Truth, Understanding, Insight

God's Promises

11th October 2006, hej


3) Promises to Isaac and Israel

And Yahweh appeared unto Isaac and said,

Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell you of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for unto you, and unto your seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham your father;
And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;Genesis 26:2-4

This seems to repeat the promise to Abraham. However it is made personally to Isaac. Just as Abraham is assured he would be personally given the land he was living in, so is Isaac and Isaac’s seed. At this time Isaac has two sons, of whom, before they were born Yahweh has said the elder will serve the younger. Genesis 27 recounts the how the blessing is given to Jacob the younger. Isaac can only give one blessing, reinforcing the idea of the ‘seed’ being singular.

The promises to Jacob (Israel)

Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

And he lighted upon a certain place... And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed; And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Jacob is promised he would be given the land he was sleeping on, also his seed would inherit it. And that this seed would be many. In both Jacob and the seed would all races be blessed.

The promise is expanded when Jacob does return many years later.

And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.
And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of you, and kings shall come out of your loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to you I will give it, and to your seed after you will I give the land. Genesis 35: 9-11

Specifically a Nation (the nation of Israel) and an assembly of nations would come from him and a many kings from his body. Also it is repeated that he personally will inherit the land, as will the seed.

And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.
Verse 3: And he said, I am God, the God of your father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation:
Verse 4: I will go down with you into Egypt; and I will also surely bring you up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. Genesis 46:2-4

Verse 3 happened. For the sons of Jacob became a million. Verse 4 did not completely occur. Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt and died. Joseph did put his hand on Jacob’s eyes. Of interest is Jacob’s understanding of the promise to bring him up again. He told Joseph his son to bury him in Canaan, not in Egypt

Jacob knew he was to die in Egypt despite the promise 17 years earlier that, ‘just as you go into Egypt you will come back up’. Jacob seems to accept he will not go back but only his body will. If we read further (see below) we see that Jacob understands the land is to be his everlasting possession.

And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,And said unto me, Behold, I will make you fruitful, and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people; and will give this land to your seed after you for an everlasting possession. Genesis 48:3

Above are the records of the promises made to Jacob at Bethel or Luz on two separate occasions, neither of them record it was said the land is an everlasting possession. Genesis 84:3-4 is therefore Jacob’s understanding of the promises, based on being there and on his knowledge of what had been promised to his fathers. It is clear that Jacob understood he was to inherit, just as Abraham and Isaac, the area to the North, South, East and West of Bethel for an everlasting possession, not at that time, but some time after he had been dead. Jacob had been promised he was to go back alive.

In summary the promises to the Fathers are:

  • Personally they would inherit the Land of Canaan forever.
  • Their seed would inherit the land forever.
  • This seed would be numerous.
  • They would be blessed, and those that blessed them would be blessed
  • The seed would be a great nation
  • From their natural descent would be kings
  • In the seed would all nations be blessed.
  • Who are the seed, or descendants?

    NEXT PAGE... The ‘seed’