See Part 18, 20 paragraphs up from the end to see Abram's timeline.
Shaveh was a good place to leave. The bloated, darkened corpses of the multitudes of thousands lay sprawled where grotesque rigor mortis had left them strewn across the valley where they had fallen before the bloody blades of other men's fear and fury. Their stiffened hands still grasped their own bloody swords or axes, sometimes broken bows or knives and their shields.
Some had arrows protruding from them; all were slashed, battered and broken; and their faces were stamped with their last ghastly emotion whether it be fury, fear, hatred, horror, or agonizing pain. High above them circled the gathering buzzards and somehow, as if by some macabre magic, hordes of flies swarmed and the low but penetrating high pitched shrill of their wings buzzed an awful call to a horrid feast.
(Acts 17:26 keywords: hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth) In the settling of disagreements by various groups, clans, tribes and nations by bloody warfare mankind has lost the awareness he is killing, murdering, robbing and raping his blood kin relatives from the blood line of Noah regardless of their color or ethnicity.
(Rev. 20:7-15 esp. V.7 keyword: Satan) It will continue to be so until the final war (V.8 keywords: deceive the nations) because Satan is a deceiver (V.9) but God Himself will destroy them, (V.12) after that will come the final judgment (V.14-15) and Satan will finally have his kingdom but it will be in a lake of fire (V.10) for ever and ever. Are you sure you want to be there in the fire with him?
That buzzing was music to Satan's spiritual ears. (2Ki. 1:2) Ba'al-ze'bub is a deliberate, derogatory, Hebrew corruption of the name of one of their ancient enemy's pagan god's names which means lord of the flies. (Mark 3:22-29) Beel'ze-bub is the Greek form of the same word and it also means lord of the flies. The name shows the magnitude of the deliberate insult the scribes meant when they accused Jesus of being possessed by Beel'ze-bub, the prince of devils.
Jesus informed them Satan was the god of all those idolatrous people and their false gods (kingdom), which meant Satan is the lord of the flies. Jesus also said when they call God's work through the Holy Spirit the work of Satan they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit and it will not be forgiven. Blasphemy means reviling, vilification, railing and impious words against God.
As they went about their work Abram shook his head in wonder at the vast array of shields, swords, bows, arrows, spears, hatchets, knives, armor, helmets, food, medicine, horses, mules, wagons, clothing; it seemed a thousand things their kingdoms had produced instead of farming, herding and tending their precious families.
Precious families made Abram think; "Here lies (Gen. 14:5-17) the finest men 16 kingdoms could produce, all of them somebody's sons, rotting in various battlefields, small and large, that go almost 40 miles due west from Sodom at the Salt Sea to Shaveh in Dan on the Mediterranean Sea, then north 133 miles from Shaveh in Dan to Hobah on the left hand of Damascus, Syria (Gen. 15:2) and I go childless. Is Eliezer the steward of my house going to inherit all I own?" Abram suddenly realized he had been involved in a Whole World War, at least the whole world as he knew it.
Those who gathered the spoils of war sometimes flushed impatient buzzards from where they had already started to feed upon their ghastly repast. Sometimes soldiers became sickened and gagged because of the choking, foul, putrid smell and they were disgusted by the buzzard's scaly repulsive heads with their hooked, rapacious beaks. Sometimes they twirled their slings loaded with round stones and smashed the offensive heads until Abram stopped them; "They are only doing what the Lord God assigned them to do."
Abram's words were startlingly loud and it made them aware of the stillness that hung over the battlefield like a great, dark, ghastly shame brought about by man's inhumanity to man and from then on, when forced to speak, they spoke in whispers. They went about their gathering of goods in silence except for the buzzing of the gorging, green, carrion flies.
Somehow the occasional snort of a horse or the click of a hoof was an offense to the silence of the horror and more than one man wondered within himself; "Are we any different than the buzzards feeding here?" Finally it was done and the caravan left the valley of Shaveh, the plane of a double city, a double city silenced and they started back southeast toward home.
Satan, the glutton for human suffering, had spiritually gorged on the fury, fear, hatred, horror and agonizing pain yet he was still hungry because the evil within him could not be filled. He had looked into every dying face and had gloated; "They worshiped me and now they are mine. God made them in His own image but they belong to me!"
The Lord God was thinking; (2Pet. 3:8) "With me 1 day is as 1,000 years and 1,000 years is as 1 day. (Luke 3:38 from Adam backwards to V. 23) Lucifer, in 55 generations (Rev. 1:18) My own Son will break thy power of death (Isa. 14:12-16) and men shall look upon thee narrowly. Thou thinkest that by their death thou hast sealed them unto thyself but they will still have a choice!" (Part 26)
Writer's Note: We may as well end the coming controversy right here. Christians have all kinds of notions as to the identity of MELCHIZEDEK <OT, Hebrew and MELCHISEDEC <NT, Greek form of the Hebrew word. The majority of Christians, about 50%, are divided among 3 opinions: Some say he is Shem, some say he is Jesus and some say he is just some unnamed priest. About 15% of Christians go all over the place with several impossible versions. About 15% don't know what we're talking about and 20% don't care.
The secular world of educated guessers is the same and their wild guesses is like standing at a great distance and shooting a shotgun at a list of every Jew who ever lived; BANG and they are all over the list.
The book of Hebrews reveals the identity of Melchisedec. There is a great hue and cry over the identity of the author of the Book of Hebrews, location from which it was written, date of writing and who it was written to. Good Grief! It is obvious God, through the Holy Spirit, inspired some man to write it. Read Hebrews with prayer and the Holy Spirit will verify it is God's Word from God to you. (Rom. 10:17-18 keywords: their words unto the ends of the world) A book must have a title, hence Romans, Galatians, Hebrews and etc.
It is obvious as the books of the New Testament were written they made their way around to all the churches in the ever expanding Christian world. Of course faithful men laboriously copied them to spread them further faster and that's why archaeology has found so many copies or partially destroyed fragments of the books throughout the Middle East and etc. (2Tim. 3:16) All that will ever matter to me personally is that God wrote it, I received it and the Holy Spirit is revealing the content to me. What more could I want? End of note.
Who is Melchizedek/Melchisedec
If you have the slightest hesitation or problem with understanding Jesus' identity please read the segment Who is the Holy Spirit located in the The Holy Spirit and You commentary. If you wish to understand the depth of His ministry and personality please read the commentary Jesus. The Book of Hebrews is obviously written to all people both saved and lost.
AND also Jew and Gentile because it #1) identifies Jesus as Saviour, #2) as the Christian High Priest who appears in front of God on the behalf of Christians, #3) as understanding Christians problems with temptation because He lived and was tempted just like us yet He was without sin, and also #4) the actual definition of faith, #5) the great Biblical examples of faithful people, #6) brotherly love, #7) chastisement, #8) backsliding and etc.
#1) Hebrews is a treasure trove book that is rich in all aspects of the Christian experience because it is written to all Christians, Jews and even the lost people who read it will pick up enough information (John 6:44) for the Holy Spirit to draw them.
As always there are (1Pet. 2:15 then 1Cor. 14:38) ignorant people who wish to attack the truth of God's word (Rom. 10:3) and some ignorant Christians who strain to misunderstand God's word rather than strain to understand God's word. (Heb. 1:2 keywords: last days) Many people say God's word got it wrong because 2,000 years have gone by and the last days still haven't come to pass.
#2) The book of Hebrews is also focused on the Jews as a people and it is a call for the unsaved Jews to accept Jesus as their Saviour (Heb. 1:2) "in these last days" and it was truly Israel's last days because the Romans would shortly destroy Israel as a nation.
#3) It was hard for the Jews to accept Jesus as a Saviour since they had worshipped God through the Law of Moses, circumcision and sacrifice. Hebrews is also written as a warning to the Christian Jews to fully accept the new covenant (Heb. 6:1-19 esp. V.4-6) and to avoid being drawn back into Judaism and thus losing their salvation.
Hebrews also addresses the Jewish experience in their origin with God's covenant with Abraham which for effect founded the nation of Israel through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jacob's progeny. (Heb. 9:1-15) Israel was entrusted with all the accouterments of temple worship, the contents of the Ark of the Covenant and the Levitical priesthood.
Hebrews carefully points out but does not say the words that all these things were actually physical prophesies that foretold the coming of Jesus Christ (Heb. 12:24-25) and the new, (Heb. 8:6) better covenant He would bring. Hebrews also points out the Jews were trusted with the history, concept, scriptures, prophets, Mosaic law, writing style, way of thinking and traditions of God's relationship with man from creation (Heb. 9:10) until the time Jesus would bring the reformation (to straighten thoroughly, rectification, Messianic restoration).
(Heb. 1:1 - 4:16) <These scriptures (1:1-2) identify Jesus as God's Son and heir and He was present and participated in creation. They also (Heb. 1:3 keywords: express image of his person) identify Jesus (2Cor. 4:6) as presenting the PERFECT humanity of God; don't forget, we are made in God's image (Phil. 3:21 & 1John 3:2) and we will eventually have a resurrected body and be just like Jesus! (1Tim. 3:16 keywords: God was manifest in the flesh) Any Jew would understand the words are saying that Jesus was and is God. The Jew's problem was getting their heads (intellect) and hearts (emotions, feelings, self, soul) wrapped around it so they could believe it!
(Heb. 1:4 thru 2:18) <These scriptures give the highlights of Jesus' ministry and purpose. (Heb. 3:1) Then God's word #1) tells them Jesus is THE High Priest! And (Heb. 3:2-4:16) #2) connects Jesus right on back through the Law of Moses, #3) to not provoke God by not believing God like Israel did when they refused to enter the Promised Land and #4) to believe what God said and is saying because the word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (soul). Any Jew would understand God is saying (John 1:1-3 & 1John 1:1-4) Jesus is the living Word of God. The Jew's problem was getting their heads and hearts wrapped around it so they could believe that too!
Then (Heb. 4:14-16) God's word says Jesus, the Son of God, our Saviour, had become the Christian's Great High Priest when He ascended into heaven after His resurrection and He will understand our warfare with the feeling of our infirmities (feebleness, weakness, frailty) because He had lived in a body just like ours and He was tempted just like we are tempted yet He did not sin.
He understands! Jesus understands and that's why we should realize we can come boldly to His throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy for our failures because the living Son of God, our living Saviour, the living Word of God, the living Grace of God is our living Great High Priest and He will help us in time of need. YIPEEEE! YAHOOOO! I CAN MAKE IT BECAUSE OF JESUS! Steeped in their Jewish world of law and sacrifice the Jews also had a problem with getting their heads and hearts wrapped around that concept so they could believe it!
(Heb. 5:1-14) These scriptures introduce us to the idea of Jesus being Melchisedec (NT) and the only comparison available is the priesthood of Aaron (Levitical) and (V.12-14) a warning is issued that this concept is complicated and only those who are skillful in God's word will understand. (Heb. 10:1-39 esp. V.16 keywords: I will put my laws into their hearts and into their minds will I write them) The Jewish Christians had a problem with the new covenant because they had to turn around their way of thinking and learn about their new covenant.
Gentiles are not under the Law of Moses (Heb. 10:3) which only brought the remembrance of sin but the Gentiles are still under a law! Gentiles and Jews are trapped by the law that came from man's curse in Eden which was inherited by each of us.
It is the law from Eden (Gen. 3:6-24 esp. V.22 keywords: to know good and evil & Rom. 8:6-8 esp. V.7 keywords: carnal mind) that we, Jew and Gentile, have inherited a carnal (of the flesh, human nature with its frailties and passions, unregenerate) mind (soul, self, me, personality) (Rom. 8:6-8 esp. V.7 keywords: enmity against God) which makes us the enemy against God and brings forth death. (Rom. 8:2) It is the law of sin and death.
When a Gentile (non-Jew) experiences the salvation event he is now under a new covenant with God and the gentile must turn around his way of thinking and learn about their new covenant just like the Jews did. Many gentiles (the modern church) have the same problem as the Jews with their new covenant for the same reason but under a different set of circumstances; (Heb. 10:22-31) They won't study the words in their new covenant (the Bible), God refuses to uncap a skull and pour knowledge into an unwilling brain and the Holy Spirit has nothing to work with in the lives of these Christians.
Just like the Jews, God simply hears them say by their actions; "No God, I don't want to know You better, I don't want to be Your servant because You aren't worth the trouble. I want to go on with the important things I used to do that I still want to do!" In every New Testament book attributed to Paul he, in one way or another, addresses the problem of new Christians wanting to mix their old physical covenant with the devil, the world and their self (idolatry) with their new grace covenant with God just like the Jews did. (1Cor. 11:18-22 & Gal. 3:2) It is obvious Paul had rebuked Christians and their elders for sinning (1Tim. 5:19-22) because he instructed Timothy to do the same thing in his ministry.
I personally believe the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews not long before, or during the time he was imprisoned in Rome (last days) and (Luke 19:41-44 Jesus had prophesied Jerusalem would fall) because in every New Testament book attributed to him, in one way or another, he addressed the problem of racial Jews accepting free salvation but then attempting to live under the Law of Moses which was an attempt to mix their old covenant of law, sacrifice, circumcision, dietary and their idolatry (Mark 7:1-13 esp. V.8 keyword: traditions- which is: the Talmud- the Jewish book of traditions) with their new grace covenant with God.
(Matt. 15:6-9 key thought: many of the Jews had turned the Law into a type of idol and used it to their own carnal, personal advantage). (Gal. 2:7-21 esp. V.14) The Apostle Paul, in front of witnesses, even rebuked the Apostle Peter, an elder in the church, about mixing the covenants.
Ultimately Paul, (2Tim. 3:16) inspired by God through the Holy Spirit, wrote, taught and preached; #1) there is a Jewish religion based on Abraham's Covenant, the Law of Moses, blood sacrifice with the concept that works can earn or cause God to owe salvation to the Jews.
#2) There is a better Christian religion where salvation is free by the grace of God brought about by the blood sacrifice of Jesus because a) man could not live "good" enough (works and sinlessness) to deserve salvation, b) man had nothing valuable enough to purchase salvation and c) man did not have the power to generate enough faith to just "take" salvation whenever he wanted it.
AND #3) all other people are (Gal. 1:16, 2:9 & 3:8) heathen (pagan) and (2Cor. 6:15 & 1Tim. 5:8) infidels (unbelievers).
(Heb. 6:20) Jesus our forerunner, (resurrected and gone to heaven before us) is made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Heb. 7:1-3) (V.1) "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;" This verse identifies Melchisedec as the person who met Abraham after he had slaughtered the heathen kings in Shaveh.
The next verse identifies Melchisedec as having 2 titles no mere human can hold; (V.2) King of righteousness but (Rom. 3:10) no mere man is righteous AND King of peace (Isa. 9:6, John 14:27 & Col. 1:20) and Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is the only one who can give peace because He won that with His blood on His bloody cross; no mere man ever did that.
As has been shown, Jesus was God manifested in the flesh (Luke 1:31-35 & 2:21-24) by being born to the Virgin Mary as a baby. BUT at the time of Melchisedec Jesus had not been born yet so He was (V.3) "Without father, without mother, without descent (no family tree, no ancestors), having neither beginning of days, nor end of life (Gen. 21:33 & Psa. 90:2 keyword: everlasting; Jesus is an eternal person); but made like unto the Son of God;"
At the time of Abraham Jesus had not yet been born and grown into a man SO this Melchisedec was an incarnation (a bodily manifestation of a supernatural being) of God in His Jesus form just like (Josh. 5:13-15 key: no angel or man of God would have accepted Joshua's worship) when Joshua met and talked to Jesus before the battle of Jericho.
AND just like (Dan. 3:22-25 keywords: Son of God) when Nebuchadnezzar saw Jesus walking in the furnace with the 3 Hebrews. (last part of V.3): "abideth a priest continually." At the time Hebrews was written Jesus had been murdered, buried, resurrected and had ascended into heaven (Heb. 7:22-28 esp. V.25 keywords: ever liveth) where He makes intercession with God for us continually because He has an unchangeable priesthood. SO:
(Gen. 14:18) ABRAM MET JESUS IN HIS MELCHIZEDEK FORM
(Gen. 14:18) Abram was so tired he thought he would die right there in the saddle at the head of the column of wagons and mounted riders. His eyes felt gritty, they were red rimmed and it felt as if his neck creaked when he tiredly looked back at his men nodding as they slouched in their saddles. The bodyguards of the 3 Canaanite kings of the Amorites, their saddle horses tied to the back of their wagons, dozed on the wagon seats as they drove the loaded wagons filled with the spoils of war.
They hadn't had time to marshal their army. The oxen pulling the wagons were content to just plod along. The Ammonite kings, Mamre, Eshcol and Aner, drooped in their saddles in a loose half circle behind Abram. All the men in the column were incredibly dirty, dust and sweat caked faces, hands and arms, salt whited and sweat stained underarms with ripped, ragged clothes. The clothes of Abram and the 318 were saturated with the horribly suggestive, brownish, rusty colored stains of dried blood.
They were drained as only combat can drain the human psyche and physique. Though in a group each man still rode alone in the haunted world of their own horror and emotional shock. The reality of the natural world around them had become surrealistic and far away even though they were right in the middle of it. They did not yet realize they would never again be the same men who had left their loved ones at the beginning of their war.
They would always be a little more on guard, a little colder, their values would change, they would see the trivialities of life as foolishness and even small decisions would assume a greater importance than they really were. Their sleep would be haunted for the rest of their lives. A dream, good or bad, is a person's reality at that time. In their nightmares, always distorted by their depression and anxiety, they would always be at a disadvantage, their weapons wouldn't perform or they would be disarmed when they fought the reality of the phantoms. Satan could be counted on to help all he could to make their misery worse.
Abram slowly shaded his eyes and thought; "It's the new king of Sodom, Bera's son, Birsha." There was no threat there and Abram drifted back into his hypnotic somnolence. As he approached them Birsha's eyes gleamed with excitement because the news had spread about what Abram had done and he was filled with questions. Abram's cold, remote stare looked right through Birsha and Abram's eyes appeared to be focused beyond him, at some other place, in some other time, and the questioning words died in Birsha's throat.
By Jewish reckoning of time it was 1,466 years from Abraham to Jesus and by our reckoning of time it was 1,967 years from Jesus to the midpoint of the Vietnam War. SO:
About 3,433 years into the future what Birsha saw in Abram's eyes would be labeled "The Thousand Yard Stare" and its accompanying PTSD. That stare is the result of sensory overload when a human brain has been overloaded with a massive, intense, extended assault of anger, fear, horror, anxiety, cruelty, loss, despair and guilt that threatens to destroy the person's humanity and the subconscious brain is desperately busy trying to save its sanity by frantically trying to bring order to the chaos of the impossibility of reason. They rode in silence.
Satan was aghast when he "felt" Who was in Salem! (Gen. 14:18-20) They were passing the small village of Salem with its new protective wall around it and Abram saw men approaching from its gate. Satan fled when he recognized Who was coming out to meet Abram and his thoughts roared; "He's the one Who formed and molded Adam in his image and gave him life! Is He going to make something new here too?"
The Lord God was right with Satan and Satan never knew it; "Ahhhh Lucifer, if you only knew what I'm planning you would definitely understand but its a secret right now!" <(Rom. 16:25 keywords: "secret since the world began" which refers to God's promise in *Gen. 3:15* and the mystery (secret) is explained in *1Cor. 2:6-8* after it was too late for Satan to do anything about the method God would use to defeat Satan *John 6:44 & 12:32 and Heb. 2:9-11* and bring the offer of salvation and freedom from death to ALL people who would EVER live.)
Satan was gone because he couldn't stand the Presence; "If I could find some way to get a man to kill Him when He's in His man body I would win<--See (John 13:18-27 esp. V.25-27)!" Abram's upraised arm stopped the column and Abram motioned for Birsha and the 3 Ammonite kings to follow him as he rode to meet the people outside the walls of Salem. His eyes widened and his heart was gladdened when he saw Shem but his attention riveted upon the man beside Shem; (Matt. 25:34 keywords: right hand) "Shem is at the other man's right hand! It is the favored position but it is the subordinate position too. I wonder who he is?"
They rode closer and Abram realized the silent figure beside Shem had a specialness about Him, almost a glow; "There's a righteousness, a peace, a, a, I can't describe it." Abram dismounted and it seemed perfectly natural to go right on down to his knees before the beautiful, somehow Kingly man before him. Abram uncovered his head and bowed low with his face touching the dust.
The stranger laid his warm hand upon Abram's head; (Gen. 14:19-20) "I bless thee Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand." and Abram somehow felt cleansed and healed!
The stranger effortlessly lifted Abram to his feet and introduced Himself; (Heb. 7:1-3 esp. V.2) "I am Melchizedek." (V.2 keywords: first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace). Abram was confused and awed at the same time, he well knew the interpretation of the name but the magnitude of the claim was simply too overwhelming for Abram to emotionally and mentally digest what he had heard.
Then he looked into the Stranger's eyes and there he saw strength, power, kindness, love unimaginable and he saw humor too, not the raucous kind so common to man but the kind of humor that has the power to joyously throw its arms around you and give you the best day you've ever had and the certain knowledge blasted through Abram's thoughts; "This is the best day I've ever had."
The Stranger let Abram see still deeper into his eyes and Abram saw an ancient knowledge in their depths. There was also contemporary knowledge in them and a future knowledge too and he knew he was looking into the knowledge of forever in the depths of the Stranger's eyes!
Abram suddenly remembered the clay tablet record Noah and Lamech had shown him in the secret cave of the First Borns upon which Adam had recorded the creation of man (Part 1 then Part 7 starting 14 paragraphs from the top) and Abram felt a great weakness of absolute amazement consume him and his thoughts were like glittering diamond, lightning bolts in his brain; "ITS HIM! ITS THE GOD OF EDEN AS ADAM SAW HIM, WALKED WITH HIM AND HE TAUGHT ADAM OUR LANGUAGE!"
Abram was speechless. Melchizedec lifted a hand and immediately servants brought bread and wine to serve the 5 visitors. The 4 heathen kings who paid obeisance to their pagan gods wondered why Abram was so humble and so awed by the simple Shepherd and they rudely shouldered each other as they rushed several feet past Melchizedec to the repast.
They drank great draughts of wine, wiped the spillage from their chins, ate huge bites of bread, brushed the crumbs from the front of their robes and drank more huge, sucking draughts of wine. Abram was embarrassed and ashamed of them. Isn't that the story of a lot of today's church? (Mark 9:35 & 10:44) Rush right past Jesus and His call to servant-hood and fly to the glitter and giggle of the feel goodism futility of do nothingitis.
(John 20:28) Abram didn't know he was saying a title another man would give almost 1,500 years later; "My Lord and my God (Gen. 14:20) I humbly ask thee to take tithes (the tenth part) of all." King Birsha, not to be outdone, rudely interrupted their conversation; (Gen. 14:21) "Give me the persons (men), and take the goods to thyself."
In other words; "I'll take my recaptured slaves and head on back home, you can have all this stuff." Have you ever had anyone try to out-good you? Like Birsha, they do their works out of pride; (Matt. 23:5-7) "Look at me! Look at me!" Abram had given out of the sincerity of his heart. None of the goods was his to give but he was saying; "Without the most high God delivering the enemies into my hand none of us would have had anything, including our lives." Know any Christians like Birsha?
(Gen. 14:20) Abram understood something a lot of Christians today do not understand. (Mal. 3:8) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. (Heb. 7:4-9) Tithe payers are identified as God's people. With what you have learned about Satan do you think your enemy would let you (a person belonging to God) have anything other than starvation if it were possible? (1Chron. 29:11 & Psa. 24:1) God owns everything. He expects 10% back from the 100% He has given you by enabling you to obtain the 100% so how can you refuse? If you do refuse to pay your tithes God says you are robbing Him.
I would surely hate to face that in the judgment because only a thief commits robbery and the 8th commandment says; "Thou shalt not steal." (1Pet. 4:15-18 esp. V.15 keyword: thief) If the righteous are scarcely saved a thief will surely go to hell. (John 12:6 & Acts 1:16-20 then 25) Judas was a thief and look what happened to him! Personally I am extremely thankful Almighty God lets me keep 90% of what He has enabled me to obtain. He could reverse it if He wanted to!
(Gen. 14:22-24) Abram turned sharply toward Birsha and told him in no uncertain terms that he didn't want anything Birsha had, not even a shoelace or even a thread that dangled from a rich tapestry Chedorlaomer had taken from Sodom because Birsha would go brag he had made Abram rich. "All we took was what we ate while we fought your battle."
"Give Kings Aner, Eshcol and Mamre their portion, at least they went with me!" With that little speech Abram declared to all present that his God would supply all his needs and that the Amorite kings were the same as Birsha. If only the New Testament, Grace Covenant Church membership felt like Abram and wouldn't dabble around in worldly things the poor, beaten down, worn out pastors would have a much easier time doing their jobs for God.
When Abram turned back Melchizedec was gone and Shem stood there grinning. It was a good reunion because Abram hadn't seen any of his blood kin for several years. None that is except the whiner, his nephew Lot, and he was worn out with Lot! The Amorite kings left for their kingdoms the next morning. Abram and the 318 rested at Salem a few days. He and Shem had much catching up to do and Abram wanted to know all about Melchizedec.
Far away a Chaldean soldier, who had escaped the slaughter, kicked and paddled across the Euphrates River while clinging to a log for flotation. It didn't matter that the current swept him several miles downstream toward the south as he swam. The Euphrates is a wide, wide river and when he got across he would be going south anyway so it didn't matter. He was headed south to Nimrod at Babylon with news he hoped would make him a rich man. The soldier didn't know Satan had helped him find his way. He simply felt like he was the "luckiest" man on earth to have escaped the slaughter and he had an "idea" how he could trade information for wealth.
God's Visitations to Abram
#1) (Gen. 12:1-3) God had told Abram: #1) to leave Haran and go to a land God would show him, #2) that He would make Abram a great nation, #3) and He would bless Abram, #4) He would make Abram's name great, #5) that Abram would be a blessing, #6) that God would bless them that blessed Abram and curse him that cursed Abram AND #7) in Abram all the families of the earth would be blessed. Seven, God's number of perfection. Abram went.
#2) (Gen. 12:6-7 keyword: Moreh- which, according to maps, is the plain below Mount Moriah) When Abram got to Canaan God told him this is the place and He would give Abram's seed (posterity) the land.
#3) (Gen. 13:14-18) God told Abram: A) look in every direction and the land Abram saw was the land God would give Abram and his seed forever, B) God would make Abram's seed as numerous as the dust of the earth C) and to walk the length and width of the land because that was what He was giving Abram. Three, God's number of completion.
The next time they met it would be really different because God would let Abram meet Satan in the covenant process! ALSO: God did not give us the capability to read 2 or 3 things at the same time but He did give us an understanding and a timeline to figure things out (See Part 18 Abram's Timeline) so it all makes sense if we are willing to pray for guidance and to study hard. SO: Abram was 85 years old (Gen. 14:1-4) when the 1st war, in which he did not participate, took place (Gen. 16:1-16) and Sarai gave Hagar to Abram that same year.
(Gen. 16:16) Ishmael was born the next year (9 months later) when Abram was 86 years old, 86+13= 99. (Gen. 17:24-27 esp. V.25 keyword: thirteen) Abram/Abraham was 99 years old when the covenant circumcision act was performed when Ishmael was 13.That's how the 2nd war, in which Abram did participate, (Gen. 14:5 keyword: fourteenth 85 + 14 = 99) also took place when Abram was 99 years old AND: God did it that way so we would know Ishmael was born between the wars and we could comprehend Abram's timetable.
NOTE: In the Book of Genesis God and Lord seem to be used interchangeably but sometimes together. That can be confusing to someone who is looking for the depth of a given scripture. (Gen. 15:2 & 8, 18:3, 27, 30 & 31 and 20:4) <In these scriptures the word Lord is the Hebrew word Adonay (Ad-o-noy), a proper name for God only, which is an emphatic form of the root word adown (aw-done) which means to rule, sovereign, controller, master, owner. The rest of the time Lord is used in Genesis it is the Hebrew word Yehovah (yeh-ho-vaw) and means self-Existent, eternal, and is the Jewish national name for God.
(Gen. 6:5, 15:2 & 8) <In these scriptures the word God is the Hebrew word Yehovih (yeh-ho-vee) and is used to keep from using Yehovah twice, hence the Hebrew writers could greatly magnify God by writing Lord God instead of God God or Lord Lord. Its a Hebrew language thing. (Gen. 14:18, 19, 20, 22, 16:3, 17:1, 28:3, 35:1, 3, 11, 43:14, 48:3 & 49:25) <In these scriptures the Hebrew word 'el (ale) is used for God and it means mighty.
In all the other scriptures where the word God is used the Hebrew word elohiym- el-o-heem- is used and it means a plural God, in other words, the #1) Father, #2) the Son and #3) the Holy Spirit are one Supreme God, EXAMPLE (Gen. 1:1) "In the beginning God (elohiym- a plural Godhead)" and that is why and how God can say; (Gen. 1:26) "Let us make man in our (plural) image" (1Thess. 5:23 keywords: #1) spirit, #2) soul and #3) body) WE ARE MADE IN GOD'S IMAGE!
There has been a continuing disagreement over the subject of a plural or singular Godhead that has split Christian congregations and denominations. (Prov. 6:16-19) God hates he that sows discord among the brethren! Example: The disagreement over a plural or singular Godhead helped bring about the split (1st schism) of the Roman Catholic Church into East (Greek) and West (Latin) divisions at the Bishop's meeting in 1054 in Constantinople, Turkey.
Western Pope Leo the 9th and Eastern Patriarch Michael the 1st excommunicated each other. The West stayed Roman Catholic and the East became the Eastern Orthodox which is now comprised of various orthodox churches such as Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox and etc. Orthodox is defined as conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true. The Eastern Orthodox also produced the Coptic Churches such as the Egyptian Coptic and etc.
(Rev. 20:V.2-3 & 7-11 esp. V.3,8 &10 keywords: deceive and deceived) (V.2) "the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan," SO: Satan is a deceiver. When His disciples asked Jesus when the world would end Jesus said: (Matt. 24:4-5 & 11) "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (V.11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."
Think very seriously about this: (Acts 4:8-12 esp. V.10 keyword: Jesus Christ & V.12 keywords: none other name) Jesus is the only person who can give man salvation. SO: ACCORDING TO THAT SCRIPTURE: Any other religion, or whatever you wish to call it, that does not embrace Jesus as Saviour is a Satanic religion because the devil deceived their false prophets and those deceived adherents will go to hell and that covers billions of people at this time, 11-7-14.
Satan is delighted with Christless religions because they are no different than idolaters since they revere some man, book, holy animals, mythology, philosophy, or an object. Satan is also delighted with proud ignorant, selfish stubborn, devil deceived adherents to Christianity who argue, get angry, quarrel, (Prov. 6:16-19 esp. V.16 keywords: things doth the Lord hate) (V.19) sow discord among the brethren and cause church splits rather than adhere to God's word.
People run around crying; "What's wrong with the Church? What's wrong with the Church?" LACK OF: Bible knowledge, spiritual discerning, humility, compassion, loyalty, integrity and passion. Do you actually think God will take someone to heaven who is performing things He hates? I don't either!
Covenant is (a formal, solemn, binding agreement, contract, commitment, guarantee, pledge). Before a covenant is entered there are a series of events that take place between the 2 parties that prepares one or both of the parties for Covenant Talk. That's what God was doing in the 3 above steps when He was making promises to Abram. Below are the 7 steps of classic, traditional Hebrew covenant that was built on the foundation of God's covenant with Abraham.
#1) The two persons would exchange their coats and/or robes. To a Hebrew the robe represents the person's identity, wealth and authority and each is symbolically saying to the other; "I give to you all of me and I accept all of you" (refer->Ex. 29:1-8 esp. V.5 & 8 and 1Sam. 18:1-4 keywords both scriptures: coats & girdles) in steps #1 & #2.
#2) They would then exchange girdles (belts). The Girdle served as a belt to hold their breastplate and loins armour together and it carried their weapons, their dagger, sword, bow, arrows, shield and sometimes they hung their helmet on it when they were on the march. (refer->Eph. 6:13-17 keywords: whole armour of God)! Each is symbolically saying to the other; "I pledge my strength, my ability to fight and my protection to you. When you are attacked it is an attack upon me, your battles are mine, I will fight for you and defend you even if it costs me my life."
#3) (refer->Gen. 15:9-10) Then the covenant sacrifice is cut by splitting the sacrifice down the backbone and separating the two halves with the blood draining down and making a bloody path between the two halves. The two persons would join hands then start at one end and walk the bloody path together to the other end. There they would separate and each one would walk down the outside of their one side of the covenant sacrifice and meet back at the end in the blood where they had started. Their walk made an 8 laying on its side which is the infinity symbol, thus symbolizing their sacred blood covenant is forever.
#4) In front of the witnesses: The two persons, still standing in the blood of the covenant, cut their palms, clasp hands together and mingle their blood. They say; "We are one blood." Then they would mark their cut by rubbing charcoal powder into the cuts on their palms, which would leave a high-lighted scar for all to see they were in a sacred BLOOD COVENANT until their death.
Note: This clasping of hands is the origin of the handshake; "Hello, my sacred blood covenant partner, let me touch you with the mark of our COVENANT." Showing the mark of the covenant to a covenant partner some distance away was the origin of the wave. (Acts 7:54-60 keywords: fell asleep) That's what Stephen saw when he, filled with the Holy Spirit, saw Jesus standing on the right hand of the glory of God; "There you are, look at this my Brother, here it is, we're still in covenant. You won't feel a thing!"
#5) Then the two sacred blood covenant partners would exchange names. Example: John Smith and Aaron Jones are exchanging names; the first would become John Jones Smith and the second would become Aaron Smith Jones. (refer->Gen. 17:5) The Lord gave Abram His name and Abram was from then on known as Abraham. (refer->Ex. 6:3) God's sacred name is JEHOVAH and the addition of the h in Abraham is the giving of JEHOVAH'S name to Abram; (Gen. 17:15) likewise from Sarai to Sarah.
(Gen. 17:7-8 & Ex. 3:18 then 5:1 refer->) JEHOVAH became known as the God of Israel. Israel was the name of Abraham's covenant Grandson and the nation Israel was named after him SO: for effect, God took His covenant partner's name.
#6) The two sacred blood covenant partners ceremoniously wash then eat a commemorative meal of bread and wine to commemorate the covenant (<-refer Gen. 18:1-8 esp.V.4 keywords: wash your feet). One loaf is broken and they each place a piece of bread in the other's mouth signifying a part of each one had entered into the other. They each take a symbolic drink of wine from the same cup signifying their life had gone into each other. SEE: the commentary The Holy Spirit & You and read Part 1 of the 3 part Covenant series for a complete study. When you have finished it you will be closer to God than you are now!
#7) The two are now called friends (refer->John 15:14 & James 2:23). Then, in front of witnesses, the friends would plant a baby tree to represent their new, growing life as one (<-refer Gen. 21:22-33 esp. V.33) and they'd build a monument of stones to mark the place of the event (<-refer Gen. 31:20-55 esp. V.46 & refer-->V.54-->). AND THEN the friends and witnesses would eat a full course, joyous, friendship, fellowship, oneness of union, love inspired meal with the meat the sacrifice provided as the main course.
The covenant ceremony was done and they would go on through their life together as long as both of them lived. The word friend just like the handshake and wave has also been "watered down" in modern times. In the time of Jesus and of the early Church the word friend referred to a blood covenant partner not just someone you knew and hung out with.