A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Sarah’s Covering in Genesis 20:16 — the Geneva Bible translated it absurdly and dishonestly

Absurd and dishonest translation of Scripture — it often dishonours women and puts them in a double bind.

Ruth Magnusson Davis shows how Genesis 20:16 was badly translated in the Geneva Bible.

The bad translation in the Geneva Bible (1560) was adopted into the KJV and carried over into the NKJ.

Sarah’s Covering: The Matthew Bible vs. the Geneva Bible  by Ruth Magnusson Davis

Excerpt from Ruth’s article:

The Geneva treatment of this passage is wrong for many reasons, including:

(1) It is absurd and dishonest to blame and reprove Sarah for doing as her husband told her to do, and especially in a society where women were without power or authority.

(2) It is also absurd and dishonest to hold up Abraham, who told his wife to lie and got her into the situation, as her defence. It was God who was her defence.

(3) The Geneva Bible creates a classic double bind. On the one hand, in many notes and commentaries it says women must be obedient to their husbands, but here it reproves a woman for being obedient. The woman cannot win.

(4) The Geneva Bible dishonours Sarah, where the intent of the passage was to restore her honour.

Again and again the Geneva Bible proves itself contrary to women (not to mention also contrary to the Matthew Bible). It refuses to protect and honour women.

Read the full article HERE.

***

Related posts at this blog

The Matthew Bible is the first complete English Bible, and Ruth M Davis is gently it updating for modern readers

“If thou hatest her, put her away, and give her a clothing for the scorn” – Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible

Whose tears are covering the altar in Malachi 2? The Matthew Bible vs. the Geneva Bible, Puritans and Calvin

Protecting women from abuse. Has Exodus 21:10 been mistranslated in most English versions of the Bible?

The notes in the October Testament are spiritually uplifting and illuminating

28 Comments

  1. Finding Answers

    From Ruth’s article “What does Genesis 20:16 mean when it speaks of a covering to Sarah’s eyes?…..”

    ^That.

    From the original post “The bad translation in the Geneva Bible (1560) was adopted into the KJV….”

    ^That.

    Reading through ALL the Bible notes and Gesenius discussion cited in Ruth’s article, an additional comment might be made regarding the “translators” of the Geneva Bible:

    The “translators” of the Geneva Bible, followed by the “translators” of the KJV, followed by the sheep who read these two Bibles would appear to be perfect examples of Barb’s recent series on Blindness.

    • “The ‘translators’ of the Geneva Bible, followed by the ‘translators’ of the KJV, followed by the sheep who read these two Bibles would appear to be perfect examples of Barb’s recent series on Blindness.”

      Amen! Thanks for making that connection Finding Answers!

      • HeLovesMe

        That was an amazing connection Finding Answers. Thank you!

  2. Helovesme

    Pastor Sam wrote a wonderful post about Rahab and how she lied to protect the Jewish spies. It might add more insight into the “interesting” narratives being explored here.

    https://myonlycomfort.com/2019/10/18/rahab-and-the-gospel/

    I myself had a LOT of thoughts running through my mind, and I read Ruth’s post as well.

  3. Ruth M Davis

    To readers: I just want to add that I changed the wording of point (3) in Barbara’s excerpt from my post, to make the emphasis more correct. Barb did not misquote me. She correctly quoted how I had it originally. But now it reads “(3) The Geneva Bible creates a classic double bind. On the one hand, in many notes and commentaries it says women must be obedient to their husbands, but here it reproves a woman for being obedient. The woman cannot win.”

    • Thanks Ruth. Your new wording makes it more clear.

      I will change the wording of point three in this post to make it say what your article now says.

      For those who are wondering, Ruth’s earlier wording had been:
      “(3) The Geneva Bible creates a classic double bind. On the one hand, in many notes and commentaries it reproves women who do not obey their husbands, but then here it reproved a woman for obeying her husband. The woman cannot win.”

  4. Helovesme

    One thing Ps Sam Powell points out in that post is that the Bible is NOT a series of “moral tales.” That is absolutely a key place to start.

    His post inspired me so much, as well as this one. There are similar narratives in the Word, often presented in a confusing and conflicting ways. I was reminded that the Bible is incredibly aware of the complexities of humanity.

    Other “questionable” narratives in the Word that ask a lot of good questions:

    Abigail and Nabal: she saved many people, but went against her husband in order to do so.

    Ananias and Sapphira: both died because they chose to lie about something as trite as money—-the Word says they lied to the Holy Spirit Himself.

    David and Saul: David had a chance to kill Saul but would not kill God’s anointed. David was not alone as he traveled. Killing Saul would have spared the lives of many.

    Peter and Christ: Peter said “I do not know this Man” three times—betraying Christ but likely saving his own skin.

    Rahab and the spies: she lied and asked that she and her family be spared. Is that selfishly motivated, or spiritually sound?

    I recall sermons about Genesis 20 favoring Sarah for trusting in God versus man, even her own husband. And how one can rely on God to protect and save you. It did NOT lean into or stress how Abraham lied, as I recall—-likely because that wasn’t the point of the sermon. The point was to stress how God saves, when man fails.

    I read verse 11 in Genesis 20, where Abraham explains to the king why he did what he did. There are a fair amount of twists and turns:

    She really IS my sister, but I married her (I gauged that he’s trying to claim he wasn’t FULLY lying?)
    He says he didn’t think the people of Gerar feared God, so he feared being killed because Sarah was his wife (can anyone explain what that means, exactly?)
    He says he told Sarah that by lying, that would show her love for him—say I’m your brother (that is an intense way to manipulate).

    Ironically, last night I was speaking about two occasions I personally experienced regarding the “love me” manipulation—-as a way to get what you want:

    The first occasion revolved around jealousy. I was told, in vague terms, that something I had done had a strong chance of making others jealous, OR the jealousy already existed. Once you pull out the “people may or already have gotten hurt” card, that tends to override sound, sober minded thinking. It was an effective way to control me, and it worked.

    The second one was similar to Genesis 20. It was a “don’t you care about me” attitude. Once you pull that card out, all you can think of is proving that you really DO care, so you’ll be compliant, right? It was an effective way to control me, and it worked.

    Both of the persons in these narratives were manipulating me, my emotions, and “appealing” to my so-called Christ-like compassion to get what they wanted out of me. The “double bind” is alive and kicking today: both hands are tied so that no matter what, the victim is darned if she does, darned if she doesn’t.

    Take my two situations. I look back and wish I had stood up to both of them. But I didn’t want to come off as argumentative, and I sensed that any attempt to discuss would be interpreted as being combative.

    But in being compliant, I also paid a personal price—-the bondage of fear is a real thing. And even though two situations were NOT life or death ones (as in the case of Genesis 20), it still set a dangerous precedent.

    Think of fear as a seed planted in you. It will not remain as a seed. If you do nothing, it will grow. If you add to it, it will grow. If you want to kill it, you must do so actively, because it will not die out on its own. It is like a weed that must be pulled up of the ground, or sprayed with a chemical to destroy it.

    (I am breaking up my comments for easier reading again). I hope that is okay. Easier on Barb and Reaching out as well.

    • Reaching Out

      Helovesme,

      ACFJ has a number of blog posts relating to some of the people and issues you mention in your comment. Rather than merely supplying you (and other readers) with a simple list of the relevant ACFJ blog post links, I will leave the more complex reply to your comment for Barb.

      • HeLovesMe

        Thank you Reaching Out. I just saw your comment. I hope Barb can possibly provide those links or direct readers to find them. I brought those examples up to demonstrate how there is way more to the Bible than a bunch of commandments….obey your husband no matter what, for example.

        Faith and trust in God are what matters most. That is all about Him working on us, from the inside out.

    • Hi Helovesme, my apologies for my delay in responding.

      This post may be the most helpful: Learning to be an Abigail, not Sapphira

      Other posts about Abigail, Nabal, Ananias and Sapphira:

      Abigail

      Nabal

      Ananias and Sapphira

      • Helovesme

        Absolutely no worries, and thank you for the links!

        I will hang onto them and do my best. My reading in general and reading of links is spaced out depending on what is going on. I’m hoping to read them on my phone.

    • Was Abraham truthful in saying that Sarah was his sister?

      Genesis 20:11-13 (HCSB). To study it in context,click here.

      Gen 20
      11 Abraham replied [to Abimelech], “I thought, ‘There is absolutely no fear of God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 So when God had me wander from my father’s house, I said to her: Show your loyalty to me wherever we go and say about me: ‘He’s my brother.’”

      Terah’s family tree. Source of diagram: Wikidepdia article on Terah

      Terah's family tree

      The Bible does not tell us the name of Terah’s wife or wives. Apart from Abraham’s statement to Abimelech in Genesis 20:12, there is no other verse which corroborates that Terah had more than one wife and that Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister since they shared the same father but not the same mother.

      Abraham had asked Sarah to tell the Philistines (the people of Gerar) that she was his sister. If that was an out and out falsehood, if Sarah was not Abraham’s biological kin, if she was not his half-sister or his sister, then Abraham would have been asking Sarah to tell an outright lie.

      It would seem that Abraham had not asked Sarah to tell an out and out lie. He had only asked her not to tell the whole truth… the whole truth being that she was his wife as well as his sister/half-sister.

      The fact that Sarah complied with Abram’s request suggest to me that she was indeed Abraham’s half-sister.

      Maybe this relates in some way to what Paul was alluding to when he says Sarah obeyed Abraham:

      (1 Peter 3:6 NMB) even as Sara obeyed Abraham, and called him Lord – whose daughters you are as long as you do well, not being afraid of every shadow.

      Read that ^ verse in context — 1 Peter 3 NMB.

      And for further reading, here is one of my posts about 1 Peter 3:6.
      1 Peter 3:6 — Sarah’s children do what is right and do not give way to fear

      • Finding Answers

        Barb’s comment (29TH OCTOBER 2019 – 5:11 PM) with a diagram of Terah’s family tree.

        Oh, WOW!! Thank you for ^THAT!!

        Now to finish reading the rest of Barb’s comment. 🙂

      • I am going to publish a stand-alone post about Abraham and Sarah.

        It will be titled: Did Abraham order Sarah to be dishonest? (Is it always sinful to tell an untruth?, Part 4)

        I was stimulated by Helovesme’s question about Abraham telling Sarah to say that she was his sister. Thank you, Helovesme! 🙂 Iron sharpens iron, eh?

      • Helovesme

        Ah thank you Barb, for that response, and very much looking forward to your post.

        When I did a bit of Googling, it came up on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah:

        “The Talmud identifies Sarai with Iscah, daughter of Abraham’s deceased brother Haran, so that in this Sarah turns out to be the niece of Abraham and the sister of Lot and Milcah.”

        (As long as I point out the source I’m thinking it’s okay to share a link, plus Wikipedia tends to be fairly reliable.)

        I’m not trying at all to split hairs; it is enough to point out that Abraham most likely asked Sarah to lie more by omission than anything else.

        I can only imagine the variation of comments that Barb’s future post will generate. There is no doubt that it’s a real deal but often difficult “minefield” to tip toe through.

        Throw in the horrors of abuse along with that topic, and I hope we can encourage each other greatly as a result.

        My conscience still experiences plenty of turmoil when attempting to process abuse through the eyes of the Lord. Abuse and truth do not go together, and Jesus identified Himself as Truth—-so bringing ultimate darkness into ultimate Light is like bringing cold and hot into the same room, at the same time!

        It is also a very painful to uncover and lay out every detail of memories that you’d much rather never think about!

      • Hi Helovesme, I just want to let you and other readers know that the Talmud is not just another word for the Old Testament.

        I am quoting from gotquestions.org/Talmud and it’s a good idea to click the link and read the whole article:

        Christianity does not consider the Talmud to be inspired in the same sense that the 66 books of the biblical canon are “God breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). While some of the teachings from the Talmud may be “compatible” with biblical teachings, the same can be said for many different writings from many different religions. For the Christian, the study of the Talmud can be a great way to learn more about Jewish tradition, history, and interpretation, but the Talmud is not to be considered the authoritative Word of God.

      • Helovesme

        Oh, thank you for that, Barb—-I had no idea. Am glad you caught that and explained it to the rest of us. I wondered what Talmud meant; is good to know that.

      • In my comment above I had incorrectly stated that Genesis 20 narrates something that occured in Egypt. I have amended my comment. Genesis 20 narrates what happened when Abram and Sarai were in sojourning in Gerar which is in Philistine territory, not Egypt.

        In addition, for those who don’t know, Abimilech means in Hebrew ‘my father was king’. Abimelech is a title used by the son of a chieftain. This particular Abimelech in Genesis 20 is a Philistine. He is the king/chief/headman of Gerar which in the modern-day Gaza strip, near Beersheba.

  5. Helovesme

    I kept wanting to dive into the different themes in Genesis 20 (there is a LOT we could dive into), but want to stay focused on Ruth’s post and point. It’s number 3 that truly spoke to me:

    The Geneva Bible creates a classic double bind. On the one hand, in many notes and commentaries it reproves women who do not obey their husbands, but then here it reproved a woman for obeying her husband. The woman cannot win.

    I quickly read Genesis 20: 16 in the NIV version, which says to Sarah: “you are completely vindicated.” I wasn’t picky about which version I read it in; I only wanted to refresh my memory. But I hope it’s okay to just offer what another version offers.

    I’ve openly spoken about being a recovering people pleaser. Point #3 describes the awful “bind” that people pleasing puts you in. I cannot stress how any sincere, born again believer must pray and seek God to either extract you from such a mindset and/or protect you from falling into it, or falling back into it.

    There is absolutely nothing to be gained in being a people pleaser. It does not help you form strong and lasting relationships with people, OR the Lord Himself. It adds nothing to your life; it only drains and discourages you. There are no Biblical blessings to be had. There is nothing authentically Christ-like in it, and even IF some or many people benefit, the fruit borne may look good on the outside, but is rotten on the inside (as a nod to part 5 in the deception series).

    “Absurd and dishonest” is how Ruth put it. That is nothing short of the truth when it comes to people pleasing.

    Abraham seemed intent on pleasing himself via self-preservation, even at the expense of his wife. Did it ever occur to him that protecting himself AND her was a far better option?

    Sarah seemed intent on pleasing her husband via self-endangerment, even at the expense of being sexually violated. Did it ever occur to her that self-preservation is not necessarily sinful?

    These aren’t questions to condemn either of them, especially Sarah—-just observations. One can and should ask them of ourselves—-and if you’ve been victimized, it’s vital to search and seek the Lord’s wisdom.

    As a former victim of abuse, as well as experiencing the toxicity of being used and abused within the church—-the layers can easily pile up and cause much pain and suffering.

    My abuser was my father, but I’m still hoping to show how I can relate to Genesis 20:

    Do you, or should you—-love someone who is hurting you? Should you even try to love them? If you DO love them, or want to love them, or want to try to love them—-will you have to “filter out” how they hurt you, in order to see what you want to see in them? Will you have to make up excuses for how they treat you, or create a false narrative?

    I do not describe Abraham an abuser, but he manipulated her [Sarah] shamelessly, even using her love for him against her. My dad easily used that relational aspect against me. It’s common for children to want to please their parents—-love and approval are intensely tied together.

    But anyone that you love, you inherently want to please—how far that can and does go is up to you, but an abuser will exploit that in the extreme.

    Most people don’t set definitive limits on how far they can and should go to please the one they love, the one whose love they want so badly in return—–because of one key aspect: they never dreamed that anyone they loved would use that love against them!

    I thought pleasing my parents would begin and end based on the fact that I’m their daughter! There’s an automatic “ground level” approval, and I would build on that from there. How in the world can you build on negativity and narcissism—-my efforts are now based on proving those negative assumptions wrong, working hard to not prove them right.

    I can’t imagine Sarah standing up to her spouse—Ruth outlined it well – “a society where women were without power or authority”. But not because I see Sarah as spineless. When you are travelling to strange lands, in a strange town with strange people—-it’s a matter of survival to stick together, even if your husband, your travel companion—-tells you to do something that might put your life in danger. To put any division between them would be to likely endanger BOTH of their lives. You trust that he knows what he is doing, and you try not to think that he is not thinking only of himself.

    Perhaps Abraham told her to lie because he would be obligated to protect her as a wife. Sarah was very lovely. If a man or men noticed her and Abraham tried to assert himself as her husband (hands off, she is my wife)—–that could erupt into actual fighting. By portraying her as a sister, he would not be obligated to take it AS personally as if she was his wife.

    But casually untying the marriage knot is extremely troublesome, and replacing it with a more convenient narrative. It’s as if he disowned her as his wife, and even if only intended for a short time, that is serious business.

    Was he ashamed of her because her beauty might get him into a bind, or more ashamed of himself, knowing he didn’t want to be put in a bind? : I refuse to fight for you as a wife, if need be, so “bear” my shame and say you’re my sister. Do this out of love for me as well—even though in making this request, I am asserting that I don’t love you as a husband should, or as much your love for me—-which I am counting on so you’ll obey me.

    Disowning a member of your family is a big deal. My father may not have fulfilled his role in an honorable way, but he is still my dad. I do not want to follow his example as an individual, I do not want to uphold his example in how he treated me, but I will not lie and say that that is not my father—-even if that caused people to “tie” me to him.

    Being “tied” to an abuser can be very problematic. I didn’t want people to think that I condoned his behaviors, or to judge my character based on his. So I was not only ashamed of him as a father, but also as my father’s daughter—-as his offspring, would people automatically make assumptions that I would have to attempt to prove wrong?

    Before we jump in and say that we don’t do that, we judge people as individuals, not based on familial relations or family history—–think again. So the complexities are far and wide—-and real. As believers, we must stand on the solid ground that is Him and Him alone. How we treat each other matters, but how He would have us treat others is what matters the most.

    So with my father: don’t idolize a father/child relationship. That is my dad, but we are two separate people. I was born to him and that will never change; but I was born again by Him, and that will never change for eternity.

    I do struggle with abusive traits, due to how he raised me. Don’t condone me for that, but don’t condemn me, either. Focus on how YOU were raised—are you telling me that you emerged from your upbringing free from any and all of its influences, for good or bad?

    Ruth boils it down well: “It was God who was her defence.”

    Don’t “hold up Abraham” as she states. And do not dishonor Sarah, either. It’s easy to look at one or both of them and make a lot of claims, both just and unjust. The point of that story is that the Living God knows how to reach and rescue us—-even when those we love and trust betray that love and trust, as Abraham did. And even when the one who is betrayed finds herself in a terrible predicament.

    Frankly, the human character that I find to be the most admirable is the pagan king, Abimelech. His words to the Lord, and to Abraham and Sarah demonstrate a class act.

    Did she consider telling the king that she is a married woman to avoid being violated, or was she willing to suffer in order to stay true to her husband’s word? We don’t know. But consider this: what IF the king had slept with her, regardless if he had had that dream or not? What would modern day preaching sermonize about that?

    • Reaching Out

      Helovesme,

      Although the point 3 you quoted in your comment no longer matches Ruth’s point 3 (see Ruth’s comment on point 3, as well as Barb’s comment replying to Ruth), I did not make the alteration Ruth and Barb discussed to your comment.

      • Helovesme

        I’m so sorry Reaching Out for any confusion I may have caused.

        I see the replies up there; thank you!

  6. Finding Answers

    Helovesme commented (28TH OCTOBER 2019 – 12:40 PM) “Think of fear as a seed planted in you. It will not remain as a seed. If you do nothing, it will grow. If you add to it, it will grow. If you want to kill it, you must do so actively, because it will not die out on its own. It is like a weed that must be pulled up of the ground, or sprayed with a chemical to destroy it.”

    Absolutely ^That.

    Helovesme commented (28TH OCTOBER 2019 – 2:01 PM) “My abuser was my father….”

    ^That.

    In the same comment, Helovesme commented “Being “tied” to an abuser can be very problematic. I didn’t want people to think that I condoned his behaviors, or to judge my character based on his. So I was not only ashamed of him as a father, but also as my father’s daughter—-as his offspring, would people automatically make assumptions that I would have to attempt to prove wrong?”

    ^That.

    In the same comment, Helovesme commented “So with my father: don’t idolize a father/child relationship. That is my dad, but we are two separate people. I was born to him and that will never change; but I was born again by Him, and that will never change for eternity.

    (Bold added my me.)

    ^That.

    HeLovesMe commented (28TH OCTOBER 2019 – 9:04 PM) “Faith and trust in God are what matters most. That is all about Him working on us, from the inside out.

    (Bold added by me.)

    ^That.

    • Helovesme

      Thank you Finding Answers!

      Abuse is based on and fed by deception, but post abuse suffering can be just as bad, if not worse—-because it too can be based on and fed by deception.

      Think of common pride and joy comments that parents might make: my child looks just like me. My child IS just like me. In short: my child is a reflection of me and/or the other parent.

      These aren’t quite the things you want to hear if your abuser is your parent. You’d like to separate yourself from anything that connects you to your abuser. You’d much rather hear that you are nothing like your parent/abuser.

      I certainly felt that for years. All I could do was compare myself to him. When my behaviors resembled or reflected my father, the discouragement level spiked high. In trying to separate myself from him, however, I kept comparing myself to him. That kept me tied to him when I was trying to do the exact opposite. Such a “strategy” backfired on me big time.

      However, I needed to be aware of how much of an influence he had on me—-and that meant keeping my eyes wide open to “catch” how his influence was or wasn’t affecting me. I had to find that balance between being aware, but not being obsessed.

      If your abuser is your spouse, I still believe my story can apply. Spouses do not look like one another, and they are more emotionally developed, less dependent than children are. Here is how I think the parallel works, and then I’ll use my own marriage to wrap it up:

      The last “classic” book I read was Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar.” The book opens with the main character, a young lady, wondering what it had been like for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg when they were executed via the electric chair.

      The unfolding story explains why she asks this. I Googled the Rosenberg story when I read it, and I’m hoping memory is accurate. The entire book fell into place when I did that:

      There was ample evidence against Julius to convict him, but not as much to convict Ethel. There was little doubt that she supported and agreed with her husband’s views and subsequent actions, but she was still sentenced to die with him. By virtue of being married to him, it was as if his actions were tied to her as if she too had committed those crimes, even though the evidence didn’t support that.

      The young lady in the story was expected or wondered if she should get married. The Rosenberg scenario gave her much to be concerned about. Would her identity simply “meld” into his? What kind of consequences would she face?

      The electric chair question came up because she became mentally ill, and shock treatments were used to “help” her. They were not administered properly, so she likely felt as though she was being electrocuted.

      Now to my own marriage. I am not ashamed of my last name, but I AM ashamed of my last name being associated with his family, who profess Christ but have strong tendencies to treat people in non Biblical ways. I do not want to be tied to them, simply by virtue of our shared last name. My attitude is: please don’t lump me in with them. I do not support how they choose to live.

      However, even that’s not enough. Even IF I am not associated with them, there is a real concern that I do not jeopardize or compromise familial bonds—-often times family unity and relations are put on the same level as our relationships with Christ, or even higher. To offend your family is on par with offending Christ.

      The love for your family, and from your family, even IF it is not idolized—-it is seen as unique, distinct and special from love in other relationships. My severe disagreements with them aside, you “make it work” with them, somehow, for the sake of preserving (or at least not severing) bonds that are in a special category.

      Well, this is easily debunked by many of Christ’s own words. I do not want to be associated with physical and verbal abuse from my father, nor the spiritual and emotional manipulation from my spouse’s side of the family. Look at me and see Christ—-isn’t He all that counts—before you see who I was born to, and my last name, due to who I am married to.

      To do this, you must implore the Lord to do the impossible: judge not by appearances, and look at the heart as He does. Humanity cannot do this apart from Him. We cannot accomplish something so unnatural apart from Him—-you need His supernatural skills.

      Judge me NOT by my biology, nor by my married name. Yes, the differences are huge. I didn’t choose to be born to my father, but I DID choose to bear my spouse’s last name. Regardless of that, my spouse and I will ALWAYS be two separate, distinct persons, even as we work hard to become “one flesh” as the Bible commands.

      By the way, that “one flesh” notion (I believe) did NOT mean that one overcomes the other (usually in favor of the husband “taking over” the wife’s identity). You blend together, while retaining your individuality and uniqueness. This is not only hard work, but a lifelong work. You’ll never reach perfection, but that is no reason to slack off.

      Sometimes I think believers try to avert the consistent diligence needed for this, so they simply tell wives to “submit” and that is how you’ll be “one” with your spouse—that’s a lot easier, right?

      That is not Biblical, and frankly that’s not the “easy” way out—-it’s actually extremely problematic. This website, plus many testimonies from abused spouses, can testify to that.

      All of these things taken together, we shine another light onto Sarah’s predicament. She may have understandably embraced unquestioning submission to Abraham, truly believing that is what a godly wife should do. Even in lying, even IF she had her doubts, the attitude may have been: we are one, so we lie as one, and we will rise or fall as one. Together we rise, together we fall—-it is imperative that we remain together. That is what God would want.

      What if Sarah, perhaps resembling my own story a bit—-looked at Abraham with righteous anger instead: you’re separating from me as your wife and asking me to go along with it. How about I separate myself from YOU and not go along with your lies? I may share your last name, but I refuse to share in your sin. I’ll travel with you, but I won’t travel the way you are telling me to. We stick together, but that means you stick to me as much as I stick to you.

      I may have cheered out loud if she had said that! Talk about empowerment. But there’s a flip side: married couples who “separate” from each other when the stakes are high or problematic, regardless of the rightness or wrongness (usually this is subjective)—-is risky. There is a price to pay.

      In my case, I recall the Lord impressing it upon me to set an example. I had no idea how lonely it was going to be, not to mention unsuccessful—–but if He asked me to stick it out because He sticks by my side, well then stick it out I will.

      Bear in mind that I was told set an example, not a perfect one! That spot is already taken by Christ Himself. But in order to stand up to abuse, it’s not enough to say it’s a sin. You choose to combat it by setting an example that shows how sinful it truly is.

      I have stumbled and bumbled badly in this area. I have wept and regretted ever even trying to set an example—-it was not supposed to turn out as badly as it did. I try and pray and remind myself that success was not the aim, faithfulness was (and still is!)

      • Finding Answers

        Helovesme commented (29TH OCTOBER 2019 – 12:04 PM) “Abuse is based on and fed by deception, but post abuse suffering can be just as bad, if not worse—-because it too can be based on and fed by deception.”

        ^That.

        In the same comment, Helovesme commented “…….When my behaviors resembled or reflected my father, the discouragement level spiked high……”

        ^That, even when the behaviours were / are considered positive reflections.

        In the same comment, Helovesme commented “However, I needed to be aware of how much of an influence he had on me—-and that meant keeping my eyes wide open to “catch” how his influence was or wasn’t affecting me. I had to find that balance between being aware, but not being obsessed.”

        ^That.

        In the same comment, Helovesme commented “……..the Lord impressing it upon me to set an example. I had no idea how lonely it was going to be…..”

        ^That loneliness can be truly awful. (Omitting details for my protection.)

        In the same comment, Helovesme commented “……if He asked me to stick it out because He sticks by my side, well then stick it out I will.”

        ^That. I would be unbearably lonely without Him.

  7. Charis

    It could be that Abraham simply relied on what worked for him in the past (Egypt). [See Genesis 12:10-20]

    Abram hd left Egypt a wealthy man when Pharaoh paid him to leave and take back his wife/sister (Sarai). Abram was still learning how to trust God – fearing man and unsure how God would protect him in each new situation.

    Abimelech [in Genesis 20] was king of the Philistines. Just as Abram feared the King of Egypt, he engaged the same “talk track” suggesting that Sarai tell the Philistine king she was family rather than wife. I believe that Sarai was his sister sharing the same father as Abram but having a different mother. So, it was a half-truth.

    Abimelech’s motives, besides being attracted to a lovely woman, would also be politically motivated as the way to make powerful and peaceful alliances in that era was through marriage. Now, once again – as in Egypt – Abram has a problem.

    He’s a slow learner. Now, once more God has to intercede, which he does via a dream…threatening Abimelech with his life! God is protecting his promise of an heir to Abram and a Savior to the Nations through the line of Abram and Sarai. And he will stop at nothing and let nothing interfere…neither a king, nor the fear of His chosen patriarch and his blunders.

    Abram becomes the mediator (again, as with Lot) and we see the precursor of Moses.
    And…it all works out rather similarly as it did in Egypt — with Abimelech adding to Abram’s wealth and Abram staying on in the region for an extended stay.

    • Thanks Charis. Good input!

    • Finding Answers

      Charis commented (2ND NOVEMBER 2019 – 12:36 AM) “…..Just as Abram feared the King of Egypt, he engaged the same “talk track” suggesting that Sarai tell the Philistine king she was family rather than wife. I believe that Sarai was his sister sharing the same father as Abram but having a different mother. So, it was a half-truth.

      (Bold added by me.)

      For me, my own (personal) experiences with half-truths have come from those (including non-abusers) intending to manipulate me. (Omitting details for my protection.)

      ^THAT tends to influence how I interpret ALL occasions in which I am told (in ANY form of communication) a partial truth, so for me, a partial truth is the same as a lie.

      I sometimes intentionally and / or unintentionally omit some details when communicating with individuals, but my (intentional and / or unintentional) omissions are ways I cope with and / or experience Asperger’s.

      Some day my own (personal, negative) experiences with non-manipulative partial truths will change how I (in general) interpret partial truths.

      • Hi Finding Answers, you said

        “Some day my own (personal, negative) experiences with non-manipulative partial truths will change how I (in general) interpret partial truths.”

        I don’t know quite how to comment on ^ that. But when the change happens I apprehend that life will become a little bit easier for you.

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