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    June 11, 1885

    “Inheritance of the Saints. (Continued.) The Promised Land” The Signs of the Times, 11, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    THE SABBATH-SCHOOL.

    LESSON FOR THE PACIFIC COAST—JULY 11

    No Authorcode

    THE PROMISED LAND

    1. When the Lord brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, what promise did he make them?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.1

    “And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 19:3-6.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.2

    2. Of what promise was this a continuation?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.3

    “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 7:6-8.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.4

    3. Into what land were they to be brought?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.5

    “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.” Genesis 17:8.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.6

    4. Who led them into this land? Read Joshua 1:1-6, 11.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.7

    5. To whom did the Lord say he had sworn to give the land which Joshua was to divide among the people?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.8

    “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.” Joshua 1:6.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.9

    6. Cite the passages in which the promise was made to the fathers. Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-16; 7:1-8; 22:15-18; 26:1-5; 28:10-15.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.10

    7. Since the promise was made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in person, could the possession of the land by their descendants be a fulfillment of that promise? It evidently could not.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.11

    8. In making the promise to Abraham, what had the Lord said his seed should possess?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.12

    “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” Genesis 22:17.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.13

    9. Was this fulfilled when Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.14

    “Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out.” Joshua 17:12, 13.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.15

    10. What is Paul’s testimony on this point?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.16

    “For if Jesus [margin, that is, Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.” Hebrews 4:8.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.17

    11. Where do we find that “other day” mentioned?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.18

    “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:22-24.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.19

    12. What day was it of which David spoke?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.20

    “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” 2 Corinthians 6:2.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.21

    13. Since another day was spoken of, what does Paul concede?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.22

    “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.23

    14. Who is it that leads the people into the true rest?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.24

    “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.25

    15. And who are they who are Christ’s?SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.26

    “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.27

    16. Then through whom is the promise to Abraham and his seed fulfilled? E. J. W.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.28

    “‘How Readest Thou?’” The Signs of the Times, 11, 23.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There has been of late quite an interest raised over the question in a recent Sabbath-school lesson, as to how old Abram was when his father died. We will therefore quote a portion of one letter from a brother who requests an answer through the SIGNS, and the answer to it will serve for all. He says:-SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.1

    “The idea was conveyed in the Sabbath-school lesson in the SIGNS, a few weeks ago, that Abram was seventy-five years old when his father died, and the subject was brought up in the school at---, which caused some comment.SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.2

    “As well as I remember, the SIGNS stated plainly that he was at that age at the death of his father, and suppose the conclusion was gotten at in this way. In the last verse of Genesis 11 we have an account of the death of Terah, Abram’s father, and the 12th chapter begins with what the Lord had told Abram in regard to leaving his father’s house, etc., and says: ‘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,’ and as his father had died before he departed, he must have been seventy-five when his father died.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.3

    The brother has the idea exactly, and when we have read his words we wondered that there could be any question in his mind. But the next few words of his letter show the cause of his difficulty. He continues-SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.4

    “But right here is where I think the mistake is. The Bible does does say that Terah died before Abram left Haran, but, on the other hand, conveys the idea very strongly that he did not. It is true that the last verse of chapter 11 gives an account of the death of Terah, and the first verse of chapter 12 gives an account of what the Lord told Abram about leaving his country, but it does not say that it was after his father’s death that he told him this, or that he did not leave before his father’s death.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.5

    And right here is where we would place several exclamation marks. It is strange that the brother should have forgotten or overlooked Acts 7:2-4, which was referred to in the same lesson, and which reads thus:-SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.6

    “Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken: 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 Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran; and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.7

    The question, then, is reduced to this simple proposition: Since Abram left Haran when his father died (Acts 7:2-4) and he was seventy-five years old when he left Haran (Genesis 12:4), how old was he with his father die? No great mathematical skill is required to solve this problem. This was about the order in which it was stated in the Sabbath-school lesson, if we remember correctly. We apprehend that the question concerning Abram’s age at the death of his father, was raised in order to see if those studying the lessons were in the habit of comparing scripture which scripture, and noting the bearing of one upon the other. It seems that in this case many did not do so.SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.8

    What has thrown so many off the track is this: They read in Genesis 11:26, “And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.” And in Genesis 11:32 they read: “And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.” putting these two together, they say, “Why, of course Abram was 135 years old when his father died.” Thus they ignored the plain and positive statements of Genesis 12:4 and Acts 7:4, by which we must be guided. The record does not say that Abram was born when his father was seventy-five years old. There are two statements in Genesis 11:26; one is that Terah lived seventy years without children, and the other is that he begat at Abram, Nahor, and Haran. We are not to suppose that these three sons were all born at the same time, anymore than we are to suppose when we read (Genesis 5:7), “And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters,” that all his sons and daughters were born at one time. Neither is it necessary to suppose that Abram was the first-born. The youngest son, if he was the most noted, is very often named first. Thus, “Ephraim and Manasseh” is the order in which Joseph’s sons are usually named, although Ephraim was the younger. See Genesis 41:51, 52; 48:17-20.SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.9

    For another illustration, see Genesis 5:32: “And Noah was five hundred years old; and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” The casual reader might suppose that these sons were all born to Noah at one time, and he would certainly suppose that Shem was the eldest, and Japheth the youngest. But by comparing Genesis 9:22-24 with Genesis 10:21, we learn that Japheth was the eldest son, and Ham was Noah’s second son. He is mentioned first, because he is most worthy of note, as being the ancestors of Abraham. So it is in Genesis 11:26. Terah was seventy years old when the first of his sons was born; but this was not Abram, since he was not born until his father was 135 years old. (Compare the age of Abram at his father’s death, with Genesis 11:32.) He is, however, named first, because he was the only one of note among the sons of Terah.SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.10

    We have not devoted so much space to this question because we thought it a matter of great importance that all should know just how old Abraham was at his father’s death, but to show the necessity of careful thought in studying the Scriptures. All the facts of any case do not always appear in a single passage, and different ones must be compared. One thing must always be borne in mind: Whenever a thing is plainly stated in the text or must necessarily be concluded from a comparison of two or more positive statements, no seeming contradiction based on an inference, can be entertained. Incomplete statements, or inferences, must always be interpreted in harmony with positive declarations. By so doing we shall find perfect harmony in the Bible. E. J. W.SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.11

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