Why Did Peter Take His Eyes Off of Jesus in Matthew 14?

Keep your eyes upon Jesus;
Look full in His wonderful face;
and the things on earth will grow strangely dim;
in the light of His glory and grace.

This song has been around for quite some time. People like the Oakridge Boys, Amy Grant, Blackwood Brothers, Alan Jackson, Dorothy Moore, Michael W. Smith and a theater of other singers have recorded this song or a close version to it. The facts behind the above lyrics may not be so well known as are these professional artists. If one goes to the website:http://yhoo.it/1bNYED9, s/he will find over 40 professional singers echoing out his or her version of this famous song.

Jesus Walks on WaterToday I want to bring the reader to a less known, but critical consideration. It will help those of us who struggle to stay the course of our daily Christian walk. Yes, there are thousands who can point out that this song, actually it is the chorus, is based upon when Peter walked on the water, took his eyes off of Jesus Christ and sank into the rough waves of the Sea of Galilee. The chorus of this song reflects this event in recorded history; i.e. Matthew 14:22-33. PS: Don’t confuse this event of history with the one Matthew records in chapter 8:23-27. BUT, there is a parallel for which I do not recall ever hearing it preached and perhaps the reader hasn’t either.

A parallel: In Matthew 8 Jesus is along with his disciples but is asleep in the boat. The storm appears to threaten or “sink the ship’ as one might state it today. In chapter 14, there are rough waves but no indication that the ship needs to be bailed or is in serious jeopardy of sinking or capsizing. The insight into these two separate events is that Jesus each time questions their faith but He hadn’t left them on their own. He is also with them both times. So even when we are in a group of fellow believers or on one’s own (i.e. Peter’), things happen, in our course of life on this earth that threaten us. Sometimes we think we are going down for the third time. Other times we simply seem to be in a battle with circumstances. The question one should ask in either situation, “where is Christ in our life, not “what is going on?”

If suddenly we don’t feel as close to God as we did just a few minutes or seconds ago, guess which one of us moved?

Back to Peter and his ‘walk on the water’. Walk on the Water is a song my gospel quartet often sang while in concert. An aside: I love the song, liveliness of the tune, and the great harmony of voices, but I do have a concern about a small part of the lyric (chorus). It goes “sweet Jesus as you walk on the water won’t you walk on out to me.” Why should we not simply walk on out to him? Staying in the boat (church pew) shows no commitment whatsoever. Reaching out to Him is faith in action (Book of James).

Asking Jesus to walk on out to us while we stay safe boat/pew demonstrates *no faith on our part. Just as in many religions of today, we try to make God fit our wants and needs instead of us unconditionally going to Him. *For by grace we are saved through FAITH (in action; emphasis mine)

Peter did venture out in a sea that was a bit rough, but not described as a storm as in chapter 8 when Christ calmed both the winds and the waters. Peter stepped out in faith knowing what he was doing was impossible on his own merits, but trusting Jesus, he did as he was told to do. Here is the metaphor so often if not usually missed when this historical event is preached from the pulpit, discussed in home bible studies, or read during personal bible studies. We should not only understand that Peter stepped out in faith then took his eyes off Jesus, but WHY did he take his eyes off of the object of his demonstrated faith in action? The answer: he became distracted or concerned about the*rough waves and seas around him; is environment, the world woes around him.Rough blue ocean under dark sky

*rough sea in this passage is not equal to the capsizing sea recorded in Matthew 8.

This is what happens to so many of us as Christians/believers during our time on earth. We step out in faith trying to move closer to Jesus then some rough seas as is recorded in Matthew 8 surrounds us. They aren’t life threatening but we panic or lose our vision and purpose, then compromise our intent or commitment. Yes, Peter took his eyes off of Jesus Christ, but it was because he put his eyes on the issues around him; his focus became one of concern for his safety. Even if by chance it was only that he was dazzled by the fact he was walking on the water, yet alone during rough sea, his focus had changed.

Charles Spurgeon once noted: Let your intellect be excited concerning the Lord Jesus. Meditate upon what you read. Don’t stop at the surface; dive into the deep waters! Be like a fish that swims and explores the farthest depths!

Joshua 1:8, Matthew 4:4, and Psalm 1:2 are additional quick Bible references that basically say the same thing…i.e. commitment.

James 4:8 ESV – Draw near to God, [in other words, don’t sit in the safe haven of the boat or the church pew waiting for God to come to you] and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts… (ESV)

Conclusion? Peter stepped out of the safety of the boat in faith and walked on the rough sea water. Then he got distracted by his environment or circumstances. This made the distraction a trump card over keeping his eyes peeled on Jesus; i.e. scripture. When this happened it wasn’t like he didn’t believe, or that he changed his mind and no longer wished to follow Jesus. Satan had temporarily refocused Peter on something other than Christ. This is why we are instructed to PONDER the scripture and PRAY continuously. If we do that, our environment will not take us out of our game.

This blog could easily be a solid sermon from which many could be set free from the distractions of this world’s news, calamities, threats, wars, climatic events, etc. However, it is why Peter shifted his thoughts off of Christ and what it was that caused this shift to happen that is the lesson today. As the words of the opening song goes: ….

“…and the things of earth will grow strangely dim” (no longer a distraction)

Murphy James

A Sad, Short Tale

OUCH! Suddenly a deep, electrifying pain shoots through my little tail. I bolt frombytheShadow my mom almost causing her to lose balance. I look back at my tail that has betrayed me, checking it out. The little stub curls over like it is trying to play dead. The pain is sudden and agonizing for those seconds. My mom calls me over to make sure I am okay. For now, I am. But I don’t know for how long before it hits again…it could be months or it could be days. The unexpected, writhing pain is almost too much to bear.

Who’d think a little tail could cause such big pain! Someone had my tail cropped when I was a pup and that choice brings me great agony at unexpected times. I wish I could have my whole tail back! Only a little bit of the stub remains. If only…they had left my tail alone! Nothing can be done to undo the damage. Nothing can stop those agonizing moments. This is my short, sad tale of my short tail.

No regrets

Don’t look back.

Have you done things that later caused great grief? No matter what caused us to not do what we wish we did, there are those times in life we wish we could re-do. But we can’t. At night or at unexpected times our minds may flood with the “IF ONLYS.” If only my tail didn’t hurt, if only I wasn’t so whiney that day, if only I didn’t chase that cat, if only I could do it over again…IF ONLY!
I wish I could RE-DO a Friday. I agonized over that day. I feel like I missed an opportunity of a lifetime. But I cannot redo it. No one can fix the past. Regrets will haunt us  like the squirrel that got away…unless we choose to move on. We may have moments of falling back into the agony of IF ONLY. If only’s are usually sad tales. But we have hope; we can be more determined and not miss another opportunity if it knocks. Happy tales to you!

Amu – Hyksos – Shepherd Kings – Amalekites (Pharaohs)

In researching the subject of these Semite rulers of Egypt called Hyksos jStark3(Shepherd Kings) we found significant historic revision; i.e. convenience to deny the truth or support someone’s supposition. The name Hyksos is an Egyptian name that means shepherd kings (Hyk;shepherd, sos; kings). These people were hated and enslaved the indigenious people of Egypt. Rather than try to address all of the revisionist history recorded on the WEB and in many history books, let’s look at the facts. First, these people were known as foreign invaders; people who took control of pharaoh’s throne without a fight from Egypt’s legendary military(s). Even the History Channel in October of 2010 noted that these people moved in and set themselves up as rulers “WITHOUT OPPOSITION.”

Next, the Amu, Hyksos, Shepherd Kings and Amalekites are one and the same people. Even opposing historical views tend to agree on this fact. These people hated the Israelites as much as they hated their more powerful neighbors, the Egyptians. Egyptologists validate and verify this information. 

What might one find in the Bible that correlates with these fact? The Bible tells us that after 400 years of servitude, the by then very populous Israelites left Egypt under the leadership of Moses. 

Moses parting the Red SeaThe Bible tells us the story in The Book of Exodus about the Red Sea incident. The Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry land and the sea waters returned to their basin when Pharaoh and his army tried to follow.

The Bible also tells us that the Israelites saw dead (drowned) Egyptian soldiers washed up on the shore. This would be to the EAST side of the Red Sea where the Amalekites lived. It doesn’t take a giant leap of brain power to expect that the Amalekites would also see the same thing since this was their side of the Red Sea. 

We also know that the Amalekites began an *age-old grudge battle with straggling Israelites. 1 ½ million people (Israelites) marching ten abreast would be a line that stretches 150 miles. Joshua was ordered by Moses to select trained men of war from the ranks of the Israelites, go to the back of the long line of Israelites, and deal with the Amalekite army. He defeated them and the Amalekites turned their attention to their real purpose, invading a leaderless and now powerless Egypt.Think about this… If Pharaoh and his entire army drowned in the Red Sea, and as the History channel “documentary” put it, the “Amu” moved in without resistance, they set themselves up as “the Hyksos; i.e. became hated Shepherd Kings.” Why were they hated? They enslaved the Egyptians just as the Egyptians had previously enslaved the Israelites. They stayed in power until 400 years later **King Saul of Israel attacked and defeated them [1 Samuel 15:7-8; 1 Chronicles 4:42-43]. This defeat allowed the Egyptians to re-install an Egyptian Pharaoh as ruler over lower and upper Egypt and became “morally obliged” to Israel.



AHA MOMENT: God tells us several times in the Bible that He will settle the score with those dispise Christians and those who curse Israel. Israel was enslaved by Egypt 400 years. After their ‘exodus” from Egypt, the Amu, Amalekites, Shepherd Kings, Hyksos, all the same people, enslaved the Egyptians for…  that’s right,400 years. Now you know the rest of the Bible story that secular history tries to revise or deny. 

* According to the Book of Genesis and 1 Chronicles, Amalek (Hebrew: עֲמָלֵק), was the son of Eliphaz and the grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36); the chief of an Edomite tribe (Gen. 36:16). His mother was a Horite, a tribe whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized. [WikiPedia] 

** Israel was first ruled by Judges for 400 years. King Saul, anointed by the last judge of Israel, Samuel, became the first king of a unified Israel. 

Sources: Josephus, Menatho, Papyrus Ipuwer, Brugsch, & Velikovsky, Holy Scriptures, Wiersbe Bible Commentary

Author’s Extra Note: Keep in mind that not only did the ruling Pharaoh drown with his mounted and foot soldiers, his son had already died due to the tenth plague; i.e. the supposed next Pharaoh of Egypt. No one was left to officially take control of the Egyptian throne. The Amalekites simply moved into Egypt unapposed. Bear in mind that the Amalekites came into being through Esau, twin brother to Jacob, some 500 years earlier in history. This means they can be identified as Semites, but not Israelites. Contrary to history revisionists, Semites did set themselves up to rule over Egypt, but NOT the Israelite (Jacob’s) line. During the time the Amu ruled and enslaved the Egyptians, Israelites were busy setting up the nation of Israel, ruled by judges for their first 400 years as a nation. QUESTION FOR YOU: Who did God tell King Saul to attack shortly after becoming King of Israel? The answer is in the history book called the inspired Word of God… the Bible.


Another Gospel?

Paul Hoffmaster

Paul Hoffmaster

The Christian faith seems to have a mentality of receiving rather than of giving, being served instead of serving. The Believer is more concerned about worldly benefits than Heavenly rewards. There is more emphasis on the outer man than the spiritual man. Human nature has always wrapped itself up in tangible things (what can be seen and touched). Success is measured by what can be exhibited to others. If one becomes financially mature, evidenced by possessions, one will boast of his endeavors and accomplishments.

A problem arises when the Christian adopts the financial symbol as the evidence of a vibrant relationship with Jesus. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Church has hired promoters to help the statistically declining congregations. The simple Gospel message that Jesus saves has given way to a thing called the Prosperity Gospel. Paul warned in Galations about another gospel “Which is not another…” (Gal. 1:7)

Scriptures that are used to promote this teaching are taken out of context. Take any Scripture used to promote prosperity and one would readily see the benefit of any financial reward was to pass it on, not keep it. Notice that those who preach the principles of financial abundance want you to “seed” to their ministry. What entices people back to half filled churches is that by their financial giving, God will bless them with monetary significance. There is a line between spiritually sowing and financially sowing and it is being crossed continually.

A Christian’s life should be as the hymn writer wrote, “More like the Master.” Jesus’ life was a life of giving, not getting. He continually reached out to the needy. Jesus offered a changed life, not a change of garments. He did not offer a house on the Sea of Galilee or a thoroughbred donkey with golden shoes. Jesus did not guarantee one would have a six oar boat so one did not have to travel commercial across the Sea of Galilee. What Jesus offered was that God would take care of everything that would pertain to one’s life. Read Luke 12:19-34 and you will quickly become aware of how God has made every provision for your life. It is a choice between believing that one will receive financial blessings, by sowing as directed by a scripture that is taken out of context or trusting God that He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philip. 4: 19)

The Christian must render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, and unto God the things that are Gods. (Mt. 22: 21) The world says “in money we shall trust.” The Believer says in “in God will I trust.” Today many Christians believe financial security is the evidence of God’s blessings, but to the Truth seekers it is the peace that passes all understanding.

Let the Holy Spirit reveal what is truth and let man’s interpretation fall idly to the ground.

Website host comment: James 3:1 and Galatians 5:10b are but two additional scriptures to seriously consider for those teaching and preaching the Word of God.

Necessary Nudges

Sometimes I just gotta nudge my mom. There are times when I tap her with my

I am "The Shadow"

I am “The Shadow”

paw. Sometimes I nudge her with my nose and/or rest my chin on her. Sometimes I use my whole body to block her or get her attention quick. You’d think I would know why I get these sudden urges to “nudge” my mom but it isn’t always so. At times, I just want to make sure she is okay and that she knows I am by her side.
Sometimes my mom says I just want attention and I have to admit that is true. Then one of the times when my mom didn’t wear her V-Pap breathing machine I had to tap her and tap her hard. That night she was a good mom and put the mask back on. A few times I knew my mom didn’t see the curb so I nudge her by walking purposely into her. I do know how to get her attention. A trip or a fall could really hurt my mom so “the necessary nudge” is a true lifesaving technique even when I don’t know for sure why I sense the need to do it. My mom says in a way it is a gift.

neccessary nudges
Have you ever felt “nudged” before? Perhaps like a gut feeling not to go somewhere or take a different way home from work? Or maybe to make a phone call to someone you hadn’t seen in a while. Pay attention to the “nudges” of life, you never know the life you impact or the life you may save. There are no coincidences in life; rather there are necessary nudges.

Did Joseph Do It To His Own People while in Egypt?

It Was Joseph’s Fault. The group of Jacob’s band of 70 to 80 people had moved to Egypt during the height of a 7 year famine that included surrounding lands. Archeological discoveries (re: Dr. Lennart Moeller in his book,The Exodus Case) record activities of a Imhotep, second ruler to the Pharaoh, that parallel in great detail the biblical records of Joseph.

It was during the “seven meager [inscription transliteration] years and seven rich years” as inscribed by order of Pharaoh Djsore, again in an inscription found in Sakara [Egypt] records [stone reliefs] of starving people and warehouses filled with grain we find these secular parallels to the biblical record of Joseph.



A side note and probable ahamoment in scripture and secular history: It is in Sakarra we find the “step pyramids” with the first one built as a tomb for none other than Pharaoh Djsore; Joseph’s Pharaoh. Make note of this as we unravel secular historical facts with biblical accounts of early Israelites and Egypt. Begin by recalling the biblical account of the famine, Joseph, his family moving, and why they were located and settled in Goshen, Egypt.

[Genesis 47] With Pharaoh Djsore’s blessing [Genesis 47:6-7] Joseph settles his family in Goshen, a land owned by the royalty. Pharaoh tells Joseph to “put those with special abilities to tend to his flocks.” It is also critical that we read verse 12: Joseph also “provided his father and his brothers and all of his father’s household with food.” Joseph’s family became employees of the Pharaoh and were given the same considerations as were the “priests of Egypt;” all but ownership of the land in Goshen where they settled [Genesis 47:22].



Genesis 47:13 begins some additional aha insight. The people’s food ran out, but not for the Israelites. They were employees of the Pharaoh, “watching over his livestock.” Verse 14 tells us that Joseph collected all the money [gold and silver of value] of Egypt and Canaan in exchange for food kept in the warehouses. When the money was all in Pharaoh’s coffers, “all Egypt”, which includes lands/peoples they had conquered, sold their *livestock to Joseph in exchange for food.

The Rest of the Story
It Was Joseph’s Fault. The group of Jacob’s band of 70 to 80 people had moved to Egypt during the height of a 7 year famine that included surrounding lands. Archeological discoveries (re: Dr. Lennart Moeller in his book,The Exodus Case) record activities of a Imhotep, second ruler to the Pharaoh, that parallel in great detail the biblical records of Joseph.

It was during the “seven meager [inscription transliteration] years and seven rich years” as inscribed by order of Pharaoh Djsore, again in an inscription found in Sakara [Egypt] records [stone reliefs] of starving people and warehouses filled with grain we find these secular parallels to the biblical record of Joseph.

Did Joseph Do It To His Own People while in Egypt?*Q: Who were now keepers of the Pharaoh’s livestock? [ans: the Israelites living in Goshen]

After another year goes by [Genesis 47:17] and people once again run out of food, they sell their lands to Joseph in exchange for grain and food supplies. Verse 47:20 tells us that “Joseph [then] bought all the land in Egypt for the Pharaoh”. This reduced the people to servitude to the Pharaoh; something similar to sharecroppers in American history. [NOTE: Up to this time the peoples of Egypt were NOT IN SERVITUDE to the pharaoh, pharaohs were not yet deities over the people but simply kings/rulers].

Verse 47:23 tells us “Joseph bought their lands.” Ultimately the people themselves voluntarily and gratefully [Genesis 47:25] sold themselves into slavery to the Pharaoh… Joseph put Egyptians into this position by his administration of the 7 years of plenty then the 7 years of famine.

The Sphinx and Pyramid of Khafre, Cairo, EgyptHow did the pharaohs find the people to build the pyramids? Egyptians had sold themselves into servitude and slavery to Pharaoh; he had all the laborers he needed. It is during this dynasty of Egypt, the step-pyramids” were first built. Secular accounts of Egyptians as well as Israelites helped build the pyramids are correct, but now we know how and why.

• Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams [Genesis 41]

• Joseph became second in power only to Pharaoh; Genesis 41:40. [Did you ever wonder how Potifer must have felt about this time? He was the one who had imprisoned Joseph without a trial]

• Joseph came up with the plan for Egypt [41:33-36]

• It was during this time of plenty that Joseph married and had two sons [Genesis 41:50].

• It was during the time of the famine that Joseph’s family moved to Egypt and become employees of the Pharaoh with the benefit of food allotments.

• Joseph exchanges food stored in Pharaoh’s warehouses; first for money, then gold and silver articles, then livestock that were taken to Goshen for Joseph’s family to shepherd, then the private lands throughout Egypt, finally the very lives of the people of Egypt. [47:14-25]

• Joseph finally gives the people “seed to plant” as he knew the years of famine were about to end. But before others realized it, he exacted a “tithe/tribute” of 20% for Pharaoh.

What does all this mean? Up to this point in secular records, a pharaoh was not all-powerful or deemed a deity. Once Joseph reduced the people and land to servitude [Genesis 47:21] pharaohs began building temples and pyramids to themselves. Secular records give credit to Imhotep [Joseph’s Egyptian name] for designing the step-pyramid built for Djsore’s burial; AN OVERVIEW OF SAQQARA PROPER IN EGYPT by Alan Winston; the first of the great pyramids. Pharaoh’s beginning with Djsore had all the laborers they needed for such tasks as pyramid building.

Pharaoh Djsore and history records tell us that at this same time Egypt reached its zenith of wealth and power.

Is it any wonder why in Exodus 1:8 a pharaoh came to power who did not know (appreciate) the wonders performed by the Administrator Joseph. What he did realize, however, all but the Israelites were in servitude to the pharaoh? The people of Egypt were delighted to “help” subject these “intruders from Canaan” to slavery and begin to brutalize them.

So… did the eventual servitude of Israelites in Egypt result from Joseph’s actions? Did the actions of Joseph set the stage for Pharaohs to claim ownership of all therefore becoming deities? This is the Rest of the Bible Story; you decide.


…tell the disciples AND Peter

Mark 16:7 can be read, overlooked, folded into the rest of this historical fact or be a bewilderment. Easter Sunday 2015 this passage jumped out at me. I waited for the pastor to address this curious comment that opens verse 7, but he didn’t. My option was simple but not easily done. Dig it out for myself.

Here is what Mark 16:7 says (NIV) But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.

Hmmm? Tell his disciples AND Peter?? The last contact Peter had with Jesus and as recorded within the Holy Scriptures (Bible) was when he was with him in the Garden of Gethsemane then followed him from afar off. That very evening Peter denied three times that he even knew this person now in the hands of authorities.

Think about this. You or I suddenly find our best friend in the hands of authorities for crimes against society. The mobs are loud and many are hanging around the courtyard. Then, people start pointing to either of us trying to tie us with the “friend” who is in custody. How would you react if you suspect knowing him yet alone being a close associate of his will also incriminate you? Peter was in this position. Now assume that the incriminated “friend” was somehow released. Would you be even slightly surprised if this “friend” looked at you the same as previously? How would you feel knowing that you had recently denied any association with this person at the time of his or her arrest?

Soldiers_24_AfgLet’s get very contemporary. You are hiking across the war-torn ISIS territory. You and a Christian friend are suddenly surrounded by obviously armed Jihadists and radicals. They ask one question of your friend; “Are you Christian?” Your friend says “YES” and they shoot or behead him on the spot. Then their attention turns to you. Having witnessed this atrocity they begin by asking you or me the same question, but the friend is no longer there; you or I are alone…”Are you Christian” they demand? Might we even hide behind a false fact that we met this guy somewhere while hiking but don’t really know the guy? Perhaps we might simply deny knowing him.

This is similar to the position in which Peter finds himself. It excuses nothing but highly suggests you or I severed our relationship with this arrested person. In the recorded historical fact of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, Peter had verbally severed his relationship with Jesus by denying he even knew him.

Now it is after the fact. Jesus was buried and the disciples were cowering trying to decide what to do now… perhaps distance themselves from this crucified person and go back to fishing? But, this article is about Peter and why Jesus, after his resurrection and as recorded here in the Book of Mark, tells these women to go and tell the disciples AND Peter.

I could easily get lost in other facts as recorded in Matthew 28:1-15, the Roman guards saw the events of the resurrection earthquake (v2), the angel appearing (v2) the bribing of the guards by the Jewish leadership (12), and the fact that they were told to tell the authorities if questioned that Jesus’ disciples came and stole his body in the night while they slept. [BIG PROBLEM] Roman guards who fall asleep while on duty is punishable by death. Josh McDowell’s book Evidence That Demands A Verdict we learn the following from McDowell’s many and varied sources…

The guard numbered from ten to thirty men……they were not the kind of men to jeopardize their Roman necks by sleeping on their post…they were Roman soldiers, not mere Jewish temple guards…The soldiers had very strict discipline…the punishment for deserting one’s post was death…the fear of punishments produced faultless attention to duty, especially in the night watches…refusing to protect an officer was punishable by death…one soldier who had fallen asleep on duty was executed by being hurled from the cliff of the Capitolium… (pp 218 – 224)

If the guards were in fact asleep, how would they know that it wasn’t the local peoples who came and stole Christ’s body from the grave; they were asleep. Right? The same is true even if it was one guard at the grave-site.

…back to Peter.

Why didn’t the Lord single out any of the other disciples such as the doubter Thomas? Why? Because Peter was guilty of a sin that was so serious that he certainly figured he was no longer in good standing with the Lord, or even considered a follower of Jesus upon which his salvation hung in the balance.

To answer this question and what many ask ourselves even today, let me direct you to Matthew 12:31: “every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven (when confessed), but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will NOT be forgiven” [emphasis mine]. But don’t stop at verse 31. It gets even more comforting when we read the next couple of verse:

32“Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man [Jesus], it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

This is precisely the situation Peter finds himself. He denied the “son of man Jesus” three times. Verse 32 tells us such a sin can and will be forgive (if confessed; also see Mark 3:28; Luke 12:10; emphasis mine) Even Judas could have been forgiven if he confessed his betrayal of Jesus. Jesus separated out Peter to assure him he was still well within the grace of God. As Jesus told so many that he healed…go and sin no more.

Murphy James (4/13/2015).
ahabiblemoments. WordPress contributor

Who Are The Israelite’s?

Most today ascribe the New Testament to the life of Christ, his disciples, the Apostles and the early development of the Christian church. Few today, however, understand that the early Christian church was allowed to develop under the eyes and protection of the Romans. Roman officials viewed this new christianity movement as a cult or branch of Judaism.Today in our ignorance we refer to modern Israel as “Jews”. This is so even from our church pulpits. This isn’t quite accurate. Jews when mentioned in the Bible are distinct from members of the other Tribes of Israel.First of all, there were 12 Tribes of Israel; 13 if you count the equal blessing given to Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, by Jacob [Genesis 48: 12-16]. Judah is one tribe.

The Bible does not refer to the Jews meaning all of the Tribes of Israel. In fact, in the Hebrew there are those who descend from Judah (Yahudah) and those “others” who come from the land of Judah but are not Tribal Jews. 



What is the “aha moment”? All Jews are Israelites but not all Israelites are Jews. All Israelites are Hebrew (Semite) but not all Hebrews are Israelites. This strongly suggests that the modern country of Israel is but a small representation of the original Tribes of Israel. 

Who are the other Hebrews? They are the descendants of Ishmael [Arabs], Esau [Edomites, sometimes referred to as “dirty Arabs”], the six sons [today’s identity?] of Abraham and Ketu’rah and Joktan, one of the two sons of EberGenesis 10:25

All those belonging to the Tribes of Israel are Hebrew, but not all Hebrews [Semite] are Israelites. Arabs are also Hebrew; i.e descendants of Abraham. All Jews are Israelites but not all Israelites are from the Tribe or country of ancient Judah. Jews [Yehudah] are from the Tribe of Judah.Judaism is a religion, not a sect or race of people. Go back to Table of Nations in Genesis 10 to get the peoples straight in one’s mind. [see below from Wikipedia]
DoEber (עֵבֶר, Standard Hebrew Éver, Tiberian Hebrew ʻĒḇer)…[Wikipedia]…is an ancestor of the Israelites, according to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10-11 and 1 Chronicles 1.Eber was a great-grandson of Noah’s son Shem. He was the father of Peleg born when Eber was 34 years old, and of Joktan, Eber’s other son; i.e. a distant blood line relative of Abraham through Shem (Semites).

According to the Hebrew Bible, Eber died at the age of 464 (Genesis 11:14-17) when Jacob was 20. Abraham – Issac and Jacob: Do the simple math. This means that Eber was still alive after these three patriarchs of the Israelites were still walking on the earth.

Too often skeptics say that word-of-mouth history loses so much in the translation. Considering these facts about Eber’s life-span, there is little “pass it on” loss when information is handed down first-hand.

Eber lived 464 years (Genesis 11:14-17)
… Terah
… Abraham
… Isaac
… Jacob (Jacob is the father of the 12 sons/Israelites)

Following Genesis 10, nations of the world, Eber was living when Jacob was born.

There is an ancient legend that the Avars of Central Asia are descendants of Abraham through his last wife, *Ketu’rah [*see article in this publication]. If this is so, than these people(s) are descendants of Eber [see article to the left] through his great (5 times) grandson Abraham.Many scholars point to the name Eber as the root from where the name HEBREW comes. Linguistics link the Avars to an Oghur Turkic group of peoples. They originally settled in present-day Turkey.Over history many different groups of people settled in Turkey just as they did in Greece. What we see in modern history is “the last group” of people to settle and dominate these areas. Remnants of former peoples remain.

Travel Photos of  Israel - Jerusalem Western WallThe story between the stories… If all descended from Noah and his three sons, the global population expanded over the centuries from a centralized geography. This includes the Avars. We must also consider to where the Assyrians moved the 10 captive tribes of Israel after they overran the northern Israelites in 700’s B.C.

We can’t end one population of 7 or 8 million people without beginning another history of people someplace else. It is hard to hide millions of transplanted Israelites without a new group of people popping up somewhere.

Something to consider if one thinks that the Bible and history are distinctly separate.

They aren’t!!!!

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob probably knew Eber. Information and knowledge didn’t need to go from Eber through multiple generations of folklore. Eber was still alive during at least part of the life span of these three patriarchs. They probably heard God’s stories from Eber first-hand. Also consider the fact that Shem, one of Noah’s three Ark-bound sons lived 600 years. He was barely 100 years old when the Great Flood happened. He lived another 500 years AFTER the Great Flood [Genesis 11:10,11]Aha anyone? Now you know the Rest of this Bible Story.jStark3

The Apple Falls Close to Tree!

The Rest of the Bible Story:

In Genesis 20 we find the story of Abraham and Abimelech, a Philistine ruler. Abilelech was a some what common sir-name for several Philistine rulers. It means “father/leader of a king; my father/leader; a king.”

As the story reads, Abraham encounters Abimelech over Sarah, Abraham’s wife. She was beautiful and something to be desired even at 90 years of age. Abraham, supposedly fearing for his life since he lived in the land of Abimelech and knew of Abimelech’s designs on Sarah, told everyone that Sarah was his sister amd instructed her to say the he was her brother. This was not a total lie as Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister. The sin was in the “kavanah” of Abraham’s heart when he made this statement. He intended to deceive Abilelech.

Abilelech took Sarah fully intending on making her his wife. In a dream God revealed to Abilelech that Sarah was also Abraham’s wife. [note that a half-truth is reviled by God just as is a total lie]. God intervened in a dream to Abimelech. As Abilelech put it to Abraham, “What have you done to us? What was your reason for doing this?” [NIV]. In essence God had told Abilelech “You are as good as dead for this deed” [Genesis 20:3b].



Aha #1: Find in verse 20:7 (Genesis) that God identified Abraham as “a prophet.”

Now turn to Genesis 26:1-33. Enter stage left; Abraham and Sarah’s son Isaac. Due to a famine, Isaac moves to the same area as did his father [Abraham] many years earlier (above history note). Isaac states that Rebekah, his wife, is really his sister, as he is worried that the Philistines will otherwise kill him in order to marry Rebekah. After a while, Abimelech spots Isaac sporting with Rebekah and concludes she must be Isaac’s wife, not his sister.



Aha #2: As done between Abraham and Abilelech, , Abilelech seeks a nonaggression treaty between him and Isaac. The difference between these two similar incidents is Abraham feared for his life due to the fact he was in a strange land of mighty people. With Isaac, Abimelech feared Isaac for Isaac had become very wealthy and powerful. Abimelech “clearly saw that the Lord was with him.” Of course we do have the common denominator of both Abraham and Isaac lied about their wives. Another difference is that Isaac’s lie was not a half-truth. It was a lie!

Cart full of apples after picking in orchard

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Future Aha Moments article: Note in Genesis 26:32-33 that Isaac named the well his servants had dug “Shibah”; Beersheba.. Beer means well and Sheba [shibah] means water; Beersheba. Over 500 years later, 42,000 soldiers of a Tribe of (Isaac) Israel were slaughtered because they couldn’t say the letters “sh” [shibboleth].



Aha #3: The treaties made between Abimelech and Abraham/Isaac were made between Philistines and future Israelites. Might you recall the problems Israel had with the Philistines hundreds of years later when Israel became a great nation? Did the Philistines of these latter years no longer “clearly see that the Lord was with them?” [J.I.V.] We can’t ask America to wake up, but we can challenge Christians to wake up. Does America see that “the Lord is clearly with us as Christians?”



Aha #4: Verses 34 and 35 is the only place in the Bible where a major “family in-law” issue between Esau and his parents, Isaac and Rebekah, is specifically identified; almost out of context per the 26th chapter of Genesis. What might be your introspective view [Y.I.V.]?