Genesis 12:3

Hebrew Bible

1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you. 2 Then I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, so that you will exemplify divine blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, so that all the families of the earth may receive blessing through you. 4 So Abram left, just as the Lord had told him to do, and Lot went with him. (Now Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran.)

Zechariah 8:13

Hebrew Bible

11 But I will be different now to this remnant of my people from the way I was in those days,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, 12 ‘for there will be a peaceful time of sowing, the vine will produce its fruit, and the ground its yield, and the skies will rain down dew. Then I will allow the remnant of my people to possess all these things. 13 And it will come about that just as you, both Judah and Israel, were a curse to the nations, so I will save you and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid! Instead, be strong.’ 14 “For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, ‘As I had planned to hurt you when your fathers made me angry,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘and I was not sorry, 15 so, to the contrary, I have planned in these days to do good to Jerusalem and Judah—do not fear!

 Notes and References

"... Archaeological evidence shows that the political status of tenth-century Israel was much more modest than was hitherto assumed, so that the promise of a “great nation” and a “great name” are not nearly as appropriate as had been thought. In addition, Genesis 12:1–3 does not explicitly envision an Israelite state; this fact sets it apart from promises with political substance (Genesis 25:23; 27:28–29, 39–40), which really do date from the early monarchy (tenth or ninth century). Furthermore, as Schmid and Van Seters in particular have pointed out, elements of the promise derive from royal theology, for example, the “great name” (compare 2 Samuel 7:9; 1 Kings 1:47) and the “mediation of blessings” (compare Psalm 21:4; 72:6–7, 16, 17). Such a borrowing is hardly conceivable in a period when the monarchy was just becoming established; more likely it dates from a time when the monarchy had ceased to exist (compare Isaiah 55:5 and in part Psalm 89). Finally, Israel as mediator of God’s blessings in Genesis 12:3b is most reminiscent of the universalism of DeuteroIsaiah; similar formulas date from the late preexilic period (Jeremiah 4:2) or the postexilic period (Zechariah 8:13), where they contrast with the lowly status of Israel among the nations after its political demise (compare Psalm 44:14–15; 79:4; Lamentations 2:15; Deuteronomy 28:37; Jeremiah 24:9; etc.) ..."

Albertz, Rainer Israel in Exile: The History and Literature of the Sixth Century B.C.E. (p. 249) Society of Biblical Literature, 2003

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