Remarkable Parallels - Part 2

by Joseph Hunting

Depending on one's nationality, certain events in history can bring fame to descendants who, in the case of Americans, can trace their ancestral line to the early settlers who arrived in the Mayflower.

Britons may find they have 'blue blood' in their veins, or that their forebears shared in the landing of William the Conqueror.

In Australia, some may have ancestors who arrived at Sydney Cove with the First Fleet in 1788.

However, in spite of these claims to notoriety by the descendants of Japheth, there are Jewish claims that far outweigh any of the events already mentioned in both antiquity and magnitude.

As we trace the ancestry of the Hebrew people from the Bible we read that Abraham married Sarah who was barren. Had there not been Divine intervention to enable Sarah to have a child, Abraham's seed would have passed on solely through Ishmael. There would have been no Israel, no Bible, no Redeemer!

"THROUGH FAITH ALSO SARAH . . . " Hebrews 11:11

God did intervene, but not till Sarah was ninety years old and well past child bearing. "And God said unto Abraham: 'As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son of her; yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be of her.'

"Then Abraham fell upon his face and laughed, and said in his heart: 'Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?' And Abraham said unto God: 'O that Ishmael might live before You!' And God said: 'No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son; and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.

"And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto you at this set time in the next year.'" (Genesis 17:15-21).


The choosing of a bride for Isaac reads like a Divinely-ordained love story. Abraham's servant was instructed to return to Abraham's people for a bride for Isaac: "The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my nativity, and who spoke unto me, and who swore unto me, saying: 'Unto your seed will I give this land'; He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from thence."

So the servant asked the Lord to guide him to the bride of His choice, which He did, straight to the granddaughter of Abraham's brother Nahor. The girl was called Rebekah

And she was willing to return with the servant to be Isaac's wife.

How strange that the girl Divinely-ordained to be Isaac's wife should also be barren! Yet God's promise to raise up a mighty nation had been repeated to Isaac! So we are forced to the conclusion that God deliberately organized a situation that once again required a miracle in the body of Rebekah for her to bear children.

"And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated for him, and Rebekah his wife conceived." (Genesis 25:21).


Yet once more, for the third time, was this drama repeated. Jacob, the Divinely-chosen son of Rebekah so loved Rachel that he worked fourteen years to win her. And again, the third in succession of Israel's great matriarchs was also barren, as also probably was Leah. "When the Lord saw that Leah was hated He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. (Genesis 29:31).

"And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her womb and she conceived and bare a son." (Genesis 30:22,23).

What significance lies behind the multiplicity of biological miracles necessary to bring the nation of Israel into being? Was there some special function this nation would perform that required such special preparation? The Bible supplies the answer:

"For what nation is there so great that has God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?" (Deuteronomy 4:7,8).

"For you are a holy people unto the Lord your God: The Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers . . . " (Deuteronomy 7:6-8).


If God should choose to perform a series of biological miracles in order to fulfil His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, should it be thought incredible that He should choose to give the house of David a miraculous sign? "And the Lord spoke again unto Ahaz, saying: 'Ask you a sign of the Lord your God: ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.' But Ahaz said: 'I will not ask, neither will I try the Lord.' And He said, 'Hear you now, O house of David: is it a small thing for you to weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: behold the young woman (Heb. ha almah, the virgin or the chaste young woman) shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel!'" (Isaiah 7:10-14).

In the course of time God fulfilled His promise to the house of David. The Child of promise was born in exactly the manner prophesied by Isaiah.

Surely the miracles wrought in Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel pointed forward to the far greater event which fulfilled the first part of Isaiah's great prophecy: "For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (9:6)