A Daily Genesis

Genesis 12:3b-7b

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 12:3b . . And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.[/B]

The Hebrew word translated "in you" is a bit ambiguous. It can also mean though you and/or by means of you.

Abram eventually found out that the above prediction concerned a great grandson of his.

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad." (John 8:56-57)

The "blessing" in focus is no doubt the one below.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be spared through Him. (John 3:16-17)

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 12:4a . . Abram went forth as the Lord had commanded him,[/B]

Although Abram didn't "went forth" exactly when God told him to; he finally did; and that's what counts. Jonah didn't "went forth" when he was told to go either, but God prepared a large fish to persuade him to stop fooling around and get a move on; and he finally complied.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 12:4b . . and Lot went with him.[/B]

That was an err on Abram's part. He was told to leave his native land and to leave his father's house. He wasn't supposed to take any relatives along with him: and Lot wasn't a child; he was a grown man capable of operating a ranch on his own so it's not like Abram would have abandoned Lot an orphan.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 12:4c . . Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.[/B]

That hardly seems like a sensible age to reinvent one's self and begin a new life; but Abram was relatively young yet in his own day, and still had 100 years of life left to go.

To give a perspective on just how long 100 years is: from today in 2015; it would be only three years after the sinking of the Titanic, three before the end of WW1, eight years before Poncho Villa's demise, and four years till the ratification of the 18th Amendment-- horse and buggy were common in New York City, and Annie Oakley and Wyatt Earp were still alive.

I was born in 1944. The average life expectancy of a man born that year is roughly 62. Abram lived to the ripe old age of 175 (Gen 25:7-8). So, at the time of his migration to Canaan, Abram was about the equivalent of me at 26.

Abram's wife Sarai was even perkier. She was nine years younger than Abram (cf. Gen 17:1 and Gen 17:17). But Sarai only lived to 127; forty-eight years less than her husband (Gen 23:1). The average life expectancy of a woman born in 1944 is about 67 years. So Sarai would have been the equivalent of a female version of me at 25 when they migrated to Canaqan had she survived to her husband's ripe old age of 175. Precisely why Sarai's life was cut short is unknown.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 12:5 . . Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother's son Lot, and all the wealth that they had amassed, and the persons that they had acquired in Haran; and they set out for the land of Canaan; and they arrived there.[/B]

I'm pretty sure Sarai anticipated this move. Abram had probably been talking about it ever since God appeared to him in Ur so I seriously doubt it disrupted her life like a bolt out of the blue.

From Haran (Haraan Turkey) it's well over 400 miles south to the West Bank in Palestine. You can imagine the difficulty of making such a trip what with no automobiles, no trains, no buses, no taxi cabs, no airplanes, no paved-surface highways, and no graded roads. It was all trails and dirt paths; and all on foot, or on the back of an animal, or in a cart pulled by an animal.

People traveled like that for millennia before powered conveyances were invented and became widespread. Practically all modern means of travel were invented in the 20th century AD. In only just the last 120 years or so of Man's existence has there been airplanes and horseless carriages. Man went from the Wright Brothers to the moon in just sixty-six years.

The previous thousands of years before Karl Benz's production of gasoline-powered motorwagens; people were very slow moving, and travel was arduous, inconvenient, and totally earth-bound. In those days, a pioneer's greatest obstacle to migration was distance.

It's significant that Abram wasn't required to dispose of his worldly goods in order to follow God. Abram later became an exceedingly rich man and God never once asked him to give it all away. Riches are bad only if they have such a hold upon a person that they must compromise their integrity to hang on to it. For that person, it's better to be poor. But it would be wrong to impose poverty upon everyone because not everyone is consumed with survival, avarice, and greed.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 12:6 . . Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.[/B]

The Canaanites were Canaan's descendants-- Noah's bad-apple grandson.

The Canaanites probably didn't have complete control of the land at this time, merely a presence, same as Abram. But they were definitely in progress of getting control. By the time Joshua invaded, roughly four hundred years later, Canaan's clan was pretty well rooted in Palestine.

Abram's welfare wasn't improved by coming out west to Canaan. His home town Ur was a modern city with decent accommodations. But out on the frontier, it was rugged. Palestine in that day was no Utopia. It was more like the conditions which faced our own early day American pioneers and settlers. There were communities scattered here and there, but for the most part, it was wild, wooly, and untamed.

Abram, now paying attention to God, is going where he's told and moving in all the right directions. The next two moves are preceded by altars; upon which, we can safely assume, were offered the traditional Noah-style burnt offering. Altar sites were hot-spots; viz: locations for making wireless contact with God; sort of like what the Temple at Jerusalem became in later years.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 12:7a . .The Lord appeared to Abram[/B]

Exactly how or in what form God appeared to Abram isn't said. God's appearances aren't always visual. Sometimes an appearance is merely an audible voice; or a dream, an angel, a burning bush, a breeze, a column of smoke, or even an eerie glow.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 12:7b . . and said: I will assign this land to your heirs.[/B]

This is the very first instance of a Divine promise made to Abram regarding ownership of Palestine; and it probably bounced right off his skull like a sonar ping. But later on, God will repeat that promise again and again until it finally sinks in. Repetition is, after all, a proven learning aid.

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Updated 02-05-2016 at 12:58 PM by WebersHome

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