Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Predictive Power of The Book of Genesis

The book of Genesis is a book whose prophetic powers spans the course of history.


Gen. 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly, twelve princes he shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

Ishmael, of course, is the father of the Arab people, and is recognized by Islam as such. The Arab Middle East seems to consist of 12 countries: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain. Egypt is largely North Africa geographically speaking.

Could Genesis 17:20 have been fulfilled in this manner?

Next issue. Did the book of Genesis predict international terrorism in the modern era?

Gen. 16:12 And he [Ishmael] 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.

Jihadwatch.com indicates that there's 15,608 jihad terrorism attacks around the world since 9/11.

Now, let's look at Genesis 9:25,

Gen. 9:25 And he [Noah] said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

The curse of Ham is more like the curse of Canaan, and check out Matthew Henry's commentary on it from the eighteenth century-

"This certainly points at the victories in after-times obtained by Israel over the Canaanites, by which they were put to the sword, or brought to pay tribute. The whole continent of Africa was peopled mostly by the descendants of Ham; and for how many ages have the better parts of that country lain under the dominion of the Romans, then of the Saracens, and now of the Turks!

In what wickedness, ignorance, barbarity, slavery, and misery most of the inhabitants live! And of the poor negroes, how many every year are sold and bought, like beasts in the market, and conveyed from one quarter of the world to do the work of beasts in another! But this in no way excuses the covetousness and barbarity of those who enrich themselves with the product of their sweat and blood. God has not commanded us to enslave negroes; and, without doubt, he will severely punish all such cruel wrongs."

(Oh and for the record, if a wise guy is going to come on here and call me or the Bible racist, I'm going to automatically delete the comment without notice. I have no need for kissing anyone's butts to show that there's no racism here.)

In terms of prophecy, the Bible is just getting started.

10 comments:

SJ said...

quick point- we have an idea who the Hammites are becaue Ham went southwest after the flood. Shem stayed in the middle. Japeth went northwest.

Shilton HaSechel said...

>Ishmael, of course, is the father of the Arab people

According to the Muslims.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say

"In Judaeo-Christian tradition the Ishmaelites are no longer mentioned after the time of King David, having assimilated into other peoples. Some are shown in Judges as having become part of the Midianites. Others are mentioned living amongst the Israelites. The Hagarites split off as a separate group from the rest of the Ishmaelites and were conquered and assimilated by the Israelites during the reign of Saul. The Book of Jubilees claims that the sons of Ishmael intermingled with the children of Keturah from Abraham and were called "Arabs" and Ishmaelities:

Book of Jubilees 20:13 And Ishmael and his sons, and the sons of Keturah and their sons, went together and dwelt from Paran to the entering in of Babylon in all the land which is towards the East facing the desert. And these mingled with each other, and their name was called Arabs, and Ishmaelites.

The term "Arab" here is a translation of the Hebrew Arvim referring to the Nabateans and not a reference to the modern Arab nation that arose in southern Arabia. Some commentators have understood the accounts to mean that the term "Ishmaelite" included descendants of Keturah's sons or was interchangeable with the terms "Midianite" and "Medanite", names of two of the tribes descended from Keturah."

I think "of course" is a little to hasty.

>The Arab Middle East seems to consist of 12 countries: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain. Egypt is largely North Africa geographically speaking.

The definition of an Arab NOWADAYS is someone who speaks Arabic which includes many other countries. The only other definition of an Arab is really someone who comes from the Arabian peninsula and that is clearly not how its used today.

>Gen. 9:25 And he [Noah] said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

I'm a little confused Noah is cursing the Canaanites who have NOTHING to do with Africans. The curse is not against Ham (even though he did not do the crime) but against Canaan. So why should the fate of Africans be a fulfillment of a prophecy against Canaan???

SJ said...

Go to any yeshiva and I'm pretty sure you will see that Wikipedia is wrong on the matter of Ishmael. The Christians would seem to agree.



site 1

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The Arabs believe that Ishmael was the rightful heir to the covenant instead of Issac and that they are from Ishmael.


I'm only talking about the Middle East.


And lastly, even from a secular perspective, stuff that people do can have long lasting effects.

Shilton HaSechel said...

>Go to any yeshiva

Lol since when have yeshivas been known for being authoritative in Biblical studies?

>I'm only talking about the Middle East.

Yes I know that but why? Why do you think Ishmael = Middle East more than other Arabic speaking countries. Why do you draw those as the boundaries of "Ishmaelism"?

>And lastly, even from a secular perspective, stuff that people do can have long lasting effects.

Yes, but the curse was still on Canaan not Ham. Canaan is not the ancestor of Africans even if his brothers were according the Biblical account.

SJ said...

I think yeshivas are authoritative enough on the Judaic tradition.

It seems to me we can look at the Ishmael/MidEast thing in 1 of 2 ways. Well, Islamic expansion in the MidEast was imperialist enough but outside the MidEast was like waaaaaaaaaaaaay imperialist.

The other way to look at it is stuff that's geopolitically more consequential. In that sense Egypt really isn't so much since Egypt has a peace treaty. Jordan does also, but we can bring in a possible Palestinian country into the mix.


You seem to make a fair point with the Canaan was not the father of all of Africa. There could have been some intermixing though.

Cora said...

I fail to see any of it as prophecy. Most likely the 12 princes are in reference to something well known during the time this was written. And yes, humans wrote this, not a god.

Second, seriously? Canaan is the ancestor of of the Africans? Suure, and the lost tribes of Israel who turned against their god are the ancestors of modern American Indians according one one "prophet". *rolls eyes*. It's blantant social propaganda of why "we" are better than "them" (in this case the Hebrews are "better" than the Canaannites...really bad arguement on their part).

SJ said...

It's clearly future tense. There was no apparent political climate that would have compelled the author to write in allegory.

The 12 princes is speculation, the one about international terrorism is indeed much stronger.

Not Canaan, Noah's son Ham, and it's speculation because of the geographic direction Ham went after the flood.

Cora said...

Fine then, HAM is NOT the ancestor of Africans because if he is, then he is the ancestor of all of us.

For one that claims to believe in evolution have you forgotten that one tiny detail: humans orginally came from Africa?

He cannot be the ancestor to humans if humans already evolved to Homo Sapien.

Sorry, science/logic wins out.

As for the prophecy thing: it's easy to read into something so vague. I still don't buy it.

SJ said...

There is more than one theory out there.

We can make faith rational in terms of correlating it with the real world, but there is still an element of faith. So in other words, as per the Bible, Noah and his 3 sons are indeed the ancestors of modern humans. The great thing about the flood is that it is highly correlated in global mythologies.

SJ said...

as we discussed in OTD's blog.