This chapter was originally a paper presented at the Society of Biblical Literature (Philadelphia, 1995) in the Frontiers in Biblical Scholarship Lecture Series, jointly sponsored by the Endowment for Biblical Research.
1. Gerhard von Rad, The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays, trans. E. W. T. Dicken (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966) 1-78, and Old Testament Theology vol. 1 (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1962).
2. On the notion of the “Yahweh alone” party, see Morton Smith, Palestinian Parties and Politics That Shaped the Old Testament (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971) 110–13 and passim. Less directly, see Martin Rose, Der Ausschlusslichkeitsanspruch Jahwes (BWANT 6; Berlin: Kohlhammer, 1975).
3. An attempt to counter what I am calling “liberal indifference” seems to me to be a primary concern of Brevard S. Childs. See Reclaiming the Bible for the Church, ed. Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995). Proponents of this perspective, however, seem completely unaware of the ways in which their approach serves conservative reductionism, and therefore the approach is not, in my judgment, without its own considerable problems.
4. Rachel, in the Genesis narrative, had already died in 35:16-20, well before Jacob’s dismay over Joseph’s apparent death.
5. See Samuel H. Dresner, Rachel (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994).
6. I use the term “son forsaken,” because I intend to make an allusion to the nice phrasing of Jiirgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (London: SCM, 1974), who refers, in the crucifixion of Jesus, to the Son as “father forsaken,” and to the Father as “son forsaken.” I submit that the figure of Rachel anticipates these claims made in the Christian tradition.
7. Emil Fackenheim, “New Heart and the Old Covenant: On Some Possibilities of a Fraternal Jewish-Christian Reading of the Jewish Bible Today,” in The Divine Helmsman: Studies on God’s Control of Human Events, ed. James L. Crenshaw and Samuel Sandmel (New York: KTAV, 1980)191-205.
8. Jonathan Kozol, Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (New York: Fawcett Books, 1988).
9. Ernest Nicholson, Preaching to the Exiles (Oxford: Blackwell, 1970), saw clearly that the way in which Jehoiachim “cuts” the scroll is an