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"Let Your Name Be Sanctified"



Chapter 5

CALLING UPON IT IN FAITH

The bearer of a name is meant or represented by his personal name. If we call upon his name, we are in fact calling upon the bearer himself. We are proclaiming him by means of his name. Long ago the calling upon the name of Jehovah hypocritically, beginning in the days of Adam's grandson Enosh, led to destruction. Calling upon Jehovah's name in faith and in sanctification of it leads to everlasting salvation, as in the case of Abel, Enoch and Noah. To this day calling upon that name is vital for salvation.

2 One of the four men saved through the Noachian deluge was called Name. He was Shem, whose name means "Name; Fame; Renown." Today he is called the ancestor of the Aramaeans (Syrians), the Arabs and the Hebrews. For this reason all these are called Shemites or Semites, to distinguish them by race. Their languages are called Semitic and are related to one another, having similarities. Noah, the patriarch of the human race, especially connected up his son Shem with the greatest name in the universe, that of Jehovah. Shem became the writer or owner of one of the histories contained in the book of Genesis: "This is the history of Shem." (Genesis 10:1; 11:10) Two years after the Flood began, Shem became father to his first son, Arpachshad. His


1 (a) By calling upon a name, upon whom are we in fact calling? (b) Calling upon whose name, and in what way, is vital for salvation?
2 (a) What does Shem's name mean, and to what race did no become father? (b) Whose son was Canaan, and in what bad thing did he get implicated?
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younger brother Ham had a son named Canaan. (Genesis 11:10-12; 10:6,15-19) This Canaan became implicated in an insult to his grandfather Noah.

3 On a certain occasion farmer Noah became overtaken with wine and lay exposed to the gaze of his family. Canaan's father Ham did nothing but talk about it disrespectfully. Shem and Japheth, however, with their faces turned away from looking at their father's humiliation, covered over his nakedness. "Finally Noah awoke from his wine and got to know what his youngest son [Ham] had done to him. At this he said: 'Cursed be Canaan. Let him become the lowest slave to his brothers.' And he added: 'Blessed be Jehovah, Shem's God, and let Canaan become a slave to him. Let God grant ample space to Japheth, and let him reside in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan become a slave to him also.' " — Genesis 9:20-27.

4 Under inspiration Noah sanctified the divine name (which he knew) by saying: "Blessed be Jehovah, Shem's God." By this Noah also foretold that the line of Shem would have a particularly outstanding part in blessing the name of his God, Jehovah. Even so, it was Shem's line of descent that led finally to the human birth of the Son of God, the Seed of God's "woman" for bruising the head of the Great Serpent, the devilish Slanderer of God's name. Shem's line of descent also included that great man of faith, Abraham, whom Hebrews in its chapter eleven names fourth in the list of illustrious witnesses of Jehovah. (Hebrews 11: 7-19) Living for 502 years after the Flood through which he had survived, Shem lived to see his faithful descendant Abraham and also the marriage of Abraham's son Isaac to Rebekah, a Shemite. — Genesis 11:10-31; 24:1-67.


3. How did Noah's sons conduct themselves toward his exposure, and what blessings and curse did he pronounce for this?
4. How did Noah at that time sanctify God's name, and, in accord with that, what descendants was Shem privileged to have?
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5 However, the Great Slanderer, the Great Serpent, the Devil, was still alive and active in the invisible spirit realm. He was reinforced now with many demons, namely, the many fallen spirit sons of God, over whom he was ruler. Not yet bruised in the head by any Seed of God's "woman," the Devil sought again to unsanctify God's name among the inhabitants of the earth. He fixed upon the line of Shem's brother Ham, not through the cursed Canaan, but through Ham's other son Cush. He found a willing tool in one of Cush's sons named Nimrod. Like the preflood Nephilim, Nimrod ambitiously made himself a mighty one in the earth; and the name that he made for himself has lingered with worldly men until this day, as a model hunter. Shem witnessed this; and the "history of Shem" reports:


"Cush became father to Nimrod. He made the start in becoming a mighty one in the earth. He displayed himself a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah. That is why there is a saying: 'Just like Nimrod a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.' And the beginning of his kingdom came to be Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land he went forth into Assyria and set himself to building Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah and Resen between Nineveh and Calah: this is the great city." — Genesis 10:8-12; 11:10.


6 Nimrod's name is thus Biblically said to be against that of the God of Shem, for it was used to encourage rebels against Jehovah God. Nimrod the Cushite did something that his great-grandfather Noah, who was still living, had never thought of doing himself. Noah never set himself up as king of mankind, all of whom were now his descendants. But Nimrod became the first to set up a


5. (a) Upon whose line of descent from Noah did the Devil fix to unsanctify Jehovah's name? (b) What tool did the Devil find, and what does the "history of Shem" say about him?
6. (a) Unlike Noah, the father of all mankind, what did Nimrod boldly do? (b) Nimrod's opposition to God meant also opposition to whom on earth?
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kingdom on earth after the Flood. Nimrod's doing so was in defiance of Jehovah God; it was in revolt against the universal sovereignty of the Most High God. The chief power behind Nimrod, the one who invisibly moved Nimrod to oppose the sovereignty of Jehovah over the earth, was the Devil, the Great Serpent, who had slandered God's holy name in the paradise of Eden. Nimrod's opposition to Jehovah meant also opposition to Noah and Shem, who were witnessing to Jehovah and who called upon His name and blessed it.

7 Nimrod's hunting and campaigning and setting up of a kingdom and extending its rule into Assyria was without Jehovah's blessing. Hence Nimrod is not listed in with the seventy family heads that are named in Genesis, chapter ten. Nimrod was a visible, earthly tool of the Devil, "Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." (Matthew 12:24-27) Nimrod in particular was the man whom the Devil used in establishing the visible earthly part of the Devil's organization.

8 Nimrod's spirit for making a name for himself at the expense of God's name spread to his fellow huntsmen and followers. Was this for the benefit of mankind? By no means; and the United Nations organization of today is a modern product of the bad results of that selfish, God-dishonoring course of Nimrod's associates and followers. The historian Shem notes this fact in his record of how Babel, the capital of Nimrod's kingdom, was founded. Back there, forty-three centuries ago, all mankind had what the United Nations does not have today, namely, oneness of language. Shem reports how the people who departed from the God of Noah and Shem tried to use this


7. Nimrod's exploits were without whose blessing, and how is this shown in the genealogical record?
8. (a) What international organization of today is a product of that course of Nimrod and his followers? (b) With what advantage and how did they proceed to an attempt to belittle God's name?
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oneness of language to belittle God's name. Shem writes:


"Now all the earth continued to be of one language and of one set of words. And it came about that in their journeying eastward they eventually discovered a valley plain in the land of Shinar, and they took up dwelling there. And they began to say, each one to the other: 'Come on! Let us make bricks and bake them with a burning process.' So brick served as stone for them, but bitumen served as mortar for them. They now said: 'Come on! Let us build ourselves a city and also a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a celebrated name [shem] for ourselves, for fear we may be scattered over all the surface of the earth."' — Genesis 11:1-4.


9 In this political effort there was no religious thought of sanctifying the name of Jehovah, who had brought their forefathers out of the ancient, ungodly world and had preserved them through the Flood. Today look through the Charter of the United Nations, and it will become plain to the reader that the purpose of the United Nations is by no means the sanctifying of the name of the only living and true God, Jehovah. True, in the granite wall of the United Nations Plaza a prophetic saying is engraved as setting forth one of the objectives of the United Nations, but it is left nameless. It reads:


"They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."


Alongside this there is no inscription to show that this is quoted from Isaiah's prophecy, chapter two, verse four, which words were inspired by Jehovah God. So the United Nations also ignores the name of mankind's Deliverer from world catastrophe in Noah's day. Likely Babel's "tower with its top in


9. (a) How, as in that ancient building of a city and tower, does the United Nations show its purpose not to be the sanctifying of God's name? (b) According to Shem's history, what befell that ancient building operation in Shinar?
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the heavens" had not yet reached the height of the thirty-nine-story, 505-foot-high Secretariat Building when confusion befell the building operation. The historian Shem reports what happened:


"And Jehovah proceeded to go down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. After that Jehovah said: 'Look! They are one people and there is one language for them all, and this is what they start to do. Why, now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be unattainable for them. Come now! Let us go down and there confuse their language that they may not listen to one another's language.' Accordingly Jehovah scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. That is why its name was called Babel, because there Jehovah had confused the language of all the earth, and Jehovah had scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth. This is the history of Shem." — Genesis 11:5-10.


10 That was no Pentecostal outpouring of God's spirit upon Christian witnesses of Jehovah to impart to them the gifts of foreign languages and interpretation. It was a miracle of God against his enemies to block the effort of the Devil to have a united diabolical religion, a united worship of the Devil by human rebels against the Sovereign of heaven and earth. But it served for wider cultivation of the earth; it made the families of the rebellious people spread abroad into Asia, Africa and Europe. These family groups had not chosen to keep Jehovah God in their knowledge. So they fell victim to the Devil and his demons and went making gods for themselves called by different names in their different languages. Their united effort to make a name for themselves in one language failed.

11 Noah and Shem were not mixed up with this


10. This confusing of the language was against what effort of the Devil and his worshipers, but how also did it serve in behalf of the earth itself?
11. Were Noah and Shem mixed up in that city project, and what became of their language?
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city project in the land of Shinar. Their language did not suffer when God confused the human language at Babel. Their language remained the same one in which God talked with Adam and Eve in the paradise of Eden. It was the language in which Noah and Shem wrote their histories, which were made part of God's inspired Word, the Bible. Their language survives as a living language to this day, whereas Nimrod's city of Babel or Babylon lies moldering in the dust of Mesopotamia.

12 After the building of Babel and its tower Noah died at the age of 950 years. (Genesis 9:29) The son whom he blessed, Shem, lived on to see eleven generations from himself. Shem's God did not depart from his line of descent. Shem had great happiness in seeing the tenth descendant in line from himself become a man of special name as a witness of Shem's God Jehovah. That man was Abraham. Hebrews, chapter eleven, names him fourth among that "so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us." After telling of Noah, it says:

13 "By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed in going out into a place he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, although not knowing where he was going. By faith he resided as an alien in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, and dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise. For he was awaiting the city having real foundations, the builder and creator of which city is God." — Hebrews 11:8-10; 12:1.

14 When Abraham is first reported on in the Holy Scriptures he is found in the land of Shinar, in the city named Ur of the Chaldeans. His name was then Abram, meaning "Exalted (Lofty) Father." Abram's father wrote or possessed a


12, 13. (a) Shem lived through how many generations to see what outstanding descendant of his? (b) What does Hebrews 11:8-10 say of this descendant and his awaiting a city?
14. Where was Abraham when first reported on, what was his name then, and whose son was he?
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history called the "history of Terah," which connects up with the "history of Shem." It reports:


"Terah lived on for seventy years, after which he became father to Abram, Nahor and Haran. And this is the history of Terah." — Genesis 11:10, 26, 27.


15 The next historical document reports how Haran became father to Lot and Milcah and how Abram married his half-sister Sarai. It then says:


"After that Terah took Abram his son and Lot, the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, the wife of Abram his son, and they went with him out of Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. In time they came to Haran and took up dwelling there. And the days of Terah came to be two hundred and five years. Then Terah died in Haran." — Genesis 11:27-32.


16 Here Terah is said to have taken Abram to "go to the land of Canaan"; but it was really through the incitement by faithful Abram that this move was made toward the land of the cursed Canaan. Terah was here given the credit for the move because he was the patriarchal head of the family. It was Abram whom God called, not Terah. Says Stephen to the Jewish Sanhedrin before it sentenced him to be stoned to death as a Christian: "The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia, before he took up residence in Haran, and he said to him, 'Go out from your land and from your relatives and come on into the land I shall show you.' Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and took up residence in Haran. And from there, after his father died, God caused him to change his residence to this land in which you now dwell." (Acts 7:1-4; 22:20) Really, then, Terah, who was now near his death, merely agreed


15. Whom did Abram marry, and where did he move with his father Terah?
16. (a) Why is Terah given the credit for making the move with his family out of Ur of the Chaldeans? (b) However, who was the one called to go out, and about how old was he then?
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to accompany Abram, who purposed to obey God's call. Abram was now about seventy-five years old, for he was seventy-five years old when he left Haran after his father died at 205 years of age, in 1943 B.C.E. — Genesis 12:4.

17 If we people today in this twentieth century desire an eternal blessing, then what God said to Abram when calling him is of the greatest importance to us. "Jehovah proceeded to say to Abram: 'Go your way out of your country and from your relatives and from the house of your father to the country that I shall show you; and I shall make a great nation out of you and I shall bless you and I will make your name great; and prove yourself a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and him that calls down evil upon you I shall curse, and all the families of the ground will certainly bless themselves by means of you.' "  — Genesis 12:1-3.

18 Abram was not interested in making a name for himself at Ur of the Chaldeans, near Babel or Babylon, Nimrod's onetime royal city. For exercising faith in Jehovah and for proving his faith by works of obedience Jehovah promised to make Abram's name great. It would be a name that Jehovah himself would respect. Hence, if anyone called down evil upon Abram and his offspring, Jehovah would curse such evilspeaker. But if anyone called Abram and his offspring the blessed ones of Jehovah, then He would bless such blesser. By doing this such one blesses himself or procures a divine blessing. The great majority were bound to call down evil upon Abram and his offspring, but Jehovah God assured Abram that many out of "all the families of the ground" would bless themselves by means of him. It is therefore necessary to recognize the name of Abraham.


17. What did Jehovah say to Abram when calling him out?
18. By whom was Abram's name to be made great, and why is it necessary to recognize the name of Abram in a right way?
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19 Abraham was not sent into the land of Canaan in order to convert the Canaanites. The Canaanites, as descendants of Canaan the son of Ham, were a cursed people, and God purposed that in his appointed time He would give their land to Abraham's descendants. Yet Abraham proved to be a faithful witness of Jehovah in the land of Canaan. When he crossed the Euphrates River from Haran to go south into the land of Canaan under God's leadership, Abraham had quite an establishment, so that he had a household steward.

20 Abraham's nephew Lot accompanied him, and Lot also had an establishment of his own. Some time later Abraham was able to muster 318 trained men, slaves born in his household, to go in pursuit and rescue nephew Lot from marauders out of the north. (Genesis 14:14-16) Abraham and Lot "got on their way out to go to the land of Canaan. Finally they came to the land of Canaan, And Abram went on through the land as far as the site of Shechem, near the big trees of Moreh; and at that time the Canaanite was in the land. Jehovah now appeared to Abram and said: To your seed I am going to give this land.' After that he built an altar there to Jehovah, who had appeared to him." — Genesis 12:5-8.

21 Childless at seventy-five years of age, Abraham had God's promise that he would have a seed or offspring. In the promised foreign land Abraham kept up his worship of the God of Shem, of Noah, of Enoch, of Abel. Abraham knew God's name and used it in prayer. He proclaimed it in thanksgiving and praise and in family instruction. In proof of this we read: "Later he moved from there to the mountainous region to the east of Bethel and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. Then he built an altar


19. Why did Abram have a steward when crossing the Euphrates into the Promised Land, and what did he prove to he in Canaan?
20. Who accompanied Abram into Canaan, and what did God say to Abram at Shechem?
21. In Canaan how did Abram keep up his worship of Jehovah?
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there to Jehovah and began to call on the name of Jehovah." — Genesis 12:8.

22 This was no hypocritical, presumptuous, profane calling on Jehovah's name such as began in the days of Enosh. (Genesis 4:26) It was a calling upon Him in the faith for which Abraham became celebrated. Repeatedly Abraham is afterward reported as calling on the divine name beside an altar erected to Him. After a journey down to Egypt because of famine in the land of Canaan, Abraham came back to this altar between Bethel and Ai and called in a sanctifying manner upon Jehovah's name. At Hebron in the mountains he did so, and at Beer-sheba in the Negeb he did so. He also taught his son Isaac to do so. (Genesis 13:18; 21:33; 26:25) Through this Abraham who called on God's name all the families of the ground are to bless themselves. Certainly we could never procure a blessing by means of Abraham unless we followed his example, unless we also acquainted ourselves with God's name and called upon it in faith.

23 Jehovah especially revealed himself to Abraham as God Almighty. The patriarch was now ninety-nine years old and his wife Sarai was eighty-nine years old. She had not yet borne him a child. "Then Jehovah appeared to Abram and said to him: 'I am God Almighty [Hebrew: El Shad·da'i]. Walk before me and prove yourself faultless. And I will give my covenant between me and you, that I may multiply you very, very much.'" Then, speaking as Almighty God, Jehovah changed Abram's name to Abraham, meaning "Father of a Multitude," because, said he, "a father of a crowd of nations I will make you."  — Genesis 17:1-14.


22. (a) In what way did Abram call upon the name of Jehovah, and beside what? (b) To procure a blessing by means of Abram, how should we follow his example?
23. As what did Jehovah reveal himself to Abram, and first on what occasion?
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24 Almighty God also changed his wife's name from Sarai to Sarah, meaning "Princess," because, said he, "I will bless her and also give you a son from her; and I will bless her and she shall become nations; kings of peoples will come from her." The idea of this caused Abraham to laugh, because at their ages their reproductive powers were dead. Almighty God then told Abraham to call his son Isaac, meaning "Laughter." Almighty God displayed that he could make dead persons alive, because the following year Sarah bore Abraham their son Isaac. — Genesis 17:15-21; 21:1-7; Romans 4:16-21.

25 When, at the age of 137 years, Isaac sent his son Jacob to his relatives in Haran, he said: "God Almighty will bless you." After Jacob had returned with a family from Haran, God appeared to him and reminded him that his name had been changed to Israel and then said: "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and become many." This was at Bethel, where over twenty years previously God appeared to Jacob in a dream in which Jacob saw a ladder reaching up to heaven, with angels ascending and descending upon it. Above it there was a representation of God, who said to Jacob: "I am Jehovah the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land upon which you are lying, to you I am going to give it and to your seed. And ... by means of you and by means of your seed all the families of the ground will certainly bless themselves." (Genesis 28:3; 35:11; 28:12-14) Thus Jacob or Israel knew Almighty God by his personal name Jehovah. Jacob spoke about him as God Almighty to his twelve sons.  — Genesis 43:14; 48:3; 49:25; Hebrews 11:21.


24. Why did God also change the name of Abraham's wife, and how did God display that he could make dead persons alive?
25. (a) As what did Jehovah speak of himself to Isaac and Jacob? (b) What evidence is there as to whether Jacob knew the name Jehovah, and how did Jacob speak of him to his sons?
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26 The almighty power of God had been displayed in the miraculous birth of Abraham's son Isaac. When Isaac was about five years old God told Abraham: "It is by means of Isaac that what will be called your seed will be." (Genesis 21:12; Romans 9:7) But before Isaac got married and had children of his own God put a great test upon Abraham's faith. He commanded Abraham to offer up Isaac as a human sacrifice upon Mount Moriah, which was near the city of Salem. In view of God's promise concerning Isaac, Abraham had to exercise faith that God was almighty enough to raise the dead, in order to proceed with sacrificing Isaac. Hebrews 11:17-19 says:

27 "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, as good as offered up Isaac, and the man that had gladly received the promises attempted to offer up his only-begotten son, although it had been said to him: 'What will be called "your seed" will be through Isaac.' But he reckoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead; and from there he did receive him also in an illustrative way." But how did he receive Isaac back from the dead in an illustrative way?

28 Abraham had Isaac lying bound on an altar. He took the slaughtering knife and was about to slash Isaac's throat and bleed him to death and then offer him up as a whole burnt offering. It was the climax in the test of his faith in Almighty God. Then Jehovah's angel called out of heaven and stopped Abraham's hand. By his angel Jehovah said: "Now I do know that you are Godfearing in that you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me." Then Jehovah provided a ram in a nearby thicket and Abraham offered it up instead of Isaac. Hence Abraham called that


26, 27. By means of Isaac what would there be as regards Abraham, and what did Abraham have to exercise to proceed to sacrifice Isaac?
28. (a) How did Abraham receive Isaac back from the dead in an illustrative way? (b) By whom did Jehovah then swear, and to do what?
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place Jehovah-jireh, meaning "Jehovah Will See to [It]," or, "Jehovah Will Provide." Then Jehovah, because he could swear by no one higher or mightier, swore by his own self, promising to make Abraham's seed or offspring of vital importance to all the nations of the earth. Jehovah swore:


"By reason of the fact that you have done this thing and you have not withheld your son, your only one, I shall surely bless you and I shall surely multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand that are on the seashore; and your seed will take possession of the gate of his enemies. And by means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice." — Genesis 22:1-18.


29 Abraham did not realize that he was performing a prophetic drama. In it he represented Jehovah God himself; and Isaac represented God's beloved, only-begotten Son, who would come from heaven to die as a sacrifice for the blessing of obedient humankind with everlasting life. As Abraham had offered up Isaac, Isaac's place being taken at last by the miraculously provided ram, so the loving heavenly Father Jehovah would offer up his Son in sacrifice on earth. As Abraham had received Isaac back practically from the dead, so Jehovah would resurrect his Son from actual death and receive him back alive to himself in heaven, from where he could be a blessing to believers out of all earthly nations. (Hebrews 6:13-18) In sanctification of his holy name God has lived up to what he swore to Abraham thirty-eight centuries ago.

30 When the Son of God was down here on earth as a man nineteen hundred years ago, he commented on God's faithfulness to his oath,


29, 30. (a) In this prophetic drama, whom did Abraham and Isaac picture, and what did the order of events picture? (b) How, then, will Jehovah carry out what he swore to do?
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saying: "God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) On the third day after his death as a sacrifice Almighty God raised his Son, the counterpart of Isaac, from the dead. He had his Son return to heaven to present to him the value of his sacrificed perfect human life, in behalf of dying mankind. Through this Seed, his once-sacrificed Son, Jehovah God as the Greater Abraham will carry out his oath and bless all believers in all the nations of the earth.

31 Abraham's faithful course proves that it is most rewarding for us to call in faith upon the name of Jehovah. After Abraham died, Jehovah said to his son Isaac: "I will carry out the sworn statement that I swore to Abraham your father, 'And I will multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and I will give to your seed all these lands; and by means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves.' " — Genesis 26:2-4.

32 Concerning Isaac Hebrews 11:20 says: "By faith also Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come." But to faithful Jacob, Isaac imparted the chief blessing, which transmitted to Jacob the honor of being the one through whose line of descent the Son of God, the promised Seed of God's "woman," would come according to the flesh. (Genesis 27:27-29) In harmony with this blessing God blessed Jacob with twelve sons, besides a daughter. Jacob's twelfth child was Joseph, when Jacob was ninety-one years old. More than six years later, after Jacob had left Haran and had returned to the land of Canaan, Joseph's full-brother Benjamin was born as the final and twelfth son of Jacob. So Joseph and


31. After Abraham's death what did Jehovah say to Isaac with respect to his sworn statement to Abraham?
32. Whom did Isaac bless, and how was the one receiving the chief blessing favored with children?
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Benjamin were sons of his old age and were dearly loved by him. — Genesis 30:24; 35:18.

33 Because of the envy of his half brothers, Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt. For his faithful course here Jehovah caused him to become prime minister to the king of Egypt. Joseph was given a wife and became father to two sons, Manasseh the first-born and Ephraim the second son. After their birth a seven-yearlong famine struck Egypt in fulfillment of Jehovah's prophecy by the mouth of Joseph. The famine also affected the land of Canaan, to such an extent that Jacob was obliged to send his ten oldest sons down to Egypt for food. On their second journey to Egypt for food supplies they took along their youngest brother, Benjamin. It was then that Egypt's prime minister and food administrator revealed himself to all eleven as their brother Joseph. O what a reunion and a forgiveness occurred! In view of five years more of the predicted famine Joseph sent for his hundred-and-thirty-year-old father to come down to Egypt to live, and, together, the whole family moved down there. At the order of Pharaoh, the king, they were settled in the land of Goshen.  — Genesis, chapters 37, 39-47.

34 For seventeen years Jacob lived in the land of Goshen, Egypt. The time of his death approached. Prime minister Joseph went to see him, bringing along Manasseh the first-born and his brother Ephraim. Jacob gave Joseph to understand that these two boys were to become heads of two distinct tribes in the coming nation of Israel. Jacob said: "They are mine. Ephraim and Manasseh will become mine like Reuben [my first-born] and Simeon [my second-born]."


33. What was the order of events that led to Jacob's moving with all his household down to Egypt?
34. What did Jacob say Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh were to become among the tribes of Israel?
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35 Then, at Jacob's request, Joseph brought his two sons to their grandfather Jacob to be blessed. But Jacob put his right hand, not upon the firstborn Manasseh, but upon Ephraim, and his left hand upon Manasseh. Jacob said: "His younger brother will become greater than he will, and his offspring will become the full equivalent of nations." Then he added: "By means of you let Israel repeatedly pronounce blessing, saying, 'May God constitute you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.' " Jacob persisted in putting the younger Ephraim before the first-born Manasseh. As representing Joseph, Ephraim was to become the more important tribe in the nation of Israel. (Genesis 48:1-20) As this blessing was of importance, Hebrews 11:21 says: "By faith Jacob, when about to die, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshiped leaning upon the top of his staff."

36 Joseph was the first-born of Rachel, Jacob's beloved wife; but Joseph was not Jacob's firstborn son. By his other wife Leah he had six other sons, all older than Joseph. One of these sons, the fourth one, was Judah. (Genesis 29: 31-35; 30:17-21) Reuben, Jacob's first-born by Leah, forfeited the right of the first-born through incestuous immorality. Hence the right of the first-born went over to Joseph, Jacob's firstborn by his second wife Rachel.

37 After having blessed the two sons of Joseph, Jacob called all his twelve sons to give them each one his final blessing. Fourth in line for a blessing came Judah, and Jacob said prophetically: "As for you, Judah [meaning 'Lauded'], your brothers will laud you. ... A lion cub Judah is. . .. like a lion, who dares rouse him? The scepter


35. According to Jacob's manner of blessing, how were Joseph's two sons to rank in Israel, and how is the importance of this blessing shown in the Bible record?
36. How and why did the right of the first-born pass over from Jacob's son Reuben to Joseph?
37. What did Jacob say in final blessing upon Judah?
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will not turn aside from Judah, neither the commander's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to him the obedience of the people will belong." — Genesis 49:1-10.

38 Jacob thus prophesied that the kingship in the nation of Israel would come to belong to the tribe of Judah; and that the kingship would remain in that tribe until the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, called Shiloh, would come; and this one would wield the commander's staff and his faithful subjects would yield him obedience.

39 Eleventh in order came the blessing upon Joseph, but it made no reference to kingship. Joseph, as represented by his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, was not to be a rival of Judah for the kingship. The blessing upon Benjamin, the younger full-brother of Joseph, came twelfth. At the close of this last blessing it was said: "All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them when he was blessing them." — Genesis 49:22-28.

40 As regards the relationship of the tribes in the nation of Israel it is written: "Reuben the first-born of Israel — for he was the first-born; but for his profaning the lounge of his father his right as first-born was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, so that he was not to be enrolled genealogically for the right of the first-born. For Judah himself proved to be superior among his brothers, and the one for leader was from him; but the right as first-born was Joseph's." (1 Chronicles 5:1, 2) True to prophecy, Judah proved superior in providing the royal One for permanent kingship. However, as the right of a first-born son went to Joseph, he got


38. What did that final blessing upon Judah mean?
39. How did the blessing upon Joseph not set up any rivalry with Judah, and after this blessing what were the twelve sons called?
40. (a) Who got the right of first-born, but who proved superior among his brothers, and how? (b) How did the one getting right as first-born get a double portion in Israel?
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a double portion or two portions in Israel. That is, Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, whom Jacob had claimed as his own, became two tribes in the nation of Israel and they were each given a distinct territory in the Promised Land of Canaan. As Jacob had said to Joseph: "I do give you one shoulder of land more than to your brothers." — Genesis 48:22.

41 Joseph complied with his dying father's request and buried Jacob in the Promised Land of Canaan in the cave near the city of Hebron, where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah and also Leah were buried. Fifty-five years later, in 1657 B.C.E., Joseph himself died, at the age of 110 years. Before his death he told his brothers that God would bring them and their families out of Egypt into the Promised Land; and he made them swear to take his bones along with them to the land of God's promise. (Genesis 49:29 to 50:26) He died a faithful witness of Jehovah. For this reason Hebrews, chapter eleven, specifically names him with this comment: "By faith Joseph, nearing his end, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel; and he gave a command concerning his bones." — Hebrews 11:22.

42 With the account of Joseph's death the first book of the Bible, called Genesis, ends. It sets forth the judgment of destruction that came upon men who called upon the name of Jehovah hypocritically and the blessing upon men who called upon it in faith, to sanctify it.


41. Where did Joseph bury his father Jacob, and how did Joseph show his faith in Israel's coming exodus out of Egypt?
42. What judgment and blessing upon opposite classes does the book of Genesis set forth?


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