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Featured In the Bible Abraham is called to Sacrifice his son...

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by Ellen Brown, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Dedicated warriors? What it says is that 318 of his men are trained. This hardly makes him a warlord. That's a misleading term, and my objection is to that term. Bedouin maybe? I don't know enough about Bedouins; but he's not somebody who goes around taking things from people and seizing land. Part of the point is that he could seize land but doesn't. He's got men, and they clearly can fight but don't live by fighting.
     
  2. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    In context.. This was protracted fighting.

    "But this battle of six kings against five provides"

    Bedouin , in fact, often made better warriors than the settled peoples. Whereas settled farming used a lot of time and tended to produce a more timid, peasantlike people, the nomads’ daily life of watching the herds, fighting off wild animals and raiders, and perhaps engaging in a little raiding themselves, was already halfway toward warfare and cultivated the same skills and same watchful mindset.

    Nomads were generally feared by the settled peoples because they were dangerous, not merely because they were different.

    Of course, settled communities of any size had bands of trained warriors supported by taxes on the peasant producers, but the difference was that among the nomads, every man was a warrior.
     
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  3. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I realize you're trying to see Abraham as a real person in a middle eastern sort of wandering camel driver way, maybe with a scar on his face and a thousand battles in his back pocket. I'm saying he's not a warlord, and its outside of the range of his character. He's being written about by people who aren't always allowed to make weapons, because they are oppressed by surrounding nations. He's someone who is clever, who is strong, who has all kinds of amazing characteristics like a McGuyver. Sure McGuyver could blow up your house with only a pencil and a soda can, but he wouldn't do that to you. Abraham has weapons and men, but he only uses them in self defense. So do Isaac and Jacob, always avoiding conflict. Isaac gives up wells that he has dug. Jacob offers up all of his wealth to Esau as he flees from Laban. Warlords don't do this. They swagger, take money and supplies, and people fear when they come nearby. Abraham is the opposite and doesn't burden anyone, but he could if he wanted.

    There are people who live off of war, such as the Khans and the Spartans. Then there are people with the ability to do so but who have other occupations. If we call Abraham a warlord we undermine the peaceful aspect of him in the story. He doesn't make wars or live off of wars. Jacob and Isaac are the same, and Levi and Reuben are rebuked even for being angry. (Gen 49)

    Bedouin? I don't know. I think of a Bedouin as someone who wanders deserts. Abraham lives in better times with better lands, but he does live in the wild not behind the safety of city walls. Genesis mentions the danger of wild animals and explains people live in cities to keep away from them, but Abraham's people live in tents. He's not into war is what I'm pointing out. He doesn't believe in war.
     
  4. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on how one uses the word sacrifice.
    For example, a person who gives someone their last shirt, has made a sacrifice.
    So from both angles, a sacrifice was being made.
     
  5. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    If Abraham existed at all he was an unaffiliated Canaanite. Nomads had a symbiotic relationship with a town or oasis. They provided hides and meat.. the town provided grain, textiles, pots and pans.

    Of course he had weapons.
     
  6. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    For me, reading the Bible, I don't get the impression that they were stories. Rather, I get the impression that they are real accounts, with real people, and history evidently testifies to that fact.
    For one thing, archaeological findings support the accounts, and people - So far 51. Even if one cuts that number down, a score (20) is still a good support. For another thing, living in the flesh, are Jewish people, who trace their history back to Abraham. The Passover is just one event kept on the same date mentioned in the Bible. The calendar is not very different, and we can find much more about the culture that existed back then. The cultural dress for example... and we can go on.

    To me, Hebrews 4:12 highlights a few significant points, namely - 1) the word of God, is alive. 2) It is able to discern thought and intentions, of the heart.

    Only a living intelligence is able to discern a person's thoughts, and intentions, so why did someone write this? Doesn't it sound like madness?
    When I consider Jesus' works, and what I myself discovered from the Bible, with help of course from like-minded people, those words make a lot of sense. To me, those words are profound, and we can say somewhat esoteric... in a good way, of course. :)

    Jesus' words...
    Matthew 13
    11 ...“To you it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the Kingdom of the heavens, but to them it is not granted. 12 For whoever has, more will be given him, and he will be made to abound; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13That is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations; for looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, nor do they get the sense of it. 14 And the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled in their case. It says: ‘You will indeed hear but by no means get the sense of it, and you will indeed look but by no means see. 15For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.’
    16“However, happy are your eyes because they see and your ears because they hear.

    The heart, is what the Bible says God sees.
    The scripture says, the heart of many, is practically dead - unreceptive. Their eyes and ears pasted shut.
    The word of God is alive, and ...is sharper than any two edged sword, and can know the thoughts and intentions, of our heart.

    Could it be, that the reason people don't accept the Bible as the word of God - not myths or stories, is because it has the spirit of God, making it alive and aware of the unresponsive, and allowing them to remain blind to the truth therein?
    From what Jesus said, it's a good question to take to heart, imo.

    That is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations; for looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, nor do they get the sense of it.
    ...the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.’

    However, happy are your eyes because they see and your ears because they hear.
     
  7. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    There are no archaeological findings that support Genesis, Exodus or the battles of Joshua.
     
  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I think what matters to you is archeology, and I'm not trying to argue about archeology with you, because it does not determine what character Abraham has in the story. Also of importance to you should be the story. You know that to study archeology you must be able to separate the fictional from what you find in the soil? The separation goes both ways. It is the same with studying the story of Abraham. He is what the story says he is, regardless of archeological digging. The story is the man. His purpose in the story is to be a peacemaker not a warlord.
     
  9. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    True. Do you feel that they were written to deceive people? I don't; but I think they were written to criticize and change society, taking common literature and transforming it. What we do have are not archeological proofs of the stories but rather 'Evil' versions of the stories that predate the ones in the Bible. In the old stories instead of peace being a moral, war is. Instead of love, pride. Instead of patience, vengeance.
     
  10. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Not if he had 318 trained, armed fighters in his family.
     
  11. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Don't try to make it into a schematic for a machine. There are lots of details that may not fit, such as the way that Jacobs goats give birth to spotted young. It doesn't have to make perfect sense. Abraham is a defender, like McGuyver on TV. Sure, McGuyver could blow up your fax machine with a pencil and a soda pop, but he never would do that unless it was for defensive purposes. He's got trained fighers, but he's not a warlord.
     
  12. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The promise to bless Abraham through Isaac was a done deal. Abraham believed he would somehow get Isaac beck from the dead a resurrection in some sense

    As far as Isaac's role? Isaac being a young man appears to be a willing sacrifice. He didn't put up a struggle.

    In both ways it would prefigure God loving the world and giving His son as well as the Son laying down His life and taking it back again
     
  13. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    It was a 1 on 1 at the time of the sacrifice

    That suggests a willingness on Isaac's part. It could even be that Abraham assured Isaac he would be raised
     
  14. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    To defeat five kings means Abraham was skilled at warfare and that it was a protracted campaign.
     
  15. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    That's a stretch. The Canaanites practiced human sacrifice and Abraham's clan were Canaanites. There's nothing about resurrection in the folklore.

    Can you really reinterpret the story backwards? 1500 years after the fact?
     
  16. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Actually I forgot to add the reason why it makes sense that God would ask a human to perform a human sacrifice.
    What could be a greater test than asking someone to do the strangest thing - something contrary to what is expected?
    If Abraham refused, it would demonstrate that he did not have faith that this was the true and living God - sovereign over all.
    His obeying, such a request, demonstrated his full faith that this was the true and living God, willing to do whatever was asked of him - even sacrifice his only son. True loyalty.
    Hence the true God viewed Abraham as his friend.

    For me, that is a good example of what faith in God means, and what friendship with God means. We can't be friends of God, unless we willingly obey him, on his terms.
     
  17. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    You just finished saying he is not a historical figure, so historical rules don't apply. He gets a name change in this story from Abram to Abraham. He and his sons turn away from violence at every opportunity, and that is a major plot point. It doesn't make sense to, then, treat it like a historical treatise full of details that reveal Abraham's character is opposite to the choices the story has him making.

    Going the other way suppose he is a historical figure. Ok. Then lets apply some historical rules consistently. Its not fire reigning down on Sodom, but that is some sort of an analogy by a historian. Probably it is Abraham the warlord leading his hordes to smash Sodom to smithereens, and Lot is allowed to escape only because he is family. We just have to contradict the story in a few areas, and poof its history. Abraham defeats five kings who have just finished fighting a protracted war against five other kings, and he does this with only 318 armed men, a lot like Gideon's victory. Its a miracle isn't it or else those five kings are all tired from fighting each other. Who knows how because it gives zero historical details of this very important and historic battle. There are no details of such an important event in the life of the historical figure.
     
  18. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    There was NO Ur of the Chaldeans in the time of Abraham so we are arguing the details of a myth. The story says that five kings destroyed six.

    1. Genesis 14: Abraham and the Four Kings - Bible Study ...
      www.biblewise.com/bible_study/books/genesis14-abraham.php
      Genesis 14: Abraham and the Four Kings. It is a familiar story of oppression by a coalition of stronger powers. In this case, they were four foreign kings from the East, from the Mesopotamia region, from places that Abraham had left behind. They marched against the five local kings of the Jordanian region.

    2. Battle of Siddim - Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Siddim
      Battle of Siddim
      . The Battle of the Vale of Siddim, also often called the War of Nine Kings or the Slaughter of Chedorlaomer, was an event in the Hebrew Bible book of Genesis 14:1-17 that occurred in the days of Abram and Lot. The Vale of Siddim was the battleground for the cities of the Jordan River plain revolting against Mesopotamian rule.
     
  19. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    The relevant rulers in the region at this time were:

    • The last king of Isin, Damiq-ilishu, ruled 1816-1794 BC.[15]
    • Rim Sin I of Larsa ruled 1822-1763[15]
    • The last king of Uruk, Nabiilishu, ruled 1802[15]
    • In Babylon, Hammurabi ruled 1792-1750[15]
    • In Eshnunna Ibal Pi-El II ruled c 1762[15]
    • In Elam there was a king Kuduzulush[15]
    • In Ashur, Shamsi Adad I ruled c 1813-1781[15]
    • In Mari, Yasmah-Adad ruled 1796-1780 followed by Zimri-Lin 1779-1757.[15]
    Dating of events[edit]
    When cuneiform was first deciphered in the 19th century Theophilus Pinches translated some Babylonian tablets which were part of the Spartoli collection in the British Museum and believed he had found in the Chedorlaomer Text the names of three of the "Kings of the East" named in Genesis 14.

    As this is the only part of Genesis which seems to set Abraham in wider political history, it seemed to many 19th and early 20th century exegetes and Assyriologists to offer an opening to date Abraham, if the kings in question could only be identified.

    In 1887, Schrader was the first to propose that Amraphel could be an alternate spelling for Hammurabi.[27] The terminal -bi on the end of Hammurabi's name was seen to parallel Amraphel since the cuneiform symbol for -bi can also be pronounced -pi. Tablets were known in which the initial symbol for Hammurabi, pronounced as kh to yield Khammurabi, had been dropped, so that Ammurapi was a viable pronunciation. If Hammurabi were deified in his lifetime or soon after (adding -il to his name to signify his divinity), this would produce something close to the Bible's Amraphel.

    A little later Jean-Vincent Scheil found a tablet in the Imperial Ottoman Museum in Istanbul from Hammurabi to a king named Kuder-Lagomer of Elam, which he identified with the same name in Pinches' tablet. Thus by the early 1900s many scholars had become convinced that the kings of Gen. 14:1 had been identified,[28][29] resulting in the following correspondences:[
     
  20. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    The victory is a detail, but the over arching theme of peace making is not a detail. It is a plot point that at every turn the righteous choose peace. Abram lets the Pharoah sleep with his own wife. He refuses property and slaves from Bera and gives 10% of everything that he owns to Melchizedek. He takes from no one. He bows to strangers. His problem with Ishmael is that Ishmael is warlike. That is also Isaac's problem with Esau. It is also Jacob's problem with Levi and Reuben, both of whom lose their importance in the family.

    Thanks for the links. The first link is interesting but horribly misguided. Its geeking out about warfare as if this was the story of Alexander the Great. Its says nothing about Melchizedek, conflates LORD and God, clarifies nothing, completely overlooks the significance of the sandal thong dismissing it as a 'Merism'. Does it not see that this is about kidnapping and the evils of Bera which Abraham doesn't wish to be a part of? If not then what is Abram's objection to Bera? That is an enormous oversight for this to call itself a scholarly resource. 'Biblewise' my foot. Ridiculous excuse for not knowing what Abram was speaking about. The thongs (most likely) refer to the slaves, the people. Sodom was a city that captured people and enslaved them, something which Abram did not do and was against doing. Kidnapping is also against Torah. For this reason Sodom was wicked, and the cry against the city of Sodom reached the nostrils of the LORD. This page was an effort someone made to fill the air with sound, and I appreciate that but it completely missed the point of the story. In so doing it was a cat chasing its tail and never got anywhere.

    It totally missed the entire concept of Abram, Abraham, father of many tribes, the concept of freedom in Judaism and the Exodus etc. It vaguely recognizes that the kings are oppressors but fails to identify casting off oppression is the point of the victory.
     
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