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At great personal sacrifice, Sarai marries off her slave girl Hagar to Abram so he can knock out an heir, just like God promised. And as soon as she conceived, Hagar began to show contempt in the way she looked at Sarai, and Sarai could see this in Hagar's eyes. Professor Harold Bloom suggests that the Yawhist was actually a woman in the court of Jeroboam, and certainly the way rival women can annihilate each other with glances, with "looks that kill" is a hallmark of women's fiction. Hagar runs away.

In the wilderness Hagar seemed to confuse an angel with God himself. This chapter has the first appearance of the word "angel" in the Bible.

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

This confusion continues. During an incident in an upcoming chapter where Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac, the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

Later in Genesis it gets to the point were Joseph even ascribes redemptive powers to this angel!

Genesis 48:16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

What is going on here? We are beginning to see the process where the Yahweh of the Southern Kingdom of Judah is being merged with El-Elyon of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The hands-on deity of the Yahwist who talks to Abram face to face is going to morph into a transcendent, almost abstract figure who only deals with men by remote control, using avatars which are called "the angel of the LORD".

The "angel of the LORD" is like the "Predator of the UNITED STATES", and when the Predator drone kills a terrorist in Pakistan, it is the same thing as America killing him.

That is not to say that God is not accompanied by other beings of a higher order than men. These are the Elohim and two of them accompany him to visit Abram and they go on to nuke Sodom and Gomorrah. It is these other beings to whom God is speaking when he says, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness". And they were eventually called angels in an evolutionary process that you could well imagine could occur with my drone analogy. Imagine that after many years of hitting targets in Pakistan with the "Predator of the UNITED STATES" we send in ground forces to do the same thing. And the native people, who had come to fear the sky Predator, transfer that name to the ground forces, and speak of legions of predators.

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Strangers In Paradise