Today we begin Genesis Chapter 20.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James version, click here.
Following on the heels of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Scripture tells us that “Abraham journeyed onward from there to the Negeb region and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and he sojourned in Gerar.“
There is much geographical significance contained in this one verse especially as it pertains to our evening news.
So let’s do a quick word study of the red, bolded words.
Negeb (or Negev):
“Negev” means South. So Abraham travelled South.
The exact same place as the Biblical Kadesh-Barnea. This area was a little distance into the barren Sinai. However, Kadesh itself was anything but barren. The area was a good source of water so it undoubtedly attracted many nomads and wanderers who needed to quench their thirst and get some R&R. The area also served as a pagan god worship site.
First, Shur is simply the Hebrew derivation from the Aramaic Shur-a, which means “a wall fortress”. Now Shur was located in Egypt.
About 400 years before Abraham, the Egyptians built a huge wall along the Suez Canal to ward off Asian invaders to the North of them that were constantly encroaching on Egyptian territory. In due time these Asian invaders would take over Egypt.
Here’s a little known historical fact that most people don’t know about.
When Joseph was living in Egypt, Egypt was NOT being ruled by the Egyptians, but instead were being ruled by these Asian invaders I just mentioned. (I’ll go into this in detail when we come to that chapter.)
Gerar, where verse one says Abraham ended up sojourning, is none other than the Gaza strip.
Gerar is the location of that hotbed of Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is being beamed into our television sets nightly.
However, of more importance biblically, this is the area where Israel’s most consistent and fearsome archenemy will end up residing, not only in all of biblical history but up until our present times.
I am talking about the Philistines.
And Abimelech, the king whom Abraham will butt heads with, was an early Philistine settler.
“Now wait a minute!“ you may be thinking.
“You just said that the Philistines are Israel’s archenemies even to this day.”
“There isn’t any nation called the Philistines in existence today.”
Well, here is another little known fact.
The word “PALESTINE” is none other than the Greek word for “Philistia”.
Having said that, the majority of those who call themselves Palestinians today are actually displaced Arabs (descendants of Shem) who have adopted the name Palestine because the ancient Philistines were Israel’s arch enemy and the title serves their anti-Israel cause well.