Abraham and Genesis 26:4-5

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by HankD, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. HankD

    HankD
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    Genesis 26
    4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
    5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

    Two of the Hebrew words used here are Torah and Mitzvouth which indicate written words.

    Was there a written word before it was codified and inspired through Moses?

    How did Abraham know what these commandments, statutes and laws were before the Law came through Moses?

    dare we say "oral tradition" of the Shemites, or were they simply given to Abraham during his life time?

    What do you think?

    HankD​
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I don't think this is correct. Either of these may speak of written words, but they do not necessarily do so. Several places, such as Job 22:22, speak of the "instruction of his mouth." Doing a search on these words in the OT would show that your foundation is faulty.

    Abraham obeyed what God had commanded him to do, whether or not it was written down.
     
  3. webdog

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    The answer is in the Gosple in the Stars. I think Helen (Setterfield) summarized it pretty well. If we go back to Genesis 15, we can see what is being talked about in chapter 26

    Here is the passage from Genesis 15:

    After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
    ‘Do not be afraid, Abram.
    I am your shield, your very great reward.’
    But Abram said, ‘O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?’ and Abram said, ‘You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.’
    Then the word of the LORD came to hm: ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.’ He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.”
    Abram believed the LORD, and he credited to him as righteousness.

    There are two words which need to be examined here in the English translation. The first is when the LORD tells Abram to ‘count’ the stars. The word used in the original was not to ‘number’ them, but to ‘tell’ or ‘recount’ them. In other words, Abram was to tell the story in the stars. And “so shall your offspring be.” The second word is “offspring.” This word is “seed” in the King James, but both words, in the English, can be either singular or plural.

    The Bible tells us our righteousness is in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30, Philippians 3:9, etc.).
    If we let the Bible explain Bible, then, there was something about ‘telling’ the stars that had to do with Christ, which Abraham believed, and which was then credited to him as righteousness.

    www.setterfield.org
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    The "gospel in the stars" flies in the face of the biblical doctrine of inspiration. There is no gospel in the stars. The gospel is in the Scriptures.

    The heavens can tell us that a great God exists. They cannot tell us how to have a relationship with that God. You can stare at the stars for nights on end, and never learn that you are a sinner whose only hope is Jesus, the Son of God, who came to die in your place.

    The answer to the OP is found in passages such as Gen 12:1-3, Gen 17:1ff., and Gen 22, where God commanded Abram to do something and Abraham did it.
     
  5. webdog

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    That very story can, and has been passed down through the ages. I think it goes without saying one can just stare up in the sky not knowing what they are looking for...that's not the point. Like sign language, written words and audible speach, God uses every and all modes of communication to convey His message of hope. Deny it if you will, but it doens't make it so.
     
  6. Fred Moritz

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    Just because it has been passed down doesn't make it so. There is no doubt that there is a message in the stars, and in all nature (Ps. 19:1-6; Rom. 1:20). But that message is not the Gospel. General Revelation affirms God's existence and is enough to make us accountable to God for rejecting Him, but it does not contain the message of salvation. There is nothing saving in the message of General Revelation.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Of course, but as Dr. Moritz said, that story is not in the stars. The story passed down is in language and propositions.

    I think that is the point. You can't just stare up at the sky and study the stars, and come away with the gospel. Any explanation of the "gospel in the stars" is possible only because of the gospel in the Scripture, and since it is in the Scripture, anything "in the stars" is imposed on the stars. It is not there inherently, and it is unnecessary.

    Yes, all forms of communication. But that communication is verbal and propositional. It is not non-propositional.
     
  8. webdog

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    I'm comfortable that the story has been passed down very accurately throughout time. It is clear the stars were one way to convey this message, as evidenced by the constellations being mentioned in Scripture, particularly Job, which is the oldest book in the Bible, and the person having lived during the time of Abraham. I don't adhere to different revelations, as "general revelation" is not found in Scripture. Fact is, God has made Himself known to all, and His plan of salvation known to all. There is nothing "general" about that.
     
  9. webdog

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    This is your opinion since you can't prove a negative, but I believe the story has been told through the stars. I also believe there is a reason constellations have been mentioned in Scripture.
    Who has said this? Not I.
    What "Scripture" did Abraham have? He was told God's plan, and evidently Job know the same plan as he stated "I know my redeemer lives". What Scripture did Job have?
     
  10. Jerome

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    From a sermon I once heard:

    When Abraham was told to number the stars in Genesis 15, it was daylight outside (the sun went down later, v. 12), so there was only one star to count, the sun (that's Christ, duh.)

    Galatians 3:15
    Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
     
    #10 Jerome, Jan 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2009
  11. Pastor Larry

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    Assuming that the communication of the gospel takes words (as the NT says), and assuming that there are no words in the stars, then the gospel is not in the stars. That's not really even debateable.

    Some people say that the gospel is found in astrology signs or constellations, but the burden of proof is on those who say that.

    Can you find any scriptural citation of a constellation that is applied toward the gospel? I am not aware of any.

    I wasn't referring to the time of Abraham. I was referring our time obviously. Abraham had direct revelation from God.

    None, but he had direct revelation from God. Job's knowledge that his redeemer lives did not come from the stars.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Whoever said that should study more diligently.

    Gen 15 took place in a vision (v. 1). Furthermore, God said "count the stars if you are able" making it clear that he intended more than one. Furthermore, Gen 22:17 makes the stars parallel with the sand on the seashore which obviously means a great number, not just one.
     
  13. webdog

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    It takes a message of communication, not words. Blind, deaf people would be disqualified if words are needed. Have you ever seen the Gospel tracts parachuted into hostile countries? Pictures...no words. The Gospel in the stars is similar.
    Words have meanings. What are the meanings of the names in the constallation as originated?
    How do you know this? How can you prove this?
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    What? You don't think blind people can hear? Can read braille??? Fanny Crosby, who was blind, certainly got the message.

    Nope, never seen that. The gospel takes words. Pictures need explanation that can only be processed by words.


    Obviously.

    Don't know. But that wasn't the question. The question was, "Can you find any scriptural citation of a constellation that is applied toward the gospel?" Do you have an answer to that?

    Because that is how God communicated with people, whether in dreams or vision, or directly speaking to them audibly (less often). You certainly can't prove he knew it from the stars biblically.
     
  15. webdog

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    I said blind, deaf people...not blind and deaf people.
    So the universal sign for choking needs to be explained? Strawman aside, I don't recall ever saying the Gospel in the stars didn't need to be explained.
    If you can tell me the meaning of the constelation, and why it's in Scripture, you may have your answer. I'll even take the ancient meaning, and how someone living during that period would understand it.
    It's not for me to prove (although I believe there is good evidence in favor for it). You stated emphatically "Job's knowledge that his redeemer lives did not come from the stars." Proof lies on you.
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    Fair enough. How about Helen Keller? She could communicate and she was both.

    The universal sign for choking kind of proves the point right? It doesn't show what one is choking on, nor what to do about it. No one, by looking at the choking sign will learn how to do the Heimlich Maneuver, or any other treatment. So creation can tell us there is a God (just as the choking sign can tell us someone is choking). Creation does not tell us how to get to God, just as the choking sign doesn't tell us how to get someone "unchoked" (to make up a word).

    There wasn't one present to put aside.

    Okay.

    Again, I think you are avoiding the question. The Bible never connects the name of a star or a constellation to the gospel that I know of. I can only assume you don't know of it either or you would say it here.

    That the Bible mentions constellations hardly seems an argument. It also mentions mountains, rivers, seas, etc., and we usually don't claim the gospel is in them the way Helen claimed it was in the stars.

    Actually, I think it is on you. You stated that Abraham knew from the gospel in the stars. That was your first post in this thread. I don't think you can really back out now and claim you don't have to prove it. I don't know of any evidence. If you think there is good evidence, then please show it so we can evaluate it.

    Well, there is no proof, and not even any evidence, that it did come from the stars. There is proof that God's communication with people in the OT was direct, through visions, dreams, or audible speaking. So I am not even sure you can muster a biblical argument here.

    Again, I would be interested to see a biblical argument for it.
     
  17. webdog

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    You don't need to know how to do the Heimlich if you see someone choking...instinct tells you assistance is needed. God's law, conscience and immortality is also built into us instinctively.
    Do you know the meanings of the constellations? I'm not talking about what satan has twisted into astrology, but the original meanings.
    If not, here you go:
    The Incarnate Son (Virgo) Isaiah 7:14
    The Redeemer (Libra) 1 Cor. 6:20
    The Sufferer (Scorpio) 1 Cor. 15:55-56
    The Conqueror (Sagittarius) Rev. 6:2
    The Sacrifice (Capricornus) Romans 3:25
    The Living Water (Aquarius) John 7:38
    The Liberator (Pisces) Gen. 48:19; Mark 1:17
    The Crowned Lamb (Aries) Rev. 5:6
    The Judge (Taurus) John 5:22
    The King (Gemini) Romans 1:3
    The Protector (Cancer) Isaiah 4:5-6
    The Victor (Leo) Rev. 5:5
    I don't have to prove anything. We come to our beliefs based on what we believe to be true. I stated what I believed to be true and why. I also don't recall stating that this viewpoint was concrete. On the otherhand, you have stated Job's knowledge didn't come from the stars. Prove it.

    And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." (Gen 1:14-15). Clearly Scripture refers to stars serving as signs. Signs have meanings. Where we disagree is what these signs are used for.
    So I take it you cannot offer proof. The Gospel in the stars is God's communication used directly by humans to share the story of redemption...so I guess according to your logic, there is proof.

    The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. (Isaiah 13:10).

    Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? (Job 38:31-32)
     
    #17 webdog, Jan 15, 2009
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  18. Marcia

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    I've had to deal with the Gospel in the Stars in my ministry and as a former astrologer. The bottom line is that there is no biblical evidence at all for such a Gospel. The fact that the word for constellations is mentioned in the Bible, and I believe one for Orion or something like that is mentioned, does not give any evidence for there being a gospel in the stars. These references have nothing to do with the gospel. It just means there were known names for some of the star systems, which is not surprising. That is astronomy, but it's not a gospel.

    In order to see such a Gospel, one would have to know the gospel already. And one would have to believe there are hidden meanings in the constellations. Looking for hidden meanings goes completely against biblical principles and is acutally the basis for occultism.

    If God had communicated information about a gospel in the stars, then there would be biblical evidence for it. Those who support this view offer all kinds of supposed "proof," most of which has been invalidated and none of which comes from the Bible itself. As someone said (I think Pastor Larry), the gospel does not come from general revelation. Rom. 1 is clear that general revelation shows there is a Creator God and everyone is accountable for having that evidence.

    This is from the FAQ page on my website:
    Source
    http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/AboutCANA_FAQs1.html

    Also see
    http://www.letusreason.org/current4 .htm
     
  19. webdog

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    I appreciate the work you do with cults, but everything isn't tied into cults. Surely this isn't...
    Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? (Job 38:31-32)

    In response to what you wrote on your FAQ's, once the region was populated, and written material began to exist, there wouldn't be much need for sharing the Gospel in this manner.

    If one notices the proximity of Orion (The Coming Light), Taurus (The Judge), and Eridanus (River of the Judge), we can see this put together in Scripture...

    His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting (Hab. 3:3-6).

    Psalm 19: 1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; The skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; Night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, Their words to the ends of the world. Sure sounds like information to me, and not the extra biblical "general revelation" used so commonly, which actually limit's God's work, creation and means.​
     
    #19 webdog, Jan 15, 2009
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  20. Marcia

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    Webdog, what is the source of this information? I believe this has been refuted. I don't think there is any historical evidence for such meanings.

    If these were original meanings, we'd see them referred to in the Bible. At the very least, there would be a clear reference to a meaning in these constellations related to the gospel.

    The argument that astrology twisted original meanings is a nice sounding one but has no biblical basis. Not all forms of the occult are based on a sound system. What is the orthodox counterpart to reading palms, scrying, runes, tarot cards, etc.?

    Perhaps most significantly of all, God has several passages denouncing looking for guidance from the heavenly bodies.
     

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