Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
August 11, 1997
Last Updated :
August 13, 2012
An overview of the ancient Israelites and early Judaism, and an exposé on corrupt worldly governments and politics, and our place in them as servants of Jesus Christ
Since the beginning of time, a war has been waged between the King of Heaven and the King of the Earth, between the Seekers of Light and the Dwellers of Darkness, between the Children of God and the Children of Satan. This rebellion against Divine Rule and authority first manifested itself on Earth some six thousand years ago when Satan tempted the first human pair in the Garden of Eden. In spite of the wonderful world God had created for them, Lucifer set about to convince Adam and Eve that they could have more; that in fact, that they could become as gods and rule over themselves:
"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
Genesis 3:5-6, KJV
Shortly after their fall and ouster from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had two children. One was a righteous son named Abel, a sheep herder who pleased the Lord. The other was Cain, a man who thought his own hard labor in the fields was enough to make him righteous. In the end, Cain rose up and slew his younger brother in a jealous fit of rage:
"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Genesis 4:1-8, KJV
What had started out as a seemingly innocent decision to eat of the forbidden fruit in Eden, had now resulted in the first murder of man by man, the murder of a man submitted to God by a man influenced by Satan. From the events in Genesis up to this very day, the schism has continued to grow between those who submit to the theocratic rule of the one true God in Heaven, and those who would govern themselves influenced by Lucifer and his demonic horde.
As a result of the murder of righteous Abel, the bloodline of Cain was cursed by God:
"And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;"
Genesis 4:11, KJV
Five generations later, we find Lamech, the descendant of Cain, committing another murder, and from that point on, things only continued to get worse:
"And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt."
Genesis 4:23, KJV
In Genesis chapter six we read of another great rebellion against God's authority when the sons of God, what some believe were spiritual beings, made love to the beautiful women of Earth, which resulted in evil giants being born. For a more in-depth look at this incident, please refer to my other articles such as "Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis" and "The Book of Enoch: Truth or Heresy" In speaking of the great evil which filled the Earth in those days, Genesis chapter six informs us of the following:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
Genesis 6:5-6, KJV
The Lord was so upset by the way His own creation had rebelled against Him and had committed such horrendous acts of violence, that He decided to put an abrupt end to it:
"And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
Genesis 6:13, KJV
Imagine, the world was full of thousands, perhaps several million people by this time, but the only man who found grace in the eyes of the Lord was Noah, a descendant of the righteous line of Seth, the third son born to Adam and Eve after Abel's murder. Together with his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah labored for quite some time building the Ark while an unbelieving world looked on and scoffed at him as some crazy old fool. But in the end, those who had rejected God's rule over them, soon found themselves treading water for dear life, while Noah and his wife, and his three sons and their wives, along with all of the animals, floated safely above the rising waters. For more comments on this event, please see my articles "Noah's Ark and the Genesis Flood" and "Noah's Flood: The Urantia Book Exposed Again".
After The Flood, the world began to be repopulated by Noah's family, but it wasn't before long that Satan managed to stir up rebellion again in the hearts of humanity. Despite God's mercy in sparing Noah and his family, only a few generations later in Genesis chapter eleven, we find some of the descendants of the sons of Noah rejecting the Lord and trying to set up their own earthly government. In Genesis chapter eleven we read the following:
"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
Genesis 11:1-4, KJV
"Let's make ourselves a name" they said. "Let's be somebody! We don't need the Lord ruling over us anymore! Let's build a great city and tower that will reach up to Heaven! Maybe we can defeat God! Let's start our own government here on Earth!" Those may not have been their exact words, but that was surely the intent of their hearts. This city and tower they built would become known as the Tower of Babel, what some say was actually the beginnings of what would eventually become the powerful Babylonian Empire.
There is speculation that the rebellion at Babel was led by Nimrod, the son of Cush, who was the son of Ham, the third son of Noah who was cursed by his father and destined to live a life of servitude to his two brothers. From the Biblical record, we know that the descendants of Ham, which included the Canaanites, settled in ancient Israel and also migrated down into Africa. For this reason, some believe that Ham may actually be the father of all the negroid races of the Earth which were later taken into slavery thus fulfilling ancient Bible prophecy.
As a result of the rebellion at Babel, the Lord confounded the people with a diversity of tongues so that they could not understand each other, thus preventing them from accomplishing their goals. Prior to this incident, the people of the world were concentrated in a small area of the Earth, and they all spoke the same universal language. According to one apocryphal source, this language may have been Hebrew. One speculation is that it was also during the days of Peleg, some one hundred or so years after the Flood, that the Lord physically began to divide the Earth into its present continents after He had already divided the people into different tongues and nations following the incident at Babel. It is indeed plausible that after the people had begun to spread out across the face of the Earth, that the Lord caused the Earth's crust to crack, thus creating rift valleys which slowly divided the super-continent which existed at that time. This would have ensured that the people couldn't have a repeat performance such as what happened at Babel . . . at least for a few thousand years. Once again, it seems that we have the development of a universal language -- that is, English -- and certain individuals and societies are bent on creating a New World Order with scientific technology as their god. Please refer to my other papers for more information on this.
Several hundred years later begins the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, descendants of the righteous line of Seth. According to Genesis chapter eleven, Abraham, his father Terah and their family were natives of Ur, the land of the Chaldees, or Chaldeans, if you prefer. I discuss this topic more at length in articles such as "One From Beyond: Hebrew of Hebrews". The Chaldeans were the rulers of ancient Babylonia. What may surprise you to know is that Abraham and his family, in spite of their heritage from the line of righteous Noah, worshipped pagan gods. This is clarified for us by the words of Joshua the son of Nun in the Book of Joshua, as we see by these verses:
"And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and THEY SERVED OTHER GODS. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac."
Joshua 24:2-3, KJV
The fact that Abraham's family were pagans from Babylon is also confirmed in various of the apocryphal works. In essence, the Lord told Abraham -- who at that time was still called Abram -- to forsake his own country, to forsake his father's family and his old religion, and if he would do so, God would mightily bless him:
"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Genesis 12:1-3, KJV
After Terah had taken his family as far as Haran, Abraham then obeyed the Lord and continued on from there, and God blessed him mightily. Unlike the other peoples of the Earth who involved themselves with setting up cities and localized power bases, God had called out Abraham to be a nomadic herdsman, who over the years, slowly travelled westward towards the promised land of Canaan, later to be known as Palestine and Israel. His only king and ruler was the Lord Himself who watched from Heaven above; who and occasionally paid Abraham an earthly visit. Please refer to the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Genesis for details. It was because of the very fact that Abraham accepted the absolute sovereignty of the Lord, as his one and only true King as opposed to worldly governments and pagan religions, that God blessed him so.
Eventually, Abraham, his wife, and Lot his nephew reached Canaan. At that time, the Canaanites, the descendants of Cush and Ham, dwelled in the land. In addition, there was a great famine in progress; so Abraham took his family down into Egypt. Being as Abraham's wife Sarai -- that is, Sarah -- was so beautiful, Abraham had to pass her off as his sister for his own protection. This however created quite a problem, as Pharaoh king of Egypt wanted to marry her. The Lord then sent plagues to Pharaoh which resulted in Pharaoh discovering the whole truth of the matter, and sending Abraham, his wife and all of their servants out of Egypt. So, Abraham re-entered the southern part of Canaan and eventually made it back up to Bethel where he had previously built an altar and sacrificed unto the Lord. This is discussed in Genesis chapters twelve and thirteen. One interesting point which some people may find a bit shocking, is the fact that Sarah was actually Abraham's half-sister. According to to the following verse, Abraham and Sarah had the same father, but different mothers:
"And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."
Genesis 20:12, KJV
Thus, he spoke a half-truth as he and his wife had agreed to do during the course of their travels to the land of Canaan for their own protection, particularly Abraham's.
One result of the journey into Egypt is that Abraham became quite wealthy and had lots of gold and silver, cattle, and servants, both male and female. One of these was Hagar the Egyptian handmaiden. After having lived ten years in Canaan, and now in his mid-eighties, Abraham still did not have an heir as Sarah was barren. It was then that Sarah devised the plan that she would give Abraham her handmaiden, Hagar, to be his wife. Abraham consented, and shortly thereafter, Hagar conceived a son, later to be called Ishmael. Tragically, this resulted in friction between Sarah and Hagar, as Hagar despised Sarah her mistress. Sarah thus dealt with Hagar causing her to flee into the wilderness. While there, the Angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her to return and submit herself to Sarah. As a result of her obedience, God blessed Hagar and her descendants, beginning with her son, Ishmael, who became the father of the twelve princes of the Arab nations. These events are discussed in Genesis chapters sixteen and seventeen. Consider the following verses:
"Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren."
Genesis 25:12-18, KJV
It wasn't until fourteen years later, shortly after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, that the Lord finally blessed Abraham and Sarah with a son in their old age. Abraham was one hundred, and Sarah was ninety. When the Lord announced to each of them that she was going to bear a son, they each doubted; but in the end, the wisdom of God's plan was revealed; and His covenant with Abraham was fulfilled with the birth of Isaac, as we find discussed in Genesis chapter twenty-one. Sarah lived another thirty-seven years after the birth of Isaac and died at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven. As a result of Isaac's birth, Ishmael, who was now a teenager, mocked Sarah, just as his mother Hagar had done some fifteen years before. This resulted in Abraham finally sending them both away. But even then, God did not forsake Hagar and her child. He still fulfilled His promises to them. This too is discussed in Genesis chapter twenty-one.
Of concern to Abraham was that his son Isaac would not marry a pagan woman of Canaan, the land wherein he and his family now dwelt. Having done so may have caused his son to fall back into worshipping pagan gods. At the same time, he did not want Isaac to return to the land of his nativity, i.e., Ur of the Chaldees, because the Lord had promised to give him the land of Canaan and to multiply his seed there as the stars of the heavens. And again, the temptation to desert the one true God may have been too strong for his son to resist. Thus, Abraham sent one of his servants to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor, which was named after Abraham's brother, to find a wife for Isaac his son. It is there that the Lord does a miracle and provides Rebekah, the granddaughter of Nahor to be Isaac's wife. This can be found in Genesis chapter. In essence, Isaac married his second cousin. According to what we read in the twenty-fifth chapter of Genesis, Rebekah and her brother Laban are both referred to as Syrians, so this tells us that Syria was considered to be a part of Mesopotamia in those days, and actually, this whole area was under Babylonian jurisdiction:
"And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac: And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian."
Genesis 25:19-20, KJV
After Sarah's death, Abraham took another wife named Keturah, who bore him an additional six sons to give him eight in all including Ishmael, but to Isaac went the inheritance of the Lord. In addition, Abraham had various concubines. In Genesis chapter twenty-five, we are also told that Abraham died at the ripe old age of one hundred and seventy-five:
"And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people."
Genesis 25:7-8, KJV
One of his final acts before his death was to send away all of the sons of his concubines with gifts to the east country. It is not stated exactly why he did this, but it could be so that there was no rivalry with Isaac who was his sole heir according to the Lord's promise.
One interesting point to note is that in spite of the rivalry which may have existed between Isaac and Ishmael in earlier years, they were both present for the burial of their father. At that time, Ishmael would have been about eighty-nine years of age, and Isaac would have been about seventy-five years old; so perhaps with age, they gained some maturity and respect for each other:
"And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;"
Genesis 25:9, KJV
After twenty years of marriage, the Lord blessed Isaac and his wife with the twins, Jacob and Esau. The Lord had prophesied that two very distinct nations would arise from Rebekah's womb, and that the descendants of Jacob would be stronger than the descendants of Esau. From an early age, Rebekah had favored Jacob, while Isaac favored his elder son, Esau. Although Esau -- who was later called Edom -- was the elder son, he sold his birthright to his younger conniving brother for a bowl of lentils and bread, as we see here:
"And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright."
Genesis 25:21-34, KJV
But Jacob's conniving did not stop there. When his father Isaac was old and ready to pass on the blessing, Jacob and his mother schemed together to trick Isaac into thinking that Jacob was actually the elder brother who rightfully deserved the blessing. Being that Isaac's eyesight had already failed him, it didn't take much to pull off this scam. These events are discussed in the twenty-seventh chapter of the Book of Genesis.
What is interesting to note here is that, just as Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, Jacob likewise lied to his father three times to convince him that he was Esau and thus secure the blessing of the Lord's inheritance for himself. To show how serious men took their words in those days, even after the treachery had been discovered by Isaac, and after Esau had wept bitterly and pleaded with his father, Isaac couldn't take back his blessing from Jacob. It had to stand, and just as the Lord had prophesied at their birth years before, Esau was forced to submit to the younger deceitful brother.
As a result of this particular incident, Esau became very embittered against his brother and planned to kill him. Becoming aware of it, Isaac and Rebekah decided to send Jacob to Laban, Rebekah's brother, who still lived in Haran, which is the place where Terah had first taken Abraham, Sarah and their nephew Lot after leaving Ur in the land of the Chaldees. Please refer to Genesis chapter twenty-seven. Another reason they did this was because, just as Abraham did not want his son Isaac to marry a pagan woman of Canaan, so too, Isaac was responsible for ensuring the purity of their lineage.
As we read in Genesis chapter twenty-nine, Jacob went to Haran where he ended up working for his uncle Laban for fourteen years to obtain the hand of his beautiful daughter Rachel. This had occurred because after working the first seven years, Laban gave Jacob his eldest daughter Leah first, as was the custom, instead of Rachel, whom he had expected. So, he was forced to work an additional seven years in order to marry Rachel as well. Jacob was deeply in love with Rachel while Leah felt rejected. But the Lord was good to her and she bare Jacob four sons in a row while Rachel remained barren. These were Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, the first four sons who would become the fathers of four of the tribes of Israel, as we see by these verses:
"And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing."
Genesis 29:31-35, KJV
By this time, Rachel had become quite jealous of her older sister. Since she couldn't have any children herself, she gave Jacob her handmaiden Bilhah who then bore Jacob two more sons. These were Dan and Naphtali:
"And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan. And Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son. And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali."
Genesis 30:1-8, KJV
The animosity between the two sisters continued, and when Leah had stopped bearing children, she also gave her husband Jacob her handmaiden Zilpah who then gave Jacob two more sons. These were named Gad and Asher, and brought the total number of sons to eight:
"When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son. And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad. And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son. And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher."
Genesis 30:9-13, KJV
Following these events, Leah bare Jacob two more sons who were named Issachar and Zebulun, and then a daughter named Dinah:
"And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes. And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes. And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night. And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son. And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar. And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah."
Genesis 30:14-21, KJV
But the Lord was also favorable to Rachel, and she finally bore a son whom she named Joseph who was later sold into slavery:
"And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son."
Genesis 30:22-24, KJV
By this time, Jacob and his family had been living with his uncle Laban for quite a few number of years, and he was yearning to return to Canaan. Laban, however, had come to realize that since Jacob had arrived, the Lord had blessed him -- meaning Laban -- greatly, so he asked Jacob to stay longer. He asked Jacob how much he wanted to pay him to convince him to stay with him. Jacob's reply was that he wanted nothing. As can be seen, from the minute he had been born, Jacob was an astute, clever and deceitful person. So once again, he made a deal with Laban regarding their flocks of cattle and goats.
From reading the story in Genesis chapter thirty, it appears that Jacob had somehow mastered some type of early genetic engineering which employed the power of suggestion. In conjunction with his astute manner, this resulted in his flocks increasing much more than those of Laban, to the point that it caused contention between them. Also what was at issue is that Laban had not been paying Jacob fairly for his labors. But the Lord was aware of his dealings, and in the end, Jacob's wealth overshadowed that of his uncle. After this incident, the Lord told Jacob to take his family and return to Canaan, the land of his father, Isaac. Fearing reprisal from his uncle Laban, Jacob rounded up his family, their belongings and great many flocks and secretly fled away. These events are discussed in Genesis chapter thirty-one.
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
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