Noah and Abraham
In Biblical terms it took 400 years to get from Adam’s family to Noah. In reality that can stand for hundreds of thousand of years. The Bible lists ten generations in the genealogy of Noah, going back to Adam. The number 400 is given in the Bible. The Principle explains the importance of the number but, of course, it does not assume that it is a realistic time span. Some Christians that I met, however, do.
After these ‘400 years’, the time had come for another attempt to receive the messiah, based on the partial success in Adam’s family. At that time Noah was the central figure for the foundation of faith.
The Bible says he was a righteous person1, giving some indication that he made it out of the midway position towards the good side. God then told him to build a large boat on the top of a mountain. It took him 120 Biblical years to do it. Thus the foundation of faith was laid successfully.
The central person for the foundation of substance – the Cain-Abel thing – was supposed to be Ham, Noah’s second son. However, because of something that happened between the two, Ham couldn’t get away from the midway position and inherit Noah’s victory. Thus, God’s plan with Noah’s family ended early.
Next came Abraham and his family. He had to establish the foundation of faith by dividing a number of animals – some of them rather large – into half and sacrificing them as a burnt offering. Unfortunately, he became tired and fell asleep. Thus the foundation of faith couldn’t be established.
That would have been it. But this was the third attempt to lay the foundation for the messiah and the tests of faith had been successful two times in the past. According to the Principle, the good side has more leverage at the third attempt than it had in the earlier stages.
The number three is very important in the Principle. Two times the central people were successful in faith, so Abraham got a second chance and Satan had to let it happen. This time the condition was more difficult – Abraham was told to kill his second son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice.
This time Abraham is successful in proving faith in front of God and Satan, Isaac’s life is spared and the foundation of faith established. Simultaneously, Abraham’s mission is transferred to Isaac, his children then have to establish the foundation of substance.
Jacob, his second son, takes the position of Abel on the ‘good side’ and Esau stands in the position of Cain, representing Satan.
Here the Bible gives much more detail concerning what happened between the two2. First Jacob cheats Esau out of his inheritance by pretending to his father Isaac, who is turning blind in his old age, that he is Esau. According to the teaching this Jacob receiving his father’s blessing and inheritance was a providential necessity. But the way Jacob went about it makes Esau so upset that he plots to kill Jacob as soon as their father dies. Thus Jacob has to flee and live abroad for 21 years. Finally, when he returns he manages to receive Esau’s forgiveness and the two reconcile. This was the first time that the foundation of substance had been accomplished in history, a major providential success.
It is obvious from the Bible that the final reconciliation between the two was heartfelt and voluntary, without reservation on Esau’s side. This is a major factor so that the result can not only be accepted by God but – more importantly – by Satan. It results in Esau symbolically leaving the realm of Satan by following Jacob, who still was the legal owner of the inheritance, which Esau sold to him.
That simultaneously established the foundation for the messiah to come.
But two problems prevent that from happening immediately. First, due to Abraham’s mistake in the first attempt to establish the foundation of faith, a period of 400 years became necessary to ‘indemnify’ the failure. Also, at the time of Abraham, an entire nation existed on the ‘side of evil’ – Egypt. Thus, also Abraham’s tribe had to grow into a nation that would provide a realm of protection for the messiah.
That was the nation of Israel which grew during the time of slavery in Egypt. At that point the foundations had to be repeated on the national level. The descriptions of the Principle concerning the attempts to do that read like list of one train wreck after the other. All together it took 2000 years until the messiah finally arrived.