Eighth Month 31

And Yahweh restored Job’s condition … He had seven sons and three daughters; his first daughter he called “Turtledove,” the second “Cassia” and the third “Mascara.” Throughout the land there were no women as beautiful as the daughters of Job. And their father gave them inheritance rights like their brothers. – Job 42:1,13-15 (NJB)

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Look closer, and see: the daughters are named at the end of the story, after Job’s enlightenment and transformation, but not at the beginning – and the sons go unnamed!

Stephen Mitchell uses “Dove,” “Cinnamon,” and “Eye-shadow” as the daughters’ names. These are terms of affection and delight, no doubt arising in their unique personalities.

I think they inherited even more than their brothers.

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It was by this Light that Job walked through Darkness, and it is by this Light that we come to see our Darkness. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

 

Eighth Month 30

Now the two of them, the human and his wife, were nude, yet they were not ashamed. – Genesis 2:25 (Everett Fox translation)

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So where does shame originate? Especially shame of the human body?

Don’t blame the serpent, either.

Could it be they simply got cold? The kids weren’t yet on the scene.

Human-husband and wife, eh? They’ve obviously been fooling around, and ever so delightfully.

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Neither is there any Creature that is not manifest in his Sight, but all Things are naked and open unto the Eyes of him with whom we have to do, even as it is written. … This is that Word to whom the Scriptures directs us, as a Light unto our Feet, and a Lanthorn unto our Paths, to guide our Feet into the Way of Peace; the very Entrance of which giveth Light; yea, it giveth Understanding to the Simple. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

Eighth Month 29

Once Sara saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian-woman, whom she had borne to Avraham, laughing. …
She said to Avraham:
Drive out this slave-woman and her son,
for the son of this slave-woman shall not share-inheritance with my son, with Yitzhak!
The matter was exceedingly bad in Avraham’s eyes because of his son. – Genesis 21:9-11 (Everett Fox translation)

*   *   *

Human affections can be so entangling. Sarah is fine with Abraham’s having a son by her servant, until she has a child of her own, and then she becomes more than a protective mother. Yes, she becomes jealous and crosses a line. The she-wolf would destroy the rival offspring. Or we can see the conflict arising, once again, over money and possessions.

Hagar and Ishmael are banished and would seemingly vanish from awareness. But there are hints of continuing support and care.

When Abraham dies, both of his first-born sons come to bury him: Ishmael and Isaac, together.

*   *   *

Then this is it, O Lord! that I would most earnestly implore of thee, even that thou wouldst cast up, cast up a Way for me, and remove all Lets and Stumbling-blocks from, and mark cut a plain Path before me, in which I may walk straight forward towards thy heavenly Country; and that amidst the various Forms there are for worshipping of thee, my Soul may certainly know how to serve thee aright, and wherewith to bring an acceptable Sacrifice unto thee. So that this being the Prayer which the Lord often put into my Heart, as I then took it, to pray unto him when my Soul was seeking the Way to his Kingdom, Promises of outward Promotion, had they been proposed, could not have given me Satisfaction. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

Eighth Month 28

Now Sara’s life was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years, (thus) the years of Sara’s life.
Sara died in Arba-Town, that is now Hevron, in the land of Canaan. – Genesis 23:1-2 (Everett Fox translation)

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Curiously, that is all that is said of her after the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael, which was immediately followed by the near human sacrifice of Isaac.

Fox notes that Sarah is the only woman in the Bible who’s age is given – a token of her great esteem.

What is easily overlooked, in all the hubbub over Hagar the Egyptian and Sarah, is that Abraham married again, to Keturah, who bore him both sons and daughters, in addition to his concubines, who also had sons.

From the start, then, the genealogy soon tangles.

*   *   *

Promises of outward Advantage and worldly Good, availeth nothing that can stand the Soul in stead.  … the Lord is my Witness herein, who subjected me unto himself, and made me willing to be at his disposing, and to have my Lot cast by him: The Truth is, Corn, nor Wine, nor Oil, I did not esteem, nor yet Length of Days to enjoy them; for in my Solitudes, the whole World seemed to me as a very little Thing, my Soul desiring nothing but a Part in God’s Kingdom, which made me earnestly intreat him, that he would lead me in the Way everlasting … (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

Eighth Month 27

So now, my son, listen to my voice:
Arise and flee to Lavan my brother in Harran,
and stay with him for a few days, until your brother’s fury has turned away,
until his anger turns away from you and he forgets what you did to him.
Then will I send and have you taken from there – for should I be bereaved of you both in a single day?
So Rivka said to Yitzhak:
I loathe my life because of those Hittite women;
if Yaakov should take a wife from the Hittite women – like these, from the women of the land,
why should I have life? – Genesis 27:43-46 (Everett Fox translation)

*   *   *

And then, despite all the guile, Jacob gets a second blessing from his father! He’s dispatched to his mother’s brother, a man capable of similar deceptions.

*   *   *

And yet leads into an Heavenly Order, both in Doctrine, Principle and Conversation, according to the Diversity of its Gifts, whereby Man comes not to be at Liberty in his own Will, but bound again to God, which is the true Signification of the Word Religion. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)