antabanta posted:ksazma posted:antabanta posted:
So God incited Abraham to abandon his older son, Ishmael?
I don't think Abraham ever abandoned Ishmael. Much to Keith's disappointment the Bible is not the only source of information. There are references to Abraham spending lots of time with Hager and Ishmael during Ishmael's lifetime including when Ishmael was grown and married. Religious peoples like to talk about miracles they read about in old books. Now while the origin of the zam zam well is written in old books and is open to discussion, if one was to acknowledge that it began as a water source for baby Ishmael, then that miracle is still available and can be seen with the physical eyes some 9000 years later.
But why would a benevolent god instigate a rift in an innocent man's family?
I don't think that the rift was instigated by God. There is scripture that rhetorically criticizes the Christians for judging Abraham by Moses' laws when those were not the prevailing laws during Abraham's time. Having only one wife was not the prevailing law/custom during Abraham's time so he did nothing wrong when he married Hagar and had his first child.
I don't accept the Bible's depiction of a jealous and vindictive Sarah. I think that is the Biblical writers or the historians of that time who sought to create a division between Abraham's first two sons so they can solidify their own history. I think it is much simpler. Abraham initially had two wives, Sarah who lived in Canaan and Hagar who lived in Mecca. There was no rift as men back then had many wives and the women accepted that condition.
That said, our actions are a product of our emotions, not God's actions. Even today, we have people who were once madly in love that later end up angrily killing each other. One day, we love our job and another day, we are bored or unhappy with it. Human emotions are constantly changing. I don't think that is a product of God.
Btw, I love hos the Bible referred to his third wife, kethura as wife and concubine in the same sentence. I think the writing pattern of the Bible give the impression of the end justifying the means.