Part 2: Patriarchs: Called Out, Abraham Week 2 (Genesis 13 Overview)

Welcome back to our study on the book of Genesis! We are continuing our study of the Patriarch Abraham.

Last week’s study ended with Abraham being sent away from Egypt because he had deceived the Pharaoh concerning his wife Sarai. In verse 1 of chapter 13, Abraham, Sarai, and all that he had with him, including Lot, went up from Egypt back to the southern part of Canaan. Abraham gained greater wealth while being in Egypt due to the Pharaoh giving him additional livestock (Gen. 12: 16). Abraham was not only rich in livestock, but rich in gold and silver (v. 2). Abraham continued through southern Canaan returning to where he had pitched his tent when he first entered Canaan. He was back in the same exact spot, under the same exact tree between Bethel and Ai (v. 3), and by the same altar he had built previously (v. 4).

Lot had his own flocks and herds, along with tents to house his family and servants (v. 5). We don’t know how many people and animals were in this location between Bethel and Ai, but it was more than what the land could support creating a problem for feeding the grazing animals (vv. 6 & 7). Essentially, they were crowded, plus the Canaanites and Perizzites dwelt in the same area, and could see weakness in Abram and his family and attack. Too many people, too many animals, too many squabbles between the herdsman of Abram and Lot. Somebody had to leave and set up stakes elsewhere if they were to live in the land of Canaan peacefully.

Abram, seeing their dilemma, spoke up and suggested a solution (v. 8 & 9). Very graciously, he allowed his nephew to choose the land he wished to settle.  Canaan had been given to Abraham and his descendants, and he was willing to allow Lot first choice to receive what appeared to be the best fertile land for the sake of family harmony, when first choice should have gone to Abram. If we are truthful, most of us would not have given first choice to Lot. We would have taken the choicest land for ourselves and given the leftovers to Lot. Abraham wasn’t at all concerned about who got the best (v. 9), he wanted peace and to maintain the family relationship between himself and his nephew. He was willing to go to either the land on the left or the land on the right (v. 9), after all, all the land before him and Lot belonged to him by God’s decree of promise. There was plenty of land to share. F. B. Meyer puts it this way: “But, above all, it was BASED ON FAITH. His {Abram’s} faith was beginning to realize its true position; and, like a fledgling, to spread its wings for further and further flights. Had not God pledged Himself to take care of him, and to give him an inheritance? There was no fear, therefore, that Lot could every rob him of that which was guaranteed to him by the faithfulness of God. And he preferred a thousand times over, that choose for him, than that he should choose for himself.”1

Lot looked at the land before them, and the plain of Jordan caught his eye. This is the area that surrounded the Jordan River as it flowed through the area. Scripture tells us it was well-watered and undoubtedly, very luscious and green since the writer chose to compare it to the Garden of Eden, and to the rich fertile land of Egypt which surrounded the Nile River. Like the Nile River in Egypt which overflowed its banks in the rainy season and emptied silt over the land along the banks of the river fertilizing and watering the land, the Jordan did the same thing. Zoar was a location in the area of the Jordan River and was a boundary position of the extent of the reach of fertile land. Lot chose the plain surrounding the Jordan and moved his herds, servants, and family to the area (v. 11).

Since Lot chose to live to the east in the plain of the Jordan, the remaining land to the west of the Jordan is where Abram would dwell (v. 12). Lot poorly chose to live near Sodom before knowing fully what type of people dwelt there. Scripture tells us the men in the area were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD (v. 13), and in Genesis 19 we’ll study more closely the consequences of Lot’s poor choice. What appealed to the eyes (flesh) was actually bad for the spirit. Lot failed to consult the LORD which is a picture of what we as Christians do. We allow what appeals to our eyes to determine which way we are to go much more often than taking the time to consult with God on the path we should tread.

After Lot left his uncle’s side, the LORD talked to Abram. He tells Abram to look at the land before him in all directions. The land was Abram’s, and it would be given to his descendants forever (vv. 14-15). Abram continued to listen as the LORD continued to share His promise with Abram. I wonder what went through Abram’s mind as the LORD, Yahweh, told him his descendants would be as the dust of the earth which is impossible to number, and if it was possible to number his descendants then they would be as plentiful as the dust of the earth (v.15). This was an incredible promise because Abram and Sarai were still childless. But Abram didn’t correct God or protest against the LORD’s proclamation. He continued to listen as the LORD commanded him to get up and walk about the land which God had given him. Abram was to walk its length and width to see what the LORD had richly blessed him with both in the present and generationally. Abram must had found a more pleasant place to settle because in verse 18 Scripture tells us Abram moved his tent to be under the alon (some versions say terebinth) trees of Mamre which is in the Hebron region of the promised land. Abram showed his gratitude for the LORD’s provision because he built another altar to the LORD in this place (v.18).

What a contrast Abram made in comparison to Lot who chose to follow his own desires. Abram waited upon the LORD. He listened to the LORD’s counsel, and Abram depended upon God’s promise. We would be wise to do the same. God has given us His counsel in His Word to follow. It is His promise to those who know His Son, Jesus. Wait upon the LORD.

 

Homework assignment for next week:

Scripture Reading: Genesis 14

Suggested Scripture Memorization:

And he blessed him and said:

“Blessed be Abram of the God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

And he gave him a title of all.    Genesis 14:19-20, NKJV

Questions:

1.List the kings in verse 1 and their locations.

2.List the kings in verse 2 and their locations.

3.What happened between the 2 sets of kings listed in verses 1 and 2?

4.Where did they gather for war?

5.What happens in verses 5 and 6?

6.What happens in verse 7? Who were the Amalekites? Amorites? Who were they possibly the descendants of? (See if you can research this—Yes, I’m making you do research this time.)

7.What kings joined together in the battle in the Valley of Siddim?

8.Who were they against? Verse 9 gives us the ratio of kings against the other set of kings. Based off this information who seems more likely to win the battle?

9.What was/is in the Valley of Siddim? Which kings fled? What happened to them?

10.Who is the “they” in verse 11? What did they do?

11.Who did they take?

12.Who told Abram? What do you know about this person from verse 13?

13.What did Abram do? How many from his household did he gather together to rescue Lot?

14.Where did they divide their group? What time of day was it? How far were they pursued by Abram? What town was near this place?

15.Verse 16 tells us that Abram’s group was successful. Who and what did they bring back?

16.Who met Abram at the Valley of Shaveh?

17.Who was the king of Salem? What did he bring out to Abram?

18.What does verse 18 tell us about the position of the king of Salem?

19.Write down Melchizedek/s blessing over Abram.

20.What did he give Abram?

21.The king of Sodom is mentioned again in verse 21. What does he tell Abram?

22.What does Abram tell the king of Sodom in verse 22? Abram tells the king he will take _________________. Why did Abram tell him this? What did Abram want to be all that he took from the king of Sodom?

23.What did Abram want given to Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre?

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Notes Cited:

1Meyer, F.B., Abraham. Christian Literature Crusade: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1983, p.44.

For Further Information:

The Extent of the Promised Land:
https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/genesis-13-14.html

Modern-day Jordan River:
https://www.britannica.com/place/Jordan-River

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Part 2: Patriarchs: Called Out, Abraham Week 1 (Genesis 12 overview)

This is IT!

Welcome back to our biblical study of the book of Genesis. We are at the beginning of Part 2. We are studying the life of the Patriarch Abraham. We’ll follow along with him as he is called out, sent out, and wandering about as God teaches him to seek Him in everything. And, as Scripture notates in verse 2, Abraham has certainly been a blessing. It is through Abraham’s lineage in which the whole earth was blessed with the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Please note: I am making one change by increasing this Part 2: Patriarchs: Called Out, Abraham to 13 weeks instead of the 12. Truthfully, cramming two chapters (13 and 14) into one week was too much for me, and I know it would be too much for you. (See below for a tentative schedule for Part 2.)

To get a feel for this study, please go back to the first post for Part 1: https://gbmministry.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/genesis-in-the-beginning-god-bible-study/

 

Knowing God through His Word is so important to the life of a Christian. We cannot know Him through our own means, but we must know Him through the means He established. I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated when people make claims they can get to God through some activity (like Holy Yoga) or through some other religion. We simply can’t make up our own ways to God. Christianity makes exclusive claims. It is exclusive! Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. Not Buddha. Not Krishna. Not Allah.

You want to get to God? It must be through His Son, Jesus Christ. Period. Christ said in John 14:6: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” He was emphatic about this fact. There is no other name by which man (and woman) can be saved. The name is Jesus Christ. Praise God, He made a Way for us to come to Him, the Father, through His Son.

And to come to faith, one must be called.

Abram was called.

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1-3, NKJV

In the previous chapter, we were given the genealogy of Abram. Abram is from the lineage of Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. The use of LORD is the same as using the name Yahweh or YHWH, which is the true name of God in Hebrew. Please note that LORD and Lord are two different names. Lord is the English word for Hebrew word, Adonai.

The LORD starts Chapter 12 off with a command specifically to Abram. Abram was to leave his country, his family, and his father’s house. Abram was being asked of God to leave everything he knew and go to a land he did not know the name of. Abram only knew God said He would show Abram the place he wanted him to go. God was asking for Abram to have faith in Him. What we have here is the Abrahamic Covenant the LORD was making with Abram. I love how my study notes in my Bible defines the Abrahamic Covenant with these words: “The Abrahamic Covenant constitutes an important link in all that God began to do, has done through history, and will continue to do until the consummation of history. It is the one purpose of God for humans into which all of God’s programs and works fit.”1 AMEN!

The LORD, Yahweh, tells Abram FIVE “I will” statements. These are dependent solely on God and not on Abram to accomplish. They are also God’s promises to Abram. The first “I will” statement was about where God would lead Abram. The next three “I will” statements would affect three areas: national, personal, and universal.

The first of the middle three “I will” statements is national. “I will make you a great nation.” God would make Abram a great nation. God will elaborate more on this later in Abram’s (Abraham) story in Chapters 13, 15, and 17.

The second of the middle “I will” statements is personal. “I will bless you and make your name great.” He would be blessed of God, and Abram’s (Abraham) name would be made great. And indeed, Abram’s name has been made great. The three main religions of this world attribute Abraham as a patriarch: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (a false religion, by the way). Abraham’s name is renown; only God can do that.

The third of the middle “I will” statements is universal. “I will bless those who bless you.” Nations who blessed Abram would indeed be blessed. This is both a physical and a spiritual blessing. This blessing was conditional upon a nation accepting Abram and his offspring. (In the story of Joseph, whom we’ll study at a later point, the land of Egypt was blessed for a time because of their acceptance of the Israelites, the offspring of Abram.) What a blessing with an outreaching grasp of inclusion! The nation that would come from Abram’s loins would be a blessing to others reaching across generations. Through Abram‘s line, individuals in all the people groups around the world would have the opportunity upon their own personal acceptance of redemption’s covering through the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to be saved. This blessing is what in literary terms is referred to as a foreshadowing. It foreshadows the coming of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world. (See also Galatians 3: 11-18.)

Psalm 122:6-9 also gives us a promise of this in the verses penned by David, a man after God’s on heart:

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you
.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”

For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”

Because of the house of the Lord our God
I will seek your good
.

But with the last “I will” blessing stated by God, He also states the antithesis: “And I will curse him who curses you.” Many persons (and nations) have received God’s wrath because they failed to receive Abram and his offspring. We see the perfect example of that with the rise and fall of Hitler, a man so full of hatred for the Jewish nation that he killed over 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. Hitler was defeated by the Allies, and he took his own life because he was a coward. God doesn’t let any person or nation get by with rejecting His Chosen People.

Verse 3 closes with a seemingly impossible statement: “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” This statement references again to a lineage which would come forth from Abram, who at this point had no offspring, but God promised to make him a nation, blessing, world fame, and he would be a blessing to all people groups of the world. From Abram’s seed Redemption would come, and all the families of the world would be blessed through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. I already referenced this above, but I’m emphasizing it again. This same Seed, you may remember, is the same Seed mentioned in Genesis 3:15. (Go read it again!)

So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran (v. 4).” By faith, Abram left the family who remained in Haran (his brother, Nahor, and his family). In Hebrews 11:8, the writer, tells us this: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Think about that. Abram went out from what he knew to what he did not know. All he knew was that God had called him, and Abram followed through in obedience. Wow, can that teach! Right?

I like how F. B. Meyer puts it in his book: Abraham, “Whither he went, he know not; it was enough for him to know that he went with God. He leant not so much upon the promise as upon the Promiser: he looked not on the difficulties of his lot—but on the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise god; who had deigned to appoint his course and would certainly vindicate Himself.”2 Abram went by faith. He didn’t have a map or a plan of his own, but he knew he would follow the One who knew the way.

Abram took with him, his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, their possessions, along with servants he had acquired in Haran. They left as a caravan and after some time they arrived in Canaan (v.5). Abram led this caravan to Shechem to the terebinth tree at Moreh. A terebinth tree is sometimes referred to as an oak tree, or in Hebrew as Elah, but there is another tree that is related to it. It is called the Alon (or Allon). Both trees are little more than shrubs today where they are found in Israel. I researched the terebinth tree and its mention here in Genesis 12:6, but I discovered the correct term here in the verse is Alon. Both trees are referred to as oaks in some translations, and there is some confusion about them. I recommend reading the links under: “Trees in Canaan/Israel.”
In this land Canaanites lived, although at this point, we don’t read of an encounter between them and Abram. But Abram has an encounter with the LORD. Please note: This is the first encounter since the Lord had first spoken to Abram  in Haran (see verses 1-4). Because Abram chose to live in obedience to the LORD by leaving Haran, he was rewarded with God’s promise. Verse 7 tells us the LORD appeared to Abram and promised Abram the land he was standing on and observed around him would belong to his descendants. Again, we know at this point that Abram is descendant-less but look what Abram’s response was: He built an altar to the LORD at or near the Alon tree at Moreh. Building an altar to the LORD is found in several instances in the Bible. An altar is a place of consecration or dedication to the LORD. Abram dedicated this place as a remembrance of the LORD’s appearance to him. It was holy ground. Altars are also used as a place of sacrifice, but in this instance no mention of sacrifice is included, so its usage was for dedication to the LORD. What a perfect example Abram gives us of dedication to the LORD, plus as he moved on it would be a permanent sign of his devotion to the Holy LORD.

Abram at some point left this place and moved his caravan to the mountain east of Bethel. (It would be helpful to look at a map, biblical, or topography with place names included to get a feel for where he was at this point in the journey. Look below for a map link.) He pitched his tent at a location between Bethel on the west side and Ai on the east side. Pitching his tent in this spot indicated he was there for a undisclosed time period, but he wasn’t there permanently. We simply do not know the length of time he resided there. However, we are told he built another altar while he was at this location and called upon the LORD. Abram worshiped God in this place through prayer and thanksgiving. Leading in  worship, he continued being an example to the members of his household which included his servants.

As is true for nomads, Abram pushed on. He moved into the southern part of Canaan. Verse 10 indicates there was a famine in the land so severe causing Abram to travel to Egypt. His faith wavers as he makes a decision to enter Egypt. He first does it on his own without consulting the Lord, but then he fears what will happen to him because of Sarai. Abram lost his courage and confidence. Reminding Sarai first of her beauty, he tells her it is necessary to lie (somewhat) about her relationship with him. Abram feared the men of Egypt. He believed if it were known she was his wife, he would be killed, therefore allowing someone else to claim her as their own. He told her they would kill him because she is his wife, but she would be spared for her beauty. In verse 13, he tells Sarai, to tell the Egyptians they meet that she is merely his sister. (She is actually his half-sister. See Genesis 20:12). He convinced her it would be the “noble” thing to lie for him because he would live in return for this half-truth. It is possible Abram was concerned for her treatment if he was killed, but I don’t think this was his view being expressed here. Regardless, this showed Abram trusted his circumstance and himself, more than he trusted God. Abram was in dangerous territory, both physically and spiritually. He not only sinned but convinced his wife to sin.

When they entered the land, Sarai’s beauty caught the attention of the Egyptians (v.14). The princes of Pharaoh, or Pharaoh’s officials, saw her, and recommended her to Pharaoh. It wasn’t long after Pharaoh heard of her in which she was taken from Abram and placed in Pharaoh’s household. Pharaoh’s pleasure to have Sarai was reflected in the many gifts to Abram. Abram’s herds increased. He was given sheep, oxen, male donkeys, female donkeys, and camels. He was also given female servants.

Abram was willing to lie to protect himself, but not his wife. As her husband, he was supposed to be her protector, but instead, he chose to protect himself. But God intervened. He did this by causing plagues to come down on Pharaoh and his household.

AND God graciously applied stern grace toward Abram. Abram could have very easily been tempted to stay in Egypt where there was plenty. Remember, Canaan was in a terrible famine. God couldn’t have this happen, so He intervened. Also notice that an altar is NOT built in Egypt.

Pharaoh confronts Abram. Scripture does not tell us the backstory, but undoubtedly, Pharaoh figured out Sarai was Abram’s wife. He is very forthright with Abram. “Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife.” God used Pharaoh to give a strong rebuke to Abram which he deserved, and possibly more. Pharaoh gives Abram back his wife and is told by Pharaoh to get out of Egypt. Pharaoh was so fearful of the LORD he insured Abram’s departure from the land by commanding his army to make sure everything belonging to Abram left the country for good.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what those plagues were? Whatever they were, we can certainly say with confidence Proverbs 21:1 which states: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes (NKJV).” God is Sovereign, and He will use whatever means (or whomever) He needs to get us to back to His agenda.

You would think after all this, Abram would have learned a lesson, but he doesn’t. He’ll use the same tactic again later in his life. But isn’t Abram an example of our own lives? We often take matters into our own hands, because we trust ourselves more than we trust God. How that should speak volumes to our wavering hearts. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus. That is the greatest lesson any of us can learn.

Homework:

Scripture Reading: Genesis 13

Suggested Scripture Memorization:

 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Genesis 13:16, NKJV

Questions:

1.What is the South referring to in verse 1?

2.What does verse 2 tell us about Abram? Is this the first mention of Abram’s wealth?

3.Where did Abram pitch his tent? What did he do there?

4.What new info does verse 5 tell us about Lot?

5.What was Abram and Lot’s dilemma?

6.What do we learn in verse 7? What does Abram suggest they do (vv. 8-9)?

7.What area appealed to Lot? Why? What does the Bible compare it to?

8.What land did Lot choose?

9.Where did Abram settle?

10.Verse 13 hints at the spiritual condition of the men of Sodom. What does it say about the men?

11.In verses 14-15, what does the LORD say to Abram after Lot and Abram separated? What was the LORD promising here? Has it been fully realized yet?

12.What did the LORD tell Abram about the number of his descendants? What does this mean?

13.Write down verse 17. The LORD was asking Abram to go, walk the land, and look at it. What is the command? What is the promise in this verse?

14.What does Abram do?

15. What did Abram build at Mamre? Find Mamre on a map. What is the region known as today?

 

Tentative Schedule: (I may need to make some adjustments along the way due to unforeseen circumstances.)

Week 1: Genesis 12 – August 13
Week 2: Genesis 13 – August 20
Week 3: Genesis 14 – August 27
Week 4: Genesis 15 – September 3
Week 5: Genesis 15 – September 10
Week 6: Genesis 17 – September 17
Week 7: Genesis 18 – September 24
Week 8: Genesis 19 – October 1
Week 9: Genesis 20 – October 8
Week 10: Genesis 21 – October 15
Week 11: Genesis 22 – October 22
Week 12: Genesis 23 – October 29
Week 13: Genesis 24- 25:1-18 –November 5

Then we’ll start with Part 3 (12 week study over Genesis 25:19-34 – Genesis 36) November 26.

________________________________________________________________

Notes Cited:

1Holy Bible: The New Open Bible: Study Edition. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 1983, p. 18.

2Meyer, F.B. Abraham. Christian Literature Crusade: Fort Washington, PA, 1983, pp. 25-26.

For more Information:

Trees in Canaan/Israel:
https://blog.israelbiblicalstudies.com/holy-land-studies/two-biblical-trees/
https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/oak/

On Altars:
https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-an-altar.html

Maps:
http://www.bible.ca/maps/maps-near-east-abrahams-journey.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Ready to Start Part 2 of Our Genesis Bible Study!

Hi, fellow Genesis Bible Study friends,

How has your summer been, ladies? Busy or relaxing? Maybe some of both?

I’ve been busy getting a few items listed on my EBay store, doing the usual mom duties, dreaming about a few projects for my Etsy store (and wondering when I’ll find time to work on them), along with editing a few novel manuscripts I have self-published, plus running a dog sitting business with my ballet dancing daughter, and contending for the faith. Right now, I’m sitting at my desk in our homeschool room and thinking I really need to get this room organized before school starts mid-August. Yikes!

Ladies, our work is never done. Right? It’s just the way it is.

I promised you the questions, so we can take up where we left off as we begin Part 2 of our study of Genesis in August. We are beginning with the Patriarch, Abraham in Chapter 12.

We’ll start back studying Genesis on August 13. Hope to “see” you then.

Blessings,
Latanya

 

Homework:

Read Chapter 12 of Genesis.

Suggested Scripture Memorization:

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1-3, NKJV

Questions:

1.What did God tell Abram in verse 1? Was this a suggestion or a command?

2.In verse 2, God tells Abram He will give him three specific things when Abram leaves his father’s household. List them.

3.Verse 2 closes out with the result of the guaranteed reactions of God to Abram’s obedience. What is it?

4.Verse 3 gives the guarantees to both the community and the world. There are three. Please list them.

5.Did Abram go? How old was he?

6. Who left with Abram?

7. What location in verse 6 did Abram pass through? Abram goes as far as what physical feature? What people group were in this land?

8.Who appeared to Abram at this location? What did God tell Abram? What did Abram build at Moreh?

9.Where did Abram go to next? Make sure to include the directional terminology. Between what two cities did Abram pitch his tent?

10. What did he build there? Who did he call upon?

11.Abram picks up and moves again, and journeys in what direction?

12.What problem was there in the land in verse 10? Where did Abram go?

13.Read verses 11-13. What did Abram fear? Did it seem to be a justified fear? In this moment, who did Abram trust more: God, himself (Abram), some other person or some action?

14.Who was most important to Abram? Was what he asked his wife, Sarai, truth, a partial truth, or a lie?

15.Was Abram justified in his fear? What does verse 14 tell us about what the Egyptians thought of Sarai?

16.Who saw Sarai in verse 15? What did he do? What happened to Sarai?

17.How was Abram treated? What was given to Abram? Why was Abram treated so well and given so much?

18.What did God do after Pharaoh took Sarai into his household?

19.What did Pharaoh recognize as a result of the great plagues upon his household? What did he ask Abram?

20.Write down verse 19. We read in this verse that Abram told the Pharaoh Sarai was his sister but notice Sarai had not become one of the wives of Pharaoh, although she had been taken into his household. Did God protect Sarai’s sexual integrity in spite of her husband’s selfish acts? What could have happened if Abram had told the truth in the first place?

21.What could verse 20 possibly mean when it says: “So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him? Are their context clues which point to the answer? Write down those context clues.

Retrospective Questions:

Have there been times in your life in which you focused on your fear and attempted to do something to alleviate the fear instead of allowing God to work the circumstances around your fear for His glory?

What happened when you took matters into your own hands?

Was it a learning experience? What did you learn?

 

 

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Week 12 (Overview of Genesis 11)

This is it! The last post of 12 weeks of posts on the Bible Study, “In the Beginning God.”

I have thoroughly enjoyed this study on the first eleven chapters in Genesis, and I hope you have as well.

We have studied the Creation, the Fall, Adamic Covenant, Cain and Abel conflict which led to the first murder, the ungodly line of Cain and the godly line of Seth, Noah, the Ark, and the Great Flood, Noahic Covenant, the sons of Noah and their families, and now, the Tower of Babel, judgement on the family lines, and an introduction to Abraham.

Let’s get started!

Chapter eleven begins with: “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.” Most Scholars agree that the whole earth means the population of the earth at that time. “Had one language and one speech” means one lip, one beginning language. In Chapter ten, the author, which we understand to be Moses as the writer or compiler, established the Table of Nations which lists how the people were dispersed after the “Tower of Babel” event of Chapter 11. Does that make sense? The “Table of Nations” is the list of the people who were dispersed at the confusion of languages at Babel (Gen. 11: 5-9).

So now that we have this background info, let’s move on to verse 2.

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the Land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.” What does “from the east” mean? This is referring to the general location of where the Ark rested in the mountains of Ararat. Remember that in Genesis 9:7 God told Noah and his sons to “…be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.” We also see it in verse 1 of Genesis 9. This was a repeat of the Adamic Covenant to populate the earth in Gen. 1:28. God had a charge for man: to fill the earth. Here, in this verse, the people were together, journeying together as a group. They were not fulfilling their God-given charge to populate and fill the earth. God had gloriously saved a remnant from the judgement of the Flood, but they were not being obedient to the LORD. This group had multiplied but refused to go out to fill the earth. This is disobedience which is sin, and sin has consequences. It is unadulterated rebellion.

The people, the offspring of Noah through his sons: Shem, Japheth, and Ham, settled on a plain in a region called Shinar. Shinar is believed to be a site in what would be known eventually as ancient Babylon in southern Mesopotamia. This is most likely modern-day Iran. The people dwelt there (v.2) together.

Instead of filling the land, they built a city (v.4). The people made bricks from the clay of Shinar and baked the brick to harden them. They used brick because no stone was available, and to secure the brick they used mortar (v. 3). In verse 4, we see their rebellion, and we see their arrogance and pridefulness. “Come let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the whole earth.”  To build a city was in direct rebellion of God’s mandate to fill the earth. The tower shows their arrogance in that they believed they could approach God on their terms instead of His. Man must approach God in reverence and in humility. The building of this grand tower that they bragged would reach the heavens, indicates they were neither humble, nor did they revere God. They were arrogant. We can assume they knew who God was, because they were most likely taught about what He had done to preserve a remnant from the water judgement of the earth, but, like in the Garden, they believed a lie.

How true is this quote from the book, The Genius of Ancient Man: Evolution’s Nightmare:

It is important to note that the rebellion at Babel did not begin with the building of the tower. It was really set in motion in Genesis 3 with the serpent’s first attack on God’s Word. Satan deceived man, cast doubt on God’s truth, and tempted man with the independence; that disobedient bit of fruit was man’s first attempt to ‘be like God, knowing good and evil’ (Genesis 3:5). Babel was simply the next step in Satan’s plan to undermine God’s authority and to become like Him.”1

They wanted to be people of renown; they wanted to be known for their great city making feat. They wanted bragging rights; again, it shows their arrogance, and also their pridefulness. The unification to build the city was their way of defying God. The people on the plains of Shinar unified together and rebelled against God. Their faith was not in God, but in themselves. (Humanism? Is it not?)

Retrospective Question: What does your life attest to: faith in yourself or faith in God? Ouch, right?

Satan, as the deceiver, perverts. That is his method of operation because he cannot create. He took a concept, city building, which originated with God (Psalm 46:4 and Revelation 21:2) and used it to usurp God’s authority over man. Satan used Nimrod, a son of Cush, who was a son of Ham, to build Babel. (See Genesis 10: 10.) He used the people as agents to establish a one-world government and a one-world religion. Satan counterfeited God’s governance and God’s worship for his own means to lead people away from worshiping the One True God. (The book, “The Genius of Ancient Man: Evolution’s Nightmare” goes into detail about this topic. I recommend getting this book. It’s quite fascinating in its depth of information on ancient man’s genius. You can find it on www.masterbooks.net.)

In their deception, man discounted God’s governance over them. They already knew what would happen to them, but they rebelled anyway. They were trying by their own effort to not go out and make new nations. You can see this in verse 4, “lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the earth.” They knew what God wanted them to do, yet it did not matter to them. They sought to follow their own way. It’s still man’s (the whole of mankind) goal to follow after his own way, instead of following after God. (See Romans 1.)

I like this portion from John Piper’s sermon on Genesis 11:1-9 on the human condition we see displayed in the account about Babel. ‘God’s will for human beings is not that we find our joy in being praised, but that we find our joy in knowing and praising him. His will is not that we find our security in cities but in God whom we gladly obey. So the spectacular sin of man is that even after the flood, which was a thunderclap of warning against sin for Noah and his descendants, it turns out that we are no better after the flood than we were before. The human condition is just like it was with Adam and Eve. They will decide for themselves what is best. They think they can even rise up and claim the place of God. This is the story of mankind to this very day apart from redeeming grace.’2

 

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built (v.5).” Scripture by using “sons of men” indicates these people were not followers of God. God did not come down to admire what the people had built in unity, instead He came to observe and then bring forth His just consequence for the sin of rebellion. Verse 6 indicates God perfectly understood man’s tendency toward sin, and, as being unified in their rebellion, they would continue to rebel, unified by language and location, but this was not the unification God desired and commanded of them. Man is to seek after God and not after man’s ways. Attempting to approach God from man’s point-of-view and reasoning, is not approaching God in reverence and humility. There was no humility in these rebellers at Babel (see v. 4).

In verse 7 and 8, we see God judging the people for their communal and personal sin. First, God confused their language so that they could not understand each other. The pronoun “US” is used here. This is a reference to the triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This confusing of languages forced the people to scatter into groups of the same language which we know to be the family groups described in Genesis 10.  The scattering abroad is the second thing God judgement for the people, and thirdly, because they could no longer jointly build a city since they were without a central language, the building of the city ceased. What they were not willing to do in obedience, God forced them to do as a consequence of their disobedience.

In verse 9, we learn the name the city is given, Babel, and we learn its meaning. Babel means that because the LORD confused the language there, the people had to scatter abroad over all the earth. I personally can’t help but wonder if the people had obeyed God originally, would we have such a mixture of languages today? We’ll never know for certain.

In Genesis 11: 10-26 we have the genealogy of Shem once again, but only shown through his son, Arphaxad. If you were to carefully lay out a timeline of the men from Noah to Abram (Abraham), you would see that Noah and Shem were alive when Abram was born. Pretty amazing. Right? That’s the life span of 11 men compared against one another. Noah was Abram’s great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather (seven greats—WOW! If I counted right. LOL). A person today is blessed to see a great grandson or great granddaughter’s birth. Noah living long enough that he most likely was there when Abraham was born, is truly astounding.

Although we don’t know the names of the other offspring of these men (at least the majority) we know they had other sons and daughters because Scripture tells us it was so.

When we get to the last man listed in the verses 10-26, we are given more than one name of a son. Terah, Abram’s father, has three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Verses 27-32 inform us of Terah’s genealogy. Again, it is repeated that he fathered three sons. We learn in verse 27 Haran fathered Lot. (We’ll see more of lot in Part Two of our study on Genesis.) Scripture also tells us Haran dies before his father, Terah, in the land of his birth, Ur, which is ran by the Chaldeans. Several sites on the internet point to the Josephus, the Jewish historian, stating that the Chaldeans were descendants of Arphaxad. This makes the Chaldeans, Semites, as are the Hebrews, who are from the line of Abram through Isaac. (Yes, getting ahead of the study, but it helps to establish relations.)

In verse 29, we are given a few more facts about the sons of Terah. Abram and Nahor take wives. Abram’s wife is Sarai, who, in a subsequent chapter, it is revealed she was Abram’s half-sister. Nahor’s wife is also his niece, Milcah, whose father is Haran. We are also told Haran fathered Iscah, also a daughter. Verse 30 indicates that Sarai was barren.

Verse 31 gives us info on a move away from Ur prompted by Terah. Scripture doesn’t tell us why Terah decided to move away from Ur. He took his son Abram, his grandson Lot, and his daughter-in-law Sarai to Canaan, to a city called Haran. It is in Haran where Terah dies at the age of 205 years (see v. 32.)

Here we are, at the end of our study of Genesis 1-11. Have you learned anything new? Any new insights discovered? I hope you have multiple take-aways from these Chapters.

Here are a few take-aways I hope you’ve seen…

God is a God of order.

God’s plan always succeeds.

God is sovereign over all things.

God is the Creator of the Universe and of all living things.

God cares for His Creation.

God is never shocked by mankind.

God requires us to approach Him in humility and reverence.

God expects obedience.

God isn’t fooled by man.

God isn’t surprised by our disobedience.

God will not be mocked.

God is merciful in judgement.

God is self-assured.

God is holy and righteous.

God takes our obedience or lack thereof, very seriously.

Any more you would like to list? Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section. I do screen comments, just so you know.

 

Well, what does our study look like going forward from here?

“Part Two” will tentatively begin on August 13.

The first session will be over Chapter 12. I will most likely give the questions for Chapter 12 within the next two weeks. Be prepared for the first session to immediately begin with an overview of Chapter 12. Over the next week, I’m going to work on an outline for the next 12 weeks of the study. I will be able to give you more info when I upload the questions for Chapter 12. This upload (questions) will be a preview which will include a summary of Part One and an introduction to our next 12 weeks (“Part Two”).

Ladies, I hope you’ll join me again in August for Part Two. We are going to delve into a study of our first Patriarch: Abraham. I’m tentatively calling “Part Two,” Patriarchs: Called Out, Abraham.

I can’t wait to get started, but its summer and its good to take a rest sometimes. Of course, you are free to jump ahead, or review back over the previous 12 weeks.

Have a great break! See you, August 13!

Latanya

 

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Notes Cited:

1Landis, Don, General Editor. The Genius of Ancient Man: Evolution’s Nightmare. (Jackson Hole: Jackson Hole Bible College, 2012).

2Piper, John. Message on Genesis 11:1-9. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-pride-of-babel-and-the-praise-of-christ

For Further Information:

Article on Genesis 11:1-9:
https://bible.org/seriespage/11-unity-unbelief-genesis-111-9

Multiple links on the Tower of Babel:
https://answersingenesis.org/tower-of-babel/

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Week 11 (Overview of Genesis 10)

One more week!

Wow! I can’t believe “In the Beginning God” Bible study is almost complete.

This is just Part One of our study of the book of Genesis; we have three more parts to go. I pray you have grown in knowledge of the Truth and are walking closer to God as a result of getting into His Word.

It does your spirit good to get into the Word, rightly divide it, and write it upon your heart.

Thank you for being patient with me while I took a brief break from the study to care for my mom. She was with my family for two and a half weeks. Alzheimer’s is a dreadful disease. I hate seeing what it is doing to my mom. While the moments of frustration were there, God gave us moments of laughter, but there were tears too. They were tears of refreshing, but tears of sorrow, also. A prayer for patience was constantly on my lips, and truthfully, I failed miserably, but God is rich in His mercy. While I remember my own impatience and frustration, my mother doesn’t. That’s grace right there. Roles were reversed as I took on simple tasks such as: drying her hair, cooking for her, making her bed, and washing her clothes. She wanted to help me time and time again, and I probably should have let her help a time or two, but truthfully, it was just easier to do those tasks myself. Maybe my failure of allowing her to help was wrong, but in the long run it made things run a bit smoother in the world that is Alzheimer’s care. For all those times she served our family growing up, the time has come to repay her with a smidgen of acts of service back to her, when, in reality, she went far above and beyond all those years ago to care for our family.

 

Well, let’s dive into this study of the Table of Nations.

At first, it looks like a bunch of names. Hard names, but, oh, the wealth of information in those names. Those names are our ancestors. Perhaps you know which of the sons of Noah you hail from, but maybe you have no clue. I hope after this lesson you’ll have a clearer idea of your bloodline.

Is Japheth one of your patriarchs?

Perhaps Shem?

Or is it Ham?

Maybe all three? It is a possibility.

All people of the earth are descendants of at least one of these three men. And we are all related. Noah and Adam are our GRANDS. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all part of the human race, we just have different skin colors. We may have cultural differences along with differences in our skin shades, but we are all the same, HUMAN. We ARE the descendants of Noah. We should not have division across the lines of color, but sadly we do.

In the Table of Nations, 70 nations are listed.

Chapter 10 begins with Japheth who is the oldest son of Noah. There is some disagreement on Japheth being the oldest, but Scripture seems to be clear on this in verse 21 of this chapter. He is the father of 14 nations. Japheth has seven sons: Gomer, Magog, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. Scripture further reveals to us the grandsons of Japheth born to two of his sons: Gomer and Javan.  The sons and grandsons of Japheth are noted as Gentiles in verse 5 and seem to be the first settlers along the coast, but eventually expanded further north of Mesopotamia.

I want to include an interesting portion from a book I used a few years back with my kids during our home school studies. Its title is: Genesis: Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick.

…These descendants spread mostly throughout Europe, and one branch in India. Indian and European peoples and their languages are so similar that we refer to them as a group by the term Indo-European.
The Greeks claim Japheth as their forefather, through his son Javan. In fact, they worshiped Japeth as Iapetos, the son of heaven and earth. In Rome he was called Iupater, which in time became Jupiter.
Japheth’s son Gomer dwelt in the northern lands (Ezekiel 38:6) Gomer’s son Ashchenaz fathered the Germans, and the names Scandia and Saxony possible retain something of Ashchenaz in them. Gomer’s son Ripath became the Paphlagonians who settled near the Black Sea and may have given his name to Europe itself. Gomer’s other son Togarmah became lost to history when the Assyrians conquered and dispersed them.
A recent discovery has turned up some Gomerites in the Far East. They are the Miao mountain tribe of southwest China who claim to be descended from Japheth through Gomer.
….
Japheth’s three sons, Magog, Meshcech and Tubal mentioned several times in the Old Testament, as well as the New. They founded Georgia and other northern countries and gave their names to the Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk. …. Some of these tribes moved west instead of north; the Irish Celts… traced their history back through Magog.
At least one son of Japheth did not travel far. He is Madai, who became the Medes that we read about in the Bible as part of the Medo-Persian kingdom.
           Tiras’s descendants were known in ancient times by several names, but always as invaders and pirates. Tiras was worshipped as Thor, the god of war. His name lives on in Troy, Taurus mountains, and the Etruscan area of Italy.
The Welsh (Britons) and Saxons, as well as the Irish Celts …., have histories wherein they trace their lineage back through Japheth. In summary, Japheth fathered …. all the nations north and west of Babel, as well as the Aryans in India, the Maio in the East, and the Medes who stayed .… in the Middle East
(Beechick, pp. 80-81).”1

 

Ham, the youngest son of Noah, is listed next in the Table of Nations. Ham had four sons: Cush, Mizaim, Put, and Canaan. We also have a listing of his grandsons in Scripture. A total of 30 nations (not races) descended from Ham. Cush is the nation of Ethiopia. Mizraim is Egypt. Put is the nation of Libya. Canaan stayed in the Mesopotamia area and settled what later became known as the nation of Israel when the Israelites, led by Joshua, went in and took the land after wandering in the desert for 40 years. Joshua had been told by God to destroy all the Canaanites, but some Canaanites (they were pagans and were very wicked) lived due to their cunning deception toward Joshua and the Twelve Tribes of Israel (see the book of Joshua for details). Ham also had descendants who settled in the Arabian Peninsula. Ham’s descendants are known as Hamites. It is also believed that Native Americans are descendants of Ham, although it is believed some groups of Native Americans were of Japheth’s lineage.

Ham’s most famous grandson, Nimrod, “…led the rebellion at Babel before the people dispersed to their various lands and nations. He was worshiped in Sumer by the name Amar-utu, later in Babylon by the name Marduk, and in Rome by the name Bacchus (Bar-Cush, meaning son of Cush).”2 (Beechick, 81) We’ll look at Nimrod a little more next week when we review Chapter 11 of Genesis.

 

Shem, the middle son, fathered 26 nations. His sons are: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. Aram fathered Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad was the father of Salah. Salah was the father of Eber, and Eber fathered Peleg and Joktan. Peleg means division and refers to the state of the nations of their day. Eber is the name from which we get the word Hebrew. The Israelites, or Hebrews, were descendants of Eber. Joktan’s offspring are also mentioned. They are Almodad, Sheeph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Johab. The sons of Joktan dwelled in an unknown area called Mesha in the area called Sephar. Sephar is said to be now called Zafari, a seaport town in Yemen. There is some controversy about Joktan’s descendants as some say they moved to what is now known as India, but it seems to generally be accepted that they settled in the Arabian Peninsula.

 

As verse 32 states: These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these nations were divided on the earth after the flood.

Do you know what son or sons of Noah you descend from? I know with confidence that I descend from Japheth, but I could easily have Shem or Ham’s blood running through my veins, as well. I’m of European descent and Native American, too, but for all I know, there could be more. It would be fun to have a DNA test done one day to determine my ancestry lineage. Has anyone following along with this study had a DNA test? Where you surprised? Or otherwise? I’d love to know.

Come back next week when we wrap up this study of the first eleven chapters of Genesis. I’ll also have information on when Part Two: Abraham the Patriarch (tentative title) will begin. The start date has changed from my original plans due to unforeseen, but necessary breaks I had to take. And thank you for sticking with me so far. Hope you’ll be with me through this entire study of the book of Genesis. The beginnings of this world we live in are rich in truths which are founded on the eternal foundation emphasized in the first four words in Scripture: “In the Beginning God…”

Blessings to my Bible Study friends,
Latanya

Below, you will find next week’s Homework which I forgot to include with the post on June 26. Sorry about that!!!

Homework Assignment for next week:

Scripture Reading: Genesis 11

Suggested Scripture Memorization: Genesis 11:8
So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.”

Questions:

1.What does verse 1 tell us?

2.Where did they come to dwell?

3.What did they use for stone? What did they use for mortar?

4.What were they going to build?

5.What did the people declare would have its top in the heavens?

6.What did they desire for themselves from building a city and tower?

7.What was their fear?

8.Who came down to view their city?

9.What does verse 6 mean when it uses the phrasing, “now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them”?

10.Who is the US in verse 7? What were their plans to cause to happen to the people?

11.What happened to the people who built the city?

12.What is name of this city built on the Plains of Shinar? Why was this name given to the city?

13.Verse 10 starts out with which of Noah’s son’s genealogy? What was the purpose to mention this son’s genealogy and not the other two?

14.What is the name of Shem’s son in verse 10. How old was Shem when this son was born? Were there other sons and daughters? How old was Shem when he died?
15.What was Arphaxad’s son’s name? How old was Arphaxad when his first recorded son was born? How old was Arphaxad when he died?

16.What was Salah’s son’s name? How old Was Salah when his first recorded son was born? How old was Salah when he died?

17. Who was Eber the father of? How old was Eber when his son was born? Do you remember what Peleg means? (See Genesis 10: 25)

18.Who was Peleg the father of? How old was Peleg when his son was born? How old was Peleg when he died?

19.Who was Reu the father of? How old was Reu when his son was born? How old was Reu when he died?

20. Who was Serug the father of? How old was Serug when his son was born? How old was Serug when he died?

21. Nahor was 29 years old when he fathered Terah. Nahor was the grandfather of which three men?

22.Verse 27, begins with the genealogy of what man? What new information do we learn about one of his sons?

23.What happened to Haran?  (Please list his father’s name and his native land in your answer.)

24.Who was Abram’s wife?

25.Who was Nahor’s wife? What was her relationship to him? (Read verse 29 closely to find the answer.)

26.What do we discover about Abram’s wife in verse 30?

27.Who does Terah take with him out of Ur? Where were they going? Where do they end up living?

28.How old was Terah when he died in Haran?

 

 

 

 

 

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Works Cited:

1Beechick, Ruth. Genesis: Finding Our Roots. Pollock Pines, CA: Arrow Press, 1997.
2 IBID

 

For Further Information:

What Josephus said about the Table of Nations:
https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/josephus-and-genesis-chapter-ten/

A general discussion of disputes over the Table of Nations accuracy: https://www.gotquestions.org/table-of-nations.html

Interesting study on the Table of Nations: (By adding this link I’m not saying I agree with this person’s assessment, only that it is interesting. The author is an old-earth creationist whereas the young-earth creationist view makes more sense to me.)
http://aschmann.net/BibleChronology/Genesis10.pdf

Table of Nations:
https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/table-nations/

And there’s much more interesting info out there…

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Week 10 (Overview of Chapter 9)

So glad you’ve decided to join me for another week. We’re getting close to the end of our twelve-week study of Genesis 1-11. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and are getting much out of the study.

We’re done with homeschool this year (finished last Wednesday), and I’m scrambling this week to get the remaining parts of this study finished. I’m going across a few states next week to bring my mom back with me for a brief visit before she joins my little brother and his family further north for the summer. Prayers would be appreciated for safe travel, but also for patience on my part and a great visit with my mom. When she is here, I will be so busy trying to keep her safe and as restful as I can manage, so I won’t be able to write since her care is a constant activity. She has Alzheimer’s, and she has good and bad days. I witnessed some of that when I watched her a few weekends back for my sister. My mom wore me out, both physically and emotionally, when I watched her. It’s heartbreaking to see her changes, especially when she has moments she doesn’t know who I am. My oldest daughter was with me, and my mother often confused her for me. Pray for my family also as this will be an adjustment for them while she is here.

On with the study…

Today, we will review Chapter 9.

Noah and his family, along with the animals they saved, had just disembarked from their year-long refuge on the ark while the earth witnessed the ravages of the Great Flood. Noah was a righteous man and had done everything God had requested of him. The first thing Noah did on dry land was willingly sacrifice to God out of his thankfulness. He took at least one animal or bird from every clean animal and bird kind. There were seven pairs of those animals on the ark, but it was a risky sacrifice because that was it; all other animals had perished in the Flood. God honored Noah’s sacrifice and was well pleased with it.

In the last portion of Chapter 8, God had told Noah He would never destroy every living thing as He had done in the Great Flood (Gen. 8:21). While the earth remained, seasons would be the order by which the earth would exist (Gen. 8:22).

Chapter 9 introduces the Noahic Covenant. Everything from the previous time before the flood was now to be under this new covenant God was to introduce and make with Noah and his sons.

In the opening verse of Chapter 9, God begins with a blessing to Noah and his sons. This was the first portion to the new covenant. They were to be fruitful and multiply, which meant they were to fill the earth with people. This parallels Genesis 1:28. Noah and his family were given the same mandate of procreation as Adam had been given in the beginning. It would be their mission to repopulate the earth.

Verse 2 implies death. The animals would be fearful of their own lives around man. This implies that during the pre-Flood period  animals lived without fear of mankind. In the Creation mandate given to Adam (Gen. 1:28), man was to not only to populate the earth, but subdue and have dominion over it which simply means animals were not to be superior to man. The second provision of this covenant continues the subjection of the animal kingdom to man. God gave the animals and such into Noah and his sons’ hands.

Next, in verse three, the animals, birds, creeping things, and the fish in the sea, would be for food. Every moving thing would provide substance to man. This is the third provision in the new covenant. This also implies man lived as vegetarians before the Flood. God also reaffirms plants (herbs) as food for man. However, God warns Noah and his sons not to eat the blood of the animals they used for food. Blood is the life source in all living, without it, life is not sustainable. (There is a whole lot more to this, but I will not focus on that subject here. Perhaps at a later time.)

In verses 5 and 6, God establishes the sacredness of human life which is the fourth provision of the Noahic Covenant. If any beast or man killed another man, the killer’s life would be required. As image bearers of God, human life is valuable and should be respected. Verse 5 is also the establishment of Human Government. God is its Author. In fact, Romans 13 informs Christians we are subject to the laws of human government, because God gives human government its earthly power to exist.

Verse 7 is the reemphasis of man’s responsibility to populate the earth. It is a reminder life is important and not to be treated lightly. They were not to kill one another but were to produce more life to fill (again) the earth with people.

In verses 8-10, God assures Noah that this covenant is with all of Noah’s descendants (this includes us, today, too), and every living creature on the earth. This is the fifth part of the covenant.

Verse 11 gives us the sixth provision of the covenant. God promises Noah and his sons He (God) will never send a global flood again across the face of the earth. God has not sent another world-world flood since, but we have experienced local floods.  (Sadly, right now, the south and southeast portions of our nation are being hammered with lots of rain creating flooding in many different areas. Please keep them in your prayers.)

The covenant God makes with Noah and his sons is brought to completion in Genesis 9: 12-17. This final provision would be a sign to perpetual generations and not only Noah and his sons. God’s sign in the sky would be a rainbow in the cloud.

I don’t know about you, but when I was a child I would always get excited to see a rainbow in the sky after or during a storm. And a double rainbow? Oh my, that was a treat. The colorful rainbow always made me think of God’s promise to Noah to never flood the earth again. Does the rainbow bring about similar thoughts to you?

In verse 13, God tells Noah He would set the rainbow in the cloud. Verse 14 mentions when God would bring a cloud over the earth the rainbow would be seen in the cloud. This cloud is referring to clouds which bring forth rain. To have rainbows you need water droplets, reflection, refraction, and sunlight. The seven colors of the visible light spectrum are present in a rainbow. You probably learned the ROYGBIV acronym to remember the colors and their sequence. Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo, and violet.

God allows the rainbow to be present in the clouds as the result of light playing off the millions of water droplets to produce a multi-color brilliance. God sees the rainbow too, because in verse 16 He tells Noah:”‘The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’” So, as you see the rainbow in the sky, know God sees it, too, and He remembers the covenant He made with Noah and all perpetual generations on the earth.

Verse 18 moves on to Noah’s sons who were included on the ark. Their names are mentioned here: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. However, the verse points out a bit of additional information. It informs us that Ham was the father of Canaan. Why point out Ham’s son’s name? We will see why in upcoming verses and in Chapters 10 and 11.

Verse 19 specifically states Noah’s sons would repopulate the earth. Noah and his wife apparently had no more sons. In Chapter 10, we will learn more about Noah’s sons and grandsons.

In verse 20, we are told Noah’s occupation in the post-Flood earth. Noah was a farmer and planted a vineyard. From the vineyard, he made wine and became drunk in his overindulgence. I found out through a search on the Internet that it takes up to three years to produce grape on new vines.  What we have written in verses 20-24 was not an immediate action of Noah once he was on firm, dry ground. It took a process of time not mentioned in the Scripture to get to this portion of Noah’s story. We only know a few details of Noah’s production of wine. He planted a vineyard. It produced grapes at some point, and Noah made wine from those grapes. Noah drank it. He overindulged and was drunk. In his drunkenness he was lying naked in his tent.

And then enters Ham. Ham was the youngest (see v. 24) and, undoubtedly, was very foolish. Ham saw his daddy naked and told his brothers (v. 22). Ham was not concerned about respecting his father, but instead gloated over his father’s sin. We are given a glimpse into Ham’s heart. He was not an honorable man. Most likely, this was Noah’s first instance of overindulgence in wine. Perhaps, his first HUGE sin in Ham’s eyes. Ham had watched his father live an honorable life and possibly had some resentment in his heart against his father. We don’t know this is this case, however. (Scripture doesn’t tell us this, so I’m making an assumption. Please note that!) For Ham to tell others of his father’s inebriation, he did not have a high regard for his father and for his father’s stance in their family community.

Shem and Japheth had honorable hearts and a great respect for their father. They did not want to look on their father’s disgrace, but instead chose to protect their father by covering his nakedness (v.23). They went into the tent in such a way to keep from looking upon their father in his nakedness.

When Noah awoke from his drunkenness, he knew immediately what his younger son had done. Noah then proceeded to curse Ham’s son, Canaan. Undoubtedly, Noah knew  Canaan had inherited his father’s wickedness, so the curse fell on Canaan, but it also fell on Ham as the father of Canaan. Canaan would be a servant of servants to his brethren.

But as Noah cursed Canaan, he rewarded Shem and Japheth for the honor they gave their father (vv. 26-27). Canaan would serve Shem and Japheth. Shem (Israelites would come from his seed, and Jesus Christ would ultimately come from Shem’s seed) would be blessed of the LORD (Yahweh) and would receive the greater honor. Japheth (through whom Gentiles would come) would be enlarged and dwell in the tents of Shem, meaning through Shem all Gentiles would be blessed throughout the world (this foreshadows the coming of Jesus Christ). Shem and Japheth received the blessing of their birthrights, whereas Ham received a curse.

Finally, the chapter ends with the death of Noah. Noah lived 350 years after the flood and died at 950 years. He was the last to live this lengthy life span of which God blessed him with.

Two more weeks left. Come back next week for a look at the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. (Do you know what son of Noah your lineage comes from? And your lineage could be from more than one son.)

 

Homework assignment for next week:

Scripture Reading: Genesis 10

Suggested Scripture Memorization: (None for this week! Review your past Scripture memory verse!)

Questions:

1.List the sons of Japheth.

2.Verse 3 lists the sons of Gomer. These men were Japheth’s grandsons. What are their names?

3.List Javan’s sons.

4.What does verse 5 say about Japheth’s sons and grandsons? (Location and their racial designation.)

5.List Ham’s sons.

6.Verse 7 lists the sons of Cush. They were Ham’s grandsons. What were their names? What were Raamah’s sons’ names?

7.Verse 8 points out one of Cush’s sons. What was his name? What does verse 8 and 9 say about him?

8.Verse 10 lists the names of town and the name of his kingdom. Please list the town under the heading of the Kingdom: Shinar

9.What towns Nimrod build in the land of Assyria? See verses 11-12.

10.Name the offspring of Mizraim? Do you know what land Mizraim represents? Please list it, if you know.

11.List Canaan’s children. List each of the “ites” in the Canaanite family.

12.What areas/towns were the border of the land of the Canaanites?

13.What is the birth order of the sons of Noah?

14.List the sons of Shem.

15.List Aram’s sons. These are the grandsons of Shem.

16.List Arphaxad’s sons.

17.Who were Eber’s sons? What did Peleg’s name mean?

18.List Joktan’s sons.

19.Where did Shem’s sons and their families live?
____________________________________________________

 

For Further Information:

Rainbows:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow

Why was the lifespan significantly less after the flood?:
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood/

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Week 9 (Overview of Genesis 8)

Ladies,

Welcome back! Three more weeks and “In the Beginning God” will be complete, then Part Two will start in July. More info on the Part Two of our study of Genesis will be included in the Week 12 post.

I pray you have learned much from the study so far. The Word of God is rich in His Truths.

This week, we will take a closer look at Genesis 8. Noah, his family, and the animals get to finally disembark the Ark to behold a very different world than what they knew previously.

As I mentioned last week, the story of the Great Deluge is a parallel to Salvation. God invites us into His safety from the penalty of sin. He gathers us in. He cares for us by providing for us even during great trial and tribulation. We simply must be obedient to His will. We also are given a beautiful gift of being able to participate by sharing the Gospel with others, but we are also the object of His Salvation through Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. Salvation is a wonderful gift only given to a few, just like the example we see in the account of the Flood. Only a small minority of people and animals were wrapped in the safety of the Ark while the Great Deluge ravaged the world.

Verse one starts out with an amazing truth: God remembered Noah. First, God had not forgotten Noah and the other occupants of the Ark. The Ark as a place of refuge was an act of God’s merciful grace. God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him on the ark. What we see here is called an anthropomorphism. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines anthropomorphism as the “assignment of human attributes to nonhuman things.” (See note on Anthropomorphism below.) In other words, God remembering Noah is an anthropomorphism of a human characteristic attributed to God. It makes it easier for us to understand and relate to the story. God didn’t forget Noah. God protected and saved Noah from God’s righteous judgement over the evilness that reigned in the hearts and minds of the people during the pre-flood age. God showed mercy in the midst of judgement. Just like God showed mercy to mankind in sending His Son to die on the Cross as THE redemption to a lost and dying world of the past, the present, and the future. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8, NKJV). “The Ark is a striking illustration of Christ, who preserves us from the flood of divine judgement through His grace.”1

God turned His attention to Noah, and as He did that He made a wind blow across the earth to subside the waters (v.1). We can assume the wind had not blown during the cataclysmic upheaval which gushed forth from below the earth’s crust and also while the water canopy was released above the earth. The wind would have been an extra element of disaster at the time and was not needed to bring destruction to earth. As we know, wind can also act as a drying agent. The wind, as it is mentioned in verse one, was used to evaporate the waters.

Verse 2 can almost be seen as conflicting with Genesis 7:12, but it isn’t. In Genesis 7:2, the water literally poured from the sky and water burst up from subterranean sources which most likely opened due to earthquake activity on a large world-wide scale. In Genesis 8:2, it means the subterranean sources from below the earth ceased to be access points for water to release, and no more rain fell from the sky. The water cycle was interrupted to allow the waters to recede. Water cannot dry up if there continues to be a ready supply of it. Verse 3 reiterates the continual reduction of waters as they receded to the places God had prepared for them to stay contained (see Psalm 104: 5-9). The Flood waters decreased at the end of 150 days (five months).

Two months after the waters began to recede, the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat (v.4). Notice that Scripture does not say it rested on Mt. Ararat. Noah’s Ark landed in the region of the Ararat Mountains, not the actual mountain itself. Some reports over the years have been made that the Ark has been found, but it is doubtful the Ark has or will be found. More likely parts of it were used for building by Noah and his family, or they left it behind exposed to the elements, or glacier movement in the mountainous region destroyed the Ark. We’ll likely never know. (Read the article below on this topic by Answers In Genesis. The writer makes a logical conclusion that the Ark was never on Mt. Ararat, a young stratovolcano.)

The water continued to recede steadily over the next three months. In the tenth month, since the start of the Flood, mountaintops began to appear above the water level (v. 5). Forty days later Noah opened the Ark’s window (v.6) to release a raven (v.7). The raven soared back and forth, but it did not return to the Ark but kept flying. A raven will feed on dead animals, so it had no need to return to the Ark to rest since it could find an ample supply of animal carcasses to feed (and rest) on.

Noah also released a female dove (v.8). Doves feed on seeds on the ground and their feet give them the ability to perch on trees. The dove returned to the Ark when it found no land (v. 9). Noah put out his hand to take her back into the Ark (v.9).

Scripture tells us Noah waited seven days before sending the dove out again (v.10). Verse 11 tells us the dove returned to Noah with an olive leaf in her mouth. Noah had clear evidence the waters had receded, and the land was nearly ready for humanity and the animals again. Noah waited another seven days and sent the dove out again, but the dove did not return (v.12). The dove did not return because she found what she needed to sustain her life.

In the first month of Noah’s 601st year, on the very first day of the year, the Bible tells us, in verse 13, the waters were dried up from all the earth. A peculiar portion of verse 13 mentions a covering Noah removed from the ark. What exactly was the covering? Up until this point in Scripture this word had not been. According to Strong’s Concordance, the word in the original Hebrew is mikseh (מִכְסֶה) which literally means covering. The same word can be found in Exodus and Numbers. (See Exodus 26:14, 35:11, 36:19, 39:34, 40:19 and Numbers 3:25, 4:8,10,11,12,25.) In Exodus and Numbers, it is referring to the covering of the Tent of Meeting (Tabernacle), and was made from animal skins (ram, badger or porpoise) sewn together. We don’t know exactly its use here in verse 13 but based on how it was used in other Scripture references, we can assume it was used in a similar way in Genesis 8:13. Some have suggested it was used as a sort of covering over the window which Noah removed to get a better look at his surroundings. To remove the roof, or a portion of the Ark’s roof, would have been a difficult task, so it is likely it was used over the window to keep the rain out.

Although Noah had been told by God the exact day to enter the Ark, God had not told Noah when to leave it, until verse 16. Based off the information given in verse 14, we know it had been one year and ten days since they had entered the Ark. Imagine staying in an enclosed structure for over a year with stinky animals. Guess they got use to the smell after a while. Right?

In verses 15 – 17, God spoke to Noah again. It was time to go. I can’t help to think that Noah and his family were quite relieved the time had come to leave. They had survived devasting destruction, and the earth was ready to receive them back on dry, vegetated land. There was now sufficient means to sustain them and the animals. In verse 17, God tells the animals, birds, and creeping things to be fruitful and multiply which parallels Genesis 1:22. Verses 18 and 19 tells us they left the ark, according to their families; i.e. their kinds. We don’t exactly know how they exited the Ark, but they did.

What does Noah do first thing? He builds an altar to the LORD. He takes of every clean animal and bird and sacrifices them on the altar. This act of worship was a risky sacrifice, but it was one God would honor. The smell of the sacrificed animals upon the altar pleased God. This is also another example of an anthropomorphism. The sacrifices of Noah were a soothing or sweet-smelling aroma to God. A sweet-smelling aroma is also used in Ephesians 5:2 which states: “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross was a sweet-smelling aroma to God because it satisfied our own sin-debt we owed to God. It was an act of worship by Christ in our place. What a beautiful parallel with Noah’s sacrifice. Noah’s sacrifice brought forth a response from God built around a beautiful promise intertwined with mercy. God covenanted with Himself, on our behalf, through the sacrificial death of His willing Son. God was/is merciful to us, sinners.

God established a new covenant with Noah in verses 21 and 22. God did not forget Noah as verse 1 of this chapter pointed out. God remembered, and He remembers each of us who love Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. I like how the study notes of Chapter 8 in the Explorer’s Bible Study, In the Beginning: Genesis states this about the Noah’s sacrifice: “God, who always delights in mercy and welcomes the least sign of love and gratitude in us, accepted this offering and responded by giving Noah a promise.”2  God promised to never curse the ground again, nor destroy every living thing again even though the heart of man is inclined toward evil (v.21).

In verse 22, God points out in His covenant promise with Noah that the earth would now have seasons: winter, spring (seedtime), summer and fall (harvest). The post-Flood world would be a different world than the pre-Flood world. This would be a new start for mankind and the animal kinds of the earth, and the earth would never be destroyed again as the LORD had done through the Great Flood.

The words of verse 22 are beautiful to me:

While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat’
And winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.

Out of chaos would come seasonal order, responsibility, character building, and a new opportunity for being grounded upon the truths of God. The earth would remain through all its seasonal order, and by the sowing of seed, working the land, and with the subsequent harvest, man would be able to provide for themselves because God would make sure they would have all they needed to make it so.

What a beautiful picture or redemption we have in the account of Noah and the Great Flood. I’m grateful for God’s grace He generously poured out on Noah and his family, and all the ark inhabitants. The Great Flood happened. I believe, because I believe God and His Word.

Next week, we’ll look take a deeper look into the Noahic Covenant in Chapter 9. Please join me mid-week. I’m excited to share with you. Blessings!

Have a blessed Memorial Day as we remember those who gave all so that we could have freedom in our great nation.

(Oh, before I go, I want to add a retrospective question for this week: How has God shone you His grace in an unexpected way? It could be something that happened this week or anything that comes to your mind from a time in your past. Worship Him in truth as you remember His grace-filled mercy.)

 

Homework assignment for next week:

Scripture reading: Genesis 9

Suggested Scripture Memorization:

11Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.   Genesis 9:11-12, NKJV

Questions:

1.What is God’s first command to Noah and his sons in this chapter?

2.What does verse 2 mean? What does it reaffirm from Creation?

3.What does God tell them they can eat? What was one prohibition given in verse 4?

4.Verses 5-7 speak of Human Government. Was this something new? Where have we already seen a sense of Human Government? (It’s okay if you’re not sure of this answer. I’ll explain it in the Overview for Chapter 9.)

5.Who is the author of Human Government?

6.Verses 8-10 refer to the covenant God is making with Noah and his sons. Who or what else is God making a covenant with?

7.What is God committing to never do again in verse 11?

8. What is the sign of the covenant?

9.When would God show this sign?

10.With the sign’s appearance what does God say it will remind Him of?

11.Verse 18 repeats info we already know. What is it? What is something new this verse reveals to us?

12.By whom did God use to repopulate the earth?

13.What was Noah’s new career? What did he plant?
14.After his vineyard produced grapes, what did Noah make from it? What happened to Noah as a result of overindulgence?

15.Who saw Noah naked? Who did he tell?

16.What did Shem and Japheth do? Were they honorable in their actions? What does this tell us about their character?

17.Was Ham honorable in his actions? Why or Why not?

18.What does verse 24 tell us?

19.Verse 18 tells us Ham was the father of Canaan. What does verse 25 tell us about Canaan?

20.What does verse 26 tell us about Shem?

21.What does verse 27 tell us about Japheth?

22.What is consistent about verses 25-27?

23.Noah lived how much longer after the Flood? How old was he when he died?

 

____________________________________________

Notes Cited:

1The New Open Bible: Study Edition. “Noah’s Ark” article. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), p.13.

2In the Beginning: Genesis. Explorer’s Bible Study Quest Series. (Dickson, TN: Explorer’s Bible Study, 2009), p. 58.

 

For Further Information:

Anthropomorphism:
https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/anthropomorphism/
Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat?:
https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/noahs-ark-found/noahs-ark-mount-ararat/

The covering of the Ark:
http://biblehub.com/hebrew/4372.htm
http://biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/8-13.htm

Although, I did not broach this subject in the overview, I thought I’d include a few links on the subject of Dinosaurs and the Great Flood. Have fun exploring! (You can also find videos and books about dinosaurs that are from a biblical creationist point of view.)

https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/
https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/were-dinosaurs-on-noahs-ark/
https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/dinosaurs-and-the-bible/

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