[b-hebrew] daughters jacob never spoke of

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Wed Jun 21 15:40:02 EDT 2006

Dear Harold, here is where we have to part company.

I do not believe that there is any validity to any theories of the 
history that Torah teaches us, other than Torah itself, INCLUDING 
Oral Torah, where the written text is not clear, and which fills in 
all the details and background missing from the written text.


Dear Shoshanna,

HH: You see, I have always been taught and find more credible, in terms
of the narrative, that Sarah was Abraham's half-sister. This was before
God prohibited marriages within families, and we know that Adam's
children had to marry within the family. Here is part of an online article:

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


   sa'-ra, sa'-ri:


We are introduced to Sarai in Genesis 11:29. She is here mentioned as
the wife that Abraham "took," while still in Ur of the Chaldees, that
is, while among his kindred. It is immediately added that "Sarai was
barren; she had no child." By this simple remark in the overture of his
narrative, the writer sounds the motif that is to be developed in all
the sequel. When the migration to Haran occurs, Sarai is named along
with Abram and Lot as accompanying Terah. It has been held that the
author (or authors) of Genesis 11 knew nothing of the relationship
announced in 20:12. But there can be no proof of such ignorance, even on
the assumption of diversity of authorship in the two passages.

   Sarai's career as described in Genesis 11 was not dependent on her
being the daughter of Terah. Terah had other descendants who did not
accompany him. Her movements were determined by her being Abram's wife.
It appears, however, that she was a daughter of Terah by a different
mother from the mother of Abram. The language of 20:12 would indeed
admit of her being Abram's niece, but the fact that there was but 10
years' difference between his age and hers (Genesis 17:17) renders this
hypothesis less probable. Marriage with half-sisters seems to have been
not uncommon in antiquity (even in the Old Testament compare 2 Samuel

   This double relationship suggested to Abraham the expedient that he
twice used when he lacked faith in God to protect his life and in
cowardice sought his own safety at the price of his wife's honor.

Harold Holmyard

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