Part 15, THE NARROWING TO ABRAHAM

How did the record of man from creation to now, 7-5-14, get to us? Methuselah had known all the First Borns who lived before the flood (Part 9) and Methuselah (Gen. 5:3-21) had even known Adam (the first man) for 243 years. Methuselah knew Shem the first 98 years of Shem's life. (Gen. 9:29) Noah lived a total of 950 years. Noah had lived 600 years before the flood and personally knew several of the pre-flood First Born Sons. Noah had known his grandfather Methuselah for 600 years before the flood. (Gen. 11:10-11) Shem lived 98 years before the flood and 502 years after the flood. Methuselah, Noah and Shem had built the ark and Methuselah had died just before the flood.

(Gen. 7:11) Noah was 600 years old the year the flood came and (Gen. 11:10) Shem was 98 years old. (Gen. 11:10-11) Shem lived 502 years after the flood. (Gen. 11:10-26 father's ages added together including 2 years for Shem, when their sons were born after the flood= 292 years) That means Abram was born 292 years after the flood SO, 502 - 292 = 210 which proves Shem lived 210 years after Abram was born. (Gen. 25:7) Abram lived 175 years.

SO: Shem actually lived 35 years after Abram died. (Gen.9:29) Noah lived 350 years after the flood, 350 - 292, so Noah lived 58 years after Abram was born. Therefore Abram had the benefit of being taught by 2 eyewitnesses who had lived before the flood, lived through the flood and had been witnesses to Babel and witnessed the beginning of the rebuilding of the earth's population.

(Gen. 11:10-11) Shem lived 502 years after the flood. (Gen. 21:5) Abram was 100 years old when Isaac was born; birth of Abram 292+100 birth of Isaac=392, 502-392=110 thus Shem was available to teach Isaac for 110 years. (Gen. 25:24-26) Isaac was 60 years old when Jacob and Esau were born, 110-60=50 thus Shem was also available to teach (Gen. 32:28) Jacob for 50 years. Abram, Isaac and Jacob were the founders (patriarchs) of the nation of Israel and they had Shem as an eyewitness to teach them about life before the flood, the ark, the flood and the flood's aftermath!

It is obvious Adam and Eve brought the Eden language God had taught them to the cursed world after their failure to obey God in Eden (Part 3); it was all they had. As the post Babel, language confounded, disbursed groups grew in size and power some of them developed writing in their language to record accounts of their trade, their religion, wars and etc. (Part 10) example; Hittites and Egyptians. Immediately after the flood it is obvious Noah and Shem still knew how to write. At Babel, when the languages were confounded it would have been pointless to have changed Noah's group's language because none of the groups understood each other anymore.

So it is obvious the Eden language and writing (Hebrew) of the First Borns were handed down from generation to generation from Adam right on through Noah, to Abram and on (Acts 7:22) to a "learned" (educated) man who would be named Moses in the far future. (Ex. 17:14 & 34:27, Luke 16:29-31, and Acts 6:14)) God gave Moses a command to write and keep records and he would write the first 5 books of the Bible. BECAUSE:

(Mal. 3:6) God does not change. From Adam to Abram there was an unbroken succession of at least 2 witnesses for each generation with first hand, eye witness accounts of what had happened all the way back to Creation (Adam and Eve)! These eye witness, first hand account, word of mouth, memorized, oral tradition stories concerning the existence of man might have been backed up by the written accounts by different authors on clay tablets.

In other words, the truth of what happened from the very beginning of man was recorded and it could not be changed, forgotten or omitted. (2Tim. 3:16) All scripture including the NT originated from God's inspiration through the Holy Spirit and was written by selected men who were the recorders of God's truth on whatever writing materials were available at that time. EXAMPLE: Ask the internet; "Did clay tablets prove the existence of the Hittite Empire and its relationship to Egypt?" Bible skeptics had said the Bible was wrong and there had never been a Hittite Empire. (2Sam. 23:39) Uriah the Hittite. The name Hittite or Hittites is mentioned 48 times in the Holy Bible.

The Bible ends with the prophesy of the future (Book of: Revelation to John) and there has been nothing else from God for about 2,000 years. Look up all forms of the 2 words write and record in your concordance, read the associated scripture containing those words in your Bible and you will be surprised.

(Gen. 10:2-5 esp. V.5 keywords: isles of the Gentiles) After Babel it is obvious the various offspring groups of Japheth spread ever further to the west and north. (Gen. 10:6-20) After the dispersal at Babel it is obvious some of the offspring groups of both Ham (Gen. 10:21-31 esp. V.30) and Shem spread to the east and south and laid claim to the land called Mesopotamia, what is now called the Middle East Countries and into Africa. The southern part of Mesopotamia was named the Chaldees and that was the direction Noah and his family went. The rest of the Ham and Shem groups spread ever further east and north.

Archaeology is in the process of excavating the city of Ur which is located in the delta region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (Part 14) and that is where Noah and his family settled. The last 6 paragraphs of (Part 14) tell how Ur and the land Chaldees came into being so there is no sense in repeating that here. (Gen. 11:31) Abram was born there. (Gen. 17:1-5) Abram (father of height, lofty) was known as Abram until he was 99 years old and in that 99th year (Gen. 17:1-16 esp. V.1 & 5) the Almighty God changed his name to Abraham (father of a multitude). He will be addressed as Abram until the time of name changing.

6-2-14, Note: The Hebrews (Jews) are world class record keepers. Word of mouth generational Jewish histories were recorded by Jewish Sages of the Talmud in documents called Midrashim which is plural for Midrash. #1 (Gal. 1:11-24 esp. V.14 keywords: traditions of my fathers) The Talmud (Traditions of the Elders) was what caused the apostle Paul to persecute the fledgling church (Acts 9:1-20) until he met Jesus on the Damascus road (2Tim. 4:13 keyword: parchments--> Latin for membrane, made of sheepskin) and learned the truth that had been set forth in the OT scriptures. Do not confuse the Talmud (Traditions of the elders) with the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible- The Torah).

#2 The NT had not yet been written when Jesus walked the earth for 33.5 years. (Matt. 15:1-20 esp. V2 keywords: tradition of the elders) Jesus seriously criticized the scribes and Pharisees because they had changed the tradition of the elders (V.6 keywords: your tradition) to suit themselves and would not keep the commandments of God. (John 5:39) "Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." Examples: (Gen. 1:26 keyword: us) tells us there is a plural Godhead, (Col. 1:12-17) as has been shown Jesus was there at the creation (Part 1). (Gen. 3:15) is the very first scripture that prophesied Jesus the Saviour would come.

As I read various Midrashim it was my policy that if I found information that contradicted what is written in the KJ Holy Bible I disregarded that particular Midrash and went on to another. If I found a Midrash that added information about the daily lives of various Biblical characters without contradicting the Bible I sometimes used that information to "flesh out" the lives of those Biblical people.

Again; some of these Midrashim fill in common sense information about the daily lives of Biblical people and are very interesting and, of course, some appear far-fetched and contradictory to scripture and I will not use them. Since very little is given in the Holy Bible concerning the early life of Abram I studied some Midrashim and they are the source of some of the information that will be given. Some of this information coincides with the KJ Holy Bible and where that happens the scripture is given.

When a scripture is given an * will be inserted at the end of what the scripture gives. The rest is based on Midrashim information. This Midrashim information will be interesting to some and boring to others and surely some will think I am some type of anti-Christ seeking to cast doubt on the truth of the Holy Bible. That is not so! My intent is to attempt to bring these people to life as vividly as I can and show how Satan operates. SO:

(Joshua 24:2 keywords: Thus sayeth the Lord God of Israel) Terah, the father of Abraham, had fallen under the Satanic spell of worshipping the idolatrous gods brought from the other side of the flood* by Ham and his wife and instituted by Nimrod at Babel! (Gen. 10:10) King Nimrod was discontented as he sat on his throne at Babylon.*

Nimrod had a premonition that something was wrong. Nimrod despised those of Noah's family who held to their Lord God of Eden worship and he was delighted when he could subvert any of them from their foolish belief in the Lord God and instruct them in the worship of his idolatrous gods, but Nimrod was not nearly as delighted as Satan. He wondered about Terah his chief court officer, Satan did too. They both knew Terah was the 9th generation First Born son from Noah.

Satan worked hard to enchant, teach, attract and lie to Terah. Nimrod remembered when Terah started showing signs he was interested in King Nimrod's gods. Terah had been carefully brought along and secretly tested until Nimrod's priests had assured him Terah was a devotee to Nimrod's Queen Mother of Heaven goddess, sun god and all the lesser gods that orbited the sun god.

(Gen. 10:11 & 22) "Well, Shem's son Asshur has certainly proved worthy of me when he built Nineveh in the northern part of my kingdom. Then he built the towns of Rehoboth, Calah and Resen between here and Nineveh* and that fortified the whole northern part of my Kingdom after I stationed my warriors there. That boy is like my own son the way he keeps shipping wealth to Babylon!" Satan grinned; "He's my son too, I own him."

Nimrod's thoughts; "Terah is now my chief priest as well as my chief court officer. He's intelligent and resourceful. He has that factory behind his house and barns and his craftsmen manufacture beautifully made images of our Queen Mother of Heaven goddess, sun god, the other 12 lesser gods for each month of the year and also the other gods we worship. He sells them and he's added a small fortune to my coffers." Nimrod was so pleased with Terah he had given him his own servant (Gen. 15:2) Eliezer to be the steward of Terah's house.* "Surely my premonition is not about Terah." Sometimes Satan wasn't so sure about Terah, especially when Terah talked to Noah or Shem.

A while ago his chief minister had informed Nimrod his astrologers had a secret message for him. He sighed a deep sigh and thought; "Well, I might as well get this over with." Eliezer, the steward of Terah's house, was on business at Nimrod's court and was right there to see and hear it all when the astrologers made their report. Simply put, the astrologers told Nimrod the stars had told them Terah's wife, Amathlaah, had given birth to a son who would one day threaten Nimrod's throne.

Nimrod's face suffused with rage and his black eyes glittered but he didn't say a word. He made a gesture for the astrologers to leave, fixed his eyes upon Eliezer and spoke through gritted teeth; "Take 4 warriors, go to your master Terah's house and tell him to bring his baby to me."

Eliezer left the 4 warriors standing guard in front of Terah's house while he inquired as to the whereabouts of Terah. One of the servants informed him that after the funeral a couple of hours ago Terah had gone to the factory back behind the barns. Eliezer hurried to the factory, got Terah alone and explained the situation.

Terah turned white with shock and his voice quavered; (Gen. 11:26) "I'm 70 years old, Abram's my first born son.* I love that baby. He's the 10th First Born son from Noah. I don't know if I'll have any more sons. He's not even a day old yet! How can stupid, stupid Nimrod think a baby is going to take his throne? He was born last night at about the same time my servant girl had her baby. I was going to raise her son with Abram because she died during the birthing, we buried her a while ago, she never told who the father was and no man stepped forth." He hushed, Terah looked suspiciously about, then the men looked into each other's eyes and the dawning of an idea slowly gathered there.

The Lord God nodded in silent agreement and whispered to Himself; "I'll take care of the rest of it. That unnamed baby will be gone before Nimrod ever touches him and I'll give him a name too." Think not? Check modern medicine. Read published reports of out of body experiences. The human body can live for a while even if the soul is gone. The autonomic nervous system, commonly called the lizard brain, controls vital functions for a while even if the soul has already left! Think not? Read the 2 articles I Have Experienced Physical Death on The Holy Spirit & You commentary.

Satan was spiritually suffocating and grinding his spiritual teeth in frustration because he was held fast there in the front yard with the 4 burly warriors. Satan knew what was happening all over Nimrod's Kingdom but he was barred from what was happening behind Terah's barns in front of the false god image factory. By this time he had learned when he was barred from an event he would sometimes be blindsided with trouble or he would miss out on some juicy misery that befell one of those who called on the Lord God.

(Isa. 14:12-14 & Ezek. 28:17) "When I take God's throne* I'll put Him through the same thing 10,000 times more than He has done it to me!" (Job 20:23 keyword: fury) If Satan could have seen the look of the fury of wrath* on the face of the unseen Lord God his spiritual blood would have run cold!

Terah and Eliezer presented the baby to Nimrod and he dismissed them. Only Satan and the Lord God saw Nimrod break the newborn baby's neck. (Mal. 3:16 & Rev. 16:19) A recording angel wrote the event in his book of remembrance.* Nimrod was pleased with Terah's loyalty because Terah had stoically offered no resistance nor had he even said a word. A few days later Nimrod presented Terah with a large sum of gold and silver. Nimrod would have been shocked speechless had he been able to discern the disgusted hatred for him in Terah's heart.

Somehow Noah's fields always produced half again (150%) as much produce as the fields of others and somehow Noah's animals had twins or even triplets while his neighbors flocks and herds gave birth to single calves, foals and kids. The Lord God smiled approval when Noah thanked Him for each and every bit of it; after all, God had arranged it and He deserved the thanks! Terah himself secreted his darling child, Abram (high father, lofty), to Noah's house to be reared there. As Noah had grown wealthier over the years, he had accumulated many very well treated servants and baby Abram would simply disappear into the busy, happy, bustling crowd!

(Gen. 11:27) A little over a year later Terah fathered his 2nd son and, to honor his own father Nahor, Terah named the baby Nahor (snorer). Then 2 years later Haran (be lacking, idle, rest, unoccupied, want) was born* but Terah's wife Amathlaah died during that difficult child birth.

(Gen. 11:12-26) All the other First Born sons had started fathering children in their early 30's and Terah's father Nahor had even been 29 when Terah had been born.* As men will, Terah had taken much good natured ribbing about his sexual prowess from his friends because he produced no children. (Gen 11:26) Then he'd begat Abram* and; "That pig Nimrod had planned to kill my darling son Abram as casually as he would swat a mosquito." Terah's hatred for Nimrod, his false gods and all his arrogant ways had coalesced into a hot, raging fever in his heart.

Then Noah and Shem had a long talk with Terah about the true worshippers of the Lord God and how Terah had departed from that worship when he had been seduced by idolatry and Terah's own lust for power, wealth and fame. After Noah, Shem and Terah had made the sacrifice Noah and Shem guided Terah into the ways of repentance, they worshipped the Lord God and asked His divine guidance. After that Noah and Shem advised Terah to play the game as Nimrod's lackey, amass all the wealth he could and when the time was right The Lord God would make a way for him to leave Nimrod.

Terah didn't stay a widower very long and soon took another wife. He loved being a father and having a relationship with his children. (Gen. 20:12) It didn't matter to Terah that with his second wife he fathered only daughters (Gen. 11:29) and one was named Sarai.* (Gen.17:17) Abram was 10 years old when Sarai, his half-sister and future wife, was born.* (Gen. 14:13) Abram would be the first man God would call a Hebrew.*

Terah sold his graven image factory but assured Nimrod they would both still retain a share of the profits. Nimrod was pleased because Terah could devote more time to his duties as chief priest and chief court officer. But Terah decided to step down as chief priest and devote more time to being chief court officer. Nimrod was taken aback by that move but under Terah's skillful hands and sharp intellect the court ran more smoothly than it ever had. No taxes were left unpaid, no tariffs were forgotten, no bribery was permitted, everything was accounted for and the wealth poured in. Nimrod was delighted; "I can always find another priest."

Sometimes a shipload of goods were to be had at bargain basement prices. Sometimes a choice herd or flock of animals or a lush piece of property came up for sale because of some misfortune and Terah was there to purchase it and resell for a profit. Terah was becoming wealthy. Terah worshipped the Lord God in secret with the First Borns and their families. Terah watched his sons become men. He was terribly disappointed in Haran (be lacking, idle, rest, unoccupied, want) especially when he married a foolish young girl when Haran was still just a youth.

Haran was a piece of work. It was a standing joke in Shem's family that a hard day's work would kill Haran. It would never be tried because Haran would never do a hard day's work nor would he do an easy one either. He lived true to his name. He was an idler who would rather sit on his porch and dream of the great things he would do tomorrow; that was the problem, tomorrow never comes, its always the day after today. Had not his brothers and father provided for Haran and his family they would have starved. Haran was the father of Lot and he fathered beautiful daughters. Abram was Lot's uncle. (Gen. 11:28) Finally Haran died long before Terah his father* probably from lack of exercise and over eating.

(Gen. 11:27-29) Abram's brother Nahor married Milcah one of Haran's beautiful daughters, his own niece who was Lot's half-sister!* (Gen. 22:20-24) It was a fruitful marriage because Milcah presented Nahor with 8 sons. The 8th son was named Bethuel who was Abram's nephew and when he married he would father a daughter named Rebekah.* (Gen. 24:15) Rebekah was Abram/Abraham's great niece, (Gen. 24:4) Isaac's 2nd cousin or 1st cousin once removed (both mean the same thing) (Gen. 24:67) and Rebekah would become Isaac's wife.* (Gen. 20:12) As stated above Abram married his father Terah's daughter, Sarai, by Terah's 2nd wife which made Sarai Abram's half sister.* (Gen. 17:1-15) The Almighty God would rename them Abraham and Sarah.*

FUTURE

Note: God intended to keep this bloodline just the way He wanted it because nobody but God knew He had a plan to build a race of people called the Hebrews (Jews), (Deut. 7:6-10 & 14:2) a holy people, a peculiar people because they would believe in only 1 God and their nation would be called Israel.* (Deut. 7:7) They would be the fewest of all people and through that situation God would get great glory upon His enemies because their survival would depend upon His power. Over time great nations would rise and fall and their people would disappear into fog of history but, (Ezek. 37:1-28) against all the odds, the Hebrews and Israel would survive, God would see to it.*

God's plan went even further. (Luke 3:21-38 & Rev. 12:1-9) This Holy People would give birth to God's own Son Who would be the blood sacrifice (1John 1:7-2:2) whose blood would cleanse sin away from any person, Jew or Gentile or any members of any other religion or even those with no religion if they accepted Him, and they could be saved.* (Acts 4:12) No other way would be given for any person to get saved and make his way back to the presence of God.* End of note.

Abram had received a first class education concerning the First Born's and their lives all the way back to Adam. He was educated in the ways of worshipping the Lord God. Abram had seen and was sickened by the rampant idolatry of the other peoples that inhabited the Chaldees.

He had seen his own father Terah when he was under the spell of Nimrod's Babylonian idolatry and had seen him rescued by the Lord God through the patient activities of Noah and Shem, he had learned to work hard and he had learned how to accumulate wealth. Abram loved Noah with all his heart simply because Noah had always been there through the first 58 years of Abram's life, "Noah was the old one" and Noah had a way about him that could make the people in his stories come alive.

Noah was Abram's grandfather 9 times removed. Abram was the tenth generation First Born son from Noah. Noah was far too old to work and Shem directed Noah's overseer in the work done on Noah's still active farm. Even though surrounded by the many houses of his faithful servants and his loving family Noah was still independent, he would not allow personal servants to live in his house and he lived alone.

Two of the young women cleaned Noah's house and washed his laundry once a week. Noah was a good cook but he very seldom prepared food because someone was always dropping by with freshly prepared, nutritious food or specially made treats. His people loved him and regularly visited him to hear his breathtaking stories. "Noah has even known the giants and the Neandertals! It is said Noah had even killed a giant! He saved his family in the ark by remaining true to the One he sometimes calls the Lord God of Eden." Noah was a venerated man.

Noah had turned 950 years old a few weeks ago. Shem, Abram, the other First Borns and those of their families who remained true to the Lord God had thrown a 3 day celebration that was still the talk of their small settlement and far flung farms. The only dampening effect had been when some of the people thought about their kin who had gone over to Nimrod's idolatry; "Well, they made a choice, we'll cry later in the darkness of night, this is Noah's celebration. Imagine that, 950 years old! (Gen. 5:27) If he lives 19 more years he will reach Methuselah's age when he died just before the flood!"* It was not to be.

Noah woke up in the middle of the night. There was a strange pain in his chest, he was aware of a vague pain down his left arm and somehow he was short of breath like he had run a long distance. He shrugged it off, rolled over, got comfortable and drifted off to sleep. BUT: It felt like he hadn't gotten to sleep because he became aware of Naamah's scent. He knew it was Naamah because she used the perfume made from crushed lilacs after her bath. THEN:

Naamah was baking bread as she had done thousands of mornings before, he could smell that too. Noah came fully awake; "Naamah, Naamah, I love you so!" (Luke 16:22) But there was another being there and Noah realized it was an angel who had come to get him.* It happened so fast, too fast to think! Noah momentarily looked back, the body he had left behind was grayish purple, white, cold, then forgotten; it was where Noah had once lived. Noah realized he had died and he hadn't even known it!

Then they were there (Luke 16:26 keyword: they) and Noah realized there were a lot of people there. The angel quietly said; "There is someone I'd like you to meet." The angel gracefully turned and Naamah stood behind him. Almost like a presentation he drew Naamah forward to Noah's glad smile. It was Naamah, Naamah the bread maker, she smelled like crushed lilacs and she grinned with the tender shyness she had exhibited when she had first met Noah!

And it was good! Forever good. (Luke 16:23-25 esp. V.25 keyword: comforted) Noah was amazed when he realized he still had all his physical senses even though he was no longer living in his earthly body and (1Cor. 2:9) those senses were somehow magnified because the beauty, the scents and the sights were more than Noah could have ever imagined!*

Noah was astonished because Naamah looked just like she did back on earth except she was more beautiful and radiant. Noah did too but didn't know it. Noah was gladdened to see the First Borns and other obedient ones who had lived before the flood. Note: (Luke 16:22) The place which would later be named Abraham's bosom* (Heb. 11:1-40) was a holding paradise, a place of waiting, where God kept the people who had loved Him and had been faithful to Him until (V.40) Jesus made the way for God's people to enter into the presence of God.* All we can see with our eyes is the physical side of death. God's Holy Bible lets us see the spiritual side of death (Part 26).

NO! It was not the resurrection. (1Cor. 2:9) Even though it was a paradise it did not compare to the paradise that was coming. (Luke 16:24 keywords: tormented in this flame) Tubal-cain was in the hell mentioned in this scripture.*

Shem and Abram had agreed to meet this morning at Shem's house then go spend the day with Noah. Abram's knock roused Shem well before daylight. When he had lighted an oil lamp and saw who it was Shem thought; "Well, Abram must be really anxious to visit my Father." But Abram informed Shem he had slept badly and had decided to come on over and visit Shem; "After all, you lived 98 years before the flood, knew Methuselah, helped build the ark, saw Cain and Tubal-cain's kingdom destroyed by the flood, was there when the Lord God scattered the people at Babel and are still here."

Shem also had a lot of stories to tell and Abram loved listening to them. They sat on Shem's porch talking and drinking sassafras tea in the darkness; "Grandfather Shem (8 times removed from Abram), you are 448 years old, do you think you will live as long as Grandfather Noah has lived?"

Shem sat silently for so long Abram wondered if he was going to answer; "I think the strength of the sun after the flood somehow damages us because it never burned us before the flood, the mist was too thick. I think the sun somehow brings disease that kills us therefore I do not believe any man will live as many years as Noah has." Shem sat silently, Abram was also silent because he knew Shem still had more to say; "You are the 20th generation from Adam counting Adam as the first generation. Noah and I both feel there is something special about that but it has not been revealed to us. The Lord God has burdened us to teach you all we know and you have been an apt pupil."

Note: This writer questions the scholars. They say Hebrew originated mainly from the Chaldean language. The Chaldean language obviously originated mainly from the Hebrew language God taught Adam in the Garden of Eden because Noah's family was one of the first or maybe even the first family that came to the Chaldees.

Abram was pleased and he felt his face flush by the unexpected praise. "We have told you, showed you and taught you how to read the record of man from Eden to us. Our language has changed somewhat because of new expressions and words but it is still the Eden language handed down from Adam. I suppose sometime in the future people will call it the language of the Chaldees but it is our Eden language. A lot of the Chaldean language was taken from our language but it is also amalgamated with several other languages too. You will notice that when we are with our own we speak it much differently."

"I feel you are facing a time of great testing and strengthening. Noah and I feel it is not the time to place the clay tablet record into your hands. Noah is old and I will soon take the clay tablet record and keep it in my possession to ease his burden. When the time comes to pass it on I will know when and to who." The sky had lightened in the east, there were noises of the beginning of the bustle of the day coming from inside and the two men went inside to partake of their breakfast.

Shem didn't know this was the day he would take possession of the clay tablet record nor did he know it would be a day of great grief and the beginning of his great loneliness that comes with leadership.

Shem and Abram came up on Noah's porch. He knocked on the door, No answer! He wasn't worried, for the last 2 or 3 years Noah had taken to sleeping late in the mornings. They pushed the door open, went on in and found Noah cold, whitish-grey and his hands were reaching upward. By his expression Shem realized Noah's last thought had been one of pleasant surprise and gladness.

Abram silently stared and stared, pain swam in his eyes and there was something else too. In this slash of tragedy and loss he had realized too late that Noah had been his hero. Like so many of us do, it was too late for Abram to tell Noah how much he loved him and admired him. Dead ears do not hear.

There was great lamenting and sorrow. Noah had been an irreplaceable connection to their beginning, Noah had been their strength and problem solver and most of all Noah had been their link to the Lord God, the One Noah sometimes called the God of Eden. At his father's funeral Shem told what he and Abram had seen when they entered Noah's house;

"The smile frozen on my Father Noah's face looked like he was going back to his yesterdays when his smile was glad. He was smiling like he did when we came back from a hard week of preaching and my dear Mother Naamah ran laughing into the yard to embrace her dear Noah." Their keening of horrid grief penetrated their houses and yards, the pastures and crop fields, the far forest glens and meadows and far into the sky. But, Noah and Naamah would never weep again.

A few weeks after Noah's funeral Eliezer came and told Terah the astrologers had visited Nimrod again. They said the stars had told them Terah had deceived Nimrod, the baby who would threaten his Babylonian kingdom had lived and was now a strong, intelligent, well thought of man (Gen. 11:29) who was married to Sarai.* As fast as possible Terah's servants loaded all the goods they could, they gathered tents, utensils, seed, tools and they rounded up all the flocks and herds.

Terah secretly packed his gold, silver and jewels among the baggage. They loaded it all on camels and donkey carts and fled for their lives toward (Gen. 11:31) a land called Canaan.* (Gen. 11:31-32) Terah took his grandson Lot, Abram and Abram's wife Sarai with them.* God watched silently; "Sometimes I have to give men a boost to start them on the road to complete my plan!" Satan unknowingly thought he had given the astrologers a message that would end man's worship of the one true God. Unseen, God smiled indulgently.

It had been a close call. Had not Nimrod been struck down by a mysterious illness he would have surely caught them. With vast amusement the Lord God watched and listened while Satan cursed, cajoled and goaded the astrologers, magicians, soothsayers and herbal healers to heal Nimrod. "#$%@&%$ do this, do that, do something else!"

Satan balefully stared about him while his flunky Nimrod lay writhing and sweating with an awful abdominal pain and a raging fever. Satan sensed the hand of the Lord God in this propitious illness. "When I take His throne He'll pay for this work!" When Nimrod came out of his illness three weeks later the caravan had been swallowed up by the vast wilderness to who knew where? And somehow Satan couldn't lift a finger to help Nimrod find them.

Nimrod was still wobbly from his illness, he was furious that Terah had deceived him, he wanted revenge on Terah and now another tribe to the east had rebelled, murdered Nimrod's tax collector and were refusing to pay any more taxes to Nimrod. Nimrod led a company of his best warriors to quell the rebellion and in their slaughter he would vent his rage at Terah. Other problems arose in Nimrod's kingdom that needed his immediate attention. Terah was forgotten and Satan ground his spiritual teeth in impotent fury! The Lord God smiled in satisfaction.

(Gen. 11:31) Terah fled from Ur of the Chaldees* to the north then, coming from the east, he turned west through what is today northern Syria or southern Turkey and he planned to finally turn back south toward the land of Canaan to throw Nimrod off his trail of flight. Without realizing it Terah had followed the "Fertile Crescent" which was what remained of Eden (Part 14).

In the far, far future the Fertile Crescent would also be called the "Cradle of Civilization" because of the antiquity of the various ancient "civilizations" archaeologists would find there and they would be known as the oldest on planet earth. The two northernmost tributary rivers of the Euphrates River are the Karasu River on the east and the Murat River on the west. Terah crossed the Karasu River and went on west then followed a wide stream they named the Jezirah down a beautiful, long, wide, fertile valley to the eastern banks of the Murat River but they did not cross the Murat.

The long, beautiful valley on the east side of the Murat River was good grazing country, they were far west of Nineveh, far out of Nimrod's reach and Terah decided they would camp there a few days to recover from their long, hard, fast journey. The river Murat and its tributaries drained nearly 2,000 square miles of the Zargos mountains and was a natural trade route.

The Jezirah had its own smaller tributary system that drained many fertile valleys and plateaus in the Zargos Mountains and many of them were becoming inhabited by the ever spreading families, clans and tribes disbursed from Babel. The days turned into weeks, the weeks turned into months and finally a year had gone by. It was a hard place to leave because it had started to feel like home and Terah named the land containing the long valley (Gen. 11:31) Haran * after (Gen. 11:27-28) his dead son Haran who was Lot's father.*

The wide valley was a good place to live. Terah's clan were hospitable people and the families, clans and tribes of people from the mountains made contact and started bringing their goods to export downriver. Imported goods these mountain people could not produce came upriver to be traded.

Gradually Terah's clan began building houses, they built boat docks and warehouses, their building turned into a town and they also named the town Haran. Trade began to flourish. It was a story as old as time. Haran town had started growing. (Gen. 27:1-46 esp. V.43 keyword: Haran) Haran country would be a place where Abram's Grandson Jacob would flee the wrath of his (V.32) firstborn Brother Esau.

Note: (Gen. 11:26) Terah had been 70 years old when Abram was born. (Gen. 12:4) Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran so, 70 +75=145, Terah was 145 years old and still lived at Haran when Abram left. (Gen. 11:32) Terah was 205 years old when he died so, 205-145=60, Terah lived at Haran 60 years after Abram left. End of Note.

A couple of days after Terah's group left Ur of the Chaldees Satan was spiritually riding Shem like a borrowed donkey, hard and rough! It was far into the night and Shem lay on his back in bed. He massaged the back of his neck with his hand, turned over, rolled back, lay on his side in a fetal position, kicked and thrashed. His disgusted wife had gone to another room several hours ago to try to sleep. Like us all, at one time or another, Shem figured his thoughts were his own but they were Satan's malicious lies (Part 2).

"You're a lousy $%#@ leader! They didn't even love you enough to tell you they were leaving!" "I sure am a lousy &%$ leader, they don't love me enough to tell me they were leaving." "Listen at you curse, its no wonder they don't trust enough to tell you they were leaving." "Listen to my filthy mouth, its no wonder they don't trust me enough to tell me they were leaving!" "You're such a loser they were afraid you might spill your guts to Nimrod." Shem writhed in agony on his sweaty bed; "Oh Lord God, am I such a loser they think I'd betray them to Nimrod?" "You are a useless failure!" "I'm a useless failure!"

It went on and on until the dawning when Shem went to the front porch to drink hot sassafras tea. He dozed off, spilled the hot tea in his lap, jumped to his feet cursing, slung the cup away, stomped into the house, sat fuming for a while, gradually came to his senses, tears trickled down his cheeks and he started praying. The Lord God listened patiently while Shem poured out his heart full of self-disgust, fear, worry and self-anger.

Then the Lord God gently gave Shem the warm tenderness of His gentle kindness, love and affection. Shem gasped and whispered his thankful words of praise, adoration and thanksgiving. Shem wept harder but they were happy, grateful tears. The Lord God whispered into Shem's soul; "You are once again being tried in the fiery forge of Satan's temptation and hatred. When you come through Satan's fire you will be forged into a stronger, better servant to serve Me. I will be with you always. But Shem wasn't listening! Ever done that? Me too!

Abram really missed Shem. Due to the fact Noah and Shem had raised Abram from a baby Abram emotionally looked upon them as his fathers. Shem was all Abram had now that Noah was gone and he was ashamed of himself for keeping Shem in the dark about their leaving. (Gen. 12:5 keyword: souls)* "There were well over 100 of us with all we could carry in the carts and on our draft animals and we were fleeing for our lives but I could have taken time to tell Shem."

On night 5 after Terah's caravan left Shem dreamed Abram would never carry the record of man further to other generations and that Abram would perform a special job for God. Shem felt better, but not by much, he didn't know the whole story but he dared not question the Lord God.

Abram thoroughly believed there was only One God, the Lord God, and he abhorred the thought of many gods; "Why were people so blind?" As a child, when Abram had first started to talk, Noah and Shem had taught him about the Lord God. As he grew up they had shown him the clay tablets, taught him to read and let him read them for himself. They told him very descriptive stories of the people involved and the way they had lived. It fascinated Abram that Noah and Shem had both lived before the flood and had known Methuselah who had known Adam.

Even as a child Abram could see (Col. 1:16-17) God's mind and creation in the controlled symmetry and beauty in nature.* The families who had remained loyal to and worshipped the Lord God performed their worship at a communal altar. But there was always the stirrings of idolatry in their clan and Noah had feared their communal altar might be unclean because sometimes members of their clan completely renounced their Lord God and went over to Nimrod's false God worship.

Before Abram was born Noah and Shem had built a secret altar where they and a small, very select group worshipped the Lord God in spirit and in truth. Nimrod occasionally tried to persecute those who openly worshipped the Lord God at the communal altar but somehow trouble would always arise in some other part of his far-flung kingdom that would require his attention and the persecution would die out for a while.

Even as a child Noah and Shem had taken Abram to their secret altar and Abram had seen the Lord God come in a cloud, take their blood and fat offerings with fiery lightening and he had heard God's voice in his soul. Abram had seen and he had heard and he would not be swayed. He knew there was only One true God.

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