Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Genesis 22:19-24 Catching Up With the Family

After the exciting events of the last few verses, we are informed that Abraham returns to his servants, who have been patiently (or perhaps, impatiently) waiting for Abraham and Isaac to return.  Then they returned together to Beersheba, where Abraham and his family stayed for a while. (v.19)

A large part of this blog was supposed to be genealogy-related, tracing the family of Abraham.  I have not done much of that here, because I keep getting caught up in the stories surrounding the individuals.  I figured that this is the most interesting part of genealogy, anyway -- not just a boring list of names and dates, but the things which those individuals did with their lives.  Once in a while, though, I have to go back and remember just how the family lines go.  I like to make a chart, which can be a bit difficult as the list gets longer.  I had a perfectly good family tree chart as I wrote this post, but it tended to get crazy when I did my final posting, so I have to remove the chart for now until I figure out how to do it. Instead, I'll just give a summary:

Remember how Abraham, Nahor and Haran were sons of Terah?  Haran was Lot's father, who died.  Nahor was Abraham's other brother, and we are now informed of the latest developments in his family line.  Genesis 22:20-24 reveals that Nahor has also had sons:  Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.
Nahor's eight sons by his wife Milcah are joined by four other sons from his concubine Reumah:  Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.  Bethuel becomes the father of a daughter, Rebekah. 
  • These twelve sons of Nahor became the fathers of the twelve Aramean tribes.  Thinking about the twelve sons of Ishmael, and the (eventual) twelve sons of Isaac's son Jacob, I'd say that Someone likes the number twelve!
  • It is interesting that Rebekah is named as Bethuel's daughter here.  Usually, the genealogies focus upon the sons.  Maybe her brother Laban, who will figure prominently in the story later, is not born yet.  Or, perhaps Rebekah is emphasized because [spoiler alert] she will soon join the story as Isaac's wife. 

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