ENG150Y1 Lecture Notes - Erich Auerbach, Binding Of Isaac, Retributive Justice

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
English
Course
ENG150Y1
Hebrew Bible
(Lecture 4)
The Book of Job
Comparison between stylistic techniques of Homer’s Odyssey and Book of Genesis (vastly
different) by literary scholar Erich Auerbach
o Binding of Isaac very different from Odysseus’s scar, which is “externalized, uniformly
presented phenomena, connected together without gaps in a perpetual foreground;
thoughts and feelings completely expressed.
o Genesis leaves gaps that must be filled in by the reader, thoughts and feelings are left in
obscurity
o Explicit vs. Implicit… Foreground vs. Background
o Odyssey is better example of Realism in this technique, but Bible is as well in its
revealing of character through silence
Chapter 22 of Genesis: Binding of Isaac (Akedah)
o Details within the text that contrast the common feeling that Abraham’s compliance is
intolerable
o The syntax of God’s command suggests difficulty for Abraham
Pauses imply conversation: Abraham’s reluctance
Enigmatic depth of character through pauses
o Isaac’s perspective, attention to family relationship is stressed in the foreground
Call of God to Abraham is repeated: “Father!” “Here I am, my son”
Abraham telling Isaac that there will be a lamb to offer:
o Condolence? Or does Abraham genuinely believe God won’t make him kill his son
Knife is not mentioned in binding of Isaac
Caravaggio, “The Sacrifice of Isaac
Isaac is an inactive, passive patriarch
God of promise versus a God whose blessings bring fear
The Book of Job
- deeply influential for artistic, poetic prowess and variety of interpretive power
- minimally narrative, stretches
- artistry of Hebrew bible: juxtaposition of different events revealed through different viewpoint, done
by taking two different versions and stitching them together, discrepencies are still present to make the
reader interpret. One perspective doesn’t take precedence over the other
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Document Summary

Chapter 22 of genesis: binding of isaac (akedah) Details within the text that contrast the common feeling that abraham"s compliance is intolerable: the syntax of god"s command suggests difficulty for abraham. Isaac"s perspective, attention to family relationship is stressed in the foreground. Call of god to abraham is repeated: father! here i am, my son . Or does abraham genuinely believe god won"t make him kill his son. Knife is not mentioned in binding of isaac. God of promise versus a god whose blessings bring fear. Deeply influential for artistic, poetic prowess and variety of interpretive power. Artistry of hebrew bible: juxtaposition of different events revealed through different viewpoint, done by taking two different versions and stitching them together, discrepencies are still present to make the reader interpret. One perspective doesn"t take precedence over the other. Council of heavenly beings with both god and satan. Abraham and job both undergo incredible, arduous tasks. Repetitions of 3; 3 messengers to job.

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