11. The Fights of the Lord and the Fights of the Ladies

Since Lot chose the wrong lot and Abraham chose the right one, God promised not only that Abraham’s descendants would enjoy that good lot that he chose, but the whole world would be blessed with the same lot so that today we should not see any more of Lot’s choice in the world but only Abrahams and the people like him, right? After so many thousands of years, is it not about time for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham? The obvious question that an ancient reader would have asked at this point is: How come that Lot’s descendants are seen everywhere and Abrahams are nowhere to be found and those who claim to be descendants of Abraham are perfect clones of Lot and have no resemblance to Abraham at all? Yes, Lot’s descendants may have changed their clubs into nuclear bombs and the greatest killers claim Abraham as their ancestor and his faith as their belief, but except the magnitude of the killing, nothing has changed. That Abraham failed in his dream to establish a different kind of world so that the world is just as full of evil as it has been since Cain killed his brother was a fact that no intelligent reader would fail to recognize and the author of Genesis, who was writing for intelligent readers, wanted to explain why the world has always been the way it is no matter when and where you happen to live in it. That Abraham failed to create descendants in his own image is what any intelligent reader would have wanted the author of Genesis to explain and in what follows everything must revolve around the answer to this question. True, Abraham may have been an unique individual in dealing with Lot, by befriending the Amorites and by his mediation for Sodom, but does it mean that he was such an ideal individual in everything he did and particularly in making sure that he not only would have many descendants, but his descendants would be copycats of him? Do the following stories try to prove how Abraham was consistently an outstanding individual who lived in stark contrast with his contemporaries – and particularly his modern civilized descendants – or did he fail in his whole enterprise and how that failure is explained? This is what an ancient reader would have expected the author of Genesis to explain in what follows and this is what we ourselves should look for when reading these stories. As any reader would expect, the ending of Lot’s story is followed by the continuation of Abraham’s story: …read more

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