[b-hebrew] Was Pharaoh "Touched" or "Plagued" by God at Genesis 12:17?

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Thu Aug 21 11:30:48 EDT 2008

Dear Jim,

You are stretching it beyond belief that Sarah was adopted. It is total
speculation that drives you to claim that Sarah was adopted in order to support
your theory. It clearly states that Sarah was Abraham's sister through his
father not his mother in Genesis 20:12. This was the SAME STORY given to
Pharaoh. He did it TWICE. "Methinks that thou protesteth too much."

Furthermore, you have ignored clear evidence of Genesis 20 before Abimelech and
from Isaac doing the same with Rebekkah with another Abimelech later in Genesis
26:7-16 specifically vss. 7-11. "Like father, like son." All of these passages
in Genesis do NOT show Abraham or Isaac in really good light. They lied. They
tried to deceive. It was not one of their most glorious episodes of their lives.
That is what the text indicates without needing to play semantics or eisegesis
to prove one's theory.
In all three instances Pharaoh and both Abimelechs (although it could be he same
Abimelech which just makes worse since he has been fooled twice) were made fools
of by the lying of Abraham and Isaac. Sarah and Rebekkah did not object to this
duplicity. Rebekkah's duplicity gets even worse when she uses Jacob to obtain
the blessing from Isaac. Isaac, knowing of the prophecy regarding Esau and
Jacob, still wanted to give it to Esau, but Rebekkah, like her brother Laban,
used Jacob to deceive her husband Isaac. It must run in the family. Of course,
Jacob received the error of his ways when he himself was deceived on his wedding
night! O' to be a fly on the tent wall that next morning.

En Xristwi,

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 7:35 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Was Pharaoh "Touched" or "Plagued" by God at Genesis 12:17?

> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III :
> You wrote:  “Abraham lied.  He did not trust God to get him out of the
> situation with the Egyptians and Abimelech.”
> Not true.
> 1.  Abraham did not lie when he said that Sarah was his sister (although
> Sarah likely was only Abraham’s sister by adoption, and perhaps Terakh did not
> adopt Sarah until the eve of her marriage to Abraham, per a Hurrian custom
> the Late Bronze Age).  Genesis 20: 12
> 2.  Abraham did not fool Pharaoh as to Sarah’s marital status.  Pharaoh knew
> from the get-go that Sarah was Abraham’s wife.  Pharaoh’s claim to the
> contrary at Genesis 12: 18-19 is official Egyptian government propaganda,
which the
> Hebrew author intends us to realize is largely false.
> 3.  Abraham never would have allowed Sarah to go into Pharaoh’s harem unless
> Abraham had complete faith that YHWH would soon return Sarah to Abraham, so
> that pursuant to the grand divine promises Abraham had just received at
> 12: 1-4, Sarah, as Abraham’s beloved original main wife #1, would in due
> course bear Abraham a grand line of descendants.
> The Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives well knew that absent divine
> intervention, once a woman went into Pharaoh’s harem, that woman was never
> heard from again.  Even the Kassite King of Karadunise/Kasdim (misleadingly
> referred to by modern scholars as the King of Babylon) could not get a report
as to
> his  s-i-s-t-e-r  who was in Pharaoh’s harem (being the very same old Pharaoh
> whom Abraham meets in chapter 12 of Genesis):
> “…‘my sister whom my father gave you was (already) there with you [with
> Pharaoh, that is, in the old Pharaoh’s harem], and no one has seen her (so as
> know) if now she is alive or if she is dead.’”  Amarna Letter EA 10-17
> 4.  There is no way that Abraham honestly feared for his life in Egypt.  In
> 3,000 years of pharaonic Egypt, there is not one report that a pharaoh had a
> man killed in order to take the man’s widow into pharaoh’s harem.  The reason
> for that is not that the pharaohs were particularly moral.  Rather, the reason
> is that a pharaoh would have considered it the ultimate insult to have to kill
> a man to get a non-virgin widow into pharaoh’s harem.  Most of the women who
> came into a pharaoh’s harem were young virgins.  Only on the rarest of
> occasions would an exception perhaps be made for a diplomatic marriage, in the
> of an important ally of Egypt.
> 5.  Abraham is being divinely tested in Egypt, just as Abraham is divinely
> tested in the binding incident.  If Abraham righteously has complete faith in
> YHWH, then Abraham will trust YHWH’s implicit promise to take care of Sarah as
> Sarah goes into Pharaoh’s harem, and Abraham will trust that YHWH will make
> right things happen regarding the binding incident as well.  If Abraham had
> been faithless, as you allege, then there is no way that Abraham would have
> allowed beloved Sarah to go into Pharaoh’s harem, because then Abraham would
> thought that he would never see his beloved main wife #1 again.  Then Abraham
> could never have had a proper male heir.
> A Hebrew author is not going to portray Hebrew Patriarch #1 Abraham as being
> the ultimate cad.  No way!  The Hebrew author knows that his audience will
> have to figure out how it is that Abraham is acting honorably here, rather
> being cowardly or immoral.  Abraham’s false claim that Abraham fears getting
> murdered in Egypt, and Pharaoh’s false claim that Pharaoh did not know Sarah’s
> marital status at the beginning, are part of an elaborate cover story designed
> to shield Pharaoh from moral censure by the Egyptian public, so that Pharaoh
> will be willing to go along with this divine testing of Abraham.  Both Abraham
> and Pharaoh know what is really going on at all times.  Abraham is being
> divinely tested, to see if he trusts YHWH to protect Sarah in Pharaoh’s harem.
> Pharaoh’s motivation to participate in Abraham’s divine testing is to try to
> send a diplomatic message to the too-rich polytheistic cult of Amen that Egypt
> is moving in a monotheistic direction now, as Pharaoh publicly favors the
> monotheist from Canaan (Abraham).  Pharaoh pays top dollar for the lapis
> Terakh had bought in Ur, Pharaoh takes non-virgin middle-aged Sarah into his
> harem, in a unique type of diplomatic (temporary) marriage, Pharaoh does not
> impale or imprison Abraham, and Pharaoh allows Abraham to depart Egypt with
all the
> vast wealth that Abraham had garnered in Egypt.  Moreover, all of Egypt would
> be buzzing about that powerful NG( (which I view as being “a mysterious,
> harsh divine  t-o-u-c-h, that had significant meaning”) that had made such a
> impression on Pharaoh’s entire household at Genesis 12: 17, a divine action
> apparently designed to favor the monotheist (Abraham) from Canaan, in that it
> promptly leads to Sarah being returned to Abraham.  Pharaoh wanted that buzz,
> order to try to avoid the all-out religious war that his son/successor would
> otherwise likely wage against the too-powerful polytheistic cult of the
> ram-headed god Amen.
> 6.  At all times, Abraham has faith in YHWH.  Abraham’s moments of doubt come
> regarding whether YHWH will be able to enable old Sarah to bear Abraham a
> son, and whether Abraham can be certain who the biological father of Isaac is.
> But righteous Abraham never lacks faith in YHWH.  There is no way that Abraham
> would have allowed Sarah to go into Pharaoh’s harem unless Abraham had full
> faith that YHWH would take good care of Sarah in Pharaoh’s harem and soon
> beloved Sarah to Abraham.
> 7.  Since a Hebrew author is telling this story to a largely Hebrew audience,
> we can be confident that great Hebrew Patriarch Abraham will not be presented
> as playing fast and loose with his beloved wife’s physical integrity.  Do not
> trust the official Egyptian government propaganda that Pharaoh puts forth for
> consumption by the Egyptian public at Genesis 12: 18-19.  Rather, “consider
> the source.”  That is how the Hebrew author wants us to analyze this
> mesmerizing story.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
> **************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel
> deal here.
> (http://information.travel.aol.com/deals?ncid=aoltrv00050000000047)
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew


No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.526 / Virus Database: 270.6.6/1623 - Release Date: 08/20/08 8:12 AM

For your security this Message has been checked for Viruses as a courtesy of Com-Pair Services!

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list