[b-hebrew] Abraham, Sarah, Lot, and Lot's Wife

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Fri Dec 28 09:34:18 EST 2007

Shoshanna Walker:
You wrote:  “Here we go again.  We know that Avraham had no such doubts 
 G-d warned Avimelech in a dream not to touch her, telling him that Avraham 
was a prophet, and therefore he knew that she had not been touched.”
1.  The fact that YHWH may have warned Abimelech in a dream not to touch 
Sarah would not mean that Abraham knew that Abimelech did not touch Sarah.
2.  The text does not report that YHWH ever told Abraham that Abimelech had 
not touched Sarah.
3.   The text does not report that Sarah ever told Abraham that Abimelech had 
not touched Sarah.
4.  Abraham is not reported to praise YHWH at Isaac’s birth.  Why?  Why isn’
t Abraham portrayed as profusely thanking YHWH at Isaac’s birth?
5.  Abraham is not portrayed as saying anything nice to or about Isaac during 
Isaac’s childhood.  Why is that?
6.  Abraham is not stated to be grieved or upset when he almost kills Isaac 
in the harrowing binding incident.  Why not?
7.  (a)  Abraham is portrayed as pleading Ishmael’s case to YHWH at Genesis 
17: 18.  Why doesn’t Abraham plead Isaac’s case to YHWH in the binding 
(b)  Abraham is portrayed as being “grieved” at Genesis 21: 11 when Sarah 
forces Abraham to exile Ishmael.  Why isn’t Abraham portrayed as being “grieved’
 in the binding incident?
8.  To me, the foregoing strongly implies that for many years, Abraham was 
not sure whether Isaac was Abraham’s blood son or Abraham’s adopted son.  I 
agree that at Genesis 25: 19, we get the good news that Isaac almost certainly 
was in fact Abraham’s blood son.  But the critical issue is whether Abraham was 
100% sure from day #1 that Isaac was Abraham’s blood son, as opposed to 
possibly being Abraham’s adopted son.
9.  Abraham’s core righteousness is that Abraham accepts Isaac as his sole 
heir, despite having some doubts about Isaac’s biological paternity at the time, 
because YHWH tells Abraham to accept Isaac as Abraham’s sole heir.
10.  Abraham is a more impressive character, and the narrative about him is 
more impressive, once one understands that Abraham himself was not sure at the 
beginning whether or not Isaac was Abraham’s blood son.  Abraham did not have 
an easy life, nor did he have easy choices.  Abraham is righteous, and he 
makes the right choices for the right reasons.  But those were not easy choices.  
Abraham’s personal preference was for Ishmael, whom Abraham knew for sure was 
Abraham’s blood son.  But Abraham properly chooses Isaac as his sole heir, 
because that was what YHWH told Abraham to do, even though Abraham was not sure 
at the time of Isaac’s biological paternity.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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