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American Standard Version with Notes

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Genesis Chapter Twenty-two


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50



1. And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham. And he said, Here am I.

 "God did tempt Abraham." This statement must be considered together with that of James 1:13,14. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own desires and enticed."

The words rendered "tempt" and "tempted" in both cases signify to try, to prove; and the statements seem contradictory until we consider the full statement of the Apostle James. He is referring to the fact that that which makes any applied test of character a temptation to evil is either the weakness of an undisciplined character, or else an inherent disposition to evil which has an affinity for the evil alternative before him, for neither of which things is God responsible. If the character were established in righteousness, no presentation of known evil could awaken a desire for it. Thus it is with God: he is so confirmed, so established, in righteousness, and he so fully recognizes the nature of evil, that "he cannot be tempted with evil:" no presentation of any evil could possibly induce him to turn from righteousness. In the sense, therefore, of inclining or inducing a man to evil, God never tempts any man, although he does frequently apply the tests of character by causing or permitting the alternatives of good and evil to be placed before the individual, the results of which trial or proving makes manifest the good or evil tendencies of the man's character and their strength or weakness.

In the test applied to Abraham, God proved his servant under a fiery ordeal which manifested a character which he could approve and highly reward, and Abraham was called the friend of God.—James 2:23. R1623

TODAY'S STUDY tells us of one of the reasons why Abraham has been styled the "Father of the Faithful." His entire life history, as sketched in the Bible, was a life of faith, a life of trust in God, reliance upon the Divine promises.But the final test, which we study today, was terribly severe and marked the tested one as very high, according to any and every standard—Divine and human. Evidently Abraham's faith grew stronger and stronger as the years of his acquaintance with God multiplied. The faith recorded in our lesson is so colossal as to amaze us. Only a person very intimately acquainted with the Almighty, very sympathetic and trustful, could possibly have endured such a test.

This test came through the Divine command that Abraham should take his son, his only son, Isaac, in whom was centered the promises, and should offer him a sacrifice to God on Mount Moriah. To appreciate the situation, we must remember that Abraham at this time was 125 years old, and that Isaac was the son whom the Lord had indicated would be the channel for all the blessings promised.

We must go back of this, and remember the long years before Isaac's birth, when for fourteen years Abraham had been thinking that possibly Ishmael might be the channel of God's blessings. We must go still further back, and remember the long period before Ishmael's birth, in which Abraham wandered as a stranger and waited for the fulfilment of God's Promise, only to realize that his wife was absolutely sterile, barren. Now after half a century of waiting and trusting, could it be that God wished him to sacrifice all this to demonstrate his loyalty, his faith? It was so. He had positive assurance of the command. It was no imagination. It was no whispering of witches or wizards. It was no dream.

To one of Abraham's character, the Divine command meant prompt obedience. Forthwith he started. "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." Forthwith he made ready for the journey, accompanied part of the way by his servants. Then leaving them, Abraham and Isaac journeyed to the top of Mt. Moriah, which long centuries afterward, in the time of Solomon, was the site of the Temple. The very rock upon which Isaac is supposed to have been bound, became the very location for the Brazen Altar.

We looked with great interest upon this rock recently, [R5180 : page 46] when visiting Jerusalem. We thought of the Wisdom of God manifested in the sending of Abraham to the very spot which He had foreordained should be the Temple site. The rock is surrounded by an iron fence; and it may be seen, but not touched. In its center is a hole, which, tradition says, was a drainway for the surplus blood of the sacrifices, carrying the blood away.

Well we remember how the features of today's Study came before our mind! The grand old man, Abraham, accompanied by his loyal son, the heir of the promises, and well acquainted with them, came to this spot. There the wood was placed; and then the father, with faltering lips, but determined heart, told his son of the Divine command. There he offered up his son, even though the knife did not strike the fatal blow. The offering was complete in the sight of Heaven, and the hand was stayed opportunely and, as the Apostle explains, "Abraham received his son from the dead, in a figure."—Hebrews 11:19. R5180



2. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah. And offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.


From Strong's 4179, moriyyah, unknown: Abraim Publications, from (1) the verb ירא (yara'), to fear or revere, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord or from the verb ראה (ra'a), to see, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord or from the verb the verb מרר (marar), to be bitter or strong, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.

 Abraham was told by God to take Isaac, to the land of Moriah. He was present him for a burnt offering upon a mountain. In 2 Chronicles 3:1 the name of Moriah was to the mount on which Solomon's Temple was built.

The mountain is on the Eastern eminence of Jerusalem, separated from Mount Zion by the Tyropoeon valley. Solomon levelled the top and walls were built around it from the base to enlarge the level surface for the temple.

moriah; moriah map;

When we look back to the Old Testament, we read that "God did tempt Abraham," saying, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest,...and offer him for a burnt offering." The question arises, How shall we reconcile this statement, "God did tempt Abraham," with the statement of the Apostle that God "tempteth no man"? The reply is that St. James in our text is limiting the word temptation to temptations to evil. God tempts us to do good. He sets before us the "exceeding great and precious promises," the wonderful [R5702 : page 171] promises He has made to us. They act as magnets drawing us, as we might say. In this sense of the word we are tempted of God. But God does not tempt us to do evil, to commit sin. God tempted Abraham, tested him, not with a view to do him harm, but with a view to doing him good; and because Abraham stood the test, God could accord to him the greater blessings. And He did so!He gave him great blessings in this life, as well as a promise of greater blessings to be his in the life to come, in the resurrection.

The test for Abraham was that he should offer in sacrifice his son Isaac, in whom centered all the promises. By his prompt obedience Abraham gave proof of his loyalty. He accounted that God was able even to raise his son from the dead, that the promises might be fulfilled. (Hebrews 11:18,19.) When his loyalty had thus been tested to the limit, when the knife was raised to slay his son, the Lord through the angel stayed his hand and provided him with a ram for a sacrifice. R5701

A narrow or a broad view of justification may be taken and both be true. For instance, we say that "Abraham was justified by faith," and say so truly. Yet this implies three different steps, two of which were Abraham's and one the Lord's.  And the latter is not fully accomplished yet. God called Abraham to leave Haran and to come into the land of Canaan, promising that then he would make a Covenant with him. Abraham believed when he started from Haran and continued to believe after he had come into Canaan. In due time God made the Covenant as promised, assuring him that "in his Seed all the families of the earth would be blessed." The making of this Covenant [R4574 : page 86] implied a fellowship between God and Abraham on the basis of his faith-justification. But Abraham at that time was not justified to human perfection and life everlasting—but to fellowship merely. He needed to go on, to demonstrate that he had a strong faith. After many years of faith-testing Isaac was born. Abraham had thus an evidence of the Lord's favor and that the promise would be fulfilled. But still he was not justified to life and human perfection. Long years after Isaac's birth God put a final test upon Abraham's faith, saying, "Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."—Gen. 22:2.

Not until Abraham had shown his absolute heart-loyalty could he be counted of God as worthy of a "better resurrection" than the remainder of mankind—resurrection to human perfection—actual justification, actual rightness or righteousness. Even when Abraham's tests were all passed satisfactorily he could not still be actually justified or made actually perfect; because he needed to be redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. As a member of Adam's family he was under a death sentence which must be annulled before he could be actually justified to the perfection of human life. Abraham had done his part to the Divine pleasement, but he must wait for his perfecting until the great Mediator, the Second Adam, Head and Body, would be complete and the New Covenant be sealed with Abraham and his natural seed, giving them earthly restitution and perfection at the hands of their Mediator.—Heb. 11:38-40. R4574

The Medium of the blessedness promised. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their seed are the medium. Not the whole of Abraham's seed, but his seed in that particular line:—"And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai, thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 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." "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 (age-lasting) covenant, and with his seed after him." (Gen. 17:15-19.) Referring to this election, the Apostle Paul wrote:—"They are not all Israel which are of Israel; neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children; but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." (Rom. 9:6-8.) Abraham's wife was "barren," and they were both "old and well-stricken in age." What could Abraham do under such circumstances? He could believe "God who quickeneth (maketh alive) the dead;" and that was exactly what he eventually did: "Being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb; he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that what He hath promised He was able to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness." (Rom. 4:13-22.)  Thus Isaac was brought forth. In reference to this son of promise, God afterwards said to Abraham: "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering." (Gen. 22:2.) [R1436 : page 249] What could Abraham do now? He could obey God; and that was exactly what he did: "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said that In Isaac shall thy seed be called, accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." (Heb. 11:17-19.) Thus Isaac was brought forth the second time. The elect seed is the seed of "promise" throughout.The elect seed in "figure" was the seed of promise, and the elect seed in reality is also the seed of promise. The Apostle Paul identifies the real seed most unmistakably: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Not the Christ in one person merely, but the Christ in many persons: "For ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."—Gal. 3:16-29. R1434B

VERSES 2,3. The test which God applied to Abraham was not an arbitrary one: the whole incident was designed to be a type of a subsequent transaction in the interests of the whole world. It was a typical prophecy of God's great gift of his only begotten and well beloved Son.

To this typical feature of the transaction the Apostle refers, saying, "Abraham is the father of us all [who are of the faith of Abraham], like unto him whom he believed, even God, who...calleth those things which be not as though they were [using them as types]." (Rom. 4:17—margin.) In the type, as the Apostle suggests, Abraham represented God; and with this suggestion it is not difficult to see the significance of the whole event. If Abraham represented God, then Isaac his son represented the Son of God, and his offering up by Abraham was a symbol of God's sacrifice of his Son for the sins of the world, as the Apostle also indicates in Heb. 11:17-19, saying that Abraham offered up his only son in whom centered all his promises, and that in a figure he received him from the dead. And, looking still further, it is not difficult to see that Isaac's wife, Rebecca, was also a type of the true Church, the bride of Christ. A full consideration of these types would go beyond our present limits of space as well as lead away from the main feature of this lesson, viz., the faith of Abraham and its worthy example for our imitation.

We observe, first, that Abraham's faith was a childlike faith. He trusted God's love and believed his wisdom superior to his own, and accepted his authority as paramount to every other consideration. The severest possible test of such a faith was the command to slay his son with his own hand and to offer him upon the altar of sacrifice. [R1623 : page 62] This, too, was his only son (for Ishmael was not counted in the full sense a son, but rather a servant): the son in whom centered all the great anticipation of his life, the son [R1624 : page 62] of promise and received in a miraculous way, the son of his old age, and the one through whom all the promises of God were to be fulfilled. Doubtless, too, he was a dutiful son and well instructed in the right ways of the Lord, and a joy and comfort to Abraham and Sarah. But all these considerations of head and heart were set aside, and with unquestioning promptness Abraham prepared to fulfil the Lord's command, to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Z9402


3. And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. And he clave the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.


The site of the Temple was Mount Moriah, and one of the most prominent spots on that mount is supposed to have been the site of the altar. This place selected for the altar, under divine guidance, is believed to have been the same spot upon which Abraham offered his son, Isaac, the type of Christ, and received him again as from the dead in a figure, the Lord providing as his representative, upon the same spot, the ram caught in a neighboring thicket.—Gen. 22:3-13 Heb. 11:17-19.

It is supposed that this same spot was subsequently the threshing-floor of Araunah, where David offered the acceptable sacrifice to the Lord which stayed the plague. (2 Sam. 24:21-25.) The Mosque of Omar now occupies the site of the ancient Temple built by Solomon; and the Mohammedans, who have great respect for the holy places, have left the site of the ancient altar exposed to view, protecting it with a railing. The visitor may there see to-day the very spot on which thousands of typical sin-offerings were sacrificed, the base of the various altars which were erected from time to time. It is of solid rock, and has a rather distinct groove or trench about it, which probably conducted the blood of the slain animals to what seems to be a natural drain or sewer by which the blood flowed in the direction of the Valley of Jehoshaphat—the valley of graves. R2510

4. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

VERSES 4-6. When they came in sight of the place of sacrifice, Abraham felt the need of renewed strength from on high that his courage might not fail; so, with Isaac, he withdrew from the servants that they might have a season of communion with God. This drawing near to God in private prayer and communion was the secret of Abraham's steady unwavering faith and obedience. He became personally acquainted with God; and the knowledge of God's works and ways and promises heretofore had been handed down through faithful patriarchs and were believed and trusted in by Abraham. And this knowledge of and acquaintance with God gave the faith and love and courage to obey. Thus it must be with all God's children who would be pleasing and acceptable to him. First let them make sure that it is God who speaks, and then let obedience be prompt and unquestioning. Then he sometimes spoke to his people by an audible voice, or by an angel, but in these last days he speaks to us through his inspired apostles and prophets; and their testimony he declares sufficient for our guidance into the doing of his will. (2 Tim. 3:17.) That upon which our faith should rest is not, therefore, voices from heaven, either real or imaginary, nor the whisperings of a diseased imagination, but the sure Word of prophecy unto which we do well to take heed, as did faithful Abraham to the voice of God as he then spoke.

A faith thus rooted and grounded in a knowledge of God's works and ways and an intimate personal acquaintance with him is one which cannot be tossed about by every wind of doctrine, and which is pleasing and acceptable to God.

"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!" Z9402


5. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come again to you.


6. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. And they went both of them together.




7. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father. And he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?



8. And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son. So they went both of them together.



9. And they came to the place which God had told him of. And Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.

Two other circumstances in Isaac's life seem to illustrate his attitude of faith, obedience and patient submission, even more than this lesson. One of these we have already referred to,—his submission as a young man, in health and vigor, to be bound by his father as a sacrifice upon the altar. In this complete submission to Abraham, his father, Isaac well typified his antitype, Christ Jesus, and his submission to the heavenly Father, Abraham's antitype, even unto death, even the death of the cross. R2860

10. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.


11. And the angel of Jehovah called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham. And he said, Here I am.



12. And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him. For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.

When God through the angel stayed the hand of Abraham from accomplishing the sacrifice of his son's life, a ram caught in the thicket was provided as a sacrifice instead. Thus a ram in sacrifice became a symbol of the Seed of Abraham, and an indication of a part of the process by which reconciliation of Divine Justice will be made on behalf of all the families of the earth, to permit of their being blessed by the Messianic Kingdom.

We are to remember that this same thought was kept up in God's subsequent dealings with Israel. Thus the Passover Lamb was slain, and its blood, sprinkled figuratively, typically, foretold the fact that there could be no Church of the First-born saved during this Gospel Age, except through the slain Lamb, "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." Similarly, the sin-offerings and burnt-offerings of Israel spoke of the necessity for a redemptive work to be accomplished before any blessings could come to Israel, or through them to other nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues.

Amongst the many lessons which Christians may learn from the testing of Abraham's faith are these:

(1) The necessity for the death of the One through whom the blessing will eventually come to all mankind. If Jesus had not died for our sins, there would have been no remission of them. Hence there would have been no resurrection from the dead, and in that event death would have been more than a sleep. It would have meant extinction.

(2) Let us be sure that if Jesus had not faithfully consummated His part of the agreement and laid down His life, neither would He have shared in the grand consummation and exaltation to the Divine nature. St. Paul declares this, saying that He was faithful unto death, "even the death of the cross, wherefore [on this account] God also hath highly exalted Him."—Philippians 2:8,9.

(3) We are to remember that the same rule applies to all of the Church. It is not sufficient that we consecrate our lives. We must show our loyalty and faithfulness by laying them down, by taking up the cross, by drinking of His cup, by being immersed into His death. Only these will share Messiah's Throne of Glory. "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him; if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him." R5180 

13. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind [him] a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son.

14. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh. As it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided.


From Strong's 3070, yhvh, yireh, from 3068, yhvh, Jehovah, from 1933b, havah, to become, and 7200, raah, to see, Jehovah will provide.

The name given by Abraham to the place where he attempted to sacrifice Isaac. He gave this name as an answer to Isaac's question in Genesis 22:8, that God would provide a victim for the sacrifice. The Lord sees and provides for the necessities of His servants. 

15. And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven,


Here we have another Scriptural teaching of the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead. The promises are to be fulfilled which were made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, the Prophets and others. Though God cast the nation off for a time, He will regather them, according to His promise, when their period of chastisement shall be ended—their "seven times." [See Vol. 2, Study 4.] Extending the thought, we see that the Promise of God to Abraham of the blessing of all the nations and kindreds and families of the earth through his Seed—the Heavenly and the earthly, "the stars of Heaven" class and "the sands upon the seashore" class—must yet be fulfilled. (Genesis 22:15-18.) The fulfilment of this Promise will necessitate the awakening of the entire human race from the tomb. Thus the munificence of God's wonderful provision for His human creatures is soon to be manifested to angels and men—to the living and the dead—to all the human family. R5533

16. and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son,



Gradually those who went out from us because they were "not of us" are going into darkness on all subjects. This was to be expected. A root of bitterness developing in the heart affects the sight. Light becomes darkness; darkness becomes light. New things pass away. All things become old again in the wrong sense.

These friends, not content with urging unscripturally that they need a Mediator between them and God, become very angry with us because we point out to them the truth on the subject—that the Mediator is between God and men and not between God and the New Creature. They seem to want to have a different view, and, of course, find plenty of opportunity for it. People usually find what they look for. Infidels who are in a wrong attitude of mind and desirous of finding fault with the Bible succeed in convincing themselves of its inconsistencies, contradictions, etc. Sometimes they succeed in deceiving others whose intentions are good, but who are lacking in spiritual discernment. We suggest that our proper attitude towards these erstwhile friends is to let them alone—to allow God to deal with them. Such of them as he sees to be honest-hearted and of right spirit he will guide in judgment and lead back again into the Truth; such as he cannot approve for any part of his work, he has a perfect right to cast aside. We may not murmur, but rather be glad that our eyes are open to see the wisdom and the justice of the Divine decree, "The wages of sin is death." If, then, those who were once with us and "of us" have not been influenced by all the Lord's leadings in the past and the presentations of the present, what more can we do for them but leave them in the hand of him who is too wise to err and too just to be unkind?

These erstwhile friends, busy seeing what they can object to, are step by step walking into darkness. One of their recent claims of finding new light and proof that THE WATCH TOWER teachings are erroneous is that there was no Abrahamic Covenant at all; that what God said to Abraham was merely a proposition to make a Covenant and that the New Covenant is the promised one. They think that it began somewhere about the time of our Lord's First Advent, but they do not know when and can find no Scripture on the subject, and are afraid to make a guess, lest it be shown to be fallacious. The reason back of this endeavor to cast out the original Covenant with Abraham, and to declare that it was merely a promise that the New Covenant would be made in due time, is evident. They perceive that the Church cannot properly be under two Covenants, or two "mothers," and are determined that they are the children of the New Covenant; hence they strive to show that there was no Covenant, except the Law Covenant, until Christ came. They are put to great perplexity when some one quotes the Apostle's words that the "Law was added because of transgressions (added, of course, to the Abrahamic Covenant) until the Seed (specified by the Abrahamic Covenant) should come." (Gal. 3:19.) Another Scripture which gives them trouble is St. Paul's statement that the Law Covenant was 430 years after the Abrahamic Covenant. They know not how to explain this in harmony with their theory that the Law Covenant was made 1600 years before the time they claim the New Covenant began.

After worrying themselves as above, some of them have taken up a new line—anything to be different—anything to prove that the DAWN-STUDIES are incorrect, blind guides. The later claim is, "Yes, there must have been some kind of Covenant made with Abraham, but it was made fifty years later than the DAWN-STUDIES say. It was made after Abraham had typically offered Isaac in sacrifice." There, they tell us, God said to Abraham, "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; because thou hast done this thing and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing, I will bless thee, and in multiplying, I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."—Gen. 22:16-18.

See, they say, THE WATCH TOWER and DAWN-STUDIES have erred in saying that God made the Covenant with Abraham when first he came into the land of Canaan; whereas he merely promised it then but did not actually make the Covenant until fifty years afterward—when Isaac was twenty-five years old, and after Abraham had offered him as a sacrifice in a figure.

We reply that our critics are in error. God called Abraham while he was yet in Haran, to come out into the Land of Canaan and that he would there make a Covenant with him. Abraham believed and, at the death of his father Terah, removed to Canaan.  Thereupon the [R4586 : page 105] Lord blessed him and consummated the Covenant with him. That Covenant was repeated in different forms from time to time and confirmed to Isaac and to Jacob long afterward.Even if the time of making oath to the Covenant were a matter of dispute it would not alter the fact that the Covenant itself was made directly after Abraham obeyed and removed to Canaan. The various statements respecting the matter are, "I have made a Covenant with thee," "I have sworn," etc. To suppose that these restatements of the Divine Purpose are either New Covenants or intimations that the Covenant had not been made is to suppose erroneously.

See where the argument of our friends would lead them chronologically. If the Abrahamic Covenant was not [R4586 : page 106] made until after the figurative offering of Isaac it would add fifty years to the chronology at that point. We base our reckoning on St. Paul's words, "The Covenant, which was confirmed before of God in Christ, the Law, which was 430 years afterward, cannot disannul." (Gal. 3:17.) If, therefore, instead of counting the 430 years from the time Abraham entered Canaan we count it from a date fifty years later when he offered Isaac, we would be adding fifty years to our chronology. What would that mean? It would throw everything out of gear—the chronology itself and the harmony based upon it. For instance, add that fifty years and it would make the six thousand years end fifty years sooner than 1872, namely, in 1822, which would mean that the Millennium, the seventh-thousand year period, would begin in 1823. The absurdity of this need not be discussed. Another beautiful time feature would thus be spoiled—the one suggested by Brother Edgar—that the giving of the Covenant is exactly midway chronologically between the time of the fall and the sending of the Gospel to the Gentiles, Cornelius being the first one to receive it. However, as before intimated, we can expect anything, everything, in the way of misunderstanding and misrepresentation, bitterness and personalities from these erstwhile friends. "If the light that is in thee become darkness, how great is that darkness!" The darkness seems to affect people, not merely intellectually, but morally, blunting their sense of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, decency and honor. Let us beware of rendering evil for evil, slander for slander, or the cultivation in the slightest sense of roots of bitterness, hatred, envy, strife—works of the flesh and of the Adversary. R4584 

17. that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.



Later on, God entered into covenant relationship with Abraham, because of his great faith and obedience; and afterwards with his son Isaac; then with his grandson Jacob. Still later, God entered into relationship with the seed of Jacob, under the Law Covenant at Sinai. The Lord had changed the name of Jacob to Israel—"a prince with God" (Genesis 32:24-30); and the whole nation of Israel, the descendants of Jacob, were received as God's people, and were treated as if without sin. They had the privilege of going to Him in prayer. But the sins of the Jewish nation were only typically blotted out from year to year. The blood of bulls and goats could never really take away sin, and the Jews held only the relationship of servants to God.

The Gentiles were altogether without God. They had no privilege of prayer. We come down to the beginning of the Gospel Age and to the case of Cornelius. We read that he was a just man, who gave much alms to the people and prayed always. But his prayers could not be accepted, even after Jesus died. The death of Jesus did not bring Cornelius into covenant relationship with God. But when the seventy symbolic weeks of Jewish favor had been fulfilled, the due time had come for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles. God was then ready to receive him, and He sent an angel to him, who gave him this message from the Lord: "Cornelius, thy prayers and thine alms have come up for a memorial before God." The prayers and the alms of Cornelius had risen up as an incense before the Lord. R5832

It is the Spiritual Seed of Abraham to whom belong the great promises of God. Of this class St. Paul says, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the Promise." (Galatians 3:8,16,29.) The Promise was made to Abraham, and declares, "In thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 22:18.) We have St. Paul's word for it that Christ and His Church are this Spiritual Seed, whose mission it will be, in God's due time, to bless all mankind—"all the families of the earth"—not only those who are alive and remaining at the time of the establishment of the Kingdom, but all who have ever lived. God's mercy referred to in our Text is especially toward this Spiritual Israel—even more so than toward Natural Israel. R5817

From the very beginning, the Covenant which God had in mind was the one which is in operation in the Church—the Abrahamic Promise, or Covenant. St. Paul declares (Gal. 3:8) that God preached the Gospel to Abraham in advance, saying, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:328:14.) The same Apostle also shows that the original Abrahamic Covenant mentions two seeds, represented in the statement, "I will multiply thy seed (1) as the stars of heaven, and (2) as the sand which is upon the sea shore." (Gen. 22:17.) As Abraham here typified God, the Promise shows two classes developed as God's children—(1) Christ and the Church, on the spirit plane; and (2) the Restitution class of mankind, on the human plane. R5300 

The Promise is divided into three parts: (1) Abraham himself (and all the Ancient Worthies, whom he represented) was to have a share; (2) Abraham's Seed was to be the chief agent, or channel, of blessing; and (3) all the families of the earth were to be blessed as recipients of God's favor through these channels. But only by the light of the Holy Spirit during this Gospel Age are these lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the Abrahamic Covenant made manifest. R5285

The promise back of the expectation was that which God made to Abraham, saying, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." From that time forward Abraham began to look for the promised Seed—the promised child. He looked first of all to his own children, and was finally informed that it would not be one of his children direct, but that through their children, at some remote date, this child should be born—the Seed of Abraham. From that time onward, all the Israelites were waiting for the birth of the child that should bring the blessing. R4963

GOD'S promise that the Seed of Abraham should ultimately bless all nations has influenced thought the world over, but particularly amongst those nations living contiguous to Abraham's home and northward and westward from there, in the directions in which the message of Divine favor has gone. At first the Jews thought of this promise as being fulfilled in them as a nation—that, without assistance from on High, they could approve themselves to God through obedience to the Law Covenant, and that then, as instructors of the world, they would teach all nations to keep that Divine Law, and thus bring the world to the blessed state of perfection, Divine favor and life everlasting. This hope was crushed out as they found themselves unable to keep the Law, going down into death, instead of attaining to perfection of life. Even Moses, the special servant of God, could not, and did not, attain the blessing of the Law.

Then God made them the promise of some better thing—of a greater Mediator and of a more successful Covenant through that Mediator. The Mediator of the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34) was to be greater than Moses; as he himself declared, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren like unto me (but greater)—him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall speak unto you.  And it shall come to pass that the soul that will not obey that Prophet shall be destroyed from amongst the people." (Acts 3:22,23.) Thenceforth their hearts and hopes looked down through the stream of time to when the glorious things hoped for through this great Prophet should be accomplished. R4714


18. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Because thou hast obeyed my voice.

19. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba. And Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.  
20. And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she also hath borne children unto they brother Nahor.  
21. Uz his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram.


2 names in the Bible

From Strong's 938, buz, from 936, buz, to despise.

The second son of Nahor and Milcah, ancestor of the Buzites. They lived in Mesopotamia or Ram, or Arabia Deserta. (Job 32:2Jeremiah 25:23)

2. A chief of the tribe of Gad. (1 Chronicles 5:14)



3 names in the Bible

From Strong's 7055, Qemuel, unknown; Abraim Publications, from (1) a verb that means to gather together, and (2) the word אל ('el), God or from (1) the verb קום (qum), to rise up or stand, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.

The third son of Nahor by Milcah, father of Aram.

2. An Ephraimite, son of Shiphtan, appointed to partition the land of Canaan (Numbers 34:24).

3. A Levite, father of Hashabiah, in the reign of David. (1 Chronicles 27:17)



22. And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.


From Strong's 3777, Kesed, unknown; Abraim Publications, from (1) the prefix כ (ke), "like" or "as if," and (2) the noun שד (shed), breast, protecting spirit, or שדו (shadu), mountain, field.

Third son of Nahor and Milcah; believed to be the father of the Chaldees or Chaldeans. The Chaldeans dwelt in the lower valley of the Euphrates, at the head of the Persian Gulf. Abram came from Ur of the Chaldees (Genesis 11:28, 31Genesis 15:7 Nehemiah 9:7). In Job 1:17 the Chaldeans are described as invading the land of Uz, the eldest brother of Chesed (Genesis 22:21, 22). In the days of Nebuchadrezzar the Chaldees overran Syria and Israel and carried the people of Judah into captivity (2 Kings 24:1-102 Kings 25:1). In Daniel 2:2, 5 the Chaldeans are named with the magicians and astrologers.



From Strong's 2375, chazo, from 2373, chazeh, beast (of animals).

The 4th son of Nahor.



From Strong's 6394, pildash, unknown; Abraim Publications, from (1) the noun פלדה (pelada), iron or steel, and (2) the noun אש ('esh), fire.

Fifth Son of Nahor.



From Strong's 3044, yidlaph, unknown; Abraim Publications, from the verb דלף (dalap), to drip.

Sixth son of Nahor



From Strong's 1328, bthuw'el, perhaps man of God; Abraim Publications, from (1) the noun בתולה (betula), virgin, and (2) the word אל ('el), God or from (1) the noun בית (beth), house, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.

The seventh son of Nahor and Milcah, Abraham's nephew, father of Laban and Rebekah. (Genesis 24:15, 24, 47, 50). He is called the Syrian. (Genesis 25:20)

2. A city in southern Judah (1 Chronicles 4:30), also called Bethul in Joshua 19:4 and Bethel in Joshua 12:16 and 1 Samuel 30:27.




23. And Bethuel begat Rebekah. These eight did Milcah bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.


From Strong's 7259, ribqah, from 4770, marbeq, a stall; Abraim Publications, from the verb רבק (rbq), to tie firmly.

Daughter of Bethuel, wife of Isaac, sister of Laban, mother of Jacob and Essau, her name of a tie-rope for animals, suggesting her beauty ensnares or as a tied up calf or lamb, meaning fat and choice.

After her marriage to Isaac nineteen years passes before her sons Esau and Jacob are born. Jacob was her favorite. (Genesis 25:19-28) She suggested the deceit practiced by Jacob on his blind father. She helped him escape Esau's anger by moving Isaac to send Jacob away to Padan-aram to her family, (Genesis 27:1) It is thought she died during Jacob's sojourn in Padan-aram.

24. And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she also bare Tebah, and Gaham, and Tahash, and Maacah.


From Strong's 7208, reumah, from 7213, raam, to rise.

The concubine of Nahor and mother of four of his children.



2 names in the Bible

From Strong's 2875, tebach, from 2873, to slaughter, butcher, slay.

Oldest son of Nahor by his concubine, Reumah.

2. A town in Syria, which David took when he defeated the entire army of Hadadezer. (2 Samuel 8:8)



From Strong's 1514, gacham, perhaps flame.

Second son of Nahor by his concubine, Reumah.



From Strong's 8477, tachash, from 8476, tachash, perhaps porpoise.

Third son of Nahor by his concubine, Reumah.



10 names in the Bible

From Strong's 4601, maakah, maakath, from 4600, maak, to press and squeeze.

Daughter of Nahor by his concubine, Reumah.

2. Wife of David, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, who became the mother of Absalom (2 Samuel 3:3 1 Chronicles 3:2).

3. The daughter or granddaughter of Absalom, the favorite wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijah. (1 Kings 15:2 2 Chronicles 11:20) She kept her position in the palace after her son's death until the reign of her grandson Asa, who removed her because of idolatry. (1 Kings 15:13 2 Chronicles 15:16).

4. Maacha, father of Achish, king of Gath (1 Kings 2:39), referred to as "Maoch" in 1 Samuel 27:2.

5. Concubine of Caleb, son of Hezron (1 Chronicles 2:48)

6. Wife of Jeiel, the "father" of Gibeon, an ancestress of King Saul (1 Chronicles 8:291 Chronicles 9:35).

7. Sister of Huppim and Shuppim, Benjamites,the wife of Machir the Manassite, the father of Gilead (1 Chronicles 7:12, 15 ).

8. Father of Hanan, one of David's mighty men (1 Chronicles 11:43).

9. Father of Shephatiah, ruler of the Simeonites under David (1 Chronicles 27:16).

10. A kingdom of Syria, adjoining that of Geshur on the western border of Bashan, whose territory was taken by Jair (Deuteronomy 3:14 Joshua 12:5). The border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites and all Mt. Hermon were given to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13:11). The inhabitants were not expelled by Israel (Joshua 13:13). Ammon hired mercenaries from Maacah for battle with David. Joab routed them. It is also called Aram-maacah 1 Chronicles 19:6 , Syria-maachah; and in 1 Chronicles 2:23, Aram. Its location is unknown.