[b-hebrew] daughters jacob never spoke of

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Wed Jun 21 11:43:00 EDT 2006

Dear Harold:

"coloring the truth" - my words, not Rashi's or Abraham's, I could 
have used different phrases but - I thought this was a list about 
semantics in Hebrew, not English.

The point being, that for whatever reasons Avraham thought he needed 
to "lie" (which is not the point of this discussion, but we can cite 
that, too...commentaries explain that in verse 2) - he did his best 
to remain as close to the truth as possible.  So he is explaining to 
Avimelech why he felt he needed to lie, and also that he was not 
entirely lying.

The reason he thought he needed to lie is he didn't expect her to be 
abducted if the people thought she was his sister, instead they would 
have tried to convince him, as her brother, to give her in marriage. 
(She had already once been abducted by Pharaoh)
He didn't know that Avimelech himself would abduct her anyway, 
thinking she was not already married, in order to marry her.

Rashi did not contradict Abraham, therefore you could believe them 
both.  The question was why wasn't the word "kalla" daughter-in-law 
used here.  That is what I was commenting on.

What difference does it make what you or I think would have been 
simpler to have been written in the Torah, the Torah is very precise 
in every single letter, including missing ones, and enlarged ones, 
why it is written the way it is written.



HH: Coloring the truth, the way you have interpreted it, would involve
Abraham basically lying. There was no absolute need for him to lie at
this point, even if the king was angry. The king could have accepted
that Abraham had spoken as he had for self-preservation. Why should I
believe Rashi rather than Abraham? If Sarah was married to Abraham, then
she was Terah's daughter-in-law, even if she was also his daughter by a
woman different than Abraham's mother. It could be the narrator who
withheld the latter information until Gen 20:12.

Gen. 20:12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my
father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

HH: In the narrative flow of Genesis 11, it may have been simpler for
Sarah simply to be identified as Abraham's wife (thus Terah's
daughter-in-law), without gettting into the details.

Harold Holmyard
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