Could you please explain again about the origin of the Jewish Nation?
Our speaker last Sunday touched briefly on the genealogy of Abraham leading to the emergence of the Nation of Israel, the Jews. I’ve been asked to review and expand on this, which I will do as blog space allows.
In Genesis, chapters 15 through 21 we read of God’s promise to Abraham that despite Abraham’s age and the barrenness of Sarah’s womb, He would make Abraham the “father of many nations.” Abraham believed God. He believed despite all evidence to the contrary that God both could and would do this. God was pleased at Abraham’s faith and the scriptures tell us that God considered this as “righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6).
Several things transpire throughout the following chapters, but sure enough by chapter 21 the child Isaac is born to them. Isaac later marries and father’s Esau and Jacob, who in turn sires twelve sons who eventually become the twelve tribes of Israel — Israel being the new name God gave Jacob after he wrestled all night with an angel. (see Gen. 32:28).
One of Jacob’s sons was Joseph, who you may recall was sold by His brothers and ended up second to Pharaoh in Egypt. Famine brings his brothers to him, they are reunited and along with their father Jacob settle in the land of Goshen in Egypt. Time goes on and a new Pharaoh comes on the scene. The growing population of Hebrews is seen as a threat and they are made slaves, constructing clay bricks.
Well you probably know the story from there: God sends Moses to deliverer the Hebrews from slavery and after multiple plagues, and the parting and passing of the Red Sea, they begin 40 years of wilderness wanderings. This independent mass of people are now their own people the Jewish Nation seeking and finally arriving to their earthly Promised Land.
For this reason the Jews call themselves “sons of Abraham.” They take the name “Jew” as a derivative from the name Judah, the tribe of David’s line which led to the Messiah.
The New Testament contains two genealogies tracing through Adam to Jesus. These genealogies are found in Matthew 1:1-17 which traces Mary’s husband Joseph’s lineage from Abraham to Jesus, and in Luke 3:23-38 which traces Mary’s lineage in reverse chronology from Jesus to Adam.
We too are now “sons (and daughters) of Abraham” as Paul masterfully outlines in his letter to the Galatians, because we too trust in Christ by faith, just as did Abraham.
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