By Mieke Bal
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Additional resources for Anti-Covenant: Counter Reading Women's Lives in the Hebrew Bible (Bible and Literature Series)
13. I think not. I suggest that it is an attempt to combine two different traditions; one deriving from an agricultural society, and the other from a nomadic one. It is quite likely that this is behind the Cain and Abel story. 14. I chose the Theogony precisely because it is a theological work and records how a new religion was inaugurated, although there are other stories which may appear to be more closely parallel; in particular that of Athamas who set out to sacrifice his son Phrixis. At the last moment a golden ram flew down and rescued Phrixis, carrying him off to Colchis at the east end of the Black Sea.
And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, he-asses, menservants, maidservants, sheasses and camels. But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house because of Sarai, Abram's wife (May and Metzger 1977: 15). The footnote to this passage in the New Oxford Annotated Bible repeats the ideology in the narrative itself: God's promise of a posterity was temporarily eclipsed in Egypt where Sarah was almost taken into Pharaoh's harem.
The patriarchs are seeking refuge from faminestruck lands. In Genesis 12, Abram prepares Sarah for entry into Egypt: MARMESH Anti-Covenant 49 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai, his wife, 'I know that you are a woman beautiful to behold; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife; then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account. When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians said that the woman was very beautiful.