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Chapter 2

by David Holland

 

Here we pick up the story two hundred and twenty years after the flood, several years before Melchizedek meets Abram.

Terah was born.

He was the father of Abram. Abram is known today to most Christians, Jews and Muslims as Abraham the father of the faithful.

Terah lived in one of the major towns in the Chaldean Kingdom. He lived in an area that we recognize today as the ancient Fertile Crescent. It was the cradle of middle-eastern civilization, and was able to support a large population through its agriculture. It also created an ease of increase and abundance in agricultural produce and made kings and rulers rich and powerful.

This in turn made the populations of this fertile area very dependant on the production of the land rather than the provision of God.

Terah was a Shemite, a descendant of Noah through the line of Shem. Similar to Noah himself, who was the eighth generation from Adam’s son Seth and chosen by God to save human kind 200 or so years earlier, Terah was the eighth generation after the flood.

In his time men had turned to sin and disregarded the All Mighty God of Noah. The tower of Babel was built as a tower that would reach the heavens in defiance of the power of God. (Genesis 11:2-6)

Again God was looking for a man who was willing to obey him and step out in faith.

Terah was the logical man. His heritage was of the first born of Noah and was the eighth generation in the new life made available to man through Noah. Eight as a number in the Bible often signifies ‘new beginning’.

This new beginning of life as the flood ended could be considered the starting point to count towards the first 50 year jubilee year. (A jubilee year in ancient Israel was a year of release.) At the flood God reconciled mankind to Himself for the first time through the waters of the flood as a type of baptism for the occupants of the ark of Noah. But this new start with God had been forgotten by the selfish ambitions of men and now God himself was being challenged by the building of the tower of Babel.

Gensis 11:4

“..let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name…”

The bible records that Terah started out for the land of Canaan after the death of Haran his youngest son. At this time it is probable that Terah was about 115 years old. (Genesis 11:31-32)

However, it is plausible that, like Abram, Terah may have been commanded by God to go to the land of Canaan at the age of 75 years. Terah would be 78 years of age to meet up with Melchizedek on year of the sixth jubilee year from the flood. That is exactly 300 years from the time of Noah’s flood.

Terah would have received the blessings that Abram received later on.

Terah was reticent to go at age 75 years. His youngest son whom he loved was only 5 years of age and because of this he may have felt that Ur was a good place to bring up a son and give him all the opportunities of life. So rather than going to the untamed regions of Canaan, he stayed in Ur and disobeyed God, thinking it would be more comfortable to continue in Ur.

He let God’s promises of blessings slip his grasp and his mind.

Everything was going well for him for a few years. But after some years, something appears to go terribly wrong. It may have been sickness or something else, but both his wives die, the mother of Abram and the mother of Sarai (Genesis 20:12), and then his youngest son Haran whom he adored dies. Nahor, his second son, takes the care of Haran’s daughter Milcah and moves away, taking her for his wife. Abram, who had married Sarai, takes the care of Lot, Haran’s second child and heir.

Terah turns to God and remembers what God had told him to do. He blames himself for the death of his son thinking it is because of his disobedience to God.

He immediately repents and starts out towards Canaan with Abram, Sarai and Lot, who is his treasured grandson, son of his much-loved son Haran.

He travels towards Canaan but, on the way, he stops at his son Nahor’s house, at a place probably named after Nahor’s brother, Haran. When he sees Nahor he is so happy that he forgets about his trip to Canaan.

Melchizedek who was praying for God to send a man to him to be blessed, has had to wait some more years until God calls Abram to leave his father’s house and go to Canaan.

Genesis 12:1

“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show you.’”

When Abram is finally called, he brings along Lot and goes through the land of Canaan to Egypt, not completely obeying God either, until he is expelled from Egypt by Pharaoh and settles on the edge of the land of Canaan at Hebron. Meanwhile Melchizedek is looking for a man who has the hand of God on him. Only after Abram defeats the King of Elam and returns with Lot does Melchizedek see the favour of God on Abram and decides to meet him.

This meeting would have taken place in the seventh jubilee year from the flood, or 350 years after the flood and with Abram 80 years old.

This meeting would pave the way for God to fulfil His promise to Abraham of an heir and provide a way for God to plant a Seed which is Jesus, and in turn lead to events that would save mankind and the world.

 

 

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