Thursday, 31 January 2013

Reading the Bible 10: Gen 19: 30 – 20: 18 Abraham the Trickster

Reading the Bible 10: Gen 19: 30 – 20: 18

The story of Lot concludes with an account of Lot and his two daughters.  These were the ones Lot had offered to the men of Sodom to spare the angelic visitors from abuse or worse.  Of course Lot’s wife is not with them as she was turned into a pillar of salt for her sin of looking back.    As I noted last time, no further mention is made of his unnamed wife (note that the daughters are not named either). 
The account of incest between Lot and his daughters doesn’t say very much for biblical family values.  However, I wouldn’t want to be accused cultural relativism.  There must have been cultural activities that led to the Levitical laws.   It is an interesting account of the foundation of two other peoples – the Moabites and the Ammonites.  They certainly got a bad rap by the writers of Genesis.  I wonder how those people felt about the account that the Israelites were spreading about their founding stories?

That is where we leave Lot and his offspring.  The story returns to Abraham and Sarah.  History repeats itself and Abraham and Sarah get into trouble in another land, Gerar.  The carryings on in Egypt is repeated in this land.  Abraham again passes off Sarah as his sister to save himself with similar results.  There is something of the trickster inn Abraham.  This characteristic will come to full bloom in his grandson Jacob.  It is interesting how family traits often skip a generation.  In any case the founding father of three religions definitely had a shadow side which seems to not be acknowledged.  Whenever that happens serious consequences are sure to follow.

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