College Comp I
23 November 2015
Abram in Egypt
Abram in Egypt.
Although Abram is considered one of the biggest religious figures in
religious text, the story of Abram in Egypt showcases Abram in a completely new light. Writers
of Genesis wanted the story to be interpreted in the reader's own way something that could
surprise and intrigue a multitude of readers. Through extensive research, sources, and opinions, it
can be found that the story of Abram is meant to be what the reader makes of it. So, who was
Abram? A Hero? A man of wealth? Someone trying to ecsape death? Or someone who simply
abandoned their marriage?
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With this, readers can question
Abram as a Liar as
well. Abram lies to the Egyptians, claiming to be Sarai’s brother not her husband. “Sarai is
appropriated by no less than Pharaoh himself into a potentially adulterous relationship, and her
“brother” gains riches as well as security at the wrenching cost, of course, of his beloved wife’s
honor and companionship” (134). Being God’s prophet, lying should be the furthest of Abram’s
interests, as it is the ultimate Sin to deny the union of one’s marriage. Here, Pangle shows
readers that one can look at Abram as a Sinner, Liar, and not the Hero he was played out to be.
However, what if there was another way of looking at his time in Egypt?
Looking out for yourself. Selfishness. Interested in furthering oneself. No matter the
name, it is typically frowned upon to only be interested in one’s self. But what if it was at the
cost of your own life? Pangle’s put a twist on his previous interpretation, as readers are able to
see Abram’s point of view. What is Abram didn’t have ill intent, but instead was fearful of death
itself? “Yet Abraham himself, in the Septuagint, reports that he characterized what he was asking
his wife to do as ‘an act of justice to me’” (135). Here, readers can see things from Abram’s side.
Maybe the lying, the sinning, was all a plan to keep him alive as a husband, as the prophet.
Readers can further question if Abram might’ve indeed been right in committing these sins, as
God himself didn’t punish (nor congratulate) him. “and though He does not praise it, He
indicates no objection whatsoever to it” (135). Here, readers are able to question their thoughts
on Abram completely. If the Lord doesn't punish you for something, is it safe to assume
that you did nothing wrong? Was Abram in fact, a man simply trying to save his life, without
thinking about the consequences?
Interpretation (n): the action of explaining the meaning of something, an explanation or
way of explaining. Following the theme of interpretation, Karen Armstrong's,
In the Beginning:
A New Interpretation of Genesis
, encourages readers to interpret the story of Abram’s time in
own way. Armstrong illustrates Abram’s journey in Egypt, asking readers to take on
a new perspective of the story Abram’s. Armstong questions the true meaning of the writers of
Genesis how Abram’s time in Egypt was simply the story of a man enjoying the many blessing
the Egyptians had to offer, and who doesn’t like the wealth of blessings? Karen Armstrong’s,
the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis
, shows readers that the story of Abram in Egypt
could be interpreted in a multitude of ways.
Beginning with a summary of Abram’s time in Egypt, Armstrong stresses the importance
of interpretation. As there were two other versions of Genesis, scholars like E tried to find