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Genesis 14 and Lot
09-15-2017, 09:51 AM
Post: #1
Genesis 14 and Lot
I've always found Genesis 14 to be interesting and weird. It looks like an older story (or at least one from a very different source) sandwiched into an otherwise continuous narrative.

My question specifically is about Lot. Excluding Genesis 14, Lot starts out as just a travelling companion to Abram. In Genesis 18, Abraham intervenes on behalf of Sodom and presumably Lot. Lot is rescued by Angels, but is then pretty much turned into an off-color joke about the Moabites and Ammonites.

Genesis 14, however, looks to me like a potentially earlier story telling the same broad narrative of Abram/Abraham rescuing Lot from destruction. Lot doesn't otherwise seem to be that important of a guy, though, and Genesis 14 seems to assume knowledge of many more details than those that made it to the Bible. Are there any other clues that Lot was a more important person in pre-Biblical stories? Was he a Canaanite hero with an originally more impressive story that was whittled down to a side note? The Genesis 14 narrative leaves me feeling that there must be more to the story.
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09-15-2017, 11:13 PM
Post: #2
RE: Genesis 14 and Lot
(09-15-2017 09:51 AM)Difflugia Wrote:  I've always found Genesis 14 to be interesting and weird. It looks like an older story (or at least one from a very different source) sandwiched into an otherwise continuous narrative.

My question specifically is about Lot. Excluding Genesis 14, Lot starts out as just a travelling companion to Abram. In Genesis 18, Abraham intervenes on behalf of Sodom and presumably Lot. Lot is rescued by Angels, but is then pretty much turned into an off-color joke about the Moabites and Ammonites.

Genesis 14, however, looks to me like a potentially earlier story telling the same broad narrative of Abram/Abraham rescuing Lot from destruction. Lot doesn't otherwise seem to be that important of a guy, though, and Genesis 14 seems to assume knowledge of many more details than those that made it to the Bible. Are there any other clues that Lot was a more important person in pre-Biblical stories? Was he a Canaanite hero with an originally more impressive story that was whittled down to a side note? The Genesis 14 narrative leaves me feeling that there must be more to the story.

I feel the Bible tells us all about lot that we need to know. He was Abraham's brother's son, but Abraham called lot his brother because of the family ties. The land was not able to bear them both together because God had blessed them both tremendously. Lot went to Sodom. Yet Abraham still love Lot as is displayed in Genesis 14 how Abraham took his trained servants born in his own house and delivered Lot. In Chapter 19 Abraham asked God if He would destroy all of Sodom or just the wicked. Abraham was trying to get Lot delivered, yet save the whole city. What we can learn from Lot, first he was a righteous man, 2 Peter 2,8, seeking to survive. Yet when he missed the will of the Lord, and chose a wicked place, yet the Lord brought him out and gently nudged him into the place where the Lord wanted him. He'll do the same for all the righteous who serve Him. For more on Lot you might check on books from that time, although there are a lot of forgeries out there like the book of Jasher. To bad we don't have the original.
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09-17-2017, 09:20 PM
Post: #3
RE: Genesis 14 and Lot
(09-15-2017 11:13 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  I feel the Bible tells us all about lot that we need to know. He was Abraham's brother's son, but Abraham called lot his brother because of the family ties. The land was not able to bear them both together because God had blessed them both tremendously. Lot went to Sodom. Yet Abraham still love Lot as is displayed in Genesis 14 how Abraham took his trained servants born in his own house and delivered Lot. In Chapter 19 Abraham asked God if He would destroy all of Sodom or just the wicked. Abraham was trying to get Lot delivered, yet save the whole city. What we can learn from Lot, first he was a righteous man, 2 Peter 2,8, seeking to survive. Yet when he missed the will of the Lord, and chose a wicked place, yet the Lord brought him out and gently nudged him into the place where the Lord wanted him. He'll do the same for all the righteous who serve Him. For more on Lot you might check on books from that time, although there are a lot of forgeries out there like the book of Jasher. To bad we don't have the original.

It looks to me like the rescue of Lot in Genesis 14 is actually the same story as the rescue in Genesis 19, just an earlier version. Abraham in Genesis 14 is a somewhat different Abraham than we have in the rest of Genesis. Though it's a relatively short passage, he's no longer portrayed as having the close relationship with God as he does in the rest of Genesis. While the chapter 19 rescue is effected through negotiation with (and perhaps besting) God, the chapter 14 rescue is the result of military might and his position seems to be that of a warlord. Furthermore, his only chapter 14 connection to Yahweh is a problable interpolation in a verse 22. Texts that predate the Masoretic texts lack the tetragrammaton, so El Elyon is no longer equated with Yahweh.

I think it likely that some of the oldest Bible stories have their roots in the Canaanite religion and I'm guessing that Genesis 14 is from an older source that links Abram to El rather than to Yahweh. Continuing to speculate, I'm guessing that the original source ended in the destruction of Sodom, but through military action rather than Yahweh's wrath. For whatever reason, though, one of the redactors liked this part of the story and inserted it between chapters 13 and 15, which flow together much better without 14. If Lot was the ancestor of the Moabites and Ammonites in the original story as well, I'm guessing that the original was somewhat kinder to their ancestry and wasn't just a source of comic relief.
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09-17-2017, 11:29 PM
Post: #4
RE: Genesis 14 and Lot
(09-17-2017 09:20 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  
(09-15-2017 11:13 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  I feel the Bible tells us all about lot that we need to know. He was Abraham's brother's son, but Abraham called lot his brother because of the family ties. The land was not able to bear them both together because God had blessed them both tremendously. Lot went to Sodom. Yet Abraham still love Lot as is displayed in Genesis 14 how Abraham took his trained servants born in his own house and delivered Lot. In Chapter 19 Abraham asked God if He would destroy all of Sodom or just the wicked. Abraham was trying to get Lot delivered, yet save the whole city. What we can learn from Lot, first he was a righteous man, 2 Peter 2,8, seeking to survive. Yet when he missed the will of the Lord, and chose a wicked place, yet the Lord brought him out and gently nudged him into the place where the Lord wanted him. He'll do the same for all the righteous who serve Him. For more on Lot you might check on books from that time, although there are a lot of forgeries out there like the book of Jasher. To bad we don't have the original.

It looks to me like the rescue of Lot in Genesis 14 is actually the same story as the rescue in Genesis 19, just an earlier version. Abraham in Genesis 14 is a somewhat different Abraham than we have in the rest of Genesis. Though it's a relatively short passage, he's no longer portrayed as having the close relationship with God as he does in the rest of Genesis. While the chapter 19 rescue is effected through negotiation with (and perhaps besting) God, the chapter 14 rescue is the result of military might and his position seems to be that of a warlord. Furthermore, his only chapter 14 connection to Yahweh is a problable interpolation in a verse 22. Texts that predate the Masoretic texts lack the tetragrammaton, so El Elyon is no longer equated with Yahweh.

I think it likely that some of the oldest Bible stories have their roots in the Canaanite religion and I'm guessing that Genesis 14 is from an older source that links Abram to El rather than to Yahweh. Continuing to speculate, I'm guessing that the original source ended in the destruction of Sodom, but through military action rather than Yahweh's wrath. For whatever reason, though, one of the redactors liked this part of the story and inserted it between chapters 13 and 15, which flow together much better without 14. If Lot was the ancestor of the Moabites and Ammonites in the original story as well, I'm guessing that the original was somewhat kinder to their ancestry and wasn't just a source of comic relief.

You may be right, but I see 14 as Abraham having a close relationship with God because God gave Him victory over several kings. Also 14, Abraham returned the kings to Sodom, but 19 God destroys that wicked place. So while it is up to speculation as to what you say about the older source for 14, I really think it adds to the story rather than the story being better without it.
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