The Power of Stories
A CONSIDERABLE PART OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE Consists of Stories. Those who love measurements tell us that stories occupy fully one-third of the Bible. These stories tell us about humanity’s early days, the place of Israel among the ancient Near Eastern peoples, and the history of the link between God and God’s people, from the days of the patriarchs to the fall of Jerusalem and the return to Zion, and a great deal more.
The Bible makes plain that it ascribes great importance to stories and their presentation as a means of persuasion. The Bible even includes stories in which one person succeeds in persuading another by means of a story. Such is the case for Judah, who must persuade his brother Joseph not to harm Benjamin, the youngest of his brothers. To do this, he tells Joseph, who is at this time the viceroy of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, the full story of his family. Indeed, after hearing this moving and effective tale, Joseph cannot hide his emotion any longer; he breaks down and reveals his identity to his brothers (Gen 44:18–45:2).