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Offline OutWest

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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2023, 03:01:55 PM »
Abraham And Hagar

Gen 21:10-12 . . Sarah said to Abraham: Cast out that slave-woman and her son,
for the son of that slave shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.

The son in question was Ishmael (Gen 16:2-16) Abraham's eldest at the time.

The common laws of Abraham's day (e.g. the Code of Hammurabi and the laws of
Lipit-Ishtar) entitled Ishmael to the lion's share of Abraham's estate because he
was Abraham's firstborn biological son. However, there was a clause in the laws
stipulating that if a slave-owner emancipated his child's in-slavery biological
mother; then the mother and the child would lose any and all claims to a paternal
property settlement with the slave-owner.

The thing is: Abraham couldn't just send Hagar packing, nor sell her, for the clause
to take effect; no, he had to emancipate her; which he did.

Gen 21:14 . . Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of
water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off
with the boy.

The "boy" at this moment in time was near 18 years old if he was circumcised at
fourteen and Isaac was weaned at three. (cf. Gen 16:16, Gen 21:5, Gen 21:8)

The phrase "sent her off" is from a versatile Hebrew word that speaks of not only
eviction, but also divorce and the emancipation of slaves. In other words: Hagar
wasn't banished as is commonly assumed; no, she was set free; and it's very
important to nail that down in our thinking because if Abraham had merely
banished Hagar, then her son Ishmael would have retained his legal status as
Abraham's eldest son.

* Though Ishmael lost the legal status with Abraham, he retained the biological
status. (Gen 25:9)

Later, when Abraham was ordered to sacrifice Isaac; God referred to him as the
patriarch's sole heir apparent.

Gen 22:2 . .Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to
the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains
of which I will tell you.

Gen 22:12 . . Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to
him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your
only son, from Me.


Offline OutWest

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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2023, 02:58:53 PM »
Abraham's Law

Gen 26:5 . . Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge: My commandments, My
laws, and My teachings.

Some construe God's statement to indicate that Abraham was included in the
covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
and Deuteronomy. But Moses' statement below excludes him.

"The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our forefathers did
the Lord make this covenant, but with us, we, all of whom are here alive today."
(Deut 5:2-3)

In other words: the law of Moses isn't retroactive; which works out very well for
both the patriarch and God because were Abraham included in the covenant; God
would've placed Himself in a serious dilemma. The problem is: Abraham was
married to a half sister (Gen 20:12) which the covenant prohibits. (Lev 18:9, Lev
20:17) and also imposes a curse. (Deut 27:22)

Well; were God to slam Abraham with a curse for sleeping with his sister, then God
would be obligated to reciprocate with a curse upon Himself.

"The one who curses you I will curse" (Gen 12:3)

Abraham enjoyed quite an advantage. In other words, seeing as how Exodus,
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were instituted long after Abraham passed
away; then none of the curses per Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69
applied to him.

So then; if Abraham wasn't required to comply with the laws, teachings, and
commandments specified in Moses' covenant, then what were the laws, teachings,
and commandments that God spoke of in Gen 26:5?

Well; I don't exactly know because till the time of Moses, none were codified. But
but we dare not put Abraham under Moses' covenant lest he be slammed with a
curse and thus lose the promise God made to him per Gen 17:8.

"The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously
established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance is
based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to
Abraham by means of a promise." (Gal 3:17-18)

That should be really good news to Abraham's posterity because although the Jews'
covenant (a.k.a. the law of Moses) has a marked effect upon their occupation of the
land, it has no effect upon their entitlement to it because the promise made to
Abraham was unconditional.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2023, 03:01:36 PM »
Abraham And The Stars

Gen 15:4-5 . .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. He 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 offspring be.

In Abraham's day, prior to the invention of optics, the only stars that people could see
with their own eyes were those in our home galaxy; the Milky Way; which consists of an
estimated 100-400 billion stars. But many of those estimated billions of stars appear to
the naked eye not as stars but as glowing clouds; viz: they cannot be individually
distinguished by the naked eye nor can stars dimmer than magnitude 6.5, so those
didn't matter to Abraham when it came to actually tallying the heavens.

The entire global sky contains roughly five or six thousand stars visible to the naked
eye. However, we can't see all those stars at once; only the ones when the sky is dark.
So then; in Abraham's day, he could see at most three thousand discernible stars from
dark till dawn. God had said "if you are able to count them". Well; even at only three
thousand, the task would be difficult because sure enough Abraham would lose his
place and end up counting the same stars more than once.

* Abraham's posterity exceeded three thousand long ago. By the time of the Exodus,
they numbered above six hundred thousand. (Ex 12:37)

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2023, 02:38:12 PM »

Gen 19:3 . . Lot prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread.

In this day and age of cultured yeast it's not easy to explain what the Bible means
by leavened and unleavened. Well; the primary difference between the two terms
isn't ingredients; rather, the primary difference is decay. The Hebrew word
translated "unleavened" essentially refers to an unfermented cake or loaf; in other
words: bread made with fresh dough rather than dough that's gone bad.

Given time, fresh dough will go bad on its own because all flour, no matter how
carefully it's milled and packaged, contains a percentage of naturally-occurring

Bread made with spoiled dough (a.k.a. sour dough) is reasonably safe to eat, we
know that; so serving his guests bread made with dough that's gone bad wouldn't
have been a health issue. However, it's likely that Lot served his guests bread
made with pure dough due to urgency, viz: it's quicker because there's no waiting
for the dough to rise before baking it.

Nowadays, the best leavened breads are made by blending a batch of pure dough
with so-called "starter" which is highly prized by some cooks. The result becomes a
blend of pure dough and impure dough; which nutritionally is okay, but spiritually
speaking is not a good thing because it's an amalgam of that which is corrupt with
that which is sound; for example:

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three
measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." (Matt 13:33)

* The woman's leavening agent in that instance was likely equivalent to the starter
mentioned above.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2023, 02:24:57 PM »
The Firstborn

Heb 12:22-23 . .You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the
city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in
joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.

The Greek word translated "firstborn" is prototokos, which never means created
first; no, it always means born first. The correct Greek word for created first is

Firstborn normally refers to birth order, i.e. primogeniture. But its advantages can
be taken from the eldest and transferred to a younger sibling, e.g. Ishmael to Isaac
(Gen 21:10-12) Esau to Jacob (Gen 25:23) Reuben to Joseph (Gen 49:3-4, 1Chr 5:1)
and Manasseh to Ephraim. (Gen 48:13-14)

The rank of firstborn isn't limited to family circles. For example the people of Israel
are God's firstborn among the world's nations (Ex 4:22) and David is God's
firstborn among the world's leaders. (Ps 89:20-27)

In the beginning, Adam was the ranking man over all the Earth (Gen 1:26-28) but
he has since been deposed by one who is the ranking man over not only the Earth,
but over the entire cosmos.

Col 1:13-15 . . The Father has delivered us from the power of darkness, and
translated us into the kingdom of His dear son: in whom we have redemption
through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible
God, the firstborn of every creature:

Heb 1:1-2 . . God has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a son,
whom He appointed heir of all things. (cf. Dan 7:13-14, John 3:35, 1Cor 15:27, and
Phil 2:8-11)

Christ's position as God's firstborn son elevates him to a rank above his ancestors.

Ps 110:1 . . The Lord said unto my lord: Sit thou at my right hand, until I make
thine enemies thy footstool. (cf. Matt 22:42-45)

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2023, 02:40:53 PM »
David's Little Boy

Long story short: David breached the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon
with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy by committing the
capital crimes of premeditated murder and adultery (2Sam 11:1-2Sam 12:23). As
bad as those two breaches are; what really rattled heaven's cage was that David's
conduct influenced people's perception of his God.

2Sam 12:14a . . Because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of
The Lord to blaspheme,

What might the nature of that blasphemy be? Well; you probably already know
because it's very popular: "How can God call David a man after His own heart when
he was nothing but a premeditated murderer and adulterer?"

Behavior like David's also causes the world to question the wisdom of God's choice
of a people for His name. That too is a very common form of blaspheme: it goes on
all the time. (e.g. Isa 62:5, Rom 2:24)


2Sam 12:14b-18 . . the child also that is born to you shall surely die . . .The Lord
struck the child that Uriah's widow bore to David, so that he was very sick . . .Then
it happened on the seventh day that the child died.

How was that fair? Well; it wasn't meant to be fair to the boy; it was meant to be
fair to David. His illegitimate baby was just collateral damage.

Ex 34:6-7 . . The Lord passed by in front of Moses and proclaimed: The Lord, The
Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving
kindness and truth; who keeps loving-kindness for thousands, who forgives
iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty
unpunished: visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren
to the third and fourth generations.

It is apparently God's prerogative to get back at people by going after their
posterity and/or the people they govern.

There's a horrific example of collateral damage located at Num 16:25-34. Another
is the Flood. No doubt quite a few underage children drowned in that event due to
their parents' impiety. The same happened to the children in Sodom and Gomorrah,
and Ham's punishment for humiliating Noah was a curse upon his son Canaan, and
during Moses' face-off with Pharaoh, God moved against the man's firstborn son
along with all those of his subjects.

The grand-daddy of all collateral damages is everybody has to die because the
human race's progenitor disobeyed God in the very beginning. (Rom 5:12-18)

Interesting isn't it? There are times when Heaven's anger seems to come out of the
blue; but if truth be known; sometimes it actually comes out of the past; for

2Sam 21:1 . . Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year
after year; and David sought the presence of The Lord. And The Lord said: It is for
Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.

The thing is: Joshua agreed to a non-aggression pact with the Gibeonites during the
conquest of Canaan (Josh 9:3-16). Saul, when king, dishonored the pact. He
apparently got away with it; but not his countrymen, no; God slammed them for
what Saul did; and that posthumously.

Moral of the story: The sins of today, jeopardize the lives of tomorrow; and
sometimes those lives are very large in number.

NOTE: The US Government has marginalized and/or dishonored several of its
treaties with Native Americans. I sometimes wonder if a number of this land's woes
haven't been because of that.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2023, 02:19:11 PM »
Under The Law

Rom 6:14 . . Sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not under the
law but under grace

The apostle Paul was a well-trained Jew (Acts 22:3, Phil 3:5). He and his fellow
Pharisees generally understood "the law" as that contained in the covenant that
Moses' people agreed upon with God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and

The important thing to note about the covenant is that it's a legally binding
contract. (Deut 29:12) So then the term "under the law" refers to contractual

Seeing as how Christ's followers are not contracted with God to comply with Moses'
covenant, then neither is God contractually obligated to penalize Christ's followers
for breaching it.

In a nutshell: where there is no contract, there are no obligations; and where there
is no law, there is no law to break; and where there is no law to break, there are no

Rom 4:15 . . Law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no

Rom 5:13 . . Sin is not imputed when there is no law.

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« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2023, 04:57:53 PM »
The Schoolmaster

Gal 3:24 . .The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be
justified by faith.

The Greek word for "schoolmaster" defines not a headmaster, nor a teacher, nor a tutor.
It basically defines a servant whose responsibility it was to get the household's children
to school. In other words: a sort of chaperone who made sure the kids got there; even if
the servant had to take them by the hand to do it.

The "law" to which the writer refers is the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with
God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Gentiles aren't contracted with
God to comply with the covenant. However, knowledge brings with it responsibility, for
example the law reveals God's feelings about certain kinds of behavior, and once
someone is made aware of their maker's thoughts, henceforth they get in hot water
every time they fail to comply because God is lenient with uninformed liars but has little
patience with scofflaws.

Luke 12:47-48 . . That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or
does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who
does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one
who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

That knowledge should be taken seriously enough to motivate folks into thinking about
their future because there's a storm coming.

The law's task then; is to instill fear in the noncompliant, and make them aware that if
they opt to take their chances, and stand before God to be judged on their own merits;
that they haven't the slightest, slimmest possibility of coming away unscathed. It's a
110% forgone conclusion that they will come away dead.

Well; the Schoolmaster's goal is not only to frighten the noncompliant and make them
nervous; but also to show them that the cross is God's given way out of their


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