By Isaac Asimov

In Asimov's advisor to the Bible, Isaac Asimov explores the ancient, geographical, and biographical elements of the occasions defined within the outdated and New Testaments. Asimov's makes an attempt to light up the Bible's many vague, mysterious passages turn out soaking up interpreting for an individual attracted to faith and heritage.

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The age of Shem at the time of his death is given as 602 years (itself a fall-off from Methuselah's 969), but Terah, eight generations later, lives only 205 years, and his immediate descendants have lifetimes of less than zoo years. O. It is impossible, now, to tell whether Ahram and his immediate descendants represent actual individuals or, as in the case of Nimrod, a telescoping of several. If we take the Biblical story at its fa& value, however, hp is an individual and a well-depict& individual, too.

Arphaxad (better, "~r~achsad,"as the Revised Standard Version has it) is a complete puzzle linguistically,and does not even seem to be a Semitic name. However, Genesis 10:24 states that Arphaxad was the grandfather of Eber and Eber is the eponym of the Hebrew people, which would include the inhabitants of both Israel and Judah (as well as certain other related peoples). Babel , Wlfa the genealogies taken care of, the Book of Genesis goes on to relate one last tale centered about Babylonia. " However, God defeated their purpose by giving each man a different language, making it impossible for them to understand each other.

In that case, Haran itself might be the place of birth of Abram's family, rather than Ur, and the two might have been confused through the common moon-worship. Birth in Haran rather than Ur would make Abram an Aramaean (or at least the native of a region that later became Aramaean) rather than a Sumerian. This would square with the description in the Book of Deuteronomy of the ancestor of the Israelites, presumably Abraham. In the Revised Standard Version, this reads: "A wandering Aramaean was my father!?

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Asimov's Guide to the Bible : Two volumes in one: The Old by Isaac Asimov
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