God’s Connection to Man
OBJECTIVE: #1) To explore the origin of man. #2) To follow the first-born lineage from Adam to Abram and the great everlasting COVENANT God made with Abram that resulted in physical Israel. #3) To explore the founding of the nation Israel, their bondage and how God introduced Judaism while Israel journeyed to their Promised Land.
NOTE: God’s word gives us enough information to know how Satan works. It does not give Satan’s opinion, operation and war against mankind in every Biblical event (Rev. 12:9) but he is there. If it did Satan would have a false fame, the Bible would be 20 feet thick and nobody would read it.
(1Cor. 12:10 keywords: discerning of the spirits & V.31 keywords: covet earnestly the best gifts) God’s people must ask God for the gift of spiritual discerning then you will understand how Satan operates (2Cor. 11:14) in the same manner as God’s Holy Spirit but in Satan’s evil, deceptive, subversive, tempting way. End of Note.
God had created the world. (Gen. 2:7-20) (V.7) God formed a man out of the dust of the earth. (V.8) God planted a garden eastward in Eden (V.9) and in that garden was a tree of life and a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (V.15) God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it (V.16-17) and God said man could eat the fruit of every tree in the garden but don’t eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for the day you eat of it you will surely die.
With that statement God had programmed man’s conscience and had given man the free will to make choices. (V.18-20) God named the man Adam, taught him God’s Eden language and gave Adam a language test by having Adam name the animals.
This is important, please bear with the definitions. (Gen. 2:18-25 esp. V.21-22) God removed a rib from the man and made a woman. (Gen. 3:1-11 & Isa. 14:12 keyword: Lucifer then Ezek. 28:13-17 esp. V.13 keywords: Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God) Lucifer (defined: in the sense of brightness, the morning star), (1Chron. 21:1 keyword: Satan- defined adversary) the (2Cor. 11:14) angel of light, later named Satan, disguised as whatever a serpent looked like then, deceived the woman into eating from the forbidden tree and she shared the fruit with Adam.
(Gen. 3:7) “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew” the knowledge of good and evil. Their basic human nature had changed (Gen. 2:25) from innocence (Gen. 3:7-8) to knowing (carnal nature) and they tried to hide their guilt by their own devices. (Gen. 3:14-15) Lucifer was cursed and God promised the woman’s seed (one) would bruise Lucifer’s head and that Lucifer would bruise his (man) head.
(Gen. 3:16-24) The man and woman were cursed next: (V.16) #1) I will multiply thy sorrow and thy conception (think: male and female sexual organ problems and disease); in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children (think: every sorrow you’ve ever had was brought on by somebody’s child- 1 or 100 years old, it doesn’t matter); and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee (think: gender dissatisfaction and the desire for feminine liberation was caused by Satan in Eden).
#2) (V.17-19) The earth was cursed (think: disease, stinging, biting, nuisance insects, nuisance weeds, climate/seasons, nuisance and predatory animals, you name it) and man is forced to work to eat (even government subsistence recipients work, want and worry; think about it). #3) (V.19, & 23-24) Man is cursed with death and separation from God (think: Matt. 24:9-13 even God’s people here on earth are still physically separated from Him).
(V.20) Adam named the woman Eve. THEN: (V.21) The most horrid thing man had ever seen in Eden occurred. God slaughtered innocent animals (skins- plural- possibly three sheep) to cover their nakedness. Can you imagine their expressions while they watched the innocent, scarlet blood dribbling and splashing onto the ground and the light of life dimming and finally dying in the eyes of the innocents? Surely they thought; “Are we next?” or did God explain. (V.24) Then they were driven from the Garden of Eden and the way back was blocked with a flaming sword.
(Gen. 4:1-4) Adam and Eve bore 2 sons, Cain was a farmer and Able tended sheep (a flock). They came together to worship God. Cain brought the fruit of the ground and Able obviously brought blood (firstlings). Able understood that blood represents life from God and God accepted his sacrifice but God refused Cain’s offering of earthly works. That started the Cain and Able war that still goes on today.
(Gen. 4:8-16) Cain murdered Able, God drove Cain away and marked him. (Gen. 4:25) Seth replaced Able as first born son. (Gen. 4:25) At that time there were only 4 people upon the earth, Adam, Eve, Cain and Seth. Men lived to be nearly a thousand years at this beginning. SO: It is obvious that great stretches of time are covered in the few short verses that simply give (Gen. 4:13-24) the first born son lineage of Cain (Gen. 4:25 thru 5:32) and the first born son lineage of Seth.
(Gen. 5:4) Adam and Eve had continued producing sons and daughters. (Gen 4:26 & 5:6) Adam’s son Seth obviously married one of his sisters after they grew up. (Gen. 4:8-16) Cain was a murderer and received God’s curse because of it. (Gen. 4:14-17) It is also obvious Cain returned to the place of his birth and, probably by kidnapping, he obtained one of his sisters or a niece and made her his wife. There were no others available. Cain produced (V.23) a lineage of generations in which murder was prominent and his lineage did not call upon the Lord.
(Gen. 4:26) Seth and his lineage did call upon the name of the Lord. It is obvious they performed animal sacrifice (blood) as part of their worship (Gen. 8:20-21) because Noah still practiced it, including burning the offering, after the flood.
Just think about how many generations from both men were living at the same time (Gen. 6:1-8 esp. V.5 & Heb. 11:25 keywords: the pleasures of sin for a season) and they mixed together to form an evil pre-flood society except for Seth’s first born son lineage who called upon the Lord (V.8) which culminated with the first born son, righteous Noah!
(Gen. 6:3-9) Noah was the perfect candidate to warn people about the coming wrath of God. (Gen. 6:3 & 2Pet. 2:5 keywords: a preacher of righteousness) Noah, the preacher of righteousness, preached the last 120 years before the flood. (Gen. 6:3-9 esp. V.9 keyword: generations) His preaching subjects were worship the one God, the God of Eden, God had driven the man and woman out of Eden because of sin, (Gen. 6:5-8) God would do the same thing again if mankind didn’t stop sinning and blood and burnt offering needed to be sacrificed for sin. It was all Noah knew that he could preach.
It is imperative to understand that time means nothing to God and He permits mankind vast stretches of “earth time” for man to make choices of obedience or rebellion. (Gen. 6:8 thru 8:22) Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of God and God commanded Noah to build an ark because God was going to destroy everything that had the breath of life in its nostrils with a great flood. The first nine first born sons from Adam to Lamech, Noah’s father, died of natural causes before the flood.
(Gen. 7:8-24) God sent the seed stock creatures (V.9) to the ark, the tenth first born son Noah, his first-born son Shem who was the eleventh first born son, his other two sons and all four of their wives entered the ark. It had been 1,656 years after man was driven from Eden that God sent the great flood to destroy evil, sinful mankind.
After the flood God’s word once again picks up the first born-son lineage (Gen. 8:20-21) and that Noah, like he must have done before the flood, practiced burnt offering sacrifice worship to the one God, the God of Eden. Noah and his sons knew only (Gen. 8:20 thru 9:16 esp. V.8-11) the general rainbow covenant God had made (V.8) with Noah and his sons (V.12-13) and every living creature for perpetual generations, signified by a rainbow, that God would never again destroy the earth with a flood.
How many times through the coming generations of the first born-sons do you suppose they discussed God’s covenant, especially when they saw a rainbow? God was preparing the first born-sons for “covenant talk”.
Right after the flood (Gen. 9:21-26) Canaan, the son of Noah’s son Ham, had obviously mocked and scorned Noah and Noah placed a curse on Canaan. (Gen. 10:15-20) In the future Canaan and his progeny would live in the land of Canaan and found the Canaanite nations who were a sinful, idolatrous people (Deut. 20:16-18) and the curse of Canaan would come upon them in a much later time period.
Also this: (Gen.10:6 thru 11:9) Noah’s grandson Cush fathered Noah’s great-grandson Nimrod who led a rebellion against God’s word to go forth and populate the world which led to the confusion of languages, probably the development of various races and the scattering of different bands to go populate the world from a place called Babel.
(Gen. Ch. 5 & 11 key: add the ages of the first-born sons from their birth until their first-born son was born, add them together and prove the following for yourself.)
Remember this: Methuselah, Noah’s grandfather, had personally known Adam, the first man, for about 250 years. Noah had known Methuselah for 600 years before the flood. Shem, Noah’s first born son, had known his great-grandfather Methuselah for about 100 years before the flood, he knew Noah 350 years after the flood and Shem would know Abram/Abraham all of his life because Shem outlived Abraham by about 35 years.
Even Abraham’s son Isaac knew Shem for about 110 years, Isaac’s son Jacob, later named Israel, knew Shem for about 50 years. Shem had lived through the last 100 years of the sinful pre-flood society. Shem was an eyewitness to the flood and a third hand witness to the creation of man and man’s fall from Eden.
It was a direct, generational, first born son, eyewitness connection between man’s creation, man’s time in the Garden of Eden, man’s fall from Eden, man’s 1656 years of sin, the flood and Abraham’s covenant. WOW! Who else would know? And they remembered and talked about the rainbow covenant God had made with Noah right after the flood. God was preparing them for “covenant talk”.
Another covenant was coming that would bless the whole world, yet it would set men against men, it would set religion against religion and it would set nation against nation. God and His word would be left out of the proceedings, men would kill men and cruel wars would be fought over who would lay claim to and take over the COVENANT regardless of what God had said.
(Gen. 5:3-32) The lineage of nine first born sons before the flood, the two first born sons, Noah and Shem, that crossed the flood and (Gen. 11:10-26 keyword: Abram) the nine first born sons through Shem’s lineage after the flood had resulted in a man named Abram, the twentieth first born son from Adam, and with Abram is where the covenant starts that resulted in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
We must closely examine the covenant and the man to whom God gave the covenant because this covenant would affect mankind backward to the beginning of time, forward to the ending of time and it would touch every person who would ever live!
God’s promises to Abram: Abram and his family were living in Haran. (Gen. 12:1-6) The Lord told Abram to leave Haran, leave his kindred and God would make him a great nation. Abram promptly disobeyed God and took his nephew Lot with him. Abram went to Sichem (Sychar) on the plain of Moreh. (Gen. 12:7-8) The Lord appeared to Abram at Sichem and told Abram He would give the land where he was to his seed and Abram built an altar obviously to worship the Lord.
(Gen. 12:8 thru 13:4) Abram moved to a place between Bethel and Hai (Josh. 7:6 Ai) and built an altar. A famine came and Abram moved to Egypt where God protected Abram and Sarai from Pharaoh. Abram became rich and moved back to where he had built the altar between Hai and Bethel. Abram worshipped God there.
(Gen. 13:5-18) Abram’s nephew Lot moved to the plain of Jordan (explained below) and God told Abram his descendants would be as numerous as the dust, to look in all directions, walk that land and God would give the land to Abram and his seed after him. Abram did and moved to the plain of Mamre in Hebron and built an altar unto the Lord. (Gen. 8:20 keywords: burnt offerings) The only worship Abram knew was to offer burnt offerings on his altars.
NOTE: Abram had to pay dearly for his disobedience (sin) of bringing Lot with him. (Gen. 13:5-13 esp. V.13 keywords: wicked sinners) There was strife between Abram and Lot’s servants because Lot had grown rich through his association with Abram but Lot was still greedy and moved to a rich land (the plain of Jordan) inhabited by wicked sinners. Of course, it was emotionally draining on Abram.
(Gen. 14:1-16) Lot was kidnapped during a war (God’s judgment) between the evil kings of the plain of Jordan and an invader. Abram was forced to fight an unnecessary war to rescue Lot. It had to be physically, emotionally and mentally draining on Abram.
God turned that war into an opportunity for Abram to go to Salem (which would become Jerusalem) and meet the priest of the most high God which must have been Shem (Gen. 11:10-26 his grandfather 9 times removed) because no other lineage worshipped one God (monotheism). (Gen. 18:20 thru 19:38 esp. V.14 keywords: sons in law) The Lord came to destroy Sodom and Abram/Abraham begged the Lord to not destroy Sodom so Lot would be spared. More emotional drain on Abram.
The Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and all the plain and the inhabitants of the cities within the plain and all that which grew upon the ground. Lot lost all his possessions, his wife and all his daughters (key: sons in law) (hidden key: they were married but they obviously upheld the activities of the sodomites) except the 2 daughters with him. Lot got drunk, had sex with his 2 daughters and his progeny from that union founded the nations of Moab and Ammon (Psa. 83:4-8) which were enemies of Israel. END OF NOTE.
God used Abram’s disobedience, tribulations and difficulties and God’s own faithfulness, protection and favor to make Abram physically, emotionally and mentally strong and to spiritually build Abram’s faith that God would take care of him. God was preparing Abram for covenant.
God’s first covenant action: (Gen. 15:1-21 esp. V.13 & 18 keyword: covenant) Jehovah, the Lord, the God of Eden, the one true God, told Abram exactly how He wanted Abram to lay out the animals and birds and divide (cut) them for their sacrifice. (V.17-18) The Lord Himself burned the sacrifice and made the covenant with Abram.
It was God’s blood covenant with Abram and God repeated His former promises and revealed Abram’s seed would be in the bondage of affliction 400 years in a land that was not theirs (Egypt) and Jehovah promised to Abram’s seed the land belonging to the tribes of Canaanites from the river of Egypt (Nile) to the great river Euphrates.
It would be 13 years later before the Lord’s covenant with Abram would be completed. (Gen. 16:1-16 esp. V.2 keywords: that I may obtain children by her) During that time, due to Abram’s lack of an heir, Abram’s wife Sarai, (Gen. 20:12) who was also Abram’s half-sister, gave her maid Hagar, (Gen. 12:16 keyword: maidservants) an Egyptian servant (slave) given to Abram by Pharaoh, (Gen. 16:1-16) to be a surrogate birthmother, physically the same (V.3 key: physical wife) as a wife, to birth children for Sarai.
Can you hear Satan’s whisper? “God’s promise is no good. You’re too old to have children. Hagar is young and strong. She could give you a fine son.”
(Gen. 11:26-31 esp. V.29) But Hagar was not Abram’s spiritual, covenant wife Sarai. (Gen. 20:12) Sarai was from the chosen bloodline but Hagar was not. Hagar was a gentile, an Egyptian, a surrogate mother, a slave. Just like Adam had listened to Eve and ignored God Abram also listened to Sarai instead of God and from Adam and Eve onward mankind has had the fatal tendency to take off after his own thought process and ignore about what God says!
Can you hear Satan’s serpent whisper? “WOW! Look at that! Hagar is the sexiest woman in the world.” Think not? He’s already done it to you about someone. Abram was already drooling when Sarai asked the question; “Will you take Hagar so she can give me a wonderful son.” “Well Honey, if it will make you happy I’ll try.”
(Gen. 12:4 keywords: seventy and five) then (Gen. 16:3 keywords: after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan) 75+10= 85. (Gen. 16:4-15) Through this arrangement Abram impregnated Hagar when he was 85 years old. Nine months passed including Abram’s birthday (Gen. 16:16) and when Abram was 86 years old Hagar gave birth to Abram’s illegitimate first born son named Ishmael.
God’s second covenant action, the next 5 paragraphs. (Gen. 17:25) When Ishmael was 13 years old (Gen. 17:1-27 esp. V.19 keyword: Isaac and V.20 keyword: Ishmael) and Abram was (86+13= 99) 99 years old the Lord appeared to Abram again. (V.5) He changed Abram’s name to Abraham (V.6) and God said He would make Abraham exceeding fruitful and make nations of Abraham and kings would come out of Abraham.
God’s covenant with Abraham: (Gen. 17:1-27 esp. V.7-8) (V.7) “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. (V.8) And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
(Gen. 17: 7, 13 & 19-21 keywords: everlasting covenant) God declared His covenant with Abraham to be an everlasting covenant. Covenant is defined as (a compact made by passing between pieces of flesh by cutting, a confederacy, a confederacy in the Hebrew is defined; to marry, master, husband, owner). Everlasting is defined as (#1 eternal, always, perpetual and #2 concealed, to veil).
***Obviously there is something concealed and cleverly veiled in this covenant that would be revealed at a time of God’s choosing***. (V. 8) Again God promised Abraham all of the before mentioned land of Canaan (V. 10-14) but this time God required Abram and his seed after him to circumcise by cutting the flesh of the foreskin of every man child in their generations as a “token” (evidence) of their everlasting covenant.
(V. 15-19) God included Sarai in the covenant by changing her name to Sarah. God said He would bless Abraham and Sara with a son named Isaac and that God would establish the everlasting covenant with Isaac and his seed (children) after him.
(V.20-21) God did not acknowledge Ishmael as Abraham’s legitimate son. God said He would bless Abraham’s illegitimate son Ishmael, make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; that Ishmael would beget 12 princes and God would make Ishmael a great nation. (Gen.25:13-17) God fulfilled that promise which is evident even today, 8-8-16, in the oil rich Middle East Arab nations. BUT: (V.19) The everlasting covenant would be established with Isaac.
Even after the covenant blood had been shed, even after the circumcision, even after God’s promises, even after Sodom and Gomorrah were so obviously destroyed by God (Gen.20:1-18 esp. V.13) God let Abraham go wandering so his faith in God would be tested. (V.2) Abraham failed miserably because he didn’t have the faith God would protect him; he was afraid, he failed his wife Sarah and Abraham lied to Abimelech, (Gen. 21:32) a philistine, the king of Gerar, to protect himself just like he had lied to Pharaoh.
(V.3-11) God protected Abram anyway. (V.9-10 & 16) The heathen king Abimelech rebuked both Abraham and Sarah for their lies to him. (V.14 & 16) Abimelech enriched Abraham even further and gave him permission to live in his kingdom. Can you imagine the bitter sense of failure Abraham once more suffered to have doubted God even after all the times God had appeared to him, after all the times God had been faithful (kept His word) to him, after all the times God had enriched him at other men’s expense and by how many times God had protected him?
Surely Abraham must have sworn he would not fail God again no matter what the cost!
(Gen. 21:1-7) Once more God was faithful to Abraham because Sarah conceived and Abraham’s promised son, the son of the covenant, (Gen. 22:2 keyword: only) in God’s eyes Abraham’s only son, Isaac was born. (Gen. 21:8-9 keyword: mocking) After Isaac’s weaning (about three years old) Sarah saw Ishmael (about seventeen years old) mocking (make sport in scorn) Isaac (V.10) because obviously Ishmael considered himself Abraham’s first born son and therefore Abraham’s heir; “Yah, yah, I inherit everything and you get nothing”.
(Gen. 21:10-21) Sarah said to cast out Hagar and Ishmael but it was grievous to Abraham obviously because he loved Ishmael. (V.12) BUT God agreed with Sarah, God said Abraham’s seed would come through Isaac and Hagar and Ishmael were sent into the wilderness with a bottle of water and some bread. God rescued them and Hagar arranged for Ishmael to marry an Egyptian.
Abraham’s Final Covenant Worthiness Test
(Gen. 22:1-18 esp. V.2 & V.6) (V.1) “God did tempt (to test, prove) Abraham” and bluntly said (V.2) “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” And God abruptly left. (V.6) Isaac must have been at least almost grown to carry the wood that would burn his own body after Abraham killed him.
The Hebrew word for only is yachiyd pronounced yaw-kheed and is defined as unique born. Isaac was a unique born son, a gift through the power of God (Gen. 18:10-16 esp. V.12) because Sarah was physically too old to have children.
The word only (Yachiyd) also has a second definition which is lonely. (Deut. 7:1-9 esp. V.7 keywords: the fewest of all people) That word definition is a hidden prophesy. Isaac would be the physical father of the man (Jacob) God would name Israel and he would found the nation of Israel. Israel was and is the smallest of nations with the fewest of all people and it was and is a lonely nation because Satan, the Devil, leads so many nations to destroy Israel.
Can you imagine Abraham’s thoughts when God left so abruptly? This was the son Abraham loved more than his own life. He was the one who would carry on his name and first born son bloodline. He was the son of God’s promise. He was the son God said would inherit God’s covenant and everything Abraham owned; “I would rather die than kill Isaac (Gen. 22:8) but God made me a promise”. “God will provide the lamb”
(Gen. 22:1-18) (9-10) The altar was built, the wood was laid, Isaac was bound and laid on the altar upon the wood and Abraham placed the razor-sharp blade under Isaac’s chin to cut his throat.
(V.11-15) That’s when God stopped him and Abraham pulled the quivering blade away from Isaac’s skin; “I know that thou fearest (reverent, fearful: see Phil. 2:12-15) God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” (V.16-18) God said; “By myself have I sworn” (Heb. 6:13-18) because there was none greater by which God could swear the oath of confirmation and God repeated His covenant promises.
(Gen. 17:19 & 18:11-15) Isaac is defined as laughter (Gen. 21:1-7 esp. V.6 keywords: all that hear (call together, listen, discern, regard, obey) will laugh with me) because God made Sarah laugh when she gave birth to Isaac when she was 90 years old and Abraham was 100. It had to be a joyous laugh.
The Everlasting Covenant is Passed on to Abraham’s Seed
(Gen. 17:19 keywords: Isaac and his seed after him) God kept His promise to Abraham’s seed. God passed on His everlasting covenant with Abraham (Gen. 26:1-6 esp. V.3 keywords: and unto thy seed) to Abraham’s legitimate son Isaac just as He had promised. (Gen. 25:20-26 esp. V.23 keywords: the elder shall serve the younger) Isaac and his wife Rebekah had twin sons and God told Rebekah Isaac’s son, Esau, the first born, would serve the younger son, Jacob, the second born.
(Gen. 25:27-34 esp. V.34 keyword: despised- defined as- contempt for, to scorn) As always God was correct in his selection of Isaac over Esau because #1) Esau was an outdoorsman and hunter (wouldn’t work) while Jacob dwelled in tents, obviously working by tending their herds. #2) Esau was weak, despised his birthright as first born son and sold his birthright (the everlasting covenant) to Jacob for a bowl of soup.
#3) ***(Gen. 26:34-35 & 36:1-9 esp. V.3 keywords: Ishmael’s daughter and V.9 keywords: father of the Edomites) Esau was rebellious because he took 5 wives from the Canaanites which was a grief of mind unto Isaac and Rebekah. Esau founded the people named the Edomites (Psa. 83:1-8 esp. V.6 keyword: Edom) which along with the Ishmaelites and Canaanites became top tier enemies of Israel. Esau had proved himself a traitor to his people and was unfit to carry on with God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham.***
(Gen. 29:13-35 esp. V.23-24 & 28-29) Jacob had married his uncle Laban’s 2 daughters and fathered 11 sons by them and his wife Rachel’s 2 handmaids. As you can see God was developing a particular bloodline, a particular race of people.
Jacob also faced his own trials until (Gen. 35:9-15 esp. V.10-12) God appeared to Jacob at a place named Bethel and changed Jacob’s name to Israel. God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham had been confirmed by God to Abraham’s son Isaac and now God confirmed that same covenant to Isaac’s son Jacob whom God renamed Israel.
(Gen. 35:16-18) Immediately after Jacob’s name was changed to Israel his wife Rachel gave birth to his twelfth son who was named Benjamin and she died. Those 12 sons would become the 12 patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel.
The 12 future patriarchs of the nation that would be named Israel grew into manhood, faced their trials, failures and flaws, (Gen. 46:26-34) went into Egypt with their father Israel (48:1-22 esp. V.5) where (before they were made slaves in Egypt) Israel adopted Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh and blessed them.
Israel was ready to die (Gen. 49:1-33 esp. V.28 keywords: twelve tribes of Israel) and Israel blessed his 12 natural sons, prophesied over them and declared them to be the progenitors of the 12 tribes of Israel (V.33) then Israel died.
NOTE: God’s wisdom in guiding Israel’s adoption of Joseph’s sons is made apparent (Gen. 50:26) because Joseph died in Egypt. After Israel the nation left Egypt and finally entered the Promised Land (Josh. 13:14) the Levites (tribe of Levi) did not get a land inheritance because they were God’s personal servants in that they took care of the tabernacle and some were priests (Josh. 14:4) SO one of Joseph’s sons inherited Joseph’s part of the Promised Land and one of Joseph’s sons inherited Levi’s part of the Promised Land. END OF NOTE.
(Ex. 1:1-22 esp. V.8) A new Pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph came to power 30 years later and enslaved the Hebrews to the Egyptians and that enslavement would last 400 years (Gen. 15:13-14) just as God had prophesied.
(Ex. 2:1-25 esp. V.24-25 keyword: Children of Israel) A deliverer named Moses was born in Egypt when God decided it was time to fulfill His everlasting covenant with the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel whose progeny was now called Israel, (Gen. 14:13 & 40:15) the Hebrews, (2Ki. 16:6) later called the Jews and was now a nation without a homeland. God used Moses as a deliverer to set Israel free (Gen. 15:18-21 & 17:8) so they could go claim their promised land of Canaan.
(Ex. 3:1-22 esp. V.17-20) God appeared to Moses, introduced Himself as I AM THAT I AM, told Moses to gather the elders and tell them and the children of Israel I AM (eternal, self-existent), The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent you to them and (V.17 & 20) I will deliver them out of the bondage and affliction of the Egyptians. (Ex. 4:1 thru 15:21) I AM, the Lord God of Israel, did exactly what He had promised.
(Ex. 12:1-33 esp. V.17 keywords: feast of unleavened bread for seven days and V.23-27 keywords: the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, one day) It is important to remember the (V.24) ordinance of the Passover was instituted at this time when the blood of the lamb protected God’s people from death (V.29-33) and delivered Israel from their bondage in Egypt. It was a present truth and it was a physical prophesy of a coming Lamb of God far into the future who would deliver those who would believe in Him from the bondage of sin and death.
In Egypt Israel had grown into a nation of possibly between 2 and 3 million people because (Num. 11:21) Israel fielded an army of 600,000 footmen (soldiers) in the desert. If they were all married that would be 1.2 million people. If they had 2 children each that would equal 2.4 million people. Then factor in all their mothers, fathers, surviving grandparents, other elderly and etc. (Ex. 1:7 & 10-20) and it might possibly have been between 3 to 3.5 million Hebrews by the time they left Egypt.
They were the only people in the world who believed in only one God, (Gen. 17:1) the Almighty God, (monotheism), they had their blood covenant with Him and they had their circumcision to prove it. (Ex. 3:14-16 & 12:50) They had their religious leaders Moses and later Aaron who talked to God and told them what God said. (Deut. 7:6-8 keyword: love) They knew God loved Israel from their very beginning with Abraham because God chose to make them (V.6) a special people.
So, technically they were a religious, monotheistic nation without a true homeland. They left Egypt with great riches that paid them all their withheld wages earned in 400 years of bondage and it took them time to pack up and go while Pharaoh and all the rest of Egypt, in shock and grief, looked at the dead faces of their firstborn sons, conducted the embalming of those eldest sons, grieved loud and long in wailing chants and watched and listened while the overworked priests conducted the multitude of funerals.
(Ex. 14:5-9 esp. V.8 keywords: “the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh”- God turns Satan loose to help them accomplish that) Then Pharaoh had second thoughts; “Those cursed Hebrews have taken the jewels, raiment, silver and gold of Egypt! We have lost our source of free labor that has built our cities and religious monuments.”
“Our gods, Ra the sun god, Amun the god of the wind, Apophis the god of snakes, Isis the goddess of magic and Bast my personal defender the goddess of the cats are greater than their one invisible God. I will pursue them, I will punish them and I will bring them back into bondage!” Five; anti-grace was on the way to destroy grace.
Perhaps, as they had been on the night of the firstborn dying, the helpless gods and goddesses of the Egyptians were at a celestial party in the stars, or on a faraway fishing trip, or (Psa. 135:15-18) they were simply the mythical gods of the imagination, fostered by Satan, but they could not speak, they could not see, they could not hear, neither did they have breath and they did not help Pharaoh (Ex. 14:9-31) because God destroyed the Egyptian army in the Red Sea!
NOTE: In 1978 CE Ron White carefully followed the Biblical and historical records of the Exodus to Nuweiba, a large beach in the Gulf of Aqaba across the Red Sea from the Saudi coastline. Repeated dives of 60 to 200 feet over a stretch of almost 2,500 meters (1.6 miles) has revealed chariot wheels, chariot bodies and fossilized human and horse bones scattered across the sea bed.
In 1987 Mr. White discovered three 4 spoked, gold gilded chariot wheels. Pharaoh’s? Pictures, story and comments are on the internet at www.preteristarchive.comAncient_Revelations/epigraphy/egypt. Plans are being made to explore deeper waters with mini-subs containing remote cameras. Funding from unbelievers might be hard to procure to archaeologically prove the Bible is true. END OF NOTE.
Israel had seen God break the yoke of their bondage in Egypt. Israel had seen God in the pillar of cloud in the day and the pillar of fire in the night. Israel had seen God destroy Pharaoh, his 600 chariots and his army in the Red Sea. They started their leisurely trip across the desert (about 2 years) where (Ex. 19:3-25 esp. V.16-20) Israel saw the smoke, fire and trembling of Mount Sinai when God met with Moses.
God told Moses how He wanted Judaism established and in that (Ex. 35:1 thru 39:43) God instructed Moses to fabricate the tabernacle with all the devices of service to worship him, God would dwell with them there and God would meet with their God appointed leaders there. God gave them the 613 laws, the dress code, the dietary laws, the tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, mercy seat and the table of showbread and their method of sacrifice and offering.
NOTE: The Jewish Talmud (Tractate Makkot 23b) states there are 613 commandments in the Torah of which 248 are positive (the DO’s) and 365 are negative (the DO NOT’s) but it does not give a list of these commandments. Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, 1135-1204 CE, lists them in his magnum opus, the Mishneh Torah, and that list is available, with their Biblical source, on Chabad.org. END OF NOTE.
All of it, everything they needed to worship God was there and Israel would be able to see God traveling with them wherever He told them to go. Judaism the religion of Israel was founded in the desert of Sinai. (Lev. 1:1 thru 27:34) God expounded on the Law, their method of worship and their rules for living their lives. You know the story.
Brief History of the Ark of the Covenant
(Ex. 25:1 thru 40:38) In the Exodus from Egypt God commanded Moses to construct the Ark of the Covenant, (Ex.26:34) sometimes called the ark of the testimony, or sometimes simply the testimony that was to contain (Ex. 31:1-18 esp. V.18 keywords: two tables of testimony, tables of stone) the 2 tables of stone containing the testimony of God to the children of Israel that God would give Moses in the future at Sinai (1Ki. 8:9) as is verified in the First Book of Kings.
(Ex. 25:21-23) The Ark of the Covenant sat on a table. The mercy seat and 2 cherubims of pure gold were on top of the lid of the Ark of the Covenant. The mercy seat is where the presence of God resided.
God told Moses to construct holy vessels, tables, an altar and a candlestick that were to be used in the Hebrew’s worship of the Almighty God. (Ex. 26:1-30) God commanded Moses to construct a sacred tent called the tabernacle, sometimes called the tent or house of meeting that was to house the Ark of the Covenant.
(Ex. 26:31-33) The tabernacle was divided into 2 rooms by a veil. The outer room was the holy place and behind the veil was a smaller room where the Ark of the Covenant was placed and it was called the most holy place or sometimes the holiest of holies because God resided on the mercy seat atop the lid of the Ark of the Covenant.
(Gen. 28:1-43) Special garments were made for Moses brother, Aaron, the Levite, the first high priest (V.35) so he would not die when he went into and came out of the most holy place. The same was made for Aaron’s sons that they die not. Then they were anointed (to rub with oil) and consecrated (set apart, holy) and sanctified (to make clean) so they could minister to the Lord in their priest’s office.
A special screened fence with one gate of entry surrounded the courtyard which surrounded the tabernacle. A cubit equals 18 inches. SO: The Ark of the Covenant was 3 feet 9 inches long, 2 feet 3 inches wide and 2 feet 3 inches deep.
The tabernacle tent was 45 feet long, 15 feet wide and 15 feet high. Inside the tabernacle tent were two rooms.
The holy place was 30 feet long, 15 feet wide and 15 feet high.
The most holy place behind the veil was 15 feet wide, 15 feet long and 15 feet high.
The screened (nobody could see in) fence that surrounded the outside of the tabernacle tent was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide and 7 and 1/2 feet high.
It was God’s house where He lived among His people. It was kept in the very center of their camp and surrounded by the tents of the Levites who tended the tabernacle and provided the priests to serve in the tabernacle. The whole tabernacle, its contents and the fence could be packed up and moved only by the Levites (tribe of Levi). The whole of it was a portable temple of worship that went with the Israelites wherever God directed them to go.
As they traveled their layout of the tribal camping area was 3 tribes on each of the 4 sides of the tent, formed a perfect cross. The tabernacle with its golden contents and its rich tapestries and veils are indescribably beautiful and valuable beyond measure. The tabernacle with its Ark of the Covenant became the focal point of the Hebrews monotheistic (only one Almighty God) culture.
Any Hebrew that had sinned at any time could bring a sacrifice to the priest who would present the sacrifice to the Lord on the brazen altar in the courtyard in front of the tabernacle and his sins would be covered by the blood of the sacrifice. Once a year the high priest would go behind the veil into the holiest place and offer blood sacrifice for the sins of the nation of Israel. The tabernacle and the mercy seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant were Israel’s only connection to the Lord God Almighty.
Israel’s First View of the Promised Land
(Num. 13:25 thru 14:37 esp. V.4 keywords: return to Egypt and V.27-29 & V.37) When Israel got to the border of the Promised Land they sent spies to spy out the land. With all they had seen God do fresh on their minds and even though God was living right there with them Israel was afraid and refused to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land. God turned Israel back into the desert (V.22-23) where “all those men” over 20 years old except Joshua and Caleb would die within the next 40 years of wandering.
Israel’s Second View of the Promised Land
In that time of wandering God’s instruction and guidance toughened Israel physically (Ex. 1:12) just like He did in their Egyptian bondage and God’s many miracles increased their faith just like it had Abraham. THEN (Josh. 1:1-10 esp. V.8) God reaffirmed His covenant with Abraham to Joshua and Israel the nation (V.8) and to observe and to do all that was written in their book of the law (Law of Moses) so they would prosper wherever they went. AND:
(Josh. 3:1 thru 4:24) The Levitical priests waded into the flooded Jordan River, the water stopped, the priests stood in the middle of the dry riverbed, Israel passed over into the Promised Land, twelve appointed men gathered twelve stones from the riverbed, when all were on the other side of the Jordan River the priests passed on over and an altar was built for a memorial of Israel’s crossing into the Promised Land.