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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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Facing Death (Chaps. 22–23)

Facing Death (Chaps. 22–23)

The Offering of the Son (Chap. 22)

The Death of the Wife (Chap. 23)

(p.265) 27 Facing Death (Chaps. 22–23)
Genesis as Dialogue

Thomas L. Brodie

Oxford University Press

God's command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac is probably best seen as a way of ensuring that Abraham is not idolizing his son, not idolizing the one he loves. (This is the first time Genesis uses the word “love,” 22:2). Genesis 22 is a literary unit showing Abraham's serene closeness to God as opening the way to the birth of many children. When Sarah dies (Genesis 23), Abraham is equally serene. He mourns, but he then shows extraordinary dignity, and Sarah's death opens the way to buying a field at Mamre, and finally taking possession of part of the promised land. Genesis 22 and 23 have several elements of complementarity.

Keywords:   Abraham, children, death of Sarah, Genesis, Isaac, love, Mamre, promised land, sacrifice

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