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)