Moses 1a – Abram


My daughter Lauretta and I, got onto a very old Iraqi bus in Bagdad at 0200 in the morning. After a six hour drive we reached the ziggurat of Urnamu in southern Iraq. I was very excited when we saw this huge structure. The modern name is Tell el-Muqayyar. What is the relevance of Ur for the Bible student?

Once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, Ur is now well inland, south of the Euphrates on its right bank, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Nasiriya. The city dates from the Ubaid period circa 3800 BC, and is recorded in written history as a City State from the 26th century BC, its first recorded king being Mesh-Ane-pada.
The city’s patron deity was Nanna (in Akkadian Sin), the Sumerian and Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian) moon god, and the name of the city is in origin derived from the god’s name, URIM2KI being the classical Sumerian spelling of LAK-32.UNUGKI, literally “the abode (UNUG) of Nanna (LAK-32)
The ruins of the Ziggurat of Ur, which contained the shrine of Nanna, excavated in the 1930s. The temple was built in the 21st century BC (short chronology), during the reign of Ur-Nammu. It was reconstructed in the 6th century BC by Nabonidus, (the Assyrian born last king of Babylon) in the 6th century BC. The ruins cover an area of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) northwest to southeast by 800 metres (2,600 ft) northeast to southwest and rise up to about 20 metres (66 ft) above the present plain level.
What is the relevance of Ur to the Bible student? It was here that Abram was born. He was the very last monotheist. The entire world has turned polytheistic.We are going to study about an amazing prophecy that God gave to his servant Abram

It is the greatest display of God’s power to deliver people from bondage. While visiting hall 55 in the British museum I came across the following discovery from Ur: “These blue glazed bricks are from the ziggurat of Ur. The ziggurat was later rebuilt by Nabonidus in 560 BC, using these bricks. The shrine of the moon god (Sin or Nanna) was at the top of the ziggurat. The king or priest would give oracles after intercourse in the temple with the spirit being.”

Shocking! Abram refused to participate in the abomination of the moon cult

Written on the foundations of the Ziggurat was: “The temple whose top is heaven”. This is similar to the intention of the people building the tower of Babel, “with its top is in the heavens” (Gen 11:4).
And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” The very same arrogance of the builders of the tower of Babel was repeated by the builders of the ziggurat at Ur

At Ur where people listened to the diabolic oracles of spiritism, Abram also heard a voice. And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’

He listened to the voice of God and became the first MISSIONARY to leave Babylonia. God had a work for Abram. He had to preach the gospel to a polytheistic world. Did God speak again to him in Haran?

Looking at the ruins where he once lived, my heart was touched by the promise God made with him. Why?

Genesis 12:1,2 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation;I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
Soteriology, typology, eschatology

What is the meaning of “I will bless you.”

This promise included both temporal and spiritual blessings, particularly the latter. Paul clearly includes justification by faith among the blessings that rested on Abram

Galatians 3:6-9 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Remember. What God has promised to Abram, He also promises to us.

Make your name great?

True greatness was to result from compliance with God’s commands and cooperation with His divine purpose.

The builders of Babel had thought to make themselves “a name” by defying God, and yet not one of their names has survived. Abram, on the other hand, was simply to follow where God should lead, in order to win fame.

The name Abram is common as a personal name even today, and untold millions of Jews, Mohammedans, and Christians have acclaimed him in times past, and still look back to him, as their spiritual ancestor.

What a special moment to stand here where Abram stood.

Here at Haran God was speaking to you and me.

And remember. All the blessings he pronounced on Abram, He also pronounces on those who are willing to obey Him and follow Him all the way.

Let us also read the next verse:

Verse 3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
What kind of blessing could this be? Can we be included?
I will bless you.

Such an assurance was the highest pledge of friendship and favor God could bestow upon Abram.

God considered as done to Himself the insults and wrongs done to His friend and promised to make common cause with him, to share his friends and to treat his enemies as if they were His own. Abram was “the Friend of God”

James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God
While visiting Shechem where Abram lived for a while, I thought of his very special name: friend of God
God wants you and me to be His special friends.
Do not deny Him your friendship. There is no Friend like God.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

When was the earth cursed?

Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.
That curse had come because of the unfaithfulness of one man. How did it affect the entire human race?
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
How can the curse caused by one man be reversed?
Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous
As his spiritual offspring, Christians today share in the blessing imparted to Abram

Galatians 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.


Walking in Shechem I thought of how fortunate we are. All the promises made to Abram, are ours through faith.

The curse pronounced upon the ground because of sin, Christ has changed into a blessing for all men.

Soon we will be walking on streets of gold, symbol of God’s rich blessings.

All further promises to the patriarchs and to Israel either clarified or amplified the promise of salvation offered the entire human race in the first promise made to Abram.

Do think it is important to study the promises made to Abram?

Genesis 12:1,2 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation;I will bless you and make your name great;and you shall be a blessing

What lesson do you learn from these verses?

Get out! Out of what?

How old was Abram when this promised made?

Genesis 12:4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran

According to Paul the promise God made with Abram at Haran would be fulfilled 430 years later.

What do these promises include? A son to be his heir Genesis 15:4. Possession of the literal land of Canaan (18). The prospect of becoming a great nation (chs. 12:2; 15:5), rogenitorship of the Messiah.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ

The privilege of being God’s chosen instrument to proclaim salvation to the nations of earth (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8, 14).

These promises were repeated to Abraham upon several different occasions, over a space of nearly half a century (see Gen. 12:1–4, 7; 13:15, 16; 15:4, 5, 13–18; 17:1–8, 16–21; 18:10; 22:17, 18).

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

What is Paul’s great concern?

The covenant promise at the beginning of the period and the giving of the law at its close.

Where else do we find this 430 year period?

Exodus 12:40-42 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day, it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.


When I stood at Avaris where the passover lamb was slain, I thought of the sure word of prophecy. Exactly after 430 the deliverance of the descendants of Abram took place. Do you think God would repeat His promises to Abram? Repetition is a common phenomenon in the Bible. God wants us to get the messages of salvation as clear as possible.

Genesis 15:12,13 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.

A waiting period of 400 years! It must have been a terrible disappointment for him. He has already waited 30 years for God’s promises of grace to be fulfilled. Isaac was born five years previously at Gerar.


Let’s look at the fulfillment of servitude. How long was Jacob, his grandson, a servant for Laban?

Genesis 31:41 Thus I have been in your house twenty years; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times

Did Joseph his great grandson become a servant? Did this prophecy finally include all the descendants of Abram?

Exodus 1:13,14 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.
And they will afflict them four hundred years.

Who was the first to be afflicted, persecuted?

Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing

Can Paul explain the word scoffing? Does it imply persecution?

Galatians 4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now

What about Jacob, the second generation?

Genesis 27:41-43 So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you.
43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran.

Joseph was sold by his own brothers as a slave and later unjustly thrown in jail (chs. 37:28; 39:20). The children of Israel, finally, were sorely “afflicted” by the Egyptians after Joseph’s death (Ex. 1:8, 12).

Why does Moses refer to four hundred years?

Because the 400 years of affliction only began 30 years later, when Abram was 105 and his son Isaac 5 years old (ch. 21:5). This would be about the time Ishmael, who “was born after the flesh persecuted him [Isaac] that was born after the Spirit” (Gal. 4:29; Gen. 21:9–11).

The exact time from the call of Abram to Jacob’s entry into Egypt was 215 years (see Gen. 21:5; 25:26; 47:9), which would leave 215 years of the 430 as the actual time the Hebrews spent there. The Septuagint translation of Exodus 12:40 reads as follows:
“And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, was four hundred and thirty years.”

Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus wrote that the Israelites “left Egypt in the month of Xanthicus, on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob removed into Egypt” (II. 15.2)

How was God going to handle this inhuman persecution?

Genesis 15:14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

In our next lecture we look at this aspect of “Judge”. How did God punish the persecutors of His children? The prophecy says that they will leave the land of slavery with great possessions.

God’s deliverance of His people from the bondage of Egypt is a type of the great antitypical deliverance at the second coming of Jesus. Are you going through a tough time right now?

Are you longing for God’s deliverance? Be of good cheer. We are going to leave this Egypt of bondage and pain with great possessions. A brand new body capable of living forever.

A brand new intellect to appreciate God’s salvation as never before. Take heart. Now we are temporarily poor. Soon we will be eternally rich.

Updated on 21st Mar 2022

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