Has God Fulfilled His Promise to Abraham?

Given that there are only 13-15 million Jews currently (0.19% of world’s population in 2009)

Gen 22: 15-18

The Angel of Yahweh called Abraham a second time from heaven. 'I swear by my own self - it is Yahweh who speaks - because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of their gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.

Christ is the descendant by whom Abraham will be blessed in all nations. Through baptism, we join ourselves to Christ and so we become the adoptive descendants of Abraham. The Church is the new Israel and Christians are her people, under the new covenant with God.

What is the Jewish perspective?

Well, we’re still here. What happened to all the others?

Thought I wrote 13-15 million…

They are 99.81% of the world population…

The promise wasn’t that we’d outbreed everybody else.

They are 99.81% of the world population…

Not as coherent groups, though. Their descendents still exist but subsumed into other religions and worldviews.

We just carry on.

So the promise was…? Please explain how you/Jews understand it.

I think I get the part on the ‘other people’ ceasing to exist…

You want me to explain why there are not trillions of us (number of stars in the heavens)?

Think of all those enemy nations and empires, in Biblical times and since. They’ve gone, we’re still here.


God has fulfilled His promise in two ways:

As Kaninchen said, Jews are still here.

Christians consider Abraham to be their spiritual father. Muslims do too. In fact, half the world’s population adheres to an Abrahamic faith.


Yes God fulfilled His promise to Abraham. It has always been that way.

One good explanation to this:

…The comparison of the multitudes to sand is specifically k’chol asher al s’fat ha’yam, “the sand of the seashore,” because the blessing is referring to the eternity of the Jewish people. Just like the sand on the seashore is so vulnerable to the enormous waves which come crashing against it and threaten to wash it away and yet the seashore remains, so too the Jews have faced enemy after enemy, generation after generation, and have not been washed away. Whether it was the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Crusades, Cossacks, Communists, the Nazis and now the bitter struggle in the Land of Israel, we have been promised that ultimately we are going to be like the sand on the beach, always there, holding the line no matter what and not getting washed away.

Read the rest here

You make a mistake. The Church is Israel and Israel is the Church. The baptised are the chosen people. Besides, the old testament says:

“ἦ μὴν εὐλογῶν εὐλογήσω σε καὶ πληϑύνων πληϑυνῶ τὸ σπέρμα σου ὡς τοὺς ἀστέρας τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ὡς τὴν ἄμμον τὴν παρὰ τὸ χεῖλος τῆς ϑαλάσσης (Genesis 22:17, LXX)

And πληϑύνω means to increase, multiply.

The ancient Romans could not fathom how, if the God of the Jews was the one almighty God, the Jews had fallen under Rome’s power.

The Roman Empire has long since crumbled to dust. All the other nations and peoples of the Roman empire are no more. Only the Jews remain. It is seemingly impossible that they of all the world’s ancient peoples have survived, but they have. Even more remarkable, that they have survived despite the animosity against them, through centuries of adversity aimed to make them victims for their stubborn insistence to continue to remain being Jews.

The Jews had only themselves and their eternal covenant with God. The Jews survived.

They are no longer a vassal state but have regained sovereignty over their homeland. This too is a seeming impossibility. They regained their independence a mere three years after one third of the Jewish people were destroyed in the genocide of the Shoah. They regained their independence despite being immediately attacked by the armies of five nations. In both cases the world stood by and watched. When Hitler rose to power the world shut their borders to the Jews leaving the Jews to his murderous wrath. During World war II not one country could spare one bomb on even one mission to put Auschwitz out of commission for even a single day. When the Jewish state was attacked not one country sent one soldier to help the survivors of Auschwitz. Instead they imposed arms embargoes to prevent the Jews from defending themselves.

The Jews had only themselves and their eternal covenant with God.The Jewish nation was not extinguished forever in the ashes of the Shoah, the Jews won their war of re independence.

That the Jewish state survives today is also a seeming impossibility. It sits on a mere one per cent of the land of the middle east, in an area roughly the size of the state of New Jersey, surrounded by a billion enemies. It could not possibly survive but it does. Despite its precarious position it is seemingly so strong as to be deemed an “aggressor” by those who wish it ill.

The Jews make up a mere two tenths of one per cent of the world’s population. The have only been allowed to integrate within general western society in the last two hundred years. So small in numbers it is a seeming impossibility that Jews should be even seen or felt. However, despite their minuscule numbers their contributions to society are so vast that their enemies accuse them of “controlling the world”.

The ancient Romans could not fathom the God of the Jews. Today, their descendants cannot look at the Jew and not believe in God.

If you can, that would be a good place to start…

Yes and No. Yes in that through Abraham’s descendant (Jesus), all nations have been blessed.

No in that, as the Catechism teaches, God’s calling to Israel remains irrevocable, and we know that in the end times (Roman 11), Israel, as a collective, will come to saving faith.

Also, I believe that God’s prophetic plan of Israel’s (ethnic Israel’s) return to the land remains valid. This perhaps has begun with Israel - but the spiritual awakening has not yet happened.

It is true that the Church (the body of believers - Jew and Gentile) make up the “Israel of God” - but this is not to the exclusion of God’s ongoing covenant with ethnic Israel - it will be their coming to faith (as Paul writes) that shows God’s greatest glory -

The teaching that the Church has “replaced Israel” and that God’s covenant’s with Israel have been fulfilled or now belong to the church is “replacement theology” and this has been rejected by the Church. By the same token, gentile believers have been grafted into the promises to Israel (grafted into the rootstock) and in terms of faith and salvation - there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile in Christ.

So like many “doctrines” in Catholicism - its not “either or” but “both”

Not faith or works, but both

Not symbolic or real presence in the Eucharist, but both

Not ethnic Israel or Spiritual Israel (made up of jew and gentile believers), but both.



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