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The Signs of the Times, vol. 13

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    “The Call of Abram. Genesis 12:1-9” The Signs of the Times 13, 2, pp. 26, 27.

    The Commentary


    (January 30.—Genesis 12:1-9.)

    “NOW the Lord had said unto Abram.” Abram was a native of Ur of the Chaldees, not far from the mouth of the Euphrates; though, through the river deposits of ages, the ruins of Ur are now about 125 miles from the Persian Gulf and about six miles from the Euphrates. The oldest of its temples are certain ones whose bricks bear the name of Urukh, who calls himself “King of Ur and Accad.” The signet cylinder of Urukh’s son, Ilgi, has been found and is preserved in the British Museum. Urukh is supposed to have lived about a hundred years, or perhaps a little more, before Abram left Ur.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.1

    TERAH was Abram’s father and an idolater, for he “served other gods.” Joshua 24:2. These gods were mostly the sun, the moon, and the planets. Sin, or Hurki, was the moon-god; San, or Sansi, was the sun; Vul was the god of the atmosphere; Nin was Saturn; Merodach was Jupiter; Nergal was Mars; Ishtar was Venus; and Nebo was Mercury. With each of these and in his worship was associated a female divinity. Ana was the god of the lower world, the lord of darkness or death. The chief seat of his worship was Erech. Genesis 10:10. The principal temple at Erech was built by Urukh to Sin, the moon-god. He also built temples to the sun to Belus and his wife Beltis, as well as to many others, for he was a mighty builder and a devout worshiper of the gods.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.2

    IT was in such a place, and amidst such idolatry, that Abram was born and grew up, his own people and even his own father serving those gods. Yet Abram turned from it all and served Jehovah. When all about him had forsaken the true God and served idols and walked in their evil ways, Abram stood faithful to the Lord. Whilst all others did not like to retain God in their knowledge, Abram gave himself up to the sincere worship of the Lord. Therefore he became “the friend of God,” and the father of all them which believe. “For if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.3

    IT was from the midst of this idolatry that God called Abram to go out into a land which he would show him, and he obeyed, and “went out not knowing whither he went.” For “the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran [Haran], and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran; and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.” Acts 7:2-4.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.4

    COMING out of Ur, Abram was accompanied by Terah, his father, Lot, his nephew, and Sarai, his wife. Genesis 11:31. It seems that Nahor had preceded them to Haran, and had built that city, for Haran was “the city of Nahor.” Compare Genesis 24:10 with 27:43. Haran was on a tributary of the Euphrates, the Belichus, about seventy-five miles northeast of Carchemish. “And they came to Haran and dwelt there.” “And Terah died in Haran.” And after his father died, Abram, in obedience to the call which the Lord had given him in Ur, went on to the land which should be shown him. “So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventh-five years old when he departed out of Haran.”SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.5

    “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.” God had said to him while he was in Ur: “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; 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.” And now when Abram had passed through the land unto the plain of Moreh, the Lord again appeared to him, and said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land.”SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.6

    “AND he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” Acts 7:5. “Now to Abram and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:16, 29. “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Romans 4:13.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.7

    AND “by faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God; ... and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country... Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:9-16.SITI January 13, 1887, page 26.8

    IF we will be Christ’s we must take his yoke upon us and learn of him, for he is “meek and lowly in heart,” and it is meekness and lowliness in heart which we must learn of Christ, that we may be his. And if we be his, then are we Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. So says Christ: “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5.SITI January 13, 1887, page 27.1