ABRAHAM’S DISTRESS at being childless was caused by his concept of the afterlife. In the Amorite culture that dominated his world, it was believed that one’s quality of life after death depended on your descendants performing a monthly ritual to provide your food and drink.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Hagar
WE’VE GOT the fire, we’ve got the wood, and we’ve got the Lamb!
This week, we continue in the book of Genesis with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the departure of Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham’s sojourn in the land of the Philistines, and the test of Abraham on Mount Moriah.
We also dig a little deeper into the nature of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. Was it simply inhospitality, as some suggest? We think not. The epistle of Jude is clear; Sodom and Gomorrah, like the angels of Genesis 6, were punished for sexual sin–possibly something more than homosexuality, which has existed in all cultures and for thousands of years. Is it possible that the men of Sodom knew that Lot’s guests were angels, and that they hoped, through forbidden practices, to somehow obtain divine favors?
WE PICK up the story of Abram at Genesis chapter 15. We talk about Yahweh’s covenant with Abram, including the land promised to his descendants; Sarai’s impatience with the promise of an heir, and the trouble that created with (and for) Hagar and Ishmael; Yahweh’s promise of Isaac and the new names He gave to Abraham and Sarah; and Abraham’s humble, reverent intercession for Sodom.
At left is one interpretation of the area included in the land promised to Abram by Yahweh. The Hebrew in Gen. 15:18 indicates that the “river of Egypt” is not the Nile, but rather Wadi El-Arish, which extended southeast from the Mediterranean Sea along the traditional border between Egypt and Israel, and so excludes the Sinai peninsula.
Other interpretations limit the promise to the area roughly occupied today by Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan, and most of Syria, which was occupied for a time–and thus fulfilled–during the reign of Solomon.