Good evening and welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the book of Genesis. Tonight is study #1 of Genesis, chapter 23, and we are going to begin by reading the first two verses, in Genesis 23:1-2:
And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
For many chapters (going back to Genesis 11), we have been reading the adventures of Abraham and Sarah. They were introduced in Genesis 11:27:
Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
And then it says in Genesis 11:29-30:
And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Now we are in chapter 23. A lot of Biblical history has been covered, and some of the most important teachings of the Bible have been laid out over these few chapters. We have seen God’s promise to Abram and Sarai concerning the seed, and how they patiently waited. Then there was the situation when Sarai gave Hagar her handmaid to Abram because they thought they could produce the seed that way. Many events have taken place, like the destruction of Sodom and the taking of Sarai (once by Pharaoh and once by a king of the Philistines) and God delivered her twice. There were incredible life experiences, like giving birth to Isaac when she was 90 years old.
Now it comes time for her death, like all people, and God gave Sarah 127 years of life in this world. At this point, we know exactly how old Abraham would have been. He was 10 years older, so he would have been 137. We know exactly how old Isaac would have been, because of Abraham’s and Sarah’s ages when she gave birth. Sarah was 90 and she died at 127, so it was 37 years later, and Isaac would have been 37 at the time his mother died.
The Bible has been giving us a lot of information about time and much of it has to do with the Biblical calendar God placed in His Word so that the elect people of God at the time of the end would come to an understanding of time and judgment. You cannot understand “time” unless you understand “judgment.” Yes – the Bible speaks of judgment beginning at the house of God and the Bible speaks of the final judgment of the world. God had made veiled statements that we now understand, such as the statements, “…the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night… But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief,” as we read in 1Thessalonians 5. Or, the statement, “…and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment. Because to every purpose there is time and judgment,” that we see in Ecclesiastes 8:5-6. And there are many similar statements sprinkled throughout the Bible where God gives indicators, so His people would know both “time and judgment” when it came to that point. For example, in Daniel 12:4 God told Daniel, “…shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end,” and knowledge would be increased. Then He repeated it in Daniel 4:9: “…for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” The implication is that at the time of the end the Word or information would be unsealed. That is certainly implied. Then in the next verse, we read: “and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” And it is stated in the context of the sealed Word and the implication of the unsealing of that Word at the time of the end, and it is at the time of the end that we can make application of the statement that none of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand. And, of course, we can ask the question: “Understand what?” It has to do with the Word and the revelation or knowledge that the Word would bring forth regarding (both) time and judgment.
As I said earlier, you cannot understand judgment without understanding time, because judgment begins at the house of God, but you have to know at what point or what time judgment began at the house of God. In order to know when it would be, you must know the timeline or the Biblical calendar, and God is in control of that. He kept it sealed until we got close to the very end. That is why in the 70s, the Lord opened up the understanding of Mr. Camping to the Biblical calendar as laid out in the book of Genesis, especially in the genealogies of Genesis 5, 10 and 11, and then the history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord was very clear in giving us their lifespans and death ages, which helps us to understand the Biblical calendar of history and its genealogies, as it leads into the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and so forth) and we can see the calendar from creation and Adam down to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We know that Jacob was born in 2007 B. C. and we know he was 130 when he entered into Egypt and, therefore, we know Israel’s entry point into Egypt was 1877 B. C. And the Bible states, absolutely, that they were in Egypt 430 years to the selfsame day, which was 1447. We know they wandered 40 years in the wilderness, bringing us to 1407, and so forth. Then we go through the period of the judges, which is a little murky, but the Lord, again, gave Mr. Camping wisdom in laying that out. Then the period of the kings was also a little difficult and tricky to understand and, again, God gave Mr. Camping wisdom to lay out that time period.
Why did the Lord open Mr. Camping’s eyes so much? I am referring to him because we must say where these things originated. It is just giving proper credit, as he was allowed by God to see these things in the Bible, and he wrote books on these things. I did not see these things initially and I do not know of anyone else that did, so it is just giving proper credit to the individual the Lord used to open up so much time information from the Bible. And it was all laid out in books like “Adam When” and “Time Has an End.” We can find these Biblical calendars and they follow all the way through the kings of Judah and the destruction of Israel in the North and Judah in the South, and so forth. We have this wonderful timeline that we can follow from creation down through thousands of years of Earth’s history, and it is all inclusive. It is an intact Biblical calendar in which we can find points of relationship to our calendars, the Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar.
We establish dates in the Biblical calendar and then we can see secular evidence, archeological evidence and astronomical evidence (related to such things as supernovae that are very precise points that occur in history) and we can tie the two together. We find that we have a very Biblical calendar and, of course it is, because God laid it out and He wanted His people to know it was trustworthy to know where we are in time. It was the only way we could “discern both time and judgment,” and to know, for example, when it was time to come out of the churches as God issued forth the command. You have to know the time to know the judgment.
To know the judgment also involves the Lord opening up spiritual understanding of these things to know that it was a spiritual judgment that began on the churches and that the Holy Spirit and the light of the Gospel came out of the midst of the congregations. Then we can pinpoint when the judgment began on the world because we have that Biblical calendar and we know when Noah’s flood took place and, as a result, we can know that “yet seven days” relates to 7,000 years and a 7,000-year timeline from the flood fell on May 21, 2011. Then there was further confirmation because from the flood, we have the Biblical record that the flood took place on “the seventeenth day of the second month” of Noah’s 600th year, which was our year 4990 B. C. From there, we travel 7,000 years and then 23 exact years of the Great Tribulation (8,400 days), which provides further confirmation of our understanding of the end of the church age and the timeline for the Great Tribulation. It is all perfectly accurate. On that 8,400th day of May 21, 2011, there was the underlying Hebrew calendar date of “the seventeenth day of the second month,” thereby confirming the Biblical calendar of history as we had come to understand it; confirming our understanding that the date of the end of the church age was correct; confirming our understanding of the Great Tribulation timeline was correct; confirming our understanding of the beginning of the official judgment on the world was correct, and so forth. It is really so beautiful to see the interworking of the Biblical calendar as God connected it to our current calendar and brought everything together through the information opened up about Judgment Day, May 21, 2011.
So, here in Genesis 23, God is speaking of Sarah and He tells us in Genesis 23:1-2:
And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan…
What is amazing about this statement is that, yes, God gives us all kinds of Biblical information related to “time and judgment.” We just discussed a lot of it, and there is much more, but this is the only place in the Bible where the Lord gives the death age of a woman. Sarah was 127 years old when she died. Actually, God had given some other information about Sarah’s age back when she was 89. The Lord had said that in the next year she would have a son, and we know that Sarah was 90 years old at that point. Since God gives her death age, we know when she was born by going 127 years earlier, and we know that in relationship to Abraham, he was 10 years older. In relationship to Isaac’s birth, we know the year that Abraham was born and the year that Isaac was born. Abraham was born in 2167 B. C. and Isaac was born in 2067 B. C., one hundred years later. And Sarah, being ten years younger than Abraham, would have been born in 2157 B. C. and the year she died (127 years later) would have been 2030 B. C., although I think it is possible that she could have died in 2031 B. C. because of the overlapping of the calendars between the Hebrew calendar and our calendar. (I did not want to get into this, and I had actually told myself not to mention this.) However, since we are talking about Sarah, I think there is a possibility for 2031 B. C., only because of the fact that if you add 2,031 and 2,033, it comes to 4,064 years; that is, going from 2031 B. C. to 2033 A. D., the year that much evidence points to as the end. The number “4,064” can be broken down to a series of the number “2” and the number “127,” or “4 x 4 x 2 x 127.” And, of course, since Sarah died at the age of 127, I think that is a possibility because the number “4” points to universality and it is doubled, indicating the furthest extent of what is in view; the number “2” points to the caretakers of the Word of God; and the number “127” is Sarah’s death age. If we have the year (of her death) as 2030 B. C., which the simple math seems to point to, it does not work out. We would need to go to the year 2034 A. D. So I am not saying this is the case. I think the evidence right now points to her dying in 2030 B. C., but I am just mentioning this as something we can look at further to see if there is a way of finding some evidence that she could have died in the year 2031 B. C.
The year 2030 B. C. also has support because from 2030 when Sarah died to 2007 when Jacob and Esau were born is 23 years. And 23 years is significant because it would be a sort of “tribulation period,” as it comes to a very important year, because God uses Jacob and Esau to represent all mankind. Anyway, I just wanted to mention that other time path as a study topic and a bit of evidence to examine.
Regarding the number “127,” we know that Sarah is a special case, because God is certainly not like the people of our day with the women’s movement where everything in our day has to be completely equal as far as men and women. Everything has to be done in an equal scale. It is due to our modern social movement that this is so, and it has not been the case throughout most of history that men and women were doing everything the same. For most of history, men would work, and women would stay home with the children and work at home. Of course, that is work, but they did not go out into the world to earn income. That was the typical situation of life in this world, except for the last 100 to 130 years, where there has been this development. I do not want to get into that area, but all I am saying is that in the Bible God tends to use men and He commanded the man to have the rule in the home, and the woman was to be in submission. If you say that out loud today in the public square, there would be all kinds of men and women that would say that was terrible, but it is not. It is how “government” in the home was to take place. The Lord also determined that as far as the declaring of His Word, men were to do it, and not women. Men were to be the teachers and the ones with the spiritual authority, and not women. That is just how it is in the Bible. We could go to verses that I am sure you are familiar with, such as 1Timothy 2:12:
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man…
It is a very direct statement. Many churches today have one eye on the world and they are lusting after the things of the world, so they have women pastors, elders and deacons and women in authority, because they are not listening to the Bible. They are modern churches that are following the world, and this is one of the reasons God has given them up.
Also, we find that as God brought His Word, He overwhelmingly used men as prophets. There are a couple of rare instances when there were women and I think one reason God did this, aside from the spiritual picture (like Deborah’s name meaning “Word”), God allowed these things in the Bible to set traps and snares for those at the time of the end in the churches that would have their eyes cast on the world and that seek to follow the world’s social movements, whether it be women teaching or homosexuality where there are homosexual bishops and ministers in certain churches. So God has laid traps and snares like this, but, for the most part, God overwhelmingly used men as prophets, priests and leaders of Israel or leaders of the churches and congregations. We find qualifications for men to be elders and deacons. And, yes, even there, God did speak of a woman entering into the ministry at one point in the Epistles, but, again, that is just giving a “little rope” for people to run with against the teaching of the Bible. But, for the most part, God has used men and there are spiritual reasons for that, because the “man” typifies the Lord Jesus Christ. Adam was a type of Christ and Eve was a type of the church, as the Lord made her from Adam’s side. She represents the eternal church, or she could be a figure of the corporate church, but the woman is cast in a submissive role to her husband. She is to be silent when there is teaching of the Bible and when men are exercising authority, because that is the role of all of us (men and women) in subjection to the Bible and God Himself. And God likens Himself most often to a masculine role. He is typified by the masculine most often, with few exceptions, in the Bible. In regard to the timeline of history, God used men to lay out the Biblical calendar. That is why He gave the ages and death ages of men – but not all men, but certain key individuals where the numbers would be important.
But, here, we are only given the death age of Sarah, and this is very interesting when we find that this is the only place in the whole Bible where God gives the death age of a woman. Lord willing, we will talk about Sarah’s age and some of the reasons why God may have told us that she died at age 127.