The Berean Expositor
Volume 40 - Page 67 of 254
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The First Principles of the Oracles of God
(A series especially addressed to new readers)
No.16. The corruption of man and the preservation of the Seed.
pp. 6 - 9
One of the illuminating discoveries that the student of Scripture makes, is the fact that
at the call of Abraham we have traversed but eleven chapters of the book but that in time
we have move half way from Adam to Christ. There is at first sight an element of
disproportion. If we take a chapter as a standard unit, we have the following. There are
939 chapters in the O.T. and consequently eleven chapters form only one eighty-fifth part
of the whole. Yet the time covered by the one eighty-fifth portion of the O.T. from the
creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham is 2,008 years (reckoning Adam as B.C.4004
and the birth of Abraham to be B.C.1996, which for the present purpose is near enough to
be accepted without dispute). This leaves 1,996 years from Abraham to Christ, and as the
year 2002 is exactly half way between Adam and Christ, it will be seen that it is correct
to say that when one reads the twelfth chapter of Genesis, the record is chronologically
half way through the O.T. This apparent disproportion is explained by the purpose that
lies behind the Inspired Record.
If it had been the Divine intention to have satisfied the human mind with a scientific
explanation of Creation, can we believe that even the 939 chapters, or the whole of the
O.T., would have been sufficient? Had it been the Divine intention to have put on record
a history of the world, then inasmuch as there are seventy nations listed in Gen. 10:, at
least seventy separate Bibles would have been necessary. Nor is this all, even though we
have so great a literature of Israel, we are obliged to admit that the half has not been told.
In some cases we have a fairly detailed account of some episode in a family's history; in
other cases the reign of a king is compressed into a few verses. When we become aware
that the Bible is concerned with Redemption, and Redemption is concerned with sin and
death, then its apparent disproportion suddenly takes new shape, its omissions are readily
understood and the call of Abraham and the history of the chosen people are seen in
something of their true light. Now closely allied with Redemption is the purpose of God
vested in "The Seed" and it is because the channel through which the Seed should come
is narrowed down from Gen. 3: 15 to the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that the
history of Israel becomes the history of the conflict between the seed of the woman and
the seed of the serpent.
The link between Adam and Abraham is established by references to the seed. The
attack by Cain upon his brother Abel manifested the enmity that existed between the
two seeds, and the birth of Seth was acclaimed with the joyful words "God . . . . . hath
appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew" (Gen. 4: 25). The line of
Cain is given in Gen. 4: 16-24, a line containing names identical in some cases, and
similar in others to names that are found in the true line through Seth, and indication and