The Abrahamic Covenants
Notice the two-fold nature of the promises:
1) The birthrights promise that his flesh born children should become a great nation.
2) The spiritual promise of grace:
"In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed;" or, as the same promise is repeated in Genesis 22:18, in thy seed shall all the nations of earth be blessed."
This promise refers to grace, through Christ, the "one seed," as clearly explained in Galatians 3:8, 16. And Jesus of Nazareth was a son of Abraham.
But that the "great nation' promise refers alone to race, not to the one seed, Christ, but to the plural, multiple seed of natural fleshly birth is made certain by God's repetition of his promise in greater detail later.
"And when Abram was ninety years
old and nine,
the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him,
I am the Almighty God;
walk before me, and be thou perfect,
and I will make my covenant between me and thee,
and will multiply thee exceedingly...
thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram,
but thy name shall be Abraham;
for a father of many nations have I made thee "(Genesis 17:1-5).
Notice the promise is now conditional upon Abraham's obedience.
Notice, the "great nation" now
becomes many nations, more than one nation.
This cannot refer to the "one seed," Christ.
The following verses prove that.
"And I will make thee exceeding fruitful,
and I will make nations of thee,
and kings [more than one] shall come out of thee" (verse 6).
Notice, these nations and kings
shall come out of Abraham-physical generation-multiple seed, not just one
descendant through who converted individuals may become Abraham's children,
by spiritual begettal through Christ (Galatians 3:29). These
scattered individual Christians do not form nations.
This is speaking of race, not grace.
"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations" (verse 7). The "seed" is plural" in their generations".
"And I will give unto thee, and
to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger,
all the land of Canaan [later known as Palestine] for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God" (verse 8).
Notice, the land material possession
is promised to the plural seed,
of whom He is their, not his, God. The plural pronoun "their" is used again in the 9th verse "and thy seed after thee in their generations."
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