Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Since your comment on my Galatians Sunday School lesson is too long to reply to in comments, let me reply here. Actually, you raise several points, so it will take several posts to reply to them all.

First, let me thank you for taking the time out from your busy schedule creating nuclear energy and giving speeches about destroying Israel to comment on my humble post.

Your comment on Genesis 21:14 and following is interesting. I can only say that the Good News Version made a translation error in saying that Abraham put Ishmael on Hagar's back. I think your initial calculation that Ishamael was 14 at the time is correct, but you cannot add 3 years for weaning to get to 17. First, it is not in the Scripture. Second, the preceding chapters show that Abraham was circumcised when he was 99 and Ishamael was 13. He had Isaac when he was 100, so Ishamael was either still 13 or had turned 14, depending on when in the year his birthday fell. Either way, certainly 13 or 14 is too old to be carried.

However, most of the translations do not say he was carried. Most say that Abraham placed the water skin on Hagar's shoulders and gave him the boy and off they went. The TEV says he was placed on her shoulders, but not the New International Version, the New American Standard Version, the King James Version, or the New Century Version. So, I don't think, as you maintain, that this was modified later, I think it is a matter of how you interpret the Hebrew.

I also don't think the passage speaks of Ishmael as if he is a baby. Certainly, the readers would have know the earlier chapter shows him to be 13. Further, the word for "boy" is "yeled" (transliterated). It appears many times in Genesis, interpreted as child, boy, youth, young man or offspring. It never appears to my knowledge in Genesis as baby or infant.

I don't know why the TEV missed the translation, but clearly Ishamael was a young teenager and Abraham put him away with his mother, giving her provisions she could carry, bread and water, and sending her in the morning in hopes that she would find food and shelter before the day got too hot.

Thanks for reading. I'll post on the other issues as soon as I can get to them.
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