[b-hebrew] Language, migration and Jewish identity

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Sat Nov 10 20:33:37 EST 2007

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III  : 
    1.  You wrote:   “Genesis 15:7 refutes what you say about Abraham about 
coming from  Canaan and not Ur.  ‘and he said  unto him, I am the LORD that 
brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give  thee this land to inherit it.’"
(a)   Abraham’s older  brother Haran had the grave misfortune of predeceasing 
his own father and dying  in far-off Ur.  At Genesis 15: 7,  YHWH is 
reminding Abraham that YHWH saw to it that rather than dying  ignominiously with his 
older brother in far-off Ur, YHWH had helped guide  Abraham back to Abraham’s 
homeland of Canaan.  Abraham, unlike Haran, returned safely  to Canaan after 
the long caravan trip out to Mesopotamia to buy luxury goods to  sell in Egypt. 
(b)   The text refers to  “Kasdim”, not “Chaldees”.  The  Chaldeans did not 
exist until about 500 years after the Patriarchal  age. 
    1.  You wrote:   “Furthermore, 15:18 states, ‘In the same day the LORD 
made a covenant  with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from 
the river of  Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." Vss 19-21 
indicates who  inhabited the land that Abram has just been  given.”
(a)   Those verses say  nothing, one way or the other, as to where Abraham 
was  from. 
(b)    Genesis 21: 13 explicitly says that  Ishmael is Abraham’s “seed”. 
(c)   It is Ishmael’s  descendants who inherit most of the land that is 
referred to at Genesis 15:  18-21.  That is what Genesis 25: 16,  18 tells us: 
“[T]hese are the sons of Ishmael,  and these are their names, by their 
villages, and by their encampments;  twelve princes according to their  nations.  … 
And they dwelt from  Havilah unto Shur that is before Egypt, as thou goest 
toward Asshur [Assyria,  centered just east of the upper Euphrates River]:  over 
against all his brethren he did  settle.” 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois

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