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The Historicity of the Patriarchs - Genesis Part 19

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2022 7:00 am

The Historicity of the Patriarchs - Genesis Part 19

So What? / Lon Solomon

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February 18, 2022 7:00 am

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Now today in our study of the book of Genesis, we enter into a whole new phase of God's dealing with the human rights up to this point in the book of Genesis, God is been dealing with the human race as a whole, but now beginning in chapter 11 the end of 11 and 12 God changes his approach and instead God singles out one special man to establish a special race of people whom he will deal with in a special way based on a special series of covenants that he will make with them. Now, of course, that special man is our friend Abraham, and those special people are the Jewish people. And so, from Genesis chapter 12 on words we find that the Jewish people become the central element in God's plan for the ages and as a result from Genesis chapter 12 on for the next 38 chapters of the book we're going to be talking a lot about Abraham's son Isaac his son Jacob, his son Joseph because they are now God's central focus in his plan for the ages. But today what we want to do is we want to talk about an issue even more fundamental than that.

And that is we want to talk about the historicity of Abraham and the patriarchs that you go. What of the histories of immuno don't let that scare by the patriarchs, we mean Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Joseph, and by historicity.

All we mean is the historical accuracy of the historical truthfulness about what the Bible says in the book of Genesis about these people and so were going to approach this today by asking and answering for questions. So are you ready when I buckle in I got a lot for you today buckle in here we go number one question number one is long. What exactly is the real issue anyway will focus the real issue here is the integrity of the trustworthiness of the Bible. As you know, the Bible claims to be the inspired and inerrant word of God so if someone can prove up that the historical facts in the book of Genesis about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are wrong. Then all of a sudden the entire Bible is discredited as the inerrant word of God is the great Catholic archaeologist Roland DeVos said.

He said if the historical faith of Israel is not founded in real history. Such faith is erroneous and therefore our faith is also Caroline Zell in his epic book. The battle for the Bible said when the word of God speaks of its trustworthiness.

At no point does it include any limitations, nor does it indicate that some parts of Scripture are to be trusted and other parts are not in error and see he says must either include all of Scripture or nonaudit, which means that the inerrancy of the entire Bible is rising on this very issue. The historical factual accuracy of what the Bible says about the patriarchs and it is a grave and serious issue.

Lynn cell again said and I quote I regard biblical inerrancy to be the most important theological topic of this age. Once inerrancy is abandoned. The it always opens the door to further departures from the faith and always ends up in apostasy. It is next to impossible. He says to stop the process of theological deterioration.

Once inerrancy is abandoned. I am saying that whether it takes five years or 50 years any denomination, church, seminary or parachurch group that forsakes inerrancy will end up shipwrecked. It cannot be prevented." And so as we said a moment ago. The inerrancy of the Bible sinks and swims up with this issue is the book of Genesis telling us the truth about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Joseph, is this factual history or not. Well if that is the issue that it leads us to question number two, which is all I will than was the problem with friends. The problem are people like Israel Finkelstein you go losing well is a professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University and he, along with some other so-called scholars claim that the stories in the book of Genesis about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob etc. are not factual history but that their myths that their legends made up centuries later = it is book the Bible on earth says and I quote the historical saga contained in the Bible from Abraham to Moses the book of Genesis is nothing more than a brilliant product of the human imagination. We cannot talk about it as though it represents historical reality" as well as a lot of other scholars who say the evidence doesn't support that conclusion. For example, Dr. Kenneth kitchen, professor emeritus of Egyptology and archaeology at the University of Liverpool in England. In his book on the reliability of the Old Testament. He says and I quote concerning Finkelstein's treatment of the patriarchal. Which he describes as pure fiction.

He Finkelstein is utterly out of his depth hopelessly misinformed and totally misleading." Only he agrees with Finkelstein you know and Dr. William F. Albright the greatest archaeologist Americas ever produced talk for years at Johns Hopkins University in the near Eastern studies department.

He said and I quote this excessive skepticism shown towards the Bible has been progressively discredited discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details of the Bible and has brought in priest recognition to the value of the Bible as a true source of history." So what we want to do today is we want to look at some of these discoveries that Dr. Albright is referring to that backup that support what the Bible is telling us in the book of Genesis as true factual history and that leads us to question number three which is can we provide hard archaeological evidence to support the historical integrity of the patriarchal stories in the book of Genesis and the answer to that is absolutely, we certainly can and so that's what were going to do now I've got eight for you eight pieces of evidence, there could be a lot more but not limited to a is a gallant if only eight okay so you ready I go cover quickly number one first piece of evidence to support the historical integrity of the book of Genesis is Abraham's hometown or of the Chaldeans. Genesis 11 verse 27 says Tara became the father of Abram in the land of his birth in or of the Chaldeans critics once said, or of the Chaldeans, never even existed at the time of Abraham worth it did.

It was just a little fork in the road. Certainly not the kind of prosperous place that Abraham should've had any problem leaving, but now we know from discoveries regarding 1922 by Leonard Woolley when he dug out the ancient city of or now we know that in Abraham's time, around 2100 BC or was actually entering its zenith. The third dynasty of or under its greatest leader, a fellow named or nominal, and we know that this was a large city, the center of a huge Kolbe and Empire and that it had an enormously high standard of living exactly the way the Bible describes Keith Scoville in his book biblical archaeology and focus as I quote it is evident that Abraham turned his back on a rich, sophisticated society, in response to God's call number two proof of the factual integrity of the book of Genesis. Number two is Abraham going to the city of Toronto.

Genesis 11 verse 31 Tara took Abraham a son, and Lot and Sarah Abram's wife and they went out together from or of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan and they went as far as Chiron with a stop and where Tara.and critics of the Bible used to say that this place called Chiron never even existed and if it did exist. We have no evidence whatsoever that Abraham and his family ever lived there as a matter fact with the Bible tells us is the Tara who was living down in order had moved from Chiron. Chiron is really where the bulk of Abraham's family live but now we know that in the time of Abraham, Chiron was an incredibly prosperous and flourishing city in northern Mesopotamia and Acheron.

We have found many many clay tablets with people's personal names on you know like Marion James. You understand and guess whose name we found on one of these tablets will never believe this to Abraham. Yes and you know what, we also found another tablet.

The name non-core which is was Abraham's brother's name. According to the book of Genesis chapter 11 verse 26 and so friends here's the deal you know you don't name it your your children names that aren't current where your living me.

Nobody lives in America names their trial. Rumpelstiltskin you name your child William or Susie because these are the names were using in America and if these children.

Abram named core were being named these names that it indicates their family was living in a place where these names were normal every day names and we know that they were in the city of Colorado Albright in his book from Stone Age to Christianity set these latest discoveries of these names have strikingly confirm the Israelite traditions, according to which their Hebrew forefathers came to Palestine from the region of Carron in Northwest Mesopotamia number three. Once approved, the let's talk about Abraham's nomadic lifestyle.

Once he reached Canaan. Genesis 12 verse six Abraham pass through the land of Canaan as far Shechem the Canaanites were in the land at that time that Abraham proceeded south from there to Bethel and then journeyed on farther south towards the negative and there was a famine in the land of Canaan. So Abraham went down to Egypt to sojourn there. Critics of the Bible once said that this kind of nomadic, almost Bedouin like lifestyle living in tents that the Bible describes for Abraham that this is not how people lived in the land of Canaan in the time of Abraham that according to the Telamon of the documents found in Egypt that though this was a city state environment there and Canaan, not a nomadic environment.

Now these telemarketer letters come from 1400 BC. However, what we discovered today is that actually the exact opposite was true. Listen to Kenneth kitchen on the reliability Old Testament, the evidence now gives us a quite clear indication that the land of Canaan at the time of Abram was not a city state population was on non-urban population of tribes and clans under their own rulers or shakes. These clans lived in tents and wandered freely from Bethel and Shechem in the north to the negative and even to Egypt in the South, which drove away exactly what the Bible says that Abraham did number four. Another proves the Bible telling us the truth is the richness of the Jordan Valley around Sodom and Gomorrah in Abraham's time. Genesis 13 verse eight so Abram said a lot.

Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsman in your herdsman for we are brothers. Behold, the whole land as before you Abraham says if you go to the right. Although the left if you go the left, although the right and so Lot looked around and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord and Lot journeyed eastward and settled among the what's the next word say it out loud cities right of the Jordan Valley moving his tense societal critics of the Bible have said hey you know what this whole story in Genesis chapter 13 about lot moving down there is a ridiculous at the time of Abraham, the southern Jordan Valley was an uninhabited wilderness now friends you know what, if you ever go we need Israel we go down were Sodom and Gomorrah were and you know what the critics are right it is an uninhabited wilderness but between 1932 in 1947 renowned archaeologist and Jewish rabbi Nelson bleak excavated in this area at the southern end of the Dead Sea and you know what he found he found remnants of more than 70 cities that were there at the time of Abraham. What is the Bible say lot did. He went down and lived around those cities and we have also found indisputable proof that at the time of Abraham this southern Jordan Valley was well watered. It was lost.

It was green. It was for tile and it was wealthy exactly the way the Bible says friends.

Lot was not an idiot wasn't that way in the time of Abraham. Just like the book of Genesis says number five once approved Genesis does true the let's talk about the Bible's mentioning domesticated camels during the time of the patriarchs. Genesis 12 verse 16 and Pharaoh gave Abram what a given camels. Abraham's servant.

Genesis 2410 took 10 camels from his masters heard of camels. These were domesticated camels.

Genesis 37 verse 25 member they sold Joseph into slavery. The Bible says Joseph brother saw a caravan of Ishmaelites that they sold into coming with their camels. Critics of the Bible once said Paul Tobin and here's the name of his article, I gotta take a deep breath before translators ready mythological elements of the story of Abraham and the patriarchal narratives.

Here's what he said these attain camels were simply unknown. During Abraham's time." Really well in an article in the Journal near Eastern studies. Dr. Joseph free. Not long ago presented a piece of Egyptian pottery dated 3150 BC at 1100 years before Abraham and guess what was on this piece of pottery painted on it.

Take a guess camels and Egyptians loading cargo onto these domesticated camels, and even in Waddy Ron which is in modern-day Jordan. They found wall drawings in caves. This is from 2500 BC of camels.

Now when this was first discovered there was one scholar who actually said that what this was, was a horse with a hump on the line you well.

Audio he presented it as a horse. What a hump you ever heard of a horse with a hump. No casino horse with a neck like that. No, why, when he refused to call it a Campbell will because if he calls it a Campbell. He recognizes that the Bible telling the truth. What this tells us is you gotta watch these guys. They come to the evidence with their mind already made up one person talks about a horse with a home ridiculous are if you wanted a camel ride in the days of Abraham. You pluck your three shekels down you get a camel ride lots of camels around number six almost finished. Once a proof of the historical accuracy of the book of Genesis. The let's talk about the Hittite then God said to Abram.

Genesis 1518 to your descendents. I've given this land, from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates, including the land of the Hittites Genesis 23 verse 10 Abraham bought the cave of mock the law to bury Sarah from East Ron the Hittite and finally Genesis 2634 Esau married Judith the daughter of beery, the Hittite critics of the Bible used to say, you know this is ridiculous. The Hittites never even existed. We never found any evidence of them anywhere. Oh yeah, well that was until 1906 when Hugh Winkler on earth God's court in central Turkey and found it to be the capital of a humongous Hittite Empire at the time of Abraham, and afterwords, just like the book of Genesis says number seven historical is the book agenda because this is it historical when the let's talk about shaving in Egypt during the patriarchs time. Genesis 4114 then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph from the prison and when Joseph had shaved her himself and changed his clothes became before Pharaoh you know we know today from archaeology that just as the book of Genesis says the Egyptians were the only culture we repeat that the only culture in the ancient near East and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, stay who shave regularly where the men did and they didn't just shave their face. They shave their chest, their body hair as well and you know what this proves don't care this pro that Pharaoh probably really did look just like you Brenner. It also proves that if you were writing.

Centuries later, you wouldn't know this because centuries later, things were that way it proves that whoever wrote Genesis 41 about Joseph shaving before he went.

The Pharaoh lived at that time. Those are accurate records and knew that that's the way it was in somewhere around 1800 BC. Finally you go. One more with me okay last one.

If the daily customs the daily habits of the patriarchs, critics once said, you know the customs, the habits that we see the patriarchs practicing here in the book of Genesis are totally foreign to the ancient near Eastern culture of their day will not so chemo sobbing no-no. In fact, the exact opposite is true. In 1925 Edward Shira from the Oriental Institute in Chicago began excavating in a place called newsy. It's in northern Mesopotamia not far from Acheron were all of Abraham's family came from and what we found. There is thousands of clay tablets inscribed dating back to the time of Abraham, and in these tablets.

They record the social customs that were current around the city of Qumran at the time of Abraham to follow my logic.

If all of Abraham's family was from Acheron. Wouldn't it make sense that the customs they practice even if they moved away still correlate with the customs they had grown up practicing at least some level that makes sense if you're an American and suddenly you get reassigned Outer Mongolia you're still going to practice a lot of the everyday social customs that you got used to living in America. Yes yeah of course okay so let's see if they actually line up what we found in newsy and what the Bible says Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob did and they line up remarkably few examples. Here we go newsy if a man's wife was barren. Couldn't have children. She was allowed it was legal for her to give her handmaiden to her husband for him to have children by her handmaiden that sound familiar should Genesis chapter 16 it is not exactly which era did giving Hagar to Abraham when she couldn't have children and Hagar had Ishmael member now and newsy. If the original wife then was able at some future point to have children. It was illegal to throw out the handmaiden with her children that she previously given her husband was illegal to do that.

Genesis 21 verse 10 after Sarah had Isaac. She Said Abraham Dr., Hagar and her son away in the matter stressed Abraham greatly. Now wait a minute what why did this distress, Abraham summa I mean I don't think he was all that love would Hagar and wanted to just give Hagar a bunch of money and make sure she was properly taken care of and say you know Hagar love to keep you around, but Sarah comes first, and God bless you have a nice life. When you do that. Why did this distress him the idea of sending Hagar way friends.

The reason it distress them is because it was illegal to do that and you know it was illegal and if you read that chapter you will find out.

God had to personally appear to Abraham and tell him to do with Sarah was saying before Abraham was willing to do it and newsy it was legal to sell your birthright to your brother. The sound familiar is exactly what Esau did with Jacob. Right Genesis chapter 25 and newsy it of our father's deathbed blessing on a sawn was your revocable unchangeable and could not be reversed or rescinded. The sound familiar member when Jacobs sneaked in and stole his brother Esau's blessing. Genesis 27 verse 35 then the Esau came in and Isaac realized the mistake he made, he gave the blessing to the wrong son and Isaac said Esau your brother came deceitfully and has taken away your blessings.

They wait minute long wanted Isaac just say mistake recall. I recall that email back know I'm taking the blessing back. It wasn't yours, Jacob, and I'm given it to your brother who I intended to give to them the first place.

Isaac couldn't do that. Why because it was illegal. He couldn't rescinded even though it was deceitfully gotten he didn't have that authority. He gave Esau blessing, but one the one he intended to give him Jacob and Artie taken folks I could go on and on and on like the Energizer Bunny I'm telling you could, but I think the points clear.

The point is that the everyday customs we find on these tablets it newsy line up so perfectly with the customs that the book of Genesis describes Abraham, Isaac and Jacob living out that if forced, forced, famous archaeologist Dr. HH Rowley of the University of Manchester in England to say this, and I quote he said the stories in Genesis. So accurately reflect the social customs at 2000 BC in the ancient near East that it is striking. Dr. Albright said it is now becoming increasingly clear that the traditions of the patriarchal age preserved in the book of Genesis reflect with remarkable accuracy. The actual conditions of the ancient near East in the middle Bronze Age that is at the time when the Bible says Abraham lived, and finally back to Dr. Ali in one of the most amazing scholarly confessions I've ever heard or seen in print. Here's what he said and I quote he said it is not because scholars of today begin with more conservative presuppositions than their predecessors that they have a much greater respect for the patriarchal stories that was formerly common, but because evidence warrants it." Understand what he say he saying these scholars around today there not more conservative than there used to be.

They don't want to believe the Bible anymore. They used to believe the Bible that they they still want to believe it's a horse. What but the cane because the evidence is overwhelming and enforces them to at least admit that these things in the Bible is saying are true or as we love say here McLean the more they dig out of the ground the more the Bible proves to be right now you guys okay is now ready for fourth and final question in this one you know God, here we go. Juan Joe that was awesome salon.

What are you talking about okay look, we gotta answer the question so what you say lawn you know what honestly I don't want a camel ride. I don't shave my chest honesty with any of this has to do with me whatsoever well is talk about that all right you know I had the privilege of serving on the board of Jews for Jesus now for 25 years with 20 of those years I've served with a wonderful man name Russ three, Russ was a Jewish believer. He lived in Chicago. He was an actor radio after he played a lot of characters on unshackled if you know that all radio program and am he was just a wonderful godly man a great witness for Christ.

Anyway, when he was in his early 60s he needed a very very serious bypass surgery and so he checked into the hospital the night before and when they came in the form to fill out and asked for religious preference, he checked Jewish Jewish believers checked Jewish well. Later that night, a local rabbi stuck his head in the door and said hey would you like some company. I noticed you checked Jewish on your form and I thought I'd see if you want any company in the Russ said sure and so the document I got to talk about the weather and a few other things and finally the rabbi said to him, he said no.

Mr. Reid. He said do you understand what's gonna happen to you tomorrow and Russ said do you think I do. He said no sir, I mean do you really understand what a dangerous and an significant surgery. This is tomorrow and Russ said yeah is what he keep asking me that he said will, because you know you just seem to be amazingly relaxed, considering what's gonna happen tomorrow and Russ said well he said let me just tell you how I see it rabbi. He said the way I see it is only one of two things can happen tomorrow. He said on either tomorrow. Wake up in the arms of my wife, whose love me for 40 years, he said. Or tomorrow I will wake up in the arms of Jesus my Messiah, whose love me from the foundation of the world.

What I was pretty much the end of that clergy does yeah Melanie. Ask your question as we close word and Russ Reed get the authority to make a comment like that. Where did he get the confidence to make a statement about death and eternal life, and what's on the other side of the grave like that. Well friends he got that authority from the BRI BLE and if you're here today in your follower of Jesus Christ, my friend, you have chosen to rest your entire eternal destiny on the theory same authority on the profound believe that the Bible is telling you and me the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth not just about the patriarchs, but about the grades and what's on the other side of the grave and how to live this life we based our lives on the profound belief as Peter said that we have not followed second Peter 116 cunningly devised fables, but rather that this thing called the Bible is orderly and errant in every statement it makes utterly infallible in every claimant makes an utterly trustworthy in every promise that it makes and listen to me this world system is going to try to talk you out of it. It's going to try to convince you, and shake your confidence in the Bible and lots of professors like Finkelstein and all these other guys are going to try to rattle your belief in the Bible telling you about horses would home salons of nonsense and lots are your friends are going to try to destroy your trust in the Bible and the Discovery Channel is going to try to convince you that the Bible is all a fraud and these people have agendas, don't you think they don't have agendas as to why they're trying to convince you of that in many cases it's to assuage their own deal because they're not living according to the Bible and they don't want to accept it as the word of God before whatever the reason may be, don't you listen to them to listen to them.

Look, my friends, you stick with the Bible as the inspired errant word of God and when the dust clears an eternity. I promise no more my Jesus promises you that you're going to be forever glad you stuck with the word of God.

Jesus said the word of God is a rock and everybody who bills their house on the rock.

The rains come down, and the winds blow and the and it eats against that house, your life stuff, but that house stands because it's built on the rock, my friends, heaven and earth will pass away. Listen heaven and earth will pass away, but Jesus said, my word will never pass away. Don't build your life on the sand. Don't build your life on what these people say what they know. They know they don't know anything. You build your life on the word of the eternal God was pretty for Jesus, thank you so much for reminding us today that we have an anchor for our soul is Hebrews chapter 6 says that anchor for our soul on the promises and the assurances in the truth of the word of God more Jesus I pray you would make us like that man in Matthew chapter 7 who Bill's house on the rock, and nothing could knock that house over nothing, may we be those people may we run our lives based on the word of God.

May we run our hope for eternity based on the word of God make every part of our being based on the word of God because it is the rock upon which every house it's built will stand encourage our faith. From today, Lord. All this evidence that we presented encourage us that the more they dig out of the ground the more the Bible does prove to be right and increase our confidence as we walk out of here today in the inerrancy, the infallibility in the order, trustworthiness of the BIBL or change our lives because we were here today sat on the teaching of your word and we pray these things in Jesus name.

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