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Lecture 4

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Laura Jane Wey

September 18, 2011 Bible and Literature Lecture 4 ➢ Jacob  2 encounter with phsyical embodiment of God  Chapter 28  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.  Chapter 32  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.  Chapter 34  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  Chapter 37  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.  Chapter 39  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.  Joseph`s Success • This punishment actually does his some good because it is in prison that he becomes a good interpre
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