Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 21:32-34

32 Thus they made a covenant at Beer-sheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.

34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days.

Something we did not know until these verses is that Abimelech was king over the Philistine people. Obviously the Philistines will come to be one of the constant vexations to the people of Israel, but at this time their leader is friendly with the forefather of the entire Israelite nation.

I never realized before how the early records in Genesis take special care to detail the origin of nations that will become significant later on. For example we also learned how the Ammonites and Moabites came from the daughters of Lot, and they, too, will eventually be long-time enemies of the Israelites.

I had always assumed that when the Israelites were led out of Egypt the nations they warred against in Canaan were complete strangers to them. Evidently that viewpoint was incorrect, all these countries already had a history with each other.

Another interesting foreshadowing in these verses is that Abraham planted a grove to worship the Lord. Later on his descendants would keep the practice of worshipping in groves of trees, but they would be dedicated to pagan gods instead of the Lord. In today’s culture we have lost the connection between groves of trees and worship, but evidently it was a strong idea back in biblical times.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 10:25

25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

Genesis Chapter 10 is another genealogical chapter, giving the descendants of each of Noah’s children. And I find it very interesting this verse tucked away in the middle of it all, making a casual reference to the time when the earth was divided, which some have interpreted as meaning the supercontinent Pangaea splitting into the seven continents we know today.

Alternatively, it could also mean this was when humanity dispersed itself into different nations, after the confounding of the languages at the Tower of Babel, which we will soon read of. But in either case, what struck me about this verse was that many generations of humanity and hundreds of years are history are being flown by, with virtually no information of what transpired. The scriptures that we have, and also the history we books we have, only ever provide the smallest window into what was really going on in those ancient days.

Later books, such as those of the New Testament, take place in societies where we have a pretty good idea of what they were like. But the stories in Genesis we have little or no context behind. No wonder these tales take on such mythic proportions then, because we don’t even know how to properly conceptualize them.