An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 202 of 297
'He sojourned'.  While our doctrine must stand squarely upon the actual
Hebrew or Greek word employed by the inspired writers, the English word that
is used in translating the originals often yields profitable lessons upon
examination.  The average reader may not be conscious at first that in the
word 'sojourn' he is using a word that means 'for a day', yet the word jour
is known to us all in the French salutation 'Bonjour', and the concept of
something 'daily' is readily seen in such words as 'journal', 'journalist',
'journeyman' etc.; and to 'sojourn' means:
'To dwell or take up one's abode for a time; to live as a temporary
David, even though a king, confessed:
'We are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers:
our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding' (1
Chron. 29:15).
We approach a little nearer the heart of this matter of sojourning when we
read Leviticus 25:23:
'The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is Mine; for ye are
strangers and sojourners with Me'.
'With Me'!  Are we to gather from this that God Himself shares the pilgrim
character of this present calling of His people?  It seems too wonderful to
be true, but we believe that this most marvellous condescension of our God
will be found to be interwoven into the very fabric of the six days'
creation, and in the types, prophecies and fulfilments that extend from
Genesis, until in the Apocalypse we read:
'The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them' (Rev.
When David said 'as all our fathers were', he was uttering a very
solemn and important truth.  It is not an act of faith for an Englishman to
recognize that he is a 'sojourner' when he is travelling through Tibet, China
and other lands far distant from his home, but Abraham 'sojourned in the land
of promise, as in a strange country'.  Abraham had left Ur of the Chaldees,
which archaeological research has demonstrated to be 'no mean city'.  His
retinue, and the deference given to him by Egyptians and by the sons of Heth,
also indicate a person of importance.  Abraham was no mere penniless vagrant;
he had left home and country at the call of God, and had arrived in Canaan
the land promised to him by God.  He had been told:
'Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of
it; for I will give it unto thee' (Gen. 13:17).
In Genesis 17:8 where the A.V. reads, 'the land wherein thou art a stranger',
the margin reads, 'the land of thy sojournings', and is contrasted by the
words that follow 'all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession'.
To Isaac (Gen. 26:3) and to Jacob (Gen. 28:13) this promise was repeated.
The faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not expressed merely by the fact
that they sojourned in the land of Canaan, but that they sojourned in the
Land of Promise.  To this is added 'as in a strange country'.  Although
Abraham could have very easily argued that, having by faith obeyed the call