Genesis as Dialogue: A Literary, Historical, & Theological Commentary

By Thomas L. Brodie | Go to book overview

29
Isaac's Jacob-Oriented Journey (25:19–26:33)
The Family: Problems of Birth and Beauty (25:19–26:11)
The Outside World: Problems with Contending Philistines and
Wealth (26:12–33)

Introductory Aspects

The Larger Jacob Narrative

The biblical account of Jacob is a form of biography, womb to tomb, and as such it extends clearly as far as Genesis 50 (25:19—chap. 50). But it is not all clear and simple. The narrative is complex in its content and levels. Its content includes other important characters, especially Isaac, Joseph, and Judah. And it has several levels. As a biography it tells the story of just one person. As an account of someone who is corporate, it tells the story of a whole people (Jacob is Israel). And insofar as Jacob's biography is a paradigm of human existence, his story portrays human life as a whole.

While it is useful to discuss the background of the Jacob story, especially the relationship to Hosea 12 (de Pury, 2001; Wahl, 1997), such discussion needs to be set in the context of Jacob's place within Genesis (see Introduction, esp. Chapter 11), and in the context of the virtual impossibility of separating strata from within a finished text (see Appendix 1).

In the Jacob story the focus on life as a whole emerges from the beginning. The diptych account of the journeys of Isaac (25:19–26:33) is unusual: its ultimate function is not to describe Isaac but to set the scene for his son Jacob. Isaac does not receive the attention due to him historically as one of three founding fathers. Rather, in a move which subjects the interests of history to those of theology-oriented literary art, the portrayal of Isaac is subjected to the portrayal of Abraham and Jacob, and thus to the larger portrayal of human life. Hence, while the narrative begins with an Isaac-centered historiographical introduction (“These are the generations of Isaac …, ” 25:19), it promptly switches to the birth of Jacob and to an implicit statement about the difficulties of human birth and existence. The children clash in the womb, and Rebekah's anguished question, “Why go on living?” (or “Why/who am I?” 19:22), is applicable to the larger question of human existence. Aspects of Jacob are like those of Oedipus (Nicol, 1996).


The Basic Story Line (25:19–26:33)

The story recounts the beginning of the life of Jacob. It is a troubled beginning, with barrenness, a difficult pregnancy, and contention between twins. Yet all is

-293-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Genesis as Dialogue: A Literary, Historical, & Theological Commentary
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 579

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.