state really casts a shadow over the promise from the very beginning of the story of Abraham and Sarah. From the 13th century to the time of the Babylonian Captivity in the 6th century BCE, the same people are known as Israelites. The command is coupled with a promise- I will make of you, God says, a great nation, and I will bless you. So Abram is commanded to go forth from his home and family to a location to be named later, a location that remains for now unspecified. But, we have just learned in chapter 11 that Sarai is barren. Its an incident gentic Catastrophe that most readers associate with a significant transformation in his character, and that is Jacobs nighttime struggle with a mysterious figure, who in some way is representative of God.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, and The Book of Genesis?, Reflecting on My Relationships, The Book of Gilgamesh and Genesis,
And this bilingual education for Childrens is something that happens with three out of the four matriarchs, who are afflicted with infertility- Sarah, Rachel and Leah. But as is the case with so many biblical rituals or institutions or laws, whatever their original meaning or significance in the ancient world, whether this was originally a puberty rite or a fertility rite of some kind, the ritual has been suffused with. We learn how Israel gets his name. So our discussion of the patriarchal stories is going to bear all of these considerations in mind. If you can do all this, fine- you can be my God. Prior to that, the Bronze Age, which is divided into these three periods. And in that silence I always imagine that this light goes on- this click, this awful, sickening light. A few verses later, when Abram and his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot and those traveling with them all reach Canaan, God makes an additional promise. It can also be pointed out that in the earlier period women could also serve as leaders, such as Deborah, and perform heroic deeds, and Jael who killed Sisera the leader of the Canaanites (Judges 4-5). And Abrahams reaction comes as something of a surprise.
And at this point, we need to backtrack a little bit to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is in Genesis 18 and 19, to contextualize the story a little bit, in terms of Abrahams character development. He takes pains to point out that the mob that comes to abuse the two divine visitors includes all the people to the last man- very clear statement. But despite them, the patriarchal episodes or stories are peppered with episodes in which the realization of the promise and the blessing is threatened. So you have these two extremes based on the internal evidence of the Bible itself.