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QQC—Isaac’s Riches

Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Genesis 26

We know Abraham must have been a very rich man (13:2) because of all the herds and flocks he had when he and Lot went separate ways (13:5-9—what happened to all Lot’s flocks, herds and servants who tended the animals when he fled from Sodom?) and because when he rescued Lot and the others from Sodom when they’d been carried off by raiding kings, he had 318 trained men born in his household. (14:14)

Abraham had eight sons, and he gave all his sons gifts before sending them “away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.” (25:1-6) Isaac inherited the bulk of Abraham’s estate so Isaac was a rich man in his own right.

Yet, when Isaac went to live in Philistia, under King Abimelech, to avoid famine back home, we are told that he “became rich and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.” (26:13) Had he discarded all his wealth back in Canaan? I wouldn’t think so. The mind boggles at the contemplation of all he owned.

Further, Jacob, as Isaac’s son with the birthright, would have inherited all this wealth—or at least the major portion of it. Where was that wealth when he moved to Egypt? It must have all come with him. I can see that it would have diminished for each subsequent generation because of how it had to be divided—Jacob had twelve sons, after all, and most of his sons had many sons—but what happened to all the servants, herdsmen, shepherds and trained fighting men between Jacob’s arrival in Egypt and Israel’s departure to the Promised Land?

Comments

Mikael said…
Just a note about your links: consider having a darker colour for them, so they can be read more easily.

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DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

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I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …