newprotest.org: PHARAOH AND ABIMELECH (GEN. 12 AND GEN. 20)

PHARAOH AND ABIMELECH (GEN. 12 AND GEN. 20)

October 19, 2004
by: jovial_cynic
In the Genesis 12 account, Sarai is taken into the house of Pharaoh. However, there is a discrepency between the NIV and NKJV when they describe the possible level of intimacy between Pharaoh and Sarai:

Gen 12:19 (NIV)
Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I ***took*** her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!


Gen 12:19 (NKJV)
Why did you say, 'She is my sister'? I ***might have taken*** her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.


The actual translation in hebrews is currently under debate, apparently, since the use of the "tense" is ambiguous. However, when you read the Genesis 20 account, it is very clear that Abimelech did *not* have relations with Sarah. In this account Abimelech responds to God's charge by stating that he is innocent, and further adds, "Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also?" fearing that his actions (had he sinned) would bring about ruin to his kingdom.

Is it fair to reason that the omission of God's intervention in the Genesis 12 passage is the starting point of the destruction of Egypt in the book of Exodus? Does God "slay a nation" in the book of Exodus on account of this early Pharaoh, whom God did not spare from sin?

It's just a thought. I've never read such a thing from anybody else, but it seems to make sense to me. That God would harden the Pharaoh's heart in Exodus, outside the context of Genesis, makes God appear completely arbitrary and capricious. Sure, "God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy," but in most cases, you can trace God's wrath on an individual up their geneological roots to a particular curse placed on an ancestor. For example, Joshua's instruction to wipe out the canaanites can be traced to Genesis 9:25 and 10:15-20.

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