We all know the basics of the story of Abraham. What we haven’t been taught is the cultural context behind his distress at reaching old age without a son and heir.
In short, Abraham wasn’t upset that he might have to leave his wealth to a distant relative in Damascus. Abraham was distressed that he’d have to trust a servant to be his ben mešeq, “son of the cup,” to pour the water every month at the necromantic ritual meal that he believed would feed him in the afterlife.
Read the rest of my article for this month’s Prophecy Investigators here.