[Note: on posting these notes from earlier, I notice that many of the references in Genesis seem to be textual explanations, rather than personal responses...following a difficult time sorting through the text itself. It seems I was not able then to get up on top if it and "plane" like in some of the other books of Scripture. Only so much one can do in one pass I guess.]
1:1f – if all this was an "editor's work" which used extant material, that would be the stuff of a historical fiction/drama/film of a post-exilic writer of priestly (?) School who made an inestimable contribution to the world – at the same time as Lao Tzu, Socrates, Herodotus, etc. – perhaps one of the greatest unknown people of the history of thought!
Perhaps the opening scene (Isaiah 53) of my "movie" – the parade of exiles home into the rubble is building up – an epic indeed if our editor-writer was, in fact a spin-off from the purging effect of the exile – from their stripes the community in rubble indeed was healed.
What new thought poured to the community after this? How does it tie in to the great flowering of thought around the world? Were these indeed exciting times? Did the major figures at the time see how great their times were? Or do only we get the big picture? Does their richness only look good because of our own paucity of life?
Have we been squabbling over Scripture so long that we have lost sight of the insight of this great editor-writer? Does his insight, in fact, hold the overall sweep of life that we long to tap into today? Did Christ, in fact, somehow pick up this overall message of this editor and try to help people see the forest for the trees in his own [man is God's audiovisual] body and person? Have we in fact misunderstood both our editor and his work, and Jesus and his work? Do we in fact see dimly (with Paul) enlightened by such as our editor and Jesus and others? Oh the excitement of this literature and the life from which it arose!
That would mean that Jesus somehow caught the sweep rather than the popular version today of just "quoting from his favourite books of Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, second Isaiah etc." – he was in fact, in a deeper way than I have even imagined, the "word of God" incarnate – and he invites us into that incarnation.
The fullness of understanding of it even he didn't live long enough to incarnate but he does through those of us "through whom he lives".
Was our editor a returnee (or from that line) or was he in fact one of the "healed" who were "touched" by the returnees (or from that line) or perhaps a merge – or perhaps even a rejected one?
How about a story of two friends – a rejected one (as "impure") and this editor – boyhood friends sort of thing – have to check the chronology and philosophy, theology etc. – i.e. following up of light to the nations stuff.
1:1f – Babylonian background for both creation stories show authors "did not invent symbolism to express the various aspects of the divine activity, but took what lay ready to their hand, the material which they had inherited as part of their early cultural contacts, and transformed it into the vocabulary of the divine speech" (Peak page 179)
1:1 – creation as a battle! Cf. Psalm 93:3-4 (and 29:10) and Ras Sharma texts. The fight against chaos, tempest, and darkness – originally in the Babylonian periods of conquering the Tigers-Euphrates swampland before life could settle down and "begin" – this author sees the hand of God in doing – even at this early stage he looks back with others and sees in retrospect God setting man on firm ground that life might begin – creating that firm ground ahead of him. He sees all this from the seventh century BCE., postexilic, post-prophetic era and all that happened in those tumultuous events. Cf. also Isaiah 42:14 regarding the panting God in travail for life – no wimpy creation ex-nihelo here – the God of the fiery Big Bang and black holes and turbulent firestorms creating, like a panting mother her child. Wow! As he does today – "all creation groans..."
1:5 ordering as Marduk did in the Babylonian story – author sees the hand of God in the orderliness of universe around – cf. Einstein's comment.
1:26 God's representative, in his image, over creation – and we blow it as in Psalm 8–- but we don't see God's handiwork and we handle the job irresponsibly. God's purpose in this section above.
2:4b – "what is man?", given creation and the stars etc. – the writer now states an answer to that Psalmist's question in the story that follows.
1:26 – "let us" – the Council of heaven – man was a committee decision! Part of God's overall plan in this version, not an add-on piece made from dust.
2:7 – 1st Corinthians 15:47 – "the first man was from the Earth, a man of dust". Genesis 6:3 (marginal) "in his going astray he is flesh." Meant to show what God is like, but himself – "after our likeness... of dust... in his flesh"
Knowledge, desire, choice – failure, error
2:18 – not good for man to be alone – amen!
2:21 – "one of the most profound images of the Old Testament" (peak – 179). Yahweh builds woman out of man's essential stuff – most intimate human relationship – after alone and animals and naming – then the key relationship. All are out of dust.
2:20 – naming – results in the element of creative activity – results in know the essential nature and have power over it.
3:17 – where did he get the name Adam? Eve got hers from Adam – but first he gave her a different name (2:23)
"ISH" (generic Adam names himself) ("man in his humanity – strength and weakness") ................. [pre-fall]
– ISH SHAH (intimate relation to ISH – taken out of ISH)
Results in HAWWAH (a name of hope – contributor of man's disobedience contains the seeds of life. "Mother of all living" (3:20) –............... [post-fall] and breakup of original divine order.
2:5 – rain as God's gift was a Hebrew concept (Deuteronomy 9:11) Babylon and Egypt used irrigation.
2:9 – only one tree in the original story. Ezekiel has another version (28:12-19) – it seems to be a floater story this editor picked up and used for his purposes (a mysterious semi-divine creature in the garden ultimately expelled for pride and wanting to be like God).
2: 4b ff – a symbolic pattern (through myth) presentation of all the underlying causes of God's activity in creation and redemption – literalists miss all this – divine language of the symbol. Symbols are here brought together in highest art and made significant – in all of Scripture and reborn in revelation
Revelation 3:14/2:7 – the one who is "the beginning of God's creation who prevailed where the first man had failed saying" to him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is the paradise of God.
3:1ff – forbidden knowledge, immortality – two key elements in the human tragedy account – (related ideas)
– "knowledge" was "magic" and God-type knowledge not "moral" right and wrong – i.e. manipulative of God.
– serpent had broader imagery in his day than just of evil. For example cf. healing images etc. but author here says God is the only good object of knowledge, not magic.
– Crossing the line spoils free and happy relationship between God and man with no return possible to the garden they were expelled from.
– myths like these are important vehicles of truth that can't be described by a more factual "historical" vehicles of expression of truth each
4:1 – the strange stories of Mr. Smith [equals Cain] one of the Smithies group – a Kenite clan.
4:1 – story from a new context that assumes larger population versus the creation context of stories – to illustrate the first breach of human relations. Editor shoves it up against the creation stories artificially.
[The following is from a chart]
4:1f – (Yahwist version) – agricultural community – Cain ––Kenan” – ritual of sacrifice – it failed. Fertility of crops. He consults on Oracle to decide what's to be done now. His reply is that he knows what's to be done – there's a hostile demonic power waiting to be propitiated – and he tries to do this by killing his Shepherd brother in the field so as to make fields fertile.
– punished: named – ritual fleeing until purified (see scapegoat later and other New Year's festivals) and ritual protection mark (tattoo) was the original story
– etiological myth regarding why agricultural-pastoral enmity (though pastoral was the aggressor in life!)
– etiological myth regarding the origin of blood feud
– these ideas used by this editor regarding salvation history purposes here
– note that Moses married a Kenite woman – the Yahwist drew from Kenite sources for this story.
– Pastoral community – Able – ritual of sacrifice – it worked. Pastoral fertility of herds and flocks
– Seth replaces Able and here are the beginnings of dependence on God theme – Abraham etc.
flees and under a veneer of looking good and civilized etc. lies death and revenge etc. ready to break out in blood feud.
[End of chart]
4:1ff – central purpose for this strange insert is the focus of: – the bond of brotherhood is broken, anger and violence break out, death enters the world.
– all a spinoff from the broken relationship with God
4:1/4:25 – bookends – birth of Cain – "I have gotten" – "veneer civilization with blood feud reality
– Middle portion – Cain/Abel story
– Birth of Seth – "God has appointed" – start of community dependent on God. Start of a family awareness – out of a tragedy of death and departure and childlessness and new birth of a son.
4:9 – as Tom James would say, "I am my brother's brother, not my brother's keeper". Here we see this to a mega-view by the editor-author of this larger four-book work, to show that the contrast between the two "lines" now – as they diverge and carry with them and evolve two quite different outlooks on life: God dependence and God independence (with its attending callousness).
5:1f – a reworking of Sumerian stories and chronology system (people ages) which is adjusted to fit a "given" era to account for (1656 years) as the Sumerians did in their parallel story to fill in their "era" with Kings (i.e. pre-flood) 10M – 60M year reigns! The latter used astrology to set their base number of years in the first "era" to fill up.
5:1f – Seth's (not Cain's) line leads to Noah, and Cain only here in alternate form (Kenan?)
6:1-8 – etiological myth to account for origin of a group of huge people (remnants referred to later in the Goliath story) – related to the stories of rebellious gods thrown out of heaven from a variety of cultures.
– here, the editor uses the story to show how life deteriorates further, specifically in areas of sexual relations, hinted at in the "fall" stories – once again spin off from the original broken relationship with God.
6:3 – cf. "120 year diet"!
6:8 – but Noah found favour in the eyes of God... in the midst of a bad scene. Cf. "third and fourth generation" – what runs in families and who picks it up (that is which of the kids)?
8:9 – 8:22 – Noah – based on Mesopotamian sources – multiple versions of God – destruction in the area, all tailored to local scene (Egypt, Canaan, Babylon) for the form of the distraction. Local Tigers-Euphrates flood likely focus for this version. Two versions in Scripture – our editor is closer to the Babylonian story and likely drew from independent sources.
The point is to show the absolute collapse (nature too – "bars collapse") of life through the disastrous choice made by and followed through by mankind. It was a mess. The remnant theology of first Isaiah comes through here in this author – and note how all of Noah's relatives are wiped out along with the Cain line by implication of this story. Not all the biological line are in a spiritual inheritance.
9:4 – first emergence of the story of blood as a symbol for life – developed a lot later in the story. One of the most important symbols.
9:9 – covenant is a general one to all of life – the first covenant in the story – Abraham's (the next one) is a specific one with him.
9:12, 13 – rainbow – "a sign" i.e. [an important feature of God's dealings with mankind] an indication of divine intervention or to establish the fact of such an intervention. Here, an old etiological myth regarding rainbows is used to show divine activity in mercy enthroned.
9:18ff – even after the purge, mankind is the same – wine is shamefully used, family splits, lines divide [this Noah story is from another source, but here used to show how the shambles continues to deteriorate].
9:20 – start of agriculture and its perversion into debauchery and drunkenness, family splits etc. The line of Shem is marked out for development of the family theme of Yahweh.
10:1f – genealogy is to show the basis for God in Abraham being a blessing to all the Earth, not just Israel. Cf. Psalm 87:4 and Isaiah 19:24-5 – and how they are split from Yahweh now.
11:1f – a tower project for unity, fame, and security – doomed to fail in international split.
11:1f – a composite story already fused, and used by the editor-author to show the final, ultimate disaster which followed from the fall – the ultimate rejection of God and split up of man by groups and languages – and etiological myth regarding languages and ziggurats is used by the author to show the final destruction of the unity that we are, which God created. A symbolic story to show that, and where it came from – and that such a split was, in the author's mind, an act of divine judgment to minimize further damage "... this is only the beginning of what they will do..."
A word to the wise as we seek to reunite apart from God in any means, for it is, as has been seen long ago, an even more frightening thought. I.e. can you imagine how bad it would be if they all got together?
Cf. the present efforts at project Babel and unification based on the knowledge-research base and computer networking etc. Democracy is like dictatorship once people think as one... apart from God – we haven't seen anything yet – wait until the demos gets its act together apart from God – may God have mercy on our souls –
11:9 – for they still go for unity, a name for themselves (fame), and security
– "for this is only the beginning of what they will do, for nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them"
11:8 "and they left off building... don't kid yourself they don't still want to build it – balance of power (conflicting self interest) has prevented it so far, but what every would-be dictator/world conqueror has desired and sought by brute force might yet find its agreement for unity (perhaps through common enemy alien if that be a reality?) And then look out!
11:9 – note contrast to Zion and God's people as the center of a new unity rightly based and this Hill with nations of hate and animosity streaming the other way in independent chaos.
11:10f – genealogy suspends Abraham halfway between Ur’s chaos and the promised land. Terah was heading for Canaan but stopped halfway at Haran. Abraham was told to take up the journey and head out. [As Haran had died (one of Terah’s sons) they may have gone to his place in Haran?] Anyway, Abraham leaves after Terah’s death.
Insert some definitions: [note – all these types of literature are used by the editor, as did his documentary sources]:
Myths – usually tie into cult ritual somehow
Sagas – more domestic and intimate [non "public"] than history but of great value in sensing life and times of an era (for example King Arthur). There is no necessary religious meaning in these. They have their origin in tribal traditions.
History – public events and material relating to it. More nailed down material.
Cult legends – material originating in cult centers for use in rituals (for example Passover) – gives rise to stereotyped format of remembrance.
End of insert
– 12:1f – the sagas connect to prophetic streams
- Abraham was the start
- Moses was the start
– Joseph is used (written?) To link these two prophetic streams
– in one tradition, settlement was unbroken by the Egyptian sojourn. Actually it was a mix of tribal experiences which later got pulled into a "national" tradition of their past.
– "Yahweh" used by the author throughout, but in the other stream of tradition, that name doesn't click in until Moses gets it.
12:1f – Abraham is the first real personality introduced in the Bible (versus "types"). 1300-1500 BC E. likely during the disruption due to the breakup of Hyksos Empire – Abraham got the word to move all right... anywhere but here! Chapter 14 me be the background detail.
12:10 – out of chaos of Babel Abraham obeys and leaves and therefore prefigures (according to New Testament authors) Christ's central act of obedience by which "by one man's obedience many will be made righteous". Key idea: initial act was obedience, according to this author.
12:10 – Test number one (famine) failure number one – he leaves. Blows it in Egypt regarding giving up his wife and then is allowed to take her and return. Note the author's use of stories to illustrate Abraham's development of faith.
13:17 – arise and walk through the land I will give you. It seems that it would then be concrete in his eyes and memory and imagination. Cf. Yonge Cho's "incubation". He is "pregnant" with the gift of the land – it's real but not here yet.
14:16 – Lot gets a new start thanks to Abraham's help (but see chapter 19 for what he does with his new opportunity)
14:17f – Melkezidek episode is important to the author as the two-way exchange is seen as central later – Jerusalem is still a Jebusite city historically, but the author sees it in 20:20 hindsight – it is Zion.
14:23 – no way (to Sodom), lest you should say "I have made Abraham rich". Abraham viewed as a faith-actor who overcomes the world he left and resists that sort of advancement (worldly). This is a key episode – after it, God gives the covenant.
15:1f – an old J ritual of covenant used here by the author, used as late as Jeremiah's time for treaties and covenants etc.
15:1 – "fear not Abraham, I am your shield and your reward shall be very great" followed his renunciation of reward from Sodom. Note the growing intimacy of relationship.
15:3 – look at the stars – makes it concrete and glorious (versus dust of the Earth). A reminder, an audiovisual.
15:6 – "He believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness" – restored relationship with God
– and a piece of ancient magical ritual
– righteousness – author understood it to mean "the character of God in his dealings with man"
– intention at first: God made man in his image and after his lightness – man defaced this image in himself (the fall) and destroyed the likeness. This started the restoration – God finds here a man in whom his own character is starting to be formed.
15:8 – Abraham asks for assurance of the descendents and is given the instructions for this ancient covenant ritual.
15:12f – deep sleep parallels Adams sleep that resulted in eve in which she sees Yahweh pass between the haves. Anyone who passed between the haves of the animals in this ritual bound himself to keep his word – therefore Yahweh bound himself to keep this new promise of restoration to Abraham – (death is implicit in this ratification of the covenant). [May well be the root of the term "rite of passage"].
– what's given here is a long-term project of restoration – phase 1 – Egypt and back. Now that's "hanging in there" as the Hebrews author would say.
15:16 – "for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete" – fascinating concept the author reports here.
16:4 – contempt in multi-wife situations. I seem to recall that the term for the second wife has a meaning related to this (I think).
16:1f –Sarai didn't believe it therefore the maid incident. Taking God's promise like a bit in one's teeth and "making it happen". What a common temptation!
17:10 – circumcision has a variety of roots – here it is the same affect as God "passing between two halves of the sacrifice" in Abraham's dream" – musta hurt! I wonder if that's what made Ishmael wild! Cf. Keynes the British economist who went heavy into homosexual activity – wonder if being circumcised as a kid "to stop him masturbating" had any affect on his development.
15:+- – [somewhere in here he's supposed to have picked up the name of God as El Shadai (as also El Elyan) which is to be used for "God" until Moses picks up the Yahweh name, but I can't understand the commentary notes on this] Abraham and Sarah also get new names to signify new relationship and a new order under the new covenant.
Chapter 17 and 18 – note contrast between Abraham's growing faith and intimacy with God versus Lot's
18:12 – laughing at the prospect from the point of view of the old order versus actions of God who brings something out of nothing.
18:17 – "shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? No..." Abraham is admitted to the counsels of God, his growing intimacy – like God with Adam and Eve in the early stories – a homely conversation with the couple followed by this exchange – a touch of restored Eden.
18:22 – like the myth of Noah, this myth is used by the author to illustrate God's judgment on lots choice. He loses everything and his wife becomes a "type" for those who turn back longingly, and he saved "so as by fire" [Hebrews]. Another form of the destruction myths of the region parallel to Noah cf. Lot's daughters’ comment that there are no husbands. And the formation of Israel's two enemies out of these incestuous events that follow (nice touch!)
18:22f – "Wilt thou destroy the righteous with the wicked" and can a minority turn the majority around? Seems not to be in this case. Not a nice town!
18:25 shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Note the author's view of God as "just" (and when this thought develops in their outlook)
19:8 – "I have two daughters, use them but leave my guests alone!" What a town!
19:14 – some people can't take a warning that seems to be too preposterous.
19:19 – "not to the hills – how about a small city" spoken by a true urbanite – they're not into camping out! But he ends up in a cave anyway.
19:26 – like the joke says, Lott said to his nagging wife, "darling, look back!"
19:32f – interesting note on booze and sex – the painkiller that lets you do what wouldn't be done otherwise – cf. adult survivors of sex abuse and their use of booze and drugs to carry on with normal relations later.
20:1-18 – one of three versions of this story (two of Abraham and one of Isaac) either they are duplicates or it's a family practice that is passed on! It may be that the author uses all three to illustrate that such a breach of a key relationship (the prophets saw it as symbolic of Yahweh and his people) would happen whenever they wondered from Yahweh's plan – but it's hard to say. He traded on the half-truth that she was indeed his half-sister.
21:9f – Ishmael and Hagar are thrown out. The story fragment is used by the author to show God's care and long-term involvement of these people even though rejected (the well shown to Hagar in the wilderness). And all the struggles of obedience and impulsiveness of Abraham and how God worked around them – I still think Sarah was a shrew and Abraham and impulsive fellow who did as she asked and this mixed bag of personalities gave rise to the horrible situation in a rough-and-tumble age. And that we men of faith aren't all that much different, and that God has to work around us and our horrible actions to – and he does.
Note 25:9 – he comes back for his dad's funeral but not his mothers – for Sarah was not his mother.
21:12 – did God say this,
- or the author invent she it,
- or is it he speaks only when we are able to hear,
- or we can hear only what we want to,
- or we can hear only what we are able to,
- or God can lay out some "wild" actions for us because he sees more,
- or he is able to work around anything "for good to those who believe?"
This passage raises these questions more clearly than any I know at this point.
21:19 – "then God opened her eyes". However she got out there, there was sustenance and mercy from God in the wilderness. Perhaps it was God's way of getting her out of a worse situation, like me out of Westman "in time", because staying would have been even worse – though the trauma was indeed intense.
22:1 – "after these things" – only twice used – events led to momentous occasion.
22:1 – "God tested Abraham" – a prophetic protest story [one of Hebrew literature's best prose] against child sacrifice is here taken and used by the author to be the high point of Abraham's pilgrimage of spirit.
Time of testing to see if things are solid enough to "build on" (cf. Jesus question "whom do you say that I am?...I will build"
In Chapter 15 God "walks between the sacrifice that's of death to commit himself. Here Abraham symbolically walks through death and commits himself in faith to God's way. Note the presentation of the symbols, used later in history, (through 20:20 hindsight?) By either the author or the writer of the documents used. Either way, they do get picked up:
- father giving son
- Son yield to fathers will
- sacrifice symbols: knife, wood (laid on Isaac to carry), alter, ram of burnt offering
- prefigured by "faith and obedience of one man" theme as a redemption pattern.
[See Rabbi Marcia Praeger presentation on this story in 2010 – absolutely breathtaking, and quite a different take on it]
22:12 – on not withholding "our babies" from the Lord, but rather walking in him versus in our own way.
22:14 – "and it is said unto this day, ‘on the Mount of the Lord shall be provided’"
23:4 – "that I may bury my dead out of my sight" – interesting comment.
23:4f – note same attitude of renunciation etc. which becomes a theme in the family line and theology.
24:1f – Abraham had learned – no mixing and no going back to the old land – and that God would fulfill it either in this way or another way, but not to "push the River" (cf. release from oath).
24:21 – "and he gazed at her in silence to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not". We learn on the way, by a sensing of God's thoughts in the matter. Even Abraham's servant had picked it up as a way of approach.
[Skips to 26 and returns to 25]
26:1f – Isaac and daddy's religion – nothing new here, just a link figure culled from other sources – like life, significant events and people emerge from the "mycelium" of the human network fabric. He just "re-digs his father's wells"!
26:24 – he is blessed for his dad's sake
26:25 – Esau's midlife crisis?! At 40 takes a chick named Judith (versus what God had given him) from the locals... and she made life miserable for his parents (the in-laws) (that is, while Jacob was out at Haran).
25:1 – author uses an etiological story (of how Edom and Israel came to hate each other) to develop the theme of two lines:
- nature (?)/rejection of God
– Jacob story originally may well have been a Canaanite hero, reworked into later literary working and used by the author – it seems Hosea did it and this guy expands on the process
– note parallel changes: (therefore some historical background two brothers adventures?)
- A con job
- retreat and regroup
- reconciliation (by separation)
- Edom refused Israel passage to Canaan
- David's sojourn in Edom
- Edom’s revolt
- Edom’s hostility (cf. Amos 1:11-12)
- Edom rejoices at Jerusalem's fall (cf. Obadiah)
(where does Deuteronomy 23:7 fit in? At what reconciliation?)
27:12 – it's okay to cheat him but not to mock kindred (or is it that "not to get caught" is the issue?). A lovely piece of parenting!
27:21 – roping God into our shenanigans!
27:27 – identifiable body odour – the days before deodorant
[Skipped to Chapter 32 and return]
32:7 – fear despite strength. This is the context for the climax of the "struggler's" relationship with God (versus Abraham's quiet relationship). He goes through this and only in Joseph stories does he see where it is leading.
33:10 – we see the face of God in the faces of those we have harmed – it affects us.
28:10f – likely this tradition was recorded and used to validate an old Canaanite shrine as an Israelite one. The author uses the story for his own ends – Jacob, despite himself, must play his role. (Israel).
28:16 – beginning of a spiritual pilgrimage presented by this author. He's blown away by the experience (and then drives a bargain!)
29:11 – now there's a fast mover!
29:1f – there is an actual history of tribal formation (outlined page 199 peak) indicated in three stages of settlement – Genesis 49, numbers 26, numbers 1. The tribes are clustered with the 6 Leah tribes, 4 handmaiden tribes, and 2 Rachel tribes (one of which is clobbered, one goes to Egypt and is the last to settle in a split format).
– in Joshua 24 [choose you this day] there is a formal meeting at the Shechem shrine where, for the first time all 12 tribes agree to a covenanted Amphectioni with agreed rules and a common God (Joshua sets out three options – Yahweh, Canaan, Babylon, of their groupings to choose from and said that he and his house would stick with Yahweh which the other's agreed to do also) and central shrine, Shechem. All this is outlined in saga form in the chapters regarding Jacob and Laban's countryside and really are stylized stories of origins. This saga was taken up and used by this author for his ends. It was not a chaotic period of pre-monarchy – it was an amphectioni of high order and attempts to re-establish it in later days of the southern kingdom failed.
The author uses the story to prefigure all of Israel's troubles later in the life of the founder and especially to show how God (El Shadai) was all mixed up in these chaotic events. The breaking of Jacob – Israel – at the end of his life swamped by the misdeeds of others – redeemed at last by the ultimate tragedy of Joseph and the later exodus under Moses and the development of the nation blessed again by the pain and learnings of the one who re-enter with that blessing – (and of course on further to Christ etc.).
29:32 – "surely now my husband will love me" – how tragic. No wonder the kids resent Joseph.
32:49 – setting of a boundary between two people
33:19f – Jacob was a bit like grandpa Freeman I think, a big person in the family, and the Jacob aura was brought into Canaan with the boys and their kids – A. "local deity" perhaps from the days with the "people from the East".
37:1f – Joseph Sagas have no historical link points to Egypt and serve as a link between two traditions of cult and settlement.
[Skipped 38 and return]
39:6f – oldest game in the book. And still goes on – add in some political advantage, popular press, feminist radicalism, and competitive survivalism in tight economic conditions and you have today's condemnation by inference without hope of appeal.
40:8 and 41:16 – "do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, I pray you"; "it's not me, God will give..."
42:29 – they told the old man all except their precipitating sin, which they were all too aware of.
42:36 – "all this has come upon me" the cry of one reaping what he has sown in his kids.
43:11 – "take the man some pistachio nuts...!"
45:7, 8 and 50:15-21 – "God sent me here"... is his interpretation to his brothers! "It was not you who sent me here, but God"
45:15 – "and after that [forgiveness and reconciliation] his brothers talked with him" communication is what community does – first time in Joseph's life really.
45:27 "and when he saw the wagons" the outer trappings of royalty far off – cf. watchman Nee's dealing with this passage in relation to how we know the presence of the Spirit in our life – we see the Royal wagons – drawn from this story.
47:7 – and Jacob blessed Pharaoh
47:9 – "few and evil have been the days of the years of my life... "
48:11 – grandpa meets the grandchildren
50:19 – "you meant evil for me but God meant it for good etc. – very good
Insert – chapter 38 – Judah, a separated, isolated tribes in the south of Canaan with a belt of people between them and the others for quite a while therefore not in battles. They were intermarried and maybe not even Hebrew stock to start with – very interesting
Ruth maybe a later version of this story
Religious customs etc.
- Groupings adopted that of their new surroundings
- Abraham and Jacob were people with profound relationships with a personal God
- author-editor did color it religiously but that doesn't reduce its value – his philosophy and theology was likely formed by the pre-exilic prophets, but perhaps by the postexilic priestly types.
They took over Canaanite sanctuaries and the author focuses on the larger sense of God's saving action which he carries out through all these mini-steps.
October 9/1996 – Genesis 6:3 – addition – regarding God reducing mankind's lifespan to 120 years because he was becoming very experienced over the years of a long life at being a rascal – Spirit of life in Christ – 120 year diet – for the world.