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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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Blessing and Betrothal: Jacob Deceives and Is Deceived (26:34–29:30)

Blessing and Betrothal: Jacob Deceives and Is Deceived (26:34–29:30)

The Deceptive Blessing (26:34–27:45)

The Deceptive Betrothal (27:46–29:30)

(p.303) 30 Blessing and Betrothal: Jacob Deceives and Is Deceived (26:34–29:30)
Genesis as Dialogue

Thomas L. Brodie

Oxford University Press

The diptych of Jacob's youth centers around blessing (Genesis 26:34–27:45) and betrothal (27:46–29:30). The two are related: blessing bestows vitality and so strengthens betrothal/marriage. There are many complementarities between the two parts of the text. Jacob substitutes himself for his older brother to gain his father's blessing (26:34–27:45), but at his own betrothal/marriage his father‐in‐law substitutes the older sister for the younger, Rachel (27:46–29:30). The link between blessing and marriage is first suggested at creation (God blesses the humans and then tells them to be fruitful and multiply; 1:28; cf. 1:22), and Jacob's early struggles with Esau have echoes of the primordial struggles of humankind around blessing and curse (Genesis 1:1–4:16). As in Genesis 24, Rebekah has a double role: she is the wife of Isaac, but she is involved in the primordial effort to achieve blessing.

Keywords:   betrothal, curse, Esau, Genesis, Isaac's blessing, Jacob, marriage, primordial struggle, Rachel, Rebekah

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