THE EXEGESIS OF THE GIVEN TEXTS IN THE BIBLE
1. THE CALLING OF ABRAHAM
Genesis 12: 1-9
Now the Lord said to Abraham, go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
So Abraham went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abraham was 75 years old when he departed from Haran. He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev. Exegesis:
The simple premise of not destroying humanity again became YHWH’s prelude of restoring the wicked humanity by preparing the way for the establishment of YHWH’s chosen people, Israel and focusing on the story of a man named Abram, later known as Abraham, and the origin of YHWH’s chosen nation Israel, from him. Thus it is said that Genesis contains a lot of “eponymous writings” because the biblical character explains “the origin of a tribe or nation from a specific person or hero. The text above reveal that it was Terah, Abraham’s father, who had initially received YHWH’s calling to settle in Canaan, the promise land; but for certain reasons, which are not explicitly provided by the texts, Terah chose to live in Haran. It was only later, after Terah’s death, that Abraham heeded YHWH’s invitation to journey to Canaan. Some texts in Genesis, however, seem to be divergent as to the place of origin of Abraham. Repeatedly in Genesis 12.1 speaks of blessing and promise as a dominating theme between YHWH and Abraham.
Promise of Offspring
Genesis 18: 11-12
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
(In another chapter of Genesis)
‘Looks towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to them, ‘So shall your descendants be’
In this verses lies the greatness of faith and trust in the Lord and it’s reward. Abraham would eventually be granted with this promise but not accompanying tension, and eventually, rewarding surprise. Simultaneously, the Genesis narrative also established the unique vocation of Israel as YHWH’s chosen people. And as the legitimate inheritor of the promises given to Abraham.
But Sarah seemed to be desperate. One Day, she spoke to Abraham: “You see that the Lord has prevented me from bearing children; go into my slave girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her’. And Abraham listened to her.
Based on contemporary moral standards, the situation appeared to be very controversial, and may be immoral but not to an ancient Hurrian custom wherein a legal wife may demand from her legal servant a child if she fails to conceive for her husband. From such custom, the Egyptian servant Hagar is obliged to fulfil her duty towards her barren mistress, Sarah. Abraham, on the other hand, simply obeyed and give justice to her barren wife; so he slept with Hagar, who then gave birth to Ishmael.
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