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Blogging the Bible, Day 5
January 6, 2007 — 8:56 pm

Yahweh’s Promise

Abraham was getting a little worried. He was getting on in age and had no son to carry on his bloodline. He asked the Lord:

LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

The Lord God had a solution. He told Abraham that his prodigy would be as numerous as the stars above him. He also reminded Abraham that He was giving him the very land he resided on for himself and all his posterity.

“But, Lord”, Abraham inquired, “How will I know that you are telling the truth”?

As cranky as God was in the Old Testament, you would think that the very act of questioning the Lord would have earned a smiting or two. Instead, the Lord instructed Abraham to:

Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

After the slaughter, Abraham fell into a deep sleep and the Lord came unto him in a dream. He told Abraham that for four hundred years, his descendants would find themselves slaves in an unfamiliar land. But, not to worry, the Lord God would judge this land harshly and they would be set free in the fourth generation.

After the Lord had said this (in Abraham’s dream), a smoking furnace and a burning lamp magically made its way between the cleaved carcasses late of Abraham’s handy work. Thus, a covenant between Abraham and the Lord was sealed.

Though this particular chapter of Genesis is important since it sets up the “Set my people free” moment later on in the Bible, it is not really all that convincing. Abraham sacrifices some animals, falls asleep and dreams of God; where, of course, God tells him is future.

If I didn’t know any better, I would think I was reading the Iliad.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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