True Blue Jon
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This translation of the Tanach provided by http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8165

1. Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had not borne to him, and she had an Egyptian handmaid named Hagar.

2. And Sarai said to Abram, "Behold now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing; please come to my handmaid; perhaps I will be built up from her." And Abram hearkened to Sarai's voice.

3. So Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, at the end of ten years of Abram's dwelling in the land of Canaan, and she gave her to Abram her husband for a wife. 4. And he came to Hagar, and she conceived, and she saw that she was pregnant, and her mistress became unimportant in her eyes.

5. And Sarai said to Abram, "May my injustice be upon you! I gave my handmaid into your bosom, and she saw that she had become pregnant, and I became unimportant in her eyes. May the Lord judge between me and you!"

6. And Abram said to Sarai, "Here is your handmaid in your hand; do to her that which is proper in your eyes." And Sarai afflicted her, and she fled from before her.

7. And an angel of the Lord found her by a water fountain in the desert, by the fountain on the road to Shur. 8. And he said, "Hagar, Sarai's servant, where are you coming from, and where are you going to?" And she said, "From before Sarai my mistress, I am fleeing."

9. And the angel of the Lord said to her, "Return to your mistress, and allow yourself to be afflicted under her hands."

10. And the angel of the Lord said to her, "I will greatly multiply your seed, and it will not be counted for abundance."

11. And the angel of the Lord said to her, "Behold, you will conceive and bear a son, and you shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard your affliction. 12. And he will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be upon all, and everyone's hand upon him, and before all his brothers he will dwell."

13. And she called the name of the Lord, Who had spoken to her, "You are the God of seeing," because she said, "Have I seen[him]here also after I have seen?"

14. Therefore the well was called Be'er Lachai Ro'i; behold it is between Kadesh and between Bered.

15. And Hagar bore a son to Abram, and Abram named his son, whom Hagar had borne, Ishmael. 16. And Abram was eighty- six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
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Daniel Eig
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Sarai doesn't quite come off as a saint here, eh? Understandably human, yes. But not 100% virtuous.

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And Hagar bore a son to Abram, and Abram named his son, whom Hagar had borne, Ishmael. 16. And Abram was eighty- six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.


Hello Super-Stud. 86 years old, and two young wives.
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Todd Rowland
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dtolman wrote:
Sarai doesn't quite come off as a saint here, eh? Understandably human, yes. But not 100% virtuous.


Very few people in the Bible do. They're human. The fact that God gives grace and mercy to humans is the reason why the Bible doesn't hide their flaws.
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Daniel Eig
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AEGTodd wrote:
dtolman wrote:
Sarai doesn't quite come off as a saint here, eh? Understandably human, yes. But not 100% virtuous.


Very few people in the Bible do. They're human. The fact that God gives grace and mercy to humans is the reason why the Bible doesn't hide their flaws.


Those are good reasons for a modern Christian.

But I don't see the relevance to the Bible, which as written, compiled, and edited by a very different group of people with very different viewpoints.
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Todd Rowland
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dtolman wrote:
AEGTodd wrote:
dtolman wrote:
Sarai doesn't quite come off as a saint here, eh? Understandably human, yes. But not 100% virtuous.


Very few people in the Bible do. They're human. The fact that God gives grace and mercy to humans is the reason why the Bible doesn't hide their flaws.


Those are good reasons for a modern Christian.

But I don't see the relevance to the Bible, which as written, compiled, and edited by a very different group of people with very different viewpoints.


Different how?

I just want to know what your viewpoint is, and what its assumptions are based on.
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Daniel Eig
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Well, _my_ viewpoint would be one thing - but I doubt my beliefs have any bearings on why the bible was written the way it was, and passed down to us in this form. So I'm not really interested in discussing that here as I'd rather focus on the viewpoint of whoever set this down to paper, and passed it to us in this form

---

The compilers of this were the Jewish priests and scribes of the first millennium BC, and they were more concerned with the Covenant and the Law than with grace and mercy.

In fact, I would go further and say that the idea of grace and mercy may have been alien concepts to the writer and compilers of Genesis, and that they were not concerned with any individual or the destination of their souls. Their concern was the advancement of a particular nation here on Earth - which could only be done by individuals collectively abiding to a certain holy covenant.

So if they are concerned with the Jewish nation, and the covenant primarily, why would they keep unflattering things in? Why do they not glorify their ancestors?

Its an unanswerable question. It could be as simple as - that was how it was passed to them, and they would never think of altering a single dot or letter.
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True Blue Jon
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The unflattering things sure does help the claim to authenticity.
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Mac Mcleod
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Hagar is a strange name for a woman.

If you wanted to get into Intelligent Design, this kind of selective breeding program for humans would be some evidence for it.
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Todd Rowland
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dtolman wrote:

In fact, I would go further and say that the idea of grace and mercy may have been alien concepts to the writer and compilers of Genesis, and that they were not concerned with any individual or the destination of their souls.


I don't see this holding much water, given that the generally accepted compiler of Genesis was Moses who experienced tons of direct relationship with God, and that Genesis has several instances of clear grace and mercy shown (i.e. Adam and Eve weren't just scrapped for a do-over). There are also clear indications of mercy being withheld and people getting what they deserved (the flood, Sodom, etc.)

Not to mention Genesis 6 "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."

Genesis 19: "Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight"

Cain, even though he deserved to die God extended protection (grace) over him that he wouldn't be killed by another.

God clothed Adam and Eve, which was another undeserved kindness.

There is a lot of personal and direct grace and relationship with God in this book. Extend it on to Exodus and you get passover, etc.

What is a nation but a bunch of individuals?

Now that's not to say that the Hebrew people didn't go on to make the law MORE important than the relationship, that's completely true, but they were meta-gaming beyond what the Lord himself had asked of them. "Fence laws" and all that were in the thousands, though not one of them was actually required by God (many of them ended up working against what He had wanted).

And that's why Christ came, to fulfill and return to the spirit of the law, where the people had taken the word of it and added so much of their own stuff that they had lost track of why they followed it.

Whew.

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So if they are concerned with the Jewish nation, and the covenant primarily, why would they keep unflattering things in? Why do they not glorify their ancestors?

Its an unanswerable question.


No, I'd say it's fairly easily answerable: God wanted to not have people up on pedestals (petal stools - 2pts for those who get it). People don't deserve pedestals. He does.

Even Abraham, who would be the father of all Hebrews (and by extension all Christians) was shown to bow his head to God (in the passage after rescuing Lot and several other times).
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