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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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The Long Journey Homeward (Chaps. 31–33)

The Long Journey Homeward (Chaps. 31–33)

The Fear in Meeting Laban (31:1–32:2)

The Greater Fear in Meeting Esau (32:3–Chap. 33)

(p.320) 32 The Long Journey Homeward (Chaps. 31–33)
Genesis as Dialogue

Thomas L. Brodie

Oxford University Press

Jacob's journey homeward, after an absence of twenty years, consists of two main episodes: journeying in fear to meet Laban (Genesis 31:1–32:2), and journeying in greater fear to meet Esau, the brother who once sought to kill him (32:3–ch. 33). Jacob's fear includes the fear of death. In meeting Laban, he is cowed initially; only in his anger does he find the courage to confront Laban. However, before facing Esau, Jacob wrestles with God, and then he faces the danger somewhat calmly. The night struggle with God has some aspects of a betrothal.

Keywords:   betrothal, Esau, fear, fear of death, Genesis, Jacob, Jacob's wrestling, journey homewards, Laban

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