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Tuesday, September 11 2018
A Bible Journey, 26: The Calling Of Isaac
"And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake"
Prevailing winds and climate patterns caused the land of Canaan to experience severe droughts. "Nature" caused the people of the Messianic line to seek refuge further west, in the rich Nile Delta area of Egypt. Abraham experienced it first, as did the Israelites when they began their prophesied 400 year stay there (see A Bible Journey, 15: The Exodus Prophecies). Isaac also found it necessary to resort to the same area, so, according to the LORD's instructions, "Isaac dwelt in Gerar."
"26:1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 26:2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. 26:6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:" (Genesis 26:1-6 KJV)
As took place with his parents Abraham and Sarah before he was born, Isaac presented his wife as though she were his sister (see A Bible Journey, 20: My Sister Sarah). When the ruse was discovered, "Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us." The reason that Isaac had done so however was, like Abraham with Sarah, "He said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon."
"26:7 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.
Isaac became wealthier there, as "the LORD blessed him." For that, "Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we." Ironically, centuries later the Pharaoh of Egypt said the same thing after the Israelites became a powerful foreign force in his country (see also Was The Exodus Pharaoh A Firstborn?).
"26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
Water is a critical commodity everywhere, at any time, let alone during times of drought. Abraham and Lot had parted because of water and grazing limitations (see A Bible Journey, 13: How Lot Became A Sodomite). Isaac found himself in a near state of war with groups of herdsmen who greatly outnumbered him. He at last found a place to settle in peace: "he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."
"26:17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
Beersheba was a founded settlement that had a direct connection to the successive history of Isaac and Abraham (see the Fact Finder question below). Isaac was also well-aware of the water supply there.
"26:23 And he went up from thence to Beersheba.
Abimelech confronted Isaac, in fear, because he and his men had driven Isaac away. Abimelech had later realized that Isaac had a purpose with the LORD, and that he was inviting the LORD's wrath with his hostility to Isaac (notice his "thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee" - an "army" of men were thanking a single man for not bringing harm upon them). If Isaac had not removed himself, refusing to be pushed away, it would have started a war that the LORD would have finished. Abimelech, who obviously understood what nearly happened, and apparently thinking that it still could happen, pleaded for a treaty of peace with Isaac.
"26:26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
At around the same time, Esau began marrying Hittite women, "Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah."
"26:34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 26:35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah." (Genesis 26:34-35 KJV)
Fact Finder: Who was the first to dig a well at "Beersheba"?
This Day In History, September 11
1297: The Battle of Stirling Bridge during the First War of Scottish Independence (1296-1328). The Scots under William Wallace battled an English force under the Earl of Surrey.
1541: French explorer Jacques Cartier reached Lachine rapids, near present-day Montreal, on his third voyage to Canada (see also The Greatest Islands Of Earth).
1609: English explorer Henry Hudson discovered what was later named Manhattan Island. It wasn't a discovery for the native people who were already there for many centuries (see The First Chinese American War).
1709: An Anglo-Dutch-Austrian force led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy won a costly victory over the French in the Battle of Malplaquet, the last great battle of the War of the Spanish Succession.
1712: French astronomer (of Italian origin) Giovanni Cassini died at age 87. He made numerous discoveries, including 4 moons of Saturn, the existence of divisions in the rings of Saturn, and the rotational period (the length of its "day") of Mars (see also What Is Unique About Earth's Sun And Moon? and When The Stars Come Out).
1777: The Battle of Brandywine. The British Army defeated rebel forces under former British Army Colonel George Washington and advanced on Philadelphia (George Washington, as portrayed in the authenticated portrait below proudly posing in his British Red Coat Uniform, served in the British Army in Virginia during the "French and Indian Wars," the North American theater of the worldwide Seven Years War).
1792: The Hope Diamond was stolen, along with other French crown jewels.
1919: U.S. Marines (see also Send In The Marines) invaded Honduras (1 of 5 invasions of the country over a span of 20 years), primarily at the behest of U.S. corporations that were involved in the banana industry of the Central American nations. The derogatory term "Banana Republic" was originated by the U.S. writer William Sydney Porter (pen name O. Henry) in describing those for-business invasions.
1922: Under the authority of a United Nations Mandate, "Palestine" (an English rendering of the Biblical word "Philistine"; see Where Is Palestine?) and Trans-Jordan ("across the Jordan"; see also Jordan's West Bank Invasion) came under British control as one of the major after-effects of the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1941: Construction of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia began. Exactly 60 years to the day later, it was severely damaged during the 9-11 attacks (see the entry for 2001, below).
1971: Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77. He led the Soviet Union through the height of the Cold War with the U.S. He began to lose political power after losing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 during which President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on the island and put all U.S. nuclear forces on their highest alert. Many historians consider the crisis to be the closest the world came to nuclear warfare (see also Who Would Throw A Nuclear Boomerang?).
1974: Haile Selassie was deposed as king of Ethiopia.
1978: U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel meet at Camp David and agree on the Camp David Accords, a basis of peace between Israel and Egypt.
1997: Scottish voters strongly approved (74.2%) plans to establish a separate Scottish parliament apart from the British parliament, 290 years after the Act of Union with England in 1707.
2001: Using hijacked airliners, terrorists from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia were invaded in retaliation) killed approximately 3,000 people in New York (the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center), Washington (the Pentagon) and Pennsylvania (a hijacked airliner that went down before reaching its target because of a passenger revolt).
The terrorist attacks triggered the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan where the attacks on the U.S. were planned and commanded by Saudi Arabian born Osama bin Laden, and was used as a justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq - although no evidence has ever been found that Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein had any involvement in the attacks on New York and Washington (the hijackers were all from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia), nor were any "weapons of mass destruction" ever found in Iraq.
2007: Russia tested the largest conventional (i.e. non-nuclear) weapon ever constructed, the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power. The Russian bomb is also called the "Father of All Bombs" because it is reportedly four times more powerful than the US military's GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb whose official military acronym "MOAB" is often stated as the "Mother of All Bombs" (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).