We’re back and we get more Abram goodness. Genesis 14 opens with a war (always a page turner). Amraphel, King of Shinar; Arioch, King of Ellasar; Chedolaomer, King of Elam; and TIDAL KING OF NATIONS!! (Sorry about the capslock issue there, I think a name like that just deserves them). Anyway, it’s all a bit confusing, but it seems that one bunch of kings takes up arms against another bunch (including the King of Sodom and the King of Gomorrah) and there’s a war for 14 years. During the war, allegiances change and in the end the Kings of Sodom and of Gomorrah fall and flee and their lands are invaded and sacked. The spoils of war, as it were. Anyway, Abram’s nephew Lot is taken hostage by the marauding army. Lot also is known here as Abram’s brother; which is either a misprint, a mistranslation or an honorific – as in, the son of my brother is my brother. So Abram gets his servants together and they harass the armies both day and night. And all the kings give up and honour Abram and return Lot and all his stuff.
God returns to the tale in Genesis 15, when he tells Abram that He is his shield and protector and provider of rewards. And now it gets a bit weird: Abram complains that he has no heirs. So God says “…he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” Yes, that’s right “out of [Abram's] own bowels”. After a sacrifice of some animals and birds, God tells Abram that though his people will be servants, they shall have the land.
In Genesis 16, Ishmael is born. Sarai is unable to bear children, so Abram goes to Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian handmaid. Unfortunately, when Hagar falls pregnant, Sarai gets jealous and beats her and drives her into the desert. So God tells her to go back, submit to her mistress and, as a star prize, Hagar’s children will be numberless. Awesome. Ishmael is born and God says “…he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” – this does not seem like a good prophecy to me.
This is representative of the Bible, unfortunately. Huge areas where nothing except time passing happens, important stuff is glossed over and the list makers get to write most of it. Very dull indeed.
Wonder what Genesis 17 will bring?