Alice C. Linsley
The marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's ancestors involves rulers with two wives. This meant that the ruler usually had two first born sons. The first born son of the half-sister wife was the ruler's heir. So Isaac was Abraham's heir and ruled over Abraham's territory in Edom. Hebron (where Sarah lived) and Beersheba (where Keturah lived) are in Idumea (shown below). Abraham's territory extended between the settlements of his two wives and was entirely in Edom.
|Edom or Idumea, land of red people|
The first born son inherited his father’s earthly kingdom. Nahor, Abraham's older brother, inherited Terah's kingdom between Ur and Haran. Haran may have been the oldest of Terah's sons, but according to Genesis he died before his father. After Nahor inherited Terah's earthly kingdom, God led Abraham to leave his family and promised him a kingdom. This kingdom speaks of the Messianic kingdom.
Often there were other sons and to these the ruler gave gifts before his death and sent them away. These sent-away sons are often the great heroes of the Bible I that they receive divine grace to enable them in establishing territories of their own. Cain, Nimrod, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David are examples.
The ruling sons formed 3-clan confederations based on common ancestry. Here are some confederations:
Cain Abel Seth (Gen. 4-5)
Ham Japeth Shem (Gen. 5-9)
Uz, Huz and Buz
Magog Og and Gog (Gen. 10 and Nu. 21:33)
Haran Nahor Abraham (Gen. 11-12)
Yishmael Yaqtan (Joktan) Yitzak (Gen. 16, 21, and 25)
Jeush Jalam Korah (Gen. 36: 4-18)
Jimnah, Jishvah and Jishvi (Gen. 46:17)
Korah Moses Aaron (Ex. and Nu.)
Dedan Tema Buz (Jeremiah 25)
In Genesis, we often find that the third son either dies or is hidden in the text. Abel, Haran, and Onan are examples of sons who die. Og is an example of third son hidden in the text. Another example is Joktan, Abraham's first-born son. He is related to the Jokanite tribes of Arabia. Hidden sons invite us to come closer. The Markan mystery is about the hidden Son. Jesus command his followers to keep silence about his identity as Messiah. He was recognized in Tyre, not in Jerusalem.
We see this theme expressed in the Seder. The three matzohs are enveloped and the middle one is broken and hidden from the others. It is found after a search and returned to its natural group. The three matzohs are called the Unity, but we might as appropriately refer to the unity as Three in One, or a Trinity.
Hidden sons point to Jesus Christ, the Son hidden in the Father's bosom from before the ages. He inherits the Kingdom that is not of this earth. Genesis is the story of His ruler-priest ancestors.
Related reading: Archaic Rulers, Ascendancy and the Foreshadowing of Christ; Abraham's Sons; The Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern of Abraham's People; Kushite Kings and the Kingdom of God; Why Jesus Visited Tyre