I must confess that when I started this journey of sharing my thoughts and understanding of the stories of the Bible, I didn’t have set out rules on how to go about it. In fact, that we’re in the twenty second chapter is mainly due to the fact that there were parts I considered irrelevant in the initial chapters, and therefore skipped them (to much regrets hoping that somehow I will device a means to return to those parts to properly do them justice), until I decided not to do that anymore, even if it means saying at least one word on the so called non-stories, seeing that their mention must definitely serve a purpose, notwithstanding the possibility or not, of immediately grasping what those are and mean at the time I encounter them.
This became an issue again, after the last topic, and I scanned through the next part of scripture, only to find that it is about genealogy. In the past genealogies weren’t it for me, it used to be that part that you simply skip (like I did with the genealogy of the generations of Noah in Genesis chapter 10) to move on to the next story, which ultimately robbed me of the opportunity to share Abraham’s ancestry, but recently I have begun to see meaning in genealogies, as many of them tell far more interesting stories than what we consider stories in the Bible. Genealogies also explain connections, some of which are controversial (like the genealogy of our Saviour, Yahshua Ha’mashiach); others refer us to the past that birthed the present, amongst several other reasons why we shouldn’t simply gloss over genealogies.
In Genesis 22:20, we see the type of genealogy that focused on Abraham’s present, especially as relates to those he left behind in Haran, where his father had moved them (Abraham, Nahor and Lot, Haran’s son), from his native Ur of the Chaldees. It is simply stated there that “…. it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also borne children unto thy brother Nahor;” meaning that life didn’t stop for them just because they didn’t leave with Abraham. If not for anything, the man Nahor multiplied bearing eight sons namely, Huz, Buz, Kemuel (father of Aram), Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel (the father of “Rebekah”, which you should keep in mind for the future, concerning Isaac, Abraham’s son). Four other sons namely Tebah, Gaham, Thahash and Maachah, he also had by a concubine Reumah. Apparently, it was important that the happenings on that side, in terms of the next generation be highlighted, seeing how great an important a role they (at least one or two) will play in the lives of the children of Abraham.
Lemme highlight what I’ve gleaned from this very short genealogy as follows:
1. Other people’s lives with whom Abraham was related didn’t stop because he got called of and by YAHWEH. Our purposes on earth is as different as our fingerprints and it behooves on us to find it. Even Lot who left with Abraham soon parted ways with him.
2. Our paths in life vary, while one may need to go abroad (like Abraham) to make it, another (like Nahor) doesn’t even have to leave his immediate abode to be so blessed. Many times, when those of us in Africa nurse the thought of going abroad to study or work, some of us do so because we have acquaintances who had gone by that route to become successful in the academia or business as the case may be, not because it is expedient for us to do. If YAHWEH intends to bless you, location isn’t a consideration.
3. I had earlier spoken of genealogies showing us connections, here we see that Rebekah, whom we shall soon encounter regarding Abraham’s son, Isaac is the daughter of Bethuel. I should also leak to you that the same Bethuel fathered Laban (Genesis 28:5) who we shall encounter in regards to Isaac’s son, Jacob. Another reason why we shouldn’t discountenance genealogies.
4. Finally, it would appear that having concubines wasn’t out of place back in the day. You’d find that though the children Nahor had by two women where separated, with those of the wife listed first, followed by those by the concubine, there was no mention of those by the latter as illegitimate.
The passage of time and dictates of our time, promiscuity and all, have caused Christian and Jewish societies however to not favourably sanction the keeping of concubines by married men, hence unlike what was formerly obtainable, concubines to some men are not known till probably when they die, and the products of such relationships get named in the will, or the concubine brings the children to the burial of their father, who may have been Bishops in churches but kept that part of their life under cover, in keeping (only on the lip) with Apostle Paul’s instruction to Timothy, that “A bishop then must be blameless, the HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, vigilant, sober….” (1 Timothy 3:2), although some may argue that there’s no express command as to the concubine situation in that text, but it goes without saying, that sexual dealings concerning a bishop for instance (and by extension, members of his flock), must be with one woman. His wife.
This is as far as I would go on this issue, till such a time as we’ll once again encounter another as this, which I can assure you will be sooner than later. I will also decline from making a judgment, electing rather to treat each of the cases contextually when we come across them. For now, I’m just glad that from a simple genealogy, we’ve managed to build a story, which should encourage us to approach other genealogies in like manner to see what we can generally make of them, as we further furnish our knowledge of the stories of the Bible, in a bid to impacting our lives positively to the glory of YAHWEH. Selah.