creation of the world. He looked for a single righteous man for whom He could justify creating the world. As He looked into the future, scanning over the generations of human beings to come, His eyes fell upon the righteous Abraham. On Abraham’s merit He chose to create the world:
A parable: Once there was a king who was sought to build a palace. He began to dig, going further down, to lay a foundation, but he found only swampy soil. And so it was in many places. He was not able to build until he dug in one place, and there he found bedrock (petra). Thus he said, “I am building and placing foundations here,” and he built. So too, the Holy One, blessed be He, sought to create the world. He was sitting and scrutinizing the generation of Enosh and the generation of the flood, and He said, “Why should I create the world and let those wicked men arise and vex me?” But when the Holy One, blessed be He, saw Abraham arise in the future, he said, “Behold, I have found a rock (petra) to build upon and to lay the foundation of the world.” Thus he called Abraham “Rock,” as it says [in Isaiah 51:1-2], “Look to the rock from which you were hewn.” (Yalkut Shimoni, Bamidbar, 23:766)
Did God really create the entire world only for the sake of Abraham? For the sake of Abraham’s Seed, the Messiah, He brought the whole world into being. During the Talmudic Era, the great academies in Babylon agreed that God created the world only on the merit of one righteous man, but they argued over which righteous man that was. Rav claimed that God created the world for the sake of David. Shmu’el countered that God created the world for the sake of Moses. But Rabbi Yochanon contradicted both and said, “The world was created only for the sake of the Messiah.”
Rabbi Yochanon’s opinion prevailed. The sages agree that God created the world only for the sake of Messiah—Abraham’s Seed. Paul of Tarsus taught the same concept. He believed that all things were created only for Messiah: “All things have been created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).
God chose Abraham out of the sea of humanity two thousand years before the birth of Yeshua. He chose Him to be the father of the Jewish people and the father of the line of Messiah. This explains why the Messiah is called the “Son of Abraham,” i.e., Ben Avraham, at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew. According to Paul’s teachings, the Messiah is the “Seed of Abraham.” God chose a childless man married to a barren woman to become the father of the Messiah, the father of the Jewish people, and the father of many nations.