A Daily Genesis

Genesis 20:1-3

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 20:1a . . Abraham journeyed from there to the region of the Negeb and settled between Kadesh and Shur.[/B]

In Moses' day, Kadesh was a jumping off point just prior to crossing over Wadi Araba into the region of Moab. (Num 20:14-16)

According to freytag & berndt's map of Israel/Sinai: Kadesh is located approximately 46 miles southwest of Beer-sheva near El Quseima Egypt about 15 miles south of the town of Nizzana. Just northeast is the wilderness of Shur; a region adjoining the Mediterranean to the north, and the Suez Canal to the west. Shur extends somewhat south along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez.

The very first mention of Kadesh was during El Ched's punitive expedition in Canaan. (Gen 14:7)

No doubt the En-mishpatite people returned to Kadesh and told everyone about the heroic sheik who defeated the Babylonian contingent and set them free from El Ched's grasp. So Abraham was a legend in that area and everyone greeting him would very likely show him much respect.

Abraham didn't actually settle down in Kedesh itself, but rather, nearby. He may have been camped in the exact spot where Ms. Hagar met the angel of the Lord in chapter 16; and at this point, she's still living at home with Abraham and Sarah.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 20:1b . .While he was sojourning in Gerar,[/B]

Gerar hasn't been fully identified, but the site may be along one of the branches of Wady Sheri'a, at a place called Um Jerrar, near the coast southwest of Gaza and 9 miles from it. Gerar was apparently a prosperous city situated along a major caravan route; and Abraham was by this time a wealthy and powerful chieftain who would quite naturally make periodic trips to Gerar's railhead to auction off some of his livestock; and in turn, purchase much needed goods and hardware to supply his ranch. Gerar's location along the Mediterranean seaboard also made it a lucrative city in trade with foreign merchants.

Genesis indicates that Gerar belonged to the Philistines, and it leads us to assume that Abimelech was their king, but experts are quite certain that Philistines didn't occupy this region until after the time of Abraham; in fact only a short time before the Exodus. It's likely, however, that the author of Genesis would quite naturally refer to the region as it was known in his own day. The town certainly existed in the Philistine period, because it's mentioned in connection with Asa, who defeated the Ethiopian host under Zerar and pursued them in their flight unto Gerar (2Chrn 14:13). In addition to Um Jerrar, another place in the vicinity known as Jurf el-Jerrar has been thought by some to be the site of Gerar.

According to ERETZ Magazine, issue 64, Abimelech's land is an ample valley with fertile land and numerous springs of water.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 20:2 . . Abraham said of Sarah his wife: She is my sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.[/B]

Does this sound familiar? Abraham has lied about his relationship to Sarah more than once. If he really believed God's promise to make of him a great nation, then he wouldn't worry about anybody killing him because dead men don't become great nations without children. Yes, he had Ishmael. But God said he and Sarah would have a boy together named Isaac. That boy was yet to be born. So Abraham will stay alive to engender Isaac.

We might ask: what in the world did Abimelech want with a woman Sarah's age anyway. She was at least 89 years old by this time. But God had given Abraham's wife renewed vitality to bring a child into the world. So I don't think Sarah looked her age at all. I think she looked a whole lot younger; and with creamy, glowing skin too. But it could also be that Abimelech was up in years himself so that a girl of 89 would look pretty good. At my own current age of 71, a woman in her 50's is a chick to me.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 20:3 . . But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him: You are to die because of the woman that you have taken, for she is a married woman.[/B]

This was an extremely dangerous situation for Sarah now that she was fertile. She was destined to bear Isaac and there could be no question about who the father was. It had to be Abraham. So if Abimelech were allowed to sleep with her, it would never be conclusive that Abraham was the true biological father.

That's no doubt precisely why Joseph didn't sleep with the Lord's mom till after he was born; so there would be no question, at least in his own home; that her firstborn son was not his.

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