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Genesis as DialogueA Literary, Historical, and Theological Commentary$
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Thomas L. Brodie

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195138368.001.0001

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Personal Conflict, and Vision of a Deeper Covenant (Chaps. 16–17)

Personal Conflict, and Vision of a Deeper Covenant (Chaps. 16–17)

A Personal Conflict Excluding Foreign Slaves (Chap. 16)

A Vision Including Such Slaves (Chap. 17)

24 Personal Conflict, and Vision of a Deeper Covenant (Chaps. 16–17)
Genesis as Dialogue

Thomas L. Brodie

Oxford University Press

In Genesis 16, the beautiful barren Sarai finally releases what is inside her – a confused bitterness that strikes at God, Abram, and her slavegirl, Hagar. Her proposal that Abram impregnate Hagar causes tension between the two women and she drives the foreign slavegirl away. However, the Lord intervenes and brings back the foreign slavegirl, and she bears Abram a son, Ishmael. In Genesis 17, Ishmael is old enough to be circumcised; a circumcision linked to a covenant that includes foreigners (foreign slaves) and that promises new life for Sarai. Together, Genesis 16 and 17 give the concept of covenant a new depth and new inclusiveness. They also give Abram and Sarai new names – Abraham and Sarah.

Keywords:   Abraham, Abram, circumcision, covenant, foreign slaves, Genesis, Hagar, Ishmael, Sarah, Sarai

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