The Bible – The Adventures of Abram

Hagar and Ishmael in the Wilderness

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We’re back and we get more Abram goodness.  Genesis 14 opens with a war (always a page turner).  Amraphel, King of Shinar; Arioch, King of Ellasar; Chedolaomer, King of Elam; and TIDAL KING OF NATIONS!!  (Sorry about the capslock issue there, I think a name like that just deserves them).  Anyway, it’s all a bit confusing, but it seems that one bunch of kings takes up arms against another bunch (including the King of Sodom and the King of Gomorrah) and there’s a war for 14 years.  During the war, allegiances change and in the end the Kings of Sodom and of Gomorrah fall and flee and their lands are invaded and sacked.  The spoils of war, as it were.  Anyway, Abram’s nephew Lot is taken hostage by the marauding army.  Lot also is known here as Abram’s brother; which is either a misprint, a mistranslation or an honorific – as in, the son of my brother is my brother.  So Abram gets his servants together and they harass the armies both day and night.  And all the kings give up and honour Abram and return Lot and all his stuff.

God returns to the tale in Genesis 15, when he tells Abram that He is his shield and protector and provider of rewards.  And now it gets a bit weird: Abram complains that he has no heirs.  So God says “…he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.”  Yes, that’s right “out of [Abram’s] own bowels”.  After a sacrifice of some animals and birds, God tells Abram that though his people will be servants, they shall have the land.

In Genesis 16, Ishmael is born.  Sarai is unable to bear children, so Abram goes to Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian handmaid.  Unfortunately, when Hagar falls pregnant, Sarai gets jealous and beats her and drives her into the desert.  So God tells her to go back, submit to her mistress and, as a star prize, Hagar’s children will be numberless.  Awesome.  Ishmael is born and God says “…he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” – this does not seem like a good prophecy to me.

This is representative of the Bible, unfortunately.  Huge areas where nothing except time passing happens, important stuff is glossed over and the list makers get to write most of it.  Very dull indeed.

Wonder what Genesis 17 will bring?

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Posted on 15 February, 2010, in The Bible-Readalong and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hey Ray, when were prophecy's always good? 😉

    I've read the Bible from cover to cover, and continue to do so, and every time I learn something new. I have to admit though that there is a lot that doesn't make sense to me. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we live in another time, one that can't comprehend the language of the day. What seems strange to us probably makes perfect sense to those who lived in the time when it was written.
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  2. Gosh, I would hate anyone to read my diary and make the kinds of judgments being made here. It is your right to do it, and I suppose if millions didn't hold the Bible up to infallible you wouldn't be doing it.

    I don't believe the Bible is inffalible. However, without the Bible peole have behaved actually worse than with it.

    Mao (Atheist) Hitler (Social Darwinist), Stalin (Atheist) were responsible for a hundred million deaths all together. The Inquisition (2000 deaths over 250 years), Salem witch trials (20 deaths) as examples.

    Ann

    • Mao – yes, give you that one. Hitler – Catholic primarily, then Eugencist (not Social Darwinist). Stalin – seminary educated, trained as a priest. The Inquisition – Roman Catholic. Salem Witch Trial – based on the line "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" which came from Exodus 22:18. Really, the Christian religion has a lot to answer for.

      And as to the diary part – if you had planned to start a movement based on your diary, then I would expect to see a well edited diary. Don't forget, when the bishops sat down to decide what stayed and what went, they decided that the Bible in it's current form is the best it could be!
      My recent post The Bible – The Adventures of Abram

      • The problem is more the people than the book.
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        • I couldn't agree more. However, if the book itself was more to the point there would be far less of this sort of thing. We have perfect heroes who are not perfect – look at King David, for example (and we will, eventually) and look at the actions of God in the book which is supposed to celebrate Him.

          Just imagine now, as a thought exercise, that you are God some 6000 years ago. You are about to embark on creating everything. You are omniscient and so you know what will happen between that point and now. Would you write the Bible as it stands today, knowing what you know today, or would you do it differently? And then realise that, allegedly, 6000 years ago God had that choice.
          My recent post The Bible – The Adventures of Abram

  3. But God didn't write the Bible, man did, and man has been known to make mistakes. Even if inspired by God who's to say they didn't embellish it a little.
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