Gen 21:1-25:11

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Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 21-25a / Verses 21:1-25:11
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Summary[edit]

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Discussion[edit]

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  • Gen 22:1: Did tempt. The Hebrew verb here, nacah, means to test or to prove. In other words, God tested Abraham or put him to the test.
  • Gen 22:2: Moriah. In Hebrew moreh refers to teacher and Yah is the shortened version of the sacred name of the Lord, Jehovah. Here, Abraham is being "taught of the Lord" that the firstborn son, the Lamb of God, who would be offered as a sacrifice at the same mount. (See Daniel Rona reference below.) Also see these comments by Daniel Rona here.
  • Gen 24: Rebekah as the ideal bride. Matthew's genealogy of Christ lists four women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba) whose stories are unusual and are likely included to show that the story of Mary's virgin birth is more acceptable than it would sound in isolation (see the discussion of women in Christ's genealogy at Matt 1:1-17). The ideal bride, in contrast, would likely be Rebekah, Isaac's wife.
In the symbolism of the bridegroom and the bride (see the more complete discussion at Matt 25:1), the bridegroom represents Christ, and the bride represents the people or the church of Christ. Here Isaac, the bridegroom, was offered in sacrifice in similitude of Christ's atoning sacrifice. (Gen __). Rebekah, the bride, was charitable in offering to draw water for Isaac's servant. (Gen __). She believed on the words of the bridegroom's servant without having yet seen the bridegroom for herself. (Gen __). Upon believing, she did not tarry in Haran, but departed the next morning and, when brought to Isaac, she hastened to meet him. (Gen __). This provides a model of conduct for the people of Christ, both male and female.
But like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • Gen 21:31-32: Non-family oaths. J. Gerald Janzen, in his International Theological Commentary, notes that "it has been observed that covenant relations arise as a form of substitute kinship relations. That is, covenant relations formally extend kin [/hesed] ethics beyond the range of kin relations, implicitly exploring the possibility that different kinship communities may treat one another within the horizon of a common human kinship under God" (pp. 75-76). To what extent does the bilateral nature of this oath/covenant contrast with what seems a more unilateral oath (i.e. promise) that God gives to Abraham? In what other ways does this human-to-human oath/covenant compare and contrast to oaths and covenants between humans within a family, and between humans and God? What does these similarities and differences tell us about our relations to neighbors, family and God?
  • Gen 22:2: Offer him there for a burnt offering. The Hebrew word translated here as "offer him" is `alah which is written the same way (i.e. has the same consonants) as the Hebrew word `olah which the KJV translated "burnt offering" (both words are related to the word holocaust). The word `alah has a strong connotation of "up." What is the significance of these words being used here? Is there a hidden or less obvious meaning that this word play points to? (In the LXX, the word used for "burnt offering" is olokarposin, which seems to be a somewhat rare word that is not appear to be used in the New Testament. Can the etymology here be traced to anything that is helpful for interpretation of this verse?)

Resources[edit]

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  • Gen 24:3: Why not a Canaanite? For a discussion of possible reasons why Abraham didn't want Isaac to marry a Canaanite, see the discussion here.

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.




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