By Paul R. Williamson
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Extra resources for Abraham, Israel and the Nations: The Patriarchal Promise and its Covenantal Development in Genesis
This, and its explicit articulation by Calvin and several early Puritan writers, certainly militates against seeing it as a recent innovation, artificially imposed upon the text to give the appearance of literary coherence. Rather, the number of advo55. Other links between Gen. 17 and 35 are highlighted below; cf. Chapter 5 Section 3c (n. 85). 56. R. W. Norton, 1996). 57. Alter, Genesis, pp. 72-73. 58. T. Mullen, Ethnic Myths and Pentateuchal Foundations: A New Approach to the Formation of the Pentateuch (SBLSS; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997).
Kline, By Oath Consigned, p. 43. 37 For Nelson the two chapters are complementary, Genesis 15 emphasizing divine grace and Genesis 17 highlighting human responsibility. While expressed differently, Magonet's conclusion is rather similar: Both chapters 15 and 17 deal with God's discussions with Abraham and the establishment of the brit, the covenant, between them. It is made by God's promise in chapter 15, and reciprocated by Abraham's acceptance •50 of circumcision, the sign of the covenant, in chapter 17.
Nevertheless, his conclusions are worthy of note. 102 He further agrees that the covenant-making occasion of Genesis 15 is quite distinct from that of Genesis 17. He differs from Alexander, however, in the latter's analysis of Genesis 17 as merely the annunciation of the second covenant ratified in the Akedah account of Genesis 22. Sheriffs contends that the canonical form of the Abraham narrative and Near Eastern practice suggest rather that covenant and treaty were updated at royal or divine initiative, when guarantees or stipulations were extended or modified.