ABRAHAM >>>>>>> ISHMAEL? or ABRAHAM >>>>>>> ISAAC?

Where is the thread of blessings to mankind from Yahweh Elohim? Is it through the Abraham >>>>> Ishmael lineage or is it through the Abraham >>>>> Isaac genealogy? On one hand, Islam says it is through the Abraham >>>>>Ishmael family tree; on the other hand Jews and Christians believe it is through the Abraham >>>>>Isaac descent.

Let us see the Taurat (Torah, Pentateuch) record. When we talk with Muslim friends, this should be brought out because it is the very root of our religious history. Jews, Christians and Muslims all glorify the faith of father Abram/Abraham. Jews, Christians and Muslims all recognize the authority of the Taurat (Torah, Pentateuch). Therefore, what we quote from Genesis should be accepted by these three streams of faith. What does the inspired record say? Let us start.

The very day Eve committed the first sin on this planet God made a promise regarding the advent of the Messiah, the Christ, who will conquer the Serpent. Genesis 3:15 says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.” This is the very first mention of the Gospel. This is the epic struggle between good and evil until the end of the ages.

When mankind became the more wicked because of Satan’s continued deceptions, Yahweh found a man of faith. God called him out from his community to settle in a land God has chosen: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:1-3) This promise is reinforced in Genesis 15:3,4,18.

At age 86, Abram got a son through Hagar. Genesis 16:15-16 says, “So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eigthy-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.” God again visited Abram when he was 99 years old and Sarai was 90 years old. God reiterated the promises. There were changes of names during this visit: Abram became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah. God said, “And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her , and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her. Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah who is ninety years old, bear a child?’” (Gen. 17:16-17. Abraham doubted and thought that this son, Ishmael would be the heir to his earthly possessions and God’s promises so Abraham said to God: “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” (Gen. 17:18). God promptly cut Abraham short and declared, “No. Sarah your wife shall bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.” (Gen. 17:19-20).

Note that the promised son, Isaac, was named and the promises of other blessings are to pass through him long before he was born. In Genesis 18:1, Yahweh visited Abraham again and reiterated the promise of a son and that after about a year, Sarah would give birth to a son. Sarah laughed because she was about 99 years old. But lo and behold Sarah conceived! Her womb expanded and she gave birth to a son. Sarah laughed at herself. She felt that everyone who would hear about her giving birth to a child would laugh. Nevertheless she gave birth.

Sarah knew that her son is going to be the sole heir to Abraham’s earthly riches and the promises of God. She asked that Abraham sends away Hagar and her son. Abraham was displeased, but God said to Abraham: “Do not let it be displeasing to your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman because he is your seed.” (Genesis 21:12-13)

The above considered, it becomes clear that God’s promises is through the Abraham>>>>> Isaac lineage and not through the Abraham>>>>>Ishmael genealogy. Christ Jesus descends from the Abraham>>>>>Isaac line whereas Muhammad descends from the Abraham>>>>>Ishmael line. Therefore, the claims of Jesus Christ should be more believable than the claims of Muhammad about true religion that brings peace and goodwill to mankind.

(Note: A sequel to this lineage is forthcoming. –EUSEBIO TANICALA) ###

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