September 3, 2014
On Wednesdays in September, we will be reading about different aspects of Abraham, who is described by many Bible scholars as the father of the monotheistic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). This Wednesday we are reading about how Abraham had to conquer fear before he could have the blessed fulfillment of his promised child AND the blessed fellowship with a former foe.
The writers of Genesis were very careful to identify all of the stops on Abraham’s journey, and knowing the meanings of these names and places adds another depth to the Bible story. I’ve included the Hebrew meanings of these words in a link, as well as the “chiasm” in Abraham story. Chiasm is a literary device used in some Hebrew literature where the ending of a story mirrors the beginning of a story. That’s my vocabulary word of the week (thanks to the notes in the New Oxford Annotated Bible), and it is another way to approach Abraham’s story, and especially with the two “wife is my sister” stories.
Another new vocabulary word for me is “Xantippe” from Science and Health. Xantippe was the wife of Socrates who is described today as a scolding and quarrelsome woman. Shakespeare compared Kate in “Taming of the Shrew” to Socrates’ Xantippe (thanks Wikipedia). Now what Xantippe has to do with Abraham and Sarah will be for you to ponder!