[b-hebrew] Genesis 15:6

waldo slusher waldoslusher at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 26 11:44:34 EDT 2003


Karl:


> Here we have God speaking to Abram and Abram
> indicating that he trusted what God said. Thus I
> don’t see how we need to fancy, convoluted answers
> when we have an immediate context connected to the
> trust.

I'm in agreement, I think, with you on this. My
question was to ask whether the idea here expressed by
the unusual verbal construct was that Abram "was
already believing the Lord" before the Lord makes this
particular promise. That is what my friend seemed to
imply. If this belief is restricted to the immediate
promise give by the Lord, then there is no place in
all of Scripture, as far as I can tell, where Abram's
"conversion-faith back in Ur" is ever mentioned. 

>From what I gather, the normal reading of this passage
is NOT that Abram "believed what the Lord JUST
promised." The idea is that Abram was PREVIOUSLY in a
state of believing the Lord PRIOR TO this most recent
promise. Thus, here, Abram CONTINUES his belief in G-d
that he had demonstrated in his leaving Ur at the
request of the Lord.

It seems an oversimplification and to some extent
naive to state that we don't "need to fancy,
convoluted answers when we have an immediate context
connected to the trust."

If the surface structure ALLOWS for what my friend is
suggesting, I don't want to dismiss it without giving
it due consideration. I am sure you are aware that
this verbal structure has been the center of numerous
articles and debates. 

Having said that, I am not trying to argue for some
mystical, esoteric reference to Abram's previous
belief in the Lord. I'm just wondering why the odd
verbal construct here. It is not the normal verbal
means of indicating "an immediate context connected to
the trust." That is not precluded, but the construct,
as I understand it, may imply more.


=====
Waldo Slusher
Calgary, AB

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