Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Story of Abraham: Introduction (Genesis 11:10-32)

In the genealogical interlude after the Tower of Babel story, we leave the primeval history behind. Here we have the last mention of the flood, and we race through the generations to get us to Abraham. Unlike in the interlude in chapter 5, there is no mention here of details about the lives of these generations. We simply read about fathers and sons.

We again have ten generations here, between Shem and Abraham. And you can again get caught in unimportant details if you are not careful.

(Like what does it mean that there are 365 years between the first birth after the flood and the time when Abraham will leave for the promised land? Or what is the significance behind the fact that Abraham is 75 when he will leave for the promised land and would go on to live another 100 years but then he was 100 when Isaac was born and would go on to live another 75 years?)

We do not want to camp out here or look for messages that aren’t there. This interlude is just here to anchor us in real history. And while we can trust the names and the lineage here, the numbers given are by no means exact or even significant.

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