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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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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Lech Lecha

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:

Genesis 12:1 (KJV)

Get thee out – God tells Abram, lech lecha (לֶךְ-לְךָ), get thee out. As is much of the Hebrew Bible, this is another play on words. The words may sound identical, but actually mean two different things: “go” and “to yourself.” The implication is that although Abraham must undergo a traumatic departure from his native land, he is actually traveling to find his more authentic self. Once Abraham enters the land, his true relationship with the one Lord can grow. 

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God Will Provide

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

Genesis 22:13-14

Jehovahjireh – This word literally means “Yehovah will see to it,” or as many say, “God will provide.” It’s a common saying in Christianity today and this may very well be the root of it. Christianity has really gained some mileage around this feel-good saying. I think we use it for just about any trial as a beacon of hope. And it bears some truth too. God does provide … until the time He doesn’t.

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Language Influences Your Thought

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Genesis 11:9 (KJV)

Language – According to Lera Boroditsky, a cognitive scientist, she states there are over 7,000 languages spoken worldwide. Why is this important? Language is a driving factor in how you think. Without speaking the same language as those who authored the Bible, we’re likely not going to think the same way they did. Lera explains this disconnect based on how different cultures use language. Continue reading “Language Influences Your Thought”

Existence Without Purpose Does Not Exist

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Genesis 1:5 (KJV)

Light/Day – God called the light (or) Day (yom). How does this work exactly? Let’s look at the semantics of what’s going on here. God called the “light,” which is or in Hebrew, a name, “day” or yom. But the thing already has a name, it’s called “light.” So why does God bother to name something that already has a name? Continue reading “Existence Without Purpose Does Not Exist”

Goats and Coats

31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.

Genesis 37:31-32 (KJV)

Goats and coats – In this story we read how Joseph’s brothers took his coat and dipped it in the blood of a goat to deceive their father, Jacob. This was the defining moment that resulted in the slavery of Israel in Egypt. As we explored in the previous post we saw that the prophecy of slavery was fulfilled twice. The second time was preceded by these verses above, but what about the first time when Jacob was an indentured servant to his uncle Laban? What was the catalyst there? Continue reading “Goats and Coats”

Slavery Prophecy Fulfilled, Twice

13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 […]
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Genesis 15:13-16 (KJV)

This is the prophecy that starts the story of redemption which we know as Passover. God prophecies to Abram explaining how Abram’s seed will go into slavery for a long time and then come out in abundance and wealth. Continue reading “Slavery Prophecy Fulfilled, Twice”

Good and Evil

And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Genesis 1:31

Tov

Good – Would it surprised you to know that the word good is not based on morality? When God saw everything that he had made, he wasn’t saying that everything was righteous or morally good. He wasn’t stating that it was pleasant to look upon and enticing to the eye. So what was His meaning? Continue reading “Good and Evil”