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January 20

Genesis 15, Matthew 13:24-35

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

[Genesis 15] 8-21. Immediately Jehovah was ready to ratify the covenant with the man who had yielded himself to the divine will (cf. Gen 12:1-3). Hebrew berit is vari­ously translated "covenant," "compact," "solemn agreement," "testament," "trea­ty." No one of these words brings over into English the full meaning of this solemn transaction. In ancient times men sometimes ratified an agreement or cov­enant by passing between the parts of a halved, sacrificial animal. This "cut­ting of the covenant" was not in it­self a sacrifice. Rather, it was a sacred ceremony by which the men declared their solemn purpose to keep the agree­ment. Some Bible students have pointed out that in the instance recorded in Genesis 15:8-21, only one symbolic representative of the contracting parties—the lamp of fire (AV marg.), or "flaming torch" (cf. Jud 7:16,20), symbol of Jehovah—passed between the halves of the ani­mals. In other words, the covenant in this case was to be kept from the God-ward side alone. Only the Lord him­self could fulfill its promises. He would make Abram's descendants as numerous as the stars and give them a great land, stretching from the gates of Egypt to the mighty Euphrates.

(Wycliffe Bible Commentary, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1962), p. 21)

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About Ankerberg Show

The John Ankerberg Show is a weekly half-hour internationally syndicated television program using informal debates between representatives of differing belief systems, and documentary-styled presentations on major issues in society to which the historic Christian faith has something of consequence to say. The programs are designed to appeal to a thinking audience of Christians and non-Christians alike.

About Dr. John Ankerberg

Dr. John Ankerberg is host and moderator of the nationally broadcast John Ankerberg Show television and radio program. Dr. Ankerberg is an internationally known author, evangelist and apologist.

Dr. John F. Ankerberg in his writings and on his television program presents contemporary spiritual issues and defends biblical Christian answers. He believes that Christianity can not only stand its ground in the arena of the world's ideas, but that Christianity alone is fully true. He has spoken to audiences on more than 78 American college and university campuses, as well as in crusades in major cities of Africa, Asia, South America, and the Islands of the Caribbean. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Religious Broadcasters. He and his wife, Darlene, have one daughter, Michelle.

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