Chapter

Personal Conflict, and Vision of a Deeper Covenant (Chaps. 16–17)

Thomas L. Brodie

in Genesis as Dialogue

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780195138368
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834037 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195138368.003.0024
Personal Conflict, and Vision of a Deeper Covenant (Chaps. 16–17)

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In Genesis 16, the beautiful barren Sarai finally releases what is inside her – a confused bitterness that strikes at God, Abram, and her slavegirl, Hagar. Her proposal that Abram impregnate Hagar causes tension between the two women and she drives the foreign slavegirl away. However, the Lord intervenes and brings back the foreign slavegirl, and she bears Abram a son, Ishmael. In Genesis 17, Ishmael is old enough to be circumcised; a circumcision linked to a covenant that includes foreigners (foreign slaves) and that promises new life for Sarai. Together, Genesis 16 and 17 give the concept of covenant a new depth and new inclusiveness. They also give Abram and Sarai new names – Abraham and Sarah.

Keywords: Abraham; Abram; circumcision; covenant; foreign slaves; Genesis; Hagar; Ishmael; Sarah; Sarai

Chapter.  5655 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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