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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Abraham's Family Tree

Just thought that these jottings from an old diary might help some to put Abraham and his times into a clearer time context.

Some have taken this to mean that Abraham was the eldest son being mentioned first, but the scripture often has other criteria for preeminence than order of birth. e.g.
# Ge 5:32 9:24 10:21
# Jos 24:4 Ob 1:18 Ro 9:13 Heb 11:20 Ge 25:26 27:42

Certain Rabbi's taught explicitly that Abraham was the youngest son of Terah. It is also pertinent that in the next generation Abraham's "son" [Isaac] married Nahor's "granddaughter" [Rebecca] indicating that Nahor was Abraham's senior by some years. Many of the earliest Rabbinical and Christian commentators equated Sarah with Iscah of Ge 11:29 who is described as the daughter of Haran [the man]. This would mean that Haran was considerably older than Abraham as we know that Abraham was only 10 years older than Sarah [Iscah]. Sarah is described as Terah's daughter in Ge 20:12, but this could as easily mean grand-daughter in the usage of the day. Compare the incident in Ruth 4:17 where the son of Ruth is referred to as "a son born to Naomi" although there was no blood link of any kind between Ruth and Naomi.

Abraham was 75 years old when he left Haran [the city] Ge 12:4. Terah must have been 130 years old when he fathered Abraham. It is also to be noted that Lot's daughters described their father as being "old" [Ge 19: 31]. We tend to think of Lot as Abraham's young nephew, but Lot never behaves deferentially to Abraham which indicates that they were of similar age. This again indicates that Haran [the man] was considerably older than Abraham and is consistent with the hypothesis that Haran was some 60 years older than his youngest brother Abraham.

If the question is asked why was it remarkable that Abraham could father a child at 99 when Terah fathered one at 130 the answer must be that Abraham's body was dead as regards his reproductive powers as was Sarah's womb. [Ro 4:19] Abrahams regenerated productive powers fathered as least 6 more sons by Keturah after Sarah's death when Abraham must have been about 140 years old. [Ge 23:1 25:1-4]

It is sometimes said that Abraham was wrong in taking Lot with him, but the scriptures do not say that Abraham "took" Lot with him. They begin by saying that Terah took both Abraham and Lot with him. They continue by saying that "Lot went with" Abraham, and this is repeated in the last of these verses.

We sometimes get the impression that because Lot was Abraham's nephew he was subordinate in some way to Abraham. Because Abraham was the youngest of Terah's sons Lot was really a contemporary of Abraham and of about the same age.

Lot was under his grandfather's direction in Gen 11:31 but he is not viewed as being under Abraham's rule. It seems that Lot chose to accompany Abraham until the time of Genesis 13:11

Ron Bailey

 2003/12/11 8:44Profile

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