By Paul R. Williamson

The divine provides to Abraham have lengthy been famous as a key to the e-book of Genesis as a complete. yet their style, usually famous, additionally increases literary and theological difficulties. Why do they vary at any time when, and the way are they with regards to one another and to the tale of Abraham? Williamson specializes in the guarantees in Genesis 15 and 17, and concludes that they're interested in precise yet comparable matters. Genesis 15 promises God's promise to make Abraham right into a nice state, whereas Genesis 17 focuses mainly on God's promise to mediate blessing (through Abraham) to the international locations. the 2 chapters are attached, notwithstanding, via the topic of a person, royal descendant who will come from the country (Israel) and mediate blessing to the entire countries of the earth.

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C. Atkinson, The Book of Genesis (The Pocket Commentary of the Bible; Chicago: Moody Press, 1957), p. J. T. P. P. J. E. McComiskey, The Covenants of Promise: A Theology of the Old Testament Covenants (Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 1985) (although cf. P. M. F. Youngblood, The Book of Genesis: An Introductory Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2nd edn, 1991); McKeown, 'Unifying Themes', pp. J. Wenham, Genesis 16-50 (WBC, 2; Dallas: Word Books, 1994), pp. H. Stek, '"Covenant" Overload in Reformed Theology', CTJ 29 (1994), pp.

Aalders is arguing against the traditional sourcecritical explanation of the two covenant chapters that will be outlined below. 76. See Section 4 below. 77. U. Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis (trans. I. H. Segal, The Pentateuch: Its Composition and its Authorship and Other Biblical Studies (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1967). 78. Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis, p. 47. 79. Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis, p. 48. This assumes, however, that Gen. 4 should be read, 'My covenant is with you'.

27 Kidner likewise maintains that the divine response to Abraham's request for reassurance (in Gen. executed in two stages. The first is in this chapter [15], an inauguration of a particularly vivid kind. The second stage, in chapter 17, was the giving of the covenant sign, circumcision. 28 Kidner explains the reason for the delay in the second stage in terms of the testing of Abraham's faith, the rationale for the two stages of covenant-making being to highlight both dimensions of the covenant: The earlier chapter fixed the basic pattern of grace and answering faith; nothing was asked of Abram but to believe and 'know of a surety'.

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