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The Midrash Tanchuma on parshas Lech Lecha (י"ז) says: Why was he (Avraham) circumcised only at the age of 99? To teach converts; that if a man comes to convert he should not say “I am an old man, so how can I convert?” He should rather learn from Avraham who circumcised himself at the age of 99!


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It is imagery. The promise was not that there would be exactly as many Israelites as stars. It was that this man without a child would have 'many, many' descendants, as has already been the case in history, and anyway, who knows how many Jews will yet exist in future as well.


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The Zohar says that Avraham was confident that his wife's merits would protect her (see here). If so, it is readily understandable why Avraham had to go to war for Lot. Lot did not have the merit to protect himself.


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The Bible says in Deut 10:22 (and a few other places as well) that: "Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude." This was at the time the Israelites were about 3 million people (by some accounts) after coming out of Egypt. In other words, the Bible considers ...


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The above blessing does not refer to numbers in one generation but to permanence for all time. Chinese are here today but who knows about tomorow. while the promise to avraham is that the Jews will be here forever and ever. This is something only God can guarantee. Related to this, Mark Twain observed. ”...If statistics are right, the Jews constitute ...


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The discrepancy between the three kidnapping cases in Bereishit- twice with Sarah(Pharoah in 12:10-20 and later by Gerar's king 20:1-18) and once with Lot(14:12-18), is that Lot was taken as an act of war(spoils), so he responded with an act of war in return. Sarah, on the other hand, was taken by the two kings while Abraham was a guest in their respective ...



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