A Daily Genesis

Genesis 15:15-21

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:15a . . As for you,[/B]

Abram must have begun to wonder if maybe he too was in danger of oppression and slavery.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:15b . .You shall go to your fathers in peace;[/B]

Have you ever wondered how you'll die-- by accident, poison, in a violent mugging, disease, cancer, car wreck, a fall, hit in the head by a tree limb, or from a random bullet in a drive-by shooting? People often die suddenly and totally unexpected. Many people die a very unhappy death-- miserable, alone, unloved, and unfulfilled.

God promised Abram that he would not die like that. His death would be tranquil and calm and actually quite satisfactory. He would experience no fears, no anxiety, and no regrets.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:15c . .You shall be buried at a ripe old age.[/B]

Death stalks each and every one of us like a hungry predator, waiting for its chance to do us in. We just never know.

"Jesus told them: The right time for me has not yet come; but for you any time is right." (John 7:6)

Abram had the envious advantage of knowing he would live a full life before he died. Everyone should be so lucky!
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:16 . . And they shall return here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.[/B]

God mentioned only one of the nations living in Canaan. Why was He going to delay transferring possession of the land until the iniquity of the "Amorites" was brimming-- why them and not the others? Probably because God promised Abram that He would bless those who blessed him.

Well . . the Amorite men-- Mamre, Eshkol, and Aner --were Abram's friends and allies during the recent military campaign to rescue Lot; so that the ultimate destiny of Canaan hinged upon the decadence of just one tribe: the Amorites. Sometimes it really pays to have God-fearing friends in this world; for example:

Jacob[B]:[/B]

"And Laban said to him: Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that Yhvh has blessed me for your sake". (Gen 30:27)

"The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and Yhvh has blessed you wherever I have been". (Gen 30:30)

and Joseph[B]:[/B]

"When Joseph's master saw that Yhvh was with him and that Yhvh gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.

[B]. . .[/B] From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, Yhvh blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of Yhvh was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field". (Gen 39:3-5)
[B]
[COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 15:17 . .When the sun set and it was very dark, there appeared a smoking oven, and a flaming torch which passed between those pieces.[/B]

The Hebrew word for "oven" is[I] tannuwr[/I] (tan-noor') which means: a fire pot. But it's not just a simple bucket of coals. It was actually portable kitchen equipment, especially for baking fresh bread. There are several passages in the Bible where ovens are connected with Divine judgment. (e.g. Ps 21:9-10, Mal 3:19-21, Matt 13:40-43)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:18a . . On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram,[/B]

This is now the second covenant that God made with His creation. The first one was with every living creature back in chapter nine. That one is often called Noah's Covenant. But this covenant, well known as Abraham's Covenant, is somewhat different. It's not made between God and every living creature, but between God and one specific human being and his progeny.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 15:18b . . saying: To your offspring I assign this land,[/B]

The word for "offspring" is [I]zera' [/I](zeh'-rah) which means: seed; figuratively, fruit, plant, sowing-time, and progeny. Zera' is one of those words that is both plural and singular-- like the words sheep and fish. One sheep is a sheep, and a flock of them are called sheep too. So the context has to be taken into consideration; and even then there can still be ambiguity

Here's an instance where the meaning of zera' is obviously one child.

"Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, meaning: God has provided me with another offspring in place of Abel. For Cain had killed him". (Gen 4:25)

Here's an instance where the meaning is clearly more than one child.

"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" (Gen 15:13)

Sometimes the context contains both the singular and the plural.

"Abram said further: Since You have granted me no offspring, my steward will be my heir. The word of the Lord came to him in reply: That one shall not be your heir; none but your very own issue shall be your heir. Yhvh took him outside and said: Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He added: So shall your progeny be". (Gen 15:3-5)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 15:18c-21 . . from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgasites, and the Jebusites.[/B]

If you have a map handy, it's instantly apparent just how huge a piece of real estate that God assigned to Abram and his offspring. It's very difficult to precisely outline the whole area but it seems to encompass a chunk of Africa east of the Nile, (including the delta), the Sinai Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Onan, UAE, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

The "river of Egypt" is very likely the Nile since there was no Suez Canal in that day. The Euphrates is Iraq's eastern border. The distance from Cairo Egypt to Al Basrah Iraq is about 983 miles as the crow flies.

That's roughly the distance from San Diego to Abilene Tx. The distance from Aden Yemen to Hilab Syria is about 1,698 miles as the crow flies; which is just a tad under the crow-distance from Los Angeles to Chicago.

I'm talking about some serious square mileage-- roughly 1,538,370 of them; which is more than Ireland, United Kingdom, Scotland, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Finland combined! Currently, Israel, at its widest east to west dimension, across the Negev, is less than 70 miles; and south to north from the Gulf Of Aqaba to Shemona, about 260; comprising a square mileage of only 8,473: a mere [B].[/B]551% of the original land covenanted to Abram.

God has yet to give Abram's seed complete control over all of his covenanted land. In point of fact, the boundaries were very early on temporarily reduced for the time being. (Num 34:1-12)

The temporary boundaries run from the Mediterranean Sea eastward to the Jordan River; and from the southern tip of the Dead Sea northward to a geographic location which has not yet really been quite accurately identified.

Ezek 47:15 says the northern border passes along "the way of Hethlon" which some feel is very likely the valley of the Nahr al Kubbir river which roughly parallels the northern border of modern day Lebanon, and through which a railroad track lies between An Naqib on the Mediterranean coast to Hims Syria.

The next event in Abram's life has repercussions all the way to the World Trade Center-- September 11, 2001. The son produced by his union with Hagar went on to become the father of the Arab world; and ultimately, Muhammad: the inventor of Islam.

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