Discovering Genesis 7: Abraham the Patriarch
Dr. Neiman reads from the chapters of Genesis that deal with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abimelech, the birth of Isaac and the covenant of the circumcision. Abraham is visited by three angels who predict the birth of a son. The angels also warn Abraham that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed. The Angels visit Abraham's nephew Lot and are threatened by the men of Sodom. The Angels's blind the gang at the door and warn Lot of the need to leave Sodom before it is destroyed. As the family of Lot flees the city, Lot's wife turns back to look and is turned into a pillar of salt. In Chapter 21 Issac is born and circumcised. Sarah asks Abraham to divorce Hagar. Dr. Neiman explains how the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar fits into the legal system of the time - The Code of Hammurabi. The binding of Isaac tests Abraham's faith. Dr. Neiman discusses the themes of the story and its context at a time and place where other cultures routinely practiced child sacrifice. Dr. Neiman also explains the significance of Abraham's purchase of his burial plot, the cave of Machpelah from the Hittites.
Dr. David Neiman (1921–2004) was professor of Jewish theology at Boston College and specialized in a broad range of fields, including archaeology, Biblical studies, Jewish history and Catholic-Jewish relations. He also organized Boston College’s Institute of Biblical Archeology and participated in nearly a dozen archaeological excavations in Israel. He was the author of Domestic Relations in Antiquity (Little Acorns Press, 1994) as well as a commentary and selected translation of the Book of Job (Massada, 1972). He also wrote several important articles for the Encyclopedia Judaica. His lectures on the Book of Genesis were delivered in 2000 at the University of Judaism in Bel Air, CA.