Daily Journey: January 20th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Daily Journey: January 20th

Genesis 15:1-17:27, Matthew 13:24-35

Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:

[Genesis 15] 8-21. Immediately Jehovah was ready to ratify the covenant with the man who had yielded himself to the divine will (cf. Gen 12:1-3). Hebrew berit is variously translated “covenant,” “compact,” “solemn agreement,” “testament,” “treaty.” No one of these words brings over into English the full meaning of this solemn transaction. In ancient times men sometimes ratified an agreement or covenant by passing between the parts of a halved, sacrificial animal. This “cutting of the covenant” was not in itself a sacrifice. Rather, it was a sacred ceremony by which the men declared their solemn purpose to keep the agreement. Some Bible students have pointed out that in the instance recorded in Genesis 15:8-21, only one symbolic representative of the contracting parties—the lamp of fire (AV marg.), or “flaming torch” (cf. Jud 7:16,20), symbol of Jehovah—passed between the halves of the animals. In other words, the covenant in this case was to be kept from the God-ward side alone. Only the Lord himself could fulfill its promises. He would make Abram’s descendants as numerous as the stars and give them a great land, stretching from the gates of Egypt to the mighty Euphrates. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1962), p. 21)

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