In June we will start into a new series of Hebrew Bible lessons in our Online Academy www.academy.hebrew-bible.net.
I will teach the Biblical Hebrew of the Story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4) and the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18 and 19).
You will be able to discover and to discuss the less-known interpretations of these well-known stories. You will be surprised to figure out the spiritual depth is hidden in the text.
Discover our new lessons here:
The Story of Cain and Abel – New Lessons
We all know that Cain was the very first murderer. As the story is commonly told, Cain was jealous of his brother who, unlike Cain, made his offerings to God wholeheartedly. But is this really what the original text tells us?
By delving into the Hebrew text, word by word, we will explore undisclosed and unknown subtleties in the Biblical text.
Does God Discriminate?
🗓️ 11 June 2022, 10:00 AM CEST
We know from Genesis 4:4-5 that the two brothers are making offering to God. Cain brings from his labour in the field, and Abel, the shepherd, from is herd. Does God discriminate Cain by preferring one profession over another?
- What does it mean that God regards or does not regard an offering? Was it as simple as in Carl August Zscheckel engraving, in which Cain’s smoke did not go up while Abel’s did?
- What was God’s reason for discriminating against Cain?
Are we Rewarded for Our Good Deeds?
🗓️ 18 June 2022, 10:00 AM CEST
After rejecting Cain’s offering, God speaks to him and gives him a paradox to contemplate, a paradox that should guide him, and every person, throughout our lives. This verse, as we will see in a following up post, also defines sin, and instructs us how we must deal with it.
Verse 7 presents to us a paradox. It has two contradictory meanings, each of them consistent with the text. The contradiction stems from the double meanings of the word שְׂאֵת.
Why did Cain Kill Abel?
🗓️ 25 June 2022, 10:00 AM CEST
The commonly told story tells us that Cain killed Abel because he was jealous that God accepted Abel’s offering but not his own. But does the original text support this story?
- Can we safely conclude that it was jealousy? Can there be other interpretations?
- There is another important issue to consider: Was it a murder?
Who was Cain?
🗓️ 2 July 2022, 10:00 AM CEST
In Gen 4:16-17 Cain’s trial is over. He is leaving God a free man, finds a place to settle, have a son and builds a city. But what about God’s punishment?
- Wasn’t Cain destined to be a wanderer, a nomad forever?
- How can a wanderer settle and build a city?
- Can Cain defy God?
- How did the life of Cain continue?
The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah – New Lessons
On the surface, or at least the way most of us have learned it, it is a simple story: God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for the sins of their people and save Lot, the only righteous person in the city. But delving into the original Hebrew text nothing is simple: What were the sins they were punished for? Why did Lot’s wife had to die?
You might be surprised to learn that the common interpretation that the sin was sexual abomination is only one of many interpretations and based on a single word. The sins of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah may be more horrific, even though they are more subtle.
It is a story divided into 3 episodes.
Let the Fair Trial Begin
🗓️ 11 June 2022, 11:00 AM CEST
We will start with the first episode, the story of a trial, in which Abraham, the defence, is doing all in his power to stop the unavoidable destruction of the two cities.
The three messengers that visited Abraham are now leaving the court to investigate the situation down in Sodom. Once they have left, Abraham, representing the cities, approaches the bench. Whether it is a human acting as a judge or God Himself, justice and proper trials must come first.
The Outraged People of Sodom and Gomorrah Demand to Knowthe Angels. What does KNOW mean?
🗓️ 18 June 2022, 11:00 AM CEST
The second episode of the story takes place in a different setting. Now we see Lot inviting two strangers to his home in Sodom.
- Did he recognize them as angels?
- Why did the people of Sodom come to Lot’s house in a rage when they found that Lot was harbouring strangers?
- What were the real intentions of the people of Sodom when they demanded to know the strangers? Could it have been anything but Sodomy?
- What were the angels doing in Sodom? Were they testing Lot to see if he deserves rescuing, or were they in the city to confirm, firsthand, if there is a way to save the city?
- How did Lot act? Did he deserve to be saved?
Hebrew Bible Private Online Lessons – One on One
🗓️ Choose your favourite lesson time
One on One we will be going through the Hebrew text. Take the chance to explore the original scripture with an open mind, without assumptions, as if we read and translate the stories for the very first time.