- "... I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore ..."
Genesis 22:17, JPS Tanakh 1917 (Jewish Bible)
That's A LOT of descendents. There are about 1e19 grains of sand on the entire earth, a small fraction of which are on seashore beaches. There are vastly more stars ... 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7e22) by that 2003 estimate, perhaps as many as 1e24 by this European Space Agency estimate.
Let's use the "smaller" number, and lets assume that with extreme technology, humans can endure for 1 billion years on Earth, a new generation every 20 years. That is 50 million generations, thus 1.4 quadrillion descendants of Abraham per generation. If the average lifespan is "threescore and ten", 70 years, that is 3.5 generations alive at any given time, approximately 5e15 people.
The continental area of the Earth is around 1.5e14 square meters, so that is 3.3 people per square meter on land. If each lives in 10 square meters (about 10 feet by 10 feet) in a planet scale highrise, that is a 33 story high rise covering all the continents. With a lot of hungry people; even if the oceans are converted to super-efficient algae farms, pole to pole, each person must live on the harvest of a 20 by 20 inch patch of algae farm.
Sounds like hell to me. Was JHWH cursing Abraham?
Not if Abraham's descendants (and their goy friends, like me) spread into the solar system, and eventually into the galaxy beyond. Our sun radiates 3.84e26 watts of light and heat - the entire earth intercepts less than 5e-10 of that power (1.7e17 watts), with a tiny fraction of that fraction powering people.
If we ALL moved into space (leaving a life-filled wilderness behind), and powered our spaceborne lives at a megawatt each (our human bodies use around 100 watts and our brains around 20 watts), then our solar system can support almost 4e20 people in opulence ... until the Sun burns out, 5 billion years from now.
More than 7e22 people over all time, 5 billion years, 4e20 at any given time ... that implies 30 million year lifetimes ... or A LOT more people than 7e22 (concurring with some translations, which say "... more than ..."). In 5 billion years, even very slow spacecraft can reach the far side of the galaxy. A patient star-travelling civilization has access to vastly more resources over a much longer time than the solar system can provide.
This is not to suggest that we swarm the universe like cockroaches; there are better ways to enjoy a universe, like watching closely and seeing all the things a universe can do. But as far as we can tell, we are the only lifeforms in our solar system capable of enjoying its vast resources, even if we set aside lavish provisions for other possible lifeforms to be discovered elsewhere in our solar system.
So, if the authors of Genesis weren't just fabricating fables, we will be around a very VERY long time, we will use the abundant and unused resources of the solar system to make this happen, and we will do so with gigayear sustainability practices - nothing less will accomplish the mission.
There are many fables currently being fabricated by misanthropic self-proclaimed "evangelists", claiming that current warlike activities presage the End Times of Revelation, and that the Earth is less than ten thousand years old.
Sorry Mr. Evangelist; if there is a God greater than the Universe, then He is certainly greater than your comprehension, and his love is greater than your hatred of others who know more than you do.
It seems obvious to me that 7 billion other people know vastly more than I will ever know, and that 70 billion billion billion people will someday know vastly more than all of us together. Any person who is not humbled by all of this knows nothing. Any person who is not rapturously thrilled by all of this loves nothing.