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             10 June, 2023

Category:  Articles » Politics & Government » History


The Mid-East Conflict Began In A Tent

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2007-02-21 07:14:32     
Article by Jim DeSantis

The conflict in the Middle East was born several thousand years ago in a tent in the desert. The Old Testament, Book of Genesis, lays out the story in great detail. It's compelling reading for students of the Middle East conflict.

The story goes that God told Abraham that he would have a son, to name him Isaac, and that Isaac would be the first of a great nation, their number more than all the grains of sand in the desert. At that time, Abraham was 100-years old and Sarai, his wife, was 90-years old. Years passed, Abraham and Sarai grew even older, and Sarai began losing faith in God's promise because she was way "beyond childbearing years". So, she had a suggestion to solve the problem, to help God so to speak.

Sarai suggested that Abraham "lay" with her young Egyptian handmaiden, Hagar, and bear a child with her that would be Sarai's and Abraham's heir. It was a sort of surrogate birth. Abraham bought the suggestion and Ishmael was born. This did not please God, as the story goes. Soon there was conflict because Sarai got pregnant by Abraham (as God promised) and Isaac was born.

In those days the first born son would inherit the father's business. Isaac was the first born but Sarai, later in the story, began treating Ishmael and Hagar badly. She told Abraham to cast them out of the encampment. Abraham struggled over this because Ishmael was also his son. God told Abraham to listen to Sarai and he left them in the desert in God's care. God spoke to Hagar and Ishmael in the desert and made Hagar a promise that Ishmael would be the father "of a great nation" as well.

Interesting story. Interesting in the fact that Isaac and Ishmael are half-brothers. So, you see, the conflict in the Middle East is a family squabble that has claimed thousands of lives among combatants and innocents. It all began in a tent in the desert.

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