Being Grafted in- Understanding Gen. 12:1-3

Being Grafted in- Understanding Gen. 12:1-3
James Scott Trimm

We read in the Torah:

[1] Now YHWH had said unto Avram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, unto a land that I will shew you:
[2] And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing:
[3] And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curse you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
(Gen. 12:1-3)

Paul cites part of this material in Galatians when he writes:

[6] Even as Avraham believed Elohim, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Gen. 15:6).
[7] Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Avraham.
[8] And the scripture, foreseeing that Elohim would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the goodnews unto Avraham, saying, In you shall all nations be blessed. (Gen. 12:3)
[9] So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Avraham.
(Gal. 3:6-9)

The Torah Commentator Rashbam (grandson of Rashi) wrote concerning this phrase in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.(Gen. 12:3)

Rather, “shall graft themselves on to you.” That is, they intermix with your family. Note that this form is Niphal, not the Pual that is the passive of the Piel “bless.”

And Ibn Ezra says in his commentary to this phrase:

A great scholar said in his book that this “blessing” has something to do with grafting plants.

In the Hifil form, this same verb is used in direct reference to Genesis 12:3 in the Talmud to refer to “grafting” of proselytes into Israel:

R. Eleazar further stated: What is meant by the text, And in you shall the families of the earth be blessed? (Gen. 12:3) The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Abraham, ‘I have two goodly shoots to graft (להבריך) onto you: Ruth the Moabitess and Naamah the Ammonitess’. All the families of the earth, even the other families who live on the earth are blessed only for Israel’s sake. All the nations of the earth, even the ships that go from Gaul to Spain are blessed only for Israel’s sake.
(b.Yev. 63a)

When Paul references Genesis 12:3 in Galatians 3:6-9, he is referring to this understanding of proselytes to Israel being “grafted in” to Israel, as he also writes in Romans:

16 And if the first is Set-Apart, the lump of dough is also: and if the root is Set-Apart, the branches [are] also.
17 And if some branches were broken off, and you who are a wild olive [tree], were grafted into their place and became partakers of the root and of the oil of the olive [tree],
18 Do not boast against the [natural] branches. But if you boast, you are not bearing the root, but the root bears you!
19 And perhaps you should say of the branches that were broken off, I will be grafted in their place.
20 These [matters] are beautiful. They were broken off because they did not have trust, but you stand, by trust. Do not be exalted in your mind, but fear:
21 For if Eloah did not spare the natural branches, perhaps He will also not spare you.
22 See then the gentleness and the harshness of Eloah: upon those who fell, harshness, but upon you, gentleness, if, you remain in the gentleness. And if not, you will also be broken off.
23 And those, if they do not remain in their lack of trust, also will be grafted in: for Eloah is able to graft them in again.
24 For if you, who are from the olive [tree] that was wild by your nature, were cut off and were grafted–contrary to your nature–into the good olive [tree], how much more then, those, if they be grafted in their natural olive [tree]?
25 For I want you to know this mystery, my brothers, so that you will not be wise in the thought of your nefesh: that blindness of the heart, in part, has happened to Yisra’el until the fullness of the Goyim should come,
26 And then all Yisra’el will have Life. Thus it is written, From Tziyon a Deliverer will come, and turn iniquity from Ya’akov.
27 And then they will have the covenant that is from Me, when I forgive them their sins. (Isaiah 59:20-21; 27:9)
(Romans 11:16-27)

Donations in December have been very, very low. This is common each year with holiday spending taking a bite out of people’s pocket books. Unfortunately, our expenses have not decreased during the holiday season.

The last two years have been a real trial for us, and the last two months especially so. As you all probably know, our lives have never been the same since my wife returned home from a nearly two month hospitalization and septic shock in 2018.

Then recently in October 2020 my wife was hospitalized for two weeks and and had two surgeries beginning October 9th. She was sent home with a antibiotic resistant infection, under home health care with I.V. antibiotics at home, with visiting nurses. Not long after we got home, we both started having Covid-19 symptoms (mine were only mild), and we both tested positive for Covid-19. We were both recently retested, and are now negative.

I am now “back in the saddle” on projects like the Scripture Restoration Project

Also, by popular request, start looking for ne YouTube teaching videos soon!

We need your help to continue the ongoing work, bringing the message of Messiah to the Jewish people, and bringing the message of Torah to the world. We need your help with the ongoing work of Scripture Restoration, as restore the original Hebrew of the “New Testament” books, a project which will bless all mankind, especially the Jewish people of Israel.

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

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