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Author Topic: A Journey Thru Genesis  (Read 3320 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #130 on: April 10, 2019, 08:14:30 am »
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● Gen 17:15 . . And God said to Abraham: As for your wife Sarai, you shall not call her Sarai, but her name shall be Sarah.

Sarah's original name was Saray (saw-rah'-ee) which means: dominative.

Webster's defines "dominative" as: to exert the supreme determining or guiding influence on-- in other words: bossy. Dominative isn't a desirable female personality; assertive and controlling isn't something for a truly spiritual woman to be proud of.

Sarah (saw-raw') means: a female noble; such as a Lady, a Princess, or a Queen. It's much preferable for a woman to be known as a lady or a princess than as a dominatrix.

Changing Sarai's name didn't actually change her personality; but it certainly reflected her new God-given purpose. It was like a promotion to knighthood. The child she would produce for Abraham became a very important, world-renowned human being out of whom came kings and statesmen; and ultimately the savior of the world.

If I were required to pick just one woman in the Bible to venerate, it wouldn't be Christ's mom; no, it would be Isaac's mom. Sarah is the supreme matriarch over every one of the Messianic mothers who came after her.

● Gen 17:16 . . I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she shall give rise to nations; rulers of peoples shall issue from her.

Sarah now had a calling from God just like her slavette Hagar; who herself was given a calling from God on the road to Shur. Sarah's calling was not much of a calling. She wasn't called to go off to some foreign country as a missionary, nor to open and operate hostels and orphanages in impoverished lands, nor head up a local chapter of the March Of Dimes, nor muster an army like a Joan of Arc. All in the world Sarah had to do for God was just be Isaac's mom.

I once heard a story about a lady who summarily announced to her pastor that God called her to preach. The pastor thought for a second and then inquired: Do you have any children? She answered: Yes. So he said: My; isn't that wonderful? God called you to preach and already gave you a congregation.

Motherhood isn't a marginal calling. It is a serious calling that carries tremendous responsibility, because the hands that rock the cradles quite literally do rule the world. A mother can either ruin a child's potential or enhance it; she can raise a decent human being, or raise a sociopathic monster.

The media typically focuses on physical child abuse while usually overlooking the kind caused by mental cruelty. There are children out there whose self esteem and sense of worth are in the toilet just by being in the home of a thoughtless mother.

One child can enrich the lives of millions of people, and it's the moms who bring them into the world, pick their boogers, change their dydees, teach them how to brush their teeth and say their prayers, stay up late with their fevers, get them in for their shots, pack them off to school, take them to the park, drive them to ToysRus a thousand times, and cry at their weddings.

The dads have it easy. It's the moms who really pay the price for a child's future. But a mom can just as easily destroy her child's future by abuse and neglect. There are moms who have about as much love for their children as a dirty sock or a broken dish; and regard them just as expendable.

But Sarah won't be like that. When she gets done with Isaac, he will be a well adjusted grown-up having a genuine bond of love and trust with his mom and zero gender issues with women. Isaac will see in Sarah the very kind of girl he would like to marry; and when that one does come along, he won't let her get away.

● Gen 17:17 . . Abraham threw himself on his face and laughed, as he said to himself: Can a child be born to a man a hundred years old, or can Sarah bear a child at ninety?

God had previously promised Abraham an heir but this is the first time He actually specified who the biological mother would be. Was Abraham skeptical? Not this time. No; he just thought it was hilarious for two old sag-bottomed, bloated cod-fish gasbags like he and Sarah to have children. In other words: You've gotta be kidding!

"Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-- since he was about a hundred years old --and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." (Rom 4:19-21)

Mark Twain once remarked that faith is believin' what you know ain't so. Well; that probably doesn't apply to Abraham because the Bible says he was "persuaded" which is quite a bit different than faith in something for which you have no good reason to believe is true.
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« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 08:16:03 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #131 on: April 11, 2019, 09:31:34 am »
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● Gen 17:18 . . And Abraham said to God: If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!

Ishmael is sometimes thought of as a sort of red-headed step child, but I tend to think that Abraham really did love the boy. I can see that love at work here when Abraham requested God's providence for him lest he become marginalized and forgotten.

● Gen 17:19a . . God said: Nevertheless, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son,

God had nothing personal against Ishmael; but he was not quite what The Lord had in mind for the covenant's future. The one to perpetuate it had to be special; viz: he couldn't be a "wild-burro of a man" nor "his hand against every man's hand". In other words: God much preferred a peaceable man; and not only peaceable, but also a man who respected God's spiritual values.

● Gen 17:19b . . and you shall name him Isaac;

Isaac's name is Yitschaq (yits-khawk') which means: laughter or mirth; sometimes in a bad way such as mockery. In other places in the Old Testament, he goes by the name of Yischaq (yis-khawk') which means: he will laugh, or, he thinks it's funny. (perhaps as a memorial to Abraham's mirth at hearing the news of Sarah's imminent pregnancy.)

● Gen 17:19c . . and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come.

Much of the covenant is of little interest to the average Gentile; but one portion of it is very significant. It's this:

"And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen 22:18)

The blessing is generally related to the people of Israel.

"Salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:22)

And specifically related to Christ.

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1John 2:2)

● Gen 17:20 . . As for Ishmael, I have heeded you. I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.

That quite literally came true. Ishmael really did engender twelve chieftains. (Gen 25:12-16)

I don't know why so many people seem to think that Ishmael was only so much trash to throw out and discard, like as if he were second-hand dish water or something. No one should ever forget that he was Abraham's flesh and blood; his first son and Abraham really loved that boy. God blessed him too; and took care of him. He was circumcised in Abraham's home, which made him a permanent member of Abraham's community; so modern Arabs do have a legitimate claim to Abraham as their patriarch; but of course they have no such claim upon Isaac, or upon Isaac's blessings.

● Gen 17:21a . . But My covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.

Looks like the Abrahams will be going shopping for a crib, a stroller, and a car seat. Nothing like news of a baby to make the daddies start looking at their budgets.

● Gen 17:22 . . And when He was done speaking with him, God was gone from Abraham.

Don't you just hate it when a supervisor lays down the law and then turns on their heel and leaves the room? It immediately tells everyone that their boss's agenda is not open to discussion.

● Gen 17:23 . .Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, and all his home-born slaves and all those he had bought, every male in Abraham's household, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins on that very day, as God had spoken to him.

That was well over 300 grown men; not counting boys. (Gen 14:14)

● Gen 17:24-27 . . Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. Thus Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on that very day; and all his household, his home-born slaves and those that had been bought from outsiders, were circumcised with him.

Abraham was typically very prompt and did things in a timely manner. Trouble is; every male in camp was disabled all at once. Thank goodness nobody attacked right then or the PowerPuff Girls would have been forced to man the guns.


NOTE: Ishmael was thirteen when he was circumcised. It would be another year before Isaac was born, and possibly three after that before Isaac was weaned; making Ishmael at least seventeen or eighteen when Abraham emancipated his mom.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #132 on: April 12, 2019, 08:45:47 am »
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● Gen 18:1a . .The Lord appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre;

The Hebrew word for "appeared" is ra'ah (raw-aw') which doesn't necessarily indicate a visible apparition. The word is really ambiguous. It has several meanings; one of which simply indicates a meeting. That the Lord was present during this meeting is certain but whether He is physically present is uncertain; though not impossible. (cf. Ex 24:9-11)

The three men upon whom we are about to eavesdrop are said by some to be angels; but the Hebrew word for angel is nowhere in the entire narrative.

This visit occurred very shortly after the last one because Isaac wasn't born yet and his birth had been predicted in 17:21 to be little more than a year away.

Mamre's terebinths were a grove of oak trees situated near modern day Hebron about 20 miles south of Jerusalem at an elevation of 3,050 feet above sea level.

● Gen 18:1b-2a . . he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot. Looking up, he saw three men standing near him.

It wouldn't be accurate to think of Abraham's tent as something akin to a hiker/camper's basic portable shelter. Bedouin sheiks lived in pavilions, since they served as the family's home.

The entrance of the tent likely had a large canopy over it like a roofed porch so that Abraham wasn't sitting out in the sun, but rather in the shade. Poor guy's heart must have stopped when he looked up at these three guys just standing there saying nothing. I'm not sure if Abraham was aware at this point that one of those men was Yhvh. So his next reactions are very interesting. They reveal just how hospitable this rich and famous sheik was to total strangers.

● Gen 18:2b-3a . . As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them and, bowing to the ground, he said: My lords,

Abraham was 99 so I don't think he actually sprinted. The word ruwts (roots) can mean either to run or just simply to hurry.

The word for "lords" is from 'adown (aw-done') and/or the shortened 'adon (aw-done') which mean: sovereign (human or divine. 'Adown is a versatile word often used as a courteous title of respect for elders and or superiors; for example Sarah spoke the very same word of her husband at Gen 18:12, Rachel addressed her dad by it at Gen 31:5, and Jacob addressed his brother Esau by 'adown at Gen 33:8.

● Gen 18:3b-5a . . if it please you, do not go on past your servant. Let a little water be brought; bathe your feet and recline under the tree. And let me fetch a morsel of bread that you may refresh yourselves; then go on-- seeing that you have come your servant's way.

There was a custom in the Olde American West that when travelers came by your spread, it was considered neighborly to offer them a meal and some tobacco, along with water and provender for their horses. This sometimes was the only means of support for off-season, unemployed cowboys known as drifters and saddle bums; but what the hey, you took the good with the bad; no questions asked. Traveling was neither a tourist's vacation nor a Sunday drive in Abraham's day. No cushy motels, no gas stations or convenience stores. It was very far in between communities and few people along the way so a camp like Abraham's was a welcome sight in that day.

You can imagine how refreshing it would be on a hot day to soak your feet in a tub of cool water and recline in the shade of a big oak tree. In an era without refrigeration, electric fans, and/or air conditioning, that was just about the best there was to offer. Anyway it all just goes to show that Abraham was a very hospitable man, and really knew how to make people feel at home.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #133 on: April 13, 2019, 08:00:24 am »
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● Gen 18:5b . .They replied: Do as you have said.

There is something here important to note. Although the text says "they" replied, it doesn't mean all three men spoke at once, nor spoke in turn. If only one in a group speaks, and the others are silent, it's understood to mean the others are consensual; and that the one speaks for all if no one objects or has anything to add.

● Gen 18:6-8a . . Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said: Quickly, three seahs of choice flour! Knead and make cakes! Then Abraham hurried to the herd, took a calf, tender and choice, and gave it to a servant-boy, who hastened to prepare it. He took curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared and set these before them;

The word for "calf" is from baqar (baw-kawr') which means: beef cattle or an animal of the ox family; of either gender.

It's interesting that Abraham served beef. In the early days of olde California; the Spanish Franciscans raised cows primarily for their hides and tallow; and found a ready market for those products in the east. Tallow of course was used for candles, soap, and lubricants; and the hides for leather goods like shoes, gloves, saddles, reins, and hats. In those days, pork and fowl were the preferred table meats. It was actually the change-over from pork to relatively cheap Texas longhorn beef that fueled the cattle baron era of the 1800's.

The word for "curds" is from chem'ah (khem-aw') which means: curdled milk, or cheese. Later to come Kosher laws would forbid serving dairy and meat together; but in Abraham's day it didn't matter.

The only ingredient listed for the cakes (which probably resembled English muffins) is choice flour, suggesting that Sarah made them with fresh dough rather than from a batch of dough that's been sitting around for a while.

With a little imagination, one could confect a pretty decent deli sandwich from what Abraham put on their plates. Anyway, all this took an appreciable amount of time; like preparing a thanksgiving dinner from scratch; including butchering the turkey. Plus, they cooked in those days by means of open flame and/or wood-fired ovens so it's not like Abraham served the men packaged meals warmed up in a microwave oven.

Poor Sarah; she must have been stressed due to the unexpected guests messing up her daily routine. She probably hadn't planned to do any serious cooking that day till later on towards evening when it was cooler. Women of that day literally did slave over a hot stove, and many still do today in parts of the world. In point of fact, the September 2017 issue of National Geographic Magazine contains an article about this very thing.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #134 on: April 14, 2019, 07:25:54 am »
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● Gen 18:8b . . and he waited on them under the tree as they ate.

Targum authors-- convinced the men were celestial beings --couldn't believe they would actually partake of food. According to them, the foods were before them, but they didn't actually eat it.

T. and [Abraham] served before them, and they sat under the tree; and he quieted himself to see whether they would eat. (Targum Jonathan)

In major English versions of the Hebrew Bible-- e.g. The JPS and the Stone --Gen 18:8 is translated "they ate". It isn't translated that Abraham stood by to see if they would eat, nor is it translated they pretended to eat, nor that they appeared to eat. Genesis is quite clear: the men actually dined on the food that Abraham set before them. (cf. Chabad.org)

● Gen 18:9a . .They said to him: Where is your wife Sarah?

So far, Sarah has been hearing about her impending child only from her husband. But now, the speaker is intent that she should hear the news from somebody a little higher up the food chain.

● Gen 18:9b . . And he replied: There, in the tent.

At this point, the speaker no doubt intentionally raised his voice a bit to ensure little Miss Eavesdropper would hear what he had to say.

● Gen 18:10 . .Then one said: I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!

Some versions read: "The Lord said". But the word  Yhvh is nowhere in the Hebrew of that verse.


NOTE: Some translations of the Bible are not purely translations. They're actually amalgams of translation + interpretation. Caveat Lector

So on the face of it, the stranger is making two predictions. 1) he'll be back around again, and 2) Sarah is going to have a son.

● Gen 18:11 . . Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women.

Some things can't be postponed indefinitely.

"To everything there is a season: a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecc 3:1)

There is a time in life for children: if it's missed, there's no going back and making up for lost time. Many an independent woman has been painfully awakened by her biological clock-- putting off children to get ahead in her career, and then one day; it's either too late, too inconvenient, or too difficult.

Let's say that a girl puts off conception until she's, say; 32-34. Think about that. By the time her first child is ready for kindergarten, she'll be pushing 40. Mothers that old could actually be classified as late bloomers because the average age of first-time mothers, depending upon where they live, is around 20-24; and in many cultures; it's a lots earlier than that. Let me tell you something that should go without saying: it's much easier to be a young mother than an old one.

And age makes a difference for the children too. As women age, their minds mature bringing them ever closer to that dreaded generation gap; viz: it is much easier for a young mother to relate to her young children than an older woman; who oftentimes can no longer hear the bell, if you know what I mean.

Some things wait for no man. Sunset is one of those things. Relentlessly, hour upon hour, the sun moves across the sky towards its inevitable rendezvous with the western horizon. Our lives are just like that. Sunrise - Sunset. Game over.

● Gen 18:12a . . And Sarah laughed to herself, saying: Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment

Sarah was no doubt thinking to herself that if this stranger knew how old she was; he wouldn't be making such a ridiculous prediction.

● Gen 18:12b . . with my lord so old?

Actually, at this time in his life; Abraham himself had some problems and probably could benefit from a little Viagra; if you know what I mean. (cf. Rom 4:19, Heb 11:12)

There's another problem associated with the aging process that doesn't get a lot of press these days in an era of older parents. Men aren't born with all their sperm cells at once the way women are born with all their eggs at once. The men's little guys are manufactured fresh on a daily basis, so as men age, their sperm cells are progressively of a lower quality than the previous batch because the men's bodies are deteriorating with age; subsequently there's a higher risk of birth defects in children fathered by aging men.

There's also the reality of a progressively decreasing sperm count in aging men so that even if their little guys are viable, it's increasingly difficult to put enough soldiers on the front lines to win the battle. But even that's only if elderly men's wells haven't run dry; if you know what I mean. The people in Sarah's day probably knew all this by practical life-experience rather than by scientific study and discovery.
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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #135 on: April 14, 2019, 08:35:51 pm »
.
● Gen 18:8b . . and he waited on them under the tree as they ate.

Targum authors-- convinced the men were celestial beings --couldn't believe they would actually partake of food. According to them, the foods were before them, but they didn't actually eat it.

T. and [Abraham] served before them, and they sat under the tree; and he quieted himself to see whether they would eat. (Targum Jonathan)

In major English versions of the Hebrew Bible-- e.g. The JPS and the Stone --Gen 18:8 is translated "they ate". It isn't translated that Abraham stood by to see if they would eat, nor is it translated they pretended to eat, nor that they appeared to eat. Genesis is quite clear: the men actually dined on the food that Abraham set before them. (cf. Chabad.org)

● Gen 18:9a . .They said to him: Where is your wife Sarah?

So far, Sarah has been hearing about her impending child only from her husband. But now, the speaker is intent that she should hear the news from somebody a little higher up the food chain.

● Gen 18:9b . . And he replied: There, in the tent.

At this point, the speaker no doubt intentionally raised his voice a bit to ensure little Miss Eavesdropper would hear what he had to say.

● Gen 18:10 . .Then one said: I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!

Some versions read: "The Lord said". But the word  Yhvh is nowhere in the Hebrew of that verse.


NOTE: Some translations of the Bible are not purely translations. They're actually amalgams of translation + interpretation. Caveat Lector

So on the face of it, the stranger is making two predictions. 1) he'll be back around again, and 2) Sarah is going to have a son.

● Gen 18:11 . . Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women.

Some things can't be postponed indefinitely.

"To everything there is a season: a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecc 3:1)

There is a time in life for children: if it's missed, there's no going back and making up for lost time. Many an independent woman has been painfully awakened by her biological clock-- putting off children to get ahead in her career, and then one day; it's either too late, too inconvenient, or too difficult.

Let's say that a girl puts off conception until she's, say; 32-34. Think about that. By the time her first child is ready for kindergarten, she'll be pushing 40. Mothers that old could actually be classified as late bloomers because the average age of first-time mothers, depending upon where they live, is around 20-24; and in many cultures; it's a lots earlier than that. Let me tell you something that should go without saying: it's much easier to be a young mother than an old one.

And age makes a difference for the children too. As women age, their minds mature bringing them ever closer to that dreaded generation gap; viz: it is much easier for a young mother to relate to her young children than an older woman; who oftentimes can no longer hear the bell, if you know what I mean.

Some things wait for no man. Sunset is one of those things. Relentlessly, hour upon hour, the sun moves across the sky towards its inevitable rendezvous with the western horizon. Our lives are just like that. Sunrise - Sunset. Game over.

● Gen 18:12a . . And Sarah laughed to herself, saying: Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment

Sarah was no doubt thinking to herself that if this stranger knew how old she was; he wouldn't be making such a ridiculous prediction.

● Gen 18:12b . . with my lord so old?

Actually, at this time in his life; Abraham himself had some problems and probably could benefit from a little Viagra; if you know what I mean. (cf. Rom 4:19, Heb 11:12)

There's another problem associated with the aging process that doesn't get a lot of press these days in an era of older parents. Men aren't born with all their sperm cells at once the way women are born with all their eggs at once. The men's little guys are manufactured fresh on a daily basis, so as men age, their sperm cells are progressively of a lower quality than the previous batch because the men's bodies are deteriorating with age; subsequently there's a higher risk of birth defects in children fathered by aging men.

There's also the reality of a progressively decreasing sperm count in aging men so that even if their little guys are viable, it's increasingly difficult to put enough soldiers on the front lines to win the battle. But even that's only if elderly men's wells haven't run dry; if you know what I mean. The people in Sarah's day probably knew all this by practical life-experience rather than by scientific study and discovery.
_


You are spinning a yarn a mile long....Take care,...God is watching...

Blade
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #136 on: April 15, 2019, 07:22:14 am »
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● Gen 18:13-14 . .Then Yhvh said to Abraham: Why did Sarah laugh, saying; Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am? Is anything too wondrous for Yhvh? I will return to you at the time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.

Yhvh didn't quote Sarah verbatim-- He actually paraphrased her words to say what she meant; rather than what she spoke. That's important to note; and tells me that it really isn't all that important to quote Scripture precisely so long as you don't lose, or change, its meanings. There's a lot of that in the New Testament; and certainly in the Targums too.

It isn't said exactly from whence the voice of Yhvh came: whether it was one of the men speaking or a voice in the air. However, Yhvh did show up and do "as He had spoken." (Gen 21:1)

● Gen 18:15a . . Sarah lied, saying; "I didn't laugh" for she was frightened.

Sarah hadn't actually laughed out loud, but "to herself". When she realized that one of the men could read her thoughts, she became nervous: and who wouldn't?

● Gen 18:15b . . But He replied: You did laugh.

Most men would have jumped right to their wife's defense. Abraham had at least 300 armed men in his camp who would do anything he asked; but knowing by now exactly who these men really were, Abraham kept his cool.

The word used to describe Abraham's visitors is 'iysh (eesh) which is a gender-specific word that means: a man as an individual or a male person. It is also the word used to specify the male gender among the animals taken aboard the Ark. (Gen 7:2)

This passage strongly suggests that Abraham and Sarah saw Yhvh as a fully functioning man. As to whether the person they saw was an actual human being or a human avatar; I don't know and I'm afraid to even hazard a guess.

● Gen 18:16 . .The men set out from there and looked down toward Sodom, Abraham walking with them to see them off.

Looking down towards Sodom is probably just another way to say aiming for Sodom.

Many of us just see our visitors out the front door. But, you know, it wouldn't hurt to see them out to their cars too. Maybe even carry a few things for them.

The site of Sodom has never been found. Some believe it was at the south end of the Dead Sea; but that's really only a guess. The destruction was so severe and so complete that it's just impossible now to tell where it was.

● Gen 18:17 . . Now the Lord had said: Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,

Now there's a pretty good yardstick of your standing with God. Do you know what is on His agenda for tomorrow? Me neither. God doesn't confide in me for the slightest thing. I don't even know what brand of toothpaste He uses in the morning let alone His daily schedule.

● Gen 18:18 . . since Abraham is to become a great and populous nation and all the nations of the earth are to bless themselves by him?

Divine purposes for Abraham elevated him to a very high degree of importance above ordinary human beings; and God regarded the old boy not as a servant, but as a member of Yhvh's inner circle of confidants. In point of fact; one of His buddies (Isa 41:8). That is amazing.

● Gen 18:19 . . For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his progeny to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is just and right, in order that the Lord may bring about for Abraham what He has promised him.

In order for Yhvh's statement to be meaningful it has to imply that Abraham possessed a knowledge of what is just and right in harmony with what Yhvh feels is just and right rather than a humanistic knowledge. The US Supreme Court's justices obviously don't have a knowledge of what is just and right in harmony with Yhvh's because they seldom agree on anything and their rulings are opinions rather than absolutes.

Getting all of Abraham's progeny to do what is just and right has been a bit of a challenge for Yhvh down through the centuries. Some have; but typically not all.


NOTE: Yhvh's prediction no doubt included Ishmael, so I wouldn't be surprised if by the time Abraham emancipated his mom, the boy had more of "the way of the Lord" under his belt than quite a few modern pew warmers.
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Bladerunner

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #137 on: April 15, 2019, 09:23:31 am »
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● Gen 18:13-14 . .Then Yhvh said to Abraham: Why did Sarah laugh, saying; Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am? Is anything too wondrous for Yhvh? I will return to you at the time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.

Yhvh didn't quote Sarah verbatim-- He actually paraphrased her words to say what she meant; rather than what she spoke. That's important to note; and tells me that it really isn't all that important to quote Scripture precisely so long as you don't lose, or change, its meanings. There's a lot of that in the New Testament; and certainly in the Targums too.

It isn't said exactly from whence the voice of Yhvh came: whether it was one of the men speaking or a voice in the air. However, Yhvh did show up and do "as He had spoken." (Gen 21:1)

● Gen 18:15a . . Sarah lied, saying; "I didn't laugh" for she was frightened.

Sarah hadn't actually laughed out loud, but "to herself". When she realized that one of the men could read her thoughts, she became nervous: and who wouldn't?

● Gen 18:15b . . But He replied: You did laugh.

Most men would have jumped right to their wife's defense. Abraham had at least 300 armed men in his camp who would do anything he asked; but knowing by now exactly who these men really were, Abraham kept his cool.

The word used to describe Abraham's visitors is 'iysh (eesh) which is a gender-specific word that means: a man as an individual or a male person. It is also the word used to specify the male gender among the animals taken aboard the Ark. (Gen 7:2)

This passage strongly suggests that Abraham and Sarah saw Yhvh as a fully functioning man. As to whether the person they saw was an actual human being or a human avatar; I don't know and I'm afraid to even hazard a guess.

● Gen 18:16 . .The men set out from there and looked down toward Sodom, Abraham walking with them to see them off.

Looking down towards Sodom is probably just another way to say aiming for Sodom.

Many of us just see our visitors out the front door. But, you know, it wouldn't hurt to see them out to their cars too. Maybe even carry a few things for them.

The site of Sodom has never been found. Some believe it was at the south end of the Dead Sea; but that's really only a guess. The destruction was so severe and so complete that it's just impossible now to tell where it was.

● Gen 18:17 . . Now the Lord had said: Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,

Now there's a pretty good yardstick of your standing with God. Do you know what is on His agenda for tomorrow? Me neither. God doesn't confide in me for the slightest thing. I don't even know what brand of toothpaste He uses in the morning let alone His daily schedule.

● Gen 18:18 . . since Abraham is to become a great and populous nation and all the nations of the earth are to bless themselves by him?

Divine purposes for Abraham elevated him to a very high degree of importance above ordinary human beings; and God regarded the old boy not as a servant, but as a member of Yhvh's inner circle of confidants. In point of fact; one of His buddies (Isa 41:8). That is amazing.

● Gen 18:19 . . For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his progeny to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is just and right, in order that the Lord may bring about for Abraham what He has promised him.

In order for Yhvh's statement to be meaningful it has to imply that Abraham possessed a knowledge of what is just and right in harmony with what Yhvh feels is just and right rather than a humanistic knowledge. The US Supreme Court's justices obviously don't have a knowledge of what is just and right in harmony with Yhvh's because they seldom agree on anything and their rulings are opinions rather than absolutes.

Getting all of Abraham's progeny to do what is just and right has been a bit of a challenge for Yhvh down through the centuries. Some have; but typically not all.


NOTE: Yhvh's prediction no doubt included Ishmael, so I wouldn't be surprised if by the time Abraham emancipated his mom, the boy had more of "the way of the Lord" under his belt than quite a few modern pew warmers.
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Why did you add the wording/meaning of the Word of the LORD to show a false reading of these verses. The Lord did tell it like it was. The scripture does not say she 'laughed within' but she 'laughed'. Your leading the reader down a different path. 'A false Path'

You said:"Yhvh didn't quote Sarah verbatim-- He actually paraphrased her words to say what she meant; rather than what she spoke. "  So the Lord Lied here. Rem any degree from the truth is a lie.

Previously you said:"He actually paraphrased her words to say what she meant; rather than what she spoke. That's important to note; and tells me that it really isn't all that important to quote Scripture precisely so long as you don't lose, or change, its meanings. "  How do you know he "Paraphrased" her words.

 In a later sentence you said:"Sarah hadn't actually laughed out loud, but "to herself".

Yet, you are saying she laughed to herself and the scripture does not say that... WHO is changing the WORD of GOD NOW!..You just added something.

I ask you to read very closely, rev 22:18-19


You sir are straying from the WORD of GOD and I hope the reader see this.

Blade

1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #138 on: April 16, 2019, 07:52:23 am »
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● Gen 18:20 . .Then the Lord said: The outrage of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave!

It's true that the people of Sodom indulged in sexual impurity; but that's not the only thing about their manner of life that chafed God.

They weren't just your every-day, average garden variety of sinners. According to Gen 13:13, they were not only very wicked sinners; but very wicked sinners "against The Lord"; in other words: they were insolent; which Webster's defines as: exhibiting boldness or effrontery; viz: impudence.

People like that are defiant to the bone-- they make a point of standing up to others and asserting their independence and they don't care whose feelings get hurt by it.

Some of The Lord's statements, spoken to shame His people, shed additional light on the nature of Sodom's wickedness.

"For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their actions are against The Lord, to rebel against His glorious presence. The expression of their faces bears witness against them, and they display their sin like Sodom; they do not even conceal it." (Isa 3:8-9)

"What I see in the prophets of Jerusalem is something horrifying: adultery and false dealing. They encourage evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. To Me they are all like Sodom, and [all] its inhabitants like Gomorrah." (Jer 23:14)

"Only this was the sin of your sister Sodom: arrogance! She and her daughters had plenty of bread and untroubled tranquility; yet she did not support the poor and the needy. In their haughtiness, they committed abomination before Me; and so I removed them, as you saw." (Ezk 16:49-50)

Sodom is widely reputed for its carnal depravity. but as you can see from those passages above, they were a whole lot more unrighteous than that. One of the most interesting of their sins was that they did nothing to discourage wickedness. They actually applauded evildoers and encouraged them to keep it up. Added to that was arrogance, and a lack of charity-- indifference to the plight of the poor --and haughtiness, dishonesty, partiality, insulting the glory and dignity of God, and bragging about all of it.

Since God had not yet proclaimed any official laws specifically prohibiting the Sodomites' conduct, then He really couldn't prosecute them in that respect. So then, what was His justification for nailing them? It was for the very same attitude that nails everybody; both pre Flood and post-Flood.

"This is the condemnation: that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." (John 3:18-21)

So then, the Sodomites were not only indifferent to God's wishes; but they deliberately avoided knowing them just as Moses' people themselves did in later years to come.

"But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law and the words which The Lord of hosts hath sent in His spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from The Lord of hosts." (Zech 7:11-12)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #139 on: April 17, 2019, 08:18:07 am »
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● Gen 18:21a . . I will go down to see whether they have acted altogether according to the outcry that has reached Me;

The word for "outcry" is from tsa'aqah (tsah-ak-aw') which means: a shriek. The same word was in chapter 4 to describe the cry of Abel's blood from the ground and also in Exodus to describe the cry of Moses' people under the heel of Egyptian slavery.

Have you ever been so annoyed by someone's speaking that you wanted to cover your ears, close your eyes, grit your teeth and just yell out: SHUT. . . UP!

Sodom was so bad that even the Earth itself couldn't tolerate them any longer; it just wanted to cover its ears, close its eyes, grit its teeth and shout ENOUGH ALREADY! Sadly, there are some people of whom it can be honestly said that the world is a much better place without them.

But isn't Yhvh supposed to be omniscient? Then why does He have to go investigate for Himself to see if the reports coming across His desk regarding Sodom are true? And isn't He supposed to be omnipresent? Then why is Yhvh talking as if He hasn't been down to visit Sodom lately? Because . . Abraham wasn't talking to the supreme of all beings in person. He was talking to a celestial messenger with the authority to act on God's behalf: to speak for God, to speak as God, to be spoken to as God, and to use God's name for itself.

The supreme of all beings is remote, and removed; concealed within a forbidden city and intense illumination where nobody can either see Him, approach Him, nor relate to Him, nor even so much as listen to His actual voice. (John 1:18, John 5:37, 1Tim 6:16)

The Old Testament's Yhvh is a most surprising, enigmatic being.

The Old Testament's Yhvh fills Man's need for someone who relates well to Man, and also relates well to the hidden being, so that Man and the inaccessible, hidden being can maintain a viable diplomatic relationship with each other.

Targum authors, at a loss to explain the existence of what they perceived as two persons named Yhvh, labeled the second one "The Word of the Lord God" which is a pretty good expedient since words are used to communicate, and to convey thoughts and ideas. Talmudic writers identified the second Yhvh as the angel Metatron-- a celestial being whose name is his Master's. The New Testament follows the thinking of the Targums in identifying one of the Yhvhs as God's word.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:1-3)

● Gen 18:21b . . if not, I will take note.

Doesn't everyone have a right to face their accuser and defend themselves? Yes. That is one of America's basic human rights; and also a Divine law (Num 35:30, Deut 17:6-7, Deut 19:15). Yhvh can't just act upon rumors and hearsay like some sort of heavenly kangaroo court. No, He has to investigate, and establish the truth of every fact for Himself before moving against Sodom. Their judgment will be fair, and the case against them so air-tight, that even Sodom will have to agree they have whatever's coming to them.

Along that same line; the dead won't go into the flaming sulfur depicted at Rev 20:11-15 without a fair trial. They'll be given ample opportunity to defend themselves; and to know exactly why God feels they deserve to die.

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every thoughtless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matt 12:36-37)

"Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the irreverent of all the irreverent acts they have done in an irreverent way, and of all the harsh words irreverent sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 1:14-15)

The Greek word for "convict" is from elegcho (el-eng'-kho) and means: to confute, to admonish. So nobody will be sent to Hell arbitrarily. The case against them will be made in a summary and professional manner-- evidence will be introduced, and witnesses called for testimony. Yhvh was given reports that the Sodomites were doing bad things; and now He will go and see for Himself if those reports are, in fact, true or not. The Bible's Yhvh is, after all, a rational, objective jurist rather than an emotional, reactive vigilante.

● Gen 18:22 . .The men went on from there to Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before The Lord.

A plausible scenario is that all three men began walking towards Sodom, and then one (earlier identified as Yhvh) stayed behind to conduct a private meeting with Abraham.

The Targums say Abraham interceded for his nephew, but it would appear from the Scripture that he interceded not just for Lot, but also for the citizens of Sodom too. And that's to be expected. After all, Abraham was their savior; the one who rescued them all from that awful Chedorlaomer back in chapter fourteen. He couldn't just sit on his hands now and let them all die without making any effort to save them from the wrath of God.

This is somewhat ironic. It's as if Abraham saved the people from El Ched only to be barbecued in Sodom; viz: sort of like the cops shooting a felon during his arrest, taking him to the hospital to save his life, then hauling him into court after he's well enough to stand trial so he can be given the gas chamber.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #140 on: April 18, 2019, 08:59:06 am »
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● Gen 18:23a . . Abraham came forward

Abraham "came forward" in that he became somewhat assertive in this next scene. He was sort of like a godfather to the Sodomites, in spite of their decadence. That is amazing; yet, is so typical of the really holy men in the Bible to intercede for people who certainly didn't deserve it. (e.g. Ex 32:30-35)

There's nothing intrinsically wrong in taking the initiative to speak with God. After all, if people always waited for God to speak first before they ever said a word in prayer, hardly anybody would talk to God at all. Not that God is shy, it's just that He rarely ever says anything out loud, so a normal person would tend to think The Almighty was indifferent to His creations. But that just isn't true. We know from the Bible that God desires a rapport with everyone.

Some people wait until they're desperate and out of options before turning to God. But it is so insulting to treat God like a spare tire or a First Aid kit. It's better to begin a rapport with Him early, now, before a crisis occurs. (cf. Pro 1:24-33)

● Gen 18:23b . . and said: Will You sweep away the innocent along with the guilty?

The answer to that is of course a resounding YES!

"I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me." (Deut 5:9)


FAQ: How is that fair: holding children responsible for what their parents do?

A: Ex 20:5-- along with Ex 34:7, Num 14:18, and Deut 5:9 --is often construed to mean that children are held responsible for their parents' sins; but that isn't it. What we're looking at here is collateral damage. It is apparently God's prerogative to get back at people by going after their posterity and/or the people they govern.

There's a horrific example of collateral damage located at Num 16:25-34. Another is the Flood. No doubt quite a few underage children drowned in that event due to their parents' wickedness. The same no doubt happened to the children in Sodom and Gomorrah. Ham's punishment for humiliating Noah was a curse upon his son Canaan. And during Moses' face-off with Pharaoh, God moved against the man's firstborn son along with all those of his subjects.

There are times when God chooses to punish people by going after not only themselves; but also the things that pertain to them; including, but not limited to, their progeny. I don't quite understand the logic of that kind of justice; but then again: I don't try; I just go along with it; primarily because it's futile to find fault with God.

Although Lot was living in a very bad environment, and among very bad people who caused him much mental and emotional stress (2Pet 2:4-9) it didn't eo ipso make Lot himself a bad man. In the final analysis, when it was time to make an end of Sodom, God made a difference between Lot and Sodom and got him out before it was too late. It's horrible to contemplate that some civilizations are so far gone that it's necessary to nuke 'em from orbit and start all over from scratch.

● Gen 18:24-25 . . What if there should be fifty innocent within the city; will You then wipe out the place and not forgive it for the sake of the innocent fifty who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to bring death upon the innocent as well as the guilty, so that innocent and guilty fare alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?

I think Abraham's question was more rhetorical than anything else. Of course the Judge of all the earth deals justly; no true man of faith would ever seriously question his maker's integrity.

● Gen 18:26-33 . . And the Lord answered: If I find within the city of Sodom fifty innocent ones, I will forgive the whole place for their sake. Abraham spoke up, saying: Here I venture to speak to my Lord, I who am but dust and ashes: What if the fifty innocent should lack five? Will You destroy the whole city for want of the five? And He answered: I will not destroy if I find forty-five there. But he spoke to Him again, and said: What if forty should be found there? And He answered: I will not do it, for the sake of the forty.

. . . And he said: Let not my Lord be angry if I go on; what if thirty should be found there? And He answered: I will not do it if I find thirty there. And he said: I venture again to speak to my Lord; what if twenty should be found there? And He answered: I will not destroy, for the sake of the twenty. And he said: Let not my Lord be angry if I speak but this last time; what if ten should be found there? And He answered: I will not destroy, for the sake of the ten. When the Lord had finished speaking to Abraham, He departed; and Abraham returned to his place.

I'm guessing Abraham stopped at ten because he assumed there had to be at least that many righteous in Sodom who didn't deserve to die; but according to Peter; he was wrong. There was only one: and that's all there was in Noah's day too. (Gen 7:1)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #141 on: April 19, 2019, 07:41:47 am »
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● Gen 19:1a . . And there came two angels to Sodom

The word for "angels" is from mal'ak (mal-awk') from a root meaning to dispatch as a deputy; viz: a messenger; specifically of God, i.e. an angel and/or a prophet, priest or teacher-- someone who speaks for and/or represents another.

Mal'ak doesn't eo ipso indicate a celestial being; because the word is focused more on an office or a function rather than a person. According to verse 3, these angels were capable of consuming food the same as were Abraham's human guests up in Hebron. According to verse 10, they were gender specific; viz: males. So from all outward appearances, these particular mal'aks were normal, fully functioning human beings.

● Gen 19:1b . . in the evening,

The word for "evening" is 'ereb (eh'-reb) which technically means dusk; which Webster's defines as: the darker part of twilight after sundown. It's the same word as the evenings of Gen 1:5-31.

'ereb is a bit ambiguous. In spite of its technical meaning; 'ereb doesn't eo ipso indicate twilight. It can also indicate any daytime hour between high noon and sunset e.g. Sam 17:16 where Goliath taunted Israel twice a Day-- once in the morning, and once in the afternoon.

On the surface, the two men appear to be ordinary travelers pulling into town for the night after a day's journey. That's a sensible choice. Sodom was walled, and much safer than camping out in the field where they would be vulnerable to brigands and/or wild animals. In those days, the Jordan valley had lions in it and Canaan was still pretty much out on the lawless frontier.

● Gen 19:1c . . as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom.

In those days the gate vicinity was an important civic location where people could pick up the latest news and conduct public business like elections, marriages, notary public, municipal court, rallies, and soap-box speeches. It was in the gate of Bethlehem where Ruth's husband Boaz defended her cause and claimed the woman of Moab for his wife. (Ruth 4)

Lot probably wrapped up every one of his days at the gate before going on home; kind of like an ancient Miller time. Even today, either a newspaper or a television news program caps the day for many men in America.

● Gen 19:1d . .When Lot saw them, he rose to greet them

Don't miss this man's courteous manners. Even living amongst the wickedest people in the whole region, Lot still practiced his uncle's brand of hospitality. No doubt a result of the years he spent under Abraham's wing. Actually Lot was a very good man in spite of his town's reputation. He stood out like a carnation blooming in a landfill.

● Gen 19:1e-2a . . bowing low with his face to the ground, he said: Please, my lords, turn aside to your servant's house to spend the night, and bathe your feet; then you may be on your way early.

Bowing low is both an act of worship and/or deference to one's superiors. The word is shachah (shaw-khaw') the same word used at Gen 22:5 for Abraham's worship during the course of offering his son Isaac as a burnt offering; and during Abraham's bargaining with Heth's kin at Gen 23:7.

The word for "lords" that Genesis' author chose for the messengers is 'adown (aw-done') which is a nondescript title of respect and can apply to ordinary human beings like as in Rachel's respect for her father Laban in Gen 32:35.

Coupled with hospitality, was no doubt Lot's fear for these stranger's safety. Lot knew Sodom, and knew what might happen to those men if they stayed anywhere else but in his home and behind his walls.

Exactly why Lot took an interest in these men's safety isn't stated. It could be that they were gentle and unarmed; thus, by all appearances, easy prey for the town's rather undignified forms of entertainment.

● Gen 19:2b . . But they said: No, we will spend the night in the square.

Their response was most likely a customary refusal, with the intention of accepting Lot's hospitality only after some polite resistance to test the sincerity of his offer. Their response to Lot is somewhat different than the response of the men who visited Abraham. Those accepted Abraham's offer immediately, and without resistance.

● Gen 19:3 . . But he insisted, so they turned his way and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

The Hebrew word for "unleavened" is matstsah (mats-tsaw') which essentially refers to an unfermented cake or loaf; in other words: bread made with sweet dough rather than sour dough.

In this day and age of cultured yeast it's not easy to explain what the Bible means by leavened and unleavened. Well; the primary difference between the two terms isn't ingredients; rather, the primary difference is age; for example:

"Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven" (1Cor 5:8)

If there is an old leaven, then there must be a new leaven; just as there is an old wine and a new wine.

Old leaven can refer to a batch of dough that's going bad, i.e. fermented; which, given time, dough will do on its own without the addition of yeast because all flour, no matter how carefully it's milled and packaged, contains a percentage of naturally-occurring fungi. New leaven, then, would refer to a time in the life of the dough before the flour's naturally-occurring fungi has time to spoil the product; for example:

"So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders." (Ex 12:34)

That gives an idea of how quickly God moved the people out of Egypt after slaying all the firstborn. They had made bread with unfermented dough for that night's meal in accord with the law of the Passover instituted in the 12th chapter of Exodus.

Anyway, point being; Lot served his guests fresh bread made with fresh dough rather than day-old bread or bread made with dough that's been sitting around for a while. Bread made with sour dough is reasonably safe to eat, we know that, so serving his guests bread made with aged dough wouldn't have been a health issue. I like to think that Lot served his honored guests unleavened bread as an act of courtesy rather than necessity. Giving people your best, rather than your less than best, shows that you think highly of them; which is doubtless the very meaning of unleavened in 1Cor 5:7-8. (cf. John 14:15 and Johin 14:23)
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« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 09:01:04 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #142 on: April 20, 2019, 08:57:59 am »
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● Gen 19:4 . .They had not yet lain down, when the townspeople, the men of Sodom, young and old-- all the people to the last man --gathered about the house.

The word for "men" is from 'enowsh (en-oshe') : an ambiguous word that means: a mortal; a human being in general (singly or collectively). It can also mean: husband, person, and people.

So it wasn't just the males; it was everybody, young and old, gathered around Lot's door. All of the women, all of the kids, and all of the men. The entire town. It was an event, and nobody wanted to miss it.

● Gen 19:5a . . And they shouted to Lot and said to him: Where are the men who came to you tonight?

Everyone was bellowing and clamoring; like impatient fans at wrestling matches, cage fights, and Roman coliseums; demanding their pound of flesh and pools of blood.

● Gen 19:5b . . Bring them out to us, that we may be intimate with them.

Since all the people of Sodom were in on this-- men, women, children, old and young alike --it becomes frightfully obvious the townsfolk desired far more than just stimulating gratification. They were looking for entertainment of the vilest sort imaginable-- quite possibly a filthy stage show of unspeakable acts; maybe including bestiality and bondage.

Exactly what the people of Sodom intended to do with the messengers is not said; but Jude 1:7 states that the people were accustomed to "strange flesh" which suggests that they used men and women's bodies for rather perverse purposes.

Other than Jude's information, the Bible is silent on this matter. It's as if the author drew a curtain over Sodom and said: This is just too shocking. I'm not going to spell out what the people of Sodom wanted to do with the two men under Lot's roof. You will just have to use your imagination.

● Gen 19:6-7 . . So Lot went out to them to the entrance, shut the door behind him, and said: I beg you, my friends, do not commit such a wrong.

No doubt those people interpreted Lot's comment that they were "wrong" as judgmental. It was certain to provoke a hostile response in the typically indignant manner in which evil people can be expected to act when somebody criticizes their conduct.

● Gen 19:8 . . Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please; but do not do anything to these men, since they have come under the shelter of my roof.

A culture that would sacrifice its own family members to protect the guests under its roof is difficult for westerners to understand; for example pashtunwali, the culture of the Pashtun people of Afghanistan. One of its principles-- nanawatai (asylum) --refers to the protection given to a person against his or her enemies. People are protected at all costs; even those running from the law must be given refuge until the situation can be clarified. This was demonstrated when Osama bin Laden was provided special protection by a group of Pashtuns in Abbottabad.

Nanawatai can also be applied when the vanquished party in a dispute is prepared to go in to the house of the victors and ask for their forgiveness. (It is a peculiar form of "chivalrous" surrender, in which an enemy seeks "sanctuary" at his enemy's house). A notable example is that of Navy Petty Officer First Class Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of a US Navy SEAL team ambushed by Taliban fighters. Wounded, he evaded the enemy and was aided by members of the Sabray tribe who took him to their village. The tribal chief protected him, fending off attacking tribes until word was sent to nearby US forces.

● Gen 19:9a . . But they said: Step aside! This fellow; they said; came here as an alien, and already he acts the judge!

People like the Sodomites instinctively know that what they're doing is wrong, but God pity the soul that dares to tell them so because their kind's feelings don't get hurt by criticism; instead, they get angry.

Lot called them friends, but when push came to shove, they regarded him as an outsider. And one thing you just don't do as an outsider is impose either your values or your beliefs upon others. They will deeply resent you for it-- whether you are right or wrong has nothing to do with it.

● Gen 19:9a . . Now we will deal worse with you than with them. And they pressed hard against the person of Lot, and moved forward to break the door.

Talk about a thoughtless lynch mob! Those people totally forgot that not that long ago Lot's uncle saved them all from slavery in a foreign land-- and this is how they reciprocate Abraham's kindness; by assaulting his nephew?

● Gen 19:9b-11 . . But the men stretched out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And the people who were at the entrance of the house, young and old, they struck with blinding light, so that they were helpless to find the entrance.

(chuckle) That'll learn em' to keep one eye shut when somebody trips a flare. The flash was totally unexpected and must have startled Lot right out of his socks. Up to now, he was given no hint that the two men under his roof were anything but ordinary travelers. "Giminy! Where did all that light come from? There was no thunder. Was it some sort of stealth lightening? How'd you guys do that anyway? Is it patented?"

Normally it takes about twenty minutes for visual purple in the human eye to adjust to darkness after a sudden burst of bright light. The flash didn't actually damage anyone's eyesight so that they went blind. It just made their surroundings difficult to see, like when someone pops your photo in dim light with a camera.

The situation now takes on a desperate atmosphere of survival. The crowd has turned into an ugly mob; and it's fight or flight-- no other options. The Lord's messengers chose flight because their purpose was not to remain in Sodom, but to leave it in ashes.
_

 

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