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April – 2010
According to religious text, this man wandered out of the north and begat three major religions, if not more when you study other religions of the Orient. Various sources tell us he was a descendent of Noah nine times removed whereas his father Terah, was the son of Nahor, Terah’s wife’s name was “Iyoska” daughter of Nesteg a kin of Ur Kasim the son of Arpachshad for whom Ur was named, Nahor was 29 when his son Terah was born, Nahor lived to the ripe old age of 148. Nahor was the son of Serug, whereas some ancient texts tell us that he was 30 when Nahor was born and lived until he was 230 while other texts say he was 130 when he fathered Nahor and gives his death at 330-years-old. Serug was the son of Reu whose wife was “Lomna” of Shinar, Reu was 32/132 when Serug was born and died 239/339 depending on whose text you read, Serug’s wife was “Ora” daughter of Ur Kesed, it is said that Serug was born at the time when the Tower of Babel was begun. Reu was the son of Peleg, Reu was born when Peleg was 30, and according to Hebrew reference died when he was 239. Peleg was the son of Eber, he was 34years-old when Peleg was born and he died when he was 464-years-old – somewhere around 1817 BC. Eber was the son of Shelah (Salah) there is no reference on how old he was when Eber was born, while some references state that Salah was the son of Cainan and only a grandson of Arpachshad, nevertheless it is said he lived to a ripe old age of 466years-old. Shelah was the son of Arpachshad, who was one of the five sons of Shem – it is said he was born two years after the flood – they say he was the founder of Ur Kesdim (Ur of the Chaldees) on the west bank of the Euphrates – it is said he was 436 when he went onto his reward. Arpachshad
was the son of Shem, the eldest son of Noah (according to popular belief, some regard him as the 2nd son), Shem was 100 years old when Arpachshad was born, making Shem 98-years-old at the time of the flood – and it is said he died 500 years after Arpachshad birth or 600-years-old when he left the Blue Marble. Well there you have it, the official lineage of the man who is said to be the father or three religions, the man whose actions thousands of years ago have more or less set the stage for the mishmash we’re walking through today. Today, excluding a few religious texts, remains an enigma to most of the world’s population, some scratching their heads at his beginning and his end. Before he began his journey of earthshaking events he married his half-sister Sarai in Ur of the Chaldees which is said to have been founded by his ancestor Arpachshad, the son of Shem who was one of the sons of Noah – you know the flood. Some guys say that Sarai was actually the daughter of Abraham’s deceased brother Haran as she was the sister of Lot and Milcah, so instead of marring his halfsister he married his cousin – either way you look at it there was a mixing of the bloodline, in that they all walked from the table of Terah. No different than the later mixing of royalty in Europe, where Kings married the daughters of their brothers, cousins and whatnot to keep the European royalty pure and “rich”. And we know the results of that! Tales/Legend has it that he was born in Ur Kasdim or Ur of the Chaldees, whereas the traditional site of his birth is in Edessa, whereas in cuneiform inscriptions is unknown – but in early Greek texts the city is called Ορρα, or Orrha as in the capital of the Kingdom of Osroe the legendary founder an Armenian from Chosroes – its latter native name is Edessa, with its current name of Sanliurfa. One gets the impression that not only it is clouded in mystery but in specific location, but then again a legend is a myth that over the years has slowly made a tremendous impact of all of our destinies. In other words, to state that the Middle East is a cauldron of high-strung emotions is putting it lightly. Nevertheless, further tales put his later years in Ur Kaśdim living with his father who legend has it was a dealer in idols, which at the time were the objects of worship in this part of the world. Both the Muslims and the Jews make a pretty big deal of Terah’s dealing in idols, whereas one account has Abraham destroying all but large one with a stick and then putting the stick in the Idols hands and telling his father, when he gets home, that the Idol had destroyed all the others – the first record of a little white lie. Terah then took Abraham to Nimrod for his punishment, whereby Nimrod (another legend) threw Abraham into a Furnace which he survived. As most religious legends there are far too many to count stories of Nimrod, some say he was the greatest ruler of Earth up until his time, others say he was actually two people – one the son of Cush and the other a contemporary of Abraham, at best any accounting of Nimrod is clouded in mystery and doubt! But nevertheless Abraham tells a whopper to his father and as legend tells us his father drags him in front of Nimrod and orders his punishment by burning, which by grace of the Hebrew God he is saved! If you’re “Abraham” you can spin a tale and get away with it, and we wonder why the Children of Israel have a difficult time with
the truth, screaming to the world there is only but “one truth” and it is what they tell us – no matter the physical evidence to the contrary – it’s true! Nevertheless, Abraham’s story depends on Nimrod getting upset and that Abraham survived his ordeal of fire – after Abraham bundled up his wife, his nephew Lot and his father and hit the road north, finally settling in Haran (“Harran, Turkey”) a very ancient city some 570 miles distant, which in its time was a major Assyrian commercial, cultural and religious center – it is written that one of its major trading partners were the residents of Tyre a prominent Phoenician seaport, now in Lebanon. One of its biggest exports from Harran was stobrum tree (odoriferous gum) its fumes used at time to help people sleep who were very sick, – it is also noted as being the chief location of the Mesopotamian “moon god Sin” up to including its Roman occupation. It appears that Terah, Abraham’s father, continued his trade in dealing with Idols in Harran much to the displeasure of his son – the family stayed together, as the story continues until Terah passed away in 1815 BC at the age of 205. As the legend/Scriptures continues it is God who advises Abraham to prepare his family to leave Harran after his father passes away, so at 75 years of age he bundles up his immediate family, including his nephew Lot, their slaves along with their flocks and headed south following his Gods instructions through modern day Syria to the Land of Canaan. According to accounts the first place he stopped in the Land of Canaan was Shechem, a trade city that is believed to have been old when he stopped, Abraham built an altar to worship the Lord and it is rumored that at this time Abraham’s God gave that land to his descendants – some detractors of the tale mentioned the fact that this is the first reference used by the Jews to claim the Land of Canaan for their own which gives them the liberty to run roughshod over its inhabitants in later history. It is here, as it is written in Jewish history, that God confirmed his covenant with Abraham over the Promise Land. Shechem was later to be another important story in the family of Abraham – but that’s coming hang on. Other historians tell us that in actuality Abraham grew up in one of the cities either Serug, Terah and/or Nahor founded, which were in close proximity to Haran (Turkey), and in addition there is strong reference to this father of three religions that he grew up in Elba, which is said to have a strong cultural influence on the Hebrews, much-more-so than Babylon – some say the big guy was born in “Ur of the Khaldis”, while others maintain that if is highly unlikely he was born in the Sumerian “Ur”, which was 100s of miles distant – and that the journey to Haran would have been as remarkable as any of Abraham’s migration, whereas in the traditional way of the Hebrew historians in spinning their yarn there is no such mention of such a migration – this has led a growing number of historians to believe that Abraham was born in or near “Urfa” in modern Turkey, which boasts at every chance of being the birthplace of Abraham. There have been found ‘tablets’ in Elba that mentions a city called “Ur” situated in the land of Harran – several cities qualify for this fact, but keep in mind that “Ur” translated simply means “city”. Such is the reason you’ll notice a qualifier that states “Ur of the Khaldis” or “City of the Khaldis” – whereas the present day historians are convinced an incorrect translation was made way-
back-when that substituted “Chaldees” for “Khaldis”, seems a simple mistake especially if you’re trying to convince the world that God had given you a promise land! But it does present another contradiction, and one that is pretty important (unless you’re a Jewish historian) that during Abraham’s time the “Chaldeans” (Babylonians) did not exist – most serious non-spinners consider that the Biblical account (Old Testament) that places Ur in southern Mesopotamia is wrong! “Urfa” on the other hand, is close to the other patriarchal cities – just a little further north. Here lived the “Hurrians”, who had many curious traditions, among which was their custom of referring to nations and individuals inter-changeably. They also referred to their gods as “the Khaldises”, giving credence to the phrase “Ur of the Khaldis” having been used to indicate a Hurrian City in the northwest – archaeological evidence supports this fact. Religious historians tell us that the original destination from “Ur” was the Land of Canaan, but the family only went as far as Harran – from Ur of Chaldeans would have been a highly circuitous route, whereas from Ur of Khaldis it would be a direct route to Canaan – albeit the reason for them stopping in Harran is not noted, all accounts it appears that Terah found the city to be prosperous and set up his business dealing with idols. Various translators of the “Septuagint”1 have implied that Terah lived 205 years in Haran, but in general most believe this number applies to his life on Earth. It is also assumed that Terah had spent his entire life in the Land of Haran, since “Ur” was in the same valley. Records found in the “Eblaite” tablets refer to “Ur” as being in the Land of Harran. Some suggest that the 205 years refer to Terah’s leadership of his clan, in other words his government leadership. Abraham we are told was in his 75th year when he was called to invade Canaan, in any case compared to even today and our advanced medical practices an extremely old age to be marching across the lands in the Middle East. But, when you consider according to the various religious texts Noah was in his 600th year when the universal deluge happened – some figure that the ages noted were inserted in various texts to satisfy chronological narratives. This in order to account for the elapse of time between major events, in this case from the Deluge to the time of Abraham, whereas it is strongly suggested that these two events were two major turning points in the salvation of the Earth and its human population. It should be considered that during the estimated time of Abraham’s call (1950 to 1875 BC) this part of Turkey was already thousands of years old in development, whereas Göbekli Tepe and Nevali Çori had been in existence since 11,000 to 10,000 BC, and both showed advanced civilizations. There is found a cave shrine marking Abraham’s “alleged” place of birth in “Urfa” or the ancient city of
Edessa (Sanliurfa), along with this evidence has been established that this location was the original “Ur of the Chaldees”, just as there is the possibility that the story of the “Watchers” written in the “Book of Enoch”, were from the Upper Mesopotamia again the true site of Chaldea, whereas scholars today calculate this was the origin of Abraham’s beginning. The 1950-1875 BC date of his “calling” is tentative at best, whereas some ‘Greek’ biographies place his age at somewhere around 40, similar texts suggest that the Deluge was at the beginning of his age, whereas the 600 years represents the span of time between the original Deluge and the last of the great floods – whereas it appears that as the Ice retreated after the last Ice Age that large amounts of water locked behind huge Ice Dams such as in North America were released. It is also suggested that the 1950-1875 BC span of time may represent the time Abraham spent in Canaan and Egypt. This suggestion may argue for an earlier entry into Egypt, somewhere around 1735 BC, which it is said there are historical reasons for this estimate. Nevertheless, whatever date is chosen, the general timing is accepted as around 1900 BC which in some cases matches archaeological records in that there are pottery traces of a culture in Palestine spanning 200 years of early 2nd millennium BC – that is unlike any culture that existed before or since. In all descriptions of his party, Abraham is the patriarch of the travelers, a group that included his prophetic wife Sarai, his nephew Lot and the people who are considered part of his clan and dependant on its success – the comment “the souls they had gotten in Harran”, is not confined to the servant class, albeit the Hebrews had and have not any qualms about referring to “servants” as such – yet in this case it is omitted leading one to believe that these people were free souls who had chosen to follow Abraham and his family to Canaan – for whatever reason. It in any case it can be considered that they chose to follow Abraham as he was an effective leader, in turn after many years in Harran had in himself developed a successful business spirit and enterprise. These people who followed him might be considered a part of the “house of Abraham” albeit they had no blood relationship, whereas in the New Testament Jesus would admonish the Jews against placing too much “confidence” in their blood descent from Abraham, instead emphasizing the importance of sharing Abraham’s “faith”. Abram is called by God to leave his remaining family, (his father had passed on) and go to a land he had never seen – a land that many would have you believe was a wild and un-tamed region of the Middle East, whereas we know understand was in reality a thriving region under the Canaanites or Phoenicians with bustling ports, and vast enterprises that sold their products to other civilizations around the Mediterranean, in other words Abraham was not tasked to go into a virgin world that was devoid of any civilized practices. When Abraham set foot in the Land of Canaan, the history of Israel begin, and according to Hebrew religious historians the “salvation” of man. Abraham is commanded
by God to leave, and based on his faith in the command Abraham sets off, as some would have us believe, into the land of the devil incarnate to save the faith of mankind especially the Hebrews – who when you consider was Abraham and his followers. It is a well known fact that Israel considers Abraham their father, rather than Terah or Isaac, or even Jacob (Israel) himself simply because of the “faith” they inherited from him – whereas we’ve seen that Jesus reminded the Jews time and time again that Abraham is their father because of Abraham’s faith and not because of their “carnal” descent. It is interesting to note that through time he will be remembered as a “man”, and not as a nation such as Jacob/Israel. Is it right to call Abraham’s orders a “covenant” or a “pure bounty of blessings” from God, who offered these items without any conditions or caveats – regardless it is written that Abraham accepts the calling based on his extreme faith in his instructions, and it is suggested that God knows that Abraham will deliver because he suffers from an over abundance of perseverance in getting things done. To push the matter forward God tells Abraham, “will bless those who bless Abraham and curse those who curse him,” basically because Abraham is the measure off faith among men, and the beginning of God’s salvation plan for the Earth. In the New Testament it is noted that “all” nations will be blessed through Abraham, a fact that can only be fulfilled through Jesus Christ, “for it is through His church that ‘all’ nations have come to know the faith of Abraham and reap its benefits. In accepted Scripture it is stated that God has appeared to man for the first time when he gives Abraham the Land of Canaan, and as some remark it is strange that the event is treated so cursorily, whereas it might be that the authors are simply recounting an existing “tradition”. Or, it might be that the authors realize that to attempt a description of the event is impossible or superfluous because God’s supernatural qualities cannot be described in natural terminology and that it is “just” relating of his commands that are necessary to relate and chose not to dwell on God’s divine qualities. In other words, the purpose of the narrative and the apparition it describes are simply to relay the promise of the Land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants. Consider that the Hebrew authors, in their quest to establish the legitimacy of the Land of Canaan being theirs, strive to set in principal the magnitude of God’s command and in doing so have God appear before Abraham personally giving the Land of Canaan to his descendants. Thereby setting in concrete Abraham’s destination and his followers destiny – which when you think about it – a practice carried out by other civilizations throughout time. Abraham’s first encounter with the Land of Canaan is note as happening in Shechem (Tell Balatah), which according to archaeological evidence has put the city at least around 500 years old when Abraham shows up, this is where Abraham is shown God’s promise to Israel.
He leaves Shechem and travels a few miles southwest to Bethel where he sets-up camp, and on a mount between Bethel and Ai Abraham builds an altar to the Lord, apparently addressing Him with the Divine Name. Some time after that, it is really not clear, most surmise only after being in town for a short while, he makes his trip to Egypt. Others maintain it was long enough to establish a firm trade in Pine Tree Tar with the Phoenicians, who in the same time period were establishing a strong presence on the sea and in building their ships – used the pine tar to apply between the seams to prevent water seepage between the seams. It is noted that preceding his trip to Egypt he offered no special tribute to anyone in the Land of Canaan, if he did there is any record or legends of him doing so. And because of his voyage to Egypt because of famine there are questions on how much influence he and followers had established in the region. It is noted that compared to the region of the world they had migrated from that Israel architecture was bland and unassuming, whereas in Urfa and other ancient sites the architecture was artful as well as more functional. And at the sites previously were found provisions for the storage of food, similar to those found in Lebanon such as in Byblos – this apparently was lacking in the interior of the region of Israel. It is written by some that Abraham had adjusted to the life of wandering he established in the Land of Canaan, and during his time before he had to leave for Egypt lived in many different locations, and as the head of his clan he soon accumulated large flocks of sheep and herds of cattle moving with him from place to place. It is said it was with great reluctance that they had to leave the open downs, fresh breezes and the oak groves where they lived in the Land of Canaan – the land that God had promised him and his followers and take his people through the desert of the south, to in some opinions a race of people that he could never hope to on terms of a solid friendship. Spring rains had failed, and the ensuing drought created a famine across the Palestinian uplands, but Egypt with its powerful Nile was known throughout the region as a land of plenty – and whether it were Hebrew nomads, Hittite warriors, or even Phoenician traders Egypt was their sole refuge, and their sole hope of survival. For the Nile and the foresight of the Egyptians who had constructed large granaries and storehouses, and an old established system whereas corn was laid up as reserve in times of food stress. While safeguarding the King’s interest it was his public servants who made the distribution of food, to the native and migrants alike whose need was great. And yet, later on it is the Hebrew historians that another Hebrew saved Egypt’s bacon when a drought slammed into the land of Egypt. Abraham looking about saw no relief in sight from the famine, the Land of Canaan was getting hammered so he did the only thing open to him, head south to the land of plenty – Egypt! It is said that over the years in the Land of Canaan that his tribe had increased to at least 1200 and they he personally had a staff of at least 318 men capable of bearing arms – albeit not known how many he took with him to Egypt, historical reference gathers he must have taken his tribe which still included
Lot and his group, whereas leaving them would have invited starvation. The land Abraham’s God had given him, he abandoned. His move south must have been an impressive sight, a large caravan to be sure, with strung out asses and some camels to carry provisions and household belongings along with their female members and small children. The trek must have been long and hard, more than likely suffering much loss, especially when it came to the animals – but on the 7th or 8th day as their water was getting low and the animals were dropping they finally viewed their promise of arrival spotting the gardens, palaces and obelisks of Egypt and the broad flood plain of the Nile, they sang and danced leaping with joy and the smell of water spurred the animals forward – Egypt! Abraham gave his thanks to their savior and marched into a land full of mystery and for him a creating a heavy heart, for it is written that he had already experienced the violence and tyranny of other potentates and supposedly only escaped with his life from one in Babylon. Nevertheless he had his share of fear weighting heavily on his back as they moved toward the horizon – stories being what they were had drifted north from the land of Egypt, where tales were told of unbridled license of irresponsible leaders whose power was unmatched in what anyone could conceive and how they were laid upon the inhabitants of the land of the Pyramids. It was said, that the leaders of the land had long ago given up on monogamy and took as many wives as they desired which fed their corrupt system of harems, this fact alone sat hard on Abraham’s shoulders. Just before entering the land he pulled Sarai aside and told her, “Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon; therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, ‘This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive’.” Under these circumstances Abraham, with a craft not unnatural in an Oriental, spun a tale that divorced him from his wife, telling all around that from hence forward that Sarai was not his wife, but his sister – telling Sarai, “Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister, that it may be well for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.” Sarai agreed; as did the entire entourage. Let’s step back a minute and take a look over our shoulder at what might be happening here – Josephus the 1st century Jewish historian wrote, “Pharaoh Necho, King of Egypt at the time, descended on this land with an immense army and seized Sarah the Princess, mother of our nation. And what did our forefather Abraham do? Did he avenge the insult by force of arms? Yet he had 318 officers under him, with unlimited manpower at his disposal!” Take note of the fact that Abraham had 318 officers, not foot soldiers, at his command. Whereas one can assume that each officer or his office had command of a large group of men – which in any military command with over 318 officers means tens of thousands of non-commissioned officers and foot soldiers, translation: Abraham in fact was really not one to fool around with, especially stealing his wife. Yet we are asked to believe that Abraham and his followers were but simple nomadic sheep-herders wandering about the Negev desert during the time when most were considered to be illiterate. From Josephus’s record, it is surely not what
he believed as he called Abraham’s wife Princess. Some suggest that Abraham might even have been a Pharaoh of Egypt, pointing to the fact that he had a rich family lineage, which when you look at it albeit pretty impressive I find it typical that the followers of Judaism would attempt to link him with the one of the greatest civilizations in world history. I find it interesting that organizations within the hard-line Jewish faith create references that even with a hard stretch of the imagination can only inflame the current situation in the Middle East with Israel, especially Egypt who they label as dupes or stupid in not so many words. They base their claims on words from the Old Testament, such as when Joseph’s family were asked a pointed question about their occupation, his family having been well versed in their response by Joseph replied, “Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers.” Constructing a corral around this phrase they led their readers to wonder about why the response was as such, drifting off into Egypt’s past referring to the fact that in the 14th (Middle Kingdom – 2080 to 1640 BC) and 16th (1773 to 1650 BC-) dynasties where the rulers were known as the “Hyksos” (according the Jewish sect) that translated into ‘Shepherd King’, which has been proven false in recent times whereas “Hyksos” is name that is derived from the Egyptian expression “heka khasewet” (rulers of foreign lands), which is found in the Turin King List to describe the rulers of neighboring lands. This being a typical Hebrew false flag, they drag up the verse in Genesis that tell us, “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.” (KJV) – not satisfied in ruling Israel with is offspring, the Jewish historians are now asking their readers to believe that they forefather ruled Egypt. It becomes apparent that their goal is to put aside the fact that the invaders of Palestine were more than just sheep and goat herders, and rip from others their history of greatness and prowess in conquering the land they lived in…pathetic! All their claims based on an incorrect interpretation of one word, “shepherd”, twisting and turning they take this one word and build a mountain of greatness for their colorful but evasive past. It is understandable that Judaism scholars lean toward having rulers of “Shepherds” of Egypt, whereas recent revelations are showing us that the rulers called the Hyksos where in some part from Western Canaan, such as Sakir-Har which translates into harru or mountain, where this sacred or deified mountain is attested in a least two other names which are both West Semitic (Ya'qub-Har and Anar-Har) and in this is reason enough to suspect that the present name is West Semitic. As for the Hyksos conquest, some archaeologist’s depict the Hyksos as “northern hordes” sweeping through Palestine and Egypt in their swift chariots, while a growing number now tell us they were actually a “creeping” conquest, gradually assimilating into the surround culture as business men and workers who eventually grew in numbers and followers falling into a pattern of conquering from within. But then again, this slow assimilation still makes it difficult to explain how
“wandering groups” supposedly unorganized were able to eventually bring Egypt to gain control over Egypt, as previous to their showing up Egypt during the 12 th dynasty was considered at one of it peaks in power. The border between Egypt and Palestine was well tended and it is written by “Abusha”, reported by Josephus and that when anyone asked for entry it was said that written permission had to come from the Court, especially when a large number of immigrants asked entry. The official at the border, rumored to be Khnumhotep, which in my research was found to walk the face of earth around 2400 BC which puts him a little before Abraham’s period, and in the record it showed him as the Overseer of the Manicurists in the Palace of King Niuserre during the 5th Dynasty, he had a twin brother Niankhkhnum it is said, while some go as far as to say Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum might have been the first recorded samesex couple in history. Regardless the Court was notified of the awaiting band of shepherds applying for entry at the eastern gate, whereas they were subject to the usual line of questions and after they answered the information forwarded onto the capital. And then they waited, in any event, it is reported that several “princes of the Pharaoh” having been smitten with the beauty of Sarai (at plus 70-years-old) sent word back to the ‘big boss’ who sent word back to have her brought to his place. Abraham, being her declared brother, was well received and treated with much distinction, now whether or not it was “only” because of Sarai he received the royal treatment when him and his followers were settled in the sacred city of “On” or “Heliopolis”; Some followers of Abraham who write his history, tell us they spent many years at Heliopolis where Abraham and his sheep herders taught the Egyptians about astronomy and arithmetic…well this is news to me. Here we have a man who spent a good part of this life fighting against his father’s business of selling idols that signified the travels of the Sun and other celestial bodies as they cross the heavens, but they base their claim today on the writing of “Eupolemus 2” – keep in mind that the author(s) of Genesis make no mention of this “fact” nor does any of the records from the civilization who built the pyramids to exacting standards based on the positions of the stars. Eupolemus was an early Jewish historian, who claimed that the Jews had taught the Phoenicians the alphabet – yea, right! Now the author(s) of Genesis simply say, “Pharaoh entreated Abram well for Sarai’s sake; and he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and manservants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels.” Whereas it is inferred the preceding were all gifts to Abram from the Pharaoh. In addition to this, we are told that the Pharaoh gave to his “brother-in-law” Abram more cattle, many shekels of silver, and in gold. Abram apparently was comfortable in the fact that he was separated from his wife, whereas she resided in the Pharaoh’s harem, Abram kept his secret (lie) and no one within his flock betrayed him.
It is said, as we have read that Abram and Sarai had been forced to enter Egypt because of the famine in the Land of Canaan and that in order to survive they (Abram) needed to hide the fact that he and Sarai were man and wife, or at least Abram needed this condition. Otherwise, we are told, the King of Egypt would have had him killed. By “pretending” or abandoning his wife to the King Abram felt this would satisfy his would-be suitors with a “prolonged” betrothal of his wife, the tables were turned and Sarai was pressed into marriage with the King. Which inturn we are told, by once again Jewish historians that this marriage prevented Abram from leaving Egypt, telling us from their bully-pulpits that if Abram had “merely” wanted to enrich himself he could have left Egypt without Sarai. Let’s think a bit about this last statement. Sarai it is said was a person who advised her husband on their daily affairs, she had become the true-mother of their clan, and no one did anything without receiving advice and guidance from Sarai – even Abram. Besides her extreme intelligence she is reported to have been a woman of great beauty and carried herself like a queen. When she was at the harem, the King, as a token of his love for her, is said to have gave her the Land of Goshen as her hereditary possession – it is for this reason that the Israelites subsequently lived there. It is also reported that he gave his “own daughter” Hagar to her as her personal handmaiden. Over time it is said she prayed to God to deliver her from the King, as we are told one time when the King finally accepted her into his harem (apparently there was a waiting period of acceptance to become one of the Kings consorts) and made a move toward claiming his right as her husband, an angel appeared between the King and Sarai smacking the King a wellplaced blow. After a number of tries, the King asked Sarai why it was not possible to touch her – it is reported that it was at this time she “confessed” that she was Abram’s wife – this after his persistence in having her cause the angel to strike his so hard he was hurt. Some Jewish historians tell us that it was after this confrontation that the King gave his daughter to Sarai, proclaiming, “It is better that my daughter should be a slave in the house of such a woman than mistress in another house.” As for Sarai being exceedingly beautiful, even though Abram is said to have been 75-years-old when he left Harran – it is not clear how old he was when they were in Egypt, albeit it is rumored she was some ten-years-younger that Abram and that Abram was 86-years-old when he fathered Ishmael, actual biological ages of both supposedly were Abram and 70 and sixty respectively for them when they had Isaac putting Abram’s age at 45 when they left Haran with Sarai at 35 and that their trip to Egypt taking place about a year later…in any case trying to ascertain the ages is more than difficult using the written record of the Torah or Bible in that this historical data was more than likely constructed to measure intervals between events and the ages of the individuals mentioned serving only to lock in numerical placeholders to keep the timeframes moving forward. Supposedly Abram’s journey to Egypt took place around 1875 BC, which at the time according to recent records was in the 3rd year of rule of Khakhaure Senusret III, the 5th monarch of the 12th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom – Senusret III is
reported to have tried to construct the Sisostris Canal, whereas Aristotle wrote: “One of the kings tried to make a canal to the Red Sea,---Sesostris is said to have been the first of the ancient kings to try, but he found that the sea was higher than the land. So it was he the first, and Darius afterward, stopped making the canal, lest the sea should mix with the river water and spoil it.” Pliny the Elder later wrote, “Next comes the Tyro tribe (Phoenicians) and, on the Red Sea, the harbor of the Daneoi, from which Sesostris, king of Egypt, intended to carry a ship-canal to where the Nile flows into what is known as the Delta; this distance of over 60-miles. Later the Persian king Darius had the same idea, and yet again Ptolemy II, who made a trench 100 feet wide, 30 feet deep and about 35-miles long, as far as the Bitter Lakes.” Neither of these famous historians of the ancient age mentioned Abram in their accounts. It was Sesostris who is created with a prolonged era of peace and economic prosperity that in-turn reduced the regional rulers and led to a revival in craftwork, trade and urban development in Egypt. The date of Abram’s arrival and departure as in most historical accounts is at best a theoretical date, some maintain it could be a century earlier or later – in other words it is not set in stone, never has been. In some renditions the King’s empire is struck with a plague, history is not clear on what this plague was, while some maintain it might have been sexual in its nature – again our look past the curtains of time is cloudy on the issue. The historical notes say that the King admonished Abram for not telling him that Sarai and him were married, which some according to Jewish historians is pure poppy-cock in that if this was true the King would have had him killed and taken Sarai as his permanent wife – while they maintain that “God’s” intervention had presented the King with a nowin solution forcing the King to let Abram return to the Land of Canaan with all his treasures plus the King’s daughter as a hand-maiden, or as some Jewish historians proclaim in loud print, a slave. It is reported that they returned to the region around “Bethel”, regarded by some as the southern wilderness – as in all Jewish accounts whoever is traveling they either travel through the wilderness or end up in one after terrific hardships – going or coming, I would image this to let the readers in the future realize what their forefathers had done to secure the land that had been given to them by God. Albeit their original goal had been survival, who was Abram the liar to turn down the gifts of cattle, sheep, silver and gold – they now returned to the Land of Canaan with their convoy loaded with wealth from the King of Egypt - so be it. As it has been remarked down through the ages, it seems that it was okay to spin a yarn by the Jews, but low and behold if someone outside of their tribe spun a yarn and then their God got up in arms and slew the lot, seems fair if you’re a Hebrew. It appears the “Lot”, Abram’s nephew, accumulate no small portion of wealth during their stay in Egypt, and in that both their herds grazed the same land, Abram being the “Big Boss” suggested to Lot, “wisely” as the historians tells us, that Lot move on allowing Lot to choose the first lands that he liked. The translation of this, keep in mind, that these were “outsiders” in the Land of Canaan, but it must have been that Abram had quite a horde of his own, officers, foot soldiers and in effect an
operating Army – so, who was going to get in the way of this General as he marched here and there taking what land he needed – you got it! Zip! So the General tells him, “pick what you may, and I will make sure that the Phoenicians leave you alone.” So Lot did! He picked some very fertile land with plenty of water around Jordon, just a bit before the Lord destroys Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot under his uncle’s command sets up camp in Sodom, while the historians tell us that the Lord reaffirms His promise to Abram telling him that all the land he sees before him will belong to his posterity – but this time the Jewish historians a little more detail, the land he can see from the mount between Bethel and Ai – we note that as time moves forward more and more detail to the actual land that is assigned by the Hebrew God to Abram and his flock. Another item of note is the specific reference to “YHVH”, apparently the “Elohist3” had very little if nothing to say about the call of Abraham and his God’s promise to him. It appears that there was a clear division of Genesis into “Yahwist” and “Elohist” authors which in a sense becomes problematic, whereas somewhere a “sacred” author drew from several sources in the composition of Genesis, some say Moses. It becomes evident that the 14th Chapter is based on a written document from “pagan” history, whereas the King of Shinar (Babylon), the King of Ellasar (Cyprus-?), the King of Elam (Iran), and the King of Nations (Gutium) made war against the King of Sodom and the King of Gomorrah, the King of Admah (in the Vale of Siddim – reported to have been destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrahlater), the King of Zeboiim (same valley – by the salt sea), and the King of Bela (The city to which Lot fled from Sodom and Gomorrah). Albeit contains a reference to Abram, it is almost incidental as if added to establish his presence at the great battle in the Vale of Siddim. According to Genesis, four kings of the North – Chedorlaomer, Amprahel, Arioch and Tidal made war against the five cities in the Vale of Siddim (Salt Sea), and they having lost were made to pay tribute for 12-years after which they rebelled in the 13th. The following year Chedorlaomer led his coalition back to the region, while on his way defeating and subduing many of the surrounding kingdoms. Once he and his force reached their destination they were met by Shinab, and the king of Bela, Birsha the king of Gomorrah, Bera the king of Sodom, and Shemeber the king of Zeboyim – Chedorlaomer whipped them and proceeded to take, “all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals”, along with his long list of captives he is reported to have taken “Lot”, Abram’s nephew. Abram on hearing the news of his nephew’s capture, is said to have assembled a force of 318 people, which is disputed in numerous circles, with some say the number must have represented (as before in his voyage to Egypt) the number of officers in his legion. Nevertheless Abram is said to have engaged Chedorlaomer’s forces (at night) near Damascus and whipped him. He collected all the material that Chedorlaomer had removed from Sodom and Gomorrah along with captives, including Lot, and returned victorious to the region. On his way, he was met by
Melchizedek the King of Salem (some say Jerusalem) who blessed him and said that Abram’s God was the supreme deity. It is said that dating of these events in Genesis depend highly on the identification of the four kings, which by itself presents a controversy – keeping this in the background attempts have been made to possibly date the events using the geopolitical contents. Up until the 1970s, scholars believed that the story of the battle of the kings was based at least in partial truth – and an attempt was made to date the battle. “Tidal” was seen as the equivalent of the Hittite name “Tudhaliya” (then again there were several kings of that name), of these, two were seen as likely candidates – if it was the proto-Hittite Tudhaliya the event would have happened during the 18th century BC, shortly prior to the rise of the Hyksos Empire, the other being Tudhaliya IV, which would place the battle at the end of the Bronze Age. There have been over the years others that have maintained, as John Van Seters, that the composition of Genesis was a late construction (5th Century-AD) designed to serve the political needs of the time…in this scheme Genesis 14 cannot be considered historical and that any attempts to fit the story into an actual time period was a wasted exercise. Recently Kenneth Kitchen utilizing what he terms “Textual Artifacts”, in his reevaluation of the story tells us that the “only” known historical period in which the King of Elam, while allied with Larsa, was able to enlist a Hittite King and a King of Eshunna as partners and allies in a war against Canaanite cities is in the time of Old Babylon (1822-1764 BC). This is when Babylon is under “Hammurabi” and when “Rim Sin I” controls Mari, which was linked through trade to the Hittites and other allies along the length of the Euphrates. This “trade” is mentioned in the “Mari Letters” a source which documents a geopolitical relationship back to when the ships of Dilmum, Makkan and Meluhha docked at the landings in Agade in the time of “Sargon” – it is said that Rim Sin I brought together the Kings of Syro-Anatolia (Turkey) whose kingdoms were located on the Euphrates in a coalition focused on Mari whose king was Shamis Adad. In his research, Kitchen believes that the time of Abraham ties closely with the time of Hammurabi. A wide range of scholars have poked holes in the preceding, some note very notorious errors such as making King Amraphel as Hammurabi, whereby linking Abraham to around 2300 BC stating historians are relying on outdated Mesopotamian chronologies, which date Hammurabi several centuries earlier than presently in the mainstream. Another error, they claim, is the attempt to suggest the “Arioch” might be “Eri-Aku” (Sumerian for Servant of Aku), albeit many scholars
have adopted the Akkadian version of this name giving the translation some plausibility. Arioch is “best” identified as “Hurrian”, and “Amraphel” as “Amorite”, which is consistent with the identification of their respective kingdoms of Pontus and Shinar. Tidal seems to be a “Hittite” name, but the identification of Chedorlaomer the “Elamite” has been very controversial whereas some Septuagint text read “Chedorlagomer”, albeit an authentic Elamite name translates into “servant of the goddess Lagomer – where Elam was east of Mesopotamia this would imply an alliance of nations stretching from modern Turkey to Persia, noted as been formed just for attacking some Palestinian cities. Even if scholars accept the archaeological evidence that the “cities of the plain” were very populous, such a far flung alliance seems out-of-the-question. However, there is no reason to suppose that this Elamite king is a king of Elam proper, for it was during this time-frame that the Elamites had a wide influence in central and western Mesopotamia, installing their own vassal kings – “if” Chedorlagomer was such a vassal, this would imply a considerable more local alliance of kings, albeit still impressive. Consider that there has been found substantial evidence that Mesopotamians of this period meddled in Palestinian affairs – as it is still today with the Israelites meddling in all the affairs of the Middle East. The “cities of the plain” historically are considered to be Sodom, Gomorrah, Segor (A. V., Zoar), Admah and Zeboim. Historical written evidence and modern excavation in the southern end of the Dead Sea seems to support their existence, it is said that the total population of the five-cities was over 250,000 making them collectively a major trading power, evidence pointing to the fact that it took a coalition of king’s to go against them. Evidence found in the Elba tablet (if valid) argues for a later date of the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim which were destroyed by "brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, according the Elba around 1900 BC.
A Nuclear Explosion? Regardless it is soon after the defeat of the King’s that Abram’s God came once again to him in a vision telling him to “fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” It is written that it was at this time the Abram related his misery at having no heirs, “Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this ‘Eliezer’ of Damascus? Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.” His God’s answer, “This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” Apparently with this covenant Abram prepares another sacrifice, a 3-year-old heifer, a 3-year-old goat, and a 3-year-old Ram, and turtledove and a young pigeon. After making sure everything was just so, Abram took a snooze, and his God’s voice said – “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four-hundred-years, and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance, and thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.” His God again promises Abram a multitude of descendant’s, it is also written that it was during this revelation that God tells Abram of the future enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt, as well as their escape led by Moses – albeit Moses’ name is not mentioned by the scripture.
Shortly after his new covenant with his God, his wife’s handmaiden Hagar drifts onto the scene. Hagar, when you think about it, was at a tremendous disadvantage in the Land of Canaan, she was a foreigner and a slave, ironic when you think of her background. Not only was she the sister of the Big Boss in Egypt (as most writing attest to), but her country was socially and politically advanced country that had great cities, temples and elaborate burial sites – and the Giza Pyramid Complex. It had a complex economic system that regulated trade and commerce with accurate detail throughout its far flung empire and its theology and religion was sophisticated and well founded. She must have found living in a tent in the middle of a land barely crawling from starvation very primitive indeed. We know that Sarah was barren, a condition that haunted her husband Abram to such a state that he asked his God about it, Sarah in turn knowing of his torment, caused tremendous pressure on her as his wife offers Hagar as a surrogate receptor of his seed, this happening as note some ten-years after they returned by Egypt. Whereas Hagar would bear and conceive the child, raise it but it would belong to Sarah and be accepted as the “child” of Sarah and Abraham. Keep in mind that this was “acceptable” practice within the Middle Eastern family law, and was quite common. It is not written whether or not Hagar was consulted, whereas ancient indications show she more than likely leaped at the idea, for the simple fact that Abraham must have ordered it, and anything that Abe wants he gets. Some write that it was an honor to bear Abram’s child, with an additional perk being she would no longer be a slave and her social status in the tribe would increase. As she would become Abe’s concubine or secondary wife – definitely a move up in the status of the tribe – and if by chance Sarah happened to move on to another realm, Hagar would be the Queen Bee of the tribe. According to the Hebrew version of ancient history in the region, Genesis 16:1-6, Sarah passed on her blessing for her husband Abram to go to Hagar – history records their coupling and Hagar became with child, and then things went sideways. It is not written what exactly transpired between Sarah and Hagar after Hagar became pregnant, but one can imagine. Here we have a wife, supposedly very smart and well respected, unable to give her husband, the leader of the tribe, a child. For nine-months, day-in and day-out watching her handmaiden body swell with the signs of pregnancy, whereas every day when the sun crawls above the mountains in the east she sees this women’s features become rosy and full of life and Hagar’s happiness at being the mother of Abram’s child. Even before she gives birth, her place amongst the members of the tribe has changed – no longer is she treated as a slave, and people go out of their way to treat her with respect. Hagar was very happy! For reasons beyond comprehension when it comes to the female of our species, Sarah blames Abram for the way she feels about the entire matter, I imagine that some of Sarah’s inability to bear a child is now being manifested through her anger towards Abram. Abram, being the tribal leader points out to his wife that albeit he is the leader of the tribe it is not within his jurisdiction to do anything about Hagar,
as Sarah his wife is in charge of the women of the tribe. From these simple words the modern scholar is able to draw a conclusion, somewhat, of the property rights and the social power of Sarah. It is written that soon before Hagar gave birth, Sarah must have been really up-onstep one day, in that the she said something to Hagar that “humbled” Hagar, whereas in the future it was Hagar’s past countrymen the Egyptians would “humble” the descendants of Sarah. As the ancients commonly remark, “what goes around, comes around.” It is noted that the exact words used by Sarah are unknown, and if they were at one time have been lost in antiquity, might have been they were pretty harsh and down grading as shortly thereafter Hagar packed her bags and left for parts unknown. Actually most believe she was headed back to Egypt to rejoin her family and countrymen, she had enough of this short tempered jealous lady from Ur – beauty or not, powerful husband and all she must have been fed up being treated like an outsider and eventually as someone who stole another women’s husband when she had nothing to do with the arrangement in the first place – she must have been mad! She traveled along the road to “Shur”, which was a prominent location on the one of the trade routes passing through the Sinai Peninsula – alone, pregnant and with no help it is said as a tribute to her tenacity and anger I would suspect it is a wonder she made it as far as she did, trekking across a wild, devoid of wildlife, barren and in all as desolate as you’d find any landscape which is constantly swept with hot furious winds. It is written that this is where one of the angels of Abram’s God found her, sitting by a spring in the wilderness, asking her “Hagar, slave-girl of Sarah, where have you come from and where are you going?” Hagar is said to have responded, “I am running away from my mistress Sarah.” Naturally this is the written record of Moses, who took pains to note that Hagar is number one, a “slave-girl”, no mention of being the concubine of Abram, and Hagar’s response remains in the same vein. Running from her “mistress” Sarah as it is apparent the writer of this record knew that in the future Sarah would be the Queen of the Israeli’s. The writers of history always have the advantage when they sit down to compose the facts of yesterday, they know what is happening now – and compose their record based on their present surrounding and culture. Would have done no good to tell the reader that Sarah was pretty petty in her response to the event, if the reader knew that later on Sarah was to become pregnant with the supposed founder of the Jewish nation – would it? During the conversation that Hagar had with the messenger from Abram’s God he somehow convinced her to return to Abram’s camp, telling her that she was to give birth to a very special child with a great future and have numerous descendants.
Now why this “special child” would only become special with Abram and his tribe is not explained, whereas if the child was to be special could it not be special in Egypt, the reader is led to believe in some manner that special events only take place in and around the region that Abram’s God gave to Abraham. The angel is also supposed to have told Hagar that her son was to grow into a “wild man”, whose hand will be against every man, and every man’s against his. Nevertheless she returned to the tribe and her nemesis, Sarah. Albeit Hagar returned her troubles with Sarah continued to mount, especially after her son Ishmael was born, when Abram was 86-years-old. Through the following year Hagar’s status in the tribe increased, as the tribe believed that Sarah would remain barren and that Ishmael would be the heir to the Big Boss. Over the next 14-years Hagar and Ishmael were permanent fixtures in the camp – which by the way must have been some camp, for by this time Abraham being the businessman he was must have accumulated a wealthy inheritance. The Hebrew history takes great pains to establish that there was a favorite wife in the camp (Sarah) and one who was not favored – Hagar. How this came about is no mystery, who was in charge of all the females in the camp, Sarah, so when she had her get-togethers with her charges (females) who do you expect carried the day in the discussions, surely you don’t believe it was Hagar? The Hebrew history is fair in one respect, this being that Sarah saw Ishmael as a direct threat to her. Sarah (or) Sarai was supposed to have lived to a ripe-old-age of 175, but it is written that 48-years were taken from her span of life because of the numerous complaints she lodged with Abraham about Hagar not respecting her anymore. The Hebrew history tells us that when Abram was 99 years old his God and he make another covenant, one that will multiply Abram’s seed making him the father of many nations, and it is at this time that Abram’s name is changed to Abraham. It is also at this time that his God gives to him, “the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the Land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Abraham’s God gave him instructions on how all his male descendants would be treated, that early in their lives they would be circumcised – this, his God said would be a “token” of the covenant between Abraham and his God, and that any male child who is not circumcised will be cut off from his people. In other words this was an everlasting condition. Why the Hebrew historians carried this forward is not really clear – other than the fact that it is reported that the Old Testament was written by Moses, but it is known that other civilizations around the globe also follow this practice, with some records predating the time of Abraham. Abraham’s God also changes Sarai’s name to Sarah, and in the same breath tells Abraham that Sarah will conceive a son for Abraham, and that Abraham will name his son from Sarah, “Isaac” and that he will establish an everlasting covenant with him – and with his seed after him. He also tells Abraham that he has blessed Ishmael, and will make him fruitful so much so that Ishmael will begat 12-princes and that God will make Ishmael a great nation.
Abraham must have been thunderstruck upon learning that his wife Sarah was going to give him a son in the near future – his jaw must have hit the ground bounced and slapped him in the nose. Regardless Abraham hurried home gathered up Ishmael and all the males in his tribe, along with all the slaves they had bought or captured and had a mass circumcision ceremony that same day – must have been a lot of guys limping around for awhile. This included Abraham, who if you remember was 99 years old – ouch! Ishmael was 13-years-old, not so bad of an ouch, but still! It was later when Abraham had pitched his tents somewhere close to the plains of Mamre, about halfway between Halhul and Hebron near a great oak tree, that one hot afternoon as Abraham sat in his tent that three men stood before him. Abraham on seeing them hurried to greet them, and bowing low to them said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.” He offered them water to wash and a place to rest under the oak. He then told them he would provide some food, and to take a rest and comfort their hearts while he went about rounding up some grub. Abraham turned and scurried into the tent and told Sarah, “Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.” He then ran out into his herd, separated out a nice tender calf, gave it to the young herder and asked him to prepare it for a feast. When the calf had been prepared for the feast Abraham took the cakes that Sarah had prepared, and set the table to include butter and some fresh milk and ask the three men to eat, which they did sitting under an oak tree in the field. After their meal they asked about Sarah, and Abraham told them she was in the tent, one of them turned to Abraham and said, “I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.” Sarah, who was standing inside the tent heard the conversation. Now keep in mind, according to the written word Abraham and Sarah were a little long-in-tooth, I mean Abraham was at least 99-years-old and Sarah at least 10-years younger than him – 89 just to make it easy for you, and according to modern medicine and life-spans today a little beyond being able to conceive. Whereas when Sarah heard this pronouncement fell about the floor laughing, albeit I guess silently when she said to herself, “After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” Albeit her question was eventually heard by Abraham’s God for he said, “Wherefore did Sarah laugh?”
Abraham is said to have replied, “Shall I of surety bear a child, which am old?” The replied came forth, “But my covenant will I establish Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life and Sarah shall have a son.” After Sarah denied laughing the three men rose from their table of feast and started toward Sodom, whereas it is written that Abraham’s God turned to his two companions and said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the Earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” The historical records written supposedly by Moses, now tells us that Sodom and Gomorrah are very sinful cities – and that they must be destroyed. Abraham at this time has a prolonged negotiating session with his God. Beginning with, “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” Abraham continued on by asking his God, will you destroy them if 50 righteous are in the city, whereas his God replied that if he found 50 righteous he would spare the city, and Abraham begging his Lord forgiveness asks him if there are 45 found, would he spare the city, and his God tells him yes, moving forward Abraham asks what about just 40 good souls, or 30, or 20, and further on to 10 – his God remarks just before leaving, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” The scene now shifts to, eventually the two companions of Abraham’s God going to Sodom and by chance (or not) meeting with Lot who was at one of the gates to the city, and Lot recognizing them for who they were bowed low with his face to the ground. Saying, “Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways.” They turned down his offer saying, “Nay; but we will abide in the street all night!” Eventually Lot was able to convince them to come inside, and Lot prepared a feast, and after baking “unleavened” bread – they all sat together and ate their fill. Albeit the reader is under the assumption they are in the city of Sodom, it is written that before they retired that evening – “the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round both old and young, all the people from every quarter.” The puzzling part is “even the men of Sodom”, which leads the reader to believe they might be in Gomorrah – nevertheless when they had finished eating they heard the gathering crowd outside bumbling around stirring up the dust – at one time one shouted out, “Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring the out unto us, that we may know them!” Lot went outside and told them, “I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
In my understanding this would be a difficult passage to comprehend for anyone, much less a father. Here we find (as the Hebrew historians tell us) a man willing to give up his daughters to be savaged, or raped and otherwise taken advantage of, telling me the our nephew of the religious leader of Israel willing to sacrifice his own flesh and blood to the pleasures of the doomed city – one can only read that the composers of this script are breaking all bounds to impress upon the reader the importance of Abraham’s God and that the followers of the script should realize that there is no greater sacrifice to their religion. It soon becomes apparent that the crowd means to take the life or at least do harm to Lot, whereas the men inside pull Lot back inside and then cause the immediate crowd of men outside to lose their sight. After stemming the crowd, the men then turn to Lot and tell him, “Lot, Hast thou here any besides your Son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.” And it is written that Lot left the house and went and had a talk with his sons-inlaw, which had married his other daughters or were future son-in-laws telling them to pack their bags and get-out-town, they (no specific number mentioned) mocked him – in other words they thought their father-in-law had misplaced some of his marbles. The next morning the men told Lot to gather up his family and beat foot towards the hills and not to look back, “lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city!” So it is that Lot, his wife and their two virgin daughters and headed away from the soon to be destroyed city. The historians are quick to point out that it was only under the “mercy” of Abraham’s God that they were able to leave, albeit with a quick set of instructions, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” Now Lot stops his hasty preparations to flee and eventually says to Abraham’s God, “Oh, not so, my Lord. (Albeit) thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou has shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die. Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, and my soul shall live.” Eventually Lot was only partially successful arguing his Gods plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, Zebaim and Bela or “Zoar”. Whereas his God told him, “See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will overthrow this city, for which thou has spoken.” He then advises him to get out-of-town and head to “Zoar” for his salvation, he did. The Sun was up and bright when Lot arrived in Zoar, a little confusion here in the noted record – KJV-Bible, in that it is written that Abraham’s God vented his fury at Sodom and Gomorrah, causing brimstone and fire to fall from the heavens, whereas he overthrew those cites, and all the region around them – zipping out the life from their inhabitants and sterilizing the ground around them. Apparently when Lot, his wife and two daughters were on their way
to Zoar, his wife (name not mentioned) turned back to look at her former home and in consequence was turned into a pillar of salt. As it happens, Abraham was up early that morning and it is written that he stood before his Lord, and looked to the direction of Sodom and Gomorrah noticing the “smoke of a furnace” mushroom up into the atmosphere. Lot for some reason not mentioned found it impossible to live in Zoar – and with no reference to the time passed (could have been a half-hour or days) and gathered up his daughters and headed for the hills, found them a cave and moved in. Point of clarification, the written record tells us that the firstborn had a conversation with her younger sister, which leads one to imagine that Lot had more than three daughters inthat he is noted to have a son-in-law (who believed his father-in-law was a little bit touched).. Nevertheless, the firstborn tells her younger sister that here we are living in a cave, fugitives from an event that destroyed our home and all of its people, and that she had a fear that their fathers “seed” needed to be preserved. Here the Hebrew historians appear to need another traditional story to secure the race, or a need to create another vehicle that installed a reason for future conflicts between them and two other tribes in the region. On two separate nights the two sisters get their father a little tipsy on fermented grape, the firstborn spending the first night with her father in an incestuous coupling and the second night the younger daughter. The reader is then told both daughters became pregnant – nine-months later the firstborn has a son which the Historians name “Moab”, the supposed father of all “Moabites”, and the younger sister has a son also and his name was “Benammi”, who is noted as being the father of the “”Ammon”. Now the historians once again tell us the Abraham spins another little white-lie about Sarah being his sister after they had left the area around Sodom and Gomorrah, at least from where he could see the huge column of smoke and went to “Gerar”-[lodging place] a Philistine town in south-central Israel, whereas archaeological evidence came into existence sometime around 1200 BC and was little more than a village until 800-700 BC – most calculate that in the story of Abraham and the King Abimelech must have happened in the vicinity of 2000 BC (give or take) – the King at some time has a son named Benmelech [son of king] who is believed to have a part in the story of Isaac who like his father passes off his wife as his sister. Apparently the King (Abimelech) as with the King of Egypt, this again according to Hebrew historians found Sarah a very attractive lady, but this time came and “took”
her, which leads one to wonder what happened to “all” of Abraham’s 318 officers and their battalions. But then again, when you look at anyone’s history down through the ages, the need to establish the power of their religious strength is a necessary element. Hence, it is written that the King was visited by Abraham’s God in a dream and tells him, “Behold, thou are but a dead man, for the women which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife” Now the historian makes it perfectly clear to us that the King had not soiled the future mother of the Israeli race in the Kings response, “Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, she is my sister? And she, even she herself said, He is my brother; in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.” At this the historian turns the event back over to a decision made by Abraham, and not his God whereas he/she writes that Abraham’s God knows that the King was deceived, and that the King should return Sarah to Abraham and that Abraham will pray for the Kings salvation. The King takes Sarah back and asked Abraham why he did what he did, consequently bring the anger of Abraham’s God against him, in bringing a “great sin” against his kingdom. Abraham, calmly tells him that the “fear” of his God was not in this place and he would have been killed for his wife. Abraham also tells him in truth that Sarah is his sister, being the daughter of his father, but not the daughter of my mother, and that when he and Sarah had left Hurran that she was always to supposed to tell everyone that Abraham was her brother. Well it appears the historians take this opportunity to once more receive numerous gifts from King Abimelech in the form of sheep, oxen, menservants and women-servants, along with giving Sarah back to her husband. Abraham’s wealth continued to grow, and the King invites him to dwell in his land and turning to Sarah the King says, “Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver!” In return Abraham prayed to his God who healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants for apparently God had taken away their ability to conceive or bare children – Abraham’s story once again tells us, in the manner of which the Hebrew historian relates that they will do nothing to stop the survival of their race, even give up their wives and spin yarns, but then again Abraham is allowed to confess to the King his true relationship with Sarah. Following this Sarah gets pregnant and gives birth to a son, one must assume that they are still within the Kings land (Beersheba today), now Abraham was of an advanced age (100-years-old) when all this came about, and within 8-days has Isaac circumcised. Sarah was a happy as could be, she was able to suckle him and enjoyed his company to the fullest – eventually Isaac was weaned from the breast of his mother, a day that Abraham celebrated with a great feast. Ishmael and Isaac were half-brothers, Ishmael being 13+ years old when Isaac was born, and I imagine being boys with the same father became fast friends, albeit the Hebrew historians tell us that there came a day when Ishmael in the heat-of-amoment treated Isaac badly, mocking him for whatever reason, whereas one can only imagine that being the 1st born he might have held it over Isaac’s head that it
was he Ishmael who was to inherit the great wealth of Abraham – and I just be this rankled Sarah to no-end. Sarah hearing or seeing this, called her husband aside and “told” him to get rid of Hagar and her wild son Ishmael, explaining as only the female of the species can that there was NO way that Ishmael would inherit from Abraham’s wealth, or even share in his wealth. Understandably Abraham felt pretty sad, albeit Sarah was his first wife (as some say Hagar was Abrahams concubine while other say his 2 nd wife), he had just spent at least 18 years with Ishmael, more than likely explaining life’s processes to him and was fond of his son, as a good father would be. The order to remove him and his mother from their camp must have laid heavily on his being, but consider that now the historian tells us that Abraham’s God once more offers his feelings in saying, “Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.” Accordingly Abraham gets up early one morning and gathers up some supplies for Hagar and Ishmael, points to the wilderness (such as it was) and tells them to take leave, pushing them off into the wilderness of Beersheba. It is about now that the historians get their time reference a little screwed up, whereas Hagar arriving at some place is said to have placed her child under a shrub to protect Ishmael, a strapping young man of at least 18-year-of-age from the sun, this after his mother realized they had drank all their water. Hagar sets off to find some water, he strapping 18-year-old son sitting on the ground under a scrub twiddling his thumbs while mother sets off with her goat skin bag in search of the life giving liquid. She eventually reach a place, a bowshot from where she left Ishmael and sat on the ground crying her eyes out – mumbling under her breath she says, “Let me not see the death of the child”, and now another contradiction as the written words says she said this when she sat against him---well Abraham’s God hears her and remarks, “What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.” Can you picture in your mind the mother of Ishmael holding this strapping young man in her arms’ as Abraham’s God commands her to be at ease – whereas a short time later she opens her eyes and behold she looks
upon a well – and then time moves forward telling us the Ishmael grows up to be an archer. Both living in the Wilderness of Paran, very desolate place in all accounts, and later is said to be where the Tribe of Israel under Moses guidance spent 40years wandering about. Nevertheless, Hagar somehow gets a wife from Egypt of Ishmael, in the Qu’ran it is said she actually get him two whereas the first one is noted as being kind of a snob, noted that when Abraham comes to visit Ishmael finds her lacking and leaves word for Ishmael to clean up his house…it is reported that it is actually the 2nd wife who provided Ishmael with 12-sons who went on to become tribal chiefs – their names as recorded are, Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah – whereas they eventually went on to settle from Havilah to Shur or from Assyria to the border of Egypt. He is said to have had one daughter, “Mahalath” or “Bashemath” who later married the grandson of Abraham, Esau. On the death of Abraham, it is said that Ishmael along with Isaac was at his interment. Ishmael is said to have wandered around in this realm for 137-years. In the meantime back at camp it appears that King Abimelech and his chief captain Phichol had a meeting with Abraham where Abimelech is recorded as saying, “God is with thee in all that thou doest: now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s.” Apparently Abimelech had told his people of his request before meeting Abraham, and they were a bit on-step with his manner of asking, yet the King had good reason based on his past experience with the man from Hurran. Nevertheless Abraham swore to be truthful, and in the same breath ranted at King Abimeliech because Abimelech’s force had taken a well from Abraham’s people. Well as it turns out the King didn’t know of any such happening, in return Abraham gave to the King some sheep and oxen and they then made a pact (covenant). Whereas Abraham had taken seven ewe lambs from the flock and set them apart, whereas the King asked him why he had done this Abraham replied, “for these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.” In doing so this pact established Beersheba, Abimelech and Phichol returned home – now the Hebrew historians have established Beersheba as Abraham’s land, albeit consider a rental – within the land of the Philistines where he lived for many days. Abraham’s God seems to get some kind of pleasure in tempting his subjects, coming before him one day – apparently when Isaac was still a fairly young man and telling him to take Isaac up into the Land of Moriah (which even today is highly speculative place) and offer Isaac up as a burnt offering – well Abraham being the obedient servant he was got up one morning, had a couple of men from his tribe gather up some firewood, saddle his ass and away he went with Isaac and the two men – after three days travel Abraham spotted the place some distance off – he then told the two young men to wait at a location below the place and he took Isaac up the hill and began preparations to offer up his son to his God – he piled the wood on Isaac to carry and went up and built an altar – during all this Isaac a young
son always obeying his father asked him, “Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering!” Not really another tiny white-lie, but it is clear an evasive answer. Abraham then had Isaac lay on the altar, bound his hands and feet and made ready to set the pile of wood on fire, he took his knife and moved towards Isaac to take his life when an angel of the Abraham’s God called out from the heavens, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou has not withheld thy son, thin only son from me.” It has become apparent that the Hebrew historians in the above passage have abandoned Ishmael as being a son of Abraham, and argument can be made to the word, “thin only son from me!” But this fades when it was Abraham’s God who okay’s his covering Hagar to conceive a son, Ishmael. As Abraham lifted his eyes toward the voice he saw a ram caught in a thicket, he fetched him to the altar and offered the Ram up instead of his son. Abraham, after named this place “Jehovahjireh” (or - Yahweh-yireh), as the place that Jehovah provided the ram. The Angel than addressed Abraham a second time, “By myself have I sworn, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” At this Abraham gathered up his son and the two young men and started for home, whereas according to two legends all was not well…where it is said in one legend that a person named “Samael” told Sarah that Abraham had sacrificed Isaac saying “Your old husband seized the boy and sacrificed him. They boy wailed and wept; but could not escaped from his father.” Keep in mind, other Hebrew sources tell us that at the time of the sacrifice Isaac was said to be 37-years-old, thereby putting aside the image of Isaac being a young boy – even at age 17+ he must have been a sizeable man. Another legend has Satan disguised as an old man visiting Sarah and giving her the same news, regardless Sarah put together an entourage and set off for Hebron, asking anyone along the way if they had information on Abraham’s whereabouts. Satan is again said to have appeared in human form and told her that Isaac had not been sacrificed and in her Joy of learning this Sarah gave up her life in Hebron at the recorded age of 127 years old. Now Abraham and Isaac returning to Beersheba and finding her gone, set off for Hebron hoping to catch up with her – soon learning of her passing on, at this time one would guess that the father of Isaac was really getting on in his years – at least 137+ years old.
Abraham in making preparations for Sarah’s internment asked the family of “Heth” if they might have a place that he could purchase, whereas they answered as expected to one of Abraham’s status, “My Lord: thou are a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchers bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulcher, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.” Abraham thanked them and then asked to see “Ephron” the son of Zohar that he may sell the Cave of Machpelah to him, it appears that Ephron the Hittite heard this and told Abraham, “Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.” Abraham thanked him still insisting that he would pay for the land, in this Ephron told Abraham the land was worth 400 hundred shekels of silver, Abraham paid the requested amount in the audience of all present – and in taking possession buried his wife of many years some 3700+ years ago. In the Cave of Machpelah it is said lay the remains of Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Rebecca and Leah – Rachel is buried near Bethlehem where she died in childbirth. During the time when this was all coming about apparently Abraham heard from his family in Hurran, whereas his brother’s wife “Milcah” had produced some boys – where the 1st born was Huz, and then Buz and Kemuel the father of Aram, along with Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel who was the father of “RebekahRebecca”. Nahor also through his concubine, “Reumah” gave birth to Tebah, Gaham, Thahash and Maachah – busy man. Eventually the Hebrew historians were not satisfied to let Abraham rest after Sarah moved on to her ancestors, whereas they married him off to Keturah, an Ethiopian women who is said to be (before she married Abraham) the mother of Sheba and the Medians whose descendant, Jethro or Reu’el was an Ethiopian priest of Median who had a daughter named “Zipporah” where in the scriptures was named as the Ethiopian wife of Moses – Keturah is noted as giving Abraham six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. The historical references note that her six boys were separated from Isaac, for whatever reason – other than the fact that it is probably true that Abraham’s “concubines” remained apart from his son Isaac. History also notes that the six boys went on to represent different Arabian tribes south and east of the Land of Canaan and Ethiopia, whereas the prediction came to be that Abraham would be “the father of many nations”, including Ishmael’s offspring. Getting on in age Abraham called Eliezer, his eldest servant to him and asked him to “Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God in Heaven, and the God of the Earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell. But thou shalt go unto ‘my’ country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.” This request, along with a few more gives great credence to the fact that Abraham was from around Hurran – today in Turkey. The servant then asked Abraham, what if, “the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?”
Abraham answered as any good ruler would, “Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.” In other words you’d better do all you can to fulfill my request, continuing on he said, that his Lord laid out the rules and that his son’s wife would come from the land they traveled from to the Land of Canaan. Regardless, the servant swore to Abraham is hand under the thigh of Abraham his wishes would be done. The servant and his helpers load up ten camels with goods from his master’s wealth, leaving Abraham’s location and heads up to Nahor a city located along the Balikh River which winds around in the Hurran valley. Arriving one evening there the servant has his mini caravan stop at a well outside of the city, normally the time when the women of the area went to draw water – at the time the servant hit his knees and offered up a prayer to Abraham’s God, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water; and let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also; let the same be ‘she’ that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou has shewed kindness unto my master.” A short while after his prayer, a young girl came out and offered to draw water for him and fill the troughs for all his camels, which she did. Eliezer thought well of her, and gave her a golden nose ring and two golden bracelets, which she took and ran to show her mother. Her brother was with their mother and upon seeing the gifts, her brother Laban went outside to the well and invited Eliezer to greet him and invite him into their house. Once seated, Eliezer told of his oath to Abraham, down to the details of his journey right down to the meeting of Rebecca, after which Rebecca’s mother and brother agreed she should return with Eliezer’ big boss. Eliezer and his men spent the night and was making ready to return the next day, when Rebecca’s family requested a ten-day stay from leaving, Eliezer solved this request by asking that they ask Rebecca if she wanted to remain – she agreed to leave immediately. According to Shlomo Yitzhak (medieval French Rabbi) her family sent Rebecca on her way with her nurse Deborah and blessed her as she rode off towards her husband; “Our sister, may you come to be thousands of myriads, and may your offspring inherit the gate of its foes.” Some scholars believe that the mention of “Bethuel-son of Abraham’s brother and his wife Milcah” in the Bible/Torah was a late addition to a pre-existing story – in order to emphasis of her mother’s role being related to Nahor in support of Rebecca’s matrilineal family structure. It was later that Isaac sent Jacob back to take a wife from among Bethuel’s granddaughters.
Regardless as Rebecca and her entourage approached Abraham’s home she spied Isaac from a distance in the fields of Beer-lahai-roi – whereas the Talmud and the Midrash state the Isaac was praying, committed to the afternoon prayer (Mincha) – and on seeing him was convinced that this was a spiritually exalted man…she turned and asked Eliezer who the man was – and learned he was to be her husband she modestly covered herself with a veil. Soon after three miracles are written to have occurred, the first being that when Isaac and Rebecca entered what is supposed to have been his recently passed on mother’s “tent”, which had reportedly disappeared on Sarah’s death, reappeared and inside was Sarah. Also inside was the lamp that burned from Shabbat eve to Shabbat eve, thus blessing in her dough, and a cloud hovered over the tent symbolizing the Divine Presence. Needless to say, Isaac and Rebecca were married. There are two or more opinions of how old Rebecca was at the time of her marriage, according to the traditional counting cited by Shlomo Yitzhak, Isaac was 37-years-old when Abraham was going to sacrifice him- and it is said that the news of Rebecca’s birth reached Abraham immediately after the event. It is said Isaac was 40-years-old when he married Rebecca, making Rebecca 3-years-old – while others maintain that Isaac was 29-years-old and Rebecca was 14-years-old when they married – and some say she was ten-years-old. In any case, 20-years were to elapse before they had any children – once again it was with the blessings of Abraham’s God that Rebecca was able to conceive. It is recorded that following Isaac and Rebecca’s marriage that Abraham took another wife, who according to the Hebrew Bible was “Keturah” (or) Ketura, who is said to have been from Ethiopia and who had been married before and was the mother of Sheba and the Medians, whose descendant, Jethro (or) Ragu’ed or Reu’el, who was an Ethiopian priest of Median had a daughter named Zipporah, who was referred to as the Ethiopian wife of Moses. Kethurah is reffered to as “Abraham’s concubine”, more than likely that she was not to be considered as the same status as Sarah, the mother of the “chosen” son of Israel – Isaac. There a few Jewish philosophers who believe that Keturah was actually Hagar, who Abraham looked for and found after Sarah’s death, while other deny the happening. With respect to the conflicts seen today in the land that Abraham’s God deeded to him, the Land of Canaan all that could be seen from Mount Gerizim4, thereby albeit the bond established between God and Israel through Abraham is a religious bond, thus as long as God recognizes Israel’s legal claim to Canaan his protection exists.
Mount Gerizim (Samaritan Hebrew Ar-garízim, Arabic جبل جرزيمJabal Jarizīm, Tiberian Hebrew הר ַ גרזיםHar Gərizzîm, Standard Hebrew הר גריזיםHar Gərizzim) is one of the two mountains in the ּ ּ ִִ ְ ּ ּ ִ ְִ ַ immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus (Biblical Shechem), and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated, the northern side being formed by Mount Ebal. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in the West Bank, as well as being higher than most mountain peaks in Israel, and rises to 2849 feet (881 meters) above sea level, 228 feet (69.5 meters) shorter than Mount Ebal. The mountain is particularly steep on the northern side, is sparsely covered at the top with shrubbery, and lower down there is a spring with a high yield of fresh water.
And as noted by many today, it is of lesser concern to the Jews that now and then, other nations of the world should not recognize Israel. Of concern is the interpretation of the land given to Abraham, whereas early on the description read a large swath of terrain from Egypt to the Euphrates, of which Canaan was a small part. The above description has only applied one time and this was under the rule of King David – later text tells us in Genesis 17, the grant in “perpetuity” is restricted to the Land of Canaan, which goes back to all that can be view from Mount Gerizim. Part of the pact between Abraham’s God and Abraham we have seen was the right of removing a part of the males flesh, the circumcision, whereas as long as Abraham’s followers practiced this act the pact would remain. One wonders why the rite of circumcision was imposed on the Israelites without any of them demanding knowledge of its reasons or causes. Where the only reason noted in the Scripture is to give a mark of the covenant – one believes that this rite is only imposed on the males as they were the only ones who would benefit from land ownership, yet Hebrew women were allowed to inherit property so this rational is chucked out the window. Another reason might be that the Egyptians practiced circumcision albeit was limited to the “priestly class, some went a bit further and made then Enuchs” and they have had in history a strong influence in Canaan – as a matter of fact the rite of removing the foreskin of the penis is found in primitive cultures throughout the world, and the use of a stone-knife in the rite suggest the practice if of tremendous antiquity – why, is lost in the mist of history. As for Abraham becoming the “Father of all Nations”, the Jews of antiquity maintain this is a “messianic promise”, for the Messiah will rule over all nations, albeit today the Jews maintain they are still waiting for the “Messiah” and the Christians believe the Jesus was and is the Messiah. As the Jews do not really believe Abraham laughed at his God when told of the upcoming birth of Isaac, saying only that Isaac’s name (Yitzhak) is derived from the Hebrew word for laughter and that the word games are a stylistic device and not necessarily a simple explanation of events. Some Christians (as of late) doubt the narrative concerning Ishmael and in God’s blessing of him, and predicting that his descendants would grow into a great nation – in their disbelief they cry and pound their chests wondering why Abraham’s God would bless a person whose “tribe” would do its best to rip their religion to shreds. But, when you look at the written facts (so-to-speak) interpretation all depends on the Arab claim of being descended from Abraham, which when you think about it is about as real as “all” Jews being his carnal descendant also – which even the Holy Book tells us they were not and only shared his faith. Just before Sodom and Gomorrah get blasted to Kingdom Come, three men appear before Abraham, whereas this points to a composition later on in history where the Holy Trinity is mentioned, albeit ancient writing (so noted) make little linguistic distinction between manifestations of Abraham’s God and his messengers – consider the term Adonai, or Domine is an emphatic form of the Hebrew word for
“Lord” and is used throughout the Bible to refer to God – on the basis of this usage, plus Abraham’s descriptions of being his “servant”, and his ability to recognize the three men as one leads one to believe that Abraham understood the trinity in the One who approaches – but where the words having Abraham bowing and scraping the ground (so-to-speak) was a normal reception with ancient customs in treating guests to one’s residence. Some might argue whether or not Abraham truly recognized the heavenly nature of his guest due to his humble offer of hospitality – in other words no trumpets and such, but remember the Christian version of Jesus after his resurrection was a simple request for a little to eat. In other words, as taught by our grandparents it is not the size of the gift, but the spirit of its offering. The written words of Abraham, surely refers to the fact that Abraham did indeed recognize the Holy Trinity – now whether or not he actually said those words, only the historian who later recorded them based on stories pasted down through the mist of time can tell us. As for Abraham and Sarah’s laughter on hearing that Abraham’s God would bless them with child, some maintain Abraham chuckled in delight, while Sarah did so in doubt…but according to what we read in the Hebrew record – their laughter did not bring forth any anger from Abraham’s God, only a kind reply to Sarah reassuring her that what he said will come to be. When Abraham’s God asks his companions if he should inform Abraham of his intentions towards Sodom is clearly a rhetorical question, some maintain that slipped into the Scriptures to demonstrate in some manner the importance of Abraham as the father of Israel – while we should all know by now that there is no deliberation or indecisiveness in Abraham’s God, who comprehends and acts instantly for all time – some put it off as a smoky translation, I believe it is there to reaffirm Abraham’s position with his God and his leadership over the people of Israel. What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities signifies as a whole that they were overall sinful places, whereas the sins were not in general just one or two things, but many when combined prompted the judgment from Abraham’s God…here again Moses (the supposed author of the old Testament) is said to have preserved the primitive vocabulary as it serves as a allegory of the justice of Abraham’s God’s punishments. It becomes apparent that Abraham’s God spoke of the “sin” of Sodom and Gomorrah as thought the entire population were under threat of judgment, with Abraham is concerned for the innocent – thereby the reader is made aware of Abraham’s sense of justice that is partially independent of his respect for his God – leading the reader to again assume the hypothetically possibility to do something unjust, whereas Abraham as the father of Israel is at least asking his God to consider other options – whereas the Scripture is not meant to push the reader to the belief that Abraham is greater than his God, but only interjecting a pause in the action (so-to-speak) demonstrating Abraham’s ability to communicate with his God on a one-to-one basis, and maybe his God should consider the innocent, if any are to be found. This simple but profound exchange follows the Israel faith as at times the innocent are punished while some who are
guilty roam free across the land, in the end the narrative is useful for understanding the relation between Abraham God’s justice and His mercy, albeit that it appears Abraham had a limited understanding of divine justice, he (or the composer of the Old Testament) was centuries ahead of his time in recognizing that his God was judge of all the world. And that if his God was to deviate from justice – it will be on the side of mercy. It becomes apparent that Abraham’s God’s messengers are identified by Lot immediately, and that in simple faith Lot offers then shelter and food – also in the narrative the mere mention of Sodom’s gate tells us that Sodom was a city of considerable size. According to the Scriptures every soul in Sodom “closed in on the house” of Lot, whereas Moses is telling the reader that this reaffirmed that the sinfulness of Sodom was indeed very nearly universal – in other words it can be assumed that the author either exaggerated a bit to make the point of the universal sinfulness or than Sodom really wasn’t that big of a place – I believe in the exaggerated version. Some believe that the son-in-laws of Lot were “only” betrothed to his daughters, which makes sense in that if he had other daughters he would have ran about and collected them, regardless what their husbands said…as for Zoar it was spared especially just for Lot’s refuge. As for Lot’s wife and the pillar of salt, the record says Abraham’s God told Lot and his family to beat foot to the mountains and don’t look back, in other words keep your eyes in front of you to make sure you don’t run into anything or anyone and get yourselves out of here. Now! Consequently the “pillar of salt” story is considered not from her actually looking back, but in a hesitation and her getting caught up in the explosion or whatever it was of the power of Abraham’s God when he laid waste to Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the Bible there is no indication of the pillar’s permanence, and also there is no record of the pillar ever being destroyed, whereas its legend walks on today. Lot and the tale of his daughters is believed by some just to give credence to the two tribes, albeit the story serves to illustrate how Ammon (“Ammonites”) and Moab (“Moabites”), though bonded to Israel by blood ties, are nonetheless connected in a corrupt manner as a result of Lots daughters – although the closeness of the Moabites’ relation to Israelites is shown by linguistic and other cultural similarities where the Moabite language differs only dialectically from Hebrew – fact of the matter is most think a direct connection to Moab as descended from Lot is dubious at best, albeit it is noted that the youngest daughter gave birth to Ben-Ammi, the supposed ancestor of the Moabites. After the destruction of the cities on the plains, Abraham packs up and moves south, settling between the deserts of Kadesh and Shur, in Gerara – which later in time would become an important Philistine city, that has been identified as “Tell Abu Hurayrah” in southern Israel. In the Bible, some maintain that the King is not named, whereas “Abimelech” is a Semitic title meaning, “My father was king.” The “Vulgate” is correct in not calling Abimelech a Philistine but says he “lived” in the
land of the Philistines, where it is a geographical identifier NOT an indication that the Philistines were present at this early date. Abraham pulls the same deception he did in Egypt, whereas many maintain, “why not” it worked pretty well the first time – while others say a far different source was used to construct the tale for the later episode, or that it was created based on the same story of Egypt but to make a different allegory was spun in a different direction. Some argue that the second source used by the author, even though it left some items out that were created by the author, but yet might have been believed to be two true events in Abraham’s life, confusing at best. Consider that the author of Genesis used a “Elohist” source for the test at Mount Moriah (sacrifice of Isaac), which is the climax of the preceding “Yahwist” narratives – and in combining the two sources and subdividing the text into Yahwist and Elohist sources created as many problems to exclude critical parts of Chapters 20-22, which must have involved some implausible editorial decisions. Whatever the reason, it appears that the author got his point across demonstrating the continuity with Abraham’s previous activity, and links very effectively the story in Egypt to the one in Gerara. Abraham’s reason are pretty much the same, but in Gerara he believes that the citizens in the region have NO fear of his God – albeit he is eventually proven wrong once more being saved by divine intervention. The author of Genesis takes particular pains this time when relating that Abraham’s God laid a conditional threat upon Abimelech, and as mentioned further pains were taken in telling the reader that Sarah, the mother of Israel, had not been defiled by the King. And at the end of the day, to demonstrate Abraham’s connection with his God, it is up to Abraham to pray for the good King and his family. It also shows how Sarah honor was saved and her vindication, as symbolized by the closing of the wombs of Abimelech’s household when Sarah is returned to Abraham and he prays to his God. Speaking of Sarah, her vindication for being barren all of her childbearing years, is able to conceive with the blessing of Abraham’s God, and gives birth to a child like no other – Isaac. Yet, in her worry that Ishmael will become the final inheritor of Abraham’s wealth and status lays the law down and has Hagar and Ishmael expelled from Abraham’s encampment or location. Whereas in the Scriptures another issue arises whereas Hagar is seen carrying Ishmael on her shoulders, as pointed out before a 13-14-18 year-old strapping youth – and wild at that! Later in the same chapter we find a reversal with Hagar taking Ishmaels hand at the command of Abraham’s God – modern day Jewish historians find numerous reasons for the discrepancy – none worth their salt. Some lay out the plausible chronology of Abraham’s life as shown:
In this they have shifted the ages of Abraham and Sarah downward, I suppose to account for the possibility of Sarah being able to conceive – they put off the Biblical account as a relative chronology based on a “central event” in the subjects life, and the time-honored tradition of the dates in the ancient records at attempting to establish a link between other events. Even with this “adjustment” it is still hard-to-believe that Sarah was 66-years-old, according to an adjusted Biblical account when they made their trip to Egypt – and further more Abraham’s total lifespan of 175 years, they maintain, may symbolize that his entire life is the summation of the Call of His God and the birth of Isaac – who in later years became a very important part in the history of Israel. The Jewish scholars today point to the fact that the readjustment of the ages quoted in the Scriptures do not in any way detract from the adventure of Abraham and the interaction between him and his God, only making the story more plausible and acceptable. It is shown in either the Biblical text or other explanations that the motivations and actions in Abraham’s life flow and ebb demonstrating an overall narrative with concrete continuity – which I find not the least bit odd in that the time span involved in writing the Old Testament was sufficiently long enough following the events to permit a wide-range of literary license. It appears, as most always, that the victor again is allowed to construct the events as a victor would – why spell out a history that runs contrary to the victors version of the battle – so to speak, this is common down through our civilizations history. There is more to the fact that to the victor goes the spoils, it is he who is also allowed to constructed the story behind the event(s). I myself in reading today’s rendition of Jewish history chuckled at the obvious putdown of other civilizations surrounding their “Land of Canaan”, whereas from timeto-time you’ll read where they taught the inhabitants of the region some of the greatest things to ever happened to their countries. I know no reason for this, other than an attempt to justify their existence, and to heap piles of greatness on the civilization that got its start when Abraham walked from the mountains and valleys of southeastern Turkey, as some maintain. Jewish historians almost on a daily basis slap any memory or writing on the Philistines around as they do the history of the Levant (Phoenicians) laying such phrases as “scattered nations” bend on turning the dollar and colonizing around the globe. They shove in front of other countries their inequities and speak in whispers about the other nations contribution to civilization – and speak in riddles when it
comes to their occupation of the Land of Canaan, a well established region of the world when Abraham led his people south, some even push the fact that at one time that Abraham was a pharaoh of Egypt, and it was they who really gave the world its modern alphabet. A little note on Abraham’s faith – throughout the story of Abraham there is no question of his faith towards his God – the capper is the attempted sacrifice of Isaac – whereas blindly and in full accord with his faith he lays his 37-year-old son on a stack of wood and prepared to flare it off when he is interrupted by another divine intervention. The author(s) of the Old Testament shouts this story out with all the force they can muster, pounding it into the readers mind…faith is the key to everything. I would venture in today’s world we’d have to look far and wide to find a father that would sacrifice the son of a lady such as Sarah – from all accounts she was a very forceful female well within the command of her status. And for the Scriptures we are reminded more than once how Abraham depended on her for advice and direction in many incidents…and without a word to his esteemed wife of many years he loads up some pack animals, drags along a couple of servants, grabs his son by the ear and treks for 3 days to do his God’s will. What a guy! His actions can only be said to be one of a man who has complete trust in his God…and important story when it comes to establishing the faith of the new nation of Israel. Then the author(s), pass on the faith of Isaac whereas in his quiet submittal to his father’s actions he climbs on his funeral fire and is prepared to give up his life for the faith his father has in his God. Both family members are shown to have a measure of supreme faith in Abraham’s God – and modern Jewish scholars today are quick to point out the act of sacrifice and a true measure of Israeli actions and duties. Also throwing out to their readers that this act of faith, overcomes any questions that might arise when a citizen of Israel is told to do something, whereas they are asked to trust in the reason, put aside the emotion or moral law, for it is Abraham’s Gods will that to accommodate His will the trust must be perfect as it was when Abraham put Isaac on the funeral altar. After all from the pulpits of religion today, having trust in God’s will goes far beyond human understanding, standing in the corner no matter the reasoning, while God’s understanding is perfect and it is sufficient to trust in His decisions. Abraham’s life up until the sacrifice had been one of complete faith in his God – why change, hence the pounding of the act of faith flows from the mist of history on Abraham preparing to make the ultimate act – only again to be stopped by his God. Hebrew history has more than just a kind word for Abraham, albeit it points out that all of human kind were born in sin, and it is likely that none were greater than Abrahams, whereas even Moses and David had a few miss-steps they had the benefit of some Law – while here we have Abraham, who approached his God not based on Law but on pure faith, and as some maintain all the “blessing” laid on Israel are credited to the faith of Abraham – albeit later generations would lay claim to the blessings the Lord had bestowed on their great nation. In other words, God called and Abraham answered by offering up his son, and act of supreme sacrifice – and as a result of this perfect faith, it is written that God will
bless the world through Abraham’s seed, a fact rooted deeply in Hebrew historical reference. Albeit, it is later testimony in the New Testament that tells the world that it is Abraham’s faith and not any roots defined by Abraham’s bodily fluids that define the Israeli nation. Up until the death of Sarah, history tells us that Abraham legally did not own any land in Canaan, whereas when Sarah traveled onto her ancestors, Abraham laid out some 400 shekels of silver and purchased a plot of land from a “Hittite” family. Up until that time, it is written, that since Abraham and Sarah were foreigners in the Land of Canaan there were forbidden from owning land – Sarah final resting place is the first stake of the land promised to Abraham’s descendants and the flock of people who had followed him from Ur of the Khaldis.
Cave of Machpelah or Cave of the Patriarchs As a side-note, it is noted that Jewish scholars in antiquity first translated the Torah into Koine Greek in the 3rd Century BC – according to the record in the Talmud it is said, “King Ptolemy once gathered 72-Elders – and placed them in 72-chambers, each of them in a separate one, without revealing to them why there were summoned. He entered each one’s room and said, ‘Write for me the Torah of Moshe, your teachers.’ God put it in the heart of each one to translate identically as all the other did.” The result – the Septuagint! More books were translated over the next two centuries, albeit when or where is not clear – some may have been translated more than once, with different results. Whereas some were a direct translation and some severely edited, consisting of the author(s) interpretation. Some maintain that the Pentateuch is “reasonably” well
translated, while some maintain other translations border on the cusp of absurdities. The Pentateuch is the strong basis of the canon. Thus is the story of Abraham, the man from the north who changed the old world and whose examples and life still today impact our lives beyond any other one individual – Abraham truly was his God’s servant.
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