I’m participating in Disciple Bible Study, a 34 week intensive. For five days, we have different readings. I have decided to document my initial noticings from a close reading of the scripture. Well, an attempt at a close reading.
Week 4 Theme: Covenant
Week 4, Reading 1: Genesis 18-23
- Chapter 18, Son Promised to Abraham and Sarah
- v. 6 - Abraham says to Sarah, "measure flour, knead it, and make bread." Really? What man says this? Isn't it more natural to say "Make some bread, Sarah!" *rolls eyes a little*
- v. 7 - Get a calf and prep it for dinner and serve it. How long does it take for this process to happen? I can't imagine this can be done quickly.
- v. 12 - Sarah laughs. And denies it. And God calls her on it. I think God is joking with her. And remember that Abraham laughed first when God first tells him he's going to have children. (see yesterday's notes).
- v. 17 - God is hiding from Abraham? Really?
- v. 19 - Is this the covenant: "by doing righteousness and justice?"
- v. 21 - Really? God has to "go down and see" Sodom? I know...the worldview was different back then.
- v. 23 - 33 - Abraham, the master negotiator. What a crack up.
- Chapter 19: Sodom and Gomorrah and Moab and Ammon
- v. 5 - yeah, sure. The men want to "know" the visitors. Tsk tsk.
- v. 8 - Lot offers his daughters. Well, then. Lot should go up in smoke with the rest of them.
- v. 9 - They "press hard against Lot." Hmm.
- v. 30 - 38 - Lot's daughters get pregnant by getting Lot drunk.
- Chapter 20: Abraham and Sarah at Gerar
- OK. Now Sarah is a jillion years old and past menopause. How can she still be so beautiful that Abraham has to try this trick again? I am assuming a conflation of stories.
- I think it is significant that God goes to Pharoah earlier and to Abimilech now and communicates directly with them. Bypassing Abraham altogether.
- v. 16 - Abimilech still calling Abraham "brother" at almost the end of the story.
- Chapter 21: Birth of Isaac / Ishmael and Hagar sent away
- v. 1 - this is a promise or covenant directly with Sarah.
- v. 8 - Isaac weaned. So about two? That makes Ishmael at least 15? He was 13 at the initial circumcision.
- v. 10 - Sarah says that Ishmael won't inherit along with Isaac. Well then. Yes he will. God takes care of that.
- v. 13 - Another promise to make a nation of Ishmael. Is this the second or third time this is stated?
- v. 15 - 19 - This sounds like Ishmael is a baby. He has to be about 15. What is true? Is this a conflation with the story where Hagar goes into the desert escaping Sarah when she was pregnant? Maybe some mashing up of stories.
- v. 20 - God was with the boy. Just sayin.'
- Chapter 22: Sacrifice of Isaac
- v. 2 - "Take your son, your only son Isaac." Yeah. Only son. *rolls eyes a little bit* It is pretty clear to me that Abraham is very concerned about Ishmael throughout the story. He clearly loves Ishmael as well as Isaac.
- I wonder how old Isaac was. Seems articulate. But he is tied up easily. Seems weird to do that with an older child.
- v. 12 - God is looking for fear?
- v. 17 - Statement of the covenant again. Seems to be about two things. God will bless Abraham's offspring and Abraham's offspring are to bless the world by being just and righteous.
- Chapter 23: Sarah's Death and Burial
- v. 11-16 - Only the great bargainer, Abraham, could make someone's death funny. Read it out loud with dramatic voices for Ephron and Abraham. It is hilarious. Like two very polite people bargaining over who is going to pay the check in a restaurant. *chuckle*