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ABRAHAMIC VERSUS MOSAIC
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THE MOSAIC COVENANT
SHADOWS OF MESSIAH
Have you ever wondered why God gave the
Law which no one could keep perfectly and by which no man could become
righteous and how it related to the Abrahamic and New Covenants?
This study will begin to unfold these
Genesis 12:1, 2, 3
whom was this covenant promised?
(Later changed to Abraham Ge 17:5)
Who was included
in the covenant?
Abram’s descendents (seed)
What did God
command and also promise the 75 yo Abram in Haran
(Ge 12:1, 2, 3)?
Go forth from your country & relatives to the land He would show him
Would make him a great nation
God would bless him
Would make his name great
Would make Abram a blessing
Bless those who bless you
Curse those who curse you
In you all the families
of the earth shall be blessed
What did God promise Abram
Would give the land to his
(singular noun in the original Hebrew, not "seeds")
The promises were spoke to Abram's
Lot had separated, how long did God promise He would give the land to Abram
What promise did God reaffirm to Abram
regarding his descendants?
would be like dust of earth
additional insights are given in
Ge 15:1, 2, 3, 4, 5?
In this section God restates
and clarifies His promises to Abram...
Offspring would come forth from
his own body
-- Abram's seed would be as the stars (in number)
Abram believed in Jehovah and He reckoned it to him as righteousness
Abram's "salvation" occurred some 14 years prior to his circumcision [Ge
17:24 cp age in Ge 12:4] - The point is that circumcision was never meant
to save anyone!)
Note: From other Scriptures we
Jehovah = Jesus [see notes])
actually believe according to Paul?
Gal 3:8 (see
comment), Gal 3:16
preached the gospel in
("in you all the families
of the earth shall be
blessed"; Ge 22:18 adds the phrase "in your
= masculine, singular ~
and in Ge 15:6 Abraham believed the gospel
Gal 3:16 teaches us that Abraham believed the promise of the seed = coming Messiah (Seed =
Christ; cp 2Co 1:20 where "in Him" = in Christ)
What conditions involved in this covenant?
None, unconditional, for God
walked through the pieces of cut flesh alone
Fulfillment of the promises depended
did God make in Ge 15:13, 14, 15, 16?
Descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs (Ge 15:13)
Enslaved and oppressed 400 yr (Ge 15:13)
Will come out with many possessions (Ex 3:21, 22) for God will judge
the nation that they serve (Ge 15:14)
Will return in the 4th generation (one generation at that time
~100 yr) (Ge 15:16)
The enslavement of the descendants of Abraham for 430 years (400
years) "is a thematic stitch sewing the Book of Genesis to the rest
of the Pentateuch" (Believer's Study Bible)
Another explanation is that Israel was in Egypt for 430 years but the first
30 years were as a free people (while Joseph still maintained
Virtually every commentary states that 400 represents a "rounding off"
of the number 430. In fairness it should be noted that some feel that
the "rounding off" interpretation allows for too much liberty in the
interpretation of other numbers in Scripture and could even "do
damage" to the doctrine of divine inspiration. Scripture
mentions both numbers and it wise to remember Paul's exhortation to Timothy
to tell others "not to
wrangle about words which is useless and
leads to the ruin (Greek = katastrophe) of the hearers"
What new information did God reveal to Abram at age 99 in
Name changed to
Lord told him that he would be the father of a multitude of nations,
and kings would come from him
What new truth did
God reveal in
Ge 17:7, 8?
I will be God to you and your seed
The land as an everlasting possession
What did God reveal
to Abram in
My covenant I will
that the promise to Isaac (even before he was born) was made
after the birth of Ishmael, who was not the son of promise and
not the line by which the promises to Abraham would be passed.
Circumcision, the sign of the covenant with Abraham was given in
What do we
learn about the lineage of the Abrahamic Covenant in
Before Isaac's twin sons Esau and Jacob were born the Lord
told Rebekah, Isaac's wife and their mother, that there were two nations
in her womb and the older (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob).
Esau, the natural heir as the firstborn, sold his birthright to his
younger brother, Jacob
the LORD appeared to Isaac what did He state
concerning the heir of the Abrahamic covenant in
& Ge 26:24?
The promises first given to Abraham were passed down to Isaac (the land,
multiplied descendants as the stars) (Ge 26:3,4)
I am with you. I will
bless you, and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant
Abraham (Ge 26:24)
whom was the covenant next confirmed --
SEED shall also be like DUST of the earth
In your SEED shall ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED
(cf Ge 12:3)
is the implication when God calls Himself "the
God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac"?
making reference to His covenant with
to Jacob after returning to the land of Canaan after 20 years in
Jacob wrestled with God and
from Jacob to Israel
From Jacob, where was the
(Ge 35:11, cf Ge 49:1, 2, 28)?
To the 12 sons of Israel who
would be head of 12 tribes which in turn would comprise the
Genesis closes with
Israel and his 12 sons living in Egypt. They went to Egypt under the
protection of Joseph, Israel's son, to escape the famine in Canaan,
the land of their inheritance under the Abrahamic Covenant.
In Egypt, they would live as free men until the Pharaoh of Joseph's
time died. Then they would become slaves of the Egyptians for
400/430 years (Ge 15:13) and answer the question.
What in essence
was the Abrahamic covenant?
1) The seed =
2) The land
will be your God
In short, we note that
Abraham received the "Gospel" and believed in the promise of the
looking forward toward Cross of Christ.
is Israel and his 12 sons at the end of Genesis?
In Egypt to escape the famine
they were there because of Joseph
Why was Joseph in Egypt?
He had been sold into slavery and had risen to power - the sovereign
working of the Lord (cp Ge 50:20, Ro 8:28)
Joseph had devised a
plan of deliverance of Egypt from the famine
What transpired when a new pharaoh who did not know Joseph
A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph and
because of his fear of the Israelites appointed
taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor - these conditions
lasted 400 years (Ge 15:13)
the children of Israel do & how did God respond in Ex 2:23, 24, 25?
They sighed (groaned, mourned) and cried out (Hebrew = cry
for help in time of distress) to God Who heard their groaning and remembered
His covenant with Abraham, Isaac
promise to Abraham did God remember (cf Ge 15:13, 14, 15, 16)?
Jehovah would judge the
Egyptians who had afflicted Israel for 400 years and bring them back to
Canaan in the 4th generation
What does this
demonstrate about God?
He is a covenant keeping God Who actions are based on covenant
What did God explain to Moses about His name in (Ex 6:2,3)?
The Lord stated that He
had appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty,
had not made Himself known to them as Jehovah (Click
would God make Himself known to the sons of Israel? (Ex 6:6, 7, 8)
God would reveal Himself
through His redemption and deliverance of the sons of Israel from Egyptian
Here God is clearly
associating His Name Jehovah with His covenant promises to Abraham. Thus
Jehovah is His precious Name that links Him irrevocably through the
Abrahamic covenant with Israel. It is the Name so sacred to the Jews that
they will not pronounce it in the Synagogue, instead substituting "Adonai"
(Master) or simply saying "the Name".
Since the Name "Jehovah" (Yahweh) occurs in Genesis in association
with the patriarchs, how is it that He did not reveal Himself as
Jehovah to them? I agree with Ryrie who states that "The name Yahweh
was known to the patriarchs
(Ge 13:4), but its significance as the One who would redeem Israel from
Egyptian bondage was not known until this time." The
subsequent events by which He would redeem the sons of Israel
from bondage in Egypt would amply demonstrate Jehovah's character as
the personal (there are 7 "I wills" in Ex 6:6, 7, 8),
covenant-keeping God, faithful to His promises, and
the Lord of history. Thus although the Name "Jehovah" had been used
in Genesis the patriarchs did not grasp the mighty implications of this
Name which would now take on new significance.
Now we will look specifically
at the Old Covenant
In the third month after the
LORD had brought the sons of Israel out of Egypt, they came to the
wilderness of Sinai.
At the foot of the mountain
that all of the following take place at Mt Sinai -
Exodus 19-40, all of Leviticus, Numbers 1-9
God make this covenant with in
What was Moses' function?
Moses acted as the "mediator" ("go between") between Jehovah and the
sons of Israel
The covenant was
instituted with the house of Jacob = sons of Israel = nation of Israel
you know this
is not an extension of the Abrahamic Covenant from Ex 19:5, 6?
Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional and totally dependent on God's
The Old Covenant is
conditional = if they obey then they could enjoy the promises
When did God initiate this covenant?
When Israel had been delivered from bondage in Egypt
does God promise to Israel if they obey?
Ex 19:5, 6?
(1) my own possession
(2) kingdom of priests,
(3) holy nation
What was Israel's response to God? What is Moses' role? Ex 19:8
Moses = the mediator
We will do ALL
What was Jehovah's command to the children regarding their relationship
to the Canaanites? (Ex 23:32, 33)
Make no covenant with them or their gods (if they
served their gods it would be a
Do not even let them live in the land (they might make Israel sin against
How is the Old Covenant
ratified in Ex 24:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8?
1). Moses recounted the law
2). People say "We will obey"
3) Built altar, 12
4) Read the
recorded words from the book of the covenant
5) Again they said "We
6) Moses sprinkled blood
on the book and on the people
7) Covenant meal
8) Went up
What did God write the 10 commandments on? Exodus 24:12
tablets of stone
What was the appearance
on Mt Sinai like?
A consuming fire
What happened when the sons of Israel perceived that Moses had delayed
returning from Mt Sinai? (Ex 32:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
The children of Israel made
a golden calf and began to worship it
What did Moses do with the Tablets of Stone when he returned from Mt
Sinai and discovered the idolatry? (Ex 32:19, 20)
What did Moses do in (Ex 34:1,2)?
Exodus 34 returns to the mountain so God could
write His laws upon tables of stone
you summarize the interaction of
sons of Israel with the Old Covenant?
They broke the Old Covenant
soon after swearing they would obey
The Old Covenant centered around the Tabernacle=the tabernacle was an
integral part of the Old Covenant.
Refer to Tabernacle Diagram
instructions does God give that he is to give to the sons of Israel?
25:2, 8, 9)
The people were to make a contribution and construct a Sanctuary
("holy thing") for
God that He might dwell among them
"Dwell" is the
which means to settle
down and from which the rabbis derived the Shekinah which
means literally “that which dwells” and which was used in Jewish
writings to describe the "glory cloud" that centered upon the
mercy-seat symbolizing the presence of God among His people. See
The Glory of the LORD
which follows the
"Shekinah" glory cloud in Israel's history.
was the purpose of the
Tabernacle, in the old covenant?
place of where God would meet with man (Moses in context)
Click Tabernacle Diagram
What were the main divisions?
Holy of holies
What took place in the outer courtyard?
The children of Israel could enter the outer court where the sacrifices
were performed on the brazen altar
Holy place? how often?
Priest entered daily
Holy of holies?
High priest only once per year on the
Day of Atonement
Let's look at how the
tabernacle is a picture or shadow of Jesus Christ
many ways were there into the Tabernacle, the
Holy place and the
Holy of holies?
Door always faced east
How does this truth foreshadow
Jesus in (Jn 10:9, 14:6)?
"I am the way, the truth, the life and no one comes to the Father but
"I am the door; if anyone
enters through me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find
What is the first article of furniture?
Altar of bronze
with 4 horns
of the lamb (or other animal) took place in order to bring about
reconciliation for sin and facilitate consecration
How does this picture
Jesus Christ? (Jn 1:29)
Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb
of God Who takes away the sin of the world
It speaks of the reconciliation one can have through the blood of the
eternal covenant in Jesus Christ (see the discussion below re "Mercy
Just as the priests could not
come before the LORD without a sacrifice, we too must receive by faith the
once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
What is the next article in the outer courtyard?
- priests would wash daily
laver was made of bronze a symbol of judgment. They could not enter
Holy place without washing.
are we made
15:3, Eph 5:26)
Jesus is the Word
and we are cleansed through Him
Cleansed through the washing of
the water with the Word
was on the right (north) side of the
25:23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
The table held 12 loaves for the 12 tribes of Israel.
The bread was to be
eaten by the priests on the Sabbath and then replaced with fresh bread
By what metaphor did Jesus describe Himself in
(Jn 6:48, 51)?
The Bread of life - Living
(Using the language of covenant)
showbread, made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold, was
to the right (north) as one entered the
Holy place. The table
is estimated to have been 3 feet
long, 1/2 foot wide and about 21/2 feet off the ground.
On it were twelve loaves of bread representing God's covenant
people, Israel. Every Sabbath these were eaten by the priests and
fresh bread placed upon the table
What article set opposite (south) the Table of
Showbread? How did it foreshadow
the description of Jesus in
(Jn 1:4, 8:12)?
Jesus is the Light of the world
(cf what believers are to be Mt 5:14, 15, 16)
of pure gold. It burned olive oil night and day, serving as the only
light in the tabernacle
What is the article of furniture in front of the
(see explanatory note below)?
What did it symbolize and how did it foreshadow Jesus' work in
7:25, cf Ro 8:34)?
was to burn
perpetually and symbolized prayer
In the true Tabernacle in
Heaven, Jesus ever lives to continually (present
tense) make intercession
altar of incense, made of acacia wood and gold, was either in the
(Ex 30:6 ; Ex 40:26), or in the
Holy of holies
It was 3 feet high and stood higher than the table of
showbread and the ark of the covenant.
Incense was to burn perpetually
Holy place from the
Holy of holies? What is the NT parallel with Jesus
10:19, 20, 21,22, Mt 27:50,51)?
Veil = the only entrance into the
Holy of holies, which
symbolized the Throne of God
Jesus is the rent veil, His torn flesh giving us access to God so that now
believers may boldly approach the Throne of Grace
Veil, made of blue, purple, and scarlet fine and twined linen,
Holy place from the
Holy of holies. No priest could
enter except through the veil; it was the only way to approach the
ark of the covenant.
was in the
Holy of holies?
Ark of the Covenant
covered by the
"Mercy" covered the Old Covenant of the
transpired at the mercy seat?
The high priest met with God once each year placing blood on the
to cover the sins of Israel
transpired at the mercy seat?
The high priest placed blood on the Mercy Seat
once each year
"covering" the sins of Israel
foreshadow according to (Ro 3:25-note)?
The Mercy Seat was a picture
of God's anger. Jesus took the punishment for our
sins and in so doing satisfied (propitiated) God's anger against sinners
who place their faith in Him. Believers are in essence "covered by
the blood of Christ" and can now meet with God at His Throne any time, any
day in contrast to the Jewish high priest who could only go into God's
presence once per year on the
Day of Atonement
Mercy Seat was where God met man and over which the Shekinah
glory cloud dwelt, how was this picture a shadow of Jesus?
John beheld Jesus' glory, the Word made
flesh as He "tabernacled" among men
the high priest meet at the
(see Jn 8:58, 10:30)
Jehovah Who was also Jesus because He
was the "I Am" and He and His Father are One.
ark of the covenant, made of acacia wood covered with gold, occupied
Holy of holies. This box was 2 feet wide, 3 feet 9 inches long,
and 2 feet high. On top of the ark was a lid called the
Hovering above the
were two cherubim, with outstretched wings. The ark contained the
tables of stone, a pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded. There
we meet Jesus, God incarnate, Who, before Abraham was born, was the
I AM, one with the Father.
read that "whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud ("Shekinah
would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD
would speak with Moses."
Abrahamic = promise of the
Seed = the coming Messiah, the land, the nation (Israel),
Old = conditional, tabernacle place where God dwelt, picture
Where is the promise of the new covenant in the Old Testament?
God promised the New Covenant in Jeremiah'
What happened to the old covenant when the new covenant was inaugurated
Old became obsolete
HOW THEY RELATE TO JESUS
of Jesus Christ
of Jesus Christ
of Jesus Christ
SHADOWS OF MESSIAH
IN THE TABERNACLE
DESCRIBED IN THE OLD COVENANT
God made a covenant with Abraham
promising him primarily two things: a seed and a land. The
Abrahamic Covenant was also ratified with Isaac, Jacob (name
changed to Israel),
and his sons who comprised the nation of Israel.
The Old Covenant
430 (400) years later, God made a covenant
of Law with the nation of Israel. Moses was the
mediator of that covenant. God spoke to Moses. Moses spoke to
The Old Covenant, or the Law, centered around the tabernacle and the
related ceremonies and sacrifices. The
earthly tabernacle was built under Moses' direction after the pattern
of God's heavenly tabernacle.
Therefore, the tabernacle served as an integral part of the
Old Covenant. What the earthly tabernacle was to the Old Covenant, the
true tabernacle in heaven is to the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:5-see
The New Covenant
Through Jeremiah, the prophet,
God promised the New Covenant in Jer 31:31, 32, 33, 34,
Although not using the term "New
Covenant", the following passages are clearly allusions in the Old
Testament to the New Covenant = Is 59:20, 21; Jer.
32:37, 38, 39, 40; Zech 9:11 Ezek. 16:60, 61, 62, 63; 34:25, 26, 27, 28,
29, 30, 31, 37:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28)
Here are New Testament
passages relating to the New Covenant = Mt 26:26, 27, 28, 29, Lk
22:18, 29, 30. cp Is 25:6, Mt 8:11, Lk 22:19, 20, Mark 14:24, 25, 26, Heb
13:20, Ezek 11:19,20; 18:31; 36:26,27)
Jesus was the mediator of the New Covenant, a better covenant than the Law.
When the New Covenant was inaugurated by Jesus Christ, the Old
Covenant became obsolete.
Heb 8:6 (see
But now He (Who is "He"? Jesus
our High Priest) has obtained a more excellent ministry (far
superior to the ministry of those who serve under the old laws), by as
much as (to the degree that) He is also the mediator of a better
covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. Heb 8:7 For if that first
covenant had been faultless (The “fault” or limitation in the first
covenant was not in its inherent righteousness, but in its design from God
himself. It was never intended to be his final revelation or provision for
mankind; it was provisional, always pointing toward the fulfillment to
come in Christ), there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
(See complete discussion in Hebrews 8:1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11;
12; 13 see notes on
The covenant is “better” because it is absolute not
conditional, spiritual not carnal, universal not local, eternal not
temporal, individual not national, internal not external. (Griffith
First, there is a comparison. Christ’s ministry is
as superior to the ministry of the Aaronic priests as the covenant He
meditates is superior to the old one.
Second, a reason is given: the covenant is better because it is enacted on
Christ’s ministry is infinitely better. He offered Himself, not an animal.
He presented the value of His own blood, not the blood of bulls and goats.
He put away sins, not merely covered them. He gave believers a perfect
conscience, not an annual reminder of sins. He opened the way for us to
enter into the presence of God, not to stand outside at a distance.
It is a better covenant because it is founded on
better promises. The covenant of law promised blessing for obedience but
threatened death for disobedience. It required righteousness but did not
give the ability to produce it.
The New Covenant is an unconditional
covenant of grace which is entered into by faith.
The New Covenant imputes righteousness
(1Cor 1:30, 2Cor 5:21) where there is none.
The New Covenant teaches men to live
righteously (Titus 2:11, 12), empowers them to do so (1Cor 15:10, 2Cor
12:9, 10), and rewards them when they do (2Cor 5:9,10, 1Cor 3:10, 11, 12,
13, 14, 15, Col 3:23, 24, 25, Eph 6:7, 8, Rev 22:12).
William MacDonald on Gal 3:8...
When we first read this quotation from
Genesis, we find it difficult to see how Paul found such a meaning in it.
Yet the Holy Spirit, who wrote that verse in the OT, knew that it
contained the gospel of salvation by faith to all nations. Since Paul was
writing by inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, he was enabled to explain
to us the underlying meaning: In you—that is, along with Abraham, in the
same way as Abraham. All the nations—the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
Shall be blessed—be saved. How was Abraham saved? By faith. How will the
nations be saved? In the same way as Abraham—by faith. Moreover, they will
be saved as Gentiles, not by becoming Jews.
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
John MacArthur on Gal 3:8...
The only Scripture available to Paul
at this time was what? The Old Testament. So he uses the Old Testament
to defend salvation by faith. That's important, because there are many
people who think the Old Testament teaches that you are saved by works. It
does not teach that. God is always consistent and salvation is always by
faith. You couldn't make yourself righteous in the Old Testament any more
than you can in the New Testament. It is the same incapacity man has had
since the fall, so salvation has always been by faith.
So what you really have in this
section (Gal 3:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15, 16) is a theology
of the Old Testament. If you want to know how people were saved in the
Old Testament, just read through here and you'll find out. It's the same
way they are saved at any time: by faith in God's revelation. You
say, "Did they have to believe in everything? Did they have to believe in
the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ and the Second Coming?" Of
course not. They had to believe as much as God had revealed. At any point
in time, a man was required to believe all God had said. If a man was
living in the time of Adam, God hadn't said that much. He had to believe
all that God had revealed (cp see Cain's faith in Heb 11:4-note).
If the man was living later on, in the time of Moses, God began to reveal
more and man had to believe all that God had revealed. For the man who
lives post-New Testament, he has to believe all God revealed, up through
the fullness of salvation as seen in Jesus Christ....
Gal 3:8. "And the Scripture," and here,
he gets into the heavy part of his argument and starts quoting Scripture.
"The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith,
preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, 'In thee shall all
nations be blessed.'" Hang onto this, because we have to kind of untangle
this verse to get into the logic of Paul.
Here is his direct answer. Notice the word 'Gospel.' It means 'good
news.' What is the good news that God wants to give us? Salvation
by faith. Did He give that to Abraham? He certainly did. "He
preached before the good news that salvation comes by faith unto Abraham."
But he preached also that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, that
all the nations down through the ages would be justified by faith, as well
as the Jews. Sure, he didn't just say, "Your seed will be blessed." He
said, "In thee will all the nations of the Earth be blessed." So at
the very time when Abraham was given the promise, God told Abraham that
Gentile nations would be saved by faith. Listen, the proof in that verse
is simply this: "In thee shall all nations be blessed." That means
that nations (Gentiles) will be blessed through the seed of Abraham. They
don't have to become Jews. The Scripture doesn't say, "All the nations
will become what you are." No, all the nations will be blessed through the
seed (the Messiah) that comes. (Blessed
or Cursed) (Bolding added)
(In another sermon Dr MacArthur says)
So Paul says, "Even the Old Testament predicted this, that all nations as
nations, Gentiles as Gentiles, would be able to be blessed in Abraham
through faith. The key words are there in the middle of the verse:
through faith. So God is going to justify the Gentiles not by
circumcision but through faith. That's what God meant when He said to
Abraham, "Through you will all nations be blessed."
What does it mean, "In you will all nations be blessed?" Well, it
was simply this. That through the loins of Abraham came whom? Messiah.
So it was in Messiah that all were blessed. Take that far enough back, and
it was the seed of Abraham that became the One who blessed all. He said, "In
you, in your seed, in your loins is that which will come and be a blessing
to all." So in the very calling of Abraham, in the end of Gal 3:8, was
the promise that Gentiles could be saved as Gentiles. They didn't have to
become Jews. They didn't have to get circumcised and keep all the ceremony
and the law.
So Paul says, "Abraham was justified by faith. Anyone else who believes
like Abraham did is the spiritual child of Abraham." God, from the very
start, told Abraham that the Gentiles would be saved through faith. There
was coming one from his loins who would be the one to bless all nations as
nations. That assumed that they wouldn't become Jews. If 'all nations'
were being blessed, they would have to be other than Jews. Otherwise, it
would say, "In you shall everyone be blessed who becomes a Jew." No. "In
you will all nations be blessed." So Paul proves his point. (Salvation
Is by Faith Alone) (Bolding added)
What was it that the Scriptures “foresaw”
and “preached beforehand” to Abraham? Simply this: the good news of
salvation was to be extended to all peoples, including the Gentiles, who
would be declared righteous by God, just like Abraham, on the basis of
faith. Thus Paul interpreted the Genesis quotation “All nations will be
blessed through you” in a far richer sense than traditional Jewish
exegesis allowed. Through the Jewish people the world had received many
wonderful benefits, above all the sacred Scriptures and the religion of
monotheism. However, Paul went much further when “he simply identifies the
blessing with God’s ‘grace’ and his ‘justification by faith.’” Abraham
was special because centuries before Jesus was born he received in this
word from God the promise of the Messiah and believed. Paul’s exegesis at
this point is really a commentary on the declaration of Jesus: “Abraham
was overjoyed to see my day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56, NEB).
(George, T. Vol. 30: Galatians. The New American Commentary Page 225.
Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)