.
1567: The Duke of Alba, sent to re-establish Spanish authority in the Netherlands, instituted the Council of Troubles at the start of his tyrannical rule. It was nicknamed the "Council of Blood."
1642: The Civil War in England began between the supporters of Charles I ("Royalists" or "Cavaliers") and of Parliament ("Roundheads").
1780: James Cook's ship HMS Resolution arrived back in England. Cook was killed at Hawaii during the voyage.
1846: The U.S. annexed (a political term meaning "take by conquest; as of territory") New Mexico from Mexico.
1864: The Geneva Convention for the protection of the wounded during times of active warfare was signed, leading to the formation of the Red Cross.
1910: Korea was annexed by Japan after five years as a protectorate (see Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1922: Irish politician and Sinn Fein leader Michael Collins was killed in an ambush. He was largely responsible for the 1921 Anglo-Irish treaty.
1939: Foreign ministers Molotov of Russia and Ribbentrop of Germany signed a non-aggression pact which paved the way for the German invasion of western Poland and for Russia to take eastern Poland and the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Germany and Russia soon thereafter declared war on each other.
1941: Nazi troops reached the outskirts of Leningrad. They eventually surrounded the city on September 8 at the start of the siege which lasted until January 1944 (see Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).
1942: Brazil declared war on the Axis powers. It is the only South American country to send combat troops into Europe during the Second World War.
1944: German officer Heinz Stahlschmidt deliberately blew up a bunker full of detonators, effectively preventing the planned destruction of Bordeaux by his own retreating German army.
1952: The French penal colony on Devil's Island (located approximately 14 kilometers off the coast of French Guiana in South America) was permanently closed.
1968: Pope Paul VI became the first pope to visit Latin America, in Colombia.
1971: Bolivian President General Juan Jose Torres Gonzalez was deposed in a coup by Colonel Hugo Banzer Suarez.