Reading questions for Genesis 12-25


1.) The nomadic life (sojourner) versus the urban one: which is better?

2.) What is the relationship between genealogy and geography?

3.) The Lord appears and speaks to men and women in different guises. Comment.

4.) What is a covenant?

5.) Why does Sarah laugh?

6.) What is the sexual ethics of Genesis? (Telling others that your wife is your sister; marrying your half-sister; circumcision; sleeping with your Egyptian slave-girl, having concubines, seducing your father while drunk, trying to rape visitors. . . . )

7.) God’s promise to Abraham is repeated several times—comment on the pattern and it temporality.

8.) How does Abraham deal with his neighbors?

9.) Comment on the bargaining scene between the Lord and Abraham in Genesis 18.

10.) The Flood, The Tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah: what is the logic of divine punishment?

11.) Why does God “test” Abraham by commanding him to offer Isaac as a “burnt offering”? Comment on the narrative technique of this passage.

12.) Cain and Abel; Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob: why does the biblical narrative seem to favor the younger brother?

13.) tent-flaps, camels, silver, gifts, hospitality—what are the social institutions of the Ancient Near East?

14.) How are economic transactions conducted in the text?

15.) Oaths, promises, contracts, covenants—discuss the ways of agreements in the text.

16.) Comment on the moments of deception and duplicity in the text.

17.) Seeds. Comment.

48 thoughts on “Reading questions for Genesis 12-25

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