And Abraham said, “It is God who will see to the sheep for this burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them walked on together.
Genesis 22:8 (JPS)
, my son – When the text we read includes punctuation (periods, commas, quotes, etc.), it is important to note that the punctuation was added at a later time. None of the original manuscripts, or relative copies, were written with commas or periods, etc. So now in this verse, the comma indicates that Abraham is speaking to his son; “, my son.” but what if the comma was a semicolon; “; my son”? Do you read a change in what just happened?
Continue reading “Comma or Semicolon?”
And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:Genesis 25:19 (KJV)
Generations of Isaac – When someone begins to tell you about the generations of a person, they normally begin with that person’s children. I’m expecting this verse to end with and Isaac begat Jacob, but instead the verse jumps to Abraham. Why?
Continue reading “The Legacy of Isaac”
Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.Genesis 2:7 (JPS)
Breath of life – What is man made up of? That is the question here. Jewish traditions imply that humans are dual in nature made of a body and a soul. They adopted this concept from Plato’s dualism. However, Trinitarian Christians who desperately want to see their concept of a triune God imitated in the creation of mankind adopted the construct of a soul, a body, and a spirit. Which is correct?
Continue reading “Duality or Triune?”
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.Genesis 3:20 (KJV)
Adam & Eve – Do you recognize the importance of names in the Bible? They mean something… And this something becomes a moment of teaching about character, about the story, or about a lesson. God Himself will change people’s names to represent a shift in plot line or character. With this in mind, what is the significance of the names, Adam and Eve?
Continue reading “Mankind and Life”
A chiasm is a literary technique I’ve wrote about before. This particular one is found in Genesis 17:3-17.
Continue reading “A Chiasm in Genesis”
And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.Genesis 15:6 (KJV)
Believed – What happens when two Biblical authors use the same verse from Genesis to support two contradictory messages? For the most of us, we just brush it under the rug or fiddle with the wording until it fits better. Both Paul and James, Rabbis of their time, use this verse about Abraham believing to support their message about faith and works.
Continue reading “Contradictory Interpretations”
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.Genesis 1:10 (KJV)
The gathering together – The word here in Hebrew is mikveh ( מקוה ) which you may recognize. It is often used in reference to a pool of water for ritual immersion leading to ritual purity. Here in Genesis, it is used to describe the waters (mayim) out of which the earth grew.
Continue reading “There is Hope”
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:Genesis 12:1 (KJV)
Get thee out – God tells Abram, lech lecha (לֶךְ-לְךָ), get thee out. As is much of the Hebrew Bible, this is another play on words. The words may sound identical, but actually mean two different things: “go” and “to yourself.” The implication is that although Abraham must undergo a traumatic departure from his native land, he is actually traveling to find his more authentic self. Once Abraham enters the land, his true relationship with the one Lord can grow.
Continue reading “Lech Lecha”
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.Genesis 22:13-14
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
Jehovahjireh – This word literally means “Yehovah will see to it,” or as many say, “God will provide.” It’s a common saying in Christianity today and this may very well be the root of it. Christianity has really gained some mileage around this feel-good saying. I think we use it for just about any trial as a beacon of hope. And it bears some truth too. God does provide … until the time He doesn’t.
Continue reading “God Will Provide”
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Genesis 11:9 (KJV)
Language – According to Lera Boroditsky, a cognitive scientist, she states there are over 7,000 languages spoken worldwide. Why is this important? Language is a driving factor in how you think. Without speaking the same language as those who authored the Bible, we’re likely not going to think the same way they did. Lera explains this disconnect based on how different cultures use language. Continue reading “Language Influences Your Thought”