Gen 15:17

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Fri Jan 18 09:11:29 EST 2002


Hasn't he already cut off the tip of his penis?
What more do you want????
Liz

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan D. Safren [mailto:yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il]
> Sent: Fri, January 18, 2002 12:57 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Gen 15:17
> 
> 
> >
> >  In Genesis 15 God is "Cutting a Covenant" with Abram. Abram does the
> >  "cutting", but God "passes between the pieces" in token that 
> He, for His
> >  part, will certainly keep and perform His covenant promises. 
> Abraham did
> >  not pass between the pieces. He was a sleeping spectator of the vision
> >  (verse 12). This Covenant is a unilaterally imposed covenant of Grace.
> >
> 
> Unlike typical suzerainty treaty ceeremonies in the Bible (Circumcision,
> Gen. 18: the Sinai Covenant, Ex. 20-24; the Shechem Covenant; Josh. 24),
> here in Gen. 15 it is only God who is undertaking a treaty 
> obligation, which
> is why He passes through the two rows of dismembered animals. Abraham
> undertakes no obligations at all. Abraham is not so much a "sleeping
> spectator" (even though that is what he was doing at the time) as a
> "beneficiary" of the covenant promise. He asked for proof of God's
> intentions towards him, and this is what God is giving him. I would call
> this a "role reversal". most definitely not the typical 
> suzerainty treaty in
> which the Divine suzerain, or his human representative (Joshua) makes
> promises, or states that He has fulfiled His promises, and the Israelite
> vassal undertakes all the obligations.
> Sincerely,
> ---
> Jonathan D. Safren
> Dept. of Biblical Studies
> Beit Berl College
> Beit Berl Post Office
> 44905 Israel
> 
> 
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