Bible passage: Genesis 12:2-3
Written: As early as 1400 BC
In Genesis 12:2-3, and in Genesis 28:10-15, the Bible said that the descendants of Abraham and the descendants of Abraham's grandson, Jacob, would be a blessing for people worldwide. Jacob is the father of the 12 Tribes of Israel. In 1898, Mark Twain wrote an essay for Harper's New Monthly Magazine that discussed how the Jews have had an impact on the world:
" ... the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone. Other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all… All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"
Some Bible scholars include this prophecy in their lists of Messianic prophecies, because the prophecy speaks of blessings, which in other Old Testament prophecies, is directly linked to role that the Messiah would play. And, the Messiah, in other prophecies, was foretold to be a descendant of Abraham.
In other words, Abraham's descendants may fulfill the prophecy in Gen. 12:2-3, but the Messiah, also a descendant of Abraham, would become the ultimate fulfillment of that prophecy.
This is consistent with the view that Luke presents when he wrote Acts 3:25-26, after the followers of Jesus had begun evangelizing the message of Jesus and their conviction that Jesus was indeed the Messiah who had been promised by the Old Testament prophets:
"And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.' When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways." (Acts 3:25-26, NIV)
- Research and commentary is based on the book 100 Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.
Here is Genesis 12:2-3:
2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."