Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. Tonight, is study #5 of Genesis, chapter 12 and we will begin by reading Genesis 12:6-7:
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And JEHOVAH appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto JEHOVAH, who appeared unto him.
I will stop reading at the end of verse 7. Again, this is the point when Abram has crossed over the river. It was he and his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot. Verse 5 also told us that they had all the souls they had gotten in Haran and they would be servants. All that crossed over are a picture of God’s people, as far as those we find named. We know that Abram was a child of God and we know that Sarai was a true child of God and we know Lot was a true child of God. They typify God’s people that are able to make it over the flood, by the grace of God. They can cross over the wrath of God because the Lord Jesus Christ bore their sins and paid the penalty for them.
Again, it says in Genesis 12:6:
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem…
This is the only verse where you will find this spelling of the word “Sichem,” but it is the Hebrew word, Strong’s #7927, that is always translated as “Shechem.” It is the same Hebrew word and everywhere else it is translated that way, but why it is “Sichem” here, I have no idea, but it is the same Hebrew word #7927. The word “Shechem” is derived from Strong’s #7926, the word for “shoulder.” For instance, it is the word used in Isaiah 9:6:
… and the government shall be upon his shoulder…
It is the same word used in Isaiah 22:22:
And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder…
In both these verses, we can see how the verses relate to the Lord Jesus Christ, especially Isaiah 9, verse 6. The “shoulder” is normally the place on the body that can bear the weight of a burden – it is a strong part of the body.
Again, it says in Genesis 12:6:
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh…
The name “Moreh” is also an interesting word. The word “Moreh” is Strong’s #4176 and it is derived from Strong’s #4175, which is the word translated as “former rain” and it is only found three times in the Old Testament. It is found twice in Joel 2:23:
Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in JEHOVAH your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
We have covered that verse very carefully and we have seen that Joel 2:23 is laying out God’s program of sending forth His Gospel in certain times or seasons. The “former rain moderately” (or righteously) is the Word of God that brought forth the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ. The second mention of “former rain” in Joel 2:23 is the “early rain” that fell during the church age and brought forth the firstfruits unto God. The word “latter rain” is not the same word. So, “Moreh” identifies with “early rain” or “former rain.” It is interesting that Israel of old was the place of the “former rain righteously,” as it was through Israel that the Lord brought forth Christ and when Christ went to the cross, that was the fruit. The second use of the word in Joel 2:23 identifies with the New Testament church age. So, as Abram passed through the land unto the place of “Sichem,” a word that has some relationship to Christ, and he went “unto the plain of Moreh,” or unto the plain of the “former rain.” In other words, at this point Canaan is being used as a type and figure of the corporate body; it could have in view Israel of the Old Testament, but it especially has in view the churches of the New Testament. And Abram is passing through that land. Remember, Canaan can be a figure of the outward representation of the kingdom of God, the corporate church; or, it can be a picture of the eternal kingdom of God, the new heaven and new earth. It is the latter picture when God promised to Abram to give him the land for an everlasting possession and that cannot be the corporate church, but it must be the new heaven and new earth.
But, here, Abram is sojourning and he begins that sojourn through the land of Canaan and comes unto the plain of Moreh or the place where there is the “former rain” or “early rain.” Then it goes on to say in the second part of Genesis 12:6:
… And the Canaanite was then in the land.
In the land of Canaan, you would expect to find Canaanites, especially at this point in time, so we wonder why God stresses the fact that in the land of Canaan there are Canaanites. Remember, it was Canaan, a descendant of Noah, that was cursed back in Genesis, chapter 9 when Noah had gotten drunk and was naked. Two of his sons covered his nakedness, but Ham did not. Then Noah awoke and he knew what his younger son had done to him. Then it said in Genesis 9:25:
And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
Canaan was cursed and Canaan is the one that the land of Canaan was named after, so the Canaanite is really a figure of those people that are under the curse of God. To be cursed of God means you will be cut off – you are not one of His people and you will not receive the inheritance of eternal life. You will die and cease to exist for evermore. Your inheritance will be taken from you. That is exactly how it will be for the natural-minded individual or the unsaved individual in this world. They live presently in this world. It is their inheritance and they love this world. They greatly enjoy the world and they are using their inheritance as much as they can. They want every day of life they can possibly have because at the point of their death, there is no more inheritance. There is no more life in this world. It is gone from them. So, too, when the end of this world comes, God will take away the earth from all the unsaved inhabitants of the world. What is His plan? He will give it to His people: “The meek shall inherit the earth.” We have looked at this recently, but it says in Psalm 37:22:
For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
The unsaved will lose their inheritance – they will lose the earth. The Canaanite dwelt in the land of Canaan. He was there first and it was his land and, yet, God had cursed the Canaanite and it was God’s intention to take the land of Canaan away from the Canaanite. For instance, it says in Exodus 33:1-2:
And JEHOVAH said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
God is going to give the land to Israel to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the seed) and drive out the Canaanites. Historically, this happened to some degree when Israel, under Joshua’s leadership, took over the land of Canaan. Remember, that after the Israelites came out of Egypt and wandered in the wilderness for forty years, they came to the land of Canaan, but Moses was not permitted to go over. He could only “view” it. God did not want him to cross over because he was a representation of the Law of God. The Law or Word of God can lead you, but what does the Bible tell us in Romans, chapter 10? It says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness,” so the Law can only lead us so far. It can lead us right to the edge of the Promised Land, but only Joshua can bring us over the flood, as Joshua’s name means “Jesus.” As Abram crossed the river, the Israelites also had to cross the river Jordan and they did so “as on dry ground,” with Joshua (Christ) leading the way. Joshua brought Israel across the river and into the land of Canaan. It is a similar picture to that of Abram, Lot and Sarai and the souls they had gathered in Haran crossing the flood (river). God is drawing the same picture in a more dramatic way in Exodus 33 because now it is an entire nation that is crossing over, perhaps as many as a couple million people.
So, some of the people of the land remained, even after years of fighting and years of conquest. The Book of Judges tells us that God left them in the land to “prove Israel” and to try them and test them. That was the historical aspect of things, but as far as the spiritual picture, the land of Canaan typifies the Promised Land of the new heaven and new earth, a place where there will be no more curse, no more tears and no more death. It is that glorious and wonderful future that God promised His people and He will give it. He has obligated Himself. He has sworn this and He will fulfill His Word and bring it to pass.
Therefore, we have sort of a dual purpose and it is the context in the Bible that determines whether the land of Canaan is representing the corporate church or the eternal habitation of the people of God. It really depends on the context. However, when God says in Genesis 12, verse 6, “And the Canaanite was then in the land,” and we put that together with Abram coming unto the plain of Moreh or the “former rain,” we see that there is a tie-in to the corporate church. This was the place where there was former or early rain and the Canaanite is in that land and they are a cursed people – they are not going to receive the Promised Lane of Canaan themselves. They are going to be driven out and disinherited. They are going to be cut off and not blessed. It was Shem and Japheth that received the blessing, not Canaan. To be blessed means you would inherit the earth, but the Canaanites do not inherit the earth. Therefore, when God says, “And the Canaanite was then in the land,” it is language indicating that in the corporate church there are tares. There was “wheat,” because Abram, Sarai and Lot had come to the land of Canaan, but along with those elect in the land of Canaan are the Canaanites, the non-elect. There are the “wheat and tares” together in the place that is the outward representation of the kingdom of God on the earth.
For instance, we read something interesting in Zechariah chapter 14, a chapter that deals with the Great Tribulation and Judgment Day itself. It says in Zechariah 14:20-21:
In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO JEHOVAH; and the pots in the JEHOVAH'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto JEHOVAH of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of JEHOVAH of hosts.
We can finally understand this kind of language, which would have been impossible to understand previously because God has revealed to us that the Bible is a parable and He uses this kind of spiritual language where you must search for the deeper spiritual meaning. What does the house of JEHOVAH represent? What does the Canaanite being in the house represent? And what does the Canaanite no more being in the house of JEHOVAH represent? We know that the house of JEHOVAH can be at least two pictures. It can be the corporate house, as we see that judgment begins at the house of God, in 1Peter 4, verse 17; or, it can be the eternal house, as we see “Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we,” in Hebrews 3, verse 6; or, we see that we are “built up a spiritual house,” in 1Peter 2, verse 5. One house is all righteous; it is all the elect. The other house had a mixture of “wheat and tares,” or “gold, silver, precious stones” and “wood, hay stubble.” But in the time of the Great Tribulation, judgment began at the house of God. Remember, Daniel spoke of that 2,300 evening mornings and then there was the “cleansing of the temple,” when God called His people out of the corporate church and ended the church age and His relationship with the corporate body; the New Testament churches ceased to be His representatives to the people of the world. Therefore, God cut them off and they no longer were His spokespeople and they did not represent Him. All the tares left in the corporate body were bundled for burning. God had called His people outside of the churches and there would be “purity” because there was no more corporate body. The sending forth of the Gospel during the second part of the Great Tribulation in the Latter Rain period was not meant to gather people into a place like the corporate church, but it was simply to gather them, as it says in Hebrews 10:25:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
It was an assembling or a gathering of ourselves together (in one) and it is the same idea in 2Thessalonians 2:1:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
God’s program was then to gather the individual elect people together. He would save a person and they would be immediately gathered to Himself and become part of a true spiritual house and they would no longer be part of that “shared middle ground” where “many were called, but few are chosen.” The churches of the world became overpopulated with professed Christians – those that were called, but never chosen or elect. Now God was just gathering the few, the chosen ones, to Himself. Therefore, there was a purity, a holiness and a righteousness and a cleansing of the temple or house of God. This meant there was no more the Canaanite in the house of JEHOVAH, because the Canaanite represents an unsaved individual. It could be an unsaved individual out in the world, whose inheritance is this present world and who would lose that inheritance and die for evermore; or, it could be an unsaved individual in the corporate church that was once a representation of the kingdom of God on earth. But, now the Lord says, “And in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of JEHOVAH of hosts.” In other words, there would be no more of the unsaved dwelling together with the saved. The separation between “Cain and Abel” has occurred or the separation between “Jacob and Esau” has occurred. When did that take place? It took place when Jacob received the blessing and Esau did not receive the blessing. There was that division made between them. That division would last for 40 years in the latter case because Jacob had to flee to Haran and he spent forty years there gathering his flock. (That is interesting how that worked out, but let us not get off track.)
Again, we see it says in Genesis 12:6:
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
This confirms it because the word “Moreh” directed us to a place were “former rain” was falling and that would have taken place over the course of the church age, so we can learn from this that Abram, Lot and Sarai are, as it were, within the corporate church during the church age. There is nothing wrong with that because that is exactly where God wanted His people to be at that time. It was in accord with His plan.