Eretz and the Kingdom of God

I have always been fascinated by the word “eretz” [אֶרֶץ]
We first find the word in Genesis 1:1 “When God began to create the heavens and the eretz”.
Traditionally we have always translated the word as “earth”, and we have a mental picture of the world hanging in space, like an apple on a string, being watched over by a distant God.

So eretz can refer to the whole planet under the dominion of God, and it can also refer to individual dominions governed by kings, princes and officials appointed by them.

Lech lecha! Get out!

Lech lecha! The way in which the story of Abraham is introduced has always fascinated me. Or rather, I should say, the way in which I have most often heard the story of Abraham introduced has always fascinated me. Abraham seems to appear, like Melchizadek, out of nowhere. Now admittedly, I have mainly only heard the story from Reformed Church preachers or Jewish rabbis. The former preach on Abraham as part of their understanding of the covenant, and the latter do so as the father of their nation, even if he runs a long second behind Moses as a founding father. And even when you read through Beresheit from the creation story, there still seems to be a hiatus between Babel and Ur. So what is the connection between Abraham and the eleven chapters that have gone before him? Is there continuity or a gap. Before I look at that, I want to look at something else in the story that also seems odd. Gen 12. The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I […]