As good as dead?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Pastor_Bob, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    Hebrews 11:12 "Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable." (KJV)

    What do you think the author of Hebrews (Paul, in my opinion) is saying here about Abraham? Surely he is not saying that, at this stage of his life, he was as good as a dead man, meaning that he had no worth or value. Is he simply referring to his old age? If so, this is a pretty harsh description of an elderly man.

    What is the spiritual meaning here, if any, in this choice of words?

    Before this denigrates in a version issue, many of the modern translations use the same words.

    "Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore." (RSV)

    "Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude--innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore." (NKJV)

    "wherefore, also from one were begotten--and that of one who had become dead--as the stars of the heaven in multitude, and as sand that is by the sea-shore--the innumerable." (YLT)
     
  2. Aaron

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    In his and sarah's old age, well beyond their physical ability to procreate, they did.

    Isaac's conception and birth was no less miraculous than had he been born of a dead Abraham and Sarah.

    That's how I take it, anyway.
     
  3. Amy.G

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    As good as dead = so old that he would have no heirs thus the covenant would be void.
     
  4. Pastor_Bob

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    I do not disagree with this at all.

    The fact that Sarah laughed when she heard the words of the angel of the Lord (Gen. 18:12), sheds a bit of light on her mindset. The author of Hebrews seems to be conveying the truth that, there was no more probability in Abraham and Sarah having a child at this stage in their lives than the dead having a child. It was that unexpected. It had to be God.

    In considering this a bit further, one of the spiritual applications that we can make here is that God definitely keeps His promises. Even when the situation appears to be humanly impossible, God can be trusted.

    :godisgood:
     
  5. Thousand Hills

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    Does this also relate in some way to the 400 years of silence prior to John the Baptist and Christ?
     
  6. Van

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    The phrase can be found at Romans 4:19 and the idea remains the same, a man whose reproductive equipment seemed unable to penetrate, and/or at his age would be firing blanks. So even though he knew at the present time he could not "go in and come out" to use the biblical phrase, he trusted that God could somehow overcome that difficulty.
     
  7. Pastor_Bob

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    I'm sorry, friend, but I do not understand what you're asking?
     
  8. Pastor_Bob

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    This phrase has nothing whatsoever to do with the physical relations of a husband toward his wife. It is referring to the duties of a leader to his people. It is referring to wisdom and the ability to properly lead. It is referring to the capability to make right decisions.

    Deuteronomy 31:2 And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.

    Moses is no longer able to lead the people like he used to. This has no sexual connotation whatsoever.


    Joshua 14:11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

    Caleb was a strong at 80 as he was at 40. He could still come and go as he pleased without needing to helped.

    1 Kings 3:7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.

    Solomon is confessing his feelings of inadequacies as a leader. He is a grown man here. He most certainly is not saying that he cannot perform his duties as a husband.

    2 Chronicles 1:10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?

    No one would even remotely consider the possibility that Solomon was asking God to give him the ability to perform sexually before the people.

    We must be consistent when interpreting and applying the Word of God.
     
  9. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    It is a Greek idiom meaning "impotent."

    And I doubt Paul wrote Hebrews. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  10. Van

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    Hi Pastor Bob, I answered your question, care to comment on that? I did use the biblical phrase in my memory, and I did miss a tad, but not completely. Please study this list:
    So the biblical phrase, now presented with evidence, is go in unto.

    Here is what I should have said:

     
    #10 Van, Mar 27, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2014
  11. HungryInherit

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    What makes you think Paul wrote Hebrews?
     
  12. Salty

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    Off topic - click here for new thread

    and back to the OP - interesting subject - looking forward to some more answers
     
  13. Pastor_Bob

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    Yes, I would be happy to. I thought it basically agreed with the majority of comments, so I didn't feel a response to that issue was needed. Here is your original answer:

    I agree that it refers to Abraham's unlikely ability to reproduce. I certainly wouldn't be dogmatic as to say the specific inability in Abraham's anatomy.

    I agree that, many times, this phrase is referring to the act of having physical relations. However, I do not believe this phrase is in any way referring to the specific act of "penetrating." As you can see by the passages I highlighted in your above quote, the same exact phrase is used and it not even remotely refers to anything sexual or the penetrating of anything. It is the mere coming into [it would be a far reach to say "penetrating" here] the presence of another.,

    I believe the Bible uses this phrase discreetly rather than graphically when referring to physical relations.
     
  14. Van

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    Clearly, the age of Abraham factors into the meaning "as good as dead." And as I have indicated, the loss of function with age could be in view. But about 14 years earlier, when Abraham was about 86, he had fathered Ishmael. So another view might be that "as good as dead" refers to the probability that Abraham would not live much longer, i.e. so near to death to be as good as dead.
     

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