Sign in or register to download original


So Abraham Went
Genesis 12: 3-6a

I first visited the Middle East six years after Israel occupied the West Bank. We were based mostly in Tel Aviv, but we had not been there long before we drove up into the West Bank and went to Nablus, one of its three most important towns. The name is an abbreviation of Neapolis, the “New City” founded by the Romans after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. The “old city” is Shechem, on the eastern edge of the modern town, the first place Abraham stopped when he arrived in the country. It has always been an important center, a place with a good water supply, surrounded by good farming land, and located at a major road crossing where the east-west route (up which we drove) from the Mediterranean to the Jordan Valley crosses the main north-south route along the mountain spine of the country (down which Abraham would have traveled). It is also next to Jacob’s Well, the scene of the story in John 4, as well as the tomb of Joseph. I remember the extraordinary excitement of being in the very footsteps of Abraham, looking at the same surrounding hills and the same stones in the same Canaanite place of worship whose remains are still visible (though now more difficult to visit as the Palestinian people have campaigned for their independence). The word for “site” often refers to a place of worship. One of the features of the archaeological site is a huge, broken stone pillar that the archaeologists reerected. I imagined how Abraham had looked at this very stone...

Publisher: SPCK - view more
Log in to create a review