Original Research

Genesis 20: A literary template for the prophetic tradition

R.G. Branch
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 38, No 2 | a428 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v38i2.428 | © 2004 R.G. Branch | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2004 | Published: 01 August 2004

About the author(s)

R.G. Branch, School of Biblical Sciences, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

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A close examination of Genesis 20 shows that the concept of prophet, which is mentioned for the first time in this chapter, is emphasised in three ways. First, God actively creates a new office – that of prophet. Second, he specifically gives a job description – that of intercessor. Third, he squarely sets in place a model – one that all subsequent prophets, prophetesses, and prophesies in some way follow and build upon. Significantly, Genesis 20 gives no indication that Abraham sought the designation of prophet or knew in advance it was coming. Abraham’s new office emphasises God’s sovereignty. Starting with Genesis 20, God establishes a pattern of maintaining for Himself the right first to choose Israel’s prophets and later to choose its judges and kings. This article argues that Chapter 20 provides a ten-point foundation for the work of the prophet that the Hebrew Bible enlarges on in later books.


Abimelech; Abraham And Sarah; Biblical Narration; Patterns; Genesis 20; Prophecy And Prophets


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Crossref Citations

1. The Significance of Secondary Characters in Susanna, Judith, and the Additions to Esther in the Septuagint
Robin Gallaher Branch, Pierre J. Jordaan
Acta Patristica et Byzantina  vol: 20  issue: 1  first page: 389  year: 2009  
doi: 10.1080/10226486.2009.12128803