The Adventures of the Patriarchs
are exciting and entertaining when told in contemporary language by the creative flair of R.C. Balfour, III. Based on the stories from Genesis, enjoy the colorful and often humorous tales Balfour elaborates about the Patriarch's personal struggles, battles, and even love affairs, all of which closely fit the characters and recorded events. At times, he throws in a totally creative story of fiction, but the tale always fits into the Genesis theme. At the same time, the author concisely develops the beginning of faith in the One Omnipotent God, including God's covenant with Abraham as carried forward by his sons Isaac, Jacob and his descendents. The progeny of Abraham's son Ishmael by the servant girl, Hagar, develops into the Arab nations and the conflict which extends even to this day.
I have noticed a widespread confusion among Christians and others concerning the Patriarchs of Israel. Before I attempted this book, I placed myself in that same category. It seemed to me very common to hear Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) mixed up and consequently their stories confused or not clearly understood. That is why I have tried to write a creative account of the Patriarchs. Creative in that I have taken the liberty of adding some fictional stories, which seemed to fit the characters and not in any way distort the essence of the Biblical narrative. In reading about the Patriarchs, it is important to understand that they lived before the law was given to Moses, and they lived centuries before Jesus brought grace and truth and a clearer understanding of God’s will and way. They therefore had some primitive customs which violate our understanding of right and wrong. In regard to the ages of various characters, please be informed that I have not used the Biblical method of assigning age since that method is not completely com-prehensible to us today.
Following many translations of the Bible, I have not capitalized the pronouns referring to God except in a handful of instances where the identity is not clear.
I hope this book presents the story of the Patriarchs in a manner which will be both entertaining and vital to understanding God’s relationship with mankind.
After God Almighty created the universe, he formed a benign atmosphere around the planet earth and separated the water from the land. He created living cells and brought forth life upon the earth. He then fashioned all the creatures in the sea, the sky and the land. He took joy in seeing a brightly colored butterfly flutter into the sky or the great leviathan blow a fountain of water high into the air. He brought forth creatures of every kind and shape in the lush foliage of the land—large elephants with their white tusks gleaming in the sun and tigers shining brightly in the forests of the night. And he viewed it all and called it good.
But as majestic and beautiful as the creation was, God Almighty had no creature he could communicate with. And so he created mankind, male and female out of the basic cells and dust of the earth and gave them some heavenly attributes— memory, skill, reason, and freedom to make their own choices.
These attributes made man able to communicate and commune with God Almighty; but freedom turned fatal in the hands of mankind. The result was egotism, bad choices, disobedience, selfishness, a rupture of relationships, the curse of mortality and the fall from grace. And so God Almighty caused rain to fall for many days creating a flood, which destroyed all life on earth except for one chosen family— Noah’s and the animals he saved in the ark.
The earth was repopulated by Noah’s family and the animals he had brought on the ark. Several generations passed and mankind again misused the precious gift of freedom, inventing many gods—one to cover every necessity, but forgetting their Creator. God Almighty continued his constant desire to xii communicate with mankind and bless them with grace. But before this could happen, mankind had to believe. This book is the story of mankind’s primitive belief in God Almighty.
Terah’s family was living in Mesopotamia in the Fertile