Abram was born a Chaldean in the midst of the renaissance of the pre-flood pagan culture.
Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Babylon, he was subject to its laws.
“Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?…And he commanded…to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3:14-20)
The book of Jasher, which is referenced twice in scripture thus confirming its validity as a source, gives historical details of Abram’s early life and the culture from which he was sent out. These details are credible accounts of cultural practices of the time known from other historical sources including the Bible. Some detractors claim that duplication is evidence of plagiarism, but that’s simply bias against evidence of common cultural practices.
When Nimrod had…conquered his enemies, all his brethren, together with those who knew him before, assembled to make him king over them. And he placed Terah the son of Nahor the prince of his host, and he dignified him and elevated him above all his princes…
Nimrod’s main enemy would have Sargon / Arphaxad. As Arphaxad’ descendant, Terah would have been a prince, trained in warfare and government. A valued asset. It was standard practice of the time to use Human Resources judiciously, as exemplified by Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian and Darius the Mede.
and Nimrod reigned in the earth over all the sons of Noah, and they were all under his power and counsel.
And all the earth was of one tongue and words of union, but Nimrod did not go in the ways of the Lord, and he was more wicked than all the men that were before him, from the days of the flood until those days. And he made gods of wood and stone and he bowed down to them…(Jasher 7:34-47)
And Terah the son of Nahor, prince of Nimrod’s host, was in those days very great in the sight of the king and his subjects, and the king and princes loved him, and they elevated him very high.
“even Terah, the father of Abraham…served other gods.” (Joshua 24:2)
And it was in the night that Abram was born that all the servants of Terah, and all the wise men of Nimrod, and his conjurors came and ate and drank in the house of Terah, and they rejoiced with him on that night. And when all the wise men and conjurors went out from the house of Terah, they lifted up their eyes toward heaven that night to look at the stars, and they saw, and behold one very large star came from the east and ran in the heavens, and he swallowed up the four stars from the four sides of the heavens. And all the wise men of the king and his conjurors were astonished at the sight, and the sages understood this matter, and they knew its import
…and they all went to the king and bowed down to him to the ground, and they said, May the king live, may the king live…a son was born to Terah the son of Nahor, the prince of thy host, and…and knew by our wisdom…the child that is born to Terah, who will grow up and multiply greatly, and become powerful, and kill all the kings of the earth, and inherit all their lands, he and his seed forever. And now our lord and king, behold we have truly acquainted thee with what we have seen concerning this child. If it seemeth good to the king to give his father value for this child, we will slay him before he shall grow up and increase in the land, and his evil increase against us, that we and our children perish through his evil…
Strategizing the death of a rival, real or potential, is not only credible but the standard MO for hotly contested seats of power. Eliminating sons was primarily managed by castration. “The Sumerian city of Lagash from around the 21st century BC provides the earliest records for intentional castration.” Whether or not the vision was true or an embellishment to their warning to a ruler, the sages clearly understood that Terah’s growing power within the government just increased with another son.
And the king said to Terah…give me the child, that we may slay him before his evil springs up against us...And Terah…took a child from one of his servants, which his handmaid had born to him that day, and Terah brought the child to the king…and the king took the child from Terah and with all his might dashed his head to the ground, for he thought it had been Abram…And Terah took Abram his son secretly, together with his mother and nurse, and he concealed them in a cave, and he brought them their provisions monthly…and Abram was in the cave ten years…
And when Abram came out from the cave, he went to Noah and his son Shem…
This was obviously because only Noah and Shem had the temerity to hide Nimrod’s enemy from him. But that meant that he was raised…
to learn the instruction of the Lord and his ways…And Abram was in Noah’s house thirty-nine years, and Abram…went in the ways of the Lord…as Noah and his son Shem had taught him; and all…the inhabitants of the earth made unto themselves, at that time, every man his god; gods of wood and stone which could neither speak, hear, nor deliver, and the sons of men served them and they became their gods.
And Terah had twelve gods of large size, made of wood and stone, after the twelve months of the year, and he served each one monthly, and every month Terah would bring his meat offering and drink offering to his gods; thus did Terah all the days…for they served each man his own God
This corresponds to the the oldest living religion Hinduism, which acknowledges at least 33 million gods.
And there was not a man found in those days in the whole earth, who knew / identified himself with the Lord…except Noah and his household, and all those who were under his counsel…
And in the fiftieth year of the life of Abram son of Terah, Abram came forth from the house of Noah, and went to his father’s house…And Terah his father was in those days, still captain of the host of king Nimrod, and he still followed strange gods…
And when Abram saw all these things his anger was kindled against his father, and he hastened and took a hatchet in his hand, and came unto the chamber of the gods, and he broke all his father’s gods…
And the king said to the princes and sages, Have you heard what Abram, the son of Terah, has done to his father? Thus has he done to him, and I ordered him to be brought before me, and thus has he spoken; his heart did not misgive him, neither did he stir in my presence, and behold now he is confined in the prison. And therefore decide what judgment is due to this man who reviled the king; who spake and did all the things that you heard.
And they all answered the king saying, The man who revileth the king should be hanged upon a tree; but!! Even more! having done all the things that he said, and having despised our gods, he must therefore be burned to death for this is the [Babylonian] law in this matter…
And all the king’s servants, princes, lords, governors, and judges, and all the inhabitants of the land, about nine hundred thousand men, stood opposite the furnace to see Abram. And all the women and little ones crowded upon the roofs and towers to see what was doing with Abram, and they all stood together at a distance; and there was not a man left that did not come on that day to behold the scene.
Can I get a witness?
And the Lord loved / joined identity with Abram…came down and delivered Abram from the fire and he was not burned [establishing a basis of trust for future occasions with Abram’s children.] But all the cords with which they bound him were burned, while Abram remained and walked about in the fire…three days and three nights, and all the servants of the king saw him walking in the fire, and they came and told the king…
And the king ordered Abram to be taken out from the fire; and his servants approached to take him out and they could not, for the fire was round about and the flame ascending toward them from the furnace…so that eight of them died.
And…the king called to Abram, O servant of the God who is in heaven, go forth from amidst the fire and come hither before me; and Abram…came and stood before the king.
And the king said to Abram, How is it that thou wast not burned in the fire? And Abram said to the king, The God of heaven and earth in whom I trust and who has all in his power, he delivered me from the fire into which thou didst cast me…
And Abram said to them…bow down to the God of the world who made you, and serve him, and go in his ways for…it is he who created the souls and spirits of all men, and formed man in his mother’s womb, and brought him forth into the world, and it is he [not the lower gods] who will deliver those who trust in him from all pain [including during the afterlife, which even they acknowledged their gods did not do].
And Abram went forth from the king [just like Asshur and Moses went forth, not just from the king’s reception hall but from his nation to another] and many of the king’s servants followed him, and about three hundred men joined him….
And from that day forward Abram inclined the hearts of the sons of men to serve the Lord.” (Jasher 12)
The call to separate from one’s current membership in an idolatrous nation in order to keep the way of the LORD was not just to Abram, but to all the people in all the nations.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath The Promised Seed / Christ with Belial / Adversary? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?…Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (II Corinthians 6:15-18)
What is not specifically mentioned in either Jasper’s or the Bible’s account is that this is most likely the point in time at which the individual known as Abram received this name. The accounts assume cultural competence on the part of the reader.
Recall that the ancient function of names was to identify unique and memorable attributes of an individual. Since the base of the name Abram is “Ab / Father”, it is highly unlikely that this was given to him at his birth. Based on the visions associated with his birth he would have been called Eastern Star, possibly The Usurper or The Rival Seed. Using hermeneutics, we can induce that referencing Abram by the name Abram during his birth and early history was likely an anachronistic simplification of identification. It does become tiresome to pile on excessive appellations like “Prince Rogers Nelson, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, Currently Known Simply as The Artist”.
It would not have been until he became the leader of a group of people that Eastern Star or Reviler of the King would have been identified as a Father of a Nation, i.e. Ab-r-am. This determination is supported by the later modification to the identification as Ab-rah-am – Father of Many Nations.
This first single nation is commonly taught as being the nation of Israel but it is patently obvious on the face of it that Israel is the father of the nation named after him, so no, that’s not Abraham’s nation. And the nation of Israel didn’t come into existence for over 400 years after God promised to bless the world through Abraham.
The identification of “Abram the Hebrew” establishes that when Abram left Ur of his ethnic Chaldean nation he became the head of the only nation that worshipped the one true God, – his (great-grand) father Eber’s existing nation, the Ebers / Hebrews.
Isn’t it interesting how Abraham’s journeys covered the entire Cradle of Civilization in its infancy.
This is like Paul’s missionary journeys through the apogee of that same pagan civilization some 2000 years later.
Is it incredible to think that Paul was following in the footsteps of Abram? Consider what he wrote to the Romans.
“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?…For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness…How was it then reckoned?…Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision…that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also…For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:1-13)
“For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (I Corinthians 4:15-16)
Abram’s great nation is commonly taught as being the nation of Israel but it is patently obvious on the face of it that Israel is the father of the nation named after him, so no, that’s not Abraham’s nation. And the nation of Israel didn’t come into existence for over 400 years after God promised to bless the world through Abraham.
The identification of “Abram the Hebrew” establishes that when Abram left Ur of his ethnic Chaldean nation he joined the only nation that worshipped the one true God, – his (great-grand) father Eber’s existing nation,the Ebers / Hebrews.
Abraham doesn’t just show up, like Superman, out of the blue, to save the world single handedly. Yes, he has the royal Melchizedekian ancestry with legal documents to prove his legitimacy and the right to be the next patriarch in line to lead the Hebrew people – but he also needs the Hebrew people to back him up!
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord…” (Letter to the Hebrews 2:3-7)
Part of the great salvation we should not neglect is the protection and resources available though membership in a nation whose prime directive is to “...provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity….”
Abram didn’t just sit back and doze on the back pew once he joined his congregation of Hebrews. He went to work fulfilling the marching orders in God’s kingdom to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth with LIFE “and in thee [Abram] shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-4)
This is typically taught as meaning that The Seed of the Woman / Promised Savior / Jesus Christ would be a descendant. While this is true, there is an immediate aspect to this pronouncement that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The reference to “all families” refers to the recent shattering of one into many at Babel. These were just coalescing into existence in Abram’s day and scattering across the earth as they fled from the resulting chaos, constant tribal warfare, butchery and slavery in Mesopotamia. This was “the Bronze Age“, a brutal era, a vicious struggle for existence.
During this latest post-apocalyptic era Abram is not just another refugee looking out for himself and his family. He is being assigned the most important job on earth. Like the President of the United States, he has been chosen to preserve, protect, and defend liberty and justice for all the peoples of the earth. Abram’s Hebrew nation is the only nation capable of doing so because its constitution, the word of God, covers the whole world, and its boundless resources can provide for a steady stream of refugees.
The Mesopotamian empires flourished because the land was in itself a fortress keeping its subjects locked in. Walled up by virtually impenetrable mountains to the east and north, and desert to the south, the only way out was to “Go west, young man!” The Mediterranean served, like the Atlantic, to provide rapid transit to unsettled lands for desperate refugees.
The Mediterranean is the world’s deadliest migration route. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 22,400 migrants and asylum seekers have died since 2000 in attempts to reach the European Union, many of them at sea. Over 3,500 died at sea in 2014, making it the deadliest year on record.
Abram was sent to the transit station of Canaan.
Refugees trading one hard urban for another hard frontier life risked death in unfamiliar beast-infested wildernesses. No doubt there was a kind of Oklahoma land rush as the Babel emigres needed to find a place to settle onto as soon as possible for sheer survival.
Their life was a daily struggle for existence as they, like Robinson Crusoe on a deserted island or our own American pioneers heading west, had to build all the food-production infrastructure of flocks, fields, vineyards, orchards, irrigation ditches, wells from the ground up.
And all the while protecting their livelihood and lives from predators in a situation akin to Crusoe’s Caribbean cannibals or the Wild West’s Johnson County War.
Abram didn’t just sit back and doze on the back pew once he joined his congregation of Hebrews. He went to work fulfilling the marching orders in God’s kingdom to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth” with LIFE.
Refugees who learned about the Giver and Sustainer of Life from the Hebrews in Canaan had the opportunity to come under his protection and spread his dominion into all the world.
“And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar….And it came to pass…that Abimelech…spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear.” (Genesis 21:22-24)
Did you catch Abimelech’s personal relationship with God? He doesn’t say “your” God. In addition, his lifestyle proved his relationship to YHVH by Abraham’s definition – to “fear God,” hundreds of years before there was the Levitical priesthood to guide the way.
“Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 25:17)
How did Abimelech know the true God and how to follow in his way? From Melchizedek Shem at Salem of course.
Let the record show that The Way was known.
Abraham’s vow was honored by the Israelites. The land of Gerar is not among Israelite conquests listed in Joshua 15. Located in what came to be Philistine territory, but not named as one of the Philistine cities, Gerar would have been rescued from the Philistines by first Samson, then Saul, and finally King David. Ultimately it would have been absorbed through a peaceful alliance into Judah, like so many of Israel’s neighbors under King David and King Solomon.
How did Abimelech know the true God and how to follow in his way? From Melchizedek Shem of course.
The following passage written by the Apostle Peter is based on Isaiah’s writings because they were as applicable to the believers suffering oppression under the Roman empire in the 1st century AD as it was to believers being crushd by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC, and just as we accept them as applicable to 19st century AD believers we can see that they apply to the 19th century BC believers. This is God’s timeless truth.
“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture , Behold, I lay in Sion [in Abimelech’s time the mountain held by Shem Melchizedek] a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on hm shall not be confounded / put to utter confusion and shame.” (I Peter 2:6, also Romans 9:33)
“ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood [that describes Abimelech as well as Abraham], an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (I Peter 2:12-17
“…Abram the Hebrew…dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite [a giant nation], brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.” (Genesis 14:13-24)
These men had to be believers like Abimelech in order for Abraham to be in league with them. Or for them to be in league with Abraham. They had to have had enough faith in Abram’s God and Abram’s leadership to follow him into what what otherwise a suicide mission in the War of Four Kings Against Five. In support of this conclusion, the God of Abraham memorializes them: Mamre is forever identified as the gracious seller of the first plot of promised land, Eshcol is forever identified with the luscious first fruits of the promised land.
Abraham – Father of Many Nations
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee,
- will multiply thee exceedingly…Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
- And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
- And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession;
- and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.” (Genesis 17:1-5)
If we remain consistent with the definitions and concepts, then “many” means more than two or three. This does not fit with typical Christianity that, at most, acknowledges the “Jewish roots” of Christianity while equating Jews with Hebrews, while disregarding the substance of “many”. Then there is the broader, but not by much more, interfaith view of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as the Abrahamic faiths.
Take at face value that this covenant is stated to be not only between the LORD and Abram as his priest-king / Melchizedek, but also between the kings of other nations.
What this clearly future-oriented covenant prepares for is the natural progression of events:
- The initial stage of Abraham’s Hebrew nation, composed of refugees from multiple hatchling nations fleeing Babel / Babylon and huddling together for protection,
- lives long and prospers, outgrowing the living space – like Lot, and moving on to greener pastures
- while maintaining ties with the mother country and forming a Commonwealth of Nations.
Commonwealth of Nations…a free association of sovereign states comprising the United Kingdom and a number of its former dependencies who have chosen to maintain ties of friendship and practical cooperation and who acknowledge the British monarch as symbolic head of their association…in parts of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland.
The social sciences concur with the biblical record of a population explosion at this time in history. As these nations migrated in search of living space, they naturally split into subsidiary nations. A parallel would be the nations of America, Canada, and Australia being rooted in England which has its roots in continental Angles and Saxons which are more ancient Germanic tribes. We all share a common language, culture, and historic roots.
As in the British Commonwealth, there are kings of the individual nations but these are ultimately subject to the King of Kings in the Hebrew Commonwealth, the Melchizedek.
But being born into a nationality doesn’t guarantee being a member of Abraham’s faithful Hebrew Commonwealth. Just as America rebelled against England’s control, so some nations descended from Abraham separated themselves from the God of the Hebrews.
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Matthew 3:8-10)
And neither does one have to be born into one of Abraham’s offspring’s families. The key qualification for a nation becoming a member of the Commonwealth of Hebrews is
- acknowledgement of an all-powerful Creator who is therefore, unequivocally, “the Boss”,
- identification with his standards of right behavior which are “production” NOT “destruction”
- and trusting whatever revelation has been received in your time and culture that This Eternal One has a vested interest in you as his Creation and will empower you to overcome destructive forces in this life and after.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…
despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance [of engaging in self- and other-destructive acts]? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
- To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
- But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil…
For there is no respect of persons with God.
- For as many as have sinned without law [AKA the Bible] shall also perish without law:
- and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified)…Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 1-2)
Paul is following through on Jesus Christ’s own report that the core simplicity of faith in YHVH /Creator God’s salvation and his terms of righteousness supersedes the various cultural and leadership impositions of expressions of faith and practices.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory…then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another…Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when?… And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me…Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:31-46)
HIs audience at the time, the Jewish nation, had the historic documents to understand this clearly.
- “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek…
- And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt.” (I Samuel 16:1-6)
Surprised? Some of Israel’s worst enemies are members of the Hebrew Commonwealth.
“In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt…In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
“every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD / YHVH / Creator.” (Zechariah 14:16)
“that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God…And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” (Revelation 21:10, 24)
The Melchizedek position is clearly stated at this point in history to be passed in a line of descent through Isaac rather than Ishmael. This is commonly considered to reference the later nation of Israel.
It does not. Isaac was a member of the Hebrew nation. Isaac had a certain amount of control, and intended to pass this inheritance Esau.
The point being made is that the inheritance of the order of Melchizedek to Abraham’s offspring predates the establishment of nation of Israel, and remains in the purview of Abraham’s Hebrew nation. Paul goes to great lengths to prove that Abraham’s Hebrew identity supercedes that of his future offspring Israel.
“the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law [of the nation of Israel], but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:1-13)