"The Earth Belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."
The Chosen People of HaShem
by Jagannatha Prakash, August 5, 2007
But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation:
ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
-- Isaiah 45:17
The Chosen People of HaShem
Israel and Nations
After the flood HaShem blessed Noah for his faithfulness and made an eternal covenant with all of his descendants.
Genesis 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.
17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:
19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
HaShem called the humans and animals before Him. He blessed them and sated his His intention that the planet be filled with life.
Father Noah realized that it was only due to HaShem's mercy that any living thing had survived. In thanks Noah sacrificed part of the life that have been saved to acknowledge this. He built an alter.
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
In this portion of the covenant we see that for first time humans are allowed to eat the animals he had been placed on the earth protect:
Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
To protect the animals HaShem gave them a natural fear of humans and set certain restriction into place.
HaShem placed seven laws on the descendants of Noah. These laws remain in place to day:
1.Worship Only HaShem
2. Honor and Praise HaShem
3. Respect and Protect Human Life
4. Respect the Family
5. Respect the Rights and Properties of Others
6. Respect the Sanctity of all Life
7. Pursue Justice
Still however the people of the planet fought and did self destructive activities. Some of the humans continued to seek HaShem for protection and guidance.
Enter Father Abraham:
There was a young and inquisitive man named Abram who knew worshiped the one God. His father however a maker of idols. One day while his father was away Abram crept into his father shop and smashed all the images... except one. He saved the biggest on. Into the hand of that image Abram placed the hammer he had used. When his father saw what Abram had done (and the loss of income) he questioned the boy. Abram replied that the big god had obviously become jealous and smashed the little ones! His father replied that was ridiculous! To which Abram answered, these images can't even wield a hammer nor defend themselves, so... why do you worship them?
Abram was a lifelong monotheist, which is to say, one who believe in a single ultimate personal divinity.
HaShem saw this faith and chose Abram and his descendants to deliver the world from its fallen and rebellious condition.
Humans were free to to disobey HaShem and go their own way as gods, however they were also free to submit to HaShem and seek His mercy. Both freedoms had to be protected.
Abram was a Semitic Hebrew. HaShem didn't choose him because he was a Hebrew but because he sought God's will, he practice islam, submission to God.
The Book of Genesis describes much of Abraham's life and faith. He was fully human and at times made unwise choices, however his heart was in the right place.
1 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 show thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
The Bible records HaShem's promise to make the descendants of Abraham:
The Bible also records:
Genesis 12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
Genesis 13:14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.
The Tanach contains several descriptions of the borders of the Holy Land of Eretz Israel. These descriptions encompass a region that extends from the "River of Egypt"to the Euphrates. Areas known to be included are the modern State of Israel, the West Bank (the biblical Judea and Samaria), the Gaza Strip, and parts of modern-day Syria and Lebanon. The biblically described region also encompasses the Sinai Peninsula, which is widely believed to encompass the route of the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt. The land allocated east of the Jordan River in Numbers 24:1-15 includes much of modern Jordan (compare).
The Bible records that HaShem gave this holy land not only to Abraham but to his descendants. But which descendants?
Abram was perplexed! He had never sired a child, so how were his descendants to inherit anything?
Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
The Bible records how it was that Abram became a father.
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
These lands were all given to Abram and his descendants.
However... Abram was a human being and had his doubts. He and his wife Sarai were both very old, too old to begin a family and yet they both wanted progeny to carry on.
Here's an example of human nature. Sarai reasoned that God must have made a mistake! She thought that perhaps He had forgotten that she was an old lady! She and Abram devised a plan to fulfill God's will! See this? If God says a thing will be, it WILL be, but we humans want to help! We want to make things happen. Sometimes we cause major problems when we do this rather trust God!
Genesis 16:1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee....
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
Here is where a world of hurting began!
Sarai came up with the plan, Abram agreed, then she blamed Abram and Hagar when it worked! This is so very human!
Those unfamiliar with Islam should be advised that this biblical version of these accounts is a bit different in Islam. For instance, Islam teaches that Hagar was not a maid of Sarai but was an Egyptian princess. If there's interest I'll discuss this elsewhere.
So now there is a descendant for Abram, but...
Genesis 17:1 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.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
5 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.
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
7 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.
8 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.
9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
Clearly this has happened. Descendants of Abraham fill the earth and rule many many country.
BUT HaShem's Covenant was not made with the descendants of Hagar but Sarah!
Genesis 1715 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
What about Ishmael? What about Hagar? What about that side Abram's family? Ishmael was the first born so HE, not Issac deserves the blessing!
One might think so, however HaShem is God and He does as He wills.
HaShem declared the blessing would pass through Abraham and Sarah.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.
24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.
27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.
Here is the crux of the problem:
Judaism claims, harmonious with the Torah, that the promises and blessings of Abraham passed through Isaac and the Jews.
Christianity claims, harmonious with the Torah, that the promises and blessings of Abraham passed through Isaac and through Isaac's descendant Y'shua ben Miriam (Jesus son of Mary).
Islam claims the promises and blessings of Abraham passed through Ishmael and his Arab descendants including Muhammad who is believed by them to be Nabi (Prophet) and Rasul (Messenger).
These claims and beliefs form the doctrinal stone upon which all three religions are established. Who holds the blessing of Abraham is a question of earth shaking importance.