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Genesis as DialogueA Literary, Historical, and Theological Commentary$
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Thomas L. Brodie

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195138368.001.0001

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Isaac's Jacob‐Oriented Journey (25:19–26:33)

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)

(p.293) 29 Isaac's Jacob‐Oriented Journey (25:19–26:33)
Genesis as Dialogue

Thomas L. Brodie

Oxford University Press

The Bible's first biography‐like narrative, that of Jacob, begins here. The diptych (Genesis 25:19–26:33) gives an important role to Isaac, first to his family (25:19–26:11), then to the world around him (especially to his relationship with the Philistines, 26:12–33). However, unlike Abraham and Jacob, Isaac is not the basis for a distinct section of Genesis (see Ch. 11 of this volume). At one level his role here is secondary to the emergence of Jacob. Jacob's beginnings – his conception and relationship with Esau – are tense. Then, Rebekah is endangered (a well‐known motif). And in the second part of the diptych, his father has to struggle with the Philistines concerning wells to achieve peace. The overall effect is to suggest that for Jacob life will be difficult. As in the beginning of the Abraham story (Genesis 12–13), the diptych highlights difficulties surrounding beauty and wealth.

Keywords:   Abraham, beauty, Esau, Genesis, Isaac, Jacob, Philistines, struggle, wealth, wells

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