Genesis 11 – 12

Genesis 11

The Division at Babel

All the children of Noah and his three sons and their wives had one race and one language and were united as one people.

Genesis 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

They journeyed to the east and dwelt at Shinar in Mesopotamia and built a city there; then they proceeded to build a pyramid tower.

11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

Nimrod enticed the people to build this pyramid as a point to focus people on, so that they would not be scattered away from him.  This pyramid was also for the purpose of observing the heavens and the worship of the heavenly bodies, astrology and sun worship. 

Spiritually these heavenly bodies were symbols of spiritual realities with the sun representing Satan etc.

The ultimate evil power is not that of a physical dictatorship, but it is a dictatorship of the mind called false religion.

Men may be willing to resist a physical dictatorship, but few men will dare to face eternal punishment if they believe that some man has the power to cut them off from God and to inflict an eternal punishment on them.

When a person sincerely believes with all his heart that to disobey some other man will result in eternal punishment or the loss of an eternal reward; that person will do anything that he is told!

That is REAL POWER! That is the ultimate POWER! That belief places spiritual chains around the mind of the believer, far stronger than any mere physical chains or punishment ever could!

The claim that loyalty to men is the same as loyalty to God has enslaved humanity to the whims of other men and has separated many from God as they are deceived into thinking that the word of men is the same as loyalty to the Word of God. Since Nimrod popes and leaders of various religions, emperors and kings have falsely claimed to have power over the eternal fate of man.

This Nicolaitane governance system much hated by Jesus Christ (Rev 2) even exists in many of today’s Ekklesia assemblies; where brethren do whatever their leader says instead of living by every Word of God.

11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad [divided] upon the face of the whole earth.

Then God looked on the people and decided that to prevent the same disastrous conditions that prevailed pre-flood, he would divide the families of man.

11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower [pyramid, ziggurat], which the children of men builded. 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

God then divided man by language and family [race].

11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; [confusion, division] because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.


Moses now describes the ancestry of Abram

Genesis 11:10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: 11:11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. 11:12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: 11:13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.11:14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: 11:15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

Abram was born approximately 392 years after the flood. The birth year of Abram can be determined with a little math.

Genesis 9:28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

Genesis 11:16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: 11:17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. 11:18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: 11:19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters. 11:20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug: 11:21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.

11:22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: 11:23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. 11:24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: 11:25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.

11:26 And Terah lived seventy years, [Terah lived for 205 years] and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Terah’s total age was 205 years, and to the casual reader of Genesis 11:26, Abram was born when Terah was 70 years of age, but in this case Abram was apparently placed first because of his spiritual legacy while the others may have been born before him.

The specific birth year of Abram can be found in Genesis 12:4 where Abram’s age is recorded as being 75 years when his father Terah died at the age of 205 and Abram departed out of Haran. By simply subtracting 75 from 205 we can date the birth of Abram in the 130th year of Terah. 

Genesis 12:4  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.

Genesis 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

Abram married his sister, and Nahor married his niece; which was still common from the necessity of the children of Adam to marry their kin.

This tradition continued in the royal families and nobles of Egypt.  God gave instructions to Israel AFTER they came out of Egypt that his people should not marry any closer than cousins only.

11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

Then Terah took his family from Ur to Haran.

11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. 11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.


Genesis 12

Haran was the original destination of Terah and he died in Haran.  Then the Being who later gave up his Godhood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ, called Abram from Haran to go to Canaan while the rest of the family remained at Haran.

Notice that the Eternal calls Abram and great promises are made, only IF he obeys and remained dedicated and faithful to live by every Word of God.  The promise to Abram was physical blessings, and was also of salvation for all humanity through the Lamb of God through his line.

Abraham was an example of faithfulness to learn and to live by every Word of God as the father of the faithful.

We are also called and have a promise from God, IF we are faithful to live by every Word of God.  The promise of entry into the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life is ABSOLUTELY CONDITIONAL on our living by every Word of God! 

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 12:3 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.

Abram accepted, and believed [having FAITH that God was able to make good his promises and OBEYED, leaving Haran for Canaan.

12:4 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. 12:5 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.

12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem [Shechem] , unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

Abram journeyed around Canaan and the Eternal promised him that he through his descendants would be given every place that he traveled; Abram built altars to God at each longer resting place.

12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. 12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

Abram then went south into Egypt because of a famine in Canaan.

12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south. 12:10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

Here Abram has a lapse of faith and tried to resolve an imagined fear in his own way. This is a powerful lesson for us, that in all our fears and trials, we should trust in our Great God for His deliverance and act according to the Word and Will of God, not trying to deliver ourselves on our own.

May all of God’s people be full of faith and courage to stand unshakable on the solid foundation of the whole Word of God!

12:11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: [she was his sister, the deception was in not revealing that she was also his wife] that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

The law against bearing false witness refers to deceiving and is not limited to explicit outright lies.  Deception through omission or out of context quotes or twisting the true meaning, is very  common among the elders of today’s Ekklesia.  Remember the commandment is not only about outright lying, it is about any form of willful deception.

12:14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 12:15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.

In Egypt, Pharaoh gave many gifts making Abram rich as he sought to gain the woman that Pharaoh desired.

12:16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.

Then the Eternal sent strong correction on Pharaoh and Egypt until they discovered that the cause was his desire for Sarai.

12:17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. 12:18 And Pharaoh [when he understood the cause of the plagues] called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

Pharaoh gives Abram back his wife Sarai without having “known” her; Pharaoh was making ready for his marriage to Sarai and was delivered from this potential sin by God’s correction. This is a lesson that sometimes we can be corrected BEFORE we sin, so as to save us from committing some sin.

12:19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 12:20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.


Prophecies regarding the Exodus  

The 400 Years Prophecy

The belief that the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt for 400 years is largely based upon these two verses.

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs [This includes not only Egypt but all of the time that they were wanderers in Palestine from the birth of Isaac ; before actually inheriting the land.], and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years …” (Genesis 15:13). “And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land [a land that is not theirs, not necessarily Egypt] ; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years” (Acts 7:6).

Here is the meaning; thy seed refers to the children of Abram beginning with Isaac the son of promise, who would be wanderers having no land of their own for four hundred years beginning with the birth of Isaac. 

Isaac was born when Abraham was one hundred years old; therefore the exodus and the Sinai Covenant would take place four hundred years after the birth of Isaac or five hundred years after the birth of Abraham!

Abraham was born in 2008 A.M. (c 1940 B.C.):  therefore the Exodus was 500 years later in 2508 A.M. (c 1440 B.C.) with a margin of possible error of a few years.


The 430 Years Prophecy

The 430 years contains an additional thirty years added to the four hundred years and refers to 430 years after the PROMISE was made to Abraham in Haran when he was 70 years old; thirty years BEFORE the birth of Isaac!

“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:40-41).

Here the word “sojourning” gives an impression that they sojourned or lived in Egypt for 430 years; when in fact the word sojourning refers to the wanderings of Abram and his descendants from the time of God’s promise to Abram in Haran when Abram was seventy years old;  which calling and promise caused Abram to leave Haran and his extended family and become a wanderer [through faith in the promise] until they became the covenant nation at Sinai.  

This refers to God’s PROMISE to Abraham in Haran, and not to the Genesis 15 promise made in Canaan concerning Isaac; God’s PROMISE to the seventy year old Abram being made 430 years before the Covenant at Sinai!

Shaul (Saul, Paul) a highly respected scholar of the Pharisees who is speaking concerning  a dating on which there was absolutely no controversy in his day; wrote of the PROMISE of God being made to the seventy year old Abram in Haran 430 years BEFORE the Sinai Covenant.

The promise made by God to Abram in the land in Genesis 15, was only a repeating of the previous PROMISE; since Genesis 15 was only a few years before the birth of Isaac, and the PROMISE spoken of was originally made in Haran when the wanderings based on faith in the promise began, 30 years BEFORE the birth of Isaac. 

This does not mean that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt for 430 years.

Paul explains that the 430 years extends from the time of God’s PROMISE to Abraham until the children of Israel left Egypt. “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before [at Sinai] of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after [after the PROMISE was made to the  seventy year old Abram in Haran and later repeated in Palestine before the birth of Isaac], cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect (Galatians 3:17).

That is, the Sinai Covenant cannot disannul the PROMISE made to Abram in Haran 430 years BEFORE the Sinai Covenant. 

Genesis 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. 11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

God called Abram in Haran at the age of 70, promising him that if he left to follow God to a new land he would be greatly blessed.  Terah died in Haran being 205 years old and Abram was 75 years old; after which Abram journeyed to Canaan at the age of 75. 

The promise in Haran which caused Abram to leave his home and wonder in faith in the promise of God, and is the ONLY event which fits the timeline of the 430 years [of wandering in hope of that promise], beginning when Abraham was 70 years old in Haran as referred to by Paul.

The 430 years prophecy of Exodus 12:40-41 is a reference to Israel inheriting the promise and becoming a nation at Sinai; 430 years AFTER the PROMISE was made to Abram in Haran to make of him a great nation! 

Meanwhile the 400 years prophecy was that, from the birth of Isaac 400 years rermained to the exodus and the covenant at Sinai.

The descendants of Abram exited Egypt as a great nation exactly 400 years after the birth of Isaac and exactly 500 years after the birth of Abram in the 130th year of Terah: Precisely 430 years after the promise was given to the seventy year old Abraham in Haran, to make of him a great nation if he would faithfully follow and obey God.

God brought Israel out of Egypt and fulfilled his promise exactly 430 years after it was first given in Haran; and four hundred years after the birth of Isaac.


The Fourth Generation Prophecy

Genesis 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge [BOTH Egypt and the nations of Canaan were judged by God]: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15:15  And thou [Abraham] shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 15:16  But in the fourth generation they [the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob] shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Levi was one of Jacob’s 12 sons and went down to Egypt with Jacob. We see from Genesis 46:8-11 that Kohath, the son of Levi and grandfather of Moses, was already born when Jacob and his family entered Egypt. Kohath lived to be 133, and his son Amram lived to be 137 (Exodus 6:18-20).

Born 80 years before the exodus from Egypt, Moses was the son of Amram, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi (1 Chronicles 6:1-3).

Moses was thus the fourth generation of those who had entered Egypt: 

  1. Levi;  
  2. Kohath;
  3. Amram; 
  4. Moses.  

The exodus was very definitely not in early 1200 B.C. as some suppose.

Now Moses was eighty years old at the time of the exodus, so counting back 80 years from 1440 B.C. comes to the approximate birth date of Moses in 1520 B.C.

Exodus 7:7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.

Notice that Aaron was three years older than Moses.

Israel went down into Egypt in 1650 B.C. and came out in 1440 B.C. meaning that their total time in Egypt was 210 years.


The Temple

In 1 Kings 6:1 we are told that Solomon began building the temple in the 480th year after the exodus:  960 B.C.

In Acts 13 Paul gives a longer period but Paul is giving a general historical overview and uses the word “about” obviously approximating and not being concerned with specific dates in his address, therefore the 1 Kings date is the accurate date.

1 Kings 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.

The conventional date for the beginning of the Temple construction is 960-970 B.C. The Biblical Chronology would put the Exodus in about 1440 B.C. and the start of construction of the Temple 480 years later  in 960 B.C.  

Solomon’s Temple took 7 years to build 1 Kings 6:38 being completed in c 953 B.C.


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