The Legacy of Isaac

And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:

Genesis 25:9 (KJV)

Generations of Isaac – When someone begins to tell you about the generations of a person, they normally begin with that person’s children. I’m expecting this verse to end with and Isaac begat Jacob, but instead the verse jumps to Abraham. Why?

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Duality or Triune?

Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:7 (JPS)

Breath of life – What is man made up of? That is the question here. Jewish traditions imply that humans are dual in nature made of a body and a soul. They adopted this concept from Plato’s dualism. However, Trinitarian Christians who desperately want to see their concept of a triune God imitated in the creation of mankind adopted the construct of a soul, a body, and a spirit. Which is correct?

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Mankind and Life

And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Genesis 3:20 (KJV)

Adam & Eve – Do you recognize the importance of names in the Bible? They mean something… And this something becomes a moment of teaching about character, about the story, or about a lesson. God Himself will change people’s names to represent a shift in plot line or character. With this in mind, what is the significance of the names, Adam and Eve?

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Contradictory Interpretations

And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6 (KJV)

Believed – What happens when two Biblical authors use the same verse from Genesis to support two contradictory messages? For the most of us, we just brush it under the rug or fiddle with the wording until it fits better. Both Paul and James, Rabbis of their time, use this verse about Abraham believing to support their message about faith and works.

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The “other” god

And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

Deuteronomy 11:28 (KJV)

To go after other gods, which ye have not known – In order to really understand what God is saying here, we need to consider this verse with the two before it.

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God’s Oral Commandments

If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

Deuteronomy 12:21 (KJV)

As I have commanded thee – A recent conversation with a Jewish friend of mine brought us to this verse from Deuteronomy. He reasoned that this verse justified the Oral Law, considered the Talmud, that was given to Moses orally and not part of the Written Law, the 5 books of Moses. The 5 books of Moses (written Torah) does not explain the details for how to kill an animal, but the Talmud does. So obviously God must be talking about the Oral Law in this verse.

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There is Hope

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:10 (KJV)

The gathering together – The word here in Hebrew is mikveh ( מקוה ) which you may recognize. It is often used in reference to a pool of water for ritual immersion leading to ritual purity. Here in Genesis, it is used to describe the waters (mayim) out of which the earth grew.

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Everything is a Commandment

And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they.

Numbers 1:54 (KJV)

Commanded – This word in Hebrew is tsavah ( צִוָּה ) which is the primitive root of mitzvah (commandment). It is used about 500 times in the Old Testament. Commands are given from a father to a son (1 Samuel 17:20), a farmer to his laborers (Ruth 2:9), a king to his subjects (2 Samuel 21:14). YHVH commands His people by issuing kingship and instructing obedience to His rules.

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What is Your Sin?

How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin.

Job 13:23 (KJV)

Know – Job is the figure we all think about when in turmoil. We might liken his suffering to our own and reason that if we maintain our faith, we will surely overcome. However the text reveals a difference between Job and us. Job was righteous and without sin.

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