Beware of the several places in this lesson which read the discredited “curse of Cain” doctrine into the decision to transfer the birthright from Esau to Isaac, because Esau’s wife was a descendant of Ham which, according to the old thinking, rendered her descendants ineligible for the priesthood. (More recent interpretation of the relevant scriptures is that the Egyptians, including the Pharaoh in the days of Abraham, were eligible for the priesthood, but the Pharaoh had erroneously claimed the “right of the priesthood,” i.e., the presiding authority or keys, to which he was not entitled since they had passed down through Shem’s lineage and had been bestowed on Abraham.)
This lesson comes from Ellis T. Rasmussen’s An Introduction to the Old Testament and Its Teachings. Part 1. (Provo, Utah: BYU College of Religious Instruction, 1972), the syllabus for Religion 301 at BYU. It surveys Abraham’s entire life, along with much of Isaac’s, and includes much material on the call of the Lord to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
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