Genesis 21 – Sarah conceives, Hagar flees, Abraham & Abimelech make peace

Fulfilling his promise:

Genesis 21:1 – And Jehovah visited Sarah as he had said, and Jehovah did unto Sarah as he had spoken. And Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

What exactly did he “do unto Sarah”? Note that it is due to Jehovah’s “visit” to Sarah, and not the knowing of Sarah by Abraham that caused this conception. Sure enough it sounds like a recreation of the events in Genesis 6, when a heavenly being impregnates a “daughter of man”. We also know that the children of this union became “mighty men, men of renown” and eventually wicked and wiped out by the Flood in those days.

So is this child Abraham’s seed if Abraham didn’t contribute, physically, to the child’s conception? The child’s name was Isaac, he was circumcised after 8 days, and they held a great feast on the day he was weaned. The mother of the half Egyptian son of Abraham (truly Abraham’s seed for we know he impregnated Hagar), was seen to be mocking at the feast. Sarah asks Abraham to throw her and Abraham’s son out and that the child should not be a heir with Isaac. God comforted Abraham’s grief over this, promising that his son of Hagar will make a nation, and that he should listen to Sarah’s wishes.

21:12 –  …. for in Isaac shall thy seed be CALLED. And also of the son of the handmaid I will make a nation, because he is thy seed.

Notice the verbiage, Isaac will be CALLED his seed (though he isn’t, aka “we will call him your seed”) and God verifies that the son of Hagar is indeed his seed.

Abraham, with all the riches of gold, silver, cattle, handmaids and servants, wakes up the next day, gives Hagar some bread and a bottle of water, and sends her on her way where she wanders the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. After the bottle of water runs out, and seemingly without hope, she places the child under a bush and distances herself so that she can not witness the death of her child.

hagar child
With nothing but some bread and a bottle of water, Hagar is cast into the wilderness where the grace of God comes upon her and saves her and her child, the seed of Abraham.

The cries of the child and the cries of Hagar rise up to God, and the angel of God tells Hagar to get up and hold the child, because he will be a great nation. God opened her eyes to see a water well, where she was able to fill her bottle and give the water to her child. God was with the child as he grew, he became a great archer who dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, and eventually married one of his mother’s kin, an Egyptian.

Jehovah tells Abraham the covenant is for him and his seed (the child CALLED his seed or his actual seed?) After this Book I’m starting to see a different picture.

  • Jehovah + Sarah (whatever happened when he visited her) = Isaac who God says is CALLED Abraham’s seed
  • Abraham + Hagar = Unnamed at this point but who God says IS Abraham’s seed
  • Abraham is starting to look more like a surrogate/earthly father for the child of heavenly Jehovah and earthly Sarah
    • Can it be denied that the Bible did not say Abraham conceived with Sarah?
  • Both children are promised greatness, but it is the child of Sarah by Jehovah’s actions that is promised the covenant. If Jehovah was the “father” of Isaac, then he is protecting his own child.

As outrageous as that sounds, it is what I am reading. Is this so outrageous after understanding what happened in Genesis 6 when beings from heaven mated with females on earth? Remember, there were giants/Nephilim in those days AND after, as verse mentions. Was this heavenly being/earthly female propagation continuing after the flood?

In what really should be a separate book, Book 21 ends with a peace treaty between Abraham and Abimelech in the land of Philistines where Abraham sojourned for many days.

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Genesis 20 – More wife deception, victim = King of Gerar

Abraham journeys away from the oaks of Mamre towards the land of the south and ends up in Gerar. Not really sure *why* he sojourned, possibly due to the recent events in Sodom and Gomorrah?

Not sure why he had to do this, it does not say out of fear for his life as it was previously with the Pharaoh, but this time he tells Abimelech, king of Gerar that Sarah is his wife. Guess what happens next:

  • Abimelech takes her, but does not go near her
  • God comes in a dream to Abimelech and tells him “you’re a dead man” because Sarah is someones wife
  • Abimelech explains the lie of Abraham and Sarah to him, and in his heart and innocence did he do all this
  • God says he knows, that it was HE that withheld Abimelech from sinning and it was HE who made it so he wouldn’t touch her

Genesis 20:7 (God to Abimelech) Now therefore restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her no, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

This is the first time we’ve seen Abraham be called a prophet.

In an echo of the deception put upon the Pharaoh, Abimelech calls Abraham out and asks him why he would do such a thing. Abraham says he feared for his life because of his wife. It is also at this point that Abraham admits that Sarah, his wife, is his half sister.

Reminder Sarah is well up in age, so why would Abraham worry about it now? Wouldn’t the king of Gerar have his choice of much younger women? So what exactly was he doing by taking her?

Questions remain:

  • After all that Jehovah has done for Abraham, all the covenants, all the manipulation, the promises, and destruction, why would Abraham still walk in fear for his life?
  • Is Abraham really a prophet? Or was it a sham to convince Abimelech that it was Abraham, and not God, who would be healing his family, thus elevating Abraham higher than usual?

So, for being deceived by Abraham, and not actually doing anything wrong, as even God admitted, Abimelech suffers a death threat from God, his wife and female slaves all go barren, and he ends up paying Sarah 1,000 pieces of silver to right his “wrong.” Sure enough, Abraham prays for Abimelech and his wife and female slaves are healed and can once again bare children.

Genesis 19 – The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; The creation of the Ammonites and Moabites

Lot, Abraham’s nephew/brother, meets with the 2 angels and welcomes them into his home to rest and stay the night, but the angels prefer to stay in the streets all night. The men of Sodom surround Lot’s house:

Genesis 19:5 – and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

Initially this seems like an innocent request to meet with the two men. Unfortunately we are then clued in to what “know” means in a disturbing response from Lot:

19:7 – And he (Lot) said, I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing.

Lot, standing outside the door with one of the angels, offers to throw his two virgin daughters to the wolves to protect the two angels. Noble indeed, but what does this tell us about how he, or can we even say men of that era, thought of their daughters? He didn’t offer gold, silver, or cattle, to keep the men outside his door at bay, he offered his virgin daughters. We know he was rich in cattle from previous verse where he split his flock from Abraham’s. The two angels manage to get Lot inside the house and close the door, and blinded the men outside the door so that they could not find the door.

The angels tell lot to gather his relatives, for the destruction of the city is at hand. In the end Lot can only muster his wife and two daughters (for their husbands mocked Lot.) The angels tell lot to leave immediately, but he does not:

19:16 – But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

They “set” Lot and his wife and daughters outside the city. Being that they are angels, can we assume that they actually lifted them up and dropped them off outside the city? Or did they take them by the hand and lead them walking/running to the outside of the city?

Lot is told to escape to the mountains, but he begs to be allowed to hide in a small city not connected the Sodom and Gomorrah, the city which becomes Zoar. Lot enters Zoar and then:

19:24 – Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

This is interesting because it is truly supernatural to think that someone could turn into a pillar of salt. At first I thought maybe it was a euphemism for a pile of ash, which would make sense when fire is raining down from the sky. But salt? And only when they looked upon it, everyone else had their back to the event and were safe. Was this a measure taken to ensure that whatever was really happening was kept a secret by the non angels Lot and his family? That’s one way to keep a secret of Jehovah and the angels method of raining fire and brimstone.

Pillar of Salt
At Mt Sodom stands a pillar called Lot’s wife. The rock does look ‘melted’. In many cases this would be more of a phallic symbol. So is the story of Lot’s wife a parable to explain this mysterious pillar? Or can the melted bones of Lot’s wife be found in this pillar?

19:29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.

So this rescue was done as a favor for Abraham, and apparently not so much for Lot.

Lot leaves Zoar in fear, and goes to the mountain that the angels had told him to go from the start. It doesn’t say what he feared, or why he would fear staying in Zoar if Jehovah had just rescued him from the cities destruction. In another disturbing story, Lot’s daughters, fearing that there are no longer any men on earth, get their father drunk and sleep with him on subsequent nights so that they could conceive children. The logic here is that, knowing they believed they were the only ones left on earth, they commit incest to create children who would also have to commit incest in their generation to procreate.

The fathers/roots of the Moabites and the Ammonites are conceived.

Genesis 18 – Jehovah visits Abraham; scolds Sarah; Is not sure about Sodom & Gomorrah?

By the oaks of Mamre Jehovah appears before Noah. Noah, sitting at the door of his “tent”, lifts up his eyes and see 3 men. Realizing Jehovah is one of them he runs to greet them and asks them to rest and stay, to be fed a morsel of bread and water.

Note: Jehovah is there but no offering of burnt flesh is mentioned. Also note that Jehovah can appear to Abraham in human form, so why the need for visions and divination? Is it possible that Jehovah has a physical presence that keeps him from being in all places at once, the way we think of God’s omnipresence (all being) and omniscience (all knowing)?

The three “men” inquire about his wife Sarah, and Jehovah tells Abraham that he will return “when the season cometh round” which could be when the season changes to the next. Jehovah tells Noah that when he returns, Sarah will have a son.

Genesis 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, and well stricken in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

Sarah no longer menstruated “after the manner of women.” She laughs (to herself) about the idea that not only her, but Abraham were old and could not “have pleasure.”

G.D.Tiepolo, Drei Engel bei Abraham - G.D.Tiepolo / Three Angels & Abraham - G.D.Tiepolo/Trois Anges/Abraham/V.1768
Sarah listens in, laughs to herself, and is chastised by Jehovah.

Jehovah hears her thoughts, and questions Abraham why his wife laughed at the concept, questioning whether such a concept was beyond Jehovah’s capabilities. Sarah denies thinking it, but Jehovah scolds her saying “…but thou didst laugh.”

18:14 – Is anything too hard for Jehovah? At the SET TIME I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son.

The set time, as illustrated in previous verse, is the change of the season. Let’s break this down. A very old man and woman, both admitting to their inability to bear children in their age, are promised a child. A miraculous birth, if you will. Will Abraham be the physical father? The promise here is, is that Sarah will be pregnant, no specific mention that Abraham will be the father by the act of intercourse. At this point it sounds like a form of immaculate conception is in the plans, because it involves Jehovah returning to Sarah for it to take place.

Their discussion complete, the 2 angels head toward Sodom and Gomorrah, while Jehovah stays behind with Abraham.

18:20 – And Jehovah said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

To back up the idea that Jehovah is not omnipresent/omniscient this verse verifies it. Jehovah can “hear” the cry of the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, but he needs to go down to see for himself, and he validates this with “if not, I will know.” Meaning he doesn’t know at the time of this statement.

So we have two verses and concepts that show that Jehovah is not omnipresent or omniscient:

  • When he is away from Abraham he has to speak to him using visions and divination, but when he is physically close he can speak to him as a man. (not omnipresent)
  • He hears the cries of Sodom and Gomorrah but he has to go see for himself to make sure the actions fit the cry. (not omniscient)

Very interesting… Abraham asks Jehovah to consider any righteous who may be living among all the wicked, in hopes he can sway Jehovah not to wipe out the entirety of the cities.

 

Genesis 16 – The Birth of Ishmael, Genesis 17 – The painful Covenant for Isaac

In Genesis 16 we read the story of Sarai and Hagar. Sarai says that Jehovah has made her barren (if so, why?), so she tells Abram to impregnate her Egyptian servant Hagar (can we go ahead and say slave here?) so that Abram can bare a seed. This is DESPITE Jehovah already promising Abram that he will bare a child. Despite all the divination and promises, Abram still has to resort to impregnating his wife’s slave servant. Talk about no faith. Abram does so and Hagar conceives. Maybe Abram is under the belief that this is Jehovah’s promise?

Can we see a parallel between Abram/Sarai and Adam/Eve? Jehovah makes a pledge with the man, and the woman has the man break that pledge or go against it. In this case, however, Jehovah does not intercede with punishment. The only one that gets punished, in this case, is Hagar who was already punished by being a slave, and her child Ishmael who, despite receiving Jehovah’s blessings, does not receive a covenant the way his brother Jacob would.

It should be noted that the phrase here was Sarai “… gave her (Hagar) to Abram her husband to be his wife.”

Already knowing polygamy exists here, did Hagar actually become another wife of Abram or his “be his wife” euphemism for the act of creating a child?

Sarai becomes jealous, Abram tells her to treat Hagar as she pleases, and Sarai “dealt hardly” with Hagar and Hagar fled. Sounds like domestic violence.

“The” (note not “an”) angel of Jehovah appears to Hagar. If we take our notion of winged-angels-servants-of-God away then angel in this sense is some sort of physical form of Jehovah whereby he can speak to people publicly. No mentions of wings, white robes, or halos however. Jehovah instructs her to name her son Ishmael.

Genesis 16:12 – And he shall be as a wild ass among men; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s against him; and he shall dwell over all his brethren.

Thus we are foretold about Ishmael’s personality and interactions with not only his brethren but other men.

In Genesis 17, Jehovah appeared to Abram (note the difference between a vision followed by a horror of great darkness) and once again describes the covenant he will have with Abram. But here’s the rub: Jehovah calls himself, for the first time, God Almighty. He changes Abram’s name to Abraham, his wife’s name to Sarah, and reaffirms the covenant of the land. As for a symbol of this covenant, he requires Abraham and his people to circumcise all males in his household, including slaves and Ishmael (who isn’t part of this covenant by the way, so why circumcise him? So now that he is circumcised, is he part of the covenant?)

circum
Why circumcision? God’s creation in Genesis Book 1 was supposed to be perfect, so why, mess with perfection? Why take away what God gave us from our birth? And why the male genital? Is the mutilation of a baby boy’s genital (or in this case, every man and boy) ok? It seems to be normalized these days. Female genital mutilation is abhorrent these days though. Why accept either?

What’s interesting is as, despite Jehovah saying his covenant will not be with Ishmael,  he tells Abraham that Ishmael will birth 12 princes and will become a great nation, much like what he will promise Abraham’s seed in the future. The only thing lacking is the covenant.

  • Ishmael as a child is innocent of the, what nowadays would be considered sinful, actions of his father and step-mother, so why not include him in the covenant?
    • Being a half breed (racially) is bad seems to be the notion here
    • Being inbred with cousin relations seems to be ok in the meantime
  • Why not set up a separate covenant with Ishmael? Will Ishmael’s descendants also live within the borders of the land Jehovah has set aside for Jacob? The more I read the more this covenant deals with land than with anything else.

It is that this point, 17 books into Genesis, that the words God and Jehovah become intermingled. Despite all the contradictions and differences, it seems the author wants us to think they are one in the same by replacing Jehovah’s name with God after Jehovah claims he is God Almighty. Will the contradictions and differences end at this point?

So, the names and titles of our 3 main characters change at this juncture: Jehovah calls himself God Almighty; Jehovah renames Abram as Abraham; Jehovah renames Sarai as Sarah.

Genesis 15 – Jehovah speaks to Abram about the future. Entrail Divination?

After the affair of Genesis 14, Jehovah comes to Abram in a vision, tells him not to fear, that Jehovah is his shield and great reward. Abram wonders about his current heir, who is not of his birth, and Jehovah assures him he will have a heir of Abram’s seed.

Just how has Jehovah been speaking to Abram in previous verse? We are specifically told this is a vision. What about Adam/Eve, Cain, and Noah? Had they been having “visions” as finally mentioned in Genesis 15:1? Or were they actually hearing Jehovah’s voice through their ears?

Jehovah tells Abram the land he is in is his to inherit. Abram asks “how will I know it is mine to inherit?” Jehovah says:

Genesis 15:9 – And he said unto him, take me a heifer three years old, and a she-goat three years old, and a ram three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. And he took him all these, and DIVIDED THEM IN THE MIDST, and laid each half over against the other: but the birds divided he not. And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.

So Abram is already in communication with Jehovah, and to answer his question, Jehovah has Abram go through an animal ritual. They were cut open down the middle “divided them in the midst” and then laid over each other to form an odd shaped pentagon “they were laid each half over against the other”, and because they were cut open with exposed entrails, Abram had to swat the birds of prey away.

15:12 – And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him. And he said unto Abram…

Is this sleep with a horror of great darkness the result of his animal ritual? Is this horror of great darkness Jehovah? It sure sounds like it because right after the darkness fell upon Abram, verse says as if pointing to the horror the verse indicated: “he says…”

This sounds like extispicy, haruspicy: divination/fortune telling using animal entrails. In this case Abram performed the ritual to expose the entrails and Jehovah performed the divination and only through Abram’s deep sleep could Jehovah communicate this divination.

haruspicy
Roman rendition of a man about to cut open a fowl for the purpose of entrail divination. This ritual is done all around the world for similar purposes.

15:17 – And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch that passed between these pieces.

The only pieces we know of are the pieces of animals, so it sounds like the end of the divination ritual involved a smoking furnace and flaming torch passing through this animal pentagon, and finally the sun going completely down.

  • Abram was already in communication with Jehovah through his vision, why the need for the ritual?
  • How can we explain a smoking furnace and flaming torch in this instance?
    • We know there is smoke and flame, and the words furnace and torch can be non specific, so I’m not sure that an actual furnace and torch were involved here.
  • The coincidence that this book is about Abram’s future and what sounds like a well known ritual of animal organ readings for knowledge of the future takes place doesn’t lend credence to the idea that Jehovah did not use ritual divination to foretell the future to Abram.

So the even bigger question, why the need for divination with Jehovah?

Genesis 14 Part 2 – Melchizidek & God Most High

Abram is victorious over King Chedorlaomer, and the previously defeated king of Sodom comes out to meet Abram at the Kings Vale. Another king comes out, he is Melchizidek, the Priest-King of Salem. He is the king of Salem and a Priest of God Most High.

Genesis 14:18 – And Melchizidek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him, and said Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into they hand. And he gave him a tenth of all.

What’s interesting is that he brings BREAD and WINE for the blessing of Abram and for the blessing of God Most High who delivered Abram’s enemies into his hands. Not burnt flesh of the clean animals as Jehovah has asked for in the past.

This same deliverance has benefited the king of Sodom, who, as previously noted, are wicked and sin greatly against Jehovah.

The king of Sodom tells Abraham to give the people back to him, and Abram can keep the goods/spoils. Abraham makes a swear that he would not enrich himself by the king of Sodom with his goods. Abram’s response is curious, and you have to ask does it mesh with what we know about Jehovah and what Melchizidek’s actions were:

14:22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up my hand unto Jehovah, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth…

This is the first reference to Jehovah being the Most High and it’s not coming from Jehovah, it’s coming from Abram. If Jehovah and the Most High are the same, why would Melchizidek simply not call upon Jehovah? Is it a language/title issue? Where are the burnt offerings if he is referring to Jehovah?

Regardless, such an expansive war, and no mention of altars, no mention of savory burning flesh, no mention of clean and unclean animals. I think there is more to God Most High in these verses versus Jehovah (sorry for the pun) so we will have to see what future verse brings.

I’m thinking a heavenly hierarchy: we know there are multiple beings in the heavens, so there is obviously rank. Can there be more than one “most high”? God Most High = bread and wine, Jehovah Most High = burning flesh.

Melchizidek
Rendition of Melchizidek meeting Abram? Even in this illustration (potentially completely historically inaccurate) Melchizidek seems to have rank/glory over those who kneel before him.

Looking into the future (biblically), we know that bread and wine are going to take a very important role in upcoming verse, so I think this is a very telling story, especially in the absence of altars and the savors of burning flesh.

Genesis 14 – War of Kings, Lot’s rescue & Questions galore

In a jump from a cultural collection of stories into a history of war and kings, we find 4 kings of cities/nations involved in a war with the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. We previously find out that Sodom was wicked and sinned against Jehovah. Surely they would suffer Jehovah’s wrath in war against their enemies?

The 5 kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zeboiim and Bela versus the 4 kings of Elam (named Chedorlaomer), Goiim (named Tidal), Shinar (named Amraphel), and Ellasar (named Arioch).

Two interesting points:

  1. We are not given the names of the 5 kings
  2. The second group smote a list of people not represented by the 5 kings above:
    1. Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim
    2. Zuzim in Ham (descendants of Ham?)
    3. Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim
    4. Amalekites (location not specified)
    5. Amorites in Hazazon-tamar

The 4 kings under Chedorlaomer defeat the 5 kings, sending the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fleeing into slime pits, whereupon the 4 kings take their spoil of Sodom and Gomorrah, which included taking Abram’s nephew, Lot, captive.

Abram is informed about Lot’s captivity.

Genesis 14:13 – And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew: now he dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were confederate with Abram.

Here is the first mention of the first ethnicity mentioned in the Bible: Hebrew, of which Abram was considered. Remember Abram came from Ur of Chaldea, so does Hebrew point to Chaldea?

The logistics of such a war in 16 verses tells a gigantic story, imagine all the details left out. Does our historical record find evidence of a war of such a large scale? I honestly do not know, and it would be worth investigating. Just investigating Google: “rescue of lot” someone had already done the work of theorizing the paths and locations of this war:

rescue of lot
Note the scale of this map, this war was HUGE and surely there would be record of it historically and materially. This would be like a World War where just about every king in this part of the land would be involved. This map, if historically correct, would be good to have referenced while reading the 16 verses of Genesis 14.

Abram had an army of 318 soldiers and was able to push the 4 armies of Chedorlaomer all the way up to #8, as far as Dan and eventually into Hobah.

A couple of minor observations:

  1. Abram’s nephew Lot is now called his “brother”
  2. The “left hand of Damascus” which is Hobah is west of Damascus
    1. Why not just say “west”? The direction “east” is mentioned multiple times

There is a lot of new information in this Book 14 which begs a lot of questions:

  • Aren’t all these groups kin if Adam and Eve were the first on earth? Now they are at war? What happened to the “good” Creation of Genesis Book 1?
    • Is it the devil’s fault these wars exist?
    • FACT = the devil has not even been mentioned up to this point
  • Previous books in Genesis focus on small groups of families and peoples, now we are dealing with Kings and Armies. Where is the explanation of the development and evolution of societies to this level? Is it found in other texts?
  • This is the first time I’ve seen Salem and Jerusalem correlated. Jeru-salem.  Is this map historically correct to assume they are one in the same? More research is needed for this question so I will not come to a certain conclusion.

Genesis 14 is a heavyweight in the Genesis collection, and it’s not even complete to this point, as I will address the remainder of Genesis 14 in Part 2.

Also, note that in this case, the wicked Sodom was victorious, thanks to Abram.

Genesis 13 – Out of Egypt, Return to Beth-El

Abram heads north with his caravan. It is noted at this time that Abram is rich in cattle, silver and gold. Obviously not a poor traveler or a starving wanderer… so just what was this “drought” he was fleeing from? Was it a drought not of weather but of another kind?

They flee to Egypt to avoid the drought, get thrown out, and then return to the land of the drought. Anyways, Abram ends up back where built the altar to Jehovah at Beth-El.

In a story rife with anthropological meaning, two pastoral families run out of land to tend to their herds and flocks of “great substance” (again,  drought?) so they conflict, and come to terms with each other since they are kin. Also the author felt it was important to note that the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt in the land (we know the genealogy of the Canaanites but not the Perizzites.)

Abram Lot
Uncle (Abram) and nephew (Lot) divide their unit into two, explaining the separation of two families out of one.

Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan and journeyed east (there it is again) and “moved his tent” (which I’m going to assume is a euphemism for his collective) as far as Sodom. Also of note, Lot saw that the Plain of the Jordan was “well watered”, so either the drought was over or, again, we are talking about a drought of another kind. Abram stayed in the land of Canaan.

Genesis 13:13 – Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against Jehovah exceedingly.

We are given insight into the people of Sodom: they were wicked, however they also answered to Jehovah. This is the first mention of another group that fell under Jehovah’s tutelage and also the first of a people considered wicked and sinners.

It wasn’t until Lot left Abram that Jehovah spoke to Abram, hinting to the future of his lineage:

13:14 – (Jehovah to Abram)… lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed for every. And I will make thy see as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then may thy seed also be numbered.

Abram “moved his tent” aka his collective and moved to the aforementioned (somewhat) oaks of Mamre which we now find out are in Hebron, where Abram builds another altar for Jehovah.

Genesis 12 Part 2 – Pharaoh & Abram

Right before Abram enters Egypt, he begins to fear for his life because of Sarai, his wife. He believes because of her beauty, they will take her and kill him. So they conspire to tell the Egyptians that they are brother/sister so that Abram will not be killed.

Why does Abram not call upon Jehovah for protection? After all, Jehovah said he would bless Abram and his seed. Those who bless Abram will be blessed, and those who curse Abram will be cursed. Where’s the faith? Let’s see what happens:

The Egyptians via the princes of the Pharaoh bring her to the Pharaoh’s house.

Genesis 12:16 – And he (Pharaoh) dealt WELL with Abram for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels.

Sounds like good treatment to me, possibly a blessing to Abram? So what happens next:

12:17 And Jehovah plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.

Abram and Sarai lie to the Egyptians, the Pharaoh treats them very well, and Jehovah plagues not just the Pharaoh but his house. Ok, that’s not meshing with what we were told Jehovah would do to those who treated Abram well.

Pharaoh summons Abram, somehow figuring out the plague of his house was due to Abram and Sarai’s lie and ask him why he lied to him. And in an episode that could really have gotten out of hand, Pharaoh simply asks Abram to take his wife and leave, even putting men in charge of assisting Abram with all of his belongings. I’ve got to say, Pharaoh isn’t the bad guy in this situation.

Abram Pharaoh
Thrown out for lying and bringing plague to a Pharaoh who treated them well both before and after their transgression.

So now we see that lying and deception are accepted, even defended by Jehovah. One could say the reason Pharaoh treated them so well was to not incur further wrath, but the fact that he was treating them well BEFORE he was plagued shows that Pharaoh had good intentions.

Growing up I was told that lying was the work of the Devil, was the Devil behind Abram’s lie? So far, as of Genesis 13, there is no mention of the Devil as being behind the acts of man.