A Daily Genesis

Genesis 15:11-14

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:11 . . Birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.[/B]

The only responsibility that Abram had in this ritual was to set it up. So it was his job to protect the carcasses from damage and keep the scene clear of interference from people and critters who had no business there.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:12 . . As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a great dark dread descended upon him.[/B]

At this point, Abram is placed in a condition that is much more powerful than a trance. It's the sleep of anesthesia-- the very same kind of sleep that God put Adam into when he amputated organic tissue from his side to make the woman at Gen 2:21-22.

In this condition, Abram is totally powerless to either participate or to interfere; nor would he want to anyway. It's God who's putting His name on the dotted line; not Abram. This entire ritual is for Abram's benefit; and his alone, because Abram didn't have to reciprocate and promise God one single thing in return. God is the one who voluntarily obligated Himself, and now He is going to notarize his word per Abram's request; to set Abram's mind at ease regarding a biological heir, and the heir's possession of Canaan.

This pact, that God made with Abram, is totally unconditional. No matter what Abram did from now on, nothing would place himself in breach of contract because God alone is in obligation. There is nothing in the pact for Abram to live up to; therefore it was impossible for Abram to endanger either his own, or his posterity's, permanent possession of the land of Palestine.

They may lose their occupation of it from time to time, but never their possession. And best of all, the contract that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Deut 29:9-5 cannot endanger the security of this covenant because theirs was introduced too late to make a difference.

"And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham as a promise." (Gal 3:17-18)

Law grants blessings on condition, but promises grant blessings with no strings attached and nothing asked in return.

"As far as the gospel is concerned, [God's people] are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and His call are irrevocable." (Rom 11:28-29)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:13 . . And He said to Abram: Know well that your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years;[/B]

God predicted three things concerning Abram's offspring (not Abram himself) that would occur over a 400 year period:

1• They would be resident aliens
2• They would be oppressed, and
3• They would be slaves.

From the time Jacob moved his family down to Egypt, until the day Yhvh's people left under Moses' leadership, was only about 210 years. But according to Ex 12:40-41 the people of Israel were supposed to have dwelled in Egypt 430 years.

Paul said that Israel's covenanted law, (enacted about a month after the people of Israel were liberated from Egypt) came 430 years after Abram's covenant. (Gal 3:16-18)

The data is somewhat sketchy, but from what exists, it appears that an all inclusive 430-year period began with Abram's covenant scene in Gen 15. But God didn't say Abram himself would be effected by the prediction. He said Abram's progeny would be. Ishmael doesn't count as Abram's progeny in respect to the land.

So the holy progeny began with the birth of Isaac; which occurred about 30 years after Abram's covenant was ratified. So the 400 year period of Gen 15:13 apparently began with Isaac. Even though he himself was never a slave in Egypt, Isaac was nevertheless an alien in lands not belonging to him; and later, his son Jacob would be too.

Abram's holy progeny were resident aliens in at least three places-- Canaan, Egypt, and Babylonia. Jacob lived, not only in Canaan and Egypt, but also on his uncle Laban's ranch in Haran; which is up in Turkey.

Precisely why the entire 430 year period is reckoned in Ex 12:40-41 as "the length of time that the Israelites lived in Egypt" is totally unknown; except that it reflects the Septuagint's version; which is a Greek derivative of ancient Hebrew texts no longer available.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:14a . . but I will execute judgment on the nation they shall serve,[/B]

That of course refers to the famous plagues that occurred in Egypt during Moses' confrontation with one of its Pharaohs; culminating in the death of the firstborn of man and beast during the Passover.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:14b . . and in the end they shall go free.[/B]

Actually they didn't "go" free like the English text suggests; but rather, were set free-- viz: liberated --because on their own, they would never have been able to do it. It was at that time that the people of Israel learned the true connotation of the name yhvh. It's not just another divine moniker. It identifies God as a savior; which Webster's defines as a rescuer.

"God also said to Moses: I am Yhvh. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as 'El Shadday, but by my name Yhvh I did not make myself known to them." (Ex 6:2-3)

Those three men knew the moniker; but their association with 'El Shadday was not on the basis of a savior. Their association was on the basis of a provider; viz: providence; which can be defined (in their case) as God's kindly patronage.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:14c . . with great wealth.[/B]

The "great wealth" was in the form of voluntary plunder. (Ex 11:1-3, Ex 12:33-36)

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