[b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Fri Oct 19 00:11:18 EDT 2007

Dear Jim,

I do appreciate your tenacity in defending your position regarding this verse,
but you have not proven your case.

Regarding Isaac's birth.

1)    Genesis 15 is quite clear that a child from Abram's (Abraham's) own body
will be born (vss. 1-6).

2)    Genesis 17:15-21 is quite clear that Sarah would bear a son that is from
        a)    Abraham laughs at the idea that he would be able to father a child
at 100 yrs of age and Sarah give birth to a child at 90 yrs of age.
        b)    His name shall be called Isaac due Abraham laughing.
        c)    Ishmael is clearly rejected as the "son" to be the heir in which
covenant of circumcision is a sign between Abraham and God contrary to a certain
religious movement's claim.
        d)    Ishmael will still be blessed, but Isaac will be the "Son of the

3)    Genesis 18:9-15 repeats the promise of God who is speaking to Sarah
through Abraham.

4)    Genesis 21:1-7 is quite clear as to the role of Abraham with regards to
the naming of the child born to Sarah, that is ISAAC (YITZHAK).

5)    Genesis 15:6, "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 7:40 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Genesis 20: 1

> Shoshanna:
> If YHWH had told Abraham, in a conversation not reported in the text,  that
> nothing had happened between Abimelech and Sarah, then why wouldn’t Abraham
> ecstatic with joy at Isaac’s birth?  Sarah is ecstatic with joy at Isaac’s
> birth, but Abraham says  nothing.
> “And 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.’  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.”  Genesis 21:  5-8
> Abraham is not reported to praise YHWH upon Isaac’s  birth.  Abraham is not
> reported to  say one nice word to or about Isaac prior to the binding
>  Why?
> The author of the Patriarchal narratives has not made a  “mistake”, nor has
> he “overlooked” this issue.  Rather, the author is forcing us to  consider
> that Abraham may have had doubts about what had happened, or not  happened,
> Sarah was in Abimelech’s  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’s
> blood son.  Though much less certain, nothing at all  may have happened
> Abimelech and Sarah.  But the key is that Abraham is not sure  what did or did
> not happen between Abimelech and Sarah.  That’s all I’m  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
> birth.  The text reports, however, that whereas Sarah waxed lyrical at Isaac’
> s  birth, Abraham said nothing (other than to confirm Isaac’s divinely-given
> name).  Abraham’s 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’s 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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