Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lekh L’kha (Get yourself out) / B’resheit (Genesis) 12:1 – 17:27

Lekh L’kha (Get yourself out) / B’resheit (Genesis) 12:1 – 17:27

            This week’s reading contains a parashah, which is one of my favorites, the reading for Thursday.  Though short, a mere ten verses (14:21 – 15:6), there are two opportunities for Abram to have great gain.  Personally, I love the contrast between the two.
            The first opportunity for gain comes from the mouth of the King of S’dom.  He offered Abram all the booty that has been captured from his having slaughtered the 4 kings of the North, those who had previously received yearly tribute from the 5 kings of the South.  Why had he gone to battle?  It was not due to any love for the kings of the South, but he was responsible for his brother’s son Lot who had been taken captive along with his family.
            Abram refused the offer of reward, for he had merely done his duty.  Merely seems like a word of diminution, minimizing his accomplishment, but the meaning here is that he was simply doing that which he had been called to do.  I believe that in a sense, all he would have needed to hear was, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
            At some later date, Abram received a word (rhema in the Septuagint) from the Lord that He was Abram’s protector, and not only that, but he would be the receiver of a great reward.  Being a mere seventy-five years old without any children, Abram questioned as to what good would the reward be if he had no real heir(s) to pass it on to.  Again the word of the Lord (phone-a in the Septuagint) revealed that he would have a natural-born heir.  This was a reward that Abram apparently had been seeking.
            As a sign of the veracity of what he had been hearing, HaShem commanded Abram to go out and count the stars, for “So shall your descendants be” (NASB).  Now some would have us think that that was meant to indicate the number of Abram’s descendants.  However, on even the clearest night, the most stars that can be seen by the naked eye generally ranges up to around 9,000 (http://www.stargazing.net/david/constel/howmanystars.html).  Hmm, it seems to me that I have seen some censuses of the Hebrew people showing more than 67 times that number of men.  So what is meant by the statement that “So shall your descendants be”?
            Well, it is my opinion, though not shared by all, that the gospel message is “told” in the stars of the zodiac.  I’m not going to go into it here, but I do hold to some extent that beginning at Virgo and following the zodiac as it appears through the year’s completion at Leo the story is told.  We can follow from the virgin birth until that son becomes the lion of the tribe of Judah.  After all, does it not say in B’resheit 1:14 that the lights in the sky are “for signs and for seasons and for days and years…”?
            Though neither Abram nor anyone else is able to see the whole zodiac at one time, if he knew the story of the stars already, it would not be difficult for him to relate the story to HaShem as well as himself.  What a confidence builder in believing the Word of the Lord.  It would, in my opinion, be a stronger confirmation than Cyrus received when he found that his name had been recorded for a great deed many years prior.  Additionally, as an afterthought, I wonder if the young Yeshua knew the story told by the stars as well.  Hmmm.

             Shalom to all.

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