IN THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES, WHERE IS THE FIRST INDICATION OF CHILDREN BEING ADOPTED?
“And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir” (Genesis 15:3).
LATER WE SEE CLEAR EXAMPLES OF ADOPTIONS IN OTHER PASSAGES.
In an all-time irony of how the LORD works his purpose (Rom. 8:28, 29), Moses the savior of the Jewish people, was reared in the house of the enemy of the Jews. Moses was the son of Amram and Yochebed of the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe. Miriam and Aaron were his brother and sister. He was born in Egypt during the period in which the Israelites (Hebrews) had become a threat to the Egyptians simply because of their large population. The Pharaoh had ordered that all newborn male Hebrew children be cast into the Nile to drown. Two things would be accomplished by this action: 1. The murder of the Hebrew male children would diminish that nation. 2. The Nile River god would accept the sacrifice at the same time.
Amram and Yochebed took their newborn son, placed him in a waterproof basket and hid him in the tall grasses of the Nile. Meanwhile, his sister Miriam hid and watched over the baby from a distance. A group of women and their servants were bathing nearby. Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him when he was just three months old. Moses’ parents did not want to give their child to the Egyptian princess, but if they had tried to keep him, they knew he would have died because of the Egyptian Pharaoh’s decree, that no Hebrew male child could live. The Pharaoh’s daughter, hearing the baby cry, found and rescued him. She named him “Moses,” meaning, “drawn from the water.” Her desire for a son fulfilled, she made certain that he had the best of everything, including education (Exo. 2:1-10 KJV).
Moses was brought up in the splendor of the Egyptian court as the Pharaoh’s daughter’s adopted son. Grown to manhood, he was aware of his Hebraic roots and shared a deep compassion for his oppressed relatives. He became furious while witnessing an Egyptian master brutally beating a Hebrew slave, and he impulsively killed the Egyptian. Fearing the Pharaoh’s punishment, he fled into the desert of Midian, becoming a shepherd for Jethro, a Midianite priest whose daughter Zipporah he later married. While tending the flocks on Horeb Mountain in the wilderness, he saw a bush burning yet not turning to ash. He heard a voice from within the bush telling him that he had been chosen to serve as one to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. God told Moses to declare the unity of God to his people. At that time most Israelites were worshipping the many gods of the Egyptians. Moses was to tell them that there was only one God (Exo. 3:12-15).
The tremendous responsibility of Moses’s task, his feeling of inadequacy because of his own position as a shepherd, and his inability to speak well, brought forth a hesitancy and lack of confidence. The Divine answer was “Who made man’s mouth?” He was then assured that Aaron, his brother, could speak well and would serve as his spokesman both to the children of Israel and to the Pharaoh. The promised destination for the Israelites’ journey was a “land flowing with milk and honey.”
What was the “time” in which Moses was born? What political events had transpired? Stephen in Acts 7:1-60 gives those details precisely.
“But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live 20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: 21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:17-22 KJV).
What cruelties did the children of Israel endure at the hands of the Egyptians?
“…. And they (the Israelite slaves) met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: 21 And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. 22 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all” (Exo. 3:6-9; Exo. 5:6-23 KJV).
ULTIMATELY, MOSES REJECTED HIS ADOPTIVE FAMILY. CONSIDER FOR A MOMENT TWO REASONS FOR HIS ACTIONS.
Is there any reason to believe Moses disliked his adopted family?
Had he been abused or neglected?
Did he want to leave Egypt for material advantage?
Why did Moses choose to leave Egypt?
Did he know he was adopted and simply want to go back to his own people?
What was the stated reason for his rejecting his adoptive family?
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward” (Heb. 11:24-25 KJV).
He first chose God’s people because of the Egyptian slave driver, who made him to flee from Egypt into the land of Midean. Later, Moses deliberately chose his people because they were God’s people. God planned to bring the Christ through the nation of Israel. He must have learned from God himself about the eternal reward God had for his people or he would not have had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
By the time we finish this study, we should know the characteristics of God’s two covenants with His chosen people. We should know the purpose behind His laws and the difference between how He deals with His people in the Old and New Testaments.
WHEN YOU FINISH THIS COURSE, YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND:
The Old Testament was given to the Israelite nation after they left Egypt.
Law of Works
Cleansing of Flesh
The New Testament is for a spiritual nation—Christians.
Law of Faith
Circumcision of Heart
Cleansing of Heart
Belief in Jesus
OT-NT DIFFERENCES is a mini-course. By that you may understand that the lessons are not as long as they are in some other courses. However, the memory work (listed at the bottom of this introduction) should be studied regularly in order to learn those valuable facts.
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written (John 19:17-22).
The term, “King of the Jews” is used 18 times in the New Testament scriptures—each time referring to Jesus. At the time of Jesus’ birth (Matt. 2:2), there was a common belief that some remarkable person was about to emerge in Judea. The Jews were anxiously looking for the coming of the Messiah. By computing the time mentioned by Daniel (Dan. 9:25-27), they knew that the period was approaching when He would appear. The person they were looking for was supposedly going to be a temporal prince, and they were expecting that He would deliver them from Roman bondage. It was natural that this expectation should spread into other countries. At the time, many Jews lived in Egypt, Rome or Greece. Also, many had gone to Eastern countries, and in every place they carried their sacred writings, and talked of their expectation that some noteworthy person was about to arise.
The Jews were all looking for the kingdom of God (Luke 3:15; 17:20; John 1:41). Daniel had prophesied the world-ruling kingdom of God would be established in the days of Rome (Dan. 2:44). By the time Christ was born, Rome had ruled the world for about 80 years, and the Jews and even many in the world knew the kingdom could come any time. If the Jews could find the king, they could find the kingdom (John 1:41; John 3:28; John 4:28-29; John 4:42; John 7:41; John 10:24). Although the Jews looked for the kingdom, because of envy, they crucified the very one the multitudes identified as their king.
Whether or not Pilate was convinced of what he wrote, he used three languages to write for the world to see that Jesus was the king of the Jews (Luke 23:38)! Pilate rejected the Jews’ demand to alter the writing or remove it (John 19:22).
Even the thief testified that Jesus’ kingdom would be set up after His death (Luke 23:42). Peter accused the Jews of crucifying their king (Acts 4:10), and on the day of Pentecost, Peter proved that God had foreordained the king of the kingdom would be put to death (Act 2:23). It was not until after His death that Jesus was crowned with all power in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). Jesus is king over His spiritual kingdom. Only His citizens can claim Him as their king (John 18:36). Jesus was made both Lord and Christ. The name Christ means anointed one. Jesus is both Lord and king (Acts 2:36). He is Lord over all men (Acts 10:36).
Jesus has been exalted with authority above every authority not only on this earth but also in heaven (Matt. 28:18). He is approved as Lord not only in this life but also in that which to come (Eph. 4:21). Jesus is not seated as king of a physical nation (John 8:23). He is king of the Jews but only in a spiritual sense (Rom. 9:6-7). His kingdom is not of this world; it is not a physical kingdom (John 18:36). He is king of all people who are spiritual Jews (Rom. 2:28-29). He is king only of those who are translated into His marvelous kingdom (Col. 1:13).
The king of the Jews has made all His subjects priests to offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Pet. 2:5-9; Heb. 13:15). If His people suffer with Him, He will make them kings to reign with Him (2 Tim. 2:12). If His citizens overcome the battle with Satan He will give them power over the nations as He received of His Father (Rev. 2:26-27). If His citizens overcome they will reign with Him forever and ever (Rev. 22:5).
NT:907 baptizo (bap-tid’-zo); from a derivative of NT:911; to immerse, submerge; to make overwhelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the N. T.) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism: KJV – Baptist, baptize, wash.
NT:908 baptisma (bap’-tis-mah); from NT:907; immersion, baptism (technically or figuratively): KJV – baptism.
NT:909 baptismos (bap-tis-mos’); from NT:907; ablution (ceremonial or Christian):
NT:910 Baptistes (bap-tis-tace’); from NT:907; a baptizer, as an epithet of Christ’s forerunner: KJV – Baptist.
NT:911 bapto (bap’-to); a primary verb; to overwhelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid; in the N. T. only in a qualified or specially, sense, i.e. (literally) to moisten (a part of one’s person), or (by implication) to stain (as with dye): KJV – dip.
If we follow Strong’s ‘rule,’ and take the primary word as the definition, we have the word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.
If we accept “anything” after the “i.e.,” we will come out with possible uses of the word.
The next word has 2 “i.e.”s, which makes it doubly suspect.
No doubt someone used the word figuratively somewhere at sometime in the Greek culture, which supposedly makes it a ‘possible’ meaning of the word.
Even the washing of cups, etc., refers to covering with water.
NT:911 bapto (bap’-to); a primary verb; to overwhelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid; in the N. T. only in a qualified or specially, sense, i.e. (literally) to moisten (a part of one’s person), or (by implication) to stain (as with dye):
Who knows if the following exerpt from an article is right or not, but Webster’s Dictionary says it was first used in the 1200’s.
Origin and Etymology of baptize
Middle English, from Anglo-French baptiser, from Late Latin baptizare, from Greek baptizein to dip, baptize, from baptein to dip, dye; akin to Old Norse kvefja to quench
Semantical Relationship of “Baptism” to the KJV Translators
In semantics, which is the study of the significance of words and the concepts to which they refer, there is a basic principle that what a word means to its users is determined by what its users do with that word. (55) For the purpose of this study, this principle may be formulated as a question: ‘Did the words ‘baptism’ and “to baptize’ mean” “immersion” and “to immerse” to the KJV’s translators, that is, were they synonymous with each other?” There are three key sources of evidence, which practically demand an affirmative answer to this question.
Other English Bibles
The first of these decisive factors is that every Bible, from the very first English Bible written by John Wycliffe (c. 1384) to the last Bible in English prior to the KJV, the Rheims New Testament (1582), uses either the exact words “baptism” and “to baptize” or their contemporary English equivalents in their original texts. (56, 57, 58) What did the users of these Bibles take those words to mean? The study of the baptismal mode in England indicates that they understood those words to mean “immersion” and ‘to immerse.”
I tried to check on Wycliffe’s translation, and apparently he included the word baptism instead of immersion. Supposedly the entire Roman Catholic Church believed that sprinkling (pouring at that time) was OK. Whether that is right or not, I have not been able to confirm.
I also can’t confirm whether the KJV translators made any changes in that pattern.
In this article, rather than label a specific group with the charge of transliterating the word, I have found it is better to refer to ‘translators’ in general.
If the word baptism itself were in use in the 1200’s, that would predate Wycliffe.