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Day in Mamre, Night in Sodom

Abraham and Lot in Genesis 18 and 19


Recent developments in Pentateuchal studies — from both diachronic (historical) and synchronic (literary-textual) perspectives — have made it possible to read Genesis 18 and 19, the evocative story of Abraham and Lot, in a new light. This work uses both types of approach to examine the text, (1) considered in its own terms — its structural and linguistic features, in a detailed close reading of each verse — and (2) considered in terms of its symbolism and imagery in relation to those found in comparable cultures of the ancient Middle East.
The end product is an integrated reading of the Abraham and Lot story as a sustained literary unit, and the reading process demonstrates the value of a range of exegetical methods — structuralist, linguistic, literary, historical and anthropological — in the continuing exploration of this well-known biblical narrative.