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Thursday: A Wife for Abraham — 32 Comments

  1. I'm sorry brethren, but I see no thing that identifies Kenturah with Hagar or their sons. All the sons were sent east and Havilah is mentioned regarding Ishmael.

  2. We (SDA) seem to be making a presumption in this lesson. I am not clear on where we come up with the fact that Keturah and Hagar is the same person. I also don't know why we are even trying to make this distinction?

    • I am also wondering why it has to be Ishmaelites (Hagar) and Midianites (Ketura) bought Jospeh (Israelites) after the pit experiences. They seems to be as one tribe the way the story is written. Presumption or fact?

    • Gen 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. Are these not Ishmaelites?

    • I don't see the discussion of the Keturah/Hagar identity presenting a fact. It is simply noting that some have made that suggestion on the basis of textual evidence. When I write an academic paper, I often have to discuss alternative views and evaluate the strength of their arguments - that is part of what research is about. If we do not do that, we weaken our own arguments.

      Re-read the lesson for today. I don't think it is making the case that they are the same person at all. They do make the point that both Hagar's and Keturah's sons were treated in the same way, and different to Isaac.

      • Luke 24:27 (CSB) Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things *concerning HIMSELF in all the Scriptures*

        Making the case of side-show shadows and not realities/substance in Christ is not what Jesus entertained or gave a second thought!


      • Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. No thank you Maurice. I would rather stray away from scholarly views that add or take-away from the enlightening Word of God. It have read where that leads to apostacy and presumptuousness.

        Let the bible explain itself. We do not need academia or alternative views.

        • I am sorry Felicity, but I am an academic; a computer science academic and not a theological academic. And most of my friends are academics and wonderful loving caring Christians. I am not entirely sure why my comment has elicited this response from you.

          • Maurice I love the simple truth this church presents and as a member I am concerned when alternative views outside of Gods Word are presented. I don't think its necessary or safe. It leads to a slippery slope; similar to the jews in the synagogues that murdered Jesus. When you said re-read the lesson that comment seemed a bit demeaning as I was very clear on what the lesson was communicating. Scholars have no more of an understanding of scripture than any person that studies to show themselves approved before God rightly dividing the truth (2 Timothy 2:15) with the guidance of the Holy Spirit prayerfully. The apostle Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. We should not suggest views that are clearly not scriptural; that is not a small thing.

            • My apologies if I sounded a bit demeaning. That was never my intention. I wanted to point out that the authors were not presenting the Hagar/Keturah issue as a fact they downplayed the notion. I am not immune to misreading the lesson and comments and readers have asked me to reread something I have commented on. Most times they have been right and I have needed to reconsider and apologise for my lack of attention. I consider their interaction helpful.

              There are some big picture truths in the study of Abraham's life and we need to concentrate on those.


              I hardly think that the Hagar/Keturah identity is a major issue of truth. To be honest, although I was aware of the issue, I am quite surprised that the authors mentioned it at all.

  3. I have come to the realisation that in all probability I will die before Jesus comes the second time. That is a thought that calls for a little bit of reflection. Abraham died before the promise to him was fulfilled too. Was he disappointed

    Read what is written in Hebrews 11:

    By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Heb 11:8-10NIV
    All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Heb 11:13-16 NIV

    Significantly, Abraham died before seeing the fulfilment of the promise. And while we like to interpret this passage as dying in the great hope of the New Earth and eternal life, perhaps there is a deeper meaning than that.

    I have often said that heaven and eternal life is much more than having a piece of heavenly real estate, or an eternal retirement plan. It is about a continuing relationship. During his lifetime, Abraham lived in a close relationship with God and extended that relationship to his family and the people he came in contact with. He was respected and that usually means that he was regarded as a person of integrity. This was not to earn a spot in eternity. It was the evidence of a relationship.

    I have heard a lot of sermons about the second coming. Most of them are about the signs and their fulfilment. Some of them are about proving that we have got it right and everyone else is wrong. But I think we need to talk about the second coming in terms of a continuing relationship.

    Abraham died in hope, but he also died having the sort of relationship with God that could be continued.

    • 1
      We have this hope that burns within our heart,
      Hope in the coming of the Lord.
      We have this faith that Christ alone imparts,
      Faith in the promise of His Word.
      We believe the time is here,
      When the nations far and near
      Shall awake, and shout and sing
      Hallelujah! Christ is King!
      We have this hope that burns within our heart,
      Hope in the coming of the Lord.

      We are united in Jesus Christ our Lord.
      We are united in His love.
      Love for the waiting people of the world,
      People who need our Savior’s love.
      Soon the heav’ns will open wide,
      Christ will come to claim His bride,
      All the universe will sing
      Hallelujah! Christ is King!
      We have this hope this faith, and God’s great love,
      We are united in Christ.


  4. I find it sad to refer to Abraham's faith as perhaps "not the best example". Rather, I find Abraham's faith to be a realistic example that I can relate to and be encouraged by. I suspect there is too much of the notion of 'perfect' as flawless rather than the true biblical notion of perfect as a journey to greater and greater maturity and completeness - but a journey that has steps forward and, unfortunately, stumbles backwards at times. I find this accords with what Paul proposed in Philippians 3:12-15 as a mature view of things.

    • I read the lesson differently, to me it was saying Abraham was a great example and most would say the best.

      • Thanks Shirley.

        I can now see what you are saying - that the lesson's words could be taken to mean that Abraham was the best example of faith in the Old Testament. One of the limitations of text-only communication compared with face-to-face dialogue with an author where meaning can be better clarified when there is potential ambiguity.

    • I find it strange, that a lot of emphasis in this forum, is on the characters in the Hebrew Scriptures, and not the realities/substance that these charachters, like Abraham and Isaac, pointed to, in Christ Jesus, as emphasized empathically in the letter to the Hebrews, in the Christian Greek scriptures !


      • Hello Larry,

        The foundation of the Christian faith is based on the revelation of God in the Hebrew scriptures. A faith based on a misunderstanding or ignorance of this foundation will not be sound because it is deficient in what God has provided to lead to knowledge of whom he is. The scriptural reference and context of the Christian testament is the Hebrew testament.

        This is my understanding.


        • And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning *himself* .
          Luke 24:27

          We need to look at the *substance* that the *shadows* shows us.

          Its the spirit (substance) of prophesy.
          Revelation 19:10
          Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me
          *Don’t do that!*

          (Dont worship the deliverer or the shadow)

          I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold firmly to the witness to *Jesus*.

          Worship God, because the witness to Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

          Which is more important ?
          Talking about Abraham or what Abraham poined to ?
          That's my point !


          • Larry, it is not a matter of "which is more important." We would not know who Christ is, were it not for the Hebrew Scriptures. All Scripture is important and is to be studied for the truth it reveals about God.

            By the way, have you ever tried to separate a shadow from its "substance"?

            You happen to have joined us at a time we are studying Genesis - having missed the many lessons that focus more largely on the New Testament. You can check out our archives to see what other lessons we have studied. Note that our lessons are called "Study Guides." They are not catechisms, they are guide us in studying biblical subjects each quarter. We need to study these subjects for ourselves and find our own answers.

            • Hi Inge

              I enjoy the Studies, and I appreciate their availability and the discussion forum where I can freely give my 2 cents for what its worth.

              It's not about the bible content in the Study, it's about the leading questions.

              I think the questions, in the study guide, that are asked, lead in the wrong direction sometimes.

              I would humbly suggest if SOME of the questions, asked the reading audience, can they see any typology in the subject matter, rather than been led by their opinion on the subject.

              Would that be considered an unreasonable request ?

              I apologize if I offended anybody by my comments.

              In Christ
              Shalom 🙏

            • Ah ... I see. I sometimes don't appreciate the "leading questions" myself. If we keep in mind that these are just suggestions, we can just dig into the Word. I thought these lessons specifically referenced Isaac as a type of Christ (insofar as he willingly surrendered to his father's request to offer him as a burnt offering), but that would be meaningless if we did not study just what happened between Abraham and Isaac. The ram caught in the thicket was a type of Christ insofar that it died in the place of Isaac - who, in that aspect was a type of the sinner save by grace.

            • "They are not catechism "

              No they are not , I see lots of questions here on this forum, that are freely allowed.

              Being born into Catholicism was based a catechism.

              AND for 2 years, I was with a group (many years ago) when I left Catholicism, that considered a *bible study* their catechism.
              So I guess I'm a little cautious about mind control again.
              Forgive my caution.

              Inge replies here (to keep from taking up too much space on the front page!)
              Not a problem, Larry. We appreciate your input.

            • Hi Larry

              I too (and, like Inge, I suspect a wider 'we' among readers) appreciate your input and participation. In my opinion we should not be afraid to have hard questions asked or be threatened by opinions provided that are different to what we believe. Unless I am wrong, we are not here to tell anyone what they should or must believe, but to be part of a supportive learning space where we can even respectfully agree to disagree and still be united in love, care and respect for each other.

              Yes, I acknowledge that there are certain parameters as to why this forum exists and what it is about. Within those parameters, as long as we are being constructive and beneficent to each other in how we go about things, its "all good".

              Just my 2 cents worth...

      • In addition to what Richard said so well, I wonder whether or not you consider "the characters in the Hebrew Scriptures" real or not.
        If they are real, then we have much to learn from them and their relationship with God. After all, He incorporated their stories into the Scriptures which Peter told us are 'profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16) Christ Himself gave the example of establishing faith on the basis of the Scriptures which now comprise the Old Testament, rather than on personal experience. (Luke 24:27) Why did He hide His identity from the disciples on their walk to Emmaus, if not to establish their faith on the testimony of these Scriptures? Do we have a lesser need of having our faith established?

        • Hi Inge...
          A funny aside...

          Which one of the Patriarchs that had multiple wifes would you have married?

          Not a good example of marriage!

          Sorry I could not resist ! 👍🏻🙏🤗

          Thanks Phil ...
          Your reply link is off !


        • Hi Inge
          I never implied the characters in the Hebrew scriptures were not real.

          I just tried to remind our audience that they were *mere types* in typology.

          Typology :
          Christian form of biblical interpretation that proceeds on the assumption that God placed anticipations of Christ in the laws, events, and people of the Old Testament.

          In Christ
          Inge replying within comment to save space:
          Hi Larry,
          The fact that you use the expression "mere types" implies that they were not real, but only "types." I believe you recognize that the patriarchs were real with real experiences, from which we can learn, and they were also types of Christ in certain aspects.
          Am I right?

          • Yes ! They were real !

            Your understanding of typology is incorrect...

            *Types* in a real character in the Hebrew Scriptures show some aspect of Christ, to be witness later when Jesus arrived as proof he is the Christ !
            It's a prophetic witness in the Hebrews scriptures to Christ Jesus in the New Testiment.

            The letter to the Hebrews is totally based on typology ! Shadows and reality in Christ !

            Here is a book you can look at in Amazon...
            A Father Offers His Son: The True and Greater Sacrifice Revealed Through Abraham and Isaac

            Shalom sister in Christ

    • The encouraging thing for me is that the New Testament does not mention his failings in Romans 4 or Hebrews 11. It's like God just sees His faith and doesn't consider the detours. I like that!

      • Hello Christina,

        I fully agree with your comment. In Christ, God looks at each one of us (his children) through the lens of faith. He sees each one as perfected in his image, just as he had envisioned for Adam and Eve. As any loving parent would, his love works to support us as we grow up to be like his son, Jesus. (Ephesians 4:15.)

        God has amazing faith in us—infinitely more than we have in him and even ourselves. He sees us as we could be, even as he sees us as we are. His heart's work is to bridge that gap from what we are to his glorious vision of what we will be as we follow the Lamb (his Son) wherever he leads. (Revelation 14:4.)

        Our faith is founded in his faithfulness, not ours.


    • Amen, Phil van der Klift, to me what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:13,14 says to me that he did not see himself as having arrived to flawless sinlessness at all but that his focus was Jesus' flawless sinlessness as his goal that was still ahead of him. So this was the Apostle pauls' example of his faith and this had to have been Abrahams' example also of faith in the God of all creation for his time.

  5. SEEDS .....

    The *reality* of this *shadow* in the Hebrew Scriptures, is God as Father divested everything in making *his Word* into *a Sonship for mortal man* to become *immortal Sons of God*

  6. The emphasis on seeds in this story in scripture is mortal seeds V immortal seed. Aka fallen man, *mortal seed* V Christ Jesus legacy an *immortal seed to us and IN US*


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