For the people who follow Judaism, Genesis 17 I would imagine is very important. In this new chapter a lot happens. God decides to rename a few people, probably to keep things consistent further on in the book. Abram and Sarai get a great new makeover and emerge as Abraham and Sarah. This happened while Abraham was 99 years old. Obviously a late bloomer. God also said that this time next year, Sarah will bear you a son and this guy will be important. As an aside, the best thing about the OT is that the characters do tend to get a bit lippy with God. Abraham says something like “seriously, a woman of 90 and a man of 100 will have a child”. None of that silly unquestioning obedience here.
Oh yeah, and God said that every male over the age of 8 days should be circumcised. And they were. Ouch. In exchange for the foreskin, Sarah gets to be a 90-year-old mother and Abraham a 100-year-old father. You would have thought they’d be content with a restful old age, but they were obviously made of hardier stock back then.
Genesis 18 is mostly a bit of banter between God and Abraham and Sarah about the fact that Sarah is well beyond child-bearing age. God says He will do it because he’s awesome, which seems fair enough. Then God says he’s off to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah unless he can find 50 good people there. Abraham argues again – this bit is pretty good actually – Abraham says “what if you only find 45, will you destroy the city for want of 5 people?” God, being reasonable here, agrees that 45 is a good number and will spare the city if 45 good people can be found. Actually, here’s the exchange, and I like it: Continue reading ‘The Bible – Short Back and Sides’ »