The Case for Jesus the Messiah – Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists/Part 6

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©{{{copyright}}}
Genesis 12:2-3, 17:1, 5-6; 22:18—Who Is the Seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob That Will Eventually Bless All the Nations?

Editor’s Note: This material was first published in book form in 1989 by the John Ankerberg Evangelistic Association (now known as the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute).

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The Biblical Text

And Jehovah said to Abram… “I will make of you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great, and you will be a blessing… and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)
[Almighty God says to Abram]: “…For I have made you a father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you and kings shall come out of you.” (Gen. 17:1, 5-6)
[God states to Abraham]: “And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18)

The Context of These Passages

In Genesis 12, God has commanded Abram to leave his own country and travel to “the land I will show you” (Gen. 12:1). There God promises He will make him into a “great nation” and that the entire earth will be blessed through him.

In Genesis 17, when Abram is ninety years old, the Lord appears to Abram and again tells him He will make him fruitful. God also tells him that nations and kings will come forth from his seed.

In Genesis 22, Abram (who is now Abraham because God changed his name) has been tested by God. Abraham showed God he is willing to do anything God asks. God sees this and promises Abraham that from his seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

The Explanation of These Texts

Note here the number of times God promises Abraham that all peoples on the earth will be blessed because of his seed. It is likely that Abraham knew of the promise made by God to Adam and Eve that from the woman’s seed a male descendant would come and crush Satan’s head.

Now, God extends His promise through Abraham’s seed. The question is, “Who is the offspring of Abraham God is speaking of who will bless all nations?”

At this point, it is too early to identify the person in the future who will bless all the nations. But whoever the specific person or seed will be, he must come from the seed of this one man, Abraham. Also, we must join God’s promises to Eve with those He gave to Abraham. Thus, God’s promised seed must not only be a man, but also a descendant of Abraham. As we will see, God further adds to the description of the promised seed, even while He continues to limit the line from which the special One will come: God next says He will come from the line of Abraham, then Isaac, and then Jacob.

Nevertheless, returning to this prophecy; we know from history that God blessed Abraham’s seed both individually and collectively since: 1) God made Abraham into a great nation—the Jewish nation; 2) God did bless Abraham abundantly; 3) God did make his name great (e.g., He is honored by both Jews and Muslims). We also know that all peoples on the earth were blessed through Abraham, both culturally and spiritually.

In matters of banking and commerce and finance, the world owes Israel an immense debt. In matters of statesmanship, particularly international statesmanship, the debt is also large. From the time of David until now, Israelitish public men have been at the helm, sometimes in one nation and sometimes in another. In science and literature and music, the debt is likewise great. But high above all these things, the literature of Israel’s prophets has been translated into all languages. Israel has been made the channel for communicating to mankind the monotheism of the religion of Yahweh…. Suppose we stop at this point, and ask: Has the promise been kept? Have all the families of the ground been blessed in Abraham and his seed? Who can answer otherwise than in the affirmative?[1]

But there is much more for us to consider. In the New Testament we discover that Jesus Christ was also a physical descendant of Abraham. The facts clearly show that no man has had such influence upon the world as Jesus Christ.[2]

The Apostle Matthew places at the front of his book this important statement: “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Mt. 1:1). Why? Because Matthew had read the Hebrew Scriptures and knew God had promised to bless all the nations through Abraham’s seed. For Matthew, Jesus was the One God described to Abraham. The spiritual blessing of Abraham is also evident to the Apostle Paul who writes in Galatians 3:8-9: “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith [in Christ], and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you [Abraham’s seed].’ So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

We will not here describe completely the increasingly narrow parental line God revealed, but a brief outline of the scriptural promises reveals that God’s special Person could only come out of the following lineage and circumstances:

• from the seed of the woman (any possible man)
• from Abraham (one man’s descendants are selected from all men on earth)
• from Isaac (not Ishmael: one half of Abraham’s lineage is eliminated—Genesis 26:2-4)
• from Jacob (not Esau: one half of Jacob’s lineage is now eliminated—Genesis 28:13-14)
• from Jesse (Isaiah 11:1; Luke 3:23, 32)
• from David (Jesse had at least eight sons; seven are now eliminated—1 Samuel 16:10-13)
• from Bethlehem (all cities in the world are now eliminated but one—Micah 5:2).

Clues to Identify the Messiah

Whoever the Messiah is, He must fit the following descriptions:

Clue #1—He, a male child (the Hebrew text specifically uses a 3rd person, singular, masculine pronoun—”he”), will be born of the seed of the woman.

Clue #2—He will come from the race of the Jews, and specifically from the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Read Part 7

Notes

  1. Willis Judson Beecher, The Prophets and the Promise (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1970, rpt. 1905), pp. 412-413.
  2. Kac, The Messiahship of Jesus, pp. 40-48.

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