Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Nations Will Guard the Way of Yahweh With Abraham’s Sons


Something I was reading today caught my attention. The author was making some points related to how many people today trace their roots (physical or religious) back to Abraham.


2,382,000,000 (Christians)


1,907,000,000 (Muslims)


14,700,000 (Jews)


The members of the three major monotheistic religions above total 4,303,700,000 people -- 55% of the total population of the world. 


The thing that caught my attention was a reference to Genesis 18:17-19. Genesis contains some of the most difficult sections to translate in the Jewish Hebrew Scriptures. A habit I picked up over the years is to always compare multiple English translations of Bible verses. In many cases the place where translators differ can be quickly identified. After doing a comparison, it was clear to me this is one of those cases. So, I had to pull out the Hebrew text and dig into it. The first verse in Genesis 18 sets the stage for the events.


1 And Yahweh came to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre.

He was sitting at the door of the tent in the heat of the day.

2 He lifted up his eyes, and behold, three men were standing by him.

He saw and ran to meet them from the door of the tent,

and he bowed to the ground.


Abraham showed hospitality to the strangers, who were headed to Sodom. Before they left, Yahweh told Abraham again that his wife Sarah would have a son. At that point in time, the only son Abraham had was Ishmael and his mother was Hagar the Egyptian. Abraham went to send the men on the way. What happens next is very important because it reveals why Yahweh chose Abraham:


17 And Yahweh said,

“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?


18 Abraham shall surely become a great and powerful nation,

and all the nations of the earth shall

wish upon themselves a blessing in him.


Most Bible readers are aware of Yahweh’s promise that “Abraham will become a great and powerful nation.” But take another look at what Yahweh said after that:


all the nations of the earth shall

wish upon themselves a blessing in him.


Think about what it would look like for “all nations of the earth wishing a blessing upon themselves in Abraham.” Why would they wish for that?


19 For I have noticed and observed him,

in order that he may instruct his children and his house after him,

that they guard the way of Yahweh,


in order that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham

that which He has spoken concerning him.”


Most translations read “I have known him,” but the Hebrew reminded me of Noah, when his acts of TZEDAQAH caught God’s attention. Yahweh “knew” Abraham “by the things He had observed Abraham doing.” Yahweh chose to make him a great and powerful nation for these reasons:


● in order that he may instruct his children


● in order that they may instruct their children after him


What will Abraham teach them?


Abraham will teach them how to guard the way of Yahweh

by doing acts of TZEDAQAH and MISHPAT (justice).


I am sure you know what acts of TZEDAQAH are by now (click here if you are a new reader for more info). When members of other nations of the earth see Abraham’s great and powerful nation doing acts of TZEDAQAH and MISHPAT (justice) – they will wish the blessing in Abraham upon themselves and become nations that do acts of TZEDAQAH and justice. Isaiah said the same thing, but he used different words (2:4):


“He shall judge between the nations,

and shall arbitrate for many peoples;

they shall beat their swords into plowshares

and their spears into pruning hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

neither shall they learn war any more.”


These words are inscribed on a wall across the road from the United Nations Building. The statue in the graphic above is in the United Nations Garden and is named “Let Us Beat Our Swords into Plowshares.”


Choose Life 1st by Doing TOV,

Jim Myers


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