A COVENANT WITH ISRAEL
Melchizedek began a program of planetary rehabilitation. He chose Abraham
to initiate that new work. The task involved two major components: a) retrieval
of the knowledge of one God above all gods, the Father and Creator of the
Universe, and b) disbursal of the remnants of Adamic blood which flowed
in the veins of the Iberi.
Abraham was not a pious man. But he was devout -- and he believed. This made him important to the plans of our planetary supervisors.
In following chapters I shall examine evidence for the migration of Hebrew tribes into Europe, and the manner in which they contributed to that planetary rehabilitation. But first it may be helpful to consider the selection of Abraham and the covenant Melchizedek made with the Israelite people.
From previous evidence we can better appreciate how Semitic people were endowed with a larger portion of Adamic blood. This was discovered through the name for Adam = the Red One, the name for Phoenix = the Purple One, the red skin color of the Akkadians = the Adamatu, the red skin color of the descendants of Esau = the Edomites, and the red color names for Tola and Pua, two sons of Issachar. We also have David being described as:
1 Sam 16:12
1 Sam 17:42-43
Ruddy in my dictionary is defined as having a fresh, healthy, red color.
Some scholars believe the word Canaan derives from the Akkadian kinahu. In ancient Nuzi texts from Assyria kinahu meant purple, or a kind of red. Kanan would be the land of the red men. The close-kin marriages of the family of Terah displayed Adamic traditions for blood-line preservation. It should not be surprising that Abraham was selected as the channel of genetic improvement. But equally important, he was also selected for his outstanding moral and religious values.
1) When Abraham complained that he had no son he was told he would have many descendants. Melchizedek showed him the stars; so numerous would his descendants be. Abraham accepted the promise, in simple faith. "He believed Yahweh and he reckoned it to him as righteousness." Gen 15:1-6.
2) When Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam, was ransacking the neighborhood, the local kings called upon Abraham for help. He defeated Chedorlaomer, bringing back chattel and people, and rescuing his nephew Lot. The king of Sodom wanted to give Abraham all the goods but Abraham rejected the offer. He did not want anyone to say he got rich off the property of the king. He wanted only the expense of the expedition. This also was righteous conduct, Gen 14.
3) When Sodom and Gomorrah were about to be destroyed Abraham pleaded to save those cities. If there were fifty righteous men would they be saved? He was assured they would be. If there were forty-five righteous men would the cities be saved? They would be. If forty would they be saved? Yes. If thirty, then twenty, then ten, they would not be destroyed. Not even ten could be found. What more could Abraham ask? What more could God say? Gen 18:23-33.
4) When God destroyed the cities he remembered Abraham; he brought his nephew Lot out safely, Gen 19:29.
Because of his genetic endowment outstanding promises were made to Abraham.
He would be the father of many people:
But it was through Sarah and their son Isaac
that the covenant was to carry.
Ishmael was to be blessed, but it was through
Isaac that the covenant was to hold:
Although the promises speak of descendants, many seed, Jesus, as a singular offspring, certainly did bring great blessing to this world. Of course we might say that Moses, David, the prophets, and other descendants of Abraham helped to bless the world, but this also is not the intent of the promises. The blood lines were important; Abraham's genes would bless many nations; many kings would arise out of him.
These promises were part of a covenant between God and Abraham, Gen 15:18, 17:2. It was to be an everlasting covenant between God and the descendants of Abraham, Gen 17:7, 9. The sign of the covenant was circumcision, 17:11.
A covenant was a solemn agreement between two
parties. But it was more than an agreement; it was a contract. Each party
was an active participant; each had a responsibility; each received a benefit.
If either failed, serious consequence resulted. Abraham was to obey God's
instructions. He was to charge his children, and his household after him,
to keep the way of Yahweh by doing righteousness and justice. This was
a condition for Yahweh to bring to Abraham that which he had promised,
Gen 18:19. On his part God promised Abraham that all the land would belong
to his descendants.
The covenant was renewed with Isaac:
The phrases "many nations" and "many kings" carry with them grand conceptions of time and geography. Abraham had to be impressed that his descendants would number as many as the stars in the sky. He could not have been unaware that such large numbers would require many generations; such great promise could not be fulfilled in a few centuries.
The phrases also carried an impressive statement of his role in planetary destiny. The future earthly rule of this world would come out of his seed. He was indeed greatly honored to be chosen as the blood father of multitudes of peoples, nations and kings. It would have been fruitless to make such promises to someone who could not appreciate them. Unless the chosen individual recognized their portent they would bring no personal commitment. Abraham possessed the faculties to recognize the responsibilities of his position. He also surely was impressed with the sacred obligation such role entailed. He must have been awed by the responsibilities thrust upon him. He could not act unrighteously; he could not betray his trust.
Some commentators on the Genesis accounts believe Abraham's faith was tested when God told him to make a sacrifice of his son Isaac, the son who carried the destiny blood. They feel that Abraham showed great faith in God by proceeding to the brink of that act. But Abraham's great faith had to date from before Isaac's birth. The promises were made before Isaac was born. He believed, and it was counted to him as righteousness, long before Isaac appeared.
Although the accounts in Genesis suggest that Abraham was informed of these matters by beings in visions, Gen 15:1, or Yahweh himself, 13:14, 17:3, it is not reasonable either that such important messages would be presented in questionable dream states, or that God would leave his administrative abode on high. They were relayed by a subordinate celestial being. Melchizedek enters into the Genesis account but only for the space of three verses in Chapter 14. He was a priest of the Most High God. In the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament we are told that he was without father or mother or genealogy, and had neither beginning of days nor end of life, Heb 7:3. He was immortal; he was a divine being. But according to the account in Genesis he brought out bread and wine, suggesting that he sustained himself with ordinary material food. He is altogether mysterious; we can only speculate on his physical status and his role. Perhaps he took on a material body to conduct business on this world, but then returned to a celestial body when he departed. From the details of the various episodes it seems reasonable to assume that this divine personage was the one who conversed with Abraham.
The text says that Yahweh took Abraham outside to show him the night sky, but it was Melchizedek who performed this memorable act. We know Abraham was impressed; he helped support Melchizedek by giving him a tenth of everything.
This was a crucial episode in world destiny. It does not seem likely that such an important transaction would have been left to someone who was not fully knowledgeable concerning long-range plans for this planet. Melchizedek was the divine personality who sponsored such plans. He came down here in material form to set conditions, not only for the initiation of the covenant with Abraham, but also to prepare the way for
reception among other people. He also may have wanted to ensure that Abraham was properly impressed.
Melchizedek's appearance was the first overt celestial activity with man since the times of Adam, although his appearance in human form may have suppressed his true celestial status. Melchizedek did not violate the conditions of a program that now would depend upon faith, and not the power of celestial performances.
The prior ages of this planet saw dispensations of divine beings; Oc, that infamous fallen brother, once directed the affairs of this world. Adam and Eve also appeared to assist in the uplift of man. But with the great default celestial representatives were removed. The world drifted without guidance, slowly deteriorating, spiritually and socially. Pagan immorality and mythological invention replaced the glorious devotion of those days of long ago. The world languished in darkness.
Now a new era began; now a new hand appeared to take control of world destiny. Now man became aware once again of divine intervention, divine direction, and divine destiny. Lot and his family were saved by "angels." Abraham and his descendants were called to serve, not only as the carriers of the Adamic genes, but also as a light to the world. And most important, Abraham's children would be the mortal parents of the divine Creator himself.
How truly unfortunate we do not have better record of those important transactions.
In ancient Semitic tribal practice right of property and of claim upon a father's estate rested with the firstborn son. Thus Isaac claimed his father's birthright even though Abraham had other children through Hagar and also through his second wife, Keturah, Gen 25:1-2. Although they served to carry partial genetic benefit Hagar and Keturah were not blessed as was Sarah, Abraham's half-sister. Isaac was the focus of that endowment.
In Genesis 24 a lengthy account is given of the demand Abraham made upon his oldest servant, that he would not let Isaac take a wife from among the Canaanites, but would go to the city of Nahor, his brother, and find a wife among his kin. Sarah had died, and he was about to pass away also. Thus he took control of the blood line that was to issue forth from him. The choice was Rebekah, granddaughter of Nahor. She also was to "be the mother of thousands of ten thousands," Gen 24:60.
Rebekah conceived and bore twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau came forth from Rebekah's womb with a deep red color, Gen 25:25. When they grew to manhood Esau was a skillful hunter and man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man who dwelt in tents, Gen 25:27. Esau, the senior, was favored by his father, while Jacob, the junior, was favored by his mother.
One day Esau came in, famished from the fields. Jacob was boiling pottage and Esau asked for some of the "red pottage." (According to the story, Esau acquired his name from the red pottage, but we see that his birth color gave him the nickname, Edom.) Jacob offered a portion but only if Esau would sell his birthright. Thus Jacob acquired the right to claim the holy promises. Jacob later added to the deception. When Isaac was old and his eyes dim he asked Esau to prepare a savory meal that he might eat in last fond memory; he then would bless Esau. When Rebekah heard these instructions she waited until Esau went out to hunt game for the meal. She then instructed Jacob to prepare the meal from two kids she killed. She placed the skins upon Jacob because Esau was hairy while Jacob was smooth. Jacob went in to his father to receive the blessing. Thus Jacob acquired not only the birthright but also the blessing, Gen 27.
While the stories reflect later glamorized folk memory, they symbolize Adam's genetic endowment. Esau carried strains of man's primitive hunter heritage; Jacob carried strains of more refined cultural disposition. He was the quiet one who could seize upon opportunity; Esau was the dull and bellicose one who gave away precious possession for trivial and temporal benefit. Rebekah and Jacob both practiced deception but their actions were motivated out of concern for future inheritance. Their behavior suggests motives based on understanding of the Abrahamic promises and actions designed to accommodate those promises. The covenant was renewed with Jacob:
Although the promises to Abraham implied that his descendants would cover the face of the earth, yet it was with Jacob we see the first explicit statement that his descendants would spread abroad in all directions. The promise never intended that Abraham's seed would remain in Canaan. Modern people, so intimate with the Jewish phenomenon scattered across our planet, believe that the promise to Jacob was fulfilled by the Jewish diaspora. But such view would fail to recognize the role of all the descendants of Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel.
The twelve tribes were highly important and were remembered into apostolic days. According to Matt 19:28 Jesus promised his apostles that in the new world, when he would assume his heavenly throne, those who followed him would also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. We do not know the authenticity of this statement. Parallel passages in Mark 10:28-31 and Luke 18:28-30 do not support the remark, although Luke 22:30 shows the remark in a different conversation. We shall return to a discussion of the apostolic belief in the twelve tribes and why they worked so vigorously to spread the word about Jesus.
Who were these twelve tribes, and how did they originate?
When Jacob was sent away from Esau's anger by his mother she devised reasons why Jacob should not marry a Hittite woman, a pagan resident of Canaan, but should return to the home of her brother Laban in the land of Paddan-aram, an Aramean. He was instructed to marry a cousin, a daughter of his mother's brother, Gen 28:2.
Rebekah recognized the importance of the Abrahamic promises; she schemed to strengthen the blood lines from within the family of Terah; she did not want them diluted by other people.
Again the accounts show a deep desire to maintain blood purity. On the other hand Esau took his wives from the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Hivites -- inferior blood lines. Gen 26:34 says he took to wife Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite. Gen 36:2-3 says he took his wives from the Canaanites: Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah the son of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemah, the daughter of Ishmael. The records are contradictory and reflect confused tradition. But they show that Esau failed his right of birth by more than one criteria.
The deceptions of Jacob and Rebekah were understood by celestial beings on high. One night as Jacob was traveling to Haran he had a dream in which he saw a ladder extending from earth to heaven with angels descending and ascending. Yahweh stood above the ladder and spoke to him. At that time he was informed that the promises to Abraham and Isaac would be fulfilled through him, Gen 28:10-17. The experience confirmed his sacred role for the future of the earth; he vowed that Yahweh would be his God.
But Jacob had to pay for his deception. Laban asked Jacob to serve him in labor for seven years to earn the hand of Rachel, the younger daughter who was beautiful and lovely. The years passed quickly because of Jacob's great love for Rachel, but on the wedding night Laban took Leah, the older daughter whose eyes were weak (cross-eyed?) into Jacob. When Jacob awoke the next morning he saw that he had been deceived, Gen 29. He then had to work another seven years for Rachel. Through Leah and Rachel, and each of their maids, Jacob had twelve sons, the forefathers of the twelve tribes of Israel. Leah bore him Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Zilpah, Leah's maid, bore him Gad and Asher. Rachel bore him Joseph and Benjamin. Rachel's maid Bilhah bore him Dan and Naphtali.
Deception continued to plague Jacob's affairs. He had to defend himself against Laban's trickery in receiving a portion of his flock, Gen 30-31, while Rachel stole her father's household gods. He took his family and goods and departed from the land of Paddan-aram to return to the land of Canaan. During a stop one night at Peniel Jacob wrestled with a strange personage he thought was a man. As day was breaking the stranger asked to be released but Jacob said he would not let him go unless he gave Jacob a blessing. This he did, after which Jacob was told that henceforth his name would be Israel, for he contended with God.
Again we see how old folk tales burden our understanding of those remote days. While Jacob may have contended with God, thus to receive the name Israel, it is not possible he physically wrestled with God.
Some persons believe the root to "Yisra" is the word sarah. Because of literary context it is thought to mean "contention" or "striving." Israel is the one who strives or contends with God. The sar root suggests that the meaning is one who is a prince of God, an individual chosen by God to be prince of his people. On the other hand, the root yashar3474 means "to be straight," "right," "straightforward," "just," and "upright." This is exactly the meaning of the Indo-European "rex," "righ," and "ri," hence, our words "right," and "righteous." Far more probably, this was the true meaning of the name Yisrael, "Upright with God." The folk tales of the origin of the name are simply that, folk myths.
Regardless of interpretations we see from these anecdotes that Jacob struggled repeatedly for the right to carry the promises. They did not come easily. After the return of Jacob to Canaan the narrative in Genesis then turns to Joseph, Rachel's oldest son. As with Esau, the oldest son of Isaac, now Reuben, the oldest son of Jacob/Israel, is denied the birthright. Joseph is the most loved of all Jacob's children; his brothers are jealous of him. In the episodes of Gen 37 they sell him into slavery in Egypt, where he rises to become the Pharaoh's chief administrator. In the tangled web of folk stories woven together by the later Jewish scribes it is difficult to separate fact from embellishment. But they all reflect knowledge of that important destiny function.
Joseph's rise to preeminence in Egypt shows the high esteem in which the Hebrew people were held by their contemporaries. The strong blood line and the noble manner of the children of Abraham carried down through the generations. In the forecasts of the tribes in Gen 49 we are told that Reuben defiled his father's bed. This probably means that he slept with Zilpah or Bilhah; thus he was denied the birthright. Joseph married an Egyptian woman who bears him Manasseh and Ephraim. When famine comes upon the land Joseph brings his father, his brothers, and all their families to Egypt. When Jacob is on his death bed he blesses Joseph's two sons. Again Manasseh, the elder, is denied the birthright. But the two sons are to be equal to the twelve brothers. Manasseh replaces the tribe of Levi, while Ephraim takes his father's place in the numbering of the tribes, Gen 48:5 and Josh 14:3-4. Ephraim is to have preeminence among the tribes; his descendants were to become a multitude of nations, Gen 48:19. Ephraim carried the promises. In Jer 31:9 Ephraim is equated to the whole nation of northern Israel.
Through this sequence the people of Israel went into economic bondage in Egypt. As I reviewed in the preceding chapter on the Habiru, James PritchardNET published excerpts from numerous Near Eastern texts. Among other items are lists of Semitic people working at various domestic activities including house-men, cooks, brewers, tutors, and weavers. The lists are from the thirteenth dynasty, or mid-eighteenth century BC, at approximately the date attributed to the entry of the Israelite tribes into Egypt. Names on the lists, such as Menahem, Asher, and Anath, are familiar to Bible students. The biblical tradition is well attested by historical records.
Two factors enter into our consideration of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises. Were they fulfilled? If so, how? If not, why not? The people of Israel saw only a limited number of kings during their short history from the time of Saul down to the Babylonian captivity. Even then they were a divided people, with their days of glory under David and Solomon lasting less than one hundred years. We cannot rightly say that kings came forth from Abraham in the sense of the promises. The kings descended from Isaac were to be of many nations, not the one nation of Israel. The Israelite tribes occupied Canaan from perhaps the fourteenth to the eight century BC. Shalmaneser V of Assyria attacked Samaria in 724 BC; his successor, Sargon II, took it captive in 721, deporting many captives. From that time the northern ten tribes disappeared from world history. In 586 BC Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians; the nation was not fully independent again until 1949. The Jews now believe they are finally returning to fulfill the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, the covenant was modified under Moses; it then became conditional:
If you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine. You shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, Exod 19:5-6.
But they did not follow God's commands. He warned them:
Behold, I make a covenant. Before all people I will do marvels, such as have not been wrought in all the earth or in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of Yahweh; for it is a terrible thing that I will do with you.
They were to cut down the Asherim, tear down the altars, and break the pillars. They were to worship no other God but Yahweh. If they played the harlot and went after other gods and ate the sacrifices of the other peoples he would punish them. He would scatter them among the nations, Lev 26.
Modern Jews and Christians alike fail to heed the covenantal conditions which still hold. Although the Jews spread out in all directions, covering the four corners of the earth in a great diaspora, yet they have always been a people isolated religiously and ethnically. They never provided kings for the many nations in which they settled, although they did make mighty contributions to the cultures in which they lived.
The Jews did not, at any time in the past, nor do they today, fulfill the promises.