A strong hero of the Bible, Jacob can be considered one of its most intricate figures. Bible tales recounting his existence frequently divulge his deception, lies, and greed—then, puzzlingly, try and justify them. during this publication, eminent biblical student Yair Zakovitch offers a whole view of the patriarch, first studying Jacob and his lifestyles tale as offered within the Bible, then additionally reconstructing the tales that the Bible writers suppressed—tales that have been famous, maybe, yet incompatible with similar to Jacob they desired to advertise. via a piece of notable “literary archaeology,” Zakovitch explores the recesses of literary background, achieving again even to the level of oral storytelling, to spot resources of Jacob's tale that preceded the paintings of the Genesis writers.

The biblical writers have been expert mosaic-makers, Zakovitch exhibits, and their fulfillment was once to reshape various pre-biblical representations of Jacob in aid in their rising new faith and id. because the writer follows Jacob in his wanderings and revelations, his successes, disgraces, and disappointments, he additionally considers the spiritual and political setting during which the Bible used to be written, supplying a robust explication of early Judaism.

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The metaphor describes Dan as a tribe that makes use of guerrilla conflict, even perhaps as road bandits who function at the roadways, robbers who assault caravans as they go at the exchange routes bordering their territory, no matter if within the south “in the camp of Dan among Tsora and Eshta’ol” (Judg 13:25) or within the northern territory to which the tribe migrated, within the top Galilee (Josh 19:47; Judg 18:27-29). From Bilhah’s firstborn, Jacob strikes to Gad, whose territory is at the japanese part of the Jordan: “Gad will probably be raided by way of raiders, yet he shall raid at their heel [gad gedud yegudenu vehu’yagud ‘aqev—a splendidly alliterative covert identify etymology]” (v 19). the quick depiction that covertly translates Gad’s identify matches properly abutting Jacob’s blessing of Dan, due to the fact the following the image is of guerrilla opponents who assault the enemy’s bottom, on his heel. within the annals of heritage Gad earned the attractiveness of a belligerent tribe, reminiscent of in Moses’ blessing, within which the tribe is likened to a lion: “Blessed is the one that enlarges Gad! Like a lion he dwells and tears the arm or even scalp” (Deut 33:20). subsequent is Asher, whose fertile territory sits within the western Galilee: “Asher’s bread will probably be wealthy [lit. , “fat,” shmenah], and he shall yield kingly cuisine” (v 20). Then comes Bilhah’s more youthful son Naphtali, who's likened to a doe, a short and sure-footed animal who climbs very easily over the rocky mountains of the higher Galilee, the territory of the tribe of Naphtali. the ultimate sons to obtain their advantages are these of Jacob’s liked Rachel, first Joseph after which Benjamin. The blessing to Joseph stretches out over 4 verses (as did Judah’s), a testomony to his value. it truly is filled with riddles, starting with a comparability of Joseph to a wild ass (v 22) and telling additionally of his battles, of the enemies who attacked him—“They assailed him, they shot at him and harried him, the archers” (v 23)— whom he solutions with battle: “But his bow remained taut and his palms have been ever-moving” (v 24). the remainder of the verse, even though, finds that Joseph’s resource of power was once God: “By the arms of the amazing one in all Jacob, from there, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. ” The interpreting is hard: it appears one letter has been passed over from the be aware we've got translated as “from there,” misham (probably a result of resh first and foremost of the subsequent notice, ro’eh, “shepherd”); it may be learn no longer misham yet mishomer, “from the shepherd, from the keeper. ” Jacob has already defined God as his shepherd, whilst he advised Joseph, “God who has shepherded me all my existence to this very day” (Gen 48:15). Jacob calls God a shepherd, additionally the Rock of Israel, ‘even yisra’el, a precise similar to the extra universal tsur yisra’el (e. g. , 2 Sam 23:3). yet possibly the observe ‘even used to be used right here due to its past importance in Jacob’s tale, in order that it truly is an allusion to Jacob’s God, the God of Bethel (see bankruptcy 3), and the verse can be learn: “By the fingers of the effective certainly one of Jacob, the Keeper, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.

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