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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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Genealogies: Jacob Declines and Esau Prospers (35:21–37:1)

Genealogies: Jacob Declines and Esau Prospers (35:21–37:1)

The Shrunken Genealogy of Jacob (35:21–29)

The Expansive Genealogy of Esau (Chap. 36)

Chapter:
34 Genealogies: Jacob Declines and Esau Prospers (35:21–37:1)
Source:
Genesis as Dialogue
Author(s):

Thomas L. Brodie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195138368.003.0034

The following two texts consist essentially of genealogies – the shrunken genealogy of Jacob (Genesis 35:21–29) and the expansive genealogy of his old nemesis, Esau (36:1–37:1). The brevity of Jacob's genealogy seems to be explained by its opening: the incest of Jacob's eldest son, Reuben, with Jacob's concubine, Bilhah – an event which would have undermined the father. Jacob hears, but does nothing and says nothing. (He acts on it when he is dying, 49:3–4). For the moment, he is diminished, and his genealogy reflects it. (In better circumstances, his genealogy is longer, 46:8–27).

Keywords:   Bilhah, Esau, genealogies, genealogy, Genesis, incest, Jacob, Reuben

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