September 18, 2011
Bible and Literature
2 encounter with phsyical embodiment of God
More of an appearance in a dream
Promises to travel with Jacob no matter where he goes
Sets up a pillar to commemorate the event – names the place Bethel (v:18)
How would you characterize the nature of Jacob's vow?
• His worship is contingent upon whether he benefits from God – so he's the first
to make a conditioned vow, introducing a clause into the pact.
20 years later – On his way back from serving Laban
On his way home, he's nervous & afraid that Esau still wants to kill him.
Mysterious man/figure somehow manages to dislocate Jacob's thigh just by touching.
After some time he realizes that man is someone from back home, from whom he
could get a blessing.
Revealed that this is in fact God: God seems to have taken on human form to wrestl
Jacob – They appear to be of equal power.
Is Jacob frightened that he has just wrestled with God?
• Not really – he seems sort of proud.
This episode demonstrates Jacob's importance & his power (physically & mentally).
He's a mediating figure btwn God and humans
Changes name to Israel.
Jacob's son inherit his trait of trickery.
Jacob's sons trick & kill Schechem & Hamor & then entire city.
Schechem & Dinah have sex and then Schechem wants to marry Dinah, so he goes
to Jacob to ask for her hand.
They say yes only if their entire city is circumcized – but even though they keep
their end of the pact, Jacob's sons go ahead and slaughter the city especially when
they're in pain ( thus, the plan was to attack them at their weakest).
*Side story but Jacob refers to this again
➢ Joseph (Genesis 37-50)
Descendent from Jacob – Mother is Rachel
Joseph is 17
His father prefers him but his brothers all hate him (maybe cause he`s a bit
abnoxious – tattle-tale, reports bad things to his father about his brothers)
Jacob`s name is now Israel
Bible doesn`t explain very well as to why father likes Joseph more
Joseph also has an arrogant dream and he`s stupid enough to tell his family – no
wonder they`re furious!
2 versions of the plot to get rid of Joseph • In Version 1: Reuben, the first-born, comes up with an idea to save Joseph from
the wrath of his brothers. He says to cast him into the wilderness – Reuben
actually intends to save him later.
• Yahwist Version 2: Judah also proposes not to kill Joseph but for entirely
different reasons: they`d get money is they rather sell him as a slave.
Joseph is now in Egypt
With all the other patriarchs, the stories don`t link up, but for Joseph, for the most
part they all connect
Joseph first falls – he`s being seduced by his master`s wife. He keeps refusing and
becomes a man of principle and loyalty. He explains that the act of sleeping with her
as a sin against God.
She tries to frame him – says he rapes her – he`s put in prison.
• This punishment actually does his some good because it is in prison that he
becomes a good interpre