An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 96 of 223
word 'minished' over against the words 'multiplied greatly' of verse 38.
This was Israel's original condition; they were 'the fewest' of all people'
(Deut. 7:7), where the word so translated is the same as 'minished'.
We must now turn to the original promises made to Abraham:
'I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can
number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered'
(Gen. 13:16).
This promise is part of a larger one that deals with the land of
promise and its extent:
'And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and
tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him,
So shall thy seed be' (Gen. 15:5).
This promise is directly related to the superhuman birth of the
promised seed, but is followed by the inquiry of Abraham and the assurance of
the Lord regarding the land that had been promised.  Finally, when Abraham
proved his willingness to obey the Lord, even to the offering of Isaac, the
blessing is given the third time:
'In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy
seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea
shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies' (Gen.
We move now to the prophecies of future restoration.  Jeremiah 33:7,14
and 21 speak of Israel's return 'as at the first' and that the covenant made
with Abraham and repeated to David will not be broken:
'As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea
measured: so will I multiply the seed of David My servant, and the
Levites that minister unto Me' (Jer. 33:22).
At the time of the end, war and plague will have so decimated the
population of the earth, that Zechariah is compelled to speak of 'every one
that is Left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem' (Zech. 14:16).
When we read in Revelation 8 that a third part of the ships were destroyed,
and in Revelation 9 that a third part of men were destroyed, and that all
green grass was burnt up (8:7), we can begin to estimate the depopulation of
the earth as a consequence.  It is here that the purpose of God in Israel
will be realized.  Today the Gentile nations fill the earth with their
teeming millions, and Israel is but a handful in comparison, but Israel shall
eventually 'blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit' (Isa.
27:6).  There shall be 'a filling up of the nations' (Gen. 48:19), but it
will be the seed of Abraham that shall inhabit the waste places, forfeited
for ever by the nations of the earth.  Yet in the mercy of God, there is a
blessed sequel to this:
'If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of
them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their Fulness ....  For
if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall
the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?' (Rom. 11:12 -15).