“Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.
“Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.
“Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry.”
Can you have no right to priesthood and still be righteous? Is Pharaoh’s imitation of the patriarchal reign what made him righteous? Does this record define Egypt’s idolatry as pretending to the right of priesthood (rather than multiplicity of Gods)?
Abraham describes himself thus in verse 2:
“I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.”
Didn’t Pharaoh receive the “blessings of the fathers” (verse 26)? Is priesthood the “right . . . to administer [the blessings of the fathers]”?
Notice that Pharaoh is “of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood.” It DOES NOT say Pharaoh is “of that lineage which could not have the right of Priesthood.”
“Which” and “by which” are not the same.
Abraham himself was in a situation where “[his] father was led away.” What is the difference between Pharaoh’s and Abraham’s example? Did Pharaoh ever seek for the “right”? Was he content with seeking to “imitate”?
Should we be content with righteousness?
Should we be content to imitate?