By Charlotte Gordon

Explores the biblical tale of Abraham and his better halves opposed to a backdrop of occasions that marked the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and considers how their tale deals perception into ongoing conflicts among the Judeo-Christian and Islamic worlds. 1 Beginnings three -- 2 Lekh Lekha thirteen -- three Hebrews 21 -- four Sacrifices 32 -- five attractive girl forty-one -- 6 Rape within the Palace fifty one -- 7 warfare sixty three -- eight Dinner with Jesus 70 -- nine Silences seventy five -- 10 Trembling sooner than God eighty two -- eleven Covenant of the elements ninety -- 12 Sarai's Proposition ninety eight -- thirteen Do together with her as you are going to a hundred and five -- 14 Hagar and the desert a hundred and fifteen -- 15 The good 122 -- sixteen A moment Concubine a hundred thirty -- 17 Naming God 138 -- 18 Ishmael one hundred forty four -- 19 El Shaddai 151 -- 20 Sarah and God 159 -- 21 God the daddy 168 -- 22 Circumcision 177 -- 23 the talk 189 -- 24 Gerar and a Cave 201 -- 25 Incest 214 -- 26 Laughter 220 -- 27 Exile 231 -- 28 Mount Moriah 242 -- 29 The cherished Son 256 -- 30 The loss of life of Sarah 266 -- 31 Burial and challenge 277 -- 32 Coming domestic 291 -- 33 Hinneni 299

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Extra info for The woman who named God : Abraham's dilemma and the birth of three faiths

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Why couldn’t they see Him? 6 Perhaps He was like Abram and had been unable to father sons and daughters. in35 35 5/7/09 9:20:39 PM THE WOMAN WHO NAMED GOD as it threw God’s virility into question. How would such a deity have the strength to fight other peoples’ gods? No one gave voice to these concerns, however, and when Abram said it was time to leave Shechem and travel further south, his people traveled behind him, still faithful and uncomplaining. Some scholars argue that Abram’s altar building at Shechem, devout though it may seem, was actually influenced by local pagan ritual.

In25 25 5/7/09 9:20:36 PM THE WOMAN WHO NAMED GOD city they had chosen to leave. Even Lot’s wife, who would become famous for a future act of looking back, marched straight ahead. Indeed, this famous pilgrimage out of Mesopotamia seems to have been one of harmonious unity, at least at first. Such unanimity is rare in Scripture, as is equanimity and compliance. For example, in Exodus, the second book of the Bible, after Moses led the Israelites out of slavery, the Israelites lamented their fate with each step they took toward freedom.

But Abraham refused to bend his knees, and so Nimrod’s soldiers threw him into a fiery furnace. Although the flames engulfed him and he felt the pain of being burned, he stepped unscathed from the flames. His miraculous escape not only terrified the court but also symbolized Abraham’s rebirth as a hero. This tale was embellished over the centuries to include many different versions of the anguish Abraham endured. In addition, the flames would reappear in other Biblical tales, such as Daniel’s escape from Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace (Daniel 3:1–30).

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