The concept of family is extremely important in the Bible, both in a physical sense and in a theological sense. The concept of family was introduced in the very beginning as we see in 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 of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’" God’s plan for creation was for men and women to marry and have children. A man and a woman would form a "one flesh" union through marriage (Genesis 2:24), and they with their children become a family, the essential building block of human society.
We also see early on that family members were to look after and care for one another. When God asks Cain "Where is Abel your brother?" Cain’s response is the flippant "Am I my brother’s keeper?" The implication is that yes, Cain was expected to be Abel’s keeper and vice versa. Not only was Cain’s murder of his brother an offense against humanity in general, but it was especially egregious because it was the first recorded case of fratricide (murder of one’s sibling).
The Bible has a more communal sense of people and family than is generally held in Western cultures today, where citizens are more individualized than people in the Middle East and definitely more so than the people of the ancient near East. When God saved Noah from the flood, it wasn’t an individual case salvation, but a salvation for him, his wife, his sons and his sons’ wives. In other words his family was saved (Genesis 6:18). When God called Abraham out of Haran, He called him and his family (Genesis 12:4-5). The sign of the Abrahamic covenant (circumcision) was to be applied to all males within one’s household, whether they were born into the family or are part of the household servant staff (Genesis 17:12-13). In other words, God’s covenant with Abraham was familial, not individual.
The importance of family c…
Keywords: [tag]family[/tag], [tag]god[/tag], [tag]covenant[/tag], [tag]salvation[/tag]
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