[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Thu Oct 18 23:34:48 EDT 2007

Jim, I can't EVEN read your run-on sentences.

G-d said that Avraham was a Prophet and that he knew. You keep 
changing the subject, you are GROPING to disprove the Torah.  NOT MY 

All the rest of your post  is just changing the subject,  if you 
believe that a few human beings wrote the Torah, then you are going 
to be subject, forever, to endless doubts as to what it reports, how 
true it is, what it means, who said what, what is true and what is 
false - and I admit, if you have a tendency to promote your own ideas 
about what the Torah "really" is saying, - then this position, that a 
few people wrote the Torah - certainly would suit your purposes - and 
you could go on forever ignoring whichever information, as suits you, 
that is given PLAINLY in the Text, in order to promote whatever 
arbitrary ideas you would like to believe.

For instance, if, as you claim, S'dom was in the North, and not in 
the Dead Sea area, where ALL THE MOUNTAINS ARE MADE OF SALT  (maybe 
you don't know Israel so well, but you can actually break off pieces 
of the mountains, and they are pieces composed of crystals of SALT, 
and salty to taste), then you would have to call G-d a liar for 
reporting that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt for 
turning around to look at S'dom up in the north - after all, if the 
whole story took place in the north, WHERE THERE ARE NO SALT 
MOUNTAINS, then that is much more of a geographical impossibility 
than that of Avraham being able to see the SMOKE of the destruction 
of 4 cities from not a lot of miles west of them, which is not 
impossible at all - as I could see the actual waters of the Dead Sea 
from Jerusalem.

Layla Tov


If YHWH had told Abraham, in a conversation not reported in the text,  that
nothing had happened between Abimelech and Sarah, then why wouldn’Äôt 
Abraham  be
ecstatic with joy at Isaac’Äôs birth?  Sarah is ecstatic with joy at Isaac’Äôs
birth, but Abraham says  nothing.
’ÄúAnd Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac  was born unto him.
And Sarah said:  'God hath made laughter for me;  every one that heareth will
laugh  on account of me.’Äô  And she said:  'Who would have said unto Abraham,
that Sarah should give children suck? for I have borne him a son in his old
age.'  And the child grew, and was  weaned.’Äù  Genesis 21:  5-8
Abraham is not reported to praise YHWH upon Isaac’Äôs  birth.  Abraham is not
reported to  say one nice word to or about Isaac prior to the binding incident.
The author of the Patriarchal narratives has not made a  ’Äúmistake’Äù, nor has
he ’Äúoverlooked’Äù this issue.  Rather, the author is forcing us to  consider
that Abraham may have had doubts about what had happened, or not 
happened, when
Sarah was in Abimelech’Äôs  household.
Perhaps nothing at all happened.  But based on what the text says, it does
not appear that YHWH told Abraham that nothing had happened.  That is a key
element in the  text.
I agree with you that the text is perfect, as is.  But I do not agree that
these stories  are simple.  The author is laying  his real point between the
lines a little  bit.
It may well be that nothing in fact happened between  Abimelech and Sarah,
but what I am saying is that Abraham does not appear to  know that.
That is the key for making this story work,  historically.  Abraham must have
a  bona fide doubt, for many years, as to whether Isaac is his blood son or
his  adopted son.  It is virtually  certain that in fact, Isaac is Abraham’Äôs
blood son.  Though much less certain, nothing at all  may have happened between
Abimelech and Sarah.  But the key is that Abraham is not sure  what did or did
not happen between Abimelech and Sarah.  That’Äôs all I’Äôm  saying.
If Abraham had been certain from the beginning that  nothing at all had
happened between Abimelech and Sarah, Abraham would have  jumped for 
joy at Isaac’Äôs
birth.  The text reports, however, that whereas Sarah waxed lyrical at Isaac’Äô
s  birth, Abraham said nothing (other than to confirm Isaac’Äôs divinely-given
name).  Abraham’Äôs silence speaks  volumes as to what Abraham knew for sure
from YHWH, and what Abraham had his  doubts about.
In the end, Isaac  is Abraham’Äôs blood son.  But the way  the text tells the
story, Abraham was not sure about that for many  years.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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