On 18/07/2022 12:46, Mike Davis wrote:
> I'm intrigued why *you* should choose this passage, but - bearing in
> mind Augustine's background ("Lord make me chaste, but not yet!" !!) - I
> can see why he felt compelled to consider it carefully and comment on it.
Because I was amused at his ideas of how to treat a woman. Personally I
recommend chocolates and boquets of flowers.
> The point is that it was Abraham's duty (as he saw it) to produce
> progeny, not expecting the (eventual) miracle of Sarah becoming
> pregnant, so, apart from (perhaps) over-dwelling on the issue, I see
> nothing unreasonable in the quoted passage.
A bit further on Augustine got all exercised over why Abraham took up
with Keturah after the death of Sarah.
"What did Abraham mean by marrying Keturah after Sarah's death? Far be
it from us to suspect him of incontinence, especially when he had
reached such an age and such sanctity of faith."
Clearly Augustine feels that Abraham should have known better! Notice
also how he equates continence with sanctity. His solution is that it
was all symbolic and Keturah and her children, like Hagar and her son,
stood for "the heretics and carnal Jews".
However, somewhat grudgingly, he grants that there may be a literal meaning:
"But if any one is unwilling to put such meanings on these things, he
need not calumniate Abraham. For what if even this was provided against
the heretics who were to be the opponents of second marriages, so that
it might be shown that it was no sin in the case of the father of many
nations himself, when, after his wife's death, he married again?"
> Or just to consider how to be obedient to God?
Why did God create chocolate, if not for the wooing of women?