Offer of Transfer of Title

8 Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, 9 and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.”

Matthew 4

13 The patriarchs had an interesting way in which they offered and transferred possession to land. The prospective buyer would be taken to a vantage point where the seller would describe the precise boundaries and the advantages of the land being offered. After lengthy bargaining back and forth, the seller would finally recite the exact four boundaries of the land for transfer. When the buyer said, “I see,” then the deal was considered closed and a contract made. The conveyance was made in this manner before witnesses without a literal “handing over” of the land by means of a written deed. However, written contracts also were used. At times the bargaining process itself involved quite a ceremony.—Gen. 23:3-16.
14 Jehovah God himself conformed to this custom when he made a legal offer to Abraham of the Promised Land. At a vantage point in Canaan, God pointed out to Abraham the precise boundaries of the territory offered. But God did not permit Abraham to say, “I see,” and thus legally accept the transfer, as it was not God’s due time to grant legal possession. (Gen. 13:14, 15) However, the legal transfer was made in the year 1473 B.C., some four hundred years later, when Jehovah caused Moses “to see” or to accept legal possession on behalf of the nation of Israel just before they crossed the Jordan to take the Promised Land. “And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto mount Nebo, . . . And Jehovah showed him all the land . . . And Jehovah said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, . . . I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes.”—Deut. 34:1-4, AS; also Deut. 3:27.
15 Notice that Satan the mimic also conformed to this method of offer when he approached Jesus in the wilderness to tempt him. “Again the Devil took him [Jesus] along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him: ‘All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.’” (Matt. 4:8, 9, NW) Satan here was actually making a genuine legal offer for Jesus to consider seriously of legally accepting. Even though Jesus quickly recognized it as a legal offer yet he lost no time in utterly rejecting it by saying, “Go away, Satan!”

w52 7/15

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