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The Chumash – Genesis 16-20

16. Hagar and Ishmael

17: The covenant of circumcision; new names and a new destiny

17:5. All converts are considered descendants of Abraham because the Torah calls him the father of … nations, and therefore a convert can be called a son of Abraham. This means that the spiritual mission of mankind, which began with Adam, was now transferred to Abraham.

17:9-14. Adam was born circumcised, but after his sin his foreskin was extended and covered the organ, as a symbol that he had crated a barrier between himself and holiness.

the number eight, on the other hand, represents the concept that one can rise above the limitations of nature.

17:20. We see from the prophecy in this verse that 2337 years elapsed before the Arabs, Ishmael’s descendants, became a great nation [with the rise of Islam in the 7th Century C. E. ]

18:1-8. Visiting the sick and hospitality to strangers … even his physical being had become pure enough to be a resting place for God, as it were.

18:2. In this case the three angels were Michael, who informed Abraham that Sarah would have a son; Gabriel, who overturned Sodom; and Raphael, who healed Abraham and saved Lot.

18:5. The righteous say little and do much.

18:11. each day in a person’s life carries with it its own challenge and mission. What is to be accomplished today cannot be postponed tomorrow, because tomorrow has its own set of things to do. … They reached their old age with a rich harvest of days that are truly mattered.

18:9-15. The promise of a son is revealed to Sarah.

18:16-21. Abraham learns about Sodom’s destruction. he will teach his values of kindness and justice to future generations, it is appropriate that I tell him what I plan to do. … the opportunity for repentance is always open to sinners.

The cruelties of Sodom have become part of the language as the epitome of selfishness, callousness and depravity, but the root of their evil was greed.

18:19. For one who loves another brings him close and seeks to know him well. .. One reveals his values by what he teaches his children. For one to preach morality but not inculcate it in one’s own family reveals that the preaching is less than sincere.

19. Sodom is destroyed and Lot is saved. The Sodomites were notorious for every kind of wickedness, but their fate was sealed because of their selfishness in not helping the poor and needy.

19:7-8. Lot was a perplexing hero. a man will fight to the death for the honor of his wife and daughters.

19:14. One jest repulses a hundred rebukes.

19:15-26. Someone who is totally righteous – an Abraham, for example – may be saved by miracles even when everything around him is crashing down. less righteous people may be granted an opportunity to save themselves from impending doom, but once the destruction begins, they will be caught up in the general carnage.

19:31-38 Lot’s daughters: Moab and Ammon.

20:4-5. Good intentions do not purify a wrong deed. Its measure is whether it complies with God’s will; if it is wrong in His eyes, then good intentions do not give it sanction. Moreover, lack of knowledge is itself sinful, for a person has the obligation to seek instruction.

  • wrought: work, labor
  • brazenly, gall, ignominiously
  • posterity
  • Incongruous: Out of Place
  • pique
  • persecution
  • brigand
  • plunderer: marauder
  • bolster
  • halactic
  • diminution
  • predispose: make susceptible
  • rabbinical
  • jubilant: over-joyed
  • surplusage
  • morsel: mouthful
  • wayfarer: traveler
  • alacrity: eagerness
  • sumptuous: lavish
  • mitzvah
  • slake: quench
  • menses
  • callous: heartless
  • beseech: Implore
  • alms
  • encumbered
  • sacrillege: desecration
  • strenuously
  • desist: abstain
  • nucleus
  • quorum
  • convicitons
  • acquiesce
  • audacious: bold
  • matzos
  • jester: fool
  • temerity: audacity
  • sodomize
  • impudence: impertinence
  • lethal: fatal
  • carnage: slaughter
  • entourage
  • ply: Use
  • vigilant
  • impotent
  • indignant: grieved
  • bestiality
  • vindicated
  • orifice: opening

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