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“In its biographical sketches, character change is what Genesis is all about.” (Gordon Wenham, Genesis 16-50, 364)

From fear to faith and faithfulness because of God’s promises

These are the first words of Abraham recorded in Genesis; they are faithless words about a wife:

As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

These are the last words of Abraham recorded, words of faith and faithfulness about a wife because of God’s promise:

“Do not take my son back there . . . The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’ —he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.”

From Selling a Brother to Self-Sacrifice for Others

Judah’s first words are about a brother:

Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. ”

Judah’s final recorded words are for the sake of his brother:

…please take your servant as your slave in place of the boy, letting him return with his brothers. How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.”