Thursday, April 29, 2010

Genesis 22-26

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

22:20 - Milcah bears children to Abraham's brother Nahor.
22:23 - Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah has eight children total.
22:24 - Abraham's concubine, Reumah, has four children.

23:1-2 - Sarah dies at the age of one hundred and twenty seven years in Hebron in the land of Canaan. Abraham weeps and mourns for Sarah. Buries her
23:19 - Abraham buries Sarah in the cave of the field Machpelah facing Hebron in the land of Canaan.

Chapter 24 - Isaac and Rebekah. Abraham asks his oldest servant to go back to his homeland and find a woman for Isaac. She must come back with the servant to live with Isaac, since Abraham does not want Isaac to leave the land God promised him. The servant goes and find himself at a watering well where the women come to get water. He asks God to show him which woman he should pick for Isaac, when he asks a woman for water she will give him water and also water his camels. Rebekah, a virgin, comes to the well and gives the servant water and draws water for his camels as well. The servant is invited back to her home to stay. The servant praises the Lord. Rebekah tells her family what happened and when her brother Laban sees the bracelets and nose ring the servant gave her he rushes to the well and invites the servant in for the night.

The servant tells the family why he is there, that Abraham sent him to get a wife for Isaac and that God showed him Rebekah at the well. After the story the servant asks if he is going to be able to take Rebekah with him, and Laban and her father Bethuel tell him yes, since it is what God wishes. He gives Rebekah and her family gold and silver and other ornaments and ate and drank with the other men. The next morning he wants to set out and Rebekah's brother and mother asked if she could stay another 10 days before leaving. The servant said that they must go. Rebekah agrees to go. Her family blesses her, wishing her many offspring, and then Rebekah and her maids leave with the servant to go to Abraham.

Isaac sees Rebekah coming. Rebekah covers herself in a veil once she knows it is Isaac. The servant tells Isaac what happened on his journey and Isaac took Rebekah into Sarah's tent, had sex with her and made her his wife. And thus Isaac was comforted in his mother's death.

25:1-2 - Abraham marries Keturah. She bears him six children.
25:6 - To the sons of his concubines Abraham gives gifts and sends them away from Isaac's land, to the East.
25:10 - Abraham dies and is buried with his wife Sarah.
25:12 - List of the descendants of Isaac, the son of Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's slave girl.
25:20-28 - Isaac was forty when he married Rebekah. Rebekah is barren so Isaac prayed to the Lord and Rebekah conceived twins. They warred within her belly and she asked the Lord "If it is to be this way, then why do I live?" The Lord explained to her that the two children within her shall be divided, one shall be stronger and the elder shall serve the younger. The children are born, Esau first with Jacob grabbing onto his heel. Isaac loved Esau because he was a hunter but Rebekah favored Jacob.

26:6-11 - Isaac settles in Gerar and tells everyone that Rebekah is his sister because he was afraid he would be killed for her because she was so beautiful. After Isaac had been there a long time King Abimelech saw Isaac fondling Rebekah. Abimelech called to Isaac "So she is your wife? Why did you tell us she was your sister? Any one of us could have lain with her and you would have brought guilt upon us!" So Abimelech told the people that whomever touches Isaac or Rebekah would be killed.
26:34-35 - When Esau was forty he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. They made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.

My Comments

Questions about Abraham offering Isaac to God (other than it being kind of a cruel thing to do to Abraham). God wants Abraham to offer up his only son but Isaac isn't his only son. Ishmael is his son as well, have we forgotten this. And why is Sarah so absent from the story? Did she have nothing to say about her only son which God blessed her with being taken as an offering? Was she even told? And how many times is God going to promise Abraham to make his offspring numerous? Does that offer expire and he has to keep doing things for God to constantly earn it again?

And the chapter where Sarah dies has only three verses mentioning her? The other seventeen are Abraham bargaining for a place to bury her. I can't help but feel that she got the short end of the stick in this chapter.

The Rebekah story is fairly unproblematic. It does honestly seem like she could have refused to go with the servant and everything would have been okay, since it seemed her brother and mother weren't all that eager for her to leave. I do think it a bit strange that it was Isaac that prayed for her to bear children, not Rebekah. And then Rebekah has to deal with an extremely painful pregnancy, with God seeming to just shrug it off. God can help a barren women bear children but he can't keep the pregnancy from being so painful that Rebekah begs to know why she is living when it is so painful. Seems God's still a bit ticked off about the apple thing.

And the fact that Isaac takes after his dad Abraham and does the same my wife is my sister thing is pretty hilarious to me. Especially when they do it to King Abimelech who has already been burned by this trick once before. And then when Abimelech finds out he's like "OMGWTFBBQ?!?!" He is NOT gonna be fooled like that again! I can just picture his face when he sees Isaac fondling Rebekah. It really does make me laugh.

Tomorrow: Genesis 27-31

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