The Ram for Abraham

Father of Faith

Most of us have heard the wondrous historical account of the “father of faith”, Abraham. It’s kind of ironic, in that Abraham, after being personally visited by the LORD and being told that Sarah would have his son by that time the next year (Gen 18:10), he and Sarah’s faith didn’t even last three months! It takes nine of those 12 months to carry and deliver a baby, right? But Sarah quickly convinced Abraham to father this child with their hand-maiden, Hagar, in accordance with the ‘Law’! This is a perfect example of why "the Law is not of faith" (Gal 3:12). Israel still suffers the 'ram-ifications' (pardon the pun) of that decision to this day! (Gal 4:29)

So WHY was Abraham known for his FAITH? I believe his faith was firmly established as soon as he witnessed his elderly, barren wife conceive. God not only promised Abraham Isaac, but told him his descendants would be “as numerous as the sand on the seashore”. Indeed, Abraham earned the honorable title of “father of faith” because he passed the great test of faith found in Genesis 22.

While there are so many spiritual insights to this passage, and I would love to expound on them all, the LORD’s put on my heart verses 6-12. Before we read these verses, we need to set the firm foundation ~ that is, that God first gave Abraham a directive in vs.2, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you” ~ and Abraham OBEYED the voice of the LORD.

Genesis 22:6-12

“Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham,

‘Father?’

‘Yes, my son?’ Abraham replied.

‘The fire and wood are here,’ Isaac said, ‘but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’

Abraham answered, ‘God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ And the two of them went on together.”

What FAITH, amen?! Like father, like son, too! Isaac didn’t fight his father as he was bound and placed on the wood. No sooner did Abraham lift the knife, the Angel of the LORD shouted, “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy! Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son.” (vs 12)

More in the Meaning

Traditional teaching focuses on Isaac representing Jesus, God’s only Son. That would then liken Abraham to ‘the Father’. Even Jesus spoke of the beggar, Lazarus, going to the ‘bosom of Abraham’ after he died (Luke 16:22). Rev 13:8 tells us of the foreordained “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”, and Isaac was a picture of that ‘Lamb’ to come. Isaac, like Jesus, showed great obedience to his father, even unto death. Consider Phil 2:8: “Being found in appearance as a man, He [Jesus] humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Abraham had faith God would raise his son from the dead (Heb 11:9), a picture of the resurrection of the LORD, Jesus Christ.

That’s all inspirational and beautiful, but we’re going to press on to ponder more…

Focus on the Ram

While Isaac did represent Jesus in many ways, he certainly was NOT Abraham’s only son, let alone his firstborn. Remember Hagar? She begat Ishmael before Sarah begat Isaac. The reason Isaac was called Abraham’s ‘only son’ is because Isaac was the son “born according to the Spirit”, while Ishmael was the son “born according to the flesh” (Gal 4:29). We could spiritually apply this to the words of Jesus in John 3:5: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water [womb-flesh] and the Spirit [God] he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” This is what it means to be ‘born again’ or ‘born of God’. It was from Isaac Jacob was born, later renamed Israel (Gen 35:10); it was from Jacob the twelve tribes of Israel were borne (Rev 7:4-8), who were later enslaved in Egypt for a period of 400 years. Notice what God told Moses to say to their captor in Exodus 4:22: “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn.’” Now, not all natural-born Israelis(-ites) are “Abraham’s offspring”. While Isaac could be seen as representative of Jesus, he truly represented all of the ‘born-again’ offspring of Abraham as revealed in Romans 11, and here’s why:

Remember God told Abraham his descendants would be as numerous as the sand of the seashore? Well, Abraham believed God, even though it seemed contradictory for the LORD to require Isaac’s life on that altar. It was because of the great faith of both of them, evidenced by obeying the voice of the LORD, Isaac’s life was saved ~ by what? The RAM. How often do we focus on the ram? It’s time we do.

Burnt Offering

In Hebrews 11, also called ‘The Faith Chapter’, the list of those who lived by faith started with Abel, right on up to John the Baptist, if you consider him one who “went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—“ (Mat 3:3-4). What did they have faith in? The Seed of Abraham, the coming Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ (from the tribe of Judah)! The first pleasing sacrifice offered to God was by Abel. Indeed, Abel sacrificed a lamb. The Bible gives us another account of Noah sacrificing to God in Gen 8:20. The Law of Moses nor the Levitical priesthood were around when Abel and Noah offered their sacrifices to the LORD, nor when Abraham offered up Isaac, for Levi was Abraham’s great-grandson, a son of Jacob. The specifications for regular sacrifices were, of course, outlined in Leviticus.

While there were many types of sacrifices, we are going to focus on two: the burnt offering and the sin offering. For the purpose and method of the burnt offering, read Leviticus 1. Several times it is stated, “It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.” From this, we can conclude that Abel sacrificed a burnt offering to the LORD (Gen 4:4) and so did Noah (Gen 8:20). A burnt offering is not the same as a sin offering. They are different. It is important to understand that the sin offering was for atonement, while the burnt offering imputed righteousness to the forgiven. For the purpose and method of the sin offering, read Leviticus 4. Several times it is stated, “In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.”

Burnt offerings were brought to the priest by individual persons or families. The Israelites were to provide a “male without defect” from their herds (cattle), flocks (livestock), or even birds. After hands were laid upon it, the whole animal was totally consumed by fire. Consider the two birds Mary and Joseph brought along to the temple, when presenting Jesus to Simeon, the priest (Luke 2:22-24). The offering of two birds was in accordance with the Law in Lev 12:7. One bird was to be sacrificed as a burnt offering; the other as a sin offering.

Sin Offering

Sin offerings were made by the priest for himself, the congregation, leaders, and common people. The animal “without defect” was to have hands laid upon it, then its blood sprinkled and poured out in the sanctuary and on the holy altars accordingly. Its fat was to be removed and placed on the bronze altar located outside the sanctuary in the court of the temple for the burnt offering. The hide and all its flesh, as well as the head and legs, the inner parts and offal (refuse) was to be taken outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean, where its ashes were thrown and burned in a wood fire on the ash heap...

In Leviticus 16, the LORD told Moses that his brother Aaron, the priest, could only enter the sanctuary by bringing a young bull as a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. After a ceremonial cleansing and dressing in his white linen priestly garments, he was to first sacrifice the bull as the sin offering for himself and his own family. Then verses 5-10 tell us, “From the Israelite community he [the Priest] is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.” (compare to Ps 22:18; John 19:24 and Is 53:6)!

Verses 20-22 tell us that the blood of the sin offering cleansed the sanctuary and its altars from the sins of the people, while the scapegoat sent into the desert carried their sins away. (ponder 1 Cor 6:19)

In reading Leviticus 16, I found it interesting that Aaron, while in priestly garments, performed the sin offerings for himself and the people (the bull and the goat) to cleanse the sanctuary, yet it wasn’t until AFTER he removed his priestly garments, exited the sanctuary and put on his regular clothing that he sacrificed the ram as the burnt offering for himself AND the people. In other words, he went IN to the sanctuary carrying the sin of himself and the people and came OUT forgiven! The bronze altar held the fat of the sin offering, and the ram would be consumed along with it. Why yet another sacrifice? Forgiveness of sin was a gift, but to be made righteous the ram had to die.

The Ram Lamb

We may now have a better understanding of 1 Samuel 15:22: “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams [burnt offering].” James 2:23 (KJV) states of Abraham, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” Now ponder what Jesus said in John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

Let’s go back for a moment and notice the type of sacrifice Abraham was asked to make in Gen 22:2: “Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” It was on Mt. Moriah that God, because of their faith, evidenced by obedience to His voice, imputed righteousness to Abraham and his offspring by the RAM!

"Clearly no one is justified before God by the Law, because, 'The righteous will live by faith.'" (Gal 3:11)

Why then, did Abraham tell Isaac, “God Himself will provide the lamb”, when God provided a RAM? In fact, there are those who argue that Lev 4:32 specifies a female lamb must be sacrificed as the acceptable sin offering for the common people. First of all, whose flesh was Jesus born of? Mary’s, not Joseph’s. Furthermore, did you know male rams father lambs? John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). I also found it notable that in Lev 27:1-4, which specifies the value of human beings vowed to the LORD, males between the ages of 20 and 60 were valued at 50 silver shekels, while females were valued at 30. The priests indeed paid 30 silver shekels to Judas for the ‘Lamb’. If you continue to read this chapter, which is about the increased price of redeeming anything vowed, in order to reclaim it, know that we are valuable to God and He paid it all (Acts 20:28)!

Truly, Jesus redeemed us! He was both our sin offering (atonement) and our burnt offering (imputed righteousness). He was both the scapegoat (Is 53:6) and the ram! “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.“ (Ps 103:12) “For He has made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us [sin offering]; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him [burnt offering]."

Furthermore, Jesus was also the revelation of the Pesach (Passover) lamb. The Passover lamb had to be a ‘male without blemish (sin)’. It was the blood of the lamb, spread upon the doorposts of the Israelites' dwelling places in Goshen, that saved them from the final plague that took all the firstborn male offspring of Egypt. Have you ever thought about what might have happened, had they not obeyed the voice of the LORD?

Why Jesus?

If sacrificing animals was able to atone for sin and impute righteousness, why would we need the Savior to do this for us? What does ‘Passover’ mean? Just as the death angel 'passed over' the Israelites in Goshen, the sins of the faithful were merely passed over, year after year. Sin was NOT fully atoned for; therefore, no one could truly be made the righteousness of God (Rom 3:25). Likewise, Heb 10:4 tells us, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats [sin offerings] to take away sins.”

In conclusion, we should recognize that Isaac was not to be a sin offering, but a burnt offering. Since God abhors the sacrificing of sons and daughters in the flames (Jer 7:31; 19:5 and 32:35), this was NOT about child sacrifice. It was about faith, evidenced by obeying the voice of the LORD, God provided the burnt offering that not only saved Isaac’s life, but imputed righteousness to both of them and thus, ‘Abraham’s offspring’.

Surely, Isaac begat Jacob, the father of Israel (Gen 35:10; Rom 9), and while Jesus came to save only the lost sheep of Israel (Mat 15:24), that gift of salvation has been graciously extended to the Gentiles, the Good Shepherd’s ‘other sheep’ (John 10:11,16; Rom 9:25). By faith in Christ’s atonement by the spilled blood of the ‘Lamb’, our sins are forgiven (Rom 3:25; Heb 9:22). We are then made righteous by faith ~ baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire (Mat 3:11) because God provided the ‘RAM’ for ‘Abraham’ (Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11).

“For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts…” (Ps 95:7-8a)

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Comments 22 comments

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Indeed Isaac is likened to the "Sacrificial Lamb of God" but in Isaac's case, God spares this lamb and substitutes His own son as a perfect sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of all mankind.


Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

Thank you Judah’s Daughter for this very useful study. It is definitely worth further study.

Jesus said, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." …Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day…

Praise God I have been made righteous! Vote up and useful ~ eddie


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

Abraham as the father, Isaac as the Son. That is the way I have always looked at it.

You are correct, the Ram that was sacrificed in Isaac's place surely represents the Lamb of God. Thank you for the insight.


einron profile image

einron 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Thanks for showing the difference between the sin offering and the burnt offering.

Isaac cannot be offered as a sin offering to God. Only Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who was without sin can be sacrificed as a sin offering for all the sins of the world.

It is also worthy to note that Aaron put on his priestly garments when he sacrificed the sin offering and wore his own garments when he sacrificed the burnt offering.

God bless.


VOICE CIW 5 years ago

God bless you Judah's Daughter very nicely done. I both marvel and admire your knowledge of the Word of God. You are truly a Bible Scholar, and I thank God for you for writing this hub. I also am happy to visit your hub. God bless you, I love you in the Lord.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Hello, Dave Matthews! You know, I had a dear friend share his heart-felt feelings with me, to the effect that if God ever asked him to sacrifice his son, he wouldn't do it; but...he would surely sacrifice himself for his son. While not everyone can receive this, God DID sacrifice Himself for His own 'son' (the seed of Abraham - Ex 4:22) - read and ponder Gen 22:12 in my hub and note the bolded, underlined words: Who told Abraham not to harm his son? And to Whom was the sacrifice to be made? Next, read Acts 20:28 and Titus 3:16 (KJV). There are soooo many passages, but if we even read Is 44:6 and compare it to Rev 1:17-18, what a beautiful 'Revelation'!


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Yes, Eddie Perkins! "It was NECESSARY for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day!" (Acts 17:3) Because He was the LAMB (sin sacrifice), He made atonement (forgiveness) for us. Because He was the scapegoat, He carried our sins away! Because He was the RAM (burnt offering), we are made the righteousness of God in Him! May we "trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey!" (Hymn) Eph 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith [believing and obeying the voice of the LORD]; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works [the Law], lest any man should boast."

Praise God!


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Blessed are you, ruffridyer! :-) You have 'seen' the RAM. Praise God!


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Hi sister einron! I saw you had revised your comment, so I deleted the first and posted the second! What a beautiful truth you shared. Yes, Abraham was sinful ~ look how he doubted the Word of the LORD ~ let alone the fact he and his wife lied about her being his sister out of FEAR...Isaac was sinful, as well ~ "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). This is very reason FAITH, evidenced by obeying the voice of the LORD, God provided the RAM to impute the righteousness of God to them and all who will live by faith (Gal 3:11). This picture is also prevalent in the garment change of Aaron! The Lamb of God is Jesus ~ the RAM of Righteousness! Hallelujah! God bless you!!


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Hi brother VOICE CIW! So good to 'see' you!! You know, I've been reading the Old Testament since my recent move (in June of this year); here it's been four months since I've written anything and I wondered WHAT God would lay on my heart next ~ or even when...This inspiration and study was a blessing to me and I'm thankful it has also blessed you! God is so faithful ~ God is so good! I love you in the love of the LORD, as well. Thank you.


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 5 years ago from Blitzburgh area

Judah's Daughter, I like your insights! On this and all your other hubs I have read.

You mention that Abel made the first pleasing sacrifice. What insights do you have regarding the sacrifices of Abel and Cain?

Hebrews 11:4: "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice that Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh."

Jude 11: "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."

In mulling over the two verses above, I am wondering what was it that displeased God about Cain's sacrifice, specifically (Gen 4:5: "But unto Cain and his offering he had not respect.").

We know that "Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD" and "Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof."

So Abel made the first pleasing sacrifice like you said. Could it have been a burnt offering? Was God displeased with Cain because perhaps Cain didn't offer the best of his crop due to greed, or perhaps because Cain should have made a sacrifice like Abel's?


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Hi BLACKANDGOLDJACK! Thank you for the compliment :-) Yes, I believe because Abel's sacrifice was 'pleasing to the LORD' it was a burnt offering. We don't see sin offerings in the Word until Leviticus.

I don't know that anyone can really give an absolute answer as to WHY the LORD was not pleased with Cain and his offering. I did look up the grain offering in Leviticus 2, and the only one that was displeasing to the LORD is found in verse 11: "No grain offering, which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire [burnt offering] to the LORD." This would include leaven in ANY type of sacrificial offering. Leaven represents SIN. If we go back to Gen 4:5 and read it carefully, we can see "But to Cain [first] and to his offering [second] He had not respect." (AKJV) It looks like God was displeased with Cain. There also may be some alignment with the LORD's curse on Cain's father found in Gen 3:17: "Cursed is the ground because of you". Cain brought an offering from the cursed ground.

Now, to address Baalam in Jude v. 11: this tells us that Cain was greedy for reward. He was so angry about not being the 'favored' or 'favorite' when it came to the offerings, perhaps he thought, "I'll kill my competitor and take away God's favored/favorite! If it's blood God wants, I'll give Him blood!" Sounds a lot like Satan, doesn't it? Cain = murder, just like his spiritual 'father' Satan, the "murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44).

Baalam - what did Satan continue to DO to mock God? Ever heard of Molech and the followers of Baal sacrificing their sons and daughters in the fire at Topeth (2 Kings 23:10; Is 33:3)? This is detestable to the LORD! The practice, even symbolically, still goes on to this day ~ Bohemian Grove, San Francisco, CA.

I've drafted another hub, basically to show the LORD NEVER expected Abraham to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering! This account is not about that at all, but rather one of FAITH, Redemption and Righteousness.

Always a blessing to hear from you!


FriendofTruth profile image

FriendofTruth 5 years ago from Michigan

Great teaching Judah's Daughter! I am thankful that you share what you have learned with us, such a blessing.

And yes, there are many things (like Him telling Abraham to 'sacrifice' his son when He abhors human/child sacrifice) that confuse people and then they think our LORD contradicts Himself, but when we spend more and more time with Him and in His Word, He opens our eyes so that we see the truth about Him and His intentions and His ways.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Hi Friendoftruth! Thank you so much. I dug a little deeper into that topic, about God abhorring human/child sacrifice, which I wrote about in my next hub "With His OWN Blood" (the link is provided at the base of this hub)! God is so good to answer our ponderings ~ what a good and loving God we have!! Praise Him always and bless you always!!


ExpectGreatThings profile image

ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

I get it now! Thank you for explaining the differences in sin offerings and burnt offerings. It is all very interesting how God weaves all His truths together in such a beautiful picture. I have wondered what the significance of the "ram" was for a while. In fact, we are doing an Advent tradition this year that has a Christmas ornament of a sheep to go along with Genesis 22. Now I feel like I should give it horns so it will be more ram-like :)


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 3 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Hello and welcome, ExpectGreatThings! I'm so glad you gleaned something wonderful here about the ram and the significance of sin and burnt offerings! I really didn't know what I would 'get' out of reading Leviticus and wow, is God ever faithful to open up greater significance to some of the Bible stories we love so much. The ram is an awesome animal to our LORD! The ram's horns are those blown at the battle of Jericho and at the Feast of Trumpets (the last trumpet we hear will be the shofar!). I have one straight from Jerusalem!! I'm blessed that you are blessed! Thank you so much!!


PapawStan profile image

PapawStan 3 years ago

Nice Read! Never put it together like that before, but makes perfect sense. Great Work, Sister! God Bless You for we certainly are blessed by having God explaining things through you!


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 3 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Isn't it something, PapawStan, that you really don't ever hear this teaching in the churches? The ram is nearly forgotten and all that's preached is the Father/Son symbolism to support a Trinitarian theology! Does God condone child sacrifice? We can see He abhors it! Who saved Isaac, Abraham's offspring that day? The RAM. The RAM, Jesus Christ, saved Abraham's offspring by laying His life down for us. God HIMSELF came in mortal flesh to shed His holy blood for our sins and Redeem those who are His back to Himself.

The thing about redemption in the Old Testament is - you have to be the original owner of the thing redeemed. No one else redeems it for you. God created us, Satan enslaved us, and God Himself paid the Mohar (the high Bride price) for us!! Look at Hosea ~ his wife Gomer ended up sold into slavery and HE paid the price to redeem her, for she was already his!! HalleluYah. I just keep learning more and more and the message continues to be sweeter and sweeter. The Truth is beautiful.

God bless you, brother. Thank you so much!


BlueKnightt 3 years ago

J.D.

I cannot begin to say here what the Spirit has taught me through this hub about the blood of Jesus, the price paid and so much more. I had no clue there was so much help to be had in understanding the mysteries of our Lord's plan for us in the symbolisms of the O.T. ritual sacrifices and offerings. I now see these are keys unlocking doors to hidden knowledge which the Holy Spirit can teach me.

To sum up that which cannot be summed up: You have shown how the 'sin offering' and the 'burnt offering' work together to sanctify both the flesh and the spirit to undo the separation, redeeming us back into our Father's Presence and kingdom.

All this because Christ Jesus was both the sin offering and the burnt offering on behalf of all people for all time. A remarkable, beautiful, and valuavle insight! Thanks for the needed spoon-feeding of this knowledge.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 3 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Hello, BlueKnight! What a beautiful sentiment: "You have shown how the 'sin offering' and the 'burnt offering' work together to sanctify both the flesh and the spirit to undo the separation, redeeming us back into our Father's Presence and kingdom." I just love how the Holy Spirit works and speaks through His children. Awesome! I praise God you received of His Spirit here. I have re-read this hub and even the comments ~ it gives me so much joy to see His anointing, reminding me of how I wondered what I would 'receive' in reading about the sacrifices --- then going from here to my hub "With His OWN Blood" - His revelation just continues to keep pouring out. I am in awe of Him and so appreciate seeing Him pour out more and more to all of us. Your insight is such a blessing to my soul and all who read. God bless you!!


Antony Isaa Wells 2 years ago

Abraham was the father of 3 nations. The Hebrew though Sarai 12 tribes, (Zillpah, Bilhah and Rachel)through Hagar, the 12 princes, and through Keturah the Medianites. Abraham was truly the father of many nations.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 2 years ago from Roseville, CA Author

Hi Antony Isaa Wells,

Yes, Abraham is the father of many nations. I have a couple of thoughts about Ishmael.

Ishmael was Abraham's first-born, yet the prophecy over him in Gen 16:24 was "And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

Then, we read in Gal 4:29 "But as then he that was born after the flesh [Ishmael] persecuted him that was born after the Spirit [Isaac], even so it is now."

I mean, God told Abraham to listen (shama = listen/obey) Sarah when it came to banishing Hagar and Ishmael, for He said to Abraham in Gen 21:12 "Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named."

So God said He would bless Ishmael and his descendants because they are of Abraham, but they are obviously NOT named as "Abraham's offspring" (Rom 9:7). Gal 4:30 goes on to say, "Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." This was, in context speaking of the two nations representing the two Covenants (one of slavery and one of freedom).

Rom 9:6 includes a separation in Israel, as well "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:" - because Isaac had two sons (twins), yet the promise was given to Jacob, rather than Esau. "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." (Mat 1:2-3)

Even the Midianites were against Israel "And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak." (Num 22:1-7)

So, who's counting? Seems to me the number counted belong to Jacob, Isaac and Abraham. YHWH is Sovereign and knows the end from the beginning. However, it is promised that "whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) I am thankful for the New Covenant promise to all. Perhaps Ishmael, Esau and Midian will enter in.

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