We come back to Abraham and Sarah as they enter Gerar. Once again, he says that Sarah is his sister and the king takes her as one of his wives. Is this a kink? More likely, this is a retelling of the earlier story that took place in Egypt. This idea comes from the Oxford Bible Commentary.
This version of the story has a different twist since God appears to King Abimelech in a dream and threatens him. Abimelech points out that Abraham told him that Sarah was his sister, but because Abraham is God’s special little guy, he won’t be punished.
But wait, it turns out that Abraham did not tell a lie…
It turns out that Sarah is his sister from another mother. So Abimelech gave Abraham livestock and male and female slaves and told him to settle anywhere on his land. He also gave him a thousand piece of silver. God healed Abimelech and the womenfolk so that they would bear children because he caused them not to be able to bear children in the first place. Once again, God, the great judge of character.
And God allowed Sarah to conceive and give birth to Isaac. Abraham cut off his naughty bits at eight days old because…reasons, and we are reminded that these two are old.
Of course, there’s the tiny matter of the other woman and Abraham’s other son, Hagar and Ishmael. Sarah didn’t want the son of a slave to inherit anything along with her precious angel. So God allowed it and Abraham sent them on their way because, of course.
Once again, because Hagar is either a woman, a slave, or Egyptian, or all of the above, God does not talk to her directly, but only through an angel. The angel tells her that Ishmael will be a great nation. He would learn to use a bow and marry an Egyptian woman of his mother’s choosing.
In a bit of a weird scene, Abraham and Abimelech agree to be besties, but Abraham complains about a well seized by Abimelech’s men, but he knew nothing about it. Abraham gave him sheep and oxen, but held seven ewes back so Abimelech would hang out while Abraham digs a well. They call the place Beer-Sheba (mmm, beer) because it means Well of the Oath. Abraham planted a tree and hung out in the land of the Philistines.
The last two sections apparently overlap since Hagar went into Beer-Sheba, but that land isn’t named until the following scene. It’s a bit confusing to read and I needed to refer to the Oxford Bible Commentary.
This is the worst story in Genesis. God sends Abraham to Moriah to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice and all Abraham can do is gather up the supplies and his servants and set out on the road. God gives no reason for his request and God forbid he question God (oh, right). I don’t know who said it originally, but I am reminded of a quote, “Any god who demands to be worshiped is unworthy of it. Any god worthy of worship would not demand it.”
Anyway, Abraham and Isaac make their way to the site, most likely with the kid doing most of the heavy lifting, and they build the altar. Isaac asks where the lamb for the sacrifice is and dear ol’ dad tells him that the Lord will provide one. Abraham tied Isaac up, placed him on the altar, and pulled out the knife and prepared to cut the kid’s throat. An angel of God came down and stopped him, telling him that he passed God’s test.
Passed? PASSED?! No, he failed miserably. He was “just following orders” I guess. I would certainly hope that if I was tested in this way by the voices in my head, I would have sense enough to question them. Even if I was convinced that it was a real god, even the God of the Bible, I still hope that I would question his motives. Once again, God proves that he is a horrible judge of character and misses another psycho.
The rest of this chapter is God praising this sicko and then we get another genealogy. Oh, and spare me the apologetics about this story. I can read it and understand it with my own brain.