National Geographic : 1966 Dec
be against every man, and every man's hand against him." Thus the first Bedouin. When Abram was 99 years old, God spoke to him and promised him a second son, to be born of his wife Sarai, who was 90. Abram smiled at this thought and the forthright Sarai laughed aloud when she heard of it (painting, above). But God expanded his covenant with Abram: Through this second son, to be named Isaac, he would become "a father of many nations." And this covenant was to be sym bolized by circumcision. God changed Abram's name to Abraham, which, according to Professor Speiser, means "the father is exalted," and Sarai's to Sarah, which means "princess." Abraham and his tribe apparently migrated 782 PAINTING BY TOM LOVELL( N.G.S. often into the Negev, for it was there, near Beersheba, that Sarah grew jealous of Hagar's son Ishmael and said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac." Sarah had her way. But "God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer." And he too became a father of nations, for the Arabs are his get. My own visit to the Negev was perforce postponed until the end of my stay in Jordan. Once I had crossed into Israel there could be no return. But when the time came, that pas sage through the Mandelbaum Gate from Je rusalem, Jordan, to Jerusalem, Israel, was easy. I walked alone across no man's land.