Genesis 23

Death and Burial of Sarah

23 Now Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.Sarah died in

Sarah’s burrial

Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her[ From the time of Isaac’s almost slaughter, a period of 27 years, to now there is no record of Abe paying Sarah a visit. The divorce court must have been nasty!].

Then Abraham rose from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a burial site among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” The sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, “Hear us, my lord, you are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead[ Even in death Sarah can still be pimped! I like honest Abe, true to himself].”

So Abraham rose and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your wish for me to bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and approach Ephron the son of Zohar for me, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he owns, which is at the end of his field; for the full price let him give it to me in your presence for a burial site[ A friend of mine who has done a more indepth study tells me, this transaction here is important in the sense it gives his descendants a legitimate land rights, albeit a small piece for that matter in the land they will claim later on to have been promised them by Abe’s god.].”

10 Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the sons of Heth; even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying, 11 “No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the sons of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.” 12 And Abraham bowed before the people of the land. 13 He spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will only please listen to me; I will give the price of the field, accept it from me that I may bury my dead there.”

14 Then Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15 “My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.” 16 Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, commercial standard.

17 So Ephron’s field, which was in Machpelah, which faced Mamre, the field and cave which was in it, and all the trees which were in the field, that were within all the confines of its border, were deeded over 18 to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. 19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field at Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave that is in it, were deeded over to Abraham for a burial site by the sons of Heth [Abe seems not to put much faith in his god any way. In an earlier chapter, he is promised descendants that would outnumber the stars and he asks how can this be, while at it, he makes Hagar pregnant just in case his god does not deliver on the promise. Here we see him trying to buy and while he had been promised land for his descendants who would outnumber the sand in the beaches!].

Genesis 22

The Offering of Isaac 

This chapter has been used by adherents to the Abrahamic religions to validate Abraham as the father of faith by agreeing to sacrifice his son. But I find a moral problem with this chapter; Abraham doesn’t raise objections to this outrageous order he assumes must have come from his god. He doesn’t tell Sarah, the boys mother and deceives the young man to the end of this harrowing episode. He then separates from Sarah, maybe she filed divorce papers! How does young Isaac live cope with this trauma? Is he able to grow up as a normal child having such a horrid memory of almost being BBQed?

22 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering[ so far I haven’t been offered a plausible explanation why Abe’s god loved BBQ] on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him[which mountain? Why didn’t Abe wake Sarah up? Don’t you think she could have found this order outrageous and maybe even told Abe’s god some piece of her mind? I certainly would have uttered a few expletives!].

On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you[someone tell me Abe is not a liar and deceiver? Why doesn’t he tell the men his true purpose of making them leave in the wee hours?].” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife[If the idea of making a sacrifice of him isn’t enough he is to carry the firewood for making him BBQ! It’s like a cow carrying a knife to the slaughter]. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son[Abe, why not tell your son the truth? ].” So the two of them walked on together.

Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood[Abe is quite old at this time, are you suggesting Isaac just stood there without offering any resistance seeing the intention of the old man?]. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son[ I want to be told if this is not blind obedience? Even now in law you can’t say you were following an order from a higher authority. You have individual responsibility to do what is right unless we excuse Abe from such high standard we have set for ourselves. If then we must excuse Abraham, he can’t be the father of faith, for he fails a moral test on this one! Preservation of life!]. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad,

Sacrificing Isaac

and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. 14 Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided[I need to be told the moral of this story. This is a case of child mistreatment. Is there post trauma counseling for young Isaac? How will he live with his father knowing he almost made him BBQ for his god?].”

v15 to 18Abraham returns to the young men and they wander back from whence they had come. v19 Abraham settles in Beersheba, in other words he doesn’t go back to live with Sarah. Me thinks he knew had he gone back Sarah would have raised hell.

v20 to 24 is another brief genealogy we are given. As you have noticed before, every time this is done we are being set up for something. In this particular case, we are being set up for Rebekah, who later on will be Isaac’s wife. These verses do not fit within the storyline . Of note though, Milcah is married to her Uncle Nahor, Abe’s brother. I think this thing runs in Abe’s family!

 

Genesis 21

Isaac Is Born

Before we delve into the business of chapter 21, I must thank one friend who has done a lot of background research on the old testament and has made this work easier to carry on. Thanks Archy for the insights and hope you’ll be continuing when you get more time on your hands.

In this chapter, I think one of the main things we are going to find is irresponsibility both on the part of Abe and his god, uncontrolled jealousy and bad temper from Sarah and dishonest Abe. You will also be able to decipher the authorship by different sources evidenced by conflicting information within the chapter. With that background, let us journey together, shall we?

21 Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived

Birth of Isaac

and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac[ Whose son is this really? Is he Abraham’s or god’s?].

Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me[I mean ever Sarah sees Abe’s god as having a sense of humour].” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned[ Anyone knows when they were weaning kids back then?].

Sarah Turns against Hagar

Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking.10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac[ Wait a minute, she asked Abe to know Hagar because she was barren, now that Abe’s god has seen her she is full of jealousy, show some kindness!].” 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son.12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you[what type of god gives such an advice?], listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. 13 And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar

Old Abe sending Hagar and Ishmael away

, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away[If this is not the height of irresponsibility, then I don’t know what is! There should have been children courts then, Abe should have paid for upkeep until he had no goats left.]. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was used up, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, “Do not let me see the boy die.” And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept. 17 God heard the lad crying[ forgive me here, all this time god or any of his many angels who frequently paid Abe a visit had not noticed that poor Hagar was out and hungry?]; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand[two things either the lad is so emaciated to be lifted so easily or the scribe or source of inspiration forgot Ishmael is a lad of 13yrs], for I will make a great nation of him.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink[this is where it becomes funny, was she blind? Could there have been a well where she was and she didn’t notice it? Please be creative next time].

20 God was with the lad, and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness and became an archer[ we will revisit this warrior stance when we meet with Muslims in future, but for now let is allow it to pass.]. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt[this a resourceful mother! The lad truly needs a wife].

Covenant with Abimelech

Now it came about at that time that Abimelech[ is this the same guy Abe almost had cursed in the previous chapter when he pimped Sarah?] and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do; 23 now therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my posterity, but according to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall show to me and to the land in which you have sojourned[ I think Abimelech is justified in demanding such an oath. Later on though, we find the scribes warning anyone from swearing in the name of the Lord. I don’t know why theists who say the follow god’s word still do it anyway!].” 24 Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well of water which the servants of Abimelech had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor did I hear of it until today[ Is Abe lying again? I mean he has the propensity to lie just for personal gain].”

27 Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant[Is Abraham returning the proceeds of pimping or someone is deliberately lying?].28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs mean, which you have set by themselves?” 30 He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand so that it may be a witness to me, that I dug this well[Abe seriously, you haven’t dug the well. Why can’t you be just honest even just once?].”31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba[ Abe likes beer, why call a place beer-sheba, that aside Hagar wandered in the wilderness of beersheba in a few verses back how then does this place get it’s name now unless we have more than one source of inspiration], because there the two of them took an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines for many days.

 

Genesis 18

Birth of Isaac Promised

18 Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men[did God come with his brothers or he has guards?] were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by[since they are three dudes, who is his Lord? How do we tell one from the other].

Good old Abe welcoming his God. He must be one of the three!

Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet[the god of Abe must have dirtied his legs walking in the dust or why else would he be offered water to clean his feet], and rest yourselves under the tree[and he gets tired, must need rest, unless Abe doesn’t know his God is all powerful]; and I will bring a piece of bread[he eats bread, so must suffer hunger like us or why would Abe offer food?], that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said[they have all agreed to food, water to wash their feet, don’t you just like Abe’s God. Could this be the source of the trinity? ].” So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it and make bread cakes[how long if I may does it take to bake bread or was Sarai expecting the guests? Some help here!].”

Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and choice calf and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it[so the gods also love choice meat!]. He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate[they must have been really hungry to wait for bread to be baked and a choice calf be chosen, slaughtered and BBQed].

Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10 He said[Am confused here, they asked, he said; how many Gods are speaking or is this particular verse written by two competing scribes?], “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing.

12 Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure[It seems to me Sarah have given up on this acts and know that with her advanced age there is no point], my lord being old also[and that old Abe will be shooting pool with a rope]?” 13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ [Doesn’t this lord know that their suggestion is an odd one? or are we having a miracle in the making?14 Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”[I like the exchange between Abe, Sarah and the gods. Sarah finds their suggestion preposterous.]

16 Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. 17 The Lord said[ As i have said, I am going to need help here, is Abraham’s God a man, 3 men or what? I don’t get it!], “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do[ do I see a guilty conscience from the good Lord?], 18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed[ Is Abe’s God planning another destruction of humanity. He does have this ruminations when he is about to do something of this kind]?

19 For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” 20 And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know[ For the upteenth time, should someone say in my face their God is all knowing, they will have to explain this passage here].”

22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23 Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked[here it seems to me Abe is more rational than his God or why is he having this discussion? What does this say about Abe’s God?]? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it[ I think I would really want to have a discussion with this God. I have a few of my questions too!]?

v25 to 33 is an exchange between Abe and his God on what it would take him not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and it’s inhabitants. In all honesty, this discussion shouldn’t have been had in the first place. The omniscient God should have a better way of plucking those he thinks are wicked without causing destruction or killing innocents. You are free to disagree, but then you will have to give me a reason to believe your God on his merits!

Chapter 17

Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision

17 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him,

“I am God Almighty[there are other gods, so he must identify himself correctly];
Walk before Me, and be blameless[with his propensity for pimping am not sure he will manage this].
“I will establish My covenant between Me and you[I could be wrong, but a while ago, they had established a covenant. Is this a new covenant],
And I will multiply you exceedingly.”

Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him[this is a new scribe, Abram has fear before the lord. Before they just spoke], saying,

“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you,
And you will be the father of a multitude of nations[Abe and his god already went through this. I’ve asked if this god has a memory problem or he inspires his scribes to repeat what he has already said].
“No longer shall your name be called Abram,
But your name shall be Abraham;
For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.

I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you[ The scribe here is establishing a lineage for kings as we shall see later ending in the gospels]. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you[ If I understand this correctly, Abraham’s God is asking that he be his God and his descendants not for everyone. ].I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God [Unless there is a different explanation, I insist this God is Abraham’s and his descendants and them alone].”

V9 -13   Is the statement and conditions of the covenant between God, Abraham, his descendants and his slaves. How many christians follow this covenant is doubtful. Recently a court in Germany found circumcision of infant boys to be criminal.

14 But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant[this god demands a lot of servitude. what does he want with male foreskins?].”

15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

Honest Abe, Sarah and Hagar

16 I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed[even Abe found his god’s promise to be ridiculous or else why is he laughing?], and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? Andwill Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” 19 But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation[just asking, why not make a covenant with both of them? They are all sons of honest Abe]. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.” 22 When He finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham[god must reside somewhere or why he would he go up? while still on the point of going up, could the NASA scientists driving curiosity tell us if they have shots of this heavenly palace unless it’s further up].

23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him. 24 Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old [he will be past 100yrs when Isaac is born and just so you don’t ask me later; Sarah his wife/sister is 10yrs his junior] when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27 All the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him[who was doing the circumcision? This order has just been issued, how did they ensure the procedure is safe? Am just asking].