Abraham and the Legend, The Prodigal Son
In The Legends of the Jews Abraham’s ancestor, Reu, prophesied when Serug, his son, was born: “From this child he shall be born in the fourth generation that shall set his dwelling over the highest, and he shall be called perfect and spotless, and shall be the father of nations, and his covenant shall not be dissolved, and his seed shall be multiplied forever.”
There were stories of Nimrod attempting to prevent Abraham’s birth by causing midwives to abort male children and even kill them as infants. Abraham survived miraculously. Later, the counselors and princes speak to Nimrod of Abraham, the child.
“Our king and our god! Wherefore art thou in fear by reason of a little child? There are myriad upon myriad of princes in thy realm, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens, and overseers without number. Let the pettiest of the princes go and fetch the boy and put him in prison.”
Our king and our god?
Kings were gods. The word “god” represents an office, not the being. A god is simply someone with the power to judge. Abraham knew this and so did Moses, Jesus, and Paul. This is why they said that they served other gods beyond the flood (Joshua 24:2).
Men were worshiping other men as gods by paying them homage and giving them power. This is not such a foreign idea in modern thinking when you realize that “worship” is simply homage and allegiance.
This power or authority corrupted the leaders who eventually weakened and oppressed the people. The idols were objects that represented that authority. By the symbol of the god you displayed, people knew under what house or authority you were , i.e. who your patron was.
If you displayed the idols or symbol of a specific government office, then you were protected by the authority of that office. Like a passport or flag, they were displays of the authority under which you belonged. Nimrod was an appointer of gods, or Apotheos, of the civil powers of the State. As one who stood before gods, he was a god who ruled and judged the people instead of the LORD. Abraham would not worship, pay homage, nor give allegiance to Nimrod, nor show respect for the symbols of his office, nor the authority of his appointed princes or lesser gods.
This is really not any different than modern governments who establish themselves from the top down. Governments of men have always used a chain of command to exercise authority over each other. Kings or presidents see themselves as the fountainhead of justice for their subject citizenry, supplanting God as gods. They even call themselves “lawmakers” and “sovereign”. Abraham, Moses, and Jesus offered a different type of government. His government was not a centralized authority from the top down, but was a system based on freedom, individual rights, and liberty. God has always warned men of the effects of central governing authorities.
“…This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons… to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters… And he will take your fields, and your goodliest young men… and put them to his work… And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.” 1 Samuel 8:11-18
Moses, Samuel, and Jesus expressed the same precepts as Abraham. When Jesus ordered his Apostles not to be like the princes of the gentiles, who exercise authority one over the other, he was repeating a precept as valid today as it was from the beginning. It appears that men have returned again to the mire of his own making, disregarding the words of Jesus and the prophets, while proclaiming themselves Christian and believers.
There are many stories about Abraham which are not included in the Christian Bible. Abraham is reported to have said to his father and mother in Babylon, “Ye serve a man of your own kind, and you pay worship to an image of Nimrod.”