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The Birthright of Avraham – Part 1

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Sunday, December 28, 2014


We cross over to a touchy subject, but one worthy of consideration for talmidiym of scripture.  For we have heard of the ELOHIYM of Avraham, Yitschaq and Ya’aqov:

Shemot (Exodus) 3:14-15

And EOHIYM said unto El-Mosheh, HAYAH ASHER HAYAH:  and he said, Thus shall you say unto the children of Yisra’el, HAYAH has sent me unto you. 15 And ELOHIYM said moreover unto El-Mosheh, Thus shall you say unto the children of Yisra’el, YAHUAH ELOHIYM of your fathers, the ELOHIYM of Avraham, the ELOHIYM of Yitschaq, and the ELOHIYM of Ya`aqov, has sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my mention unto all generations.

Yet, to understand this joining, it is first necessary to understand this relationship.  As we have discussed before, the transition from Avraham to Yitschaq was the transference of the estate of Avraham to the yachiyd, i.e., the beloved child.  Once again, the yachiyd is almost never the first born.  The first born of Adam was Cayin, yet he was not the yachiyd.  The first born of Avraham was Ishma’el, yet Yitschaq was the yachiyd.  The first born of Yitschaq was Esau, yet Ya’aqov was the yachiyd.  This will prove important in our discussion here.

First, we begin with the covenant:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 15:12-18

And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Avram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Avram, Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Emoriym is not yet full. 17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 18 In the same day YAHUAH made a covenant with את (eth)-Avram, saying, Unto your seed have I given this land, from the river of Mitsrayim unto the great river, the river Perath:

So, the covenant is made between YAHUAH and Avram, which is the giving of the land, from the Nile to the Euphrates.  It is this covenant that passed to Yitschaq:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 25:5

And Avraham gave all that he had unto Yitschaq.

Again, this issue of the yachiyd becomes so critically important.  Avraham never considered the idea of giving his estate to his surviving wife.  Such an idea did not arise in society until the bringing of the Magna Carta.  Avraham wrestled with YAHUAH concerning the disposition of his estate, intending to give it all to Eliezer of Damascus (Bere’shiyth 15:2) if he was to have no heir.  Avraham made no disposition for Ishma’el.

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 17:1-8

AND when Avram was ninety years old and nine, YAHUAH appeared to El-Avram, and said unto him, I am EL SHADDAI; walk before me, and be perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. 3 And Avram fell on his face: and ELOHIYM talked with him, saying, 4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall your name anymore be called Avram, but your name shall be Avraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. 6 And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be ELOHIYM unto you, and to your seed after you. 8 And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, את (eth) the land wherein you are a stranger, את (eth) all the land of Kena`an, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their ELOHIYM.

So, we have this expression describing the covenant as an everlasting covenant.  One wonders how long the covenant would last.  Is it only temporal, existing until the arrival of the Son of Man and His death and resurrection?  Was the covenant “nailed to the cross”?  I think not (or in the immortal words of Sha’ul: not so.).

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 17:19-21

And ELOHIYM said, Sarah your woman shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Yitschaq: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 And as for Yishma`el, I have heard you: 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 את (eth)-Yitschaq, which Sarah shall bear unto you at this set time in the next year. 

Now consider how this covenant was expressed anew to Yitschaq:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 26:3

Sojourn גּוּר (go-ur) in this land (not Mitsrayim), and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give (natan) all these countries (eretz), and I will perform the oath which I swore unto Avraham your father;

We will discuss this word sojourn in a bit and how it relates to the word stranger, the name Gog, and the lands of Gedur and Gerar.  But first, let’s finish with the passing of the covenant of the generations. So, Avraham gave everything he had to Yitschaq, and YAHUAH expressed the covenant anew to Yitschaq concerning the giving of the land (eretz). 

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 25:29-34

And Ya`aqov sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to El-Ya`aqov, Feed me, I pray you, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Ya`aqov said, Sell me this day your birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Ya`aqov said, Swear to me this day; and he swore unto him: and he sold his את (eth)-birthright unto Ya`aqov. 34 Then Ya`aqov gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his את (eth)-birthright.

So it is that the first son of Yitschaq – Esau – despised his birthright and sold it to Ya’aqov.  The birthright is the status of yachiyd.  So it was when Avraham gave everything he had to Yitschaq, so it would be that Yitschaq would give everything he had to Ya’akov, which later included even the blessing.

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 28:1-4

AND Yitschaq called El-Ya`aqov, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, You shall not take a woman of the daughters of Kena`an. 2 Arise, go to Paddan Aram, to the house of Bethu’el your mother's father; and take you a woman from thence of the daughters of Lavan your mother's brother. 3 And EL SHADDAI bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a multitude of people; 4 And give you the blessing of Avraham, to you, and to your seed with you; that you may inherit the land wherein you are a stranger, which ELOHIYM gave unto Avraham.

It is one thing, however, for the patriarch to pass his estate by disposition to the yachiyd; it is another that YAH also might pass the covenant.  Consider what happens next in this saga:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 28:10-15

And Ya`aqov went out from Be`ersheva, and went toward Charan. 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 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 ELOHIYM ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, YAHUAH stood above it, and said, I am YAHUAH ELOHIYM of Avraham your father, and the ELOHIYM of Yitschaq: the land whereon you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed; 14 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. 15 And, behold, I am with you, and will keep you in all places whither you go, and will bring you again into this land; for I will not leave you, until I have done את (eth) that which I have spoken to you of.

And with this we have the expression of the covenant and its passing from the patriarch Avraham to Yitschaq, his yachiyd, and from Yitschaq to Ya’aqov, his yachiyd, by the expressions of the patriarchs, and the expression of YAHUAH who confirmed this covenant.

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