Genesis 25: It really doesn’t profit anyone to read the Bible literalistically, does it? Because up to this point one might have had the impression that except for Hagar, Abraham was a faithful husband to Sarah and had only two children. But if that were so, vs 6 wouldn’t really make sense because who were these concubines and when did they have these sons. As for Keturah, the rabbinic commentary states that she is Hagar and that because the word is written in Hebrew without a Yod (whatever that might be) that there was only ever one concubine and it was Hagar. It does seem as if Ishmael and Abraham have hooked up again at some point because there is Ishmael burying his dad along with Isaac in Sarah’s cave of Machpelah. Wonder what happened to Keturah and/or Hagar?
Says Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. Surely that was leaving it late? Poor Rebekah had a miserable pregnancy. What a rotten thing to hear from God too. Just what an expectant mother wants to hear.
vss 27-28: Ah yes, nothing like a Biblical record of a dysfunctional family. Dad prefers on child while mom prefers the other. The rabbis are interesting to read here. They interpret Esau the cunning hunter as worshipping at an idolatrous temple. How they can say that is a mystery to me as worship in temples is yet to happen. They interpret Jacob’s preference for the tents as studying the Torah which is another anachronism. I read it that Esau like to hunt and Jacob preferred the company of women in the tents. After all, Jacob did learn to cook.
vss 29-34: And Esau trades his birthright for a meal Jacob cooked, red lentils and bread.
Chapter 26 Yet another famine and instead of going to Egypt this time, God directs Isaac to Gerar and Abimelech of the Philistines but presumably not the same Abimelech Abe knew. But what is this with pretending that his wife is his sister? Didn’t his father tell him how that never works? This Abimelech is just as scandalized as the first one was at the possibility that someone might have slept with her.
I wonder why the Philistines would have stopped up the wells Abraham had dug? A good well is a good well and if Abe wasn’t around to use it, why waste it? OTOH, it provides drama as Isaac has them dug up and the Philistines want to fight over them. But rather than fight about it, Isaac moves his bunch on until they settle at a place where the Philistines aren’t going to fight over the well.
Esau marries when he is forty and he and his wives don’t get along with Isaac and Rebekah. So sad. Of course, this also means that Jacob is also forty and not married.
Chapter 27: Another bit of nastiness. Apparently this blessing was of a great deal of importance. Maybe it was in some way to make up for the lack of birthright that Esau had exchanged for a meal. Esau was to get the blessing in exchange for another meal. Had Esau and his wives made Rebekah’s life that miserable that this was her revenge? Poor aged blind Isaac, fooled like this. Dysfunction in a family is so painful and the effects last and last and last and perpetuate from one generation to the next. Esau is understandably incensed, all a tumult and Isaac sends Jacob off to Laban in Ur.
Psalm 9: I do like the first 2 verses a lot. I love David’s confidence that God is on David’s side and God agrees with David that David is in the right. I’d love to have that confidence. Vss 7-10 again the social justice theme that David is so convinced of. Social justice is constantly repeated elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures as well as in the NT.
Matthew 9: I find myself wishing I was reading this for the first time in my life, with brand new eyes and as if I had never heard any sermon or read any exposition. Here is Jesus, clearly convinced, as far as I can tell, that he is both God and human.