I will multiply thy seed as the stars
of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore;
Most readers of Scripture view this
as prophecy for modern Israelites. But when did the Israelites really believe that
their numbers were "as the sand which is upon the sea shore"? We see from
the following verses that Israelites considered themselves to be that numerous at the time
of Samuel and of Solomon:
2Sa 17:11 Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan
even to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person.
4:20 Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating
and drinking, and making merry.
This is also a phrase which is used in
reference to the enemies of the Israelites:
Jos 11:4 And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the
sand that is upon the
sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.
Gen 22:17 That
in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of
the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of
the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee
good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
32:13 And he lodged there that same night; and
took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;