God Builds A Nation
God's Plan Continues
The same structure observed in the first eleven chapters of Genesis continues into the patriarchal period: “The account of …” (25:12, 19; 36:1, 9; 37:2). Many
The story picks up with God’s call of Abraham, where God uses the term bārak, “to bless” five times in the transitional section between the pre-patriarchal and patriarchal times (12:1–3). Abraham (and later, his offspring) is to be a “blessing” to all the families of the earth (12:3). Thus the promise of God is embedded in the “blessing” of God, used in its verbal and nominal form some 88 times in Genesis.
how were the nations to receive this blessing mediated by Abraham or any of his successive sons? The method must be the same as it was for Abraham. It would be by faith: “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Ge 15:6).
True, Joseph did receive a double portion in the inheritance, since his two sons were in a sense adopted by Jacob (cf. bekōrāt of 1Ch 5:1), but Judah became the “leader” (nāgîd) among his brethren. The oldest son, Reuben, lost his birthright because he dishonored his father’s marriage bed (Ge 35:22). Simeon and Levi, Jacob’s second and third sons, were bypassed because of their outrageous revenge on the Shechemites (34:13–29). So the mantle of leadership fell to Jacob’s fourth son, Judah.