A Wandering Aramean Was My Father, Father’s Day 2020

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there today!!! As expected, some Bible verse and devotional apps are bringing attention to scriptures concerning the 5th commandment of God’s Top Ten list.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

The Apostle Paul points out to Christians that this commandment of God comes with a promise to those who will follow it and adds instructions to the “fathers” as well,

Ephesians 6:1-3  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

In today’s Tecarta Bible app devotional reading the attention to “fathers” comes from another direction. Honestly, everytime I read or listen to this scripture it does something to my mind and heart in a “good kinda way.” DailyPlan : one-year-tract : 2020-06-21 #Bible https://www.mydailybible.org/dp/esv/one-year-tract/2020-06-21.htm

Deuteronomy 26:5  “And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

Deuteronomy chapter 26 is a very short read, only 19 verses but they are overflowing with instruction, insights and promises. It says the 3rd year is the “year of tithing” in verse 12, something you will probably never hear spoken in the prosperity gospel churches of today. It also says of the “tithe” that is was to be “shared with them,” something else I never heard in church. So who is the “them?”

Deuteronomy 26:12-13 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your towns and be filled, 13 then you shall say before the Lord your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion out of my house, and moreover, I have given it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all your commandment that you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.

Have you ever heard a preacher say that you should share your “tithe” with the “sojourner/wanderer, fatherless, and widows?” All I’ve ever heard is give/send me, your modern day Levite, your tithe and God will bless you for it.

Deuteronomy chapter 26 brings up God delivering His people from the hands of a wicked master and setting them in a “land flowing with milk and honey” twice in these few verses of scripture,

8 And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm (link), with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. 9 And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.’

My Christian testimony is titled “With A Mighty Hand And An Outstretched Arm” and is in this (link) which is also found in the sidebar links. God has promised all His children that deliverance and blessings are in store for them, even in this life and the land we live in now. That promise doesn’t change the fact that the enemy of God and our souls is out there ever working to rob or corrupt those promises. We live in a fallen world and among many non-Christians. I think God has to allow some of this in every person’s life just to remind them that “this world” is not our ultimate home or destination no matter how hard we try to make or keep it that way. It isn’t good for our flesh to get to “comfy-cozy” with this life because it eventually takes our eyes off our true “land flowing with milk and honey,” which will be our eternal heavenly reward.

6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. 7 Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.

It is good for me to remember that “A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there.”

Many many times in scripture God reminds Israel to be kind, fair and considerate to the sojourner/wanderer because they were once sojourners/ wanderers as verse 5. (Numbers 15:15-16), (Exodus 12:49), (Leviticus 24:22)

Deuteronomy 27:19 “‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Abraham was the father who wandered around the land of the middle east looking for a home that God said He would show to him. A phrase that Pastor Bert Clendennen said in one of his sermons has been coming to mind often lately, “they never ate a grape.” It was speaking of Abraham and the rebellious of Israel that God made wander around the desert for 40 years. For Abraham, Hebrews 11 says this,

Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-14  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

Abraham was not Jewish, he was an Aramean who’s primary language was most probably Aramaic as was the language of Jesus. In studying this Bible verse I learned more of what I had only learned little of concerning the Aramaic language of Jesus in this article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_Jesus

Jesus and his disciples primarily spoke Aramaic, the common language of Judea in the first century AD, most likely a Galilean dialect distinguishable from that of Jerusalem. This is generally agreed upon by historians. The villages of Nazareth and Capernaum in Galilee, where Jesus spent most of his time, were Aramaic-speaking communities.

As I read through the article I learned that the Aramaic language is in plan view of our modern Bible versions. One of the most obvious is in the words spoken by Jesus which are certainly Aramaic words, not Hebrew.

Bar & Ben are the words for “son of” in Aramaic and Hebrew respectively.
Matthew 10:3 – Bartholomew (Βαρθολομαῖος from bar-Tōlmay, perhaps “son of furrows” or “ploughman”).
Matthew 16:17 – Simon bar-Jona (Σίμων Βαριωνᾶς from Šim‘ōn bar-Yōnā, “Simon son of Jonah”).
John 1:42 – Simon bar-Jochanan (“Simon son of John”).
Matthew 27:16 – Barabbas (Βαραββᾶς from bar-Abbā, “son of the father”).

Matthew 27:46 Around the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, saying “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, for what have you forsaken me?”

This phrase, among the Sayings of Jesus on the cross, is given in these two versions. The Matthean version of the phrase is transliterated in Greek as Ἠλί, Ἠλί, λεμὰ σαβαχθανί. The Markan version is Ἐλωΐ, Ἐλωΐ, λαμὰ σαβαχθανί (elōi rather than ēli and lama rather than lema). Overall, both versions appear to be Aramaic rather than Hebrew because of the verb שבק (šbq) “abandon”, which is originally Aramaic.

Mark 7:34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” which is ‘be opened’.
Once again, the Aramaic word is given with the transliteration. In Aramaic, it could be אתפתח or אפתח. This word was adopted as the official motto of Gallaudet University, the United States’ most prominent school for the deaf.

AramaicAramaic is an ancient Semitic language, now mostly extinct, that originated among a people known as the Aramaeans around the late 11th century B.C. A version of it is still spoken today by communities of Chaldean Christians in Iraq and Syria.

Genesis 15:1-7   After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”

4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

7 Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”

Often as I tend to the grape vines I planted this year, training them to a trellis, that phrase I spoke of earlier comes to mind, “they never ate a grape.” Abraham eventually had a son as God promised after some mistakes on his part trying to help God out. Abraham never owned but a small portion of the “promised land flowing with milk and honey” as God promised him. Abraham didn’t even inherit it from God, he bought it for 400 shekels of silver. One for every year Israel would be in bondage to Egypt.

Genesis 23:17-20  So the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, which were within all the surrounding borders, were deeded 18 to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city.

19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave that is in it were deeded to Abraham by the sons of Heth as property for a burial place.

Almost amazingly, the cave of Machpelah is in the town of Hebron. Hebron was given to Caleb as an inheritance for his trust in God. Hebron became the capital of Israel for the first 7 (Seven) years of king David’s 40 year reign as king over Israel.

David was a sort of king to his followers in the cave of Adullam before he actually became Israel’s king. He saw troubles throughout his life time that made him wonder if he would eat another grape in the land of milk and honey. David too went through times of uncertainty for many years after Samuel anointed him as king and was left to hold on to the promise of God.

Realistic Christians ought to realize that God allows times of uncertainty into our lives. Times when we wonder if we will ever eat another grape or even the first one from the vines we planted. But as Christians we continue to plant vines and families and lives. God calls us to occupy till He comes to get us or until we go to be with Him and to do it with optimism. With a hope that they will be good grapes, not sour ones.

I’m not Jewish but my father was a wandering Aramean. Not Abraham, Jesus, God in the flesh who came to physically dwell with us on earth for a time and a season.

Luke 9:57-58  And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 

I too am called to be a wanderer. This world, my property, my fig trees, grape vines and things are temporal. He is with me in my wandering as He was with Abraham and Jacob and all those who love Him.

Genesis 46:3-4  “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

If God allows me to have the joy of sitting under my vine and fig tree and enjoy the fruits thereof AMEN!!!

Micah 4:1-5  But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.

Come Let Us Go Up To The Mountain of The Lord – Mich 4:2

 

 

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