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  • Lesson 9: “God Will Provide Himself a Lamb”
Reading: Abraham 1; Genesis 15–17; Genesis 21–22



Abr 1:1-5

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 1-2 > Verses 1:1-4
Previous page: Chapters 1-2                              Next Page: Verses 1:5-20


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Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Chapters 1-2. The relationship of Verses 1:1-4 to the rest of Chapters 1-2 is discussed at Chapters 1-2.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 1:1-4 include:

Discussion[edit]

This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:1. This first verse moves inwardly through a series of concentric circles, so to speak, beginning with the broadest "land of the Chaldeans," passing through "the residence of my fathers," and arriving at last at "I, Abraham." This movement will be paralleled in 2:3, when Abraham mentions the commandment of the Lord to leave his country, his kindred, and his father's house: the same inward movement will mark the divine commandment to leave the place. This seems entirely appropriate, since this verse here is also characterized by a displacement, namely, Abraham's recognition of the necessity to seek another residence.
But a major difference between the two passages should not be overlooked: while both this verse and 2:3 trace an inward movement through three concentric circles, the later passage never moves so far as to reach the subjective as this passage does. That is, while the later verse arrives thirdly at Abraham's "father's house," it is only here in this verse that the movement arrives at Abraham himself. Though the point is subtle, it is of some importance: the later commandment disrupts Abraham's stay in Ur by triply separating him from his place, people, and family, but this earlier recognition (or even anticipation) establishes the same disruption by leaving Abraham precisely within his place and his people/family. In other words, the later commandment essentially alters this first movement: while both this and the later passage present Abraham as radically other, he is other here precisely through his being there in the residence of his fathers and he will be other there by his being separated by a call/commandment from God.
Helpful for making sense of all this is the central mention here of "my fathers," a phrase Abraham immediately dislocates in verse 2 with mention of "the fathers." The play between these two phrases can be understood in at least two ways: it can be understood as a play between the universal and the particular, and/or it can be understood as a play between relationality and absolution. Either way, the particularity or relationality of "my fathers" is overwhelmed by the universality or absoluteness of "the fathers," especially given the fact that Abraham is going to suggest that "my fathers" had gone astray while "the fathers" had remained true and faithful. There is almost a sense, here, that "the fathers" are, so to speak, real, while "my fathers" are, in a sense, merely imaginary, illusory, or passing.
This is already signaled in the double appearance in this verse of the word "residence." Abraham, at one residence, finds it necessary to seek out another residence. This repetition—like every repetition—is undergirded by a continuity and a displacement: the local particularity of "my fathers" is disrupted as much by the rupture of "the residence" attached to them in the first part of the verse (a rupture effected by the mention of "another place of residence" at the end of the verse) as it is by the mention in the next verse of the apparently absolute or universal fathers. But this focusing of the play between "my fathers" and "the fathers" on the repetition of the word "residence" qualifies the absoluteness or universality of "the fathers" at the same time: rather than questioning the very notion of place—rather than suggesting that place itself is essentially irrelevant here through an appeal to the universal or to the absolute—there is less a displacement than a replacement at work here. That is, Abraham is being called out of one place and into another. Though there is quite clearly a disorientation at work in this first verse, it is clear even in this same verse that it is countered by a reorientation (albeit an orientation to the other). In a word, the violence of the apparent universalism of "the fathers" is enough at first only to resettle Abraham, not to uproot him entirely and forever.
Or rather, there may be said to be here, in this very first verse, a kind of double relation to residence: there is quite clearly, in light of the shift from "my" to "the," a departicularization or universalization at work, but it is curiously paired with a resettling or reparticularization. Abraham is, on the one hand, quite clearly about to take up a very real quest to become one of "the fathers," to deny the particularity of the "here" and "now," of the historical in a question for "the mythological (in the sense that Genesis 1-11 can be called mythological). On the other hand, "the fathers"—almost "mythological" themselves—are the fathers precisely in that they have received promises concerning seed and land, and that according to an undeniable particularity.
The foregoing remarks provide the context in which to understand and to approach Abraham's mention of "the land of the Chaldeans." As the site of Abraham's residence-to-be-displaced, its historicity is at once central and irrelevant. That is, that Abraham here makes contact with the historical world, with the world that can be studied archaeologically for example, he is at once leaving that world off, allowing that historical world to be shattered or reoriented by the realization of the need to move residences. Chaldea enters this story—in the very first verse!—at once as a mark of the historicity of the text and as a question mark about the nature of history, and this determines in advance how every historical detail that will enter the story will have to be regarded: the Book of Abraham can and should be studied as an actually historical text, to be sure, but it is egregiously misunderstood if it is reduced to a historical horizon.
All of that being said, it should be noted that Abraham does not mention the city Ur until Abr 1:20, and only then as the site of the sacrifice, the place of Potiphar's Hill. There is, then, no explicit statement here that Abraham lived in Ur, only that he lived in the land of the Chaldeans. If one is justified in reading into the language here the city/land distinction apparent elsewhere in scripture (the disction between a central location of a ritual place of worship and the surrounding lands that fall under the jurisdiction of the priesthood associated with that ritual place), then Abraham's mention only of the land of the Chaldeans may suggest that his place of residence—the residence of his fathers—is at some distance from any central city, from any centralized ritual complex. And if this is the case, it would appear that Abraham's fathers have retreated from the political arena to a relatively rural lifestyle, away from the clash of religions. Such a retreat can be understood in two radically opposed ways: on the one hand, one might suggest that this retreat marks a recognition on the part of Abraham's fathers that the priesthood they have passed down among themselves is essential non-political or non-historical, that it wanders in the countryside and seldom ventures into the apostate city centers to vie with the idolatrous religions of the political world; on the other hand, one might suggest that Abraham's fathers have, in their turn to idolatry, essentially given into the political pressure, handing themselves over to the political gods by settling at some distance from the heart of things, hoping to disappear into relative oblivion.
If these two options are genuine interpretive options, it would seem that the remainder of this first chapter decides on the latter of the two: Abraham's fathers seem to have raised him to be a good local citizen rather than a successor to the supra-political patriarchy. That Abraham seems only to have come to a knowledge of the patriarchal lineage through his access to the sacred writings is quite telling here: his fathers were not speaking of the fathers.
  • Abr 1:2. This verse might well be described as an acrobatic stunt. It might be parsed thus:
  And, 
       finding there was greater happiness 
                                 and peace 
                                 and rest for me, 
  I sought for the blessings of the fathers, 
               and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; 
       having been myself a follower of righteousness, 
       desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, 
                     and to be a greater follower of righteousness, 
                     and to possess a greater knowledge,
                     and to be a father of many nations, 
                               a prince of peace, 
  and 
       desiring to receive instructions, 
                and to keep the commandments of God, 
  I became a rightful heir, 
           a High Priest, 
       holding the right belonging to the fathers.
This structure might best be approached by making reference to a more intuitive way of breaking this complex verse into pieces, one that understands it to be describing three interconnected events: Abraham desired (which implies craving, yearning, or wishing, but does not imply any action undertaken), he sought (which implies that some kind of action is undertaken to reach the desired goal or object), and he found (which implies that the action resulted in something, whether or not what was found was what had been desired in the first place). This intuitive pattern—desiring, seeking, finding—nicely fits into the structure above twice, recasting the parsing as a chiasm:
  A And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me,
     B I sought for the blessings of the fathers...
        C desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge...
        C' and desiring to receive instructions and to keep the commandments of God,
     B' I became a rightful heir, a High Priest,
  A' holding the right belonging to the fathers.
This is interesting in a number of ways. The first parsing above isolates the basic linguistic structure of the verse as being a simple compound sentence: "And ... I sought for the blessings of the fathers ... and ... I became a rightful heir." According to this chiastic structure, in which Abraham opens his story by providing the intuitive desiring-seeking-finding pattern first in reverse order, the two foundational halves of the verse's basic compound sentence are suspended between the extremes (A and A') and center (C and C') of the chiasm as B and B'. Or, to put it the other way around, B and B' are something like "a nail in a sure place" on which are hung "all vessels..., from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons," here A and A', and C and C' (Isa 22:23-24).
Of course there are other, less intuitive ways to make sense of the parsing first laid out above. There is so much repetition that deserves attention: "greater" occurs a number of times; "peace" is repeated; "blessings" appears as such only once, but is doubled by "the same"; "fathers" and then "father" and then "fathers" again; "right" appears twice, and "rightful" once; "follower of righteousness" of course shows up twice; and "possessed" is doubled by "possess," in both instances having reference to "knowledge." Each of these deserves careful, individual attention below. Of course, this rather broad theme of doubling or repetition is closely tied to the chiastic structure of the verse: what appears in the first part is often doubled in the second. But of course, it is not mere repetition that is at work here because the repetition is always building: what is great becomes greater, etc. And this last point perhaps simply suggests that every reading of this verse nicely feeds back into the chiastic structure laid out above: even the repetitions, in their various forms, are hung on the framework of the chiasm. A word or two of analysis of the way the chiasm interweaves its several themes thus deserves attention.
What is curious about the way the themes are woven together through the chiasm is that the "intuitive" pattern described above is first provided only in reverse: Abraham finds, then seeks, and then desires, after which he desires, then seeks, and finally finds. While the second part of the verse makes perfect intuitive sense, then, the first part seems to be essentially backward. While the verbal form of the word "desiring" makes this perfectly straightforward (the verbal form suggests that the "desiring" was a precursor to the action of seeking, though it appears later in the actual written form of the verse), the likewise verbal form of "finding" seems to disrupt what might otherwise seem to be a straightforward continuity (the verbal form of "holding" at the end of the verse will do much the same thing). That is, because the "finding" occurs in an imperfect form instead of a perfect form (as an ongoing, untotalized event rather than as a completed, totalizable action), it appears at first to be the precursor to seeking: Abraham only seeks because he finds; his seeking is grounded in his finding.
Of course, the most obvious way of dealing with this difficulty is to suggest that what Abraham "finds" at the beginning of the verse is not "greater happiness and peace and rest," but simply that "there was greater happinses and peace and rest." That is, Abraham only finds that..., discovers a possibility. The "finding" at the beginning of the verse would thus be parallel to the later "desiring": a kind of negativity inhabits Abraham from the beginning by the existence of something else somewhere else, and that is simply another way of saying that he desires. Of course, if one takes this interpretive tack, then one is forced to interpret the fundamentally strange parallel of "finding" and "desiring," the idea of a "desiring" that is a "finding." Of course, this idea—in which desire is established or perhaps even stabilized by a conclusive finding—is quite rich in itself, with its hint of a neurosis that Abraham overcomes precisely in that he does seek and actually obtains in this verse: finding desire, Abraham allows it to propel him toward an actual finding (cf. Abr 2:12).
But this is, of course, not the only way this difficulty can be approached: the introduction above of the distinction between the perfect and imperfect forms of the verbs provides a second way of taking this text. Given this distinction, there are only to "perfected" actions or totalizable events in this verse: Abraham sought (the actual journey, so to speak) and Abraham became (through some actual event, such as an ordination). All else, it would seem, remains, so to speak, somewhat mysterious, untotalized or untotalizable. The finding with which the verse begins is thus a very real finding—while it remains a "finding that...," it is nonetheless an actual discovery—rather than some ephemeral mental activity. That is, Abraham quite literally begins by finding, by being at the end of the journey; were it otherwise, the journey would never begin.
In the end, these two readings are not so very different from each other: Abraham desires because he finds, seeks because he desires, but finds because he seeks. The knot that weaves these several verbs together is thus quite complex. Or rather, it would be quite complex were Abraham not to have woven it for his readers in a chiasm: there he finds, and seeks, having his desire set free, and desiring, he becomes, finding or holding at last the right belonging to the fathers. The crossing that is the chiasm essentially weaves together in a strange series of repetitions the essential subjectivity of Abraham.
Now, important—indeed, central—as this subjectivity is, it is ultimately only woven by the several themes that run through this verse, all of which deserve extended attention.
What Abraham finds from the very beginning of this verse is the existence of something better: "greater happiness and peace and rest" for him. Of course, this seems quite obviously to follow from the large picture on the page opposite the text: Abraham is facing less than felicitous circumstances in his homeland! Abraham's dense language here, with its almost stumbling, easily sidetracked, almost wandering feel, contrasts sharply with the visual image it follows: why would Abraham (or whatever editor) write this verse in such a remarkably terse tone when the situation was so dire? But, of course, many answers could be given to this question. For now it is perhaps most helpful to look at the threefold of what Abraham finds: happiness/peace/rest. Why these three? Are they redundant? Is there some kind of a pattern underlying these terms? What does it mean to speak of greater happiness, greater peace, and—here's the curious one—greater rest?
At least for modern ears, the first of these three overdetermines the other two: "happiness" is such a common term, albeit one that evades strict definition for the most part. Because of its generality, and because it imposes itself first, it is easy to give to the other two terms similarly broad, almost meaningless definitions: Abraham simply sees that there is a better way of living.
And yet this does not satisfy. Perhaps this is primarily because what Abraham seeks is ultimately not a place of happiness or peace or rest, but the blessings of the fathers: Abraham, finding that there was great happiness and peace and rest, seeks for (what is presumably to be understood as) the priesthood (see discussion below).
1) Abraham seems repetitive: he mentions "great knowledge" and then "greater knowledge." The difference Abraham saw between these two gifts is possibly explained in D&C 42:61. In other words, Abraham wanted to understand what was already understood by the prophets of God and the sages of the world, but he also wanted to extend his understanding beyond what was already known. (We see in Chapter 3-5 some of the fulfillment of this wish.)
2) Abraham seems repetitive (again): he wants to be a "follower of righteousness" and also “to keep the commandments”. This may not seem repetitive until one tries to define “righteousness”—which must include some mention of keeping the commandments. The difference between the two can be explained by Matt 24:45-46 and D&C 58:26. Abraham sees the difference between patiently serving by one’s actions (keeping the commandments) and taking the initiative to serve with one’s whole heart, mind, and body (following righteousness).
3) Abraham is ambitious: or some may say, "audacious." Abraham—without qualification (stipulation)—wants to be "a father of many nations" and "a prince of peace." Several questions come to mind, none of which I have answers to: Was this the standard dream for men in ancient times, or was Abraham really thinking big? Was Abraham the exception, or should all of us ask for truly great rewards? What does Abraham mean by "prince of peace"? Was Abraham promised this before or because he desired it? Alma 29:3 seems relevant.
4) Abraham understands the purpose of commandments: Many people mistakenly think that a relationship with God should progress in the same way as a relationship with parents; ie. in childhood there are numerous rules to follow, but as one grows older and proves oneself more responsible, fewer and fewer rules are imposed as they eventually become unnecessary. Abraham, however, desires to more "instructions." Rather than view commandments as restrictions, Abraham sees them as rewards for good behavior. Adam and Eve exemplify this pattern (Moses 5:1-11). They were obedient to the commandments they had been given (Moses 4:22, 25, 28) and then pray to God. And what did they pray for? We do not know, but we see how they were rewarded for their obedience. Once again, Adam and Eve were obedient. And how were they rewarded this time? With knowledge and more commandments. Which ultimately leads to the greatest (in my opinion; because it was without precedent) moment of revelation in human history.
Abraham states what he desires, but it is not the same as what he seeks. This is not a foreign concept for those who have read Matt 6:23. In this manner, Abraham does not seek learning so that he can "possess a greater knowledge," he does not seek personal enrichment so that he can be a "greater follower of righteousness," and so on. In order to obtain the blessings he desires, he seeks the priesthood.
This gives us interesting insight into how Abraham viewed the priesthood and its effect on those who exercise it. If asked to define the priesthood, Abraham might agree with some of the answers we commonly hear: The power of God, An eternal principle, A form of government, An opportunity to serve. But this verse suggests that Abraham might give a different definition: The means by which God’s blessings are realized.
Thinking of the priesthood in this way brings new understanding to the promise made to Abraham in the following chapter (Abr 2:9,11).
We end how Abraham began—a phrase I have always found humorous. What could Abraham possibly mean by "greater...rest"? If we look at Abraham’s life, we see that this is both an understatement and a very strange definition.
As an understatement, we have to look at the context of the verse: Abraham has chosen to leave his father’s house in Ur and pursue a path that will lead him to Jehovah. If we remember that Abraham had narrowly escaped being sacrificed to his own father’s gods—a fate that apparently Abraham’s brother suffered—then we might say that for Abraham, things could only get easier. So "greater happiness and peace and rest" might simply mean "getting away from my filicidal dad."
But this is not how Abraham is thinking. First, he takes his father with him. Second, he is clearly not referring to getting away from a rotten former life but instead he is describing how he views the life that lay ahead. What I find so interesting is that Abraham makes this statement after living the post-Ur life; i.e. this is Abraham looking back over his life and calling it happy, peaceful, and restful.
A reminder of some of the events in Abraham’s life will show why this is noteworthy. During Abraham's life he:
  • Flees from drought
  • Wanders as a stranger in Canaan
  • Fears he will be killed in Egypt
  • Goes to battle against a huge army
  • Sees his son-in-law’s family get nearly destroyed
  • Goes without children until he is well over 60 years old
  • Is told to sacrifice his own son
  • Toils to make a living where he owns no land
  • Expels one of his own sons from his household
Abraham’s life was filled with events that we would normally call hardships, trials, or challenges, yet he remembers the walk up the mount with Isaac and the expulsion of Ishmael as "happy"; he looks back on the conflicts with Pharaoh, Abimelech, and the conquerors of Sodom and calls it "peace"; he recalls the miles and miles of travel, travel, travel in search of the land of his inheritance and he calls it "rest." Was Abraham crazy, or was he just blessed with wisdom to see the good in the bad he had experienced?
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
Incidentally, there is only one other verse in the scriptures that uses this combination of words (Alma 40:12):
"And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow."

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:1: General question. Why does Abraham start out his record this way? Why does he mention first, before anything else, that he is moving?
  • More specifically: why mention the move first, but not explain why he left until much later in the chapter? Why start the record with this brief mention of location, then jump into his desires for and reception of the priesthood, and only by the end of chapter one explain more about Chaldea?
  • Or, in other words: Why would it have been important for his readers to know he moved? Is he focusing on a question of land and inheritance? Was moving away from one's fathers seen as a very drastic decision that would have been questioned by later generations and that needed explanation? Is he assuming that his posterity won't have a connection with his fathers so he is starting by explaining why they don't know their grand- and great-grandparents?
  • Abr 1:2: Finding greater happiness. How did Abraham find greater happiness? What does this mean? Is this related to the later phrase, "having been myself a follower of righteousness?" Should we think about the finding of greater happiness as coming before he was a follower of righteousness, after, or simultaneously?
  • Abr 1:3: Right of the firstborn. In what sense is the Priesthood the right of the firstborn? Does this mean that the Priesthood was included in other rights that only firstborns inherited (see Firstborn in the Bible Dictionary)? Or, if this is simply a way of referring to Adam, the firstborn of God and the first father, why such an emphasis on first? "Firstborn" is a word fequently associated with Christ, does this affect how we should read this verse, or does this verse affect how we should understand Christ as the firstborn?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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.



Previous page: Chapters 1-2                              Next Page: Verses 1:5-20

Talk:Abr 1:1-5

Abr 1:6-10

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 1-2 > Verses 1:5-20
Previous page: Verses 1:1-4                              Next Page: Verses 1:21-27


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Chapters 1-2. The relationship of Verses 1:5-20 to the rest of Chapters 1-2 is discussed at Chapters 1-2.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 1:5-20 include:

Discussion[edit]

This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:17: Turned their hearts away from me. Notice Joseph Smith is told something similar in JS-H 1:19. Christ also accused the Pharisees of the same thing in Matt 15:7-9.
There is some affinity between the characters of Abraham and Noah. Noah was a prophet fighting the tide of the world who was given the promise that his seed would continue beyond the flood such that today, all men can be said to be children of Noah. Similarly, Abraham fought the tide of wickedness in his day and has been given similar promises and it is through him that the Priesthood and the Gospel survived the flood of wickedness in his day such that all of us who have been blessed to receive any of the ordinances of the gospel can say that we received it through Abraham and we are his children. Also, it is Abraham that will be permitted to have his children survive the burning of the second coming.
Another affinity exists in the figure of Enoch, who established a Zion city at the time of Noah and then left, leaving Noah to continue the work of God on the Earth. At the time of Abraham, there was Melchizedek, who, in the JST for Genesis 14: 25-40, is said to have established a city (Salem) similar to the one Enoch established. It is also said that his people "sought for the city of Enoch". We do not however learn any more of this city or its people, which for all intents and purposes seems to have disappeared from off the face of the earth.
In effect, Noah and Enoch were both prophets who were given something of a special mission to stay behind and carry on an earthly ministry; that is, to preserve the priesthood and kingdom of God on the earth while the main body of the church all but disappeared.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:7: "Hearkened not unto my voice." This seems to be referring to Abraham's voice, not God's voice. Does this imply Abraham was preaching against them? Is this related to Abraham's obtaining of the Priesthood described above?
  • Abr 1:11: What does "virtue" mean here? Right after explaining that the virgins were sacrificed "because of their virtue," the text goes on to say that the virgins would not worship other gods "therefore they were killed." Does virtue refer to the virgins not bowing down to the other gods or to something else?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:7-15: Attempt to sacrifice Abraham. See Muhlestein, Kerry and John Gee. "An Egyptian Context for the Sacrifice of Abraham." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 20/2 (2011): p. 70–77. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article explores evidence substantiating the practice of ritual human sacrifice in ancient Egypt.

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.



Previous page: Verses 1:1-4                              Next Page: Verses 1:21-27

Talk:Abr 1:6-10

Abr 1:11-15

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 1-2 > Verses 1:5-20
Previous page: Verses 1:1-4                              Next Page: Verses 1:21-27


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Chapters 1-2. The relationship of Verses 1:5-20 to the rest of Chapters 1-2 is discussed at Chapters 1-2.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 1:5-20 include:

Discussion[edit]

This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:17: Turned their hearts away from me. Notice Joseph Smith is told something similar in JS-H 1:19. Christ also accused the Pharisees of the same thing in Matt 15:7-9.
There is some affinity between the characters of Abraham and Noah. Noah was a prophet fighting the tide of the world who was given the promise that his seed would continue beyond the flood such that today, all men can be said to be children of Noah. Similarly, Abraham fought the tide of wickedness in his day and has been given similar promises and it is through him that the Priesthood and the Gospel survived the flood of wickedness in his day such that all of us who have been blessed to receive any of the ordinances of the gospel can say that we received it through Abraham and we are his children. Also, it is Abraham that will be permitted to have his children survive the burning of the second coming.
Another affinity exists in the figure of Enoch, who established a Zion city at the time of Noah and then left, leaving Noah to continue the work of God on the Earth. At the time of Abraham, there was Melchizedek, who, in the JST for Genesis 14: 25-40, is said to have established a city (Salem) similar to the one Enoch established. It is also said that his people "sought for the city of Enoch". We do not however learn any more of this city or its people, which for all intents and purposes seems to have disappeared from off the face of the earth.
In effect, Noah and Enoch were both prophets who were given something of a special mission to stay behind and carry on an earthly ministry; that is, to preserve the priesthood and kingdom of God on the earth while the main body of the church all but disappeared.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:7: "Hearkened not unto my voice." This seems to be referring to Abraham's voice, not God's voice. Does this imply Abraham was preaching against them? Is this related to Abraham's obtaining of the Priesthood described above?
  • Abr 1:11: What does "virtue" mean here? Right after explaining that the virgins were sacrificed "because of their virtue," the text goes on to say that the virgins would not worship other gods "therefore they were killed." Does virtue refer to the virgins not bowing down to the other gods or to something else?

Resources[edit]

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  • Abr 1:7-15: Attempt to sacrifice Abraham. See Muhlestein, Kerry and John Gee. "An Egyptian Context for the Sacrifice of Abraham." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 20/2 (2011): p. 70–77. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article explores evidence substantiating the practice of ritual human sacrifice in ancient Egypt.

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.



Previous page: Verses 1:1-4                              Next Page: Verses 1:21-27

Talk:Abr 1:11-15

Abr 1:16-20

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 1-2 > Verses 1:5-20
Previous page: Verses 1:1-4                              Next Page: Verses 1:21-27


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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Chapters 1-2. The relationship of Verses 1:5-20 to the rest of Chapters 1-2 is discussed at Chapters 1-2.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 1:5-20 include:

Discussion[edit]

This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:17: Turned their hearts away from me. Notice Joseph Smith is told something similar in JS-H 1:19. Christ also accused the Pharisees of the same thing in Matt 15:7-9.
There is some affinity between the characters of Abraham and Noah. Noah was a prophet fighting the tide of the world who was given the promise that his seed would continue beyond the flood such that today, all men can be said to be children of Noah. Similarly, Abraham fought the tide of wickedness in his day and has been given similar promises and it is through him that the Priesthood and the Gospel survived the flood of wickedness in his day such that all of us who have been blessed to receive any of the ordinances of the gospel can say that we received it through Abraham and we are his children. Also, it is Abraham that will be permitted to have his children survive the burning of the second coming.
Another affinity exists in the figure of Enoch, who established a Zion city at the time of Noah and then left, leaving Noah to continue the work of God on the Earth. At the time of Abraham, there was Melchizedek, who, in the JST for Genesis 14: 25-40, is said to have established a city (Salem) similar to the one Enoch established. It is also said that his people "sought for the city of Enoch". We do not however learn any more of this city or its people, which for all intents and purposes seems to have disappeared from off the face of the earth.
In effect, Noah and Enoch were both prophets who were given something of a special mission to stay behind and carry on an earthly ministry; that is, to preserve the priesthood and kingdom of God on the earth while the main body of the church all but disappeared.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:7: "Hearkened not unto my voice." This seems to be referring to Abraham's voice, not God's voice. Does this imply Abraham was preaching against them? Is this related to Abraham's obtaining of the Priesthood described above?
  • Abr 1:11: What does "virtue" mean here? Right after explaining that the virgins were sacrificed "because of their virtue," the text goes on to say that the virgins would not worship other gods "therefore they were killed." Does virtue refer to the virgins not bowing down to the other gods or to something else?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:7-15: Attempt to sacrifice Abraham. See Muhlestein, Kerry and John Gee. "An Egyptian Context for the Sacrifice of Abraham." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 20/2 (2011): p. 70–77. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. This article explores evidence substantiating the practice of ritual human sacrifice in ancient Egypt.

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.



Previous page: Verses 1:1-4                              Next Page: Verses 1:21-27

Talk:Abr 1:16-20

Abr 1:21-25

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 1-2 > Verses 1:21-27
Previous page: Verses 1:5-20                              Next Page: Verses 1:28-31


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Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Chapters 1-2. The relationship of Verses 1:21-27 to the rest of Chapters 1-2 is discussed at Chapters 1-2.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 1:21-27 include:

Discussion[edit]

This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:21: From the loins of Ham. The significance of mentioning Ham here is most likely tied up with the incident described in Gen 9:22-27 where some LDS scholars think that Ham stole the garment of the Priesthood from Noah (see commentary there).
  • Abr 1:21. The Book of Moses makes reference to a people called "Canaanites" who lived long before Canaan, the son of Ham (see Moses 7:6-12). Some difficulties in the JST manuscripts and in the Book of Abraham manuscripts may suggest that the situation described in this verse and the one following is more complex than it at first appears. This complication may also play into the curse of Canaan described in Gen 9:22-27, where it is unclear why Ham's activities result in a curse for Canaan.
  • Abr 1:26: Blessings. If Pharoah is descendant of Ham (v. 25), then the blessings being referred to may be those given to all the sons of Noah in Gen 9:1-3, 7. Although there is a curse associated with Ham in Gen 9:22-27, Ham is associated with the righteousness and blessings of Noah and his sons in Moses 8:13, 27.
  • Abr 1:26-27: Pharoah's righteousness and Egypt's idolatry. Abraham tells us in verse 26 that Pharoah tried to imitate the order established in the days of Adam and Noah as Pharaoh established his own kingdom. Abraham gives us no hint that there was anything wrong with this imitation. On the contrary in the same sentence Abraham begins by telling us that Pharaoh was righteous and that he ruled wisely and justly. Clearly Pharoah's curse related to the priesthood did not stem from his own unrighteousness. (In contrast the Lamanite curse in the Book of Mormon is directly related to righteousness: each time the Lamanites repent they have full access to the same blessing the Nephites do.)
Note in verse 27 the difference in the way "Pharaoh" and "the Pharaohs" is used. Abraham tells us that Pharaoh (the Pharaoh who established Egypt) could not have the Priesthood, but that "the Pharaohs" wanted to claim the priesthood from Noah. The contrast may suggest that Pharaoh himself never made such a claim--which is consistent with verse 26 where Abraham tells us Pharaoh was righteous. Nevertheless, later Pharaohs not only sought to claim a priesthood they did not have but also were led away into idolatry.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:26: Egyptian order as an imitation of patriarchal order. If Pharaoh established the first Egyptian Kingdom in imitation of the patriarchal order, what can we learn about that order by studying Ancient Egypt?
  • Abr 1:27: Therefore. What does the Pharaoh's desire to claim the Priesthood have to do with Abraham's father being led away by their idolatry?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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.



Previous page: Verses 1:5-20                              Next Page: Verses 1:28-31

Talk:Abr 1:21-25

Abr 1:26-31

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 1-2 > Verses 1:28-31
Previous page: Verses 1:21-27                              Next Page: Verses 2:1-16


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Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Chapters 1-2. The relationship of Verses 1:28-31 to the rest of Chapters 1-2 is discussed at Chapters 1-2.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 1:28-31 include:

Discussion[edit]

This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:28: The records of the fathers. It is known from Moses 6:5 that records were kept from the time of Adam.
  • Abr 1:28: Records and revelation as source material. This verse, tied inextricably to verse 31, provides Abraham's "project" for the book he writes. These verses together suggest that Abraham plans to write a record that concerns the nature of the heavens and its connection with the story of man from the beginning to Abraham's own time. Perhaps this raises a difficulty, however: in Abr 3:15, Abraham reports having been told that all these things (precisely the same things: the nature of the heavens and its connection with the story of man from the beginning to Abraham's own time) came by immediate revelation, whereas in these two verses all of this knowledge is predicated upon the records of the fathers, as they have come into the hands of Abraham.
Since neither of these verses in any way denies that Abraham had such revelations personally, these verses essentially suggest that there were two elements that went into Abraham's recording the nature of the heavens and its connection with the story of man: Abraham drew on his personal revelatory experiences, and Abraham drew on the records of the fathers as he received them. The relation between these two sources (faith and knowledge, the two sources of the Book of Abraham within the limits of reason alone?) might be read in verses 28 and 31, then, in two ways. On the one hand, the records of the fathers might have been the primary source for the Book of Abraham, to which the prophet added his own revelatory insights. On the other hand, the revelatory experiences might have been the primary source for the Book of Abraham, to which the prophet added insights from the records of the fathers. This latter seems the better reading of these two on two accounts: in verse 31 here, Abraham claims he will "write some of these things upon" his record; moreover, the general flow of the Book of Abraham--as we now have it--certainly favors Abraham's own experience (see most especially Abr 2 and Abr 3).
However, there may be a third way of reading these verses that transcends these two. It might be that the records of the fathers contained explicit accounts of the things Abraham had revealed to him, but that he could not ultimately understand those records until he had had the revelatory experiences. In other words, it might not have been possible for the fathers to work the interpretive key into the texts they wrote and which fell into the hands of Abraham: the key to the texts might well have been the experience of revelation that builds like a crescendo from the experiences right in this first chapter of Abraham. If this is a justified reading, then it seems that the records of the fathers might well have been precisely what pressed Abraham on to seek revelation: certainly profound, but uninterpretable, Abraham saw in the records a sort of call to seek further light and understanding; he heard a call to "translate" (if that word may be used here) the records of the fathers. This interpretation reads a sort of dialectical relation between the records of the fathers and the revelatory experiences of Abraham: they fueled each other, led to each other, interpreted each other, etc. This certainly seems to account for Abraham's complete lack of documentation (so far as we have the Book of Abraham): apparently he did not separate the task of reading the records from the experience of revelation. (For another scriptural account that does not seem to draw this distinction, see Alma 36, where Alma's moment of conversion is also the culmination of his reading of the story recorded in 1 Ne 1.)

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Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 1:28-31: Records. Given that Abraham's father seemed to be a follower of other Gods (Abr 1:5-7), how might Abraham have come across these records?
  • Abr 1:31: The fathers, even the patriarchs. Who is this referring to? Melchezidek? Noah? Enoch? Adam? Others? Why does he refer to them as both fathers and patriarchs?
  • Abr 1:31: Therefore. What is the connection between these two items: 1) Abraham has the records of the fathers concerning the right of the Priesthood, 2) Abraham keeping a knowledge of the beginning of creation and of astronomy and writing those down for the benefit of his posterity? Why does Abraham join these two statements with therefore?

Resources[edit]

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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.



Previous page: Verses 1:21-27                              Next Page: Verses 2:1-16

Talk:Abr 1:26-31

Gen 15:1-5

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


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Summary[edit]

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Discussion[edit]

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  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 15:1-5

Gen 15:6-10

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 15:6-10

Gen 15:11-15

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 15:11-15

Gen 15:16-21

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
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This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 15:16-21

Gen 16:1-5

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 16:1-5

Gen 16:6-10

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 16:6-10

Gen 16:11-16

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 16:11-16

Gen 17:1-5

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 17:1-5

Gen 17:6-10

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 17:6-10

Gen 17:11-15

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 17:11-15

Gen 17:16-20

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 17:16-20

Gen 17:21-27

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 11c-19 / Verses 11:27-19:38
Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:1: ...a land.. "The land" may be a more appropriate translation here than "a land." (See David J reference below.) Compare the similar wording of Boaz's description of Ruth in Ruth 2:11.
  • Gen 11:3: Families. The Hebrew word mishpachah is variously taken to mean clan, family, tribe, people, nation, guild, species, or kind. It occurs frequently in Gen 10 when the generations of Noah are given, as well as in Ex 6 when the genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is given.
  • Gen 11:5: And Lot and all their substance. Compare this phrase with Gen 13:1, 5-6 where the order is reversed, "...and all that he had, and Lot with him". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham after departing Haran. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:1: And all that he had, and Lot with him. Compare this phrase with Gen 12:5 where the order is reversed, "...and Lot his bother's son and all their substance". The change in order suggests that Lot fell out of favor with Abraham sometime after departing Haran and before his return from Egypt to the Holy Land. (See Leibowitz reference below.)
  • Gen 13:5-6: Why did Lot and Abram separate? Ramban suggests that the phrase "the land was not able to bear them" (v. 6) in conjunction with the reference to flocks and herds (v. 5) implies that there was a quarrel over limited fields for grazing. The Midrash Rabbah and the Pesikta Rabbati claim the quarrel here is about deeper moral principles, such as those described in Gen 18:19. (See Liebowitz reference below for quotes; see also Gen 13:11-12.)
  • Gen 13:11-12: And Lot journeyed east. Rashi suggests that the phrase "journeyed east" (naca' and qedem) is a play on words, also meaning "departed the first" implying a departure from God. According to the Midrash, Lot did not like the moral prohibition against stealing that Abraham believed in, so Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", heading toward Sodom both literally and morally, knowing that it was a wicked place. (See Leibowitz reference below; see also Gen 13:5-6.)
  • Gen 13:17: Walk through the land. According to the Word Biblical Commentary (see Comments for v. 17), this phrase "probably represents a symbolic appropriation of the land. By so doing Abram would legally take possession of it" (an additional reference is given).
  • Gen 14: Melchizedek in the JST. This would be a good place for viewing and adding commentary/questions to the JST in the back of the Bible.
  • Gen 15:10: Divided. This is probably not referring to animal sacrifice, but refers to a symbolic act that seals a treaty. The symbolism is such that the contracting parties accept the covenant obligations and will accept the fate of the animals if the obligations are not fulfilled. The Lord spells out this symbolism more graphically in Jer 34:17-20. See verse 17 for the symbolism of passing between the pieces. (For more discussion, see the Nahum Sarna reference below.)
  • Gen 15:13: This verse probably refers to the children of Israel going to Egypt (Gen 46:6) and then essentially becoming slaves there (Ex 1:11).
  • Gen 15:14: That nation will I judge. This probably refers, at least in part, to the ten plagues inflicted upon Egypt (Ex 7-11).
  • Gen 15:17: Smoking furnace and burning lamp. The smoking furnace and burning lamp are likely symbolic of God (cf. Ex 3:2, 13:23, 14:24, 19:18, 24:16ff, 40:33 and 38; Num 10:34, 14:14). According to Nahum Sarna (see reference below), "It is generally believed that when the contracting parties passed between the severed pieces they thereby accepted the covenant obligations and invoked upon themselves the fate of the animals if the terms of the pact were violated" (p. 126). It is interesting here that only God (symbolically) passes between the animals. As Sarna explain, "[T]he covenant complketely lacks . . . mutuality. It is a unilateral obligation assumed by Godwithout any reciprocal responsibilities being imposed upon Abraham. The use of established legal forms of treaty-making to express such a situation is a dramatic way of conveying the ummutable nature of the divine promise" (p. 127). See also Gen 15:10 and Jer 34:17-20.
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. The title translated as Almighty God here is the Hebrew El Shaddai--Shaddai being used most frequently as a name for God in the book of Job (31 references).
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. The Hebrew term "tamiym" is translated here as "perfect", but is translated as "without blemish" almost 40 times in Numbers and Leviticus. Some modern scholars translate the word as "blameless."
  • Gen 17:1: Elohim. The word translated as God in verse 3 is the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Gen 17:1: Textual criticism. Many biblical scholars consider this story to be part of the E (for Elohim) tradition of Northern Israel, where God is consistently referred to as Elohim. Later, when the J (for Jehovah) traditions are brought together with these stories, the writers tried to equate Elohim with Jehovah (see Ex 6:3).
Almighty God. The title El Shaddai (Almighty God) appears only in writings that are thought to predate the Deuteronomistic reforms starting in the time of King Josiah (see list here). It is a curious term, as shad is Hebrew for women's breasts, and may be related to the Hebrew shuwd (destruction). The use of this name for Elohim is usually either used in a context of either fertility or destruction (see especially its former connotation in connection with breasts in Gen 49:25).
The title Almighty also occurs 11 times in the Book of Mormon--which was written by the descendents of Lehi, who left Jerusalem before the Bible was fully re-edited by the Deuteronomist reformers. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the title is used 10 times, see especially D&C 20:21 where the title refers to God the Father, and D&C 20:24 where Christ is given Heavenly Father's "almighty" power.
  • Gen 17:7: Everlasting. The Hebrew word `owlam ("everlasting") seems to come from the word `alam which means "hidden." The connection seems to be that which is everlasting extends beyond one's site into the past and/or the future.
  • Gen 17:3-7: JST. The Joseph Smith Translation of Gen 17:3-7 adds a whole new dimension to God's conversation with Abraham. In the JST, God discusses the wickedness of the people and how they have turned away from the gospel ordinances--including "mine anointing" and baptism. God expressly equates baptism to a ceremonial burial here, reaffirming the symbolic nature of baptism and its relationship to the resurrection of the dead. God also states that the people had started to worship Abel as a Christ figure.
  • Gen 18:18-19:25: Why Sodom was ripe for destruction. For a discussion of when the Lord destroys the wicked, and how the destruction of Sodom illustrates and is consistent with that principle, see the discusssion at Hel 13:14.
  • Gen 19:8-10. Verses 8-10 are substantially reinterpreted in the Joseph Smith Translation: "And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him. And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughters also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes; For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, let me plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these men ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door."

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 15:6: Counted it to him for righteousness? What does Abraham do that is counted as righteousness? believing the Lord? if so why is this believing explicitly "counted to him for righteousness"? (See similar wording in Jacob 4:5 and Ps 106:31; also compare Paul's discussion of this passage in Rom 4)
  • Gen 15:8: Sign-seeking? Although in verse 6 we are told that Abraham "believed in the Lord," and that this was counted unto Abraham "for righteousness," here it seems Abraham is asking for some sort of sign or further evidence to support his belief regarding the inheritance of the land. Is this verse evidence that Abraham's faith is somewhat ambivalent—that is, strong regarding the promise to have seed but not strong regarding inheritance in the land? What is going on here? Cf. Isa 7:12 where it seems Ahaz may be rationalizing not asking for a sign when he should be asking for a sign as Hezekiah does in Isa 38:22, which seems to be a commendable action in that case. Nevertheless, sign-seeking seems a problem in Luke 1 where Zechariah is struck dumb, and in Alma 32 where Alma contrasts sign-seeking with faith. (See also discussion here regarding potential positive aspects to sign-seeking in the Gospels.)
  • Gen 17:1: Almighty God. Who is the Almighty God speaking to Abraham here?
  • Gen 17:1: Perfect. How does the command to be "perfect" in the Abrahamic tradition compare to the concept of perfection (being without spot) in the Mosaic tradition? Are they different? Can we see the Lord repeating this command during his earthly ministry as a restoration of a lost principle?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 11:27-32: Noah and Abram parallels. Cassuto notes that here we are given a genealogy similar to that found in chapter 5: "And just as in chapter v the genealogy in the tenth generation reaches Noah, the father of the new, post-diluvian humanity, so here the pedigree in the tenth generation gives us Abram-Abraham, the founder of the Israelite microcosm, which parallels the macrocosm of all mankind." (Commentary on Genesis II by Umberto Cassuto, p. 250). The description of Abraham being "chosen before [he was] born" in Abr 3:23 suggests his being born in the tenth generation like Noah may not be just coincidence.
  • Gen 15:9. Pastor Ray Stedman proposes that the heifer symbolizes patience and strength, the she-goat symbolizes nourishment or refreshment of soul, the ram symbolizes power or might in warfare, that the birds symbolize gentleness and grace, and that the age of the animals being three years old is significant because the public ministry of Jesus Christ was three years.
  • Gen 15:9. Kurt Neumiller says that, according to traditions of the time, animals that were three years old were considered fit for work. "Thus," he continues, "the symbolism is if one failed to be fit for the task laid before them they would be cut up even as the animals were. Compare this with the likening of Israel to draft animals in 1 Kgs 7:25 and Hosea 8:9."
  • Gen 15:9. Matthew Henry suggests that the animals were three years old "because then they were at their full growth and strength: God must be served with the best we have, for he is the best."
  • Gen 15:9. John Gill provides a very complete discussion of this verse. He suggests that the number three here (three years old and three animals, not including the birds) may represent the three complete centuries that Abraham's posterity will have to suffer. Gill also reports that Jewish writers have suggested the animals represent different monarchies, for example: the heifer, the Babylonian monarchy; the goat, Media (or Persia) or Crecia; and the ram, Grecia. Gill also suggests that the animals represent the following good and bad qualities of Abraham's posterity: the heifer, hard-working, long-suffering, and stubborn (cf. Hosea 4:16); the goat, vicious and lustful; the ram, strong and courageous; and the birds, innocent and harmless.
  • Gen 17:3: JST and pre-Christian baptism. The JST of these verses suggests that God makes a covenant with Abraham because others have not observed the ordinance of baptism correctly. Michael Ash has posted a discussion of B.C.E. baptisms 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-25a                      Next page: Chapter 20-25a

Talk:Gen 17:21-27

Gen 21:1-5

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 21:1-5

Gen 21:6-10

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 21:6-10

Gen 21:11-15

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 21:11-15

Gen 21:16-20

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 21:16-20

Gen 21:21-25

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 21:21-25

Gen 21:26-30

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 21:26-30

Gen 21:31-34

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 21:31-34

Gen 22:1-5

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 22:1-5

Gen 22:6-10

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 22:6-10

Gen 22:11-15

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 22:11-15

Gen 22:16-20

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 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.




Previous page: Chapters 11c-19                      Next page: Chapter 25b-35

Talk:Gen 22:16-20

Gen 22:21-24

Home > The Old Testament > Genesis > Chapters 11c-25a > Chapters 20-25a / Verses 20:1-25:11
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Summary[edit]

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Discussion[edit]

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  • Gen 20:2: Abimelech. The name Abimelech seems to mean "my father is mlk." The Hebrew letters mlk can mean either be vocalized as melek or malak to mean "king," there is also an ancient deity known as Molech (or Moloch, Malik, Malku, Malki) who is strongly associated with child sacrifice, esp. of firstborns (the Anchor Bible Dictionary has a good entry on this). Given the explicit discussion of human sacrifice in Abr 1, this way of thinking about Abimilech's name suggests rich possibilities for a Mormon interpretation of Abraham's relationship with Abimelech, as well as for thinking about the possible significance of Christ as both the Firstborn sacrificed and King/Annointed One.
What I find also very thought-provoking is the whole tradition of kings in Hebrew and Nephite culture. That is, although Abimelech in Judges and Samuel in 1 Sam seem to suggest that kings come from negative, outside influences, later it seems that kings are generally a good thing--except the intriguing discussions in the Book of Mormon about the danger of unrighteous kings and subsequent motivation for . . . well, democracy.
I was thinking about this recently because Remi Brague briefly discusses in The Law of God the Hebrew separation between kings and priests. Brague talks in terms of there being a sort of tension in Hebrew tradition between "nostalgia for an earlier period, either that of nomadic life in the desert or that of "liberty" under the Judges" (p. 32), and a "messianic dream" that is "held within a tension between "the pre-political and the meta-political, if not laminated between the two" (p. 32). I worry that this view underplays the role that a yearning for the golden period under King David had in Hebrew thought (I'm thinking maybe Brueggemann discusses this a bit in chapter 2 of his Theology of the Old Testament which I'm also currently reading...).
Anyway, this relationship between kings and blood-sacrifice is a very new idea to me, but it seems interesting, if not promising.
  • 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.
  • Gen 24: Isaac and Rebekah as the bridegroom and bride. This story can be interpreted symbolically in which Isaac as the bridegroom represents Christ, the servant represents a prophet who calls people to come to Christ, and Rebekah represents the ideal bride or follower of Christ who immediately heeds the call to follow Christ and does not tarry (compare Matt 8:21-22 let the dead bury the dead). 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. We are all, male and female, the bride to Christ. Isaac also symbolically represents Christ when offered in sacrifice by his father Abraham. (Gen 22; discussion). Regarding the symbolism of the bride and bridegroom generally, see the discussion of the bride and bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb in connection with Matt 25:1-13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins).
  • Like Tamar and Bathsheba, Rebekah later took an active role in the birthright succession.

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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]

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