[Still a work in process..]
I just put up a post at Feast (and earlier at BN) about Abraham. Here I’d like to just gather together some random thoughts as I work through Abraham’s promise he sought for and obtained:
1. Came through the fathers, right of the first father, even Adam… “right of firstborn” – he seems to equate firstborn with Adam. But what then of the birthright/firstborn gets promises tradition? Was this a way to honor Adam, originally? Was the promise of preserving seed only given to one? (though, of course, promises and covenants could be made with all, but that one specific promise was only given to one line?)
2. vs. 7 – interesting that he is seeking a promise to preserve his seed, while his fathers are seeking after idols to which they need to sacrifice their seed!
3. vs. 17 – after Abraham’s fathers have proven that they do not want to worship the Lord, He saves Abraham from being sacrificed and promises to take him away from “all his kinsfolk.” Then, He calls Abraham, “my son.” That’s a cool detail.
4. vs. 18 – he will get God’s name, but also the “Priesthood of thy father.” I didn’t quite realized till here that his father had received the Priesthood. So he really turned away… yikes.
5. I love the discussion of Ham and Egypt. For one, how fascinating to link it up with Ham, at the time when things split up after Noah. I like hearing that the first Pharaoh was “a righteous man,” who “established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations.” Fascinating! Then we also get this note: “Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.” As mentioned later, the part about no-priesthood is overlooked. Blessings of wisdom though, huh? Egypt is certainly considered a place of that.
6. Two, how interesting to set this side-by-side with Abraham’s line, who do have the Priesthood. I can see why it’s so important to put this story in here; there was a debate going on as to who actually had the power. Verse 27 says, “Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry.” Even though his fathers had the right priesthood! Crazy, ironic situation here.
7. This debate is why (or at least part of why) Abraham is writing: “But I shall endeavor, hereafter, to delineate the chronology running back from myself to the beginning of the creation, for the records have come into my hands, which I hold unto this present time” (vs. 28).
8. I’m jumping now to Abraham 2:11. And I’m going to take out the parenthetical remarks and try adding my own clarifications:
“In thee and in thy seed — for I give unto thee a promise that this right (the Priesthood promises) shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee — shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.”
I like that way of writing it a lot. To summarize, in Abraham himself and through is seed, all of the families will be blessed with the blessings of the gospel. The …