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Yup, we're repeating stories again, just like the wife-sister narratives before this. Abraham and Abimelech made a deal at the well of Beersheba awhile back, but now, in Genesis 26:26-33, it is Isaac who is making the deal. The evidence of these three accounts all being based on the same story continues to add up, so how is it that people can still claim that these are fully separate events?

I can sum it up in a single word, "faith". As Mark Twain once wrote, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." If you have faith, then it doesn't matter if there is no evidence for the things you believe, in fact, it doesn't even matter if there is a mountain of contradictory evidence for the things you believe. You will continue to believe it, no matter what.

Now think of every piece of information you've ever been exposed to. Every fact your teachers ever taught you, every utterance your parents ever said, everything. How much of it was 100% accurate? I'm sure a good portion of the information you've learned has been nothing more than urban legends, rumor, and gossip. But you probably believed it at the time. Can you imagine if you believed all that rubbish on faith forever? Web sites like exist because people often don't take the time to think critically, and they end up believing all sorts of garbage.

There are still people who believe that the Earth is flat. It's actually not that difficult to hold such a belief if you shun scientific education. The Earth certainly seems flat when you're walking around on it. Only through education and observance did the human race figure out that it is, in fact, spherical. In the same way, most believers of religion shun science. They don't want to read about the evidence for the big bang or evolution; they want to remain cheerfully ignorant and keep their preconceived notions. It is ignorance that makes it much easier to have faith.

To finish this story up, Abimelech and Phichol make the deal with Isaac and then leave. The same day they leave, Isaac's slaves finish the new well. Isaac names the well "Oath" (Shebah). This contradicts the previous story where it was Abraham who dug the well and named it Beersheba. Apologists, however, claim Isaac just redug the same well, after the Philistines filled it in, that's why he gave it a similar name.



Ray writes:


And so, another deal is made near a well. ....Someone should push someone into one. But then again, if it's a beer well, maybe that's not a good (enough) punishment.

Baughbe writes:


You know, I am beginning to suspect that the bible was intentionally written badly just so people won't read it. That way their faith won't be contradicted by their faith.

In the meantime, I'm getting well tired of Genesis stories.

Baughbe writes:


(delayed ba-dum-ching!)

TheAlmightyGuru writes:


Luckily, this sums up the last of the Abraham/Isaac copycat stories. We get to start dealing with Isaac's children next.

However, I don't know how we're going to live without well puns. Just the thought of losing them has caused my eyes to well up with tears.

Tmowlee writes:


Didn't Abimelech just kick Isacc out for being to "mighty"

Winterset writes:


Well I, for one, will be sad to leave the land of Beer Named Places. Wells, cities, silly fake people names... We need more beer. "There is no problem in modern society which cannot be solved by the judicious application of way too much beer." (I hope I got that quote right. Any BtVS fans out there to back me up?)

1234567890 writes:


May all what these two version of story are about is proverb "Like father like son".

Ima Lemming writes:


Assuming both these stories actually happened, how old are Abimelech and Phicol supposed to be, exactly? They had the well quarrel with Abraham when Abe was about 100, which would mean they're about 75 years older than whatever they were then. And Phicol is still the army captain, despite his bones probably being too weak to support his armor?

* I know there's all that time paradox stuff pointed out in Comic 206 that would put Abe a lot older than 100 when they had the original fight, but Abimelech and Phicol would still be pretty old by now, unless they were toddlers when the sheep bit happened.

Ima Lemming writes:


Oh man, I just found out about this. TAG, you might already be planning to mention this on the main page but if not, have you heard of the new Westboro Baptist cry for attention, "God hates nerds"? Basically, they're protesting the San Francisco Comic Con and its promotion of "worshiping false idols".

Baughbe writes:


Westboro Baptists, poster children for Atheism.

Winterset writes:


Like we need poster children. I'm pretty sure rational thought covers it.

But yeah, WBC is god's gift to atheism.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:


Indeed! The Westboro Baptists have absolutely no political power. Nobody associates themselves with them unless they want to commit career suicide. Even the KKK won't denounces them!

But yes, they are exactly what you would expect to see when someone takes the bible's message of hate to it's logical conclusion.

Chris writes:


has everyone else seen the WBC at the comic-con?

It's probably the greatest story I have read in a long while:

on the notion of all of this... I have to mention one thing: if they are wrong and unaware of reality... so what? What difference does it make if people are idiots? Why do we need so badly to enlighten them? I understand the need to eradicate dangerous faiths that propagate wars, but if someone believes the earth is flat it doesn't seem like all that big a deal to me.

Winterset writes:


Chris, it's not about eliminating them. It's about making sure rational thought and truth are heard. Actually eliminating them would be both impossible and immoral. Everyone has the right to speak their mind, no matter how daft and dangerous their speach is. The important thing is that people get to hear reality as well.

Everyone has to make their own choices. As long as we have faith that humans are in the majority rational, we have to just make sure all the information is available and let people decide for theselves.

Techs writes:


As for believing what you were taught as you grow up. Several Scientists in the 80's found their experiments not working right. They eventually realized that as children they were taught that certain things were scientific fact and they had accepted that. Turns out they had never been scientifically research and were wrong.
The scientists then needed to research that before they could continue their experiments. The article showed them to think it was a good joke.
Urban legends cover everything.

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Oh the irony!