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the-fork-in-the-road_0

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From here, “The Story of Israel: A Biblical Theology”, by J. Scott Duvall, p 47 (but ultimately credited to Duane Christensen, Deuteronomy 21:10-34:12, Word Biblical Commentary 6B, page 680).

Here’s a quote from Scott:

… Just as obedience to Yahweh results in specific blessings, so too does disobedience yield specific curses.  There are numerous curses presented throughout the book of Deuteronomy.  Many of these curses fall under the ominous curse of Israel being defeated by her enemies and her subsequent exile into foreign lands.  Just as the blessings served to create a future for Israel, the curses threatened to dismantle all that could have been Israel’s.

In the structure of the book the curses also surround the Deuteronomic law code …

Curses – Deuteronomy 1-11 (4:9-28; 8:11-20; 11:16-17)

Deuteronomic Law Code – Deuteronomy 12-26

Curses – Deuteronomy 27-34 (27:15-26; 28:15-68; 31:16-32:51)

Duane Christensen has suggested that a chiasm appears in Deuteronomy 28, which serves to emphasize the totality of these curses in the demise of the nation of Israel.  The central point in the chiasm reverses the blessings promised earlier in Deuteronomy 28:4, 8, 11:

A  Triad of afflictions: curse, confusion, and cumbrance (Deut 28:20-22)

B  Agricultural Disaster (drought and hardening soil) (Deut 28:23-24)

C  War:  Defeat leading to Israel becoming an object lesson (Deut 28:25-26)

D  Boils of Egypt sent from Yahweh (Deut 28:27)

E  Madness and blindness (Deut 28:28-29a)

F  Oppressed and robbed all the days (Deut 28:29b)

Undoing of the blessings in 28:4, 8, 11 (Deut 28:30-31)

F’  Oppressed and crushed all the days (Deut 28:32-33)

E’  Madness from what one sees (Deut 28:34)

D’  Boils sent from Yahweh (Deut 28:35)

C’  War:  exile leading to Israel becoming an object lesson (Deut 28:36-37)

B’  Agricultural disaster (crop-destroying pests) (Deut 28:38-42)

A’  Economic collapse – impoverishment and debt (Deut 28:43-44)

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I’ve changed his center a little bit.  His F  X  F’ is now an F  G(1,2)  G'(1,2)  F (basically, I’ve created a G'(1,2) out of the first part of his F’).  I’ve also added verses 45-48 to his A’.  Verses 15-19, imo, could have been added to A as well.

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15  “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:  16  “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.  17  “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.  18  “Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.  19  “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 

A    [Me: disobedience, destruction:]  20  “The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me21  The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it.  22  The Lord will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish

B    [Me: agricultural disaster – the cause:]  23  The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron.  24  The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed

C    [Me: War – the act itself:]  25  “The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.  26  Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 

D    27  “The Lord will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed

E    28  The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart;  29  and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness,

F    and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed  /  continually, with none to save you. 

G   

1    [Me: family:]  30  You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it;

2    [Me: land and possessions:]  you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit31  Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat of it; your donkey shall be torn away from you, and will not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you will have none to save you. 

G’  

1′   [Me: family]  32  Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and yearn for them continually; but there will be nothing you can do. 

2′   [Me: refers to land and possessions:]  33  A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors,

F’   and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed  /  continually

E’   34  You shall be driven mad  /  by the sight of what you see

D’   35  The Lord will strike you on the knees and legs with sore boils,  /  from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 

C’   [Me: war – the aftermath:]  36  The Lord will bring you and your king, whom you set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone.  37  You shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the Lord drives you. 

B’   [Me: agricultural disaster – the result:]  38  “You shall bring out much seed to the field but you will gather in little, for the locust will consume it.  39  You shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you will neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm will devour them.  40  You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off.  41  You shall have sons and daughters but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity.  42  The cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground

A’   [Me: disobedience, destruction:]  43  The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you will go down lower and lower.  44  He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you will be the tail.  45  “So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.  46  They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.  47  “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;  48  therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

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071-1

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From the book “Deuteronomy”, by Gary Harlan Hall, p. 163.  Available at Amazon.

Here’s a quote and outline from the book:

Deuteronomy 8 is one of the most carefully constructed sermons in the entire book [Me: of Deuteronomy], making the most of the rhetorical device of chiastic structure.  The sermon clearly develops a line of thought up to verse 11, which states the main idea and marks the focus of the chiasm.  The second half develops away from the focal point through a repetition of the same details as found in the first half.  …

Introduction: 1

A.  Manna to test you, so remember – 2-3

B.  God led you in the wilderness – 4-5

C.  The blessings of the land – 6-9

D. Satisfaction brings praise – 10

E.  Do not forget – 11

D’.  Satisfaction brings a warning – 12a

C’.  The blessings of the good land – 12b-14

B’.  Leading in the wilderness – 15

A’.  The manna to test you, so remember – 16-18

E’.  Do not forget – 19-20

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I’ve made a number of changes.  The center went from an E to a double G/G’.

I’ve taken the beginning introduction and matched it with the end E’, creating a brand new A/A’.  Both A1 and A’1 match the center (A1 and G’ refer to commandments, while A’1 and G’ refer to remembering).  Having the beginning and end match the center is a common chiastic technique.  A2 is a blessing, while A’2 is a curse. Whether the people are blessed or cursed depend on their obedience to God’s commandments.  The beginning, center, and end gives us the main point of the chiasmus:  obeying God’s commandments.

I’ve also created a new D/D’.  These sections reflect the people’s hearts, or minds.  They contrast.  In D, the people fear God.  In D’ the people forget God.  …  D and D’ are placed between sections on the wilderness and the promised land.

Overall, I think this is a pretty nice chiasmus.

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A   

1    1  “All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do,

2    that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. 

B   

1    2  You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years,   a   that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  3  He humbled you and let you be hungry,   b   and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know,

2    [Me:  ~Reliance on self vs. reliance on God; the importance of God]    that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord

C    [Me: “forty years” = wilderness.  See v. 1: “in the wilderness these forty years”]    4  Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.  5  Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 

D    Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

E    For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;  8  a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;  9  a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper

F    10  When you have eaten and are satisfied,

G    [Me: Respect God]    you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

G’   [Me: Do not disrespect God]    11  “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today

F’   12  otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied,

E’   and have built good houses and lived in them,  13  and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies

D’   14  then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God

C’   who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  15  He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 

B’  

1    16  In the wilderness   b’   He fed you manna which your fathers did not know,   a’   that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. 

2   [Me:  ~Reliance on self vs. reliance on God; the importance of God]   17  Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’  18  But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 

A’  

1    19  It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them,

2    I testify against you today that you will surely perish20  Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.

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rest-here_esther-simpson

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The following chiasmus is from here.

I’ve made a few changes.  I’ve changed his A to an A/B and his A’ to a B’/A’.  I’ve moved the end of his B section into C (my D1).  And finally,  I’ve created a spot of paralleling in his C and C’ sections (which is now my D1/D2/D’1/D’2). D1 and D’1 are negative descriptions of destruction, while D2 and D’2 are positive descriptions of peace and healing.

Here’s a quote offering a little more explanation:

Like most psalms, Psalm 46 originated in the life of the Israelite community. It was sung and recited long before it was ever written down, it’s poetic style shaped by confidence in God’s protection from threats, whether from other nations or “Mother Nature.”  In the face of a long history of threats and set backs faced by the Jewish community, God was with them, offering his provision and protection.

Robert Alden created a chiasm of Psalm 46 which pulls out some interesting features from its verses:

1      A  God is refuge.

2              B  No fear.

3-4                         C  God rules over natural calamities.

5                                       D  God is here.

6a                                               E  Nations rage.

6b                                               E  God speaks.

7                                       D  God is here.

8-9                          C  God rules over political calamities.

10                 B  Be still.

11        A  God is refuge.

Notice (B) “No fear” and “be still” are complementary, while (E) “nations rage” and “God speaks” contrast humanity’s actions with God’s actions. Verse 7 echoes verse 5, “God is here” (D), as though it were being underscored.  In verse 10, God sends a powerful message to the nations–to be still and submit to his reign.  … …  [H]e commands us all to “be still”– a quiet reminder that our ultimate confidence and security is in the power and presence of God.  Only then can we truly rest in his presence.

 

For the choir director.  A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth.  A Song.

A    1  God is our refuge and strength,

B    a very present help in trouble. 

C    2  Therefore we will not fear,

D

1    though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea3  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  Selah. 

2    4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. 

E    5  God is in the midst of her,  /  she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns

F    6  The nations made an uproar,  /  the kingdoms tottered;

F’   He raised His voice,  /  the earth melted

E’   7  The Lord of hosts is with us;  /  the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. 

D’  

1   8  Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has wrought desolations in the earth

2   9  He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire

C’   10  Cease striving and know that I am God – I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

B’   11  The Lord of hosts is with us;

A’   the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

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stock-footage-reading-the-book-of-genesis-bible

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There are quite a few chiasmi in Genesis.  I was reading through Genesis 8-10 the other day and noticed the following six:

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8:22

20  Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  21  The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

A   

22  While the earth remains,

B    [Me:  moving from cooler time of the year to warmer time of the year?  Seedtime to harvest?:]

a    Seedtime

b    and harvest,

C   

c    And cold

d    and heat,

C’  

d’   And summer

c’   and winter,

B’  

b’  (d”)  And day

a’   (c”)  and night

A’   Shall not cease.”

 .

9:6a:

A    “Whoever sheds

B    the blood

C    of man

C’   by man

B’   his blood

A’   shall be shed …”

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9:9-17:

8  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 

A

a    9  “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you;  

b    10  and with every living creature

c    that is with you,

d    the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth

c’   with you – of all that comes out of the ark,

b’   even every beast of the earth. 

a’   11  I establish My covenant with you;

B    and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 

C    12  God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;  13  I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.  14  It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,  15  and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh;

B’   and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh

A’   16 When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”  17  And God said to Noah, This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

[Me:  There is a match between the center and the end, a common feature in chiasmus: bow in the cloud; remembering.  At the same time, the author is able to match A’ with A via his ending comment, “… the covenant which I established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth”.]

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10:1-24

1 Now these are the records of the generations of

A    Shem,

B    Ham,

C    and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood. 

C’   2  The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras.  …  …

B’   6  The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan.  …  …

A’   21  Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born. 22 The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur

a    and Arpachshad

b    and Lud and Aram.

b’   23  The sons of Aram were Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash.

a’   24  Arpachshad became the father of Shelah …

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deuteronomy

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From the book, “Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy”, by Stephen K. Sherwood.  The book and chiasmus can be found here at Google books – p. 268.  The book can also be found here at Amazon.

Here’s a couple quotes:

Wenham and McConville (1980) call attention to structural elements that tie these verses together:  …  …  3. the six punishments are arranged in chiastic order; and 4. the six cases are arranged in two groups of three each – a triadic division that is used in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

Chiastic ordering of punishments:

19    A    damages of one hundred shekels to father, no divorce

21    B    woman executed

22    C    man and woman executed

24    C’   man and woman executed

25    B’   man executed

29    A’   damages of fifty shekels to father, no divorce

“The combination of parallel paneling and chiasmus give this section a notable coherence and compactness suggestive of careful drafting”

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A    13  “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her,  14  and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’  15  then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate.  16  “And the girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her;  17  and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity. ‘And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.  18  “So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him,  19  and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.

   20  “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin,  21  then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel, by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

C    22  “If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

C’   23  “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her,  24  then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

B’   25  “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.  26  “But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.  27  “When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

A’   28  “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,  29  then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

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crucifixion

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I think this is a chiasmus.  It requires some commentary, but for now I thought I would just post it.  🙂

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1  (For the choir director. A Psalm of David; for a memorial.)

A    a  O Godb  hasten to deliver me!

B    a  O LORD,  /  b  hasten to my help!

C    2  Let those be ashamed and humiliated

D    Who seek my life;

E    Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.

E’   3  Let those be turned back because of their shame Who say, “Aha, aha!

D’   4  Let all who seek Thee

C’   rejoice and be glad in Thee – And let those who love Thy salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified.”

B’   5  But I am afflicted and needyb’  Hasten to me,  /  a’  O God!

A’   b’  Thou art my help and my deliverera’  O LORDdo not delay.

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The end of the chiasmus also appears to be a small chiasmus:

a    5b  Hasten to me,

b    O God!

c    Thou art my help and my deliverer;

b’   O LORD,

a’   do not delay.

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 marc-chagall-abraham-and-sarah-bible

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This chiasmus is fairly straight forward.

I like the double center.  It demonstrates that there are two ‘balanced’ parts to the covenant.  God plays a part (land and ‘being their God’), and Abraham and his descendants play a part (circumcision).

I also rather like the progressive build-up at the end of A, B, and C.  It goes from A, “I will multiply you exceedingly”, to B, “… you will be the father of a multitude of nations, to C, “… and kings shall come forth from you.”

I also like that C/C’ seems to bring out an equality between Abraham and Sarah.  They both have their names changed, and they both are given the same promise.  …  It’s a partnership.  Nice.

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A    17:1  Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.  2  “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.”

B    3  And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying,  4  “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.

1    5  “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham;

2    For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.  6  “And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you.

D    [Me:  God’s part:]

1

7  “And I will establish My covenant  /  between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.

2    8  “And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession – and I will be their God.”

D’   [Me:  Abraham’s part:]

1    9  God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant,  /  you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.

2    10  “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you:  every male among you shall be circumcised.  11  “And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.  12  “And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.  13  “A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.  14  “But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

C’

1    15  Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

2    16  “And I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations;  /  kings of peoples shall come from her.”

B    17  Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed,

A    and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

 

[Me:  A question concerning Ishmael (fatherly concern):]    18  And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!”  19  But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.  20  “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.  21  “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”  22  And when He finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.

[Me:  Abraham obeys his God:]    23  Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him.  24  Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.  25  And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.  26  In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son.  27  And all the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

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