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Unformatted text preview: Old testament 2-20-08 **google “Steve A. Wiggins” for handouts Ancestral Traditions Main body of Genesis- Main point of genesis is to introduce ancestors of Israel o Genesis tries to explain how Israel came to be as a nation and… o If ancestors of Israel are from Mesopotamia, how did they end up in Egypt?- Oldest age is now less than 200 years- No more world-wide events or disasters (much more localized, family story)- 12-50 are built around 3 cycles o biblical story focuses on men – patriarchal society o First cycle Abraham/Sarah • First recognized ancestor of Israel o Second cycle Jacob/Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, Zilpah (<all 4 of his spouses) o Third cycle Joseph- Family Tree of Genesis o It all begins with Terah (Mesopotamian) He has son, Abraham; daughter Sarah; and Haran Abraham and Sarah are half-brother and sister Ishmael is Abraham’s first son (with Hagar) Isaac was his son via Sarah. • Isaac marries his cousin Rebekah and they have two kids; Esau and Jacob- 12 Tribes of Israel – know Major ones in Bold o Reuben o Simeon o Levi o Judah royal tribe of south o Dan o Naphtali o Gad o Asher o Issachar o Zebulun o Joseph (later Manasseh and Ephraim) – royal tribe of North o Benjamin-- Tribal listings are all inconsistent … example Book of Judges lists Gilead as a tribe but it is not recognized as one as it was a location Abraham and Sarah- Foundational ancestors of Israel and neighbors- Two main themes o 1 - Struggle for Faith Abraham is born in Mesopotamia (they believe in 2 Gods) In ancient world, you were born into a country and you served God of that country (each country had a God >>> no universal God who had control over everyone) • He feels that God or something is following him everywhere o 2 - Covenant Theme In ancient world, most people do not setup covenants with God Also, there was a promise made to Abraham to give him land • narrative tension exists - Abraham and Sarah’s Story o They leave Mesopotamia for Canaan based on God’s instruction to Abraham Abraham is never told name of God but this introduces faith> he is trusting what God is telling him to do Canaan promised to them and their descendants • 2 problems o 1 - Sarah can’t have children (no descendants for land) In ancient world, they thought woman was passive in child birth > man’s ejaculate was actually believed to be a living child so if he could ejaculate, it wasn’t his fault they couldn’t get pregnant, but hers (when a couple can’t have child, it is always woman’s fault) But they are also tool old to have any children o 2 - There are already people living in Canaan • Covenant – a legally binding agreement between a superior power (God) and an inferior power (Abraham), nothing else o This covenant is threatened throughout the story This is their dramatic tension Abraham passes Sarah of as his sister to the Philistine King • Everytime Abe says to Sarah pretend my sister, the covenant is threatened b/c...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course RELIGION Old Testam taught by Professor Wiggins during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.
- Spring '08