Moses—and God’s Providence

Moses—and God’s Providence

As we saw last week, when Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives, refused to kill baby boys that were born as the Pharaoh “to whom Joseph meant nothing” told them to, he sent out an edict to all of his people stating, “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”[1] This charge creates an especial suspense as we turn to the second chapter of Exodus which tells of Moses’ birth and introduces us to his character.

The opening verses of Exodus 2 state, “1 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.” In these couple of verses, we learn that Moses descended from the tribe of Levi, Jacob and Leah’s third son.[2] Concerning this “fine child,” Luke records how Stephen, prior to being martyred, similarly stated that at the time Moses was born, “he was no ordinary child.”[3] Now since we’ve looked at the background provided in chapter 1, we know that the reason that Moses’ mother hid her newborn baby was because she would have known about Pharaoh’s edict ordering the death of every Hebrew male baby that was born. However, as noted in verse 3, when Moses’ mother “could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch.” The word translated as “papyrus basket” is the same one translated as “ark” in the account of Noah.[4] So when Moses’ mother prepared this miniature ark basket for her son, “she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.” This poor woman couldn’t have known the outcome of her action but considered that by sending him away, he might at least have a shot at life. Perhaps someone would find and care for him. Little could she have known who that someone would turn out to be!

Now Moses had an older sister. As we’ll later see, this girl to whom we’re introduced here was none other than Miriam who would later become a prophet[5] who would minister not only with Moses but also with their brother Aaron.[6] As noted in verse 4, Miriam “stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.” What ended up happening is yet further evidence not only of God’s providence, of his protective care over those who are his, but also of his sense of humor—at least that’s how I understand it! For as the passage goes on to state in verses 5–6, “Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.” Thus we see that the woman who found and felt sorry for baby Moses was none other than the daughter of Pharaoh, the most powerful man in all of Egypt, who had ordered that all male Hebrew babies be put to death. She is the one who felt sorry for this baby.

But it’s worth pausing a moment to ask: How did Pharaoh’s daughter know that Moses was “one of the Hebrew babies?” After all, at the age of three months I imagine that most babies born in this part of the world, whether in Canaan or Egypt, would have displayed similar features. Therefore, how did Pharaoh’s daughter know that this male baby belonged to one of the Hebrews? The reason she knew was due to the practice of circumcision that began when God established a covenant with Abraham and his descendants to indicate that he, and no other, was their God. If you’ll recall, at that time God said to Abraham,

As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised,….[7]

As practicing believers, Moses’ parents would have had him circumcised when he was eight days old. This is why, upon seeing that this three-month old baby was circumcised—a ritual not practiced by the Egyptians—it would have been evident to Pharaoh’s daughter that this baby belonged to the Hebrews.

Well, Moses’ sister, who had been watching from afar to see what happened to her baby brother, then stepped in. She asked Pharaoh’s daughter, verse 7, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” Helpful—and clever—and brave—little girl, wasn’t she?  As one commentator notes, “As someone from the population of slaves in Egypt, it took significant courage for Moses’ sister to presume to speak to Pharaoh’s daughter.”[8] When Pharaoh’s daughter agreed, verse 8, we’re not surprised to learn that the Hebrew woman Moses’ sister found was none other than the baby’s own mother. What is more, Pharaoh’s daughter then told her, verse 9, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So we see that Moses’ mother would not only be able to care for her baby boy, the very one who out of her fear and concern she had sent away in a mini-ark basket, but would be paid for doing so!—have I mentioned the divine humor here?

Therefore, Moses’ mother “took the baby and nursed him.” Later, “When the child grew older,” verse 10, “she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water.’” As we’ve seen with other names given in Scripture oftentimes people’s names were attached to their character[9] or are related to the events surrounding their birth.[10] Similarly, Moses’ name derives from a Hebrew word for “draw out.” As to why Pharaoh’s daughter, an Egyptian, would choose a Hebrew word to name her adopted son, one scholar notes that in addition to its Hebrew meaning, “The name may also be related to the common Egyptian word for ‘son.’ Since Pharaoh’s daughter clearly knows that Moses is a Hebrew child…, it is possible that she chose the name for both its Hebrew…and Egyptian…senses.”[11]

Well, last week, as we wrapped up the story of Joseph, we noted that Scripture isn’t given us in order that we might learn about interesting people, places, and events—although being a historical book, it contains many interesting people, places, and events—but rather Scripture has been given and preserved for us by God in order that we might learn about him. This is why, in the case of Joseph, we’re told a fair amount about how God worked in the first half of his life, but very little about what occurred in the second half. So it is with Moses, for after being told about the remarkable events surrounding his birth, we’re presented with Moses as an adult. All we know about the intervening years is later summarized, again by Stephen in the New Testament, who notes that as a result of growing up in Pharaoh’s household, “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.”[12] As was true with Joseph, though Moses was an Israelite, he learned much from the Egyptians among whom he lived and was raised.

From Stephen we also learn that “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites.”[13] Rather than providing Moses’ exact age, verse 11 of Exodus 2 states, “One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor.” Now it’s interesting to consider that though Moses had been adopted at a young age by the Egyptians and was educated by them, he nonetheless identified as an Israelite. As stated here, he considered the Hebrews to be “his own people.” And as we saw in Exodus 1 last week, Pharaoh had placed slave masters over the Hebrews “to oppress them with forced labor” and who “worked them ruthlessly” and “made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields”—all because the Israelites were deemed to be “far too numerous” for the Egyptians to handle.[14] Thus Moses now “watched them at their hard labor.” Yet because he identified as an Israelite, when Moses “saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people” (emphasis added), he took matters into his own hands. As stated in verse 12, “Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” Moses couldn’t simply stand by while one of his kinsmen was being so severely abused by an Egyptian for it must have been quite a beating for it to stand out to him. But though he then tried to hide what he had done by burying the man he had killed in the sand, this event became known.

Now what’s surprising is that Moses was initially called out for this killing not by an Egyptian but by one of his fellow Israelites. You would think that a fellow Israelite would have felt a sense of appreciation for his having stood up for one of his own people. But this isn’t how things unfolded. Instead, as stated in verse 13, the day after he killed and buried the Egyptian for having beaten a Hebrew, Moses “went out and saw two Hebrews fighting.” Consequently, he “asked the one in the wrong, ‘Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?’” I have to say, Moses is a man after my heart for it’s evident that he, too, has a strong “justice” gene![15] He couldn’t stand idly by in the face of injustice, whether that of an Egyptian beating one of his countrymen or that of one of his own countrymen hitting another. However, this fellow Hebrew didn’t appreciate Moses’ intrusion for he answered him, verse 14, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” It’s worth noting that in his retort this unnamed man unwittingly—and correctly!—identified what Moses’ future role would be for God would indeed make him “ruler and judge” over Israel.

As to this man’s confrontational response to Moses, I suspect that part of what was going on here—in addition to his not appreciating Moses stepping in—is that although this man was a fellow Hebrew, he may have resented the fact that because Moses was part of Pharaoh’s household, he didn’t share in the hard labor the rest of the Israelites were undergoing—again, notice that verse 11 states that Moses “went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor.” In other words, he himself wasn’t doing any hard labor but was merely watching his fellow countrymen at work. This may help explain the man’s edgy response for who was Moses to question him? In a sense, Moses’ dual identity that resulted from his having been raised in a privileged Egyptian household while identifying ethnically and religiously as a Jewish man, made it difficult for him to fully live as the Hebrew man he was.

Therefore, upon being challenged by this man, “Moses was afraid and thought, ‘What I did must have become known.’” If this Hebrew man knew what he had done, then surely others did as well. He wasn’t wrong in this assumption for as stated in verse 15, “When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.” As years earlier Jacob had fled from his brother Esau’s wrath, now Moses fled from the wrath of Pharaoh.[16]

Now having seen God’s hand at work throughout our studies in Genesis, even if we’re unfamiliar with the story of Moses we can nonetheless rest and trust in the fact that as God has extended his providential guidance and care to his image-bearers in the past, so will he continue to do in the life of his servant Moses. For time and again we’ve seen God bring good out of foolish and/or evil human choices. To highlight just a few:

Beginning with Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed him, he took care of them despite their disobedience to him;

When the world became so evil in the time of Noah that God destroyed it, he delivered Noah and his family from that great evil;

Abraham and Sarah’s barrenness was overcome not with the birth of Ishmael by Hagar, Sarah’s servant, but by the miracle of Isaac’s birth when Abraham and Sarah were both beyond child-bearing years;

Joseph’s being sold into slavery by his brothers resulted in God using him to save the lives of thousands of people during a time of great famine.

In all of these events, God’s providence, his foreseeing care and guidance, are front and center. Therefore, though we may feel some apprehension over Moses’ predicament, we nonetheless know that God will work all things out for good—as he does in the lives of all who know, love, and serve him—in order to bring about his purposes.[17]

As we’ve seen throughout Genesis, God’s providence is ever at the forefront. But God’s providence is found not only at the forefront of his creation but also its consummation and at every point in between. This is Paul’s message in the passage read earlier from Acts 17. Paul here wasn’t addressing believers. His message was for those who didn’t know or believe in Jesus Christ. As noted in verse 16, what precipitated his doing so is that “While [he] was waiting for [Silas and Timothy to join him[18]] in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” Paul had reason to be distressed. He wasn’t the only one to be struck by this city so full of idols. One scholar notes the Roman writer “Petronius’s [sic] satirical assertion that it was easier to find a god than a man in Athens.”[19] In the case of Paul, he was so upset by these many pretenders to god that, verse 17, he “reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.” Therefore, Paul reached out to his own Jewish people, to Greeks who feared God, and to anyone else who happened to be in the marketplace.

Specifically, as stated in verse 18, “Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.” Consequently, a group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers “took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus,” (verse 19) which was a hill where the highest governmental council met, and asked, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” After commending them for being religious “in every way”—after all, they had even raised an altar “to an unknown God” just to be sure they had all of their bases covered (verse 23)—Paul sought to dissuade them of their ignorance by telling them about God who made the world and discloses himself in his written and living Word. For Paul understood well what we’ll see Moses make crystal clear, that the God who made the world is a jealous God who allows no pretenders to the throne that is rightfully his.[20]

Therefore, in verse 24 Paul addresses these altar-builders by teaching them, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.” God who made everything that exists can’t be contained in temples built by humans. “And,” verse 25, “he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.” Since God is perfect, lacking in nothing, humans can add nothing to his existence or worth. “Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” God doesn’t depend upon the world, his creation; rather his creation exists only in and through and because of him.

Next, without providing chapter and verse, Paul references God’s creating Adam in verse 26: “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” God didn’t simply make humans. He made them to “inhabit the whole earth”—as he said to Adam and Eve[21]—and later to Noah and his family[22]—and later promised Abraham[23]—and Isaac[24]—and Jacob.[25] And notice that God didn’t simply create the world and leave it to function by its own devices, but instead “he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” He remains involved with the people and world he’s made, guiding and directing it to its intended end. Why does he do so? The answer for God’s ongoing involvement with his image-bearers is provided in verse 27: “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” God made us not only for each other but for himself, that we might know and love him.

Although Paul again doesn’t provide chapter and verse for the Fall that resulted when our first parents listened to and followed the serpent rather than listening to and following him, the Fall of Adam and Eve is the backdrop to Paul’s teaching here. For though at the Fall Adam and Eve turned away from God, God never turned away from his image-bearers. He didn’t turn away from them at the beginning and he doesn’t turn away from them now. As Paul states, God wants us to seek—and reach out for him—and find him “though he is not far from any one of us.” God isn’t far from any one of us because he’s omnipresent—he is present everywhere[26]—and he remains involved caring for the world he’s made.[27]

To underscore this point, Paul references two philosophers that his Greek audience would have known—notice the parenthetical note in verse 21 which states, “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” First Paul quotes from Epimenides, a Cretan philosopher,[28] who said, “For in him we live and move and have our being.” And then Aratus,[29] a Stoic philosopher and poet, as well as from Cleanthes,[30] who said, “We are his offspring.” Since the teaching of these pagan philosophers coincides with what God has disclosed in his Scriptures, Paul was comfortable using their teaching to reach his audience.

Paul next built upon the logical outworking of humans being God’s offspring. As stated in verse 29, “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.” Paul continues to demarcate the stark difference between the creation and its Creator. A god that humans make is no god at all. But as he goes on to teach them, verse 30, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” Though up until the time Paul was writing God had been patient in not bringing immediate judgment, judgment is sure to come. Therefore people need to repent, to turn away from, their worship of idols that they themselves have made—even as Aaron, Moses’ brother, would later need to repent for the part he played in creating a golden calf for people to worship. Repentance of worshiping false gods and idols is required of all, whether Aaron or those living in Athens or those living in our day, who don’t acknowledge the true God who has disclosed himself in Christ and by his written Word. Such repentance is necessary “For,” verse 31, “[God] has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.” And who is this man? None other than Jesus Christ. As Paul concludes, God “has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” As one commentator states, “The resurrection of Jesus is at the center of God’s plan for history and is the basis for hope in the future resurrection of the body…. It is also a central evidence to persuade people to believe in Christ.”[31]

Therefore, what we see throughout the Bible are the highlights of how God worked in the history of humanity beginning with its creation and Fall to the time when God personally entered human history in the Person of his Son, Jesus the Christ, Jesus the Messiah, to redeem his fallen creation. From beginning to end, the story presented to us in Scripture is the story of God’s providence, of his foreseeing care and guidance, for the creation he has so fearfully and wonderfully made.[32]

Dear sisters and brothers, let us trust in the providence, in the foreseeing and tender care and guidance of our gracious and loving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For as he displayed his providence in the life of Moses, protecting him from a royal edict that should have resulted in his death by means of the disobedience of Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives—and by the tiny ark basket in which his mother placed him—and by the watchful care and quick-thinking of his older sister—and by moving Pharaoh’s daughter to have compassion on him, so does God extend his providence, his foreseeing care and guidance, in the lives of all who seek and love him.

Let us remember that such a God, who has taken such great care to disclose himself in his Son and by his Word, is never far from any of us;

Therefore, let us bow down before him and give thanks to him for entering human history and living—and suffering—and dying—and rising from death in order to take away our sins and, in their place, give us his righteousness that in and through Christ we might be one with our heavenly Father by the Holy Spirit he so generously sends to seal us to himself and each other for all eternity;

Let us ever praise our glorious Savior and Creator for loving and caring for us so well and trust in his providence in good times and bad;

At all times let us trust in his foreseeing care and guidance in our lives, knowing that he loves us and that he will never let go of those who believe in his Son.

Let us pray.


Benediction: Ephesians 3:20–21: 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

[1] Exodus 1:15–17, 8, 22, respectively: 15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.; Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.; 22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”

[2] Genesis 29:34: Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi

[3] Acts 7:20: “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family.” Another translation for “no ordinary child” is he was fair in the sight of God. See also Hebrews 11:23: “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” i.e., they weren’t afraid of the king’s edict in that they disobeyed it.

[4] Genesis 6:14: So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.

[5] Exodus 15:20: Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.

[6] Exodus 4:14–16: 14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.

[7] Genesis 17:9–12a. See sermon preached on August 2, 2021, Almighty Humor—and Blessing, on Genesis 17:1–11, 15–19, 23.

[8] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Exodus 2:7–9.

[9] As in Abram’s name (“exalted father”) being changed to Abraham (“father of a multitude”) or Jacob’s name (“he grasps the heel” which is an idiom for “he deceives”) being changed to Israel (“he struggles with God”).

[10] As in the names given to Jacob’s children, e.g., Genesis 29:31–32: 31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” Genesis 30:7–8: Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali

[11] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Exodus 2:10.

[12] Acts 7:22.

[13] Acts 7:23. The verses that follow record the remainder of the incident: Acts 17:23–29: 23 When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, “Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?” 27 But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? 28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?”[Exodus 2:14] 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

[14] Exodus 1:8–14:Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” 11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly

[15] As I stated in the sermon preached on June 27th, Groaning in Hope, on Genesis 50:15–21: I often tell Ron that I have an overdeveloped “justice gene” since I react so strongly when people—including myself—don’t always do what is right. And this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I would argue that God desires all of us to have well-developed “justice” genes. However, he also desires for us to have well-developed “grace” genes. He desires that we, knowing our weaknesses and having an awareness of the times when we haven’t done what is right, learn how to forgive and receive forgiveness. Justice and grace must both be embraced, even as Joseph did. For make no mistake. Joseph had all the power in this exchange with his brothers. Yet he chose to take the high road. He chose to take the godly road. Therefore, he forgave his brothers, knowing that God had used their evil deeds against him to save the lives of many. Joseph had well-developed justice and grace genes. He lived out what the apostle Paul later similarly testified to in his letter to the Philippians: “12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”[15] Joseph understood this in spades because he, too, whether strong or weak, had experienced the sustenance and strength of his heavenly Father.

[16] The text never states whether Pharaoh’s daughter informed him that she was raising a Hebrew child. It’s possible that when Moses killed what in Pharaoh’s eyes was a “fellow” Egyptian, that the truth came out.

[17] See Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

[18] Acts 17:15: Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.

[19] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Acts 17:16. The dictionary identifies Petronius as a Roman writer, generally accepted as the author of the Satyricon, a work in prose and verse satirizing the excesses of Roman society. He died in AD 66.

[20] Exodus 20:3–6: 3 You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

[21] Genesis 1:28: God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

[22] Genesis 9:1–3: 1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

[23] Genesis 13:14–17: 14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

[24] Genesis 26:4–5: I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”

[25] Genesis 35:11–12: 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”

[26] See, e.g., Psalm 139:7–12: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

[27] See, e.g., Psalm 139:1–6: 1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

[28] c. 600 BC.

[29] 315–240 in his Phaenomena.

[30] 331–233 in his Hymn to Zeus.

[31] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Acts 17:31. See1 Corinthians 15:55–57: 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”[Hosea 13:14] 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.; Revelations 21:4: ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[Isaiah 25:8] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.;” Acts 2:24, 32–33: But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him…. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

[32] Psalm 139:14: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.