(Chapters 16 - 34)
Lots and lots of descendants!
I noticed that there are lots of stories about someone saying that their wife is their sister to avoid getting killed. (Two involving Abraham, and one involving Isaac.) Apparently this is because they are taken from three different sources. (See my first Bible Project post on the various sources of Genesis.)
I think it's cool how close Abraham and God were. It seems like Abraham could say, "Hey God? Let's chat," and they'd chat. They were like best friends.
So when God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, that was double surprise. Firstly, He's asking Abraham to KILL HIS SON. Secondly, He's putting in jeopardy His promise that through Isaac's descendants all the nations of the earth would find blessing. But gosh, Abraham had some serious faith! It gives me shivers.
For some reason I think that Isaac and Rebekah are an adorable couple. Maybe it's because of 24:67... "Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent; he married her, and thus she became his wife. In his love for her Isaac found solace after the death of his mother, Sarah." Those two sentences conjure up such loving scenes in my mind, somehow... Maybe I also like Isaac/Rebekah because Isaac is the only guy so far who's had kids by only one lady. I know that it was common practice in that time to have more than one wife (the world must be peopled, after all), but my modern sense of love and loyalty is drawn to the monogamy of Isaac.
I DON'T like Rebekah for the fact that she had a favored child and helped Jacob supersede his elder brother. Not cool. (I have strong Esau sympathies. Maybe it's because I'm the older sibling myself...)
On a similar topic, my favorite Esau quote is this one (25:30): "Let me gulp down some of that red stuff; I'm starving!" He's such a teenage boy: Who cares about the birthright - give me some FOOD!
I feel bad for Leah, who obviously knew she wasn't the favored wife. And imagine knowing that the favored wife was your SISTER. Goodness.
And then Leah and Rachel had a nice sisterly rivalry, to see who could give Jacob more kids. They even each gave him their maidservants to sleep with, to indirectly have kids through them! Goodness, Jacob was having a fine time...
But now I see, in the story of Joseph and his brothers (which is coming up next time), why Joseph and Benjamin are the favored children of Jacob. They were Rachel's kids!
Okay, enough for now...
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - what do you think? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments!